Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Mermaid "Tail": The Mermaid's Vengeance

Okay, so I have decided to begin posting various myths and legends about mermaids from different cultures all over the world. That way, blog readers will also get a glimpse of how mermaids have been portrayed in mythology, rather than just recently published books.And believe me, the mermaid of legend is often dark and frightening, the exact opposite of Ariel or Darryl Hannah. This first "tail" is entitled "The Mermaid's Vengeance" and is from English folklore.

When Selina was only a small child, her mother took her bathing in a small pool near the rugged coast of Perran. While playing in the water, Selina's mother accidentally dropped her, and Selina disappeared from sight. After returning to the surface a few moments later, she was changed - her face was brighter and more beautiful than ever. Selina's mother was heartbroken, for she knew the mermaids had claimed her daughter.

As Selina grew older, she had a deep fascination for the ocean. She loved to play in the waves and swim like a seal, and she loved to take long walks on the beach. The locals whispered that Selina was a changeling, a mermaid or fairy. But as the years passed, Selina never bore any characteristics of being an otherworldy creature, and these mermaid accusations were eventually forgotten.

Selina grew to become a beautiful young women, at the ripe old age of eighteen, the nephew of the local squire, a boy named Walter, became quite taken with her. He would accompany her on her beach walks, and soon their friendship deepened into something more.

Walter was a scoundrel, however. He drank and cavorted with women, and he eventually grew tired of Selina, retreating to the big city. Selina was devastated, and she finally died of a broken heart.

Years passed, and Walter returned to the village. He was staying at a seaside cottage with some of his friends, drinking and partying the night away. Sometime during the night, Walter stepped outside to get some fresh air and wandered down to the water where he came across a beautiful young woman on the beach. With a shock, he realized she looked a great deal like Selina! She sang a sad song about lost love to Walter before vanishing.

Walter became obsessed with finding this girl. Weeks later, he returned to the shore and heard her ethereal melody filling the night. He followed her voice into a cave near the water's edge. There he found the woman, who beckoned him closer. He came nearer and embraced her, and she kissed him. She told him, "The kiss of a sea-child is forever. You are mine till death."

"Death!" Walter cried out in horror.

The mermaid held him tightly and continued to kiss him as the cave filled with water. When the cave was deep enough, she took him into the open water, where the other mermaids tossed him back and forth until he died. This the mermaid's vengeance for the death of her adopted daughter.

So, what do you guys think? Creepy and dark, huh? This is one of my favorite mermaid tales, and I hope you enjoyed it. I paraphrased this from the website

What Could Have Been....

Back in early 2005, the executive producers of the hit TV show Charmed, about three sisters who happened to be witches, began working on a pilot about a - yep, you guessed it - mermaid! The name of the pilot? Well, it's simple really. Mermaid! Here's information about the pilot as found on Wikipedia:

The series plot is centred on a mermaid, Nikki, who is rescued by a young man when she washes ashore in Miami. Her savior, Matt Johnson, is a lawyer living with a roommate and engaged to the daughter of his boss. Initially, he is in utter disbelief of Nikki's nature, until it is proven true. According to the series mythology, mermaids are a race of creatures whose evolution took place underwater. The mermaids originate from a sunken city and have supernatural abilities, including superhuman strength and agility, as well as being able to see in the dark, read emotions and have a connection with other sea creatures. However, another race of creatures who began their existence underwater, but have since adapted onto dry land, include Luger who is hunting Nikki. Nikki, meanwhile, attempts to enact a normal life by working as a waitress at a local restaurant while living with Matt and his roommate. She begins assisting Matt in his attempts to help people: as the villainous Luger assesses, mermaids are drawn to protecting the innocent, it's "in their blood".

The insanely gorgeous Australian actress Nathalie Kelley, as pictured to the left, was to portray Nikki in the pilot. While there are no photos of her in mermaid costume, here's what she probably would have looked like, as Alyssa Milano also portrayed a mermaid in an episode of Charmed and who is pictured to the right.

According to Wikipedia, due to budget restraints and the emergence of the CW Network, the show was passed on, but it would have been amazing if it had actually been made!

Would you guys have watched it? Do you think, with the recent onslaught of mermaids in the media, there might be a slight chance of this show reappearing? (Remember: this was six years ago, so I highly doubt it.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

NEW Pirates of the Caribbean Mermaid Posters!!!

So, Disney has released more posters from the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, and I'm loving the first one featuring Syrena alone more than the previous mermaids' poster. These posters feature Syrena, the mermaid who temporarily assumes human form and joins Jack Sparrow's crew. In the other picture is Syrena with Phillip, a young missionary and Blackbeard's slave, who falls in love with the timid young mermaid. I think they make a great couple, and I think they'll be the Will and Elizabeth of the fourth film!

What do you guys think of these beautiful new posters?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Selkies & Sirens: Mermaid's Kin?

Mermaids aren't the only fantastical sea creature lurking in the ocean's depths of mythology and folklore. There are countless other finned beings that populate the legends of cultures from all over the world. Here, I am only going to mention two of the more popular ones: the selkies and the sirens.

Selkies are shape-shifting seal people found in Scottish and Irish folklore. They're kind of like werewolves, minus the full moon and that they transform into seals rather than wolves. Selkies are mainly featured in romantic tragedies, usually having to do with a selkie who sheds their sealskin and falls in love with a mortal, only to later find their skin and being forced to return to the sea. If a mortal wishes to summon a selkie to them, they must shed seven tears into the sea. Selkies are seductive and beautiful in their human form, but they find it difficult to maintain an intimate relationship with human beings. Selkies aren't as popular in today's culture, but there's been a few books written about them.

Sirens are also gaining popularity these days. Contrary to popular belief, sirens are not actually mermaids. Or, well, they didn't always used to be. They used to be terrifyingly seductive creatures with the upper bodies of young women and the grotesqely disfigured lower body of a bird. Like mermaids, they lured sailors to a watery grave. Somewhere along the way, these bird-women evolved into the finned version we've all come to know and love to this day. With books like Siren by Tricia Rayburn and the upcoming book that sounds just as creepy as it sounds good, Siren's Storm by Lisa Papademetriou, sirens are everywhere these days. And, to me, that's a good thing.

So, have any of YOU read any selkie/siren books?

Interview With ANTARA Author Marilena Mexi!

Marilena Mexi was born and lived in Athens, Greece in 1986. She studied graphic design and illustration in “Akto of Middlesex University - Athens, and she has been working as an illustrator for the past few years for book publishers – magazines and fantasy board and card games. She is also an awarded illustrator from various CG community sites, and she has been featured in a few magazines from around the world. Her artwork reflects her own personality; it is emotional, romantic and dreamy, and it can touch the viewer’s soul.In her spare time she likes reading books and listening to symphonic music.
Her love for books led her write her own which she illustrated, too. This process has been very time-consuming and difficult, but it also was a journey to the land of dreams. ‘Antara’ is her first illustrated novel, and it includes 26 illustrations. At the writing of this article, she is preparing the sequel and the final part of the story.

I have gotten to know Marilena Mexi through Goodreads, where she is promoting her debut fantasy novel Antara! Antara is different from other fantasy novels these days as it is illustrated with 26 beautiful illustrations done by Marilena herself! Here's a summary of the book:

Peace and tranquility on the island of Aster, home to both humans and 'merfolk', has long been broken by a devastating phenomenon, recurring every five years. A storm including gusting winds and huge waves mysteriously appeared and eradicated much of the population. The misunderstandings, suspicion and hate born of this disaster have torn the two races apart, and the peace loving merfolk are now in a never-ending struggle to prove their innocence and restore peace to the island.
On the human side, things are even worse; under the tyranny of cruel king Orestis, the people suffer and all their king cares for is vengeance against the “fish”, as he spitefully calls them, executing merfolk after merfolk for just being near his lands.
Secrets, intense emotions and strange phenomena will upset their lives forever.

I have also included some pictures of the beautiful artwork featured in Antara that I have used with the author's permisson. Now, here's an interview I did with Marilena where she talks about herself, her work, and the beautiful realm of Antara!

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
First of all, thank you for giving me the chance to say a few things for myself and Antara. I live and work in Greece, I'm a professional illustrator and I mostly work with publishers / writers. I make book illustrations, game cards, I'm an awarded artist from various cg sites, and my work has been published in various magazines.

What can you tell us about your illustrated novel Antara?
Antara is an illustrated fantasy romance for young adults, and its target audience is mostly women/girls. Of course, it was illustrated by me. A couple of years ago, I've written a short story on a paper and then I started making illustrations based on this story. Afterwards, I decided to sit down and write it from scratch, creating a full novel, where the reader could also see the concept art of the story. Back then I haven't thought of publishing it, until my sisters encouraged me to try it. In the process, however, I faced a lot of problems. I have written the book in Greek, so I had to find a good translator in order to translate it in English, and after a log time I found one and I'm really grateful to him. Then I started sending queries to literary agents, hoping that I'll find one to represent me in order to find a publisher too. Unfortunately, I found out that there weren't any agents specialized in my book's category. Those who who look for author / illustrators, are actually looking for picture books and graphic novels, which is completely different from Antara. But I didn't let down and I decided to publish it on my own. With the help of some friends I tried to achieve the best possible result.

What inspired you to write Antara?
I come from Greece and Greek mythology has inspired me, along with symphonic metal music. Also, my grandfather was a fisherman, and many times he's been telling me stories with mermaids when I was a child, and I adored them. So, my first story couldn't have been anything else.

Which character do you relate to most in Antara?
I think that I mostly relate to Urania. She's a character from the side of humans; low profile, caring, calm and shows understanding and patience.

How do you feel about all this sudden attention mermaids are getting in the media?
Indeed, recently there's been some particular interest in books with mermaids. I think that a few years ago everyone were writing stories with fairies and wizards, then stories with vampires and werewolves, then zombies, and now it's the mermaid season. I believe that this is going to be the summer of the merbooks.

Antara is not only a novel, but also features your own beautiful artwork. How long have you been drawing and painting?
The illustrations of Antara took me about 2 years. There were some illustrations that I have been working on them for about a month. The process was very tedious and time-consuming, and I really gave everything I got to get a good result. I would like to make the viewer travel to a magical world, and forget all the drudgeries of everyday life.

Will we see more adventures set in the world of Antara?
Of course, I'm working on the second and last part of Antara. Many people ask me why it is not a trilogy. I understand that trilogies are common nowadays, but I don't feel that Antara should end in a third book. I'm going to publish that in a few months too, hopefully during the summer.

What do you hope readers will take away from your novel after reading it?
I want the readers to feel like they've read a fairy tale, like they entered a land different and magical, where time and everyday problems don't exist. My book is a fantasy romance, but for me it's purely symbolic. The merfolk represent a different society of people, ideal, without hatred or cunning. A paradise I would like to exist in our world. I want the readers to feel hope in their heart, and every one of us can become better if we really want to.

Finally, what other projects --if you’re at liberty to say -- are you currently working on?
After the sequel of Antara I would like to take break from the typical fantasy setting. I have thought of a new concept much different than Antara. Probably I'm going to start writing this during the summer.

Thanks again to Marilena Mexi for agreeing to do this interview! Check her out on Goodreads or her own website at where you can learn more about her and the magical world of Antara!

You can buy a paperback copy of the book here:
You can buy an ebook version here:
Soon, Antara will be available on the websites Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ebay.

Mermaid Movie: Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989)

When most people think of mermaids, the first image they think of is redhaired Ariel sitting on a rock, singing about wanting to become human and walk on land. I have always and will forever love The Little Mermaid. It's virtually impossible not to love it. I mean, it's a Disney classic, right?

Maybe the reason I loved the film and specifically Ariel was because I found her very relatable. No, not because I also have fins and sing and dance with talking sea creatures, but because I have always wanted to experience more. I've always wanted to venture out into the world and experience new things for myself. Plus, we're both redheads. Gingers need to stick together; there's so very few of us out there!

Ariel definitely was a "fish out of water," no pun intended. She wanted to explore the human world and was always looked strangely at because of her interest in the world above the sea. I think teenagers would be able to relate to Ariel well because of her clashing relationship with her father. Sometimes, teens feel like parents just don't understand, and Ariel definitely conveys this emotion throughout the movie, right up to when she finally mends things with her father as she sails off into the sunset.

Unlike other Disney princesses, Ariel is a strong and winning heroine. When she wants something, she doesn't just swoon and prance around, hoping her prince comes to her rescue. She goes out and gets it herself. In fact, she's the one who rescues the prince, not the other way around! Eric does save Ariel's life at the end, so they reciprocate. The movie doesn't have the usual sexist approach where the macho hero saves the damsel in distress. Ariel and Eric are equals, Ariel maybe moreso due to her superhuman nature.

Ursula is also the best villain of all time, hands down. She knows what she wants, and she doesn't waste time bumbling around like other villains. She devices a plan, uses her manipulative and vindictive skills, and she takes charge. This film definitely has a cast of take-charge female characters, which is one reason I like it so much.

All the side characters are wonderful, too. I love both Flounder and Sebastian, especially Flounder (he's just so cuddy-looking, even for a fish!), and Sebastian might come across as strict and demanding, but he's actually loving and caring.

Disney is timeless and ageless. Seventeen years after first watching The Little Mermaid, I can still watch it and fall back into the happy, carefree mood I always feel when watching it, all the way up to my favorite scene when King Triton finally realizes how much Ariel loves Eric and that while he will miss his youngest daughter, he knows it is for the best. With a wave of his magical trident, King Triton transforms Ariel's tail into a pair of legs, finally making her human and letting her sail off into the sunset with the prince of her dreams.

I will always have a special place in my heart for The Little Mermaid, and no matter how old I get, I can always turn back and smile on Ariel and all her underwater friends.

MerBook Review: Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman

Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. There in the depths is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart: a mermaid named Aquamarine who has left her six sisters to search for love on land. Now, as this mythological yet very real being starts to fade in the burning August sun, a rescue is begun.
On the edge of growing up, during a summer that is the hottest on record, Hailey and Claire are discovering that life on land can take an unpredictable course, friendship is forever, and magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

I believe this is the first mermaid novel I have ever read. Or, really, it is more of a novella, since it only has 112 pages. I have seen the movie that came out in 2005 and was based upon the book, but it was completely different. That was a shame, because it took away some of the magical qualities in the novel.

This book is basically the story of two best friends, Hailey and Claire, who are about to be separated at the end of summer. Claire and her grandparents are moving to Florida, which both girls aren't happy about. They find one morning, after a terrible storm one night, a mermaid lurking in the swimming pool of the Capri Beach Club. Her name is Aquamarine, and she has fallen in love with Raymond, an employee at the Capri. The two girls try to help Aquamarine, but they soon realize she is fading away in the chlorinated water, and if she is not returned to the sea in seven days, she will die.

That's pretty much it. Like I said, it's a short book. I give it 3 out of 5, but what it lacks in page length, it makes up for in magic. There's just something about the book, its prose, the shades of blue that color the pages throughout, or the story itself, that makes you truly believe in friendship, true love, and most importantly, mermaids.

MerBook Review: Teenage Mermaid by Ellen Schreiber

Spencer almost drowns in a surfing accident when a sparkling, golden girl saves him with a kiss of life before she suddenly disappears. Where did this dream girl come from, and will she return?

Lilly rescues a boy from nearly drowning and dangerously steps out of her own watery world. Curious to explore this forbidden land, she's gotta find her handsome Earthdude.

A silver heart locket is their only clue.

Ellen Schreiber revamps a classic favorite with a funky magical romance that shows what transpires when boy meets girl, but discovers girl is really a...

I first read this novel at around the same time I read Sirena (about four years ago), and I recently purchased it through It's getting difficult to find in decent condition at a low price, so it's better just to buy it used.

Teenage Mermaid is the story of fifteen-year-old Spencer Stone. While surfing early one morning, he almost drowns but is rescued (and kissed) by a "sparkling, golden girl." In the struggle he pulls a heart-shaped locket off her neck, and it crosses his mind that he might have been saved by a...mermaid.

Waterlilly, or "Lilly," for short, lives in the underwater community of Pacific Reefs. Unlike the other merpeople, Lilly is bored with life under the sea. When she loses her family heirloom, the heart necklace, she must convince her mermaid best friend Waverly to help her become human and go ashore to get it - as well as meet the boy she rescued.

I gave this book 4 out of 5. This novel was a humorous, modern-day twist on The Little Mermaid, and it's a fairly short read at only 160 pages. While the romance isn't very realistic (for example, Spencer grows obsessed with Lilly and believes he's truly in love with her even though the period of the novel takes place over two days), it was still a fast, lighthearted read that ends with a magical twist only a true fairy tale could ever pull off.

The Mermaids of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Recently, Disney released a batch of new promotional images of the mermaids that will be featured in the new film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Unlike the 2005 remake of Peter Pan, in which mermaids only played a minor role, the new Pirates movie is all about our favorite fish-tailed girls! Mermaids are the key to finding the Fountain of Youth, which Jack Sparrow and his merry band of pirates on searching for. Australian supermodel Gemma Ward has been cast as the Mermaid Queen, Tamara, and French actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey is set to play the mermaid Sirena, who is captured by Captain Blackbeard and is supposed to be used to find the Fountain of Youth. Here's the images released by Disney, featuring all the beautiful actresses who have been cast to play these underwater beauties!

And here is the final concept art of the mermaids in their underwater forms. They look creepy, but still beautiful, and I like the crafty way they camouflage to look like kelp or seaweed.

Also, here's a poster for the movie that features only the mermaids, which I was so excited to find. The mermaids are so important, they got their own poster! Now, if only I could find this somewhere to put up in my bedroom...

The film releases on May 20th, so don't forget to go see the mermaids when they splash on the big screen!

MerBook Review: Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli

Sirena is cursed. She will not become immortal unless she is loved by a human man. The siren song she sings with her mermaid sisters makes men adore her - yet it leads them to their deaths.
That is why she hides when she finds an adandoned young soldier. He wants to know her, though she should not let him near her or allow him to hear her sing. But how can she fight a love she has been waiting for all her life - a love that will make her live forever?

Since I have always had a major fetish for mermaids, the first review I will be doing is on Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli. I think this book is out of print, so you might have to buy a used copy on (That's what I did.)

Sirena is a retelling of the Greek myth about sirens. Napoli imagines the sirens as ten mermaid sisters who are cursed: they cannot receive immortality unless a mortal man falls in love with them. Luring sailors to their island with their songs, the mermaids usually fail, since their songs often result in death. Those who live see the mermaids as half-fish, half-woman monsters.

I won't give away too much, but let's just say tragedy strikes the mermaid sisters, which results in Sirena swimming away to live by herself in the waters around the island of Lemnos. There she finds a handsome Greek soldier named Philoctetes who is abandoned by his crew because of his festering snakebite wound. Sirena tends to him while he lies unconscious due to the infection, and she becomes infatuated with this human man.

Sirena soon finds herself in a situation that results in her having to use her siren song, which causes bad things to happen between her and Philoctetes. Does he really love her, or is it only because of the magical influence he is under? Sirena's story is one of love and loss, immortality and sacrifice.

I gave this book 5 out of 5. I read this novel four years ago when in the sixth grade. Ever since then, I have still been mesmerized by it. The cover, too, is extraordinarily beautiful, and I found myself distracted by it while trying to read. I wanted to savor every page of this glorious novel; so much, in fact, that sometimes I would read only a page, then quit because I never wanted it to end. But, after two weeks, I knew it was time to stop savoring and just finish it already! At 226 pages, it is a short read, which was the only disappointment. I wanted more! I loved, loved, loved this book - all the way up to its bittersweet and tearjerking ending, one of the saddest endings to a book I have ever read. Sirena describes her ocean world with such beauty, and I couldn't help but wish I could be part of it.

Everything about this book (from its lyrical prose, to its sad ending, even its beautiful cover) was absolutely perfect!

Interview With FINS Author Ashley Knight!

Two events of significance occurred during of the birth of Ashley L. Knight in 1977. One was the VC10 jet flight time record from London to Bahrain was smashed by her father in his determination to be by her side and the appearance of brilliant meteor showers over the desert island that was witnessed by her godmother. Raised in Bahrain, the legendary kingdom of Dilmun, Ashley grew up on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, white haired and blue-eyed, swimming in the warm tidal shallows with her mother at seven days old as all baby mermaids are raised.
Moving away from the gathering war storms of the Middle East conflict, her family settled in mountainous Idaho, USA, to the seasonal rhythms of ranch life. Ashley's love of horses and riding skills found her representing major rodeos as an elegant Rodeo Queen and striking spokesperson.
By 15 years Ashley was already enrolled in university in Idaho where she majored in English/ Writing Emphasis, with a minor in Biology. Her English language skills resulted in a coaching job from her professor for new writers at university. College summers were spent with her younger sister at the ranch riding by the Little Salmon River or at Disney World as an intern in their summer program. Talented in poetry and lyric writing, Ashley began to compose and perform her own songs at an early age, taking formal voice training at college and competing in singing talent shows. Currently, she is the lead vocalist of a rock band in Boise known as Pile of Bones.
A chance meeting in downtown Boise brought love's destiny to her life. Greg and Ashley were married in McCall by the glacial blue waters of the lake. Inseparable, they now have two small children of their own.
Ashley continues her love of water legacy with release of her first published novel 'Fins' in 2010 and has completed the sequel 'Fathom' due for release in 2011. Ashley lives in Idaho and is currently writing the third story of the mermaid trilogy.

I met Ashley on Goodreads where I helped promote her insanely awesome FINS trilogy. Trust me, these books are unlike anything you've ever read before! I've read both FINS and the upcoming sequel FATHOM, both of which are fin-tastic reads, and I can't wait to read the third and final book, FOREVER. Recently, Ashley agreed to participate in an interview, and here's what she had to say!

What inspired you to write FINS?
A picture of a mermaid & a merman entwined in a kiss. I was a bit bored one day & typed in "pictures of mermaids" on Google & began sorting through the pages upon pages of irritating junk that came up. Once in a while some really beautiful pictures came up but then I saw it & it was as if a computer download hit me. The whole tale smacked me upside the head. I grabbed a pen & wrote as much as I could. I'll send you the picture.

When did you realize FINS was going to be a trilogy?
Immediately. I told my publisher right away what I wanted to do & she agreed it was the only way to go. She even hinted at furthering it - making it a series, but I'm not sure I have the stamina for say, 10 FINS books. I don't want it to get old.

Which character do you identify most with?
This'll make you laugh - Élan actually. Morgan's dialogue is how I think, but I am a mother & I always saw myself more as her. Funny huh? I think most authors identify with the main character. Élan is a healer & has The Love -I was going to be a doctor - studied medical books since I was 6. I love that she is a doctor without going to school. That'd be really nice!

If a producer decided to pick up FINS, would you rather see a film version or a television series? Do any actors/actresses resemble any of your characters?
Great question! I'd be honored to have FINS on film at all. My big fear would be to have it cheapenedso I would be very concerned with the who, what, when, where, etc... would be dealing with it. The worst thing would be to have your heart/art/work crushed by someone who just couldn't care less. As far as the characters, my fans on Facebook all wanted to know who the characters resembled, so I finally gave in & tried to pick people who I thought were as close to how I imagined the characters. For instance: I think actress Robin Wright Penn resembles Élan. Brandon Routh resembles Tammer. Michael Pare from the 1980's movie Eddie & the Cruisers resembles Thayde & (Garrett you'll have to put that girls name in here since I don't remember her name!!) resembles Morgan. Troen looks like Chong from the 80's movies Cheech & Chong. If your readers type in "FINS Trilogy" on Facebook & like the page, they can see all the pictures of actors & singers, models, etc I chose that resemble my characters.

How do you feel about all this attention mermaids are suddenly getting in the media?
I'm a little bummed actually. What with vampires getting all the attention, I was thinking "Oh! I'm going to be the sole writer who'll being mermaids forward!" What a joke! Great minds must think alike. I must see the silver lining... hmmm... It means that should FINS shine through, it truly is a great book. :-)

In FINS, your mermaids have a dazzling array of magical powers, and the color of their tails is directly related to the power they wield. What powers/tail color would you want to have if you were a mermaid?

I'd want Morgan's tail as she ends up being "special". It'd be great to have her powers, don't you think?

What do you hope readers will take away from your novel after reading it?
I hope that with FINS, they will simply fall in love with the book - that they'll think "wow! That was different!" With FATHOM, I truly hope that there will be at least a few teenagers that will think "I feel like that every day. There IS a way I can get through this, that I can feel better?" I went through a lot when I was a teenager & didn't have an outlet that I felt was supportive & helpful enough for me. I'm surprised I'm alive today. Though the book is a bit darker, it is filled with hope & better answers & I hope that if it helps even one person, it will have been completely worth all those hours writing it.

Finally, what other projects - if you’re at liberty to say - are you working on besides the FINS trilogy?
I am working on three books at the moment! Talk about overload, but it gives me things to jump to when one subject gets old. FATHOM is set to be released in May & is the stepping stone to FOREVER which I'm hoping to finish next year.
My second book I'm muddling around with is another YA book called Falwyn - a tale about a very strong minded princess that falls in love with a commoner who is accused of murder. But, he's not human - he's a Falwyn - half human, half fairy!
The third is an adult book about a Navy Seal returning from war in Afghanistan to his regular machining job. But this time he's dealing with PTSD. How can he hope to return to regular life & function normally?

Go to to learn more about Ashley and her amazing books! Ashley said her website is going under construction during the month of May to get ready for the publication of FATHOM, and she apologizes for any problems you may experience while checking it out.

So, immerse yourself in FINS and FATHOM. FINS is out now and FATHOM will be released the last week of May!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lost Voices (Lost Voices #1) by Sarah Porter

What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?
Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

Lost Voices was dark, magical, but also beautiful. These mermaids believe that becoming these magical, otherworldly beings makes them better than humans and incapable of feeling pain and loss, but they're still very much able to feel hurt and loss, and some of this book's most powerful moments are when the mermaids realize they are not different than humann beings and must deal with the grief and suffering they all face.
Most of the mermaids are generally unlikeable, but it makes sense that they would feel resentment towards the humans who wronged them. However, Luce realizes the mermaids are no better than the humans they drown, but nevertheless the other mermaids view her as an outsider.
Catarina was another interesting character. In one moment, I felt sorry for her from the heartaching past she endured, but then her mood swings were so frequent and so disorienting, I didn't know whether to feel sorry for her or to dislike her.
Sarah Porter has a beautiful, lyrical style of writing. She paints with her words a beautiful dark outlook on the Alaskan coast. Her descriptions of the mermaids and their underwater world is stunning, breathtaking, and mesmerizing.
All in all, I found this to be an excellent book - filled with deep emotion, hypnotic beauty, and the painful realization of what it means to be human. I hope Lost Voices is indeed the first in a series, because the story ended in a way that suggests Luce still has so many more adventures to tell. so many more adventures to tell.
I received this ARC from

MerBook Review: Siren's Call (Dark Tides #1) by Devyn Quinn

Lighthouse keeper Tessa Lonike savors her solitude on Little Mer, an island off the coast of Maine, guarding her true identity as a mermaid. But when Tessa spots a man thrashing around in the ice cold waters during a storm, she must use her ability as a mermaid to pull him to shore. And a year later, when Kenneth meets her again, he's determined not to let Tessa slip away. But when Tessa'a archaeologist ex-lover comes back to town with a clue to her heritage, she may be forced to leave her happiness behind...

Mermaids have always had a special place in my heart. Ever since I was three years old, I have been fascinated with them. With that being said, it's difficult to come across mermaid-themed books, especially one that has an interesting mythology and a great story. Siren's Call, the debut entry to the new Dark Tides series, amazed me.
Tessa Lonike is a mermaid living in solitude on the family home on Little Mer Island. When she pulls Kenneth Randall out of the water and prevents him from drowning himself, she never expected to see him again. Ten months later, he returns to Port Rock, Maine, searching for the faceless siren who spared his life. I thought the chemistry between Tessa and Kenneth was perfect, how they seemed to reflect each other: Tessa, the outsider always looking in, and Kenneth, who is trying to get his life back on track after heart-shattering tragedy. At first, Tessa's sharp-tongued, cranky attitude could be offputting, and the way Kenneth appeared to be absolutely perfect got a bit irritating, how he seemed not to have any flaws whatsoever, but the two grow and develop as characters as the story progresses until you can't get enough of them.
Another strong dynamic to the story other than the romance was the mythology. This book had a complex and well-developed history of the Mer. Mermaids have their own religion, biology, and even their own language in the novel. They also have a knack for wielding powerful magic, which is seen often in the book. I loved the world, but most of the Mer are evil and easily disliked. I did like the Mer rebels who were featured near the end of the book, but due to certain events, I doubt they will be featured in the other novels, though it would have been nice to see each of them get their own story. Nevertheless, it was still an intricately formed world, and I can't wait to see more of it in subsequent volumes.
The other part of this story that I loved was the sisters. I loved the way they interacted and how each sister was different and took a different approach to being a mermaid living amongst humans.
So, why should you read this book? Four words.
Next is Book 2: Siren's Surrender, which is about Gwen Lonike, the middle sister. I managed to find an early copy of it at the bookstore, and I'm going to dive in as soon as possible!

MerBook Review: Fins (Fins #1) by Ashley L. Knight

Morgan James is visiting sunny Florida for two weeks before the school year begins. Right from the start, she realizes there's something strangely odd about the opulent world in which her mother and her new husband live and suddenly she is swept into another world - a world she could never have dreamed of. Follow Morgan's unbelievable journey in this magical tale of people who are something other than what they seem - OR, are they really people at all?

FINS was a magical story filled with mermaids, magic, and romance. The main character, Morgan, was a refreshing read because unlike other heroines of YA paranormal romance (Bella Swan comes to mind), she doesn't sit around and let her true love save her. She goes to whatever risk she must take to save those she cares about.
The descriptions in this book were lush and vivid, so much that I wanted to visit Tammer's house in Florida and not just visit, but I wanted to live there! The descriptions of the mermaids are beautiful, too.
And the TWISTS! Oh, my gosh! This book had a lot of twists I never even saw coming. It was definitely unpredictable, I'll say that.
A lot of people might read the book and think Morgan and Thayde fell in love too fast, but it wasn't overtly sappy or mushy. And Morgan didn't all of a sudden become a damsel in distress. In fact, she insisted on fighting back against the villains and helping her friends and family.
I definitely found FINS a quick, cozy read, one you want to curl up inside and live within its pages. It's a beautiful book, and Ashley Knight really knows how to keep you on your toes with all the twists and turns.
Oh, and on a side note, I loved the names. Thayde, Naira, Tiesa, Ezen...
So, FINS was definitely a quick, fun read, and I will be eagery anticipating Book 2: FATHOM and Book 3: FOREVER.

Dive In!

Welcome to the MerBlog, the one place to find all things mermaid-related. This blog is spun off the Goodreads group, MerBooks, where mermaid-obsessed fans come together to talk about the latest mermaid books, movies, and TV shows that have washed up. So dive in and immerse yourself in the underwater magic of mermaids, mermen, and the landlocked humans who love them!