The Navigator's Touch
She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home?
Inspired by Norse mythology and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, this companion novel to The Seafarer’s Kiss is a tale of vengeance, valor, honor, and redemption.
The Navigator's Touch (The Seafarer's Kiss #2) by Julia Ember
Publication Date: September 13, 2018
Publisher: Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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Question One: What was your inspiration behind this story?
My inspiration for the series came from two places: my love of darker fairytales and fables, in particular the Little Mermaid, and my postgraduate study of Vikings!
I started with a single image in mind, which eventually become the cover of The Seafarer’s Kiss, of a Viking girl kneeling beside a beluga surfacing hole in the artic, unaware that a mermaid was about to surface and change her life forever. It grew from there, first into a short story, then into a novel. My cover artist ultimately decided to use that scene for her art.
Question Two: Who is your favourite character and why?
It’s really hard for me to choose! I like so many of them for different reasons.
Ersel, who is the narrator of The Seafarer’s Kiss, is the most like me. We’re both introverts, prone to impossible dreams. We’re both a little bit selfish. And as a teen, I shared her longing to escape. Since we’re so similar, I really empathize with her and feel a connection with her – even if I don’t necessarily admire everything about her.
Ragna, is stubborn, brave and ambitious to a fault. I think I admire her more than Ersel. I also found her ruthlessness really fun to write!
Question Three: The Navigator's Touch can be read as a standalone story but it's the second book in the Seafarer's kiss series. How does it fit into the series?
The Navigator’s Touch takes place after the events of The Seafarer’s Kiss. However, while the first book was very much Ersel’s story, this one is Ragna’s. We leave the mermaid kingdom behind. Ersel, Ragna and Loki are both books, but the cast of supporting characters is almost entirely different. We learn a little bit about Ragna’s past in the first book, but all of those details are fleshed out in the second. It wouldn’t be necessary for a reader to have read Ersel’s story to understand Ragna’s quest.
Question four: Who would you recommend your book to?
Anyone who loves dark fairy tales, mermaids, Vikings, and fantasy about queer women!
Question five: Can we expect any more books in the series?
I never say never, but at the moment I’m not planning any. The series was always intended as duology: one book about Ersel and one book about Ragna.
The Seafarer's Kiss
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.
Julia Ember is the author of The Seafarer's Kiss and The Navigator's Touch, as well as several novellas and short stories for young adults. Originally from Chicago, Julia now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries.
Link to Tour Schedule:
· An annotated paperback copy of both books in the series