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  1. My Guest Author today is Mya O'Malley who's dropped by to tell us about her new release, If You Believe. Just look at the fab cover.

    IfYouBelieve1600x2400

    Blurb

    Sometimes love only comes once in a lifetime. For some lucky people, it is possible to love again. 

    Melody and Jack had shared an unforgettable love story that abruptly came to an end. Melody, left picking up the pieces, finds herself alone years later, with no hope or desire to date again.  With the holiday season approaching, Melody finds it particularly difficult to get Jack out of her thoughts.

    Jack isn’t sure if he’s an angel or a ghost, but his mind is set on one thing only, finding a new love for Melody by Christmas Eve at midnight.  Easier said than done, with many obstacles to tackle, Jack underestimates how difficult the task is. With conflicting emotions, Jack takes it upon himself to find a man for a woman he still loves.

    With the clock ticking as the holidays approach, this charming story of finding love the second time around will have you laughing and crying, but ultimately, it will have you believing in true love.

     

    Aw, it sounds a lovely story, Mya.

         

    Excerpt

    He stood, watching her, feeling every ounce of her pain, her anguish. He was probably the only one who understood what it was like to lose the person you loved, the person who was everything in the world to you.

    If only he could just touch her, reach out to her, make her feel happy again. But that was just selfish on his part, wasn’t it? It wouldn’t be fair to Melody. Anybody could see that even three years later, she was still struggling. Hadn’t he always told her that if something happened to him, he would want her to fall in love again? It saddened him to think that if she continued down this cold and lonely path, she would be alone forever.

    Melody had wanted it all, a home filled with children, a loving marriage. Thinking back to how happy they had once been, it broke his heart to see her this way, and it was always saddest to see her like this around the holidays, which were quickly approaching.

    Jack’s mind was whirling with ideas, if only...He wished that he could talk to her just one more time, but alas, that was against the rules. If only there was some way, if only he could help her see the light. The corners of Jack’s mouth crept up as his mind took hold of an impossible thought. Would he be able to pull this off? If he did, could he ever be the same again? …

    The electricity was undeniable. It was something that he should have considered, knowing how powerful their attraction and love had been in life. The look on Melody’s face was shock, confusion and curiosity all rolled into one. He would have to remember not to touch her again, it was simply too much of a risk to take. He knew that if his cover was revealed, the rules stated that he could never make contact with her again.

    “What was...did you feel?” Poor Melody peered at him with those gorgeous light brown eyes of hers. There was something different about her eyes now; once they had been filled with spark and mischief, but now they were sadder, as if the light had somehow gone out. The same eyes that had looked at him with varying degrees of emotions for all those precious years they had shared together. The same eyes that held him spellbound right now. Jack didn’t know what to expect; he had no way of knowing how hard it would be to not reach out and touch this woman who was his wife, the love of his life. She evoked so much emotion in him that he had to turn his head before she saw the tears that sprang from his eyes. He had known this would be hard, but Melody took his breath away. Melody was always beautiful, but now she also appeared slightly sad and fragile. Looking down at her so many times before, he knew of her sadness, of course, but standing right here beside her, Jack could practically feel her strong emotions within his own heart.

    Since he had gone to great lengths to disguise his true identity, Jack would have to do better than this. There was no way that she could recognize him by his appearance. He was once tall, standing six foot three inches tall, maintaining a trim physique with messy light brown hair. He now stood barely five foot seven with wavy dark hair and a stocky build. The only thing about his appearance that Jack wasn’t able to change was his eyes. Nobody could change their eyes, because it was a fact that eyes were the windows to the soul.

    Melody stood before him, her mouth gaping open as if she were caught in a spell. Think of something, quick, he told himself.

    “Melody. I heard great things about your store. You see, I’m new to this area and I was just walking around and I figured I’d come check out your store.”

    Melody appeared as if she had composed herself slightly. Clearing her throat, she finally spoke. “Where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking.”

    He really should have been more prepared, how could he have forgotten how inquisitive Melody was?

    “Um, I’m from down south, Florida.”

    “Whereabouts? I have a friend from the Orlando area.” He should have also remembered her old college roommate from Orlando. Was Miami far enough away to field off further questions?

    “Miami.”

    “Miami? What brings you all the way up north to the New York area?”

    Wow, she should have been a lawyer instead of owning a business. “My job. I work in the city now and live here in the suburbs.”

    “What do you do for work?”

    Thinking quickly on his feet, Jack steered away from his real occupation in life, working for an insurance company.

    “I work for a pharmaceutical company. I’m in sales.” That ought to do it. He was reminded of a time when Melody had quizzed him nonstop when they had first met, he had felt like he was interviewing for a job. They had laughed many times together over that memory.

    “Oh. Well, who is it that recommended you to my store?” Her eyes peered cautiously through her striking auburn hair. The long hair that was always slightly out of place, always in her eyes. Wishing that he could reach out and touch her beautiful hair just once more, he reeled himself back in.

    “Just some guy at a diner recently. He raved about the selection of books and the coffee. Hmm, if I recall, he also said that you have the best cheesecake in town.” That should do it. Melody loved to bake and could go on and on about her desserts.

    And that she did, thank goodness for the distraction of a good cheesecake. When Melody had stopped gushing about how she prepared her cheesecake, she caught herself and chuckled.

    “You must think I’m something, rambling on like this. I’m sorry, I just realized that I didn’t catch your name.”

    My name, my name. Something unusual perhaps, but fitting for a friend. “Oliver.” Where did that come from?

    “Oliver. Well, Oliver, I don’t usually do this because we are closed, but would you like to try some of the cheesecake? We happen to have some left over.”

    “Oliver” could tell that he had gotten on Melody’s good side. She wasn’t a particularly outgoing person. As a matter of fact, she was usually pretty shy, but he was delighted to see that he had made an impression on her. Or perhaps it was just good business sense. Either way, Oliver had succeeded in completing the first step of his mission: meeting Melody.

    ****

    Melody couldn’t recall the last time that she had felt so comfortable with a total stranger. It wasn’t like she was even physically attracted to him, Oliver wasn’t her type at all. He was the complete opposite of Jack in every way. Well, in every way except for those captivating blue eyes. It was uncanny how much Oliver’s eyes reminded Melody of Jack’s eyes. It wasn’t just the color or the shape, but it was the intensity of his gaze. That was probably why Melody had felt so comfortable with him from the start.

    “I know that you’re going to think this is forward, but would you mind showing me around town sometime?”

    Melody sucked in a breath and inwardly panicked.

    “My girlfriend is coming up in a few weeks and I wanted to show her around a bit.” He finished.

    Melody’s shoulders visibly dropped as she let out a sigh. “Sure, yes, Oliver, I think that would be fine.”

    Two finished slices of chocolate cheesecake and decaf coffees later, Melody realized this was the best evening she’d had in, well, just about three years.

     

     If, like me, you can't wait to read this, here's the buy links:

    Amazon

     

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    About Mya

    I asked Mya to tell us a bit about hersellf

    How did you get started writing?

    My journey in writing began as a child. I remember creating stories revolved around a mermaid theme. I wrote these stories for my grandmother and she loved reading every single one. As a young adult I wrote some poetry but never attempted to publish them, I just wrote because I enjoyed it so much. Years later I wrote my first novel, Where There is Love, which is now a new release published by Solstice Publishing. AtFirst Sight, an Astraea Press release, was my very first book to be published. I have a holiday paranormal romance due to be released by Astraea Press on November 25, 2014 and I recently signed another contract with Solstice Publishing for my first Young Adult fantasy book, Miranda’s Choice.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    I love to go the movies and particularly enjoy romance movies. I’m terrified of horror movies; the last one I went to, I actually covered my eyes for most of the second half of the movie.

    What’s your top writing tip for new writers?

    If you love to write, never let anyone or anything get in your way. Writing is a true passion and like anything else, it takes work. The more you write, the more you grow as an author.  I would advise new authors to build a support system of friends and family to help critique their writing. Also, establish a connection with fellow authors through social media, it’s a wonderful way to learn tips about writing and marketing. Finally, have fun with your writing and enjoy every step of the process. There’s nothing quite like holding your own book in your hands.

     

    Author Bio

    Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters.  The family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby.  Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy.   She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

    Mya currently has two new releases: At First Sight, a contemporary romance about dating in the modern world, published by Astraea Press, and Where There is Love, a contemporary romance in which a woman struggles with past obstacles, ultimately faced with whether or not she will open her heart to love. Where There is Love is published with Solstice Publishing. Mya is excited to say that Astraea Press will be releasing her contemporary holiday paranormal romance titled If You Believeon November 25, 2014. Due to be released late January is The Calm After the Storm, published by TouchPoint Press. This novel is a contemporary romance taking place in the setting of Hurricane Sandy. The story revolves around the idea of a utility worker from Georgia falling in love with a woman in New York.

     

    Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child.   Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on.  She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters.   Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica.   Mya is currently working on her sixth novel.  

     

     .Mya OMalley WTIS-2At First Sight

            Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your books, Mya.

     

  2. I'm delighted to welcome back Ariella Moon, who's dropped by to tell us about Spell For Sophia, book 4 in The Teen Wytche Saga. You'll find information about the other three books in the series in earlier blog posts.

     

    SpellForSophia_500x750

     

    Blurb

    Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.

    Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving. 

    If, like me, you want to know more about Sophia, here's Ariella's interview with her.

    Sophia’s Interview

     

    What is your name, and do you have a nickname?

    Sophia: My name is Sophia Maria Perez-Hidalgo. When my parents want to belittle me, they call me Sophia Maria. Like, “You always worried too much, Sophia Maria.” My best friend Ainslie — well, we were best friends until I was kidnapped and disappeared — often called me Soph. My secret forbidden crush, Breaux, calls me Soph, too. 

     

    Do you have any scars? If so, how did you get them?

    Sophia: I have two skin grafts, which aren’t exactly scars. But every time I look at them, I’m reminded that sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.

     

    When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smells do you associate with it?

    Sophia squirms in her seat and coughs: I could lie and tell you my childhood kitchen smelled like pancakes and bacon and love. But the truth is, my bio-parents were criminals. Our kitchen smelled sweet like ether, sharp like rubbing alcohol and bleach, and toxic like solvents and batteries. So now you have some idea why I needed skin grafts and ended up in foster care.

     

    What is your biggest regret?

    Sophia: Believing my parents had changed, and not calling Ainslie after I escaped my kidnappers. I was too embarrassed and afraid to call her. I was afraid the drug cartel would go after anyone I cared about because…in order to escape, I did something that made them very unhappy.

     

    How did you meet Breaux, and what made you fall in love with him?

    Sophia: When I escaped, I travelled as far as my money would take me — from southern California to Louisiana. I wandered off the train half-starved, and followed the sounds of children laughing and shouting. That’s how I met Breaux. He was playing basketball on Christmas with a bunch of young kids his mother fostered. I fainted from hunger and he carried me to his mom’s house. His grandmother took me in and taught me magic. I think she was afraid my bad mojo would ruin Breaux’s bright future. But he didn’t care. He’s three years older than me. Smart. Kind. Brave. You find out how brave a guy is when your magic goes haywire and zombies appear.

     

    What is your motto?

    Sophia: Kick it. Before I was stolen, I was on the school soccer team. For me ‘kick it’ symbolizes plunging ahead, moving forward, and never giving up.

     

    It sounds another exciting story, Ariella. :)

    If you'd like to read Spell for Sophia you can buy it here:

    AriellaMoon.com 

     

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Ariella!

     

     

     

  3. A warm welcome back to Astraea author, Heather Gray, who's dropped by to tell us all about her new release, Queen, book 3 in the Regency Refuge series.

    Queen

     

    Blurb

    You can't hide from the past.

     Queen's world was shattered, and she was banished to a foreign land. Years pass before she dares to return, but what she finds is of little comfort. Greed and dishonesty have festered and grown in her absence. Embittered and cynical, Queen trusts few people.

     Owen pursues a clandestine investigation and finds himself working side-by-side with a veritable ghost, an agent few have seen, a master of disguise known simply as Queen.  He craves her trust…but then uncovers a secret from his family's past that could destroy her.

    Queen once sought refuge in America and now seeks it in disguise. Owen has always found his refuge in God, but will his faith be strong enough for the challenges ahead? Can he convince Queen to stop hiding, or is he doomed to become her most hated enemy?

    About Queen

    Queen's family was torn to pieces when she was twelve years old.  No family would take her in, and she was forced into service as an English spy.  Why a spy at such a young age?  Let's just say she wasn't supposed to survive – but she did, and now it's twelve years later, and she's investigating a bribery plot.  During the course of her investigation, though, she runs into Owen, someone she hasn't seen since childhood and who has no idea about everything she's been through.

     

    And to whet your appetite, Heather has penned us a mock-interview between Owen and Queen. 

     

    Owen: Do you have any skeletons in your closet? 

    Queen: I have the kind of skeletons that give grown men nightmares.  My skeletons involve traitors, ambushes, and blood.

    Owen: What's your family like? 

    Queen: Dead.  They're all dead.  The family I was born into, anyway.  I've made my own family since then – a scary looking redhead and a former prostitute.  They're all the family I need.

     If you could travel anywhere in the world (or out of it), where would you go?  Why? 

    Queen: People are the same everywhere you go.  There are honest ones and dishonest ones.  Those you can trust, and those who would gut you and leave you in the street without blinking.  So I might just pick a place with few people.  Africa, perhaps.  I've never seen a lion before.  Would it be unseemly for a woman to go on an African safari?  Ha!  What do I care what people think?

    Owen: Are you doing with your life what you always dreamed of doing?  Why/why not? 

    Queen:Very little in my life has ever been about doing what I want.  It's been about surviving and make the most of the hand I've been dealt.  When I landed in America, though, I had to make a living, and I decided to do what I did well – discover people's secrets.  Investigating seemed like a natural step.  Now that it's led me back to England, who knows?  I don't think I'd ever want to work for the Crown again, but I do love what I do.  The chase is exhilarating.  There really is no comparison.  Besides, it's not as if I ever plan to take a husband, and a girl's got to do something to put food on the table.  Trust me, this is more respectable than some of the other choices. 

    Owen: Describe yourself in three words. 

    Queen: Invisible.  Secretive.  Indifferent.  Although maybe that last one is more of a hope than a fact…

    What an intriguing story! Here's where to buy it if you'd like to read more:

     

    Buy Links:

    Amazon US 

    Amazon UK

    Barnes & Noble

    Kobo

    Smashwords

    iTunes

     

    About Heather

    Heather Gray authors the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order Man, Just Dessert, and Redemption.  She also writes the Regency Refuge series: His Saving Grace, Jackal, and Queen - plus contemporary titles Ten Million Reasons and Nowhere for Christmas.  Aside from a long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys are her relationships with her Savior and family.  Heather loves to laugh, and this theme is prevalent in her writing where, through the highs and lows of life, her characters find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

    Author Links

    Website

    Facebook

    Google+

    Twitter

    Pinterest

     

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Heather. I can't wait to read it. :)

     

     

     

  4. Today I'm delighted to welcome fellow Astraea author, E.A.West, back on my blog, to tell us about her latest release, Running from Christmas.

     

    RunningFromChristmas

    Tag Line:

    Some things can’t be left behind...

     

    Back Cover Blurb:

    Army veteran Alessandra Castillo just wants to be left alone. Life has been tough since her deployment in Afghanistan, and the holiday season makes it even more difficult. Unemployed and homeless, she’s currently living with her brother, who refuses to let her avoid all things social.

    Enter Brad Kovac, youth pastor and good friend of Alessandra’s brother. He’s tall, gorgeous, and outgoing, three things guaranteed to catch Alessandra’s interest. At least they would have caught her interest before she survived an assault by a fellow soldier. Now all she wants to do is run from him and avoid anything resembling a relationship.

    Will God provide a miracle in time for Christmas, or will Alessandra lose her chance for romance?

    Excerpt:

    Her pondering crashed to a halt when a man in his late twenties or early thirties stepped into the hall. Several inches taller than her, broad shoulders, trim waist...as much as she had protested her brother’s attempts to introduce her to people, this was one man she wouldn’t mind meeting. Her heart thumped in anticipation as she took in his light brown hair and friendly green eyes.

    Slow down, girl. You don’t want a relationship, remember?

    Alessandra inhaled deeply, hoping oxygen would encourage her to think clearly. So what if this guy was gorgeous? She didn’t need a boyfriend for Christmas — or at all. Not when she had enough other stuff to keep her occupied. Although she had to admit a boyfriend would probably be much more pleasant than her annual visit to her best friend’s grave. But a boyfriend meant obligatory time alone with a guy...

    “Hey, man! It’s about time you got here.” A warm male voice broke into the memories threatening to drag her down, and she looked up to see the gorgeous guy greeting her brother with a slap on the back. “The natives are getting restless.”

    Tony laughed. “We’re early, so any restless natives aren’t our problem yet.”

    “And there’s the operative word — yet.” He turned to Alessandra and reached for the box of craft supplies. “Let me take that for you.”

     “It’s all yours,” she said, relinquishing the box.

     Tony set his burden on the floor and put his arm around her shoulders. “Alessandra, meet Brad Kovac, youth pastor and your cohort in crime tonight.”

     Brad’s eyes lit up and sent a little shiver down Alessandra’s spine as he gave her a once-over. “Ah, so you’re Tony’s sister. I’m glad to finally meet you.”

     She studied him, suspicion taking the place of some of her interest. “Finally?”

     “Yes, your brother’s been telling me about you for quite some time.” Brad winked and leaned closer. “Is it true that you went to Afghanistan to play in the snow?”

     Alessandra looked at her brother, and Tony shrugged as he withdrew his arm from her shoulders. “Hey, you’re the one who sent me the picture of a snowball fight.”

     She blew out a breath, wondering just how much the big mouth had told Brad and who knew how many others. “Okay, yes. I went to Afghanistan, but it wasn’t to play in the snow.”

     “But you played in it while you were there?” Brad lifted an eyebrow, amusement dancing in his eyes.

     “Yes, I played in the snow with some other people.” She looked away, trying not to think about the stressful day that had precipitated the snowball fight. “We all needed to blow off some steam.”

     “A snowball fight is a fun way to do it.” Brad hefted the box in his arms. “Come on. I’ll show you where we’re setting up the wreath factory, and you can tell me all of Tony’s dirty secrets.”

     If, like me, you think it sounds a fascinating read, here's where you can buy the book:

    Buy Links:

     Amazon US

    Amazon UK

    Barnes & Noble

    iTunes

    Kobo

    Smashwords

     

    About the Author

     EAWest_AuthorPhoto_300

    E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

    Author Links

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    Blog

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     Thanks for dropping by and wishing you lots of success with your book!