Published by HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Purchase Links Amazon
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.
Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.
I am so excited to be hosting Sarah Ahiers as part of the Meet the Newbies debut feature, organized by the one and only Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books! Stay tuned for an interview with Sarah + a giveaway!!!
Author Most Likely To Kill Her Darlings
Nickname: Anne (an unintended nickname, since I am a twin and often called by my twin’s name)
First Day of School: February 2, 2016
Grade: YA Fantasy
Extracurricular Activities: Writing fanfic! Playing the violin. Working at McDonalds
Favorite Class: English (natch) and Biology
Favorite Quote/Motto: “She said she cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short.” ~Brian Andreas
Welcome back to my blog Sarah! It’s been a while since you were last here for SS16 🙂 So, since then, I’ve had the pleasure of reading Assassin’s Heart and I really enjoyed it! I have a couple of questions for you.
Why did you decide to have 9 rival families? Does the number 9 signify anything important to you?
Not particularly. I rather liked the sound of the nine Families, it had a better ring to it than seven or ten. So I think it was definitely more of a sound and feeling thing. And then I have a brief mention of how their used to be twelve Families, and I liked the roundness of the full dozen, too. I mean, my favorite number is three, so three threes is nine and there you go!
Why did you decide to write about assassins?
I think assassins are cool. You get all the cool obvious weapons, like swords and knives and poisons, but then you get the more obscure bolos and garrotes. And then I had fun thinking about what other “out there” weapons they could use, like the rope bludgeon one of the Da Vias uses. Good times.
And then I wanted to see what it would take to make a character who is a murderer, someone who never feels shame or guilt for the lives she’s taken, and make her a character people would still root for. It was a lot of fun!
What has been your favorite part about being a 2016 debut author?
Having a book finally out there on the shelves in book stores, I think 😉 Also, all the amazing debut authors I’ve met through The Sweet 16s. The chance for school visits and books signings and all those little things that you dream about when you’re writing writing writing toward a goal.
What’s your favorite food? Curious minds want to know 😉
Oh I don’t even know if I could pick! I’m such a foody. My whole family is. Everyone cooks and we got out to fantastic restaurants together and try to order the stuff you might normally hesitate at. Because maybe that bone marrow toast is actually the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your life and you won’t know until you just order it!
But, I don’t think I will ever turn down a perfectly cooked rib eye steak with a baked potato. I’ve always been a meat and potatoes girl.
I loved that Lea was always true to herself and her goals. She never let anyone else force her into doing something that she didn’t want to do. Was she inspired by any fictional/real life heroines?
I wanted Lea to be strong in most sense of the world. I wanted her to know who she was and what she wanted out of life, even when her life is turned upside down. I didn’t want her to be a girl who changes because she falls in love with a boy. I wanted her change to be driven from within, from her own agency. I think even if Lea wasn’t physically strong, or capable of using swords and knives, etc., she would still be formidable, which was what I was aiming for. She wasn’t necessarily inspired by anyone specific, but instead by all the badass and amazing women that surround me and that I see everywhere.
About the Author
Sarah Ahiers is working towards an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults and lives in Minnesota with three dogs and a house full of critters. She has a collection of steampunk hats and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends and good family.
Sarah writes Young Adult and Middle Grade novels and occasionally dabbles in Picture Books. Fantasy is her favorite genre, though she sometimes can be found playing around with Horror and other things that go bump in the night.
Sarah’s debut novel, ASSASSIN’S HEART (HarperTeen, February 2nd, 2016) is a Young Adult Fantasy. In the Kingdom of Lovero, where families of assassins lawfully kill people for the right price, seventeen-year-old Oleander “Lea” Saldana sets out on a path of vengeance against the most powerful assassin family of all.
She is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary & Media.
Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog
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