Friday, September 20, 2013

Shades of Pink Teaser - In Search of Pink Coral by Sabrina Garie


Every day until the end of September, I will post here the blurb for one of the stories from the Shades of Pink charity anthology, as well as a teaser, and a short bio for the author. The anthology will be available on October 1st, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research but you can donate today and get it 5 days early! I invite you to come back, share the links for these teasers, tell your friends about it... It's all for a good cause! And if you tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #shadesofpink :)

Today, a glimpse from In Search of Pink Coral by Sabrina Garie

BLURB
Bara, a Norse sea goddess spiritually connected to the dying reefs, blasts a scuba diver out of the water for tampering with her coral. Too late she discovers he might hold the key to her survival, if she’s willing to risk her heart.

FIRST PAGE
Bara traced her finger along the rough edges of the coral, bleached ghost white and so frail it crumbled into her hand. Pinpricks of pain coursed through her heart each time a fragment separated from the larger reef. Her parents, Aegir and Ran, the Norse gods of the seas, had tied her spirit to the coral reefs that spanned their oceans in the vain hope that her power could restore their life essence. But the ancient gods were forgotten, no longer worshiped. Their magic diminished without a steady diet of prayer and offerings.

A vibration rumbled through the reef and tickled her hand which still rested on the living structure. Quicker than the human eye, she swam toward the source. A scuba diver, with a rectangular tablet looped around one wrist, tapped his finger along the coral, almost as if he were counting. Enraged, she opened her palm, expelled a flash of sea energy and sent him flying out of the water onto the beach. In a blink, she landed on the shore. She wasn't done with him, not by a long shot. While she may not kill like some of her sisters who had started to go mad from the destruction of the seas, she needed to make sure this man would never damage her reef again. She knew it was a man by the way the wet suit molded against a muscular body she might have admired under different circumstances.

The coastline was devoid of any other inhabitants except for the splayed body of the man, unconscious from her blast. His chest rose and fell in steady breaths. The scuba mask had been thrown to the side to reveal a face of sculpted lines and angles so handsome it would have outshone any god in the Norse or Greek pantheon if not marred by a thin scar. It ran from his cheekbone, grazed the corner of his mouth and ended at his chin.

She circled his body, stubbing her toe on the tablet he dropped in the flight. With a curse, she rubbed her foot and then picked up the culprit—a waterproof slate with numbers jotted across them. He’d been taking notes underwater. Humans were strange creatures, an opinion her sisters voiced ad nauseam. Still, something about the pattern of the numbers tugged at her. She flipped the tablet over to find an image of a sea strawberry—pink coral—and the words Reef Runners etched along the edges of the design. The humans called it a logo.

A quick glance around the beach and she found two bags pushed together. Probably his. She rifled through the contents. One held the expected—clothes, water bottle, trail mix, snorkeling equipment, keys and a wallet. The other was stuffed with sample containers—dead or dying bits of coral, anemone, seaweed and other reef inhabitants. Her curiosity piqued she opened the wallet. His name was Dylan Elliott, he only lived a few blocks away and he had a parking pass to a university. Maybe he was a scientist? She always thought of them as the enemy. They ruthlessly wielded rational thought and experimentation to poison faith in the ancient magic. Without believers, the old ways waned and dragged the world down with it in an onslaught of disease, rot and decay, which was consuming her ocean. Rage pulsed through her body, sapping her energy, weakening her. Calm down, Bara. Before she doled out punishment, she needed to know exactly what this man did to the reef. Unlike many others of the pantheons, she would try not to prejudge.

With the strength of the god-born, she lifted him over her shoulder, grabbed his things in her other hand and raced them to his home, her speed on land only a fraction slower than in the ocean. A snap of her fingers made quick work of the door lock, a second snap removed his wet suit. She placed him on a queen-size bed that took up most of the space in the first bedroom she found in his one story cottage. A bamboo chair that would have looked more at home on a deck and a flea market dresser nestled in opposite corners. When she looked at him, sleek muscle everywhere, tight abs and gold hair smattered across his chest sent her mind wandering off to places it had no business going. It had been a long time since she’d taken a lover—finding ways to strengthen the reefs had demanded all her time. Too many of her pantheon had given up, losing themselves in decadence or insanity as the world faded around them. That was not her way. Bara was a fighter and vowed she would once again see the reefs glitter with pink coral. She threw a faded blue comforter over his body to quell the temptation and returned to the living room to dig into the life of the man who dared to trespass on her domain.

His love for the ocean projected throughout the room. Photos of sandbanks, sea creatures, whales and the sunset over waves covered his walls. From the sheer numbers, she guessed he had to be the photographer. And from the quality of them, an artist as well. Shells and coral that must have been collected over a lifetime covered the bookshelves that hung over the fireplace. Only one shelf held any books, all about the ocean, from textbooks to mythology. Against her will, the shrine the room made to the ocean softened her heart. She felt a small jolt to her magic—heat weaved through her bloodstream. It strengthened her, energized her. Interesting. This was not worship in the old ways, but respect for the magic was here, in this house. But how?

...

AUTHOR
Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine romance fiction has ever known and the hero who can take her. A believer that big, audacious goals spice up life, she relies on coffee, red wine and laughter to make those goals (and her characters) come alive. When not at the computer, she wrangles vegetables and extra helpings of homework into her fashion-loving progeny, kowtows to a fat cat and reads, a lot. Since it is more fun to travel in packs, come along for the ride. Catch the train at sabrinagarie.com.

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