Friday, December 23, 2011

THE VICIOUS DEEP Cover Gets Revamped!

And by revamped, I do not mean it's been invaded by sparkly vampires (but there are shiny mermaids and merdudes in the book, or so I've heard). It's had a complete makeover, and I am loving it! Below is the book's official new cover and the synopsis:

When an unnatural riptide sweeps lifeguard Tristan Hart out to sea for three days and then dumps him back on the shore of Coney Island, it's the start of the Sea Court claiming its own. Suddenly, Tristan's girlfriend dramas and swimming championship seem like distant worries as he discovers the truth: he's a Merman. Now Tristan must fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity (if he still wants it), while competing in a race for a throne as ancient as the gods.
Like the seductive, duplicitous faeries of Wicked Lovely, these sirens of the deep have an agenda of their own.

The first word that came to my mind when I saw this new cover was "wicked." And it is wicked, right? I love the trident, the waves, the fonts used - EVERYTHING! The book is available for pre-order on Amazon, and it's not only gotten a new cover, but the book will now be in hardcover! It just gets better and better, doesn't it? My fins are definitely flipping for the release of The Vicious Deep.
What do you guys think? Do you love the cover as much as I do? Will you pre-order the book? Let me know in the comments below!

Christmas Under The Sea!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview With SYRENKA Trilogy Author Amber Garr



I want to be a writer someday. Most people know that about me. But before I wanted to be a writer, I always wanted to be a marine biologist. I even used to have the fantasy that I could be both! Amber Garr has managed to do both, and not only that, she writes about mermaids! Could there be a more perfect job? I recently caught up with Amber for a great interview! Check out our interview below!




Where did you get the idea for the Syrenka series?
The first chapter was originally a short story I wrote last year. I had just finished a different one about a Death Warden (someone who escorts souls to the next world after they are dead) and I wanted to continue with another set of characters. Mermaids have always been a favorite of mine, and I liked the idea that they could live in the same world as us and no one would ever know. I’m a huge fan of the urban fantasy genre so my short story just took on a life of its own and turned into a three book series!

In addition to being a writer, you’re also a marine biologist (awesome!). Was your professional knowledge of the sea incorporated into the story any?
Yes! Syrenka was a take on sirenians (sea cows and manatees), and I’ve conducted a lot of research in the Florida Keys so I’m familiar with the underwater landscape there. I also had to keep the scenery true to nature…like making sure the plants and animals were in the right location (California versus Florida). It had to be correct! Plus…I used to wish that I could live underwater, and although I get to do some of that with my job, this was an opportunity for me to create the kind of life I’ve always wanted.

Did you do any research into mermaid lore to build your world's mythology? Or is it your own original mythology?
I did some basic research, but more so for the selkie side. I purposely avoided reading other books about mermaids while I was forming the series so that I could create my own world without any subconscious influences. I used some of the traditional legends and put a slightly different spin on it. My mermaids are more like shape-shifters where they can take two different forms but don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. They are also a little bit like vampires in terms of the mind control and dominance over humans. I was drawn to the selkie folklore and how they can be stuck to a life on land if their skin is stolen. In my books, selkies have a relatively solitary life and are supposed to avoid interactions with mermaids. I also decided to include water sprites/faeries as an important group of creatures that have ties to both the mermaids and selkies.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
I would have to say that I enjoy Abhainn, the water sprite. It’s fun to write in a dialect and he is going to be an important part of Eviana’s life as the series progresses.

If you had to choose a side, who would it be: Mermaids or Selkies?
This is a tough one because I think it would be cool to be either! However, I am partial to the mermaids and think that’s the side I would choose.

How do you feel about this growing mermaid phenomenon?
I think it’s great! Don’t get me wrong, I love my share of vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc…but it’s nice to see an interest in a different mythology all together.

What do you hope readers will take away from Promises after reading it?
First, I hope that they are able to just sit back and enjoy travelling to another world for a while. It is the reason I read fiction every day…a chance to get away from it all. But as a YA novel, I also hope that there are some lessons learned about how to treat others, cope with what the world throws at you, and making the right choices.

And lastly, what other projects are you currently working on?
The second book of the series is complete and I will be making final edits on that over the next month. I am gearing up to write the third and final book right now. It’s all in my head so I’m excited to finally have the time to sit down and write!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lily's Adventure Continues...


Forgive My Fins and its sequel, Fins Are Forever, were among the first books to surface during the mermaid craze. Both books are light-hearted and funny, and they immerse the reader in a fully fleshed out underwater world. But will there be more books in the series? The author, Tera Lynn Childs, has said she hopes there will be more, providing sales are good. And they must be, because there is now going to be a third "Fins" book!

The third book is titled "Just For Fins," and to the right is the cover, and below is the synopsis of the book. WARNING: Read at your own risk, there are spoilers from the last book below.

When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.
But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.
Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!
In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people as well as for the humans she loves.


So, will you guys be checking out Just For Fins? For those who have read the first two books in the series, what did you think of them?

Underwater Love: The Fred the Mermaid Trilogy Bind-Up


The Fred the Mermaid Trilogy by MaryJanice Davidson is a light and funny series about a disgruntled half-mermaid and her undersea escapades. The books are becoming harder to find now, although not as hard as some other mermaid books. But now, for those who want to be able to read the entire trilogy, you'll be able to purchase an omnibus edition that contains all three of the books in one epic volume!
It's called Underwater Love, and it features all three books: Sleeping With the Fishes, Swimming Without a Net, and Fish Out of Water. I've reviewed all three of the books in one post here on the MerBlog, so you can check that out and then preorder the book. Underwater Love by MaryJanice Davison splashes into bookstores February 7th 2012!
Are YOU going to get Underwater Love? If you've already read the Fred the Mermaid books, what did you think?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Siren's Surrender (Dark Tides #2) by Devyn Quinn Review


Siren's Surrender is the second installment of the Dark Tides mermaid trilogy by Devyn Quinn. This one is quite different from the first novel, due to the fact that humans discover the existence of the Mer, and the mermaid sisters must deal with the realization that their lives may not belong to them anymore.
Unlike the first book, this one did not have as much mermaid action as the first. There were only two scenes, both brief, of the girls in their mer forms. This book focused more on the discovery of the Mer, and how they dealed with the G-men who had them quarantined. Basically, it reminded me of the last half of Splash, in which Madison the mermaid is caught by scientists, and then it's a race against the clock to save her. That's kind of like what happened here.
I do have to admit that I love the villain in this series. Queen Magaera is one evil mer queen, and she doesn't care who gets hurt along the way: she wants power, and lots of it. The actions she commits at the very end make me feel like the Lonike sisters are going to brace for an epic battle in the next book. I can't wait to see how the sisters deal with the Queen for good in the final novel.
All in all, it was another great addition to the Dark Tides trilogy, and I certainly can't wait to see how everything ends with the next book, Siren's Desire, which is Addison's story, and will be released next February.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon Review


If you've ever read the original story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, you might remember the human princess that stole the human prince's heart, as well as stole him from the little mermaid. It's a unique twist to be able to get inside her head for once and see the story from her eyes, in addition to the little mermaid's. The mermaid in this story, named Lenia, lives in a beautiful underwater kingdom ruled by her mother, the sea queen, and though contact with the human world is forbidden, Lenia dreams to explore this world and gain an immortal soul.
If you're familiar with the original story, this novel follows it fairly closely. However, this is not a children's book at all, and it does contain some adult content, especially concerning the little mermaid adapting to the differences between a human body and her mermaid body. It gets very detailed, but then again, it puts you in the fins shoes of a mermaid who is trying to get used to her new form.
There were also quite a few big changes to the story that were of the author's own imagination. For example, everyone gets a happy ending in this story, in their own way, a deviation from the original fairytale, which is darker and more heartbreaking. However, Carolyn Turgeon manages to capture the darkly beautiful essence of the original story while managing to spin her own version of the tale at the same time. Fans of the original The Little Mermaid looking for a more adult version of the tale will delight in Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper Review



Tangled Tides was one of my most anticipated books this year, and I am so glad it did not disappoint! From the opening chapter, the book jumps right into the action. Yara becomes a mermaid early on, and a whole new magical world beneath the sea is unveiled.
The mythology of this book was rich, refreshing, and a well-needed break from vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels. None of those here, but there are mermaids, selkies, sirens, and gorgons (even a water sprite or two), and learning the back stories and rules for each species, as well as how the different species interact with each other, was one the things most interesting to me about the book. And another thing - it’s difficult to choose which creature I liked the most. I loved them all!
The characters were also unique and fully fleshed out. You’ll cheer for Yara, our heroine, the girls will swoon over Treygan, and Pango will make you laugh. I loved each one of these uniquely amazing characters.
And the surprises! Filled with secrets, these characters are part of a feud that has lasted for eighteen years, and the complex web of lies and secrets that each character is a part of unravels as the novel progresses. You’ll probably gasp a time or two…I know I did.
So definitely read Tangled Tides, especially if you’re a fan of warring supernatural creatures, but you’re tired of the vampires and the werewolves. But also, give it a try if you’re looking for a great story filled with romance, adventure, and shocking twists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Once Upon A Time's Ariel (Almost) Cast?



Remember yesterday when I blogged about ABC's fairytale-themed show Once Upon a Time including Ariel as one of the characters? Well, not only are they pursuing a storyline for The Litle Mermaid, but it looks like they've got someone in mind to play the Disney heroine as well.
The casting directors appear to be chasing down Joanna Garcia to play Ariel. I've never heard of the actress before, but from her overall appearance, it looks like she would be able to capture Ariel's carefree and bubble personality quite well. Plus, she's a redhead, and we all know how much Ariel's hair is her signature trademark.
Do you think Joanna Gsrcia would be able to successfully play Ariel on Once Upon a Time?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guess Who's Swimming to ABC's Once Upon A Time?



Hey, guys! Sorry I've been gone so long, but this semester has been busy! I'm back now, with exciting news! Our favorite Disney heroine, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, might be showing up on ABC's Once Upon A Time! For those not familiar with the show, it puts well-known fairytale characters in our world, characters like Snow White, Cinderella, and various others. I've been hoping our favorite mermaid would pop up, and it looks like that's about to happen!
My only thought is whether or not the character is indeed Ariel, or another version of the little mermaid story. Other characters on the show, such as Sleeping Beauty's Malificent and the dwarves from Snow White, appear to be based on the Disney versions rather than the actual fairytales. And it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to include Ariel - after all, ABC is owned by Disney, so they could include her.
Will you guys watch the Little Mermaid in action on Once Upon a Time, as well as (hopefully) Ursula, Eric, King Triton, and all our other favorite characters from the film?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Exciting Disney News!

REALLY big news for those who loved the mermaids in Pireates of the Carribean.
Disney has just confirmed that they will be adding mermaids to the Pirates ride at Disney World!




I'm a bit hesitant to publish this, but OH. MY. GOD. I'm sorry, I'm a little kid every time I've been to Disney (like twice, but roll with me here). This is going to be amazing. Looking forward to this more than you know!

What are your opinions on this new addition? Let me know in the comments.

-Randi

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interview with Vanessa Barger


 
Thanks so much fo the interview! I always enjoy talking to people, and I hope that you get a chance to read Slack Tide and that you enjoy it!
 
1. How did your book come about? What was the inspiration?
 
Well, I'd known about selkies for awhile and thought that there were few books that featured them, and those I'd read that did didn't delve much into their mythology. After a strange dream one night, the story sort of emerged into what it is now. Starting mostly with the idea of the skin and the idea of it being able to transform something. And then it wasn't a far stretch for me to wonder if a skin could belong to more than one person.....

2. Selkies are starting to become just as trendy as merpeople. What drew you to them?
 
I think it was because I've always had a special interest in the UK and celtic folklore and mythology. Selkies just captured my imagination, and I figured they had so much more potential for merging my own take on them into what already exsisted. 
 

3. I always ask this question simply because it gets some weird answers, but what did you eat while writing?
 
What did I eat? Hmmmm... There was probably some chocolate in there. (Isn't there always), but I do remember that on at least two occaisions, there was tea, scones, homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. The whole nine yards.

4. If any, what music did you listen to while writing and/or inspired moments or scenes? I love book playlists.
 
There's a ton of songs on the playlist, but I can tell you that the ones featured most prominently were Running Up That Hill by Placebo, Moonlight Sonata, Imogen Heap, Tomanandy, Voodoo by Godsmack, and The Call by Regina Spektor, to name a few.

5. Just for fun, what was the last movie you saw and book you read?
 
Let's see... I just finished Fade by Lisa McMann last night, and I'm trying to start What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz. (though my overactive imagination demands that one be read in daylight!). as for movies, I watched the Vicar of Dibley Wedding Special last night. Hilarious, if you like Dawn French and/or Brit Coms!
 

6. Halloween is coming up. What are you doing on All Hallows Eve?
 
Every year we host a big Halloween party for all our friends (my roommate and I). So that's this weekend. This year we're doing a murder mystery and then heading to a flashlight corn maze. It should be fun. Each year the activities change. Sometimes its ghost tours through Williamsburg, sometimes its just hanging out around the house. This year is pretty low key, with only 15 guests, and only a few staying over. (There was one year we had about about 10 people speniding the night. Suffice to say, you had to be careful where you walked!)
 
On the actual night, I'll probably watch the Ghost Hunters Live event, and keep some candy, just in case any children brave the dark to get to our house out in the boonies. Its never happened yet, but its a goode excuse to buy candy!

7. What's your next writing project?
 
I'm in the middle of two, actually. I've got five more chapters left to write in a new thriller/mystery based very loosely on Hamlet, and I've got a romance/horror I'm outlining to use as my NANOWRIMO project.

8. Zombies or Unicorns?
 
oooo.... tough one. Zombie Unicorns? Think of how odd that would be!

 
Thanks again, and let me know if you need anything else - URLs, pics, etc.
 
:) Have a great night!
 
Vanessa

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mer Book Review: May, Daughters of the Sea #2 by Kathryn Lasky


After a re-read of number two, I think I'm ready to divulge my thoughts to you all on the second Daughters of the Sea book.

After strong-starter Hannah, May answers more questions and really starts to build the story up to what is sure to be a thrilling climax in the fourth novel.

First of all, the pacing of the book was MUCH better than Hannah. May doesn't wait nearly as long to dive in as Hannah. The funniest bit is that May and Hannah's stories are entwined and May gets a little antsy when Hannah STILL hasn't found out about her tail (I see what you did there Kathryn).

The setting here is Maine, where the last half of Hannah takes place. May lives in a lighthouse with her "foster" parents Edgar and Zeeba (I don't thnk I can spell her real name right to be honest. It's an odd name). Edgar found her at sea floating in a treasure chest (remember that bit, it's prominent in the story).  Zeeba is sick all the time and makes May care for her, which adds that sort of villian-y touch to the story (think someone like Gothel from Rapunzel).

However, there is a love story in this book, which I wasn't very happy with UNTIL I started actually reading the book. One of the things that made Hannah so special was that there was no love interest and that it was just a story about a maid that finds out she's a mermaid (I know, I'm punny, deal with it). It's a little overblown at times as the book progresses bit it is  a very sweet love interest and I can say I enjoyed it well enough.

Again, just the fact that this is a non-modern, non-super lovey dovey mermaid book is really something cool. This one seems to be aimed a little older than Hannah, but all in all, it's a fitting seuqel not to be missed if you read the first.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mer Book Review: Hannah, Daughters Of The Sea #1 by Kathryn Lasky


Hey everyone! Before I begin my review of this cool book, I want to thank everyone who recently started following the blog and reading these jewls on the Internet :) It means a lot to me and Garrett for each comment and follower, and I know that I for one am thrilled. Don't be shy! I'll be happy to read comments and  be total dorks with you all!

But onto the book review....

Kathryn Lasky (The Owls of Ga'Hoole series most notably, which was turned into a film last year) is writing a great quartet about mermaids called Daughters of the Sea, and I've read all the published volumes, which are Hannah, and May, which I'll review in my next post.

The basic premise is this: Three mermaid (triplets as they're all the same age) sisters seperated at birth and all sent in different directions and walks of life. This book focuses on Hannah. The year is 1899 and Hannah was put in an orphan home, and quickly sent off to a job as a scullery girl in a fine Boston Home. Whacked out stuff starts happening, and by the hands of fate, Hannah finds out she is a mermaid, and that the mysterious cool artist guy currently staying with aforementioned fine Boston family might know more about her than she does herself.

My one big complaint about this book is the pacing. Hannah is super oblivious to the whole mermaid thing, and it's in the last FIFTY pages that she discovers she is a mermaid, which leaves very little time to explore all the concepts and questions that come with that tail of hers. I spent the whole book resisting the urge to just shout " GO TAKE A SWIM!"

But there was a lot of other cooler things about the book.

1. It's a historical mermaid fiction. Not a lot of these out there, except for the occasional Greek Mythology ones (Sirena for example). Not only that, but a turn of the century setting. It makes for an interesting read.

2. Except for a brief moment with the painter I mentioned up there, there is no love interest in the book, which is super refreshing with all of the mer-books that revolve around love. And I'm not dissing those books at all, in fact, I enjoy them as much as the next mer-obssessed girl, but I do get a little tired of them sometimes. That was one of the coolest things about the book. It made me like it a lot more.

3. Hannah wasn't Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill, but she wasn't a completely whimpy heroine either. She was a little plucky, but not mouthy. There was something fun about her strongwilled but demure aspects. It was a nice blend. She's like a mix of the headstrong Katniss from the Hunger Games with a  big dose of Alice of Wonderland.

4. This book really sets up the sequel really well, which after reading the sequel, I like this book even  better.

It's aimed at the more tween set, but I know adults who've enjoyed the series as well. You won't find the cheesy processed romance or lots of brain food, but a good period read that's unique from a lot of other mer-books.

Review of the sequel to come soon after I give it another read.

-Randi

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Little Mermaid Will Be In 3D!


Most of us mermaid fans had our love begin with Ariel. Disney's The Little Mermaid is a classic movie that still has legions of fans even today, and it's one of the studio's most well-known films.
With the success of The Lion King's rerelease in theaters in 3D, Disney has decided to release other movies in the same way. And one of those movies is none other than Ariel's story!
The Little Mermaid in 3D is set for a release date of September 13, 2013. That's a long wait, but it's definitely going to be worth it! I can't wait to see Ariel and her underwater world on the big screen, even if it is in 3D! (Especially the final battle scene with Ursula - that should be epic!)
So, what do you guys think about The Little Mermaid being released in 3D? Will you go see it? Or are you content with the DVD and don't want to spend that extra few dollars on 3D glasses? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview with RANDI!

And now the long awaited final chapter!

1. How long have you been interested in mermaids? How exactly did you get interested in them?

I got hooked (haha, punny!) after seeing The Thirteenth Year admittedly. The acting was bad, but the whole idea intrigued me. Then I found H20 and then I started having whacko dreams about merpeople, and then I figured I'd write some books about them. And thus began the obssession.

2. If you could be in any mer-book or movie (human or mermaid) which would it be?

Hmmm, I really liked Kathyn Lasky's Daughter's of the Sea series, but you couldn't go back and forth, so that'd be a con... I'd have to go with that one though. Or maybe The Fins series. I haven't finished it yet, but at least you can get a bit of land, a bit of sea.

3. Which merworld would you NOT live in?

Much as I loved the book, I wouldn't want to live in Lost Voices, because of all that's implied when you get a tail, that trauma that gets you there and all. Plus, they were all at each other's throats at some point in the book. I'm sort of a hippy, I can't take drama like that very well.

4. What's been your favorite post on the blog?

I really liked following the build-up to Lady Gaga's mermaid video, because I thought that video was pretty cool :) But don't get me wrong, I love posting on the blog and every little blurb is special.

5. What's your most anticipated mer-related thing of any sort to happen in 2012? (It's ok if there's more than one).

Ooooh, you know, I'm excited about the films coming up. I want to be a director when I get older and I'm excited to see some of the films that are in development. Oh, and tons of books too.

6. What do you think of the recent upsurge in mermaid popularity?

It's a little bittersweet in the sense that I thought I was being super unique writing about mermaids, but I've also found more people who are into merpeople because of it. Like this blog for example ;)

7. So you're a big music fan. What songs or bands do you think would make a great mermaid soundtrack?

I'd actually assembled a playlist for the blog, but I haven't got around to posting it yet. But for bands, Florence + the Machine wihtout a doubt. Florence herself is so like a mermaid it's hard to imagine anyone else, though if I did, I'd probably come up with Tori Amos or someone sort of like that. And for composers, Alexendre Desplat (The last two Harry Potter movies, The King's Speech) or Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Carribean, Inception, ect).



8. What other interests do you have besides mermaids?

Well like I said, film, music, writing, books, and I'm on a quest for rainbow knee socks and Dr. Suess Chuck Taylors. I have a wizard rock project called Love Wrocks, that plays songs about Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, and a bunch of other cool stuff. I'm just looking to explore all kinds of stuff to see what I like and do best.

9. We've gotten to interview a lot of authors. What's been your favorite interview?

Well I got to interview Maijia Barnett, author of Black Waters, which was cool because I really enjoyed the book, but Sarah Porter was awesome as well.



10. You've written a series of mermaid-themed books that you said you might publish on Kindle someday. How did you get the idea for the series?

Awww, now I feel bad, I should've plugged your writing too! But yes, I am writing a merpeople series. The overview name isn't decided yet, but the first book is Dancing Barefoot, the second is Bottle It Up, and the third is Falling or Flying, which I haven't finished the last one yet. All the titles are song names, and extra points as to who can guess all three in the comments, heheheh. But I got the idea from the aforementioned whacko dreams I had about merpeople, and I was really looking in to developing an underwater universe and people but incorporate the land to. It's going pretty well. But not ready for le Kindle yet!

11. Just for kicks, what was the last movie you watched?

I think it was Sucker Punch or Kill Bill. I'm on an action movie kick. I think I liked Kill Bill better though. I need to watch Sucker Punch to determine what's real or not though.

12. Do you have any other blog type things besides this one?
YES! www.distractedgenius.blogspot.com and I'm on Tublr as well under the same name.

13. So, what's YOUR favorite food?

Hmmm.... I'm a Greek food person, so baklava, but there's also this popsicle stand that sets up at our local Farmer's Market, and they make Peach And Cream popsicles that are delicious.    

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interview with GARRETT!


Surprise! Garrett and I interviewed each other once we hit fifty followers so this is his interview! Mine will be following shortly.


1. What prompted you to found the mer-blog?
Well, I started it when this whole mermaid craze finally started kicking off. I tried creating a blog about mermaid-oriented books in the past, but in the time there wasn't much. It was when mermaids started to surface in books, music, and movies that I decided to make a blog that had all this information in one place, where mermaid fans could find out about the latest in mer pop culture.
2. If you could be in any mer-book or movie (human or merman) which would it be?
I'm not picky, I'd like to be in quite a few of them. But the most recent would probably have to be as a character in the Forgive My Fins world. Normally, I would want to be a merman, but in FMF, there's hope for land-dwellers, too, as humans can be turned mer also!
3. Which merworld would you NOT live in?
Hmmm...probably the Pirates of the Caribbean world. It'd be scary to live in a world where the mer girls eat you!
4. What's been your favorite post on the blog?
I'd have to say the interviews. I can't pick just one! I know, I know, that's cheating, but I love each and everyone. I love picking the brains of each individual author and learning more about the mermaid world they've created.
5. What's your most anticipated mer-related thing of any sort to happen in 2012? (It's ok if there's more than one)
I'd have to say all the new mermaid books! Tempest Unleashed, The Vicious Deep, Of Poseidon, Waking Storms, and, even though it's in this year, Tangled Tides!!!

6. What was your reaction to passing the fifty followers mark?
I was excited I even got one! I remember after the first week and I already had ten followers, I was beaming. This is the reason why I started the MerBlog - to spread the mermaid love to other mermaid fans!
7. Just for kicks, what was the last movie you watched?
Ummm...movie? Probably The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon. I really liked that one and its message that sometimes love can overcome all obstacles...even fate. The last thing I actually watched was Terra Nova - gotta love Spielberg and dinosaurs!
8. What do you think of the recent upsurge in mermaid popularity?
I LOVE IT!!! For years, I've been wanting new mermaid books to come out. I'd read the same ones over and over. I remember when I first saw Forgive My Fins. I has Googled "people need to write more mermaid books," and it was one of the first things to pop up. Soon after, more and more mermaid books started to show up, until I was beside myself in excitement. I hope it lasts for years and years.
9 If you could pick one band to provide the music to a mer-movie, who would it be?
Hmmm... I think it depends on the mood you're looking for. If it was for a beachy, feel-good movie, maybe Weezer, whose "Island in the Sun" is the perfect beach song and was used in Aquamarine. But I really love Florence and the Machine. Their music is truly magical, perfect for a mermaid movie.
10. So you're a guy, and you're into merpeople, and I know you've said that people think it's weird sometimes. Has that changed any since merpeople started to become trendy?
I think so. No one says anything about my mermaid interest anymore that's negative, mainly because since then I've gotten more confident in what I'm interested in and don't feel the need to hide it anymore. This is who I am, this is what I like, so why hide it? Surprisingly, a lot of people seem to respond to it rather well, probably because of the new Pirates movie. People now see mermaids as darker and more complex, rather than the traditional Disney princess.
11. So what do you do besides keeping up with our now massively popular blog?
Well, I'm a senior in high school, counting down the days till it's over. :D But I'm also a massive fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood, besides mermaids. Buffy + mermaids + Sookie = bliss.
12. The last book/book series you read?
The last book I finished was the first book in a 4-book series of Buffy novels, entitled The Lost Slayer. (Yes, I'm so obsessed with Buffy, I read the tie-in novels, too. My English teacher hated me for it, lol.)
13. Do you have any other blog type things besides this one?
I used to, but now I've basically given up on them. Some of the reviews I have on my old blog I've copied and pasted and made new blog posts on here. So, it's kind of like Blog Post Recycling.
14. We've gotten to interview a lot of authors. What's been your favorite interview?
Ooh! What a trick question! I can't answer that. Seriously! I've loved each one and getting each author's different take on mermaids, so I'd say each one has different unique qualities as to why I love them.
15. Lastly, one of my trademark questions I always end up asking anyone: What's your favorite food?
Haha, that's easy. My mom makes this special dish called Mexican Chicken that I LOVE! It's like a casserole with chicken, Velveeta Cheese, Rotel tomatoes, and it's topped with a layer of Doritos that act as a crust for the casserole. Yum! It's insanely delicious, and it's a rare thing for there to be leftovers. In fact, friends from school actually make me tell them when Mom's making it to invite them over. It's definitely a favorite among friends and family!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview + Giveaway With THE VICIOUS DEEP Author Zoraida Cordova


Zoraida Cordova's the awesome author of The Vicious Deep, her debut novel which releases in April 2012. Below's a little snippet of Zoraida's bio:
Zoraida C√≥rdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night. She loves getting tweets @zlikeinzorro and making funny faces on her YouTube channel ZoraidaLand.
And for those who want to know more about The Vicious Deep, here's the book's summary courtesy of Goodreads:
Set against the backdrop of a Coney Island summer comes The Vicious Deep, the story of sixteen year old Tristan Hart whose life is turned upside down when the mermaids make an unscheduled return to land in search of their new king.
When a sudden storm pulls Tristan from lifeguard duty into a deadly riptide, he discovers what he really is—a prince of the Sea Court. Turns out, his girlfriend hopping and talents as a swimmer aren’t caused by his teenage prime hormones after all.
In this modern Arthurian tale with a twist, when all a guy wants to do is get The Girl and enjoy the freak show that is a Coney Island summer, Tristan has to fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity, if he still wants it, as he’s caught in a race for a throne that is as ancient as the gods.

And now for the interview! Check it out below:

How did you get the idea for The Vicious Deep?
It starts with a boy.
I've always wanted to write a large scale story about a Sea Kingdom. In the end, I got the idea for Tristan when I saw this pensive and brooding lifeguard at the beach. I had found my merman. I already had his name picked out and the world just fell into place around him.

The Vicious Deep has a male protagonist (which I'm excited about myself). Was it challenging for you to write from the perspective of a teenage boy?
A lot of my best friends are boys so I just wrote like them. I didn't think of it as "writing" from a boy as much as "I'm writing as Tristan Hart." We all have gender stereotypes that make us wonder how a writer can pull of a gender not their own. If you look at books like WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight and GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray, you think about the voice. You think about the story. You go for the ride.

I love writing in Tristan's voice because that's someone who I'd like to know and see. I'm excited for everyone to get to know him.

Did you have a character that was most fun to write about, or that you maybe felt you could relate to most?
I love writing about the minor characters the best. Sure, everyone cheers for the hero and want to right the wrongs of the villain. But it is the little people that make the book spark. You discover the newness of Tristan's world along side him.

How do you feel about this sudden surge in popularity mermaids have gotten?IT HAS TO STOP!

Just kidding. I love it! It almost seems like there's this collective energy that happens. Like we were writing/selling our novels at the same time. It's all so very cool. I also try not to think of it as a trend as much as merfolk getting their chance in the spotlight. Vampires have become so accessible. But mermaids have always been a mystery. So I hope we can share some of that magic.

What type of research did you do on mermaids for The Vicious Deep, if any?
I feel like the world is what I want it to be. I've grown up looking at a lot of mermaid art. Online, in books, things that I paint myself. I also have some non-fiction books about mermaid sightings. My favorite is a collection of folktales from all around the world depicting mermaids. It reminds me of the stories coming out now with all of our different takes.

What do you hope readers will take away from The Vicious Deep after reading it?I hope they walk away with a desire to read book 2!
On the more serious side, I want everyone to love the world I've created. My modern New York Wonderland.

How many books will there be of Tristan's adventures?There are two sure books. The Vicious Deep and a currently untitled book 2. (There is a title, it's just not official) The outline for book 2 is wayyy long. So, we'll see.

Finally, are there any other projects you're currently working on?
I have a witchy stand alone, a YA with santeria, a vampire novel I've been working on since high school. There are going to be a lot of books!


Now onto the giveaway! Zoraida's offering up a "Mermaid Starter's Pack," which includes a hardcover copy of Siren by Tricia Rayburn, Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs, and a 5x7 art photo inspired by the novel that includes a one line excerpt. So if you want to be introduced to the mermaid world, or you're already a fan and want to win some great mermaid stuff, here's what to do.

1) Follow this blog. (If you already follow it, more power to ya!)
2) Leave a comment below, telling me who your favorite mermaid/merdude is, and also include your email address.

And that's it! The giveaway ends next Sunday, October 9th. It is only open for the US (sorry, international peeps!) Good luck guys!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WAKING STORMS (Lost Voices Book 2) Cover Reveal!


Lost Voices by Sarah Porter is a mermaid book filled with darkness, pain, and mesmerizing beauty. It's also the first in a trilogy. I've reviewed the book - and even interviewed it's amazingly talented author, Sarah Porter - on the MerBlog before. Waking Storms is the second book in the trilogy, set for a tentative release date of July 2012. For those unaware of what the book's about, here's the summary courtesy of Goodreads:
After parting ways with her troubled mermaid tribe, Luce just wants to live peacefully on her own. But her tranquility doesn't last long: she receives news that the tribe is on the verge of collapse and desperately needs her leadership. Anais, their cruel queen, wants Luce dead. Dorian, the boy Luce broke mermaid law to save, is determined to make her pay for her part in the murder of his family. And while the mermaids cling to the idea that humans never suspect their existence, there are suddenly ominous signs to the contrary.

But when Luce and Dorian meet, they start to wonder if love can overpower the hatred they know they should feel for each other. Luce's new friendship with an ancient renegade mermaid gives her hope that her kind might someday change their murderous ways. But how can Luce fulfill her rightful role as queen of the mermaids without sacrificing her forbidden romance with Dorian?

Full of miraculous reunions and heart-pounding rescues, this haunting second installment in the Lost Voices Trilogy finds Luce eager to attempt reconciliation with humans—as long as war doesn't break out first.


Sounds good, huh? I'll definitely be checking this one out. Hopefully, Netgalley will have it, being that's how I read the first.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview With TANGLED TIDES Author Karen Amanda Hooper!




Karen Amanda Hooper is the incredibly awesome author of the upcoming book, Tangled Tides, Book 1 of the Sea Monster Memoirs and which features a dazzling array of supernatural sea creatures, including mermaids! Check out my interview with Karen below!

How did you get the idea for Tangled Tides?

This may seem crazy but the idea was sparked while I was walking my dogs and came across a neighbor’s sidewalk covered with dead worms. Yup, that’s right, worms. I kept thinking how sad it was that they looked like they were trying to cross to the grass but didn’t make it. That moment combined with my childhood love of mermaids sparked the basic idea of my story: sea creatures trying to make it back to their realm before they die in ours. (And yes, I incorporated the odd worm connection through a scene in the book. I’m weird like that.)


I’ve been frequently checking out your blog for a couple of years now, it seems. And congratulations on finally getting to see the novel be published. What was the whole process of getting published like?

Thank you! And big hugs for reading my blog!
Honestly, getting published was an unexpected surprise. I queried the manuscript a couple years ago and then shelved it after I didn’t get any offers of representation from agents. I was querying a totally different project when USA Today published an article about mermaids being the next big trend. A few writer friends emailed me suggesting that I self-publish my mermaid story. I took it as a sign from the universe, asked a couple author friends about their experiences with self-publishing, and one of those friends suggested I submit it to her publisher. I did and viola! A couple months later Rhemalda offered me a contract. A perfect example of how the universe works in mysterious and unexpected ways. And that the universe knows what it’s doing because I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.

Tangled Tides features a colorful diversity of mythological sea creatures: merfolk, selkies, sirens, and gorgons. Did you do any research to find all these creatures, or did you automatically know they would play a role in the story?

I knew they’d all play a part, I just wasn’t sure how. I don’t outline or plot ahead, so my characters and details of my stories develop and change as I write (and as my critique partners make suggestions). The merfolk and selkies were the easiest to develop. I had a pretty clear idea of what they’d be like from the start, but the sirens surprised me. They turned out more sultry and sinister than I originally intended. I researched birds quite a bit to develop their gestures and habits. My odd affinity for gorgons developed when I was a kid. I loved the original Clash of the Titans movie, but I was always felt sorry for Medusa when Perseus killed him. I hooked her up with a much better role in my story.

Which character did you have most fun writing about?

Oh, it’s so hard to choose just one. Let me think…
Okay, seriously, I vacuumed and made coffee and gave it A LOT of thought and I can’t choose just one. Please don’t make me! Yara, Treygan, and Rownan were so important they each got their own voice and POV, but I had so much fun creating Nixie, Pango, Koraline and Delmar…and Jack. And Kai. And Otabia. And Kimber. See, I love all of them.

I love the names in your story (Yara, Treygan, Rownan, etc.) And I actually looked up the meaning of Yara (it means “seagull.” How fitting!) Did you find all the names, or make some of them up on your own?

Can I just say how much I love that you looked up Yara’s name? *huge grin*
I did a lot of research on the name Yara. Yes, in some cultures it means seagull—which was so fitting, but depending on the language Yara also means: Mermaid of the river, the song of love and death, one who guides or teaches, and the line that separates the stars from the ocean. Really, she has the perfect name for her.
And Treygan. *sigh*
I put a lot of research into his name too. One of the things I found that fit him perfectly was this: the name Treygan creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, it causes an emotional intensity that is hard to control…driven with a strong inner urge to be of service in some way that would uplift humanity as a whole…a tendency to assume too heavy a burden of responsibility for others.
Once you read the book you’ll totally get it.
The rest of the names I just randomly picked and/or made up, or they’re already established characters in mythology like Medusa and her sisters.

Since sea monsters abound in Tangled Tides, what sea creature - mythical or not - is your favorite?

In real life I adore the honu (the Hawaiian sea turtle). I had experiences swimming with them in the wild in Hawaii and I totally fell in love.
Mythical, I’d want to be Yara. She’s a breed all her own. *wink wink*

How do you feel about the rise in popularity mermaids have recently gotten?

I wrote a whole post about this but I’ll try to summarize my feelings. I’ve loved merfolk since I was two years old, so I’m excited to be part of the trend, and to read all the other mermaid stories. (I waited until mine was done so I didn’t accidentally copy any ideas.) At the same time I worry that my story will get lost in the crowded sea of mer books (pun intended).

What do you hope readers will take away from Tangled Tides after reading it?

In my story there’s a reoccurring theme of love. Love of self, family, friends, soul mates, even love of knowledge and life in general. I’m a big believer in loving with everything you’ve got. I hope Tangled Tides reminds readers how important and powerful love is.

Can we expect more Sea Monster Memoirs to come in the future?

Yes indeedy. I’m working on book 2 right now.

And lastly, are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
I have a YA reincarnation manuscript that a few agents and a publisher have had since before I pulled Tangled Tides out of the drawer. Also, I started writing a few scenes for a whole different YA paranormal. All I can say about that one is that it’s much colder than any of my other stories. *mischievous smile*

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Garrett. I loved these questions. Discussing my sea peeps always makes me happy.

To find out more about Karen Amanda Hooper's debut novel Tangled Tides, swim on over to Goodreads, where you can also enter a giveaway for the book! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12047201.Tangled_Tides_The_Sea_Monster_Memoirs_1_

Sunday, September 25, 2011

H2O: Just Add Water Stars: Where Are They Now?


First, before I continue, let me just say that this blog post isn't strictly limited to mermaids, but about two actresses who are well-liked in the mermaid community due to their work on a mermaid-themed show. The two of them are now playing supernatural creatures on American TV shows. Phoebe Tonkin and Claire Holt, who played mermaids Cleo and Emma respectively on the hit Australian television series H2O: Just Add Water, are making a splash on the American network, the CW, playing supernatural beings on two of the channel's most popular shows, The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.


Claire Holt played Emma Gilbert on H2O, a mermaid who was the self-appointed leader of the group. Holt left the show after its second season, moving to America to star in other shows and movies, such as The Messengers 2 and Pretty Little Liars. But now, she's going to be playing Becky, a vampire on the CW's most popular show, The Vampire Diaries. She hasn't yet made her appearance on the show, but she might be appearing in next Thursdays's episode, entitled "The End of the Affair." It'll be pretty cool to see my favorite mermaid playing a vampire on another favorite show of mine.


Now on to Phoebe Tonkin. She played shy and insecure mermaid Cleo, but now she's playing a character who is the exact opposite of Cleo - Faye, a confident and badass witch on the CW show The Secret Circle. I have seen the show, and Tonkin is the best actress on the show. She's funny but with a dark, dangerous side to her - it makes me think Faye's going to go off the deep end pretty soon. I love Phoebe Tonkin, and I hope her character Faye has a long life on The Secret Circle.
I haven't looked into any of the projects that the other former H2O stars might be doing, as I don't think any of them are doing American television. (Although Craig Horner, who played Emma's boyfriend in Season 2, was doing an American TV show called Legend of the Seeker, but it has since been cancelled.)
Well, that's it for this time around! Keep swimming by for more mermaid news!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Fred the Mermaid Trilogy by MaryJanice Davidson

MaryJanice Davidson is well-known for her Vampire Queen Betsy paranormal-romance series. But she's also written about mermaids, with the Fred the Mermaid Trilogy, consisting of three books entitled Sleeping With the Fishes, Swimming Without a Net, and Fish Out of Water, released in 2006, 2007, and 2008 respectively.
Fred is the anti-Ariel; she's cranky, ill-tempered, and she's pretty much as un-mermaidlike as you can get. Check out my reviews of all three of the books below:


Book 1: Sleeping With the Fishes
Sleeping With the Fishes is a laugh-out-loud book that turns the mermaid genre upside down. The book is filled with snide remarks toward the well-known 'Little Mermaid' and 'Splash' movies, mainly as a way to show how un-mermaidlike Fred really is. I loved all the characters in this book, and the way they interacted with each other. MaryJanice Davidson is great at coming up with snarky dialogue and one-liners that make me laugh at loud and look like a freak to anyone in the vicinity of me while I'm reading. It's a quick read, and you could probably breeze through it in a day or two. It's mostly fluff and comedic fodder, a good escapism when you're looking for something light that you don't have to analyze. Plus, if you love mermaids and want to see a different side to the mermaid myth, you'll love this book!


Book 2: Swimming Without a Net
The cover of this book caught my eye from its place on the shelf, and after weeks of contemplating, I decided to pick it up and read it. I'd heard of the first book in the Fred the Mermaid Trilogy, Sleeping With The Fishes, but I had never gotten around to reading it. I probably won't read it, even though this book was...well, tolerable. Okay, if this book hadn't been about a mermaid, I don't think I would have ever picked it up. It was okay, but it could have been waaay better. The novel was 304 pages, and most of that was made up because of the large font size, with few lines on each page, and almost twent-five pages of quotes, acknowlegments, title pages, and author notes. Basically, Swimming Without a Net is all fluff, no story. With only a few good descriptions of the mermaids, barely any action, and Fred's usual grumpiness running abundantly throughout, this book has its random charming moments, several attempts at humor, and one very brief sex scene.
My advice: read at your own risk. I only read it because it was about a mermaid.



Book 3: Fish Out of Water
Fish Out Of Water was A LOT better than the previous book, Swimming Without A Net. In this one, the mystery of Fred's biological father is finally solved, but he might not be as warm and caring about Fred as he first appears...
I read this novel in about a day, because it's very short, and the font size and word count for each page is very minimal. Like the second book, there was almost thirty pages of quotes, acknowledgments, author notes, a 3-sentence long prologue, and title pages galore!
Personally, I don't think it would be too hard to come up with ideas for a mermaid book. Since there's hardly any out there, you can practically write whatever you want! (I have written a few myself, a time or two.) Why the Fred the Mermaid series is lacking in plot is a mystery to me. That being said, I wish this wasn't the last book, because the series could have eventually started to get better. The reason I liked this book better was that Swimming Without A Net didn't get was because of the climax of this book. There was actually some intense action going on there! Plus, the book has to be given props for such a beautiful cover!
So, there's my review for the third and final book of the Fred the Mermaid Trilogy. Fish Out Of Water may be better than the previous novel, but it still has its own problems.

If you think the Fred the Mermaid books might be for you, definitely check them out! A warning, though, that these books are adult and do have adult content. So if you're okay with that, you die-hard mermaid fans don't want to miss these!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mermaid Films: Part 2 of 5 Location

So you have your incredibly talented cast, your suited-to-the-film director, now you need to know where to film your epic mermaid movie of awesome. We'll go by your type of movie and how you can play off your location to the best advantage of a film.


For your typical epic high fantasy sort of film (it can be one with a darker portrayal of merpeople or it can work with a lighter tone as well), you'll want to go to where most epic fantasies are filmed: New Zealand. You've got plenty of beautiful locales to do your scenes on land (if you have any, which odds are you will) and many more for the water bits. If you don't believe me, just watch the Extended versions of The Lord of the Rings a couple times.

For a dark take on an Urban fantasy, I'd go with Boston or Washington D.C. Washington is a little harder with the water scenes, but there are great bodies of water in the proximity. Boston might be a bit easier in that aspect however.

Or, if you're going in the vein of the beloved "Splash" New York of course :) Another interesting though would be Canada. I've always thought of setting some mermaids up in Canada. Maybe that's just me.

Either way, lemme know what you think guys!

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,
Rnadi

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baseball Players Dig Mermaids


Picture this: a baseball player tries to win the heart of a beautiful mermaid. Sounds like a romance novel waiting to happen, right? Well, this story is more fact than fiction. Philadelphia Phillies outfielder John Mayberry apparently wants to date the Albanian model and actress, Antoinette Nikprelaj, who, as some of you might know, played one of the beautiful but vicious mermaids in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.


A series of emails were leaked from Mayberry's LA-based agent, who tried to help set him up with Nikprelaj, but guess what? This mermaid's taken. She's married and has a daughter. So it looks like there's no luck for this landlubber.

But there's plenty of fish in the sea. And I'm sure there are lots of other mermaids out there looking for love with a landlocked human. I mean, there was an entire cast of Pirates mermaids, right?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Water Trilogy by Kara Dalkey

Water is a historical fantasy trilogy that was released in 2002 and is about mermaids, aliens, and Atlantis. Yeah, it may sound like these three things are an unlikely combination, but they fit so well together in a mesmerizing unique world created by author Kara Dalkey. Check out my reviews below of each of the novels in the trilogy: Ascension, Reunion, and Transformation.


Book #1: Ascension
Ascension was a great introduction to the Water Trilogy. Kara Dalkey's undersea world of mermaids, aliens, and Atlanteans was fully developed, lacking nothing. I loved the writing, and Dalkey perfectly captures Nia's uneasy feeling that her treasured underwater world is but an illusion. The final scenes of the book are filled with twists, turns, and very unexpected surprises. If you love mermaids, definitely check out this unique spin. This would also be a great introduction into high fantasy. I can't wait to check out Reunion and Transformation, the next two parts of the trilogy.


Book #2: Reunion
I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant to read this one. The beginning was very slow, as I'm not a big historical fantasy fan, and the entire first quarter of the book was the typical medieval story. But once Nia showed back up, the story got rolling and I was hooked once more. I stayed up late, knowing I had school in the morning, just to keep reading, and the next day I was still reading it every spare chance I got. While I loved the first book, Ascension, more, I loved Reunion for many different reasons.
I have to say, Nia is one of my favorite - if not already my favorite - mermaid heroines. She is brave and daring, standing up to defy even barbaric kings in a mission to save her people. I sense a budding romance between her and Corwin. I wonder where that's going to go...
All in all, it was a fantastic read, not as good as the first, but a welcome addition to the Water Trilogy. I'm definitely sinking back into the third and final book, Transformation, and I can't wait to see how all the action, twists, and turns unfold to create the book's explosive conclusion.
So definitely check out Reunion if you're a mermaid or historical fantasy fan!


Book #3: Transformation
WOW! This one was epic! I read it in just two sittings - in one day, too. Everything just builds to a huge climax, and there was action around every corner. I still love Nia. The scene in the Farworlder nursery made me cheer her on, because you can tell Nia's ready to kick some Avatar butt. I love Dalkey's writing as well; there were several lines that made me chuckle as I read. We also return to Atlantis in this one, which we didn't get to see in the second novel. I tore through this book, and now I'm sad that I've read the whole trilogy. This one was definitely bittersweet, and the very final scene of the book was a big unpredictable twist that makes you go, "Huh...never saw that one coming." (If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.)

So definitely dive into the Water Trilogy by Kara Dalkey and immerse yourself in her breathtaking underwater world!

Monday, August 29, 2011

MerBook Review: EVERBLUE By Brenda Pandos


Everblue by Brenda Pandos has such an addicting, mesmerizing quality to it. I would open the book up, telling myself I would only read one - maybe two - chapters, only to look down at the page number and see I'd read over a hundred. When I put the book down, I immediately wanted to pick it up again and keep reading. That's what made Everblue a 5/5 stars book. When I book grips you so strongly to where your eyes linger on the page, that's when you know you have a great book.
The book itself flows smoothly, like...well, water, which I guess is fitting. It moves fast, too, not lingering on one scene for longer than necessary. It also had an equal balance between Fin and Ash, switching back at forth at such a reasonable pace, so as I didn't get bored from reading from the perspective of one character. The middle of the book slowed a bit for me, but not for long - soon after it was back on track and I was lost in its pages again.
I also found Everblue to be refreshing in its love story. It wasn't another one of those stories where the girl lays eyes on the "incredibly-hot-supernatural-dude" once, and she's instantaneously in love with him. Fin and Ash are next-door neighbors who have been crushing on each other since the sixth grade, and they've kept their love for each other secret all this time.
The mermaid mythology in the book was very intriguing; for example, I liked how Pandos described how mermaids can become humans, and vice versa, as well as how sunlight gives them legs. The mer world was incredibly thought out, and I think the villains were great, too, how it seemed like the mers-in-charge were in on some big conspiracy.
The book definitely leaves you hanging, I'll admit, which will be addressed in the sequel. I can't wait to see what happens next, and I will most definitely be reading the sea-quel! So, if you're a fan of mermaids or paranormal romance with a twist, check out Everblue, Book 1 of the Mer Tales!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whoops....

Sorry guys, I made two mistakes in posting.

One, it's Maijia Barnett, the A got cut off when I posted.
Two, the You and I video has now been officially released on VEVO and the link I poted before hand is now useless. So here's the moment we've all been waiting for....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9YMU0WeBwU

Interview with Black Waters Author, Maija Barnett

How did you get the idea for Black Waters?

I've always been fascinated by mermaids. It probably started back when I saw Splash. I remember really liking the underwater footage in that movie. (If you haven't seen it, they make Daryl Hannah look like an actual mermaid. As a kid, I was stunned.) Anyway, I've wanted to write a mermaid novel for a long time. I actually started one before I wrote Black Waters, but it wasn't really going anywhere, so I scrapped it and started fresh.

What do you think is the allure in mermaids?

think what's appealing about mermaids is their dark history. I remembering reading James Joyce's Ulysses in college and being assigned to present the chapter about the sirens. Let me tell you, they are evil. But what I like about mermaids is that the present day culture has, for the most part, made them good. Just think of Disney's Little Mermaid-- she doesn't seduce the prince into smashing his ship into a pile of rocks. Instead, she saves his life. (It's just like the Hans Christian Andersen tale except, of course, everything works out in the end.) So, I wanted to create an ethically torn character--one who's unclear as to whether she's good or not. Also, I love the whole transformation idea of mermaids. It's amazing to think that someone can seem human in one moment and then turn into a sea creature in the next.


The mythology in the book is really cool in the fact that the sirens are part fish as well as bird. How did you figure out how to combine the two together?

Well, technically, sirens and mermaids are different because sirens are women who are part bird and mermaids are women who are part fish. However, I think that the difference between the two has become a bit blurred, probably because both of these mythological creatures use their voices to capture their prey. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to turn mermaids and sirens into one being. I took a lot of license with the mythology surrounding the two and sort of came up with my own hybrid version complete with a new mythology to go with it.

Did you listen to any music while writing? If so, what?

You know, I've tried, but I find that I can't listen to music when I write. It's too distracting for me. I am, however, a spectacularly awful typist, so I do listen when I'm running through spell check. I don't know if that really counts, but Sarah McLachlan usually fits my mood when I'm spell checking.

What have been some of your favorite mer-books?

It's funny, but I haven't read a ton of mer-books. I was, however, really inspired by Margaret Atwood's poem, Siren Song. I've always loved that poem, and I actually read it at least twice a week while I was writing my rough draft. It really helped me get the novel's mood.

Mermaids/sirens are getting a lot of attention in the mainstream media lately? Are you surprised by this?

I am kind of surprised. It took me about three years to write Black Waters, and, believe it or not, I thought I was being unique. But then, when I decided to try and publish it, there were already a bunch of mermaid books out there, all published around the same time. That' s actually why I decided to go indie. The market seemed so saturated with mermaids that I decided it might be hard to get an agent. So I just put mine up on my own.

What did you eat while you were writing (it always has an effect on me while I write)?
I don't think food really affects my writing much, so I pretty much stuck to what I usually eat (mostly vegetarian). I did however, step up the caffeine consumption. I have two little kids, so I either have to write really early in the morning or late at night. Sometimes I need a jolt to get going.

What can we expect in the next book in the series?
Well, I don't want to give too much away, but Abby will definitely be revisiting the Shadowlands. Of course, Eleanor will be involved. Also, Brian will struggle with the possibility of transforming into a serpent, losing his identity to Hendrick, or possibly both. I'm in the rough draft stage right now, but this book is moving a lot faster than the first one did. (This probably has to do with the fact that my kids are a little older now and can entertain themselves.) So, hopefully, the second installment will be out there soon.

Thanks so much for interviewing me. Your readers can find out more about me and see my book trailer at http://maijabarnett.blogspot.com/.

Surprise!

Lady Gaga has released the music video for You And I a few days early! While it's not the official version,  we've got a full music video, and yes Yuyi is featured!
Here's the link and give us some feedback!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NK02HXzcPM

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,
Randi

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Black Waters by Maiji Barnett


Black Waters was one of the better works published in the recent outbreak of mer-fiction, and I enjoyed it to the full extent of enjoyabililty.
The best part of this book was the mythology. It always kind of bothered me that sirens are always half fish and not half bird, but in Black Waters, they're both. The snakes were also a welcome addition and felt like a real breathing dangerous enemy.
Lots of good action sequences, some nice romantic tension, family drama, mystery, and some of the best mermaid mythology I've yet read made for a good read.
If there was one thing I wasn't too keen on was that between all I described above the plot dragged in places and most of the characters are fairly flat at times.
I will certainly be reading the next book :)


Much love and sonic screwdrivers,
Randi

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview With EVERBLUE Author Brenda Pandos!


I recently chatted with Brenda Pandos about her new book Everblue, the first in a series called Mer Tales, and it looks and sounds amazing! Plus, look at that cover! How could you possibly resist a book with a cover like that? Here's the book's synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

"Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever."


So without further ado, check out my interview below with Brenda Pandos about her new book, mermaid mythology, and what it's like to switch from vamps to merfolk.

How did you come up with the idea for Everblue? (Love that title, by the way!)

Thank you about the title. For once, the title was the easiest part. But honestly, I don’t quite remember how the plot came together exactly. I’m a panster writer (write from the seat of my pants), so ideas just come and I go with it. It’s like a big puzzle and the scenes need to be fit together. I wanted to see if I could write something from more than one POV but still 1st person. I also liked the idea merpeople could be secretly living among us. And that they don’t necessarily live in salt water either. Also, I wanted a story that has slightly differing rules and ideas. I maybe wrong, but the merworld, besides The Little Mermaid, isn’t as strictly defined as other “fantasy” things like faeries and vampires.
 
You’ve also written a YA series about vampires. Was it difficult for you, switching from writing about the dark aspects of vampire mythology to the less-ominous mermaid mythology?

I do like the lighter theme of mermaid lore vs. vampires. And there’s no “Eep, don’t go outside” moments in Everblue like my Talisman series, but creepy dark water with weird creatures in it can give one the shivers.
 
Which character did you have most fun writing about?

Fin was really fun but challenging at times. I don’t know if I’ve nailed the male POV down in any sort of the means and I asked my husband many times “is this how boys think?”
 
How do you feel about this rise in popularity mermaids have recently gotten?

I think it’s awesome and I really like being in the middle of the upswing. Maybe it’ll will get as popular as vampires *grin*.
 
What do you hope readers will take away from Everblue after reading it?

I hope they continue to care about Ash and Fin as much as I do, and want to find out how they deal with what’s about to come next, good or bad. I want teens to apply some of the principals to their own lives, like the value of telling the truth, being honest with yourself and your feelings, and how harboring secrets can hurt the ones you love.

Can we expect more Mer Tales to come in the future?

Of course… I’m planning more love, loss, betrayal, heartache, joy…

And lastly, what other projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on finishing up Onyx and then onto book #2 of Mer Tales (may that title come just as easy).

Thanks for the interview, Garrett

***

Everblue is available now, so what are you waiting for? Don't let this mermaid book be the one that got away!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Correction: TWO Mermaid Magazines Coming This Fall!


I recently posted about a new Mermaids & Mythology Magazine coming out, and I totally had no idea that there were two mermaid magazines being released. So, thanks to Tera Lynn Childs's Facebook status, it's become clear that we fans of the finned have two 'zines filled with things about the half-fish!
Here's the synopsis of this other mer mag:

Mermaids - Over 200 pages of lush photography, renowned authors and artists, packed with information including the current revival of interest in Mermaids. Advice for aspiring mermaids! Fiction, non-fiction, aquariums and aquatic wonderland, find out what's happening under the sea! Designed to be collected and treasured for years, Mermaids will stun you with 'lore' and the 'lure'!

Sounds awesome, huh? And this one will include stories and poems by some of our favorite merbook authors! Alice Hoffman of Aquamarine fame, Carolyn Turgeon who wrote Mermaid, and Tera Lynn Childs, author of Forgive My Fins, will all be contributing.

The first issue will be available in bookstores everywhere on September 15th. But pre-order your copy today at faeriemagazine.com for a reduced price!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Merbook Review: Home to the Sea by Chester Aaron


HI everyone, Randi here again. This time I'm reviewing a book and not talking about movies!

Home to the Sea is a short, little-known, children's book. I found it on Books-A-Million fairly cheap if you want to read it.
Basically,  12 year old Marian starts developing scales and talking to fish and saving sea creatures. The climax of the book is Marian going home to the sea, saving a bunch of whales, seals, ect. from death by earthquake.
This isn't the best mer-book out there. The charactesr are stiff and I feel like there wasn't too much time spent on any one thing, especially the fantastical elements. And it seems Mr. Aaron spent a bit too much time on his message of the book as well. Some of the only bits of the book with good details were the parts about rescuing marine life and how our oceans aren't safe for them and we need to go to Save the Whale rallies, a message I agree with, but it gets in the way of the story. I wanted to know the details of Marian's change and how her family and best friend felt. And some things were a bit ridiculous. Like Marian learns the complicated game  of Bridge in a few hours. That has NOTHING to do with being a mermaid...
As I mentioned, the Marnie Life Rescue makes up the climax. Marian thinks working with them will help with her change, and when she goes out to the sea, it's saving everything from dying in the aftermath of an earthquake in Alaska. It compromised too much of the story for me to be interested. Half the book is spent helping seals or getting whales out to the ocean.

Something else that bothered me was the relationship she had with her families neighbor and Doctor. I know this book was originally written a long time ago (it was published in 2005, written long before that). It wasn't Pedo-bear behavior, but they were a little too honest with each other. Nothing dirty, just strange.
Despite it's flaws however, this book has a beautiful, eerie, quality about it. The best time to read it would be during rain showers when nobody's home to bother you so you can plow right through it (it's less than two hundred pages). Eerie really sums it up. There's something feral beneath the surface when Marian submerges into the water and forgets the human language and doesn't remember the names of her parents and who they are. It's a bit chilling. The imagery is quite strange, especially the bits where Marian is in Maine in her Unle's house (he supposedly turned into a merman, or at least I think so. The book is very vague on this subject particularly).
Altogether worth it for how cheap it is and will leave you with chills, but not the best. I think a sequel should be in order.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mermaid Film Series: Part 1 of 5 (Directors)

Hello again! So we've already cast a solid mermaid movie, now we've got to figure out the rest. Today I'll be picking some directors that could do a fantastic job bringing everything to life.

Directors is a pretty big topic to choose from. It all depends on the tone you want to set for your movie, so dividing it up into genres would be a good idea.

First, if you want to make a darker, creepier type of mer-film, you'd want to go with a director who's had some experiance in the genre. My first choice would be Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, The Corpse Bride, this most recent Alice in Wonderland adaptation). He is one of my favorite directors and I think he could pull something like this off really well. Known for making the creepy relateable, the strange not so hard to understand and wonderful art direction. All of his movies are a feast to the eyes.
Other good directors would be David Fincher (The Social Network, the upcoming American remakes of the Millenium series starting with the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill),  Christopher Nolan (Inception, the newest Batman reamkes) and I think I might be able to pull it off alright (I want to be a director in case you haven't   ;) )
If you want a mermaid comedy type thing, you'd want to have Edgar Wright. He's done stuff like Scott Pilgrim VS. The World and Shaun of the Dead. The aforementioned films were funny, but they also had a really big heart which is essential. Another idea would be John Lassater (Pixar mermaids anyone?).
Historical mermaids are also setting trends so a few directors who would ace the subject would be people like Tom Hooper who directed The King's Speech, which won Best Picture for Oscars 2011 (The film made me laugh and made em feel all good and mushy inside). The Cohen Brotheres also do good historical stuff. They're remake of the John Wayne film True Grit was excellent, but they might go for a darker tone film.

I'll go on later this week. Give me some more ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Much love and Sonic Screwdrivers,

Randi 

Monday, August 1, 2011

THE VICIOUS DEEP Cover Reveal

There's a new mermaid-themed book splashing onto bookshelves next year, and I'm very excited about it! It's called The Vicious Deep (cool title, huh?), and it's written by debut author Zoraida Cordova. So, here's the cover, and below it is the synopsis:


Set against the backdrop of a Coney Island summer comes The Vicious Deep, the story of sixteen year old Tristan Hart whose life is turned upside down when the mermaids make an unscheduled return to land in search of their new king.

When a sudden storm pulls Tristan from lifeguard duty into a deadly riptide, he discovers what he really is—a prince of the Sea Court. Turns out, his girlfriend hopping and talents as a swimmer aren’t caused by his teenage prime hormones after all.

In this modern Arthurian tale with a twist, when all a guy wants to do is get The Girl and enjoy the freak show that is a Coney Island summer, Tristan has to fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity, if he still wants it, as he’s caught in a race for a throne that is as ancient as the gods.


So, what do you guys think? Sounds pretty awesome, huh?