Aug 10, 2014

Guest Post: Beachy Reads by Krysten Lindsay Hager

I've recently read True Colors and loved it! I'm really happy that Krysten Lindsay Hager has written a guest post for me! 

Beachy Reads by Krysten Lindsay Hager
There is nothing like a great vacation to get away from it all. I’m originally from a state surrounded by lakes (Michigan), and even though I’ve moved a lot over the years (three different states and one move overseas to Portugal), I always seem to want to go back to a beautiful lake town when I go on vacation. One of my favorite getaways was last summer when my friend and I went on a trip for a week to spend near Lake Michigan. We visited three of the beach resort towns there: Grand Haven, Holland, and Saugatuck.
My favorite time was in Grand Haven walking down the pier to the lighthouse with my friend and my cousin, Diva, who joined us that day. There’s something really magical and breathtaking about being able to walk out on the lake.
As a writer, I use everything for inspiration, so as I was standing there on the pier looking out into the distance, I was picturing two of my characters doing the same thing and what they were thinking as well. And I’ll admit that I often took descriptions of people walking by to use for, um…”research.” Yes, guy in the orange sweatpants, I’m looking in your direction because you’re about to be used as the bad guy and girl hanging back in the sweatshirt? You made it in the scene, too. I even bought a necklace that day at one of the cute souvenir shops that will be given as a gift by one of the book’s love interests to my main character. Yes, shopping all in the name of research. I truly suffer for my art, don’t I?

As my friend and I walked back on the beach, I remembered a trip I took there a few years ago with another friend and how we spent hours on sitting on the beach just taking in the sights and relaxing. I love reading stories with beach settings, too. As a kid I liked, “My First Love and Other Disasters,” by Francine Pascal because of the beach scenes. A more recent find was Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, which is both heartbreaking and beautiful.  And you can’t talk summer beach reads without including, Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. These books always bring back that bit of summer magic.
I’d love to hear what your favorite summer holiday memories and beach books are, so please leave them in the comments!
Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows : Hart of Dixie, The Goldbergs, Switched at Birth, American Dad, Dallas, and Devious Maids.
Blurb: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically "unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.
Excerpt from TRUE COLORS:
Crap. What if I got the dry heaves on stage? And what if it got so bad one of my eyes bulged out or something? I should just go back up to the room… double crap. Mom had the room key. At least there was a bathroom for when I had to worry about… the other end.
While I was deciding whether or not to chicken out, the stage manager, Georgia, started having the girls go out on stage. I overheard somebody say one girl fell out of her shoe as she stepped on the runway.
“Is she okay?”   
“Yeah, she’s fine. She just pretended to have two heels on and walked on her tip toes,” Georgia said.
I would have burst into tears and run off the stage — kind of like I did when I was four years old and in a dance recital. We were supposed to be little ballerinas and have scarves attached to our tutus, but my mom was still in school at the time and she came home late and forgot to give me my scarves. So all the other little girls pulled out their scarves, and there’s a video of me looking on either side of my tutu for my scarves and then bursting into tears crying “Mommy!” as I ran off the stage. My grandmother said I was adorable, but I don’t think it was any coincidence my grandfather died two weeks later.
At least I didn’t have to worry about missing scarves tonight. All I had to do was focus on not tripping. If I could just make it down the runway and back, I’d be fine.

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  1. Thanks, Natalie! I love Grand Haven a lot. It's such a beautiful place

  2. Wow I want to go there. Lovely place for inspiration.

  3. Thanks! I definitely felt inspired there. It's very pretty.


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