The time it was about Skandal

Posted April 16, 2015 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 5 Comments

When I got the invitation to be part of the Skandal blog tour, was honest and told Molly that I hadn’t read the series yet. I am quite intrigued by the premise and a lot of friends I trust loved it.  It’s been on my TBR list and after getting Lindsay’s answers back, I’ll definitely be moving it up.

Skandal BlogTourBanner

Before we to the interview, let’s check out the book!

Adobe Photoshop PDFThe dramatic sequel to Sekret, this psychic Cold War espionage thriller follows Yulia to Washington, DC, where she fights to discover the truth about her family without losing control of her mind.

My mind is mine alone.

Life in Washington, D.C., is not the safe haven Yulia hoped for when she risked everything to flee communist Russia. Her father is reckless and aloof, and Valentin is distant and haunted by his past. Her mother is being targeted by the CIA and the US government is suspicious of Yulia’s allegiance. And when super-psychics start turning up in the US capitol, it seems that even Rostov is still a threat. Ultimately, Yulia must keep control of her own mind to save the people she loves and avoid an international Skandal.

Sounds good, right?


1. Where did the idea for the Sekret series come from?

I’d always wanted to set a book in Soviet Russia—I feel it’s a critical but underexplored period of history. The psychic spies element grew out of that setting as a literal form of thought policing. I was thinking about the daily life of the average Soviet citizen, and the intense amount of paranoia and secrecy they must have felt, keeping their true thoughts and feelings hidden from everyone for fear of being called a traitor.

2. Why do you love Yulia and why should readers root for her?

I love Yulia because she’s so determined, even to her detriment sometimes, and so very human despite her inhuman abilities. She makes mistakes, she does the wrong thing for the right reasons, she struggles to understand herself and stay authentic to whoever she is. She’s not a perfect heroine, but I hope readers can find inspiration in her willingness to grow and learn and to fight for what she believes.

3. What makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that in the series?

I think the best villains are those who have a concrete motive, and the will and determination to see their goals achieved. Great villains are always real go-getters—they have to be, to move their plans forward! Colonel Rostov, the principal villain of Sekret and Skandal, wholeheartedly believes that his hardline approach to running the Soviet Union is the only way to ensure stability and success for the soviet system, and he’s willing to do anything to bring it about.

4. Without spoilers, were there any scenes you had to cut that you wished you could have kept?

I tend to write shorter first drafts, so I’m more often adding scenes when revising rather than cutting! There was a conversation between Yulia and her English tutor, Winnie, that ended up getting fragmented across several scenes rather than standing on its own. I really wanted to include more scenes with Yulia’s brother, Zhenya, as well, but logistically they could only occur at a moment in the plot when there was for too much else going on for them to have the time they needed.

5. Describe Skandal in 5 words. 

Psychic Russian defectors stopping war!

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

Stare at email. Stare harder. Feel eyeballs start to dry out, heart pound. Commence incoherent screeching. Coworkers approach to make sure that weird noise isn’t something wrong with the HVAC. Hug-assail coworkers. Dance up and down. Call husband, attempt to convey information (eg, “My book—is a BOOK book!”). Proceed to cafeteria and devour a cupcake.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A crate of popcorn, a pillow, and a fully loaded e-reader.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Uhhh. I guess I’d better pick something enormous. Maybe a fantasy trilogy omnibus, like N. K. Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series, or the Wheel of Time. Or I’d happily go the dense Russian fiction route, too—The Master and Margarita or The Brothers Karamazov.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Bucky Barnes, Victor Vale (Vicious), Idris Elba-Bond (fingers crossed!), the Gray Man (Raven Boys), Peggy Carter, Ford (Katie Finn’s revenge trilogy), Zoe Washburne, Prince Lucian (Seraphina), John Cho-as-Henry-Higgins, Fire (Fire), Doctor Zhivago.

5. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

All right. I have some kind of vampire power immunity, right? Time to charge into Vamp HQ and kick some ass. Give me a couple weeks, I’ll be installed as reigning Vampire Queen and CFO. Make good use of those centuries and centuries of compounding interest on the vamps’ Swiss bank accounts, start funding some startups, a little bit of activist investor action, dabbling in politics, backing some awesome groundbreaking film projects and educational initiatives, world takeover, bam. And, of course, all the awesome and ridiculous velvet gowns and jet glass necklaces a Vampire Queen and Forward-Leaning Synergistic Strategy Officer commands. Team Edward or Team Jacob? Yeah right. The real question is, Team Scottish Castle or Team TriBeCa Penthouse Loft.


6420147Lindsay 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.


Huge thanks to Macmillan for the invite and to Lindsay for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Tumblr and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

And guess what? Macmillan is generously providing a copy up for grabs! Giveaway is US/Canada only and additional rules are here.  And make sure you check out the other tour stops for additional goodies. The schedule is listed below the Rafflecopter.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Full Blog Tour Schedule

April 7-Love Is Not a Triangle

April 8-Icey Books

April 9-Exlibris Kate

April 10-MacTeenBooks Blog

April 11-Mariah Reading Adventure

April 12-Fly Leaf Review

April 13-Read My Breath Away

April 14-Fire Fly Read It

April 15-The Bookrat

April 16Adventures of a Book Junkie

Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “The time it was about Skandal

  1. Susan T.

    I would like to be psychic but I don’t want to be a spy! I would want to help people instead and I am a terrible liar so I would be a really bad spy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.