Daryl Devore's Blog

Daryl Devore's Blog

Friday, 15 June 2018

CeeRee Fields Birch’s Faith is an engaging experience through another time. #scifi #romance #5stars


CeeRee Fields Birch’s Faith is an engaging experience through another time. Set in the future – life may be different, but it is exactly the same as now. Jealously. Bullying. Lust. Love.
A misunderstanding shatters a love that takes years to be rekindled.
CeeRee is wonderful at creating new worlds. She can make a place that is strange to the reader seem completely realistic. Terms like hover-sliding and sledders quickly become familiar. I love her curse words – vacking – as in –“No vacking way”. You know what she means without her having to spell it out.
CeeRee's humour is subtle and laugh out loud. The line about the heroine being called Stick - LMAO.
My favourite line is - All of his nightmares began with the night hell came calling.
That line just makes you want to read the book and delight in the unfolding of the story.
5 stars – for world building and creating a great story

Birch's Blurb

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 had 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.

* * *

Night had fallen by the time Birch and Draper reached the Meadow. Everyone else had remained behind, guarding the villagers. He'd assured Birch he had a friend in the forest nearby helping and as she trusted him to have her back, she let him take the lead.
She and Draper were on the outskirts of the Meadow reconning the camp, when she saw Zev staked out with no shirt, she knew then they were readying him for torture.
Her mind blanked as she stood from her crouched position to help him. Only Draper's strong hold on her kept her from leaping into the center of that group and freeing Zev.
"Pull it together, Birch. You're no use to him like this." Draper clasped her shoulder.
"If it were my love in the center of that hell I'd expect you to make sure I remained sensible as well so we all survived." Draper relaxed his hold. "Now, I'll go right to get a count, you go left. And take the sentries as you see them. If you can keep them alive all the better to give us someone to question. If not then kill them, Birch. No mercy here and no mistakes."
His ghostly silver eyes almost glowed in the darkness.
"No mercy, Drape." Dammit, where was her uncle when she needed him.
He patted her shoulder and then melded into the shadows.
Following his directions, she circled the camp. The first sentry she took out with the side of her hand.
Slapping constrictors on him and then dragging him into the brush, she felt as if someone was watching her. She narrowed her eyes and searched the area, but didn't see anything.
But she damn well felt them. Trusting her instincts, Birch quickly oriented herself. She grinned as the root of a plan formed. Stalking towards the slope as if searching for the next sentry, Birch dashed up the incline as soon as she was in range.
She was over and on the other side rolling down in seconds. As soon as she gained her feet, she sprinted to the nearest tree with low hanging branches. Birch raced up onto the first branch and lay down. Waiting, she made no sudden movements that would rattle the leaves. Her reward came when she saw someone clambering up the incline, then over to stalk quietly down the small hill.
Blaze me! Seriously?!? I'm going to beat his rear out of its frame for this! The shape stopped, looked around the area, and then pale face turned up into the trees. Seeking, but not finding her. The tall, lanky form slinked into the shadows below Birch, focused on the ground. Snarling, she hooked her knees on the branch she'd commandeered.
Hanging upside down behind the boy, she snatched him by the neck and covered his mouth with her other hand.
"What the hell are you doing here?" She hissed.
He quit moving and raised his hands. "Hi, sis," came the muffled reply.
"Devon. I swear I'm debating on whether I should tie you up and leave you in this tree, or if I should just wring your neck." Birch released him and flipped to the ground. "Mom and Pop are going to kill you, if I don't beat them to it."
Her little brother turned around and dropped his hands so they rested at his sides.
"Dammit, Devon! Just dammit!" Birch wrenched her braid in frustration. Her brothers pushed her past the limits of her patience faster than anyone else on the planet and right now she had none to spare.
He raised his hands up again, his palms out. "Listen, Birch, before you get worked up. Pop knows. I wanted to help you and Draper. So after you left, I told Pop I'd come with you."
"But you weren't with me were you?" She sucked in a lung full of air as if she had run a mile. It didn't do anything to calm her. "You can't even fight--"
"I know, you already made that more than obvious earlier. But I have a good idea that will help," he said.
Birch knew she needed to focus and this interruption had thrown her off her game. She was now running behind in meeting Draper. "Let's argue about this later, if you really can help, then let's go. Just remember these people are killers and I'm going to be really pissed if you die on my watch."
"Oh, so it's okay for you to sacrifice yourself and Draper?"
"Dammit, that's not what I mean," she said.
"Lookit, we'll get him back." Devon turned abruptly and patted her arm.
Birch motioned Devon behind her. "I need to handle the other sentries, then we meet back up with Draper."
Devon nodded and followed in her steps like he'd been taught as a child. Well away from her, so she had room to fight if needed, but close enough so as not to lose her. She found one other sentry as she skirted the camp and counted the numbers inside.
"Devil," Draper greeted Devon.
"I have a count of thirty." Birch wove her braid to the top of her head and secured it.
"Dev said he has an idea."
They turned to her creative brother and waited. When he held up his bags of tricks Birch found her first smile.
His return smile looked deranged as his jade green eyes swirled with glee. "I think I should set some explosives and lure the guards out, then hit them with the knockout gas. It should get most of them and give you two a fighting chance."
They nodded. An agonized scream broke across the area. Birch was on her feet before she realized she had moved. Draper yanked her down hard. Tears burned the back of her eyes as rage roared through her veins.
"Do it, Dev, don't worry about casualties. And make sure you stay safe," her voice was hoarse with emotion as she tried not to scream.
"I've got my acid shooters if I get caught." He darted into the brush and was gone.
She remembered the small guns Kael had designed to house Devon's acid. The two guns were locked into harnesses on Dev's arms and could be triggered when he needed them.
She and Draper moved in the opposite direction of Devon. Another scream ripped through the night. Birch wanted to cover her ears, but she forced herself not to as she needed every edge she could get. But she swore she'd kill all that came in her path in retaliation.
"They're branding him." Draper pulled his dual bladed scythe from its holster. Handling it as if it was an extension of himself.
Her stomach lurched. "It was better not knowing."
"We'll get him."
"He's so scarred already from a scavenger attack. This will destroy him."
Draper's eyes widened with shock, which was quickly replaced with an icy calm. Birch had seen many times during scavenger attacks at Ketewah's wall. These men were about to meet death walking. "He's stronger than you think. These will heal with no scars when we get him to Ketewah."
Confused Birch's eyes darted to the dark shadow next to her. "How do you know how strong he is? You've not met him yet."
Draper shrugged. "You wouldn't pair yourself with a weak man."
The skyline bloomed with color. A loud boom came on the heels of the colors. Flames sprang from the area of the explosion, from the looks of it Birch concluded Devon must have blown up their vehicles. The camp erupted into chaos as the soldiers looked to where the fires were. A silver haired man barked orders when he pointed to the area Devon had blown up, half of the men ran to investigate.
Birch heard the quiet snick of Draper's scythes being separated so one was in each hand. "It's time." His dark baritone coasted to her in the wind.
She began loosing her arrows methodically taking out targets. She missed several due to the smoke billowing over the camp, but the ones she hit fell. Then Draper was in the center of the mass and Birch ran to back him up. Cursing when she saw that Zev's hands were bound by constrictors and not ropes she redoubled her efforts to get to him.
But a man built along the lines of a bull blocked her path. Vack this shit. She pulled one of her coated knives and threw it. It glanced off the man as if it had hit metal.
"Come on, asshole!" She shouted and charged the large man.
The man anticipated her every move. He punched her, she flew through the air, her head bounced on the ground. Groaning, she flipped back to her feet. She forced the pounding in her head and chest to the background as she sliced him with another one of her coated knives.
She couldn't remember which compound this knife was laced with, but hoped it was poison as he slung her into the fire near Zev. It was like the man was a scavenger with how hard he was to kill. The surrounding soldiers died easily to Draper, but this guy kept coming.
Only Birch's training and agility saved her from falling face first into the fire as she rolled herself to the side. She knew if he got his hands on her again she was dead. Another knife flew from her hand as she scampered back, it found it's mark, distracting the man. Using those precious seconds, Birch hooked her foot around his ankle and yanked but he only laughed.
Worried, she crab-walked back, trying to put distance between them, so she could attack him again. Gaining the space she needed, she rolled to her feet and traded blows with him. So focused on him, she missed the discarded pack. Her foot became tangled in it, throwing off balance, making her fall. She was better than this, but vack it if her luck sucked right now.
He came for her again, wrenching her head back and clasped her neck in a choke hold.
"Not so flippant now you mutated bitch?" he grated.
She shuddered at his putrid breath, before she could make some snarky comeback, white stars sparkled behind her eyes. Then she was sailing through the air into the fire again.
Her hands scrabbled across the molten hot ash. Flesh bubbled as she screamed in pain. Rolling into a ball, she cradled her hands to her chest as her brother screamed at the man and shot acid from his guns. Devon tried to move towards her, but was blocked by soldiers and then he fell.
She met Draper's eyes, it was then she heard another battle as Draper's friend joined the fray and helped him deal death to the soldiers. They wouldn't be in time to save her, but she knew Draper would make sure Devon survived.
Her eyes searched for the commander. She wouldn't be able to fight him, she couldn't even pull her knives. Silent tears trailed down her temple as she lay there, defenseless.
Her head fell back as she realized she'd failed to save the man she had never stopped loving.

And Another Teaser -

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 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 grassy 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 in 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 tents 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.

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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?
She can be found at:

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