Posted in Reading, reviews

What I’ve been Reading

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today as winter storm Xanto rains down on us here in the Midwest. I plan on getting a lot of writing done this weekend as I huddle beneath my blankey and wait out the storm. It’s supposed to be historic, and I’m praying for at least one snow day out of it.

But enough about the weather, I’m back to talk about one of my favorite things in the world. Books. I’ve just finished a couple of great ones, and I thought I’d share them with all of you.

The first one is a new to me author. I haven’t read any of her previous stories, but she has a great reputation so I thought I’d give her latest release a try. It’s a young adult story so if you have any teens looking for something to read, check her out.

The title is “Still Life with Tornado” and the cover and blurb are below.

 

Still Life with Tornado by [King, A.S.]

 

Sixteen-year-old Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has “done the art.” She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she wanders the urban ruins of Philadelphia. Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together “for the kids” and building a family on a foundation of lies and domestic violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage. As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original—and yet it still hurts.
 
Insightful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, this is a vivid portrait of abuse, survival, resurgence that will linger with readers long after the last page.

 

My thoughts: (spoiler alert)

I didn’t get the title until I’d finished reading the story.  Needless to say, it makes perfect sense. I loved the story. It’s about a family and how domestic violence affects everyone in the family. It’s told from two viewpoints and one of them is Sarah. The only person who hasn’t experienced her father’s fists. In the beginning of the story, she has lost the ability to create art. Her passion. She’s also no longer attending school and that has everyone worried. No one knows why and the story is intricately woven together as the author takes us through Sarah’s journey. We learn about her love for her brother who moved out and the incident that sent her into a spin and brought her world crashing down.

The second viewpoint is Helen, Sarah’s mother. She’s a nurse and she’s the person stitching the family back together when her husband’s rages tear it apart. She doesn’t know what caused Sarah to slump into a depression, but she’s got her own issues to deal with. She’s the one who tries to keep her husband on an even keel and avoid his punches at the same time. She’s walking a tightrope so she isn’t able to give Sarah the attention she needs, but she’s trying.

The one negative I have about this story is that I didn’t feel that the mother’s voice and Sarah’s voice were distinct enough. There were a few chapters where I was half way down the first page before I realized the narrator had switched. This pulled me from the story and created a. bit of confusion. We all know it’s a bad thing to frustrate our reader, but that’s the only negative I have. Otherwise, it’s a great read especially for teens.

 

The other book I read was an adult suspense written by the author of “Luckiest Girl Alive.” This second story did not disappoint Its title is “Into the Water” and the cover and blurb are below.

Into the Water: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER FOR MYSTERY/THRILLER

An addictive new novel of psychological suspense from the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train

“Hawkins is at the forefront of a group of female authors—think Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott—who have reinvigorated the literary suspense novel by tapping a rich vein of psychological menace and social unease… there’s a certain solace to a dark escape, in the promise of submerged truths coming to light.” —Vogue

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

My Thoughts:

This one is written with a non-linear time line so you have to pay attention otherwise it gets confusing. It’s the heartbreaking story about a single mom who’s investigating some strange deaths in her town. She’s a photographer and she has become intrigued by the mysterious deaths surrounding the river winding it’s way through the tiny burg.

Her daughter’s best friend commits suicide and her daughter, Lena, is the only one who knows why. Katie, Lena’s best friend, does this by jumping off the cliff and into the river. Months later it appears as if Lena’s mother, Lorna, has done the same thing.  Lorna’s found dead in the river as well, and so the mystery begins. Did she commit suicide? Was she murdered? The story pulls you in and it goes deeper and deeper into the tragedies of this small town, revealing secrets and uncovering the ugly truth. It’s a great read and Paula Hawkins has just become one of my favorite authors.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my reviews. How about you? Do you have any great books you’d recommend? Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

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Posted in Guest Author, promotion

Please Welcome Kadee Carder as she shares her new release with us!

 

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“Here be dragons to be slain, here be rich rewards to gain;
If we perish in the seeking, why, how small a thing is death!”
~Dorothy SayersIt’s release day for HERE BE DRAGONS! My heart’s roaringly thunderous inside my chest. The pressure, the epitome, the culmination of months of work—no, years of work—leading up to THIS one moment…it’s finally here. Are you ready?

Blurb:

Breathing life into her awoke my own resolution to restore others. Saylor didn’t know I’d revived her. She didn’t know for months, and during that time I traveled across our blue sphere and back to her recovering form at Fort Story, Virginia. Little blonde firecracker. Changed my life.

Sergeant Merritt Steele sat beside me on the cargo plane carrying us to Camp Kissinger, located deep in the heart of Australia’s Outback. “Sorry to see them go,” my co-commander noted, a slight tremor in his blue eyes. I knew he meant more than he said. He’d connected with Saylor, her sister Micah, and the McConnell family during our three-week leave.

Neither of us knew when or if we’d see them again. But that was life as Echo Company of the Alliance Military Guard, and we held that knowledge closer than our body armor. Never quit. We defeat. Let the enemy fall, come what may. That’s what we did, that’s what we were, and not a single one of us doubted it.

Not even when we landed in a war zone.

(HERE BE DRAGONS, Chapter One Excerpt)

Are you living in a war zone? 
Fiction shows us how to deal with our non-fiction. We can read these characters’ stories, see their pain, feel their journey, and tremble as their spirits quake. We get invited into their space and see the world with its crumbles, heartache, and power. Fiction’s miraculous. Fiction offers a gift of escape, of courage, of grit, of shuddering through temptation with the hero. Are you facing some serious shadows? Are you hearing the grinding of bones in the distance? Follow Tucker into the heart of the Outback.

Where are the heroes?
A friend of mine recently said she wondered where the heroes were. The current trend for stories is that they often feature a strong heroine—and while I am ALL about a strong heroine, and inspiring girls to believe in themselves—I also believe we need to encourage boys to protect, to serve, to lead humbly, to explore, to create, and to forget stereotypes. Be inspired. Be fearless. Be wise. Be the hero.
Temptation leads us down paths where we consider retreating or cheating, or complaining or blaming. Well let me ask you, can fiction teach us to face the shadows? Can fiction show us the glory in the fight for life?

The amazing thing about HERE BE DRAGONS is it’s only $4.99 on Kindle Unlimited AND if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for FREE! I’ve had several readers who’ve provided feedback, and what they’ve all said is how much they enjoyed the ending–do you need a great ending? HERE BE DRAGONS is currently only available as an ebook, until I sell 100 per my publisher’s contract. Help both of us hold that book in our hands. We need to grip this, to flip through these pages. Connect with a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and download your copy of HERE BE DRAGONS and soar through those Australian skies with Tucker and his rag-tag crew of Guardsmen.


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What is HERE BE DRAGONS about?
Alliance Military Guard sent the order. Sergeant Tucker Thompson acquiesced. Hopping on a plane to his long-lost Australian birthplace, he’s been charged with his toughest mission yet. Thompson must rally his company of soldiers to prevent a new generation of weaponry from breaching the world’s borders.Readers love HERE BE DRAGONS! One reviewer stated:
“On the surface, this novel is a good dose of sci-fi and futuristic drama. Deep down, the realistic characters, with their daily struggle, not only for survival but also for understanding their sense of purpose in life, meets the need of young adult readers who, similarly, are seeking a meaning of life. The message is clear: work hard, stay the course, and look for the good in everyone and everything. Life can be good.” (Emily-Jane Hills Orford)Are you wanting to add a great book to your reading list for 2018?
Grab HERE BE DRAGONS today. I’ve seen those dark days, those dark nights. I’ve felt the gripping fingers of desperation slipping around my neck in the trenches of writing, amid crying children, tight finances, broken down cars, endless mounds of papers to grade. I’ve scraped by on my knees and had to carry heavier weights than I thought possible. But you know what you find in the darkness? You find the light. You find the people who help, the people who stride through your front door with chocolate and coffee, and the people who truly believe all of which you’re capable.
You need to believe it, too.

The stories you tell yourself in the dark, those are the ones that stick with you.
You have the opportunity to build upon the bricks of shattered dreams and mortar of confusion, and turn it into an empire. What do you do, what do you tell yourself, when the lights go out?

Some may beg for light. Others may beg for relief, beg for some give in the take. Others may bury their faces further into the miry pool.

Something I’ve learned in the dark places: there’s always someone around to bring in the light. There’s always someone around to absorb the spilled tears, to carry the weight, and to offer a square of chocolate. Death brought confusion. But, ultimately, life wins.

You see, people are intrepid. People do seek life and life fully. There may be a lot of dark, but the warriors for light rage on. They cannot, they will not rest, until the light shines over the horizon. You see it among the darkness: a sparkle, a spark, a crack of hope against all odds.

The people who feed the darkness, they are confused. They are trapped. They are prisoners enchained by lies. They are enveloped by the monsters who devour them.

Another lesson? The hardest battle may be around the corner, trapped in the tunnels, snarling against the bright light you carry. Be prepared. Be prepared for anguish, be prepared for a cold chill to grasp for the warm light. Be prepared to fight with courage, with kindness, with tenacity, and grit. Expect among the war cry a song of hope to emerge. Be the singer. Be the strong arms carrying the weak into the night. Be the grammar joke, when death is on the line.

Bang the war drums.

Rattle the cages.

Click the link below to check out the book!

 

 

 

Posted in Guest Author, promotion, Uncategorized

Check out Krysten Lindsay Hager’s New Release!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’ve got a guest today and she’s sharing her new release with us! Check it out! 🙂

 

ItGuy1

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

YA contemporary romance

Published by Clean Reads

 

DatingtheItGuy453x680

 

Blurb:

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy. Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Short Excerpt:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

Long Excerpt: He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something

major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

Purchase: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBFRX47 Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dating-the-it-guy/id1208876011?mt=11 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dating-the-it-guy Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Dating+the+It+Guy

Follow Krysten Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClIQCsRcKc97-25oXvabZ8A

Bio: Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is a also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes young adult, middle grade, new adult, and adult fiction as well as humor essays. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows (she’s addicted to American Dad to the point where she quotes episodes on a daily basis and also loves Girl Meets World). She’s also a third generation Detroit Lions fan.

Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!” –Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.” — Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Posted in reviews

Book Review: The Beginning of Everything

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with a Book Review and that book is titled, “The Beginning of Everything.”

 

Product Details

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

Varsity tennis captain, Ezra Faulkner, was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

My Thoughts:

I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s written for the Young Adult Market and it illustrates what happens when your life is turned upside down by a tragedy. Told with grace and humor, it depicts the inner strength of the main character, Ezra as he tries to navigate high school life after his accident.

He falls in love with Cassidy and even though you know the relationship is doomed you don’t know why, and that keeps the reader hooked.

There’s also a twist I didn’t see coming and that’s one of the things I liked about the story. Once it’s revealed, the reader understands Cassidy better and so does Ezra. It’s an amazing story, and I highly recommend it for adults and young adults alike.

Posted in Guest Author, Literacy, promotion, Teen

Please Welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager!

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. Today I have a special guest! Her name is Krysten Lindsay Hager and she’s here to share her series with us! Check it out!

 

Where the Idea for the Landry’s True Colors Series Came From

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By Krysten Lindsay Hager

It’s so fitting to be writing about my teen series, the Landry’s True Colors Series, on Lisa’s blog because it’s set in Grand Rapids, Michigan! My parents both grew up in Grand Rapids, so I spent my summers and holidays there every year. I was one of just a few cousins who didn’t grow up there, so as a kid I used to imagine what it would be like to live there. So that’s how I picked the setting for the series, but, since I grew up in a city (Grand Blanc, MI) where I didn’t have any family members other than my parents, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to go to school with your cousins—that was something that seemed so foreign to me. Therefore I had my character, Landry Albright, living there without any cousins or siblings. I have a sister myself, but she was younger than me, so to me it felt like I was the one going out into the big, bad world on my own. It sometimes seemed like everyone had older siblings or cousins to protect them and then there was me trying to figure things out on my own. And I wasn’t exactly a trailblazer type! I was more the girl who waited in the corner to test out the waters before I took the plunge.

The original idea for the first book actually came to me when I was in the sixth grade and saw a Bangles’ album. It was actually a single cover for “Eternal Flame.” There were the four band members on it and I remember thinking, “I wonder what they were like when they were in middle school.” So I started making up a little story about it. I had no clue that years later I would be in college and my professor would suggest we write the book we wanted to read and that idea would come back to me. It was funny how I could remember little details like what Landry’s bedroom looked like and the type of furniture she had (mirrored). Once I got back into that mindset, the characters really came to life and I started reminiscing about my own middle school experience.

If you’re familiar with the Grand Rapids area, you might pick up on a few of the places I write about. The mall Landry has her modeling audition in (I call it the Perry mall) is actually North Kent mall, which sadly no longer exists. I used to enjoy going there with my cousins. Ignatowski’s ice cream palace where all the teens hang out is named after a family member of mine and I picture it between Diamond Avenue and Innes. In fact, one of Landry’s best friend’s, Ashanti Russell, lives on Diamond Ave. and Landry lives just off that street. The school, Hillcrest Academy is close by as well. Once I started writing the story, I would go for walks down Diamond Avenue picking out where the school bus would turn in and the market where Landry’s mom shops (mentioned in book 3) is named after my grandma and a store she shopped at on Fuller Avenue. All the places I frequented when I was younger have ended up playing a role in the series. I even use Arnie’s as an inspiration in the third book in the series, Landry in Like.

For me, the series is a way to remember my teen years and the lessons I learned along the way with my readers. I share things that shaped me as a person, both the good and the bad with lessons learned from dealing with both friends and frenemies. Since I was a kid who internalized things and didn’t go for advice, I put things in the books that will help out those readers who were like me and went to books instead of adults for help solving everyday problems. One thing that I hadn’t consciously planned on when writing the series was how the role of Landry’s dad, Mr. Albright, would evolve. In the beginning it made sense to have Landry go to her dad for advice because my own father gave me the best advice. However, when my dad (a former middle school vice principal) passed last year, many of his former students reached out to us to say how much he had helped them in shaping their lives. A relative said to me that my dad’s advice and wisdom would live on through the series and it touched me that my dad would be influencing another generation of teens.

Thanks for letting me share what went into creating my Landry’s True Colors Series.

 

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Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image. It’s a clean reads book so it’s suitable for ages 11 and up.

Blurb: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round.

However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.

What people are saying about the Landry’s True Colors Series:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Excerpt:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96jxcUH54hU

Best Friends…Forever? (Book 2):

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue TV show modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?

BFF book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ

Landry in Like (Book 3):

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Landry in Like book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

 

Author pic

Author Bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors is an international bestseller. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Grand Haven Tribune, and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Author social media links:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Purchase:

Amazon US paperback: http://amzn.to/29gsqPw

Amazon US ebook: http://amzn.to/29tp2EF

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29ilH8v

Amazon UK ebook: http://amzn.to/29mv46L

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/29gCDe2

Amazon AU ebook: http://amzn.to/29umy7d

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29xKc3k

Amazon CA ebook: http://amzn.to/29umCUm

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/29oFynI

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1S5wUuk

itunes: http://apple.co/1Ue5lNm

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/true-colors-17

 

 

Posted in Slice of LIfe, Writing

A Slice of Life Post: Feedback on First Pages

WRITE. Every day in March write a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE. Link your post in the comments on each daily call for slice of life stories here at TWT. GIVE. Comment on at least three other slice of life stories/blogs.

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m back again with another Slice of Life Post. Today, I’m asking for some feedback from all you talented people. I’m posting the first page of my WIP. I’ve written the beginning two ways, and I’d love to hear which page you like better. Which one grabs your attention the most and pulls you into the story.

I’ve never done this before and I’m kind of nervous. 🙂 Any feedback you can give me would be greatly appreciated!  Leave a comment and let me know what you think. :).

Photo credit: ukgardenphotos via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

 

First Page One

Chapter One

Mia disappeared on the second Monday of summer vacation. I remember it like it was yesterday, the sticky heat and the heady aroma of wisteria as we traveled through the woods. The forest our parents forbade us to enter. Too dangerous, they’d said. Supposedly, homeless people congregated in the area near an old well, but I’d never seen them and neither had Mia. So we ignored our parents’ warnings. In all the youthful wisdom of seventeen- year-olds, we figured nothing had ever happened in this forest, or in our boring little town of Cloverdale for that matter.

It was the heat that drove us to the woods that day. The cover of the trees looked so cool and inviting we couldn’t resist, but even in the shade there was no escaping the paralyzing temperature. Sweat rolled down my back, soaking into my denim shorts. The damp waistband rubbed against my skin, making me irritable. The humidity was getting to Mia, too. I could tell because she made a dig at me, hit me at my most vulnerable spot. That’s when it all started to unravel.

“I’d give anything to be riding in an air-conditioned car right now, Claire.” She gave me a dark look as she wiped her brow.

“That’s mean.” I averted my gaze as my face grew hot. I didn’t think I could get any hotter, but here it was happening.

“Oh, don’t be so sensitive. I was just making a simple statement. It has nothing to do with your issue.”

 

Photo credit: m01229 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

 

Second First Page

I knew something had gone terribly wrong when I discovered Mia’s pink flip flop lying in the middle of the trail. My heart jumped to my throat as I picked it up with trembling fingers. This was so unlike Mia, she’d never leave her sandal in the woods. She’d consider the act a desecration of the earth.

Searching the area, I pulled out my cell phone and punched in her number. I waited for that spirited voice I knew so well. All I got was a single beep informing me my phone was out of juice. I almost threw it in the woods. How could Mia get so far ahead of me? Especially in those flip flops? Correction. One flip flop. We’d only been separated for sixteen minutes.

She couldn’t. I was Claire Peters. Cross country star. There’s no way she’d out pace me. I stiffened as anxiety exploded through me like a current of electricity. I took a quivering step forward and called out to her. “Mia!” I cocked my head, listening.

The only answer I received was the far-off squawk of a blue jay. I peered around me, searching for a flash of blue from her T-shirt or a glimmer of her dark curls between the leaves. Nothing. The warning our parents gave us burst through my brain like hot lava explodes from a volcano.. Don’t go in the woods. They’re dangerous. Dangerous. Dangerous.

 

There they are. Which first page grabbed your attention more? Which one made you want to keep reading? If neither one peaked your interest, let me know that, too! Please leave a comment! I appreciate your feedback!

If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Slice of LIfe, Uncategorized

Weekend Update: A Slice of Life Post

 

SOLSC on TWT

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. I enjoy writing these posts and getting to know some of the other Slice of Lifers, too.

Today, I’m reflecting back on our weekend. Both boys had a friend spend the night Friday night, and it was interesting to see how they occupied themselves. Their most favorite thing they did was make You Tube videos.

Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

How fun is that? The creator of You Tube has made an amazing product. My boys get creative with their videos, and they’re actually quite funny. You have to remember both of my kids are in elementary school.

It’s great they can get online, share their videos, and talk about it with their friends using Skype. I love this App myself. I’ve used it a number of times. Technology certainly has made communicating with others much easier, but we have to be careful, too.

The Internet can be a dangerous place. Predators hang out there just like they do at bus stops and parks. They’re just looking for that one kid who’s lonely and unattended. The same thing applies to the Internet.

We make it a point to know all of our boys’ friends. So when they’re Skyping, we know who they’re talking to. We’re that involved. Some might call us helicopter parents, but I don’t care. My kids are safe and that’s the most important thing.

Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

We allow our boys to have their friends over quite a bit. It can be a lot of work, but we’re okay with that because we can keep an eye on them. We also get to know their friends, too. We listen to their conversations as they sit around the table and eat. It’s a great group of kids, and I feel blessed that my boys have such good friends.

It reminds me of my friends back in my elementary and junior high days. I had awesome friends, too. I don’t think we ever have friendships as close at any other point in our lives as we did back in those days. I don’t know how anyone else feels, but my friends and I were so tight back then.

We still meet occasionally, but we’re all so busy with our own families and commitments that it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time. It’s interesting to see how far all of us have journeyed on our path.

We didn’t have Skype back then, but we did have the telephone. Remember those old landlines? Wow. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? Thanks for reading my post. How do you feel about your kids using the Internet? Do you feel the Internet has helped or hindered them as they grow into adulthood? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Land Line
Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

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