Backlist to the Future: Awakened: Anew by Josie Litton a cross between #HungerGames and #50Shades

Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.

To be notified of future Backlist to the Future posts, you can subscribe to this blog (top of the sidebar). If you’d like to submit your book for this feature, click here to get the particulars.


By Josie Litton

This was my first self-publishing venture after many years of being traditionally published. To say that I had a lot to learn is a vast understatement.  Writing about a young woman who awakens in the near future to confront the stunning reason why she can’t remember her past and the man who faces that with her was the “easy” part.

Everything else was an opportunity to go wrong. I loved the first cover but it really didn’t signal to readers clearly enough what the book is about. I think the new cover does that much more effectively. I also didn’t realize how hard it is to find the audience for a book that really doesn’t fit into a neat slot. I love sci-fi romances with hunky aliens but ANEW is strictly about humans, people struggling to cope with a future where the question of what it means to be human is harder to answer than ever.

Fortunately, many reviewers loved the book and I’m very grateful to all of them for their encouragement. Probably my favorite is the reviewer who called ANEW “a cross between Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games”. Talk about setting the bar high! But she was right in a lot of ways because the future in ANEW is filled with danger and the heat level is every bit as intense. I’ve since gone on to write contemporary romantic suspense and dark new adult romance but I still think about returning to the world of the ANEW trilogy where there are many more stories to be told.

Anew: Awakened blurb

From NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Josie Litton

“5 Explosive stars…nothing less than spectacular…sensual, explosive and revealing.”–Goodreads Reviewer

In this sensual retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” set in the near future, a beautiful young woman awakens in the garden of a secluded estate with no knowledge of who she is or how she came to be there. For the man who walks out of the darkness to claim her, she is at once the ultimate challenge and the greatest temptation.

Haunted by terrifying memories of another existence, Amelia is caught between passionate desire for Ian and longing to discover her true self. Even as he is determined to possess her body and soul, Ian’s need to protect Amelia leads him into a confrontation with his tormented past.

Together, they face the challenges that lie beyond the sanctuary of the estate in the glittering world city on the edge of cataclysmic change. In the midst of sensual excess that conceals seething rebellion, Amelia and Ian will discover that love has become the ultimate threat to survival.


As I watch, a man emerges from the deep shadows on the far side of the fountain, coming from darkness into light. His stride–steady, swift, purposeful–dissolves the distance between us. Black jeans hug the long length of his legs and his narrow hips. Under a snug black T-shirt, I see the movement of muscles across his broad shoulders and chest. His arms hang loosely at his sides, the fingers of each hand curling inward as though he carries weapons that are invisible to me. His hair is dark brown, thick and slightly long. The sun has burnished his skin. He has strong, symmetrical features, the facial bones angular and chiseled.

Too far away to see his eyes, I nonetheless feel their intensity. My first instinct is to flee but where? Belatedly, I realize that I don’t know where I am, much less where I could go.

Searching for answers, I stumble across a greater mystery. I have no idea who I am.

With that discovery, my heart begins to race but only for an instant. Panic recedes like a swiftly ebbing tide, replaced by a swell of soothing calm. I stand frozen in place, waiting heartbeat to heartbeat as he nears.

Across shrinking space, further details reveal themselves. He hasn’t shaved in a day…two? I wonder suddenly how the stubble along his square jaw would feel against my fingertips. Is it coarse? Raspy? Silken? The thought shocks me with its presumption of intimacy.

When no more than an arm’s length separates us, he stops. That close, he appears even larger, more formidable but also young, still in his twenties, I think. At last, I can see his eyes. Set under arching brows, they are a rich golden amber shading to brown and framed by thick lashes.

When I meet his gaze, I glimpse curiosity darkened by…passion? I shy away from that at once, concentrating on what else I glimpse. Wariness? Can that be right? Is there something about me that makes this man cautious?

At that moment, what I want most is to hear his voice. When it comes, the deep, slightly husky timbre sends a shiver through me. I watch in unwilling fascination as his full, surprisingly sensuous mouth–the only hint of softness I can see in him–shapes a single word:


I have a name!

Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Josie Litton bio

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Josie Litton lives in Connecticut. She is married to the man of her dreams and has two grown children. Becoming an empty nester has left her plenty of time to write, think about writing, plan what to write next, and read. When she isn’t doing that, she’s cooking, gardening, and traveling.

Join Josie Litton’s Readers Group | Josie on Facebook |  Josie’s Amazon Author Page

Josie on Bookbub |Josie Litton Books

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Krinar Kindle World: KRINAR’S DESIRE has released!

Krinar’s Desire is available on Amazon!

You can download it here.

He’ll never let her go…

Pretending she works for the mayor’s office, investigative journalist Caitlyn Meadows goes undercover at a K company intending to expose the Krinar and show the world the dark side of the powerful, mesmerizing aliens who have invaded Earth.

Arak, a Krinar, prefers to avoid the weak, technologically backward humans, but the moment he meets Caitlyn, he wants her. Getting her to submit to his dark desires consumes him, and he sets out to seduce her.

Falling under Arak’s spell, Caitlyn begins to doubt her beliefs and her mission. She doesn’t know whom to trust—her colleagues at Viral News who warn she’s becoming too close to a dangerous alien—or her own heart that urges her to get even closer by becoming Arak’s mate.

Making the wrong choice could mean her life…

An excerpt

Arak extended his hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Miss Meadows. Welcome to K Technologies.” Polite, neutral words, but his voice poured over her like rich, decadent, chocolate. The dark, sinful kind with a lingering bite. The timbre vibrated through tissue and bone until her entire body hummed and ached.

She froze, trying to make sense of her involuntary, spontaneous reaction. She’d met handsome men before. Not like this. He was tall and sleek, his form tight with muscle but avoiding the bulkiness afflicting bodybuilders. Chiseled cheekbones and a strong chin held enough smoothness to avoid sharpness. Full lips parted in a smile showing white teeth, but no fangs.

Do they pop out when he needs them, or is their thirst for blood a myth? Do Krinar even have fangs? She gulped and tore her gaze away from his sexy—not sexy, not sexy—mouth to meet his gaze.

His eyes were golden-green, his brows almost black like his short, gleaming hair. One eyebrow arched.

“Earth to Caitlyn, wake up.” Mike growled through the earpiece.

Her face heated. Arak stood there with his hand outstretched.

How embarrassing. “It-it’s nice to meet you.” His big hand engulfed hers, and an electrical charge shot through her like she’d grabbed a practical-joke buzzer. Her stomach fluttered, and her nipples tightened. What the hell was wrong with her?

As soon as his grip loosened, she tucked her hair behind her ear and dislodged the earpiece. It fell to the floor. She stooped to grab it at the same time as Arak knelt. His eyes weren’t golden-green at all, but composed of individual flecks of amber and shades ranging from deep forest to light moss. His woodsy scent wafted over her like an aromatherapy diffuser perfuming the air, except his effect was anything but calming to her senses.

“This is an interesting earring.” He peered at the tiny transceiver, and her thudding heart nearly leaped out of her chest. Would he realize what it was? What would he do if he did? Kick her out? Or kill her? The Ks insisted they meant no harm, but some humans had died during the Great Panic following the invasion and in the failed offensive by the Resistance in Lenkarda. Her pendant cam would record everything, so people would see if he killed her, but she would still be dead.

He won’t kill me. I’m being silly. Get a grip.

“Is it a common to wear jewelry on top of your ear? And only one?” He tilted his head to peer at her left ear. She’d attached simple gold hoops through a single piercing in each lobe, but the transceiver had been worn as a single earring.

Their fingers brushed when he handed the spy device to her. Her hand trembled as she re-clipped the unit to the top of her ear. “Common? I don’t know. Some women do. It’s a fashion statement.” Or a secret transceiver. She bit her lip to suppress a nervous giggle.

“That was a close one,” Mike said.

Arak cupped her elbow and assisted her to her feet. Another riot of disconcerting sensation rocketed through her like fireworks. I wish he’d stop touching me. Shaking hands was expected in business situations, and contact wasn’t unlikely when handing a person something, but what if he needed a tactile connection to read her mind?

She stepped back and fiddled with her pendant then realized she was blocking the video, and let it drop.

Yellow-green eyes fixed on her face. “Do I frighten you, Miss Meadows?”

* * *

Purchase information for International readers
Krinar’s Desire is part of Amazon Kindle Worlds, fan fiction stories exclusive to (US). The only way to purchase any of the Kindle Worlds books is through International readers will need to temporarily change your Amazon address so that you can download the book from the store. Her’e’s how to do that:

  1. Log into your Amazon UK, CA, or AU account.
  2. Add a United States address to your list of one-click addresses; it doesn’t have to be a home, but a legitimate address such as a hotel.
  3. Go to Manage Your Content & Devices, and under Country settings, change your location to US. Amazon will ask you to select an address. Select the US address you added to your one-click addresses.
  4. Return to the Amazon US link, buy the book, and it will download onto your designated device.
  5. Once the book is downloaded, you can change the settings back to your home country.


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An antique desk, tchotchkes, and cats highlight Veronica Scott’s office #AuthorsInSpace #PetsInSpace

By Veronica Scott

The desk I use for my writing belonged to my great grandmother in the late 1800’s and was passed down to me by my grandmother. I still have the key! And when I unlocked the drop front after the desk was delivered to me, I found several late 1800’s tintype photos in elaborate leather frames, stashed in the a drawer – men and women who were probably related to me but sadly, no identification. I’ve kept the photos safely in the desk all these years, since they belong together.

My grandmother and my great grandmother wrote genteel letters and poetry by hand at this desk.

My late mother-in-law (who loved antique furniture)  had it completely rebuilt and refinished as a wedding present to me in the 1970’s so it’s very sturdy again, which is a good thing since I sit here and pound away on my laptop’s  keyboard as if it was the old Royal typewriter I learned to type on as a kid. I write science fiction romance and ancient Egyptian paranormal romance and a lot of blog posts. No poetry!

I keep a rotating cast of knickknacks on top of the desk – currently with an ancient world theme, but sometimes model robots from science fiction TV shows and movies, or even Lego creations from my grandson. I have a photo from the old Flash Gordon serials that I keep close by, from a time when Buster Crabbe was the hero and the special effects were sparklers and spaceships suspended from strings. When I was a kid, the local TV station ran the Flash Gordon episodes every afternoon at 4PM and I was entranced by the exciting scifi adventures (with a dash of romance). I remember being pretty upset when someone finally told me how very old those shows were! But Flash and his beloved Dale (his varying cast of actresses playing Dale, I should probably say LOL) were one of my earliest inspirations to lean toward science fiction.

My two cats, Jake and Keanu, keep me company when I write and they squabble over the chair next to the desk. Jake likes to steal it from Keanu, who then appropriates my smaller side table and demands consolation petting.

Over the past few years I’ve downsized in stages from the large house where I raised my children to my present condo, now that I’m an empty nester. I’ve had so many garage sales and donated so much STUFF to Goodwill in the process! But I’m a knickknack person so I still have way more tchotchkes and fun things to look at than most people could probably stand outside of a store LOL. But it pleases me. The desk is in the living room and if I glance up I can see out my balcony, where I have a peaceful view of sky and trees.

Just the thing for a scifi romance author busily writing about interstellar chaos and danger!

Veronica Scott Bio:

Best Selling Science Fiction, Fantasy & Paranormal Romance author, as well as the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog |  Twitter  |  Facebook

Veronica is the author of Star Cruise: Songbird in the Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2 anthology.

The blurb for Star Cruise: Songbird:

Grant Barton, a Security Officer on the Nebula Zephyr, is less than thrilled with his current assignment to guard an Interstellar singing sensation while she’s on board the ship. It doesn’t help that he and his military war bird Valkyr are dealing with their recent separation from the Sectors Special Forces and uncertainty over their future, with their own planet in ruins.

Karissa Dawnstar is on top of the charts and seemingly has it all – talent, fame, fortune and devoted fans, but behind her brave smile and upbeat lyrics she hides an aching heart. When a publicity stunt goes wrong, Karissa finds herself in the arms of the security officer assigned to protect her – and discovers a mutual attraction she can’t ignore.

Trouble continues to plague the pair, driving a wedge between them and leaving Grant certain that Karissa is in more danger than she realizes, from overzealous fans and her own management. Grant is determined to protect Karissa whether she wants his help or not. Can he discover the truth behind what’s going on before he loses Karissa or is there someone else plotting to keep them apart – permanently?

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journhbits of eying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first months profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Release date: October 10, 2017 ~ Preorder now!

Amazon  |   Universal buy link

Try the FREE sampler containing the first chapters of all the Pets in Space stories. Download here.

Want to see more author offices? 

Susan Grant | Laurie Green | Pauline Baird Jones | Alexis Glynn Latner | Jessica Subject | S.E. “Susan” SmithCarol Van Natta

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Carter, Carter, Carter! Some details about the hero of Hunted by the Cyborg…

Always the usher, never the groom. Well, it’s finally Carter’s turn!
Carter Aymes, who has appeared in all the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance novels as a secondary character, is finally gettting his own book–Hunted by the Cyborg (book 6).

Here are a few facts about Carter:

  • He is the only cyborg in the series who does not have a name that means “man.” (Brock Mann, Kai Andros, March Fellows…)
  • He doesn’t have a “man” name because he wasn’t a cyborg when I started writing Stranded with the Cyborg (book 1) and I didn’t know he was going to become one until Captured by the Cyborg (book 3)  when he was attacked and critically injured.
  • His favorite drink is Cerinian brandy, an alien liquor with a kick like a yacuni!
  • Carter likes to think he’s a hardass, and his cyber operatives like to give him a hard time, but he is a big softie and a big romantic at heart. In Stranded with the Cyborg, he forces helps Brock and Pia patch things up.
  • The man is filthy rich. His wealth is a secret he’s kept from everyone–including me! He didn’t tell me until I started writing Hunted by the Cyborg. (Note: Carter is a quadrillionaire – million, billion, trillion, quardrillion. The Cy-Ops series takes place about 300 years in the future, so there has been quite a bit of inflation, and a billion doesn’t buy what it used to. So, he’s a quadrillionaire.)
  • He lives on Terra (Earth), residing in employee housing at Cy-Ops/Aym-Sec, however he also keeps a penthouse apartment in a high rise, which he also owns.
  • He founded Cyber Operations, the covert cyborg force, and funded it largely with his own money.  He also founded and directs Aym-Sec, a security/body guard firm that serves as a cover for Cyber Operations. Both are located deep below the Galactic Trade Center.
  • In Hunted by the Cyborg, Carter faces off against Lamani, the arch villain of the series, the reclusive leader of the Lamis-Odg terrorists.
  • Carter is a graduate of the Terran Technical Institute  where he had a relationship with a fellow student, Liza O’Shea. She left Carter and the university to travel, and was later killed by terrorists. At the Terran Technical Institute, Carter was a student of Professor Mikala Aaron who later became President of Terra United. Carter and Mikala have remained friends throughout the years.
  • Carter’s heroine will be Liza’s “sister” Beth. Why the quotes? You’ll find out…

Hunted by the Cyborg won’t be released until January 2018. If you’ve read all the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romances, you can get your Carter fix with Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, coming October 10. I have a Cy-Ops novella in the anthology: Rescued by the Cyborg. New hero, but Carter is again, a secondary character.

To be notified of the release of Hunted by the Cyborg, subscribe to my newsletter, and you’ll also receive Married to the Cyborg. And, yes, Carter’s in that one, too!

Blurb reveal to come soon!


Posted in My romances, Science fiction romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Backlist to the Future: The Passion Season by Libby Doyle, a feminist’s #SFR (with a swoony hero) #B2F

Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.

To be notified of future Backlist to the Future posts, you can subscribe to this blog (top of the sidebar). If you’d like to submit your book for this feature, click here to get the particulars.


By Libby Doyle

When I was a little girl, I dreamed about writing novels. I started one when I was seven, scribbling in long hand and pasting the pages into an old paperback. The story was about two BFFs who fell into a subterranean magical world. They met a genie named Lisa (hey, I was seven) who said she would help them find The Rose, which held the secret to travel between the two realms. Of course, every good adventure needs a villain. Mine was an evil queen who wanted Lisa dead. I was quite the little feminist. Every one of my characters was female.

I never finished, but my dream never died. Forty years later, I did it! I wrote The Passion Season. As my first novel it will always hold a special place in my fevered brain. I’m still a feminist, so I set out to write a strong, complex female protagonist. Special Agent Zan O’Gara has her demons, but she is brave and committed to justice. Deep down, she believes in love, even if she’s afraid to let it carry her away.

Not being seven anymore, and partial to men, I also set out to write a swoony male protagonist. And Barakiel is swoony all right. Six-feet-eight inches of muscular blond alien warrior who murmurs poetic endearments from full, pouty lips.

Writing about their relationship was great fun. They have a lot to overcome—deception, danger, the fact that he’s an alien—but their love grows into a source of profound mutual strength. I enjoy reading about powerful women who know what they want, sexually and otherwise, and the men (or male Covalent warriors as the case may be) who are their equals. I’m so happy I got to bring these two to life.

The Passion Season blurb

A gruesome crime brings them together. His secrets could rip them apart.

He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic.

Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to hold the cosmos in Balance. The rulers of his world banished Barakiel to Earth for the crimes of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against them. Lucifer also seeks to enslave his son, sending demons to attack him in exile. Invading his mind with a whispered ultimatum—join me or die.

She is Alexandra O’Gara.

FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk.

Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never met anyone as fascinating as Barakiel, a wealthy businessman who offers to help with a murder case. She’s stunned by the intensity of her attraction, which both frightens and thrills her, and breathes life into emotions she thought were long dead.

This is their love story.

As he struggles to decide whether he should reveal his true nature to Zan, Barakiel learns his presence on Earth has placed its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as his passion rescues him from centuries of loneliness.

WARNING: This book contains foul language, violence, and explicit sex. The story continues in The Pain Season, available now.

Book Excerpt:

SET UP: Zan and Barakiel meet when she visits his home in a professional capacity to see if he can offer information about antique daggers the FBI found at a crime scene. 

“In the interest of not taking up any more of your time than necessary, these are the knives in question.” Zan held up the case. “Daggers, I think. Did Professor Carson explain where we found them?”

“Superficially, yes.”

“Well, someone conducted some kind of ritual in Independence National Historical Park. We wouldn’t be that concerned with weird people doing weird things at night, but we found a human spleen. We tested the DNA and ran it through the database and discovered that the spleen came from a body found this past winter by the Philadelphia police. All its internal organs had been removed. The police called us because they thought it might involve organ trafficking, but we never found any evidence of it, so we weren’t much help. No one ever filed a missing persons report on this man, and Philly PD was never able to identify the corpse, let alone solve the crime.”

“Disturbing,” he said.

“Very. We thought if you could tell us something about the knives it could give us some insight into what this whole thing was about, maybe generate some sort of lead. They look old, and Professor Carson said you are an expert in antique bladed weapons.”

“Yes. I collect them. I’ve learned a lot over the years.”

“Let’s take a look,” Zan said. He led her to a massive carved table to the left near the kitchen area. She opened the case and laid the daggers out on a cloth. After he leaned down to scrutinize them, he said they were ceremonial daggers and asked if he could pick them up. Zan told him that because they were evidence, he would need to wear latex gloves. She handed him a pair. He tried to put one on for a minute, then frowned at her.

“I’m sorry. It’s too small.”

Zan stared at his hands. They were huge, but not meaty. They looked like they could crush a man’s skull, but also assemble a fine Swiss watch.

Or maybe gently touch me.

She felt the heat rise to her face again. He raised an eyebrow.

“You can use the glove like a handkerchief and just pick it up that way,” she said, fixing her gaze on the floor.

Picking up a dagger, he held it level with his eyes. When he had done the same to all four and they were back in the case, he motioned Zan closer and directed her to lean down. He showed her the intricate motifs and the manner in which the blades were joined to the hilts. He explained that from these features, he could determine that the blades were ceremonial, made in France in the late 19th century. She struggled to listen to what he was saying. That impossible face was so close, and she could smell him. He smelled like a pristine forest in the spring.

Buy links 

Amazon |  iBooks |  Barnes & Noble |  Kobo |

Libby Doyle bio

Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes real life by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband.

Libby Doyle’s Website |  Facebook |  Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Mailing List

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Alien Mate nominated for Best Sci-fi at Ozarks Indie Bookfest #OIBF2017 #Scifirom

Alien Mate, my “mail-order” bride sci-fi romance, was nominated for Best Sci-fi by the Ozarks Indie Bookfest.  All the nominees are attending authors at the conference, Oct. 19-21. However, anyone can vote! The “polls” are open until Sept. 18.

Vote here.

I’m Starr Elizabeth Conner. Earth’s government falsely convicted me of a crime, packed me on a ship with other female felons, and sent us to Dakon, a primitive, frozen wasteland of a planet. Why? Earth needs minerals, and Dakon is desperate for females.

But I’m no barbarian’s ‘mail order bride,’ even if he is super tall, muscular, and the chief of his tribe. He doesn’t want a BBW blonde, either–it’s written all over his chiseled face. He’ll be truly angry if he ever learns what my ‘crime’ was.

I am Torg. I have waited 34 rotations for a mate of my own. With this shipment, I was sure to get a fine, sturdy mate who’ll bear me many daughters. Instead, I receive a small, curvy, pale-haired female who looks at me with anger and fear.

It is only when we ‘kiss’ that I believe things may work out between us. But I’m hearing rumors that Starr and her shipmates are law-breakers. To survive, Dakonians must obey all laws … or be exiled into the frozen wasteland.  Just when I have found her, will I have to send my mate to die?

Don’t miss this funny, steamy  sci-fi romance–get your copy of Alien Mate today!

Universal buy link for

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo

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Funny food stories…some humor for a Monday

What do you blog about when you have nothing to blog about?


I thought I’d share a few funny stories involving food.

The tamale tale

My sister-in-law, a respiratory therapist, had worked in Saudia Arabia, where she met and married a British guy. She brought him home to the US–California–for the holidays one year. “Keith” was having a beer and playing pool at a little bar near the in-laws’ house when a woman came in selling homemade tamales. Tamales are a Mexican tradition at Christmastime. Keith had never had tamales. I don’t think he even knew what they were, but he bought some. He took them to the house and steamed them, the way woman had instructed. He’d eaten two of them, before a family member noticed and told him he needed to remove the corn husk!

Dinner with the parents

My mother-in-law saves everything. If anything has any possible use, she will not throw it away. No speck of food is too small to save. Her fridge is jam-packed and full of surprises. She’ll have ham in a margarine container marked mashed potatoes. You never know what you’re going to get.

When my husband was dating his ex-wife (Janice), the first time he brought her home for dinner with the parents, my MIL had made a salad. Everyone sat down at the table, and they passed around a mason jar of salad dressing. Janice poured dressing on her salad, and quietly began to eat.

The dressing got to my husband’s older sister. After putting it on her salad, she took a bite and spit it out at the table. “That’s pancake batter!”

A ‘special’ breakfast

My grandmother who grew up poor wouldn’t waste food either. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “It’s a sin to waste food!”

Once morning she decided to have Grape Nuts cereal for breakfast. She said it tasted terrible, like “rotten milk.” She kept adding more and more milk and sugar trying to make it palatable, but after eating half a bowl, she couldn’t stand it anymore. She threw it outside for the birds to eat. When she went to get a different box of cereal, she found Grape Nuts in the cupboard. She looked at the box of what she had been eating and it was….

Special Dinners for Cats.

I later told her the picture of the cat on the box should have been a clue.

Oh the horror…

Mold grosses me out. I dislike mold the way some people hate snakes. The only way to remove moldy fruit is with tongs and an extended arm.

I was a teenager, maybe 15 or 16, and my mom was gone somewhere. It was dinnertime, so I made some pasta, heated up some jar sauce, and toasted some garlic bread. Later, my mom came home.

“Did you eat?” she asked.


“What did you have?”

“Spaghetti and garlic bread.”

“Where did you get the bread?”

“The loaf that was on the kitchen table.”

“Oh, that was going mildew.”

Oh. my. god. I think it was a year before I could bring myself to eat that kind of bread again.

* * *

 Leave a comment–maybe share your funny food story–and I’ll email you the best sweet potato recipe in the entire world. Everybody who has ever tried this recipe has loved it–including my husband who isn’t a big sweet potato fan. After 20+ years of marriage, he finally tried them, and now loves them too! Thanksgiving isn’t that far off, and this recipe will be big hit. (Be sure to leave your email as you sign in or post it in the comment box).

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NY Times bestselling author S.E. Smith takes you into her ‘author cave’ #AuthorsInSpace, #PetsInSpace

By Susan Smith

There are many things I endeavor to do during my day – cleaning my office is not one of them. I live in a small house – the same one we purchased thirty-one years ago and raised four kids and an assortment of dogs, fish, turtles, lizards, and hamsters in. When the last of the kids moved out, Steve and I thought the house would be plenty big enough, after all, we had made it through three six foot five plus sons and a daughter.

Alas, as you can see in the photo, I was sadly mistaken. Steve and I are opposites in some ways which helps us be the perfect partner. While he is a minimalist, I tend to collect for the rainy days – or the apocalypse, I’m still trying to figure out which one. Regardless, if he needs something, I’ve got it! I took over the smallest bedroom as my office. I should have chosen the medium size room except I’ve overflowed into it as well.










I tend to collect and keep things that mean a lot to me. I am the keeper of the family photo albums that survived the devastating fire that killed my mom. I treasure the gifts I’ve received over the years from my kids, my students, and from readers. And I have a love for miniature houses which would get me in a LOT of trouble if I had a bigger house.

Each small artifact in my office is a piece of me. Yes, my desk looks like it has thrown up all over itself – I’ll get around to cleaning it when it gets too much. Until then, I’d rather be writing!









Susan Smith bio

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International, and Award-Winning Bestselling author of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary works for adults, young adults, and children. She enjoys writing a wide variety of genres that pull her readers into worlds that take them away.

Readers can check out her website at and chat with her on Facebook at


  • New York Times Bestselling Author
  • USA TODAY Bestselling Author
  • Amazon International Bestselling Author
  • 2016 The Wishing Shelf Book Award Gold Winner and Finalist for YA
  • 2016 Library Journal Best Book – Top 5 Pick
  • 2014 & 2015 RomCon Reader Crown Award Winner
  • Indie Reader Top 5 Author – Pets in Space Anthology
  • 2014 International TKH Science Fiction Writer of the Year Award Winner

S.E. Smith is the author of Pearl’s Dragon in Pets in Space 2

A novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier series

Asim Kemark has lived a long, lonely life. It is only his pledge to his former king and to Mandra Reykill that keeps him, his dragon, and his symbiot from going crazy. He has given up on ever finding his true mate and devotes himself to caring for the wide assortment of creatures on Mandra and Ariel’s mountain retreat. The last thing he expects when he visits the palace is to lose control of his dragon and his symbiot when they sense their true mate. Before he knows it, he has kidnapped her!

Pearl St. Claire is enjoying a new adventure – learning to live on an alien planet. As a mature woman in her sixties, she thought she had experienced just about everything life could throw at her – only to discover she really hasn’t experienced anything yet! She is both amused and exasperated when one of the dragon-shifting aliens kidnaps her, believing she is his true mate.

Life is no longer boring or lonely as Asim courts the spirited human woman who has enchanted him, but he isn’t the only one who has noticed Pearl or the unusual animals under his care. When poachers attack, determined to steal the exotic creatures under his protection – including Pearl and a new clutch of alien eggs from Earth – he will do everything he can to protect them. Can one dragon keep the most precious creatures under his care safe, or will he lose the biggest battle of his life?

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journhbits of eying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first months profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Release date: October 10, 2017 ~ Preorder now!

Amazon  |   Universal buy link

Try the FREE sampler containing the first chapters of all the Pets in Space stories. Download here.

Want to see more author offices? 

Susan Grant | Laurie Green | Pauline Baird Jones | Alexis Glynn Latner | Jessica Subject | Carol Van Natta

Coming soon: Veronica Scott and Anna Zaires!

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Attacked by a vicious…kitten? An excerpt from #PetsInSpace 2 #Romance #SFR

After Solia is taken hostage and sold to some predatory aliens, she awakens in the sick bay of a spaceship. Solia is the heroine of Rescued by the Cyborg, a novella in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. Rescued by the Cyborg is part of the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series.

Something kept poking her. Solia rose to consciousness but buried her face in her wing and squeezed her eyelids even tighter. She didn’t want to see what existed in the light. Monsters were real, and they didn’t just creep in the night. Don’t look. Stay here. Here, wherever that was, with her eyes closed, was warm, pain-free, safe.

Safe from what? What was she forgetting?

Pat. Pat. Something pawed at her feathers. Then a rumble. Pat. Pat. Poke. Something sharp, like a claw scraped across her face.




Cage. Death. Her lids sprang open. Two green Ka-Tȇ eyes stared into hers. The creature yawned, revealing a mouthful of small, sharp teeth, and then struck out with its paw.

Solia shrieked. The creature somersaulted and disappeared. Dragging her broken, torn wing, Solia stumbled for the door and plowed into a massive chest.

“What’s happened? What’s wrong?” A man gripped her shoulders. Though he barricaded the way, his presence exuded safety, calmed her panic. More memories flashed. Racing through the jungle. This man carrying her to a pod. Bodies hitting the window, scratching, clawing, trying to crack it open. The man—Guy— had rescued her from Katnia. The floor hummed beneath her feet. She was on a ship now.

But one of the creatures—“K-K-Ka-Tȇ. Here.”

“What? Where?” Disbelief knit his brows.

Solia gulped air and pointed. “Under the berth. It’s little, but I woke up, and it was on me, scratching my face. It had green eyes. Claws.” She patted her cheeks. There didn’t seem to be any injury.

“Mittzi.” Guy shook his head. He got down on all fours to peer under the bunk.

“Be careful.”

He reached under the berth and pulled out a ball of gray fur with white feet. Maybe Ka-Tȇ were born furry but lost their hair as they matured? The creature spoke, emitting an odd little meow noise. Neither language training nor the implant provided a translation. It clung to Guy, showing no sign of savagery, but maybe viciousness developed with time, too.

“It’s not a Ka-Tȇ, it’s a kitten, a baby cat,” Guy said, his tone gentle. “Don’t you have felines on Faria?”

Rescued by the Cyborg (A Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance) by Cara Bristol

A cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future entwine…

Hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders and charges in. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed.

Guy is taken with Solia, but the guilt of a past mistake won’t allow him to plan for a future with the delicate, brave beauty. Life is so uncertain, he can’t even keep Mittzi, the kitten his niece gave him. What he can do is see to it Solia gets the help she needs for a full recovery. But when best intentions place her in greater danger, it’s up to a little kitten to make everything all right again.

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 description

The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out, a charity that supports our veterans!

10% of the first months profits go to Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

Get it on Amazon, BN, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo
Buy link for all stores:

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Backlist to the Future: Salvation by Lea Kirk…when a character clams up…

Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.

To be notified of future Backlist to the Future posts, you can subscribe to this blog (top of the sidebar). If you’d like to submit your book for this feature, click here to get the particulars.


By Lea Kirk

When I first started writing Prophecy, I thought it was a one-and-done book. I had no idea the heroine’s brother would also want his story told. But, young Nicholaus started waking me up at night and poking me in the ribs during the day until I finally got the hint. The thing is, when I sat down to write Salvation, he clammed up. (Boys can be toads like that sometimes, trust me. I have four of them.) By this time I knew that there was at least a 3-book story arc for the series, so I came down hard on him by telling him if he didn’t start talking, I’d cut his story out and move onto his niece Flora’s story. Finally, he opened up, introduced me to Sakura, and a beautiful story of acceptance and healing unfolded.

Book blurb

A blessing and a curse…
Seven years ago, a single moment changed the course of Nicholaus Bock’s life forever—the moment his preternatural Gift to heal awakened in him. A gift that made him an invaluable commodity to the known galaxy. Now his mentor’s intriguing and secretive new student goes out of her way to challenge his loyalty to everything he values.

A dark secret…
After facing death and destruction during the Anferthian invasion, Sakura Yamata revels in her new-found Gift to heal. Helping Earth’s survivors keeps her mind off the loss of her family, and the memory of the terrible choices she made. Nick could penetrate her defenses and discover what she’s hiding. She must not let the handsome healer close enough for that to happen.

A race facing annihilation…
When a mysterious disease strikes the hidden sanctuary of the Anferthian dissenters, Nick and Sakura are called in to help. But someone is going to great lengths to ensure the dissenters don’t survive. Nick and Sakura must set aside their differences and work together to save them before the fragile peace between three worlds is shattered.

Book Excerpt

Nick took Sakura’s hands in his, and reclined himself at the other end of the sofa, pulling her along with him. Lying full on top of him, there was a palpable tension in her body. But, she didn’t resist when he drew her head down, guiding her lips back to his.

This time she opened her mouth to him in a cautiously curious manner. He ran his tongue along hers, then explored the warmth of her mouth before he drew her back in, encouraging her to take the initiative. She was so soft and sweet. A very primitive desire to hold her and protect her from anything that might hurt her surged in his chest. She was part of him, in him. And there was no antidote for how she made him feel.

His heart pounded in his ears as he wrapped his arms around her, keeping himself grounded in case he floated off the sofa. A soft moan from her set his heart to pounding louder. God almighty, if he could just lay here kissing her for eternity….

“Nicholaus! Sakura!” K’rona’s voice cut through the amorous haze. The pounding wasn’t his heart after all.

Sakura’s warm mouth abruptly disappeared, ending the kiss. Nick blinked multiple times in rapid succession to clear the fog of pleasure that had settled in his mind. What the hell was going on?

“Oh, no. Oh, no!” Sakura rolled off him straightening clothing and smoothing her hair. “Do I look okay?”

Her complexion glowed and her soft lips appeared pinker and slightly fuller than normal. Nick looked straight into her eyes. “You look beautiful.”

“Nick!” She glared at him.

Well, she did. And he wasn’t bothering to hide his grin. She had every right to know how happy she’d made him.

K’rona’s fist thundered against the door. “Are you well, Nicholaus?”

He gave his head a shake to clear it. “Yes, fine. Coming.” He glanced at Sakura. “Go sit at the table or something. I’ll let K’rona in before she breaks yet another door off its hinges.”

If he didn’t open the door now, the quivering barrier would be in peril of meeting the same fate as B’iha’s door. Yanking the door open, he stared up at the Anferthian woman.

There was nothing that compared to the awkwardness of almost being caught in the act of doing something covertly. Like a kid caught sneaking the last cookie in the jar. The more than three-foot height discrepancy between him and K’rona added a whole new dimension to the situation. A stab of guilt went through Nick. This was exactly how he used to feel when he was a kid and his mom busted him for some infraction.

“What’s up, K’rona?” The slightly higher pitch to his voice totally ruined his attempt at the casual approach.

The Anferthian woman’s nostril’s flared and her gaze raked him from head to foot. Then she glanced over his shoulder and a little knowing smile bowed her mouth. “Sorry to interrupt.”

Buy links

Amazon US  |Amazon International    | B&N Kobo  

 Author bio

Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance. Her fascination with science fiction began at six-years-old when her dad introduced her to the original Star Trek TV series. By nine-years-old she knew she wanted to be a writer, and in her teens she read her first romance and was hooked. She launched her successful SFR Prophecy series in 2016. (Book three coming soon!)

She lives with her wonderful hubby of twenty-seven years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a Dobie-Bull Mastiff puppy named April. She’s also proud of her seven-times great-grandson. Apparently her stories will serve as the inspiration for James T. to join Star Fleet Academy. She learned this in the 1980’s when James sought out her counsel on where to find a pair of humpback whales.

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