Book Description for A Thousand Salt Kisses (Book #1):
Seventeen-year-old Crystal White is the new girl on Starfish Island. Dragged to the remote community by her environmental activist father, she is eager to find fun that doesn’t involve touching fish guts or listening to local folklore.
During a midnight swim with some new friends, Crystal is pulled out to sea by the waves. Convinced she’s going to drown; Crystal is rescued by Llyr, a handsome stranger. As she searches for him in the following weeks, she finds there may be more truth to the Starfish legends than she thought.
Over a sizzling rollercoaster summer, Llyr introduces Crystal to magic she’d only ever dreamed of. But as Crystal comes to love Starfish Island, it begins to drive her family apart. A nearby power plant is devastating local marine life, and her parents are stuck in the middle. As the magic and mundane parts of Crystal’s life converge, she finds herself risking everything to save Llyr, her family and herself.
Book Description for A Thousand Salt Kisses Later (Book #2):
The spellbinding sequel to A Thousand Salt Kisses.
Four years ago, Crystal White fell in love with Llyr, a prince of the magical mer colony living off the coast of Starfish Island. For one summer, he enchanted her with stories of jeweled palaces and underwater gardens, but then he left, returning beneath the waves with her heart in tow.
Now, graduated and with no job in sight, Crystal is forced to go back to the island she thought she had left in the past. By the sea again, she realizes she is far from over her first love, and when an opportunity arises to contact the merfolk, Crystal can’t resist.
Once more with the mer, Crystal is forced to come to terms with the fact that Llyr has moved on, and also with her own magical secret that has endangered her life, his throne, and every mer kingdom. Working against all odds, she has to try to save the people she has come to love and—if she can—rekindle the romance of her first summer on Starfish Island.
Josie Demuth is an author based in London. First published on Wattpad, her Salt Kisses series has garnered nearly four million reads and are now serialised on Radish Fiction. The second of this series, A Thousand Salt Kisses Later is her fourth novel.
What made you write a book about mermaids?
Well, I was obsessed with the Hans Christian Anderson tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ when I was little and I still think they are under-explored creatures, despite being so popular. I wanted to give them a really interesting, ancient, mythological background, but put them in a modern context.
How did you do research for your book?
I didn’t really. I meant to look into all the great mer-lore but I ended up making up all my stuff. The mers in my books originate from an ancient Celtic tribe cursed to the seas by a witch and turned half to fish. I made that part up, but I did however do quite a bit of research into the history of the UK, the Celts and their mythologies to make this tale seem plausible. To do this, I read some non-fiction books, but also some well-researched fiction such as The Mists of Avalon, and spoke with people I know.
Your book is set in the Westcountry, UK. Have you ever been there?
Yes, I go there nearly every summer. It is a mystical, magical place and many a mermaid is said to have been spotted from its cliffs!
In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
Yes, often if I go to the beach or I’m camping in a tent. I wouldn’t have my laptop in those situations… but I will have to type it all up later. I like scribbling on paper, but it would be a total nightmare to edit a whole manuscript. I’m nostalgic for many things of the past, but I have to say a quill and parchment isn’t actually one of them!
What is your next project?
I’m going to start the editing process for the third Thousand Salt Kisses book, ‘A Thousand Salt Kisses Forever’, which is out next summer, and a new adult book called Shallot, about a rock n roll couple and a pre-Raphaelite ghost. It’s inspired by the Tennyson poem and I’m working on this now.
Win a copy of A Thousand Salt Kisses Later by Josie Demuth. One winner will also receive a $10 Amazon gift card (2 winners total, print book open to USA & CAN only, ebook open int’l)
Ends Feb 4