SFR Brigade Summer Cafe Blog Hop Giveaway


The giveaway on my blog is now CLOSED and S. A. Hoag, Nicole Luiken and Ed Hoornaert were my three randomly selected winners. Thanks for all the great comments and out of this world dining recommendations!

Welcome to my post for the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s Summer Cafe. I’m giving away three prizes on my blog, to randomly selected commenters. The question to answer in the comment is where in the Universe (real or scifi) would you want to go for dinner and why? The pub in Hobbiton? The cantina on Tatooine? The rings of Saturn? The Twilight Zone? Your imagination is the only limit here!

My prizes on THIS blog only are three $10.00 Amazon gift cards. I’ll  randomly select my winners after midnight on June 7th, no substitutions, no cash equivalent.

Here are the prizes for the overall Summer Cafe Hop as listed on the “Menu Card” below, which can be entered at the Rafflecopter HERE. NOTE: All prizes are available internationally but are NOT exchangeable for any cash or other alternatives.
Spaceopera1Here are the links to go check out all the other SFR authors on the Bog hop. (NOTE: same list of participating authors at either site.):
 SFR Brigade  OR    SFR Station
MissionToM2-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Here’s an excerpt from my most recent scifi romance, Mission to Mahjundar, where the hero and heroine discuss a ‘recipe’ for a potion to temporarily restore the heroine’s eye sight. The group is in her mother’s tomb, deep in a cave.

The guardsman withdrew a small leather pouch from his broad belt and placed it safely in her cupped hands. Unknotting the cords by touch took her a moment of fierce concentration, but then she with­drew an object swathed in rolls of velvety cloth. While Saium hovered, making small hand motions as if he wanted to take the bundle from her and open it himself, Shalira extracted a small glass vial. An emerald-green stopper flashed in the smoky torch­light. Even in the gloom of the “gazebo,” the liquid contents of this unique container shone and glowed golden.

“What do you have there?” Mike stepped to her side.

Shalira tilted her head in the direction of his voice. “My mother’s nurse was a wise woman, a healer, an initiate in the goddess Pavmiraia’s secrets. After my brother was killed and I was left blind, she worked tirelessly to gather the ingredients for this potion. Some she had to commission from across the Great Sea, which took several years to acquire. When she had the recipe complete, she secretly left the palace to brew this mix. Whether from the sorcery involved, or whether it was a coincidence, she was near death when she returned, dying within a sevenday.” Shalira shook the vial in her hand. “All for the liquid in this bottle.”

“What’s it supposed to do?” Mike had a sneaking suspicion what Shalira was going to say.

 “Restore my sight for the space of an hour. She bade me to keep it safe and use it only if my life depended on my eyes.”

“Then perhaps you should save it. Tell me and Saium what to do,” Mike suggested urgently, not liking the ominous appearance of the bottle, golden glow or not.

“Don’t fear for me.” Shalira regarded him so warmly he forgot what he’d planned to say next. “My life does depend on this. If I fail to get the clan insignia, Bandarlok won’t marry me. Then I’m doomed to return home and enter the Abbey of the Obedient Sisters, which is a virtual death sentence. The empress will have me killed.”

“Shalira—” He stopped, shaking his head. What am I planning to say? Am I going to offer to take her away from all this, go back to my home world with me? Mike swallowed hard, surprised into silence by a flood of unexpected emotion choking him.

Not waiting to hear more of his opinions, she unstoppered the little flask, sucked in a breath and held it, drinking the contents in one quick swallow.

Gagging, Shalira staggered backward, dropping the bottle, hands rising to her throat. The vial shattered on the stone floor, spraying shards and droplets of moisture everywhere. Mike rushed to her side, catching her one-handed as she swooned toward the cold floor. “Bring me the cloak to wrap her in. She’s convulsing.”

Avoiding the broken glass, Mike sat on the freezing stone floor, cradling the unconscious princess while she shook. “Damn it, we never should have let her drink that stuff. What if it’s poison?”

“Her nurse would never have poisoned Shalira,” the older man answered, his face calm, voice low. “Have faith, as Her Highness does, and wait, outworlder.”

Skidding on the stone floor, Johnny came running into the chamber, gun in hand. “We got major troubles.” He stopped short at the sight of the unconscious Shalira. “Lords of Space, now what?”

Holding the princess tight against the tremors racking her body, Mike frowned. “She drank something she believes will restore her vision and the side effects are pretty bad. What’s happening in the valley?”

“We’ve been double-crossed….”

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The story:

2015 SFR Galaxy Award Winner

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

11 comments on “SFR Brigade Summer Cafe Blog Hop Giveaway

  1. I’ve always wanted to try the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Although I hope the menu includes food that does not talk to me. Maybe something off the appetizer menu.

  2. I’m going to be safe prosaic in my choice: Troll’s seafood joint in Horseshoe Bay, BC. Best fish and chips I ever had, and the wife and I enjoyed many a romantic dinner there, back in the early days of our marriage. Makes me nostalgic just thinking about it.

  3. I can’t think of someplace better than the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, though I’m sure I’ll think of six later. I like KJ’s suggestion for Linnea’s Intergalactic Bar & Grille, and I’d like to try Ed’s place, too. Mission to Maj… is in my TBR pile.

  4. That’s quite the exciting excerpt! Thanks for the intro, Veronica! As for interstellar meals, I’m not sure… those pubs and bars all seemed like hotbeds of potential violence 😉 Not exactly the place for a relaxing meal… 😉

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