An Informative but Entertaining Read for Teens – by Deidre Mitchell

Written by Deirdre Mitchell, Villanova, PA

Meet Deirdre Mitchell

Deirdre is a junior in high school and attends the Academy of Notre Dame in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Deirdre enjoys dancing, traveling, and being with friends and family. One of Deirdre’s favorite places to travel was London. At school, Deirdre is a part of the dance company, environmental club, and campus ministry. Deirdre also runs her own non-profit organization, called Community Dress Shop, where she collects prom dresses and gives them to girls who would normally not be able to afford one.

Gripped Part 4: Smoke and Mirrors by Stacy Padula is the fourth installment of the five novel series about teenagers and the drug abuse that happens during high school. Gripped Part 4 continues the story of the relationship between Cathy Kagelli and Jason Davids. Jason has been going down a dark path and he becomes reliant on using different drugs. After one party when his friend Jeff mistakes Vicodin for Tylenol, rumors of Jason being a drug dealer spiral around the school. Cathy starts getting annoyed because her reputation begins to be destroyed because she is in a relationship with him. Another storyline that happens in the present day is that Taylor decides he will pick up Jordan from the airport. On his way he stops by his drug supplier to see if he can sell the rest of the drugs to finally become clean. However, after stopping by the pizza place, which is his usual meeting place with his supplier, he fails to show up to the airport. 

Gripped Part 4: Smoke and Mirrors teaches teenagers the consequences drugs can have on people and relationships. The main characters face problems such as damaged reputations and finding themselves in dangerous circumstances. Gripped Part 4: Smoke and Mirrors is a 5/5 read that will inform readers, while keeping them entertained. 


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

After spending her first month of high school grounded, Cathy Kagelli is finally allowed to socialize and uncover what her boyfriend, Jason Davids, has been up to without her. When Cathy realizes Jason has been experimenting with a variety of drugs, she devises a plan to save him from himself… but she just may lose herself in the process.

Meanwhile Taylor Dunkin finds himself playing a game with even higher stakes because his life, his reputation, and the safety of everyone he loves are all on the line. Taylor’s two younger brothers, Jordan and Marc, have been at odds for years, but they are brought together to decipher the mysterious clues Taylor is leaving regarding his whereabouts. As secrets are revealed, the Dunkin boys’ relationships will be changed forever.

In Taylor’s weakest moment, he made a deal with the devil, and now there is a reckoning. But who will pay the price?

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.