09 June 2015

Release Day for A. R. Draeger's "Of Ocean and Ash"

Happy release day to A.R. Draeger! Her latest novella, Of Ocean and Ash, came out today as part of the Falling in Deep Collection. Amber has been gracious enough to grant us a short interview and deliver an wonderful excerpt from the book. Buy it on Amazon


Of Ocean…
Cast into the sea at birth, human-born Ia found her adoptive family among the merfolk. While her underwater upbringing was peaceful, Ia’s blood-heritage and the strict societal rules of the merpeople lead her to wonder of the world above the waves.

And Ash…
When a storm lands Ia ashore, she discovers her body has transformed into the human she would have been. Taken in as property by a callous plantation owner, Ia works alongside the slaves until she can make her way back to the water. There is nothing Ia wants more than to go home, that is, until she meets a handsome, troubled man named Matthias, who has a touch that can be as kind as his tongue is harsh.

Torn between two very different lives, Ia must choose – stay in his world and risk her life for a love untested, or return to the familiar arms of the underwater world that raised her and risk losing what may be the greatest love she will ever know.

Will Ia’s choice lead to her happiness or her destruction?

About the Author:

Author Amber (A.R.) Draeger specializes in macabre, fantastical fiction, spreading her interest across multiple genres including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and thriller.  Her debut romance novella, Of Ocean and Ash, to be published in the Blazing Indie Collective’s Falling in Deep Collection, will be released June 9th, 2015. Her debut horror/thriller/sci-fi novella, Daughters of Men, to be published in association with Bathory Gate Press, will follow in Summer 2015.  She resides in rural Texas with her husband and son.

Contact / Connect:



Summer was waning when I was born, marked by the heat leaving the waters and the nights growing longer. My family wanted to migrate with the rest of their people, but they waited for me in the stillness of the waves, keeping an ever-watchful eye.

Mother heard the wails of the fisherman’s wife the night the woman discovered she carried me in her womb. The fisherman and his wife lived next to the water in a small, dilapidated shack made of rotten wood and leaky thatch. They had six children before me, although Mother knew not in what mixture their genders numbered. All but two were taken away at birth. The couple had too many as it were for a meager fisherman and his wife, and I was yet another mouth to feed.

The fisherman’s cries of mercy woke my family the night I was born. My arrival was sooner than expected, his wife not having carried me nine months in her womb. I was tiny, frail. My left leg was misshapen, my head oblong.

Mother watched him from beneath the surface, saw his tanned sailor’s skin, ebony and white streaked hair, and grey-whiskered face. He looked down at me, the fragile bundle cradled in his arms, and cried out through parched lips and crooked, black teeth:

“Forgive me, O God! Have mercy on her. I leave her to your care.”

He dropped me in the water with a small plop.

Interview with the Author:

What is your favorite mermaid story or myth? 
I tend to prefer Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It’s incredibly haunting, and ashamedly, it has been far too long since I last read it.

What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you.  Not that it’s a trade secret or anything, but because the story literally came to me. I’m not sure that I even spent more than an evening brainstorming on it. All I had to go on was that I wanted a physically flawed heroine (note: she’s gorgeous to everyone but herself), an emotionally troubled hero, and I wanted to throw them against the world. Everything else fell into place.

Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?
Oh shit. (Can I say shit? If not, just bleep it out.) Uhm. Wow.  This is tough!
For Ia, if I had the budget, I’d probably cast either Emma Stone or Emilia Clarke.
Matthias – This is the big one. I have no clue. Find me a handsome, green-eyed, half-African, half-Caucasian actor who is around 30 years of age. ;)
Lord Malcom – Daniel Craig.
Zatia – Angela Bassett
Joseph -  Jaden Harmon

What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?
This interview! (I’m halfway kidding.)
For me, it was the mechanics. How do they move, swim? When they talk, are there air bubbles? Does it matter to the reader? LOL  Basically, how technical should I get and how descriptive…and how much do I allow my reader to invent/imagine for themselves? It’s tricky.

Ursula or Ariel?
Am I too diplomatic for saying both? I feel for Ursula. There are few villains that I don’t have some form of sympathy for.  Ursula is Ariel gone wrong. She’s the girl who wanted a different existence, and it turned out poorly. Instead of her desire landing her with legs and a prince and a castle, it landed her a bitter, rotten soul and banishment. Who knows what happened, and it could very well be that she’s a product of her own decisions, but it’s still a sad ending for her.

What else should we know about your novella?
This is my first ever romance! I fell absolutely in love with my characters, and I hope that you do too. Also, I tend to write a little on the dark side, a little morbid, and this does have some of that darkness to it, so be aware that it’s not exactly lighthearted. Please let me know what you think! Feel free to contact me on my website: www.amberdraeger.com, on my facebook page: facebook.com/ardraeger, or on twitter: twitter.com/adraeger.


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