This'll Be My Year... - 2015 Recap, 2016 Resolutions & Birthday Giveaway!

The thing that I love most about new years is how I will be leaving a whole year behind me. No matter how good or bad, I love having that bit of closure and starting brand new story, one with exciting opportunities, new chances and new experiences. Although there were some bumps in the road, 2015 has been a year full of new and thrilling things for me and I am looking forward to see what 2016 will have in store. But first, let's go through a recap, shall we? 

Starting a Bookstagram Account | A Year Through the Lens

This year, I finally pressed the sign up button for the popular app, Instagram. Not long ago I was having fun one day taking pictures of books and I thought about how awesome it would be to make myself an account, but for it to be based solely on books. Little did I know that others were already doing that and I was absolutely thrilled to connect with other readers through Instagram! It took me about half a year though to finally start liking the pictures that I took and now it's a necessity to carry around my camera and close to three books in my purse! A girl can never have too many, right?

 Working with Authors & Publishers | A Dream Come True 

This year I also got the chance to work with some amazing authors, publishers and publicists and the only thing I have to say! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have these kind of opportunities presented to me and I can't thank each and every author, publisher and publicist for allowing me to do what I love and that is reading and sharing books! I would love to list each and everyone one of you, but alas, we would be here all day so instead: thank you to ALL of you! For your support, for your kindness, and most importantly, for believing in me and my blog. I look forward to seeing what 2016 will have for us!

 A New Blog Design | Mama Mia!

Back in September, I wasn't really feeling my old design anymore and I was in need of a new one. I wanted something that would pop and something that was classy and fun. With the help another blogger, she and I worked on a new design that would scream just that and the minute it was all set up and ready, I was in love! I do have some ideas of changing bits and pieces of the blog, but other than that, I think I'll be leaving it just how it is for a bit longer! 

 Starting My Own Debut Author Program | Authors Assemble!

Back in September, I had the idea of creating a debut author program that was referenced by Marvel SHIELD, and doing that made me so happy! Being able to connect with other readers over debut books and promote these new titles in fun ways was something that I loved doing and I am so excited to announce that in 2016, I WILL be continuing this program! I've been spending the last month working on ways to improve it, brainstorming more ideas and other things I can do for the S.F.D. and I am so excited to show you what I've been working on. Keep your eyes peeled, lovelies! ;)

Accomplishing My Reading Goal | I Like Big Books & I Can Not Lie!

Last year, I accomplished my reading goal of 35 books, so I thought I would up it a bit and go for 50 this year. I am so thrilled to say that I actually read 88 books out of my goal for 50! When the year started, I was excited to see how I would do in my challenge. Each time I logged into Goodreads and I would see my goal tracker, it would encourage me to keep reading, to try and finish my goal, maybe even pass it! In 2016, I am going to try and go for reading 100 books, which might be a little tricky here and there due to how busy I will be in the first few months, but I know I'll be able to rock it! Were you able to accomplish your reading goal this year?  Do you have a reading goal for 2016? Let me know down in the comments below!

★ This'll Be My Year | 2016 Resolutions | Blog More!

One of my 2016 resolutions would be to blog more! I felt that this year I was in a big blogging and reading slump and not posting a lot, which made me really upset, so I would love to blog more for the upcoming year. I'm making it a goal to post more reviews, discussion posts and even some new, creative features! I've already made a list of some discussions I would like to post and even drafted almost twenty reviews for the upcoming year, and all I gotta say is...2016 better watch it because Sassy & Dangerous is coming in hot and fast! ;)

★ This'll Be My Year | 2016 Resolutions | Buy A New Camera & Take Better Quality Pics!

In the upcoming year, lots of things will be changing for me in my personal life and I want to be able to capture these amazing moments for me and my family and that's why I'll be saving up to by myself a Nikon camera! I would also use this baby to up my Bookstagram game. ;) I can totally make this work. *cracks knuckles* 

★ This'll Be My Year | 2016 Resolutions | Not Letting People Walk Over Me & Continuing to Stay Positive

This past year, I've learned some things. One of the many things I learned was that people sometimes aren't really who they say they are. I've always been told that people aren't truly your friends and this year...I found that out the hard way. I've learned that people will treat you one way and act or say something behind your back the next. I've learned that people will love to tear you down when they see that you are more successful than them or that they see you as a threat. But I've also learned the best form of revenge is to simply never let them dull your sparkle! This year, I want to make it my goal to surround myself with more positive people and to push out the negative. I've been taught that if you want a positive life, surround yourself with people who are all about the positivity and that is exactly what I plan to do!


Today, I am now officially 16 and instead of receiving gifts, I would like to give one to you, my amazing readers! We all know how the coming year is going to be an amazing year for books, and I thought what better way to start a birthday and a New Year, than with a giveaway, right? Below in the rafflecopter, you can enter for a chance to win one 2016 release! If you are having some trouble finding a title you'd love to win, don't fret, I've got you covered! I've made a page just for 2016 releases and you can check them all out HERE! (Giveaway is international!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And so the adventure begins...Happy New Year my darlings!

Sassy's 16 Most Anticipated 2016 Releases!

With just one week away from the new year, I thought it would be the perfect time to discuss my most anticipated 2016 releases with you! So grab a cup of hot coco, pop a squat and have your Goodreads page open because you certainly don't want to miss these hot new releases hitting the shelves in the next few months!


I'm sure this choice comes as no surprise to most of you if you've been following me on my twitter or Instagram account. I have been anticipating Laurie's forthcoming novel for the last few months now, and I am in fact nose deep in the first few chapters already and I am loving it! I can most definitely tell you now that this story is a novel that will be hard to forget for many readers! 

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   


A western revenge with a dash of steampunk and magic? Sign me up! With a stand out cover like that and a synopsis that reels in the most reluctant reader, there is no denying that Modesto's debut novel will leave readers grasping for more!

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   


When I happened upon Keating's forthcoming novel, I was immediately intrigued with the cover and even more so with the synopsis. Being a huge fan of contemporary, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to request an early copy! I've heard so many glowing things about this debut so far, and I am excited to dive into it myself!

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   



Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with something that whenever you see it or hear someone talk about it, you squeal with delight? You can guarantee that is me every time I come across Garcia's forthcoming novel in the blogging community! The only thing I need to say is...can may come any quicker?

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   



It's very rare for me to be truly interested in science fiction novels, but Acevedo's upcoming debut surely has captured my attention with great interest! With it's stunning cover and intriguing synopsis, is it really any wonder why I'm anxiously anticipating for April? 

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   



The minute I happened upon Quinn's latest release, I knew I needed the book and I needed it now! With a beautiful, eye popping cover like that and a synopsis that'll captivate readers, Down with the Shine will surely leave you craving more and that is exactly what I hope will do for me!

Links: Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   




Not long ago I choose Chee's forthcoming novel for my WOW post and the only thing I have to say is... can Santa put this debut novel under my Christmas tree, pretty please? I am already imagining the thrill of happiness I will have once I get my hands on a copy and I could not be anymore excited!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon |  



Historical Fiction? Check. Fantasy? Check. Romance? Check. A very intrigued bookworm? CHECK! The second I happened upon this 2016 release, I was thrilled! I've already been seeing glowing reviews from other readers/authors and I am so ready to jump into Skye's forthcoming novel myself!

Links: | Goodreads | AmazonB&N |   


I am only on book nine of this list and I am in absolute awe at how many stunning covers 2016 releases have! A big applause to all of these cover artists because you are making my inner fangirl scream right now! About two or so months ago, I met Julie for the first time and after I searched her novel through Goodreads, I was instantly captivated with it. Don't even get me started on how excited I was when they revealed the cover... *wide heart eyes* Needles to say, I have Eshbaugh's debut on my must pre-order list and you should too!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


When I stumbled upon Devil and the Bluebird minutes after reading the synopsis, I instantly got that Supernatural vibe to it and let me tell you...I wanted this novel and I wanted it as soon as possible! I'm a big sucker for paranormal and fantasy novels, so you can bet your sweet little tush that Black's debut is one that I will bring out my grabby hands for once it hits shelves!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon |  



Jane Austen meets X-­Men? Sign me up and sign me up NOW! Nothing beats starting the new year reading an adventure-filled paranormal romance and I know this one will leave me buzzing around, anxiously anticipating the month of February!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N



Being a huge fan of contemporaries, therefore I have to keep up with the latest releases in that genre, so imagine my excitement when I came across The Way Back to You, a novel of loss, love and hope. I feel as though Mindi and Michelle's forthcoming release will tug at the heartstrings of readers and make them feel as if they are in the story themselves. This is certainly a novel you must have on your TBR! 

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |   


The warm Hawaiian sun, lazy beach days, exotic food and a handsome boy that doesn't play by the rules? Who wouldn't want to jump into this spectacular debut and experience all of these exciting things? Summer of Sloane seems to be the perfect read for the upcoming summer months and I have no doubt that I will be lounging on the beautiful beaches of Mexico with this book in hand!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |


As I said above, I am an absolute huge fan of contemporaries,  (sometimes even the super fluffy ones like this one!) so you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this debut on Goodreads. With that being said, Nguyen's forthcoming release has me tingling for June to come quicker! 

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | 

This cover and synopsis is most definitely Sassy Approved! Not long after reading the synopsis I debated whether it would be too early to send in my request for this debut because wow! (A girl can try, right?) This book definitely fits right up my alley and my inner fan girl is screaming yes for it!  

Links: Goodreads |


With how the previous novel in the series ended, it's obviously no surprise that I am anticipating the latest in the series, Earth's End! I absolutely love Kova's work and I can not wait to see how it all plays out in this latest release. If you are looking for the perfect gift for a fellow bookworm, I highly recommend this series!  

Links: Goodreads | Amazon |

So there you have it! Those are just some of my most anticipated releases. I'm thinking I will make another post with the second half of 2016 releases, so keep your eyes peeled for that! What are some of your most anticipated releases for the coming year? Let me know down in the comments below! 

Happy reading!

Clearing the Air...

With the holiday season right around the corner, a certain favorite tune comes to mind: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

But first things first. 

I feel as if the atmosphere surrounding the YA blogging community, as well as my own blog, has become very tense, so let's clear the air a bit, shall we?

About two weeks ago, a blogger in the book community publicly placed an accusation of plagiarism against me and Sassy & Dangerous. At first, I thought it would be better not to give it too much attention so as to not ignite a feud over something I believed was not really the case here, but after some careful consideration, I've decided to write a small post about this entire situation.

Back in October, I wrote two posts, a Waiting on Wednesday post and a post for my debut author program, Sassy's Fangirl Debuts. In that month, this blogger had brought it to my attention that I had two small sentences resembling what she had written in two blog posts of her own. Realizing that our sentences did look similar, I wrote back to her acknowledging the similarity. I then told this blogger that I would edit the two sentences in order to avoid any further misunderstanding, and I did. I really appreciated the fact that she came to me about it privately and we resolved it professionally and calmly. I continued on with my blogging, reading and reviewing as usual. 

However, two weeks ago I was hit with another accusation from this same blogger, telling me I had stolen content from her blog and demanding that I stop or she would go public with it. I was absolutely furious with this, not because she threatened me about going public, but because her accusations were based on commonly used words and phrases that you can find not just in the book blogging community but all over the internet. Case in point:

Example One: This blogger states that I plagiarized her in the following phrases. Please note: (I wrote) refers to the blogger and (You Wrote) refers to me.

Representing someone else’s work as your own is considered plagiarism. In the example above, I fail to see where this applies. I am not plagiarizing nor am I paraphrasing here. If anything, her thoughts and my thoughts happen to be similar to the description of what a book blogger does. This is not an idea that is exclusive to her, but more so a thought that encompasses every person who owns a book blog.

Example Two:

Here the blogger states that I plagiarized the following phrase. Again, please note: (I wrote) refers to the blogger and (You Wrote) refers to me.

Let me just stop right here. If what the blogger accuses me of writing is plagiarizing her according to her view, then what would the following be considered? (See Example 2a) In researching I came across this and dozens more review sites that frequently use this phrase. At least I had the originality of expressing this coined phrase in my own creative way. Where as, this blogger basically wrote it word for word. My point in all of this is that we find the same exact coined phrase used by many other blogging sites over the span of years. (If anything, I guess we owe an apology to this blogger and every other one I found!)

So, for her (this blogger) to come at me with such pettiness angered me, but also saddened me. However, I gave myself a minute to calm down and I responded back to her politely and honestly, telling her the truth: I was in no way, plagiarizing her. 

Some of my teachers and I read and re-read the post she wrote multiple times, trying to see what was really going on and the only similarities we found were the first two sentences she came to me about back in October. The ones I had addressed, edited, and cleared up only to show good faith on my part. Everything else she was accusing me of stealing from her was, once again, nothing because those phrases and words are commonly used. I cannot emphasize this enough: the phrases "happening or stumbling upon", "a story you won't soon forget" or even describing what a book blogger is/does in definition, is SO commonly used in this community it's not even funny. The only thing I see here is this person wanting to benefit from all the negativity and earn a boost in her stats and page counts. Eventually that kind of behavior will turn on a person and I don’t want anything to do with that kind of karma. So, as far as I am concerned, to me this matter is closed and I am moving on. I’m for sharing the positive side of the books I love, not tearing down others that have done nothing but bring a positive light to a community that I still think  highly of.

And while we are on the subject of clearing the air I would also like to address something about my debut author program, Sassy's Fangirl Debuts. If you aren't caught up with what it is, my program is a YA debut program referencing the hit TV show MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD, that I created to spread the word of upcoming releases in the book community for a flare of fun.

Soon after unveiling my program, it was recently brought to my attention that a well known, blogger had again been badmouthing someone publicly, but this time, she was targeting me. I really didn’t take too much stock in what she had to say since this is a weekly occurrence with her. Maybe the negativity brings good stats? I don’t know. Anyway,  I saw how she was telling other bloggers and authors lies about me, twisting the truth, and even accusing me of stealing her ideas from her own debut program from almost a year ago. 

It truly does make me laugh at this accusation because of two things. 1.) This person seems to think she's the only blogger that can help debut authors and I find that to be such a ridiculous thing, seeing as she wasn't the first person to start something with debut authors and she certainly won't be the last. 2.) Sassy's Fangirl Debuts references the show Marvel SHIELD, however, I was the one who came up with the twist on how to help promo debut authors. I came up with posts, the interview questions for the authors, everything and my Marvel hero loving brothers helped me execute it all over the span of a weekend. So, to this blogger, the only question I have for you is... does bringing negativity and drama into the community make you happy? Does it give you a thrill that whoever you are talking about or badmouthing in public is being ganged up on and being told hateful and rude things?  It truly is saddening to see how you treat people because I once admired you and your blog. But I do not appreciate the lies and bad mouthing you have spread about me and I am 110% done with it all as well as you.

With the new year right around the corner, I am ready to put all of this behind me and start fresh: to begin a new chapter and a new story. Even though I have had my ups and downs this past year, it has also been such an amazing, accomplishing year for me personally and also for my blog. This year, I've grown as a person. I slowly but surely shed my shell of shyness, I’ve started to speak my mind and not be afraid to say what I think and how I feel about something. I’ve had the chance to try new things, to work with authors and publishers and so many other exciting opportunities. But I've also made mistakes. I'm not perfect, nor is anyone else.

It is time to move on now, amigos. People have turned something that was so small and already resolved into something it’s not and I am absolutely done with it. I came into this community because I wanted to connect with other people who shared the same passions as me: books. We ALL love helping authors get the word out about their titles, we all love talking about our favorite books, getting excited over new releases, finding new bloggers to connect with, all of the fun things, right? 

However, now, all I'm seeing from this community is hatred, jealousy, and anger and that's really sad to see and I want nothing to do with. And you know what I have to say to all of that hatred, jealousy, and anger? Crap happens! Cry yourself a river, build a bridge and move on! People will always want to knock you down, but it's up to you whether or not you pick yourself back up and work your butt off to strive for the success you want in life.

With all of this being said, let's start fresh, shall we? Let's put all of this behind us, let's get excited for 2016 and all of the amazing, beautiful books that are coming out and let's get to bringing positivity into the community. I want that to be my New Years Resolution. For the blogging community to be happier, to not focus so much on the negativity and instead the positivity because lets face it: we are a kick butt community!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts - Guest Post with Michelle Modesto, Author of Revenge and the Wild

Welcome to Sassy's Fangirl Debuts, a feature event where I introduce you to this years and next years debut authors! Grab some popcorn and have your Goodreads page open because there are some wonderful new authors and books coming out soon! 

This week of Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts, we are having the wonderful Michelle Modesto, YA author of the upcoming REVENGE AND THE WILD, which releases on February of  next year!

Title: Revenge and the Wild
Author: Michelle Modesto
Genre: Young Adult, Western, Steampunk
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler. Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways. But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

Today Michelle is stopping by with a ten random facts guest post! Below you'll get to read five random facts about her forthcoming debut novel Revenge and the Wild and you'll also get to read five random facts about the lovely Michelle herself! 

Ten Random Facts About Revenge and the Wild:

1.) The first version of R&TW was far more morbid than the printed version.

2.) I had three different ideas for stories (a western, a steampunk, and a paranormal) and wasn’t all that excited about any of them, so I mashed all of them together to create Revenge and the Wild.

3.) Originally, there were no cannibals in the book. It wasn’t until a friend and I drove through Truckee—where the Donner Party was stranded—that I added them. The story completely changed after that.

4.) I wrote half the book in one weekend, afraid if I didn’t get it down I would lose the voice.

5.) I’d never been in critique groups or had beta readers, so the editing process was scary and challenging. The stress of it gave me a headache that lasted three months straight. It got so bad that I went to the hospital to make sure it wasn’t something worse. Luckily it wasn’t!

Ten Random Facts About Michelle:

6.) I once wrote and directed a terrible, campy zombie film called Revenge of the Re-Animated Dead: Zombies O’grotten. It was so much fun. Unfortunately, it was never completed.

7.) Fingernail polish is my weakness. I can’t go to the store without buying a new color.

8.) All of my novels are written by hand before they ever see a computer. I have calloused fingers because of it and hundreds of composition books full of scribble.

9.) My favorite dog breed is a bull mastiff. They are most gentle, loyal, loving dogs I’ve ever come across.

10.) Instead of Miracle on 34th Street, or A Christmas Carol, my kids and I have made it a tradition to watch Christmas horror films every year. I’m really looking forward to Krampus this year!

Michelle Modesto is an associate editor at Gold Man Review, a west coast literary journal. She is also a former tattoo artist and works as a dog groomer and rescuer. She loves hockey, mudding and redneck things. She lives in Northern California with her two kids and a couple of bed-hogging bull mastiffs


Happy reading!

Waiting on Wednesday - Magic, Mayhem and Mystery...Oh My!

Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spines. This meme is to talk about the books you just can not wait for to come out! The first book I'm waiting on is...

Title: The Reader
Author: Traci Chee
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Publisher:  Macmillan
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

The minute I happened upon Traci Chee's forthcoming novel, The Reader, I was instantly drawn in. Being a big fan of fantasy and adventure, I am truly excited to get my hands on a copy and jump into this exciting world. Chee's upcoming debut release is described as thrilling, fast-paced and mesmerizing all wrapped into one and that definitely has me hooked and anticipating 2016 even more! Also...can we just ADMIRE that cover? All I want for Christmas, is youuuu!

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher:  Flatiron Books
An original world. A legendary competition. A mesmerizing romance. An unbreakable bond between two sisters. Welcome to Caraval—the spell-casting first book in a fantasy series that’s perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series and The Night Circus. Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . . Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Being a blogger, it's a definite must to be up to date in the publishing industry with forthcoming titles, release dates and many other things, so imagine my thrill of excitement when I stumbled upon Caraval, Garber's 2016 debut novel, full of games, twists and magic. One of the aspects I am most looking forward to is the adventure and excitement that the main character will embark on as well as the...romance! You guys know I love romance, so I am very excited to see how that will all play out in this novel. All in all, there is no denying that Garber's upcoming release will be positively delightful in many ways and I know for a fact this is a story that will be hard to forget!

So there you have it! Those are my most anticipated releases that I am waiting on! What are yours? Let me know down in the comments below and feel free to link your WOW posts! 

Happy reading!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Marisa Reichardt, Author of Underwater!

Welcome to Sassy's Fangirl Debuts, a feature event where I introduce you to this years and next years debut authors! Grab some popcorn and have your Goodreads page open because there are some wonderful new authors and books coming out soon! 

This week of Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts, we are having the wonderful Marisa Reichardt, YA author of UNDERWATER, which releases on January 26th of  next year!

If you want to receive news about debut authors and their books, sign up to my Sassy's Fangirl Newsletter! There also just might be a subscriber only giveaway every month. ;) If you'd like to sign up, HERE is the link!

Title: Underwater
Author: Marisa Reichardt
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 12th, 2016
Publisher:  Macmillan
Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Hi Marisa! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! Let's get started, shall we? :)

1. Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on and I’m curious to know-- what was the inspiration behind your debut? 
The seedling of an idea for Underwater came from me wanting to write about someone suffering from debilitating anxiety. As I started to answer the “why” to that scenario, the bigger picture of Underwater began to take shape. 

2. How many years have you been writing that led to your forthcoming release? 

I’ve been writing my whole life and I did major in creative writing in college and attend a graduate writing program. But I spent a lot of those years not really sure what I wanted to write. I got into poetry, short fiction, and screenwriting. I only got super serious about novel writing in the last six years or so. I think, in a way, novel writing intimidated me. It seemed too ambitious. But once I committed to doing it, I found that all those other pieces of writing I’d been trying along the way made me a better novel writer. So I will never say I wasted my time during those years of floundering. In the end, it all mattered. 

3. I absolutely adore the cover for Underwater and I’m sure I’m not the only one! Do you mind giving us a bit of inside scoop on how the cover design process went? Was the final product exactly like how you imagined it would be?

Thank you! I’m so glad you love it. Honestly, the cover is one of my favorite parts of Underwater. The design went beyond any expectation I ever had and I think it is so perfect for the book. I will say there is going to be an interview with my amazing cover designer, Andrew Arnold, and me as part of the blog tour for Underwater in January about the story behind the cover. Stay tuned! 

4. Now that the holidays are here, what are some of your favorite things to do during Christmas? Do you have any special family traditions? 

We are pretty non-traditional. I mean, yes, there is a tree and lights and giving and getting. But we aren’t always in the same place and we aren’t always with the same people so it all comes off as pretty chill.

5. Your debut is releasing next month (talk about some extreme FANGIRLING!) and we’re all dying to know; are you currently working on another project? If so, could you give us a hint as to what it is? 

I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am mere weeks away from publication! It’s surreal. Aside from everything I’m doing to prep for that, I am working on another project. It’s also a contemporary YA standalone with a heavy California vibe. The MC is a kickass girl with a skateboard and I wish I could hang out with her all the time.

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Marisa! It was so lovely to have you and I cannot wait for Underwater to hit shelves! If you guys haven’t already pre-ordered this beautiful debut, I highly suggest you do!

Thanks for having me! It was an honor to be here and I’m so appreciative of all that you’re doing to promote debut novels. Thank YOU! 

I'm a SoCal native and high school writing instructor. I currently live in Los Angeles and can usually be found huddled over my laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean. My debut YA contemporary novel, UNDERWATER, will be out 1/12/16 from Macmillan/FSG and 4/7/16 Macmillan Children's UK. I love all books and all genres. While I do keep track of all the books I've read here, I generally don't do ratings or reviews.

Happy reading!

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