Thursday, January 12, 2023

Blog Tour: Tides of Blue



Date Published: 10-20-2022

Publisher: Tivshe Publishing

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Anna Grace is trapped in an abusive marriage with a man she does not love, forced to live on a Maryland plantation far from her Philadelphia home. An innocent cobalt blue medicine bottle becomes her way to freedom and love.

Beth flees an abusive relationship, making a fresh start on the coast of the Chesapeake. She discovers a love for sea glass, finding shards along the bay shorelines. With the discovery, she'll find a piece of a rare cobalt blue poison bottle that will lead her to unexpected love.

Both women will find their courage and the love they deserve, both tied to the simple cobalt blue bottle through time and tides.

A whisper from our soul lives on everything we touch, whether it is good or something more sinister. A tiny blue bottle changes the lives of all those who touch it, and its shards travel through time and tides to touch other lives and other loves through murder, adventure, love, and sea glass.


Author’s Note:

Sea glass and beach glass are nearly one and the same. The glass is usually dumped in the water or at the shoreline where the glass is found and smoothed by sand and the water’s erosive action until these broken pieces possess a silky, smooth finish. Small, pitted marks in the shape of the letter “C” also indicate sea glass. It takes between twenty and one hundred years for the shiny glass to change to the silky, sanded appearance prized by collectors. Sea glass originates from the ocean. Beach glass originates in freshwater areas. Due to PH differences in water, sea glass from freshwater sources is usually not as frosted as sea glass, so sea glass is considered the jewel of the sea and is prized by collectors. The colors of glass are ranked by rarity. Finding pieces of sea glass makes one wonder where it came from, what type of glass, and the history behind each piece. Some are treasured; some are tossed back into the water to further perfect into a jewel, sometimes referred to as ‘mermaid’s tears.’ The sea glass we find holds echoes from the past. There is a story that lies within those echoes.


A whisper from our soul lives on everything we touch. The sea glass we find holds echoes from the past. This story lies within those echoes.

Chapter 1 – Anna Grace – 1860


Anyone who has picked up a piece of sea glass has touched history and touched other lives.



Anna Grace and Tyrone stared at Augustus’s lifeless body. In death, he looked at peace and free from pain. In death, his face showed a vestige of his youth.


“It is done,” she whispered as she stared from Augustus to the small, cobalt blue glass bottle on the nightstand.


“Yes, missus,” Tyrone agreed, and he bowed his head.


There were no other words. After a moment of silence, he reached for the bottle, but Anna Grace’s hand stopped him.


“I’ll take it,” she told him rigidly as her hand reached for the small, uncorked bottle, innocently standing guard by the cup drained of liquid.


She picked up the bottle, cradling it in her hand, wanting to keep it. She wanted it safe, as it was one of the last things Josiah had touched. But Anna Grace knew she had to be rid of it.


Tears pricked at her eyes. They weren’t tears of mourning for Augustus but rather tears of relief. She turned to look up at Tyrone’s impassive face with one tear trickling down the side of her face, then wiped it away quickly while Tyrone averted his eyes.


“We’re free now, Tyrone. Free,” she stated steadfastly.


“Yes, Missus,” he answered, turning to look at her. There was a glimmer of hope in his eyes.


“A mercy killing,” Anna Grace asserted quietly.


“Yes, missus,” he agreed.


He wouldn’t meet her eyes now, so she looked down then quietly left the bedchamber with the bottle clutched tightly in her hand. Anna Grace swung the large, heavy front door open, stepping deliberately down the steps and onto the path that led to the small wharf that jutted out into the Sassafras River. A sharp, little wind tore at her hair, tearing it from the pins Pansy had carefully used to lock down her tresses earlier that day.

She felt no remorse in having given Augustus the last of the colchicine. What he had done to Sadie with Mr. Reece was unconscionable. What he had said about Josiah was cruel. She would no longer be a victim of his rages, belt, and rape. She was numb, knowing the poison in the bottle had caused Augustus’s demise. Would it be considered murder or self-defense? She didn’t know. She did know the Colchicine in that bottle was her ticket to freedom.

Anna Grace stared at the small bottle in her hand. It gleamed brightly in the rays of the setting sun. She thought of Sadie. She thought of Josiah. She thought of herself. Then, she smiled a triumphant smile and tossed the small, cobalt blue ridged bottle as far out into the river as she could. The sunlight caught it mid-arc, and briefly, the bottle glittered brightly, looking as though it had wings before it dropped into the muddy river.

As the bottle struck the water, the bottle gave a little “plop-plop” sound before sinking below the surface. River water filled the bottle as it sank deeper and deeper until finally resting on the sand and silty mud. The bottle lay nestled in the muddy, sandy bottom of the river, oblivious to the commotion happening above.

Now, the bottle was at the mercy of time and tides. Minutes turned to hours. Hours turned to days. Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. Months turned to years. The small, ridged, cobalt bottle lay apart from life above the water. Occasionally, the bottom of a boat created a wake, and the bottle swayed gently back and forth in its cradle of sand and mud. The daily tidal pull, along with storms, and creatures, moved the cobalt blue bottle in an infinitesimal march down the river and to the bay. The silty mud and sand wore away the sharp ridges on the bottle, caressing it and wearing them down to silky, sandy nubs. Crabs darted. Fish swam by.

Occasionally a fish lipped the ridges finding rather quickly that the bottle was not food.


Many years passed before the bottle met the Chesapeake Bay. Waves heaved, and whitecaps roiled as if it were a violent sea. The watery chaos churned, and the tiny bottle struck a rock. A tiny chip emerged, turning into a fissure. Like hoar frost, the fissures created a lacy effect of a network of tiny cracks. As minutes turned to hours, hours into days, days into weeks, and weeks into years, the fissures deepened into a beautiful pattern.

Eventually, through time and tides, the bottle cracked into several pieces, large and small.

The pieces formed a dense heap on the murky bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. Sunlight did not pierce the water to show its blue beauty, leaving the pieces as dark as the rocks. They were as dark as the blue of the depths of the night sky. The sand and silty mud caressed each piece

turning the glossy, smooth, shiny pieces into satiny treasures. The pieces loosened from their resting place, drifting and bumping along. Small “C” shapes adorned the cobalt treasures like a brooch on a beautiful dress.


As the years passed, the tides took the pieces out into the bay and onto neighboring shores. The small, blue pieces drifted apart, moving away from the whole shards becoming part of other stories yet to be told.


Chapter 2 -Beth – Present Day


Sea glass is often regarded as a symbol of renewal.



“You stupid bitch!” Mike shouted with such vehemence that spittle flew out in small drops with the mean words. “You’re a selfish bitch! Did you know that? What were you thinking? You knew we had plans! Now you’ve ruined everything.”

Beth cowed as a hailstorm of expletives and insults continued to spew from his mouth.

The verbal abuse was nothing new. He always seemed to find fault in everything she did. This time, Beth had agreed to work a different shift to help a colleague on her floor at the hospital. It wasn’t a crime, but Mike didn’t like changes to his plans. He didn’t like it when she failed to consult him before making any changes to his  plans. As a hospital administrator, he was anal about his job and everything else in his life. Mike liked control.

His ire could be raised by something as simple as folding his clothing incorrectly or placing the herbs and spices out of alphabetical order. Lately, his anger and rage seemed to be increasing exponentially.

Eventually, the shouting subsided to words hissed in seething anger. Beth stood silently, shoulders drooping as his foul words swept around her like a tyrannical wind. Once again, each ugly word seeped into her skin like drops of rain, each one causing her confidence to dwindle.

She sank under the storm of words, slumping into the old couch and hunching her shoulders.

“I’m sorry,” Beth whispered. She doubted if her apology would have any effect.

“Sorry,” Mike hissed in disgust.

He turned on his heel and strode out, slamming the door behind him. His eyes flashed, and she saw a hard look in them that sent fear into her. Mike hadn’t hit her, but the ‘yet’ seemed to whisper in her head like a fragment of a song. And it was an ugly song that reverberated in her head and would not go away. Her breath hitched tenuously after his tirade. She always held her breath when he spewed his poison as if she was waiting for a blow. He was beginning to frighten her, and she wanted to escape. It was in that instant that Beth realized she could escape if she tried.

The question was, ‘could’ she escape? Beth had heard of safe houses for women, where they changed their names and found a new identity. Posters of the organization that helped women find safety were posted at the hospital where she worked. Beth had jotted down the

number and torn up the scrap of paper several times, not knowing what to do. She questioned herself constantly. Was it abuse when he didn’t hit her? She doubted herself over and over again.

Fear and self-loathing were becoming her close companions.

As the days and weeks went by after Mike’s recent outburst, Beth daydreamed of a life away from him. Was it possible? She wasn’t certain, but his complaints and rages made her feel claustrophobic, as though she couldn’t breathe.

Finally, Beth came to the realization that she didn’t want to live this way. She decided that she didn’t need to live in fear anymore and resolved to pull herself away from Mike in degrees. She would escape. And so, she began to devise a plan. She could begin a new life somewhere new. But where? The possibility enticed her, but she knew she needed to be careful planning her escape from Mike.

That night, Beth pulled herself to the very edge of the bed, turning her back on Mike.

She blocked his snores with a pillow and stared into the darkness with burning eyes until she fell asleep. Mentally, she berated herself, wondering what she had ever seen in Mike. At this point, any feelings she had for him crumbled into dust. Disgust was the only thing left. She was bereft of any love of him.

Her plan of escape was inadvertently helped by her nursing supervisor, Mary. The hospital, as always, was short-staffed, and Mary asked Beth to work nights for a month.

The night shift offered Beth the opportunity to work on her plan. Because Mike was always snooping on her phone and email, she set up a new email account that she only accessed at work. Then she found an old road atlas and looked for potential areas to move to, ones she knew had employment areas She wanted to go somewhere different from the mountainous region of Eagle Heights, but she didn’t want to go to the city. She wanted to leave Pennsylvania, so she looked south to the Chesapeake Bay area. The upper part of the bay was central to a number of hospitals in both northern Maryland and the northern Delaware area. Her plan was to drive to the area, find a place to live, and then begin applying to the hospitals. This area would give her the option of several hospitals between the Baltimore to Philadelphia corridor.

With her new schedule, Beth would get home when Mike was leaving for the hospital.

They were two veritable ships passing in the night. She would sleep a few hours and get up in the late afternoon to prepare dinner and prepare for work, trying her best to be the model girlfriend and not arouse any suspicions from Mike. At first, he’d grumbled and complained about the change in her schedule. These thoughts he shared at home, but not with anyone at the hospital.

She didn’t know what bad blood lay between Mike and Mary, but there was something about Mike’s expression of possible shame and the way Mary pursed her lips when Mike came on the floor that made Beth wonder if something happened in the past. Had it happened with Mary, or with one of the nurses? She didn’t know, but he was certainly cowed around her nursing administrator.

Her friends and family continued to tease her and look expectantly at her left hand, planning a future for her and Mike with engagement, marriage, and babies. At one point that had been a possibility, but now it made Beth ill to think about any kind of future with Mike. She kowtowed and spoiled Mike, keeping a fake smile pasted on her face. Beth was still worried, but

he seemed mollified for the moment, his criticisms abating for the most part. She worked hard to keep it that way.

Eventually, Beth turned away, no longer able to tolerate their talk of her future. They read her silence as another sign that her relationship was deepening with Mike. In reality, her nerves were on edge. She couldn’t eat and lost weight, something Mike noticed and for which praised. Beth gritted her teeth. And she waited.

A month passed. She was certain that if she didn’t leave soon, she wouldn’t leave at all.

She was terrified Mike would discover her plans, and she wanted to be far away from him before he did. Pulling together the fraying edges of her courage, she took a day off, packed up her things, and withdrew every penny from her bank account. She texted her mom to say she was going away for a few days and drove down the road, away from the snowy Pennsylvania mountains to Maryland’s gray and rain-swept Eastern shore.

After a grueling five-hour drive, Beth settled into a hotel near the head of the Chesapeake Bay. Exhausted in body and spirit, she fell asleep for nearly a day. When she awoke, Beth looked at the pale late winter sunshine squeezing itself around the edges of the heavy curtains, pushing light into the room. Beth lay on the bed, assessing her situation. She had done it. It was, literally, the dawn of a new day. It was the beginning of her new life, far away from Mike. She was determined to build the foundation of her new life.

She felt like one of the fiddlehead ferns emerging in this early spring weather. She had been so tense, curled up, and afraid to stretch living with Mike. Beth looked at area apartments, but nothing in a complex appealed to her. It took a few days, but she found a cabin to live in south of Kingstown and right on the water. Beth was enchanted with the little cabin, and the price was right.

The little cabin was nestled in overgrown grass perched at the top of the bay. From the yard, she could look north to the small town of North Bay, across the water to another waterside community, and south, where the bay opened up into a vista of water and sky. The neighborhood was tiny, and the homes small and well cared for. They screamed summer, even on this chilly day with windchimes tinkling in the wind and yard décor that flaunted flip-flops and sunflowers.

They remained flaunting memories of bright summer days as the late winter winds blew. The majority of the homes were summer cabins, but a few had cars parked in the driveway, so there were some neighbors that lived year-round. There was something about the place that made her feel safely tucked away, far away from Mike, but still close enough to civilization that she could find a job.

The little cabin came furnished with sagging, well-worn furniture. Beth spruced up the home with colorful curtains and new linens. It was a shabby-chic theme that would work for the time being.

Beth loathed submitting employment applications and narrowed her job search to a few local hospitals. Settled in the little cabin, Beth applied for substitute nursing positions. The closest was a small cottage hospital that was in transition to be absorbed into a larger hospital system. They hired her almost immediately. The work was good, the commute was short. It seemed everything was going in her favor, and eventually, Beth began to settle in, embracing her situation and, in time, quelling the fear that still harbored deep inside. Thus far, Mike hadn’t tried

to find her. She hoped beyond hope, that Mike would convince himself that she was the crazy one to leave. She hoped he would forget all about her.




About the Author

\For Sharon, writing is like breathing. It's in her hard-wiring. She writes warm, contemporary romance, spicy romance, and romantic suspense with the majority of her books set in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Sharon is a nationally award winning Librarian and the author of fiction and educational publications. She is also an avid gardener, jewelry artist and artist. See:


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