Pets in Space has been released and is available at all online booksellers!
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Pets in Space is science fiction romance anthology for adults. Each of the nine stories has a pet in it. Ten percent of the first months profits will benefit Hero-Dogs.org, an organization that trains and places service animals with veterans.
I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing project!
(Blurb follows; scroll down to read an excerpt)
Pets in Space blurb
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
A MATE FOR MATRIX: CYBORG PROTECTION UNIT
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
Matrix Roma is a member of the elite Zion military Cyborg Protection Unit. Matrix gets more than he bargains for when his cyborg partner, a hybrid Wolfhound named K-Nine, goes missing and ends up finding a mate for Matrix in the middle of a deadly mission on an unknown planet called Earth.
By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)
Interplanetary Marine Lt. Lukas Frank has a lot in common with a street dog named Bang-Bang; they both started off as scrappy orphans fighting to survive—and beat the odds. Things change when Bang-Bang leads Lukas to starpilot Capt. Carlynn Riga. The tough war hero learns what it means to surrender — his heart. Lukas’s struggles with PTSD threaten to tear the three of them apart, but nothing threatens them more than when Carlynn goes missing on a mission. Can a scarred marine and his unlikely canine partner find Carlynn and bring her home, or will he lose everything he’s finally found worth fighting for?
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased. After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.
THE REAL DRAGON
By Pauline Baird Jones
Emma Standish didn’t think her day could get any worse. Her dad is marrying his boss, her dragon suddenly came back talking and typing, and it’s her fault the Earth, or at least ten square miles of Texas, is going to be destroyed. That’s what happens when you forget something very, very important. Luckily for her, she’s got the love of her life that she can’t remember and her dragon by her side. Who needs to worry when you’re having a day like this?
STAR CRUISE: STOWAWAY
By Veronica Scott
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
By Laurie A. Green
Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.
By Alexis Glynn Latner
Young Roboticist Ten Jaxdown has to deploy, and possibly sacrifice, the swarm of investigative robots that he has invented and cares about more than anything else in the star system. It may be the only hope for those depending on him and his robots to save them. Yet, even as frantic preparations for the unprecedented deep-space rescue mission are set in motion, it could all be threatened by sabotage.
Anastasia Steed is an intrepid young mission designer. She steps forward with an idea that can improve the odds of the mission. Neither she nor Ten expect the assistance they receive from a very unusual pet. A pet that will bring together two alienated human beings who didn’t realize they needed each other. Can Ten and Anastasia discover who is behind the sabotage, save the mission, and discover what is evolving between them? With a little bit of unusual help, anything is possible.
By Lea Kirk
Graig Roble is the Senior Commander of security for the Guardian Fleet. His expertise as a weapons specialist and combat master is his world, what he was born to do – or so he thought until he finds his resolve and focus inexplicably wavering. Even returning to his position aboard the Atlantis can’t save him; if anything, it has left him questioning his own motives. He never thought that could happen until he met Simone Campbell.
Simone’s focus is on her home world – Earth. She thought her life was full with her research as a botanist. After all, she always believed that helping the people of her world become self-sufficient should take all of her concentration – except it doesn’t. There is one man that keeps pulling her attention, and her heart, away from her job.
Graig’s gift of a puppy to keep her company does more than that, it keeps him in her dreams. How can such a simple gift bring her comfort and make her long for more? Graig and Simone are about to find out that sometimes love can blossom from the smallest, furriest ties.
By Carysa Locke
Teegan’s job as a hunter is to track down the Talented, those driven insane by their gifts. She and Ember, her psychically gifted fox, have tracked dozens of people for Cole, the man who works to rehabilitate and recover these troubled souls. When one of Cole’s most dangerous patients escapes, Teegan and Ember are on a hunt that could prove fatal if she doesn’t keep her focus on her mission. Unfortunately, Cole is proving one distraction that might make this her last hunt if she can’t do that.
Can Teegan keep her heart and mind in the game long enough to save an entire planet’s population, or will her distraction lead to heartache – and possibly death for everyone?
An excerpt from Pets in Space (Spark of Attraction)
(In this scene cyborg military Captain Dante Stone has rescued a group of colonists who were attacked by aliens. The half-starved survivors were terrorized and traumatized.)
Dante approached the passage where the New Utopians were located and cocked his head. Did he hear barking? Canine barking? Someone had sneaked a dog on board? Good galaxy! Animals, even domesticated ones like dogs, were known carriers of disease. They could easily be infected with alien microbes that could sweep through and decimate a contained population like the crew of a warship. The Crimson Hawk had no animal quarantine facility. Given that Verde Omega had been invaded by Tyranians who carried who-knew-what, this was a serious situation.
He hurried toward the source of the sound.
A half dozen New Utopians congregated outside the observation deck. In the center of the group stood a young woman with a dog. It jumped around, wagging its stubby tail in a fast, perfect rhythm.
“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded, forgetting his good intentions to inquire into their welfare. “Who brought this dog on board? Explain yourself!”
The small group fell away, leaving the woman standing with the canine. “It’s the captain!” someone whispered, but his cyborg ears heard as if they’d shouted it. “Cold Stone,” someone else hissed.
“Sparky, sit!” the woman commanded, and the dog settled on its haunches. She looked like she was in her early twenties. The clean civvies the crew had rustled up hung sacklike on her scrawny frame. Stringy, dull brown hair drooped around a face sunken from malnutrition, but he rocked back on his heels as if he’d been sucker punched. His chest constricted, and his stomach flip-flopped. A heat totally inappropriate for the situation surged through him.
What was wrong with him? Though he called upon his nanos to calm his racing pulse, his heart continued to pound.
“What is your name?” he asked the woman.
“M-Miranda Lowell. I’m the archivist for New Utopia.”
“This dog belongs to you?”
“Where is the liaison?” He directed his attention away from her, away from his disconcerting physical reaction.
“Here.” A man stepped out of the crowd. “I’m Warren Ochoa.”
“Remove the canine from this ship. Animals are not allowed.”
Miranda Lowell recoiled.
“Captain, we’re a parsec away from the nearest life-sustaining planet,” Ochoa said. “The only way to remove him would be to…airlock him.”
“No! You can’t do that!” The woman rounded on him, horror flickering in eyes too large for her gaunt face. She couldn’t have had much to eat while running from the aliens. Surviving colonists had fled the invading horde with only the clothing on their backs.
Her mongrel appeared in much better shape, healthy and well-fed, its short coat groomed and shiny. Good universe—she hadn’t been giving her limited sustenance to the dog, had she?
Her eyes beseeched. “Please, don’t send Sparky away.”
Her plea shot into him with a sharp stab. Rules were rules, and while he might have been inclined to bend them—especially for her—he had to protect the health of his crew and two-hundred-plus refugees. The latter, physically compromised and half-starved, were in no condition to fight off an alien contagion. Who knew what they might have already been exposed to?
“I wasn’t suggesting airlocking,” he said. “The animal could be placed on a pod and sent on ahead to SSO15.”
She lifted her chin. “No! He stays with me.”
Everyone was watching, taking note. If he allowed even a small insubordination, it would spread. A ship’s captain had to maintain order and control. He looked at the liaison. “Get with Lieutenant Commander Brack and remove the animal. That’s an order.”
Now he had something else to feel guilty about. But what could he do? So much for the ‘let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you’ speech he’d planned. His first officer had been right. He should have let her handle this. Dante turned to leave.
The woman blocked his passage. “I’m keeping my dog with me. You try to take him, and you’ll see what happens!” Anger animated her entire face, giving him a glimpse of what she looked like when she was healthy.
That inappropriate sexual heat flared low in his abdomen. “Do not threaten me.” Dante leveled a stare that caused those under his command to quake in their boots. “My order stands. Now, move out of the way.”
“No.” She planted her feet wide apart.
Gently, he grasped her arms to shift her out of his path.
Behind him, the dog growled.
“Sparky’s not even a real animal! He’s a K9-500 bot!” She wrenched away, the force of the jerk causing her to lose her balance. She started to topple, and he lunged to catch her before she fell.
The mongrel snarled, charged, and latched its teeth onto his ankle.