Falling in Deep Collection
by Various Authors
Release Date: September 21st 2015
Our collection includes fourteen unique mermaid tales with over 900 pages of enchanting stories from award-winning and best-selling authors!
From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fourteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the FALLING IN DEEP COLLECTION are bringing you mermaid tales like you've never seen before. Are you ready to fall in deep?
Scales by Pauline Creeden
Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak
Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger
Deep Breath by J. M. Miller
At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells
The Mermaid's Den by Ella Malone
The Water is Sweeter by Eli Constant
The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless
An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens
How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes
Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley
Immersed by Katie Hayoz
Siren's Kiss by Margo Bond Collins
To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci
**The Falling in Deep Collection is on sale for $0.99 through September 28th!**
Title: The Glass Mermaid
Author: Poppy Lawless
Chapter 1: Kate
The surf lapped over my feet, sea foam tickling my toes. It was early summer, but the lake water was still icy. I closed my eyes and felt the cool waves. In the deep of winter, when the lake would freeze, we always sheltered on one of the small islands that dotted Lake Erie. The humans in those days had called us lumpeguin. Sighing deeply, I opened my eyes and looked down at the rocky shoreline.
“There you are,” I whispered, bending to pick up a piece of green beach glass. I lifted it and looked at it in the diming sunlight. It was tear-shaped and worn smooth from its time in the water. A soft white sheen coated the green glass. That made seven green pieces, five light blue pieces, eight white pieces, and seven amber pieces. Not a bad haul. Alas, no red. I rarely found red anymore. The lake had stopped giving up her most beautiful treasures. If I wanted, I could swim down deep to the troves of wave-kissed glass. But I hadn’t been below the surface in nearly three hundred years, and I certainly wasn’t going to ruin that stretch over some sparkly bauble, even if all my customers begged for red beach glass.
I tucked the green beach glass into my satchel, pulled my long, straw-colored hair back, and then bent to pick up my sandals. I looked out at the lake. The sun was dipping below the horizon. There was nothing more glorious than a Lake Erie sunset. Shimmering shades of rosy pink, orange, and magenta illuminated the sky and reflected on the waves. Breathing in deeply, I tried to inhale the scene. The briny scent of the fresh lake water was perfumed with the lingering smell of snow and flowers. Not for the first time, I wondered what my old home looked like now. Forgotten under the waves, the eerie sea kingdom had been left to be ruled by ghosts and memories.
I sucked in a breath and turned to go. I wouldn’t cry. Mermaids’ tears were, after all, a special and rare commodity. They carried life itself, and I didn’t have much of that magical spark left in me. A single tear could spell my end, sapping out the last of the gift from the deep. No, I’d managed to live for over three hundred years. It wouldn’t do to weep over an amazing sunset, a nearly-forgotten past, nor the realization that I was truly alone. It was what it was. I couldn’t change the fact that I was the last mermaid.
Title: How to be a Mermaid
Author: Erin Hayes
“What is this?” a rough, intense voice demanded.
I swam out of unconsciousness, an uncomfortable experience that revealed my entire body aching, my head most of all. It was so dark, and a strange feeling had overtaken my body. Like I was floating. I tried touching a hand to my head, only to find that I couldn't.
My hands were tied behind my back with what felt like...kelp?
The realization hit me and I thrashed about trying to free myself, and I finally opened my eyes.
I paused for a moment, unable to grasp exactly where I was.
Air bubbles popped out of my mouth in a flurry when a scream escaped my throat. A thousand thoughts filled my head, none of them making sense except for the overwhelming dread that I was somehow underwater with my hands tied behind my back. From what I could tell, there was no way I could get air to breathe. I'd lost a lot of air when I screamed.
Oh my god, I was going to drown.
My mermaid necklace was thrust in front of my vision, momentarily disorienting me.
“What is this? I demand you to tell me now!”
“What?” I asked out loud. A sharp pain zigzagged across my head from where I'd hit it on the rock. I was trapped underwater and this man wanted to know...what exactly? What my necklace was?
The necklace came even closer to my face, so much that I'd have to go cross-eyed in order to focus on it.
“Where did you get this? What is it?” the man demanded.
“It's my...” I was unsure and still terrified of my situation. “It's my necklace.”
Author: Katie Hayoz
LEVI CANNON BACK IN CHICAGO. NO NEED TO FEAR THE BOGEYMAN shouted the headline of the newspaper spread out on Melusine’s dresser. A skilled drawing of Mr. Levi Cannon stepping on a monster with one giant eye was directly underneath the headline. Below that was a quote that made Melusine fume: “Miss Melusine Doré is now free to learn flower arrangement and make social calls. There is a man in town to do a man’s job. I promise you all that the beast found hunting here will be gone in a matter of days. Unlike Miss Doré, I do not take precious time to see if a monster has a heart of gold or not. It’s a monster, after all, and if its heart happens to be gold, well then, I shall rip it out and sell it for a fortune.”
Grabbing her fountain pen, Melusine inked warts onto Levi’s nose and cheeks, and filled in the area between his eyebrows. She gazed down at his lifeless face and grunted. Warts and all, Levi Cannon still looked good. Too good.
Once a year or so Levi would come into town, challenging Melusine, leaving a trail of dead monsters and smitten women in his wake. But she never rose to his dares and instead stayed out of sight until he left.
He was too dangerous, for so many reasons.
Title: Deep Breath
Author: J. M. Miller
Marissa inhaled her first breath from the bailout bottle, hard and deep, and held it as she jerked at the chains for escape. Holding a breath while diving was not the best idea. It led to more recovery breaths, wasting more air. But, with a limited capacity bottle, she had to take the risk. She needed more time.
A lock fastened the chain tight around her ankles. She hooked her fingers into the links and yanked, but there was no way to slip the chain off. Still falling deeper, dread and panic twisted her insides and knocked her heartbeat loudly inside her ears. Fear overrode every bit of calm, crushing it like a tin can.
The anchor hit bottom. Her bare feet followed a moment later, colliding with its metal and the sand below, kicking up a cloud of sediment. She didn’t bother to look around. Her focus was only on the chain, but that didn’t keep her brain from wondering what was around her. The light from the surface was weak, dispersing through the water with only a faint glow. It was some reassurance that there were fewer predators around to smell the blood from the cut on her head. That light and reassurance would be gone soon enough, though. She wouldn’t last to see it go completely dark. She’d either be topside or dead.
Her heartbeat pounded on, a clock counting down to her fate. It screamed for her the words she couldn’t speak. It screamed for the air she couldn’t freely take.
Title: At the Heart of the Deep
Author: Carrie L Wells
I caught sight of his cut, thought a moment, and swam away. He floated there, treading water and wondering what would happen next. At that point, his face conveyed the pain in his side. I watched an intense sting replace what I knew of the original burning sensation of a coral abrasion, and the open wound spilled into the ocean at a steady pace.
Conceivably, I had underestimated the severity of the cut. Maybe the coral cut deeper than I thought. The blood clouded the water surrounding him, and now the problem remained of how to take the injured man across the reef without doing further damage. We still needed to cross at least two miles and climb a rocky beach. Or did we?
Before he had time to contemplate any other option, I approached him from below. I swam up to him slowly, and he did nothing. He didn’t dive to meet me or attempt to swim away. He hung vertically in the water, waiting.
He must have felt me before he could clearly see me. The water shifted as I neared, my physicality changing the flow of the ocean around me. He knew I was there, but he didn’t dive below. Was he afraid? Too hurt to move? Instead, he stayed still, moving as little as possible, allowing my approach, and keeping the blood loss at a minimum.
I moved below him and then up, along his body, until my head emerged from the inky blue water and he stared into my eyes. He let out a fast gasp and quickly sank below the surface.
Author: Pauline Creeden
TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.
Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.
The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.
The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”
My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.
Exile. My Reckoning has begun.
Title: The Mermaid’s Den
I made my choice quickly and left in the middle of the night. I swam south, feeling the water warm slightly as I approached the Massachusetts coast. Familiar with the area from years of fishing there, I knew Southern Point and slid myself onto the rocks. I sat there in the cool, late-summer air, feeling the briskness of the sea breeze and a slight sting of the spray against my newly formed legs.
Developing legs was always a sensuous experience to me. I watched my scales turn from their bright, inky blue to a honey color as they bleached before my eyes. Then they slowly turned smooth moments before my ankles separated and my toes lost their webbing. I felt supple and exotic as a human. I held a mystery that no one else knew or shared.
Legs also reminded me of Diana. We would find a beach free of humans and lie together, kissing and touching in the sand as our bodies transitioned from mer to human. Our tails would slowly change from beautiful fins to strong, elegant legs.
Diana moved slowly with me. None of her rapid, curt movements existed in our meetings. Those motions belonged to her royal self, not the one we shared. With me she lingered in her own skin, her hands in mine, our lips caressing necks, shoulders, and breasts.
Title: Of Ocean and Ash
Author: A. R. Draeger
Summer was waning when I was born, marked by the heat leaving the waters and the nights growing longer. My family wanted to migrate with the rest of their people, but they waited for me in the stillness of the waves, keeping an ever-watchful eye.
Mother heard the wails of the fisherman’s wife the night the woman discovered she carried me in her womb. The fisherman and his wife lived next to the water in a small, dilapidated shack made of rotten wood and leaky thatch. They had six children before me, although Mother knew not in what mixture their genders numbered. All but two were taken away at birth. The couple had too many as it were for a meager fisherman and his wife, and I was yet another mouth to feed.
The fisherman’s cries of mercy woke my family the night I was born. My arrival was sooner than expected, his wife not having carried me nine months in her womb. I was tiny, frail. My left leg was misshapen, my head oblong.
Mother watched him from beneath the surface, saw his tanned sailor’s skin, ebony and white streaked hair, and grey-whiskered face. He looked down at me, the fragile bundle cradled in his arms, and cried out through parched lips and crooked, black teeth:
“Forgive me, O God! Have mercy on her. I leave her to your care.”
He dropped me in the water with a small plop.