CONTEST and guest blog with Nadia Scrieva!!
I’ve invited Nadia to take over my blog today to talk about her great releases Drowning Mermaids and Fathoms of Forgiveness. She’s also offering a contest – more on that later.
For now, here’s Nadia!!
Moments in the Water: Inspiration for Drowning Mermaids
It’s always challenging to explain what precisely caused the inspiration for a novel. A writer is always studying the world around them, and soaking up their experiences to use in later material. Every good idea is the combination of various stimuli which happen to twist together in a moment of epiphany, or perhaps just a moment of drunken, distorted perception. The mind is a strange and wonderful thing which works in inexplicable ways, especially when remembering and creating.
There are a few important moments of my life which I can pinpoint and thank for the inspiration for the Sacred Breath books, and there are likely dozens of smaller, equally important incidents which led to the connections between those major events. When I think about moments in the water which may have led to the creation of Drowning Mermaids, I generally recall the day I was positive that I was going to die.
I remember walking to the edge of a wide river with a swift flowing current in Northern Ontario, and thinking that it might be possible to swim across. I was seventeen and had recently had several of the various awful things which could happen to a seventeen year old happen to me; I was filled with a feeling of reckless abandon. Hastily shedding my clothes, I began swimming without thoroughly thinking of the consequences. I had been traveling with a few classmates from a French Immersion summer program I was taking, and none of them even noticed that I was gone until I was in the middle of the river.
It must have taken an hour to swim to the other side of that river, and halfway across, the frantic thoughts that began rushing through my head became almost paralyzing. My body was exhausted and I was uncertain whether I could make another stroke. What would happen if I could not keep going? Despite the burning in my limbs, I forced myself to keep moving forward—just putting one arm in front of the other, even if my strokes were sloppy and pathetic. Finally, I could not move. I stopped for a moment just to tread water and rest while looking around, and I was seized by sheer panic like I had never felt before. I was imagining how deep the river was beneath me, and imagining floating lifelessly to the bottom. I imagined the creatures which would feast on my flesh. I imagined every worst possible case scenario, and knew that unless I kept moving, I would surely drown. I kept swimming as best as I could, but continued to feel my anxiety mount with every rotation of my shoulder joints. What if I got a cramp? What if I couldn’t make it to the other side?
When I finally reached the bank of the other shore, I had to rest for a good while before I could try to make the swim back. I lay in the shade of a tree, panting until I caught my breath, and just rested for hours. Several of the boys I had been traveling with had noticed my feat, and had been encouraged to do the same. They figured that it must be easy since I had managed. When they got to the other side, they cursed me and called me crazy, but there was a definite surge of adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment from doing something that looked impossible, and pushing our bodies further than we previously thought to be our limits.
This is one of my few actual experiences with natural water. As a big city girl, growing up in Toronto, the only swimming I had ever done was in safe pools under lifeguard supervision. It was shocking to me how thrilling water could be when there was actual danger—and I could only imagine the excitement from being out on the vast, terrifying ocean. After this I began seeking more and more literature about water and storms, and writing a great deal about water myself. I wrote a story about a woman struggling to stay afloat several days after her ship was wrecked off the coast of Japan, while also keeping her unconscious lover’s head above water, losing body mass and encountering sharks that were drawn to her wounds.
Water was the only thing that made me experience great fear, and along with that came great respect and inspiration. It was only natural that over the next few years of my life, as I studied at university and was introduced to more and more literature, that I would slowly form the idea in my head for a story of beings living within the sea, and the poor fishermen (with attractive muscular arms) who battled the waves on the surface. Ideas are like a fine wine which needs to ferment in the mind for years, soak up all the other spices of other literature and experiences to give them body and richness of flavor.
Fathoms of Forgiveness
by Nadia Scrieva
There is no divorce in the undersea kingdom of Adlivun. Marriage is a bond that lasts until death—even if death comes in several centuries, and in that time your spouse happens to become your sworn enemy. This is the conflict that General Visola Ramaris faces when she learns that the mighty Vachlan is behind the attacks on her kingdom. She has sworn to protect Adlivun with her life, but long ago, she also swore to love and honor her husband…
Visola must choose whether she will destroy Vachlan once and for all, or attempt the hardest thing conceivable: communication. After two hundred years of desertion, she has no faith in their feeble bond and knows she can never forgive him. When he threatens the person dearest to her, she must take action. Confronting Vachlan on enemy territory would be nothing short of suicide. She knows that if she falls into his custody, the deranged man would relish breaking her down and making her lose her sanity.
Princess Aazuria forbids Visola from taking matters into her own hands; she will do anything it takes to protect her friend from the man who wants to crush her. Alas, Visola is a crazy, uncontrollable warrior woman with the blood of Vikings in her veins. Why would she ever consider doing the safe and predictable thing?
Meeting the scrutiny of his steel-grey eyes made her feel sweltering hot and bitterly cold at the same time. It was a thousandfold more difficult to tolerate the intensity of his gaze when it was penetrating her skull from the front instead of the rear. She felt like her eyes did not offer as much protection as the dense bones of her skull had. He was already piercing beyond her eyeballs to knead her memories with his knuckles, and to dissect her thoughts with his fingernails. She tried to get past the pain in her skull to objectively observe her enemy. His jet-black hair was pulled back into its classic ponytail at the nape of his neck. Had he not changed his hairstyle in all this time? Had he not grown hideous with all the horrible deeds he had done?
It did not seem possible, but he looked exactly the same. Except for his eyes; those vicious grey-blue eyes would have terrified any lesser woman to tears. Visola could not help seeing the blatant resemblance to her daughter in his face. Although Alcyone’s coloring was closer to Visola’s own, there was still so much of Vachlan in her. Seeing this; seeing the glimpses of Alcyone in this man who was little more than a stranger, drew her spirit to him involuntarily. Visola realized that she had to face the terrible truth.
She was not strong enough to face the father of her child.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Nadia Scrieva was born in 1988 in Toronto, Canada. She studied English and Anthropology, graduating with an Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto in 2011. She likes knives. Writing has been the most meaningful part of her life since she was a child. Nadia loves receiving feedback from readers, so do not hesitate to contact her with any of your comments, questions, ideas, or just to say hello.
*** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT *** CONTEST ALERT ***
Nadia will giving away an eBook copy of Drowning Mermaids to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop. For more info on her blog tour and how you can increase your chances of winning: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/virtual-book-tour-sacred-breath-series.html
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