Astraea Press Posts

The Super Spies and the Pied Piper

17996909by: Lisa Orchard
Pages: 331
Published: May 28th, 2013 by Astraea Press
ASIN: B00D25G7ZM
From Goodreads: Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

I love this series and this was my favorite one yet! I think that the writing just continues to get better! I found the characters to be even more enjoyable and fun in this novel than I did in previous ones. The whole plot in this one was a ton of fun, I love the idea of kids taking on something like a giant corporation. This book took me next to no time to get through because I found myself inhaling it. 🙂 These books are fun, quick reads that I highly recommend. They’re exactly the kind mystery I want to read. There’s more to them than just your typical murder. It also lets you go back in time a little bit and think about how you would react as a kid if you were in similar situations. I say if you haven’t already, then go pick up the first two as well as this one. If you’ve already read the first two then definitely pick this one up! Even if you’re crazy and think you may not continue the series, I promise that this one will make you change your mind. These books always come to me at great times and get me through situations where time would normally move incredibly slowly and be very boring. Instead, I read a great book and find myself in a much better mood than I would be otherwise. I highly recommend it. 🙂

Cupcakes: MysteryMysteryMysteryMysteryMystery

Buy this from Amazon here:The Super Spies and the Pied Piper

Mail Order Man

17782808by: Heather Gray

Pages: 230

Published: April 4th 2013 by Astraea Press

ISBN: 9781621351481

From Goodreads: Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.

A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn’t know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike. Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn’t stop her heart from leaping wildly into love. Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though.

Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?

 

The concept of this novel really stuck out to me. I’m not sure why exactly, because I don’t really think that normally I would’ve picked something like this up. But I saw that I could get a review copy, so I jumped on it. I loved it. It was incredibly cute. There were lots of funny moments and I think there was a lot about this book that just made me feel really good. Most romances I read don’t really get to me. I don’t feel the chemistry between the characters and their professions of love don’t really do much for me. That wasn’t at all the case with this novel. It was adorable and I found myself falling in love with the characters and their relationship. Sarah is fantastic heroine who is a very strong, christian woman who does whatever she feels is necessary to stay a good person. It’s really hard to find heroines like that these days and maybe that’s what drew me into the story so much. I did also think that it was a unique concept for a story, I don’t think I’ve read anything that was at all similar to this before. It’s very sweet and also very christian, so if you’re looking for a hot and steamy romance, this isn’t the place. If you’re looking for something incredibly heart-warming though, look no further. I felt the change in the characters and was invested from the beginning. If you’re into sweet romance or are looking for something that will lift your spirits, pick this up. I see it’s the first in a series and I hope I’ll get to read more.

Cupcakes: Sweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet Romance half

Order from Amazon here: Mail Order Man

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , , ,

The Millionaire Plan

18040187by: Kay Harborne

Pages: 179

Published: April 13th 2013 by Astraea Press

ISBN: 9781621351504

From Goodreads: Amber Wynters is on a mission to find a millionaire to marry – and fast. Her parents are nearly bankrupt and forced to sell the family home, a beautiful Tudor house that had been in the family for generations. And it’s all thanks to Amber’s ex-fiancé Rod persuading them to invest in his dodgy shares. So armed with a ‘How to Hook a Millionaire’ Book and a ten point plan, she sets off to hook herself a rich husband. Then she meets the drop-down gorgeous Jed Curtess. The at-traction between them is sizzling but Jed is only a hired hand on one of the millionaire’s yachts. Can Amber ignore her heart and follow her plan?

This was a very quick and sweet read. I read it one sitting. I kinda liked Amber as a heroine. There were some decisions she made over the course of the book that I thought weren’t very wise, but I could understand her reasoning behind them, so that endeared me to her. Normally when a heroine makes decisions that seem obviously wrong, I get annoyed, but that wasn’t the case here. I liked the whole premise of the story. A woman determined to marry a millionaire and not for the reasons people would normally do that. Jed is, of course, an adorable hero and he’s someone that I could easily see myself falling for. I also thought he didn’t always make fantastic decisions, but in the end it worked out for everyone. If you’re looking for something to download to bring to the beach, something that’s light and easy to read that you can finish in a short amount of time, then this book is perfect. It’s very cute and will warm your heart with a sweet romance. 🙂

Cupcakes: Sweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet Romance half

Buy this from Amazon here: The Millionaire Plan

Rescued by That New Guy in Town

16076449by: J.L. Salter

Pages: 282

Published: October 2nd 2012 by Astraea Press LLC

ASIN: B009L90HZO

From Goodreads: When Kris awakens in a costume, behind wooden bars inside a pitch-black community center, her only available rescuer is the hungover 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 be-gins to appreciate Ryan’s charm, good looks, and capable manner.

With all the rumors and assumptions which followed Ryan from a large metropolitan ar-ea, 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.

 

This is the second book I’ve read by this author. Since I enjoyed the first one, I couldn’t wait to dig into this one. I got caught up right in the very beginning. I loved the introduction of the hero and heroine, both to the reader and each other. It’s definitely one of the most unique openings to a book that I’ve ever read. It was also very funny! I loved these characters and they made me feel that way about them right from the start. I loved Kris. Her personality was one I felt like I could relate to. A lot of her thoughts and feelings about things were things I could see myself thinking and feeling if I were in the same situation. I love when I get to get to spend some time in the head of a heroine like that. It makes reading about them that much more enjoyable. This book was not only funny, but it kept me wanting to turn the pages to see what was going to happen next. It was a sweet, romantic comedy with just the right amount of mystery and suspense to keep everything moving swiftly. It was an easy read and I would recommend it to any romance readers that are looking for something that’s a little different from what they’re used to reading. It’s definitely worth it. Get yourself a copy and enjoy!

Cupcakes: Sweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet RomanceSweet Romance

Buy this from Amazon here: Rescued By That New Guy In Town

Double Crossing

13137711by: Meg Mims

Pages: 257

Published: August 9th 2011 by Astraea Press

ISBN: 9781466223202

From Goodreads: 2012 BEST FIRST NOVEL SPUR AWARD from Western Writers of America AND FINALIST in USA BOOK NEWS Best Books of 2012 Awards for Fiction: Western

A murder arranged as a suicide … a missing deed … and a bereft daughter whose sheltered world is shattered.

August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father’s murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed — both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey.

As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust—the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her … for a price.

Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?

 

This book completely surprised me. This isn’t the kind of novel I would normally pick up. While I do read the occasional mystery, it definitely isn’t my favorite genre, and Westerns would really not be my first pick either. But I devoured this novel. It sucks you in and continues to bring the action and suspense that makes you want to keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next. Lily is one of the strongest heroines I have read about recently. She’s the kind of person that you really enjoy reading about and don’t mind spending time with her. That isn’t always true with main characters. While I may not be a big fan of Westerns, I do enjoy historical novels and the I loved the way that this book really puts you in that time period. The writing is fantastic and it completely immerses you. I didn’t figure out everything in this mystery, but I loved reading this book trying to and again, that’s not normal for me. Normally I sort of just let mysteries play out and don’t get as absorbed as I did in this one. In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read through it in almost one sitting and enjoyed every second of it. So whether or not you’re a mystery and/or historical fan I would suggest this to you if you’re looking for a book that’s going to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s a great ride. 🙂

Cupcakes: Mystery Mystery Mystery Mystery

Buy this from Amazon here: Double Crossing

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , , ,

The Overnighter’s Secrets

14622937by: J.L. Salter

Published: May 23rd 2012 by Astraea Press

ISBN: 9781621350378

From Goodreads: When Beth left suddenly, it broke two hearts … but she’d had no choice. Shane, a rugged, ex-Airborne biker, handled it badly … but so had she. Three years later and 2000 miles away, she desperately needs her ex-lover’s protection from a violent menace with ‘bad history’ who’ll do anything to reclaim a mysterious suitcase Beth possesses.

Long before Shane acquired that overnighter, a ‘silent movie’ actress kept secrets there … and now several lives are in jeopardy. An ambitious female state senate candidate hires a ruthless investigator to eliminate potential campaign ‘problems’ like her dark family secret — a bizarre 1889 murder.

Is Beth’s terrifying ordeal simply because she unwittingly possesses the overnighter’s secrets? Or is it due to the meth-fueled dumpster-diver’s ‘unfinished business’?

Shane will likely return to California after he resolves this Tennessee ‘situation’ … so Beth struggles to resist her reawakened feelings. But before she can sort out their renewed relationship … Beth is kidnapped! To rescue her Shane enters an obvious trap in a dilapidated hotel. Only with Beth’s help can both survive the violent struggle against her kidnappers.

 

I enjoyed this novel! I thought it had a little bit of everything. It had suspense, action, history, romance, and mystery. I think that anyone looking for something to keep them on the edge of their seats should pick this up! It’s not too long and there wasn’t any point that threw me out of the story or where I thought, “Okay, I’m done with this for now.” I thought the love story was really good, even if it frustrated me. I didn’t really understand why they had broken up in the first place. I thought at least Shane’s reasons for that were a little lame, but otherwise I loved their connection. I’ve always been a sucker for reunited love. I really enjoyed all of the history and detail that went into everything that was in the overnighter. It was really cool. I felt like I was investigating right along with them. I thought the suspense was just right. It creeped me out, but didn’t freak me out too much. I loved the librarian character, although I felt like he was a little too sensitive. I find it hard to believe that him being black would really matter that much in the setting they were in. (But maybe that’s just my opinion.) It’s really cool that this was based off of a true story and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good bit of action and mystery in their reading. 🙂

Cupcakes: Other FictionOther FictionOther FictionOther Fiction

Buy this from Amazon here: The Overnighter’s Secrets

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , ,

Vala: Appointed

16006864by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: September 13th, 2012 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B009A2Q1QG

From  Goodreads: Identical twins Anj and Zes Willam have always been considered odd, even in a world where myth is real. Their magic is powerful and intense, as well as their secrets. None more so than Anj, who has the biggest secret of them all.

He’s a Fate, and he’s not allowed to tell anyone about what he sees or else the consequences will be great. Which is unfortunate, because it’s been causing a rift between him, his girl-friend Jewl, and his brother. Even more unfortunate because the demons some how have learned about his gift and have made him their next target.

 

I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning, but this one is definitely my favorite! Anj and Zes have always been my favorite characters, so I was thrilled when I realized that this book was their story. This book pumps up the drama just as much as the other two books, but I felt like the writing was smoother. Everything flowed at a great pace, and I found myself unable to put the book down. I felt so bad for these characters. I can’t imagine dealing with even part of what they deal with in high school. I liked that we got to see so much more depth to Jewl and Anj’s relationship. When this series started, I wasn’t a fan of them together, but by the end of this book I was completely won over by the two of them and wanted them to be together more than anything. If you’re a fan of this series, pick this book up, it’s the best one yet! This author is definitely growing into her writing and I’m loving the results. I didn’t feel like the resolution was too rushed, and I loved how much we got to learn about the different story lines that have been hinted at since the beginning. I really enjoyed this installment of the series. 🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy half

Buy this from Amazon here: Vala Appointed

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

Vala: Heritage

13691753by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: May 15th, 2012 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B0083E4UNI

From Goodreads: Jewl Dite has always struggled with her heritage. Being the daughter of the goddess of love, she questions everything about the emotion. Which is a bummer because she’s head over heels for Anj Willam, and thinks the feelings are mutual. It’s hard to be sure though when she has magic that has been known to bewitch men into devoting themselves to her. Somehow they’re able to strike a balance in their dysfunctional on-again, off-again relationship however.

This balance is disrupted however when a strange boy named Teague enters her life and brings along with him a group of demons. Demons who want to make a deal with her in exchange for the safety of everyone she loves.

Now to protect those she holds most dear, Jewl must rely on the magic she’s been trying so desperately to avoid. But at what cost? Will the boy she loves accept this dark secret, or will she lose him forever?

 

I enjoyed this novel, even though I was really hesitant going into it. I didn’t like the character of Jewl at all in the last novel. I thought she was incredibly annoying. I knew this novel would change my mind about her a little bit though and it did to an extent. I did still have some issues with her. I thought she seemed to get very angry and act out when it seemed like a few seconds before she’d only been mildly upset. Beyond that though, I did find her character a lot more relatable. I thought this was a nice continuation of the story and it gave us a better insight into things that were happening in the first one that we might not have completely understood. I didn’t fully understand Jewl’s hesitation to tell Anj about being diving. I know that he claimed to not like them, but he never had any issues with Cheyenne and Jewl should’ve know that Anj loved her completely, regardless of her background. I liked all of the backstory we got for Jewl. It really was an interesting storyline and it made her character a lot deeper for me. I think if you read the first one, this was is worth picking up as well, even if you found Jewl as annoying as I did. 😛 🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy half

Buy this from Amazon here: Vala: Heritage

Posted by juliette in Book Review and tagged with , , , ,

Vala: Agendas

13011839by: J.F. Jenkins

Published: October 17th, 2011 by Astraea Press

ASIN: B005WNXJRG

From Goodreads: Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.
All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.
Adjusting to a new school is difficult enough, but adding on everyone else’s hidden agendas is the icing on the cake. Cheyenne must learn to see through the lies in order to find her place — and possibly even love — in this new world.

 

I was drawn into this novel from the very beginning. I’ve always liked stories where the main character finds out they never really belonged in the place they have been all their life. I like the idea that they are destined for bigger and better things. I did have some trouble with this novel though. I thought that the fact that she could talk to plants should have been more relevant to the overall plot. I found myself kind of forgetting that was even something she could do. I wanted to know more about what it meant for her to be divine. I also found it kind of annoying that she was so attracted to almost every guy she ran into. I did like Cheyenne as a character though, I liked reading about a sixteen year old that was responsible and while she WAS attracted to all of these guys, she never wanted it to go anywhere inappropriate. I felt like the resolution came and went very quickly. I wanted a little more. I think that this author has created really interesting worlds, but we don’t always get as much information as we would like. I could tell from reading that there definitely was a lot more going on. I’d say if you’re looking for an interesting young adult fantasy novel you should pick this up though, it isn’t at all like any of the mainstream ones I’ve read, which was very refreshing. Also, every single novel that I’ve read from this author has had an absolutely stunning cover, and this is definitely no exception!

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasy half

 

Vala: Agendas

Legend of the Touched

14718453by: J.F. Jenkins

Pages: 355

Published:  May 28th 2012 by Astraea Press

From Goodreads: Darien and Tai Oceina have not been married for long, but already they have one of the most complicated relationships and it hasn’t even been a year yet. He is the leader of a nation and a dragon. She is carrying their first child who is supposed to be “the answer”. As Darien dives further into the politics of his people, a wedge is driven deeper between him and his wife.

Twin brothers Jason and Matthias Inero were always inseparable. For the first time in their lives they are apart from each other. Matt continues to do the will of their father, the corrupted Dragon Lord of the Inero, while Jason has fled with his bride to an island where he can forget about everything. Or try to. Being possessed by a demon makes that hard to achieve, and as the creature fights to control his body, Jason discovers a lot of shocking truths about his lineage and destiny.

The two worlds of fire and water collide as both dragon tribes prepare for war with the other. Matthias is determined to crush Darien’s people. Only an ancient spell will give Darien enough power to fight back and have any hope at winning. The spell is complicated however and requires all four dragon tribes to work together in harmony. Something that is a lot easier said than done.

 

I really liked that this story was the continuation of the other two novels, so we can see both sides of the story and how the two different types of dragon societies interact with each other. I thought it was a really interesting read and I had trouble knowing which side I should be rooting for. I could see the author’s growth as a writer in this novel. I could tell she had really fallen in love with her characters and knew where she wanted them to go. This book is longer than the previous two, but it is a very quick read. I did feel like everything was resolved too quickly and I would have liked a little more considering the investment I’d made as a reader into this series. Overall though, I think this series is great for young adult fantasy fans. Everything was tied up in this novel very nicely and I thought it was a fun and enjoyable read. Can I also just say again how beautiful I think these covers are?  🙂

Cupcakes: FantasyFantasyFantasyFantasy

Buy this from Amazon here: Legend of the Touched (The Dragons Saga)