Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Spotlight: Worth the Effort by Kai Strand - Excerpt & Giveaway

Worth the Effort ~ Ella's Story
Kai Strand

Ella Jones is a coward. There is a teen boy living in the alley behind her work and she is terrified of him.

Desperate to leave behind the stereotypical and judgmental world she was raised in, Ella forces herself to make a true connection with seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth. As their friendship grows Ayden’s quiet, gentle ways teach her true courage.

But there’s more to Ayden’s story than Ella knows. When their worlds collide in the most unexpected place, Ella feels betrayed. Will she find the courage to learn who Ayden really is, or will she determine he’s not worth the effort?


I jog from the parking lot to the back door of the restaurant the next morning, heart pumping, panting, but not out of fear this time. I had a difficult time waking up, and I don’t want to be late.
I shove the key into the lock.
I jump and squeal. Ayden is standing next to me, looking like he just woke up. He’s wearing a black hooded sweatshirt under his green army jacket. He must have washed it because I would have smelled him. He’s standing so close.
“Ayden. When did you get here?”
My question catches him by surprise. He cocks his head and opens his mouth, but I cut him off.
“I’m sorry, I can’t talk today. I’m late.”
He nods. All expression erased from his face.
“You’re on break from school, right?” he asks.
Turning the key, I frown at his unexpected question and nod.
“What time do you get off work?”
I pause with the door open. He’s never asked anything like that before, and it kick-starts this crazy emotion inside me. Excitement maybe?
His smile is almost shy and very playful. “Coffee?”
I can’t help myself. I laugh. “You buying?”
He laughs too. “Uh…”
“I’m kidding. I’ll bring some with me. Where should I meet you?”
“How about the library?”
“It’s a date.” I say with a grin. The spark in his eyes fans that strange emotion, making me laugh again. “Now I’m really late.”
Inside, I slide the deadbolt back into place and pause long enough to press my palm against the door, picturing Ayden on the other side. A sense of rightness fills me. I whisper, “I have a date with a homeless boy.”

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for letting me share my newest book with your readers! Good luck to anyone who joins the giveaway.

  2. Oh my, this excerpt yells "read me"! I don't enter giveaways, but if "Worth the Effort" was the prize, I would have been mighty tempted!

    1. Aw, thanks! WtE is only .99, so I wanted to up the ante a little ;)


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