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SFR Showcase March 2017

I’m so excited! After a long break, my new sci-fi romance book, NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE, releases this month! Below, you can read about how the heroine and hero meet for the first time in an excerpt exclusively available via the Science Fiction Romance Brigade showcase!

About the Book:

Not_In_Kan_Mock4

Seeking an escape from her life back in Kansas, Dottie signs up on a whim to become a Federation space captain! – of a tiny, solo-crew cargo hauler. Alone in space and wishing for adventure, Dottie goes off course to an uncharted star system to answer a distress call. Sure, the call is in an alien language she’s never heard, and yes, she’s probably going to get fired on her first Federation mission, but… to adventure!

After being forced down to the planet by an alien probe in orbit, Dottie meets Croen, a handsome grey-skinned man with vivid purple eyes and an energy rifle pointed right at her. Learning they are in a shared predicament, they set off together in search of the probes’ origins, what happened to the aliens whose ancient ruins litter the jungle, and how to get back home.

Along the way, they’ll face challenges, meet unexpected friends and learn home is where your heart is.


Excerpt

Perhaps she had been premature in dismissing the idea of building a vacation home on Ozorius. It had a balmy temperature, fragrant air, cute wildlife, and a strange sense of familiarity. It wasn’t Earth, obviously, but almost a sideways, parallel version of Earth? She rolled her eyes at her own description, feeling far from a trained expedition scientist. The sense of familiarity lingered, however, the more plant leaves she picked and the more lifeforms she noticed.

There were crabs, but they were spikey and bright orange instead of brown or red. There were lemurs, but of a type extinct on Earth. There were recognizable ferns and milkweeds, but different enough to make her question the scanner. It felt as if she were walking in a dream of what Earth could be if it were only slightly altered in the finest of details. Familiar enough to be comforting, different enough to be magical.

“Magical?” Dottie stopped in her tracks near a pink tuft of seaside grass. “Computer, delete that last line from the log. I’ll think of something more scientific later.”

“Deleted,” came the response from the com-watch.

She’d been recording her investigations, talking to herself in the hopes of feeling less alone. And, hopefully save her job. Okay, so she mostly hoped to save her job. Being alone had never been a problem for her. In fact, she used to relish any sliver of peace she could achieve away from her sister, Tess. Dottie had spent countless hours in her treehouse back on the farm; a quiet refuge where she could dream about the stars and all the things she might discover one day.

And here she was, on an alien world no human had ever set foot on before. Smiling, she allowed herself a moment to be in awe of it all. The crisp scent of sea salt traveled on the next breeze. She closed her eyes, breathed it in and listened to the crashing waves. The place was beautiful, and future unemployment seemed such a trivial price to pay for the experience.

A rustle in the trees from behind made her grin. The lemurs had yet to abandon her, although they had become a bit quiet. Too quiet. Silent, actually. The hair rose along the back of her neck.

An alarm call went out, and the rest joined in. Her eyes snapped open as she whirled around towards the tree line, expecting to see some giant, toothy dinosaur on the beach looking for a human-sized snack. Instead, she was greeted by a pair of bright, lavender eyes and the barrel of a phaser rifle.

A gasping yelp stuck in her throat as her hands shot up, dropping the scanner to the sand. For a split-second, she debated reaching for her own phaser, but the scowl on the alien’s face made it clear he wouldn’t hesitate to fire. She had no interest in seeing if he had his rifle set to stun or disintegrate.

Trotockt, runa. Reut?” he asked in a voice she recognized immediately.

“Oh, it’s you!” Her hands lowered slightly then shot back up as he tilted his head in confusion and nudged the rifle at her, an obvious indication to not move. “Sorry,” she stammered. “But, you sent a distress call, and so, well, here I am! And… you have no idea what I’m saying, do you?”

His eyebrows, a shade of silver that shimmered almost violet, raised and his head tilted the other way. “Tragacht, runa? Yudktra no’n ado?”

The wind caught his gray hair, and it too shimmered through various shades of violet and lavender. His skin was gray too, his body, lean and tall. Taller than her by a foot, at least. Beyond the height and the coloring, he looked oddly human. Once again, Dottie found herself wondering if this was all some crazy, space-dementia induced dream.

Tragacht, runa?” he insisted with another poke of his rifle.

“I don’t understand,” she sighed, trying to think of anything in her training that could help. She pointed up at the sky and made a downward motion with her hand. “My space ship was taken hostage by a probe. Your probe, maybe? You know, uhm, a probe?” Wow, she sucked at this…

“Pr…ohba?” he repeated back.

“Probe, right! Uhm…” Her eyes darted over the beach and spotted a stick. With careful, slow movements, she inched over to the stick. As she bent down to pick it up, he stopped her. She stepped back and pointed at it. “Please?”

His lavender eyes moved between her and the thin stick. He picked it up, never lowering his rifle, and examined it. It was clearly not a weapon matched to his rifle, so he handed it over.

She forced a nervous smile. “Thank you.”

He held the rifle steady in both hands, waiting. “Prohba?”

She bit her bottom lip to keep from snickering at his pronunciation then crouched down near the sand. She drew a circle, Ozorius, then a rectangular box for her ship. She pointed at herself then the box a few times, then made a motion with her hand to indicate the box coming to the planet. If he understood, she couldn’t tell, but both his eyebrows were raised again and he watched her movements intently.

“I came here because of your message,” she said, mostly to herself. Then she drew the cylindrical alien probe. The sand made the probe luminesce in gold outlines, and it almost looked pretty despite the trouble it had caused.

Brintza!” he exclaimed when she completed the probe. He pointed at it with the rifle then at her. “Brintza tragacht, runa? Kelna!”

Wonderful, now he thought she had sent the probe. Judging by how angry he’d become, he hadn’t sent the probe, either. He appeared to be another victim, caught in the same booby trap.

“No, no,” she shook her head, hoping it didn’t mean ‘yes’ in his culture. She pointed at the probe then to her box and tried to make motions that told how the probe dragged her ship-box down to the circle in the sand. All she could do, besides continue with her crappy charades, was hope the alien had half a brain in his skull.


Grab Your Copy!

NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE is available at:

Amazon  |  Print  |  Goodreads


Continue with the Showcase!

Click here to read more from the awesome authors of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade




SFR Showcase February 2017

It’s 2017 and the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Showcase is back! This month I have an excerpt from NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE, which is now available on Pre-Order for a limited time price of $0.99 cents. Links will be at the bottom, and be sure to check out all the other great posts this month from the SFR community.

About the Book:

Not_In_Kan_Mock4

Seeking an escape from her life back in Kansas, Dottie signs up on a whim to become a Federation space captain! – of a tiny, solo-crew cargo hauler. Alone in space and wishing for adventure, Dottie goes off course to an uncharted star system to answer a distress call. Sure, the call is in an alien language she’s never heard, and yes, she’s probably going to get fired on her first Federation mission, but… to adventure!

After being forced down to the planet by an alien probe in orbit, Dottie meets Croen, a handsome grey-skinned man with vivid purple eyes and an energy rifle pointed right at her. Learning they are in a shared predicament, they set off together in search of the probes’ origins, what happened to the aliens whose ancient ruins litter the jungle, and how to get back home.

Along the way, they’ll face challenges, meet unexpected friends and learn home is where your heart is.


Excerpt

Dottie had done time in the crash simulators during her training. The procedure had been drilled into her skull through various scenarios, including one in which the ship lost power while landing on a planet. Strap in, launch the emergency distress beacon, deploy the buoyancy stabilizers, aim for water. There was nothing in her training, though, for how to deal with being pulled down to a planet by an alien probe. Not that she could deploy the beacon or the stabilizers if she wanted to. The ship’s systems were locked and unresponsive. Gritting her teeth, she held on and hoped the damn alien probe knew how to land her space barge of a ship without killing her.

Or destroying the cargo from her first ever space mission. Damn. She was not looking forward to explaining how her cargo had ended up on an alien beach in an area of space she wasn’t supposed to be in.

As the ship neared the beach, the probe slowed down and the console beeped. “The probe has deployed the ship’s landing gear,” the Computer informed. “Preparing to vent manifold.”

“Delay that,” Dottie commanded. “Do not vent. As soon as the probe releases us, I want you to recharge the impulse engines for planetary launch and get us back into orbit, pronto.”

“Unable to comply. The probe has locked engine control.”

“Then unlock it!” The ship listed left then right as the landing gear balanced the ship at the edge of the jungle where thinly trunked, broad-leafed trees met white sand.

“Unable to comply. Control access has been encrypted.”

“Dammit. Well, do you have any good news?” Dottie asked sourly while scowling at the viewscreen’s display of what she might consider a nice vacation spot if she hadn’t been forced there by an alien probe.

The computer twittered a beep, as if laughing at her. “Landing complete. You may now safely disembark.”

“Thank you,” Dottie replied flatly. Feeling stubborn, and a little helpless, she crossed her arms indignantly and remained harnessed in the flight chair. Outside, the probe’s tractor beam disengaged and the cylinder hovered for a moment before taking off and disappearing out of view. “What? Not going to stay and see the fish you reeled in? Figures.”

Expecting some sort of alien welcoming, or unwelcoming, party to show up, Dottie waited safe and secure inside the ship. And waited. And waited… “What the hell?”

She sat there for twenty minutes, but the viewscreen continued to show her nothing but the split line of jungle meeting seashore. Unstrapping the harness, she stood up and paced the cabin, pausing with each pass by the hatch and debating with herself about the reasons to, or not to, open it. The computer had already confirmed the air was breathable and the environment pleasant. There were the unknown ‘large lifeforms’ somewhere out there, but sitting in the control-locked ship was getting her nowhere.

“Well, if they’re not going to come say hello…” Dottie stopped at the hatch, steeled her resolve and opened it. The compression seal hissed and the hydraulics groaned as the hatch split in two, the top half lifting up to the sky and the bottom half forming a ramp to the ground. Unexpected birdsong filled the cabin, along with the sounds of crashing waves against the shore and a breeze rustling the large elephant-ear shaped leaves canopying over her ship. At her feet, the white sand shimmered with a strange, flickering yellow luminescence, and above her head the smoky lavender clouds passed by against a peach sky.

“Computer,” she murmured, her eyes wide. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

“That would be an accurate assumption. This ship disembarked the Topeka Boeing facility on stardate-”

“Stop ruining the moment,” Dottie muttered.

 


Grab Your Copy!

NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE is available at a special, limited time pre-order price of $0.99 cents.

Amazon  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

(If you requested a free copy during the Christmas Showcase Giveaway, it will be mailed to you in March.)


Continue with the Showcase!

Click here to read more from the awesome authors of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade




January 2017 Check-in

UPDATE: Links now live for pre-order!
Amazon  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  iBooks


Greetings, Readers!

I’m going to try a new thing in 2017 where I post a mini progress report each month. I hope it will give my readers a better idea on when the book they’re waiting for is coming, and help keep me on track to cleaning out my WIP folder.

This month, I wrapped up my next Science Fiction romance novel, NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE and have finalized the cover (see bottom of post). It will be available for pre-order in February with an intro price of $0.99 cents for the first few weeks. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you’ll know when it becomes available before the price goes up to $4.99.

I have raised the price of some of my full length titles to a new standard price point of $4.99. I will continue to offer many of my books for free or $0.99 cents, and most of my titles are on the Kindle Unlimited program. I hope that you can understand my reasons for asking a little bit more for some of my books, and know that I will always do my best to accommodate and offer sales throughout the year.

Moving into February, I will be finishing up Corwint Central Agent Files book 5: PROMISE THE STARS, with the hopes of having it on pre-order by mid-March. After that, I will see what my muse says, but I think The Stables book 5: CROWS DON’T SING is long overdue.

Now, on to the cover!

Not_In_Kan_Mock4

Seeking an escape from her life back in Kansas, Dottie signs up on a whim to become a Federation space captain! – of a tiny, solo-crew cargo hauler. Alone in space and wishing for adventure, Dottie goes off course to an uncharted star system to answer a distress call. Sure, the call is in an alien language she’s never heard, and yes, she’s probably going to get fired on her first Federation mission, but… to adventure!

After being forced down to the planet by an alien probe in orbit, Dottie meets Croen, a handsome grey-skinned man with vivid purple eyes and an energy rifle pointed right at her. Learning they are in a shared predicament, they set off together in search of the probes’ origins, what happened to the aliens whose ancient ruins litter the jungle, and how to get back home.

Along the way, they’ll face challenges, meet unexpected friends and learn home is where your heart is.

 




Ants and Butterflies – SFRB October Showcase

Welcome to the October Science Fiction Romance Brigade Showcase!

SFRB-ShowcaseBanner

October is Indie Month! I’m going to highlight an indie publication done every year by the Queer Sci-Fi blog and Facebook group. It’s an anthology of Flash Fiction (stories less than 300 words), written mostly by independent writers. Writing a story in 300 words is a great challenge. From aliens to space ships, romance in the stars and exploring new worlds, this year’s anthology, FLIGHT, has something for everyone.

I didn’t participate in this year’s anthology, FLIGHT, but I did have a story in last year’s anthology, DISCOVERY. I can now share that 300 word story with you.


ANTS & BUTTERFLIES

Ants marched up his skin in rows; tiny feet tickling and harsh jaws biting. He couldn’t move to wipe them away. He couldn’t move at all.

“Captain?”

The man’s voice sounded familiar, but the word barely registered. Ants. He was covered in the damn things and they were eating him alive!

“Hold on, Travis,” that familiar voice spoke with concern. “The effects of the H-38 will wear off in a moment.”

H-38. Travis knew what that was. Did. A lifetime ago. He’d slept since then, and now there was only the ants.

“Can you open your eyes?”

Who was that? Travis knew… That voice… Mornings in bed. Snuck kisses in the simulator. The bittersweet goodbye that was more like goodnight.

Asleep. He’d been asleep. Was he still asleep? The ants bit in and his hand twitched.

“Almost there, Trav. Come back to me.”

A warmth pressed against his lips. A kiss? Jonathan.

The ants vanished as Travis opened his eyes. A gasping breath. His arms moved. “Jon?”

“Welcome back, Captain.” Jon smiled. “How do you feel?”

Travis tasted the air with dry tongue. “Like I’ve slept for ages.”

“It’s only been eight years,” Jon winked. “The H-38 will have your motor functions back up to speed within the hour.”

“Did you kiss me?”

“Couldn’t resist.”

“You better not plan on waking the whole crew that way, Doc.”

“Just you, love. C’mon, you have to see it.”

The harness keeping Travis’s body in place against the hull released, sending him floating into zero gravity. Across from him a single porthole beckoned. Beyond its thick acrylicite, an unexplored planet with a textbook name orbited a yellow star.

“It looks like home,” Travis whispered, memories surfacing of a distant Earth.

Jon took his hand, the ants becoming butterflies. “We are home.”


Pick up your copy of FLIGHT and support the Queer Sci-Fi group in their effort to broaden the spectrum and representation in science fiction.

Click here to visit the other great blogs in this month’s SFR Brigade Showcase!




Powered By Indie

Did you know, October is Indie Month? From books to music to gaming to crafts, October is all about celebrating the indie artist. I am a proudly self-published author, who supports small and indie press books and readership. I’m part of an amazing indie author community, and every year it gets bigger and better.

When you read a book by an independent author, you’re supporting an independent artist. Independent artists are able to color more freely outside the lines when it comes to style and content. This leads to an enrichment of literature through the conveyance of ideas, techniques, and even communities that may be underrepresented in mass market publication. Although the representation gap in mainstream publishing is closing, indie books remain one of the best places to experience diversity in writing.

Self-published books can be an unexpected, enjoyable find, offering stories and adventures you may not find elsewhere. When a reader chooses to read a self-published book, they are telling the industry that coloring outside the lines can lead to innovation, and uniquely enjoyable stories. More and more authors are choosing to self-publish, bringing readers the opportunity to hear new voices, discover wonderful characters and fall in love with reading all over again.

Not sure where to start when it comes to reading indie-published books? Try Amazon’s Indie Publishing Page

Looking for a quick recommendation? Click on any of the covers below to get the book for FREE from Amazon

RightBackWhere-eBook480   Ghost400   All-These-200x300

582248437   1644292630   1767928029

9781479128662_p0_v3_s260x420   beneath-a-trojan-moon-final_800_12001-200x300   tftsfrb_revise_title-1