The Blog Hop is now CLOSED. Here are my winners of my own giveaway here. If I need your e mail to deliver the prize, please send it to me at veronica.scott.author at gmail dot com:
Randomly Selected Winners Summer of Magic Blog Hop – Veronica Scott’s Blog Winners Only
Melissa: ebook download STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK – need your e mail and which format you prefer
BookAttict: ebook download STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK – need your e mail and which format you prefer
To Give and Get: ebook download STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK – need your e mail and which format you prefer
Melissaquintanillablog: free download code for audiobook MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR – need your email
Clojo9372: free download code for audiobook MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR – need your e mail
Amartinez8723: free download code for audiobook MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR – need your email
Mabledsoe: Amazon gift card SENT
Cynthia Powers: Amazon gift card – need your e mail
Shadowluvstoread: Amazon gift card SENT
Here’s the link back to the main page, where the Grand Prize Rafflecopter is located. This blog hop runs July 4th through the 9th.
On my blog I’m giving away three ebook copies of Star Cruise: Outbreak, to three randomly selected commenters. I will also give away three free Audible.com download codes for the Mission to Mahjundar audiobook, again to three randomly selected commenters. And I’ll give away three $5.00 Amazon gift cards (USA only on those, no substitutions.) (A person could theoretically win one of all 3 items.) Tell me what you love about summer!
Here’s the excerpt from Star Cruise: Outbreak:
When she stepped through the portal and onto the Nebula Zephyr’s beach, Emily paused for a moment, overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the holographic sky, which currently displayed a gorgeous purple and golden sunset with twin moons rising over the “horizon.” The beach was an endless expanse of white sand against which the water lapped in gentle waves. “Nothing like Fantalar,” she said, taking a deep breath in relief. “You were right.”
“Copied from Tahumaroa Two’s most popular beach, down to the last detail.” Jake took her by the elbow and gently rotated her to look behind them where the ship displayed the hologram of an inviting rain forest, complete with iridescent-winged insects settled onto branches “for the night.”
“Even the water is actually from the planet,” he said.
“Oh, come on, you’re kidding me. Really?”
He leaned closer. “Actually, not all the water, but the Line did pay for twenty-five percent of the volume to be brought from Tahumaroa so we could advertise we provide the full experience. You know the ocean there has unique minerals said to be therapeutic. So this deck has its own recycling system—Maeve’s not allowed to mix the pricey water with the rest of the ship’s system. Although market research shows only about a third of the passengers ever set foot on the beach, much less go swimming. The crowd we carry leans more to the enticements of the casino and nightclubs.” Maintaining his light touch on her elbow as if she might take flight and flee, he steered her onto the beach. “I want you to meet the guests of honor, and then I’ll get you a drink.”
Emily tensed as he plunged into the crowd, towing her in his wake. The music wasn’t too loud and the voices were friendly, but anxiety crept over her like a black cloud obscuring the sun. He led her through the throng and to the cluster of brightly decorated tables set off to the side, stopping at one festooned with garlands. “Dr. Shane, I’d like you to meet Meg Antille, the blushing bride-to-be, and my second officer, Red Thomsill. I don’t know how he talked this gorgeous woman into marrying him, but there you have it.”
Meg had a sweet face, big brown eyes and a welcoming smile. “I’m so glad you were able to join us tonight,” she said, shaking hands. She nudged her fiancé in the ribs as he rose to greet Emily a moment later. “Let the doctor have your chair. I’m guessing she had a long day on her feet in sickbay.”
“Oh no, I’m fine,” Emily said. “No need to get up on my account.”
“I insist, Doc.” Red moved the chair closer to her. “It’s an honor to meet you. You go ahead and sit while Jake and I replenish the drinks. What’ll you have?”
Rather than continue to argue, Emily sat in the chair next to Meg. “Anything’s fine. Whatever you’ve got. A beer?”
“Beer we can manage.” Jake clapped his friend on the shoulder, and the two men marched off into the crowd.
“So how was your first day?” Meg asked, taking a handful of chips and offering the bowl to Emily. “Is life aboard the Nebula Zephyr what you expected?”
Shaking her head to the chips, Emily said, “I didn’t know what to expect exactly. I didn’t get much notice before Jake ferried me to the ship, so no time to do any research either. I’ve only served on military ships.”
“I’ve been on a Space Navy vessel once, as a passenger, when we were rescued from Dantaralon, escaping the Shemdylann pirates,” Meg said. “Not a cruise-ship experience, for sure. But the officers and crew were all nice to me. Didn’t make me want to enlist in the service, though.” She laughed.
Interest piqued, Emily said, “What Sector were you in to have encountered those bastards?”
“A long way away from here, thankfully.”
As the music segued into a catchy popular tune, she leaned closer to Meg, fingering one of the gaily colored strands of ribbon garnishing the table. “Congratulations on your engagement, by the way. I’m sorry I arrived empty-handed.”
Meg waved her hand. “Don’t be concerned. We’ve actually been engaged for a while, but Jake suggested the occasion made a great excuse for a crew party. We specified no presents, just come and have fun, mingle.” She tapped her fingers in time to the song. “What’s taking them so long with the drinks, I wonder?”
Emily tried to think of some topic of conversation. Small talk wasn’t in her skill set. Work was a safe subject, right? “Jake said you’re cruise staff?”
“Yes, I’m the assistant to the cruise director. My primary assignment this leg of the cruise is to ride herd on a family from Harilon who won a trip in some contest the Line ran, make sure all of them have a good time, from youngest to oldest. The Enzells’ve never been offworld before.” Meg sipped her beer. “Charmingly different from the passengers I used to deal with on my last ship. These are nice people.”
“A family? How many children?” The princess she’d met earlier in the day crossed her mind. I bet she never gets to mingle with kids her own age.
“Three, two boys and a girl, who’ve kept me busy, but I don’t mind. The Nebula Zephyr has a lot to offer for families, so we’re using this opportunity as good publicity for the amenities. The family is scheduled to do the big interview shows on Sector Hub once we arrive, and I want all their answers about the cruise experience to be positive. You’ll get to meet the contest family tomorrow at the captain’s table. Red said you’re on the guest list.”
“There were a few things Jake neglected to tell me before I agreed to take the job.”
“What? Me forget to fully brief you?” Jake and Red had returned with chilled bottles of beer. He set one in front of Emily and then snagged a chair from the next table.
“You didn’t mention the pets, for one thing.”
“Pets? Tell me more,” Meg requested with a laugh.
“Oh, there was a passenger this morning who wanted me to be a veterinarian.” Emily waved the beer bottle. “No big deal once I got used to the idea.”
“Hey, I see there’s a game of volleyball getting organized. Want to play?” Jake asked.
“I’m beat,” Meg answered. “I’m staying right here, but you go ahead, knock yourselves out.”
Emily stood. “I’ll play.” She could tell from the surprise on Jake’s face that he hadn’t anticipated her joining in. “As it happens, I was a highly ranked player in college, before med school. We won the Sector quarterfinals my senior year.”
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…
The Story for Mission To Mahjundar (No beach in this one but you can listen to audiobooks on the beach, right? and I happen to have a few free codes!):
2015 SFR Galaxy Award Winner!
An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.
Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.
But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?
Can there be a future for a simple soldier and an intergalactic princess?