Holiday Memories with Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager (4)


Krysten Lindsay Hager is my guest today. She has agreed to share some of her Thanksgiving memories with us. And stick around for an exciting giveaway.

Holiday Memories by Krysten Lindsay Hager

There are two things I think of when I hear the word, “Thanksgiving.” You might think it would turkey and mashed potatoes, but nope! It’s The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special and football. Growing up it never mattered to me what was on the table for dinner as long as we spent time together as a family. Since I lived in Michigan, over the years, there were a few Thanksgiving Day power outages that resulted in still frozen turkey dinners and begging restaurants that had power to put us on the reservation list. There was also the year I think we slid down a road to a restaurant because the streets iced over fast. Fortunately, my dad was a safe driver, but my mother’s hands were pure white from gripping the door handle!

Since I was a child, my family and I always watched the Charlie Brown special together. I can still name everything Charlie Brown and Snoopy served their friends for their dinner: jelly beans, toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn—sounds pretty good to me, but I have to admit not as good as turkey and sweet potatoes. Some years they’d play the special the day before Thanksgiving, so we’d watch as we helped my mom start preparing for Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

Being from Michigan, (an hour from Detroit), watching the Detroit Lions each year was a family tradition for us. We used to get nervous going to the west side of the state for dinner because our family over there wasn’t as keen about watching the game. They were more into watching the parades that were on or old Christmas movies and my parents and I would eye each other nervously across the room until my grandpa would say he wanted to see the Lions as well—and everyone always listened to Grandpa. I’ll admit sometimes those games ended in tears, but when the Lions pulled out a win it was an amazing day. I wouldn’t trade those memories of discussing football with my parents for anything.

When I got married, I was lucky enough to meet a guy who liked to put on big Thanksgiving dinners and loves football as well. Thanksgiving may be the one day out of the year that he’s a Lions fan…unless they play Green Bay that day and then it gets awkward. We spent a few Thanksgivings overseas and found it hard to find a turkey, so I have to admit that is why turkey is not a staple for me on Thanksgiving. Those years in Portugal made me focus on what the holiday is about, which is being thankful. I couldn’t spend Thanksgiving in person with my family those three years, so we did phone calls and thankfully they showed the football games, Charlie Brown special, and parades overseas, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on too much.

When my husband and I moved back to the U.S., it was a few days before Thanksgiving, so we went out and bought a traditional dinner to make in a makeshift “home” where we were staying. I put the food in the oven and then…power outage. It actually made me laugh thinking how often I had experienced that at home on Thanksgiving, so we settled for turkey cold cuts and prayed the power would come on fast so we wouldn’t freeze or miss the game.

Thanksgiving is all about enjoying time together with the people you care about and hey, if my Lions should win then all the better.

Check out my new book NEXT DOOR TO A STAR (THE STAR SERIES: Book 1) by Krysten Lindsay Hager




Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible. After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks. It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins. He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again. Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad. Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?

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Excerpt: The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.


Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.






Praise for Next Door to a Star:

From Readers’ Favorite: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl growing into her teen years….Hager’s main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl’s early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18.

From Kelly Smith Reviews: Hager wrote from a teen’s perspective, and it gave the book a very authentic feel. She has a real gift for that, something many YA writers lack these days. She reminds me a lot of a modern Ann M. Martin or Judy Blume.

From Author Erin Fanning: If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult novels then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf. Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world.

Leave a comment below to win an ecopy of a book from Krysten’s other YA series, The Landry’s True Colors Series.   



  1. Krysten H on November 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks so much for having me on to share my Thanksgiving memories!

  2. Sharon on November 3, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Krysten’s understanding of the young adult mind and talent as a writer shines through in every novel!

    • Krysten H on November 3, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Sharon!

  3. Darlene Foster on November 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    A great Thanksgiving article. I am in Spain and they don´t celebrate it here either but that´s OK. I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last month by saying Happy Thanksgiving to everyone I met. They loved it. You book sounds awesome!

    • Krysten H on November 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thank you, Darlene! 🙂

  4. Debbie Edwards on November 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    A whole new thing to me as we don’t have Thanksgiving here in the UK. But, loved reading through your memories. Sounds like you have great fun with traditions. I’m off to find the Charlie Brown spectacular…

    • Krysten H on November 3, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Oh you will love it! Charlie is adorable!

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