Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christine Presents: The Locket

The Locket by Chrsitine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Oregon Coast,1894

Bone-weary from a hard day at sea, Misha trudged up the long mud-rutted road to the boarding house that sat on top a hill less than a mile outside Mist Harbor, Oregon. A thick, cold mist hovered close to the ground wetting everything: the rhododendrons that grew wild, the azaleas that lined the cement walkway to the front porch, and the saw grass that grew easily in the sandy soil. Misha paused a moment to push back a lock of hair that repeatedly fell across his brow and into his eyes.

The land was windswept and salt battered, yet he enjoyed the salt-taste of the air and the swooping sea birds as well as the playful sea animals. He loved the way the trees bent to the power of the wind and found a way to survive despite the brutality of the elements.

His purpose here was short lived, he reminded himself. He didn’t intend to find himself attached to these parts in any way.

He smelled of a hard days work. The lingering aroma of sweat and Chinook salmon filled his nostrils. It was not a scent he had any use for, but for the time being the job on the fishing boat gave him a reason for staying in the small coastal town. Right now he couldn’t wait to submerse himself in a hot bath, wash the stench from his body, and ease his stiff, strained muscles.

The sea had always been one of his favorite places. But fishing?

By God no, he’d just as soon relax and watch the sails billow on a clipper as the majestic ship rounded the horn or stand at the tiller with the wind whistling around him. He’d even rather battle a hurricane off the Bermudas.

Blending in with the people who lived in this small coastal village had been imperative.

The quest he’d undertaken had led him straight to Miss Ariel Cameron’s boarding house in Mist Harbor, and there the trail stopped. Thinking about Ariel set his nerves on edge.

Ariel was willow thin, femininely delicate, and hardly capable of the atrocities he’d set out to avenge less than a year ago. Yet the evidence he’d uncovered had sent him here, to her home. The name he’d followed had been her name. The men he’d followed had landed in Mist Harbor more than once, her father one of them.

He walked up the immaculately kept steps to the house and opened the door to the screened in porch.

"Misha," the captain boomed out a welcome. "Fine weather we’re havin’ now. Just right for the salmon runs."

The rocker squeaked as the captain moved back and forth in the wicker chair.

"Just right," Misha acknowledged and stepped through the next door to the parlor. A blast of heat met him as he nodded his head in polite recognition to the other borders. In a pale blue day dress, Ariel moved with a slight limp through the hallway and disappeared into one of the first floor rooms. Even though she seemed to favor one leg, the sway of her hips enticed all of Misha's senses.

He didn’t understand the feeling but in a way no other woman had touched him, she beckoned to him. Her amber colored eyes were wide and when she smiled, they glistened and shimmered, reminding him of the bronze mosques in Constantinople when the sun beat upon them. Miss Ariel Cameron was unique--unconventional--and she fascinated him. She was the key to his revenge as well as his salvation.

The Locket is a very exciting tale with a dramatic setting. Overall, this is a very entertaining story.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

Monday, April 29, 2013

Christine Presents: His Jilted Bride

Please welcome Rose Gordon author of His Jilted Bride.

Rose will be awarding a $100 gift card to Amazon.com to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Reviews Tour.

His Jilted Bride
by Rose Gordon



It's her wedding day and there is no groom in sight. But why should Amelia Brice be surprised? Hiram, Lord Friar is known for having no gentleman's honor to speak of and his jilting her on their wedding day makes it official.

Elijah Banks cannot allow his childhood friend to continue to be shamed this way. It's been almost an hour past the time when the wedding was to start, and that bounder still hasn't shown up. Unable to sit still a second longer, Elijah does the only thing that seems logical from where he stands: kidnap the bride and marry her himself in order to escape this scandal with one far more forgiving for a young lady's reputation.

The only trouble is, she has a secret...but so does he; hers is big...but his is bigger.


1.    What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I am painfully shy and a super klutz. I just wanted to get that out there right off the bat. I’ve had readers and other authors email me to say that were we in school together, they assumed I’d have been the popular girl with all the friends. Not so. I’m actually very socially awkward and make a fool of myself quite frequently. The only saving grace I have to this is that I’m so used to myself, I can laugh about it and have no problem telling awkward stories about myself to others so they can get a chuckle, too.

2.    What or who inspired you to start writing?

I started writing my first book on my own, inspired mainly because I felt like I’d been reading the same story over and over and I wanted a change. In the words of Toni Morrison “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I started, but what kept me going was my husband wanted me to finish it. I’d started, now I must finish it. I had days where I was excited to do so and days I just wanted to throw it all away. That’s part of writing. I still have those days and at the time of writing this I’m currently working on my eleventh book. Those feelings never go away, I don’t think.

3.    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?

Oh yes. I play chess regularly, or I did anyway; as a result I have several chess players for characters. I also have a strong love of science and so do some of my characters, heroes and heroines alike. My husband has been teaching me for years how to fly fish. I say years, because even after eight years, I’m still terrible. As a result, I’ve given his ability to fly fish to two of my heroes (Paul Grimes hero of Liberty for Paul and Marcus, Lord Sinclair, hero of Her Reluctant Groom) and my lack of ability to their heroines. Of course, while they’re teaching or helping their counterpart learn to fly fish, I have them say things my husband says to me and the heroines messing it up—just like me! I will also admit that there are a few skills I’ve given to my characters that I wish I had, such as the ability to paint...

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

Best—Write. Nora Roberts once said something to the effect of if nothing else, make yourself write two pages. Even if you have to completely change them later and delete part, at least you have the two pages to do that with. If you don’t write anything, then you don’t have anything to change. Even when “stuck”, I’ve learned that if I try write something—anything at all, it’s easier to get unstuck than when I go days without writing just because I can’t.

Worst—Don’t self-publish. Is there still a stigma about the quality? Yes. Are there still some who will self-publish and never sell a book? Sadly, yes. But the stigma is fading, and with so many options available, those who do self-publish have a better chance and that old, “You’ll never sell more than 40 books over your lifetime” is no longer the rule. I’m not saying it’s easy or that it’s for everyone, but for me personally, I’d say that’s the worst advice I was ever told.

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

A bit of both. I have an overall sense of what I think will happen in the book, where it will go and how it will all end. However, how the characters get to each of those points is up to them, and has led to some changes I didn’t see coming. I think it’s more fun this way, if not the most efficient.  I have, however, been stuck and instead of writing out a full scene, I’ve jotted out a detailed outline of how I think the story will go from this point to the end.

6.    What is your favorite reality show?

The Amazing Race! I love the awesome (and usually bizarre) things they get to do and how the history of the different customs and places is explained. Best show ever.

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

Yes. The book after this one is His Brother’s Bride and will follow the hero’s twin Henry as he’s confronted by a young lady presenting a betrothal agreement between her and Elijah. Henry has to find some way to put her off without causing a scandal until this can all be resolved (since Elijah is already married, of course), but with a few unexpected developments, Henry doesn’t want to “put her off” too much!

8.    Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?

We are a very strange family in that we don’t have a lot of traditions. The only one I can even think of is that since we’re a “fishing” family, on Christmas Eve each year we tie a Christmas Fly, then go fly fishing with it on Christmas Day. My husband Bob and I started doing this in 2004, the year we were married, and haven’t missed a year yet. We even have pictures of each of our boys as babies strapped to my husband’s chest while my husband helps him drop the fly line into the water to help fulfill everyone’s ceremonial cast.

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

Unfortunately, the frustrating answer to this is that it depends on the characters. I like to recycle characters, if I can, so when I meet them during someone else’s story and learn their personality, their story takes shape easier. Only with my first story did I write the characters to match the plot, and even then, I knew the ones I’d written would follow it. After that, the plot has changed to match the characters. Now, some plots they fall into or plot points that happen along the way are often created based on things I’ve experience or witnessed. One of my most unconventional plots was when a scientifically-bent hero decided to treat his courtship like a science experiment. While it seems strange anyone would even connect the two, this idea actually came from my own husband who, when confronted about his every-changing personality during the early stages of our romance, informed me he was conducting an experiment! Blasted man was seeing my reaction to certain mannerisms to see which gained him better ground. This did NOT endear him to me, and was quickly ended. But it did give me a great plot idea for one of my most popular books, Her Sudden Groom, so it wasn’t all bad.

10.Anything else you might want to add?

Yes, I want to thank you so much Christine for having me as your guest today. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to meet you and your readers. 



“Cake,” Amelia repeated with a nod as she removed her bonnet and tossed it over the back of the leather chair that was positioned in the middle of the common room in the hunting cabin. “I think you should treat me to a slice of the best cake Bath has to offer tomorrow.”

“You are a very strange young lady; did you know that?” he asked, chuckling. Who knew Amelia had a hankering for cake? No matter. If cake is all she demanded of him for having to endure his female relatives for the better half of an evening, cake is what she'd get.

“Well, now that I'm an old married matron, it won't matter what I eat,” she said as cool as could be as she set her unneeded red scarf on the edge of the pale blue settee.

He removed his grey coat and set it next to her discarded scarf. “And it did before?”

“Of course,” she murmured, running her hands down the front of the pink gown she'd borrowed from Lady Templemore.

Without meaning to, Elijah's eyes followed the path her hands made over her ample bosom, down to her slim waist, then flared out with her hips.

He cleared his throat to tell her something reassuring, but it would seem nothing worked to relieve himself of that strangled feeling. “Amelia, it wouldn't matter if you weren't married. You're...er...” The invisible hands that were strangling him finally choked him tight enough to end his words.

Her lips formed a half-smile. “It's all right. I don't expect you to compliment me.”

He loosened his cravat, whether because he needed to in order to take it off for the night or because it seemed to suddenly be choking the life out of him, he might never truly know. She was his oldest friend. He'd complimented her many times when she'd found some clever way to best Henry at a game and even a few weeks ago he'd complimented her dancing at his sister's wedding. He cocked his head to the side. How strange. He had always complimented things she did, never actually her.


She smoothed her skirt and kept her eyes trained on whatever it was on the floor that had managed to capture her attention. “Hmm?”

“You are a very beautiful young lady.”

“Thank you.” Her cheeks turned the palest shade of pink and she kicked off her cream slippers. “Don't worry. I shan't overindulge too often.”

Elijah sighed. “I'm not worried about you gaining a few pounds, Amelia. I just wanted to tell you—” He shrugged. “Well, I already said it, so now you know.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

USA Today Bestselling Author of ten unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after. When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being haunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.

Website: http://www.rosegordon.net

Blog: http://rosesromanceramblings.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rose-Gordon-historical-romance-author/178033968907233

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Christine Presents: Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart
Christine Young

Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at: www.roguephoenixpress.com

"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!