Monday, November 12, 2012


Thanks to author Callie Kingston for sending us this excerpt from her book Undertow and for offering a great giveaway. Up for grabs is one copy of her book in your choice of format. This is an international giveaway. Just check out the rafflecopter at the end of the post.

Marissa is nearly eighteen and can't wait to leave behind her traumatic past. With long time boyfriend Drake, she thinks she has her future all figured out--until she discovers his betrayal. She flees to a desolate beach on the wild Oregon coast hoping to escape her pain, where, overcome with emotional and physical exhaustion, she dozes off beside a log. When the first icy waves strike her, it is too late: a rogue wave drags her out to sea.
Somehow she survives, and now each night she dreams of a creature who rescues her. Determined to discover the truth, her obsession deepens until she once again risks her life in the frigid ocean. Will the creature Marissa seeks save her? Will she be lost forever in the eddies of her mind, or will Jim, her new boyfriend, keep her from drowning in the abyss?

UNDERTOW is a contemporary Young Adult novel in which a young woman finds a terrible choice thrust upon her: overcome the pain in her past and the dangers which lurk in her mind, or succumb to these and be lost forever inside a beautiful dream.

About the author:
Callie Kingston lives in the Pacific Northwest with an assortment of furry creatures

(husband included). She holds a master’s degree in psychology. When not writing, she likes to explore the outdoors, the forests and beaches along the Oregon coast. She also enjoys a great cup of cappuccino, which happily is easily found in her part of

Publication Date: Feb 18 2012
List Price: $12.95
Carolwood Press
ISBN-13: 978-0615599878 ISBN-10: 0615599877
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Depression & Mental Illness
Distributors: Ingram
Order direct:here
60% discount using code V4APMWLK

Marissa thrust the image from the morning away, fighting back the pain. She felt like vomiting. If she could, she would have puked up every broken promise she’d swallowed over the years. All those promises: her mother’s . . . her father’s . . . Drake’s. Lies, lies, lies. All lies. The memories swarmed over her. One deception after another, in brilliant colors, like each scene was painted with unearthly crayons, her mind shuffling through them like a deck of cards. And at the bottom, the face of a little girl.

She traced the outline of the tattoo on her calf, brushing the sand away from the mermaid’s hair and turquoise tail. Underneath, the tattoo artist had inked her sister’s name: Bethany. It was her first tattoo, and the only one her mother didn’t hate.

The tide changed; each hour, the water reclaimed more of the sand. She hardly noticed. Staring toward the horizon where the ocean dropped off the curve of the earth and disappeared, she wished she could too. She envied the whales, swimming through the abyss with nothing to stress about—no school, no mom, no jerk of a boyfriend. Exhausted, she let the warmth of the afternoon sun and the steady swooshing of the tide lull her to sleep.

A rogue wave surged toward the cliff and soaked Marissa, startling her awake. She scrambled to escape. The water lifted the tree beside her into the surf where it bobbed like a cork. Chest deep in the frigid water, she panicked and flailed, desperate to escape.

The surf pushed the log forward, knocking her to the ground and pinning her there, face down in the wet sand. There was a searing pain in her head. Like a mantra the prayer played in an endless loop: please don’t let me die, please don’t let me die. She held her breath. When the ocean withdrew it carved out the sand from beneath her and left her encapsulated like a human clam near the water's edge.

Another torrent of icy water swept over her; the wave recoiled and yanked Marissa and the log past the breakers into the sea.

UndertowUndertow by Callie Kingston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book for review.

In the words of all my fellow reviewers: this book is not what you think it is. It is not a paranormal romance between a young woman and a merman. It reminded me of a more up to date version of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Marissa is a young woman with a huge amount of stress in her life. She has just found out her boyfriend is cheating on her with one of her friends. Her family life puts the "fun" in "dysfunctional" and its time for her to move away to college. After a night on the beach where she almost drowns her sanity takes a turn for the worst and she starts obsessing over mermen. However, the ending makes you wonder if she really was crazy.

I can't say that I just overly enjoyed this one. But then again, its not my type of book. It does deal with a lot of sensitive issues and family drama. (I have enough family drama which is why I read other types of books) This book is more likely to appeal to young adults where The Bell Jar may not as it is an easier read.

Told from the point of view of Marissa as she spirals down into madness, all the characters seemed a bit on the selfish side. But then again, Marissa is herself selfish so we have her view on her parents and friends which is tainted. But I think this story is less about the characters and more about the issues. Mainly, that if you are under too much stress or having mental issues that its ok to seek help.

Overall, keep in mind this isn't a fun, no drama read. But it has a good message.

View all my reviews

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds really good! Thank you for giving us a chance to win a copy. :)

  2. i really like the sounds of this book. thanks for the giveaway.


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