Veronica: My guest today is USA Today Best Selling Author JC Hay, here to talk a little about his story in the Pets In Space® 4 scifi romance anthology, which comes out October 8th. (I’m the co-founder of this annual collection and my novel in the book is Star Cruise: Idol’s Curse.)
For the Love of Dogs
One of the best parts about being a Pets in Space author, for me, is our involvement with the charity Hero-Dogs.org. For those not aware, Pets authors have donated more than $7,100 to help place highly trained service dogs with veterans and first responders as well as facility dogs with qualified clinicians. While I’m proud to be one of the Pets authors, I’m even more proud to be able to use my writing to help this important charity.
For a person in need, these service animals provide a sense of independence, of self-reliance, that might not otherwise be available. Being able to assist with this in some small way feels like a natural outgrowth of the stories in the TriSystems universe (specially the Rangers, but Barr’s relationship with his lizard-like goanna in this year’s Pets in Space is equally cathartic.) While I’ve never had a service animal, I know first-hand the soothing comfort a companion animal can provide, and how much I rely on that consolation to get through the rough spots. To help someone find an even deeper connection is a perfect charity for me.
This short excerpt is a little slice-of-life glimpse at the connection Barr and Darcy share, and a little background on goanna in the TriSystems setting. Enjoy!
JC Hay writes about heroic hearts, both human, canine, and reptilian, in a fantastic future. For more about JC and his books visit his webpage.
Excerpt – Heart of the Spider’s Web
“Why did you bring the lizard along, again?”
Rayan chuckled, reaching out to stroke one scaled eye ridge. “Darcy goes where I go. Always has.” Most people wouldn’t comprehend. Hell, Mira was more inclined to consider the pet goanna one of his idiosyncrasies more than she actually understood it. He dug into the pocket of his parka and tugged out the bag of yellow orchid petals he’d brought. Instantly, Darcy focused both sets of eyes on the bag. Rayan offered him a single flower, held between his fingertips. Darcy watched it, judging the distance carefully by switching between primary and secondary eyes before leaning out into space to grab the treat.
“Besides,” he continued. “If I leave him behind, then Baker will just feed him the nasty carrion paste she prints out, and he’ll get spoiled.”
“Oh, of course.” Sheri rolled her eyes. “God forbid someone else spoil him.”
“Don’t listen to her. She can’t understand our love.” Rayan leaned against his restraints until he could run his fingers along Darcy’s spine. Despite his confident words, he made sure to only touch Darcy well clear of his head as long as he was eating the orchid. He and the goanna had come to an understanding long ago—Rayan didn’t look like he might be taking food away, and Darcy didn’t bite him for trying. It was a good, pain-free arrangement.
“You’ve got that much right, at least.” She checked their position on the Nav terminal, even though they were still a good hour from Hodur’s airspace. “Also, what’s with the flower? I thought goanna were carnivores.”
“They’re omnivores. Some people feed them straight-up meat, and they get big quick on all that protein, but it tends to cut their lifespans in half. Brighter candle, but half as long. In the wild, they eat all kinds of things. Fruit. Nuts. Insects. Birds.”
“Carrion.” She grinned.
He inclined his head in a half-nod. “That too. I try to keep his meat serving a little slim. It keeps any rats that sneak on board from getting out of hand.”
Grab your copy of Pets in Space® 4 today! For a limited time, Pets in Space® 4 brings together today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors to help Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that helps our service veterans and first responders.
Pre-order buy links for Pets In Space® 4 are here.
My pet in this year’s collection is an alien dog!