Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Emmy Laybourne's blog tour for her newest novel, Sweet! We're excited to have Emmy at the blog today discussing her cruise boat horror novel. Having been on cruises before, this has been a particularly interesting read even if it might give me the hibbie jibbies every now and again. If you're interested in Sweet, stick around to the end of the post where Emmy is giving one lucky Working for the Mandroid reader a chance to win a copy of her latest book.
I have a dilemma here. I could easily spend this whole blog post talking about how much I like the name WorkingForTheMandroid. It made me laugh, and when you’re working on a blog tour - that is a rare treat! So thank you, Leslie, Fernando and Mandroid, wherever you are.
I’m here to talk to you about my new book Sweet. It tells the story of the product launch of a new diet sweetener called Solu which turns out to be highly addictive. The high-profile, celebrity-studded launch takes place on a week-long luxury cruise. Laurel and Tom, two teens who, for very different reasons, are NOT taking the sweetener, find themselves out at sea amidst five hundred B-list celebrities, reality TV stars and wealthy playboys who become increasingly desperate and depraved, willing to do anything to get more Solu.
Because Sweet crosses a couple of genres (Romance! Action! Horror!) and deals with some surprising issues (Body acceptance! Addiction! Celebrity!), I’ve decided to have 5 special blog posts on this tour, talking about the way Sweet plays within each type.
Today we’re going to talk about the horror aspect of the book. I can’t tell you how proud I am to write a book that really feels, I think, like a horror book.
While my Monument 14 trilogy was plenty scary, it was a post-apocalyptic series. It had a sci-fi element - the air had been contaminated by chemical warfare compounds, dividing the population by blood type. Type O’s turned into bloodthirsty killers, driven to manslaughter; Type A’s blistered up and died almost immediately upon exposure. Type B’s became intensely paranoid and Type AB’s were made sterile and impotent, but otherwise were just fine, so they could watch the carnage around them. Nice, I know! But still, not a horror novel.
But Sweet is. It features a fairly slow build - at first, the passengers aboard the Extravagance feel terrific. They are enjoying the sweetener and losing weight rapidly. But they soon become obsessed with Solu and start demanding more and more.
One of my favorite scenes in the book takes place at a formal ball the organizers have thrown when the passengers hit their first weight loss goal - on average, everyone has lost 5% of their body weight. At the ball, Laurel and her best friend Vivka, who’s taking Solu, watch as they roll out the dessert. It’s a giant S made out of cream puffs held together by strands of caramel.
As celebratory speeches are made, Laurel stands there, watching as Viv edges forward toward the dessert, almost mindlessly. In fact, soon Laurel realizes she’s the only one not walking forward - she’s like a rock in a river and the other passengers are flowing around her.
The speeches continue, but the crowd grows antsy. They press closer and closer to the table, finally snatching handfuls of the cream puffs. That’s one of the first moments we know that something is not right.
And of course, things escalate from there.
Sweet is also a horror book that makes some social commentary about how far people are willing to go to lose weight - and also about how addiction is creeping up on us. Is it a proper horror novel? For goodness sake, read it and let me know. [@EmmyLaybourne on Twitter and Instagram - or join my mailing list at: http://emmylaybourne.fanbridge.com/]
In the meantime, I’ll be in my office, working for the mandroid.
- Add Sweet to your to-read list on Goodreads.
- Join in on social media with #Sweet.
- Visit Emmy’s website and follow her on Twitter!
*People would kill to be thin.*
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
*But will they die for it, too?*
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.
Enter to Win a Copy of Sweet!
Emmy and her publisher are giving one lucky Working for the Mandroid reader with a US mailing address a copy of her new book. Enter before May 31 for your chance to win!