Tag Archives: mother daughter book promotion

Princess Madeline and the Dragon Blog Tour

25 Jan

Princess Madeline and the Dragon - Tour Button - 3 Kirstin Pulioff

About the Book

Title: Princess Madeline and the Dragon (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3)

Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Publisher: Caliburn Books

Number of pages: 135

Recommended age: 10+

Summary

After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration. When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future. Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.

My Review

To be frank, after I read the second book, I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish the series. I felt like that book would have been more aptly titled “Prince Paulsen’s Epic Temper Tantrum.” The story fell flat for me. Fortunately, Princess Madeline and the Dragon wasn’t just better–it’s the strongest book in the series.

The writing was far tighter than the previous two books–in terms of both plotting and editing. It was nice to see all of these clues that had been dropped through the previous books all finally come together. There was less purple prose, more character development, and wider scope. In short, Pulioff really hit her writing stride.

It was nice to see some character development in some of the secondary characters. Braden finally had a chance to shine–and the audience got to see him grow from an uncertain prince to a strong leader. Elias was given an even more prominent role, which I enjoyed. Princess Madeline is alright, but I was always most intrigued by the wizards. Even Sophia was given more agency; instead of just being Braden’s kissing partner and Madeline’s maidservant, she had the opportunity to make decisions for herself.

Which connects to why this was my favorite book of the series: it wasn’t all about Princess Madeline this time. She was still the protagonist, of course. But there was so much more going on–history, decoding prophecy, transitions, dragons. There was more at stake than who Princess Madeline would have to marry. And that made me feel more invested in the outcome.

I’ve decided to give the final book 4 stars. It has an engaging story, good world-building, and dynamic characters. Even though I’m not personally a big fan of romance, I think that it’s written in a way that will appeal to middle grade girls. I also appreciate that Daniel is never rude or condescending or otherwise engaging in misogynistic behavior–it’s a refreshing change from heroines falling for the arrogant show-off or the “misunderstood bad boy.” If there’s got to be romance in the story, I’m thankful that it’s modeling a healthy relationship to girls.

And Now For a Guest Post from the Author

Princess Perfect

When you think about fairy tales, what stands out most? The charming story-line, the medieval settings, the magical elements and enchantments? For me, the beauty of the fairy tale revolves around the princess. Pretty, perfect, sweet and demure, the princesses of traditional fairy tales have problems that need to be solved. Maybe it’s something with their sweet nature, or the simple desire for good to triumph, but I am easily swept up in the journey to find that happily ever after.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite princesses and what makes them so memorable.

Snow White is considered the perfect princess. She is unassuming in her demeanor, sweet, calm, and naïve. Her dreams of love are inspiring, and her gestures of kindness make everyone love her and protect her in return. This is a story about love conquering all.

Cinderella is another classic tale. This is the perfect rags to riches story, as a normal girl finds her Prince. Growing up neglected and abused, it is amazing that she remained as sweet natured as she was. She’s proof that friendship is everywhere around you, even in the animals, and that dreams can come true.

Ariel is one of my favorites. I loved The Little Mermaid for many reasons, but especially for its turn away from the “perfect princess.” This story is an example of teenage rebellion at its finest. Ariel still stands out as beautiful, talented, and royal… but she is also spoiled, disobedient, and headstrong. She shows you how following your heart comes with risks but also the greatest rewards.

Princess Madeline is a modern take on the traditional fairy tale. While she certainly has some traits similar to the other princesses, beauty, charm, and strength, she also has a bit of rebellion and stubbornness thrown in. Balancing a blend of hard and soft qualities, Princess Madeline finds a way to show both strength and vulnerability as she learns lessons about growing up, the dynamics of relationships (family, friend, and love), and finds her inner strength.

So, if you like Disney princesses (and who doesn’t)*, and are looking for a new book, then Princess Madeline series may be a good choice for you.

(* A comment from Destiny: LOL. *raises hand*)

Purchase

Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: January 13th to January 31st, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Click link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Princess Madeline and the Dragon Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

Continue reading

Dragon Defender

8 Jan

Today’s book review is part of a blog tour. I received a free electronic copy of the book from the publisher, through NetGalley, prior to signing up for the blog tour.

About the Book

Dragon Defender by J.A. BlackburnTitle: Dragon Defender (Dragon Defense League, Book #1)

Author: J.A. Blackburn

Publication Date: October 19, 2013

Publisher: Pip & Grey

Number of pages: 242

Recommended age: 10+

 

Summary (Amazon):

For over a thousand years dragons have existed in secret . . .

Peter Clark can build a robot from scratch and pick a lock in two minutes or less. But he can’t figure out why his mother left or why his grandma refuses to talk about her. When Uncle Dominick shows up on Peter’s twelfth birthday with a letter that hints at answers and an incredible story about dragons, Peter follows him, determined to find out the truth about his mother’s disappearance.

What he finds is a reality far different from what he ever could have imagined – where dragons live in hiding, hunted by poachers for their magical parts, and a small group of men and women work tirelessly to protect them. These are the Dragon Defenders. Peter’s uncle is one. So was his mother. Now it’s Peter’s turn.

* Finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2013 Literary Contest *

My Review

Middle grade fiction is best when you start reading and before you know it a couple of hours have gone by and you’re surprised that the book is already over. And that’s basically what happened to me while I was reading this book. It starts off with a pretty cool concept: dragons are real and 12-year old Peter Clark is part of a long line of dragon defenders. This melding of a high fantasy concept with an otherwise realistic present-day world made for fun reading. Rather than spend a lot of time engaged in world building, the author is able to thrust her readers into the action pretty quickly.

The biggest sticking point for me happened pretty early in the book. The issue was that I was a bit skeptical as to how Peter’s non-custodial uncle was able to get him through the border crossing, with seemingly no passport or other documentation. It is mentioned that uncle Dominick has some sort of paperwork–but I don’t see how he could have had anything for Peter. After all, Peter’s legal guardian, his grandmother, didn’t even know he’d left at that point. All of that said, I was able to move past it to enjoy the story.

I would have liked a little more character development in the story. Peter has a fairly well fleshed-out personality, complete with specific talents, interests, and flaws. However, all of the other characters seem pretty one-dimensional. Uncle Dominick is the mysterious, cool grown-up. Xana is the over-enthusiastic girl who acts without thinking. Mario is the poor Mexican orphan who acts as a guide. Even though we spend a lot of time with the latter two as companions to Peter on his adventure, they never get fleshed out much. And they don’t really grow or change during the story.

The dragons living among us hook was a good one, though. I thought that the author did a nice job of building the dragon lore. And I am incredibly interested in the Dragon Defense League–its formation, history, work, other members. These things were only touched on a little–but there were hints that we would learn more in future books. Excellent work, Blackburn. When you’re writing a series, you’ve got to give your readers a reason to come back.

I’m giving this book 3 stars. It was an enjoyable bit of escapism. I think that kids who enjoy fantasy and adventure will like this book quite a lot. Despite my criticisms, I see a lot of potential in this series. First books can be challenging to write–especially if you’ve already started to map out the future for the series. How much is too much to reveal and how much is not enough? This book didn’t hit that perfect balance–but it still hooked me in.

Purchase

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle)

About the Author: J.A. Blackburn

J.A. Blackburn, Author

J.A. Blackburn

J. A. Blackburn lives in Seattle, Washington in a small white house overlooking the sea with her husband, Jason, her son, Camden, and their dog, Bella. Dragon Defender is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

* $50 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: January 6th to January 31, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.A. Blackburn and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Click this link to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dragon Defender - Blog Tour Button  J.A. Blackburn

Dragon Defender Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

Continue reading

Princess Madeline Book Blast and Giveaway

18 Dec

Today’s book review is for The Escape of Princess Madeline, by Kirstin Pulioff, published by Caliburn Books. The review is being posted as part of a book blast organized by Mother Daughter Book Promotion Services. I received free electronic copies of the books from the tour organizer so that I could write honest reviews. Next month I will be participating in a blog tour for the third book in the trilogy, so keep watching my blog.

About the Book

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #1) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 4, 2012 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 138 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom… a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture, her Knight Champion is eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors are determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure full of twists and turns as she tries to find her freedom and answers to her questions about life and love.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

My Review

I was interested in the series, because I love books that feature strong, determined heroines. Pulioff delivered. Princess Madeline is a fun character. She’s got her own ideas on what she wants out of life and she’s not going to let her father (or anyone else) tell her what to do. However, like a typical teenager, she doesn’t always think things through. When she decides to leave the castle she is ill-prepared for life outside the walls. She gives away all of her gold almost immediately. She doesn’t know how to find food efficiently. She can’t really build a fire on her own. And she doesn’t even know how to defend herself. This short-sightedness was one of the things that made me like Princess Madeline so much. A lot of heroines end up being so amazing that they’re almost unbelievable. On the other hand, I think that middle grade readers will be able to relate to Princess Madeline–while recognizing all of her flaws.

The plot was fairly basic, but appropriate for middle grade readers. I think it has just the right amount of action, intrigue and romance to keep tweens interested without getting bogged down in too many details. The pacing is great. The story keeps moving forward, even when the characters are having internal monologues.

My primary complaint was that the editing was pretty sloppy. There were a lot of typos in the text and a couple of sticky grammar points. Hopefully these issues will be corrected in new editions. Even though they didn’t ruin the book for me, there were enough that it distracted me at times. I wasn’t sold on the insta-love element, either. But love at first sight is a fairly common trope in fairy tales and fantasy, so I was able to accept it for what it was.

Other than that, it’s a good middle grades fantasy adventure. There are balls and tournaments and wizards and bandits–all the things that make fantasy fun. There’s also some great foreshadowing for the future books in the series. I’m particularly curious about what role the wizards will play, and what it was that Princess Madeline’s mother “sacrificed” herself for. If you have a middle grader who is looking to escape into a medieval-style fantasy, this 4 star book is certainly worth consideration.

You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.

About the Other Books

The Battle for Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Battle for Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #2) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: May 21, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 159 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: The Kingdom of Soron bustled with activity as preparations for the Fall Festival began. Lively merchants, hardworking farmers, and musicians eagerly awaited this event of harvest and joy. This year’s festival was even more important; it was to celebrate Princess Madeline’s betrothal to her knight champion, Daniel. Celebration quickly turns to disaster, though, as Prince Paulsen returns with curious demands: either Princess Madeline will be his, or no ones’. Rejection turns to obsession and battle is declared.

In a tense struggle to decide her future, Princess Madeline must choose where to put her trust… in the king’s tried and true plan, the wizards’ cryptic messages and maps, or her own sense of bravery. Follow Princess Madeline on this adventure as she battles evil in an attempt to create a future of love and magic.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin PulioffTitle: Princess Madeline and the Dragon (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 26, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 135 Recommended age: 10+

Summary: After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration. When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future. Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: December 18, 2013 to January 16, 2014, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

The Colourblind Chameleon

12 Dec

Today’s book review is for The Colourblind Chameleon, written by Laura Kantor, illustrated by Sarah Ray, and published by Squidgy Face Books. This review is part of a Book Blast, and I received the eBook for free from Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews, who is hosting the event, so that I could write up an honest review.

About the Book

The Colourful Chameleon by Laura Kantor and Sarah Ray

Title: The Colourblind Chameleon

Author: Laura Kantor

Illustrator: Sarah Ray

Publication Date: November 19, 2013

Publisher: Independent – Squidgy Face Books

Number of pages: 32

Recommended age: 2 to 7

 

The Colourblind Chameleon is a wonderful new picture book for children ages 2 and older. Its protagonist is a special chameleon. For, while all of the other chameleons can change their color to blend into the background and hide from predators–the Colourblind Chameleon cannot. His friends think it’s funny when he turns purple in a tree or yellow in the rain. But, it’s also very dangerous for him. So, he starts spending his days in hiding. Hiding, however, is very tiresome, and he wanders off to seek a new place to hide for a while. That’s when he finds a place in the forest where a suitcase has fallen and exploded its colorfully patterned contents all over the place. Finally, here, is somewhere where he can blend in. And when his friends discover him, they, too, get to revel in the fun of bright colors and bold patterns.

I was drawn to this book initially because of the soft, digitally-rendered illustrations. I like that the color palette is heavy on pastels–yet still manages to be lively and fun. The chameleons and other animals are cute, with their big eyes and simplified body shapes, but not so cute that children will think it’s a “baby book.” And most of all, I love how silly the titular character looks when he is completely failing to blend in.

The writing is easy to follow rhyming text. It flows pretty well and some of the rhymes are quite creative. It’s the story-line that I find most appealing. It conveys a strong message to children that there is a place for everyone in the world, and that it’s okay to be different. In fact, sometimes, being different is much more fun than being like everyone else. Most of all, I like that the moral isn’t explicitly spelled out. Children are left to ponder it on their own.

I’ve found that Indie children’s books can be really hit or miss. So it’s nice to see a work that has pulled together a clever story and visually appealing art coming from an Indie publisher. If you’re looking for a story that’s a little quirky, with a positive message for your kid, this 4 star book is worth checking out.


Purchase

Amazon | Google Play | Barnes and Noble | iTunes

About the Author: Laura Kantor

Laura Kantor Author

Laura Kantor

Laura Kantor up in Coventry, England, but has spent the last few years living overseas in Canada, Australia and now Singapore. In her free time she loves to travel, bake and write (of course). With a job in marketing, project management and a love for writing lists, Laura decided to self publish her own stories, and set up Squidgy Face Books in 2013 (www.squidgyfacebooks.com), teaming up with Sarah Ray who was the perfect illustrator to bring her stories to life. A year of very late nights and extremely long weekends later and their first release, The Colourblind Chameleon is ready to bring some colour and fun to squidgy faces around the world.

About the Illustrator: Sarah Ray

Sarah Ray

Sarah Ray

Sarah Ray, the illustrator of The Colourblind Chameleon grew up in the Herefordshire countryside where she gathered lots of inspiration for her drawings. Animals feature frequently in her work and she enjoys giving them human attributes.

This is Sarah’s first children’s book, after working with a variety of clients on commissioned illustration. She also has her own range of award winning greeting’s cards which she sells across the UK, http:// www.sarahray.co.uk

Squidgy Face Books

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | Twitter (Author) | Twitter (Illustrator)

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: December 12, 2013 to January 10, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Laura Kantor and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I was given this book free-of-charge by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. The author contacted us to participate in our Book Promotion Program where we will tweet and share information about this book, the author, and the giveaway.*

MDBR Book Promotion Services