Friday, May 31, 2013

Christine Presents: Friday's Featured Title

Friday's Featured Title

Bones by K. J. Dahlen
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
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Max squatted near the opening in the rocky outcrop and took off his sunglasses. He was hot and tired and had just about given up finding this place. He wasn’t eager to go inside since the inside of the opening was dark and uninviting. But Max knew he had to go in there. The small hole in the side of the cliff was barely big enough for a child to scramble into let alone a full size man, but he knew he didn’t have a choice. God, I hate small places, he thought as he crawled inside. The hole was small and cramped and Max had to bend over to get through. I really hate small places, he emphasized as he struggled to get through the cramped opening. The hole in the cliff had been harder to find than he expected. The directions given to him by two young boys hadn’t been all that clear.

The boys said the opening was straight up from the dam below and a little left of the big oak tree. What they failed to tell him was which big oak tree. The whole hill was littered with oak trees right up to the base of the cliff.

It had taken him the better part of an hour to find the opening. There had been a lot of hillside to search. The boys had told him they left an old t-shirt to mark the opening, but Max hadn’t found the t-shirt. Some small animal or the wind must have carried it away. He hoped he had the right entrance this time.

He’d found a couple of other openings in the rock face that had led him nowhere. This opening appeared to be the one the boys had described. According to the boys, this small cave led to a cavern with the treasure. Max hoped it led somewhere.

His hands and face were scratched up from pushing brambles and brush out of his way. The thought had also occurred to him that the seldom visited, rocky part of the side of a cliff just a little ways north of the town Max was sheriff of, might be just the spot to run into a snoozing wolf or worse yet a rattlesnake. He heard something scramble out of his way a couple of times, but he hadn’t heard the symbolic rattle of the snake so whatever remained hidden from his sight wasn’t a snake. He’d tried to make enough noise to ward off unexpected company and hoped he hadn’t sounded like a complete idiot in the process. If anyone had spotted him, they would have thought he was drunk in the middle of the morning and that would never do for a sheriff.

The flashlight he held in his hand did little to penetrate the utter darkness that surrounded him. The cave walls and floor were slimy with what Max didn’t even want to hazard a guess and it smelled even worse. It smelled like something crawled in this narrow opening and died. The boys who found the cave might think this little venture was "neat", but Max didn’t. He’d lost his sense of adventure for little games like this a long time ago. He couldn’t believe he was here now.

The boys had been in this cave a couple of days before and had found what they thought was an Indian burial place. They had been reluctant at first to tell anyone of their find but eventually told their dads. As a result, Richard Crabtree had brought his son, Timmy, to see him. Max could tell that Timmy hadn’t wanted to tell anyone about his secret place and Max hadn’t been all that interested in the boy’s tale. Most of it was just the imagination of a ten year old. It wasn’t until Timmy mentioned the skeletons that Max became interested.

Max knew enough about the local tribes in Wisconsin to know they didn’t bury their dead above ground in forgotten caves. The boys told him that they hadn’t seen or found any other Indian artifacts and Timmy was positive someone else had robbed the cave of all its treasure. As sheriff, Max felt bound to check out their story. If there were skeletons in there, he had to find out why.

All-in-all, this is an enjoyable mystery that kept my interest from beginning to end.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Christine Presents: Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart
Christine Young

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"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!

Christine Presents" Safari Moon

Safari Moon

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

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Solo St. John, a wildlife photographer, is preparing for a trip to Alaska.  Suddenly, Solo finds women of all sorts invading his privacy, his home and his office, all cooing nonsense words and blatantly throwing themselves at him.  Solo doesn't know why, and he has no idea how to rid himself of the persistent women.  He finally decides to beg a favor of his best buddy Nyssa Harrington. 


Wanted: A professional wildlife photographer to take pictures in the Alaskan wilderness. Experience first hand a real safari moon. Call(555)381-1252 or send resumes to 2286 Main, Suite 2D Bend, Oregon.

Solo St. John was in the middle of an erotic dream about his buddy, Nyssa Harrington, when the click of his front door shutting brought him to instant alert mode.

Solo looked up, caught a flashing glimpse of a good deal of naked flesh; long legs, perfectly rounded derriere, and a waist he could span with his hands. The intruder's long blond hair curled around her shoulders an inch above the ties of her bikini top.

Then he saw the skunk. He blinked twice.

This woman and the skunk were not the subject of his brief and very strange dream, a fantasy that made his mind speed along at sixty in a residential zone. This was someone he had never seen before and he resented the intrusion.

"Hello," she cooed seductively from his living room. "Will you come out and play?"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Christine Presents: My Angel

My Angel by Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

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This is the 4th book in the Lakota/Pinkerton series
Dakota's Bride, My Angel, The Locket, The Talisman, and Forever His

Denver, 1893

A polished azure sky looked down on a day that vacillated between winter and spring--a day unable to make up its mind. Cool breezes lifted Angela Chamberlain's brand-new canary yellow skirt off the moisture-laden sidewalk. A blazing hot sun dried the puddles in the street left over from last night's deluge.

Unlike the day, Angela had no trouble making up her mind. Angela knew what she wanted out of life. She touched one finger to the sapphire earrings adorning her newly pierced ears.

She wanted adventure.

She had a terrible craving to see the world--to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to walk the Great Wall of China. She yearned to fly in a hot-air balloon high above the earth, or ride in a gondola in Venice. She wanted to fall in love with a man who was as brave and smart as her father and as dangerous as Devil Blackmoor.

Angela's wish list had no end.

Instead of adventure and romance, in three short weeks she'd be enrolled in Miss Somebody's finishing school for young ladies, where knowing which fork to use was more important than riding with the wind on her favorite horse, Kangee. A place where changing one's clothes three times or more each day was common practice.

Two days ago she'd told her father she didn't want to go.

And two days ago her father had told her she would learn to appreciate the schooling and that she was a very lucky young woman. He'd also promised her a trip to the continent for a graduation present.

A graduation present! She wanted to yell at him, but wisely kept her mouth shut. She wanted to travel now. Today. But more than anything, she didn't want to be confined to the stuffy drawing rooms in the East. Just like her father, she needed freedom. But her father meant to take the choice from her.

To gossip and chatter with rich society women was not her destiny. To know which wine was served with fish would not make her happy. This was his dream for her. Sam Chamberlain needed to look to his own heart and remember the choices he had made twenty-five years ago.

Her destiny was out there somewhere, waiting for her to snap it up and hold the moment close to her heart. She knew what she wanted, and to prove her point, she'd bought a camera and had the machine sent over to the hotel. She meant to photograph all her adventures, every nook and cranny, every monument, every intriguing person.

Across the street and down two blocks, Devil Blackmoor had just taken the saddle off his horse. He brushed the stallion's back, all the while petting the animal's sleek coat and crooning into the horse's ear. Mesmerized, she watched his hands and the gentle way he stroked the horse.

She wished she had her camera.

Devil Blackmoor commanded her attention. He symbolized everything a father cautioned his daughter to be wary of. Despite the warning, Devil's strong jaw, his powerful shoulders and the confident way he held himself beckoned to every feminine nerve in Angela's body.

Angela clutched her hands to her chest, willing her gaze to shift to something or someone who wouldn't shatter her senses and set her blood boiling. Helpless to control her wayward heart, she kept looking back at Devil. She noticed everything about him, the way he moved, the way his denim jeans clung to his legs and the way they molded to his backside. Devil laughed at something the bouncer from the saloon said, and when he smiled, one edge of his mouth tilted crookedly. Ange­la's heart swooned and fluttered, and she thought she might never breathe again.