I’m so excited to have made the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest quarterfinals! In the first cut last month, judges selected 500 novels from the 10,000 entered in February. Seeing my novel listed was definitely one of the highest highlights of my life.
This month, the judges ratchet up the suspense on (or about) April 16, when they'll announce the 100 semifinalists.
I’m so grateful to everyone who left me a review on the Amazon site.
Your support can make the difference in this upcoming step. I could use a few more, and it’s easy to do – go to the Amazon site, scroll near the bottom and click Create Your Own Review. The 10,000-word excerpt is available via a button at the top right of the screen.
Having Surfacing published would fulfill my lifelong goal... with a few more novels to follow.
Here’s the story pitch:
AJ Dillon is trouble. The former lead singer of an indie band has no home, no money and no future. His grandfather is the only relative willing to take another chance on him. AJ arrives in Weeki Wachee, Florida, with his guitar, a few clothes and a bad attitude. The only good thing about Weeki Wachee is the ocean -- the one place AJ feels at home.
Grandpa lines up a job for AJ piloting the Wilderness Cruise at Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the Weeki Wachee mermaid show. A mindless job, but at least AJ gets to watch beautiful women perform underwater. Grandpa says real mermaids exist, and a handsome singer can mesmerize one. AJ dreams of meeting one, and so does his greedy co-worker Chaz, but Chaz plans to make a fortune by creating a real mermaid show. AJ and Chaz get their chance after Cassiopeia saves AJ from an alligator. AJ falls in love with Cassie and his passion for music resurfaces when he sings to her. He tries to keep Cassie a secret, but Chaz follows him and learns the truth. Chaz threatens to kill them if AJ doesn't go along with his plan. Reluctantly, AJ agrees, but plans her rescue. In saving Cassiopeia, AJ unearths long-hidden family secrets that, once brought to light, open possibilities for healing old wounds. In saving Cassiopeia, AJ learns the greatest gift – unconditional love. In saving Cassiopeia, AJ saves himself, too.
This novel, my fourth, layers family conflict onto suspense, danger and romance, and combines my love of music and research. Finding Weeki Wachee Springs provided a natural step to an urban fantasy, a genre whose limits are mapped by a writer’s imagination. Surfacing will appeal to teen readers through adult.