from the ocean—normal people don’t have arias playing on repeat in their head. When she gets wasted at a party and investigates the ethereal tune, she almost drowns. Charlotte comes to with an overwhelming thirst for salt water, a new desire to eat fish, and a heartbeat of only seven beats a minute. She wakes up by the sea almost every day and dead men wash up hours later.
But then Charlotte meets Lorelei, a siren. Lorelei reveals she saved her from drowning with the “Siren’s Kiss”—a curse that made Charlotte a soulless immortal. Her role as a siren is simple: guide the souls of the dead at sea. Too bad taking care of the dead means being stuck in the middle of a war between a fertility goddess and the sirens . . . and losing her soul. If Charlotte wants to regain her mortality, she must find love with a mortal. And if she fails to secure it, she risks becoming a puppet to the gods.
Stephanie Jenkins lives in Tennessee with her husband and two small children. When she's not writing young adult fantasy or cleaning Crayola off walls, she enjoys going to the gym and over-indulging in old musicals. She may or may not be slightly addicted to Disney princess films and sour gummy worms.
What will readers like about your book?
LURE is a new take on siren mythology. I remember reading The Odyssey in English class, thinking to myself "What if the sirens weren't all bad? Everyone has a back story, right?" Also, my book appeals to fans of YA fantasy who like romance.
Why did you self publish?
I had a traditional agent at one point but things didn't work out. LURE is kind of like my baby, so I wanted to get it out in the world!
What is your writing process?
Philly cheese-steak sandwiches, Pepsi, and Cheetos. I'm really healthy, huh? But seriously, I try to write at least a chapter a day. Sometimes that doesn't quite work out and sometimes, I exceed my goal by five chapters. I used to make an attempt at outlining but I'm more of a pantster.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Between three weeks and three months. When I'm crazy in love with my novel, I rarely leave my computer!
What inspired you to write this particular story?
Incubus! They have a song called "Anna Molly" and the first lines are: "A cloud hangs over this city by the sea . . . I watch the ships pass and wonder if she might be out there and sober." As soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted to write about sirens living on the coast!
It was definitely time to go. Chewing my bottom lip, I stood up and toyed with my back pockets. He pushed himself to his feet and curled his fingers around my arms. I looked down at the ocean. I preferred its unpredictability to his. “I never said that.”
“But do you?”
I thought of Mom, everything that happened last year, and knew a major part of me truly despised Gloucester. My response was bitter and painful. “Why do you care?” One of his hands cupped my chin. Our eyes touched—I didn’t like his all that much tonight. They were too nosy. He touched my temple with his other hand when I tried to tug away. “Please don’t.”
Please don’t look at me like that. Please stop making me want to tell you things you don’t need to know. “My curfew is 11, we better get going.”
Two things happened then: he leaned in to kiss me, lowering his eyelids. My internal panic alarm immediately went off; I darted out of the way. I expected him to straighten, glare at me, then flounce back to his family’s McMansion, but that didn’t happen. Instead, he lost his balance. I reached out to grab his shoulder, and my fingertips grazed the soft cotton fabric on the back of his shirt.
Frozen, I watched as he fell over the edge into the water. He didn’t have a chance against the current and went under.
“Help me, Charlotte,” he whispered.