Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembering #911 #Irma #Hero Dogs #LaunchPending

I couldn't begin my blog today without first pausing to honor the fallen and the survivors of a terrible, fateful day that is now more than a decade and a half behind us.

This is a day when most Americans will pause to remember, and reminisce where they were and what they were doing sixteen years ago when they felt the ground shake, or saw the planes strike, or heard the breaking news, or saw the buildings fall...

To all the victims, in the structures, on the streets, or aboard the planes,
and to their thousands of surviving families and friends.
To the first responders who answered the call, many who have now paid
    or are paying the ultimate price for "working the pile."
To those who witnessed the disaster
and have carried those memories with them in their hearts
and survived the loss and upheaval of their lives.
To our nation for suffering and overcoming one of its darkest hours.


Hurricane Irma

Since writing this blog last Tuesday, so much has happened that I needed to add this addendum. The  morning of September 6th, I awoke to the terrible news that the beautiful island of St. Martin--one of my favorite places on Earth--had taken a direct hit from then Category 5 Hurricane Irma. 

The photos and news that followed were heartbreaking.

Grand Case after Hurricane Irma
A number of familiar landmarks were unrecognizable--Maho Beach, the Sunset Grill, Princess Juliana International Airport, Philipsburg, Marigot, and the wonderful town of Grand Case where we stayed, with its world class restaurants and ocean front hotels. The island suffered 95% damage or outright destruction from the storm. It's still very hard to believe so much of the island I loved is now gone.

Over the next few days, Irma continued to tear a path of destruction across the Caribbean, and then took aim at Florida.

I'm writing this on Sunday evening, and as of the last update, Hurricane Irma did not turn out to be anything like the worst case scenario that was St. Martin, though she still packed a punch and left much of Florida with significant damage and without power.

As of this time, we have yet to know what will happen with the potential storm surge on the west coast of Florida, or if Irma will veer right toward Orlando or head toward Tampa as has been the prediction until a few moment ago.

I have many peers, friends and family who were in the path of the storm and I'm sure they've all been affected in some way. Here's hoping this morning finds them, their families, friends, pets and property all safe. I'm sure it's been a very long, dark, hellish night.


Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 is on the Launch Pad!

After nearly ten months of writing, editing, planning, preparing, blogging and helping to get the word out, we're now less than one month away (woot!) from the release of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. And wow, is the excitement ever building!

Every Saturday for the last three weeks, I've been sharing videos and video responses from my fellow authors to some important questions about the collection. If you missed them the first time, you can see them here:

August 26
About Pets in Space: Pauline Baird Jones, Susan Grant, Sabine Priestley and Michelle Howard

September 2
Secrets of the Pets with S.E. Smith, Jessica Subject, Alexis Glynn Latner and Cara Bristol

September 9
Five Minutes with the Authors of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2: Michelle Howard, Veronica Scott and Carol Van Natta.

But one author has been conspicuously absent in those posts. Yeah, that would be me. So here's my series of video responses about the upcoming collection.

Why Did I Write a Story for Pets in Space 2?

What Secret I Can Share About My Pet?

Why is Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 a Bargain?

Please feel free to share any of these videos on Facebook, social media, your websites or blogs. We really want to get the word out to help optimize our donation to Hero Dogs this year! If you'd like to know more about Hero Dogs and all the wonderful things they do for veterans, just hop over and take a look at their site: Visit Hero Dogs
And since I'm on a video-share kick today, here's one that Hero Dogs produced.
Hero Dogs - Service Dogs for Veterans
I think you can see why we're so honored to be helping Hero Dogs with a share of our profits. They really do great things! 
Last year, our donation to this wonderful charity was over $2,000 and we hope to smash our old record this year. With your support, we can do it!

You can help by preordering Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 at any of these vendors.

Not sure you want to buy a copy yet? Be our guest to a FREE preview of first chapters from the stories, available here: Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 First Chapter Sample via Instafreebie
Here's hoping the coming week is much better than the last!

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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.