When the Great City Perished Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWrWaHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Since LADY OF THE STAR WIND is still my newest release – and doing quite well, thank you to all the Warriors for your support! – I’ll keep going with this book. Only now let’s give Mark a turn.

Mark and his companions, including the unconscious Sandy, have been rescued by a clan of desert-dwellers. They’ve taken refuge in the underground village to wait out the sandstorm, before attempting to continue their trek to the Lost City. After treating Sandy as best they can for the snakebite, the chief takes Mark to show him something. This scene will take a few weeks to play out, going ten sentences at a time! Edited a bit from the published version.

The chief led Mark into a large chamber filled floor to ceiling with shelves holding thousands of scrolls. A long, shiny table occupied the middle of the room, its legs graceful depictions of some birdlike creature. A scroll had been partially unspooled and spread out, waiting for them, the edges anchored with glimmering green  and blue stones carved into fanciful shapes of birds and fish.

            “What is all this?” Mark paused on the threshold, breathing in the musty but not unpleasant smell, stunned by the sight of thousands of scrolls.

            “The Library of Khunarum himself.” Jagrahim’s voice held pride. “When the great city perished from the lives of men, and the people fled away to the south, my tribe received the duty and honor of preserving the knowledge. After hearing your description of the serpent in the temple, I remembered a reference to such a creature. I’ve spent the night searching for the pertinent scrolls.” 

Lady of the Star WindFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700The story:

Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?

Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.

Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.

They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.

Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?

Buy Links: Amazon    KOBO     Barnes & Noble   iBooks 

Veronica Takes a Magazine Quiz

It’s been too long since I did one of these quiz posts! I found a new one in a back issue of Porter magazine, which interestingly and very cleverly is run by the net-a-porter.com clothes-selling site. I like to look at high fashion photo shoots sometimes for writerly inspiration and there have been some good interviews.

At any rate, a few months ago, they interviewed Hannah Bronfman “DJ turned app developer and founder of…HBFit…” I liked some of the  questions, so here goes with my answers.

RT photo croppedPower piece: I have a swingy navy blue dress with tiny polka dots (bigger polka dots give me a migraine) and a burgundy cardigan style top that make me feel GOOD. If you look at my photos from Day One of RT2016, when I had two panels back to back, you’ll see I was wearing that combo!

Working Style: must I admit that as a fulltime author I’m usually to be found in what Dillard’s charmingly calls “patio dresses”?

Fashion Icon: Not sure I have one? Tim Gunn for his advice? (Not to me personally, but on the various programs.) Michael Kors? You can see I watch a lot of Project Runway.

Favorite Designers: (Let me see who makes my patio dresses…) I love Roberto Cavalli. If I could wear expensive designer clothes, he’d be my go-to guy. Or Marchesa. I love their esthetic. Years ago it was Carole Little. I really enjoyed the way she 013mixed and matched prints and colors.

Heels or Flats: Years ago I lived in 3″ heels and had dozens of gorgeous shoes. Alas, for various reasons now I wear flats. I have about 6 pairs of the gorgeous shoes still, because I couldn’t bear to part with them all.

Pants or Skirts: I’m a skirt girl all the way,  but I do like to wear jeans on occasion.

scarab smallMost Treasured Item: (I decided to make this about jewelry.) The tiny opal and diamond ring my late husband gave me as my first engagement ring a zillion years ago. My medal from a trip to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, which I never take off.  But if the house was burning down and I was told I could only save one inanimate thing, I’d take the silver teaspoon that’s been in the family over 200 years because we’re not losing it on MY watch! If I could take two things, I’d add my Great Great Grandmother’s soup spoon. And I’d grab my maybe 3000 year old faience scarab amulet bead on the way!

Handbag: I only have one at a time because I can’t be bothered to transfer all that stuff around. I just wear it OUT till the strap breaks, and then I replace it. I go for one that’s big enough for all my necessary items, but not too big, usually black, usually about $30 at Ross or Target because I’m going to beat it up…I gave myself a very elegant black croc bag from Michael Kors a few birthdays ago and never used it. Always too afraid I’d ruin it…so there you go. I had a very fun Louis Vuitton FAKE that I found at Goodwill, with the multicolor initials and logos but never used it much either. And now I know a lot more about the product counterfeiting industry and so that makes me uncomfortable to use it either.

006Beauty Essentials: Um, Colgate toothpaste? Well, when I am doing makeup, I love Ole Henrikson Truth Serum Collagen Booster and whatever  black waterproof mascara has me convinced I really will get those sweeping lashes in the commercials.

Perfume: I’m going back and forth between three, two of which are discontinued. PURE by DKNY. Acqua di Gioia  by Giorgio Armani.  Hollywood by Michael Kors. I have a hard time with perfume because most give me a migraine. So when I find one I like that I can wear, I’m devoted.

Blackberry  or iPhone: iPhone

Health Essential: lots of water daily. At least 48 ounces a day.

Fitness Regime: I have bad knees so when I can, I love to take a long walk. Hmm, ‘regime’ is probably too strong a word to use for description, right?

Biggest extravagance: Books of course!

 

 

 

Already Too Late Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWrWa(If you’re here for the Blue Moon Blog hop, go HERE.)

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Since LADY OF THE STAR WIND is still my newest release – and doing quite well, thank you to all the Warriors for your support! – I’ll keep going with excerpts from the scene we’ve been pursuing here.

Lady of the Star WindFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700From  about 1/4 of the way into the novel: Sandy was bitten by a snake named Sherabti, went into the green light with a woman unknown to her and found herself sitting in a room she’s never seen before, with four women who seemed to think Sandy was someone else…the Lady of the Star Wind…A new player, Haatrin, entered the chamber and scolded the Moon Sisters, after which an even more senior goddess, Nuet, arrived to scold them ALL and sent the Moon Sisters fleeing. I’ve skipped a few sentences between our last on from this book and today’s. (Nakhtiaar is what the local residents call this area of the planet.):

“You must have a warrior, a consort, if you are to be the Lady,” Haatrin said, her tone firm. “But this Mark you speak of doesn’t have to be the one. You can choose another, a warrior of Nakhtiaar perhaps. What matters is your choice.” Leaning forward, she touched a fingertip to Sandy’s chest above her heart. “Your choice here.” Retreating, she drank from her own glass.

“How much time do I have to decide? To see if things can be worked out with us?”

“You’re already too late for some possibilities,” Haatrin said.

The story:

Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?

Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.

Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.

They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.

Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?

Buy Links: Amazon    KOBO     Barnes & Noble   iBooks 

Blue Moon Blog Hop New Excerpt STAR CRUISE OUTBREAK

Veronica sez: The Blog Hop is over…since I had 8 commenters, I’ll offer each of you one book from my backlist – just e mail me at veronica.scott.author at gmail dot com and let me know what format you prefer and which book. I’ll even include the 4 self published ancient Egyptians in the offer. (Can’t give away the Carina Press titles – sorry!) Or you can have one free download code for my new audiobook STAR CRUISE: MAROONED…

bmbhbannerHere’s the link to find all the participants  http://sfrcontests.blogspot.com  and here’s the link to the Rafflecopter for the Blog Hop Prize 

StarCruiseOutbreak-FJM_ARE_200x300I sort of snuck into this blog hop because I don’t have any blue moons or blue aliens but I do have a pretty blue cover on my latest science fiction romance novel and the life saving medicine in the book is blue!

Before we get to the excerpt, I’m giving away ONE ebook copy of  any ONE of my six science fiction novels to three randomly selected commenters on this blog. The book of your choice in the ebook format of your choice. Just let me know what you like most about scifi romance, or what you’d like to see more of. More aliens? Cyborgs? Space marines? Something else? I’ll announce my winners on May 24th.

The story: 

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: A film maker who happens to be on board when the outbreak strikes pressures Dr. Shane to let him make a documentary:

Giving the cameras a glare, Emily sat behind her desk. “I don’t know what the seven hells you think you’re doing here, but you can have two minutes to explain it to me, because I need to get off my aching feet for a moment. Any changes in your wife’s condition?”

“I know you’re busy, Doctor—”

“Overwhelmed is more like it. Liora?”

“She’s fine. Suffering the ongoing morning sickness, but coping. Remaining in our cabin, as you suggested. No signs of anything more serious.” Sid flashed his patented movie-star smile. “This is Carrl, my number one cameraman.”

Apparently hearing the finality in her voice, Sid cut to the chase. “I want to film the epidemic story.”

Thinking she heard wrong, Emily sat down hard. “You want to what?”

“I want to shadow you and your team. I want to profile some of the patients. I want to explore the cause of the outbreak. It’s going to be the biggest human-interest story in decades, definitely the biggest since the Nebula Dream catastrophe, and I’ll be in the thick of it. Take the audience into the danger and guide them through it.” His rich, highly trained actor voice fell into the rhythm of trid narration, suitable for enticing a thrilled viewer to experience the disaster at a safe distance.

“This isn’t some promotional event we’re staging for your benefit. Not a vicarious thrill ride for Sectors citizens.” Anger was thrumming through her veins, creating an instant headache. Emily had to work hard not to show how upset his attitude made her. Must remain professional. “People are extremely ill, dying. I just left the bedside of a sweet little old gentleman, someone’s grandfather, who may not make it through the day despite our best efforts to help him. So please forgive me if I’m not all that interested in your audience right now.”

“I know. I have eyes, and I hear the rumors. I understand where your focus and attention must be. I’m looking at a bigger picture, Doctor. One that can’t be ignored.” He leaned closer. “It’s to CLC’s benefit to cooperate. I’m going to have the story no matter what. I’ve already interviewed a few people on board.”

Publicity again. Even through her anger, Emily took note of the morbid irony in someone mentioning favorable PR to her. “Are you threatening me? Do I need to have Officer Dilon throw you in the brig?”

“Calm down. No one is threatening anyone.” Daburkn went back to his persuasive, pitchman’s voice. “Can you imagine what it would have been like to be on board the Nebula Dream, recording the events there firsthand?”

“I hardly see the comparison. Nebula Dream was an entirely different situation—”

“The public remains terrified and fascinated by that whole disaster precisely because the most prominent survivors only gave one tightly controlled interview. Later, there was a technical deposition given to the ICC investigatory board that’s practically undecipherable to the average Sectors citizen. Leaving all of us in the Sectors to speculate and make up our own horror stories.” Daburkn spread his hands wide. “I’m giving the CLC Line the chance to show itself at its best, taking care of the passengers, making the supreme effort to save lives. You’ll be even more famous than you already are. I know you don’t care about that, Doctor, but a disaster of this magnitude could destroy the shipping line, cost all your friends their jobs and pensions. I can tell the story with a CLC-friendly slant.” Narrowing his eyes and leaning in, he lowered his voice and modulated his tone. “I do have a contract in effect with the company for filming on board. The terms are broad enough that they can’t deny me access now.” He paused for effect and added what he apparently felt was a deal-sweetener. “The Line would be entitled to some of the net profit from the documentary, if there is any.”

Buy Links:     Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks

 

 

 

 

Veronica Recaps The 100 Season 1 Episode 1

clarkeSince the finale of Season Three is this week, I thought it might be fun to go back and re-watch Episode One of Season One, like a time traveler, coming from their future.  Especially with this series, I have no idea if the writers knew in Season One the kinds of twists and turns they were going to create over the next three years, but I thought it’d be fun to look for clues. SPOILER warning – I will talk about events in all three seasons.

Clue one – this episode has no twisty, insider reference of a title. It’s just the “Pilot.”

We get the key to Clarke at 2:16 into the episode when her mother says, as they’re getting ready to send her to the ground, “Your instincts will tell you to take care of everybody else first, like your father…”  That is so true, in so many ways.

It was odd to see everyone looking so young. Carefree would be the wrong word, although they go a bit crazy when they reach the ground, but certainly not as drawn and hardened as they’ll become.

I’d forgotten there was so much emphasis on the adults and the politics and harsh survival mechanisms of the Ark. All the infighting and maneuvering! The nasty Security chief gave me chills for one. Kane for another. I remembered instantly why I didn’t like him in the old days, when he had a slicked down old style haircut, by the way. He was a cold, unpleasant enforcer, although he was still trying to find a way to live by the law. “If we’re going to kill hundreds of innocent people, we’re going to do it by the book,” he says at one point.

I can’t even look at Jaha, because the character’s become so loathsome to me over time, with the ALIE plot. It’s weird to recall how in the beginning he seemed like such a good leader. But even in season one he gave ruthless orders the way he does as part of ALIE.

FINNFinn! The first time we meet Finn, in the dropship on the way to Earth, I think my heart stopped for a moment. He was such a cool character. He’s the missing piece that Clarke and Bellamy need so badly in Season Three to balance their decision making…but alas, we lose him in Season Two. I’m still sad over that.

Did you remember that Octavia was first out of the dropship, thanks to Bellamy? I’d forgotten that but what a nice touch, since she’s going to literally become a Grounder. “We’re back, bitches!” was her line. Not quite up there with what Armstrong said on the Moon. I’d also forgotten how much of an outsider she was, the “girl who lived under the floor,” laughed at by her peers. She flirts with Finn. She flirts with Jasper. octavia

So the kids go wild, except for Clarke, who’s got her map – to Mount Weather no less – and is already insisting they need to do this, they need to do that to survive.

It was so scary to me, watching them party and frolic, and wander around carefree, since I know the Grounders are right there, observing. I wanted to yell at the screen. It’s never going to be so happy and pleasant again, folks, so I guess it’s a good thing they have a few moments of sheer happiness. Savored the rainstorm.

Can you imagine if the dropship had landed in the right place, closer to Mt. Weather, and they’d trustingly arrived there, expecting it to be empty and waiting for them to move in? These naïve kids would have had no chance against the occupants at that point in time. Mt. Weather management might have played it smart enough to lure the entire Ark population to them for harvesting.

Would Jasper still have fallen in love with Maya at that point? He and Monty are such free spirits in this episode. I’d forgotten that Monty’s family was in charge of the Ark’s ‘herb gardens’, which was part of what drew the two guys into friendship. Shared interests wink wink.

BellamyBellamy’s evolved over the three seasons more than I thought. I’d managed to overlook how many of his actions at this point in Season One are taken purely to save himself and Octavia. He talks everyone into removing their bracelets, mostly so he won’t get executed. The adults in the Ark won’t land if they think the 100 all died, remember? Clarke even asks him if he’s willing to sacrifice everyone on the Ark for his own benefit, after she reveals the Ark has only three months worth of life support left. He’s caught up in the “here there are no laws and we can do whatever the hell we want” spirit. He’s protecting his sister and himself and that’s all he cares about at this point. But even then, he’s seen as a leader and people listen to him. Of course, he’s telling them to party.

Murphy was more prominent in this episode than I’d expected. He was one of the first off the dropship, and he was Bellamy’s right hand man. His character was the way I’d remembered though – sullen and self-centered, and not trustworthy. I still think Murphy has evolved more over the three years than anyone else. Jasper became more hardened, but still the same person.

JasperSo a small group merrily goes off to find Mt. Weather and plunder it – Clarke, Finn, Jasper, Monty and Octavia. Along the way they find a lake, a two-headed deer (what ever happened to those cool special effects?), a snake-thing that nearly ate Octavia until Jasper (!) dives in to save her, and a midnight forest full of magical glowing flowers, shared by Finn and Clarke. OK, I’m still mourning Finn…

But wait, he’s found tracks, which he thinks are those of a great ape. (An animal we know will figure in a Season Two episode that I personally found quite unbelievable.)

And then after Jasper makes his terrific, Tarzan-style trip across the river by vine, and finds the Mt. Weather sign, he’s transfixed by a spear that’s the size of a young tree trunk. Fun times OVER.

“We’re not alone,” says Clarke.

Random Thoughts:

Octavia took exception to Bellamy wearing a guard uniform. Nice foreshadowing of a lot of stuff to come.

Who was that woman on the Ark who kept saying she was Abby’s best friend and seemed to be Kane’s girl friend? I’d totally forgotten her, but apparently she was important to the plot in Season One.

Kane was going to float Abby!

I was delighted all over again by the attention to detail, especially the raggedy clothing the Ark residents wore. Subtly reinforced that they’d been marooned up there for 97 years with no opportunity to go shopping, or to manufacture new clothes. Hence, shirts with holes and careful mending.

I’d forgotten how Clarke was such a wonderful artist when she lived on the Ark, drawing all those pictures of the ground in her cell. That aspect of her personality gets submerged pretty fast.

And how she tried to keep her father’s watch…

There was a lot of good music in episode one. The producers certainly made excellent use of the sound track over the years, to emphasize key moments. “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons is almost too much on the nose in this episode.

I didn’t see any specific foreshadowing of ALIE. Maybe at this point in season one, the writers hadn’t come up with that plot line. I did zoom in on anything red!

Jaha’s son Wells. He seemed like such a key character, as if he was going to be a mainstay of the series…and then they kill him off almost casually a few episodes later. Remember? He’s a victim of Bellamy’s “do whatever you want” slogan, when the little girl who hates Wells’s father slits his throat. That was the warning to us, the viewers, right then and there, that the series was going to be brutal about who dies and when. Wells was the foreshadowing of a lot of loss to come, characters we were going to care about much more than we did him. (We barely know him and he’s gone.)

Parting Shot:

Knowing what I know now, as a viewer, would I still have gone along for the ride? Yes. There’s a lot of good story telling ahead, twists and turns, and jaw dropping moments. I wouldn’t want to give up time with Clarke and Bellamy as they make their choices and take actions. I wouldn’t want to miss the tragic beauty of Octavia and Lincoln together. I wouldn’t want to miss out on meeting Raven and seeing her evolve. And Lexa was such a layered, exceptional character –  who could regret meeting her, even if for far too brief a time?

I would be better prepared for some of the shocks and I’d still be highly upset over Finn’s death. Lexa’s death. Lincoln’s death. And probably some hard-to-take deaths in the season three finale ahead. I might not have let myself get so invested in the story and the characters, given some of the unfortunate-in-my-opinion choices the showrunner and writers were going to make. Been more of a casual viewer.

But overall? I’d be there. Well, depending what happens this week with the finale!

Old Matters Lie Between Us Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWrWaHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

LADY OF THE STAR WIND has been released! Buy links and stuff below the following excerpt, which picks up where we left off when I was sharing snippets from this book before.

Lady of the Star WindFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700

From  about 1/4 of the way into the novel: Sandy was bitten by a snake named Sherabti, went into the green light with a woman unknown to her and found herself sitting in a room she’s never seen before, with four women who seemed to think Sandy was someone else…the Lady of the Star Wind…A new player, Haatrin, entered the chamber and scolded the Moon Sisters, after which an even more senior goddess, Nuet, arrived to scold them ALL and sent the Moon Sisters fleeing. I’ve skipped a few sentences between our last on from this book and today’s. Haatrin asked Nuet about the Mirror. Nuet is speaking. The snippet has been edited a bit:

“I’ve said she may have the mirror. Whether she can wield its powers in part or in full, or at all, remains to be seen, depending on her choices, and those of her warrior.”

“I’ll try not to disappoint you,” Sandy said, feeling as if she’d been given some treasure to safeguard, although as yet there’d been no sign of this mirror the others spoke of in such respectful terms.

“You have the rare chance to affect the balance,” the woman said, shaking a finger at her. “Such opportunities are not often granted to mortals – don’t waste it.” Without another word, she crossed the threshold and disappeared as thunder rolled outside the chamber.

“I’ll send you safely back into your body,” Haatrin said. “But first, there are some things I ought to tell you.”

Sandy voiced the issue concerning her most at the moment, “All this talk of balance and opportunities, involving me and my warrior. I have to tell you the relationship between Mark and me is unsettled – old matters lie between us.”

The story:

Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?

Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.

Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.

They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.

Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?

Buy Links: Amazon    KOBO     Barnes & Noble   iBooks on May 18th

Exclusive Cover Reveal LADY OF THE STAR WIND

UPDATE: Veronica sez: since the period of exclusivity is over, here’s the full cover! But please do visit the USA Today Happily Ever After post for the excerpt! And the book is now available on Amazon! (Other ebook sellers coming soon.)

Lady of the Star WindFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700

I’m doing an exclusive cover reveal today over at USA Today Happily Ever After for my new scifi romance novel – Lady of the Star Wind. Another gorgeous cover from Fiona Jayde! I hope you’ll hope over and check it out. The book will be available from the usual ebook sellers next week.Meanwhile, here’s the story (I have an actual excerpt over at USAT/HEA):

Are they merely luckless lovers … or a legend come back to life?

Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.

Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.

They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.

Mark and Sandy must work together to unearth an ancient mirror, and crown the true king of this land.  Can they fulfill the prophecy of the Lady and her Warrior … and this time, will their love survive the test?

Guest Author Ed Hoornaert ESCAPEE

Escapee_Ed_HoornaertVeronica sez: Today Ed is my guest, talking about his latest science fiction romance novel Escapee (Repelling the Invasion), which he says was loosely inspired by the 1951 movie “The African Queen,” with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Ed and I ‘met’ doing the Weekend Writing Warrior snippet hops and we’re also in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade together. Take it away, Ed!

The blurb:

“The African Queen in outer space…”

Catt Sayer just wants to survive.  The working-class fugitive delivers military supplies on her decrepit airship, but her hard-won livelihood vanishes when invaders overrun her harsh moon. Now an idealistic, upper-class officer wants her to risk her life on a hopeless voyage to attack enemy headquarters – manned by 10,000 soldiers.

Edward Hoornaert’s romantic space opera, Escapee, continues the saga of the Dukelsky family (begun in The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station).  If you like The African Queen and the thrill of underdogs finding love while battling a hostile environment, you’ll love Escapee.

The excerpt:

Hank slammed the tank to a stop.

“What’s the matter?” Catt asked.

“Ravine straight ahead. Too steep to cross.”

They were dead, then, sitting ducks for the approaching enemy. With the fascinated hopelessness of a baby mizzet watching the approach of a pack of Sargolay’s dismal-wolves, she counted the vehicles racing toward them. Twenty-four? No, a couple more crested a rise.

Twenty-six.

A stab of envy brought tears to her eyes. Lance had died the proper way, in the ship they both loved, not in a cramped, smelly, unfamiliar tank.

“I’m almost locked on the shield generator’s location.” Hank’s voice shocked her with its spirited joy. “Almost. Almost…” Then his face melted into a goofy grin. He turned to her and pulled her close for a quick hug that was over before she could respond.

She felt helpless, confused, and lost. How could he be happy? She supposed he’d locked on to the generator, but still… She didn’t want to die, not really, though she was willing to die for their cause. Mostly, though, she didn’t want Hank to die. She would’ve saved him if she could, even at the cost of her own life, but she understood nothing happening around her.

Something pinged off the tank, making it ring like a muffled bell. They’d been hit, but if Hank was right—of course he was right—the enemy couldn’t penetrate the tank’s armor. Yet.

A stream of projectiles slammed the tank, one after the other, in an endless, cacophonous barrage, dozens of them. Hundreds. Then the tank roared and jumped like a giant had swatted it.

What the plark? The enemy had brought up their cannon already? They might not miss their next shot.

But Hank’s face still glowed with savage intensity. “The shield generator is nearby. I need two more seconds.”

It seemed to take a lot more than two seconds—her sense of time had shrunk—but then the tank bellowed again, and the sound was different. Internal, not external. “Missile one, missile two,” Hank shouted. “Three and four.”

Recoil smacked Catt backward into the seat. She was grateful all over again it was so well padded. How was the poor skoot faring? She couldn’t see the animal.

“Got it! Got it!” Hank’s voice sounded tinny after the roar of the missiles.

“We did it? We made a difference?”

“We did it!”

“Hank, I love—”

Before she finished, a mountain jumped onto the tank. Catt’s teeth rattled. Her helmet’s speaker’s hissed with overload and then went silent. The roof disappeared. Something hit her. No, the seat had ejected and she was flying. Spinning through the air. Through dizzy gray sky. And smoke.

And Hank was nowhere to be seen.

Author Bio:

What kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.

Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandson. Visit him at http://eahoornaert.com.

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Buy links for Escapee:

Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Escapee-Repelling-Invasion-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B01BUI0T60/

Amazon Canada  https://www.amazon.ca/Escapee-Repelling-Invasion-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B01BUI0T60/

Amazon UK  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Escapee-Repelling-Invasion-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B01BUI0T60?ie=UTF8&keywords=Hoornaert%20Escapee&qid=1459828315&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Amazon Australia  https://www.amazon.com.au/Escapee-Repelling-Invasion-Edward-Hoornaert-ebook/dp/B01BUI0T60/

MuseItUp Publishing  https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museitup/sci-fi/space-opera/escapee-detail

Apple iBooks  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/escapee/id1084931005?mt=11

Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escapee-edward-hoornaert/1123434911?ean=2940152704877

Kobo Books  https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Escapee%20(Edward%20Hoornaert)&ac=1&acp=Hoornaert

 

You Understand Make Believe? Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWrWa(If you’re looking for the SFR Brigade Presents, the link is here.)

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Here’s the third snippet from STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK, which released in April. In recognition of Mother’s Day in the USA, best wishes to all Moms, and I picked an excerpt involving a child on the cruise liner, at dinner with a famous guest. But not a sad scene! (Edited a bit to fit our requirements.)

Leaving her chair, the youngest Enzell child tugged at Liora’s sleeve, asking in a high-pitched, excited tone, “Are you the Gantaran Fairy Queen – will you grant me a wish?”

“Now don’t bother the lady, Syl, please go back to your seat.” Her mother shushed the girl, turning to the actress apologetically, “It was her favorite trid last year and she can sing all the songs.”

Liora leaned closer, putting her arm around the child. Focusing all her star power on the girl, she said, “I got to pretend to be her. You understand make-believe, right?”

Syl nodded, eyes wide.

“Well, the queen let me make-believe I was her for a little while, but I couldn’t very well borrow her real magic –  she needs it all to keep Gantara safe.” The actress plucked one of the cloth napkins from the table, and her husband handed her a writing instrument in a deft move he’d obviously made many times before. Liora drew a caricature of a fairy on it, signed her name and wrote a short message before handing it to the girl, “Just for you,” she said.

StarCruiseOutbreak-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500The story:

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…

Buy Links:     Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks

NEXT WEEK: We’ll return to an excerpt from LADY OF THE STAR WIND, because I’ll be revealing the cover on May 10th, and the book’s going to be released very soon thereafter.

 

SFR Brigade Presents An Epidemic in Space

SFRB ShowcaseOnce a month the Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors showcase snippets from new work, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things. The link is here for all  the participants.

I had a new release in April – STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK, so here’s an excerpt from the book. I realize this coming weekend is Mother’s Day in the USA, so I picked an excerpt involving one of the guests, caught in the epidemic aboard the interstellar liner. This episode is early in the book, when everyone believes the bug is an annoying but pretty harmless norovirus.

The actress was pale, which emphasized the dark shadows under her eyes. “I’m StarCruiseOutbreak-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500predictably nauseous the first few days of traveling at hyperspeed,” she said, rubbing her abdomen. “But this is excessive. I haven’t been able to keep anything down today.”

            “You should rest after I give you the Galamialate,” Emily advised. She frowned at her scanner and redid the readings. “Hold on a minute. No Galamialate for you, I’m sorry.”

            “But, Doctor, I have commitments. I have to be in the casino in two hours. We’re filming a segment of the infotainment special there with the ship’s dance troupe. That’s why I called you—the show must go on, you know. It’s not merely a nice slogan—we have a contract to fulfill.” Liora twisted the blanket in her trembling hands. “Can’t you give me something to relieve this nausea? Give me an energy boost?”

            Emily hesitated, but there was no easy way to broach the topic. “Are you aware you’re pregnant?”

            Tears glistening in her eyes, Liora nodded. “I hoped I might be. We’ve been trying for some time now. Sid doesn’t know yet.”

            “I won’t tell him unless it becomes medically necessary. But you can’t have Galamialate, which can cause birth defects in Terran-descent humans. Have you been pregnant before?”

            “Not to my knowledge. We’ve had no luck at all. Until now, apparently.” Liora’s smile grew but was only a pale imitation of the glowing expression she was known for across the Sectors. “I’m from a big family and so is Sid. We’ve wanted children so badly.” She laughed. “You must not read the gossip feeds. The story of my infertility has been a headliner for the past two years. Ever since we got married.”

            “I’ve been pretty much immersed in my own life.” Frustrated at her lack of direct experience in obstetrics after one rotation in med school years ago, Emily thumbed through the reference library on her personal AI. “I’m afraid my clinical training on pregnancies is limited. I was a military doctor on the frontlines. Blaster burns, trauma from explosions and the like. Not much here for morning sickness.” She asked a few questions about other symptoms and performed a more detailed exam than she’d planned. “The pregnancy appears to be progressing well. No issues there. My diagnosis would be nothing more than a mild case of the norovirus compounded by morning sickness.”

            “All-day-and-night sickness.” Liora grimaced, rubbing her stomach. “She must take after me, hates space travel.”

            “She?” Emily glanced at her scanner and smiled.

            Liora held up a hand. “Don’t tell me. I’m old-fashioned and I want to be surprised. Until the birth, I’m going to think of the baby as she. I’ve dreamed of having a little girl.” The actress frowned. “The gossips would pay a fortune for this story.”

            “I’ve had some experience with being hounded by the media myself,” Emily said. “You’ll have nothing by sympathy on that score from me.”

            “Oh right, you’re the Angel of Fantalar. I’m sorry, I forgot.”

            “I wish I could.”

The story:

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…

Buy Links:     Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks