Monday, November 30, 2020

#MysteryMonday #DiamondsForTheDevil


Diamonds for the Devil by Nickie Fleming

Excerpt Heat Level: 0

Book Heat Level: 3


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BLURB: Diamonds for the Devil


France, early 18thcentury.

A priceless string of diamonds is said to bring disaster to the one wearing it, so people say. Young Marguerite de Vallencieux -- a runaway who must learn how to survive on the streets of Paris -- knows nothing of this reputation, but as soon as the diamonds are presented to her, a series of accidents befall her.

She seeks help. Unfortunately, some people are not whom they claim to be, and it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. She can only rely on her cleverness of mind and her feelings.

Will she be able to fight off evil, and find her way to love and happiness through all this turmoil?

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


EXCERPT: Diamonds for the Devil


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


A Scottish Lass for Rogue's Angels   5 Angel Wings

#RomanceSunday #FallingForFlynt


Title: Falling for Flynt

         Bad Boys Book Three

Author: Christine Young

Genre: Historical romance

Book Heat Level:


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Hope Wallace, raised in a harem, now penniless, alone and without her memory, hopes bad boy Flynt MacTavish can help her rediscover all she has lost.


BLURB: Falling For Flint


He's a bad, bad boy...


Fascinated by Hope's loss of memory yet haunted by her sultry beauty, Flynt is irresistibly drawn to the stoic miss—and into her troubles with the sultan who wants her for himself. When he discovers she is the sister of his best friend, his pride keeps him from pursuing her and making her his.


...but she's falling for him.


Raised in a harem but now penniless, alone and without her memory, Hope must discover a way to remember all that she has lost. She finds a way to continue with her life as a servant in Flynt's home. The first sight of Flynt steals Hope's breath as well as her heart. Can she overcome her fears and give herself to the man she fell in love with.



EXCERPT: Falling For Flynt


“Perhaps you did,” he agreed, wondering just how he was going to keep himself from kissing her, tossing her on her bed, making love to her, in the process ruining her for Angus Kinross. With Hope in his arms, Flynt carried her to her bedroom.

            Sitting on Hope’s bed and holding her so close, he felt one with the world. This feeling inside him was right, so what was he going to do about it?

            She sighed softly, opening her eyes now. One soft fingertip stroked his jawline.             “Kiss me, Flynt.”

            “Kiss you?” He chuckled, “You’re smashed.”

            “No really, I want you to kiss me. Need to have something to compare.” Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips, her gaze resting on his mouth.

            She must not realize how provocative that simple gesture was. When he stepped into his parlor a few hours ago, he had no idea the evening would end this way. He wasn’t going to turn down an invitation such as this one, even though she was half asleep and had clearly drunk too much.

            “If you insist, I never turn down a lady,” he whispered so close to her lips he was sure she would feel his breath.

            “I do,” she closed her eyes, waiting. “Insist.”

            “Open your eyes, sweet lassie.” His lips found hers, touched, explored before his tongue delved inside, finding the soft inside of her upper lip then the edge of her teeth. She was sweet and hot. Her softness intrigued him as well as her willingness to allow him inside. Her tiny sounds of pleasure sent him over the edge. All he could think of was discovering more of her, all of her. That discovery would have to wait for another time.        He liked his women willing but also of clear mind when he pleased them with his sexual expertise. He wondered if Angus could claim that thought.

            It seemed she relaxed in his arms. She was asleep, soundly asleep. She would never remember the kiss and would have naught for comparisons sake. He laughed at himself as well as his thoughts of making love to her. Even with her strange and erotic upbringing, she was by far too innocent for the likes of him.

            What to do now?

            She wouldn’t sleep well, not if she went to bed wearing her clothes and her corset. He could undress her, perhaps without looking at her. No, don’t get too far ahead of yourself, old chap. No way in hell could he do that when presented with such a golden opportunity.

            With Hope totally uncooperative, Flynt managed to remove her dress and corset, leaving her with only her chemise to cover her. He looked at her then, her soft feminine curves. Groaning, he pushed more carnal thoughts from his head.

            He couldn’t help himself. He continued looking, dreaming about her as well. She was slim, her breasts perfect, seeming to invite him to taste. Nope. Walk away before you do something you’ll forever regret. Pulling the covers over her, she woke.

            “Flynt?” The question in her voice stopped him as she sat up, her covering slipping to her waist.

            “Yes.” He sat beside her, wishing he had permission to touch and explore, to curl up beside her.

            “Stay with me tonight.” Her hands rested against his chest, imploring him to heed her request.

            “You wouldn’t like it when you woke up,” he argued to no avail. “There would be regrets and recriminations on your part.

            “I don’t like to be alone. You’re here with me now.” She closed her eyes for a second. “Please don’t go away. I’ve been so lonely. Sometimes I want to cry.”

            Cry? So lonely? “You won’t like it in the morning,” he told her again, knowing he was too close to accepting her proposition.

            “I don’t care.” Her voice was soft, her breathing shallow. 

            He could see the pulse point at her neck, which was beating rapidly.

Blessed hell, but she wanted him. It wouldn’t hurt he told himself. Her invitation was not the one he would have preferred right now. Nonetheless, how could he refuse? “Very well.”

            He strode to the other side of the bed, ridding himself of his shirt and sitting on the bed to remove his boots. Prudence told him he should leave his buckskins on despite his preference to sleep naked.

            She watched him, staring at him while he settled in next to her. Pulling a quilt from the end of the bed over him, he wrapped her in his arms. “Go to sleep now. I’m here and I won’t leave until morning.”

            This was heaven and he was a saint for his gentlemanly behavior. In the morning he could give himself a pat on the back. In the morning, she would be shocked to find him in her bed. He could effectively get rid of Angus by regaling him about her and their escapades.

            He was a cad, yet...

            The raging thought held too many beautiful possibilities.


























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Saturday, November 28, 2020

#SciFiFantasySaturday #DragonsAmongUs

Dragons Among Us

C. L. Kraemer

Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 


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BLURB: Dragons Among Us


In a world full of anomalies such as the platypus and self reproducing Komodo dragon, is the human race willing to accept that dragons may be real?

Sapien Draconi-human-dragon shape shifters-all over the world face this dilemma every day. The question has become life and death as their species is plagued with unexpected and unwanted shifting in the most unlikely of places.

The Ancient Ones-full-blooded dragons-can offer advice, but few seem to put forward workable solutions to the problem.

The fate of the shape shifters hangs in the balance, and an answer must be found before the Homo Sapiens find, dissect, and hunt Sapien Draconi to extinction.


EXCERPT: Dragons Among Us


Aleda crawled from her sleeping bag and, individually, stretched her muscles. She’d always enjoyed camping. It was the only time she slept well. Something about the unpolluted air, the nights sounds of nature and knowing there were no other people about produced a sleeping potion no doctor could recreate. She dressed warmly against the morning chill and meandered to the stream to get water for coffee and cooking. Not having done much the day before, her ravenous hunger puzzled her.


“Must be the good mountain air.” She made coffee, scrambled eggs, and toasted bread with a slender wire camp toaster, which she held over the fire. As she sat in her chair enjoying the taste of food and quiet of the surrounding woods, hair on the back of her neck began to stand on end and her skin tingled. She shook off the feeling and poured another cup of coffee. The sensation of eyes observing her movements overpowered her senses and her amulet began humming, the sound increasing in volume with each passing minute.


“Enough!” Aleda tossed her plastic plate to the table with a clatter, stomped to her tent and retrieved a heavy coat. “I’ll nip this foolishness in the bud, right now!”


She hesitated as she started to storm from the camp. Camera.Quickly returning to her tent, she stomped away from her personal sanctuary, Nikon in hand, stomach complaining. Half a dozen paces from the camp, after wreaking a rushing flurry of birds into flight, Aleda realized, if she was to find out what was inducing her amulet to hum and her hair to stand on end, she would need to slow her pace—think before she stumbled into trouble. She proceeded into the stand of trees serving as the backdrop for her camp. Sauntering to nearest the evergreen, she placed her hand on the bark and felt a buzzing sensation tickle her palm. Aleda stumbled backward, dumbfounded by the commotion stirring within her. Logic and reason said she shouldn’t be sensing anythingby touching the tree.


“This whole trip is turning out to be totally illogical.”


Aleda narrowed her eyes and concentrated on the skin of the tree. She began to see small creatures scurrying up and down the grooved surface of the bark, the scene recalling the Marquam Bridge merging into I-5 at rush hour. She pulled deeply of the air surrounding her and discovered she could taste ponderosa, yellow pine and western larch trees tinged by intermittent bursts of avalanche lily, trillium and huckleberry. Another deep breath captured faint blackberry and raspberry sensations. Standing very still and concentrating with an intensity she’d never utilized, Aleda began to recognize the buzz of life around her. In her ears, insect sounds whispered from every direction, her skin reverberated with the movement of air caused by birds flying and bees busy with spring activities. When the scene before her began to waver and tiny flashes of white light popped in her vision, Aleda realized she’d quit breathing. She pulled air into her lungs and crumbled to the soft pine needle and moss covered forest floor.


"All in all I was very impressed with this author’s imagination and the ability to bring the story to life for me within the pages of her book.  It held my attention and kept me wondering what was next throughout the pages."  Courtney Rene for Rogue's Angles  



Friday, November 27, 2020

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle #Callie’s Bachelor Cowboy

 Title: Callie’s Bachelor Cowboy

Author: Sherry Derr-Wille

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Heat Level: 1


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Callie Appleman and her daughter, Lanie, need a new start. Wade Hawk, is willing to help her settle in Flagstaff until Lanie’s father enters the picture.



BLURB: Callie’s Bachelor Cowboy


After losing her beloved grandfather, Callie Appleman is ready for a new start far away from her southern Wisconsin childhood home. Flagstaff puts her and her daughter, Lanie, away from the whispered innuendos of the people who know her best.


Wade Hawk, a confirmed bachelor, goes to help Callie as a favor to his mother. Being Callie’s boss, she is certain her youngest son will be not only a great help, but also a perspective husband. Wade on the other had is skeptical, but is ready to help out when he can. He is surprised when he meets Callie and Lanie and realize they could become important in his life.


When Lanie’s father tracks them down, he puts the lives of Callie, Lanie and Wade in danger.



EXCERPT: Callie’s Bachelor Cowboy


Wade Hawk prepared to go to his mother’s house for Sunday dinner. Brenda Hawk insisted on having the family gather on Sundays after church to have brunch and catch up on what happened the previous week with her children and their families.  Wade looked forward to this tradition and look forward to seeing his brother, Marcus, as well as his wife June, and their daughter Carla.

Marcus had been the one who opted to go to college, while Wade preferred to run the family ranch. They could trace the ranch back to his great-grandfather. Back then, they’d had cattle, but over the years the ranch had diversified. Now Wade ran sheep as well as cattle. It was a good life and even though it was hard work, it was something Wade enjoyed. He employed several hands and the Flying H was considered one of the best ranches to work in the area.

He started his Sunday off by meeting his mom and brother’s family at first service church. It was a habit, but one he never wanted to break. He enjoyed worshiping with his family as well as sharing Sunday dinner with them. He still missed his dad but he’d passed away five years ago, leaving the running of the Flying H to Wade.

“Good to see you, Wade,” his mother greeted him.

“I can say the same for you. How was your week?”

“Interesting, very interesting. We had a new Director of Nursing start at the hospital. I think I told you about hiring her after a Skype interview.”

“I remember.”I know what’s coming next. I’ve already heard from June about the newest hospital employee. According to June, she’s very efficient, attractive and single. Why does everyone push all these unattached women at me?

“Good. I think you should meet her. She’s a lovely young lady. About your age, to be precise, and it would be good if she had someone to show her around town.”

“How do I know she doesn’t have a boyfriend or worse yet a husband?”

He thoroughly enjoyed goading his mother. Lately she’d been intent on getting him married off and collecting more grandchildren in the bargain.

“For your information, she’s a single mother. She told me the father of her daughter has never been in the picture. She’s a sweet girl and has even bought a duplex on the other side of town. I think she would be perfect for you.”

They’d entered the church, forbidding any more conversation. Wade knew there would be more information forthcoming on Callie Appleman once they returned to the house for Sunday dinner.

With church over, Wade made a beeline for his truck. He’d promised to bring the dessert this week and needed to stop at the restaurant where he’d ordered pies when he was in town on Thursday. This was something new. Each week a different member of the family was responsible for either a side dish or a dessert. He was lucky he knew a couple of good places where he could order takeout. His cooking skills left a lot to be desired as he took the majority of his meals with the hands at the cookhouse.

By the time he pulled up in front of his mother’s house, he breathed a sigh of relief not to see a car with Wisconsin plates. He certainly wouldn’t put it past his mother to invite the newcomer to Sunday dinner.

“So, what do you think of the new Director of Nursing, June?” he asked, broadly winking at his sister-in-law.

“I think she’s going to fit in well. She’s already brought some new ideas to the table. I’m enjoying working with her.”

“Her daughter has been coming to daycare,” his niece Carla added. “She’s the same age as me and we’re going to be going to the same school.”

“Oh really? Do they live close to you?”

“About five blocks over,” June replied. “You remember that duplex over on Navajo Trail.”

“You mean the one that needs more TLC than most people want to put into it?”

“That’s the one. I told you, you should have bought it,” Marcus said. “It would have been the perfect rental property for you. Of course, now it’s been sold. Callie and her daughter bought half and her friends from Wisconsin bought the other half. From what Carla says, they have big plans for the place.”

“I wish them luck. I wouldn’t want to tackle something like that. Like I said when you first told me about it, I’d rather boss around ranch hands, cattle and sheep than have to deal with tenants.”

Before the conversation could go any further, his mother called them to the table for dinner. They probably could have done without dessert, as there was more food than any of them needed. Along with the meal, his mother always served one of their favorite wines.

“Now Wade,” his mother said as she passed him the meat platter, “what do you think about getting to know Callie Appleman?”

“I’ve told you before: I’m not looking for a wife. If or when we meet, if we hit it off, you’ll be the first to know.”

“I was hoping she would come to dinner today, but she said they had plans to start painting the bedrooms on their side of the duplex.”

The wheels in Wade’s head started turning. Ever since he heard about the new Director of Nursing, he’d been intrigued. Maybe he’d have to stop over there on his way home and offer his help with a paint brush.


~ * ~


Callie enjoyed the service at the local church. The people were very cordial and the Sunday school program sounded a lot like the one Lanie enjoyed in Wisconsin.

They’d stopped on the way home and grabbed brunch at the small restaurant in the neighborhood. They advertised they served a Sunday brunch complete with a variety of baked goods.

She smiled at the diversity of the crowd. There were businessmen, people of Hispanic descent and those with Native American heritage. It was the perfect place to mingle with the locals and maybe make good friends.

The waitress came to take their order when Callie noticed a nice-looking cowboy type come in and go up to the counter. It was apparent he was getting a takeout order. Trying not to stare, she was surprised when he nodded in her direction as he left the restaurant with three pie boxes in his hands.

“He’s Indian, isn’t he, Mom?” Lanie asked, once their order was taken.

“The term is Native American and yes, I do think he is descended from the original inhabitants of this area. Once you start school, you’ll be mixing with several different races and you’ll have to be careful not to offend any of them.”

“I know, Mom. One of my new friends at daycare is Carla Hawk. Her mom is a nurse and her grandma is the lady we met the first day we got here. Carla thought she should invite us to her grandma’s house for dinner, but I told her we were going to be painting my bedroom.”

Callie knew she should tell her daughter not to let too many people know about their personal plans, but it was too late for anything like that now. The horse was already out of the barn and since Lanie made such a good friend in Carla Hawk, who was she to stifle the budding friendship?

Once they finished their brunch, they went back to the duplex to begin work on Lanie’s bedroom. They’d spent the previous afternoon taping the baseboards in preparation for putting on the paint. They would start by painting the ceilings in both bedrooms. While the paint dried in Lanie’s room, they would paint the ceiling in her room. That way when they were ready to start on the walls in Lanie’s room, they could tape the ceiling.

Callie was glad Poppy had insisted on allowing Lanie to help him paint the living room last year. She’d learned from the best and was just as meticulous about painting as Poppy had been. With both ceilings finished, they took a break to enjoy the pastries they’d purchased for an afternoon treat.

She was surprised when there was a knock at the front door. As far as she knew, no one should be visiting. Curiosity mingled with fear as she went to answer the door. To her surprise, the cowboy from the restaurant stood on her front porch.

“If I’m not mistaken, you’re Callie Appleman and you’re in need of an expert painter.”

“You’re not mistaken, I am Callie Appleman but you have me at a disadvantage. I don’t know if I should open the door to a stranger or not.”

“I don’t blame you. I’m Wade Hawk. My mom is Brenda and my sister-in-law is June. You were their main topic of conversation at dinner today. June thought you could use some help slapping paint. It looks like you’ve got a major project going on here with all the renovations this place needs.”

Callie looked over her shoulder at the mess of paint cans, tarps, roller and brushes that littered Lanie’s room as well as hers. “I suppose you’re right about the amount of work.” She flipped the lock on the screen door. “Won’t you come in, Mr. Hawk?”

“It’s just Wade. Mr. Hawk was my dad. I’ve got some old clothes in the truck. Give me a minute to get them and once I change, I can get started.”

She watched as Wade left the duplex to get old clothes. Who is this guy? Should I be afraid?

Before her mind could formulate an answer to the questions it posed, her cell phone rang.

“Hello,” she answered, recognizing the number for one of her nurses, June Hawk.

“I just wanted to give you a head’s up. My mother-in-law pestered my brother-in-law, Wade, enough at dinner, I have a feeling he could be headed your way to help with the painting.”

“He’s already here. I didn’t know if I should let him in, but he mentioned you and Brenda so I thought I could trust him.”

“Oh, he’s trustworthy, all right. Mom is the ultimate matchmaker. She’s been trying to marry Wade off for years, but I’m afraid he’s married to the ranch. He is a great friend, though, and loves helping a damsel in destress. When Mom told him about you, my husband Marcus told him you and your friends bought the duplex. We’ve been trying to talk him into buying it for an investment property but he was dragging his feet. His excuse was the amount of work it would take. Let him help you out. It’s always good to have a friend who can slap a mean paint brush.”

Callie thanked June for the head’s up. After ending the call, she breathed a sigh of relief. At least she hadn’t let a mass murderer into her home.




Single mother, Stalker, Confirmed Bachelor


Website URL: N/A


Blog URL:


Facebook page: Sherry Derr-Wille


Twitter handle: 









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Thursday, November 26, 2020

#RebelHeart #FuturisticRomacne


Rebel Heart

Christine Young


Excerpt Heat Level: 1

Book Heat Level: 



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BLURB:  Rebel Heart


She was velvet and silk, eyes the color of a summer storm. 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 fought 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 adversary at her door, who arrived with weapons of fire to melt her heart...


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




Annie for Euro Reviews writes:


Rebel Heartis 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 Youngdelivers 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!





EXCERPT: Rebel Heart


Early summer, 2585





She loved to come to the lake. Nowhere else on earth was so beautiful and cool. Sunlight shimmered on the water and played chase with the golden ripples that dipped behind the shadows cast by stately redwood trees, only to emerge a heartbeat later and begin its game once again. The trees surrounding the lake were ancient now, born before the two thousand year wars.


Perhaps it was her father who made this place seem special, who created the magic. He was wonderful and good. He cared deeply for his family and his friends. But more than that, he worked hard to uphold the laws of the cities and to bring understanding between the City Dwellers and the outsiders.


He had promised her, had obtained the passes needed to go outside the perimeter of the virus-free bubble that protected them. She had been so proud when he handed her the permit. 


"Victoria, I'm giving you this for safe keeping," he'd told her. "Now, don't lose the pass. Without this little piece of paper both you and Vanessa will have to stay home and I'll be forced to swim alone." 


But her father was a busy and important man. Minutes before they meant to depart for the lake, he was called away on something vital, matters of state that had to be taken care of immediately. 


She and Vanessa watched him leave. Yet they had the treasured passes in hand. There was no reason Tori could think of that she and her twin should stay home. They left the sterile confines of the City to swim and play, just as they had planned. 


Oh, and it was such a beautiful day. Vanessa's giggle slipped across the deep blue surface and seemed to dive beneath, as if following her twin in a careless display of frivolity. Nessa's dark blond curls broke the surface of the water. She shook her head. Droplets flew into the air then shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. They caught rainbows of light and melded with their source. Laughter rippled again. 


Tori dove then quickly emerged from the mysterious depths; with strokes synchronized perfectly, they swam to the farthest point of land. Reaching shallow water, they waded ashore, oblivious to everything except the beauty of the day.


"I wish father had been here." Nessa's small breathy voice lost itself in the towering trees and thick foliage. 


"He had important business." Something was about to happen. Tori sensed it--some sudden stillness in the air, something that warned her.


Nessa DeMontville cast an exasperated glance at her twin who moved past her toward a huge granite rock that loomed almost ten feet above the earth. Another boulder soared higher. 


"He promised us, and it has been so long."


"Sometimes he doesn't have a choice." To Tori, the forest had suddenly turned quiet--too quiet. 


"Are you sure it was alright for us to come without him?"


"We have the passes," Tori said, scarcely able to breathe.


Nessa shook her head. "Yes, but..." 


"I rest my case." She crossed her arms in front of her.


"But father..." 


Tori patted the rock next to her. "I promise as soon as we dry off, we'll go home. Come on, join me." 


Nessa looked from her clothes to the sun-warmed rock. After a few seconds, her gaze drifted back to her sister. Nessa trembled, and Tori knew her sister was afraid. 


"I suppose we'll have to sneak in through the tower window," Nessa said.


"Only because it's so much fun," Tori replied.


The tower she spoke of stood guard over Tower City, an ancient reminder of a time long past. It looked over a larger arm of the lake they now enjoyed. A small, hidden door located at the tower's base enabled the girls to escape the stifling confines of the City. 


No one had the freedom to come and go from the City, as they pleased; no one except physicians. Since the last outbreak of the deadly signe virus, most travel was forbidden and permits were given only to a chosen few.


Tori lifted her face to the sun, intent on the precious moments she had left.


"I'm sorry Nessa, truly I am. If I'd realized you didn't want to go, I wouldn't have asked. Now that you're here, you have two choices; go up the ladder or walk through the gates. But then Father will know within minutes."


"So he will be angry?" Nessa asked. 


"I don't know. Why did you agree to come with me?"


Nessa's head shot up. Her grey eyes clouded. "I couldn't let you go alone. What if something happened to you?" 


Tori smiled tenderly then just as suddenly sobered. "You worry too much. Remember, we have passes and Father did approve this outing."


"But that's because he planned to be here."


Out of the corner of one eye, Tori watched her sister slip out of her swimsuit and struggle into her clothes. Nessa pulled on the form-fitting black body suit, wriggling to get into it. After that, she tugged at the bodice until the material flattened all her newly blossomed curves. Her dark blue tunic slithered over her head and rested an inch above her knees. Nessa buckled the wide silver belt she always wore before she buttoned the two remaining buttons, fastening them securely below her chin. 


Nessa waited and tapped her foot impatiently. To Tori, it looked as if Nessa waited for her to climb from the rock and dress, but Tori didn't want to leave.


"Are you coming?" Nessa asked finally. 


"Another minute. The sun feels so warm and..."






Thunder boomed in the mountains far to the east and instantly the sky sizzled, turning the air sultry. Clouds billowed over the mountains and formed huge dark figures. The noise from the burgeoning summer storm eclipsed all other sounds.


Something awful was about to happen. Suddenly anxious to be home, Tori rose.


She slid off her sunny perch and scrambled into her clothes. Loose fitting breeches and a lightweight cotton shirt slipped over clean fresh skin, a sharp contrast to her sister's attire. She quickly tugged on her boots, hobbling on one foot then the other. When she finished, she straightened, brushing dusty hands on her pants. 


"Race you to the cross roads." Tori started across the stream. One foot landed in the bubbling creek with a loud splash, the other landed squarely on the other side. The exhilaration left her breathless, and she gave no heed to the racket she caused, racing across the summer-dried forest.


A sharp cry pierced the woods. The scream was followed by the sharp report of a bullet. Both girls fell to the ground and froze. After several terrifying seconds passed without another shot, they raced for cover.


Lightning scorched across the sky. Rain threatened. Black clouds filled the horizon, blocking out the sun. 





Annie for Euro Reviews writes:


Rebel Heartis 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 Youngdelivers 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!