Alethea Kontis

The Writing Oasis

“I’m sorry,” Leanna texted me. “My life is just so crazy right now.”

“Everything is wonderful and there is no drama at my Writing Oasis,” I replied. “Just hurry up and get here.”

My dear bosom companion and book release-date sister Leanna Renee Hieber joined me here in Florida for two weeks in February for our Florida Fabulosity Book Tour, but she was not my first Writer in Residence. That honor belongs to K. Tempest Bradford.

I saw Tempest when I was in NY for BEA last June. She was contemplating giving up her very expensive (and falling to pieces) apartment in NYC and couch surfing with all of her great friends who lived all over the country. I knew where she was coming from — I contemplated  this very thing when I left Virginia. But, having previously been a homeowner, I have STUFF, so I require a home base. In fact, I had just put an offer in on a house in Florida. It needed a…
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Mermaid Takeover – Kerri Bumps Alethea

Here at the Mermaid Lagoon, we each get at least one day a month to blog. Today is Alethea’s day. Or was… [Insert ominous laugh]

That’s right, I’m stealing Alethea’s day! But before you get your fins in a bunch, don’t worry. It’s all to talk about our lovely, amazing, sparkly, Princess, massively talented, beautiful Mermaid Alethea. And bonus, she has a new book out today called Dearest, the 3rd book in the Woodcutter series, and it’s amazeballs! I’m not just saying that because she was my crazy-fun roommate in San Antonio who encouraged me to put whipped cream in my coffee every morning or make waffles in the shape of Texas.

So read on to learn more about our very own Alethea, what she’d make me for dinner, how she’s taking my dog to Hawaii, and which noise she really, really hates. (It’s a good one!) Go Alethea! Dearest Read the Rest…

Mermaids’ Favorite Fairy Tales

Hello, everyone! Alethea Mermaid here.

Hero in Paperback With Hero out in paperback this week and Dearest out next week, I’ve got a serious case of Fairy Tales on the brain (and Buzzfeed just told the world that fans of Once Upon a Time should read Enchanted…how cool is that?!?).

With all those Happily Ever Afters in my noggin, I took the opportunity to ask my fellow mermaids which tales were THEIR favorites.

(Mine? “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. Followed closely by “Snow White & Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and “The Wild Swans” and “The Fairies”…)

Kerri Mermaid — My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast (the Disney film version). Not only do I love the idea of kindness and really getting to know who a person is on the inside, but Belle likes to read. And I dig…
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Mermaids from Coast to Coast

Alethea: I honestly believe that Carlene and I were destined to meet. Even on the day we officially met–around that table at the WRW luncheon that we relabeled “Misfits”–we realized we’d already met once before. “You might not remember this,” Carlene said, “but I saw you at a Sherrilyn Kenyon signing. You helped me take a photo.” “I am SO glad you said that,” I told her. “Because you look so familiar, it’s been bugging me.”

Carlene: Yes! Destiny it is. That was the weekend I joined WRW just so that I could meet Sherrilyn at that retreat. What I came away with was the blessing that is Uh-lee-thee-uh!

Alethea: Carlene and I were instant friends. Our shared love of music led us to a few concerts together, and mutual fangirl squeeing over bands.

Carlene: I still owe you a Kings of Leon concert!

Alethea: Carlene and her son even came over to my apartment and helped me pack during my escape from Washington DC to Titusville, Florida. Carlene moved this past…
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The Portable Career

As most of you know, I moved to Florida this summer.  In reality, I’ve been on the road since Christmas of 2013. (In between I’ve been temporarily parked at my parents’ house–my new place is *still* mid-renovation.)

Cities I Visited in the Last 12 Months (in chronological order):

The Traveling MermaidCharleston SC Baltimore MD Williamsburg VA Leesburg VA Abingdon VA Tampa FL Charlottesville VA Arlington VA Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Charlotte NC Titusville FL (the big move) Rochester NY New York NY San Antonio TX Atlanta GA Burlington VT Montreal, Quebec, Canada Ft. Lauderdale FL …and then Charleston SC again this December, to come full circle.

For those counting, that’s nine states and two provinces. (It’s also very possible I skipped something in there.) Yes, I am definitely one very well-traveled Mermaid (and I’m not the only one…I know Denny Mermaid in particular tends to jet set at least…
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A Metric Ton of the Mondays

Yeah. It's that kind of day. I don’t like being in a bad mood.

Yes, bad things happen and we deal with them. I don’t want to get it off my chest, or talk about it ad nauseum…I just want to move on.

When several bad things in a row happen, I want to quietly hide from the rest of the world until tomorrow.

Last night went south pretty quickly. I didn’t have the materials I needed for something, I got another email from Spark telling me that the picture book art file I took a day to fix was wrong AGAIN (it took me an entire day to upload it the first time), and YouTube called me a bad name and took away my rights to make advertising money on my fairy tale rant videos. Forever. Without telling me why. Or paying me what they owe me. Because apparently, they…
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Once Upon a Time

NaNo 2014Hello, the lagoon. Welcome to November! And you know what that means…NaNoWriMo!

Since I am 1.) not in the middle of editing or revising a novel at the moment and 2.) new to the East-Central Florida area, I have not only thrown myself straight into the fires NaNo this year, but I have committed to attend several of the Brevard County kickoff parties and write-ins in order to make a few friends and meet some like-minded folks. You know…people who just LOVE writing so much that they can’t seem to think about anything else.

What I’ve forgotten about fledgling writers, though, is that sometimes they would rather just talk about writing instead of actually writing. *sigh* Like teenagers who are in love with the idea of being in love.

And after the jaded “Get Off My Lawn” exasperation in me subsides, I remember what it was like. The dream of…
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Five Secrets of FLIRTING

My dear fellow Mermaid and Sparkle Twin Kerri Carpenter’s VERY FIRST BOOK releases this week — a novella called FLIRTING WITH THE COMPETITION.

My favorite parts of a story are the hidden gems. You know, those inside jokes that family members or close friends will get, those nods to literary, film, or musical influences that superfans will pat themselves on the back when reading. Like the way Tori Amos referenced Neil Gaiman in one song on almost every one of her albums. (That’s right, folks. I was not born a Gaiman Girl, I sprang into his world a fully-formed Toriphile.)

As a writer-geek who enjoys stuffing her books chock full of as many referenced oddities as possible, I am here to assure readers everywhere that we have as much fun including these hidden gems as you do when finding them.

Overall, I think it adds more to the reading experience–especially on multiple readings–when a reader knows more “Behind the Story” — we can connect with the author in…
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Learning the Hard Way

Nov 14 RWRI received my issue of the latest Romance Writers Report yesterday (the November issue), and was thrilled to find inside its hallowed covers not only an article featuring our very own Kerri Carpenter, but a mention of the Waterworld Mermaids blog as well…WOOHOO!

The article, by Laura Kaye, is called “Getting the Call, Despite Ourselves.” Kerri, along with other seasoned romance authors such as Mindy Klasky and Jill Shalvis, volunteer some of the mistakes they made on their road to publication.

It is never easy, this thing that we do…even when it seems like we’re getting cake, we know that we’ll be running marathons to work those calories off somewhere down the line. Some of us get lucky on that first break, but even those of us who did still pay our dues at some point.

Kerri explains in the article that her path to publication took seven…
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Bon Voyage: Locations in Writing

Notre Dame MontrealBonjour la lagune!

This past Sunday–my last official day in Vermont–my sister and her husband took me on a drive up to Montreal for the day. Despite life’s craziness, I’d thankfully had the presence of mind to grab my passport in anticipation of such an adventure.

Vermonters drive up to Montreal regularly: for an event, for the day, or for a weekend getaway. My brother-in-law used to deliver lost bags from the Burlington airport, which took him into Montreal so often that he makes both a fantastic driver and tour guide. We ate sushi and Greek food, visited the Notre Dame Montreal to light a candle for my nephew, and even stopped at a Chapters and Indigo so that I could sign some books (hooray, Canada for stocking all my YA novels!).

Mom and Dad and Soteria and I moved away from Vermont when I was six, so I hadn’t…
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