Wednesday, June 17, 2015

777 Reasons, the Triple Edition

Father's Day. Need I say more?

I suppose I should. We have a tradition in our house. The kids always answer a questionnaire about their dad. Throughout the years, we've had some pretty interesting responses, but it's also been great to see how "each child matures as their answers change. I think that's the real treasure, having it all in writing.

And speaking of writing...

Months ago (I think it was November) the fabulous Kristin Smith tagged me in the 777 Challenge. (Thank you Kristin!) Wasn't that kind of her? Little did she know I would put off playing until almost a year later. What can I say? It's been a busy year.

SO, on to the challenge: Choose a manuscript or WIP, find the 7th page, scroll down to the 7th line, and share the next 7 lines or so.

This is a quick bite from my WIP tentatively titled Faux Paw.


I wanted to slug him right in his pretty-boy mouth, but good girls don’t start fights. And it would probably hurt. Yup. That had to be my motivation. I didn’t need split knuckles over this jerk. I’d rise higher. “You freaked out my mom.”

I should have expected him to call the landline when I wouldn’t answer my cell, but he knew how fragile and wide-eyed Mom could be.

He laughed. “Come on. She has to know you talk with boys.”

“Yeah, like Greg.” With his chubby cheeks, Boy Scout attitude, and drive to fix the world with green technology, Greg wasn’t the kind of guy parents worried about. Unlike Mark.


And now, I get to choose who I want to tag for this fun challenge... Normally I would pick 4 stellar bloggers and say, "Tag!" But only picking 4? How's a body to choose? If your birthday is in the month of June, YOU'RE IT! Go 777, eh? (And leave me a comment to let me know you're playing along so I can wish you a happy birthday and read your fabulous blip.)

Hope you have a wonderful Father's Day!

Now how about 3 chances to win a book?

Two weeks ago Vanessa K. Eccles shared her brand new release, FABLED, along with two truths and one lie. Those who guessed the lie were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win her eBook!  

The game: 

1. As a child, the Grimm fairy tales where Vanessa's favorite bedtime reads.
2. When she was seven, she played a magician's assistant for her best friend's brother. When he couldn't remember how to get the handcuffs off, she pulled her arms over her head. It was the first time she realized she could dislocate her shoulders on command. Still can, in fact. 

3.) She was an avid X-Files fan as a kid, which resulted in an immense terror of being abducted by aliens.

And the lie is:

#1. Vanessa did not read the original tales until she was an adult. They were a Christmas gift from her dad several years ago. Her husband and she began reading one story a night. They've enthralled her ever since.

And a fund addition to fact #3--Luckily, Vanessa's cousin told her that was impossible to be abducted by aliens if you cover your ears with the covers every night. She may have slept that way until about seventeen. 

Way to guess everyone who got it right! And the winner is:


Congrats, Meradeth! 

And now for this week's game... This is a book I was blindly approached about reviewing. It's definitely not in my preferred genres, but the sample I read won me instantly. I enjoyed the book so much I invited the authors for today. (See my review HERE.) 

On the verge of extinction, the Stephen’s Point colony must take desperate measures to save themselves. Without communication or resupply from Earth for the last fifteen years, the colony has but one chance to survive: restore the ancient starship Chimera and train a young crew to pilot her. The fate of the entire colony rests on the shoulders of a pair of misfits: Theo Puck, a sixteen-year-old hacker with a gift for speaking to machines, and fifteen-year-old Selena Samuelson, a brash but talented pilot with a dark secret in her past. 

To Theo, the Mandate to crew the Chimera seems like a game—one he isn’t invited to play. A brutal murder changes everything. Left with no choice, Theo has to complete the Selection training and make it aboard the Chimera or face terrible consequences. 

Selena wants to do what she does best—fly. Piloting her father’s ore trawler is the only life she’s known before a horrifying accident strands her aboard the Hydra, the station responsible for rebuilding the Chimera. Forced into the Mandate testing against her will, Selena encounters an unexpected ally, forever changing the way she sees the Chimera and herself. 

Forced to make brutal choices in order to survive, Theo and Selena’s fates intertwine. But behind the scenes, someone else sets into motion events that could destroy everything they’re fighting to protect.

Get your copy HERE.

Ready to meet the authors? 

Who is N.J. Tanger? Three people. Nathan M. Beauchamp, Joshua Russell, and Rachael Tanger.

Nathan M. Beauchamp: Nathan started writing stories at nine-years-old and never stopped. From his first grisly tales about carnivorous catfish, mole detectives, and cyborg housecats, his interests have always centered on speculative fiction. Nathan works in finance so that he can support his habit of putting words together in the hope that someone will read them. His hobbies include reading, photography, arguing for sport, and pondering the eventual heat death of the universe. He has published many short stories and holds an MFA in creative writing from Western State Colorado University. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two young boys.

Joshua Russell: Joshua started making movies when he was eight years old, an addiction he's never kicked. His lust for adventure and foolhardy risk have led him on and off of movie sets, through uncharted mountain ranges, to foreign worlds where people speak in strange tongues, and to the seminal co-creation of two human beings. For positive cash flow, Joshua teaches screenwriting at DePaul University. For negative cash flow, he makes independent films, including the upcoming Absolution. The Universe Eventual book series is Joshua's first foray into fiction writing, and he's profoundly happy to be surrounded by writers who are smarter and even better looking than he is.

Rachael Tanger: Rachael has been writing stories since she first learned to hold a pencil. She grew up on a farm in the Midwest but has since lived in large cities, some internationally. She values experiences and is addicted to travel. She has worked in marketing in various capacities, most recently as a freelance consultant for small business. Rachael currently lives in Chicago with her husband and son. This is her first novel. 
These three each gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lies will go into my magic hat for the chance to win one of 3 copies of CHIMERA. (Print book for US residents, eBook for international participants.) And you WANT to win this book. Trust me.

You have until Tuesday, June 30 at 1 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on July 1.


Nathan's Game:

1. I use my middle initial “M” to differentiate myself from the renowned chess champion I share a name with.
2. If I’d been born a girl, my name would have been Heidi Melissa. My mom penciled it on the back of my birth certificate. 20 years later, I married a woman named Heidi Melissa.
3. I’ve worked as a pizza delivery guy, an account executive for a major financial firm, an office furniture installer, and a vet’s assistant (though not all at the same time).

Joshua's Game:
1. Stephen's Point, the home moon of our colony, was originally named as a joke, referring to Stephen's Point, Wisconsin.
2. Writing as a three-person team has ruined me; the process and results have been so positive, I can't ever imagine going back to writing solo.
3. Our writing team formed out of necessity: we were the sole survivors of a shipwreck on a small island outside of the Bermuda Triangle, inhabited by intelligent monkeys who demanded that we write sound, yet thrilling science fiction tales as payment for our per diem of bananas. Fortunately for us  the one thing we were able to successfully recover from the sunken vessel was a typewriter.

Rachael's Game:

1. I recently discovered that there exists a job titled bibliotherapist, that allows you to assist others through a reading “prescription”: suggesting the reading of specific books as a cure for certain ailments exactly the way that a medical doctor would prescribe pills. If it needs to be said, it’s ailments of the spirit. Not cancer or heart disease. I’m romantic, not crazy. I think that someday, after I have gathered more knowledge of humankind, I will pursue this bibliotherapy as a later-life calling. It will simultaneously allow me to help others as well as share the wonder and truly therapeutic nature of books.
2. When no one is looking, I only read romance westerns with a supernatural twist. This has become immensely easier since the rise of the iPad. It’s very difficult for anyone to cast shade when they can’t see the cover of your reading material.
3. I have always dreamed of owning a pet squirrel. I know it’s immensely impractical. And that squirrels should be left alone to live out their wild lives in trees. But still.
So sleuths, which are the lies? How do you celebrate Father's Day? Will you take up the 777 Challenge?

Oh, and how about a quick, free read? A family secret, a haunted camp, and one woman brave enough to discover the truth... 


  1. I absolutely adore that family tradition! You must write them all down. Years from now, you'll have a book almost written for you. ;) (That image is precious, btw.)

    OMGosh...KS tagged me in this too. I totally spazzed out on it. #mybad Hmm... I'll have to do it soon. As far as yours, I really like that first sentence. I think I thought the same thing years ago. OR maybe that was yesterday....

  2. Wonderful family tradition! I love it!

    For the challenge:
    Nathan #2
    Joshua #3
    Rachael #3 (just because I would like to think there is such a thing as a Bibliotherapist)

  3. We've done questionnaires like that before too. :) Very fun!

  4. That's a cute family tradition! I've been trying to think up stuff to do for my husband for Father's Day. My kids are still pretty young. I think the best gift would be if I could convince our son to stop screaming (we're doing speech therapy to address that).

    I liked your snippet! It was a great little peek. :)

  5. I love your Father's Day tradition! I wish I'd started one when my kids were young (they're 14 and 17). I also love the 777 idea. My birthday isn't in June, but I may join in the fun anyway.

  6. I loved your excerpt! And what a cool tradition!

  7. That is such a fun Father's Day tradition! And yay for winning!! Thank you!!

    Chimera sounds awesome--I have no idea on the truths and lies, but it's amazing that the three of them could work together like that :)

  8. Love your Father's Day tradition. And in a year or two, your sweet baby will be able to do it too.

  9. That's a really fun way to celebrate Father's Day! And that's a fun blog hop, too! Loved the personality in your excerpt! ^_^

    Hmm, difficult. Nathan #2 because it's so long. Joshua #3 for the same reason, but really...Lol! And Racheal #2 because who doesn't want a pet squirrel!! And I've also heard of a bibliotherapist and it sounds like a great job!

  10. Interesting challenge! Father's Day is a non-event for me, since my dad lives so far away. I do send him a gift and call him, though.

  11. A father's day questionnaire? I'd be afraid what might come up. My eldest boy already repeats plenty of things that keep getting me in trouble;)

  12. That's a sweet picture. I'd love to know what questions you ask your kids. That would be fun to do with my nephews and then present it to my brother-in-law and sister on Father's/Mother's Day.

    I loved your excerpt. She's a feisty good girl. The best kind! ;)

  13. That's a sweet picture. I'd love to know what questions you ask your kids. That would be fun to do with my nephews and then present it to my brother-in-law and sister on Father's/Mother's Day.

    I loved your excerpt. She's a feisty good girl. The best kind! ;)

  14. What a sweet picture! Thanks for the excerpt - it was fun to read. Thanks also for the info and intros and other good stuff. Have a great rest of the week!

  15. I enjoyed your 777, Crystal. Sounds like the start of a romance. Congrats to NJ on the new release. I really like the title, and two teens saving the planet sounds like it'll appeal to YA readers. Have a great day! :)

  16. You're a step ahead of me, Crystal: I don't even get to the responses. Nominate me, I'm like a black hole. Crummy, hunh?

  17. Glad to see you having a few moments to yourself to blog. That's a great idea for Father's Day.
    Susan Says

  18. What a cool tradition to have your kiddos fill out those Father's Day questionnaires every year. When y'all are old and gray, you will treasure those questionnaires.

    Geez, I always mess up on picking the lie, but at least I have three shots at screwing it up this time. Let's see, for Nathan, I'll guess #1 is the fib, and I reeeeally hope #2 is true, because that would be so totally cool. I'm gonna go with #3 for Joshua. That couldn't possibly be true, right???) And for Rachael, I'm going to pick #2. (As for her #1, I've been self-medicating with books for more than sixty years now...)

  19. Too funny. Your WIPS title is the name of one of my cats: Faux Paw:) Her pic is @ under the cats tab, top center tuxedo.
    I love the questionnaire for Father's Day idea.
    Have a good one, Crystal.

  20. Great excerpt! You really get a feel for your MC's personality. :)

  21. Great traditon and an intriguing excerpt. Cool the author is three people. Love the cover and the concept of the story. Congrats to them.

  22. Love your excerpt and the tentative title. Good girls don't start fights, but who said anything about always having to be a good girl? ;)

  23. Crystal, I really like the idea you have for Father's day, that is sweet... I bet it does change and the children mature... I am going to suggest that to my oldest daughter, I think it is such a sweet thing to do xox

  24. Ack, Crystal, how long have you been back??? I'm so sorry I didn't realize it! Well, welcome back! I'll have to go read some old posts and catch up :) I love your Father's Day tradition. Would you be willing to share some of the questions you always ask?

  25. Father's Day... I'm trying to pin my dad down about that right now...

    Lies... Hmmm...
    Nathan: #2
    Joshua: #3
    Rachael: #1

  26. Just wanted to stop in to say THANK YOU to Crystal for hosting Rachael, Josh and me. We're pleased to be here and can't wait to send copies of Chimera to the winners.

  27. Ooh, this is such a great snippet. So much character in so few lines! I especially love her motivation for not punching...LOL.

  28. I'm going to guess number two straight across!

  29. Terrific snippet!

    Love the idea of a questionnaire. I don’t recall having any Father’s Day traditions in my family other than leave Dad alone and let him watch sports. :)

    Lie guesses
    Nathan: #3
    Joshua: #3 (I hope)
    Rachel: #2

    VR Barkowski

  30. So bummed I didn't win Fabled!

    I'm going with number three for the lie for each of them.

  31. What a lovely idea for Father's Day! Enjoyed the 777 snippet. I hope she goes for Greg. Congrats to those three! I'll go for Nathan: #2, Joshua: #3 (though I wish it were true), Rachel: #2.

  32. That's a great sample for the 7-7-7 challenge!

  33. Love the snippet -- and the Father's Day tradition! :)

  34. My birthday is in June! But I've already done the 777 Challenge. I think I was the one who tagged Kristin... =) But it is a fun tag, so I might just do it again!

  35. Love those lines! And what a cute tradition with the Father's Day questionnaire!


  36. Okay, I love the 777 challenge and I'm totally stealing that for a blog entry. I'll probably have to do some digging to find a seventh page with something interesting enough to share on it, though... hrm.

  37. Lovely picture, Crystal! My birthday is in June, too, and I just might add this to my line-up this month. Loved your expert! Great voice!

  38. Love your Father's Day tradition. Sweet photo too. Wow and 3 people collaborating to write a book! Heard of 2!

    Hope motherhood is treating you well this time round Crystal! :-)

  39. ok that opening line was killer...I loved it. I say 2 is the lie :) hope your enjoying your little bundle and have an awesome father's day! My brother and I got our parents new side tables for mother's day/father's day. :) theirs were 40 years old and falling apart, and money's been tight so they couldn't splurge on new ones.

  40. Fantastic 777 teaser. :) I love your Father's Day tradition.

    My guesses for the lies:

  41. Loved the 777 excerpt! That cover for Chimera is awesome! I'm going to guess #2 as the lie for the three of them.

  42. I love the idea of a questionnaire about Dad on Father's Day!

    And I am unsure whether I could write a book in collaboration with one other person (although I was actually approached on that subject recently), but two other people? Wow!

  43. #2

    Congrats to Meradeth.

    Love the 777 piece. I've been tagged before and it's fun.

  44. I was on your other blog and wanted to respond about camping, but it's a google+ only, sadly alot of those on the Friday meme are. I may opt out of the celebrate the small stuff

    Nice to see you again though, remember you and your cheese from a-z last year. I believe the blog you visited then was Oozing out my Ears, and Flat Stanley.

    Sandy's Space

  45. I've done something similar on their birthdays. The questions usually involve their favorite this or favorite that. It's fun to go back and see their answers from years before.

  46. Love the idea of a questionnaire! It must be so much fun to look back over the years.

  47. Lol. The 777!! Totally forgot about that! And yes, you've been busy so you have a great excuse! How is your precious little one by the way? I bet she's growing so fast!

    I absolutely LOVE your 777 excerpt!!! Can't wait to read more... :)

  48. The Questionnaire is an amazing idea! You've got some great voice going in your WiP. :-)

  49. I'll bet you guys had a special Father's Day. We celebrated it early because our daughter went out of state for a month starting last week. But... she wrote the most wonderful card I've ever seen her do. It's one Walt will keep forever. <3

  50. What a great tradition for Father's Day. I wish we had done something like that in my family. Such treasures to have.
    Loved the excerpt! You had me with the first line LOL.

  51. Definitely a great tradition for Father's Day--interesting! Thanks for the book mentions, interesting as usual. Best wishes to the authors!

  52. Wow, a novel written by three authors. That's a new one!!! Love the cover and synopsis.

  53. Did my comment go through? If not, I'll say it again. I like Rachel's job description in #1. That sounds like a great job! Your 777 is wonderful.
    Play off the Page


Hit me with your cheese!