Thanks for having me as your guest! This has been an exciting week – I even had temporary amnesia bout owing you this blog post so thanks for the gentle reminder and your patience! - because we released our Pets In Space anthology on Tuesday. Science fiction, romance and pets to help save the day. About a year ago Pauline Baird Jones and I had the idea for this collection and invited a few authors to join in, so it was a thrill to see the project finally go live. (Details of the book are below.) It shot to #3 on the Amazon Science Fiction Romance Hot Releases list, which was amazing to see, and somewhere around #200 in Kindle, on the first day. We really appreciate all the interest and the support, especially since we’re donating a portion of the first month’s proceeds to a very worthy charity. It’s doing quite well at the other ebook sellers as well.
We’ve had some fun reviews – one of my favorites starts off with “Five Stars. One FURTASTIC Collection! 9 Gold paws up!....” It’s so lovely of people to do a review in the first place and I really appreciate their taking time to do so, but then also fun to read the comments. Someone else called us “Spacetacular,” which I also loved.
One thing we hadn’t anticipated was that there’s a little hesitancy from people who aren’t regular SFR readers but who have pets and animal companions – there’s been a smidge of trepidation on the part of some nonromance readers who seem to think this is a super spicy collection with a lot of sexy times, but there isn’t even a bedroom encounter in my whole story, for example. (I need more than 23K words to get to the hot scenes when I tell a tale LOL.) It’s a complete story with an HEA of course, but the story ends as the bedroom door closes. I think we figured out there are maybe four actual, tastefully done sex scenes in the entire book of stories. So it makes me a bit sad because we’d hoped to open up the world of scifi romance to new readers a bit more than we’ve been able to as yet. We’ll see! Maybe word of mouth will bring the wider, general audience.
I did send the press release to Ellen Degeneres – you never know!
The blurb for Pets In Space:
Even an alien needs a pet...
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
And the blurb for my story in the collection, Star Cruise: Stowaway:
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
|Midori (alien sidekick) & Moby (space cat)|
An excerpt from right after
the stowaway has been found:
Drawn by the woman’s gaze, which she kept locked on him in an almost pleading fashion, Owen stepped closer to the litter. She reached out one hand and without thinking, he clasped her fingers in his, feeling how chilled she was from her violent trembling. “You’ll be fine now,” he said, leaning closer, while Emily and Vicente prepared the litter for transport. “Dr. Shane will take care of you, I promise.”
The woman arched into another convulsion.
Moby screeched her disapproval and scooted behind the nearest cargo crates while Midorri scrambled down Owen’s back and leapt to a perch on a nearby loader, chittering and whining with ear splitting volume the whole time.
“Sickbay now,” Dr. Shane said. She and Vicente moved the antigrav litter and associated equipment to the gravlift entrance.
Captain Fleming walked onto the cargo deck. He stepped aside to let them pass, Moby and Midorri hustling in their wake.
“I’ll be up to check on her later,” Owen said, raising his voice.
“What the seven hells is going on here?” Fleming asked. “Hardly the usual stowaway case, from what Maeve told me.”
Owen briefed the captain while the three men examined the open freight container without touching any part of it. One of Maeve’s small cleaning robos bustled over the deck, absorbing the puddle of cryo cooler fluid.
“Save the liquid for evidence,” Jake directed the AI. “Never know what may be a clue.”
“Who shipped this?” Fleming asked.
Owen checked the info on his handheld. “InterPlanet Novelties. Never heard of them, undoubtedly a false front company. These two pallets came aboard late – we weren’t the primary choice of shipper, but the original vessel suffered an unexpected delay making port. I picked up the load for them since we had space. I owed the freight forwarder a favor or two.”
Jake gave him a sympathetic grin. “Sorry now?”
Owen grunted, a vision of the woman’s face flashing through his mind. “The container’s scheduled to be offloaded two stops from now, on Devir Six.”
“The cryo unit was well shielded,” Jake said. “It’s a clever design, self contained, small but an efficient power source.”
“I scan all cargo as it comes aboard,” Maeve said from thin air. “Nothing about this item raised any suspicion.”
“Lucky for the woman that the crew who offloaded the pallets was so incompetent and damaged the mechanism with rough handling,” Embersson said. “More good fortune when the animals drew my attention to the leak. She’d have died.”
“You said the collar’s explosive?” Fleming looked to Jake.
He nodded. “We saw something very similar used by insurgents in Sector Forty-Three when we were deployed there. As soon as Dr. Shane tells me the woman is stabilized, I’ll do an assessment, with Red – he used to deactivate booby traps in our Special Forces days.”
Fleming frowned. “So this sentient female could be a kidnap victim, or someone who tried to rip off the wrong people or worse. I want this kept as quiet as possible. I’ll break out of hyperspace long enough to transmit to the authorities, see if the Sectors Criminal Investigation Agency wants to board us to take her and the mystery off our hands, or meet us at the next port.”
“Care to share what you’re thinking, sir?” Jake asked.
“Probably the same as you – this has the hallmarks of a Combine operation. I don’t want the Zephyr mixed up in an organized crime problem, not if we can help it.” Fleming glared at the container as if the box offended him.
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
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