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

Argue Later 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!)

From my new, best selling science fiction romance Star Cruise: Marooned. Last week I seem to have confused people a bit with the eels and Meg’s actions in the shuttle, so a more straightforward ten today. Meg, first aid kit in hand, has rushed to the beach. Red is dealing with Sharmali’s injury.

As Meg headed for the injured passenger, the Primary intercepted her.

            “Miss Antille, I demand to know how something like this could happen.” Purple in the face, he waved a hand at Sharmali. “I paid top dollar, if not an exorbitant price, for a safe, enjoyable cruise for myself and my guests, and now the poor girl’s had her foot eaten!” He was so upset he was spitting.

            “On behalf of the Line, I certainly apologize, sir. We do everything we can to ensure the safety of our guests under all circumstances, but if she swam beyond the sonic barrier—”

            “She was standing in three inches of water right next to me,” Finchon said. “That monster could have just as easily gotten my foot.”

            “The barrier’s off,” Red informed her, not glancing up from his task, “Can you argue with him later? I need your help.”

MaroonedFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700The 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?

No Talking to the Ship 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!)

From my new, best selling science fiction romance Star Cruise: Marooned.

Last week the only other people on the beach suddenly took off, leaving their equipment behind on the planet. Skipping ahead, Meg goes to their own shuttle to talk to the officer in charge, Drewson, but he’s….busy with a passenger in the private cabin. He tells her to call the ship herself if she’s so worried. Meg is now on the flight deck, where she wouldn’t normally be:

She swallowed hard and opened the link to their ship in stationary orbit above, “Hello, Far Horizon, shuttle calling—”

            “Where the seven hells have you been? Where’s Drewson?” The voice she heard was so strained she could barely recognize the First Officer.

            She drew breath to speak, but was cut off.

            “Never mind, tell him everything’s—”

            There was a funny sort of crackle from the link and then silence. She waited a few moments, then tried closing and reopening the connection. Nothing. Drewson had made it clear he would not appreciate her interrupting his private party twice, and anyway, right now there was no talking to the ship.

I have a shiny new book trailer from Circle of Seven Productions, which had an exclusive reveal on USA Today Happily Ever After last week. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

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