Interview with Katie O’Sullivan, Author of Son of a Mermaid

Please welcome Katie O’Sullivan to the virtual offices! I was curious about Katie’s new book, Son of a Mermaid, so I asked her by to chat about the book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Katie O’Sullivan] Katie O’Sullivan lives next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking too much coffee and inventing excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Son of a Mermaid?

[Katie O’Sullivan] This young adult book is aimed at advanced middle grade and beginner YA readers and makes a perfect young teen beach book for summer, filled with adventure, light romance and beautiful descriptions of life along the sandy shores – and beneath the waves.

Son of a Mermaid is the first book in a planned series about Shea MacNamara and the undersea world of mermaids and mermen that he discovers off the shores of Cape Cod. The blurb reads:

Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life forever.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. Two things stand in the way of lasting peace: an ambitious Regent and rumors of a half-human child who will save the oceans.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Katie O’Sullivan] My kids and I have always liked mermaid stories. One day my son and I were walking the dogs on the beach and found a strange rock with a hole cut through the center. We started weaving a tale about the mermaid who lost it… and the book grew from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Shea?

[Katie O’Sullivan] Loyal, strong, insecure

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Kae had a theme song, what would it be?

[Katie O’Sullivan] Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Kae is never without.

[Katie O’Sullivan] Her transmutare medallion. Harvested from the heart of the ocean, the transmutare stones help mermaids channel and focus the ancient magick of the seas. Kae uses her medallion to help her transform her tail into human legs, to go ashore.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Shea’s bedroom?

[Katie O’Sullivan] Since he lost everything in the tornado, you won’t find much that is his own in Shea’s new bedroom. He didn’t bring much with him when he moved to Cape Cod, just what was in his backpack at school that day.

But things you’d never find? He’s a straight arrow kind of guy, so no alcohol or drugs, and he’s not into pop culture or fads, so no Pokemon or Homestuck stuff. He also has no photos of the mother who abandoned him as a baby – until he moves to his grandmother’s house and finds one. And recognizes her from his dreams.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Kae’s greatest regret?

[Katie O’Sullivan] Kae regrets being so constrained by the rules of her family and society, and wishes she had more freedom. She can’t wait to go away to school, where she thinks she’ll be able to have a fresh start. When she meets Shea, she starts bending those rules but finds that she’s not the only one with secrets, and that things aren’t always as they appear.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Katie O’Sullivan] For this book, living by the ocean was a big influence, lol. Like my character Shea, I walk my dogs along the beach at sunrise every morning, and spend that alone time working through stories in my head.

I’ve also been reading a lot of YA in the last few years – the genre has changed significantly over time and is one of the more exciting areas in publishing today.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Katie O’Sullivan] The 3 C’s: My computer, coffee, and chocolate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Katie O’Sullivan] I’d have to say Death Lies Between Us, by Jody Kessler. Before that, it was The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

I read and enjoy a lot of books (a LOT of books), but love it when an author brings something really fresh to a book, something I haven’t read before.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Katie O’Sullivan] My mom was into mysteries and Agatha Christie, so she started me off with the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I read them all, but at the age of 10 read The Girl Who Owned a City, by O.T. Nelson and it changed the way I looked at books. Everything didn’t have to strictly “real” in the world of fiction, and grownups didn’t have all the answers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Katie O’Sullivan] If I had my choice, I’d spend more time reading! But. I have three active, involved teens (over involved?) who keep me busy, as well as two big dogs who like to walk on the beach every chance they get. I watch a lot of soccer games and track meets, and go to a lot of concerts and plays starring my kids and their friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Katie O’Sullivan] My website:

My blog:

On Facebook:

On Twitter:

Add Son of a Mermaid on your Goodreads list:

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link:


About the book:

Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated.

After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he’s trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment… and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King’s regent, and rumors of the Princess’s bastard child.

Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

About the Author:

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, and has worked for the last four years as the editor of magazine and writes “The Write Way” column for the magazine.

She hopes her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will make a big splash this summer, engaging young readers with a Cape Cod tale of a boy who discovers both his roots and his destiny far below the waters of Nantucket Sound.

Review: Coyote Winds by Helen Sedwick



Title:  Coyote Winds

Author: Helen Sedwick


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


COYOTE WINDS is an historical novel set on the western prairie in the years before the Dust Bowl, a time of optimism and confidence, a time when a man was measured by what he produced, not what he could buy. It explores the American can-do spirit that drew people to this wind-swept frontier and the consequences of that spirit. It asks whether that spirit survives today.

Lexile Score HL 690 (high low book); Honorable Mention 2013 Green Book Festival Award for Young Adult Fiction.

Summary: When thirteen-year old Myles brings home a coyote pup half-blinded by a dust storm, his father warns him a coyote can’t be trusted. His neighbor loads his rifle and takes aim. Yet Myles is determined to tame the pup just as his father is taming the land. The time is 1930. Tractors and fertilizers are transforming the prairie into the world’s breadbasket. The American dream is within every man’s reach. But when drought turns these dreams into paint-stripping, crop-killing dust, Myles wonders if they have made a mistake trying to tame what should be wild.

Seventy years later, when Andy remembers his Grandpa Myles’s tales about growing up on the prairie, he wonders what stories he will tell when he has grandchildren. Algebra, soccer practice, computer games, the mall? Determined to keep his grandfather’s memories alive and have some adventures of his own, Andy heads out to discover what’s left of the wild prairie.

Inspired by her father’s tales of growing up during the Dust Bowl, Sedwick weaves insight, humor, historical details and unforgettable characters into a coming-of-age story that reminds us that chasing a dream, even if it brings heartache, is far better than not dreaming at all.


I am fascinated with history, so when I was contacted to review Coyote Winds, I jumped at the chance.  The story is told through alternating POVs (including a coyote’s), and Myles is experiencing the Dust Bowl first hand.  His grandson, Andy, is desperately trying to understand his grandfather’s stories of life on the prairie.  Andy feels like he is nothing but a disappointment to his overachieving attorney parents, and he is struggling in school.  He can’t seem to connect with his peers or his classes.  After his grandfather’s death leaves a hole the size of the prairie in his heart, Andy attempts to reconcile his grandfather’s tales with what life on the prairie in the 1930s was really like.  Conflicting accounts his great aunt told his mother puzzle him, and for a boy who didn’t like reading, Andy was suddenly all about researching what his grandfather and his family endured on their homestead.  I loved how Andy kept insisting that it’s his story, too, and his mother’s story, after she shuts down and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

It took me a while to warm up to Andy and his segments of the story.  But before I knew it, I was invested in the lives of all of the characters in Coyote Winds.  By the end of the book, I shocked by how much I had come to like them.  The more I think about it, the more moved I am by this story.  It is raw and uncompromising at times, and Myles’ accounts of his childhood experiences are unflinchingly truthful.  From brutal rabbit hunts to disputes with the neighbor over proper farming techniques, Myles’ narrative POV is both unemotional and free of embellishment.  He’s just telling it like it is.  As he begins to realize how primitive life on the farm is, with no electricity or running water, he begins to question his father’s dedication to farming.  Is he just stubborn?  Can’t he see how difficult life in the middle of no where is, and how unhappy his mother and sister are?  While Myles loves the land, he longs for something more.

Ro, the coyote pup Myles rescues after a dust storm, also shares the story through his eyes. His point of view didn’t work as well for me, because I was so stressed that Bad Things would happen to him.  His chapters left me sad and depressed, because he kept longing for the things he would never have; a life among his own kind, and his brothers and sisters to play with.  His human pack didn’t understand him, and when Myles, in an effort to protect both his friend and Ro, chases him off, my heart broke for the little guy.

By the end of the book I was sobbing.  I don’t know why, other than each character had come to life for me, and had come to mean something to me.  Even the people I thought I couldn’t stand had shining moments of insight that made me understand their stance on farming and raising their families.  This is a book of broken dreams, but it’s also a story of  hope and the courage to attempt to make changes in your life.  While the farmland was harsh to Myles and his family, it was healing to Andy and his parents, and brought them closer together.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by the author

Grab Skankenstein by Katie Reiter and David Fumarola for FREE!

I’m always up for a bargain, so when the authors of Skankenstein alerted me that their book will be available for FREE starting today, I decided to share the news with all of you.  Go grab it if you enjoy the excerpt!

From Katie Reiter and David Fumarola:

We would like to let you and your readers know that from Friday, May 17th to Tuesday, May 21st we will be offering our debut novel, Skankenstein, for FREE in the Amazon Kindle Store. Interested readers can access the Kindle edition at

About the book:

Sometimes the ugliest monsters come in the prettiest packages:

Victoria Frank is the picture of teen perfection – she’s talented, witty, and ruthless – but being queen of tiny Geneva, NY isn’t enough. Tired of merely designing the perfect outfit, she sets out to design the perfect person. But by the time she realizes beauty is only skin deep, she’s already unleashed her monster on the world. Now it’s a race against time to stop the vile creature from destroying her life, and she has to do it in the most evil place of all – high school.

After ditching her horrifying creation in L.A., all Victoria wants is the perfect senior year, but it becomes impossible when the dreaded beast shows up in her own backyard. Armed with a new body, a new attitude and a new name, M turns the school hierarchy on its head. But when M suffers the embarrassment of a lifetime and sets her sights on revenge, our queen bee finds herself pitted in a cat fight to the death where kid sisters, boyfriends and tiaras are all fair game. It’s a twist on Frankenstein unlike any before, with an ending so explosive it’ll leave your bowels quaking.


David Fumarola has been writing as long as he can remember, and getting the stories out of his head and onto the page is the only thing that gives him peace of mind. Katie Reiter enjoys writing in her spare time, as well as cheap wine, teen drama and hipster safaris. They met as teenagers interning at the Albany Times Union and have been writing together since 2009. Skankenstein is their debut novel.



EXCERPT (“Salted Wounds”)

“Ok,” I said, folding my arms and sitting back in the booth. “I get it; you’re a bad ass bitch. Now what the hell do you want?”

She set down her burger, ketchup and onions spilling out where she had taken a bite. The greasy graveyard on her plate made me want to vomit. I had spent a good portion of my life avoiding crap like that. Not only was I trying to stay skinny, but that stuff goes straight to your complexion.

“What’s the rush, Victoria? Believe me; we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on.”

“Yeah,” I snorted, “right.”

“And your tone! What would your mother say if she could hear you?”

“You don’t know crap about my mother!”

“Well, I know she raised a shallow, manipulative mess.”

I couldn’t keep my anger inside any longer. Still, I didn’t want to cause a big scene, even if we were in a trashy diner. I reached out and grabbed her plate, sliding it toward me. I grabbed the salt and twisted off the top. Then I flipped open the burger and dumped the contents of the entire jar onto the beef patty. I smiled and slid the plate back to her.

The wretch shook her head. “Now what was the point of that?”

“It made me feel better.” My smile turned into a grin.

She sighed and pushed the plate toward the edge of the table, where the waitress could collect it. “This conversation’s starting to bore me,” she said, “so I’ll cut to the chase.”

“Well?” I asked impatiently.

“I need your help.”

I scoffed. “You need a lot more help than I can give you.”

Read more

Cover Reveal: After The Kiss by Lauren Layne

I have a cover reveal to share today!  Loveswept pulled out all the stops for Lauren Layne’s After The Kiss.  I really like this cover!  It’s got a Julie James vibe, and guess what else I like? Everyone’s got their clothes on.  Yup, I get tired of all of the bare man chests.  What do you think about the cover for After The Kiss?


After the Kiss: The Stiletto Series

Lauren Layne

Loveswept  |  August 26, 2013

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

Connect with Loveswept and Lauren:  |  Lauren’s Website  |  Lauren on Twitter

Pre-order After the Kiss:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBookstore 

Cover Reveal: Endre by ST Bende

I have a couple cover reveals to share today.  First up is the cover for Endre, Book 2 in the Elsker Saga by ST Bende.  Endre is a New Adult paranormal romance, and it’s published by Entranced Publishing.  It hits stores in September.  I like the consistency between the covers.  I also like the premise and that the books are based on Norse mythology.  What do you think?


Endre by ST Bende

Book II of The Elsker Saga

Release Date: September 23, 2013

Publisher: Entranced Publishing

Genre: New Adult paranormal romance

Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.

Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak — not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming. And the gods aren’t even close to ready.

About the Author:

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.

You can follow ST Bende on Twitter @stbende, or send an e-mail to

Author social media links



Twitter: or @stbende



ELSKER by ST Bende

Book I of The Elsker Saga


Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.

Her orderly life just got very messy.

Book trailer:

Buy Links:



Barnes & Noble: