Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ignite Blog Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Sara B. Larson

I'm beyond excited today to welcome author Sara B. Larson back to the blog as part of the promotional tour for Ignite, the second book in her outstanding young adult fantasy series. I was blown away by last year's Defy and absolutely adored this sequel, so if you haven't gotten around to picking this series up yet I can't recommend it enough! I hope you all enjoy the interview, and be sure to check out the bottom of the post for the full list of participating blogs as well as all the details on a fantastic giveaway.

If you were in Alexa’s position, needing to keep your love for someone under wraps but yet having to be in close proximity with that person every day, how difficult would you find it to compartmentalize your feelings?

Oh boy, for me that would be very hard. Even though I did a lot of acting as a teenager (I was in school musicals and even one professional production of Jane Eyre the Musical at a local theater), I have a hard time masking my emotions in real life. If my life were in jeopardy because of it, I might learn to get better at it though. Sometimes I think it’s very much a choice and whether we want to use the energy necessary to pretend to feel something we don’t. (Even if it’s just acting like that one family member doesn’t actually bug you to death or something!)

What’s one thing writing Alexa’s character has taught you about yourself? 

I think one of the things I’ve learned from writing Alexa’s character is how valuable and important it is to be true to yourself. Her character and all of the struggles she endures makes me want to appreciate more the blessing it is to not have to hide who I truly am from those I love.

If Alexa and Damian somehow leaped from the pages of their story and suddenly arrived on your doorstep, what do you think they would each find most interesting/weird/amazing about our modern world? 

Well, I think they would both be pretty shocked they weren’t in the jungle anymore! And that they had somehow landed in a world with very different houses and buildings everywhere, unfamiliar “roads” made of hard rock instead of dirt, with weird, horse-less carriages that growl at you as they pass by, and where everyone dressed funny, talking into strange little boxes they hold to their ears (or poking at them with their fingers)! It would be quite the shock compared to Antion—although Alexa would probably be thrilled to not have to worry about running into any deadly snakes or jaguars if she and Damian were to go on a walk!

I’m sure Alexa finds life a bit easier (easier being a relative term of course), now that she doesn’t have to pretend to be male and fear being found out. How did the challenge of writing her character change now that neither you nor she had to worry about her disguise?

Well, life is easier in the way that she doesn’t have to pretend any longer, but it’s hard in different ways. Trying to find her new place, as herself, in the guard…dealing with the reactions of the other guards and the rest of the court and kingdom (which are varying, and not all positive, to say the least)…she has many struggles and is still trying to find the best way to be true to herself and do her job the best way she can.

What might Alexa have said was her greatest fear after the events of Defy? Would she say that fear has changed after Ignite

I think her greatest fear after DEFY was losing anyone else that she loves…and actually, no, I think that is still her biggest fear after IGNITE, although there are many other fears that are just as powerful she’s dealing with as well. (But I can’t say what because SPOILERS!)

Thank you so much for answering my questions Sara!

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Available now from Scholastic

Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy – before it's too late?


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A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart racing romance.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

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Sara loves writing, reading, and dessert--but the order varies by the day. She wrote her first book in second grade about a woman who had a premature baby, complete with a "to scale" drawing of the baby's size--while her mom was pregnant. To say she was a bit precocious is putting it lightly. Now that she’s an adult, she writes books for teens that have magic and romance and kick-butt girls (and very few premature babies). She lives in Utah with her husband, two young sons and baby girl. She writes during naptime and the hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims that she should have a degree in "the art of multitasking." On occasion you will find her hiding in a bubble bath with a book and some Swedish Fish. she is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary and her YA debut DEFY is coming January '14 from Scholastic!

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One lucky winner will receive both a finished copy of Ignite and a dagger charm, and nine other winners will receive finished copies of Ignite. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to check out all the stops on the tour!

12/29/2014- Reading YA RocksInterview
12/30/2014- Crossroad ReviewsReview
12/31/2014- Mundie MomsGuest Post
1/1/2015- Fiction FareReview
1/2/2015- Dark Faerie TalesInterview   
1/5/2015- A Backwards StoryReview
1/6/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads - Guest Post
1/7/2015- The Book CellarReview
1/8/2015- Supernatural SnarkInterview
1/9/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post


  1. Totally wish I could enter now :)

  2. I pre order the second book and will read the first and second on march :) so happy about it can't wait

  3. What a fantastic interview, Jenny and Sarah!

  4. You always ask great questions, Jenny. Even though I wasn't a fan of the first book, it was interesting to hear some of Sarah's thoughts.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Okay I seriously loved this! I love what the author said about being true to yourself, that is so important and as a mom, that is the one thing I stress most with my children. I love that you asked her this question Jenny!

    I know how much you love these books and I know that means I need to make time for them and I will this year, I promise!

  6. I promised you I'd read this series and I promise you I still will Jenny! Fantastic review :)

  7. I love your reviews Jenny. Defy has been on my wishlist and you both bumped it back up the list!

  8. Being true to yourself is so important and a great message send to readers of all ages. Great interview, Jenny!

  9. I cant wait to read these, both books are on my goodreads list. I I just haven't had a chance to get them yet. Hopefully soon though!

  10. As always, wonderful interview! I would have a really hard time having to be near the person I love but not being able to express or show it in any way. I don't think I could do it.

  11. Another remarkable interview, Jenny! I have been reading some terrific reviews for this second book so I am game to try this series :)

  12. Wonderful interview, Jenny! I love these questions you have for Sara. This is such a great second book in the series, and I fell hard for Alexa and Damian all over again.

  13. This sounds like a great series, I've been dying to read it! Thanks for the giveaway =) - Danielle

  14. I have heard so much about Defy but I still haven't got a chance to read it. It's a shame considering how much I love fantasy. I really like this interview and I'm really glad that the author still has some aces left! :) Great interview as always, Jenny :)

  15. I often wonder what fantasy characters would think if they ever arrived in our world. It's quite something! Fantastic interview, ladies!

  16. Oh, I really enjoyed the first book in this series! I think they'd be fish out of water in our world (as I would be in theirs).

  17. Loved the interview, ladies - and both of these are on my TBR must read list!

  18. You always do wonderful interviews, Jenny. I'm looking forward to reading these.

  19. the books sounds sooo good tahnks

  20. Fantastic interview (as always) Jenny! Your review already had me moving this book up in my TBR pile, and the author seems lovely - I need to get on reading this asap!

  21. Love the covers for this series. I'm excited to read Ignite. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Ann S

  22. Being true to yourself is always awesome. I already like the sounds of the heroine.