For two weeks, come celebrate mermaids, whether it’s winter or summer where you live. Splash into Summer runs from June 28th to July 21st. There will be author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and more! Now is the time to celebrate mermaids, especially with so many new novels about them coming out.
Today’s Splash post features a look at upcoming novel EVERBLUE, set to be published on July 31st. Isn’t that cover beautiful? I love her hair! *wants* Even cooler? Brenda is a graphic designer and created that gorgeous cover herself!
Tonight, not only has author Brenda Pandos, author of the TALISMAN series stopped by to answer a few questions about her novel, she’s also given us mermaid-lovers a sneak peek at Chapter One. Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little more about EVERBLUE? What will the novel be about?
Everblue is a story about forbidden love, secrets, and a hidden mer world humans have yet to find. Ash wants her life to change and Fin wants everything to stay the same.
Here’s the synopsis:
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
How did you come up with your idea in the first place? What research went into creating your world?
I read mermaid and water “monster” lore online, and watched quite a few underwater documentaries. I also got input for an Irish character from a friend who lives in Ireland, so he’d be true to life. I’ve been to Tahoe (the setting) many times, so that’s mostly true to life. The internet has answered most all my questions I’d had during writing.
I like how you used underwater elements on land, such as the fact that one of the boys is named Fin and Ashlyn swims competitively. Was it hard balancing the contemporary elements in your novel with the fantastic ones?
Sometimes. This book is a first person, with two POV’s (Ash and Fin). I had an easier time with Fin ‘cause he’s more outgoing and his world is very beautiful and I see it in my mind. Ash’s was a little more difficult because her world is the same boring old high school with typical drama. It’s just not as fun.
What other projects are you working on?
I have to finish my third book from my TALISMAN series, THE ONYX TALISMAN. It’s due out in November (fingers crossed). Then I’m off to write Book 2 of MER TALES.
As a writer, how do you come up with your ideas? What would be a perfect writing day for you?
I’m very imaginative, almost to a fault (hence NO HORROR FILMS for me). Ever since the movie SPLASH, I’ve been a mermaid nut. From ages 5 to 14, I was a competitive swimmer and lived in the water. When my friend taught me to sew, I made my own mermaid tail out of an old coral colored nightgown and swam with it in the pool. It didn’t stay on too well, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the fin to stick up out of the water (straws and staples don’t work). But it was fun anyway. My friend and I even tried to trick the neighbor girls and tell them I was one for real. I’m tempted to have one made just to fulfill that dream.
A perfect day would be to be alone with my computer in a quiet space, or even in the environment of my book and write. With two preschool-aged boys, that’s very hard to achieve without a babysitter.
Ariel gave up her voice to become a human. What would you give up if offered the opportunity to be a mermaid?
Tough question. Of course, that was Ursula’s ultimatum and I’d give my voice up for a day as a mermaid, but a life? Naw. I’d have to give up my family, and I’d never do that. So… I don’t think I would trade anything for it, because actually I’m deathly afraid of sharks (thanks, JAWS). It’s ruined me to the point I won’t even swim alone in a pool. There’s scenes in my book that would absolutely freak me out, like swimming in the dark. No way Jose!
If you could be a mermaid for a day, what would you do?
Swim with the whales and the dolphins. Looked for buried treasure. Flip my fin in the air like I’ve always wanted to do. Sun myself on a secluded beach on a tropical island. And I’d carry a spear just in case I ran into a shark. I hope with super vision and hearing, I’d see them so I could get away quick. Can I have a friend with me? Please?
[There is no indentation before each line. Blogger, unfortunately, won't allow it. There will be better spacing in the final version of EVERBLUE!]
She tsked. “What does he want?”
My mouth parched as I caught a glimpse of Tatchi’s twin brother through his windshield. He wore his usual black baseball hat, and looked nothing short of adorable.
“He’s coming here?” My voice cracked.
“Apparently.” She pressed her brows together and looked toward her house. “Let me find out what he wants.”
Fin parked and got out before she could meet up with him.
“Hey, Ash,” he called out with a wave.
My stomach flipped into a knot as I smiled and waved back.
They argued for a minute, but I didn’t catch what about. I stood, trying not to gawk, as I shamelessly adored his broad shoulders and beautiful blonde hair. Under the bill would be his piercing blue eyes fringed with paintbrush lashes—the ones that always melted my knees.
My crush started years ago, right after we’d met when we were ten—right on this beach. With a deep breath, I tried to relax and not dream of a relationship that probably wouldn’t be. As far as I knew, he didn’t think much of me beyond meaningless flirting.
Tatch threw her hands in the air and stormed back in my direction.
“Drama on the home front. I have to go,” she mumbled as she snagged her blanket off the sand. “Sorry.”
“Is everything okay?”
Fin watched us, which made me even more nervous.
“Yeah, it should be fine. I’ll try to call later.” She smiled and gave me a hug. But more of a “I’m leaving for a trip and saying goodbye” tighter kind of hug. I grimaced, unsure what to say.
She left with a sigh and headed toward their house, brushing past Fin without even a look. Once she was out of view, Fin turned and instead of going back to his Jeep, he walked towards me. My pulse quickened.
Ashlyn stood awkwardly as I approached. Her curvy hips and wavy red hair took my breath away. For a moment, I caught her scent and hummed—honeysuckle with just a hint of chlorine from her morning swim. Briefly, I imagined us playing in the water. She’d give me a run for my money in a race.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
Her green eyes darted away. “Not much.”
“Sorry I interrupted—” I pointed towards the imprint of my sister’s towel in the sand.
“Oh,” she said with a gulp and a smile. “It’s okay.”
She pressed her lips together and suddenly all I wanted to do was kiss her right then and there. I took a deep breath and glanced at my feet.
“Is school going good?” I asked, kicking a rock.
“Yeah.” She shrugged and then shot me that look—one with a hint of yearning behind it. I couldn’t help myself. I stepped forward and cupped her cheek. Her skin was soft as a rose petal, but within her eyes I caught my reflection—my very selfish expression.
Her whole life flashed before me. This kiss I desired to give her would change everything—her dreams, her life with her family, her future. Innocent and trusting, she closed her eyes and tilted her chin upward in anticipation anyway. My soul protested, but I did the only thing I could—the responsible thing.
“You’ve got something on your cheek,” I said, wiping my thumb over her skin.
Startled, she opened her eyes and pulled away, her cheeks reddening. “I do?”
I stepped back and grimaced at myself. I was being one of those guys, the jerk who led girls on and toyed with their emotions.
“I’m going to go,” she said, rubbing her hand where I’d touched, and faked a smile. “See ya later.”
She quickly stumbled up the path towards her Grandmother’s house before I could comment, but I heard what she said under her breath. “I’m so stupid.”
I sulked back to the Jeep and slammed the door, hating myself for being such an ass. The only reason I’d come in the first place was to tell Tatch about the meeting we had to attend, not get distracted by Ashlyn’s captivating beauty. And I’d made a complete mess of things.