Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Melissa Koberlein shares Fireflies Trilogy


Book Blurb:

Pine Grove has always been a peaceful place, and sixteen-year-old Marley feels right at home in the Appalachians. Things change when a close encounter of the third kind leaves a glowing mark on her shoulder, and a new boy shows up at school. A peculiar glimmer in his eyes reminds her of fireflies, both captivating and scaring her right out of her boots. When he reveals that he’s a host for alien symbiotes, it sends her running in the opposite direction...that is, until he catches her.



Meanwhile...Will is entering yet another school midyear. He has his usual problems: acclimate to a new school, deal with his assigned FBI agent, track a compatible human, all while appearing the normal teenage boy. He can’t believe his luck when his search leads him to Marley, a girl more agile in the woods than in a mall. He reminds himself that he can’t let what happened to his last assignment happen in Pine Grove, not to her...


Note: Fireflies is YA sci-fi romance.

Praise for Fireflies:
"The twist at the end was unpredictable, making it a good turn adding spice and intrigue to the plot. A mix of Twilight and I am Number Four, this book has a solid marketability through its conceptual, enjoyable storyline." -Review from Writer's Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards


Here are some links for my trilogy:


Read Fireflies for FREE here: 

The complete Fireflies trilogy available here:



Excerpt from Fireflies:

I’ve been tracking humans my entire life. While each time is different, it’s always the same rush.

Pennsylvania is unseasonably warm this April. I reach for an evergreen branch, the sharp needles pricking at my palm. It has been too long since I’ve been here. I close my eyes, breathing deeply the calming earthy scents of my home woods: pine, cedar, grass, algae on some rocks of a nearby stream, fresh water trickling down, and a distance away, violet wild flowers. Focused and determined, I open my eyes, smiling eagerly.

I’ll find my quarry.

I reach down and press my palm to the ground. Images pass through my mind like frames in a movie. Two girls passed through here, one brunette, one blonde,

both searching for something…another girl, a friend. They’re local high school students about the same age as me, on a trail cleanup detail. The girl they’re searching for has fallen into a ravine. She’s afraid, but not seriously hurt.

Standing, I begin my hike, following the two girls in search of their friend. Five hundred feet up the trail, I catch up to them. Quickly, I hide behind a tree, my t-shirt scraping the bark.

 It’s her. The one I’ve been tracking. I’ve got to mark her to let the others know she’s mine. Slowly, as if not by my own will, I step back onto the path to get a better look. She’s navigating the trail as if she were born to hike, reassuring and leading the girl behind her. I feel an instant pull as my heart pounds from being this close to her. My instinct is to approach her now, but that would be foolish. I need to wait for the perfect time. Besides, she’s focused on her lost friend. In fact, she’s almost to the top of the ravine.

I consider yelling up to them, when she stops and turns toward me. Instinctively, I duck back behind the tree just in time, each breath coming fast and furious. I lean my head against the tree, closing my eyes, concentrating. She knows I’m here.

The brunette says, “What’s up, Marley?”

“I thought I saw something,” the blonde replies.

“I’m sure it’s probably some other kids looking for Becca,” the dark-haired girl says.

The blonde’s name is Marley, and her senses are impeccable for a human.

They continue moving up the trail as I silently follow. I can’t lose sight of her, not even for a second.

I want this one, and no one is going to take her from me.





Liza adds the following bit for an 'awww' moment.
Melissa traveled twelve hours to pick up and take this adorable girl home: 

Her name is Zoe, she's 9 weeks old, and she is a boxador. (I believe that means she's a mix of a Boxer and a Labrador.) Sounds like a good mix to me. 

She looks a little sad here, but she just had a six-hour drive and is probably missing her mom and siblings.  I'm sure she'll cheer up when she finds Melissa's favorite boots. And seriously, who could not love this pup!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

C.S. Wilde shares From The Stars



BLURB:

For her, he'll go to war with the entire galaxy.
James Bauman's life turned upside down when he fell for Miriam, the most amazing woman he's ever met. If only she were human, things would be a lot easier.

Miriam cannot love, but this won't stop her from trying. She must be careful, though. Strong emotions are forbidden in the Whisar Empire. If the council discovers that she's trying to fall in love with an earthling, they'll pull her heart out. Literally.

James will do everything in his power to show Miriam what love is, but if he succeeds, the wrath of an ancient alien race might crash upon him... and doom Miriam forever. 

Note to readers: This sci-fi romance contains a lot of action and steamy romance. So if you like fast-paced adventures and toe-curling love stories, this is for you! Includes a preview of the Dimensions Series 2: Beyond the Stars. 
________________________________________________
Praise for From the Stars:

★★★★★"When it comes to enjoyable science fiction romance, this is a prime example of how to make it work." Nicholas Conley
★★★★★"This book has compelling characters, a plot that keeps you turning the page, and a romance that will make you swoon and your heart ache." Amazon Reviewer
★★★★★ "Loved this book, can't wait for more!" Amazon Reviewer




LINK TO THE BOOK:
Just one, but I plan on making it wide later on



SOCIAL MEDIA:
Website: www.cswilde.com



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
C.S. Wilde wrote her first Fantasy novel when she was eight. That book was absolutely terrible, but her mother told her it was awesome, so she kept writing.
Now a grown-up (though many will beg to differ), C. S. Wilde writes about fantastic worlds, love stories larger than life and epic battles.

She also, quite obviously, sucks at writing an author bio. She finds it awkward that she must write this in the third person, and hopes you won't notice.

EXCERPT:
I wake with a gasp. I’m strapped onto a chair, the metallic surface so cold it stings against my arms and legs. Metal cuffs strap down my wrists and ankles, and rattling clangs in my ears as I try to break free.
A beacon of light shines from above, blinding me, and for a moment I wonder if I’m at a dentist appointment from hell.
I look down at my white shirt and blue boxers, the clothes I wore to bed. I could swear just a moment ago I was sleeping peacefully under my comfortable sheets. Now the hairs on my arms stand on edge and adrenaline rushes through my veins.
This is a nightmare. It has to be.
There’s something sticky on my forehead. Several sticky things, like tentacles sucking on my skin. They venture across my hair too, pulling strings as I assess what’s visible of the dark room. Not much, considering the light blinding me above.
Am I having some sort of brain exam?
 “Hello?” I shout to the empty room, my eyes narrowing under the light. “Is there anyone here?”
“The male is fearful.” The deep and hollow tone rings in my mind, not my ears. Like a lost memory or a thought.
Who said that?
Blood stills in my veins as I hope, pray, that this is a nightmare.
Someone shoves the light away, and then I’m staring up at Miriam, the most incredibly gorgeous woman ever created.
She gives me her dazzling smile, the one that puts any supermodel to shame.
Her sleek brown hair hangs in a low ponytail, and brown freckles lightly pepper her nose and cheeks.
“Hi, James.” Her tone is calm, soothing. It makes my heart slow, which is a first. Every time I see Miriam Haworth back at the office, my heart races so hard, it might be trying to achieve the speed of sound. “I know this is odd,” she continues, her green eyes shining with something between curiosity and excitement, “but you’re safe, I promise. This is just a dream.”
My mind’s fuzzy, blurred, so this could definitely be a dream. It doesn’t feel like one, though. If anything, this is a nightmare. Except for Miriam, of course. If all my nightmares feature my crush smiling down at me, then I’ll gladly take them.
I still remember the day I was called to set up her computer, six months ago, when she joined Weltman & Co.
Miriam was waiting for me when the elevator door opened. She wore a black skirt and suit jacket, and beneath it she had a white T-shirt that featured Spock saying, “I’m a Vulcan, not a Vulcan’t.”
It’s hard to explain how awesome that was to me.
She shook my sweaty palm, her skin soft and perfect. “Call me Mir,” she said with a dazzling smile. “Like the space station.”
I was used to the inevitable jittering stomach and cold sweat caused by the sighting of a pretty girl, but this? This was different. Miriam was the epitome of amazing, at least to me.
I can’t say why she captivates me so much. It’s something that just is, like boson particles or my dad’s talent for baking apple strudels.
“Mir, what are we doing here?” I ask, narrowing my eyes at the pitch-black corner of the room where a dark figure stands almost imperceptible against the darkness. “I get that dreams don’t make sense, but this is insane.”
She frowns. “Have you ever had a logical dream?”
Hmm, she does have a point.
A beep rings from somewhere, and then the rough, hollow voice says, “His state of infatuation for you is confirmed. Congratulations, Miri’et-eh, you have succeeded in acquiring a test subject.”
She looks to the dark corner and bows her head slightly. “Thank you.”
“I still can’t understand why these filthy creatures fascinate you researchers so,” the voice continues, disgust in his tone. “They’re pathetic.”
Before I can give him a snarky reply, Miriam glares metaphorical ice daggers at the dark spot. Loose strands of hair free from her ponytail and frame her face. “You’re not supposed to understand. You’re a security officer.” This as if ‘security officer’ actually meant ‘disgusting bug’.
The darkness shrugs, and it’s extremely odd, feeling a shrug in my head. “It makes no difference.”
This situation is turning beyond uncomfortable. I wriggle against the restraints that strap me to the chair. “Hmm, can I just…” I shake my arms, the rattle of chains clanging at my sides.
“Not a chance in all the—”
Miriam clicks something on the chair, and the cuffs drop on the ground. We smile at each other as I rub my free wrists. I’m about to thank her when I feel a presence beside me accompanied by loud breathing akin to Darth Vader’s.
I look up to a figure at least six feet tall, probably higher. He has a black helmet shaped like a squared heart, and his entire body is wrapped in a black bodysuit that mingles with the darkness of the room.
He lifts his hand and I’m shoved toward the ceiling, a scream ripping through my throat. A nightmare, it has to be a nightmare.
My last breath catches midway in my lungs as the hard surface approaches. I brace for impact before I hit it like a plane crashing against a mountain. My life should be passing before my eyes any moment now.
Only it doesn’t. Also, my bones are all in place.
I open one eye to see I’m hanging in midair. Floating. “What the fuck!”
“He’s a threat.” The figure’s voice booms in my mind. “He must be eliminated!”
Below, Miriam faces off with the mysterious creature who’s at least three times her size, my empty chair the only thing between them. Some wires similar to those of EEG machines dangle from where my head was, so I was definitely having something akin to a brain exam.
My breaths ring in my ears, chest heaving up and down. This dream is all sorts of fucked up.
“He’s far from a threat! He simply wished to be released,” she says. “James Bauman is my test subject. You cannot hurt him.”
“You shouldn’t have—”
Miriam raises and lowers her arm, and the dark figure slams brutally against the ground, some invisible force smashing against him.
“Threaten my test subject again, and I will report you,” she says. “Do you understand?”
He growls something akin to a bark, but Miriam ignores him.
She looks up at me and twists her fingers. Slowly, softly, I land back on the chair.
 I swallow dry, my throat feeling like it’s made of concrete. “Mir, what’s going on?”
The black figure stands up wearily and crosses his arms. I wait for an attack, but he doesn’t move toward me. Instead, he keeps a safe distance.
Shock catches up and my limbs begin shaking. “Who or what the fuck is this thing?”
“A dream, James,” she says, her hair slightly disheveled. “It’s all a dream.”
“But he was going to kill me.”
“No.” She cups my right cheek and my vision becomes blurry, my mind dizzy. “I’ll never let anyone hurt you.”
I blink at her, my eyelids heavy. Already, my nerves begin cooling as a sense of safety takes over me. “You know, the guy’s supposed to do that.”
“Do what?”
“Protect the damsel in distress.” The words come out drowsy, drawled.
She smiles. “You should sleep.”
I try to fight the invisible power that presses over my thoughts, forcing sleep on me. “Mir, I… why am I your test subject?”
She opens her perfect, kissable lips to reply, but before she does, I drift into unconsciousness.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

JC Hay & 5 others writes collaborate to create The Great Space Race

Start Your Jump Drives!

Yesterday saw the culmination of almost a year-long effort between myself and five other writers, all luminaries of science-fiction romance. I’ve got to say - Collaboration is a crazy drug.

We started the series with a singular vision – what if you took a movie like 1965’s The Great Race, or a TV show like The Amazing Race, and gave it that wonderful SFR twist? And what if we made it more like a reality TV show? That was the birth of The Great Space Race.
Each of us sat down to plot our own teams, charted out our planets and went to work figuring out where we could cross over with each other to make the race feel “lived-in.” It was every bit as wonderful as it sounds. Writing is such a solitary profession for much of the time, so it was incredible to sit around the virtual table with people whose work I already knew and enjoyed, and just brainstorm together.
Even better was the way our ideas fed each other – we enjoyed a sort of easy harmony where each idea caused a cascade of similar ones, like scree in a landslide.
For my part, it culminated in Flare, the story of Team Corona. The back grew out of an early comment by series originator CJ Cade – that pirates and brigands were likely to attack the well-known raceways. I immediately wondered what would happen if one of those pirates got roped into competing in the race. Since we were writing space opera, I cast the pirate-heroine as from a race of aliens I’d been working on in some side stories (my strangely honor-bound, devilish looking Malebranki), and paired her with her polar opposite – a shiftless, cowardly grifter named Ax.
As I’d hoped, it created a lot of tension between them, but it also gave them plenty of room to grow towards and with each other. That’s something they’ll need, since Octiron – the company that sponsors the race – isn’t in the business of giving away shares of the prize money. So they’ll stop at nothing to make sure as few contestants finish as possible!

They could go all the way, if they don’t go straight to hell.
All Kayana wants is respect. Jilted by her fiancĂ©e, turned out by her family, and rejected by her crew – esteem is in short supply. When she hears about the cash prize for winning the Great Space Race, she realizes it’s more than enough money to get her old life back. Or buy herself an asteroid someplace where she won’t care what people think.
Ax Turner just needs to hide, and the Race gives him the best opportunity to do so. In plain sight. Surely the thugs and criminals he’s ripped off won’t come after him while cameras are rolling on the galaxy’s most popular reality game show. And if they do, well, having a partner who’s able to fight and looks like a devil seems like a win.
They’re on the run –  from the past, from the lethal challenges of the Great Race, from their feelings, and straight into each other. They’ve got more than their share of problems, and those secrets could drive them apart, or be the key to winning the biggest prize of all: each other.
Want to learn about the other Great Space Race Books? Go to http://gspacerace.com to read about the other books and download a free preview of the series!



Excerpt from Flare: Team Corona

The woman with the scarlet skin stepped the rest of the way through the door and pointed the pepper-box muzzle of the pistol at him. As she spoke, the universal translator in Ax’s comm unit immediately converted her speech to Galactic Common. “I am Kayana, Daughter of House Frissyn, Banner-bearer for House Garryk of the Nine. Surrender or die.”
Ax appreciated the easy choices. He slowly put his hands up, careful not to set himself tumbling through zero-g. “I’ll take surrender, thanks.”
The pistol didn’t waver as she reached out to snag his ankle with her free hand. She dragged him to the deck and pinned him in place with one magnetic boot. “Where is the rest of the crew?”
“You’re looking at it, devil-girl. The only other guy is dead upstairs.” Technically true, since the camera crew wasn’t going to help run the ship.
The woman snorted and lifted him to her face. Up close, and without the flames to distract him, Ax could get a good look at the pirate for the first time. Her eyes were black, the white so small as to be nonexistent. Wavy dark hair tumbled over her shoulders and into her face in a cloud that bordered on unruly. In the dim light, he could just make out the edges of the tiny scales that chased the high bones of her cheeks and the point of her chin. In another situation, he’d consider her damned attractive. So long as she wasn’t threatening him. And she didn’t smile. Smiling showed off the sharp points on her canine teeth and made her a lot scarier.
She leaned into his face, giving him a full view of her vicious dentition. “Turn on the gravity.”
Fortunately, he was used to terrifying women. He shrugged. “I’d love to help you with that, but no can do, Kay.”
“Kayana,” she spat. “And you will do it, or I’ll kill you.”
“You’re big on that threat. Problem is, the ship’s all biometric controls. Once you kill me, you’ll be locked out of the system completely. I’m the only the person you’ve got.” He gave her his most charming smile, the one Gobby had buckled for.
It didn’t work.
“All I need is your hand.” She reached for a blade at her hip. “You don’t need to be attached.”
“Actually, I do. It’s a pretty sophisticated system they’ve got in place, and a dead hand is no better than the wrong hand. But you’ve got bigger problems than the security.” He took a deep breath, hoping he had put enough bait on the hook to keep her from killing him. Or cutting off his hands. He was especially attached to his hands.
She rolled her eyes. “Such as?”
“Well, the AI is a complete pain in the ass, for starters.” Ax chuckled at the understatement.
Kayana knotted her fingers in his collar and began to drag him up the steps to the main deck. “An AI is just one of the ship’s systems. It does what it’s told.”
“Yeah, and this one’s been told to be completely unmanageable.” He scrambled his feet before realizing it was easier to let her drag him in micro-gravity than to fight against it. “I assume it’s be-cause Octiron gets some kind of sick thrill out of making everything as difficult as possible.”
She tugged him back up to eye level, and Ax found himself staring into eyes like the black emptiness between the stars, and just as warm. “Or you could be stalling, looking for an excuse while you try to figure out a way to render me unconscious.”
Ax donned his best grin. “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”
Her nostrils flared, and she snorted. “Said every man who was lousy at both.”

About JC Hay

JC Hay writes romantic science fiction and space opera, because the coolest gadgets in the world are useless without someone to share them.
In addition to Romance Writers of America, he is also a proud member of the SFR Brigade (for Science Fiction Romance), the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance chapter, and a proud member of RWA’s PAN (the published authors network).
In addition to piracy in high space, JC writes the Corporate Services series, a set of connected cyberpunk romances set eighty years in our future where the limits of humanity are being stretched and tested.
Follow my Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jc-hay
Like my Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCHay/
Follow me on Twitter: @j_c_hay: https://twitter.com/j_c_hay

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Jay Shaw presents The Hunted


Hi everyone, thanks Liza for having me over to visit.

I'm Jay Shaw, I’m a six-foot red-haired, single mum of two teens, who hails from New Zealand. My first job was delivering pizzas. I have a passion for dark-haired military men in combat boots and thigh holsters, but I’m not opposed to the occasional sexy shirtless cowboy in worn denim. I’m a night owl who prefers dogs to cats, and dragons above anything. And I’ve always wanted to go on a date to a fair, ride the Ferris wheel, and the roller coaster.

I write sci-fi, paranormal, action, and contemporary, romances. My characters will, through trial and tribulation, adventure and discovery, ultimately find their one great love. A love that all of time and space will lie down and be still for.

I adore the creative freedom science fiction offers. The opportunity to escape into alternate universes and other worlds, with characters who are swept up in things greater than themselves, is a sensation to which I'm addicted. I hope by reading my books, readers get to experience that same sense of escapism from their daily lives; to feel the atmosphere of an alien world, or fly a space fighter through a nebula, if only for a few hours.

My Dragonus Chronicles series is a science fiction space opera romance - and a perfect fit for that description. When complete, it will comprise nine books in three trilogies. The first begins with The Space Colonel's Woman, continues in The Hunted, and concludes in The Shifting Tide, which is one of my works-in-progress. 

Here's the blurb for book two:



Abducted without a trace, Colonel Mark Holden remains in the clutches of Arcadia’s Grand Chancellor - a maniacal dictator who continues to enslave and experiment on X2 humans. 

Meanwhile, far away on an alternate reality Earth, Julia Holden lives a life she no longer belongs to.  She spends her days rescuing those who cannot save themselves, and pining for her lost love.

Can the Arcadians achieve galactic domination, or will Hayden rescue Mark before his genetic secrets are stolen? 

And when Phoenix City calls, will Mark and Julia return to fight for the hunted?

I hope that whets your appetite for some adventure and romance among the stars. One of my reviewers said, “an all-around great story and space adventure with plenty of action, and full of heroes determined to overcome the most impossible of circumstances and difficult of ages.”

If you'd like to share in Mark and Julia's journey, check out the links.

I'm working on a website, but in the meantime feel free to stop by my Facebook, or Twitter, I love new visitors.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Aurora Springer shares Europa, Taxyon Space, Book 1


EUROPA, Taxyon Space, book 1
SciFi Thriller &Romance

Daredevil scientist & scarred alien
 in perilous alliance. 



Dr. Nikki Bell’s plan to discover intelligent life hits a rocky start when her spaceship crashes on the icy surface of Europa. Seconds before she blacks out, she spies a man’s face in the water beneath the ice. When she wakes on the submarine Station, nobody believes her story. Convinced the mysterious stranger saved her life, Nikki searches for him while she explores the ocean and its alien inhabitants. 

Kiron Arqin Ramis chose exile as a Watcher on a remote outpost to redeem his family’s honor. He never expected to find an attractive Earther woman close to death. He violates the prime policy by rescuing her. Despite suffering the penalty, he strives to warn her about his hostile leaders.

Nikki’s unexpected meeting with Kiron triggers a chain of disasters in Europa’s perilous oceans. Can the daredevil scientist and scarred Watcher forge a new alliance despite their people’s antagonism?  


Excerpt

Water rippled. Giant bivalves clacked shut on all sides. A large object loomed in the darkness. A monstrous siork propelled by long fins like a winged serpent moved into the blue glow of the mollusks. Its enormous fang-filled mouth gaped three times the length of a man. Biting her lip, Nikki eased her zapper from the holster. Her hiding place seemed a fragile and inadequate protection against this monster.

The green skinned man whirled toward Nikki. Diving into the same shelter, he knocked her to the ground and dropped beside her. Jolted by the impact, she blinked at his face, faintly visible in the blue luminescence. His eyes widened a fraction, and he gave a wry smile of recognition. Pinning her down with one arm, he gripped his harpoon and stared out.

Waves surged against the giant mollusks, rocking their shelter. The blue glow faded. Above them, the monstrous beast bashed against the shells. A loud snap indicated a cracked shell. Swirls of blue-green blood spurted across their view as the siork crushed its victim.
 
Her heart thumping in terror, Nikki cowered next to the strange man. 

Long minutes later, the roiling waves calmed as the giant predator moved away.

The man stood, gripped her elbow, and pulled Nikki onto her feet. The diagonal slits of his gills pulsed open and closed on the sides of his deep chest. His intense gaze flicked up and down, appraising her figure in a rapid glance. Settling on her face, his green eyes warmed in admiration. He smiled. The handsome smile she remembered so well.

Flushed in triumph, Nikki gave a silent laugh. She had located her mysterious rescuer, and they were grinning at each other like fools. 



Review of Aurora Springers’ Europa

There is none better than Aurora Springer when it comes to creating biological creatures. Her books are always rich with unique beings, and Europa is no exception. I was fascinated with the multitude of creatures she creates for Europa.

I thoroughly enjoyed the love story between the female human (biologist) and a water alien (Watcher).

Not surprisingly, not everyone trusts the other humanoid race. The question is, will those who mistrust the other sentients destroy all chances of the two species working together. There are those on both sides who believe the other beings are a threat and should be removed.


And as always, Aurora provides exceptional detail in setting the stage and keeping the reader on the edge to see what happens next. And with her, you really don’t know until you turn the page.
I give this five stars!


Buy Links
International: http://authl.it/B0764DFSDM/?d


Aurora Springer’s Published Stories are listed HERE


Author Bio
Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved a life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven adventures and romances set in weird worlds and described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Media links:


Monday, November 13, 2017

Veronica Scott shares her latest release: The Fated Stars


Veronica: Thanks for having me as a repeat guest! Always love being here…and this is the first time I’m guest blogging about my new release, THE FATED STARS, which just came out.
Liza's response: I love having you stop by.
This is the fourth story I’ve written involving a captive alien empath and the brave Sectors soldier who rescues them, but for this book, I wrote a male empath and a female bad-ass mercenary. My daughters have been challenging me to write a female soldier and I thought this book was my golden opportunity. I wanted to have the adventure be markedly different from the other three in this quasi-series I’ve got going.



Here’s the plot:
Larissa Channer, a tough no-nonsense mercenary in the Sectors, is celebrating success on her last job and a big bonus, with no slightest thought of taking on another assignment anytime soon. Out for a night of carousing with her friends at a third rate carnival on a backwater planet, she walks into the tent of a fake fortune teller and finds herself confronting the most intriguing man she’s ever seen. But something’s wrong, ominous currents lie beneath the surface of their encounter and Larissa can’t leave well enough alone.
Samell, a powerful, high born empathic priest, has been kidnapped from his own primitive planet along with a number of his people and sold to the shady operator of an interstellar carnival. Kept enslaved, pretending to be a fortune teller while forced by his captor to steal information from the minds of all who come before him, Samell despairs of ever breaking free.
Until Larissa walks into his tent and he recognizes the warrior who might mean the difference between life and death.
The situation becomes dire when Larissa and Samell come to the attention of the Shemdylann pirates who kidnapped him in the first place and the deadly Mawreg aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the empathic alien noble, and derail the Mawreg plot against the Sectors? And will the soldier end up with her prince when all’s said and done?


The excerpt:
In a happy drunken cluster, she and her friends roamed the carnival grounds. They scoffed at the trained animal acts, featuring beasts supposedly imported direct from Old Terra, and the group of them threw tips in the hat for the strolling dancers and acrobats and lost credits at the rigged games of chance. The attractions were as lackluster as she’d predicted, until they reached the back of the lot.
       “Ooh, a fortune teller.” Pamila wobbled in her space boots, leaning on Devlin. It was obvious to Larissa those two would be sharing a bunk in his ship before the red sun rose. “I want my future read.”
       Half-baked superstitions rising in her somewhat fuddled mind, Larissa shook her head again. “Bad idea for a mercenary. I can tell you right now, our future’s uncertain as the path of a rogue comet. See, I just saved you a credit. Thank me later.” She spun on her heel to walk away as fast as she could.
       Pamila grabbed her elbow. “Come on, it’ll be fun. More fun than losing credits on the bucket toss or the ring loop.”
“I doubt that.”
       But she was overruled, and they each paid the minimal fee then stumbled into the darkened tent. Larissa paused on the threshold, stunned by the urge to flee. What the seven hells? Larissa Channer doesn’t back down from a real challenge, let alone a mangy fake seer. Gritting her teeth, she followed her friends.
       Lavishly decorated with gaudy odds and ends, the temporary structure was meant to suggest a remnant of an ancient civilization perhaps, or accouterments of magic. Larissa had no idea. Her attention was riveted on the fortune teller himself.
He was the most compelling man she’d ever seen and undoubtedly the handsomest. Dizzy from more than the feelgoods, Larissa felt warmth spreading from her core, pulsing outward. Annoyed, she rested one hand on the nearest faux column to steady herself.
She’d seen good looking men before, even shared her bed on occasion in a no-strings attached friends-with-benefits manner, so why was she craving the sensation of his body under her hands?  Practically swooning? Which was the only applicable word here, Larissa admitted to herself. Like a fairytale princess in a trideo. If there was one thing Larissa could never be accused of, it was mimicking a fainting fictional heroine. Built on solid lines and taller than many of her fellow mercenaries, male and female, she was a well-trained, kick-ass warrior.
And she did not get her panties in a twist for random, good-looking men. Especially not members of a third rate carnival.
Drank too much of the cheap feelgoods.


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Author Bio:
USA Today Best Selling Author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy 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 “City On the Edge of Forever.”
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