Literary Swoon: Sarah Fine + Box of Romance giveaway

February 12, 2013 2013, giveaway, guest post, literary swoon, sarah fine, Wendy 48

Welcome to Day Four of our Literary Swoon series! We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with some of our favorite YA authors by asking them to share their favorite romantic book scenes.

Today we’re so happy to welcome Sarah Fine to The Midnight Garden. Her debut urban fantasy novel Sanctum blew me away with its strong characters and imaginative world-building, and there’s even a bit of a Rose-Dimitri dynamic between Lela and Malachi! If you haven’t picked this one up, you MUST do it immediately–the swoon factor is out of the stratosphere.

Sarah graciously shares her favorite romantic scene with us below. Fair warning: spoilers may follow.

 Sarah Fine’s Favorite Romantic Scene

I’m a sucker for complete surrender in a romance, especially when someone powerful is willing to lay him- or herself at the feet of the beloved. For that reason, some of my favorite romantic scenes come from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. And if I had to pick my absolute favorite moment, it would be when Po offers himself to Katsa. He wants her to be his wife, but she has just reclaimed herself after years of emotional servitude, and has vowed to be no one’s but her own despite her realization that she loves Po. His response:

“I’ll give myself to you however you’ll take me,” he said, so simply that Katsa found she wasn’t embarrassed. She watched his face.

“And where would that lead?”

“I don’t know. But I trust you.”

And that’s it. Po respects Katsa like there’s no tomorrow. And though he wants her commitment, he doesn’t try to convince her that she’s wrong. Instead, he offers his whole self anyway—because he loves what she is (even though he does see her faults) and doesn’t want to change her. To me, that’s the height of romance. 

What do you think of Sarah’s pick for this romantic scene between Po and Katsa? It seems pretty swoonworthy to us!

About the Author
Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. Her debut novel, Sanctum, was published in October 2012 (Amazon Children’s Publishing), and the second book in the series will be released in October 2013. Also forthcoming: Factory Ghost (McElderry/S&S, 2014); and Scan (Putnam/Penguin, 2014; co-authored with Walter Jury) and its sequel, BURN.

Connect with Sarah on her website, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, blog, and GoodReads. She also writes under the name S.E. Fine.

About the book

Sanctum is available on Amazon and just $3.99 for Kindle, too! I wasn’t able to post a review for the book, but you can read a couple of my favorite reviews by Mundie Moms and Anna. I think it’s a  definite must-have for urban fantasy fans, especially if you like strong, dynamic heroines, dreamy leading men, and crazy good world-building.


Check out the rest of the 2013 Literary Swoon series & win a box of romance! 

Jessica Spotswood
Amy Garvey 
Sarah Rees Brennan
Sarah Fine
Marissa Meyer 

A new author will be featured daily until Valentine’s Day, when The Midnight Garden bloggers will share their favorite romantic scenes.

Talk to us about what you think of the romantic choices daily–we’ll choose our favorite comment for each day, and the 6 finalists will be entered into a drawing to receive a box filled with romantic books! The box will includes recent releases featuring love-struck couples.



48 Responses to “Literary Swoon: Sarah Fine + Box of Romance giveaway”

  1. Rachel

    I loved Katsa & Po from Graceling as well. What a fab choice. I did want Katsa to marry him, though, and I must say her reaction did disappointment me, but oh well. They still were together.

    I must say Sanctum was one of my favorite reads last year, and you’re right, Wendy, Lela & Malachi did have a Rose/Dimitri sort of vibe.

  2. Eunice

    Oh boy! I loved the scene! Seriously, that just suddenly had me giddy and grinning. I adore the romance between Po and Katsa. They’re one of my favorite couples! Anyhoo, I’m about to finish Sanctum already and I’m really loving it. I’m a little anxious though that it might end with a cliffhanger. Haha!

    Thanks for sharing this, Wendy and Sarah! This is definitely a very swoony post. XD

    • Wendy Darling

      I only read them last year myself, Mary–and it seems a few of our other readers have yet to read them, too! But you’d better hurry, lest you be the last person on earth. ;)

  3. Tanja - Tanychy

    Oh I liked that scene in Graceling. Some parts of the book weren’t perfect for me but I must admit that some were really beautiful. I like the one the author picked :)

    For Sanctum – I still haven’t read it, but it’s on my list :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Tanja, I bet you’d love SANCTUM! I’m glad it’s on your TBR list, it’s pretty awesome. Agreed with your commentary on GRACELING, too. I think it was a strong 4 stars for me, though.

  4. Shirley

    I can’t stop grinning; I LOVE THIS SCENE. I think it’s my favourite so far…*shhh don’t tell!* Po and Katsa sound so perfect together…WHY HAVEN’T I READ GRACELING YET?!

    Oohh I only recently found out about Sanctum…a favourite blogger of mine gave it a very positive rating/review so I’m looking forward to it<3

    • Wendy Darling

      Your favorite?! But we’re not through romancing you yet, Shirley! hee hee. I like this scene too, and someone else picked it as their favorite of the week a well.

      You really must read both GRACELING and SANCTUM–both crushworthy boys in my book! And was that the lovely Saz 101 who you’re referring to? I saw that she loved it, too!

  5. readingdate

    Sarah has great taste in romantic scenes. Katsa and Po’s love is so epic. AND whoa Sanctum sounds amazing. Thanks for the rec! $3.99 you say? Sold!

  6. The Teen Book Guru

    Aaaw what a sweet passage, you guys! Po and Katsa seem perfect for each other and I LOVE how Po respects her so much. :’) This is the first I’m hearing of Sanctum but Wendy, if your love for it is any indication, I need to pick it up ASAP. Thanks so much for sharing! <3

  7. Candace

    It’s funny that Sarah was on today because for the giveaway “For the Love of Swoon” the book I chose was Sanctum. It has the BEST romance I can think of in recent memory (and I read it last year). I totally LOVED it!

    I read Graceling YEARS ago and honestly I barely remember it. I listened to Fire on audio last year to refresh for Bitterblue (which I have not yet read) and was reminded how much I LOVE these books. But after reading that super romantic piece I’m thinking I need to reread Graceling!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohhh, it’s all fate! SANCTUM was one of my favorites from last year too, such a surprise. How cool that you’re giving away a copy of the book to your readers, it’s a great pick for Valentine’s Day.

  8. Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    I’ve never read Graceling! I’m glad for the back story because otherwise I would not have understood what was happening there. It takes real guts for a guy to lay it all out there and it takes even more guts to respect whatever decision she makes. That’s a man <3 We need more guys like Po in teen books and... life!
    Ooh! I love the Sanctum cover. Must go check out those reviews.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, putting the scene in context was important since it shows what a big deal it is that he surrenders to her. When you read the book–and notice I said when, not if!–you’ll see it’s even more meaningful because Katsa has had to be strong all her life, and she resisted him mightily before this. And agreed, more Po-like men would be wonderful!

  9. Marianne Robles

    Po on his own is completely swoon-worthy. But when Po talks like that, well it’s difficult not to turn into jelly and give him anything he wants. I really admire Katsa, because I can’t believe she could ever say no to Po. Po is just too… charming.

    I ADORED Graceling by Kristin Cashore and the only reason I HAVEN’T kept reading the series is because the second installment in the series is just a companion novel.


    I really liked Sara Fine’s choice for favorite romantic scene.

    And btw, the cover for Sanctum is beautiful!

    • Wendy Darling

      Katsa certainly resisted Po much longer than I could have! He is wonderful. And I’m so with you on the sequels–I actually didn’t enjoy FIRE very much at all, and I’m having trouble with BITTERBLUE as well (I’m halfway through). I wish their story had been continued, though they do make some appearances in the third installment.

  10. Lauren Elizabeth

    What a fun feature! Sarah, this has always been one of my favorite romantic scenes too. Katsa and Po are the epitome of loving fiercely but without possession, and I find it so refreshing, especially in YA. I really love how their relationship progresses in Bitterblue. It’s clear they both respect the hell out of each other, and give each other plenty of room to grow and live and breathe individually, but they don’t have to sacrifice love and passion in the process.

    Clearly an author who chooses Katsa and Po (and this scene!) is one I need to read :-)

  11. Liviania

    I haven’t read Sanctum, but I may have to give Fine a chance based on her favorite romantic scene.

    Now excuse me, I have to reread Graceling.

    • Wendy Darling

      If you enjoy darker urban fantasy, SANCTUM is a sure thing, Liviana. But we’ll step aside so you can reread GRACELINE. ;) These posts are so bad for that sort of thing, considering I have other books I must read first!

  12. dreamsofawalrus

    Looks like Graceling just shot up to the top of my to-reread list! I loved the romance between Po and Katsa and I was upset when I heard how many people considered Graceling and Fire to be anti-male. It seemed so unfair–Katsa had so many reasons to be cautious and she’s immediately considered a man-hater for not jumping at the chance for a new romance? Maybe there were other reasons people thought Graceling was anti-guy but I really don’t think the book deserves the reputation. How can someone who invents a considerate (male) character like Po be considered anti-man?

    I’ll be giving Sanctum a try soon too… I have to say, these cheaper Kindle book prices are very bad for my spending habits!

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s so funny, Walrus–I love love love this book, and while I do think there’s a definite feminist undercurrent in it, it wasn’t until FIRE that I started wondering about how negatively the men seem to be portrayed. Cashore has an interesting take on male-female relationships for sure, and I’d love to read a serious interview with her on the subject sometime. But as far as I have seen, she’s declined to really talk about it in any depth.

      But I bet you’d like SANCTUM. It’ll be one of the best $4 you’ll ever spend. :)

  13. Livvy

    GRACELING! Wooo. I have to admire Po to be so strong and willing to surrender to Katsa and be so firm in his love for her. It’s so utterly endearing.

    I liked how their relationship blossomed and they pushed and pulled each other around a little. The rough and tumble element was very much a subtle building of their romance, but beneath the surface they cared a lot for each other. Graceling is an awesome novel.

    Now, I shall definitely have to pick up Sanctum when she has such fine taste in novels.

    My favourite stop this week! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Yesss–the moment Sarah chose above is so appealing in part because Po’s shown his strength before, so it’s especially meaningful that he’s so willing to be vulnerable to Katsa. Even though she is pushing him away at every opportunity. :)

      And yay, I’m glad this one’s your favorite stop so far!

  14. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I haven’t read GRACELING or SANCTUM but your words about SANCTUM and Sarah’s words about GRACELING have me wanting to pick up both! I love the scen that she shared. A moment of two people bearing their souls to each other, great addition to the feature!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohhh–get that husband of yours to buy you these too, Jenni! That way he’d have purchased books with zombies, smut, the underworld, and magnificent (and magically gifted) warriors. ;) But seriously, I think you’d love SANCTUM. And I bet you’d like GRACELING, too.

  15. Bookworm1858

    I have actually read this book-I was a big fan of Katsa and Po and am so happy to see them picked. His adoration of Katsa and acceptance of her for who she is is fantastic and totally swoonworthy!

    • Wendy Darling

      Agreed. This is how much I loved GRACELING, and how much I loved Po and Katsa together: I listened to the book on audio, but it was so wonderful I had to get myself a print copy, too! So much easier to flip to my favorite parts. ;)

  16. starryeyedjen

    I agree, Sanctum is a definite must-read for fans of urban fantasy. I loved it and I can’t wait for the sequel later this year! And I love that the author is also a fan of Katsa and Po…I do love that literary coupling. I actually need to get back to that series…it’s been far too long.

    • Wendy Darling

      Same here, Jen–it’s going to be hard to wait until fall! :) I’m looking forward to this other series she has coming out, too–it sounds pretty intriguing.

  17. ahz1

    I’m really enjoying these posts. I don’t usually seek out romance books but it looks like I’ll be adding more books to that mountain of to-read.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m so glad, thanks for letting us know, AH! You would love SANCTUM if you haven’t already read it, and knowing how much you loved EONA (hey, our amazing readalong last year…), I think you’d like GRACELING, too.

  18. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Holy cow. I have so much love for Po. He’s patient and caring and really wants what’s best for Katsa, especially after all the crap she’s been through — she really needs him (even though she doesn’t want to admit it at first). They’re a GREAT couple!

  19. Keertana

    I loved the romance in Sanctum, actually, but I just LOVE Graceling. It’s one of my favorites and the relationship dynamic between Katsa and Po is unforgettable. Fire is my favorite of all Cashore’s works, romance included, but Graceling is such a close second! :) Anyway, I’m loving this feature, so thanks for sharing!

    • Wendy Darling

      Agreed–the two of them really complemented each other personality-wise, and they’re my favorite of Cashore’s couples. :) So glad you’re enjoying our series!