Category Archives: Astraea Press

Feature Fiction Friday – Bethany Swafford


bethany-swafford_origPlease welcome Bethany Swafford today. She’s here to tell us about some great books, including her newest release, Not My Idea.


First, Bethany, please tell us a little bit about yourself:

For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined to write her own. Among her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.

When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.

Please share your favourite books with us:

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Anne Elliot may not have the charm of Elizabeth Bennet, but she is the most loyal of all Jane Austen’s works and thus my favorite. I love how in her story, she’s matured but still loves the man she turned away. Also, this quote: “All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!”

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
What I love about this book is Gilly, the seventh Duke of Sale. He is a mild mannered young man, who longs to know what life would be like if there weren’t well meaning family members and servants who won’t let him lift a finger for himself. He is such a lovable character who really grows up in the story.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes #2) by Nancy Springer
This is the second book in a middle-grade series about Sherlock Holmes much younger sister. What I love about this book especially is Enola Holmes interactions, not only in disguise with her detective brother, but with a young lady who comes to be her best friend. With codes to solve and danger on every corner, this book out of the series is the one I pick up first.

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11) by Carolyn Keene
This one is on my list because this was my first introduction to Nancy Drew when I was seven years old. Nancy has two mysteries to solve. What I fell in love with was how the mysteries entwined through the story and how much spunk this detective has.

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose
So this is a book that has yet to be released but I was privileged to receive an ARC. The hero of this particular book is an earl with an interest in science and when he comes under suspicion for murder he quite logically sets out to prove his innocence. The plot of this book is unusual for the Regency era and is written brilliantly.

Wow! These are some great choices, Bethany, thanks! Now I have some reading to do 🙂



Now, please tell us about your new book, Not My Idea. I must admit, your title is very intriguing…

“Lucas, you must return home.”

Twenty two year old Lucas Bywood abandons his Grand Tour in response to those words from his father. Everything is not well at home and he finds himself in a bit of a fix. A little warning that his father had made tentative arrangements for his marriage would have been nice but Luke really wishes it had been anyone other than the young lady chosen. After all, Phoebe Ramsey had always been an annoyance and any time they had spent together had resulted in physical injuries for one of them.

Just when Luke thinks he’s escaped that particular future, he finds himself courting a young woman he doesn’t want, a furious best friend who wants a duel to satisfy honor, and the responsibility of finding who and why someone had caused an accident for his mother.

This was not his idea of what the summer was going to be like.

Here’s an excerpt:

​“Luke, you finally came!” Philippa said, squeezing tightly. Her wispy brown hair tickled my cheek. “I thought you must have been killed in France. It was too cruel of you to stay away for so long!”
“Hello, Philly.” After a few seconds, I disentangled myself from her. “That’s enough of that. It’s good to see you, brat.”
Philippa scowled at me. “I am eighteen now, Luke. You have no right to say I’m a brat.” She smacked my arm, causing me no pain at all but the action seemed to make her feel better. “What took you so long to get here? It’s been ages since I sent you the letter telling you Mama was ill.”
I raised an eyebrow. I had not been told this. “Father said you wrote the letter after Mama and Sprite fell.” She opened her mouth, no doubt to argue the point, but I kept talking. “I did not receive your letter, and this afternoon was the first I have heard of Mama’s accident and illness. Are you certain you sent the letter at all?”
“Certainly I sent it! You cannot blame me for the lack of reliable mail delivery in foreign lands if you’re the one who chooses to go there.”
Waving my hand, I decided to let the matter pass. “I’m here now,” I said. She wrinkled her nose, surveying my appearance. “Do I pass muster, or do you find me wanting?”
“You have not washed from your travels,” she said, her tone judgmental. Her eyes widened with horror. “Please tell me you did not go into Mama smelling like a stable!”
“Our mama is not about to object to the smell of animals, sister of mine. But if I am so offensive to your nose, I will go to my room now.”
Apparently forgiving me for any offense I had given her, Philippa looped her arm around mine and walked with me down the hallway. “I am so glad you are here, Luke,” she said magnanimously. “My first Season was such a success, and you will never guess what happened!”
Even if I had not been told, what she wished to reveal would not have been difficult to discern. “Let me guess. You wore a pretty dress of fine muslin and you gossiped to all hours of the night? Or was it that you danced until dawn every night?”
“I’m not a gossip! No, Luke. I had no less than four offers, and I accepted one of them. I am to be married!”
“I am glad you accepted only one of those offers,” I told her. “Imagine what would happen if word got around you had consented to marry all of them!”
Philly scoffed at my teasing. “You are ridiculous,” she said. “His name is Mr. Bartholomew Talbot, and he is quite the nicest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have high hopes of him joining the party, and then you will be able to meet him.”
“Party? What party is this?” I asked, reaching the door of my room. I paused, my hand on the doorknob as I glanced back at her.
“Phoebe told me all about it. Her parents are having a grand house party in a week. They have invited several of our friends from London. Phoebe is thrilled about it.”
I chuckled. Phoebe Ramsey was a year older than Philippa and was one of the silliest girls I had the misfortune of knowing. Growing up, she and I had done nothing but fight if we were left together for longer than a few minutes. As the older one, I had been scolded for not behaving better, an injustice I had never forgotten.
“Did you even tell her you were coming?”
Startled by the question, I frowned at Philippa. “No, why would I?”
“I was going to say you must not have. Heaven knows Phoebe cannot keep a secret,” Philippa said with a laugh. “She will be pleased when you visit, though she may not appreciate the surprise. It was badly done of you, Luke.”
Blinking, I tried to make sense of her words. “I doubt Phoebe Ramsey cares about my comings and goings, Philly,” I finally said, giving up on understanding her. “Run along.”
My sister frowned at me for a moment and then shrugged in an unladylike manner. “Brothers,” she said with a huff. She spun on her heel and called over her shoulder as she walked away, “You have no idea what a lady expects from you!”
Shaking my head at her incomprehensibleness, I put the matter from my mind and entered my room.

Not My Idea can be purchased wherever ebooks are sold including Amazon:

Bethany would love to hear from you. She can be found in these places:


~ Happy Reading ~


Feature Fiction Friday – Dana Romanin

Today we have fellow writer, Dana Romanin, talking about her favorite books as well as her new release.

​Dana Romanin has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl pretending to be Anne Shirdana-romaninley (from Anne of Green Gables). She used to write under a forsythia bush, but now she writes in a messy office that she shares with her sewing obsessed daughter.

Dana’s short story, The Silence of Sand, was chosen for adaptation into a short film performed by the Blue Man Group. Dana has also published short fiction for teens in Encounter—The Magazine and had a short story published in a Family Fiction anthology, The Story 2014. Her first novel, Abby’s Letters, releases in June 2017.

She lives in a small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with her wonderful husband, three beautiful kids, and a lot of persnickety pets.

You can find her blog and awkward videos on her website She can also be found on Twitter (@DanaRomanin) and her Facebook fan page (DanaRomaninAuthor).

Here Dana tells us her favorite stories and why:

The three books that I love the most are three totally different books. I tried coming up with more, but I couldn’t. I like other books. But I love these books. After thinking about why these books are my favorite, I realized it’s because there are traits in the main character’s personality that I wish I could have. This fact was an epiphany that I didn’t know about myself until I sat down to write this post. I always thought that I just enjoyed reading them…and reading them again…and again. But it turns out, it goes much deeper than just enjoyment. So instead of explaining why I love these books, I’m going explain why I love the main character.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I love that Anne Shirley is full of life and passion. She expresses herself without shame or fear. She isn’t too shy to show her real self. She is insecure about some aspects of herself, like her hair color, but that doesn’t stop her. She has an appreciation for beauty and nature that encourages me to look for the beauty in my own life.

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
Hadassah has a strong faith in God and his provision. No matter what she faces, she loves God and trusts Him even when things don’t turn out the way she wants. That’s the kind of faith to—I’d say strive for, but then striving is not really acting in faith. That’s the kind of faith to pray for. There that’s better.

Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Katniss is strong, has perseverance, and is loyal. Let’s face it, anybody who wants to make it in almost anything in life must be strong emotionally and have perseverance. That’s especially true in writing. But for me, it is most important to be loyal—loyal to God and his vision for my writing.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I wish for you, dear reader, to have a life full of passion for beauty like Anne, faith like Hadassah, and loyalty like Katniss.

​Thanks for sharing, Dana!

Now, tell us about your book, Abby’s Letters

For years, Jane’s mom told her horror stories about her time spent in foster care. Now she’s determabbysletters-500x750ined to keep her little sister from suffering the same fate.

Seventeen-year-old Jane Sanders has had to take care of her alcoholic mother and little sister, Abby, since her dad died seven years ago. And now Mom had to go and die too. Authorities determine it was a homeless transient who died in the fire of the old manufacturing plant, but Jane knows the truth.

There is no way she’s going to let Abby go into foster care which leaves her with one option—fake her mom’s life. As far as Abby knows, their mom is in rehab. And Jane wants to keep it that way. She’d be eighteen in a few months then she could become legal guardian to her sister. With the help of her best friend, Clark, it should be easy, right?
Juggling nosy neighbors, a concerned school counselor, and an oblivious new boyfriend turns out to be harder than Jane thought. But the real problem begins when Abby starts writing letters to Mom. Through Abby’s letters, Jane sees a different side to their mom—a side she could have loved. And loving Mom is something she didn’t plan on. Because loving somebody makes it harder to ignore their death.

Here’s an excerpt:

​Clark exhaled. “Anything for you, Janie.”
Oh. He had to pull out the nickname. It crushed her. Asking Clark to lie for her—she had never asked so much of him. It went against everything he believed in. She didn’t believe in all that Christian stuff, but he did. Keeping this secret would mean disrespecting his mother. It meant he would have to go against his beliefs.
Disrespect his God.
But his God wasn’t there for her, and He certainly wasn’t going to save Abby from foster care.
Jane would, though.
She entwined her fingers with his. He was so different than the little boy who’d played hide-and-seek with her on warm summer nights, back when her world was filled with her father’s laughter and her mother’s smiles. Now his muscle twitched in his strong jawline. What happened to the freckle-faced boy she had played G.I. Joe and Transformers with? He even had stubble.

“Thanks, Superman.”
“You’re the only one allowed to call me that.”
“And you’re the only one allowed to call me Janie.”
“This is too much. You can’t do this alone.” His thumb caressed her hand.
“I’m not. I have you.”

Find out more about Abby’s letters:
​Barnes & Noble:

​Happy reading and have a great weekend 🙂

Feature Fiction Friday – Lucie Ulrich

Please welcome Lucie Ulrich to my slice of the webisphere today. She’s here to tell us about her favorite books as well as her own new release, Finding Hope.

Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.”

A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

Here’s what Lucie has to say about her favorite books:

I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, and I’m not one to keep books forever. I realize that may be a sin to many of you, but if I know I won’t read a book again, I prefer to pass it on to somebody else to enjoy. That said, there are some books that I will never get rid of.

One such book is, Divided Loyalties by L.K. Malone. It came out in 2001, but I picked it up several years later. It’s full of intrigue and so well-written that I couldn’t put it down. I loved it so much, I sent a message to the author—something I had never considered doing before. Through the course of a few emails, I sort of invited myself into her small online critique group. I had no clue what it took to write a novel at the time. Long story short, we became friends and critiqued of lot of each other’s work for many years. Sadly, L.K. hasn’t written anything in a while, but I keep hoping she’ll get back to it soon.

At one time, I was a huge Ted Dekker fan. He hooked me with his book Three—a psychological thriller—then sucked me in with The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White). It’s a fascinating retelling of the Bible, leading to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. I’m not much of a fantasy reader, but these books were amazing, taking the reader into parallel universes. It did take me a little while to get into the first book, but once the story got going, it never stopped. Dekker added the book, Green, ten years later. I hated it! Sadly, this was when my love for Ted’s books started to fade.

I read mostly Christian fiction, but for years I read every book I could by Dick Francis. Mr. Francis was a British novelist who wrote suspense stories that revolved around horse racing—primarily steeplechase. The mysteries were never gory, and the bit of romance is just the right amount that it never overshadows the basic plot.

There was something special about his British voice, interesting characters, and the world of horses and racing. I’m not a horse person, though I find them to be beautiful creatures. I sometimes wonder if all those horse stories is why I’ve incorporated horses into several of my own books.

Dick Francis died in 2010 at the age of 89. In his later years, he co-wrote several books with his son, Felix, who has since continued in his father’s footsteps. I haven’t read any of Felix’s books. Perhaps one day, but for now, I prefer to cherish the memory and stories of the master.

Since I read mostly on my Kindle these days (long-gone are my hardback book days), I’m more willing to give new authors a try. It’s an inexpensive way to look for the next Francine Rivers or Ted Dekker (the old Ted).

Tfinding-hopehanks for sharing, Lucie. Now tell us about YOUR book 🙂 The cover is gorgeous and it sounds fascinating!

Book: Finding Hope – Though a standalone, this book is a companion or follow-up to The Rose Ring.

Genres: Inspirational, Romance, Family Drama

Blurb: Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.
Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first.
Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.
Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced to live with.
Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?

Short Excerpt: Noah Cooper brushed down his horse and left him in the corral. He strode across the expanse of property and entered the house through the mudroom. Removing his hat, he scrubbed a hand through his sandy-blond hair. It was time for a haircut. The aroma of beef stew wafted from the kitchen. “You in there, Annie?”

“I am, and I washed the floors this morning, so take your boots off.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Chuckling, Noah sat on a bench to do as ordered. In the five months since he’d discovered the woman he believed to be his aunt was actually his mother, Noah had experienced a new kind of love. They were still working out the kinks, but life was good. Noah stepped into the kitchen, kissed Annie on the cheek, and sat at the oak table that was older than he was. “I picked up the mail. Nothing but bills and junk.” He held up a square envelope. “Except for this.” Annie reached for it, but Noah pulled it back with a smile. “Sorry, it’s addressed to me.”

Annie wiped her hands on a dishtowel, her inquisitive gray eyes staring down at him. “Who’s it from?”

“I don’t know. There’s no return address.” He tore open the flap and pulled out a floral note card. A small photograph of a young girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, spilled out. She had golden-brown hair that fell past her shoulders, large green eyes, and a slightly crooked smile that mimicked his own. He turned the photo over to find the name Hope and age fourteen written on the back.

“Who’s this?” Annie took the photo from him and studied it.

Tingles ran up Noah’s spine. “I’m not sure.” Could it possibly be? Before reading the note, he zeroed in on the signature at the bottom. The breath escaped his lungs in a whoosh.

“You okay?” Annie sat next to him and put a hand on his arm.

It took a moment before he could answer. He hadn’t heard from his first love in nearly sixteen years. Not since the day he’d signed the adoption papers relinquishing any rights to his unborn child. “It’s from Amanda.”

Annie let out a long, slow whistle while holding up the picture. “So this is…”

Noah took the picture from her. “My daughter.”

If you’d like to stay in touch with Lucie:
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Finding Hope is available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon: ​
and Barnes & Noble:

Feature Fiction Friday – Chynna Laird

shut-up-drive_1Fellow Canadian author, Chynna Laird, is on today talking about her book, Just Shut Up and Drive. I haven’t read it yet but from the description, it sounds like it would be a good read 🙂

​Here’s a little bit about Chynna:

CHYNNA LAIRD – is a freelance writer, blogger, editor and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and beautiful boy, Xander (ten). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.

You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain.

In addition, she’s authored two award-winning children’s books (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD and Don’t Rush Me), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novella (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync), a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal series (Dark Water) and a contemporary New Adult novel (Just Shut Up and Drive).

She’s also working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited and Dark Water as well as a few other projects in the works for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers. Watch out for her next Children’s Picture book, Don’t Rush Me, coming out late spring 2017.

To stay on top of her work, you can find her writing snippets, book information, and chat about important issues at her author blog at

Where to find Chynna on the web:

Main author website/blog:
Join Chynna’s Author page on Facebook:
Amazon Author Page:
Author’s Den:
Catch her on Twitter: @ChynnaLaird




One teen, one cranky old man and the open road. What could go wrong?


Eighteen-yeshut-up-drive_1ar old Wil Carter can think of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than go on a road trip with his ninety-five year old grandfather. But when Gramps Wilf barks an order, you listen or get an earful of grief.




Wil lost his parents in a horrible car accident when he was five. Gramps has been the only parent he has ever known. Now that he’s ready to go off to college, the old man says he has things Wil needs to learn to be the man he’s supposed to be. But the trip turns out to be more than he bargains for.

Along their week-long road trip across the Canadian Prairies, Wil not only learns tidbits about his own life, but realizes the grandfather he thought he knew has mysteries of his own. With each stop they make, a new layer of emotional truth is revealed…for each of them.

Will Gramps teach Wil what he needs to know before the journey ends? And is Wil strong enough to hear it?


Just Shut Up and Drive is available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon –

​Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

“You want to do what?” eighteen-year-old Wil Carter asked his grandfather.
Gramps Wilf clicked his tongue. “I know you aren’t deaf, my boy. I said you and me are going for a road trip for a week or so in the summer.”
Wil shook his head, picturing being crammed in his puny hatchback with his ninety-five-year-old grandfather. For “a week or so.” Sounded like the start of a really bad cheesy movie: “The Adventures of Young Dude and Grumpy Old Man.” Wil thought of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than drive hundreds of miles with a grouchy old geezer. But he knew there was no use in putting up a fight. He’d end up doing exactly what he always did: what he was told.
All Wil wanted to do over his summer holiday was work over at the corner drugstore and hang out with his buddies. After all, it was going be his last summer in Winnipeg before he headed out east to go to university. But, no, Gramps had set his plan in motion, yet again, without him even knowing.
“Gramps,” Wil said, releasing a sharp breath. “You know that I work at the pharmacy every summer. How am I supposed to earn up my tuition if I’m chauffeuring you around the country? Besides, Mr. Bassey isn’t going to give me that much time off. He’s shortstaffed and—”
“Already taken care of,” Gramps interrupted, shuffling over to his favorite recliner, backing up to it, and then plopping himself down. “Jim said he could spare ya for the time we’re gone by
getting the other gals to take their holidays later. Done.”
Wil allowed his jaw to fall slack. “Uh, Gramps? Did it ever dawn on you that, maybe, I’d like to… oh, I don’t know… have some fun this summer, being that I have to go to university in the fall?”
Gramps flipped the footrest of his recliner up, scootched his body back, then folded his hands across his belly. He tilted his head down, staring into Wil’s pale blue eyes over the rims of his Buddy Holly-styled frames. “What? You got a girlfriend?”
“Well, no.”
“Big plans aside from workin’?”
Wil put his hands on his hips then looked up at the ceiling. “No.”
“Doin’ anything special on your days off aside from slackin’ off with those freaky friends of yours at the beach, starin’ at those girls you only wish could be your girlfriends?”
Wil looked back down at his grandfather. “Ouch, Gramps.
And, yeah. Hello? I said I wanted to have some fun.”
Gramps grabbed the remote from the armrest. “Mmm-hmm. Well, ‘fun’ should be spent doin’ things you’re interested in and good at.”
“Well I’m interested in sitting on the beach, and I’m good at looking at girls. C’mon, Gramps. It’s summer. And it’s the last one I have in high school. Some of my friends are moving away to go to school and—”
The old man leaned forward and pointed the remote at Wil, who took that as a cue to shut it. “Let’s get something straight, son. You’re still living under my roof. I know you’re a man now and want to be makin’ all your own choices, but there’s still plenty of things you need to learn about life before you’ll make it on your own. And I’m gonna teach you those things this summer. I got some important things I need to show ya. I said we’re goin’ on a road trip, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Now either sit on down and watch the news with me or find something more useful to do.”
With that, Gramps pressed the remote with his thumb and Wil heard the TV blaring behind him. The two men glared at each other for a few seconds, then Wil dramatically flopped himself into the green-and-white-checkered barrel chair beside his grandfather’s recliner. He put his elbow on the armrest then leaned his cheek onto his fist.
“Can you at least tell me where we’ll be going?”
“What? Why not? If you’re going to kidnap me, I should at least know where I’m going. Especially since I have to be the chauffeur.”
“We’re just gonna make a few stops between here and the other side of Saskatchewan. You’ll find out soon enough. And by the way, if I’m kidnapping ya, then you don’t need to know exactly where you’re goin’, now do ya? Since you’re the driver, you just gotta go where I say.”
From the corner of his eye, Wil saw his grandfather’s mouth tug up into a little smirk. Then Gramps cranked the volume loud enough for any passerby outside to hear the news right along with them. Another subtle sign that their conversation was done, at least from Gramps’ perspective.
Wil squinted at the TV, heat radiating from the nape of his neck. Great, he thought. A week or more of my summer vacation wasted with His Royal Crankiness.
He wondered what his grandfather could possibly have left to teach him. Or if he really wanted to know.






Sound good? Read Just Shut Up and Drive for yourself 🙂

Feature Fiction Friday – Krysten Lindsay Hagar

Krysten Lindsay Hagar is here today talking about her five favorite books:

​My Mother was Never a Kid by Francine Pascal. One of my favorite young adult novels of all time. Victoria time travels to see what her mother was like as a kid. She thinks her mother was born the strict woman she knows now, but when she goes back Victoria sees her mom was even wilder and crazier than she is! The humor in this one is great.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I didn’t appreciate this book when we read it in school, but I fell in love with it when I read it as an adult. Honestly I don’t know why they assign it to preteens and teens. The first time I was assigned the book I was in the seventh grade and I don’t know how a seventh grader is supposed to connect with the theme in the book. The symbolism, Gatsby, Nick, and the way Fitzgerald shows that desperation and longing. Love, love, love.
Good-bye, Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar. This is a coming of age young adult novel and I read this for the first time the summer after 5th grade. It’s a coming of age story about a girl whose family escaped Europe during WWII and she is trying to assimilate in America. You can really feel the emotions the main character is going through.
Life is a Gift by Tony Bennett. This is a memoir by the singer and the title says it all. I love that Tony feels we keep creating all through our lives. If you are a creative minded person then you will enjoy this book and how Tony shares how he managed to put out quality music throughout his long career.
The Great Mom Swap by Betsey Haynes. This is a middle grade novel my parents gave me for my birthday in the fourth grade. One of the characters, Scottie, wants to be an author and I identified. I was obsessed with this book as a kid.

A little about Krysten:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.


Krysten’s latest book:

COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
SYNOPSIS – Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past—or so they say…
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?
Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.


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Thanks for visiting with us today, Krysten 🙂