Veronica: So excited today to have Tiffany Roberts here to share an excerpt from Hunter of the Tide, their story in Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3. I’ve been fascinated by the character of Randall since we first ‘met’ him in the Kraken Series and now we get to know so much more via this story. Plus a really cool scifi pet!
Tiffany: Though all our books have either strong sci-fi or fantasy elements, our approach to storytelling has always focused on romance first. The core of each of our books is the love that develops between the main characters. Their relationships have to feel natural, have to feel genuine, and have to grow. Our story for the Pets in Space 3 Anthology, Hunter of the Tide, has that romantic core, but this anthology has allowed us to explore a relationship that we’ve never touched on before: the bond between people and their pets.
Randall Laster, the main character of Hunter of the Tide, is a broken man at the onset of the story. Ikaros, a semiaquatic sea creature that was found wounded, provides him an unexpected means of support and healing. Those of us with animals in our lives reap the benefit of such relationships every day, often without noticing—our pets provide us with so much more than something to pat on the head or scratch behind the ears every now and then.
The relationships we develop with animals are unique and powerful things, somehow enhanced by our inability (in most cases) to speak the same language. We connect with our pets on a deeper level, and the most precious and special of those connections don’t require words; they are intuitive, empathetic, and beneficial to all involved. Pets provide comfort, companionship, affection, and so much more. They can heal the wounds we carry in our hearts, they can ease the pain and worry we so often carry throughout our lives, they can help us see, if only in brief glimpses, that everything will be okay.
We’re honored to have taken part in this year’s Pets in Space Anthology. Not only will it contribute to a worthy cause—Hero Dogs, which places service dogs with disabled veterans and first responders—but it is a celebration of the joy and love people have for their pets, no matter how mundane or otherworldly those pets may be.
Hunter of the Tide Teaser
“He is eating so well,” Melaina said, twisting to grin at Rhea and Randall. Her attention immediately swung back to the prixxir. She offered another bite of fish, and the creature devoured the morsel, long tail waving eagerly.
“That’s good. It’ll help him heal faster,” Randall said.
Rhea watched her daughter pet the creature. Melaina’s face was aglow with delight, and her eyes sparkled with adoration. Rhea’s chest tightened; the youngling’s wanderlust had caused trouble over the last year, but seeing Melaina so happy filled Rhea’s hearts near to bursting.
And it was because of Randall. He’d made it possible by agreeing to care for the prixxir.
Ikaros chirruped, cocking its head and tilting it back when Melaina dangled a bit of fish higher up. The prixxir followed the moving food with large eyes, and the instant the meat came within its reach, it darted up to snatch the food out of Melaina’s fingers. She giggled.
“Once he’s fully grown, you won’t be able to hold food out of his reach anymore,” Randall said. “Not until you grow up, yourself.”
“When I’m as tall as you?” Melaina asked.
Randall glanced at Rhea, sweeping his gaze over her from tentacles to head, before looking back at Melaina. “You’ll probably be taller than me when you’re done.”
“Are you done growing? You don’t seem so tall for a male.”
“Yeah, I’m all done growing. Maybe I’m not as big as Dracchus—”
“No one is as big as Dracchus,” Melaina interrupted.
Randall smiled. “But I make up for it by being the hairiest one in this whole place.”
Melaina laughed, pointing at Randall’s chest. “You are!”
“Everyone has to have something they’re good at.”
“Being the hairiest cannot be all you are good at,” Rhea said.
“I might have a few other talents,” he replied, eyes roving over Rhea’s body again. Her brows rose, and her lips curved into a smile. “But I usually let other people judge that for themselves.”
Bio: Tiffany Roberts, a husband and wife writing duo, are now actively living their dream creating happily-ever-afters one monster or alien at a time.
Veronica: I’ve chatted with them at length on the phone and they are so much FUN! They bring a strong video gaming background to their worldbuilding and the Kraken universe is really well done, in my opinion!
The book blurb:
Eleven original Science Fiction Romances. Eleven action-filled tales that mix pets in space with their two-legged companions. Supporting a great cause – Hero-Dogs.org. Don’t miss out on Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3! https://www.petsinspaceantho.com