"A Darker Shade of Evil": "Siren Descending" by Katherine Eddinger Smits

Siren Descending
Katherine Eddinger Smits
Award Winning Author

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featured in
 A Darker Shade of Evil
A Limited Edition Devil & Demon Fantasy Collection Kindle Edition
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Featuring USA Today and International Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors and they're coming in like Demons!

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★✩★Authors Featured in this Collection★✩★

Khardine Gray – USA Today Bestselling Author
Alone In The Dark
Dariel Raye – USA Today Bestselling Author
The Devil Upstairs
Lori Titus – USA Today Bestselling Author
Muffy Wilson – USA Today Bestselling Author
Succubus Unleashed
Keta Diablo – Bestselling Author
I Spy A Demon
Marilyn Harlow – Bestselling Author
Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Gracen Miller – Bestselling Author
Michelle Scott – Bestselling Author
The Demon’s Prisoner
Katherine Smits – Bestselling Author
Siren Descending

Like your romance a little on the devilish side?
A Darker Shade of Evil available 9.24.2019!

Deadly demons, diabolical devils and other creatures of the night will hold you spellbound in this one-of-a-kind anthology. In a world of dark delights, they trifle in forbidden passion, suspense, and kick-ass battles. It’s all right here for you in this captivating urban fantasy and paranormal romance anthology!

Brought to you by USA Today and International Bestselling Authors, these stories of sexy alpha heroes and heroines will keep you turning the pages. Devils, demons and their lethal hunters will draw you into their conquests, twisted deceptions, scorching heat, and yes, even love. 

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* Heat Rating: Spicy to Erotic Romance

* No Cliffhangers
* Happily-Ever-After or Happy-For-Now

Warning: If you like demonic games, angelic interventions, and thrilling temptations, you’ll love this demons and devils romance collection of twisted proportions in A Darker Shade of Evil.

Available from All your Favorite Retailers

Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited
Siren Descending
Katherine Eddinger Smits
Award Winning Author

     Tagline 1:  When a mermaid/sea witch is targeted by the devil for her powers, she uses everything she knows to protect herself, but the devil captures her lover and takes him to Hell, forcing her to follow.
Tagline 2:  In a contemporary retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus, Siren Descending pits a sea witch against the devil in a quest to save her lover.

"The mermaid/sea witch Athenia battles to save her soul and her lover. 

To repay a mage for betraying him, Athenia signed on as his apprentice. While she is with him, she vows to earn his trust and rekindle their relationship. However, though he teaches her some control of the elements, he denies her true power and keeps her at arm’s length. Rejected and isolated, she withdraws further into herself. When she’s courted by a mysterious and mesmerizing stranger, she’s frightened, but drawn to him. She’s tempted to give in to his demands, but the price may be too high.

When Athenia refuses the stranger’s advances, he takes the one person she needs the most, the mage. She must follow them to the depths of hell and fight for the man she cannot live without.

If you like Greek mythology, you’ll love this contemporary retelling of the story of Orpheus who followed his wife to the underworld in a tragic effort to save her life. Can Athenia succeed where Orpheus failed? Read Siren Descending for the answer.

In the mangrove swamp by their cabin outside Tarpon Springs, Athenia surfaced. Like the other mages of their group, Hawthorne Sanderson lived in a secluded spot where he could be part of the natural world yet close to the other mages of his circle. In a pair of worn, frayed cutoffs and no shirt, he sat at a picnic bench, staring at an oversized book spread open on the table in front of him. His golden skin gleamed in the sun, and his muscular chest and arms telegraphed his strength, causing her to catch her breath. 
With his gaze focused on the book, he didn’t appear to notice her. As she studied him, she hesitated in the shallows. While her heart thudded dully in her chest, she tried yet again to think of words that would convince him she’d changed. What can I do to get back the closeness we once shared? No matter how hard I try, he keeps his distance. At least, he’ll be pleased I saved the manatee baby because he cares deeply for all earth’s creatures.
As he raised his hands, he made swirling motions, lifting sand from the ground and twirling it around until it twisted into a miniature dirt devil. With the mage power that gave him complete control of the elements, he compressed the sand while he brought his hands closer together. Then, he tilted his head forward and spoke a few words, too low for her to hear.
As Thorne continued to press, the sand spun faster, became denser, coalesced into a glittering mass and blazed as though lit from within. His arms and shoulders trembled with effort, the muscles swelling and bunching.
Blinded by a flash of intense light, Athenia blinked. When her vision cleared, a glass sculpture stood where the white whirlwind had been. About three feet high and two feet around, it resembled a creation by the famous glass artist, Chihuly, whose pieces Athenia had viewed and admired in St. Petersburg at his gallery. Long tendrils grew from an oval center, arching and twisting around one another. There’s an organic quality, like an undersea plant with undulating branches. And the colors... Green merged into purple, which fed into blue, then magenta, buttery yellow, and coral. As she leaned forward to stare at it, her jaw dropped open. How did he do that?
When Thorne raised his head and caught her staring, he gave her a polite smile, not a welcoming one.
Athenia waved. “Hi, I’m back. I feel great, and I can’t wait to tell you what happened.”
“Excellent. Time for us to get started.” He swiveled around, so he faced the other direction.
“Okay.” So cold and formal. Why can’t he relax a little? Once she shifted to human shape, she stepped out of the water. After she retrieved a towel and her clothes from a bag she stored at the dock, she dried off and slipped into her underwear, bra, nylon shorts and T-shirt. As she wrapped the towel in a turban around her dripping hair, she eyed the taut muscles of his back. “You can turn around now.”
When he pivoted back toward her, he stared for a few seconds before he cleared his throat. “Right. There’s a lot to do today.” He gestured for her to sit.
Instead, Athenia walked over to the abstract shape. “This is magnificent. You could sell art like this for thousands of dollars.”
He frowned. “Since the mage lifestyle is simple, I don’t need the money. I made it to practice a new way of combining the elements, transmuting sand into glass by superheating the air molecules around it. It isn’t supposed to be decorative. Besides, it’s merely an experiment and I’ll probably deconstruct it in a day or two.”
Her jaw sagged. “Oh no. Please don’t destroy this amazing creation.”
He shrugged. “I’ll think about it, but it’s not functional.”
“You could have made a plain, square slab rather than something colorful and exquisite.” She sat across from him. “Can’t you admit you admire beauty?”
For a second, his gaze seemed almost yearning. “I appreciate lovely things.” He resumed the mien of gentlemanly disinterest she so despised. “However, beautiful things can be deceptive and dangerous. Did you ever notice how many poisonous plants sport brightly colored leaves or flowers?”
She narrowed her eyes. “What are we talking about now?” A pang went through her chest. Is he referring to the betrayal?
“We’re resuming the lesson, of course. We need to work on the potion for a salve to restore sunburned skin. Such a treatment would help people who stay out in the sun too long.”
“Why not use sunscreen? They should avoid damaging their bodies in the first place.”
He rolled his eyes. “Easy for you to say. Your Nerei skin never burns.”
“If it did, I would prevent it. This ointment is pointless, nothing but a way to keep me busy.”
He sighed. “It’s the next step in your training. Each lesson must be taught in order. Besides, this will stop many skin cancers, save lives, and prevent suffering. I’m anxious to have a finished product for the group the next time we get together.”
“But sunscreen—”
He interrupted her. “We humans don’t always wear it. Sometimes, we forget or run out, or it washes off. Remember, the mage philosophy is service before self. We use our power to help humans, Nerei, and all the creatures of this world. Only in that way do we grow and become deserving of our gifts.”
She looked back at the shimmering sculpture whose gleaming glass and vibrant colors called to her. Reaching out, she touched it. Warmth radiated from it. “I want to make one of these.”
He ran his hand across the back of his neck. “You aren’t ready. There are many more lessons to master first.”
She shot him a mutinous glare. “I don’t want to make a treatment for people too stupid to come in out of the sun. I want to create something lovely like this.”

Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

The book I have read the most is Jane Eyre. To me, this is the most beautiful romance I have ever read. Jane is a wonderful character, independent and strong, even when it gets her in trouble. Jane Eyre was made into a fantastic Broadway musical starring Marla Schaffel and James Barbour. I think I saw it three or four times. The cast recording is incredible. 

Which book that you’ve written is your favorite?

This is kind of like asking a parent which child is your favorite? Of course, there’s no real answer. I loved my debut novel because it was my first. I nearly died of excitement the day I held the hard cover copy in my hand for the first time. I love my last published novel because it is the best so far, and I love my current work in progress because it is exciting to see the story come to life and think of the possibilities of where it could go.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

On the whole, writing energizes me. I get excited about plot twists and character growth. I love watching the story unfold, especially when things happen that I didn’t plan on or expect. Believe me, characters have a mind of their own. Because I’m an introvert, interacting with people is much more draining for me than working alone. Though writing can be tiring, overall, I find it gives me more energy and enthusiasm than it takes.

What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?

Luckily, the first publisher I submitted my debut novel to contracted it. I was beyond excited. However, a week after its digital release, the publisher declared bankruptcy and closed. The book disappeared. Gone. Overnight. I cried. Then I submitted it to a few other publishers and Foundations Books offered me a contract. They have now published my two novels. I self-published The Sea Witch and the Mage. It’s a 10,000-word novelette, too short for my publisher.

 What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the third book in the Love’s Siren Song series, Water Destiny. I’m also revising and polishing the first book in a new series, Witch Trial Legacy. It’s a paranormal romance, but doesn’t involve mermaids, mages or any kind of shifters. It’s set in Cassadaga, a spiritualist town in central Florida. The heroine has the gift of healing touch and the curse of visions of future tragedies which she can never prevent. She seeks help from the town mediums.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Siren Descending is a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus, who followed his wife to hell and enchanted the denizens with his lyre. Because of his wonderful music, the ruler of the dead allowed him the chance to bring his wife back to life. However, he failed, and the story is a tragedy. When I started thinking about a book for this anthology, I wanted to feature a mermaid whose siren song mesmerizes all those who hear it and I knew I had to base it on the myth. I was never satisfied with the ending of that story and wanted to make it something I liked better. What could be more romantic than journeying to hell to bring back your beloved?

Are reader reviews important to you?

Absolutely! I don’t know any authors who don’t beg readers for reviews. The reviews don’t have to be long or glowing, just an honest sentence or two about the reader’s reaction to the book. I write lots of reviews of the books I read. I wish more readers would. Please, please, please. (Begging.)

What do you do when you don’t write?

I visit my horse and ride dressage. My sweet girl is recovering from a tendon injury, so I won’t be able to ride her for months. However, I take lessons on another lovely mare. I have competed in local schooling shows and may enter some more in the future. 

I also belong to a clog dancing group. Clog dancing originated in Europe among workers who wore wooden clog shoes and danced during breaks to entertain themselves. Tap dancing developed from clogging. We have taps on our shoes and the steps add a percussive element to the music. I’ve been dancing about three years and it is hard! We memorize complicated routines to all types of songs from country/western to Halloween, Irish and Christmas. We perform at local nursing homes, retirement centers and festivals.

Tell us about your other books?

Water Dreams is my debut novel. Water-phobic Nik discovers mermaids and mermen plan to make her a lab experiment. They can’t take no for an answer and will go to any lengths to get what they need.
In the small Florida town of Tarpon Springs, Greek American Nik Aronopulos avoids the water. She never goes to the beach and even avoids restaurants with views of the Gulf of Mexico. So, why would merfolk want to study her? When they tell her it’s her ability to stay out of water that interests them, she’s stunned. There’s nothing special about her...or so she thinks. 
Bas is the merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s cooperation. He needs her help to overcome his people’s greatest weakness—the need to rejuvenate often in the Gulf so they won’t dehydrate and die. Although they can shapeshift to look like humans, are stronger, and have many advantages over land dwellers, the Nerei dependence on water keeps them from freedom. When Bas finds himself drawn to Nik, his feelings interfere with his mission.
Attempts to kidnap Nik because of the Nerei interest in her put her in jeopardy. When Bas is shot by a bullet meant for her, she must face her greatest fear to help him, or allow him to die. Her decision plunges her into a desperate journey where her feelings for him grow.
The Sea Witch and the Mage is a novelette set in the Water Dreams world but is not a sequel. When Athenia decides she must defeat the wizard who killed her twin sister, she finds there is only one way—enslave Thorne, a human mage with powers she can use to overcome her enemy. However, she doesn’t count on finding him mesmerizing or needing him so much. What happens when a shapeshifting mermaid teams up with a man who controls the elements?
Water Desires—When a strange Nerei (merman) carries an unconscious and badly injured Bas in from the Aegean Sea, Nik knows she must get him to an island in the Atlantic where a hidden spring of healing water will restore her Nerei lover. 
At the same time, Nik’s adoptive father is dying from a boating accident in her home town of Tarpon Springs, and he’s asking for her. While battling a strange illness which antibiotics won’t cure, Nik must figure out a way to save Bas and get home to help her father. 
When Bas follows Nik to Florida, he is forced to keep his distance from her. He has already escaped one death sentence for having a relationship with a human and he can’t risk another one. Still, he’s furious when Nik turns to her old friend, a mage Bas dislikes, to help her unravel the hidden truth behind her father’s accident. 
Water Desires is Book II in the Love’s Siren Song Series. The thrilling sequel to the award-winning Water Dreams will drag you under and not let you up for air until the end. If you like mermaids, mages and magical romance, you’ll love this book.

Finally, what are we likely to find in YOUR nightstand? 

I love the Dark Tides series by Debbie Herbert and have started on some of her others as well. I’m also reading books by Keta Diablo, Karen Chance, Ilona Andrews, Caroline Wren and have probably read something from almost every paranormal romance author. When I find an author I like, I read everything they wrote before I move on to someone else. But I don’t just read romance. I also love mystery, horror, fantasy, sci fi and most all genre fiction. I also read as many books about the craft of writing as I can get my hands on. I’m truly a voracious reader.


Katherine Eddinger Smits started writing stories in grade school. While she raised her family and worked as a Clinical Social Worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country, she honed her ideas for novels.  Since she retired to pursue her passion for writing, she has published three paranormal romances. She has also written numerous guest blogs and book reviews. Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in Chesapeake, Virginia. 

Katherine is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sunshine State Romance Authors, Florida Writers Association and Outreach International Romance Writers. Information about her books, blogs, reviews, and other activities is available at her website: www.katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com


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