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Guest Post: Veronica Scott Talks About Darik

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her newest release, DARIK.

Take it away Veronica!

DARIK (A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL): SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 4 By Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as a guest one more time so I could once again update how things are going with the series! I’m happy to say that book three, JADRIAN, and now book four, DARIK, have been among the bestselling titles of my entire author career and I’m so very grateful to the readers for taking the time to find my series and enjoy the adventures and romance.

I had a special thrill recently when author Laurann Dohner, whose New Species series is a huge favorite of mine, said on my author page about DARIK: “It’s an awesome book and series. I’m hooked!” I was floating on air, let me tell you!

Darik is the fourth book of the series and focuses on a soldier in the pack which was created with canine DNA influences. I wanted to tell a story about a ‘lone wolf’ Badari warrior, sent off on a solo mission and enjoying time away from the pack. He thinks he’d be happy to have a mate someday maybe, but he’s not in any rush. So of course he promptly meets the human woman he suspects is his mate, but she’s a prisoner of the evil Khagrish scientists, held for much of the book in a basically impenetrable underground lab.

I had a lot of fun with this one and threw in some nods to a few of my favorite scifi movies, like “Aliens”, “Puppet Masters” and “Outbreak” but remember, I’m writing romance so the on the page gore level was kept low and of course there’s a Happy For Now ending. (It’s HEA for Darik and Nicolle but as far as the arc for the entire series, things are only HFN because the bigger challenges of defeating the enemy still exist.)

I’m working on book five, Gabe, now and this one will spring a huge surprise on the Badari and the humans. But no spoilers!

I released Jadrian, book three, in May. The books can be read in any order but the series does build upon itself with each successive book.

For now, enjoy this excert of Darik…

Setting: Nicolle is trapped inside a zoolike, outdoors portion of the alien lab complex. Darik and his metallic Artificial Intelligence companion are outside the force field barrier. This is their first meeting:

The pretty stream flowed through a meadow. The berries had lured Nicolle here as the Khagrish rations upset her stomach but, apparently, the wild animal had been breakfasting on the berries as well.
And now it wants me for a meal too.
Raising its outsized head, the predator sniffed the air and took a step in her direction. Rising to its hind legs and towering over her, the animal roared a challenge before dropping to all fours again and coming toward her, moving faster as it approached.
Frozen, hand clenched on the nearly useless forked stick, Nicolle had a vague idea of throwing herself into the creek or falling to the ground and playing dead.
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. 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? No wounds?”
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. How many of you are there?”
“Twenty, including me. We arrived late yesterday, shipped from the lab in the flatlands.”
“Originally from the Amarcae colony in the Sectors?”
She blinked in surprise at how well informed he was and nodded. “Most of us. How did you know?”
“We must retreat,” said his metallic companion in a warbling birdlike voice, moving side to side as if nervous. “The other humans approach. 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.”

Darik is available via Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Google, Kobo

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.

About Veronica Scott
USA Today Best Selling Author, as well as the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Guest Post: Fun with Tropes

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Cynthia Sax as a guest blogger today to discuss the fun she has with tropes.

Take it away Cynthia!

Fun With Tropes by Cynthia Sax

A trope is a common plot device. Popular romance tropes include enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, Beauty and the Beast, duck out of water, billionaire hero and fated mate/love at first sight.

Tropes often get a bad name and, sure, when written poorly, stories using tropes can be cliché, boring or predictable. However, that can be true of any plot devices, original or not.

When written well, stories using tropes are magical. Tropes can be found in some of the best written, most loved stories in Romanceland.

I LOVE tropes. I love reading them and I love writing them. I could read a different Beauty and the Beast story (my favorite trope) every day for the rest of my life.

My most recent release, The Cyborg’s Secret Baby, plays with a few tropes. Of course, it is a secret baby story (the hero doesn’t know he has become a father). That trope is in the title.

It is also a second chance romance (the hero and heroine have another opportunity to make their relationship work). They are fated to mate (cyborgs are genetically compatible with only one being). There’s a bit of a love triangle (an alternate possible love interest). Their love is forbidden at the beginning of the story. I’m certain there are other tropes I’m forgetting.

(grins) Clearly, I enjoy tropes. The challenge of bringing a different angle to a heavily used plot device thrills me. It is fun to surprise a reader while still adhering to the expectations of the trope.

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby is a secret baby romance unlike anything I’ve ever read. It is a more powerful story because I used this plot device. I can’t imagine telling it any other way.

What are your favorite tropes?

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby

A fierce cyborg warrior and his curvy human female share a no-longer-so-little secret.

Stealth, a K Model cyborg, knows his passion for Zebrina, the commander’s human daughter, is forbidden, yet he can’t resist the curvy female. He craves her touch, cherishes her sounds of pleasure, would do anything to keep her safe.

When he’s faced with the choice of protecting his fragile human or living to see the next sunrise, he chooses her, always her, sending Zebrina halfway across the universe to safety. He doesn’t realize their stolen moments had consequences neither of them believed possible.

After hearing her warrior died in battle, Zebrina focuses on the last gift he gave her. Doing what is right for their child is her sole priority. She will put their son’s happiness first, even if that means choosing another male over the love of her life.

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby is a STAND-ALONE story loosely connected to the Cyborg Sizzle series. It is also a Second Chance Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, often-violent universe. This is available now via:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cyborgs-Secret-Baby-Stars-ebook/dp/B07F2NK6D4

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyborgs-Secret-Baby-Stars-ebook/dp/B07F2NK6D4

Apple/iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-cyborgs-secret-baby/id1404800721

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cyborgs-secret-baby-cynthia-sax/1128976169

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-cyborg-s-secret-baby

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/870968

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes SciFi, contemporary and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com

Website: http://cynthiasax.com/

Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter: @CynthiaSax

Blog: http://tasteofcyn.com/

KG Strutts Birthday Sale!

Today, KG Strutts returns as a Guest to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl with an exciting announcement! Take it away KG!

Hi, Patty! Thanks for having me this week.

I am celebrating my 36th birthday this week and to celebrate, I am putting all eight of my sci-fi romance books on sale for $.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Find your new sci-fi addiction with the Mirror trilogy or Amethyst Chronicles.

Mirror Trilogy

1st book in the YA trilogy. Madison Mackenzie Rhodes has a comfortable life with a daily routine. When her life is disrupted by an unexpected stranger, she learns there is nothing typical. Her entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone, created to hide the secret that we are not alone in this galaxy. Her counterpart, going by the nickname Mack, works for the Intergalactic Security Commission, which works with a coalition of other planets that protect each other and create technology. As if that wasn’t enough, she can’t stop thinking about John Brooks, one of Mack’s teammates. When an enemy rises from within the ISC that targets both Maddie and Mack, they must work together to save their lives as well as the planet.

With everything changing, and now with her heart involved, saving the world might be the easiest part of it all.

Get it at Amazon or download for free at Barnes and Noble. Please let Amazon know Barnes and Noble has it for free!

2nd book in the series. It’s been two years since Maddie discovered the truth of her origins. No longer living the ‘comfortable life’ she has become a valued member of the Intergalactic Security Commission surpassing all expectations. Life isn’t easy as the ISC struggles under new leadership. Adding to the adjustment, the new leadership uncovers details that shake Mack and Maddie to their core.

Amid the chaos of what has become, Mack, Maddie and their team are sent off world on a mission that eventually fails, as they narrowly escape with their lives. En route to home their most trusted ally, the Isgurd, delivers more bad news. The team is left with the knowledge that the ISC never existed and the option to repair damage done by the time altering Synth.

Returning to 1965 is the easiest decision they face.

Get it at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.

Final book in the trilogy! The ISC’s most dangerous foe, the Synth, is threatening Earth.

Mack, Maddie, and their team scramble to come up with a plan to defeat them once and for all. As the planet’s safety is in jeopardy, the team will have to put it all on the line, or give their lives in the process.

When the dust settles the world will stand together in support of those who are lost.

Find it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Learn about how it all started with the A Mirrors Beginning short story series. Book one, John Brooks, and book two, Seth and Logan Brooks. Coming soon: Jackson Gray!

Amethyst Chronicles

Book one in this NA series! Amethyst is a secret team of genetically enhanced humans which is Earth’s greatest defensive weapon. Leading the team of super soldiers is Ember Wilson, a tough woman with a huge chip on her shoulder. The team gets their name from the after effect of the Genesis Project which turned their eyes and even their blood purple.

For decades, Earth has been ravaged by unpredictable weather which began to cause crops to fail. Most of the planet’s food sources have deteriorated. Dr. Clayton Rudo has proclaimed he has the means to save the soil. He has created a weather machine to regulate and help replenish. But Ember knew the truth. He didn’t want to save the planet. He wanted to control it. Amethyst destroyed the machine, but was placed in stasis. Two years later, Rudo recreated the device and has frozen Washington, DC and the west coast of the United States.

General Tom Blanchard brought Amethyst out of stasis to work with an elite Air Force team, led by Major Liam Ross. Tensions between Ember and Liam rise as they butt heads. Can they work together before Earth is completely under ice?

Get it on Amazon or download for free at Barnes and Noble. Please let Amazon know BN has it for free!

Book Two: Ember lost it all when she lost Amethyst.

Now, as she recovers physically she must come to terms with her new reality. The struggle to find herself again will push those who care the most away even the men who love her.

In time, an opportunity to recreate her transformation presents itself. Will she risk herself to find what she had? Is it worth her team? Her heart?…

Find it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Recently released third book in this series! An accident sent Ember Wilson one thousand years into the past!

Amethyst was on a mission to recover a time travel device when it accidentally turned on and sent Ember back to the year 2017. She comes face-to-face with the ISC legends who shaped the future: Dr. Maddie Brooks, Dr. Mack Rhodes, and their families. Ember was expecting to lay low and get to know the men and women she has idolized since she was a child. However, destiny has other plans. While trying to figure out how to get Ember home, the team learn she is the only one who can protect a heavily pregnant Maddie from a threat. Shawn Silvers, the leader of Caeruleus team from Ember’s time has also traveled with plans on changing the future.

For so long, she has kept her heart out of her missions, except this time it might not be possible. The more time Ember spends with the legendary group, the more she feels connected with them. Especially with Logan Brooks, the handsome, enigmatic warrior who is as fascinated with her as she is with him. Her new goal is clear: protect Maddie from Silvers and return to 3018. However, how much of her heart is she willing to leave behind when she goes home, if she returns at all?

Get it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

All eight books will be $.99 for ONE WEEK ONLY! Love among the stars was never as exciting.

About the author: Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, KG Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites. A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, KG draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences. Find her on her blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com or on her website at kgstutts.webs.com Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!

Guest Post: MATEER A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her new book, Mateer.

Take it away Veronica!

MATEER (A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL): SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 2 By Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as a guest again so I could check in and report the progress on my new series. As I talked about last time, writing an actual, sequential series with an overarching plot arc was new for me, versus doing standalone scifi romances set in the same universe.

Mateer is the second book of the series and focuses on the first ranked enforcer or lieutenant of the Alpha Aydarr, whose story took front and center in the first book. Now Mateer is trying to figure out what it means to be a free man (although still subject to Pack rules of course) and also grappling with confusion over the whole idea of finding a mate. He knows he longs to find the one woman meant for him – he likes what he sees going on between Aydarr and Jill – but he’s not too sure how to go about it. There are only a few human women in their sanctuary valley as yet and none of them inspire the feelings he believes he ought to feel. Nor are any of them drawn to him as more than a friend. And then he gets captured by the Khagrish scientists again…

I enjoyed working with these concepts, while advancing the big plot arc addressing how and when the humans and the Badari might rid the planet of the enemy and win true freedom. Can they ever figure out a way to call in the Sectors authorities to assist? Will the colonists ever get home? I do have it mapped out in my head in broad terms and of course each book has an HEA ending as we go. No cliffhangers.

I’m working on book three, Darik, now and this one will solve one major problem that the Badari and the colonists have been facing. But no spoilers! I’m hoping to get Darik out in early April. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from Mateer!

Setting…The alien scientists have put the humans and Mateer into a large, outdoor Preserve temporarily, for their own reasons, having to do with Mateer and Megan.

The sky gradually clouded over as the day wore on, and then the first fat drops pelted down.

Mateer appeared out of nowhere and jogged the length of the column, giving encouragement. “Not too far now, the rain will increase intensity gradually, but there’s no time to waste.” He made sure to speak to each individual then he came to her. Again Megan had the flutter of nerves in her gut, eagerness to talk with him, coupled with the bitter knowledge of Lampergg’s plot. And how complicit in this idea is Mateer? After all, he didn’t have to tell her about the scheme. Surely if he expected to benefit from it in some way—easier treatment for himself, other rewards—he’d have kept the theory to himself.

He leaned close to her. “We have to move faster. I’m going to get you to safety then return to assist the others as best I can.”

Before she could say anything, he’d whisked her off her feet and was sprinting ahead of the column, carrying her as easily as if she were a feather.

“Put me down,” she said, giving his chest a shove. Her palm ached as if she’d slapped a stone wall. Mateer was warm, hard muscle everywhere. “This is embarrassing. Grown women don’t get picked up without their permission and carried off in real life. People will want to know why you did this.”

He didn’t slacken his pace or agree to her demand, only held her tighter. “Why do you care what others think? This is between you and me. My highest priority, according to my alpha and his mate, is to ensure your safety. No one here has authority to overrule those orders. None has authority over you—I know humans don’t live in a pack structure. Time is of the essence for getting you into a secure shelter. The storm may become more violent without warning. It’s been known to happen, including swirling high winds sweeping even the most massive trees out of the ground before them.”

“That’s not what you told Harker and Walt.” She closed her eyes and gasped as he leaped across a crevasse and kept going. “Did you lie to them?”

“I don’t owe the full truth to anyone outside my pack and allies with whom we have a treaty. Your group has yet to earn the Badari trust.”

“Some code of ethics you’ve got there.”

“You have no idea what the Badari endured at the hands of the Khagrish. We have our pack rules for a reason.” His voice was steel but matter of fact. “And I’m obeying specific orders to keep you safe. Your sister is a soldier so you ought to understand the situation.

She could see his jaw was clenched and decided not to push the topic further. Besides, the rain was indeed coming down harder, and she clung to him as closely as she could. “You will go and help the others though, won’t you? A few of them are still sick from the stasis syndrome and I’m their only doctor. I never would have left them, given the choice.”

While not giving an inch or apologizing, Megan was relieved to hear Mateer show concern for the others in his next remark. “It’s my responsibility to protect those weaker than the Badari, after I’ve carried out my orders relating to you.”

A few minutes later, they arrived at a towering rock formation jutting incongruously from the grasslands. Megan thought she’d have known it was artificial even if Mateer hadn’t told her the Khagrish built it. Taking care not to bump her head or elbows on the rocks, Mateer ducked into the entrance of a cave. A fire was already blazing in a fire pit in the center of the large room and, as soon as he set her on her own feet, she instinctively drew closer to the warmth and light.

Intending to thank Mateer, she swallowed hard and forgot what she’d planned to say as she observed the way his soaked jumpsuit was plastered to his body, outlining all those muscles and his generous endowments clearly. Megan realized she must be in a similar state, if a bit drier since he’d shielded her. Closing her eyes for a second, she asked, “Will you guide the others to safety here now?”

“Yes.” He hesitated. “You’ll be safe from the storm, and no predators will be out in this weather. I’ll only be gone as long as it takes to escort your friends here.”

“I understand. Go ahead, do what you need to do to help my people.”

Megan Garrison, a doctor at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown, strapped to a table in an alien lab, destined to be the subject of terrifying experiments. Granted a brief reprieve, Megan and the other kidnapped humans are released in the middle of a forestlike enclosure on this unknown world and told to survive as best they can for now.

Her only hope is Mateer, the genetically engineered alien warrior imprisoned with the humans. He knows more than he’s sharing about this planet, their captors and the fate of other humans, including perhaps her own sisters. Turns out everyone from her colony has been kidnapped by the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the human-led Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Mateer, a tough Badari enforcer, now a rebel, is captured while infiltrating the lab to help his pack bring it down. He’s also been ordered by his leaders to search for Megan and save her life at all costs. Tortured by the enemy, he’s offered one chance at survival – convince Megan to become his mate and assist the Khagrish with further experiments.

As the situation at the lab grows worse, Megan struggles against her deep attraction to Mateer, while she does her best to shield the other humans from the terrible Khagrish experiments. For his part, Mateer knows she really is his fated mate and despairs of being able to keep her safe, as the rebel attack is delayed and she fights the truth of their bond.

Will they be able to work together to defeat Khagrish plans and preserve human lives until the promised rescue happens? And what of their future together – will Megan accept Mateer as her true mate, or walk away if she’s freed?

Mateer is available via Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, B&N

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Guest Post: The challenges of a “cloning” a character in science fiction romance

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes USA Today Bestselling author Cara Bristol as a guest blogger to talk about her new book, Hunted by the Cyborg.

Take it away Cara!

The challenges of a “cloning” a character in science fiction romance by Cara Bristol

Until now, I’ve pretty much stuck to human, alien, and cyborg main characters.

Aliens and cyborgs (humans with computer and/or mechanical parts) are versatile characters. Any role a human plays, an alien or a cyborg can play. The alien or cyborg can have a backstory or it can just be.

Clones?

Their existence raises questions. Why was the clone created? Who created the clone? What happened to the original “parent?” Because of this, using a clone as a main character affects the plot of the story.
I knew fans of the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series had high expectations for Hunted by the Cyborg (book 6). This was Carter’s story. The director of Cyber Operations, a secret cyborg force, he’d been a secondary character in the previous five books. He had to have a special heroine.

I chose to make her a clone. The challenge was to give her a backstory that fit the plot, yet make her real, make her as human as any other human. I tried to create a woman who was vulnerable, but also resilient and independent. I didn’t want readers to see her as an “other.”

Beth, who begins life as an unwanted copy, strives to find her uniqueness. Here’s what readers have said about Beth:

“I enjoyed seeing Beth find her true self and live a life that she deserves.”
“Beth is such a strong character, even when she’s knocked down she always keeps trying,”
“Beth was a wonderful character. Innocent in a lot a ways, but also smart, strong and full of life.
“I fell in love with this character. Beth was given a raw deal. But even after all that she had been through she is a strong woman who knows that life needs to be lived to the fullest!”
“Beth also met all my expectations of a leading lady. She was smart, courageous and could match wits with Carter. No damsel in distress here. I loved that about her.”

Excerpt from Hunted by the Cyborg

Carter halted inside the crowded cafeteria. Aym-Sec employees gathered at their usual tables, eating and chatting the way they always did, but his cyber operatives faced away from the forward left corner of the room. They stared at the wall while gulping their chow.
He pivoted in the direction they seemed to be avoiding.
Holy bejeezus!
In the corner, sat a naked Beth, eating breakfast.
Technically not unclothed, she’d donned her Shuttleport Authority travel suit. To an operative with cybervision, the see-through SA unitard provided little more covering than transparent polymer sheeting.
A heated rush of hormones shot straight to his groin as he rushed across the room, tearing off his shirt.
“Put this on.” He didn’t wait for her response but tugged the garment over her head. The image of two perfect dusky-tipped breasts burned into his brain.
“What are you doing? Stop it!” She squirmed like a toddler as he tried to dress her, but he got her head through the neck opening.
“Put your arms through the holes,” he ordered.
“What—why are you doing this?”
“Put it on. I’ll explain in a minute.” What his actual words would be, he didn’t know. She stopped resisting and slipped on the shirt. He grabbed her arm. “Come on, we have to leave.”
Hunted by the Cyborg blurb
Billionaire Carter Aymes, director of Cyber Operations, a covert cyborg force, devotes his wealth and time to saving lives, rescuing hostages and other victims from desperate situations. His ultimate mission is to hunt down and eliminate Lamani, the alien terrorist mastermind, before he conquers the galaxy.
When Carter hires Beth O’Shea, a vulnerable yet courageous woman with connections to his past, their attraction is immediate and strong, but he knows getting involved with her is a bad idea. He’s her boss, and he has way too many classified projects to risk letting someone get close.
Rejected by the progenitors who cloned her, Beth is determined to live a normal human life, beginning by getting an ordinary job with a security firm. But, from the start, she questions the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the organization. She can’t help but wonder about the tall, muscled, larger-than-life director who gave her a chance when she desperately needed one. Could he ever be romantically interested in a woman like her, in a clone?
When Beth is attacked, they both realize how short and tenuous life is, and their mutual attraction becomes too powerful to resist.
As their relationship heats up, so does the urgency to capture Lamani before he can unleash a stealth weapon at a critical planetary Summit meeting. With time running out, Carter discovers that stopping Lamani may require sacrificing Beth’s life.

Will Carter be able to rescue her, or will his new love be the one person he can’t save?

Hunted By The Cyborg is available via Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, & GooglePlay!


About Cara Bristol
USA Today Bestselling Author Cara Bristol writes character driven science fiction romance with humor, heart, and heat. She loves introducing new readers to science fiction romance, and likes to say she writes sci-fi for readers who don’t like sci-fi. She has three science fiction romance series: the action-packed Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series; the dark, intense Breeder series; and the new light and funny Alien Mate series. When she’s not writing (ha ha ha – she’s almost always writing) she enjoys traveling to exotic destinations and chillaxin’ with her favorite reality TV shows. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband. You can interact with her via the following:

Cara’s Website: http://carabristol.com/
Reader Newsletter: http://carabristol.com/get-your-free-book/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cara-bristol
Chat with Cara Reader Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1761424733891183/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cara-Bristol-Romance-178661122147994/
Twitter: @CaraBristol https://twitter.com/CaraBristol
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcarabristol

AYDARR Guest Post by Veronica Scott

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her new book, Aydarr.

Take it away Veronica!
AYDARR (A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL): SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 1 By Veronica Scott

Thanks Patty for having me as a guest so early in the New Year and giving me a chance to talk about my new venture into writing an actual series!

In mid-2017, I decided I really needed to try my hand at a series with an overarching plot arc that had to be resolved over the course of the books, versus ‘just’ telling standalone stories set in my interstellar Sectors civilization. The Sectors novels all fit within the same world building but I’m not really trying to resolve the bigger intergalactic issues in each book. There I’m focusing on one hero and heroine and their unique challenges wherever they may be. (I’ll still be writing Sectors novels too though because I have so many stories to tell.)

So then I had to ponder what might make an interesting series for the readers and I know I’ve always been fascinated by genetically engineered warriors, like Lora Leigh’s Breeds or Laurann Dohner’s New Species. I can never get enough of those books! I started thinking what if the alien enemies of the Sectors had created a race of such soldiers, who I named the Badari– how would these warriors gain their freedom? And to up the stakes, what if these mad alien scientists also kidnapped an entire Sectors colony of humans to experiment on as well?

Oh so many plot ideas came to me (always a good sign for an author)! And I could pretty easily see a 3 to 5 book plot arc involving the human colonists and their natural desire to escape and get back to the Sectors, while partnering with the Badari to take down their mutual captors. I can also see associated, standalone books later, if the readers want to have more Badari adventures. I had so much fun writing this first book, Aydarr, and the reader response has been very gratifying. I have the second book, Mateer, at the editor now and I’ve just started working on book three, which – breaking news – is entitled Darik.

As a special treat, below is an Excerpt from Ayadarr

Setting: Jill has just awakened and is trying to find shelter from the storm:

The ground gave way under her feet. She teetered on the edge of the sinkhole or pit, but her precarious state of vertigo betrayed her. Screaming, she half slid, half fell into the deep hole, debris raining down with her.
Scrabbling at roots embedded in the wall as she fell, the flimsy vegetation snapping off in her hands, Jill managed to partially break her fall. Landing in a substantial mud puddle, she rose to her feet, staring upward, realizing there was no easy way to climb from the pit. At least the rain was tapering off.
A rumbling sound like an engine behind her made her pivot, to find two huge, faceted glowing eyes staring at her from a tunnel opening into the hole. A giant body lurked in the gloom. The creature blinked and emitted the sound again. Jill retreated one step at a time to the opposite wall of the pit and snatched a loose rock from the small debris pile at her feet. Whitened bones were mixed in with the rocks on the pit floor next to the rainwater puddle. She shuddered and gripped her rock hard enough to make her hand sting.
The creature watched her and moved forward a bit from the tunnel, the front segment of its body sinking onto the ground, while the rest remained in the tunnel. The segmented body expanded like a child’s toy as the predator closed the space between them. Opening an outsize mouth, revealing a yellow, forked tongue, the animal hissed and reared as if preparing to charge at her.
Jill shouted defiance in a combination of rage and fear, and threw the rock hard, striking one glowing eye in the center, shattering the facets. She dodged as the predator made a high pitched sound like an exploding generator and lunged toward where she’d been. As she scrambled in the slick muddy water at the bottom of the trap, she searched for another rock, finding only small ones. She gathered a handful of them as better than nothing and spun around as the half-blind animal tried to locate her.
With a hoarse yell, a man jumped into the pit from above and landed between her and the predator. He didn’t seem to have a weapon but, as the lightning flashed, briefly illuminating the scene in stark white light, Jill gaped. Were those talons? He glanced over his shoulder at her briefly as if to see how she was doing then made a dash at the animal, slashing its neck before dancing away.
Jill moved along the pit wall as the man and the beast fought. Mud dripped from the sloping side of the hole. Resting her palm on the damp dirt, she felt vibrations. There’s another one tunneling towards us. No matter how brave and strong this guy was, he couldn’t defeat two of the animals. Frantically, she searched for more rocks, trying to pry a likely candidate out of the wall with her fingernails. I have to help.
“Incoming! There’s another one about to pop out of the wall,” she yelled. Hefting the rock she’d dug from the muck, she took a few steps forward, waited for the right moment and threw the stone at the first beast’s remaining eye, striking a glancing blow on the brow ridge above the glowing orb. The warrior took advantage of the animal’s distraction to open more gaping wounds along its upper body with the lethal claws he bore.
Something in the rapidly rising water brushed against her leg. She jumped sideways, but not fast enough. As the unseen predator made a stinging bite on her calf, Jill nearly toppled over. Unable to see below the surface of the roiling water, she hurled her handful of rocks a foot or so away from her body, hoping to drive away this new menace.
Before she could find more rocks to use as weapons, another man lowered himself into the pit on a rope, reaching for her and speaking urgently in Basic as he gestured. “He can’t fight them off forever – we need to get out of here. More beasts will arrive soon, attracted by the vibrations signaling prey.”
Figuring whatever might happen later, getting out of the trap was the best plan in the short term, she stepped closer. The newcomer grabbed her by the waist, and unseen comrades above hauled the two of them out of the hole at a surprising speed. Her second rescuer handed her off to another man and hastened back into the pit.
She sank to the wet grass, shaking in reaction and feeling the pain now from her cut foot, the mysterious bite, and the effects of the fall. With a fresh rush of fear, she glanced at the strange men surrounding her. Most were ignoring her, facing away as if watching for an attack, although all of them were oddly weaponless. She’d expected to see spears and knives at least. Then again…Had the one who’d jumped into the pit really had claws?
One man stood next to her, as if appointed as her personal guard.
A final animalistic shriek rose from the depths of the pit then the two individuals who’d come to her rescue climbed out.
The one who’d jumped in to help her first came to her side, picking her up without a word and took off to the south at a dead run, the others following them.
“Nice shot with that rock, by the way,” her captor said.

Ayadarr is available at: Amazon | B&N | Google | Kobo | iBooks
Jill Garrison, a maintenance tech at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown stranded in the middle of a forest on an unknown world. There’s no time to think as she’s stalked by carnivorous predators and rescued by genetically engineered warriors calling themselves the Badari. Turns out they and she, along with her whole colony, are now prisoners of the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.
Aydarr, the Badari alpha, isn’t sure he can trust Jill but his attraction to her is undeniable. He impulsively claims her as his mate to prevent her death at the hands of the Khagrish.
Can he continue to protect her from the experiments already underway? Will his claiming her put his pack in jeopardy from their alien masters?
As Jill searches for a way to rescue her fellow humans and get them all to safety, she finds herself falling for Aydarr, despite the secrets he’s keeping. She has a few of her own.
The situation becomes dire when Aydarr and his pack are sent offplanet on a mission, leaving Jill unprotected, prey for the senior scientist. Can she escape the experiments he has in mind for her? Will she be able to thwart the Khagrish plans and liberate humans and Badari alike? How will she and Aydarr reunite?

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Guest Post: Area 51 and Time Trap

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Pauline Baird Jones as a guest blogger to talk about Area 51 and how this relates to her story in the Pets In Space 2 anthology. Take it away Pauline!

Area 51 and Time Trap By Pauline Baird Jones

So, the guy who used to do my hair was also a pilot who has flown near Area 51 and he said he saw Area 51. He says that it’s there, right where the government said it isn’t. Though, in 2015 (according to wikipedia), after a FOIA request, someone admitted that it was there. But, according to the CIA, it’s not called Area 51. It’s Groom Lake and/or Homey Airpot (somewhat ironic that, don’t you think?). Except the CIA used Area 51 in a document dated back during the Vietnam War.

So, do we believe my hair dresser or the CIA?

I’m going with my hair dresser, because he saw it.

So here’s a few “facts” about Area 51:

  • In addition to Area 51, it is sometimes referred to as ‘Dreamland’ or ‘Paradise’ Ranch.
  • The air space above it is restricted.
  • It’s located in southern Nevada (like Schroedinger’s Cat, it is there and not there, if you believe the CIA, which sorry, I don’t.)
  • It’s purpose is not publicly known but based on historical evidence ‘Secret Stuff Happens There. All The Time’.
  • The area around Area 51 is on the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” which is also a popular tourist destination.
  • My Project Enterprise expedition launched from Area 51. Details are sketchy because the expedition is super highly classified and secret. Crew who returned from PE explorations usually end up working at Area 51. Sara (The Key: Project Enterprise 1) and Doc (Girl Gone Nova: Project Enterprise 2) are currently working there and might have sent something from there to Briggs for his birthday that kind of gets him in trouble.

Well, if Area 51 actually existed. Which, according to my hair dresser, it does. Then this could happen…

There was a note on top of the straw. At least they’d been smart enough not to send him an actual birthday card.
We found this in the Area 51 garage sale and immediately thought of you.
Cha-cha-cha,
Donovan and Doc (and their significant others)
P.S. According to the files, this was collected on 2789645. Ring any bells?
Area 51 garage sale. Briggs chuckled. He should have known. Those two did know the way to make his engineer’s heart happy.

Except from Time Trap A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series

Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…
Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel – never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man that ignites a fire inside her.
USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble – not the kind he’d like to be, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind! Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so – until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.
Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?

Appearing in….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 all preorders and 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.

Available October 10, 2017 via:

Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance.

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

It is a pleasure to welcome Stephanie Osborn author of the Division One series.

Welcome Stephanie to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Division One is a series based on my take of the urban legend about the covert group of men and women who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. and make the evidence… disappear. They are, in reality, a branch of the Pan-Galactic Law Enforcement and Immigration Agency, or PGLEIA. This galaxy-wide organization reports to the Galactic Council, and is broken into the equivalent of precincts, or divisions, for the sake of structural hierarchy, and Earth is the Headquarters for Galactic Division One.

The first book, Alpha and Omega, chronicles the inadvertent induction of Agent Omega into Division One’s brand-new department, Alpha Line. Alpha Line is the equivalent to a SWAT team, or perhaps the Texas Rangers – one situation, one team.

She is partnered with the new department’s chief, Agent Echo, the top field agent in the entire Division, and second in line for the Directorship. Together, they are designated as Alpha One, the premier team in Alpha Line. They work under Agent Fox, a human with considerable galactic experience and a fascinating – and unusually long – back story; he was a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps, yet he appears to be only around 50 years of age, if that.

The first two books of the series, Alpha and Omega, and A Small Medium At Large, came out earlier this year, in print and ebook formats. Book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas, just came out, and book 4, Tour de Force, comes out in October. The series will continue next year with several new books.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Special significance? Not really, though the “real” surnames of the two main characters were pulled from my own genealogy – a little trick I sometimes use just to help me quickly build the characters, since it means I know a bit about about the family background. I do usually try to pick character names that are reflective of the character, if possible, though not always.

For instance, Agent Echo’s name (on his birth certificate) was Alexander Ian Bryant. Bryant is loosely Celtic in origin (and in my family tree), hence I used variants of Celtic given names. Except Echo’s mother was Lipan Apache, and his middle name was SUPPOSED to be Elan, which is Apache for “friendly.” Only the registrar misheard and followed the Celtic flow of the rest of his name, making his middle name officially Ian on his birth certificate. (Strictly speaking, the Celtic equivalent of Alexander is Alistair, but I liked the sound of Alexander Ian better; Alistair sounds too pompous for that character.) “Friendly” as a name for him evokes an interesting dichotomy in my mind, since he is fierce in battle, and anything BUT friendly to an alien perp. He is also a reserved, “still waters run deep” kind of man, but he cares deeply about the people around him, those with whom he’s close. He doesn’t exactly show it a lot to said people, but it’s there. And over the course of the first book, we find that Omega becomes one of those people.

And since Echo is from Texas, and Bryants figured prominently in Texas history, I tied it in, just a bit, as being a branch of the family who founded Bryant Station, etc.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Oh, SF was always my favorite genre, growing up. I read ‘most every science fiction book I could get my hands on. I wanted to work in the space program (which I eventually wound up doing), and it fired my imagination and made me excited for the future. My second favorite genre to read was mystery, and I always liked action-adventure, a bit of thriller, and a soupcon of romance. Which probably explains why that is the recipe for most of the books that I write!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I try to be disciplined about it, meaning that I write almost every day – it’s a job, after all. I can become a real workaholic if I’m not careful, though, and I’m handicapped, so – well, if you are familiar with the ‘spoons’ analogy of chronic illness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory ), I just don’t have as many spoons as I used to have. So sometimes I have to just MAKE myself take a break. Otherwise…I’ve ended up quite sick as a result of pushing past my limits. And that can set me back for months, as I try to recover. Because let’s face it, creativity requires significant amounts of energy. And if all your energy is being funneled into getting well, there isn’t anything left for creation.

And yeah, I do find that several of my characters wind up being a lot like that. If you really enjoy what you’re doing, then in a fashion it stops becoming work, and you don’t WANT to stop.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Well, for this set of books, I had, and have, to do a lot of research regarding the Milky Way Galaxy and its structure. My graduate work was in astronomy and astrophysics, so I consider it a lot of fun, but what I have to do is to figure out where things are in the galaxy with respect to each other; what areas are potentially inhabitable, and what are not. Even just relative orientations! For instance, I’m currently writing book 5, Trojan Horse, and I had to ascertain where the Orion Nebula was with respect to Earth, and what was visible from the location of the nebula when looking back TOWARD Earth. So…kind of a galactic map, if you will.

What makes you laugh?

A well-constructed pun; a good joke with an unexpected punchline; my husband’s excellent one-liners. I love my husband’s sense of humor, and one of the things I have always adored about him is his ability to find a way to make me laugh, no matter how down or upset I may be about a situation.

One of the funniest things I can recall in recent years was when I discovered a webcomic called Vexxarr. The eponymous alien is an outcast from his kind, a space traveler who has collected a hodgepodge crew about himself, and who is constantly getting into all kinds of scrapes and getting out on his wits.

So in this one particular sequence of strips, Vexxarr gets nearly eaten by a large alien kaiju kind of monster, and is rescued before he can go down the creature’s gullet. Upon being returned to his ship, he is in severe shock and is monosyllabic for a bit, as his crew tries to find out exactly what happened. Finally the story gets pieced together and as one of them recounts it in toto, he makes this vivid, horrible description of Vexxarr entering the maw of the beast, with its slavering jaws, huge, razor-sharp teeth, ravening tongue…

And suddenly Vexxarr pipes up with the only polysyllabic word he’s said since the whole horrid event started.

“UVULA!” he yells at the top of his lungs.

I howled laughing. I laughed until tears just ran down my cheeks. I laughed until I was out of breath, but I couldn’t stop. I laughed hysterically for probably ten minutes, until I was gasping for air. And it was probably half an hour or better before the very thought of the strip didn’t send me off into fresh gales of laughter.

For quite a while that was the rallying cry on the Vexxarr message board…

I got to meet and get to know the webcomic’s creator a few years ago, and he’s as fun and funny as his strip. I have hopes that one of these days he’ll let me coauthor a short story arc in the strip with him. I’d love to see him bring our ideas to a kind of life like that.

What makes you cry?

Watching a hero/heroine sacrifice him/herself for the sake of someone or something s/he loves. Seeing a baby anything die or be killed. Bittersweet endings. Seeing misunderstood creatures or people be mistreated.

I watched the Japanese kaiju film, Rodan, the other day and was SO sad when the creatures died at the end, because in the end, one fell into the lava, and the other chose to dive in after it, preferring to die at its side than live without it…and there was something so loving, so touching, about it that it kind of ‘humanized’ them even though they had killed people.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a big film buff, particularly of science fiction and fantasy movies, but also the related genre of comic-book movies. My writing has been described as very cinematic in style, so that when someone reads it, it creates the effect of a movie playing in his/her head. And that’s pretty much correct, because when I write, it’s like watching a movie in my head and just transcribing it.

I think the funny banter found in most of the comic-type movies also comes out in my writing, too, as I find my characters have a tendency to do the same kind of banter.

###

Thanks Stephanie for taking time to let us get to know about the Division One series and yourself better!

Division One series, published by Chromosphere Press is available through Amazon:

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to almost 30 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has dabbled in paranormal/horror as well, releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story. Currently she’s launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things…disappear.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

The Mystery continues.

You can learn more about Stephanie and the Division One series via her webite, http://www.stephanie-osborn.com/

Guest Post: The Challenges of Writing Short Stories

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about the challenges of writing short stories for her futuristic universe, the Sectors.

Thanks again Veronica for being a guest blogger today!

Thanks for having me! Always a treat to come and visit the EverydayFangirl Blog and talk science fiction romance!

The Challenges of Writing Short Stories by Veronica Scott

I usually think and write in novel length format, but in 2016 I accepted a couple of challenges to write shorter, for three very different anthologies. The collections are no longer available, so I’ve put the three stories together in one volume myself now and released them under the very unwieldy title Star Cruise A Novella: Stowaway Plus Rescue and Token Short Stories. I thought it was really important to be clear that the book doesn’t contain three novel-length works. But wow, what a title, right?

I thought I’d talk a little bit about the stories and why I wrote them. First of all, if I’m going to come up with a 9k to 25K story that has a beginning, a middle and an end, plus the HEA, I needed to work within my already established futuristic universe, the Sectors. This allowed me to show new readers a bit of my worldbuilding by giving them the feeling there is a well-defined setting, and people who have read my books will feel right at home and perhaps see some familiar characters in supporting roles. To that end, two of the stories involve the crew of my luxurious interstellar space liner, the Nebula Zephyr. Of course I’m also hoping new readers will want to dash off and read more Sectors stories after finishing these!

Pauline B. Jones and I had the idea to create an anthology that blended pets into stories of scifi romance and adventure, which became the award winning Pets In Space, with seven other terrific authors. For that project, I wrote Star Cruise: Stowaway and created one alien pet, added in a ship’s cat, and took off with a romantic suspense story. (The blurbs are given below.) I had so much fun writing this and became so intrigued with the addition of a major interstellar crime syndicate to my Sectors, that I wrote another full novel, Danger in the Stars (which released in April), and am now working on a second novel that explores some other aspects of romance and adventure the mob and the captive empaths provided. So as an author, I think taking the time to do this novella really worked for me, and readers were very kind with their reviews. We are doing a Pets In Space 2 this year, by the way with a slightly different mix of authors.

Star Cruise: Rescue was for an anthology with mostly or all Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors and there was no central theme, so I brainstormed what kind of mischief my crew members might get into if they spent an evening on a planet. Fortunately around this time I read an article in Business Week of all places, discussing curated events for the very wealthy. I had an ‘a ha’ moment about how the bored, rich ‘Socialites’ traveling on board the Nebula Zephyr might end up taking a crew member with them to such an exclusive event and the trouble that might ensue.

The third anthology was Dealer’s Choice, for the 2016 RT Booklovers Convention and was a limited edition paperback, only handed out at Linnea Sinclair’s Interstellar Bar & Grille event. (I was a co-host.) There was no way I was going to miss a chance to be in an anthology with Linnea Sinclair and to have my story edited by her as part of the process! She gives great notes by the way. The unifying theme of the collection was to involve a scifi casino as the setting. Now I do have a casino on the Nebula Zephyr, but for some reason I wanted to write a story in the style of a classic Western, where the hero rides into town, gets involved with the local problems, falls in love with a dancehall girl and….HEA ensues. So I put the story on a space station with a casino, but still in the Sectors. The Golden Token is the title of this story.

I find I enjoy writing the occasional short story or novella as a change, and it can be something of a ‘palate cleanser’ for the Muse, before diving back into my longer novels. I was also happily surprised to have the characters in the Stowaway novella prompt me to now write two more novels that hadn’t been on my mind at all. I seem to be able to hit the different word limits of each project, which is satisfying as an author. I think my biggest challenge or frustration perhaps is that I tend to take my time for my characters to reach the point where they experience physical intimacy, so a novella or short story from me doesn’t give the full flavor of one of my novels, which do usually contain a few moderately warm bedroom scenes. (I’m a 3 on a 5 point scale of steaminess.). I’d definitely consider doing another anthology project someday, besides the Pets in Space series.

Thanks again for having me as a guest here and I look forward to guest blogging here in the future!

As a special treat, here is an excerpt from one of the short stories The Golden Token.  Charlie has just arrived on the space station and expects to connect with his next ship immediately but learns there’ll be a delay of several days:

He plucked his ticket from the man’s fingers, taking a glance to see how much oxygen tax he was paying. “Wait, there’s some mistake here. I’m not staying on the Station.”
Tongue between his teeth as he concentrated, the station agent reviewed the information on the screen before him. “You’re hopping a ride on the Centauri Dawn to your destination in Sector 46, right?”
“Yes, but she’s supposed to be docking later today.”
The clerk shrugged. “Updated info as of an hour ago. Ran into some rogue comets. She won’t be here for three days. Be glad she’s coming at all, would be my advice.” A small alarm sounded and the man held up one hand. “Hold on, this could be your lucky day.”
“I fail to see how.”
“Says here you’re arrival number one hundred for this cycle and entitled to a golden token, redeemable at the Hall of Good Fortune.” He handed Charlie a large, fake gold coin, embossed with a dragon on one side and blank on the other.
Astonished, Charlie flipped the coin over. “You must be kidding me. Nobody uses metal money these days, not even in a backwater Sector like this.”
The clerk said, “That’s for gambling at the Station’s casino, up on Level A. Only place to get drinks, gamble, have some fun. Depending on your preferences, of course. The menu’s not as extensive as it used to be in the old days. Kumisarc Corporation’s always cutting back.”
In an effort to stem the tide of the now-garrulous agent’s information, Charlie asked, “This station got a hotel?”
“Temporary housing only for non-residents, rents by the day. I can reserve you a unit.”
Charlie scanned the lobby. There were a few seats on the far wall and he knew he’d seen some in the arrival area.
“Security don’t allow vagrants,” the man said as if reading his mind. “No camping out in the waiting areas. Even with a valid transfer ticket.”
He stifled a growl of irritation, drumming his fingers on the counter. So far this station was a racket, trying to separate him from his credits and doing a good job of it. “How much for the room?”
Not surprised to be quoted a predictably exorbitant price, Charlie set the useless coin on the counter while he transferred the credits, got his code key strip and picked up his bag, ready to make the best of his unexpected layover.
“Hey, don’t forget the token.” The clerk held it up before tossing it to him. “This plus a few credits’ll get you a drink or a spin of the roulette wheel. Not good for much else.”
Charlie made a one-handed catch and slid the disc into a pocket on his utility pants.
“No open carry weapons, by the way,” the clerk said, leaning over the counter. “Gotta keep them stowed in your baggage. Security does a body scan before anyone gets into the casino. They get real upset if they see weapons. Had a few incidents with hotheaded miners over the years, trying to settle their personal grievances with blasters. Tempers are short these days.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak!

STAR CRUISE A NOVELLA: STOWAWAY PLUS RESCUE AND TOKEN SHORT STORIES is available via Amazon, iBooks, B&N and Kobo.

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.
Star Cruise: Rescue: When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?
The Golden Token: Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

Guest Post on Star Cruise: Outbreak

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her story Star Cruise: Outbreak.

Take it away Veronica!

Guest Post on Star Cruise: Outbreak by Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest today!

I decided to focus on Star Cruise: Outbreak for this interview because it was recently honored with a double SFR Galaxy Award mention and I thought it might be a timely topic. The novel also received a third place award in the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest, judged by professional book sellers, which was exciting but mostly due to the artistry of Fiona Jayde, who does all my wonderful SFR book covers.

What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

It was my usual combination of many various topics that would come together on board the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr. I had to research the cruise industry, to have lots of cool amenities for my passengers, and so I looked at travel blogs, the union for cruise ship workers, job listings, books on running large ships successfully, etc. I also did ‘research’ by watching current reality shows like “Below Deck,” and I read the synopsis of every single episode of the old TV show “Love Boat,” trying to get a feel for what overall story and worldbuilding elements contributed to it being such a successful program. And of course long ago, I’d done my research into Titanic for the book Wreck of the Nebula Dream, so I still have those notes on cruise ships and the passengers.

I also had to do extensive research into communicable diseases, with emphasis on the types found on cruise ships or other closed environments. I read up on Legionnaire’s disease and even brain eating amoebas. Yes, watching the TV shows on cruises was more fun than perusing medical sites, but I had to create a plausible and terrifying illness for my cruise ship, and keep the symptoms and prognosis believable as the crisis continues. I don’t know about you but if I read too much on sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, I start convincing myself I have every single disease known to man LOL. I do know I don’t have the one afflicting the Nebula Zephyr.

And the third aspect I researched was PTSD, particularly for medical personnel who served in frontline combat hospitals. There were several nonfiction accounts from fairly recent events like Iraq that were grim but useful. My heroine, Dr. Emily Shane, is known as the “Angel of Fantalar” for her deeds in frontline combat, but she’s quite self-critical for not being able to save everyone. The cruise ship is a totally new environment for her and in the beginning she’s not sure how well she’ll fit with pampered passengers. Most of the crew members are military veterans like her, however, and she finds common ground with them.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?

I can’t usually quantify how I arrive at my character’s names – I just like the ‘sound’ and my Muse kind of goes “Oh yes, your heroine’s name is Emily and your hero is Jake,” as in this case, and I start writing. Actually, when it comes to names, I had more of a process for how to name my cruise ships. I researched what sort of names the modern day ocean-going ships tend to have and I decided to use the world “nebula” as the first half of the title, and also in my head, as a class of luxury interstellar cruise liner. For the second word of the names, I went with something more ethereal and evocative – “dream” for my original novel and “zephyr” for this one.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Veronica's Influences: Forbidden Planet and Flash Gordon

Veronica’s Influences: Forbidden Planet and Flash Gordon

Since my Dad loved science fiction, one of the first movies I ever remember seeing (on late night TV) was “Forbidden Planet,” so I guess you could say I was imprinted with scifi early on. The local TV station also broadcast the old episodes of the 1930’s “Flash Gordon” serial with Buster Crabbe daily and as a little kid I was blind to the outdated production techniques and acting, and totally enthralled with the stories. In fact, I keep a framed photo from one of the Flash episodes next to my writing desk and a small Robby the Robot on my bookcase as reminders of my scifi ‘roots’. But I always felt there needed to be more romance in everything scifi, so I supply that element in my writing.

I’m also fascinated by disasters and how people act and react, going back to the fact that my mother’s family had a belief that one of their distant relatives survived the Titanic as a second class passenger. Living in the age of the internet, I’ve come to sadly accept that the lady probably wasn’t related to us, despite the unusual surname, but the story still inspired me. I’ve also always been drawn to medical mysteries, especially the work of epidemiologists tracking down outbreaks, so it was a nice extra to be able to include some of that mystery in this novel. My father was one of the few people in the country to contract and survive a certain disease as a young child, thoroughly mystifying the medical authorities of his time, and the story of how they eventually tracked it back to the source fascinated me.

What makes you laugh? Currently?

My brand new grandbaby, the antics of my cats and certain episodes of the “Big Bang Theory” TV show.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I’m not aware of anything special I do to remain sane as a writer. I just am one and I write like I breathe. I don’t even try to explain the process by which my Muse (or subconscious) generates my fiction. I do believe very strongly as a human being in never giving up, no matter the situation, but also looking for unusual or different ways to problem solve if the straight ahead approach isn’t working. My characters very much do that. They don’t panic in the crisis, they’re hopeful and they believe in romance and the Happy Ever After, just as I do!

She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.

Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.

However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…

Buy Star Cruise: Outbreak: Apple iBooks,  Amazon, Kobo or Barnes & Noble

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

You can learn more about Veronica Scott by checking out her Blog, her Amazon Author Page, and by following her on Twitter or Facebook.

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