Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview with Lindsay Smith, author of Sekret + Giveaway

sekret promo

Hey everyone, I have , the author of SEKRET stopping by today for an interview and a mini dream cast, and a have a copy of SEKRET to giveaway to one (1) International winner! So hang out with me and Lindsay today and have some fun! :)



Sekret Dream Cast + Giveaway!
Publisehd: April 1st, 2014
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Sci-f
An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

If you’re interested in reading SEKRET, you can read the first 5 chapters now FREE! Download it from your favorite eBook purveyor:


ALICIA: Hi Lindsay, I am thrilled to have you here on Addicted Readers today! :)

ALICIA: 1. I loved the quote you used on the front of the cover "An Empty Mind Is A Safe Mind" It caught my attention and left me curios. So I have to know, what gave you the idea for a brilliant novel like this, and has it changed from the initial draft, if so, can you tell us how?

LINDSAY: I’ve always been fascinated by Russian history and culture, and I felt Soviet Russia was woefully underutilized in fiction—especially in YA! I decided to add the paranormal element early on, and once the idea for it came to me, I knew it was the perfect fit for adding even more tension to an already paranoid period of time. I write pretty sparse first drafts, though, so a lot of the secondary elements weren’t as prominent until later drafts—the Space Race, for instance, and some of the surprises, too!

ALICIA:  2. I'm very intrigued by the plot of SEKRET! Can you tell us a little bit about our main character, Yulia's mind power, without giving any spoilers?

LINDSAY: Yulia reads thoughts and memories through touch—whether it’s a person or an object, she can brush against it to sift through the past. She fights hard to keep her own emotions in check and to always keep a poker face, but then she can easily be overwhelmed by the emotions tied to a particular memory or thought, which complicates things for her. I’m an evil author, so I loved making her struggle with that!

ALICIA: 3. In ten words, how would you describe SEKRET? 

LINDSAY: Psychic teens in Soviet Russia forced to spy for KGB. 

ALICIA: 4. What would you say was the most challenging obstacle you went through while writing SEKRET, and why?

LINDSAY: I wrestled with the issue of authenticity, especially when faced with the choice between an authentic story and a commercially viable one. Granted, my book has psychic spies, so that was a big check in the “inauthentic” column, but I tried to account for that by sticking as close to the historical record as possible everywhere else. In Yulia’s character, too, I made a lot of choices for her that might be frustrating for some readers—she has a very hard time showing emotion because of the paranoid culture she was raised in, and she definitely makes some mistakes along the way because of her single-minded determination, but ultimately, I think this fits her background and her personality. 

ALICIA: 5. If you were given the choice to have any mind or magical power, what would you choose, and what would you hope to accomplish with your new found power, and why would you want that certain power?

LINDSAY: I love all the psychic abilities in Sekret, but I can see huge downsides to each of them—knowing what your friends are thinking (even if they’d rather not share!), changing people’s thoughts, knowing your future—all sounds a little too intimidating and power-trippy to me. I think my top choice for a magical power would be teleportation. No more hassles with traffic or airports! Think of all the time it would save!


ALICIA: 6. If you were able to read peoples thoughts by touching their skin, would you want too, and what would you like to do with that power?

LINDSAY: Only if they realized that’s what I was doing! Yulia often has to engineer a way to bump into people to read their thoughts, and I’m way too introverted for that. But if I had someone’s permission to do it, then I’d be a lot more comfortable. In the sequel, SKANDAL, Yulia is able to explore other aspects of her power that would be extremely useful, but I can’t explain how just yet. ;)

ALICIA: 7. Last question. If SEKRET was opted for a film, what actors/actress would you want to play your main characters?

LINDSAY: I love the two main teen actors in Moonrise Kingdom, and I think they’d make a great Yulia and Valentin someday! But they’re still a little young. 


as the younger version of Yulia




Jared Gilman as the younger version of Valentin

Right now, Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black would be my top choice for Yulia—she’s so feisty!—and Kit Harrington is sufficiently broody for Valentin. I think Christoph Walz would make for a deliciously vicious and cunning Rostov, the KGB officer who’s in charge of the psychic teens—cold and maniacal and so determined! 


 Tatiana Maslany as the older version of Yulia




Kit Harrington as the older version of Valentin


 Christoph Walz as Rostov, the vicious and cunning KGB officer




ALICIA: Thank you so much Lindsay, for stopping by today. I look forward to reading SEKRET and seeing what you bring in the future! :)

LINDSAY: Thanks for hosting me!


Prize: Winner receives a Finished Copy of SEKRET By Lindsay Smith

Contest runs: April 9th, 2014 to April 29th, 2014 11:59pm

Open to: International as long as Books Depository ship to you. See complete shipping list HERE.

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.

Terms and Conditions: ONE winner will be randomly chosen through the Rafflecopter. The winner will be contacted by email, then they will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked. I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who does not follow the rafflecopter's instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Embedded image permalinkChapter 1 


MY RULES FOR THE BLACK MARKET are simple. Don’t make eye contact—especially with men. Their faces are sharp, but their eyes sharper, and you never want to draw that blade. Always act as though you could walk away from a trade at any moment. Desperation only leaves you exposed. Both hands on the neck of your bag, but don’t be obvious about it. Never reveal your sources. And always, always trust the heat on your spine that haunts you when someone is watching.

I pass through the iron gates to the alley off New Arbat Street. A mosaic of Josef Stalin smiles down on the ramshackle market he never would have permitted. If he were still our leader, the man wearing strings of glass beads, snipping them off for customers, would vanish overnight. The little girl with jars of bacon fat would emerge years later in a shallow ditch, her skull half eaten by lye.

Comrade Secretary Nikita Khruschev, the USSR’s current leader, is content to ignore us. The Soviet Union provides everything you need, as long as you don’t mind the wait: a day in line for butter and bread rations, another day for meat, seven years for automobiles, fifteen for a concrete-walled apartment where you can rest between factory shifts. Khruschev understands the stale-cracker taste of envy in every worker’s mouth when a well-dressed, well-lived Communist Party official, more equal than the rest of us, strolls to the front of the ration line. If we quench our own thirst for excess in the black market, then that’s less burden on the State. His KGB thugs only disrupt the market when we do something he cannot ignore—such as trading with known political dissidents and fugitives.

And I happen to be one.

Want More? Read the complete 1st Chapter HERE!

Lindsay SmithLindsay Smith’s love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She lives in Washington, DC, where she writes on foreign affairs. SEKRET is her first novel. 

Don't forget to check out  in the FIERCE READS Tour this Spring!!

Thanks to for stopping by today and to ALL OF YOU for joining us! :)


  1. I loved the interview. I can't wait to read Sekret.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! I can't wait to read SEKRET also! I hoping to read it in the coming weeks!

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. I've been reading great things about this book! I first saw it on an ad on Goodreads. Great interview and I can't wait to read it.

    1. Me too! I've been wanting to read it for a while! I plan to read it soon!

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. (This is Darith L.)

    Love the interview! This is such a fresh and original idea! I've a lot of great things! :D

  4. This book seems so incredibly unique! I am really looking forward to reading it! Loved the interview too. When I was in St. Petersburg, I found it to be both insanely beautiful and terrifying. I cannot even imagine Soviet Russia!


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