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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

With Thanks To ‘Astraea Press’

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week.

Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.

Your host for March 2013 is: Caitlin over at ’Chaotic Compendiums’

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Caitlin, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

My mailbox this week, is largely thanks to Stephanie Taylor, of Astraea Press. Astraea was formed in 2010 when Stephanie saw the need for a non erotic, e-publisher that offered wholesome reads but still maintained the quality of mainstream romance.

The first titles for Astraea were launched in February 2011, with just a handful of participating authors, (some of whom I reviewed for) representing a scant one or two genres of fiction writing. Now, in February 2013, celebrating its second birthday, Astraea has gone from strenth to strength, boasting a healthy stable of authors, representing seven individual genres of non erotic titles.

As part of the birthday celebrations and to thank their loyal customers and authors, Astraea have been giving away two books every day for the entire month of February, courtesy of Mark Coker and the gang at ‘Smashwords’, the world’s largest distributor of indie books.

Clutz that I am, I didn’t discover this great daily offering until well into the month, however I have still managed to acquire some excellent titles over the last few days … in fact I shall need two ‘Mailbox Monday’ posts to let you know about them all!

Day 21 – ‘The Trouble With Charlie’ by Catherine Bennett

Love. Desire. A psycho bent on revenge. But can Charlie Reynolds recognize the most dangerous of the three? Since being out on her own at eighteen, Charlotte “Charlie” Reynolds is a street-smart “good” girl who hides her desire for love and security behind her feisty and independent personality. She just never expected a more noxious hero than wealthy, self-consumed Evan Gardner, the CEO and founder of Valley Tech., a successful software company in Los Angeles. From the moment Evan rescues her from an apparent random attack, their attraction for each other bubbles just below the surface of all-out passion.

Day 23 – ‘Jordan’s Battle’ by E.A. West.

Computer programmer Alaina Howard has a new office mate, and she couldn’t be happier that he’s handsome and unattached. Although initially uncertain of his position in the company, she quickly realizes that he’s good at his job and a valuable asset. If only she knew why the seemingly non-disabled man needed a service dog, things would be perfect.
Army veteran Jordan Blake is thrilled to get a job that allows him to pursue his dream of learning web development. The position is even sweeter thanks to the beautiful woman he shares an office with. The only drawback is that she seems suspicious of his need for a service dog to assist with an invisible disability.
Will Alaina’s suspicion and Jordan’s reluctance to talk about his disability keep them from developing the relationship they both desire?
Day 23 – ‘At What Cost’ by J. Andersen.
During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.
While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. But an easy decision becomes difficult when Maggie’s aunt discovers her secret and sets out on a mission to stop the abortion, putting a kink in Maggie’s plan. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.
Day 24 – ‘Hawthorne’ by Sarah Ballance
After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.
Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything. What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?
Day 24 – ‘Vidal’s Honor’ by Sherry Gloag
When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage during the Peninsula wars, Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when the French capture her husband at Salamanca, and relies on his batman to arrange her safe passage back to England.
Viscount Charles Vidal is ordered by Robert Dumas, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to travel to Spain and escort the only woman he’s ever loved, Lord Devlin Beaumont’s widow back home before the French discover her whereabouts.
Their journey is fraught by danger, least of all knowing whether they are surrounded by friends or foe. Will they survive long enough to explore the possibility of a future together or will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn first?

My last new arrival this week is a book which I featured on my ‘New Titles’ pages a couple of weeks ago. After seeing the published post, the author contacted made contact and has since sent me a Kindle copy for review:

‘Blood Money’ by Doug Richardson

Front Cover Image for Blood Money, a novel by Doug RichardsonThe disillusioned Marine’s plan seems simple enough: steal a refrigerated tractor trailer loaded with frozen blood product; drive the pirated cargo from Reno, Nevada to the Port of Long Beach; collect a million dollars. Yet even the most deliberate plans can go sideways. On his campaign south, the Marine’s “inner idiot” takes charge, leaving a smattering of dead bodies in his wake.

In the dark before dawn, a telephone rings. Kern County Sheriff’s detective Lucas “Lucky” Dey, no stranger to being awakened with bad news, answers the call. But this time, the voice on the phone tells Lucky that his ill-fated younger brother has been gunned down on a blackened desolate highway.

As Lucky chases the former Marine and his black semi-rig into the bowels of Los Angeles, he’s thrust into a landscape of competing agendas. Conrad Ellis, the multi-millionaire entertainment mogul, demands justice for the murder of his starlet daughter. Ambitious federal attorney Lilly Zoller is determined to turn any opportunity into her personal spotlight. Rey Palomino, the morally-challenged contractor, colludes with the former Marine hoping to crawl out from under a crushing debt. LAPD detective and dedicated single mom Lydia “Gonzo” Gonzales, reluctantly accepts her assignment to “babysit” the unrestrained Kern County detective hell-bent on avenging his brother’s death at any cost.

A knee-breaking private detective, some unwitting feds, and a coterie of gang-busting L.A. Sheriffs deputies further complicate the scenario and round out the cast of characters in this explosive and unpredictable thrill ride.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Vicki,

      I managed to bag most of these titles a week or so ago, however a nasty bout of ‘norovirus’ has delayed my posts a little, so I am busy playing catch-up.

      The author of ‘Hawthorne’, Sarah Ballance, describes the book as a paranormal romance, on her website, so I am keen to try this one, as this is a genre which I am not too familiar with.

      Thanks for stopping by, your visits are always appreciated and I hope that you have had a good weekend. We have been busily visiting family all weekend, as it is Mother’s Day, here in England.

  • That’s nice of Astraea Press giving away free titles last month. Looks like you got some good ones! The Trouble With Charlie land Vidal’s Honor’ look great. Happy reading 🙂 I was just working on my Mailbox Monday’s post myself.

  • I’ll take a look at some of the free ones to see if they’re still available, as they sound rather good. Thanks for the tip-off.

    • Hi Cath,

      It was certainly too good an offer to refuse, although I wish I had found out about it earlier in the month, as the links only seem to stay live and valid for 24 hours!

      Still, I bagged some great titles nonetheless and I wasn’t too greedy and only downloaded the ones I knew I would enjoy! Mind you, there are still enough to fill two ‘Mailbox Monday’ posts!

      One can never have too many books as back-up stock .. just in case!!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, it is good to catch up with you and I hope that you are well.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Like I really needed to download so many great ‘free’ books, when I already have a toppling TBR mountain …. yet who amongst us could have refused some of these great sounding reads!!

      I shall definitely enjoy them all and thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Astraea sounds like quite a thriving operation and one with a seemingly strong ethos supporting its integrity. I have noticed a steady increase in the number of authors signing up and therefore an increase in the genres which are now offered to their readers.

      I must admit that I didn’t take up the free offer for any of the paranormal romance titles, however as you point out, I do still have quite an eclectic mix of storylines, which I am looking forward to diving into!

      There are even enough titles left over to make another ‘Mailbox Monday’ post!

      Thanks for stopping by and for stepping into the breach today, as it appears that Caitlin migt have been having a few problems with her ‘Linky’ software.

  • So glad you got to take advantage of the free books and thank you for all of your compliments here on the site! We love our authors and I love my job. It doesn’t get much better than this!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, your comments are valued and appreciated.

      I took so much advantage of your generous February offer, that I had to allocate a second ‘Mailbox Monday’ post, in order to share my good fortune with my fellow bloggers.

      I have followed your site with interest over the last year or so and it is so good to see you adding more authors and book genres on a regular basis.

      The next best thing to actually being able to work with books, is to read them and share my thoughts, so I can fully appreciate what it must feel like, when you say that you love your job.

      Keep up the good work and have a good week.

Written by Yvonne