#MUSICMONDAY Adam Lambert underneath with @KaiStrand

Hi! Kai Strand here. Shel is gracious enough to share #MusicMonday with me, which is sort of ironic because I’m totally a 70’s rock and roll chick and I thought, “No one’s gonna want me to go there.”

 So first off I’m gonna thank Shel for the inspiration to step outside my comfort zone and get a bit more hip, because while looking for a song to represent my newest release, WORTH THE EFFORT: AYDEN’S STORY, I found this amazing song by this fan-frickin-tastic artist. I’ve loved Adam Lambert’s voice since I was first introduced to it on American Idol and I’m, like, totally fangirl-happy that the right song for the job is HIS!

 Okay, so AYDEN. Oh, Ayden. How do I describe this kid in a short blog post? First off, he’s super quiet, but don’t be fooled, he’s watching everything. He knows what is expected of him. He knows how to accomplish those things. But his anxiety won’t always let him. Then he adds to it by mentally berating himself over his failures and anticipating his father’s disappointment. Until finally, he can’t handle his life and he takes to the streets where the pressure of daily survival is far less taxing than navigating social expectations.

 He’s seventeen. Well educated. Well spoken. Even good looking…but he’s living on the streets. 

 Yep, this song is perfect. 

 Because when he is able to play the role society expects of him or when he is simply quietly observing what’s going on around him—so much is going on inside him that is ignored by everyone. And so much of it is good. 

 Ella is the one who looks Underneath.

 About the book:

 Seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth shouldn’t have to seek peace of mind in the streets. But as family pressures mount, his anxieties increase, and he turns his back on comfort for a life in homeless camps and back alleys. 

 Then one fateful day he runs into the only person he ever wanted to know better. Ella Jones. His memories paint her as kind and undemanding, and it seems the years haven’t changed her. Her simple expectations draw him to her. Against all odds, a relationship buds and grows.

 Yet, as Ayden repairs his life, Ella suggests he help others who also struggle. Will Ella turn out to be just like his dad, expecting more from him than he can give? Or will he prove that he is worth the effort?

 Worth the Effort – Ayden’s Story is a young adult contemporary romance novella at 23,000 words. It is the novella duet to Worth the Effort – Ella’s Story. The novellas are told in first person point of view by the main characters. Alone they are each a complete story. Together, they are a harmony.

 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, www.kaistrand.com.

A quick note from Shel:

I’m happy to host you today, Kai, and please don’t worry about being hip for me. Any kind of music works if it inspired your writing or if it fits the story!