Parallel – Andi at Andi’s ABCs aka ME

 

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And finally we have me. I’m the last post on the fabulous Parallel Time Loop tour. I just want to take the time to say a brief thank you to the lovelies that played along with me, that humored me, and that went out of their way to write posts for my blog while still handling their own. You have all been the best and I thank you for that. If you missed a stop a full listing is after my post.

For my book I went with the book that started my love for all things parallel life and time travel. I went for Parallel.

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parallelWhen I came up with this idea for Parallel Time Loop I knew exactly what I wanted to have my post be and which book I wanted to use. You can ask the other 9 bloggers. I told them immediately what my plan and book was so they couldn’t grab the book up. There was never any question in my mind that I wanted to do Parallel and I wanted to interview Lauren Miller about it. Lauren has been nothing but awesome to me since I reached out to her about her debut novel. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever interacted with and it was a pleasure to get to interview her about a book that I just love. (Side note, read her second book Free to Fall. IT IS AMAZING!)

1) Describe Parallel in 5 words.
Girl lives her parallel’s life.

2) Where did the idea for Parallel come from? Where you inspired by a movie, an idea, another book?
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I guess I’d say I was inspired by JJ Abrams and Einstein.  Parallel started as just a seed of an idea — a girl wakes up in another version of her life.  That story has obviously been written many times before, so my starting place was a desire to put a new spin on this very basic concept.  To do, I realized then, what JJ Abrams had done with LOST.  Plane crashes on a deserted island.  We’ve seen that before.  But he gave it a part-sci-fi, part-supernatural explanation, and it became something totally new and amazing and addictive.  So I started hunting for my hook.  Using parallel worlds appealed to me, but having my main character travel to a parallel universe seemed both too-sci-fi and too far-fetched.  Then I stumbled upon an article about quantum entanglement, a real life phenomenon Einstein called “the spooky action at a distance,” and I knew I’d found my answer.  I’d have the parallel worlds collide!  What happens to the parallel worlds in Parallel is a fictional spin on what happens to subatomic particles when they collide.

3) The plot is pretty intricate going back and forth between “Here” and “There”. Did you find it difficult keeping the two worlds straight? Did you have a trick for this?
Actually, it wasn’t that hard for me, mostly because in my head, Abby and Parallel Abby are two very different girls.  Their voices felt different to me as I was writing them, and their timelines felt very distinct.  The tricky part was figuring out the cause and effect between the two worlds, to come up with connections that would be interesting, not too complicated and completely unexpected.

4) Since the book deals with parallel lives I’m guessing you weren’t able to have any hands on research. How did you handle the research aspect? I mean I know there is a lot of science to Parallel. Is that where you started?
Oops, I guess I already answered this one in #2!  Yes, I started with science for sure, and actually tried very hard to make the rules of my world(s) coincide with real scientific ideas and principles.

5) With Parallel being your debut book I must ask, what would you be doing in her parallel life if you weren’t an author?
You know what?  I have no idea.  I can see myself teaching art history at a tiny liberal arts college just as easily as I can see myself working as a television executive for a studio or network here in LA.  I think in every world I’m doing something creative.  But, the truth is, I’m happiest doing exactly what I’m doing now, writing books!
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6) You currently have Parallel and the AMAZING Free to Fall on the shelf. I know you are currently working on a third book. Can you tell us anything about that? I may be a little excited for it no matter what it is. 🙂
Yay!  I like excitement for unwritten books.   This new story is a little less sci fi than my previous two, and a lot more character driven.  I don’t want to say too much, but I’ll tell you that it’s about beauty and vision and the nature of reality.

7) I ask all interviews this questions since my blog deals with clothes and accessories too. What is the one accessory, book, or clothing item laurenyou personally could not live without?
My distressed Citizens, which I am wearing right now (boyfriend cut, rolled up) and white v-neck t-shirts from Jcrew.  I like to get fancy on occasion, but most days, this is my uniform!

8) Finally, what does a girl have to do to get you to Boston so I can tell you in person just how awesome you are??!!
I think that can be arranged. . . 

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Thank you so much Lauren for taking the time to answer my questions when I know you are busy writing a 3rd book for my everyone’s enjoyment. You can find Lauren on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

And on a side note, I’m not one for book trailers, but the one for Parallel is AWESOME!

And Free to Fall is just as good!

 

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays
Emma – Pivot Point
Lauren – Just Like Fate
Katie – Hourglass series
Danielle – Ask Again Later

*images from Google and Polyvore, videos from Youtube

 

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Ask Again Later – Danielle at Love at First Page

 

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Next we have Danielle from Love at First Page. She selected the Ask Again Later as her gust post focus.

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When Andi announced that she was hosting a series about parallel/time travel books, I knew right away I wanted to feature Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas. Reading it was one of the best surprises this year, especially since it’s a debut! What sets it a part from other books in this series is the fact that it’s not paranormal. It’s 100% realistic contemporary. If you haven’t yet read Ask Again Later (what is wrong with you?), you may be going, “What?” Here’s the Goodreads summary for you:
danielle1Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…

Sounds amazing, right? Each chapter alternates between the two story lines, until they finally converge at the very end. I’ve lost count of how many times I wish I could have done something differently, or know what would have happened if I had chosen a different direction. Liz Czukas explores this conundrum in humorous, witty, and romantic ways.

For my post, I was able to ask Liz a few questions about the book. So without further ado!
1. How did you come up with the idea to tell Heart’s story from two separate timelines? Was the coin flip always there, or did you add it in later on?
The idea came from wondering how much easier it would be to make a tough decision if you could KNOW the outcome of either choice ahead of time. The coin flip idea came quickly after that, before I even started drafting the story.
2. What was the writing process like? Did you draft each timeline separately? Did you ever confuse yourself?
I tried writing both timelines simultaneously at first, alternating chapters, but I didn’t get very far before I knew I would end up screwing everything up!  I had to write each timeline separately, then weave them together when I was done.  I left myself signposts along the way–events that happened in both timelines–to make sure I was keeping the right pace in each story.

3. What was your favorite part to write?
I had a blast writing the trunk scene!  It was fun to remove the easiest sense for description (sight) and rely on everything else.  Plus, it was torture waiting so long for that moment!  You know what I mean. 🙂
4. Um, yes, I definitely know what you mean. 🙂 My favorite part of the story was seeing how the two timelines interact, overlap, and come together at the end. It’s the idea that what’s meant to happen, will happen. Do you think fate plays a big part in real life?
You know, my gut instinct was to say that I don’t believe in fate, but I’m not sure that’s true.  I often say “Everything happens for a reason.”  It really does seem like everything works out the way it’s supposed to, even if you can’t see the ultimate outcome of something at first.  Like, losing your job might lead you to go back to school and find something you really love doing instead.  Is that fate, or is it just that I believe in making the best of every situation.  I don’t know.  But I know I trust in good to come out of bad situations.
5. What’s one decision you’ve had to face that you wish you could have seen the two possible outcomes for? Are you happy with how things turned out?
Graduate school!  I considered not going back for my second year after I finished the first.  Eventually I did, more for the sake of finishing what I’d started than anything.  In the end, I have never used my master’s degree.  If I’d known for sure that I would never go on to practice as a Nurse-Midwife (that’s what my master’s is in), I would definitely not have finished.  I am still paying off student loans–ugh!!  But on the other hand, I might not be where I am today if I hadn’t finished.  Maybe I always would have wondered what it would have been like.  Maybe it was my fate!  If only I had Heart’s magic Chuck E. Cheese token…
danielle2About the Author
Liz Czukas is a freelance writer (on sometimes sad or boring topics), and also writes books for young adults (which are rarely sad and full of kissing).  Before that, she was a nurse and she still kind of misses starting IVs.She lives outside Milwaukee, WI with her husband, son and the world’s loudest cat.  She types too loud (according to her husband), spends too much time on the Internet, and can’t get enough of disaster movies.  There is *always* a song stuck in her head, and she once won a hula-hoop contest.If you are interested in honing your stalking skills (from a distance, please) Liz welcomes you to practice on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, or better yet, Twitter where she likes to hang out and talk about TV, writing, Harrison Ford, her kid, and all of the idiotic things she does to injure herself on a routine basis.

Liz is also the real person behind the New Adult novelist Ellie Cahill, who also writes books full of kissing (and more!).  Ellie has remarkably similar interests to Liz.

 

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays
Emma – Pivot Point
Lauren – Just Like Fate
Katie – Hourglass series

 

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The Hourglass Series – Katie at Polished Page-Turners

 

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Next we have Katie from Polished Page-Turners. She selected the Hourglass series as her gust post focus.

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Hello lovelies! I’m Katie from Polished Page-Turners. I knew when Andi was looking for people to write a post about time travel and parallel universes I was like SIGN ME UP!
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Time Travel has so much science involved that it makes my head spin at times but I have to say Myra McEntire handles it wonderfully in her Hourglass series. Hourglass was the first book I read that dealt with time travel so everything was a bit new to me. There were some words and phrases that were new to me but I quickly became familiar with. Today I am happy to share with you some common terms you might find in a book dealing with time travel and words you will most definitely find in Hourglass series.

Ripple or “Rip”: A rip is a person who exists in a time that isn’t the present (i.e. the past or future). There are various reasons they pop into the present, sometimes to warn a person and sometimes completely random. They are not ghosts because they can be from the future and ghosts are These are very important in the series, especially in Emerson’s story.

Time Gene: This is a gene that is most closely related to giving a person abilities related to time. Not every character can travel through time but everyone’s special talent is somehow connected to time.

Bridges: These are the passageways that those who can time travel use to go back and forth in time. Veils are also important when traveling back and forth in time. These exist just outside the entry and exit points of bridges.

Veil: A veil is like a waiting room to get into a bridge. To the naked eye it can be seen as a shimmer in the air. You need a time gene to access the veils and duronium. 

Duronium: Duronium is the element is needed to get through bridges. It’s found naturally as a metal. It isn’t listed on the periodic table for reasons.

Exotic Matter: This is another thing needed for time travel but if I am being completely honest I don’t know what it is beyond being required. I tried researching and I ended up even more confused!

Time Slip: This is very similar to a rip. The main difference is that rather than one person, it’s an entire scene or moment that shows up in the present. A time slip happens during the Hourglass series and has some very important significance.

 

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays
Emma – Pivot Point
Lauren – Just Like Fate

 

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Just Like Fate – Lauren at Bookmark Lit

 

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Next we have Lauren from Bookmark Lit. She selected Just Like Fate as her gust post focus.

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Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young

Summary and Review

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is lauren1escape–both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths–and she’s about to live them both.
Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…
[Synopsis from Goodreads]

 What happens?

In the STAY timeline, Caroline remains with her sick grandmother and her family. She ends up hanging around her longtime crush, Joel, who I really was not a fan of. He had a weird personality and always seemed distant, then suddenly became clingy. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she saw in him. Because the STAY timeline revolved more about Joel, I didn’t like it too much.

In the GO timeline, Caroline goes to a party to escape her family for the night. I can’t imagine that anyone would make the choice to go in this scenario. Your grandmother is sick and likely going to die soon, but you’re going to jet off to a party? I tried to ignore this cop-out when reading the book, because it really didn’t seem logical (no matter what family drama was happening). I surprisingly enjoyed the GO timeline more than the STAY one. There was more action and better characters (ahem, Chris).

What did I think?

Caroline struck me as kind of selfish regardless of which path she chose. Obviously staying with her sick grandmother and broken family was a little more important, but she still ended up making pretty self-centered decisions after that night anyways. Both the STAY and GO timelines were filled with this behavior. I didn’t like her as a character that much, but a part of me really understood what she was going through. She dealt with insecurities, jealousy, family issues, and friend drama just like any other teenager. I really enjoyed seeing the differences between the two timelines and seeing how her decision impacted not only herself, but other people around her too. Unlike a lot of people who read this book, I didn’t really wonder which timeline she actually chose. I viewed the alternate universes as almost two separate books, if that makes sense. When I got to the end, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. It was PERFECT. It’s hard not to give anything away, but it just ended exactly as it needed to. The moral at the end was really nice and fitting. I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars on my blog.

How about the writing style?

I thought it may be a little confusing with the alternating chapters between STAY and GO, but it really was easy to follow. The little STAY or GO written at the bottom of each page was really helpful too. It was cool how they kind of intersected at times or you could see similar or different events happening to her. It was definitely executed perfectly. She would say things like “I can’t imagine a world where ___,” when that was what was happening in the other timeline!

What would I do?

With most books, I try to put myself in the main character’s shoes. This can sometimes make or break the book for me, because instead of just trying to take the book for what it is, I end up trying to understand their motives fully. I think of what I would do if I were them. In this case, the reader is almost invited to ask themselves: what would I do? I would definitely have stayed with my family. If my grandmother was sick and we weren’t sure how long she would have with us, I would want to make sure I at least had one more conversation with her before she passed away.

Does everything happen for a reason?

I’ve always been a firm believer in fate and “everything happens for a reason.” It may not be clear at the time it happens, but each event in our lives has the opportunity to show us a new lesson or offer us a new opportunity. The decisions we make allow for us to, eventually, make it where we need to be in the end. I’m not sure that each decision actually makes a separate alternate universe – but how cool would it be if that were true?? This book helped me explore these ideas and other alternatives to my way of thinking.

My Parallel Universe Story 

When Andi mentioned the possibility of a feature on parallel universe and time travel books, I knew I wanted to join in! I’ve always been interested in the concept of parallel universes. lauren2Like this book, I always thought about how every decision we make can create an alternate universe of what the world would look like if we made that decision. This could be any decision, no matter how small. My first introduction to this topic was in an episode of So Weird from my childhood. In it, the main character, Fi, comes downstairs before school and has to choose between orange juice and grapefruit juice (yes, the decision was really that small). An alternate universe is created for each decision. If she picks OJ, she spills it all over herself and runs late to school. She ends up in detention and falls in with a bad crowd. If she picks grapefruit juice, she enjoys her breakfast and heads to school on time. Her life remains essentially the same with her friends and family. This episode piqued my interest in this topic from a young age. Later in life, the concept was discussed in Community. The gang gets together for a lauren3game night and Abed discusses that their night could spin off into seven different timelines based on what number he roles on the dice. The episode shows what happens as each character’s number gets rolled. Each timeline ends with Abed mentioning the possibility of other timelines. This is, hands down, the best episode of Community. As you can see, my interest in parallel universes definitely extends beyond books. I’m excited to see what the other bloggers have to say about their movies or books in this genre!

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays
Emma – Pivot Point

*photos from Google

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Pivot Point – Emma at Miss Print

 

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Next we have Emma from Miss Print. She selected another  favorite of mine, Pivot Point, as her gust post focus.

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pivotI spent a lot of time asking myself, “What if?” over the last couple of years. When I was fruitlessly job hunting and dealing with a lot of family emergencies, it was very natural to pinpoint exactly where everything went wrong; to wonder what choices might have led to better outcomes.What if I didn’t go to grad school? What if I never worked at that book store? What if I hadn’t quit that job? So many seemingly insignificant choices that might have changed everything. Happily, my life is more in order now and it’s easier to focus on the positives instead of wondering where I might have gone wrong.But even now it’s easy to ask what I might have done differently, or what might have changed with one small choice because it’s something most people to naturally.

What if?

That’s what makes Pivot Point by Kasie West such a compelling book.

In the book, Addison Coleman always knows the right choice to make, the right path to take. She knows because she is cautious and a compulsive planner who likes to follow the rules. She also knows because of her ability, Divergence.

Being Divergent isn’t the coolest ability in the paranormal compound Addie calls home. She can’t erase memories like her best friend Laila or move things with her mind like the Telekinetics on the school football team.

Instead, when faced with a choice Addie can Search her future and see both outcomes for any given decision.

When Addie’s parents announce they are getting divorced, her ability suddenly becomes much more important. One Search six weeks in the future should be more than enough to make the decision of which parent to live with. In one future Addie can find true love and happiness while in the other there is a promise of popularity and excitement. But in either Search there is also something much more dangerous and the potential for a terrible loss.

And, of course, you can read the book to see which path Addie does ultimately choose.

There are so many reasons I wish I had Addie’s ability in Pivot Point. Which is just one of the reasons I love this story so much. It’s always fun to talk about time travel or even idly consider it. But no one wants to accidentally erase themselves or forever alter the timeline. I mean, that’s a lot of pressure.

Being able to see down two paths and consider the two realities side-by-side is a much safer bet. It’s all the fun of time travel with almost none of the risk. Plus, for most people, it’s something that happens naturally. Sometimes the choices are mundane (should have a sandwich or soup for lunch?) but sometimes they are much more formative (should I move across the country or stay in this city?). And no matter the question, the outcome can still be life-changing. It’s just a matter of asking yourself, “What if?”

*Side note: don’t forget to check out the sequel Split Second

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays

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