Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Destination: Titan by Liza O'Connor

Wearing a simple flowing robe, the old man stared out from his wrought-iron balcony to the quaint buildings below. “Is everything in place?”
“Yes, Your Holiness,” replied an eager young man in far more splendid robes.
“Failure is not an option.”
“We will not fail.  We have planned for every circumstance. Project Einstein will not succeed.”
“But it will not come back to us?”
“No, Your Eminence. No one will blame us for their demise.”
“How many back-up plans?”
“Not enough.” His ancient hand quivered as it rested upon the metalwork. “Fifteen. I want fifteen plans, each certain to succeed without the blame reaching my feet.”
“I will see it done.”
The old man turned and studied his devotee. “You have doubts, Thomas?”
“It is not my place to doubt God’s work.”
“Earth is about to fall into an ice-age of such duration and frigid temperatures that nothing is expected to survive. So you wonder why God would wish to destroy one of our chances to continue mankind on a different planet.”
The man fell to his knees and pressed his forehead to the floor. “Forgive me, Your Holiness.”
The old man walked around the prostrate body and returned to his red velvet chair with authentic gemstones cresting each upholstery tack. He sat with a heavy sigh. “It is better for the human race to die in its entirety than to survive without God.” He stared up to the arching ceiling painted with clouds and angels. “The time has come to choose eternal Heaven or Hell.”
The young man’s head rose. “Yes!” His face filled with joy and wonderment. “I understand now.”
The old man’s head wobbled, perhaps in a nod. “Then go, and see God’s will is done. Only Project Chosen can succeed. Project Einstein must be destroyed, at all costs.”

Destination: Titan
Liza O’Connor

With Earth destined for a new ice-age, seven scientists and twenty-two brilliant teenagers are gathered in a compound deep within a mountain. There they struggle to come together as a group and complete the projects needed for their survival in the inhospitable environment of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. However, certain factions on Earth have no intention of letting Project Einstein succeed. Keeping the group alive and productive is the hardest task Colonel Lancaster and his soldiers have ever had, but they are determined to succeed no matter how well the saboteurs have planned. The continuation of the human race depends upon it.

“So, you’re telling me I was chosen over every other biochemist in the world because my favorite color is orange.” Tamara tugged at a strand of her short blonde hair. Her mentor was the brightest man she knew, but this didn’t make any sense at all!
Maxwell’s eyes sparkled. “I love the way your brain tunnels in and isolates the key differentiator.”
“The fact I like the color orange should not be a key differentiator.”
Her mentor shrugged and paced the small, open space of the conference room. “Well, when all other things were equal, it became so. This project requires a top biochemist under the age of thirty, in excellent health, unmarried, with no constraints that would prevent traveling. There were quite a few scientists who met those requirements. Therefore, further differentiators were selected. The ability to work with teenagers dropped out all but two, and your clear preference for the color orange put you securely on top of the last remaining candidate.”
“But it’s a meaningless differentiator unless we’re going someplace that only has the color orange.” She fell silent as she considered that possibility. “Exactly how far will we be traveling?”
“Quite a distance.” His eyes twitched several times.
They only did that when he was conflicted, which told her she was asking the right question to discover whatever it was that he was under orders not to reveal. “Will we be traveling on Earth or away from it?”
The twitches intensified.
“Tam, I cannot tell you anything until you’ve agreed to go.”
“Jesus! We’re going to Titan, aren’t we?”
He removed his reading glasses and pressed his hand over his left eye to still the twitches. “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”
Titan: Saturn’s orange moon. Forty percent the size of Earth and rich in life-supporting chemicals. Bedrock composed of ice, rivers and seas of liquid methane, and enough hydrocarbons to heat the Earth for a thousand years.
“What is the purpose of the trip?”
“I cannot tell you anything until you agree to go.”
“Well, I cannot give you my answer until I know if we’re going to harvest the hydrocarbons for Earth or if we’re going to try to colonize it.”
Max now had both eyes covered with his hands. “Tam, I cannot tell you. You will just have to use that brilliant mind of yours to figure it out all on your own.”
His response told her that something he’d said had provided the answer. She focused on the ability to work with teenagers. You wouldn’t take teenagers on a ship to harvest, but you would to start a colony. By the time they arrived, they’d be young adults possessing a full span of child-bearing years.
“I’ll go.”

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Birch's Faith by Ceeree Fields

Birch's Faith ~ CeeRee Fields

Betrayal cuts deeper than a double bladed knife.

Trained warrior, Birch McKennery learned the hard way to never trust anyone. Until Zev. She breaks all of her rules and falls in love with him. His betrayal stabbed so deep that Birch fled instead of fighting for what she wanted.

Battle honed, Zev Gridnev has one focus - finding his parents' killers. Until Birch. He becomes infatuated with the sexy warrior, lost in her. Then she disappears like mist in the sunlight. At yet another loss, he closes his heart and pours himself back into his first obsession.

When Zev sees an armed figure darting from the exploding medical center, he acts on instinct and tackles the fleeing suspect. Only to discover the suspect is none other than the woman who disappeared with his heart ten years ago.

Forced together, Birch and Zev work to untangle the mystery surrounding the bombing of Kliendorf Medical and discover the plot to a war that began years ago with the murder of his parents. Now the web of deceit has grown to encompass the Mutants to the east, mercenaries, the military and the Brotherhood of Uriel. As they plunge deeper into danger, will Zev and Birch rediscover the love they both thought long dead? Or will it disappear like mist when their mission ends?

If you relish kickass heroines who take no prisoners and alpha males who stand by their chosen loves, you'll enjoy this new adult fantasy romance series.


They rode for hours. Zev had a love hate relationship with her slider. He hated how small it was, a dull ache had set up residence in his back at his hunched position. But he loved having Birch's body cradled against his.

Her voice broke through his musings.

"There's a good place up ahead to rest. Just go a bit slower." She pointed to the direction he needed to take. Following a few more finger points and shouted directions, he pulled the slider into a clearing.

The silence was deafening after the constant wind and dark rumble of the slider was gone.

Lifting the goggles to rest against the top of his head, he took his first look around. Gorgeous. Just ahead the full moon hung dramatically in the night sky, an awe-inspiring backdrop to the massive waterfall and glistening pool. The slight mist made from the falling water hitting the pool gave the entire area an otherworldly feel.

"This is one of my favorite places to camp," she said, climbing from the seat behind him.

He missed her warmth as soon as she slipped off.

Dismounting, he opened the panniers. "Why don't you go get cleaned up?"
She smiled, lifting her bandaged hands. "I need you to help me get these bandages off."

"Do I need to wrap them up again?"

"No, Dahlia said if I kept them wrapped today and didn't use them, then when we stopped tonight I could leave them off. I've just got to put the salve on once a day and do my exercises."

"Damn. That stuff works faster than the gel they used on me and Trevor during a riot we broke up once in Icaria."

"It's new. And even though it's amazing, it smells horrid." She laughed. "So, no sniffing."

"Just means I have to get closer." He teased and snagged her around the waist to scrape his scruff against her neck as he made exaggerated sniffing noises.

Another fit of laughter passed her lips and he couldn't resist the temptation. Leaning in, he slid his lips over the satin smoothness of hers. She opened to him on a moan and clutched his shoulder. It was a signal he'd have taken any other day, but today he wanted something different. Not rushed. And definitely not scraping along the itchy grass with no blanket between them and it.

"Bandages, bath and then we'll hide away for a little while, Birch."

She hummed, her eyes mysterious in the darkness. "Meet me at the waterfall?"

"Determined aren't you." He claimed her lips again and only separated them when he needed air. "No, those rocks are unforgiving. Now, if I could see into the pool I'd be trying that venue, but I can't so it's going to be our tent."

"Fine. Separate baths."

"Now you get it. Hold out your hands and let me get those things off. While you get your bath I'll put the tent up and while I get mine you can do your exercises." He kissed each fingertip before removing the next glove. It didn't matter that her hand stank, it didn't matter that some of the ointment stuck to his lips, what mattered most to him was seeing the healed skin. Still a slight pink, but beautiful. "We're going to need you as healed as possible if the situation gets dicey with your uncle."

She bent to grab her pack after her gloves were gone. "You're right. All the 'have to's' first then," Her eyes trailed over his body and she slicked her tongue across the bottom of her lip, "and then the 'want to's'."

Half hard from that display, he pointed at her. "Evil."

"At least you'll be thinking about me while I'm gone." She teased, sauntering towards the waterfall.

"As if I had ever stopped," he muttered.

After setting up the tent, he gathered firewood and dug a pit. The rest she should be able to handle while he washed away the dust and grime.

She rejoined him just as he finished stocking the fire pit with wood.

"Ugh! We got a ground tent?"

Confused, he looked from the tent to her. It was an everyday tent, similar to what everyone used except for the weird coils that snaked out under it. He'd assumed it was something Pop and Kael had designed to make it more comfortable. "I've no idea what that means. I took the tent that was in the corner of your room."

A bright smile replaced the scowl. "Oh, okay." Her eyes turned towards the fire pit. "I thought we were washing up, eating some of the hardtack and trailmix, then going to bed."

"We are, but you'll need to do your exercises in the morning and I won't be functional without coffee."

"I'll set everything up and we'll only have to light it when we roll out of bed," she said immediately catching on to his thinking.

Pressing a kiss to the top of her head, he pointed to a small sack. 

"Everything Dahlia sent is in that. I'm off to get cleaned up. There's a shockgun in the tent if you run into trouble."

Birch smirked. "Oh, I'm not supposed to do the damsel in distress call?"

"You, my mist are not and have never been a damsel in distress." He turned and jogged to the water.

~Map of Amelorica~

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~Author Bio~

CeeRee Fields currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands with her husband and cat. Since she was born in Alabama and moved to the Netherlands, Dutch is not her first language which gets her into mischief in various stores around town when she tries to speak it.

She loves writing, building worlds that her characters can explore and break if they feel the need. Action, adventure, and love are her favorite things. And when stuff gets blown up who says the guy is the only one who gets to do it?