Rebel Heart: Futuristic Romance
In 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.
Rebel 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.
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EXCERPT: Rebel Heart
Early summer, 258
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.
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.
REVIEW: REBEL HEART
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.
REVIEW: REBEL HEART
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!
ALSO BY CHRISTINE YOUNG
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Safari Moon by AnnChristine
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Full Length (154 pgs)
Rated: 5 Stars
Reviewed by It’s Raining Books
Funny and Sweet
Imagine, if you can, our hero, sound asleep and dreaming a delightful, erotic dream. Suddenly he is awakened by an almost naked, sexy woman, walking into his bedroom accompanied by her pet skunk.
And that is how Safari Moon begins. I chuckled to myself as I continued reading. It seemed that he, a wild life photographer, put an ad in the paper for an assistant, but somehow his Grandfather changed the ad and it now stated that he was desperately in need of a wife. Immediately our handsome, confirmed bachelor is surrounded by a bevy of giggling, panting, eager women wanting to marry him.
How he plans his escape from all the desperate women involves an old friend he gets to help him. Since the friend is presently engaged to someone else and doesn’t really want to get involved, it’s more than a little complicated. They arrive in Alaska, planning on pretending they are an item. Then Grandfather and Grandmother arrive. The story continues with much laughing on my part, and many misunderstandings, especially when the fiancé shows up.
The story is funny and complicated due to the fact that each of the two main characters are trying to pretend that they really don’t care about each other. And since neither is able to keep his or her hands off the other, the story becomes hilarious.
Safari Moon is not your typical romance, and I really loved it.
BLURB: Safari Moon
Solo St. John, a wildlife photographer, is preparing for a trip to Alaska. Suddenly, Solo finds women of all sorts invading his privacy, his home and his office, all cooing nonsense words and blatantly throwing themselves at him. Solo doesn’t know why, and he has no idea how to rid himself of the persistent women. He finally decides to beg a favor of his best buddy Nyssa Harrington.
Ireland in 1817, when tensions are high between Protestants and Catholics and faey people guide the fate of villagers. A lovely Catholic lass stumbles upon the weakly ritual fisticuffing between Irish lads. She falls into the lap of a handsome young Protestant. Family ties, grudges, and two conniving faeries threaten their budding love. But the faeries outsmart themselves when they hijack a time machine that has mysteriously appeared in their forest.