Spoiled: Tera Lynn Childs On Her Upcoming Fins Series Third Just For Fins

Spoiled shares a look at the books you can't wait to read, long before they hit stores. Today author Tera Lynn Childs gives RT readers a peek inside the third novel in her popular Fins series before the book hits stores in July. Get her take on what it's been like to watch heroine Lily grow up — and what readers can expect from Just For Fins!

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I first met Lily Sanderson (aka Princess Waterlily of the mer kingdom of Thalassinia) on a beach in Naples, Florida, back in the summer of 2006. She was born of the idea that mermaids have the ability to bestow magical powers with a single kiss and wondering what would happen if a particular mermaid accidentally bestowed her magical first kiss on the wrong boy. Enter biker bad boy Quince Fletcher.

Right from the start, Lily and Quince had chemistry. Mostly because Lily was single-mindedly focus on her All Encompassing One True Love, Brody (who, coincidentally, barely knew she existed) and Quince loved to tease her about her crush … and just about any other topic he could. Of course we all know that he secretly had feelings for her, but couldn’t seem to get her attention away from Brody any other way.

Readers are pretty vocal about their opinions on Lily and Quince, and a lot of them don’t like that it takes the princess so very long to realize how the bad boy feels about her and that maybe he’s the perfect boy for her. But, to me, Lily is a typical teen girl. She is blindly focused on one thing, on one boy, to the exclusion of other things and other boys that might be staring her right in the face. At least, that was me as a teen girl.

By the end of Forgive My Fins, Lily grew up a lot. She learned the difference between fantasy (Brody) and reality (Quince) and she made a serious and painful decision to put her royal duty before her own wants.

In Fins Are Forever, Lily had to take duty to a whole new level, struggling with the task of making her bratty, human-hating cousin Dosinia get over her hate. She also faced the looming deadline of her birthday when, as an un-bonded mer princess, she would have to sign away her title. Again, acting against her own selfish interests, Lily made the hard to decision that would allow her to fulfill her royal duties.

Now, in the upcoming Just For Fins, Lily has taken on her duty as a princess without hesitation. She still has Quince at her side, but she is devoting more and more time and energy to helping her people, to helping the mer world as a whole. She is quite a different mer girl than she was when the series began. The crush-blind, self-absorbed girl has grown into a responsible and caring woman. And Quince has been at her side every step of the way.

Quince has had to do some growing of his own. From the boy who threw paper wads at the girl he liked to the boy who refused to let that same girl make a personal sacrifice to be with him, and finally to the kind of supportive partner that we all hope we find and that a busy princess needs. Quince manages to maintain his teasing sense of humor and his steadfast love for Lily.

As a writer, it is a secret joy to watch a character learn and grow and figure things out. Characters aren’t perfect — they can’t be, or they’d be really boring to read about — but they can make mistakes, learn from them, and try to never repeat them. I’m proud of Lily for how she’s grown, and how Quince has helped her become a better princess and a better person.

- Tera Lynn Childs

Want to find out what happens to Lily, Quince and the mer kingdom of Thalassinia? Mark your calendar, Just For Fins will be released on July 3, 2012. You can also take a look at more upcoming releases here!