Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"The X Factor" by Ivan Sivec

The X Factor:
Confessions of a Naive Fashion Model
by Ivan Sivec

This book blitz and giveaway for The X Factor is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

It takes three mistakes to be swallowed up and spat out by the fashion industry.
You trust the wrong people.
You think you know everything there is to know about life.
You take drugs.
Maja started off as a regular 17-year-old high-school kid, fighting her inner insecurities while dreaming to become an actress like Marilyn Monroe.
At a party her boyfriend Klemen introduces her to a renowned modelling agent. He sees a special X Factor hidden insight her. And a great business opportunity for himself…
Fast forward a few weeks later. Maja’s charm and talent land her a modelling contract in the trendy and exciting fashion capital of Milan. She’s completely enchanted and determined to make it in the fashion world.
But things don’t turn out the way she had planned.
Exhausting long photo shoots, stressful fashion shows, strict dieting and wild parties start taking their toll on her soon enough. In desperate search for help Maja reaches out to her agent and other false friends from the fashion industry that emotionally and physically exploit her to the point where ‘Maja the Great’ is merely a shadow of her former self.
She starts battling drug addiction that ends up in a tragic event.
Maja has been finally swallowed up and spit out by the fashion industry with its endless traps. What price will the girl with the X Factor have to pay for her naivety?
The young adult novel The X Factor by the bestselling Slovenian author Ivan Sivec is based on a true story and takes the reader on a frightening journey into the world of drug addiction among teenager fashion models.

It started like this:
“I’ll give you a fourteenth of an ounce,” Monica was unusually generous and understanding. “For extremely difficult times. Stop by if you need more. But be careful not to get used to it too much. Heroin, for example, is only meant for critical moments, but can otherwise ruin a person.”
At the time she didn’t know the director was a drug trafficker. A true drug dealer. By selling drugs to models she lured their hard earned money into her own pocket. Business is business, of course.
Everything in the world is about business.
And exactly because of this Maja was now even more convinced that this was the first and the last time she would resort to the white powder.
But destiny had other plans for her.
Maja felt lost after the incident. She thought everyone was talking about her behind her back, that everyone was judging her. At the time she didn’t have a hunch about the fact that she was only an insignificant speck people can crush easily without any bad conscious.
However, it all depended on whether this insignificant speck would allow others to crush her.
But time ran by relentlessly.
9th June 2004
A gala dinner.
All the Crème de la crème of Milan society was invited. The models were keeping the guests company, but also the whole fashion show staff gathered.
The fancy invitation that had a big red rose on the cover page said:
After the very successful, attention-grabbing fashion show, our great fashion designer Riccardo invites his dear guests and co-workers for a gathering. The reception will take place on Wednesday 9th June 2004. “Wow, you’re Riccardo’s co-worker now!” Svetlana sincerely hugged Maja, after she showed her the invitation.
They both knew the only reason why the great designer Riccardo was organising this reception was to easier sell his new designs. Amongst the cream of society in Milan were mostly moneybags that liked to show off with Riccardo’s creations in theatres, luxurious receptions and other events.
Maja felt awkward because Svetlana wasn’t invited to the dinner party.
“I’m not going anywhere without you. I don’t know anyone there.” “What do you mean?” Svetlana tried to comfort her. “You know the great designer himself! And the whole of Milan, actually the whole of Italy knows you, after all you were on the cover of the Italian issue of Bravo.”
“They also know me because I stumbled at the fashion show,” she added bitterly.
“That’s publicity as well.”
Despite Svetlana’s convincing, Maja decided not to attend the gala dinner. Out of solidarity to her friend, but mostly because she was afraid that the reason why she fell was written all over her face, even though everyone accepted her stumble as if it was nothing special; as if things like that happened a thousand times before.
And then the phone rang.
“Hello, this is Monica.”

Praise for the Book
"I loved The X Factor for many reasons, but mainly for Maja's strength to stand up to what she believes to be right. Her sufferings hopefully will inspire a young person to be more careful in life, not to be sucked in by ephemeral promises." ~ Ailyn Koay
"The book portrays a girl named Maja and her transformation from an ordinary high-school student to one of the most desired European models. Her success rises with fast pace, but at what price? The price of her health, future and nearly her life. Even though the reader needs to keep in sight that the plot is fictional, the author shocks us with surprising details of Milan's modelling and drug scene." ~ Bla Zorman

Guest Post by the Author
Why Reading is the Best Travel Agent You Can Have
From an early age books have always been sacred to me. I can go as far as to remember how my father introduced me to the enchanting world of books. Every time he read a book it seemed to me like his passing over letters was unraveling a completely new, unknown and magnificent world. It was a landscape that was lying behind the Seven Seas and was oh-so-different from everything I was used to before.
I was very eager to learn how to read. And I knew why. As soon as I could read I felt like this unexplored faraway world was all mine. And guess what? It was! All of a sudden I was able to discover Alaska with Jack London or travel the moon with Jules Verne. I was fighting South American tribes and discovering how rich my homeland’s history and culture are.
To this day reading to me is the best travel agent I can have. I feel this prickling feeling inside of me whenever I open up a book. It’s wanderlust. A spiritually rich world lays bare in front of me. It is a world I had wanted to get to know for a long time, but, for some reason, had kept myself from going, saying, "I do not have enough time to go on such a long journey." And now I finally set sails!
As soon as I start reading I forget about everything and everyone around me and indulge in a journey through time and space. I cannot put a book down until I have not reached my final destination. And when my journey finally comes to an end the characters and places continue to stay with me for a very long time. They are my friends now. They talk to me and we exchange thoughts for they have now become a part of me.  
Reading to me is passion. Each time it enchants me like the first love. A lot of things in life turn perpetual, but a good book will always uncover facets of my soul I had not known before.
That is why I will never fire my travel agent. I will never give up on this passion and cannot wait to start my next journey!

About the Author
In his rich and thriving career the writer, poet and publicist has written in many genres. His broad "repertoire" includes historical novels and stories, biographies, psychological novels, adventure novels and travelogues, books with sporting themes, youth book series, picture books and books for the youngest readers as well as humorous stories.
He published over 125 books and is one of the most popular Slovenian authors.
As a poet he has written more than 2,500 lyrics for ethnic and entertaining music for which he received many awards.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a ebook copy of The X Factor by Ivan Sivec. The prize will be sent out after 16 December.

Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of 5 copies of The X Factor by Ivan Sivec (ends 9 December).