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Shadow in the Sea

Readers will return to Windwaithe Island once again. When sixteen-year-old Sadelyn Hanson washes up on the shores of Windwaithe Island, her beauty and the strange marks on her wrist make superstitious locals suspect she is a mermaid. Feigning amnesia, Sade hides a far worse secret: she was sailing to her own murder trial when she was thrown overboard by the real killer, the cunning and cruel Captain Westwood.

Sade's quiet effort to rebuild her life on the island is threatened when she meets an actual young merman. Unable to speak his language, Sade still longs for the warm companionship he offers, despite the locals' dire legends about merfolk and their dark magic. But her confused feelings for the impossible boy become the least of her problems when Captain Westwood's ship docks at Windwaithe. With nowhere to escape, Sade must trust in the one person who doesn't fear the merfolk. A woman who had dealings with them herself—years ago

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deleted Scenes Part 5

*SPOILER WARNING* Do not read this post unless you have already read Forbidden Sea.

There was a lot more to Lady Lauretta's story than is currently revealed in the final version of Forbidden Sea. For those who are curious, you can now read it here. This conversation takes place right before Lauretta asks Adrianne about the fate of her father.


"My father wanted me to marry the son of a lord who lived on the mainland. Everything had been arranged, you see. I didn't like the young man. He was deadly dull and had the intelligence of a peahen." Lauretta made a very unprincess-like grimace over the memory of her once intended.

"I loved my father dearly and didn't want to disappoint him. He was so pleased with the match and I could see no way out of it without causing him a great deal of public embarrassment. I would go to the Rumble Stones at low tide and cry there where no one could see me. Then I would return home and pretend to be the perfect and content daughter. One day I went to the Rumbles and found Jendayi waiting for me there and--well--I'm sure you know the rest of what happened."

I did indeed. All the many pieces of the story now came together into one. How strangely different the truth was compared to the legends.

I'd have ditched the peahen for the handsome and dashing Prince Dasarian too.

Deleted Scenes Part 4

*SPOILER WARNING* Do not read this post unless you have read Forbidden Sea.

Ever wonder what purpose Lady Lauretta's necklace of glowing beads served? The answer to this riddle was edited out. As you will notice from this scene, the private conversation between Lady Lauretta and Adrianne originally happened outside the castle instead of inside where it takes place in the final version.


The tiny lights within the beads of Lauretta's necklace seemed to glow even brighter, lighting our way as she led me along the outer palace wall. She caught me staring at the necklace and put up her hand to finger the beads.

"I can't call up light the way the rest of them can, so I use this instead," she said.

"Don't the lights burn you with their cold?" I said with a shiver.

"My husband made the beads especially for me. They hold the cold inside so it doesn't hurt to touch them. Clever, huh?"

The magic within the blood of the merfolk gives them all the powers they need to live beneath the sea. One of the things they would need to survive down in the darkest part of the ocean would be light--so their magic provides it.

Deleted Scenes Part 3

*SPOILER WARNING* Do not read this post unless you have read Forbidden Sea.

For those who were wondering how it was possible for Jendayi's kingdom in the Caribbean Sea to get along without her for a hundred years, the answer to this question was originally included in the story but had to be taken out for pacing reasons.


"You said you ruled the Caribbean Sea. Who is running things while you are away?" I asked.

Jendayi continued to study the mosaic as she answered. "My brother was willing to take up the crown while I performed this service for our royal cousin."

"Why you?" My question made Jendayi finally turn toward me. "That is a far distance to come just to play matchmaker."

"Her majesty, my cousin, said I was the only one she trusted with the important task of finding brides for her sons." Jendayi's voice was warm and wistful as her thoughts turned to those she loved. "Because of my noble blood I am, let us say, more adept than most of my kind at reading the hearts of men even while they are yet on the land."

"More than your brother?" I asked.

"Much more than my brother."

Though I do not say so in the book, I had always imagined the power of seeing the future to be a trait found dominantly in females rather than males. There are a few mermen born with the gift but not many. Even the Crown Prince Dasarian does not have this gift and his powers are great. The Sea Queen has some of this gift, of course, but Jendayi's powers of foresight are much greater than hers. This was one of the reasons she chose her younger cousin for the job. This is also the reason Jendayi believes she always knows best and nobody better tell her differently!

Deleted Scenes Part 2

SPOILER WARNING: If you have not read Forbidden Sea do not read this post!

In an earlier draft of the story it was revealed that the Sea Queen was a widow. Because Jendayi had been raised in the Sea Queen's court, the prince consort (the Sea Queen's husband) had been like a father to her and they were very close when he tragically died. This scene took place as Adrianne and Jendayi are looking at the mosaic in the palace that depicts the birth of the merfolk race.


"Where is the king in all this?" I asked.

"The king?" Jendayi cocked her head questioningly to one side.

"The Sea Queen's husband?"

Jendayi's swaying tail fell still. She turned her head slightly away as if examining the far left of the mosaic, but I had the feeling she wasn't really seeing what was before her. When she finally answered her voice seemed distant and hollow.

"Dakarai's prince consort died many years ago. Not long after the birth of their second son."

It must have been a tragic death. A loved one taken before their time. Young children left without a father.

Just like Papa.

With all her great power and alien majesty, Jendayi was no different than me when it came to her grief. It made my heart ache for her loss, but I didn't know what words to say that would make it better. I didn't know how to let her know I understood.

The silence stretched awkwardly between us and I decided it was time to move on to another subject.

For those who are curious. The Sea Queen's husband died while trying to save the lives of some human sailors whose ship had crashed into a reef during a storm. He was caught between the reef and a large piece of wreckage from the ship. Prince Dasarian was old enough at the time that he still has memories of his father, but his younger brother has no memory of him.

Deleted Scenes Part 1


Do not read this post unless you have already read the book. Don't say I didn't warn you. : )

In the original story Jendayi had essentially been raised in the royal court of the Sea Queen. The queen acted as more of a mother figure to Jendayi than a cousin. The Sea Queen had been pushing Jendayi to marry, but because of all the political scrutiny involved in such a match, Jendayi and Rriess were attempting to keep their budding relationship under wraps for a little longer to avoid the inevitable public excitement that would quickly follow. They felt they needed time to get to know one another better. The scene was removed because there just wasn't time to go into enough detail on the subject for it to make sense. The scene below happened right after Rriess meets Adrianne for the first time.


"I think Rriess likes you," I said to Jendayi. She calmly continued to swim as if she hadn't heard me.

"I think you like him," I added recklessly.

Jendayi turned her full attention on me, her amber eyes searching my face. "I always thought you were a perceptive girl," Jendayi said, nodding her head. Her crown flashed, reflecting the light of the city in its polished gold surface.

Breathing out a long watery sigh, Jendayi continued. "My cousin, the Sea Queen, has been after me to marry for many years. I would appreciate if you would not speak to her of my meeting with Rriess today. It might cause--" Jendayi hesitated.

"Speculation?" I finished for her.

"Well spoken indeed, Adrianne of Windwaithe," Jendayi said with a smile.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Forbidden Sea Available for Pre-order

I got the thrill of my life today when I discovered that Forbidden Sea is now available for pre-order on It's almost like I'm a real author or something. Click the link below to see this miracle of miracles.

Okay, maybe you're not as excited as I am about this--but that's my book on Amazon!!! It doesn't get much better than that.

(c) 2010 Sheila A. Nielson

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