Blog Tour- Call of the Sea

Today I am honored to take part in the Call of the Sea by Rebecca Hart blog tour! This was such a unique book that I truly loved and I know I will be reading again and again. It really reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean! You guys can all check out my review here
I am really lucky and grateful to Rebecca Hart because she is providing a guest post for my tour stop! Check out why she chose to write about selkies.

Why I Chose to Feature Selkies in Call of the Sea

If you take a look at my bio information, do a little research into my internet history, or even talk to my kids, it won’t take you long to learn I really am a reformed gaming junkie. For me, the addiction started with Ultima Online (UO) and private role playing servers and progressed to the level of ridiculous when I started playing World of Warcraft (WoW). Video crack is not a euphemism; it is an honest reality.

Anyway, during my time playing UO, one of the private servers created a playing realm where the characters were all of a magical, or mythical nature. I’ve always been a sort of “against the grain” type of person, so I wanted to find something unique. I stumbled across the selkie myth and my mouth fell open. I’d always considered myself versed in Irish folk tales and myths, so why had I never heard of a selkie?

The search was on. In the end, I found very little about selkies beyond what is easy to find. For the sake of reference, this is the basic Myth of the Selkie:

From Wiki: Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, Scottish folklore. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, (from Old English seolh meaning seal.) Selkies are said to live as seals n the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands

The Legend:

Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. In other stories the human will hide the selkie’s skin, thus preventing it from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea.

Male selkies are very handsome in their human form, and have great seductive powers over human women. They typically seek those who are dissatisfied with their life, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. If a woman wishes to make contact with a selkie male, she has to go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.

If a man steals a female selkie’s skin she is in his power and is forced to become his wife. Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. If she finds her skin she will immediately return to her true home, and sometimes to her selkie husband, in the sea.

Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin (often unwitting of its significance) and she soon returns to the sea. The selkie woman usually avoids seeing her human husband again but is sometimes shown visiting her children and playing with them in the waves.

Selkies are not always faithless lovers. One tale tells of the fisherman Cagan who married a seal-woman. Against his wife’s wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home. His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home.

How tragically romantic, right? A story waiting to be written. A character waiting to be played. I did indeed create my selkie for that role playing server, and the seeds of interest in the selkie myth rooted themselves in my subconscious.

Close to ten years later, I was tossing around the idea for Call of the Sea. I’d conjured Ellie, and knew from the moment I met her, she was meant to twist up gender roles. Her personality is definitely not meek and she made it known her match would have to be something special. Enter romantic tragedy — and the selkie myth into my somewhat sadistic mind. I’d twisted the typical pirate role to a female, so it only made sense to do the same with her male counterpart, and a male selkie fit the bill just perfectly.

And my irresistible Irish selkie, Daniel O’Rourke was born.

I’ve grown quite fond of him. :)

Thank you so much Rebecca! Inkspell and Rebecca have provided a signed copy of Call of the Sea!

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A little bit about Rebecca!

Rebecca Hart is a single parent, full time IT geek, and reformed gaming addict living in Upstate NY. When not at the office with her nose buried in a laptop trying to fix it, she can be found at home with her nose buried in a laptop, writing instead. Her debut novel, a Paranormal Romance titled CALL OF THE SEA, will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a release date of June 21, 2012, giving Rebecca one more reason to look forward to summer. Rebecca’s short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Pill Hill Press, Wicked East Press and DFE Quarterly (erotica). She enjoys hearing and interacting with her readers.

Rebecca’s Website
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Inkspell Publishing Website

CALL OF THE SEA will be on sale 30% off from June 21st to June 30th at Inkspell Publishing Store

Rebecca Hamilton “What Kept Me Going” Guest Post

The Forever Girl

How I got where I am today and what kept me going…

My entire life, I’ve always been passionate and determined. Though I had an emotionally-rough time from childhood through my teen years, battling depression, thoughts of suicide, and self-mutilation, in the end, I think I very much wanted to live. Life just sucked, but it was a temporary situation and I didn’t really understand that, even though when I was young I—like most people—thought I knew everything.

There was a lot going on that caused those feelings, perhaps one of the biggest problems being that I didn’t feel understood, I was uncomfortable in my own skin (I have severe sensory issues), and I had social anxiety. I still get panic attacks when I spend too much time in public, though I feel a little more comfortable doing so and a person wouldn’t know by talking to me (I don’t think) how hard it is for me to follow the natural flow of social interaction.

Writing was a huge outlet for me from the time I could write. I felt I always expressed myself better that way, though the reality was that no matter what form of expression I used, there were people in my life who didn’t understand me because they didn’t want to, not because I was somehow defunct in all areas of expressing myself. (Though I’m still not very great at it, as a child, I was surrounded by people who used that to make me feel bad instead of trying to understand where I was coming from and approaching me that way.)

At one point, someone who was important in my life and should have been a safe person for my talk to told me to “go ahead and kill myself” that they “wouldn’t care because it wasn’t their fault”. As melodramatic as it sounds, as a teen, it sure felt like it was their fault. But then I grew up and learned to be accountable for myself.

We moved a lot when I was a kid, so I never really had a best friend (until I was an adult). I didn’t have a lot of friends in school, either, and I think that desire for connection led to make some bad choices. So desperate was I to get out of my house that I ended up renting a room in a bad neighborhood, which eventually led to a gun being pulled on my now-husband (who sort of “rescued” me from the situation) and having my car windshield smashed in with a tire iron.

None of it was good. And even after I got out of my situation, I still battled depression for a long time. I learned things in my adult life that made me feel as though my entire life was a lie, or at the very least I could trust the one person who’s only saving grace with me had been their honesty.

Just to be clear, I didn’t grow up in a physically abusive home or anything like that. I’m just a little more sensitive to words I guess. And my step-dad is AWESOME and to me he is just DAD. My mom and I have a good relationship today.

Anyways… I don’t think I ever wanted to die. I wanted a lot of things, but that wasn’t it. I wanted someone to care if I did die. I wanted someone to treat me like they cared if I was alive. At times, I just wanted to go stay in a hospital for a while to get away from some people.

What I’m going to say next isn’t going to make me seem strong or amazing or anything like that. I apologize in advance. But it will be completely, nakedly honest.

I “got better” for entirely the wrong reason. Because the right reason would have been that I started caring about myself (which I do now, but that’s not how I “got better” initially). Instead, I got better because I was pregnant. At twenty years old and married for just over a year, I had a baby on the way. I had someone who would always need me, even if they wouldn’t always think so, and someone who I had the responsibility to take care of. I couldn’t leave them in this world because no one else would love them as much as me or in the way I would. And that’s when any desires toward check out of this world left completely.

No, I didn’t have grand illusions of finally having someone who would love and care about me. I understand full-well that children are takers more than they are givers, at least initially. But in a sense, I will say that giving to others is sometimes the best way to give to yourself. Maybe in some ways, loving them was loving myself, too.

I don’t know if the real healing happened because of that moment, or just because of time, but that part came, too. I still get a little down in the dumps sometimes, but suicide never crosses my mind. I don’t want to escape. I don’t want to make bad decisions or give up on life in any way.

Now I have three kids. And they are a huge part of my life. Other things are a part of my life, too. I have many passions and interests, most specifically reading and writing. (Reading had always been my escape.) Creativity is so much better than destruction.

I began writing four years ago. It was something I’d just always wanted to do. But it means so much more to me. Writing is another thing that just ignites my passion for life and my love of being alive. And I just want to live, and if I could, I’d live forever so I could just keep writing.

To anyone out there who might be battling depression, don’t be as directionless in getting help as I was. Don’t wait for someone else to care about you. Care about yourself. Find a passion for something in life and you will find a passion for living. I won’t go on to list hotlines or websites for two reasons. I’ve tried those people, and they never helped me. They mean well, though. Plus, a google search can give you a hundred of those. I do recommend getting outside help if you can find it, but if you can’t, don’t lost hope.

I got to where I am today because I’m stubborn and passionate. I got here because I loved and because I learned to love myself. I got to where I am today because I persevered even when things sucked. I got to where I am today because there are people in the world who care, and I gave myself the time it took to find them.

Hannah, the lovely host of this blog, talks to her kids in school about following their dreams. And I think a huge part of that is daring to dream in the first place. Everyone needs to give themselves permission to do so, no matter who you are, no matter what your struggles are in life or even if you have no struggles at all. Dare to dream. Never let go.

Thanks again for having me here today, Hannah.