The following book excerpt is from Floating Underwater – a Novel by Tracy Shawn
She had missed their silly bantering. They hadn’t been this playful with each other since the last pregnancy, but his jokes and her bursts of laughter had dissipated over time. She wagered, though, that most couples eventually lose sight of what first brought them together.
Reed patted her hand. “It is going to work out this time, Paloma…”
Paloma smiled, then took a bite of her sandwich. Maybe Reed was right; everything would be okay—the future did not have to be defined by the past. And then, out of the corner of her eye, Paloma saw her. Bone-thin Serena raced across the street and planted herself next to the bumper of a parked car. In her ragged skirt and barely-there T-shirt, Serena could be mistaken for one of Sunflower Beach’s many homeless people, who tucked themselves into alleys, behind bushes dotting the hillsides, and around trash-strewn paths by the railroad tracks. Yet the bedraggled Serena lived with her family, who tried their best to care for her in their own, private way.
Serena stared at Paloma with her mismatched eyes, one blue and the other an unnatural shade of milky green. Slowly, Serena shook her head as her gaze misted over with what looked to be pity. Even though she had followed Paloma around ever since she’d moved into town, when she was in sixth grade and Paloma in fifth, Paloma’s heart raced now, and the nausea returned.
Reed leaned away and averted his face from Serena’s scrutiny. “She’s been showing up even more, you know.”
“I know,” Paloma whispered. “I think she’s trying to tell me something.” Paloma shoved her plate away. Eating would be impossible now.
“She’s not trying to tell you anything.” Reed sighed. “She’s just more unhinged than usual.”
Paloma dared to look again. Serena pinned her down with those unnerving eyes, and then her mouth suddenly twisted into a grimace. Not knowing what else to do, Paloma waved. Serena turned abruptly. Passersby shook their heads and stared as she skipped barefoot down the street. Paloma watched the last coiled ends of Serena’s long, tangled hair as it floated out of view.:
Author Bio: Tracy Shawn lives and writes on the Central Coast of California. Her debut novel, The Grace of Crows, won several indie book awards. Floating Underwater is her second novel. Tracy Shawn’s short stories have appeared in Literary Brushstrokes, Psychology Tomorrow Magazine, and Steel House Review Literary Journal. She’s written numerous articles for print and online publications and is currently working on her third novel.
You can purchase the book on Amazon
Please note that Floating Underwater is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook through several online outlets.
Author Website: https://www.tracyshawn.com
Below is an author interview with Tracy Shaw
What is your book about?
Floating Underwater follows a woman’s astonishing journey through the extraordinary and, ultimately, to her own self-actualization and power.
Fearful that her lifelong premonitions not only predict the future but can also change its very course, Paloma Leary is devastated when her latest vision foretelling a third miscarriage comes true.
Falling into a mystifying world of increasingly bizarre phenomena, including a psychic connection with her mysterious neighbor, out-of-body experiences, and visits from her long-dead mother, Paloma grows desperate for answers. She is also desperate to start a family. But when a life-changing vision reveals a tragic secret from the past, Paloma learns to accept her gifts and embraces a far different future than she ever could have imagined.
Why did you want to write this book?
Floating Underwater was inspired by my own personal history, past work experience, and sheer imagination. Having suffered through two miscarriages myself, I wanted to write about how a character deals with that particular loss. Motivated from my past work as an intern at a psychiatric center, I also wanted to explore what it’s like for a daughter when her beloved mother has severe schizophrenia. I added in the narrative element of magical realism and otherworldly events because I believe loss and grief can make our day-to-day reality too difficult to bear without the hope that something magical and meaningful is waiting beyond this realm.
What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?
I hope that my writing helps readers to feel less alone with their own struggles. I also write to entertain, for we all need a safe escape from realty. As a reader myself, I know that novels help me deal with anxiety, stress, and also provides me with a deeper understanding of the human condition. The best of stories can help us feel more connected.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on my third novel, which I hope to finish within this year. My first novel, The Grace of Crows, took me eight years to write, and my second novel, Floating Underwater, took me nine years. This time around, I’ve decided to take away a lot of the distractions that were slowing down my writing process. So, dear readers, I do hope to finish the third novel sooner than I did my first two!
How can our readers get a copy of your book?
Floating Underwater is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. Please note that you may purchase it on most online book sites.
What is the best way for our readers to connect with you?
The best way to connect with me directly is through the contact form on my website: https://www.tracyshawn.com/contact-t-shawn/ Also, I am currently active on Twitter, so you can find me there at: @TracyShawn. I’ve been invited as guest author to several book clubs—and it’s always a wonderful experience. So, please feel free to invite me to your book club—no matter where you live (as we can meet on Zoom, etc.). I enjoy hearing from all my readers and hope to hear from you.