For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.
Spending two months with her mom, Dr. Mike (don’t call him her stepdad), and their pooping, puking infant son? Not what she had in mind. It’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix (leather and spit-up do not mix).
Not only does she get put on diaper duty (gag), but there’s also Dr. Mike’s cute research assistant to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than her trying to plant one on him hours after they meet is knowing he’ll be a witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.
So when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, the summer suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she expected. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.
Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.
Now available on Amazon! Coming soon to iBookstore and B&N Nook.
What the Sea Wants
“What the sea wants, the sea will have,” goes the sailor’s proverb. And in a fog-shrouded corner of coastal Maine, a girl raised on maritime folklore is drawn to the sea by a strange passion.
But when a swim turns deadly on the last day of summer, she learns the awful scope of the sea’s power. And the boy who snatches her from the water discovers that old legends hold a dark truth...
Set in scenic coastal Maine, What the Sea Wants explores how truth turns to story and story turns to legend through the tale of two young people who experience first-hand the magic and power of the sea.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) • October, 2007
5Q 4P M J S (what do these codes mean?)
Victoria has always been drawn to the sea. Living on the windswept Maine coast with her mother and Grannie Foster, she spends most of her days and nights walking the shore, staring out to sea, and painting pictures of the cove. On the last day of summer, Victoria nearly drowns and is saved by Sam, but the sea always exacts a price from those who would deny it what it wants.
Banghart's first novel (actually a novella) is striking and exquisite. The language at times is so lush that one just pauses and sighs. In quiet yet purposeful prose, she paints a tale full of rich atmosphere and vivid setting. The characters, including the sea itself, breathe and connect with the reader. Victoria is beautifully complex as a character, and Sam serves as an anchor for the "ordinary" reader who appreciates her yet yearns to understand this mysterious young woman. This story will be appreciated most by thoughtful, more mature readers who will treasure the questions raised: what it means to be truly free, how we are connected with one another, and how story itself is created.
VOYA, October 2007, p. 323.
Posted with permission of Voice of Youth Advocates
Without warning, an errant wave surged around a boulder at the edge of the island. With her head turned to the side, Victoria didn't see it crest in a frothy white mass above her. Suddenly she was caught. The wave sucked her down so fast she didn't have time to breathe. Her eyes were open, stinging and blurry with salt and sand. The water roiled in a fury around her; it bared its foamy teeth, as if it wanted to swallow her whole, and shook her until she didn't know if she was up or down.
After a few moments spent battling vainly for a breath, Victoria let the hungry current have its way. She tossed and swirled through the sea's bubbling maw, arms and legs floating like pale eels around her, twisting like dead things. Her lungs burned. Seaweed tangled in her hair as it flowed forward in the undertow and wrapped itself around her face.
She watched her white fingers moving gracefully, aimlessly through the water and willed them to save her, willed them to find a way out. They just curled and uncurled gently in the current, like the sinuous tentacles of a sea anemone, and did nothing. Blinking, she struggled to hold onto the vision of her reaching hands, but the pale skin faded and the churning water turned into a cloud of darkness before her.
She gave a last half-hearted kick. What the sea wants it takes, she thought. And the sea wanted her.
The preceding excerpt is © Tracy E. Banghart 2006.