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Beach Beings; Distant Shores by Jean and Jamie Illingworth

Beach Beings: Distant Shores
by Jean and Jamie Illingworth

Hi All!

Today I am on the Blog Tour for Beach Beings: Distant Shores and I am here with an extract for you all.

Before I share that though, here’s some information on the book.

Title: Beach Beings: Distant Shores
Author: Jean and Jamie Illingworth
Publisher: Nightingale Books
Published: 29th July 2021
Source: N/A
Summary: Beach Beings (or beachies as they call themselves) are very small and live unseen amongst the rock pools of our coastline. This story picks up where we last left siblings, Pebble and Shore, and follows their adventures with their new friends. As the young beachies navigate the joys and challenges of growing up and falling in love, they also face countless dangers, not only from their old enemies the Shell Clan but also from Huge Beings and the sea itself.

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Winter came, and Reef and Shore waited out the storms at his parents’ home, which was well above the high tide line and so remained cosy and dry. Shore was impatient to return to her brother, Pebble, and her parents, Harbor and Coralia, but she knew they must wait until spring and calmer weather. The delay also gave Reef’s father, Kai, time to fully recover from the long illness that had almost killed him and gave Reef and Kai time to design the boat they would build in the spring.
During the winter there were far less Huge Beings on the beach, just a few hardy dog walkers, so it was much easier to forage for food, and the family ate well. They were also able to start saving provisions for their planned journey, drying and salting fish and making hard biscuits out of dried seaweed flour seasoned with herbs.
Spring came at last, with longer, warmer days and boatbuilding could begin. Kai was a master boatbuilder and had built many boats before, but they were attempting a new design based on a cave painting that Reef and Shore had once seen. The previous year, Reef had helped his friends, Merpus and Jonah, build a boat to the same design, but he’d left to find his parents before it was finished, so he didn’t know if that boat had performed well on the open sea.
However, Reef had persuaded his father that a double-hulled boat would be more stable, and they had had all winter to perfect the design and were now eager to begin. Kai had built his last boat, the Lady Nerissa (named after his beloved wife), in a large cave behind a rock pool that part flooded every day. This was ideal to build the new boat in as it was out of sight and meant that the boat, once finished, could easily be launched on the outgoing tide.
The roof of the cave had gaps in it that let the spring sunshine stream through, giving them enough light to work from without the need to light torches that Huge Beings might have glimpsed. The noise of hammering and sawing was drowned out by the sound of waves rushing in and out of the rock pool, so work could continue even when the beach was busy.
Over the winter they had collected some suitable pieces of driftwood and stored them in the cave, but now the time had come for Reef and Shore to collect fresh wood from the pine forest that surrounded the beach.
“Wake up, Reef,” whispered Shore, gently shaking him. “Time to get up.”
Reef groaned and tried to snuggle back into his warm seaweed bed, but Shore shook him again.
“Come on Reef, we need to set off before the beach is busy.”
“But it’s still dark!” Reef complained.
“Yes, but there is a bright, full moon, and by the time we get to the woods, it will be light.”
Reef knew she was right, and got up without any more argument, giving Shore a quick good-morning hug before collecting the sledge they had made to bring the wood back. This was made from a large plastic lid which had been washed up onto the beach with other rubbish. Shore had made holes in it and threaded fishing twine through them to make a harness so that the heavy load of wood could be pulled back to the cave.
Reef picked up his spear and his foraging bag containing dried fish and fresh seaweed for the journey and put in a large shell for collecting pine resin which would be used to waterproof the finished boat.
Shore picked up the scabbard containing her precious sea-glass knife and her hands closed around the knife’s familiar handle, lovingly made by Pebble and carved with the image of a dolphin. Shore smiled, thinking of her dear brother and remembering her dolphin, Flint, who had brought her and Reef to his parents last autumn. She whispered a prayer to the Gods of the Sea that both were safe and well and that she would see them again soon.
Reef took her hand, and leaving his parents asleep in the cave, they set off across the moonlit beach. The dawn wasn’t far off, and the deep blue of night was starting to soften with a slight glow along the curve where the sea met the sky.
Pulling the empty sledge across the damp sand wasn’t hard, but once amongst the soft, dry sand of the dunes, it kept getting buried. It wasn’t difficult to pull it out again, but it made the journey slow, and as the sky brightened further, they knew they needed to speed up before the first Huge Being, and worse still, their dogs, arrived for an early morning walk.
“Quick,” said Reef, hearing a distant barking.

About the Author

Mother and son Jean and Jamie Illingworth live in North Yorkshire with husband/father David John. Jean is a safety consultant and landscape photographer and Jamie an illustrator. They have had three children’s books published previously (the Danny Dragon series), but this is their first collaboration on a full-length children’s novel. They really enjoy working together, discussing characters and plot twists and details of the illustrations. Jean writes the story and then Jamie offers wacky suggestions that take the story in another direction. Jean attempts to describe the pictures in her head and Jamie then draws them far better than she ever imagined.

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