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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!


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.


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:
Reader Newsletter:
Chat with Cara Reader Facebook group:
Twitter: @CaraBristol

Guest Post: Where Alien Bonds Came From

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Carmen Webster Buxton as a guest blogger to talk about her new book, Alien Bonds.

Take it away Carmen!

Where Alien Bonds Came From by Carmen Webster Buxton

Well, it came out of my head, of course, like all my books. But this story took root in my mind years ago, when, after 28 years, my parents got divorced. When they got married, divorce was not common, but by the time my dad left my mom, it was more accepted. It started me thinking about what life would be like in a culture where marriage was immutable, where there was no option for ending a marriage. But of course, we had that for long periods of human history, so I took it one step further: What if there was no way to make yourself want to leave someone, even if life with them was a misery? To get to that point, I needed to change biology, so I came up with an alien world called Wakanreo. And then I found myself thinking, what if a human woman found herself in tied in that same way? What if, without warning, she found herself undergoing the same reactions that the aliens experienced? This meant Wakanreans had to be similar enough to allow some intimate interspecies interaction, but not so humanoid that they didn’t feel alien.

The cultures on Wakanreo are somewhat more homogenous than here on our world, because pheromones control when mating happens. Society and personal preferences don’t determine whether your mate is the opposite sex or the same sex, whether you have one mate or two, or even if you have a mate at all. Biology is in charge.

I got very immersed in this world while writing this book, and I’m hoping readers get the same sense of fascination while reading it. I’m hard at work on book 2 of the trilogy, so I’m still very much wrapped up in all things Wakanreo. It’s an interesting place to visit.


Alien Bonds is available via Amazon: Kindle version or Trade paperback

As a special treat here is an excerpt from Chapter One of Alien Bonds:

“That’s one of her local stars she’s sucking up to,” Erik went on. “That one is a singer, I think. God, I hope she doesn’t ask him to sing. Wakanrean music sounds like someone torturing small animals.”
“Really?” Was it just her, or was Erik rather wearing?
“I think the two in blue are wrestlers. That’s one thing I’ll give the Wakanreans. Their wrestling is superb entertainment.”
“That’s what Jared said.”
Dina had the satisfaction of seeing her date look dumbfounded. “Jared Harlingen? You know Jared?”
“Only slightly. Actually, I was wondering if he was invited tonight.”
Erik let out a breath of explosive displeasure. “Not bloody likely. The Ambassador can’t stand him.”
“He said that,” Dina said, wondering if she was being indiscreet.
“You seem pretty chummy with Jared.”
It wasn’t said as a question, but Dina detected a speculative note in Erik’s voice. “Is that bad? Is there something wrong with Jared Harlingen?”
“Nothing except he’s always beating my time.” He put down his glass and turned to face her. “Arliana said I should wait until later to ask you, but what the heck—Do you want to go to my place for a more intimate get together? I’ve got better food and booze than the Ambassador is providing, and I’m sure the two of us could have more fun alone.”
Dina felt her face flush red. She hated that she couldn’t control her tendency to blush. Ever since she had left the comfortable familiarity of her native world, she had found herself in such situations. No longer shocked, she still couldn’t stop herself from reacting as a Fantaran.
“I’m sorry.” She fought to keep disapproval out of her voice. “I have to be at work very early tomorrow morning.”
Erik’s eyes opened wide. “Oh, come on! You can’t possibly be offended. Arliana said you were married on Croyzan.”
Her mortification faded, and annoyance replaced it. “I fail to see that my life or my reactions are any business of yours.”
Erik’s jaw went slack. “What?”
Dina put her glass down on a nearby table. “It seems Arliana miscalculated in thinking we would hit it off. I think I’d better go.”
He blinked. “What century do you all live in back on Fantar? Arliana isn’t a prude about sex. How was I to know you are?”
Annoyance morphed into anger. She was trying not to judge him, but he had no qualms about judging her. “Well, it looks like Arliana’s miscalculation is now a certainty. Will you say good night to her for me?”
“You’re really leaving?”
“Certainly.” She nodded instead of offering her hand. “Have a pleasant evening. Although if that takes finding a woman who’s liberal-minded enough to go home with you after two minutes of conversation, I have my doubts. Good night.”
She turned on her heel and stalked off, not looking back until she was almost to the stairs.
By then all she could see of Erik was his retreating back. Dina felt a qualm of remorse. Obviously, his idea of polite behavior would never be acceptable on Fantar, but did she have any right to apply Fantaran standards here on Wakanreo? In any event, she had to explain her premature departure to Arliana.
She turned to survey the crowd again, looking for any sign of iridescent blue and silver. She didn’t see Arliana, but she noticed the silver-headed Wakanrean had left the Ambassador’s circle and was standing by himself in the middle of the room.
Dina wasn’t sure, but she thought he was staring at her. She took a few steps toward the stairs, and his eyes followed her so closely there was no doubt that she was the object of his scrutiny.
No, his animosity. He looked angry—furious, in fact. She had never seen a Wakanrean show so much emotion. His eyes gleamed with rage, and his nostrils flared wide. She took another step toward the stairs, and the Wakanrean began to walk rapidly toward her.
Dina fought panic. What could she have done to make him so angry? She hadn’t come close enough to any Wakanreans to offend anyone. She clasped her hands together to reassure herself that her gloves were on.
The silver-haired Wakanrean came closer still. Under his cape he wore a long, blue robe instead of the trousers and loose, tunic-style shirt favored by Wakanreans of both sexes. He was very close now. His golden facial and body fur combined with the creamy white of his crest reminded her of some Terran animal, but she couldn’t remember which one. Other than the dark blue trim on his robe and the diamond-shaped pattern that decorated his sandals, his only adornment was a piece of silver jewelry fastened at the base of his throat; she couldn’t tell if it was pinned to his robe or his chest fur.
Dina could feel herself breathing faster, her heart pounding hard. She should walk away. Why couldn’t she move her feet? She stood waiting by the mezzanine railing, as still as if she had taken root in the floor.
The Wakanrean stood in front of her. He glared down at her, his face contorted into a scowl, his amber eyes glowing with contempt.
“I beg your pardon.” Dina tried to keep the quaver out of her voice. “Do I know you?”
He was so close, she could feel the heat from his body. Either that, or the room had gotten suddenly warmer. Dina felt herself flush from head to foot.
He didn’t answer, but all at once it was as if his anger was a physical thing, an invisible mass, pushing against her. She stepped backward, stumbled, and almost fell.
She reached for the mezzanine railing behind her, and in the same instant, the Wakanrean grabbed her arm.
Dina froze, utterly baffled. The orientation had said clearly that Wakanreans would always avoid touching a Terran, and yet here was one not only touching her, but holding her firmly by the arm and helping her to stand.
The orientation had also failed to warn her that a Wakanrean’s touch was so warm it almost burned. Dina could feel a flush of heat on her arm where his hand still gripped it. She stood straighter and looked into his face. He had typical Wakanrean features—an arched nose, large round eyes, a wide mouth.
His expression changed as she watched. His anger faded to confusion. He looked almost stunned. His nostrils still flared, but from the way his eyes had opened wide, Dina knew he was surprised rather than angry.
Neither of them had taken a step since he took hold of her arm. Dina swallowed once, conscious of discreet glances and overt stares from those around them.
“I’m all right,” she said finally, wondering if she was speaking the truth. The dizziness had passed, but she still felt lightheaded. “Thank you, but you can let go now.”
He loosened his grip but didn’t release her for a few seconds. When he did, he brushed her bare arm with the back of his hand. Dina was amazed when it sent shivers of anticipation up her spine.
“This is unexpected.” His wonderfully resonant voice had a rich, warm timbre to it that made Dina’s shivers change from anticipation to yearning.
“Yes,” she said, unsure of what he meant, but afraid to give offense.
“Where do you live?”
“I have an apartment in the off-world sector,” she said, wondering why she was answering him. She fought the urge to close her eyes and just listen to that wonderful voice.
“My house is in the cliffs outside the city. Let’s go there instead.”
“All right.”
It took Dina a moment to realize that she had agreed to go home with him.


Carmen Webster Buxton author of Novels:The Sixth Discipline, No Safe Haven, Tribes, The Nostalgia Gambit, Shades of Empire, King of Trees, Saronna’s Gift, Turnabout, Alien Bonds and Novella: Where Magic Rules

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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!

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.
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, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of all preorders and the first month’s profits go to 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.

Guest Post: Why Representation, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter To Me

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes fellow Fangirl Connie Shih as a guest blogger to talk about why representation, diversity and inclusion matters!

Take it away Connie!

Patty, thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest today!

Why Representation, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter To Me: Having a Seat at the Table an editorial by Connie Shih

Representation, diversity, and inclusion have come to the forefront in recent years as hot topics in pop culture, fandom and society at large. They are multi-faceted, complex topics influenced by a number of factors including background, race and ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Depending on one’s perspective, representation and diversity are either championed or derided as being too political.

In the pop culture realm, discussion and debate surrounding representation and diversity have intensified this summer with the record-breaking box office success of Wonder Woman, the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th (and first female) Doctor in Doctor Who, the diverse cast of Star Trek: Discovery, and the debut of the new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny animated shorts (with accompanying Hasbro adventure figure merchandise). Although welcomed and embraced by many, there has also been vocal and considerable pushback by some who believe that the spotlight on representation and diversity has detracted from the love of THEIR TV show or film franchise. These detractors perceive that inclusion is used to gate keep entry into fandom and franchise, and believe that representation and diversity do not matter.

In this guest editorial, I would like to provide a counterpoint to the belief that representation and diversity do not matter by sharing my story and perspective as a 42-year-old Asian-American woman with cerebral palsy who has loved the science-fiction / fantasy genre for 34 years. My intent is not to change minds, but rather invite readers to step out their own perspectives for a moment and consider things from a different point of view.

Having a Seat at the Table
Growing up in the 1980s, my two primary science-fiction / fantasy staples were Star Trek and Star Wars. I was first introduced to Star Wars as an 8-year-old with Return of the Jedi and to Star Trek as an 11-year-old with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Those two films were my entry points into both these long running franchises and in both cases I became an instant fan. The United Federation of Planets and A Galaxy Far, Far, Away captivated me and I wanted to absorb everything about them. My favorite characters from each of these franchises, at the time, were Nyota Uhura and Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. I was drawn to them all because I saw a bit of myself in all four characters: Uhura (female linguist and communications officer), Sulu (Asian helmsman), Princess Leia (empowering, take charge princess), and Luke (hero with unwavering belief in his father). In each of these characters, I saw a trait that I could relate to, or someone who I aspired to be.

As the Star Trek franchise continued with TV series The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine, my favorite characters were Dr. Beverly Crusher, Geordi La Forge, Keiko O’Brien, and Harry Kim. Once again, I saw a bit of myself represented in each of them, especially with Geordi. I think it was the first time I saw a character with a disability (blindness) in Star Trek. It was incredibly inspiring for me to watch his progress from helmsman to chief engineer of the Enterprise. All of these characters represented my seat the table.

Does that mean I didn’t like or identify with other characters within these franchises? No, of course not. In the Star Trek franchise, I liked many different characters based on their traits and story. For example, I liked Dr. McCoy for his southern gentility, wit, and sarcasm just as much as I liked Guinan for her wisdom. Seeing representation on screen added additional layers of relatability and personal investment to the story and franchise. When I do not see myself represented, I feel like an outsider looking in to a certain extent. Recently, I was struck by a quote from Dr. Mae Jemison (lifelong Star Trek fan and NASA astronaut) to Nichelle Nichols at the recent Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Jemison thanked Nichols for being an inspiration and went on to say “You gave me and others permission to be in the room.” Think about that for a moment. Seeing Uhura on TV gave Jemison permission to be in the room. I was incredibly moved by her comment because I felt the same seeing my aforementioned favorite characters on TV and on the big screen.

Dr. Mae Jemison and Nichelle Nichols Credit: Star

Dr. Mae Jemison and Nichelle Nichols Credit: Star

Bullied for Being a Fan
As much I loved Star Wars and Star Trek growing up, I mostly kept my love for Star Wars hidden from others until my mid-teens and early twenties. Why? Because I was bullied as a child (both verbally and physically) on more than one than occasion when attempting to share my love of this franchise with other kids. “You like Star Wars? You cripple. Don’t you know that Star Wars is for boys?” “Oh, you like Star Wars? Prove it. *proceeds with a litany of questions*” “Star Wars is for boys, not girls. You’re Chinese! Star Wars isn’t for you anyways. Go away!”

As a young girl, these questions stung like being swarmed by wasps. I cried myself to sleep several times. I just wanted to connect with other kids and didn’t understand why they were being so mean. My parents, bless them, tried to soothe me the best they could. They told me that I still had my imagination and the ability write and draw, so I should keep Star Wars to myself and have fun. I didn’t have Star Wars toys at the time, so I acted out scenes from Return the Jedi with my Barbie and Ken dolls, pretending they were Leia and Luke, respectively.

I also hid my love for Star Trek because there weren’t kids my age who liked it and I was already bullied for Star Wars, so why even ask? It was pointless and I did not want to be subjected to another round of heartbreak. It was not until several years later that I came out of hiding with Star Trek and Star Wars. One of my father’s work colleagues had a daughter ten years older than I. Despite our age difference, we had so many life circumstances in common including a love of Star Wars and Star Trek. I can’t tell you how genuinely happy I was to discover another girl who loved both of these franchises much as I did. The floodgates opened and we chatted for hours, talking nonstop about Luke, Leia, and Han and Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov. That was 30 years ago. We remain close friends to this day and still go to see Star Wars and Star Trek movies together. I consider her a science fiction / fantasy kindred spirit and I have her to thank for introducing me to other awesome franchises, such as Doctor Who, Babylon 5, and Stargate SG-1.

Being a Fan in the Present Day
Much has changed for the better over the past 30 years, especially for the Star Wars franchise. There are now also so many more entry points for fans of all ages to experience Star Wars across multiple mediums (film, animated series, books, comics, video games, virtual reality, and theme parks). Along those lines, I have to say it has been fantastic to witness the number of diverse characters grow exponentially, particularly with female characters. Star Wars now includes Padmé Amidala, Shmi Skywalker Lars, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Maz Kanata, Satine Kryze, Bo Katan, Steela Gerrera, Korr Sella, Greer Sonnel, Hera Syndulla, Asajj Ventress, Sabine Wren, Ursa Wren, Norra Wexley, Shara Bey, Jyn Erso, Lyra Erso, the Nightsisters, Captain Phasma, Mother Talzin, Dr. Aphra, Ciena Ree, Rae Slone, Arihnda Pryce, Iden Versio, Rose Tico, Amilyn Holdo, and Kordi Freemaker. While their stories have been told (or will be told) in varying degrees, each of these female characters have been introduced in a medium. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement. In addition to female characters, there have been recent attempts to ethnically diversify with Finn, Poe Dameron, Saw Gerrera, Bodhi Rook, Cassian Andor, Baze Malbus, and Chirrut Îmwe. Of these characters, as a disabled Asian American, I connected to Chirrut Îmwe the most because it was refreshing to see an Asian character who wasn’t stereotypically portrayed as a villain and also overcame his blindness. There are now so many more seats at the table and I hope the trend continues because the galaxy is vast with infinite possibilities to tell stories from different perspectives.

As geekdom has become mainstream, it is easier for female fans to openly embrace their love of the science fiction / fantasy genre. While bullying and discrimination still exist, we no longer have to hide in shadows. I’m delighted there are companies and online communities such as Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe (geek fashion) and Jamie Broadnax’s Black Girls Nerds that are thriving because they create spaces where all female fans can connect, step into the spotlight and be proud of their inner geek / nerd. There is also much more merchandise available for fans of all ages to purchase and enjoy. Collectibles, toys and games, action and adventure figures, kitchenware, bedding – all come branded with one’s favorite franchise. While the merchandise was prevalent when I was a kid, it is everywhere now. It’s a wonderful time to be a fan!

Into the Future
The futures of both Star Trek and Star Wars are bright with exciting, each with new projects on the horizon. In addition, both recently celebrated milestone anniversaries with Star Trek turning 50 last year, and Star Wars turning 40 this year. I consider both to be legacy franchises as the love for them has been generational. At the same time, we have started to see both (particularly Star Wars) evolve to reflect the society and times they reside in. As author John Knowles said, “Everything has to evolve or else it perishes.” I view representation, diversity, and inclusion (both on screen and off screen) as integral to this evolution, and believe that these three will help both Star Trek and Star Wars continue to stand the test of time. They have the potential to the present new stories to keep things fresh while still retaining the core characteristics of what makes the respective franchises appealing. Potential is the keyword because I acknowledge that representation, diversity, and inclusion alone cannot exist in a vacuum. Ideally, they should be coupled with quality storytelling that resonate with the audience and fans. This is something that the entertainment industry as a whole is currently struggling with, and is subject that is worth exploring in a separate article. Overall, representation, diversity, and inclusion DO matter to me because I believe that everyone has a voice, has the right to be in the room, and has a seat at the table.

If you have read this far, I want thank EACH of you for allowing me to share my personal perspective of why representation, diversity, and inclusion matter. I welcome all perspectives and the chance to dialogue with fellow fans. If you would like to reach out, please feel free to reach me at my twitter handle @connieshih. Live Long and Prosper and May the Force Be With You!

Some items of interest for further reading, listening, and viewing:
• Listen: Beltway Banthas podcast: Episode #36: Race, Representation, and Reconciliation
• Watch: Dave Filoni Speaks at the National Center for Women & Information Technology
• Read: Netflix Talks Diversity and Representation With #FirstTimeISawMe
• Read: Are We as Inclusive As We Believe We Are in Fan Culture?
• Read: Dear Hollywood: Five lessons we hope you learned from the success of ‘Wonder Woman’
• Read: Diversity in Movies Largely Unchanged Despite Increased Awareness, Study Finds

Connie Shih is a graduate student and teacher who loves astronomy and music, is an avid reader, and is a science fiction / fantasy nerd who loves Star Wars and Star Trek. She can be reached at her twitter handle @connieshih.

Guest Post: Turning Unhealthy Obsessions Into Viable Fiction

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl again welcomes author Alexandra Christian as a guest blogger to talk about how unhealthy obsessions can be turned into viable fiction.

Take it away Alexandra!

Turning Unhealthy Obsessions into Viable Fiction, or Why “Sapiosexual Love Monkey” Really Just Means Benedict Cumberbatch Fanfiction By Alexandra Christian

Sapiosexual: (adj.): being sexually aroused by intelligence.

In my bio, you’ll notice that part of my mission statement with Little Red Hen Romance is bringing sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. It’s a concept I came across several years ago as I began nursing an unhealthy fangirl obsession with the BBC’s series Sherlock and its star, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Lemme start at the beginning. Around that same time, I became miserable at my day job and really depressed about writing in general. I was adrift in a sea of uncertainty and was desperately trying to find my way to shore. The kinds of books I wanted to read didn’t seem to exist and I felt like there was little to no market for the kinds of books I wanted to write. I loved romance novels, but couldn’t stand the heroes. Christian Grey was a whiny Mama’s boy with too much time and money on his hands. Edward Cullen had a God complex. The standard Harlequin hero was just an oiled torso stereotype. I wanted more. I refused to believe that I was a freak for wanting action and intrigue with her romantic stories. I wanted a hero who was not only able to rush into battle, but could also engage in a battle of wits. A hero who could think his way out of any situation. A cool, calculating hero who was interested in more than just what lurked between the heroine’s thighs. When I aired my grievances to my sister she said, “Have I got a show for you.”

By the middle of the first episode, I was offering my body as tribute. The deduction monologues made my heart (and other less-mentionable parts) flutter. The way Sherlock just seemed to know things. The way he studied EVERYTHING. It made me (and I suspect many others) wonder what a man like that would be like as a lover. By the end of series one, I was more inspired than I had been in more than a year. By the end of that week, I had written a short, erotic horror story titled “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” about an obsessed fangirl. And by the end of the month, the hero of my new Phoenix Rising series, Macijah “Cage” St. John, was born.

In the first chapter of Naked (Phoenix Rising 1), if you’ve watched Sherlock at all, you can see the influence. He’s extremely sharp and does not suffer fools. His English wit cuts like a knife. And the physical description of Cage, while more Khan (from Star Trek Into Darkness) than Sherlock, is very definitely Cumberbatch-ish. See..

The man who had come to her rescue was standing in the impromptu doorway that had been made by his and the wolf-man’s bodies hitting the wall. Her mouth hung limply from her jaw as she realized that he hadn’t a stitch of clothing on his body. Pale skin stretched over a lean musculature, lined with scars that kept drawing her eyes downward. Phoebe felt her face go up in flames and she commanded herself to look up into his face. His dark, curly hair was wild, but his blue eyes burned brightly.

Cage embodies the Alpha hero I always wanted. He’s not just a meathead with lots of disposable income. Or a shifter that can’t control his primal urges. Cage uses his brain, not just his fists or his weapons. He’s complex with a past that’s reflected in eyes that are lined with age and experience, not guy-liner. And because of that, I suppose that most of my stories and books that have been written in the last couple of years have a healthy dose of my Cumberbatch obsession.

So there. I’ve confessed. Whew… it feels good. Freeing. But I can’t promise that I will go forth and sin no more. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s some sin going on in my WIP even as we speak.


Thanks again Alexandra for being a guest blogger today and for sharing this insight with us!

You can find out more Alexandra by visting the following:

Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies.
A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction.

Note: Alexandra was kind enough to share an excerpt of Naked and you can find this here!

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: 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.

Guest Post: Cyborgs

The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Cara Bristol as a guest blogger to talk about what inspired her latest Sci-Fi Romance!

Take it away Cara!

Cyborgs: from the Six Million Dollar Man to Cyberoperative by Cara Bristol

If you’ve noticed similarities between cyborgs in today’s science fiction/sci-fi romance and the Six Million Dollar Man, a TV show from the 1970s, you’re on the mark. The “bionic man” was a cyborg. Col. Steven Austin, played by actor Lee Majors, was an astronaut who was critically injured when his ship crashed. Two legs, one arm and an eye were replaced with bionic parts making him faster and stronger. You can see the opening credit/sequence from the show below.

The Six Million Dollar Man was based on the Martin Caidin novel, Cyborg. The show had a successful run from 1974-1978 and led to a spinoff, The Bionic Woman (1976-1978), with Jaime Sommers played by Lindsay Wagner. Like Austin, Sommers had two legs and one arm replaced, but she had bionic ear instead of an eye.

What is different about Austin and Sommers from the cyborgs in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series and other authors’ cyborg romances, is that the bionic man/woman didn’t have any computer interfaces. In its infancy, computer technology was practically nonexistent in the 1970s. Computers were huge mainframe things (although the first PCs came out in the mid 1970s). The era was pre-internet, pre-wireless. So Austin and Sommers had mechanical limbs, but no computer chips or processors, no nanocytes.
Fictional cyborgs today aren’t just physically stronger, they have greater mental capabilities. The cyborgs in my series can communicate with each other telepathically via wireless, can hack into most computer systems, and have a database of information in their heads they can access. Their nanos, tiny robotic cells in their bloodstream, enhance bodily functions and repair injuries.

The computer age has changed cyborgs.

The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman were action-adventure stories. The Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series books are romances, focusing on the developing love relationship between the heroine and the cyborg hero who works for a secret military organization called Cyber Operations (Cy-Ops).
So, how much would a six million dollar man cost today? Factoring in inflation alone, a six million dollar man would cost $29 million in today’s dollars. However, due to technological and computer advancements, they would probably cost a lot more.

To get a feel for Claimed by the Cyborg below is an excerpt.

What the hell had gotten into these people? Wasn’t this supposed to be a friendly competition? There wouldn’t be any surprises. How could they get so emotional over a theatrical performance when they already knew the outcome?
Did they hate him because he was the challenger or because he was Terran? Even in silence, animosity fogged the arena like a heavy cloud.

At the officiant’s cue, March pivoted. The Sha’A’la was only a dramatic spectacle, but turning his back on a participant armed with a saber caused the hair on his nape to prickle. On the sixth step, as he’d seen practiced, he whipped around and charged, surprised to see Naimo closer than expected. Had he turned a step early?
Their blades connected and showered the air with sparks.

The crowd trilled with satisfaction.

His feet moved through the choreographed steps as he swung his blade to parry the thrusts of Naimo’s sword. Without a cyborg’s memory, following the routine would have been difficult. Though smaller, his opponent was strong and agile, his facial tension conveying a startling ferocity.

Naimo attacked with power and precision. Blades engaged in a loud clang of metal and a fiery glitter of sparks. From a foreigner’s viewpoint, March had misjudged the danger. One slip of the foot, one wrong twist of the wrist, and either of them could be injured.

Rocking from heel to toe, they darted back and forth, lunging and retreating. With a series of fast moves, March backed Naimo to the edge of the court and, with a swipe, nicked his arm as he’d seen rehearsed. Before the consort could claim his bride, his blood had to be spilled in her honor. Red spurted from the shallow wound, and the crowd hissed. If they’d disliked him before, they hated him now. He’d wounded their golden boy. That he’d been required to didn’t matter. He might need a protective detail to get off the planet alive.

Claimed by the Cyborg

Claimed by the Cyborg

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March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.

The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty. Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.

About Cara Bristol
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.
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