CONGRATULATINS TO EMMA JAMES ON THE RELEASE OF A LITTLE FAITH *GIVEAWAY*


 

 

Title: A Little Faith
Series: Ocean Beach #1
Author: Emma James
 Release Date: October 9, 2014

 

Synopsis
I had no idea a carefree island vacation would tear my life apart.

But now it’s time to put my walls up, make them impenetrable.

It’s the only way to survive.

~Faith

 
Six Years Later…

Harley, the protector. Retro, the straight shooter.


Keanu, the funny bone. Levi, the model. And Text, who can’t seem to find himself.

All their lives were permanently altered by one event.

With a pact made, these five best friends need something from Faith.

Is she ready now to give them what they have been waiting for?

Join Faith as she goes on an emotional and heartwarming discovery where all may not be what it seems.

But with every ending, comes a new beginning, a second chance.

You just gotta have A Little Faith…

Welcome to Ocean Beach.

Links to Buy

 

AMAZONUS / UK / AU

 

Book Trailer

Playlist

 

 

 

Excerpt
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice
you have.”
– Bob Marley
THE ISLAND
CHANCE
It’s a hot and
humid night. We’re all looking forward to a beer and some nightlife as we take
the short walk from our hotel to the Coconut Club.
At this time of
the year, the island is packed with tourists from all over the world. This
means lots of beautiful girls in their tiny bikinis with a tan and a smile and everybody
looking to have a good time.
Only ten days
into our two week surfing vacation with my friends, I’ve been having the time
of my life. We’ve met some great locals who have entrusted us with their secret
surfing spots, which they keep on the down-low. These are their places to surf, not to be overrun by tourists.
The surf has
been awesome. We’ve ridden alongside the locals, our boards attached to our motorcycles
as we follow them through the hustle and bustle of the crazy traffic. I shit
you not, it almost appears like there are no road rules over here. It’s like
dodge ball with motorcycles. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun taking the bikes
to the streets, weaving through the ridiculous traffic, honking our horns—quite
the adrenaline ride.
Once we make it
out of the shit storm of traffic and get on the quieter roads around the
island, we’re able to put the pedal to the metal and enjoy the scenery.
Fan-fucking-tastic!
Just don’t
fucking crash
has been
our motto because the hospital service isn’t that great over here. You don’t
want to wind up in it.
Since Faith
would’ve loved to see some of the places we’ve been to and photograph them,
Jase brought his camera and saved some of these memories for her. I can’t help
thinking he has an interest in my sister. Jase is a great guy, however, so I’ll
cross that bridge when I come to it.
The locals have showed
us the clubs and bars to check out. We know they receive commission for
pointing us in the direction of certain places, but these guys don’t have the
same opportunities we have been given in life, so why not help a guy out?
The food has
been awesome. Keanu only got the shits for a few days—we did warn him about the
water. We could smell him from across the hallway, making me glad I wasn’t
sharing a room with Keanu. Levi got the short straw for those few days.
We’ve sat on the
beach at night while Keanu, Levi, and Jase sang and strummed their guitars,
entertaining a small crowd that gathered each evening while the sun sets. It’s
a pretty awesome way to watch the sun go down if you ask me. This has been such
a great trip.
After four years
of college, we all just graduated and decided to take this trip as a gift to
ourselves for summer break. We’ve all got stuff we have applied for or are in
the process of locking down when we get home except for Jase, who is the
youngest in the group and our friend Harley’s younger brother. He wanted to
come along; therefore, this is his vacation before he starts college.
We weren’t
stupid; we all knew life was getting more serious and we were entering the next
phase. We have our futures ahead of ourselves, yet who knew when we would be
able to all get together and do this again? My only regret is Harley couldn’t
make the trip.
He is moving
ahead with his dream of owning a business—his college years were more about a
backup plan. The guy is so smart. He plans way ahead. Out of all of us, he’s
got his shit together the most. He landed himself a job that he couldn’t pass up.
The boy is thinking big and has always been like that. He sees his future of
owning a security business empire like a blueprint in his mind. I know he will
make it happen, as well. He’s just that kind of guy.
Fuck, I love all
these guys. My friends mean the world to me, and I would do anything for them.
Any-fucking-thing they asked of me.
The guys are all
completely different. Well, maybe with the exception of Keanu and Levi. Those
two are hilarious without trying and have this bond which glues them together.
They have such a bromance going on that they will be friends for life. Nothing
will get between them. They are brothers from another mother, through and
through. Although, we all get along incredibly well.
Keanu and Levi
have been spreading themselves among the ladies, while Retro seems happy enough
just surfing, eating, and drinking. He’s got a lady on his mind back home, so
he’s just letting his free spirit enjoy the waves and soak up the atmosphere.
I’ve been
keeping a subtle eye on Jase; he’s been throwing back a few beers. The chicks
love his blonde hair and mismatched blue and brown eyes. At eighteen, he isn’t
technically underage here, only back home; as a result, he’s enjoying it while
it lasts. I promised Harley, his brother, I would have his back and not let him
get too out of control, however. So far, he’s only thrown up like the exorcist
one night. I think that helped cure him of hitting it too hard for a few more
days. The waves are more important than getting totally wasted and not being
able to surf anyways.
We enter the
Coconut Club and make our way to a high-top table with the stools. This place
is starting to fill up. The DJ is playing loud techno, and the club is pumping
with bodies on the dance floor moving in sync.
Retro offers to
buy the first round and takes off to the bar before it gets too busy and you
wind up waiting to be served for ages.
Levi and Keanu
are already scouting the club for hot chicks, talking in each other’s ear,
being each other’s wingman. The next second, they are both shouting,
“Challenge. Accepted!” and bumping fists. I roll my eyes. They do this every
night once they have locked down their female prey. The girls are here to
party, looking for a good time, and these two aim to please.
The tourists are
all in party mode on the island. Inhibitions are left at the door. After what I
have seen, I don’t think I will be letting my future daughter ever come on a
vacation for summer break until she is at least thirty.
Hell. No.
Jase has already
been spotted by a group of girls who are all giggling and pointing at him. I
can’t help feeling proud of him. He was somewhat of a geek at school and I
suppose Harley and my boys rubbed off on him. Now he’s buff and enjoying the
female attention. His blonde hair and striking mismatched eyes make him stand
out from the crowd.
We are all a
pretty good looking bunch. We look after ourselves, and we hit up a fair bit of
extreme sports. It keeps us fit. We aren’t the indoorsy type. We study hard,
but we play hard, too.
One day, all
this carefree stuff will have to be locked down, but at the moment, we are
young and single and generally don’t do anything by halves.
It’s all or
nothing.
******
We’ve been here
for a couple hours now. It’s been a great night of letting loose and jumping
about on the dance floor.
“It’s my buy,” I
have to shout over the music. I head over to the bar, where the crowd is two
people deep all along its length, waiting to be served. This could take a while
with only a couple bar tenders serving.
My mind drifts
to Faith, my kid sister by eight years. I’m looking forward to seeing her when
we get home. I’ve got a week lined up to spend with her and the folks before
heading back to San Diego. Today, I bought her a brightly colored sarong,
figuring chicks love that sort of thing when they come here. Jase has it packed
in his suitcase since I’ve bought quite a bit of souvenirs for family, and my
bag is at its weight limit.
I know how much
she wanted to come on this vacation with us and loves photography; as a result,
I’ve taken a lot of pictures on my phone to show her.
I bought her a
Canon old-school camera when she was nearly eleven, just before we left for
college, so she could play about with it. I hoped to keep her busy with a hobby
while I was away because I hated leaving her. She hung around with us more than
her own friends. Regardless, I loved having her around, and the guys didn’t
mind. I knew leaving her was going to leave a hole in her life.
Four years
later, she is now nearly fifteen. I think she may have a career as a
photographer. She takes awesome photos, and I know she wants a dark room. Our
mom and dad have bought her a digital camera for her birthday in just over two
months, while I’ve organized for some dark room equipment
the perfect present for Faith. I can’t wait to see her
face when we give it all to her. The best of both photography worlds for her to
play around with.
Jase clamps one
hand on my shoulder and yells in my ear, “Hey, Chance, thought you might like
some company while you’re standing up here waiting. I’ll help you bring the
beers over. The wingmen are working the beat, and Retro’s gone to take a piss.”
When I look over
and see Levi and Keanu dancing all over a couple of girls, I can’t help
laughing at them. They certainly love chicks.
“This crowd is
sure thirsty.” I smile at Jase. I’ve been standing here awhile already. “The
downfall of summer break vacationing.”
Jase is a nice
guy. He’s always thinking about others. He’s seen both sides of the school
crowd, popular and unpopular. He was bullied for being a geek at school, so he
is sensitive to others and thinks of their feelings. Once he started coming out
of his shell and growing, his features started to get noticed by the girls. Luckily,
Harley was there to help with his self-esteem. He used to take him out back at
their home and get him to pound the heavy bag. Afterward, they’d lift weights
and go jogging together.
Jase is a much
deeper guy than a lot of people realize. We knew. The stupid assholes at his
school, on the other hand, were threatened by what they knew he could become.
He had smarts, a personality to match, and his looks were starting to shine
through. Harley just helped nudge it along with some brotherly advice and some
older brother knowledge of what makes a girl’s head turn.
Jase knew what
he was capable of and never got a big head. It was like he was waiting for the
right girl, someone with smarts he could be attracted to. Jase was always
studying or hanging with his geeky friends. You could give him a makeover, but
he always stayed true to his friends. He saw people for who they were, not what
they looked like. He looked into people’s souls, not just the pretty face. I
think someone was counted very lucky if they were friends with Jase.
Jase’s voice
invades my thoughts, “So, how’s Faith? Have you spoken to her lately?”
“I texted her
earlier, letting her know how we were all doing.”
I decide to wind
Jase up a bit. “I let your dad know you’ve been making up for lost time with
the beers.” I’m trying to keep a straight face.
“What the fuck,
Chance? I told Dad I have been behaving myself. Mom and Dad only let me come on
this trip as long as I behaved.”
I’m laughing out
loud. Sometimes it’s too easy playing with Jase. The look on his face,
priceless. “I’m only joking. I haven’t ratted you out. Harley was a lot wilder
than you, anyway. Trust me, you’re a saint compared to what he was getting up
to at your age.”
I finally get
served, and we haul the beers back to our table where Keanu, Levi, and Retro
are waiting. We do a salute with our beers before taking a drink.
It’s now around eleven-thirty,
and the crowd is thinning out a little. We’re all feeling pretty relaxed. We
have a crack of dawn surf we want to get in, and we need to drive an hour to
get to the spot; therefore, we are keeping ourselves on the right side of
sober.
Barely.
Keanu and Levi
have wandered off somewhere and Retro’s gone for another piss while Jase and I
are chilling and talking when, suddenly, there is a bit of commotion in the
club. A young Asian guy with a backpack has climbed up onto a table, screaming
like a wild man. I can’t understand what he’s saying; he’s not speaking
English.
Jase is standing
beside me, shouting in my ear, “What the fuck is that guy’s problem?”
I’ve got no
idea. He’s still screaming wildly, his face is dripping with sweat, and he
keeps wiping his face on his sleeve. He’s angry and agitated with fear in his
eyes, and he’s gulping down air.
The young guy,
who doesn’t look much older than us, pulls something out of his pocket, holding
it above his head, waving it about. I wish I knew what he was yelling about.
Sensing something
isn’t right with this guy, the bar’s crowd begins trying to move away, making
their way towards the entrance.
Seconds have
ticked by.
I grab Jase and
move him away from the inevitable crush while I search the crowd for Levi,
Retro, and Keanu.
I shout over the
music, “Fuck! I can’t see where the others are.” I need to know where they are.
Right. Now.
It’s only been
about twenty seconds since the guy made himself known. I’ve moved us to the
other side of the bar, as far away as we can shuffle through the crowd from the
crazy guy.
The front
entrance is getting a line up as people shove at others. In the few seconds
we’ve grabbed, I keep my eyes on him as we move. The kid is positively shaking.
Then, his thumb raises and starts to press down on the device in his hand.
Jesus!
I duck, grabbing
a girl near me around the waist and shoving both her and Jase behind a table
and some chairs. I try to cover them as much as I can, pushing their heads
down.
Boom!
There is a loud
explosion that rocks our ear drums.
I look up from
our crouched position over the table top. Blood has rained down on us. It’s
everywhere. Bits of what I can only describe as flesh have landed on the table
we are hiding behind. There is a horrid, burnt smell in the air. People are
crying out. The girl with us has gotten up and blended into the crowd. Everyone
is moving like a herd of scared cattle towards the club entrance.
“Fuck. The guy
blew himself up. Fuck.” I’m talking almost to myself. I feel like I’m in a
vacuum. I can’t really hear. I can only stare.
I’m stunned by
what just happened. A lot of people tried to take cover like we did, yet I can
see bodies lying on the ground. Are they dead? There is blood and bits of flesh
covering people like a macabre abstract painting. It’s everywhere.
Where are the
guys? I shake a stunned Jase, and we get up from our crouched position. The
music has been drowned out by the screams and sounds of fear inside the club. I
shake my head, my ears continuing to ring.
As people push
and shove past us, I take stock of our surroundings. The explosion was enough
to blow the kid up and collect anybody within its radius of fallout.
What the fuck. Was this a joke? Is this some staged prank? I’m
having trouble believing what I’m seeing.
Jase and I look
at each other.
I have to snap
out of it.
What the fuck
did this guy do?
Why?
What the fuck!
“We need to find
the guys and get out of here,” Jase is shouting at me, the fear clearly evident
in his voice.
I rub my hand
through my hair, dislodging bits of gunk. I don’t want to think about what it
is. “Can you see the others?” I’m probably shouting back at him since I can’t
hear myself properly.
The rest of the
crowd who are still inside the bar have just woken up from their places of
stunned disbelief and are frantically trying to help their friends or the
person closest to them. They are as desperate as we are to get out of the club
and to safety. They know something is wrong. Very, very wrong. This is no
longer the happy place it was a few minutes ago.
I herd a group
of crying European girls I noticed earlier hanging out together tonight,
splattered with blood and other bits, towards the front entrance. “Go!” I tell
the one who looks the most with it. “Take your friends and get out of here. Get
yourselves some help. Just stick together.”
She nods slowly
at me as she pushes her friends out the door.
I look for Jase,
finding him grabbing some other girls, getting them to move and telling them
not to look back.
But I did.
Carnage is
spread out like a horror movie scene. The lighting in the club is a lot dimmer
in parts, and broken glass is everywhere, being crunched under foot. Tables and
chairs have been turned over, toppled in the panic. There is a bloody mess
where the guy had once stood. I try not to look too closely.
Why would a guy
do that to himself? It doesn’t make sense
I can only hope
the other guys are safe. Where the fuck are they?
As fear fully
sets in, the remaining people in the bar are full-blown making a push-and-shove
run for it. It’s not a good way to get through a narrow doorway. A couple of
guys are smashing the glass frontage with bar stools, trying to speed up the
evacuation. Everybody wants out.
I’m looking
around for a back exit. While there must be one, I can’t see a sign from where
I’m standing. When I hear a new wave of terrified screaming and crying, I turn
to the front of the club. A blue delivery van has been driven up to where the
guys broke the glass front.
“Fuck, what
now?” I mumble.
A guy gets out
and runs off, leaving the car door open. There are still people trying to
escape through the broken windows near the van. If that van has what I think is
in it, they won’t stand a chance. This shit is real.
“Fuck. I’m sorry,
Faith, Mom, Dad,” I barely hear myself say. I know what’s coming.
I grab Jase and
try to get as far from the front of the bar as possible.
I’m sorry, Harley.
Anywhere, but
the front.
I throw Jase in
front of me, and we push against the crowd. We make some distance, but not
enough.
Retro, Levi, and Keanu, please be safe.

Then it happens.

Author Bio

Emma James lives in Queensland,
Australia with her smexi husband, three children and a big black
Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household. She
often bounces ideas off her family and gets very creative responses.
She loves to read as much as write. Daytime for writing, night time for
reading.

Emma hopes to surprise you with her debut book, A Little Faith.

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