The time it was about Assassin’s Heart

Posted January 25, 2016 by Stacee in Blog Tours and Hops, Book Promo, Giveaways, Interviews / 16 Comments

As soon as I saw Assassin’s Heart being pitched as The Godfather meets Romeo + Juliet, I was in. I read and liked the book, so it was a no brainer to sign up for the blog tour when I saw the notice.

Assassin's Heart

Before we get to Sarah’s interview, let’s check out the book!

Hi-Res AssassinsHeart HCIn 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.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

Sounds good, right?


1. Give the elevator pitch for Assassin’s Heart.

A teen assassin sets out on a path of vengeance for her murdered family.

2. Where did the idea come from?

Oh a mashup of a couple things. One of them was thinking about what it would be like to live in a world where murder was not only legal, but welcome. And then wondering what kind of society that would breed and how you would even get to that point as a culture (religion was the answer.)

And then, also, I had been reading a lot of books where the main characters would have, like, one important person in their life for whatever reason, and then that person would be killed as the book progressed and the main character would be a little sad, but also, kind of get over it after a few pages because there was a new boy she liked. And that drove me a little crazy. Because I knew if my best friend, or family, or someone I loved more than anyone was killed (or even died peacefully,) a pretty boy would not make me just get over it in a day.

So I wanted to write a story where the main character’s grief follows her through the whole book. And while there is a boy, their relationship doesn’t just make that grief vanish.

Mash those two things together and here we are!

3. Why do you love Lea and why should we root for her?

I love Lea for multiple reasons. I mean, I’m always going to love a kick ass girl/woman. Someone who knows her weapons and her body and can use them to the best of their abilities. That’s always going to be cool to me.

And Lea is complicated. I’m not a fan of characters who are perfect and never make mistakes. Because if they never make mistakes, then where’s the conflict? I like characters who maybe do something wrong now and then, whether they know it or not, because those characters are more relatable to me. I’m not perfect by any means.

So I like that Lea maybe gets things wrong, or lets her emotions rule her a bit more than logic, sometimes. And that she’s someone who doesn’t apologize for her convictions, or try to change who she is for the sake of other people.

And I think people should root for her because something bad and wrong happened to her, even if she was slightly culpable, and she’s setting out to right that wrong, or at least ease her conscience and it’s always fun rooting for that type of protagonist.

4. What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching?

Oh probably renaissance toilets. Yep. It doesn’t even come up in the book, but I still needed to know roughly where they would be at in regards to using a bathroom (you will be happy to know that they did have toilets and rudimentary plumbing in some places.)

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

I have a few, of course, but there’s one scene about 150 pages in, maybe, where Lea meets a family member she’s never met before. And they talk, and there’s so much emotion, which I dig. And also because it’s the first time we get to see this family member and I really enjoyed writing them because they’re not necessarily happy to see her, or even a nice person, and I love writing character vs character conflict.

But also there are, like, two fight scenes that I really LOVED writing. Because fight scenes are fun.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

My hands were shaking. I spoke to my agent, briefly, about what to do next. Then I called my twin sister at work and told her the news. And then I called my mom, who had me repeat myself three times because she just couldn’t believe it (in a good way. Not a doubting way)

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

Is this the kind of deserted island where I’m, like, trapped? If so, a sturdy knife, some sort of fire starter like Swedish fire-steel and some sort of water purifier.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Ugh! The horror! That’s a tough one. I think I will say Monica Hughes Invitation to the Game which I’ve read so many times IRL that I’ve worn out multiple copies. The only downside is that it’s pretty short.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Well, I just saw Star Wars recently, so I’m pretty hyped up on Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren right now. I reeeally want to go see it again.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I feel like people or the internet told me a lot of things and I knew a lot of things, but it’s all stuff that you can’t really know until you’re experiencing it yourself. Like, people say that being an author is very different than being a writer. And while of course you know that, you don’t really fully understand it until you’re in the position of author and can look back to when you were only a writer and not both.

So I guess what surprised me wasn’t what I didn’t know, but how true things that I already had been told turned out to be. If that makes sense.

Oh, but also how much I’d be going to the post office (hint: it’s a lot)

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

Hmm. This is complicated. Because, I mean, Bella got everything she wanted when it was all said and done. Though, if it were me, I’m team werewolf over team vampire pretty much every day of the week. Also, if I was Bella and found out Edward was creeping around my room when I was sleeping, that would be the end of things between me and Edward, no matter how much his skin sparkled. Don’t be stalking me and calling it love, Edward.


SarahSarah 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. She is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary & Media.


Huge thanks to the ladies at Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to Sarah for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding her book to your Goodreads TBR.

Assassin’s Heart comes out on February 2nd.  You can pre-order it at Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops for all sorts of extra goodies.  And see below for an awesome giveaway!

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16 Responses to “The time it was about Assassin’s Heart”

  1. Christina R.

    it’s awesome her research was so detailed she even researched toilets!!! and I love how she focused on character development despite the fast plot!

    thank you so very much :)

    I have a US address but rafflecopter might show my location outside the US because I’m doing a semester abroad

  2. Hoshikudaki

    This book seems like to have a unique plot I’ve ever read so far! I would really love to know what will happen!

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