Cruel and Splendid Mermaids
Julie Catherine
(Broken Mermaids, #1)
Publication date: October 17th 2023
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy

For mermaids and humans, the rules are the same: be careful around strangers, be wary of magic and before you dive in, check what’s lurking under the waves.

Nineteen-year-old Ellara Merme’s whole life she’s known one purpose: to mate with men, to procreate, and to bear offspring to fight in Neptune’s underwater army. No problem… There’s just one hiccup. Her siren song doesn’t work.

No one can know.

She’s a broken mermaid with a faulty lure and she has only one week left to make the damaged song work. But all that can change with the ocean’s next deadly storm. Dragged from a shipwreck, mythology says a rescued sailor will be so grateful he’ll fall into anyone’s arms. Even a broken mermaid’s. Still, there’s a reason why merfolk and humans don’t get along. And a lot can go wrong when a girl from the ocean washes up on the shore.

Think mating is easy? Think again.

Cruel and Splendid Mermaids is a first-person dark and playful underwater fantasy. Book one in the Broken Mermaids series.

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What inspired you to write this book?

            I was inspired to write the first book in the Broken Mermaid series when I started to think about mermaids and how they exist in mythology. It seems their primary purpose is to look desirable and/or possibly lure men… but why?

            Why lure men?

            What does a mermaid get out of it?

            Do they actually enjoy the results when their luring works?

            So that was the idea I wanted to explore. I decided to build out a mermaid culture that has some drastic differences from human society, starting with the role of mermen. All the men in the ocean are shipped off as soldiers in a far off war when they’re very young, so the community near the shore is all women. In all roles. And for some of them, their job is to go ashore and lure men like the lore says. They are the most privileged of all the mermaids. They enjoy their jobs. It’s a desired position with a lot of perks. You’re born into it. And you’re lucky.

            From there, for me the next question was what happens when you’re a mermaid who can’t lure like all of your friends?

            That’s where Ellara Merme comes in. In Cruel and Splendid Mermaids she’s a Broken Mermaid. Her siren voice doesn’t work. All she wants in the world is to succeed and fit in like all of her friends. In fact she needs to, or she’ll be relegated to a lower, less beneficial class. And if she’s discovered as a fake siren without a voice, she’ll be arrested for fraud. So she hides her broken voice and looks for other ways to succeed at the task.

            She can do it by mating like a human instead of luring a man in the usual mermaid style.

So Ellara’s going to try to do that. I always knew it was a story of female empowerment and a love story. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was an exploration of women friendships as well.

            Last but not least, being a fantasy author, I was inspired to throw a couple quests in the mix too! Treasure hunts… puzzles created by water nymphs… sea witches and monsters… and the threat of ending up in a mermaid jail called the Riff. The world building and mythology in Cruel and Splendid Mermaids is intense!

            Think mating is easy? Think again.

Author Bio:

Julie Catherine is an author, screenwriter and playwright.

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By KellyATX

I'm a Blogger, Reader, Reviewer & Bookstrammer. Die Hard TX Native & Rangers Fan.