Ashes on the Waves

Ashes on the Waves

by Mary Lindsey


View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780147511348
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/12/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Mary Lindsey says that writing is a natural expression of her love of reading and her fascination with the flexibility of the human imagination. Having received a B.A. in English literature with a minor in drama from the University of Houston, she currently teaches acting to children and teens at a private studio in Houston, Texas. Mary lives with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter’s pet rats, an Australian bearded dragon and dozens of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. You can visit Mary Lindsey at and follow her on Twitter @marylindsey.

Read an Excerpt

Ashes on the WavesMary LindseyPhilomel BooksAn Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Chapter 1

She looked like something out of a dream . . . or a nightmare. Simultaneously, so terrible and beautiful, it made me ache.

 Waves pounded against the jetty, shooting geysers of frigid salt water into the air as she leaned into the wind, her long hair whipping in all directions.

 “No. Stop!” I shouted, but the howling gale and crashing waves consumed my words.

 She took a step closer to the rocky edge and held her arms out to the side as if she were going to fly. But she wasn’t going to take flight. She was going to die.

 “No!” I leapt onto the boulder at the base of the jetty and fought the wind, picking my way over the slick, moss-covered surface. “Don’t do it!”

 Arms still spread, she tipped her head back, letting the spray from the waves shower her face, like a lover embracing the rage of the sea itself.
 A huge wave slammed the rocks to my right. I crouched and gained a fingerhold on the rough surface to keep from being washed away.

 Just a little farther and I’d be past the wave break point.

 She turned toward me, her glassy eyes unfocused. I’d been there. I knew what she was experiencing in that trancelike stupor. Don’t do it, I bid her silently. She teetered for a moment and I felt certain she would fall backward. I was so close—within steps of reaching her. I couldn’t lose her now. “No! Hang on!” I shouted.

 As beautiful as I thought she was before, it was nothing compared to seeing her face. Fine and delicate, bathed in the rich, caramel glow of the setting sun, her brow was drawn in concentration as she seemed to grasp the reality of her situation. She’d reached the point of no return. If she didn’t jump now, it was clear I wouldn’t let her. How badly did she want this release? How deep was the pain?

 Not deep enough, I realized with relief as I wrapped my good arm around her waist and pulled her to me.

 “What the hell are you doing?” she screamed, shoving against my chest. “Are you freaking nuts? Let me go!”

 If I had been whole, I could have reasoned with her while standing. Instead, I was forced to sit, pulling her down with me in order to gain enough control to keep her from hurting herself—or me for that matter. As hard as she was struggling, we were both likely to end up in the sea.

 “Stop,” I said in her ear as I forced her to her back and pinned her body with my own. She needed to be calm in order to listen to reason. The frigid water crashed against the rocks on all sides as her warmth seeped through our clothes into my skin.
 “Oh, God,” she cried. “What are you doing?”

 Lying on top of her, I trapped her legs between mine and held her arm over her head by her narrow wrist, the full length of my body immobilizing her except for her free arm, which she was using to beat the side of my head. I lowered my mouth to her ear. “Stop, please,” I said. “I just want to help you.”

 She went still.

 It felt like her flesh melted into mine as the tension ebbed from her like an evening tide. We remained like this for a while, breathing in unison and saying nothing, her body pliant beneath mine.

 Sensing she had calmed, I lifted my weight from her slightly. In one swift movement, she shifted higher and slammed her knee into me.

 Part of me marveled at her cleverness. The other part struggled to remain conscious through a wave of pain so intense I couldn’t breathe.

 She muttered something indecipherable as I rolled onto my side and she pushed to her feet. Perhaps she had spoken clearly and it was just the sound of my pulse in my head that muffled her words.

 Unable to move, I could only watch as she picked her way over the rocks toward the shore, never once looking back, now released from the call of the sea.

 By the time the pain had subsided enough for me to get to my feet, she had cleared the jetty and was climbing the rocky path toward the mansion.

 The structure loomed ominous and foreboding at the apex of the hill. The bottom half was shrouded in the dense fog that crept across the land from the water. Illuminated by lightning flashes, the mansion appeared alive—like a breathing stone monster waiting for the opportune moment to lay siege to our tiny village below.

 I watched from behind a boulder marking the corner of the property as she raked the rain-soaked hair from her face and studied the stone beast as if she, too, sensed its mal-intent.

 With her delicate, slender hands, she yanked the iron gate, but it only gave a few inches. The hinges screamed in protest as she gave it another tug and then another, until it finally yielded enough for her to squeeze through.

 Inside the gaping mouth of the overhang at the front of the house, huge oak double doors with hand-hewn black metal hardware stood more like soldiers’ protective shields than a welcoming entrance. Everything about the place screamed “go away,” and I would have, but that wasn’t an option . . . not yet, anyway. Not until I was certain she was safe.

 She banged ineffectively on the doors several times, then slapped her palms against them—her softness in complete opposition to the unyielding harshness of the structure.

 She turned and I ducked behind the huge stone. I thought for a moment she had sensed my presence, but to my relief, she was simply looking for something on the path just off the porch. With almost unnatural grace, she descended the few steps of the porch and picked up a fist-size stone. Rolling it in her fingers, she climbed the steps and slammed it against one of the iron straps across the door.

 The sharp raps reverberated against the stone of the mansion and echoed into the fog that had all but enveloped the island. As if in reply, lightning split the sky, making the house appear to lurch as it reflected off of the leaded-glass windowpanes that shone like the eyes of a hundred night animals.

 The doors groaned as they were drawn open from within. I didn’t see Miss Ronan, but I recognized her deep, liquid voice. “You should not be outside after dark, Anna,” she warned. “Bad things happen after dark.”

 Anna shot a look over her shoulder toward the sea before running into gaping jaws of the mansion.

 She was safe inside the belly of the monster: safe from the storm, safe from the call of the sea, and most of all, safe from me—a monster of another kind entirely.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“Achingly beautiful and darkly sensuous ... an extraordinary read that left me breathless at every turn!” --Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight
“Mary Lindsey, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, has created a haunting, mystical world. I loved this tragic, romantic story.” --Cate Tiernan, author of Sweep and Immortal Beloved

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Ashes on the Waves 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars -- Scribbles & Wanderlust on Wordpress, Laura on GoodReads.  When Liam and Anna meet on an island far off the coast of Maine with deep Irish roots, the world as they know it ends. He is completely engrossed with her. She is deeply enchanted by him. Everyone else, from banshees to Selkies to villagers, has a different plan in mind for these two. Trial after trial is thrown upon them, and their love for one another is tested to the limit. Based on Poe’s chilling, haunting poem, “Annabel Lee,” one may know the ending — but the journey is a deeply heart-wrenching tale. Celtic folklore mixed with my favorite Poe poem is bound to be a recipe for greatness. Lindsey’s knowledge of Irish fairies — true fairies, not the pixie Tinkerbells of Disney — truly helped to flesh out this haunting tale. Liam is such a tragic character, so full of love and hope and determination to live despite the horrible way the villagers treat him. Anna is a unique character, one with a face for the dramatic press and tabloids, and a heart with deep dreams, aspirations, and compassion. They are meant to be, and it’s easy to fall in love with their love. The setting was absolutely remarkable, but I wish it didn’t have to be an American coast. Why was it necessary to have the island close to Maine? Why have all these deep Celtic roots on a fictionalized American island? It would make far more sense for the island to be closer to the homeland. There are plenty of ways for Anna’s character to be famous — she can fly to the island from Dublin, Edinburgh, London. Not that the island’s location is central to the story, but that bit did ruffle my feathers. Liam’s mind is like reading a very lyrical poem. I was completely mesmerized.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Ashes on the Waves' is a young adult fantasy/paranormal romance novel that is based off of the poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe. It focuses on main character Liam MacGregor and his terrible life on the island of Dochas. Since his birth, Liam has been treated as an outcast or worse - a demon wearing a human's skin. Liam has minded his own business and kept himself linked to the only person he ever felt a true connection with: Annabel Leighton - a wealthy heiress whose family own a mansion on the island. Liam's life is forever changed when Anna is sent to the island by her family. Now that Liam and Anna have found one another, they refuse to be apart. However, the Celtic Otherworlders who have a strong hold on the island place a wager on their love, one that might just be the end of them both. I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, as one can easily guess by simply looking at the name I chose for my blog, so I was immediately intrigued by the premise of the book and how it was based on his poem, "Annabel Lee." Let me just say that I was not disappointed. The novel is a complete Gothic romance with a modern setting - completely beautiful, enchanting, and tragic at the same time. There were times throughout the novel that I would smile so much my cheeks hurt and then a few pages later, I would be on the verge of tears. The story of Liam and Anna is one of hope, redemption, true love, and eternity. Liam was a wonderful main character. He's a sweet, smart, truly kind person who has been treated horribly since his birth. He is referred to in the book as the "broken one" because his arm has been paralyzed since birth, during which his mother died. Due to ignorance, rumors, and lore, the people of the island fear and loathe him, regardless of his pure and innocent heart. Anna is a great leading lady for the novel - she's an awesome complement to Liam's character. They are true halves of the same whole and they bring out the best in one another. It sounds really cheesy saying it here, but their relationship in the novel was nothing but romantic and sweet. Being a modern Gothic story, there had to be some trials, heartache, and tragedy mixed in with the romance. I don't do spoilers in my reviews, but I will say that the ending was appropriate for the Gothic genre, even if I hated that it had to be that way. The writing was impeccably well done with incredible detail and vivid descriptions that had me easily imagining myself on Dochas alongside the characters. The Celtic lore was really intriguing for me and I loved that the author put it in with the main plot. I enjoyed learning new things about Celtic mythology and folklore - it added a unique depth to the book that made sure it was one of a kind. There isn't enough time or words for me to really communicate my feelings for this novel and I'm sure it's not completely coherent since I'm still reeling from just finishing the book. This is definitely a novel that fans of fantasy and paranormal will not want to miss out on - and I wholeheartedly think that readers of all preferences should experience the beauty and tragedy that is created within its pages. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Brittanylcochran More than 1 year ago
"On my way from the mansion several things occurred to me, 1 the demon was real 2. I was in love with Anna & 3. The two things were somehow related" p94 Annabel Lee is my all time favorite piece from Poe & this book was an amazing re-imaging of a love greater than life. I loved the Celtic mythology this book entailed. It's a must read for the Poe lovers of the world!  "Folding over her body, pain of my very soul issued forth in scream after scream, proclaiming my despair to every living creature in this world & the next" p364 I get chills just thinking about what I read in this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ashes on the Waves is one of those haunting romances that will stay with you even after you've closed the book. Something that reminds its readers that there are powerful things in the universe, yet despite those things, there is something greater still. That, dear readers, is one of the most-written and timeless experience... love. Here is the story of two teenagers. Anna has been in the national spotlight consistently due to her parents' wealth and acclaim not to mention her antics, while Liam has been ridiculed and shunned by nearly everyone within the small island of Dochas due to long-running superstitions regarding his deformity. To think that these two would inevitably fall in love is almost laughable, but it does happen. Watching them interact, it was quite clear that Liam had been infatuated with Anna for a long time. I didn't quite understand Anna's interest in Liam at first since she seemed like one of those Hollywood starlets gone wild. However, the more I got to know the Anna behind the publicity mask, I could feel she was becoming very fond of Liam and saw what he had already known was true about her. It was heart-wrenching to read about each new task that Liam and Anna underwent courtesy of the otherworldly beings kept alive because of the superstitions of the villagers. The power of belief is another strong force in the story, and I thought Mary Lindsey set the stage quite well for the presence of Celtic supernatural creatures such as the selkies, bean sidhes, and na fir gorm. This is one book that reflects its inspiration, and I would recommend Ashes on the Waves to any readers who devour Gothic romance or appreciate Edgar Allan Poe's works. (Review originally published on my Goodreads page under DJL.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
****SPOILERS*** I'm trying to put into words how beautiful and heart wrenching this story is..I guess I can start by saying how refreshing it was to have the female character (Anna) pursue the male(Liam)I know you are thinking..why is this so refreshing, when it's done all the time? Well, because we are all so used to love stories being told the other way around..The girl is usually shy and naive and is usually the pursued, but not in this story. Anna is forthcoming and honest with no inhabitions and is strong and beautiful and knows what she wants and won't let anyone or anything get in her way. Liam is shy and innocent and really doesn't know the way of the world, he only knows the world of Dochas island where everything is handled by the villagers, including the law. The worst part was what he was told he was all his life...that he was...a demon and shouldn't be living. He grows up believing there is no hope for him and he has come to terms with his life,but it doesn't stop Liam from learning all he can from his books and about Anna from the tabloids that come to Dochas once a week. Anna is from a well to do family and Liam thinks he has no chance with her, until one day, she returns to the island..the place where they played as children, the place where Liam first fell in Love with Ms. Annabel Leighton. Anna is nothing like the tabloids say she is, she is quite the opposite. Anna and Liam find love and will fight for it, no matter what. There are things...Otherworldy things, playing a cruel game and using them as pawns to see if humans really are capable of true love or if they will cave at the first signs of trouble. Will it tear them apart forever, or does love really conquer all? I've never read such a captivating book in what seems like forever..I really had a hard time putting this book down and basically read it in one day. Hauntingly beautiful..Thanks for this wonderful gift Ms. Lindsey <3
A_Good_Addiction More than 1 year ago
This book blew me away. Honestly, this is one of those books that I can't properly put into words all the reasons I loved it so much. The writing, foremost, is absolutely stunning, bring to life not only the setting, but the atmosphere, the emotions, and all the little things... not to mention, Lindsey has done an amazing job of giving a Poe-esque voice to a teenage boy, without going too far one way or the other in terms of Poe or modern. Then there's Liam, who is not at all your typical hero, yet a meltworthy one all the same, and Anna, who brings her own quirks to the table, has a bit of roughness in her, yet is also an easy character to root for. Add in the story itself, which is woven together so seamlessly, with some painful twists and plenty of funny moments as well, and this one will take your breath away and leave you so satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this retelling of Annabel Lee! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should have been excellant and it sounded good by the back cover. However it is one of the worst books i have ever read. Its badly written and very boring. It was so hard for me to keep reading just to finish it. If i hadnt spent 10.99 on this book i would have just deleted it. Im shocked that this book has gotten so many good reviews. Dont waste your money pass on this one. You'll be throughly disappointed with it. It starts no where and ends the same way with a bunch of pointless mess in the middle.