Category Archives: Science Fiction Romance

Meet An Enchanted Morning Glory

Of all the brave, quirky, heroic and mischievous pets in the USA Today bestselling anthology Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2, mine may have been the most unusual.  Jesse Greenfinger is a  plantimal – a genetically engineered combination of plant and animal genes both from Earth and an ill-fated colony world called Planet Green.  Jesse’s species is called hugworts.  With genetic good reason, hugworts look like nothing so much as enchanted morning glories. They are mobile, affectionate, as curious as cats,  clean, and space-hardy:  perfect pets for space places.  Indeed, Jesse is the mascot for the deep space station which is the setting of my story, Mascot.  At one point Jesse climbs a station ladder; this hugwort has  places to go and things to do (and a few secrets of its own.) This is the scene that our artist, Nyssa Juneau, illustrated for the anthology.

Here’s an excerpt from Mascot:

Jesse Greenfinger, who could tolerate a wider range of temperatures than any human being, but who had a catlike fondness for the warm proximity of its human, joined Daya in her favorite reading chair.  Jesse’s warm, furry root-mass snuggled in her lap.  It purred.

Two knocks, twice, came from her door. “Enter,” she said, and marked her place in her book, expecting Mattiz or possibly Annis Lee.

To her surprise, it was the auditor who entered.  He took one look at her and that mobile face of his showed incredulity, with good enough reason. Jesse’s leaves and tendrils spilled onto the floor all around her chair.  She probably looked like an enchanted woman out of a fairy tale, who had sat reading for a summer while vines grew up around her.  She explained, “It is no ordinary plant.  It’s a plantimal, genetically engineered from plant genes and cat genes.  It doesn’t need soil and it can move around.”

Jesse, wary around strangers, slipped off her lap, carefully bundling its root mass in vines and leaves, retreated to a corner, and froze. There’s nothing to see here but a harmless house plant.


Mascot and the other Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2 stories are available from various e-book vendors here.  There’s even a print edition – a nicely designed trade paperback that weighs about four lbs (!) and had to be priced accordingly.  But this anthology is a steal in ebook form for $3.99!


Meet Ketsia

Laurie Green is a fellow author in the USA Today bestselling anthology Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2. Here she tells us something about the heroine of the story.  Welcome, Laurie!


When I created the character of Ketsia Tayah in Inherit the Stars, I knew she was going to have a role in the ongoing saga, and I knew who her hero was going to turn out to be—in spite of himself.

Like Taro Shall, the hero of StarDog in the first Pets in Space last year, Ketsia is Tectolian, a subspecies rumored to have descended primarily from Pacific Islanders on a mythical planet called Earth.


Ketsia was introduced in the novel as an innocent—young, wide-eyed, intelligent, compassionate and a consummate charmer. She was a teenager who’d been enslaved by the Ithians after being surrendered by her home planet of Tectol in a tribute. This is where she met Sair, the hero of Inherit the Stars, who appointed himself as her guardian.

Here’s a scene from the novel, Inherit the Stars:

Sair gave her a reassuring smile. “This ship is called the Spirit. It will be your home for a while.”

Ketsia looked up at him. “Will they treat us well here?”

“I’ll see to it.”

“You’ll keep us, won’t you?”

“Admiral Mennelsohn has declared you all free citizens. You’ll be free to live your own lives now, Ket.”

“What does that mean?” Tears formed in her eyes.

Sair traded glances with Lonna then took the young woman’s hands in his. “It means you can make your own choices now, Ket. Lonna and I will be here to help you, but this is how life is meant to be. I promise you.”

“But I’m bonded to you.”

Sair drew a deep breath. “No, Ket, we aren’t bonded. Your sister and I were bondmates. You and I are good friends. Do you understand the difference?”

Tears pooled in her eyes. “No.”

He stroked her hair. “Trust me. When the time comes, you will.”

Later, Ketsia will have another guardian, Ambassador Jaeo Gant. When her transport falls under attack by dangerous renegades, the ambassador arranges for an old comrade to see her safely home.

That friend is Captain Jagger, a man living with past regrets. In Courting Disaster, he again crosses paths with the ever-charming Ketsia, now older, wiser and determined to overcome her heart-breaking history. A history that’s interwoven in painful ways with Jagger’s personal tribulations. When Jagger and Ketsia are thrown together for a perilous mission through a dangerous sector of space…well, it’s a match made in purgatory!

But Jagger and Ketsia aren’t alone. There’s a StarDog along for the ride who might just be the catalyst for a whole ship-load of trouble!

Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2

Twelve leading Sci-Fi Romance authors, twelve original never released stories in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2… supporting and our veterans.

Courting Disaster: StarDog2

A commander of a spaceship faces the toughest decision of his life when he vows to protect the woman and her StarDog that he is escorting through a dangerous section of space.

About the Author

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now over 1,000 members strong.

She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.


Find out more about Laurie and her books:

The Human Condition

“The total amount of energy from outside the solar system ever received by all the radio telescopes on the planet Earth is less than the energy of a single snowflake striking the ground.”
― Carl SaganCosmos
Isn’t this the human condition:  we all have our antennae out, listening for all we’re worth—literally—for a signal that will reassure us that we’re not alone in the infinite night.

Fun with Starfighter Pilot Call Signs

Susan Grant is a fellow author in Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2, and here she tells us something about writing that story and something about herself.  Welcome, Susan!


I had a blast writing about Trysh, Rornn, Puppy, and the crew of Bezos Station, a city in space above the planet of Barésh. (You may recognize these places—and even some of the secondary characters (including Puppy)—from Star Champion (previously titled The Champion of Barésh) or Star Hero (expanded from my short story Stray from Pets in Space 1).) Even though my books are “make believe” in a fantasy/science fiction setting, my background as an Air Force jet pilot helps me add touches of realism to the military characters.

In The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy (Star Puppy), I needed to come up with more than just first and last names for the starfighter pilots. Think: “Maverick” and “Goose” from Top Gun, or “Starbuck” from Battlestar Galactica. A call sign is an integral part of my characters, so I really wanted the ones I chose to fit. In the Air Force, call signs are handed out at naming ceremonies. They can be a play on your name (a pilot with a last name of Gordon is likely to be named “Flash”), or you can get a call sign based on an incident that made you infamous. On my flight last week, I flew with a former Navy Tomcat fighter pilot. I noticed he had “Disco” embroidered on his flight bag. He explained it came from the night he got drunk and danced on the bar—on TOP of the bar. Likewise, if you really screw something up, expect a call sign to come out of it. It can also be based off your personality, or on the whim of the drunken mob of fighter pilots at your “naming”.

On Bezos Station, namings are likely to take place in the all-ranks club Nimbus.

Here are a few of the starfighter pilots from the Mighty Titans squadron and their call signs:

Trysh Milton is “Firefly”—Her naming was mostly due to her being a big fan of the TV show, but it’s also fitting because she can appear bright and cheery one minute and dark and serious the next, blinking on and off like a lightning bug, or firefly.

Rornn B’lenne is “Charming” —He’s a Vash royal prince who oozes charisma. Need I say more?

Declan Fisher is “Danger”—He started off as “Fish” but during flight school he was the cause of a series of fender benders, making him the butt of jokes that he was a Danger—to himself

Carlynn Riga is “Mooch”—she loves to cook gourmet meals on small appliances in her quarters, but being on a space station limits her ability to get ingredients. She’s famous for her power to beg, borrow, and barter with the mess hall staff for the items she needs.

Then there’s me—Susan Grant. In the Air Force my call sign was Sue Bob. My name was Sue and I was considered one of the squadron “good ol boys”, and since “good ol boys” always had names like Jim Bob and Billy Bob, I was named Sue Bob. Silly but as with all fighter pilot call signs, it could have been worse.

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy. (Star Puppy):

“Titan Squad, this is Station Control—we have multiple bogeys out of G quadrant!”

The frantic voice filled Lieutenant Trysh Milton’s headset. A distress call. It came from the station, a giant, rotating city in space. It housed thousands of people inside—military personnel like her and their families. Children. She and her squadron had just cleared the area of enemy fighters. Giddy with victory after destroying a wave of alien invaders, they were exhausted, sweaty, pumped with adrenaline. But just when they had thought it was over, it wasn’t.

“Titan Squad—we’ve got multiple bogeys! I repeat—multiple targets. They’re coming from… My God—Encke Gap!”

From an opening in Saturn’s rings? How? Plowing through the rings would get you killed in an instant. Trysh gripped the joystick of her starfighter, craning her neck to see if she could get a visual on the threat. Saturn was a creamy-yellow and orange globe surrounded by an ethereal halo. Those rings were nothing like they looked when viewed from a telescope on Earth. Up close, they were snowstorms of ice particles with eddies and whorls caused by tiny embedded moons, some moons as small as hailstones. Imagine—a moon you could hold in the palm of your hand! It was breathtaking, a scene she never grew tired of admiring…until the sight of enemy alien craft pouring out from a gap in the rings pulled the last of the air from her lungs.

The Dragaar! They had but one goal—destroy the space station and then Earth. In moments, the alien fighters were upon them, firing vivid streams of plasma at the defending starfighters.

Flying at her side, the Vash alien exchange officer, Prince Rornn B’lenne, call sign “Charming”, sounded unfazed as they joined the dogfight. “Firefly,” he said, using her call sign. “Go private.” The starfighter-to-starfighter channel allowed them to speak to only each other. “They must have precision-jumped through the gap.”

“It’s some sort of pop-up wormhole,” she answered. It left her with a sick feeling. If the Dragaar had the technology to punch holes in the fabric of space at will, it was game-over. Burst after bright burst caught her eye as friendlies were destroyed. Friends…squadron-mates, killed. “We’ve got to do something. We’re getting our asses kicked.”

“We must deny them their jump gate. Close it off.”

“Wormholes can’t be opened and closed like that.”

“Do not forget—I can make the impossible possible.”

She almost laughed. He used that same dumb line the last time he tried to get her to go out with him. His propositions were hilarious, and she shot every one of them down. It was a game—their game. They were friends with no benefits. But even she couldn’t deny that Rornn had a brilliant tactical mind. He was scary smart with a fresh way of looking at things that she admired. If he had figured out a way to turn this battle around, she was all ears. “Talk to me, Charming!” She strafed a crippled Dragaar fighter. It blew up, followed by the enemy knocking off two more friendlies.

“I read a research paper on the intentional disruption of small wormholes.” He targeted another Dragaar. The enemy fighter exploded in brilliant fireworks. They barely escaped the debris. “It concluded that it is scientifically possible.”

“On paper. By scientists sitting at nice safe desks stringing together a daisy chain of equations. Even if we lobbed all our R-bombs through the gate, the best we can hope for is transient instability.”

“Yes. The R-bombs. See? Your mind is perfection. One relativistic bomblet salvo coming up. Cover me, Firefly.” He wheeled away from her and accelerated into the invasion.

“Wait—Charming!” She used to think that “Charming” was a fitting call sign for the alien prince. Now she was convinced “lunatic” was a better fit. He was the constant instigator, the devil-may-care hotshot; she was his goal-driven, play-by-the-rules best friend who couldn’t help getting swept off her feet by the riptide of his charisma. But if he had figured out a way to turn the tide of this battle, she wanted in on it.


Find out what happens next in Embrace the Romance, Pets in Space 2!

Pets in Space 2!


This means a lot to me: the second Pets in Space anthology was released today, and once again it features one of my stories, a novella called Mascot, along with eleven other authors spinning tales of space, romance, and pets.  It’s a *big* e-book for only $3.99!

Science fiction romance is fun to write and read, because if there’s any one thing that powers the universe, it’s either hydrogen fusion, or love—and I’d be hard-pressed to say which of the two carries more cosmic weight.  Throw in pets intrinsic to the storyline, and it’s almost irresistible! On top of that, the anthology raises money for a very good cause.  Ten percent of the first month’s profits go to the service organization called Hero Dogs.

Here is a brief video of me discussing my story and the particularly unusual pet in space featured in it….

The  Kindle edition is here.

For a landing page with all ebook editions of Embrace the Romance:  Pets in Space 2, go here.

Pets in Space 2

There’s going to be another anthology of science fiction romance with cute, helpful and/or valiant pets!  The authors in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 are 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 me.

Veronica Scott Guest Blog: Cats in Space

new-releasePets in Space is a new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!

We authors are trading blog posts.

Today Veronica Scott tells us about cats on Earth and across the stars.



I first encountered the concept of pets going into space in Andre Norton’s Solar Queen series, where the captain of the ship kept a very unpleasant  blue, six-legged toad-parrot in a cage in his quarters and the Cargo Master had a tiger striped tom cat. Of course Ms. Norton also wrote many other science fiction stories where animals were featured, often as enhanced telepathic companions. Beast Master is one of the best. Catseye, which was actually the first Andre Norton book I ever read, has cats and other animals but they weren’t going into space – they were already on an alien planet. The crew of the Solar Queen, however, had their pets on board the ship.

Pair this with all the research I did into the sinking of the Titanic a few years ago, including the details of all the dogs on board (who sadly perished). I loosely based my novel Wreck of the Nebula Dream on the Titanic, but set in the far future on an interstellar liner.

So I was primed to write my own story with pets in space when Pauline Baird Jones and I first started discussing the possibility of putting together an anthology with this concept as the central theme. I’m a cat person, so of course Owen Embersson, the cargo master on my ship, has a cat named Moby, and I wanted to include an alien pet of unknown origin, so I took the ‘character ‘ of Midorri from my book Star Cruise: Outbreak and left her on the ship after the adventure in Outbreak concluded. Midorri is kind of a six legged, green puffball, equipped with a tail to rival a red tailed panda (my favorite Earthly animal after cats). And she purrs. Moby and Midorri pretty much have the run of the ship, which is useful to Owen as he attempts to watch over his stowaway and later to rescue her from the very bad guys.

veronica_catveronica_catsI don’t think my cats Jake and Keanu would be all that effective in rescuing me and despite their efforts to brainwash me into feeding them more often, we have no telepathic link. I can’t imagine not having them to keep me company though, so it makes sense to me that when humanity moves out into the galaxy, we’ll take pets with us and find new pets to love as well.

Here’s a short excerpt from near the start of “Stowaway” as Owen Embersson knocks off work for the day:

Stepping onto the echoing deck, he called for Moby. She spent most of her evenings hunting vermin lurking among the monstrous crates and containers, but she usually passed the first part of the evening in his cabin, eating the incredibly expensive cat food he had the ship’s AI keep in stock. Not much else to spend his salary on. “Come on, cat, I want my dinner even if you don’t,” he said to the elegant vision in white fur who trotted from the murky recesses of the deck. How she stayed clean when she spent her days prowling the cargo deck, he’d never know.

Purring, she came to his steel-tipped work shoes but evaded his effort to pick her up, moving just out of range the way felines did, as if cats could teleport. Moby scampered toward the towering stacks of cargo then turned. Seeing he’d failed to chase her, she sat, tail twitching, head tilted, eyeing him.

“What‘s the matter with you? I’m not in the mood to throw cat toys and retrieve them right now.” Embersson headed toward the gravlift. Moby regarded the entire ship as her territory and could find his cabin for her dinner when she was hungry.

In the next minute, he nearly tripped as she rubbed his ankles, nipping at one in passing. Swearing, he caught himself with a hand to the bulkhead. “What in the seven hells is wrong with you tonight? Giving me a concussion won’t get you fed.”

Moby yowled at him and ran toward the stacked cargo again.

Moby and Midorri Art by Nyssa Juneau
Moby and Midorri
Art by Nyssa Juneau

Photo of Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily 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.

Three 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 “City On the Edge of Forever.”

Visit Veronica’s Blog to learn more about her books and her USAT HEA column.


Susan Grant Guest Blog: To Name a Dog . . .

new-releasePets in Space is a brand new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!

We authors are trading blog posts.

Today Susan Grant tells us about a remarkable real-life dog and the naming of the dog in her Pets in Space story Stray


I adore dogs and cats, and I feature them in many of my books. Both rescue pets and show pets have brought joy to my life. So it was a thrill when Erin, one of my readers, wrote to tell me that she planned to name a newborn Collie puppy “Banzai” after the heroine in my action romance The Legend of Banzai Maguire. She loved the story, but more than that, there was something that really struck her about the book and the whole 2176 series.

It turns out Erin’s dad was a Marine Corps “Gunny” (the highest non-commissioned officer rank). She was always so proud of him and also her brother, who was a captain in the Air Force (like I was). Erin wanted to join the military herself, but life intervened. But the great thing about books as we all know is that they let you live vicariously through the characters. While reading the 2176 series, she was flying right along with Captain Bree “Banzai” Maguire in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

Back in 2007, Erin and her husband showed Vita, Banzai’s mother, at Westminster (think: the Olympics of dog shows in the USA). At the time, Erin’s favorite book was The Legend of Banzai

It was love at first sight.
It was love at first sight.

Maguire. She planned to breed Vita and told me that she hoped to have a good female in that litter to name after Banzai. Well, not only did Erin get a good puppy, she got a great one.

From the beginning Banzai was special. She started winning right away, like a great athlete who is undefeated. I always looked forward to the updates Erin emailed me. It was amazing that after only a couple of years Banzai was the #1 female Smooth Collie in the country, living up to the female hero after which she was named. “WHAT A THRILL ride she has been!” Erin says. And for me, too (!!!), as the author who penned the story that inspired Erin to name this incredible dog after a character in my book.

Banzai at the Westminster Dog Show
Top Dog!

Erin says, “I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of her. There will NEVER be another like her.” No, there won’t be. BIS/BISS Gold Grand Champion Tir Na N’ Og The Legend Of Banzai Maguire, aka “Banzai” is one of a kind, just like her namesake, Bree “Banzai” Maguire.

Have any of you ever named pets after characters in books? I love the idea. Naming your pets is definitely an art. It has to be just the right one. Often it’s not easy. We named our two-year old Border Collie “Skye” only after trying out Harriet, Jamie, and Casey. We worried she thought her name was “No”. Skye was a very naughty puppy, haha. But that is another story for another time…

Here’s an excerpt (in the dog’s point of view!) of that naming process from Stray, when the hero, Lt. Lukas Frank, comes up with a great name:

“There’ll be no getting rid of him now, Sir. You’re gonna have to name him. How about Kabob? We can call him Bobby.”

“Kabob? What the f—?” The Tall One sounded unhappy.

He cowered all over again, tucking his tail.

“Because the Baréshtis like to eat street dogs—”

“That’ll be all, Staff Sergeant.” The Tall One turned back to study him. “A backfire sent you running—straight to me. I could call you Backfire…” Then he shook his head. “Nope. Doesn’t fit. It was more like a double bang. A bang, bang.” A hand ruffled his fur. “That’s it. Bang-Bang. A good name. Come on, boy. You’ve just been recruited to be an Interplanetary Marine. Bezos Station could use a few good dogs.” The Tall One hoisted Bang-Bang high off the ground into his arms. “But first, dinner and a bath. Definitely a bath.”

Drawing of Bang-Bang from the story Stray
Bang-Bang drawn by Nyssa Juneau

Thank you for having me on your blog! I always enjoy chatting about pets and books, so to be able to do both? A win/win.

Jumbo jet pilot Susan Grant is a NY Times bestselling and RITA Award-Winning author of science fiction, time travel, and paranormal romance featuring strong women and honorable men.  Visit her Website to find out more about Susan and her books.


S. E. Smith Guest Blog: The World of Her Story in Pets in Space


   Pets in Space is a brand new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!

We authors are trading blog posts.

Today S. E. Smith tells us about the world in her story, “A Mate for Matrix.”


The world for my Pets in Space story took a turn after I began writing it, looping back around to one of my favorite and most beloved stories: Gracie’s Touch: Zion Warriors Book 1. This story actually begins five years before the Alluthan invasion. Gracie actually makes a cameo appearance in the story.

One of the things I love about the story is that life can be serendipitous. In this case, it is something that happens in the Zion world that causes the Alluthans to end up on Earth, starting a chain of events that will change Gracie’s life forever. Seeing Gracie again also showed more of her character and life before the invasion. I have plans for four prequel books in which we will see Gracie as she grows up.

The story is set between the alien star system where the Zion and many other species live and Earth. Matrix and K-Nine are from the Zion home world, although K-Nine’s DNA is a mixture between two different canine/wolf species. They are part of an elite military unit where the experimentation of cyborg technology is in its infancy. When a new, genetically engineered creature is developed and escapes, they are sent out after it. This starts a chain of events that will have widespread consequences.

The second thing I love about the story is the challenge of seeing the world from a different point in time. The story is set just as the Confederation is being formed. The Zion Warriors have always been a powerful species, but they are having to learn to get along with the other species. There will be a lot of growing pains that will both help and hold back the worlds set in this area before they can advance. We will also discover the origins of the Alluthans and what happens to them.

The third thing is creating a new series of incredible characters that make me hungry for more. I love it when I’m writing and see how the worlds tie together. I also enjoy seeing old characters in a different light. Each character – each series – holds a new, magical world that is just waiting to be explored. I’m really excited to have been given that opportunity in Pets in Space.


Excerpt from “A Mate for Matrix”

K-Nine and kitten friends
Art by Nyssa Juneau

At the sound of nails on the tile, Jana frantically glanced over her shoulder. Her eyes widened when she saw that the massive dog was now standing just a foot from where she was lying. The wolf-dog watched her with intense, gray eyes filled with curiosity. Rolling over and sitting up, she scooped Butter into her arms and scooted back along the shiny floor. She stopped when she felt her back hit the door frame behind her. Her gaze remained focused on the unusual dark gray eyes of the dog.

“Good… Good boy,” Jana whispered. She’d leaned just far enough to the side to confirm the sex of the dog before straightening. “Please… Please don’t eat us.”

Jana jumped when the dog sneezed and shook his head. He glanced over his shoulder toward the cabinet. Her gaze followed his and she released a silent prayer for Honeybun and Biscuit to remain under it. That thought died when the dog – wolf – whatever it was, turned his attention back to her. Jana smothered a cry when he stepped closer and pressed his nose to her cheek.

“Please… Good boy,” she choked out in a trembling voice, her eyes closing as she turned her head away. “Don’t eat us. We would taste really, really bad.”

“Meow,” Butter agreed.


S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International, and Award-Winning Bestselling author of science fiction, romance, 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 aand chat with her on Facebook.

Click here for your copy of Pets in Space!




Pets in Space Guest Blog by Pauline Baird Jones: The SFR Writer’s Life

new-releasePets in Space is a brand new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!

We authors are trading blog posts . . . and here Pauline Baird Jones shares what her life as a science fiction romance author can be like.

An Author Walks into a Bookstore


An author walks into a Barnes & Noble store and asked for books on Roswell, New Mexico.

Where does the helpful help desk clerk send her?

To the travel section.

This was not a joke with a bad punch line but a true story.

I wasn’t sure they hadn’t shelved the books in travel so I went and looked. Then I went back to the “help” desk.

“You don’t understand,” I said. “I need books on Roswell. You know, the alien ship crash.”

I wish I had a picture of the clerk’s face. There is no describing that look.

“Roswell. Aliens,” I say, more gently because she’s not young. “Just type Roswell, New Mexico, into your computer.”

She put her hands on the keys, but I could tell she didn’t want to. I nodded encouragingly. Finally she typed the words and hit “enter.”

And then jumped back at what the computer produced. There are a LOT of books about the Roswell incident.

She looked at me again, this time like I was a kook. I smiled a bit uneasily. “Can you tell me if you have any of them and where they might be in this store?”

It only took me twenty minutes and two trips to the help desk to get to the right section.

This is not that unusual when you write science fiction. And not just from bookstore clerks who think you’re a kook.

It’s always interesting to tell people I write science fiction romance and then wait for it. I can almost see them thinking, “You don’t look like a science fiction romance writer.”

I’m not even sure what that means. What does a science fiction romance writer look like? All the writers — of all genres—look like people. And not one of them looks like the other one. (Okay, did that make you feel like you’d wandered into a Dr. Seuss post? Or maybe it’s a Sesame Street episode. Let’s all sing together, “None of these authors is at all like the other ones…)

So, if you’re a writer, have you ever gotten “The Look” while doing research? If you’re a reader, what do you think a science fiction romance writer should look like?

And while you’re thinking about that, let me tell you something about this wonderful project. Pets in Space is not only a fun, romantic, adventurous anthology filled with EIGHT original stories and one expanded story by nine authors (how lucky is it that we have exactly the same number of stories and authors?), but 10% of the first month’s profit will be donated to, an organization dedicated to training amazing dogs to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress.

We hope you’ll grab a copy of Pets in Space AND help a worthy cause at the very same time!


The Real Dragon Drawing by Nyssa Juneau

My dragon studied me with a peculiar intensity. You truly do not remember?I shook my head. That perhaps would explain—”

Explain what?I felt a strange dread, as memory tried to pierce the thick fog hiding whatever happened that night eight years ago.

There is a problem with the launch.

There was nothing in my nondisclosure agreement about talking to a dragon, but it still felt disloyal. Launch?I tried to look clueless. Which should have been easy since I pretty much was.

Peddrenth couldnt raise his brows, but it felt like he did.

Okay, so there might be a launch—which you didnt hear from me—what of it?

There is a leak.

A leak?I jerked upright in alarm. In the fuel tanks? On the team?Exploding space vehicles and corporate sabotage were both a real worry. What?

You. You are leaking.”  From “The Real Dragon,” Pets in Space

pauline-photoPauline never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. You can find out more about her books (and get a free story for subscribing to her newsletter) at: http:///