Genra: YA contemporary fantasy
Word Count: 91,000
Olivia was supposed to be having the best summer of her life—until her best friend Samantha talked her into doing that ridiculous prank. Dressing up like a beached mermaid on the shores of La Jolla, California would have been a lot funnier, and a lot more harmless, if a picture of her didn’t end up in a supermarket tabloid.
Now she’s being followed—by some crazy people who think the picture is real. And Olivia discovers that there are only three reasons why a person would believe she’s an actual mermaid. One, they’ve had one too many wipeouts on a surfboard. Two, there’s a really big secret about earth’s oceans that they are desperate to protect. Or three, there’s a really big secret about earth’s oceans that they would kill to capitalize.
Olivia never thought she’d be caught in a war between humankind and creatures that weren’t supposed to exist. Creatures, no less, that have a deep distrust of humans, a thirst for vengeance, and an innate aversion to eating shrimp.
He fell face-first into the sand, coughing for air and bleeding from the stump of his severed pinky. Though the searing pain caused his hand to convulse, he hurt all over the rest of his body as well—he could have other wounds far worse than a missing finger. But none of that mattered at the moment.
He raised his head. The grainy sand stuck to the side of his cheek. In the moonlight, his wet skin was almost glowing. He looked to his fist, where he still held the clam. Brilliant white and bewitching, it felt silky warm in his palm.
He clutched his side, awed at how it felt to breathe, yet hating it at the same time for the painful stitch stabbing at his ribcage. He moved his legs experimentally. They seemed to work all right, though he was doubtful of getting them to support his weight. Everything felt so heavy…
But he needed to get moving. His comrade was dead and the Others were seconds behind him. He sat up, noticing the sound of the surf for the first time. He looked out toward the ocean. The moon’s reflection was bright on the water. The crashing waves undulated onto the sand of the shore; forever rolling, foaming, spreading, then retreating. He inhaled, marveling at the briny tang in his nose and the cold wind in his face. Salt, he realized, had a scent.
The agony in his missing finger reminded him of his urgency.