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


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....

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


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!

Much love and sonic screwdrivers,

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,

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 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,


Monday, August 1, 2011


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?