Monday, November 24, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: Rebel Heart by Christine Young



Rebel Heart
Christine Young
achristay@aol.com

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at Amazon

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!


BLURB: 

HER REBEL SPIRIT DEFIED HIS OUTSIDERS SOUL...
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...

HIS OUTSIDERS TOUCH IGNITED RAGING PASSIONS...
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.

EXCERPT:

"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.

"No.”

"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!




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Romance Sunday: Legacy of Angels by Genie Gabriel



Legacy of Angels
Genie Gabriel
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3



BLURB:

Claudia deGras was forced into prostitution by her mother at age twelve. In spite of the trauma and abuse, she dreams of a respectful life filled with joy, laughter and the love of one man. Ironically, that man is Patrick O'Shea, a priest facing demons of his own. Since seminary, he has suffered memory loss and darkness at the edges of his vision that extend into his soul. They are drawn together in a deeply emotional journey of healing that becomes a life-and-death challenge to outwit the twisted man-beast who has vowed revenge against all he thinks have wronged him.
"I'm not safe anywhere." Terror beat in Claudia deGras' heart, pulsed through her veins, shut down any rational thought. Get out of here!

EXCERPT:

She bolted toward the door, not daring to look back as the sound of heavy footsteps followed her.

The old brown sedan sitting in the driveway always had the keys in the ignition. Most of the time, it started without much protest.

Claudia flung open the door and cranked the key. The engine caught and roared as she shoved the accelerator to the floor. Two doors banged shut as the old Buick slid sideways on the gravel, then found traction on the pavement.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Patrick O'Shea on the wide bench seat beside her, his hand braced against the dashboard for balance, but his face reflected his normal serenity.

Could she trust him? Did she have a choice? And where was she going?

She eased her foot off the accelerator and settled the old sedan into a speed that wouldn't get them stopped by the police, though patrols were rare on this sparsely traveled road in Eastern Oregon.

While she drove the highway in silence, the childhood memories of curses and shouting and fists landing heavy blows on her body receded, and her panicked mind calmed down.

No one had harmed her today. In fact, over the last few weeks the O'Shea siblings, including Patrick, had rearranged their lives to protect her from the man-beast who stalked her.

She shivered.

The man-beast was the real danger.

"Take the next exit." Patrick's deep voice interrupted Claudia's thoughts.

Patrick's wisdom and gentleness had provided a balm to Claudia's soul many times during the time she had been recovering from her physical wounds at his mother's rambling farmhouse. Today, she discovered the emotional fears were deeper than she imagined. Facing the man-beast again--even in her memory--pushed her into a panicked flight.

Now reason was returning and adrenaline ebbing, and Claudia floundered. Once again, Patrick's reassuring voice provided an anchor, so she followed his instructions. Down a paved road for several miles, flanked on either side by acres of rangeland turning dusty gold in the early summer heat. Then another turn onto a graveled road with no other traffic. Finally off any road entirely, bumping over the rangeland to come to a stop under a sheltering copse of trees near a lake.

After Claudia turned off the engine, Patrick opened the car door. "Come with me."

He walked toward the lake, not looking back.

Claudia watched him for long minutes. Was he simply going to leave her?

The land sloped downward where Patrick now walked, making it seem like he was disappearing. When only the top of his head was still in view, panic seized Claudia once again. "Wait!"

She jumped out of the car and slammed the door behind her, running to catch up with Patrick. She topped the knoll and stopped, her chest rising and falling rapidly with exertion and fright.

Patrick stood looking up at her, the same serene expression on his face. Then he turned and continued walking to the water's edge. Hidden in the tall reeds was a raft that looked as if it would sink with the weight of the family of ducks swimming nearby. However, when Patrick climbed on, the craft barely dipped before stabilizing. He turned and reached out his hand in invitation. Cautious but curious, Claudia climbed aboard.

Using a long pole, Patrick pushed them across the lake and under a rocky outcropping. He secured the raft to a sawed-off tree stump that served as a pier post for a make-shift dock and stepped off. "Be careful. It can be slippery."

Intrigued, Claudia once again took Patrick's hand and climbed off the raft. They walked toward a sheer rock cliff topped by ruins of what could have been an ancient stone cathedral. However, as they reached the cliff, Patrick slipped through a notch in one of the rocks. Once inside, he retrieved a flashlight from a pocket in the rock wall and turned it on, revealing a narrow corridor. Claudia followed him down a winding pathway for what seemed like miles. Patrick walked without hesitation, turning down side tunnels until she felt totally disoriented.

At last he stopped in front of a solid rock wall. Well, it appeared solid. Until he slid aside what must have been a doorway, revealing into a cavernous room.

"Where are we?" Claudia asked.


Patrick turned with a half-smile. "Safe. That's what you wanted, right?"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Addicted to Writing Presents Sci/fi Fantasy Saturday: The Lending Library by C. L. Kraemer



The Lending Library
C. L. Kraemer
clkraemer@hotmail.com

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Buy at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Lending+Library+by+C.L.+Kraemer

Faeries try to fit into the human world when the forest where they make their home is destroyed by a mysterious enemy.


EXCERPT
Chapter One

Ailidh wobbled precariously on her high heels.

Kayne smirked. "Having problems, dear?"

"Shut up!" she snapped. "I need to practice this until I get it right. We don’t really have many options left open to us, Kayne. You had better practice, too."

He stopped and steadied himself on the railing of the porch. He wriggled his feet out of the closed leather shoes that encased them.

"I don’t know why you insist we wear these ridiculous articles of clothing. This long-sleeved shirt cuts off the circulation to my hands not to mention the lack of space for my wings and these long pants chap my legs.

"Worst of all, are these horrendous leather shoes. They pinch and make my feet swell. Why do we have to go through all of this? I don’t understand." Kayne grumbled.

Ailidh sighed and slowly, patiently explained to him, once again, why they were practicing.

"Remember last Wednesday when Keegan and Connal lost their dwelling? The sound of their tree crashing to the ground was deafening. The Others are moving out more and more. We will lose our home if we don’t act first. Now, put your shoes back on and walk for just five more minutes."

Kayne wrestled his shirt off and threw it to the porch’s deck. He pulled the long pants off his body and left them in a heap next to the shirt. Bending forward, he touched his toes gingerly as he gradually unfurled his lacey wings. Slowly, he pulled himself to an upright position. Shoulders back, wings completely expanded, he lifted his 18-inch form to its full height and looked at Ailidh defiantly.

"I don’t need to fit into the Others’ world. They need to adjust themselves to my world and leave us alone."

Ailidh, teetering, grabbed the lower railing of the porch and shook her head.

"Kayne, most of the Others don’t even know we exist. How can they adjust to something they don’t even believe?"

"They adjust to animals, don’t they?"

"The animals chose to be seen. We did not. Remember? Our great, great grandfathers took a vote and decided we would endanger ourselves more if we continued to be visible to the Others. At that time, they didn’t have all the machinery they have now. They moved into our lands at a slower pace. Now, put on the clothes and try to adjust."

"No." Kayne kicked at the clothing on the porch. "I’m going to get a magazine and a cup of coffee. You can stand here and practice day and night for all I care."

He turned on his heels and lifted himself off the ground with his delicate appendages. He lazily winged his way into the open window of the building marked Lending Library.

Hovering until he landed on the balls of his feet, he folded the wings tight to his torso and walked to the corner of the building signed Coffee Shop. He sat in a small chair snugged close to the matching table. Sliding the Newsweek someone had tossed on the table toward him, he flipped through the pages. Minimized for easier handling, the magazine was still large enough to require both of his hands to turn the pages. A diminutive nymph in a waitress uniform with a "Chrissy" nametag took his order for a latte. Ten minutes later, she returned with the steaming liquid in a cup.

"Thanks, Chrissy." Kayne picked up the cup carefully and took a sip.

"No problem, Kayne," she had a surprisingly deep voice for a nymph. "Where’s Ailidh?"

Kayne jerked a thumb over his shoulder toward the front porch.

"Practicing," he grunted.

"Oh," Chrissy mopped the table next to Kayne’s with a wet rag then flew daintily to the kitchen with the dirty cups and saucers she’d picked up. One of the resident dryads of the valley, Chrissy was living in the tree behind the Lending Library. Her home across the meadow had been one of the first destroyed.

Ailidh is right. Kayne frowned at the silent admission. The Others were invading his world with frightening, swift, uncaring swaths into the forestlands. Soon there wouldn’t be an Ancient tree left. While, at a glance, their movements seemed random, even careless, Kayne had noted a pattern, albeit haphazard, to their actions. Months earlier he’d watched from a safe distance as the huge screeching yellow machines ripped up his ancient wood friends and squashed their bodies beneath armored tracks. He could never be sure whether the squealing had been the old trees or the vicious yellow machines. After the first occasion of watching as they destroyed a sea of Ancients, Kayne had left on shaky wings and flown home. Ailidh was furious at him, thinking he’d been with his friends drinking honeysuckle wine. He couldn’t stop throwing up long enough to tell her what he’d seen.