It's been almost two thousand
years since the mer-shifter Skyla walked the streets of Athens—not since her
heart was broken by a human man and she exchanged the land and sky for the
ocean depths. Ever since, she has lived in the underwater ruins of Atlantis,
studying with the priestesses of the goddess Amphitrite, refining her mermaid
powers and ignoring her human half.
But her studies are interrupted
when she is called upon by Poseidon himself to investigate rumors that the
world above is being polluted by the magic of creatures from another realm—and
worse, that the ocean kingdom of the mer-people might be next.
When her inquiries in
modern-day Greece lead her to an American detective asking similar questions,
Skyla realizes that the magical problem she's been sent to research is bigger
than she anticipated—and that one human's kisses might be more dangerous to
her, and her world, than she ever could have imagined.
is not a love story.
been over two thousand years since I walked these shores, and even then, the
man who broke my heart was centuries gone, sailed away into death—the last
journey into yet another land where I will not follow.
be told, though, he left me long before he died, gone away to rejoin a wife he
hadn't seen in twenty years, to reclaim a rocky, wind-swept island for a son he
home, to spin stories about his absence like his wife spun his
death-shroud—picking out the stitches at night and reweaving them anew to
postpone the inevitable moment when the stories wear thin and you find the
monsters have been in your home all along, posing as suitors who would win your
poets lie, you know. They say our songs seduce the sailors, draw them into the
ocean to drown.
the ocean sings to them, it is not our doing—no more than the earth's call to
us is theirs.
Odysseus never tried to resist.
On the cliff above the Theatre of Dionysus, the Parthenon
loomed, its marble columns partially obscured in scaffolding. The last time
Skyla had been here, when the marble seats of the open-air amphitheater were
new, she watched the Oresteia trilogy—tragedies to the Athenians surrounding
her, but too far from reality to be anything but comic to Skyla. Agamemnon had
been a monster, a tyrant of a man who murdered his daughter for the joy of
killing, a sacrifice to the gods of power and control. When his wife
Clytemnestra killed him in return, other women did not blame her. Their house
fell, but it was not of her doing.
the memories of men are short, and the stories they share shift and change,
like the ocean's surface.
Margo Bond Collins is the author of
urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She lives in
Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is
her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She
enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends
most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and
villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.