A dear friend of mine who helps critique the “English/British” aspects of my books, recently surprised me by saying she’d decided to self-publish one of her YA novels. I haven’t even had a chance to read it yet! I’m definitely going to, and I hope you will too. I’ve read other works by Riley, and love her style. I’m thrilled to see the awesome reviews LACED IN MALICE is already receiving.
GUEST POST BY RILEY GRAY:
"Why I chose to write LACED IN MALICE.
Do you know how much I wish I’d gone to boarding school when I was younger? Okay, do you know how much I wish I’d gone to HOGWARTS when I was younger? The creepy grounds and cold, but comfortable interior and the friends you make your family. I wanted it all. Alas, I had a simple and normal childhood with public schools and living at home and family meals.
Didn’t mean I couldn’t write about it, though!! That’s what I wanted; to have that boarding school feeling. To have everything seem so much worse than it is because where most people could go home after school and get away from it, when you live at school, there is no getting away. It becomes everything you think about. Everything you do. Your peers are your family and if they hate you, then you have a problem.
I wanted to write something a little maturer too. For the mature reader who enjoyed reading YA. There are some sexual scenes in the book that stop just on the cusp of being explicit. But they are there. And so is the warning. The characters in Laced in Malice, go through a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and call me sick, but it was great fun writing it.
People have asked me why Zara was so naive and gulliable in the book. Why she believed her friends even though all the evidence was pointing towards a different answer. Well, think back to when you were in school. You’re the new one. The one who is outcast right from the start. And somehow you manage to fall in with the popular crowd. You want to stay at the top, and that means letting go of your logic sometimes and ignoring the glaring warning signs. Zara isn’t brave, or noble or perfect. And she will learn a good few lessons throughout the book.
But isn’t that the point in growing up?
I really enjoyed writing this book. Describing the building and really delving into the evil that comes in the form of your peers. I hope you all enjoy reading it too.
At first, Zara is caught in the Nixons spell, but it’s not long until cracks begin to show through their dazzling façade. An anonymous email account, which targets students with their own secrets, has focused its energy on Zara using weapons only the Nixon’s could have provided. But have they turned on her? Is there a hidden agenda behind Lizzie’s interest in Zara? It’ll take four months, three warnings, two released sex tapes, and one dead body for Zara to finally learn the truth. And the truth can either destroy the boy she’s fallen for – and his twin sister –
or save them both.
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