Once upon a time in the not so distant future… or past… well, one of those… there lived a mighty mob of emus….
Yes, I can hear your brain screeching to a stop as you reread the introduction. The answer to your question is yes, large groups of emus are called mobs. Of course, that brings up all kinds of wonderful images in your head: The Boss emu ordering the unlikely demise of a poacher intent on capturing them, an army ready to do battle against the huge mob of emus (BTW, this really happened in 1932 in Australia – the winner: the emus!), or the emus coming to the rescue. Oh, just think of all the lovely stories that can be written for the mysterious and mighty bird that hatch from the eggs a little Dragonling carried home.
It is funny how some things just come to you. They often say right about something you know. Well, I’m no expert on emus, but it helps that we pass by a friend’s house that raises them. The stories Tom has told us about his attempts to raise emus for meat which quickly turned to them all having names and being pets has amused me for years. When I wrote The Dragonlings’ Very Special Valentine and The Great Easter Bunny Hunt, I knew I had to write Pearl’s story – and include the very unusual eggs that were brought back from Earth.
In Pearl’s Dragon, we get to meet the unlikely heroes who are as protective of their dragon friends as the dragons are of them. A clutch of eggs from Earth, a misunderstanding, love between an old dragon and his true mate, a couple of mischievous younglings, poachers, and a lesson in how to be the perfect mate come together in Pearl’s Dragon: Dragon Lords of Valdier.
I am thrilled to again be part of the Pets in Space Anthology and team up with eleven other amazing science fiction romance authors. My story is about……Grandma Pearl and Asim and I can’t wait to share.
One of the reasons I love being part of this anthology is that we donate 10% of the first month’s profits to Hero-Dogs.org, an organization dedicated to assisting our veterans. Last’s year Pet in Space anthology raised over $2,000 for Hero-Dog.org and I would love to see us raise even more this year for such a worthy cause.
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 action-packed SFR stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
Watch our book trailer for Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
Pets in Space was been awarded the Top 5 in Best Books of 2016 by the Library Journal! No. 5 out of all the original fiction published in 2016! I am so excited as you can probably tell lol.
Congratulations go to Pauline Baird Jones, Veronica Scott, Cara Bristol, Susan Grant, Laurie A. Green, Carysa Locke, Lea Kirk, and Alexis Glynn Latner, and to me (had to include myself) on this prestigious award. Awesome job, ladies!!
A little background for this award:
From their website: “Library Journal is the most trusted and respected publication for the library community. Built on more than a century of quality journalism and reviews, LJ provides groundbreaking features and analytical news reports covering technology, management, policy and other professional concerns to public, academic and institutional libraries. Our hefty reviews sections evaluate 8000+ reviews annually of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos/DVDs, databases, systems and websites.”
We were completely unaware that Pets in Space had been chosen. As you can imagine, we are all thrilled! Thank you and kudos for doing a fabulous job of storytelling, ladies!
I’d also like to say a warm thank you to Vikkas Bhardwaj, the cover model.
I would also like to thank the wonderful Narelle Todd from Get My Book Out There. She handled all the marketing and promotion for the anthology, kept all of us organized, and went far above and beyond to make sure the book had a successful launch despite the U.S. suffering from two storms of the century (one of the East Coast and one on the West Coast) during the release! This would have been devastating to most people, but she handled the situation with a professionalism that shone through Hurricanes and Cyclones. Her patience, guidance, and creativity helped showcase Pets in Space. Thank you and hugs for an awesome job well done. xoxox
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 Veronica Scott:
I never had much experience with dogs as pets growing up. I liked the idea of dogs just fine but for some reason my family went more toward cats.
I think it may have had something to do with the fact that my mother’s mother raised and showed Boston Terriers – all of whom she named Christopher! – and my mother just wasn’t too fond of dogs after that. My grandfather had a wonderful, cuddly mutt rescue dog named Spooky, who he’d adopted after finding her lost near their summer cabin in the woods. I really liked her. She’d take my dolls for rides and was good to curl up with when I wanted to read. The terriers were just too full of energy for me.
I still have the little Wonder Book my grandmother gave me, hoping I’d be more in love with Boston Terriers after I read it. Nope, cats still ruled in my heart!
We have a saying in our family, which must be uttered with heavy sarcasm, “Pets are no trouble at all.” It was grandfather’s favorite remark whenever the various Christophers had gotten into mischief, which was often of course, being high energy canines. I should have used it in my story for Pets In Space, but the right moment didn’t arise. Maybe in a future book!
But whether you have a dog or a cat or an otherworldly creature, there’s nothing quite like a pet to keep you company…
The blurb for Pets In Space:
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 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.
And the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:
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.
A short excerpt from my story. The stowaway has been found, thanks to the two pets, and now Fleming, the captain of the ship and Jake, his security chief are being briefed on the situation.
Fleming frowned. “So this sentient female could be a kidnap victim, or someone who tried to rip off the wrong people or worse. I want this kept as quiet as possible. I’ll break out of hyperspace long enough to transmit to the authorities, see if the Sectors Criminal Investigation Agency wants to board us to take her and the mystery off our hands, or meet us at the next port.”
“Care to share what you’re thinking, sir?” Jake asked.
“Probably the same as you – this has the hallmarks of a Combine operation. I don’t want the Zephyr mixed up in an organized crime problem, not if we can help it.” Fleming glared at the container as if the box offended him. “All right. Unless there’s anything to add, I’ll stop engines and transmit a report to the authorities. Plays hell with the schedule, but I’m going to wait for instructions. If the Combine is involved, we can’t go it alone. I’m not taking on the Amarotu gang with a ship full of passengers to protect. ” He turned to Jake. “Come sit in on the conversation. I want the girl under constant guard, assuming she survives. And Owen, the same goes for the crate. I don’t want it touched till the SCIA arrives. Can you shut down all activity on this deck until we know more?”
Surprised at the request, he nodded. “Of course. I’ll have to shift cargo in a day or two, though, to offload what’s due at our next stop. You want my guys standing guard duty?”
Fleming gave him a level stare. “Jake’s force is stretched pretty thin, so yes, but only the men and women you’d trust with your life. No one else gets access to this deck.”
About Veronica Scott:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”