A Different Kind of Fantasy Element

While planning Between Land and Sea (Book 1 of the Mediterranean Trilogy), I considered different fantasy elements.

What advantage could I bestow upon a beautiful mermaid who had given up her tail and lost her mermaid powers?

A magic wand came to mind, but I quickly dismissed a possibility often associated with fairy godmothers and benevolent elders. In this case, there was no such elder. Isabella’s grandmother (and chief elder of the Mediterranean Kingdom) had reacted quickly and savagely to her granddaughter’s defection, aging her thirty years and adding twenty pounds to her slender frame.

I let several ideas percolate and then settled on a magic tablet with online mermaid support. For twelve months, Isabella/Barbara would have access to Lisa738, a Numbers Mermaid programmed to provide basic and Specialist Skills.

Here are five features of a magic tablet with online mermaid support:

1. A Numbers mermaid is assigned to each tablet. These mermaids are the worker bees who make everything possible in the Mediterranean kingdom. In addition to their daily tasks, they spend hours keeping up with technological advances and staying at least one decade ahead of humans.

2. All the buttons on the tablet are raised and shiny. Their glaze has been treated with magnetic ions. The ions from the button will penetrate human skin and gravitate to the brain. In less than five seconds, all the information from the button will be absorbed.

3. If an ex-mermaid is feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks, she can request a speed burst button. This button allows her to work two, three, five, or ten times faster than normal.

4. A desensitization button is also available. This button can convert fearful, negative thoughts into positive ones. Ex-mermaids need this button to help them overcome their fear of flying and any other phobias they may have. It is equivalent to two full years of therapy.

5. Ex-mermaids can also request three Specialist Skills buttons during their first year on Earth. These powerful buttons enable them to master a chosen skill or ability in a short period of time. Imagine Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours minimized to mere seconds.

In Between Land and Sea, Isabella/Barbara asks Lisa738 for her first Specialist Skill in the following excerpt:

Excerpt

Barbara picked up the tablet and pressed the green button.

Lisa738 appeared. “Greetings, Barbara. What can I do for you today?”

“I’m giving my first dinner party and I’m not certain—”

Lisa738 interrupted, “You need a Specialist Skills button. No problem, but I think you should know that you are only entitled to two more of these buttons during the coming year.”

Barbara made a mental note to ask Gillian for more information regarding the tablet. “Of course. What will I be able to do with this button?”

“You will be able to whip up any dish in any cuisine. You will also have an extensive knowledge of the ingredients and nutritional value of any meal you create.”

“Like Martha Stewart?”

Lisa738 laughed. “Martha Stewart. Rachael Ray. Nigella Lawson. You will be able to hold your own with any of them.” She pointed to the new button that appeared below the screen.

Barbara picked up the button, peeled off the coating, applied it to her left temple, and waited for the unsettling sensation. This time, the experience was more intense. Barbara lost her balance and had to hold on to a nearby chair for support.

Lisa738 winced. “I forgot to warn you about the power of the Specialist Skills buttons. You may need to lie down for an hour or so. Are you planning a large dinner party?”

It must be very lonely for Number mermaids in the underwater kingdom. Barbara recalled her few interactions with them. She knew that they spent long hours in front of terminals and did not socialize with the other mermaids. She decided to be kind. “No, it will just be Graham and me.”

Lisa738 nodded in approval. “You have a male companion. How is that progressing?”

“We’ve been going out for almost two months now. Our relationship is a comfortable one.”

“Is that enough for you? In spite of all that has happened, you are still a Bella. You need and deserve passion.”

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Blurb- the Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


A Tale of Two Trailers

After signing the contract for Between Land and Sea with Soul Mate Publishing, I started brainstorming about different marketing tools. One idea that popped in my head was a trailer. In my research, I had discovered mixed messages regarding the effectiveness of trailers. Some authors and publicists were wildly enthusiastic while others suggested that trailers did not necessarily lead to more sales.

Weighing both sets of opinions, I reached the conclusion that it wasn’t just about sales. I wanted to celebrate the launch of my debut novel with a trailer. And to make the prospect of a trailer even more exciting, I could call upon the expertise of my musically-talented brothers.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


Sharing Mermaid Humor

While fishing, three men catch a mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish.

The first man shakes his head and says, “Okay, if you can really grant wishes, then double my IQ.”

The mermaid says, “Done.”

Suddenly, the man starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly.

The second man is so amazed, he says to the mermaid, “Triple my IQ.”

The mermaid says, “Done.”

The man starts to spout out all the mathematical solutions to problems that have been stumping the scientists.

Impressed, the third man decides to one-up his friends. “Quintuple my IQ.”

The mermaid looks at him and says, “You know, I don’t usually try to change people’s minds when they make a wish, but I really wish that you would reconsider.”

The man is adamant. “No, I want you to increase my IQ times five, and if you don’t do it, I won’t set you free.”

“Please,” says the mermaid, “You don’t understand what you’re asking. It will change your entire view on the universe. Won’t you ask for something else….a million dollars, anything?”

But no matter what the mermaid said, the third man insisted on having his IQ increased by five times its usual power. So the mermaid sighs and says, “Done.”

And the third man is transformed into a woman.

Now, that I’ve got you in mermaid mode, I thought I’d let you know about a special promotion running until Saturday, April 4th.

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Blurb- the Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


Character Interview

thecomingofarabella_200x300 (2)In Between Land and Sea (released in September 2013), I introduced Isabella of the Mediterranean Kingdom aka Barbara Davies. She returns in The Coming of Arabella.

Before starting to write, I like to interview the characters. Here’s what Isabella/Barbara had to say…

Continue reading on Carly Jordynn’s blog.


The Mermaid and the Woodcutter

I discovered the following artwork and fable on my Internet travels.

Enjoy!

mermaidwoodcutter

A woodcutter had been hard at work all day, cutting down trees to sell for firewood. It was nearing sunset, but he wanted to cut down one last tree before going home for the night. Coming across a sturdy elm that grew beside a deep pool, he set to work. But he was so tired that, after a few strokes, his ax slipped out of his hands and fell with a splash into the deep black water.

“How could I be so careless!” the woodcutter cried. “I’ll never see my ax again!” And he stood by the water in despair.

Now, a mermaid happened to be nearby, and heard the woodcutter’s lamentations. Quick as thought, the creature appeared before him and asked him what was wrong.

“I’ve lost my only ax in the water,” the woodcutter groaned. “I can’t afford to buy another, and now my children will go hungry. What can I do?”

“Wait here,” the mermaid replied, and she dived to the bottom of the pool. When she came back to the surface, she held in her hand an ax made of pure gold.

“Is this the ax you lost?” the mermaid asked the woodcutter.

“No, that one isn’t mine,” the honest man answered.

The mermaid dived again to the bottom of the pool and came up with a shining silver ax. “Then this one must be your,” she said.

“No, that one’s not mine, either,” sighed the woodcutter. “Mine was just a plain iron ax with a wooden handle.”

For the third time the mermaid dived to the bottom of the pool, and this time she came up with an old, worn iron ax.

“That’s the one!” cried the woodcutter joyfully. “How can I ever thank you?”

“My friend,” said the mermaid, “your honesty deserves a reward. Take all three axes home with you, and your children will never go hungry again.”

When the delighted woodcutter reached home, he told his family what had happened.

Now, the woodcutter had a brother who, when he heard the story, said to himself, “Why should my foolish brother have better luck than me? Tomorrow I’ll try the same trick, and I’ll come home wealthy too!”

The next day the woodcutter’s brother went to the same pool and promptly threw his ax into the water. Immediately he began weeping and wailing, calling on the mermaid to help him. The mermaid appeared and, diving to the bottom of the pool, brought up a golden ax. “Is this the one you lost?” she asked.

“That’s the one!” the woodcutter’s brother cried.

But the mermaid let the golden ax fall back beneath the water.

“For your dishonesty,” she said, “you’ll have no ax at all. “And then she vanished, leaving the woodcutter’s brother poorer than ever.

Today marks the end of the Mondays for Mermaids series. Thanks for following!


Medium-Budget Gift Ideas for Wannabe Mermaids

I had fun shopping for these gifts on the Cafe Press website. Click on images for links and prices that range from $30 to $100.

Enjoy!

Mermaid Art Wall Calendar - $30 CDN

Mermaid Art Wall Calendar – $30 CDN

Charm Bracelet - $34.50 CDN

Charm Bracelet – $34.50 CDN




Marine Mermaid Throw Pillow - $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Throw Pillow – $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Wall Clock - $37.50 CDN

Mermaid Wall Clock – $37.50 CDN









Clive Pearl Mermaid IPad Shirt - $45 CDN

Mermaid Shirt – $45 CDN


Clive Pearl iPhone Case

Clive Pearl iPhone Case – $45 CDN

Fantasy Art Bathmat - $52.50 CDN

Fantasy Art Bathmat – $52.50 CDN

Light Pajamas - $60.00

Light Pajamas – $60 CDN




Ruby Mermaid Throw Blanket - $73.50 CDN

Ruby Mermaid Throw Blanket – $73.50 CDN

Vintage French Mermaid Shower Curtain - $97.50 CDN

Vintage French Mermaid Shower Curtain – $97.50 CDN



Low-Budget Gift Ideas for Wannabe Mermaids

I am featuring several low-budget gifts for the wannabe mermaid on your Christmas list. Click on images for Amazon.ca links and prices.

Friends in the United States – Your prices will be even lower!

Mermaid Charm Bangle Bracelet - $5.99 CDN

Mermaid Charm Bangle Bracelet – $5.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Gift Box - $5.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Gift Box – $5.99 CDN



















Mermaid Jewelry Stand - $6.49 CDN

Mermaid Jewelry Stand – $6.49 CDN

Little Mermaid Pillow - $15.99 CDN

Little Mermaid Pillow – $15.99 CDN


















Funny Disney Coffee Mug - $17.99 CDN

Funny Disney Coffee Mug – $17.99 CDN

Save the Mermaids Tote Bag - $20.50 CDN

Save the Mermaids Tote Bag – $20.50 CDN


















The Little Mermaid Umbrella - $17.99 CDN

The Little Mermaid Umbrella – $17.99 CDN

Incense Fragrance Burner - $23.49 CDN

Incense Fragrance Burner – $23.49 CDN


















Canvas Print - The Mermaid $24 CDN

Canvas Print – The Mermaid $24 CDN

Disney Princess Towel/Poncho - $29.95 CDN

Disney Princess Towel/Poncho – $29.95 CDN


















Treat yourself to eBooks of Between Land and Sea and The Coming of Arabella. Follow the inspiring journey of Isabella of the Mediterranean Kingdom from Malta to the fog-drenched shores of southwest England to small-town Ontario to the desert paradise of Sedona, Arizona.

eBook - $3.09 CDN

eBook – $3.09 CDN

eBook - $3.91 CDN

eBook – $3.91 CDN



















Next Week: Medium-Budget Gifts for Wannabe Mermaids