Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Mind Over Bullies: A Mob Forms by D.K. Smith

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: D.K. Smith
Available Formats: eBook & Paperback
Publisher: Khamicom Publishing
Publication Date: 08-31-15             Pages: 380
People that feel bullied just need to toughen up. That’s what Margo Rios used to think. Margo is pretty, popular and unsympathetic to just how intense bullying can get. As a counterfeiting plot sweeps through the city of Oak View, life for Margo will change dramatically.

With a mystery unfolding, an unlikely group of heroes emerges. Bullied teens love them, the police hate them and bullies fear them. Together they will try to get to the bottom of the counterfeiting mystery while ingeniously teaching a few bullies a lesson or two along the way… that is, if the police don’t catch them first.

“Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms” follows the lives of several teens chronicling the emotional and psychological changes they experience as a result of their encounters with bullying. The lives of the characters play out while an elaborate counterfeiting mystery unfolds making for a fast paced, action-packed read.  
Preview the book & read the first 3 chapters here!

My So-Called Review: 
In June I received an invitation from iRead Book Tours to join the Blog Tour for Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms by D.K. Smith. After reading the book’s description and author information I excitedly hit the link to sign up and then crossed my fingers that I’d get one of the few spots on this tour. The book’s description states that it “follows the lives of several teens chronicling the emotional and psychological changes they experience as a result of their encounters with bullying”; this was a book I HAD to read!! As a co-founder of the anti-bullying club at my children’s schools this is clearly a subject that is extremely important to me. I am honored to have had the opportunity to read and review MOB and to help promote it through this blog tour. Bullying, also known as cyberbullying and bullycide, is a huge epidemic within American youth and I applaud D.K. Smith for taking such a dark, touchy subject and writing and incredible book that is relatable to both children and adults. This is such an important book that everyone should read!

Mind Over Bullies primarily takes place in Oak View, CA and centers around two distinct plot lines, a counterfeit ring and an anti-bullying campaign. The story starts in a mall where we come across two teens trying to purchase clothes with counterfeit money. The teens are forced to run from the police and ultimately get into a nasty accident, this really sets up the fast paced action of the rest of the book. We then quickly discover that Oak View has a serious problem with counterfeit money and that high school students are getting beaten up for reporting information to the authorities. When we meet our main protagonist, Margo Rios she’s a journalist at her school and sits at the very top of the school’s food chain along with the rest of the popular kids. Margo is pretty unsympathetic towards the victims of any type of bullying and takes a pretty harsh stance by saying kids just need to “toughen up”. That is of course until an unfortunate event happens in which Margo goes from being miss popular to an utter outcast. Margo ultimately becomes a member of the anti-bullying committee named MOB and they use the latest technology to help teach bullies a much needed lesson while trying to find the source of the counterfeit money.

I thought it was pretty brilliant of the author to begin the story with Margo portrayed as a bully and then to show her painful transition into becoming the bullied. It gives readers a good, hard look at both sides of the issue in a way that’s natural and believable; this was truly the high part of the story for me! As a fan of thrillers and suspense, I also loved the surprising mystery behind the counterfeit ring. It really added an extra layer of depth to the story and will keep readers, especially the older teens and adults, reading late into the night. Each of the MOB members is given a very distinct voice and come from very diverse backgrounds making them an easily relatable group when reading. I also really enjoyed this aspect and wish we saw more diversity emerging in YA Fiction.

D.K. Smith ultimately does an amazing job at showing us the ugly side of bullying. The writing and narrative style is perfect for the target audience of tweens and teens. The book itself is set with short paragraphs, wide margins and large paragraph spacing which help break up the story and give a simplified, manageable feel to what is ultimately a longer YA read. I wasn’t used to this writing style and initially it took me a few chapters to get into it but once I was I really enjoyed it. This is an absolute MUST read for parents, teens, tweens, teachers, youth advocates and anyone else who works with or deals with children on a regular basis. I absolutely will be recommending Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms to anyone and everyone that will listen and I look forward to Smith’s next installment!

About the Author:
A 38 year old native of Los Angeles, Mr. Smith began his writing career after getting news that he would soon become an uncle. Wanting to create stories and characters for his expected niece, he created the children’s book series “Sock n Boots Adventures.” The two characters (three year old Sock and five year old Boots) began to make names for themselves, generating downloads in countries around the world.

When asked about his motivation to tackle the subject of bullying in a 108,000 word novel Smith said, “One day I came across a story in the news about a young girl that jumped in front of a subway train after weeks of bullying. As I investigated further, I was shocked at the number of similar stories I encountered. Bullycide, the news was calling it. I thought, wow, what if these young people had been shown that the pain of bullying can be handled without hurting themselves or someone else.”

Ultimately it was thoughts of his now four nieces and three nephews dealing with bullying as they get older that weighed heavily on the decision for Smith to write the story about bullying. “I recognize that the characters and situations in the book may not represent every bullying situation and that realistically the book won’t change the world, but I do sincerely hope that it sends a subtle message about there being life after bullying. We’ll just have to see how the public receives it,” Smith said.

A lover of mystery and espionage stories, Smith is a fan of everything James Bond. A favorite scenario is to see a character in an impossible situation get out of it at the last second or have the odds against them and see he or she turn the tables. Acting on the love of espionage and mystery, Smith has a new novel in the works centering on a James Bond-type character of his own creation. 

Author Interview:
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I become obsessed. When I start a project, I write with eager anticipation. I start writing early in the day when my mind is fresh and I go into the late afternoon. If the ideas are really flowing, I may take small breaks to rest my eyes or formulate a scene, and then I get right back to it. Some days I get more done than others, but for the most part I write for hours each day until the ideas stop flowing. I keep that pace until I get a solid first draft is done. Then I go back and refine it.

  1. How long does it take you to write a book?
That varies greatly. It could happen in five months or it could take a year. If I have a clear calendar, I can get a solid first draft done in three or four months. I attribute that to only writing stories that excite me.

  1. What excited you about Mind Over Bullies?
The story, to me, was different. It’s a topic that is a big issue in the world today, but creating a story based on that topic that was more than just a basic bullying story got my mind racing. The challenge of be creative with the storyline got me excited.

  1. Is there a message to Mind Over Bullies?
The message, without being preachy, is that there is life after bullying. One former school administrator that reviewed the book said that the kind of bullying we see today is far beyond what bullying used to be. She is right. Sadly, the intensity of bullying today is causing situations the end in tragic ways. Kids are hurting themselves and others like there is no tomorrow. Mind Over Bullies sends the message that there is a tomorrow.

  1. Any parting words?
Please go out and buy the book when it becomes available. I think you’ll like the story. Then send me a tweet and tell me what you think of it.
$100 Amazon Giftcard!
Contest Ends: Sept 5th, 2015
Tour Hosts not responsible for prizing
Check out this awesome 2nd Giveaway!
Mind Over Bullies $500 Back-to-School giveaway.
Open to U.S. Residents Under the age of 21 
With the school year starting up, Khamicom Publishing is offering a $500 pre-paid Visa card 
 to all U.S. Gossipology blog followers Contest ends: August 31, 2015.
Follow the blog and enter the contest at Gossipology


  1. Hello,

    First off, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review. I am a huge fan of opinions so to hear what you felt about the story and to see that you found it relatable was a pleasure for me.
    I also want to take a moment to thank you for being such a gracious tour host. I wish you must success with your anti-bullying club and look forward to presenting the second installment of the Mind Over Bullies series.
    Please share your review with the readers on Amazon and Goodreads as it will certainly be enlightening for many.
    All the best.

    D.K. Smith

    1. Thanks so much D.K. for not only for your kind words but also for taking the time to visit my blog and read my review! I wanted to do my part in spreading the word about this awesome book so I posted my review to 8 different sites including Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the MOB series, my daughter is now reading this one and loving it :)

  2. I would like to read this because, to be totally honest, I've never dealt with a bully growing up, nor was I one. I can't imagine people being that hurtful to another person.

    1. You are one of the lucky to have not dealt with bullying growing Misty. Bullying today is nothing like it was in previous generations!