Posts Tagged ‘YA Fantasy’



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Ice Kingdom
Tiana Warner
(Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, #3)
Publication date: December 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The final adventure in the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy …

Meela and Lysi have unleashed Sisiutl, legendary two-headed serpent of the Pacific Northwest. It was supposed to be an ally that would help them win the war. Instead, it has fallen under the control of King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. If Meela and Lysi can’t stop him, Adaro will use the deadly serpent to rid the oceans of mankind.

With the American military using catastrophic weapons of their own to retaliate, Meela and Lysi must make peace between humans and merpeople before one race destroys the other. The journey will risk their lives and put their relationship to the test—but the vengeance that has been consuming Meela’s thoughts, day and night, might prove even more dangerous.

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**Read the first book in the trilogy for FREE: download at http://bit.ly/siandmeela until Dec 25th!**

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Enjoy the excerpt

Somewhere on the Pacific Ocean

The young man aimed his crossbow at the water, ready to fire a bolt of solid iron at the first glimpse of flesh beneath the surface.

“Sir,” he said, “shouldn’t we have seen one by now?”

The captain turned his back to the salty wind, jaw tight. “They know we’re here.”

“So what are they doing?”

He followed the captain’s gaze. Blackness merged with the empty grey horizon in every direction. A long silence passed, filled only by gentle swells lapping against the ship.

The captain drew his own crossbow.

“Forming a plan.”

All twenty men aboard the ship readied their weapons, reacting in a chain until the last man at the stern took steady aim at the waves.

“Make ready your iron, men,” shouted the captain. “We have ripples approaching off the port side.”

A handful of places in the water puckered, as if something lingered just below the surface. The sea was too black to tell.

Then it happened. Fifty, maybe sixty sea demons burst from the water and slammed against the ship. The men wasted no time. They reacted with trained speed and agility as the demons thrust stones and jagged shells into the wood, both to break holes in the ship and to scale the sides. The men picked them off with bolts of iron and watched them fall one by one back into the sea.

But they were outnumbered. Soon the demons were upon the ship, pulling themselves across the deck with bony arms.

The young man had already shot a dozen and the water reddened with each passing second.

Slow scraping sounds threatened him from behind. He whirled around, crossbow ready. Burning eyes met his, and sharp teeth, bared to rip into his flesh. He gripped the trigger, felt the bow tighten—

And the demon was gone. The young man stared into the wide gaze of a girl his own age. With a startled cry, he jerked his aim so the bolt barely missed her.

She held a black shell in her hand, sharp at the edges and ready to use as a club. But she didn’t raise it. She just looked at him.

He lowered his crossbow.

Her blonde hair fell heavily over her shoulders, dripping beads of water down her naked chest and stomach, pooling where her torso joined her tail.

He blinked, but made no other motion—where her torso joined her tail. Scales faded into flesh like some sort of beautiful, green and tan sunset.

She pulled herself closer.

“Stay back,” said the young man, unsure what prompted him to hesitate.

He looked into her eyes—emeralds surrounded by pearl white—where moments ago they had burned red. Her sharp teeth had retracted behind rosy lips. The seaweed-coloured flesh of her upper body was now olive and raised with goose bumps from the icy wind.

“Hanu aii,” she whispered. Do not fear. She spoke his language.

He loosened his grip on the crossbow, studying her. She lifted a frail arm and pushed the hair from her eyes, then motioned him forwards.

His pulse quickened as he stared at the beautiful girl.

“Hanu aii,” she said again, her voice resonating sweetly, as if she sang without singing.

Suddenly, he was kneeling in front of her, level with her luminous eyes. The sounds around him faded but for the soft purr in the base of her throat.

She reached up and held an icy hand to his cheek, not for a moment breaking eye contact. The hand slid behind his head and pulled his face towards hers, slowly but firmly. He inhaled her sweet breath.

“No!”

He flinched. He turned to see the captain racing towards them, aiming his crossbow at the maiden.

The young man grasped the scene around him. The ship was empty. A few stray weapons and barrels bobbed serenely in the water. Blood soaked the deck in places, and even the main mast had a splatter across the bottom.

The captain fired wide. Before he could reload and aim again, the sea demon put a hand on the young man’s chin and pulled his gaze back to hers.

Her eyes blazed red. Her skin rippled into the rotten colour of seaweed. Her ears grew pointed and long like sprouting coral. She opened her mouth to reveal a row of deadly teeth.

The young man screamed.

The demon pulled him against her with more strength than three men combined, and they dove headfirst off the side of the ship.

They disappeared into the blood-red water.

 

Author Tiana Warner

Tiana Warner is the best selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been acclaimed by Writer’s Digest, Foreword Reviews, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.

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The Rising Series Box Set
Holly Kelly
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

A magical underwater realm awaits! Own books 1-3 of the Best-Selling Rising series by acclaimed author Holly Kelly.

This value-priced boxed set includes the first three novels in the best-selling Rising series: Rising (with an exclusive bonus scene), Descending, and Avenging. Beautifully packaged with brilliant new cover art, this set is perfect for any fan of Greek Mythology and Mermaid Romance stories. Order the Rising series today and submerge yourself in an underwater world full of passion, romance, intrigue and adventure.

Rising: Contains a newly released scene! In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. There’s just one thing standing in his way: the life of a beautiful young woman…

Descending: When Xanthus cashes in a long-standing favor, Kyros is faced with doing two things he thought he’d never do—protect a mermaid and live on land.
Avenging: Two thousand years ago, King Triton witnessed the slaughter and total annihilation of his merchildren. Devastated by the loss, he vowed to never again father a child. Powerful, handsome, and eternally youthful, Triton was no stranger to seduction—yet his resolve was unwavering…until he met Nicole.

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Enjoy the interview with Author Holly Kelly

1)   Why Mermaids/Mermen?

I’ve always had a love for the ocean and had a fascination of the creatures that live within its depths. However, this book didn’t start with a lot of forethought. I was surfing online and came across—quite by accident—a picture of a mermaid with a flesh-colored tail. The thought hit me: what if a mermaid was born on land and she didn’t know she was a mermaid? She simply thought she was born horribly deformed. I started writing that same day.

2)   What kind of research did you have to do?

I didn’t start out with any research under my belt. I would simply write until I came to a part where needed to know more about the mythological world. I then would do a search on the internet and find out what I needed to know. After the rough draft was written, I did read an in-depth book about Greek Mythology and made necessary changes. One thing I found in my research—Greek Mythology is filled with contradicting information. This actually worked to my advantage. I used the mythology that fit best with the story and then I also filled in empty places with my own version of the mytholog

3) How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

The names are very important in my books. I choose based on meaning AND on liking how the name sounds. But then the names of minor characters I usually just pull out of my head. I hit a gold mine with Gretchen’s name. When I first started writing Rising, she was going to be a minor character and I just wanted a name that was a bit different for her, so I called her Gretchen. When I decided to write her as the main character in Descending, I looked up her name and found it meant pearl. That fit her character perfectly! And as she said herself about her name, “Life gave me a piece of dirt, but I’m making it beautiful, one layer at a time.”

4) How long did it take to write Rising?

I spent a year and a half writing Rising. But I didn’t write full time. I wrote when I got an idea or when I felt like writing. It wasn’t until it was published and I had a deadline for another book that I learned to write on a schedule.

5) How do you plot? Do you write it down, have a mood board etc?

I’m what you’d call a pantser. I’ve tried outlining, but I always end up throwing them away and letting the story take me where IT wants to go. Basically, it’s all about learning who my characters are, and putting them into challenging/impossible situations.

6) If you were a character in your book for a day what would you do?

I’d do some serious exploring!! I’ve always wanted to know what lurks in the deepest parts of the ocean.

7) How would you describe your book to get a reader interested in it?

A friend of mine once described my books as Twilight meets Percy Jackson. I think that describes them pretty well. And I’m never offended by people saying my books are like Twilight. I happen to love the series (the books not the movies) and am flattered when people compare them.

8) How many books will there be in the series?

At least four, but probably more. The way I have the stories set up—with different main characters in each book—it’s easier to keep the stories fresh and new. So I guess I’ll keep writing in the Rising world until I get tired of it.

9) What is your favorite genre to read?

          I read a much wider variety of genres than I write in and it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I read fantasy and paranormal, mostly NA, YA, and middle grade—I’m not much of an epic fantasy gal. But I also read anything with an element of romance—historical, contemporary, comedy, crime, cloak and dagger stuff, who-done-it mysteries… You probably get the point. Basically, I love reading amazing books, no matter the genre.

10) What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on a spin-off series for Rising called The Lost Gods series. This one takes place several months after Raging. The lost children of the gods are still out there, living lives not knowing who/what they are. This will be a series following those characters as they discover their powers, have adventures, and fall in love.

Quick Fire Round

Favorite drink

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Favorite color

Aqua blue—for obvious reasons.

Favorite movie/s

All the Harry Potter films, all the Marvel movies (esp. Thor), and I adore Up.

Favorite book/s

I love anything written by Amy Harmon, Julie Garwood, and Janet Evanovich. And I also love Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Percy Jackson, Iron King, and Twilight series.

Favorite place

Disneyland

Favorite TV show

That one is hard to pin down. I do like the superhero shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, etc.

Favorite food

New York style cheesecake

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Check out the excerpt:

He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.

He had to kill her.

His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.

Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.

He hesitated.

No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.

He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.

He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.

Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.

Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course, if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t…

No.

He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.

Just not tonight.

 

Author Holly Kelly

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation–she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She’s now back in Utah–“happy valley”. She’s married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.

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Fire and Fate
Dragons of Galicia Series Book 1
by Simone Pond
Genre: Epic YA Fantasy
 
In Simone Pond’s captivating new fantasy series, a peasant girl
embraces her dragon slayer destiny, calling on the legendary power of
her family’s bloodline to conquer an evil kingdom and kill every
last dragon in Galicia.
Unknowing descendant of a legendary dragon slayer, Evelyn is convinced that
getting out of her quaint yhamlet is the answer to finding true love
and happiness. But she seems destined to work on her mother’s farm,
while the other girls present themselves before the gallant Prince
Kieran in his quest to find a lady-in-waiting.
When the prince finally takes notice of Evelyn, he’s smitten and chooses
her above all the others. Evelyn is elated about living in Verubri
Castle and the possibility of marriage. But her happiness is quickly
squelched when the prince invites Evelyn’s arch rival, Ciara, to
join them.
Before traveling north, Evelyn discovers her dragon slayer ancestry,
something she knows must be concealed from Prince Kieran who
would consider it treason against his kingdom. But the only way to
survive the treacherous journey is to expose herself and possibly
ruin her future and even end her life.
The Dragons of Galicia series is set in a world inspired by Celtic
legends. Fire and Fate leads directly into the next book in the
series, Fire and Chains.
 
 
Fire and Chains
Dragons of Galicia Series Book 2
 
In the second book of the
vibrantly depicted Dragons of Galicia Series, Evelyn of Gorias rises
to her dragon slayer calling as she fights to conquer a kingdom of
deceit, betrayal, and powerful dragons.
Though Evelyn survived the journey across the mountain ranges, the challenges
are just beginning. Verubri Castle holds dark secrets, Prince Kieran
is a tyrant, and Ciara is resolute on destroying Evelyn and seducing the prince.
When a dragon nearly burns down an entire village, Evelyn must go after the
beast. But this won’t be easy, not when the prince has her heavily
guarded. Evelyn’s hope wains, until she encounters a stranger who
changes the course of everything.
With the looming threat of the
entire clan of Galician Dragons being reawakened, Evelyn must hurry
to save the kingdom, while Ciara aims to rule it. To accomplish their
goals, they must defeat Prince Kieran. In their individual struggles
to conquer and prevail, Evelyn and Ciara face external and internal
demons they never imagined possible.
 
 
Fire and Blood
Dragons of Galicia Series Book 3
 
In the final book of the Dragons of Galicia Series, every turn is
fraught with dangerous threats in the quest to save the kingdom.
Narrowly escaping the castle to be captured by a dragon is only the beginning
of Evelyn’s problems. The list of opponents grows as she battles
Ciara, Prince Kieran’s army, and more dragons.
With the neighboring villages being burned and pillaged, Evelyn must pull
together her own army of dragon warriors to fight the prince and his
knights. As her love for Doran
deepens, she’ll do anything to ensure he stays alive, even at the
cost of going to battle without him.
As the war reaches an explosive peak, both Evelyn and Ciara face deadly
consequences. And the only way to save the north from total
destruction is for Evelyn to trust her most deceitful adversary,
Ciara. If the two don’t join forces, all will be lost.
 
 
 
 
 
I write hard-to-put-down, action-packed novels for young and new
adults. I’m obsessed with Boston Terriers, Victorian dresses, and
the end of the world. I’m a warrior of light. 
I grew up in Kensington, Maryland––a small town just outside
Washington D.C.––and spent most of my time filling up journals.
In 2013, I published my first fiction novel, The City Center, which
won a gold medal in dystopian fiction. I publish a book every couple
months, so be sure to sign my mailing list at 
simonepond.com for
updates on new releases.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
 

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Mad Magic
Nicole Conway
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mad Magic is a beautifully dark and rich Young Adult fantasy from Nicole Conway, bestselling author of the Dragonrider Chronicles.

Josie Barton is a high school student living in terror. Invisible creatures torment her everywhere she goes, constantly getting her into trouble at school, and even haunting her apartment. But just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse . . . she meets the guy from across the hall.

Zeph Clemmont is a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a curse that threatens to end his life. Survival means he will have to swallow his pride and trust Josie with all his darkest secrets.

With the help of a gun-slinging shaman and the enigmatic Prince of Nightmares, Zeph and Josie are only a heartbeat away from defeating one of the most diabolical faerie villains their world has ever known.

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Enjoy the excerpt

WHAT IS MAGIC?

“Magic is like water. It’s required for all things on this earth to live and it cycles through the world to be reused over and over again. Some things, even some people, soak up more of it than others or require more of it to live. Children are usually more attuned to it than most. They soak it up like little sponges.” Each word from his lips carried a weight I could feel hanging in the air. “Any being on earth is capable of using it, although humans lost interest and forgot how to do that a very long time ago. Most of them can’t even see it or feel it anymore. Their minds have turned to things of metal. It can be that way for faeries, too. In fact, a lot of us have fallen from our former glory to be fed by the machines of the modern world.”

A strange, wild hunger rose up in me so suddenly it made my body stiffen. If magic was real, then surely it had something to do with all the strange things that had been happening to me. I needed to know more—I needed to understand.

“Where does it come from?”

“The moon.” He paused, holding a liquor bottle in each hand as he turned to look me in the eye. “Or at least, that’s what the old songs say. No one knows for sure. But magic is raw energy that we can use as we choose. Even a small amount can accomplish miraculous or even terrible things.”

 

Author Nicole Conway

NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married and has one son as well as a cat and a dog. She enjoys blogging, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

The Memory Trees

  by Kali Wallace

33830397

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Genre:  Magical Realism / YA Fantasy

My 56 from the hardcover.

Lovegoods didn’t leave the orchard. In all of Mom’s stories, every tale she had shared of their family when they cuddled together by the fire on cold winter nights, nobody ever left. Sorrow hadn’t even known they could.

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.

Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.

Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

Amazon

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The Dark Mermaid
Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”

On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.

Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.

With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

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Fill out this form here before Sept 9th!

EXCERPT:

True Love
When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.

I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.

Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I sense new magic.”

I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”

“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”

“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.

It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.

“Luna, what’s wrong?”

I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”

She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”

I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”

The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”

Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”

I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.

“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”

“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”

“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”

I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”

“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!

Except, I completely did.

I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”

“That’s not the only thing you did.”

I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”

Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”

“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.” “Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue. “What do you mean?”

“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”

“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”

“Why? Do you love him?” “It’s preposterous that I love him!” “But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”

Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.

It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.

“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”

Author Christina L. Barr

As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She’s been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.

In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.

Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.

She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.

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Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis

Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.

Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…

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Enjoy the Excerpt

My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.

Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.

A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.

When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.

I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.

“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

She didn’t hear me.

“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”

Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”

I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”

My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.

I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.

“Let me go,” I demanded.

Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”

I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.

Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.

It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…

Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.

He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.

The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.

I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.

Mother had killed him.

.

 

Author M.E. Rhines

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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