4/13/2015

Thomas Jefferson's Birthday Today

Guess whose birthday it is today? That's right--Thomas Jefferson, one of my favorite people. He said and wrote many insightful & truly quotable things--but this one is my favorite.


Did you Know--After selling his personal library to the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in 1815, “I cannot live without books...” He gave up his nearly 7,000 volume library to replace the books burned by the British during the War of 1812. Shortly after this, he began collecting books again amassing another library again by the time of his death. During his lifetime he collected almost 9,000 volumes. I wonder how others feel about books and their own person libraries. Are you like me in that the first thing you think about purchasing is books? Do you have a personal relationship with your books like Jefferson? If we can teach our children the love of books, the world would be a very different place.

4/09/2015

Guest Interview: Krysten Hager




Please welcome my guest today, Krysten Hager, the author of the Landry's True Colors series.


CG: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Krysten? Where did you grow up? What do you write? Why did you write?

KH: I grew up in Grand Blanc, Michigan, which used to be known for holding a big golf tournament every year. Grand Blanc is an hour north of Detroit and a suburb of Flint.

I’ve been a journalist and write for adults as well as the middle grade and young adult readers. Now I have this series, Landry’s True Colors, which is about an eighth grader named Landy Albright who deals with frenemies, friend drama, self-esteem, crushes, parent issues, self-image, modeling, and making that transition from middle school to high school. It’s a clean reads book so it spans a wide range of readers—I even had an 86-year-old man email me to tell me what a positive book he thought it was for young women today. That made my day!

I write because I have always enjoyed creating characters and situations that people can relate to and enjoy. With this series, I wanted people who felt alone to know that they weren’t and to give a voice to those girls and women who felt they couldn’t speak out because what they were feeling wasn’t the image that we’re “supposed” to portray. All the magazines show happy, pretty, peppy girls without a care in the world and that’s not reality. We all have bad days, we have blemishes, and bloated days, and we get cranky. So why pretend everything is a perfume commercial?

CG: I love what you're trying to give to YA readers. That's great. So, tell us what is one thing most people wouldn’t know about you?

KH: I used to be a baton twirler and I even competed. My baton twirling group won a bronze medal for a performance at a competition. However, once the group advanced to those throws where you spin multiple times and catch the baton—yeah, I feared getting bopped on the head, so I decided to purse just ballet, tap, and modern dance.

CG: Well, aren't you talented. Now I know who to call whenI write that dancer heroine. Of the writing process, what do you enjoy most?

KH: I love those days when the writing just flows. Where you glance up at the clock and realize it’s 5 am and you’re still up and going.

CG: Oooh, I love that too! When the muse takes over. What came first the story or character for Best Friends Forever?

KH: The story. When I was in the sixth grade, I was a big reader and I wanted to write about those tight-knit groups of friends that I read about in books. However, as an adult, I realized that those weren’t realistic. So I decided to write about a fourteen year-old who wanted that type of clique, but has to deal with the reality that comes with it—that not all friends are true blue. She has to deal with frenemies, misunderstandings, and trying to figure out the difference between where you want to fit in and where you feel comfortable—your tribe, so to speak.

CG: So, true we are always just trying to fit in and finding our "tribe" continues into adulthood, doesn't it? What love song would you pick to be the “Theme Love Song” for Best Friends..Forever? Why?

KH: The first one that comes to mind is “You Belong With Me,” by Taylor Swift. There’s a scene in the book where Vladi (Landry’s crush and, at that point, her ex) is telling her about the girl he’s interested in, but his dad comes in and makes him get off the phone and she’s left wondering, “Who is this girl and is there any chance it’s me or was he calling to get girl advice?”

CG:  I love that! Great song too. Can you give us a tidbit about Best Friends…Forever? that readers might not know?

In this book, Landry still deals with frenemies, but there is a misunderstanding, which causes her to lose her true friends and she has to figure out a way to make them both believe her and believe in her.


And thus the title--great tidbit. Please give us another excerpt from your new release.



Devon was glaring at me for leaving her with Jeremy, but I was so happy to be sitting with Vladi I didn’t care. In fact, rabid wolves could have come through the doors and I wouldn’t have noticed. Vladi kept leaning forward to tell me stuff about the varsity players and his cologne mixed with his leather jacket smell and made me dizzy. I couldn’t believe we were sitting this close. I kept smiling at Devon, but she was not happy having Jeremy drool over her. She kept sliding further away from him, but he wasn’t getting the message. Then, she grabbed me and said we had to go the bathroom.

         “I’m going crazy. He’s like a leech or something,” she said scrunching her curly dark hair as she stared in the bathroom mirror.
        
“Isn’t Vladi cute? I wonder what kind of cologne he wears. He smells so good.”
        
“You’re making me sick,” she said.
        
The guys had gone to the concession stands and Vladi had bought me a cherry cola (my favorite) and a box of candy to share. Jeremy bought Devon some malt balls, but she snatched the bag away and kept them for herself.
        
“Can I have some of your soda?” Vladi asked after he had finished his drink.
        
I thought it was so cute that he’d drink after me and not even worry about germs. He didn’t even take out my straw. I thought I was going to faint from happiness. I mean our lips were touching the same straw. Now my dad would have given me a lecture on how a billion viruses can be spread through sharing a straw, but I wouldn’t care if I get typhoid fever…but not the stomach flu. If there was anything I hated it was puking and even Mr. Hotness wasn’t worth barfing my guts up.


Blurb:  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, 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 learns 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 modeling competition.

Author Bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, and crushes in True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?

Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.


CG: Thanks for being here today, Krysten, and sharing more about Best Friends Forever? Take at look at Krysten's new book online!

Buy Links:

Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S




Connect with Krysten:
Book Trailer:



4/08/2015

Guest Spotlight: YA Author Krysten Hager

I'm so excited to have guest, Krysten Hager with us today. Book 2 of her fabulous True Colors series (Best Friends Forever?) just came out from Astraea Press/Clean Reads.com. Tomorrow she will be back for an interview so please join us for that as well.



Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.

Blurb:    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, 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 modeling competition.

EXCERPT 1:
I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that's when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.
My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a closeknit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the "ʺThree’s Company"ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, "ʺWish you were here,"ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.
“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.
“Yeah, just signing off.”
“Okay, sleep well.”
I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.

Book Trailer: 


Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?
Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.


What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):
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.”


Buy Links:
Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S


Connect with Krysten:
Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/     


 Tell Krysten what you think of her book down in the comments and I'll send you a copy of either of my short reads--historical western Second Chances or Contemporary My Grand Epiphany




4/01/2015

FOOLS FOR BOOKS BLOGHOP GIVEAWAY!! (US ONLY)


I'm excited to be a part of the Fools for Books Giveaway Hop from April 1st-7th. Tell your friends and make the rounds. We have some great authors, books and prizes highlighted in the bloghop this year.



I am giving away an Amazon gift card as well as an ebook copy of Andrea & the Five Day Challenge: Book 1 in the Aubrey Christian Academy series. Look below for my Rafflecopter entry. You have a chance at six entries into the giveaway. Thank you for stopping by!



Andrea & the Five Day Challenge

Book Description:

High school junior Andrea Jamison, self-proclaimed change-o-phobic and, incidentally, a fabulous pianist in her own right has lost faith in herself and her abilities.  At the exact moment when her parents begin pressuring her about an opportunity that just might lead to Julliard, Andrea’s friend Amy meddles in her personal life trying to pair her up with the cute, transfer jock Luke Ryan. Will Andrea learn to accept her parents often repeated word FOCUS or will she finally start trusting in God’s strength instead of cowering in her own weaknesses?


Review Snippets & Praise:

"What I love about this book is that it's so relatable!"

"You can have Mr. Darcy, I want Luke Ryan!"

“Going through this spiritual and emotional journey with Andrea was like riding a crazy (good) rollercoaster full of surprises and tests.”

"I think this book and possibly future books have a great chance of becoming big and greatly loved by girls of all ages."

"I absolutely fell in love with Andrea."

 "This was soo good, fun, and such an easy read. I laughed which I love to do and I'm so glad I had the chance to read this book...I really recommend this book to everyone looking for a sweet, funny YA story."


Meet Author Cindy K. Green:
Cindy K. Green has worked as a middle school history & English teacher, a frozen yogurt server and a golf magazine employee. Today she's a multi-published, award-winning author, a mother, a wife, and a homeschooler too. This native Californian now resides in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and two cats named Chloe & Kassey. 



Excerpt from Andrea & the Five Day Challenge:

"Well, looky there.” Amy lifted her glasses and peered down the hall before returning her specs back to her nose. “Is it me or does Luke look like a mild- mannered reporter type?”

I glared at her.
It was as though she’d read my mind.
”It’s you,” I snapped back. Seven thirty-eight in the morning was way too early for all my synapses to be able to process this information. I was being rude and didn’t even know why.

“He’s like your Romeo in cargo pants.”

“He’s not wearing cargo pants. And don’t compare him to Romeo. That story is way too depressing.”

“OK, then he’s Mr. Darcy come to sweep you away from your mundane existence.”

“Amy, seriously, it’s time to lay off the romantic fiction. Besides, didn’t you tell me that crushes were for immature adolescents?”

“Crushes maybe, but Luke might just be the one for you. You know, the One.” She did the quotes in the air thing to emphasize her statement.

“Are you missing your macaroons or something? I’m only sixteen.” I must have been missing mine because I hadn’t used that expression since sixth grade. I covered my face with my hands.

“Whatever, Andi. Here he comes. If you ask me, he’s trying to woo you. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” She tapped my shoulder before she traipsed away.

I barely took notice of her absence because I had mere seconds before Luke Ryan arrived. He didn’t even give Stephanie a glimpse as he passed by her down the hall. His gaze remained focused on me. I swiveled my stance to face my locker and pulled out the daisies, forming a half-dozen bouquet in my hand. How did he know daises were my favorite? Had I mentioned it?
More importantly, was Amy right?


Could Luke really be trying to woo me like some totally romantic gesture straight out of medieval, courtly love? I must have accidentally inhaled window cleaner or something because that just wasn’t possible. His note had only been meant as a thank you. Yes, that was it. He’d even said just that.

Sneaking a peek out of the corner of my eye, I could see he was almost upon me. My evil, impossible heart did a somersault in my chest. Oh, my gosh! Did I remember to put on deodorant this morning, because I was really starting to sweat. As if suffering from some horrifying form of hysteria, I stuffed my books into my locker as fast as I could. I had to get out of this hallway before he caught up to me.

“Hi.”

Too late.


Available at your favorite online booksellers. Ask for it at your local library and bookstores.


Amazon in print & ebook (eBook currently reduced for a limited time!)
Barnes & Noble in print & ebook
Kobo in ebook
Pelican Book Group in print & ebook

Visit my website: http://www.cindykgreen.com



a Rafflecopter giveaway


View all the other Giveaways on other blogs in this Blog Hop
http://www.bookhounds.net/2015/03/fool-for-books-giveaway-hop.html