Star Cruise Time Loop by @vscotttheauthor is a Beach Reads Event pick #scifi #scifiromance #giveaway
Title: STAR CRUISE TIME LOOP
Author: Veronica Scott
Genre: Science Fiction Romance/Time Travel Romance
Raelyn Cantorini, senior stewardess on the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr thinks the alien artifact she bought on the last planet the ship visited was just a pretty glass orb…until her pet Eyn knocked the ornament off a table, shattering it and sending her into an infinitely repeating time loop.
Stuck reliving the same day over and over, Raelyn has only hours to try to save the ship and everyone on board from dying in a terrible catastrophe. As she tries to solve the mystery of what happens to the ship right before midnight each time the day repeats, Raelyn meets Kev Stevens, the former Special Forces soldier turned actor and finds herself falling in love with him. Each time the day repeats, she learns more about him while he has no memory of her. Can she persuade him they’ve met before? Will he trust her enough to help stop the Nebula Zephyr’s destruction?
And if they do save the ship, will that reset time for Raelyn?
Raelyn had read the action in the script but hadn’t grasped how distracting it would be to have to play with the balls convincingly and be ready to give her lines.
“You have to stay on your mark, you know,” the other girl said with a sniff. “You took yourself right out of the shot. And if you block the star’s camera angle, there’ll be hell to pay. And don’t mess with your hair.” Hands on her hips, Sivala looked Raelyn up and down as if she was a furry rodent Moby the ship’s cat had dragged in. “Don’t you know anything?”
Sure enough, here came the hair and makeup man, visibly annoyed, to restore the artful curl Raelyn had straightened and put behind her ears so the hair would stop falling into her eyes.
“How do you know so much? Have you acted before?” Raelyn asked. She thought she heard the makeup man stifle a chuckle as he walked away.
“I might have.” Sivala drew herself up taller, which nearly caused a wardrobe malfunction. “I’ve done a few productions here and there.”
The strong scent of an expensive after shave lotion drifted into Raelyn’s nostrils and she sneezed as Wayn Strongson walked onto the small patch of beach where the trideo filming was to occur. He recoiled, waving one hand as if to bat away any germs or viruses.
“I’m so sorry,” she said in a rush, holding out her hand to the vision of masculine virility and dreaminess she’d seen in dozens of big budget trideos and never expected to meet in person. “I’m Raelyn Cantorini, the crew contest winner. It’s a thrill to meet you—”
“My assistant will give you an autograph holo later,” the actor said, ignoring her outstretched hand.
A stern looking woman in an austere black suit stepped between Raelyn and Strongson, forcing her to retreat. “Don’t bother Mr. Strongson while he’s preparing. Say your lines to him when the holo cams are rolling and not one syllable more, understand?”
Shocked, Raelyn nodded. “Sorry. This is all new to me.”
“No need to tell me that.” The assistant or whoever she was heaved a deep sigh. “Your friend there understands. Follow her example and you’ll be fine.”
Sivala grabbed her by the elbow and dragged her to a spot on the set near the balls. “You stand here, you play with the balls, try to look wistful and say your lines on cue, got it?” Leaning closer, she said, “If you screw this up too badly they’ll cut the entire scene and you’ll have ruined my chance.”
Now full of nerves, Raelyn bit her lip. She didn’t care about Sivala’s ambitions but she did want her own moment of fame in a big budget trideo so she tried to absorb the advice. A few minutes later the trideo star walked to his spot, where he’d step forward to stop the errant beach ball at the proper moment and flirt with Raelyn’s character.
“And action,” said the director.
Raelyn’s mind went completely blank. Mouth open she stared helplessly at Strongson.
The director’s voice was like a knife. “Cut.”
“I’m sorry, please let me try again,” Raelyn said, embarrassed beyond belief. She put her hands on her cheeks because she was blushing, which would make her appear blotchy.
“Of course, dear, no problem. Nerves are to be expected.” Mr. Daburkn’s voice was kind.
Raelyn snuck a glance at Strongson’s face and he was frowning. A different hair and makeup team was touching up his appearance even though to Raelyn’s eyes he was still perfect. Her own makeup man appeared again as if he’d transported in from thin air, scolded her for touching her face and repaired the damage to his work.
This time when the director called for action, Raelyn immediately launched into her lines, said them exactly the way she’d memorized them, dropped the ball Strongson was to catch, which he did, giving her a look that nearly brought her to her knees because it was so warm and sexy and interested in her and he uttered his seductive line in his galaxy-famous voice…and as soon as the word “Cut’ was said, he stepped back, his face went blank and he ignored her.
She swallowed hard, relieved she’d managed to handle the job after one false try. No one was moving through and Sivala stayed in her spot, so Raelyn did as well.
Mr. Daburkn came up to her. “That was wonderful. Now let’s try it a different way.”
Blinking, Raelyn managed to blurt out, “Excuse me?”
“Well, you have to admit the scene was a bit…vanilla. Put a dash of sizzle into it for this take; give Strongson something to play against. He is the Sectors’ sexiest spy, after all.”
“Oh, okay.” As he walked to his chair, Raelyn had no idea what the seven hells he wanted.
She must have shown her confusion plainly because Sivala hissed at her. “Beats.”
“Put different beats into it for space sake. You spoke to Strongson as if he was any passenger on the real ship.”
As Raelyn stared at her, trying to comprehend the criticism, Sivala went on. “You said it like ‘I tasted the ice cream’. All one level, monotone, blah blah. Daburkn wants you to try it more like I tasted the ice cream. I tasted the ice cream. And play up how you touch the beach balls; caress them as if—well, as if you were thinking of some other balls.” Sivala giggled.
Totally adrift but game to try, Raelyn did her best on the next take and forgot half the lines. On the third try, she forgot to release the beach ball, which left Strongson without the stage business he was supposed to have. Raelyn could see Daburkn was rapidly losing his patience and the star stalked off the set.
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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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