Thursday, 19 November 2015


Title: Falling In Deep
Author: Listed below
Genre: Mermaid Themed
Publisher: Clockpunk Press
Release Date: 21st September 2015

BLURB supplied by Melanie Karsak
From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam to folktales, the fourteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the FALLING IN DEEP COLLECTION are bringing you mermaid tales like you've never seen before.

Scales by Pauline Creeden
Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak
Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger
Deep Breath by J. M. Miller
At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells
The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone
The Water is Sweeter by Eli Constant
The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless
An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens
How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes
Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley
Immersed by Katie Hayoz
Siren's Kiss by Margo Bond Collins
To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

More than 900 pages of mermaid tales by award-winning and best-selling authors!



Verona is a bottom feeder. She is the one mer in her clan who is considered the ugliest and least intelligent. Growing up with the constant bullying and abuse wasn’t the worst of what her kind had in store for her. At seventeen years old, she must now endure “The Reckoning.”

The scales will measure her worth to her clan. Will she endure thirty days as a land-walker to gather information and knowledge to appease her clan and return a valued member? Will she wait three years, until she is twenty, and find a mer of her kind to accept her and marry her? Or will she suffer exile for the rest of her life?


A mermaid princess destined to wed a handsome king…
It sounds like a fairy tale, but the reality is far murkier.
Ink, Princess of the Florida Atlantic mers, is slated to wed the ancient enemy of her tribe, the King of the Gulfs. After years of war that led to countless mer deaths, as well as the genocide of aquatic shapeshifters and the freshwater mers of Florida, Ink’s marriage will bring lasting peace.
Or so it seems.
Mere hours before she’s supposed to leave the ocean for her customary year as a drywalker, Ink meets Hal, an alligator shifter who warns her that a storm is brewing. There is malicious intent behind Ink’s marriage—and worse, meeting Hal has also caused a storm to rage in Ink’s heart. Nevertheless, loyal to her tribe, Ink will put aside her feelings and journey to Miami to marry the decadent King Manx.
Ink soon learns that her only hope of surviving the crashing force swelling around her is to tap into a power deep inside—a forbidden power that might destroy them all.


Of Ocean…
Cast into the sea at birth, human-born Ia found her adoptive family among the merfolk. While her underwater upbringing was peaceful, Ia’s blood-heritage and the strict societal rules of the merpeople lead her to wonder of the world above the waves. 
And Ash…
When a storm lands Ia ashore, she discovers her body has transformed into the human she would have been. Taken in as property by a callous plantation owner, Ia works alongside the slaves until she can make her way back to the water. There is nothing Ia wants more than to go home, that is, until she meets a handsome, troubled man named Matthias, who has a touch that can be as kind as his tongue is harsh.
Torn between two very different lives, Ia must choose – stay in his world and risk her life for a love untested, or return to the familiar arms of the underwater world that raised her and risk losing what may be the greatest love she will ever know.
Will Ia’s choice lead to her happiness or her destruction?


Before disappearing at sea, Marissa Pruitt’s father—a once revered marine archaeologist—walked the line of insanity, claiming to have seen a mermaid during an ordinary dive in the Gulf of Mexico. He abandoned his life and career, completely obsessed with chasing the truth.

It’s been years since his death, and Marissa is still tormented by countless unanswered questions. When she finds dive coordinates and a stone pendant hidden in her father’s things, she asks for help from his old protégé and sets out to give her father one last goodbye and maybe find closure for her troubled heart. Instead, she finds the truth he’d been searching for all along, with a life and love she never could have imagined. But there’s a price to see it all, one set by betrayal and paid with an anchor at her feet and salt water in her lungs.


Oceanographer Luke McAllister races to figure out why the ocean depth is changing off Florida's Treasure Coast. But before he and his crew discover what’s transforming the deep, he stumbles upon an even greater mystery. Leagues below the waves, he swear he sees…a mermaid?

Anya isn’t allowed to get close to humans. But when a golden-haired researcher gets too close to her island, she can’t afford to stay away.

Together, this unlikely pair will seek to discover what’s causing shifts in ocean floor. While their new alliance is forbidden, Anya will risk everything to save her beloved ocean. The only problem is, she’s not sure what’s really luring her in, her love of the sea or the tempest Luke has stirred in her heart. Either way, Anya knows that the dangers facing the sea are nothing compared to what will happen to her when her father learns she’s broken the merfolks’ most sacred law.

Can Anya and Luke discover what lurks at the heart of the deep before it's too late? 


Laura and Tom Flynn married after she fell for him hook, line, and sinker — literally. Finding Laura in his fishing net had been a shock for Tom, but one he came to embrace as they quickly fell in love. For fifteen years, they have lived and worked by the sea, and Laura hasn’t thought once of what she left behind when she chose to marry Tom. She doesn’t regret giving up her mermaid form. It wasn’t a sacrifice. It was a good decision, and one she made to survive.

Now, with Tom missing at sea, Laura faces a decision she swore she’d never consider. In order to search for Tom and his crew, she must become a mermaid again and face the demons of the deep that she eagerly dodged when trading in her tail. Or she can stay on land and continue her life, but without Tom.

Does she enjoy her future alone, without the man she loves, or face her fears and her past in the ocean? Either way, nothing will be the same for her again. 


All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid.

So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe.

Everything's great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare -- she's turning into a mermaid herself. For real.

Yet when she returns to the sea to seek out Finn and reverse her transformation, she finds herself in the middle of an impending war between the land and sea. Tara may have always wanted to be a mermaid, but now it's sink or swim. In order to survive, she has to learn how to be one, too.


I'm the last mermaid.
I’m back on shores of Lake Erie, but the cold waters are silent. There is nothing here for me but ghosts and the beach glass that litters the rocky shore. Long ago, I lived below the waves. Now, I am the sole survivor, and at long last, my mermaid glamour is leaving me.
Every day, I walk the beach. Every day, I wonder what happened to my people. The little pieces of colored glass that wash ashore give me simple pleasure. They are gifts from the lake, reminders of home. I fashion them into trinkets: necklaces, earrings, bracelets. They are beautiful things. The humans seem love them.
Every day, I walk the beach. Nothing ever changes, until the day he says hello.

I’m dying.
It’s not a question, it’s a fact. The cancer is eating me alive. They told me I have six months to live, maybe less. I came home, back to Chancellor on Lake Erie, to die. The sunsets are vivid there, and I will relish every one.
I've never seen anything more beautiful than a Lake Erie sunset until I see her.
All life is as fragile as glass.
What would you sacrifice to save the one you love?


When a slave uprising threatens the life of Syreena, the daughter of an eighteenth century plantation owner, a servant uses voodoo to transform her into a mermaid. The spell will be only broken when she returns to the beach where it was cast. After three hundred years of swimming, she’s ready to trade fins for legs. The only problem is she can’t find her way home.

Dylan, a twenty-first century Coast Guard Officer, has sworn off love for the sea. When a wave throws him overboard, Syreena uses her amulet to ward off the sharks and save his life.

With Syreena and Dylan stranded on a remote cay in the Caribbean, Dylan has the know-how to build a raft and navigate but his near-drowning has made him terrified of the water. Syrenna will use every charm she has to convince Dylan to take her home. 
Even if it means falling in love. . .


When the land becomes a desert, the water will quench your soul

Orphan Lena McMillan used to think that what she shared with Truman Kent was real. Now she sees their relationship for what it really is- controlling and abusive.

She has to choose to die slowly from ‘love’ or say goodbye to the family she’s always desired. Leaving scares her though, so much so that dying seems like her only option.

But fate won’t let her quit life and Truman won’t let her quit his love. Not without a fight.

Under the layers of a lonely childhood and an adulthood romance gone wrong, a starfish holds the key to Lena’s parentage and the answer to the mesmeric ocean dreams that haunt her.

If she can find the strength to leave the only life she knows, Lena will discover the truth. And she will find a new world, one that will cleanse her of the memories of false love and abuse.

One that will finally lead her home.


Having grown up in San Francisco, Calder Brumen is drawn to the ocean, and he's spent his life trying to capture the beauty of the Pacific on canvas. Over time, he has become obsessed with painting the image of a dark haired mermaid named Gaire, and Calder struggles to explain his devotion to these portraits to his best friend. When Calder finds sandy footprints leading to the edge of his bed, he suspects that the haunting siren is real.

Pursuing the truth, Calder is dragged into a murderous, underwater plot that could destroy them all. And he must choose – is the possibility of a lifetime with Gaire worth risking death for himself and everyone he loves?


Forget petticoats and demure female behavior. Melusine Doré prefers armored corsets and knives and slays evil creatures for a living. The grim and gruesome don’t frighten her; she’ll take on a cyclops or a dragon and not even break a sweat. But when her rival, the charismatic Levi Cannon, comes to town, all her buried fears begin to surface. Melusine realizes she is in danger of something much more horrifying than facing blood-thirsty beasts – she’s in danger of falling in love. Because love alone has the power to reveal a secret terrible enough to completely shatter her world.

Set in the muddy streets of 1850s steampunk Chicago, Immersed by Katie Hayoz is a dark yet romantic fantastical romp. It is a stand-alone novella, the first in a series of adventures that follow Melusine on her quest to rid the world of monsters…and her struggle to come to terms with every monstrous facet of herself.


Her kiss might save the world . . .

Unless his kiss kills her first.

It's been almost two thousand years since the mer-shifter Skyla walked the streets of Athens—not since her heart was broken by a human man and she exchanged the land and sky for the ocean depths. Ever since, she has lived in the underwater ruins of Atlantis, studying with the priestesses of the goddess Amphitrite, refining her mermaid powers and ignoring her human half.

But her studies are interrupted when she is called upon by the god Poseidon himself to investigate rumors that the world above is being polluted by the magic of creatures from another realm—and worse, that the ocean kingdom of the mer-people might be next.

When her inquiries in modern-day Greece lead her to an American detective asking similar questions, Skyla realizes that the magical problem she's been sent to research is bigger than she anticipated—and that one human's kisses might be more dangerous to her, and her world, than she ever could have imagined.


Douglass McGrail is a Scottish water horse—his clan the deadliest in the British Isle. When the shifter chooses to save—rather than eat—a young lassie, he never expects her innocent face to mark his memory so strongly.

Months later, he stumbles onto a perceived attack in progress and plays the hero once more. He’s shocked to find the victim is the same lass who haunts his dreams.

Jinny Fairchild is an English miss who’s come to the Highlands to live with her last remaining family. She is pursued by her handsome older cousin, Lachlan Brockhouse, but he has a dark side that lands her in the path of the mighty Douglass McGrail.

Douglass wants Jinny for himself, yet discovers she is connected to the attacker she denies knowing. He’s determined to find the truth.

Jinny loves Lachlan, even with his dark side. And she loves Douglass, even with his dark secret. Her heart is torn, but one thing is certain—no matter which of these men she chooses, she will be choosing a monster.


Pauline Creeden, author of SCALES, is an award-winning author, horse trainer, & overall book ninja.

Melanie Karsak, author of INK, is a steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, & zombie whisperer.

A. R. Draeger, author of OF OCEAN AND ASH, resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, & son, Logan.

J. M. Miller, author DEEP BREATH, writes Young Adult & New Adult romance novels.

Carrie Wells, author of AT THE HEART OF THE DEEP, crosses genres, writing everything from newspaper editorials & textbooks to paranormal romance novellas.

Ella Malone, author of THE MERMAID’S DEN, is a lover of all wonderful things: cherry blossoms, red lipstick, city skylines, the finest chocolate, a man's hands, a woman's back, vodka, & high heels.

Eli Constant, author of THE WATER IS SWEETER, writes characters that are real--light and dark and everything in between, and makes her readers truly think.

Poppy Lawless, author of THE GLASS MERMAID, is a counselor in the field of mental health & is a trained herbalist. This is her debut work.

Blaire Edens, author of AN OFFICER & A MERMAID, loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, & yarn stores

Erin Hayes, author of HOW TO BE A MERMAID, is a sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, & wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes who writes a lot of things.

B. Brumley, author of COLD WATER BRIDEGROOM, is an award-winning freelance writer. She lives with her husband, five kids, & three dogs in West Texas.

Katie Hayoz, author of IMMERSED, lives in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband, two daughters, & two fuzzy cats.

Margo Bond Collins, author of SIREN'S KISS’spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, & the women who love (and sometimes fight) them.

Anna Albergucci, author of TO EACH HIS OWN, puts inspiration to paper, weaving her stories into deeply passionate characters that live lives the rest of us only dream about.

Falling in deep Newsletter Link:


The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

Chapter 1: Kate
The surf lapped over my feet, sea foam tickling my toes. It was early summer, but the lake water was still icy. I closed my eyes and felt the cool waves. In the deep of winter, when the lake would freeze, we always sheltered on one of the small islands that dotted Lake Erie. The humans in those days had called us lumpeguin. Sighing deeply, I opened my eyes and looked down at the rocky shoreline.
“There you are,” I whispered, bending to pick up a piece of green beach glass. I lifted it and looked at it in the diming sunlight. It was tear-shaped and worn smooth from its time in the water. A soft white sheen coated the green glass. That made seven green pieces, five light blue pieces, eight white pieces, and seven amber pieces. Not a bad haul. Alas, no red. I rarely found red anymore. The lake had stopped giving up her most beautiful treasures. If I wanted, I could swim down deep to the troves of wave-kissed glass. But I hadn’t been below the surface in nearly three hundred years, and I certainly wasn’t going to ruin that stretch over some sparkly bauble, even if all my customers begged for red beach glass.
I tucked the green beach glass into my satchel, pulled my long, straw-colored hair back, and then bent to pick up my sandals. I looked out at the lake. The sun was dipping below the horizon. There was nothing more glorious than a Lake Erie sunset. Shimmering shades of rosy pink, orange, and magenta illuminated the sky and reflected on the waves. Breathing in deeply, I tried to inhale the scene. The briny scent of the fresh lake water was perfumed with the lingering smell of snow and flowers. Not for the first time, I wondered what my old home looked like now. Forgotten under the waves, the eerie sea kingdom had been left to be ruled by ghosts and memories.
I sucked in a breath and turned to go. I wouldn’t cry. Mermaids’ tears were, after all, a special and rare commodity. They carried life itself, and I didn’t have much of that magical spark left in me. A single tear could spell my end, sapping out the last of the gift from the deep. No, I’d managed to live for over three hundred years. It wouldn’t do to weep over an amazing sunset, a nearly-forgotten past, nor the realization that I was truly alone. It was what it was. I couldn’t change the fact that I was the last mermaid.

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

“What is this?” a rough, intense voice demanded.
I swam out of unconsciousness, an uncomfortable experience that revealed my entire body aching, my head most of all. It was so dark, and a strange feeling had overtaken my body. Like I was floating. I tried touching a hand to my head, only to find that I couldn't.
What the-?
My hands were tied behind my back with what felt like...kelp?
The realization hit me and I thrashed about trying to free myself, and I finally opened my eyes.
I paused for a moment, unable to grasp exactly where I was.
I was...underwater?
Air bubbles popped out of my mouth in a flurry when a scream escaped my throat. A thousand thoughts filled my head, none of them making sense except for the overwhelming dread that I was somehow underwater with my hands tied behind my back. From what I could tell, there was no way I could get air to breathe. I'd lost a lot of air when I screamed.
Oh my god, I was going to drown.
My mermaid necklace was thrust in front of my vision, momentarily disorienting me.
“What is this? I demand you to tell me now!”
“What?” I asked out loud. A sharp pain zigzagged across my head from where I'd hit it on the rock. I was trapped underwater and this man wanted to know...what exactly? What my necklace was?
The necklace came even closer to my face, so much that I'd have to go cross-eyed in order to focus on it.
“Where did you get this? What is it?” the man demanded.
“It's my...” I was unsure and still terrified of my situation. “It's my necklace.” 

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Chapter One
LEVI CANNON BACK IN CHICAGO. NO NEED TO FEAR THE BOGEYMAN shouted the headline of the newspaper spread out on Melusine’s dresser.  A skilled drawing of Mr. Levi Cannon stepping on a monster with one giant eye was directly underneath the headline.  Below that was a quote that made Melusine fume:  “Miss Melusine Doré is now free to learn flower arrangement and make social calls.  There is a man in town to do a man’s job.  I promise you all that the beast found hunting here will be gone in a matter of days.  Unlike Miss Doré, I do not take precious time to see if a monster has a heart of gold or not.  It’s a monster, after all, and if its heart happens to be gold, well then, I shall rip it out and sell it for a fortune.”
Grabbing her fountain pen, Melusine inked warts onto Levi’s nose and cheeks, and filled in the area between his eyebrows.  She gazed down at his lifeless face and grunted.  Warts and all, Levi Cannon still looked good.  Too good.
Once a year or so Levi would come into town, challenging Melusine, leaving a trail of dead monsters and smitten women in his wake.  But she never rose to his dares and instead stayed out of sight until he left. 
He was too dangerous, for so many reasons. 

 Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

Marissa inhaled her first breath from the bailout bottle, hard and deep, and held it as she jerked at the chains for escape. Holding a breath while diving was not the best idea. It led to more recovery breaths, wasting more air. But, with a limited capacity bottle, she had to take the risk. She needed more time.
A lock fastened the chain tight around her ankles. She hooked her fingers into the links and yanked, but there was no way to slip the chain off. Still falling deeper, dread and panic twisted her insides and knocked her heartbeat loudly inside her ears. Fear overrode every bit of calm, crushing it like a tin can.
Another breath.
The anchor hit bottom. Her bare feet followed a moment later, colliding with its metal and the sand below, kicking up a cloud of sediment. She didn’t bother to look around. Her focus was only on the chain, but that didn’t keep her brain from wondering what was around her. The light from the surface was weak, dispersing through the water with only a faint glow. It was some reassurance that there were fewer predators around to smell the blood from the cut on her head. That light and reassurance would be gone soon enough, though. She wouldn’t last to see it go completely dark. She’d either be topside or dead.
Her heartbeat pounded on, a clock counting down to her fate. It screamed for her the words she couldn’t speak. It screamed for the air she couldn’t freely take.

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie L Wells

I caught sight of his cut, thought a moment, and swam away. He floated there, treading water and wondering what would happen next. At that point, his face conveyed the pain in his side. I watched an intense sting replace what I knew of the original burning sensation of a coral abrasion, and the open wound spilled into the ocean at a steady pace.
Conceivably, I had underestimated the severity of the cut. Maybe the coral cut deeper than I thought. The blood clouded the water surrounding him, and now the problem remained of how to take the injured man across the reef without doing further damage. We still needed to cross at least two miles and climb a rocky beach. Or did we?
Before he had time to contemplate any other option, I approached him from below. I swam up to him slowly, and he did nothing. He didn’t dive to meet me or attempt to swim away. He hung vertically in the water, waiting.
He must have felt me before he could clearly see me. The water shifted as I neared, my physicality changing the flow of the ocean around me. He knew I was there, but he didn’t dive below. Was he afraid? Too hurt to move? Instead, he stayed still, moving as little as possible, allowing my approach, and keeping the blood loss at a minimum.
I moved below him and then up, along his body, until my head emerged from the inky blue water and he stared into my eyes. He let out a fast gasp and quickly sank below the surface.

Scales by Pauline Creeden

TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.
“Bottom Feeder.”
Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.
The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.
The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”
My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.
Exile. My Reckoning has begun.

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

I made my choice quickly and left in the middle of the night. I swam south, feeling the water warm slightly as I approached the Massachusetts coast. Familiar with the area from years of fishing there, I knew Southern Point and slid myself onto the rocks. I sat there in the cool, late-summer air, feeling the briskness of the sea breeze and a slight sting of the spray against my newly formed legs. 
Developing legs was always a sensuous experience to me. I watched my scales turn from their bright, inky blue to a honey color as they bleached before my eyes. Then they slowly turned smooth moments before my ankles separated and my toes lost their webbing. I felt supple and exotic as a human. I held a mystery that no one else knew or shared.
Legs also reminded me of Diana. We would find a beach free of humans and lie together, kissing and touching in the sand as our bodies transitioned from mer to human. Our tails would slowly change from beautiful fins to strong, elegant legs.
Diana moved slowly with me. None of her rapid, curt movements existed in our meetings. Those motions belonged to her royal self, not the one we shared. With me she lingered in her own skin, her hands in mine, our lips caressing necks, shoulders, and breasts.

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Summer was waning when I was born, marked by the heat leaving the waters and the nights growing longer. My family wanted to migrate with the rest of their people, but they waited for me in the stillness of the waves, keeping an ever-watchful eye.
Mother heard the wails of the fisherman’s wife the night the woman discovered she carried me in her womb. The fisherman and his wife lived next to the water in a small, dilapidated shack made of rotten wood and leaky thatch. They had six children before me, although Mother knew not in what mixture their genders numbered. All but two were taken away at birth. The couple had too many as it were for a meager fisherman and his wife, and I was yet another mouth to feed.  
The fisherman’s cries of mercy woke my family the night I was born. My arrival was sooner than expected, his wife not having carried me nine months in her womb. I was tiny, frail. My left leg was misshapen, my head oblong.
Mother watched him from beneath the surface, saw his tanned sailor’s skin, ebony and white streaked hair, and grey-whiskered face. He looked down at me, the fragile bundle cradled in his arms, and cried out through parched lips and crooked, black teeth:
“Forgive me, O God! Have mercy on her. I leave her to your care.”
He dropped me in the water with a small plop.


Interview with Melanie Karsak 
Author of Ink: A Mermaid Romance

What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?
When I was a teen, I fell in love with the Slavic/Russian novels written by C. J. Cherryh, including her work Rusulka. Rusulka is the story about a drowned girl who becomes a haunted spirit. Rusulka are prevelant in Slavic myth. They are often depicted as spirits, but sometimes they appear as nymphs or water sprites. I was really inspired by Cherryh’s Rusulka character.

What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
I moved to Florida about five years ago, and I was really inspired by all the sights on the coast. We’ve taken trips to Miami on a few occasions. I enjoy the architecture, but dislike the vibe of the city. It’s the same vibe Ink feels when she is there (sorry, Miami). I live on the Space Coast, not far from NASA, and I love this area. We are close to Cocoa Beach which has the feel of a “once-happening” place. There is a quaint charm to its faded, sea-side glory. I adore Cocoa Village, a quaint downtown area. There are lovely little shops and old oak trees with Spanish moss. It was the perfect setting for Ink’s eventual rendezvous with a good friend.

Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
Ink is hard to cast, but I would probably choose someone like Megan Fox.
 For Hal, I would definitely cast Jason Momoa. Because, well, Jason Momoa.

What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
The world building! Oh my gosh, it took me forever to figure out just how “under the sea” functioned in terms of a society. There was nothing to go from so I just made it all up! It took a lot more time and brain-power than I expected.

Ursula or Ariel?
Ursula’s attitude with Ariel’s looks. Ariel is too “I need a man” for me. Ursula is too “I need power” for Ink. But they both have good qualities.
I actually really love cecaelia, mer-octopus like Ursula. They play an important role in Ink.

What else should we know about your novella?

There are alligator shifters and nyotaimori (Google it). I now know way more about alligator mating calls than a normal person would find useful. Don’t judge me by my Google searches. 

Interview with Eli Constant 
Author of The Water is Sweeter

What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?
It’s funny; I mean, I grew up with the traditional Hans Christian Anderson version of the Little Mermaid and it always made me sad. Each sister before the littlest mermaid waited patiently until she was old enough to experience the world above the water. They each came back with beautiful stories, but they always came back. They returned to their home after witnessing wonderful things. The littlest mermaid was impatient, as we all are- wanting to grow up and then once we have grown up, wanting to return to the novelty of youth- and when her time comes, she’s built this amazing vision in her head of what the dry world is like.

And then she saves a prince. And she is willing to give up everything to be with him, because if he loves her enough, more than anything else in the world, she gains a soul. So she abandons her mermaid’s tail and her long life span, even though she is warned that it will bring her nothing but sadness.

But I always thought that the sea was the little mermaid’s soul. And she gave that up, devoted every ounce of her being to winning the Prince’s hand, who would never love her.

And then she’s faced with killing her Prince or dying.

She chooses death, but finds life again in the sky.

How depressing is that?

So, I hate the traditional Little Mermaid. But, wait, I was supposed to say what was my favorite mermaid story or myth?

Well, I sort of liked J.K. Rowling’s interpretation of mermaids… Yeah, they were cool. Of course, I did ascribe to the happier version of a mermaid in The Water is Sweeter to balance out Lena’s suicidal mindset.
What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
I’ve been a certified diver since the age of 14 (thanks, Dad!) and I always found that being in the water diving helped me separate myself from things that were going wrong in my life. I took that concept and I expanded on it, which makes The Water is Sweeter a deeply personal piece. At its core, it’s about an orphaned woman who realizes her fiancé is abusive, but she desperately clings to the idea of family. When she tries to kill herself, she finds that she’s plunged into an alter-reality beneath the waves.

Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
An actress playing Lena would 1) have to look great with maroon hair and 2) be adept at playing ‘beautifully broken’. I think my top pick would be Rose Leslie. She has a fierce strength, but is wonderful at deep emotion. For Truman, I’d want someone who could play the pretentious, entitled asshole, but also being devilishly sexy. Maybe Tom Hiddleston. For Vera, I’d definitely want Alfre Woodard; she’s amazing.

What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
I wanted the details to feel real, to force my readers to plunge into the water and experience what Lena was experiencing. I didn’t want to be too over-the-top with shimmering green tails and other Disney-esque details. I wanted balance. That was difficult as I’ve been so inundated with the happier version of mermaids. The hardest thing though was getting into the mind of a woman who truly feels that suicide might be preferable to living. It’s a dark place. I’ve been there and it jolts the psyche.

Ursula or Ariel?
Ursula, hands down. I loved the most recent season of Once Upon a Time. Villains need to win every now and then. And Ursula was so wonderfully conniving in the Disney movie (she was less so in the original HCA story, actually warning the littlest mermaid of what trading in her tail would bring).

What else should we know about your novella?
It has a lot of ugliness in it- flashbacks to an abusive foster home, the reality of psychological/verbal abuse in a relationship. If you’re going to read it, be ready to read all of it, not just the happy bits under the sea.

Interview with Anna Albergucci 
Author of To Each His Own

What is your favorite mermaid story or myth? 
Honestly, my favorite mermaid story is one I had the privilege to beta read for a fellow author for this box set. I will not reveal which one, as my opinion might change after I read all of them, but that would be hard to accomplish.

What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
Since the novellas could be based on any mythical water creature, not only mermaids, I chose a character from my Phoenix Decree Series, a Scottish water horse known as the each-uisge, pronounced ech-ooshkya. While Douglass McGrail, a gorgeous but deadly shifter, is the protagonist in To Each His Own, he is a gorgeous but deadly antagonist in the Phoenix Decree books. In that series he is a character who has a back history, but one I only give the reader a taste of; the rest only existed in my mind—I hadn’t planned to write it. But when this project presented itself, it gave me that opportunity. But then I had to create an even darker antagonist to oppose Douglass, which wasn’t easy and required a lot of research. That was interesting.

Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters? 
These are for looks only, since one of my choices is a model and not an actor. The curvy and innocent-faced Kate Upton as Jinny Fairchild. The wild and disheveled Marlon Teixeira (taller and on steroidsJ) as Douglass McGrail. And the dark but beautiful Ian Somerhalder (with slightly auburn hair) as Lachlan Brockhouse.
What was the most challenging thing in writing about mermaids? 
Though this wasn’t the hardest thing in writing To Each His Own, it was the hardest in writing about a water creature—the water scenes. Jinny is human and susceptible to the elements. Set along the northern British Isle around the Highlands, Jinny couldn’t breathe under water, and would die of hypothermia if exposed too long. So, how could I give her and Douglass a water scene that didn’t seem contrived and made sense with the story? I had to be a bit more creative with that, and I have to say I really like the outcome.

Ursula or Ariel? 
If you are asking which I prefer, then very hard to choose there. What is one without the other, right? A dull story. But if you are asking which is closer to the personality of my lead character, then I’ll let the reader be the judge;)

What else should we know about your novella? 
You should know it is written in two parts, both novellas to be released in the Falling in Deep Collection on the same day. 

Interview with B. Brumley 
Author of Cold Water Bridegroom

What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?  
I included the Blue Men of Minch and 1830 Mermaid of Benbecula. Both are briefly mentioned in history, but they were great for my novella.

What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
Anna Albergucci, A.R. Draeger, and I were brainstorming during a Write Day at the Albergucci estate. I joked that I might do something completely ridiculous this time... like accidentally killing of my hero mid-story + my husband and I really like UFC champ Coner McGregor +  I like beards = Calder was born. To be different, I decided that Cold Water Bridegroom should mostly be written from Calder Brumen's point of view.

Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
Calder Brumen: Gerard Butler (think: redheaded Leonidas that paints), Gaire: Ayelet Zurer or Alexis Knapp (but, man, Jenn Proske has the hair), Mike Love: Scott Evans (Captain America's younger brother) or Brett Tucker, though they are both a bit tall for the role. Venora: To be honest, she'd be much harder to cast, but I bet Uma Thurman could pull it off. If Uma was busy that year, I'd choose Cate Blanchett. I still haven't figured out the twins.

What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
I think the hardest part was making the characters believable, while crossing from water to land, or even into the mer-city - just how to make it all work, think of and answer all the questions.

Ursula or Ariel?
Ummm.... Can I pick King Triton?  

What else should we know about your novella?
Set in San Francisco, Calder is an moody artist looking for his forever. Somebody dies. 

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