Sunday, March 29, 2015

Krysten Lindsay Hager's Best Friends Forever?

 Are BFF's really forever? Fellow Author, Krysten Lindsay Hager and her character, Landry, are down here on the Bayou to tell us all about it. 

But no matter where you are, teenagers face the same challenges. And Ms. Hager's True Colors series explores them well. 

Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
Blurb:  Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying. 
Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.

I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that's when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.
My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a closeknit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the "ʺThree’s Company"ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, "ʺWish you were here,"ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.
“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.
“Yeah, just signing off.”
“Okay, sleep well.”
I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.

Excerpt 2: 
“Landry, it’s gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi’s school next year,” Tori said. “I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?"
"It’s a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. “People break up all the time. It’s not a big deal.ʺ
Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Yeah, right,” and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first prefreshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn’t told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she’d probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: “Landry, Vladi’s here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, ‘hello.’ Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a ‘loser dumpee?’ What does that mean?”
Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn’t have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.
Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m. 
Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?
Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern 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.
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!" 
From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren't everything. This book is related to every teen's problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.” 
Buy Links:
Amazon international:
Connect with Krysten: 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Southern Fried Wiccan, by S.P. Sipal

Today, stopping by the Bayou, is my friend,  Susan Sipal, from BookFish Books Publishing, with her new release, Southern Fried Wiccan! If the cover doesn't intrigue you, read on...

About Southern Fried Wiccan:

Cilla Swaney is thrilled to return stateside, where she can hang up her military-brat boots for good. Finally, she’ll be free to explore her own interests—magick and Wicca. But when she arrives at her grandma’s farm, Cilla discovers that life in the South isn’t quite what she expected. At least while country hopping, she never had to drink G-ma’s crazy fermented concoctions, attend church youth group, make co-op deliveries...or share her locker with a snake-loving, fire-lighting, grimoire-stealing Goth girl…

…Who later invites her to a coven that Cilla’s not sure she has the guts to attend. But then Emilio, the dark-haired hottie from her charter school, shows up and awakens her inner goddess. Finally, Cilla starts believing in her ability to conjure magick. Until…

…All Hades breaks loose. A prank goes wrong during their high school production of Macbeth, and although it seems Emilio is to blame, Cilla and Goth may pay the price. Will Cilla be able to keep the boy, her coven, and the trust of her family? Or will this Southern Wiccan get battered and fried?


My troubles all started the day my grandma discovered my grimoire in her armoire. I’d flung it in when she’d called up the stairs for me to “hightail it out to the barn” and feed the lambs.
Like I’m supposed to know what “hightail it” means. Me, Cilla Swaney, world-traveling military brat. Though I spoke four languages, I hadn’t yet mastered my native Southern.

Until three weeks and five days ago, I’d only visited I’m-So-Bored-I-Think-I’ll-Die-ville, North Carolina, on the few―and thank God brief―furloughs Dad got between posts. Now I was stuck here. Forever. Or at least until Mom closed on our new house in Chapel Hill, which seemed to be taking forever.

I’d finally cornered the littlest of Grandma’s late-born lambs, Lemon Balm, between the wood fence and the red barn wall, when up at the house the back screen door squeaked, and G-ma’s voice rang out loud and strident, “Priscilla Lou Swaney. You have some explaining to do!”

I jerked, and warm milk bathed the back of my hand as LB hungrily nuzzled the emptying bottle I still held to his mouth. All three names. Oh mein Gott, was I in for it.

My stomach did an odd jittery thing as I peeked around the side of the barn. G-ma’s brown and green tie-dye skirt swirled about her mucked-up barn boots as she crunched down the gravel path leading from the ancient white farmhouse. Her wire headset plugged into the cordless phone that was clipped in its permanent position at her waist flapped irritably with her movements.

That’s another thing. Why couldn’t I have a grandma like the other American kids I knew? You know, a normal one—a gray-haired old lady who would put on a red hat and go out to gossip with her retired friends. Or better yet, one who would buy me all the things my parents wouldn’t and let me veg out all day eating junk food. No, mine had to be some sort of leftover hippie who ran her own organic farm and forced me to drink all these vile fermented beverages she brewed up in her kitchen. Really.

“Let me call you back about the raw cheese, Hector. I’ve got to deal with a little problem first.”
Stopping right in front of me—the “little problem”—and not a bit out of breath, G-ma clicked off her phone and thrust the dog-eared pages of Teen Magick into my face. The book almost, but unfortunately not fully, covered the narrow-eyed look in her green eyes. Eyes the same color as mine; the only thing we had in common.

She shook the grimoire in my face. “What is this nonsense?”

Panic gagged me. My fingers itched to snatch my new spell book from her, but that would have been a dead giveaway.

She thumbed through the first few pages. “‘A Witch’s First Grimoire.’ ‘Pox your Pimples.’ ‘Divine Tomorrow’s Test.’ ‘Ritual for Samhain.’ What are you doing with this trash?”

I’d been so thrilled when I’d found the tiny Spirit Rising bookstore while shopping with Mom near UNC. This book had called to me from the window display. If only I’d bought it after Mom had closed on the house and we were no longer staying at G-ma’s.

Uh.” I wracked my brain as I bent over the lamb, his soft head tickling where he rubbed against my bare legs below my cut-offs. “That…that’s a book I’m reading for research.”

“Research for what?” She waved at a buzzing fly, and I caught a whiff of the milk kefir she’d been fermenting earlier. “School doesn’t start for another week. And watch out! Lemon Balm is about to knock over the milk pail.”

I patted LB on his butt, sending him galloping off to the dry summer pasture while giving myself time to whip up a better explanation. “Well, see, before we left Dad in Izmir, he told me that one of his new airmen claimed to be a Wiccan and asked me to look into it, see if he had any reason to be concerned.”

It wasn’t a lie exactly. I mean, Dad had voiced concern over this eighteen-year-old private I’d been hanging with. Of course, Dad had been freaking about my “seeing” a guy three years older. He’d have really freaked if he’d known his airman was teaching me more about casting enchanted circles than giving heated glances. As if an older guy would notice a geek like me anyway.

About the Author:

Born and raised in North Carolina, Susan Sipal had to travel halfway across the world and return home to embrace her father and grandfather's penchant for telling a tall tale.  After having lived with her husband in his homeland of Turkey for many years, she suddenly saw the world with new eyes and had to write about it.  Perhaps it was the emptiness of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus that cried out to be refilled, or the myths surrounding the ancient Temple of Artemis, but she's been writing stories filled with myth and mystery ever since.  She can't wait to share Southern Fried Wiccan with readers in March 2015.

How to find Susan:

My website:

My blog:

My Twitter:

Southern Fried Wiccan on Amazon:

Southern Fried Wiccan on Goodreads

S.P. Sipal on Goodreads: