I'm continuing my blog guest post series with other writers sharing who their teen and preteen music crushes were to celebrate the release of my music crush rom-com, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. I'm excited to have YA author, Jane McGarry on to talk about her band crush on Duran Duran. Such a fun post! Check it out below!
Ah, the 80’s—the fashion, the decadence, the music. I was there when MTV signed on the air in back in 1981 (please feel free not to do the age math) and, wow, was that a game changer. Now, you had faces to go along with the voices for all your favorite songs. The music video became a crucial marketing piece for a song’s success. Singers and bands soon upped their game from the boring old concert style video to miniature movies with excitement, chills and, most importantly, their beautiful selves front and center. Into this new craze stepped Duran Duran.
I remember the first time I saw them—the centerfold of a teen magazine. My bestie opened to it and pointed to bassist, John Taylor. “He is mine,” she announced. Not wanting to break the unspoken rule of “no crush stealing”, I chose drummer, Roger Taylor (no relation—and I mean really, three dudes in the band with the same last name all not related? what are the odds?). Not that you could go wrong, like the formulaic boy bands that followed, whatever your type was, there was a guy for you.
For a few years, these five guys were the virtual center of our world. The sheer excitement of listening to their albums, of papering every inch of wall space with their photos, and of course, of watching their videos over and over, dominated our existence. Back then, if you can imagine it, MTV actually played music videos most of the time. We waited with bated breath for every DD world premiere video, the next few hours spent rewinding and pausing the VHS tape for every squeal worthy moment.
It was fun to come across fellow Duranies , others who clearly understood the importance of Duran Duran in the universe. They, too, always had their band crushes divided considerately amongst themselves. We would ask them, “Are you a Simon? Or a John?; once in a blue moon, you would even find an “Andy”. But at the end of the day, my friend and I knew no one could possibly know them and love them as much as we did.
The highlight of the worship came when we saw them in concert. That night, in a crowd filled Madison Square Garden, we screamed our hearts out along with 30,000 other crazed fans. The rush of just knowing you were actually in the same place at the same time as your idols was like nothing I had experienced in my young life and remains one of my most vivid memories.
And then, somewhere along the way, we grew up. Life marched on. Boy band crushes were replaced with real boy crushes, teen magazines with college applications and the looming reality of grownup life just around the corner. The carefree days of early teendom were left in the rearview mirror, along with frivolous devotions. Still, every once in a while, one of their songs will come on the radio (the oldies station now) and I am transported back to that faraway time with my bestie, days we thought our love for Duran Duran would last forever, and I have to smile.
Jane's Bio: Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Finally, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.
She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with said cat and a good book.
You can visit her online at: www.janemcgarrybooks.com .
Many years ago, while my husband and I were driving home one evening, he was entertaining himself in typical fashion, pushing buttons on the car radio and grumbling about the music selection. I was in my own world (also typical), thinking about my first manuscript, which was in its earliest stages of development. Suddenly something broke through my musings. It was a Voice on the radio – an unfamiliar Voice that didn’t sound like anything else. Like gold dust in the air, it filled the car with beauty for two seconds, then it was gone as my husband continued to scan the stations.
“Go back,” I said, pointing frantically at the radio. “Go back!”
My husband looked at me strangely and did as I demanded, cycling back through the stations until he landed on the Voice. Josh Groban’s voice.
That was the beginning. I have been a Josh Groban fan ever since.
I went to my first Josh Groban concert a year later in Tucson, which is a funny story I blogged about in 2011, the year my debut novel, Dream of Me, was released. As I explained then: it’s not just Josh’s voice that I love. Through his lyrics and song selection, he has inspired me as a writer. After that first concert, I put his inspiration to good use:
I finished my novel. And when I couldn’t find a publisher for it, Josh had another song for me: “Don’t give up,” he said. So I kept trying and several years later, I signed a book contract. And when my publisher flaked on me and went out of business just before it went to press, I cried. But then Josh sang to me again, reminding me that my words shouldn't be held in silence. "Please don't keep them Hidden Away," he sang.
Now, I look for those words of inspiration in every album Josh releases – and I am never disappointed. When Josh’s latest album, Bridges, came out, the first track, “Granted,” was that song. In part, he sings:
If you have a dream, go chase it
If you feel hope, don't waste it
If you find love, embrace it
And never take a single breath for granted
The story's yours, go write it
Our days are counted on this planet
Never take a single breath
Take a single breath for granted
Last weekend, I went to my sixth Josh Groban concert, this time taking a bunch of family members with me (my sisters joined me in my love for Josh years ago!) Like always, Josh put on a brilliant performance, setting up each song with a funny or interesting story about why he sings, why he wrote it, or what it means to people he meets on the road. Josh is funny and dorky and charming, but he is also driven and courageous, trying new things with each album rather than being content with the faux-opera easy-listening rut where some would like to park him. More than that, he’s a down-to-earth, relatable guy who uses his God-given gift to inspire others to go out and use theirs too.
So what do I do with all that inspiration? I write! After finally publishing Dream of Me, I wrote A Place Between Breaths, which won an award from Writer’s Digest. Then I signed a contract with Clean Reads, Inc. for a young adult trilogy called Stealing Liberty. The first book in that trilogy was released in 2017. The second, Weeping Justice, comes out on October 1.
The thing about musicians – whether they’re celebrity crushes (like Krysten’s love for George Michael) or just flat-out inspiration, (like my love for Josh) – they are artists, releasing part of their souls into the void, hoping that those pieces of themselves find a home to grow in another artist. The greatest thrill I can imagine is that one of my readers will be similarly inspired, whether to pick up a pen, pick up a paintbrush, or break into song. If there is one thing we sorely need in this world, it is a little more inspiration.
Check out this funny story from Jennifer's first concert:
Bridges-- A Review of Josh Groban's Eighth Studio Album
Pre-order her new book here:
As we celebrate the release of In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety, I've asked some authors to share their own music crushes. Today author Karin Biggs shares her music crush. Read on to learn more.
My music crush wasn’t the typical boy band crush you might expect from a girl in high school in the early 2000’s. Yes, I swooned over NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees like the rest of them but there was only one BOY at the front of a big BAND for me - Michael Bublé.
I saw Michael Bublé in concert in 2003 and instantly fell for his flirtatious personality and swinging baritone voice, reminiscent of good Ol’ Blue Eyes. (that’s Frank Sinatra for you kids out there) As a high school student, I found his music to be extremely romantic - and a cute guy singing in a tux? Yes, please! As a hopeless (and dateless) romantic, I would listen to his first album over and over and over again every night in my bedroom while doing my homework. Our relationship was solid, though at times I would stray for a visit with Josh Groban and his velvet-vibrato or Jason Mraz and his wordy-woos.
But it was Michael who was there by my side when I needed a romantic pick-me-up or the perfect song for longing for my real-life crush. And I guess it was no surprise that the entrance song for my husband and me at our wedding reception was “For Once in My Life” by Michael Bublé and EVERY SONG thereafter during dinner was - you guessed it - Michael Buble. I think now is a good time to apologize to our 200+ wedding guests for drowning their ears in nothing-but-Michael, but...I’m not really sorry. Even now, in my world of never-ending commitments, play-dates and household chores, Michael’s there for me when I need to escape and be swooned by someone who loves me just the way I look that night or wants me to put my head on his shoulder.
Wait, was this post supposed to be about music crushes we used to have?
About Karin Biggs:
Karin is a university event planner turned stay-at-home-mom in the middle of Ohio. Her debut YA novel, The King’s 100, will be released in July of 2020 by Immortal Works Press. When not writing or chasing her active toddler, she can be found singing with her local acapella group, being lazy with her husband or reading a YA novel with a fantastic romantic plot.
Where to connect with Karin:
As we kick off the release of my rock star romantic comedy, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety, I'm having authors come on to share their own music favorites. Today we have young adult author, Kadee Carder on sharing her favorite with us. Read on...
Mmm bop, ba duba dop
ba du bop, ba duba dop
ba du bop, ba duba dop
They may not have started off with the most earth-shattering lyrics when they hit the top music charts, but over the years Hanson has evolved into a group who changes lives with their passion, musicianship, and skill.
I first heard MMMbop on the radio when I was in seventh grade, a pixie-haired fourteen-year old with Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas posters plastered up on my yellow walls. A large poster of Taylor Hanson soon joined them, as I snatched the orange Hanson “Middle of Nowhere” CD from the nearby Hastings and started playing and replaying those unforgettable and fantastically catchy lyrics. Instant fan. I raised my hand as Taylor sang, “Where’s the love?” and pined away while they chorused, “I will come to you, oh, I will come to you.” (Still right here, Taylor. Waves hand.)
I wasn’t the best fan, and I won’t claim to be, but through the years I have always come back to random Hanson hits and added them to my collection. The song “Thinking About Something” has been on my workout playlist, and whenever I suggest amazing music videos to friends, I tell them to watch the video – a cleverly crafted recreation of “Shake A Taile Feather,” from the movie “Blues Brothers.” In an interview with MTV: “They re-created the music-shop set from the "Blues Brothers" film (building it in the offices of their 3GC Records), recruited both fans and professional dancers and got to work. They shot the "Somethin'" video in two days, taking great pains to match the film, frame by frame, right down to the costumes and thoroughly outrageous facial hair of the Blues Brothers Band.” These guys go big and it hits home.
My college roommate, writing buddy, and BFF Amy Cefoldo is a mega Hanson fan. We randomly send links to Hanson videos to each other. When we heard that they were touring their “String Theory” album and would be wrapping up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, (and tickets were super cheap), we hopped on the Christmas money train and grabbed our seats. After a seven-hour road trip up to Tulsa, we definitely fangirled through the entire once-in-a-lifetime concert.
I gotta be honest, guys. “String Theory” is one of my favorite albums of all time. Hanson decided to make their twenty-year album special, by combining their three-person band with a symphony orchestra.
“I was born to do something
No one's ever done,
no one's ever done before
I was born to go somewhere
No one's ever gone,
no one's ever gone before
I was born to be someone
No one's ever been
No one’s ever been before.”
With uplifting, inspirational lyrics throughout every track, and a full-bodied, beautiful sound of the symphony alongside their piano, electric, and bass guitars, it’s a unique and breathtaking album. “I Was Born,” “Battle Cry,” and “Joyful Noise,” are all requests my daughters make as we rock and roll down the highway.
One thing I love about Hanson is how authentic and real they are. They’re just three dudes, brothers, who love making music. While Taylor and I are the same age (still waving hand), he and his brothers Isaac and Zac come from a supportive Tulsa family and have other siblings, including brother Joshua who has started his own band.
A recent interview from Entertainment Tonight showed the brothers as they are:
“Taylor, lead singer and keyboardist, is calm, even and friendly, and when he speaks, manages to deliver honest and thoughtful responses in pitch-perfect soundbite form. “He’s the serious brother,” Isaac ribs.
Isaac’s aura is warm and self-deprecating, with an easy laugh as he admits to being “a little bit OCD” and jokes, “Thank goodness we were in a band because I would have never, ever found a woman.”
“It’s still amazing that he did,” Zac fires back, clearly still a vivacious kid at heart with a passion for video games and 3D printers. With 12 kids between the three brothers, Zac has proudly taken on Christmas morning toy duty and once, he recalls, taught the younger generation how to “destroy” pumpkins with large replica swords.
“It’s very safe, actually,” he explains, an oversized, mischievous grin sweeping across his face, “as long as you’re on the right end.”
And if that’s not cool enough, in May 2013, they launched their own beer: Mmmhops. The Hanson brothers partnered with craft beer company Mustang Brewing to create the drink as their way of raising a toast to their 21st anniversary.
They also own their recording studio, 3CG, located in downtown Tulsa.
So if you are feeling like maybe you’ve been needing some great music, definitely go check out Hanson. They’ll bring you up and make you want to jam.
Their philosophy about music and art?
From their website: “We are purely there to chase the muse, trying to find new ways to explore and articulate the feelings of being human, the joy, the pain, the love, the hopes, the fun and desire for a better tomorrow. That is after all what music is, a contained way of telling one another how we feel, what we think, who we are. And music does not care whether you wrote it, recorded it or are listening to it, in any case the feelings are no less true or real. That is what makes music so special, it unites us, and even if it is for a brief 3-4 minutes that feeling can stay with us forever. That is why we do music. That is what we care about. The honest power of an emotional and musical connection and the trust that it creates.”
Here's to the artists, the seekers, the listeners, the hopefuls, the broken, making a joyful noise as it heals our souls, to a band whose days are only just getting better as they go.
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, encouragement, freebie codes, and more!
Let’s connect on social media!
And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com
I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!
It's release day and I'm so excited to bring you the latest book in the Cecily Taylor Series! It's free on Kindle Unlimited and the paperback version will be available soon!
In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety (The Cecily Taylor Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Young Adult Romantic Comedy from Clean Reads
Blurb: Cecily wants a big life, but can she handle it?
Cecily feels like she has it all: great best friends, the beginnings of a career as a model/actress, and she’s dating her favorite singer, Andrew Holiday. Then Cecily’s best friend Lila begins to ditch her every time Lila’s boyfriend calls. Cecily feels lost, but she and Andrew begin connecting more and she’s never been in a relationship where she felt so understood. Andrew even begins to confide in her about his anxiety. Soon Cecily experiences her own anxiety on a magazine photo shoot, but she manages to impress the magazine staff. Just when it seems like all her dreams are coming true, everything comes crashing down when a photo of Andrew with another girl appears online. He swears nothing happened, but Cecily is crushed. She feels like she’s lost two of the people closest to her.
Was her perfect relationship real or was she in over her head?
“Good luck at the photo shoot tomorrow,” he said. “You’ll be great.”
I stared out the window on the ride back to the hotel taking in all the sites. As I walked into the hotel, I felt a new air of confidence. Instead of just reading about someone going out with a pop star to some fabulous rooftop hotel restaurant and being in the big city, I was living it. This was my life and not some YA book heroine’s. Tomorrow I was off on a modeling shoot. I was living a dream and proving how I was ready for a big life. This was my destiny. I could do this.
My alarm went off and at the same time an alarm went off in my brain saying, no, I could not do this. What was I thinking? Me, model? That’s where people take photos of you for the sole purpose of other people looking at them, which encouraged judgement and evil comments. People don’t just keep those comments to themselves anymore. Oh no, they grab their phone or laptop or whatever device helps them spew out unhelpful and cruel comments on people’s appearances online for all the world to see.
My stomach felt like spewing all over the nice hotel sheets I was wrapped in. Why did I ever think I was up for this? Those strangers online would destroy me within seconds. Girls like Harlow who were born with an undeniable beauty could do stuff like this and even then, I had seen strangers criticize her online when she posted selfies.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRYS65N/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07VRYS65N
Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07VRYS65N
Book One: https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Come-True-Cecily-Taylor-ebook/dp/B079S3KJSH
Tomorrow is my book release day and the night before is always crazy. So here's how it feels right now: I feel like I'm getting my first grader (me in this photo) ready to go off on her first day of school, except she's going off into the big scary world to like, college or someplace where you're on your own. She's got her little Hello Kitty backpack and look at how her face is full of hope because she doesn't know what might be in store for her. Ah yes, so full of hope before life had beaten you down. I remember it well...and then I turned 7. 🤣😭 Here's to everyone on book release eve. May we all get at least a touch of sleep 😴
He Numbered the Pores on My Face
by Scarlet Hiltibidal
I reviewed Afraid of All the Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the Gospel For by Scarlet Hiltibidal back in February and I enjoyed that book, (Find my review here: https://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/afraid-of-all-the-things-tornadoes-cancer-adoption-and-other-stuff-you-need-the-gospel-by-scarlet-hiltibidal ), so I was eager to read her new book for teens. He Numbered the Pores on My Face has Hiltibidal sharing her own teen experiences with readers to show how she understands the pressures they go through to fit in and feel accepted and how she eventually learned through the gospel that the only thing that would truly bring fulfillment was God.
Hiltibidal shares her own embarrassing moments and painful experiences such as the time a friend heard her joining in with others who were making fun of him and the hurt she experienced knowing she couldn’t take back what she did. You can also feel her pain as she shares how a guy asked her out as a joke in front of others and the whole situation of wanting to look like someone else in your class and feeling less than when you don’t feel you measure up.
Being that I also explore my own teen years for my writing, I appreciated her willingness to share those cringe-y moments with readers. It’s not easy to delve into that world of embarrassing moments and situations which you wish you would have handled better. Readers will be able to relate to her moments of wanting the “right” backpack to fit in or trying to follow a trend that ended pretty much the second she bought the item. The thought process of, “if only I had this then I would be accepted.” is one I remember vividly from my own preteen years and, just as she says, it never manages to truly satisfy. She shares scriptures showing how only God can do that.
While the book is aimed at teens, I would recommend it for preteens and really grades 4th and up as they would get a lot out of it. I find my own readers like reading about situations before they get there themselves, which is why so many of them love reading about the high school years before they’ve even hit middle school themselves. This book would definitely benefit them as it prepares them for that teen world.
I received this book from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My young adult romantic comedy, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety will release on September 3rd and I'd love to have book bloggers join the tour!
Xpresso Book Tours is organizing a release week blitz for In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety by Krysten Lindsay Hager, a YA Contemporary Romance novel. The blitz will run from September 3rd to September 9th, 2019, you can post on any day during this window. There will be excerpts available for your post, and every participant will be able to post the blitz-wide giveaway if you wish – a giveaway prize courtesy of author. Social media sites are welcome. Advanced reader copies for review are also available for blitz participants.
An email with the complete post info including promo items and giveaway details will be sent to all participants on August 29th. HTML will also be provided.
You can sign up here: https://xpressobooktours.com/2019/07/18/blitz-sign-up-in-over-her-head-lights-camera-anxiety-by-krysten-lindsay-hager/
As we get for the release of In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety, I've asked some authors to share their own music crushes. Today author Emerald Barnes shares her music crush. Read on to learn more.
Picture it. It’s the last couple of years in the 90s. You’re around age 11. Tiger Beat Magazine brings you the latest celebrity gossip, posters, and information on your favorite actors and singers. You listen to the TOP 40 songs every week just to record on a cassette tape your favorite songs while listening to the radio, and the biggest argument around is whether N SYNC or Backstreet Boys is the better boy band.
I would literally save up all of my allowance my parents gave me weekly just buy as many as these celebrity gossip mags for teens just to cut out pictures and get the posters to hang on my wall. I couldn’t even open one of my closets in my room because it was plastered with magazine clippings about N SYNC.
Oh yes. N SYNC was my jam. In fact, my sister and I argued about N SYNC and BSB. She was a BSB fan. And it was all Nick, Nick, Nick with her. I was all Justin, Justin, Justin.
I had the biggest crush on Justin Timberlake, the face of N SYNC. I think the reason I still crush on guys with curly hair is because of him.
I was obsessed! Still am, actually. (Don’t tell anyone.) I had all of the N SYNC puppet figures, the N SYNC board game (which I totally memorized every answer to every question), and I had every CD and EP that came out. I even had a VHS about them. I was one of their biggest fans!
Unfortunately, I never had the chance to see them in concert, but that didn’t stop me from obsessing with them! It was the saddest day when I took all of those photos and posters off the way and threw out all of my old Tiger Beat and Teen Beat Magazines. I was going to college when I finally threw them out. Ha!
Still, to this day, I can sing every single song N SYNC ever sang and not skip a beat. I keep up with Justin Timberlake simply because I loved him when I was a pre-teen. If anyone can make this heart skip a beat, even while I’m in my *ahem* thirties, it’s Justin Timberlake and all the members of N SYNC coming together again.
And while my taste in music has changed over the years, like now, I really only listen to worship music (and I’m obsessing with Tauren Wells and Rend Collective), I will still revisit the good ole days of N SYNC. And yes, N SYNC is still far superior BSB. I won’t back down from that. NEVER.
About Emerald Barnes:
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
She’s also addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.
Where to connect with Emerald:
Fan Team: www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesfans
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Barnes/e/B004PL38QS
.So for years I didn't have a music crush other than George Michael & it's very hard working on a book series dealing with a music crush without having one who was...well, currently with us for inspiration. You know that feeling of anticipation you get when they drop a new single. Then a couple months ago I saw (and heard) a clip of a video in someone's IG story & did some snooping to find out who he was because I loved the song. Happy to announce I finally have had some musical inspiration the last few months while editing In Over Her Head & working on book 3 in the Cecily Taylor series. Meet Matt...oh & his last name was chosen to be the Polish word for humility. Swoon. My mother calls him all my past crushes since I was a kid rolled into one--she sees George in there, Beckham, Snow (forgive me), John Schneider, a soccer player you've never heard of, and a 2nd soccer player you've never heard of....Anyway, meet Matt. I love his music!
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True