It's that time of the week again, and the YA Indie Carnival sponsors are sharing spring break scenes. This is a great topic for me since The Warrior Series is set in beautiful Galveston Island, the perfect spring break location.
Having worked as a nurse at UTMB (the Island's only hospital) for years and since I still reside near the very touristy destination, I've learned more than some (less than others) about the gulf city's rich, colorful, and - at times - traumatic past. In fact, I have used (or will use) every single morsel of the place's haunted history to build the paranormal world within which Allison La Crosse and The Disciples of the Cross live.
Because Galveston and its citizens have become silent and endearing characters within the series, fans of the books have embarked upon tours to explore the unique places mentioned (see post YA Indie Carnival - Favorite Fan Experience).
Take a few minutes to enjoy Allison's weekend of swimming and body surfing with Brody while reading this excerpt from Warriors of the Cross (The Warrior Series, #1).
I dashed into my room. I forgot about James and his sadness the second I thought about being in so few clothes in front of Brody.
I found a red and white two-piece with tags still intact and – as luck would have it – my size. Like every other time that I went to the beach, I applied liberal amounts of sunscreen. Diligent, I massaged it from the top and worked my way down: face, ears, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and feet.
Once I finished proactively preventing skin cancer, I found a phenomenal white cover-up with red embroidered stitching. I slipped it over the swimsuit, looked into the mirror, and decided it was as good as it was going to get. I braced myself and exited the room.
“We are going out the front. That way we won’t be stopped by James or The Sisters,” he said, intertwining his hand with mine and showing me how to sneak out the front of the house.
On the beach, I had a renewed sense of confidence after discarding the cover-up. Brody’s approval was obvious as he inspected me from my feet up to my eyes. His scan was as calming and gentle as the strokes to my arm the night before.
Of course, seeing him shirtless for the first time, I performed my own quick glance. With it, I appreciated his sculptured physique. The accenting shadows underneath his bulging muscles were as much a part of him as his strikingly tanned skin.
He took my hand, and we waded out into the waves where he began teaching me how to body surf.
“The perfect wave needs to come to your shoulders. Once you find it, let it hit you from behind and carry you all the way to the beach,” he coached, seriously.
Making it into the deeper part of the warm water, I swayed with the battering of a few large swells. With my wavering, Brody grabbed my waist and give me time to stabilize my foot-hold.
“Better,” he said protectively.
He waited for my nod before releasing his hold.
This was the first time I had done anything more than walk through the beach side water. Despite that detail, I had a strong sensation that I had spent my entire life swimming the foamy waves. Brody and I rode them until the instant that I saw someone mounting an elaborately designed surfboard.
Speaking without thinking, I asked, “Brody, do you have a surf board I could use?”
“Yeah, give me a few minutes. I’ll go get a couple,” he said, as if he had been inspired also.