Heart's Desire by Julie Reece: After a terrible accident, Tessa returns to her family beach house to heal. She doesn't expect to see her first summer crush from seven years before. Cameron, though, reappears and ignites a relationship that's far more intense than ever before. The only problem? Summer is once again coming to an end, and this time, Tessa will have to decide whether to choose life with Cameron or to never see him again.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian: Under Poseidon's rule, Circe is the most destructive siren in the Pacific ocean, her songs luring ships and their crew to their watery graves. Not Otis, the best halibut fisherman in the Alaskan waters. His ship, the Calypso, has avoided disaster each time Circe set her sights on him. Given one last chance to deliver Otis to Davy Jones' locker, Circe takes to land to waylay the handsome captain. Instead, it may be Otis himself who hooks the Siren.
Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said: Should Miki choose to wed the local wealthy boy she doesn't love, her stomach will stop grumbling. Her soul, however, will suffocate. With one last opportunity before she must concede, she sneaks off for a final dive to her hidden crate at the bottom of the seabed. What waits for her is more than a captured lobster. It's a treasure she cannot claim without great sacrifice or true love.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams Nixie: A water sprite, lives a solitary existence as she struggles to understand the strange world beyond her waters. When she meets one of the pink ones, a curious boy named Wyatt, their friendship blooms into a love that can exist only upon the sands that divide his solid ground from her underwater paradise. Some love, though, once born, cannot be undone, even in the face of death.
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.
With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has ten published novels and is working on two more for Entangled Publishing.
When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her kayaking or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.
Have an ARC of this one. Thought I'd make my way through one story at a time as it's always best to do with anthologies. After all, how can a group review cover different authors.
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece This is such a lovely story. There is sadness and heartache, and hope, and yearning, and desire, and love, and the added fantastical element written in a way that gives this an almost fairy tale/dreamlike persona. Very enjoyable. My only complaint would be that the development between Cam and Tessa and the time they spent together could so have turned this into a longer story because I'm sure I'd have loved being on that part of their journey with them. :o)
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian I struggled a little with the opening of this one. I'm not sure why. I don't know if it's because it dove right into the issue the female had to deal with and I was suddenly thrust into a situation where I had to keep up and understand before I'd barely been introduced to the character I was expected to care about. BUT ... I read on, and got to the part where Circe met Otis and I was a gonner. I loved Otis. He's just adorable. The dude alone could have fronted an entire novel and had female readers swooning over him. I really enjoyed watching the development between them because Circe was really such a sweet little thing, also. The only thing that bugged me was the ending a little bit. Not 'how' it ended, but the comedy that was suddenly thrust upon us between Poseidon and Aphrodite and how easily this (what I've always envisioned to be) fearful god kowtowed to the other god's demand. The strength of the humour seemed a little out of place in context with the rest of the story and so almost seemed forced, and the compliance from he who should have opposed their 'love' a little too neat. But I still enjoyed it a lot. :o)
Pearl if Pau'maa by Kelly Said This one was a gorgeous surprise. The descriptions took me along nicely for the ride. The characters--both Harmon and Miki--were adorable. Creeb made me giggle a lot, despite his short appearance. And I couldn't help but be slightly awed by the author's imagination with this one. Oh, yes: and I had a goofy smile most of the way through. :o)
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams Okay, first word: WAHN! Man, I feel like blarting after finishing this one. Talk about emotional. Another tale told in an almost surreal and dreamlike fashion, with a couple of adorable characters leading the way. I'm not sure there's much more to say other than it's totally adorable and don't read without tissues at the ready.
4.5 Stars for this wonderful collection of Undersea tales.
Tidal Whispers is a collection of 4 tales, all with an ocean theme. My obsession with the sea made it easy for me to be sucked in by these four well-weaved stories.
In order to fully appreciate the book, I thought the review should really contain an individual look at each of the stories contained in the anthology.
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece:
For me, this was the perfect story to start this anthology with. Ms Reece has a gift for descriptions, and I was immediately drawn into the story of Tessa, a young girl lost, feeling alone in the world, and suffering the loss of her parents. The emotions are heart stirring, raw, and really well presented. Cam, her love interest in the story is a boy she grew up spending summers with.
I really liked the feel of this tale. Much of it reminded me of summers I spent at the shore, and the friends I saw but once a year and always had such close ties to. I only wish the story's ending wasn't as easy to see coming as it was. Overall, a really great kickstart to the collection.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian:
This tale had a bit darker tone to it than the first. For me, a nice contrast. In this second offering, we meet Circe, a siren in trouble with Poseidon, and must find a way to sink a ship the Sea lord has his sights set on or suffer a fate worse than death -- lose her voice and serve as his concubine for eternity.
I really enjoyed the twists in this tale. I didn't see them coming and found the uniqueness of the story quite refreshing. Just the right touches of romance and mythos, made this tale a real winner for me.
The Pearl of Pau'Maa by Kelly Said:
This story was the most complex and "adventure" oriented of the four tales in the book. While Ms. Said also feeds us a nice dose of romance, for the most part, this story relies more heavily on the legend of the pearl and the people in the world she paints for us. Another fantasitcally descriptive writer, Ms. Said had me drawn in from the opening paragraphs. I really enjoyed the dual POV in this tale, and felt getting a glimpse from each perspective really helped make this story resonate. I will be looking for more from this author.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams:
I have come to expect nothing but the best from Ms Adams' stories after reading get novel, The Glass Man, and this tale certainly did not disappoint.
The sweet, and somewhat sad tale of Nixie and her sometimes reluctant best friend, Wyatt was the perfect close to this wonderful collection. Ms. Adams always seems to write the most interesting characters, and I think little Nixie may just be one of my favorites. Her innocence shines throughout the story and makes the reader hard pressed not to want to route for her. I have a soft spot for water sprites, too -- making this one a MUST read for me.
Tidal Whispers is an anthology filled with amazing writers and their enchanting sea creature themed short stories. Julie Reece, Claire Gillian, Kelly Said and Jocelyn Adams really prove their writing skills by challenging readers' knowledge of creatures of the sea. These four short stories are nothing short of exquisite and each story has it's own special ability to highlight love in the most unexpected places.
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece
Heart's Desire is my first look at Julie Reece's writing, which is absolutely brilliant. She tells Tessa's story with vivid and romantic words that make me feel like I'm walking the sandy beaches right along with her at sunset. Reece is so in tune with building up the scene without directly telling readers what's going on; I never felt like she was just handing the story to me, but allowing my imagination to kick and get the full effect of her words. It seems almost impossible to feel so much love flow out of a short story, but Julie Reece captured my heart with her vulnerable, flawed Tessa and the dark, mysterious man of Tessa's dreams.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
The Sweetest Song is the sweetest story of this anthology. Claire Gillian gives readers characters so gentle and determined that it's easier to savor every sweet drop of their triumph. Otis and Circe certainly do not have a normal relationship, but somehow they weather the storm and make the perfect match. Gillian's portrayal of Poseidon is unique and surprising. I've never pictured Poseidon to be a over-indulged first class jerk, but I guess there's a first for everything!
Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said
This story kept me on my toes. Pearl of Pau'Maa begins by laying out Miki and Harmon's individual situations. It didn't feel like a romance right from the start until the significance of the Pearl of Pau'maa was revealed and the main characters collided under the rough waters of the sea. There is definitely more action, but once the story rolls to the love and heartfelt expressions it shines along the same theme as the other short stories.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams
The Undergarden is by far the most heart wrenching of Tidal Whispers. The story progresses from cute to intense as Wyatt and Nixie are introduced at a young age and grow up through confusing times. Jocelyn Adams really knows how to throw down when it comes to story-telling and The Undergarden showcases her talents magnificently. I loved how curious about life and the 'pink ones' Nixie was; it just made certain parts of the story seem more open because of her innocence and sincerity. Adams' short story was completely the right choice to close the anthology!
*ebook provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece I have a thing for stories where the main characters have a history. Add in a history that comes in an underwater fantasy world and you’ve just doubled my interest and intrigue. I wish we had more time to meet and learn about Cam, but that would have taken a whole novel. The snippet in this short makes me want to know more about him. The grief that comes through at the opening with Tessa is one I can’t exactly connect with because I haven’t been through it, but I could feel it and that to me is exactly what’s so important. I need to feel and I did.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian Claire Gillian has a humorous way of bringing two people with the most opposite characteristics together. I laughed out loud in quite a few places and imagined Circe’s frustration in several others. Otis was a cute as a button (for a guy). I fell in love with him like a sister to a brother. I wanted HIM to win. While I didn’t have that feel for Circe (for good reason), he I rooted for. Gotta love a guy like him. Seriously. Otis rocks.
Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said This one had, by far, the most amazing imagery. Told from both Miki and Harmon’s perspectives, we have both an independent girl and a guy who doesn’t believe in fate. Yet it’s the water that brings them together and what he can do for her is truly magical. I love that this isn’t an “I’ve fallen in love with you” story in such few words, but a story of just finding that relationship and getting through the beginning hurdles including the common torment that they share in a ruling family who’s bent on ruining them both. It takes them together to go to the next step.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams What a way to end an anthology. Pain of loss? You’ve felt nothing until you’ve gone through Wyatt and Nixie’s life. Separated by water and land, these two have only one spot they can be together and their relationship is nothing less than what I’ve felt throughout my own 24 years with my husband. The exception comes in the end. That’s where Jocelyn Adams paints a picture that I could never imagine and the torment Nixie feels makes me hope I never have to go through anything like she does. This one will make you cry. It will. So after you read it, hug the ones you love and know, with the end, the power to heal will be there.
Bravo to four amazing authors. For a summer read, this is fantastic. Shorter than a novel, longer than a novella and in four ‘bits’ that are easy and quick to read.
*I received this book from the Publisher for an honest review*
I absolutely adored this book!!
Tidal Whispers is a collection of short stories all inspired by the sea. It includes four stories from four very talented authors and you will be very surprised on the creativity and brilliance these authors bring to each story.
I read this book in one sitting and I was very surprised that I liked it a lot to give it a 5/5 star rating! To be honest I dont like reading short stories because I'm always left feeling cheated out of the whole story but with this one I was left whole and complete vs. betrayed and In pieces. Each story was different but each book had a different emotion feel instead of it being all one monotone sounding collection of stories. I would read one story and feel happy then another and feel sad and so on.
My two favorite stories were:
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams: This story was by far my favorite! I cried,laughed,and cried again! I'm on the verge of tears again just thinking about it. This short story was just brilliant and heartfelt that I instantly wanted to read more from this author if she could convey all these emotions from me in 30 pages or less. I read this story two times because I couldn't get it out of my head!
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian: I loved this story as well! I think Mrs. Gillian is also a very witty and talented writer and I can fly through all her stories and enjoy every word and feeling brought to life by this brilliant woman! This story is very creative and I loved, I say LOVED the spin Mrs. Gillian put on the mythological creature the "Siren". I have read one other book by this author and she hasn't disappointing me yet!!
Overall this was a fun read you should read on the beach(or if you dont live near a beach read on a rainy day like I did :D ). I definitely would recommend this book to everyone because all of the stories are captivating and you will be left feeling a bit happier after reading these lovely fantasies !
I enjoyed TIDAL WHISPERS overall. All four stories are so very different, and not just another fishy mermaid tale.
HEART'S DESIRE is a touching story with a tough, likable heroine. I found Tessa compelling because of her disability. Whilst the story is sweet, I felt it was rather predictable, and in my opinion ended quite abruptly.
THE SWEETEST SONG centres around Circe, one of the most successful sirens working for Poseidon, and Otis, captain of the Calypso, a ship that has eluded her several attempts to sink it. I adored the interactions between Circe and Otis, and the ending cannot be any sweeter. With this story and her romantic suspense THE P.U.R.E. (read my review here), Claire Gillian is fast becoming one of my favourite writers.
I have always been fascinated by the islands in the Pacific, and THE PEARL OF PAU’MAA brings all the flavours of simple island living to life. The villagers are banned from entering the sea after a series of drownings and shipwrecks, believed to be the wrath of angry gods. But without seafood and supplies from the mainland, the people are starving. Hungry Miki defies the elders’ orders, diving down to check one of her lobster traps. What she finds is far more unexpected–and precious–than her next meal. A tale of love and destiny, I was mesmerised by the underwater world and society Ms. Said managed to create within the space of the short story.
And finally, we have THE UNDERGARDEN. I adored Nixie’s childlike innocence, and the tale of friendship and love between man and water sprite had me reading non-stop. This story has by far the saddest and most touching ending of all, but it is no less satisfactory, as it ends with both closure, and hope.
Overall, TIDAL WHISPERS is a quick, enjoyable read, and I’d recommend it to readers of romance and lovers of underwater mythology everywhere.
Absolutely loved it! I haven't read a mermaid book, in well, ever... and here I am introduced to four authors each bringing amazing stories of under the sea adventures and the creatures that dwell in the depths of the ocean!
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece
What a beautiful way to start this book!
Tessa, 21 years old, has recently lost her parents in a tragic car accident, leaving her grieving, and to alleviate the pain, returning to her childhood summer home. Once there, she remembers the boy she grew up with, Cameron, and thinks back to the last time she saw him and wonders what happened to him those many years ago.
I really liked Tessa, she was lost as anyone would be in their grief, but she remained strong. Wondering what was to become of her life now that her parents were gone, as she felt she had no one else in the world. As the story continues we are told she is plagued by dreams of underwater adventures with a mysterious boy since she was 14, until her parents died. Now, back in her summer home, she once again begins to dream of her adventures, this time with a shadowed figure. As the days go by, Cameron returns.
I thought he was great! That he'd be willing to disobey his father and return for the one woman who always mattered to him was sweet. Would I give up land to be with my very own Cameron? Why yes, I would! x] Lol (He's a merman btw. Lol)
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
A heartwarming tale of love forbidden. With slightly more action than Heart's Desire, The Sweetest Song is another beautiful story of land and sea.
Given only one last chance to sink and destroy Otis' ship, The Calypso, with him and his crew in it, Circe travels to land to find out why he is the only one to evade death. And to learn of ways to finally sink him. But what she never expects is to fall in love with the man she is meant to destroy.
Otis was such a sweetheart, but with such wicked imaginations ;] Definitely this story is for much more mature young adults. But all the same, he's endearing. So why was he the only man to thwart such a beautiful siren's equally beautiful voice? You'll have to find out yourselves ;) It's no secret revealed by the end of the story, more like near the beginning, but still what fun would it be to spoil the surprise ? x] Lol
I liked Circe she was determined to find out why this man was the only one who could evade her beautiful allure, but not even she could resist the charm emanating from Otis. I like that they got to know each other first before focusing on "I Love You's.
“Do not meddle in my affairs, Aphrodite. This is not your concern!” The goddess slapped the side of his head. “You big bully! Don’t you know true love is always my affair?”
-I just loved the fact that Aphrodite smack Poseidon upside the head! x] Lmao.
The Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said
A cute little story of love and destiny.
Soldier to his Majesty, Merman Harmon travels to the ocean depths to retrieve a pearl belonging to his family for generations past, of whom believed the pearl would lead them to their soulmate. Unbeknownst to him, he would soon find himself face to face with Miki, a young girl from land who seeks only to feed herself and help her people find food. When she dives into the ocean against island law, she finds herself in a world she never imagined existed, with a man more fish than human.
Harmon and Miki's story was shorter than the rest, but it was still a great read. The story flowed nicely, My only issue was the insta-love. I'll believe lust, the attraction was there, and that they made each other feel different than before, but love? I wasn't convinced that they should be in that state yet despite the fact that they were destined to do so.
Still, I'd would love to know more about Harmon and Miki :)
The Undergarden Jocelyn Adams
This was my favorite story of all four! ^-^ I was confused in the beginning by this story. Here I am thinking, what in the world is a water sprite doing with a nine year old boy?? I'm slow, forgive me. It wasn't until Nixie began to develop into a grown woman, that I realized that she was a little girl as well x] Lol. The Undergarden is so full of innocence, from both Nixie and Wyatt, that it makes for a beautiful read, and such a great ending to an amazing book!
I loved that Nixie and Wyatt's relationship developed slowly. They went from feeling joy at each other's company to feeling more than just friendship as they grew. But how do you deal with love when you are world's apart? Their difference in species, though didn't stop them from being friends then from loving each other, was still sad. Because they cared about each other so much. How does one deal with that? The ending was both sad and happy at the same time, you'd be surprised at what can happen in many moons ;)
I would love to learn about what happens to Meera! She was beautiful :D
*This book was given to me for review by J. Taylor Publishing
Like everything else of this author's that I've had the pleasure to read, the writing is vivid and poetic, painting the underwater world like a dream for me to walk through as I read the story. Passages like this always have me re-reading just so I can savor the flow of words through my thoughts:
In her bliss, she twirled, forcing yards of fabric to shoot away from her body. She spun from the mirror, halting against a form both firm and yielding. One strong hand enveloped hers, while the other slipped around her middle, pulling her close. On cue, soft music from an unseen orchestra filled the hall. Strings first, low and haunting, followed by wind instruments. Eerie and intoxicating, the sounds worked like a potion to further muddle her already altered state.
The emotion in this one is quite raw and touching in places, and the connection between Tess and Cam is magnetic. I was shouting inside my head as I followed Tess through the obstacles preventing her from being with Cam, saying, Come on, just throw caution to the wind and get with that man! The ending gave me pause for a moment, that Cam should have known to offer the other option than the one he presented, but it was a small thing and did little to detract from my overall enjoyment.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
I love the ebb and flow of this one, and the emotion when Circe's quandary surfaces: to save herself and destroy Otis, or save him and suffer the consequences. The imagery is beautiful and the interactions between the two are light with an air of humor. Check out this taste:
Circe spied the tall, dark-haired man clutching his trench coat fronts together, his head ducked down. Frigid rain fell in cascading sheets, and few souls ventured out that morning. The scents of dead fish and seawater infused even the raindrops. Bruised skies gave no indication they planned to take pity on the inhabitants of Homer or allow any respite for the sun.
Bruised skies - I love that! Claire Gillian never ceases to make me stop and think why didn't I think of that awesome line! The love that bloomed came on rather quickly, but given that this is a short story, it kind of has to be that way to fit in all the plot elements within the word allowance. Goodness knows, I struggled with the same issue in my story.
Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said
This is the sweetest of the stories and very well written. Although the pace is a bit slower than my usual hundred-mile-an-hour personal preference, I appreciated the depth of character-building that took place and the subtle world-building through the characters' thoughts. Here's a nice tease:
Miki’s lean body slowly undulated, bubbles streaming down from her nose. Her empty hands pointed up, stretching for the refracted beams of sunlight just beyond her reach. Her graceful swaying switched to frantic kicking and arms flailing as she fought to break free of the water and pull in a desperate breath of air.
I can totally see this scene in my head. So well done. The story of the pearl was interesting, letting me suspend my disbelief at the insta-love between Miki and Harmon. It ended a little too neat and tidy for me, but again, that's no reflection on the author or the story itself, just my personal preference, that I like to see characters suffer lots before the happily ever after comes. I know, I'm a big meanie! :)
Still, I really enjoyed the read and look forward to more of Kelly Said's tales.
MY REVIEW Firstly I love, love, love, the cover, the mysterious woman on the front. I also love those colours, as you will have noticed from my blog I love blues and purples! I decided to review this book as I enjoy reading anthologies, I always say it's a brilliant way to discover new authors you may not have read before. J. Taylor Publishing gave me this e-book to review, so thank-you to them.
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece I did find this short story slightly harder to get into at the very beginning, but persevered and ended up quite enjoying the whole mystical love story. As always I do not wish to give spoilers so thought you may not totally understand some of my comments now you will understand them once you have read the individual stories. I loved that both were prepared to sacrifice things for the love of each other. Tessa does have some fairly racy dreams so wish to point out that this story does have adult content. Did I enjoy it? Yes 3.5/5!
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian I felt like I slipped into this short story straight away. Once again the theme has love and sacrifice. Poseidon and Aphrodite feature in this story.Poseidon is portrayed as a bit of a pervy old man, wanting Circe to fail in her task so he could claim her as some sort of slave/plaything. Again I am unable to say a great deal more as it would giveaway too much. Having read other work by Claire Gillian I had a good idea that I would enjoy her short story and she didn't disappoint! Did I enjoy it? Yes 4.5/5!
Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said This story again was extremely easy to fall into. It feature two mer brothers, Harmon who has joined the army the more responsible one of the two brothers. Also Creeb who is more of a scoundrel, a gambler and not as trustworthy. The story also features Mike who is a poor islander who dives for her food and pearls to sell. There is a legend of the pearl to learn all about too. Did I enjoy it? Yes 4/5!
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams Oh, this one is a lovely heart touching tale. I loved the relationship that developed between Nixie and Wyatt. Also at the very end I love how Meera wants to speak to a "pink one" therefore possibly repeating history. Did I enjoy it? Yes, loved it 5/5
So to sum up, this is a great mixture of Tidal/Sea themed stories. I enjoyed all four short stories and would definitely read more by all of the featured authors.
It isn't everyday where you come across an anthology where you truly like every story inside. There are always ones that you don't care for or that are bazaar or just a disappointment. So it was really nice when I found that I really did enjoy all the stories inside this one. Each one was unique and fun and just the right length.
All of the authors did a fabulous job and each created a fun take on sirens, mermaids and water sprites that was creative and just made for a nice read.
"Tidal Whispers" is a book which contain four stories about mermaids and the underwater world, written by different authors.
I would want to say at first that I'm not particulary keen on books which are divided in different stories but, I also have to say, that this one was not so bad and it made me change my mind about this kind of books: it was so handy and comfortable reading one story at a time!
"Heart desire" was the first story in the book and, in order of liking I would put it in the third place. The story was about a human girl, Tessa, who had to face the recent death of her parents, that were involved in a car accident; to escape from her problems she decides to return for a while to her family's seaside cabin. There, she remembered of Cameron, a guy she used to be friend with, who disappeared seven years before.Tessa will finally meet again her first summer crush but, there will be only one problem: he's a merman. So, will Tessa choose to remain human or will she follow her one love through the ocean? Sincerely I was pretty disappointed when the story finished because I was starting to get a view of the situation. I absolutely loved the beginning of the story, which was introduced with Tessa's beautiful dream of the ocean, I felt like I was swimming in the ocean too! I think it would have been interesting to see how the story would go on; maybe it was the only story among the four that made me want to read more about Tessa and Cameron, to learn more about them.
"The sweetest song" was the second story of the book and, in order of liking I would put it in the fourth place. It talks about Circe, the most destructive mermaid in the ocean, who tried several times to sink the ship called "Calypso", without succes. Because of his failure she will have to decide: another failure would mean becoming Poseidon's slave and losing her voice forever, winning would mean let die the man she have ever loved,Otis, The Caplypso's captain. I was not particulary taken by this story, maybe because it reminded me a little of Disney's "The Little mermaid". There was nothing particular that I disliked but simply it was not my type of read. The only positive thing was the development of the characters' feeling, which made the story much more interesting.
"Pearl of Pau'maa" was the third story in the book and, in order of liking I would put it in the second place. The story is focused on the life of a merman and a girl, Miki, whose lives will become intertwined, thanks to the magical powers of the Pearl of Pau'maa. I really liked how the author had developped the story and her writing style; above all I've loved the description of the body of the merman, more than any other description! Another thing that I found really interesting is the the author's intention to designate also the social and political organization in the world of mermaids; also the addition of an original element like the pearl of Pau'maa was fundamental to distinguish the story from the others.
"The Undergarden" was the fourth story in the book and, in order of liking I would put it in the first place. This was, with no doubt, the strongest story among the four and I think that the credit goes to the ability of the author to write about the emotions of her characters. The story is about a water sprite, Nixie, that because of her nature is forced to live a solitary existence under the ocean water. But one day her life will change as she will meet a "pink one" the word she used for indicating humans; their friendship will soon turn into a strong love that will inevitably be hampered by the difference of the human world from the one underwater. Will their love survive the destiny? As I said the most powerful element of the story was the detailed description of the characters' feelings, that is the main thing I love in books. Moreover at the end of the short story, I didn't feel like it was incomplete, like I felt for the others, because the author, despite the shortness of the story, created a well-developped story, full of every elements a good story should have. What I particulary liked is the lack of the "happy ending, that became almost obvious by reading the other three stories.
I think this is the perfect summer book for Paranormal lovers!
Tidal Whispers is a book containing for short stories that involve supernatural sea creatures. Overall, it was a short, quick read.
"Hearts Desire": The first short story was about a girl in love with a mer-man. She doesn't know it until years later when she returns to her family's seaside cabin to grieve for her parents who had been killed. She runs into her first love and is given a choice to have him live with her on land or join him in the sea.
This is the weakest of the stories in the group. There isn't any real conflict, just a grieving girl. Her only problem is to decide if she'll join Cam and that takes all of two seconds to decide. I like a story that builds to a definite climax. It's a nice sweet story but forgettable.
"The Sweetest Song": This story started out with a siren (Circe, the original from the Odyssey? possibly) getting a dressing down from the dirty old man god, Poseidon. At first, I was rolling my eyes and deciding to skip this one because the premise was so ridiculous, but I preservered. It ended up being a rather touching love story. The siren, eager to avoid her fate of losing her voice and becoming Poseidon's sex slave, has to sink Otis' boat, the Calypso, to maintain her boat sinking quota. She comes to land to study him since he has been oddly resistant to her voice, even preventing his crew several times from wrecking on the rocks. She quickly discovers the reason and fascinated with him they begin an affair.
The characters in this story are better developed than the first, so it's easier to get involved in their story a little better, even with the silly beginning. It doesn't end well with Circe's career, but the story has a quickly wrapped up deus ex machina ending (literally) and they live happily ever after. Again another quick, sweet story but nothing really memorable.
"Pearl of Pau’maa": This story is stronger than the first two. It has a different take, coming from the point of view of two different characters. The first is a mer-man,Harmon, who has to recover an heirloom pearl that his good-for-nothing brother had pawned to cover gambling debts. The pearl is special, guiding its owner to his one true love. Meanwhile the human girl, Miki, has defied her elders to dive in the ocean for food. Recently the pearl oysters the islanders used for their livelihood have disappeared and the superstitious people have forbidden anyone to go into the water. Since Miki has the choice of starving or marrying the cruel rich boy, she chooses the water.
Since this is the story that has the strongest conflict so far in the book, it was a stronger read. The character's have some spunk and you are glad they get their happy ending.
"The Undergarden": This is the strongest of the stories (probably why it was placed at the end).This is the tale of two lonely children from different worlds. Nixie is a water sprite. She has no family and no people. She watches the "pink ones" from the water as they play on the beach and yearns for companionship. Wyatt, is a human boy who lives with his mom and step dad, but is basically left to himself. He desperately misses his dad who died. Nixie realizes through telepathy that he thinks differently than the others and approaches him. They begin a lifelong friendship.
This story has a lot of conflict and character development. Nixie is even more ignorant than Wyatt, not knowing much about her sea home. Wyatt understands more and is conflicted when he is old enough to realize that a life with a sea sprite may be difficult since he lives on land, and she in the sea. Having no one besides Wyatt, Nixie is desperate when he leaves her and only happy when he returns. This story has a bittersweet ending, which makes it more realistic, but it still wrapped up to quickly and predictably.
I did like this one the most and it will stick with me because the author did a brilliant job at creating and explaining emotion.
Overall, I'd recommend this to paranormal romance lovers, who like light, happy reads and stories about sea creatures.
Tessa Morgan is under the water swimming. Is it a dream or is it real? She seems to be swimming toward an underwater city. It was interesting to see this underwater world through Tessa’s eyes. Almost made you wish that it actually existed. Then the phone rings.
That phone call gives her quite a shock. When Tessa was fourteen she was at her family’s vacation retreat. She met a young man named Cameron. When she last saw him he gave her a beautiful ring. Now she’s all grown up and back at the vacation retreat. She’s starting to have dreams and He is coming for her.
Julie could have put a lot of sex in her short story but she didn’t. I was glad that she didn’t because I think it would have ruined the lovely story. Innuendo works – it gets our imaginations going. She shows us what someone will do for the one they love. What would you do? This was over way too quickly – I wanted to read more.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
Poseidon is very disappointed with Circe. She’s one of his sirens that lure ships to their doom. She has until the next new moon to get her job done.
Otis has a one bedroom apartment in Homer, Alaska. He thinks of himself as being defective. And, he’s also the captain of the Calypso – Circe’s current job. Circe has come to spy on him. Then she finds out why she has never succeeded with Otis.
Claire is just like the siren in her story. She pulls us into the story just like Circe pulls people in with her songs. I found that I loved this story but just like Julie’s it was over too quickly. I wanted to see what happens next for Circe and Otis.
Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said
Harmon is seen going after his mother’s heirloom pearl. To do that he must pay his brother Creeb’s debt. Miki is a pearl diver and trap setter for her village. Kelly’s story is a little different because she uses actual sea creatures in her story. They’re just a little different.
The pearl has traveled close to where Miki is and that is when Harmon sees her. Harmon is not quite human so Miki doesn’t believe what she’s seeing. Harmon has helped her and now she’s starting to change.
Kelly’s story has greedy humans and even greedy sea creatures. It also shows that true love does exist even for two people that are total opposites. I would love to see what Kelly has in store for Creeb – he needs someone to bring him to task.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams
Nixie is swimming toward a secluded bay – her favorite spot. She thinks of us as pink creatures. She mentally tries to connect with Wyatt to find out why he’s so sad. They meet when he was only nine years old. They quickly become friends. But then something happens and Wyatt can’t come to the bay anymore.
But life goes on and people change and grow. Wyatt then returns as a young man. We see how feelings can change from a child to a young person. Nixie is very innocent of our human world and that innocence can make things hurt when a misunderstanding happens.
Jocelyn’s tale was very sweet but actually brought tears to my eyes. It shows us just how short life is and that we can’t waste time thinking we are doing the right thing. If there is a misunderstanding between two people, you need to work it out and not wait until it may be too late.
This anthology was great. There is nothing bad that I can say about any of the stories other than that they were over too quickly. I was just getting to know the characters in each of the stories and then it was over. I can always hope that the authors will either carry the story over into a full length book or bring in a new character to carry on their story.
If you are looking for a sweet fantasy, a paranormal romance, and no explicit sex this is for you. If you only like a book for the sex, I’m hoping you will change your mind with this anthology. If you want to fill in the blanks for yourself, that is what we have an imagination for. These four ladies will not disappoint. You will not be disappointed if you add this anthology to your collection. You may even want to try something else that they have written.
My overall is really a 4.5 Stars, but here's my individual reviews:
Heart's Desire by Julie Reece 4.5 Stars
This short story is very moving - loneliness, loss, & love. Ms. Reece portrays them beautifully - brings them alive - so we can experience them with Tessa, the MC.
I don't know about you, but I've always had a dream world I escaped to. A few actually. Tessa wakes from her favorite one to a gut wrenching reality that easily gained my empathy. I longed for her to re-find Cam, just knowing he would ease her heartache. And *spoiler alert!* he does.
Warm fuzzies, folks.
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian 4 Stars
I loved Disney's The Little Mermaid, and this story reminded me of it. A voice lost, a love found, The Sweetest Song was just that - sweet.
Otis, the male interest in this story was precious. A great character, fleshed out & believable for so short a story. He heads to his doom for love which any fairy tale / fantasy needs IMO. The 'happily ever after' comes about by two gods, Poseidon and Aphrodite, who act like a couple of modern childish brats. That threw me a smidge. I always imagined the gods to be prim & proper - ancient, lofty, condescending beings.
Overall, a great little story I enjoyed submerging myself in.
Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said 4 Stars
While the whole anthology is fantasy in some way, Ms. Said is by far the most imaginative IMO. While all the stories are of love, this one has that magical element attached - a pearl - which brings the two characters together in dark, watery depths.
I had one major issue with this lovely story, though. Although fantasy, all stories still need that believability factor. One scene lacked that for me. Harmon, the male interest, rescues the lovely lady, Miki, from drowning. Moments later he leaves her treading water to dive down & retrieve her lobster trap. While down there he holds a long conversation w/ his brother, another merman, giving no thought to the weakened woman the pearl led him to. I just felt he'd be anxious to leave her side, or should have taken her to shore first seeing as how she doesn't have a tail, but two human legs. Dunno. Could just be me.
A wonderful little story, though, one NOT to be skipped.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams 5 Stars
This was by far my favorite story in the anthology. Ms. Adams drew me in and hooked my empathy from the get-go. She created two characters whose story affected me long after I finished reading. LOVE that.
Rarely do stories brim my eyes with unshed tears, but this one did. More than once. I felt Nixie's loneliness, enjoyed her innocence which was portrayed beautifully and consistently. Her journey through life is touching - heart aching, yet warming. Surprisingly, it didn't feel rushed in the least bit.
This story, while fantasy like the rest, far outshone them with that magical feel - that dream-like quality that moved my emotions.
First off, I love the cover! The cover could easily be any or all of the heroines from this collection. These four short stories are perfect to read at the beach or when you don't have time to get sucked into a really long story. I was ready to go swimming!
Heart’s desire by Julie Reece Ms. Reece starts out her story with amazing imagery in a dream world that is so realistic you feel you could reach out and touch it. Real characters with flaws; physical and emotional ones, make the story believable.
This is a short, sweet "tail" of young love and making big decisions. Cam and Tessa will have you looking at the ocean with a whole new look in your eyes. I'm so glad they finally found their HEA.
The Sweetest song by Claire Gillian Whenever the Poseidon is involved, trouble will follow. Circe is a siren, under Poseidon’s rule; Otis and his fishing boat are her next target, or else! Of course she falls for the handsome sailor and is doomed. They both must fight and sacrifice to get their HEA. A Surprise visit at the end will crack you up!
Pearl of Pau'maa by Kelly Said Legends come to life in this fight to survive. Miki and Harmon have much in common but will their differences keep them apart? You want to blame the brother Creeb for all their problems, but end up liking him in the end. This story seems too short, even for a short story. It ended way too soon for this reader.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams As the saying goes, save the best for last; The Undergarden was by far, my favorite.
I loved seeing our world from such an “innocent” perspective, like seeing through the eyes of a child. Ms. Adams will have you laughing out loud at Nixie's lack of "pink one" knowledge, Wyatt's child-like explanations as he teaches her are just precious. This one is a real tear jerker, have your tissues ready!
Let me just start off by saying this take on Siren’s was brilliant! I never thought of them as employees who worked for Poseidon. It caught my attention right from the start with that scenario, and never let go. Circe is a Siren on her last warning from her boss. Poseidon is a taskmaster and she’s on her third strike on luring a boat to the salty depths of the sea and he’s not happy. She has three choices become his mistress, or his housemaid or figure out why the captain is immune to her song. When she’s on the surface among humans she can’t use her voice so she poses as a mute who can hear somewhat and read lips, but uses sign language as her primary means of communication. When she runs into the Captain off the ship, Otis, she learns his secret, his deaf.
As she falls in love with him, duty is mixed with emotion. The final outcome is up in the air until the very last minute, and I was pleased but surprised by the ending! Ms. Gillian did a heck of a job spinning a tale with so little words. The world Circe lives in is alive, vibrant and on the outskirts of our own. I wanted to know more about it!
I totally loved each novella that was housed within this gem of a PNR compilation. I especially loved "Heart's Desire," "Pearl of Pau'maa," & the "Undergarden." Each novella was special in it's own way, but I really loved "The Undergarden." I feel that each novella could have stood alone and been worthwhile as a regular 200+ page novel, but oh well. This compilation is well worth the money and the time for reading it.
I've never been a huge short story compilation fan. I find short stories hard to get into because, well, they're short. But these four stories were so just so satisfying, kind of like a slice of key lime pie. This is the PERFECT summer read: a sweet seaside breeze, warm sand between my toes and romantic reminisces.
Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece
Julie Reece has a breath-taking gift for description. This story opens with one of Tessa's dreams. I could read this scene over and over again, it is so beautifully written. I was there, truly there with Tessa. I was a bit disappointed with the ending here because our hero should have known Tessa well enough to realize what she would be willing to do (sorry, no spoilers here). Nonetheless, a beautiful and creative story. Individual Rating: * * * *
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
It's hard to pull off a story using such well known characters as Poseidon and Circe without it getting corny. There is a bit of that as the story starts off, but it soon became a sweet and tender romance. I love what blooms between Circe and Otis and his heroism in the end. The conclusion held a little more of that aforementioned corniness, but a good finish regardless. Individual Rating: * * *
Pearl of Pau’maa by Kelly Said
By far my favorite story, this has all the romance, suspense and mystery of a full length novel. I loved Miki, she's smart and brave, a perfect match for our hero, Harmon. I loved everything that happened in these few short pages and can only beg for more. I'm hoping this is a prequel to what is to come. It seems Kelly Said has only published short stories to date. What?!?! Kelly, please write more! A full length more!!! Individual Rating: * * * * *
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams
I can sum up this story in two words: beautifully bittersweet. The most dramatic of the four stories, Nixie's story is both wonderful and tragic. Whereas I'm not a huge fan of sadness and drama in my books, this was still a lovely and well-told story. Individual Rating: * * * *
Tidal Whispers is a nice compilation of stories about sea lure and creatues. Perfect for a weekend at the beach. Just remember to keep an eye towards the ocean...just in case! 1st - "Hearts Desire" - This story was sweet and descriptive but without too much depth. Poor Tessa returned home after suffering heartache. Feeling lost and searching for something, she runs into her first love. I would have liked to see more relationship development between Tessa and Cam before life choices had to be made. 2nd - "The Sweetest Song" - This was my favorite of the stories. The irony of the cause of Circe's dilemma was perfect. In her quest to learn more about Otis so she can meet her quota of sunken ships, she becomes fascinated with him. Otis is full of his own surprises. Loved how the reason she couldn't defeat him turned out to be one of the things that drew them even closer. In the end we saw just how far they would both go for the person they loved. And what is agood love story without Aphrodite putting Poisedon in his place. 3rd - "Pearl of Pau'maa" - This story showed us a different side of the mer society and social order. The author did a nice job interwining the lives of a strong military merman with that of an unsuspecting girl, the magical powers of the pearl guiding them both in unanticipated directions. while they fought for what was most important to them. The undersea world created here was unique and well done. 4th - "The Undergarden" - This was an emotional story of young love maturing through time. Innocence lost and the mis-communications that can lead to lost time were handled beautifully. This was the saddest of all and by far the most touching.
Reviewed by Desere Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
This was one of those anthology’s that just totally blew me away! Each and every story had it’s own unique twist and each author added their very own touch of brilliance!
I am not going to give away anything on this one but I will tell you that you will be swept away be the brilliant Julie Reece in her Heart’s Desire, where we meet Cameron and Tessa. They have been in the throws of passion before but had to let go only to be brought back together by Tessa’s terrible accident. Can they overcome the powers that threatens to tear them apart yet again or will their love be enough? Get ready to shed some tears on this one; I sure did!
Then there is also the wonderful The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian that swept me away to a whole new world and had me feeling like I was inside a tale of the Little Mermaid only with a lot more passion, romance, secrets and a very surprising twist that no on screen undersea romance movie can come close to!
Those are just two of the amazing books in this incredible anthology that really had me entranced and I gained a whole new perspective for the other side of romance (fantasy). I loved how each author gave their own unique ambiance to the book and not one story seemed the same. And yes I do mean not the same which in some anthologies the stories are the same: boy meets girl and they fall in love here and there a little upset and ta-da the end, and it does not really seem like your reading different books but one long book about more than one couple!
I highly recommend this read for every reader out there. It is without a doubt one of the best take me away to another world books of our time!
Favorite Quote: “You’ll retain your legs while in the city.They are for dancing …with me” The tail is for the sea”.
Since each story is so different, it is hard to sum up my thoughts on the entire collection. But by the time I connected to each story and the characters within, it ended, which annoyed me. I’m so used to dealing with full length novels. Here are my thoughts on the individual stories:
Heart’s Desire – This story was pretty straightforward and the ending predictable. I thought the romance was good but too much time was spent on thoughts and very little on what was actually going on. - 4/5
The Sweetest Song – This story had a wicked twist that caught me completely off-guard. Out of all four of the stories, I think this one was the perfect length for the story. Loved it. - 5/5
Pearl of Pau’maa – I tried reading this story at first when I was really tired and I couldn’t figure out what the hell was happening. Second read, I enjoyed it. I love that it had the action that I crave and the best set-up for a complex story. Unfortunately, it had a pretty cheap ending. One sentence short of a cliffhanger. This story needed way more length to tie up all the loose ends. – 3/5
The Undergarden – I thought it was way too sappy for my liking, although I liked the writing style. And the heroine was annoying stupid with her endless questions and stubborn attitude.. – 3/5