Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.
Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.
When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.
Meet JAMES from BURN OUT
James is a quiet soldier who has orders to seize the bio-energetic weapons created by Tora’s father. Tora has sworn to protect the weapons so they don’t fall into enemy hands and struggles with her conflicting feelings toward James. James is also the medic for the army and Tora becomes more confused when he saves her instead of killing her. In this scene, James uses his profession to express his feelings for Tora.
“How ‘bout here? Does it hurt when I touch here?” he asked in a professional tone, yet both his hands slid down toward my hips and his lips almost touched mine. I was no doctor but this was definitely not part of any medical exam I’d ever seen. My legs turned to jelly and I trembled. When I sighed, James raised a finger to his lips. Oh yeah, the com system.
Ultimately, Tora learns that James has some complicated reasons for being involved in the weapons hunt and that being attracted to him doesn’t mean she can trust him.
About the Author:
Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog and Twitter. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.
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