Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.
Betrayal (Syrenka #2)
At the Other End:
Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.
Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl. Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away. While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind. With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.
When the Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart. But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why. Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.
Arise (Syrenka #3)
At the Other End:
With power comes the responsibility to accept its consequences.
After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken, and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance of the power growing inside her, even when that means embracing the family’s dark lineage.
Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not everyone will survive.
Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.
1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
Promises was my first published piece of fiction, so The Syrenka Series is my introduction to readers. I’ve been published quite a bit in scientific journals and trade magazines, but that’s all for the day job.
2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week? Yeah! Someone bought the book! It was such a scary decision to take that step and release my stories to the world. I was an unknown, people might hate my writing, and I worried that no one would buy it let alone enjoy it. Although I’m three books in, all of those thoughts still race through my mind, and now I also worry about the reviews!
3. What inspired you to write this novel? I love vampires and werewolves, but I wanted to create something different...mostly just for my own enjoyment. If I could be a mermaid, I would, so they seemed like the obvious creature for me to delve into. The selkie folklore was fascinating to me, so I ended up envisioning a forbidden love affair between a mermaid and a selkie and the ideas evolved from there. The first chapter of Promises was originally a standalone short story. But after a few months, I came back to it and wrote an entire trilogy.
4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews? Good question and one that no one has asked me before. In short, it’s tough. I know not every book will appeal to every reader, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing when someone didn’t enjoy it. I will say, though, that it is even more frustrating when getting a low starred review without any reason as to why they rated you that way. As an author, I want to know what DIDN’T work so I can try and address that in future pieces. It’s all about the constructive criticism!
5. How long was the writing/planning process? Promises took a couple of months (as I mentioned it started as a short story). Betrayal was outlined and written in about 30 days, before I released Promises. So the timeline for those two was relatively quick because once the story was all laid out, I couldn’t stop writing! Arise was also outlined in a few days, but it took me about six months to complete it. Believe me, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to work on it, it’s just that I was writing my dissertation at the time and that had to be a priority on most nights. I am one of those people that have to finish something I start, so once I’m focused on it (and carve out the time) I will work until it is done.
6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration? Working with my cover artist was one of the coolest experiences ever. Claudia (http://phatpuppyart.com) was amazing. We had a few email discussions about my main character’s personality, whether or not to include a tail, and the fact that I planned this as a trilogy. She immediately worked on a couple of renderings and within a day or two, we were done. It was pretty much the same process for all three covers. I am so glad I invested in them, and I think they fit perfectly with the series. I wish I could write a book for all of her artwork!
7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now? Yes! I am planning on releasing my urban fantasy Touching Evil before the end of the year. This book was written before The Syrenka Series but it’s time for me to work on it again. I also have two other novels that have been started and shelved for my mermaids, so that is on my list too. Sometimes I wish I could write all day every day!
8. Top 5 books
Blood Promise – Richelle Mead
Definitely Dead – Charlainne Harris
Bitten – Kelley Armstrong
Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
9. Recommended books
If you are a fan of the urban fantasy genre like me, then I recommend reading authors like Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, and Patricia Briggs. These are authors who can make me sit down and read the entire book in one day or one weekend, and then a few weeks later I want to read it again. I suppose it’s the story telling that gets me emotionally attached and I strive to be able to do the same with my characters.
10. Why read your novel? Because mermaids are awesome! No seriously, it’s a face paced, coming-of-age, story where humans are secretly protected by a society of water creatures. Also, readers can enjoy the entire series for less than $7!