Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dolphin Diaries series by Ben M. Baglio

Today I am reviewing an old series from my childhood called The Dolphin Diaries. There's a total of 10 books in the series that follows a young girl on a trip with her parents who are marine biologists. Along the way, she encounters dolphins that need to be rescued.

These books are perfect for children in grades 4 and over (I believe I started reading these when I was in grade 5, all the way up to grade 8), and they are perfect for introducing your children to the subject of dolphins and marine biology. It may also cultivate a love of reading. 
I remember reading these books over and over again until they wore out, and I would wait until the next book in the series came out so I could buy it with the money I saved up. My most favourite was Book 4: Under the Stars.

I highly recommend this series. 5 out of 5 stars.

I do apologise for the extremely short review - I am currently reading Rescue Sirens by Jessica Steele-Sanders and it's taking longer than I had hoped. 

Thank your for being patient! See you all next month!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Kiss That Changed Me 2017 Book Review

   Finally, the long awaited review for The Kiss That Changed Me is here! For this review I’m going to attempt to write without any spoilers, which is pretty difficult for me because in order for me to fully enjoy the book and recommend it to others I always look at the details beginning middle to end. I always end up “spoiling” parts of the book which is apparently something that people don’t like.

   First off, this was an incredibly long book. I started reading this back in December thinking “I’ll be able to finish in time to put up a review for the end of December,” but I was wrong. I didn’t finish until two days ago. And I didn’t finish because I took my time reading… and I took my time reading because the book this time around is so, so, SO detailed. From the book’s summary, we know that there will be a great war of the merworlds and our protagonist must find and recruit members to fight off the enemies. For this, she must travel unto unknown territory, and by the end of the book, the lands she finds herself in are a little dreamy, but real enough as though you were travelling with her. Once again, Kristy Nicolle manages to immerse her readers into the mermaid realm, only this time you’re not only immersed, but you can “see” things in front of you as her words paint images into your mind’s eye. Seeing her world being built in that much detail for me was like being immersed into the world of Harry Potter. It’s THAT detailed. We also see Kristy’s growth as an author, which is something to appreciate, and how far she has come from her first book in the series The Kiss That Killed Me.

   Speaking of that book, remember in a previous review when I said I don’t read romance novels? Well, after reading this trilogy, I completely forgot that it was even a romance! I hadn’t noticed until the very end when Kristy brings it back altogether and reminds the readers “Hey remember, that this book is about the protagonist and her lover.” Even though it ended concluding the book was a cheesy romance, I did appreciate that the majority of the story was fantasy based, and that made it much more enjoyable.
:P Thanks, Kristy, thanks.

   One thing I did want to discuss was the one particular world that the protagonist lands in (Japan).
Throughout the book, she finds herself in different territories of merfolk, all of which have their own myths, histories, and beliefs. I just wanted to say that as an Asian person, I appreciate how much diversity was represented in this book, and representation is so very important to me. As a non-Japanese however, I cannot confirm whether or not the details of this world was accurate from costume to customs to geisha history. However, I can confirm that as a person of Vietnamese and Chinese descent, who has done a fair amount of research into the histories of her background and Japan’s cultural history, that the costume for the Empress, and the throne room of the Emperor, is slightly inaccurate as some of the style is borrowed from China. Even so, Kristy makes up for it by making sure there is Japanese being spoken in the novel, and that the language use was accurate, such as not switching back and forth from Japanese to English for no reason at all. I’m a stickler for consistent language use. The Japanese characters all speak English, broken or fluent otherwise, to only our protagonists, or if they speak to each other in English it’s so that the protagonists can understand and they can hear. Also, I took into consideration that in the Japanese education system it is required for students to take English classes, and that there are younger mer lings that exist in this chapter so of course they’d be able to at least speak because this is set in the modern world. Having said that, Kristy does a wonderful job of world building here and it shows that she did plenty of research beforehand. As for the other worlds encountered, I can’t gauge accuracy because I am neither Scottish, Italian, African, or Hawaiian. Anyone who is and can determine this, please do! (My most favourite worlds are Hawaii and Italy).

   Another thing I also want to discuss is the representation of LGBTQ mers. Again, representation is very important for me and I feel that Kristy does an amazing job here by normalising a gay relationship. Pardon my swear here, but holy shit thank you for normalising this!
If you’re a homophobe, this book isn’t for you. But no one cares about you, so :PBTHH!!:

   Final thing I want to mention; in the first book, the language was very repetitive and the plot was very predictable. However, I am proud to say that this book was neither repetitive, nor predictable. I can’t tell you with what happens during the war, but I can tell you there is tons of bloodshed that everyone needs to be prepared for, and it was well worth the wait. There’s even a lovely surprise at the end that Kristy has blessed us with.

So to summarise; plenty of representation, a lot of diversity, excellent language use, tons of research obviously put into this, and a detailed world of mermaids. All the more reason to pick up the novel as soon as you can, don’t you think?

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Gold and Pearl Ring contest

Hey everyone!

My author friend Demelza Carlton just created a contest to win this super beautiful gold and pearl ring fit for a mermaid!

To enter the contest, click on the link below and enter! (You might end up with free romance books too!)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Oct 21st Update!

Hello everyone!

I've a short announcement~

I've finished illustrating all of the pages of Orange County Mermaid's children's book, and I'll be working on another one this time with Elseanna Mermaid (you can check her out at ElseannaMermaid.com ). This one will take up a little bit more time and the slated date for completion (on my end) will be for Mid-September 2017. I won't release details of the book just yet until she does, but until then please keep an eye out.

Much love
SeaGlass Siren

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back from Hiatus! September 6th, 2016

Good afternoon, fellow mers!

I'm happy to announce that I will be working with the Orange County Mermaid on a children's alphabet book as an illustrator! I'm also now affiliated with Kristy Nicolle, author of the Tidal Kiss Trilogy.
As such, I have decided to get this blog back up and running. I won't be updating the catalogue as often as I used to, but I will be providing book reviews for books I have read. They will include spoilers and spoiler alerts, however for the ones who do not enjoy reading spoilers in reviews I will write a separate non-spoiler review and it will be posted on my facebook page.

For my first reviews, I will be reviewing Kristy Nicolle's first two book in the Tidal Kiss Trilogy, The Kiss that Killed Me, and The Kiss That Saved Me.

Those will be posted later in the week as I will also be working on illustrations for the upcoming children's book.

Stay tuned!
The SeaGlass Siren

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jan. 30th 2016

Happy new year!

I apologize for my absence, but I have been taking a bit of a hiatus so I could focus on my personal life. I'd like to make a quick announcement before I publish the next feature author, Robert E Thornsberry, of "The Accidental Mermaid."

I'm still on hiatus, unfortunately, but I will find the time to update when I can. It just won't be a priority. I'm still trying to get my life together; I promise you all that everything is fine, life has just gotten more busier and I just have to re-evaluate and prioritize things.

Also I'm behind on books I need to add into the catalogue. I have... too... many... and I am still looking for volunteers who would like to look after this site for me! If anyone is interested, you know how to reach me!

With love, SeaGlass Siren.


Without further ado, please welcome Robert E Thornsberry, the author of "The Accidental Mermaid."

SS: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview! To start, how long have you been writing for?
R: I tried writing on and off for quite a long time. It didn't quite catch on for me until 2010, when I found that my writing got better when I stopped taking it (and myself) seriously and started doing it for fun.

SS: Was that how "the accidental mermaid" was created? :P was it a fun accident? 
R:Yes, it began with two short stories, 'Alex and Hannah' and Hannah's Tale', and grew from there. Both stories were originally parallel, one told from the man's POV the other from the woman's. They were too interesting for me to drop. I found then that other people liked them too.

SS: How did you come up with Alex and Hannah? Can you provide a brief synopsis what the book is about?
R: It's about a young couple, Hannah Mendenhall, a proofreader/editor for a small fantasy game publisher, and her soon to be husband and CPA, Alex Harris. They both become caught up in the Xanadu Event, a magical disaster that transforms visitors to a cosplaying convention into whatever costume they were wearing at that moment. (The Xanadu Event setting was originally created by Bryan Derksen.)
When the disaster happened, Hannah was in the middle of a costume change from a Vulcan Starfleet officer to a mermaid. Alex came as a Jedi knight. They first have to find each other, then figure out what to do with their new lives along with thousands of other survivors.

SS: So I take it that the force is strong with you then! When did you decide to publish this? If I'm correct, I also recall there was a sequel to this as well. do you work out the details of the plot or just see where it takes you?
R: The sequel to The Accidental Mermaid is The Girl With the Sea-Green Eyes, also available on Kindle and Barnes and Noble.
I just see where the characters and events take me. I have only a rough outline in my head. Probably not very wise, but so far it works for me.

SS: So far, what has been the hardest part about writing?
R: Finishing something instead of getting distracted by reality or shiny new story ideas.

SS: How did you come up with the cover?
R: It's a parody of the original Star Wars movie poster. The artist was Robet Xu from Indonesia. He also did some of the interior illustrations.

SS: Will you be planning on making it a trilogy or a series of books?
R: I'm waiting for one or more of the characters to wake me up in the middle of the night saying, 'Hey, here are some new ideas, get busy.' (It's happened before.)
SS: Fair enough lol! Alright, that pretty much concludes the questioning. Thanks so much for doing this!
R: You're very welcome!

To purchase his book "The Accidental Mermaid", click here, and here for "The Girl with the Sea-Green Eyes"!
Also, as of this morning you can now find his new book "Spindrift", t
he space opera with a mermaid, as a Kindle ebook available for purchase on Amazon!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Author of the Month - Holiday Special: Moon Mermaid

Happy Moon Mermaid Book Release Day!!

I guess you know what that means... It's time to share Moon Mermaid's interview!

Moon Mermaid was ever so gracious enough to take time out of her fins to answer questions very last minute (literally two days ago!), so I want to extend a huge, HUGE, thank you to her for this interview! Enjoy!

Credits go to: Grant Brummett

SSML: so moon mermaid, tell me about yourself!
Moon: My name is Moon Mermaid, I was born in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and first surfaced to humans in 2003. There weren't many mermaids when I started entertaining humans on land and I was very lucky to get to travel many exciting places! I enjoy entertaining for humans for festivals, conventions, fairs, aquariums, children's parties and events with my travelling lagoon and the 40 feet tank! It's so exciting and makes everyone so happy!

S: Who gave you the name "Moon Mermaid"?
M: I am a lunar mermaid, I was created by magic, my mother the moon and my father the sea. When I was born I thought I was the only mermaid until I met other mermaids on my adventures. I didn't have a name for a long time and my pirate friends I had met started calling me "Moon" so it stuck!

(Editors note: Aw that's so cute!!)
S: Now recently you wrote a book, "Moon Mermaid and the Treasure of Friendship"... could you tell me a little bit more about it?
M: Yes! I'm so excited! I first started shooting for my book in 2012 with lead photographer Grant Brummett capturing many of my adventures on land and underwater! It's a very colorful book using real photos of my adventures where I found a very magical map that lead me on an adventure of what my heart truly desired, friendship. You will see mermaids, pirates, a wizard, fairy, unicorn and treasure in my new book! The book was written for children but I found adults are just as excited to get one! My book release is this Saturday in Arizona and I am bringing many friends from my book to meet everyone! We are so, so, so excited!

S: Where did you get the idea for it? 
M: The book captured moments of my life as a mermaid, and some very common questions I get asked about such as, "how do you get legs"? You will see many of my secrets as you go through my adventure! During my live readings of the book I actually bring magical items from the story for children to find and point out! They love being able to see the actual items and hold them!

S: What inspired you?
M: I wanted to create a book that captured all of my friends that children often see with me. I wanted to show them how we all met and share our story with everyone. It has become kind of a family album of magical creatures for us!

S: Almost like a documentary of sorts!wink emoticon 
M: Yes!

S: Do you plan on telling more stories and releasing more books?
M:Yes, I have several books I am writing now and we will start shooting photos for the next one this spring. My good friend and lead photographer Grant passed away on the 25th and was not able to see this book completed. I am making arrangements for my new stories to be captured as well as he would have wanted. My current book has been dedicated in his memory. Without giving too much away some of my books will be strictly mermaids, and another book capturing my adventures with pirates!

S: Oh no I'm sorry for your loss!
M: Thank you.

S: Was it difficult to publish your books? What was that process like?
M: Yes and no. Thanks to the magical world of the Internet anyone can create a book pretty easily. However, as I said I first started the shooting for this book in 2012 so it was a long and sometime emotional process. It has been very expensive and I had to run a gofundme campaign as well as a lot of fundraising to barely cover a small fraction of the costs. Unfortunately, you can't pay for a book with seashells and sand dollars, who knew?!

S: They didn't take pirate gold as payment either eh?
M: Hehe!

S: Would like to give us a small hint on what the next story will be about?
M: Yes, I have 5 books I'm starting the writing on. It will take a lot of work for each book so hopefully the next one will be released this time in the next year or two! It's challenging when the book is captured in photos and is self published. The pirate adventure will capture my stories and relationships with the pirates. Some people think my pirate friends must be scary bad guys but I will be showing OUR story! (The pirates and I have a deal; I keep them safe at sea in in bad weather, they help me! Plus I can dive farther for the sunken treasure! It's good to be friends with a mermaid!) 
As for the mermaid books, I can't spill the beans on those just yet!

S: Dolphinately! Do you have any advice for other mers who want to follow your flippers and go with this storytelling route? Because I must say this is the most creative that I've ever seen... really unique and really different by going with photography as opposed to illustrated.
M: Oh, thank you! Yes, if any mers want to give it a try, I say go for it! It will be challenging, sometimes expensive, and takes a lot of commitment but it's so rewarding in the end as with accomplishing any goal. I'd personally love to see more mermaid books out there!

S: Finally, where can we find your books for purchase? Which is in two days!!!! (Editor's note - actually today! The interview took place just two days ago~)
M: Yes! Wow only 2 days away, it's so surreal! The books are available for per-order and on my Etsy. The link is on my website www.TheMoonMermaid.com or Etsy.com/Shop/TheMoonMermaid ! I am working now on a small book tour, most likely at aquariums, book stores, and kids museums so check my Facebook and website for those announcements later this year!

S: Thanks so much for taking the time for the interview !
M: Thank you so much, I appreciate the interview!

To purchase Moon Mermaid's new book, visit www.TheMoonMermaid.com and Etsy.com/shop/TheMoonMermaid