The Surrogate Sea Launch Tour: Top 6 Book Six Quotes & An Interview With Danielle! ((LATE D: ))

by E.V. Jacob on March 31, 2015

NOTE: This post is a day late because I am a HORRIBLE PERSON who didn’t double-check that her scheduler was set correctly (STUPID TIME ZONES) and I am terribly sorry for this and I hope Danielle doesn’t disown me because noooooooo. (See below for your supposed-to-be-posted-yesterday book launch tour post…oh, and read The Surrogate Sea!)

Last Stop on The Surrogate Sea‘s launch tour! (Note from future Eve: HOW TRUE, LATE SELF, HOW VERY TRUE).

Surrogate Sea cover, front


I’ve got some fun stuff for you today, but first things first! Here’s where you can purchase your very own copy of The Surrogate Sea:


Barnes & Noble


First up, a very awesome guest entry from the author herself. Danielle E. Shipley has provided us with her favorite quotes/moments of this book, and I must say I agree wiht most of them–nature is snarky as all get-out.

Top 6 Book Six Quotes


Scouring “The Surrogate Sea” for my favorite snippets to share, I have resigned myself to the unsurprising truth: Nature has all the best lines. Enjoy, in order of in-text appearance, my Top 6 Book Six Quotes, replete with elemental sass.


1) “Lily’s missing.”

“Oh? I’m sorry,” said the wind, looking bored. “Have you tried finding her?”


2) “So the essence of the Sky’s star trees is what? Benevolence?”

“No.” This answering chuckle had a darker edge to it. “Benevolence has very little to do with the essence of anything found in the Sky.”


3) “Austeryn?” said Raeóryn, his tone too mild for comfort. “Did you hear me?”

“Yes, my lord,” Austeryn said dully. “It shall be as you command.”

“I know.”


4) “The first Sea that ever I meet face to face,” he said reflectively. “And she’s an idiot.”


5) “Another one of those human whatsits, I expect,” said Ruban, snapping his fingers as he recalled the word. “Kingdoms. I’ve little enough to do with kingdoms, my lady, and they’ve less to do with you. Kingdoms are of land. Lakes, they’re the water of land – more pity for them. As a river, now, I am the water of lands – plural – too many and varied for even several human kings to lay claim to all of me. But you are the Great Sea! The water of waters! There is no man can claim you, and you claim the men who try!”


6) He stared at her in honest perplexity. “Why is it that humans do not seem to know themselves?”

Liliavaine almost smiled. “We don’t know.”


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Interview With Danielle E. Shipley


I was lucky enough to get to send Danielle E. Shipley a few questions I had for her after reading The Surrogate Sea. She answered with all the hilarity that I expected, and I’d totally be up for that ethics discussion around Welken culture, btw, so have at it in the comments if you’d like!

1)      If you could live for one day in the world of The Surrogate Sea, where would you go, who would you hang out with most, and what would be your role in the story?


Apologies to Edgwyn Wyle right now, because I would stalk him all over the Great Land, having clearly learned nothing from the last time I drove a crush crazy that way. He’d tolerate it patiently. His, uh, wife might not. And even if I were some cool being of nature like, I don’t know, daughter of a river and a bog, I’m honestly not sure I would contribute much to the plot, apart from some awkward comic relief while everyone else is stressed out about near-drownings and missing princesses. Readers would probably be groaning, “Ugh, throw that girl to the North Wind already!” by the book’s midpoint.

2)      Which character gives you the most snark and attitude when you’re trying to get a feel for them? And which one(s) are least cooperative when you have a deadline?


Though my reflex is to answer, “Gant-o’-the-Lute,” my minstrel from Books Three and Four doesn’t actually feauture in Book Six. (Hence some of his snark and attidude. He dislikes to be snubbed.) Choosing from among the current cast, it’s got to be Austeryn, Wind of the South. The kingdom of the Sky is notoriously lippy, with Austeryn being the only wind smooth enough to sass his superiors to their faces without them necessarily catching on. He at least tends to be reasonably respectful of my time, though. *cough* Unlike Lute *cough*…

3)      Alternately, which characters are easiest for you to work with and understand?


Vesparya, Wind of the West, is refreshingly uncomplicated. I never have to worry about the convoluted reasoning behind anything she does, because she doesn’t operate that way. She sees something she likes, she goes for it. She sees someone in need of help, she provides it. Assuming she notices, that is. She inhereted her “head in the clouds” tendencies from her author.

4)      Were there any huge plot or storyline changes that you made over the course of writing The Surrogate Sea? What were they, and how did they change the course of the story (and indeed, the series)? ((I get that this might be spoilery, so no worries if you can’t reveal much!))


I don’t believe I originally intended for Laraspur from Book Five to play as much of a part as she does. But somewhere along the line, it didn’t seem right or logical to leave her out when there was so much going on with her family on the ground and her new neighbors in the Sky. And just as you can’t have Edgwyn without Rosalba, you can’t have Laraspur without Lumónd, so that gave me an excuse take a closer look at the Moon’s role in the Wilderhark world. Not that I generally need excuses to gaze at the Moon. ;)

5)      Does this book have a soundtrack that you listen to while writing, or feel people should listen to while reading?


Somewhere out there is a symphony by Sibelius which, when I played it as the pianist in a youth orchestra, reminded me of nothing so much as the song of a roiling sea with mysteries in its depths. I haven’t been able for years to remember which movement of which symphony it was, so having it on loop on YouTube while writing the book wasn’t really an option. That meant I probably worked to my default writing soundtrack: Silence.

6)      Is there one song that really captures the spirit of The Surrogate Sea to you?


As coincidence would have it, given that the book’s biggest inspiration was The Little Mermaid, the Disney version’s “Part of Your World” fits Liliavaine’s character like a glove – the big difference being that, where the song is about wanting in on the human world, Lily wants to experience more of the world of nature’s personified elements.

7)      What would be the most hilarious world from other media to drop your characters into and watch them try to figure things out?


I’d be interested to see how they’d handle finding themselves in a Marvel movie, though objectively, if Denebdeor’s royal family isn’t used to superpowered shenanigans by now, I don’t know who is. That said, the theater could shut up and take all my money if they let Edgwyn be Captain America.

8)      Who from your real life finds their way into your books as characters, or at least inspires traits or characteristics in the people in your books?


I find that my trying to carry people over the reality line will tend to flatten them, because I know the people within me more intimately than I do anyone without. So the only one my Wilderhark characters seem to consistently draw from is me, and even that much isn’t done consciously. Edgwyn gets my selflessly loving side, Rosalba my practical side, Liliavaine my insistent sense that things should be better, more amazing, doggone it! I may or may not also sometimes share the North Wind’s instinct to just blast all the pesky humans into oblivion and have done with it. Lucky for both our worlds we’ve both got someone in authority to keep us in check.

9)      Who would be one side character from The Surrogate Sea that you think could have really fascinating book/series written starring them?


You know, if inspiration struck, I’d be glad to explore more of what the Ruban river gets up to. He seems to have a sense of fun and mischief about him that could instigate some worthwhile stories – a little like Gant-o’-the-Lute, in some respects, but less of a volatile musician and more of a flirt. A less malevolent trickster than the South Wind. Yeah, I could see that yielding some dividends… *muses*

10)   What do you want to talk about here? What’s something no one asks you about your books, characters, or writing process that you’ve always wanted to share or discuss?


The Magic School Bus! …Oh, wait, something pertinent to my writing. Hmm… Well, weirdly enough, considering that I’m in the fairytale business, I don’t often get asked about what the storyies’ morals are. And I mean, I don’t set out to include them. And sometimes the characters themselves will realize aloud what it is in the second-to-last chapter of the book. (Looking at you, Rosalba and Lute.) And other times, I’m not sure how to condense them into one all-encompassing phrase. I don’t know whether I could do so for “Surrogate Sea”, if Sir Walter Scott hadn’t beat me to it, complete with ye olde spelling: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!” It’d be interesting to have a discussion on the morality of “The Surrogate Sea” with people. Dealing with Welken culture brings up a lot of ethical questions.

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And now, the moment you’ve all (probably not) been waiting for…my review!


The Surrogate Sea is a beautifully-written, fun, and utterly enjoyable tale of love, loss, adventure, and the choices—big and small—that we must make to live lives true to ourselves.

Danielle’s writing style is utterly enchanting. Setting the story itself aside, just the word choices, phrasing, and eloquence of the story are phenomenal.

Coming back to the story, it was a blast to read. This being my first foray into the world of the Wilderhark Tales, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was quickly swept away by the magic, fantasy, and the physical embodiments of various elements of nature (always a fun theme). The human characters were every bit as enthralling, and while I’m usually not a fan of romance, I found I really loved this book and loved reading about the assorted relationships—romantic and otherwise—that keep it interesting.

The Surrogate Sea reads like an olden-time fairy tale, but with a fresh feel of Danielle’s modern yet elegant, classic voice. There is something timeless about these stories, and I have a feeling they’re going to become a staple in my personal library.

I have to wrap this review up now so I can go read the other five books in this series RIGHT NOW. And you should, too!

Don’t forget, you can get The Surrogate Sea right here!


Barnes & Noble


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About The Author

Danielle E. Shipley Author Photo, Amazon JPEG

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself…or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof.

When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble.

When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it at

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out Danielle E. Shipley all around the interwebs! She is the bee’s knees (whatever that means)!


Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

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