Delta Legend by Kelan O’Connell now in paperback ~ What’s in the water? Tag Team International Giveaway and Review

Posted: January 22, 2014 in Creatures, Dark Fantasy, giveaways, horror, Humor, reviews, Supernatural
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It’s time to celebrate!

Delta Legend is now out in paperback!

I’m reposting my 5 Star review and Kelan has written an awesome guest post.

That’s not all.

This is a Tag Team Event.

I’ll be giving away one paperback copy of Delta Legend generously provided by Kelan O’Connell. After entering my giveaway, head on over to Sherry’s blog at fundinmental for another chance to win!



When 16-year-old Oakland teenager, Calvin Pierce, makes a bad decision and winds up getting arrested, his mother is quick to take action. Determined not to lose a second son to the drug and gang violence of the inner city, she sends Calvin to spend the summer working for his great uncle in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

There in the predominately white region of agriculture and recreational boating, Calvin’s a fish out of water with a chip on his shoulder. But when severed body parts are discovered floating in a slough, his summer of proving himself takes on new meaning.

Something deadly is lurking in the deep, murky waterways of the Delta. Now the daunting task of containing the living incarnation of a mythical creature falls to Calvin and his ragtag posse of oddball characters.


 Enjoy Kelan’s Guest Post


Writing Urban Fantasy Adventure is a bit like creating a wild new theme park ride. It’s a really fun gig. If done right, readers will happily board your attraction and stay engaged through the whole crazy ride, ping-ponging between anticipation, fear, laughter, and satisfaction.

delta legend Theme Park Car

Photo by Dan Hatfield,

As a novelist, I have to make sure my story has all the necessary elements required for a great ride, and suspended disbelief is a key element in good fantasy fiction.

In Urban Fantasy, fantastical things happen in the modern world as we know it. Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge of writing for this genre is creating a sense of isolation in our modern world. Considering the sheer number of humans crawling all over the planet armed with multiple means of connecting, this can be a formidable task. Enter the all-important selection of location.

The setting for Delta Legend goes by both the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the California Delta. I refer to it by both names in the book. Though surrounded by populated cities, the heart of the Delta retains a sense of isolation due to its vast expanses of farmland and seemingly endless waterways that snake on for 1000 plus miles. That’s right—one thousand.

A picture of California's Sacramento-San Joaqu...

It was definitely challenging to describe this unique region in a way that would give people who’ve never been there a visceral sense of the place. Luckily, I have a couple things going for me in this regard. One, I have a background as a screenwriter, so I write visually. And two, I spent a good deal of time in the California Delta from the time I was 15 until I was in my mid 30′s. And let me tell you, no matter how old I got, swimming or waiting to get picked up on a water ski in the Delta, always freaked me out a bit. Anything could be lurking in those deep murky waters.

delta legend Delta River Image

Photo by Kelan

Of course, if anything like what happens in the book were to actually happen in the Delta, it would be extremely hard to keep it on the down-low, but that’s where the all-important suspended disbelief and sense of isolation come into play.

Then there’s the fact that every once in while, something fantastical happens in our real world—something that makes fantasy all the more plausible.

In case you missed it, check this out: This very real sea creature was discovered recently off the shores of Catalina Island, a place I visited several times when I lived in Los Angeles.

delta legend Catlina Oarfish

Nope, not Photoshopped.

The gal who found this creature (dead) while snorkeling, grabbed it by the tail and hauled it to shore (holy crap) because she knew her friends wouldn’t believe her if they didn’t see it for themselves.

And that, my friends, is the stuff that fuels imagination and inspires all manner of Urban Fantasy and folklore. Laura Thomas’ review of Delta Legend is titled, “There’s Something In the Water!”  Hell yeah, there is.

Wanna come along for the ride? It’s fun … and a little scary.


My Review

Delta Legend is so much more than a scary creature story. It is about second chances, community, new friendships, budding romance, courage and honor.

There is an inner story that provides vital background for the legend. Kelan has really done a lot of research in order to tell you about this creature and where the events take place. Her descriptions of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are almost visual.  You can almost feel the sluggish, dark water on your skin and the cold, silty bottom between your toes.

English: Sunset on Mildred Island in the Sacra...

There are many characters that have their parts to play in this book. They are all essential to the plot and add depth, believability and some comic relief.

When Calvin has a brush with the juvenile court system, his mother, Angela, knows she has to do something. After losing her older son Leo to drug and gang violence, she does not want him going down the same path. Her solution is to send Calvin to stay with his great-uncle Samuel for the summer break.  He wants no part of the “cuts”, or back country life and arrives with a big chip on his shoulder.

Samuel was apprehensive about taking in Calvin, but is pleasantly surprised when his great-nephew shows a penchant for machine and engine repair. He proves to be a hard worker and an asset at Samuel’s Marine Repair Shop.

Calvin’s first encounter with Mei Li, a young Chinese farm girl, is confrontational. She sees through his tough guy persona and calls him on it. She is sassy and bold and he wants nothing to do with her.

Samuel takes Calvin into the local cafe and small grocery owned by Frances. It is also where the rental desk for Heron’s Harbor Marina, which her teenage son Jess runs. The locals come there to hang out, have a bite to eat and catch up on the daily news around town. It seems every small town has one of these.

After a little bit of juggling, Calvin and Jess start up a friendship. Mei Li is friends with Jess and includes herself on their outings. It is not hard for the others to notice that Jess has developed an interest in Lauren. She is a nice girl, but hangs with the town bullies. But soon enough Lauren sees them for what they are and joins up with Jess, Calvin and Mei Li.

Good old boys Terry and Neal just want to fish and drink cold beer. They motor to their favorite fishing spot and settle in to catch some dinner when they spot what looks like debris from a boat floating in the water. Seeing what they think is a wig, they hook  it and take a look. What they had on the end of that hook was someone’s face. Their return trip broke records. This is not the only encounter they have with body parts, it seems like they just can’t get a day of fishing in.

It soon becomes obvious that something is preying on the people of the Delta. Something hungry. The fatalities start piling up, and finally even Sheriff Ray Cruz has to accept that there is a deadly creature cruising the waters, killing and eating the unsuspecting .

The mish mash of locals,  along with Calvin and his posse of friends and Sheriff Cruz and bumbling Deputy Burt Watson, unite to combat this evil monster. There are many more characters that I’ve not mentioned, each one adding flavor and dimension to the story.  Kelan has the ability to weave them in without confusing you or slowing down your reading enjoyment. No flipping back and forth to see who’s who.

I particularly liked her characterization of Joe, Tak and Samuel. I smilingly think of them as the Over the Hill Gang.

There are a few surprises, you think something has been left out, but then Kelan slips it in effortlessly, providing all of the answers.

And I can’t wait for you to read the great “Oh No!” ending.

If you are looking for a unique monster story with lots of action, adventure and scares, I recommend you get Delta Legend and get reading.


You can go HERE to read my original review post and check out my interview with Kelan!


Author Kelan O’Connell

Kelan O'Connell

Though she’s been writing in one form or another since the age of 20, Delta Legend is Kelan O’Connell’s first solo novel. She began writing in college, creating character monologues as a way to stand out in auditions and later went on to write sketch comedy, one-act plays, and more specs for screen than she cares to admit.

Kelan holds a degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and has worked in the Film and Television Industry in Northern California and Los Angeles—among her many other day jobs.

She currently lives in Northern California with her partner, Sound Engineer/Producer, Tom Size, and the incredibly spoiled pets of Camp RunAmuck.


Be sure to visit Kelan’s blog:

and the Delta Legend website:

Other Links

Goodreads / Twitter


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I have one print copy of Delta Legend to give away!

An International Giveaway!

To enter, please leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win and answer this question:

“What sea monster scares you the most?”

This is a Tag Team Event hosted by myself and Sherry at fundinmental.

You can visit Sherry’s blog for another chance to win and see what she thinks about Delta Legend  HERE.

Giveaway ends February 3rd.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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  1. Elisabeth says:

    Ever since we found poisonous snakes in the lake when I was six, I have been a bit leery of large, cloudy, natural bodies of water and clearly I’m not the only one who thinks there could be “things” in it!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I don’t swim in water I can’t see beneath. Too creepy! Even seaweed can send me racing to shore and a muddy bottom has me thinking all kinds of scary thoughts.
      Now I’m afraid to swim in the ocean. I’ve seen what’s out there when I’ve been fishing. Nope, my pool is safer:)

  2. Taylor Dean says:

    Not my usual read, but after reading your review and Sherry’s review, I’m hooked! The curiosity of wanting to know what is under the water alone would keep me reading!
    Like everyone else, after seeing ‘Jaws,’ sharks scare me the most! But they are a given. It’s the unknown creatures lurking below that send my imagination soaring–enough to sufficiently creep me out and make me a land lover!

  3. Loving your comments Elisabeth and Taylor. This was a fun and fantastic read. Even my pool isn’t safe – have found a snake, a snapping turtle, an opossum and a squirrel so far. Could something bigger, more dangerous visit me next? I always check the water first.

  4. yahalomi65 says:

    If we talk about sea monster I really afraid from sharks

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Me too! I’ve seen some big ones when I was fishing and after all of the movies and books, I’m ruined for swimming in the ocean anymore. I’ll stick to my pool!

  5. yahalomi65 says:

    And my email is

  6. Anne Molinarolo says:

    Black Water Snakes

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Ewww!! I had a mocassin bump into my leg once while I was gigging for flounder. Didn’t even notice until after it moved on as to what it was. Probably lucky!

  7. Jelly fish. Stinger tentacle things and they are weird jelly creatures. Dislike I do. frellathon(at)gmail(dot)com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Here on the gulf coast, it seemed like everytime I got in the water I got stung. Once I had to bury my side with wet sand to take out some of the sting. Made me sick for a day. The surf chops them up and the pieces still pack a mighty nasty sting!

  8. Lisa Vazquezanzua says:

    Water Moccasin’s scare me the most. I would freak out if I came across one of those.

  9. Forgot to leave my email address!

  10. bobbikinion says:

    What sea monster scares you the most? Sea Serpent would have to be the one that scares me the most.

  11. Brooke says:

    Well, the Kracken has always scared me. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but I don’t want to know! brookeb811 at gmail dot com

  12. A giant squid/octopus would truly freak me out!

  13. Midu Hadi says:

    Portugese Man-Of-War. Thanks for hr giveaway!

  14. I am most afraid of the Giant Octopus with all those tentacles! Looks mean and nasty when you see it in pictures!! Not a nice and friendly one like the Legendary Loch Ness Monster!!

  15. I am most afraid of the Giant Octopus! It is so scary with all of its tentacles and humongous appearance! Not nice and friendly looking like the Legendary Loch Ness Monster!!

  16. this is a fantastic post! Alligators, definitely alligators….I’ll stick with my pool…although we did find a water snake in it once…

  17. Christina says:

    The kraken, of course! subwife683 (at) yahoo (dot) come

  18. batedave says:

    As a retired water professional, there are real-life things in the water much scarier than sea monsters, but if I had to name one I would have to say Megalodon. What’s worse than a giant shark with teeth the size of butcher knives and an attitude?

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You mention my favorite! I love Steve Allten’s Meg books and hear there may be a movie in 2015. Crossing my fingers.
      Delta Legend would be a terrifying movie, but also have a great cast of characters and suspense that would just about kill ya if the creature doesn’t!

  19. Wow, this has been quite the lively conversation. You just never know what lurks beneath. Laura, if I got stung by jellyfish that much, I’d probably never go back to the sea. Thanks for all the great comments everyone. Some made me laugh and some gave me chills.

  20. Amy says:

    Anything snake-like. I have a huge fear of snakes. Like, panic attack inducing fear. I won’t go in any body of water but a pool or spa.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Same here but I even get creeped out in my pool sometimes. I had an inflated shark and one day I dozed off. I woke up and saw its shadow on the bottom and about drowned getting out of there! Felt so foolish afterwards but got rid of the shark! LOL

  21. ladyshortyg says:

    I WOULD HAVE TO Say the lock nest monster