Alice Renaud is a romance author who I met online. Her book is available for preorder.
I was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, my father was French and my mother British (from Wales). I moved to London, UK, in 1997, where I now live with my husband and son. I have been writing since I was 14. I got quite a few short stories published in UK magazines, before moving to longer fiction. I wrote three contemporary romance books, but didn’t find a publisher for them. I then realized that mermen, demons and angels were a lot more fun than sheikhs and billionaires! My first two paranormal romances did not find a publisher either, then I wrote A Merman’s Choice, which was accepted for publication this year by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. I love reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
Tell us about yourself.
Thank you very much for inviting me! I live in London, UK with my husband and son. By day I work full time as a compliance specialist for a pharmaceutical company. On Sundays I’m a lay assistant in my local church. By night I write fantasy and paranormal romance. My first published book, a fantasy romance novella, is coming out with Black Velvet Seductions on 4 January.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
When I read “The Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien, aged 12. I thought “I want to write stories like that.”
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I read a variety of genres. Fiction and non –fiction historical books, fantasy and paranormal are my favourites, but I also like contemporary fiction. I like happy endings though – I don’t like depressing books! I write paranormal and fantasy romance which is also one of my favourite genres.
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Adults, including new adults, but young adults might enjoy it too. The characters are young, in their early twenties.
What is your current release or project?
My first published book, “A Merman’s Choice” is coming out on 4 January. It is the first book in a series about shape-shifting mermen. The second book, “Music for a Merman” is going through edits at the moment, and I have started writing the third book in the series, “Mermaids Marry in Green”.
Tell us about the key characters
Yann is a shape-shifting merman who rescues a young woman, Alex. They meet again eight months later and fall in love – but Alex has no idea that her lover is a magical aquatic being. The mermen’s laws forbid Yann from marrying a human, so he faces a tough choice between his loyalty to his Clan and his love for Alex.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
For centuries the shape-shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands have lived incognito among humans. But one of them, Yann, has developed some bad habits. Like rescuing humans, even when doing so risks revealing his true nature. When he fishes Alex out of the sea, he doesn’t expect her to reappear eight months later, and turn his life upside down by asking him to be her guide.
Alex is determined to fulfil a promise to her dying grandmother, by gathering pictures and stories of the Morvanns. But she soon discovers that, on these remote Welsh islands, legends have a habit of becoming true!
Over the course of a few days, Yann and Alex grow close. But some mermen hate humans. Their hostility, and Yann’s secret, threaten to tear the couple apart just as they are discovering that they are soul mates. Can Yann overcome the obstacles in his path and make the right choice?
Share an excerpt (up to 800 words).
The girl wasn’t swimming any more. Yann’s sonar gave him a clear picture of her distress. She was flailing. Sinking.
Fear punched him between the ribs. Just a few minutes earlier, she’d been splashing in the shallows, laughing and humming to herself. That music had rippled around him, brightening his journey. Now the sea was snuffing that light out. No! He wouldn’t let it happen. His webbed hands and feet churned the water, and he shot towards her like a torpedo.
Not this one, sea. Not this time.
She came in sight, slim and lovely, with long bronzed limbs and hair the colour of sunshine. But her eyes were closed, her movements slow, hesitant, as if she were falling asleep. His fear hardened into cold, sharp dread. He poured all his energy into the last powerful strokes. He’d almost reached her, when his eye caught the shadow, beyond the crystal surface, out there in the dry world. He sent a sound wave. It came back with an image, and the icy blade inside him twisted: two-legged shapes on the beach. Humans!
If they saw him, they’d know him for what he was. His people’s secret, kept for thousands of years, would be out.
The girl’s head vanished under the waves. To hell with that. He couldn’t let her drown.
He grabbed her and dragged her back to the surface. She thrashed in his arms and coughed up seawater. Intense relief swept through him as he hugged her to his chest. He’d sworn he’d never again swim by and let a human drown, and he’d kept his promise. If the young woman’s eyes remained closed, he might even get away with it. He wanted her to breathe, not scream in horror at the sight of his dark grey face.
He looked up. The shapes on the beach had gone. Another miracle, or perhaps he’d only imagined them. What if they came back? A fresh stab of anxiety propelled him through the surf. He lay the girl down on the sand, cushioning her head on his arm. Her round breasts, encased in the turquoise bikini top, rose and fell in a regular rhythm, but her skin felt clammy under his hands. He scanned the beach in vain for something to cover her with, and saw the motorbike. A sleek, sporty number, well camouflaged among the grass-covered dunes.
Shit. He retracted the webs between his fingers and toes, but his body would take at least twenty minutes to shift from the aquatic shape to the human form. And even when it did, what would the humans think, if they found him naked next to an unconscious girl?
They’d arrest him for indecent exposure, or worse. He touched the girl’s face with a tentative finger. The thought of leaving her sickened him. But he couldn’t stay.
Her eyelids fluttered and she muttered a name. “Boris?”
As if in answer, a male voice tore through the air, from behind the dunes. “Alex!”
Yann flew towards the waves. Help was coming for the girl. She’d be fine.
He sped into the open sea, leaving the human world and human fears behind. He’d saved her. That knowledge glowed inside him as he plunged into the depths. She was safe, and his people would remain safe too. He sang as he rode the riptide, a song full of triumph and laughter. Far away, the humpback whales heard him and picked up the tune. He’d got away with it.
For now. His euphoria abated. No humans had seen him, but his people had sharper eyes and ears. He shouldn’t even have been hanging around, in full merman shape, so close to an inhabited island, but he’d thought he’d be OK. In late September so few tourists were around, and locals had better things to do than go swimming in cold water. He sniffed the current and tuned his sonar towards the Clans’ Islands. Nothing. With luck, no one would notice that he’d broken the merpeople’s rules.
Do you have a favorite scene?
(Spoiler alert! J) Yes, in Chapter 8, when Alex has to overcome her phobia of water to rescue Yann.
What advice would you give a beginner?
Find critique partners
· Take writing classes
· Write what you want to write – not what you think might sell
· Write the best story you can – then worry about getting published. If it’s good, someone will want to publish it
· Do a detailed analysis and background on your characters before you start to write
· Enjoy it!
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