You might remember Beneath Cruel Fathoms, which was our SPFBO5 semi-finalist, and one of my personal favourites from our group. I’m excited to let you know that the sequel, Between Savage Tides is on its way! It’s set to be released on August 31st. Today I’m giving you the opportunity to look at its beautiful cover, read a mini interview and to win some swag along with a copy of Beneath Cruel Fathoms!
A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, she hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.
The cover was made by Jenny Zemanek. Check out herother works at Seedlings Design Studio’s website!
Captured by sirens, Jurek struggles to save his fellow prisoners before they’re devoured. He has little time. His memory is vanishing from his mind, a poisonous effect of the magic that saved his life. With a past steeped in tragedy, it should feel like a blessing. Instead, it’s a curse unraveling everything he is. When he strikes a bargain with the sirens – three impossible tasks in exchange for everyone’s freedom – help comes from someone he least expects and whose motives he doesn’t dare trust.
Ava, youngest of the billow maidens, has become an unwitting traitor in a war between the gods. Her sisters want her to pledge fealty to the ruinous Eldingar. Her brother, the Guardian of the Fathoms, wants her to act as his spy. And then there’s Captain Jurek, a landweller whose fierce heart and haunted blue eyes mean more to her than they should. He doesn’t trust her, but without her help he won’t survive. As the old gods make their move against the world that betrayed them, Ava must determine whose side she’s on. But no matter what she chooses, it’ll mean death for someone she loves.
Yes, there is a giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal! The pacakge includes:
- glow-in-the-dark dolphin bookmark
- a red sirens book sleeve by Dreamy&Co
- a signed paperback copy of book one – Beneath Cruel Fathoms
The giveaway ends on June 10th!
Q&A with Anela Deen
What inspires your writing? Do you listen to music, stare into the fire, listen to the whispering of the wind, make deals with the Devil?
Before I start writing, I play certain songs to put myself in the right mindset of the particular story I’m doing (which means these songs change for every book). One of the songs that helped me write “Beneath Cruel Fathoms” was an Icelandic ballad by Kaleo (the same guys who did “Way Down We Go”) called “Vor í Vaglaskógi”. It has this moody, flowing sound that worked for me every time.
Now, during the writing part of things, it has to be silent. Or if my
elephants kids are in the house, I plug into a YouTube track of thunderstorms. That’s right, the sound of inclement weather is easier to concentrate in than little squealing voices playing upstairs.
What was the most exotic place you’ve visited? Did it inspire any of your work? How that experience affected you personally?
The place I’ve been to with customs and cultures most different than my own is Ecuador. When I was 17, I went there with a student exchange program called AFS (American Field Service – no, it’s not military. The name is a throwback to WWI). I lived in a small Andean town, attended the local, Catholic high school, and lived with an Ecuadorian family for a year. I barely spoke Spanish when I got there. I made all sorts of cultural blunders without meaning to, but my host family was the absolute best. They watched out for me, explained things to me, and included me in everything. I still talk to them all these years later and my mother there refers to my children as her American grandbabies.
Did this affect and inspire my writing? In every way, yes. You’ll usually see a character that feels like a fish-out-of-water in my stories, struggling (and bumbling) with customs and practices that seem strange. And you might see another character trying to help them adjust, and the bonds that are formed because of that kindness. Compassion and inclusivity leave a lifelong impression. Ecuador taught me that well.
Which character of your book (either Beneath Cruel Fathoms or Between Savage Tides) do you identify with the most and why? Who would you like to live with in an asylum?
Definitely Isaura. When I started “Beneath Cruel Fathoms” my intention was to write a heroine dealing with issues of infertility as I once had. It felt like a subject often neglected in fiction. A silent subject that we avoid because it’s uncomfortable, even though many women deal with this. Silence breeds shame, so I decided to be vocal about it in the best way I knew: a story. I wanted to say to others who are struggling with it that they are not broken, that they are beautiful, and that their value to the world is far more than the ability to conceive.
Which of my characters would I like to live with in an asylum? Ah, you haven’t met him yet. He doesn’t arrive until book 3. Is that a sneaky answer? It sure is.
Beneath the Cruel Fathoms had some elements from Norse myths. What interests you in Norse mythology?
If I just say “The Avengers” universe, will I be forgiven? I loved all the Thor and Loki shenanigans from those movies. I knew plenty of Greek mythology, but little Norse, so it was all so interesting to me (yes, yes, I realize they played around with how the actual mythology depicted them). But I started to wonder…What else has this mythology got? There has to be more than yon muscly Thor.
Writing about a merman was high on my list of story ideas, so I delved into Norse ocean mythology. And wow. It is fascinating down there—and terrifying! Everything can kill you, from what’s in the oceans, to the lakes, to the rivers. I’m shocked those folks ever go near the shore. As a writer, it was so much fun to mine for ideas, and in each book of this series there’ll be new and even more unpredictable water creatures to read about.
Do you get inspiration from your Hawaiian roots for your books? Do you have a favourite Hawaiian myth or folktale?
My first published book, “A Ransom of Flames”, I wrote in honor of my father who was born and raised on Oahu long before Hawaii was made part of the United States. Although the names of places and things were changed, it was definitely a fantasy world based on ancient Hawaii. My heritage inspires my stories in ways I don’t expect, too. Although The Bitter Sea series stems from Norse mythology, the world is still made up of islands large and small—so, I suppose the Aloha influence snuck in when I wasn’t looking!
My favorite Hawaiian myth is the legend of the Night Marchers. These are the phantoms of ancient Hawaiian warriors that rise up in the final moon phases before it goes completely dark. They roam the islands at night. If a mist rolls in and you hear drums or chants, whatever you do, DON’T look at them. Lay face down on the ground and let them pass unnoticed or you’ll be struck dead unless you share bloodlines with one of them. To this day, people swear they’ve heard the Night Marchers’ chants or seen a line of torches descending from the mountains. I’ve always loved this legend, spooky as it is, and including it in a fairytale retelling is on my author bucket list.