Dark Legends Author Spotlight – Demelza Carlton

Rebecca Hamilton,
T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil,
Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
GK DeRosa,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub,
HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage,
Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner,
D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams


This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!


Rebecca Hamilton
T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North



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Ocean’s Gift
Demelza Carlton
Int’l Bestselling Author


You’ll never look at mermaids the same way again.

Mermaids don’t fall in love with humans. For centuries it has been so…

But Sirena is different. She lost her first love to sharks and a storm, cursing the islands that stole him from her.

Times have changed and she must swim ashore once more, to the islands she once cursed. Gone are the boats powered by sail and steam – jet boats with GPS are now the order of the day.

Enter Joe, the deckhand on the Dolphin. A handy man to have around when the lights go out. He’ll fix your generator and have the lights back on in no time, no worries. But can he seduce a siren?

Or will she swim away before he can uncover her secret?

A book about lobsters, beer and boobs, on some cursed islands off the coast of Western Australia. At least, that’s how Joe tells it.

For Sirena, it’s a very different story.


My dream from last night floated through my mind, the details becoming foggier…

At the bottom of the hill, I was surprised to see someone in the cemetery. Until now, I hadn’t paid much attention to the old graves, assuming most of its residents had died hundreds of years ago, based on how crumbled and weathered the tombstones were.

The mysterious woman was kneeling on the soft dying grass, facing one of the small headstones. Her back to me, she looked stoic, almost like a part of the graveyard itself.

I slowed my pace, determined not to interrupt her as I passed. Off to the right, I spotted the same old farm road from the other day, and I picked up speed, enjoying the hot wet vibrations of the wind passing by. As I turned sharply, I took one last look back toward the cemetery. Expecting to see the stone-like woman, I was surprised to see her gone already.

She must live close by, I wondered, focusing back ahead. Like I did a couple of days ago, I veered off the beaten path and slipped through the gap in the trees that led to the fence line.

My eyes traveled the length of its wires as I jogged in place, noting that the fence was twisted and bent in spots. Instead of running in the direction of town like I did the other day, I took a new route, going the opposite direction.

I’ll just follow the fence until it ends so I can see where it goes, I decided resolutely. It was silly and childish, but I suddenly felt this insatiable need to satisfy the curiosity burning inside me…and as I ran, I could feel the same high from last night returning. The touch and smell of Adam still clung to my skin…

Moving along the fence line, I tried to catch a glimpse of something behind the foliage, or the lake I thought I’d seen the other day, but after jogging nearly a mile, it was more of the same.

I was in the middle of nowhere now. Peering up through the clearing, I could see a dirt road with no houses on it.

Suddenly anxious, I stopped and listened. Would I hear that dog beyond the fence again? I’d almost forgotten about the barking…

But I couldn’t hear anything besides the rustling of wind in the trees and the slight clinking sounds of the fence rattling.

A shockingly cold gust of wind blew right through my sweat-soaked hair, causing me to shiver. What had started out as a bright sunny day, was suddenly getting colder…and darker. The fence seemed to stretch for miles, and I was suddenly hit with a strange sense akin to walking in the desert. Is that the end of the fence line I see? Or is this some sort of twisted mirage?

But as I moved against the dank and chilly air, I saw what did in fact look like the end of the fence line. The fence itself curled around, moving in another direction. One spot in the fence looked open. It was shaking in the wind, the culprit of the clinking sounds I’d heard
only moments earlier…

All of a sudden, I was running, eager to see. As I reached the corner where the fence turned, I realized it was loose. There was a tiny gap at the end, a jagged opening that looked to have been created by someone.

A hole in the elusive fence. How can I resist going through it?

The adult in me was sounding alarm bells, but the kid in me couldn’t resist…

The gap in the fence was more like a tear, and before I could change my mind, I did a quick look around to make sure I was alone, and then I tried to squeeze through the gap. The metal wires were jagged in spots, and even sucking in my small belly, I barely made it through.

The wires tore at my arms and torso, and once through, I stopped to observe my wounds, catching my breath. They were superficial, but bleeding. Thoughts of tetanus drifted through my mind, but I quickly tried to dispel them, using my shirt itself to wipe blood away from the tiny scratches.

On this side of the fence there was thick vegetation. Impulsively, I pushed through it, trying to stay as quiet as possible. I don’t see any ‘No Trespassing’ signs, but the fence made it very clear…I’m not supposed to be back here.

Sharp pointy sticks and roots clustered the dry earthy ground, so I took my time, pushing through the trees and prickly bushes. There was no sound; no birds, no nothing, as I entered the dense forest.

Even the fence had stopped rattling behind me.

Hesitantly, I looked back in the direction of the fence, but couldn’t see it now through the murky wall of trees behind me I’d just passed through.

Darting forward through trees and overturned logs, I prayedthat I wouldn’t get lost.

I felt compelled to keep going, to see what lie ahead that was so important it had to be fenced in and kept secret like Fort Knox…

My heart nearly burst with relief as I saw the trees widening. I was approaching something…but what that something was, I couldn’t be certain.

But that’s when I heard it—soft babbling sounds of a creek or water source. Was this the water I spotted through the trees the other day?

Off to my right, the sound of water quickened, and I followed it like a beacon. A few yards later, I nearly stepped right up to the edge of the lake as it seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Abruptly remembering my dream from last night, I recognized the same bright white blue water. Mist hovered like a blanket above it.

Standing at the water’s edge, I could see clear across to the other side of the lake. There were triangular shaped hills in the distance and a thick white fog hovering around them.

I followed along the edge, my eyes immediately drawn to smooth white marble and stone, a building or monument of some sort standing in the distance.

For a brief moment, I considered turning back…but I’d come this far. I had to see what else there was back here…

Nervously, I moved toward the stone building, and as I grew closer, I realized it had crumbling steps leading up to a flat empty square of space.

Stealing up nearly three dozen stone steps, I went to the center of it, turning around in circles on the flat stone surface.

There were no picnic tables or statues, just an open gazebo-like platform.

I didn’t shout, but I know if I did, my voice would have echoed for miles…

“Neat,” I said, feeling like I’d found my own treasure. I went back to the steps, plopping down on the top stair. From here, I could see the brilliant blue lake below, and although I was still not as high as the trees, I could see farther across the expanse of land on the other side of the lake.

A massive gnarly twisted tree stood out from all the rest. Even from this far away, I could see that it dwarfed every other tree and plant around it.

It looked wicked cool, with massive long branches pointing in every direction.

Nobody lives here. There are no houses. But someone must own this property. I wonder why they let it go…

“Miss?” The voice out here was so abrupt and shocking, that I screamed and jumped up, nearly tumbling down the high stony stairway.

I looked behind me toward the sound of the voice, surprised to see a boy standing on the flat square surface above.

His head tilted to the side, taking in all of my features, as though he was trying to figure me out.

“I-I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I didn’t know anyone was back h-here. You frightened me.”

“I didn’t know you were here either,” he said, his voice as a low as a whisper. His skin was white as milk, his hair and eyes nearly matching the shocking bright blue of the lake. If it wasn’t for the hollowed out cheeks and deep purplish marks beneath his eyes, he would have looked exquisite.

“I’m leaving. I just…needed to see what was back here.”

I stumbled a few steps forward, looking back at the boy.

“And now that you have, what do you think? Is it all that you expected?” His voice was so strange, as was his question, and I found myself getting scared. I was suddenly aware of how alone I was.

He walked toward me, his feet silent. I realized he wasn’t wearing any shoes.

His clothes were odd as well, faded dark cloth pants and a matching black shirt that looked homemade.

“Again, I’m sorry,” I muttered, jogging back down the steps, eager to leave.

“Wait,” said the man, who really was just a boy, my age or slightly younger. When I glanced back, his expression was sad now, as though I’d disappointed him.

“You don’t remember me, do you?” Even though he was standing no more than ten feet away, his words vibrated against my skin. The question reminded me of Adam’s question the other day, and I felt my insides constrict.

“No. We’ve never met, I’m sure of that.” I’d never been so sure of anything…

“But that isn’t so.” He was smiling now, a secret curling up the edges of his lips, his words melodic.

Still moving down the steps, I was eager to get away from this stranger. A stranger who claims to know you, I reminded myself.

“N-no, I just moved here…I don’t know you…”

He was standing at the very top of the stone platform, his bare feet lined up with the edge. From here, he looked eight feet tall…and intimidating.

“I know you, Dorothea Landry. I always have.”

And with that, I was running, suddenly scared of the boy. I raced down the steps and back along the water’s edge, careful not to slip in, and when I found a decent-sized gap in the trees, I darted through. How did he know my name? That question pierced through my mind over and over as I ran.

Fearful I wouldn’t find my way back to the fence, you can imagine my relief a few moments later, when I saw the glint of metal up ahead.

“Oh, thank God,” I cried, pressing my face and hands to the twisted metal. Keeping my hand on the fence, I followed it east, until I found the same jagged hole I came in through.

I wiggled through hole, faster this time, and screeched as the metal tore straight through my shirt, slicing a deep cut in my belly.

But as soon as I was out, I kept running, looking back over my shoulder a few times for the boy. But he wasn’t there, and for that, I was grateful…


Demelza Carlton

Featured Book: Ocean’s Gift

Hiya, and thanks for having me. I’m a little nervous, but I shall do my best not to stammer too much.

Welcome, Demelza! It always amazes me when writers say that; they have such a command of the English language and are such magic wordsmiths! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
I’ve been writing for over 20 years, but I’ve only been published for four of them. Ah…come to writing or come to writing something I intended to publish? Because the first book I wrote was actually the third book I published, and there’s a reason for that. Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer…no, the whole Nightmares Trilogy, is very dark.
Psychological thriller type dark. It was based on a series of recurring nightmares I had during the trial of two notorious serial killers in my home town. While I won’t go into the gory details, they kidnapped and tortured women before they killed them and disposed of the bodies. The only reason they were caught is because when they were about to kill one of the girls, she managed to escape and get help. That’s where the similarity ends, though, because my serial killers are subject to a much darker kind of justice than the Australian legal system.
I thought the whole thing – which was just the one book then, not a trilogy at all – was too dark to publish or even show anyone, but I was talking to some other authors on the site Wattpad, who expressed a desire to read some of it. They’d tell me if it was too dark, they
So…I posted the first few chapters. And within a matter of days, those chapters had over ten thousand reads. So I posted a few more…and a few more…until in the end I posted the whole book on Wattpad, and the website staff offered to feature it to their (then) ten million readers. I think it had more than two and a half million reads or something – a very popular book. So, I went from believing it was too dark to release, to publishing the first book…and two more in the trilogy as it stands now.
But if you’re asking about why I published my first book…that’s Ocean’s Gift, a light comedy urban fantasy.

How did you come up with this storyline?
Ah….that’s kind of a funny story, really. I did my Masters research on shipwrecks at several remote islands off the West Australian coast, and as I was writing up my dissertation, I came across one shipwreck that just didn’t make sense. During a cyclone in the 1920s, a fishing boat broke free of its moorings with the two-man crew still aboard. One man managed to swim ashore, but the other couldn’t swim, so he disappeared in the waves when the boat sank. Everyone thought he drowned, but his body wasn’t found…until more than three weeks later, when it washed up miles from where the boat went down, in the complete opposite direction to the ocean currents.
Stranger still, the man was recognizable – which meant his corpse hadn’t been floating at sea for all those weeks – and he’d done some first aid to his broken leg. There was nowhere the man could have been all that time except in the ocean, because if he’d washed up on the island, someone would have seen him and helped him. So how could a man survive for three weeks at sea, do first aid on himself, and yet drown within sight of land?
No matter how much research I did, I couldn’t solve the mystery, so I wrote “mermaids did it” in my report and left it at that.
When I did the final proofread of my report, I burst out laughing when I saw that bit, because it was still there. I quickly deleted it, submitted my dissertation, and decided to celebrate with a glass of wine.
Wine in hand, I decided to search mermaid myths on the internet. Was it actually possible? I was amazed to find heaps of mermaid stories from all over the Indian Ocean, and of course I also dug out my copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales to read the fairytale I remembered.
Put the two together with my miracle man, and I had a story. What if the reason mermaids went ashore was a biological imperative – they needed human men in order to breed – but instead of saving the man like the prince in Anderson’s tale, what if my Indian Ocean mermaid accidentally lost him to the waves? She’d be heartbroken, not wanting to return to the place she lost the man for a very long time.
And a very long time later, she did come ashore again, at the same islands, investigating an environmental issue. Right at the same time as a brand new deckhand starts work on a lobster fishing vessel at the islands – a deckhand who’s very interested in the woman who lives in the fishing shack next door to his. And he just happens to have the same first name as the man she lost to the waves…

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best part is getting lost in the story.
I love the research and working with new characters in amazing places and seeing just what they can come up with to make their story special. The worst bit…is when the characters are so real to me that they hijack my head, the story and anything else they can get their imaginary hands on. So when I was writing Joe Fisher, the deckhand who’s in love with the woman he doesn’t know is a mermaid, and I walked past a reflective window while I was wearing a low-cut top, the thought that popped into my head was a very clear, “Ooh, boobs!” I’ll never forget that moment, because it was like Joe Fisher was alive in my head…and perving on me.

What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything, especially when my characters won’t shut up. I swear they’re either having a party in my head or starting World War III. At least, I think it’s war. It might be a particularly violent orgy, which is entirely possible, as Lucifer features in several of my books and he gets quite vocal. I honestly don’t know.

How did you conduct your research for Ocean’s Gift?
Ah…well, I used my Masters research, but part of that included site visits to the islands where the book is set. I’ve stayed in those shacks, walked the jetty, been out on the fishing boats…and visited Giuseppe’s grave, and the site where his boat sank.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Ocean’s Gift?
Oh hell…that’s a hard one.
~ When Joe Fisher has a few too many drinks and then tries to drive his dinghy back to the island in the dark:
“I checked out of Hotel Consciousness.
At least I got to dream of Vanessa naked.”

~ Ah…this is an introduction to what Joe did for a living before he signed on as a deckhand, constructing remote mining camps with his offsider, Dean: “While we worked, we lived rough. We were the last people who actually camped there. We slept in swags and cooked outside, in the beam of the spotlights on the top of the car, which was a ute.
There was one ute to two men, and I shared mine with Dean the plumber. Dean was full of shit, so it seemed natural that he was a plumber. Still, he was a better cook than me and a good mate, too.”

~ Dean calls Joe while they’re both between assignments, asking for his help on his uncle’s fishing boat:
“Look, he needs someone as soon as possible. How soon can you get up here?”
Dean’s in Geraldton, then.
“I could finish up at the end of the week and fly up on Sunday,” I told him reluctantly.
“Cool, I’ll get my cousin to sort out your flights and he’ll meet you out on the islands. You can see how it goes the first week and if it works out you get paid to go fishing for the rest of your holidays. Seeya.” He hung up.
Shit. What’ve I got myself into? Knowing Dean, this was going to be a disaster. Oh well, next trip I can always get back at him by putting huge spiders in his swag. He’s terrified of them, but he always forgets to zip his swag up properly. And he screams like a girl when he finds them, too.
What’s the worst that can happen? A week on a free fishing charter and possibly getting paid to fish for weeks after it.
And if it didn’t work out, the next three months of seeing Dean do a high-pitched jig every night when he found spiders in his swag. Hell, there wasn’t a downside that I could see. I started writing down a list of things to pack.

Are reader reviews important to you?
Of course! Without reader reviews, nobody would ever know how good a book is. If you enjoyed it, leave a review!

What do you do when you don’t write?
Honestly? Probably researching my next book. It might not have been my intention when I stepped onto the whale watching boat/jetty over a volcanic lake/the walkway into a million-year-old cave or waded into the water with my dive gear, always with my camera in hand, but by the time I get home, I usually have a new story idea in my head – or something I’d like to include in an existing book.
I should tell you about the snorkelling trip where I spent around an hour chasing this shark around so I could get a picture of it. I never did get a good one. I’ll have to try again sometime.

Tell us about your other books?
Are you sure? I have almost thirty of them now.

Ocean’s Gift has two other books in the series – Ocean’s Infiltrator, and a prequel about Belinda called Water and Fire. I realised after I wrote these that there’s ninety years missing in Vanessa’s tale, so I started writing what I thought was a single book called Turbulence and Triumph. Ha. Now, that’s the name of a series of seven books to date, all of which take place in the 1920s and 1930s, starting with Ocean’s Justice.

My Mel Goes to Hell series is about an angel sent in as a temp to the office from Hell. Quite literally, as the CEO is the devil himself and Mel’s supposed to find out his plans while she’s working there. But the devil falls for the angel – and falls hard – which makes her job a lot more challenging.

My Nightmares Trilogy I’ve already mentioned, but an odd spinoff from that is my Romance Island Resort series. You see, the girl was in a band, and because of what happened to her, she managed to garner some media attention, and once the lead singer’s interview went viral, the band just sort of took off.
Five years later, that lead singer, Jay Felix, is one of the hottest rock stars in the world, with more money than he knows what to do with, and the band breaks up. He buys Romance Island Resort, a luxury celebrity resort off the West Australian coast, and proceeds to look for love…inspired by the resort’s library of romance books. But what works for most romance heroes always seems to go wrong for him, even if he does get the girl in the end. Just not the way he intended. Yes, I have other projects in the works…but that’s all I can talk about for now.

Thank you so much for joining us and sharing a little of yourself with our readers and fans. We’ll be looking for you on the ‘Bestseller Lists’!
Thank you so much for having me – and letting me chew your ear off about my books.


demelza-carlton1Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world. The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.

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