I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Saturday, May 5, 2012

From the Bookshelf...the ONDINE series

YA author, Ebony McKenna, and her Ondine series feature today.
The Ondine books are a sparkling combination of romance and magic – perfect for teen girls. Written with genuine humour and unique eccentricity, the series is an obvious choice for fans of The Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted.
Ebony McKenna is a fantastically imaginative author whose scope and story-telling encompasses the bizarre, the mysterious and the romantic.
(Ondine series overview from Ebony's website)
Author bio: Ebony McKenna wasted a perfectly good education with her head permanently stuck in fantasy and science fiction novels instead of paying attention to the teachers. After university she spent many years in journalism before turning to writing novel-length fiction.  It took thirteen years and six rejected manuscripts before she struck gold with the Ondine series.

Ebony lives in Melbourne with her husband and school-aged son, who loves LEGO almost as much as his mum. She is going to have to grow up at some point.

Ebony: It's been a long road to publication for me. I wrote for 13 years without much luck. Then the ideas for Ondine took hold and I had to write it - if only to make my friends laugh.
I think what made the difference was that with Ondine, I didn't hold back. I poured everything I had into the book and wrote it for the sheer joy of it. Only when I'd finished did I think it might stand a chance out in the world. Even then, who would fall in love with a ferret hero?
This is the book that finally landed me an agent, and a publishing deal. The team at Egmont UK did a sensational job and were a dream to work with. 

Series: Ondine 
Title/s (in order):
Publisher: Egmont UK & Commonwealth and Hardie Grant Egmont Australia & New Zealand.

Series overview: Fifteen-year-old Ondine is set to have a perfectly normal summer when her pet ferret, Shambles, starts talking with a Scottish accent. Shambles is really Hamish the lad. He offended a witch and she cursed him a good one! Ondine will do anything to break the spell so that Hamish can be a real lad again.
First book and sequel are on sale and I'm madly writing the trequel.

Heroes & Heroines: Ondine and Hamish/Shambles drive the story.

Ondine is feisty, headstrong and prone to mistakes. She lives in her family's pub and is no stranger to hard work. She had two older sisters who amuse and frustrate her, and parents who want the best but can't help treating her like the baby of the family.

Hamish is a rogue and a charmer, living in reduced circumstances thanks to that witch's spell. Oh, and did I mention that witch happens to be Ondine's great aunt?

Hamish steals the show, but ferrets are like that.

Series extras: Not many novels have footnotes, but the Ondine novels do. They're set in the fictional European country of Brugel, a former Soviet Bloc country that hasn't quite made the full transition into the modern world. 

Aust/NZ cover
There were two covers for the first Ondine novel. The Australian & NZ cover features the gorgeous sparkly bud lighting that reflects a turning point in the story when Ondine first sees Hamish in the flesh. (My favourite scene).

The UK and rest of Commonwealth cover features a stronger image of Ondine and a diminutive silhouette of Shambles the ferret.
UK/Commonwealth cover
"What is the point in falling in love with a man if he turns into a ferret when the moon goes down?"
15-year-old Ondine de Groot lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret... He's Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine.
When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can't remain a ferret forever. Can he?

Book #2 has the same cover in all territories: 

One boy, one girl, one plot to be foiled!
Hamish the gorgeous man (and part time ferret) has a new job with the Duke as a spy in his Autumn Palace. So Ondine goes with him. She imagines a hugely romantic escapade together that involves lots of kissing.
What she hadn't imagined was having to do endless laundry, go to school and keep Hamish the man a secret. All the while trying to find out who is plotting to kill the Duke.
And if that weren't bad enough, it seems that Hamish is more interested in getting the Duke's attention than hers. Plus he's always in ferret form. Things can't go on like this!
Can Ondine foil the would-be assassin, save the Duke and get her man back in gorgeous human form? It's going to take a little bit of magic, a lot of stolen kisses and some ferreting around... 

Website link/s:
Ebony's books are available at:

The Book Depository (free worldwide postage)
Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon Canada
A&R Australia  Booktopia  Borders (Aust.)

The novels are also available as e-books, geographically restricted to the UK and Australia. (Sorry about that!)
UK readers     Australian readers

You can also keep track of Ebony's going's-on at her blog (Ebony: I'm often posting about writing and sharing epiphanies along the way. Please drop by and say hello!) and her website.


  1. These stories sound great! And I just happen to know a young teenager who will love them. (Not to mention her adoptive aunt!) Thanks, ladies. :)

  2. Fantastic, Sandy, so glad you've discovered a new author for your niece to try. :-)

  3. Hi Kylie,
    thanks so much for hosting ONDINE on the blog.

    The latest news from my UK publishers, Egmont, is that both ONDINE titles are going into large print! I'm so excited to see the titles going in to a new print run!

    Hi Sandy,
    your comment has placed a huge smile on my face. Thank you very much :-D

  4. Wonderful books by a wonderful author! Both stories are guaranteed to make you smile (and lucky me has both books and they're autographed!) Nice to see you here, Ebs :)

    Thanks for having Ebony as your special guest, Kylie.

  5. I adore these books and their quirky setting--thanks so much for the feature!