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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

Friday, July 16, 2010

This is One for All You Teachers Out There

A friend (who is a teacher back in my old neighborhood in San Jose) recently wrote to me, asking if I remembered any of my elementary school teachers encouraging me in my drawing and writing when I was young. The answer to this question is most certainly a yes. In fact, I still remember that one special teacher's name.

Mrs. Corbett, my first grade teacher, was more than just a teacher, she was my friend and champion. This woman had the patience of a saint. I was not an easy child for a teacher to have in her class. I couldn't sit still two seconds together, I couldn't stop talking, and half of the time my mind was off wandering through the many worlds of my own creating. Getting me to focus was like like trying to hold down a bank of fog. As for getting me to remember to bring back my homework from the day before--forget it. And when I did manage to finish a paper, it was usually covered with so many doodles and sketches it couldn't be read without great difficulty.

Mrs. Corbett not only liked me, she liked having me in her class. This angelic woman actually arranged for me to be put into her class for second grade the following year. And when I moved on to third grade she sat my new teacher down ahead of time and explained to them how to get the best performance out of me. She told them that if they were patient with me I would work my heart out for them in time.

And she was right.

Mrs. Corbett took the time to get to know me. She would ask to see my drawings, even when she'd just caught me doodling one in class when I should have been studying. Instead of getting mad, she would hold the picture in her hands, looking down at it as if it were a fantastic treasure. She'd put up my work and praise it in front of others. She would listen to my stories and ask me questions about them, sincerely interested. She never tired of my childish rambling. She made me feel like my creative side was something wonderful and special--not something that was useless and annoying. She used to tell me that someday I would do amazing things with my talents.

I wish with all my heart that could meet Mrs. Corbett again now that I am grown. I wish I could hug her tight and thank her, with tears in my eyes, for all she did for me. For making me believe I could do anything if I put my mind to it. She will probably never know how much of an influence she made on one small doodler in the back of the room. Or that this doodler now has a book published which is dedicated to all those who encouraged this author in her starry-eyed dreams. Mrs. Corbett, wherever you are, you are definitely one of those most important people.

Forbidden Sea is lovingly dedicated to you.

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(c) 2010 Sheila A. Nielson

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