Random Inspirations

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It’s Here! The Mermaid’s Curse Has Launched!

on October 26, 2014

I’m pumped to announce that my newest eBook, The Mermaid’s Curseis out and priced at only 99 cents! It was one of my favorite books to write–I found it immensely stimulating to delve into a brand-new genre after focusing completely on Amish fiction for the past year.

The Mermaid's Curse Slider

Mermaids have intrigued me ever since childhood, when I watched The Little Mermaid and visited Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the performing mermaids. I feel as though I never outgrew my fascination with these fanciful creatures. I also loved the element of historical fiction that I decided to weave into the book; writing about the vacation town of Monterey in the year 1912 was so much fun!

Here’s a free excerpt from the new book. Chapter One can be found at the end of Amish Awakening: Rebekah and Braeden’s Book, and Chapter Two can be found at the end of a previous blog post. Happy reading!

Chapter Three: Oceania

Over the years, Ula has regaled me with stories of humans, and told me that many human men are good-looking. However, her descriptions could never do this man justice. When I surface, he is the first thing my eyes land upon, and his handsomeness strikes me like a twenty-foot wave. His hair is dark and wavy, his skin swarthy. His body is muscular and powerful, his features so strong that they appear to be chiseled, like the rocks on which he sits.

As I pull myself out of the water and greet him, I’m surprised that I feel none of the shyness that I would normally experience when meeting a new merman, especially such an attractive one. Perhaps it’s because everything here is so new and different that I’ve forgotten all about my nerves.

Or perhaps it’s because there’s something about this man that puts me instantly at ease. He’s so nice, telling me that I have a wonderful singing voice. No one has ever told me that before. I decide that I like this Xavier Rose—such a strange, exotic name, just as he himself is strange and exotic.

When I ask him to show me around, however, he wrinkles his forehead. “I would love to,” he says. “But how? I could swim with you, I suppose, but—” He trails off as his eyes land on my fins. “—you’re not really equipped for land.”

I laugh. “I know it might seem that way. But we mermaids change into humans when we’re dry, and back into mermaid form when we’re wet.” Or so I’ve heard. I’ve never actually tried it myself.

Xavier’s long-lashed brown eyes widen, and I realize that I can see myself in their dark mirrors. However, there’s so much more in his eyes than my own reflection—there’s kindness, and a sparkle that tells me he has a passion for life. I wonder what this man does. I can feel a certain sensitivity behind all his strength. Perhaps he’s a poet, or a painter.

“So all I have to do is dry off,” I continue, shivering a bit as the cool night air whooshes over my skin.

Xavier grins. “In that case, let’s get you onto the beach.”

He stands on the rock, heaving me up into his arms effortlessly. My breath hitches as he carries me over the jagged boulders, finally setting me down on a dry spot in the sand.

“Here, Oceania.” He removes his jacket and helps me into it; it’s slightly damp, but guards me against the chill of the windy surface world. Plopping down on the sand next to me, he gently massages his hands up and down my arms from outside the jacket, and I feel my entire body heating up, starting with my arms and extending all the way to my heart.

I never want him to stop, but when he drapes his arm over my shoulder, I realize that this feels even better. I relax into his embrace, leaning my head against his broad chest. For a long moment, time stops. We gaze out at the ocean; it’s just as Ula had described it, with white-tipped waves rolling over each other and the rocks in tumultuous rhythm. Here, the moon is so brilliant and luminous, not at all like the filtered view I’d always had through the water. I hum lightly under my breath, a tune my mother taught me, called Song of the Sea.

“I could listen to you all night,” Xavier says in a husky voice, burying his lips in my hair.

I shiver at his touch, wondering what his lips would feel like on mine. He’s so masculine, but he has a softness about him, too. “I could sing to you all night.”

“Well, let’s do that,” Xavier says. “I know the perfect place to take you once you’ve transformed.”

He glances at my lower half, and I follow his gaze. My tail has begun to tingle as the breezy air wafts over it, and I wince when I feel a slight burning sensation. A moment later, my scales gradually begin to dull and fall away, revealing a layer of skin, as pale and white as the moon.

“Are you okay?” Xavier asks, tearing his eyes away from the transformation and staring at my face. “Does it hurt?”

“A little.” It’s not the worst pain I’ve ever experienced—once I was accidentally bitten by a playful baby shark, and that had hurt far worse. But just the same, I grimace as my tail and the remaining scales crack away and fall into the sand, revealing two smooth legs and two little feet with shiny, aqua-colored toenails. My only covering, besides my seashell top, is a light layer of green seaweed that reaches to my upper thighs.

Xavier’s mouth drops open as he stares at my legs, but a moment later he shakes his head and averts his gaze.

“Let’s walk,” he says quickly. He stands first, and then reaches down, helping me up with both hands. I notice that even when he’s looking at me from above, he keeps his eyes away from my bare legs, as though he’s embarrassed to see so much

flesh. Perhaps he is—Ula told me that humans, particularly the females, are very peculiar about exposing their bodies, and even their bathing costumes hardly show their legs.

I scramble to my feet a bit awkwardly, and scrunch my toes into the sand for stability. “This feels wonderful!” I exclaim, wriggling my toes through the sand. The tingling and burning feelings have subsided, but my legs do quiver a bit under the unaccustomed weight.

Xavier laughs and kicks off his own shoes, doing the same. “You’re right, Oceania. Feeling the sand between our toes is such a simple pleasure, and one that we can so easily forget. But it really does feel splendid, doesn’t it?”

A moment later, however, he stops laughing and asks, “So, do you think you can walk? I mean, you never tried it before, right?”

I nod. “Right. But I think, with your help, I can.”

Xavier laces his arm through mine, and together we walk down the beach by the light of the moon, wobbly at first, but soon falling into a nice strolling rhythm. Finally, I feel comfortable enough with my new legs to look up at the sky and walk at the same time. The stars glisten like mermaids’ tears, each different and perfect.

We walk to a spot where the sand meets the water’s edge, and I squeal in delight as the waves lap over my toes.

“I love it here,” I proclaim, but I jerk my feet out of the water as my toes begin to tingle.

“What’s wrong?” Xavier asks, tightening his grip on my arm.

“I just forgot that once I’m in human form, I can’t get wet or I’ll change back into a mermaid.”

“That’s important to know,” Xavier says, reaching down and drying my feet with his jacket. He glances toward some huge houses near the beach. Many of them are darkened for the midnight hour, but some still have lights in the windows that shine as brightly as the stars. “Come with me, Oceania. It’s time that I show you around.”

I hope that you enjoyed the excerpt, and welcome your comments and feedback about it. I love to hear from my readers!

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