Saturday, October 21, 2017

Snippet Saturday

Today I'm kicking off a new series of blogs where I'll be posting a story snippet each Saturday from a current book or future work.

Since USA TODAY bestseller Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 has been such a hot topic the last couple of weeks, I thought I'd kick off the inaugural Snippet Saturday with a passage from my story, Courting Disaster: StarDog 2.

This is Captain Jagger and Ketsia Tayah's first meeting in the story.

The Set-Up
Jagger's pride has just taken a direct hit. He watched his dream command of a state-of-the-art battleship vaporize when the fleet admiral instead assigned him to masquerade as the civilian pilot of the Sheeban, a dilapidated, second-rate cargo transport. It's all a guise to escort an ambassador's daughter through a dangerous sector of space after her yacht was fired upon by dangerous rogues.

The future cover of Courting Disaster
The young girl had paused with her entourage midway up the boarding passage, appraising Sheeban not with a look of utter disdain but pure reverence. Her mouth parted to form a silent word his lip-reading skills couldn’t decipher. The two uniform-clad-but-not-up-to-military-standard males escorting her were most likely flight officers from her private transport.

Jagger popped off the ridiculous helmet and gave Jaeo’s dependent a quick once-over, puzzling at the expression of rapture that still lingered on her face. How could a wreck like Sheeban get this reaction from anyone?

Jagger made his way down the boarding passage to greet the party, which was when he realized that Ketsia wasn’t the mid-teen girl he’d been expecting. Petite, yes, but a beauty of at least twenty calendars, with flawless deep bronze skin, a generous smile, shimmering black hair, and the most luminous ebony eyes he’d seen in his thirty calendars.

Ketsia Mennelsohn wasn’t just a surprise, she was an EMP exploding through his systems.

She turned as he approached, her poise transforming a simple black suit into a garment of stately elegance. With a graceful bend to her knees, she lowered her case to the ramp beside her feet.

Jagger came to a stop a respectful three strides out from her and her escorts. “Captain Jagger with the Carduwan Fifth Fleet.”

One of the men stepped forward to make proper introductions—possibly her pilot, judging by the fringed shoulder boards and elaborate gold chevrons marching down the sleeves of the uniform. “I’m Captain Farrol of the Trigate transport yacht.” He emphasized the last two words, his gaze making a critical sweep over the battered hull of the Sheeban. “This is Roham, my co-pilot. And may I introduce Ms. Ketsia Tayah, ward of Ambassador Gant.”

“Captain.” Jagger shook the man’s hand mechanically. “Co.” His attention settled on the young woman. “Ms. Tayah. It will be a pleasure serving you on behalf of the Carduwan Fleet.”

“Thank you, Captain Jagger.” She accepted his offered hand and slanted her head in an affirming nod. The unabridged definition of charming. She wasn’t Rathskian, as he’d expected. Based on her features, he guessed she was Tectolian, a subspecies rumored to have originated on a scattering of sun-blessed islands in some forgotten sea.

Jagger addressed her chaperones. “Which of you will be accompanying Ms. Tayah to Rathskia?”

“Neither, I’m afraid,” Farrol said regretfully. “We’ve been ordered to remain with the yacht to oversee repairs. She took quite a strafing from the renegades.”

“I see.” No question the lightly-armed luxury craft had gotten the worst of a skirmish with a rogue guerilla gunship. His gaze returned to Ketsia. “I was told you’d have a companion.”

She gracefully bent and hefted the case beside her feet in one hand. “I do.”

Jagger scowled at her luggage, noting the hard sides and narrow slots. Not a bag then—a crate. “You’re bringing an animal aboard?” Jagger regretted his gruff tone as soon as it slipped out. Intolerance wasn’t one of his more admirable qualities.

“Not just an animal.” She gave him a wary—and utterly heart-stopping—smile. “My StarDog.”

“A pet?” He tried, and failed, not to sound cynical.

“A friend,” Ketsia clarified.

“I wasn’t aware I’d be transporting live cargo.”

“Luna’s not cargo, Captain. She’s well-trained, and she was reared on starships, so she won’t be any trouble.”

Her yacht jock spoke up. “You can rest assured the animal won’t sully your…” Captain Farrol squinted at the Sheeban with obvious distaste. “…fine ship.”

Find out what happens next in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2And don't forget this novella comes with eleven other acclaimed stories by bestselling and award-winning science fiction romance authors as part of a very popular--and now bestselling--collection of books!

 View the collection at most popular vendors by clicking here

Thanks for stopping by to read this excerpt of Courting Disaster: StarDog 2.

P.S. Want to know a little more about the heroine, Ketsia? Read my guest blog on Alexis Glynn Latner's site "Meet Kesia." And another that reveals how the hero, Jagger, and his ship share a connection on a guest blog on M.K. Eidem's site--"Sheeban: Starship and Metaphor."


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