Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
HJLawson, Emma Nichols,Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage, Leilani Love,
Carlton, Xyla Turner
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and
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The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires,
Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics,
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Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
has been so…
and a storm, cursing the islands that stole him from her.
islands she once cursed. Gone are the boats powered by sail and steam – jet
boats with GPS are now the order of the day.
around when the lights go out. He’ll fix your generator and have the lights
back on in no time, no worries. But can he seduce a siren?
islands off the coast of Western Australia. At least, that’s how Joe tells it.
the details becoming foggier…
someone in the cemetery. Until now, I hadn’t paid much attention to the
old graves, assuming most of its residents had died hundreds of years ago,
based on how crumbled and weathered the tombstones were.
dying grass, facing one of the small headstones. Her back to me, she looked
stoic, almost like a part of the graveyard itself.
interrupt her as I passed. Off to the right, I spotted the same
old farm road from the other day, and I picked up speed,
enjoying the hot wet vibrations of the wind passing by. As I turned
sharply, I took one last look back toward the cemetery. Expecting to
see the stone-like woman, I was surprised to see her gone already.
couple of days ago, I veered off the beaten path and slipped
through the gap in the trees that led to the fence line.
jogged in place, noting that the fence was twisted and bent in spots.
Instead of running in the direction of town like I did the other day, I
took a new route, going the opposite direction.
see where it goes, I decided
resolutely. It was silly and childish, but I suddenly felt this insatiable
need to satisfy the curiosity burning inside me…and as I ran, I could feel
the same high from last night returning. The touch and smell of Adam still
clung to my skin…
glimpse of something behind the foliage, or the lake I thought I’d seen
the other day, but after jogging nearly a mile, it was more of the
through the clearing, I could see a dirt road with no houses on it.
I hear that dog beyond the fence again? I’d almost forgotten
about the barking…
wind in the trees and the slight clinking sounds of the fence rattling.
through my sweat-soaked hair, causing me to shiver. What had started
out as a bright sunny day, was suddenly getting colder…and darker. The fence
seemed to stretch for miles, and I was suddenly hit with a strange sense akin
to walking in the desert. Is that the end of the fence line I see? Or
is this some sort of twisted mirage?
I saw what did in fact look like the end of the fence line. The fence itself
curled around, moving in another direction. One spot in the fence looked
open. It was shaking in the wind, the culprit of the clinking sounds I’d heard
only moments earlier…
reached the corner where the fence turned, I realized it was loose. There was a
tiny gap at the end, a jagged opening that looked to have been created by
kid in me couldn’t resist…
before I could change my mind, I did a quick look around to make sure I was
alone, and then I tried to squeeze through the gap. The metal wires were
jagged in spots, and even sucking in my small belly, I barely made it
through, I stopped to observe my wounds, catching my breath. They were
superficial, but bleeding. Thoughts of tetanus drifted through my mind,
but I quickly tried to dispel them, using my shirt itself to wipe blood
away from the tiny scratches.
vegetation. Impulsively, I pushed through it, trying to stay as quiet as
possible. I don’t see any ‘No Trespassing’ signs, but the fence
made it very clear…I’m not supposed to be back here.
earthy ground, so I took my time, pushing through the trees and prickly bushes.
There was no sound; no birds, no nothing, as I entered the dense
fence, but couldn’t see it now through the murky wall of trees behind
me I’d just passed through.
logs, I prayedthat I wouldn’t get lost.
ahead that was so important it had to be fenced in and kept secret like Fort
widening. I was approaching something…but what that something was, I couldn’t
creek or water source. Was this the water I spotted through the trees
the other day?
followed it like a beacon. A few yards later, I nearly stepped right up to
the edge of the lake as it seemed to appear out of nowhere.
last night, I recognized the same bright white blue water. Mist hovered
like a blanket above it.
across to the other side of the lake. There were triangular shaped hills in the
distance and a thick white fog hovering around them.
drawn to smooth white marble and stone, a building or monument of some
sort standing in the distance.
I’d come this far. I had to see what else there was back here…
and as I grew closer, I realized it had crumbling steps leading up to a
flat empty square of space.
went to the center of it, turning around in circles on the flat
have echoed for miles…
treasure. I went back to the steps, plopping down on the top stair. From here,
I could see the brilliant blue lake below, and although I was still not as high
as the trees, I could see farther across the expanse of land on the other side
of the lake.
all the rest. Even from this far away, I could see that it dwarfed every
other tree and plant around it.
branches pointing in every direction.
must own this property. I wonder why they let it go…
shocking, that I screamed and jumped up, nearly tumbling down the high stony
surprised to see a boy standing on
the flat square surface above.
features, as though he was trying to figure me out.
was back h-here. You frightened me.”
voice as a low as a whisper. His skin was white as milk, his hair and eyes
nearly matching the shocking bright blue of the lake. If it wasn’t for the
hollowed out cheeks and deep purplish marks beneath his eyes, he would have
that you expected?” His voice was so strange, as was his question, and I found
myself getting scared. I was suddenly aware of how alone I was.
wasn’t wearing any shoes.
and a matching black shirt that looked homemade.
the steps, eager to leave.
boy, my age or slightly younger. When I glanced back, his expression
was sad now, as though I’d disappointed him.
was standing no more than ten feet away, his words vibrated against my
skin. The question reminded me of Adam’s question the other day, and I
felt my insides constrict.
never been so sure of anything…
curling up the edges of his lips, his words melodic.
from this stranger. A stranger who claims to know you, I reminded
platform, his bare feet lined up with the edge. From here, he looked eight
feet tall…and intimidating.
boy. I raced down the steps and back along the water’s edge, careful
not to slip in, and when I found a decent-sized gap in the trees, I darted
through. How did he know my name? That question
pierced through my mind over and over as I ran.
you can imagine my relief a few moments later, when I saw the glint of
metal up ahead.
to the twisted metal. Keeping my hand on the fence, I followed it east, until
I found the same jagged hole I came in through.
screeched as the metal tore straight through my shirt, slicing a deep cut in my
looking back over my shoulder a few times for the boy. But he wasn’t there, and
for that, I was grateful…
Book: Ocean’s Gift
little nervous, but I shall do my best not to stammer too much.
you come to writing?
I’ve only been published for four of them. Ah…come to writing or come to
writing something I intended to publish? Because the first book I wrote was
actually the third book I published, and there’s a reason for that. Nightmares
of Caitlin Lockyer…no, the whole Nightmares Trilogy, is very dark .
Psychological thriller type dark. It was based on a series of recurring
nightmares I had during the trial of two notorious serial killers in my home
town. While I won’t go into the gory details, they kidnapped and tortured women
before they killed them and disposed of the bodies. The only reason they were
caught is because when they were about to kill one of the girls, she managed to
escape and get help. That’s where the similarity ends, though, because my
serial killers are subject to a much darker kind of justice than the Australian
the one book then, not a trilogy at all – was too dark to publish or even show
anyone, but I was talking to some other authors on the site Wattpad, who
expressed a desire to read some of it. They’d tell me if it was too dark, they
within a matter of days, those chapters had over ten thousand reads. So I
posted a few more…and a few more…until in the end I posted the whole book on
Wattpad, and the website staff offered to feature it to their (then) ten
million readers. I think it had more than two and a half million reads or
something – a very popular book. So, I went from believing it was too dark to
release, to publishing the first book…and two more in the trilogy as it stands
my first book…that’s Ocean’s Gift, a light comedy urban fantasy.
did my Masters research on shipwrecks at several remote islands off the West
Australian coast, and as I was writing up my dissertation, I came across one
shipwreck that just didn’t make sense. During a cyclone in the 1920s, a fishing
boat broke free of its moorings with the two-man crew still aboard. One man
managed to swim ashore, but the other couldn’t swim, so he disappeared in the waves
when the boat sank. Everyone thought he drowned, but his body wasn’t
found…until more than three weeks later, when it washed up miles from where the
boat went down, in the complete opposite direction to the ocean currents.
Stranger still, the man was recognizable – which meant his corpse hadn’t been
floating at sea for all those weeks – and he’d done some first aid to his
broken leg. There was nowhere the man could have been all that time except in
the ocean, because if he’d washed up on the island, someone would have seen him
and helped him. So how could a man survive for three weeks at sea, do first aid
on himself, and yet drown within sight of land?
couldn’t solve the mystery, so I wrote “mermaids did it” in my report
and left it at that.
report, I burst out laughing when I saw that bit, because it was still there. I
quickly deleted it, submitted my dissertation, and decided to celebrate with a
glass of wine.
myths on the internet. Was it actually possible? I was amazed to find heaps of
mermaid stories from all over the Indian Ocean, and of course I also dug out my
copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales to read the fairytale I remembered.
and I had a story. What if the reason mermaids went ashore was a biological
imperative – they needed human men in order to breed – but instead of saving
the man like the prince in Anderson’s tale, what if my Indian Ocean mermaid
accidentally lost him to the waves? She’d be heartbroken, not wanting to return
to the place she lost the man for a very long time.
ashore again, at the same islands, investigating an environmental issue. Right
at the same time as a brand new deckhand starts work on a lobster fishing
vessel at the islands – a deckhand who’s very interested in the woman who lives
in the fishing shack next door to his. And he just happens to have the same
first name as the man she lost to the waves…
I love the research and working with new characters in amazing places and
seeing just what they can come up with to make their story special. The worst
bit…is when the characters are so real to me that they hijack my head, the
story and anything else they can get their imaginary hands on. So when I was
writing Joe Fisher, the deckhand who’s in love with the woman he doesn’t know
is a mermaid, and I walked past a reflective window while I was wearing a
low-cut top, the thought that popped into my head was a very clear, “Ooh,
boobs!” I’ll never forget that moment, because it was like Joe Fisher was
alive in my head…and perving on me.
characters won’t shut up. I swear they’re either having a party in my head or
starting World War III. At least, I think it’s war. It might be a particularly
violent orgy, which is entirely possible, as Lucifer features in several of my
books and he gets quite vocal. I honestly don’t know.
part of that included site visits to the islands where the book is set. I’ve
stayed in those shacks, walked the jetty, been out on the fishing boats…and
visited Giuseppe’s grave, and the site where his boat sank.
and then tries to drive his dinghy back to the island in the dark:
At least I got to dream of Vanessa naked.”
for a living before he signed on as a deckhand, constructing remote mining
camps with his offsider, Dean:
were the last people who actually camped there. We slept in swags and cooked
outside, in the beam of the spotlights on the top of the car, which was a ute.
There was one ute to two men, and I shared mine with Dean the plumber. Dean was
full of shit, so it seemed natural that he was a plumber. Still, he was a
better cook than me and a good mate, too.”
assignments, asking for his help on his uncle’s fishing boat:
possible. How soon can you get up here?”
and fly up on Sunday,” I told him reluctantly.
flights and he’ll meet you out on the islands. You can see how it goes the
first week and if it works out you get paid to go fishing for the rest of your
holidays. Seeya.” He hung up.
Dean, this was going to be a disaster. Oh well, next trip I can always get back
at him by putting huge spiders in his swag. He’s terrified of them, but he
always forgets to zip his swag up properly. And he screams like a girl when he
finds them, too.
a free fishing charter and possibly getting paid to fish for weeks after it.
And if it didn’t work out, the next three months of seeing Dean do a
high-pitched jig every night when he found spiders in his swag. Hell, there
wasn’t a downside that I could see.
would ever know how good a book is. If you enjoyed it, leave a review!
book. It might not have been my intention when I stepped onto the whale
watching boat/jetty over a volcanic lake/the walkway into a million-year-old
cave or waded into the water with my dive gear, always with my camera in hand,
but by the time I get home, I usually have a new story idea in my head – or
something I’d like to include in an existing book.
trip where I spent around an hour chasing this shark around so I could get a picture
of it. I never did get a good one. I’ll have to try again sometime.
series – Ocean’s Infiltrator, and a prequel about Belinda called Water and
Fire. I realised after I wrote these that there’s ninety years missing in
Vanessa’s tale, so I started writing what I thought was a single book called
Turbulence and Triumph. Ha. Now, that’s the name of a series of seven books to
date, all of which take place in the 1920s and 1930s, starting with Ocean’s
angel sent in as a temp to the office from Hell. Quite literally, as the CEO is
the devil himself and Mel’s supposed to find out his plans while she’s working
there. But the devil falls for the angel – and falls hard – which makes her job
a lot more challenging.
mentioned, but an odd spinoff from that is my Romance Island Resort series. You
see, the girl was in a band, and because of what happened to her, she managed
to garner some media attention, and once the lead singer’s interview went
viral, the band just sort of took off.
Felix, is one of the hottest rock stars in the world, with more money than he
knows what to do with, and the band breaks up. He buys Romance Island Resort, a
luxury celebrity resort off the West Australian coast, and proceeds to look for
love…inspired by the resort’s library of romance books. But what works for most
romance heroes always seems to go wrong for him, even if he does get the girl
in the end. Just not the way he intended.
that’s all I can talk about for now.
letting me chew your ear off about my books.