Friday, November 20, 2015

Willamina Mermaid & the Quest for the Crystal of Light

Since Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ smashed the box office in 1989, millions of young children have become obsessed with the beauty and allure of mermaids. Taking her cues from this now-timeless appeal, author J.A. Kelly has penned a wholly-unique children’s book that puts one mermaid’s skills to the test.

In fact, the mermaid in ‘Willamina Mermaid & the Quest for the Crystal of Light’ is a princess mermaid, even though she spent the first twelve years of her life locked away in a bathroom. A spellbinding adventure awaits, however, when she finally gets back into the water.

Willamina didn't know she was a mermaid. Her aunts told her she was 'deformed' and kept her hidden in a tiny bathroom for twelve long years. Her only companion was Finley, her goldfish. She didn't know she was a princess either until Merlin, the merman, helped her escape back to the seas where she belonged and the help of her five royal cousins went on a quest to retrieve the crystal of light, stolen by the witch of darkness, and set her people free.

“The story takes children on a full-circle adventure with Willamina as she’s banished out of the ocean after her kingdom is overruled by an evil sorceress, lives twelve years as a prisoner but then finally returns to embrace her princess mermaid magic and save the kingdom once and for all,” explains Kelly, a former actress. “It’s a story that proves you can achieve great things, no matter where you started in life, and that each of us has amazing abilities that the world is waiting to put to use.”

Continuing, “I also felt it was vitally important to make a little girl the “star” of the book. While the story is geared at both girls and boys, I want girls to realise that they too can be heroes in any setting.”

Critics have supported the book overwhelmingly. For example, Kirkus Reviews comments, “In Kelly’s debut middle-grade adventure, a young mermaid princess returns to save her underwater kingdom years after it was taken over by an evil sorceress. A clever, fast-paced story that should delight young readers hungry for magical stories.”

‘Willamina Mermaid & the Quest for the Crystal of Light’ is available now:

About the Author:
J. A. Kelly went to the full time stage school Aida Fosters from the age of eleven studying alongside such celebrities as Barbara Windsor, Shirley Eaton and Jean Simmonds.

She appeared as a juvenile in many shows and films, including The Belles of St. Trinians, The Happiest Days of your Life and the Gilbert & Sullivan Story.  She went on to study voice production at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

She decided that she preferred being on the other side of the footlights and began a career as a freelance director and teacher of theatre skills.

Her job as a drama teacher led her to writing scripts and short plays for children which in turn progressed to her writing a children’s book. This particular story about a mermaid was one she told to her granddaughters several years ago and as they enjoyed it so much she decided to write it down for other children to enjoy.

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