If you are interested in having a look at my up-coming novel Foam on the Crest of Waves,
please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The advance reading copy (82,000 words) is available as pdf.
Please check out the blurb and the prologue below.
Abalone Macklintock has one simple goal: joining the merpeople at the bottom of the ocean the moment she turns fifteen. She has loathed the Props and their land life ever since the fateful incident at sea that claimed her mother and uncle, and burdened her, the only witness, with memories she feels unable to share with anybody.
Abalone finds temporary solace in diving and collecting treasures at her hometown’s unique sea glass beach. Her father and her disabled aunt, though, still suffer from the loss of their spouses, and neither has any inkling that the beloved girl who lives like a stranger among them is waiting for the day she can abandon them.
When Abalone beats up a teenage boy in a local coffee shop a few days prior to her fifteenth birthday, her small family is forced to deal with their secrets. Will Abalone’s father and aunt be able to seize their chances for love and healing―and will the very boy she attacked rip Abalone out of her dangerous dream world before she moves on to dwell in the sea?
She must rest now, to gather strength. Later she will be able to help me haul her into the dinghy. Her funny bone points toward the sky while the gunwale rubs against the soft flesh on the inside of her elbow. I clasp her cold hand with both of mine; the ocean wants to play tug of war. Her fingers are wet and slippery like bull kelp leaves―I fear they will escape my small palms any moment.
She watches the clouds rushing across the sun. I gaze at her white face. Water splashes over her eyeballs, nose and mouth. My lips are salty too. From tears, or sweat, or from the whitecaps’ froth. I can’t tell them apart. The wind is stronger now. I feel its force. Waves pound against the thin hull of the dinghy. The sea gurgles and foams all around us. Seafoam.
I hear a low rumbling and peer at the horizon. Far out in the west, a container ship goes by. Too far to spot us. The jagged rocks of the shoreline to my right show no interest either. The cliff tops are empty. Nobody lives on this part of the coast. Nobody will look out the window and see our struggle. No one knows I’m here.
I cower in the dinghy, still clasping her white hand. How cold can skin get? Hers seems colder than the icy water. I want to jump overboard and hug her, warm her, and bring her ashore. I can swim as well as a dolphin, but my wetsuit lies in the trunk of our car, which is parked behind the boathouse.
My arms are numbed by the chill, and tired because of the ocean’s nasty pulling. I claw my fingers into the cuff of her wetsuit. The rubbery sleeve stretches. Her arm twists and I let it go. It bumps against the gunwale and flops into the water.
I bend over the side of the dinghy, reach down and seize the hood of the wetsuit top, which is floundering around her neck. I try to lift her head.
Ocean spray pelts my face. My hair hangs down into the water and mingles with hers. Long red locks, swirling―like in the painting on my bedroom wall, like in the pictures of the lovely book she made for me.
“Please,” I shout, jerking her neck, “you have to help me!” Her chin pokes up. Water runs into her nostrils.
She must be too exhausted to move―or to speak. We are face to face. Her clear blue eyes stare without seeing me. I yank the hood again. Her body shifts sideways. The dinghy thumps against her. I wince and let go off the hood. The boat strikes her a second time. Right on the forehead, where the Band-Aid has been. The cut stopped bleeding a while ago.
She floats, looking skyward again, unmoved, enduring the pain in silence while the water gushes over her face. Her beautiful face. Oh, if only I hadn’t come. “Stay in your room, Abbie, until I get you!” she had said. I didn’t obey.
I try to grab her shoulder, but I can’t get a hold of the slippery rubber. I try to seize her hair, but it swirls out of reach. I paddle with my hands, attempting to move the boat closer, but the sea tosses her farther and farther away―away from me.
“Mom,” I scream. “Don’t leave me here!” A wave leaps at my face. I blink and cough out water, and when I look for her again, she’s gone.