Tag Archives: ocean

Cover Reveal: Return (Awakened Fate #3) by Skye Malone + Giveaway

Cover Reveal
e9591-scroll-hi252812529  e9591-scroll-hi252812529
Title: Return
Series: Awakened Fate (Book Three)
Author: SkyeMalone
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: October 6th, 2014
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter (www.artbykarri.com)
>>Add to Goodreads<<


For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a
time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen’s drugs. She discovered an
unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater
seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.
After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she
thought she knew about Zeke’s world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the
one place Chloe never expected to want to go.
But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand
miles from the ocean isn’t the only problem facing her. Home has changed.
Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full
of surprises.

Including Noah, the guy she left behind.
Awaken by Skye Malone
Book #1 in The Awakened Fate Series
99¢ for a limited time!
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Descend by Skye Malone
Book #2 in The Awakened Fate Series





About Skye Malone



Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author,
which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she
imagines couldn’t actually exist.


Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to
travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her
off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong
and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay
with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day
without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away
while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr


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Descend (Awakened Fate #2) by Skye Malone Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway!

Title: Descend
Series: Awakened
Fate (Book Two)
Author: SkyeMalone
Genre: Young
Adult Paranormal Romance
Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: July 27, 2014

Cover Designer:
Karri Klawiter

Chloe always dreamed of visiting the ocean, and now the ocean is the only place she has left to go. Trapped in the form of a mermaid and on the run from the Sylphaen, her best chance for safety lies in traveling with Zeke to his underwater home and staying under his protection there.

Leaving isn’t easy, however. Her best friend doesn’t know where she’s gone, and her family doesn’t either. She’s been forced to abandon Noah, the boy she’s liked for years and who she’s just discovered likes her too. She only hopes Zeke’s people will help her so she can return soon.

But when conspiracies follow her and people start to die, safety becomes harder to find than ever. The Sylphaen are coming. They’re more powerful than she could have imagined.

And they’re not through with Chloe yet.


Purchase Descend

Book One in the Awakened Fate Series

Purchase Awaken for only 99 cents!



“So what do you think those mercenaries were doing here?” Niall asked me quietly. “The border patrols should have stopped them ages ago.”

I didn’t answer, watching Chloe while the guards swam around us, getting ready to leave. Curled on the sand, she slept, the blue-white light of the fire flickering against the iridescent sheen of her cream-toned scales. Currents twisted through her hair, which was redder than it had seemed on land, and occasionally the gold-dusted skin of her brow furrowed, as though she was fighting something in her dreams.

And all around her, a faint hum quivered through the water, like the ocean was ever-so-slightly electrified.

Niall said something, and I blinked. “What?”

His lip twitched. “I said the change looks good on her. Or wouldn’t you agree?”

I glanced back at her. “Uh, yeah, I guess.”

“You guess?” He looked from me to Chloe and then scoffed. “You feeling alright?”



I gave him an irritated look. “What?”

“Oh, nothing. But if you’re not going to make a move on her, you better be sure I will.”

“No, I–”

I cut off the hurried response, uncertain what I’d planned to say. But Niall just paused.

“Wait,” he said. “You’re not…”

“Not what?” I asked when he trailed off.

Niall cleared his throat. “You’re not like actually falling for her, are you?”


He paused, a weird look on his face, and then he suddenly let out an incredulous chuckle. “Well, I… damn that’s, um…”

“That’s what?” I demanded. “Niall, give me a break. I barely know the girl.”

“Yeah, and yet you wanted all these guys to come to Santa Lucina to rescue her.”

“You know it wasn’t like that.”

His amusement grew. “Uh-huh.”

“Oh for pity’s sake, Niall. Do you feel the water around us? Feel how it’s different with her in it?”

“It’s different, huh?”

“I will kick your ass, you keep this up.”


About Skye

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author,
which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she
imagines couldn’t actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to
travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her
off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong
and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay
with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day
without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away
while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of  The Children and the Blood trilogy.


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Awaken by Skye Malone Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway!


Title: Awaken

Series: Awakened Fate (Book One)

Author: Skye Malone

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Wildflower Isle

Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn’t even begin to apply.

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.

It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more.

 99¢ for a limited time!



I turned to see Maddox coming down the hall with his younger brother, Noah, several steps behind.

I swallowed. I’d only seen Noah a few times over the years, with the most recent being Christmas when he’d come to visit his mom. I think I’d managed three words. And right now, with his skin tanned golden and his deep green eyes looking amazing beneath the sandy flop of his sun-streaked hair, three words would have been hard to come by.

“Oh hey,” Maddox said to us as he came into the room, a paper bag of groceries in his arms. Dark as his brother was light, Maddox took after their father, while Noah had his mother’s hair and eyes – though with their height and muscles, they both looked like crosses between surfers and bodybuilders. Maddox set down the bag. “When’d you all get in?”

“Just a few minutes ago,” Baylie said, grinning as Maddox came over and gave her a hug. “You guys went shopping?”

“Eh, well, you know. Gotta help out occasionally.” He smiled at me as Noah gave Baylie a hug as well. “Hey Chloe.”

“Hey,” Noah added to me, twitching his chin in greeting.


Feeling something of an idiot, I looked back to the view beyond the windows, hoping the glare hid any treasonous blushing my face might have decided to do. It was stupid. There were plenty of decent-looking guys that I saw every day back home. Of course, they were local boys and most of them knew me as that girl with the weird parents – which, obviously, wasn’t particularly appealing.

And besides, Noah went way beyond decent-looking, straight on to hot.

I could feel my face getting red. Taking a deep breath, I focused on watching the water rolling in.

“So you boys want to get the grill started up?” Diane suggested.

“Sure,” Maddox said. From the corner of my eye, I saw him head for the patio door, and Noah followed.

Air escaped me and when I looked back toward the kitchen, I found Baylie watching me curiously.

I pushed a smile onto my face. “Want to get unpacked?”

“Alright,” Baylie said.

She headed for the stairs, motioning me to follow.

“You okay?” she asked as we left the kitchen.


She didn’t look convinced. And I didn’t really want to explain.

“So what one are we in?” I asked as we reached the second floor. I glanced at the doorways lining the hall, trying to cover for the awkward moment.

Baylie led the way to a large bedroom at the end of the long hall. White carpet covered the floor, the same as in the hallway, but the walls here were pale blue. Sheer curtains hung over the window that faced out onto the backyard and the ocean, and two queen-sized beds flanked it. A woven chair stuffed with pillows sat to one side of the room, while a dresser stood nearby, fashionably flaked and vintage-looking paint covering it. Starfish and seahorses were nestled in corners of the ceiling, as were fishermen’s nets, while twin skylights let the sun shine down on each of the beds.

“Wow,” I said.

“Diane loves decorating almost as much as cooking,” Baylie replied with a grin.

I felt like repeating myself, and settled for nodding appreciatively. We headed for our bags, which had been set on the beds. Unzipping my backpack, I hesitated over the contents, and then drew out a sundress. A couple days in a bag hadn’t done it any favors, and I glanced toward the rest of my meager wardrobe, trying to recall if I’d stuffed anything else appropriate in there.

My gaze caught on the window. Through the glass, I could see Noah and his brother getting the grill prepared.

Baylie cleared her throat. I flinched.

“Uh-huh,” she said.



I glared.

“What? Noah’s pretty cute.”

There was something weird in her voice. My brow furrowed.

Baylie grimaced. Casting a glance back to the open door, she sighed. “It’s just… Look, Noah’s great. Really. But lately…” She shook her head. “I don’t know. He’s not like he used to be. He’s… quieter.”

I gave her a skeptical look. I couldn’t understand how that was a bad thing. At least, not to the degree that she seemed worried about it. “Quieter?”

Appearing uncomfortable, Baylie shrugged. “It’s probably nothing.”

Her expression belying her words, she went back to pulling clothes from her bag.

I looked to the window. By the grill, Maddox said something, and Noah nodded, his eyes on the horizon. And then he turned, glancing directly at the window behind which I stood.

Alarmed, I stepped back, and then scowled at myself for being so excitable. There wasn’t anything odd about what he’d just done. He’d just happened to look up at where I was standing, right when I happened to look down at him.

About the Author

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy.

Cover Reveal: Seamonster (An Aquarathi Novella) by Amalie Howard + Giveaway!

Cover Reveal



They say that love is the death of duty …

Speio Marin is land-bound, tied to the side of the Waterfell queen-to-be, Nerissa. There’s only one problem–she wants nothing to do with any of the Aquarathi or her undersea kingdom, preferring instead the freedom of pretending to be human. Torn between his own desires and his duty to serve his future queen, he spirals into an abyss of malcontent. Speio’s mistrust of humans is no secret, and he sees them only as a threat to the existence of his people.

Until he meets Anya Delmonico–a mysterious and enigmatic girl, teetering on the edge of survival. Anya is sedate and secretive, yet reckless enough to brave a hundred-foot cliff jump. Caught between a dark past and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go, Anya knows that getting involved with anyone new is the last thing she should do. But when her past catches up to her, Speio turns out to be the only one she can trust, refusing to let her face her demons alone.

When Anya discovers the truth about Speio, putting her life in mortal danger from the Aquarathi as well as her own sinister pursuers, will he risk everything to protect her? Or will he choose duty above all?

Check out Book 1
You can pre-order book 2, OCEANBORN today! 
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AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

Website † Twitter † Facebook † GoodReads


And now, to celebrate, an amazing giveaway! Signed copies of Waterfell and Oceanborn, custom book necklace with sea dragon charm, a bracelet + book swag!

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Ocean’s Deep: A Bundle of 12 YA Novels on Love & the Ocean – In Honor of World Oceans Day + Giveaway!

I am so very excited about this box set! 12 novels from amazing authors for the low price of 3.99 and the best part is that the proceeds will benefit World Oceans Day. Its on sale for the next month (June 8th-July 8th), so make sure you pick it up soon!

Oceans Deep RDL


Blogs Taking Part in the Release Day Launch

A Book and a Latte

Ebook Escapes

book infatuation

Roxy’s Reviews

The Phantom Paragrapher

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I Heart YA Books

In Between The Lines

The Bookish Laurel

Andi’s Young Adult Books

Wine Books & Fringe

The Sarcastic Palmtree

I Dare You To Read

For the Passion of Romance

The Shadow Realm

I Read Indie

Sammie’s Book Blog

Chelsea’s Reading Adventures

Evocative book reviews

Broadway Girl Book Reviews


Book Consumed Diva

Literary Nook

Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List

Adventures in Writing

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fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews

Rose Shadow Ink

Reader Girls

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Born To Read

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Heidi Timmons Writer Reader Starbucks Drinker

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Living in a Bookworld




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Ocean’s Deep Synopsis and Author Info:

OCEANS DEEP – Twelve Young Adult romances that celebrate sun, sea and love. All proceeds from this this collection of novels will go to support World Oceans Day 2014. On sale from June 8 – July 8 2014.

Comprised of twelve full length young adult romance novels in a variety of genres including science fiction, fantasy, contemporary and mythology, the books all have one thing in common: they leave readers more in love with the ocean than they were before.

The proceeds from this box set will benefit World Oceans Day through TheOceanProject.org, the charity organization for this global event dedicated to celebrating the ocean and encouraging people to think about why conservation must be important to them.

Authors and books in the box set:

Lani Wendt Young – Telesa

About Telesa: An island of secrets. A girl on fire. An epic battle of the elements. Can love truly conquer all? A thrilling love story inspired by Pacific mythology – featuring a sinister sisterhood of beautiful women with an environmental agenda and a fiery yet vulnerable young woman who must master her gifts – before they destroy her and all those she cares about.

About Lani: Samoan Author, Blogger and Writer of Pacific Stories. I am the author of five books and the blogger of “Sleepless in Samoa’. I write stories about strong, vibrant Pacific women ( and the tattooed men brave enough to love them)- contemporary stories inspired by our Polynesian mythology and a touch of X-Men comics.

Elle Strauss – Seaweed

About Seaweed: A teen swim athlete discovers a merfolk world that threatens to keep her out of the ocean forever.

About Elle: Elle Strauss is the best selling author of otherworldly YA fiction. A married mother of four, Elle divides her time between BC, Canada and Dresden, Germany. She enjoys drinking coffee and eating chocolate in both places. She also writes upper YA/adult mixed genre romance as LEE Strauss. Visit Elle at http://www.ellestraussbooks.com

Kristen Day – Forsaken

About Forsaken: Seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until finally being adopted by a wealthy family from Georgia. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah… or the strange events that plague her.

About Kristen: Author of the YA/PN Daughters of the Sea Series! Lover of sarcasm, Sharpies & pixie sticks. Obsessed w/all things vintage. Sweet tea addict. Wife. Closet ninja.

Karen Amanda Hooper – Tangled Tides

About Tangle Tides: Yara Jones doesn’t believe in mermaids–until she becomes one and opens the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

About Karen: Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She’s addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters. http://www.KarenAmandaHooper.com

Amber Garr – Promises and Betrayal

About Promises and Betrayal: Promises: Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

Betrayal: Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.

About Amber: Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of The Water Crisis Chronicles, The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, and the upcoming Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Cheri Lasota – Artemis Rising

About Artemis Rising: What if your name was your destiny? And what if that name foretold a tragic end?

About Cheri: Artemis Rising was a winner in the Chanticleer Cygnus Awards and a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Can’t get enough of Arethusa’s world? Learn more about the characters, story, and the Azores Islands here. If you’d like to keep up-to-date with Cheri’s publication news, sign up for her newsletter here. Cheri is a techno-dweeb and darn proud of it. She dabbles in video editing, ebook design, coding, gaming, gizmos, gadgets, tablets, and apps. Currently, Cheri is a full time freelancer focusing on Fiction & Nonfiction Editing, E-Book & Print Design, Web Design, and Book Marketing Consulting. She is also founder of AudaVoxx.com, which aims to help listeners discover and win Audible audio books. Along with her award-winning debut novel, Artemis Rising, Cheri has published her second novel, Echoes in the Glass, as well as several anthologies. Cheri also recently released her how-to e-book Design and Upload Your ePub. Cheri is a member of The Indelibles YA Author Collective, Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative, and Willamette Writers.

Heather Allen – Just Breathe

About Just Breathe: Ever Harding must make the a decision that could change her life forever! Will she become a mermaid to be with the one she loves,Jack or will she stay on land with her family?

About Ever: Heather Allen is the author of The Just Breathe Trilogy, Feeling This, The Sound of Shooting Stars and her recently released Let Go about an MMA fighter. Heather finally realized her dream of becoming an author just over a year ago with her mermaid trilogy. She savors every moment on this journey and the wonderful friends she has met along the way. She has many more books planned. Ideas pop up faster than she has time to write.

Nikki Godwin – Chasing Forever Down

About Chasing Forever Down: When seventeen-year-old Haley Sullivan meets a mysterious stranger, she realizes her dreams are within her reach. But when the stranger disappears, she embarks on a journey to find him and finds more than she expected.

About Nikki: Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can’t live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. Her life goal is to meet David Desrosiers of Simple Plan. Her favorite pro surfers are Jeremy Flores, Gabriel Medina, and John John Florence.

Leigh Talbert Moore – Dragonfly + Undertow

About Dragonfly: Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.

Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced… Until he mysteriously withdrew.

Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father.

A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

About Undertow: In Dragonfly, Bill Kyser gave Anna the three journals that held the story behind the powerful developer’s seclusion and the damaged lives of his family members.

Anna hopes to find a way for Julian to know the truth, but as she digs deeper into the tragic events of the past, she realizes silence could be the only option.

Now she’s in an alliance with the man she formerly feared. And if Julian finds out what she knows, she could lose for good the boy she’s starting to love.

About Leigh: Leigh Talbert Moore is the author of the popular young adult romantic comedy The Truth About Faking, its companion, The Truth About Letting Go, which is a Top 5 Finalist in the 2013 “Best Indie Book Awards,” sponsored by The Kindle Book Review; the romantic-suspense novel Rouge, which was a Quarter Finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards; and the Dragonfly series, a new contemporary YA to new adult romantic saga.

Amy Evans – CLICKS

About Clicks: Clicks is a genre blending joyride of twinning, swimming and winning for anyone who loves dolphins, adventure and romance.

About Leigh: Amy Evans is an author, ocean lover and dolphin mom. She loves to write books that jump genres and leave readers feeling all lit up inside. CLICKS is her first novel and was nominated for best debut for the Utopya Conference for Young Adult and New Adult books. The sequel, ECHOES, comes out in mid June. Connect with her on g+, twitter, tumblr, and facebook. Or check out her website http://www.amyevansbooks.com.

Cover Design – Starla Hutchon (www.designedbystarla.com)

Interior Design—www.emtippettsbookdesigns.com



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Review: The Sea Inside by Vickie Johnstone

The Sea Inside

by Vickie Johnstone

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Cerulean Songs #1

Source: Won from author giveaway. Thank you!

Book Summary:

Book 1 in the Cerulean Songs series. Time is all we have; it flows – it cannot stop. Jayne wakes up in the hospital following a terrible accident to find herself paralysed below the waist. While struggling to recover, she is offered a gift that opens a portal to another world. To the girl’s astonishment, she finds herself on a journey, on both the physical and mental plane. It brings her to the mystical realm of Entyre, where life is very different and power lies with the creatures of the deep. Her adventures bring her face to face with a terrifying witch, a cheeky insect and the most beautiful of mystical creatures – a unicorn. While the threads of time keep flowing, Jayne must decide what is real, who to trust, and regain her inner strength in order to find herself and her true destiny.

Nickie Storey, author of the ‘Grimsley Hollow’ series: “A delicious brew of invention, enchantment and refreshing characters, Vickie Johnstone has a firm grasp on the fantasy genre. I can’t wait to read more of her work!”

Greta Burroughs, author of the ‘Wee People’ series: “Strange worlds, interesting characters, suspense and a surprise ending – what more can you ask for? This book has it all and more.”

Jennifer Thomas: “A gripping and fascinating mythical adventure that is beautifully described. There is suspense, fear and emotion throughout the entire novel that makes you want to keep turning the page.”

A big thank you to Maja Drazic for the beautiful cover photograph.

book thoughts

I was excited to read this book. The cover is gorgeous (I’d seen the image on deviantART before I even knew the book existed), I love fantasy and I know what it’s like to be paralyzed. So when I won a copy I read it as soon as it arrived.

The author completely nailed what it’s like to be in the hospital following a catastrophic injury. Jayne felt lost, alone, detached, confused. It was like I was reliving my own experience it was so accurate. Jayne is given  a chance to escape her tragic situation, to walk again and be whole, by a strange woman who gives her a crystal. The crystal transports Jayne to the underwater city of Entyre.

Jayne concentrated on getting better. The dark mood that she had found herself in grew steadily lighter and she pushed her memories of the blue city to the back of her mind, dismissing them as dreams, which would gradually fade with time.

That was her hope, for while she slept her mind wove images of the sea, accompanied by the echo of the whales and a tall man whose hair was the colour of the darkest waves.

He was always there, not far away it seemed, thus was the lucidity of her sleeping life.

The author employs a unique, highly effective narration strategy when switching between Jayne’s time in Entyre and in our own world. When in Entye, the story is told in first person, and when in our own world, it is told in third. To me, this reflects Jayne’s feelings that perhaps the injury has happened to someone else, and she is just a spectator. It also gives her added agency when her body and health are restored in Entyre. It reminded me of the switch between color and black-and-white in The Wizard of Oz.

Jayne falls in love and finds a new home in Entyre, and though the city is fascinating and described beautifully, I really needed more. When Jayne first arrives in Entyre, she is nearly killed by mysterious invisible creatures who live in the sand. We learn that there was a devastating war involving these creatures – but that’s it. We also don’t learn enough about how the crystal works or why, or what the connection between Entyre and our world is. I wanted more of the mythology of Entrye, more of how people lived there (though at least we did see some of that). I also would have appreciated more of a build-up of the romance. It wasn’t insta-love, but it was rather too subtle. I wanted to know what they liked about each other, what they did together. We never really get to see them together as a couple. They kiss once, then two weeks pass, then Jayne is yanked back into our world.

I did enjoy the kind of inverse of the traditional hero’s journey that occurs in the second half of the book. Instead of (let’s use The Wizard of Oz as an example again), the heroine spending all her time trying to get home to the regular world, Jayne discovers that Entyre is her true home, and must fight heroically to return to it.

How could I have doubted myself even once? It was never a dream.

This second half unfolds in decidedly Narnian fashion – things don’t necessarily make sense, but they keep you on your toes. I’m the type of reader who wants to know the reasons behind a flying unicorn, how it got there, why, etc., but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the flying unicorn at all. (Yes, there is actually a flying unicorn – also, at one point our heroine is carted off by actual plot bunnies). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just isn’t my preferred method of plot development. It was unique and interesting, but events felt like they came out of nowhere and I really wanted more structure.

The writing itself suffered from a few issues. First, I felt it was rather too formal for a modern British teen. It didn’t sound natural and made Jayne harder to connect with at times. There were also minor descriptive issues, such as Jayne repeatedly describing her own red hair flying in the wind, and the way she almost always had to “glance around” before she could describe something. It made Jayne’s narrative awkward at times.

I’ll give an example. First, I’m reading this scene, which leaves me breathless with its poignancy:

“You know they speak to one another.”

“The trees? No!”

“They do. If you listen, you can hear the rustling of the leaves. They open like hands, don’t you think? I imagine them as hands, but they speak. I am sure of it.”

But then I keep reading and on the next page it says:

“So, here I was in a forest of blue and it seemed normal and I was on an adventure.”

and then I’m frustrated because I wish she would describe something, anything else instead of repeatedly describing things that are obvious.

I did enjoy the ending. I liked the fact that a fall (Jayne’s accident) began the story, and she had to fall again to reach Entyre once more. The allusions to The Little Mermaid were brilliant. Once of my favorite aspects of the Hans Christian Anderson version is the pain the mermaid experienced in her feet when she tried to walk. This theme, and the parallels between mermaids and paralysis in general were beautifully done. The theme of time was also thoughtful and interesting. All in all, I enjoyed this book, and I just hope that the next installment goes deeper into the mythology of Entrye and explains things more clearly.

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