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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, December 2, 2011

A School Visit I Will Never Forget!

(c) Rebecca Stephens 2011

I visited Syracuse Art Academy on Tuesday morning. I spoke to a group of over 300 students. (7th-9th grade) There were a lot of writers and illustrators in the audience so it was extra fun to talk to them about how to create a story and get it published! One girl, named Rebecca Stephen, even made a poster (pictured above) of Jendayi to advertise for the event. Isn't it beautiful? : ) I especially like all the lovely detail she put into the tiara! Click on the picture if you'd like to see it in even more up close and personal. Thanks Rebecca (and to all the Syracuse Art Academy students) who made my visit one I will never forget! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Brand New Look

I thought it was time for a change of scene for this blog. I got tired of the same old look and decided to redecorate and shake things up over Thanksgiving weekend. I might tweak it a bit more after living with it for a while--we'll see . . .

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Contest! With LOTS of Prizes!

Contest Now Closed

Bella Invite

A friend of mine is currently hosting a fun contest to celebrate the release of the next Twilight film. I am one of the sponsors providing a prize to be given away between November 7th-18th.

I will be giving away a signed hardback copy of Forbidden Sea like the one pictured above.

There will be lots of other prizes available as well--so if you like the Twilight books (or just prizes in general) here's how to get entered in order to win!

Answer this Trivia Question: 

What is the name of the mermaid that Adrianne meets in Forbidden Sea?

Email the answer to this question to Put my name, Sheila Nielson, in the Subject line of the email and include your mailing address, in case you win. Deadline: midnight, November 19, 2011.
Don't give away the answer to the question by posting it in comments. Send it via email to All emails with the correct answer will be automatically entered to win my book and the Grand Prize.

Click the link below for even more contest details as well as to find out what other prizes will be given away:

The answer to the question and the name of the winner will be posted on the Inksplasher blog on November 21st. The winner must have a shipping address within the U.S. Prizes will be shipped at the end of the contest.

Good luck to you all!

And Even MORE Book Reviews . . .

Forbidden Sea got another great book review! This one is from Jennifer over at Simply Stacie. Here is the link:

Thanks so much for your kind words, Jennifer. So glad you liked it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Trends in Teen Fiction

The Teen Librarian's Toolbox Blog has posted a fascinating look at the top ten current trends in teen fiction. Mermaids is listed as number six. Forbidden Sea is listed as one of the recommended titles! Woohoo! Check it out by clicking the link here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Forbidden Sea Book Trailer

This week we have begun preproduction on the Forbidden Sea book trailer. I had no idea how much work goes into making one of these things! You'd think we were actually making a movie instead of just a trailer for the book itself. I've been madly gathering costumes for the cast. When you have as small a budget as I do--you have to get a little creative at times. For example: the girl who is playing Adrianne is perfect for the part, but doesn't want to cut her hair. (Not that I blame her, she's doing this for free as a favor to me.) So we have to figure out a way around it. In a trailer, sometimes faithfulness to the book takes back seat to what looks absolutely fantastic on the screen. And the mermaid! She's the hardest part of all. But it has been a lot of fun and everyone involved is excited about how it's all shaping up. I can't wait to get started filming!

Friday, September 2, 2011

So You Want to be a Mermaid

 Ever wanted to be a real live mermaid? Look no further. Below are links to places you can buy real mermaid tails--for a huge price of course. Even so--I totally covet some of these tails. Especially the ones you can actually swim in! Check it out by clicking the links below.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Best Books EVER!

Okay, all you readers out there. Today I want to know which book you have read and re-read the very most in your lifetime? Which book do you find yourself returning to when you have a few moments to spare--or better yet--when you don't have time, but you read it anyway? Which books do you mark your favorite passages in? Which novel do you have memorized so well, you know exactly which page to turn to so you can read a favorite part again and again? I think the story I've re-read the most is the Emily of New Moon Series. I loved that series as a child. Much more than I loved Anne of Green Gables by the same author. I liked Anne a lot, but I loved Emily more. A close second would probably be Beauty by Robin McKinley.

What about you? Which are your most re-read books?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review!

Another great book review, this time by The Lost Entwife. (Who else just loves this delightfully whimsical name?) Every once in a while an author will find a reviewer that completely understands what it is what they were trying to communicate when writing their book. A real kindred spirit. Thanks for taking the time to write about Forbidden Sea, Lost Entwife. You actually brought tears to my eyes as I read it! Click here to read the full review.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

FREE Autographed Copy of Forbidden Sea Giveaway--Don't Miss Out!

She Known As Jess has posted an author interview with me on her blog! Not only is her blog completely awesome in every way, but the questions she asked me about Forbidden Sea were quite thought provoking and I enjoyed answering them a great deal. I have also donated a signed copy of Forbidden Sea for a giveaway hosted by her blog. If you are interested in learning more about the free book giveaway or in reading the interview--click here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Interview with Adrianne Keynnman!!!

SPOILER WARNING: The interview below gives away many important plot points (and even the ending) of Forbidden Sea, the novel. Do not read the interview that follows unless you have read the book. You have been fairly warned.

 Seriously . . .

I mean it . . .

Are you still here? Okay then.

Author's Note: I recently wrote a letter to Adrianne Keynnman and asked her if she would be willing to answer a few questions for me and her fans. She was amazed to learn how many people had read her story and become interested in what happened to her after her experience with the merfolk. Adrianne was a little reluctant at first but eventually I persuaded her to do the interview. I sent the questions to her in a letter and she wrote back her answers. I’m posting those answers here for everyone to see.
Why didn’t Denn know you were the right girl for him from the start?

Because like all the boys on Windwaithe Island, Denn, can sometimes be a complete and utter idiot from time to time. I say that with only the greatest of respect for my dear friend, I assure you.

Did you and Denn fall in love after you returned to Windwaithe Island?

What kind of hair-brained question is that to ask a person you’ve only just met? My feelings for Denn are my own business and nobody else’s! For your information, Miss Nielson, Denn was nosing about my personal things the other day and almost discovered your most impertinent question. I had to wrestle your letter away from him and tear it to pieces before he had the chance to see. If Denn were to get wind of such nonsense I’d never hear the end of it! So, no more silly questions about my private feelings for a certain dashingly handsome young man with red hair and freckles, if you please.

(I really hope Denn doesn't see that last part before I have a chance to send this letter off to you. I’ll hold you personally responsible, Miss Nielson, if he does.)

What happened to Auntie Minnah after you went back to Windwaithe?

Not long after my return Auntie Minnah packed up all her things and left us to go live with her friend, Laura Mills. While I must admit I like not having to deal with her griping every day—I do regret having her leave before I had a chance to try and repair our relationship in some small way first.

What happened between Cora Lynn and Denn after you returned to the island of Windwaithe?

Once Cora Lynn realized that Denn was not going to come around and make up his argument with her, she changed her tune and started hounding him. She flirts shamelessly with him at every opportunity, trying to regain his interest. He tries to avoid her whenever possible and will often hide if he sees her coming. Denn frequently stops over to visit my family’s cottage at odd hours during the day in order to escape from Cora Lynn’s clutches. She refuses to come anywhere near me or my family (especially in pursuit of Denn) which is just fine by me.

“I’m going to pay for my mistake with Cora Lynn for the rest of my life, aren’t I?” Denn once moaned to me after ducking out on the poor girl for the third time in one day.

“Very likely,” I said with an unsympathetic grin.

He has no one but himself to blame for it.

Is there going to be a movie made of Forbidden Sea?

Miss Nielson has tried to explain to me what exactly a movie is—and failed miserably in the attempt. She said it is something that hasn’t been invented in my time, thank heaven for small favors. I got a headache just trying to imagine how such a thing would work. It sounds like something mermaids might conjure up with their magic. I’ve given up trying to understand THEM, so I think I’ll pass on this question and try answering the next one.

Did you ever tell your mother and Cecily about your trip to the Mercity after you returned home?

Mama would have worried herself sick if she had ever found out the truth so I never told her about what happened to me the night I left Windwaithe. I was able to sneak back into the house without getting caught the next morning. Mama never suspected a thing about what I’d been up to. As for Cecily—I didn’t tell her what happened at first. For a long time she suspected I was hiding something from her and Mama but didn’t press me about it. One day Cecily accidentally discovered where I’d hidden the blue dress the mermaids gave me and demanded the full story from me right there and then. I told her everything and she promised never to say a word to anyone about it. My sister has faithfully kept that promise.

Do you get to see Dartemore anymore?

Since I’m the only one that can safely ride Dartemore, he has become my number one responsibility while working up at the manor stables. It is my job to exercise him every day. Denn comes along to help me sometimes. We take the horses out for long rides together. Denn is determined to ride Dartemore someday. Personally, I think he has a better chance of getting his thick skull cracked open than he does of ever convincing that horse to let him ride on his back.

Do you regret not meeting the Sea Prince?

I’ve thought about this question quite a lot since coming back from the mercity. Jendayi told me the Sea Prince would eventually fall in love with me but she never said I would fall in love with him—probably for good reason. It would have been nice at first, having my every want and wish fulfilled, but eventually I think it would have driven me mad with boredom. I would have missed my family and (truth be told) Denn something fierce. I don’t think even the devastatingly handsome Sea Prince himself could have made up for the emptiness that would have been left inside me by the absence of those most dear to me.

No, I do not regret my choice and I’m pretty certain I never will.

Did Jendayi ever come back?

Jendayi said I would never see her again—and she is rarely wrong. However, Miss Nielson says that the day might come when Jendayi will once again be an important influence in my life. Sometimes I wonder if Miss Nielson might have a touch of mermaid foresight herself. I guess we will have to see.

Author’s note: Just for the record, I think Adrianne has answered our second question without meaning to. If you will reread her answers you will see that she and Denn seem to be spending an awful lot of time together these days—don’t you think? : )

Monday, July 18, 2011

Forbidden Sea Book Giveaway

For those who would love a chance to own an autographed copy of Forbidden Sea, here is your big chance! Amber Argyle, author of the upcoming young adult novel, Witch Song, is currently having a contest giveaway with a signed copy of Forbidden Sea as the prize. Click here for more details on how you could win.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Interview with Adrianne Keynnman--Coming Soon!

Over the past year, I have received many emails and letters from fans asking questions about Forbidden Sea and what happened to Adrianne and her friends after the story ended. Many of these questions will be answered in the sequel, of course, but some of them were questions I wanted to know the answer for myself. So--I  recently wrote a letter to Miss Adrianne Keynnman of Windwaithe Island, and (I am excited to say) she has graciously agreed to answer a few select questions for us in a personal interview.

I will be posting Adrianne's answers to my questions  right here on this blog. Check back soon to get the latest on what Adrianne has to say about her experiences in Forbidden Sea--and beyond!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Exciting News for Utah Residents!

For those of you living in Utah--I will be doing a Forbidden Sea book signing at the Layton Barnes and Noble this coming Wednesday on the 13th, at 6:00 pm. Not only will I be there to sign copies of my books, but so will two other fabulous lady authors from Utah. Kristen Landon, author of The Limit and Wendy Toliver, author of Lifted. I've met these wonderful women before and they are lots of fun to hang with. If you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hello to all three of us. We would love to answer any and all questions you might have--about our books or about the publishing world. It will be like a regular author party, with something for everyone. Copies of all of our books will be available for purchase. Here's a link to more info and an address for those who are interested in knowing more.

Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What are YOU Reading?

Okay, just for the fun of it I want to know what everyone out there in cyberspace is currently reading right now. I also want to know if it that book is good so far--or not so much. I just finished The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery by Angie Frazier. It was a fun, light read--just what I was in the mood for. I loved the characters and am now excited to read the sequel when it comes out. Now it's your turn. What are YOU reading?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

There Are Not Words to Describe . . .

. . .what an amazingly talented friend I have working with me at the library. One of my co-workers made--by hand, mind you--a netted-beadwork collar necklace that looks just like the one Jendayi wears in my book. I and a few of my family members are currently working on trying to possibly make a book trailer for Forbidden Sea and we needed a necklace like this one for some of the footage we want to film. If you would like to see this amazing work of art click here to see a photo of it.

There are not words to describe my appreciation and gratitude. That must have taken her hours and HOURS to make by hand. Just beautiful.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Forbidden Sea Review

A fantastic review has been posted by She Known as Jess. (Love the name!) I'm always so tickled when I hear people say they wanted there to be more of the story or that it ended too quickly. It means they loved the story enough that they didn't want it to end. I especially get excited when people say they wanted to learn more about the younger Sea Prince. He is indeed a very fascinating character--one we will learn much more about in the sequel if it gets published. Trust me--you are going to love him!

Click here to read Jess' review of Forbidden Sea.

Jess also wrote an amazing poem inspired by Forbidden Sea. Click here to read it!

I'm Not One of Those Fanatic Pet Owners--Okay, Maybe I Am

Isn't she ADORABLE?

Bobbie Pyron, author of A Dog's Way Home, has posted a blog spotlight about me and my dog over at her blog. Click here to read more about it. Bobbie is a fellow Utahan as well as a great author. You'll have to check out her blog for some of the past spotlights she has done with other authors and their fantastic pets. Thanks Bobbie, for letting me and my puppy dog join in the fun. The parrot is completely jealous. : )

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mermaids are Back in Fashion

According to USA Today, mermaids are the new popular paranormal topic. Even Stephanie Meyer is getting into the act by writing a new mermaid novel.  I personally am only too happy to hear it. As far as I am concerned there can never be too many mermaid novels. : ) I hope this bodes well for Forbidden Sea's sequel which is currently under consideration. Fingers crossed.

For those who can't get enough of mermaid stories I'm posting a link here to the list of mermaid books I collected a while back. If you know of any that are not included on the list, feel free to add the titles in comments. Happy reading!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Children's Book Festival!

For any of you who happen to be hanging out in the Utah County area this next weekend, I'm going to be doing a Forbidden Sea book signing at Provo City Library on Saturday, May 7th from 12:00 to 1:00 a.m. in the ballroom on the third floor. I'm one of the authors taking part in the Children's Book Festival that will be going on that day. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. I'll be stationed at the Caldecott Table helping out as well. There will be all kinds of fun activities for kids of all ages to participate in. Everything is free so come on by and join in the fun! And if you do, make sure to stop by my table and say hello. : )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Forbidden Sea on Twitter!

I now have a Twitter account! Check out the link below:!/sheilaanielson

Become a follower and be the first to learn any new updates about Forbidden Sea and other future books I'm working on.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Deseret News Book Review

Forbidden Sea has received yet another great review--this time from the Deseret News! Check it out at the link below.

Forbidden Sea Book Report!

What amazingly creative ideas young readers come up with!

Recently, an extremely talented ten-year-old named Kess decided to read Forbidden Sea for her book report at school. She had to create a diorama to go along with the report, depicting a scene from the story. Kess was nice enough to send me some photos of the finished piece. As you can see, she chose to recreate the part in the story where Jendayi tries to grab Adrianne's wrist and pull her into the ocean in the first chapter. What an attention to detail, Kess. The Rumble Stones are right there behind them. Jendayi is also wearing her golden crown. I LOVE it!

If you have read Forbidden Sea and it has inspired you to be creative--just like Kess--send me a photo of your project and I'll a post a copy of it here on my blog for everyone to see!

Great job, Kess! Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Real Mermaids--Or the Next Closest Thing

I stumbled onto this video about a woman who is probably the closest thing to a real mermaid there will ever be. I wish I could hold my breath like that! Watch the video and be amazed--but don't try this at home.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Do Readers Want?

I presented at a science-fiction and fantasy writer's conference last weekend. I had such a great experience talking to all the up and coming authors. One of the presentations I gave covered some of the subjects in fiction that I see more of a need for. I wrote Forbidden Sea about a mermaid because several years ago there were very few mermaid books and lots of little girls asking for them at their local library. Since most of you who follow this blog are avid readers--I thought I would extend these questions to you.

What kinds of middle grade and young adult books do you wish there were more of? (example: mysteries, adventure stories, contemporary fiction, historical, etc.)

Are there any certain subjects (example: unicorns, giant evil robots, superheroes, pigs with wings, etc.) that you wish more children's authors would write books about?

This is your chance to speak to the authors of the world. What would you like to see more of? If you leave suggestions in comments, I might just pass them along in my next presentation to authors. Feel free to leave as many suggestions as you want!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Forbidden Sea Discussion Guide for Book Clubs

One of the things I have enjoyed most about being an author is that I am often invited to speak at local book groups. Book clubs are the best! I love to hear the discussions readers have after reading my book and see what insights they gain from Adrianne's story. Forbidden Sea is definitely the kind of book that sparks interesting, in-depth discussions. I even tried out the first chapter of Forbidden Sea's sequel on the last group I visited with. They loved it!

I was recently asked to create a discussion guide for one group I visited with. I thought it might be fun to share the questions I came up with here on my blog, just in case anyone out there in cyberspace decides to use Forbidden Sea for their own local book club. I'm including the questions below. Feel free to copy or modify these for use in your particular group or come up with some new ones of your own.

*SPOILER WARNING* This discussion guide is intended for those who have already read Forbidden Sea in its entirety.

1) Auntie Minnah hated Adrianne because she reminded her so much of herself when she was young. Why do you think that is? Why would Auntie Minnah favor Cecily who was nothing like her?

2) Denn thought he was in love with Cora Lynn because she was so pretty and flirtatious. But when Cora Lynn got angry with Adrianne for calling her a monster, he takes Adrianne’s side of the argument. What does this say about his relationship with Cora Lynn versus his relationship with Adrianne? Why would he choose Adrianne’s side even though he thought he loved Cora Lynn?

3) Adrianne could not bring herself to look Cora Lynn in the eye in the beginning of the story—but when she finds out Cora Lynn is happy that she caused the poor tide drifter woman and her sick children to be kicked off the island, Adrianne doesn’t have this problem anymore. Why not?

4) When Adrianne doesn’t want to stay in the merworld, Jendayi grows angry and refuses to let her go back to the surface. Why does the mermaid feel she is justified in doing this even though she had already made it clear that she felt Lady Lauretta’s father had no right to do something like that to his own daughter a hundred years before?

5) Adrianne thinks she is ugly through most of the story, but the reader can see she is not as bad looking as she believes. What are some clues that Adrianne might not see herself clearly? Why is she convinced she is so ugly? What is it that makes people cling to mistaken thinking? What does it take to convince them they might be wrong?

6) Why did Adrianne choose to return to her difficult life on the surface rather than stay and marry the Sea Prince? Was this the best choice? Would you have stayed or gone back? Why?

If your book group comes up with any extra good questions, feel free to share them in comments below so others can use them in future discussions!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

You can always tell when I've been working like crazy because this blog doesn't get updated much when I am. I've just signed on with a new literary agent (which is very exciting) but it also means I now have to work on my writing more than ever. I've turned in my most recent manuscript to her and am now waiting to hear back on what needs reworking. In the meantime, I'm trying to finish the first draft of my next novel so it is ready to go to her when we finish working on the one she has in hand. A writer's work is never done. *sigh*

Then again, a writer's work is never dull either. : )

(c) 2010 Sheila A. Nielson

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