Book Starlets Proudly Presents
Welcome to the Starlet Awards! Each month, Jenn, Tonya, Toski and Carrie will be evaluating books they’ve read during the month and awarding the Starlet Award to the book or books that simply stand out and deserve top honors! December marks the month of the very first Starlet Award… Top Honors goes to…..
Rebecca Yarros’s Eyes Turned Skyward!
Eyes Turned Skyward
SYNOPSISSince her sister's death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan, who shares her sister’s heart condition, is treated like delicate glass by her parents. But nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List—even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire.
Jagger is enrolled in the country's toughest flight school. He's wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general's daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger's biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard.
They're flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn...
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We absolutely fell in love with Jagger and Paisley’s story. It was gripping, heartbreaking and such a timeless love story that it stuck with us all for weeks after reading it. We are so thankful that Rebecca was able to stop by the blog and chat with us for a bit about her books, her life and what’s to come in the future!
An Interview with Rebecca Yarros
Toski, Carrie, Tonya and Jennifer had a chance to sit down and interview Rebecca Yarros. Rebecca’s first book Full Measures hit the book world in February 2014. Her latest release this month of Eyes Turned Skyward is making waves and people are falling in love with her characters, story, and writing…
Jenn: Good Morning Rebecca I’m Jennifer, and welcome to the Book Starlets Blog! It’s so nice to talk with you.
RY: Hi, Jenn! I’m thrilled to be here!
Jenn: We are so excited you could join us to talk about Eyes Turned Skyward and yourself. I was able to read it first for the tour and when I told Toski, Carrie and Tonya about how great it was they all couldn’t wait for the release. So are you ready to answer a few questions for our readers.
RY: Thank you so much for having me! I’m seriously humbled that you liked it! Questions? Fire away!
Toski: Hi Rebecca I’m Toski, thank you for joining us today! I read that your husband is in the military, are any of your characters based off him? Please say Jagger is because who wouldn’t want real life Jagger… *everyone nods in agreement*
RY: Hiya Toski! Ah, my gorgeous husband — quite possibly my favorite subject! He’s an Apache Helicopter pilot in the US Army, and yes, he is every bit of Jagger. A little secret… there are a few Jagger lines that have come directly from Jason’s mouth. We’ve been married almost thirteen years, and we’re still inseparable… well, except for those lengthy deployments. He’s got every bit of Josh’s (Full Measures) dedication, and 100% of Jagger’s (Eyes Turned Skyward) mouth. I’m really not sure I could write amazing guys if I wasn’t married to one.
Toski: If you could cast Jagger in a movie adaptation, who would you choose to play him?
RY: Alex Pettyfer. Good Lord, I’d watch that man read a phone book if his shirt was off. Whoops… I just said that aloud. Well, no regrets. Yum.
Toski: I loved how ETS came full circle. Do you have plans for Will? As much as I hated him, I kind of want to see his story, and it seemed like there could be something between him and Morgan, was that foreshadowing perhaps?
RY: Thank you so much! Will is a favorite character of mine. There’s definitely a connection to Morgan, but with their history, it’s wicked complicated for them. I honestly don’t have plans for a book with just them, but I keep hearing requests for it, so I’ll say never-say-never.
Carrie: Hi Rebecca I’m Carrie, It’s so nice to meet you. This book really hit home for me because my daughter Kylie had a heart condition. I wondered if you, yourself had experience with this condition or if you just researched it? You really seemed to have the facts down.
RY: Hi there, Carrie! I’m so glad your Kylie is a healthy girl now! The heart condition was all meticulously researched. I was actually so nervous writing about such an intricate condition, that I had it beta-read by a blogger I knew to have a heart condition to make sure I got the complex emotions right. I so badly wanted to do it justice, and I’m thankful you connected with it!
Carrie: We know that you are writing Grayson’s book now and we can’t wait for it. Can you tell us if it has a release date yet, and does it have a title?
RY: Yes! Grayson is up next! I heart him. Because I’m published with Entangled, I actually don’t know the date, but I’m guessing late summer. As for a title, I do have a working one, but it’s always subject to change as I write, and of course up for discussion with my amazing editor, Karen Grove (whom I love more than coffee. True story.) Right now, it’s: Beyond What is Given. Titles are huge to me and I always try to select ones that weave into the heart of the story. How does this one fit… you’ll have to see!
Carrie: Eeeeppp! Can’t wait now to see what you have in store for us!!!! Can you share with us the very last sentence you wrote in the new book?
RY: Sure! (Disclaimer… always subject to change, blah, blah, blah.) A little set-up, Grayson just heard Jagger repeat Sam’s lunch order, and quickly places it before Jagger can.
“Apparently having her as a roommate meant I needed to either curb my irrational reactions, or make a new line-item on the budget that read, ‘For misogynistic displays of illogical possession.’”
Tonya: Hi Rebecca I’m Tonya, it’s very nice to meet you. When you write do you have any specific habits? Like a favorite food you always eat or favorite music you listen too?
RY: Hi Tonya! That’s a fabulous question. I’m a music addict. Seriously. I do my best work with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (I have 6 kids…), and my playlist. I make one for each novel I work on, and hit replay until I finish a scene. For Grayson, I’ve been listening to a ton of Hozier (Take me to Church is a fave), Missy Higgins (Where I Stood), and Susie Suh (Here with me).
Tonya: If you could pick one song that would encompass Jagger & Paisley what would it be?
RY: Just one? That’s so cruel. I seriously just listened to almost every song on my Eyes Turned Skyward playlist just to narrow it down, and I’m going to go with Salvation by Gabrielle Aplin. Love it.
Tonya: Rebecca I wonder what made you want to get into writing, was there a specific book or author that influenced you to become an author?
RY: I grew up devouring everything from C.S. Lewis to Mercedes Lackey to Julie Garwood, Karen Moning, Catherine Coulter, and Gena Showalter as I matured. I just always knew books were my joy. When Jason was wounded his first deployment, I stopped sleeping while he was gone. Reading is what pulled me through, and when I realized the book I wanted to read wasn’t there, I wrote it instead. My deal for Full Measures, my debut, actually came while he was serving his 4th deployment. I guess you could say that I got into writing to save my sanity.
Jenn: Tell us what a day in the life of Rebecca Yarros looks like, we know you’re a wife and mom, when do you find the time to write?
RY: Ooh, a day in my life? Hmmm. Just imagine a circus, only the animals are running the show while the ringmaster is yelling about who is out of clean socks. My life is all about triage.
We have six kiddos, so life is never dull. From sun up, it’s a flurry of packing lunches and getting the kids off to school. We’re actually fostering our youngest daughter, who has a high level of needs, so my daytimes are largely taken up with her therapists, working with her, snuggling her, dressing her in excessively cute hair bows, and handling her visitation schedule with our social worker. Afternoons, we usually have homework, then hockey practice, and with four boys on three teams, well, it eats up about eight hours a day or more on weekends, too. Hockey mom life is brutal and beautiful, but everything actually flows pretty smoothly when my husband is here. When he’s not… well, I like wine. As for writing, I sneak it in when I can, usually when the kids are asleep, or I can carve out a quiet naptime. It makes for very slow-going, but especially while we’re fighting to keep our youngest daughter, my family is my number one priority.
Jenn: Your books Full Measures and Eyes Turned Skyward are published by Entangled Publishing, can you tell us a little about the process, what steps you had to take to get your book published with them.
RY: Traditional publishing is definitely different than self-publishing. Not better or worse, just different. My agent, who’d I’d already signed with for my YA novel, sent my novel to editors she thought would like it in a process akin to hell called “submission,” and I was really blessed to only be on “sub” for 6 weeks before my amazing editor, Karen Grove, picked me up and offered me a deal. I can’t say enough kind words about Karen. She truly understands my voice and my stories. From there, we launch into edits. Karen and I go through three passes of edits together, both developmental and line, and once we get through those (where I leave her funny comments in the margin, because, come on, I took Josh’s boxers off twice in one scene in Full Measures), it goes through a Quality assurance, to make sure that Karen and I aren’t just biased, and once those edits are complete, the copy editor calls me out on my atrocious grammar mistakes. Once I complete that edit pass, the cover is done, the blurb is written, and my ARC is ready after one more pass between Karen and I to catch any missed typos. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the publishing date. Every book takes a different amount of time, depending on the length and strength of the manuscript.
Jenn: Ok last question I like to ask all our interviewees. Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows.
RY: Hmmm…. Okay. The very first book I wrote was actually for 10th grade English, and took me nearly the whole year. It was about a fictitious Ebola outbreak in Washington State secretly engineered by the US Government as population control. No kidding. I wrote that eighteen years ago. It remains tucked away in my closet at my parents’ house in Colorado, where it shall remain…forever.
Jenn: Well I don’t know I think I’d kinda like to read that one!!! Thank you again for joining us on Book Starlets, we can’t wait for your next book to release, we will all be waiting for it!
RY: Thank you so much for having me! You ladies rock!
Pick up your copy today of Eyes Turned Skyward and Full Measures we highly recommend them both, Josh and Jagger will melt your hearts….
Previous books in the series….
Three knocks can change everything…
“She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead.”
Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.
Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.
Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.