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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

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

My dear friend Karlene at Inksplasher has kindly given my blog a lovely award. Karlene has been one of my writer's group friends for years and is quite an author and blogger herself. Now that I have received this award, I am supposed to pass on the joy and nominate some of my own favorite blogs and list them here.

Many of my favorite blogs belong to friends who have personal blogs. Since most of them probably wouldn't want me to link up to those here on my public blog, I have decided to only list book blogs that I visit frequently in my work as a children's librarian. This list is huge, and trying to think of them all at once was very difficult, so I am sure I have forgotten some. I've put together a list of those I could remember--if yours is not on there, don't despair, I probably just ran out of brain power before I got to yours. Those who are listed for the award below, are now supposed to pass on this award to someone else.

Rebecca’s Book Blog: (What Rebecca doesn’t know about a book is not worth reading about.)

Two and a Half Book Lovers: (Blogging for the whole family! Also a great place to keep up with all the contests currently going on in the blogging community. My first official author interview was posted on this site. Check it out!)

Bookworming in the 21st Century: (An invaluable resource for any children or teen librarian. Kristen always writes fair and honest reviews with great details. I find I tend to agree with her reviews a lot of the time.)

The Story Siren: (I stand in silent awe of The Story Siren’s knowledge of all things juvenile and teen fiction.)

Never Ending Shelf: (Just plain fabulous. Great reviews, contest info and all things book related. Pure heaven.)

The Blue Castle: (If she loves The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery I trust her opinion of other books implicitly.)

Princess Bookie: (I ADORE the pink cupcake theme. Books truly are as scrumptious as pink cupcakes, don’t you think?)

La Femme Readers: (Love the new layout, Eleni.)

Tales of the Ravenous Reader: (Got to love that title! The blog itself is even better.)

Mandy Can Read: (Mandy brings a fresh teenage perspective to all her reviews. Nice work.)

My Fluttering Heart: (She blogs about great books and about a whole lot of other extremely fascinating things besides. Check out that real Bilbo Baggins house some guy built for his family to live in! And if your next wedding isn’t steampunk you are so missing out.)

Tempting Persephone: (Just recently discovered this one. Nice header artwork. Wish I knew who the artist was. I want them to design the cover of my next book.)

A Good Addiction: (I love that she always posts pictures of her dog sitting with her books. Toby is so cute.)

And for the younger crowd:

XOX Casey + Sammy Forever: (Is there anything as delightful as a young fan who has finally discovered the perfect series of books? I think not. Fabulous job, Cammylover. Did you take all those cool photographs yourself?)

I'm sure there are many more but I don't want this post to take up too much space. Thank you to all the hardworking bloggers who provide me with such great blogs to read. I could not do my work as a well informed librarian without all of you. And if you have a great blog I didn't list here let me know, I'm always open to discovering more fantastic book blogs.

Congrats to all!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mermaid Books for All Ages

In my internet wanderings I’ve noticed that there are not a lot of comprehensive mermaid booklist out there for younger readers. As a librarian, I am constantly being asked by kids for new mermaid books to read. And since my book is a mermaid book, I’ve decided to put a list together here on my blog. They are in no particular order. Just for the record, I have not read most of these books so just because it is on the list does not mean I am endorsing the title. Read at your own risk.

Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction:
Shadow in the Sea (Sheila A. Nielson)
Forbidden Sea (Sheila A. Nielson)
Deep Blue (Jennifer Donnely
Water Trilogy (Kara Dalkey)
Daughters of the Sea Series (Kathryn Lasky)
Thora: A Half-Mermaid Tale (Gillian Johnson)
Teenage Mermaid (Ellen Schreiber)
The Mermaid Summer (Mollie Hunter)
Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"(Debbie Viguié)
To Catch a Mermaid (Suzanne Selfors)
The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen (Delia Sherman)
The Tail of Emily Windsnap Series (Liz Kessler)
Indigo (Alice Hoffman)
Aquamarine (Alice Hoffman)
A Serenade of Mermaids (Shirley Climo)
Ingo Series (Helen Dunmore)
Sea Change (Aimee Friedman)
Drift House (Dale Peck)
Wet Magic (Edith Nesbit)
The Islander (Cynthia Rylant)
The Merman (Dick King-Smith)
The Sea Man (Jane Yolen)
Sea Princess Azuri (Erica Reis)
Forgive My Fins (Tera Lynn Childs)
Princess Pearl Series (Teri Tao)
The Mermaid's Mirror (L.K. Madigan)
Between The Land And The Sea (Derrolyn Anderson)
The Mermaid Princess (Kris Rivers)  
Lost Voices ( Sarah Porter)
Tempest Rising (Tracy Deebs)
Between the Sea and Sky (Jaclyn Dolamore)
Ripple (Mandy Hubbard)   
May: Daughter of the Sea (Kathryn Lasky
Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale (Carolyn Turgeon)
Legend (John Brindley)
The Undrowned Child (Michelle Lovric)
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings (Hélène Boudreau)
Everblue (Brenda Pandos)
Tangled Tides (Karen Amanda Hooper)
Lies Beneath (Anne Greenwood Brown) 
The Vicious Deep  (Zoraida Cordova) 
Undertow (Callie Kingston)
Above World (Jenn Reese) 
Of Poseidon (Anna Banks) 
Watersong Series (Amanda Hocking)
 Legend (John Brindley)
Siren (Tricia Rayburn)
Florence (Ciye Cho)
Monstrous Beauty (Elizabeth Fama) 
The Secret of the Emerald Sea (Heather Matthews)
The Brides of Rollrock Island (Margo Lanagan)
Whatever After: Sink or Swim (Sarah Mlynowski)
Everblue (Brenda Pandos)
Descent (Katie O'Sullivan)
Awaken (Skye Malone)
Surfacing (Shana Norris)
Non-fiction Books:
The Secret World of Mermaids (Francine Rose)
The Book of Mermaids (Patricia Saxton)
Mermaids (Elizabeth Ratisseau)
The Secret History of Mermaids (Ari Berk)
Mermaid Tales from Around the World (Mary Pope Osborne and Troy Howell)
Mermaid Cookbook (Barbara Beery)
Imagine You're a Mermaid (Meg Clibbon and Lucy Clibbon)
Mermaids and Mermen (Shannon Knudsen)
Mermaids Most Amazing (Narelle Oliver) 
The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids  (Ammi-Joan Paquette)

Intermediate Reader Chapter Books:
Mermaid Kingdom Series (Janet Gurtler)
Mermaid S.O.S. Series (Gillian Shields)
Mermaids (Lucille Recht Penner)
The Little Mermaid (Deborah Hautzig)
Fish in Room 11 (Heather Dyer)
Mermaid Tales Series (Debbie Dadey) 
Mermaids in the Backyard (Catherine Hapka and Patricia Castelao)
Mermaid Mysteries (Katy Kit)

Picture Books for Younger Readers:
The Tiniest Mermaid (Laura Garnham)
Mermaid Sister (Mary Ann Fraser)
Mermaid's Bracelet (Beth Harwood)
Mermaid Dreams ( Mark Sperring)
The Little Mermaid (Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger)
The Little Mermaid (Illustrated by Charles Santore)
The Secret Mermaid Handbook (Penny Dann)
Sukey and the Mermaid (Robert D. San Souci)
Mermaid Dance (Marjorie Hakala and Mark Jones)
Can You Catch a Mermaid? (Jane Ray)
Ten Little Mermaids (School Specialty Publishing)
The Merbaby (Teresa Bateman)
Nicholas Pipe (Robert D. San Souci)
Princess Fishtail (Frances Minters)
Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet (Jane O'connor)

I’m sure I have missed some so if you know any good mermaid books you don’t see on this list feel free to add them to comments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Case for Mermaid Fashion Sense

Recently my eleven-year-old niece presented me with this picture she had drawn for me:

It made me laugh when I saw it because I used to draw mermaids when I was her age too--and just like hers, my mermaids always wore the latest in mermaid fashions. Tradition be hanged. Why should fairies get all the best outfits? Spiderweb dewdrop necklaces, rose petal skirts, golden leaf slippers, there is no end to the imaginative possibilities when it comes to fairy attire. Traditional mermaids on the other hand have--what--clam shells or strategic hair?


The merfolk in my novel, you will discover, all wear fabulous clothing. I had far too much fun revisiting my childhood and designing those outfits while writing the book. I must have drawn at least a dozen different fashion designs while exploring clothing for both mermaids and mermen during the time I was researching this book and trying to figure out what the current trend in merfashions should be. I had to take into consideration what materials would hold up underwater, how fitted the clothes should be to make sure there wasn't a lot of annoying free floating extra material to drag the wearer down, or what accessories might be needed to keep looser clothing from floating up at inopportune moments? (A very awkward situation, especially when meeting your significant merman's relatives for the first time.)

Mermaid jewelery was also extremely tricky. How do you keep a necklace in its proper place instead of floating off while the wearer is swimming? And then there is the problem of rust. According to Google, the only metals that don't rust in salt water over time are:






Lead - as in poisoning.

Stainless Steel


Mercury- as in poisoning

I'm thinking gold and platinum are the winners. (Sorry silver fans, but unless you like murky black jewelry of the oxidized variety--better steer clear of pure silver jewelry while attending any mermaid balls.)

Here are a couple random early study sketches I did while trying to fathom the deeper mysteries of merfolk and their underwater fashions.

And now my young niece has taken up the cause of mermaid fashion as well. I may actually prefer her original design over my own. But then what is imagination for if not to challenge the norm and think outside the box for a change? Now if I can just figure out what centaurs will be wearing next season, I'll be all set for that new story I've been dying to write . . .

(c) 2010 Sheila A. Nielson

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