Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meet Dawn Ireland, Historical Romance Author #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 7 comments

Meet Dawn Ireland, fellow writer, actor, and lover of time travel. Her latest book,  Highland Yearning features a modern time traveling lass, so of course, I wanted her to be on the blog. At the end of the interview. Dawn's giving away either a copy of The Perfect Duke or Love's Guardian  -Reader's choice. These are Georgian Romances, one of my favorite historical periods.
Dawn, please tell us a little about yourself.
My family says I have too many interests, but the world fascinates me. I love giving my characters talents I don’t have. For instance, I can throw a wad of paper at a wastebasket and miss it 8 out of 10 times, so in Love’s Guardian my heroine throws knives and she’s darn good. (I had to go into a knife shop and ask questions. My husband didn’t want me experimenting with sharp objects.)
Great idea to give your heroines talents you don't possess. It makes your writing life more interesting.
My husband and I live in a big, old, Victorian home in Upstate New York with our two cats, Greystoke (Yes, he’s named after Tarzan. He’s a climber. I have to tie up the Christmas tree) and Carmella.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I have so many, and for different reasons. Jude Deveraux’s Knight in Shining Armor is one of my favorite time travel stories. I loved the resourcefulness of the heroine. Karen Robards has a ghost/suspense romance series that has grabbed me. It starts with The Last Victim. Who would have thought I’d be enamored of a smart aleck ghost who is/was a convicted serial killer? And Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series has me wishing werewolves really did exist. As you can tell, even though I write some straight historicals, when it comes to my Highland stories and my personal reading, I enjoy touches of magic. Now you've gotten me interested in two series I didn't know about.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I’d have to say singing/acting. The role I enjoyed the most was Anna in The King and I. Those of you who know the show realize that Anna is the lead, and a very demanding role, but there is so much I love about that musical: the costumes, music, and story.
 I knew I was auditioning for the role, and I wanted it so much I made the ball gown before I was given the part. Have you ever tried to fit ten yards of material onto a bodice? I had to box-pleat the box-pleats in order to make it fit, and I bought an extra wide hoop, but it was worth the effort.
Wow. Demanding role, indeed. The King and I was the first musical I saw on Broadway. I was nine. Actually, I love costuming and I know the difficulty of fitting that much material into a waistband.It's right up there with puffed sleeved. I made my own costume for Lady Windemere's Fan at The Knightsbridge Theatre in Los Angeles. Oh, my. 1893. Huge skirt and puffed sleeves.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Even though most writers were at one time avid readers, it doesn’t mean they know how to craft a story. When we read, we generally don’t pay attention to structure, description, conflict, etc. I’d been reading for years, but when I wrote my first story, I ended up “telling” what happened. So, I highly recommend writing classes, conferences and critique groups. Once you understand the basics, your writing “voice” will shine.

What genre or genres do you write?
I write historicals set in Georgian England because society in the late 1700s had all kinds of rules that my characters enjoy breaking. My Georgian books are straight historicals, but my Highland stories all contain a touch of magic.

Tell us about Highland Yearning.
Highland Yearning is my newest release. It’s a time-travel romance, and the first book I’ve done with a dog. Scruffy is quite the character. Even though he never speaks, I think the readers won’t doubt how he feels about people in the story, especially Caden, the hero.

Speaking of poor Caden, I give him quite the dilemma. How can he tell his brother not to marry one of the black-hearted Sutherlands, when he’s falling for the Sutherland who just popped into his century? 

 Blurb:
Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alone marry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own? 
Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?
Yup. Definitely sounds like my kind of read.
Highland Yearning-Excerpt

Caden turned to his cousin. “We’ll search the windows above. By now the coward has fled, but we may yet find something to unmask our would-be assassin. Then we’ll attend to your urgent matter.”

He drew Ariel aside far enough that Ian couldn’t hear them. His expression screamed, I’d rather fight a dozen well-armed warriors than be in debt to a Sutherland. “Thank you for . . .” He simply stared at her.

“Saving your life?” She waited. Nothing. “Kissing you?” She raised her eyebrows. “Just trying to fill in the blank here.”

He blanched, but then heat filled his eyes. “Aye.”

“Well, one of us had to take the bull by the horns.” Okay, best not to dwell on that image. “I mean, I was curious. I wanted to kiss you. No big deal. It was just a kiss.”

“Aye.”

“Will you stop agreeing with me.”

His smile was genuine and she felt it to the tips of her toes. Good heavens, the man had charisma.

“I’ve nae had a woman who wanted me to disagree with her.”

“Well, I’m not like most women.” That was true enough. She’d never done the ‘let’s talk about boys, clothes and makeup thing’ with a group of girls. Somehow, she’d never fit in.

He smiled down at her. “Aye.”

“There you go, agreeing again.”

“Perhaps it’s because you make yourself so agreeable.”

She couldn’t contain the laughter that burst from her lips. “Really?” The word came out between gasps. “Oh, I wish you could have been there to tell my teachers. Not that they’d believe you. They thought I questioned everything.”

“Then they didn’t ken you.” His brows drew together. “I believe the stone was meant for me, but just in case, I want you to take care.

Her laughter died. “Why would anyone want to kill me?”

“Have you offended anyone aside from Ranald, the Countess or Robertson since I met you?”

“I don’t-So, I speak my mind. Is there a law against that in this century?”

“No. And I prefer plain speaking, but I’m nae most men.”

“No, you’re not.”

What’s your current WIP?
At the moment I’m working on one of my Georgian series. Lord Morgan appeared in Love’s Guardian and The Perfect Duke, so it was time for him to have his own story. Morgan’s Folly is dark compared to Highland Yearning. The hero is a man who’s dedicated his life to saving those preyed upon by the nobility. My heroine is a woman, Morgan believes, that has done the unforgivable.

And finally, where can we find you?
 www.Dawn-Ireland.com You really should go there, friends. She has a gorgeous Website. 

Thank you for being here. Dawn is I’m giving away an e-book of Love's Guardian or The Perfect Duke  Winner’s choice. Just visit her website and leave a message in the contact box. Tell her your favorite type of hero: Alpha or Beta?
Or, if you are allergic to leaving your name and address, Enter the Rafflecopter below. But really, it's such a pretty website. Happy Week. Happy Reading.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Meet New Adult Paranormal Romance Author Christine Hart #giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment
Christine Hart is a Canadian author who writes New Adult, which is a fairly new field, And she lives in one of my favorite places. I love British Columbia. Our family spent time in Vancouver when my wasband was filming Who's Harry Crumb and People Across the Lake. There were so many child oriented adventure in the city. On weekends we left the city to explore.  But I digress.  Christine, please tell us a little about yourself.
This one is always hard to answer. Should I talk about where I came from (Edmonton and BC’s Okanagan Valley) or should I tell everyone about my start in non-fiction writing articles, ads, and press releases?

It’s probably more interesting if I skip to right now. I live on the West Coast, specifically Langley, BC. I work from home with two adorable and active toddlers underfoot – which functions exactly like you think it does (99% #nightwriting).

At the moment, I’m working tirelessly to get the word out about my new Paranormal Romance trilogy The Variant Conspiracy
Book 1, In Irina’s Cards came out May 4th of this year. Book 2, The Compendium was just released July 13th. And Book 3, Terra Nova comes out September 14th. It’s been a wild year so far and I can’t wait to share the rest of this story!
 
Tell us about The Compendium.
The Compendium is the second book of a paranormal sci-fi romance trilogy for new adults. It’s called The Variant Conspiracy. In Book 1, In Irina’s Cards, my heroine uncovers a plot to essentially remake the world resulting in a planet uninhabitable for anyone but the genetic ‘variants’ who are part of her newfound subculture. Book 2 takes the story on the road as my heroine and her friends pursue a terrifying threat to life as we know it.
Here’s the blurb for The Compendium:

Irina and her renegade variant friends are scrambling to pick up the trail of their former employer, Ivan, and his globally catastrophic scheme. After strategically sharing their story with the media, the group heads south from Vancouver to Seattle hoping to recruit more experienced – and lethal – variants to their cause.

Their attention develops a laser focus on an engineered disaster mere days ahead of them. Ivan is using what staff and resources remain of Innoviro Industries to set off a violent earthquake in San Francisco. While they fight to stop the earthquake, Irina pushes the love of her life Jonah as far away as she can, trying to keep his unstable genetic degradation in check.

Irina’s friends think they’ve seen the worst that Innoviro could bring forth by the time they reach a secret facility in the Mojave Desert. As they near the property, the group uncovers a horror none of them had ever imagined.


What do you think makes a good story?
Above all, I think a story needs a rollercoaster plot. From there, relatable and likeable characters are critical, along with villains you love to hate. When I shape my story ideas – both novels and shorts – I think about the stories and characters from my favourite authors that really stuck with me over the years. Who are those favourite authors? To name just a few, I’ll start with contemporary authors like Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King. Going back a bit farther, I love John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft. Although my personal list of amazing writers is miles longer, those are the really recognizable names that top my picks for master story-crafters.


What motivated you to start writing fiction?
Writing fiction wasn’t such a huge leap for me. I’ve been a writer most of my adult life. I started out publishing in student newspapers at the University of Victoria and working for different university offices while completing my BA in English and Professional Writing. Once I started taking writing courses, I figured out pretty quickly that journalism wasn’t my thing, so I focused on communications instead and as a result I’ve worked a variety of jobs in the corporate world. But it wasn’t fulfilling. I loved to write, but something was missing.

I finally gave fiction a try in my mid-twenties, experimenting with children’s picture books and short stories before I hit my stride writing young adult. My first few novel ideas started as nostalgia for growing up in the Okanagan. My YA titles mostly explored my personal experiences and stories from the periphery of my life.

When developing The Variant Conspiracy, I realized some of the themes and plots I wanted to explore were more mature than most young adult publishers would tackle. I started considering the new adult market. In Canada the ‘new adult’ category is still being incorporated into the publishing landscape, so the opportunities up here are slim. Fortunately I found an amazing home for The Variant Conspiracy at NY-based Soul Mate Publishing.

 How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I have an interesting relationship with writer’s block. I simply don’t allow it. I push myself to write, even if it isn’t flowing or thrilling me in the moment. If I’m going to get a chapter done on a particular day, that’s what happens. I’ve written with an infant strapped to my chest. I’ve written bleary-eyed until midnight. When it comes to deadlines, even those I set for myself, I’m my own hardest taskmaster.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
When I’m not working, writing fiction, or chasing children, I break stuff to make stuff. I take apart watches, computers, electronics, and vintage jewelry to create new wearable art. It sounds odd and it is, but I’ve had so much fun turning trash into treasure, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. My Etsy alter-ego is Sleepless Storyteller, a steampunk and industrial obsessed butterfly enthusiast.
  
And finally, where can we find  you?


Thank you so much for being here, Christine. Christine is giving away the first book in The Variant Conspiracy seriesIn Irina’s Cards
Enter below. Happy reading!
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Making an Anthology #giveaway Summer Sizzle

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments


My Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, Los Angeles Romance Writers (LARA) just released a short story collection called Summer Sizzle.
Personally, there are times when a short story fits my reading time. And romance collections suit my heart. 
LARA is going to sizzle up your summer by giving away a copy to one lucky reader. Summer Sizzle is available across all platforms, so you can let me know which eform you want.
I asked Beverly Diehl, the anthology coordinator some questions.
First why would a RWA chapter do an anthology?
Well, that ship had already sailed; LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors) had already put out an anthology, Five Minute Love Stories. So the 2015 LARA Board of Directors decided that we would do not one more, but two, so that we could offer a boxed set of three, and each collection individually. Oooh. That sounds good.
That's the sales side; creating a revenue stream helps the chapter financially, promotes the chapter as a whole, the individual authors, and the romance genre in general.
More importantly, it creates a bridge for newbie and intermediate authors to have the challenge of writing stories "to order," dealing with edits, promotion, and a taste of the entire professional writing experience. And it gives them something they've written they can hand to Aunt Mildred. (If Aunt Mildred likes steamy romance, that is.)
 Samanthe Beck, Roz Lee, Charlene Sands and Lynne Marshall are best-selling authors, Why would a multi-published author participate in a project like this?
On the self-promotion side, because so many great professionally published authors from other genres are included, it offers the opportunity to pick up new fans from those of other authors. It offers a home for stories they might want to tell, that don't fit in the lines or series they're currently working on. It offers a chance to stretch their writing muscles; writing a short story is different from a novella from a novel from a series.

Finally, it's a great way to pay it forward, to a chapter that has offered support and encouragement for years, for many of them, in their journey to becoming or succeeding as professional writers. Lovely reason!

What did you learn as anthology coordinator?
I'm glad you asked (okay, you didn't ask, but I wanted to answer this.  Oh, please do. I should have asked.
1) Writers write procrastinate. Deadlines, reminders, and harassment encouragement are necessary to get stories in – and most of the ones in this collection came in at the last minute. We went from wondering if we were going to have to cancel the project, to having an abundance of wonderful stories.
2) There are a lot of moving parts to creating an anthology like this. We needed volunteers to check the anthology submission box, to handle sending the stories out to judges, to coordinate getting them back from judges. We needed people to help us find professional cover artists (John Phan designed ours, and I love it!), and professional editors (Mackenzie Walton, who did a tremendous job). The 2015-2016 LARA boards saw to it our professionals were paid, got our ISBN's purchased, and helped create a marketing plan for our newbie authors to learn how to promote this work. That is awesome!
Other members wrote blurbs for Amazon, did the interior design and uploading to the many sites where Summer Sizzle is available for purchase. And I know I am forgetting some of the many tasks here.
Basically, everyone in the chapter helped in some way. (Or else they moved too fast for me to snag 'em.)
So I won't list them all by name here, it's in the acknowledgments section. But Summer Sizzle, and the upcoming anthology, Holiday Ever After, are definitely "It Takes a Chapter" projects.
3) I am blessed to be a member of a chapter of RWA® with some amazingly talented authors who write delightful stories. Here's a sample of our log lines:

Get swept away in this summer, love-at-first-sight fantasy every single girl dreams of in Roz Lee's Summer League!

In Shelby Ellis' Under the Light of a Thousand Stars, when Keeley was sixteen she vowed to spend every summer of her life on the island, but that was #BeforeTannerBuchanan broke her heart. How will she find her way back?

Can a blindfolded Ravannah learn to follow her sexy ballroom dance instructor in Tonya Plank's Lead Me?

In Karen Ehrenberg's Snooze You Lose, love and sparks fly when kismet is given a push for two headstrong journalists and surf junkies.

In The Shore Thing by Charlene Sands.Evie Marigold is protecting her heart and her livelihood, but sexy surfer/entrepreneur Ian Sterling threatens to steal them both on the Pacific sands 

In Lynne Marshall's Something Borrowed, Something New, it's the wedding catering staff who are star-crossed lovers. Can these hard-working immigrants find a happily ever after despite coming from families who are traditional enemies?

Take one stranded actress with a secret, a small town veterinarian, and add a hideously ugly dog with worse manners. In Beverly Diehl's The Dog Days of Summer, can the sexy vet – and the dog – win Panick's heart before Hollywood calls her home? I am buying it for this logline.

One pretty witch trapped between Heaven and Hell, one ruthless demon after a soul, and one smitten angel willing to risk it all for love, in Ophelia Bell's Falling for Her.

In Samanthe Beck's Keeping Her Handyman, he’s giving his runaway bride a night so hot she'll beg for forever.

Spring's Summer by Kara Winters: As the summer nears its end, the goddess of Spring knows she will soon see her beloved husband Hades once more. But Hades has a few tricks up his sleeve for their reunion. 

Marla Murphy contributed two stories: Model Behavior Chad is a moonlighting paramedic modeling his hot body for a figure-drawing class. Caroline is a plus-size artist recovering from her ex-lover's fat insults. Can Chad mend her heart with his own vision of her enticing curves?

Finding Cowboy The friendly character actor, who never gets star billing, is charmed by a pretty young woman. When sparks ignite, will it be the chance for the sexy sidekick to finally get the girl?

See what I mean? And that's only some  of the twenty fabulous stories included in Summer Sizzle.

I'm happy to announce we're giving away a copy of Summer Sizzle to one lucky winner. And I will also be popping back in to answer any questions your blog readers may have about this project.

Susan, thank you so much for having me – and it's not sucking up to say how much I enjoyed Time and Forever, and am looking forward to your next book.
Thank you , Beverly. And it's not sucking up to say yours is the first story I'm going to read in Summer Sizzle. I love that logline.

Beverly Diehl writes romance, women's fiction, and gives a popular online workshop called The Business of Writing 101. Her memoir Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N Roll and a Tiara: How I Celebrated Life While Kicking Cancer's Ass will be released early in 2017. She will also be presenting two panels at CatalystCon West (Sparking communication in sexuality, activism & acceptance).  She lives in Los Angeles with her two cats, Motivation and Creativity.
Seriously? You named your cats Motivation and Creativity? You Rock! 
Okay friends, you can also leave a comment on your favorite pet name ever. 
Enter the Rafflecopter below. I'd like to point out Summer Sizzle is 2.99 on all platforms, so you could go ahead and buy it. (I did.) And give the copy you win to your Aunt Mildred. Happy reading.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Meet Veronica Scott Sci Fi Romance Author. #giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 2:30:00 AM with 4 comments
Meet Veronica Scott, multi published author, USA today Happily Ever After columnist and great human who is giving away a copy of her latest novel, Hostage To The Stars.


Veronica, please tell us a little bit more about yourself. 
I started writing at the age of seven, with a very involved tale of princesses, flying cats, winged horses and a riverboat captain as the hero. I illustrated it myself too, which probably wasn’t the best idea. (Princess with flying cat? I want to read it. Please consider rewriting it for the children's market.) I’ve since moved on to other genres and have thirteen books published. I’m a full-time author now but my day job for many years was in the business side of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which was always fun and exciting. I have two daughters, one grandson and two cats…Elvis Presley’s best friend once serenaded me…I am the very proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal…
And I’m an official Star Trek Crew Member, having read the role of a Red Shirt in the recent “City on the Edge of Forever” audiobook! I had seven words of dialog but hey, I was in a scene with Kirk and Spock!

Triple wow. I am awed by your accomplishments and the fact you made it into one of my favorite series.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book. Carina Press was doing Ancient World romances in 2011 and put out a call for submissions, so I sent in my Priestess of the Nile. Angela James called me one afternoon to tell me they wanted to acquire the book and I was so incoherent with astonishment that she finally said (nicely) something to the effect of “You did want to have this book published, right?” Of course I said yes! And that was my first book to be published.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career? Nalini Singh is my favorite author in the world and she recently told me (and kindly tweeted too!) how much she enjoyed my novel Star Cruise: Outbreak.  THAT was a moment – wow. I love Nalini Singh. To have someone whose writing you love say they love your book is a big dream of mine. I am so happy you achieved it.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? 
I love to read, watch movies, build Lego sets with my grandson, go for long walks…and spend wayyyy too much time on the social media! 
Haven't started the Lego yet. Grandson is 7 months. The rest of it is very familiar.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation? I’m pretty fortunate that I have more ideas than I have time for, but I do enjoy cruising the Southern California freeways, blasting loud rock n roll music and thinking over plot twists.

Any advice for new writers just starting out? 
Try to write every day, even if you only get a few words on the page. The more you write, the more the creativity flows and you can build on the progress you’ve made. And don’t self-edit as you go on the first draft! Just write – even if the prose is clunky when it hits the page (and mine usually is), then you have something you can work with.
What genre or genres do you write? 
I write science fiction romance set in the far future and paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt. But always romance! I’d love to write a Regency romance someday, with a waltzing Duke and a snowbound inn and a governess….and that’s as far as I ever get.
Here’s the story: He rescued her from space pirates … but can he keep them both safe from the far greater evil stalking a deserted planet?

Space travel without Kidnap & Ransom insurance? Not a good idea. University instructor and researcher Sara Bridges can’t afford it, so when pirates board her cruise liner, she’s taken captive along with the mistress of a wealthy man, and brought to a deserted planet. When a military extraction team sent to rescue the mistress refuses to take Sara too, she’s left to the mercies of a retired Special Forces soldier, along as consultant.
Reluctantly reactivated and coerced into signing up for the rescue operation to the planet Farduccir where he once was deployed, Sgt. Johnny Danver just wants to get the job done. But when the team leader leaves one captured woman behind, he breaks away to rescue her himself.
As Johnny and Sara traverse the barren landscape, heading for an abandoned base where they hope to call Sectors Command for help, they find villages destroyed by battle and stripped of all inhabitants. A lone survivor tells a horrific tale of the Sectors’ alien enemy, the Mawreg, returning after being pushed out …
Searching for evidence to give the military, Johnny is captured. He regains consciousness in a Mawreg cage–with Sara next to him. Death is preferable to what the aliens will do to them… And even if they do escape their captors, can they alert the military in time to prevent another invasion of the Sectors?
Sounds fabulous. I want to read it.
What’s your current WIP? 
I’m working on another scifi romance. It’s too soon to really talk about the plot but the hero is a Sectors Special Forces soldier and there’s going to be a lot of action ,adventure and romance. After that I’ll write another in my STAR CRUISE series, set aboard an interstellar cruise liner.

Here’s a short excerpt from Hostage To The Stars:
One minute Sara was sound asleep in her bunk in the tiny cabin on board the Star Swan and the next moment the sound of alarms jolted her into wakefulness. Sara threw on a robe and stuck her head into the corridor. “What’s happening?” she asked a passing crewman.
                “Pirates. We’re being boarded.” He looked her up and down. “You’d better get dressed, ma’am.”
                Saluting, he moved toward the gravlift.
                As she shut the portal to her cabin, she was puzzled by the calmness of the man’s demeanor. Was this a terrifying disaster, as the klaxons suggested? Or was it a routine situation and they’d be on their way shortly? She wasted no time in getting dressed, wishing she had a weapon, which was ridiculous of course because what would she – a Sectors university researcher – do with a weapon? Especially if the ship’s crew wasn’t putting up any fight. She had little of any value with her, but she took a moment to hide her ring and a bracelet, wrapped in a scarf under the bunk. She knew the cache wouldn’t escape even a perfunctory search but the jewelry had sentimental value. Why not at least try to outsmart the pirates, if the bastards were greedy enough to search even her closet-size cabin?
                “All passengers and crew will report to the dining room at once,” The ship’s AI announced, adding, “Per protocol, no weapons allowed.”
                Sara joined the small group of people moving through the corridor. She grabbed the sleeve of a crew member she recognized, the stewardess. The Star Swan wasn’t a big cruise liner like the Nebula-class ships. She could never afford that much luxury on her academic pittance of a salary. Carrying mostly cargo, this vessel only had a few cabins for passengers and the cheaper fare reflected the few amenities. This woman had been friendly and efficient about any request.
                “Excuse me,” Sara said, “Was the earlier announcement about pirates on the level?”
                “Yes.” The crew member didn’t stop walking but she gave Sarah an odd look. “It’s not a rare occurrence in this quadrant. Unfortunately for us, we were stopped to make minor repairs on the engines in this old bucket and the pirates were out hunting.” She stepped into the gravlift and Sara followed. “I’ve been through this before. Most of us have. These are human-descent pirates, from Farduccir, not the Shemdylann.”
                “Oh.” Sara digested the information as she ascended next to the stewardess. She fought the vertigo gravlifts always gave her. Even she had heard of the alien Shemdylann.  “So what happens next?”
                “The pirates are mostly interested in our cargo. Probably offloading it now in fact.” Her companion shrugged. “Everything’s insured.”
                Sara stepped off the landing ledge into the corridor. The longer the stewardess talked, the more calm Sara felt as her adrenaline levels subsided. This incident would make an exciting tidbit to tell people about when she got home. “So the raiders don’t bother the passengers and crew?”
                “You never know with pirates.” The woman seemed ill at ease, but not afraid.  “Our line pays the pre-negotiated ransom on the spot, credits transmitted to a bank on New Switzerland. Routine. Expense of doing business in this part of the Sector.”
                She’d arrived at the cafeteria and Sara saw the other passengers clustered at one table in the front of the room.
                “You’d better go join them. You can’t sit with the crew.” The stewardess gave her a not so gentle push. “Good luck.”
                Sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach again, Sara grabbed her arm. “Why do I need luck? You said there’s a preset ransom for us. Routine.”
                She received a pitying stare now, as the crew woman broke her grip. “For the ship and the crew. You’re on your own. I hope you have good K&R insurance.”
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I definitely want to read it.
And finally, where can we find  you?
Thank you for being here. Veronica is giving away an ebook of Hostage to the Stars. Enter Below. Happy Reading and I wish you all a wonderful week.
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