THE MERMAID COLLECTOR
More than a century ago, lighthouse keeper Linus Harris left his beloved wife and waded into the ocean with three other men to reunite with their mermaid lovers. The mysterious Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 has become legend for the residents of Cradle Harbor, Maine…
For twenty-five-year-old Tess Patterson, the legend is more than folklore–it’s proof of life’s magic. A hopeless romantic who is profoundly connected to the ocean in which she lost her mother, Tess ekes out a living as a woodcarver and longs to find a love as mystical as the sea. But when she’s hired to carve the commemorative mermaid sculpture for the coming Mermaid Festival, a chance to win the town’s elusive acceptance might finally be in her grasp.
For Tom Grace, life’s magic was lost at eighteen when the death of his parents left him to care for his reckless brother Dean. Now thirty-five and the new owner of Cradle Harbor’s prized lightkeeper’s house, Tom hopes the quiet town will calm Dean’s self-destructive ways. But when Tom discovers Tess working on her sculpture, an unlikely and passionate affair that just might be the stuff of legend ignites between them–even as it brings to the surface a long-buried secret that could tear everything apart.
Coming October 2, 2012, but available for pre-order at the following locations:
Come visit The Mermaid Collector’s Facebook Page to see–and share!–sightings of mermaids in our everyday lives.
Camille Bergeron knows how to make a good gumbo; it’s the recipe for true love that eludes her. When she leaves her native New Orleans for Little Gale Island in 1977 with her two teenage daughters, headstrong Dahlia and fragile Josephine, she only wants to escape her violent husband, not put down roots in the quiet Maine town. But blending in won’t be easy for a beautiful Creole woman with a carpet bag full of Voodoo oils, and skin too dark to pass for tan in winter.
For Ben Haskell and his teenage son Matthew, life on Little Gale is all they have ever known. As pragmatic and guarded as their island neighbors, father and son have learned to quietly endure heartbreak in their rambling seaside home. Until Camille and her daughters rent their in-law apartment, and soon two families from different worlds forge an unlikely kinship; one that will inspire Camille to open the Little Gale Gumbo Café where her authentic Creole dishes will melt the hearts of even the most suspicious islanders, and grow to be a fixture on the island.
Twenty-five years later, Dahlia and Josie still live on Little Gale, while Matthew has moved far from his island home. Now all in their forties, time and distance have weakened the seams of their once-unbreakable bond. But when the sisters’s estranged father is discovered dead on the island, and Ben is left in a coma, the friends will reunite to confront three decades of memories at the café where it all began. But just as revelations about the mystery come to the surface, so do long-buried secrets that will test the limits of friendship, resurrecting old rivalries and even old loves.
Filled with characters as rich and spicy as the foods they love to eat, LITTLE GALE GUMBO is a tender and spirited celebration of the loves that we make and the loves that make us, and those that grow more flavorful with time, like a good gumbo…
LITTLE GALE GUMBO will be published by NAL in October 2011.