My family and I just swam with dolphins at Discovery Cove, which is an amazing experience. The animals are amazing and powerful. So reading this excerpt for CLICKS really got my attention! Hope you enjoy it. And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
Clicks – When you just know.
Born and bred to win, Cami’s family expects her to join a secret society called The Guard, marry one of the two identical twin boys next door, and stay on Pinhold Island for the rest of her life. But she has other plans: work beach patrol, win the Surf Carnival and get a sponsor so that she can leave Pinhold to compete in international surf rescue competitions and see the world.
Home to epic waves, black sand beaches, and the world-famous Surf Carnival, Pinhold Island is regularly voted the top surf spot in the country. People come from all over the world to ride the waves or just relax in the natural beauty and rejuvenating water. While visitors are jealous of the few hundred people who get to live there, sixteen year old Cami feels stifled and trapped by her small community and her family's expectations. Thanks to the intense link she shares with her twin brother Mica, she can't even be alone with her thoughts. As decedents of the ten families who originally settled on Pinhold, Cami and Mica are part of a new generation of extreme surf lifeguards who are expected to earn invitations into The Guard.
But a seemingly small injury knocks her out of the first event and turns her summer upside down. It's suddenly impossible for Cami to resist the magnetic attraction to Blake, one of the twins next door; the one she's never been interested in. Just as the Surf Carnival competition starts to heat up, the best swimmers start to drown. Pulled to the ocean floor, they're found barely alive , stuck in unexplainable comas. When Mica goes down too, Cami can no longer wait for those in charge to figure out how to help him. To save the lives of her brother and their friends, Cami must ignore what she sees and what she's told, and instead must learn to trust the clicks, her instincts, that help her find the truth in heart even when it goes against everything her brain thinks it knows.
You can do this, clicked Mica, straight into my brain. Slow and low. He said the syllables silently, emphasizing all the proper points for inflection. With this info from Mica, I realized that Stony hadn’t repeated it perfectly. Somehow Mica had known which ones to listen to.I repeated it silently; then spoke it as loudly as possible. While my voice lacked volume, I filled it with as much energy as I could to capture the attention of the dolphins. The raspy vibrations of my voice swirled through my bones, down into the rocks, and I imagined them entering the water so the dolphins would hear them below the surface.
The reaction was instantaneous. The dolphins repeated me sound for sound and were quickly on the move.
“Again!” Stoney said, emphatically.
So I did. I repeated myself five more times until the dolphins were right in front of us in the bay.
The mood around me had shifted to joy with the dolphins’ arrival. When I opened my eyes and saw them in front of me, I allowed myself a wide grin. There, right in front of us, was a huge pod playing in the waves. They flipped, jumped, and twisted in the air—showing off with glee.
“Well done,” Stony said, looking proud of is all. “Now, join our brothers and sisters in the sea, as is tradition, for a swim across the bay.”
I took only a second to watch their silvery grey bodies moving through the water play before I dove off the rocks, getting in first. While everyone in The Guard would swim, only those of us pledging for the first time had anything to prove. Mica counted the dolphins silently, stopping when he reached fifty. This pod is larger than we’ve seen in years! he clicked to me, sounding louder than usual in the water.
The inky-black water surrounded me and I could barely see the many silvery bodies darting around. They brushed against me, skin like neoprene, swimming in front, behind, and all around, churning the water so that they actually moved me along. I stayed underwater as long as I could, so as not to give up my spot in the middle of the large group. When I finally surfaced, a dolphin with skin brighter than the others, stopped in the water, raised her head and stared. It felt like she recognized me.
She dove back under the water, and though I didn’t get quite enough air, I followed. Underwater she nudged me forward, and as I picked up speed she came alongside me. Her smooth movement created a slipstream, a pocket in the liquid that let me stay alongside her. I focused on staying with her as we moved front of the crowd and lost track all the other dolphins and the people too.
Underwater, time passed differently, like I could see it and hear it without it effecting me. I didn’t realized that I had forgotten to breathe ‘til I landed next to her on some jagged rocks gasping for air. Once I drew in enough oxygen, I could see and hear and just fine.
But I couldn’t move my body at all, no matter how hard I tried.
A sharp fragment of rock dug into that soft indented space behind my ear. Blood—hers and mine— mixed in the water between us, and she looked so pale I got worried. She flopped her tail a few times, unable to get off of the rock. When I moaned in pain, she stopped doing that and looked right at me with one eye. In order to do that, she had to turn her head to the side. I blinked for a second, breaking the stare when I felt a pulse. I couldn’t hear or see but I knew was there. It came through my skin, and into my bones, right to the spot that hurt the worst. At once, the blood clotted and the pain stopped. But I was still stuck too far for anyone by the bonfire to see.
The Blake sprang from the ocean like a dolphin with wings, or at least that’s what it looked like to me. I tried to smile but my lips wouldn’t move and since my eyes weren’t all the way open, he set up for mouth-to-mouth. If the situation were reversed, I would have too.
Gently he began to push on my chest, counting to thirty. Like the dolphin’s pulse, it went right through me to push the rock away. Once I could move again, I didn’t want to. Blake went forward with his plan, adjusting my throat carefully before touching his mouth on mine. At that moment, my attraction shifted from neutral to positive.
A magnetic reversal had reset my internal compass on a molecular level and I needed to kiss him for my very existence to make sense. I felt his shock, and then his interest as he shifted gears from rescue to romance, kissing me back until we heard Mica’s panicked yell and froze in place.
Amy Evans Bio:
Amy Evans is a wife, mother, ocean lover and storyteller. She's created multi-platform mobile apps, social media games, and interactive story worlds for HIPnTASTY, a company she co-founded in 2001. She loves dolphins, aliens and pugs, and sometimes writes for so long they all look like the same thing. Clicks is her debut novel about instincts, a Surf Carnival, an endless summer and the hottest beach patrol on the California coast. Clicks are truths you can feel, the sounds that the universe makes when it warns you that your world is about to change forever. If you listen to them, you get on the wave before it crests; control your path, surf into your destiny. If you ignore them, the wave crashes around you, and you try desperately not to drown.
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