Taking excerpts from STAR CRUISE IDOL’S CURSE, my novel in the USA Today Best Selling Pets In Space® 4 anthology.
Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)
Punctuation may be wonky to comply with our guidelines here. May be edited a bit from published version.
The excerpt – Juli has gone to a lawyer’s office on the planet to pick up an item at the request of her shipping line. This will fulfill a deceased passenger’s dying wish. Juli takes the rock and heads back to the spaceport but her borrowed groundcar unaccuntably breaks down. Third Officer Steve Aureli and his aunt pass by and rescue her. They’re talking about the rock and Juli announces the previous owner is dead. Continuing on from there:
Juli put her hand to her lips and inhaled sharply, “I didn’t mean to sound so dramatic.” Patting her purse, she added, “This had nothing to do with his death, unless the lawyer forgot to fully brief me.”
“No one bashed him in the skull with it then?” Steve asked, going along with her train of thought, “Guy must have had serious gravity, to persuade CLC to have you deal with this after he passed away.”
“All in a day’s work for the cruise director.” The closer she came to the spaceport, the better she felt. Maybe she could knock a few items off her to do list before going to bed tonight after all.
“Do you live on this planet?” Juli asked Dian as she attempted to straighten her uniform after the pet’s exuberant antics, in anticipation of their arrival at the local CLC office.
“Oh goodness no, dear, I was here for the famous festival of color and lights in the lake district.”
“My aunt writes travel guides and does trideocasts,” Steve said, “Highly rated ones.”
“But I don’t review cruise ships,” Dian said with a merry laugh, “Well, not usually, not unless something or someone upsets me.”
The blurb: 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?
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!
VS: I have a new fantasy romance holiday novella out!
WINTER SOLSTICE DREAM: A MAGIC OF CLADDARE NOVELLA by Veronica Scott
VS Note: I finally had time to revisit my fantasy romance world and tell a new story! This is a standalone book.
Torn from her home in the Dales as a child, Nadelma has made a place for herself as the head cook in the Witch Queen of Azrimar’s castle. She stays in the background of the busy court and uses her gentle magic gifts sparingly to help others. More or less content, she’s made peace with the hard facts of her life. Romance, marriage, a family – all beyond her dreams any longer.
Then Halvor, an ambitious Dales lord rides into the city, bringing his mercenaries to serve the king, with the promise of a rich reward, including a title and an estate. The only catch? He has to marry a highborn Azrimaran noblewoman to seal the treaty.
Fate conspires to throw Nadelma and Halvor into each other’s company and the connection is instant and deep but both resist the attraction. She knows she can never have him for herself. He must fulfill the treaty to secure a safe place for his people to live, since their holding in the Dales was destroyed by the black magic of the Shadow. Marriage to a noble damsel of the king’s choice is his fate.
Until he met Nadelma he thought his heart was frozen by the loss of all he cared for, back in the Dales. Now he knows better but his people must come first.
The situation is hopeless…or is it? For the king declares the city will celebrate Winter Solstice and hold a ball, where wishes and dreams just might come true.