- Grand Prize: Handmade Merman Tail Fluke Pendant
- 1st Prize: Mermen of Ea Goodie Basket (includes autographed copy of “Stealing the Wind” paperback, t-shirt, and lots of other fun stuff)
- 2nd Prize: $10.00 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate
- 3rd Prize: Paperback copy of “Stealing the Wind” (Mermen of Ea #1) – or for non-US winners, a $10 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate
Here’s the Rafflecopter link
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Shira Anthony stopping by today to talk about her inspiration for the Mermen of Ea novels and latest book, Into The Wind, the 2nd story in her Merman of Ea series.
Shira Anthony has also brought a copy of the first story, Stealing the Wind, to give away to one person who leaves a comment at the end of this post. Two contests, two ways to enter! Now enjoy a look into Shira Anthony’s inspiration for this wonderful series.
The Mermen of Ea Series: Ocean Inspiration by Shira Anthony
About two years ago, I decided to write a story about pirates and sailing ships. Captor/captive, a little sexy dubious consent. Nothing too complicated. A single novel set in the age of sail. Not a single merman in sight. That single book became a story about shapeshifting mermen than spans three novels….
I’m going to backtrack a bit here and start off by saying that I’ve been a fantasy, sci fi, and sword & sorcery reader since I was old enough to read. I grew up on the original Star Trek, read every Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov book I could get my hands on (I lived in France for a few years, and they weren’t easy to find in English!), and fell in love with the Darkover universe created by Marion Zimmer Bradley (probably my most powerful writing influence). As an adult, I read the Harry Potter books to my kids and loved them as much as my children did.
My first gay romance was an erotic fairy tale called The Dream of a Thousand Nights. But in spite of my love of fantasy, the first novel I wrote was a contemporary: Blue Notes. And I learned with Blue Notes that what I write best is what I know. In the case of the Blue Notes Series, that’s music and musicians. Makes sense, right?
Somewhere between Blue Notes books and a few joint writing projects, the idea of a story set on the water hit me squarely between the eyes. I needed a break from angsty musicians, and I started playing around with a pirate novel. That’s how Taren Laxley was born. An indentured servant (a slave, really), Taren dreams of sailing on the ocean. It calls to him. So began my adventure of writing the Mermen of Ea Series. Only there were no mermen when I wrote the first few chapters, only pirates and sailing ships.
Then I spent a weekend sailing aboard our 36’ catamaran sail boat at the North Carolina coast and saw a pod of dolphins swimming nearby. I watched them play in the water and jump into the air. They love to chase boats, and I love to watch them. A few months later, my husband and I spent a week on the Caribbean island of Grenada getting our open water scuba certification. And as we were swimming around, heavy metal tanks on our backs, fins on our feet, and regulators in our mouths, I imagined what it would be like to swim and breathe underwater without all the gear. Suddenly, Taren wasn’t just a human boy who longed to sail the high seas—he was a merman.
When I wrote Stealing the Wind, the first book in the series, my scuba experiences were fresh in my mind. The feel of the water on my skin. The tiny popping noises of tiny shrimp in my ears. The colors of the coral reefs. The overwhelming beauty of the ocean surface. The feel of the wind on my face and the sun on my back. With each scene aboard the Sea Witch and later the Phantom, I tried to recreate those sensations. I knew what Taren longed for because I longed for it myself.
There’s nothing quite like the sensation of floating on the water. Nothing like the feeling of peaceful calm when we’re on our boat. In fact, when we bought our most recent boat, I suggested we name her the Land’s Zen, because she is just that for me—a place where I can relax and forget about the million and one things I should be doing. A place where I can just be.
Into the Wind, the second book in the Mermen of Ea Series, evokes the same deep connection to the wind and the water as the first book. In it, Taren grows by leaps and bounds, fearful of what the future may bring, but knowing that he can’t fight his destiny. Raised as a human and not knowing his true nature until he meets his soul mate, Ian, Taren sees things differently from his Ea brethren. His powerful love of the ocean drives him and will chart the course his people must follow in order for their race to survive.
I hope that when you read the Mermen of Ea books you’ll feel some of my own Zen come through. Even if you’ve never tried scuba or snorkeling, I think you can imagine what it might be like to swim through the vastness of the ocean or even live under it. The appeal of mermen for me is, at its core, the appeal of the water and the peace I find on (and in) it. I think that’s why the merfolk myths still capture our collective imagination long after the age of sail has passed and we jet around the globe in airplanes that cross the oceans in hours instead of weeks.
2 Contest Info:
- Would you like to win an ebook copy of Stealing the Wind, the first book in the Mermen of Ea Series? I’m giving one away to a lucky commenter on this blog post. Melanie will choose a winner from all the comments on 5/14. To enter to win, leave a comment below and an email address where you can be reached.
- I’m also running a special Into the Wind Blog Tour Giveaway with some great prizes including a gorgeous unisex pendant and a Mermen of Ea goodie basket. Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba93/ The blog tour giveaway ends on May 31st at midnight! –Shira
Follow Shira Anthony on each stop of her tour for more insight into the series and this story:
Blog Tour Participants:
- 5/5 Release Day – Smoocher’s Voice (Interview with Shira)
- 5/6 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- 5/8 Mrs. Condits and Friends (Merman Sex 101)
- 5/9 Tali Spencer’s Brilliant Disguise (Series and Worldbuilding: Recreating the Merman Myth)
- 5/10 Prism Book Alliance (Character Interview with Ian Dunaidh)
- 5/13 Joyfully Jay (Character Interview with Taren Laxley)
- 5/15 Book Suburbia
- 5/16 Jase’s Atenaeum
Book Buy Links:
- Dreamspinner Press:
- Amazon: AVAILABLE on 5/5/15=4
- Barnes & Noble: NOT AVAILABLE YET
Blurb: Since learning of his merman shifter heritage, Taren has begun building a life with Ian Dunaidh among the mainland Ea. But memories of his past life still haunt him, and as the threat of war with the hostile island merfolk looms ever closer, Taren fears he will lose Ian the same way he lost his beloved centuries before. Together they sail to the Gateway Islands in search of the fabled rune stone—a weapon of great power the Ea believe will protect them—and Odhrán, the pirate rumored to possess it. After humans attack the Phantom, Taren finds himself washed up on an island, faced with a mysterious boy named Brynn who promises to lead him to Odhrán. But Taren isn’t sure if he can trust Brynn, and Odhrán is rumored to enslave Ea to protect his stronghold. Taren will have to put his life on the line to find his way back to Ian and attempt to recover the stone. Even if he does find it, his troubles are far from over: he and Ian are being stalked by an enemy who wants them dead at all costs.
There are 3 wonderful excerpts that follow, all are SFW:
Short Slightly Sexy Excerpt:
They swam out from land as they held each other, tails beating the water in tandem as they spiraled in a dizzying dance. More than anything, Taren found the Ea mating ritual a beautiful thing. Ian’s Ea body was also beautiful. In this form, Ian’s chest was broad and the muscles of his belly and arms more powerful. As a human, Ian was strong. As an Ea, he possessed strength and surprising grace few others did. Taren loved to watch Ian swim, watch the sinews of his body ripple as he moved his tail, watch his hair twist in the current. More thrilling, perhaps, was the knowledge that Ian was his, that Ian desired him above all others, that Taren held Ian’s heart.
Ian released Taren as they glided over the sand at the bottom. Large schools of silver fish followed the contours of their bodies, calling to mind the shimmer of moon across the waves. Here, many feet below the surface, the pressure of the water created a warm cocoon around Taren and drove the warmth in his chest to his extremities, making his fingers more sensitive.
Taren flicked his tail to propel him around so that he and Ian swam toward each other, arms extended, then moved upward as they laced their fingers together and floated perpendicular to the sea floor. They kissed and their tongues entwined. Ian tasted of the ocean and of the promise of Taren’s new life. Their former incarnations, Treande and Owyn, had been equals in everything. Partners, friends, lovers. Taren both relished and feared the power of his connection to Ian and the unexpected turn of fate that had brought them together, as well as the revelations of their past.
Medium Length Slightly Sexy Excerpt: