Please welcome Alice Renaud back to Discover... I love her fantasy stories so grab a cup and sit back and enjoy!
I grew up in Brittany, western France, my father was Breton and my mother is Welsh, so you could say I received a double dose of Celtic heritage. Welsh myths and legends are a big source of inspiration for me. Especially the monsters. Welsh monsters like water, and water features heavily in all my stories. The first two books in my Sea of Love series are set in, near, or under the sea; the third, Mermaids Marry in Green, on pre order now, is set in London, but a lot of the action takes place near or in the river Thames.
Here are a few of my favourite aquatic creatures!
The Water Horse (Ceffyl Y Dwr)
The Water Horse is a spirit who takes the shape of a horse and offers unwary travellers a ride on his back, only to throw them off and try to drown them in the marshes. In some stories he can also take human form. He can live in any body of water: the sea, rivers, ponds, even baptismal fonts in churches. The Water Horse features in the second book of my series, Music for a Merman.
Mermaids and Mermen
The whole Sea of Love series revolves around mermaids and mermen. My merfolk are shape shifters who can take human shape, but also have an aquatic form. In their aquatic form, they have webbed hands and feet and a tail, but not a fish tail. They are one hundred per cent hot-blooded mammals.
The afanc lives in lakes or pools. He is part crocodile, part beaver. Folk think he’s a terrifying monster, but in my third book, Mermaids Marry in Green, he is an intelligent, magical, lost creature. The mermaid heroine Caltha teams up with the hero, Jonty the warlock, to find the afanc. Once she has found him however she has to rescue him, which brings her in conflict with the warlocks who want to capture and study him.
This malevolent spirit haunts mountain torrents and streams high up in the hills, and often takes the shape of a terrifying, evil old man. He can cause flooding and chaos and revels in it. He is related to the mist hag, a fearsome old woman who hides in thick fog and shrieks the names of those who are about to die. I think both would make great villains in my next book!
The Giant Cat of Anglesey
This needs no description! I just love the idea of a giant cat roaming an island, chasing horses as if they were mice. King Arthur captures him in one of the legends.
Blurb: Mermaids Marry in Green
Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas.
She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock,
Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water
monster, she can't say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for
Jonty grows... and they soon fall under each other's spell. But will his past
and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic,
the one that binds two souls together?
A pile of twigs shuddered and slid to the side. Two yellow eyes peered at her out of the tangle of wood and litter. Excitement exploded in Caltha’s chest, rocking her whole body. She’d found him! But she strove to keep her voice low and soft.
A reptilian head that looked like a crocodile’s, but smaller, pushed through a plastic bag. The mouth opened, revealing a row of sharp teeth. “Morwenna?” the creature hissed, in Caltha’s language.
She tried to repress the trembling in her body and appear calm so the creature wouldn’t take fright. “Yes, I am a mermaid.” She lifted her webbed hands to show him. The afanc extended a furry paw, tipped with powerful claws. Caltha brushed the damp fur with her fingers. “I’m Caltha.”
The afanc let out a sigh. “Morwenna Caltha,” he said. He stared at her with shining eyes full of hope. “I am lost. Can you help?”
Caltha’s mind went blank with surprise. She’d expected a powerful water monster with awesome magical powers, not this vulnerable animal pleading for assistance.
The afanc stretched its neck towards her. “Please?”
Caltha. “Of course I’ll help you.”
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband
and son. By day she's a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By
night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters
and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published
in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy
romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales.
The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is out now and the third, “Mermaids Marry
in Green,” will be released on 1 November. Alice has also written two short
stories for BVS anthologies, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” in “Mystic Desire,”
out now, and “The Holiday Mermaid” in “Desire Me Again,” out in October. Alice loves
reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
Social Media Links: