Story Spotlight: The Three Wish Mermaid

Hello, Musers! Welcome to another Story Spotlight.

This week’s story was written by the lovely Summer Donnelly. She is a writer in, you guessed it, Phoenix Prime.

Our editors are big fans of her stories. I heard so many great things that I had to see for myself. I have to be honest.  The cover sold me before I even read the description. Isn’t this a beautiful cover? Not only is it gorgeous, but it also fits the main character, Greer, perfectly.

He wondered if she’d been born -hatched?- with blue hair or if it had taken on the muted shades of greys and blues of the sea and sky which surrounded her.

The Three Witch Mermaid is a Witches of Warren County story. All the stories stand alone, but they take place in the same county. Makes sense, right? Other characters are introduced in the story, and they get their own books in the series too. I love it when authors do that. I try to do the same thing.

The writing is fantastic. I also really love the small details, like what mermaid tears turn into. I’m not going to tell you what that is. You need to read it for yourself. At the risk of sounding dramatic, this story made me believe in love at a time when I really needed to.

There was a great gaping maw where his heart once beat at just the thought of life without Greer.

Where is my romantic fisherman? Summer Donnelly is giving me false expectations. I could give you a million snippets, but none of them would do this wonderful story justice.
When asked for more info about the story, this is what Summer had to say. You know the rules. Everything in bold is from me.
Greer’s name was inspired by the actress Greer Garson who is Lizzie in my least favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. [Mine too!] What I love about my Greer is she is both childlike and worldly. She may not know how a cellphone works, but after swimming in the oceans for almost 500 years, she speaks multiple languages. [She was really into bathtubs too!] Some pop culture references have filtered their way to the waterways.
I wanted this story to be different from other famous mermaid stories. I used the base story of The Fisherman and the Fish (sometimes called the Three Wish Fish) and added a touch of romance. [I found that story here. I like The Three Wish Mermaid a million times better.]
I also love Duff. [I love him too! Where is my fisherman?!] He’s a quiet and taciturn man who has been hurt in the past. He needed this bright and bubbly woman-child to draw him out of his self-imposed exile.
Unlike Splash, which takes place in Manhattan, I  wanted to give Greer and Duff’s tale (tail??) a small town secluded feel. This isn’t a slapstick comedy with Tom Hanks. This was a gentle unfolding of emotions between two very different people. They needed time to let that play out.
My romances aren’t all about wild rides and huge misunderstandings. They’re about two people, sometimes with very different backgrounds who, through the magic of love, become a little less lonely. That’s my wish for the world: that each of us finds that other half of our soul, treasure him or her, and allow ourselves to love. [I’m not crying. You’re crying.]
Find Summer Donnelly on:
Pick up The Three Wish Mermaid today!

For the Love of Blue: A Bluebeard Retelling

Can you tell that I have a thing for anthologies? I really can’t help myself. Anthologies let me write with a great group of writers, and I get to try new genres.

Bluebeard is another fairy tale retelling. You can check out the source story here.

The idea of marrying a man with a secret life isn’t new, but when he is a killer there are a lot of directions it can go. I chose one of the darker paths.

The main character, Rosemary, is cruel and more than a little crazy. It was hard for me to pull a snippet for this one because I didn’t want to give too much away. Here’s a tiny one though:

Ginger smiled at Mr. Jarnac across the table. She always did have a lovely smile. I kicked her under the table. She looked over at me in surprise. Her smile faded from her lips.

My eyes narrowed. I made a mental note to split Ginger’s lip later. I should knock out one of her teeth for good measure. If our parents were going to push me at this man, I didn’t want either of my sisters to interfere.

The ending is definitely going to surprise you! Read more in my latest anthology:
Bluebeard (Primed Fairy Tales Book 7)

Check out Gray Intention in Prime Fantasy

Gray Intention was one of the first stories that I wrote after joining Phoenix Prime.

The assignment was a new experience for me. We were all given a set of items that we needed to use in our stories. Each story had to feature a bookstore, magic, and an artifact that reacted to blood.

Here is a sneak peak of what I came up with:

As we rounded the corner to our room, we saw a purple glow coming from under the door. We both stopped, and turned to look at each other, alarmed.

“Do you see that? Or, have I just lost a lot more blood than I thought?”

“I see it. Who the hell is in our room?” Kiki asked.

“How should I know? I’m with you. Maybe it’s the guys.”

I slowly opened the door, and felt the same warm gust of air that I had felt in the bookstore blow past me again. It didn’t push me away this time though. I was curious about that strange power.

“Maybe we shouldn’t even go in there. We could call the cops or something.”

“And say what exactly? Hey, I need help with my glowing box. I promise you that will not go well. I don’t think you have a choice now. Put your ovaries on the outside and get in there,” Kiki said.

“Said the girl from the hallway,” I muttered.

“Not my box. Not my problem,” she said.

I opened the door, and crept towards the package. My hands were shaking. When I took it out of bag, the glow got brighter. I unwrapped the twine. The paper fell away. The whole box was dark brown from my blood Gold symbols glowed on the surface. Purple light was leaking out of the edges. I opened the box, and inside was a gold railroad spike bent into a bracelet. It was the source of the glow.

“Bit of a letdown, to be honest.”

“Shut up, Kiki. I think I have to put it on.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she said.

“I didn’t ask. For the record, I didn’t want to come in here. I was just fine panicking in the hallway.”

I picked it up. The bracelet was warm to the touch. I placed it on my right wrist. My cut began to throb. My arm shot up, as if pulled by a string. The wound began emitting the same purple light as the bracelet. I watched in amazement. A booming laugh thundered around us. I could hear footsteps pounding down the hallway behind me moments before a giant man appeared in front of me. As soon as he appeared, my arm dropped back to my side.

“They told me you would come for me little one,” he said, in a thunderous voice.

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it! Check it out here: Prime Fantasy (Prime Tales)

Are you ready for the Blackout?

I have a story in a new anthology! The anthology is called CyberWar: Digital Battlefield (CyberPrime). All the stories in this anthology deal with cyber crimes and their effects on the people around them. All you have to do is turn on the news to find ransomware viruses and info leaks. So, why not find some in fiction?

This will be the first story in my Silent Spies series. Read on for a snippet!

Two days before the Blackout, Tricia hacked the prison database to move up the release of two prominent activists. She was able to bypass the intrusion detection system by using a prison employee’s account. Both activists were released without a hitch, and no one even questioned it. Fools.

They hit the ground running. Once the activists received word of the Blackout, they were drumming up support from their followers as well. They helped to quell any fears about it being an attack staged by the police.

The safe release of the activists was all Tricia needed to go ahead with her plan. She had been working on a virus for weeks. Until she had fully committed to the idea, she had told herself building the virus was for research. She was trained in ethical hacking and security, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch. Now, she had to admit to herself that she created this purposely.


Story Spotlight: Solaris

Solaris is the first book in the Star Streaker series by TM Catron. If you like Firefly or Hans Solo from Star Wars, I think this is going to be the book for you!

I am a bit of a science fiction nerd. OK, fine. I’m a huge science fiction nerd. I was raised on Star Wars and found Star Trek on my own. So, I was excited as soon as I saw the cover of this book. That being said, sometimes science fiction bogs me down with too much detail about the tech. That is not the case in Solaris.

The expensive chip implanted in her C1 vertebra connected with the Streaker and the artificial lens in her right eye–the Zeus corporation Optical Display, or ZOD.

See what I mean? This is the perfect blend of info and story. I know what it is, and I know what it does. We don’t need to hear about the chips processors to understand how it works. Also, freaking fascinating!

This story has it all. Smugglers, space fights, on planet fights, magic. It’s like it was made for me! Did I mention awesome shape shifting? Check this out:

As Rance watched, his face shifted, morphing with a slight shimmer into fairer skin, a few freckles, and a more rounded nose. Then his dark hair turned wavy brown.

I’m not going to tell you who is shifting, or why. You need to buy the book just like I did.

The best part of all(for me) is that the captain is a woman! Rance is an amazing captain and she kicks ass too. I could give you a thousand more quotes, but instead I let TM Catron tell us more about the story. As always, anything in bold is from me.

I came up with the main character just out of the blue one day. I wanted to do something different than my post-apocalyptic stuff, something more light-hearted and funny.[By funny, she means hilarious. I laughed out load and scared my dog a few times] And I love the feeling you get from a crew of friends who also get on each other’s nerves. So Rance just happened while I was vacuuming the house one day. I stopped vacuuming [note to self vacuum more], sat down, and wrote the first chapter without any plot in mind, and then Harrison just appeared, and then the whole thing about the arranged marriage, and voila! After that, I went back and expanded, and then plotted out the rest of the story. The setting I really wanted a far future ship because those kinds of worlds fascinate me (and they’re just fun). [Planet with purple sand!!!] I can make up history. That’s fun too. One thing to take away from the story is that a strong woman is still vulnerable. [Preach!] Sometimes she’s strong because of those vulnerabilities. With the right friends, everything seems like an adventure. [Is this the series tagline? It definitely rocks my socks.]

Star Streaker Series

Exclusive to Amazon and Free on Kindle Unlimited

Shadowmark Series

Exclusive to Amazon and Free on Kindle Unlimited

Phoenix Galactic Anthology

Exclusive to Amazon and Free on Kindle Unlimited


Read her awesome stories today!

I’ve Risen from the Ashes

The competition of Phoenix Prime has come to an end. If you’re not familiar with Phoenix Prime, I wrote about it here.

It was supposed to last for four months but ended up being closer to six. It was an intensive workshop that taught me about writing, marketing, contracts, and a million other things. There was a competitive aspect too, but that is a blog for a different time.

I’ve met amazing writers, authors, editors, and beta readers. Not everyone made it through to the end, but everyone involved has grown. I’m even outlining now. I never thought I would see that day, lol.

Since January, I have written over 90,000 words. That’s more than I’ve written in my entire life! I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck, but in a good way.

I am in the process of writing Reign with Dick and Jane. I think it will be the final book in the Hell and Earth series. No promises. I have at least one story set in that universe coming out in the next few weeks.

So, what now? I’m glad you asked.

I have stories coming out in 10 anthologies this summer. I have 4 more series planned that cover approximately 45 books. There will be some audio book versions of these books, and ones that I already have published. I think there a few cookbooks in there too. I don’t know if I’ll get them all published this year, but I’m sure going to try!

When I put up The Raving Ones for free about a year ago, I just hoped someone would read it. I’m proud to have come so far.

Phoenix Prime has changed my life. I can not thank our mighty dragon, Kat Lind, enough. Special thanks to TS Paul, the Ds, and all the rest of the people who have helped me shape my ideas into something magnificent!