segunda-feira, 21 de novembro de 2016

Book Blitz: "Catalyst" - Kristin Smith

 

Title: Catalyst (The Deception Game #1)
Author: Kristin Smith
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Synopsis
Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.
In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.
With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.
In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.



Excerpt 1
When I pull up to my house, a sob chokes the back of my throat. I slide off my bike and stumble toward the front door. I’m halfway across the yard when I notice the sleek silver car parked on the dirt road in front of our trailer, as if it were accidentally driven to the wrong side of town.
Zane steps out, and I am horrified. I glance down at my dirt-stained pants, bloodstained top, burned leg, and raw hands. I want to run inside and lock the door. Instead, I straighten up, wipe a palm across my sweaty face, and wait.
He walks toward me, and my heart pounds. Why do I feel sick to my stomach every time I see him? Like I might hurl at any moment?
“Sienna.” He says my name like it’s the sweetest thing in the world. It rolls off his tongue like butter and honey combined.
I’m tired. I’m drained. I’m scared. But seeing Zane gives me an unexpected surge of energy, and as he walks toward me, I think, It will all be okay.
He has a huge grin on his face, but as he draws closer, the grin fades. His eyebrows knit together, and he stares at me. “What happened?” He’s by my side before I have a chance to speak. He touches my face, my arms, and my hair. Each place he touches is like an electrical fire burning my skin. I collapse, and he catches me, drawing me to him. My head fits perfectly against his chest, and I breathe him in, an earthy, cedar mixture.
The dam bursts and the tears flow. I’m tired of being strong. I’m sick of proving myself.
Zane strokes my hair and kisses my forehead, his lips warm against my hot skin. My whole body longs for more, for his kisses to rain down on me. But instead, he lifts me gently and carries me into the trailer, placing me on the sofa. I want him next to me, but he moves to the kitchen.
Reality check, Sienna. He’s engaged.

Excerpt 2
“You need to learn a little hand-to-hand combat.” Trey puts his fists up by his face. “Always protect your soft spots—your face being numero uno.” He glances at my bandaged arm. “You right-handed?”
It’s after breakfast and we’re in the training facility, a large, gym-type room with thick mats, punching bags, weights, and a long wall of mirrors. The smell of sweat and stinky feet assault my nose as I stand across from him on the pile of black mats used to create a “ring”. We have the gym to ourselves. Most likely because everyone else is too smart to work out right after a meal.
I nod and flex my right hand, the one that’s not bandaged.
“You should be fine, then. I’ll take it easy on you.” He grins. “Go ahead—hit me.”
I take a step back and shake my head. “I’m not gonna hit you.”
He moves forward to decrease the distance between us. “I said, hit me.”
I raise my arms as if I’m about to fight him, but all I can think is how much he’s done to help me. How can I punch the man who saved me from the government facility, removed my tracker, and is willing to help rescue my mother?
When he realizes I won’t fight, he lowers his hands. “Remember, Sienna, these men don’t care that you’re a girl. They don’t care how old you are. If given the opportunity, they will hurt you.” His eyes harden. “Now hit me.”
I punch him as hard as I can, and he’s not expecting it. The force of the blow to his face knocks him backward, and my hand throbs from the impact. He looks stunned, especially when a trickle of blood makes its way out of his nose. But then he grins.
Wiping his nose on his shirt, he motions with his hands for me to come closer. “Nicely done. Now, hit me again.”
Surely, he must be crazy. I’m about to walk away, but his words echo in my mind. If given the opportunity, they will hurt you. I can’t give them that opportunity.

Excerpt 3
I scoot to the wall and watch the GM girls in their fancy apparel—gaudy blue sequins, diamond-studded bodices, and red taffeta skirts. They talk in groups, sway to the music, and chat with their handsome GM matches, while their parents monitor their interactions from across the room. From what I understand about GMs, the amount of time they spend with their future match is minimal. Seems as if Zane and Arian are the exception; I don’t think they’d ever even met until today.
A cascade of illustrious, golden hair mocks me from across the room. Rayne turns around, smiling wide, her gown barely covering all of her important parts. I try not to gape at her exposed belly and the slit in her dress. It comes up so high it shows off the entire length of one long, perfectly sculpted leg. I only hope she’s wearing panties underneath.
This is a different lifestyle. A completely different way of thinking. These people have had things handed to them on a silver platter, while my family lives day to day. If I don’t work, we don’t eat. If I don’t bring home money, we have no place to live. And if I don’t kill Harlow, I’ll never see my mother again.
Hot tears sting the back of my eyes when I think of my mom lying on a hard, cold surface somewhere, alone and scared. This is my fault. This is all my fault. If I had never taken the assignment to steal the computer chip, none of this would have happened. Because of my stupidity, I’ve placed all that I have left in this world in danger. And I don’t know how to make it right other than by killing Harlow Ryder.
I hurry over to the veranda and step outside. Thankfully, it’s empty except for some large potted plants and a few wrought-iron tables.
The tears I’m holding in fall on the white balustrade as my mind churns with unanswered questions. How did I get mixed up in all of this? What did my father know that made him a threat to Harlow Ryder? How could he leave us in such a position?
The door opens behind me, and I quickly wipe the tears away.
A melodic voice speaks. “Sienna? Are you okay?”
I regret telling him my name. Why did I use my real name?
Be charming, Sienna. That’s how women at these parties act. Charming.
I turn slowly and find Zane staring at me. He looks every bit the part of the Chromo 120 poster child in his expensive black tuxedo.


Author Bio
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.



Giveaway (INTL - Ends December 1st)


Interview with Kristin Smith (Questions from her critique partner, Leandra Wallace)

What inspired the story of Catalyst?
The premise of Catalyst actually came to me in a dream. But in my dream, it was the story of a man who was a matchmaker by profession in a society where everyone is matched. He had a horrible dilemma because he was in love with a woman he wasn't matched with. Gradually, that idea evolved into a society where the wealthy choose genetic matchmaking and modification for their children. And the main character became a "normal" girl who has red hair and freckles.

How would you describe your writing process?
Eclectic. Lol. No, seriously, I wish I could say that I sit down and outline every detail of the novel before I begin, but the truth is, I pretty much wing it. Even when I do try to write an outline, I tend to stray from it. I draw inspiration from everything around me, whether it's music, books, movies, or nature. When I'm writing, the scenes come into my mind like a movie reel, and I try to describe what I'm seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, etc. so the reader can be immersed in the moment and feel like they are a part of the story.

If you're in the candy aisle at the store, what calls your name the loudest?
Oh, hello, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Where have you been hiding?

Having written a dystopian novel yourself, what are some of your favorite dystopian novels?
Ooh, this is a tough one! I have so many favorites! But I have to say that hands down, The Hunger Games is my all-time favorite. Suzanne Collins broke the ceiling when she wrote that series, and she left a high mark for other authors to live up to.
The second runner-up would have to be Divergent. I absolutely loved the first book, especially Four. :)
And I can't forget about The Selection Series, which I believe I devoured all of those books in the space of two days. (Sorry, my children! That's why I was MIA during that time period!)

Your main character, Sienna, is a red-head (and has a sassy 'tude to match). Did she spring from your imagination as a red-head, or did that come later?
As soon as I imagined her, she had red hair, green eyes, and rode a Harley. It's funny because in the book, Sienna is so critical of how she looks. She's surrounded by gorgeous genetically modified people and all she can see are her "imperfections", but her features are actually what make her stunning and unique. I hope that girls who read this book will catch that message. They are beautiful and unique, and they need to stop comparing themselves to others.

What are three things in Catalyst that you think people will enjoy the most?
Can I really only pick 3? Well, I think they'll enjoy all of it, but if I HAVE to narrow it down...
1) Zane and Trey, who in my opinion, are both yummy!
2) The kissing.
3) Sienna's experience in the underground Compound.

If you could go on a writing retreat with one other author (dead or alive), who would it be?
My first thought was to pick an author I greatly admire like J.K. Rowling, Kiera Cass, Sarah Dessen, or Veronica Roth, but there's really only one person I'd like to go on a writing retreat with: my critique partner, Leandra Wallace. We'd have so much fun eating junk, talking books, and bouncing ideas off of each other!

What is a piece of writing advice that has been most beneficial to you?
Don't give up. This business is hard to break into, but you can't let it break you. Know that failure is necessary to experience success.

As all writer's typically need 'refuel' days, what do you find fills back up your creative well?
For me, binge-watching Netflix or reading a good book helps to get the creative juices flowing again. Oh, that and about a pound of chocolate.

Lastly, where is the best place to get ice cream in North Carolina?
Well, I'm more of a gelato fan (love me some gelato!), but if I had to choose, I'd say the tiny little walk-up shop called Bruster's. They make the BEST sundaes with brownies and ice cream and fudge sauce and whipped cream. YUM!

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