Veronica sez: The Blog Hop is over…since I had 8 commenters, I’ll offer each of you one book from my backlist – just e mail me at veronica.scott.author at gmail dot com and let me know what format you prefer and which book. I’ll even include the 4 self published ancient Egyptians in the offer. (Can’t give away the Carina Press titles – sorry!) Or you can have one free download code for my new audiobook STAR CRUISE: MAROONED…
I sort of snuck into this blog hop because I don’t have any blue moons or blue aliens but I do have a pretty blue cover on my latest science fiction romance novel and the life saving medicine in the book is blue!
Before we get to the excerpt, I’m giving away ONE ebook copy of any ONE of my six science fiction novels to three randomly selected commenters on this blog. The book of your choice in the ebook format of your choice. Just let me know what you like most about scifi romance, or what you’d like to see more of. More aliens? Cyborgs? Space marines? Something else? I’ll announce my winners on May 24th.
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
Excerpt: A film maker who happens to be on board when the outbreak strikes pressures Dr. Shane to let him make a documentary:
Giving the cameras a glare, Emily sat behind her desk. “I don’t know what the seven hells you think you’re doing here, but you can have two minutes to explain it to me, because I need to get off my aching feet for a moment. Any changes in your wife’s condition?”
“I know you’re busy, Doctor—”
“Overwhelmed is more like it. Liora?”
“She’s fine. Suffering the ongoing morning sickness, but coping. Remaining in our cabin, as you suggested. No signs of anything more serious.” Sid flashed his patented movie-star smile. “This is Carrl, my number one cameraman.”
Apparently hearing the finality in her voice, Sid cut to the chase. “I want to film the epidemic story.”
Thinking she heard wrong, Emily sat down hard. “You want to what?”
“I want to shadow you and your team. I want to profile some of the patients. I want to explore the cause of the outbreak. It’s going to be the biggest human-interest story in decades, definitely the biggest since the Nebula Dream catastrophe, and I’ll be in the thick of it. Take the audience into the danger and guide them through it.” His rich, highly trained actor voice fell into the rhythm of trid narration, suitable for enticing a thrilled viewer to experience the disaster at a safe distance.
“This isn’t some promotional event we’re staging for your benefit. Not a vicarious thrill ride for Sectors citizens.” Anger was thrumming through her veins, creating an instant headache. Emily had to work hard not to show how upset his attitude made her. Must remain professional. “People are extremely ill, dying. I just left the bedside of a sweet little old gentleman, someone’s grandfather, who may not make it through the day despite our best efforts to help him. So please forgive me if I’m not all that interested in your audience right now.”
“I know. I have eyes, and I hear the rumors. I understand where your focus and attention must be. I’m looking at a bigger picture, Doctor. One that can’t be ignored.” He leaned closer. “It’s to CLC’s benefit to cooperate. I’m going to have the story no matter what. I’ve already interviewed a few people on board.”
Publicity again. Even through her anger, Emily took note of the morbid irony in someone mentioning favorable PR to her. “Are you threatening me? Do I need to have Officer Dilon throw you in the brig?”
“Calm down. No one is threatening anyone.” Daburkn went back to his persuasive, pitchman’s voice. “Can you imagine what it would have been like to be on board the Nebula Dream, recording the events there firsthand?”
“I hardly see the comparison. Nebula Dream was an entirely different situation—”
“The public remains terrified and fascinated by that whole disaster precisely because the most prominent survivors only gave one tightly controlled interview. Later, there was a technical deposition given to the ICC investigatory board that’s practically undecipherable to the average Sectors citizen. Leaving all of us in the Sectors to speculate and make up our own horror stories.” Daburkn spread his hands wide. “I’m giving the CLC Line the chance to show itself at its best, taking care of the passengers, making the supreme effort to save lives. You’ll be even more famous than you already are. I know you don’t care about that, Doctor, but a disaster of this magnitude could destroy the shipping line, cost all your friends their jobs and pensions. I can tell the story with a CLC-friendly slant.” Narrowing his eyes and leaning in, he lowered his voice and modulated his tone. “I do have a contract in effect with the company for filming on board. The terms are broad enough that they can’t deny me access now.” He paused for effect and added what he apparently felt was a deal-sweetener. “The Line would be entitled to some of the net profit from the documentary, if there is any.”