Posts Categorized: mermaids

Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris

25 Mar, 2014 by in mermaids, netgalley, paranormal, shana norris, swans landing, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris


by Shana Norris
Series: Swans Landing #1
Published by Shana Norris on December 19th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.

But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.

Surfacing is the first book in the Swans Landing series.

I downloaded Surfacing off of Netgalley drawn by the idea of a remote seaside town, reached only via ferry and intrigued by the legend of mer people or “finfolk.” Main character Mara is thrown into a situation she is less than fond of when her mother passes away and she’s sent to live with her father who she know nothing about.All of her life she’s felt abandoned by him, and now she will have to live with him in Swan’s Landing. Form the moment she arrives in town she can tell she’s not welcome. There’s the strange woman who tells her “she’s not supposed to be here”, and a division amongst the town people– Mara seems to be right int he middle of the heated battle. Only she’s not sure why?

Why is it that no one will tell her why she is being bullied and singled out, or why there is so much tension in this new hometown?

I enjoyed the premise and legend behind Surfacing as well as the cover and the back story included on the author’s website. I also liked that the school staff, townspeople and teens take a stand against bullying. However, the voice of both Mara and her nemesis Sailor started to grate on me after a while as they were so full of attitude, anger and drama. This definitely feels YA, but the angst was a bit heavy handed for my taste. Love triangles are not my favorite either, and Mara leaves my favorite pick in the dark about what is really going on.  I liked it enough to finish and read the sneak peek of book two, but it’s probably not a book I would buy for my shelves. I did like the fleshing out of each character, enough so that I felt I knew them. I enjoyed seeing progress in the relationship between daughter and father. I also really love it when indie authors put their works on Netgalley so we can be exposed to a wide variety of YA titles. Thanks to the author and Netgalley for a chance to read it!

Content: older teen (highlight to reveal) in depth talk of sex, co ed sleepovers, swearing, bullying, violence between adult and child.


Author Bio

shana norris

I was born August 19, on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m a leo, which means I’m supposed to be bossy, interfering, and intolerant. But I’m also supposed to be broad-minded, warm-hearted, and creative, so maybe it all evens out.

I’ve always loved books. My parents would read my favorite books to me so often that I’d memorize them before I had learned how to read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my mom taking my siblings and me to the public library. I’d always check out a big stack of books and then have them all read within a week. The first time I can remember writing a story that wasn’t for school, but simply because I wanted to write, was when I was eight years old. I wrote and illustrated a book called The Lonely Rectangle. It was a story about a rectangle that had been thrown in the trash and felt unloved until someone found it and took it home to use as a table. No, it was not a box or anything like that, it was just a plain rectangle. I have no clue why I decided to write about a geometric shape. It wasn’t like I was particularly fond of math or anything.

I spent my junior year of high school and part of my senior year living just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, where my family moved to the summer I turned sixteen. I had a hard time making friends, but the good thing that came out of it was that I started to spend a lot of time online since I had no one to hang out with after school. That was when I discovered online journals written by teen girls and even started my own, which I wrote under a pen name. It was that experience with online journals in 1996-1997, the predecessor of today’s blogs, that helped inspire Something to Blog About.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. Well, actually I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a teacher, AND a writer, all at the same time. But after a while I figured out that I’d never taken a ballet lesson in my life, I didn’t particularly like to get dirty, and I hated being in a classroom all day, so that really only left writer as my future job. My family advised me to get a back up plan, which meant, “study something else in school that you can earn a living at while waiting for your books to sell.” So I studied graphic design, tested out of as many classes as I possibly could to avoid sitting in so many classrooms, and got my degree.

I’m still a web designer by day and write my books during my lunch hours and at night. I currently live in North Carolina with my husband and our menagerie of pets: two dogs–Chloe and Zoey–and five cats–Elmo, Bandit, Kit, BC, and Butter.

Fin the author on Facebook * twitter * pinterest


The Siren’s Secret Blog Tour Author Guest Post, Breview and Giveaway

16 May, 2013 by in mermaids, The Shapeshifter's Secret #2, The Siren's Secret 2 comments

Author Heather Ostler is guest blogging today at Fire and Ice about Sirens as part of The Siren’s Secret official blog tour! 

Sirens are enchanting and mysterious creatures. In mythology they are believed to be beautiful woman who can lure men to their deaths. Though they are supernatural creatures who live in water like mermaids, they have legs, not fins.

Powerful and manipulative, sirens have always been seen as a threat. They are extremely smart, and can see into your past and the future from only meeting you.
Sirens are able to lure and hypnotize sailors using their lovely, sweet singing voices. Often in mythology sirens would find unsuspecting sailors and hypnotize them. Once the sailors were lured in from their singing, the sirens would capture them, or make them crash their boats into rocks.
The siren’s song was different for each sailor, but always too beautiful to resist. Unfortunately for the many sailors, the end of the siren’s song was death.
Sirens are usually portrayed as femme fatals. They are known as being vicious and deadly. They can use either their beauty to charm and entrance their victim, or they can use their hypnotizing abilities to get what they desire.  

Mythology always portrays sirens always living on islands surrounded by cliffs and rocks, and Roman writers always linked sirens closely to the sea. Sirens are also featured in Homer’s Odyssey, and are known as the Muses of the lower world.

– Heather Ostler Pead, Author, The Siren’s Secret

The Siren’s Secret
The Shapeshifter’s Secret #2
by Heather Ostler
Expected publication June 11, 2013
By Cedar Fort Books
Book Source: Netgalley
4 stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: Julia’s life has gone from complicated to nearly impossible! When Julia loses her shapeshifting powers and her appearance changes in alarming ways, she flees to Sirenity, where she learns an incredible secret about her mother. In this thrilling sequel, Julia must take greater risks and make bigger sacrifices as she discovers who she really is and what she can really become.

Early Breview: Sirens entrance me. I’ve always been fascinated by the creatures who live in the sea. When I saw this cover on Netgalley I was lured and captivated. I hadn’t read book one of the Shapeshifter’s Secret (we review it here) but was easily able to pick up where it left off as Heather gives a plot retelling in the first few chapters of book two. Julia is in hiding in an antique cottage with her father and the guard after an attempt on her life.  Her life seems ever more complicated as the tension heats up between her boyfriend Terrance and friend, protector Caleb. When a date with Terrance goes dangerously wrong and Julia is intercepted by a mysterious Siren there are questions to be answered.

With enchanting mythology and a magical setting, Heather Ostler paints her unique spin on shape shifters and the difference between water nymphs and sirens. I wish I could fully immerse myself in the Lockham academy and underwater scenes of Sirenity. I found myself wanting much more filling out of details and world building. With little inventions like a parchment that writes and receives messages and a truth telling ring there is plenty of room for lots more imagination. 

I also am pulling for one side of the love triangle to move ahead. I’m hoping book three picks up the pace in swoon worthiness and character development because a huge whopper of a plot twist has been dropped.

Content: The Siren’s Secret is a clean read suited for middle grade and young adult readers and I am happy to recommend it to all. Mild violence.

About the author: Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University, and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.

Find out more about author Heather Ostler: Goodreads/ Twitter/ Website

  The Giveaway: We have one ebook copy of The Siren’s Secret to giveaway to our readers! Open internationally, simply fill out the rafflecopter form to enter. Good luck and thanks so much to Heather Ostler for visiting Fire and Ice today.

Mermaid Postcards by Sandra Vargas

04 Jun, 2010 by in mermaids, siren 24 comments

Today’s SIREN giveaway is a six pack of dreamy mermaid postcards donated by SandraGrafik

♥ ♥ ♥ W E L C O M E ♥ T O ♥ M Y ♥ S H O P ♥ ♥ ♥
Sandra Vargas is the person behind the nickname Sandygrafik, a Peruvian born graphic designer and illustrator currently living in Denver, CO. She’s passionate about digital illustration using different textures and patterns that makes her art so unique, though she also loves experimenting with traditional media as inks and watercolors. Sandra enjoys recreating female beauties from classic fairytales and giving birth to new fantasy creatures, crossing an imaginary gate to a whimsical dimension.

To Enter to Win: leave your name and email address below

Additional entries: +1 visit and heart her etsy shop:

+2 become a fan of her and us on Facebook:
+1 visit and comment on her blog:
+1 visit her other shops featuring original illustrations printed on T-shirts, calendars and hundreds of cute accessories:
+1 for each retweet @FireIcePhotos on twitter

+5 for posting this giveaway or our button on your blog

♥ Thanks for watching! ♥

Contest ends July 4, 2010 and is open internationally

Marina Necklace Giveaway

01 Jun, 2010 by in mermaids, siren, tricia rayburn 37 comments

I am a huge fan of mermaids and myths of the sea, so this week is Siren week on the blog. Today’s giveaway comes from Irish Etsy seller PatriciaPio…”i make all my jewellery and crafts sitting in my home on the north coast of ireland, taking inspiration from the natural world around me and vintage fashions. i hope you like what you see!

Description: This little necklace features a tiny bottle filled with hand picked sea shells from the NI coast near my home.

To Enter To Win: Leave your name and email address below

additional entries

+1 become a fan of us (see our right sidebar) and her on facebook!/pages/Portstewart-United-Kingdom/Patricia-Pio/109419322435453
+1 heart her shop on etsy
+1 visit her blog and comment
+1 Follow us on twitter @fireicephotos and @PPcrafts

+1 tell us your favorite mermaid book

+1 for each retweet @fireicephotos
+5 post this giveaway on your blog, leave the link
I also have a Folksy account (mainly for the convenience of UK buyers) at

Contest ends July 1, 2010 and is open internationally