Monday, July 21, 2014

Transcender by Vicki Savage Blog Tour + Giveaway

Transcender Trilogy

Suddenly plucked from her quiet Connecticut life and dropped into a post-disaster parallel world where most of the earth's population resides in enormous domes, eighteen year old Jaden Beckett lands in the middle of a kidnapping—her own!

Undercover Agent Ralston of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency helps Jaden escape from her captors and promises to return her home as soon as he can arrange it. But he conceals from her the fact that she is really a Transcender, capable of traveling among alternate worlds at will. While waiting for passage home, Jaden assumes her parallel identity as a princess in the nation of Domerica. She discovers her mother is alive in this world—a miracle she never dreamed possible. But perhaps even more compelling is her blossoming, breathtaking romance with Ryder Blackthorn, her once and future soul mate.

When it comes time for Jaden to leave, she flatly refuses. IUGA claims the welfare of the entire galaxy depends upon her timely return. Jaden contends that, in this case, eternal love trumps destiny. Who will prevail?

 Jaden Beckett makes the journey once again from her home in Connecticut to the nation of Domerica on an alternate earth. The Inter-Universal Guidance Agency has granted her thirty days within which to choose her ultimate destiny. She may remain in Domerica, return to Connecticut, or join the other Transcenders in Arumel.

On her arrival, Jaden finds that all is not perfect in paradise. Her mother, Queen Eleanor, is ill and grows frailer with each passing day. Her scheming uncle has moved into the palace and assumed the role of Lord High Steward of the land. But even more troubling are events that took place in Jaden’s absence which have caused her to question the depth of her fiancé’s love.

All the while, Jaden's friendship with a handsome, young Transcender from Arumel deepens. He teaches her how to use her astonishing gift to travel to exotic parallel worlds and introduces her to others in the Transcender community.
When the time draws near for Jaden’s final decision, her choice is anything but simple.

 Jaden Beckett has a secret unknown to those in her adopted homeland of Domerica: she is a Transcender, capable of traveling among parallel worlds at will. When the powerful Inter-Universal Guidance Agency's sophisticated computer models predict that Jaden will eventually cause the downfall of that agency, IUGA decides to destroy her first. In order to save herself, her family, and the man she loves, Jaden must fake her own death and leave Domerica for good. The plan seems sound, but on the day of IUGA's attack, things go terribly wrong.

Heartsick and alone, Jaden ventures to Arumel, a progressive nation on an alternate earth, where Transcenders conduct valuable inter-universal research. Just when she thinks she's found a safe, new life, IUGA makes its presence known. This time, Jaden is determined not to be driven away. She will fight to discover her place in the multiverse, the true meaning of destiny, and the keys to the mystery of eternal love.

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Personality-wise, which character from the Transcender Trilogy are you most like? Take the quiz below to find out!

1. You discover that someone at work or school is planning to sabotage a presentation you’ve worked on all year, what would you do?

(a)    Confront the person and demand they abandon their plan, or else...
(b) Devise a way to secretly modify your presentation so the scheme will fail. 
(c)    Work behind the scenes to outsmart the culprit and have the scheme backfire on him.
(d)   Go to your boss or teacher and tell them what you discovered.
(e)    Let the air out of the person’s tires on the day of your presentation. 

2. Of the following, which is your favorite movie?

(a)    Twenty Feet From Stardom Documentary
(b)   The Matrix Trilogy
(c)    Hunger Games Catching Fire
(d)   Back to the Future
(e)    Brave 

3. In one word, how would other people describe you?

(a)    Striking
(b)   Analytical
(c)    Adventurous
(d)   Hip
(e)    Quirky 

4. Which comes closest to the way you would describe yourself?

(a)    Strong, creative, honorable.
(b)   Intelligent, ethical, protective.
(c)    Self-reliant, resilient, kick-ass.
(d)   Versatile, sexy, loyal.
(e)    Fun, lighthearted, unconventional. 

5. What type of pet do you have or would you most like to have?

(a)    A Horse.
(b)   A borrowed Dog.
(c)    A Skorpling.
(d)   None. A pet would mess up my apartment.
(e)    A Chia Pet.

6. Where would you most like to go on a Saturday night? 

(a)    To an Indie Film Festival.
(b)   To the opera.
(c)    To Venice for dinner.
(d)   To a Rock Concert.
(e)    To Virtual World. 

7. Of the following, what is your favorite food?

(a)    Buffalo burgers.
(b)   Tea and cookies.
(c)    Pommeras.
(d)   Steak.
(e)    Cheese Fries. 

8. What kind of car do you own or would you like to own?

(a)    An emission-free car or, ideally, a horse.
(b)   A Bentley.
(c)    A Kia.
(d)   A Tesla.
(e)    An Air Taxi.  

9. What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

(a)    I don’t think about it much--whatever’s in my closet is fine.
(b)   Italian designer apparel, and preferably with a hat.
(c)    I’m comfortable in anything from yoga pants to black tie attire.
(d)   Jeans and a leather jacket.
(e)    Anything Boho chic

10. Of the following, what would be your ideal job?

(a)    CEO of my own entertainment company.
(b)   Advisor to the President of the United States.
(c)    Head of a community service organization.
(d)   Travel book writer.
(e)    Sharpshooter in the circus.


If the majority of your answers were (a)’s: You are imaginative, powerful, eco-conscious, and generally unconcerned others’ opinions of you—similar to Ryder Blackthorn.

If the majority of your answers were (b)’s: You are intellectual, cultured, a little fussy about your clothing, and steadfast in your convictions—similar to Constantine Ralston.

If the majority of your answers were (c)’s: You are courageous, daring, adaptable, and concerned with social justice—similar to Jaden Beckett.

If the majority of your answers were (d)’s: You are cool, accomplished, up-to-date on current trends, and a faithful friend—similar to Asher Steele.

If the majority of your answers were (e)’s: You are exuberant, fun-loving, a little eccentric, and definitely one-of-a-kind—similar to Eve.

If your answers were a cross-section of (a)’s, (b)’s, (c)’s, (d)’s and (e)’s: You could be a character in my next book!

About the Author:

Vicky Savage grew up gazing upon the beauty of the Wasatch Mountain Range right outside her family’s kitchen window. She thought the Rocky Mountains would always own her heart, until she moved to sunny Florida for law school and instantly fell in love with the ocean. Her passion for new adventures and exotic locales led her on a circuitous path to writing science fiction/fantasy about strange new worlds and parallel universes. Although she has lived in seven different states and London, England, the siren call of the ocean always brings her back to her beloved Florida, where she currently lives with her husband, son, and two dogs.

Connect with Vicky:

Web | Twitter | Facebook  

(this giveaway is provided by tour host, I am not responsible for mailing/giving out any prizes)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Silence!!

Hey guys!! Just wanted to let you know that it will be quiet around here for the most part until the end of August. I do have some reviews to get up (in hopes that I can get them all up on time), some blog tours, guest posts, and hopefully some giveaways to post scattered between now and then but for the most part I won't be on! Why you ask?? Well me and the family just purchased a home!! YAY!!!! But with that comes the stress of EVERYthing under the sun and packing SO for those reasons I won't have much time to blog! But I love you guys and I will pop in on Twitter every now and then, also you can always email me if you need me!!

♥ Crystal

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Scan by Sarah Fine and Walter Jury

Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush his school, killing his father and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.

All Tate knows—like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid—may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret interspecies conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it.

Guest Post

Walter Jury talks about the main character’s intense relationship with his father:   
SCAN, at its core, is the coming of age story for Tate Archer.  Tate’s journey is heavily influenced by the pressures, lessons and knowledge passed down from his father, Fred.  When we were writing the story, the influence of parents on their children and the extent to which discipline affects a child weighed on how Tate's coming of age would play out. 

Fred was extremely hard on Tate—he really drove him hard to pull the best out of him in every aspect of his childhood.  In addition to previously discussing radio host Colin Cowherd’s influence on the story, two short anecdotes influenced us as writers when we were writing this story:

A)  The great football family, the Mannings, have had three members chosen first in the NFL Draft: father Archie Manning and his two sons, Peyton & Eli.  When asked what Archie did to raise such wunderkind children, Archie responded (to paraphrase), "I just wanted them to finish what they started." 

B)  The autobiography of Bo Jackson with Dick Schaap, BO KNOWS BO, has a small section about why Bo Jackson strived to become a professional athlete.  Bo said he grew up with a number of other athletes who were every bit as talented as himself, but he had to make it out of their town because the lack of a father's influence and discipline drove him to find a proxy for that support system he never had.

I called upon these thoughts as well as my own upbringing to create a father-son dynamic that asked the question, "How much discipline is too much?"  When is a father too tough on his child and when does it become counterproductive to put children through such rigorous hurdles that they fail to enjoy their youth? 

While these questions were being posed as metaphors during Tate's journey, it was important to us to remember that Tate felt loved by his father and that the events that occur in the book are explosively revealing.  They bring out the best of Tate and hopefully our readers will see both sides of the coin.

About co-authors Walter Jury and Sarah Fine:

Walter Jury was born in London and has a background in the film industry. He is a big enthusiast of Jamba Juice’s Protein Berry Workout smoothie, only with soy, never whey. Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author of several young adult books, and when she's not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Talk It Out" Thursday: Authors and Social Media

"Talk It Out" Thursday is a feature done here, at Crystal in Bookland, where a discussion topic is given each week and we discuss our opinion on it. 

At the end of this post I will have up what we will be discussing next week, please feel free to join but make sure to link back. 

Since this is my first week starting this feature I asked a few bloggers to also chime in with their opinion on this discussion. Recently I have experienced really being affected by the way an author handles themselves on social media. 

Over the last two weeks I have actually unfollowed two authors because of their "bad behavior". I refuse to name these authors, so don't bother asking, but it got to the point that every time they would tweet I was cringing. One was overly condescending when talking about other authors and pretty much the book community in general, not so much their fans but just other writers. The other author I found to be very rude to their fans. I was quite appalled by this. When I first started noticing it, I thought well we all have our bad days, then I noticed this wasn't a rare thing, it was a continuous one. This author was being really rude just talking about random things when a follower would tweet them, it wasn't like the author was being attacked by anyone or anything either. It just seems to be their general attitude. 

The thing is I have copies of both of these authors books to I'm just looking at them going "I don't even care to read you" because honestly after seeing this stuff I don't want to support these people with their career. Why would I? Maybe I'm supposed to separate writing from author, and that would be fine before the days of Twitter and Facebook, but now it just doesn't work that way for me. 

When authors act this way on social media nothing about it makes me want to go and spend my money to support them. I pretty much will just write them off and never look back no matter how great their book sounds or all the praise it is getting. 

Now on the other side of things, when I interact with an author that is so overly amazing I want to read all the things! I've had several authors that I start chatting with, and to be honest their book probably never would have been on my radar, but because of their awesome personalities and just who they are, I add their book to my TBR to give it a try. I find myself wanting to support them even though I haven't read a word they have written yet. This is not to say in anyway that I will praise their book if I don't like it, because I want, but that's a whole other discussion for another day (seriously that one is coming soon). But it does mean if I didn't like one of their books I will probably be more willing to give another one of theirs a try. 

But to give you a little example of what I mean, lets talk about Megan Erickson. She just put out a debut NA novel, MAKE IT COUNT. Most of you know, I'm not the biggest fan of New Adult. I will pick up something an author I already love wrote because I love their other books or I may pick up one that has a ton of hype, but I'm not ever out scouting for a new NA on a regular basis by any means. Now Megan wrote a NA and when we first started talking it was just about random things, and ended up she is so frickin awesome (seriously if you don't follow her you should, because her tweets just rock) I decided to read her book, which I'm super glad I did because it's fantastic! 

Other things I really love about authors on social media is the ease of being able to reach out to them and chat about anything and everything, stalking them, erm....I mean following their updates on all bookish things, and even getting book recommendations, because awesome writers know awesome writers, right? 

I asked a few blogger friends their thoughts on the subject and this it what they had to say:

"Social media personalities always affect how I will react to anyone -- author or not -- but it's especially more noticeable from authors since they're such a strong presence in the book/reading community. I've seen it from both sides -- an author willing to interact with readers or fans on social media actually makes me more inclined to read their book. Negative interactions or rude replies will quickly turn me off, even if the interaction is not with me. Your social media presence really says a lot about you, whether you intend it to come off that way or not. Once you say things, they're out there and they will continue to represent you, well, pretty much forever.

I think authors on social media can really amp up the promotion just by being nice and friendly and not even actively promoting their books -- In fact, if it's an author I'm not yet familiar with and we just start chatting, I may explore their books and get to know them more, and pick up that book on my own. But if they push that book on me instead of creating general discussion, that will turn me off. It's a very tricky business!" -Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

"I definitely do not follow the drama queens. No one has time to deal with that. It is unfortunate when authors feel they need to stir up drama to keep themselves in the spotlight. I do love to follow authors who interact with their fans and respond to messages. There is nothing cooler than having an author RT or favorite your tweet about them, or even respond with a thank you. I have met a few authors randomly over twitter and because of their fun personality I've started adding their books to my TBR. So while there are definitely pros and cons to this, I feel like if you can avoid the drama people by not following them and not feeding the trolls, you can really get a lot out of author social media presence." -Julie @ Chapter Break

"It definitely affects me too. I’ve had a few authors whose books I was interested in, who I followed on twitter. And then saw some Instances of really bad behavior and just NOPE. Not supporting that." -Nikki @ There Were Books Involved

My point here is that when authors have this negative way about them I absolutely can not and will not support them. If an author has a good social media presence I will definitely be more willing to pick up their book and support them however I can. Sometimes I wonder if some authors realize this and how much it affects us as readers with the way they interact with people. 

What about you guys? Is this something that you even notice? Or do you even care? 

Next Week's Topic: Reading/Reviewing for an Author You Interact With
 That awkward moment you are going to read/review a book for an author that's a friend/someone you communicate with often! What are your thoughts on it and how do you handle this? I will post next Thursday on this topic, if you decide to join  make sure to come and link your post with mine. :) 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blog Tour: Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes + Giveaway

Author: Shaunta Grimes
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Pages: 320

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.

Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

About the Author:

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.

Connect with Shaunta:

Giveaway details:
*This giveaway is hosted by blog tour hosts/author*

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