Monday, November 6, 2017

Author Spotlight: Alone by Cyn Balog + Interview

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM
Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Title: Alone
Genre: YA Horror/Thriller
Author: Cyn Balog
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: November 7th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Physical ARC

Alone by Cyn Balog is the story of Seda, the twin she absorbed in the womb, her 4 siblings(2 sets of twins), her mother and the murder mystery mansion her mother inherited. Throw in some stranded High School kids, fake blood and yummy brownies and you've got yourself one hell of an interesting sounding book, right?

Seda is a very complex character. She is obviously mentally disturbed but she was handing it pretty well before her mother inherited this creepy murder-mystery mansion from family members and then had to move from her home in Boston to some no-reception mountain in Pennsylvania in order to help her mother sell the mansion. After arrive, though, it appears that her mother might be changing her mind about selling the mansion and they end up staying at the mansion far longer than anticipated. This stay also prompts her father to leave her mother because he is tired of the situation. With no electronics or even a house phone, Seda is left alone with her snowglobes and her thoughts. Oh, and her twin brother, Sawyer. This can't end well.

The story progresses and we end up with four stranded High School aged teenagers coming to stay with Seda and her family. With these four enters a love interest for Seda and things get a bit weird with that and the creeptastic who-dun-it hunt her mother set up for her birthday. Things get VERY screwed up during the hunt and fake blood turns into real blood. First kisses turn into fake advances and four friends slowly turn into one. And let me just say, I did not like Heath. He was UGH!

The concept and plot of this book is so different and interesting. I have never read anything like this before and I want to thank the author for having such a creative mind in the horror world. It was also super fun stopping to look up all the different historical deaths and things that were included in the book.

In the end, the book concluded with Cyn Balog's usual twist and turn. I always know her books are going to end with some sort of mindf**k and I love it. What started out as The Shining with a bunch of teenagers turn into something VERY different but VERY amazing. I just can't help but wonder if his body will ever be found.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) What was your inspiration behind Alone
Well, it started out as The Shining for teens. That was how we pitched it. My idea was that the mother would eventually have gone crazy, killed the entire family, and her 16 year old, whose life had somehow been spared, was living there alone, going nuts, believing that her family was still alive. But eventually, it morphed into its own thing, and because there are so many horror movies I love, I wanted to bring in little snippets from all of them. I also love the idea of murder hunts, and I've always wanted to go to a murder mystery hotel. So it all came together in ALONE!

2) Out of all of the amazing books you have written, which one is YOUR favorite?
Ack! I hate them all. I can't bring myself to read them after they're done, because when I do, I usually see what I'd change. Do I have to pick? Probably TOUCHED. I don't know why. The cover's pretty.

3) Please tell us 5 random facts about yourself:
Hmmm okay!
I eat a bowl of ice cream every night.
My favorite method for coming up with book ideas is by taking one nugget of an idea and combining it with one or more idea nuggets.
I wrote my first book when I was 5, and it was called THE SEED.
I watched my first horror movie when I was 3 and it was about zombies on a train, and it gave me nightmares.
Growing up, I was a horrifically bad softball player, and pretty terrible at all sports (Still am).

4) What made you decide to write Young Adult books and why did you pick Horror/Thriller as your sub-genre?
I wrote my first book when I was really young, and it was a children's book. Then, as a teenager, I wrote young adult books. When I became an adult, I tried writing adult books, thinking that was what I "needed" to do as an adult. But I quickly realized I'd had way more fun writing for young adults. I love all those "firsts" that they go through. So, though I dabble in the odd adult book, I concentrate on YA. And I found horror writing as a detour. Though Stephen King has always been my favorite author, my first books were paranormal romance, because that's what was selling back then. As I've gone along, though, I've been able to write more and more of what I personally enjoy and would like to read, which has brought me through urban fantasy, to dystopian, to thrillers, and finally to horror.

5) Are you currently working on any new books or have any new ideas floating around?
Yes! I just sold a new thriller to Sourcebooks about a girl whose perfect boyfriend commits suicide, and a year later, she finds evidence that it could be murder. I'm also working on several other ideas, both thriller and horror. I never have a shortage of ideas, just time!!


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