Keeping You From Something Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revised(If you’re looking for the October SFRB Showcase, that post is here.)

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

The snippet is from my new novella Star Cruise: Songbird, which is coming out in the EMBRACE THE ROMANCE: PETS IN SPACE 2 anthology on October 10th (but can be pre-ordered). Only a few more days!!! (Can you tell I’m excited?)

I’ve skipped ahead a bit from last week’s excerpt. Grant has taken Karissa to his boss’s office to wait until the coast is clear to get her safely back to her own cabin. The excerpt is edited a bit to fit the rules here.

The excerpt: 

Still holding her drink, she rose and made a slow tour of the office, examining the few knickknacks and holos on display. Over her shoulder, she said, “You’re not a fan, I gather?”

“Fan?”

“Of my music,” she laughed, “I must sound conceited but most people would be thrilled to have a one on one session with me – you haven’t even asked for an autograph.”

“I’m sure your music is wonderful. I’ve been downrange for the last few years so I’m not up on popular culture,” He checked the time again and looked up to see her frowning at him.  “Means I’ve been outside the Sectors, in places I can’t talk about.”

She nodded, “Am I making you nervous? Or am I keeping you from something, a date maybe?” Karissa pointed at the shiptime indicator on the wall, “You keep checking.”

We’ll find out what Grant is anxious about in the next excerpt. Or if you buy the book, you can read the entire novella on the 10th. I’ll probably only do one more excerpt from this book after it’s been released and then move on to my next planned new release, which is an ancient Egyptian paranormal romance. It’s been too long since I wrote one of those!

pets2LargeThe story:

Grant Barton, a Security Officer on the Nebula Zephyr, is less than thrilled with his current assignment to guard an Interstellar singing sensation while she’s on board the ship. It doesn’t help that he and his military war bird Valkyr are dealing with their recent separation from the Sectors Special Forces and uncertainty over their future, with their own planet in ruins.

Karissa Dawnstar is on top of the charts and seemingly has it all – talent, fame, fortune and devoted fans, but behind her brave smile and upbeat lyrics she hides an aching heart. When a publicity stunt goes wrong, Karissa finds herself in the arms of the security officer assigned to protect her – and discovers a mutual attraction she can’t ignore.

Trouble continues to plague the pair, driving a wedge between them and leaving Grant certain that Karissa is in more danger than she realizes, from overzealous fans and her own management. Grant is determined to protect Karissa whether she wants his help or not. Can he discover the truth behind what’s going on before he loses Karissa or is there someone else plotting to keep them apart – permanently?

Blurb for Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2:

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first months profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Buy Links:  

Amazon US   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   Amazon FR   Amazon DE

Amazon JP   iBooks  B&N   Kobo   Google Play

We have a free coloring book to download while you wait – it’s on our website here!

new canva rock star meme corrected

 

 

 

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Let Me Take A Look Weekend Writing Warrior

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

The snippet is from Two Against the Stars (story below the excerpt), my latest release. I’ve jumped ahead to a scene where Carialle tries to help her elderly landlady. Edited slightly from the published version to fit into our rules here. I’ll go on with this scene next week.

“You certainly maintain the garden in great shape,” Carialle said, trying to change the subject.

Pride evident on her face, Mrs. Galaganos surveyed her small domain, “Yes, all but the biggest tree. I’ll be devastated if anything happens to it but the leaves have been dropping for ten days now and this isn’t the leaf-casting season – I gave it extra water.”

Impatient as she was to be off about her own errands, Carialle felt a compulsion to react to the concern about the possibly ailing tree.  Tulavarrans and nature worked hand in hand on her planet and a priestess was never to ignore the needs of the differently-sentient. “Additional irrigation isn’t always the best tactic,” she said, walking toward the tree in question, “Let me take a look.”

Mrs Galaganos trailed behind her while the pet yawned, rolled over in its patch of sun, and ignored them.

The tree had a beautiful shape, with a swirling trunk rising twenty feet in the air, and graceful branches currently sporting rather patchy clumps of leaves.  The older leaves were a glossy deep green but the newer ones were shriveled, mottled with red and brown. Carialle stepped across the ornamental barrier of white shells and rested her hand on the tree, reaching for the sentient with her power.

twoThe story:

Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she’s hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans’ clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.

Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that’s supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run–he does. In his family’s remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.

In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say–they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their weapon

Buy Links:

Amazon     iBooks     Barnes & Noble  Kobo 

3 empath covers canva

Who Could Predict Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

The snippet is from Two Against the Stars (story below the excerpt), my latest release. I’m continuing on from last week although I’ve skipped ahead a bit. After leaving the hotel and pawning Dobkin’s watch, Carialle rides the city’s mass transit all day, working her way into the seedier areas of town. She leaves the transport, buys lunch and studies the situation. (Edited somewhat from the published version.)

After finishing her meal, surprised at how healthy her appetite was after the traumatic events of the day, she wandered through the area, which boasted small shops with the proprietors’ living quarters above. The neighborhood was crowded and lively with street musicians playing for credits. Carialle kept her eyes open for any signs of Combine activity but detected none. Oh, there were scammers and pickpockets, but when she touched them lightly with her highly attuned senses, the petty crooks had no thought of the Combine.

Reassured she’d made a good choice, she strolled further, observing the mix of older, poorly maintained buildings and the newer, refurbished places. She encountered no police, which for her was just as reassuring as not seeing Combine enforcers. Who could predict how the mysterious authorities would view what she’d done as a Combine tool? And she’d probably be suspected of killing Dobkin, which was another huge problem.

High in the azure sky, the glint of an ascending spacecraft drew her attention for a moment. Averting her gaze, she blinked away tears – this planet was going to be her home for the rest of her life.

twoThe story:

Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she’s hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans’ clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.

Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that’s supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run–he does. In his family’s remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.

In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say–they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their weapon

Buy Links:

Amazon     iBooks     Barnes & Noble  Kobo 

3 empath covers canva

 

 

 

Not Going To Be Used Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

NEW RELEASE! The snippet is from Two Against the Stars (story below the excerpt):

Her handler lay sprawled on the cheap imitation tile floor, a pool of blood spreading from the back of his head. He’d evidently fallen or passed out from the drugs he’d done, striking his head on the commode as he toppled. His sporadic breathing was labored and halted on a harsh exhale even as she stared at him. His head lolled to the side and his entire body went limp.

Her heightened senses confirmed Dobkin’s lifeforce had fled.

The handler’s death left her numb. He’d never assaulted her, nor beaten her, as some of the other handlers did with their charges, but he’d been casually cruel since they met. He clearly didn’t see her as a person in her own right. Indeed, not as anything but a tool to use for the Combine’s profit and his own advancement.

“I’m not going to be used for anyone else’s purposes ever again,” she said.

TwoAgainstTheStarsFinalThe story:

Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she’s hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans’ clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.

Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that’s supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run–he does. In his family’s remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.

In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say–they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their weapon

Buy Links:

Amazon     iBooks     Barnes & Noble  Kobo

 

 

 

Not Her Name Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Since I forgot to mention last week that I was done with excerpts from Star Cruise: Stowaway, here’s one more after all. I’ve skipped over quite a bit of drama with saving Tyrelle’s life right after Owen finds her. Next day Owen goes to visit her in sickbay, with the pets keeping her company. It’s a relatively peaceful moment before things heat up again as both the crime syndicate and the rather ruthless Sectors authorities come after Tyrelle, the stowaway. Next week, I’ll excerpt something else.

moby_and_midorri_pets_in-space_artwork_nyssa_juneauMidorri chirruped and slithered to the floor, going to the portal, where she scratched at the door with two of her six feet.

Owen rose to let her out.

Moby promptly entered, jumping to the bed and rubbing Tyrelle’s face, arching her spine and purring loudly.

“When one leaves, the other arrives. You’re the keeper of the animals?” she asked.

“Moby’s mine –  I rescued her from kids in a rough port town as a kitten a few years ago and brought her with me to the Zephyr. Midorri belongs to the entire ship, but she spends a lot of time in the cargo bay, with Moby, hunting vermin.” He sat, trapped in the small chair, “The Zephyr’s not  infested or anything, we run a tight ship, but there’s always a few space rats.” I can’t believe I’m talking to this beautiful woman about rats.

She laughed, scratching under Moby’s chin for a moment and staring into the cat’s green eyes, “Yes, this one likes you very much and the name you gifted her. Midorri is not the other one’s name, you know, but she told me she doesn’t mind answering to it.”

stowawayThe story:

I’m really excited to release three Sectors stories that have only been available previously in anthologies, none of which are available currently. I’ve bundled them ALL into one book with the lengthy title STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY WITH RESCUE AND GOLDEN TOKEN SHORT STORIES.

Here are the story descriptions:

Star Cruise: Stowaway: A novella of 22K words, previously in the ‘Pets In Space’ anthology.
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Star Cruise: Rescue: A short story of 9K words, previously in the ‘Romancing the Stars’ anthology.
When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?

The Golden Token: A short story of 13K words, previously in the limited edition ‘Dealer’s Choice’ paperback anthology handed out at the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention Interstellar Bar & Grille event.
Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

Amazon    iBooks    B&N     Kobo

 

No Heartbeat Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Here’s the next snippet from Star Cruise: Stowaway (blurb below).  Skipped a few sentences further describing the leaking crate. Owen has decided he’s better unseal the container. Edited a bit from the published version:

A loud click echoed in the cargo bay and the seams on the crate glowed yellow, unsealing in a smooth progression along the rim. Sure enough a deluge of liquid followed, but Embersson froze for a moment as he saw what had been inside the crate. Then he was on his knees beside the now-open container, heedless of the green cryo fluid soaking his pants, as he tried to extricate the woman who’d been illegally stored inside. She was tightly curled in the midst of the cryo tubes, and he swore again as he realized chains bound her ankles.

Carefully he disentangled her from the nonfunctioning equipment. She opened her eyes for a moment, staring straight at him with beautiful green and gold eyes before convulsing, knocking Embersson off balance. He broke the fall for both of them, holding her securely.

Midorri scrabbled across his body, gently poking the woman with her head, making mewling sounds.

Shoving the beast away with his elbow as he got to his feet, he observed the woman wasn’t breathing, “Tell Dr. Shane I need her down here now, with a crash cart,” he yelled to the AI as he laid the stowaway on the deck and checked for a clear airway. Ear to her chest, he detected no heartbeat.

stowawayThe story:

I’m really excited to release three Sectors stories that have only been available previously in anthologies, none of which are available currently. I’ve bundled them ALL into one book with the lengthy title STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY WITH RESCUE AND GOLDEN TOKEN SHORT STORIES.

Here are the story descriptions:

Star Cruise: Stowaway: A novella of 22K words, previously in the ‘Pets In Space’ anthology.
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Star Cruise: Rescue: A short story of 9K words, previously in the ‘Romancing the Stars’ anthology.
When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?

The Golden Token: A short story of 13K words, previously in the limited edition ‘Dealer’s Choice’ paperback anthology handed out at the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention Interstellar Bar & Grille event.
Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

Amazon    iBooks    B&N     Kobo

 

Do Your People Dance Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Last excerpt from Danger in the Stars, since it’s been released for a couple of weeks now!

Sorry, not going to explain why Mirielle needed Conor to move the flowers closer in last week’s excerpt, trying to avoid spoilers. (But you can read the book, she said sneakily….and a huge thank you to everyone who has bought the book or added it to their TBR list!)

I’ll leave you with a happyish moment from roughly 1/3 of the way through the book:

Miriell stood at the open balcony door, watching the rain fall as a balmy breeze stirred the loose tendrils of her hair. It pleased her to think of the soft rain drifting onto the garden where Conor had taken her, and she started to sway. Humming a blessing song, she closed her eyes. Knowing she was being appallingly foolish, she visualized herself at home on her own world, tending the temple’s garden on a beautiful spring day, singing this special song. It was said among the village folk that the tune would bring your beloved to find you.

There was a sound behind her, breaking her concentration on the momentary vision of her home, and she turned, bracing herself to deal with more of Jareck’s casual cruelty.

Conor stood there, staring at her as he softly closed the door. “Don’t stop,” he whispered, holding out one hand. “Do your people dance to this beautiful music?”

So lost in her song and her bittersweet dream, she hadn’t even heard him enter the suite.

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

 

 

She Needs Flowers Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedHere’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

I’m only going to do one or two more excerpts from  Danger in the Stars since it’s now released. Then I’ll switch to something else.

This is from a scene later in the book, after Mirielle’s used her power and is having a hard time recovering. Jareck, her ‘controller’, left her alone in the hotel suite, confined to the couch by ankle restraints. Conor has stopped by as promised earlier, to check on her health. Edited a bit from the published version.

The excerpt:

“Please, can you do one thing for me?” She hated to ask for anything from these people, but her breathing wasn’t improving, and she was frightened. Jareck wouldn’t show up for hours, if at all, and when he did, his mood might be volcanic if he’d lost, or he might be too drunk to pay any attention to her. At least Conor had tried to get a doctor for her.

Hand already on the door, he paused, glancing over his shoulder, “What do you need?”

She gestured at a huge bouquet the hotel had placed on the table at the other end of the capacious sitting room, “Could you bring those closer to me, maybe on the floor next to the couch?”

He threw back his head and laughed, “Lady, that’s the strangest request I’ve ever heard. You like the smell, do you eat them, what?” Conor strolled closer, “No answer? I’m not touching the flowers till you explain.”

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

Buy Links:

Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

 

What Was the Boss Thinking Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedIf you’re here for the SFRB Showcase, follow the link (longer excerpt from Danger in the Stars by the way).

Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the
participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)

Continuing on, Miriell and her controller Jareck are driven to the hotel in a groundcar with the crime boss Opherra, who goes on a rant about how Miriell looks.

The excerpt:

“The woman’s appearance is hopeless. What can your bosses be thinking? Not only is her hair unusual and easily remembered, but that gaudy piece of metal around her neck screams cheap. Tawdry. And the gray tunic? Institutional.” The boss sniffed, “I can’t have someone dressed like an escapee from a prison in my company.”

“We usually work behind the scenes,” Jareck said, his voice filled with the blatant desire to please, “She doesn’t have to be in the room with the victim, once she knows who the target is.”

“Well, she’s going to be in the room this time.”

dangerinthestarsfinalSTATUS:  Danger in the Stars is at the formatter and nearly ready to start uploading to the retail sites! Hopefully by next Sunday I can announce buy links!

The story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

SFR Brigade Presents DANGER IN THE STARS

SFRB ShowcaseOnce a month the Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors showcase snippets from new work, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things. The link is here for all  the participants.

I’m doing excerpts from Danger in the Stars, which is at the formatter this week and will hopefully be released next week, but certainly by the 11th of April.

dangerinthestarsfinalThe story:

Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.

The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?

VS Note: This is the story of the sister who is mentioned in passing in Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the award winning PETS IN SPACE anthology. The new novel is completely standalone.

The excerpt – Miriell is required to demonstrate her powers to Opherra, the crime boss she’s been brought in to assist. Opherra is speaking. Jareck is the thug assigned to ‘control’ Miriell:

“I want a demonstration of what the performer can do. Prove to me you can be of assistance in what I need.”

“Can you give me a few more details on what you want me to make her do?” Jareck asked.

Miriell felt nauseated as her muscles tensed while she waited to learn what atrocious act she’d be required to perform now, what perversion of her Thuun-given gifts would be demanded.

“The end game is to help me attract a particular influential gentleman who’s been curiously resistant to my charms,” Opherra said, her lips twisted in annoyance. “I need him in thrall to me for our plans here to move forward. In too deep to back out when I reveal my true agenda. No names, but he’s key. My boss is tired of waiting for the standard ploys to yield results.”

“Is he here?”

She shook her head. “Of course not. I need to see these abilities in action before I risk my entire operation on an unknown.” Glancing around the restaurant, she laughed. “Oh yes, an excellent target for the demonstration I want. You see that blonde woman, the one with her husband, the older couple and three children? I’ve never seen anyone less likely to commit suicide. Make her throw herself off the balcony, and I’ll be a believer.” She drummed her talonlike red fingernails on the tablecloth. “Now.”

Miriell’s heart sank. The target was clearly happy, surrounded by her family, and had been casually targeted by Opherra to die just to prove a point. She gathered her power, which was curiously difficult to do, perhaps because she was so repelled by the task, and hummed the death song under her breath. Reaching out with her senses, she found the tiniest gray in the unfortunate woman’s vivid colors. Each sentient had their private sorrows and constant worries. Miriell worked to expand the gray, suppress the other colors. The woman’s companions were oblivious to her sudden silence, because the lively children were laughing and talking so happily. Suddenly, there were gasps as the target of Miriell’s attack rose abruptly from the table, knocking her chair into the person next to her. Face blank, the woman strode toward the edge of the dining area and the observation platform that built over thin air. It had safety rails, but nothing robust enough to stop a determined adult from pitching headfirst to the ground hundreds of feet below.  Her husband raced after her, but she had a head start and was increasing her speed as she went.

Hoping no one would notice what she was doing, Miriell continued her pressure on the woman but began to subtly affect one of the waiters carrying a huge load of dishes until, at literally the last second, he backed away from a table and collided with the suicidal woman, sending them both reeling and collapsing to the floor, tangled together, covered in food and broken crockery. Miriell released her hold on both sentients and fell back in her chair. Hand shaking, she reached for her glass of water and sipped, although her throat was nearly closed from stress. Please let that be enough of a demonstration for Opherra.

Buy Links: Amazon      iBooks    Kobo     Barnes & Noble

VS: In my post that I did for Liza O’Connor’s blog, discussing this book, I mentioned one of my influences was the original Star Trek episode “The Empath…” I always loved that episode and the idea of how powerful an empath could be remained with me.

star trek the empath