Between Land and Sea by Joanne Guidoccio

Congratulations to “Steph F.”, the winner in Joanne’s giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

While planning Between Land and Sea, I toyed with different fantasy elements.

What advantage could I give the once beautiful Isabella who had given up her tail and lost her

mermaid powers? As plain and practically destitute Barbara Davies, she needed immediate assistance.

A magic wand came to mind, but I quickly dismissed a possibility often associated with a fairy godmother or benevolent elder. In this case, there was no such elder. Annabella, Isabella’s grandmother and elder of the Mediterranean kingdom, reacted quickly and savagely to her granddaughter’s defection, aging her thirty years and adding twenty pounds to her slender frame.

I let several ideas percolate and then settled on a magic tablet with online mermaid support. For twelve months, Barbara would have access to Lisa738, a Numbers Mermaid programmed to provide basic and Specialist Skills.

Imagine having access to Lisa738. What Specialist Skill button would you request? If you could whip up any dish in any cuisine, what would you make first? Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Barbara picked up the tablet and pressed the green button.

Lisa738 appeared. “Greetings, Isa— Barbara. What can I do for you today?”

“I’m giving my first dinner party and I’m not certain—”

Lisa738 interrupted, “You need a Specialist Skills button. No problem, but I think you should know that you are only entitled to two more of these buttons during the coming year.”

Barbara made a mental note to ask Gillian for more information regarding the tablet. “Of course. What will I be able to do with this button?”

“You will be able to whip up any dish in any cuisine. You will also have an extensive knowledge of the ingredients and nutritional value of any meal you create.”

“Like Martha Stewart?”

Lisa738 laughed. “Martha Stewart. Rachel Ray. Nigella Lawson. You will be able to hold your own with any of them.” She pointed to the new button that appeared below the screen.

Barbara picked up the button, peeled off the coating, applied it to her left temple, and waited for the unsettling sensation. This time, the experience was more intense. Barbara lost her balance and had to hold on to a nearby chair for support.

Lisa738 winced. “I forgot to warn you about the power of the Specialist Skills buttons. You may need to lie down for an hour or so. Are you planning a large dinner party?”
It must be very lonely for Lisa738 in the underwater kingdom. Barbara recalled her few interactions with other Numbers mermaids. She knew that they spent long hours in front of terminals and did not socialize with the other mermaids. She decided to be kind. “No, it will just be Graham and me.”

Lisa738 nodded in approval. “You have a male companion. How is that progressing?”

“We’ve been going out for almost two months now. Our relationship is a comfortable one.”

“Is that enough for you? In spite of all that has happened, you are still a Bella. You need and deserve passion.”

 After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.

In high school, Joanne Guidoccio dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until she had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, she gave in to her practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.
While she experienced many satisfying moments during her teaching career, she never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and her articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.

Her debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, has just been released by Soul Mate Publishing.

Joanne lives and writes in Guelph, Ontario.

Links for Joanne Guidoccio
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Joanne will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Nov. 5th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JPR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. I love the blurb of the book. I haven’t read many mermaid stories, so I’m definitely interested. Will be adding to my TBR.
    I’d love the skill of crafts. My son has a science project due soon and they always talk of making the boards creative. I have a black thumb when it comes to crafts, lol.
    If I could make any dish it would be my grandmothers pancit. She used to make a big spread every Sunday and her pancit, lumpia and sweetbreads have always been my favorite comfort foods.


  2. Hi Steph,
    Thanks for dropping by.
    I also have a “black thumb” (first time I’ve heard that expression) and struggled with many of the crafts my mother so patiently tried to teach me. It would be wonderful to create lovely quilts and have inspired ideas for all types of projects.
    Your grandmother’s Sunday spread sounds lovely.

    Joanne 🙂

  3. Linda Bennett Pennell

    A great twist on the mermaid myths. I love it that your main character doesn’t retain her magical good looks and must deal with the realities of human existence like the rest of us! Good job, Joanne!

  4. How interesting to update the “magic wand” with magic technology. My specialist button would be …. I’m not sure. Usually if I want to learn or do something I do it. But, if I could have access to an Old World Italian mama I would have her teach me how to make authentic cuisine… especially lasagna…. hand gestures and all. 🙂
    Julie O
    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

    • Hi Julie,
      You sound very enterprising and probably wouldn’t need a specialist button. As for the lasagna…I agree there’s nothing like mama’s lasagna, made with its own magical formula–love.
      Thanks for dropping by, Julie.
      Joanne 🙂

    • Enterprising is a good word for me. If I can’t figure something out the traditional way I will experiment until it comes out the way I want it to be. Umm… stubborn might be another good word. 🙂

    • Persistent…creative…problem solver…patient…So many other words come to mind 🙂

  5. Hi Linda,
    I was determined to write a book that would appeal to boomer women and their older sisters. And I love reinvention stories.
    Thanks for dropping by, Linda.
    Joanne 🙂

  6. You truly have a unique concept here, Joanne. This is a book that readers of any age will delight in!

  7. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt with us

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  8. Hi Shannon,
    Glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping by, Shannon.
    Joanne 🙂

  9. How deliciously unique. And I adore how this novel speaks to the experiences of regular women, those of us who aren’t 25, thin, billboard beautiful, and sporting flowing red tresses. 🙂 Yay, real life in fiction!

  10. Hi Lesleigh,
    Thanks for your support, Lesleigh. I hope to write more books for older, wiser women.
    Joanne 🙂

  11. some kind of chocolate cake

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com