Spotlight, Teasers & Review: The Mermaid Handbook: An Alluring Treasury of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects by Carolyn Turgeon

Book Blurb

Answer the enchanting siren call of the mermaid with this comprehensive, lavishly illustrated and intricately designed one-of-a-kind lifestyle compendium from the editor in chief of Faerie Magazine and author of The Faerie Handbook and globally published novel Mermaid, packed with lore, legends, facts and trivia, beautiful illustrations, and numerous step-by-step projects and recipes.

Beautiful, seductive, mysterious, and potentially dangerous, the mermaid is a global literary and pop culture icon whose roots date back to ancient sea goddesses and Greek mythology. From Homer’s Odyssey and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Little Mermaid to T.S. Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and the Disney animated film The Little Mermaid, this sea vixen has long seduced popular imagination. Cosmetic companies have drawn inspiration for their makeup lines from mermaids, as have designers throughout fashion history, from Jean Patou to Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen. The fishtail dress is a perennial long red-carpet staple, favored by the likes of Marion Cotillard, Sofia Vergara, and Blake Lively.

Divided into four sections—Fashion and Beauty; Arts and Culture; Real Mermaids and Where to Find Them; and Food, Entertaining and Stories of the Sea—The Mermaid Handbook is a unique and sumptuous compilation filled with creative ideas for decorating and living inspired by these beauties from the deep. Learn to make a sailor’s valentine; a mermaid comb and crown; and a pearl and sequin paillette necklace. There are recipes for mermaid-themed poke bowls, aquatic-themed honey gingerbread cookies, and the official cocktail of the 1960s-era mermaid attraction Aquarama.

Folklore expert Carolyn Turgeon also includes profiles of true modern mermaids, tail makers, and mermaid bars; visits mermaid attractions like Weeki Wachee Springs; and provides tips on getting beachy mermaid hair and creating an alluring eye. This collector’s item also includes an inset image on the front cover; ornate metallic blue foil patterning on the front, spine, and back; blue stained edges; a satin bookmark, and quality paper.

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Toot's Review

Oh my gosh where do I start with this book? I received it in hardback and it is absolutely stunning. I didn't even want to unwrap it, it's just that precious looking. It honestly looks like one of those books you'd see in old TV Guide ads for the Bradford Exchange. Remember they'd show collectibles that were hundreds of dollars and you could make monthly installments because it was going to be a book you'd pass down for generations? Seriously people, it's just that beautiful!

From the beautiful script, to the gold embossing, to the 250 pages of full color photos that include art of Mermaids from around the world. Each page is an eye full of knowledge, history and just wonderful fun facts. The author really did her research and Harper Collins put together a magnificent book. This should be in every mermaid, high fantasy, ocean fan and/or art lover's collection. Even the page edges have gold on them. I would consider this the jewel in whatever you collect or just place it as a decorative item on a coffee table. Whatever the reason you purchase it, know that you're getting quality literature, art and engrossing facts from the past to the present on everything Mermaid.

Oh and this book next to her Faerie Handbook looks breathtaking on the shelf, just sayin'.

Author Info

Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels—Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All, and The Next Full Moon, most of them based on old-time fairy tales, dark and glimmering—and, more recently, The Faerie Handbook and The Mermaid Handbook. 

She's also also the editor-in-chief of Faerie Magazine, a quarterly print publication that the NY Times called “what would happen if Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Martha Stewart Living had a magazine baby.” 

Currently she lives in a 1930s building in Baltimore that might have emerged from a Greta Garbo film and/or The Shining, depending on your mood, and is writing like a madwoman, usually from her purple velvet couch. Learn more at and

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