Friday, January 29, 2016

Krysten Lindsay Hager's Top Ten Favorite Shows to Binge Watch!

I'm very excited to welcome fellow Clean Reads author Krysten Lindsay Hager to the blog to celebrate her latest release, Landry in Like!

I am always on the lookout for new shows to binge-watch. Thanks, Krysten, for sharing your top ten favorites!

Top 10 Favorite Binge Watch Shows

These are the shows I turn to when I need a break or am in need of fun, escapist television. Some I keep episodes of on my DVR, some I have on DVD, and some I make library trips to pick up.

1) Hart of Dixie: Wade and Zoe forever. I’m so mad we weren’t allowed another season to watch them juggle parenthood.

2) Girl Meets World: I love Cory as the teacher and I don’t know who cast Riley, but she is perfect as his daughter. The Lucas character is how I imagine my character, Nick Jenkins, would look in my book, Next Door to a Star.

3) Mary Tyler Moore: I was interning at a TV station years ago and on the later shift so I’d come home after the 11 o’clock show and Mary Tyler Moore was on Nick at Nite. It mirrored my life at the station, so I’d watch that while I ate my late night dinner. Love Mary, Ted, Rhoda, and that apartment.

4) Austin and Ally: I was flipping through the channels on day and saw the guy who plays Austin and thought, That is exactly how I picture Vladi Yagudin (from my Landry’s True Colors Series) looking. I started watching the show regularly and was so sad to see the final episode.

5) American Dad: I pretty much watch several episodes of this show a week on Cartoon Network and TBS. Roger the alien is my spirit animal and I love when Stan and Roger have a storyline together. I quote Roger a lot. We’re “friendsly.”
6) Daria: I loved Daria when it first came on and freaked out when it went to DVD. I can imitate Sandy from the Fashion Club. It’s my finest talent.

7) Freaks and Geeks: Who took this show off the air? It was perfection. The awkwardness, the cringe-y moments. Perfect.

8) The Simpsons: The writing on this show is amazing. Another great show to quote. You can describe someone as Moe or Ned and everyone knows what you mean.

9) The Goldbergs: They had me at the episode where Adam hurt himself trying to recreate a George Michael episode. The two boys and the dad are so realistic I keep wondering if they know they’re in a TV show.

10) The Royals: This is a new fave. I am obsessed with Elizabeth Hurley’s wardrobe on this show. It reminds me of the late night soaps my parents watched back in the day.

I've been a Simpsons fan since it first premiered on the Tracey Ullman Show! How about you--what are some of your favorite shows to binge-watch?

Landry in Like
Landry's True Colors Book 3

Krysten Lindsay Hager

YA Contemporary
Clean Reads
January 2016

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.

Blurb: 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 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?

About the Author

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:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Elementals by Michelle Madow - Excerpt & Giveaway

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
by Michelle Madow
Release Date: January 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love! 

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.


"Elementals is going to blow your mind!"
-Crossroad Reviews, ★★★★★

"Five glittery stars for being such a compelling read!"
-Andrea Heltsley, Goodreads Reviewer ★★★★★

"A perfect mixture of magic and mythology. An entrancing story of trust, friendship and well naughty boys. WITCHES are not the only thing walking the earth!"
- BenjaminOfTomes, BookTuber ★★★★★


“Run!” Blake yelled, grabbing my arm and pulling me off the merry-go-round.

It spun under our weight, and I held onto the metal bars, pushing off them to leap over the edge. The cedar chips on the ground cushioned my landing. The car was behind us, which would mean running towards the monstrous hound, so I bolted for the playground, hurrying up a ladder of rubber tires that led to the closest platform. Blake followed close behind. The second he was up he took the lighter out of his pocket and aimed a blue fireball at the tires. They melted to the ground seconds before the hound reached them.

It looked up at us and growled—a low, menacing sound that if I spoke dog I would have assumed meant “I’m going to have you for dinner”—and tried to jump onto the platform. It missed by only a few inches.

Blake flicked on his lighter and threw a fireball at its chest, but the hound jumped to the side to get out of the way. It turned all four of its eyes up at us, one head letting out a deep roar as the other snapped its teeth together, taking bites out of the air.

My hands shook, and I gripped one of the log posts behind me for support. “Have you learned how to fight these things in homeroom?” I asked Blake, my voice rising in panic.

He threw another fireball, and it missed the hound again. “No,” he snapped, the flames lighting up his face. “Fighting legendary creatures isn’t on the syllabus.”

“Maybe it should be,” I said as he launched another ball of fire, hitting the hound on its front paw. Both of its heads yelped in pain. The scorpion tail lowered between its legs, and it growled again before turning away from us and running around the side of the playground, woodchips flying behind it as it gained speed.

My heart pounded, and I looked around to figure how to get off the platform. The exit was a slide that dropped off at the monkey bars. I could get down and run to the car, but I didn’t know where the hound was, and leaving the platform could give it the perfect opportunity to pounce.
Then the hound growled again. I turned around, spotting it clamoring up a ladder of logs that led to a nearby platform. Only a wobbly bridge separated that platform from our own. My entire body shook, and I moved closer to Blake, grabbing his arm for support. 

The hound reached the top of the platform, and its glowing eyes narrowed, ready to attack.
Not having anywhere else to go, I launched myself down the slide and hurried to the monkey bars, climbing up the ladder and hoisting myself on top of them. Gripping the sides, I crawled to the center bar, but the ground spun beneath me, my lungs tightening as I looked down. I had to take a few deep breaths to steady myself. A six-foot fall wasn’t deadly. Now wasn’t the time to let my fear of heights get to me.

Blake scrambled behind me, and I turned around to make sure he wasn’t hurt. Sweat dripped down the sides of his face from the flames, but other than that he looked okay. He took his lighter out again, holding it up in preparation to create another fireball.

I looked back at the hound in time to see it run along the bridge and hurl itself towards us. It bared its teeth as it flew through the air, its arms outstretched as it came closer to the monkey bars. But it must not have had enough force behind the jump, because it fell to the ground with a loud thump. It stood and shook the woodchips off its fur, a low growl coming from somewhere deep in its throat as it turned its heads up to look at us.

Before I could say anything to Blake about how completely screwed we were, he threw two balls of fire towards the hound, hitting both of its faces. It howled and collapsed, whimpering as it buried its snouts in its paws. The smell of burnt skin filled the air. My stomach swirled with nausea, and I lifted a hand to my nose to block out the smell.

Only a few seconds passed before it stood up again. The fur on its faces had changed into a charred grey. Its yellow eyes glowed brighter now, both snouts chomping madly in the air, strings of saliva dripping to the ground as it waited to devour whichever one of us lost our balance first.

About the Author
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Author Links:
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Inspiration for The Van Winkle Project Series by Karri Thompson + Excerpt & Giveaway

ascendancy blog tour banner

Welcome to Karri Thompson, author of Ascendancy, book two in The Van Winkle Project. I really enjoyed book one, Mirror X, and am looking forward to reading this one :)

Inspiration for The Van Winkle Project Series
by Karri Thompson

Many people have asked me what inspired the series The Van Winkle Project, and it’s hard to explain the inspiration without giving away one of the major plot twists in the book. But I can say this – it all started with my high-school crush on Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of the band, INXS.

Okay, so I know many, or more likely most of you, are scratching your head and thinking INXS? Michael Hutchence? Never heard of them. Yeah, I know. I just totally dated myself. My high-school years were in the late 1980s.

INXS was an Australian rock band fronted by the main lyricist and vocalist, Michael Hutchence. After seeing their music video for “The One Thing,” on MTV (when MTV used to only show music videos) I was an instant fan, not only of the band’s music, but of Michael. At that moment, he became my rock-star crush. Check out the video on YouTube, and you’ll see why?

Soon my bedroom walls were covered with posters of INXS and Michael, my album collection (yeah, I’m talking vinyl) contained everything ever recorded by the band, and I read every article about them that I could get my hands on.

As a high-school English teacher, over the years, I’ve seen so much of my high-school self in my students. From NSync and the Backstreet Boys, Hanson and the Jonas Brothers, to Justin Bieber and One Direction (yeah, I know. It’s all about Harry with 1D – that’s what my students tell me), young girls have been and are still doing what I did when it comes to being the ultimate fan.

Of course, with boyfriends and college, I grew out of my crush, but Michael and INXS’ music always held a special place in my heart, and I remained a fan. Unfortunately, in 1997, Michael committed suicide, and with the sad news I regretted the fact that I had never met him or had seen INXS in concert.

Well, guess what? I brought him back on the written page with the character Travel who, as the series progresses, becomes a more dominate character. In fact, Travel was originally an Australian rock star. Through edits, that was eventually changed, but in the series he still has a slight Aussie accent, and he looks like Michael Hutchence with his brown, wavy hair, brown eyes, and cool rock-star walk.

How exactly did I bring him back? That’s the part I can’t tell about without creating a plot spoiler. But I can end by saying that my idea for the series sprung from my long-time crush on the talented and hot Michael Hutchence.


Karri Thompson

Published by Entangled Teen Published
November 30th, 2015

Genre: YA Dystopian 

Entangled Teen: Amazon: B&N: Indigo Books:

I’ve been lied to, deceived, and manipulated once again. I shouldn’t be surprised, but in a way I am. You’d think I’d be treated with dignity, my every desire fulfilled by those who need me the most. But instead, they plan to control me, keep me hidden, and force me to be complacent while I give birth over and over again. Hell, I’m the one who’s supposed to save humanity, right? I’m the one with the power to re-populate this world of clones, my ancestors who were produced from harvested DNA. Michael. He loves me. At this point, he may be my only friend. There may be others. Tension is building in the regions. A secret sect is growing. A rebellion is imminent. My awakening into this future should have been my savior, my renaissance, my ally. But instead, it has become my plague.

KarriAbout the Author:

Karri Thompson, a native of San Diego, California, grew up hanging out at the beach, playing sports, and eventually attending San Diego State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education. When she’s not nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con or watching Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings movies for the umpteenth time, she can be seen doing normal people stuff like teaching high-school English, cooking delicious meals for her family (she attributes all of her culinary skills to the Food Network), and attending her son’s football games. In her spare time, she writes young adult and new adult fiction, her biggest passion, and loves listening to hard rock music and going to concerts. She hopes to live long and prosper, and that you will, too.

Instagram: authorkarrithompson

Read Below for an excerpt from the book:

Michael was the only good thing to come out of my awakening. I didn’t know how long we’d have together, but I realized I wanted to make every second with him count. Twisting to face him, I brought my right leg to the other side of his body and kissed him gently at first, and then a little harder as he brought his hands to my back, massaging his fingers against my shoulder blades.
His lips moved to my neck, and he slid his hand through the hair at the base of my head. I lay against him, savoring his warm breath at my throat as his chest pressed against mine.
“Duck!” Cradling my body, he scrambled to the floor, bringing me down with him.
“What?” I whispered.
“I saw something outside. A shadow. It looked like a person.”
“Victoria! I need to get her.” Crawling on my hands and knees, I entered the living room and picked up my sleeping baby.
“Behind the couch. Let’s go.”
“Watch her,” I said, and rested her on the floor next to Michael.
Drawing the laser pistol from my waist, I scooted to the edge of the couch where I could see the back door.
“I locked it,” he whispered, “but any Security guard or SEC can open it.”
The door slid open. I aimed my pistol, my arms and hands trembling.

The Giveaway: A signed copy of Ascendancy by Karri Thompson; open US only

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happily Ever Alpha Box Set - Character Interview & Giveaway

A special welcome to Aimee Easterling with a character interview from her novel Jaguar at the Portal, part of the Happily Ever Alpha box set!

Aimee: Thanks for dropping by, Ixchel and Finn. I thought it might be fun to test your knowledge of each other in the Newlywed Game!
Jaguar at the Portal

Ixchel: But we're...

Finn: Sounds like fun!

Ixchel: ...Not married. Okay, whatever.

Aimee: Thanks for being such good sports. You'll notice you each have a notepad in front of you. I'm going to start with an easy question about Finn. He'll write down his answer and then Ixchel has to guess what he wrote. Finn, if you could be any animal, what would you be?

[They pause while Finn scribbles on the notepad.]

Ixchel: [rolling her eyes] This is an easy one. A jaguar of course.

Aimee: Finn? [She accepts the pad of paper out of his hand and takes a look.] Oops! Not quite right. Looks like Finn would be...a dolphin!

Ixchel: But that makes no sense! You are a were-jaguar.

Finn: She said, if I could be any animal, which would I be. And I'd be a dolphin.

Ixchel: [sighing] Okay. Let's get this over with. I've got puppies in the waiting room that need their shots. What's next?

Aimee: Now we get to test Finn's knowledge. So I'll ask Ixchel --- what do you consider your greatest weakness?

[Finn scrunches his eyebrows together, obviously thinking hard as Ixchel scribbles for a long time on her pad of paper.]

Aimee: Okay, Finn, you're up. What's Ixchel's greatest failing?

Finn: So, first of all, this is one of those trick questions that men have a right not to answer.

Ixchel: Oh, come on. I'm not going to get mad at you.

Finn: [gazing into her eyes] But, see, it's not really a trick question. Because Aimee didn't ask what I think is your greatest failing --- which, by the way, is nothing. She asked what you think is your greatest failing. And you'd

Aimee: Well, it seemed like Ixchel was writing a novel over there. So let's see if Finn was right.

[Ixchel grins as she flips the paper over. The edges are covered with doodles, but in the center she's boldly scrawled "TRUST."]

Aimee: Finn's on a roll! Okay, let's see if Ixchel can catch up as we ask Finn....what would prompt you to tell a lie?

[Now it's Finn's turn to look uncomfortable, but he quickly scribbles his answer.]

Aimee: Ixchel?

Ixchel: [reaching over and taking Finn's hand] You know, we can leave if you want to.

Finn: [taking a deep breath] No, I'm good. It's your chance to shine.

Ixchel: Okay, in that case, Finn would say --- fear.

Teaser imageAimee: Looks like you know him pretty well after all. Now, for our final question. you believe in love at first sight?

[Finn perks back up as they wait for Ixchel to decide. She taps the pen against her lips, scrunches up her nose, then shrugs and writes.]

Aimee: [accepting the paper, then smiling knowingly] So, what do you think, Finn?

Finn: [sounding positive of the outcome] She doesn't, but I do.

[Ixchel's stiff spine melts a bit as she takes the paper back from the interviewer and flips the pad over. It reads "I didn't used to...but I've changed my mind."]

Aimee: Well, it looks like it's a tie, folks!

Finn: You could say that. Or you could say we both won.

[Finn pulls Ixchel in for a kiss on the lips.]

Aimee: Ooookay. Let's keep this PG, kids. We'll try out another round after this commercial break.

Deep-voiced announcer: Want to learn more about Finn and Ixchel's adventures facing down Mexican gods and falling in love? Check out Aimee Easterling's Jaguar at the Portal, available for a limited time in the 21-novel bundle Happily Ever Alpha. When once upon a time isn't enough....

Happily Ever Alpha Paranormal Romance Boxed Set: Sexy Shifters, Wickedly Cool Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, Gargoyles, Demons, Psychics, & More!

Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance
When Once Upon A Time Isn’t Enough
Happily Ever Alpha – From Twenty-Two NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling Authors
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Professionally Edited and Formatted.
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These hot heroes and tough as nails heroines will steal your heart and make your beg for more.
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Our first tagline was so hot, Amazon wouldn’t let us publish it here, but you can find that same heat burning inside the pages of this set. Treat yourself to a varied collection of hot, steamy, and passionate paranormal tales. This satisfying collection has something to excite all readers.
With sexy shifters, hot vampires, wickedly cool witches, and so much more, this boxed set will has titles that will either warm you up or set you on fire—Take your pick!
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