Back with one of my favorite creatures but this time, is very different.
The story is A Merman’s Choice (Book 1 in the Sea of Love series) by Alice Renauld, a fantasy romance.
For centuries the shape-shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands have lived incognito among humans. But one of them, Yann, has developed some bad habits. Like rescuing humans, even when doing so risks revealing his true nature. When he fishes Alex out of the sea, he doesn’t expect her to reappear eight months later, and turn his life upside down by asking him to be her guide.
Alex is determined to fulfil a promise to her dying grandmother, by gathering pictures and stories of the Morvanns. But she soon discovers that, on these remote Welsh islands, legends have a habit of becoming true!
Over the course of a few days, Yann and Alex grow close. But some mermen hate humans. Their hostility, and Yann’s secret, threaten to tear the couple apart just as they are discovering that they are soul mates. Can Yann overcome the obstacles in his path and make the right choice?
I’m so happy to have Yann here with me!
Hi Yann, and thank you so much for coming by. Tell us a bit more about your profession, please.
I’m a Nature Warden in my native Morvann Islands, west Wales. Sometimes I also ferry tourists to and from the islands, on my boat Gwilan.
Are you happy about your life?
I thought I was happy… but in recent times my father and the other Clan leaders have been putting pressure on me to stop spending so much time with humans, and in human shape. I’m expected to become leader of my Benetynn Clan one day, after my father, so they think I should focus on our people, the mermen. I’m beginning to think I don’t want those responsibilities.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
I value loyalty, and kindness. I try to be loyal to my father, my Clan, my people – even when it costs me personally.
On what occasions do you lie?
Sadly, every time I save a human from drowning, I find myself forced to lie to my friends and my father. They don’t want me to rescue swimmers in difficulty, because the humans might see me in my aquatic shape, and realize that I am a shape-shifting merman. But I can’t let humans drown – even if it means taking the risk of revealing our secret.
What is the worst and best thing that happened to your life?
The worst thing that happened to me was when my mother died. I was quite young. She went to rescue a human swimmer who had got into trouble, but she drowned saving her. In aquatic shape, my mum could have saved herself – but of course she couldn’t shift in full view of a human. The best thing that happened to me was meeting Alex. She brings me a lot of trouble – but she’s the most wonderful woman I have ever met. I don’t care if she’s human, I don’t care if I’m not supposed to fall for a human. I can’t give her up.
What are you most afraid of?
I’m most afraid of letting people down, of betraying their trust.
What is in your refrigerator right now?
I don’t have a refrigerator. I don’t use much electricity in my house. There’s a trap door in the floor of my living room, that opens onto a hole in the rock – a sort of aquarium – that the sea fills at high tide. I keep all my seafood down there, nice and fresh.
Fish and chips, and all seafood, especially oysters.
What would you change about Alex?
Absolutely nothing. Although… if she were a mermaid, my life would be easier.
What were your first thought and impression when you first met?
I first met her when I saved her from drowning. She was so beautiful. I couldn’t bear to let the sea take her.
Can you tell us more about who you really are?
I am a shifter. I can move at will between the human shape and my aquatic shape. In the marine shape I look a bit like a dolphin, with smooth grey skin and a hairless, nose-less face, but also with webbed hands and feet. And a foot-long, flexible tail, which is definitely not a fish-tail. We’re one hundred per cent hot-blooded mammals.
What would you do if you wake up to find a poisonous spider on your pillow next to my head?
I’d take it in my hands (we’re immune to poisonous spiders) and gently put it in a box, to take it to the zoo on the mainland.
Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
I’m a fisherman, like most mermen.
If you were stranded on your island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
I live on an island. I would take my Alex, a bucketful of oysters, and a bottle of whisky.
The girl wasn’t swimming any more. Yann’s sonar gave him a clear picture of her distress. She was flailing. Sinking.
Fear punched him between the ribs. Just a few minutes earlier, she’d been splashing in the shallows, laughing and humming to herself. That music had rippled around him, brightening his journey. Now the sea was snuffing that light out. No! He wouldn’t let it happen. His webbed hands and feet churned the water, and he shot towards her like a torpedo.
Not this one, sea. Not this time.
She came in sight, slim and lovely, with long bronzed limbs and hair the colour of sunshine. But her eyes were closed, her movements slow, hesitant, as if she were falling asleep. His fear hardened into cold, sharp dread. He poured all his energy into the last powerful strokes. He’d almost reached her, when his eye caught the shadow, beyond the crystal surface, out there in the dry world. He sent a sound wave. It came back with an image, and the icy blade inside him twisted: two-legged shapes on the beach. Humans!
If they saw him, they’d know him for what he was. His people’s secret, kept for thousands of years, would be out.
The girl’s head vanished under the waves. To hell with that. He couldn’t let her drown.
He grabbed her and dragged her back to the surface. She thrashed in his arms and coughed up seawater. Intense relief swept through him as he hugged her to his chest. He’d sworn he’d never again swim by and let a human drown, and he’d kept his promise. If the young woman’s eyes remained closed, he might even get away with it. He wanted her to breathe, not scream in horror at the sight of his dark grey face.
I was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, my father was French and my mother British (from Wales). I moved to London, UK, in 1997, where I now live with my husband and son. I have been writing since I was 14. I got quite a few short stories published in UK magazines, before moving to longer fiction. I wrote three contemporary romance books, but didn’t find a publisher for them. I then realized that mermen, sea witches and water demons were a lot more fun than sheikhs and billionaires! My first two paranormal romances did not find a publisher either, then I wrote A Merman’s Choice, which was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, Music for a Merman, is due out in 2019. I love reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!