Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WWRW: Kia Heavey's Underlake

Before I get started, let me show you two of my favorite little readers.
These are my twin granddaughters, Bonny Babe and Cutie Pie, back when they were almost a year old, cruising the furniture but not quite walking on their own yet.  They will turn three in less than two months!!  Sniff, sniff.  I haven't looked at this picture in quite a while, and it brings me back to those happy visits in their AL home.  Grammy is feeling a bit verklempt.  (After AL, we visited them in CO.  They just moved, and from now on, we'll be visiting them in MI.  In fact, we're in MI with them now, helping them settle into their new house.)

My granddaughters have good taste.  Just look what they're reading!  They love Little Golden books, which were always some of my favorite read-aloud stories when our boys were little lads.

But what about Grammy, you ask?  What am I reading? Well, I've been doing some interesting reading myself.

Recently, author Kia Heavey and I began to correspond via Goodreads (which I think of as a sort of booklover's version of Facebook).  We realized that we shared a common desire to write inspirational fiction for impressionable teenaged girls and young adults--stories that will engage and entertain them, but will ultimately (hopefully!) inspire them to swim against the tide--to fight the good fight, if you will--as they navigate the thorny path to adulthood in a confusing and dangerous world.

Heavey's second novel, Underlake, is an inspiring coming-of-age tale with a great message for teens and a paranormal twist.  Though aimed at young adult readers, it is an enjoyable read for adults as well.
In her Goodreads author profile, Heavey explains just what motivated her to write her laudable YA novel: she says, "I wrote Underlake to entertain teen girls trying make good choices in the face of tacky pop culture, peer pressure, and permissive parenting."  (That's basically what motivated me to write Finding Grace, so it appeared I'd found a writing soul mate!)  But there's more; Heavey also reveals that she loves "a captivating, creepy story that weaves a spell." (There is nothing whatsoever supernatural about my novel; but Underlake involves a handsome and otherworldly "Boy in the Lake"--and I don't want to reveal too much about him or I'll ruin it for you; but trust me, there is definitely a "captivating, creepy" element in this book!).

To say that I was intrigued--and quite anxious to read Heavey's novel--is an understatement.  The author generously provided me with a review copy.  As soon as I received it,  I opened it right up and read the dedication that underscores Heavey's deep desire to write fiction with a counter-cultural message, to give encouragement to those teenaged girls who feel they don't fit in with modern mores and fashions and are looking for deeper meaning in their lives; it reads, "For girls everywhere who are less than thrilled with the popular things."

By the time I'd turned the last page of this well-written page-turner (about a day-and-a-half after it came in the mail!), I could clearly imagine how readers in the author's target audience--to whom she lovingly dedicated this book--might be inspired to follow in the footsteps of Underlake's brave and likable young heroine.

That's just a teaser--you can read my full review here.

I'm sure you'll find plenty of other enticing titles if you head on over to Jessica's.


  1. Sounds like a really good book! I hope you're having a wonderful time with the kids and grandkids!!

  2. I was in Heaven out there. It's good to be home...but I miss my girls!

  3. I just purchased this for my kindle, it looks like a really good book. I loved your review, plus I read a little of the book on Amazon .... so I bought it. Looking forward to reading it!