Who else LOVES book set at boarding schools and prep schools? There’s something about them I find so intriguing (maybe because I went to one?) — but either way, I can’t get enough. Fortunately, the subject of today’s blog tour offers plenty of tantalizing boarding prep school drama. Sneaking Out author Chuck Vance is here to tell us about the book that changed his life — but keep reading to learn more about his book, and your chance to win a copy!
THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt is the first book that I couldn’t put down, literally. I remember being in college and laying on my couch reading it and I don’t think I got up until I finished it. And it is not a short book. Everything about this novel had me riveted. Tartt is a beautiful writer—her descriptions are vivid and inspired; her use of language is both brilliant and pointed; her plot is gripping and lastly her characters are fully realized and unique. I had always wanted to be a writer in the back of my mind but reading this book solidified it. (I also swore I would get her agent one day, and I did, but that was not exactly a match made in heaven for me and we soon parted ways. But that’s another story.)
If I may be so presumptuous, I would say that THE SECRET HISTORY is the inspiration for SNEAKING OUT. Although the former takes place at a small liberal arts college in Vermont and the ladder a small boarding school in Connecticut, both books are about a murder in the cloistered and ivied halls of a venerable New England institution. I admired how Tartt was able to create intense friendships amongst classmates but when those friendships were tested they became suspicious of one another. And both books are about murder and loyalty. Of course, I am no Donna Tartt so this is all aspirational on my part, but I remain a deep fan of her work.
On another note, I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Tartt when her book THE GOLDFINCH was published. I was a bit awestruck, she is my literary hero, and although she is a somewhat reclusive individual I found her to be warm and charming. I admire that she eschews social media and doesn’t rely on popularity to promote her books. She is a good old-fashioned writer who toils on her work and writes with precision. It takes her ten years to complete a book. I’m a bit faster, but I think its quality not quantity. I recommend everyone reading THE SECRET HISTORY.
Could you sleep next to a murderer?
Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.
For fans of “A Study in Charlotte” and boarding school lit, “Sneaking Out” (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus.
Available Now: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Goodreads
Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London, Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of SNEAKING OUT & a $30 Amazon giftcard. U.S. Only.
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I love mysteries so this book sounds exciting to read.
I think that I will like the characters in this story. This sounds like a good mystery.