Jealous Much? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

Here’s the next excerpt from  my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM.  The small party of survivors has discovered some really bad things about events surrounding the wreck  and are now  in the cargo hold, searching for something they need for their escape attempt. (Trying very hard to avoid giving spoilers here!) We’re in the hero, Nick Jameson’s POV. He looks up from his labors to find Mara staring at him. I’ve done a bit of editing:

He paused, wiping his own brow. The air isn’t circulating any too efficiently here on Level Ten. “What?”

“I wish we’d had dinner,” she answered simply.

“But you had another date that evening.”

“No, a previous engagement.” She corrected him crisply. “It was a business dinner. I was fact-finding a deal, discussing the possibility of Loxton doing some work for a major manufacturing company in Sector Fourteen. A working dinner with their vice presidents of logistics and manufacturing.”

“A business dinner wearing a strapless blue dress?” Nick said, before he could stop himself.

She sighed, tapping her toe on the deck. “Jealous, much? No, it was a business dinner, Nick. In one of the Dream’s conference rooms, not my cabin or theirs. We had the basics of the contract worked out, in fact.” Biting her lip, she rolled her eyes. “Why am I explaining this to you?”

“I’m not sure.” He stood for a moment, staring at her until she turned her head, making a show of sifting through more debris. Where is this conversation going? I know where I’d take it if we weren’t on a dying ship, trying to save our skins. Why couldn’t I have met her in another time and place?

He thought maybe she blushed. She laughed again, but somewhat ruefully. “I left the working documents and all my equipment in my cabin on Level Two. Shut the door and walked away. Not important in the grand scale of things tonight.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear someone in this group has their priorities straight,” Nick said. “Unlike Twilka and her jewelry box hunt.” 

hubble wavy

Here’s the story:

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedTraveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.  All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

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Thanksgiving Trivia While You’re Waiting for the Turkey

???????????????????????????????<=Jake the Cat (on top of the refrigerator) – Is it done yet????

88% of Americans have turkey on Thanksgiving. No word on what the other 12% eat but the statistic did come from the National Turkey Federation….

Approximately 250 million turkeys are raised every year for this holiday and the biggest producer of the required bird is Minnesota. (Really???? that seems odd to me but ok.)

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” Erma Bombeck

“My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.” Phyllis Diller

768 million pounds of cranberries are required to make the sauce for dinner….

Here’s what Thoreau said about cranberries: “There, too, I admired, though I did not gather, the cranberries, small waxen gems, pendants of the meadow grass, pearly and red…” And that’s the only quote about them I could find other than Ocean Spray promotional stuff and things from, or about, the Irish rock band The Cranberries.

The first meal eaten on the Moon was a turkey dinner, which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin consumed…I’ve actually been in a conference room with Mr. Aldrin once, which was a thrill…we didn’t talk turkey (or Tang).

There were 4.4 multigenerational households in the US last year…by which the US Census Bureau means three generations or more. I currently live by myself (well, with two cats) but my daughters and my grandson will be here to eat turkey so for a few hours we’ll be multigenerational. Guess which generation washes the dishes?

The average person consumes 4500 calories on Turkey Day. Wow.  But hey, who counts? (Other than the Calorie Control Council, which generated the statistic.)

Four places in the US are named after the turkey – one plain Turkey,  two Turkey Creeks and an Upper and a Lower Turkeyfoot. don’t you wonder what would inspire a group of Town Elders to name their towns after a turkey’s foot? But wait – the cranberry has seven places named for it. Cranberry wins!

Sarah Hale, the author of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” campaigned for twenty years to create the national holiday of Thanksgiving before President Lincoln finally issued the declaration in 1863.

???????????????????????????????Pretty much everything we know about the actual “first Thanksgiving” comes from a paragraph in a letter that  Edward Winslow wrote to a friend a month or so later and an account William Bradford wrote about twenty years later. Here’s an excerpt from Winslow’s letter (in modern spelling)*:

“…our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week…”

So they had leftovers too!

*Quote from a page on the website of Pilgrim Hall Museum . This Museum, opened in 1824,  has Captain Miles Standish’s sword, Mr. Bradford’s Bible, a portrait of Mr. Winslow, a sampler made by one of the Captain’s daughters….

In conclusion, sending you my best wishes, whether Thanksgiving is a holiday today for you or whether you have a different celebration of similar type!

I’m thankful for all the Readers and Reviewers and Book Bloggers and my fellow authors, as well as everyone in the publishing community AND the independent publishing world…..

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Cheat a Cheater? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwaContinuing on with my paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt…Nima and Kamin have been captured by a caravan master who plans to sell them to the pursuing enemy. Nima challenges the man to a game of senet, with her life and Kamin’s as the stakes and a blood oath between herself and the caravan master that they’ll each honor the outcome. Needless to say, Kamin isn’t too happy and pulls her aside (creative punctuation and a tiny bit of editing to get you the entire exchange):

“What in the seven hells are you doing? “

               Leaning close, she whispered, “Trust me, please, Kamin, if he swears a blood oath—”

                “And if you win,” he said furiously, “The throwing sticks are bound to be false-weighted somehow – it won’t be a fair game, not some friendly match in the tavern for mugs of beer.”

                “I’m hoping the sticks are false.” She smiled mischievously, letting her smile fade as he continued to glare at her. “I know the stakes are high, but we’re not getting out of here otherwise -you’re one man surrounded by dozens, and he sees profit in selling us. This is the only way we stand a chance of escaping.”

                “You’re asking me to risk the success of my mission for Pharaoh, for Egypt, on how well you can cheat a cheater?”

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I  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…

The story:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

DANCER OF THE NILE, an Amazon Best Seller, is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks iTunes   Smashwords

Will Twilka Refuse? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

Here’s the next excerpt from  my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM.  The small party of survivors has discovered some really bad things about events surrounding the wreck  and are now on their way to another part of the ship. (Trying very hard to avoid giving spoilers here!) Twilka refuses to enter the crew gravlift. Khevan is a D’nvannae Brother (sort of ninja/bodyguard/assassin/servant of alien goddess).

“I’m scared of heights. I’m scared of grav lifts. I’m scared to stay here. Staying here by myself scares me less than going into the grav lift,” Twilka said to Khevan, the only other person remaining in the corridor. He was watching her gravely.

“Do you trust me?” he asked in his deep, calm voice.

“Well, of course,” she answered. “You’re a D’nvannae. Why do you think I wanted to contract so badly? Change your mind? The offer still stands, you know.”

He shook his head but extended one hand to her. “Come with us. Your destiny lies with us on this ship.”

“Truly? Did your Red Lady say so?” Twilka acted enchanted by the idea. Stiff and bruised, she worked her way to her feet awkwardly.

He didn’t answer but drew her close, staring into her eyes. “We’ll take the descent together, and I won’t let you go until we’re safely standing on the hold deck. Agreed?”

It was as if he hypnotized her. A minute later the couple, entwined so closely they could have been enjoying a romantic encounter, floated past Nick. Reflexively, he checked to be sure the children weren’t watching this too closely. Of course they were. 

WitchesBroomNebula

Here’s the story:

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedTraveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.  All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

The Warrior Answers DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwaAs promised last week, here’s Kamin the Warrior’s answer to Nima’s expression of her dreams for a better life (please excuse the interesting punctuation choices):

Such simple dreams shouldn’t be out of reach. He tilted her chin, reached to take the now-wilted flower from her ebony hair as he said, “Well, then, we’ll get the nomarch who rules this province in Pharoah’s name to issue you a fat reward – genuine gold of valor – for saving my life, and you can make your way anywhere you choose.” He blew the limp petals off his fingertips.

Watching the tiny yellow fragments spiral away in the slight breeze, Nima half smiled, “You dream big, soldier.”

Actually I dream of you now. Kamin took a deep breath and said, “Nima—”

She set her fingers on his lips, “I don’t think we should tempt fate by talking of the future.”

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I  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…

The story:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

DANCER OF THE NILE, an Amazon Best Seller, is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks iTunes   Smashwords

Nick Delivers Bad News WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

Here’s the next excerpt from  my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM. The small party of depserate survivors has reached…a temporarily safe place but then our hero Nick has to break the news to his companions that things really can get worse on a drifting hulk of a spaceliner.  Mara has been keeping Nick company while he did some investigating. Now he’s ready to share the news with her and the others.  (A bit of editing may have occurred to fit the word limits.)

Nick beckoned to Khevan and Twilka. Gianna was asleep in Paolo’s lap, clutching her teddy bear, snoring softly. Her face was flushed. Nick hoped she wasn’t coming down with something. Things were tricky enough already without a sick child on his hands.

            “We’ll be right out there if you need us, okay, trooper?” Nick said softly to Paolo, who looked as if he never planned to close his eyes again. Kid is definitely running on nervous energy. “We’ll leave the door open. I promise, we’re not going anywhere on this ship without you and your sister. Officer’s word of honor.”

            Satisfied by Paolo’s silent, small nod, he walked to the center of the (other room), the other adults trailing after him, an apprehensive audience.

            Over his shoulder, he said, “I have bad news. It’s probably the worst thing you’ve ever heard. And then we’ll get to my personal nightmare, come true on this damn ship.” He stopped and faced them. “Which do you want first?”

            “Could you kind of lead up to the last part gradually?” Twilka requested. “I think I’m scared of your nightmares, soldier. One tranq didn’t do much good for my nerves. And there aren’t anymore tranqs in the medkit, which is the first piece of bad news, in my opinion, even before you start broadcasting!”

            Nick chuckled.

            Then he straightened, his tone growing even more flat and matter of fact, as if he was briefing a Special Forces squad prior to a mission. “All right, here’s the deal….”

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Oh my, out of words for today’s excerpt LOL!

Here’s the story:

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedTraveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.  All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here

GoldieBlox Update: Toys to Inspire Future Women Engineers

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Veronica sez: Decided to pull this post from the archives and run it again today because GoldieBlox is in the top four companies competing to win a Super Bowl advertising spot from the Intuit company!  They need votes, go here to VOTE!

“Toys to inspire the next generation of female engineers…”

Last year I decided to take part in a Kickstarter project as a Backer, to see how the process worked – I thought it would be fun to have a project to root for. I kept my eye open for a suitable effort and very shortly was charmed by GoldieBlox in October. Their motto (as stated in a Kickstarter post) was “Gold is the new pink” and their goal was to tell the world “…our daughters are more than just princesses! GoldieBlox deserves to sit on the shelves next to Bob the Builder and Thomas the Train! To tell our girls: you can be ANYTHING you want to be when you grow up!”

Debbie Sterling, a Stanford graduate and engineer-turned-entrepreneur created GoldieBlox out of frustration with how few girls pursue math, science and engineering, and how few toys are offered to support those interests. Even LEGOs expects girls to do the pink LEGO thing. (See the post I wrote on this topic last year, re LEGOs.) Sterling’s imaginative concept for GoldieBlox was to have a construction toy set and storybook starring the tool-wielding character. Research has shown that toys can play a critical role in early development of interest in the scientific and technical aspects and Ms. Sterling was frustrated that girls toys pretty much focused on fashion and beauty.

Sterling wrote and illustrated the GoldieBlox book, in which Goldie invents machines and problem solves. She does have animal sidekicks (and there is some pink involved). The pegboard and tool kit allow kids to build whatever Goldie is building in the book, and ???????????????????????????????learn engineering concepts as they go, like how a wheel and axle work.

The kit I received contains Benjamin the cat, Nacho the dog, Katinka the dolphin in a pink tutu, Favio the white bear in a suit, and Phil the sloth in yellow. I would just say mildly, why is the male bear figure in a suit and the dolphin in a stereotypical pink tutu?  However, the book gets good marks from me with templates for drawing your own designs and the use of technical terms from the get-go (bill of materials, axle). All the materials needed to duplicate Goldie’s engineering feat are included – a crank, washers, wheels, axles etc.

Nacho is a rescue dog who speaks Spanish. Katinka is a Russian ballerina (ok, so the pink makes sense).  Phil the sloth breaks stereotypes by being the one who energetically encourages our Goldie to keep trying when she at first can’t figure out a more advanced problem. I don’t have any little girls handy to try the kit out on, unfortunately. The target group is age 6-9. Remembering my daughters at that age, I think they might have played with the kit, although they loved LEGOs (and not the pink ones either).

GoldieBlox had over 50 five star reviews on at least one distributor site I looked at (they’re still on pre-order status at Amazon.)

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Now that the first kits have shipped, Ms. Sterling plans to create more kits, with increasing complexity, I assume, and I read she hopes to have an iPAD interactive version available within a year. Interestingly, a professor at Pennsylvania State is going to track the success or failure of this effort to challenge the toy industry stereotypes. I think the list price, at $29.99, seems a bit steep and may present some challenges in achieving wide adoption, however, I’m assuming as the GoldieBlox line of items grows, there may be bigger and smaller kits, accessories etc.

It would be nice to have an actual Goldie action figure in the kit…

As far as the Kickstarter process itself, the initial goal was $150K at first, later $400K as the fundraising became quite successful. As a Backer, I was very satisfied – we got regular updates on progress via e mail and videos posted to youtube. The project had the problems you might expect in dealing with foreign manufacturers, a few design issues (holes too big in the first pegboards), etc. But the day I received my Backer Box with the toy, my T shirt and Goldie glasses, I was so pleased to have played a very teeny part in this innovative, worthwhile and fun idea. Now I’m looking for another small Kickstarter effort to back!

You can find out more at http://www.goldieblox.com/

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A Veterans Day Thank You!

Wanted to express my deepest appreciation to all the veterans who have served our country to keep us free!

Today I thought I’d mention the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. From their website:

The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center is primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the first-hand interviews of America’s wartime veterans.  VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP.  In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, VHP accepts memoirs, collections of original photographs and letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts.  

The Project also recognizes the services of peacetime veterans and others who have “professionally supported war efforts.”

In our family, we have veterans of the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Air Force and the Marine Corps as it happens – a big shoutout and thank you to all branches of the service.

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A Dancer’s Dreams Weekend Writing Warriors DANCER OF THE NILE

better wewriwa

Continuing on with DANCER OF THE NILE for a few more weeks…last week we had  Nima dreaming about the night she was captured.  Kamin manages to waken her and as part of his effort to help her calm down, he starts a conversation about her life as a dancer and her hopes for the future. The troop she belongs to is on the shady side and raised her after her mother, who was a disgraced temple dancer,  died. Lately the troop leader and his wife have been pressuring Nima to do some things she  finds repugnant.  Nima is speaking:

“…I’ve no desire to be someone’s concubine, no matter how pleasant he may be or how good a lover. I won’t be a possession, discarded when I’m too old to dance.” Her voice rang with contempt. She played with the frayed hem of her dress, braiding and unbraiding the raggedy strands. “I want to be in charge of my own life, never perform again, unless for an audience of my own choosing. I want to see more of the world than the same border towns and taverns. I want to be respectably married someday, have children, be mistress of a household. ” Her voice trailed off, but after a moment she shook herself and straightened, saying as she did so, “First, I have to escape the life I’m trapped in.”

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I  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…

The story:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

DANCER OF THE NILE, an Amazon Best Seller, is AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks iTunes   Smashwords

Twilka Offers Terms SFR Brigade Presents WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. Left it out by accident last week – felt really bad about that!)

The next excerpt from  my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM but then we start to get into spoiler territory, so not too many more weeks on this one….I’ve skipped ahead again. The party of survivors is on their way to the bridge, having rescued another  passenger in a tight jam. Readers, meet Twilka. People seem to love her or hate her. Here’s how Nick regards her and her normal set of companions, the “Inner Sector Socialites – the kind who were to be found at any high-visibility, publicity-laden event. They travel in flocks, with no purpose other than to be of the moment. Their world was so far removed from the grit and danger of his reality, he could hardly comprehend it. ”

I’ve edited a bit to fit the word count requirements:

  “How in the Seven Hells did you end up in the hands of those thugs, anyway?” Nick said.

            “We were going to party in Fippi’s cabin.” Twilka’s voice was tired, all ’Lite affectations abandoned for now. “Only I was on an incredibly hot run with the dice, cleaning up big, you know? So I stayed when the others left. Can’t walk away from hot dice, you know? Bad luck for days after. But then something happened to the ship and I – I guess I got knocked out.”  She glanced at the children, sitting wide-eyed in their plush chairs, taking in every word she was saying. Swallowing hard, Twilka visibly, and no doubt uncharacteristically, edited whatever she had planned to explain next.

          “Don’t stress yourself by recalling the details,” Khevan said firmly.

            As if registering for the first time who and what he actually was, Twilka stared at Khevan, raising her hand to stroke the scarlet tattoo curling on his cheekbone. “You’re a D’nvannae Brother!”

            “Yes.” Khevan captured her hand and lifted it away from his face.

            “Hey, I want to offer contract terms.” Her voice gained animation and energy. She didn’t even notice the tranq inject he gave her. “Get me out of here alive. I can pay, whatever the going rate is. You can do it – I know you can. The D’nvannae can do anything.” She worked to remove the intricate collar of golden chains and charms dangling around her neck and upper body. “Here, this has to be worth enough.”

            “Now wait a minute.” Mara’s voice was sharp with annoyance. She frowned. “He’s with us.”

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Here’s the story:

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedTraveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.  All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.

But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?

This Best Selling Science Fiction Adventure is Available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks and iTunes  Also available from Amazon as trade paperback here