Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Nancy Massand and her 1964 Historical Romance The Circle Unbroken #giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

Meet Nancy Massand and her debut novel, The Circle Unbroken.  The Circle Unbroken begins in 1964 Mississippi. It won the 2018 RWA Hearts Through History competition.

I fell in love with the cover and followed it to Amazon and the look inside feature. This woman can write! She’s giving away three ARC’s because she is a new author and needs some reviews. I promise you I am entering to win one.  Nancy, please tell us a little about yourself.

I live in NYC and teach literature and writing in a small private school. When I’m not writing, my husband and I are at the beach or visiting our kids and grandkids. This is my first published novel. Call me a late bloomer! It's a fabulous start. I love the first two chapters. You have a wonderful voice.
 Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
Well, there’s Heathcliff. Not exactly the one you’d bring home to meet your mother, but jaw-dropping nonetheless. Seriously, though, I like Jo March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women for her outside-the-stereotype feistiness, Lizzie Boylston in Jodi Daynard’s The Midwife’s Revolt for the same reason, and Johnny Watkins in Jodi Daynard’s A More Perfect Union for his charming naivete. In other genres, I always liked Aerin from Robin McKinley’s YA classic, The Hero and the Crown. She fights dragons and wins. She fights her evil uncle and wins. She marries for love and lives a long and happy life, but when he dies she rules her kingdom with her soulmate forever. She’s just a win-win in every respect.
 What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
It was a series of moments, but they all revolve around The Circle Unbroken. The moment I found out I was a finalist in the RWA Romance Through the Ages Contest. The moment I found out I won. And then the request from the judge of the contest, the editor of Soul Mate Publishing, to see the whole manuscript. And then her offer to publish it. The day they sent me the cover for approval. And finally, seeing it listed on Amazon. It’s still really new, and I hope for more surprises to come. I’m kind of shell-shocked.
 How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I go for a walk. That’s how the idea for The Circle Unbroken was born. I was waiting for the walk light at a busy intersection and noticed an older woman standing beside me. She had a cane and one foot was in a cast. When I offered her an arm to cross the street she accepted, since it was a quick light and she couldn’t walk very fast. We stopped traffic as the light changed three times in our crossing. As we inched across the street, she told me she had just lost her husband of fifty years. And she had this beautiful smile. What kind of love would leave a woman smiling after fifty years? After we parted, her story followed me home and flowed out of my fingers, changing and growing as I worked on it. And here it is. I consider it a gift.
 Any advice for new writers just starting out?
First drafts are usually crap. Spill it out on the page and then delete all the garbage. The sentence or two that’s left is the story you want to tell. Now you can work with it and make it beautiful. Don’t rush it! Life is long. You have time. Your aim should not be to publish. Your aim is to tell a great story. Once you have a great story, the rest will take care of itself.

I’d also advise finding a writers’ group of people who don’t know you. Pick the most ruthless critics you can find and lose your sensitivity and pride. They’ll be good for you. Iron sharpens iron.

What you do want to tell us about your inspiration for The Circle Unbroken
What divides you from people you used to love? Or maybe even people you still love? Wounds cut deep, and grief or hurt can sever the strongest bonds. You pull away to avoid further injury. Or you build walls to protect yourself from potential harm. Loving turns to hating, or at least that’s what you’re saying out loud, because it’s too painful to speak the ache in your heart. 

So you laugh, avoid, deny, eat, drink, binge-watch, [insert your favorite addiction or guilty pleasure here] to convince the world and yourself that you’re perfectly fine. But you’re not. And in your most honest moments, you admit it. 

I think we all wrestle with broken relationships in our own ways. Meet Mavis Powell, the young woman severed from her family in The Circle Unbroken. She’s trapped in a cycle of loss and regret that feels like a vortex spinning out of control. And no one, least of all Mavis, is willing to step out from the fear or anger that isolates them in order to repair the damage done. 

Come on a journey with me through despair, hope, and restoration in my novel, The Circle Unbroken. Like any story, like life itself, it is not without pain or loss, for it is life that births our stories. But it offers hope that we, like Mavis, can get through the hurt that once crippled us. Not without scars, maybe, for Jesus himself carries the scars of redemption, but with more strength, more love, more goodness, than we ever thought possible.

Let’s take the first step together.  

An impulsive choice, an untimely death, a shattered family.
Can love survive even this?

New York City. 1964.

My daddy made me go. I didn’t want to. He sent me to his brother’s family in New York City for the summer, because things were getting hot in Mississippi. And he wasn’t talking about the weather.

Nancy Massand’s debut novel, The Circle Unbroken, follows sheltered, sixteen-year-old Mavis Powell from Mississippi on a transformational journey. Mavis is completely undone when she moves in with her cousins up north and meets smooth-talking Harris Brown. But there’s a chasm between Mavis’ religious family and Harris’ roots in the Harlem clubs.

Their new love quickly escalates to recklessness as they head back to Mississippi during Freedom Summer. Although their motives are pure, the result is tragic. Slammed with rejection by her new family as well as the church, Mavis’ first year with Harris threatens to be her last. What does it take to heal a broken family? How do you save a love that’s pulled so tight it’s ready to snap? The Circle Unbroken is a redeeming testimony to the power of love.

And finally, where can we find you?
Website: nancymassand.com
twitter: @MassandNancy

Thank you for being here, Nancy.  Here’s the Rafflecopter. Nancy is giving away the ARC which is in PDF format and works in Kindle or any eReader. If you win please consider leaving a review.
Reviews are soul food for authors. We all love to know someone is reading and hopefully loving our story. Happy reading.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Meet Maggie Mae Gallagher and The Fixer Upper #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment

In her bio Maggie Mae Gallagher says her mom used to say if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. I am so glad she stuck with romance. Maggie Mae Gallegher writes all over the spectrum. Her latest book is a contemporary romance that seems designed for a geek like me who also loves humor. And she's giving away an eBook copy of The Fixer Upper to one lucky reader.
Maggie Mae, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Maggie Mae Gallagher and I write steamy contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. I also write erotic romance under the name, Anya Summers. I’m a total geek. I love superheroes, vampires, demon slayers, the Force, and that everyone should Live long and prosper. Oh thank you, I am a fellow geek. I wanted to marry Spock. Not Leonard Nimoy. Spock. I already have my ticket for Star Wars at The Chinese. And I went to my first Comic Con two weeks ago. (I have to admit I sold more candy bars for my grandson's school that I did books. I was working at selling my time travels ones.)

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
I will never forget that day. I sat at my computer reading their email over and over again and crying. Happy tears, of course, but it had been a long journey to getting published. To give you an idea, I wrote my first book in 2001. It was 2016 when I was offered my first contract.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
To be honest, it’s reading. I read every day. Even when I’m on deadline. My day pretty much goes like this. I get up, work out for 90 minutes each day. Do my shower and breakfast. Then I start my day at work by answering emails, writing blogs, doing any of the things that don’t require my creative brain. That can take sometimes upwards of two hours and by that time it’s close to noon, which is when my creative brain comes online. Then I write usually until 8 or 9 in the evening with a break in there for dinner. I watch one episode of a show. Right now, I’m hooked on the sitcom New Girl and watching my way through on Netflix. And then I end my day in bed with my kitties and my kindle, where I read until about midnight.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
My publishing schedule is rather hefty. I’m contracted out the next few years with tight deadlines, so I don’t really have the time for my inspiration to take a hike. I tend to write anywhere from 3000 to 5000 words a day. However, there are days when I do need to nudge myself and find my motivation. As much as I love my job, it is still a job and there are days where the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer for hours on end. I tend to bargain with myself when those days arise. I tell myself just get a smaller amount of words written today than my averaage and we will call it an early day. And while I might struggle with the words that day, I still get them on the page. Often when I do this, I end up blowing past the smaller number, and it ends up being a great writing day.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Develop patience and perseverance. Don’t try to take the shortcuts just because they might seem easier. Be open to working on your craft, taking the time needed to truly learn how to create a book. Don’t be in such a hurry to call yourself a published author that you toss a book up on Amazon before you’ve honed your skills and neglect part of the journey. It’s a process. At times, it can be a frustrating one, but I know that looking back I am glad it took as long as it did to get that first contract, because it made me learn how to be a writer. Also get the book On Writing by Stephen King, read it cover to cover, and then pull out periodically to refresh.

Tell us about The Fixer Upper

THE FIXER UPPER, Echo Springs Series, Book 1
Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.
Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.
Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?
Praise for The Fixer Upper:
"Maggie Mae Gallagher writes with warmth and a wonderfully compelling voice - I loved The Fixer Upper!" NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR HEATHER GRAHAM

“Maggie Mae Gallagher makes the reader forget the actual words on the page so they can just enjoy the story as it unfolds.” Nancy Berland, NBPR, Inc. President
 Buy Links:

Excerpt from THE FIXER UPPER
Abby spent the next hour cleaning her new room as best she could for the night. She’d work on the full house and give it a proper cleaning come morning, but she’d spent the better part of the day in her Rover and could feel the onset of fatigue settling in her bones. There was a semimodern bathroom across the hall, with one of those claw-foot tubs she’d take advantage of when she wasn’t dragging her feet and ready to go horizontal for eight hours. 
Settled in for the night, she made herself a small picnic of her wine and cheese offerings and added hitting up the local market for all the essentials to her to-do list for the morrow. Her parents would only shake their heads if they could see her in her thermal pajamas, drinking chardonnay directly from the bottle that hadn’t even sported a cork, but a lid that twisted off.
She was toasting her own brilliance when she heard the creak of the front door opening. Grabbing her trusty nine iron, a little gizmo she’d inherited from an ex-boyfriend some years back, Abby cursed at her phone’s low battery. 
“Figures,” she muttered under her breath. 
She left her room, tiptoeing down the stairs, her movements muffled by her thick socks. She rounded the corner, and a beam of light blinded her. 
“Gah!” Screaming, she swung the iron, ready to take on her intruder. All the self-defense classes her parents had scoffed at hadn’t been for naught. Who knew that in a sleepy little mountain town, burglars and vagabonds were a problem? The golf club whizzed over the intruder’s head.
“What the?” a deep baritone barked.
She swung again, determined to fend off whoever the hell thought he could invade her aunt’s place with mischief on his mind. The shadowed outline of a large man loomed behind the beam of light. When he didn’t back off, only kept advancing, her internal panic button hit overdrive. The nine-iron connected with flesh with a thudded whack. 
“Ow, fuck, cut it—”
“Get out or I’ll call the police!” she swore, her pulse hammering, her grip on the nine-iron so tight her hand was fusing into a claw formation. She reared back to strike again when his next words halted the forward progression of her swing.
“I am the police.” 
She blanched, almost dropping her weapon, but then thought better of it. What if he’d lied to disarm her and then would attack?
Nice try, buddy. She wasn’t falling for it. 
“Prove it.” She wasn’t the atypical heroine who idiotically descended into the darkened basement, despite the light mysteriously not working, to investigate the strange noise. She’d studied horror films and knew she was not the dumb bimbo, but the smart woman who survived. His indicating that he was the police was a sub-plot straight out of a B horror film and was precisely the type of thing the killer would say.
She raised the nine-iron into a defensive position as the man moved to her right, flipping on the overhead light while pulling a shiny silver badge from his belt. He held it toward her so that light reflected off the silver star. Blinking as her eyes adjusted, Abby wondered if she was dreaming. Cornflower-blue eyes studied her, dressed in her flannel pink pajama bottoms, tank top, and fluffy purple robe. He was larger than the darkness had suggested, probably a good six-three, and lean. His dark midnight hair fell in curly waves to his jawline, which was covered in dusky stubble. There was a ruggedness to him, indicating that somewhere in his make-up he preferred life outdoors, and it showed. He reminded her of the men gracing the covers of the romance novels she’d hidden from her parents growing up, and still hid from her colleagues. 
She’d always had a bit of a thing for men in uniform, but the only defining mark that even suggested he was an officer was his black jacket with an emblem embroidered into the right shoulder. Otherwise, he looked like a mountain man, in a button-up emerald flannel shirt and blue jeans that rode low over his muscular hips.
Then she focused on the badge. Oh, sweet heavens! The badge read: Sheriff, City of Echo Springs. Why did this have all the beginnings of a campy horror flick? Woman goes to the wilderness to find herself, makes acquaintance with the local law enforcement, and then the army of dolls stuffed inside the home come to life, possessed by a demon spawn from hell, to try to kill the heroine.

 I love the excerpt.What’s your current WIP?

I am currently neck deep in an Anya Summers title FAR REACHING CONSEQUENCES and have edits for the next book in the Echo Springs Series, CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, in my que once the Anya book has been submitted. Holy cow! You are one busy woman,

And finally, where can we find you?
 This weekend I will be signing on Sunday, October 27th, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Li’l Book Bug in Lancaster, California. And slated for 2020, I am attending both Coastal Magic Con and Book Lovers Con.
Thank you for visiting, Maggie Mae. I hope to meet you in person one day. And thank you for giving one lucky reader a free eBook copy of The Fixer Upper.You can read more about Maggie Mae on her website. The Rafflecopter is below Maggie Mae's social links:

Visit her website here:
Visit her on social media here:
Facebook: FB.me/MagMaeGallagher 
Twitter: @magmaegallagher

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Claire Gem turns Indie and Eerie for Halloween

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments

A woman, encased in glass, lives in the center of town, yet everyone pretends not to see.

A phone call from Mom turns horrifyingly urgent.

A sports car, a family inheritance bound up in memories.

A graveyard of nameless souls.

Definitely looks eerie and it's only 99 cents to buy. 

And now, here's Claire
I’m Back!!! Revisiting After Almost Five Years!
By Claire Gem

I can’t believe how much has happened since I last visited Susan’s blog in 2015. That was the year I published not only my memoir, but also my first novel. Since then, I’ve published six more novels and a writer’s resource guide. But what a journey it has been . . .
The publisher of my memoir, after three years of fits and starts and not one single penny I royalties, went out of business. It took me six months of legal agony to get the rights back on my book, which I revised, repackaged, and self-published in 2018. After another less than smooth experience with another small publisher for my second novel, I bought back my rights and republished as well. So I guess that officially makes me a hybrid author, since I still have Phantom Traces with SMP. But since then, I’ve gone Indie.
I love Indie publishing, mostly I guess because I’m a control freak. With self-publishing I have complete control over the entire process, from the creation to the editing to planning the release. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a LOT of work. I do hire professional editors (a must), but I have gotten pretty good with Photoshop, so the covers I design myself. Formatting has given me more than my share of gray hairs. But I get through it, and in 2019 I published my fourth Haunted Voices novel (these are contemporary romances set in haunted places).
Electricity went live June 16th.

She’s an electrician starting over with her son. New job. New town. New life.

He’s a coworker who’s interested in more than her ability to run conduit.

The building they’re rewiring was once an insane asylum…but it appears some of the patients never left.

Mercedes Donohue pulled up roots in Atlanta when her marriage imploded. She’s come back to New England, to the place where she was born. Mercy’s focus is to stabilize her teenage son’s life—he took the breakup pretty hard—and to establish her place, gain the respect of Progressive Electrical’s team.

She never expected so many sparks to fly so soon, both on the job and after hours.

Daniel Gallagher has been alone since his fiancĂ©’s death. He’ll never feel that way about any woman again, and certainly won’t try with another independent, strong-willed one. Then Mercy short-circuits his plans.

Although the asylum closed its doors over thirty-five years ago, it seems some of the patients never left . . .

If you like a heart-melting romance laced with healthy dose of supernatural thrills and chills, you’ll love Electricity.

I was buzzing along great on the fifth in the series when an unfortunate accident at work left me with a broken arm—my right one, and I’m right-handed. Took me off the keyboard for almost two months. Finally, out of sheer boredom and using the leftie hunt-and-peck method, I compiled four of my creepy short stories into
an Amazon Short Read called Enigmata: Eerie Bits. Just in time for Halloween!

A woman, encased in glass, lives in the center of town, yet everyone pretends not to see.

A phone call from Mom turns horrifyingly urgent.

A sports car, a family inheritance bound up in memories.

A graveyard of nameless souls.

Haunting. This collection of short stories will send a chill, linger in memory, leave you wondering: Is there something beyond what our eyes can see? Can the veil between life and death really be so thin? Four tales in this Kindle 45-minute Short Read by award winning paranormal author, Claire Gem.

 And as I said above, only 99 cents. I already bought my copy. Sometimes short reads are my necessity and this one sounds great.
 Thank you, Susan, for hosting me again! I will be giving away two eBooks—one of Electricity and one of Enigmata—to two lucky visitors to your blog! 
Thank you, Claire, for visiting.

I  managed to tweak a disk and sitting at the computer isn't a good thing to be doing.
So if you would like to be entered to win a copy of Electricitor Enigmata: Eerie Bits leave a comment with your email address or drop me an email at sueberger3@gmail.com.
Happy Reading. 
Claire Gem
Contemporary, Romantic, Soul-Freeing

Claire is an award winning-author of supernatural suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing. Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unlocked, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards.

Claire loves exploring the paranormal and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from Duke University’s Rhine Research Center. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University.

A New York native, Claire now lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 40 years. When she’s not writing, she works for Tufts University in the field of scientific research. She is available for seminars and media interviews and loves to travel for book promotional events.

Media Links

Email:                          gem.writer@yahoo.com
Website:                      http://www.clairegem.com
Blogs:                          http://www.clairegem.wordpress.com
Facebook:                    http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author
Twitter:                       http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter
Goodreads:                  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8284235.Claire_Gem
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pets in Space Anthology 4 with Veronica Scott.

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments

Listen up, pet lovers. Veronica Scoot is here to talk about the new Pets in Space anthology. It releases October 8th. Veronica, Tell us how Pets in Space came to be?

Thanks for having me as your guest today!
About four years ago, my author friend Pauline B. Jones and I started a fun project we call Pets In Space® and invited some other science fiction romance authors to join in. We put together an annual collection of all-new stories featuring action, adventure, romance and a pet of some sort involved in the story. Sort of like “Lassie in space”. (Not the racier kind of ‘pets’ you find in some steamy fiction!).
The idea was to find new readers for SciFi romance and to support a worthy cause with a portion of the royalties. Now in our fourth year, we’ve hit the USA Today Best Seller list twice. thanks to our wonderful readers.
Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past three years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders.
10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space® 4 will again go to Hero-Dogs.org. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today so together we can continue to assist this worthy charity!
I pre-ordered my copy on Amazon
Here's a full list of links to Buy platforms 
Pets in Space® 4 Anthology Blurb:
For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting  Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!

I always set my Pets In Space® stories on an interstellar cruise liner and have had all kinds of pets from a cat to an eagle to an alien blend of a tribble and a red-tailed panda. This year my pet is an alien ‘dog’, named Charrli. Here’s a bit more about my full-length novel in the anthology:

STAR CRUISE: IDOL’S CURSE (The Sectors SF Romance Series)
An unusual bequest….
Juli Shaeffer, the Nebula Zephyr’s cruise director, receives a mysterious bequest from the estate of a longtime passenger – a lump of rock taken from a reef on the planet Tahumaroa. Legend states anyone who steals from the ocean gods will be cursed. The passenger’s will requests the rock be returned to the beach so his heirs won’t be affected by the bad luck he believed he’d incurred. Juli doesn’t believe in superstitions and she agrees to carry out this small favor on the ship’s next stop at the planet in question.
Until the rock disappears from her office…
When the rock disappears and reappears in various locations around the ship, and seems connected to a steadily escalating series of mishaps, Juli turns to Third Officer Steve Aureli as the only one she feels she can trust. Along with Steve and his elderly Aunt Dian – a passenger aboard the Nebula Zephyr for this cruise - she investigates the strange series of malfunctions plaguing the interstellar luxury liner. Steve and Juli enlist his Aunt Dian’s dog, Charrli, a retired Sectors Z Corps canine, to help them track the missing rock as it moves about the ship.
Juli and Steve must find the rock, hang onto it and transport it to the planet’s surface before the alien idol’s curse turns deadly. The attraction between the two of them grows as the threat to Juli becomes more and more focused. Can she carry out her task while he keeps her safe from the alien curse? Will the capricious alien idol bring them good fortune…or disaster?

Here’s a quick excerpt when Juli meets Charrli: A groundcar swerved smoothly into the emergency lane and came up behind her. She prepared to tactfully refuse whatever offer of help the driver might make but to her complete astonishment, Third Officer Steve Aureli got out of the driver’s seat.  He was in civvies rather than the CLC uniform but looked as tall, broad-shouldered and handsome as ever. She was rendered speechless by the unforeseen arrival of the one man she most wanted to see and the tension left her body in a rush.
“Juli? I thought I recognized you—what’s the problem?”  He gave the smoking car the side-eye as he walked to join her.
“I’m glad to see you,” she said. “What a coincidence. I had Ship’s business to take care of in the city business district so I picked up a CLC car at the spaceport but it’s sure turned out to be a clunker.”
“Heading back to the spaceport?”
“Yes, although I’ve missed the shuttle to the ship by now.” Juli winced as a few droplets from the sky hit her cheeks. “Oh wonderful, and now it’s going to rain.”
“We can give you a ride,” he offered. “The side of this road isn’t a good place for you to be stranded, especially with a storm coming.”
A gust of cold wind buffeted her to emphasize his remark and she shivered. What happened to the hot sun of just a few hours ago? Peering at his sporty groundcar, she hesitated. “I don’t want to be a bother or ruin your date.”
He laughed. “No bother and it’s not a date. Remember I told you my aunt Dian was going to be a passenger on the next leg of the cruise? I picked her up this afternoon and I also have the use of the captain’s personal shuttle, so I can take you all the way to the Zephyr with us. Plenty of room in this rented car of mine.”
“Say no more, I’ll be thrilled to accept your help then. Let me grab my purse.” Heart unaccountably lighter because he wasn’t on a date, Juli fished her possessions out of the car, and went to climb in the backseat of his racy red vehicle, as he held the door for her. Hope never dies, I guess. Oh, Juli, get over this mad crush. Angry at herself for her racing pulse and the effect this man invariably had on her, she stumbled and Steve steadied her with one big hand. Her body tingled a little at the physical contact.
“I’m Steve’s Aunt Dian,” said the lady in the front seat, swiveling to study Juli. She extended her gloved hand.
Juli tried not to stare. Dian was elderly but wearing full, expertly applied makeup and her syntho hair was coiffed into a confection of pink and blond a trideo star might admire, accented with a glittery star-shaped barrette. Her pink and cream woven suit was by a high end fashion designer, or else a very good knockoff and she presented an altogether glamorous and retro picture. This is practical, stoic Steve’s aunt?  Juli detected no family resemblance although of course that didn’t mean much. “I’m so happy to meet you and glad you’ll be sailing with us.”
Next instant, a barking ball of golden brown fur sailed over the seat, landing in Juli’s lap with a thud. With a startled scream she tried to fend off the pet, which fortunately seemed intent on getting into her purse, rather than actually attacking her personally.
“Charrli, don’t be rude,” said Dian, snapping her fingers in annoyance. “No one asked you to do a search and destroy mission on Juli’s belongings. Get back here where you belong.”
Hand on the controls, Steve studied Juli. “Do you have a snack in your purse?” he asked. “Charrli’s a real chow hound.”
“What an inelegant way to describe my champion purebred miniature Deskaza dog.” Despite her offended protest, his elderly relative didn’t sound too offended. “I’ll have you know they’re a rare breed.” She snapped her fingers again and the doglike creature made one final attempt to open Juli’s purse before obeying his mistress’s command and returning to the front seat with a sniff. “I apologize for Charrli,” Dian said, cuddling him close so all Juli could see were the tips of his triangular ears and his intense brown eyes peering at her over his owner’s shoulder. “Although I must say you and he are obviously going to be great friends while we’re on your ship.”
Sounds like so much fun. I can't wait to read it.
Here's a list of the stories in Pets In Space:
Lords of Kassis Series
by S.E. Smith
Even an incredibly skillful warrior Princess needs help sometimes. Can Madas trust the strange warrior who fell from the sky with her life… and with her heart?
Galactic Gladiators: House of Rone Series
By Anna Hackett
A cyborg who’s vowed to keep his emotions and lethal powers leashed, discovers the one woman who can bring him to his knees.
The Infinite City Series
By Tiffany Roberts
Being separated by time and distance does not lessen the love Volcair has for the woman who captured his heart.
The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott
Two crew members of an interstellar luxury liner must join forces with a retired military canine to find a missing relic before the curse brings disaster for everyone.
Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones
Can two almost human geeks find love while they fight against their old Master?
The Inherited Stars Series
By Laurie A. Green
An agent must decide if he can trust the savvy female Rathskian warrior that crosses his path or if he should deliver her to his superiors.
My Crazy Alien Romance Series
By Donna McDonald
Nothing is normal when Topper finds herself expecting again.
Xian Warriors Series
By Regine Abel
A genetically engineered war machine finds love with the human doctor who may be his only chance of survival.
Starways Series
By Alexis Glynn Latner
A scientist looking for a genetically engineered unicorn and a historian seeking the right question find each other in an interstellar amusement park full of dangerous games.
TriSystems: Smugglers Series
By JC Hay
The last thing Sheri needs is a brooding, brawny smuggler watching her every move, but his help is all that stands between her and a crime lord’s wrath.
Alien Animal Rescues Series
By E.D. Walker
A kidnapped princess and her bird companion must rely on the exiled guard who loves her to help them.
After The Fall Series
By Kyndra Hatch
The human composed a song in his heart, a pull he couldn’t ignore, a draw that demanded further exploration.
The Department of Homeworld Security Series
By Cassandra Chandler
A simple house call to care for a sick animal turns a young woman’s life upside down when she discovers the ‘house’ is really a spaceship!

Author Bio and Links:

USA Today Best Selling Author
 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 read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Thank you for being here, Veronica and for letting me know about Pets in Space® 
Happy reading and a happy week to all of you.