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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Today I'm thrilled to host author Amy Mullen. Amy's newest release is Redefining Rayne, a fabulous Medieval Romance from Astraea Press.
Will her most painful secret be the key to her greatest joy?
Rayne de Latham, cousin to King William Rufus, should be enjoying a life of privilege. Instead, she has only known misery. Her disastrous first marriage yielded nothing but pain, suffering, and three stillborn children. She believes she is cursed and is certain another pregnancy will end in another tragedy. When the king seeks to get rid of her by sending her to marry one of his knights, she will do just about anything to get out of her betrothal.
Widower Andre de Grelle is father to two small boys who came to him by marriage. When his first wife jumps off the castle walls in a fit of madness, he keeps the boys he has grown to love as his own. When the king sends him a new bride, the lovely but troubled Rayne, he vows to have more patience with her than he had with his first wife.
Once Rayne arrives at Cuxton Castle, Andre realizes there is much more to her than meets the eye. She does everything she can to force him to send her away, but nothing works. Frustration grows as Andre discovers his betrothed is hiding something from him about her past, something so devastating she cannot speak the words out loud.
In the midst of a siege on nearby Pevensey Castle, a truth comes to light that changes everything. As the real story of Rayne’s past emerges, lives change forever. Will love be enough, or will it be easier to walk away?
Andre moved closer to her. His body was mere inches from hers as he lifted his other hand and slowly tilted her face toward his. Cupping her cheek, he wiped away a tear with his thumb. "You have no idea how fascinating you are," he whispered.
Involuntarily, her eyes closed and she tilted her chin up. She felt his soft lips brush hers and she started to tremble. The short, light touch of his mouth stirred something in her. A young maiden's dream of love, of being loved and cherished, welled up from a place where she had hidden her hopes a long time ago. She returned his kiss, but just for a moment.
Her eyes flew open, and she pulled her head back. This was all wrong. This was not how this was supposed to happen. In a rush to break the spell, she stammered out the first thing she thought of, "Someone will see us! Odo may come."
An expression of disbelief washed across his features and was replaced by irritation. "Odo? What has he to do with this? He is my guest but hardly has a say in what I do with you."
"You…" she stumbled over her words, "you… he is your…"
Andre stood and stepped away from her. He stared down at her, but she could no longer read his face. "Do your affections lie with Odo, Lady Rayne?"
Buy Link: Amazon
About the Author:
Amy Mullen is a freelance writer and romance author living in Corning, NY, with her husband, Patrick, her two children, and an orange cat named Steve. She has written two medieval romances called A Stormy Knight and Redefining Rayne.
Amy has been writing about love both lost and regained since she was old enough to have her first broken heart. Her love of history and her intermittent jaunts into amateur genealogy led her to a love affair with writing historical fiction. When not writing, she snaps pictures, gets nutty over football, enjoys the company of her family, and when time allows, loves to bury her nose in a good book.
Connect with Amy:
Labels:A Stormy Knight,Amy Mullen,Astraea Press,Historical Romance,Medieval Romance,Redefining Rayne | 2 comments
Monday, November 25, 2013
Are you ready for funny, sweet, heartwarming Christmas story? Then you must check out Nowhere for Christmas, Heather Gray's new contemporary holiday tale, out now from Astraea Press.
Nowhere for Christmas
by: Heather Gray
Anything can happen on the road to Nowhere…
A journalist and single mother, Avery is used to being in control, though she tries to remind herself to let God take lead in her life. Eli, her teenage son, is happy as long as he has his music, plenty of food, and the occasional adult on which to practice his rapier wit. Gavin, a virtual stranger, is a photojournalist who mysteriously disappeared from the scene a few years ago.
The trio ends up together for a Christmas road trip to the small town of Nowhere. An eight hour drive in a rental car turns into two days of misadventure and calamity as bad luck stalks them. They get a flat tire, the bumper falls off, the car overheats – and that's only the beginning! Along the way they meet some interesting people – from a bait shop owner who moonlights as a mechanic to a chatty preacher's wife and a highway patrolman whose wife and mother can't agree on the best way to remove a skunk's stink.
Hungry, cold, and tired, the three finally arrive in Nowhere only to discover the town is nothing like they expected. Reaching their destination, it turns out, doesn't necessarily mean the journey has ended.
"I'm going to have to go get the other big one out of the attic," she said with a sigh, hoping her son would volunteer to climb up in there and retrieve it for her.
Instead, he nodded and asked, "You want me to pull the ladder down for you?" She grinned to herself as she nodded. They had a regular battle about the attic. Neither of them liked going up there. Since he'd gone up to retrieve all the Christmas decorations earlier in the month, she'd let him have the victory this time.
After Avery scaled the creaky ladder up into the attic, she scanned the web-dusted contents, quickly locating the suitcase she needed. It was older and more faded than the green one, and it had a rust-and-mustard-colored seventies floral pattern on it. At least no one will try to steal it.
As she dragged the suitcase with its one broken wheel across the attic floor, a cloud of who-knew-what gently puffed up into the air around her. Then she got a mouthful of it and started coughing, which led to more grime and dust billowing into the air. That, of course, led to more coughing.
Avery lost her balance and started to fall out of the attic opening, but the suitcase blocked her way enough to pause her descent, giving her time to reach out and grab the back of an old chair that had been in the attic longer than they'd lived in the house. The suitcase wasn't so lucky. It fell zipper-over-wheel down the attic ladder and landed with a loud thud on the carpeted floor below.
By the time Avery pulled herself back to her feet and made her way down the ladder, she expected to find Eli standing there wondering where his dinner was. Alas, her teen was blissfully unaware of her near-death-by-attic experience. He was in his room listening to his MP3 player. It's for the best. I wouldn't want him to pull a muscle laughing at me.
About the Author:
Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.
Connect with Heather:
Website – http://www.heathergraywriting.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/heathergraywriting
Twitter – http://twitter.com/LaughDreamWrite
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Today, I'm hosting fellow Astraea Press author, Ariella Moon. Ariella has a new YA fantasy out, the 3rd book in her Teen Wytche Saga, that will make a great holiday read.
By Ariella Moon
Can two people forge a future when their secret pasts collide?
New school. New friends. New reputation. High school sophomore Ainslie Avalon-Bennett works hard to hide her Crazy Girl past. But as long as her best friend’s disappearance remains unsolved, she can’t shake the depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder that once landed her in a mental ward.
Ainslie’s tenuous control over her life shatters when her warring parents ditch her at Christmas. While they take a cruise to “work things out,” Ainslie must spend the holiday in Palm Springs with her aunt and uncle, owners of a struggling Mystery School and occult store. Plunged into the world of fire fortunes, dragons, entity eaters, and an ailing spell book, Ainslie is well beyond her comfort zone. Then she meets a boy who spikes her pulse and calms her OCD. But will she lose him once he discovers her past? Or will his deadly secret, hidden in plain view, be their undoing?
I found a patch of sunlight where I could sit with my back against the wall and pulled out The Scarlet Letter. I kept my head down while Uncle Esmun arrived and took his seat. Years before Sophia's disappearance and my descent into the rabbit hole, I had sat in on a few of Dad's business meetings. I knew the protocol. Be quiet and inconspicuous. Don't interrupt the adults; they have important business matters to discuss. Only these adults were discussing the tarot cards they had drawn from a deck in the center of the table.
I tried to concentrate on Hawthorne's book, on Hester's vengeful husband who'd practiced medicine under an assumed name. But Hazel was telling the rest of the group she had just returned from Cornwall, England and had brought each of them a gift. I wondered what it could be. Seashells? Photos of quaint cottages?
ʺI have a pixie for each of you.ʺ
Right. Like you could get those past customs.
ʺHow nice of you, Hazel,ʺ Aunt Terra said.
I thought back to what I knew about pixies. Weren't they supposed to be a) extremely troublesome and b) not real?
Hazel sashayed up to each Board member, starting with Cerelia, and acted like she was putting a pixie in their hands or on their shoulder. As she progressed around the table, some members oohed and aahed as if she was a three-year-old showing off a crayon drawing. When she approached Evie's grandmother, the tote vibrated, rattling the glass table. Hazel faltered, her expression uncertain. She dropped back, and the rattling stopped. Brimstone smells hissed through the closed zipper. Cerelia shrank back.
Evie's grandmother pointed a warning finger at the tote. ʺStop it. Don't be rude.ʺ
My jaw dropped. Thor glanced at me, then flicked his gaze back to the tote. It stopped emitting smoke.
Uncle Esmun rubbed his nose. Hazelʹs head wobbled as if she were figuring out her next course of action. She still cupped her hand as if she carried an invisible pixie.
Hello! Did you not notice the real magical object in the room?
Seemingly unable to drop the pretense, Hazel advanced toward the alientologist. He ignored her and scribbled in his little notebook. Thor politely rebuffed her. Both rose at least twenty degrees on my Guy Approval Meter.
I checked my watch. The meeting had started forty minutes ago. Nothing had been accomplished. No one had addressed the tote situation. My face warmed again. I shifted position. Instead of sitting against the wall with my legs straight in front of me, I sat cross‑legged and hunched over my book. A tugging sensation rippled between my shoulder blades.
Thor glanced my way.
The more I thought about how much Aunt Terra and Uncle Esmun must need every cent the store and mystery school could generate, the more energy swelled behind me. Warmth radiated from my face. My whole body felt as if it was glowing. I tried to distract myself by flitting back to my book and my lengthy homework assignment list.
I couldn't concentrate.
Hazel had reached Aunt Terra and delivered what I hoped was the last pixie. She pivoted and spied me. The energy behind me compacted. It crackled with huge warrior/ninja/dragon chi — alert and ready to strike. The thought of straightening up and backing into it set the fine hairs on my forearms and nape on end.
Thor's eyes met mine. Our gazes locked, and I swear he did a Zen mind meld. Soothing waves of chi — energy — flowed through me. The brimstone stink evaporated, replaced by the calming scent of lavender and sage.
Hazel's gaze swiveled from me to Thor, then back to me. Looking buffeted by an unseen wind, she silently returned to her seat.
The corners of Thor's full lips curved upward. Two urges warred within me — the desire to leap across the room and kiss him, and the urge to arch my neck and breathe fire.
Thor's smile widened.
The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon
Ariella Moon writes about magic, friendship, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire, the first three books in The Teen Wytche Saga from Astraea Press. After a childhood spent searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia, Ariella grew up to become a Reiki Master, author and shaman. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post marred Ariella’s youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She now lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
Connect with Ariella Moon