The Story Spark for REEDE Plus Excerpt

reede final

If you haven’t read any of my award winning Badari Warriors series, here’s the background:

Genetically engineered soldiers of the far future, the Badari were created by alien enemies to fight humans. But then the scientists kidnapped an entire human colony from the Sectors to use as subjects in twisted experiments…the Badari and the humans made common cause, rebelled and escaped the labs. Now they live side by side in a sanctuary valley protected by a powerful Artificial Intelligence, and wage unceasing war on the aliens. 

When I thought about what elements went into writing my latest Badari Warriors novel, I realized there were several threads coming together that influenced Reede’s adventure. I really hadn’t done much with him since he’d been introduced in the first book as being the Alpha’s second enforcer and then in MEGAN AND MATEER’S BABY I showed how fierce and unsympathetic he could be as he tracked down the human accomplices in Megan’s kidnapping. He had no mercy.

But of course being the author, I knew there was a sweet guy well-hidden at the core of the intimidating enforcer. I started thinking about how life in the Khagrish labs would have affected him as a boy – what if he’d had other dreams for himself but was forced by the alien scientists to accept the deadly role they’d genetically engineered him to fill? How would that affect him and his actions as an adult, especially now the pack is free of the labs?

The Badari treasure their freedom but as I’ve alluded to in previous books, they have found challenges they never expected.

On the bigger series arc, I thought it was also time for the Sectors to have sent someone out to look into the message that was sent way back in book three, JADRIAN. Of course nothing can be simple on this planet, so the scout crashed and was captured…and is a woman.

The romance is at the core of everything for me, although the action and adventure are important as well, and I’d been thinking for a while since having a mate is the most wonderful thing that can happen to a Badari, what would cause a man who met the woman who could be his mate to resist that bond. And what other complications might there be?

I also liked making Fallyn, the Sectors scout, an active duty military officer on a specific mission because she took a different view of how the Badari operate and what her priorities had to be than the rescued civilians might. Jill, the heroine in AYDARR, book one, was a retired Special Forces tech and a badass, but not active duty. In addition Jill was really the first human to encounter the Badari and the Khagrish so her experiences were vastly different than anyone else’s.

And of course because I write romance, there had to be a Happy Ever After ending for Reede, within the series arc that is ongoing.

So I took all of those thoughts and ideas and sat down to tell Reede and Fallyn’s story. Usually I write a book in chronological order, start to finish but in this case I felt strongly compelled to write a  specific scene, which occurs toward the end of the book and is a long conversation between Reede and Timtur, the pack’s healer. Doing that scene, which runs about 8K words, really unlocked the character of Reede for me, as he and Timtur discussed some of their past, and then I was able to go back to the beginning of the adventure and write Reede as the complex person he is. It was unusual for my Muse to want to work that way but I always give in to whatever my creative impulse might be!

Readers have asked me with some concern if REEDE is the final book in the series (no spoilers here!) and let me hasten to assure you there are quite a few more books to come.  The series arc is nowhere near wrapping up! I already have the cover for my next book in the series, DAEGAN (with the human pilot Flo as the heroine) and hope to release it in late November/early December 2019.

(REEDE is the 10th book in the series, although the cover says book 9, because TIMTUR was book 2.5 and Amazon won’t list it as part of the series. Sigh.)

The blurb:  Lt. Fallyn Damara was sent by the Sectors to investigate a strange transmission from an isolated planet and determine whether the residents of a vanished colony had been transported there by alien enemies. Fallyn’s ship crashes and she’s taken prisoner by the Khagrish scientists, to await her fate in the slate of horrifying experiments being conducted.

Reede, the second ranking enforcer in the Badari Warrior pack, volunteers to be recaptured by the Khagrish in an effort to locate and rescue Fallyn inside the deadly lab complex.

While a prisoner Reede discovers Fallyn is the woman destined to become his fated mate but the moment is bittersweet because Fallyn will be leaving their world at the first opportunity, to report back to the Sectors. He refuses to complete the mate bond, believing to do so will lead to nothing but lifelong misery for them both, separated by lightyears and interstellar politics.

For her part, Fallyn wants to shake up the rule-bound enforcer and persuade him to take a chance on love.

But first they have to escape the Khagrish.

Amazon      Apple Books     Kobo     Nook    Google

The excerpt (Fallyn has been sitting in her cell at the Khagrish lab and hasn’t met Reede yet): Two guards came by, one stopping in midstep as if struck by a thought. Fallyn stayed slumped against the wall in an attitude of unconcern but she listened intently.

“What about this one?” The first guard gestured in her direction.

“She’s a special prisoner. Waiting for pickup by the main security detachment at central. I guess the death of Commander Parryfilmunn at the hands of the escaped animals must have messed things up. He was supposed to be the answer to all the security problems and now no one knows what to do over there since he died.”

“Well she’s human and she’s female so she’s covered under our orders.” The second man sounded impatient. “Do you want to explain to Dr. Enishiggama why we left her out of whatever crazy test the old red hair is running now?”

“Not especially, no. She’s terrifying when she gets upset. One of the worst I’ve ever seen in fact and I’ve been stationed at more of these so-called science centers over the years than you can imagine. But the pay beats anything I could earn on the Home World so I shut up and stick it out.”

“I hear you. So, we taking this one with the next group or not?”

The guards studied her and Fallyn watched them, keeping her face blank. Being out of the cell could mean opportunity. She was trained to resist and escape the enemy whenever possible. Of course she’d only practiced those skills in simulations.

“Yeah, bring her. No harm done if she wasn’t supposed to be included. The animal’s not reacting to any of them anyway.”

Fallyn kept her excitement from showing in her face or her demeanor as the guards opened a gap in the force barrier and gestured for her to join them. One stood with his neurocontroller aimed at her while the other put her wrists into force binders behind her back, quelling any hope she’d had of attacking them. If she could get her hands on a weapon…

With the guards, she walked further down the corridor, past a few empty cells and then stopped in front of a large space full of humans.

Pushing her against the wall, the guard yelled, “Next ten females, in order of your number, assemble on the muster line. All others will retreat to the cots.”

Fallyn watched with interest as the prisoners obeyed. She was surprised the group didn’t try to attack the Khagrish, since there were only two guards, but the captives behaved quite passively. One or two mustered up the strength to glare at the enemy but no one made a move as the ten women left the cell one at a time through a narrow gap in the force barrier, were put into restraints like the ones on Fallyn and assembled into a line.

“Where are you from?” she whispered to the woman next to her.

The other prisoner stared. “Taken off a ship, the Galaxy Cluster Swan. Most of us here are from the same ship. And you? I haven’t seen you in here before.”

“I was working a freighter.” She lied. Maybe the aliens knew who and what she was but no reason to admit it. Prisoners had been known to betray others for special treatment and her active duty military status was no one’s business. “Where are we going, do you know?”

With a shrug, the woman shook her head. “Another experiment. Sometimes you get lucky and it’s nothing too bad. Sometimes you get luckier and die and this nightmare is over.”

Award winning Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Series!

Portions of this post first appeared on Pauline B. Jones’s blog…

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Why I Wrote My Alien Empath #SciFi Romance Novels

ALIEN EMPATH SCIFI ROMANCE SERIES!

Today I’m going to talk about why I wrote the four books in my alien empath series, starting with Star Cruise: Stowaway, which was originally written for the first Pets in Space™  anthology (and is now available separately).

stowawayFrom the beginning I knew I was going to place my Pets story in the Sectors, an interstellar civilization where most of my scifi romances occur. What kind of pet would be logical in a spacefaring world? Of course –  cats go anywhere, any time, right? Not to mention that my own Jake the Cat is a strong advocate for more feline presence in my stories LOL.

I also wanted to have an alien pet involved, just for fun.

At the time I was writing Star Cruise: Outbreak and had a scene take place in the cargo hold. It occurred to me that even on a spaceship there might well be vermin, so I gave Moby the white rescue cat to the Cargo Master, Owen Embersson.  Since he had the pet, Officer Embersson would have to be the romantic hero of the short story. What kind of a woman could he naturally become involved with? How could I write a plot for them that involved more than just everybody enjoying cats, feeding cats and playing with cat toys? Owen wouldn’t normally interact with the Nebula Zephyr’s passengers and I felt I’d done enough ‘crew member falls in love with another crew member’ stories for now…but he’d be the first person to interact with a stowaway!

Once I knew Tyrelle the heroine was going to be a stowaway, the rest of the plot elements fell into place for me.

star trek the empathI was always fascinated by the Star Trek episode “The Empath,’ and although my story goes off in its own direction completely, that was the original moment when I started thinking about a heroine who had this set of abilities. The Urban Dictionary defines empath as “a person who is capable of feeling the emotions of others despite the fact that they themselves are not going through the same situation.” Of course Tyrelle can do so much more, including forcing unsuspecting people to act on feelings they may not even realize they harbor. But there’s a cost to her…

I also enjoy the way Nalini Singh writes and uses Empaths in her Psy-Changeling series – my favorite book in the series is Shield of Winter, where Ivy Jane and the other empaths play a large role in saving their civilization. (No spoilers.)

Plenty of room in the creative universe for each of us to write our own version of empathy as a gift/curse/power/temptation!

moby_and_midorri_pets_in-space_artwork_nyssa_juneau

Artist Nyssa Juneau

Star Cruise: Outbreak features an alien pet, Midorri, who is kind of a cross between a tribble and a red tailed panda (my favorite animal after cats). I decided to keep her on board the Nebula Zephyr after the events of Outbreak so she could be involved in this Stowaway adventure too, and then as pets and secondary characters often do, she kept becoming more and more integral to the plot and revealing new capabilities I didn’t know about before. I got really fond of my furry little green friend with the six legs!

I realized after I finished the Star Cruise: Stowaway novella that I wasn’t done with the subject of these beautiful, empathic women and their predicament with the Sectors’ organized crime syndicate. I decided to tell a much longer story for Miriell, who is the sister of the Stowaway heroine. For Danger in the Stars I put her in the heart of the Amarotu Combine operation, at the mercy of her violent ‘controller’, and when I asked myself who would be her hero, Conor Stewart appeared. (To be clear, Conor is not the controller.)

DangerInTheStarsFinalShe sees good in him, well hidden under the façade of the dangerous hitman and crime boss. He goes out of his way to help her when he can and cautious attraction blossoms between them. Not to give spoilers but there’s much more to Conor than meets the eye. He is a hero!

I made great efforts to ensure I didn’t stray into Stockholm Syndrome territory – where a victim may start to feel affection or emotion toward the captors as a psychological survival strategy. I tried to ensure that both Miriell and Conor stayed clear headed and genuine at all times about what the situation was and that their emotion was trustworthy true love, not an outgrowth of her captivity. Miriell was a high ranking priestess on her own planet and remains pragmatic at all times about those who hold her prisoner, including Conor. But her powers tell her he’s keeping secrets and she can’t help but wonder if her god Thuun has sent him to help her.

It’s not my usual Sectors spaceships and blasters scifi story (although there certainly are some of both elements in the action scenes) but I was really intrigued with telling this tale and exploring a few things about both the empathic priestess (which brings in my element of mysticism that I always like to incorporate) and the stone cold mob hitman, who has to fight his deepest instincts to preserve and protect. When it comes to Miriell, he can’t stand by and let her remain a pawn of the Combine. This is a romance, so the Happily Ever After ending is guaranteed, even if perilous for my couple to attain.

TwoAgainstTheStarsFinalFor the next book, Two Against the Stars, I thought it would be interesting to write about one of these captive empaths who manages to get free of the crime syndicate on her own and then is on the run from them and the authorities. I wondered what she’d do if confronted with a situation that required her to risk her own hard-won freedom. Of course that begged the question what the dire situation could be, and it had to involve a hero in jeopardy, since I’m writing romance.

Here’s the description of the eventual story (more about why I wrote certain parts below):

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.

Notice in the description that eventually the couple flees to a cabin deep in the woods? When I was a kid, we lived in upstate New York and my family had a vacation place on a lake nearby. The cabin was built from scratch by my grandfather and some of my best childhood memories center around that cabin and the lake, fishing, boating, swimming and hiking. I can even remember bits and pieces of when there was no cabin or even a road at all on our land – we had to hike in through the forest and sleep in tents. (I was really little then.)  So I decided to write a version of the cabin into the book, as a safe haven for Carialle and Marcus. The real family cabin was only accessible via a very rough, unpaved road added later, so I exaggerated that situation a bit for the book. And of course my grandfather wasn’t a Special Forces veteran. Actually he worked for Nestle International at that point in time as an executive and wow did he get great gift baskets at the holidays! Despite being in an office nine to five, he had mad skills as a builder and wilderness scout and all round capable guy.

But the cabin, Marcus’s memories and some of the events that transpire there are my tribute to a very happy part of my own childhood. Of course a lot of what’s in the book is purely fictional LOL. To my knowledge our cabin lacked an Artificial Intelligence, a force shield and any subterranean facilities!

TheFatedStarsFinalWhen it was time to write the fourth book, The Fated Stars, I wanted a really unique situation. I always feel I owe it to my readers to write a different take on each novel, not just repeat the same setup every time. I started pondering what would have happened to a male empathic priest from their planet of Tulavarra if he’d been kidnapped and forced into working for the crime bosses. My daughters have been challenging me to write a female soldier for several years now and I thought this book was my golden opportunity to write a really kick ass woman mercenary.

Cover artist Fiona Jayde created an alien carnival for me, although you have to look closely to see it on the cover, but I thought that was a fun touch…when I was little we used to go to the county fair and the volunteer firemen’s field days and I especially loved the merry go round. I pulled on those memories a bit when writing about the place where Samell is held prisoner. Of course I never met any aliens – to my knowledge! – at any of the rural fairs I attended as a kid (we did bring home a live duck named Cleveland once but that’s another story), but it was a fun concept to translate to the far future and the rim worlds of civilized space. Very different than anything I’d ever written before.

Writing Larissa, the tough heroine, was exciting because up to that point my major military characters had always been guys. There’s a unique fight scene in the book where she takes on one of the alien Shemdylann in hand to hand combat – no spoilers – and that was a lot of creative fun to think through. I’ve made the Shemdylann so imposing and invulnerable (except to blasters) in all the Sectors novels that now I had the challenge of saying “yes, but Larissa can win this fight because…” and make it believable.

There’s also an interlude where she and Samell have an encounter with an ancient, sentient tree (and its pets, the Amusing Ones) and I drew a bit on how I felt many years ago when my late husband and I took a vacation amidst the giant Sequoias.

I don’t know if I’ll feel the call to write another empath novel but never say never. I do have a plot in mind thanks to my busy Muse…

For the full blurbs and all the buy links, here’s my blog page for the series 

InterstellarWarriorPriestessesFinal cropped

Note: Portions of this post appeared previously on the Whiskey With My Book Blog and Pauline Baird Jones’s blog.

 

STAR CRUISE MYSTERY DANCER #SciFi Romance Take on Anastasia Legend

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]First published in the Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3 anthology…which was a USA Today Best Seller and received two SFR Galaxy Awards in January, but which is no longer available, so I’m issuing my story as a standalone title. The story is exactly as published in the anthology – my Muse doesn’t resonate with revising or adding to a book that’s already in the ‘finished and released’ status.

Here’s what I had to say last Fall in a blog post for Pauline B Jones’s blog, about why I wrote this story:

I love going back to revisit my interstellar cruise liner, the Nebula Dream, for these PISA stories, as the ship cruises through the futuristic human civilization known as The Sectors.  I’ve written a number of books and novellas centered on events aboard the ship now and find the whole cruise setup lends itself to telling a good scifi romance adventure tale. Readers new to my world don’t need to know a lot of backstory to enjoy the events, and for those who have read others in the series, it’s a nice return to see some favorite characters (I hope!).

I started with the concept of the pet because that drives my plot for these PISA adventures. For some reason I kept seeing a mental picture of a Siamese cat, but with a third eye. But I’ve done a cat and a catlike alien before, for PISA1, although Midorri, the alien pet there actually is kind of a cross between a red panda and a tribble who acts like a cat. So I wanted something very different and I started thinking about what if the cat wasn’t actually a real animal at all? I ended up making F’rrh a ‘jenfellini’, which is something like a genie, living in a beautiful lacquered box. Visualize the gorgeous painted boxes that come from Russia.

Russian souvenirsThen, the tenuous link to Russia reminded me of the whole tragic story of the last Tsar and his family, and how they were murdered but for years rumors persisted one of the children might have survived. Various individuals claimed to be ‘Anastasia’ or another of the siblings, and of course there have been movies and plays written with that theme. I always flash back to the version with Yul Brynner (such an intense actor) and Ingrid Bergman because that movie was one of my mother’s favorites and also left the answer to the question of “Is she or is she not Anastasia?” somewhat open at the end. My daughters loved the animated fantasy version of the tale, with the voices of Meg Ryan and John Cusack, when they were growing up.

So I had the heroine – a possible princess on the run – but how could she fit into the Nebula Zephyr? Since the hero would be one of the former Special Forces soldiers who make up the ship’s security force, I had to be able to make the two interact and fall in love in a situation fraught with danger and suspicion.

I’ve wanted to do a story about the Comettes dance troupe which performs aboard the cruise liners since I wrote my very first published scifi romance, Wreck of the Nebula Dream (a sister ship of sorts to the one I write about nowadays). Dancing is a skill a maybe princess might have at a high level, right? So let her be a new member of the dancers….throw in a fabulous jewel and we have the PISA3 story!

The blurb: Tassia Megg is a woman on the run after the death of her elderly guardian. She needs to get off the planet in a hurry when chance directs her to an open dance audition for the luxury cruise liner Nebula Zephyr’s resident troupe. One thing Tassia can do is dance.

Security Officer Liam Austin is suspicious of the newest performer to join the Comettes. She shows all the signs of being a woman on the run and seems to fit the Sectors-wide broadcast description of a missing thief, accused of stealing priceless artifacts. As he gets to know Tassia during the cruise, he starts to wonder if she’s something more – a long vanished princess in hiding from deadly political enemies of her family perhaps?

And what’s the story with the three eyed feline companion other crew members swear Tassia brought aboard the ship? Does the animal even exist?

As the ship approaches its next port of call, all the issues come to a boil and Liam must decide if he’ll step in to help Tassia or betray her. F’rrh the alien cat is the key to the mystery and Tassia’s fate.

A science fiction romance take on the Anastasia tale…

Amazon   Kobo     Nook    GooglePlay and Apple Books links coming soon

The other four standalone books in this series:

Veronica Scott's STAR CRUISE stories!

Not a Combat Unit Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedWelcome to my weekly excerpt from Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4, my best selling new scifi romance action adventure novel!

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!)

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

I’ve moved on a bit further from last week and now Darik and his Artificial Intelligence companion are trying to hack into the Khagrish computer system. Darik is speaking.

The excerpt: 

“Any estimate how long?”

“This system has unusual parameters, not what I was led to expect. We may be here for an extended duration,” Now the AI sounded annoyed and orange was moving through the turquoise and pink hues, blotting them out on MARL12’s smooth surface.

Plan, meet reality. Conditions in the field invariably varied in ways large and small from what you’d expected at your home base. Probably a good lesson for the MARLs to learn. He just hoped the repercussions weren’t going to be unpleasant for them both. “What kind of ops did your primary unit carry out with your original sentient anyway?”

“Scientific studies of new planets and various astronomical phenomena.”

Darik hid a grin in case MARL12 was monitoring him too, “So, I’m guessing you weren’t a combat unit?”

darik_Veronica_ScottThe blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo 

canva badari warriors series 4 covers

We Must Retreat Weekend Writing Warriors

Warriors logo revisedWelcome to my weekly excerpt from DARIK, my best selling new scifi romance action adventure novel!

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!)

Sharing now from my newest, just released scifi romance  Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4.

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

Last week we left Darik and Nicolle staring across a force barrier at each other. She’s inside. He’s outside and refused to rescue her in the last excerpt. The floating orb is an alien Artificial Intelligence named MARL12, assigned to Darik for this expedition. More of MARL12 later…

The excerpt:

“We must retreat,” said his metallic companion in a warbling birdlike voice, moving side to side as if nervous, “The other humans approach and we must not be detected.”

“I have to go,” the man said, slinging the pulse rifle over his shoulder, “Promise not to mention me to anyone. I’ll see what I can do about calling in a rescue, but it’s complicated. The Khagrish can’t know I’m here, so you can’t even tell the other prisoners. Not all humans can be trusted.”

She ignored his slur on humans’ integrity, “I swear not to talk about you, but please, please help us. These aliens conduct experiments—”

“I know all about what the Khagrish do.” He seemed reluctant to abandon her, taking two steps in the direction his metal companion had gone but then turning to face her.

Hoping knowing her name might make her plight more difficult for him to ignore, she said, “I’m Nicolle, by the way.”

DarikBookPromoThe blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo 

canva badari warriors series 4 covers

 

Not Today 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!)

Sharing now from my newest, just released scifi romance  Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4.

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

Last week we left Darik and Nicolle staring across a force barrier at each other. She’s inside. The floating orb is an alien Artificial Intelligence named MARL12, assigned to Darik for this expedition. More of MARL12 later…

The excerpt: 

Granted, he was incredibly tall and well built under his camouflage uniform, but there was nothing about him to suggest the ability to utterly terrify a creature like the one recently slavering to eat her. Had the beast been frightened off by the sight of his lethal pulse rifle? But then who or what had been roaring?  “Thank you,” she said, her vocal cords barely working, “Who are you?”

“A friend.”

Thank the Lords of Space—he speaks Basic.

He looked her up and down critically, “Are you ok?”

She dropped the stick into the water, wrapping her arms around herself in an effort not to shake so hard, “Just scared. Can you—can you get us out of here?” Nicolle sank onto the nearest boulder as her legs gave way from reaction to the danger so recently averted.

Brow furrowed, he glanced at the oddly colorful small orb floating in the air beside him and shook his head, “Not today.”

VS note: He has a good reason….

darik_Veronica_ScottThe blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo 

canva badari warriors series 4 covers

One Man 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!)

Sharing now from my newest, just released scifi romance  Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4.

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

Last week we left Nicolle facing off against the giant predator. Today we continue from there.

The excerpt:

A roar sounded from behind her, across the water, maybe even from outside the force barrier. Startled, she screamed and slipped on the mossy rocks, barely keeping her footing. The animal in front of her rose to its full height again, bellowing and displaying an impressive array of sharp teeth, as well as yellowed claws on its massive front paws. Nicolle cowered, but the beast wasn’t paying any attention to her now. All its attention was on whatever was beyond the stream.

The next roar from behind her was even more impressive. It sounded almost…human?

Ears flattened, the beast pivoted, dropped to all fours, and scrambled away from Nicolle as fast as it could go, bushy tail tucked away between its legs.

Breathing shakily, she steeled herself to turn, hoping this new threat was outside the force barrier and couldn’t get in.

Having wheeled to face the other direction, at first she couldn’t believe her eyes. Nothing but one man stood across the force barrier from her.

VS Note: And of course the guy is Darik…

darik_Veronica_ScottThe blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo 

canva badari warriors series 4 covers

Human Not To Be Messed With 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!)

Sharing now from my newest, just released scifi romance  Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4.

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

Today we’ll meet Nicolle, who is being temporarily held in an outdoor area of the alien lab, like a zoo.

The excerpt: 

Nicolle stood with her back to the stream running unimpeded through the invisible fence, clutching a forked stick she’d grabbed from the ground as she slipped and scrambled to get away from the beast she was now facing. Holding the unwieldy branch like a trident, she tried to make herself appear bigger and more fierce. A human not to be messed with. Her throat ached from the first few screams of terror, but the sounds only seemed to intrigue the beast, so she bit her lip until she tasted blood. Not a good idea either, Nicolle. Blood probably entices the creature even more.

On all fours now, the animal studied her, sniffing the air as its massive head swayed from side to side.

Will anyone come to help me? But, even if Greer and the others heard her scream and followed her tracks, what could unarmed humans do against this terrifying beast? When the creature stood on its trunk-like hind legs, it was easily 7’ high and the dinner plate sized paws carried multiple hooked claws. Its coat was an odd mix of white, silver and gray, in a camouflage-style pattern that made the animal hard to focus on and the fangs were like daggers.

VS Note: So now we’ve also met a creature like the one whose tracks Darik saw last week.

darik_Veronica_ScottThe blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo 

canva badari warriors series 4 covers

 

Twice the Size 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!)

Sharing now from my newest, just released scifi romance  Darik (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel): Sectors New Allies Series Book 4.

Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.

Today we’ll meet Darik and next week I’ll introduce Nicolle.

The excerpt: 

Darik measured the size of the huge paw print in the snow, comparing the breadth to his own generously sized hand, “Big predator, nothing we’ve ever seen before. Nothing comparable in the lowlands.” He took a deep breath of the crisp mountain air, automatically sorting the scents and savoring many new to him. Small furred creatures, towering trees, elusive woodland flowers and moss – he enjoyed all the novelties. It was still a rare luxury for him not to smell the hated disinfectants and chemicals of the Khagrish lab where his kind were created.

His metallic companion MARL12 shifted beside him, disturbing the air as the small alien device floated on an antigrav cushion, “Best to avoid an encounter with any predators.”

Grinning, Darik rose to his feet and eyed the miniature ovoid, now positioned a few feet further away, orange and pink lights flicking across its shiny surface in rapid patterns. The one tiny patch of green on the machine which he’d noticed was consistently present blinked in the lower rear quadrant of the Alien Intelligence unit’s silver skin.

Darik dusted snow from his palms, “Nervous? I’ll protect you, don’t worry.” He kicked loose snow over the tracks contemptuously, “Big as this animal may be, he’s not going to challenge a full grown Badari male like me – my talons are twice the size of his.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]The blurb: 

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?

Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

Buy Links: Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo The Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Series canva

 

Cover Reveal: JADRIAN Sectors New Allies Book 3 #SCiFi Romance Excerpt

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]It’s time to share the gorgeous Fiona Jayde cover with you!

The blurb:

Taura Dancer has been pushed to her limits by alien torturers known as the Khagrish and is ready to die when suddenly the lab where she’s held as a prisoner is taken down by an armed force of soldiers.

The man who rescues her from a burning cell block is Jadrian of the Badari, a genetically engineered alien warrior with as many powerful reasons to hate the Khagrish as Taura has. This set of shared past experiences and the circumstances of her rescue create an unusual bond between them.

Safe in the hidden base where Jadrian and his pack take her, Taura struggles to regain her lost memories and overcome constant flashbacks during which she lashes out at all who come near. Only Jadrian can recall her from the abyss of her visions and hallucinations.

As the war against the Khagrish continues, it becomes increasingly critical to find out who she really is and how she can help in the fight. Until she can control her terrors and trust her own impulses, Taura’s too afraid to pursue the promise of happiness a life with Jadrian as her mate might offer.

When he’s captured by the dreaded enemy, will she step forward to help save him, or will she remain a prisoner of her past?

This is the third book in a new scifi romance series and each novel has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine, not a cliffhanger. Some overarching issues do remain unresolved in each book since this is an ongoing series but romance always wins the day in my novels!

The excerpt:

Taura crouched in the corner of her small cell, fists clenched, ready to attack the next person who came into her space, be it Khagrish scientist, lab tech or security guard. Today was her breaking point – she felt the emotion viscerally. She couldn’t endure another procedure or test. No more physical or psychological pain at the hands of the uncaring aliens. She glanced at the black bracelet affixed to her wrist and snarled in rage, like the penned animal she’d become under their torture. Maybe this time she could force them to kill her, and her awful existence would finally end.

Where were her captors? Why wasn’t anyone coming to drag her off to the next horrific ordeal? Now that she was ready to fight them to the death? To relieve her tension and unkink her muscles as she waited, Taura rose and paced the none too generous length of the cell. Movement helped her manage the tension but her mood remained on the knife edge of panic.

Gradually, she became aware of strange noises outside her cell, loud booms and the sound of pulse rifles firing in staccato bursts. As grey smoke drifted down from the vent above her head, she moved cautiously along the wall to the edge of the force barrier confining her. There was nothing to be seen in the corridor, other than eddies of smoke. An alarm blared but cut off suddenly.

Was the facility under attack? Had the Sectors finally come to the rescue of their kidnapped citizen? Not likely. Maybe her enemies had their own enemies, though, which might work to her advantage.

Coughing, she covered her face with her arm and croaked out a plea for help. “Here, I’m here!”

Death by fire was a terrifying idea. Her heart raced and her breath came in short gasps, as she couldn’t pull enough air into her chest.

Her head swam from panic and the lack of oxygen.  How ironic, to die with help possibly now at hand. My timing always sucked.

Shapes moved in the corridor, obscured by the smoke which had grown thicker. Her vision swam, blacking in and out.

Taura found herself face down on the cold cell floor.  I must have passed out for a few minutes.

Rising to her knees shakily, one hand on the wall for support, she opened her mouth to yell at whoever was passing by. Surely even the Khagrish wouldn’t be so cruel as to leave her here, trapped in a burning building?

“Please,” she said, inaudible even to herself as she collapsed to the floor.

*****************

As a toughened combat veteran, Jadrian of the Badari wasn’t subject to anxiety, but he had to admit moving through a Khagrish lab, and even worse a Khagrish prison block, brought up bad memories. He’d spent time as a younger man undergoing their tortures, kept in isolation from his pack, and the experience had left its scars on him.

The smoke bothered his eyes and lungs less than it might other beings, but it didn’t make for a pleasant environment. He and his teammates swept hastily through the place. The records indicated no human prisoners were kept here, and the force barrier doors had gone down, so it was a quick step into each cell space, checking the corners for any occupant then moving on. Purely an effort to be thorough.

Two Khagrish guards charged into the corridor from the far end, and Jadrian and his teammates scattered, taking cover where they could, returning fire. A cut off scream from the direction of the enemy indicated Jadrian or his compatriots had hit their targets. He grinned fiercely. The Khagrish bred the Badari to possess uncannily powerful vision, even in obscured environments, and now the aliens’ cleverness was coming full circle to bite them.

“Cover me.” Darik, the team leader, sprinted ahead, laying down suppressing fire just in case. “All clear, both dead,” he yelled a moment later. “We’re done here, time to regroup with the others and blow the place.”

“One more cell to check.” Jadrian turned to the right.

“Hurry it up, there’s no one here, just as the records indicated.” Darik’s clipped tone indicated his impatience to rejoin the rest of the strike force and complete the assault on the installation.

I can’t take the chance of leaving anyone behind. Even his leader’s annoyance couldn’t keep Jadrian from making sure there were no prisoners.

Amazon Other Buy links TBD coming soon!…

In the meantime, here are the first two books (all are standalone):

Amazon      B&N  Google   Kobo     iBooks

The Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Series canva both covers