Writer’s Log

My Alien Pet

Please welcome Veronica Scott.  Veronica’s PETS IN SPACE story is Star Cruise: Stowaway.  Today, Veronica gives a sneak peek into her story so make sure you read through to the end. Then visit Veronica’s web page for more information on her books and upcoming projects https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

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One of the first things that comes to mind for me when thinking about petlike alien animals in space would be the tribble, from the famous Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” They’re soft, they kind of purr and oh did I mention they multiply like nobody’s business? The rabbit of the spacelanes! I always loved that episode…

Data had an orange tabby cat named Spot in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” And Ripley had her orange tabby named Jonesy in the movies “Alien” and “Aliens”. Although the cat wisely stayed home in the second movie. The cat always knows best!

Apparently there was a pet in the old show “Lost in Space,” a creature that made a ‘bloop’ sound and which was named Debbie but I’ve got no memory of it! Looks like a chimpanzee with pointy ears.

So when it was time for me to come up with my ‘alien pet’ for the novel Star Cruise: Outbreak, I did think about tribbles. I made Midorri, my pet, soft and green, but there any resemblance to tribbles ended because my pet has two golden eyes, a long tail like a red panda (which is my favorite wild animal on Earth so if I’m designing an animal, I get to include that tail!) and six legs. Not a tribble, not even close. But affectionate and patient, although Midorri may be allergic to humans- we’re still figuring that part out. And she loves cat treats.

Because Owen Embersson, the cargo master of my ship Nebula Zephyr, has a rescue cat, Moby.

The blurb for Pets In Space:

Even an alien needs a pet…

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.

And the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:

Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

 

A quick excerpt from the story – this one comes from the second half of the adventure, not that I want to give spoilers, but Owen and Midorri are setting off to accomplish something important (and perhaps slightly illegal, but for a good cause)!

 

             A major shipping hub in this Sector, although not a governmental center, Devir Six hosted a Cargo Master Guild Hall so there was nothing odd or unusual about Owen taking one of the Nebula Zephyr’s personal flitters to the surface, ostensibly to conduct business. The ship would to be in orbit for a few days, while the passengers sampled the planet’s many beautiful amenities. As he moved among the crowds at the spaceport, he didn’t attract much notice—just another spacer in nondescript utilities—with his unusual pet perched on his shoulder. A number of men and women in the crowd sported their odd alien furred and feathered companions, as if to proclaim the fact of their extensive journeys among the stars.

                He reached up to pet Midorri. They both knew her leash was for show only and wouldn’t stop her for a second if she wanted to bolt. He’d come to realize she was a lot smarter than anyone had been giving her credit for, and he hoped she might come in handy during the next few days.

Author Bio:

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.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

The Story Behind the Story

Today we are continuing the fun with a conversation with Lea Kirk.  Lea is going to share with us the story behind the story of her pet. To find out more about Lea, please be sure to visit her website http://www.leakirk.com/

The Story behind the Story

I am the dog, the guardian of this place, and I survey my domain as I lay here in my yard, warming myself in a spot of sunshine. I really love the cold-damp season the best because it rains, and rain is glorious. It makes puddles, and those are my favorite things. Although, it hasn’t rained for almost a week and now all the puddles are gone. Most disappointing. Now I have to figure out what to do for the rest of the day.

I’ve been asked if there is a story behind the story of Ranger, my Pets in Space pet. Yes! There absolutely is.

When I first wrote about Ranger, the dog from SPACE RANGER, I had only a vague idea what she was like, other than she was a roly-poly puppy. I also knew she would grow up to be a big dog, about sixty to sixty-five pounds or so.  As my story unfolded, I got to know her better. She had short red fur, floppy ears, and she loved to run, which meant her legs would be long and gangly through her doggie teenage months.

She would also be very protective of her people and her territory. Her people had saved her life and given her a home, and her first loyalty was to them. She loved to be with them as much as possible, but she also spent time patrolling her territory. No matter how far afield she went, she’d always find her way home.

It was at this point that I realized there was something hauntingly familiar about this pet. After researching dog breeds with red fur and deciding Ranger was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, it hit me. She had become an unintentional tribute to my one-time writing companion and best dog ever, Indy. Indy was only part Ridgeback, but she was all spunk—much like my fictional dog, Ranger.

I chose a dog as my pet because I know dogs. With the exception of a few brief years here and there, there has always been at least one dog bringing joy to my life. I’ve had a Samoyed, a Cocker-Lab mix, two Dalmatians, a yellow Labrador, a crazy Beagle, a Plott hound mix…and just recently, after a four-year hiatus, we adopted our first Doberman Pinscher. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d have a dog of that breed! But, he’s a sweetheart. A total marshmallow and we love him.

Incidentally, it took us a week to figure out his name. It was my husband who proposed it, and it seems to be sticking.

His name is Ranger. He may not look like the Ranger from my story, but he sure does seem to carry her spirit.

 

 

Read more about Ranger in Lea’s story, Space Ranger. 

The gift of a puppy connects two lost souls that find they need each other to thrive.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE | ARE

Favorite Pet Stories

A warm welcome to today’s guest, Laurie A. Green.  To learn more about Laurie be sure to read to the end of her post for links to her website and social media pages. She also gives us a little peek at her PETS IN SPACE story, Stardog.

Favorite Pet Stories

I adore pets! Animals have always been a big part of my life. My first dog was a Collie-Beagle cross named Ginger. We had such adventures! I so wish I still had a photo of him. 

Now we live on a small ranch and pets are almost a necessity. Our two original Labrador Retrievers were Shadow and Chaco. Shadow, a chocolate lab, moved with us from Michigan. Chaco, her black daughter, lived all of her too-short sixteen years on the ranch. She was my guardian in the years David was deployed, sleeping on the floor beside my bed, an early warning system who gave me great peace of mind. Shadow and Chaco are gone now, but Misty and Kiva, a black and a yellow lab, occupy their pen.

We got our Rottweiler, Phantom, as a young pup. [If you read StarDog, that name might ring a bell. <wink>] Sweetest dog ever! Not long after she came home, a tornado passed overhead with winds so powerful it destroyed her pen, scattering the panels and leaving her alone and unprotected in the storm. David threw on his Outback duster and went after her, having to chase the terrified and very soggy pup down. For the rest of her life, she’d start to shiver whenever she saw someone wearing a long coat.

We’ve also had three miniature longhaired dachshunds. The first was Scarlet, a red. She lived to be old and gray. Eventually going blind, she had to find her way around the house by sticking out her nose like a makeshift white cane. I called her my “little bumper car.”

After Scarlet passed, it was many, many years before I had the heart to get another little doxie, but I’m so glad I did! Katrina, a black and tan, has become my writing-buddy extraordinaire. (StarDog also borrowed her name.) She knows what “Want to go write?” means. When she hears it she’ll run to my office door and eagerly wait for the door to open so she can curl up under my desk. Her protégé is Luna, a black and tan piebald we acquired in June. Luna is still learning the ropes about being a good writing buddy, but she’s catching on fast.

We’ve also enjoyed the company of many, many felines over the years. Calico, Himalayan, gray, black, white, orange, yellow, tabby, seal point…we’ve had them all. Currently, our house is reigned by Serenity and Sugar, two calico sisters. They were David’s companions while deployed and came home with him after he retired. We also have a shop cat named Saybin, who patrols for mice in David’s work area, and Cat With No Name who lives in the barns on our property and dispatches vermin. (Might be a bit of her DNA in StarDog. )

These are some of my personal pet stories, but when deciding on a favorite story from a book or movie, I really had to give it some thought. I’m a huge fan of many of the more famous horse movies—Secretariat, Phar Lap, Man from Snowy River, Sea Biscuit, 50-to-1, Ruffian and Casey’s Shadow among them. But I don’t really consider horses to be “pets” so those went into the discard pile. (Just don’t tell our four Thoroughbreds <wink>.)

After much thought and consideration (not to mention a round of Googling), I decided that my all-time favorite pet story had to be 101 Dalmatians. I’ve loved the tale since I was very young and it has it all—intrigue, adventure, suspense, romance, and best of all, a very happy ending. (Let’s face it, a lot of pet stories don’t end on an upbeat note. That’s why Old Yeller or Marley & Me didn’t make my “favorite pet story” cut even though they’re great movies.) So hats off to Lucky, Patch, Pongo, Perdita and the whole spotted gang, because just like the adventures in Pets in Space, this tale leaves you with a big smile.

StarDog

Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.

Author Bio

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 nearly 900 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.

Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.

Website:          http://www.laurieagreen.com/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-A-Green-139849829386292/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/SFRLaurie

Twitter Handle:           @SFRLaurie

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Susan!

My Favorite Fictional Animal

A hearty welcome to Carysa Locke. 

For more information on Carysa and her books, please visit her web page and sign-up for her newsletter http://www.carysalocke.com/

My favorite fictional animal

I thought this would be a hard question to answer, but it turns out, not so much. I fell in love with Anne McCaffrey’s dragons at an impressionable age. I think I read Dragonsong, the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy, when I was ten years old. I instantly wanted my own firelizard.

I mean, these were awesome, cat-sized dragons who could teleport, who were bonded to their human and loved them deeply, the most loyal companion you could ever have! And they were gorgeous, jewel-toned creatures with the ability to fly. I wanted ten of my own. But as cool as the firelizards were, they were quickly outclassed in my mind by the dragons – large versions would could actually carry humans on their backs, and not only were bonded with their human riders, but could talk to them telepathically!

And they could teleport and travel through time. Even now, decades later I still want my own dragon. (I mean, who wouldn’t want the ability to teleport and time travel? With your best friend?)

This early obsession with telepathic animals might explain why I have psychically gifted animals in my own series. No dragons (yet – you never know!) but animals who love their humans and speak with them telepathically all the same. I’ve read several series with this same trope since McCaffrey’s Pern books, including the Heralds of Valdemar and the Cheysuli books. I’ve enjoyed them all, though none have quite captured me the way those first books did. I mean, how do you compete with dragons, am I right?

Really, I think it all comes down to love. As humans, we are always seeking to connect with others. With other people, and for some of us, with our animal companions. Our pets are often considered family members, and I think science fiction just takes the idea that one inevitable step further.

At its heart, I think that’s what our stories are about. That connection. I’m proud to be involved with Pets in Space, and so excited to share my story, Escape Run

Here is a small teaser:

All of his frustration drained away. He snuck another look at her, and noticed Ember curled up on the bench behind them. Back in the same place she’d occupied on their last space voyage together, nearly a decade ago. He nodded toward the kith-vos in greeting, and she closed one blue eye slowly and opened it again in what he could only describe as a deliberate wink.

Well, maybe he had at least one ally.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Susan!

Blessing of the Animals

Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting my fellow Pets In Space authors.  Today I welcome Alexis Glynn Latner. For more information on Alexis, please visit her website http://www.alexisglynnlatner.com/.

Blessing of the Animals

The way pets comfort, pleasantly distract, reassure and help us can be, for those who use religious language, a blessing. This has not escaped notice of the mainstream Christianity. Episcopal, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, some relatively daring Methodist, and congregations of other denominations conduct a blessing of the animals every year in October, on the feast day of St. Francis: he who of all the saints had a great love for nature and all creatures.  Francis is the patron saint of animals; Pope John Paul II in 1979 made him the patron saint of ecology.  And his likeness turns up in all kinds of gardens, often with a birdbath or bird feeder as part of it.  

In the blessing of the animals, there may be the invitation for (well behaved) animals to attend worship. Last year in my church, a number of dogs, two cats in carriers, and one snake were noted. Or there might be a special service outdoors, say in the cloisters, with all pets welcome. The pets that show up range from horses to spiders.  I heard of an Episcopal church in New York City that made a liturgical procession of it, and the creatures involved included a roach in a glass jar reposing on a purple liturgical pillow. (That one may have represented not so much pet kind as unavoidable fellow inhabitants of the city. Then again, I’m sure that some blessing of the animals somewhere has had a Madagascar hissing cockroach brought to be duly blessed; some people do keep these as pets.)

Animals, especially pets, bless us so much we can certainly bless them back!  From an Episcopal Church online resource comes this blessing complete with a few notes on how it should be conducted.

THE BLESSING OF EACH PET (INDIVIDUALLY)

(The blessing is usually done with the sprinkling of water over the animal and the owner. )

“N., (name of animal, i.e. “Smokey”, not cat/dog)

may you be blessed in the Name of the Father,

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May you and

(the name of the “owner”) enjoy life together

and find joy with the God who created you.”

(http://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/st_francis_day_resources_1.pdf)

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Susan!