The time it was about Sweet

Posted May 23, 2015 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 9 Comments

I’ve been a fan of Emmy’s since her first book.  She’s delightful and charming and hilarious.  When I read the synopsis for Sweet, I was super excited. And when I got my greedy hands on it, I devoured and loved it.  So of course when I got the invite to be part of the blog tour, I jumped all over it.

Sweet BlogTourBanner

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

14*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*

Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.

Sounds good, right? And now, Emmy!


Welcome to my blog tour. I’m delighted to be back here on Adventures of a Book Junkie! This blog is one of my favorites and I’m so glad we get to talk about Sweet today.

1. Where did the idea for Sweet come from?

The truth is that the idea for Sweet came from my lifelong addiction to sugar. Most people can handle consuming sugar – but I can’t. (I used to steal money off my parents’ dresser and sneak out of school to buy candy – and this was in New York City – in the late 70s!) As an adult, I’ve kicked the habit, but I remember how much of my time and energy I used to spend thinking about sugar – or trying NOT to think about sugar. I started to imagine how fun it would be to write a book where a whole bunch of people get hooked on a substance (a substance that’s supposed to be harmless)  together – at the same time and in confined quarters. And boy, did I ever have fun!

I came up with the idea about two days before I had a big meeting set with my editors at Macmillan, Jean Feiwel and Holy West, and I pitched it out in about three lines. Jean smiled wickedly and said, “Yeah, do that one. We’ll call it Sweet.”

2. Why do you love Laurel and Tom and why should readers root for them?

Ah, I do love Laurel and Tom!  Tom Fiorelli is a former child star who has been hired by the Solu corporation as the media host for the “Solu Cruise to Lose”. Tom’s whole childhood was spent in front of the cameras, taping a hugely popular sitcom called The Magnificent Andersons. His nickname on the show was “Baby Tom-Tom” and everywhere he goes people chant it at him. But he’s 19 now and wants to be taken seriously. And he is actually a serious person – not given to wisecracking or joking around. The last thing I’ll say about Tom is that, of course, he’s gorgeous, but he knows he’s gorgeous. As an actor, it’s a currency he has to manage.

Laurel first meets Tom when she pukes on his shoes. Yeah, it’s not a very auspicious meeting, but from the first moment they meet… Okay, from the SECOND moment they meet (later at the cruise ship’s nightclub), Tom realizes that Laurel is different from any girl he’s met before. She’s shy. She’s got a strong moral compass. She’s plump and fleshy and (here’s the clincher) she’s comfortable with her size. She floors him. Tom is a surprise to Laurel, as well. She finds he’s nothing like the character everyone in America knows him for. And as things on the ship progress from exciting, to intense, to scary, to downright terrifying, she is very happy to have him at her side.

3. What was the weirdest thing you had to google while doing research?

I spent a lot of time looking at mechanical specs of the engine rooms of luxury cruise liners!

4. What makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that into Sweet?

Oooh, I don’t want to venture into spoiler territory here… But I read a blog review of Sweet that likened Solu to a character in the book and it strikes me that Solu is a pretty good villian. Imagine a guy who invites you to parties, and makes you feel great around him. But you slowly realize he’s kind of…well, abusive. He’s very demanding and wants to be with you all the time and by the time you realize he’s no good for you it’s too late. It’s way too late.

5. Describe Sweet in 5 words.

A cruise to die for!

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.

Call my husband – spend two minutes incoherently babbling while doing dance of happiness – calm down enough to tell him the news – let him congratulate me then hang up – call my mom – babble incoherently while doing dance of joy – etc!

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

Bowie knife. Large pan. Box of flares!

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

The Collected Works of William Shakespeare. Was that cheating? If that was cheating, I’d say Plainsong by Kent Haruf. I think I could read a bit from that book every day for ten years and still discover more beauty and truth in Haruf’s keen, insightful prose. (But I’d still prefer the Shakespeare, if it’s available…)

4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That I’d learn everything I’d need to know from fellow authors – and that nothing can take the place of those friendships.

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

I’d name my kid Jennifer!

It’s been such a pleasure to be here on Adventures of a Book Junkie! I love this blog! Book Junkie-ers, let’s keep in touch!  I’m @EmmyLaybourne  on Twitter and Instagram. Can’t wait to hear what you think about Sweet!


Emmy Headshot 3Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, public speaker, screenwriter and former character actress.

Emmy’s Monument 14 trilogy has earned critical praise (“Frighteningly real… riveting” – New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice) and has been nominated by readers to the YALSA Teens Top Ten in 2013 and won in 2014!

Emmy’s new book SWEET tells the story of a luxury cruise to launch a new diet sweetener that goes comically, then tragically, then terrifyingly wrong. It got a perfect 10 from VOYA and hits the stands on June 2, 2015

Before her life as an author, Emmy performed original comedy on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1; and acted in the movies “Superstar,” “The In-Laws” and “Nancy Drew,” among others. Emmy loves visiting school and libraries.


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

Definitely check out the rest of the blog tour for all sorts of extra goodies.

Now.  Eager to get your greedy hands on a copy of this book? Macmillan is so generously supplying a copy up for grabs!  Giveaway is US/Canada only and additional rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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9 responses to “The time it was about Sweet

  1. HollyB

    Guess I’m in the minority here but I have to say be on a reality show, because I’m terrified of the water and don’t think I could stand to be on a cruise for a week! Or even a day!! So as much as I hate being on camera… I think I’d still pick TV :-)

  2. Mary Loki

    lol depends on the reality show! But I think I would go with show just bc it would last longer than the cruise!

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