Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Veronica Scott has tons to share with us: The SFR Galaxy Awards & her Star Cruise book: Outbreak

Thanks for having me as your guest yet again! I always love stopping by to talk scifi romance.

The 5th annual SFR Galaxy Awards were recently announced –  hours of wonderful scifi romance reading highlighted there – and I was honored to have two of my novels, as well as the Pets In Space anthology  honored with an Award.  I always love to read the explanations the judges provide as to why they picked a book as memorable enough for them to decide to bestow the award. Some of the background thoughts are mini essays and others are a few sentences but always worth perusing. Lots of tongue in cheek SFR humor in the write-ups and this year was no exception.
By all means hop over the SFR Galaxy Award site at and check out all the winning books (and one webcomic).
Now, to get in the mood for Veronica's book, 
click the little arrow below

For Star Cruise Outbreak, which received the Award nod from two judges, one of the essays said, in part:  “…This star cruise line is run by a whole lot of ex-military, and it’s a damn good thing, because this crew runs into the sort of trouble that would leave the usual cast of a Love Boat drifting in space in a dead hulk…The story in Star Cruise: Outbreak is not surprisingly an outbreak of a particularly deadly mutation of that old standby, the Norovirus. Viruses, like cockroaches, seem to live forever. Trapped on a plague ship, with no possibility of outside help or outside resources, it’s up to veteran military doctor Emily Shane to find both the cause and the cure with the limited resources and limited time she has left before they are forced to fly into a sun….”
My original novel with an interstellar cruise liner was Wreck of the Nebula Dream, loosely based on the Titanic sinking, which also received an SFR Galaxy Award in 2012, the very first year they were given. That award really inspired me to keep going with scifi romance, that maybe I was telling stories people would like to read! But much as I enjoyed writing Wreck, then that ship was done for (although the hero and heroine had their HEA) and I still wanted to tell more stories on a big interstellar cruise liner that didn’t have a ship-ending disaster. So I came up with the Nebula Zephyr, a newer, bigger, sister ship to the one I’d destroyed, and had fun thinking about who should be in the crew. I do a lot of research for my books, as you and I’ve discussed before  - which coincidentally results in me being followed on twitter especially by cruise and travel bloggers! In the name of research for Star Cruise Outbreak I even tracked down and read the plot synopsis for every single episode of the old “Love Boat” TV series, just for the ‘feel’ of what made the program such a hit at the time.  The continuing characters of the crew were clearly the backbone, with fascinating guest stars and some really ‘out there’ plots. But the modern cruise industry today does a greatly expanded job of entertaining guests, which prompts many current plot ideas for me. I also enjoy watching reality TV like Bravo’s “Below Deck”. Purely in the name of research of course!
Here’s the story for Star Cruise: Outbreak:
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
 Excerpt (I picked a more light hearted moment when Dr. Shane has her first encounter with a typical passenger on her new ship):
 The first patient is a princess? That sure sets the tone for the trip. Emily swung around and walked toward the group, unsure who the patient was. Gripping her bag tightly, she hoped someone spoke Basic. Or any language she’d been hypnotrained in.
Only one person was seated—a young girl, long black hair elaborately dressed in braids and curls anchored with jeweled pins. Her pearlescent, ruffled robes shimmered in the lights. She resembled a doll, a miniature version of a queen, lacking only the crown. Emily guessed she was perhaps ten standard years, if she had a Terran heritage. Surrounding the child were three much older women and two massive bodyguards. No one in the party looked ill or in distress. One of the men took a protective stance in front of the girl as Emily approached.
She paid no attention to him but kept walking. The guard moved aside at the last second. Addressing the oldest woman standing directly behind the girl’s chair and seemingly in charge of this odd party, Emily introduced herself. “I’m Dr. Shane. Is the child unwell?”
“The Hereditary Princess Falyn of Tregallovan is quite well, thank you,” answered the woman, frowning as the little girl sneezed with perfect timing.
“Then what brings you to sickbay today? How may I be of assistance?”
“It’s my pet, Doctor, she’s sick.” Brown eyes glinting with unshed tears, the girl left her chair and glided around the bodyguard with steps so smooth she might have been on an antigrav cushion. She pulled a small creature of indeterminate origin from one heavily embroidered, bell-shaped sleeve and cuddled the animal close to her chest. “You must make her well for me.”
“I’m not a veterinarian,” Emily protested. Surprised, she turned to Jake. “You allow animals on board?”
He came to join her, also ignoring the bodyguards. “Good afternoon, Lady Scorsshyn.” He nodded to the old woman before answering Emily’s question. “Sometimes our guests bring their pets along with them, yes. As long as the ICC regulations about inoculations are observed, no worries.” He got down on one knee to address the child. Emily couldn’t decide if he was trying to be nice about not towering over Falyn, or showing deference to her rank. “What seems to be the problem, Your Highness?” Running one hand lightly over the animal’s fur, he said, “Your pet is soft.”
“She sneezes and won’t play or eat or anything.”
“Sounds like a virus. What do you think, Doc? Or maybe an allergy?” Jake gave Emily a meaningful glance. Lowering his voice as he rose, he spoke close to her ear. “You’re going to have to treat the little fluff, veterinarian or not.”
“Well of course. I’m not going to allow any creature to suffer if I can prevent it.” Emily was over her surprise now. At least this trip wasn’t going to be boring. “Bring the animal into the examination room where I can attempt to check the vital signs, see what, if anything, is wrong.”
Scorsshyn opened her mouth, but before she could object to a mere ship’s doctor ordering a princess around, Falyn obediently carried her pet into the smaller chamber. Her five companions had no choice but to follow.
“As her regent, I shall of course be close at hand in the examining room,” said the elderly lady, pushing past the others. Without making a protest, Jake, the two ladies and the guards clustered around the open portal. The ship’s AI smoothly extruded a waist-high table from the wall, and Falyn set her unusual pet on the gleaming surface.
Looking closely at the furry green creature as it shivered on the table, Emily counted six impressively clawed feet, a bushy tail stubbornly curled around the animal’s body, and two golden eyes glaring at her. The pet’s glossy fur, alert attitude and clear eyes projected a reassuring impression of good health so far. “Do we know what kind of animal this is?”
“The Hereditary Princess acquired the creature on the planet three days ago, from a street vendor who gained entry to the hotel lobby,” said the nearest bodyguard.
“Great,” Emily muttered. “How about those up-to-date inoculations now?”

Buy Links:  
Apple iBooks   Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   
Author Bio:
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.
Seven 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 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.”


  1. Thank you for having me as your guest today and that was such a sweet start to my morning! I'd love to be *you*, with all those many MANY novels you're able to release - wow!!! HUGS :) and yay for scifi romance.

  2. Sounds like a fun read. I loved the Love Boat and watched it each week! I wanted to be Julie but as I aged, I learned that her job was really much harder than they showed! I can just imagine trying to please hundreds of passengers!

    1. Me too! I haven't written about my Cruise Director yet, need just the right story for her.


All spammers will be shot with a plasma gun.