Category Archives: Dana Rodgers

Our Valentine Gift to you…A Collection of Heroes


Hero Collection

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the Mermaids have assembled a hearty and handsome collection of heroes for all our fishy friends. Here at the lagoon, we celebrate diversity in writing, living and loving, something I was so pleased to see come through in this real life and fictional collection.  We hope you enjoy.

From Alethea

Alethea Valentine

In high school, I had a poster from the movie Sidekicks on my ceiling (among many others). I used to dream that Jonathan Brandis and I were great friends. When he committed suicide in 2003, I was wracked with irrational guilt. Maybe if I had written to him, or even attempted to reach out…maybe nothing. Maybe not. I’ll never know.

But as authors, we have the power to make people live forever.

Recently, our Man Wars Mermaids started posting pictures of their schoolgirl crushes, so I hunted down this picture of Jonathan. I was just starting notes for Beloved–I needed a different kind of hero for Friday Woodcutter, someone a little lost and a little angry and a little dark despite his fair coloring. In that moment, Tristan Swan sprang to life.


From Avery

Avery Valentine

Treasure hunter Jax Taylor is a Southern charmer with enough sex appeal to melt the polar ice caps. Brought together with ex-fiance Veronica Kwon by their dying mentor, the two agree to an uneasy partnership. Together they’ll climb a magic beanstalk to the cloud kingdom where they’ll find riches, zombies and passion. Meet Jax for yourself in Jax and the Beanstalk Zombies by Avery Flynn coming soon from Lyrical Press.


From Carlene

Carlene Valentine

Ever wonder what it is in those great big heroic hearts of firefighters that sends them in to the station each day?  Marcus is not only family but he’s a real-life hero and I’m so tickled he answered this for us.  “I’ve always been one to jump at the chance to help people. Knowing I get to do what I love for a living with my Brothers and Sisters from my second family is a blessing!”  He’s not just a hero, he’s a sweetie too. His beautiful wife, Erica, (sorry ladies, Marcus is taken) shared that Marcus once told her to take off for a week, no explanations given.  I guess when your honey asks you to do this, you just nod your head yes.  Good thing she did because it was a sweet Tenth Anniversary surprise vacation.  Sigh….


From Dana

Dana Valentine

There is a lot of hero inspiration available in the world of romance writing but for this Valentine’s Day I’m celebrating the heroes of the armed forces. These men and women are real heroes. They spend months away from their loved ones when they deploy, often live in less than ideal conditions and have no choice where they spend their holidays. To me a real hero is someone willing to stand between the innocent and danger, and these folks definitely fit the bill. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Happy Valentine’s Day!

From Denny

jesse williams 4

Actor Jesse Williams inspires:)…good looks, sure, but those eyes, those eyes, even in black and white, his eyes shine through. He is the inspiration for my antagonist (hero) in my paranormal romantic thriller…the log-line…In post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, a vampire hunter ‘on-the-edge’, seeking revenge for her partner’s death, and a hot-headed homicide detective, looking for answers about his past, team up to investigate the murder of a high profile politician and discover a cult of assassins in a dark and twisty tale of lust, addiction, sacrifice and love. Happy Valentine’s Day.

From Diana

Diana Valentine

What may you ask is my husband’s feet doing in the midst of all these jaw-droppingly gorgeous guys.  Well, the call to action was a half-dressed man, wasn’t it?  My DH is my hero for so many reasons, but last year when my feet ached so badly I couldn’t walk another step in my heels, he took off his shoes in the metro (subway for you non-DC people) and gave them to me!  For me that’s the most romantic thing in the world and I’ll love him forever for that … and so much more.  Happy Valentine’s everyone!


From Susan


    Alex Geerman is from Aruba, graduated from my hometown’s high school and worked as a trainer in a local gym until his mother sent his photo to a New York modeling agency.   Now he travels world-wide on photo shoots, and has been featured on several romance covers.  Do you want him on your next book?  I do!




The Salon Incident

Dana MermaidYesterday, I went to the salon to have my hair done—it looks fabulous, by the way—but while I was there I had the most bizarre thing happen. A middle-aged woman came in and asked about having her hair done although she didn’t have an appointment. One of the owners, a very nice woman I have known for years, politely explained that they were completely booked for that day but that she would be happy to schedule an appointment for her.

Instead of scheduling the appointment like any sane person, the lady went berserk in a manner any Viking conquerer would admire. In a loud, demanding voice she went on a tirade about her boss letting her off from work early for this and that they simply must squeeze her in. As you can imagine, all eyes were glued to the drama unfolding. I was shocked a grown woman would act like that. Continue reading

Twelve Days of Christmas, Writers Style

We’ve all heard the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas song. Today I thought we’d have a little holiday fun and try it writer’s style, so here we go.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
Twelve supportive friends.
Eleven sold out book signings.
Ten craft classes.
Nine new story ideas.
Eight hours of writing time everyday.
Seven writing conferences.
Six Friday Man Wars.
Five New York Times bestsellers.
Four works in progress.
Three Swedish massages.
Two editors bidding.
And a multi-book contract.

I’d also throw in some diet coke, chocolate and a few bottles of wine! So tell me what would be on your holiday list this year?

Anita Clenney Visits The Lagoon

Today we welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney to the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon. Anita writes mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory, a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia.

Please tell us a little about yourself, Anita. I’m a romance junkie. And a shopaholic. And obsessed with something at any given moment.

How long have you been writing and do you recall what originally sparked your interest? I love to read, and one day about six years ago I decided I wanted to write the perfect book for me, one that had everything I liked to read. Of course I had no idea what I was getting into, but I’m glad I took the leap.

Do you have a favorite author or book? If so, what is it that attracts you to the work and how has it influenced you? Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites. So is Elizabeth Peters, Janet Evanovich, Kristin Higgins, and Harlan Coben, to name a few. I’m not sure what it is about their stories that appeal to me since they’re very different writers. If anyone influenced me, it would probably be Elizabeth Peters. She’s been one of my favorites for more years than I can count. Her characters feel so real and I love the mystery and humor.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Reading, hanging out with hubby and kids, and treasure hunting! (Which means shopping for whatever is my latest craze).

Tell us 10 random things about yourself.

I like green.

I once lived in a tree house.

I have way too many candle holders and mirrors.

I live in Virginia.

I didn’t start writing until I was over 40.

I dream about vampires a lot.

I have two white boxers who rule the house.

I love trees.

I’m part Cherokee.

I wish I had more time to read.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? I write big, layered plots, and I’ve had a few comments that the story was cluttered. I try to simplify, but it’s hard because I love twists and turns. As far as compliments, it would really be hard to narrow it down to one thing. My readers are the best and make me feel humbled and a bit giddy all the time. One of the most interesting compliments was from a 73 year old reader who said, “Keep writing, girl. I’ll still read even when I’m packed away in my grave.”

What advice would you give an aspiring writer? Figure out the perfect book you would want to read. Then go write it.

How do new stories evolve for you? And what was the inspiration behind your most recent story? My first series started with a terrifying dream and an intriguing idea. I blended the two and the Connor Clan series was born. A conversation with my agent sparked the idea for the relic seekers series, and I’m forever grateful to her because we’ve gotten some big-name movie interest. Even if it doesn’t pan out, I consider myself lucky indeed. And that’s something important to understand in this business. It doesn’t just take talent to succeed. We all know talented writers who should have already sold. It also takes luck.

What can you tell us about the two new books you have coming out? Faelan: A Highland Warrior Brief was just released. It’s a novella and the prequel to Awaken the Highland Warrior. Here’s a blurb: Faelan Connor was the most powerful warrior the clan had known until a demon locked him in a time vault where he slept for 150 years while he waited to save the world and meet his destined mate. You know how his story ends. Now we’ll travel back to the 19th century and experience Faelan’s journey through his eyes. We’ll find out how he became the Mighty Faelan and if it’s possible that he met Bree before she was born. And for the first time, we’ll find out what really happened inside the time vault.



GUARDIANS OF STONE is a brand new series about relic seekers. It will be released in four days! December 4th. This story has castles, curses, catacombs, and ghosts, with a love triangle for flavor. It’s described as Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum. A feisty heroine with a sixth sense, and two sexy heroes, a mercenary, and a dark, eccentric billionaire are on a hunt for four powerful relics that could change their lives…and the course of history.


What’s that? Your evil twin stole the car and you can’t get to the bookstore? No problem! To celebrate Anita’s new release we’ll be giving away a signed ARC of Guardians of Stone! All you have to do is leave a comment between now and midnight EST on Sunday, December 2, 2012 to have your name entered in the drawing!

If you are new to Anita Clenney or want a sneak peak here is a quick excerpt from Faelan: A Highland Warrior Brief. Enjoy!

     “Are you sure you want another?” the owner of the tavern asked. He looked nervous. The villagers didn’t know they were warriors, but the Connors carried a reputation nonetheless.“Aye.” Faelan slammed his whisky glass on the bar. He blinked his eyes and looked at the two tavern girls hovering nearby. “Forget the drink,” he said, his voice slurred. “I’ll take them instead.”     The tavern owner looked at the girls, surprised. Faelan and his brothers sometimes came in for a whisky, but they never used the girls. “Maybe I’d best call for your brothers instead.”     “No.” Faelan struggled to his feet and walked toward the girls. Both were young. Bonny. Even though neither one had dark hair and green eyes.

     One of them licked her red lips. He’d seen her in here before. The other—he didn’t recognize her—looked ready to faint. He took them both upstairs. Something he’d never done before. Two women at once. Bollocks. He’d only had a couple of women in all. The Council didn’t want the warriors consorting, as they called it. It was against the rules. The warriors needed to focus on destroying demons instead. He was tired of demons, and he was tired of rules.

     The boldest lass showed him to a room. “I don’t think I can do this, Maggie,” the timid girl said, staring at Faelan with wide eyes.

     “Are ye daft? Do ye know who this is?” she asked, as if he couldn’t hear. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do just what he wants.” She put a hand underneath his kilt, running her fingers along his thigh. She smiled. “And we might even have a bit of fun.” Maggie pulled him toward the bed. He tripped and fell back, his head as unsteady as his feet. Maggie lifted his kilt. “You see that, Jocelyn? We’re gonna have a fine time.”

     Jocelyn paled and ran from the room.


Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans before we wrap things up today? THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You have made my dreams come true.

To find out more about Anita, you can visit her website at You can also find Anita on Twitter @anitaclenney and Facebook

Thank you so much for joining us here in the lagoon today. Don’t forget to leave a comment by midnight EST on Sunday, December 2, 2012 to have your name entered in the drawing for the signed ARC of Guardians of Stone!

The Art of Dialogue

Courtesy of Netflix, and my teenage daughters, I have been sucked into the television series “Supernatural.” After a “Supernatural” marathon on Sunday afternoon—when I should have been writing—I had a moment of clarity.

It all comes down to dialogue.

I know, what the heck is she talking about? Well, as we watched episode after episode I was enjoying the action and adventure, great music and witty dialogue, and then in a particularly sentimental scene where the brothers, Dean and Sam, are having somewhat of a heart to heart, talking about their feelings and how much they care about each other my husband turns to me and says, “Jesus, are all the writers for this show a bunch of women?”

You have to understand that my husband is the original alpha male. He is six foot six and a retired Marine so he knows a little something about how men interact. But his comment made me realize that he was right. The dialogue in that particular segment was way too sappy for the characters and it took the viewers out of the scene. So much so, it had us all giggling instead of feeling the heartfelt emotion the scene writers had so obviously been going for.

Anyway, that led me to the realization that, for me, what makes a book or show work versus what doesn’t is the dialogue. Is it real? Is it genuine and fresh? Does it seem consistent for the characters personalities or does it seem like something that would come out of a fifteen-year-old girl’s mouth, not a thirty-year-old badass mercenary’s? You get my drift, is it believable? So, am I the only one, or have you had that same experience of being pulled out of the story?

The Guardian (Part Three) by Dana Rodgers

“Hey gorgeous.” Annabel turned to find Jack leaning against the doorframe, his lips turned up in a perfect curve, dark eyes heating. He reached up between his shoulder blades and tugged his navy blue t-shirt off over his head. “Baby’s down, house is locked up and you’re looking mighty fine in that towel.”

She giggled, pushing the long ropes of wet hair out of her face. God, how did she get so lucky? He was perfect. From his bare feet to the short dark hair that was always deliciously messy from running his hands through it. His t-shirt dangled from his left hand, showing off his sculpted chest and six-pack abs. He was leaner than he had been when he left. Her eyes were automatically drawn to the happy trail of dark hair that disappeared down the front of his low-slung jeans. He popped the top button and slowly sauntered into the room. Continue reading

The Guardian (Part Two) by Dana Rodgers

Annabel stopped at the guard shack and handed over her military ID to the Marine on duty. He examined the ID, then returned it. “Have a nice day,” she said.

“Uh-Rah! You too ma’am.”

Jeremy bounced up and down in his car seat, “Uh-Rah! Uh-Rah! Uh-Rah!”

Annabel laughed. “Settle down back there. I know you like the Uh-Rah people, but you don’t have to burst mommy’s eardrums. Are you going to help mommy put your new big boy bed together when we get home?”

“Yep. Yep. Yep.” Continue reading

The Guardian (Part One) by Dana Rodgers

Spring was beautiful in coastal North Carolina, peaceful. Annabel loved the slower pace of life. Of course, after attending college and working in Washington D.C. almost any place would seem slow-paced, she thought, turning onto Eden Street.

The neighborhood was cute, much better than the cave of an apartment they’d been living in, where the neighbors partied every weekend. She understood Marines’ wanting to blow off a little steam, but it was hard enough raising a baby by herself without doing it in the middle of a frat party. With Jack gone another five months, she was looking forward to the safety and quiet of their new home on base. Continue reading

Ghosts in Mermaid Lagoon Free Short Story Anthology

A cold chill has invaded the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon. Is it merely the firm grip of fall or something far more sinister?

Find out for yourself as we bring you a month-long short story anthology featuring ghost stories from mermaids Carlene Love Flores, Dana Rogers, Denny S. Bryce, Kerri Carpenter, Kimberly MacCarron, Loni Lynne, Masha Levinson and Susan Andrews. On October 31 our Ghosts in Mermaid Lagoon free read ends with a massive giveaway.

So step right into the lagoon, the water is perfect for tales of ghosts and mysteries of the great beyond.

Kieran Kramer Interview

Today we are joined by the fabulous, Kieran Kramer. Kieran is a double RITA finalist and a USA Today Best-selling author of light-hearted Regency Historical Romance for St. Martin’s Press. In addition to writing wonderful, fun, engaging stories with memorable characters, Kieran is a former CIA employee, a journalist and an English teacher who enjoys karaoke and has appeared on multiple game shows.

Kieran is well known for her Impossible Bachelor Series and will be releasing Loving Lady Marcia, the first book in the House of Brady Series on August 28th.

I hope everyone enjoys the video interview. Kieran and I had a blast making it despite a few technical glitches – all my fault, of course. To make it easier to view, I’ve divided it up into 6 to 14 minute segments you can see by following the links. Enjoy!


Thank you again for joining us here today, Kieran. You are a joy to be around and I wish you the best of luck with your latest release, Loving Lady Marcia!