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Released: September 2014
ISBN: 9781310829987
ASIN: B00NIVD8K2
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FIVE DAYS ON BALLYBOY BEACH
Author: David J. O'Brien
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $3.99

A startling revelation - the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

But what do you do about it?

For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland's west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing.

Never the proactive one of the group - he's more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore - Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he's currently seeing someone else - and she's coming to join him for the weekend.

As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realises that to get what he desires, he'll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?

10% of the author's royalties will be donated to WWF, the World Wildlife Fund.

Excerpt
“Do you remember everyone you’ve ever kissed?”

We were sitting around the fire, which sent its flames up from the dry driftwood to spread light past us to the tents behind. It illuminated the hazel copse a little way off, but was beaten by the darkness before reaching the waves that softly washed up on the shore, thirty yards away.

Just the two of us, Sinéad and I, sat beside the fire. Sarah was in the dunes, and John and Bill had gone to the town to get more drink. We’d all thought that we’d have been drunk already, but we weren’t yet. We nearly were—at least I was—but not quite enough. The two lads had decided to walk the mile to the pub and get a dozen more cans of beer and a bottle of Jameson, and some lemonade for the two girls. Us men were fairly sure that by the time we’d finished the beers we’d be ready for the whiskey straight, or with just a little fresh, cool water from the stream beside the copse. It gurgled in the silence behind me, down a few rocks into a wide brackish pool that drained slowly down the beach at low tides, meandering through the sand.

I watched Sinéad looking back at me as she thought about the question. She was beautiful. I could see that in the firelight. Why couldn’t I see that during the day? Was it the night? Don’t be stupid, Derek, I told myself. It’s the booze! And the knowledge that you’re sharing your tent with two lads.

Still, she was beautiful. But she was better than just attractive— she was smart and funny and all those adjectives that people throw around when describing the people they fancy. She was one of my best friends—definitely my best female friends. That's why she was there, of course, because she was not just a pretty face. Yet that was a pity right now, when all I wanted was someone sexy.

“Yes," she answered. “I remember everyone. But then, I haven’t kissed very many people. Only twelve.”

I looked back at her eyes, my own betraying my surprise. “Really? You have only ever kissed twelve people?”

Sinéad laughed softly and nodded. “Yes! And I knew them all before I kissed them. Does that surprise you so much? Why do you ask anyway? Can you remember all those thousands of girls that you have kissed?” She asked this in a gently mocking way, and I blushed a little, though probably not enough for her to notice in the light from the fire.

I looked into the flames for a moment, then met her eyes again. “I haven’t kissed thousands of girls! And I am not that surprised about you only kissing twelve guys, though I am curious as to how that is,” I smiled, wondering how the hell it was possible. “But, I have to admit that I don’t remember every girl I’ve kissed. I don’t remember kissing some of them that I know I have kissed. It depends on the circumstances of the kiss. Sometimes I was fairly drunk.”

She laughed, and I laughed with her. I took a swig of beer and she did the same, then I looked at the fire again, not really wanting to look straight at her as I continued. “Sometimes though, I see a girl, and she looks so familiar, and yet I’m sure that I don’t know her, and she gives no indication that she knows me, or that I seem familiar to her. Or sometimes I see a girl who I don’t recognise or think I have met before, but who looks at me like she knows me or should know me, and I just wonder, if maybe a few years ago, I wasn’t holding her on a dance floor and kissing her. It’s really strange.”

When I raised my can again she was still looking intently at me. “Everybody forgets people. People don’t stay looking the same all their lives, so you are going to not recognise people, eventually, and if you didn’t know them all that well in the beginning, you're going to forget them sooner. I’ve forgotten lots of people I used to see around. I haven’t forgotten the people I have kissed because I knew them quite well, and I still know some of them very well. Why I haven’t kissed people I didn’t know is none of your business, really. But to be honest, it just happened that way: I was never not going out with someone for very long. But anyway, there have been lots of men I knew well and didn’t kiss, and I still remember them. Kissing doesn’t have that much to do with your memory—even if you think that you should remember the ones you kissed more than the ones you didn’t.”

I said nothing, but nodded and took another swig of beer, raising it high and draining the last of its contents into my mouth. She again took my cue and drank.

“What if the people you think you know are girls that you would have liked to kiss, but never did?”

What the reviewers are saying
she is a beautiful, sensitive young woman
The beauty of the beach is aptly described and one can see the waves as they build and then wane as they come up to the beach. The exhilaration of the surfers and canoers can be felt as they catch the waves and ride them out. This novel is not just about the sights, but also the sounds of the surf, the feelings of the characters, and the smell of the sea. The characters all go through an array of emotions throughout the piece. This makes them easy to relate to, although not all of them are easy to like. The reader experienced a full range of emotions while reading this novel; from laughter to tears. This is ask beautifully written novel about five friends who arrived as carefree young people and left as somber adults, very aware of the real world. ~ Belinda Wilson, Amazon

• • •

While reading this book I felt I could have actually been in Ireland on holiday with the five friends in the story. The author’s ability to graphically create with words pictures provided an intimacy not often found in books. I could see the nesting birds, feel the salt of the ocean, feel the thirst for water while hiking, smell the food, see the colors of flora and fauna, and experienced the emotions as they occurred. This is more than a romance and more than a story of a camping trip at the beach. It is a reminiscence of a time in life that dealt with friendship, love, betrayal and loss. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of this author’s work. ~ Cathy Geha, Goodreads

• • •

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this book from the description. What I got was a very well-written and thought-provoking tale of young people and their awakening into adulthood . . . I have to admit, this is a very beautifully written book. The scenery of the beach is described in such detail as to make the reader feel as if they are actually there. I really liked that. I also really enjoyed the characters. There was originality to the characters and their lives that I think is difficult to find in contemporary literature these days. Plus, the underlying theme of this book is something that really makes the reader think and consider questions about their own life and their own destiny . . . Overall, I enjoyed this story very much. It’s emotional and interesting and very well written. ~ Crystal's Many Reviews

• • •

This is a fantastic book! It's a lovely story of a summer holiday in the beautiful west of Ireland, very realistic and heartwarming. The characters were very well developed and the plot was perfectly paced. I was transported and immersed into a different world and I would thoroughly recommend this very enjoyable read. ~ Sheila, Amazon

• • •

love and life in general A story with imagery
A poignant tale about a group of friends who go together to the beach as a vacation and learn so much more about themselves, love and life in general A story with imagery that will capture your heart and mind and leave you wanting more. There is always more to things than what meets the eye and some of these characters are a prime example of that. Greatly written! ~ Samaris, Amazon

• • •

Amazing!
David O'Brien did an amazing job with this story. It's unique, well written, and satisfying. The five friends who arrived as carefree young people, leave as somber adults, very aware of the real world. I can not say enough good about this book. It truly is amazing and I recommend this for anyone and everyone. Well done Mr. O'Brien, Well done! ~ minde1397, Amazon

• • •

Five Days on Ballyboy Beach is very good contemporary fiction and nicely crafted. This reviewer would recommend it for adults and young adults as well. It’s sexy without being gross and it’s sincere and blunt without being trite. Read it and discover a great story for yourself! ~ Viviane Crystal, Amazon

• • •

Five Days on Ballyboy Beach a sensitive view of one man's bid to find a mate. How many times have we ever regretted not stepping up when we should have and regretted 'the one who got away'? Readers are brought into Derek's world and what it's like being a shy man in Ireland, surrounded by outgoing women and an active social group who, in a way, are all looking for the same thing he is. One wanting the brass ring can't just keep riding the carousel and hope one falls in his lap. You have to reach for it. This is Derek's reach story. Emotions run high, especially as the plot progresses. David draws readers in through Derek's point of view and lets us experience these five active and tumultuous days. Tensions run high as David pulls out all the emotional stops. Get your tissues handy for this one! This isn't just a great summer read, but a great year round read. ~ Heart of Fiction

 

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