Saturday, October 29, 2022

Blog Tour: The Beached Ones by Colleen M. Story

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Beached Ones by Colleen M. Story. This tour was organized by Lola's Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
The Beached Ones book cover
Title: The Beached Ones
Author: Colleen M. Story
Publisher: CamCat Books
Publication Date: June 28th 2022
Print Length: 400 pages
Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural Thriller

He came back, determined to keep his promise.

Daniel and his younger brother grew up in an abusive home. Daniel escaped. Now an established stunt rider, he intends to go back to rescue his brother. But then one jump goes horribly wrong . . .

He recovers to find himself in Iowa, unscathed, yet his life has drastically changed. His best friend won’t answer his calls. Even his girlfriend is hiding something. Increasingly terrified, he clings to the one thing he knows: He must pick up his brother in San Francisco. In five days.

From the isolating fields of Iowa to the crowded streets of San Francisco, Daniel must fight his way through a fog of disjointed memories and supernatural encounters to face the truth and pay a debt he didn’t know he owed.

Watch the book trailer below or by clicking here.
Daniel A. Shepard would have been lost forever had not the lighthouse beam brought him back to life. In sweeping strokes it painted the blackness in ribbons of white, awakening his spirit with each pass over his body, gently drawing him out of the blackness into which he had fallen. He dropped his arm over his face, suspecting a crack in the hotel drapes, but the light shone through nevertheless, as if the sleeve of his fleece jacket were no more than a thin cotton sheet. He rolled over on his side. A sharp pain sliced through his thighs, forcing him fully awake. His legs were on fire. He slapped at the flames, but when he looked down, he was fully clothed, his limbs unharmed. The ceiling twinkled, some sort of spray glitter he’d failed to notice before. But no, the sparkles were too far away. And the air smelled fresh, not the typical hotel air, heavy with the scent of old socks. He’d expected the usual lumpy beds and noisy cooling fans.

It wasn’t long before he realized this was no hotel.

He was outside.

His gaze went first to the flashing light, emanating from an airport tower, he thought, until he heard the roar of the ocean below. Having grown up in Montana, he’d never been to either coast, but now long waves gleamed like threads of lace, appearing and then fading into the deep. He stared, half unsure of what he was seeing, and still they danced in and out under a moonlit sky, the lighthouse showing them off about every twenty seconds. A breeze caressed his face, bringing with it the scent of salt and seaweed, and then he noticed the sand cool between his fingers. He lifted one hand and let the soft grains trickle over his palm. The guys had spoken about heading for the beach after the Los Angeles show, but last he remembered, they hadn’t made it out of the bar.

The pain returned, biting at his ankles, flames erupting about the hem of his jeans. He recoiled, crab legging through the sand, one hand slapping at the fire until he fell onto his back. The vision faded to reveal his jeans intact, white cotton socks covering his ankles, the fleece jacket unzipped, his favorite high-tops on his feet.

“I didn’t drink that much,” he said out loud, though his tone was less than convincing. He removed his Kawasaki cap and ran his fingers through his thick, brown hair, resting his hand on the back of his neck. Jay had asked him to join the others. They’d left the crowd on their feet, an audience of over a thousand shouting for more. They’d deserved a celebration.

“Jay?” Daniel called, “you there?”

The last show was a blur. All he could remember was his hometown of Butte, Montana, the old grandstand at the fairgrounds lit up with stadium lights as he and the six other motorcycle riders flew over the tops of hundreds of heads. But that couldn’t be right.

They were in L.A. Their last show had to have been in L.A. Behind him, city lights danced in the distance, casting a hazy orange glow into the night sky. His last run up the ramp, he’d done the dead body and the cliffhanger. Or had it been the double grab and the superman?

The night answered only in waves, the sand whispering hush.

He had to pick up Tony in San Francisco. The thought came out of the blue. His little brother was attending the marine camp he’d drooled over for years. He’d be finished on August twenty-ninth. If Daniel weren’t there, the kid would be left stranded. He glanced at his wrist, but his watch was gone. They were supposed to spend a couple of weeks together before Tony went back to school, though Daniel wasn’t sure he was going to let his little brother return to their mother’s house. Tony had been in that hellhole long enough. Daniel had an apartment now. They could both stay there.

He patted his pockets. No keys, no wallet. But something in the front right. He dug in and pulled out the Matchbox F-14 Tomcat. He’d received it as a present when he was young, for Christmas maybe, though he couldn’t remember for sure. He’d passed it on to Tony on his fifth birthday, and then Tony had given it back before Daniel had left the hellhole for good. Tony had meant it as a good-luck charm, something to keep Daniel safe while he was performing his stunts. Daniel turned it over in his hand, puzzled. A piercing whistle grabbed his attention. He tucked the toy away and stood up. Over the din of the ocean the whistle came again, a high-pitched tone that spiked and then dropped. He held his breath. There, at the shoreline, down and to the right. The waves crested and crashed, and then a distressed, wailing sound of something or someone in pain.

It wasn’t easy running in the sand, especially in high-top sneakers. Salty grains poked at his heels. As if wanting to help, the lighthouse intermittently showed the way. Here. No, over here.

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Colleen M. Story is a novelist, freelance writer, writing coach, and speaker with over 20 years in the creative writing industry. Her latest novel, The Beached Ones, was released with CamCat Books on July 26, 2022. Her previous novel, Loreena's Gift, was a Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others.

Colleen has written three books to help writers succeed. Your Writing Matters was a bronze medal winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2022). Writer Get Noticed! was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and a first-place winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards (2019). Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book in 2018.

A lifelong musician, Colleen plays the French horn in her local symphony and pit orchestras. When not writing, she’s reading, practicing yoga, listening to music, exploring the beautiful Northwest, and making up more challenging games for her smart German Shepherd to play.

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