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SEQUEL to THE DROWNING WORLD just published!


Continue this Aquantan series journey with these shape-shifting characters who survive a tsunami and mysterious quest to discover the truth about their ancestors—and their amphibioius future in a flooded world. All is revealed by the mysterious Tattoo Master, who can see past and future lives. Time travel again into The Drowning World series.

original cover art: Christ Thompson, tattoo artist at Slave to the Needle, Seattle, WA

Tattoo Master, the stunning sequel to The Drowning World, is the second book in the Aquantan series. The novel follows Lukas, Pandora, Marina, and Jake to Cuba—a sinking paradise. Here they encounter the mysterious Aquantan, Master Tara, who has survived SkyeWorld's sickness through her magical skills. Master Tara reveals Lukas's shocking heritage and Marina's destiny. But will Pandora and Jake prove to be loyal ?Or will they betray those theyve sworn to protect?


The first ten readers to email me at

will receive a FREE ebook of TATTOO MASTER on Dec. 2nd!




Dive into Book One: The Drowning World.


Two different people from two very different worlds are about to meet.

 Imagine if Atlantis had survived, but underwater. Acclaimed novelist's new fantasy sci-fi book. Can a mermaid and a human find love? Can they survive in his world and hers?

My fifth novel, The DROWNING WORLD, is a haunting and mesmerizing saga set in a vivid future of rising seas, floating cities, and Flood Lands. 

A regal and highly trained young mermaid, Marina, is on her first spy mission to SkyeWorld in 2020. She comes ashore on Siesta Key, Florida where she meets feisty Lukas, a proud Cuban refugee. Marina will have to choose between the advanced civilization of Aquantis, where she has been chosen as a High Priestess, and her love for Lukas and his dangerously polluted SkyeWorld.

Marina’s magic and skill save Lukas’ life. But can she save her own against a lifelong nemesis from her world?

British Blog Lit Reactor Welcomes THE DROWNING WORLD!

Sick of vampires? Been Twilighted beyond sense? Well, it looks like blood suckers are passé for a lot of female readers — they’ve been replaced by, of all things, mermaids!

According a couple of recent articles (and a mockumentary on Animal Planet, no less) we're seeing a new fascination with the legendary maids of the sea, particularly amongst women and YA fiction. Hell, according to aninterview with USA Today last year, even Twilight supremo Stephenie Meyer is writing a book about ‘em.

According to Brenda Peterson, author of The Drowning World series, she doesn’t really understand the fascination with all that blood and “why a woman would want her life's blood drained away to spend her eternal life with a dead man”.

Mermaids practice more feminine power than most vampires. Like many female wild animals, mermaids choose their own mates. So mermaids are action heroes in their own rights; they are not just acted upon by dashing male vampires who recreate women in their undead image… Unlike the tragic, self-destructive Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale, our 21st century mermaids can live between sea and earth with style and pleasure. And unlike the vampire stories in which death or war are the main themes, mermaid myths focus most on romance and struggling to fit in – or not. For girls and women, adapting to our ever-changing roles and societal expectations, our focus on relationships is like shape-shifting. We are always in moral and romantic dilemmas, such as: How much do we change ourselves to be loved? In a global village, can we love The Other/The Outsider/The Forbidden?

And a quick search for ‘mermaids’ on Amazon brought up thousands of books about the mystical creatures — admittedly, for all ages, although there were hundreds listed in Romance and Teens, so it’s hard to dispute the fact.

So, are mermaids the NEXT BIG THING? I’d bet a lot of traditional publishers think so. We’re more than likely to see a number of new releases in the coming months based on the legends. Wanna bet what the next Twilight series is?


“This underwater world is so believable and vivid and fascinating. It’s a page-turner. Irresistible!”

   —Sy Montgomery, bestselling author, The Good, Good Pig

"The Drowning World is a rollicking good tale of shape-shifting, time travel, mermaids, the secret world of Aquantis, and other dreams of Peterson's glorious imagination--all set against the backdrop of powerful forces--the fate of the seas, human turmoil, young love, and what everyone feels at some point in their life: The sense of being an alien in an alien land. Its pull is oceanic--it quickly lures you deep beneath its waves while time evaporates."

                —Diane Ackerman, The Zookeeper's Wife


“The merpeople and their resplendent undersea setting are so full and rich . . . truly a water world. Amazing and haunting, The Drowning World exceeds the grasp of The Golden Compass in its themes and imaginative reach. A wonderful novel.”

  —Marion Copeland, book critic Nature in legend and Story


The Drowning World, my YA/New Adultl novel was welcomed by Publisher's Weekly in an interview 


Author Turns to Self-Publishing, with Help From ‘Podmates’


By Judith Rosen | 

Mar 10, 2013 

Brenda Peterson is one of the growing number of authors who are working on self-published projects in addition to writing books released by traditional houses. Peterson has written 17 books that were published the traditional way. Her latest, The Drowning World—a science fiction/fantasy tale about a mermaid who is half dolphin and half human—was accepted by a publisher, but Peterson turned down the offer to release the book through her own Delphinius Publishing company.

“I was thrilled,” she said of learning that her manuscript was accepted, “but it was going to come out in spring 2014. It was July 2012, and I wanted to be part of the conversation on mermaids.” Interest was shifting from vampires to mermaids at the time, and Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer announced in an interview in USA Today that she is working on a book featuring the latter. “When I started this book [10 years ago], mermaids were not on the horizon,” Peterson noted. She also wanted to keep her book—about a young mermaid who comes ashore in Florida and is forced to choose between the advanced culture of Aquantis and a Cuban refugee and his polluted Skyworld—from being categorized as YA. She sees it more as new adult, written for adults but with teen appeal.

By self-publishing, Peterson—who has been edited by Judith Jones at Knopf and Jill Bialosky at Norton, among others—was able to make e-book and paperback editions of Drowning World available on Amazon and at other online retailers by mid-November 2012. She recently posted the file to EspressNet so that independent booksellers with Espresso Book Machines can carry the novel in their stores. The e-book edition is also available for iBook, Nook, and Kobo.

For Peterson, going the self-publishing route hasn’t meant going it alone. “I carried traditional people with me,” she said, referring to her “publishing pod” of proofreaders, editors, and designers. Peterson called the move “the most exhilarating and daunting process. I had complete control with experts. I love this book. It really came from my artistic vision.” Betty Watson, who designed Peterson’s Animal Heart cover, also did the cover for The Drowning World, for example. Others from the traditional publishing world contributed in different ways. Da Capo editor Merloyd Lawrence, who edited Peterson’s I Want to Be Left Behind, was one of more than 60 people who donated to her Kickstarter campaign, which was launched last August to raise $5,000 to cover printing.

“It was her idea to self-publish, and given her energy and passion for the subject, and growing fans, [Brenda] may well be right,” said Lawrence. “I’ll be following Brenda’s exploits with The Drowning World and expect to learn from them.”

Another “podmate” whom Peterson singles out is film agent Mary Alice Kier of CineLit. Five years ago she persuaded Peterson to protect the cosmos she created in The Drowning World by trademarking the technology described in the book. Kier has already gotten what Peterson describes as “real” interest in a film. The sequel, part of an Aquantis trilogy, will likely be included in a film package, and Peterson has written 80 “polished” pages for it with current plans to self-publish that title as well. Readers have been wanting to spend more time in the world beneath the waves that Peterson has imagined. “This underwater world is so believable and vivid and fascinating. It’s a page-turner,” said author Sy Montgomery (The Good, Good Pig).

As for sales, Peterson said that she’s received three royalty checks from Amazon and would welcome the opportunity to read in independent bookstores now that the book can be printed on demand. She also promotes it through her writing in places like Huffington Post, which includes a story on military sonar that led to a radio interview aired in 28 cities. Peterson has no regrets about her decision to publish independently. “Indie publications really go hand in hand with traditional publishing,” she said. “They’re not either/or. I can do both.”

Watch a brief video of the author reading from the first chapter of THE DROWNING WORLD:



Enjoy our August, 2014 dolphin encounter with a super-pod off Dana Point, California on Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari with American Cetacean Society—all of us working for the seas and dolphins and whales for the next genertions of all!

one of my Huffington Posts on mermaids:

Mermaids on Animal Planet: What's Myth? What's Real?

When Animal Planet's "mockumentary" mega-hit, Mermaids: The Body Foundaired last spring, 32 million people tuned in. So many people demanded: "Are mermaids real?" that NOAA had to issue anofficial disclaimer denying their existence. This weekend's Monster Week sequel:Mermaids: The New Evidence, will probably make the same splash, or televised tsunami.

Mermaids: The Body Found, begins with a horrific mass stranding of whales and dolphins off Washington state. The film's focus is on the discovery of another beached "body" that appears half-human, half-merperson -- a body that is "disappeared" and covered up by the Navy. Who knows if that mermaid discovery is factual? Or if the show's fascinating glimpse into Aquatic Ape Theory, now gaining prominence in evolutionary science, is true. What we know is real about the Animal Planet show, is that all over the world, military sonar is actually killing all species of whales in rising numbers. And the U.S. Navy has just been given permission by our government to deafen, harass, and "take" (kill) thousands more--if we don't limit them.

Maybe we're asking the wrong question by just focusing on whether these haunting CGI merpeople are real or myth. The real question is: Why are we making our oceans too dangerous to sustain all life? That's the message of the Animal Planet mermaid series. We don't seem to pay much attention when our whales and dolphins are beaching on our shores because of the lethal military sonar. But we really tune in when half-human sea creatures, so much like us, are also dying.

(continue reading please at: