Release Day Launch/Reviews: Chasing the Tide: A. Meredith Walters

(Reclaiming the Sand#2)
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Expected December 16, 2014

***The powerful continuation of the story that began in Reclaiming the Sand- a tale of love and forgiveness and learning to over come a past that has come to define you.***

Bully and Victim

Friend and Lover

Past and Future

Ellie McCallum and Flynn Hendrick’s story was as painful as it was devastating.  But they were able to find within each other an unlikely yet beautiful love. Despite the obstacles that tried to keep them apart.

And together they rose out of the ashes of their tragic history.

Now years after their life changing reunion Ellie is back in Wellston, having just graduated from college and ready to start her future with the man who taught her how to love. However, returning to a town that held so much bitterness and anger was the last place she wanted to start over.

But for Flynn, who is now an art professor at the community college and firmly rooted in the place that gave them their beginning, she’d do just about anything.

Yet it’s difficult building a life when you’ve only just learned how to live.
 And love, no matter how strong, doesn’t always conquer all.

Ellie and Flynn must learn how far they are willing to go to stay together. Or whether the ghosts of the past will consume them both.

Because finding a happily ever after is harder than it seems. Particularly when you’re fighting against the one thing that could destroy you.


These streets were paved with my pain and regret. But it was here, among the ugly reality that I had inexplicably found my heart. My soul. My everything. Maybe that could be enough.

After three years at college, Ellie is returning to a place that holds bad memories and was never truly her home until she reconnected with Flynn Hendrick. They had a complicated history. Even though she found a kindred spirit in "Freaky Flynn" when younger, she ran with a bad crowd that bullied him and she did not have the strength to stand up for him. But as young adults they found each other again and found hope and love. But she needed to spread her wings at college and he was more comfortable in his safe place and predictable routines. But he had faith she would come back to him even when she was not so sure herself.

Flynn had taught me that living was more than breathing. And that earning and deserving love were battles worth fighting. 

They have both changed and come into their own. Flynn is an art teacher at the college. She graduated and learned to be more social and positive. But coming back to a place that holds so many demons is hard. And she and Flynn are now trying to merge their lives and build a life together. but it is tentative and a bit uncomfortable as they try to find their way.

They are two people with special needs and histories, but together they make each other better and usually can understand each other's limitations and strengths. But living together and facing a future is a new challenge. And Ellie is having to face her ghosts in this town while trying to continue her momentum towards a more positive future. 

We were faced with the constant struggles of loving each other. Flynn with his disability and me with my instinctual urge to self-sabotage and push everyone away.

I love Flynn. We get to see glimpses of his point of view in the past (three years ago) and see how he felt about her leaving and how he grew while she was gone. He lacks flexibility, is unfiltered, honest, socially awkward, needs consistency, and has anxiety. But he loves fully and is devoted and sweet.

It is told mostly in Ellie's point of view past and present. We see her progression of abandonment and loss, that caused her anger, detachment, and self esteem issues. She is trying to be a better person. She is accepting of Flynn's limitations most of the time, but at times does get irritated or hopes for it to be easier.  But she has grown and changed so much, But unfortunately she still struggles with her past mistakes and demons and is disappointed by the lack of prospects in their home town.

I always felt like we needed to see more of Flynn and Ellie's story after Reclaiming the Sand since it was left hopeful but a bit open ended. They both still had so much growing to do. They were a couple with personal issues, trust issues, communication problems, and decreased self worth. He has his limitations that he is trying hard to improve on but they also keep him firmly rooted in his predictable life. She has lots of pain from her past that still affects her and is terrified of the lack of opportunities and reverting back to the girl she was and hated. They love each other and need each other, but struggle to make each other truly happy and meet each other's needs. 

Can they find a way for them to both be happy when he can't leave and she finds it hard to stay? Is love really enough to overcome all of their issues?

I felt as though Flynn and I were forever chasing the tide. Hoping that just this once, we'd finally be able to catch it. That we could hold it in our hands and breathe a sigh of relief because all the battles, all the wars, were over. That we could finally be content in this...our happily ever after. Because if we couldn't catch it, what would that mean? For Flynn? For me? For the life we were trying to build?

This book was not always easy to read. Some of it, especially the flashbacks were hard to read and I found myself wanting to move on from the past and stay in the present. Ellie had tremendous feelings of pain, loss, guilt and unhappiness. She had to face people from her past again and deal with the repercussions of her actions in order to try to truly move on. She and Flynn hurt each other at times. But there were also sweet, romantic moments that made me smile. Flynn could be swoon worthy in his own quiet no nonsense way. I enjoyed seeing their continued story and progression. And I loved getting an epilogue in Flynn's point of view.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Part of me thinks Ellie and Flynn’s story was perfect the way it was. They had their ugly history, and though there wasn’t a complete picture of what their happy ever after looked it, it was implied. 

But the other part of me appreciates that the ending of Reclaiming the Sand wasn’t really what would have happened. Between Ellie’s penchant for closing people out and her quick to anger nature, and Flynn’s need for routine and predictability to combat his Aspergers, a relationship between these two is not an easy prospect as seemed to be implied at the end of their first book.

Now that Ellie is finished with college, she returns to Wellston, West Virginia where Flynn is waiting. But there are not many happy memories for Ellie in Wellston, and as she struggles to find a job and feel like she is moving forward with her life, she fights the ghosts of her past that seem to be around every corner. And while she fights to remain the person she wants to be, she is also trying to fit herself into the rigid structure that is life with Flynn Hendrick. 

Being back in Wellston, Ellie faces many of the people she formerly called friends. Dania, Stu, Reggie, and Shane all either make appearances back in Ellie’s life or are referenced. The changes in Dania’s life were interesting, especially considering her choices in the first book. Redding, Stu and Shane’s current circumstances were less surprising, though equally interesting in their progression. 

There were a lot of flashbacks, both in Ellie and Flynn’s perspectives, which at times shed light on the feelings Ellie was currently struggling with, and at others reminded readers of the struggles that took place in the first book. I liked the ones that contained completely new material, but there were times that felt like we had seen that scene in the first book, or something close enough that it felt repeated.

This was an emotional journey as Ellie settles into her future. As the main narrator, her unease, especially with returning to Wellston, is the strongest. Readers see a little bit of what Flynn is feeling, though mostly as he reacts to the situations and attempts to make and keep Ellie happy. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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From the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep comes a story of forgiveness, redemption and finding love in the most unlikely of places.


Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.

Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.

Particularly Freaky Flynn.

Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger's. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.

But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.

And moved on.

Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.

When labels come to define you, finding yourself feels impossible. Particularly for two people disconnected from the world who inexplicably find a connection in each other.
And out of the wreckage of their tragic beginnings, an unlikely love story unfolds.
But a painful past doesn’t always want to let go. And old wounds are never truly healed…and sometimes the further you try to run from yourself the closer you come to who you really are.


The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.


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