The Coming of Arabella

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thecomingofarabella_500x750 (2)Blurb

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.

Excerpt

An eerie, buzzing noise startled both women. Everyone in the restaurant stopped speaking and the waiters huddled together near the entrance. One of the chefs came out of the kitchen and headed toward the waiters. The noise continued for almost a minute and then abruptly stopped.

“The aliens have landed,” joked the man at the next table.

Everyone laughed and resumed speaking. The chef went back to the kitchen and the waiters resumed their tasks.

“Wonder what that was?” Barbara’s voice quavered..

But Belinda was not listening. Her right hand trembled as she held her cell phone. When she looked up, there were flickers of uncertainty in her beautiful green eyes. She flashed the phone at Barbara who gasped when she read the short message: Mermaid arriving in Carden. En route from Toronto.

Belinda grabbed Barbara’s arm. “You must contact Graham at once.”

“He’s somewhere on the highway between Windsor and here. I can’t tell him everything over the phone.” Barbara thought back to the previous morning when she had awakened to the tickle of a beautiful red rose. As soon as she opened her eyes, he kissed her passionately and apologized once more for leaving her with the last-minute details of the party. But it couldn’t be helped. One of his clients had expressed interest in a series of paintings, and Graham was anxious to close the sale.

Belinda spoke sharply. “You must tell him before she arrives.”

“Who is she?”

“She could be anyone from the tribe, anyone at all.” Belinda threw the phone in her purse.

“That strange noise came from your phone?”

“That’s how the underwater kingdom communicates with me.” Belinda drummed her fingers on the table. “Usually, I get more details, but–”

Barbara glanced at the cell phone that could easily have been purchased on Earth. Like all other digital devices from the mermaid kingdom, it did not stand out in any way. She wondered if any other ex-mermaids had such a phone but quickly dismissed that possibility. Unlike Belinda, they were not Bellas so it wouldn’t make sense to entrust them with a direct link to the kingdom.

“It may not be so bad,” Barbara said. “It might be nice to have another ex-mermaid in our midst.”

“You’re making the assumption that she will be pleased to see you.”

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