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Two Elements to Finding A Great Author

In today’s growing market of books, it is sometimes hard to find a story that grabs you and makes you want to read more. What are two elements that help you decide? One may be a free book from the author; the other element may take you by surprise!

Everyone loves to get something for free. More and more authors today are offering free books to entice readers to take a chance on reading their stories. I have several free books available for just that reason. The number of free books has grown so much over the last couple of years that the market is saturated with these free offers. The pain for the reader is shuffling through the good stories and the not so good stories. I think we have all encountered those. Writing a good story doesn’t come cheap – or free – for the author. It takes months, sometimes years, for an author to write a story. Then, comes the costs of editing, book covers, formatting, advertising, and more. These costs can run into the thousands of dollars. This is a hefty investment for anyone to make in the hopes that a reader will enjoy the story enough to purchase additional books. But, why would a reader buy another book by the author if they can get so many of them for free? This leads into the next element: writing style!

Readers who really enjoy an author’s writing are more likely to purchase additional books the author has written. An author’s writing style is more than the book cover, the editing, or the formatting-all of which are important. It is the voice of the author. The way they tell a story that makes it interactive where you laugh, cry, cheer, and get angry with the characters. It is the way the author creates a world that is so vivid you feel like you are a part of it and have a vested interest in what happens to everything and everyone in it. It is about the author’s branding and what they believe in. Writing styles cross genre and make a so-so author into a great author. It takes a special author to connect with readers on an emotional level that the reader can identify with. The author isn’t writing something just to make a buck or waste your time, they are writing to take you on a journey that would otherwise be impossible and help you deal with the stress of daily life.

A story should take you away from where you are and into a new world. A great story should be interactive and make you feel like you are there. When an author gives you a free story to read, they are giving you a chance to hear their voice and get lost in their world. If you do enjoy their story, please consider supporting them by purchasing another of their books.

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My Australian Odyssey

Hi from Down Under!!

First, thank you to all who wished me a warm and wonderful birthday (October 11th). I have to say this has been a truly incredible adventure. We started out in September with Hurricane Irma paying an unexpected visit and dropping enough rain that my hometown made the New York Times – for most rain and flooding. We had one day to clean up (without power) before we left for Australia. Three stops to find gas and we finally made it to the airport only to find out I had filled out the VISAS wrong. Luckily, we arrived early and all was taken care of despite the churning stomach! Twenty-five hours later, we arrived in Melbourne only to discover that due to high winds our plane had been canceled. Thank you to the airlines for getting us onto another flight. So began our journey!

Fictionally Yours, Melbourne:

This was my first signing event in Australia. I met a load of amazing readers and authors. Thank you to Ashlea Rhodes for bringing my boxes of books I had sent up even though she had a severe twisted ankle! I had a wonderful Meet and Greet with readers while I was there, then hung out with a group of authors that rocked the event.

Then, it was off on a road trip and Meet and Greets around the country! I can honestly say I have BEEN to Australia! From Rainforests to Crocodiles and Koalas to Rock Wallabies, I’ve seen a wide variety of animals. We traveled along the Great Ocean Road, toured outback New South Wales up to Toowoomba and Brisbane, then to Cairns where we drove up to the Daintree and then down to Townsville. We spent time on Magnetic Island before flying to Sydney and Uluru before heading back to Brisbane for Riveting Reads.

I would like to say a very special thank you to Narelle Todd for all the planning she has done to make this such a magnificent trip! Everything has gone smoothly – well, except for the spider bite, falling, getting bit by a Trigger Fish, and suffering 2nd degree burns to my hand from cooking – and we’ve had a true Aussie experience with her explaining things to us (or making it up so we think she knows what she is talking about). Did you know that Drop Bears love to attack American tourists?! 😜

I hope those that have been following me on Facebook have enjoyed living the experience with me through the photos and videos I have been posting.

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Military Honors for Heroes

I had seen military honors on television shows, but had never experienced it in real life until my dad, a veteran of WWII and Korea, passed away last year.

While military honors are mandated by law, I know the men who served with my dad (and my dad while he still lived) consider it a privilege to be in the honor guard for a comrades in arms.

I don’t think any television show or movie can capture the poignancy of the real deal. The haunting effect of the bugler and then the echo as another distant bugler echoes “Taps.”

I could feel my dad saying farewell for now to his buddies. And we were so grateful to the younger soldiers who also gave up time on a Saturday morning to honor my dad. I could feel their deep respect for what they were doing and for the man they were doing it for.

I wanted to share this clip because it is the essence of why we wanted a charity that helps veterans for Pets in Space. It was our privilege to work with Hero Dogs last year, and it is an even greater privilege to be able to work with them again this year with Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2.

We are so grateful for our veterans, for all the heroes who stand in harm’s way to protect us, to protect our freedom.

Pauline Baird Jones Military Honors for Heroes

They called my Dad’s generation the “greatest,” and there is no question they deserve the designation. Boys became men when they were thrown into battle against ruthless enemies. Thankfully there are still heroes, still “greatest” men and women willing to face ruthless enemies in our time.

And thank goodness for organizations like Hero Dogs who are there to help them when they come home suffering from the injuries of war.

Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence. 10% of all preorders and the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org.

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 will release world-wide Oct 10, 2017.

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors, brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 will release world-wide Oct 10, 2017.

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.

Website:                          http://paulinebjones.com
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Twitter Handle:               @PaulineBJones
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Embrace The Romance: Pets in Space 2 is Now Out!

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors, brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of all preorders and the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Twelve Original Never Released Stories in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

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PEARL’S DRAGON

A Novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier Series
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

Asim Kemark has lived a long, lonely life. It is only his pledge to his former king and to Mandra Reykill that keeps him, his dragon, and his symbiot from going crazy. He has given up on ever finding his true mate and devotes himself to caring for the wide assortment of creatures on Mandra and Ariel’s mountain retreat. The last thing he expects when he visits the palace is to lose control of his dragon and his symbiot when they sense their true mate. Before he knows it, he has kidnapped her!

Pearl St. Claire is enjoying a new adventure – learning to live on an alien planet. As a mature woman in her sixties, she thought she had experienced just about everything life could throw at her – only to discover she really hasn’t experienced anything yet! She is both amused and exasperated when one of the dragon-shifting aliens kidnaps her, believing she is his true mate.

Life is no longer boring or lonely as Asim courts the spirited human woman who has enchanted him, but he isn’t the only one who has noticed Pearl or the unusual animals under his care. When poachers attack, determined to steal the exotic creatures under his protection – including Pearl and a new clutch of alien eggs from Earth – he will do everything he can to protect them. Can one dragon keep the most precious creatures under his care safe, or will he lose the biggest battle of his life?

A GRIM PET

A Novella in the Tornian Series
By M.K. Eidem (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

The Great Raptor is a fearsome and deadly creature; and while the raptor is no one’s pet, he is fiercely protective and loving of his family…

Carly and Miki have never forgotten the story that Grim told them of the Great Raptor, the symbol of their new home world Luda. Yet, it is the comparison their mother once told them of the Great Raptor to Grim that gives them the courage to help the injured bird they find in the garden.

Find out what happens when their single act of love, faith, and kindness creates far-reaching consequences that no one, including their mother and Grim, could ever have predicted.

THE PRINCE, THE PILOT AND THE PUPPY

A Novella in the Star Series
By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)

Trysh joined the Space Forces with the secret hope that her absentee father might notice her accomplishments and acknowledge her. At the top of her game as a starfighter pilot, the last thing she needs is a way too charming prince to get in her way. Trysh had learned at a young age what happened when a person lost their heart to someone above their social class – it led to heartache.

Prince Rornn feels fortunate he can pursue his passion both in the air and on the ground. He decides being third in line for the throne definitely has its advantages – it allowed him to join the Space Forces as a top-gun starfighter pilot. What he doesn’t expect is to find a woman there who not only competes with him – she completes him!

Everything Rornn tries appears to push Trysh further away – that is until they rescue a tiny, starving yipwag pup on the surface of an alien world. It turns out that “Puppy” is as good at sniffing out terrorists as she is at helping her two clueless humans figure out that they need each other as much as they do her.

Can Rornn convince Trysh that he is nothing like her father and that she is just the right woman for him before the terrorists discover their furry little companion?

WIRED FOR LOVE

By Michelle Howard

Hunter Gils has put his past in the military behind him. Now his focus is on his bar and the less than savory clientele. Life is perfect – except for a gray-eyed beauty who refuses his advances.

Narelle Bindu wasn’t immune to the tall, dark stranger working at The Zone. He wanted her – and she wanted him. The only drawback was she didn’t have room in her life for a man, not even one as tempting as Hunter.

When a deadly attack creates the perfect opening for an old enemy, the two lovers must work together to survive. What they never expect is to find an ally willing to help them – even if that help has four legs. Can their four-legged friend keep Hunter and Narelle alive long enough to find out that one night would never be enough?

RESCUED BY THE CYBORG

A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)

A cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future entwine…

Hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders and charges in. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed.

Guy is taken with Solia, but the guilt of a past mistake won’t allow him to plan for a future with the delicate, brave beauty. Life is so uncertain, he can’t even keep Mittzi, the kitten his niece gave him. What he can do is see to it Solia gets the help she needs for a full recovery. But when best intentions place her in greater danger, it’s up to a little kitten to make everything all right again.

SONG CRUISE: SONGBIRD

A Novella in the The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott

Grant Barton, a Security Officer on the Nebula Zephyr, is less than thrilled with his current assignment to guard an Interstellar singing sensation while she’s on board the ship. It doesn’t help that he is also dealing with a recent inheritance – of the feathered kind! The alien bird that his great-grandfather so kindly left him was now sharing his quarters and making his life miserable. It wasn’t helping that his assignment wasn’t making his job any easier either – at least until he had to save her life.

Karissa is on her way up the charts and seemingly has it all – talent, fame, fortune and devoted fans, but behind her brave smile and upbeat lyrics she hides an aching heart. When a publicity stunt goes wrong, Karissa finds herself in the arms of the security officer assigned to protect her – and discovers a mutual attraction she can’t ignore.

Trouble continues to plague the pair, driving a wedge between them and leaving Grant certain that Karissa is in more danger than she realizes. When a deranged fan issues a death threat, Grant is determined to protect Karissa whether she wants his help or not. Can he discover the truth behind what is going on before he loses Karissa, or is there someone else plotting to keep them apart – permanently?

TIME TRAP

A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones

Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…

Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel – never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man that ignites a fire inside her.

USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble – not the kind he’d like to be, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind! Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so – until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.

Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?

COURTING DISASTER: STARDOG 2

A Novella in the Inherited Stars Universe Series
By Laurie A. Green

From monk to married…

Captain Navene Jagger’s certainty he will be promoted to command a new battleship is doused when the admiral instead assigns him on what appears to be a suicide mission. If that wasn’t bad enough, he finds his self-imposed decision to be a military monk is thrown to the far reaches of the galaxy when he is ordered to escort Ketsia Tayah and her StarDog through the treacherous, rogue-infested Bradley’s Rift in a battered derelict of a vessel – a task that also makes him have to confront his painful past.

Ketsia’s past had taught her a lot. The universe was not only a very dangerous place, it turns out that it is also a lot smaller than she would have liked! Ketsia is rattled when she discovers that she and her StarDog are to be escorted by the man she formerly had a crush on. She swears life couldn’t get any more complicated until they are thrown into jeopardy and have to pretend they are married!

Jag soon realizes there is more at stake than his pride when dangerous rogues threaten their spaceship. After he learns the ship, the mission, and the StarDog are all much more than they seem will he be able to save Ketsia, his career, and the day? Or will self-sacrifice be the only way to save those under his protection?

SENSATE

A Novella in the Alien Attachments Series
By Sabine Priestley

Marco Dar’s position as an Earth Protector means he spends an incredible amount of time alone in space. His only company is with the talkative com unit. It isn’t until he stops at the Galaxy Spinner restaurant that he discovers his com has become sentient – and it wants a physical form!

Dr. Zara Mancini hasn’t seen Marco Dar in over eleven years. As far as she is concerned, that still isn’t long enough. When Marco approaches her with an unusual request, she is torn between her fascination with the project, and wanting to leave him eating her space dust.

Marco is quickly falling all over again for Zara’s beautiful smile and gorgeous lips. Young and foolish, he sabotaged their relationship years ago. Now he has a second chance. Can he convince Zara to help his AI, and prove to her that he is a different man?

GIB AND THE TIBBAR

A Novella in the Galactic Defenders Series
By Jessica E. Subject

A dedicated Defender to the core, Gib is willing to go to any planet the Galactic Alliance sends him. That is, until he’s sent with his squad to Hemera for their Alorama ceremony, far from any threat of Erebus invasion and with no chance for promotion.

Vilarra has lived on Hemera all her life, working hard in the kitchens of the royal palace until she achieved lead hand. But learning of the universe beyond her world reveals her insignificance and shreds her sense of accomplishment and purpose.

With the help of a furry, little tibbar, Gib is determined to win the affection of Vilarra, prove to her how significant she is to him and the people who depend on her. But will his personal mission be cut short before he has the chance to win her heart?

PET TRADE

A Novella in the Central Galactic Concordance Series
By Carol Van Natta

The vast Central Galactic Concordance strictly prohibits genetic experimentation and alteration of humans on any of its 500 member planets. Unfortunately, animals are not included in those regulations…

Veterinarian Bethnee Bakonin has made a home for herself on a frontier planet in the frozen north. Her minder talent for healing all kinds of animals would ordinarily assure her success, but her unwilling stint in the shady pet trade industry left her damaged and scared.

“Volunteered” for a black-box research project, elite forces Jumper Axur Tragon now has dangerous experimental tech in his cybernetic limbs. He escapes the project and steals a freighter, but ship damage forces him to crash-land in the northern mountains of a frontier planet. He’s surprised to discover the freighter’s cargo contains a secret shipment of designer pets. Determined to do right by them, he enlists reluctant Bethnee’s aid in caring for them—a definite challenge, considering Bethnee is terrified of him.

They will need all the help they can get from their unusual pets to save the day when ruthless mercenaries pose a threat. Can Axur and Bethnee work together to overcome their limitations, or will they lose everything they have vowed to protect – including each other?

MASCOT

A Novella in the Aeon’s Legacy series
By Alexis Glynn Latner

Daya Tattujayan is the manager of a remote and nearly derelict space mining station. She has plenty of problems to deal with even before the interstellar syndicate that owns the station sends an auditor to check up on her work.

Rik Gole is a nomadic interstellar auditor with no roots to tie him down. He is ruthless when he has to be and very good at what he does, but Rik would be the first to admit that a woman like Daya and a place like this station are way outside of his previous experience.

Before Daya and Rik can decide whether they are antagonists, allies, or something more, an unexpected enemy attacks the station. To save their lives, they must dare to trust each other. And they need help from a very unconventional defender—Daya’s mysterious alien pet, the mascot of Star Corner Station.

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