H2O: The Novel   -     By: Austin W. Boyd, Brannon Hollingsworth
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H2O: The Novel

Living Ink / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

An up-and-coming young businesswoman, Kate Pepper seems to have it all---until her life is suddenly and strangely turned upside down. Unexplainable visions torment her every time she gets wet. Sinking into despair, Kate is frantic to avoid water at any cost. Who will save her? An allegorical story of success, sanity, and spiritual redemption. 400 pages, softcover from Living Ink.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Living Ink
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0899578063
ISBN-13: 9780899578064
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

    H2O is a contemporary crossover women’s novel that tells the story of Kate Pepper, a successful young business woman in Seattle whose life is suddenly—and strangely—turned upside down. Unexplainable visions torment her every time she gets wet. Sinking into despair, frantic to avoid water at any cost, Kate ultimately finds romance and redemption through the advice of simple people who love her for who she is, not what she was.
   Kate Pepper has it all . . . a razor-sharp intellect, perfect health, stunning beauty, a wildly successful career, and all the money she can spend. Or rather, she thinks she has it all.
   Despite the perfect shell, there’s something dark inside Kate. Terrible visions send her into a deep depression and her world crumbles. All her business savvy and elite connections don’t make a difference; she has lost control.
Who will save her? Xavier, her predatory boyfriend? Or Candice, the Down syndrome waitress at her favorite coffee shop? At the bottom of her dark well, desperate to get out of the water, there’s nowhere to reach but up.
   H2O—a fascinating allegorical look at success, sanity and spiritual redemption in a young woman’s relationship with water.

 

 

Author Bio

    Austin W. Boyd is an award-winning author who writes extensively about faith issues related to technology and business. He published award winning poetry and more than two dozen technical articles and papers during his career as a Navy pilot, NASA astronaut finalist, and spacecraft engineer. The author of six novels, he is a Christy Gold Medal finalist (The Proof, 2007) and the winner of the Mount Hermon "Pacesetter Award." Austin currently writes for a number of Christian publishers. He has several novels in work based on themes tied to faith dilemmas in bioethics, as well as a Christian layman’s guide to Islam. Austin is employed as the Chief Executive Officer for an engineering and design firm in Huntsville, Alabama. He is active in local ministry activities, Southwood Presbyterian Church of Huntsville, and First Baptist Church of Huntsville where he has served as a teacher, deacon, and evangelist.
    Brannon Hollingsworth brings vivid writing and a voice for the Internet generation to the H2O writing team. He is a proud member of the "Wandering Men," a talented eclectic group of writers and explorers.  He has been published in several Role Playing Game (RPG) industry periodicals, including Dragon Magazine, Gaming Frontiers, and the EN World Player’s Journal, and he has edited the novel Forged by Thomas Reid. His credits with RPG publishers include: Piazo Publishing, Sword and Sorcery Studios, Green Ronin Press, Bastion Press, Sovereign Press, Atlas Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Eden Studios, Skeleton Key Games, and Ambient Inc. Brannon, his wife Heather and his five children reside in Hartselle, Alabama where he is active in church ministry activities for adults and youth. His passion for youth camps, the outdoors, and video game development make him a well-rounded dad. Brannon is employed as a Product Team Lead by SAIC, a major science and engineering firm, and he has a side business providing consultation for Internet applications, graphic design, and web development.

Editorial Reviews

If water can hold truth then the latest work of speculative Christian fiction by prolific techno thriller author Austin Boyd and sci-fi author Brannon Hollingsworth is sure to open the floodgates for that genre.  H2O is a Christian Twilight Zone Episode (maybe a little Frasier thrown in as well) with all the trappings, twists and turns of a Mr. Serling plot but with 21st century characters revolving around protagonist, Kate Pepper.  We follow Kate, an independent-minded and professional young woman who is living the dream of success until a mysterious affliction turns her high-tech life into chaos.  Here the most basic of elements, water, takes her on a journey of wild fantastic visions and sweeps her into an alternate world and search for meaning.  It is first rate fantasy and storytelling. Boyd and Hollingsworth deliver their collaboration in an engaging style, spilling over with subtle irony and enough suspense that will satisfy and won't leave you thirsty.
 
Harper Payne

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  1. Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Intriguing and Thought-Provoking
    June 13, 2012
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My initial feeling about H2O was uncertainty - it is narrated by Kate Pepper, a 102-pound size 2 aerospace marketing executive and sushi chef who slices off part of her palm while catering a work-related dinner party hosted by her gorgeous but controlling boyfriend, Xavier. I'm not big on blood and I don't like controlling men in fiction or in real life, so this was not a promising start.

    But underneath the doubtful beginning there is the start of a puzzle, a mystery, about Kate's reactions to the everyday miracle of water. Kate blacks out in the shower following her hand injury, and this turns out to be just one of many blackouts, always precipitated by water. It isn't long before she starts seeing things during her blackouts, and it becomes unclear what is real and what isn't. She starts searching for answers on the internet, and connects with someone with the known as WRKRJC, who attempts to help Kate make sense of her visions.

    Some aspects of the novel felt little odd, like having WiFi explained. I thought that wireless internet technology was virtually omnipresent in the English-speaking world. Others (like the character names Thomas Cook and John Connor, better known respectively as a global travel company and the hero of the Terminator movies) made me wonder if there was something I was missing. And the special coffee roast from the mountains of New Zealand? I don't think so. Most of our mountains are ski-fields, not exactly conducive to growing a warm-weather crop like coffee.

    But despite this, I found the book intriguing, thought-provoking and well worth reading. H2O is rich in symbolism (to the point of almost being allegorical) with excellent use of language. It's different to most of the Christian fiction on the market today and defies a straightforward genre description, being part literary, part speculative and part romance. I really enjoyed it, and am glad I persevered with it. Recommended.

    Thanks to Living Ink Books (imprint of AMG Publishers) and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
  2. Michelle Sutton
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Unique story showing our need for redemption...
    April 4, 2012
    Michelle Sutton
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This was an odd story, but it was also edgy and different, which I liked. The imagery of the ultimate healing and the need to be cleansed from sin was pretty vivid. I loved how the heroine, Kate, couldn't get any more lost, and how she had to become broken in order to finally see the sad truth of her existence. The authors showed her misery at the top of her game as well as the misery she experienced during her all-time low. John was a great friend to her and probably the best example of Jesus in human form that she could have come across. Everyone needs a John in their life who listens and doesn't ask questions, unless they are hard hitting truths necessary for change. Everyone needs Jesus. That's the point of the story, but it was delivered in a very creative way in this book.

    Sometimes the woman seemed a bit like a guy to me in the way she saw the world, but I suppose that had something to do with the fact that the authors were men. But overall, they did a great job portraying everyone's need for redemption. I liked the many visions Kate had and then seeing how they tied into many stories in the Scriptures. There seemed to be a purpose in each vision. Though I'm not much of a fantasy lover, I do enjoy a good allegory, and this novel was definitely allegorical in nature. The best part of the story was probably Kate's realization that she would rather risk the visions and live a risky, but cleansed life, than to life in "safety," but have a dead, useless existence. That's some pretty powerful imagery. Well done!
  3. Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Supernatural women’s fiction
    February 20, 2012
    Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Review by Jill Williamson

    Kate Pepper has a great job that she loves, but her handsome boyfriend—and boss—is very controlling. But Kate takes life one day at a time, working hard and hoping for the best. When she begins having visions, everything in her life shatters. The touch of water brings the visions on, so Kate moves into a bizarre existence, doing everything she can to keep from touching water. But life isn't getting any better. Kate must face the content of her dreams to keep from drowning.

    I'll be honest, I didn't like this book at first. It was Xavier, the boyfriend. I was horrified at how he treated Kate, and I almost didn't want to have to read any more! But it was worth it. The overall story was fascinating. (And Kate finally gets away from that horrible man.) The visions were an intriguing plot twist that I enjoyed. Overall this book reads like a women's fiction novel about relationships, the drive for success, and where you put your hope. Kate put her hope in her own strength, and when she had no strength left, she almost didn't make it. A fascinating story. Give it a try.

    *I received this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  4. Melanie
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Great Read!
    January 18, 2012
    Melanie
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Rating: 4 1/2 stars!

    What would you do if you suddenly started having visions when you got wet? Visions so powerful you lost touch with the world for that amount of time. Would you avoid water at all costs - or learn to live with it?

    That is exactly what happened to Kate Pepper. She used to love getting wet, but when she suddenly starts having visions whenever she comes in contact with water, she finds herself fearing water and trying to avoid it at all costs. But how can you live without water? Will anything good come out of all this turmoil?

    H20 is the first book I've read by Austin Boyd or Brannon Hollinsworth. Even though I haven't read that many fantasy books, I really like the genre and H20 was great!

    From the beginning pages of H20 I found myself liking Kate and disliking Xavier (Kate's boyfriend) - he just seemed like such an uncaring and mean person! I couldn't understand why Kate stayed with him when he treated her the way he did.

    Though some might think Kate's visions were weird, I actually really liked them (especially the later ones). Most were of Biblical events; like Jesus' baptism, Peter walking on the water to Jesus, the woman at the well, etc. - I really liked that. They were told really well and even brought to mind some things I never thought about.

    While H20 was interesting and enjoyable from the beginning, it was when I got halfway through and Kate started talking to WRKRJC that H20 became really good and the pages went by much faster! I understood the characters more and I started wondering who WRKRJC was and what the letters meant.

    Throughout H20, whether through Kate's visions or actually spoken, there was a story of forgiveness and how Jesus can make you clean!

    I think H20 is best suited for ages 16 and older because of some of the things mentioned - although none of it is bad, it might not be appropriate for younger readers.

    Overall, I really enjoyed H20 and recommend it if you enjoy fantasy novels with a good message. I look forward to reading O2, the next novel in The Eternal Elements!

    *Thanks to Brannon Hollingsworth for my review copies. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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