Monday, December 31, 2012

Christine Young Presents -- The Arrival by author Nicole Mac Donald

Please welcome Nicole MacDonald author of The Arrival.

Nicole will be awarding a $50.00 gift card – Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winners choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

This book is free everywhere!

Smashwords (any format) - free:

Please leave a comment for the author.

The Arrival
by Nicole MacDonald



1.What or who inspired you to start writing?

An intense storm over the Wellington harbor in New Zealand inspired the idea. I love action movies, especially the ones with the female characters I can relate to, so I wrote a story that I can relate to – and it turns out, other people can too!

2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?

Most of what I write is inspired by my life. My friends, family, pets and surroundings. Real events turned on their heads in a fantastical setting and I just let my imagination loose. 

3.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

A steampunk series, it will be quite dark even though the protagonist is 17 but I’m quite sick of the timid Young Adult books that are coming out now. I want to write something that I as a 15-20yr old would love to read. After that (or at the same time, knowing me) I have an exciting concept for another YA series and a standalone novel – a black comedy about crazy old cat ladies…

4.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Cat, because I based her on me. I’ve always daydreamed about the things that the girls get to do in the Trilogy and by writing it I get to do it.

5.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?

No, I did originally get feedback from many bloggers/writers but I found that it actually hindered me in the first book. So for the second I cut down the numbers involved in the book and kept it low for those involved in the third book too. Too many cooks really do spoil the broth!

6.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?

I decided to do it after reading J.A.Konrath’s blog. I had sent The Arrival out to 30 agents and got a good response, but after discovering the ‘benefits’ of being published with a publishing house, I decided to take it in my own hands and do it myself. It does create quite a bit more work, but at least I know its mine the whole way through.

7.What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best – write a little every day. The worst – that traditional publishing is the only way to make any money from your books.

8.Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I often start with a scene that’s inspired me and then outline from there. Sometimes I will write a bunch of sporadic scenes and then utilize them to help in creating different ideas for the outline.

9.Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

I began sword fighting – long sword – so that I could accurately describe how to use a sword. After my first lesson I went home and re-wrote five pages of my draft as I had it all wrong *lol*. I also sew and that shows in the books and I have a great love of the outdoors and tramping and that too shows in the books.

10.         Do you have an all time favorite book?

Oh wow. I love soooo many books, but one that I do enjoy re-reading is The Other Boleyn Girl – hated the movie though! So disappointing.

11.         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?

I had a phenomenal dream with a real steampunk feel to it. The machines I saw and the colors had me awake for hours trying to remember it all. I never really intended to write a steampunk novel, but the idea of a series is brewing and I’m very excited about it.

12.         What is your favorite reality show?

Ice loves Coco. I think they’re an adorable couple and I love bulldogs!

13.         Who is your favorite actor and actress?

I think Emma Stone is amazing and swoon over Chris Hemsworth *blush*

14.         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

It is based on a really hard time in my own life, when I couldn’t see the trees for the forest and the only one to pull me out from it was my partner. He inspires me in so many ways.

15.         If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

Alek – Sean Farris
Cat – Scarlett Johansson
I actually have a whole page on my blog devoted to the characters with pictures of possible actors for the different roles.


Four friends in the midst of a man drought cast a love spell on a whim, unexpectedly landing them on another planet.


On a foreign and often hostile world, love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls' surprising gifts. Will the girls master these gifts in time to survive a war in which not only are they the ultimate weapons, but also the ultimate prize?




 'Cat’s down!' hollered Sensei as he tracked the grappling pairs in the room.

I wrapped my legs around Nathan’s hips. The look of shock on his face amused me, even more so when I gave him a suggestive smile, arching my eyebrow.

Cheap shot? Not if he fell for it. He didn’t register what I was up to until his head connected with the mat. I smirked down at him.

Sensei had a wide smile as he called, 'Catherine wins.'

Nathan scowled at me.

'Get off, would you?'

I stood and sauntered to the side, joining Kassie as we watched the final pairs fight. Tonight I’d won all three of my fights.

Not quite as good as Loi. I watched as she brought Daniel down to the mat hard enough that he yelped in pain. Sometimes the two inch mats didn’t feel that thick. I felt a pang of sympathy for him.

'Laura wins, making her this evening’s champion,' Sensei crowed in triumph. Kassie and I hollered, clapping for Loi as she stood, ever graceful, and walked our way. Most of the guys in the room had rueful smiles as they joined in the applause.

'I can’t believe you’re letting yourselves get beaten by girls,' Sensei shook his head in mock distress. 'What will I tell the other sensei at the meet?'

'That you train Amazons,' Jason, the class smart ass, quipped back.

Actually that was a good description for Laura, though I didn’t think you’d see many Amazons with Scottish accents. Five foot eight, with a figure like a pin-up girl and thick black hair to her waist, Loi made most people look twice.

'What’s the magic word?' demanded a saccharin sweet voice, interrupting my thoughts.

The three of us, along with those sitting out, turned to look. There was Sian, the fourth of our quartet, with Grant beneath her tiny thighs.

For some reason Grant felt the need to be stubborn when tapping out with Sian. It may be due to her dainty appearance. Sian was the blond in our group and just adorable to look at. Dainty and precious, more like precocious, truth be told, she scraped in at just five foot like Kassie. But while Kassie had a curvy busty figure, Sian was petite in every sense of the word; except personality.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Nicole MacDonald is the Independent author of The Arrival, and, Awakening, the first two books in the BirthRight Trilogy. Writing had never been a lifelong dream for her until she began The Arrival, but it now is an all-consuming passion.

A proud Kiwi (New Zealander) Nicole dreams that one day Peter Jackson will be in touch to option the film rights for the BirthRight Trilogy. When she's not daydreaming about that she's working on book three in the trilogy - Feel the Burn, available December 2012 - and planning future works.

Twitter: @DmslinaDrtyDrss
Youtube link to book trailer:

Amazon US - free:
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christine Young Is Hosting Jak Barley-Private Inquisitor Today

Jak Barley-Private Inquisitor by Dan Ehl
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

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The slow ride through the night was depressing. The bone-chilling dampness made me draw my canvas cape tighter. I was tired, cold, and bruised. The disheartening slaughter weighed heavily upon me. The alluring memory of the redheaded fortuneteller's warm nest of quilts made the venture seem all the more wretched.

"How did you guess I seek vengeance?" Mahvan had pulled her horse up next to me.

"Guessing had nothing to do with it," I replied halfhearted and by rote. "A trained private inquisitor reads subtle signs and cues as easily as if they were inked script on a grand bishop's vellum."

"Vague words to hide behind," she snapped.

I laughed at the words, the same I'd spoken to Lorenzo only hours before.

Mahvan must have thought I laughed at her, for her retort was laden with ire. "You find me humorous, Master Barley?"

I remembered her hidden weapons and the proficiency in which she dispatched an attacker. "No, my lady. Just an errant thought."

This time I would not relent to a beautiful face. Why the gods toy with me so, I do not know. Too many times I have lain out my well-crafted deductions, only to find I had reached the right revelation but by a wrong path.

"As with a stage illusionist, a private inquisitor seldom reveals his methods. Let us just say that I observe obvious signs an untrained eye will miss. Once explained, I'm afraid my deductions would suddenly plunge from the realm of wonder to a more mundane plane."

She remained silent and I wished I could view her face. Our discussion was lightening my heart, as it is often when speaking to a beautiful woman.

"You are of high birth," I explained, keeping to safe ground. "You have rid yourself only recently of jewelry, so speaks the light rings of skin about your fingers. Your speech also gives you away, as well as your obvious unease at the informality of being addressed by your bestowed name. Would you rather I call you mistress or lady?"

"You find me prissy?" she snapped.

I was relieved to have sidestepped her queries.

"I hardly think that word would describe a maiden who travels as a boyish follower of Dorga, carries a battery of hidden weapons, and uses those same arms with the skill of a Hoonnish assassin."

"Are you for hire?"

I grimaced. The last thing I wanted to do was reduce my status from fellow traveler to that of a common hireling.

She mistook my hesitancy. "I can pay you. I am not without resources, despite my current appearance."

"It is not that my lady..."

"Mahvan," she corrected.

"I, ah, have many commitments when we arrive at Stagsford. I had not thought to work. To take on a case now..."

"I see, please excuse me if I trouble you with my problems," she interrupted again, this time more coolly. "I should have realized you take not just any task."

"Why, no, er, yes. It is not..."

"And I am sure you have more important things to do than aid some helpless maiden in distress. I have heard private inquisitors are a reticent sort, made reserved by their unpleasant tasks."

"Well, that is not wholly true," I sputtered, wanting to defend my trade. "We private inquisitors are not without feelings..."

"You will help me as a friend then, Master... Jak?" she said with a voice groping for hope.


"Thank you. We will talk more of this tomorrow." She nudged her mount and dropped back with Eli and Chaatiguin.

This was a really fun book! It combined elements of Sword and Sorcery
Fantasy with elements of satire that made occasionally viscious fun...

G. L. Helm for Rogue's Angels    4 Angel Wings

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christine Young Is Hosting - Nickie Fleming's Diamonds For The Devil

Today I have an excerpt from Diamonds For The Devil the first book in The Medici Diamonds series.

Diamond for the Devil by Nickie Fleming
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3
Historical Romance

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Traffic in Paris was in a mess once more. Small wonder, thought Marguerite, with this nice spring weather everyone wants to go out.

"Madame la baronesse?" A face popped up next to the window of the carriage. "The coachman says we're probably stuck here for an hour or more. Is there anything I can do for you in the meantime?"

"I'm in no hurry, Henri." She sighed nevertheless. One hour could be a long time, and the coach would get hotter as the sun reached its zenith. Could she? The new idea became more attractive by the second.

"As it is, I've changed my mind," she announced. "I want to go for a walk. We are not far from the Pont Neuf, are we? I'd like to have a look around there. You can come along to protect me. Come, help me out."

While he offered her his hand, she saw the servant frown.

"It is my duty to warn Madame that the bridge is an unsafe place for people of quality, especially when they are so richly dressed. You'll be an open invitation to every pickpocket present."

Marguerite could not prevent a light smile. Henri had served the De Laneuil family for ages and had grown very protective towards its members. "I'm sure you're exaggerating, Henri. Besides, you'll be there to watch over me. Don't I notice a big gun between your belt?"

"I'll keep my eyes open", he swore, cursing under his breath for the folly his mistress displayed.

There were no ho-hum moments and I found myself going back to read again and again until I had finished.

A Scottish Lass for Rogue's Angels   5 Angel Wings

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christine Young Is Hosting Chasing the Legacy

Chasing the Legacy
Genie Gabriel

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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In this romantic adventure, a newspaper reporter with a penchant for flashy shoes uncovers an explosive story that could shatter lives and defuse her budding love with a soft-spoken bomb tech.


"Mind if I join you?"

Layla turned at the sound of Grady's voice. "Your house."

"I haven't lived here in awhile but, yeah, still home." He eased onto the settee beside Layla with a sigh, a different kind of smoky smell lingering on his clothes--that of explosions and destructive fires.

"You were a hero tonight."

"Just doing my job, like a lot of others who are still in town."

"What happened?"

"The initial theory is a guy who sold a baby to a wealthy couple didn't like his money-making scheme cut off. So he planted dynamite in the buildings in Halo for revenge."

Layla shivered. "Pretty over-the-top for one baby."

"I'm sure there's more to it." Grady covered a yawn.

Silence settled between them, and soon Layla heard Grady's gentle, even breathing. He had fallen asleep. With tousled hair and smudges of soot on his face from the fires, he seemed more like a little boy than a man who sought out explosives for a living.

Soon Tallie appeared with a quilt over her arm. She tucked it around Grady and kissed his cheek. Always the mom and, again, Layla felt a pang of envy.

"May I bring you a blanket?"

Layla shook her head. "I'm going inside in a few minutes."

But she didn't. When the sun peeked over the eastern horizon, she had cuddled up against Grady and burrowed under his blanket.

His arm stretched along the back of the settee over her shoulders and he smiled shyly at her. "I won't tell your pop if you don't tell my mom."

Her belly did a funny little somersault as a grin formed on her face. "It's a deal."

He kneaded the muscles in his neck. "I need to get back to town."

Then he stood and tucked the blanket around her, much as Tallie had done for him earlier. "Welcome home, Layla."

Her breathing quickened as he leaned close to her. Was he going to kiss her? Was she going to let him?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christine Young Presents - K.J. Dahlen author of Wrong Number

Wrong Number
K. J. Dahlen

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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While reporter Lacey Hancock is tracking a serial killer, she gets a phone call in the middle of the night meant for someone else. The caller tells her he received the money and within the next twenty-four hours two people will be dead. When she goes to the police, she runs into an old friend, FBI agent Sam Reed. When they connect the separate cases they are working on, they find the serial killer is after them. Can they find him before he finds them?


The ringing phone woke Lacey Hancock from a sound sleep. On the third ring she picked up the receiver and whispered a sleepy, "Hello."

"I have received the payment you promised."  She heard someone say. "By this time tomorrow your judicial troubles will be over. The only witness will be dead and you'll be in the clear."

Lacey frowned and slowly sat up in bed. She brushed her long dark hair away from her face and rubbed her eyes. She had been so tired lately she wasn't sure she was hearing the conversation correctly. "Excuse me?" She took a deep breath. "Who is this?" When she heard no reply she asked, "Is this some kind of joke or something? Because if it is, this isn't very funny."

She heard a sharp intake of breath and a muffled swear word then heard a resounding click as the phone call ended. She frowned and reached over to snap on the bed side lamp. Hanging up the phone, she glanced at the alarm clock sitting on the bedside the table and saw it was just after one a.m.

She hated phone calls in the middle of the night. They never brought good news, only bad news, and this one sounded like a prank call. Yet there was something she heard in the caller's voice that made her stop and think.

It could have been a prank call or something a little more sinister. As a reporter, her inner alarms were going haywire. She knew this sort of thing happened all the time and yet she had been shocked by the phone call. This sort of crime, a murder for hire, was more a big city occurrence, it didn't happen so much around here. The caller had sounded very sincere about what he was planning to do. In the small amount of conversation she had with the caller she could sense his intent. If she believed him, someone was going to die in the next day,

Lacey shivered. She had just spent the last three days trying to track down a serial killer. She had seen too much death since she began this quest. She received a call four days ago from an attorney for a man on death row. The attorney told her his client's name was Mickey Dallas and he was dying of cancer. Mickey knew he wouldn't live long enough to get the needle and he was okay with that. The attorney told her Mickey had a story to tell, and he wanted her to tell it. He told her she had every right to refuse, that it was okay if she wanted to turn around and walk away, He would understand, but he hoped she would at least listen to his story.

Lacey had been just curious enough to stay. Mickey wanted to tell her about someone he met fifteen years ago in Detroit. He'd recently read a story she wrote about child abuse and he told her he liked the way she brought the victims to life. He told her she made him feel the child's pain and when she was finished, he felt that justice had been done by the courts. He felt the judge who sentenced the couple to prison had stopped them from hurting any other child. He wanted the world to know his story and why he had done the things he had done. He wasn't looking for forgiveness; but he did want people to know what he felt during the time he was committing his crimes. He told her that while he'd done a number of bad things in his life, he needed to tell the world about a man that scared even the hardest of criminals. As a reporter she knew this man had a story to tell and she told him if she could verify what he was telling her, she would write his story. What she found out scared the hell out of her, but she had been able to verify his tale in New York, Chicago, Seattle and St. Louis and many little towns along the way.

She had returned from her journey only three hours ago. Her suitcase was still sitting just inside the bedroom door. All she wanted to do when she got home was sleep.

Lacey grabbed a pen and a notepad she kept close to her and wrote down the message she had been given. She knew she should call the police and if she did and it turned out to be a crank call, the police wouldn't give her the respect she demanded for her profession. The caller had said that the hit would happen within twenty four hours. The question was who was going to die and why? The reporter in her wanted to know the five W's; who, what, when, where and why. So far she knew the when but she didn't know the rest. She tried to think of upcoming interesting cases, but she couldn't think of one that would warrant this kind of solution.

Her adrenalin was pumping and she knew from the butterflies in the pit of her stomach she had stumbled on to a story that she was never supposed to know about. What she would do next might save someone's life or cost her own.

"Way cool of a book! If you are a fan of murder mysteries, run don’t walk and get your copy today. Twists and turns start from the first sentence. Wrong Number has great characters with depth, and a truly psychopathic killer on the loose. What is not to love."

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christine Young Presents -- C.L. Kraemer and Dragons Among the Eagles

Dragons Among the Eagles by C. L. Kraemer
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

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Rain thwacked against Aleda's leathery black appendages. Her arms ached; heck, every muscle in her body ached. This flying thing was going to take more practice. The continual downpour of the spring night slithered past her shielded turquoise eyes, bathing her scales in cool refreshment. As much as she would like to have frolicked in the showers, she was more interested in landing in one spot, curling up and sleeping for the next four days. If only…

Cyre winged up to her side.

"You go in first and I'll follow. I want to wash off the grit of the trip."

Aleda pulled back her lips in a semblance of a smile.

"No problem," she shouted over the wind drafts.

When Cyre's sister, Brittany, had first suggested Aleda attend the dragon council in China, she'd been ecstatic. Her recent discovery of her true identity--half human, half dragon--had put her beliefs to the test. She imagined being around those like her would make her transition simpler. Cyre and Brittany, full-blooded Celtic dragons, had helped as best they could by explaining rules of dragon protocol and pointing out the good guys from the bad guys at the council meetings. By the end of the week, Aleda's fairy tale illusion had fallen abruptly on sharp rocks. Politics and power were as rampant in the dragon-shapeshifter community as in the human community.

Brittany was going to spend a night or two in Cyre's den before continuing her journey back to Scotland. Then Aleda and Cyre would be faced with the decisions they'd both been putting off since their first meeting.

She felt the solid rock beneath her talons and breathed a sigh of relief. The council meeting had been exhilarating, educational and overwhelming all at once. It was nice, really nice, to be back in the Northwest of the United States. Aleda stood, getting her land legs then shook the extra moisture from her body. Placing her talon on the button in the rock wall, she pushed and the door of the cave slid open. Watching the heavy glass trundle into the backside of Mt. St. Helens still gave her chill bumps. So much about the twenty-first century dragon world made her shake her head. How could they survive with all the advancements humans had accomplished? Knowing the answer still didn't stop her from asking the question.

The few minutes she'd stood contemplating questions already asked had given the cavern a chance to air out. While her sense of smell wasn't as acute for some things, sulfur being one of those, she still hadn't been able to adjust completely to the acrid aroma Cyre tolerated in his cave.

As she dragged her tired feet over the threshold, Cyre backwinged his way on the landing. Aleda turned just in time to catch the wicked twinkle in his eyes.

He sprayed water over the landing, his laughter bubbling over the surrounding rocks like thunder.

"Cyre! I just dried off! Jiminy!"

Aleda wrinkled her brow and glared at the young gray-green dragon. His mirthful smirk did nothing to help her anger.

"Hey, you two. Get in here and dry off. I did some hunting before you got here and there's dinner in the great room. I've had mine and to be quite frank, I'm exhausted. I'm going to sleep."

Brittany tromped back to the great room and found a warm spot near the back wall.

Cyre and Aleda located the carcasses of the deer where Brittany had dropped the bodies. Each took one and moved off to eat, alone, before settling in for the night. Minutes after devouring their meals, the trio of dragons were fast asleep, the decisions of the previous week set aside for the normality of life.

Dragons Among the Eagles is an excellent sequel that will hold your attention until the very end and leave you craving more.  Well done Ms. Kraemer for delivering yet another awesome book!

Worthy of a 5 Angel Eyes rating
L. Nickels for Rogue's Angels

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christine Young Presents - The Bobble Head Babes & Chocolate Scotcheroos

The Continuing Saga...
LOL this post was supposed to go up Sunday and the one that is up Sunday was supposed to go up today.
Bobble Head Babe number 2 is back sometime today from her two week trip to Australia.

Chocolate Scotcheroos are a family favorite. We rarely have them except for Christmas but they are definitely a favorite and easy to make. This recipe comes from a good friend of mine, Diane.

Chocolate Scotcheroos

1 cup sugar                            1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter             6 cups rice krispies
6oz chocolate chips               6oz butterscotch chips

Combine sugar and syrup in a 3 qt. sauce pan.
Cook over moderate heat.
Stir frequently.

AT FIRST SIGN OF BUBBLES remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir.

Then add rice krispies and stir well.

Press into buttered 9 X 13 inch pan.

Melt chips together.

(use microwave safe pyrex to melt chips on high for one minute and stir then 30 more seconds stir until smooth}.

Spread melted chips over krispies and let set.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christine Young Presents -- The Look of Love by Rosemary Indra

Please welcome Rosemary Indra to my blog. The Look of Love is a sweet contemporary romance well worth the read. And I love this cover.

The Look of Love by Rosemary Indra
Excerpt Heat Level 1
Book Heat Level 3

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The pager on her waistband sounded a moment before Penny heard the city's alarm sound. Her sense of duty and the need to help others pulled her back into the station to answer the call. "One vehicle off the road-milepost two on Oak Knoll Road." Penny read her pager out loud.

Once she put on her turnouts, she jumped into the engine. That's why she was there. After years of working at the bank, she'd gone back to school and became a paramedic. She wanted to help others and make a difference. Joining the fire department was the best way to honor Jim's memory.

Scott got into the officer's seat in front of her. She wondered if she should get out. Catching her reflection in the window, she straightened her turnout and renewed her fortitude. They'd shared a few kisses. Nothing more. The passion his kiss ignited was best forgotten. If he was uncomfortable with the situation, he could get into the other vehicle.

She ignored the usual chatter in the engine cab as other firefighters joined them and they drove to the accident. A pickup truck rolled over in the ditch with one occupant was all she'd heard. She drew a deep breath trying to still her clamoring nerves. Until now, she'd ignored her growing awareness of Scott. For some reason tonight her defenses were lowered and she could no longer disregard her desire for him.

Once they stopped at the scene, Scott asked. "Penny, do you feel comfortable directing traffic?"

Without looking at him, she replied, "Yes." Then she grabbed a flashlight, fluorescent vest and stop sign from the side compartment and hurried to the back of the engine. Red lights flashed around her. She directed the rescue unit and ambulance to the accident a few yards up the road.

"Watch your backside," Scott yelled. Like always, he stood behind her, protecting her.

Guiding drivers wasn't her favorite job in the department, but traffic was light for the middle of the night. She couldn't believe how much time they'd spent in the storage room.

"How are you doing?" he asked a few minutes later.

Penny jumped at the sound of his voice beside her. "You startled me, I didn't hear you." She hadn't been able to get Scott off her mind since they left the station. Now she hesitated to look at him.

"I wanted a chance to talk to you alone." His voice held a serious tone; an I-want-to-clarify-any-misunderstanding-tone.

Red lights from the rescue unit continued their rhythmic flash around them. The colored illumination added a surreal appearance to the worry lines that marked Scott's face. He too appeared shaken by something. In the darkness she couldn't fully read his expression. With his brows lowered, he had a stern look of finality over his features. She guessed their kissing surprised him as much as it did her. Afraid she was losing her best friend, she breathed in deep. She knew and dreaded the subject he wanted to discuss with her.

"I'm sorry about earlier. I…"

"I understand it won't happen again," she said hurriedly. If only she could turn back the clock.

Read and enjoy this one. Overall, this story gave me happy thoughts about life and love.

Seriously Reviewed   19 out of 20

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christine Young Presents Rebel Heart

It's Guy Day Friday and Cameron Savage is the guy!

Rebel Heart
Christine Young

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

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She was velvet and silk, eyes the color of a summer storm and amber hair. Victoria DeMontville, because of a promise and a codicil to her father's will, was forced to marry one man to protect her from another. She hated Cameron Savage with a fierce passion. But to hold on to her genetic research and find a cure for the deadly Signe virus, she must pretend to love the enemy at her door, come with weapons of fire to melt her icy heart...

He wore a mask, disguised as the Phantom, a true legend come to life. Even as war and debate over new genetic research engulfed them all, he would find his greatest adversary in the beauty who'd branded him an outsider and barbarian, the woman he was born to possess, his soul mate.


Rebel Heart is set five hundred years in the future. The hero and heroine come from very different backgrounds. One is an Outsider and the other a City Dweller, but they are both dedicated scientists. Cameron savage is a physician. Victoria DeMontville is a research scientist. They are both working to create a vaccine that will work against a deadly virus. Victoria has uncovered another way to help the victims of the virus, genetic surgery. During many of her forays into the musty archives of the city library, she discovers a technique that would give the City Dwellers a gene that would enhance an almost non-existent immune system. The technique is called allele transplant surgery.

"God Almighty!" Cameron Savage rocked on the balls of his feet before he moved swiftly and silently behind the furtive shadow ahead. Until this moment, Cameron thought the area was secured and safe. If something wasn't done soon to stop this boy, all hell would break lose.

The most powerful of the overlords were due into this area by noon. He, Cameron Savage, confidant of the most influential of all the overlords and also double agent, spy--thieftaker, was blessed with the burden of securing the perimeter.

His job was two-fold; the overlords must feel safe, and the wheels must be set in motion for their eventual capture and prosecution.

This City Dweller complicated his mission, had the nerve to steal away in the early hours of dawn to some secret rendezvous. It seemed he cared not for the laws and the tenuous peace. And why should the boy? The corruption that existed in this world went unprosecuted, terrifying all law-abiding citizens.

Cameron vowed long ago to put an end to the trafficking, to stop the thieves who stole the deadly viruses from the disease control centers, holding them ransom until the City Dwellers were all but bankrupt. He'd vowed to stop the corrupt and dangerous thieftakers from forming unholy alliances with the thieves, and in the process reaping fortunes from both sides.

For a moment he looked at the emblem sewn on his jacket and gritted his teeth. Once, the golden red symbol of the dragon, of the thieftakers, stood for something noble. A man wearing the emblem could be proud of what he did.

But no longer.

Over the last five years, progress had been made. The tension had eased somewhat, but the threat of contamination always lingered. One mistake, one infestation and all would be for naught. All the hard work and research over the long years would be wasted by a few heartless people. Corrupt thieftakers. The crime syndicates.

Any mistake could prove fatal.

While Cameron watched, the small figure stopped beside an old rotten log and knelt before whipping the knapsack from his back and rummaging through the inside. Seconds later a spade and a small knife were secured from the pack, and the figure began to shuffle through the dust, the dirt, and the growths found within. The boy sat back on his haunches and deposited debris in tiny plastic sacks.

A shiver snaked along Cameron's spine. The figure did appear elusive but hardly dangerous. He wore loose fitting camouflage pants and a matching shirt. His cloak was hooded and dark. When he looked up, he seemed to stare directly at Cameron. With lithe movements, he deftly packaged and labeled each article and moved farther into the dense undergrowth.

The darkened forest and the grey mist closed in around the City Dweller as he passed a huge redwood tree and disappeared. Cameron stepped forward, intent on tracking this person, but a flash of light where the boy had been digging made him stop. Cameron searched the ground for the object that pulled his attention away from his quarry. Then he saw the piece of jewelry, a ring, with the DeMontville crest.

Perhaps this wasn't a waste of time.

Cameron's hand closed around the ring and he held the jewelry a scant moment before he slipped it on his little finger.

He looked again for the wayward youth.

"Halt!" The person he trailed stepped from behind a shield of trees.

A slow smile of amusement curled Cameron's lip. "Halt?" Cameron leaned casually against the tree the juvenile had emerged from. His hands crossed negligently over his chest. "Why?" Cameron asked.

"You have no right to be here."

Cameron cast the boy a contemptuous glare. "And I suppose you do." Cameron straightened and stepped boldly toward the small tense figure.

"Yes...I..." The young man sounded unsure of himself.

"Tell me what you are up to and I might allow you to slip back over the wall. Perhaps the good people within will forgive you the indiscretion."

"It's nothing," the youth said shakily as he backed away.

"Leave the pack and go," Cameron said in what he hoped was his most menacing tone. This young man needed a good scare.


"What?" There was too much at stake here. Cameron decided the boy's curt refusal was foolhardy, and perhaps a good scare was not quite intimidating enough to convince him. Perhaps he needed to be taught a more severe lesson. Cameron started toward him bent on that very thing.

The boy stood his ground, chin tilted upward in a strangely feminine gesture that almost stopped Cameron.

"No?" Cameron's eyebrow rose in mockery. "Don't try to defy me. It will do you no good."

The little hellion whipped out a gun and pointed it at him. "I kill thieftakers!"

"Hell!" Cameron swore again.

Despite the shaking fingers, Cameron had no doubt this boy would use the weapon. He could disarm the boy.

Easily disarm him. Swiftly he brought his hand up, landing hard beneath the boy's wrist.

The gun, that had moments before been pointed against Cameron, went flying into some green oblivion of forest and moss.

Retribution could be quite satisfying.

Satisfying indeed. Yet he was about to be deprived of it. That very minute the juvenile turned and ran, disappearing into the mist and the trees.

Seconds later Cameron picked up the sound of his quarry's rapid flight through the overgrown and nearly forgotten trail.

He moved swiftly through the forest and its pathways, as if he had intimate knowledge of every tree and bush within.

And he did.

But the boy proved elusive.

Cameron came to a complete stop, warily searching the surrounding area, listening intently for any sound, or a subtle mistake. Only silence prevailed in the forest.

Suddenly a camouflaged waif darted between two trees. Cameron followed. As he managed to close the distance between the two of them, his adversary reached for a handful of dirt and grass. The debris hit him squarely in the face.

"Damnation! Fight like a man or I'll treat you as I would a small child. You deserve a thrashing, by God." The dirt did not slow Cameron. He started after the brat once more.

The boy slipped several times and was now scrambling on all fours as if he searched for something else to throw.

"Just try it." There was nothing more in the little clearing for the urchin to grab hold.

Cameron, more frustrated than he could ever recall, moved with lightning speed and agility. Like a thunderbolt, he crossed the few remaining feet between them and tackled the boy.

Fragile hips suddenly lay between his thighs, and something within him quickened as he held the soft form. Sheer amazement at the sudden insight held him still for a second.

Even as she struggled again, with what should have been the last of her strength in a final bid for freedom, beating upon his chest with her small fists, Cameron tried to decide what should be done with her. He caught her wrists and held them still.

"Who are you?" he challenged.

Nothing had changed, except...

Annie for Euro Reviews writes:

Rebel Heart is a well-written futuristic novel of a time that very possibly could come to pass, when viral plagues have laid the planet waste, and life is lived either in the sterile confines of domed habitats, or as pariahs in the outside wilderness. The world-building is excellent, vivid, and true-to-life. The characters will quickly catch and hold the reader's sympathies. The plot is quick, and takes time to examine many valid social, economic, class, and political issues as well. Christine Young delivers a winner which will capture the interest of futuristic/science fiction fans as well as the general reader.

Jasmina Vallombrosa for TCM Reviews writes:

Filled with drama and suspense, this book will draw you into the mysteries of science fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by Ms. Young’s storytelling talents as she wove not only a wonderful futuristic adventure, but also that of a passionate love story. I loved the main characters as they came to life on the pages. The plot was quite suspenseful and deliciously entertaining. As a result, I had no choice but to keep flipping the pages as I raced to the end. Bravo Ms.Young for such an extraordinary book from cover to cover!