Musings of a YA author throwing herself into the fray. Join me on the journey ...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Signing Books in San Diego this Saturday!!!!

Hi Everyone!  I'll be signing books with the fabulous Tera Lynn Childs at Mysterious Galaxy in Clairemont Mesa.  Here's the address:

7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-4747

Would love to see some of you if you're in the area!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thanks to the Most Amazing Fans in the World!

Thank you, so, so much, for all the love and support you guys gave me on release day.  I truly do have the most amazing fans and friends in the whole world and I am so grateful for everything you've done to make the Tempest books a success.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Here's another excerpt, just to keep you interested ....

You know, she continued, usually, the more time passes after a mermaid’s seventeenth birthday, the more powers she gets. That you had so much power so quickly made me think that you were going to have a lot of surprises in store for us.

She quirked one perfectly shaped eyebrow and I couldn’t help it.  I thought of the electricity thing I’d done with Tiamat’s goons.

Of Kona explaining how rare that kind of magic was.  

Of the voice deep inside myself that had warned me not to tell Hailana.  

Did Hailana somehow know about it?  Had I slipped up in practice, used it without realizing?  I racked my brain, tried to think of every move I’d made, but nothing came to mind.  I didn’t remember wielding electricity against Sabyn or anyone else he’d brought in to train with us.  Except …

Except that nearly every time Sabyn touched me, we both lit up like the Electric Light Parade my mother used to drag us to see at Disneyland every summer.  I’d thought it was a training thing, something that wasn’t all that unusual.  But what if it was the giveaway? Was that bizarre reaction between us what had tipped off Sabyn, and  in turn, Hailana?

I fought the urge to scream in frustration.  I hated this.  Hated not knowing all the things I should, all the bits and pieces that went into life down here.  On land, it wasn’t easy—especially with all the mermaid stuff that had grown almost impossible to hide—but at least up there I understood what was expected of me.  What I needed to do to keep myself safe and sane.  Down below, it was a whole different story, and I kept feeling like I was a couple scenes behind the pack.

I studied Hailana, tried to gauge what she was getting at.  If she were fishing, and I didn’t react to it, maybe she would let the subject drop.  I hoped so, because everything inside of me said that if she knew of my most recent talent, how easily I had killed those men, that I would find myself following even more closely in my mother’s footsteps.

I didn’t want to do that, couldn’t do that.   For seven years I’d sworn I wouldn’t be like my mother, wouldn’t make the same choices she had.  And yet, here I was, in her city, with her queen, living her life—or as close to it as Hailana could get me.  Again I thought of those people I’d seen my mother kill remorselessly, again I shoved the memory away.

Tried to focus instead on the problem at hand.

I didn’t know what to do, didn’t have a clue what to say to her.  I needed Kona, who knew so much more about this life than I did.  I had questions for him, needed answers, but he was so wrapped up in protecting me from the perceived threat of Sabyn that he’d forgotten the ways in which I really needed him.

If only there was some way—

Tempest?  Are you listening to me?  Hailana’s voice, much sharper than it had been before, dragged me back to the present. From the impatient look on her face she’d been talking for quite some time, while I’d been drifting in La La Land, trying to make some sense of the world that was slowly crumbling around me. 

Sorry, Hailana.  It’s been a rough couple of days.  Sabyn’s a tough trainer.

That’s why he’s good for you.  Jared wasn’t pushing you, and that isn’t going to do us any good.  When Tiamat comes back for you, she’s going to come with everything she’s got. 

I know.  It was pretty hard to forget, what with everyone reminding me of that fact every time I turned around.

There was a long silence as the merQueen waited for me to say what I had come to say.  But it was harder than I thought to just blurt it out, now that I was in front of her.  Looking down, I traced patterns on Hailana’s desk as I tried to get my thoughts in order.

Are you okay, Tempest?  she finally asked.

Yeah, of course. I was just …  I looked up into her narrowed gaze and knew that it was now or never.  If I didn’t ask her my questions soon, I never would.  Did you choose Sabyn on purpose?  Because you knew it would upset Kona?

Mmmmm, now we get to the heart of the matter.  Is the selkie prince threatened by such a young, handsome merman spending so much time with you?

The selkie prince, I repeated, is upset because he doesn’t like Sabyn.  But I think you know that.  I watched her carefully, trying to catch any flicker in her expression.  She didn’t so much as blink. 

Is he still beating that drum? she asked.   It was an accident— Annalisse fell and injured herself severely—with Tiamat’s help.  Sabyn tried to save her, but he couldn’t.  Everyone knows that but Kona.

I was reeling a little bit at the knowledge of how Kona’s sister had died, but I wouldn’t give Hailana the satisfaction of seeing he’d never shared the details with me. 

So you knew about Sabyn’s history with Kona, how Kona felt about him, and you decided to have me train with him anyway?  I asked, just to clarify things.  I already knew it was true, even before she answered.  Hailana did what she wanted, when she wanted to do it and to hell with anyone else’s feelings.

I don’t make decisions for my clan based on keeping the selkie prince happy, she told me blandly.  I’m truly sorry if my choices have caused any stress between you.

Yeah, and if I believed that … I didn’t need to see the sudden, cagey look in her eye to know that she was  trying to play me.  Of course, a lot of what she’d done lately seemed to have been with the express intention of causing trouble between Kona and me.  The fact that we were letting her, that we were falling right into line with her schemes, was no one’s fault but Kona’s and mine.  I would even bet that Sabyn was making all those crazy comments to me, not just to get under Kona’s skin, but on direct order from her.  The straightforward approach wasn’t really Hailana’s style. 

Is that all you wanted? she asked.  To find out about Kona and Sabyn?

That was my cue to leave, to get up from the desk and walk out before this meeting descended into the free-for-all our conferences so often became.  I started to say yes, started to get up and swim to the door, but in the end, I couldn’t do it.  There was another question burning inside of me, one that was so important I trembled with the need to have an answer.

Tempest? she prompted.  Is there something else?

What was my mother’s real job for you?

I’m sorry?

You say she was a priestess, say that she was your right hand.  You also tell me that you want me to follow in her wake, but you’ve never actually told me what she did for you.

That’s easy.  Hailana’s eyes were frigid, ferocious, as they looked me over.  She did whatever I asked of her.  And she kept her mouth shut about doing it.  In time, you’ll learn to do the same thing.

That was exactly what I was afraid of.

Thanks everyone!  And make sure to leave a comment to be entered to win Today's Prize Pack!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tempest Unleashed is on the Shelves!!!!

Yay!  I am so excited to announce that Tempest Unleashed hits shelves today!!!!  I'll be doing booksignings throughout June in San Diego, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Austin, so if you live anywhere around there, come see me!!!!!   I'll post the details tomorrow :)

Have a great Tuesday.

Winner of Monday's Prize Pack

is Blanche!!!  So send me your snail mail at and I swear I'll get it in the mail to you before I leave for Mer Madness with Tera Lynn Childs.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Another Excerpt from Tempest Unleashed

Hi Everyone!  I'm back with another excerpt from Tempest Unleashed.  Hope you enjoy!!!!

The long, deep trench that led directly to Kona’s city loomed in front of us and  I barreled down it, leaving Mahina to follow in my wake.  I was swimming as fast as I could, as fast as I ever had, so that when it emptied out into the city, I ended up skidding across the ground much as I had the first time I’d ever come here.  I’d been rushing to make sure Kona was okay that time, too.

                I ended up stopping inches from one of the selkies in seal form. It was laying on its side on the ocean floor and at first I thought it was just resting  But then I understood--it was dead. 

                I scrambled up, backed away, and realized I was in the middle of my worst nightmare.  Kona’s city looked even worse than Coral Straits had.  Thousands of bodies littered the ground—in seal and human form—each one a little more horrific-looking than the last.

                Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Ohmygod, ohmygod,ohmygod!  I screamed, turning around and around, trying to find Kona.  Trying to see if he was down here.  If Tiamat had-- 

                I don’t know if he’s here, I told Mahina, bordering on hysteria.  I can’t tell the difference between them in their seal forms.  I didn’t see him like that enough. I don’t know.  I don’t—

                Hey!  She grabbed me by the shoulders, gave me a firm shake.   You have to get it together!  She pointed at a few live selkies in human form.  They were going from body to body, checking to see if anyone was still able to be saved. So far, it didn’t look like they’d found anyone.  Let’s go ask them if they know where the royal family is.

                It was a massacre, I told her dully.  They didn’t stand a chance.  They weren’t prepared at all.  Hailana could have warned them.  She could have—

                Don’t think about that.  Not now.  She looked around grimly.  We’ll deal with Hailana’s crimes later.  Let’s go see about Kona right now.

                We swam over to the selkie healers.  As we got closer, I realized one of them was Zarek.  I threw myself at him, grabbed on to his arm.  Kona? I asked, unable to formulate the words to ask what I really needed to know.

We haven’t found him yet.  He shook his head grimly.  The king—he choked up, cleared his throat.  The king and queen are over there.  He pointed behind him to two selkies in human form, both of whom were being wrapped in long pieces of fabric.  Tiamat had gotten her revenge on Malachai, after all.

                I gasped, stumbled, would have fallen if Mahina hadn’t been there to hold me up.  Have you checked above? she demanded of Zarek.

                We did a cursory sweep through the house—no one was there that we could see.

                Let’s go, Mahina told me.  When I didn’t budge, she started dragging me along behind her. 

                He’s not up there, Mahina, I told her desperately.  He’s down here, somewhere.  He’s--  my voice caught on a sob as I tried to accept the impossible.  Tried to make myself understand the inexplicable.  Kona couldn’t be dead.  He just couldn’t be.

                Sitting down here isn’t going to help anyone.  Let’s go check the surface, just to be sure.

Her indomitable will firmly in place, she tugged me toward the narrow, vertical passage that would take me to the island where Kona’s family made their home.  I didn’t fight her because, honestly, I didn’t have the energy.  Trying to make a decision was impossible, especially as an abyss of agony yawned wide inside of me.

                When we got to the passage, Mahina pushed me forward.  You go first.

                I didn’t question her.  I couldn’t.  I just stretched my arms over my head and pushed up.  There was barely enough room in the narrow, rocky chute for me to move my arms and legs, so it was slow going, just like always.  I finally made it to the top, bursting into the warm water of the inlet that brought me to the beach right in front of Kona’s castle. 

                Mahina was right behind me, and together we slowly made our way to shore.  The beach was lined with injured people, while others attended to them.  They were all positioned close to the water and I remembered, suddenly, how salt water healed them.  Which made me wonder—just how badly, and quickly, had those down below been injured that being immersed in the stuff had provided almost no impact?

                No one spoke to us as we made our way over the sand to the giant castle.   When we got to the front door, I knocked as loudly as I could, praying for Kona’s butler Vernon to open it.  If he was there, I told myself, then everything would be okay.  He would know where Kona was.  Vernon would never let anything happen to any of the royal family.

                But then I remembered Kona’s parents, lying dead beneath the surface, and knew that nothing was going to be okay again.  Even Vernon, with his incredible organization skills and implacable manners, couldn’t make it so.

                When no one came to answer the knock, Mahina reached forward and pushed the door open.  I walked in, glanced around.  The foyer looked exactly the same as it always did, nothing out of place, nothing broken, just like at Hailana’s.  Zarek had said they’d done a cursory search of the place, but that didn’t mean anything.  Kona and his brothers and sisters could be upstairs, injured.  Unable to call for help.

                I ran for the stairs, took them three at a time.  Even as the logical side of my brain told me it was impossible, that Tiamat couldn’t make it up here, I didn’t stop.  I had to check, had to know.  I hit the fourth floor in thirty seconds flat and took off down the hall toward Kona’s room. 

                The door was closed and locked, but a quick shot of energy had it buckling in front of me.  I burst into Kona’s sitting room, screaming for him, but he wasn’t there.  I went through to the bedroom, the bathroom, even his huge walk-in closet.  But there was no answer.  He really wasn’t here  He really wasn’t--

                I turned to tell Mahina, and as I did I caught sight of graffiti scrawled across Kona’s bedroom wall.   Written in a red liquid so dark it was almost black, were the three feet high words: THE NEW SELKIE KING REQUESTS YOUR PRESENCE AT THE SAHUL SHELF.

                Eyes wide, heart hammering in my chest, I forced myself to cross the room.  To get up close and personal with the message I was sure I would see in my nightmares for the rest of my life.  Reaching out, I touched the letters, which were still a little wet, and came away with the viscous liquid on my fingertips.  It was thick and a little clotted and smelled faintly of iron.

                At the first whiff of it, the room started to spin around me and my knees gave.  I hit the ground, hard, but it barely registered.  I was still wrapped up in the knowledge, in the horrified realization that I was staring at a very large message written entirely in Kona’s blood.

Hope you enjoyed it :)  To be entered to win today's summer prize pack of goodies, tell me what your favorite summer song is.  Mine is definitely Summertime from Will Smith, though Smooth from Santana featuring Rob Thomas runs a close second.  Have a great Monday!

Winner #1

The first winner of a fun summer prize pack is Amber!!!!  So drop me your snail mail at and I'll get it in the mail to you :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tempest Unleashed Hits the Shelves on Tuesday

Yay!  I'm so excited!  Tempest Unleashed hits the shelves on Tuesday!!!!  It's about time as it feels like I've been waiting for this release date forever.  In honor of it, I'll be posting a snippet from it every day this week-- along with giving away a prize pack of fun goodies every day.  All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win!

So, with no further ado, my first snippet from Tempest Unleashed:

So, I asked Mahina as casually as I could.  What am I going to be dealing with here? S
She paused, a forkful of sea lettuce halfway to her mouth.  With Tiamat?
            No, with the climate in Australia.  It was my turn to roll my eyes.  Of course with Tiamat.  I’ve already met the Lusca, I said, referring to the huge sea monster thing that had ripped my mother apart almost a year ago.  But what other creatures does she have lying in wait?
            I don’t really know.  Mahina thought for a minute.  There are stories, of course, but nothing that I know for certain to be real.  A lot of the stories are just mythology, after all.
            I refrained from mentioning that both Tiamat and the Lusca were considered mythological, and therefore fake, creatures by most of the world.  The fact that we knew the truth didn’t make their existence any more believable to most of the population.
            That’s okay.  I still want to know, even if they are fake.  Better to be prepared, you know?
            Oh.  Right.  She paused, took a deep breath, looked around, as if just saying their names out loud was enough to draw them to us.  It wasn’t, of course, but when a huge shark came out of nowhere and swam so close that its tail actually flicked against me as it went by, I almost reconsidered my stance on that.
            Kona was always defending sharks, always telling me that I had nothing to fear from them.  But the last time I’d swum with them—when my tail had been bleeding—had almost been my last experience with them.  It was hard to forget nearly being eaten by a great white.
            Well, it’s not like I have a lot of up-close-and-personal knowledge of Tiamat, but I can tell you what I’ve heard, Mahina began reluctantly.  The Lusca is never far from her- you saw that.  But she has other creatures that work for her as well.  The shark-men, the Bunyip, Ceto and Scylla, and, of course,  the Leviathan.
            She looked at me expectantly, but I couldn’t respond.  It was like everything she said after shark-men was in Greek.  What’s the Leviathan? I asked.  They called whales leviathans, maybe she had a huge whale that did her bidding?  But how menacing could a whale be?  Most of them ate plankton, for God’s sake.
            The Leviathan is a sea monster, kind of like the Lusca.  But it’s more of a dragon.  He’s the most powerful creature in the ocean, or so everyone says.
            So, why does he listen to Tiamat? 
            Oh, I don’t think he actually listens to her.  More like they have a mutually beneficial relationship.  If she brings him out for this, then it’s because they’re both going to get something from it.  She snorted.  Then again, if she brings him out of this, we might as well forget about rescuing Kona now.  Everything in all of the oceans knows you don’t mess with the Leviathan.
            Terrific. I blew out a long breath.  And the rest of those things you talked about?
            She sighed, ran a hand through her hair.  They’re sea monsters.  Ceto is pretty much chaos personified— her favorite pastime is sinking ships and bringing down planes that come too close to her lair.
            Where’s her lair? I  asked warily.
            It’s actually in the Atlantic—between Bermuda and Puerto Rico.
            I choked on a piece of Dulse.  You mean, the Bermuda Triangle? I asked incredulously.
            I don’t think it’s actually a triangle, Mahina answered.  More like a rectangle.  Why?
            I started to explain about the myths and lore associated with that part of the ocean, but decided it could wait for another day.  I had more important things to do right now.
            As we ate, I continued to question her about Tiamat’s allies.  Scylla, it turned out, was another sea monster, one with two snake like heads and the power to create whirlpools and sinkholes wherever she was. And bunyips, while not as frightening as the three sea monsters Tiamat seemed to have at her beck and call, didn’t seem like anything to fool around with either.  Water demons who lived near Australia and who ate human and mermaid flesh¸ they were fanged and vicious and frightening as hell.
            Terrific.  Why had I wanted to know what I was swimming into again?
So, what do you think?  And what are your big plans for the summer?  I'm spending much of the summer in California, hanging with my boys and my mom and doing a book tour for Tempest Unleashed.  I'll post the dates soon, but if you're in San Diego, L.A., Vegas or Albuquerque (or Austin) come see Tera Lynn Childs and me as we sweep the Southwest with Mer Madness!!!  Leave a comment to be entered to win today's prize pack!!!!!