SFR Brigade Summer Cafe Blog Hop Giveaway

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The giveaway on my blog is now CLOSED and S. A. Hoag, Nicole Luiken and Ed Hoornaert were my three randomly selected winners. Thanks for all the great comments and out of this world dining recommendations!

Welcome to my post for the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s Summer Cafe. I’m giving away three prizes on my blog, to randomly selected commenters. The question to answer in the comment is where in the Universe (real or scifi) would you want to go for dinner and why? The pub in Hobbiton? The cantina on Tatooine? The rings of Saturn? The Twilight Zone? Your imagination is the only limit here!

My prizes on THIS blog only are three $10.00 Amazon gift cards. I’ll  randomly select my winners after midnight on June 7th, no substitutions, no cash equivalent.

Here are the prizes for the overall Summer Cafe Hop as listed on the “Menu Card” below, which can be entered at the Rafflecopter HERE. NOTE: All prizes are available internationally but are NOT exchangeable for any cash or other alternatives.
Spaceopera1Here are the links to go check out all the other SFR authors on the Bog hop. (NOTE: same list of participating authors at either site.):
 SFR Brigade  OR    SFR Station
MissionToM2-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Here’s an excerpt from my most recent scifi romance, Mission to Mahjundar, where the hero and heroine discuss a ‘recipe’ for a potion to temporarily restore the heroine’s eye sight. The group is in her mother’s tomb, deep in a cave.

The guardsman withdrew a small leather pouch from his broad belt and placed it safely in her cupped hands. Unknotting the cords by touch took her a moment of fierce concentration, but then she with­drew an object swathed in rolls of velvety cloth. While Saium hovered, making small hand motions as if he wanted to take the bundle from her and open it himself, Shalira extracted a small glass vial. An emerald-green stopper flashed in the smoky torch­light. Even in the gloom of the “gazebo,” the liquid contents of this unique container shone and glowed golden.

“What do you have there?” Mike stepped to her side.

Shalira tilted her head in the direction of his voice. “My mother’s nurse was a wise woman, a healer, an initiate in the goddess Pavmiraia’s secrets. After my brother was killed and I was left blind, she worked tirelessly to gather the ingredients for this potion. Some she had to commission from across the Great Sea, which took several years to acquire. When she had the recipe complete, she secretly left the palace to brew this mix. Whether from the sorcery involved, or whether it was a coincidence, she was near death when she returned, dying within a sevenday.” Shalira shook the vial in her hand. “All for the liquid in this bottle.”

“What’s it supposed to do?” Mike had a sneaking suspicion what Shalira was going to say.

 “Restore my sight for the space of an hour. She bade me to keep it safe and use it only if my life depended on my eyes.”

“Then perhaps you should save it. Tell me and Saium what to do,” Mike suggested urgently, not liking the ominous appearance of the bottle, golden glow or not.

“Don’t fear for me.” Shalira regarded him so warmly he forgot what he’d planned to say next. “My life does depend on this. If I fail to get the clan insignia, Bandarlok won’t marry me. Then I’m doomed to return home and enter the Abbey of the Obedient Sisters, which is a virtual death sentence. The empress will have me killed.”

“Shalira—” He stopped, shaking his head. What am I planning to say? Am I going to offer to take her away from all this, go back to my home world with me? Mike swallowed hard, surprised into silence by a flood of unexpected emotion choking him.

Not waiting to hear more of his opinions, she unstoppered the little flask, sucked in a breath and held it, drinking the contents in one quick swallow.

Gagging, Shalira staggered backward, dropping the bottle, hands rising to her throat. The vial shattered on the stone floor, spraying shards and droplets of moisture everywhere. Mike rushed to her side, catching her one-handed as she swooned toward the cold floor. “Bring me the cloak to wrap her in. She’s convulsing.”

Avoiding the broken glass, Mike sat on the freezing stone floor, cradling the unconscious princess while she shook. “Damn it, we never should have let her drink that stuff. What if it’s poison?”

“Her nurse would never have poisoned Shalira,” the older man answered, his face calm, voice low. “Have faith, as Her Highness does, and wait, outworlder.”

Skidding on the stone floor, Johnny came running into the chamber, gun in hand. “We got major troubles.” He stopped short at the sight of the unconscious Shalira. “Lords of Space, now what?”

Holding the princess tight against the tremors racking her body, Mike frowned. “She drank something she believes will restore her vision and the side effects are pretty bad. What’s happening in the valley?”

“We’ve been double-crossed….”

Buy Links: Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO     Google Play

The story:

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.

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?

Channel the Power MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR 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…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased.

I’m jumping ahead a week or so, after the trip has begun. This snippet occurs after Shalira’s retrieved the key she must have to open her mother’s tomb, by conducting a ritual in an abandoned temple. Of course Mike ended up helping her.

(A little creative editing and a LOT of creative punctuation have occurred today.)

Do you know,” she said, “if I’d been born a thousand years ago, I would have been a high priestess? Even a hundred years ago, the gods were still respected, worshipped – I could have found my home in a temple, made my place happily, because I’m one who can channel the energy of the gods. Blind or not, I would have been cherished.” She bit her lip and winced, as if perhaps she’d not meant to reveal so much emotion.

“Is channeling energy what we did in there?” It was as good a description as any of what he’d felt during the ceremony.

 She nodded, a wistful expression on her face, “Yes – I’ve never tasted anything but crumbs of the power before…until today, with you at my side. But now the people venerate other gods or no gods at all, and there’s no need for priestesses with my gift.”

Not sure how much more I’ll share from this book. It gets to be hard to avoid spoilers and I know some of you have read the book, or are reading it (and thank you SO much!).  I’m currently writing my next ancient Egyptian but I might give you some excerpts from a couple of my unpublished SFR’s for a change of pace. We’ll see what I’m in the mood for!

The story:

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. 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?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

heart of rose nebula

 

 

Why Does Mike Care? Mission to Mahjundar 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…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Continuing on from last week’s excerpt. (A little creative editing and a LOT of creative punctuation have occurred today.) There’s quite a bit of discussion in this scene about why the Princess wants him to join her caravan, and of the events surrounding her loss of sight. I’m skipping some. We’re in Mike’s POV and he’s just asked if the chieftain she’s to marry is aware she’s unable to see. (Saium is her one faithful guardsman, a longtime servant of her late mother’s):

Shalira seemed troubled, wrinkling her brow and lowering her sightless eyes as she started worrying the fringe on the closest pillow, but all she said was, “A large dowry has been paid – he’ll keep me safe, and I’ll be happy living freely in the open forests, away from this hot, hateful city.”

Mike pondered the ramifications of what she’d shared earlier, added to the quick overview Saium had given him in the hall, asking, “So you’ve never actually met this guy?”

Bristling as if she heard unwarranted criticism in his tone, she said, “No, why does it matter? Arranged marriages are the custom for the high-born on Mahjundar – it’s how things are done.” She tilted her head, sculpted eyebrows drawn together in a frown.

If it’s fine with her, it’s hardly my place to question the arrangement – why do I care, anyway? What is it with me and this woman? I just met her yesterday – she’s none of my concern.

The story:

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. 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?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

h06_64884mai

The Dead Have Infinite Patience MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR 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…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Continuing on from last week’s excerpt. (Creative editing and punctuation have occurred.) Shalira is speaking, attempting to answer Mike’s question about why she asked for his escort. (NOTE: He saved her life in a terrorist bombing the day before.)

“You’re searching in the mountains for a lost military ship, aren’t you; to give those MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700who died the proper burial, set their spirits free?”

“Well, yes,” Mike said, aware Command had used those terms to explain the request for access to this closed world. 

“But the dead have infinite patience, Major. Surely you can spare a few days for the living?” Leaning forward, she set her glass on the table, perilously close to the edge.

He shifted the glass to a safer location as he said, “Your Highness—”

“Would you let the life you saved be lost so soon? There are those who don’t want me to reach my wedding.”

The story:

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. 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?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes (Other links in progress)

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

 

Did He Ask? MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR 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…

Doing excerpts from my soon-to-be published science fiction romance WIP, Mission to Mahjundar…Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Shalira is speaking. (Creative punctuation has occurred.)

 “At the presentation ceremony, did the minister ask if you’d be willing to ride in myMissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700 caravan?”

“Ask? More of a threat.” Mike knew his frustration was showing, “Ride with you or else my own mission gets cancelled.”

“And you don’t sound pleased – I wish I could have made the request myself.” She nibbled on a cracker, brushing crumbs from her lap.

“Forgive me, Your Highness, but why do you want us to go with you?” Setting his glass on the table, he leaned forward. “I’m on an urgent mission – your route causes me quite a delay, which I can’t afford without good reason.”

She’s going to give him a good reason, of course.

The story:

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. 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?

(Still working on the blurb…)

As always, I love your comments and feedback.

heart of rose nebula

Meet My Character Meme

MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700I was tagged for this meme or hop by my very good Weekend Writing Warrior friend Charmaine J Gordon!

I thought, with a new science fiction romance coming out in August, I’d like to participate and without further ado, here are the seven questions with my answers.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

The character I’m going to talk about is Princess Shalira, from the planet Mahjundar, so entirely fictional.

2) When and where is the story set?

The events in this novel occur in the far future, out in the greater galaxy, where a civilization known as the Sectors sprawls across the star systems. The citizens of this loosely organized stellar nation are humans, people of human descent and alien beings. So far all of my science fiction romances have taken place within this structure.

3) What should we know about him/her?

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? 

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Questions 3, 4 and 5 can be answered by the book’s blurb so here goes with the relevant information:

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.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? I’m kinda basic with my book titles so this is Mission to Mahjundar, which is the name of the planet where all the action takes place. There’s more to the blurb on the book’s page on my blog

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

The manuscript just emerged from copy edits and needs one more high level editing pass, plus formatting, so probably another 2-3 weeks, which is just a little bit behind my self-imposed schedule. But I want it to be perfect!

I put out a call to several of the loops I’m on for other authors to tag and this meme seemed to appeal to a lot of people so I’m tagging seven friends. They’ll put their Character posts up a week from today, on their own blogs so I hope you’ll visit them then!

Shawna Reppert     Shona Husk     Mimi Sebastian     A J Larrieu     Sonya B Clark     Sheryl Nantus

   Regan Summers     Jody Wallace      and  Sandy Wright