Mundie Moms

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

CRYSTAL KINGDOM by Amanda Hocking / Blog Tour: Author Interview & Read An Excerpt



Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for Amanda Hocking's CRYSTAL KINGDOM, which is out TODAY! I'm thrilled to share my recent interview with Amanda. But first, here's a little bit about her new release. 

ABOUT THE BOOK



By: Amanda Hocking
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released on: August 4th, 2015 - TODAY
Series: Kanin Chronicles #3
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | IndieBound
Add it to Goodreads 

Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she's the Kanin people's only hope.

Bryn Aven - unjustly charged with murder and treason - is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…



AUTHOR INTERVIEW





Hi Amanda! Congratulations on your new release today. If you had to describe the Crystal Kingdom in 5 words or less, how would you describe it?

An explosive and deadly finale.


I have loved the covers for this series. Have you had any say in your covers? 

I always have some input, but I didn’t have a real idea of what I wanted for these covers. Sometimes I have an exact vision, but for these, I really wasn’t sure. So it was basically the team at St. Martin’s that put it together, and I think it captured the feel of the books perfectly.


Through out the entire series, you've introduced us to some great characters. Which of the characters did you enjoy getting to know the most? Who was the most challenging for you to write?

Tilda was initially the most challenging to write, because I needed her to be fleshed out and stand out against Ember and Bryn. But once I got a good feel of her, she became one of my favorites. 

Konstantin and Ridley were both great, for different reasons. They really are such different guys, though, so that made it even more fun.

Writing about Finn from a different perspective was also a lot of fun. Bryn respects Finn, but she definitely does not view him the same way that Wendy does in the Trylle series. It’s also interesting looking at characters in different ways.


You have a lot of great elements you've included in not only Crystal Kingdom, but throughout the entire series. I have loved the series's world building, the history/mythology, the romance, danger, and everything in between. What has been your favorite element to create/write about?

The history and mythology was what originally drew me to writing this series. I knew so much of it from writing the Trylle series, but since protagonist was an outsider who doesn’t truly know the world yet, there was a lot of stuff I had to leave out, because I just felt like it didn’t fit that story.

So it was most exciting for me to go back and to expand on the groundwork I’d laid with the previous series. 

I do also really love writing romance, too ;)


I like that each of your series ties together, yet also stands alone. Has it been a challenge tying your series all together? Was that always your goal, or something that just happened. 

I have a theory that almost all my worlds exist in the same universe – meaning that if the characters from the Kanin Chronicles were to head out to Maryland, they could run into the characters from Watersong. So it’s somewhat intentional. 

With the Trylle series and the Kanin series, I tried very hard to walk a line where new readers could pick up the books and understand without having read the other series, but old readers would be able to see places and characters they’d already fallen in love with. It was tricky, but I’m hoping I pulled it off.


Now that the series has wrapped up *sniff, sniff*, can you tell us what you're working on next? 

My next book will be Freeks – a standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow. I pitched it as Pretty in Pink meets The Lost Boys (minus the vampires) meets Carnivale. It should be out sometime in 2016 with my publisher.


If you could write in any one of your favorite literary characters into Crystal Kingdom, who would it be and why?

Since I took inspiration from the works of Alexandre Dumas, it would be cool to see someone like D'Artagnan visit. I think he’d get carried away in the swashbuckling.


READ AN EXCERPT


tracking

"Where are we going?” I asked. It might have been a better question to ask before I’d gotten in the black Mustang with Konstantin, but I hadn’t wanted him to leave without me. And did it really matter where we were going? I had no place to be. No place to call home.
“I don’t know.” He glanced in the rearview mirror, watching the diner disappear behind us as he sped down the high- way. “Do you have somewhere in mind?”
I shook my head. “No.” Then I looked over at him. “But we should find someplace where we can really talk.”
“How about a motel?” he suggested, and when I scowled at him, he laughed. “If I was going to murder you, I would’ve done it already, and if I was just looking to get laid, believe me when I say there are easier ways to do it than this.”
“Why don’t you come out with it right now? I think a talk is long overdue.”
He smirked. “You sound so menacing.”
I looked out the window, watching the lush greenery as we sped by it. Even with me moving all over as a tracker, it was always jarring to go from the harsh cold of Doldastam to the bright warmth of anywhere else. Home was so far away, and this felt like a whole other world.
“How did you find me?” I asked, still watching the full ash trees that lined the side of the road.
“It was actually quite simple,” he said, and I looked back at him. He reached into the pocket of his leather jacket and pulled out a blond lock of hair held together with a thread.


Hesitantly, I took it from him. It was a pale golden color, with a subtle wave to it—exactly how my hair looked before I destroyed it with the bad dye job. This was my hair.
And all the pieces suddenly fell together. How Konstan- tin had been able to find me no matter where I was, like the hotel room in Calgary, or outside of Storvatten when I’d captured him. Even when he’d visited me in the lysa before.
Konstantin had been a Kanin tracker, from a long line of trackers, and thanks to his strong bloodline, he’d had a power- ful affinity for it. Like many trackers, he had the ability to imprint onto a changeling if he had something from them— a lock of hair usually worked best.
It turned the changeling into a kind of homing beacon. Konstantin couldn’t read minds, but he could sense extreme emotions in the trackee that meant they were in trouble. The
recent events in Doldastam, along with my general fear and anxiety the last few days, would’ve turned me into a megawatt searchlight.
And Konstantin had been tracking me.
“Where did you get this?” I asked, twisting the hair between my fingers.
Like all trolls, changelings are born with a very thick head of hair, and a lock of hair is taken from them before they’re placed with a host family. That way a tracker could find them later.
But I’d never been a changeling, and this hair felt much coarser than my hair had as a child. This had been taken recently.
“Why do you even have it?” I turned to look at him. “Why were you tracking me?”
He opened his mouth, then closed it and exhaled deeply through his nose. “That is a question that’s best answered when we get to the motel.”
“What? Why?” I sat up in the seat, putting my knee underneath me so I could face him better and defend myself if I needed to. “What’s happening at this motel you keep bringing up?”
“Calm down.” He held a hand out toward me, palm out. “You’re already getting worked up, and I think when I start telling you things, you’ll get even more worked up, and I’ve had enough fights in a car to know that it’s better if we wait until we’re someplace that isn’t flying seventy miles per hour down the road to have a heated conversation.”
His explanation sounded reasonable enough, so I relaxed a bit and settled back in the seat.
“For being on the run, this seems like a rather conspicuous and expensive choice of car,” I commented, since that seemed like a safe topic.
“Conspicuous, maybe. Expensive, no,” he said. “I kind of stole it.”
“You really know how to keep a low profile,” I muttered. “Hey, I kept a low profile for four years. I know a thing or two,” he insisted. “And I used persuasion, so it’s not exactly like that owner is gonna report it to the police.”
Persuasion was a psychokinetic ability trolls had where they could make people do what they wanted using a form of mind control. From what I knew about Konstantin, his ability wasn’t strong enough to work on other trolls, but humans were much more susceptible to that kind of thing. So Konstantin probably hadn’t had to try that hard to convince the human to part with his muscle car.
“So who exactly are you on the run from?” I asked. “Other than the Kanin, of course.”
He hesitated, and his grip tightened on the steering wheel. “Viktor Dålig and his men.”
“But I thought you were like Viktor’s right-hand man or something. How’d you end up on the outs?”
“I told you back in Storvatten, when I was in the dungeon. I didn’t want to get any more blood on my hands. That’s why I warned Linnea. I wanted to make things right.” He shifted in the seat. “And as you can imagine, that didn’t exactly sit well with Viktor. I’d been on his shit list ever since I convinced him not to kill you.”
“Thank you for that, by the way,” I told him softly.
“You weren’t supposed to get hurt.” He glanced over at me, his eyes pained for a moment. “You weren’t supposed to be down there.”
While Linnea had still been missing in Storvatten, I had snuck down to the dungeon where Konstantin was being held to find out what he knew. I was desperate to find Linnea. But instead I’d interrupted Viktor helping Konstantin make his escape.
To prevent me from stopping them or telling anyone, Viktor had bashed my head against a wall repeatedly. Viktor had wanted me dead, but I’d suspected that Konstantin had intervened to save my life.
Still, I had a gash under my hairline to show for it. It had required six stiches, though it was nearly healed. The worst part of the injury was the vision in my right eye would get wonky sometimes, especially if I hit my head or somebody punched me.
“So why did Viktor finally kick you out?” I asked, changing the subject.
He shook his head. “Viktor didn’t. Besides, he doesn’t kick anyone out. Once you’ve served your purpose, you’re dead.” He shot me a sidelong glance. “You remember what happened to Bent Stum.”
“You left, then?” I asked.
“Yeah. I’d finally had enough of it.” He breathed deeply.
“Viktor doesn’t care about anything but revenge. A lot of innocents are gonna die. And I couldn’t be a part of it anymore, and I didn’t know how to stop it.”
I swallowed hard and sank lower in the seat. Konstantin hadn’t really said anything that I didn’t already know, but hearing it aloud didn’t make it any easier to take.
Even if I were back in Doldastam, I wasn’t sure how much I could do to help, but at least I would be able to fight along- side my friends—Ridley, Tilda, Ember—to protect the town filled with people I cared about.
Now I was trapped so far away from them. They were up against the worst thing ever to hit Doldastam, and I was powerless to help them.



About the Author 
AMANDA HOCKING is The New York Times bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and a lifelong Minnesotan. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she became the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age. Visit her at http://www.worldofamandahocking.com

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