Every Broken Claw MAGIC OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400So we’ve moved on to the newly Released MAGIC OF THE NILE, which is the sequel to the book I had been sharing excerpts from.  I’ll just jump in with the first eight sentences for now (and have played with the punctuation to make it eight sentences. I think!):

Patience running thin, Tyema tried in vain to focus on the endless details her head crocodile keeper Hotepre was only too eager to share. Proper care for Sobek’s animals was her responsibility as high priestess but the god didn’t expect her to know about every chipped tooth and broken claw.

“Did you want to inspect the new clutch of eggs?” Hotepre asked as they left the pond where promising juvenile crocodiles were kept.

  Glancing at the sun sinking over the Nile, she shook her head, saying, “I’d intended to, but the ceremonies ran long today – we had so many petitioners. Can I see the eggs tomorrow?”

            “Of course, my lady.” Hotepre’s frown deepened the wrinkles on his aged face as they climbed the gravel path from the ponds, winding up the cliff where the temple itself was located, “Are you going to the festival in town tonight?”

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

Into the Burning House ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

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

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel (whch also was voted into DABWAHA by Readers – thank you!), loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from theSFR Galaxy Award wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

Continuing on from last week, Andi goes inside the burning house to see if the children have been rescued.

Carefully, she stepped barefoot through the mess to the emergency supply cabinet next to the pantry, where she grabbed a hand lamp. Pointing the cone of light ahead of her, she jogged into the service cor­ridor to the main part of the house. Fear of what she might find made her lightheaded, and she took a few careful breaths to calm her nerves.  I’ve got to make sure the kids aren’t trapped upstairs in their cribs. With the nurse gone, there may not be anyone else but me to double-check.

Tripping, Andi fell headlong. The body she’d stumbled over cushioned her fall for the most part, although her right elbow smashed into the floor. Sitting up, she rubbed her elbow, looking for the hand lamp she’d dropped. Instead, she saw the bloody face of the elderly cook, starkly outlined by the beam of light. The elderly woman’s sightless eyes were wide open in death. Stifling a scream, Andi scrabbled away from the corpse of the cook, who’d been stabbed multiple times.

When she felt her back against the wall, Andi reached for the lamp, then used the wall to lever herself to her feet. After sidling past the corpse, she ran down the hall and opened the door to the main entryway. Curling like a living thing, a thin layer of smoke drifted across the foyer, about ten inches off the floor. The flicker of reflected flames in the library tinted the area in orange light.

A piercing shriek echoed from the second floor. 

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

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.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

 

My SciFi Encounter Today Is With Nalini Singh

HEAI’m interviewing author Nalini Singh today over at USA Today’s Happily Ever After Blog for my “Sci-Fi Encounters” column.  Ms. Singh is at the top of my personal Must Read List and everything comes to a stop in my household when she releases a new book in either series (or a new series LOL). I’m a huge fan of both her Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series, which feature amazing world building. I also have a not-so-secret crush on more than one of her characters LOL.

Heart of ObsidianHeart of Obsidian ( June 4, 2013) was her most recent book in the Psy/Changeling series and over at the HEA blog she gives us a few hints about the next book, Shield of Winter, coming June 5, 2014.  Heart of Obsidian was just nominated for a RITA award yesterday by the Romance Writers of America, so congratulations to Ms. Singh!

And best wishes to all the other nominees in various categories…

My introduction to the world of the Psy/Changelings was a short story,  “Stroke of Enticement” (2008), which has appeared in several anthologies and is currently available in the collection of other Psy/Changeling short stories, Wild Invitation. (Here’s the amazon link for the book.) The short story blurb from the publisher is as follows: ” …a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man–and the animal–in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true. ” It was HOT and sexy and sweet…I immediately began reading the entire series, starting with the first book. Just a note about the intricacy of her series plotting – there’s a tiny fact in this 2008 short story that pays off in Heart of Obsidian, five years later in real time. It’s not a giant plot point but I have to say I was delighted when I read it, because I’d always wondered what the answer was.

But back to today’s column at HEA, I’m also recommending a few other, relatively recent novels as I do, and I give my movie recommendation, so please drop on by!

Discussing My Writing Process

???????????????????????????????My friend from the Here Be Magic author group, Jody Wallace, tagged me to participate in this meme. I love to answer questions – we all know that LOL – so here goes and Happy Monday to everyone!

What am I working on? Other than this blog post? And the dayjob stuff I brought home? Well, I’m on the second revision of my new science fiction romance/adventure, MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR. I’m also doing advance thinking for my next paranormal novel set in Ancient Egypt, tentatively entitled GHOST OF THE NILE. I’m mulling ideas for a series, researching books and authors for my USA Today/HEA column “Sci-Fi Encounters”…and kinda feeling overwhelmed. But I LOVE writing!!!

How does my work differ from others of its genre? It’s um written by me??? How does one answer a question like this, seriously? I will say, though, that when it comes to the novels set in Ancient Egypt, I research them as if I was going to write a historical and then I put in paranormal twists involving the gods. I’ve had Readers and Reviewers tell me they enjoy the matter of fact way the Egyptian pantheon takes part in the action and how the everyday warriors, dancers and other characters accept and expect this. So perhaps that’s my unique twist there! I began the series with Priestess of the Nile, featuring the Crocodile God Sobek as a shifter, who falls in love with a human woman…As far as the science fiction, I try to tell a good story, have pretty much nonstop action and of course some romance. Maybe not unique but hopefully enjoyable for the Reader.

Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient world and especially the Egyptians. I loved the YA book Mara, Daughter of the Nile  by Eloise McGraw Jarvis and always wanted more of that kind of fiction to read, but with a lot more romance and magic. So I write those! On the science fiction side, I was heavily influenced by all the SF my Dad kept in the house, especially Andre Norton, and again, I wanted more romance to go with the action…

How does your writing process work? I’m very superstitious about my Muse so I frankly don’t delve too deeply into my process. I sit down, the words flow, the story happens. I usually know the opening, the ending and a few key scenes when I start writing a book and the rest fills itself in as I go. I always know who the hero and heroine are, but the other characters introduce themselves as the story unfolds. I sit here at my great grandmother’s desk, which I inherited, and I bang away on a laptop (learned on an old Royal typewriter to of course I still pound the keys LOL). Periodically my cat Jake will insist on attention. He usually wants me to throw various items for the other cat, Keanu, to chase, which amuses Jake. Eventually I have to get up and retrieve All The Items because Keanu loses interest when the toy stops moving. He doesn’t fetch.

I think this meme is losing steam so I’m only tagging two authors for next week:  Beth Matthews, author of The Beauty’s Beast and Shawna Reppert, author of The Stolen Luck.

Best wishes with your week!

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Who Is He? PRIESTESS OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

PRIESTESS OF THE NILE was my first published work and MAGIC OF THE NILE is the sequel to PRIESTESS.

You can read the beginning of Chapter One of PRIESTESS here on my website.

VS_PriestessOfTheNileMerys has been tending an abandoned temple of the Crocodile God Sobek and doesn’t realize she’d been talking to him (in his human form and calling himself “Bek”).

Sobek forms a habit of stopping by the beach in the evenings to chat with Merys. He grows ever more attracted to her, she falls in love with him (of course or there’d be no story)…but she still doesn’t know who he is. Isis intervenes with serious threats….but eventually Sobek can’t resist sneaking back to the beach to catch a glimpse of Merys… “just to hear her sing”.

Merys has been fishing with a net in the Nile shallows when she loses her protective amulet, which unbeknownst to her Sobek had bespelled to keep his crocodiles from attacking her. With it gone, she’s easy prey…seized by a crocodile…rescued by Sobek and…I’m skipping the part where he magically heals her injuries. This will be the final excerpt from Priestess. I’ll be switching over to the recently published sequel Magic of the Nile.

She put a trembling hand on his cheek, saying “Who are you, Bek?”

“Sobek,” He said, clearing his throat as he stroked her back with one hand, resting his lips next to her ear, he whispered, “I am Sobek.”

New adrenaline pumped through her, making her heart pound and sending a hot pulse along her nerves. “The Crocodile God?” I’ve been sitting and talking to the Great One all this time, treating him like a human man? I fell in love with him – how could I have been so blind? “The Crocodile God himself?”

“Yes,” He nodded, watching her closely, his green eyes steady on her face, his brows slightly raised, “I’m sorry I misled you.”

(The above excerpt has been edited somewhat from the published text to fit the Weekend Writing Warrior rules and give you a complete scene. )

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels… 

The story:

Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile god is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.

Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.

Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. And when he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?

Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Carina Press   All Romance

COVER REVEAL The Tears of the Rose from Jeffe Kennedy

So excited to present the cover for THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, the second book in Jeffe  Kennedy’s new The Twelve Kingdoms series from Kensington:

THE TEARS OF THE ROSEThe first book in The Twelve Kingdoms series is The Mark of the Tala, which will be out on May 27th. I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy and LOVED IT. I can’t wait for this next book in the series now and the first one isn’t even officially Released yet…while we wait, Mark of the Tala is available for pre-order at Amazon. Here’s the story of the first book in the trilogy:

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn’t mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she’d thought was no more than legend–until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn’t know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi,** the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

You can find Jeffe at her Blog   Twitter   Facebook

Jeffe1a

** VS sez: not to be confused with MY heroine Andi in Escape From Zulaire LOL. My Andi is Andrianda and Jeffe’s is Andromeda.

Are the Children Safe? ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

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

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from the SFR Galaxy Awardwedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

I’ve skipped ahead to right after they get across the lake:

A reverberating explosion shook the hillside as flames shot from the roof of the mansion, followed by a smaller eruption where the garage stood. Lords of Space, are rebels attacking here as well? Flinching at the sudden high-pitched whine of Sectors blasters somewhere in the darkness, Andi hugged the ground.

From her prone position she stared at the mansion, trying to figure out exactly where the fire was blazing. Flames were licking at the walls in a number of rooms, including the far end of the third floor. Adrenaline coursed through her. “The fire’s on the top floor where the nursery is. I can’t leave until I’ve made sure the children are safe, Captain.” She held up a hand as he drew a breath. “I know, you’ve mentioned your orders enough times, but we’re talking children. I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t at least check the nursery.”  Before he had a chance to stop her, Andi was on her feet and running. He’ll have to follow me since his precious orders are to protect me, so if I can just get to the house, I’ll have him—and his blaster—for backup.

 Sure enough, she heard Deverane give chase, but she had the advantage of a head start and familiarity with the grounds. She sprinted to the side door, entering the house through the kitchen. One dim light glowed from an emergency panel in the ceiling. A half-eaten meal sat on the table. The chairs were toppled, one broken as if it had been used as a weapon in a violent struggle. A bloody knife lay on the floor.

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

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.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 


Escaping the Crocodile PRIESTESS OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

My new book was released last week but I’ll finish the incident of Merys and the crocodile, and the reveal of Sobek’s identity as promised, which may take another week or two at the eight-sentence rate LOL. PRIESTESS OF THE NILE was my first published work and MAGIC OF THE NILE is the sequel to PRIESTESS.

VS_PriestessOfTheNileYou can read the beginning of Chapter One of PRIESTESS here on my website.

Merys has been tending an abandoned temple of the Crocodile God Sobek and doesn’t realize she’d been talking to him (in his human form and calling himself “Bek”).

Sobek forms a habit of stopping by the beach in the evenings to chat with Merys. He grows ever more attracted to her, she falls in love with him (of course or there’d be no story)…but she still doesn’t know who he is. Isis intervenes with serious threats….but eventually Sobek can’t resist sneaking back to the beach to catch a glimpse of Merys… “just to hear her sing”.

Merys has been fishing with a net in the Nile shallows when she loses her protective amulet, which unbeknownst to her Sobek had bespelled to keep his crocodiles from attacking her. With it gone, she’s easy prey…seized by a crocodile…

…something huge flashed by her in the water and struck the crocodile with enough force to shove it sideways a few feet against the current. The predator opened its jaws to deal with the threat and Merys floated free. A tiny hope of survival bloomed within her – a spurt of energy sizzled through her nerves, giving her new strength. Kicking as hard as she could with the injured leg, heart pounding, Merys clawed her way to the surface.  Something solid rose from the murky depths behind her.

As Merys screamed and flailed, too weak to swim, a hard surface lay under her, lifting her completely out of the water, supporting her as if she were stretched out on a board or a raft. 

When Merys regained consciousness, she was held safe in Bek’s muscular arms, nestled against his broad chest. Too exhausted to question the miracle of his presence she curled closer to him in relief while he strode across the beach toward her favorite spot under the palm trees.

(The above excerpt has been edited somewhat from the published text to fit the Weekend Writing Warrior rules and give you a complete scene. As you can see, being extremely angry and upset, Sobek shifted into his crocodile form to rescue his lady…. I’ll give you their conversation next week.)

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels… 

The story:

Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile god is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.

Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.

Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. And when he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?

Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Carina Press   All Romance

Can You Swim? ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

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

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from the wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

“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.” Shaking his head, he grabbed the wheel and yanked it, sending the boat veering away from its route to shore. “Cut the engine and get down. Someone’s moving by the dock.”

Cold flooded her body at the thought of enemies watching them. With fumbling fingers, she flipped the switch. Drifting through the dark waters, their craft floated in silence, slowing as the momentum died away. Andi crouched in the bottom of the boat, Deverane’s body warm and reassuring beside her.

“Can you swim?”  he asked.

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

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.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

Another SciFi Encounter at USA Today HEA

HEAI’m interviewing author Mary Robinette Kowal over at USA Today’s Happily Ever After Blog! Today marks my second “Sci-Fi Encounters” column for HEA and I had so much fun with Ms. Kowal – I love her Glamourist Histories Series, which are reminiscent of Jane Austen in setting and tone but with a fantastical twist only MRK could provide.

Without A Summer (April 2, 2013) was her most recent book in the series but Valour and Vanity  will be released in Without A summerApril. I can’t wait for the new book – here’s what the description on Amazon has to say: “…a Regency version of a heist movie with a healthy dose of magic sprinkled in….”

Who can resist that?

In preparation for doing the interview, I reread her  Hugo award winning science fiction short story “For Want Of A Nail”, which was just as terrific as I’d remembered…the story is also available on Amazon currently.

I’m also recommending a few relatively recent science fiction/fantasy romance novels that I thought were in a similar vein, mixing history and fantasy/magic. And there’s a movie recommendation, so I hope you’ll drop on by!