January 22, 2016

Book Spotlight on Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Today I welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager and her new book Landry in Like!

Genre: contemporary clean teen fiction

Landry in Like (Landry's True Colors Series: 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 is 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 cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with 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?  

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide IngĂ©nue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.

Book trailer: 


Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.
Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. 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 received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
Author talk show interview: http://wdtn.com/2014/11/06/true-colors/

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 suitable for ages 10 and up.

True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book 1):
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!”

Krysten, tell us, who is your favorite author?
F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite. I had to read The Great Gatsby twice in school, but I didn’t connect to it until I was an adult and then I fell in love with it.

How do you describe your writing style?
I always write with humor and my main characters wear their hearts on their sleeves. My two teen series both deal with self-esteem, growing up/coming of age, and first love.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Landry in Like will take you back to your school days and make you laugh and feel for her as she grows up and navigates through school. There are funny moments, cringe worthy moments, and life lessons on how to deal with everything from frenemies, first loves, anxiety, and friendships.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
I would choose Hadley from Next Door to a Star (Star Series: Book One) because when she moves to a beach town, she has the chance to reinvent herself and start over and that idea is very intriguing to me. Plus, she lives in Grand Haven, Michigan—a beautiful beach town.

What books have most influenced your life?

I read a biography of a YA author, Paula Danziger, years ago and it made me realize that writing young adult fiction was what I was meant to do. It was always something I wanted to do, but I never realized that all those awkward and difficult moments I went through in my teen years might have been setting me up to help another teen in the same situation down the road. That biography shaped my vision of what I wanted to do in life.

Thanks for visiting with us today and sharing your new release. 

January 13, 2016

Spotlight on Hot Ticket by Tracy Marchini #Freebook

HOT TICKET is available as a free ebook on Amazon from January 10 – January 14, 2016, and is also available in print at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(Backstory: Juliet has just come from the principal’s office after accidentally hitting the most popular girl in school in the face during a hallway collision.)

At lunch detention, all I could think about was how I better get a shame ticket for accidentally punching Cindy.

There's just no way the ticket dispenser could ignore the fact that I just punched the most popular girl in school in the face, right?

But still, I worried that the dispenser was going to ignore me again.  I'm basically the only sixth grader without a hot ticket. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t go to John Jay Jr. High.  (Triple J, for short.)  Everything is hard enough as a 6th grader.  We’re the lowest on the totem pole.  The tadpoles of the pond.  But it’s even worse to be a tadpole without a hot ticket.

Hot tickets could be awarded for doing something cool, saying something funny, or sometimes even just wearing something the ticket dispenser liked.  All authentic hot tickets were two inch by six inch rectangles made from this orange cardboard material, with “HOT TICKET” written in big bold letters at the top.  Hot tickets first started becoming popular about a month after school started.  Then there was this rash of copycat tickets on regular paper, but people just tossed those in the trash.  Everybody could figure out it was one of their friends that made it anyway.  But an authentic ticket – that was something you kept.

Some people had their lockers decorated in hot and shame tickets.  Some people kept their hot tickets at home to prevent theft.

If I got a hot ticket, I would definitely keep it taped on the inside door of my locker.  Right now my locker only had a locker mirror, a picture of Lucy and I from my birthday party at Six Flags and these annoying cat stickers from the person who had my locker before me.

Fifth grade did not prepare me for this at all.

Lucy, my next door neighbor and best friend, came up to my locker between periods.  Her smile was so big I could see the bread from her lunch stuck all the way back between her molars.

“Why weren't you at lunch?” she asked.

“Detention, again.  I sorta punched Cindy in the face,” I said.

Lucy's jaw dropped.  “Holy crow!  You punched Cindy Newsome in the face, and you're still alive?!  She already hates you because --”

“I know, I know,” I said.  “What's up?  You're like, super smiley.”

“Oh yeah!”

Lucy pulled a piece of orange cardboard out of her back pocket.

“You didn’t!” I shouted, prompting stares from the girls next to us.

“I did,” she said, turning the cardboard over to reveal the words ‘Hot Ticket’ in big, bold print.  “I found it in my locker after sixth period – another hot ticket!”

Lucy passed it over and I read the smaller print beneath.

“For the joke, 'Even Einstein would have trouble in Carmoody’s class.'”

I looked up as a couple of sixth graders pointed to Lucy’s hot ticket as they walked by.  They smiled at Lucy, but she was still looking at her ticket.

“Totally ridic, right?  Who could have heard me say that?” she asked.

“It must have been someone standing next to us in the hallway yesterday.”

“That could be anybody,” Lucy said as she flipped her hot ticket over in her hand.

The bell rang and Lucy and I trudged to our last period, the only class we had together.

“So who do you think it is?” asked Lucy.

I shrugged as another group of sixth graders pointed to the hot ticket in Lucy's hand.  They started guessing what cool thing she could have done, commenting on her new shoes, and how awesome she did in gym class today.  Suddenly it felt like everybody in the hallway was saying Lucy's name.

“Who cares?” I said.

But I did care.  And if I didn't have at least a shame ticket tomorrow for punching Cindy, then it was time to find out.

About the book:
Hot Ticket
Tracy Marchini
Middle grade mystery
Squirrel Books
Amazon | Goodreads

Juliet Robinson is the only sixth grader in John Jay Jr. High who hasn't received a "hot ticket" from the mysterious ticket dispenser. When one of the dorkiest kids in school - Crammit Gibson - receives a ticket before she does, Juliet decides that the ticketing system has to stop. With the help of her best friend Lucy, a Daria-esque Madeline and her almost-crush Crammit, Juliet is determined to climb a few rungs on the middle school social ladder and catch the ticket dispenser once and for all!

Hot Ticket is a laugh-out-loud middle grade mystery.

About the Author:
Tracy went to parochial school and was picked last in kickball for all eight years. Before she graduated with her B.A. in English, she got into a prank war over Jane Austen quotes and was out-pranked by the third or fourth day. She ran the NYC marathon to make up for her years of terrible kickball playing, but has yet to redeem her sub-par pranking abilities.
She is now a freelance editor who specializes in children’s and young adult literature, and holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children. Her next book, Rock, is a YA anthology of stories inspired by her favorite songs, and will be published on September 6, 2016.


January 4, 2016

Travel - January #InkRipples #Giveaway

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016. Do you have any big plans for the year?

Quick housekeeping. I'm posting a chapter a week of Worth the Effort, Ella's Story over on Wattpad. A new chapter goes up every Monday. I'd love if you follow, read, recommend, rate - all that jazz. Though the novella is free to download on all e-platforms, so hop on over to my blog if you'd rather just read it all at once.

Onto 2016. I usually have big, clear writing goals, but this year I don't. I hope I publish something this year, but I don't have anything under contract and I don't have anything close enough to being finished to feel confident I can make it happen. But I'm not too stressed about it. I know what I can accomplish, I'm just not really inspired to accomplish big things this year. And you know what? That's okay. It gives all you readers out there time to catch up on reading my books (wink!)

As I announced in my last post, we have decided to continue Ink Ripples and we've moved it to the first Monday of the month. That's today. Eep. After you've read my post and entered my giveaway, be sure to visit Katie and Mary. If you're looking for more ripples, search #InkRipples on Twitter or Facebook.

January's theme is fun. TRAVEL

I love to travel. I travel frequently. Not necessarily how I want - on a plane to exotic locales - but I find myself often preparing for long car trips, usually to visit family. I live in Central Oregon, which seems to be a three hour drive from the nearest civilization. Portland, Eugene, and Salem, where I have family - all about three hours away. Or I'm driving to Boise, Idaho (six hours), Northern California (eight hours), or occasionally to Southern California (sixteen hours). Since I try to look on the bright side, I love that it gives me a lot of time to listen to audiobooks.

This year we're celebrating my mother-in-law's ninetieth birthday with a large family gathering on the MacKenzie River. She has seventeen kids, so when I say large...yeah, I mean it. Hubs and I have decided to extend the trip by camping our way from there to Boise and then home again. Though I'm not too fond of camping, I'm really, really fond of spending time with my husband, kids and other family members, so I'm really looking forward to the trip.

What is your favorite trip? Do you have any trips planned for this year?  Answer in the comments and then claim an entry toward winning a Kindle copy of one of these great reads in which the main character goes on a quest.

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little. A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia—perfect for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.
In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden's tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden's turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe's leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family's position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden's heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden's heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb's increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden's every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family's survival on the line, Jayden must finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.

Elixir Bound by Katie CarrollKatora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone. It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackTana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

Some really good reads, and plenty ways to enter to win one. Enter before 11:59 pm on 1/17/16

a Rafflecopter giveaway #InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary WaibelKatie L. Carroll, and me,Kai Strand. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on this page, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.