• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Between the Sea & the Sky" by Jaclyn Dolamore~ Mermaids in Love

Published by:  Bloomsbury
Pages:  240
Genre:  YA, 14-up, fantasy

The Dame's Review:

Gentle story replete with all the fantasy of mermaids' culture in their seaside home, this book will take you back to the classic tale of "The Little Mermaid."  Jaclyn Dolamore writes like a dream, lending her fantasies to the cause of siren songs, wrecked ships, castaway treasures, stranded pearls and sailors' tall tales throughout time.  This is a star-cast book, replete with angels and mermaids that steal your heart.  And, it's age appropriate as well as being beautiful and romantic.

Let's not forget the fantastic/gorgeous cover of this book.  Widely compelling to YAs, the cover was already a draw even before much was known about the story!  A lot can be surmised about the story inside, and the beautiful rendering of a mermaid swimming to the surface is a fantasy that many a young woman has wished she could be.  I loved the photography and wish every author could understand how important this element is to selling their book.  Many don't "get" that, and it's a shame because they miss a good deal of the market.  Not like it used to be when we felt guilty if we did "judge a book by the cover," YAs and even adults now have dropped that old adage.

Jaclyn Dolamore has delivered a book that has the perfection of a bridal cake.  So delicious, so on tone and texture that you'll want to eat it up in one sitting.  This is a novel for reading at seaside, or when you want to remember those days of summer...at any age. 

I'm so happy to entertain Ms Dolamore in the following interview!

Hello, Jackie.  Welcome to A Bookish Libraria!  I’m so delighted you’ve agreed to allow us to get to know you and your book better through an interview.  I have several questions! 

1) You chose a specific genre, and a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?

Jackie:  Between the Sea and Sky, like all the novels I've sold so far, takes place in a fantasy world that borrows from elements of our real world--in this case, early 19th century Italy. A lot of readers don't even realize where my books are "supposed to be set", which is okay with me. It is what it is. But I've always written historically flavored fantasies. I grew up reading a lot of "high" fantasy that always took place in a Medieval England sort of setting, and I always wondered why every fantasy was based on Medieval England, so nowadays I base it on anything I please! For Between the Sea and Sky I thought Italy would be a good place for a mermaid.

 2) Please share with your readers where you like to write.  Do you have a particular space or desk?  What can you see from your desk?  Do you have props you use to write from?  What about special “charms?”

Jackie: I live in a cramped condominium, and my desk is shared with boyfriend, crammed into a corner without any windows, and cluttered with stuff. It's not romantic at all. I'm actually in the process of trying to buy a Victorian-era house that's twice the size with mountain views and maybe next year my office will actually match my head a little better...

LOL  A Victorian sounds like just the place for you!  I can't imagine you with your head in a corner without any windows...

 3) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?

Jackie:  When you think of your favorite books, certain ones will rise to the surface, like cream. What makes that happen is somewhat elusive...but I think that's what makes a book great.

 4) What are your Top 5 all time favorite books? 

Jackie :
Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
The Little House books (of which my favorite is The Long Winter) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace
The Thieves and Kings graphic novels
A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant 

5) Read any good books in the past 6 months?

Jackie:  Yes! I read a lot. I recently read Freefall by Mindi Scott, which is great contemporary with vivid, memorable characters. I also really enjoyed Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, which is a fun time travel YA. And The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby was one of the best fantasy middle grades I've read in a long time. 

 6) Please share with us the underlying message of your book.  What would you like your readers to take away after having read the book?

Jackie:  It's kind of a book about growing up, I guess. Following your own passion even when something else is expected of you. Teenagers deal with a lot of expectations, discouraging them from their dreams, but if I'd listened to those voices I wouldn't be a professional writer now.
7) Were you able to keep your original title?  What was it, if not?

Jackie:  Noo, but considering my title for it was "the mermaid book", that is for the best. I'm awful at titles!

8) Is there a song that you “heard” or might best represent your book as a theme song?

Jackie:  Yes, it's "Tu ch'hai le penne, amore", a piece of 18th century Italian opera that translates to, "You who have wings, love". I was listening to an album of Cecilia Bartoli singing this old Italian opera music, already thinking that song was really perfect, and then I saw the translation and thought it was REALLY perfect.

That is so beautiful, Jackie, and so appropriate for your book.  I have to find it in my stacks of classical music.  Love Italian opera!

9) What’s your favorite coffee? ...candy?

Coffee: I like flavors, but NOT too sweet. I find Starbucks fancy drinks pretty cloying. But I also can't have much caffeine so I rarely buy coffee. I feel like, if you have to get decaf, then what am I paying for?

But I am a chocolate girl, and 72% dark is just right. Especially if it has cocoa nibs in it. Yum. I also adore marzipan. It's almost time for ALDI to start getting in my favorite Christmas treat, Mozartkugeln! They have almond/pistachio/hazelnut marzipan inside and are dipped in both dark and milk chocolate and whenever ALDI gets them in I buy like ten boxes.

OMGosh, Jackie, you make that marzipan sound so good!  I've never had it and now I think you've just corrupted me...  :[    Great, one more thing to add pounds to the waist!  LOL
Thank you for bending to these busybody questions!  It’s been a pleasure from my end of things!

Jackie: Thanks for having me!

I highly recommend this book for lovers of mermaids.  A good book for tweens, YAs and moms who want to remember...

5 pearly stars


PS:   For amazing mermaid jewelry please visit on Etsy:



Passionate Bookworm

You beat me to all the questions I wanted to ask her! haha, But I forgive you :) I adored this book as well and loved how it tugged on precious childhood memories.. and oh goodness how awesome is that jewelry!?

Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=