Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Love to be BAD

Lovelies!

The lovely Freda Mans is featuring MOONLESS today, including a GIVEAWAY. Yay!

Also, Jessie Anderson and I are talking about our love of character weaknesses. Come chip in!

Do you ever find yourself disconnected with the world around you?

Source
I had a wonderful experience this week. We move around A LOT. As in, the longest my hubby and I have lived anywhere is three and half years, and in our fourteen years of marriage, we've moved thirteen times, soon to be fourteen--two of those moves being cross country.

With pulling up roots so often, it's hard to let people in. I want to, but chances are we're just going to leave (or they will) and we'll lose contact. That kills me. I'm the type who loves instantly and deeply, but in recent years I've started to build some walls.

So the other day I sat in front of a group of fifty kids, children I know and love, ones I teach weekly, and it hit me how much I care about each of them. I realized I had let each and every one of them into my heart. And the best part? It doesn't matter that I will be moving again in six months. While I'm here, I have the privilege of loving and being loved by each and every one of them. How could I NOT appreciate that opportunity?

I think often we allow our past wounds to stop us from truly enjoying life, so my encouragement today? Don't. Open your heart. Let someone in. Sure there may come a time when you'll have to say goodbye or let go, but for today love and be loved.



And now, as you know, it is WRITERLY WEDNESDAY! Are you ready to meet a new author and enter to win an awesome book? 

This is one I've been looking forward to for a long time, so I'm very stoked to share it with you.

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?



And now, let me introduce you to the wonderful author: 

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died, the end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for younger children, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.


King of Bad released from Whiskey Creek Press in July of 2013. It has been on their Top 5 Best Sellers list since its release. Book two in the series, Polar Opposites, releases this June. It’s already on Goodreads and it would make Kai ridiculously happy if you added it to your to-read shelf also.

Kai loves cheese: sharp cheddar and muenster, brie and pepperjack, but if she could only pick one, it would be a good gouda on crackers on a fancy hotel room balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (With the cry of seagulls, the shoosh of the rising tide, a glass of Shiraz, and her hubby.) 


Find more about Kai and her books at www.kaistrand.com

Kai gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Can you figure out the lie? Those who do will go into my magic hat for a chance to win King of Bad. (Paper for US residents, eBook for internationals.) Eek! How cool is that? You have until Tuesday, February 25, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on February 26.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. A long-term guest of the hotel Kai worked for became smitten with her (to be fair, as an employee she was like a captive audience for the man). He owned a high end used car dealership and allowed her to pick out any car she wanted. She chose a Porsche 928, but only kept it for a few months.

2. To celebrate the opening of a manufacturing plant in Dublin, the company she worked for raffled off big prizes. She won a 60 inch screen television with surround sound and a trip to Ireland. She was one number away from also winning the African safari!


3. As the night manager of a fancy hotel in Southern California, she saw a lot of unusual things; Tungan royalty, a drug-induced freak out requiring the police and a straight jacket. One night she found a bottle of expensive moisturizer on the front desk with a card that said, “You are so beautiful and I want to help you stay that way.”
_________________________________________

A quick reminder about the...
REVIEW RACE

Anyone who reviews MOONLESS between now and MARCH 10, 2014, and tells me about it HERE, will be entered to win...
An advanced copy of book 2 in the Maiden of Time Trilogy (set to release July, 2014), AND a signed copy of MOONLESS

Okay, which is the lie? Have you had an experience where you let someone in? And what do you think of my amazing Soulless logo? (My graphic artist needs some validation--so let it rip, eh?)

75 comments:

  1. Okay. You won't believe this. I FINALLY highlighted King of Bad and Kai on my site, today. LOL It was really a great read. Kai is quite talented!

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    1. I COMPLETELY agree. Now I'm going to hop over and check it out!

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    2. Great minds think alike, ladies :) Thanks Crystal for having me on. Can't wait to see if anyone can spot my lie. *gnaws fingernails* And your moving story is very touching. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'd TOTALLY give you cheese if you moved to Oregon!

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  2. Beautiful advice and thoughts here, Crystal. And honestly, I'm in awe - I HATE moving, and I am a terrible grouch about it. I admire anyone who can do it with ease and grace!

    Hmm, I'm going to guess that #2 is the lie...

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    1. LOL. I'm a pro. I can move with grace after so much practice. =)

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  3. I loved KING OF BAD and can't wait for the release of the next book in the series!!! Wow, Kai, those are some good truths and lie to pick from! I must admit I'm totally stumped!! Good luck to all figuring that out.

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    1. Aw! I appreciate the kind words on KoB. It's funny because in 'real' life I can't lie to save my own. So this is really hard for me!!!! Thanks for visiting.

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    2. Wahoo! So glad you enjoyed it, Mary.

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  4. I was a Navy brat, and we moved a lot. A teacher once remarked that in her experience military kids tended to be introverts (I don't want to make friends because I'll just have to say goodbye) or extroverts (Let's cut with the preliminary nonsense and just be friends because I won't be here long). I was always the latter.

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    1. I second the latter. I've always been out going, but the last little bit I've been pulling into a shell. No likee.

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  5. King of Bad sounds awesome. I think... #1 is the lie. Thinking she picked a different car. ;-)

    Love love love the Soulless logo. BTW, I'm still here if you need a CP. ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Misha. And mums the word! Lol.

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    2. Misha, thank you. AND YES. Soon. This draft kicked my trash. I'm only a month behind schedule. Oops.

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  6. Wow, I can't even imagine moving around so much!

    Yikes, I'll go with 3 as the lie?

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  7. Okay, I think #2 is the lie. And, I can't imagine moving around so much. After 35 years of marriage, we are only in our second location. . . and where we are now is less than 10 miles from where we started out.

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    1. Wow. How did you get to be so stable? That's amazing.

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  8. That's a lot of moving. My best friend told me once that she kept people out too, intentionally shifting friends groups every three months. That surprised and honored me at the same time. We've been friends for 12 years now and get together on a weekly basis.

    I'm going to guess the lie is #1.

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    1. Wow. That's pretty extreme, but what a compliment to you! I had several social circles when I was younger and I'd experiment bringing people from different social corners together. It was magic when it worked out.

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  9. Thanks for sharing the short video. It was really encouraging.

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    1. That's one of our favorite movies ever--Meet the Robinsons. Awesome sense of humor and an amazing message.

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  10. I was a military brat and we moved all the time, so I know how you feel.
    Sometimes people are meant to be in our life for just a little while. It's the impact that matters, not the duration.

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    1. So true. You've probably got me trumped for moves, Alex.

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  11. Ooh, interesting. I'm guessing #1 is the lie. We move around quite a bit too - the longest we've lived somewhere has been two years. But I'm lucky that none of them have been cross country! :) I LOVE the Soulless logo. Very cool.

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    1. Yay! Thank you, Tiana. We've done several close moves too, and those are WAY preferable. It's fun getting into a new place, eh?

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  12. I have let in Willy Dunne Wooters, and I mean that in every possible way. It wasn't easy to trust a man, but after a few months, I knew I could trust WDW. During the 30 years I was married, we moved 16 times, I think. (I'm not going back over the moves to count.) We had 12 years in one place and then had to move. That's when I was done moving. We divorced, and I made what I hope is my final move, to my own home.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Twelve years? That's epic! The longest I've ever lived in one place was 11 years, and that was when I was a kid. It's wonderful to have people you can trust with your heart, eh?

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  13. One of the characters I'm writing about has all kinds of difficulty letting people in because of similar reasons. It's hard to take those risks with our hearts but it's always worth it! :)

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    1. So true. Characters should be based on real life, eh?

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  14. That's a lot of moving. I wouldn't do well with all those moves. I like everything the same and have only lived 2 places. I do plan to move to where my daughter moves to if she does when I retire, but no other moves are planned. I'm sure it's hard getting close to people and then having to move away.

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    1. I don't know what's worse, that or having them move away. They're probably equally bad.

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  15. Oh wow, maybe I can get my 8th grader to read that...but head sex might not be so good for him...he's a very young 14. I want to read it though!!!
    LERV the logo. All kinds of kudos to your designer.
    These lie/truth things are so hard since I don't know the person at all, but I guess I'll go with #2 being the lie.
    Oh yes, open your heart. Though I've found it best to do it slowly...been burned a bunch of times. Though I'm the queen of long distance friendship. One day I'll post that story...
    Ok, gotta sign up for cheese!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood , #atozchallenge

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    1. I want to read it too--and will, as soon as I can spare two brain cells. I'm looking forward to hearing your story when you get around to sharing it!

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  16. You really do move a lot! Although it must be hard, what an incredible way to see the world.

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    1. It's true. We wanted to take a vacation to Disney World. Instead, we moved here. That works, right?

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  17. Great guest post! I used to move a lot when I was younger, but now I've been here for over five years. Still hard to let down the walls, but kids make it so easy. :)

    As for the lie, hmm, #1. I want to believe #3 is true!

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    1. Five years? That's great! I'm celebrating living in this area for 5 years, although we'll be in our 3rd house this fall--but that should be a 10 to 20 year house. *fingers crossed*

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  18. Crystal, what you said about loving people and letting them in... even when you might be hurting or afraid of losing them touched me so much... I am going through this right now... I too don't let too many people into my inner world because the pain of losing them is so hard but I am working on it daily... Beautiful post :)

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    1. One day at a time, eh? I'm glad it touched you, Launna.

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  19. That is a lot of moving indeed. I always find moving to be scary yet exciting at the same time.

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    1. It's definitely exhilarating. I think that's our problem--we get settled and then we get "the itch", but this area we're moving to is so perfect I'd have to be a lunatic to move out...which I'll confess, I may be.

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  20. Thank you. I think I really needed to read this, what with my own moving plans. All the places I've lived in since leaving home have felt temporary, even though I've been here for nearly a decade. Really hoping the next stop is more permanent.

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  21. #2 is the lie, I think. Already have King of Bad on my Goodreads TBR. Never let all the moving harden your heart Crystal. You are a lovely gal and I'm sure no one wants that to go away.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Sheena. You're awesomesauce, of the epic variety. =) (Wait, are you made of cheese?)

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  22. Jessie ... hugs!! so for the lie...#2 *crosses fingers*

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    1. Because if you cross your fingers, it's that much more likely to be the lie. ;)

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  23. We move around a lot. I have moved pretty much every year for ten years, so I get your reluctance to make bonds. I stopped completely because of old wounds… apart from family. It's hard to open up our hearts once they're sealed.

    Love the logo! I wish I could review your book within the time limit (what a great incentive!) but I have three to read/review in line for tour companies and I read slowly. I'd review it after that though. Sounds awesome.

    And tell your talented graphic designer - I LOVE the logo. It's haunting and intriguing. :)

    The lie? Um, #2?

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Shah--I know what you mean! I just got through 3 I promised to review, and still have to write the review for the last. I LOVE reviewing books, but it definitely takes time, eh?

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  24. I'd never thought about the old wounds that way except for in my novels. I spent so much time on wounding my characters and helping them get away from the wounds, it never dawned on me that I should be doing the same. Though I don't think mine affect me like they do my characters, so maybe I'm already passed them. Hmmm.

    I'm going with #1 as the lie.

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    1. Maybe. Hm. Well there you go--how wonderful to pause and realize you're doing pretty darn awesome?

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  25. Moving is hard. I've done the cross-country thing a couple of times as well.

    Your logo is great! I hope you have a good Thursday. ☺

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    1. Thanks, Dana! (And what a cute little smiley.)

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  26. I hardly ever move. Moved into my childhood home when I was a few weeks old. Moved out to go to college. Moved into a house when I got married...then one more so we were owners instead of renters, and I am still here. No wonder you are so efficient...all that practice packing!

    I'm going with #1 as a lie. Just because I can't see her selling it so soon.

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    1. I definitely have practice. Next time you are going to move, give me a call, eh? I'll send you my patented moving flow sheet--guaranteed to get you packed and out the door in 2 weeks flat.

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  27. Congrats, Kai. And wow, your post was poignant. Yes, it's easy to build walls and harder to break them down. I've lived in NYC for many years now, but when I was in art school, I thought of it as sort of a game to move around a LOT.

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    1. NYC was where it started for me--mostly because people wouldn't let us in, even the ones we interacted with every day at the park. Took us a year to make friends there. A YEAR. Crazy people... ;)

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  28. Kai's book sounds like such fun! I pick #3 as the lie.

    Crystal - I'm amazed you're coming out with book 2 in less than 6 months. WOW! You are a very busy lady! And i loved you post on letting people into your heart. So sweet and perfect for February - the month of love. <3

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    1. Oh yeah, it is still February... LOL. I must just be programmed. Thanks, Lexa.

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  29. You guys are all so much fun! I can't comment individually because I'm a horrible liar and I know I'll give something away!

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  30. Wonderful advice, Crystal. I needed to hear that today. Thanks!

    Kai, the book sounds like loads of fun!

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  31. Sounds like a cool book.
    Totally guessing the lie is #2.

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    1. I know! Who doesn't want to go to a school for villains?

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  32. I'm going to guess the lie is #1.

    You've moved 13 times in 14 years? Wow. I had about five years of something similar, but not 13 times.

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    1. Granted, some of those were back to back with 2 to 6 months between. To be fair, we lived in one house for 3.5 years and another for 3, so it's not like we've moved every year since getting married.

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  33. I'm guessing the lie is #1.

    I can't imagine moving so many times in such a short period. It was traumatic enough when my family moved right before my junior year of high school, and then I went to a third high school in a third state for my senior year. Growing up, I always felt jealous of my peers for living in houses their parents owned, with the security of knowing they'd stay in the same place.

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    1. Oh man! Moving through high school is brutal. Thankfully my parents never moved me around during school, and we home school so there hasn't been an interruption for our kids education, but I remember all those kids who magically appeared a year before graduation and how hard it was for them.

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  34. Such lovely sentiments in your post today, Crystal! I agree, it's always best to open your heart...

    I'm mind-boggled by how often you've moved, though. Whoa! I can't imagine what it must be like to move around that much... (I'm guessing chaotic. XD)

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    1. We have our own organized madness. I'm hoping our next move will be permanent and I'll get to learn how the rest of the world lives. =)

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  35. 14 moves. I thought I moved a lot. I swore when I moved to Boston from Colorado in 2006 I would never move again. Now I live in London. Never say never.

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  36. I'm late, but I think #2 is the lie.

    Even though I'm a reserved person, I do like to open my heart. I want to feel and experience things and people's impact on my life.

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Hit me with your cheese!