May 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Pop Culture commentary

Welcome to Day Four of my blog tour. I’m so delighted to be here on The Irish Banana! What a great name for a blog!

SWEET tells the story of the product launch of a new diet sweetener called Solu which turns out to be highly addictive. The high-profile, celebrity-studded launch takes place on a week-long luxury cruise. Laurel and Tom, two teens who, for very different reasons, are NOT taking the sweetener, find themselves out at sea amidst five hundred B-list celebrities, reality TV stars and wealthy playboys who become more and more desperate and depraved, willing to do anything to get more Solu.

Because SWEET crosses a couple of genres (Romance! Action! Horror!) and deals with some surprising issues (Body acceptance! Addiction! Celebrity!), I’ve decided to have 5 special blog posts on this tour, talking about the way SWEET plays within each type.

Today we’re going to talk about the Pop Culture aspect of the book.

My new novel SWEET takes place on a luxurious cruise ship loaded to the brim with B- list celebrities and reality TV stars.

They’ve all come aboard for a huge PR event - the launch of a new diet sweetener called Solu that makes you lose weight. It’s the “Solu Cruise To Lose” and our main character, Laurel, calls it “the most famous cruise since the Titanic.”

The celebrities are mingling with a couple hundred non-famous, regular-old rich people who can afford the hefty ticket price. Laurel has been brought on the cruise by her wealthy best friend, Vivika. While Vivika is definitely into partying with famous people like Sabbi Ribiero, a Brazilian heiress and the star of a reality show called Teens Of New York, Laurel is not really into it.

That is, until she meets Tom Fiorelli. Tom is a former child star. He was the star of a show called The Magnificent Andersons, and he’s known to all by his old nickname, “Baby Tom-Tom”. As you can imagine - he HATES this nickname!

It was really fun for me to write for Tom and Sabbi because back when I was an actor, I got to do some of the things they do in the book. I interviewed people and was interviewed. I got to work with hair and makeup people, who are the true MAGICIANS of the entertainment industry! And I even got to walk the red carpet! (It was surreal! It was for the movie Superstar. I was sure that none of the photographers would want to take my picture, but when I got up there, they all yelled, “Emmy! Emmy, over here!” I could barely keep a straight face!)

Another of my favorite characters is Rich Weller, the young publicity guru who was responsible for the concept of the cruise. He works incredibly hard to manage every aspect of the cruise’s publicity. I felt so bad for him when things started going so terribly wrong!

You see… Solu works! It makes all the passengers lose weight - the famous, the infamous and the un-famous. But it’s also highly, highly addictive. And soon the passengers will do anything to get their hands on it - and fame goes out the window. Because no one cares about fame when your life is on the line.

While SWEET is a bit of a media circus, I tried to present the celebrities in a very real way. That’s something I strive to do in all my books. I want the characters to feel truthful and to make decisions that feel realistic. After all, people are people, famous or not. I hope that readers will enjoy the little glimpse behind the scenes of the life of a celebrity that I’ve provided in SWEET - and then hang on for their lives as the book crashes into the insanity that takes over as the Solu becomes more and more scarce on board…

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Author Links/Info

Full Blog Tour Schedule
May 20-Fiktshun
May 26Ray Kay Books


  1. Looking forward to reading this. The closest comparison I can think of is Libba Bray's Beauty Queens, and that's my favorite YA book!

  2. I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise!

  3. I would like to go to Madives! There are so many islands, this way you can see all of them and never get bored! ;)

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  4. Great story from beginning to end! Emmy Laybourne knows how to twist and turn the tale until you are completely hooked. A wonderful read you won't want to put down.

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