Friday, October 15, 2021

All Change

 

Autumn always feel to me as the biggest change of season. The nights get longer so much quicker than they seemed to shorten. The trees shed their leaves, and this year my chooks lost their old feathers at a more sensible temperature, making the run floor look like a pillow fight apocalypse. 

But this year more so. Because today I handed in my notice and will be moving to work at a new school closer to home. It'll shorten my daily commute at a time of year when I'm having to leave before it's fully light, and would soon be coming back in the dark too. It gives me a slightly better work-life balance.

Will this finally mean I get back to writing, or the horribly long overdue edits on Keir's Shadow? I'd like to say yes. But the stresses of the past few weeks have left me exhausted, busy weekends have left me little free time, and I have a cosplay commission to work on. I can only hope a less stressful work situation and the coming winter will finally give me time to commit to my long neglected muse.

NorCon 2021

One sign of normality for us this year was the return to conventions, namely our most local con. I donned my old Han Solo costume for the first day only as making costumes just didn't happen this year. The con had a small but quite exciting guest list.



And of course, exciting swag, including a nifty Death Star handbag. I may have committed myself to making someone a Starlord cosplay...


And we stayed near an interesting feature that looked rather suspicious...


No more photos from the con as we were more interested in the guest talks and photoshoots this year, but next year I really AM going to do my extra special cosplay. No really...

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Recruit: Part Five - An Adventure in the World of Draxis

This is the fifth--and final--installment of The Recruit short story, a companion story to my upcoming novel, Draxis (working title). 

This ending was a bit tricky to write in order to avoid major spoilers for the novel, but I will say that 'the recruit' is a major character in the book. As I mentioned before, the setting details and situation were taken directly from the novel, but it's told from a different POV. 

If you'd like to refresh with the last installment, you can see it here:

The Recruit: Part Four

If you would prefer to read the story in it's entirety, you can view it here:

The Recruit (short story)

I hope you enjoy the conclusion of The Recruit. Comments welcome.

_________________________________ 



I awoke to pain in Denarri Ranger Station, but the point is—I awoke.

Someone stood over my gurney, and after a fight to focus my eyes, I recognized Gallin’s creased face. My eyes dropped to his side. He didn’t carry a Blade of Duumarr.

“My recruit?”

Gallin huffed and his eyes shifted left. I followed his gaze and found the green eyes of my partner. Yes, partner. He’d earned it.

His back was to the wall, arms folded, his Death Ranger uniform tattered, but without major injury and the notorious sword parked in its scabbard.

I nodded to him—or tried.

“We’ve had a word,” Gallin muttered. “Now the two of you talk.”

I looked to the recruit, confused. “Talk?”

Gallin’s mouth skewed down in a grim frown and he left the room.

My attention moved back to my partner. “You carried me back?”

“Yes.”

I tried again to nod. “You saw what I did?”

“Yes.”

“But still you did not kill me.”

“No.”

“But you are Duumarrakhan.”

He unfolded his arms, moved nearer. I might have been intimidated if he hadn’t been shaking his head. “No.”

“Then who-” I realized my blunder. A Tahila Death Ranger never asks that question of another. That was The Code.

“Just another who defies senseless laws,” he said.

In this realm, such rebellious words are never spoken. Not even here. Laws are absolute, and the punishment for breaking them is final and universal. Death. So I was left pondering the enigma of this man who wielded the blade of the Order, but spoke against its black justice.

When a person came to the Green Death he came knowing that, sooner or later, the great forest would take him…and his past. But I knew that would not be the fate of this one, even if he did not know it himself.

“I was trained by a Duumarrakhan,” he volunteered. “He was the last of his kind…or so we believed.”

I grunted softly. “This explains much.” Although his admission raised many more questions than it answered.

I didn’t learn until much later, after we’d ventured out together on many campaigns into the Green Death, who my partner was and why he was here. Much was revealed when the One the Ancient Legends Speak Of came for him and the recruit left the Green Death at her bidding to resume his former life.

I did live to see my ninth season. And even my tenth. I rose through the ranks to head ranger, and trained more recruits before my time in the Green Death came to an end.

No. I didn’t die.

The recruit summoned me out of hell’s jaws to take my place at his side. Yes, I--a doomed Tahila Death Ranger invited to serve in a place of high esteem. In the thousands of years the rangers had patrolled the Green Death, never before had one been plucked from the ranks in such a way as this.

The age of prophecy was truly upon us.

But that, my friend, is another, much longer, story. My part of this tale, this small thread in the greater legend, ends here.


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

It's release day!

 


Yes, Pets in Space 6 LIVE! If you pre-ordered your copy, it should already be in your inbox ready for you to enjoy. If you didn't, find your favourite vendor and pick it up. Here's the link

Here’s the blurb.

Join the incredible authors in this year’s Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling science fiction romance and fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late!

Pets in Space 6 is edited by Carol Van Natta. Contributing authors: S.E. Smith (NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author), Veronica Scott (USA TODAY bestselling author), Honey Phillips, Carol Van Natta (USA TODAY bestselling author), Cassandra Chandler (USA TODAY bestselling author), J.C. Hay (USA TODAY bestselling author), S.J. Pajonas (USA TODAY bestselling author), Greta van der Rol, Deborah A. Bailey, Melisse Aires, and Kyndra Hatch.

You’ll find eleven terrific stories with a range of pets from the familiar to the fantastic, all working with their humans to solve a crisis and cement a relationship. All the stories are novella length, perfect for a read at the beach (if you’re on my side of the world) or on a cosy couch in front of the fire.

As usual, 10% of the profits from pre-orders and the first month of sales will go to Hero Dogs to help them continue their great work.

Remember, Pets in Space 6 is a limited edition anthology. Like all the other Pets in Space (R) books, it will disappear from book stores at the end of January next year.

Here's the line-up.

BEHR’S REBEL
Marastin Dow Book 2
by S.E. Smith
Chummy and Pi are cute and fluffy alien pets. They’re pretty sure they rescued Raia, the human woman they travel with, not the other way around. In any case, it’s going to take all three of them to rescue a Marastin Dow General who is slated for execution.

STAR CRUISE: TIME LOOP
Sectors Romance series
by Veronica Scott
Eyn, a three-eyed lizard, has a multi-layered shell, but likes to spend time with his owner, Raelyn. Good thing, too, since she’s reliving the same terrible day. If she can’t get out of the time loop, everyone on the interstellar cruise ship she’s on will die, including the man she’s falling in love with.

THE CYBORG WITH NO NAME
by Honey Phillips
A robot dog is Rose’s only companion in the Martian outback. He’s a quirky collection of mismatched parts, but he’s hers. Despite what her former employer thinks, the outcast scientist knows the robots she developed to help with the terraforming process are more than machines. Especially when a robot horse she created shows up at her doorstep and leads her to an injured cyborg ranger.

ESCAPE FROM NOVA NINE
A Central Galactic Concordance Novella
by Carol Van Natta
Griffins in space… They’re small, birdlike creatures that were genetically engineered to look like miniature griffins from mythology. Against all odds, they’re thriving in the harsh environment of a rogue asteroid mine. They could be the key to survival and escape for prisoners Julke and Zade.

TRADE SECRETS
The Department of Homeworld Security series
by Cassandra Chandler
When is a cat more than a cat? When he’s a space kitten, of course. The kitten has already adopted alien Xan, who’s only trying to keep his friends out of trouble. Earth at large isn’t ready to learn that aliens exist. Then the kitten decides that human Gwen, who’s stumbled across their secrets, would be the perfect pet…, er, mate for Xan.

SEE HOW THEY RUN
TriSystems: Smugglers
by JC Hay
Positive, Negative, and Monocle are three ordinary-looking lab mice who are inexplicably accustomed to low-gravity. When engineer Baker steals them, she discovers they’re more than they seem. She hopes so, because it could save the life of her coworker, who means so much more to Baker than she’s willing to admit.

SURI’S SURE THING
Kimura Sisters Series
by S.J. Pajonas
Finn is a gorgeous, goofy golden retriever with a heart the size of the galaxy. He is pair-bonded with workaholic Suri, who would rather be in space than deal with her complicated family life. Finn knows Suri would be happier if she’d only notice her best friend Eric, so they could stay together. Maybe a trip to space would help her see the light…

THE THUNDER EGG
Dryden Universe Series
by Greta van der Rol
Neyru is a… well, no one really knows. She looks sort of like a tiny, winged dinosaur, and she might be psychic. All vacationing professor Drew knows is she’s beautiful and clever, and growing fast. If only he can convince sexy freighter captain Afra to help him get the little alien foundling back where she belongs.

WORLDS OF FIRE: METAMORPHOSIS
by Deborah A. Bailey
In the Worlds of Fire, people with magical abilities sometimes have familiars, animal companions they can talk to. Gargoyle shifter Jaydon has a gold-bodied, black-winged bird named Delphy. Student Asira has never met a familiar, and isn’t sure what to think when Jaydon says the only reason he agreed to teach her is because Delphy recommended her.

STRANDED ON GRZBT
by Melisse Aires
Mimi and her companions are stuck in an alien spaceport, trying to find their way back home to Earth. Mimi befriends and feeds a tiny alien creature the size of a mouse, with three eyes, six paws, and a trunk. Her new pet returns the favor by helping her meet handsome alien Kyre, who might be their best chance for survival.

ESCAPING KORTH
Before The Fall series
by Kyndra Hatch
Agronomist Liana Walker is a casualty of the Human-Korth war. Held captive and interrogated as an enemy combatant, her only friend is Rainbow, an eight-legged spider-like creature with a crab-like shell and large, soft antennae. Plus twelve eyes that allow Rainbow to see the truth when Liana can’t. Such as, her interrogator is the same Korth male she grew up with, before the war separated them.

You'll finally be able to find out what my pet, Neyru, is – and where she comes from.

Why don't you pick up your copy now? 

https://books2read.com/PISA6



Friday, October 1, 2021

WILDE CHRISTMAS

WILDE CHRISTMAS 
is available to pre-order now for a December 6th release!

I hope you don't mind that I'm promoting a non-science fiction romance book here. Though I should mention I keep fighting the urge to turn my Marine veteran hero with a prosthetic leg into a cyborg. How cool would that be? 

Actually, now that I think about it, why can't I have a cyborg in a steamy small-town contemporary romance? There's already a mystery/ suspense element. Adding a cyborg into the mix could be fun!
 
Anyway, the book is set in the fictional town of Candlewood Falls, NJ and is book 2 in my Small Town, Wilde Romance series. It's available to pre-order at AMAZON, APPLE, B&N, and KOBO. I hope you'll check it out. 
 
While you're at it, take a peek at book one, Wilde Temptation, which has a hint of scifi romance since the story centers around an apple genetically engineered to make people happy, but makes them hunger for love instead. ;)

Here's the blurb for Wilde Christmas. Let me know what you think in the comments.
 
 
All US Marine veteran Dean Hunter wants for Christmas is to be reunited with his retired military working dog. But when he learns she was mistakenly adopted instead of fostered until his discharge, he’s about to unleash his naughty side.


’Tis the season Lacey Wilde opens her long awaited bed and breakfast, Candlelight Inn, but when her only guest is a sexy stranger who claims her German shepherd is his, he better watch out. Lacey isn’t giving up her fur baby no matter how much she falls for his jolly charms.


As holiday magic opens Dean and Lacey’s frosty hearts, danger lurks in the shadows of Candlelight Inn. With generations-old secrets, threatening letters from Santa, and someone who will stop at nothing to get Lacey’s priceless heirloom ornaments, Christmas is about to get wild.

 

Available at

AMAZON, APPLE, BARNES & NOBLE, & KOBO

 

 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Meet Chummy and Pi: S.E. Smith's pets in space

 Today I have the honor of hosting award-winning author S.E. Smith who will tell you all about Chummy and Pi, her cute-as-buttons pets in space. They appear in her story in Pets in Space 6, Behr's Rebel.

Chummy and Pi: Pet Characters You Fall in Love With

By S.E. Smith

 

One of the things I love the most about Pets in Space™ is the pets. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in every Pets in Space™ since the anthology was first released. Over time, my pets have evolved along with my characters and stories. 

In Behr’s Rebel, I returned to one of my favorite worlds and the fight for freedom. This fight includes two very innovative characters named Chummy: A small, black and white spotted Quazin Chumloo. Quazin Chumloos are endangered. Chumloos are extremely intelligent with telepathic, psychoscopy, and levitative abilities; and Pi: A tan and white Marica Peekaboo and considered extremely rare. Marica Peekaboos possess telekinetic, precognitive, and apportational abilities, making the exact numbers of Marica Peekaboos in existence difficult to calculate.

As you can tell, Chummy and Pi have very unique personalities and abilities. Many of my ideas come from the world around us and the special abilities many animals possess. From a mountain goats’ ability to scale vertical mountains to the moths and other insects that blend in so well with their environment they are virtually unseen, I knew my two characters possessed unique abilities that would make them more than a pet—they are friends. 

Chummy and Pi are a vital part of Raia and Behr’s world and interconnects the worlds of the Marastin Dow, the Sarafin, the Curizan, and the Valdier with the human characters. I invite everyone to discover the magic of Pets in Space 6™ and the fascinating worlds filled with pets you want to love, cuddle, and take home with you. I hope you enjoy Behr’s Rebel: Marastin Dow Book 2 and the special release of Raia’s Pets: A Marastin Dow Short written just for you and only available with Pets in Space 6.

Hugs,

Susan

 

Thanks, Susan. 

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to read all about these gorgeous little guys and their humans. 

If you haven't pre-ordered your copy of Pets in Space 6, you still have time. Remember, 10% of all sales goes to Hero Dogs, a wonderful organization which trains service dogs for veterans. 

 

 


https://books2read.com/PISA6 

 
Pre-order your copy of PETS IN SPACE 6

 

 

About Spacefreighters Lounge

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.