The Little Mermaid by Jenni James (Blog Tour Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway)

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I reviewed Jack and the Beanstalk last week for this tour (see my review here) and this week I'm reviewing The Little Mermaid. Check out what I thought, an excerpt, the rest of the series, and enter the giveaway below...

The Little Mermaid (Faerie Tale Collection, #11)The Little Mermaid
(Faerie Tale Collection #11)
by Jenni James
YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Paperback & ebook, 154 Pages
August 1st 2014 by StoneHouse Ink

Summary

Is grass truly greener than ocean blue? 

Pearl has always dreamed of visiting the land of humans, to walk with them, eat with them, and learn everything she can from them. But no one in the North Seas agrees with her. In fact, they are all convinced that the landfolk are a dangerous, scary group of people who would harm the mermaid if they could. 

Keel, the great merprince of the North Seas, has never loved anyone as much as he loves Pearl. He knows of her fascination with mankind and realizes she will never be truly settled until she has walked among the humans. So he finally relents, giving her a potion to grow legs of her own so she can experience the world above the water. He vows to come on land and protect her, as he doesn’t trust humans and never will. 

Join us in this unique twist of a tale about a princess determined to find a world and life better than her own, and the prince who is willing to risk it all to guarantee that she finds her own happiness.

  
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My Review

THE LITTLE MERMAID was a lovely retelling of the classic with its own twists. It is a little bit of a coming-of-age story as Pearl figures out what and who she really wants after her experience on land. It was whimsical, sweet, full of friendship and romance. Would recommend to those who enjoy fairy tales that are light and read more like fables.

Each of the stories in this series are short and sweet. There are enough twists to keep the tales different from their originals and stand on their own. The dialogue and language feels more traditional, like an old-fashioned tale being told. I would have liked a little more depth, especially into secondary characters and into the main characters and their emotions, but I'm sure these feel lighter and written this way on purpose. An enjoyable and quick read.

Content: Some mild violence, but clean.

Source: Received a complimentary copy from a virtual tour host, which did not affect my review in any way.

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

PEARL GIGGLED AS THE rush of bubbles swirled up and around her fins and over her arms and kissed her cheeks. There was nothing more exciting than the Octavian underground sea vents.
"Try this one," Keel shouted from about ten feet to the left of her. "You have never experienced anything like this." 
Not needing another moment to decide, she quickly swam over to the handsome prince. He was amidst three streams of bubbles, all coming from the same hole tucked within the shimmering coral beneath them. Each stream sparkled and tickled as it burst around the two merfolk.
He slipped his arms around her waist, his own fin twitching as the persistent air escaped over their bodies.
She snuggled against his chest and grinned. Just then, the tide shifted and the bubbles caught her bright red hair, whisking and dancing with it above them both. It felt so wonderful, as if a million minnows were gently tugging against the strands. Mmm . . . She laid her head back upon him and relished in the sweetness of it all.
He chuckled, his deep voice resonating through his chest. "Did I not tell you this was magical?"
"A hundred times."
“And yet you still resisted coming out here, did you not?"
She closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Hush, you. I can choose to be stubborn if I wish to be."
"Aye. As stubborn as any of the great female tyrants who have ruled the sea."
"Tyrant?" She gasped and pretended to be appalled at his silly declarations, but found that the sensation of being in his embrace and the soft tickling of the bubbles around her was too delicious not to stay exactly where she was for some time more.
He chuckled again. "You sound so upset by my teasing."
"I am," she murmured into him. "And later, you shall pay for being such a brute. Until then, I think I shall remain here a bit longer."
"Only a bit?" She felt his hand slowly work his way up her back. So calm and peaceful.
"Mmm . . . Maybe a bit longer than a bit." She grinned into his chest.
After a few minutes of silence, he murmured against her brow, "Pearl?"
"Yes?" she asked, not moving an inch.
She felt his chest expand as he inhaled a large mass of the glorious sea water in these parts. His hands stilled in their travels along her back and instead came to rest against her shoulders. Slowly, he pushed her resisting form back enough to look deeply into her eyes.
"Keel, what is it?" she asked. Usually he was much more playful. "Why are you so intense all of a sudden?"
"You know there is no one else in this ocean I would rather be with than you."
"Yes, I know. We have so much fun together."
He shook his head, his features looking a bit lost for a moment. "Do you only ever see the fun?"
Pearl blinked, not sure where this conversation was going. "Do you not?"
"No." His fingers reached up and captured her jaw. "No, my dear, I think of so very much more when I am with you."
She trembled when his thumb traced her lip briefly. "What do you imagine when we are together?"
"Everything. The world. The ocean is ours. As if we could truly rule it all together."
"But . . . Keel?" Could he really be saying this to her now? Did he not remember she had vowed never to love him? Why would he even briefly touch on such a subject? He knew her desires to see so very much before she settled down. There was so much more to explore and do and see and become and learn from. 
"I know you will believe I am speaking out of turn or whatever nonsense you have convinced yourself of, but Pearl dearest, you are in love with me, and it is time you understood that."
She flinched and was about to push out of his grasp, but Keel was quicker. His mouth found hers. Again. Great reef! Why could she never function after the merman kissed her? Nothing seemed to form even the faintest of coherent thoughts when his perfect mouth decided to remind her once again how much she enjoyed his company. 
Sighing, she happily brought her arms around his neck and kissed him for quite a few more minutes before he pulled back.
He smiled smugly and then kissed her cheek before moving to her ear and whispering, "Marry me."
Her heart fluttered for a full ten seconds and she could hardly catch her fluid, it was so difficult to inhale. Yes, she wanted to shout. Yes, the dancing flutterfish in her stomach were enough evidence to tell her there was nothing she could wish for more than to be his wife. His princess. His love. 
Gah. She melted into his chest again, her frantic heart racing, her smile so very wide. And then she remembered. Clutching his arms for a moment, she allowed the wave of silliness to leave her. Instead, she focused on the sparkling bubbles around them. The vibrant, skittering domes bobbed and tumbled their way up to the surface. 
To that great unknown world.
Oh, to be free like that! To explore and see and have so very many adventures!
She looked back at the dear merman in front of her. Touching his face lightly, she stared into his pretty aqua-colored eyes and then kissed those handsome lips tenderly before declaring, "I cannot. My destiny lies in the world above me. I must go. I must search this amazing place out first. To really live and see and be and do."
Worry etched his chiseled face. "If you do, I cannot imagine you ever returning."
Pearl bit her lip and then shrugged slightly. There was nothing to be said about such a declaration. "And I cannot promise to return. There is hope and happiness and beauty here. But what of my desire to know what is best for me? What of my longing to see what might be out there? If it is my destiny to return, I shall, but with this tugging within me, I cannot imagine there being anything here that will make up for the glories I will find."
The words were out before she realized the true sting of them.
His open, trusting eyes distanced themselves in that instant, as if an unseen barrier came between them and he hardened the friendship he had with her. "Go, then. Go and see your world. Live your dreams." He kicked his fins and swam a few paces away. Instantly, she felt bereft without his arms about her. "Go. The rest of us will stay here and do what we have promised to do."
"You say it like I am betraying my family or something."
"Are you not?" The coldness about him shocked her. 
A surge of irritation flashed through her small frame as she flipped her fins. "You may believe what you wish, Prince Keel, but I know my place is not of this ocean yet! I must learn and grow first. Think me selfish if you must. But a true friend, a true man who loved me, would want what is best for me. I refuse to be tied down to this tedious sea life. There is nothing about this that makes me happy."

All at once, Keel seemed harrowed by a shot of pain. His eyes darkened, his perfect mouth turned down, and he simply shook his head. "Forgive me for my proposal. May the great waves be with you. I wish you well." With that, he swam away, leaving her alone in the joyous Octavian underground sea vents. 


Other Books in the Series

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(Affiliate link included.)


Still to come:
13. Return to Netherland
14.Captain Hook
15. Princess Red
16. Princess with the Golden Touch
17. Princess and the Pea
18. Rose Red
19. Thumbelina
20. The Ugly Princess
21. Diamonds and Toads
22. The Ice Queen
23. The Forgotten Princess
24. King Thrushbeard
25. The Swan Princess
26. The Goose Girl
27. The Light Princesses
28. Princess Nightingale
29. The Princess Who Never Laughed
30. The Disenchanted Queen

About the Author

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Jenni James is the busy mother of ten kids (7 hers, 3 her hubby's) and has over twenty-five published book babies. She's an award-winning, best-selling author, who works full-time from home and dreams about magical things and then writes about what she dreams.

Some of her works include The Jane Austen Diaries (Pride & Popularity, Emmalee, Persuaded...), The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection (Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast...), the Andy & Annie series for children, Revitalizing Jane: Drowning, My Paranormal Life, Not Cinderella's Type, and the Austen in Love Series.

When she isn't writing up a storm, she is chasing her kids around their new cottage and farm in the tops of the southwestern mountains, entertaining friends at home, or kissing her amazingly hunky hubby. Her life is full of laughter, crazy, and sunshine.


Tour Schedule

April 18--Beauty & the Beast--Singing Librarian Books
April 19--Sleeping Beauty--Bookworm Lisa
April 20--Rumplestiltskin--26 Countless Possibilities
April 21--Cinderella--Reading Is My SuperPower
April 22--Hansel & Gretel--Katie's Clean Book Collection
April 23--Jack & the Beanstalk--Wishful Endings
April 25--Snow White--Katie's Clean Book Collection
April 26--The Frog Prince--Smiling Book Reviews
April 27--The Twelve Dancing Princesses--Mel's Shelves
April 28--Rapunzel--Reading Is My SuperPower
April 29--The Little Mermaid--Wishful Endings
April 30--Peter Pan--Singing Librarian Books

Tour-Wide Giveaway

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