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Pets In Space Awarded Library Journals’ Best Books of 2016

News alert! Pets in Space has been honoured by the Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2016! As in the Top 5 of all original fiction in 2016! 

Congratulations go to Pauline Baird Jones, Veronica Scott, S.E. Smith, Susan Grant, Cara Bristol, Laurie A. Green, Carysa Locke, Lea Kirk, and Alexis Glynn Latner. Thank you for writing such brilliant scifi action adventure romance stories starring pets and for your awesome support for hero-dogs.

It was an honor to support these ladies with our marketing and promotional activities. I’m so proud of them I could burst! 😃💝🎉


Pets in Space is available at these stores:
Amazon
iBooks 
B&N
Kobo 
Google Play 
ARe 
Goodreads 

Alexis Glynn Latner and Disproportionate Personality

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Alexis Glynn Latner:

It’s easy to think that a good pet must be at least a certain size, maybe the size of a cat. If you’re a large-dog lover who doesn’t care for cats, you may think a pet really ought to be at least half the size you are. And horse people may be putting their ideal of pet size and weight all the way up to Clydesdale range. 

When it comes to pets, though, good things can come in tiny packages.

I used to know a gerbil named Hot Shot. This rodent had lots of personality packed into one small, fuzzy and hyperactive package. Hot Shot belonged to a school teacher friend whose allergies made a cat or dog in the home out of the question. The gerbil was non-allergenic. Hot Shot would sniff a visitor’s fingers and run up to sit on the visitor’s shoulder. With proportionally large, liquid eyes, and the fluffy tip of the tail, this particular desert rat was a cute little thing.

Also in the disproportionately large personality category are practically any and all parakeets (also known as budgies).They are brassy little birds. One friend of mine had several male cockatiels, a yellow-fronted female Amazon parrot, and one female parakeet – who was the least fearless, most dominant, and noisiest bird in the bunch. My friend’s parents had the admirable Admiral Bird: this blue parakeet would fly into their stairway and swoop up or down from floor to floor in their house. In my childhood house we had a blue parakeet that would land on the rim of a bowl of chicken noodle soup and help itself to a noodle. For that matter, in for a while I had a praying mantis that I named Monty, and fed the mantis cabbage butterflies I’d netted in the yard. I’d hold the butterfly by the wings and extend it toward Monty. The mantis would get r-e-a-l-l-y interested when he saw the butterfly, sway back and forth, then snatch it with his spiny forelegs.

Dogs and cats have more complex behaviors than small rodents and small birds. The interspecies affinity between human and dogs and cats is strong enough that ads in Southern Living appeal to “pet parents” – not “pet owners.” Interesting usage. Still, there are small pets that aren’t pseudo-children, don’t have a job or purpose, but simply are – delightful pets pure and simple.

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To find out more about Alexis Glynn Latner, please click here.

Carysa Locke on Why Pets In Space Is A Project Close To Her Heart

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Carysa Locke :

We are a household of two cats and two dogs. Of those four pets, three are rescues. Our most recent rescue is Sophia, an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy our local humane society fostered with some friends of ours. We were half-heartedly talking about getting a second puppy to help Maya, a rescue we had who was having some issues with trauma. We thought having another dog might be helpful for her, but I was reluctant to add another puppy to our household while Maya was still being trained. We would wait, I thought, at least until Maya has sufficiently housebroken.

blog-post-4Then our friends sent us pictures of the most adorable puppies known to mankind. They were eight weeks old, and we were powerless to stop ourselves from going to meet them. And once we met them, we fell in love. Sophia came home with us that night to meet Maya and see how they would suit.

The difference was instantaneous. They got along immediately, and Maya was like a different dog. So soft and calm. We knew we’d made the right decision. The next few weeks were harrowing, as our humane society won’t put a “hold” on any animal, not even for foster families. We had to take her back in to them to be fixed, and then get there early on the day the puppies were put up for adoption to claim her. It was a very frightening time, when we thought we might not get our girl. She and Maya had already bonded, and of course, we loved her.

Out of all of our animals, Sophia is our cuddler. She loves to be right next to us, preferably touching, preferably under a blanket. She is so sweet and loving. Our humane society received her and the entire litter from California (we are in Oregon), where they have specific kill laws on pit bulls. The shelters down there would have been forced by the law to euthanize Sophia and all of her siblings, a circumstance that fills me with horror. I have never had a dog with a sweeter disposition, and the entire litter shared her demeanor.

I am so grateful for us and for Maya that Sophia came into our lives. Our two dogs could not be more different, but together they are the perfect pair. I don’t doubt that we will have two dogs in our house from now on.

It’s hard for me to imagine that there are people out there who will abuse animals who are defenseless and unable to protect themselves, but that is exactly why projects like this one are so important. Anything that can be done to raise awareness for rescue animals, or to aid organizations that train animals to be companions for humans in need, is a great thing to be a part of. I’m proud to be involved with Pets in Space, and so excited to share my story, Escape Run, with everyone.

Here is a small teaser, introducing the first glimpse of my character’s “pet”, Ember:

Her hands shook as she buckled a disruptor to her thigh. She was about to hunt the man who stole everything from her. She stopped in the doorway, leaning over with her hands propped on her knees, struggling to breath. For a few awful seconds she thought she might vomit, but Ember brushed against her and the feeling faded.

Teegan? Her bond-mate sounded worried.

“I’ll be all right.”

Perhaps someone else should take this hunt.

“No one else would find him.”

Ember padded silently beside her as they stepped outside into the summer sun. It was already warming into a hot day, and it was barely morning. Sweat trickled down Teegan’s back beneath the long sleeved, armored shirt she wore. It was flexible and light, as armor went, but still heavier than regular clothing.

Maybe we shouldn’t, either, the kith said as Teegan sealed her house.

“I’m not leaving that man to roam the universe unchecked.”

Then I’m glad Cole will be with us.

Teegan hesitated, but then shrugged. Ember was right. Doing this alone would be impossible. “Me too.”

Good. Ember licked her hand, a gesture of love and approval. It’s a start.

But a start to what? Teegan wasn’t so sure she wanted to know.

To find out more about Carysa Locke, please click here.

Laurie A. Green on Pets in Space and Hero Dogs

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Laurie A. Green:

When I was first approached about submitting a story for the Pets in Space Anthology, I immediately loved the idea. Pets + space was a super fun concept all by itself, but when I learned that a portion of the profits will go to support Hero Dogs–a cause I truly believe in–I was all in.

Why?

Because Hero Dogs places service dogs and other highly trained canines with armed services veterans who have a disabling medical condition, and they do it at no charge for approved applicants. These animals become wonderful companions and helpers for those who have proudly served our country.

I think pets + heroes is a pretty cool thing, too!

Why is this so important to me? Partly because I’m about as military as you can get without ever actually having served in the military. I’ve been “married to the military” for over 30 years with my spouse being a retired active duty lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. And I come from a military-oriented family. My father and father-in-law were both World War II vets and combat medics, as was my uncle. My grandfather served in World War I. My brother was career army, and my niece and nephews all served in either the Army or Air Force.

david-laurie david-in-kuwait richard-w-green-8th-amored-division-1945-germany

Me? I was a military budget director for over 20 years, working side-by-side with officers and enlisted personnel, many of whom were deployed multiple times. During these two decades I saw many soldiers leave for overseas deployments and attended many a yellow ribbon ceremony when they finally—and safely—returned. Though not all returned the same as when they left. I know how much some of these men and women sacrificed to serve their country, and I love that this anthology will allow me to give something back to our veterans, even in a small way.

Writing a novelette about a heroic pet (in this case, a bio-engineered ship’s mascot called a StarDog) and her remarkable ship and crew seemed like total win-win, and a great way to help support this wonderful cause all while allowing me to expand my Inherited Stars universe. HUA!

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

Lea Kirk On What Animal Companions Currently Help Her Write?

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Lea Kirk:

 

He sounds friendly but it could be a trick. Not that it matters. I can’t stop him from doing anything, he’s too big and I’m just a little puppy. His paw reaches toward me then stops by my nose. He smells like…food.

I am so sad to say that we currently have no pets, and therefore I have no animal writing companion. We are looking, though, just haven’t found “our” dog. Anyone who’s a pet lover understands that statement. When you meet the right pet, something very special takes root in your heart. You just know this animal is meant to be a part of your family.

Since I currently don’t have a pet writing companion, I’ll tell you instead about my last, and best, writing companion. Her name was Indy, and she was something special. Remember what I said about knowing? Well, I knew the moment I saw her picture on the pet rescue website. We were a foster family for this particular rescue organization, so I called the woman who ran it and said, “Hey, we’d love to foster Indy.” And she said, “Hey, we’d love for you to foster Indy.”

I have to come clean right now and admit that to this day my husband doesn’t know I made that call. He still thinks the rescue put out a general call for fosters and I responded. *Ahem* Once he reads this, the jig will be up.

Anyway, Indy came home with us and for the entire weekend my hubby said, “That dog’s not staying with us. We’re only fostering it.” Yeah, right. The first night she was with us, I watched from the office window as he set down a towel on his workshop floor and coaxed her inside with him and our other dog. The man was smitten and refused to admit it. Eventually he caved in, just as I’d expected, and we officially adopted Indy a few weeks later.

Indy and I bonded in a way I’d never bonded with a dog before. For six years she was my writing companion and my BFF. We had a standing date twice a year, New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. On those two evenings she would creep into the office and hide under my legs from the fireworks while I wrote. Even after all these years, I miss her most on those nights.

Interestingly enough, when I first started writing Space Ranger, I didn’t realize Ranger had been inspired by Indy. Indy was a Rhodesian Ridgeback-Labrador, and Ranger is a full Ridgeback. Indy was a very light red, and her fur was lab-like in texture. Ranger’s fur is sleek and red, red, red, like a Ridgeback. But her personality is very much like Indy’s—sweet as heck, but a little imp with her antics. I may at some point write about a few of these antics. For now, I’m happy to introduce you to my little girl in Space Ranger.

UPDATE: On Sunday, September 18th, our new dog came home! It’s taken almost a week, but my husband insists his name is Ranger. Being a Doberman, he looks nothing like his namesake in Space Ranger but seems to have her spirit. What kind of writing companion he will be remains to be seen. But, he is a love.

ranger-loves-the-grass

To find out more about Lea Kirk, please click here.

Cara Bristol On Her Life Growing Up With Dogs

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Cara Bristol:

 

4136271When I was growing up, we had a lot of dogs and cats. I won’t say how many because the actual number would make my family seem bizarre. So let’s leave it at a lot. We had a lot of pets because my mother is a dog lover. To her, dogs rate as equal to humans, and I think sometimes she forgets they’re animals.

She once took her dogs to see the Christmas lights—and got mad at them when they didn’t look.

Another time she thought they would enjoy going for a ride through the car wash. They didn’t. When the flapping things and brushes came down, the dogs freaked. She had to zoom out of the car wash before it was done.

My favorite story though, is this one:

One year mom was going out of town for Thanksgiving. I dropped in to say goodbye the night before she caught her plane. She had a chicken roasting in the oven.

We talked for a while, and then she said, “I don’t know what I’m going to have for dinner. There’s nothing in the house to eat.”

“What’s the chicken for?” I asked.

“Oh, that’s for the dogs. They have to have their Thanksgiving dinner.”

Do you have a “crazy” pet story? Please share it!

Maltese puppy, 6 months old, sitting in front of white backgroun

Spark of Attraction blurb

Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.

After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.

An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space

“Sparky, no!” Miranda grabbed her robotic dog and tried to pull him off the captain. This was awful. Stone would airlock him for sure. “Release, Sparky, release!” she cried, but the companion-model robot hung on. “Let go!”

The captain bent, and gripping the dog’s upper and lower jaws, began to pry its mouth open with his bare hands.

“Don’t hurt Sparky!” He was all she had left, and the captain could break him, dislocate his jaw.

“Hurt him?” He peered up at her. “Might I remind you its teeth are imbedded in my leg?”

She reached under the collar for the power switch on the dog’s nape. He jerked, released the captain’s ankle, and fell over. Still. Silent. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, wringing her hands. “He’s programmed to protect me, and he perceived you as a threat.” Maybe if she’d explained at the start her dog was a canine artificial intelligence model, all of this could have been avoided—but at the captain’s edict, she had panicked.

She scooped him up and clutched him protectively to her chest, stroking his soft synthetic fur. He looked and acted so lifelike, sometimes she forgot he was a robot. They’d have to eject her from the ship before she’d allow them to remove him. If they put him on a pod, how could she be sure she’d get him back?

He hadn’t been bothering anything.

Well, not until he bit the captain.

If Stone’s eyes had been cold before, they were positively flinty now. She’d never seen such a dark scowl.

Blood stained his pants leg, and he pulled it up to reveal a lacerated ankle. For all its small size, the K9-500 had a jaw like a vise and sharp metal teeth. If the bot had attacked a human, the damage could have been severe. Rumor had it Dante Stone was a cyborg, a computer-enhanced human with biomimetic parts. She’d heard cyborgs were immune to pain and practically indestructible.

“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “It doesn’t hurt much, though, right?”

“Of course, it hurts!” he snapped. “Why would you think it doesn’t?”

“Don’t you have those nano thingees?”

Her fellow colonists were staring, watching the interchange, waiting to see what would happen. Would the captain toss her into the brig? Airlock poor Sparky?

Cara Bristol’s website: https://carabristol.com
Cara Bristol’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Cara Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3
Cara Bristol’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/

Pauline Baird Jones on First Contact Dreaming

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Pauline Baird Jones:

For a long time, the Hubs and I have lived in cities, even though both of us grew up in small towns. The big city was where the job was, so we went where the job sent us.
I’ve recently come home, both physically and in my heart. I find myself remembering so many things I hadn’t thought about for years.

When I was little, on hot summer nights, we could throw sleeping bags out on the front lawn. As cool stole slowly in to replace the heat, the stars would come out, one, two, then in a burst—like a party in the sky.

We’d lay on our backs and look up at stars and moon and wonder and dream.

Did anyone live on the moon?
What was beyond the moon?
Were there others like us?
Would we ever meet them?

I know. Roswell. But I wouldn’t call crashing a space ship and some alien autopsies a “meeting.” But as a writer, as a dreamer, I still wonder what THE meeting will be like (yes, I still believe).

My hopes for first contact include (but are not limited to):
1. That they don’t come to eat us.
2. That they don’t come to shoot us and take our resources.
3. That they want to know us.
4. That they want us to live long and prosper.
5. That I won’t say something that will start an intergalactic war.

Which got me wondering, if it happened, what would I say? Yeah, I’d probably say the wrong thing, but is there anyone “out there” figuring out the correct protocol for first contact? And who would that be? Are people who have been abducted by aliens considered experts to be consulted?

I’m pretty sure I should say, “Did you come to eat us?”

So, if you were The One who meets the first alien, what would you say or ask? (Assuming, of course, the aliens have a Universal Translator because otherwise there will just be a lot of staring.)

In “The Real Dragon,” Emma thinks she is having first contact with an alien. She doesn’t know that what she believes, and what actually is, are far enough apart to put all of Earth at risk.

Or ten square miles of Texas.

It all depends on how that meeting goes. And if her dragon can save the day.

If you like stories of romance, action, adventure and PETS, I hope you’ll check out Pets in Space. Not only will you get EIGHT original, never-before-published stories, and ONE expanded story, 10% of the first month’s proceeds will be donated to Hero-Dogs.org, an organization dedicated to training dogs to help Veterans.

It shouldn’t be that hard to wrap my brain around making first contact with an alien. It’s what all of us geeks dreamed of and hoped for. Perhaps we didn’t hope for first contact by dragon, but still, I should have been ready.
I didn’t feel ready. From “The Real Dragon,” Pets in Space

Pauline 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:///www.paulinebjones.com

S.E. Smith on Growing Up

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is S.E. Smith:

What was your first or favorite childhood pet and why?

We always had pets growing up, so this is a hard one. I remember Snoopy, named after – yep, you got it Snoopy. I don’t remember a lot of about Snoopy as I was too young when he died. I think one of the most unique pets was Spooky. Spooky was a stray that was an incredible escape artist. He also had problems with gas that could clear a room in nothing flat! LOL. We named him Spooky because we found him one Halloween. One of the best things he could do was climb a chain-length fence. He was fun and very loving.

What pet did you always long to have but your Mom or Dad said no?

I always wanted a horse. I think every little girl goes through that stage. I told you one of my favorite books was The Black Stallion. Well, I wanted a stallion of my own. Of course, there was no room for it in the backyard, but it was always a dream. As I grew older, I did a lot of horseback riding. Now, as an adult, I love to look at them, but it is the one animal I never had.

One of the funniest things is I still read The Black Stallion at least once a year. They made a movie of it, but it didn’t do the story justice. Now that I’m an author, I have a better appreciation for which books can convert well to the big screen and which won’t. Those with a lot of internal struggle need either an amazing actor that can pull it off (think Tom Hanks in Cast Away). Still, there is something magical about the story that continues to enchant me as an adult.

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A teaser for you from A Mate for Matrix from Pets in Space:

Jana turned and emitted a loud shriek when she realized that she was no longer alone. The man leaning against the doorway winced, and Jana’s hand flew to cover her mouth. Her gaze followed his hand as it rose to touch the large, colorful bump at his temple.

“You… I’m sorry,” she whispered, slowly lowering her hand. “I thought you were an intruder. I mean, you are, but I thought you were a bad intruder. Actually, I thought you were old man Marker.”

She clamped her lips together when the man shot her a pain-filled glare. The longer he stared at her, the darker the scowl on her face grew until she folded her arms and glared right back at him. When he raised an eyebrow at her, Jana couldn’t resist raising her own eyebrow back at him.

“You, female, do not have any sense of survival,” the man finally growled.

S.E. Smith, New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance brings another action, adventure, and suspense- filled story to transport readers out of this world. Readers can check out her website at http://sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/se.smith.5.

Susan Grant on Bad Boys and Pets in Space

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Susan Grant:

Bad boys—they make great book boyfriends. What about bad girls? Do you imagine yourself as a rebel? Someone who doesn’t stay with the lines? What about when that bad girl is not a human but a doggy? I have a fun story to share with you.

About ten years ago, 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. It’s not every day that you name a puppy after a book character, but there was something that really struck her about the book and the whole 2176 series.

Erin is a military brat—her father was a Marine Corps “Gunny” (Gunnery Sergeant). Her brother was a captain in the Air Force (like I was). Erin wanted to join the military herself, but life intervened, as it has a way of doing. Her path led her to eventually showing and breeding champion collies, a labor of love.

So, Banzai was born, and from day one she was spirited and special.

Baby Banzai

Baby Banzai

From her first shows, Banzai won. And she kept on winning. She eventually won the Westminster Dog Show, which is like the Olympics of dog shows in the US. Every time Erin wrote me with the great news, I’d cheer. Banzai’s personality and heart were huge, larger than life, just like the character she was named after—the legendary Banzai Maguire. It felt surreal, watching her stratospheric trajectory.

banzai-westminster-award-and-judge

Top Dog!

But, there’s another side of Banzai the showgirl that I alluded to earlier. Erin nicknamed her Banzai-Bad-Dog-Girlfriend” for a reason. From puppyhood she was a naughty girl—a rebel. I think Banzai was destined for a dual-career track—one was dog shows and the other was hellraising. Along with eating the decorative candles on Erin’s hutch (along with any other candles she could find) over the years Banzai has consumed a collector’s edition of “Old Bones: The Wonder Horse”, several treasured novels and cookbooks (I guess this is what you call sinking your teeth into a good read!), and a $300 statue of a mustang. At the shows, Banzai jealously eyes other dogs in other crates, pining after what they are chewing on, eating, or playing with. And yet, she is one of the winningest Smooth Collies ever.

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How the judges see her

banzai-personality

How she really is

Some bad girl moments caught on film:

banzai-bad-dog-1

uh oh!

banzai-bad-girl-2

uh oh again!

Despite all that, 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”, aka “Banzai-Bad-Dog-Girlfriend” is one of a kind, just like her namesake, Captain Bree “Banzai” Maguire.

Banzai would probably approve of this scene in Stray from the anthology Pets in Space where the alien K-9 named Bang-Bang clearly has his own agenda. It is written from Lt Lukas Frank’s point of view:

Bang-Bang swung around to look up at me, making that grumbling noise he does that makes it sound like he’s trying to speak. Apparently telling him to “heel” wasn’t the reaction he wanted. He took my pants leg in his teeth and tugged. Come on, he seemed to say. I jerked on the lead to get him to cut it out, although I always feel a little guilty about applying Earth-based K-9 training techniques to a creature as bright as Bang-Bang. And still he pulled on the lead, clearly intent on dragging me through a throng of partiers toward the nearest drinking hole! Then my platoon sergeant, Staff Sergeant Vu, spoke up. “Those starpilots. Sweet.” He pointed across the street, and Bang-Bang wagged his tail hard, like he’d been waiting for one of us to figure it out.

Huge thanks for having me on your blog! I always enjoy chatting about pets and books, so this was a win/win.

To find out more about Susan Grant, please click here.

Veronica Scott and How It All Started with Meadow and Thicket

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Veronica Scott:

I can’t imagine not having pets, whether I’m living here on Earth or in outer space. Fortunately my parents felt the same way so at a fairly early age I can remember us having white rabbits – Meadow and Thicket.

I always had cats – the first one was Cinderella Pussytiptoes and she was kind enough to produce nine kittens for my amusement one summer! (My parents weren’t as excited.) We kept two of them, Amy and Nancy, and found good homes for the others. Since we lived in the country at the time, for each cat there came the morning when she failed to return home from nighttime roaming, no matter how long and hard I stood outside calling “kitty kitty”. I was inconsolable each time the cat population at our house went down by one more. My parents regaled me with a story of them living happily in the forest. While I was pretty young, the tale was sort of similar to the Santa Claus story – I wanted to believe it, despite some suspicions it might not be true. I never asked too many probing questions.

006My Dad bought me this little statue around this time frame, to remind me of my cats…
We moved to northern Alabama when I was starting junior high school and I adopted a new gray tabby kitten – Mercutio. He was a great companion for many years.

When I got married, as a joke I made my husband-to-be guarantee in writing that we could have a cat. He didn’t really have any objections to cats but was more of a dog person. Before we got around to the cat, we tried a pair of Peruvian guinea pigs, named Cinnamon and Ginger, that we fell in love with at the rabbit and guinea pig exhibit at the LA Fair. Cute, oh my goodness! Like little moving wiglets. Very affectionate, very smart, VERY loud whistling call. Nocturnal too as it turned out, which wasn’t good since they shared the bedroom with us in our small apartment. The time came fairly rapidly to find them a better home with someone else.

We moved to Long Beach to attend college and finally we got the cat – Novikov, named after the common name appearing in my Russian language textbooks at CSULB. One small problem – she adored my husband and couldn’t stand me. She’d drape herself over his shoulders like a scarf and glare at me with possessive pride.

Cats since then included December, Miss Mops, Huntington, Ribbons, Teaser, Mirasou, Duchess, Carrot, Orlando – not all at once! – and the current rulers of the domicile – Jake and Keanu. (My daughter took Carrot and Orly with her when she moved out as they were actually hers, not mine. Although I fed them twice a day for years…) Then I adopted Jake and Keanu from the local shelter.

So of course my story for Pets In Space includes a cat – Moby, who’s a dainty white rescue cat. There’s also an alien pet, Midorri, who’s cat-sized, green with six legs and all kinds of interesting abilities. She and Moby get along fine and rule the spaceship. Of course! Hey both ‘belong’ to Owen Embersson, the ship’s cargo master.

Here’s a quick excerpt from my story, as the two animals have lured Owen into investigating a problem on the cargo deck:

Midorri sneezed, as she was often wont to do, allergic to humans perhaps, and flicked her plush prehensile tail before lowering her head and extending her long green tongue to lap at something on the deck.
“Freaking flares, do not tell me we’ve got leaking cargo. Damn free traders and their beat-up equipment.” He hoped Moby hadn’t sampled whatever Midorri was drinking. The alien animal could probably handle anything up to and including nuclear fuel, who knew, but Moby was definitely a terrestrial cat, with a more delicate stomach. He tried to shoo Midorri away from the slowly growing puddle of green goo, dripping from a dented corner of the container. Musta gotten banged when the shuttle crew offloaded the final pallet too fast and had to straighten everything in a rush. Funny, he’d never have picked this box—well constructed, made from high-quality materials—to be a problem. “I better see what’s in there,” he said to the interested animals.

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.

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