Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christine Presents Love Beyond The Curve

Please welcome Kate Patrick author of Love Beyond the Curve.

Kate will be awarding a $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of each week of the tour; and a $25 Visa Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour as well as a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

Love Beyond the Curve
by Kate Patrick



Charlotte is shocked to find her new landlord, Reed Jackson, is tall, dark, and gorgeous.  The two become fast friends, enjoying times spent together, more than times apart. Charlotte can’t believe that Reed finds her curvaceous figure incredibly sexy.  Can Reed convince her he wants to be more than just “friends with benefits”? 

Will Charlotte and Reed find… Love Beyond the Curve?


“Reed, I’m going to lift you up enough to give you some more pain medication.  It will help you stay more comfortable.  I don’t want you to go too long without it.  We need to keep it coming until the worst is over.  I’m going to ease you up and give you the pill now.” She leaned over him and slipped her arm underneath to lift him up.  As she did, her breasts were right over his face. 
“I’ve thought about this more than once you know, but I wasn’t incapacitated at the time.  God, you smell good.  All clean and soapy.”   Reed easily confessed his thoughts while still under the influence of strong painkillers.
Charlotte laughed her warm, throaty laugh, and held the glass for him to drink water with the pill.   “You smell good yourself, Jackson.  I gave you a bath before I tucked you in.”
“Sorry I missed it.  You didn’t take advantage of me, did you?  I wouldn’t have minded, Charlotte.” He grabbed her wrist as she eased him back onto the pillows.
“No, Jackson, I didn’t take advantage of you.  In fact, Tyler and Joe were watching me the whole time, just to be sure I behaved myself.” She laughed again as she took his wrist in her hand to check his pulse rate. 
“That sounds kind of kinky, Hamilton.  I would never have figured you for the dangerous type.” He groggily flirted with her as she put a thermometer in his ear to check his temperature.
“You’d be surprised about a lot of things I’m into, Jackson.  Now stop your fantasizing and go back to sleep.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kate Patrick grew up in the South. She can’t recall a time in her life when she didn’t love to read. She remembers going to the library as a child where she devoured biographies and Nancy Drew mysteries. Her love of reading has continued into adulthood, but it is hot romance that she loves to write! While in high school and college, she and her sister began to write romantic stories about girls that met their dream guys who fell instantly in love with them. Even these early manuscripts were spicy enough that the need to “hide” these notebooks was a high priority when leaving the house!

Writing took a backseat to a teaching career, marriage, and motherhood, though books were constant companions. Love stories became a favorite, and began to take the place of mysteries more and more. About three years ago, the idea of writing was rekindled. Now, you can find her late at night typing away by the blue glow of her laptop screen.

She and her husband live on the Gulf Coast with their son and three quirky Pomeranians. When not writing or reading, Kate loves to sing, dance, and watch romantic movies, side-splitting comedies, and crime dramas. Spending time connecting with family and friends is an important priority for her as well.


Facebook:  @Kate Patrick

Twitter:  @katepatrick1

Available at Publisher’s Site:

Available in January at:  and

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christine Young Presents - Smitten At First Sight

Please welcome Marie Astor author of Smitten At First Sight.  Marie will be awarding to five randomly drawn commenters at the end of the tour, one of the following five custom-designed jewelry prizes:

Prize 1: Blue quartz three strand necklace with sterling silver clasp
Prize 2: Jade and prehnite necklace
Prize 3: Green aventurine sterling silver earrings
Prize 4: Smoky quartz sterling silver earrings
Prize 5: Rose quartz sterling silver earrings       

Smitten At First Sight
by Marie Astor



Maggie Robin has been dating the irresistibly good-looking, successful Jeffrey Preston for two years. But when Jeffrey proposes marriage a week after Maggie’s college graduation, she is no longer sure if she wants to marry a workaholic TV producer.

Maggie’s doubts culminate when during a ski trip to British Columbia, she meets Taylor Denton, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier who is the complete opposite of Jeffrey. It does not take Maggie long to realize that she has fallen in love with Taylor and she decides to break off her engagement with Jeffrey. But just when she thinks she has found the love of her life, an ill-fated misunderstanding tears Maggie and Taylor apart.

A week later, Maggie is told that Taylor has died in a tragic ski accident; yet, her heart refuses to believe in Taylor’s death. When Maggie returns to Taylor’s native town, she learns that Taylor is indeed alive, but has been seriously injured. Resolved to bring her lover back to life Maggie stands by Taylor’s side, convincing him to embrace life again.


“Well, well – when the cat is away the mice come out to play.” Bethany took a sip of Maggie’s hot chocolate.
As if on cue, Maggie’s cell phone rang – it was Jeffrey’s ringtone. Maggie motioned for Bethany to be quiet.
“Hi, honey.” Jeffrey’s voice cooed in the receiver. “I just wanted to say good morning to my Maggie. Sorry I didn’t say goodbye today – I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Hi, Jeffrey. How is your day going?” Even though she had not done anything wrong, Maggie could not help feeling guilty.
“Oh, everything is fine – just a few things we need to hammer out, but I should be back in four days tops.”
Maggie knew not to press him about the details – Jeffrey was always “hammering things out” and he preferred not to go into specifics. “I thought you said two days before.”
“Well, things got a bit more complicated than I thought – I promise to tell you all about it when I get back. I’ve got to go.” Jeffrey’s voice sounded hurried. “I love you, babe.”
Before she could reply, the line went dead.
“Was that Jeffrey?” asked Bethany. Without waiting for an answer, she continued, “I can’t say I blame you – you deserve to have some fun while Jeffrey is off doing whatever it is he’s doing.” Bethany smirked. “But you could have just told me that you were going to hook up with Taylor – it would have saved me the trip up here. But then I should have known – the way Taylor looked at you. Just be careful so that Jeffrey doesn’t suspect anything.”
“Bethany, what are you talking about? I ran into Taylor by accident and I don’t have any plans to cheat on Jeffrey.”
“In my mind cheating is too strong a word – it sounds very judgmental.” Bethany licked the hot chocolate foam off her lips. “Besides, Jeffrey has his fun when he wants to, why shouldn’t you?”
“Are you telling me that Jeffrey cheated on me?” Maggie’s head was swimming. “You knew and you never told me?”
Bethany clasped her hand over her mouth. “That’s not what I meant, it came out all wrong.”
“Don’t lie to me, Bethany. I want to know the truth. If you are my friend, you’ll tell me the truth about him.”
“I am telling you the truth.” Bethany flung her arms. “All I meant was that Jeffrey has been way too busy with work lately - you told me so yourself, and that he has not been paying much attention to you. That’s all - I swear!”
The panicky notes in Bethany’s voice gave her away. Maggie’s heart sank at the realization that she had been a fool all this time. “Say what you want Bethany, it doesn’t matter anyway since I’m not going to marry him.”
“Maggie, have you lost your mind?” Bethany’s eyes widened. “Jeffrey is a real catch - tons of girls would kill to swap places with you. Don’t you think that maybe you could just look the other way? Things aren’t always black and white.”
“I can’t believe you’re saying this.”
“Oh, come on, you knew that Jeffrey was a playboy when you met him – I thought the two of you had an understanding. What did you think – that he reformed overnight?”
“He told me that that part of his life was over and done with and I believed him.”
“Well things don’t work like that, Maggie. I’m sorry to be the one to burst your bubble – I should have kept my mouth shut, but I beg you to think things over before you say anything to Jeffrey. Think about it, Maggie – you could have a charmed life with him – the kind of life few men can provide. So what if you have to turn a blind eye now and then? You can have your own fun on the side. And for Christ’s sake, please don’t tell Jeffrey about this conversation – if he finds out, he’ll guess that Charlie told me and their friendship will be shot. But what am I worrying about - you’d never do anything like that to me, right? And you’re not going to break up with Jeffrey – the two of you love each other. Both of you are in my wedding party.”
“Would you just listen to yourself? What’s happened to you? We used to be friends; we used to tell each other everything. I can’t believe you covered up for Jeffrey all this time, and now that I’m telling you that I want to leave him, all you care about is that I might upset your wedding plans?”
“That’s not true.” Bethany pursed her lips. “I never lied to you. I care about you – you are my best friend. You are the one turning your back on everything. Charlie and Jeffrey are really close. How are we supposed to go on being friends if you break up with Jeffrey?”
“We can still be friends. That is if you still want to be friends,” Maggie retorted hotly, although at the moment, she was not sure of that herself. 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels Lucky Charm, Smitten at First Sight, This Tangled Thing Called Love, romantic suspense novel, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window.

If you would like to find out more about Marie’s books, please visit Marie at her website:

Amazon author page:



Good Reads:

Books by Marie Astor:

To Catch a Bad Guy:

This Tangled Thing Called Love:

Lucky Charm:

Smitten at First Sight:

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.


Don't Forget to Leave a Comment!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Christine Young Presents The Talisman

The Talisman by Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buffalo Creek,
South Dakota

Hot, dry air scorched the prairie grass. Sweat slid along his spine. Danger clung to every whisper; seemed to swirl and grow with each passing second. Ivan Civanovich watched the woman below. With deadly purpose, he studied the lady who had hired him--the woman who had bought his gun and perhaps death.
"Reckless courage," Ivan mused.
"Si Senor, she does have what you call a great courage, but I don’t know about the reckless part. She is always so very careful," Pedro said.
"I’m a dangerous man, Pedro."
"This is why she hired you."
"The lady has no business hiring men like me. She’s a woman. She is supposed to nurture lives."
"She needs you to keep the bad men from taking the land away--our home," Pedro said.
Ivan pushed the tip of his hat back from his brows. From his vantage point, he considered the woman while she hung the freshly laundered white sheets on the line. A strange shudder swept through him, his muscles tensing with the sudden feeling he knew this woman, had known her forever. The sensations were too strong, the feelings too acute, and it troubled him because knowing her was impossible.
Her hair, a wild mop of red curls, battled with the stiff, hot wind rising off the prairie. The breeze and her hair flowed in undulating currents between the lines, threatening to tangle themselves in the wire. She bent over at the waist, giving him a perfect view of her backside while she toyed with something on the ground. Seconds later she picked up the object of her curiosity, turned it over in her hands then tossed it aside.
He didn’t like to think about what could happen to her in the next few weeks. She’d advertised for a gun for a hire. She didn’t know what she bargained for, and he’d bet his inheritance she didn’t have any idea what kind of trouble she’d purchased.
When she looked up the hill, his grin widened. She couldn’t see him, but her shoulders tensed and she sucked air. Her hand touched her forehead, shielding her eyes from the blinding sunlight. She scanned the horizon, turning a complete circle before she stopped.
"Good," he said, "she is cautious."
"She knows someone is up here," Pedro announced.
"She’s got more starch in her drawers and the stiffest backbone of any woman I’ve ever seen." Ivan whistled through his teeth, his eyes intent and focused upon the woman.
"Si." Pedro agreed. "She sure enough does but her heart is made of spun gold."
Ivan wiped the back of his hand across his forehead. Beads of sweat dripped down his back. His gaze swept across the barren landscape then followed the line of trees that bordered the creek. He lifted the glasses to his eyes and turned his attention to a spot about a mile north of her ranch. The railroad wanted easement rights. So why wouldn’t she sell to them. "Spun gold, huh." He dropped the binoculars, letting them dangle from their strap around his neck.
"Si, boss."
"I see." Ivan leaned forward, resting his forearm on the saddle horn.
Ivan wasn’t sure he understood. Women had a lot of fine qualities, many of which he didn’t want to live without but a soft, feminine heart shouldn’t be deciding life and death matters.
Spun gold. No, he’d never met a female with a heart of gold, spun or otherwise. He’d never known a woman who wouldn’t betray a man for a piece of gold. Save one, he amended, and his best friend had married her. Alexi Popov had his trials too. He had kidnapped Angela and spirited her away to his home in the Crimea. In the end though, he gave up his title, his land, and most of his wealth for Angela. He followed her back to America and married her.

This is a wonderful tale, full of action, emotion and a bit mystical at times. Enjoy this one.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More  4 Cups

Monday, January 28, 2013

Christine Young Features Highland Quest

Please welcome B.J. Scott  author of Highland Quest. If you leave a comment, you will be eligible to win a prize.

The author will award gifts of swag (including a canvas tote bag, a mouse pad, a pen, book thong, bookmark, can cooler, magnet, and key chain -- US/Canada only) to randomly drawn commenters from this tour and her Virtual Book Tour, and a grand prize of one $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour and her Super Book Blast.

Highland Quest
by B. J. Scott



No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser's chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?


1.What or who inspired you to start writing?

Being a true Gemini and blessed with the gift of gab and the need to tell a story, I come by it naturally ;)  I have always had a fondness for reading and writing, but started to write in earnest about ten years go. I took a few creative writing classes at the local college and the day my teacher wrote on my assignment “Have you ever thought about writing for Harlequin?” I asked myself, was it because she thought my writing was good or too sentimental? She encouraged me to take my love of writing that step further and suggested I submit my manuscripts to publishers.

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

I know it sounds cliché, but they just come to me. I have always loved historical romance and anything to do with Celtic history, especially Scottish so this seemed like a good place to start. I am constantly coming up with new ideas and characters so always have a pen and pad ready to write down the ideas. There are so many stories, just need to find the time to write them.
3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
Researching the time period in which the story takes place is crucial if you want to be taken seriously as a historical romance writer. Readers of this genre tend to be very well versed in the eras and expect accuracy and historical facts peppered into with the story. The hardest part is not to let the history overshadow the romance. You don’t want it to become a history lesson  
4.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
Like many writers my goal is to be able to write full time and give up the day jobs. I am currently working on book three of the Highlander Series and have several other works in progress.
5.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I love both my heroines for different reasons, but think I would choose Fallon from Highland Quest. She is not only resourceful and a woman of conviction, but she possesses a level of compassion and self-sacrifice that shines through time and time again. The fact she never gives up, no matter how dire the circumstance is something I admire in a person.
6.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I did belong to two large critique groups but found it difficult to do my share of the critiques and keep up my own writing. I found the wide range of taste and writing experience in the members also made it challenging. I now work with three crit-partners and find this works well. I need extra eyes to go over my work, since a writer often misses what other see, and working with people who have similar goals and critique ethics is great. We offer suggestions and honest opinions but do not try to rewrite the person’s book. Having three amazing, supportive women with teaching/literature/English backgrounds is very helpful too.
7.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
I had been working on manuscripts for couple of years when I met my husband. Things got so busy that I put writing aside for several years and concentrated on our marriage and life together. A couple of years ago the writing bug bit again and I started to jot down my ideas, when my hubby asked what I was doing and read my work, he encouraged me to follow my dream and submit my manuscripts.
8.What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
Best Advice: Write…write…write. Never give up and use the rejection notices and constructive criticisms you are bound to get to your advantage.
Worst advice: really all advice can be used to better your understanding of the craft. But assuming once the book is done, the publisher will do all the promo is a misconception. A writer does the lion’s share so needs to be prepared.
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 am a huge history buff and love anything to do with Celtic and Scottish history, Civil war time period, war of 1812 and Native American history, so this naturally carries over into my work. I have spent some time in the museum studies and as a costumed interpreter at a historical village so that helps to get you into character too. I was also involved in war of 1812 and Civil War reenactments.
10.         Do you have an all time favorite book?
As a child, C. S. Lewis sparked my interest in books so The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe will always have a place in my heart. I think I took the book out of the school library at least 10 times when I was in the fourth grade.

11.         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I am currently working on book three of my series. This book while a stand alone title picks up where Highland Quest leaves off. It features Alasdair Fraser, the oldest brother and least likely of the three to fall in love or take a bride. When he finds a beautiful woman, unconscious on the beach and has no choice but to care for her, his convictions as a sworn bachelor are put to the test.

12.         What is your favorite reality show?
I am drawn to the talent shows like Dancing with the stars, so you think you can dance, the Voice, X factor. Not a fan of the ones that have people stranded on an island or ones like the Bachelor.
13.         Who are your favorite actor and actress?
Can’t honestly say I have a favorite right now. I don’t have much time for TV or movies so am out of the loop in this area.

14.         Anything else you might want to add?

Thanks Christine


Loch Ryan Scotland, 1307

“Wa . . . water,” Bryce mumbled, but there was no one there to listen.

 His throat was parched and he ran his tongue over dry, cracked lips, but his action offered no relief. An entire loch lay only a few feet away, but he couldn’t muster the strength to drag himself to the bank and quench his thirst.

“Cold . . . so cold.”

 Despite the sun beating down on him, he’d swear he was encased in ice. His life’s blood seeped from his wounds, soaking the ground beneath him. He tried to raise his head, but the excruciating pain radiating across his chest stole his breath away.

Was this what it felt like to die? If so, he prayed the Almighty would be merciful and take him now.

Bryce moaned, a shift in his position bringing on another nauseating wave of agony. He sucked in a short, sharp, gulp of air and stretched his arm out as far as he could, his fingers grappling in the dirt.

If only I could reach my sword.

Beads of perspiration dampened his brow. As the strength slowly drained from his body, drawing a simple breath became more difficult. The end grew near. No time to make amends for sins of the past, and he had committed his share.

Regrets? He had those, too. “Fallon.” He whispered her name then heaved a ragged sigh.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.


Soul Mate Publishing  

Barnes and Noble


Don't forget to leave a comment.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Christine Young Presents Dakota's Bride

Pick up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance for

Dakota's Bride by Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Moonless and frigid, the December night sent chills down Emma's spine. Yet she didn't stop at the lighted inn nearby, nor did she break stride when she stumbled over a rut in the muddy road. Instead, she pulled her skirts higher. A carriage raced by, hell-bent in the same direction, spitting mud as it flew past

A frantic look over her shoulder did nothing to relieve the fear. He was closing on her, forcing her from her hiding place. She stopped for a moment while she quickly shook the mud off her cape, then she turned to the little girl.

"You all right, Clare?" Emma asked.

The little girl nodded but didn't say anything, her face screwed tight with concentration, her breaths ragged and hard.

The big Mississippi paddle wheeler, due to leave in ten minutes, let out two loud, booming whistles. To Emma's frayed nerves, the sound was heart-stopping.

The wind from the docks smelled of fish and tar. When it shifted, she could make out the aroma of fresh baked scones coming from the inn. Emma gripped the tiny hand she held in her own a little tighter, and prayed that Clare could keep up the pace.

"It's only a wee bit farther. We can make it," Emma told the little girl, her sister. Half sister, she reminded herself.

Clare's father was not her own. His demonically hand­some face leering at her while he calmly explained what he meant for Emma to do in the bordello was something she'd never forget.

Clare was a tiny and very fragile seven-year old. She had loving green eyes and a long, slender nose coupled with delicate cheekbones. Emma knew that someday Clare would grow into a classic beauty.

One long blond lock of hair slipped loose from Clare's cap. The little girl pushed it away with her free hand, wrinkling her nose disgustedly.

Frost coated the road, and each hurried step caused the almost frozen mud to crunch beneath their feet. A horse and rider passed them, the man tipping his hat as he and his mount thundered by. Church bells rang out, the sound hollow and thin. It was almost six o'clock. She had five minutes to reach the boat.

A gust of wind caught her broadside and whisked the hood of her cape off the top of her head. She grabbed the soft fur and pulled the fabric back where it belonged. Distracted by the wind and her haste to reach the boat, Emma caught the toe of her shoe on a rock and balanced precariously for an instant.

She swore softly under her breath.

Had only one month passed?

No, three weeks ago her mother had died and two weeks ago she had learned the awful truth. Lawrence Stevens had slowly poisoned her mother. He had given her a small dose of arsenic each day until finally her mother took to her bed. Several days later Emma had held her mother's hand while she breathed her last.

Emma would never have known about the murder if she hadn't overheard Stevens speaking in harsh whispers with a friend of his. There were other things said and promised, things Emma had not wanted to acknowledge.

Disbelief and denial had caused her to waste precious time. Seven days had come and gone since she'd had her last horrible encounter with her stepfather. It was an encounter that had left her with no doubts that everything she'd heard was the god-awful truth. Stevens had meant to sell her to a whorehouse. Still, she'd had a difficult time believing the extent of Lawrence Stevens's depravity. But when he'd installed her in Madame leBon's bordello, she realized too late that her life was in grave jeopardy.

And Clare, sweet, sweet Clare, had understood all she'd told her and perhaps more. With the eyes of a child, Clare had somehow sensed the evil that surrounded her father long before anyone else did.

Five long days and nights they'd spent on the run. Clare had not complained. No matter how exhausted or hungry she was, the little girl had pressed on, understanding the imminent danger that faced Emma. Clare had somehow known that Emma had to get as far away from Lawrence as possible.

This incredible romance is one I positively fell in love with and is good enough to read again and again.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
4 Cups
I can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a book: Dakota’s Bride took over my weekend, and even now, am wishing to go peruse it one more time…
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon Long and Short Reviews 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Christine Young Hosts Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart
Christine Young

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at:

"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!