Thursday 1 March 2018

Book Spotlight - Forbidden Tides by Kyla Stan

Forbidden Tides
Author: Kyla Stan
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: April 17th, 2018

Book Description:
…Some would say I look like a mermaid, the essence of nautical beauty. I looked in the mirror and saw a monster....

... "Astrid, my name is Zander of the Deep Clan, and I am here to bring you home.”

Astrid Murphy, born with strange webbed hands and a thirst for saltwater, feels like a freak. She desires to look and feel normal, just like her family. But Astrid doesn’t realize that she’s meant to be the next ruler of the Deep Clan, a race of merpeople who are dying from pollution and overhunting. She is the only one who can save them.

Zander’s mission was to find Astrid, bring her home, and save their world. Not to fall in love with his target. Surrounded in a web of danger, a forbidden love between princess and warrior blossoms. But Zander knows they can’t focus on each other. The Deep Clan must come first.

But it’s the one enemy Astrid never expected who will tear it all down. Her father. The one person who was supposed to love and protect her, will do anything to keep her from fulfilling her destiny with Zander. Even kill. 

As Astrid and Zander fight for their world, they learn the true depth of what it means to love, the power of hope, and what it means to be free.

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I was born with webbed fingers and a love for the ocean. From a young age, I knew I was different. There was always a thirst for the sea, as if it called out to some deep instinct that I couldn’t understand. My life changed when I was only three years old…


“This here is the best girl in the world,” Finnegan Murphy bragged to his friends in his thick Irish accent. His daughter, Astrid, danced clumsily around to the song “Surfing USA” by the Beach Boys. A humid Californian night encircled the group of friends that huddled close to the roaring bonfire as they celebrated the arrival of the summer solstice. Airplanes resembled blinking comets while faraway stars flickered with life. When Astrid fell in the sand, Finnegan chuckled heartily and helped her back up. She pulled at her tight shoes that hid her webbed toes.

The smell of charred hamburgers on the grill made Finnegan’s stomach growl. Astrid’s mother, Maristella, chatted with the other women from the neighborhood. Her friends cackled from the over indulgence of alcohol.

Finnegan hollered to his wife to bring him a burger. She smacked the back of his sandy blond head playfully, and he wrapped an arm around her hips. He kissed her stomach, full of life with the promise of their first son. The group stopped and listened to the approaching roar of the waves crashing down before continuing their conversation. Astrid watched the beautifully hypnotic ocean with innocent, transfixed eyes. There weren’t any small inlets where they resided, just pure coastline leading out to the vast sea with no boundaries.

She sat on the ground and played in the sand while giving an occasional tug on her uncomfortable swimsuit bottom. She looked up again as the lion’s roar of the ocean filled her tiny ears and slammed against her heart. She turned towards her father, who was laughing at some unheard joke with a bottle of beer in hand.

“Daddy, can we go to the ocean now?”

Finnegan, still laughing, looked down at his beloved child. “Of course, my dear. As soon as everyone leaves.”

When the adults began talking again, she slowly waddled off down the shoreline. Her eyes widened as the wild waves clawed desperately at her shoes, trying to bring her into the sea. Her small body trembled with delight at the thought of swimming, but she firmly planted her feet down and refused to move. She was warned by her parents that a lot of scary monsters came out at night when the water churned so violently.

Unable to hold back her urges, she bent down and stuck her hands into the cool bliss, then quickly threw them up in the air to create a splash. She giggled at the effect and continued her silly behavior while the waves licked her hidden toes.

Astrid suddenly looked up. She was sure she heard someone call her name. Her little eyes could barely see, and she had to squint just to get a basic shape.

“Astrid… come, child.”

She was frightened, but the voice seemed familiar and comforting, like a warm blanket. From the darkness of the waves emerged a man with a thick mane of azure hair and emerald eyes. He smiled as the toddler inched her way into the sea. The tides swirled around her ankles… calves…waist…

“Astrid! Get away from the water!”

The man in the sea dove back into the abyss.

Astrid turned and saw her father running down the beach. Finnegan snatched her away from the wave’s clutches in his fiercely strong arms. He was about to take her away when she pleaded for him to say hello to the man.

“But Daddy! Look!”

Her little finger steered his gaze out to sea, where a man with pale blue skin waited patiently. Finnegan’s eyes grew wide and his grip on Astrid tightened.

“No… you shall not take her from me, you beast of the depths. Over my dead body…”

About the Author
Ever since she was a child, Kyla Stan enjoyed creating fantasy stories. In fact, she has a notebook from when she was a child filled with stories that are being updated for a modern young adult audience. Kyla knew at a young age that being a writer was her dream, and so she pursued it at the young age of sixteen.

Kyla hopes her writing will help other people with mental illness, such as anxiety and depression. Kyla also wants people to be aware of environmental issues, some of which are reflected in Forbidden Tides and her first self-published book about werewolves titled, Poet Tongue. In October 2017, Kyla also published a dark poetry collection titled Nightshade. She has a degree in communications, and a master’s in English and creative writing. Her dream is to become an English professor and inspire others to write.

Kyla loves animals, and lives with her cat Chippy, a seventeen-year old plecostomus named Suckerfish, two adorable gluttonous goldfish; Lucky and Chance, and nine frogs; Fudge, Gordita, Milagros, Spot, Little Froggie, Prince, Tiger, Sirenia, and Celeste. She also loves chocolate, baking competitions, long walks in deep forests or open beaches, and photography.

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