Is It Too Late? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwaContinuing on with my paranormal romance set in Ancient Egypt. Nima the dancer and Kamin, one of Pharaoh’s warriors, are traveling with the caravan for a few days as they seek to escape the pursuing enemy and get vital information to Pharaoh to stop an invasion. Nima is being exposed to various temptations involving her future as a dancer and Kamin realizes how much she means to him. But he’s got secrets he can’t share…

Today’s excerpt comes after the Minoan dance master Andrios provoked an argument between Kamin and Nima, after which she danced with the troupe, spending the night in their company, while Kamin kept a self-imposed watch over the area to be sure she was safe. There’s been some editing and odd punctuation to meet the eight sentence rule.

Far too early the next morning, Nima leaned on the stone wall surrounding the well, stifling a yawn and nibbled at a piece of journey bread, waiting for the caravan to push itself into motion. She’d deliberately spent the night away from Kamin again, testing her feelings for him, assessing the reality of what she was about to do. 

                Andrios and his dancers probably thought she was really considering Ptahnetamun’s offer and were excited, providing advice and encouragement. And I know Andrios is hoping my curiosity extends to his talents in lovemaking as well. But she knew she was just playing with the concept, living the nomad artist’s life by proxy for a night or two.

                The opportunity was opening up too late – even a few weeks ago, she’d have signed the contract and been gone without a backward glance. Why didn’t I ever at least talk to a caravan master about the possibilities? 

                Bracelets jangling, Thala nudged her in the ribs, “Here comes your man, looking for you.”

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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

 

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400Nima’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

 

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Sometimes A Shark Movie Surprises You: BAIT

pod201baitI’m getting in some movie watching during my vacation and I have a whole shelf of things to watch, including some $5 Walmart dvds that trend toward science fiction, action and gore. I picked up “Bait” quite awhile ago based on the cover, the tagline “The ultimate predator is coming to a store near you!” and “Clean up on aisle 7!” (Really, that’s ON the box…). Here’s the plot summary:

A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with a 12-foot Great White Shark.

Actually there are two 12 foot animatronic sharks, one inside the drowned store and one in the attached parking structure and I enjoyed this movie a lot. Once you get past the somewhat shaky premise, the  mostly-Australian cast are very good, the sharks themselves are utilized quite convincingly AS sharks (unlike oh, “Sharknado”…) and I enjoyed the Australian setting. You don’t actually get to see much of the tsunami. I guess the special effects budget only covered one disaster and the sharks perforce won out over the wave.  The lead, Xavier Samuel,  does a terrific job of displaying the proper angst over the death of his best friend a year ago, which he feels is his fault, and the new angst of being trapped with his former fiancee and her new boyfriend…we romance writers thrive on the romantic subplot in these disaster movies LOL. He also takes point on trying to save people and figure out how to save everyone, having been a stellar lifeguard until his friend was eaten. Apparently the actor was in one of the “Twilight” movies, which I – gasp – never saw.

Besides the former fiancee, there’s an empty headed rich girl with a spoiled dog, a cop, his kleptomaniac daughter, the daughter’s boyfriend, the guy who was robbing the store just as the tsunami hit, the store manager…pretty much the usual cast of desperate-to-survive characters, Part of what I liked about the movie was that some of the people you expect to die, don’t…and others you’re sure will make it to the end, not so much.

The chihuahua had two stunt double dogs, one to run and one to swim…

The scene where they construct a one man shark cage out of handy materials in the drowned supermarket was very clever…

The movie made decent money worldwide and debuted at the Venice Film Festival. I’ve watched it three times now and was even motivated to buy another Australian movie starring some of the same folks (which turned out to be a version of “Red Dawn” without Patrick Swayze or Chris Hemsworth but I digress…you won’t be seeing a review of that one.)

So I definitely recommend “Bait” as a pleasant use of some time if you enjoy shark movies and the assortment-of-people-trapped-by-disaster genre.

bait

My Top Three Favorite Regency Christmas Stories

???????????????????????????????Nothing says Christmas to me like a Regency story set during the holidays. I used to wait eagerly every year for the annual collection of short stories to come out at Barnes & Noble or Borders, rush out to buy the book and then sit with a cup of tea and read the stories to get myself into the holiday mood. One year, after the arrival of Amazon on the scene, I tracked down every single anthology, going back for the years before I’d originally started collecting them. I took a  side trip to Valentine’s Day anthologies and magic kittens (???).

If I ever write a Regency instead of science fiction romance or Ancient Egypt, it’ll be a Christmas story, probably with an inn, a coach-full of stranded passengers, an impoverished governess and a Duke (who waltzes)…

“The Best Gift,” by Mary Balogh, is my all time favorite. “The tale of a teacher who has never known family, Christmas or love – then finds all three when asked to chaperon one of her pupils over the holiday.” I reread this story even when it isn’t Christmas.  The hero is a viscount, the heroine is a governess. He waltzes. They waltz. There’s a happily ever after for a little girl, as well as for the H/h.

“The Porcelain Madonna”, again by Ms. Balogh, is my second all time favorite and another tale I reread. The hero is an Earl, who has good reason to dislike Christmas. The heroine is an impoverished gentlewoman supporting an elderly grandfather and two equally infirm servants. There’s a little boy from the streets and his entire extended family…no waltzing, but a very satisfactory ending on several levels.

“The Best Husband Money Can Buy,” from Mary Jo Putney, is the last on this little list. “An unexpected legacy sweeps a governess to  a grand estate – where an impoverished nobleman discovers a woman to be treasured.” (Could they write cover blurbs or what?)  The hero is a viscount, there’s no waltzing (that I remember) but there is a midnight walk along the roof in a blizzard…and of course a very happy ending. I would have liked a sequel to this one…

But wait, you say, there are four book covers in the photo, so what’s the fourth story? Actually, it’s a western, “Merry” by Victoria Thompson.  “A lonely, stone-broke cowboy faces a bleak Christmas until he offers to do odd jobs for a rancher’s young, beautiful widow…and finds himself drawn into a romance that proves what he had begun to doubt: that Christmas is, indeed, a season of joy.” No noblepersons, no waltzing (although there is square dancing)…I just like this one. I enjoy the characters, I like the lesson about how happy one can be with so little…of course the heroine respected her late husband  but he wasn’t the love of her life (so our cowboy turns out to be that man – did you doubt it for a moment?)…just a sweet story.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Stay cozy, waltz if you’re of a mind to do so, read some of your favorite books…and best wishes from my house to yours.

How Much of a Threat? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwaContinuing on with my paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt…Nima and Kamin were captured by a caravan master who planned to sell them to the pursuing enemy. Nima challenged 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’d each honor the outcome. Nima won, which we saw last week…

Kamin and Nima travel with the caravan for several days, during which time Nima ponders an offer from Ptahnetamun to sign a contract with him, joining a Minoan dance troupe traveling through Egypt, giving shows.  She spends all her time with the dancers, soaking up knowledge, rather than with Kamin. He has to work their passage as a camel minder. At the end of the first day, he’s pleased to find her in their assigned tent but she makes it clear she isn’t staying. (Andrios is the leader of the Minoan dance troupe.) Apologies for the punctuation but I wanted to give you the whole snippet.

                  “Once the camp is completely set up, Andrios called for a rehearsal. He’s created a new story he’s telling through dance and wants my opinion on it, as an Egyptian, representing his future audience.” Nima’s face fairly glowed with her pleasure in being consulted by the Minoan, and Kamin bit back a cutting remark.

                He probably wants more than her opinion.

                “Andrios promised to teach me some new acrobatic moves as well so come and watch, after you’ve eaten and bathed,” she said.

                Grabbing a chunk of the bread, Kamin said, “I wouldn’t miss the opportunity.” Time to meet this man and assess how much of a threat to me he might be when it comes to Nima. As she skipped from the tent in eager haste, he wished yet again that he wasn’t under strict orders of secrecy –  the desire to tell Nima everything about himself was driving him mad. 

VS sez: There’s intense scholarly debate about camels and when they were domesticated and when they might have first been used in the ancient Egyptian area. The Egyptians themselves don’t seem to have depended on the camel until 500 years or so after the time my novels are set. However, there’s enough Middle and Near Eastern Bronze Age evidence for me (statues, inscriptions, and seals depicting camels walking caravan style or being ridden) that camels were domesticated and used as beasts of burden and for riding by groups other than Egyptians from about  2000-1800 BCE.  I think that gives me latitude to propose that goods and people could well have moved in and out of the Black Lands in 1550 BCE by camel, in caravans. And I don’t find it a stretch that at least one caravan could have an Egyptian as its leader.  And provide passage to Kamin and Nima for a few days!

And (note for another day), there’s a great deal of evidence for contact between the people of Minos and ancient Egypt in my time frame…

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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

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400Nima’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

A Real Princess of the Nile from 3000 Years Ago

meritamunramsesSometimes you can close your eyes and almost touch the past…

Meritamen is an actual woman who lived a few hundred years after the general time frame where I place my “Tales of the Gods” paranormal novels. That’s her in the photo, as depicted by royal sculptors. She was the daughter of Ramses the Great and his favorite wife, Nefertari, and had at least four brothers and a younger sister. She played the sistrum, she danced, she sang…she was evidently a great favorite with Ramses II, being depicted in many of the official statues and paintings with him. Some of the titles and inscriptions regarding Meritamen talk of her being “fair of face,” with a beautiful forehead, as well as references to her perfume and that she was apparently very well spoken.

There’s a scene in her tomb where she’s depicted as bringing boxes of clothing with her to the Afterlife. I love that touch!

Meritamen1drawingShe was buried in the Valley of the Queens but the whereabouts of her mummy are unknown. Only the lid of her sarcophagus is in Berlin today.

So why are we talking about this relatively minor figure, shown to the left in a reproduction of a painting from her tomb? Out of all the players in ancient Egypt’s thousands of years of history, what makes her my blog subject today?

While writing my novels, I’ve built up a collection of what I call “faux Egyptiana” – museum reproductions of famous statues, trading cards and woodcuts from the late 1800’s depicting tomb paintings and scenes, modern papyrus paintings that approximate the gorgeous art of the ancients, fashion jewelry – but my budget doesn’t run to any “real” antiquities. I do from time to time, however, indulge in minor purchases of amulet beads purporting to be from the Egyptian New Kingdom, which is the era I’ve placed my novels in.

???????????????????????????????A few weeks ago I gave in to the intense desire to own this tiny scarab made of blue steatite (a form of soapstone) with what is believed to be Meritamen’s cartouche on the flat side. The bead came with a scholarly discourse stating the amulet can quite reasonably be assumed to have been hers, based on technical considerations too numerous to mention here. I loved the idea of having something that actually dates back to the time frame I write about.

OK, I can hear the sceptics now. Even with a great provenance and scholarly details, there’s no proof this bead is really hers or is thousands of years old. I do know that. Even in the days of ancient Greece and Rome, clever artisans made fake “antiquities” for the tourists to buy. So it’s probably a skillful fake. But…

But I choose to believe this might be real. When the package came and I gingerly took the tiny bead out (it’s about the size of my ???????????????????????????????thumbnail) I felt this indescribable flash of something…this bead isn’t like anything else I’ve ever unwrapped. I can’t really describe it any better than that. I felt I was holding a fragment of antiquity in my hand.

Fake, real? Does it ultimately matter? For a few moments a connection has been forged between me and this genuine person from the time I write about, and now there’s a link between you and Meritamen as well.

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia:  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  and represents no endorsement of the post or of Veronica Scott by Kurohito (photo #1) or Anneke Bart (photo #2) respectively. Photos of scarab bead are author’s own.

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What Will Nima Do? DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwa

Continuing 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. Ptahnetamun, the caravan master, brings out a gameboard and they play, with Kamin, all the caravan workers and many of the caravan passengers watching. Nima won, which we saw last week…and Ptahnetamun is a man of his word, so he grudgingly admits her victory. This next scene is at dinner, after a performance by a troupe of dancers traveling with the caravan. Nima joined them for part of the dance. Ptahnetamun is speaking as she rejoins Kamin and him. He’s offered her a contract and is the first speaker in the excerpt:

 “I travel in and out of Egypt all the time. You could dance abroad for a few years, save your gold and then retire anywhere you chose, in Egypt, Thebes even.” Ptahnetamun nudged her in the ribs. “See the world. Live as a lady of luxury, build a tomb as grand as the queen’s for a good Afterlife, eh?”

             He’s just offered her one of her life’s dreams on a platter. Kamin’s heart sank. Hating himself but reacting with a jealous instinct he didn’t fully understand, angered by the idea of Nima choosing a different road than the one he traveled,  he leaned across her to address their host in disparaging tones, “You forget, we’re hunted by the Hyksos.”

VS sez: The ancient Egyptians had quite a system of contracts and law and there are many surviving records of women doing business, entering into contracts, suing to enforce contract terms in court…

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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

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400Nima’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

Can we Communicate? WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM SFR Brigade 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!)

THE SFRB PresentsHere’s the next excerpt from  my 2013 Laurel Wreath Award and 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. After a perilous trip to the ship’s hold to retrieve some critical items, they’re now (somewhere else) and getting ready to try a call for help.  (Working hard to avoid giving spoilers here!)  Lady Damais is an elderly member of a very advanced race who hasn’t managed to leave the Nebula Dream on a lifeboat either. Nick had met her earlier in the cruise, prior to the disaster.

…Nick prepared to carry out his attempt at communication.

Kneeling, he set the box on the deck. As soon as he locked its small grav clamps in place, a cone shape morphed silently up from the center of the black square. Nick discovered he had an interested audience. Even the Lady Damais and the children were staring at him now.

Compelled to say something, since they were all apparently transfixed by what he was doing, Nick cleared his throat. “Okay, in just a minute I’ll activate this and hook myself in. I gotta tell you, using fastlink with only a field generator screws a guy’s nervous system up pretty badly.”

“Then don’t use it,” Mara voiced her anxiety, eyes narrowed, lips compressed in a thin line. “We’ll find anoth­er way.”

Nick shook his head. “There is no other way. Not even the Lady Damais, with all her powers, can broadcast a specific evac call across the Sectors. Am I right?”

Her face serene as always, the elderly woman nodded. “You’re right, Nicholas. Even my people have our limits. I could perhaps share a sense of my own danger, of imminent peril, but nothing to solve our problem here. By the time they inves­tigated to determine where I was, it would be far too late.”

Eyes wide, Twilka was staring at Lady Damais, mouth in an O of astonishment. “You weren’t with us on the bridge. How do you know how much trouble we’re in?”

VS sez: Lady Damais knows a lot of things…..

ant nebula

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

Happy Holidays Cool New Magical Take on Nutcracker Suite

HAD to share, really enjoyed this dance video. Yes, it may be the 2013 ad for Bailey’s Cream but it’s not an ad in any sense of the word…the thing to me is the very cool, modern staging of the excerpt from the ballet. I hope you’ll enjoy as I did:

And perhaps equally fun is the behind the scenes video of the “Making Of” the dance sequence. I always love to know how things were done, hear the artists talk about their interpretations, plus more snippets of dancing:

Happy Holidays to you!

Victory Is Ours DANCER OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

better wewriwa???????????????????????????????Continuing 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. Ptahnetamun, the caravan master, brings out a gameboard and they play, with Kamin, all the caravan workers and many of the caravan passengers watching. Today’s excerpt seems a bit spoiler-y but so many people wanted to see how the game ends…

(Based on my research and my consolidation of the differing views, painted sticks rather than dice were thrown to determine the number of spaces moved by a pawn. My sticks are black-and-white and earlier in the book I explained the points scoring system but basically if a white side is showing when the stick comes to rest, that’s worth one point and the pawn can advance one space. )

…Nima dropped the sticks on the table, much as Ptahnetamun had done a few moments before. As the counters rolled and spun, all eyes following their path across the table, a cold breeze swept across the campsite, causing the fire to dance and flicker eerily. One black side, then one white side to secure half the needed points. Two sticks kept going, tumbling ever more slowly. A white side—one more hard-won point. The fourth stick slid lazily across the table, black side showing, before taking an odd jump, ending on the white side and giving her the needed third point.

                “You won,” Kamin said, half in disbelief.

                Deliberately, touching each square in turn, Nima moved her pawn off the board, saying as she did so,  “Victory is ours.”

VS sez: Ah, but how does Ptahnetamun react?

???????????????????????????????

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

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400Nima’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

Quick Learner? 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!)

December 6th =>Breaking News Flash, if I may: was just notified that WRECK has received Second Place in the 2013 Laurel Wreath Awards, in its category!

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!)  I’ve skipped ahead a bit, but this scene is still in the hold.

Nick opened his pack, literally throwing his spare uniforms and few personal possessions onto the deck, coming up with his blasters. Cradling one awkwardly in the crook of his arm, he buckled the belt and holster on.

“What will you do with the spare?”   Khevan worked to extract his weapons from the bag they’d been stowed in, next to Nick’s.

Nick considered for a minute. “Thinking I’ll give it to Mara.”

“She has a level head,” was Khevan’s approving assessment. “I believe she’d use it effectively.”

“Use what effectively?” Mara rejoined them. “Oh, the blaster?” Reaching out, she took the weapon from Nick, expertly checking it over, noting the charge level, flicking the safety off. She hefted it, taking a bead on a particularly garish tote bag across the hold. In a blur of motion, she fired a quick, low-level shot right through the center of the bag.

Mouth hanging open, Nick gaped at her. “Fast learner?”

“Loxton agents take training on the civilian version of this.” She chuckled at his expression. “Didn’t you know? We’re licensed to carry concealed weapons all the way up to the civilian Mark Fifteen. This kicks harder, but it’s basically the same, yes?”

“More charges, single shot or full automatic capabilities,” Nick answered. “So, okay, you get the spare blaster.” He peered the length of the bonded stores aisle. “Where’s Twilka?”

“Oh, she’s not leaving without her jewelry, or so she insists. “

***************************************************************************************************

VS sez: But the blasters, handy as they may be, aren’t the main thing Nick’s been searching for in his gear. Too spoiler-y to say what he’s really hunting.

Mara works for Loxton Galactic Trading which does business throughout the Sectors.

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