Friday, June 11, 2010

The Magic of Mermaids

*** WINNER UPDATE: The contest is now closed. After tallying up the total number of entries (over 200!) and heading over to Randomizer, the winner is... Angel! Send your mailing info to so I can get your prize in the mail. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful mermaid debate! ***

Ten days ago, my third young adult novel released into the world. Forgive My Fins is about a half-mermaid princess who goes to high school on the mainland. In the general promotion hubub of the past few weeks, I've been doing a lot of online interviews for friends and review blogs. The one question that always surprises me the most is, "Why mermaids?" It's really hard not to reply back, "Why not mermaids?"

My love affair with mermaids began when I was eight years old and saw the movie Splash for the first time. From the moment Daryl Hannah swam into view, with her gorgeous blonde hair and magical, life-saving kiss, I was hooked. Right then and there I knew I wanted to become a mermaid. Sadly, the closest I ever got was a career as a competitive swimmer. I would spend hours in the pool every week, wishing my legs would magically turn into fins. It was that same fantasy that, nearly twenty years later, led me to the story idea for Forgive My Fins.

Now, I know why I love mermaids, but all those interview questions made me think about why we, as a culture, love mermaids. There have to be some common, unifying threads that make us fantasize about a life under the sea, right? I've finally come up with three things: freedom, mystery and magic.

In mermaid lore, they always seem to be a carefree sort of being, with few responsibilities or worries. They spend their days frolicking with their sealife friends and brushing their hair. When we're overwhelmed by errands and bills and play dates and deadlines and day jobs and planning dinner and who knows what else, it's easy to be envious of the beautiful, lithe creature whose greatest dilemma is whether to swim with dolphins or lure humans into the water.

We humans run rampant over our domain, the land, but when it comes to the ocean we are like the kid outside the candy store with our noses pressed up to the glass. Sure, we might get to go in every once in a while, but we'll never really know what it feels like to live there. Mermaids, on the other hand, can explore every square meter of the oceans, from the deepest, darkest trenches to clearest crystal beaches. We can never hope to understand or even see every mystery the ocean keeps.

The very existence of a mermaid is a result of magic. No other means could create a being that is half fish and half human. So when we look at a mermaid, we see a creature born of magic, full of magic, and in possession of magic. Their ability to change forms, to shed their tailfin in favor of human legs, means they could be walking among us right now and we'd never know. Don't we all wish the reverse were also true, that, with a little dust of magic, we could shed our human legs and dive into the sea, breathe water, and swim ... everywhere?

So, how about you? Have you ever had the mermaid fantasy? Did you dream of swimming off into the sunset with a hunky merman? Or am I the only one who, still to this day, fantasizes about a magical mer kiss that will grant me the powers of the sea? It's okay, you can tell me.

To celebrate the doubled launch of the Supernatural Underground (aka the awesomeness that is this blog) and Forgive My Fins, I'm giving away a collection of my books. That's signed copies of Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp and the brand new Forgive My Fins!

You can earn up to five (5) entries. Here's how:

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

(This contest is open to US/Canada.) Now, add up your entries and post the total!


Onge said...

I never really thought a lot about mermaids. I can't even think of a book I've read that's about them. I like the idea of them though. Makes me want to find some books about them and start reading!
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
Total 2

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I am a HUGE fan of mermaids. Always wanted to be one as a kid and I have a personal connection with the movie "Splash". ;)

Follow on twitter, facebook, and this blog.

cindy said...

i've loved mermaids every since reading a little mermaid, hans christian anderson's. which was heart breaking. congrats on your book release, i love the cover and can't wait to read it!!

Tracey O'Hara said...

So what Melissa said - wanted to grow up and be a mermaid. Used to make up whole senarios on what I would do. I grew up in Queensland - Australia - home of the Great Barrier Reef - and I was so going to make my home in the coral with the fish :)

Terri Garey said...

@Melissa, well now we gotta know what that personal connection to the movie Splash is, don't we?

I have to admit, even though I grew up on a lake and own a pool, I am a TERRIBLE swimmer. I have to hold my nose to jump in, and still usually get water up my nose.

Your books look great, Tera!

Anonymous said...

I do have a sort of love/hate relationship with mermaids. On the one hand, I can't help but be fascinated by the concept. I loved Splash, and I am not ashamed to admit that I knew every single line from Disney's The Little Mermaid. I've watched more than my fair share of mermaid movies, animes, and shows. I loved the glittery things in Hook.

But then, I'm also rather convinced that if I ever turned into a mermaid (or went deep sea diving and found one), I'd promptly get eaten by a shark.

I like your answer best, Tera! Why not mermaids? It brings to mind a gorgeous piece of art by the talented and amazingly awesome Stephanie Pui-Mun Law: Her Garden, by Stephanie Law

Michele said...

I have always had a fascination with mermaids. To me they have always had a wonderful mystique about them. Thank you for writing about them.

StacyUFI said...

I don't think I have ever read a book about mermaids. I love movies about mermaids so I cant wait to read a book about one.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog

Meredith said...

When I was eight, I used to watch The Little Mermaid, rewind it slowly so that I could still see the picture, and watch it again. I think my family thought I was crazy.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog

Thanks for the contest!

cassandra.crouser said...

The Little Mermaid was on of my favorite movies when I was little! I can't wait to get my hands on Forgive My Fins - hoping to get it for my bday :)

+5 pionts @CassayC for post about contest, follow blog/twitter/facebook, and commented :)

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

I agree with all your points Tera. Mermaids are so magical and just plain cool. And being able to swim around with all the colorful sea life and dolphins would be awesome. When I was a kid my brother and I were in the pool all the time; I'd pretend to be the mermaid and he was the shark. I would love to read your books. Happy Friday!

Jessica @ a GREAT read said... Well since I am a Disney gal, I think of little mermaid, but because I am an avid reader and love mythology, I have come across a few tales where mermaids are evil vixens. Then it ties into Sirens, which is just weird since Sirens are creatures of mixed body parts. Bird like creatures with female heads and voices that lure sailors to their deaths!

Yeah, big on mythology and stuff like that. I can't remember much about mermaids and their mythological tales. Where they were seen as something other than Ariel. But I do love different variations of mermaids, whether they are evil or good or wishing to be human, I like mermaids.

I follow this blog.
Posted on my blog about this blog:

3 points total

tetewa said...

I'm a blog follower +! I haven't read a good mermaid book since Judi Fennell's series and enjoyed those +1 total +2

Leah Clifford said...

I'm really interested to read your book because I haven't found much out there with mermaids! I too come from the "Splash Love" generation. ;)

Barbara E. said...

I'm fascinated with mermaid stories. I can't say I've ever wanted to be one, but I love reading about them. Forgive My Fins sounds like a great story, and I love the title and cover.

+1 comment
+1 follow on Twitter
+1 follow blog
Total = 3

CrystalGB said...

I have always been fascinated by mermaids. Forgive My Fins sounds great. I love the cover.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

Nicole said...

I love mermaids. When I was a little girl, I wanted to frow up to be Ariel from Disney 's Little Mermaid. I used to sing all the songs from the movie, and was even a mermaid for Halloween one year. Loved it!!

+1 for commenting about mermaids
+1 for following on Twitter (MinnChica)
+1 for following this blog
+1 for posting the link on twitter

Anonymous said...

I've always loved mermaids, and the idea of living under water. My friends and I used to try to swim keeping our legs together so it was more mermaid like.

+1 follow on twitter (as @asraisdream)
+1 follow this blog

AngelGoneMad said...

I'm not entering in the contest because unfortunately I live in Scotland but I wanted to comment on this post anyways.

I used to really enjoy mermaid films when I was younger, same as Tera Lynn Childs I loved Splash. I'm sure there was a Splash 2 but I could be wrong. I also enjoyed watching The Little Mermaid (who doesn't?)

I think the idea of mermaids are great. There are so many mysteries surrounding do they breathe? Does their skin go all wrinkly like us when we are in water too long? How do they get those sea shells to stay on? Hehe..okay seriously you have to wonder where they come from, their purpose (if they truly exist) and what magnificent secrets and hidden worlds are there down in the depths below. They get to explore all this and the can walk on earth. They are able to travel between the two worlds and experience everything.

Okay if I didn't wisht to be a mermaid before I begam this comment, I want to be one now. I want to be able to go visit the depths of the oceans without the restraints of having to surface for oxygen or having to worry about my internal organs exploding because of the pressure.

Thanks Tera for your post about mermaids. Has made me sit and think about all those dreams I used to have as a child - how I wish I could have my own flounder and visit the dolphins :)

Unknown said...

I have 5 points I have done all the tasks. I saw the movie splash too but never read about them before and really looking forward to reading your books. With this site I have discovered a lot more incredible writers love love your blog!

Trini said...

I've never read or thought about reading a book about mermaids. And I never fantasized about being a mermaid because I'm terrified of the big blue sea. I'm actually a really good swimmer but the ocean scares the crap out of me. Too many unknowns. However, that being said I have read some good reviews for Forgive My Fins so I can't wait to get my hands on it.

+1 comment
+1 Tweet @booklovereview
+1 follower on twitter
+1 follow blog
+1 liked facebook
Ok I'm crossing my fingers!! But not holding my breath ;)

Trini @A Book-Lovers Review

Van Pham said...

I love mermaids, always been fascinated with tales of them!

+1 comment
+1 follower on twitter (vanpham88)
+1 twitted:
+1 Blog follower
+1 liked facebook page
Total= 5


Buffy said...

As a summer baby, I love the water. More, I love the ocean, so reading about mermaids is glorified wishful thinking. How wonderful would it be to be able to go deep into the ocean and see all the beautiful life? To swim all day long and never get tired, or wrinkly or sleepy. Amazing really. I haven't read "Forgive My Fins" yet, but I have read others and can't wait to delve into Tera Child's world!

+1 comment
+1 facebook link.
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page
4 entries.

Kimberly B. said...

Oooh, this novel sounds terrific! I must admit, I fell in love with mermaids when I was five years old. I used to love to draw when I was little, and one day my kindergarten teacher told us all to draw pictures of things living in the sea. She actually took me aside and said "Kim, I know you like to draw people, but today we're drawing things that live in the sea." So I came back at her with, "Well, can I draw a mermaid?" So I did, and the obsession had begun!
+1 comment
+1 I'm a fan on facebook (as Kimberly Bea)
+1 I follow on twitter (@KimBea)
+1 I follow your blog.
total entries = 4
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Jacqueline C. said...

Over the past year, I've read more books with mermaid characters than I remember ever reading before. It's a previously overlooked character-type for me and I'm glad that I'm fixing that. I don't know why I haven't read much mermaid stuff since The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite childhood films. I especially enjoyed Nicole Peeler's Tempest Rising and Kathryn Lasky's Hannah: Daughters of the Sea. I'm looking forward to reading your book too since I've heard nothing but good things about it around the blogosphere.

+1 commented about mermaids
+1 follow on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 liked the facebook page

4 entries total

Alicia said...

I love mermaids a lot! They are probably my top pick for mythical creatures.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet (
+1 follow us on twitter (@leasha_91)
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

Total: +5

Rebecca Wells said...

I go back and forth on the mermaid question... Wouldn't it be cold in the ocean? Maybe then I wouldn't want to be a mermaid, although it would be cool to live underwater and swim really well.

+1 comment
+1 following blog

Total: 2


Patricia Lynne said...

Mermaids were the first fictional characters I fell in love with. Disney's the Littler Mermaid was MY movie! It had me dreaming about and like you when I was in the water (unfortunately, it never happened otherwise I'd tell you exactly what to do!) and hoping for that transformation (even tried swimming like Ariel.) One of the first romance books I picked up was about mermaids and THAT is why I picked it up and devoured it. (it's also why Forgive my Fins is on my amazon wish list waiting for my credit card to go down so i can buy it! I was literally like 'squee! mermaid!!!!!' lol)

Adelina said...

I've loved mermaids since I was a kid. My fav movies were The Little Mermaid and Splash. I even went as far as making my own mermaid fin when I was like 8. I've always wanted to read more stories on mermaids and Forgive My Fins sounds awesome!

Ashleigh C. said...

Mermaids are one of the beings I haven't read a lot about. I've read about vampires, Weres, shapeshifters, all manner of supernatural beings via Jennifer Rardin, ghosts, and beings from mythology. But Mermaids I don't think I've read anything about.

+1 Like the FB page
+1 Follow this blog (feed on Dreamwidth)

Tanya said...

Honestly the only mermaids that I have read about were in the Anita Blake series and they got a visit from the last Siren alive who has two sons that are half merman. I never really thought about it much. I do love The Little Mermaid though. I would am real interested in reading your books. Thanks!!

+1 Like on FB
+1 follow this blog
+1 comment
+1 follow on Twitter

Crissi said...

I used to think I was actually a mermaid stuck on land (Long story)then the truth set in. lol

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post

+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

So that would be a total of 5 for me. Maybe even 6 since I also posted it on Twitter?

Good Luck everyone!

Nicole Murphy said...

Thanks for this, Tera. In a world dominated by vampires and werewolves (which are excellent), it's nice to be reminded of the other cool creatures out there.

The Little Mermaid is STILL one of my favourite movies, and I think you're spot on with the three reasons people love mermaids.

The story (here in Australia) anyway is that mermaids came from sailors catching a glimpse of dugongs. Now, the tail is right (in fact dugongs are the only ones with the flat-on tail that mermaids have) but the rest of the animal is far from beautiful. Here, what do you think?,0.jpg

Sharon S. said...

I never wanted to be a mermaid, but I find mermaid art beautiful! With all the hair and colors. If I could live on land and sea then I would like to one. There was a series on Nickelodeon called H2O about three friends that were mermaids and they had to hide it . I bought Oh.My.Gods. yesterday and will let my daughter read it first since we have a10 hour drive to....Disney World tomorrow! And the Little Mermaid Show at Disney Studios is one of my favorite.

+4 points for me!

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I loved Splash!!

Nicky Strickland said...

So great to read about someone else writing about mermaids!For me I think it's the magic & ability to live under the water (I'm a water baby from way back - also an Aussie). My mer world has been in my head for quite awhile (& Nicole Murphy I have dugongs too in my story). I love how other the world really and creating my underwater fantasy is so much fun.

Already follow blog & twitter.

Lori B said...

I loved the movie of my all time favorites, who could denie Madison. The thought of seeing what the ocean hides is very tempting and there are alot of mysteries and legends about mermaids that are facinating. I don't know how hot the mermen are but I would be willing to take a plunge to find out. *grin*

1 point comment
1 point following this blog

1 point like on fb
1 point facebook link to blog

nymfaux said...

Tera, I'm such a HUGE fan of ALL your books--You just keep getting better!!!!!!

I've always loved the idea of mermaids (I wanted to be one as a kid, too), but I think yours is the first book about mermaids that I can think of--and now it sounds like you might have started a trend!!!! I love Lily, she is such an awesome fun character--and I can't wait for more!!!

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweeted (moviebunny), posted a link on facebook, and put a link on my brand-spankin'new
+1 follow on twitter (moviebunny)
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page
either 5 ;)

Anonymous said...

I've always loved mermaids but I never really thought much about them when it came to books. After finding one mermaid book in the YA section I searched endlessly for more. Alas, there are not quite as many as there are of other paranormal creatures and I was SO excited when I first heard about your new book!

+1 comment
+1 follow blog from HauntedWonderland
+1 follow on twitter from @HauntdWondrland
+1 tweeted
+1 for liking your facebook (from Lauren Gonzalez)

total: +5

Bella@BeguileThySorrow said...

When I was a kid, I used to swim underwater with my feet together because I wanted to be like Ariel from The Little Mermaid,lol.
It was a fun fantasy but afterwards my eyes would sting from all the chlorine that seeped into my goggles :(
Haven't read any books about mermaids since, so I look forward to this one!
bells DOT franco AT gmail DOT com

+1 commented about mermaids
+1 tweeted @bellafranco
+1 following on twitter
+1 following this blog
+1 liked facebook page

lavendersbluegreen said...

I LOVE reading mermaid tales ?(haha tails....) at any rate, your new book is now on my spreadsheet!

+ 1 follow on twitter - @rosemarysgreen
+ 1 follow blog
+ 1 like on facebook -

Helen Lowe said...

Tera Lynn,

Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" was always one of my favourite stories when as a child. When I was a little older I loved a book called "The Deep Sea Horse" by Cumming Primrose (I think) and also the mer-people in CS Lewis's narnaia books, most notably "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" so I would never ask, "Why Mermaids?" I look forward to reading the book.

Sylvia said...

I don't really know a lot about mermaids aside from Little Mermaid, which I love! I can't wait to read more about mermaids, they're quite... enchanting:) I loved Oh.My.Gods and I can't wait to read Goddess Boot Camp, thanks for this contest!

+1 Comment
+1 I follow:)


wanda f said...

Tracey that was me to very disapointing that I didnt turn into one

Bast said...

Disney's The Little Mermaid was my first movie in a movie theater. Then, I loved Splash as well. There hasn't been too much with mermaids recently that I can think of which is a shame.

+1 Comment on mermaids
+1 Follow this blog
+1 Like the facebook page

So, that's +3

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I've read a couple of mermaid series that I loved but this will be the first YA one. I've always thought mermaids were mystical and can't wait to see if they can hold their own with vamps and werewolves.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet--@alterlisa Giveaway
+1 follow on twitter-alterlisa
+1 follow this blog-Lisa Richards
+1 like facebook page-Lisa Ann Richards

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Angela @ Reading Angels said...

I've always loved Little Mermaid! And the Fred the Mermaid series by MaryJanice Davidson is hilirious!

+1 comment
+1 follow on twitter @readingangel002
+1 follow this blog
+1 follow the facebook page


digimom said...

Hmmmmm Mermaids, I know I have read books that had mermaids in them, but it has been awhile. I remember when "The Little Mermaid" was popular. My daughter had her whole bedroom down around The Little Mermaid theme.

I'm ready to read about mermaids.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

I have done all five!

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

-Mermaids are probably my favorite paranormal creature! (+1)
- (+1)
-@TeenageBkLvr (+1)
-Follower (+1)
-Facebook like


alexreadsbooks at gmail dot com

Jill Wheeler said...

So excited to read FORGIVE MY FINS! Mermaids rock!

+1 comment
+1 tweet
+1 following on twitter
+1 following this blog
+1 liked you on facebook


Unknown said...

+1 When I think mermaids I think Splash and Ariel
+1 tweet:
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

Anonymous said...


Mermaids are so cool. They look magical and they are mysterious too. I would love to read these books and post reviews on my blog.

Total of 4 entries - everything but Facebook. I am not old enough for Facebook just yet.

Thank you!

Erin said...

I wanted to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid when I was growing up. I loved to sing (still do) so I thought she was beyond cool. I used to swim around the pool for hours singing all the songs from the movie :-)

+1 for comment about mermaids
+1 for a tweet about this post
+1 for following on twitter (@SongSirenErin)
+1 for following this blog
+1 for liking facebook fanpage

so +5 total


Katie Dunn said...

I'm a huge fan and have been following Tera Lynn Childs forever now it seems like on Facebook.
I have 5 entries to enter for this contest. I'm working on building up my book club collection library for the next school year with my 7th and 8th graders. This would be a huge addition! :)

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post #kguzzy10
+1 follow us on twitter #kguzzy10
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

I love mermaids and being from Florida, we have our own that grace the water ways around the state in the form of Manatees. :)


Beth said...

I've tried to do this three times now...mermaids are cool!

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post (
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 like our facebook page

Total =4

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

My only real mermaid experience was with Little Mermaid, who I thought was pretty cool, but I've always been Team Belle. Yet mermaids are quite fascinating... I recently read 'Sea' by Aimee Friedman and really enjoyed it.

+1 mermaid comment
+1 tweet --
+1 follow blog
TOTAL = +3


MissHavoc said...

I LOVE mermaids. I remember being 5 and dressing up as one for Halloween, my mom dyed my hair red, and it didn't wash out for like 2 weeks. I even got to wear a seashell bra! LOVE mermaids!

+1 comment - duh
+1 Re-tweet
+1 twitter - @CryHavocReviews
+1 new Follower

Total +4

Sierra Hastings said...

I wrote a poem about mermaids a while ago! I used to be a bit obsessed with mermaids. Very excited to read a book about one.

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 facebook link to this post
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page
= 5

Tori [Book Faery] said...

Mermaids = awesome. I've always been a fan of them ever since The Little Mermaid (dorky, I know, but it's my FAV Disney movie). There's just something mysterious and refreshing about them.

+1 Tweeted:

+1 Following on Twitter (@Book_Faery)

+1 I've been a blog follower :)

+1 Liked on FB (Tori N) My pic's the one from BEA (Larissa Ione's "Sin Undone" poster is in the background)

Jenny N. said...

To date I've only read two YA books about mermaids: Forgive My Fins and another soon to be released one.

+1 Tweeted:

+1 Twitter follower (@Jullysay)

+1 Liked Facebook page (Jenny N)


Adriana said...

Hi! Im Adriana. I haved loved mermaids ever scince I was little. I love reading and watching about them. I also loved the movie "Splash". Some other of my favorite mermaid shows are H2O Just Add Water on TeenNick, and "Mermaid Melody" a Japanease anime about mermaids that I reccomend to all mermaid lovers! I love all of your books! I read O.My.Gods, put Goddess Boot Camp on hold at my local library(as it has been on hold for me for like a year now,but do they care? No.) And I cant weait to read Forgive my Fins! I would buy them all at Barnes and Noble if I could, but my family's a little tight on money now(:(). Thank you and keep up the good work! :)

Adriana (contnueation of my other comment) said...

+1 comment about mermaids (Yes)
+1 tweet, facebook or blog a link to this post(Check)
+1 follow us on twitter(@pinkcar7956)
+1 follow this blog (I did :))
+1 like our facebook page(Adriana Laurendi)

JB said...

I've never thought about being a mermaid until I started hearing so much about Forgive My Fins. Now I really want to read this book and dream of mermaids!

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 twitter follower (@joybethlyons)
+1 blog follower
+1 like facebook page

Total: 4

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Anonymous said...

Mermaids were the first fantasy creature I remember. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies,and they are on Harry Potter. They are everywhere, you just have to be paying attention!

+1-comment about mermaids
+1-twitter follower (ferretvamp14)
+1-like facebook
+1-follow blog (Ashley L)

librarypat said...

+1 I am a Follower.

+1 I "liked" your facebook page.

+1 Mermaids have always intrigued me. To be able to glide through the water, hang suspended , and just feel the currents swirl around you would be fantastic. The wonderful variety of sea life one could swim with would be such a gift. The freedom would be better than flying.

librarypat said...

Forgot to leave my total - 3.

Donna said...

Ever since I was kid, mermaids have fascinated me. As an adult, I still love watching the Little Mermaid. :) But I haven't read many books on mermaids.

Thanks for the chance to win! :)

+1 comment about mermaids
+1 follow us on twitter
+1 follow this blog
+1 like our facebook page

nymfaux said...

Congrats to the winner!!! They're great books and you'll love them!!!