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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: C.J. Lyons, author of WATCHED

I'm so excited to have author C.J. Lyons stopping by today to chat about her new Young Adult thriller WATCHED. Plus, you can win a copy...

by C.J Lyons
Sourcebooks Fire

In a world where web cappers can hack any cellphone or computer webcam, no one is safe-including Jesse

Jesse seems like a normal sixteen-year-old, but he isn't. He is a victim of King-a ruthless web capper who has been blackmailing Jesse with incriminating screen photos and videos. So far, Jesse's given in to King's demands in order to protect his family. But now King wants something that's too horrible to contemplate-and if he doesn't get it, King will kill Jesse's little sister.

Terrified and helpless, the answer to Jesse's prayers arrive in the form of a plain manila envelope. Inside there's a phone number and a note: I can help.

“Lyons creates a deeply disturbing and equally compelling addition to the YA thriller genre, with all-too-real characters experiencing–and fighting through–a hell many adults wouldn’t believe can really happen. A must-read for educators and parents, Watched is a tense, burning novel with a critical story to tell today’s digital natives.” ~Tom Leveen, author of Random and Party
“A high-speed thriller elevated by its unflinching focus on the harrowing effects of online bullying.” ~Kirkus Book Reviews

Grab a copy of WATCHED and answer the following:
favorite chapter?
Chapter 35 when Jesse and Miranda decide to reveal their secrets to the entire world and sacrifice their lives as they know it in order to stop King and save their families.

It’s an incredibly brave choice and one that they don’t make lightly—in fact, they each try to talk the other out of it, knowing that their lives will never be the same again and that they might end up locked up, yet together they find the courage to do it.

favorite page?
P. 115 where Jesse imagines a “perfectly perfect” day for Miranda and shares it with her. Despite everything he’s been through, that he can still find such joy and beauty in the world and offer it to Miranda is both heart wrenching and beautiful.

favorite setting/place?
CJ: The Spy Store! I had so much fun with that location and the proprietor. The final scenes at the Arena were also a blast and fun to research how a real car could actually do that!

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
P88: If I decide to help her, King could destroy everything. Or—my fingers go cold at the thought, too audacious to consider—we could win. Beat King. And I’d be free. But at what price?

WATCHED is a fiction novel that touches on real life issues.  How were you able to blend the two?
It was tricky because while as a pediatric ER physician I’ve dealt with these issues in real life, I refuse to include any on-page description of actual abuse or violence yet I felt it was essential that readers really understood the psychological impact on victims. By using both first person and third person viewpoints my hope is that readers gain insight into Jesse’s turmoil as well as the catastrophic effects on Miranda’s family.

Jesse and Miranda are the main characters in your new YA thriller WATCHED.  Tell us a little about them?  What makes them special and what do you love about them? 
I love Jesse because despite everything he’s been through, he’s not just a survivor, he’s also a protector, willing to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe and protect them from the violence that has entered his life. He’s a true hero, driven by compassion.

Miranda is a bit different in that she’s driven (at first) by anger and vengeance. She’s smart and savvy despite her disability while also living in constant terror. With Jesse’s help she learns to forsake revenge and instead seek justice. She actually changes more over the course of the story than Jesse does, even though most of the story is told through Jesse’s eyes.

Can you tell us about the relationship between Jess and Miranda? How did you come to write in a love story for them?
I think most unforgettable love stories have their roots in tragedy—what better way to find your soul mate than to fight through the darkness moments of your life with them at your side? But I didn’t want this to be any “mushy” romance where the focus is on the physical side of a relationship, especially since they don’t even meet face to face until the end of the book. So I focused on how they both need each other: at first Miranda needs (and even uses Jesse) as her hands and feet out in the real world, but that grows into something so much richer and more compelling as we realize that only together can they save the day—and themselves.

Thank you so much for stopping by, C.J.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-one novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. 

Winner of the International Thriller Writers coveted Thriller Award, CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at and everything she knows about being a bestseller at 

Win a new copy of WATCHED!
Sourcebooks Fire has generously offered up one book for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-ends 11/7
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes

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Linda Romer said...

Hello Cj, i would like to read more about Jesse and Miranda. Thank you

Carl Scott said...

This sounds intense. It's so creepy to think that someone could be watching you through your own camera. I keep a post-it over mine all the time. Thanks.

Karen C said...

CJ has written some of the best books I have ever read. An avid fan!

Unknown said...

This might be a tough one to read but it's important. Thank you for a good blog & an opportunity to win.