Guest Author Laurie Green Shares a Favorite Scene From StarDog

PETS_In_Space_cover_artVeronica sez: I met Laurie in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and we’ve shared all kinds of fun times as SFR authors. Pauline B. Jones and I were so pleased that Laurie wanted to ‘play’ with our concept of Pets In Space, and here she is today to share a favorite scene from her story:

Laurie: Choosing an excerpt from StarDog was something that took a lot of thought. What snippet might provide a tempting taste of the tale…yet only hint at what’s in store?

I decided on this passage, which I think gives a glimpse into the heart and mind of my star navigator hero, yet clearly honors the non-spoilery clause.

Excerpt from StarDog:

Taro made his way to the nearest street just off the spaceport exit and glanced down an endless row of brightly-colored vendor tents. Where to start?

Young handsome macho man

He ducked his head into the entrance of the first two pavilions with a questioning, “Exterminator?” The answer on both counts was a brisk shake of a keeper’s head. Somewhere around vendor twelve, he got a lead.

“No exterminator, but you wanna see Dini Kemm. Red and yellow striper. Tiharra Lane. Three streets west.”

Taro plucked a citrus drink tube from the vendor’s laboring chiller, tossing the elderly man five replas. “Many thanks.”

A couple of streetgirls gave him the eye as he reached an intersection and made his way west.

“You wanna give it a go, Tectolie?” the taller of the two women purred as he passed their corner.

Taro gave the woman a crooked smile and a friendly “I’ll pass” wave of his hand. Nav work was a lonely occupation, but he’d never been keen on paying for female companionship by the hour. Besides, Cap Jordan would have his hide if he got waylaid from his mission.

“Pity that,” the second woman teased. “We give a nice discount to pretty nav-boys.”

Taro threw a grin over his shoulder and lengthened his stride. They had his origins and occupation nailed—probably not a surprise considering they worked a spaceport and saw hundreds of crewmen daily. His Tectolian subspecies had a penchant for navigating the stars, and women in their line of work could probably zero in on a lonely crewie in a nanosecond. It’d been a long time since he and Lyra had called it quits, and he needed to put some quick distance between himself and the twin sirens before he got all weak-minded and hard-bodied.

Circus tent red orange and yellow stripped pattern

Tucking those thoughts away, Taro paused as he hit the intersection with Tiharra Lane and glanced in both directions, looking for a red and yellow tent. It wasn’t easy to pick out in the colorful riot of chevroned, crested, and flowered vendor stalls, but his gaze soon settled on a larger pavilion with broad stripes in the correct colors half a square to his right. He nodded to himself and headed in that direction.

The tent was sheltered from the Carduwan sun by a graceful, long-limbed Tiharra Angel Willow, probably the very tree that gave the street its name. When Taro was just a few strides away, the vendor appeared in the entrance, reaching up to unroll the tent’s flap. She was tall, trim, and her shining black-chestnut hair caught the sunlight like a Purmian oil ruby.

“Hang on,” Taro called out. “I was hoping to do some business.”

She turned to him with a soft smile, and his breath locked in his throat when he was met by intelligent, aquamarine eyes.

“You said the magic words.” She laughed. “I’ll extend my hours today, just for you.” She gave him a friendly wink and pushed the tent flap back into its keep.

Blurb for StarDog:

Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.

Blurb for Pets In Space:

Even an alien needs a pet…

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of profits from the first month 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:

iBooks    Amazon    ARe     GooglePlay     Kobo   Barnes & Noble

Author Bio

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now nearly 900 members strong.

She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.

Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.

Website:          http://www.laurieagreen.com/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-A-Green-139849829386292/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/SFRLaurie

Twitter Handle:           @SFRLaurie

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Something You Forgot to Tell Me? SFR Brigade Showcase

SFRB Showcase

Once 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.

This month I’m sharing an excerpt from my best selling novel Star Cruise: Marooned:

MaroonedFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700           What in the seven hells had Drewson been thinking, taking off without them?

            The ranger station was ominously quiet. The storm shutters were latched and the usually immaculate landscaping had become overgrown, weeds running riot, untrimmed vines establishing a foothold on the ornamental fence, and even scaling one wall.

            “How long do you guess the rangers have been gone?” Meg said, eyeing the building. She glanced at the living quarters to the left, noticing the same general run down air. The three small houses were tightly sealed, as if hunched against a coming storm.

            “The forest grows fast,” Red said. “Probably not more than a few months. I wonder why we weren’t warned, though.”

            “Warned?” Callina Bettis picked up on his remark. “Are we in some kind of danger?”

            Red and Meg exchanged glances. “He means we should have been notified there wouldn’t be any immediate help onsite,” Meg said, forcing herself to speak the lie calmly. “In case of an emergency, like the unfortunate bite Sharmali suffered.”

            Setting the injured woman on a picnic table, Red went to the front door of the station, Meg on his heels. She tried activating the portal to no avail, punching the tabs hard. “You think the last person out would have left it set to open, general access, in case anyone needed help the way we do.” She thumped her fist on the door.

            “Unless the staff didn’t expect anyone to be here,” Red said. “Are you sure there’s not something you forgot to tell me?”

The story:

Meg Antille works long hours on the charter cruise ship Far Horizon so she can send credits home to her family. Working hard to earn a promotion to a better post (and better pay), Meg has no time for romance.

Former Special Forces soldier Red Thomsill only took the berth on the Far Horizon in hopes of getting to know Meg better, but so far she’s kept him at a polite distance. A scheduled stopover on the idyllic beach of a nature preserve planet may be his last chance to impress the girl.

But when one of the passengers is attacked by a wild animal it becomes clear that conditions on the lushly forested Dantaralon aren’t as advertised – the ranger station is deserted, the defensive perimeter is down…and then the Far Horizon’s shuttle abruptly leaves without any of them.

Marooned on the dangerous outback world, romance is the least of their concerns, and yet Meg and Red cannot help being drawn to each other once they see how well they work together. But can they survive long enough to see their romance through? Or will the wild alien planet defeat them, ending their romance and their lives before anything can really begin?

Buy Links: Amazon     iBooks     Kobo     Barnes & Noble

SFR Brigade Summer Cafe Blog Hop Giveaway

SFRCafebannerfinal(1)

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?

Can You Swim? ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science SFR Galaxy AwardFiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from the wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away. Andi goes on with her social duties, attending the reception in the evening, where Captain Deverane catches up to her and  asks her to dance. They soon decide to go outside since the dance floor is so crowded. While they’re outside the lights flicker, there’s an explosion and screams. Andi and Deverane escape across the lake in a boat.

“Do you think the Tonkiln house has been attacked?” Andi worried about heading into an even worse situation than the one they’d left behind.

Not looking at her, he just shook his head. “Let’s deal with that when we come to it. Don’t steer straight to the dock—we’d be too obvious, sitting ducks. We need to land and work our way to the house without attracting attention.”

Angling the boat off to the east, Andi set a course to avoid the dock as ordered. “I never considered an attack on the family’s home. Lords of Space, what about the kids? Sadu and his two little visiting cousins—their Shenti nurse went home to her village last night—there’s only old Iraku and a few of the housemen there to protect them.” Worry about the younger family members gnawed a pit in Andi’s gut. “Lady Tonkiln must be terrified.”

“I have to extract the Sectors citizens, not risk my men trying to rescue anyone else against over­whelming odds. The Tonkilns aren’t my concern, understand?” His voice was flat, the words dismissive.

Andi jerked her head around to stare at him. “We can’t ignore the danger to them.”

 “Lady, I have orders.” Shaking his head, he grabbed the wheel and yanked it, sending the boat veering away from its route to shore. “Cut the engine and get down. Someone’s moving by the dock.”

Cold flooded her body at the thought of enemies watching them. With fumbling fingers, she flipped the switch. Drifting through the dark waters, their craft floated in silence, slowing as the momentum died away. Andi crouched in the bottom of the boat, Deverane’s body warm and reassuring beside her.

“Can you swim?”  he asked.

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResThe story:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play