posted on June 24, 2022 by Lisa Kessler

Researching to Write a Paranormal Romance – By Lisa Kessler

Hi everyone –

It’s great to be back on the Writerspace blog!

Pirate’s Protector has just hit eReaders everywhere, and this book also features my first ever mermaid heroine! I have so much fun writing this Sentinels of Savannah series because each book not only features a new immortal pirate from the Sea Dog crew, but it also features a new paranormal relic that needs to be found or stolen or smuggled.

If you haven’t read the series yet, think Pirate’s of the Caribbean meets Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This pirate crew has been alive since 1795 when they plundered the Holy Grail and took a drink from the cup! They all have jobs and businesses in Savannah, Georgia and recently they’ve been stealing for Agent Bale of Department 13, a top secret division of the US government tasked with protecting Americans from paranormal threats.

Pirate’s Protector picks up right where the last book left off. The Atlanteans had given the crew a mermaid comb which legends say compels a mermaid to do your bidding.

This is where researching for paranormal novels gets really fun! There are SO MANY mermaids in mythologies from all over the world. And since my heroine was a mermaid, I wanted to really dig in and figure out how she came to be… Which led me to Neptune…the planet!

I’ve never researched the atmosphere of other planets for one of my romance novels before, but it really fueled Annika’s backstory. Here’s a little teaser:

He followed her over and sat beside her. The loveseat forced him to be close to her. He didn’t mind, of course, but it made it hard to concentrate when her thigh brushed against his.

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She shook her head and looked over at him. “You didn’t. Talking about the past is sometimes…painful.”

This wasn’t getting him any closer to a smile. She pulled her legs up underneath her and one slipper fell off onto the floor. He bent to pick it up and caught a quick glimpse of her wounded foot. He handed it to her. “What happened to your foot?”

She shrugged. “I’ve been on land too long. It’ll be fine.”

“May I? Foot rubs are my specialty.”

“No, thanks.” She popped the slipper back on, but Duke didn’t miss the tiny wince. This was why she was walking so slowly.

He lifted his gaze and noticed a tattoo of an old skeleton key dangling from a wire on her bicep. “Nice ink.”

“I got it decades ago.” She touched the key. “It’s supposed to be the key to my heart.” She looked at him from under her lashes. “The joke is, I don’t have one.”

He chuckled. “You talk tough, but you’ve been protecting your kind for centuries. I’d say you’ve got more heart than most.”

She broke eye contact with a shrug. “It’s nothing compared to all of yours.”

He grinned. “You were checking out my arms earlier today?”

She pressed her lips together with an arched brow. “Please. I’m pretty sure you wore that tank top so every woman would check them out.”

He chuckled. “Maybe just for a mermaid.”

She studied him, narrowing her eyes slightly. “I thought you were only interested in the history of merfolk.”

“You thought wrong.” He took another bite of pizza, eyeing her. Usually, his easy charm had women smiling and at ease with him in spite of his towering size, but nothing seemed to crack through her emotional walls. He reached for his glass of milk. “I’ve been protecting everyone on my crew for centuries and I’m already tired, so I’m very curious how you keep up the fight after a thousand years.”

Her eyes shone in the light. “Guilt, mostly.” She brushed her hair back over her shoulder. “It was my idea to come and explore Earth. My people built the interstellar portals and traveled into your oceans.”

“Interstellar?” He arched a brow. “As in other planets?”

“Yes.” She went on before he could pepper her with more questions about alien races. “I was too eager, and didn’t consider the ramifications. Once the portals were open, other beings also came through, and some of their intentions weren’t as harmless as ours.”

“Wow.” His mind was spinning with the new information. “What kind of beings?”

She shrugged. “The Atlanteans, the Arcturians, and then a few random trespassers from other galaxies came through to hunt humans for sport. That’s when we started guarding the portals.”

“Caleb, our navigator, met one of the Atlanteans. She was the one who gave him your comb.” Duke grasped the back of his neck, wishing he had written out all his questions. He lifted his gaze to her face. “All the stories and legends say Atargatis was the first mermaid.”

“I’m impressed you know my sister’s name.” She pulled her hair in front of her shoulder.

“Your…” He blinked. “Holy shit.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Atargatis is your sister?”

“Yes.” She nodded, her lips hinting at a smile. “She was the first to make contact with humans and be written about, but we came to this planet together.”

Hearing her share her story made it easy to believe she trusted him, and to forget they had made a deal. That she was obligated to answer his questions. He pushed the thought away and tried to keep her talking. “Is she still here?”

She shook her head, breaking eye contact. “Not anymore. She went back to Neptune through the portal.”

Duke blinked. “I’m no man of science like my mate, Caleb, but…I thought Neptune is made of gasses, not water.”

She met his eyes. “What do you think your water is made of? Hydrogen and oxygen, it’s simply in a liquid state. Our bodies adapt quickly to every gas permutation.”

I have a $5 Amazon gift card to give away to one commenter, just let me know your favorite Mermaid book or movie.

Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler

Lisa Kessler is an Amazon Best Selling and award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

5 thoughts on “Researching to Write a Paranormal Romance – By Lisa Kessler”

  1. bn100 says:


  2. Rachel Raonaid Flesher says:

    The Little Mermaid – not the disney one! The 2018 one featuring Poppy Drayton.

    I do like the mermaids in Ice Fantasy – They are really striking and beautiful.

  3. Onara Garcia says:

    I’ve finished Pirate’s Protecor and have to say, it’s as well written as the other books by Lisa Kessler. This has mystery, magic and adventure with danger and romance. The Sea Dog and her crew are well worth knowing.

  4. Vicki says:

    I mean, from a nostalgia perspective I have to say The Little Mermaid. I was obsessed with that movie as a kid – watched it every day, pretended I was Ariel in the tub and my kiddie pool, asked my mom for a red wig and purple shell bra and pretended I couldn’t walk, flopping my legs around on the floor. LOL

  5. Colleen C. says:

    Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest from our Blog


He blinked, as if he hadn’t noticed where they were. “Home?” He looked around him, then back at her, and the way he said it sounded as though it was a personal jab at her. “Don’t know if this will ever feel like home again.” He glanced down at her hand on his shoulder and… Read More

Read More