Watched by C.J. Lyons
Age Range: Young Adult (14+)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (November 4, 2014)
He Can’t Run, and He Can’t Hide
Jesse is terrified. For four years, a twisted hacker named King has hijacked his computer webcam, collecting incriminating photos and videos he uses to blackmail Jesse. So far, Jesse’s given into King’s ruthless 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, he’ll kill Jesse’s little sister.
Jesse is trapped. King’s always watching. There is no escape.
Then hope arrives in a plain manila envelope. Inside is a cell phone and a note: I can help.
A high-speed thriller elevated by its unflinching focus on the harrowing effects of online bullying.” —Kirkus
“…readers are drawn deep into the daily trials of two victims whose constant fear, anxiety and anger radiate from the pages, causing secondhand stress. But isn’t that what we all want from a great book? Lyons should never stop writing YA!” – RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars
“Lyons also handles the parental relationships in this story extremely well. The teen’s behavior has a definite impact on the parent’s lives, which was portrayed honestly with fear and confusion as well as love and patience….this is an excellent book and well worth the emotional investment.” — School Library Journal
Interview with C.J. Lyons:
1. If you could visit any time or place, when and where would you go?
CJ: I’d love to visit the Library at Alexandria—and have a decade or two to explore it!
2. What is your favorite season and why?
CJ: Spring—such color! And life everywhere! Makes it worth all the pain of allergies and hay fever—in fact, it makes you feel like anything that’s wrong with your life can surely be changed for the better. I love that nature inspires such optimism as it draws back the curtain on dreary, grey winter to let the sun shine.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
CJ: Anywhere and everywhere! I’m a voracious reader and devour scientific journals, law enforcement bulletins, EMS and firefighting newsletters, psychological and medical articles, and a lot of weird and quirky news sites. It’s often that tiny, little nugget too obscure for others to notice that becomes the spark that ignites a new story.
For Watched it wasn’t anything obscure but rather a video that became part of a much larger story still being played out in the media: my niece forwarded Amanda Todd’s suicide video to me.
When I learned of the capper who stalked her and destroyed her life, I had already been doing research in the area but had never been able to find the emotional spark to drive the story. After watching her tragedy unfold, I changed what I had been planning as an adult thriller, scrapped the original plot, and focused on the impact on children who are exploited by these predators.
Watched is a dark story, despite the fact that there is no on-page depiction of abuse, but it pales in comparison to the real life cases I unearthed.
4. Is there anything about writing that you find particularly challenging?
CJ: I get bored easily, so sometimes I need to work on several projects at once. Sitting and immersing myself in one story through multiple revisions is a challenge for me.
5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
CJ: It’s one that can only be found at the Penn State Creamery: Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy…it’s been years since I’ve had it but it was basically like an Almond Joy candy bar turned into ice cream.
6. Any hidden talents?
CJ: I play a mean air guitar (translation: terribly embarrassing and cringe-worthy) as long as it’s to fast-paced head-banging rock ‘n roll, so give me some Zeppelin, Korn, Mettalica, or Godsmack and I’m your girl.
7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
CJ: When I was fourteen, I began working summer stock theatrical productions, not as an actor but on the behind the scenes crew. I actually began college as a technical theatre major, thinking I’d become a director or stage manager…but then I fell in love with medicine and switched to pre-med.
8. If you had any superpower, what would it be?
CJ: Time travel. Throw in David Tennant and a TARDIS and I’d be set for life! Able to go back and relive “perfectly perfect days” or go forward and see how even the worst “mistakes” often lead to unexpected blessings and opportunities. Not to mention the crime-solving/bad guy catching potential!
9. Other than your own, what is your favorite book of 2014 so far?
CJ: That’s a tough one because I’ve read so many great ones this year. One that I can’t stop thinking about is about a teenaged girl who learns she’s a zombie. It’s called The Girl with All the Gifts and defies pretty much every horror convention and combines compelling characters with plausible medical details and an intriguing ending.
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.
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).
Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers’ prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.
Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net
Win a copy of WATCHED
Open to the US/Canada only
Ends Nov 18, 2014
Entrants must be 13 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Winner is chosen randomly. Contest is void where prohibited. Good luck!