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?
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.”
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.”
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.
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?
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/
Chat with Cara Reader Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1761424733891183/
Twitter: @CaraBristol https://twitter.com/CaraBristol
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Clone Me a Lover by Rosalie Redd
Excerpt from Clone Me A Lover
“I…didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been here?”
He leaned against the doorframe, his arms crossed. A slow smile tugged at his lips, and she focused on them. They were so tempting, and it was all she could do to pull her gaze to his eyes.
“Long enough to watch you make that…squirrel?”
A nervous laugh broke from her lips. “This is an ornithium, a small sub-surface dweller from our planet. The tiny creature comes above ground to retrieve nuts that fall from the trees during the season’s first frost. It is the good luck symbol for our winter celebration—Lintria, representing hope and love, for if this small animal can survive in the harshest of conditions, so can we.”
“I see. When is your next observance?” His calm demeanor called to her, sending a tingle of curiosity and excitement along her nerves.
“In a few days, when our sun is lowest in the horizon in the southern hemisphere. This special day is celebrated by everyone in our culture.” Her throat constricted. Not everyone. Toman was still in jail. If she didn’t return to get him out before the celebration, he’d observe the rite in the mines and never participate in another. I can’t think about that.
With a quick swallow, she focused her attention on the sexy man in front of her. “Thank you, again, for replacing the reactor.”
His gaze flicked to her mouth before returning to her eyes. The brown in his irises deepened.
Warmth spread between her thighs, and she bit her lip.
He took a step forward, closing the distance between them. “It was the least I could do, given you saved me from a long, cold, lonely journey through space.”
“Well, then, seems we’ve saved each other.”
Love is a dangerous, forbidden emotion.
Human clone Angelo Thirteen craves something illicit—to fall in love. When a tenacious female Altonian retrieves his escape pod from the rubble of a shipwreck, he may just get his chance. Drawn to her determined spirit and mesmerizing golden eyes, he must pierce the battle thickened walls surrounding her heart to uncover what he covets most.
Elle cares about two things in the universe—her ship and her brother. When her sibling is imprisoned on a savage ice world nothing will derail her from her recovery mission, that is, until she rescues a sexy human clone from the icy coldness of space. Falling for his tender, sensuous nature wasn’t part of her plan and now she must choose between saving her brother from Alta’s prison or risking her heart.
Lose yourself in the Interstellar Lovers series with this delicious tale of sensual discovery and longing. You can buy Clone Me A Lover from the following retailers:
After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. You can find Rosalie via her Website: http://www.rosalieredd.com and the following social media sites:
There is no situation that can’t be made worse with the addition of heavy rain. Phoebe stumbled down the path behind St. John, her sensible pumps sinking into the squishy ground with every step. His long-legged strides weren’t particularly fast, but she was practically running to catch up. She was also trying to pull a bulky suitcase behind her without much luck. Finally she ran over a large rock, tipping the case over and taking her with it. She sat down hard on the wet ground, the standing water in the grass splashing up and peppering her with a spray of muddy freckles. “Damnit!” she cried, wanting to throw herself down and have a kicking and screaming tantrum. Instead she took off one of her shoes and threw it as hard as she could. It whizzed past St. John’s ear, and he finally turned.
“Problem?” he asked, strolling back toward where she sat in the grass.
“Can you slow down a minute, please?” Her tone was teetering on annoyance. Couldn’t he see that she was having trouble? So much for the politeness of the British.
He stared down at her, his arms crossed over his chest. “Actually, no. We need to get as far away from that crash site as soon as possible and you to that spaceport so I can be on my way.” He looked over the assortment of items that had fallen out of the case as it tipped over. “Got any trainers in there?”
Phoebe looked up at him like he had suddenly lapsed into Chinese. “What?”
“Trainers. Shoes. Like shoes you wear for running.”
“Oh. Not really, no.”
“Jeans? A jumper?”
“No. I didn’t think I’d be trekking through the forest,” she replied, taking his offered hand and letting him pull her upright. She limped over to where she had thrown her shoe, searching the grass.
“Is there anything in there that’s helpful or important?”
“Well of course,” she replied. “My clothes and toothbrush… anti-bac hand lotion…” She continued listing off all of the things as she pulled her discarded shoe back on. Heaving a sigh, he grabbed the suitcase and slung it as hard as he could over the ravine.
“What are you doing?” She could feel the pressure of angry tears behind her eyes as she watched all of her worldly possessions take a header down the bank, spilling her delicates over the dirty ground. How dare he have such disregard for her personal property! Not to mention that the items in that suitcase were her security blankets. There might not be anything of value or anything “helpful,” but there were things she needed! A picture of her family, her allergy medicine… her copy of Gone With the Wind. Phoebe started to run after the case, but St. John held her back. She beat her fists against his arms and chest. “Let me go! That’s my stuff! I need it!”
“Your stuff is slowing us down. Look, I said I would help you, but I’m not a bellhop or a hero! If you’re going with me, you play by my rules.” He looked up into the sky and let her go. “Come on… it’s nearly dawn.”
She watched him go, starting to reconsider her pleas for his help and then realizing that she had little choice but to follow him. They were now so far off the beaten path that she’d never find her way out. Steeling her jaw and giving a last glance back to where he’d thrown her suitcase, she started walking. Despite his growling, he did slow the pace a little so that she could keep up.
As they walked on and on, the trees rose up around them in an ominous canopy that nearly obliterated the early morning light of dawn. She could hear the stream that ran along beside them at the bottom of the ravine. It was hard to believe in their world that places such as this still even existed. It was almost desolate, but beautiful. Watching him as they walked, she slowly realized that St. John seemed almost as distressed as she felt. By now they’d been walking for hours, and in that time he’d become increasingly irritable. After several attempts at conversation, Phoebe had just given up and walked beside him silently. But his mood was starting to make her worry even more than she had been already.
“So… you don’t really seem like the normal space traveler,” he said, surprising her by breaking the silence. St. John shifted the backpack from one shoulder to the other. “What’s taking you to New London?”
“What? Oh… yes. My sister,” she replied. “I’m going to visit her.”
“Interesting,” he replied blandly.
Her heart pounded in her chest. She didn’t fully trust St. John and wasn’t sure that she should reveal her true intentions. Anyone could be working for Machine. Maybe he had been sent to keep an eye on her. Phoe was a fan of James Bond, so she had spent many an hour watching spy movies. He could be some kind of operative that was just waiting for an opportunity to steal the medallion and leave her broken body in the woods. And of course there was the werewolf thing. “Not really. I mean… it’s just a visit.”
“Well considering that no one really lives on the space colony unless they’re either filthy rich or a scientist of some sort. Judging by your clothes, you don’t appear to be particularly wealthy. So that leaves scientist.”
“She’s an archaeologist,” Phoebe answered. “She works for the Interplanetary Union, looking for natural resources and such. I’m a librarian.”
“I didn’t know those existed anymore. Libraries, I mean.”
“In small towns mostly, I suppose. I mean, I used to work for a digital archive in New Orleans, but I… I didn’t really like it there.” She bit down on her lip, wishing she could take it back. Her brain whirred, already constructing the story that she would tell him when he asked why she’d left New Orleans. Everyone asked why.
To her surprise, St. John just nodded, glancing toward the lightening sky again.
“What about you?”
“What about me?” he parroted.
“Well… what do you do?”
“I… I’m not really sure how to describe what I do. I’m a problem solver, I guess.” Given the things Phoe saw in his backpack, his problem solving skills must involve heavy artillery.
Librarian at one of Earth’s last paper libraries, Phoebe Addison is about to have a romantic and interplanetary adventure wilder than anything she’s ever read.
OUT OF THE STACKS
Librarian Phoebe Addison has lived her entire life within a seventy-five mile radius of her small Louisiana town, but when she receives a strange medallion from her adventurous, off-world sister, reality tilts toward the bizarre. Everything Phoe thought she knew is…well, wrong. Dead wrong. But bone-numbing fear has no place in this brave new world—nor by the side of the dangerous, exquisite man who saves her life.
…AND INTO THE FIRE
Following the tragic slaughter of his family, operative Macijah “Cage” St. John understands evil in a way no man ever should. He traded happiness for a magnificent and terrible power, and fate isn’t done with him yet. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He didn’t need tenderness. But today he’ll play hero to a damsel in distress, and his quest will deliver him to the uncanny Martian colony of New London—and his heart to the demure Phoebe Addison. The bookish beauty’s hidden talents and deep abiding love just might save Cage from himself.
Boroughs Publishing: http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/naked
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. You can find out more about Alexandra by visiting:
Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Alexandra-Christian/e/B009QU3UD4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
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.
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.”
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from THE GOLDEN SPIDER The Elemental Web Chronicles – Book One by Anne Renwick
Excerpt from THE GOLDEN SPIDER
There was a lull in the conversation. Thornton cleared his throat and looked up at his audience, expecting all eyes to have focused attentively upon him. Instead, he saw the backs of fifty odd heads and only one face.
A very beautiful face. One with deep pink lips, high cheekbones and a dainty nose between wide eyes that had just a hint of an exotic tilt. Smooth skin, all surrounded by elaborately coiffed hair the color of midnight. Unlike the crows in the back who rolled their eyes in disgust, this woman was garbed in the latest of fashions, a tightly corseted and bustled teal gown with a low cut neckline that had all the men leering.
All but him, of course.
Striking blue eyes met his gaze.
He lifted his eyebrows and drew out his pocket watch to consult the hour. It was five past. She was late.
Her lips curved upward at his obvious reprimand, but she made no effort to hasten her steps. A gentleman in the front row stood, gesturing to a vacant seat he clearly intended for her to occupy. She nodded in greeting, then with the twist of a knob at her waist to collapse her bustle, she removed her feathered hat and settled into the chair beside the smug-looking gentleman.
Instinct told Thornton she would be a problem. A woman with such obvious physical charms expected attention. Best to not provide it. He waved his hand at his assistant and the room plunged into darkness. Sliding home the first glass plate, an illuminated image appeared on the large screen hanging at the front of the hall.
Tomorrow, he would not wait. If she could not manage to arrive promptly, she could damn well stumble her way down the stairs or sit in the back.
“Neurons and glial cells,” he intoned. “Later in the laboratory you will closely study the features of both.”
Amanda leaned forward in her chair, entranced by the deep, booming voice of this new professor. The light cast by the limelight lantern threw his angular face into sharp relief. What captivating facial bone structure. Prominent zygomatic arches and a long square jaw made the planes of his face appear wide and harsh. Between his dark eyebrows, nasal bones stretched into a long, straight and distinctive nose. Damp hair severely slicked back from his forehead betrayed the man by daring to curl at its tips. Full lips formed words in a tone that made the features of a neuron sound utterly entrancing.
She rather thought she could be content to spend the entire morning listening to him read the index of her anatomy text. Clearly brilliant, he was also the best physical specimen she’d laid eyes on in a long time. Too bad about that clause in the school’s charter forbidding professors from entering into relationships with their students.
A flush rose upward across her face. Such thoughts. She forced her gaze to the projection on the screen. Focus, Amanda.
He was proceeding at such a rapid clip that she would soon be left behind if she could not pull her head out of the aether.
Though she put pen to paper, she could not stop herself from asking. “What happened to Professor Corwin?” she whispered to Simon, or Mr. Sommersby as she addressed him in public.
Simon shifted to lean his shoulder lightly against her own. Male instinct, she supposed, to mark her as his own. Behavior she’d encouraged. “No idea. But it seems Lord Thornton is to finish the lecture series.”
Her indrawn breath was audible.
Though Anne Renwick holds a Ph.D. in biology and greatly enjoyed tormenting the overburdened undergraduates who were her students, fiction has always been her first love. Today, she writes steampunk romance, placing a new kind of biotech in the hands of mad scientists, proper young ladies and determined villains. Anne is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She lives in Maryland with her family.
Anne brings an unusual perspective to steampunk. A number of years spent locked inside the bowels of a biological research facility left her permanently altered. In her steampunk world, the Victorian fascination with all things anatomical led to a number of alarming biotechnological advances. Ones that the enemies of Britain would dearly love to possess.
Learn more about Anne and her stories by visiting her website http://www.annerenwick.com
The Elemental Web Chronicles – Book One
London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.
Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.
After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?
Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.
Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.
Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.
Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is proud to present this excerpt from Scandal: Scions of the Star Empire Book 1 by Athena GraysonIone wrapped her fingers around the delicate glass of champ-ale. Pairing up with Den was a practical move for them both. Their families moved in the same social circle and they spent enough time in each other’s company that a pair-up was a foregone conclusion. The only variable was the timing.
A week ago, she wouldn’t have even questioned Den’s declaration. She’d have responded in kind, pressed her body against his in a move carefully calculated to both keep his interest from waning and feed the mills of the gossip streams.
But everything seemed different now. Emptier. Landfall’s soaring strato-scrapers, the massive arcologies that housed the entire world in which she moved, once felt as if they were the universe itself. At least, the parts of it that mattered. The movers and shakers and power-brokers of the settled star system either curried her favor as daughter of the ruler, or jockeyed for position among themselves.
Alliances and feuds, fueled by the engines of Social Capital, influenced negotiations that turned on a social snub or a carefully-timed acknowledgment. Behind it all was the Probabilities Index—the information market that determined the likelihood of potential outcomes that drove the engines of the economy. What used to be the Grand Game had become no game at all. And it was all because of Denaat.
Between one calculated moment and the next, she’d slipped. Suddenly gone weak-kneed and wobbly when his eyes turned smoky and he noticed her as a woman. Some small, winged part of her no longer saw the dome above as protection from the atmosphere, or the floors below, sealed off from the rest of the arcology, as a secluded garden. A part which lost its wings every time his gaze went cool and reminded her that it was indeed a grand game they played.
Den’s hands rested on her shoulders. His touch was light and as carefree as his voice. “All I’m hoping for is a little breathing room.” He leaned in to whisper close to her ear. “Maybe a little sweetness from my favorite princess?”
He wasn’t fooling her, even if his breath tickled her bare skin. And she wasn’t fooling herself. His hands glided down to her back where his warmth was drained away by the cold hardness of the crystals of her dress. His forehead touched hers, and to an outsider, they appeared to be sharing a moment of affection.
Shielded by the gemstones, something in her chest fluttered. That part of her was liable to land her in a choke-chain of an alliance for the rest of her life if she let it take control. Instead of hard crystal, she felt thinner than the threads weaving them together. So she squashed it ruthlessly, and stepped into the circle of his arms to meet his mouth for a kiss that promised, teased, and couldn’t deliver.
And if the warmth of his body made hers a little malleable and tingly, the solid core of her made sure to shift her body so their activities could be observed by the eyes that rested above the mouths that would report to the right ears.
Den’s grip tightened, pressing the gem-encrusted fabric into her skin, but she remained protected from the points of the gems. The carbon-silk threads were indeed as thin as thought. But strong enough to do what they were designed to do—hold it together.
Athena Grayson writes romantic fiction ranging from sci-fi romance to magical realism and contemporary fantasy. She loves to write characters who are more than they seem, and loves to play with beloved genre tropes in engaging and unique ways. She adores smart, sexy, beta heroes, and savvy heroines who aren’t afraid to demand–and get!–the best from their relationships. Find her online at athenagrayson.com, or get a free book from her private readers’ group at http://readers.athenagrayson.com/huntressOn the surface, princess Ione Ra and her friends seem to have it all. Money, power, fame. Fortunes are won and lost based on their every whim. But the fortunes are not theirs to lose. The sons and daughters of the most powerful families on Landfall have nothing but their reputations to call their own.
When the right scandal at the wrong time threatens to knock Princess Ione’s reputation into the trash can, damage control sends her after notorious gossip journalist Jaris Pulne, a thorn in her side since age twelve. For Denaat Hades, caught up in the scandal with Ione, notoriety is what he desperately needs to emerge from his father’s long shadow, but fame could expose secrets that could get him killed.
But what starts as a social scandal soon reveals that there is more at stake than her reputation. When her scandal runs afoul of the secrets of the most powerful cabal on Landfall, even her crown can’t protect her from the consequences.
Scions will be out in early 2017.
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from Santa Baby by Colleen Keehne.
Bruce Springsteen’s gravelly voice singing about Santa Claus coming to town streamed from the jukebox in one corner of the diner. Multicolored twinkling lights covered the long bar near the back, coloring the glasses of beer and drinks that lined it. The tree at the far end of the bar was seven feet of old fashioned, symmetrical White Spruce. The colors of the dancing lights reflected in the shiny ornaments and tinsel that hung from its full branches. A silver star tree topper gave the tree a finished look. Patrons sat scattered among the tables and along the bar, eating or nursing drinks as they chatted. Rudy’s Diner was the only place to gather in the small but bustling town of Mistletoe, North Pole.
Bruce’s voice faded away, replaced by Elvis Presley lamenting his blue Christmas. The diner’s door opened as two tall, bulky men walked in, stopping inside the doorway. Both men were dressed for Mistletoe’s dry polar climate: insulated pants, down parkas with fur-trimmed hoods, boots, and gloves. Their brown eyes scanned the room, stopping a moment to give the tall, buxom blond waitress an appreciative once over. Her tight jeans and t-shirt showed off her ample curves. Turning, as if feeling their gazes on her, she grinned at them.
“Hey guys, take a seat anywhere.” She waved them in toward the open dining area. “Be with ya in a minute.” Both men watched as Kandy disappeared through the swinging doors. They shrugged out of their parkas, hanging them on the large pegboard next to the door.
Jamie, Kandy’s best friend and newest member of Rudy’s staff, looked up at the clock over the doors that led into the dining room. 7:30 p.m. “Two more hours,” she thought. All she wanted to do was go home, roll into bed, and sleep for days. Sleep had been elusive the last few weeks because of a sense that something was going to happen, she just didn’t know what. Closing her eyes, she could almost feel the coolness of her sheets as she imagined herself sliding between them. A bump from behind brought her back to the diner’s staff area.
“Hey Jamie, you OK?” Kandy asked. “Sorry about the bump girlfriend, but Rudy is yelling for you.”
“Yeah, I’m fine, just tired.” Jamie gave Kandy a small smile before she walked toward the kitchen. Stopping, she turned around and looked at Kandy. “I have this feeling that something is going to happen.”
“Happen?” Kandy asked. She had known Jamie since they were freshman roommates at the University of Oregon and had learned to take Jamie’s premonitions seriously.
“Yeah,” Jamie said, “I haven’t been sleeping. The feeling has been getting stronger each day. I think it’s going to be soon.” She shook her head, trying to dispel the overwhelming anxiety.
Kandy’s eyes grew wide. Jamie was never able to pin down what was going to happen or when with her premonitions. But, good or bad, they always came true. “Something bad?” She asked. “Soon?” She glanced toward the kitchen where Rudy bellowed for Jamie.
I don’t know,” Jamie answered, walking to the pickup counter between the serving area and the kitchen where three steaming plates waited for her.
“Jamie…orders up!” Rudy yelled from the kitchen. “Table six!”
“Rudy, I’m right here,” Jamie pointed out with a smile. “You can stop yelling.” Rudy grinned at her. He only had one volume when he was in the kitchen.
Jamie moved the plates from the pickup window to a large tray and added some condiments then headed toward table six. A shiver of anticipation raced through her body as she moved through the dining room.
Meanwhile, the two newcomers had settled in at a large round table off to one side of the diner. After sitting down, each had grabbed a menu from the stack in the middle of the table. As they looked them over, Bing Crosby’s voice crooned from the jukebox, wishing everyone a Mele Kalimaka. It was a catchy tune, and before the song was over, both men were singing along with it. A sigh drew their attention to Kandy, who stood next to the table.
“God…I’ll have that blasted song stuck in my head for the rest of the night!” she groaned, rolling her eyes at the two men’s less than stellar musical talents. “Lucas, Myles.” She nodded at each man. “What’ll it be?”
“Hey Kandy.” Myles tossed his menu down, a dimple showing as he grinned. “I’ll start with Alaskan Winter Ale.”
“Same thing for me,” Lucas muttered, still looking at the menu. “And an order of Spicy Fried Zucchini.”
Myles grimaced. “Man, you do remember what those did to you the last time you had them?” He looked at Kandy. “Gave him gas for a week. No one wanted to get near him.”
Kandy laughed, her large breasts jiggling under her tight t-shirt. Both men stared, mesmerized by the sight. A large hand reached out, slapping the back of Lucas’s head. “Hey!” Lucas protested, rubbing the spot and looking up at the tall man who had approached the table unnoticed. “What the hell Silas?”
Silas sat down with a scowl that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Dude…you know Rudy will kick your ass into next week if he catches you looking at Kandy that way.”
“Not likely, Silas,” Kandy snorted, “Then I’d be doing some ass kicking of my own. Where’s the rest of the crew?”
Silas tilted his head toward the door before dropping into an empty chair. Kandy glanced at the door as it blew open and four tall men walked in, followed by a willowy auburn-haired woman. The men were jostling each other and laughing. The woman strolled into the diner behind them, acting as if she didn’t know them. It was obvious she was a part of the group despite the distance she kept from the men. All five made their way to the table where Lucas, Myles, and Silas sat. Kandy greeted each of them by name as they pulled chairs out and sat down
“Hi Donny, Oliver, Adam, David.” The men nodded, and a chorus of hellos echoed around the table. Kandy looked at the lone woman among them. “Hi Vicky,” she said with a smile, “Things going OK?” Kandy knew that Vicky was coming off a broken relationship, and being surrounded by men could be painful for her now.
“Things are…improving,” Vicky replied. She left it at that. She tended to keep her feelings close to herself. With all male co-workers, she’d claimed it was better that way. Kandy nodded in commiseration.
“OK boys…” Kandy said. She had to speak louder to be heard over the cacophony of male voices. “You guys need some time before you order?” She pointed to Myles and Lucas. “I have two Alaskan Winter Ales and an order of Spicy Fried Zucchini.” At the mention of the fried zucchini, everyone at the table except Lucas groaned. He just grinned.
“Alaskan Winter Ale all around Kandy,” David said then continued to order for the table. “Nachos, Stuffed Mushroom Caps, and a couple orders of Cheesy Garlic Bread.” Everyone at the tabled nodded in agreement. Kandy scribbled their order on her order pad then turned toward the kitchen. As she walked away, seven pairs of eyes followed her tight, swaying ass. Vicky watched her table mates and rolled her eyes.
“Men!“ she thought then chuckled softly as Nat King Cole’s voice filled the room, singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Oh yeah, she knew of seven pairs of nuts that needed roasting.
Santa Baby Synopsis
Looking for a slower pace of living after a family tragedy had derailed her life’s plans, Jamie Winters moves to Mistletoe, North Pole at the urging of her best friend, Kandy. Even though she envy’s the love shared between Kandy and her mate Rudy, Jamie’s not looking for a romantic relationship. That changes when she literally bumps into Chris Kringle, the CEO of North Pole, Inc while waitressing at Rudy’s Diner.
Chris Kringle falls for the curvy brunette with the dark chocolate eyes the moment his eyes land on her. And when she had swayed toward him, her hands landing on her cheat, he had known she was the One. His fated mate. But his wooing of her won’t be easy. She’s human and he’s… more than human. Can she accept what Chris is? He’ll have to tread carefully to make it work between them before the menace stalking NPI and the Kringle family steals Jamie away.
Santa Baby is available now at:
About Colleen Keehne
Colleen’s debut novel was published in October 2016. It took her a year and half to accomplish this feat. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and holds down a full-time job. Throw into that mix two very spoiled cats and about 60 fish and you can see why it took so long. You can learn more about Coleen via her Amazon Author Page, her Author Page or her Goodreads Author Page.
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from Claimed by Lee-Ann Wallace.
NOTE: This excerpt is PG-13.Paxar went still behind her, and his humming ceased with a gasp. Tina whipped her head around to see a male taking up the entire wide doorway of the shop with his body and wings.
Her breath caught in her throat as her stomach did flip flops. Not a single sound, no movement, no talking came from behind her. The tension level in the shop rose as Tina stared at the male.
Oh, my. Wow, talk about stunning. She let her gaze travel over the male, taking in his wide shoulders and thick arms. He could squeeze you to death with those. A shiver shot down her spine. She’d never been with a man built like this male. He reminded her of her father, and she’d seen and had firsthand experience of what a man could do with that kind of strength. She swallowed down the lump forming in her throat.
He had the thickly muscled body of a warrior, even sported a breastplate, and had a variety of weapons strapped to his hips and thighs, cinching the garment he wore on his lower body tight. Who was he?
Tina let her gaze sweep back up the length of him to his corded neck and face. A face she could have found on any men’s fashion campaign on Earth, if it wasn’t for his yellow eyes with their slit pupils. A slight movement dragged her gaze from his, and she watched his deep green wings flare and snap back into position behind his back.
Oh. Oooh! So this was her male. This stunning combination of Morgathian and Human was hers. Boy, he was scrumptious enough to eat. Straight black brows sat low over his eyes and black hair spilled down the sides of his face. A long curl hung over his shoulder all the way to his waist. Tina had never liked long hair on a man, but on her mate, it was sexy as hell.
Okay, okay, sure he was gorgeous, but… he could be a complete dick. No, she already knew he was an ass. He’d bitten her and claimed her as his mate without even asking her. Definitely an ass. Tina had no time for assholes, and only time would tell if he was like her father. The fire in her gut flared. How dare he be so sexy and make her want him regardless of her feelings. Tina gritted her teeth and clenched the arms of the chair so hard her knuckles went white.
She turned away from her mate and stared into the mirror. “Cut it, Paxar.”
A low growl preceded, “If you cut her hair, I will gut you.”
Tina whipped her head around, her teeth bared in a snarl, and glared at the imposing male. His seven feet of wicked, violent masculinity posed a considerable threat to her peace of mind. He threatened her resolve to be strong with his overpowering presence, and it pissed her off royally. Stupid, arrogant male.
“You will not,” Tina said. “By your laws, I am free to do as I like until you claim me. Until you bite me a second time, I can do as I like. Now, I am going to have a haircut. Then I am going to my quarters to pack my belongings, and after, I will let you take me to your ship. You can wait outside for me, or you can wait on your ship, and I will come when I’m good and ready.”
They stared at each other for long minutes, the first of what Tina knew would be a series of battles. His bright yellow gaze bored into hers, the weight of his stare, the weight of his will trying to subdue her, but Tina refused to back down. A tiny grin lifted one corner of his lips as one sexy eyebrow rose, and humor filled his eyes, but that didn’t stop the flaring of his wings. He snapped them back in so fast they let off an audible crack.
Sexy beast. Tina barely controlled her growl of frustration. No man had the right to be so arousing that she wanted to jump him the minute she met him. Damn him.
“Then I guess I’d better claim you,” he said.
###Amazon | Extasy Books | Claimed webpage
Sometimes, dreams come true.
After fighting Earth’s government for fifty years, the Coalition has succeeded in its plan of bringing human females into space, and Tina Graham can finally live her dream. Assigned as a medic on Deranti Station, she has everything she has ever wanted until an unknown alien male rips it all away during a raid. With her dream destroyed and her life forever changed by an alien she’s only met once, Tina must fight to keep her dream alive.
Sorvar, Third Prince of Morgath, wants a mate who is different from the submissive females his people usually steal, and Tina’s just the sort of female he’s been looking for. The feisty human sets his blood on fire the minute she opens her mouth, and one bite is all it takes to claim her. But unexpected complications threaten to halt their relationship before it starts, and Tina must slay the demons from her past to have any chance at happiness with the sexy alien.
While Tina and Sorvar learn to manage the surprising results of mixing Human and Morgath genes, alien and human forces are determined to tear them apart, and steal not only their future but the future of the Morgath people.
About Lee-Ann Wallace
Lee-Ann Wallace wants to live in a world where washing folds itself, coffee’s good for you and dreams come true (at least the good ones). With one series published by eXtasy books, she’s just getting started with this thing called writing. If only her hands could type as fast as her imagination flows. When she’s not tapping away at her computer working on her next story, you can find her daydreaming about her next tattoo, watching action movies with her family, and practicing self-control, so she doesn’t one click every book on Amazon.
The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl is happy to present this excerpt from The Pain Season, Book II of the Covalent Series by Libby Doyle.
Autumnal Equinox, Chapter 1
The axial rift opened with a ripping, clattering sound that fell in on itself, like a record playing backwards. Barakiel stood near the rusted tangle of train tracks behind Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. When a dozen demons emerged from the rift he smiled with relief. No Corrupted. None of his father’s dark warriors had made it through. The demons might be sturdy and vicious, but they were dim-witted. This fight would be routine, and then he could get home to Zan. He didn’t let himself think about what might happen when he revealed himself to her. He had a battle to deal with first.
I cannot love her if I let myself be killed by demons.
The location was also a relief. Usually when the yellow-eyed beasts shot through the axial rift he had to draw them away from population. Here, regional-rail trains were passing nearby, but there were no pedestrians. And the hour suited him. The equinox had come at night, around 10:30. Even if Pellus had not been there to conceal his activities, it was unlikely the passengers would be able to see much of anything occurring so deep in the rail yard. Pellus was there, of course, to create his curtain of refracted light that would hide the battle from weak human eyes. Barakiel could depend on him.
Thank Balance this will be easy, after all that has happened.
Shortly after the demons emerged, the warrior’s relief evaporated. Instead of attacking Barakiel, a handful peeled off, running in the direction of the city streets. The others headed for the section of the yard where the passenger trains were coming and going. Barakiel froze for a second to weigh the threats, before he moved toward the trains to pursue the greater number of demons.
I hope you can conceal this imbroglio, Pellus.
The warrior was about to fall upon a demon with his sword when he saw another attempting to rip up the tracks in front of an approaching train.
What in all the realms?
The train could be derailed if the monstrous creature finished, so Barakiel sped to fling it away from the tracks. As he raised his sword to take its head, another demon ripped apart a switching station. Yet another threw chunks of corroded metal. Some pieces fell onto a set of tracks on which a train approached. The warrior killed the first beast then ran to the blocked tracks, hurrying to clear the debris before the train reached that spot. Other demons ran amok in the rail yard, destroying any structure they could see. Anxiety gripped him.
What are you trying to do to now, father? Murder innocent humans to torment me?
Coming Halloween 2016…The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series
WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, and explicit sex. Adults only, please! Although not a cliffhanger, this is not a stand-alone novel. The story began in The Passion Season and will continue in The Vengeance Season.ON THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, ZAN O’GARA’S LIFE WILL CHANGE.
Tonight’s the night. Rainer Barakiel is going to tell me all his secrets. I thought I’d be excited, but I feel like someone shoved a knife into my gut.
Heh. Fitting, considering I met Rainer because of his expertise in edged weapons. The daggers used in that ritual sacrifice turned into our best lead, thanks to him. What kind of omen is it, that I met the love of my life because someone found a human spleen in the bushes?
I didn’t expect someone like him. When he opened his door I couldn’t talk, I was so stunned. God, how I flirted with him. Hell of a way for an FBI agent to act. I didn’t want to face that he was hiding things from me.
What if he has something to do with the murder?
I’m being paranoid. He’s denied being a criminal and I believe him. I don’t see how my instincts could be so wrong. He can’t be bad. He can’t.
He’s hiding things from me, but he loves me. I feel it. Maybe he didn’t expect to fall in love with me, but he did, and now he wants out. He’s going to confess, leave it all behind. For me.
C’mon, O’Gara. Get ahold of yourself.
I wonder, after he tells me all his secrets, will this become a wacky story we love to tell? Or a story I tell only to myself, alone in a stale-smelling apartment, stewing in pain? The story of how my heart got damaged beyond repair.
Available now…The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series
WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, explicit sex, and descriptions of sexual violence. Adults only, please. Be aware, this is not a stand-alone novel. The story continues in The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series. Release date: Halloween 2016.“A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters and room for expansion.” — Kirkus Reviews
A gruesome crime brings them together. Will his secrets rip them apart?
He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic. Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to keep the elemental forces of Creation and Destruction in Balance. The Covalent Council exiled Barakiel to the Earthly Realm as the price of the treachery of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against it. Lucifer also relentlessly pursues his son. The Council thinks Lucifer views his son’s power as a threat, but Barakiel knows his father seeks to destroy even the memory of love.
She is Alexandra O’Gara. FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk. Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never encountered anyone like the stunning Rainer Barakiel. Zan believes Barakiel is a wealthy businessman with expertise in edged weapons who can help her with a case. From the moment she meets him she wants him more than she’s ever wanted anything, but her intense attraction frightens her as much as it thrills her.
This is their love story. As Zan’s deepening feelings for Barakiel lead her to confront her emotional damage, he struggles to meet the demands of his home world so he will be free to love her, and to reveal his true nature. Through the gruesome crime that first brought Zan to his door, Barakiel learns that his presence in the Earthly Realm has placed some of its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as Zan rescues him from centuries of a deadened heart.
The Passion Season (enrolled in KDP Select until Oct. 30) via Amazon.
Libby Doyle is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.
Writing novels is Libby’s latest adventure in a life that has been filled with them. She knows she’s a lucky woman, to have so many memories that feed her imagination.
She’s stood atop a hill in Connemara in a cold wind, watching sunlight sparkle off the pristine sea below. She’s crested a trail after a grueling hike to find the glory of the Continental Divide spread before her. She’s been followed by a howler monkey in a Mexican jungle, shared the midday meal with Buddhist monks in Korea, and been pummeled by an opponent in a martial arts test in Japan. She’s trekked for days among the Himalayas, mountains so high and timeless they made her feel completely insignificant, a wonderful feeling.
She’s married to a man who is funny and kind and patient enough to listen to her chatter on about her characters. Libby feels like they’re her friends. She’s confident they’ll keep you entertained. Through her fanciful tales, she hopes they speak to you.
Ways to Connect with Libby Doyle:
- Website: http://libbydoyle.com
- Blog: http://libbydoyle.com/blog.html
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecovalent/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/libbydoylewriter/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LibbyDoyle9
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01CUPIZOU
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/libbydoyle
- Pinterest: https://goo.gl/QCUsGO
- You Tube Channel: https://goo.gl/6UeUKD
- Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/bWvvi9