Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Emily Martin, Author of The Year We Fell Apart!

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 Emily Martin, YA author of THE YEAR WE FELL APART, which releases on January 26th of  next year!

In case you missed it, to celebrate the opening of the Sassy's Fangirl Debuts newsletter, I am hosting a 2016 debut pre-order of your choice and it ends on Monday, so don't forget to enter! HERE is the link!

Title: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 26th, 2016
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past. Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan. Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis. While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from. As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

Hi Emily! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! Before we get started on the interview, would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me, Talina! I’m so excited to be part of the Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts! A bit about me… Aside from writing YA, I also work in the environmental field, helping municipalities reduce waste and increase recycling. My other interests include: hot chocolate, goldendoodles, vintage clothing, and slowly working my way through Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking.

1. First off, congrats on having The Year We Fell Apart being compared to NYT bestselling author Sarah Dessen! How does it make you feel to be compared to her and her writing? What were your initial thoughts on that?

Thank you so much! It’s kind of mind-blowing, actually. First seeing my book mentioned in the same sentence as Sarah Dessen may have brought on some flailing. She was my first introduction to YA, and I’ve been a fan of her writing for so many years.

I lived in North Carolina during graduate school and drew a lot of inspiration from that setting. But at it’s heart, The Year We Fell Apart a story of two best friends trying to figure out if they have any future together over the course of one summer. In that regard, I can definitely say Sarah Dessen’s stories influenced my writing, and I hope her fans will enjoy reading The Year We Fell Apart!

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

I ‘d been playing around with several different story ideas for years, but this was the first one that stuck. It started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2012, and I revised it for about a year before entering Brenda Drake’s PitchWars in 2013. That led to another major rewrite, and helped me get my agent, Lara Perkins. I revised with her before eventually selling to Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse, and of course we revised together for many months. All told, I worked on this book for close to three years, and learned so much in the process!

3. Your forthcoming release seems like it will tug at the heartstrings of readers and I’m curious to know, what do you want them to take away from the story?

I hope it will! Harper is a very flawed character, and she makes a lot of questionable choices. But her peers have also given her an unfair reputation, and because of this she sometimes has a hard time seeing past her own mistakes. This kind of labeling and societal pressure is a reality a lot of teen girls face, and what I really want readers to take away from the story is that everyone makes mistakes (sometimes even more than once), but they don’t have to define you. There is always room to grow and learn from them.

4. While writing, were there any characters you could relate to the most? If so, how?

I think there’s a little bit of myself in all of my characters. Harper and Declan both have sarcastic senses of humor, which may be a bit similar to my own. J I can definitely relate to the pressure and (double) standards Harper faces, as it’s something I came across a lot in high school. I’ve also certainly made my share of mistakes over the years, and have some experience with beating myself up over them, as she often does. And Mackenzie definitely takes after me with her flair for vintage clothing and love of food!

5. Now that your novel is close to being published (how exciting!), are you currently working on anything new? If so, could you give us a hint as to what it is?

I am working on a new story, though it’s still in its early stages. This one takes place in my home state of Michigan and is focused on family secrets and the complicated relationships between characters that I love to write!

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Emily! It was a thrill to have you! If you guys haven’t already added this debut contemporary to your TBR, you should! It seems like this one will sweep you off of your feet and deep into a world of love, loss and hope!

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. She has a penchant for impromptu dance parties, vintage clothing, and traveling to new places. When not writing, she can be found hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored. 

Emily’s debut young adult novel, THE YEAR WE FELL APART, comes out January 26, 2016 from Simon Pulse.


Happy reading!

'Tis the Season to be Thankful For...

Over the past few years, Thanksgiving has come to be one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the delicious food that I get to whip up every year, but because it  reminds me of the things I'm thankful for and sometimes even the things that I take for granted. As I grow older and as I am put through challenges in life, I always remind myself to be thankful of what I already have, and to always think positive. This past year it's been absolutely crazy for me. I got to go see my family and I's dream home, I'm expanding my cooking in the kitchen by trying new recipes, I've finally gotten my sister to share my love for books, I started my own debut author street team and so many more great things happened. This year has just been amazing in many ways and I have so much to be thankful for. 

'Tis the season to be thankful for my family - Family is the most important thing in life. I grew up never meeting my extended family so knowing that my parents, my siblings and I are close and always there for each other, it means a lot to me because I know they'll always have my back and I'll have theirs. I'm thankful for the way my parents support me in my choices, they give great advice when I need it and they always do what's best for me...even when I'm not so glad about it. (I know ya'll are reading this and I hope you guys know I love you for everything that you do.) I'm also thankful for my sister and brothers. Although you guys are a major pain half the time, I love you and I can't thank you enough for the amount of times you have made me laugh and helped me through things. 

'Tis the season to be thankful for my health - Days before today, I was perfectly okay and super excited for Thanksgiving, only to be thrown into a haze of sickness along with my family. Thankfully, we are all better now and able to celebrate the wonderful holiday with laughter, joy and delicious food!

'Tis the season to be thankful for my friends - Over the past year, I've grown close with my girls, Tika @ Fangirl Confessions, Blessie @ Mischievous Reads and Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. I am so thankful for you guys because you have been there for me since day one. We've gone through a lot together in just this year entirely and we continue to bond over so many things and you always seem to make me laugh every time we talk. Thank you for everything chicas! <3

'Tis the season to be thankful for publicists - Not too long ago, I recently started to get into ARC/book requesting and during that time, I've met so many wonderful publicists. I want to say a huge thank you to Michelle Cashman over at St. Martin's Press, Megan at Harper Collins, and all the other publicists that have sent me books and that have let me help promote and support authors in so many ways. You ladies are amazing and I can't thank you enough for what you do for me and other bookworms out there! 

'Tis the season to be thankful for authors - This year I was able to open up a debut author program/street team and because of that, I met SO many wonderful debut authors. I want to say a huge thank to every single author that I mention here: Darcy Woods, Laurie E. Flynn, Catherine Lo, Kim Savage, Nicole Castroman, Janet B. Taylor, Marisa Reichardt, Kali Wallace, Mackenzi Lee, Stephanie Garber, Marci Lynn Curtis, Julie Eshbaugh, Shannon M. Parker, Kathleen Glasgow, Emily Henry, Katie Kennedy, Sarah Glenn Marsh, Erin L. Schneider, Brittany Cavallaro, Heidi Heilig, Ava Jae, Tara Sim, Melissa Gorzelanczyk, Jenn Nguyen, Kerry Kletter, Jenny Moyer, Traci Chee, Jennifer Mason-Black, Michelle Andreani, Margot Harrison, E. Katherine Kottaras, Kristy Acevado, Jessica Cluess, Kelly Zekas, Emily Skrutskie, Jenny Manzer, Emily Martin, Roshani Chokshi, Sonya Mukherjee, Lygia Day PeƱaflor, Michelle Modesto,  & Ashley Herring Blake.

You guys are absolutely amazing in so many ways and I can't thank you enough for the support you have given me for everything. It has been so wonderful to get to know each and every one of you and I adore you all to bits! 

'Tis the season to be thankful for my readers - It's now been almost a year and a half since I've started blogging and there are no words to describe how thankful I am to each and every single one of you: my readers. You guys have made this experience beyond amazing and I appreciate it when you guys take the time to read my thoughts, and that you also take time to comment with your own. Long story short, thank you from the bottom of my heart; thank you. <3 

What are you thankful for this holiday season? Let me know in the comments below and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

Happy reading!

Presenting Sassy's Fangirl Debuts Newest Project + Debut Pre-order Giveaway!

I am SO excited to finally be able to talk about and share another project I've been working on in the Sassy's Fangirl Debuts program! (S.F.D. for short!) If you're not already familiar with what the S.F.D. is, let me catch you up! 

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts is a debut author street team/program that was created by me with the intention of promoting and supporting YA debut authors. When I created this, I put together a team of highly trained agents (AKA, amazing book bloggers!) that help spread the word about upcoming young adult debut novels with fun missions that are done by blog posts or other ways that can promote these authors and their books! If you haven't already figured this out, yes, this entire thing is referenced by Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pretty cool, right? ;)

Are ya'll ready to know what the new project is? Drum roll please.... *DRUMMMMROOLLLLLLL* I am so happy to announce that Sassy's Fangirl Debuts now has a NEWSLETTER

Yes, you read that right! Starting December 1st, the first ever Sassy's Fangirl Debuts newsletter will be sent out! One day while brainstorming, I thought what could be another way to get these debut books out there? Then it hit me: I could deliver all of it straight to someone's e-mail! Now...I'm sure all of you are asking, "But what will it contain?" Well, let me tell you! 

Every first of the month, I will be sending out a newsletter and that issue will contain all of these things: cover reveal news, author's that have stopped by the blog for a Sassy's Fangirl Debut post, inside scoop that you won't find anywhere else, a featured book/author, sassy recommendations for debut novels and the best part: giveaways! In every newsletter issue, there will be a fun giveaway that will be just for SUBSCRIBERS ONLY! Are you intrigued yet? ;) 
If you'd like to sign up, HERE is the link! 

Once you've added your info and your all good to go, the only thing you have to do is wait till December 1st and then your inbox will be filled with debut books! Not only that, but YOU guys will also be given a fun mission that can enter you into a super swoon worthy giveaway! 

To celebrate the opening of the Sassy's Fangirl Debuts newsletter, I am bringing Christmas to you, a month early! Below is a giveaway that you can enter to win a 2016 debut pre-order! There will be one winner and it is be INTL! If you'd like to see just a few of 2016 debuts, you can click HERE to an earlier giveaway post I did for 2016 releases! May the odd be ever in your favor! 

**I'd also like to give a BIG thank you to the wonderful Claudia over at @PenMarkings for designing such an amazing newsletter template! I hope you guys will love it as much as I do!**

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to the newsletter and be prepared for a double shot of amazing debuts! 

Happy reading!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview With Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Author of Firsts!

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 Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, YA author of FIRSTS, which releases on January 5th of  next year!

Title: Firsts
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself. Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed. When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Hi Laurie! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! Before we get started on the interview, would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi Talina! First of all, thanks so much for having me. I’m honored to be part of Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts! A little bit about me… I’m a former model turned young adult author. I went to school for journalism, but that just made me realize how much better suited I am to making up my own stories. I’m married to the most wonderful husband in the world (but I may be just a bit biased)! I’m a proud Canadian, a wine lover, coffee addict, and a dog mom to my very spoiled senior Chihuahua, Abby.

1. FIRSTS is described as an honest, refreshing, YA novel about sex, love and high school. I’m curious to know, are you nervous that people will deem this “too” racy for the YA genre?

That’s a great question. It wasn’t something I gave much thought to while I was writing the book, because I didn’t want to let self-doubt creep in and stall my momentum. But when it came time to query the book, the nerves started to take over. I was worried agents would balk at the subject matter and not want to take a chance on the book. Luckily, my agent, editor, and whole publication team are completely fearless and believe in FIRSTS so strongly that any residual nerves I had totally went away. While FIRSTS likely won’t be a book for everyone, the positive reaction and level of support from the YA community has been incredible.

I'm going to be honest with you, at first I was a bit surprised while reading the synopsis, but I was also very intrigued to see how the story would play out. I've never seen a story like yours and I'm super excited to pick up my ARC to see how it turns out! I also know once FIRSTS is out in the world, others will be waiting in line to pick up their copies too!

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

I started writing with the intention of being published about three and a half years ago. Actually, I sent my first query—for an NA contemporary—almost exactly three years ago, in December 2012. My dream of being a published author definitely didn’t happen overnight! So if you’re a writer getting frustrated that it won’t happen—keep writing. The words are the only part you can control, so focus on them.

A NA contemporary? I'm already excited about FIRSTS, but now you've got me intrigued for this other novel! ;) That is definitely some great writing advice though! Becoming a published author won't happen overnight, but if you keep at it and you believe in yourself, you'll get there!

3. What inspired you to write FIRSTS? Was this an idea that randomly popped in your head one day or has this story been with you for awhile?

The hook and the name “Mercedes” popped into my head seemingly out of nowhere. I remember randomly thinking one day, “What if there was a book about a girl who wanted to give guys the perfect first time—except the guys all have girlfriends?” I was in the midst of writing a NA contemporary, but the idea for FIRSTS nagged at me until I sat down to write it. Once I did, the words poured out, and three weeks later I had a first draft. While the initial inspiration came out of the blue, the more I wrote, the more I knew exactly why I was writing the book—for teen girls, for all the girls who have been shamed or bullied or judged for having sex. They deserve better, and through Mercedes, I wanted to create a character who makes decisions and makes mistakes but doesn’t slut-shame herself.

Like I said above, I don't think I've ever seen a book like FIRSTS, and that's what intrigued me so much, especially since it's categorized in the YA genre. I think the reason why you wrote this novel is truly an inspiration not just to me, but also for a lot of other girls out there. 

4. What do you want readers to take from, after reading Mercedes story?

Mercedes is someone who has a lot going on under the surface that she doesn’t trust anyone to know about. Her faith in people has been rattled, and she thinks keeping her own secrets is the only way to protect herself. If readers take one thing away from FIRSTS, I hope it’s the knowledge that people can be completely different on the inside than the face they’re showing the world. Before you judge or jump to believe a rumor that’s circulating, remember that you don’t know what someone has been through or is going through.

What I love most about characters is how the author portrays them to be realistic and flawed and not always "perfect" in a way. I think that's what I'm going to see from Mercedes and I admire that and I admire you for writing such a character. I am definitely excited to meet her and to be swept away into her story!

5. Now that your debut is almost out into the world (super exciting!), are you working on anything new at the moment? If so, can you give us a hint as to what it is?

I’d love to! I recently finished another YA contemporary about a girl whose best friend disappears after an end-of-summer blowout party — a party at which she did something that will have deeper consequences than she ever imagined. It’s all about the weight of a secret, and the realization that secrets are the most valuable form of currency.

I’m also working on two new YA contemporary projects at the moment, both of which I’m excited about for different reasons. One is from a boy’s POV and has been a lot of fun, and the other… well, the other one is trouble, which usually means it’s worth it!

I need these contemporary novels ASAP! Totally adding these to my TBR soon! ;)

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Laurie! It was so lovely having you! If you guys haven’t added this debut novel to your TBR, I highly suggest you do because this one seems like it will hit the best seller in no time!

Thanks again for having me, Talina—and thanks for your wonderful support! I think 2016 is going to be a truly amazing year, and I’m thrilled to be debuting with so many talented authors!

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.


Happy reading!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Janet B. Taylor Author of Into the Dim!

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 Janet B. Taylor, YA author of INTO THE DIM, which releases on March 1st of  next year!

Title: Into the Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
AWhen fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Hi Janet! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! 

1. First off, congrats on having INTO THE DIM being compared to the hit tv/book series Outlander and for also getting blurbed by the author herself! I’m curious; did you ever see a comparison between Outlander and your debut? 

Oh gosh! I’ve been an Outlander fan for years and years. It’s my all-time favorite book! I’ve met Diana {Gabaldon} several times at historical novel conferences etc, and she is just so humble and sweet and just unbelievably brilliant. I adore her and I admire her writing so, so much. She has created some of the most vivid characters in recent memory. I mean, people thought of Jamie and Claire as real people, way before the show came out. That is such a huge accomplishment for an author. And her settings… Well, I could go on about DG all day. Obviously, the day Diana agreed to blurb ITD was one of the best days of my life! 

Actually, there aren’t many similarities between Into The Dim and Outlander, other than that they’re both time travel and both set in Scotland. Diana’s peerless main character, Claire Randall accidentally falls through a mystical stone and into 17th century Scotland. Whereas my main character, Hope Walton’s  visit to the past is deliberate and meticulously planned. Hope and her friends dress in very accurate period costumes, and go through exhaustive study and training before they set out through an actual time machine.  

2. I've yet to watch the show Outlander or read the series, but with so many people raving about it, I'm very tempted to start soon! I'm also very excited to dive into the pretty little Into the Dim BM that is sitting on my shelf. ;) 

Tell us, how many years have you been writing, that lead up to your upcoming release?

I started writing when I was really young. My mom has a play I wrote in second grade! Life intervened when I had kids, however, and it wasn’t until about five years ago that I sat down and decided to get ‘serious’ about it again. First, I spent a lot of time studying the craft. And it took me about six months to write Into The Dim. After I landed my wonderful agent, Mollie Glick, we spent several months revising before we went out on sub. That part went really fast, and we went to auction two weeks later, which is how I ended up with Houghton Mifflin and my fantastic editor, Sarah Landis.

3. Wow! That is so amazing to hear that you wrote your own play in second grade! I'm also super happy to know that HMH picked up INTO THE DIM because it sounds like such a wonderful read! 

I'm curious to know.. seeing as though your debut revolves around scienc and historical fiction., what kind of research did you do for both of these aspects in the story? What were some of the things that you found that just stuck out to you?

I’ve been reading historical fiction for most of my life. It’s always been my very favorite. There’s something so magical, so majestic about those long ago eras. Even before I decided to write Into The Dim, I did extensive historical research, buying WAY too many books about the medieval period. For me, I get the best research done while travelling. I spent quite a bit of time in Europe, visiting the places where my characters (especially Eleanor of Aquitaine) had lived. For me, that was almost like my very own time-travel. For the sci-fi part, I researched time travel theories put out by several of our most esteemed scientists; Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

4. I agree with so many things in your answer, Janet! Historical fiction is also something that I love, especially the history on the medieval period. It just so intriguing to read about, right? 

Now, many novels are inspired by a certain thing; whether it be a person, a love for something or even just a random thought. What inspired you to write Into the Dim?

Well, when I decided I wanted to write a novel, I said to myself: “Hey, Janet, guess what? This is your book. You get to decide. So…if you could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone…what would it be?” I answered myself, (cause you know, I’m weird like that), “I can do anything? Hmm, then I think I’ll take a little trip to the past and meet up with all the cool historical characters I’ve always loved.” 

5. Now that your first novel is close to being released (just a few more months, eeekk!), are you currently working on anything else? Maybe even a sequel? ;) 

Oh yes, ma’am!! Book 2 (as yet Untitled) of The Dim Series comes out Spring of 2017, so I am working diligently on that!! Hope and the rest of my time travelling gang are preparing to face another, crazy journey.

Oh my goodness, you've got me in a ball of excitement and I haven't even read book one yet! 

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Janet! It was so lovely having you! Guys, if you haven’t already added this one to your TBR or pre-ordered it, you should! It seems like 2016 is certainly going to be the year for some amazing debuts, wouldn't you agree guys? 

Janet Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you'll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can't sneeze with your eyes open. For real--try it--it's impossible) Her debut novel, INTO THE DIM (coming 3/1/2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a 16 year old girl who travels through time. Totally on purpose and stuff. She's a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her fantastic husband, two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won't win any beauty contests, but has a "nice personality".


Happy reading!

| ARC Review | Fire Falling by Elise Kova

Title: Fire Falling
Author: Elise Kova
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantassy
Release Date: November 19th, 2015
Publisher:  Silver Wing Press
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?
Elise Kova is taking the fantasy genre by storm with  the second installment of the Air Awakens series! This thrilling novel will have you on your toes the entire time, anticipating what will happen next!

Have you ever read a book that made your heart pound excitedly, a wide grin would always be plastered to your face or maybe a particular scene or two would break your heart and once you finished it, you didn't know what to do with your life? Well guess what? That was me while reading Fire Falling and I was most definitely questioning what I was going to do with my life, especially since this book left off on a major cliffhanger that broke my heart into two.

In this second installment, Kova's narrative style is straightforward and precise, creating an exciting, fast-paced story that is sure to capture even the most reluctant reader and makes this novel easily digestible in just a single sitting, which was exactly what I did. Kova has a way of sweeping you head first into her stories with the way she magnificently builds her worlds, and also by the way her fluent and graceful words connect with the reader and make them feel as if they are in the story themselves. 

With our main character, Vhalla was extremely compelling and due to her fierce intelligence, determination and strength of spirit, I connected with her more than I did in the first novel and I enjoyed getting to see her grow as a character. Another aspect that I loved was that there was a great mix of seeing Vhalla and the rest of the characters grow, but also plenty of action and twists that you don't see coming until it hits you square in the face. I truly enjoyed getting to see all of that and I still think Vhalla is such a kick ass, spunky, brave character and I am already anticipating what is going to happen next for her!

Now, ya'll know that I love me some steamy romance between characters and Elise definitely knows how to keep the flame burning! Aldrik and Vhalla were a sight for sore eyes and their chemistry, the way they cared for not only each other but also their loved ones, it didn't just bring a smile to my face, but it also made me love them even more. These two character have been through so much and yet they always seem to be there and to always find a way back to each other, and that's what I love most about their relationship. 

Fire Falling was a beautiful masterpiece that will grab you from the very first sentence and won't let go till the very last. From the wonderful world building, to the special details of the characters and their magic, this novel will leave you breathless and aching for more. Kova certainly knows how to hook a reader from the very first page, but be warned: the minute you start reading, you won't be able to stop! 

What are your thoughts guys? Are you a fan of the fantasy genre? If so, what are some of your favorites? If you're interested in reading this stunning series, feel free to check out my review for the first book, Air Awakens! Please don't be shy in leaving your thoughts down below! I always love reading your guys comments and I do my best in commenting back! :)

Happy reading!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Kim Savage

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 Kim Savage, YA author of After the Woods, which releases on February 23rd of  next year!

Title: After the Woods
Author: Kim Savage
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
An emotionally-charged debut novel about the deadly lies hidden beneath a destructive friendship.
One year ago, two best friends, Liv and Julia, were attacked in the woods by a paroled predator. In an attempt to save Liv, Julia was left behind while Liv escaped. After spending three days in the woods trying to escape her abductor, Julia was rescued. She only remembers what happened in the woods in terrifying flashbacks. Now, on the eve of the anniversary of the attack, a body is found in the woods. This discovery rips open fresh wounds between the two girls as the truth about Liv's role in the kidnapping is revealed.

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

1. How many years have you been writing that lead up to your upcoming forthcoming release?

I’ve been writing fiction for about five years, but before that, I was a reporter. The training I got working for newspapers and in J-school shaped my writing, and my story-telling, for the better.

2. Have you always wanted to write YA thrillers or are you hoping to venture out into other genres? 

I call After the Woods psychological suspense, which is my favorite genre to read. My next two books are within this genre, but I have historical fiction, horror, and humor up my sleeve. Whether I’ll get to those books in this lifetime is another question.

3. What was some of the research you did for your forthcoming novel, After the Woods? Did you find something that stuck with you?

To get Julia’s PTSD right, I read autobiographies of girls who were abducted and came back: Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Duggard, and Michelle Knight. I also watched hours of interview footage, to get the girls’ physicality, but also a sense of the media’s treatment of them. 

The woods in ATW is inspired by the Middlesex Fells Reservation, 2,500+ acres of state park spanning five towns in Massachusetts, one of which is my town. I spent many hours there, at different times of day and in different weather, to experience what Julia experiences. Despite its title, the novel starts in the woods. If you'd like an itty-bitty sneak-peek at that first scene, check it out: HERE! 

4. Not only was I hooked by your synopsis for After the Woods, but your gorgeous cover also caught my attention! During the design process, were you able to voice your opinion on what you wanted? Or did it go a different way?

The cover was designed by Beth Clark, Macmillan’s art director. Beth captured the novel’s eeriness and sensuality perfectly. I also love that it’s as though Julia is in a chrysalis, ready to be reborn. To me, that’s exactly right.

5. Now that your debut is close to releasing (EEEK!), are you currently working on anything new? If so, can you give a hint of what you’re working on? 

My second novel with FSG/Macmillan is about a boy whose great love dies suddenly, alongside her sister. He receives a post-mortem letter that sends him on a journey to find out what really happened during the last year of her life. Think Romeo and Juliet meets Thirteen Reasons Why, but with a big, fat twist. I just saw the cover: it’s unlike any I have ever seen. Beautiful, disturbing, and moving, all at once. I cried.  

Thank you once again for stopping by the blog today, Kim! It was so lovely having you! Guys, if you haven’t already added this one to your TBR and or pre-ordered it, you should! This one sounds like it won’t disappoint!

Kim Savage is the author of AFTER THE WOODS, a debut psychological thriller for young adults coming on Feb 23, 2016 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan. Her second thriller for young adults comes from FSG is 2017. Before writing fiction, she worked as business journalist, pitching stories along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You get the idea.


Happy reading!

S.F.D. Mission - Open Lettter to Debut Author - Dear Darcy Woods...

Hi there and welcome to Sassy's Fangirl Debuts, mission three! I am Agent T, Commander in Chief of this entire operation. If you haven't already heard or you didn't receive the notice, (check out the file HERE!) Sassy's Fangirl Debuts (S.F.D. for short!) is a debut author street team that I put recently together in hopes to expand these debut authors audience.

Just last week, my team of highly trained agents have put together a mission that required to write an open letter to a debut author. These week, we are finishing the last batch of letters so, please grab your favorite blogging time snack and keep on reading!

Title: Summer of Supernovas
Author: Darcy Woods
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Publisher:  Random House/Crown
As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that the truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a rare planetary alignment, she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear – The Fifth House of Relationships and Love. But Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her mother’s legacy, when she falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart. Debut author Darcy Woods explores love in all its complexities and how to best honor the loved ones who have passed before us, in a novel packed with both humor and heart.

Dear Darcy Woods and Summer of Supernovas, 

Before I go deeper into the letter (and give you some hardcore fangirling) I want to say a massive congratulations to you. I know you're probably really terrified of having Summer of Supernovas out into the world in just a few short months, (who wouldn't be scared? Publishing your first ever novel is MAJOR!) but I hope you know that there are so many people (most definitely me!) that are rooting for you and can not wait to get our hands on your precious book. Believe me, every time I see someone write a  post about Summer of Supernovas, or even read it, I literally squeal in excitement!

Not too long ago, I came across your Twitter profile for the first time and for a moment I just sat there in awe. You have such a bubbly, fun, adorable personality and that was what immediately caught my attention and made me admire you. After that moment of adoration, I quickly opened up Goodreads to find out more about your forthcoming novel and when I finally found it, I just knew one thing: Summer of Supernovas and I, were meant to be.

Gosh, where do I begin with your book? The minute I laid eyes on it, my eyes bulged into heart shapes from seeing the cover to the synopsis! Let's start with the cover. Can I just say, how much I adore it? The couple, the brightness, the font, the colors, everything about it screams SWOON-WORTHY and I love it! Not only did the cover catch my heart, but so did the synopsis. After reading it, I just knew that the minute I got my hands on a copy, it would have me hooked from the very first page to the very last. *cue fangirling* 

Seeing some of the early reviews, I've noticed that almost every one of them talk about how the main character, Wilamena, is a fresh, unique and relatable character and that's just one of the many aspects that I look forward to reading about in your novel. Not many YA novels have a fresh and relatable character, so seeing that people are describing Wilamena that way, it gets me extremely excited and I am anxiously awaiting for my mailman to drop my copy off so I can meet her myself! Another thing that I am truly excited for, is the romance! Oh, be still my heart! It's pretty obvious that I am a huge contemporary lover and also a romantic at heart, so when I saw that SOS is full of romance and swoon, you bet that I jumped in excitement! Gimmeee all swoon! 

Darcy, there are no words to express how much you inspire me. You bring such a positive happiness to the book community and I can't even begin to show you how thankful I and the rest of us are for your continuous, and amazing support. Every time we talk, you always seem to bring a smile to my face, even when my days are slightly gloomy. You, my dear, are as rare and unique as a supernova.

Your sister of swoon,


Don't forget to check out the rest of the agents open letters to the rest of the authors! 

Talina @ Sassy & Dangerous 

Happy reading!

Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with E. Katherine Kottaras

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 E. Katherine Kottaras, YA author of HOW TO BE BRAVE, which releases on November 3rd of  this year!

Title: How to be Brave
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want. Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

Hi Katherine! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! Before we get started on the interview, would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me! I’m a writer and teacher. I’m originally from Chicago, but I live in the Los Angeles area. Some random things about me: I like to cook and eat, practice and teach yoga, read (and write obviously), ride my two-speed bike at low speeds, and decorate for Halloween. Yes, that last one takes all year. (And yes, I’m a tad bit depressed that Halloween is over.)

Talina: First off, congratulations on your forthcoming novel, Katherine! HOW TO BE BRAVE is an emotional contemporary novel about love and loss and having the courage to chase the life you truly want and I am thrilled to be getting the chance to read it soon! Tell us, how many years have you been writing that lead up to your upcoming release?

Thank you so much! Technically, I’ve been writing since I was a child. I’ve always written – I was an English major and have taught literature and composition for about eighteen years. I always wanted to write creatively, but I mostly did it in secret – I’ve kept journals since I was a child as well. I was twenty-five when I took my first creative writing class (but I didn’t tell anyone!) I continued taking classes, and then I wrote a book that took four years to complete. I decided not to pursue publication with that book, but instead started over with what has become my debut novel! So in total, more than thirty years. Since my first creative writing class, about fourteen. Since writing that first (now shelved) book, about seven years! 

Talina: Your novel seems to have a heartbreaking and sad element to it with the main characters loss of a loved one and I’m curious, did you ever get emotional while writing a particular scene or two?

Absolutely, yes. As I’ve written on my Twitter bio, “I tend to smile a lot,” and the people who know me would say that I’m nearly always smiling or laughing. That being said, I’m also a big time crier. My favorite stories are those that can make me laugh and cry simultaneously.
Though Georgia is her own character with her own set of unique issues, of course, it’s a book of my heart, and I poured much of my heartache into her. The most common feedback I’ve received from those who’ve read HOW TO BE BRAVE is that they cried multiple times while reading it – I’ve heard it many times now from different readers, and after they thank me. I mean, what a compliment...

Talina: Writers definitely have their ups and downs when it comes to writing, especially with a novel. What was the easiest and hardest part about writing for you?

Georgia’s voice came easily to me. With the previous novel (the one that will never see the light of day), that was the thing I struggled with – finding the right voice. Happily, Georgia arrived nearly fully formed in my head, and I think that’s why I enjoyed writing the book so much.
As for the hardest part, if I haven’t worked on a manuscript – even if a week’s gone by – I have to re-read from the beginning to situate myself back into the world. I love when I have large chunks of time – solid days or even, if I’m lucky, weeks when I can immerse myself in the worlds.

Talina: You’re a debut author now, which is quite exciting! Tell us, what is your favorite thing about being one? Do you have a least favorite thing?

I have two favorite parts: (1) Meeting other debut authors, particularly those in the Fearless Fifteeners group. I have a core group of writer friends in Los Angeles who have been incredibly supportive and wonderful. (2) People who have reached out to me to let me know that the book inspires them to be brave, in their own way, in their lives. That’s been amazing to me.

As far as a least favorite thing? It’s a new experience, that’s for sure. My nerves get a bit rattled sometimes at the thought that my book is really going to be in the world! But overall, it’s been exciting and darn right wonderful.

Talina: How to Be Brave releases in just a two days days (EEEK!) and I know we’re all wondering the same thing…are you working on anything else at the moment? If so, can you give us a little hint as to what it is?

Yes! My second book is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press and is tentatively scheduled for release in 2016. And it’s complete! We don’t have a definite title yet, but I can say it’s a YA contemporary, and like HOW TO BE BRAVE, it’s also set in Chicago.

Talina: Thank you once again for stopping by and congrats on your debut release, Katherine! HOW TO BE BRAVE releases on November 3rd, so don’t forget to pick up a copy of your own!

Thank you, Talina!

E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing.


Happy reading!

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