The Undine’s Tear
by Talena Winters
GENRE: Young Adult epic historical fantasy
Calandra’s destiny is also her doom. As the most powerful healer since the woman who sank Atlantis, she’s been raised to restore the Heartstone that protects her island from humans . . . before she goes Mad like her mother and all the powerful undine healers before her. When she learns she needs both male and female magic to succeed, she becomes desperate—there hasn’t been an undine male born for over three thousand years. Instead, she’s being pressured to use the siren mind-bond to enslave her childhood friend, the one man she’s sworn to risk a death sentence to free.
When Calandra discovers a cryptic message that shows her exiled mother was not only sane but pregnant with a boy, she questions everything she’s been taught to believe. But revealing the horrifying truth of the bonds could tear her island apart—and concealing it could unleash the Earth’s oldest, most destructive enemy. With insanity looming, can Calandra find her brother and save the Heartstone, the man she loves, her people, and the world . . . before she loses control and destroys them all?
The Undine’s Tear is the first book in the mind-blowing young adult epic historical fantasy series Rise of the Grigori. Packed with complex characters, lush world-building, gritty action, and impossible odds, this intricately woven tale presents mermaids like you’ve never seen them before. Join Calandra in a search for redemption that will threaten the very fabric of the universe. Dive into the adventure today!
Osaze looked between them with fear in his eyes, then turned back to Calandra.
“Redeemed. That’s what the queen did to me before, right? Is that what you mean by ‘help’?” He clutched Calandra’s arm. “Please don’t do it again, Calandra. I—I think I would rather die than have that happen again.”
As soon as Osaze touched her, a wave of desperation and fear crashed through her. She put her hands to her ears as though she could physically block out the sudden onslaught of emotion. Is it happening already? Is this the Madness?
When Osaze’s hand fell from her arm, the emotions subsided. She slowly lowered her hands, staring at the boy. Those feelings . . . they had all come from him? Why had she felt them so strongly? Did it have something to do with the Heartstone?
“It’s okay, Osaze. It doesn’t hurt, does it?”
He shook his head and buried it in his hands. “That would be better. It’s worse than anything you can imagine.”
Calandra stared at him, stricken. As a rule, undines treated every living thing with respect. She had always been told that Redemption meant saving the men from themselves, cleansing them of impurities they could not purge on their own. But how could it be right to do something to these men that they hated so much?
From Seed Idea to Full-Blown Fantasy World
by Talena Winters
The idea that became the Rise of the Grigori series started as a question while watching a mermaid T.V. show: What happened to all the mermen? Why do mermaids drag sailors beneath the sea?
Okay, I guess that’s two questions, but they’re related. I guess they didn’t have to be, but if you have a dimorphic society without mermen—which most mermaid stories are—then it follows that to keep your semi-humanoid species going, you might have to borrow some compatible DNA on a regular basis.
That answer seemed much nicer than the version you sometimes see where the mermaids hunt humans for sport. (I’m looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean.)
But, since I “discovered” that the sirensong used by the undines (UN-deens) in my stories can be used not only to temporarily stupefy their male victims, but to also subvert their minds completely, which they do to every single male they capture, it’s not that much nicer.
And, once I discovered that, I was hooked. After all, something must have gone terribly wrong in a culture’s past if they can no longer produce their own males but still need them to survive, and if they feel the need to make mind-slaves of every man they capture. Right?
While discovering the answers to those questions, which I eventually published as the Rise of the Grigori series, I incorporated a whole lot of things that fascinate me: mermaid lore; ancient cultures; issues of faith and worship and power; the historical landscape at the end of the eighteenth century, particularly in England and the West Indies; and even some extrapolations from modern scientific discoveries, which I incorporated into the undine culture as an expression of their magic and technology. (Did you know there are experiments that involve surfacing highways in a crystal formation to generate power through piezoelectricity? Or that scientists are really experimenting with crystals that absorb oxygen that could replace air tanks for breathing underwater? Cool, right?)
And, while I still have some mysteries to uncover in future volumes in the series, I’ve had a lot of my questions answered along the way. To me, finding those answers is part of the fun of writing. But so is just making cool stuff up. J
I hope reading it brings you joy, too.
If you want to test the waters (see what I did there?), the standalone origin story of Zale, the first male undine to be born in three millennia, is available for free when you sign up to my newsletter at https://www.talenawinters.com/. Happy reading!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Talena Winters is addicted to stories, tea, chocolate, yarn, and silver linings. She writes page-turning fiction for teens and adults in multiple genres, coaches other writers, has written several award-winning songs, and designs knitting patterns under her label My Secret Wish. Master of the ironic GIF response. She currently resides on an acreage in the Peace Country of northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, three surviving boys, two dogs, and an assortment of farm cats. She would love to be a mermaid when she grows up.
Talena Winters will be awarding a hardback copy of The Undine’s Tear (Rise of the Grigori Book 1) and also The Sphinx’s Heart (Rise of the Grigori Book 2) to a randomly drawn winner (International Giveaway) via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway