Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.” Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish. As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.
Ah first love, who remembers it? Well Kevin Luong has thought for sure he’s found it with his neighbor Miles went in fact he’s learned he was just a convenient choice. With tears of frustration and sadness, Kevin sends out a wish for summer love. Little does he know he’s been heard by the sea, and Morgan, a selkie, immediately emerges from the sea with a desire to help. Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee takes us through Morgan’s quest to grant Kevin his wish. It is a sweet love story perfect for any young romantic.
The most enjoyable parts of the story are the characters themselves. Morgan’s complete innocence around life on land and Kevin’s joy of life and rocks and all things sea. They make a sweet pairing. The book was slower for me building as I adjusted to author Lee’s writing style. Usually I prefer third person but there were a lot of Kevin’s and Morgan’s versus the use of more pronouns but with mm stories it can get confusing with too many “he’s” in a sentence.
The story definitely builds and I found myself becoming engrossed as we start to hit the true conflict of the story. It was an interesting twist that has a very lovely ending.
Molly: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing C.B. Lee, author of Seven Tears at High Tide. Hi C.B., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
C.B.: Hi, it’s so nice to be here today! I’m C.B., I’m grew up in California and still live there today. I work as a graphic designer by day and as a writer by night— well, the timing of those varies a lot, but it’s fun to say. As a bisexual Asian American writer I’m quite excited to introduce more characters in young adult fiction that I would have identified with as a teenager. My current novel is Seven Tears at High Tide, a story that takes place in a small town in central coastal California. It’s all about falling in love and overcoming difficult choices foisted upon you by others. I hope to really transport the reader into this magical, dreamy setting that was inspired by my travels and places I’ve lived.
Molly: Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
C.B.: Kevin is a huge cheeseball. He loves ridiculous jokes and has quite the collection of puns; some of these are my own. Something no one knows about Kevin is that I stole some of his best jokes from my brother, who somehow is even more of a cheeseball than Kevin is. I grew up with so much of his ridiculousness and have a fond appreciation and also exasperation with it.
Molly: Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
C.B.: Oh, so often. My typical solution is to try and work on another project for a little while, or to change my own setting— get out of the workspace, walk around, get some fresh air, try and get some new ideas. Sometimes I’ll try and brainstorm with a friend, get another perspective and see if they have any ideas.
Molly: What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
C.B.: I’ve only written one novel, but I’d love to see Seven Tears be made into a movie. I think it would translate well; romance, magic, and selkies! I’ve never seen selkies in a movie before, it could be spectacular. And the setting is gorgeous, I love the Pacific Coast.
Molly: Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
C.B.: Both! I like to outline the main points, and generally try and keep to a main concept I keep in mind, but often times the individual scenes I play by ear, and write it as it comes to mind. Sometimes I end up coming up with a revelation later in the plot and I have to go back and rewrite earlier sections, or just end up retooling entire arcs, but I try and stay open to spontaneous ideas as I’m writing.
Molly: Rapid fire questions:
1 – Favorite meal
C.B.: This Vietnamese dish called banh hoi, which is basically steamed rice noodle cakes that can be topped with any type of grilled meat and eaten with fish sauce and fresh vegetables.
2 – Favorite color
3 – Favorite ice cream flavor
C.B.: Mint chocolate chip!
They wander into the house, wipe their wet feet on the welcome mat, climb up the stairs and giggle as they pass Ann’s bedroom. She’s dancing with her headphones on, oblivious to the open door, swaying to the beat.
In Kevin’s bedroom, he quickly scrounges up some clean shirts and shorts. “Here, you can wear this,” he says, handing an outfit to Morgan and then ducking into his bathroom to change. He peels off the wetsuit and hangs it up in his shower, then leans his surfboard carefully against the wall, eyeing the crack. He’ll have to fix it tomorrow.
When he returns, Morgan is holding onto the wet board shorts, wearing the outfit Kevin gave him. He looks curiously at the rock collection prominently displayed on Kevin’s bookshelf. “These are beautiful,” he says.
“Here, I’ll take that,” Kevin says, holding out his hand for the bedraggled board shorts to hang in his shower. He’s certain now that they’re the ones from the lifeguard’s lost and found. Kevin’s starting to worry that Morgan doesn’t have any other clothes, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. Money can be a touchy subject.
Morgan holds Kevin’s favorite specimen, a piece of green olivine on basalt. Kevin once almost convinced Ann it was an avocado roll—it certainly looks like one, bright green speckled with sesame seeds, wrapped in dark seaweed.
“That’s from Mexico. My family went on vacation to Baja last year, and I got that out of an old volcano.” He tries his best to describe the sweltering heat and the excitement of finding geodes and cracking them open with a hammer. Morgan listens in rapt silence as Kevin talks about the find and tilts the olivine so it catches the light. He sets it back in its spot behind its label, slowly so as not to disturb the other specimens, and Kevin is quietly pleased with Morgan’s careful appreciation.
“I changed my mind,” Kevin blurts out.
“I do want this to be a date. For us, to do that,” he says, blushing. “I like you. A lot.”
Morgan’s face breaks into a bright, happy smile.
“And what do we do differently, for this to be a date?”
Kevin can feel the heat on his cheeks. “We can hold hands, if you like. Um, or kiss, if you want to. But we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m fine just hanging out and watching a movie with you.”
Morgan tilts his head and steps closer. “I want to,” he says, not specifying what, but Kevin knows immediately.
It’s just the quickest brush of lips, but Kevin feels it all the way to his toes. A warm curl of excitement blooms throughout his body, and Morgan’s mouth is warm and wet against his. It’s not like any kiss he’s had, chaste and sweet and over in a second, and yet his heart is still pounding after Morgan leans back. He’s close enough for Kevin to be able to count the eyelashes dark against his cheek.
Morgan ducks his head and asks, “Was that okay?”
Kevin’s a little dazed, but he finds his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, that was great.”
C.B. Lee is a bisexual writer, rock climber and pinniped enthusiast based in California. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Seven Tears At High Tide is a first novel.
Connect with C.B. at cb-lee.com, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/authorcblee, on Twitter @author_cblee, and on Goodreads at Goodreads.com/cb-lee.
Where To Buy:
Interlude Press: http://store.interludepress.com/collections/frontpage/products/seven-tears-at-high-tide
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=InterludePress
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Thank you for the lovely review and for having me on your blog today! It’s been wonderful being here!
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