This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.
It is hot. Blisteringly, scorchingly hot. The sun blazes in a clear, blue sky, and all I can think of is the ocean nearby. That wonderful cool, clear water.
I don my swimsuit, a tee, sandals. Splosh on sunscreen, pick up a hat, sunnies, towel, bottle of water, and toss it all into the beach bag. Drive five minutes to the beach and find a park close by.
The water beckons enticingly. Aqua blue, calm, with just a gentle ripple. The sand at the edge of the water glistens in the sun as a wavelet surges gently up onto the shore, before receding lazily to recoup its spent energy. I am amazed to see so few people on the beach and in the water. Plenty of room for many more.
I tumble from the car and cross the hot pavement onto the sand. Trudge through the soft sand. The red-hot sand infiltrates my sandals and my feet burn. Now I know what it’s like to walk over hot coals.
Reaching the strip of hard, wet sand above the water line I shed the sandals and the damp sand cools my feet. I drop the bag. Off with the tee, I head into the water and wade in.
The cool water caresses my legs. Little fish swim only feet from the shore, where ridges in the sandy bottom dig into my feet. Ouch! But they are soon left behind for the smooth, sandy ocean floor.
I’m in waist deep and the water feels cold. There’s only one thing to do—dive under and swim. After the heat, the cold water is sheer bliss! I come up with a gasp, shake my head and push the hair back from my face.
I look around. There are a few other souls in the water nearby. Teenagers splashing, diving and horsing around. A few children on paddle boards. A group of three women a little way off, chest deep, hats on, bobbing down deeper now and then as they hold an animated conversation.
A couple of serious swimmers further out are practising their strokes.
I look down. The water is so clear I can see the shape of my toenails, and the occasional pebble on the sandy bottom. A lone strand of seaweed drifts by. But mainly it’s just clear, rejuvenating water. I swim a bit, do a few stretches and kicks, float lazily. The heat is forgotten.
Ah! This is what I missed so much when I lived in other places—South Australia’s long stretches of sheltered, white, sandy beach. Not crowded. Usually calm enough to actually swim in.
What, no surf? you say. No, if you want surf, go further down the coast. For me, I like to swim, float, cool off. Forget the heat.
This is Adelaide in the summer.
Elly Cooper is looking forward to a weekend away in Brisbane with friends – including Jackson Lee, who she thinks may become more than just a friend during the trip.
But when he doesn’t turn up, and keeps sending text messages with excuses, she doesn’t know what to believe.
Then he goes missing – along with an important journal that contains her dead father’s life-long work, with details of how to make a beauty product he described as the fountain of youth, potentially worth millions.
The catch is that the main ingredient is a rare plant found only in the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland. And only her father knew where to find it.
Elly enlists the aid of handsome ex-policeman Mitchell Beaumont to help her find Jackson, the journal, and the plant. But someone else now has the journal and is on the trail of the precious plant.
It is a race against time to see who can find it first, and it seems as if whoever else is searching, they will stop short of nothing – even murder.
And as Elly and Mitchell search together, will their friendship develop into something more?
About the Author: Kate Loveday grew up in the seaside suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia with a love of books and always wanted to write. Her career has included publication of travel articles and short stories, as well as full length novels. She previously worked in real estate and building, as an office manager, and finally as a natural beauty therapist, running her own natural therapy business in Sydney with husband Peter for many years.
When they left Sydney they spent three years caravanning around Australia, spending much of that time in Far North Queensland, an area she came to love and which has been the setting for two of her books, before settling in the mid-north coast of NSW. However, after years of separation from family, the pull of blood ties became too strong to resist and they returned to Adelaide.
When not writing, Kate enjoys reading, listening to music, good food and wine, and ‘hanging out’ with family and friends. She takes part in writing groups, as well as being the financial manager of a Community Association.
Buy the book at Escape Publishing.