In just about two week’s the fourth edition of the scifi romance anthology PETS IN SPACE® goes live (on my birthday no less, October 8th!). Co-founded by yours truly and my author friend Pauline B. Jones, this limited edition collection of all-new, great stories supports Hero-Dogs, INC., which provides service dogs to veterans and first responders in need. More details below.
Each author in the collection writes a scifi romance story also involving a pet of some kind. This year, my pet is a canine named Charrli, who helps the main characters track down a dangerous alien idol roaming the interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr. He’s a veteran from the Sectors Special Forces Z corps of telepathic animals and their human handlers.
(And there’s a free reader magnet available until October 7th which includes a mini short story from me with some of these characters but alas, not Charrli. A woman with butterfly hair though… https://www.petsinspaceantho.com/sampler/ )
Here’s the blurb for my story, which is a 42K word novel:
An unusual bequest….
Juli Shaeffer, the Nebula Zephyr’s cruise director, receives a mysterious bequest from the estate of a longtime passenger – a lump of rock taken from a reef on the planet Tahumaroa. Legend states anyone who steals from the ocean gods will be cursed. The passenger’s will requests the rock be returned to the beach so his heirs won’t be affected by the bad luck he believed he’d incurred. Juli doesn’t believe in superstitions and she agrees to carry out this small favor on the ship’s next stop at the planet in question.
Until the rock disappears from her office…
When the rock disappears and reappears in various locations around the ship, and seems connected to a steadily escalating series of mishaps, Juli turns to Third Officer Steve Aureli as the only one she feels she can trust. Along with Steve and his elderly Aunt Dian – a passenger aboard the Nebula Zephyr for this cruise – she investigates the strange series of malfunctions plaguing the interstellar luxury liner. Steve and Juli enlist his Aunt Dian’s dog, Charrli, a retired Sectors Z Corps canine, to help them track the missing rock as it moves about the ship.
Juli and Steve must find the rock, hang onto it and transport it to the planet’s surface, before the alien idol’s curse turns deadly. The attraction between the two of them grows as the threat to Juli becomes more and more focused. Can she carry out her task while he keeps her safe from the alien curse? Will the capricious alien idol bring them good fortune…or disaster?
An excerpt from the book where Juli and Charrli make a discovery on the ship’s beach deck during a big party:
Juli was traversing the beach venue when Charrli scampered up to her, barking. She craned her head, searching the crowd for Dian but didn’t see her. “Are you lost?” she asked the dog.
Charrli ran a few steps, danced in a circle and yipped as if to demand she follow him.
“I don’t know what you want,” she said. “I can’t play right now—I’m working.”
The dog bounded to her side and carefully clamped his teeth on her hand, taking care not to break the skin as she stooped over to pet him. He growled.
Fearing perhaps Dian was ill, or in some kind of trouble, Juli looked around wildly for Steve, even as Charrli tugged harder. Deciding she could call for help on the senior officer channel if there was a problem but would feel silly if all the dog wanted was to play, Juli said, “All right, I’m coming. Show me the way.”
Charrli released her hand and bolted along the beach as if time was of the essence. Juli pursued him as fast as she could although he got a bit ahead of her. He was barking excitedly and circling an object in the sand as she quickened her pace.
And came to a dead halt, shocked at what lay in front of her.
Pets In Space® Anthology Blurb:
For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Pets in Space® proudly supports Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!
Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past three years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space® 4 will again go to Hero-Dogs.org. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today so together we can continue to assist this worthy charity!
Pre-order the book here: