If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Amy McNulty, be sure to check out all the details below.
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About the Book:
Title: SALT & VENOM (Blood, Bloom, & Water #2)
Author: Amy McNulty
Pub. Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon
An emboldened merman. The daring girl who agreed to be his champion. The upcoming battle that threatens to change everything they believe in.
Ivy Sheppard never wanted the ability to turn into a mermaid—though her wicked ice powers are nothing to sneeze at. Now her step-sister is her enemy, the fairy she once trusted may not be the ally she hoped for, and her new boyfriend wants her to transfer schools to avoid the vampires taking over Union High. Between dodging parents’ concerns, pretending she can stand to even look at the step-sister who sided with the bloodsuckers, and still aiming to end it all without violence, Ivy is in over her head. Unfortunately, these ancient enemies are itching to get the conflict started and Ivy may have no choice but to become the warrior the merfolk need her to be.
The second book in the Blood, Bloom, & Water series starts the war between fangs and fins in earnest as the merfolk plan their assault to bring down the unnatural undead vampires once and for all.
Title: FANGS & FINS A Paranormal Romance (Blood, Bloom, & Water Book 1)
Author: Amy McNulty
Pub. Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Goodreads
A dapper vampire. A sullen merman. Two heirs to a great conflict—and each needs to claim a beloved to become his kindred’s champion.
High school senior Ember Goodwin never had a sister, but after her mom’s remarriage, she now has two. The eldest is no stranger to her—Ivy is a witty girl in her grade who’s almost never spoken to the shy bookworm before—but she’s surprised to find the popular girl quite amiable. Their burgeoning friendship is tested, however, when Dean Horne, a pale, besuited charmer, shows interest in them both and plans to reveal his appetite for blood to the one who’ll stand by his side.
Seventeen-year-old Ivy Sheppard is tired of splitting her time between her dad’s and her mom’s, particularly when her dad uproots their lives to move them in with his new wife and step-daughter. Used to rolling with her parents’ whims, she tries to make the best of it and befriend her nerdy new step-sister. Her hectic life grows more unwieldy when she catches the eye of junior Calder Poole, whom she swears she sees swap well-toned legs for a pair of fins during a dip in a lake. Now she’s fending off suitors left and right, all while trying to get to the bottom of the strange happenings in her town.
The first book in the Blood, Bloom, & Water series sets family against family and friend against friend as an epic, ancient war comes to a head in a supposedly sleepy suburb.
Blossom didn’t often have time for me when Autumn was around. Though the cat was no spring chicken, she still had a youthful spring in her step, and only an eight-year-old with mountains of extra energy was up to the task of satiating the calico’s thirst for prey. Usually in the form of a shoestring or curled-up ball of paper.
But Blossom poked her head up beside my bed and mewed, tapping her paw against my shoulder until I couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle. As I lifted the comforter higher, Blossom snuggled right in against my side.
“At least someone won’t ask what’s wrong with me,” I whispered. “She just knows something is.” My fingers traced circles around one of her soft ears.
Why couldn’t I just tell everyone the truth? Hashtag ImAMermaid. Jokes aside, I was seventeen—albeit almost eighteen—and I didn’t know how to handle this on my own.
I had three parents. Why couldn’t I kick and scream and have a tantrum and wind up coddled in my mom’s or dad’s arms?
My phone buzzed on the nightstand. Shifting so as not to bother Blossom, I grabbed it and saw the message from Calder:
Feeling better? I know last night was… A lot. I’ve got you, though. I promise. I need you more than I’ve ever needed anyone. I’ll try to be a worthy prince, my champion.
A tear slipped down one cheek as I felt my face warming. I put down the phone and wiped the moisture away. Why was I crying? It wasn’t like I was madly in love with the guy.
But apparently, the champion of water was kind of the prince’s fiancée. So I had a boyfriend now. I’d never had one who’d lasted more than a few dates.
Now I was tied to one—cute, kind of shy though he might be—possibly for the rest of my life. We could one day lay our merbaby eggs in the blood of my fallen step-sister.
No and no. I still wasn’t planning on either happening.
My phone buzzed again and I swiped away another notification from Paisley. The bits of messages I’d read from her and Lyric asked everything I expected them to, like what in the world had happened last night, was it true that Calder had lost his pants in the Homecoming fire, was I feeling all right and how was Ember, and also, back to the second point, was it true Calder had walked around brazenly with his elephant trunk swinging freely?
I tried not to think about that part. My face was flushing at the memory. I bet the vampires didn’t have cause to go pantsless around their champion. At least not a supernatural one. I wasn’t sure if that was a pro or a con, honestly. Dirty Ivy.
Blossom’s purrs grew louder and louder as she snuggled up beside my cheek, nudging the top of her head against my chin.
“I love you too, Furbaby,” I said, rubbing the back of her neck and being reminded how different the cat at my new place was—Ember’s cat was a scaredy-cat if ever there was one.
The thought of going back there now with how things stood between Ember and me… I couldn’t. But I couldn’t very well explain why I couldn’t to Mom and Dad.
Even if Mom apparently had been hypnotized into accepting Orin as a family friend.
That traitorous faery.
“There she is!” screeched a voice from my partially-open door. Autumn came trotting in—the girl had yet to learn boundaries. Thankfully for her, I was an amazing big sister. If I do say so myself.
“Leave us alone,” I said, just a touch of my grumpy side evident in my voice. Okay, not always an amazing sister.
Autumn flicked on the light switch and padded over to the side of my bed. “Are you cramping?” she asked, twirling a strand of her long, brown hair around her finger. She had on a tie-dyed T-shirt and bright purple zebra pants. The girl could clearly not dress herself, but she was too old for my parents to be picking out outfits for her regardless.
I pushed at her gently, my arm jostling and upsetting the cat. “I’m not on my period every time I’m feeling tired,” I said, grunting. “Geez, you’d have me bleeding twenty-nine days out of thirty.”
“Gross.” She scooped the cat out from beside me, carrying her in her arms like a big, fragile bag of groceries. My sister bounced her up and down and Blossom dug her claws into her human captor’s shoulders, her yellow irises like saucers, but Autumn didn’t even flinch. “Are you still sick from last night?”
“Yes,” I muttered, pulling the cover over my head entirely. “Now go away. And don’t forget to shut off the light.”
“How did you create steam?” she asked. “When you touched that warm blanket they gave you, your hand glowed blue and steam rose out—”
“You were seeing things,” I mumbled. “Now go away.”
“Fine,” she snapped. The pounding of her bare feet against the floor was loud even muffled by the threadbare carpet that ran most of the length of Mom’s townhouse. “Keep your secrets.”
“And stay away from Orin!” I snapped.
“Orin! My boss. My date to Homecoming.” I poked my head out from under the blanket. Mom was hovering behind Autumn in the doorway. Great.
Autumn grinned and Blossom saw her chance to jump down, scattering off into the hallway, my little sister hot on her literal tail.
“How are you feeling?” asked Mom, her fist hovering over the open bedroom door as if it weren’t too late to knock and not be invited in at this point.
“Fine,” I lied, burying my head underneath the blanket once more.
She took that as an invitation because I felt her sit down on the edge of the bed. Her hand touched my shoulder through my barrier of cotton and synthetic fibers keeping me from facing reality and the fact that said reality included faeries, vampires, and merpeople. “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.
She kept stroking my shoulder in silence.
“Don’t you have work today?” I asked. She always had work and it was supposed to be a Dad day anyway. She’d been a homemaker when she and Dad had been together and though she got some “maintenance,” as they called alimony for some reason, she’d had to take on a minimum-wage job at a superstore to make ends meet. Luckily, she and Dad got along well enough that he pretty much paid any and everything related to Autumn’s or my expenses.
I just didn’t get why they couldn’t have gotten along while they’d been married, then.
Sighing, I buried myself deeper in the blankets, barely hearing Mom’s response. Something about swapping shifts.
She tugged the blanket off my head and I groaned. “Hey, listen to me,” she said.
“I am.” Not true.
She stared hard at me until I was forced to look away.
“Did anyone hurt you last night?”
“No,” I lied again. Not like she was thinking. Not who she was thinking.
“No,” I said again, my nails digging into my palm beneath the blanket. Well, I had hurt her.
“Things just got hectic in the chaos.”
“So hectic that boy lost his pants?” Her eyebrow arched.
“They were wet,” I said. “And on fire,” I added. I supposed the latter would excuse it where the former wouldn’t. Even if that was just a little white lie to add to the mountain of them.
“Wet… and on fire?” Mom asked, her neck bending forward even more.
Don’t test me, woman, I thought. You have no idea… “Wet after being on fire.”
Mom took in a deep, audible breath. “Who was that boy, Ivy?”
“Calder Poole,” I said, the name coming out like a petulant toddler forced to reveal the fact that she’d dug her hand into the cookie jar. “He’s on the swim team. Or he was… He just transferred.”
“Okay…” Mom said. “And is he… Do you know him well? I don’t remember you ever hanging out with him before.”
“That’s because I hang with the baseball team, owing to Paisley’s boyfriend being captain of it. Doesn’t mean I don’t know him.” An itch took over the tip of my nose and I rubbed it into my pillow.
Mom kept patting my shoulder. “He was there with someone else and he just happened to help you and Ember—after his pants caught on fire?”
“He was there with me,” I said, not wanting to get into the debate about why someone from a different school was there without a date from Union High. It wasn’t like he’d transferred that long ago anyway.
“But I thought you and Orin…?” Normally, Mom would be having a fit that I’d dated an “older” guy. Ha, try older than dirt, not a couple of years older. But Orin had made her think he was a dear friend of ours somehow. For some reason.
“He’s just a friend,” I said. “Was a friend. And I’m not working for him anymore.”
Not the right thing to say. “Ivy, I know you might need time off, but I told you it’s important to start working as soon as possible. Look at what happened to me. When your father left—” Her phone rang, playing the Jurassic Park theme song, which I knew meant Dad. They’d gone on their first date to see that movie as freshmen in high school. I didn’t know why Mom would want to be reminded of that.
“Take some time off,” she said, letting the phone continue to ring a moment. “Just keep… what happened to me… in mind. A part-time job would be good for you even throughout college.” Her lips pinched as she stared straight at me, and I flinched. She turned away and answered the call. “Yes?”
I ran a finger over the edge of my nightstand, ignoring the buzz that came from my own phone as I picked up half a conversation between my parents.
“That’s great!” said Mom, a smile on her face. She lowered the phone to whisper to me, “Ember got the all-clear. She’s home and feels fine.”
I flinched. Not that I wanted her to be ill, of course, but… But… She was the enemy now. She’d sealed the deal before I had.
I’d missed some of Mom’s side of the conversation. “He wants you and Autumn to still come over tonight,” she told me, Dad clearly on hold. “They’re going to order in.”
“No!” I shouted, sitting up and practically whapping my poor mother across the face with my blankets.
I could hear the muffled sound of Dad’s voice—he’d probably heard that.
Mom shrank back. “Sunday is usually spent with your dad—”
“Right. Oh, right.” Covering my face with my hands, I winced. My throat was dry. “It’s just… Mom, I barely feel like moving. Maybe Autumn can go and I…” I didn’t say anything more.
Mom turned back to her conversation and spoke in a hushed voice. Then she held the phone out to me. “Your father wants to speak to you.”
“Tell him I’m sick or something,” I said.
“I heard that, young lady,” came Dad’s voice from the speaker.
“Ugh,” I said, bringing my knees up and resting my forehead atop them.
Mom spoke to him again and then hung up a few moments later. “We agreed both you and Autumn can stay here an extra night,” she said. “Ember’s dad is in town anyway. I get the feeling things are… tense between him and Noelle. They thought maybe having a crowd would make things less awkward.”
“They’re inviting him to dinner with them?” I asked. All the more reason not to bother going. Like I needed another awkward thing happening inside my own home when all I wanted to do was sleep for the rest of my life.
“He’s staying at a motel, but yes, he’s coming over for dinner.” Mom sighed as a crash echoed from downstairs—the townhouse was cramped, but there was a kitchen, living room, and half-bath on the first floor. “Autumn?” she called out.
Autumn’s giggling rang out even from a floor and several rooms away.
“We’ll talk more later,” said Mom, patting my shoulder again. She stopped when she reached the hallway, looking back at me over her shoulder. “And you’re at least eating dinner with your sister and me,” she said sternly. “I’m not letting you sleep the whole day away.” She flicked the lights off.
Groaning, I rolled onto my side, nestling myself beneath the covers again. My phone buzzed on the stand beside my head and I reached over, holding the power button and confirming I wanted it turned off so the thing would finally go quiet.
Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not reviewing anime professionally or editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.
1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.