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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Starry Night Blog Hop: The Eternal Stars


Welcome to Spacefreighters Lounge 
and the Starry Nights Midsummer Blog Hop. 
We're glad you're here.

There are challenges to writing a Near Future Science Fiction Romance. Since the story takes place in the next couple of decades--a time frame well within the lifetime of most readers--it's a lot like writing a contemporary romance...with cooler tech.

Because the near future is so close to happening, today's technology is constantly catching up with the story, which then requires tweaks and updates, and sometimes even major revisions. But there's one timeless aspect that's universal in many SFR stories--and maybe romance stories in general.

Space...the stars...are fascinating to behold.

This excerpt from my second novel, The Outer Planets, takes place onboard a planetary research vessel bound for Jupiter and Saturn on a great mission of discovery. The NSS Robert Bradley has an unique observation deck...and a couple of trespassing protagonists who couldn't resist the allure of a Starry Night.
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April 2040
NSS Robert Bradley
Science Deck

"Looks like we have the place all to ourselves. Come over here. There's something I want you to see."

Mitch showed Lissa to the small platform lift at the center of the Science Deck. She gave him an uncertain glance, then stepped on. He joined her, activating the controls.

The lift carried them down through a circular hatch, the aperture closing above them with a whisper. Lissa’s breath caught. The POD! She gazed out at the stars, billions of them, scattered across the void.

The Planetary Observation Deck was enclosed in plass--transparent plasma. Glass thick enough to hold out the vacuum would have been too heavy and too prone to distortion, but the plasma barrier made it seem as if nothing came between them and a sweeping vista of space. Without atmosphere to distort the light, the stars looked like showers of colored sparks burning tiny holes in the night. White. Red. Blue. Yellow. Orange. They floated in their quiet eternity beyond the plass and below the transparent floor.

Lissa looked up at the reassuring bulk of the ship, just to be certain they hadn’t somehow been set adrift from the Bradley.

Mitch took her elbow and pointed out a large red ball below the port bow. "There's Jupiter."

"It’s getting close now."

He gripped the railing surrounding the POD platform. "Just two more weeks to orbit."

Following his lead, Lissa curled her fingers around the cool steel. "This is like going for a space walk without the suit."

"That was the idea." He smiled and gestured starboard. "See that small, hazy patch? I think we're seeing another galaxy."

"Maybe Andromeda...over two and a half million light years from Earth.”

“And it took the light that long to reach us. It’s like looking back through time."

"Doesn't that give you goosebumps?"

Mitch turned his head, his eyes seeking hers. "It does."

She smiled and twirled in a very slow pirouette, taking in the star-loaded panorama. Was it Mitch or the champagne making her feel so giddy?

"Make a wish," he said, and grinned at her questioning look. "It's tradition. On Earth we wish on the first star we see at night. But out here…" He swept his arm in a wide arc. "Take your pick."

Lissa found a bright, blue-white star off the port side. "That one." She closed her eyes and wished that somehow, in spite of her secret, tonight would be the night she’d hoped for.

She opened her eyes to find him standing right in front of her, a soft smile playing on his mouth. "I won't ask what you wished for. I want it to come true."

From the throatiness of his voice, she had a feeling he already knew. She lifted her face when he shifted closer. His mouth lowered to hers. She cupped his jaw and lost herself in the warm press of his lips, before she eased back and broke their connection. Then: “I was married.”

His mouth quirked and he nodded. “That’s not in your bio.”

“The marriage was annulled.” Lissa raised her chin. “Legally, it never happened.” She searched his eyes before forming the question that had to be asked, “Does it matter?”

“No.” He licked his lips, adding, “As long as you’re not married now.”

"No.  Not now." Lissa swallowed around the lump rising in her throat. "Technically...not ever."

He took her hand and stepped beside her to gaze out at the star-filled void. “I guess neither of us has had much luck with marriage.”

Lissa stroked her thumb over his and leaned closer. “Is this a good time to ask what happened with your fiancé?”

His shoulders rose and fell when he drew a deep breath. “I mentioned I caught her in bed with another man.” He paused, his fingers flexing gently against hers. “What I didn’t say was that man was my brother.”
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Thanks for joining me here at Spacefreighters Lounge--and the deck of the Robert Bradley--for the Starry Night blog hop.

We'll be offering a $10 Amazon e-Gift Card as an individual prize here on Spacefreighters Lounge. Just leave a comment below and tell us which of the planets (or moons) in our solar system is your favorite and why. We'll post the winner at the end of the blog hop, so be sure to check back.

Enter the Rafflecopter (link at bottom) for a chance to win these other GREAT prizes!

1st Prize
$100 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 41 e-books! 
Tales from the SFR Brigade, Heart of Stone, Her Cyborg Awakes, Anja's Star, Silver Strife, Corwint Series 4 Book Gift Pack, Earth's Requiem, Alien Blood, Starwoman's Sanctuary, one book from Jessica E. Subject's SFR backlist (ONE ebook title out of the following: Alien Adoration, Alien Admirer, Alien Lover, An Unexpected Return, Another Night Another Planet, Celestial Seduction, Crash Landing, Hey Santa, His Alien Virgin, Made For Her, Never Gonna Let You Go, Never Gonna Desert You, Never Gonna Say Goodbye, Satin Sheets in Space, Sudden Breakaway, or Unknown Futures), LodeStar Series Books 1-3 (Stark Pleasure, Creed of Pleasure and Captive of Pleasure), Reunion trilogy, Terms & Conditions Apply, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Starheart, Kuralon Rescue, A Matter of Trust, Earth's Blood, Roman's Gold, Wolf Born, The Marann, Nightfall, Unrequited, Butterman Time Travel Inc., Legend Beyond the Stars, Hathor's Legacy: Outcast, Removed, Midwinter Crisis, Shlyer: Finding Home, Boyfriend's Brother, Surviving the Trap, Captive, Tower in the Woods, Catching Red.

2nd Prize 
$50 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 28 e-books! 
Tales from the SFR Brigade, Heart of Stone, Her Cyborg Awakes, Anja's Star, Silver Strife, Corwint Series 4 Book Gift Pack, Earth's Requiem, Alien Blood, Starwoman's Sanctuary, Tangled In Time, Terms & Conditions Apply, Escape from Zulaire, Lana's Comet, Heart's Bounty, Glad Hands, Nikolai, The Trial of Tompa Lee, The Tribulations of Tompa Lee, The Midas Rush, Prime Obsession, Daughters of Suralia, Morning Star, Hey Santa, Tower in the Woods, Catching Red.

3rd Prize
Three separate winners! 
Each receive $25 Amazon or B&N gift card plus 11 ebooks
Tales from the SFR Brigade, Heart of Stone, Her Cyborg Awakes, Anja's Star, Corwint Series 4 Book Gift Pack, Hey Santa, Tower in the Woods, Catching Red.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


33 comments:

  1. I've always liked Pluto the best as I've often imagined that was actually the tiny planet from which the little Prince originated...poor Pluto not even considered a planet anymore

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  2. I've always liked Pluto the best as I've often imagined that was the planet from which the little Prince originated..poor little Pluto. No longer even recognized as a planet

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  3. Jupiter - it is just so big it must have so many possibilities!

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  4. Mars because we might be able to live there.

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  5. Saturn, I find the rings an interesting part of the planet.

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  6. There's no place like home =) So, Earth! But if I had to choose another one it would either be the Sun or Saturn :)

    thank you for the giveaway!

    meri.bee@gmx.at

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  7. Saturn because of it's rings. Thanks for the chance. aka midgeknows@rogers.com

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  8. Mars. I have always been interested in it.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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  9. The Moon. I love looking at it in all the phases.

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  10. Mars because it was always featured prominently in the science fiction I read growing up.

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  11. Ouch on the brother! Well, I think there are too many to name, but maybe venus...Buy

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  12. I'm going with Mars, mainly because travelling there and living there are distinct possibilities.

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  13. I love Europa....partly because of the awesome pics from Galileo spacecraft pics and partly because of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth(at)bookattict(dot)com

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  14. Thanks to everyone who's stopped by to comment so far. Our Favorite Planet or Moon tally so far is:

    1 vote for Pluto
    1 vote for Jupiter
    4 votes for Mars
    2 votes for Saturn
    1 vote for Earth
    2 votes for Venus
    1 vote for Europa

    You've all been entered in the Spacefreighters Lounge drawing for a $10 Amazon e-Gift Card.

    Thanks for docking and we invite you back often to share your thoughts and sip a virtual Billins on the house. :)

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  15. I'm going to go with Io because it's such an interesting moon. I imagine it would be really cool to explore... not to mention dangerous!

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  16. I love the one I'm on and know: Earth :)

    butterflypetals7(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. My vote is for Venus, the planet of love. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com.

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  18. Jupiter for the color

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  19. Ouch on the brother! I'm going to vote for Venus. One, it seems kind of appropriate to vote for the goddess of love being a SciFi romance author. But also Venus has far more similarities to Earth despite its poisonous surface conditions. If we could adapt the atmosphere, it would actually make a better alternative for colonization than Mars. And do we really want to live on a planet named after the god of war? As the saying goes, make love - not war! :P

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  20. Ditto what others wrote about the brother. Ouch, indeed. I'd go to Triton, Saturn's moon. Someday it might be possible to have a base there as a jumping off place to go beyond our galaxy.

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  21. New tally! Thanks to everyone for voting and visiting our blog.

    1 vote for Pluto
    2 votes for Jupiter
    4 votes for Mars
    2 votes for Saturn
    2 votes for Earth
    4 votes for Venus
    1 vote for Europa
    1 vote for Io
    1 vote for Triton

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  22. Hi! My favorite is Uranus because the year I did a school report on it was the year they discovered the rings.

    Also, Laurie, was that your excerpt? I can't find The Outer Planets and I want to buy it. :-)

    Anna
    doxisrcool at aol.com

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  23. Love the excerpt! My favorite planet is probably Jupiter. The size and the storm have always fascinated me.

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  24. Yes, near future scifi is always a challenge. I like what you've done here!

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  25. I have always been fascinated by Saturn. The pictures I have seen of it are really beautiful and I love the rings.
    Thanks for joining the hop.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. Loved the description of them looking at the stars through the plass. Very cool! Thanks for the excerpt. I'm going to say the moon. I love looking at it in all it's phases. I especially love a full yellow moon.

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  27. Anna, thanks so much. I'm an author-in-waiting, so The Outer Planets is not available yet...but I hope to have some news to share on that in the next couple of months.

    And thanks to you, KM. This is one of my favorite scenes in the book, too. :)

    Thanks to spajonas for you kind words, as well.

    Time to update our Favorite Planet/Moon tally!

    1 vote for Pluto
    3 votes for Jupiter
    4 votes for Mars
    3 votes for Saturn
    2 votes for Earth
    4 votes for Venus
    1 vote for Europa
    1 vote for Io
    1 vote for Triton
    1 vote for Uranus

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. Just a few more hours to go!

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  28. Oops! Missed one!

    1 vote for Pluto
    3 votes for Jupiter
    4 votes for Mars
    3 votes for Saturn
    2 votes for Earth
    4 votes for Venus
    1 vote for Europa
    1 vote for Io
    1 vote for Triton
    1 vote for Uranus
    1 vote for The Moon

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  29. I have to say Jupiter! I love how big it is!

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  30. Thanks to everyone who visiting during the blog hop. We'll be back tonight to pick the random winner of our e-Gift Card and give the final Favorite Planet/Moon tally.

    Hope you all enjoyed the Starry Nights hop!

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  31. So we have a three-way vote for Favorite Planet or Moon. The final tally is:

    4 votes for Jupiter
    4 votes for Mars
    4 votes for Venus
    3 votes for Saturn
    2 votes for Earth
    1 vote for Pluto
    1 vote for Europa
    1 vote for Io
    1 vote for Triton
    1 vote for Uranus
    1 vote for The Moon

    Thanks to those who voted.

    And here's the news you've been waiting for. Our randomly chosen winner of the $10 Amazon e-Gift Certificate is RILEY MORELAND!

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for this years Midsummer Blog Hop/Starry Nights.

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