Friday, November 4, 2011

Derrolyn Anderson's Marina's Tales series + Giveaway

Reader Girls welcomes author Derrolyn Anderson to our blog today. She has written a YA series, Marina's Tales: Between the Land and the Sea, The Moon and the Tide and The Fate of the Muse. We are showcasing her enchanting series and she has written a guest post about mermaids and is also sharing an excerpt from the first book. Ms. Anderson is also giving away one ebook set of all three books to one commenter.

Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales Book One)

Blurb: Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... and maybe even find true love along the way.

The Moon and the Tide (Marina's Tales Book Two)
The Moon And The Tide is book # 2 in the Marina's Tales series.
Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.

A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?

The Fate of the Muse (Marina's Tales Book Three)
Trouble is stalking Marina. She’s already escaped the clutches of her formidable foe once, but fate has even more trials in store for her. There are evil plans in the works– plans that threaten both her and her newly found family.

As she struggles to come to grips with her unwanted powers, outside forces threaten to tear Marina and Ethan apart, making her doubt their vision of an idyllic future together.

Can first love be true love?

Derrolyn Anderson's Guest Post: 
Mermaids… Sweet Or Scary? 

How do you like your mermaids? What are they really like and how do they live? What do they look like and what can they do? I’d never really given much thought to the details until I found myself writing a YA book series, “Marina’s Tales”. Then I had to ask myself… if I was lucky enough to meet a mermaid, what would she be like?

First of all, I thought of all the stories and images I’d grown up with. I had a general impression of mermaids as being friendly but elusive, and maybe a little narcissistic. Who didn’t love the sweet, simple mermaids in the movies “Splash” and “Aquamarine”? Ariel is adorable in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, but when you take a closer look at the classic fairytale the cartoon is based on, you’ll find a real tragedy. In fact, the more I dove under the surface (hah!), the darker, scarier, and more freakish the stories became.

Mermaid legends abound, and in many of them the ladies are downright dangerous. Murderous and cunning, beautiful mermaids were said to lure sailors to their doom in order to consume their souls. In British folklore, a mermaid appearing to sailors either foretold disaster or provoked it– not exactly who you might want to run into in the middle of the ocean! Victorians found their allure threatening; symbolic of the kind of wanton independence and sexuality they found disturbing in women.

A Russian tale describes them as virgin murder victims, transformed when they died before their wedding night, seeking revenge by (once again) luring men to a watery death. A number of stories involve uppity women and girls being driven into the sea as a result of their disobedience. How sadly typical! In fact, nearly every culture has a mermaid myth, and a surprising number of their transitions involve violence and force.

I decided to write my mermaids as neither docile and meek, nor as murderous monsters. In fact, apart from some shared anatomy, I didn’t see them as having very much in common with people at all. I imagined them to be more animal than human; closer in nature to sea creatures like whales, dolphins, seals and otters. Wild and powerful, playful and innocent, my mermaids exist in an abundant world without want. They don’t understand people at all, so if they’re dangerous, it’s simply a result of their ignorance of humans.

My mermaids are joyful, free, and largely unaware of the magical powers they possess. Like other aquatic wildlife that has suffered at the hands of people, they are instinctively wary and shy. Their loosely organized society has only one main rule: avoid the dangerous humans!

Physically, my mermaids are all stunningly beautiful, with a wide range of coloration. I gave them webbing between their fingers, and slightly iridescent skin, similar to fish scales. Like many other sea creatures, they fluoresce in the absence of light, and of course, they have spectacularly finned tails.

My first book, “Between The Land And The Sea”, introduces the mermaids, and the connection that my heroine, Marina, has with them. Book two, “The Moon And The Tide”, describes them a little more, explaining why contact with humans can be so very dangerous. In book three, “The Fate Of The Muse”, Marina comes to terms with her place in the world and her purpose in life.

In the midst of all this mermaid drama, Marina meets gorgeous surfer Ethan, and together they must contend with some of the ups and downs of first love.

I know that not everyone will agree with my version of mermaid mythology, but that’s what makes for so many diverse and interesting stories. Seductive sirens, vicious monsters, boy crazed teens, or wild sea creatures– mermaids can be anything we make them out to be. Whether they’re virtuous or wicked, living in a state of pre-rational innocence or building elaborate undersea kingdoms, they have clearly captured the imagination of us landlubber bi-peds.

It’s funny, but once I started to write mermaid characters I began to see them everywhere! I can appreciate all the different types, and the recent spate of mermaid-themed books and movies is a fantastic development. Marina & Co. have a few more twists and turns to go through before I’ll be finished with her tales, so time for me to jump right in and immerse myself in writing book #4, “The Turning Tides”. CANNONBALL!!!

What do you think? Check out Derrolyn's Mermaid Poll

Excerpt from “Between The Land And The Sea”

Heading out towards the ship, I watched a couple of families strolling on the pier and taking pictures of each other leaning against the railings. The last thing I expected to see was Lorelei. Considering her shyness, I knew she wouldn’t be hanging around the ruins on such a busy day.

I was wrong.

When I wandered to the fence and looked down, her head popped up immediately.

“Lorelei!” I blurted out in shock.

She laughed, and it sounded like wind chimes. I looked around, but no one else had noticed her. I scooted to the edge of the chain link and glanced over my shoulder.

“Marina!” she called with a brilliant smile.

“We need to talk,” I stage whispered. She looked over at the edge of the fence.

“Come over here,” she said, with a beckoning wave.

“How?” I wondered, for there were more and more people coming down the stairs towards us. She smiled, and swimming over to a bobbing sea lion, she whispered something into its ear. Suddenly the sea lions all disappeared underwater. A few seconds later there was a barking commotion on the opposite side of the boat. All the people ran across the deck to get a look at what was going on. I could see them pointing and laughing at whatever the sea lions were doing. No one looked in our direction.

Sheesh, she can talk to animals, I thought. She gestured for me to come around the fence, which extended out over the water to prevent just that. I set my bag down on the deck, and looked around again.

Gathering my courage, I clung onto the fence, slipping the toes of my ballet flats into the links step by step. The sea lion commotion continued as I slowly picked my way around the fence. For a split second it occurred to me that this was a really dumb idea, but curiosity triumphed over rationality and I kept going. Once I had maneuvered around and climbed down onto a concrete chunk she swam close.

“Come!” she said, beckoning me into the water.

“But I can’t swim!” I exclaimed.

“I can swim for you,” she said, and before I could protest she scooped me up like Ethan had and flung us into the surf. The water was shockingly cold, and we stayed under for much too long. When we surfaced I was gasping for air. We had cleared the boat by a good fifty yards and were further out to sea than even the surfers went.

“I know a place we can go,” she said, and with a tight grip on me dove under again. My mind raced. I had read legends of mermaids who maliciously drowned humans. I knew I was going to die and they would probably chalk it up to another sleeper wave. Ethan would really think I was an idiot. I thought of how sad my father would be. We broke through the surface again.

“Stop!” I managed to gasp. We went under again. Now I was really afraid. I tried to pry her hands off of me but the glacial water was rushing by so quickly that I could barely move. I held my breath as long as I could and just as the dizziness set in we broke through the surface. She grinned at me, and then noticing my terrified expression, paused.

“I... I need to breathe,” I gasped, “Air,” I added.

She smiled again, wild and beautiful, “I know,” she said, and dove underwater with me. This time she came up a bit sooner.

“Wait!” I screeched, “I need to breathe more often!!!”

“Oh,” she said, and then held me above the surface as we sped along. With each powerful stroke of her fin we were propelled at least twenty feet. I was so frozen with cold I couldn’t protest. Finally we reached a buoy, floating far, far from shore.

I grabbed onto the buoy as she hovered next to it, treading water with her powerful fin. There was an odd collection of objects draped and tied onto it. I recognized scissors, golf balls and an old hairless baby doll. The binoculars I had given Lorelei were dangling there, along with my soggy leather jacket.

The buoy looked like a piece of modern art I saw at a museum once. My vision doubled as I began to have trouble focusing.

“Let’s talk,” she said, giddily.

My body was involuntarily shuddering and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably but I managed to get out, “L-L-Lorelei, I’m t-too cold. M-must g-go back.”

“But the wave riders stay in the water a long time...” she pouted, disappointed.

“T-they have w-wet suits to k-keep them warm,” I said through gritted teeth. She looked puzzled. “T-the black s-suits–”

“Oh,” she said crestfallen, and I could see she understood.

“P-P-please take me back... now.”

She looked disappointed, and taking me by the waist again, started to swim back to shore. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore and a pleasant warmth crept through my body. I stopped shivering.


“Yes,” she said, swimming without the slightest evidence of exertion.

“Why did you call me sisthter?” I asked, slurring my words. My vision was starting to blacken at the edges.

She paused for a moment, and then said “You were born of one like us,” she smiled, “And so you are a sister.” The blackness descended upon me totally.

About the author:

Derrolyn Anderson is a visual artist and writer who specializes in young adult fiction. She is the creator of the "Marina's Tales" series, and is currently hard at work on the fourth installment, "The Turning Tides".

Find Marina's Tales at:

Simply comment on this post and you'll be entered to win an ebook  set of all three novels. Don't forget to leave your email. This giveaway will end at midnight on November 11.

Thanks to Derrolyn Anderson. Caitlin is reading this series and will post her reviews as soon as she can.


  1. Thank you very much for such an interesting and informative article on mermaids and your thought process in choosing what kind of mermaids to write about! I've always found them fascinating creatures and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the giveaway! I'd love to have the chance to read your books.

  2. They sound great! Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. I love mermaids. It sounds great series. Thank you for the giveaway!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  4. Sounds like a great series! I really enjoyed learning how you chose to portray your mermaids!


  5. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I've been wanting to read this series and I love mermaids!

  6. I love Mermaids- both sweet and dark! I would love to win these books. Thanks for the chance:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  7. Thanks for the giveaway!


  8. I thought it was interesting that you described your mermaids with webbed fingers and in many iridescent colors. That is exactly how I pictured them.
    Thank you for sharing the excerpt and for the giveaway opportunity.

  9. The great hing sbout these Tours is finding out about new reads and authors!!

    GFC Michele Luker

    jmluker at winco dot net

  10. Love mermaid books and this series sounds great!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    danceislove27 At gmail DoT com

  11. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I've been dying to read this series and I love mermaids! I have read the sample and just cannot wait to read what happens next,i always take part in read it and reap giveaway but missed it this time and m really looking forward to read it.

  12. In the first three books the big issue was Marinas strong desires towards the ocean but in this fourth and final book the big issue was both her and Ethans insecurities towards each-other.
    There is also a lot of jealousy going on which of course disturbs their relationship.
    There were a lot of twists and turns that were completely unexpected and this is what made the book so good.