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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Veronica Scott guest post: Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 Anthology

Thanks for having me as your guest today to take about Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2! I decided to answer a few pet-related questions for this post.

1) What prompted a pets in space anthology?

Pauline Baird Jones and I are the originators of the concept and we have fun with it! In 2015 there’d been yet another conversation in an authors’ group about all of our faithful pets in real life, and she and I had the inspiration that it’d be fun to write scifi romance stories with the added element of a pet. She and I e mailed back and forth about it, getting more and more excited about the challenge and then we decided to proceed. So the Pets In Space concept was created, with our first volume going on sale for a limited six months’ time in late 2016 and allowing us to give our charity Hero-Dogs, Inc., quite a nice check. We had nine authors last year and this time we have 12, five of whom are new to the anthology. It’s always such a treat for Pauline and me to read the extremely different stories people come up with, using the same story prompt of a pet in space.

2) Tell me about your first pet that you remember.
I have one crystal clear memory of a pair of white rabbits, named Meadow and Thumper, from when I was three. (That makes my adult movie actress name Meadow Northcliffe, by the way, if I acted in such flicks, since we lived on Northcliffe Road at the time.) The first pet I really cared for and considered my own was Cinderella, a gray tabby cat, when I was seven. I’ve always trended more toward cats, although we had turtles, a duck and two dogs in my family’s household as well over the years.

3) Is your pet also your muse? Or is he/she a distraction?
Are we asking me or the cat??? Jake would of course say he’s the Muse and that he should be written into every book and thanked profusely. (Hint: he’s an irresistible, soft and purring distraction.) Keanu the other cat is more laid back, hence the name, and just likes to sleep on the chair next to my writing desk. He does require about five minutes of concentrated petting at the start of every writing session. I don’t remember any of my previous cats taking much interest in my writing process, but I’m an empty nester now, so perhaps that makes a difference. They were both rescue cats and Keanu never quite stopped being feral but we make it all work.

4) Who do you feed first - your pet(s) or your family?
The first activity I do each day is feed them. Jake has an internal clock and he ‘knows’ when I’m supposed to get out of bed and open those cans. He’s not shy about reminding me either – never mind if I’m dreaming!. When my kids were little, I still fed the cats first because they and I got up way earlier than anyone else in the house.

5) Time for a poll: Are you a cat or dog person? Or both? Or other?
Cat! I gravitate to the felines. But since I’d written about a cat and a catlike alien pet for Pets In Space 1, I felt I should change up and challenge myself and somehow ended up with a story involving an alien eagle and a songbird. They fit my hero, who’s a retired Special Forces guy, and the heroine, an interstellar singing sensation.

A Novella in The Sectors SF Romance Series 
By Veronica Scott

She nodded. “Am I making you nervous? Or am I keeping you from something, a date maybe?” Karissa pointed at the shiptime indicator on the wall. “You keep checking.”

Reluctantly he said, “Not a date. I have a—a pet, who requires exercise.”

“A pet on board the ship? I never expected that answer. So Fido needs a walk, does he? Let’s go—I could use some exercise.”

“It’s not that simple,” he said.

“Is the pet exercising area open to passengers?”

“Not the one I use.” He admitted. “But—”

“This office is boring,” she said. “Now I’m not a Socialite who’d probably die of boredom if you kept me here, but you can’t dangle a chance to take a pet for its walk in front of me and then yank it away. Too cruel, Officer Barton. Be mean to me and I might have to write you into a song.”

Before he could decide if she was kidding, Karissa laughed and went to toss her now empty drink container into the refuse reclaimer. “I insist and I am the headliner on this tour your cruise line is running. I could pull rank.” Hands on her hips, head tilted she stared at him. “Hey, I’m kidding. Lighten up, Officer. Now, where do we go to collect the pet?”

With the uneasy feeling he‘d been overtaken by a whirlwind, he escorted Karissa from the office and down the gravlift to the crew quarters decks. “We’re uh on the move, Jake, but still in non- passenger country.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Our passenger was bored. It’s my time slot to give Valkyr his exercise and she wants to tag along.” Grant felt uncomfortable with the nature of the entire situation.

“All right, I can’t say I’m excited about the idea but it’ll keep her out of my hair and out of view. We should be clear to get her back to her own cabin by the time you’re done.” Jake hesitated. “Keep it professional.”

“Of course, sir.” He shot the singer a sidewise glance. “I never heard of her before this cruise.”

“You’ve heard of her now.” Jake signed off.

“We have to pick up Valkyr in my quarters,” he said to his companion. “It’ll only be a moment.”

“I’m sure the crew quarters are quite memorable.” She laughed and followed him. “I’m getting the fifty credit tour today.”

The corridor to his cabin was empty, much to Grant’s relief. He felt there was enough of a circus going on without more witnesses. The portal slid aside and he allowed her to precede him into the room.

Karissa stopped in her tracks once she was across the threshold. “You didn’t tell me you had a bird!” Before he could stop her, she went forward to where Valkyr sat on his special perch. “You’re gorgeous, big boy.” She extended her hand to stroke the glossy iridescent black wing.

Grant had no conscious memory of moving but he had her in an iron grip, with his back to the bird and her safely to the side.

“What the seven hells—” She yanked away from him.

“Valkyr is a Qaazamir hunting eagle—he could bite off one of your fingers without any problem and his talons can inflict enough damage to kill a human. Never approach a wild, feral animal as if it’s a house pet.”

She looked chastened. “He’s beautiful. And he doesn’t seem upset. Or threatening.”

“You’re in his space and he’s never met you.”

October 10, 2017 
Genre: Science Fiction Romance,
Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Cats, Dogs and Other Worldly Creatures
ISBN Ebook: 978-1-942583-56-1
ISBN-10: 1-942583-57-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-942583-57-8
Number of pages: 826 (paperback)
Word Count: 220,000
Cover Design: Fiona Jade
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 all preorders and the first month’s 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. 

Pets in Space Facebook Group 
Embrace the Romance Coloring Book: Pets in Space 2 PDF: (FREE)

Click below to see a list of all the stories included!

A Novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier Series
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
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?

Instagram: @sesmithfl
Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in the Tornian Series
By M.K. Eidem (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
The Great Raptor is a fearsome and deadly creature; and while the raptor is no one’s pet, he is fiercely protective and loving of his family…

Carly and Miki have never forgotten the story that Grim told them of the Great Raptor, the symbol of their new home world Luda. Yet, it is the comparison their mother once told them of the Great Raptor to Grim that gives them the courage to help the injured bird they find in the garden.

Find out what happens when their single act of love, faith, and kindness creates far-reaching consequences that no one, including their mother and Grim, could ever have predicted.
Amazon Author Page:

“Star Puppy” A Novella in The Star Series
By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)
Trysh joined the Space Forces with the secret hope that her absentee father might notice her accomplishments and acknowledge her. At the top of her game as a starfighter pilot, the last thing she needs is a way too charming prince to get in her way. Trysh had learned at a young age what happened when a person lost their heart to someone above their social class – it led to heartache.

Prince Rornn feels fortunate he can pursue his passion both in the air and on the ground. He decides being third in line for the throne definitely has its advantages – it allowed him to join the Space Forces as a top-gun starfighter pilot. What he doesn’t expect is to find a woman there who not only competes with him – she completes him!

Everything Rornn tries appears to push Trysh further away – that is until they rescue a tiny, starving yipwag pup from an alien world. It turns out that “Puppy” is as good at sniffing out terrorists as she is at helping her two clueless humans figure out that they need each other as much as they do her.

Can Rornn convince Trysh that he is nothing like her father and that she is just the right woman for him before the terrorists discover their furry little companion?

Amazon Author Page:

WIRED FOR LOVE By Michelle Howard
Hunter Gils has put his past in the military behind him. Now his focus is on his bar and the less than savory clientele. Life is perfect – except for a gray-eyed beauty who refuses his advances.

Narelle Bindu wasn’t immune to the tall, dark stranger working at The Zone. He wanted her – and she wanted him. The only drawback was she didn’t have room in her life for a man, not even one as tempting as Hunter.

When a deadly attack creates the perfect opening for an old enemy, the two lovers must work together to survive. What they never expect is to find an ally willing to help them – even if that help has four legs. Can their four-legged friend keep Hunter and Narelle alive long enough to find out that one night would never be enough?

Instagram: @mhowardwrites
Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
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.

Instagram: @authorcarabristol
Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott
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?

Instagram: @veronica_scott_author
Amazon Author Page:

TIME TRAP A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones
Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…

Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel – never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man that ignites a fire inside her.

USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble – not the kind he’d like to be, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind! Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so – until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.

Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?

Instagram: @paulinebjones
Amazon Author Page:

COURTING DISASTER: STARDOG 2 A Novella in the Inherited Stars Universe Series
By Laurie A. Green
From monk to married…

Captain Navene Jagger’s certainty he will be promoted to command a new battleship is doused when the admiral instead assigns him on what appears to be a suicide mission. If that wasn’t bad enough, he finds his self-imposed decision to be a military monk is thrown to the far reaches of the galaxy when he is ordered to escort Ketsia Tayah and her StarDog through the treacherous, rogue-infested Bradley’s Rift in a battered derelict of a vessel – a task that also makes him have to confront his painful past.

Ketsia’s past had taught her a lot. The universe was not only a very dangerous place, it turns out that it is also a lot smaller than she would have liked! Ketsia is rattled when she discovers that she and her StarDog are to be escorted by the man she formerly had a crush on. She swears life couldn’t get any more complicated until they are thrown into jeopardy and have to pretend they are married!

Jag soon realizes there is more at stake than his pride when dangerous rogues threaten their spaceship. After he learns the ship, the mission, and the StarDog are all much more than they seem will he be able to save Ketsia, his career, and the day? Or will self-sacrifice be the only way to save those under his protection?

Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in the Alien Attachments Series
By Sabine Priestley
Marco Dar’s position as an Earth Protector means he spends an incredible amount of time alone in space. His only company is with the talkative com unit. It isn’t until he stops at the Galaxy Spinner restaurant that he discovers his com has become sentient – and it wants a physical form!

Dr. Zara Mancini hasn’t seen Marco Dar in over eleven years. As far as she is concerned, that still isn’t long enough. When Marco approaches her with an unusual request, she is torn between her fascination with the project, and wanting to leave him eating her space dust.

Marco is quickly falling all over again for Zara’s beautiful smile and gorgeous lips. Young and foolish, he sabotaged their relationship years ago. Now he has a second chance. Can he convince Zara to help his AI, and prove to her that he is a different man?

Instagram: @sabinepriestley
Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in the Galactic Defenders Series
By Jessica E. Subject
A dedicated Defender to the core, Gib is willing to go to any planet the Galactic Alliance sends him. That is, until he’s sent with his squad to Hemera for their Alorama ceremony, far from any threat of Erebus invasion and with no chance for promotion.

Vilarra has lived on Hemera all her life, working hard in the kitchens of the royal palace until she achieved lead hand. But learning of the universe beyond her world reveals her insignificance and shreds her sense of accomplishment and purpose.

With the help of a furry, little tibbar, Gib is determined to win the affection of Vilarra, prove to her how significant she is to him and the people who depend on her. But will his personal mission be cut short before he has the chance to win her heart?

Instagram: @jessicaesubject
Amazon Author Page:

PET TRADE A Novella in the Central Galactic Concordance Series
By Carol Van Natta
The vast Central Galactic Concordance strictly prohibits genetic experimentation and alteration of humans on any of its 500 member planets. Unfortunately, animals are not included in those regulations...

Veterinarian Bethnee Bakonin has made a home for herself on a frontier planet in the frozen north. Her minder talent for healing all kinds of animals would ordinarily assure her success, but her unwilling stint in the shady pet trade industry left her damaged and scared.

"Volunteered" for a black-box research project, elite forces Jumper Axur Tragon now has dangerous experimental tech in his cybernetic limbs. He escapes the project and steals a freighter, but ship damage forces him to crash-land in the northern mountains of a frontier planet. He's surprised to discover the freighter's cargo contains a secret shipment of designer pets. Determined to do right by them, he enlists reluctant Bethnee's aid in caring for them—a definite challenge, considering Bethnee is terrified of him.

They will need all the help they can get from their unusual pets to save the day when ruthless mercenaries pose a threat. Can Axur and Bethnee work together to overcome their limitations, or will they lose everything they have vowed to protect – including each other?

Instagram: @carol.vannatta
Amazon Author Page:

A Novella in the Aeon's Legacy Series
By Alexis Glynn Latner
Daya Tattujayan is the manager of a remote and nearly derelict space mining station. She has plenty of problems to deal with even before the interstellar syndicate that owns the station sends an auditor to check up on her work.

Rik Gole is a nomadic interstellar auditor with no roots to tie him down. He is ruthless when he has to be and very good at what he does, but Rik would be the first to admit that a woman like Daya and a place like this station are way outside of his previous experience.

Before Daya and Rik can decide whether they are antagonists, allies, or something more, an unexpected enemy attacks the station. To save their lives, they must dare to trust each other. And they need help from a very unconventional defender—Daya’s mysterious alien pet, the mascot of Star Corner Station.

Amazon Author Page:


  1. Thank you so much for having me as your guest!

  2. I really enjoyed Pets In Space 1, and I was excited to see it joined by a second. Reading my way through it now --- but not too fast. I'm savoring all the different worlds!

  3. Thank you so much for such a great spotlight! You helped send Embrace the Romance soaring onto the USA Today Bestseller list!

  4. I loved the pets in space anthology with all the creative ways animal like beings were made the heroes and side kicks in stories set in space. The Pets Point