Thursday, June 9, 2016

Debut Author Bash 2016 | Shannon M. Parker

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker
Published by Simon Pulse on March 1st 2016

His obsession. Her fall.
Zephyr Doyle is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and attending her dream school, Boston College.
But love has a way of changing things.
Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.
Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…
But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.
So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.
If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

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I am so excited to be taking part in the Debut Authors Bash for my THIRD year in a row! I’ve discovered so many great authors because of this, so I hope you join me in welcoming debut author, Shannon M. Parker!

Shannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast in a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel.
Find her at or on Twitter @shannonmparker.

I had the privilege of interviewing Shannon about her debut novel, The Girl Who Fell. 

Hi Heather! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat about THE GIRL WHO FELL.
I’m thrilled to take part in the 2016 Debut Authors Bash!

1. With this being your debut, how has this experience impacted your life?
Has it been all that you had hoped? Imagined?

This will sound really strange but I never actually imagined anyone reading my book. For so long it was a process of writing the book, getting an agent, completing edits, finding a publishing house that believed in the story. There wasn’t a lot of time to think about what it would be like after the book was in the wild.

I will say that the best part of the entire process has been hearing from readers who felt that the book was authentic. Those readers, or people that they loved, had experienced something similar to what Zephyr experiences in the book. They felt that the insidiousness of Alec’s manipulation and the self-doubt that Zephyr experiences rang so true to their experience. That personal, emotional feedback has been hugely important to me.   

2. I love the cover of your book! What did you think when you first saw it?

I was crazy thrilled! I loved the cover from the second I saw it. I so admired how the designer chose to focus on Zephyr regaining her voice through the image of the lips.

3. I finished reading The Girl Who Fell and I must say, the beginning of it had me on the edge of my seat. Did you originally start off writing it with “the end” in the beginning?

I didn’t. Including a snippet from the end of the book in the opening pages was my editor’s idea. I did choose to name the prologue “The End” though, because it immediately grabs the reader’s attention. And I love that the actual end of the book is Zephyr’s “New Beginning”. It was very important to me to write about a strong, driven girl who eventually reconnects with her strength, her goals and her voice.

4. Inspiration plays a key role in writing. What was your inspiration for your book? Your characters?

As an educator and a foster mom, I have seen too many girls struggle with the situation Zephyr is presented with in the book. While THE GIRL WHO FELL is not anyone’s particular story, its plot revolves around a very tragic reality for too many young people, male and female.

5. Describe your book in four words.

Intoxicating love turns toxic.

6. As an aspiring author, I am always curious about how other authors found their way to writing. Is it something you always wanted to do?

I think so. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated with words and stories.

7. Now that your debut is out in the wild, do you have plans for other writing projects?

Yes! I have a YA set to release in the fall of 2017. It hasn’t been officially announced yet (soon!) but the story follows kickass lobster boat captain, Rilla Brae, who sees a ghost haunting a mysterious and abandoned island just off Maine’s coast.  I am also a contributing author to the YA anthology WELCOME HOME, set to release in September of 2017. WELCOME HOME is an anthology on adoption, which is near and dear to my heart.

Good luck with your own writing, Heather! I look forward to reading your debut someday soon!


This book gave me chills, y’all. It’s one that intrigued me from the moment I heard the title, read the summary, and saw the cover. Basically, the whole package sucked me in. I must say, The Girl Who Fell, is unlike any YA novel that I’ve read – at least recently. If you’re one who likes to be on the edge of your seat when reading, this is one you must add to your TBR pile.

From the start, S.M. Parker has you covered in goosebumps and anxiously wanting to find out what happens to the main character, Zephyr. The moment you begin to read, you are taken to a dramatic scene in the book and then pulled back out to where it all began. Basically, its safe to say…she has you sucked into the story with just the prologue. It was almost as if all innocence was taken out of the story by reading the beginning alone, yet slowly as you read and get to know Zephyr, you realize her innocence in it all and how she was caught up in the moment and wrapped up in what she thought was her first budding romance. I liked Zephyr, I really did, however, there were moments I wanted to shake her and make her see what was right in front of her. However, I was reminded of time in my young adult life, when I thought a boy was plucked out of my dreams and presented to me in a way I never thought possible, only to be strongly disappointed and in need of my own healing. I was able to make personal connections to the story, which in this instance and in this specific circumstance, not something most want to connect with. With that being said though, I really felt the author captivated what many in these circumstances experience and go through in a way not many truly understand and are able to grasp. For that, I applaud her for writing a subject that many people try to shove being closed doors or keep tucked away in the back of their closet.

Without giving too much of the story away, there was a boy I loved and a boy I absolutely despised. The one I loved, I cheered for throughout, the one I hated, I dreamed of Zephyr smacking him with her field hockey stick. 🙂

To wrap it up, The Girl Who Fell got my adrenaline going. I felt my heart racing as the story progressed and couldn’t help wanting to dive into the pages of the story and help Zephyr. However, regardless of how unique this story was compared to my usual YA reads, I welcomed it and enjoyed the change of pace and the way in which it got my mind going, trying to figure out what was going to happen from one page to the next.

And having read S.M. Parker’s debut, I am looking forward to what she has in store for readers next!

4 stars


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