Today, I’m super excited to bring you a guest post from one of my favorite authors, Amanda Carlson that is near and dear to my own heart, as I live in Florida and the beach is never more than 65 miles away (I’m much closer though). She is the author of the Jessica McClain series and more recently, the Phoebe Meadows series. Today is release day for Exiled, the 3rd book in the Phoebe Meadows series. Both are absolutely exciting and great reads so if you haven’t read them yet, you are missing out! You can find my reviews on the first books in the Jessica McClain series HERE and the Phoebe Meadows series HERE.
I think my favorite beach is New Smyrna Beach because that’s where I normally go though it is known as the “shark bite capital of the world”. I think the prettiest beach I’ve seen is probably in Destin, Florida.
Top Five Beach Destinations:
I live in the north (MN) and around about this time cabin fever sets in big time and I find myself dreaming about the beach. Here are my Top Five best beaches. I’d love to hear what yours are in the comments.
- Number one has to be La Ropa beach in Zijuatanejo, Mexico. My parents took me here as a child many times, and one of the best vacations we’ve ever had was taking my kids back to visit. It’s maintained its charm after all these years. Restaurants right in the sand. Not too built up. Perfect.
- Hoopers Bay, Exuma, Bahamas. One year when the kids were little, we found cheap airfare to Exuma, which had just opened up to more travel after a large chain built a hotel on the tiny island. We found an extremely good deal on a house, situated on a deserted white sand beach. It was heaven. There wasn’t much to do on the island, but the white sand and calm waters were a dream.
- Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI. Yes, it’s super crowded, but it’s so iconic. I spent my 8th grade year in HI, so it was nostalgic to go back. While Waimea Bay might have my heart, Waikiki gets my vote.
- Hanalei Beach, Kauai, HI. I have two pictures on my wall of this beach, that’s how much I loved it. Kauai in general was a dream, but very quiet. (I’m sensing a theme, lol). The most memorable part of it was me creeping through the bushes to get a good look at Julia Robert’s vacation home!
- Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico. My husband and I happened on this beach by chance. We had a getaway weekend in Puerto Rico and decided to take a ferry someplace. We chose Culebra. It was (quiet) and stunning! If you get a chance to visit, do it.
I hope I’ve given all you folks who are sick of winter weather some good ideas! Alas, I haven’t been anywhere for spring break in two years. It might be time to dust off the bathing suit. Hope you enjoy my Phoebe Meadows series. It’s full of action and fun, just the way I like it.
Also by this author: Aces Wild: Sin City Collectors, Ante Up, All In
Phoebe Meadows is on trial for her life.
After freeing her half-brother, Baldur, Phoebe is set to stand before the Council in Asgard to answer for her actions. The threat of exile if she’s found guilty looms, not to mention the added stress of meeting her real father for the first time.
Upon entering Asgard, Phoebe discovers new allies in a half-brother she’s never met as well as an oracle who is in possession of valuable information. A little added help couldn’t have come at a better time, because when Phoebe is tossed into an unknown realm, she’s only armed with Gundren, a jewel, and her wits.
When Loki shows up, all bets are off. The trickster god throws a wrench in Phoebe’s plans and kidnaps Fen, her only ally. And just when she thinks she sees the light at the end of the tunnel, Phoebe finds she has to defeat one last obstacle: The Norns.
And they aren’t planning to go down without a fight…
“Sweet mother of all that’s holy.” Sam coughed violently into the bucket positioned in front of her. “Please tell me we’re here. My body can’t take much more of this.” She lifted her head, dragging the back of her sleeve over her mouth, wheezing. “I’m pretty sure my tank is finally dry, but bile is a tricky thing, as my body is making more of the hot, searing liquid as we speak.” Tyr stood next to her holding a clean pail, his face a mask of concern.
“Aye, we’re here,” Tyr answered solemnly, bending down to place the new container in front of Sam, who was promptly in need of it.
We all stood on the deck of Ringhorn, my half brother Baldur’s boat, which had been gifted to Tyr upon Baldur’s untimely death. We’d arrived in Asgard less than five minutes prior, so I could face the Council and Frigg, Baldur’s powerful goddess mother, to receive punishment for freeing her beloved son.
I’d broken Baldur out of a dark elf prison—the very place his mother had placed him for protection—only to watch him die a short time later at Verdandi’s hand.
It had been awful and heartbreaking.
The boat had just taken us through an insane vortex. One that had hauled us up in the air at breakneck speed, only to drop us the next instant. I’d lost count of how many times my stomach had hit my knees.
But I’d fared better than poor Sam, who was now huddled on the deck spilling her guts.
“Are we really here? In Asgard?” I asked, squinting into the darkness, trying to discern a single shape on the horizon, but coming up empty. The boat had lurched to a full stop in what looked to be a solid void. “I was expecting it to be a little more…vibrant?”
“We’ve landed in a holding bay,” Fen answered, his frame tense beside mine, his arm tight around my waist. This was the first time he’d been back to his home in many years, and he was poised for any threat that might come our way, his nostrils flaring, his sword at the ready.
My mother came up beside us. “There are various ways in, but if you take magical transportation, like Ringhorn, you must wait to be inspected before accessing the city.”
“Yep,” Ingrid added, moving toward a gated opening that would lead us off the boat. “Lots of nooks and crannies on a big boat like this. We might be harboring unknown aliens. We’ll have to wait for the inspectors to clear us.”
“Why is it so dark?” I asked. The only illumination we had came from the boat itself.
Before anyone could answer, a loud grating noise filled the air. All at once, the scene before us began to change as bright light pierced the space like a dazzling spotlight.
We were in a large cylinder of some kind.
As light penetrated the tunnel, my eyes adjusted, and I began to get my first glimpses of Asgard beyond the tunnel. I noticed blue sky right away. It was cobalt, a deep, resplendent tone that seemed impossibly rich for a sky.
“Brace yourself, kiddo,” Ingrid said as she removed her spear from her waistband. “Along with the inspectors, there will be guards.”
“Why are you drawing your weapon?” I asked, alarmed. “Isn’t this your home?”
“Because I’m getting ready to argue, and I do it best with Betsy at the ready.” She shook her trusty spear, and it seamlessly morphed into an eight-foot killer with a razor-sharp edge.
“Betsy?” Ingrid had never shared her weapon’s pet name before. “You named your spear Betsy?”
“Yep, she was christened my ‘Best Bet’ when I first got her. Found her in a pile of discarded old weapons and never looked back. If these guards try to separate us, Betsy will have her say. And I can guaran-damn-tee”—she waved her spear in the air—“there is no argument we can’t win.”
Copyright © 2017 Amanda Carlson. All rights reserved. None of the above can be reprinted without permission from the author.