Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Publishing Date: March 15th 2014
Blurb Description: In the kingdom of Asteria, Layla has dreamt of nothing but royal balls and falling in love. On her sixteenth birthday, she receives the invitation to the annual Autumn Ball and it doesn't seem like life could get any better when the Prince falls for her. But the fairy tale is short-lived as Layla soon learns the truth about her murdered parents and is given a sapphire that changes her life.
1. The funniest experience you've ever had:
This is actually really hard! There was this one time my sister's dog, Nelly, got out of the yard and she had to chase her across the street and into a church. Apparently there was a luncheon going on and Nelly just ran straight into it. She jumped over a baby and freaked the people out before my sister and dad were able to catch her. It was hilarious!
2. 5 Things nobody knows about you:
- I absolutely love movie soundtracks and have a pretty big collection.
- At heart, I am a star wars geek!
- In a few months I will be moving across the country for graduate school (so excited and nervous!)
- I'm a pretty big Miami Heat fan--basketball is one of the only sports I really enjoy watching.
- My favorite books series is The Hunger Games trilogy.
3. If you had to rule a kingdom, what would your first royal decree be?
Hmmm, it would probably be along the lines of giving people freedom in reference to speech, religion..etc--that is if they didn't have those rights in the first place!
4. This or That:
-- Summer or winter:Winter because I hate being hot (Yes, I KNOW I live in Florida!)
-- swords or arrows: Arrows. I went to an archery range once and it was pretty awesome!
-- Ball Gowns or (Modern) Dresses: Ball gowns! just imagine how much fun it would be to wear them :)
And now, onto Sapphire:
5. What did this amazing book start off as? How did you go from there?
I've always loved fairy tales and anything with fantasy. I'm a huge fan of Disney and the show Once Upon A Time. Anyway, I wrote a short story freshman year of high school about the lost princess of a kingdom that had been taken over by another kingdom. That story eventually became the basis for Sapphire. Over the next few years I just kept compiling ideas with books I read and movies I watched--anything that sparked an idea for my story. I didn't actually begin writing Sapphire until the end of my senior year in high school (2010). I completed the first draft about a year and a half later.
6. If you were with Princess Layla when she was in these situations, what would you tell her:
-- when Richard betrays her
I would tell her that he isn't worth it. In all honesty, as fast as that relationship moved, I would have been warning her from the beginning that she should take it slow. After all, she really didn't know him in the end. But while I wouldn't say "I told you so," I would just be there to help her move forward.
-- when she realizes she is pregnant
Well, since she didn't know Richard would betray her (so as a friend I wouldn't have known either), I would encourage her to tell Richard right away. They were engaged at that point and while I'd still be skeptical about him, this was something they needed to work through together.
-- when she realizes she has feelings for James
FOLLOW THEM! James is probably my favorite character in the book. While he can be a jerk, he has a heart and is a much better choice than Richard. I would tell her to put her past behind her and be with James.
-- when she knows she is going to be a princess
I'm not sure I'd be much help to her here. I'd probably freak out--especially because she had just learned she is pregnant with Richard's baby and that is just complicated! But once again, I'd be there for her and try encourage her the best I could. She would just need people to believe in her and I would be one of those people.
7. Your dream cast and theme song for sapphire!
I realize the ages of these actors are off....but these are the closest I can get to how I picture them!
Princess Layla: Amber Heard
James Hamilton: Stephen Amell
The perfect fairy tale, with a few modernized elements, combined with the coming of age story of a girl, makes Sapphire the perfect summer read!
Before this I begin this, I should tell you that fairy tale fantasies are one of my most favored genres- I love princes and princesses and balls and magic and everything that comes with it! Here we go:
The most exotic and fashionable ball gowns, the most splendid castles, the most beautiful and unimaginable jewels and, of course, a handsome, agreeable partner to share it all with- that's pretty much what every girl wanted. It's what Layla pined for, secretly- in the pastures of her aunt and uncles farm, in the privacy of her bedroom.
And for a while, she gets her wish. Invited to the annual royal ball, where she meets HRH Prince Richard, and gets swept off of her feet! For a while, everything in her life is the fairy tale she always wanted it to be. More, even!
Until news that she is the lost princess of Asteria, a place that remains only in the whispers of the loyal ones, rocks her world. Asteria- The centre of the prosperity and kindness, before the uprising ruined it all under a new king who murdered her parents in cold blood- and that the king? He is the father of her beloved prince.
If that wasn't enough to wrap her head around in a matter of one day... the prince? He now thinks she is a traitor- and she's pregnant with his child!
Made to run away from both the life and the dreams she once had, and into another world of both material and people, only to realize she is the source of their hope; to be their leader, to be the symbol of the rebellion and take over a country she had no idea rightfully belonged to her...
Sapphire was a fun, light book. When I started off, I felt a bit bored and the our protagonist, Layla, with her naïveté and head in the clouds behaviour. Her decisions annoyed me and I put it down once or twice, but picked it up again- and am I GLAD I did! After the betrayal, Layla grows up so much, and realizes that there is so much more to life than some prince, and finds herself in the process.
I found it very refreshing, and I loved the way the author explained Layla's decision making process. Her strength, and the way she rose to the situation, made her SO much more realistic! I LOVED IT!
If you've ever fallen in love with a fairy tale, this is one book you MUST read!