Del Fantasma is Aspen Mountain’s paranormal romance series focused around the Del Fantasma bar in Point Loma, California and the bar owner, vampire Cody Warren. Cody is said to have a story behind every drink he serves and each story must be titled after a real bar drink that somehow relates to the story.
Undertow is an urban fantasy, something a little different for me. Derek Meredith's lover of ten years, Tad Archer, drowned in a boating accident before the story begins. Anonymous phone calls lead him to the Del Fantasma bar, where he runs into an old friend named Kellen who, in his own words, found something Derek has lost.
Kellen and Derek are both members of a mythical race of sea creatures known as merrows. They're a Celtic myth, similar to mermaids, though a bit more "rough" around the edges, so to speak. Each merrow has a talisman ~ some red object, a comb or a hat or a cape, that ties their blood to the ocean. With the talisman, they can move freely between the sea and the land, but they must protect it at all times because without the talisman, they cannot return to the water.
Also, female merrows have a sinister habit of harvesting souls of those lost at sea. These hapless victims are kept locked in wooden soul cages deep beneath the waves. A merrow maiden will guard her soul cage fervently. The only way a soul cage can be opened and its prisoner released is if a male merrow distracts the cage's owner.
Tweaking these myths, I created Undertow. Friends earlier in life, Kellen has loved Derek from childhood, but a wanderlust fills Derek's heart, leading him to seek life on the shore among humans. Tad was the reason he left the ocean behind, and Kellen has never managed to move beyond that rejection.
Back in Derek's life again, Kellen offers him an "indecent proposal" ~ a night of passion between the merrows for Tad's safe return. But complications arise, among them the fact that without his talisman, Derek is unable to return to the ocean. His talisman was given to Tad on their tenth anniversary as a symbol of his love; in exchange, Tad gave him a gold ring. The metal holds mystical properties for those with merrish blood, and Derek hopes that the power of love that resides in the band might be enough to help him rescue his lover ... without having to succumb to Kellen's sordid desires in the process.