Undertow (Undertow #1)
Release Date: 10/18/13
Summary from Goodreads:
Luckless Eila is unknowingly the last of her kind: Rare. Gifted. Breakable. Stunning Raef is her kind’s historic enemy: Soulless. Lethal. Lost. A legendary death 160 years before would set their lives to collide, forcing a beautiful killer to become a savior, a simple wallflower to become a warrior, and ruthless destiny to become a death sentence.
High school senior Eila Walker knows that good luck skips over her like an Easter Bunny on Speed. So when she inherits her grandmother’s million-dollar Cape Cod home, she is downright shocked. And yeah, her new town isn’t perfect: the cheerleaders are heinous clones, the local undertow can kill ya, and her Great Grams was supposedly fried by lightning in the harbor square. Still, Eila is hopeful her luckless days are in the past . . . until history decides to repeat itself.
A self-proclaimed loner and previous-social reject, Eila thinks she’s hit the jackpot when drool-worthy Raef O’Reilly becomes her friendly, yet weirdly protective shadow. But being hauled beneath the waves by an unnatural undertow slams the brakes on bliss – especially when Raef storms to her aid with coal-black eyes and iron-like strength.
Eila, entirely freaked, demands an explanation and Raef comes clean, revealing that neither of them are average humans but rather the genetic remnants of an angelic pissing-match gone wrong. Eila supposedly can channel the power of human souls, while Raef is quite adept at stealing them. Even worse, the legend about her ancestor isn’t such a myth, since Eila’s grandmother was one kick-ass warrior until her lightning-like power backfired. A power that is written all over Eila’s DNA.
Now sought by Raef’s own family for her destructive ability, Eila must trust him to watch her back. But when a quest for information goes terribly wrong, Eila is suddenly left with only two options: become a weapon for the enemy or follow in her Gram’s fearless footsteps to save those she loves. Unfortunately she needs a willing enemy to ignite her suicidal energy and the only one she trusts has been guarding her butt and scorching her lips.
For me, the world held no other person I could ever love as much as Eila, and whether my desire to be with her was encoded during Elizabeth’s death or not, I didn’t care. I would tear down the world to keep her safe and nothing would get by me, nothing would come near her that was remotely threatening ever again.
Unfortunately, I suspected Eila would do the same for me, which made me worry constantly that she harbored a self-confidence that would get her killed. No one walked away from a Mortis who wanted them dead, and an untrained Lunaterra like Eila might as well just be your average high school girl.
My kind would kill her before she even had a chance to scream.
I heard her take a deep breath and I looked back to her, grateful beyond words that she was resting on a garish red couch and not inside a coffin . . . or lifeless on a cobblestone street like her grandmother.
Are your books pure fiction or are some aspects inspired by your own life or someone close to you?
The series is based on a REAL version of Cape Cod. In fact, one of the characters owns an ice cream shop named The Milk Way. While “The Milk Way” is fictitious, it is 100% based on Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville (a REAL town, were fictional Eila lives). Four Seas knows they are in the book and they host book signings. Other things in the book that are real to Cape Cod (so you can basically visit here and do all the things that Eila and her crew do) are:
- Eila’s house – The home the main character inherits, and thus sets off the chain of events for UNDERTOW, does exist in the historic area of Centerville, not far from Four Seas Ice Cream. It used to be owned by a friend of mine and we hung out in it all the time when we were young. She now resides in Hong Kong as a pilot, so we catch up on Facebook and she gives me more secrets about how the house was built. FYI – don’t go knocking on the door, because someone else owns the house now.
- Barnstable High School – Totally real and totally cool public high school that does some crazy thing. The students and faculty know they are in the novels (and even decided to begin building their own book trailer based on the series), so they allow me to come in and walk the halls as needed to make sure I stay true to the story. And yes – it is so huge that I need a GPS to find my way out. 2000+ students go there. Their award winning theater department became part of a major TV network series known as High Drama a few years ago. American Idol contestant Siobhan Magnus was a student there.
- The Jeep Subculture – Again, totally real. On Cape Cod, Wranglers are the most beloved vehicles of all. Most families have one, and if you drive one, other Wrangler drivers will wave to you when you pass each other – like Harley riders do. And yes – you can drive them out onto some of the beaches (MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ONES!)
- Witch Balls, The Crimson Moon, and Eila’s Bracelet – All real. Witch Balls are made at any one of our beautiful, glass-blowing shops (and yes – you can watch them actually blow glass, which is so cool). The Crimson Moon was based on The Lavender Moon, which is no longer in business. It was owned by a real coven of witches and when you would go in there, you could buy healing stones, herbs, crystals, oils, etc. Don’t worry – Dalca didn’t work at the real version! Eila’s bracelet is a staple of Cape Cod and there are several variations, though the original is simply called a Cape Cod Bracelet. They come in various sizes, so having a two-year-old with one is not unusual. The ball screws the bangle together, which means that sucker ain’t coming off, so don’t get it caught on anything or your arm may go with it.
- Town Neck, the Bonfire party, and the infamous bridge – All real, though I did take a few creative liberties. So, Town Neck beach is part of the town of Sandwich. It has the boardwalk, just as described, and the long beach at the end, AND, yes, the river. Kids can jump from the bridge (yup, I’ve done it too, and IT IS FREEZING). However, you cannot drive a car out on Town Neck and you are not supposed to bonfire there – all those things can be done on SANDY NECK or NAUSET (where Raef hunts), so I kinda sorta blended the two beaches.
- Barnstable Harbor and the Ferry – Totally true and yes, you can sit and people watch. You can also catch a Cape Cod Baseball League game in the nearby field. The Cape Cod League is famous because so many players get called up to the Majors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been a journalist for 15 years and serve on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center. I also drive a 16-ton school bus because I am ENTIRELY NUTS.
In addition to working jobs that should come with a warning label , I hold a BA in Psychos (Forensic Psych), torment the tourists about Jaws, and occasionally jump from the Town Neck bridge in an attempt to reclaim my youth.
I live on Cape Cod with two smallish humans who apparently are my kids, my fishing-obsessed husband, two canines (adept at both flatulence and snoring), and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. Nope – that’s not a type-o. The bird is quite the indoor camper.
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