Tuesday, October 11, 2016

PETS IN SPACE Release Day and Exclusive New Excerpt

Posted by: Veronica Scott
I'm so happy to be able to report that the science fiction romance anthology Pets In Space released today! We've gotten tremendous support and great feedback already - the mixture of pets ranging from cats to dogs to a bearded dragon plus the romance and action in the stories seems to be making readers happy.

A few early reviews - 

"The title says it all. This anthology is full to the brim of sci-fi romances featuring pets in key roles. I was eager to dive in and experience familiar and unfamiliar authors along with sampling some potential new series to follow."  Sophia, GoodReads Reviewer 

"I love short stories. I love books about space. I love books with animals that change lives... or help them along! <3 These nine stories have it all!" (Five stars) ~ Christina Phillips, GoodReads Reviewer 

"It made me curious about this world and I liked how the pets all played a role in this story." Lola, GoodReads Reviewer 

I can’t imagine not having pets, whether I’m living here on Earth or in outer space.  So late last year author Pauline Baird Jones and I were talking about how much fun it would be to put together an anthology of science fiction romance stories involving pets and Pets In Space was born! I myself have two rescue cats currently, Jake and Keanu, who supervise my writing from the chair next to the desk, so I made a cat one of my two space pets and created an alien pet to be her sidekick.


We also wanted to have the anthology benefit a pet-related charity so we selected Hero Dogs, Inc., which supplies service dogs to veterans. Susan Grant, one of our authors, is a veteran and most of the authors have relatives who served in the military, so it seemed like an excellent fit for a partner.

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 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 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.

And the blurb for my story in the collection, 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.

An excerpt from right after the stowaway has been found:
           Drawn by the woman’s gaze, which she kept locked on him in an almost pleading fashion, Owen stepped closer to the litter. She reached out one hand and without thinking, he clasped her fingers in his, feeling how chilled she was from her violent trembling. “You’ll be fine now,” he said, leaning closer, while Emily and Vicente prepared the litter for transport. “Dr. Shane will take care of you, I promise.”
            She squeezed his hand tighter and then arched into another convulsion.
Moby and Midorri by Artist Nyssa Juneau
Moby screeched her disapproval and scooted behind the nearest cargo crates while Midorri scrambled down Owen’s back and leapt to a perch on a nearby loader, chittering and whining with ear splitting volume the whole time.
            “Sickbay now,” Dr. Shane said. She and Vicente moved the antigrav litter and associated equipment to the gravlift entrance.
Captain Fleming walked onto the cargo deck. He stepped aside to let them pass, Moby and Midorri hustling in their wake.
            “I’ll be up to check on her later,” Owen said, raising his voice.
            “What the seven hells is going on here?” Fleming asked. “Hardly the usual stowaway case, from what Maeve told me.”
            Owen briefed the captain while the three men examined the open freight container without touching any part of it. One of Maeve’s small cleaning robos bustled over the deck, absorbing the puddle of cryo cooler fluid.
            “Save the liquid for evidence,” Jake directed the AI. “Never know what may be a clue.”
             “Who shipped this?” Fleming asked.
            Owen checked the info on his handheld. “InterPlanet Novelties. Never heard of them, undoubtedly a false front company. These two pallets came aboard late – we weren’t the primary choice of shipper, but the original vessel suffered an unexpected delay making port. I picked up the load for them since we had space. I owed the freight forwarder a favor or two.”
            Jake gave him a sympathetic grin. “Sorry now?”
Owen grunted, a vision of the woman’s face flashing through his mind. “The container’s scheduled to be offloaded two stops from now, on Devir Six.”
            “The cryo unit was well shielded,” Jake said. “It’s a clever design, self contained, small but an efficient power source.”
            “I scan all cargo as it comes aboard,” Maeve said from thin air. “Nothing about this item raised any suspicion.”
            “Lucky for the woman that the crew who offloaded the pallets was so incompetent and damaged the mechanism with rough handling,” Embersson said. “More good fortune when the animals drew my attention to the leak. She’d have died.”
            “You said the collar’s explosive?” Fleming looked to Jake.
               He nodded.  “We saw something very similar used by insurgents in Sector Forty-Three when we were deployed there. As soon as Dr. Shane tells me the woman is stabilized, I’ll do an assessment, with Red – he used to deactivate booby traps in our Special Forces days.”
            Fleming frowned. “So this sentient female could be a kidnap victim, or someone who tried to rip off the wrong people or worse. I want this kept as quiet as possible. I’ll break out of hyperspace long enough to transmit to the authorities, see if the Sectors Criminal Investigation Agency wants to board us to take her and the mystery off our hands, or meet us at the next port.”
            “Care to share what you’re thinking, sir?” Jake asked.
            “Probably the same as you – this has the hallmarks of a Combine operation. I don’t want the Zephyr mixed up in an organized crime problem, not if we can help it.” Fleming glared at the container as if the box offended him.

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