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PopCrunchCapture (1): Book Signing with Sabaa Tahir

Good Afternoon My Lovelies 🙂

I wanted to start documenting some of my Book Adventures here on the blog. I do have a category on here labeled PopCrunchCapture that I’ve mainly used for past blog posts on my time abroad and for a Wordless Wednesday posting. However, I want to refocus this category to contain postings of my Book Adventures (i.e. bookish events, bookish travels, bookstore visits, etc.). Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend events such as ApollyCon 2015, a book signing with Holly Black and I also attended a YA Philly MeetUp in February. I also have more bookish plans for the future: including BEA 2015, visiting a library/museum in Philadelphia and attending some more local signings. All these things I hope to capture here for you to see what I’m up to outside of my reading corner ;). Also, I hope to connect with anyone else who might be in attending or who have stumbled across these events and looking to attend future ones.

With this being said, I want to share my “first” PopCrunchCapture post with you all today! 🙂

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Last night I was lucky enough to attend a book signing featuring Sabaa Tahir and her debut novel, An Ember in the Ashes. This novel has been on my radar since the beginning of the year. It quickly found of place on my 2015 Debut Author Challenge and Flights of Fantasy Challenge lists on GoodReads. If anything, I knew I was going to read this novel this year.

When I first read the synopsis, I think the only words that hit me were “fantasy” and “ancient Rome.” Since I studied abroad in Rome, anything with this Italian city in the synopsis is almost an automatic “Want to Read” for me on GoodReads. So I really didn’t have to know anything else about this book, I was sold on those two descriptions.

Then time moved on and I naturally got distracted by other books (as I tend to do) and An Ember fell to the back of my mind. Luckily, I was walking through my local bookstore to shop for National Indie Bookstore Day and noticed that they were hosting Sabaa later that week. So I snapped a picture as a reminder and made sure my schedule was clear for the photo 1event. The finally the day came 🙂

I’ve heard a lot of things about An Ember. It has been popping up all over Bookstagram and the Book Blogging community. They hype has been a lot, but after last night I’m almost positive that it was all true.

The event took place at 7 p.m. in an intimate environment that only your local bookstore can provide. I was happy that  there were a good number of people in attendance, but it was also a comfortable crowded. The event began as a Q&A session moderated by Philly writer, Eric Smith and then was followed by some audience questions and then finally the signing.

Hearing Sabaa’s answers only increased my wish to read this debut. I have to admit that I had to refresh my mind about the synopsis when I first got to the event. However, when Sabaa went through motivations behind the story and inspirations behind the characters, I felt like the synopsis didn’t even matter anymore. Sabaa did a wonderful job of bringing me into An Ember’s world without the need for the book’s synopsis or reading an excerpt.

I’ve always found it fascinating to learn the “why’s” and “how’s” behind a book and Sabaa definitely delivered. I really enjoyed how open she was about everything (minus her dream/fan cast for the movie 🙁 but that’s totally understandable!). Hearing about her time at the Washington Post; how some of the stories that came across her desk as an editor inspired the novel; all the amounts of research she did; and how she interviewed everyday “warriors” to get a sense for her characters was truly mind-blowing and gave me a more-invested feeling for when I begin reading this book. Knowing all this information I think will really enhance my experience reading An Ember and I can’t wait to dig in!

Meeting Sabaa was truly a delight! She was super sweet and was nice enough to grab a picture with me at the end 🙂 I know that any book that took 6 years to write and has a ton of research behind it will be fabulous! So here’s hoping I can jump into An Ember in the Ashes pronto!

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my “first” PopCrunchCapture post! Let me know if you’ve read An Ember in the Ashes or are planning to below! Have you been to any bookish events or signings recently? I’d love to hear about your Book Adventures 🙂 

Happy Reading!

Later BookNerds 😉

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Good Reads Synopsis: 

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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