Monday, January 30, 2012

Author Interview and Signed Giveaway! Dolphin Girl by Shel Delisle

I am very excited to welcome Shel Delisle, author of Dolphin Girl, a wonderful new YA. Not only was I lucky enough to get to read this book but Delisle has been nice enough to do an author interview and give away a signed paperback of Dolphin Girl to one lucky winner! Keep reading after my review for a fabulous interview and raffle for the giveaway :)

Title: Dolphin Girl
Author: Shel Delisle
Published: 2011
Genres: YA
My Rating:

Jane Wants The Life Of A Dolphin.
Wild. Graceful. Free.

But these days her life is nothing like that. Between her mother’s strict rules and the cliques at school, she feels strapped in a child-sized life vest. It’s not until Jane gets a tattoo and befriends popular Sam Rojas, a star on the school’s swim team, that her life feels freer. She begins to wonder: Is there a way to be myself and not be alone?

While she navigates these murky waters, a wave of events crash down on her, separating her from her family, her best friend Lexie and Sam, who Jane's fallen fin over tail for. Now she must figure out how to surf through rough seas without having everything she cares about pulled under.

DOLPHIN GIRL, author Shel Delisle’s first novel, is a story of family, friendship, first loves and most importantly – freedom.

Stop what you’re doing and go jump in your time machine…set it to “High School” and gun it to 88! Dolphin Girl will make you remember exactly what it was like to be a teenager again and be completely relatable if you still are. I had originally saved this book to my Nook to take on a plane ride with me, and I’m glad I did because it was a delightfully fabulous read and helped past what would have been a very boring plane ride.

Jane is everything her mother is not: unorganized, artistic, young, free spirited. So needless to say this makes things hard when Jane wants to do something like get a Tattoo on her hip, paint a mural on her bedroom wall or do something really crazy…Like swim and talk with dolphins. Jane has known ever since she was a little girl that these magical creatures had a special connection with her. When she was a small child Jane fell out of a boat her and her parents were on. Jane was wearing a life jacket but hanging off the edge of the boat to see the beautiful dolphins they had spotted. Jane could hear them chanting to her…”C’mon in and play, the waters nice, “ so Jane jumped. Ever since that epic day, Jane has been fascinated by dolphins and moves to the beat of her own drum.
“I guess I should’ve been used to it. Most days I’m convinced God made a mistake when he put me in this family. It can happen, y’know-He makes mistakes. Just look at the duckbill platypus.”-Jane
Jane and her older brother have been sheltered and continually scrutinized by their mother, so when Jane’s brother brings home his pregnant girlfriend that is considerably older than him it shakes the family. Jane soon meets Sam Rojas, a very popular jock and they quickly become friends. He doesn’t seem to find Jane strange even though he is part of a clique that makes fun of her and her friends. Jane struggles with her and her mother’s relationship, staying true to herself, dealing with heartbreak, friends and making the right choices to make her happy. I loved watching Jane’s story unfold and smiled when she finally got to have what she’s wanted all along…To swim again with the dolphins and be free.

Jane was an incredibly endearing character. I’m an artist myself and related to her through every page. In between each chapter Delisle would include an excerpt from “The Magic and Mystery of Dolphins” that related to Jane’s life and may I add, very interesting! I had no clue how complex dolphins and their social structures were. You would be amazed how similar they are to humans :)

Passengers on the plane were probably staring at “The crazing laughing girl” because Jane has such a quirky and spunky personality that everything she said made me laugh out loud. Everyone, no matter the age, will love this book! Many things take place over the course of the story and although there is no epic battle or one main climax, it is true to life. Challenges happen in our life every day and we must meet them head on and stay true to our heart. I hope to see more from this author!

Be sure to read after Dolphin Girl for extras included by the author! My favorite was the very funny and random 1st Annual WEHS Scavenger Hunt list!

I absolutely loved this cover! It reminded me a lot of the covers on Sarah Dessen’s books, with its summer theme and crisp colors. This girl has a dolphin tattoo to represent Jane herself and is looking toward the ocean hoping to catch a glimpse of the dolphins she loves…At least this is what I imagine :) I give this cover an A+
I highly recommend this book to YA lovers and anyone looking for a great "feel good" read! If you liked this book I suggest trying The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

About Shel

Shel Delisle swam with the dolphins once upon a time. While it was an incredible experience, sadly, the dolphins didn’t speak to her. Even though she lives in Florida with her hubby and three boys, she doesn’t spend as much time as she would like in the water. Most days she writes fiction or works on the kid-lit community website,, that she founded with two other writer friends.

Thank you for stopping by Shadow Kisses Book Blog!
Thanks for having me, Cassie. I was so excited when you asked me!

1. First off, how has your week been?
It’s been great, busy, but great!!

2. Where do the ideas for your stories come from? 
I wish I knew –it must be the ether or something -- lol. Seriously, though, I get ideas from almost everything: news stories, other books, something funny my kids said. I have more ideas than I’ll ever be able to write, which actually makes me a little sad, but it’s definitely better to have too many ideas than not enough.

3. Have you ever had any paranormal experiences of your own?
 I think so. That probably sounds like a strange answer, but I’m not really sure what makes something not “normal”. Let me say it like this. I've had things happen that seem like waaaaay more than coincidence. But, who knows, maybe they are.

4. What's a mistake you made that you wish you hadn't, but are glad you were able to learn from?
Omigosh. I think I've made every single mistake known to man! Hmmm….I’m trying to think of one that relates to the story. In high school, there was this guy – a really unpopular guy – who had a crush on me and I was not very nice to him, mostly to make sure that I could fit in with my friends. It’s probably one of the worse things I've ever done and I've felt horribly guilty about that for years. And, I suppose that’s why the idea of cliques, and the exclusionary feelings they create, is such an important theme to me.

As for what I learned from that incident: be kind to everyone. Try not to label people. Try to never feel “above” something or someone. I can’t say I’ve always been successful, but it is something I actively work towards.

5. In your book Jane gets a tattoo of a dolphin on her hip. Do you have any tattoos? 
I don’t! But that might be generational – LOL. When I was growing up the only people with tattoos were sailors, like Popeye.

6. How did the idea for the cover art come about? 
Actually, the cover art found me! Dolphin Girl was sitting in a drawer, never to see the light of day, when I found the photograph. At that point Jane didn’t even have a tattoo, but the photo had the feel of the story. So I took her out of the drawer, gave her a tattoo and decided to let her see the light of day!

7. Do you have any musical muses while writing your books?
 I have a muse who likes to freak me out – see the “some coincidences are too much to take” under your paranormal question. I even blogged about one time with Dolphin Girl that involved an old Linkin’ Park song and their video.

8. What is an interesting quirk you have?
 Omigosh – I don’t think any of them are very interesting. Sorry. J

9. What message do you want readers to take from your book? 
I want readers to know it’s better to be yourself and be happy with that. If you can do that, and not worry about cliques or other people’s expectations of you, everything else will kind of fall into place.

10. Who are your literary heroes?
Wow! That is a really hard question, Cassie, because I admire different people for different reasons. Wow, oh I already said that – lol. I admire Vonnegut’s originality. He was probably one of my earliest literary influences. I also read a lot of Stephen King when I was growing up and I loved that no matter how improbable his premise was that the character always felt like someone I might know. My favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird, so I guess Harper Lee influenced me and I sure do wish she’d written more books!

11. What is your next project?
 I have a series about a brash, teen angel in training. She’s a lot more confident than Jane. In fact her biggest problem is that she tends to overestimate herself and be, um, a little too impulsive. She’d be a total pia to have as a best friend, but she’s a lot of fun to hang with and laugh at! The first book is mostly complete and I’m working on the second.

12. Is there anything else you would like to let the readers know? 
You can find me at my blog ( and if you’re interested in YA and MG reads, I’m one of the founders of the Whatcha’ Reading Now? Kids lit community. (

 Giveaway Time!
Shel Delisle is giving away One Signed Paperback copy of Dolphin Girl to a lucky US Winner. Sorry but contest is US only. Fill out the raffle below to enter and tweet/comment for extra entries! You don't have to follow this blog to enter but as always it is much appreciated :) Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Katie said...

Highschool defintetely its like a journey all in itself and if you make it out alive you still got college(;

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

An easier question would be what WASN'T hard about being a teenager. LOL But it was still a really fun time and sometimes I wish I could go back. But school and boys were big stressers for me! My parents were pretty cool but they could sometimes drive me nuts! I've always had a rather independent mind...hehe
Thanks so much for the giveaway! The book sounds really good and I have seen a ton of good reviews already.

synchronize reader said...

High school is hard in general. And all the other things listed go along with some of the stuff you deal with in high school

Jennifer L. Bielman said...

High school and its clicks. College was way better.

Shawn Kirsten Maravel said...

I think that the hardest part of high school is finding yourself and remaining true to yourself...not letting peer pressure and the desire to fit in get your priorities all screwed up.

Great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win! :)

Mama Michelle said...

The hardest part for me was figuring out who my true friends were. I look back now and there are people who I should of stayed away from, and people I should have tried harder for.

Randee Hallmark said...

newest follower!!! I am always looking for a good book!!

Jacquelynne said...

What a fantastic giveaway and review/interview :) Thanks for posting it on RazOrbill!

Braine @ Talk Supe said...

Sounds like a good YA book

Regan Walsh said...

The hardest part about being a teenager is fitting in without compromising your values. This looks like a fun read. Thanks for offering a giveaway.

Patricia's Particularity said...

I think the hardest thing would have to be knowing/finding yourself while trying to deal with everything else in life.

Thalia said...

The hardest part, for me, of high school/being a teenager is all the insecurity. All the wondering if you're good enough, if your friends like you, who will reject you because of your beliefs, values, or hobbies/interests. Not to mention if you're like me, in as many honors classes as you can muster, and trying to live up to expectations while simultaneously trying to learn how to accept yourself! It's a wild ride! (:

druidgirl said...

I believe the hardest part of high school is trying to stay true to yourself

Shel Delisle said...

Hi everyone! *waves*

Thanks for all the finding and friending on Goodreads.

Cassie has been a wonderfully generous hostess and I'm thrilled to be able to offer the giveaway.

I gotta say that I agree with all of you! High school was tough, college was better, but I still get crazy nervous in any new situation. Does that ever go away??

kimba88 said...

This book sounds like fun..I got married in 88..i was 21.*oops..just revealed how old I am eek gads!*
I have a nook too and love it...add me as a nook friend if ya like...

Jenny said...

College was better! I love your review and interview, thanks for helping me discover another great read!

Marci ( said...

relationships and fights with friends.