Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/T_BTtdxuLSk
They plunged downward. Indigo felt the transformative rush as her legs changed to a single tailfin, and her hips and below became a sheen of golden scales. She breathed in water and wriggled her way downward. As she did, she stole peeks at Bay. His merman patterns, like ruddy tribal tattoos, emerged along his jawline, down his muscled arms and on both sides of his lean torso. His scales, a rusty gold, matched the patterns on his skin, and glittered brightly against the darker waters like the sea-glass she so loved. His chest and abs seemed to swell and flex at the same time with the strength of a Poseidon, the grace of a marathon swimmer, the glory of a merman Royal in his prime. She forced herself to look away, and to concentrate on seeking out the tablets, whether they were the nano-synth ones, more of the type in that hidden burial chamber, or another type of artifact altogether.They swam a good way around the outer perimeter, and found nothing of note except for a shattered belt-pack, most likely from the mining accident. She left it there. A little farther on Bay found a cracked human skull. Indigo was sure this was also from a miner, fatally injured in the blast.She and Bay dug a plot and buried the thing, after she argued that it would be a dishonor to the human dead to ferry it to Pyreshore. “I witnessed that accident,” she explained to him. “There’s nothing more to learn from a human miner’s cracked skull. We’re here for the merfolk.”He agreed. Halfway around the next perimeter, Bay found another synth plaque, half buried in a whorl of sand and shattered shells. He gingerly slid it in his pack. They gave each other the thumbs up and carried on. For another hour, they worked their way around the crest until they reached the chasm itself. The sight made Indigo shudder. It wasn’t that there was anything visually horrific about the opening, with its piles of sand mixed with shell and coral shards. It was its energy—pulling them toward it as if subterranean demons were sucking them in, famished enough to gulp them down whole. As if this gaping wound was the dark force of what humans called Hell—an eternal, cursed tunnel lined with sticky, deadly evil.Bay tread water near its edge. Trepidation was etched on his face. “What if… we dove down and explored this damn hellhole together?”So he connected it with hell too. He must feel the force, luring them both in. “You sure, Bay? Only a week ago I hauled you up, half dead, from this site. You were hooked up to all kinds of wires in the hospital, remember?”“I’ll never forget.” Their eyes met in a question, followed by a resolve.Something else was on Indigo’s mind. She realized, as she undulated closer to the chasm, that she had harbored her own plans to head back as soon as she gathered the courage, to explore the hidden alcove inside the wall of the burial chamber where she’d found the orb.The orb… what was it exactly? Why did it have its own tiny room? Why was the wall there like a mollusk that grew and shrank? How was it connected to the supposed merfolk coffins? Or was it pure coincidence they existed side by side? She didn’t want to lie to Bay anymore. But she wasn’t ready to spill her guts about the orb’s existence with him either. There were still too many questions.“So, are we doing this?” He nodded toward the abyss.“Yeah, we’re doing this. But of one of us gets badly mauled, or worse, the other will haul both of our tailfins up and out of there. And if you see the phantom fish or hear screams in languages you don’t understand you’ll tell me. You won’t just chalk it up to volcanic pressure. Agree?”“Okay, sure. I’ll keep an open mind. Let’s head down together. As allies.” With this, he held out his hand.She took it. His palm gripping hers was electric, and they thundered down in a flurry of bubbles.
What Makes this Book Special?
I love writing books set in beach towns and characters with complex relationships to the ocean. In my novel Witch of the Cards, I wrote about a woman learning that she hailed from a sea witch dynasty. In Pictures of Dorianna, I wrote about a girl who, unbeknownst to her, makes a deal with the Prince of Darkness. This happens when his supernatural video of her on a Coney Island beach goes viral, spinning her life out of control.
In this new urban fantasy, Secrets of the Mermaid, I got to study mermaid lore and deep-sea creatures, and create mysterious merfolk characters. My heroine, Indigo Rain moves to a glamoured gothic beach town called Pyreshore and becomes a Keeper of the merfolk’s secret history. Indigo is a mermaid with a private slide from her basement into the Atlantic Ocean, and her own deep, dark secrets.
Her eventual love interest, Bay Finley, is of Royal merman stock, while Indigo, is of common stock. So the added “special sauce” is the Harry and Meghan royal versus commoner element.
Who wouldn’t love to suddenly be able to transform from human to mermaid? I give readers the experience through Indigo. “Out of sheer exuberance, she performed somersaults, twirls, and grand swoops up and over the seabed ravines and ridges.” Or even better, her first dive with Bay, her fellow merfolk researcher and secret crush:
“They plunged in. Indigo felt the transformative rush as her legs changed to a single tailfin, and her hips and below became a sheen of golden scales. She breathed in water and wriggled her way downward. As she did, she stole peeks at Bay. His merman patterns, like ruddy tribal tattoos, emerged along his jawline, down his muscled arms and on both sides of his lean torso. His scales, a rusty gold, matched the patterns on his skin, and glittered brightly against the darker waters like the sea glass she so loved. His chest and abs seemed to swell and flex at the same time with the strength of a Poseidon, the grace of a marathon swimmer, the glory of a merman Royal in his prime. She forced herself to look away, and to concentrate on seeking out the tablets, whether they were the nano-synth ones, more of the type in that hidden burial chamber, or another type of artifact altogether.”
I discovered deep-sea fish like the ghost shark with an extra set of jaws inside its maw that can suddenly extend like a slingshot to gobble prey, and the dragon fish that produce their own glowing light. They protect Indigo when a dangerous phantom attacks her and their light guides her back home. Mermaid lore is also endlessly fascinating, and disturbing! One element I used was that mermaid were known to lure sailors undersea and drown them, in order to use them to fertilize their ova to make wee little merbabies. Rather gruesome, and one shameful thing in Indigo’s past she feels compelled to atone for. You have to read the book to find out how! No spoilers here. If you love the ocean and its magical creatures, why not spend time with Indigo, Bay and the quirky cast of characters on Pyreshore and under its coastal waters?
About the Author:
Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal, urban and historical fantasy with romance. Witch of the Wild Beasts won a second prize in the Romance Writers of America’s Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books for Teens. She lives in New York State and grew up in Philadelphia. Before writing novels, she was a painter and fabric designer. She’s a visual author when it comes to scenes, and sees writing as painting with words. She loves edgy thrills, perhaps because her dad read Edgar Allen Poe tales to her as a child. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, writing about supernatural creatures, gardening and meeting readers at book fests.
Subscribe to Catherine’s Newsletter:
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Stine/e/B001H9TXJC