New SFR Release Today Escape From Zulaire

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResSo very pleased and excited to have my second science fiction romance novel out as of today. (Available as an ebook on Amazon and Nook, soon to be at other outlets and issued as a paperback.) ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE takes place in the same universe as WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM but the two novels aren’t connected in any way. (Although coincidentally  the heroine of this novel does work for the same galactic shipping company that the heroine of WRECK worked for.)

I’m sharing an excerpt below the blurb, taken from the second chapter when things go bad fast…

Here’s the blurb for this new novel:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

And the excerpt:

The lights along the path and beside the benches flickered and went out, plunging them into darkness.

Glancing around, Deverane frowned in the moonlight. He released her, keeping one hand around her wrist and putting the other on the butt of his blaster. “Is that normal?”

“The generators have been known to be troublesome in the summer. Probably nothing.” The moment was gone, the spell she’d been under broken. Am I disappointed? Relieved? Things had been moving way too fast between them for people who had just met. “Fortunately, we still have enough moonlight to see the path.” Andi took a step toward the clubhouse.

He tightened his grip on her wrist, forcing her to stop. “Wait.”

Yelling broke out in the large building on the rise behind them. Glaring, spora­dic flashes burst from the general direction of the parking area and from the main wing of the celebration hall itself. Making the forest brighter than day, a sizable explosion obliterated the light of the two moons for a moment. Clapping her hands to her ears at the concussion, Andi ducked, crowding into the reassuringly hard-muscled captain.

In one fluid motion, he had his blaster in hand. Still keeping his grasp on her wrist, he drew Andi farther away from the path, taking cover behind a wide, multiple-trunked tree. Placing himself between her and the build­ing, he leaned out, reconnoitering the pathway. The screams and shouts were increasing in intensity and number.

Andi huddled against the tree, rough bark scraping her arm. He was right, this sounds like the beginning of war. Trembling, she had to lock her jaw to keep her teeth from chattering as one piercing shriek rose above the rest of the general uproar.

“I’m afraid we missed our deadline for a clean escape.” His voice was harsh, the words angry. “Come on.” Pulling Andi to her feet, he laced his fingers in hers and drew her from the safety of the tree, setting a course around the edge of the lake to the east. Andi stumbled in her high-heeled dancing shoes over rocks and branches.

Wait.” Digging her heels into a softer patch of ground, she forced him to stop, yanking her hand free. “Shouldn’t we go back, try to help?”

“We’re overwhelmingly outnumbered.”  He frowned at her, nostrils flared as if he could scent the enemy forces. His stare was unblinking.

Eyeing the blaster in his hand, Andi raised her eyebrows.

Deverane sighed. “Even with a blaster. This was a well-planned, well-timed attack. You and I can’t afford to be caught in the middle of it. We’ve got to get back to the Tonkiln house and my men.”

Across the lake, one of the Obati mansions on the far shore exploded into flames. Andi gasped. “The attack is spreading.”

“This is worse than I thought.” Grabbing her shoulder, he turned her toward the lake and gave her a gentle push. “Are there any boats? We need to keep this head start. No time to creep around the edge of the lake.”

“The boats were drawn up on shore late this afternoon for the end of the season. This way.”  She led him to the lakeshore, where the going was easier. Kicking off her stiletto heels as soon as the ground changed to beach sand, Andi ran faster than she’d ever managed in her life.

Not even breathing hard, the captain kept pace. Swiveling his head, he evaluated the situation. “I don’t like us being so exposed in the open.”

“There are the boats.” Andi pointed to the line of gaily painted pleasure craft resting in the sand about ten yards ahead. Holstering his blaster, Deverane sprinted, grabbing the first boat in the line. He dragged the small craft across the sand into the lapping water. By the time she skidded to a halt, his hand was stretched out to her as he gestured impatiently. “I’ll boost you in. Come on.”

Holding her shoes above her head, she waded out, gasping a little at the coldness of the water. With one hand he helped her shimmy up and over into the boat, where she landed with a thud. Scrambling on hands and knees to the stern, she sat at the control panel, trying to remember the simple instructions she’d received earlier in the week. As Deverane fell over the side, she had the motor revving to the red line. Leaving a broad wake gleaming in the moonlight, the little pleasure craft shot straight across the lake.

He crouched low on the bench amidships and ran his hand over his hair. She hoped he was planning their next move. Blaster in his hand again, he reconnoitered the shore with deep suspicion. “Any obstacles in this water?”

Chilled in her half-drenched party clothes, she shook her head, wishing her expensive dress could shed water the way his uniform was engineered to do. “Not this direction. Can you contact your squad?”

“I’m trying right now.” He showed her the tiny comlink cradled in his other hand. “No answer, which could mean anything or nothing, but probably isn’t good.”

“Do you think the Tonkiln house has been attacked?” Andi worried about heading into an even worse situation than the one they’d left behind.

Not looking at her, he just shook his head. “Let’s deal with that when we come to it. Don’t steer straight to the dock—we’d be too obvious, sitting ducks. We need to land and work our way to the house without attracting attention.”

Angling the boat off to the east, Andi set a course to avoid the dock as ordered. “I never considered an attack on the family’s home. Lords of Space, what about the kids? Sadu and his two little visiting cousins—their Shenti nurse went home to her village last night—there’s only old Iraku and a few of the housemen there to protect them.” Worry about the younger family members gnawed a pit in Andi’s gut. “Lady Tonkiln must be terrified.”

“I have to extract the Sectors citizens, not risk my men trying to rescue anyone else against over­whelming odds. The Tonkilns aren’t my concern, understand?” His voice was flat, the words dismissive.

Andi jerked her head around to stare at him. “We can’t ignore the danger to them.”

“Lady, I have orders.”

Copyright Veronica Scott 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors Is This A Trick?

better wewriwaStill counting down to the release date for “Warrior of the Nile”…. the snippet below comes after Khenet and Tiya have spent some time on deck, watching the scenery as they sail down the Nile…right before this starts, she asks him to call her Tiya, as her family and friends do, instead of being so formal. (A little creative editing and punctuation and it might have strayed over into 10 sentences):

Khenet wheeled, the artless invitation surprising him. A trick or test from Nephthys? Or is  this woman trying to get on my good side, seduce me in an attempt to avoid her fate? Unblinking, he stared at her for a long moment, frustration over this entire assignment making his words harsh. “We’re not family, we’re not friends, this isn’t a pleasure cruise down the Nile on any Pharaoh’s barge. My orders are to escort you to your death and to perish myself as a result. I’ll carry out my orders, Lady Tiya-ami-kitara, have no doubt. But honeyed words won’t sway me from my duty. So don’t waste your time. Or mine.”

Next week I’ll give you her answer….

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 love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

Oh and if I may SQUEE, ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, my new SFR, became available yesterday. Doing the big announcement tomorrow 🙂

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Weekend Writing Warriors Lady Tiya Explains Herself

better wewriwaContinuing on with WARRIOR OF THE NILE, to be released on September 16th. Here’s an excerpt where Tiya is answering some questions about herself from Khenet, as they journey down the Nile. (A bit of creative editing and punctuation has occurred today to make this eight sentences LOL):

 “Unlike my older brother, the priest you met in Thebes, I didn’t receive the calling to serve in the temple. I don’t wear a ram’s wool garland, play a tambourine, or carry statues of the goddess through the street in processions during the high festivals.”

            “You sound relieved,” he said shrewdly.

             “I’m more interested in the life here, day to day, not the Afterlife or the doings of the Great Ones. I’d make a poor priestess, I fear.” Lady Tiya brushed the crumbs off her lap. “I was more intrigued by my father’s businesses, his farms, the granaries. I brought some papyrus and inks in my bag to sketch the scenery we’re sailing past – I always longed to travel, to see more than the area close by Thebes – be careful what you wish for, I guess.”

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 love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE (which is available on Netgalley now for reviewers BTW):

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Guest Interview Fiona Lowe Picture Perfect Wedding

PicturePerfectWeddingFCTwitterI’m very pleased to have Fiona Lowe as my guest today, talking about her newest book PICTURE PERFECT WEDDING! 

Thanks so much for having me here today, Veronica.

  1.       Which part of this book was the most challenging to write?

Every book has its challenging moments and what I find interesting after having written 24 novels is that that challenging part is different with every book. The challenge with PIcture Perfect Wedding was two fold. 1. I was writing it during conference season and I flew to the USA for 12 days and then was home nine days and then flew to Queensland to the Australian conference. I’m not complaining about any of it but it wreaks havoc with concentration and connectedness to the story. I forget what my characters are doing and I have to re read everything to get back on track. By that point in the manuscript, I had to read 80,000 words!

My family will tell you I tend to make grand announcements such as, “The book will be finished by Friday” and the following Tuesday I am still going. Picture Perfect Wedding was just like that. With three story lines and weaving in the threads for the final book in the Wedding Fever series, it was the book that would never end as I tied up all the loose ends.

2.       How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

Usually by running around an invariably empty house yelling, ‘it’s done, it’s done’ and getting strange looks from the cat. Then I call my husband and that night I have a glass of champagne.

3.       What subject would you want to teach (and why), if you weren’t a writer?

Actually I have taught in my other life….Adolescent education which used to be called sex ed. Teaching 11-14 year olds about their bodies, providing them with strategies to deal with peer pressure and stuff like that.

4.       What’s on your writing desk? (Or in the space where you write)?

Oh good grief! As you can see, way too much “stuff”!!  A computer screen, keyboard, mouse and pad, reference books, stuff I can’t work out how to file, ‘to do’ lists, notes scribbled on the back of grocery store printouts, ideas about the current book and invariably the family cat, Pekoe. (see photo)

5.       What’s your most treasured possession?

I’ve spent a lot of time traveling and I have lived overseas using all second-hand stuff and yes, I have had moments when I lamented the fact people were coming to dinner and none of the glasses matched while I had lovely stuff back in Australia but it’s just ‘stuff’ that can be replaced. My most treasured possession is my family.

Some book information:

Saved by The Bride OUT NOW!

Picture Perfect Wedding (August 12th)

Runaway Groom  January 2014

 Boomerang Bride Out Now in Print in USA!  RITA®  2012 Winner, R*BY 2012 Winner

The books are available at:

Carina Press                       http://bit.ly/14vwc2H

All Romance Books          http://bit.ly/14vvPVT

Amazon                         

Nook                                    

Kobo                                    

Ibooks                                 

Booktopia   (Aust & NZ) 

You can find Fiona at: http://www.fionalowe.com

Follow Fiona on Twitter  or on Facebook  

 

Weekend Writing Warriors Is Tiya the Right Person?

better wewriwa

Continuing on with WARRIOR OF THE NILE, to be released on September 16th, the goddess Nephthys has appeared to Khenet, Lady Tiya and the high priest. After a few preliminaries (including her answer to Khenet when he refused to kneel), she’s deciding whether Tiya is the right candidate for the mission. (Some creative editing and punctuation has occured LOL):

Smiling, Nephthys nodded, her unearthly beauty cold in the stark light as she said, “So far, acceptable.  Now the true test – I must hide myself in your form.”

Eyes wide, Tiya recoiled a step, the priest standing up unbidden to offer a steadying hand. Whatever she’d expected, this clearly wasn’t part of it. Khenet sympathized – he’d found the concept appalling when Pharaoh had explained it earlier. I need to watch this closely. If the goddess can become Tiya, I need to know the signs so I’m not taken unaware on the journey.

One minute Nephthys was there, towering over the humans in the chamber, the next minute there was a swath of sparkling black mist where she’d been, the motes drifting in a lazy cloud to surround Tiya. 

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 love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

I’m thinking next week I should jump ahead a bit, let Tiya say something! so far the excerpts have been all Pharaoh, Khenet and Nephthys.

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

From the Archives Board Games of 5000 Years Ago

???????????????????????????????Revisiting a post from last summer, on Ancient Egyptian board games, which is timely again because I was talking about my novel WARRIOR OF THE NILE, which was out on  submission at that point. This is the new book I now have coming out from Carina Press in September – SQUEE!.

Here’s how the blog post began (and then there’s an excerpt from WARRIOR, although it may have changed somewhat in final edits) ….

“The Ancient Egyptians worked hard, but also loved to play. They had many leisure pastimes, with board games high on their list.  One of the most famous games is senet, invented over 5000 years ago.  Played with two sets of pawns, some kind of dice and a board with thirty holes, the game was symbolic of the journey of the dead. A player who did really well at this game was considered to be under the protection of a major god or goddess. We don’t know the actual rules any longer, although various scientists have put a lot of effort into coming up with reasonable ideas.

In a [WARRIOR]… my heroine discusses playing senet with the goddess Isis herself (although the movie still below involves Hounds & Jackals).  Please travel here to read more about  the board games and the excerpt from the novel…..

Ann Baxter,actress,movie still from The Ten Commandments

So I Might Have Bought A Quick Pick or Three

Unable to resist the allure of $400M, I did go slightly out of my way on the drive home tonight and purchased a quick pick or three for the Powerball jackpot.  When the California Lotto first started, I used to play $1 per week, just for the fun of it, won a dollar or two here or there. My biggest ever lotto win? $86. WHEE! Keep the day job…

A co-worker of my late husband’s won one of the earliest “big” California lotto jackpots (and this was a long time ago so it was only maybe $2M)  at the convenience store where they all used to go to grab a snack after work. (Yes, I gave my poor husband grief for not buying the winning ticket LOL.)We were in college, poor as could be – living on the GI Bill mostly and his factory job and my retail job and you know how that goes – and wow, did we ENVY that guy. He got to do the whole “come in to work, say “take this job and shove it” to the bosses”…and leave forever.

I had a set series of numbers I used to play, gave that up when they added the wild card MEGA number at the end, just too complex for my non-mathy brain or something. (I put those numbers into one of my novels by the way, sneaky me). But I kinda like quick picks better now because that puts the whole thing into the hands of Fate. Either She’ll deal me the winning numbers or she won’t, you know? won’t have messed up by picking one digit wrong. Fortunately we don’t do lotto pools at work because I know I’d be the one who was gone the day they bought the tickets and everyone else wins, but not me.   (A lot of fascinating dynamics in these situations where a group buys a ticket!)

The economists always inform us the odds of winning are like being eaten by a shark in the middle of Idaho AND being struck by lightning simultaneously BUT they waste their breath because….someone…HAS…to….WIN.  I don’t like my odds of winning exactly (what, 1 in a billion or something? Does China have powerball?) but if I buy a ticket I can still have that fantasy of what I’d do with all that after-tax money. Some of the daydreams have changed a bit over the years but I’d start by resigning the day job, paying all the bills….that part somehow never changes LOL! I’d love to be able to stay home and write full time…

I only buy some quick picks nowadays when the jackpot gets so ridiculous that I can’t resist indulging the grandiose dreams, just for fun.  I don’t think Fate intends for me to take the easy money way through life though, probably not going to hand me (and the IRS) $400M on an oversized check in the next few days. (Or with my luck there’d be  20 other winners, you know?) But it sure is fun to fantasize!

Well enough of that fantasy, time to report back to Ancient Egypt and get on with the next scene in my current Work in Progress. Got deadlines to meet!

Here’s a fun old video on the topic of “In the Money”!

Weekend Writing Warriors The Goddess Nephthys Appears

better wewriwaMore from WARRIOR OF THE NILE, due out September 16th…Tiya has said good-bye to her family and the angry, would-be suitor, and she, Khenet and the priest have entered the inner sanctum alone, to meet the goddess:

The strong scent of the lotus threatened to choke Khenet.

“The goddess is present,” whispered the priest, going to his knees, arms crossed over his chest, head down.

Tiya muttered a little prayer and knelt, copying the man’s pose.

Khenet planted his feet well apart, in a fighter’s stance, and remained standing. I’m here in Pharaoh’s place and he wouldn’t kneel to any goddess. Besides, I swear no fealty to Nephthys.

“Humility and obeisance are the safe choices in the presence of the Great Ones.” Where the statue had been, Nephthys herself now stood on the pedestal in front of them, taller than Khenet, wrapped in black robes and gray mist.

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 love and appreciate your comments and feedback every week! Go here  to find all the other Weekend Writing Warriors and read  an amazing variety of  terrific excerpts…

Next week perhaps we’ll have some more conversation with Nephthys…..

And the blurb for WARRIOR OF THE NILE:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?