My guest today - Jennifer Rae Gravely

A warm welcome to Jennifer Rae Gravely, a fellow Astraea author to talk about her fabulous new release: Knight of the Dead

I’ve always loved words. As a child, I earned the nicknames motor-mouth and jabber jaws for my love of talking and telling stories. Later, as an avid reader, I wrote mainly to analyze. A triple major in history, politics, and English , I viewed life in terms of paper topics! Still, I played with writing short stories and poetry. Then life took over—I became a wife, mother, teacher, and coach—and even though I continued to read, I rarely wrote anything creatively.
About ten years ago, some teacher friends and I were talking about books and decided to try to write our own. One friend found her groove with the challenge, and has had numerous novels published. I spent years on two connected novels, both still unpublished. However, at the encouragement of my friend, I tried once again to write a novel. I choose the name Persephone for my heroine because I teach mythology, and used the tale as a springboard.   

Knight of the Dead
Persephone Richards is in a pinch. With a wrecked car and bills stacking up, the income from her job at the daycare isn’t enough. Mark Lawrence needs a sitter for his little girl and Persephone is perfect for the job. What begins as an employment opportunity leads to romance. However, a secret Persephone hides threatens the happy ever after and puts the three of them in danger.

You can purchase Knight of the Dead on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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Sweet Saturday Sample - 24/11/2012

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you all taking the time, especially as I know how busy we all are nowadays.

I hope you enjoy this week's little sample from my current book "Innocent Tears".

With her child-sized suitcase and doll in arm, Nadine looked even smaller and frailer than the previous day. The lines of Flynn’s mouth tightened a fraction more as he spotted the little girl. Good grief, he was nervous. With only a few long steps he walked over to Teresa, William and Nadine. Like the day before, he kneeled down
and looked into his daughter’s eyes. “Hello, Miss Muffin. It seems we’re going to spend some time together.”
He noticed Nadine’s nod only came hesitantly. Her eyes did not reflect the warmth he had seen the previous day when William had held her in his arms.
He pointed to her suitcase. “Is this yours?”
She nodded again and then looked to William. “Grandpa?” she whispered.
William picked her up and gave her a massive hug. “You’ll be fine, love. And remember, Grandma and Grandpa love you very much.”
Nadine hung onto him even tighter, and that nearly broke Flynn’s heart.

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Jill Shalvis - At Last (Lucky Harbor #5)

Publisher: Forever

ISBN:  978-1455503742

My rating:  4/5

Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she's looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she's tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

My thoughts

"I do trust you," she whispered.

Well, trust Jill Shalvis to present another ripper of a story! Not quite "Ty" or "Jax", but another memorable hero: Ranger Hot Buns - Matt Bowers.
Amy Michaels gets lost in the woods and out of all people, her friend Mallory sends Matt Bowers to the rescue - resulting in a night out in a tent. Both are attracted to each other, but both have baggage from the past which seems like a heaven burden. Resulting in avoiding a relationship .... but in true Shalvis style, with wit, humor and the perfect touch they're able to move on.

The side story with Riley fits in perfectly and it wouldn't surprise me if any of the future "Lucky Harbor" books will tell her story.

All in all - a must for Jill Shalvis / Lucky Harbor fans, and a good read I can only recommend.

#SweetSat Sample - 16/11/2012

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you all taking the time, especially as I know how busy we all are nowadays.

I hope you enjoy this week's little sample from my current book "Innocent Tears".

“Flynn? Flynn!”

He dipped his head and shook it regretfully. “Yes, Mum, I’m still here.” He paused for a moment and then continued. ”Sarah’s parents came for a visit.”

The surprise was obvious by the moment of quiet. “Teresa and William?” she asked in disbelief, her voice an octave higher than usual.

His hand was holding the bottle of beer next to him like his life depended on it. “Mum, I’ve got a young daughter.”


“Flynn, have you been drinking?”

“Mum, I’m serious as serious could be. Remember Sarah not wanting to live in Melbourne, and then saying she had someone else in her life?”

He heard her sigh. “How can I forget? I don’t think I’d ever seen you so upset and depressed.”

“Well…” He took a deep breath. “That someone was a baby. I’ve got a little girl, Mum.”

More silence. His mouth curved into a grin when he heard his mother whisper to his father, “Get me a stiff drink, Carl. We’ve just become grandparents.”

She lifted her hand off the receiver and rattled out questions. “How old is she? What’s her name?”

The grin disappeared and he rubbed his face. “Six, and Nadine,” he murmured.

Jenny screamed into the phone. “Si-i-i-ix?”

Flynn almost dropped the bottle. “Good grief, Mum. Keep it down.”

He heard her sipping her drink – whatever it was. “How am I supposed to keep it down? Flynn, why on earth… why the… Teresa and William… and where’s Sarah–“



“Jenny Rose McCormack.”

She sighed. “Yes?”

“Ask Dad for a glass of water.”

“Oh my goodness gracious, Flynn.” He heard her holding her hand over the phone. “Carl, he says I need a glass of water.”

Flynn shook his head. Carl wanted to talk to his son as well – of course, because so far he was just serving her with drinks and listening to outbursts of disbelief and questions. “Not now… in a minute… It’s my turn”


“Your father is a bit of a pain here.”

“Mum?” he said more firmly.

“Yes?” she replied flustered.

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JL Salter - Rescued by that new Guy in Town

Publisher: Astraea Press

ISBN: 9781621350828

My rating: 4/5

When Kris awakens in a costume, behind wooden bars inside a pitch-black community center, her only available rescuer is the hung-over new guy in town (who’s dressed as a pirate). Problem is: she’s sworn off men, especially buccaneers.

Badly burned four years ago by a player who ruined her financially, Kris Prima’s heart is locked down as tightly as her lifestyle is confined by those massive debts. When first assisted by recent newcomer Ryan Hazzard, Kris is resentful, slightly afraid, and determined never again to trust men. But when court-ordered community service brings them together once more, she begins to appreciate Ryan’s charm, good looks, and capable manner.

With all the rumors and assumptions which followed Ryan from a large metropolitan area, how can small-town Kris even begin to trust him? And why won’t he explain any of those situations? Through her efforts to learn Ryan’s mysterious past, they share further experiences: many comedic, one quite dangerous, and others very tender. Despite several misunderstandings, Kris’s bottled-up feelings slowly re-awaken and she finally learns enough about Ryan to know she wants him in her life somehow. Kris regains her ability to trust a man and her heart is freed from its jail.

My thoughts

Once I got used to JL's writing style, I couldn't put the  book down. JL Salter owes me lots of hours of sleep!
It begins with a big bang when we find the main character, Kristin, locked up in the dark - only to be rescued by the "new guy in town". Hilarious. Comedy at its best, yet at times somewhat drawn out for me.

Please, do yourself a favour and read this one.


Susan Elizabeth Phillips - The Great Escape

Publisher: William Morrow

ISBN:  978-0062106063

My rating: n.a.

Returning in The Great Escape are some of Phillips’s most adored characters, including headstrong, impetuous ex-president’s daughter, Lucy Jorik, who’s just abandoned her fiancĂ©, Ted “Mr. Irresistible” Beaudine, at the altar. Now she’s looking for adventure—and perhaps a little romance—embarking on a wild and hilariously unpredictable road trip that begins on the back of a rather menacing-looking stranger’s motorcycle. The winner of more Favorite Book of the Year Awards than any other romance author, including Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips offers her fans an Escape to remember, and they’ll certainly want to come back for more! (

My thoughts

I didn't like it .... that about sums it up. And if you do pick it up to read (which every SEP fan should do, try not to listen to the Audio!)

Kay Springsteen - Heartfelt

Publisher:  Astraea Press

ISBN:  978-1-62135-071-2

My rate: 4/5

The story that began on a North Carolina beach with a blind marine, a divorced mother, and a child with Down syndrome continues as the young family struggles to adapt to a new addition. Now eight months pregnant, Trish worries about her baby, her daughter, and her husband. But maybe she should be more concerned with herself. Dan struggles to prove himself at work in the face of what others consider his disability. As he wrestles with his job, he is also concerned with life at home and the impending birth of his son. How will he connect with a son when he’ll never even be able to play a game of catch with him?  (

My thoughts
I was looking forward to reading another book with Trish, Dan and daughter Bella. I loved Heartsight and Camp Wedding - if you have as well, this one is a must!

Trish is eight months pregnant, and Dan's worried about the impeding fatherhood. Worried about his ability to bond and look after his child.

Once you pick up the book, you won't want to put it aside again. Kay Springsteen's writing and use of words draws you in and doesn't let you go until the last page - and then you'll feel a warmth rushing through you when you've finished.

Loved it and have to give 10/10 for the Epilogue!

Let's hope for more :-)


The Book Depository 24 Hour Sale

What is the 24 hour offer? We have limited stock of 24 great titles to cover 24 hours. Each hour we will be offering one of these at a superb price with up to 70% off RRP (and maybe even a sneaky bonus offer here and there too). Each title is for sale for one hour only or until the stock runs out.
The campaign will run from 8th Nov 2012 Noon(GMT) till 9th Nov 2012 Noon(GMT).     


Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Honey Moon

Publisher: Pocket

ISBN:  978-0671735937

My rating: 2.5/5

Honey Jane Moon is a scrappy little know-it all—brave, smart, but ill-prepared to become the most famous child star in America, even though she’s not quite as young as everyone believes. It won’t take her long to drive the men in her life crazy. There’s Eric Dillion, a smoldering bad boy and one of Hollywood’s most gifted actors. And Dash Coogan, the last of the cowboy heroes, a man trapped on a screen too small to contain a legend. When Honey falls in love, she’ll do it the only way she knows how—with all her heart. (

My thoughts

Not really my coup of tea. A big fan of SEP's books, I have to admit I'm struggling a bit with the 'older' books by her. This one is one of the them.

It  takes about I-don't-know-how-many pages to get through Honey's back story and, bang, within only couple of pages we learn of so many other characters it was confusing.

Short of the story is Honey Moon is an orphan and grows up with her auntie,uncle and cousin, but makes it to Hollywood. She becomes a star and then it really messy.

As I said, not my story, too many people, too little of SEP's usual wit and humour

Give it a go if you're a SEP fan, but if not, you should read her Chicago Stars series - they're brilliant!