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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, 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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