I’m a bit emotional as I face the release of this book in the fall. It is my favorite book of the entire series. It contains some of the most action-packed, dramatic scenes I’ve ever written (not to mention how much better my writing has improved by Book 4). It also marks the end of an era with my characters. Yes, there are still four more books after this, but there is a major shift that takes place at the end of Watermark and it seals the fate for the final four. I hope I’m ready. I hope my readers are ready.
Not only do I look at what is behind me now in this series and get emotional, but I also face what is ahead– THE ENDING. The final ending. Everything starts cycling toward Book 8 now and I hope I have it in me to write what I know must take place. I’m incredibly thankful for those who have been with me from the beginning of this adventure. I’m also very thankful for those who are just jumping on board this Island cruise ship! We have rooms to spare and a great view – I hope you enjoy.
And now here is Watermark (Phantom Island Book 4).
Her eyes refused to meet mine. In that moment, I wanted to yell at her to snap out of it and start being honest with me. But before I got my chance, she spoke.
“Can I ask you something?” Her voice was distant. I nodded, even though her eyes were fixed on some unknowable point in the darkness. “When they asked you at the meeting to consider staying on the Island…you looked surprised. As if you had never thought of that possibility before.”
I waited impatiently for her to get to her question.
Finally she looked up at me with her luminous blue eyes set into a gaunt face that appeared ghostly in the darkness. “Well? Would you ever live here…permanently? I mean, what if we found your dad tonight and we could bring your mom here? What if we all stayed here together?”
“You’re not serious, right?” I scoffed. But she was serious. A chill ran down my spine. “First of all, that’s ludicrous. Why would you want to stay here?”
She cast her gaze to the ground and didn’t respond.
“Geez, Morgan. Is this about Thomas? I know you guys kissed and the new romance is fun and all, but—”
“No, it’s not about Thomas. I don’t know, Whit…” She paused for a moment. “Sometimes I just feel better here. Sometimes I think I feel like Amelia and just want to disappear.”
I stared at her in frustration. “What is with you?!” I exploded. She was not acting like my best friend. Like my Morgan. “You’ve been so different this summer, and I don’t get it!”
“Well, you’ve been different too! People change, you know,” she snapped back.
“If I’ve changed, fine. But at least I’m still honest with you. You, however, have turned into a liar! If we don’t have trust between us, then what do we have, Morgan?”
“Forgive me if there has never been an ideal time to sit down and talk about me. Your summer has been one big drama…to the point where maybe other people don’t feel like there is time to actually have an honest conversation with you!”
“What—But—” Oh my gosh. That was completely unfair! “Don’t give me that crap, Morgan! I have given you plenty of opportunities to tell me what is wrong with you, but you chose to lock me out of your life this summer. I know you. And when something’s wrong, you keep it all inside until you’re about ready to combust. I’ve tried to wait patiently until you decide to tell me the truth, but this has gone too far. Are you depressed or something?”
She laughed petulantly as if I had just made a huge understatement.
“So that’s it?” I clarified. “You’re dealing with depression? Over what? I don’t understand…”
“How could you ever understand? I’m not like you, Whitnee.” She pulled herself up from the ground and threw her arms out. “I’m not driven to do great things. I’ve always been in the back seat of your adventures. My life…it’s nothing. It’s inconsequential. It always has been.”
“That is not true!”
“Oh, come on. We found an Island whose entire existence seems to revolve around you.” She looked away to dust herself off. With a biting undertone, she added, “I just happened to pick a best friend who will always be more important than me. When I’m gone, it will make no difference to anyone.”
When she was gone? What in the world was she talking about? I was speechless. Her words about me were upsetting enough, but beneath them lay something even more disturbing. Morgan had a very sad, very messed-up idea of herself. I had never seen it before then.
“What is wrong with you two?” Caleb called, waving his arms in the air. “I’ve been trying to get your attention! Let’s go.”
Without a word, Morgan stalked away and left me there in the darkness.
“Morgan!” I called out. She didn’t turn around, but marched right past Caleb toward the shadows of the ruins.
Caleb crossed his arms over his chest and stared after her with concern. “Is she okay?”
I took a deep breath and tried to swallow down how upset I was. “No,” I told him honestly. “No, she is definitely not okay.”
Relationships on the White Island are volatile and Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb aren’t sure who they can trust—even each other. Politicians are lying, history is being rewritten, and motives are questionable. Whitnee sets out with Gabriel and a band of rebel spies to take back the enemy’s biggest weapon—Whitnee’s father. However, a shocking turn of events proves once again that the Island’s secrets have the power to destroy more than just the truth. Separated from her friends, Whitnee battles her own fears in order to survive and protect the ones she loves. But when Morgan’s illness finally comes to light, Whitnee faces a decision that could alter her future—and Morgan’s—forever. And whether she ultimately stays on the Island or leaves might not be her choice, after all.
“…[An] earnest tale of magic and romance that deals with the great distance between pain and recovery.”
–Kirkus Reviews (Windchaser, Phantom Island Book 1)
You can enter from now until Friday, June 14 to win Watermark, the first three books in the Phantom Island series, a tribal t-shirt, or an autographed copy of The Collector by my friend, Victoria Scott. Remember that entering the giveaway helps spread the word! Tweet about it, post a Facebook status, share the cover art, follow me online! If you’d like to feature the Phantom Island series (or an author interview) on your blog, you can use the contact form on this website! Below the Rafflecopter form, you’ll find a list of authors/bloggers/friends who helped with Watermark’s cover reveal this week! They all offer a different insight about either the books or about me as an author, so feel free to take a blog tour!
From the depths of my heart, THANK YOU.
Teen Librarian Toolbox – Author Interview with Cuyler Creech and Cover Reveal
Seasons of Humility with Amber
Fuzzy Coffee Books with Courtney
Author Anne Riley
Books Beside My Bed with Karen
Bookish Things and More with Katrina
Indie Elite with Heather
Author Tina Moss
Author Yelena Casale
Author Mary Gray
Girls in the Stacks with Stacy
Author Sharon Bayliss
Author Heather Reid
Author C.M. Doporto
Stephanie Scott – YA Writer
Cari’s Book Blog
The Longmires – longtime friend of Krissi Dallas
A Book Lover’s Heart with Kara
The Rhinestone Notebook with Laura