Friday, August 2, 2013

Surfacing (Swans Landing #1) by Shana Norris

Surfacing (Swans Landing #1)
Shana Norris
238 pages
Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Rate: Loved It

Mara Westray has not just lost her mother, but she has to now live with her father. Lake Westray, the man that let her mother go from Swans Landing a long time ago, the man that didn't go to the funeral of the woman that he claimed he loves and Mara's unknown father. That is why when Mara turns eighteen she's willing to leave that tiny island known as Swans Landing.
But Swans Landing is far from ordinary as well as Mara. Everybody seems to be afraid of her and Lake and she's bullied at school for being something different that she has no clue about what it is. Everybody seems to know something and the island is starting to play tricks with Mara like showing her dead mother.
However, Swans Landing has good things to make Mara stay, at least for a while. Like Josh Canavan, who speaks in riddles and half-truths and seems to feel the same attraction to her as she feels for him. Dylan who is like a friend to her, but that she knows he feels something for her and Sailor that hates her for stealing all the boys attention from her.
As she tries to unravel all the mysteries in that island, Mara finds herself involved in a far bigger secret than she expected and the truth from that secret has the power to shatter Mara's world.

Surfacing was a refreshing and captivating story. We were lucky to see this book in Netgalley and receive the ebook of this wonderful story.
We love Shana Norris' stories but hadn't had the chance to read the Swans Landing series. We regret that we didn't read it before. We love this series!
The first book, Surfacing, I read it the first night I received the book. At first you meet Mara Westray. Her mother just died from a cancer and she's going to meet the dad that only met once when she was little at Swans Landing. She's heartbroken for losing her mother and she's angry at her supposed father not just for not being for her all her seventeen years, but for not being for her mother where she was dying or in her funeral. She cannot understand why If he loved her so much, could not go to her funeral.
Mara is a strong, stubborn and friendly character. You not feel sorry for her, but for her pain. She knows something weird is going on in the island and she brings her most stubborn side until she finds out what is going on. We also liked that she didn't give up on Josh after seeing him with other girls (not saying who!).
Josh is a regular boy from Swans Landing High School that meets Mara the first she arrives. He's suffering from the loss of his father and he seems to perfectly understand Mara. So we fell for this character as soon as he said some cocky, but friendly remark to Mara.
About Dylan and Sailor, all the people from the island is afraid of what they are, although we don't know at first what they really are, or they are bullied because of it. Dylan is a strong and friendly character that is instantly in love with Mara. He forgets everything and he only has eyes for her. Sailor is a little bitchy and has a strong attitude, although we see her vulnerable in front of other people sometimes. Is the kind of character that you cannot love, because she's mean with the main character, but you cannot hate her either, because she's not one of the bad guys. I think that Sailor keeps the story funny and interesting, twisting every step Mara walks. So, we kind of like her, because Mara's bitchy, too, when she's around. Sailor is jealous of Mara for taking all the attention from Josh and the love from Dylan and sometimes she seems like a chilt having a tantrum.
The plot was refreshing and interesting. We haven't read a book with this exact story before. The characters show different personalities and are well build. The ending left us heartbroken because we weren't expecting it at all! We were really happy to see that there are more books to keep the story going.
We could say that Surfacing is captivating, lovable and a must read book. That's the main reason we loved it so much and we are ranking it with five gorjuss dolls.
So, Book Addicts, don't hesitate. Read about the mystery that surrounds Swans Landing and Mara, Josh, Dylan and Sailor's story, because this is not just about Mara. Is about what Swans Landing is hiding. 

Shana Norris

"I was born August 19, on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m a leo, which means I’m supposed to be bossy, interfering, and intolerant. But I’m also supposed to be broad-minded, warm-hearted, and creative, so maybe it all evens out.
I’ve always loved books. My parents would read my favorite books to me so often that I’d memorize them before I had learned how to read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my mom taking my siblings and me to the public library. I’d always check out a big stack of books and then have them all read within a week. The first time I can remember writing a story that wasn’t for school, but simply because I wanted to write, was when I was eight years old. I wrote and illustrated a book called The Lonely Rectangle. It was a story about a rectangle that had been thrown in the trash and felt unloved until someone found it and took it home to use as a table. No, it was not a box or anything like that, it was just a plain rectangle. I have no clue why I decided to write about a geometric shape. It wasn’t like I was particularly fond of math or anything.
I spent my junior year of high school and part of my senior year living just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, where my family moved to the summer I turned sixteen. I had a hard time making friends, but the good thing that came out of it was that I started to spend a lot of time online since I had no one to hang out with after school. That was when I discovered online journals written by teen girls and even started my own, which I wrote under a pen name. It was that experience with online journals in 1996-1997, the predecessor of today’s blogs, that helped inspire Something to Blog About.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. Well, actually I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a teacher, AND a writer, all at the same time. But after a while I figured out that I’d never taken a ballet lesson in my life, I didn’t particularly like to get dirty, and I hated being in a classroom all day, so that really only left writer as my future job. My family advised me to get a back up plan, which meant, “study something else in school that you can earn a living at while waiting for your books to sell.” So I studied graphic design, tested out of as many classes as I possibly could to avoid sitting in so many classrooms, and got my degree.
I’m still a web designer by day and write my books during my lunch hours and at night. I currently live in North Carolina with my husband and our menagerie of pets: two dogs–Chloe and Zoey–and five cats–Elmo, Bandit, Kit, BC, and Butter.
See more at my site."

Favorite Book?
This is always a really hard question for me because I can’t narrow it down to just one! I’ll say a tie between Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.


Perfect writing moment?
When the house is quiet and I have so much inspiration the words just pour out of me!

Favorite TV show?
Ghost Hunters. I really love ghosts.

Favorite movie?
Labyrinth. I’ve seen it a million times and still love it.

Your ideal day?
My ideal day would begin with a quiet morning of writing. Then maybe a trip to the bookstore to browse all the books. Even if I don’t buy anything, I still like looking at all the books on the shelves! Then an afternoon sitting out in the sun and maybe a hike along the nature trails with my husband and our dogs at the nearby park. Then a quiet night at home reading or watching a favorite movie. I’m such a homebody that I like spending a lot of time near my house.

Your Favorite Song?
“Dancing Days” by Led Zeppelin

Favorite Food?

Perfect Fictional Boy?
Wes from The Truth About Forever.

Magic or Mythology?
Mythology. I really love reading about myths from different cultures and how the myths came into existence.

Favorite book genre to read?
I really love humorous young adult contemporary romance. I like things that make me laugh and feel good.

Favorite Quote?
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

Something to say to our Book Addicts?
I love being among so many fellow book lovers! I never understand people who say they don’t like to read. They might as well have said, “I don’t like to breathe either.” But you guys get me, right? You all know the love of a good book and I’m always so happy to find people who understand. So I salute you, Book Addicts!

Hi Shana, so glad to have you in our blog. We love your books and we are truly intereted in this one. How did you come up with Mara’s story and the finfolks?
Mara’s story was inspired by a trip I took to North Carolina’s Outer Banks a few years ago. My husband and I went in mid-March, before tourist season started, and the islands were so quiet and empty. It made me wonder what kind of secrets the locals who lived there year-round knew that they kept hidden from the tourists. I knew then that I wanted to write a story set on the Outer Banks, but it took a few years before I figured out what the story would be about.

Which was the part that you enjoyed the most while writing this series?
I really liked learning about finfolk mythology and then adding my own parts to it. I love mythology in general, and it was a lot of fun to read stories about these creatures and figure out how it fit into the history of the people I was writing about.

We were surprised to find out, when we finished the book, that the following books are from different POVs. And the third book is about Josh’s POV (we really like him). What can you tell us about this new book?
I originally thought that the whole series would be from Mara’s POV, but after I wrote the first book I realized that the story really belonged to all the people of the island, and these other characters needed a chance to tell their part of it. I am SO excited about Surrendering, the last book in the series. It is from Josh’s POV and the little bits of storylines that have been introduced throughout the previous books all come together in this one. You get to find out all the secrets everyone has been keeping, and I hope some of them at least surprise you when you read them!

We would like to ask our readers who would be the perfect finfolk/boy for them. Could you describe Josh, Dylan and Callum? Who would you pick and why? (*wink*).
Josh is the quiet, mysterious kind of guy. He has a big secret that he’s kept his whole life and he’s haunted by the mysterious death of his dad when he was a baby. He’s broad shouldered and solidly built, with really short dark hair. Dylan is the nice guy next door. He’s tall and lanky, with long blonde hair and blue eyes that are so pale they almost look clear. He tries to stay out of trouble, unless he’s pushed too hard. Callum is from the finfolk homeland and he has a thick Scottish accent. He has unruly red hair and is tall. He’s been through some tough times: one of his legs was amputated at the knee and he walks with a prosthetic. He also has a few secrets that make him a bit bitter about life and people. It’s a hard choice between them! I think my favorite is Josh, but then I also understand Dylan and Callum and why they make the choices they do.

We love to ask this question. Imagine that Swans Landing ends up in our cinemas. Who would you pick to represent your characters in the big screen?
This is always fun to think about! I’d pick Meagan Tandy to play Mara, Matthew Atkinson to play Josh, Chord Overstreet for Dylan, and Lucy Hale for Sailor. I’m not sure who would play Callum, I’ll have to think a bit more on that!

Thank you so much, Shana, for your time and for offering us this wonderful opportunity.

Thanks so much for the interview and having me on your blog! And thanks for reading Surfacing! :)

Win (1) ebook of Surfacing (Swans Landing #1) written by Shana Norris


  1. I would pick Callum. I like a big ginger man with a bit of mystery lol!

  2. I would pick Josh because he is a regular guy and has been through a lot. Thanks!

  3. I guess I can relate to Mara. How she was bullied and made to feel different. I went through that when I was 14 having to move somewhere completely new, having an accent and a different culture.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Can't wait to go read the book 8)
    Michelle Hofacker