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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meet Sheri Swift Guest Author

Things have been so crazy for me this week, but I am happy to introduce to you, Sheri Swift, my guest author. We will be switching places today. Sheri is coming here and I'm going to her blog:

Sheri and I met at SheWrites in the Blooming Late group and if anyone here is over 40 and needs some support from caring and supportive women this is the place for you. Actually SheWrites is only for women of all ages and if you browse their groups you will find one especially for you. The Blooming Late group has been a wonderful place where I can go and find people who will just listen!!! I have the link on my Author page.

You can find my post on Sheri's blog today.

Here is more about Sheri:

Sheri L. Swift originally wrote her story (LEGEND OF THE MER) when she was seventeen in her Junior year of High School; in her creative writing class.  After that, she says that life happened and she went on to marry and have four daughters.  When her baby finally entered College she began to rewrite the story.
Although Sheri L. Swift was raised a West Coast girl, she and her family moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 1995.  They quickly fell in love with the East Coast and began vacationing there.  After her daughters went on a Mission Trip that included time on Ocracoke Island along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, she began to draw inspiration for her Safe Harbor Island.  She believes that Ocracoke's rich history inspired her to write a better story.
Sheri L. Swift is a wife, mother of five daughters (one *adopted* from her Church Family), five sons-in-love and grandmother of eight.  She says that they are the joy in her life.  She leads the Prayer Ministry for her Church (Blue Ridge Fellowship) which is a Purpose Driven Church.  She considers herself to be an inspirational writer and also enjoys writing poetry.  She’s also a cancer survivor.
You can find out more about her:
Twitter:  @sherilswift

17 year old Lana Prentis has some unusual physical challenges:  White hair, skin, silver eyes and webbed fingers and toes.  She lives on Safe Harbor Island off the Coast of North Carolina.  Her father (Cole) is the lighthouse keeper and also the keeper of many secrets.  Lana soon discovers the truth about herself and her mother.  She learns that she has a heritage as rich and deep as the sea ~ and that her future lies beneath it.

Lana helped Miss Perry get the boat out from the dock.  Miss Perry rowed, and as she did, she began to tell Lana a story. “You see Lana, when my mother was a little girl she believed in mermaids.  She believed in them so much that a few times a year she would make them gifts and take them out to Gull Island.  She would string beads into necklaces and would also bring gifts of fruit, because she thought that they enjoyed it and were never able to get it for themselves.”
“That’s such a sweet story.  I can’t believe she went to Gull Island.  No one is allowed there because of the danger of the rocks and reefs.”  Lana looked seriously at Miss Perry.
“Well yes, that’s true.  It is usually very dangerous and the Harbor Master doesn’t allow it.  But, you see, my mother only went on a mermaid day.” Miss Perry smiled brightly.
“What’s a mermaid day?” Lana asked smiling at the thought of it.
“It only happens a few times a year.  It’s when the water is so calm that there is barely a wave rippling out at Gull Island.  It’s when the sun is bright and warm.  The island is usually shrouded by fog, but not on a mermaid day,” said Miss Perry as she pointed out towards Gull Island.
“You mean that’s where we’re going?” Lana asked in disbelief.
“Yes, you see, it is a mermaid day and all is calm and sunny.  I have been going to Gull Island at least once a year since I was the age of ten.  That’s when my mother died of cancer.  My father would go out fishing all day and I was cared for by my grandmother.  On a mermaid day, I would wait until she nodded off to sleep in the afternoon and take my treasures to Gull Island and leave them there for the mermaids.”  Miss Perry smiled proudly.
“I can’t believe that my dad hasn’t tried to stop you.”
“Oh, I won’t say he hasn’t tried.  I just tell him that it’s a mermaid day and he shakes his head laughing at me,” she said laughing herself.
Gull Island really wasn’t an island at all.  It was just a large stone rising up out of the water in a triangular shape.  It was named Gull Island because it’s where the seagulls gather.  Lana had always seen it from the lighthouse and it was a comforting landmark.  It was constant and never changing, except for the fog coming and going.  It was a good three miles out from Safe Harbor Island and Lana couldn’t believe that two little girls have rowed there.
“I ‘m so glad that you came along with me,” said Miss Perry.
“I am too, I always wanted to go there even though I knew it wasn’t allowed,” giggled Lana.
“Yes, I don’t always do the things I should, or maybe it’s that I don’t always trust others judgment of things.  I like to find out a thing for myself.”  Miss Perry grinned.
Lana smiled and said, “I can see that we are a lot alike.”  Just then, Lana looked up to see the massive stone in front of her and something seemed so familiar.
“The only place to leave your gifts for the mermaids is on the other side,” Miss Perry said as she rowed around the large stone mountain.  As she did, Lana saw a flat ledge that rose two feet out of the water.  It was a good six feet in width and eight feet in length.  Then Lana began to remember the feel of the stone beneath her legs as she sat there when she was a child.  She even thought she remembered her father sitting there with her and even her...
“Lana, what is it?” Miss Perry asked with concern for the look on Lana’s face.
“I, I’m not sure.  I can remember being here as a child.  I sat on that very ledge,” she said as she began to look down into the blue and green shimmering water.
“You remember being here?”
“Yeah with my dad, and I think my mom?”  Lana continued staring down into the water.
“Lana, are you alright?”
“Yeah, I think so.  It’s just that I feel so strange, it’s like I can remember swimming here.  Not just here, but down there,” said Lana as she looked up at Miss Perry confused by it.
“Maybe your dad did bring you here to swim before.”
Lana began to remember all she saw beneath the water, it was like she could almost remember every rock and reef below.  How could I?  If I was here when my mother was alive, I’d have been a toddler.
Miss Perry brought out a shell necklace from a duffle bag, as well as a dozen or so oranges. “This is my mermaid offering this year.  You think they’ll like it?”
“Sure,” Lana said, not looking up from the water.
“Lana, is there something you would like to talk about?” Miss Perry asked seriously.
“No, not right now anyway.  Miss Perry, please don’t freak out or anything.  It’s just, I have to know what’s down there,” Lana said as she began to pull off her tennis shoes.
Miss Perry could not believe what she thought Lana was about to do, “Lana, what are you doing?”
“I know it sounds crazy, but I have to go for a swim.  I don’t want you to worry about me; in fact, I’ve become an even better swimmer than I ever imagined.  My dad said that I took after my mom who was a really good swimmer,” Lana said as she pulled off her shorts that were covering her swimsuit.
“Lana, you can’t be serious, the tide can change at any moment.  Your father was right, this is a dangerous place and you could be crushed by the rocks and reefs below!” Miss Perry shouted as she tried to stop her.
“Miss Perry, I don’t have time to explain this right now, but trust me.  I won’t get hurt.  I don’t know how, I just know that’s all.  Please tell my father that I’ll swim home later,” said Lana as she jumped into the water.
Miss Perry was gripped with fear and yelled, “Lana, I can’t just leave you here!”
“Yes, you can.  I’m sorry, but I have to do this for myself.  Please do what you always tell me, take a risk Miss Perry.  Trust me in this,” said Lana as she dove down into the water deep below.
The water was so thick and had the most beautiful blue-green she had ever seen, and yet, it was so familiar.  As she got closer to the bottom, she saw sights just as she had remembered.  How could a toddler remember what the bottom looked like?  How could I have swum here at such a young age?  But, now she knew she had.  This was not her imagination, she had been here before.  She knew what every boulder down here looked like and where to find the next one.  The coral went from hues of pink to burgundy.  She even saw a spade fish like the ones she remembered.  There were several lion fish and even a sting ray floating effortlessly near the surface.
Out of the corner of Lana’s eye, she saw a grey dolphin swimming in her direction.  At first she was a little scared, but as he got closer she felt more relaxed and realized that he was friendly.  He swam past her legs rubbing up against them as he did.  Lana put her hand down and let it run along his side as he passed.  How wonderful he felt.  He was cold and slippery; he seemed to enjoy her touch.  Lana grabbed onto his top (dorsal) fin and let him pull her along and he sped up and she loved it.  The dolphin sped past rocks and reefs, dodging in and out of them.  Lana couldn’t help but laugh inside at the fun she was having.  None of this makes sense, but I don’t care, she thought.  Lana decided to just enjoy the moment.
It wasn’t long and Lana began to get lightheaded.  The pain on either side of her neck began to throb again.  She let go of the dolphin and realized that she no longer recognized where she was or how deep she was.  It was such a rich dark shade of blue everywhere she looked.  The dolphin kept nudging her, but her head was now aching and she couldn’t think straight.  Am I looking upward to the surface or downward to the ocean floor?  Lana was getting dizzy and she began kicking; only not knowing where she was going.  Then everything was a blur and her head felt like it was going to explode.  Her neck felt so strange with stabbing pain on either side.  Then all she could remember was someone’s strong arms cradling her and she blacked out.

Sherie's links:

After reading this excerpt I hope this book will be out soon. Sheri says it will be out sometime in 2012. 

If you visit Sheri's blog and leave a comment, I am giving away a free ebook of If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, which I can tell you has been enjoyed by both young adults ages 10 and up and older women as well as some men.:) Don't take my word for it. Go read my reviews!! I have them posted here on the Review page or you can read them on Amazon.


  1. Thank you for allowing me to talk about my book on your blog. I appreciate it Barbara! ;)

  2. Hi Sheri, Intriguing excerpt, as is your description of Lana...certainly makes me want to read more. And the cover is really nice. I'm assuming the genre is YA. Curious as to whether you self-published or published traditionally.

  3. Hi Nancy. I don't know why, but I didn't get notice of your comment until very late, but at least I saw it:) Thank you for visiting and commenting. Did you visit Sheri's blog too so you have a chance to win my book? I will have to go over and check to see. It's so much fun when SheWrites, Blooming Late people visit!

  4. Thank you Nancy, It is Inspirational YA Fiction/Fantasy. Yes, I did self-publish and I was able to work with a wonderful graphics designer (Derek Murphy ~ Creativindie book covers) that helped bring my character of Lana to life.

  5. Thank you Barbara for responding before I was able to and thank you once again for allowing me to guest blog. ;)

  6. I agree with your comment about the BL writers. I think it's really important that we support each other and this is one way we can do just that. Yes I checked out Sheri's site too. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Nancy! I love the girlfriends of Blooming Late; it's so nice to cheer each other on! ;)

  7. Great blog post and very interesting story. Looking forward to hearing the release date! :)

    Blooming Late is definitely a great group of supportive women!

  8. Thank you, MaryLynn! I agree about Blooming Late. It's a wonderful group!!


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