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Guest Post: The Challenges of Writing Short Stories

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

Thanks again Veronica for being a guest blogger today!

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

The Challenges of Writing Short Stories by Veronica Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak!

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

Star Cruise: Stowaway: Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
Star Cruise: Rescue: When a shore leave excursion goes terribly wrong for Mira Gage, a member of the Nebula Zephyr’s crew, Security Officer Clint Miltan races the clock to find her before the ship leaves orbit and abandons Mira to her fate. Clint’s got more than a professional interest in Mira, but will he be able to save her from the aliens holding her prisoner?
The Golden Token: Sectors Special Forces operator Charlie McBrire had a few days to kill on a layover at Space Station 47. He never expected to find himself in the middle of a miners’ rebellion, fighting to save the life of a casino dancer he just met but can’t imagine living without.

Author Veronica Scott

Author Veronica Scott

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

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

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

Interview with a Fangirl: Corrina Lawson

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview author, blogger and, of course, fangirl, Corrina Lawson. I met Corrina through the SFR Brigade, which is a group of Science Fiction Romance Creators/Editors and of course through her articles on GeekMom.com.

Welcome Corrina to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions!

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

It was a long progression for me because when I grew up, being a fangirl was something to be avoided. Boys were the geeks, girls were supposed to not like stuff like comics, SF/F sports, etc. I realized early that I was different but was tagged instead as a “tomboy.”

It wasn’t until I had kids and started to write for GeekDad and then founded GeekMom.com that I realized what a total fangirl I was and owned the “geek” part of me.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

Social media has connected me to everyone in my fiction and non-fiction writing career. The first site I wrote for, Sequentialtart.com, asked me to join the staff because of something I wrote on their forums. (Predictably, it was a rant.) And all my fiction writing friends live far away. Without social media, I’d never have met my first critique partner, all the people in the Romance Writers of America, my writing mentor, Jennifer Crusie, and my current writing friends.

Without social media, I wouldn’t even *have* a career.

That said, there’s an ugly side to social media. I’ve been threatened with physical harm and had plenty of insults tossed my way. I’m generally able to ignore them. Perhaps it’s my reporting background.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

I saw Star Wars first in a theater. Confession: it was the first release and I was 11 at the time. 🙂 I loved it right away but it didn’t have the impact on me that seeing original Star Trek reruns did. Besides, I’d gone to see Star Wars because I was already addicted to SF/F. It increased my love of the genre but didn’t start it.

What have you learned from the Star Wars or other fan community that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’m mostly immersed in the superhero comics community and I’ve met so many great people, from readers to creators, and ended up even moderating Gail Simone’s forums. They’ve been so supportive, especially meeting other women who loved comics like me. I thought I was alone.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Let’s see: Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones (books), Batman/Gotham comics, Marvel heroes, Sherlock Holmes, any and all writing craft stuff, 1980s songs, Lois Lane, classic movies, Nora Robert’s J.D. Robb In Death series, Wonder Woman, loose tea blends….I get geeky about a lot of stuff.

But you can see the Sherlock Holmes influence in my steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, and the X-Men influence in the Phoenix Institute superhero series.

Oh, and the English Plantagenets. I had the Plantagenet Chronicles by Thomas Costain growing up and ended up memorizing the entire English royal line from William I to Elizabeth II. However, my favorite historical figure isn’t one of the kings, it’s William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, the greatest knight of the Middle Ages. (So fun that I managed to write him into one of my books, Ghost Phoenix.)

And who knows what else I’ve find in the future? Right now, I’m intensely interested in Columbo reruns. I’ve been DVRing them off the Hallmark HD channel and watching. What a master class in mystery writing and Peter Falk is adorable.

Thank you again Corrina for this interview and letting us get to know you better.

***
Corrina Lawson is a former newspaper reporter with a degree in journalism from Boston University. A mom of four, she now works from home writing romance novels with a geeky twist and as the Content Director and co-founder of GeekMom.com. You can connect with her through her articles on GeekMom.com, her website, www.corrina-lawson.com, Facebook Page and of course on Twitter: @CorrinaLawson.
***


Curse of the Brimstone Contract is available on Amazon.com

Excerpt from Saving Grace

It is my pleasure to share with you an excerpt from Saving Grace, the fourth story in the Amazing Grace series by author Misa Buckley.

Emery put his mug down. “Okay, so what now? We are gonna go get her out of there, right?”

Cupping his drink in his hands, Benedict considered the situation. Just the thought of Grace at Hammel, subjected to their horrific tests, made his blood run cold. Emery was right- they had to get her out. But that meant going in there himself, and he wasn’t sure he could. It wasn’t what they’d done to him, but what they’d made him do to others. He’d killed someone. Her name had been Eloise Suarez, and he’d burnt out her mind. And she was who he remembered killing–there was a good chance that there were others he couldn’t.

That he didn’t want to remember.

Shaking his head, he spoke in a low voice. “I can’t go into Hammel.”

Emery sat straighter. “What do you mean, can’t? You did it before.”

“And look where that got us!” Benedict took a breath and raked a hand through his hair. “I want Grace back. But if they have her, then they’ll be expecting a rescue attempt. They have a suppression field that dampens abilities. Not even I’m strong enough to counteract it. The only person who’s been able to manage that is Grace.”

“And she’s in a tank,” Charity said.

The thought made Benedict ill. “Yes.”

“We have to do something,” Emery stated.

“Don’t you think I know that? I know what they’ll do to her, what they’re probably already doing. Do you imagine I’d be sitting here if I’d any idea of how to get her out?” Benedict glared at the other man, frustration mingling with guilt. He wanted to act, but so had Grace and look where that had gotten her. “I’m no coward, Emery. But Hammel turned me into a weapon and I will not allow them to do so again. You know what they made me do. Now consider that used against you or Charity.”

 

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With Grace held at Hammel, it’s down to her lover Benedict Thomas and the other “abnormals” he and Grace rescued to return the favour. Yet going back to the institute holds a special danger for Benedict – it was there that his powers were used to “train” others… and to kill those who didn’t make the grade.

Facing the nightmare of his past is one thing, but there is another that worries him even more: that he is playing right into the hands of the enemy.

You can purchase the story from the following retail outlets:

Champagne
Kindle
AllRomance

You can learn more about Misa and her writing by visiting her website or you can follow her on Twitter!

Cover Reveal: Grace Falls

It is my pleasure to reveal the cover of Grace Falls, the fourth story in the Amazing Grace series by author Misa Buckley.

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Blurb: “Having learned that Global Solutions has a space rocket facility, Grace McKenna and Benedict Thomas race to stop the launch in the belief there’s a bomb. But the launch goes ahead without issue, making Grace wonder what she’s missed.

When fellow “abnormal” Charity points out the rocket launched is an attempt to control the rain cycle, Benedict surmises that there’s something being added to the water. Going against his wishes, Grace heads to Hammel, determined to get the answers.

However, the main one, of who is behind the scheme, is waiting for her… and his plans are darker than Grace could ever imagine.”

Grace Falls is the fourth story in the Amazing Grace series, and is released 1st December 2014 through Champagne Books.

Fanfiction Pros & Cons from SFR Brigade Members

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Last month, I asked the members of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade to get their opinion on the following question:

What do you see are the pros and cons of Fanfiction as writers?

The members of the SFR Brigade are published or aspiring writers and editors and I received some interesting answers of this topic from this point of view. Today, I am sharing some of these opinions:

From Deborah A Bailey, author of Hathor Legacy: Outcast

I wrote Trek fanfic back in the day and I submitted stories to the Strange New Worlds contest. For me the pro was being able to workshop stories with other writers and get immediate feedback from readers. That helped me to improve as a writer as I went along.

One con was that when you write fanfic, the fans already know the characters. So even though you’re adding your own spin to the canon, they still may have strong ideas of how they expect those characters to behave. But that created a lot of discussion as well, so maybe it wasn’t really a bad thing.

From AR DeClerck, author of Between, A Keyholder Series Book

I believe anyone should be able to write anything they choose. If fanfic is the way that a person wants to express themselves then its great, and maybe they will gain the confidence to really put their own books out there at some point… Fanfic is a good way for budding writers to explore writing 🙂

From Corrina Lawson, Writer, Mom, Geek & Superhero

When I first started writing fiction again, it was because a site was having a fanfic round table and I thought it would be fun. It absolutely got me started writing original stories once more. I see no problem with it. It’s a compliment, though I’d never read any fanfic of my own stories for legal reasons.

From Rachel Leigh Smith, author of My Name is A’Yen, coming in September 2014

I learned how to put together a full story by writing fan fiction. Hardy Boys to be specific, and then I later dabbled in Thoroughbred. Fan fic took me from dreaming about being a writer to actually BEING a writer.

I’m not sure I’d have decided to join any writing organizations and invest money in conferences and learning how to write, if I hadn’t already discovered–through fan fic–how much I loved putting stories together.

From Greta Van der Rol, author of A Matter of Trust

I started with fan fiction. I learned how to craft a story – not very well, mind. But I got a taste without having to flesh out characters and settings because they already existed.

From C.E. Kilgore, Author of Ghost In The Machine

I started writing fanfiction back in high school. It was a good avenue for stretching my creative wings. Although there are certainly some questions on quality, I can’t fault a way in which people (usually young adults) are able to express themselves, explore their creative side and encourage writing and reading in others.

From Author Lyra Torres, who is still on her journey to publication:

I told fanfiction Nightmare on Elm Street stories with my friends. Mostly the people we hated would get killed in creative ways by Freddy Kreuger. It was extremely cathartic. We didn’t write any of it down but then we were about 10 and had to stay outside all day. It passed a lot of time. I’m showing my age now aren’t I?

From Melisse Aires, author of Starlander’s Myth

I wrote Buffy fanfic years ago and had so much fun. Also read quite a bit of Harry Potter fanfic. Some fanfic is very, very good. After a while you get good at spotting a bad one in a page or two. Calibre has a downloader to put epubs or mobi on your eareader. I’ll down loader twenty and delete as I go, keep the ones I want to read. But, no $ invested, unlike buying a new author.

And finally, a simple and heartfelt statement by author, Misa Buckley

I wouldn’t be as far on in my career without fanfiction. I might not even be published.

So, what do you see are the pros and cons of fanfiction?

Do you agree or disagree with these opinions?

IMG_1917.PNG image via here

Science Fiction Romance Collection: Nebula Nights on Sale

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Great news for lovers of Science Fiction Romance, Nebula Nights, a collection of 11 amazing sci-fi romance stories from best selling and award winning authors including two authors interviewed here, CE Kilgore and Greta Van der Rol is on sale right now for $.99 at the following online retailers:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.com

Below is a summary of what is included in this anthology:

Her Cyborg Awakes by Melisse Aires
Her gentle cyborg servant helped her escape violence–but now he’s changed into a warrior! Is he safe?

Removed (The Nogiku Series, #1) by SJ Pajonas
In this Japan-inspired tale, one woman’s family destiny is key to the survival of the last city on Earth.

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. by PK Hrezo (Normally $2.99)
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Noelle In His Heart by C.E. Kilgore (Normally $2.99)
Noelle wishes for someone who understands she has love to give but commitments to honor. Stranded on Earth, Steve longs for someone who will understand that his alien heart can love just as deeply.

Stark Pleasure; by Cathryn Cade (Normally $3.99)
Kiri te Nawa survives the perils of the galaxy on her wits … although when it comes to space magnate Logan Stark, she’d rather use her body.
But can she trust him with her secrets?

Birth of an Empire: The Beginning by Catrina Taylor
Three former genetic experiments chose peace over war in a sector that’s known only war for a century. As each one squares against their governments they will question the experiences that guide them.

Escape From Zulaire by Veronica Scott (Normally $2.99)
When the planet erupts into war, Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane must decide whether to save Andi Markriss, the intergalactic businesswoman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Solia’s Moon by Lyn Brittan (Normally $2.99)
SFR Galaxy Award Winner! When Dr. Solia uncovers her company’s foray into creating humanoid life, she enlists the help of her handsome ex, Sheriff Sable, in bringing a little justice to the universe.

The Key by Pauline Baird Jones (Normally $4.99)
Her orders are simple: do the impossible and do it yesterday. But this time the impossible might actually be impossible. The only way it could get worse? If her heart starts beating for the wrong guy.

The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy by Greta van der Rol (Normally $3.99)
The Galaxy teeters on the brink of war. Can ex-admiral Saahren persuade the woman who hates him to help him prevent the coming conflagration? And perhaps even love him?

Mirror Image by KG Stutts (Normally $2.99!)
Maddie’s entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone. Now she must work with her counterpart to protect Earth.

Tales from the SFR Brigade, #SFRBAntho

It has been one year since the publication of ‘Tales from the SFR Brigade’ that I had a small part in helping with. If you have not checked out this fantastic sampling of science fiction romance stories, then check out the expanded description below!

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Experience love and adventure among the stars in ‘Tales from the SFR Brigade,’ a free digital anthology of eight Science Fiction Romance stories.

    A space captain discovers the cyborg she loves just might be her greatest enemy.
    A mind-wiped prostitute risks all when she recruits a dangerous stranger to help her escape a terrible fate.
    A prisoner-of-war confronts the comrade who loved her, then left her for dead.
    A space-obsessed physics teacher is kidnapped by a far-too-charming alien.
    An apocalypse survivor battles the biomech-enhanced hunter who seeks to capture her.
    A young artist must choose between her comfortable life on Earth or a war-torn space colony with her beloved.
    A daring thief is on the run from the alien law man who is determined to bring her to justice
    A widowed rebel leader tries to save the last remnants of humanity, one stranger at a time.

From Earth to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, explore the worlds of Science Fiction Romance with stories from Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Erica Hayes, Liana Brooks, Pippa Jay, Berinn Rae, Amy Laurens, and Kyndra Hatch.

Note – This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Download ‘Sci-Fi Romance Brigade Anthology’ for free today from various ebook retail outlets!

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You can find out more about the SFR Brigade and the members by…

SFR Brigade’s 3rd annual Midsummer Blog Hop

Today is the first day of Summer and this means that it is the beginning of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop!

As you might have noticed from my recent posts, I am an active member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and I would like to invite you to take this opportunity to visit some of my fellow SFRBrigade members and find out about them and their stories! The blog hop offers you the opportunity to enter and win some stellar prizes including a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 41 ebooks from members of the SF Romance Brigade including the Anthology I helped with last year!

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You can visit each of the authors, who are participating in the blog hop, some of these have been featured here. Not only can you enter to win one of the Blog hop prizes, but maybe find your next favorite SFR story as well!

So what are you waiting for? Let the blog hopping begin!!

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Cover Reveal and Excerpt for ‘Tethered’

It is my honor to reveal the cover for Tethered, a science fiction romance novella, coming from Breathless Press 25th July, by author, friend (full disclosure) AND fellow Fangirl, Pippa Jay!

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She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Excerpt:

A thrill of excitement shivered down her spine as she backed away a few steps with Zander following. He shrugged off his formal outer robes, and for the first time she could appreciate the broad expanse of his chest, the close-fitting fabric stretched over well-defined muscles. It appeared he hadn’t allowed his physique to slacken, despite leaving the Galactic Commission.

“Are you ready?” she asked.

Zander spread his hands in an open gesture to say that he was.

So why is he just standing there like a defunct Manikin instead of poised to fight?

Tyree took her combat position and Zander matched her, just as the Manikin had done. She’d never fought a human in combat practice before. This should be interesting.

She sprang forward and aimed two rapid punches at his face. Zander evaded both with a speed and grace totally out of proportion to his bulk. Her third he blocked with little effort, and she stepped back to reassess her strategy. But only for an instant.

A quick step forward and she lashed upward with her foot, snapping his head back. Zander staggered but didn’t fall. Her second kick failed as he grabbed her ankle and jerked her off balance. She twisted as she dropped and caught him hard in the knee. Zander collapsed. Both rolled aside, and then jumped up to face each other again.

Not bad.

Tyree bit back a laugh as they exchanged blows, each faster than the last. Zander blocked or evaded most, but not all. His skill almost matched hers, yet his defenses were just a fraction too slow. Each move she made tested his reach, his reflexes and his stamina until she could sense him struggling a little.

Time for the kill.

She floored him with a kick to the chest, the full weight of her augmented density behind it, but as she moved in to finish the fight he dove into her. Tyree landed on her back hard enough to drive the breath from her lungs.

Zander had her pinned to the ground. She bucked but couldn’t shift him. The triumphant smile on his face sent rage blazing through her gut. With hardly a whisper, she Misted out and went through him. Golden warmth filled her for a second before she pulled free. Zander pushed to his feet and spun to meet her, but she cranked up her molecular density and punched him hard in the chest. He collapsed, gasping and coughing. In one fluid movement she sat astride him at full density, and the air whumphed out of his lungs. She pinioned his arms with her hands, her face hovering mere centimeters above his.

As her breathing slowed to normal, a huge grin split her face. She’d made a vow to herself to jump him, and she’d done it. Perhaps it was childish, but it warmed her heart.

“Your…reputation…is well deserved,” he gasped.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” she complimented him. He’d fought well, but perhaps not quite with the determination—and certainly not the desperation—of most opponents she’d faced. “For a human.”

“Thank you. Perhaps we could try this again tomorrow?”

Tyree laughed. As much as he could irritate the hell out of her, he was equally amusing. “If you want to spend most of your morning on the floor…”

He gazed up at her with that easy smile, making no effort to struggle. Most humans, without the influence of her pheromones and the distraction of her naked body writhing above theirs, would not have been so trusting. So compliant. She found herself staring at his mouth. What would it be like to kiss him, without the use of her talents? Would it be as satisfying? As sensual? The warmth of him, the firmness of his body beneath hers, sent heat spiraling through her abdomen.

“Perhaps you could let me up now?” His words jerked her from such musings. What the hell was she thinking?

You can add Tethered to your Goodreads shelf HERE. You can also sign up to her no-spam newsletter HERE to get early sneak peeks at covers, and news of the latest releases, giveaways and contest.

Pippa Jay’s bio:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, like I am, she blogs at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Guest on Weird Romantics Podcast

I had the honor of being a guest on Weird Romantics this week.

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What is Weird Romantics?

Weird Romantics is a group for lovers of romance that’s a little (or a lot!) odd. Our mission is to provide authors with resources and support, and readers with new fiction.

So what classes as “weird romance”? Well, basically anything that doesn’t fit under the “contemporary romance” banner. That includes:

    science fiction
    paranormal
    gothic/horror
    ‘punk genres
    urban fantasy

Stories need to be romance plus genre, or genre with a strong romantic sub-plot. They can be YA, NA, or adult, including erotic romance/erotica. Authors/readers of LGBT* stories are extremely welcome.

Check out my guest appearance on this episode of Weird Romantics!

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