Astraea Press Book Club

~ News Alert ~ News Alert ~ News Alert ~ News Alert ~
Astraea Press is starting a book club and everybody can join in! Here is the message:
June 1, 2012 Astraea Press with be starting a book club. Each month a new book will be offered for FREE to readers to read and enjoy. At the end of the month we will host a Chat with the Author and readers on the NEW Astraea Press Book Club
Facebook group.

Readers are encouraged to post a reader review at Amazon, B&N and or Goodreads if they choose but it is not required. For information about upcoming books please join the Facebook group and have fun reading your free copy each month. That's 12 free books each year :) The books offered will span all genres that Astraea Press offers and showcase a number of talented authors.

Sweet Saturday Sample 26/05/2012

Last week's snippet was all about Hollie's dream, which triggers quite a chain of events. Read in this week's sample about Hollie's second time she meets Jeremy.

“What?” Jeremy said with a frown.
Hollie shrugged her shoulders. “You said I’m different from the girls you’ve met before. Well, how am I different?”
Jeremy turned his head to check whether anybody was listening to this conversation, but everybody else seemed busy either playing around in the pool or standing by the barbecues. Even Alex seemed unaware of their conversation. “Just different, you know.”
“Here’s the thing. Obviously I don’t know, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking, right? I thought I was pretty normal, the average kind of Tassie girl. Now here you are saying I’m different.”
Jeremy pinched the bridge of his nose. Out of all the women in Launceston he had to meet the one standing in front of him. Yes, out of all the pretty ones, it was her eyes, the twinkle in her eyes, that made his heart beat faster and his knees go weak. Different and difficult as well, he thought. But kind of cute difficult. He wanted, no he needed, to get his wording right, so it took a while for him to answer. He gazed at her blue eyes and studied her. His answer seemed significant to Hollie.
“First of all, you have an incredibly curious nature,” he said with a wry smile. Worried she would interrupt him with yet another question, his eyes clung to hers. Yet instead of looking into glaring eyes previously hard and filled with dislike, he was now facing a beautiful smile. And he loved what he was seeing. How on earth did he miss this beautiful smile the other day? Why did he only concentrate on her appearance? Why didn’t he listen to what she had said? He loved her smile, and knew he had to work hard on this one now, because all of a sudden there was nothing more he
wanted but to get to know her better. So he went with honesty.
“You’re different because all the other girls I’ve met so far were more interested in the money I earn, the social life that comes with my job and, you know,” he paused and went on with a demure smile, ”…Sex. Instead of me or my personality.”
Instantly a blush stained Hollie’s cheeks and she stared blankly at him with her mouth open.

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And don't forget ... I'm currently running a giveaway for "Journey to Her Dreams". Click Here for details.

Return to Sweet Saturday Samples for more great excerpts

Rachel Gibson - True Love and other Disasters

Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 9780061579066
My rating: 2/5

Hard knocks and hunger taught Faith Duffy not to believe in love. Still, when she married her very wealthy—and very old—husband, she became the perfect wife. He gave her security; she gave him fidelity and loyalty, but not her heart. And then he went to that big bank in the sky, leaving Faith with a lot of lonely nights, a pile of money, and a total mess of a pro hockey team. Heck, Faith doesn't even watch hockey!
But most of America and half of Canada is watching Ty Savage, team captain. His lethal sex appeal and deadly right hook make him the favorite of hockey fans. For most of Ty's life, he's dreamed of winning the Stanley cup. The last thing he needs is a gold-digging bimbo messing up his plans.
Faith loathes Ty on sight, but she can't stop thinking about him all day...and all night. Then a night of temptations ends with Faith in Ty's bed, and she begins to see there's more to him than sex appeal and slap shots. Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. A relationship with Faith is impossible, and falling in love---would be a disaster (

My thoughts
OK - I have to admit this one was disappointing.
Basically it's Stripper marries rich guy, rich guy dies and leaves her a Hockey Team (Chinooks), Stripper falls in love with the Team's captain and throw in a little blackmail (waayyyy to late). The rest of the book is filled with yadi yadi yada of self doubt, guilt, attraction and other uninteresting stuff.

That's about sums it up.

I didn't really like it. The characters were plain, without depth and the story reminded me too much of Susan Elizabeth Phillip's first Chicago Stars' book.

Sweet Saturday Sample

This is my premiere with Sweet Saturday Sample. Thanks to Gunnar to let me be part of such a talented group of authors.
My first sample is from "Journey to Her Dreams" - Hollie's dream, which triggers quite a chain of events.

“Please don’t,” she begged as her body was trembling, almost shaking. She stared blindly at the windows, trying hard not to sob, as her throat tightened with each of his touches.
“Come on. Don’t be like that,” he replied moving his lips past her ear and down her neck. His hand slid down her body and under her shirt.
“Please stop. I’m awfully tired.”
He stared at her and his mouth twitched. “Sweetheart, you’re always tired.”
Her efforts to push him away were ineffective. His tight grip around her waist didn’t give her much room to move out of his arms. She was helpless, as the more she denied him, it seemed the more relentless he became. She felt his hand in her hair at the back of her neck and he moved
his head closer to hers. It sent shivers down her spine.
“I love you, sweetheart,” he said under his breath.
She could barely speak and her words sounded throaty. “Please,” she whispered, nearly sobbing. “Please don’t.”
He lowered his head, and she assumed that he would whisper something in her ear. She knew she was fighting in vain when he trailed caressing kisses along her neck with his mouth; he wouldn’t listen. With his body against hers, his breathing against her neck became heavier and stronger. Turning her head away from him, she closed her eyes and did her best to ignore the pain with each movement. When she heard him under the shower, she slowly went into the guest room down the hallway, took a little teddy bear out of the bottom drawer in the cupboard, and sat on the bed. She cradled her friend as the tears streamed down her face. Please, someone help me, please, she sobbed. Please, someone.

She heard him coming towards the room, and quickly wiped her face with a tissue and carefully placed her little teddy bear back into the rear of the drawer underneath her pink and yellow baby blanket.
“How about I prepare us a nice dinner?” he asked with contentment.
Her faint smile held a touch of sadness and pain. It was just as painful on her lips as what had just happened between them. Yet still she smiled. “Sounds good,” was all she was able to whisper.

Hollie woke up in a sweat – as usual. Her breathing was deep and fast as she cried and her body ached. What was this? Why did she keep dreaming of this woman? 

And who on earth was she? Hollie fell back onto her pillow. These dreams were draining her to the point where she couldn’t think straight anymore due to lack of a decent sleep.

And don't forget ... I'm currently running a giveaway for "Journey to Her Dreams". Click Here for details.

Return to Sweet Saturday Samples for more great excerpts

Lee Child - Echo Burning (Reacher #5)

Publisher: Jove

ISBN: 978-0515143829

My rating: 3/5

Hitching rides is an unreliable mode of transport. In temperatures of over a hundred degrees, you're lucky if a driver will open the door of his air-conditioned car long enough to let you slide in. That's Jack Reacher's conclusion. He's adrift in the fearsome heat of a Texas summer, and he needs to keep moving through the wide open vastness, like a shark in the water. The last thing he's worried about is exactly who picks him up.

He never expected it to be somebody like Carmen. She's alone, driving a Cadillac. She's beautiful, young and rich. She has a little girl who is being watched by unseen observers. And a husband who is in jail. Who will beat her senseless when he comes out. If he doesn't kill her first.

Reacher is no stranger to trouble. And at Carmen's remote ranch in Echo County there is plenty of it: lies and prejudice, hatred and murder. Reacher can never resist a lady in distress. Her family is hostile. The cops can't be trusted. The lawyers won't help. If Reacher can't set things straight, who can?

My thoughts

One could summarise the first half of the book with these few words: Reacher said nothing - and honestly that is what you get at least once a page if not more often!

Reacher #5. Reacher is on the road again and gets picked up by Carmen. She tells him about her life, her daughter Ellie, her husband Sloop, who's currently in jail and the abuse she suffered through his hands. With nowhere else to go Reacher promises her to come with and keep and eye on things for the next few days when Sloop is supposed to come back home.

And this is when Lee Child speeds up from second to fifth gear. Finally it gets interesting and putting the book aside is a bit NO NO.

Lots of confusion. Lots of "he said / she said" situations. Lee Child at his best.

Definitely a 'not to be missed' for Reacher fans, yet for those who start out with this one, be patient through the first half. I promise it gets better!

Ruth J Hartman - Better than Catnip

Publisher: Astraea Press
ISBN: 9781621350101
My rating: 4
Roxy Williams adores cats. Always has. That’s why she devotes her life to running her stray cat shelter. But is that enough? Isn’t there a man out there who will love her for who she is? A special man who won’t try to change her or ask her to choose between him and her cats?

Max Weller has a problem. His son, Derek, must complete community service for fighting at school. The only available place is the stray cat shelter. But Derek is terrified of cats from a frightening childhood experience. How will they get through this traumatic experience?

Roxy and Max feel the strong attraction pulling them together as Max volunteers at the shelter, too. Will they be able to keep the spark alive? Or will Derek’s fears come between them?
My thoughts
Should you like cats, then this is a book for you. If in your eyes, cats are cute, but nothing else, this might be a steep learning curve in 'all things cats'!
Story's all about Roxy Williams whose life revolves around cats. She's got a cat shelter and does anything humanly possible to get money to keep this shelter going - with the help of best friend Theresa Lynn. Then one day Derek stands in front of the door, having to do community service at the shelter. But he's not on his own, his father, Max Weller, is there to help, because Derek's got a fear of cats.
And Max is one hunk of a man!
I liked the story. Ruth Hartman has a beautiful way to tell a story. The only thing I was a bit disappointed with was the "conflict" of the story came rather late and was IMHO resolved too quickly. I would have liked a bit more tension between all the people involved.

Interview with Emily Dahill's sidekick Dakota

A few weeks, my daughter had the opportunity to interview Dakota, the collie in the Emily Dahill series by Lindsay Downs. You can listen to the result here. It certainly was a different experience, but FUN :-)




Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Lady Be Good

Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 978-0380794485

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lady Emma Wells-Finch, the oh-so-proper headmistress of England’s St. Gertrude’s School for Girls, is a woman on a mission—she has two weeks to lose her reputation. World-famous playboy-athlete Kenny Traveler is suspended from the sport he loves, and only one thing will restore his career—complete and utter respectability. When a gorgeous man who can’t afford another scandal meets a hardheaded woman who’s determined to cause one, anything can happen. (A spin-off of FANCY PANTS. Dallie Beaudine and Francesca Day Beaudine appear in supporting roles, along with the delectable “Teddy.”) (

My thoughts

Hallelujah - SEP at her best again.

After a few Phillips books which didn't really rock my reading world, I was really happy to have enjoyed another SEP book to the fullest.

Gist is, Lady Emma Wells-Finch, Headmistress at St Gertrude's Girls School in the UK travels to the US to lose her reputation. Yes, indeed, to lose it! And Francie Fancy Pants has the perfect (or not?) guy to look after her: Golfer Kenny Traveler, who has to avoid any scandals at all costs! Perfect match - or not?

The dialogue is witty and funny. The characters great and interesting. The plot has twists and turns which makes this book hard to put down. The secondary story involves Tory, Kenny's sister. She's just a hoot, and I really liked her character, including her foul language.

All in all - LOVED IT. Wonder what point #6 is :-)

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Janice Thompson - Fools Rush In

Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company

ISBN: 9780800733421

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch--she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?

When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

My thoughts

I got this one as a freebie - I'm always open for new authors and stories.

This romantic comedy is about Bella, an Italian-American, who's taken over her parents' wedding planning business in Galveston, Texas. For her first big event she's on the search for a deejay, but ends up with DJ Neely, a gorgeous looking Texan. And from here on the story just trickles along like a little creek in the forest, a few hiccups, misunderstandings and a lot of praying is about all you get here.

In all fairness, there were a few giggles. Janice Thompson has a witty writing style, which I really liked, but it was the lack of the plot which made me skip pages along pages to finally make it finish. I don't think I missed much.

Not my cup of tea I'm afraid!

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