Wednesday, December 23, 2015

His Christmas Bride by JJ Nite

His Christmas Bride

J.J. Nite


“Annabelle! What do you think you're doing, girl? If Bernard finds you peeping in there again he's liable to banish you to below stairs,” Sarah said. 
“I was only trying to get a peek at the master. I haven't seen him and everything I've heard makes him sound so mysterious. Tilly said he has not left his rooms since he arrived, but I heard Bernard say he met with him in the study. He has to come out sometime,” Annabelle said as she turned and followed Sarah to the back of the townhouse. 
“All I’m saying, missy, is you had better take care or you’ll be finding yourself banished to the nether regions of this townhouse -- or worse, looking for new employment,” Sarah continued. 
Annabelle smiled behind Sarah’s back and shook her head lightly. The plump house keeper had been a mother to her since hers had died, leaving Annabelle an orphan ten years earlier.  
Sarah had woken her in the morning and given her the news of her mother’s death. She had dried Annabelle’s tears and then helped her get dressed and made her a list of chores to make herself useful around the townhouse. Her manner was always brusque, but Annabelle knew it hid a big heart. 
Annabelle grabbed her cloak and basket and headed out the back door for her daily trip to the market. While she loved being out of the house, the smells that assailed her once she was on the main streets were overwhelming. The refuse, waste, and unwashed bodies made her wishing this was another’s duty. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Black Mage Series by Rachel E Carter


Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice –follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage… 

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead –the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic. 
Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth –and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail –and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived. 
When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve –and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems –and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in –herself. Will it be enough? 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

AP Author Spotlight: Clay Cormany

Clay Cormany
Twitter ID: @Speechwriter2
Describe yourself in three words:

Writer, Parent, Husband
Tell us a little about your latest release:

There is no longer anything special about the corner of Fifth Avenue and Olentangy River Road in Columbus, Ohio. In my younger days, however, it was the home of a trucking company that my dad owned and operated with my uncle. Most days for some 30 years, he would go there to his office to dispatch semis and make sure they reached their destinations without mishap. Sometimes there were mishaps. That could mean an early morning call and a lonely trip to a broken down truck on a remote highway.

Today the trucking company is gone. Several years ago, I traveled to where it once stood and found a fast-food hamburger stand in its place. There was no sign, marker, or other visible evidence that my father's trucking company ever existed. Sadness flooded my soul. A hamburger stand hardly seemed a fitting tribute to his hard work and sacrifice at this location. Then I began to ask myself some discomforting questions: What tangible evidence would I leave behind for my time on this planet? What would future generations, inside and outside of my family, ever know about me? That's when I remembered that YA novel – then only half finished – that I had laid aside a month before. Perhaps Fast-Pitch Love could be my legacy, a window that would allow great-great-grandchildren and perhaps others to understand who I was and what I valued.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

AP Booktrailer: Iris Blobel "Innocent Tears"

Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it almost pulls the feet from right underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight! He had no idea about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

AP Booktrailer: Leah Sanders "Sacred Ring"

Nothing in Kynan Murphy's life is going right. His grades are horrible, he's always in trouble, and the girl he likes doesn't know he exists. But things go from bad to worse when his parents tell him they have decided to split up. Angry and confused, he wants nothing more than to lash out against the world. The closest thing he can find, however, is the Saint Valentine shrine during a school field trip. Armed with some fireworks and encouraged by his best friend, Michael Connell, he's all set to vent his frustration with life.

His best laid plans fail when a mysterious priest confronts him, sharing an ancient secret about a hidden ring with special powers. Kynan believes the answer to all his problems and the only way to fix his parents' broken marriage is to find the ring — a task he won't be able to accomplish on his own.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

AP Author Spotlight: Brenda Maxfield

Brenda Maxfield
Twitter ID: @BrendaMaxfield
Describe yourself in three words:

Enthusiastic, Energetic, Persistent
Tell us a little about your latest release:
Lizbet's Lie.  Assaulted and pregnant, sixteen-year-old Lizbet Morgan is shipped off to give birth in secrecy and hand her baby over to strangers. When she returns home to her family’s strict religious community, she is expected to pick up where she left off.
But the nightmare isn’t over. Her friend Johnny isn’t the only one asking questions, and Lizbet fears that the reason for her absence will soon be discovered. She must decide whether to tell the truth or continue to obey a religious system that forces her to tell intolerable lies.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

AP Booktrailer: Elaine Cantrell "Rest Thy Head"

Running away from a fiancé who betrayed her, Peyton O’Malley finds employment at a beautiful mountain inn called Rest Thy Head. She didn’t expect to live in the haunted room or to fall for the inn’s owner, a fire-scarred, war veteran who uses the inn to hide away from the world. She didn’t expect her sister to show up at Rest Thy Head either, much less her formidable mother.

Now, thanks to the aid of a friendly ghost, Peyton has a shot at true love, and so does her sister Ashley, provided the guys cooperate of course!  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AP Author Spotlight: Ariella Moon

Ariella Moon


Describe yourself in three words:

Magical shamanic author


Tell us a little about your latest release:

Spell For Sophia

Kidnapped by her lawless parents, Sophia resorts to thievery and arson to escape. Her survival depends on her mastering magic and the supernatural, and guarding her heart against Breaux, a voodoo queen’s grandson. When magic hurls the teens through time, Sophia’s friend Ainslie will risk her sanity to find them. Fate and ghosts await, and conjuring always exacts a price.

The idea for Spell For Sophia grew out of the third book in the Teen Wytche Saga, Spell Fire. Sophia appeared as Ainslie's missing friend, and I knew I had to tell her story.


What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory dates to when I was two years old. My parents had followed the aerospace industry from Mississippi to California. I don't remember the seemingly endless road trip, just my mother saying, "We're here!" I looked out the window from the back seat of our Rambler station wagon, and thought, finally!

Don't get me started on my past life memories, because those go back centuries!


What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?

I have had so many great moments in my life! Falling in love. Graduating summa cum laude from college. Seeing my daughter graduate from college. Signing the contract on my first book. My shamanic work has enabled me to experience moments of amazing magic.


What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?

Giving birth to my daughter. There is a reason she is an only child!


What have you learned in life so far?

I have learned that there are no coincidences, that magic is real, and that everyone in your life has joined you on the journey to offer you a lesson or aid, or give you an opportunity to clear your karma. I've also learned that you will get invited to a lot parties if you know how to make chocolate chip cookie dough brownies.


Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?

Inviting five people to dinner would completely freak me out unless they were my best friends and/or family.  Even then, I would obsess, worry, and drive everyone crazy.


Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Ariella Moon?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

RELEASE DAY: Nancy S. Brandt "Pigsty Princess"


In a country where Elemental Sensitivities determine a person's place in society, Mariana, fourth child of King Jonathan and Queen Alexandria, was born an Insensitive. She is given the made up title of Progenna, because she can't be in line for the throne and therefore, can't be a Princess. All her life, she is reminded that she isn't quite good enough. When her father decides she is to marry Pir Leo Valentine, an eighty-four year old man with a scar across his face that took his eye and only one hand, she runs away from the palace.

Orlando of Talla is a pig farmer and former soldier who served the King until he watched his Sovereign burn an entire harbor town rather than lose a battle. Now he tries to live a quiet life while leading a band a rebels who steal from the nobility to bring prisoners home from that war.

Orlando is also the bastard son of a nobleman, and therefore, he has a Sensitivity, one of Blood that allows him to feel the Sensitivities of others.

He finds the injured Progenna in the forest and immediately realizes that the stories about Mariana aren't true. Rather than being an Insensitive, Mariana may be the most powerful Sensitive in Valborough.



Nancy S. Brandt is a stay-at-home mother of two children, a daughter, 25, who is an ap-pointment's clerk at an orthopedic clinic and an editor and book reviewer; and a son, 12, who studies karate, and wants to be either an historian or an artist.  Nancy's husband, Ste-ven, is also an author and an adjunct professor of computer science at Louisiana State Uni-versity.

In about sixth grade, an English teacher gave an assignment to write a descriptive essay. Nancy's was all about a wonderful cave filled with diamonds, emeralds and other precious gems. From that experience, she walked into every English class hoping to get to write some-thing, and she learned three things:

            1. The difference between stalactite and stalagmite,

            2. That fantasy was probably the genre she should concentrate on, and

            3. Never end a story with "It was all a dream."

Nancy is a kidney transplant recipient (her husband was her living donor), a thyroid cancer survivor, and an Army veteran. She is currently working on the sequel to Pigsty Princess.



Now available on
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Chapter One

Progenna Mariana, fourth child of Queen Alexandria and King Jonathan of Valborough, watched the couples twirling around the dance floor. Beneath their feet, colored mosaics representing the eight magical elements danced as well, the patterns changing in time with the music.

The annual ball in celebration of the Queen’s birthday was in full swing.

Mariana watched in delight as her brother, Cognate Prince Ramone, Heir Presumptive, danced with his wife, who would be delivering their first child within the next month. The white sash draped from Grand Sahdess Victoria’s right shoulder to her left hip indicated Air Sensitivity and explained how she could be so light on her feet even with such an advanced pregnancy.

Mariana idly ran her fingertips along the fold of her own black satin sash, narrower than any the rest of the royal family wore. Traditionally, black was for children whose Sensitivities haven’t manifested yet, or the rare Insensitive Commoner invited to royal celebrations.

The color of her sash shouldn’t have bothered her anymore. Everyone in the kingdom knew Mariana had no Sensitivities. In fact, even her title, “Progenna,” had been created especially for her. The title identified her as a daughter of the King and Queen, but also made it clear she had no magical abilities and, therefore, no place in the line of succession. She was, officially, a royal nobody.

The music from the quartet of stringed instruments stopped, and the couples paired up in two lines in the center of the floor for the next dance, a lively reel.

 Mariana moved along the tapestry-covered walls toward the three sets of double doors that led to the balcony.

She had to find Darius, son and Heir Presumptive of Clarence, the Margrave of Sasoin. As Mariana surveyed the dance floor, she couldn’t see Darius, who was known as the Rieravo of Sasoin, a title he inherited when his father’s landholdings increased and the older man was given the higher title.

As one of the few still-unmarried Heir Presumptives of a high-ranking noble in the court, Darius had a partner for every dance of the evening. Mariana assumed he had to be out on the balcony getting some fresh air after all the dancing he’d done.

 She and Darius had been an unofficial couple for some time now, and one more dance would make it official. Then, her father couldn’t keep them from announcing their intent to wed. After all, a third dance at such an event was practically an engagement announcement all by itself.

As she passed by, guests bowed their heads and muttered greetings. However, she ignored them all, as she was only interested in finding Darius.

Suddenly, she was halted by a black wooden cane thrust horizontally in front of her. Its bearer was a short bald man with one eye, who smiled so wide at her his yellow chipped teeth were visible.

“Pir Leo,” Mariana said, making a small curtsy of respect to the Sahdeer of Valentine, advisor to the King. “How nice to see you this evening.”

“My dear Progenna Mariana, I have been hoping to dance with you.” He grabbed her gloved hand and kissed it. As always, he lingered longer than was appropriate before releasing her. Marianna suppressed a shudder.

Pir Leo had been a figure in her life since she was a child. Because he was an expert in diplomacy and foreign relations, he was a frequent visitor to the palace and even at family gatherings. He had always frightened her.

RELEASE DAY: Stephy Smith "Magical Love"

Captured within the mind of Cleo Little by the disgraceful dark mist of Madonna, Greta Smith was taken on a wild, wicked journey she fought to escape. Greta presented the problem to the Shuvihani and Thad to vanquish the evilness of her childhood friend.
Against Thaddeus Porter’s better judgment and by the order of the clan’s witch, Thad entered the minds of the dark coven out to destroy the clan. The only way to save his people was to join forces with Greta to defeat the evilness prevailing around them. Their energy was strong, the clan’s Shuvihani was missing, and dark evil was out to steal the souls of the caravan.
Could Greta and Thad’s Magical Love be sufficient to conquer the jealousy, betrayal and dark magic to save their people?
Stephy Smith was born and raised in the Northwest Texas Panhandle. She owns and operates her own ranch. Most of her inspiration comes from the weather, wildlife, and imagination from country living. When she not spending time with her three sons, she loves to read, ride horses, watch rodeo’s and paint. Stephy is a member of Panhandle Professional Writers, American Quarter Horse Association, and Foundation Quarter Horse Association. Stephy is an award-winning author of Shining Moon Rises. You can find her books at and

Astraea Press' Four Year Anniversary

Yesterday marked Astraea's four year anniversary!!! So to celebrate, we are giving books, and amazon cash away!

Would you like to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card?

Head over to Facebook to find out how ....

We will be giving away ebooks. and paperbacks, as well this week, so keep checking in!

Good luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AP Booktrailer: Iris Blobel "Fresh Beginnings"

The small town of Hobart in Tasmania has witnessed many beginnings in recent years. At yet one more beginning, the wedding of a friend, Jared Fraser decides it’s time for some fresh beginnings to come his way… and he sets out for a holiday to the US to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome.

Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesn’t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on holiday.

Then the arrival of family friend Mia Levesque and her boyfriend, Josh, turns Jared’s holidays upside-down when he’s forced to play arbitrator between the two teenagers.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

AP Author Spotlight: Jannette Spann

Jannette Spann
Twitter ID: jannette spann
Describe yourself in three words:
wife, mother, writer
Tell us a little about your latest release:
Right Time for Love (to be released March 2015)
Blurb:  Indecision marked Gavin’s brow as they stared into each other’s eyes. If he walked off, the friendship would be over… shattered like a cheap piece of glass. They would still see each other at times, but the closeness wouldn’t exist anymore, and that’s what Brandy treasured the most.
He lifted a hand to her face, a sad smile tilting the corner of his lips. “I’m twenty-nine-years-old, and so help me, I’ve never met anyone like you.”
She blinked. “So… Is that good or bad?”
His forehead dropped to hers. A slight chuckle eased the tension. “I’m still trying to decide.”
Taking his reply to mean maybe, she slid an arm around his waist and guided him inside. “Come on, I’ll see if I can’t sway your opinion.”
Inspiration for the story: My mother had a series of TIAs and I love the beach. When I started writing the story, the two came together so naturally I decided to go with it.
What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is Christmas when I was either three or four. I was sure the new baby doll I found hidden in a closet belonged to me. When I showed it to Mama, she put the doll back and said it was for my younger sister. Needless to say, I was very disappointed when my present that year was dishes. But the next year, I got the doll and she got the dishes.
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?

When I accepted Christ as my savior was the greatest moment of my life. God has given me more blessings than I deserve, a loving husband, wonderful children and grandchildren. He's also allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream of being an author.
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?

My husband is a double cancer survivor, lung and neck. Watching helplessly while he endured the extensive surgeries, radiation, and chemo was heartbreaking.
What have you learned in life so far?

I've learned it's never too late to fulfill a dream. I didn't publish my first book, Hidden Hills, until after I retired. It would have been easy to say I was to old, but I didn't give up.
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?

Walt Disney, Erma Bombeck, James Garner,  Barbara Bush, and Tom Selleck. I think it would be an interesting and entertaining dinner.
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Jannette Spann?

Monday, January 26, 2015

RELEASE DAY: Ashley Stambaugh "Torn"

Three months have passed and Melina thought she was safe. Safe from the effects of the angel powers and safe from the Noxin demons. But she thought too soon.
Just as she’s starting to enjoy her new powers and her new relationship with Lee, the slight pain she still experiences after using the powers starts to grow worse. As the pain becomes more and more unbearable, she finds herself lashing out at innocent people with unex-plained anger and hatred. Then to make matters worse, she sees a Noxin demon again.
No one, not even the elders, seems to know what’s happening to Melina, or how a Noxin demon found her. And when she’s introduced to Dean, another unique human like herself, she learns that his pain is completely gone, which only makes her situation even more con-fusing.
Grasping for any type of answer, Melina throws out one possible explanation after another. But as her angry feelings intensify, and her angel powers grow weaker, she begins to think there might be something malevolent inside her that’s trying to take over. It’s not long be-fore her internal struggle spirals out of control, and her body is turned into a battlefield that’s torn between good and evil.
Melina fears that if no solution is found, then she might lose all the people she loves, especially Lee. But what scares her even more is that she might lose herself to evil.
Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings creat-ed some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern re-gion of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.
Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memo-ries with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.
When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.
Now available on
Amazon Barnes & Noble Smashwords
Chapter One
Melina took a sip of her coffee and gazed out at the lightly falling snow. Mesmerized by its delicate beauty, she didn't even notice when someone took a seat in the chair across the table from her.
"How’d I know you'd be sitting at a window seat?" the voice mused.
Her eyes widened in excitement as she turned and smiled at the newcomer. There sat Lee, bundled up in his black wool coat, a gray and black plaid scarf wrapped loosely around his neck, his tawny hair messed about from the wind. She leaned over and gave him a soft kiss, a slight blush reddening her cheeks. They had been together for almost three months now, but she still got flushed and giddy around him.
She turned back to look out the window again. "It's breathtaking, isn't it?"
Lee chuckled. "Yeah, snow's pretty to watch. But if you know you have to drive in it later, it loses some of its luster."
"That's why I walked here," Melina said as she pointed down at her tall, black snow boots.
He smiled at her. "I'm happy to see your Christmas gift is being put to good use."
"These put my old pair to shame. They're much warmer. I can go for a lot more walks now." Melina grinned then returned her gaze to the snow. "I'm trying to catch sight of my first snowflake. It's snowed six times this month already, and I still haven't seen one."
"I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunities, seeing how it's only the third week of January and how much you love to watch snow." He let out another chuckle just as Nina, the owner of the café, showed up with his coffee.
She was a plump, older woman with short, spiky white hair and always had a smile on her face. "Good morning, Lee." She beamed at him as she set the steaming coffee mug down on the table. "I brought you your usual."
 "Thanks, Nina," he said and then took a sip of his drink.
"You're welcome, sweetheart. You two let me know if you need anything else." She gave them both a quick wave then made her way back to the front.
Lee looked back over at Melina. "I'm sorry I'm a bit late. I know you said you wanted to get out of here before the morning crowd arrived."
"It's all right," she said, shaking her head. "We still have about twenty minutes or so before the usual rush shows up."
He held her gaze, his light brown eyes full of concern.
Melina averted her eyes down to her coffee mug. She didn't want him to pick up on her anxiety, but she must've been doing a lousy job of hiding it, because she could still feel him staring at her.
"I'm okay," she said as she lifted her eyes back up to meet his. "I'm just—" Melina's voice cut off as she suddenly let out a short cry. Her hand shot up to her head as her face contorted in pain.
"What is it? What's wrong?" He jumped up from his chair and knelt down beside her.
She rubbed at her aching forehead as she struggled to speak. "Too many… people. Too many… thoughts. My head… it feels like it's… going to explode."
Lee furrowed his brows as he stood up from his knees and glanced around the room. "There aren't even ten other people in here."
A low groan escaped her. "It feels like a hundred." She continued to massage her temple when suddenly the pain intensified. "Ahh!” she screamed as she raised her other hand up to her temple. “My head feels like it's on fire now."
He quickly threw some money onto the table then slid his arm around Melina. "Come on. Let's get you out of here." He hoisted her up from her chair, and let his arm slip up underneath hers.
"It burns! It burns!" she cried as she squinted her eyes shut. "What is going on?"
"We're almost out of here. Hang on." There was a side exit a few steps away from them, and Lee led her out through the door as discreetly as he could. Melina hated not saying good-bye to Nina, but if she saw her in this state, she would become overly concerned and cause unnecessary stress.
They stepped outside and the windswept snow caused her to turn her face into Lee's shoulder. When they were several feet away from the café, she finally lifted her head and said, "I need to stop for a minute." She released her arm from around his neck but continued to lean on him.
"Okay," he said, keeping his arm wrapped snugly around her. "I'm parked just up at the end of the block. Do you think you can make it there?"
She nodded and slid her arm up around his neck again. When they had finally reached his SUV, he helped to ease her down into the passenger seat. He shut the door for her then ran around and climbed into the driver's seat.
"What happened in there?" he asked as he started the engine and turned on the heat.