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 took a special assigment to pick up an item on the last planet the Nebula Zephyr visited, at the request of her shipping line. This will fulfill a deceased passenger’s dying wish. I’ve jumped wayyy ahead to a more dramatic moment. SPOILER: Yes, it’s a nightmare, but based on an actual scary incident with the rock earlier in the day:
Juli was trapped in the entrance chamber to the number four engine core. Charrli was at her feet, barking and whining and jumping at the controls as if he wanted to open the door. But when she searched for a way to escape, there were no handles to unseal the exit door to let her and the dog retreat into the engineering deck. The indicators on the opposite bulkhead indicated the cycle for opening the door was well underway.
She was in her nightgown of all things, certainly not in a safety suit, and the coruscating lights and energy of the core were reflecting into the small antechamber through the one observation window. The instant the heavy portal swung open would be her last moment of life.
She took one horrified look through the window and saw the black rock sitting right next to the engine nacelle, bathed in the unearthly lights of the energy flow.
With a scream, Juli retreated, nearly falling over Charrli as she did so.
Pivoting on her heel, she pounded on the panel blocking her only route to safety, screaming for help. She jumped up and down in front of the vidcam, waving her arms and begging someone to pay attention and come rescue her.
(That’s 10 sentences, here’s the rest of the snippet…)
Furiously brushing away tears, Juli wedged herself into the corner of two massive walls, as if she might be safer there when in truth nowhere was safe once the access to the core opened. Charrli came over, licked her face and clambered into her lap, where he sat shivering in fear.
“How the seven hells did we get here?” Juli asked, running one hand over the silky softness of his ears. “The damn rock must have brought us both here but why? What did we ever do to it? My only motive was to get it home where it belongs.”
Charrli barked once.
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!