Summer of Series: Tiffany Schmidt Interview & Giveaway

I am super stoked to have Tiffany Schmidt on the blog to kick off my portion of the author spotlights on #SummerofSeries. Tiffany is the biggest sweetheart, and I hope you guys love her even half as much as I do!

Hold Me Like a Breath
first in the Once Upon A Crime Family series
Published May 19th 2015 by Bloomsbury
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Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold-including body parts. She's the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope's surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she's caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come from casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking...and maybe she's not as fragile as everyone thinks.
Describe Once Upon A Crime Family in a tweet. 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you!

What has been your favorite part of writing Once Upon A Crime Family? 
Writing this series has really pushed me with world building and creating external stakes. Yes, there are still flirting and friendships and kissing scenes, but these books also have body counts and bullets – it’s a different type of pacing, a different type of tension.

I’ve also really enjoyed playing with and twisting various fairy tale tropes: love at first sight that isn’t really first sight. Princesses who fight instead of waiting to be rescued.

Did you always plan for Once Upon A Crime Family to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind? 
I didn’t always plan for it to be a series. As I was trying to finish up the first draft of Hold Me Like a Breath, the ending kept creeping farther and farther away. It seemed like with every chapter I wrote, THE END moved back another three. I realized I had so much more I wanted for these characters and there were other stories and viewpoints I wanted to share. My choices were either to write a 300k word book to fit it all in... or subdivide the story into its logical parts – with each narrator getting their own book. This wasn’t that hard a decision.

Prior to Hold Me Like A Breath, you only published stand-alone novels. What has it been like transitioning to your first series?
Each of the novels in the Once Upon a Crime Family series reads like a standalone novel. So, from that perspective, the transition hasn’t been rough. What HAS been hard is having characters that were narrators become secondary. After spending all of Hold Me Like a Breath inside Penny Landlow’s head, it was strange to be describing her from an outsider’s point of view in Break Me Like a Promise. And Penny sees Magnolia Grace (the narrator of book 2) as larger than life—so getting inside Maggie’s head and finding her vulnerabilities was both thrilling and challenging.

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
The one most likely to get my on the FBI watch list was probably some combination of “Where can you buy {insert organ of choice here}?” or “What organs can be harvested while the person is still alive?” or “How much does a human kidney cost?” Something along those lines.

And, yes, I do fully expect to see an FBI agent knocking on my door one of these days. (I formally request that agent be Seeley Booth, s’il vous plait!)

What is one series you would recommend to readers? 
You’re not doing this to me, Lili! One? How about one dozen? No? Well, okay, we can compromise on six.

The Curseworkers series by Holly Black
The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood
Heist Society (and Gallagher Girls) by Ally Carter
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty
The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
Um, confession. I only recently realized that Captain AMERICA and Captain PLANET are not the same person. In my defense, there was a *cough* She-ra incident *cough* when I was little. I may, or may not have jumped in front of a car and yelled “She-ra, Princess of Power” and thought I could stop it. Ergo, all forms of superheroes might have been banned in my childhood. Instead I watched lots of Sound of Music and Annie and Newsies.

So... um, Iron Man? Or Batman? Can he be an option? Because Christian Bale played Batman and I’ve been in love with him since he sung and danced his way into my heart in Newsies.

Meet the author!

A former teacher living and creating mischief in Doylestown, PA. Married to St. Matt, mother of impish twin boys, and chaser of mischievous puggles.

have two contemporary YA novels out now: Send Me a Sign and Bright Before Sunrise. Up next for me is the Once Upon A Crime Family series, which begins with Hold Me Like a Breath.



Tiffany is awesome enough to be giving away organ gummies and a Hold Me Like a Breath necklace, and I'll be throwing in my personal HMLAB ARC to one lucky winner!

All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! She has an interview and a great giveaway for author Kathleen Baldwin. 


  1. I love companion series, so I was really happy when I learned that each of these books would have a continuous story but different narrator. Almost like the Lunar Chronicles.
    Christian Bale is a mighty fight choice..... :)

  2. I love hearing about author's research, so that was really fun! Thanks for the giveaway!