Warning: This YA book contains sensual love scenes and creepy killers – along with mermaids, sea monsters, and high school stress.
Teenage mermaid Danika DelMar loves high school more than anything in the ocean. She fights with her mother about joining their pod, but she fights her hormones even more. No matter what her body says, she’s not ready to kill someone with sex. Things get harder when Danika falls for a new boy at school. He claims to be a sea creature like she is, but she isn’t sure she can trust him or herself.
When a dead body shows up at Danika’s reef she risks giving away her secret to make sure the police find the victim. It doesn’t stop the bodies from coming. Soon she’s lost her friend and the first boy she ever loved. Danika is sure a sea creature is involved, and she’s the only one who can help. As her friends become targets, Danika races to find the killer.
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From The Mermaid and The Murders:
I felt my own pulse start to rise. There might be another man on the boat somewhere, another up there for me. I could wrap my tail around him, feel him hard against me, and then I’d—
The first scream cut through my fantasy, the way scales cut through skin. The couples began to sink under the waves, then come above them barely long enough for the men to get air. They fought to get away, but the tails held them, their breath a rush of silver bubbles under the water. I didn’t think any of the men had even finished, but already there was blood in the water. Ondine had her mouth open, trying to taste it. The look on her face made her an animal, feral and strong. Above us, the others kept moving, their hips thrusting, tails pumping even as the men tried to pull away. The couples began to drop in the water, going low enough that the screams ended and open mouths released only bubbles.
I felt hot shame in my cheeks, shock at what my cousins had done. Worse, shock at how I wanted to join them, how I couldn’t turn away. I shouted at myself to swim away, to go, but it took a pair of legs settling on to the sand beside me for me to move. When they hit bottom, I realized how real it all was, how those men would never see dry land again.
Writing Danika’s story was so much fun I tend to talk about her and her world: all my blog posts about the Mermaid and the Murders.