Feed Your Kindle! Cheap eReads!

Here’s a roundup of YA books for your Kindle – all priced  under 4 bucks! Click on the cover for the Amazon product page.

  

Stirring up Trouble  by Juli Alexander – 2.99

Zoe Miller is a 15-year-old witch with a talent for potions. She’s working hard to find a substitute for toad slime. Since fat-free margarine has been found to be a substitute for dead man’s toe, she’s hopeful that she’ll find one.
Then there’s all the so-called normal stuff. Like high school, her annoyingly selfish "friend" Anya, and her crush on Anya’s ex-boyfriend Jake.
Now, Zoe’s dad is dating Jake’s mom, and things are getting more and more complicated. If only Zoe could brew a potion or two and set everything straight. Zoe can’t. If she brews a self-serving potion, bad things will happen to her appearance. Like a crooked nose, giant wart, green skin, rotting teeth–the whole ugly witch stereotype.
Zoe’s tired of fate interfering so cruelly in her life. Can you really blame her for putting her potions to not-so-good use and stirring up trouble?

 

 

My Life as The Ugly Stepsister by Juli Alexander – 2.99

When Ally’s mother moves to Seattle to try out a relationship with an internet boyfriend, the fourteen-year-old has to live with her dad, her wicked stepmonster, and her way too beautiful stepsister. Ally’s list of brutal teen truths is growing by the minute. Can change actually bring something good this time around, or is Ally doomed to live out her life as the ugly stepsister?

 

 

Saving Face by TJ Dell – 2.99

Alyssa is all set for the perfect senior year. She’s head cheerleader, she’s dating the captain of the football team, and every girl in school wishes they were her. That is until she catches her boyfriend with another girl– in front of the whole school.
Convincing her best friend Brent to play her new boyfriend seems like the perfect solution. Except, is saving her reputation worth jeopardizing the perfect friendship?

 

 

Half Way Home by Hugh Howey – 2.99

Five hundred of us were sent to colonize this planet. Only fifty or so survived.
We woke up fifteen years too early, we had only half our training, and they expected us to not only survive … they expected us to conquer this place.
The problem is: it isn’t safe here.
We aren’t even safe from each other.


 

The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club by JC Isabella – 2.99

 

Welcome to the big leagues. To secrets and scandals. It’s all about the game. Who’s playing. Who’s not. Who has no idea about the game. And…wait, what game are we playing?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.
Where to start is the big question for Chloe Baker. How was she supposed to explain to Zack Warren that she started a fan club for him when she was a kid? It was just a game. A way to make friends and have fun. She never thought it would spiral out of control. And never. In a million, gazillion years, did she think it would follow her to college. How could she tell him her best friend Lana kept the club alive? That she had nothing to do with the craziness?
Chloe didn’t understand why she cared so much about Zack’s opinion of her. She hated him. He hated her. They had very mutual feelings of dislike for each other. So he’d just hate her even more when or if he found out.
And that’s totally fine…she thinks.
Zack Warren had a soft spot for Chloe Baker. He likes the way she walks. He likes the way she talks. If he was poetically inclined, he’d write a sonnet about her ass.
It’s Zack’s junior year of college. He’s got things to worry about. Scouts from the major leagues. Baseball games. Contracts. Grades…. His father ran away to Vegas with Chloe’s mother. He didn’t have time to worry about a girl. But he did. He worried about Chloe a lot, especially with that jerk Max sniffing around her. It’s weird though, to like your stepsister, right?
But Zack could argue that he saw Chloe first. Way before his dad met her mom. He was too young to stake a claim. But he doesn’t care anymore.
He’s done playing games.

Review: Taming the Brooding Cattleman by Marion Lennox

 

Title: Taming the Brooding Cattleman

Author: Marion Lennox

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Alexandra Patterson swaps city chic for the dusty outback when she arrives at Werrara Stud Ranch. As the new vet, she may be more used to pampered puppies than prized stallions, but Alex is determined to show that she can cut it.…

Brooding rancher Jack Connor is in for a shock—the women in his life have only ever caused him pain and anguish…and Alexandra was supposed to be Alexander. Instead, the person before him is a petite blonde with a pink suitcase and is distractingly, infuriatingly attractive!


Review:

My Larkville Legacy reading journey continues!  This time, we find ourselves in Australia, on a horse farm.  Alex Patterson is a large animal vet, and she wants nothing more than to work at a large horse breeding operation, but the big names in the US will barely give her the time of day because of her lack of experience.  When her father uses his connections to land her a job in the Outback for six months, she is overjoyed.  She’ll be earning some practical experience, so she will have something to put on her resume.  She isn’t even bothered by the knowledge that she will also have to pitch in as a farm hand.  She is hard-working and determined, and she will do whatever is asked of her.  Did I mention that there are horses?

I found the premise a little hard to swallow, but quickly set that aside.  Perhaps Jack could be confused and think that Alex was a guy.  Perhaps Alex’s father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, could have either misled him or truly been confused about his child’s gender.  Perhaps Jack would be adamantly against hiring a woman, given the primitive conditions.  Jack inherited the horse breeding operation from his grandfather, a harsh man he grew to despise, and he hasn’t been back to the farm in years.  He was too busy trying to take care of his younger sister, who suffered from deep and overwhelming depression.  After her death, he left the big city to get away from any possibility of human entanglement.  At the ranch, he is dismayed to see how run down it has become.  The overseer was stealing from him, the house is in ruins, and entire place needs a ton of TLC.  At least the horses were well cared for, but this is obviously no place for a woman.

When Jack is confronted with Alex for the first time, he rails against her for lying about her gender.  Quick to take the defensive, she argues that she never said she was a man.  When Jack tells her that her father pitched the skills of his “son” Alex is aghast.  Then she’s infuriated.  What difference does it make, whether she’s a woman or a man?  All she wants is the opportunity to prove herself.  While I had a few issues buying into the idea of Alex’s mistaken gender, I did like Alex and how she quickly put Jack in his place.  I loved how she pushed him out of his comfort zone for the entire book.  He’s cold and determined to stay detached from his feelings.  Alex isn’t about to let him do that.  Even if it means overcoming her distaste for the scary outhouse behind the house.  The plumbing in the house needs serious attention, and for someone used to much more luxurious surroundings, the lack of indoor plumbing is almost a deal breaker.  More so than Jack’s unwelcoming attitude.  After recently suffering from a lack of running water when our well went out, I could completely sympathize with Alex.  No flush toilet would be more of a challenge than a rude, dismissive employer for me, too!

Alex quickly proves that she is worth her weight in gold by saving a mare and her foal.  Alex shows Jack that she is a competent vet, and against his better judgment, he agrees that she can stay the six months.  He will even have the plumbing repaired.  Yay!  I thought, the question of her worth was quickly answered.  But then the demons in Jack’s past pop up, challenging him with every encounter with Alex.  She dares him to care for the unhappy boy who lives with his step-mom on Jack’s land.  She dares him to re-establish emotional bonds with the people around him.  Like a skittish colt, he constantly pushes back, unwilling to be hurt again.  I found Alex’s willingness to put her own heart on the line admirable, and I grew impatient with Jack.  For every attempted outreach she made, he stubbornly rejected her.  He’s not nice about it, either, but Alex takes his rejections in stride and never gives up on him.  Bravo!

While certain aspects of the story did not work for me, I found the characters so engaging that I overlooked my skepticism.  I wonder what is next for the Larkville Legacy crew?

Be sure to read my interview with Marion Lennox here.

Grade: B

Review copy purchased from Amazon

Interview with Christy English, Author of How to Tame a Willful Wife

Christy English is celebrating the release of How to Tame a Willful Wife, the first book in her Shakespeare’s in Love series.  She recently dropped by the virtual offices to answer a few questions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Christy] Brave, resourceful, a Geek. I love to dance, to sing, to roller skate, to tell stories, to lose myself in the written word, to celebrate

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about How To Tame a Willful Wife?

[Christy] My latest book is basically a re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew…I might even say a re-writing of it. Because in my book, the so-called “shrew” is the one who tames her husband. I was never satisfied with the play. I always felt the need to focus on the chemistry between Kate and Petrucchio, and to take their connection farther. Instead of starving Caroline into submission, Anthony and his “shrew” find a middle ground, where they can live together as equals.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Christy] Anthony and Caroline came to me in a dream in 2007. The first chapter of the novel unrolled in the theatre of my mind, and when I woke up, I wrote it down. Originally, they were Italian, but Regency England suited the story much better, especially once I had fleshed it out and discovered that it was The Taming of the Shrew I was re-telling.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Caroline?

[Christy] Brave, beautiful, strong-willed…is that three words or four?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three activities would Anthony never engage in?

[Christy] Macramé, bowling, dueling. He would never sit still for the first, the second would be too undignified, and the third would be pointless. If he wanted to kill someone, he would just shoot him between the eyes and be done with it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Anthony had a theme song, what would it be?

[Christy] Bad to the Bone (LOL)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Caroline’s most prized possession?

[Christy] Her throwing knives. Until Anthony gives her the pearl, anyway. I would say Hercules, her stallion, but she does not see her horse as something she owns as much as a friend who has her back no matter what.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Christy] Mary Renault and her novels about ancient Greece. She is truly a genius.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Christy] Coca Cola, a computer that works, and a table and chair…wait, that’s four things again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Christy] WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND by Shana Galen. It was the first time I had read her work, and I adored it. Very clever and charming. A great read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Christy] GONE WITH THE WIND when I was in the seventh grade. I had been a reader before then, but that was the first time I committed to a novel that long and involved. In spite of the historical inaccuracies and the racism, that novel brought Scarlett O’Hara to life. I learned a lot from reading it before I ever knew that I was going to be a real writer. A real writer, by the way, is anyone who commits to their characters and stays in the chair.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Christy] I love to read, eat out with friends, go to the theatre, act in the theatre, roller skate, dance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Christy] People can find me on my blog http://www.ChristyEnglish.com

on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ShakespeareInLoveSeries

and on Twitter https://twitter.com/ChristyEnglish

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order How to Tame a Willful Wife from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

 

More about the book:

How To Tame A Willful Wife:

1. Forbid her from riding astride
2. Hide her dueling sword
3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers
4. Frisk her for hidden daggers
5. Don’t get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers…

Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempered by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.

Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and…ridiculously gorgeous.

It’s a duel of wit and wills in this charming retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. But the question is…who’s taming whom?