SFR Brigade Presents Star Cruise Songbird Rock Concert

SFRB ShowcaseOnce a month the SFR Brigade does a blog hop where authors share excerpts, cover reveals or other fun posts related to their scifi romances. Check here for the list of all the participants this month.

We’re about five days away from the release of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, so I thought I’d share an excerpt from my novella in the anthology, STAR CRUISE: SONGBIRD. The story blurb and more about the anthology itself  are below the excerpt! We’re doing pre-orders this time…

pets2LargeThe excerpt: 

When the singer emerged from the room where she’d been getting ready, he was astounded. She looked as if she’d stepped straight from a trideo, her sexy costume elaborate and glittering in the lights, her multicolored hair caught up in coils by all manner of elaborate, bejeweled accessories. Even he could tell her shoes were works of art, with heels designed to resemble stacked planets, standing six inches high. She smiled, obviously enjoying his reaction. “Well?”

Pirouetting on those absurd heels, she laughed and held out her hand. “Escort me,” she said like a queen.

He did so, surrounded by her team, including the backup singers and the six dancers, all of whom joined Karissa when she reached the backstage area. Gently she let go of Grant’s arm and stepped away, gathering her team around her for a pep talk. He stayed alert, watching everyone else in the area, ready to challenge anyone acting suspicious.

The show was already going on at full volume. Karissa’s was the final set of the evening and when she ran onstage, her dancers bouncing and doing acrobatics around her, the roar was astounding. Grant stood in the wings, as close to the stage as he could, and watched the performance. Karissa strutted, she danced, she teased, she brought a child on stage for a brief chat, she sang full throated. The crowd loved it all. He had a hard time keeping his eye on the audience, watching for problems, because she was so riveting.

“First time at a show?” asked an older woman standing next to him. “This is nothing compared to what she’ll do at the big concert on Calillia next week. There’ll be multiple costume changes and aerial components. And maybe some new songs, although she’s been quiet about that. She doesn’t want Ted getting the rights to any more of her stuff if she can help it. Things are really sour between them now.” She laughed self-consciously and held out her hand. “I’m  Desdusan, by the way, her chief makeup artist. Chief busybody too. I try to look out for her as much as I can. Been with Karissa for nine years, ever since she hit the bigtime with ‘Twisted Comets’. She’ll probably sing that for the encore.”

“I hate to admit it but I’ve never heard her music before—it’s all new to me,” he said as they shook.

The woman did a double take. “Really? You’re probably the only person in the Sectors who hasn’t heard at least one Karissa song.”

“I have now,” he pointed out, annoyed to feel so defensive

As expected, Karissa left the stage briefly at the end of her set and returned to deafening applause to sing the encore. Then she waved to the crowd and danced off. Grant followed her as Desdusan gave her a bottle of water and the two women headed for the dressing room. “Did you like it?” Karissa asked him over her shoulder.

“Full of energy and feeling,” he said. “Clearly I missed a lot while I was on active duty.”

The 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

Advertisements

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

What Did The Cat Find? SFR Brigade Presents PETS IN SPACE

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.

I’m REALLY excited about the release of the Pets In Space anthology next week, on October 11th, so here’s an excerpt from the beginning of my story in the set, “Star Cruise: Stowaway.”

PETS_In_Space_cover_artThis was the time of day he enjoyed most, when all his crew had gone off duty and the Nebula Zephyr’s top cargo deck was quiet. Sure, more work remained tomorrow to get the cargo squared away properly and ready for the next stop, but there was no rush, being several weeks out. Cargo Master Owen Embersson surveyed his desk in the tiny office on Deck 18. Time to leave the place to the ship’s AI, go have his dinner in his cabin and then resume work on the scale model of a long-vanished temple he was building. This one was incredibly intricate, and he’d charge the customer triple the usual price.

            Stepping onto the echoing deck, he called for Moby. She spent most of her evenings hunting vermin lurking among the monstrous crates and containers, but she usually passed the first part of the evening in his cabin, eating the incredibly expensive cat food he had the ship’s AI keep in stock. Not much else to spend his salary on. “Come on, cat, I want my dinner even if you don’t,” he said to the elegant vision in white fur who trotted from the murky recesses of the deck. How she stayed clean when she spent her days prowling the cargo deck, he’d never know.

            Purring, she came to his steel-tipped work shoes but evaded his effort to pick her up, moving just out of range the way felines did, as if cats could teleport. Moby scampered toward the towering stacks of cargo then turned. Seeing he’d failed to chase her, she sat, tail twitching, head tilted, eyeing him.

            “What‘s the matter with you? I’m not in the mood to throw cat toys and retrieve them right now.” Embersson headed toward the gravlift. Moby regarded the entire ship as her territory and could find his cabin for her dinner when she was hungry.

            In the next minute, he nearly tripped as she rubbed his ankles, nipping at one in passing. Swearing, he caught himself with a hand to the bulkhead. “What in the seven hells is wrong with you tonight? Giving me a concussion won’t get you fed.”

            Moby yowled at him and ran toward the stacked cargo again.

            Figuring she wanted to show him a recent kill, which he’d then have to dispose of, he followed.

            Moby moved faster now that she’d gotten him with the program.

moby_and_midorri_pets_in-space_artwork_nyssa_juneau

Moby and Midorri by Artist Nyssa Juneau

He followed her around the corner of the pallet the ship had taken on earlier in the day and found Midorri, the Zephyr’s other pet, crouched beside a free trader container. “What mischief have the two of you gotten into now?” he asked Moby. Midorri came aboard the Zephyr originally as the pampered pet of a princess, but after the whole outbreak incident, Sector authorities refused to let the lady disembark on Sector Hub with the undocumented animal, so the ship had kept the odd green fluffball. Dr. Shane was her official owner of record, but the entire crew liked the slightly clumsy but always amusing creature.

            Midorri sneezed, as she was often wont to do, allergic to humans perhaps, and flicked her plush prehensile tail before lowering her head and extending her long green tongue to lap at something on the deck.

            “Freaking flares, do not tell me we’ve got leaking cargo. Damn free traders and their beat-up equipment.” He hoped Moby hadn’t sampled whatever Midorri was drinking. The alien animal could probably handle anything up to and including nuclear fuel, who knew, but Moby was definitely a terrestrial cat, with a more delicate stomach. He tried to shoo Midorri away from the slowly growing puddle of green goo, dripping from a dented corner of the container. Musta gotten banged when the shuttle crew offloaded the final pallet too fast and had to straighten everything in a rush.  Funny, he’d never have picked this box—well constructed, made from high-quality materials—to be a problem. “I better see what’s in there,” he said to the interested animals.

            Moby yowled, startling him as her voice echoed, and Midorri emitted a high-pitched chirping that grated on his ears like a physical assault.

            Spurred on by the animals’ distress, which confirmed his own suspicion he faced a genuine problem, Embersson used his cargo master key, which was supposed to open any container on his ship. Nothing happened. Swearing, he tried again. “This free trader’s never shipping anything with us again, idiot forgot to set the damn code for my access….”

Here’s the blurb for my story, followed by the blurb for the anthology and the pre-order links. No Amazon pre-order, sorry, but it will be available there on release day of course!

The blurb for “Star Cruise: Stowaway”:

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.

The 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 eight amazing new adventures  and one expanded story 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 the first month’s 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:

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pets-in-space/id1160010182…

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-petsinspace-212756…

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/…/…/details/S_E_Smith_Pets_in_Space…

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/pets-in-space

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pets-in-space-p…/1124712730…

Amazon   TBD on Release

 

Not Going to Panic 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.

MaroonedFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700This month I’m sharing another excerpt from my best selling novel Star Cruise: Marooned. This month’s follows directly from what I shared last month:

“I swear, you know as much as I do.” She leaned closer and lowered her voice. “Drewson was boning Pirankai in the private cabin when I got to the shuttle, coms off, so if there were any bulletins, he missed them.”

“Idiot.” Red retreated a step or two, eyeing the door. “Well, nothing for it.”

“Are you going to break it down?”

Eyebrows raised, he gave her a glance. “Thanks for the compliment but it’d take a battle robo to get through this storm portal by brute force.”

“What then?”

He stepped to the keypad, flipping open the cover, and entered a series of numbers and symbols so rapidly she had no idea what the sequence might be.

“You’ve been here before?” Meg asked.

He shook his head. “Special Forces, Team Twelve. We each have a special access code enabling our entry into any door, ship, vault, or facility in the Sectors.”

The storm door jerked away from the threshold and then began to roll into the roof recess. The window shutters on all four sides of the building followed suit a moment later. Meg knew her mouth was hanging open. Biting her lip, she tried to make sense of this new information. “You’re on active military duty, but working as crew on a charter ship? Are you undercover or something?”

“Retired. Wasn’t sure my code would work, but we have a saying in the Teams—no one is ever completely released from service.” He grimaced. “Not until we die or the Mawreg have been erased from the Sectors. I should live so long.” He pushed the inner door open. “Let’s see what we have here. Stay behind me.”

The lights didn’t respond to voice command or their physical presence. “I guess the rangers powered down before departing. Shutters must be on auxiliary. I’ll have to check the situation out later,” he said, pausing on the threshold. “At least the windows let in enough ambient light for now.”

“How long do you think we’re going to be here?” Meg was disturbed by his mention of later.

“Depends on what the problem in orbit is.” He stopped, giving her a hard look. “Anything like this ever happen before?”

“No. Drewson is an idiot, but he’d never abandon us. And Captain Jonsle certainly won’t maroon us.”

“He may not have a choice. I don’t want to alarm you, but we could be in a bad situation here. I hope not, but just between the two of us, I’m not feeling too positive. Whatever spooked the TDJ captain into recalling his people had to be damn serious. I don’t want to alarm our passengers because panicked people are hard to handle. Drewson’s takeoff seems like the act of a panicked person.” He studied her face, the expression on his serious. “You’re not going to panic, are you?”

“Of course not.” She straightened her spine, irritated he would even ask.

He squeezed her shoulder. “Good. I didn’t think so. Stay here, let me check the rest of the place, and then we’ll bring Sharmali in.”

Moving so quietly she couldn’t hear his footsteps, Red left her. Meg sank onto the nearest chair, resting her head in her hands. If she and the people she was responsible for were in survival mode, even for a short time until someone sent help for them, she had to reprioritize her thoughts. By the time Red returned to the small lobby, she was on her feet, pacing, and making lists on her personal AI.

“Nothing left behind but the furniture as far as I can see,” Red reported brusquely. There’s a big conference room or maybe it’s a dining room, and a small kitchen, couple of offices.”

“Right. We’ll bring Sharmali in here, lay her on the couch. If you can’t get the power going, we can build a fire for tonight. The temperatures plummet after dark and the wind rises. There’s a fireplace in the conference room too, right?”

He nodded. “Plenty of wood stacked out back. We can do the rustic thing. Maybe the guests will enjoy the novelty of camping out tonight.”

“Hope so, as that’s their only choice. I think we leave the guests in blissful ignorance for now, until the Primary asks about missing the deadline for retrieval. It’ll dawn on them soon enough we’re marooned, if we truly are.” Meg checked his reaction. “Seem okay to you?”

His calm face betrayed nothing. “Yes, Ma’am. But eventually they’re going to get upset. Especially the Primary, Mr. Finchon. He has a short fuse.”

“He’s not in charge anymore, I am.” Meg dropped her AI into a handy pocket. “This is a survival situation and I’m the senior crew member.”

She half expected him to protest, but his eyebrows lifted in mock surprise and he agreed with enthusiasm. “Yes, you are. And I’m here to back you to the hilt.”

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

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

Guest Author Pippa Jay Talks TETHERED and SFR

Tethered_600x900Veronica: I’m very excited today to have author Pippa Jay as my guest, discussing her latest science fiction romance novel TETHERED. Pip and I are both members of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and we share a love for all things sci fi. Take it away, Pip!

Pippa:

From the age of eight, when a certain Tatooine farmboy captured my imagination (and my heart), I’ve considered myself a SciFi author. I wrote my own version of Star Wars, a series of scifi stories linked by a bloodline spanning several decades inspired by Anne McCaffrey’s writing, some Doctor Who shorts (what would now be called fan fiction, I guess), and finally a Doctor Who novella that was my first ever completed work (rejected, but the fact that I finished was kudos enough for me at age eighteen).

Then I didn’t really write anything again until 2009, when I completed my second novel, Keir. It wasn’t until attempting to get what became my debut novel published that I discovered what I was writing was actually a little known genre called science fiction romance. And having found what felt like home, I had no intention of leaving. I love heavy tech SF and reading up on technology, but I try not to put too much into my writing. I won’t spend pages on technical details for how my characters throw themselves through space or the genetics of an alien species for fear it might slow things down too much. I do have psi talents such as telepathy and telekinesis (though these abilities are mostly alien in nature rather than magical). One of my even WIPs has intelligent griffins in it, though that’s not what they call themselves. As I began writing fantasy before I got hooked on SciFi, I guess it’s inevitable that there are still elements of my old genre seeping in.

But Tethered started out with the working title of Succubi. So how did I get from SF to writing a being that sits very firmly in the UF/paranormal category? Well…

I’d been chatting to a couple of friends on Twitter about how elves and dragons had cornered more than their fair share of the mythological representation in books. I was looking for some story ideas, and wondering about taking a lesser known mythical being and putting a SF twist on it. And so Succubi in Spaaaaace began.

Succubi was only the working title though, and a rough summary of my heroine’s ability. Because I am (or was – I’ve written paranormal since) a SF author at heart. And she certainly wasn’t a Daughter of Lilith type succubus. No. Tyree was a genetically engineered clone, and an assassin. She could alter her molecular density to either crush an opponent, or become incorporeal to ghost down corridors faster than a human could run, or walk through walls. Her method of assassination…well. ‘Succubus’ should give you a clue. As Tyree says herself, at least her victims die in ecstasy. 😛

While her abilities might appear more magical/paranormal, they have a scientific basis. Her people—the Inc-Su (taken from incubus and succubus—have genetically ‘perfected’ themselves over the centuries since they divided from humanity. Now living in seclusion from the rest of the human race, they regard themselves as superior, but their limited numbers put them at greater risk, so they still rely on their human neighbours. And as Tyree discovers, she needs a certain human more than she thought, even with her succubus abilities.

Tethered was a lot of fun to write, and I hope it will be fun to read. In the meantime, I’m going to carry on mixing those paranormal and fantasy elements into my SFR, and probably write some more PNR too.

Here’s the blurb for TETHERED:

She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Buy links:

Breathless Press –  (and for the whole of August, Breathless Press is offering 50% off to celebrate their 5th birthday!)

Smashwords    Bookstrand    All Romance ebooks     Amazon US     Amazon UK

Add it to your Goodreads TBR here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22085149-tethered

Sign up to Pippa’s no-spam newsletter to get updated on the latest releases, giveaways and special offers. Exclusive snippets and stories coming soon! http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk/p/newsletter-signup.html

A little more about Pippa herself:

pippaAfter spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

(Veronica: I happen to know there are some “chooks” and walking stick insects in the Jay household as well!)

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Other Blogs & Social Media:

Adventures in Scifi – http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk

Spacefreighters Lounge – http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com

Romancing the Genres – http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/

SFR Brigade – http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts

Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/PippaJay

Amazon page – http://www.amazon.com/Pippa-Jay/e/B0080QVWEE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406376408&sr=8-1

 

Science Fiction Romance Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The Hop and Giveaway are now OVER. Because I had so many people commenting on my blog, I randomly selected two winners instead of one and they have each been sent a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. The winners were Meri and “Shannon Hollow Kitty Flynn”. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! Happy summer!

Welcome to the third annual SFR Brigade Midsummer Bog Hop!

To be entered for the prize available just on my blog, which is a $25.00 Amazon gift certificate, please leave a comment about science fiction romance. The winner for my blog will be randomly selected…

To enter the Blog Hop rafflecopter itself and be eligible for the Grand Prizes listed below,  you’ll have to go to the main page – click HERE.  (NOTE: No cash or other prize alternatives will be offered for the Grand Prizes.) You can also find the links to the other 40+ participants on the main page.

Starry Nights Blog Hop Grand Prizes:

1st  $100 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 41 ebooks

2nd $50 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 28 ebooks

3rd  3 separate winners each receive $25 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 11 ebooks

In my award winning SFR novel ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, the two main characters have an intimate conversation under the starry skies, which is the blog’s theme. Here’s the story for the novel:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent themEscape-from-Zulaire2HighRes 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.

Excerpt: Andi and the small group of Sectors Special Forces soldiers are on the run from rebel forces and have camped for the night:

Deverane looked up as she walked over, patting the rock beside him in invitation. “Can’t sleep?”

Shuddering as she sat, Andi rewrapped her shawl more tightly. “You’re surprised I’m having bad dreams?  After everything we saw today? What time is it?”

Reaching over, he tucked the fabric more securely around her shoulder. “Still middle of the night, I’m afraid. A long time to go until sunrise chases away the nightmares.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. I’m drowsy but scared to risk closing my eyes for more than a second. There are a lot of vivid images forming a queue in my subconscious tonight. These kinds of things don’t affect soldiers, I suppose.” Leaning back, she tilted her head to look at him, eyebrows slightly raised in query.

He continued to gaze across the rippling water and said nothing for a long minute. When he did speak, his voice was low and measured. “I went into the military because the abuse and slaughter of innocent civilians do bother me. At least in the service, I can do something to prevent atrocities.”

Biting her lip, she looked away across the lake. “I’m sorry. Was I being rude? Maybe I’d better go back to bed and leave you alone.”

“No, please stay.” He grabbed at the shawl, which promptly came off her shoulder again. Their hands met as he tried to reposition the wrap and she tried to keep it from falling off.  “I apologize if I sounded abrupt.”

She stared at him for a minute then smiled as she settled back down. “It’s all right. The last few days have been…rough. For both of us.”

Deverane set his pulse rifle on the rocky surface and picked up the metal cup that had been sitting on the other side. “I’d offer you a cup of coffee, but since wakefulness is your problem—”

Andi smiled ruefully. “I’d love some, but you’re right. That won’t help my insomnia.”

He drank before setting the cup down, steadying it with one hand as it rocked on the uneven surface. “I have nightmares sometimes, but from my own private collection. Have you ever heard of Merenia 12?”

”Sounds familiar.”  Racking her brain, Andi chased down the reference. “It was one of the first worlds the Mawreg attacked in Sector Fourteen, wasn’t it? A long time ago?”

“Right. I’m the sole survivor.” He stacked a couple of small stones on top of each other, then toppled the tower with a flick of his finger.

“You must have been very young.”  What could it have been like, going through an ordeal like that as a child?

This National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award Finalist novel is Available on AMAZON for kindle and as POD paperback   Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Xin Xii  Google Play

The book trailer:

 

 

Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents Escape From Zulaire

THE SFRB PresentsI’m a proud member of the SFR Brigade so I thought this week I’d take part in the weekly excerpts blog hop.  (The link is here to find other excerpts from novels or WIP written by group members.) The rule is 200 words or less, so here goes with the first 200 words of my Best Selling SFR novel ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE. (The story blurb is below the excerpt.) The heroine, Andi Markriss, is taking part in a ceremony:

This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever done as assistant planetary agent for Loxton Galactic Trading—standing in as a bridesmaid in a borrowed puce dress because some other girl failed to show up. Andi Markriss sighed, feeling the garment binding too tight across her chest. I didn’t mind representing the company as a guest, but this is way outside the line of duty.

Early afternoon on Zulaire was too warm for an outdoor ceremony, but the Planetary High Lord’s spoiled daughter Lysanda didn’t care to be ready any earlier in the day. Her guests’ comfort wasn’t a consideration.

An inch at a time, Andi shifted from her assigned spot into the shade cast by the towering stone pillars. How did I get talked into this? Oh, yes, Lysanda wept, and her mother made vague threats about her husband reviewing our shipping contracts. As the musicians played, Andi turned, watching Lysanda pace toward the dais in time to the music, smiling for her groom-to-be.

The local priest took a deep breath and launched into a lengthy blessing, invoking the deity and relating the history of the planet’s three Clans—Obati, Shenti and Naranti. Andi chanted along with him under her breath. Overlords, Second Class and Neutrals, as her boss had told her when she’d arrived on Zulaire six years ago. Easy to keep them straight that way, he’d said, but don’t ever slip and use the nicknames out loud. 

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighRes

The 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.

Thanks for visiting!

(Oh all right, a little promo ~  here are the buy links LOL)

SFR Brigade Out Of This World Blog Hop COMPLETED

 

 

 

 

 

WINNERS: The SFR  Brigade Blog hop is over and the organizers of the Grand Prizes have notified the winners. For my Blog, I decided to award my announced $25 Prize ~ Amazon Gift Certificate PLUS an additional two $10.00 Amazon Gift Cards because I had so many lovely comments and wonderful visitors. The winners, selected by Random Number Generator, are:

$25.00 – Anna Hackett

$10.00 – Jean MP and Anna M

Thanks again for participating and for all the good thoughts about Science Fiction romance!

Welcome to the SFR Brigade Authors’ “Out of This World Blog Hop” with amazing prizes! See below for the rafflecopter link, list of prizes (including a wonderful Grand Prize), and links to the other participating authors. I’m personally giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly selected winner here on my blog – leave a comment to enter just my blog’s drawing. You must use the rafflecopter to enter the SFR Brigade prize drawing. The blog hop is open for international prize winners.

“The women in Wreck of the Nebula Dream are strong in spirit and character.” I hope you’ll forgive me for quoting from a 5 star Amazon review but this was perhaps one of the comments about my book that pleased me the most.  I’ve always enjoyed strong female characters in my science fiction, from Lessa of Pern to Ripley of Aliens. Even in the original 1951 version of “The Thing From Another World,” the character of Nikki may have been the scientists’ secretary but she had guts and grit and would have been in that final battle toe to toe with the alien if the 1950’s guys would have let her. She did participate in one of the early battles with the creature.

I like to think that if I were to find myself in one of those do or die situations, I’d say “Hand me a pulse rifle and get out of my way while I kick some alien butt.”

So when I sit down to write science fiction (or anything else for that matter), I definitely want my story to feature strong female characters.

Now the story in “Wreck” is told entirely from the main character’s POV and he’s a Special Forces guy of the future, suffering from some PTSD, drinking too much, a bit lost…until the spaceliner disaster strikes and he takes action. But Mara, the heroine, is not there to be rescued by him. She makes that clear early on when she refuses his order to get into one of the few lifeboats, but rather insists he come with her to rescue some trapped children…she’s going to accomplish the rescue with or without him. She’s an intergalactic business executive, who came up the hard way and hasn’t forgotten any of the knowledge she acquired. Mara constantly surprises Nick, the hero, with what she knows, how she acts under pressure and how fast she thinks on her feet. (He’s a good guy, honestly, he just assumes civilians won’t be as effective in a crisis as his former military comrades would have been. By the end of the book, he’s thoroughly convinced otherwise and grateful.)

There are several other female characters who play key roles in “Wreck,” including a three year old. I had fun writing them all. The novel is a very loose reimagining of the Titanic disaster and as I was developing the plot within that setting, I tried to imagine who Nick might encounter on a luxury cruise liner of the future.  I like to think Twilka, the Socialite, is maybe the most amusing character (although she frustrates Nick for most of the book) – she’s pretty clueless but even she has her moment to step up and be the crucial link to saving the day.

So what’s your favorite aspect of science fiction? Characters? Setting? Plot? Please leave a comment to enter my own drawing for one $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for the Grand Prize drawing and visit the other blogs and increase your chances of winning the Grand Prize and more!

SFR Brigade Blog Hop PRIZES:

1st Prize – $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice) and an
ebook bundle (currently Ghost in the Machine, Bayne, Recast Book
1:Wither, Recast Book 2:Clash, Alien Adoration, Switched, Reckless
Rescue, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Keir, Terms & Conditions Apply, The
Key, Marya, The Iron Admiral, Sasha’s Calling, Trouble at the Hotel
Baba Ghanoush, Winter in Paradise, Once Upon a Time in Space, the
Telomere trilogy, Winter Fusion, Blue Nebula, Demential, Wytchfire,
Maven, Fires of Justice, Interface, Girl under Glass, and Breakout.
Bonus books – Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy and
Deception, and Games of Command.)

2nd Prize – $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice)

3rd Prizes – four $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards (given to separate
winners and their choice)

             

Remember, travel here to find the rest of the authors on this fun Blog hop!
Rafflecopter Link for the Main Blog Hop Prizes (you might need to scroll down a bit on the landing page)

(Leave a comment to enter the drawing for this blog’s prize):

Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedAmazon Best Seller and SFR Galaxy Award Winner WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM is available from  Smashwords ,  Amazon for the kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook

Also available from Amazon a as trade paperback $5.39 here

Audiobook, narrated by Actor Michael Riffle – Available Now at Amazon and on iTunes