Category Archives: Pets in Space

Interview with a Navigator by Laurie A. Green

I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Laurie A. Green.

I’d like to introduce the hero of my Pets in Space story, StarDog, by way of a quick interview. Taro Shall was one of my favorite heroes to write. He’s not a boss or a bad boy. He has no superpowers or psi talent. He’s just an honest, hard-working star navigator who makes an adorable find in a spaceport (and her StarDog is pretty cute too) which critically alters his course.

Young handsome macho man in sunglasses with open leather jacket revealing muscular chest and torso
Taro pauses at my office door. He’s classic Tectolian–tall with ebony hair, dark cinnamon eyes and sun-blessed skin, thanks to his ancient Pacific islander ancestry. “You wanted to see me, boss?”

“Yes. Why don’t you take a seat? We’d like to have a chat.”

“Right.” Taro squares his shoulders and saunters in, glancing around. “We?”

“Yes. I’m here with your readers.”

“My readers?” He arches a dark eyebrow. “Oh. Well…hi there.” With a guarded wave, he takes his seat. Leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees, he whispers, “Hey boss, there’s nobody here.”

“Trust me, they’re present.”

“If you say so.” He scans the room, looking skeptical. “K, then. I guess you can fire when ready.”

“Why don’t you first tell us a little about your background.”

“Not really much to tell. And it’s pretty much already in my story.”

“Always the minimalist, aren’t you? I think you’re referring to this…”

“Citizen of Tectol. Graduated Tectolian Academy as a certified Navigator, ID 7456392. Registered as a nav for the Clearsky, Baddinger, Blue Darley, and Tahanna, all registered out of Tectol, the Viebold out of Parol. A half-calendar gap in service after that.”

“Yeah. That’s me.”

“They didn’t mention you were third in your class at academy.”

He gives a subtle shrug and a sly smile. “Never was much for speeches.”

“Let’s take a look at your history. After serving as nav on five different vessels, why is your service log blank for the last half calendar? For our audience, that would be six months.”

He straightens, running his hand down the sleeve of his black flightsuit. “I got picked up as nav on the Calypso by a captain who prefers to keep her business on the down-low, so no, my service isn’t registered with Universal Flight Authority.”

“And you’re okay with having a big gap in your resumé?”

“To have a shot like at navigating a ship like this? Yeah, it’s worth it.”

“What’s so special about the ship?”

“You know I can’t talk about that. And besides…that’s in the story, too.”

“Maybe just give us a few generalities.”

“Let’s just say Calypso is a special express transport. Patrol class.”

“Hold on. For reference, how does patrol class compare to…say, the Millennium Falcon?”

“Bigger. Faster.” Taro gives a slow smile. “More teeth.”

“So tell us a little more about you. Favorite color? Favorite food? Marital status?”

“Aquamarine. Carduwan sugar pulls.” Taro’s wistful look melts away and he sets his mouth in a thin line. “Terminally single.”

“Care to embellish that last part?”

He eases out his breath. Leaning back, he stretches out long legs and crosses them at the ankle. “Life of a nav. Because we’re always leaving…”

He sits upright when a tone sounds, moving a hand to silence a device clipped to his uniform. “Sorry. Time’s up. Just got recalled. Cap’s readying to fly.”

“I understand. Thanks for taking a few minutes to let readers get to know you better.”

“My pleasure.” Taro gives a parting smile and a casual salute. “See you around the universe.”

StarDog

Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.

View of planet Earth from inside a space station

Author Bio

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now nearly 900 members strong.

She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.

Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.

Website: http://www.laurieagreen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-A-Green-139849829386292/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SFRLaurie
Twitter Handle: @SFRLaurie

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Pets in Space Anthology

Pets In Space 600x900

Pets in Space 1 is no longer available for sale.

Even an alien needs a pet…

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of profits from the first month 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.

A MATE FOR MATRIX: CYBORG PROTECTION UNIT

By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Best Selling Author)
Matrix Roma is a member of the elite Zion military Cyborg Protection Unit. Matrix gets more than he bargains for when his cyborg partner, a hybrid Wolfhound named K-Nine, goes missing and ends up finding a mate for Matrix in the middle of a deadly mission on an unknown planet called Earth.

STRAY

By Susan Grant (New York Times & USA TODAY Best Selling, and RITA Award Winning Author)
Interplanetary Marine Lt. Lukas Frank has a lot in common with a street dog named Bang-Bang; they both started off as scrappy orphans fighting to survive—and beat the odds. Things change when Bang-Bang leads Lukas to starpilot Capt. Carlynn Riga. The tough war hero learns what it means to surrender — his heart. Lukas’s struggles with PTSD threaten to tear the three of them apart, but nothing threatens them more than when Carlynn goes missing on a mission. Can a scarred marine and his unlikely canine partner find Carlynn and bring her home, or will he lose everything he’s finally found worth fighting for?

SPARK OF ATTRACTION

By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Best Selling Author)
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased. After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.

STAR CRUISE: STOWAWAY

By Veronica Scott
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

THE REAL DRAGON

By Pauline Baird Jones
Emma Standish didn’t think her day could get any worse. Her dad is marrying his boss, her dragon suddenly came back talking and typing, and it’s her fault the Earth, or at least ten square miles of Texas, is going to be destroyed. That’s what happens when you forget something very, very important. Luckily for her, she’s got the love of her life that she can’t remember and her dragon by her side. Who needs to worry when you’re having a day like this?

STARDOG

By Laurie A. Green
Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.

SPIKE

By Alexis Glynn Latner
Young Roboticist Ten Jaxdown has to deploy, and possibly sacrifice, the swarm of investigative robots that he has invented and cares about more than anything else in the star system. It may be the only hope for those depending on him and his robots to save them. Yet, even as frantic preparations for the unprecedented deep-space rescue mission are set in motion, it could all be threatened by sabotage.

Anastasia Steed is an intrepid young mission designer. She steps forward with an idea that can improve the odds of the mission. Neither she nor Ten expect the assistance they receive from a very unusual pet. A pet that will bring together two alienated human beings who didn’t realize they needed each other. Can Ten and Anastasia discover who is behind the sabotage, save the mission, and discover what is evolving between them? With a little bit of unusual help, anything is possible.

SPACE RANGER

By Lea Kirk
Graig Roble is the Senior Commander of security for the Guardian Fleet. His expertise as a weapons specialist and combat master is his world, what he was born to do – or so he thought until he finds his resolve and focus inexplicably wavering. Even returning to his position aboard the Atlantis can’t save him; if anything, it has left him questioning his own motives. He never thought that could happen until he met Simone Campbell.

Simone’s focus is on her home world – Earth. She thought her life was full with her research as a botanist. After all, she always believed that helping the people of her world become self-sufficient should take all of her concentration – except it doesn’t. There is one man that keeps pulling her attention, and her heart, away from her job.

Graig’s gift of a puppy to keep her company does more than that, it keeps him in her dreams. How can such a simple gift bring her comfort and make her long for more? Graig and Simone are about to find out that sometimes love can blossom from the smallest, furriest ties.

ESCAPE RUN

By Carysa Locke
Teegan’s job as a hunter is to track down the Talented, those driven insane by their gifts. She and Ember, her psychically gifted fox, have tracked dozens of people for Cole, the man who works to rehabilitate and recover these troubled souls. When one of Cole’s most dangerous patients escapes, Teegan and Ember are on a hunt that could prove fatal if she doesn’t keep her focus on her mission. Unfortunately, Cole is proving one distraction that might make this her last hunt if she can’t do that.

Can Teegan keep her heart and mind in the game long enough to save an entire planet’s population, or will her distraction lead to heartache – and possibly death for everyone?

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Pauline Baird Jones: Houston, I Need a Pet, and Pets in Space

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Pauline Baird Jones:

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I, who have a story in an anthology called Pets in Space, am not currently “owned” by a pet (unless you count our wild bunnies and the deer that pause long enough to leave brown deposits on our lawn while on their way to eat my sister’s flowers.)

We used to be owned by two cats. Felix (named after a hurricane) came to our family via some friends and The Look from Our Son. You know that Look, the one that says, “My life will be over and possibly the world will end if you don’t give me what I want right now.”

Houston Need Pet

I might have still resisted, but the Look packs more than a message about saving the world. It has the power to alter your brain chemistry, so that when your brain starts working again, you are owned by said cat and scooping stinky clumps out of a box (I have a vague memory of the Son swearing he’d scoop forever and ever and I’d never have to do a thing…)

Our second cat was the brother of Felix and you know we had to call him Oscar. I wouldn’t recommend ever doing that again. Because they turned out just like Felix and Oscar of The Odd Couple. Seriously. When Oscar did his business in the box, Felix would go in and clean up after him.

Sadly, Oscar had some birth defects and wasn’t with us long. I thought that having shared ownership of us would make Felix more flexible when Allie came to stay with us for a few years (we were cat sitting for Our Daughter) but, no, they fought like, well, cats.

Felix passed away a few years ago and Allie followed him into the afterlife last year. I have this image in my head of Felix giving her that same look he gave her when she showed up at our house the first time. And I expect they are now chasing each other all over in the afterlife.

Because we are currently in “travel to and fro upon the land” mode, we have not allowed ourselves to be adopted by a pet. (We manage this by not making eye contact with any cat, particularly any cute kittens—who will live longer than I will at this point.)

But, the pet need simmers on. When I see cute pet pics on Facebook, yeah, I feel the tug (can pets guilt you from the afterlife?).

While waiting for someone to invent the virtual pet (all the companionship with none of the scooping), I’m settling for fictional pets.

Though I have to say, during the writing of “The Real Dragon,” Peddrenth the bearded dragon became so real to me that I miss having him hanging around now that the story is finished. (However, I’m not sorry I’m not buying bugs for him…)

Have you ever bonded with a fictional pet? Do you love stories featuring animals?

If you like stories of romance, action, adventure and PETS, I hope you’ll check out Pets in Space. Not only will you get EIGHT original, never-before-published stories, and ONE expanded story, 10% of the first month’s proceeds will be donated to Hero-Dogs.org, an organization dedicated to training dogs to help Veterans suffering from PTSD and other battle injuries.

I swallowed to wet my dry throat and asked, “Is he, you know, humanoid?”

“Mazan? Of course.”

What was “of course” about it? This alien had accidentally collected the dragon, not the human.

“Does he look like…I mean, is he purple or something?” I had a feeling if Peddrenth could have rolled his eyes, he would have.

“You…” he stopped, as if reconsidering what he’d meant to say.

“You all look similar to me.” From “The Real Dragon,” Pets in Space

About Pauline Baird Jones
Pauline 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: http:///www.paulinebjones.com

Pauline Baird Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Does Cara Bristol, Woman’s Best Friend is a Robot Dog, and Pets in Space, Have in Common?

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Cara Bristol:

Maltese puppy, 6 months old, sitting in front of white backgroun

My pet in Spark of Attraction is a robotic dog named Sparky. I’d call him an android, except “andro” specifically refers to a man, so by definition an android is a robot with a human appearance. So maybe Sparky the canine is a “candroid.” Lol.

In any case, he looks and acts like a real dog. So real, that when hero Dante first encounters him, he mistakes him for a real animal, which is not allowed on a military spaceship, and so immediate friction results between him and the heroine. Then Sparky bites the captain with his electrically charged teeth, and that doesn’t go over well either.

Sparky is a K9-500 model, a prototype invented by the heroine’s deceased father, and is all Miranda has left to remember him by. The K9-500 is programmed to protect her no matter what. The protection sequence cannot be halted, not even by Miranda herself.
If you were going to create a robotic dog, what traits would you want it to have?

Spark of Attraction blurb

Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.

After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.

An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space

“Sparky, no!” Miranda grabbed her robotic dog and tried to pull him off the captain. This was awful. Stone would airlock him for sure. “Release, Sparky, release!” she cried, but the companion-model robot hung on. “Let go!”

The captain bent, and gripping the dog’s upper and lower jaws, began to pry its mouth open with his bare hands.

“Don’t hurt Sparky!” He was all she had left, and the captain could break him, dislocate his jaw.

“Hurt him?” He peered up at her. “Might I remind you its teeth are imbedded in my leg?”

She reached under the collar for the power switch on the dog’s nape. He jerked, released the captain’s ankle, and fell over. Still. Silent. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, wringing her hands. “He’s programmed to protect me, and he perceived you as a threat.” Maybe if she’d explained at the start her dog was a canine artificial intelligence model, all of this could have been avoided—but at the captain’s edict, she had panicked.

She scooped him up and clutched him protectively to her chest, stroking his soft synthetic fur. He looked and acted so lifelike, sometimes she forgot he was a robot. They’d have to eject her from the ship before she’d allow them to remove him. If they put him on a pod, how could she be sure she’d get him back?
He hadn’t been bothering anything.

Well, not until he bit the captain.

If Stone’s eyes had been cold before, they were positively flinty now. She’d never seen such a dark scowl.

Blood stained his pants leg, and he pulled it up to reveal a lacerated ankle. For all its small size, the K9-500 had a jaw like a vise and sharp metal teeth. If the bot had attacked a human, the damage could have been severe. Rumor had it Dante Stone was a cyborg, a computer-enhanced human with biomimetic parts. She’d heard cyborgs were immune to pain and practically indestructible.

“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “It doesn’t hurt much, though, right?”
“Of course, it hurts!” he snapped. “Why would you think it doesn’t?”

“Don’t you have those nano thingees?”

Her fellow colonists were staring, watching the interchange, waiting to see what would happen. Would the captain toss her into the brig? Airlock poor Sparky?

Cara Bristol’s website: http://www.carabristol.com
Cara Bristol’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Cara Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3
Cara Bristol’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/

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Lea Kirk, What is Your Favorite Space Toy/Weapon/Aircraft & Why? and Pets in Space

Pets In Space 600x900I am thrilled to be one of nine authors in the anthology, Pets in Space, combining two of my big loves, space and pets. A portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Lea Kirk:

“Everyone aboard,” Gryf ordered. “Time to strap in.”

“Will you double check my seatbelt, Uncle Graig, please?”

Maggie smile sweetly.

“Of course, little bird.”

Juan grasped the handle of his gear bag. “I’ll stow your bag, Uncle Graig.” The six-year-old bounded up the ramp and disappeared into the craft.

There wasn’t much in the bag, just a couple of changes of civilian clothes he’d taken from the stores of Camp One.

Everything he’d owned had been left behind aboard the Atlantis when the Anferthians had boarded the ship.

There are so many cool devices out there in sci-filandia it’s hard to choose just one. So, here’s my top three favorite sci-fi “gadgets”.

The transporter from Star Trek. I mean, could you imagine having that at your beck-and-call? No more saving to purchase over-priced airplane tickets. And who wouldn’t be happy if they didn’t have to sit next to Patient Zero on an airplane as they hacked and sneezed all the way across the country? Think of all the travel time you’d save. Unlike Dr. McCoy, I’d have no issues having my molecules disassembled and reassembled if it meant getting from one place to another in seconds. Sign me up for the frequent beamer mileage award program, now!

The Noisy Cricket from Men in Black. As far as weapons go, this is the badest of the bad. Astronomical power in a convenient, pocket-sized package. Let’s face it, you pull this baby out and alien miscreants are going to bolt for the first ship off planet. The only improvement I can think of making is adding an airbag that deploys behind you when you shoot. Although, watching Agent Jay flying backward and butt first into the taxi’s windshield never gets old.

The Heart of Gold from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This is one sleek space ship that I’d love to steal from Zaphod Beeblebrox. Everything about this ship redefines cool. The all-white design, the happy talking doors, Marvin the Paranoid Android. Admittedly, the starkness of an all-white interior might get to me after a while, but cheerful doors who are so pleased to open and close for you might off-set that. Marvin, in my humble opinion, is the greatest robot in the history of sci-fi robots. Love that little, depressed guy. But my most favorite thing on the ship, the one thing I really want, is the Infinite Improbability Drive.

P01-Explorers-Wanted-NASA-Recruitment-Poster-600x

Is it surprising that we’ve circled back to travel? Not really. I love traveling, and any of the fantastical worlds featured in the Pets in Space Anthology would make ideal destinations. The Infinite Improbability Drive would be the perfect means of getting there, or anywhere. I’m always looking to the future and dreaming of how we can travel from Point A to Point B, C,…Z faster and with the least amount of fuss.

The only problem with the IID is that you never know where you’ll end up, or what you’ll be when you get there. But, hey, life’s an exciting adventure, right?

To find out more about Lea Kirk, please click here.

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