This is the sixth year of the award winning, best selling Pats in Space scifi romance anthology, which is done to benefit Hero Dogs, a nonprofit organization providing service dogs to veterans and first responders in need. The anthology is up for pre-order now and releases OCT 5.
Some years the story idea comes first for me and other years the pet concept is first and drives the story. This year they arrived together, which made things easy. My family has always enjoyed turtles as pets. We’ve had a lot of the common green turtles and many red-eared sliders over the years. My brother is especially keen on turtles and not only has several as pets, he also does rescues and has hand raised baby snapping turtles until they were old enough to be re-released into the wild. I decided to make my space pet a turtle this year in honor of my brother, who is one of my most devoted readers and fans.
Eyn is an alien turtle of course and he can and does leave his shell most days. I always felt a bit sorry for terrestrial turtles that they had to carry their shell around all the time and couldn’t go out unencumbered at least occasionally so Eyn has that freedom. He returns to his shell nightly and can close it up tight, and while he sleeps the biological mechanisms in the shell structure replenish his energy. He belongs to Raelyn, my heroine, who is a senior stewardess on board the Nebula Zephyr interstellar luxury cruise liner and is also a symbol of her home world and its belief system.
He can also function as a piece of living jewelry for her. Eyn not only sets off the events in the story, he’s also quite involved in dealing with bad guys along the way to the plot’s resolution and the Happy Ever After ending. It’s a fun challenge to me each year to ensure the pet is more than just a pretty set decoration but is also important to the events. I think Eyn manages all of that quite nicely although he’ll probably need a nap in that shell by the end of the novel.
Did I mention he has three eyes?
Of course we see other members of the ship’s crew from past stories but this can be read as a standalone.
PETS IN SPACE 6 by Various, including moi. My story in this year’s volume is STAR CRUISE: TIME LOOP and I finally wrote my own “Groundhog Day” style story. Here’s the anthology blurb: Pets in Space® is back for a new year of adventures! Join the incredible authors in this year’s Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling science fiction romance and fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late! Pets in Space 6 is edited by Carol Van Natta. Contributing authors: S.E. Smith (NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author), Veronica Scott (USA TODAY bestselling author), Honey Phillips, Carol Van Natta (USA TODAY bestselling author), Cassandra Chandler (USA TODAY bestselling author), J.C. Hay (USA TODAY bestselling author), S.J. Pajonas (USA TODAY bestselling author), Greta van der Rol, Deborah A. Bailey, Melisse Aires, and Kyndra Hatch (USA TODAY Best Selling author).