Free for Kindle: All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison*

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You should never make a bet you can’t keep, especially when the bet involves romance.

Sixteen-year-old Samantha Taylor is used to having things go her way. She’s head cheerleader and has all the right friends and a steady stream of boyfriends. But when she tanks the SATs, her automatic assumptions about going to college don’t appear to be so automatic anymore. She determines that her best hope for admission into a good college is to win the election for student body president. Unfortunately, with her razor wit and acid tongue she’s bettersuited to dishing out insults than winning votes.

When she brashly bets her classmate Logan that she can go two weeks without uttering a single insult, Samantha immediately realizes that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. And when her current boyfriend dumps her, less than three weeks before the prom, it couldn’t be a worse time to be forced to keep her opinions to herself. Finding a new boyfriend will be a challenge now that Logan shadows her every move, hoping to catch her slipping back into her old ways. Samantha is determined to win the election and find a dream date for the prom, no matter what it takes. After all . . . all’s fair in love and war (and high school!).

File Size: 662 KB
Print Length: 210 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Janette Rallison (February 18, 2016)
Publication Date: February 18, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B01BXYMLOO

Order here!

* Kindle books are often free for only a limited amount of time. As such, TC&TBC cannot guarantee it will still be free when you read this post.

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Pre-order Voodoo Moon Today and Save $2!

voodooCheck out this hot new paranormal romance by June Stevens! The Paranorm World series is published by Clean Teen Publishing’s adult fiction imprint: Crimson Tree Publishing. In celebration of it’s upcoming release, we are offering a $2 discount on the e-book price when you pre-order your copy of Voodoo Moon today. You do not want to miss out on this exciting new series!

A sinister magic is sweeping across Nash City…

To Fiona Moon, it’s just another day at work. And some days, well, they’re a helluva lot worse than others. As a member of the elite Black Blade Guard, Fiona is tasked with hunting down the most-dangerous Paranorm criminals. To find out who is kidnapping mages and sucking the life energy from their bodies, she has to work with the one man that embodies everything she despises.

Master Necromancer Ian Barroes, a rich professor of Necromantic Studies, wants only one thing in this world… Fiona.

They each hold secrets that could destroy them, but ones that could also be the key to destroying the evil Voodoo priest, Bokor. They must learn to trust each other and track down Bokor before more innocent lives are lost. When Fiona becomes a target of the evil madman, she is lured into his trap. Now, she and Ian have to fight for survival… and their very souls.

Order today for only $2.99!

From the Family Bookshelf – June

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Crazy life means not as much reading. I can’t stand it. Actually, my girls are reading, I’m not–at least, not as much as I would like. Since my last update I’ve read:

Where Do Belly Buttons Come From? by Jeffery Warren Scott
I Am Abraham by Jerome Charyn
Sleep Tight, Anna Banana! by Dominique Roques
Self-Publishing a Book by Hank Quense
Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
The Coziest Place by Jamie Michalak
The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu
A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Steam & Strategem by Chris Hoare
Do’s and Don’ts by Hayley Rose
Murder in the Worst Degree by F.M. Meredith
A Comedy of Erin by Celia Bonaduce
The Author’s Training Manual by Nina Amir
Eat Like A Woman by Staness Jonekos
Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic
Man’s Rejection of God by RL Keller
The Education of George Washington by Austin Washington
Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Dad finished off The Candy Bomber: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlight and America’s Finest Hour by Andrei Cherny, which led to us learning some interesting local history. We didn’t know our hometown of Chicopee, MA was so instrumental in this mission The residents of the city–even school children–got involved in receiving candy shipments and attaching the candy to parachutes for them to be flown out to where they needed to go. He’s now reading Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King his favorite author.

The Lil’ Diva has discovered that reading is a great way to pass the time, so she’s devouring books lately. After polishing off the Matched series, she moved on to The Mortal Instruments series. She also read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and saw the movie this weekend. Other books she has read lately: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. She’s currently reading, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

I’ve lost track of all that the Lil’ Princess is reading. She has no less than six books in her backpack right now. At home, we’ve read The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy and last night finished Pie by Sarah Weeks.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Hope you’ll share some of your most recent reads.

Guest Book Review: Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff

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Book Review: Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff
Series: Princess Madeline Series
Paperback: 118 pages
Publisher: Caliburn Books (December 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1623750709
ISBN-13: 978-1623750701
Genre: Fantasy/magic/adventure
Ages: 10+

Five Stars

All is well in the Kingdom of Soron; at least, that’s what everyone thinks. The village has been rebuilt since Prince Paulsen’s disastrous attack the previous autumn, and preparations are underway for the Spring Faire – a very important occasion. Princess Madeline is also preparing for her upcoming wedding to Daniel, and the prospect of establishing a new home in the North. The wizards, now welcomed back after their timely assistance during the previous troubles, have a new role to play. Madeline has been having strange dreams, and the Elder Wizard, in fact her Uncle Elias, is trying to teach her to harness her magical powers, inherited from her mother. Then things turn horribly upside-down, as we have been warned via the prologue, where Lord Hawthorne (hunting for dragons’ eggs) stumbles upon a rare clutch of these magical eggs. Amazingly, a green dragon appears and begins to ravage the kingdom. The fiery attack ends with King Theodore being badly burned to the point where he insists on Madeline’s marriage to Daniel right away; and he appoints Madeline’s twin brother Braden as King of Soron. The dragon is fast becoming a huge and dangerous problem. Will Madeline and Braden be able to decipher the clues left by their mother that spoke of the Age of Dragons? And why is the dragon suddenly attacking the kingdom?

Kirstin Pulioff has cleverly sown the clues to the final book in the first and second books, where seemingly innocuous items hold the key to solving the mystery of the green dragon. Braden, somewhat neglected in books one and two, comes into his own and pulls the readers’ focus as he takes charge of the kingdom, and finds the path of love not as smooth as he had hoped. Madeline has really grown up here, and her thoughts on resolving the kingdom’s dilemma differ greatly from her brother’s. Her way is based on love, reason, reconciliation, and truth. The wizard Elias also has a lot to teach both the characters and young readers and his words of wisdom are beautifully woven into this rich fantasy tapestry. Again the author’s gift for description stands her in good stead as the dragon, in all its flaming fury, is brought vividly to life in the pages of this magical fairy tale. Princess Madeline and the Dragon is well worth the wait as there is something for everyone: romance, love, enchantment, magicality, wizards, action, adventure, and of course … here be dragons!

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Guest Book Review: The Battle for Princess Madeleine by Kirstin Pulioff

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Book Review: The Battle for Princess Madeline
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 21, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1482790085
Genre: Fantasy/magic/adventure
Age: 12+
Five Stars

In book two of the Princess Madeline series we’re back in the Kingdom of Soron, in the midst of the Fall Festival. Apart from the fun and activity of this festive event, there is a special significance: Princess Madeline’s betrothal to her Champion Knight Daniel, who saved her during her previous escapade. Princess Madeline is starting to grow up as well, and apart from making her tutor’s life a misery with her questions, is taking a great interest in the kinds of things necessary for running a kingdom and being responsible for people. It seems that nothing will spoil this idyllic time, except the reappearance of the sly Prince Paulsen, making outrageous demands on King Theodore. Paulsen demands Madeline’s hand in marriage and when the king reminds the prince that although he rid the country of brigands, he did not actually save the princess himself, this leads to terrible events. War ensues, and at the same time Madeline must decide how she can help save the kingdom. The banished wizards risk the wrath of the king by appearing, with messages, clues, and advice. While Theodore and Daniel face Paulsen’s ravaging troops, Madeline makes her own decisions.

Kudos to author Kirstin Pulioff for introducing more entrancing back story regarding magical choices that Madeline and her twin brother made without knowing it. Fragments of their mother’s story come through, adding to the wizards’ role in this book, and indeed in the prehistory of Soron. I loved the element of magic and mystery that the wizards bring, with suggestions of building onto forthcoming events, when the Age of Dragons looms over Soron. Madeline develops a sense of maturity about life, and her relationship with Daniel. She also uses her wits and embarks upon a daring plan, so courage is part of her nature. The battle scenes and the grim results of Paulsen’s invasion are brought to life by the author’s gift for description. In fact, description is part of what makes the series so appealing. One can hear the clash of swords, the shouts of the soldiers or (on a more peaceful note) almost rub shoulders with Madeline as she gazes at a beautiful view. There is much to entice young readers in this tale of the Princess: action, adventure, a charming romance, magic, and of course, the promise of dragons to come. I am looking forward to book three.

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Guest Book Review: The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin Pulioff

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Book Review: The Escape of Princess Madeline
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Malachite Quills Publishing (November 28, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1623750367
Genre: Fantasy/magic/adventure
Age: 12+

4 stars

Princess Madeline lives in the fairy tale kingdom of Soron, with a loving father and twin brother, Braden, a castle of servants at her beck and call, a charmed and pampered existence … and yet, she is not happy. For one thing, her father King Theodore has decided that at the ball to celebrate her sixteenth birthday, a suitor will be chosen for her. This indignity totally offends Madeline who is quite capable of making her own decisions. She wants freedom, independence, the ability to make her own choices, and—very importantly—to choose her future husband for herself. The only thing to do is run away; desperate measures for sure, but a drastic situation calls for an equally drastic response. Her disappearance throws the castle and indeed the whole kingdom into total turmoil, with Knight Daniel, her champion and protector, setting off to find her. Various princely suitors (mostly unsuitable!), but eager to court favour with the king, also set off on their own missions to retrieve the princess. Madeline, however brave she feels inside, is completely unprepared for life in the real world. Her inexperience and ignorance land her in the clutches of brigands. Daniel, meanwhile, has done the unforgivable; he has approached the wizards, now banished from the kingdom, for their help. Will he find Madeleine in time? Have the wizards betrayed him? And why is the creepy Prince Paulsen so interested in saving Madeleine?

This is a traditional fairy tale with a realistic twist. The princess does start out as a bit spoiled, but a few nights on her own, braving brigands and an inhospitable environment soon shake her up. Parents reading this will smile at the part where Madeline deeply regrets giving up what she had for what she thought she wanted: isn’t that what life is all about? This is a life lesson in a dynamic package as she comes to terms with her own selfish desires versus what her responsibilities as future princess would be. She also realises how much pain she has caused those who love her. The author’s strength lies in wonderful, rich descriptions that entice all the readers’ senses. From the opulence of the palace, to the terrors of the forest, to the magicality and enchantment of the wizard realm, the readers will experience it first-hand. Although the story seems simple, there is a strong back history that no doubt comes into play with the subsequent books. There is also a strong hint that certain people are not who they appear to be. I would have liked a more detailed back history, instead of a prologue to create Soron’s past and delve deeper into King Theodore’s painful memories. I hope this is developed more in the following books. Charming, and with enough fairy tale elements to satisfy young readers, this book sets a nice beginning for the Princess Madeleine Trilogy by Kirstin Pulioff.

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

Interview with Melanie Roberston-King, Author of A Shadow in the Past

Melanie author photo croppedAlways a fan of the written word, Brockville born and raised, Melanie spent many of her formative years reading.

The writing bug first bit when she was about thirteen, but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.

Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the US and the UK.

In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography and travel – especially to Scotland, although Paris rates high on her “must return to” bucket list as well. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

A Shadow in the Past is her debut novel.

You can find her website – Melanie Robertson-King Author – at http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/

Her blog – Celtic Connexions – is at http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/

Thank you for joining us today, Melanie. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Brockville, Ontario, Canada and have lived in or around the city all of my life. Before my parents moved into the city when it was time for me to start primary school, we lived in a winterized cottage along the St. Lawrence River. The river is in my blood and I like to say that where I live now, I have a river view. Okay, you have to stand on the sidewalk out front of my house and look south but you can see the river.

My father was born in Scotland and although I’m Canadian by birth, I’m Scottish in my heart. So much so that I bought my husband and I plots of land in the “auld country”. Okay, these plots are only one square foot each but it’s enough that we can be called “Laird” and “Lady”.  *grin*

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

My first attempt at writing was the summer after I graduated from grade 8. I wrote a story about some glamorous girls who were the partners of the hunks on the local hockey team. It went on… and on… and on. I don’t think it ever had a “proper” ending. But the neat thing was, I could draw reasonably well so illustrated it, too. Dare I refer to it as a graphic novel? 

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

Believe it or not, I never set out to write for the YA market. I had time-travel romance in my mind from day one, but with the age I made my protagonist, it made it a difficult sale. It wasn’t until much later when attending a Brian Henry (he’s a former editor from Harlequin) workshop that I heard the term YA Crossover. The bells and whistles went off and I knew then, that’s where my novel belonged.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I guess even though I’m 50+ years old, I still think of myself as a teenager, but with the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. I love to read YA as much as any other genre so it’s a natural fit.

The biggest challenge is keeping true to the way teens talk. A further complication is that my book is set in Scotland so I have to use the words and phrases local to that area. Having travelled through the country (long before I began writing seriously), there is a great variation in expressions from one part of the country to another.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

This is the back cover blurb which tells it all in just one paragraph.

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

What inspired you to write it?a shadow in the past cover 500x773

I had just finished reading the first four books in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  When I first heard about this author and her books, I jumped at the chance to read them mostly because they were set in Scotland. A co-worker loaned me the first book in the series and before I finished it, my husband had bought me the set of books from our local independent bookstore. A friend (also a DG fan) said that I could write something just as good so why not give it a go? So I did.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

4RV Publishing: http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/robertson-king.php

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346607916&sr=1-1

ChaptersIndigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/A-Shadow-In-The-Past-Melanie-Robertson-king/9780983801887-item.html?ikwid=a+shadow+in+the+past&ikwsec=Home

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434406&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-shadow-in-the-past-melanie-robertson-king/1112348992?ean=9780983801887

Amazon.co.uk:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Past-Melanie-Robertson-King/dp/0983801886/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434484&sr=1-1

What is up next for you?

I’m currently working on book two in my Shadows series, tentatively entitled Shadows from her Past.

Do you have anything else to add?

Believe it or not, I’m basically an introvert so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about putting myself and my work “out there.”  But now that I have, I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and am no longer backwards about being forward.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Melanie. We wish you much success.