Title Pets In Space® 4
Authors Veronica Scott and many more
Genre Science Fiction Romance
Publisher Cats, Dogs & Otherworldly Creatures
Veronica's novel in the anthology is STAR CRUISE: IDOL’S CURSE so here’s the blurb for the anthology and her novel:
Pets in Space® 4 Anthology Blurb:
Grab your copy of Pets in Space® 4 today! For a limited time, Pets in Space® 4 brings together today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors to help Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that helps our service veterans and first responders. Journey to far off worlds with Anna Hackett’s House of Roan or board Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr for another amazing Interstellar cruise. From S.E. Smith’s Lords of Kassis, Tiffany Roberts’ The Infinite City, to Pauline Baird Jones' Project Enterprise series, you’ll find the perfect story along with a few unusual pets. Thirteen incredible stories by thirteen of today’s bestselling authors. Don’t miss out on this limited time offer and help a great charity!
STAR CRUISE: IDOL’S CURSE (The Sectors SF Romance Series) blurb:
An unusual bequest….
Juli Shaeffer, the Nebula Zephyr’s cruise director, receives a mysterious bequest from the estate of a longtime passenger – a lump of rock taken from a reef on the planet Tahumaroa. Legend states anyone who steals from the ocean gods will be cursed. The passenger’s will requests the rock be returned to the beach so his heirs won’t be affected by the bad luck he believed he’d incurred. Juli doesn’t believe in superstitions and she agrees to carry out this small favor on the ship’s next stop at the planet in question.
Until the rock disappears from her office…
When the rock disappears and reappears in various locations around the ship, and seems connected to a steadily escalating series of mishaps, Juli turns to Third Officer Steve Aureli as the only one she feels she can trust. Along with Steve and his elderly Aunt Dian – a passenger aboard the Nebula Zephyr for this cruise - she investigates the strange series of malfunctions plaguing the interstellar luxury liner. Steve and Juli enlist his Aunt Dian’s dog, Charrli, a retired Sectors Z Corps canine, to help them track the missing rock as it moves about the ship.
Juli and Steve must find the rock, hang onto it and transport it to the planet’s surface, before the alien idol’s curse turns deadly. The attraction between the two of them grows as the threat to Juli becomes more and more focused. Can she carry out her task while he keeps her safe from the alien curse? Will the capricious alien idol bring them good fortune…or disaster?
Juli stood beside her incapacitated and ominously smoking CLC Line car, cursing. Why had the company given her a vehicle in dire need of repair? What the seven hells kind of inefficient operation was CLC running here on this planet? We’re a top notch line, high reputation, we don’t have mechanical breakdowns. Hot, furious and stressed over her to do list, which loomed in her mind like a rogue planet, she commed the office at the spaceport, although the link was patchy and the call kept dropping out. Incredulous at first, the CLC clerk eventually became properly apologetic about the vehicle’s failure and said they’d have a tech pick her up shortly.
Juli flicked her com off and threw it in her purse on the front seat. Although she’d taken a major thoroughfare to the district where the lawyer’s office was, the traffic was light but no one stopped or offered assistance. Probably mostly robo-driven, and the few humans driving were in a hurry. She pushed her hair off her face and leaned on the car. This would mean she’d miss the crew shuttle to the Nebula Zephyr. She’d have to wait until tomorrow, which meant a night in a planetside hotel, on CLC’s credits of course. This whole trip was work related business. “How long did the dispatcher say this would take?” She checked her wrist chrono and frowned, eyeing the darkening sky. Either it was late in this planet’s day or a storm was brewing. Just my luck.
A groundcar swerved smoothly into the emergency lane and came up behind her. She prepared to tactfully refuse whatever offer of help the driver might make but to her complete astonishment, Third Officer Steve Aureli got out of the driver’s seat. He was in civvies rather than the CLC uniform but looked as tall, broad shouldered and handsome as ever. She was rendered speechless by the unforeseen arrival of the one man she most wanted to see and the tension left her body in a rush.
“Juli? I thought I recognized you—what’s the problem?” He gave the smoking car the side-eye as he walked to join her.
“I’m glad to see you,” she said. “What a coincidence. I had Ship’s business to take care of in the city business district so I picked up a CLC car at the spaceport but it’s sure turned out to be a clunker.”
“Heading back to the spaceport?”
“Yes, although I’ve missed the shuttle to the ship by now.” Juli winced as a few droplets from the sky hit her cheeks. “Oh wonderful, and now it’s going to rain.”
“We can give you a ride,” he offered. “The side of this road isn’t a good place for you to be stranded, especially with a storm coming.”
A gust of cold wind buffeted her to emphasize his remark and she shivered. What happened to the hot sun of just a few hours ago? Peering at his sporty groundcar, she hesitated. “I don’t want to be a bother or ruin your date.”
He laughed. “No bother and it’s not a date. Remember I told you my aunt Dian was going to be a passenger on the next leg of the cruise? I picked her up this afternoon and I also have the use of the captain’s personal shuttle, so I can take you all the way to the Zephyr with us. Plenty of room in this rented car of mine.”
“Say no more, I’ll be thrilled to accept your help then. Let me grab my purse.” Heart unaccountably lighter because he wasn’t on a date, Juli fished her possessions out of the car, and went to climb in the backseat of his racy red vehicle, as he held the door for her. Hope never dies, I guess. Oh, Juli, get over this mad crush. Angry at herself for her racing pulse and the effect this man invariably had on her, she stumbled and Steve steadied her with one big hand. Her body tingled a little at the physical contact.
“I’m Steve’s Aunt Dian,” said the lady in the front seat, swiveling to study Juli. She extended her gloved hand.
Juli tried not to stare. Dian was elderly but wearing full, expertly applied makeup and her syntho hair was coiffed into a confection of pink and blond a trideo star might admire, accented with a glittery star-shaped barrette. Her pink and cream woven suit was by a high end fashion designer, or else a very good knockoff and she presented an altogether glamorous and retro picture. This is practical, stoic Steve’s aunt? Juli detected no family resemblance although of course that didn’t mean much. “I’m so happy to meet you and glad you’ll be sailing with us.”
Next instant, a barking ball of golden brown fur sailed over the seat, landing in Juli’s lap with a thud. With a startled scream she tried to fend off the pet, which fortunately seemed intent on getting into her purse, rather than actually attacking her personally.
“Charrli, don’t be rude,” said Dian, snapping her fingers in annoyance. “No one asked you to do a search and destroy mission on Juli’s belongings. Get back here where you belong.”
Hand on the controls, Steve studied Juli. “Do you have a snack in your purse?” he asked. “Charrli’s a real chow hound.”
“What an inelegant way to describe my champion purebred miniature Deskaza dog.” Despite her offended protest, his elderly relative didn’t sound too offended. “I’ll have you know they’re a rare breed.” She snapped her fingers again and the doglike creature made one final attempt to open Juli’s purse before obeying his mistress’s command and returning to the front seat with a sniff. “I apologize for Charrli,” Dian said, cuddling him close so all Juli could see were the tips of his triangular ears and his intense brown eyes peering at her over his owner’s shoulder. “Although I must say you and he are obviously going to be great friends while we’re on your ship.”
All Buy Links: https://www.petsinspaceantho.com/books/pets-in-space-4/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07WCQF358/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07WCQF358/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07WCQF358/
USA Today Best Selling Author
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 read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
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