Struggling authors, please read.

All my author (and artistic) friends, please read. I really needed to read this today. Maybe you do, too.

Author Kyle Perkins

By Kyle Perkins.

So lately I have heard from a few people that they feel like they should just give up on writing because for whatever reason, they are feeling like it just isn’t worth it anymore. Whether they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention, don’t have enough fans, or whatever the case may be, they are wrong, and here’s why.

Writers and authors have a gift, and because we have that gift, we have an obligation, a responsibility to use it. We may “just” arrange words in such a fashion that people enjoy reading them, but a heart surgeon “just” transplants hearts, and astronauts “just” go to space. We need to stop treating writing like it is simply a hobby that “anyone” can do, because that’s not the case. We “just” take people to places they can’t go on their own, and give them a form of escapism…

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Today Month9Books is revealing the cover and some excerpts for their Charity Anthology IN THE BEGINNING! which releases October 25, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
On to the reveal!


Title: IN THE BEGINNING: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Editors: Laureen P. Cantwell and Georgia McBride
Author: Stephen Clements, Nicole Crucial, Mike Hays, Sharon
Hughson, Marti Johnson, Elle O’Neill, Lora Palmer, & Christina Raus
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N |Goodreads
In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories
inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.
IN THE BEGINNING, edited by Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride
Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master’s zealous defiance of the king’s law seals their fate.
Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she’ll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.
Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken. 
The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.
The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.
Condemned by Elle O’Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.
First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah’s sister Rachel.
Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.
Anthology Excerpts:
From THE DEMON WAS ME, by Sharon Hughson:
The ghastly black fog overtook me. Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first
against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.
“Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you resist something as ethereal as air?
Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister. It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A foreign power clutched at my mind.
I screamed. I rolled to my side and squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.
Another dark wave of laughter echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me. Against my will, my limbs flailed in every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.
From BABYLON, by Nicole Crucial:
Only those will enter Heaven whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
These were the first words I heard, in the beginning of time.
But Sefer, the protest comes, Revelation wasn’t written until the first century.
My answer is that time is a funny little plaything to God, or so I imagine. That first sentence was the wind that breathed life into my chest, the binding of my pages, the ink in my soul. It knitted together my stardust-atoms from across centuries and millennia and planes of existence.
And when the first dregs of consciousness swirled at the pit-bottom of my spine, I yawned and opened my eyes to paradise.
From CONDEMNED, by Elle O’Neill:
To his surprise, as he heard the metal door grind to a stop, there was a popping sound, like the flash-lamp did when they experimented in Classic Photography at Routlege. Except no camera appeared—not that he could see anyway—but rather a digital time clock, bold red
numbers, already beginning their descent, in striking relief against the black paint covering the walls.
Of course they would include the fractions of a second, he thought. He was now fighting a tiger against a racing clock. For all that they were merely numbers, he saw their dwindling trickle as if he were watching grains of sand pour through the hourglass of his fingers, helpless.
The tiger looked at him. It didn’t glance his way. It directed its massive head at him, its eyes trained on Barabbas … and they didn’t turn away.
Another man, in another arena, stood calmly while the tiger advanced. His breathing was even, he did not watch the clock, and he looked with love upon the prowling beast. When it snarled, he slowly exhaled; when its whiskers glanced his weaponless fingers, he blinked gently as the hot breath of the tiger dampened his skin.
From LAST WILL & TESTAMENT, by Mike Hays:
I’ve found money, I’ve found food, and I’ve found myself in plenty of trouble on plenty of occasions, but I’ve never found another human being just lying around. That’s what happened when I found a person-shaped ball of olive drab and camouflage clothing—which would have been more at home in the reject pile down at the army surplus store—under our decrepit, worn sign for the, “Extraordinary 
League of Witch Assass_ _ _.”
It’s true. I found a boy about my age sleeping at the end of the Extraordinary League of Witch Assassins driveway.
From UNWANTED, by Lora Palmer:
“Let me see you,” he whispers. “Let me truly see you.”
I swallow down the fear this moment brings, the anxiety that once he does see me, he will no longer accept me. No, I must stop thinking this way. My husband is not like Jacob, dazzled by the superficial beauty of my sister. My husband, my love, will see me.
Taking courage from this, I let out a shaky laugh as he helps me stand. I long to see him, too.
“All right,” I say.
He lifts my veil, his deft fingers moving slow, relishing the anticipation of this moment. At last, he lifts the linen over my face and lets it slip to the floor behind me. We stare at each other, stock still, in stunned silence.
It was Jacob.
From EMMACULATE, by Christina Raus:
The Ten Commandments are pretty straightforward. Killing? Bad. Lying? Nope. Adultery? Don’t even think about it. But is real life really that straightforward? If you tell your boyfriend that you’re going golfing, when really you’re going out to cheat on him, is the lying or the adultery worse? What if you stab the guy you’re having an affair with? Isn’t being a murderer worse than being a cheater? I think the stabbing
is worse than the lying and the cheating combined. So, it was kind of unfair for God to group killing, lying, and cheating all together under one umbrella. They all seemed really different.
I was an adulterer. I couldn’t deny that. I was also a liar. A very, very good liar. But I wasn’t a murderer.
From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:
The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth
It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water.
A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is. “Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping
against its hull.
From DANIEL AND THE DRAGON, by Stephen Clements:
Your god is a liar!” roared the wizened man in thin black robes, as he pounded his breast with his fist.
Habakkuk stood by the gates of the temple as his master picked a fight with a sanctuary full of the slavish followers of Bel, a bloodthirsty demon god. A fire raged in the fanged maw of a giant, stone head sunken into the back of the temple, there to receive the offerings rendered unto Bel. He had seen this before in other temple raids with his master, though not on such a massive scale, and not at the heart of the demon cult in Babylon itself. The fire raged as the greatest offering that the Babylonians—who adored Bel above all other gods—could sacrifice to their deity
was their own newborn children, rolled their screaming, helpless bodies down a stone, handshaped altar into the fire. They offered the fruit of their wombs to their dark god, who devoured the innocent souls sacrificed to him in eldritch rituals.


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive an eGalley of IN THE BEGINNING, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 Things is Free!

Jamie Ayres wrote a YA paranormal romance novel a few years ago that I fell in love with – 18 THINGS. She followed it up a few years later with 18 TRUTHS and 18 THOUGHTS.  You can read my review here.

Today and tomorrow, 18 THINGS is available for free.

If you like paranormal romance with subtle religious undertones, I highly recommend this book. Give it a whirl while it’s free. If you like it, I have no doubt you will want to grab the rest of the series.

Buona lettura!!

Poppy Mayberry, the Monday – A review

poppy mayberry



What if your teacher could read your mind just because she was born on a Thursday? Or the kid next to you in class could turn back the clock just because he was a ‘Wednesday”? In the quirky town of Nova, all of this is normal, but one thing is not—Poppy Mayberry. As an almost-eleven-year-old Monday, she should be able to pass notes in class or brush her dog, Pickle, without lifting a finger. But her Monday telekinesis still has some kinks, and that plate of spaghetti she’s passing may just end up on someone’s head. And if that’s not hard enough, practically perfect Ellie Preston is out to get her, and Principal Wible wants to send her to remedial summer school to work on her powers! It’s enough to make a girl want to disappear…if only she were a Friday.

Book Birthday:  September 13, 2016

Publisher:  Tantrum Books


Ever since I saw this cover, I knew I had to read this book, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I absolutely loved this book!!

It’s about a girl who has “Monday” powers (if you were born Monday through Friday, you have special powers like telekinesis, or the ability to transport or read minds), but she hasn’t quite learned how to develop it. To make matters worse, she has this girl at school, Ellie Preston, that really, really dislikes her, and poor Poppy just can’t seem to get a break when Ellie Preston is around. In fact, their dislike of each other winds them up in the Power Academy, a summer school for kids who need to work on their powers.

Of course, there are issues that arise once Poppy and Ellie get to P.A. and they end up in the middle of a terrifying plot that is sure to undermine their relationship even further.

Or will it?

I’m not going to get into the fun, adventurous, engaging plot, but I will say I really loved Poppy, Ellie, Logan and Sam. They are so real and quirky and so believable. The pace moves beautifully for a middle-grade book. The plot is not too thick and the language is perfect. Some of the visuals had me laughing out loud (think spaghetti), and the style is light and fun, whimsical and adventurous. The scary parts aren’t too scary for the younger readers, and the story wraps up nicely with a warm, fuzzy feeling, but there is a hint of more books to come.

Fans of Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost City series and Pete Catalano’sArtifacts” will find this book immensely enjoyable. I definitely have it on my list to give to a couple of young readers who are ready to be introduced to the world of magic and fun. I look forward to reading more from this author.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Genesis Girl – A “Killer” YA story



I will post my full review of this book later today, but I wanted to give you guys my opinion on this novel.

5-stars, guys.  Truly. From the first word to the last, I was hooked.  You have so got to get this book if you love intrigue, strong heroines, mystery, cyber/internet stuff.  Wow. Truly amazing.

Will be back this afternoon to finish out this review.  In the meantime, go get this book!!!

The Dragon King is Born!

After 2 long years, today is my


Check out my baby in all its glory!!

book birthday picture

Please help me celebrate by spreading the word that the Dragon King has been born!

Also, there is a Facebook party going on between 2PM and 10PM EST time today.  There will be games, trivia, free books and other prizes.  Come join me and a host of other YA and NA authors as we celebrate this fantastic day. Just follow the link below.

Hope to see you there and thank you for being a part of my very special day. I’m so excited I can’t stand it!!!

Tangled (1)


What does ARTIFACTS by Pete Catalano have in common with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys?


Oh my goodness. It has been such a long time since I’ve read a middle-grade book so full of snark, fun, memorable characters and a whopping good Goonies sort of tale of adventure and excitement.

First of all, who doesn’t love this cover? OMGosh!! The colors are so vibrant. The font is perfection!  I don’t know who designed the cover but they did an excellent job.

With a cover like that, I suppose a synopsis would be good. Here is what Goodreads has to say:


It’s funny how one little letter can change a person’s life. Jax and his friends have been planning the summer of a lifetime at Camp Runamuck. However, when one of them is facing summer at a school desk for failing English, they watch those plans crash and burn!

At the last moment they’re given a way out.

An extra credit assignment to find several fake artifacts for a fairy tale display their teacher is presenting at the local library.

Thinking they’ve hit the easiest-extra-credit-ever jackpot, they begin rummaging through any piles of junk they can find. As they start putting the clues together, they realize that what they’re really searching for is one authentic artifact that can rewrite fairy tales!

Enlisting the aid of the Lost Boys, Jax and his friends battle fairy tale villains to see who can get their hand, or their hook, on it first.

Purchase Links:

BAM | Google Play | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

My Review:

I have to tell you, I was hooked from the first word.  12-year-old Jax Murphy is a trip, but not as much as his friends Crunch, and the Wahoo brothers. And Jax’s relationship with his sister, Dana, is classic middle-grade humor. I love Jax’s parents in this novel. They are like the coolest parents a middle-schooler could have.  and Korie, well, she’s high-spirited and just as eager to join in the mix of guys as the guys are.

I loved the premise behind this story and was delighted to see it take on a Captain Hook and the Lost Boys storyline. I’ve read many upper YA stories based on fairytales, but this one is definitely a romping fun read for the middle-grade boy. What a breath of fresh air!

There were times I felt events unfurled a little too easily just so the kids could get things to go their way, but those parts were covered up by such funny antics and marvelous interaction between the characters that I forgave the conveniences. There was non-stop action and the adventure to find the artifact that would send everyone to Camp Runamuck was crazy fun. I found myself grinning throughout the story and rooting for these bumbling, yet endearing kids.  There were twists and turns, evil villains, magic and snappy dialogue. I can’t imagine a middle-grader not eating this story up.  Have you got a reluctant middle-grade reader? Give them this book. It’s crazy, insane fun.

I totally give the book 5 stars out of 5. I loved every minute of it and recommend it to anyone who wants to just escape into a funtastical and magical fairytale-esque story. Pete Catalano, I bow to your greatness. Please continue these stories. I could see a whole series of Jax Murphy books, you know, like Goosebumps, just different.

About Pete


Pete Catalano’s books are written for kids of all ages — and adults who secretly never grew up. He lives in Charlotte, NC with his adorably funny wife and two neurotic dogs. Pete was a theater major in college and tries to keep the ‘suspension of disbelief’ in his life as much as he can.



Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |Goodreads





Giveaway Information:  Contest ends June 3, 2016

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Artifacts by Pete Catalano (INT) click Rafflecopter below.


Wanna follow more links to the tour to see other reviews? Read interviews? Click on the banner at

top of the page to  see the entire tour stop. 



What would you do if your son wanted to be a dragonrider?

Today I’m super excited to share with you a mini interview I had with Nicole Conway, author of the amazing Dragonrider Chronicles series of books. The third in the series, TRAITOR, just released in the last week and it is spectacular!!

Adobe Photoshop PDF

What’s it about?  Read below.

No amount of training has prepared Jaevid Broadfeather for the frontlines of battle. Now facing the true horrors of war, with Luntharda looming on the horizon, Jaevid has begun to question everything he thought about his heritage. The only thing keeping him going is his oath to protect his dragonrider brothers. But in an instant, even that slips through Jaevid’s fingers as he steps from the safety of his dragon’s saddle into the depths of his mother’s wild homeland—the kingdom of the gray elves.

Stranded in Luntharda with his partner, Lieutenant Jace Rordin, Jaevid must finally confront the demons of his own past as he uncovers the truth about a war that began before he was ever born. Armed with a new appreciation for destiny, and flanked by his trusted friends, Jaevid moves to make the final strike against an enemy that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.

One kingdom’s traitor will become the world’s last hope.



I’ve been following Nicole on social media for a while and I love her Instagram pics of her military family, especially her little doodle bug. Being from a military family as well, I jumped at the chance to learn more about how this hectic, crazy lifestyle affected her writing.


Me:  Hi Nicole. Thanks for joining me today.  I have to know.  You have a little one (whom I’ve enjoyed watching grow since he was born, and has captured my heart). You’ve also recently moved to another country with beliefs and traditions quite different from ours. How does being a military wife, a mother and now “world” traveler affect your writing? Do you find you are inspired more to write? Less? Does your husband’s job give you ideas for your stories?


Nicole: I consider myself very blessed and fortunate to get to live in so many different places, including on the opposite side of the globe. It’s not easy. Every time we move we leave behind friends, memories, routines, and are forced to start over somewhere new where we may or may not know anyone at all. But I try to look at each new destination as an opportunity to grow, explore, and learn.  It’s all about perspective, and it’s my mission to instill in my son an adventurer’s spirit so that he’ll never be afraid to try something new.

It definitely has an impact on my writing, for the better, I think. There are so many things from different cultures that you simply don’t know until you’ve lived them out in daily life. I think it opens my mind and inspires me to stretch the boundaries of my own imaginary worlds. It’s steeped in tradition, and that is something that definitely heavily influenced THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES.

Me:  I have to ask this.  In a world where dragonriders were real, would you be okay with it if your own little E chose to become one?

Nicole:  If my son wanted to become a dragonrider, I’d certainly be proud and let him pursue it. It would be hard letting go of my soft, sweet, smiley little boy knowing he would return to me a steely eyed man. But I think I could find peace about it, especially if I knew he would have a mentor like Sile, Jace, or Prax. I truly believe that there comes a time in a boy’s life when he must learn from men how to become a man himself. Boys need and crave that kind of mentorship from father figures in their lives.

I couldn’t agree more, Nicole!!  Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to chat. I wish you all the luck in the world with your series and all the stories yet to be told. Keep posting pics of your little bit and enjoy your stay in your new, exciting and adventurous country. From an Army brat to an Air Force family, please relay my thanks from me to your husband for his service to our country.  I’m sure many others offer those sentiments as well.

For those who want to learn more about Nicole, please feel free to hit up her social media accounts and her website.

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

1873356322542586 Adobe Photoshop PDF



Scepter of Fire – Cover Reveal

Today Vicki L. Weavil and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for SCEPTER OF FIRE, a companion novel in the CROWN OF ICE Series! Which releases October 18, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!

Here’s a message from the author.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” SCEPTER OF FIRE is a companion book to CROWN OF ICE, my retelling of “The Snow Queen.” It takes place a few years later, in the midst of an invasion by a power-mad foreign emperor, and includes most of the characters from CROWN OF ICE.

However the protagonist in SCEPTER OF FIRE is someone new—17yo Varna Lund, an ugly duckling among swans, who’s certain her destiny lies in taking on the mantle of village healer after the death of her aged mentor. But when a young soldier enlists her aid to care for his injured friend, Varna and her sister, Gerda, are catapulted into the war that has engulfed their country.

Forced to flee enemy troops with her sister and the two soldiers, Varna must also evade her mentor, Sten Rask—revealed to be a powerful mage seeking the enchanted mirror hidden by a former Snow Queen.

To protect the mirror, and their country, Varna, Gerda, and the soldiers join forces with a sorceress, an enchanted reindeer, a brilliant scholar, and a young woman traveling with a wolf. But Varna faces a terrible temptation. Promised beauty and power by the devilishly handsome Rask, she must choose—achieve her own desires, or protect a society that has never embraced her.

The Cover:

I love how this cover matches the cover of CROWN OF ICE, and yet is different enough to set the books apart. Both feature striking young women, but whereas CROWN is glazed with icy blue tones, SCEPTER is saturated with reds, golds and other fiery hues. If you look closely, you can even see flames reflected in the girl’s eyes—very appropriate for a book that deals with sorcerers who wield fire. Although the cover model is not an “ugly duckling,” she does accurately reflect the protagonist during one portion of the book, which I will not reveal at this point due to “spoilers”!



Author: Vicki L. Weavil

Pub. Date: October 18, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback & eBook

Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD |Goodreads

Sharp as pine needles, and twice as bitter, seventeen-year-old Varna Lund’s determined to become a healer. At least patients don’t care about her looks, unlike the young men who spurn her for eighteen-year-old Gerda or even her younger sisters. An ugly duckling among swans,

Varna hopes to bury her passionate nature in useful work.

Her healing skills are put to the test when Varna encounters Erik Stahl, a young soldier who’s deserted the battlefield to carry his injured friend, Anders Nygaard, to safety. Varna, enlisting the aid of Gerda, cares for Anders in secret.

But a brutal betrayal catapults the four young people into life on the run, where Varna discovers her old mentor is actually a powerful wizard. Seeking the enchanted mirror hidden by a former Snow Queen, the wizard hopes to use Gerda as a pawn in his plan to aid the invading emperor.

Other forces ally against the wizard, including an auburn-haired sorceress, an enchanted reindeer, a brilliant scholar, and a young woman traveling with a wolf. Along with the soldiers and Gerda, they vow to prevent the mirror from falling into enemy hands. But tempted with promises of beauty and power from her now devilishly handsome mentor, Varna must choose between her own desires and the good of a society that’s never embraced her.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, SCEPTER OF FIRE is a companion book to CROWN OF ICE.



Vicki L. Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Virginia, a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University, and a Masters in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After working as a librarian at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) in NYC, she is currently the Director for Library Services at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. A member of SCBWI, Vicki is represented by Fran Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY.
Where you can find Vicki: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr


1 winner will receive an eBook of CROWN OF ICE & an eGalley of SCEPTER OF FIRE (when available), International.

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EMERGE by Tobie Easton ~ a fantastic mermaid tale

Today I’m reviewing EMERGE by Toby Easton, a new release from #Month9Books.

Publisher:  Month9Books

ISBN 13:  9781942664918

Release Date:  April 19, 2016

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.


My Review:

I’m not huge into mermaid stories, though I did like The Little Mermaid quite a lot. (Of course, Disney had to take the dark out of it to make it “kid” friendly, but that’s another post altogether.)

I really liked Emerge a lot. It’s a fantastic story about survival, love, right and wrong, sacrifice. All the awesome themes for a great fantasy novel.

Lia is a mermaid completely out of her element due to the mer-wars. She is a refugee who’s grown up on land, trying to fit in with the human society, and doing everything she can to hide who and what she really is while trying to fit in.  She’s doing ok until she’s told she has to jump in the pool during swim class. If she does, her legs would turn to fins and everyone would learn she’s not who everyone thinks she is. Lucky for her, this hero, Clay, comes to the rescue and saves the day. Like a typical teen, Lia develops a strong attraction to Clay, and he to her.

But she’s a mermaid, and he’s human. For Lia, it’s a match that can never be made even though she wants it. And it would not be good for Clay if she got too close. I do have to say that Clay is super amazing. What a great book boyfriend!! Too bad the villain didn’t see things the same way. Mel Havelock, the “other girl” … omgosh, this chick is something else. Every girl who’s ever had a crush on a guy that’s dating another girl can relate to this entire “relationship”, and the intense desire to rip someone’s eyes out.

But Lia didn’t.  She shows an amazing amount of restraint, while trying not to let her heart shatter into a million pieces.

I liked Lia as a heroine. I like that she doesn’t have everything figured out. She makes mistakes. Lots of them, and she learns from each one. I did find the plot a bit predictable, but I loved it just the same.

I completely related to this story on so many levels. Seeing the guy you want to be with but can’t be with for various reasons. The love, the heartache, the angst, the humor. That feeling of everlasting love. Having your first crush.

Knowing it can never work.

It’s all here, in this beautiful, neat little package called, EMERGE.

I give it two thumbs up and 4.5 stars, mainly because of its predictability, and because Lia got on my nerves a bit. Neither one of those were deal breakers, but they did cut down on the stars by ½ point. I thought there was a lot of action, fantastic world building, and wonderful character development. I will definitely be waiting for book 2 … with fins on.  :-)

I received an ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.