5-STAR Foreword Reviews Rating: Starlet’s Man Teen Book

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Starlet’s Man offers a realistic, behind-the-scenes alternative for teens and young adults interested in the celebrity lifestyle. – Foreword Reviews

5-STAR Foreword Reviews Rating: Starlet’s Man Teen Book

Reviewed by Pallas Gates McCorquodale

The protagonist’s inner turmoil will resonate with today’s youth who find spiritual conflict in celebrity culture and the party lifestyle.

Teenage Manuel Biro hates acting. He loathes the fake, plastic Hollywood scene and longs for something more meaningful than the glamor, glitter, fast cars and faster women that are so prevalent in his hometown, Santa Monica. There is only one problem. Manny is desperately in love with his best friend, superstar actress Marie Michael. Carla J. Hanna’s Starlet’s Man showcases all of the action and angst from Manny’s point of view.

Still reeling from a horrible breakup with his girlfriend Kate, Manny tries to make sense of his tangled emotions while reconciling his moral and religious beliefs with the fast-paced, sex-crazed culture that surrounds him. To complicate matters, Manny experiences new feelings for his workout buddy Beth, dodges unwanted media attention from his “friend” Alan, and attempts to shield his fourteen-year-old sister, Janet, from the harsh realities of the party lifestyle, all while hiding his true passion for Marie.

Although Starlet’s Man is the fourth novel in the Starlet series, the events begin prior to book one, separate from the rest, which are told in memoir style from Marie’s point of view. However, as much as experiencing things through Manny’s eyes will likely thrill and delight those familiar with the Starlet stories, it is obvious, from the dramatic opening scene onward, that Manny’s world has already been established, and newcomers will have a bit of catching up to do. Some questions, such as the mysteriously secret tragedy surrounding Manny and Kate’s breakup are answered piecemeal through the dialogue, while others are not revealed at all in this volume.

Regardless of when Manny first enters the scene, in Starlet’s Man or elsewhere in the series, he is sure to be a favorite. Manny struggles daily to be true to himself in a world that prizes image over substance. Hanna explores spirituality and Christianity in a relatable, non-preachy style that encourages self-reflection and honesty. Affectionately dubbed “Señor Self-Righteous” for what Janet calls his “unrealistic idealism,” Manny is a conflicted seventeen-year-old, and his inner turmoil should resonate with today’s youth. Other issues of particular relevance in American culture, such as the abuse of social media, the role of women in the film industry, and the casual drug culture are all explored in a refreshingly nonjudgmental, authentic voice.

Starlet’s Man offers a realistic, behind-the-scenes alternative for teens and young adults interested in the celebrity lifestyle.

Carla J. Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. Her award winning books, The Series, are available through Amazon.com, iBooks, BarnesandNoble.com and wherever books are sold.

The Smart Mom’s Guide to Gifting Teen Books

Be Careful What You Wish For: The Smart Mom’s Guide to Gifting Teen Books

By Carla J. Hanna

At the bookstore we can easily find gifts for our teenaged reader on the shelves in the teen or young adult section. We skim through a book looking for obvious red flags: profanity, steamy scenes, character voice, themes. If we want a targeted recommendation, we ask the helpful staff.

But many of our teens want to read ebooks on their Kindles, iPads or phones. We want to give them the ebooks they want to read where they want to read them.

For those of us that don’t want to only give the gift card to their favorite online store or for the parents who want to keep an eye on what their teens are reading, online gift book selection proves much harder. Reviews often contradict each other, the “Look Inside” shares only a glimpse, and categories confound.

The “So Yesterday” Online Search

When searching online, avoid using your browser’s search, often powered by Google or Bing. Results from searching through the metadata of the entire internet will often provide inappropriate popular titles. Even on the online bookstore, using the search window will provide confusing results. For example, a “young adult romance” search resulted in erotica results.

Where to Start: Search by Category

All the online stores are going to the click-search method which will provide a more targeted search for teen books. It is a search-by-category, found on most sites on the left hand side of the page. On Amazon, for example, click Amazon Kindle>Kindle eBooks on the left column. Within that left column, scroll down the ebook categories to Teen & Young Adult.

You have one more step here. Click the type of book you want to buy, for example, click Social Issues or Romance. Now you are closer to finding a book.

erotica-overwhelms-young-adult-romance-search-resultsUnderstanding Genres within the Teen & Young Adult Category

You will notice that the book covers shown on the Teen & Young Adult section contain images ranging from cartoon characters to sexy men. This reflects the content available within the genre.

Unfortunately, the genre encompasses all teenaged groups. Confused yet? Understanding age groups is essential in choosing the right book.

Middle grade (ages 10-14): Usually found in the shelves within the cute children’s section at your local bookstore, middle grade targets tweens and teens. Online sellers usually put middle grade books into the children’s category. Titles in the PG-13 range with violence, social issues, and romance often appear in the teen and young adult section, with Scholastic’s Hunger Games a prime example of a typical middle grade dystopia.

Young adult (ages 13-18):  Usually located outside of the Children’s book section at your local book store, romance often plays a role in young adult books, with a mild sex scene somewhere within the pages. Topics can vary from the popular dystopia and horror to coming-of-age. With the exception of books labeled “clean romances” a typical movie rating would be PG-13, as in Divergent (violence) or The Fault in Our Stars (sex scene).

New adult (ages 18-25): Usually mixed in with young adult, more than half of the new adult books would have an R-rating for sexual content, violence, and crime. With a protagonist who just got out of college, The Fifty Shades of Grey series fits into both the erotica and new adult genres. But not all new adult books are erotic.

Getting Results

Once you have narrowed your search through categories, use the search tool to enter the keywords of the type of books your teen shows interest. From the search results, read the comments and get a feel for the book from the “Look Inside.” Buy the ebook as a gift, email the code, and give the teen in your life the joy of reading.

 

Carla J. Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. Her award winning books, The Starlet Series, are available through Amazon.com, iBooks, BarnesandNoble.com and wherever books are sold.

Challenging the “Sex Sells” Belief

A Paradigm Shift is Coming: challenging the “Sex Sells” belief

The Fifty Shades film releases on Valentines Day 2015. Moms are starting to worry that their curiosity about the popular British erotica books is now going to influence their teen’s understanding of healthy sexual relationships. The problem every mom talks about is that the film targets a high school, seventeen-year-old audience with a “love story” pitch. Moms know the sexual abuse is not appropriate for their teens.

Moms want producers to understand that the mommy porn they read was not supposed to ‘live’ outside of their anonymous e-reader. But producers want to exploit the story’s commercial ebook success and transfer the soft porn to the movie screen, citing that viewers want it since the book series was the top selling book series of 2013.

Some people shrug their shoulders and say, “Sex sells.” I challenge the “truth” that sex sells in film. In my little world, I see that mainstream film succeeds without it.

I’ve included a screenshot that shows the top selling American mainstream films for 2014. Only one of the top 12 has a gratuitous sex scene.

In the next weeks, I will be researching if sex does indeed sell or if the belief is a myth. If you see some research either way, please contact me through Twitter or Facebook so I can check it out. Thanks! -Carla Hanna, author of the award-winning teen romance Starlet Series

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Radio Interviews with YA Author Carla Hanna

Young Adult author Carla J. Hanna in the news: The Starlet Series realistic teen romance

~September 1, 2014: BOOK AWARD WINNER

  • GOLD MEDAL winner, Readers’ Favorite 2014 International Book Awards: Starlet’s Web
  • SILVER MEDAL winner, Readers’ Favorite 2014 International Book Awards: Starlet’s Light

~September 8, 2014: Starlet’s Man released (Amazon link)

~September 17, 2014: Carla J. Hanna and C. James Robert von Scholz with Gotham Artists Agency agree to literary representation for the Starlet Web series. Please refer to Mr. von Scholz for all negotiation.

Thank you to all the interviewers who talked with me about the Starlet Series. It was an honor to be on your radio shows. For more information, please read about the content by clicking on the links below.

~October 13, 2014: Tommy Briggs with YesFM, Ohio Interviews Carla Hanna

Why was A Walk to Remember also dismissed as a fluke? It wasn’t a fluke! It was a wonderful movie. We have a Christian girl who wants to stay a virgin and she reforms the bad-boy. It was a beautiful story. Let’s have more of those.

~October 22, 2014: The Gary Sutton Show, WSBA Pennsylvania, an iHeart Radio Station, interviews Carla Hanna

 The Starlet Series brings the teen reader inside a realistic life of a teenaged starlet. Ms. Hanna does not shy away from how all of the influences surrounding the teen help shape identity formation: God, greed, sexual over-saturation, perceptions of beauty, cultural contradictions, privilege and race.

~October 23, 2014: The Christal Frost Show, WRCM, Michigan interviews Carla Hanna

 Beware of the “Sex Sells” Mentality. This belief is pervasive in advertising as a tool to attract attention for a product or personality. But is true?

~October 24, 2014: The Scott Sloan Show, WLW Cincinatti, OH, an iHeart Radio Station, interviews Carla Hanna

We have a responsibility to our kids to approve content and reduce the influence of sexual content in our children’s lives. We as consumers are held responsible for the endless supply of sexual content. Change must start with us.

Support mainstream fiction that incorporates social issues into the stories. See my post regarding the messages in young adult romance and search results. You have the power to influence Hollywood.

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Young adult romance search results include erotica books

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Young adult romance search results include erotica books. This doesn’t have to be the future of the book market for teen readers.erotica-overwhelms-young-adult-romance-search-results
Who is responsible for content in mainstream books and film?
We are. We cannot rely on the business of stories to make moral choices for the content that the 82% of Christian Americans tell the story suppliers that we want to read. The Fifty Shades erotica series was the number one best selling series in 2013. Certainly Christians read it in droves. Now it is being made into a film that will target high school teens who might just go to the theaters in droves to watch the R-rated film (For R-Rated Films: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian (age 21 or older) and 25 years and under must show ID. And children under the age of 6 are not allowed after 6:00pm.).
Hollywood messages influence moral judgment. Books like the Starlet Series can merge the realistic fiction that teen readers want with Christian values. We can reduce the focus on being sexy as reflected in the steamy scenes and on cheating as reflected in the love triangle and still have an engaging, compelling love story.

Poll: Most Americans Say They’re Christian

Ask Americans their religion and you’ll get an earful — 50 individual answers in an ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll, ranging from agnostics to Zen Buddhists. The vast majority, though, have something in common: Jesus Christ.

Eighty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Most of the rest, 13 percent, have no religion. That leaves just 4 percent as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions.

That’s quite different from the world at large: Fifty-two percent of the world’s population is non-Christian, compared to 4 percent in the United States; and one-third is Christian, compared to 83 percent in the United States. (These are rough comparisons, because the world figures, reported by the Encyclopedia Britannica, are for the full population, while the U.S. figures are among adults only.)

This poll used an open-ended question to gauge religious affiliation: “What if anything is your religion?” Most of the 50 affiliations cited are Christian denominations, ranging from the Assembly of God to the United Church of Christ. Added up they show that 53 percent of Americans are Protestants, 22 percent Catholics and 8 percent other Christians, such as Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. [read more]

Pew Forum | analysis and polling | Sep 22, 2014

Nearly three-quarters of the public (72%) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion’s influence is waning see this as a bad thing.

This study focuses on political life. [read more]

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Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays, Then and Now

Pew Forum | Polling and Analysis | December 18, 2013

Nine-in-ten Americans say they celebrate Christmas, and three-quarters say they believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. But only about half see Christmas mostly as a religious holiday, while one-third view it as more of a cultural holiday. Virtually all Christians (96%) celebrate Christmas, and two-thirds see it as a religious holiday. In addition, fully eight-in-ten non-Christians in America also celebrate Christmas, but most view it as a cultural holiday rather than a religious occasion. [read more]

 


I have hope. You can make a difference, too. Support mainstream fiction that incorporates spiritual elements into the stories. You have the power to influence Hollywood.

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5 Stars: Starlet’s Man Book Reviews for teens by Just One More Chapter

5 Stars Book Review by Just One More Chapter of teen fiction Starlet’s Man

Excerpt: “I really enjoyed this book, I am glad that I got to read the prequel before reading the rest of the series. I always feel like the prequels are important and sometimes I wish they were written first instead of in between or after the series, but that isn’t always the case and I understand why, but it’s easier to read them in the order they are meant to be read in my opinion. I love knowing that there is always something more to a book.

This book allows the readers to get a clear understanding of Marie and Manny. It helps them to see what is going on within both their lives and why they are who they are. It helps the readers to better understand why they have made the choices in life that they have made and to see where they can go should they choose a different path. A path that isn’t the one that had been laid for them because others wanted to control every aspect of their lives, mostly just and issue for Marie. Manny seems to know what he wants and just needs to be able to get there.”

Just One More Chapter

Genres: Christian, Coming of Age, Drama, Family, Friendship, Motivational & Inspirational, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA Contemporary, Young Adult

Gold Medal Book Award Winner Starlet’s Web

GOLD MEDAL BOOK AWARDS & SILVER MEDAL BOOK AWARD FOR THE STARLET SERIES by CARLA HANNA, CARLA J. HANNA

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~ GOLD MEDAL WINNER: Starlet’s Web, 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest: Christian Romance

~ GOLD MEDAL WINNER: Starlet’s Web, 2013 Gold Medal Winner, AUTHORdb Book Cover Contest

~ SILVER MEDAL WINNER: Starlet’s Light, 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest: Christian Romance

~ FINALIST: Starlet’s Web, 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest in three categories: Young Adult: coming of age; Fiction: cultural; and Romance: Christian. No title can win in more than one category

Starlet's Web: Gold Medal Winner, 2013 AUTHORSdb Book Cover Contest

Starlet’s Web: Gold Medal Winner, 2013 AUTHORSdb Book Cover Contest

Author Interview: Carla Hanna

Author Spotlight on Carla J. Hanna

A Girl and Her Kindle interviewed award-winning author of the Starlet Series. Please find an excerpt of the interview below:

Carla J. Hanna is author of the coming of age series, The Starlet Series. Recently, I had a chance to sit down interview her about writing career and what inspires her.

When did you begin writing?
I studied persuasive communication in graduate school and used my Master of Arts in English to write copy, brochures, and user manuals for a marketing communications firm. During my years as a marketing executive, I wrote about why a user should buy semiconductor and high tech products.

I did not expect to write novels. Only after I moved to the suburbs did I want to share my experiences as a former executive turned mother of toddlers who found herself rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite during play dates.

What genres do you write?
Coming of age fiction, cultural fiction, young adult fiction, Christian romance.

Who do you imagine you’re telling a story to as you write?
Teens who aspire to be singers or actors. When my kids are teens, I want them to read the Starlet series so they can learn about the business of Hollywood and the price of fame. I want them to ponder the influence Hollywood stories have on their self-esteem and values and figure out what they can do to control that influence.

What’s your latest book about?
Starlet’s Man explores the contradictions inherent in raising a teen in Hollywood. Most celebrities send their kids to private schools, many of them Christian schools, at the same time that the same celebrities produce violent and sexual films. Accountability of the story’s content gets passed onto the fans that choose to watch the film — that Wolf of Wall Street or Fifty Shades is not the producers’ responsibility but the viewers’. I challenge that the producers are victims of supply and demand.

~excerpt end~

Please read the full spotlight on A Girl and Her Kindle.

Carla J. Hanna announced as a Readers’ Favorite 2014 Book Award Finalist

Author Carla J. Hanna announced as a Readers’ Favorite 2014 Book Award Finalist in three categories: Young Adult: Coming of Age; Fiction: Cultural; and Romance: Christian for her novel STARLET’S WEB.
STARLET’S LIGHT is also a book award finalist in the Romance: Christian category. Winners will be announced September 1, 2014.

2014 Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist

2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist

Look for Ms. Hanna’s new release of young adult novel, STARLET’S MAN, available September 8, 2014.


Carla Hanna, author of young adult and new adult fiction. THE STARLET SERIES. Love. Lies. Acting. Hollywood.
www.carlahanna.com | Available online: Amazon, Smashwords, Google, B&N
Also available on the young adult shelves of The Tattered Cover Bookstore

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#Twerking influences pop culture

Please read the article here, featured on Joplin Independent online news service: http://www.joplinindependent.com/display_article.php/lynn-c1402430657. I have also included it below.

#Twerking #SocialMedia #Entertainment #Publicity #influence #PopCulture #teens

 
Updated: 2014-06-10 14:04:17
How what is #trending influences pop culture and creates something new

by Carla J. Hanna

The lap dance and striptease once lived in the windowless night club in the shady part of town. Today, teen performers stream their racy dance routines to the social media site downloaded on the mobile device of a curious child bored during recess in a suburban elementary schoolyard.

An argument will soon rage over who should be responsible for sexual material and distribution online. Today, networks and content distributors do not restrict content. Sexual images that used to be hidden behind closed doors are now available for viewing at any time by anyone. Later this year, the erotic sadomasochistic film Fifty Shades of Grey will target teen audiences with its R-rating for high school girls over 17-years-old. As Lauren Saccone of the Daily Lounge said, “So movie studios are hoping that Beautiful Disaster will serve as the PG-13 version of “Fifty Shades” with all the creepy love affair aspects but far less of the supremely graphic “romance” scenes. And like Fifty Shades of Grey (and its supernatural source material “Twilight”), Beautiful Disaster is looking to build a franchise. The sequel, Walking Disaster, was published earlier this year. So fans of the genre certainly won’t be lacking in selection.”

Push marketing will distribute the “Shades” and “Beautiful Disaster” trailers to social media sites everywhere, just as any child, regardless of parental controls, can see Miley twerking as they are riding the bus to school.

What is in store for the parent who wants to protect her child from sexual images or female abuse/submission themes found in both the young adult and adult erotica books-turned-film franchises?

Twerking before the VMAs

The word, “twerking,” has been around for over 20 years, first performed on live television in the Top of the Pops show by the group Haysi Fantayzee while performing their song “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (1982). Society at the time was not impressed. Eighteen years later, popularity increased when the song “Whistle While You Twurk” (2000) by Southern hip hop duo Ying Yang Twins peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs component chart. Social media did not exist in 2000. Twerking didn’t trend. The song settled into oblivion.

Thirteen years later we see the rise of the twerk coinciding with the June 2013 Busta Rhymes/Nicki Minaj release. By July, searches on “how to twerk” increased, revealing a trend ripe for maximum exposure.

Jumping on the #twerking trend

Social trends build over time. Performers struggling to get attention look for a hook that has had increased awareness and then exploit that trend to ignite interest. The summer of 2013 provided such an opportunity.

Miley Cyrus generated controversy following her sexually provocative performances during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. What lasting influence did such a twerking dance aired on a public medium and forever archived online have on our youth?

The event was shockingly influential:

  • The popularity of the “twerking” search term rose from 50 to 100 percent on the day of the 2013 VMAs.
  • The popularity of the “girl twerking” term skyrocketed from 30 percent on the day of the VMAs to 100 percent in the weeks following the performance and then hovered around the 30 percent popularity index 36 weeks after the VMA event.
  • The huge rise in popularity of “twerking” following the VMAs led to sustained interest in seeing or learning about “girl twerking.”
  • The “twerking” keyword continued to trend with rising interest more than 10 percent 36 weeks after the VMA event.

Twerking today

Twerking is now a defined, recognized term for a sexually provocative dance and part of several artist’s performances to promote their music. It is here to stay. Future generations will categorize it with the striptease and lap dances that they see in the news highlights or pop-up windows of their web browsers when they go online to finish their required school homework on their classroom websites.

Carla Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. She is the author of the popular young adult Starlet Series.

Google trends graph on the influence of #twerking:  http://carlahanna.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=430&action=edit