Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kai Strand

I’m delighted to welcome fellow author Kai Strand back to Book Blather. Her latest release is a young adult book titled Worth the Effort and, trust me, Kai’s books are definitely worth the effort. After reading Kai’s post, be sure to enter her contest. She’s giving away coffee and books. What could be better?

Throwback Thursday – Kai Strand at Seventeen

I thought it might be fun to reminisce over what I was like when I was the age of my main character in my new ya romance, Worth the Effort: Ella’s Story.

First let’s look at Ella. She’s a senior in high school. A barista. She works the opening shift so she can get more hours in. That means she shows up at 4:00 am, works four or five hours, depending on her school schedule, and then goes to school until almost three in the afternoon. She wants to go to college and major in Environmental Studies. 

Now let’s look at me. When I was a senior in high school I had a steady boyfriend and a very part-time job tagging clothes in a warehouse. I called in to see if there was work when I wanted to work. The job paid for gas and insurance for the car my dad gave me. Like Ella, I spent a lot of time in a coffee shop, but I was with my friends drinking pots of coffee and lamenting the woes of teenagerdom for hours on end. The restaurant was called Barnaby’s and our regular waitress was named Wulla. She had curly, graying hair. She was cranky, and overweight, and walked like her feet permanently hurt. 

I wasn’t as focused as Ella seems to be. Yet, as Ella’s Story unfolds, we realize she isn’t actually as focused as she appears. Even she doesn’t realize it until she meets Ayden, a homeless boy who makes her question her goals and her motivations. I think most high school seniors are walking that very thin line between being kids and planning their futures. 

What were you like your senior year of high school? Did you have it all figured out? Did it play out like you’d planned? Or were you like me and scared to death of life after graduation?

About the book:    


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?

WORTH THE EFFORT: Ella’s Story a young adult contemporary romance novella.

Amazon, Goodreads

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,

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  1. Thank you so much for participating in my tour for Worth the Effort. It is always nice to visit with you, Marilee!

  2. I think I was halfway between Ella and Kai. I had plans post high school - not that I followed through, but I had a plan. It was an adventure and I was looking forward to it. I had a job as well - not as part time as Kai, but not as intense as Ella either. I delivered newspapers early in the AM, in the dark and cold of winter and the heat of summer, 7 days a week. I had a steady boyfriend, spent after schools training as a gymnast and those long summer days at the pond swimming, tanning and making out. Fantastic year!

    1. It was a fantastic year. So full of potential. I respect the gymnastic training. That takes a lot of dedication. Glad you stopped in, Skyewriter.