Guest Post: Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes (Giveaway)

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to have Vivi Barnes, author of Olivia Decoded (September 6, 2016) here with a guest post about the pros and cons of researching for a book that may put you on the FBI watch-list… First, here’s more about the book!

olivia-decoded This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.

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And now for the guest post from Vivi! Enjoy!

Writing Olivia Twisted was insane as far as learning about hacking, and that of course carried over into Olivia Decoded. The hacking is much more front-and-center in the first book, though, as it’s what Olivia gets directly involved in. In book two, we find out that someone from her past is after both her and Z/Jack. Just when she thought it was safe to go back in the water… (Sorry, couldn’t help throw in a Jaws reference!) It’s much more of a psychological thriller, which was a lot of fun to write. Admittedly difficult, too. Mad props to anyone who writes thrillers!

Things to know if you’re going to write about something that isn’t exactly within the parameters of the law:

1) Don’t discuss these things in public. My husband and I were in a deep conversation one night at a restaurant about how to properly kidnap someone and keep them in a cellar (one of the original ideas I had for Olivia Decoded). I happened to look over and notice the man sitting nearby gaping at us in shock. I’m sure he’s still wondering what poor victim fell prey to our schemes.

2) Know that you might end up on some FBI list for whatever you research online. Which for me included “how to hack a bank account” and “how to use Tor for illegal activities.” Oh, and “how to kidnap someone using chloroform” when I was considering that plot line. The FBI probably has a file called CRAZY WRITERS that they throw this stuff in.

3) Learn your shiz. I learned how to code (well, the basics, at least). I learned how to send pop-up messages to my husband’s computer, which I did. A lot. I don’t think he was too happy about that, but hey, I was enjoying myself!

4) Have fun! Killing people in books is fun. Doing it in real life is not. Don’t be a real-life killer. This PSA was brought to you by me. You’re welcome.

I hope you enjoy Olivia Decoded! And thank you Meredith and all my book blogger friends for your support these years!


And now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Olivia Decoded + a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below:

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And don’t forget to check out book one, Olivia Twisted!

olivia-twistedTossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Liv might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Liv and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

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vivibarnesAbout the Author:
Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. After college, she convinced her supportive husband to

move with her to be part of the sunshine and magic in Orlando, Florida. On a good day, she manages to divide her time writing, working, reading, goofing off with her three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. Vivi is a proud member of SCBWI and attends conferences whenever she can.

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One thought on “Guest Post: Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes (Giveaway)

  1. Actually, the interview with the author makes me want to read her work most. She is hilarious and I’d love to “brainstorm” with her about illegal activities for characters to carry out. so much fun.

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