Series: The Deception Game, Book 1
Author: Kristin Smith
Published: November 21, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Dystopian, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Synopsis: Too pretty. Too smart. Too perfect.
In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose genetic modification for their children, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As the only “normal” girl, everyone around her is a little too pretty, a little too smart, and a little too perfect. But when her father dies suddenly, her world 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.
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What was the inspiration for your story?
The initial idea was the result of a dream I had. A very vivid dream about a society where everyone is matched to the perfect person for them. That led to some “what if” questions. What if they were matched according to their genetics? What if the wealthy chose genetic modification for their children? What if there was a genetically modified poster boy—the son of the creator of this matchmaking company—who had been matched since birth to the perfect girl for him, but he was in love with someone else? What would a society like this look like?
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
Lots of chocolate! Lol. On a more serious note, I have great writer friends and wonderful critique partners who helped me so much with this novel. There are so many layers to this book, and part of this process was making sure I knew and understood the backstory of my characters, even though this isn’t revealed to the reader until much later. And figuring out how much information to give, and how much to save for future books. My writer friends were invaluable in this process.
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
I’d have to say my main character, Sienna. She’s faced with a lot of obstacles, but she manages to overcome. She’s strong, protective of the ones she loves, and resourceful—which is how she’s able to find and restore an antique motorcycle. Yet, despite all those characteristics, she’s inexperienced when it comes to boys, which makes for an interesting dynamic when two different boys from two different walks of life take an interest in her.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
Absolutely! The sequel to Catalyst releases May 2017, and I’m working on the third book now.
How has this story touched your life?
When you spend so much time creating book characters and putting them through their paces, you grow rather fond of them. I’m especially fond of Sienna. Even though as an author, I’m extremely mean to her and make terrible things happen to her, I want to see her succeed. She’s such a strong character—a fighter—and I admire that about her. Lately, when I find myself faced with something hard or challenging, I tell myself that I have a little bit of Sienna in me. I think we all do.
What motivated you to start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing poems and short stories, even as a small child. But it wasn’t until I was an adult and read the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer that I decided to attempt writing a novel. I had four small kids at the time (all boys), and I guess I thought if she can do it with three boys, why can’t I? My first novel became my outlet, something to do when my husband worked late and my kids were sound asleep in their beds.
Excerpt from Calalyst by Kristin Smith:
Once I’ve made it past the gun-toting guard in the courtyard—with the aid of a few well-thrown, barrel-rattling rocks—I sprint soundlessly until I reach the keyless entry, the exact door I saw in the hologram. As I dial Chaz, I insert a tiny earbud into my right ear and wait until his face pops up on the screen.
“I’m here,” I say, trying to catch my breath. “What do you have for me?”
The clack, clack, clack of his fingers rapidly typing on the keyboard is his only response. I glance around.
What if there’s another guard I’m not aware of?
“Got it,” he declares in triumph.
A lock clicks, and the door falls open. A good thing considering there isn’t a handle on this side.
“Thanks, Chaz. You’re the best.”
I ease through and leave a small card in the doorjamb to keep it from completely closing. Before I take a step, I eye my surroundings.
“Do you see any lasers?” Chaz asks.
“Shh. I need to concentrate.”
I don’t see any lasers, but that’s what makes them so dangerous. You don’t see them. Not until it’s too late.
I pull a container of baby powder from my backpack and dump some into my hand. When I fling it out onto the floor in front of me, I see them then.
Intersecting lines of lasers positioned every foot or so.
I exhale in a slow rush. I can do this. I can beat this.
And as long as I don’t think about what these lasers can do to my skin—to my body—I can make it past.
About the Author:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels with enough kissing to make her mother blush. She’s a beach lover and a Just Dance guru who enjoys belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). As a self-professed chocoholic, Kristin is a firm believer that if a dessert doesn’t have chocolate in it, then it’s not considered a dessert. (Except for crème brûlée. She can always make an exception for crème brûlée.) 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 scarves, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.
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