A Stella Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

I fell in love with this book since the first time I saw its cover, too cute and well done to be ignored by a cover whore like me. Then I read the blurb and guess what? The first cartoon I remember from my childhood, which videotape I still save, is The Little Mermaid, that’s why I was so curious to see how a new to me author would turn this fairytale into a FF retelling.

I have to say I loved The Seafarer’s Kiss a lot. I took my time at reading it and each time I put my eyes on a new chapter, I was surprised and satisfied. First of all the characters were awesome, each of them, they were beautifully delined and the growth they went throught was clear and always positive. Ersel in particular was beautifully done, she was fierce and brave, as Ragna was too. And that was the reason why they were a match made in heaven.

Nothing in the plot has been left to the chance, how and why our MCs met, why they needed to be parted, how they were together again, and the lovely happy ending. Mixed with these, a lot of things happened, event after event that took me engaged till the end. I got to know some great characters, like Ersel’s mum, who broke my heart with her huge love for the daughter she is ready to let go, and then Havamal, the ex-bestfriend who betrayed Ersel, and the dreams they made together, to join the guards of the evil king.

The story took place in a well craft world and it surprised me, I wasn’t waiting for so many details, I was able to understand and emphatize with not just Ersel but with Vigdis too, the popular girl. I felt the despair they had in their souls, how both of them, differently, were ready to do everything it was possible to fullfill their dreams. The writing was perfect for a book like this, where I so wanted to be able to see in my mind this magic world and its ihnabitants. It’s an evocative writing, I could picture every word I read, every new character I met. And I fell for all of them.

I don’t want to say more about the plot because I don’t want to spoil your reading, but I was deeply conquered, all the little twists the author gave to me, were little steps to the success The Seafarer’s Kiss was to me. In this book you can find a contemporary story, with some young adult elements and a fairytale with some mythology added. All blended together.

I have to say, I would so love to read the same story told by Ragna, it would be a copletely different story. I think following her in her travellings and mis/adventures would be incredible and truly exciting. I have just to try and convince the author.

The cover art by CB Messer is so fitting, the same scene can be easily find in the story, exactly like this. And it’s cute, and the style and the colors just perfect.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 224 pages

Published May 4th 2017 by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press

ASIN B01MUJHWTO

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Where We Belong (States of Love) by Tia Fielding

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

where-we-belong-by-tia-fieldingIt all starts at a concert at the Red Rock Amphitheater in 2004. Blake just finished high school, Dusty is a college sophomore, and as soon as they meet, they know—they belong together. With Blake living in Nebraska and Dusty in Colorado, distance does its best to keep them apart.

For two years, it succeeds.

Then Blake flees his bigoted—and even dangerous—hometown.

Two years later, Blake and Dusty are getting their lives off the ground, with Blake trying to grow his computer repair business and Dusty working with kindergarteners. Dusty thinks there’s room in their hearts and their lives for their family to grow… he just has to figure out how to express that to Blake.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Where We Belong was perfect to me, it fits in it every little thing I love to find in my books. I’m a fan of these kind of stories, where the author bring me along in a beautiful journey through the  MCs lives during a long timeframe. In this new release by Tia Fielding, I followed Dusty and Blake throught twelve years and I learned to love them and their faimily year after year a little more.

Plus I love stories with children.

I saw Dusty the first time he laid eyes on the shy Blake, when both of them were forced to accompain one his best friend Holly, the other his wonderful mum Julia, to an Incubus concert.

The same day they took a hike together and discovered they had the same fierce passion for nature. That same day they discovered they were made for each other.

I saw Julia being forced to throw out of her home his own son, begging him among the tears to leave her, just to save Blake from the homophobic town they were living in. I saw Blake found a new home in Dusty arms with a simplicity lovely to watch.

And then I saw Dusty and Blake slowly working on building a future together, a real one, because there wasn’t a moment when they just for an instant doubted of having a future together. And later the idea of having a child became reality in the little and too smart Molly.

To me Where We Belong was a huge success, it’s exactly what I like to read, there was no drama, no mistakes to amend, everything went smoothly and I’d like to believe sometimes life can be easy and beautiful  like that.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is perfect, adorable and cute as the book.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 77 pages

Publication Date: November 30th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1634777972 (ISBN13: 9781634777971)

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage (2016 Daily Dose – A Walk on the Wild Side) by C.S. Poe

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RATING:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Love, Marriage and a Baby CarriageTheodore Reinhart is a young man looking for love. In San Diego. At a convention. For penguin shifters. WaddleCon is the go-to event of the year when looking for your life partner, but Theodore isn’t comfortable with the game they’ve turned dating into, nor does the convention provide for the gay community. A mistake in speed dating table assignments puts Theodore in front of Wesley O’Neill, a handsome and confident model who lets it slip that he’s definitely noticed the spark of attraction between them.

A perfect date ends prematurely when Theodore finds an abandoned egg in a bathroom trash can. Unable to leave it behind, Theodore and Wesley play a mad game of cat and mouse across the resort trying to keep it safe, all while growing closer to one another. Wesley may be the forever partner Theodore came looking for, but their relationship won’t work if they don’t make room for a little addition to the family.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package “A Walk on the Wild Side.”

Theodore is having a bad day. With no suitcase (lost somewhere between New York, where he lives, and San Diego, where he  has just landed for the Waddle Con), a messy hair and an awful suit (brown jacket and salmon pants. Can you imagine him?) But his bad luck has no end.  He had just discovered the Waddle Con is a convention for single people who wants to find their forever penguin partner. Yes, he is a Magellanic penguin shifter but there’re a little problem. He is really not so straight. Then forced to join a speed dating, after woman #6, he sits at a table where an unbelievable beautiful man with dimples, aka Wesley is. The attraction and something more deep soon sparkle between them. And just when their dinner date is finally going to turn the heat on, in the trash bin of the restaurant’s restroom, Theodore finds an abandoned egg.

Love, Marriage, And a Baby Carriage made my day. It is very short, nonetheless the author did an amazing work. In just 32 pages I got a complete story, sweet, funny and with no pauses. A crescendo of great scenes that wrap up with a super cute ending. It was just adorable, my first book by C.S. Poe and I can’t wait to read more by her. Plus it was the first time I read about penguin shifters, the little scene where Wes swims in the bathtub was too quick. I want more of this world, I want more of Wes, Theodore and their baby.

The cover art by Catt Ford was not made for this particular story, but for the whole “A Walk on the Wild Side” anthology. It’s intriguing and fully reflects the theme of the package. I love the use of the colors.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634774868 (ISBN13: 9781634774864)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Daily Dose – A Walk on the Wild Side
CharactersTheodore Reinhart, Wesley O’Neill settingSan Diego, California (United States)