“Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from me.”
–Sebastian the Crab, “The Little Mermaid”
Those innocuous words from an animated children’s movie were the inspiration for my newest release: A 16K-word mermaid short story entitled (wait for it) Better Where it’s Wetter.
(It’s safe to say I went there: it’s definitely sexy under the sea, and you’ll no longer wonder what’s a fire and why does it—what’s the word?—burn. 🙂
My story doesn’t have an Ariel, but it does have an Alana who has dreamed of being a mermaid.
It has a Prince Eric, but he doesn’t hesitate to kiss the girl.
There’s no sea witch, but there is an impressive sea snake.
Sorry, no impromptu song & dance numbers, just my interpretation of mer-sex.
Basically, I had fun with it and hope you’ll also enjoy my quick little roll in the seaweed. It was originally published as part of a now-defunct anthology, so I added several thousand words and a love scene to it and have an awesome new cover to show here (made by Fiona Jayde Media… LOVE her work!).
And, because Delilah let me announce my new release on her blog today, I’m going to offer a FREE Kindle version of it to anyone who comments below between now and Friday, October 5th!
Better Where it’s Wetter
Alana LaRue assumes the sexy merman pictured on the lake house wall is “just art.” Then a violent storm topples her into his arms and she discovers the ocean isn’t the only thing that gets her wet.
He flashed me a smile that would have made my knees go weak. If I had knees.
“With legs, perhaps. But this takes a different skill-set. Trust me.” He pulled me forward. I tried to kick, to undulate in an amateurish butterfly stroke. I only succeeded in convulsing and rolling to the side. His hand on my waist stopped my efforts. I gulped at how his warm hands practically spanned my width. “You don’t have hip or knee joints anymore. Our lower skeleton is strongest in a side-to-side motion. Pretend you’re parading through a crowded bar trying to catch someone’s eye.”
“You want me to walk through a bar? With no legs?”
“Yeah. You know. Strut your stuff. Swing your hips.” He leaned close enough to whisper in my ear. “Make every man want you.”
The mental image of his words and the warmth of his breath against my neck washed another shiver of need over me. My nipples puckered, and I couldn’t blame the room’s ambient temperature this time. My merman—the one whose image had inspired all manner of fantasies these past weeks—was now within arms’ reach, urging me to make him want me.
Hell yeah, I could do this.
My release is so fresh, I don’t even have buy links yet! But check out my webpage for links when I get them (https://avacuvay.com/books/) or look me up on your favorite purchasing site. E-book now available, and print version coming very soon! “Thanks!!” to Delilah and all of you for letting me announce my new release here today!
Note: As of today, there is at least one link—on Amazon. Click the pretty cover to see!
I wanted my fantasy world of Arilase to be similar to Earth but also someplace its supernatural inhabitants would be comfortable. A place of wonderful landscapes and magic. For the first two books in the series, we traveled to the lakes and woods of the wolves and the small towns and forests of the elves.
For this final book in the series, I wanted to explore the seas. To see the glorious frilled shark and the iridescent squid. To have a walrus and killer whales attack. To see the beautiful life on the sea floor. But along the way, I used some Earthly inspiration to develop my world.
Deception Island – a volcanic horseshoe shaped island near Antarctica. It looks really cool and I love the idea of the inner bay. In Cursed Seas, Desolate Isle is remote and icy where mirror-like ice caverns grow beneath the bay.
Little Blue Penguins – I love seeing animals pics from zoos and aquariums. I caught a video that the Boston Aquarium posted about their Little Blue Penguins exhibit. They are so cute. Thus, my Sapphire Penguins were born. They live on Desolate Isle and my hero Alexander acts as their guardian.
The Shell Grotto Margate – A video of these shell walls came across my facebook feed while I was writing my first draft. I instantly knew the walls leading to my Ocean Seer’s lair needed to be like this. Marvelous designs of shells glitter as my heroine walks down the steps to meet a sea witch who may or may not help her.
Our planet plays host to all kinds of interesting creatures, some very old and others may just now be identified. Make sure to take the time to explore the world around you. You never know what you might find.
Cursed Seas — Releases tomorrow!
She’s destined to be Queen. He’s trapped far from home. Together, they must navigate treacherous waters to safeguard the merkin and sea creatures of Arilase.
Chosen to become queen of the merclans, Kaycee dreads her first year participating in the Seven Seas Ceremonies. Swept away by cursed magic, she encounters a lone merman trapped on an isle of penguins. Although responsibilities drag her back home, she can’t forget the bleakness that surrounds him.
Alexander was the cherished heir of the Pelagius merclan. Then his arrogance cost him his freedom. Hexed to only assume his mer-form on the three nights of the triple full moons, his life has changed irrevocably. When a mermaid breaks his solitude, he clings to his affliction afraid to seize the hope she harbors.
Will the ghosts of the past keep them apart? Or will they learn to trust in each other to survive the treacherous waters, defeat an evil sorcerer, and permit love to rule their hearts?
Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.
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.
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
Have you ever felt like you were someone else… just inhabiting your current humdrum life? Like the little girls who were sure they were really princesses and that someday they’d be swept away to their kingdoms and live happily ever after?
Maybe it’s because I’m from Hawaii that, in my head, I was a mermaid.
But here’s the irony… I can barely swim.
Yeah… I know. Silly? Absolutely.
I had a near drowning experience as a child. It was odd, but I won’t go into the details. Just imagine a pool and peer pressure. Yeah, peer pressure sucks.
But for a while in that pool I felt like a mermaid… I didn’t feel out of air… I felt happy, peaceful.
And my astrological sign is crazy… it’s picquarices (or some other odd spelling like that). I was born on the cusp between Pisces and Aquarius – the Fish and the Water Bearer. My Asian zodiac sign – the ox, but more specifically the WATER Ox.
So, what’s my point?
I seem to draw my inspiration from water.
If I have a tough plot hole or a strange question I can’t answer, I go and take a shower or I go to the pool for my exercise. WHAM – answers! But I have to remember the answers until I’m out of the water… If I’m lucky, I can plug the tub, run some water in the shower, and when it’s pooled around my feet, I turn it off and sit there wiggling my toes in the water.
Aaaaand, I’m good.
At least I hope I’ve got it figured out. You’ll have to let me know when you read my books!
I’d like to do a giveaway/contest…
Tell me… What Element inspires you?
Does it link to your zodiac sign? How so?
A random commentor will be selected as a winner to receive their choice of my ebooks available on Amazon.com.
I grew up in a magical realm where winter never comes, we find dollars on the seashore, stars in the water and mermaids in warm springs. Yes, of course, that place is Florida. The dollars are shells, the stars are fish and the mermaids are in Weeki Wachee. A state park that started out as a privately-owned tourist attraction in the 1940’s, it features natural springs that remain 74 degrees all year long.
Local kids could take swimming lessons there. Every morning for an enchanted two weeks in the summer, I waited beside Highway 19 for the repurposed school bus that transported me an hour away to Weeki Wachee. I wore my bathing suit underneath my shorts and carried my towel and a little cash for a snack.
When we arrived at the Springs, we entered the section roped off for lessons and set our bags and towels down on the white sand. Shivering, we tiptoed into the chilly water an inch at a time. I will never forget the first day when I put my face in the water and blew bubbles, then mastered floating on my back. By the end of the week, I was dog-paddling and within a summer or two, jumping off the high dive.
Along with my swimming ability, I developed a fascination with mermaids. I watched the Weeki Wachee sirens perform their show countless times over the years and never lost my admiration for their athletic skill and graceful movements. As a teen, I wanted desperately to become one of them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
I practically lived in the water all summer, and I gained a healthy respect for it. Many times, when we played in the Atlantic at New Smyrna or Daytona Beach, powerful waves snatched me and rolled me over and over until they spit me out on the sand, wheezing and sputtering salt water. Every year undertow or rip currents pulled a few people out to sea. Water has power and it can be marvelous or terrifying, or both.
When I decided to write my novel, Water Dreams, I chose mermaids for the primary paranormal feature. I wanted a different take on the myth and so I created the Nerei, a race of shapeshifting mermaids and mermen, whose form on land is indistinguishable from humans. They want one thing above all else: freedom from water. Until they achieve that, they must immerse themselves frequently to restore their bodies.
The heroine of my story is Nik, a young woman from Tarpon Springs, Florida, who is terrified of water. She doesn’t know how or why she fears it so much, but she won’t have anything to do with it, including going near the ocean or pools.
The Nerei contact Nik and tell her they believe she holds the solution to their problem because she shares their DNA and can stay away from water. She doesn’t believe them and refuses to have anything to do with them.
Bas is a young merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s cooperation. He doesn’t like humans much but he is fascinated with Nik. He can’t give up on convincing her to help the Nerei and he wants to keep seeing her. However, his people forbid relationships between their kinds and breaking the law is punishable by death.
Water Dreams is the story of how Nik and Bas bridge the gulf between them. It is also the story of how Nik resolves her water phobia. She experiences dreams about water throughout the book. They start as paralyzing nightmares and progress during the story, becoming less frightening as she grows stronger, giving her hints and clues about how to work out her problems. Eventually, she gains control of the dreams, as she conquers her fear of water and overcomes the dilemmas presented by the Nerei.
Here is an excerpt from Water Dreams:
She waded in, appreciating the satiny water on her skin, enveloping her naked body from her waist down, a velvety embrace. She looked at the stars glowing above her, and the full moon lighting the sky, making a shining path on the cenote. She listened to the tree branches soughing in the breeze, the Whippoorwills calling. There was a sense of timelessness about the moment that made her feel like a twig in a river. She created a tiny ripple in the stream as it passed along. The cenote and the woods were there long before she arrived, and would endure long after she was gone.
Nik dove into the water, gasping at the cold. She swam several hard strokes until the blood sang in her veins, warming her inside out, then turned over onto her back and floated.
When she heard splashing behind her, Nik gasped, imagining an eerie creature shared the depths of this pond with her. However, Nik saw a familiar shape and realized Bas was swimming with her. He was in his Nerei form. His massive tail slapped the water, arcing radiant drops over Nik’s head and into her face. She spluttered, going under for a minute before surfacing behind him. She didn’t have a tail to splash Bas, but she surprised him, and dashed him with a handful of water to the face. They played for a little while, chasing one another and laughing.
Bas had a huge advantage. Because he swam so much faster, she couldn’t get away from him. Bas caught her, held her close to him, and looked into her eyes. In the moonlight, Nik could see Bas well. He smiled at her. He circled her waist with one arm. He used his other hand to stroke Nik’s hair. Bas’ chest pinned Nik’s naked torso against him and she wrapped her legs around his waist. Both hot and cold swept over her at the same instant, a tsunami of sensations she had never imagined, much less experienced. She feared she might pass out. Bas didn’t say a word, but he lowered his mouth to Nik’s and kissed her, first softly and then hard. Nik kissed him back, her head spinning.
And now for thecontest. For a chance to win a $5.00 Amazon gift card, please comment on this blog with something about mermaids.It doesn’t matter what it is, just share. I’ll put the names of everyone who comments in a list and draw one at random. I will announce the winner in a couple of days and will need that person’s email address to send the gift card. It’s just a token to say thank you for reading my blog, but you can get one or two eBooks, if you use it wisely.
About the Author
Katherine started making up stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday but she put off creating fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country. Although devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic, Katherine found helping veterans and their families fulfilling. She lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel, is a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and is the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series. It is available in print or e-book from Foundations, LLC, Amazon, and other retail sites.