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Star Cruise Mystery Dancer by @vscotttheauthor is an Indie Reads event pick #scifiromance #giveaway


Author: Veronica Scott

Genre: SciFi Romance

Book Blurb:

Tassia Megg is a woman on the run after the death of her elderly guardian. She needs to get off the planet in a hurry when chance directs her to an open dance audition for the luxury cruise liner Nebula Zephyr’s resident troupe. One thing Tassia can do is dance.

Security Officer Liam Austin is suspicious of the newest performer to join the Comettes. She shows all the signs of being a woman on the run and seems to fit the Sectors-wide broadcast description of a missing thief, accused of stealing priceless artifacts. As he gets to know Tassia during the cruise, he starts to wonder if she’s something more – a long vanished princess in hiding from deadly political enemies of her family perhaps?

And what’s the story with the three eyed feline companion other crew members swear Tassia brought aboard the ship? Does the animal even exist?

As the ship approaches its next port of call, all the issues come to a boil and Liam must decide if he’ll step in to help Tassia or betray her. F’rrh the alien cat is the key to the mystery and Tassia’s fate.

A science fiction romance take on the Anastasia tale... First published in the Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3 anthology...


Tassia hung onto her backpack tightly, a bit intimidated at the way the women surrounding her seemed so comfortable with the audition process. One probably didn’t start a career as a professional dancer in the Sectors by auditioning for a premiere troupe. She felt her muscles tightening the more she considered the daunting odds of her making it all the way to selection. Taking a deep breath, she reminded herself sternly there were no other options for her so she’d simply have to be good enough to force the Comettes to want her in their ranks.

Tassia wanted to inquire who the other judges were—several women and one man, but she decided it didn’t matter. The director was the one who did the hiring and who had to be impressed.

As the first ten girls lined up on the specified area of the floor, Tassia was suddenly glad her number placed her in the tenth group. She’d have time to see what other people did for their freestyle to attempt to impress Ms. Cartajj. And a solo, if she got that far.

What she realized as she watched the dancers take the floor was people were highlighting what they did best. For some it was leaps or turns. For others apparently it was gymnastic moves, although for many the skill being showcased involved a lot of precise steps accented with shimmying and hip swivels. A number of the women had obviously pre-choreographed sets of steps they repeated as long as the music was on.

By the time her turn came, Tassia decided to do a sequential series of rapid steps, pirouettes and showy poses requiring supremely good balance, which she could fit to the music being provided. It was her observation from watching the judges that dancers who showed technical skills appeared to make more of a favorable impression than the ones who did flashy, sexy moves. She walked confidently to her designated spot on the temporary wooden dance floor, assumed the opening pose and launched into her routine as the first notes sounded. Remembering to smile as if her audience was composed of her best friends, she had no clear memory of the two minutes when she finished with a graceful final pose. As she walked from the space, she believed she’d done well.

“Wow, you’re something else,” Micki grabbed her by the elbow. Micki had been one of the candidates demonstrating spins and beautiful extensions, combined with sexy shimmies. “Where the seven hells did you train?”

“Private tutors when I was a kid,” Tassia said vaguely. “Did I look all right, compared to the others?”

Micki laughed. “Miss High and Mighty Director never took her eyes off you. I’d say you’re clear to the semifinals at least.”

“Who are the other people sitting with her?”

“Her assistant, Syadana, also the Cruise Director for the ship, the dance captains from the two casts, and I heard someone say the cute guy is ship’s security, here to do the paperwork for anyone she hires, so the person can ship out today. The ship leaves orbit tonight.” Micki nudged her in the ribs. “Whoever he is, he was pretty riveted by your performance too.”

Pacing, rising onto her toes to keep her muscles from cooling off too much, Tassia shook her head. “If he’s not a decider, he’s irrelevant.”

Seeming to be at a loss for words, Micki gave her a wide-eyed look. “Well, he’s damn cute anyway. I hope the director lets him vote because I know he paid attention to me.”

Sure enough, Tassia’s number was posted as part of the callbacks for round two, as was Micki’s.

The remaining applicants were given an hour to change and stretch and prepare. Chatting to each other amiably, the judges left the room by a door on the far side.

“Aren’t you going to change?” Micki asked curiously. She was putting on a pretty spangled costume accenting the color of her hair and eyes.

“Nothing to change into.” Tassia shrugged. She’d decided a long time ago not to be embarrassed about things she couldn’t alter. Leaning her head against the wall, she ran through the steps in her mind of the ritual dance she’d decided to perform as a solo. It was artistic, graceful, and technical. Maybe the wrong choice for this audition, where the job was to be in a popular entertainment ensemble, with an audience of tourists, bored interstellar businessmen, and a sprinkling of rich Socialites, but it was all she had to offer. But in this environment today, under all the stress, it was best to dance from the heart. A loud noise in the corridor outside startled her, raising her pulse, then one eyelid began to twitch with stress. I’ve got to calm down or I don’t stand a chance. Tassia tried to regulate her breathing and ran through a few simple stretches.

“I could lend you a scarf.” Biting her lip, Micki pulled a large floral print length of material from her dance bag. “Make it into a sarong skirt maybe?”

Micki floated the scarf in front of her face. “Honey, take it. You don’t want to come across as too desperate, like you gotta have the job or you won’t eat again. Makes them wonder why you’re so hard up, y’know?”

There was logic in the thought so, with murmured thanks, she accepted the fabric square. As she played with her steps and the gauzy material, she realized it would integrate well into her routine and serve as a nice accent.

All too soon the second phase of the audition began with the thirty women remaining. Again Tassia watched intently to see what the director seemed to like. She found her gaze straying to the lone man, the security officer, and sharply reprimanded herself. He had no reason to doubt her story, her fake papers were impeccable, and—even if he was handsome in a roughhewn way—well there was no time in her life for dalliance. Even if she made it to the ship.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

If you’ve always been fascinated by the legend of the tragic Grand Duchess Anastasia, then you’ll be intrigued by this futuristic, scifi romance re-telling. Is she the princess or the imposter?

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs December 13 – December 21, 2022.

Winner will be drawn on December 22, 2022.

Author Biography:

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.”

Social Media Links:

2 comentarios

Elizabeth Haney
Elizabeth Haney
21 dic 2022

OMG! This book sounds so good! I am not too familiar with the Anastasia lore but I love the premise of the book. Tassia sounds like a strong heroine and I'd love to read more about that ruggedly handsome security guy! Thanks for sharing an excerpt, this book is definitely going on my TBR list!

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
16 dic 2022

Thank you, Veronica, for sharing your book in our Indie Reads Bookish Event!

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