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. 


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…


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.



"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.

10 Fairytales & Fairytale Retellings / Top Ten Tuesday #35

Hello & welcome to this week's Top Ten Tuesday. This week's topic is Fairytales & Fairytale Retellings. My last Top Ten Tuesday post was, 10 Books That Celebrate Diversity / Diverse Characters. 

I LOVE fairytales and fairytale retellings. I have found there a lot of great YA fairytale retellings. Though this list only contains 10 of those, I highly recommend checking out Epic Reads's list of 162 YA fairytale retellings (which I've included at the bottom of my post). Currently, these are my top ten favorite YA fairytale retellings:

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; I love Sarah's writing, and this is a fabulous telling of Beauty and the Beast, with a touch of a few other fairytales. *review coming soon to MMs*
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh; I loved this retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. 
  3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer; If you love fairytale retellings, this is the series you'll want to read! My favorite from the series is Scarlet.
  4. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen; I LOVE the story of Robin Hood, and this retelling is one of my all time favorite fairy tale retellings.
  5. Cruel Beauty of Rosamund Hodge; This is another fabulous Beauty & The Best retelling that I loved!
  6. The Artisans by Julie Reece; An electrifying retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I loved this read!
  7. Entwined by Heather Dixon; I loved Heather Dixon's retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.
  8. Goddess by Josephine Angelini; If you love Greek mythology, pick up this series!
  9. Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson; Two words, Norse Mythology! 
  10. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay; Fans of twisted fairytales will enjoy this spin on the story of Sleeping Beauty. 
Other Great Fairytale Retellings: 
  1. Everneath by Brodi Ashton; Greek Mythology
  2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce; A great Little Red Riding Hood retelling for YA readers.
  3. Splintered by A.G. Howard; A fabulously twisted retelling of Alice and Wonderland. 
These are just a few of the fairytale retellings I've read and really enjoyed. I've got a shelf full of retellings to still read, which I wish I could say I've read in time for this post. I know there are a lot of great fairytale retellings in the YA world. What are some of your favorite retellings?

If you're looking for some other great fairytale retellings, check out this list here from Epic Reads. *Click image to enlarge.

OUT TODAY! August 4th, 2015 Edition

Hello readers! Are you looking for something new to read? Check out today's new YA releases!

Week of August 4th

    Which books are you looking forward to reading?