The Coming of Arabella
by Joanne Guidoccio
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.
Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.
Arabella threw back her shoulders and gazed down at Barbara. With her heels, she was almost a head taller. “What I need is a relationship with you.”
“A relationship with me?” Barbara repeated. She had been prepared for almost any response but not that one.
“That’s right. BFFs, soul sisters, whatever you want to call those tight bonds these humans have.”
Barbara’s eyes widened. “Do you even know or understand the concept of BFF?”
“Of course, I do. A BFF is a best friend forever. You’re my twin sister. You can’t get any closer than that.”
“It doesn’t work that way,” Barbara said. “You can’t order up BFFs. Friends have the same value systems and look out for each other. I can’t imagine you doing that for me.”
“Or you doing that for me,” Arabella said. “Mama’s explained all the reasons you’ve been avoiding me, and I do understand the envy and bitterness.” She shuddered. “I can’t imagine losing everything like you did. I don’t know what I would do. But that’s neither here or there. I’m a part of your life, whether you like it or not. And I’m not going anywhere. So, you better start being nice to me.”
“Are you threatening me?”
Arabella smiled and tossed her hair. “Everyone in your circle likes me. How would it look if you ignored me?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.
In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Joanne’s Back Story
I never intended to write fantasy.
Poetry. Contemporary women’s fiction. Inspirational literature. Possibly a cozy mystery. That was the plan, or more precisely the life imagined at age eighteen.
While many winters have come and gone since 1973, I can recall sitting in Sister Maris Stella’s Grade 13 English class reading the poems of T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence and, of course, Margaret Atwood. Between my heavy mathematics schedule and a part-time job, I managed to scribble a few poems and short stories. Dreams of a writing career dangled before me, but I gave in to my practical Italian side and pursued degrees in mathematics and education. While I experienced many fulfilling moments during my thirty-one-year teaching career, I had little time to indulge my well-hidden writing dream.
When I retired in 2008, I faced large blocks of unscheduled time which I quickly filled with writing workshops, seminars, and online courses. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and I started seeing my articles and book reviews in newspapers, magazines and online.
Not the original plan, but satisfying nonetheless.
I had outlined a plot for a cozy mystery during my “year” and completed the novel shortly after retiring. Two fifty-something Italian women, their mothers, four dead blondes, deserving and undeserving men and food: A Season for Killing Blondes showed promise but was not picked up by any agent or publisher.
On a whim, I started attending creative writing workshops offered by dark fantasy and horror writer Sarah Totton at the Guelph Public Library. Impressed by Sarah’s tenacity—she entered the Writers of the Future Contest 17 times before winning—I listened attentively to her advice. Most of her examples dealt with the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. Not my first choices for reading material, but I was open to learning more about the werewolves, witches, vampires, zombies and robots that enthralled the other workshop participants.
Could I write fantasy?
Driving home, I toyed with the idea and thought back to the fairy tales I had read as a child. Red Riding Hood. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. And The Little Mermaid.
A beautiful mermaid gives up her tail for an upwardly mobile international banker. Her grandmother, an esteemed elder of the Mediterranean kingdom, is displeased. In a fit of anger, she chops off her grand-daughter’s hair and ages her thirty years. When the banker discovers that his lovely mermaid has been transformed into a middle-aged woman, he abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England.
I put pen to paper and wrote Between Land and Sea. Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract and released the novel in September 2013. I had originally intended to write only one mermaid novel and then return to the cozy mystery. But too many secrets and unresolved issues remained. In The Coming of Arabella, these secrets implode when the ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known.
In the meantime, The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract for A Season for Killing Blondes.
As a result, I had two books released this summer: A Season for Killing Blondes and The Coming of Arabella.
Social Media Links
Buy Links for THE COMING OF ARABELLA by Joanne Guidoccio
Amazon (US): http://is.gd/DQhWmI
Amazon (Canada): http://is.gd/JrwC1l
Amazon (UK): http://is.gd/fJ2x4E
Amazon (Australia): http://is.gd/6KovIe
Joanne Guidoccio will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.