Friday, November 15, 2013

So, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now, guys.  Not only did I win an ARC of this beautiful, beautiful book from the ladies at The Midnight Garden earlier this year, but I also get to interview the amazing and totally swoon-worthy Tarver as part of the These Broken Stars Blog Tour!!!  (You can check out my review here.)

Tarver is seriously soooo dreamy...he's giving all those other book boyfriends a run for their money, that's for sure.  And he's all mine here to tell us a little about himself.  I wish this interview could have lasted forever, and even now I'm still thinking of questions I wish I'd asked him.  =)

o Full Name: Major Tarver J Merendsen
o Age: 18
o Occupation: Military, Major
o Goals: Survival!
o Likes: Hiking, reading, sparring, traveling
o Dislikes: Formal situations, my dress uniform, snobs

Thanks for stopping by, Tarver. I know you’ve had your fill of being interrogated, so I promise to make this as quick and painless as possible. ;)

First things first, tell us a little about your background. Where are you from? What’s your family like?

I’m from a quiet planet, mostly pastoral, colonized a few generations back now. My father’s a teacher and my mother’s a poet, and we lived outside town. I had a lot of room to run around as a kid, and I spent a lot of time climbing trees and falling out of them again. It was a good place to grow up.

That does sound nice.  So, how did you come to be on the Icarus?

It was a public relations exercise. I was on my way back to get my next assignment, but I’d recently been received some commendations after an incident on Patron. Rich people don’t like to think too hard about the realities of war, so the military tries to get some PR value out of guys like me by parading us around in our dress uniforms. It was nearly as bad as being shipwrecked. Maybe worse—at least while I was shipwrecked I had good company.

Speaking of, LaRoux may be a household name in your world, but you’re pretty famous in your own right. Care to tell us how you came to be known as a war hero and what that means for/to you?

There was nothing heroic about it. It was a bad situation, and a lot of people died. I was lucky enough to get a group of soldiers and civilians out of a bad situation, but none of them ever should have been there in the first place. Medals don’t mean much in the field—they don’t stop bullets.

That sounds terrifying!  You sound a little bitter about that makes me wonder what made you join the military in the first place? What did your family think of this decision?

I was following my in my brother’s footsteps. My parents weren’t wild about it. To say the least.

Your first meeting with Lilac LaRoux was rather pleasant, but your second meeting…not so much. Was there ever a moment you regretted sitting down at that table in the salon on the Icarus? Maybe the moment you realized just who Lilac was? Or maybe when you realized you’d be stuck on a desolate planet with her and not much else?

Are you kidding? I lost count of the moments. She drove me up the wall. From the moment she humiliated me on the promenade deck to the moment she started complaining about how the forest floor was ruining her shoes… yeah, I had regrets.

What was your initial impression of Lilac LaRoux, and how did that change over the course of your time with her?

My very first impression? I thought she was a knockout. Prettiest girl I’d ever seen. Then, shortly after that, I thought she was a stuck up princess. Over time… I learned there was more to her than that.

Yeah, it's not all glitz and glam with Lilac, is it?  She's got some hidden depths.  And I know you were concerned for Lilac’s sake, but what was going through your head as the two of you watched the Icarus plummet to the ground of that foreign planet?

Nothing good. It’s hard to be anything but numb when you’re watching a disaster on that scale, knowing people are dying. If I was thinking anything at all, I was thinking of the lives lost. Wondering if ours would be next.

You obviously thought your best chance of survival lay with the wreckage of the Icarus, which was several days travel away from the remains of your own shuttle. That trek was full of unknowns, and there were plenty of times along the way that most people would have given up. The likelihood of rescue diminished with each passing day. How did you keep hope alive – keep both of your spirits up – when your situation seemed so dire?

We thought rescue craft would be most likely to head for the wreckage, so that’s where we went too. I knew our odds weren’t good, but you make your own hope in a situation like that. If you don’t keep moving, then it really is over. If you’re still moving, still breathing, you’re still in the game. Morale, in a situation like that, is a luxury. I just had to keep us moving forward, and we could worry about whether we were happy, later.

Strange things were happening around you and to Lilac. If you hadn’t experienced any of this for yourself, would you have ever believed that what Lilac saw or heard was anything more than a hallucination, a product of her own shock and grief after what she’d survived?

Where did you hear about those? I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about. Lilac suffered no more than a minor bump on the head, and that’s in the official report of the incident. Can we move on to the next question?

Sorry, sorry...I forgot there might be prying eyes out there.  On your journey to the site of the wreckage and after, you and Lilac developed a very close bond. Did you attribute that to what you’d survived together, or did you always have stronger feelings toward her? When was the moment you think you actually fell in love with her?

I always thought she was beautiful. It took me a while to learn how strong she was, though. There’s a difference between being attracted to someone and falling in love with them. The first part was easy. The second came one piece at a time.

I do so love a “wrong side of the tracks” type romance. What chance did you think your love for each other had of overcoming the odds, her father being who he is and you being from the family you are, assuming you made it off that godforsaken planet?

I didn’t think there was any chance of it at all. Society’s designed to keep people like us apart. I know when you’re in the field, you think those bonds will last forever. Getting back to real life changes that, sometimes.

Is there any part of your story you wish you could go back and change? What do you hope is next for you?

There were parts of it… I don’t ever want to live through something like that again, but I don’t think you can change just one part of a story. You tug at one thread and the whole thing unravels. If we had never crashed on that planet, I never would have met Lilac. Really met her. And I couldn’t ever wish that undone. Next… peace and quiet, I hope. I think I’ve earned it.

Oh, I'd definitely say so!  Alright, alright. I know when I’m ahead. But I gotta ask…how many times did you have to refrain from hitting that other interrogator? :P

So. Many. Times. But there was too much riding on it to lose control for an instant.

Thank you again, Tarver, for indulging us. I know your story is over, but I hope we meet again!

You know… we just might.

*sigh*  See?  Isn't he just the dreamiest?!?  And guess what!?!  You can have a Tarver of your very own!  Just check out the giveaway below!

Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and the very lovely authors, you can enter to win:

  • 1 of 5 shiny, finished hardcovers
  • 1 Grand Prize of an autographed/annotated These Broken Stars galley, along with a limited edition necklace + TBS swag!
Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and up, or 13 and up with parental permission. See entry form for complete details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Authors:

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more special content and additional chances to win!

Monday, 11/11
The Midnight Garden
World-Building for the Future

Tuesday, 11/12
Love is Not a Triangle
Author Interview

Wednesday, 11/13
The Perpetual Page-Turner
Using Technology to Write with a Partner

Thursday, 11/14
Good Books and Good Wine
Audiobook Sample + Narrator Interview

Friday, 11/15
The Starry-Eyed Revue
Character Interview with Tarver

Monday, 11/18
Author Interview

Tuesday, 11/19
Books With Bite
Amie & Meg's Favorite Things

Wednesday, 11/20
Xpresso Reads
Establishing Characters with Role-Playing

Thursday, 11/21
Great Imaginations
Co-Authoring Books

Friday, 11/22
Nawanda Files
Lilac's Gorgeous Dress: A Look at These Broken Stars' Cover Art

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Best of luck & happy reading!


  1. Such an epic interview with Tarver! Yay! I loved this book. And in Lilac's defence, those were probably very expensive shoes. ;)

  2. This was so awesome! I love character interviews, they always have me cracking up :D

  3. This was so much fun to read--but now I'm even more desperate to get my greedy little fingers on this book!

  4. Character interviews are always so great. Judging from what I see here, I think I'm really going to enjoy this book!

  5. HE IS SUCH A TEASE. I hope he and Lilac come back in the sequels, because I haven't had my fill of them yet!

    Love this interview so much, Jen. I am so excited for everyone to meet Tarver!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. I was fanning myself just from that brief interview. Whew. I love a man in uniform. The authors hinted in my interview that we *might* see these two again. I hope so!!

  7. Hunks, uniforms, hot body, sweaty survival, romance?! Sign me up! i'm gonna hunker down under my blankets and read this all through the night. This becomes a movie im getting in line at midnight and bringing one of those battery operated fans because it the actor is as hot as this book says Tarver is im gonna need it. KEEP WRITING!

  8. Love character interviews!! This is so fun - thanks for sharing!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  9. Tarver sounds like great 'favorite character' potential. It was nice getting his thoughts on his story and Lilac. Thanks

  10. I've heard so much about this book. And I love this cover!

  11. I love how... well, noble sounds like a snobby description, but he is. He's noble and brave and kind and patient. He carries himself with dignity and works to help both himself and Lilac, even when they weren't exactly on speaking terms. What a man!

  12. I really love character interviews. They give such a great view into the book. This was really fun too. I think i"m going to enjoy this read. Thank you.

  13. Tarver definitely seems swoon-worthy! He seems deep and thoughtful, yet has a sense of humor at the same time ;)

  14. Sounds like a good read, and I absolutely love that cover.

  15. Man, if I see this book one more time I will just have to hunt it down and get it.
    This interview makes me want to get in my car and find this book, or save some gas and buy it now. OMG! I love the characters, this was so fun to read and I can't wait to get lost in the pages!

  16. I want my own Tarver!!! Great interview. I love reading what the characters think.

  17. I don't really swoon over characters. He sounds more relatable than other YA heroes/love interests. I'm tired of the cliches, the bad boys who really have a heart of gold. Tarver sounds more realistic.

  18. I haven't been lucky enough to read this book yet, but Tarver definitely sounds like a swoon worthy individual. I'll have to put in him in the basement with my other book boyfriends. Don't worry. They're all very comfortable down there.

  19. I LOVE Tarver! He and Lilac are just adorable together, even when they are hating each other. I like that he is quiet and reserved and witty. And yes, he is the swooniest.

    GREAT interview! I hope we get to hear from Lilac as well :)

  20. This looks AMAZ!NG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. I just love character interviews! Tarver seems like a character I would definitely swoon over. Any guy in uniform always grabs my attention from the beginning. Great interview!

  22. I hope we see him again too! I just finished the book last week and adored it. I love their cute moments together! Great interview, thanks for sharing!

  23. Thank you for the character interview Tarver seems like he could be swoon worthy! I have been wanting to read this book, it looks truly amazing! It has been on my to read list on Goodreads for awhile. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!!!

  24. Tarver sounds amazing and I'm already swooning :)

  25. Tarver sounds interesting, but I'm not sure he'd be book boyfriend material for me. I think I'd have to read the book to make up my mind. :)

  26. Not sure he's my type, a little too uptight for me, but I guess I'll just have to read the book to find out!

  27. I have been waiting to read this book for about a year now i am so glad its almost out. And yeas I do think i will swoon over Tarver

  28. GREAT interview! Hopefully Tarver will get that much-deserved break now, but I do hope we see him and Lilac again. *crosses fingers*

  29. I honestly can't wait to read this book. I've heard people raving about it and Tarver. This interview was quite well done [; and made me even more excited!

  30. Yes I would fall in love with Tarver so hard he just sounds so dreamy.

  31. The boy likes to read! Sounds to me like a rare book crush for me!


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