Pop-Up Blog Hop and Giveaway

Graphic for the Pop-Up Blog-Hop for Amethyst, The Shallows by Kellye Abernathy. March 25-April 19, 2024 Book cover on the left. A Girl holding a surfboard with her back to us. Long dark hair. Boys facing her. All standing in shallow water.


Kellye Abernathy

YA / Magical Realism / Coming of Age
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Page Count: 296 pages
Publication Date: February 6, 2024

**** Scroll down for a giveaway! ****

Small banner with wordage: synopsis
Book Cover for Amethyst, The Shallows by Kellye Abernathy.  A Girl holding a surfboard with her back to us. Long dark hair. Boys facing her. All standing in shallow water.

“This is a night for being brave.”

In the aftermath of a devastating sickness that shatters their close-knit beach town, six lonely kids are drawn together during the unpredictable autumn equinox. Among them are fourteen-year-old Lorelei, who yearns to be an oceanographer, and her peculiar younger brother, Tad, who possesses an otherworldly curiosity.

When Lorelei has a strange and almost deadly encounter in a sea cave, her loyal boyfriend, Casey, cannot reconcile her fantastical experience with the rational world. Condi, Lorelei’s best friend, understands ocean magic but isn’t free to share what she knows. Kait, a girl from Ireland, regrets her impulsive move to America–all because of an odd occurrence involving her deceased boyfriend’s lost surfboard. When tides turn and the moon shifts, Isaac, the new kid in town who despises the ocean, is forced to face the truth–a profound and powerful magic lives in the deep.

Guided by a wise surf master, mystical old women known as the Beachlings, and an open-hearted grandmother, six kids embark on transformative adventures that challenge their beliefs about possibilities and the intense nature of love.

Amethyst, the Shallows is the companion novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard.


Small banner with wordage: Review

When Amethyst The Shallows – the second book in the Yellow Cottage series– opens, the reader is introduced to a number of characters in alternating short chapters. It does take a bit of reading to get to know them, especially the new ones, and have a good sense of what binds them all together, but it all quickly comes together and the story flows smoothly.

Most of the characters have been touched in some way by the Sickness, with many of the teens having lost a loved one to the deadly disease. A not-so-subtle nod to COVID, and perhaps reading the book will help young people in today’s world deal with the reality of how COVID devastated their lives. Lessons presented through fiction are sometimes the best kind, and certainly can be helpful for teens who are not willing to talk about their emotions with an adult.

That is certainly the situation with Tad and Isaac, who have closed up and handle their anger and grief in different ways. Tad’s mother is in a coma from the Sickness and Isaac’s mother died. To keep from worrying all the time, Tad works with Isaac’s father at the aquarium where he forms a growing attachment to the sea turtles. His determination to save the turtles when something goes wrong is an endearing facet of his characterization. The author does a great job in presenting both of the boys and their special gifts, and it was most satisfying to see their character arcs evolve as the story progressed.

Lorelei, Condi’s best friend that readers met in the first book in the series, was severely affected by the Sickness, only now months later slowly getting her strength back. She’s eager to take her surfboard to the water and second-guesses her encounter with the octopus, so she doesn’t tell anyone at first. There’s a riveting scene when she falls off the surfboard and is sinking deep in the ocean. She starts to weaken and isn’t sure if she can make it back to the surface. If not for the octopus, maybe she wouldn’t have.

The teens are endearing characters, as are the Beachlings – the elderly women who had been living in caves in the first book and moved to safer ground when a storm threatened them. While the Beachlings don’t play as big a part in this second book, they do teach important lessons about caring and kindness, as well as offering great examples of how to let go with grace and accept what life brings.

It was fun to meet the parrot, Guardian, who was aptly named. The role he plays in the story is important, bringing another delightful, magical creature to the series, and I hope he returns. Like the octopus, he takes on an almost human quality in the way he relates to the teens, showing up to offer assistance when they need it most. I’m a big fan of anthropomorphic qualities in animals or birds or underwater creatures. It’s interesting to consider how they would act if they truly did have human behaviors and emotions, and the author does a first-rate job in making the bird and the octopus believable.

Amethyst The Shallows is filled with magic and great life lessons, as well as delightful characters, and I greatly enjoyed the read. The book is a perfect summer read for teens and for adults who want a reminder of what it’s like to be in that formative time of growing up.  

Small Banner with wordage: About the author
Author headshot: Smiling woman wearing an aquamarine sweater, with lace at the front, stands in front of a brown wood fence.

Kellye Abernathy’s passions are writing and serving trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and practical life skills advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Kansas. Her home is in land-locked Plano, Texas—where she’s dreaming of her next trip to the sea!

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Graphic for Giveaway. Three winners receive autographed two-book sets. Amethyst the Shallows and The Aquamarine Surfboard.


receive autographed two-book sets
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 4/19/24)


Graphic for Amethyst, The Shallows. "A profound and powerful magic lives in the deep. Book cover on the left.


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2 thoughts on “Pop-Up Blog Hop and Giveaway”

  1. Terrific review, Maryann! I really can’t wait to return to Dipitous Beach in this companion novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard — one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m IN.

    1. Glad you liked the review, Kristine. This series does have a way of drawing a reader in. Love the magical elements and the characters.

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