Briar Coats and the tunnel of styx

Briar is a wild boy. Living in a mangrove-tree city, he has been assigned the job of builder, but he is desperate to become an explorer.

At least he can swim in the lake for solace—that is, until he realizes that he can breathe underwater!

There he meets Verity, a person who looks like him, but she has a long flowing tail and a green glow. Verity helps Briar learn the truth about his father’s disappearance, and helps him change the underwater world of Naraka for the better.

Blogger Reviews

"It's a page-turner for sure." - Anie, Dairy of a Wannabe Writer

"Briar Coats is a wonderful tale about being perseverant and never forgetting your goals." - Karina, Daily Dose of Books

"...a chapter book that will hold their attention." - Mary, The Mary Reader


Briar slides into the water after his dog. The warm water surrounds him as he sinks, slowing his descent, until he raises his hands to the back of his head as if using them as a pillow. Losing sight of Max, Briar slows to a stop about halfway to the bottom of the lake, his body suspended without any effort on his part. All his fears and worries seep out of him, somehow drawn out by the thick liquid surrounding him. He closes his eyes and floats in the quiet darkness, allowing his arms to float out to his sides. The blackness and nothingness make him feel weightless. Sounds are completely muted by the liquid that fills his ears.

Briar opens his eyes, and all he sees is darkness. He can’t even see his own hand in front of his face. Incredibly relaxed and at peace, he’s unable to feel anything anymore. That dull ache in his ear is soothed, the previously burning scrapes on his knees no longer sting. He feels no pain in this moment, nor anything particularly pleasurable, just a blissful nothingness. His mind goes blank, and he can’t account for time anymore.

Without thinking, he takes a deep breath in, then out. He repeats the process, inhaling and then releasing a whoosh of bubbles that dance over his face. They twist in a hectic bunch, upward and away from him.

The tickle of bubbles washing over his face brings him back to the present. Bubbles aren’t supposed to escape with much frequency while underwater, and that fact concerns him. More importantly still, you don’t breathe underwater!