UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!
My new release, Water Desires, Love’s Siren Song book two features a chambered nautilus on the cover. It’s an important symbol to the story and one that has fascinated me for many years.
The chambered nautilus is a sea creature mostly found in the Pacific and Indian oceans at depths of between about 300 and 1500 feet. They have a spiral shell similar in appearance on the outside to a snail. The inside is made up of rooms that the animal uses until it grows too large for the space, walls it off, and creates a new room. They can grow up to two pounds in weight and their shells can have as many as 30 chambers. Their natural life span can be 15 to 20 years. Unfortunately, they are endangered due to people harvesting them for their beautiful shells and loss of habitat as the coral reefs die.
The chambered nautilus is often called a living fossil because it has not changed its shape in millions of years, yet it constantly grows throughout its lifetime. It is a symbol of strength because it can withstand the pressure of deep water. It is also a symbol of balance. Its shape is an almost perfect logarithmic spiral and an example of a golden spiral. This leads to way too much geometry for me. However, if you are interested, a lot can be found on the internet about the spiral shape.
To me, the chambered nautilus represents the complexity of the labyrinth within the eternity of the circle. Since it is a sea creature, it is a perfect icon for the Nerei, or mermaids and mermen who are the main characters of my books.
Did you know that the poem, “The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes references mermaids? Here’s the first stanza:
This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
In the poem, the nautilus shell is broken and lying open with the chambers exposed. The creature that lived within is gone. This should be an image of sadness and death but though poignant is actually hopeful. Maybe the animal has found another home, one that is even more wonderful than the shell he left behind.
That’s what the chambered nautilus means to the characters in Water Desires. It gives them hope for the future and something to hold on to when storms of all kinds rock their world.
The sea and its denizens are of vital concern to me. Too many are endangered (manatees, sea turtles, and whales, for example) and pollution is a major threat, especially plastic melded into virtual islands in the oceans. I’m supporting removing plastic in order to help save our water and our planet.
4Ocean is an organization that makes super cute bracelets out of recycled plastic. With the sale of each bracelet, they use part of the proceeds to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean. Here’s a link to their site: https://4ocean.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4t_iBRApEiwAn-vt-5bfdPJp-XGrCzIP5ZuC73fjs5IFJCov8b3mqvmnMl6YsmPhTj5WpBoC1I8QAvD_BwE
I will gift one reader a 4Ocean bracelet.
Do you think mermaids would hate plastic except as a recycled bracelet? Tell me your thoughts about how we should work to save the oceans. Or tell me which sea creature is your favorite. You don’t have to say why, although I would love to know. I’ll pick one comment at random and send that person a 4Ocean bracelet. You can choose the color.
Thank you for hosting me here, Delilah. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to talk about the chambered nautilus, my new release, and my passion for cleaning up the ocean!
When a strange Nerei (merman) carries an unconscious and badly injured Bas in from the Aegean Sea, Nik (a human woman) knows she must get him to an island in the Atlantic where a hidden spring of healing water will restore her secret Nerei lover.
At the same time, her adoptive father is dying from a boating accident in her home town of Tarpon Springs, and he’s asking for her. While battling a strange illness which antibiotics won’t cure, Nik must figure out a way to save Bas and get home to help her father. When Bas follows Nik to Florida, he is forced to keep his distance from her.
He has already escaped one death sentence for having a relationship with a human and he can’t risk another one. Still, he’s furious when Nik turns to her old friend, a mage Bas dislikes, to help her unravel the hidden truth behind her father’s accident.
Water Desires is Book II in the Love’s Siren Song Series. The thrilling sequel to the award-winning Water Dreams will drag you under and not let you up for air until the end. If you like mermaids, mages, and magical romance, you’ll love this book. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/mermaidromance
About the Author
Katherine Eddinger Smits started writing stories in grade school. While she raised her family and worked as a Clinical Social Worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country, she honed her ideas for novels. Since she retired to pursue her passion for writing, she has published three paranormal romances. She has also written numerous blogs and book reviews. Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in Chesapeake, Virginia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sunshine State Romance Authors, Florida Writers Association and Outreach International Romance Writers. Information about her books, blogs, reviews, and other activities is available at her website: www.katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com