UPDATE December 20th: The blog hop is now OVER. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Here are my randomly selected winners:
Lola – the mug and an ebook of mine – her choice (since she already has read PETS). Need your snailmail address, e mail address and what book/format you prefer!
Lastexilewords – the audiobooks on cd and one free download code for the audiobook of MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR. Need your snailmail address and your e mail address.
Cee Mac – the pendant and one ebook copy of STAR SURVIVOR (or other ebook by me if you’ve already read that one.) Need your snailmail address, e mail address and what book/format you prefer!
Happy Holidays to all!
Alas, I don’t write holiday stories in the novels set in my far future (or not yet anyway) so the best I can do is give you a fairly light hearted moment from my new book, Star Survivor. (Things get pretty deadly serious after this scene) The book blurb is below the excerpt.
Fun stuff first though – the GIVEAWAYS! I’m doing three, and will select three commenters randomly on the morning of December 20th, and will post my winners here. Please tell us your favorite winter or Christmas memory!
I will mail the physical items internationally if required to do so. Prizes awarded in the order of my choosing. Taxes and duties if any are the responsibility of the winner. Winners must get in touch with me by midnight, December 28th or I’ll pick a new winner for that prize. Physical items will NOT arrive in time for Christmas! No substitutions, no cash or gift card equivalent will be given. I will substitute another of my own ebooks at your request if you already have the one in your prize.
Giveaway #1: Limited Edition PETS IN SPACE mug featuring Moby and Midorri from my story in the book, “Star Cruise: Stowaway” plus an ebook copy of PETS.
Giveaway #2: Three (3) new and unopened audiobooks on cd (not downloads!) from the lovely people at SkyBoat Media – “Dancing Barefoot” and “The Happiest Days of Our Lives”, both narrated by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame and “Big Book of SF Novelettes” (including one by Mary Robinette Kowal), narrated by Various. PLUS I will give you a code to redeem at Audible for a free download copy of my audiobook MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR, recorded by Michael Riffle.
Giveaway #3: One (1) ‘Pride and Prejudice’ mini book fashion jewelry necklace that I purchased at The Ripped Bodice romance bookstore here in Southern California for this giveaway. (Please note there isn’t anything on the necklace or the box to indicate The Ripped Bodice connection – sorry!) Book pendant is approximately 3/4″ tall (so therefore tiny). PLUS an ebook of my latest SFR novel, STAR SURVIVOR.
There was no horde of press to navigate at the venue because the groundcar deposited them at a side entrance. Twilka swept inside and was immediately plunged into the chaos of preparing for a major show. Two of the models were having a catfight over who should wear the show opener, which wasn’t their decision in any event. She settled the squabble in a heartbeat, by switching the dress in question to a third girl, and stepped aside to confer with the event’s Master of Ceremonies. The entire contingent of models was staring at Khevan and trying to get his attention, some more subtly than others, but he was focused on Twilka. She could tell, although he was acting like a bodyguard, assessing the environment and all the people in it with a cold eye, watching for threats. His presence would be comforting, if it didn’t arouse all kinds of other emotions and memories she could definitely do without.
The trideo star swept in with her entourage and her bodyguards, who seemed like untested boys next to Khevan. Twilka escorted the group to a private space at the edge of the fashion maelstrom, and dresses were brought to be tried on. In under half an hour the celebrity was satisfied, walking out in a gown Twilka decreed suited her perfectly and would land Fiona in all the “best of” trideo streams, garnering priceless publicity for the actress and for Twilka. She lingered behind for a moment, sinking into a handy chair.
“Is it always this manic?” Khevan asked, moving behind her to rub her shoulders.
Rolling her head from side to side in sheer relief as the muscle tension eased, she said, “Your hands work magic. Is massage normally part of the D’nvannae bodyguard service?”
“No. But I can see you getting tense and from what you’ve said, there are hours of this event left to get through.” He lifted his hands away from her body as Lissa burst through the door with a quick knock.
Open mouthed, she stared from one to the other. “Oh, sorry.” Obviously recalling her errand, she said hesitantly, “I hate to interrupt, but the model tore the green sheath, put her foot right through the hem, and the girl for the purple-and-gold ball gown hasn’t arrived yet…”
“You may have to wear the dress and walk yourself,” Twilka said, rising. “It wouldn’t be the first time. Have we briefed the models on how I want them to strut this year?” Lissa nodded. “Good. Let’s go see how bad the damage is. Maybe we can stitch on trim to hide the tear in the green.”
“The seamstresses are all busy adjusting hems and taking in seams. There’s not going to be enough time…”
“I haven’t forgotten how to use a needle.” Twilka made a little sewing motion as she walked.
“And the girl who’s supposed to wear the finale piece hasn’t arrived yet.” Lissa had the tone of a person with a long list of problems to report. “I heard she got hired to walk in another show and might not be here for us at all.”
“Let me see who’s in the first third of the program that can do a quick change and we’ll pick a new girl for the finale.” Twilka brushed past a pair of stylists with arms full of accessories. “What else? I know you’re not done dumping catastrophes on me.”
Her assistant stopped dead. “How do you do that? Are you sure you don’t have psychic powers?”
Laughing in spite of her tension, Twilka grabbed Lissa by the elbow and dragged her out of the way of a stage tech burdened down with complicated equipment. “Just a lot of experience with these productions. I’ve seen it all at least ten times over the years. Nothing surprises me.”
“This might.” Lissa took a deep breath. “So the Evanderly people staged a living vignette? And the models had to be part of the scenery?”
Nodding, Twilka walked faster, anxious to deal with the green dress and then the rest of the problems. “A bit over the top, but the collection was too simple. He needed something to distract the critics. How does that affect me?”
“Three of our girls have a purple rash from the leaves and insects they had to wear.”
Hands on her hips, Twilka blinked. “Okay, that is new. Can we cover them with glittering stardust powder?”
“Depending which dresses they’re supposed to wear.” Biting her lip, Lissa considered.
Twilka gave her assistant a tiny shove. “Go figure it out with the head makeup artist. He’ll love the challenge, even as he cusses you out. And then get Jord away from the catering tables and tell him to supervise the dressers like he’s supposed to be doing. I’m off to take care of the green dress.”
The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.
They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.
Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?
D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady. Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.
But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?