Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day News & Update on Pets in Space

Can you believe it's Labor Day already? I can't. Oh where oh where did the summer go?

I have an announcement and a patio garden report, and then another fun Pets in Space Anthology update. That October 11th launch date seems to be coming up at FTL speed!

So first of all, I have some great news concerning my novel Inherit the Stars (which, by the way, is a companion to my Pets anthology story). And here it is...

That's right! Inherit the Stars is once again a finalist with a shot at another award, after winning the 2016 Carolyn Readers Choice Award earlier this spring. Co-blogger Pippa Jay won the Aspen Gold in a previous year, so I'm hoping I can join her in the ranks of Aspen Gold winners. :D

Labor Day seemed like a very good time to do an update on my patio garden. You might remember this earlier photo blog from July: Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

This is the first year I had any time to devote to a hobby garden, and I'm pretty happy with how well things went over the summer. Let me share a few photos that were just taken this weekend.

First...woohooo! My trophy! Yes, I picked a pepper! :D

I was so proud of this little cutie. It's a miniature orange bell pepper, the first product ever harvested from my patio garden. And yes, it was delicious! Yum!

First pepper! Miniature orange bell pepper--patio grown.

A large pot of seed-grown marigolds.

My patio garden is now nearly a patio jungle!
It's mainly marigolds, petunias, dianthus,
tomatoes and peppers.

Patio garden view #2. Note the rainwater
collection tank in the middle top.

Close-up of a variegated marigold.

More marigolds. I like to grow these because
they naturally repel pests and seem to do well
in our hot and dry New Mexico environment.

Wall garden. Marigolds, lavender, petunias and dracaena.

Pottery row. In the background, you can see
that we actually have some pretty lush
green grass this year, thanks to heavy
monsoons that started in late July.
Some of you might want to close your eyes for this next one if you have arachnophobia!
Our patio garden also includes a few friendly spiders. Although this guy looks pretty nightmarish, he's really quite harmless and eats a lot of insects that like to eat our plants.
We think these spiders are a variety of Orb spider. They start appearing everywhere in late August and stick around until first frost. This guy was hanging around outside my front door. (He'll be relocated to a juniper tree a few feet away. I really don't want to walk into him or his web!)

All in all, I think my Project Patio Garden 2016 was a great success and had the added benefits (besides the fresh peppers and tomatoes) of being a relaxing way to enjoy a little fresh air away from my computer this summer.


Since it's labor day, I thought it might be fun to reveal a few of the professions of the characters in the upcoming Pets in Space Anthology novellas and novelettes.

After all, it isn't just about the pets. Well, a big part of it is, of course, but it's also about the people who love them. Sometimes the characters' jobs are compatible with their pets, sometimes they're not, and sometimes they serve as a catalyst to send them off on a crazy adventure.

You can imagine all the fun and excitement this anthology promises--all while pulling on your heartstrings. Because what could be more fun than science fiction plus romance plus pets!  :D

Here's a brief introduction to four of the human characters from the anthology, and there might be just a hint or two about some of the pets they love, adopt or partner with.

Emma Standish of The Real Dragon
Emma Standish is her father’s research assistant. This is not the job she wanted, but she stayed to help her father, a for-real rocket scientist, when her mother passed away. But nothing is quite what it seems in “The Real Dragon.”

Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. You can find out more about her books (and get a free story for subscribing to her newsletter) at:

Owen Embersson of Star Cruise Stowaway
Owen Embersson is ex-military and is now employed as the Cargo Master aboard the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr, which carries 2000+ passengers and two full decks worth of freight on every cruise. He’s responsible for getting cargo on and off the ship, and keeping it safe during the voyages. He supervises a small crew of logistics experts, and has a soft spot for his rescue cat Moby.
Amazon best-seller Veronica Scott is a three-time recipient of the SFR Galaxy Award, and has written a number of science-fiction and fantasy romances. She is the SciFi Encounters columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, and recently voiced a ‘red shirt’ crew member in an official Star Trek audiobook.
Dante Stone of Spark of Attraction
Cyborg Dante Stone is in the military and is the captain of the Crimson Hawk, a warship (spaceship), which rescues archivist Miranda Lowell after an alien attack.
USA Today best selling author Cara Bristol is the author of more than 27 books, including the Cy-Ops Sci-fi cyborg romance series. 

Taro Shall of StarDog
Taro Shall is a professional star navigator who's served aboard a number of ships, but none like the specialized transport carrier Calypso. It's totally his dream job. The vessel has unique, high tech capabilities that has him charting a course to some pretty amazing places. Unfortunately, there is a downside (but he's sworn to secrecy about that). Still, even high tech ships can develop low tech troubles, and that's how a StarDog--and Adini Kemm--come to cross his flight path.

Laurie A. Green is an award-winning author of science fiction romance and founder of the SFR Brigade, which now has nearly 900 members. She is a retired military budget director and formerly served as a reserve law enforcement trooper for her state.

Hope you all had a great summer, too.
Have a great week!

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