Monday, July 25, 2016

A Modern Day Jane Eyre

. . . Dead-end job? Dreary apartment? Disastrous love life? Check, check, and check. Toddler who makes it all worthwhile? Absolutely. Juggling work, college, and the care of young Alex was never Sabrina's plan.
. . . But Sabrina's dreams are bigger than any curve ball life can throw at her. Her top priority is keeping her small family together, no matter what the cost.
. . . Vladimir Grigory doesn't believe in dreams. He earned his position at the top of New York's corporate ladder with his own sweat. His empire is his baby, and he'll destroy anyone who threatens it. Even the sexy employee who challenges him on every level.
. . . When the New York tabloids and the world call him the baby daddy of Sabrina's son, Vlad believes Sabrina is part of a plot to expose the secrets of his past. He threatens to destroy her future. But since Sabrina has secrets of her own, she has no choice but to agree to Vlad's marriage ultimatum . . .

Wow. This week, Wild Women Authors welcomes Charlotte O’Shay and Sabrina Boyd from Charlotte’s latest release The Marriage Ultimatum out of The Wild Rose Press. First up is Sabrina.
Where are you from? I was born and raised in New York City, Manhattan and now [live in] Brooklyn.
What did you think the first time you saw Vladimir Grigory? When I first met Vlad I had no idea he was the head of the company I had been working for the last 3 years. That may sound funny, but I kept my head down and did my work, because I have a young child to raise and no time for anything but little Alex and work. I thought Vlad was the hottest, handsomest guy, I had ever seen.
Been there, done that—in terms of a job I needed so bad it made my teeth ache. What was your second thought? My second thought was that he was extremely attracted to me, too.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? No. But definitely lust at first sight. We met each other on a primal, chemical level.
Been there, done that, too. Shudder. What do you like most about Vlad? He is the strong and silent type. He’s very responsible- not like either of our dads. He had a terrible childhood. No childhood at all really. He grew into a closed off person, he’s very serious, he feels his emotions deeply but doesn’t let them out very much. He is starting to do that with me.
How would you describe him? He is tall, dark and handsome. Dark blue eyes, well built, crooked nose. He was a boxer in college.
How would Vlad describe you? I have a feisty personality when I have to~ especially when it comes to defending little Alex, my brother..
What made you choose word processing as a career? Are you kidding? I never chose it. It’s just a job. I want a career in art but I had to get a “real” job when my mom passed away. I put art on the shelf to take care of my brother.
What is your biggest fear? Losing my job and being unable to support Alex and myself. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when Vlad fired me. He saw my feisty side then!
You go, girl! Now, tell us how you relax. I love to cook and hang out with friends and take photographs of Alex and sights around the city.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Jane Eyre. She struggled and hurt and finally found herself. A real life person.
Absolutely. Except for Alex, your story sounds like Jane. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Finish college. My mother told me that. She insisted I stay in school.
Just when we think we’ve got it rough, along comes someone like Sabrina. Thank you so much for visiting us. Give that little boy a big hug for us. Now it’s time to chat Charlotte.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? That’s a really tough question. I love so many books. I would say for a book Little Women. There is so much to learn from Louisa May Alcott as a writer and she showed that a family of girls were all individuals, not cookie cutter people. The first Terminator is a favorite movie of mine. A heroine is put into a situation that she has no preparation and no precedent for-and she succeeds fiercely.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? The character of Sabrina is someone I saw in various forms as a lawyer. I represented women in difficult domestic situations. In poverty, there is fear and the feeling that everything one has worked for may be gone in a nanosecond. There is a deep distrust of authority.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? The Wild Rose Press is small enough to be caring and big enough to have some impact in the market. The editors and authors I have met have been nothing short of amazing. I have learned a tremendous amount.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m working on the next two books in the 3 book series about women and men who come to New York City with big dreams. They are all stand alone stories though.
The next book is called A Model Engagement and tells the story of Lacey, Sabrina’s good friend who has an apartment in her building. To the outside world Lacey, a model, has a perfect life. But that is so far from the reality of her life when the story starts.

Thank you so much for visiting with us this week, Charlotte. We enjoyed getting to know you and Sabrina.

Website: http://charlotteoshayauthor.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/charlotteoshayauthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/charlotte_oshay
Instagram: charlotte_oshay_author
amazon.com/author/charlotteoshayauthor.com

To purchase The Marriage Ultimatum, go to:
The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4358-the-marriage-ultimatum.html
ISBN(s) 978-1-5092-0814-2 Paperback
978-1-5092-0815-9 Digital

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Ultimatum-City-Dreams-ebook/dp/B01FCBBAMI
ASIN: B01FCBBAMI
https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Ultimatum-City-Dreams-ebook/dp/B01FCBBAMI

Kobo: ISBN: 10:1509208151
ISBN: 13: 9781509208159
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-marriage-ultimatum-4


Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marriage-ultimatum-charlotte-oshay/1123790857/
ISBN-13: 2940158185540






Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Ghostly Experience

. . . Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural 'spook light' phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental. 
. . . Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim. 
. . .
When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she's desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer. 

For the rest of this week, Wild Women Authors is hosting author Alicia Dean and Camille Burditt, protagonist from Ali's latest release, Devil's Promenade. First up is Camille.
Tell us a bit about Devil’s Promenade. I travel to a Bed & Breakfast to gather material on a ‘spook light’ for a book I’m writing that debunks paranormal phenomenon. But I soon encounter a ghostly presence that makes me realize my skepticism is misplaced.
What made you choose writing for a career? It actually chose me. I used to write a blog about the ridiculousness of those who believe in otherworldly happenings. My editor, Jillian, discovered the blog and asked me to write for her publishing company.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a writer or do something different? Well, I’d stick with being a writer. I love doing it, but I would not write the same type of book. I’ve spent so much time trying to disprove paranormal occurrences that I’ve missed an opportunity to learn more about them, especially the really interesting ones. I’d like to start exploring and writing about ‘true’ supernatural phenomenons.
What is your biggest fear, Camille? I would have to say unfriendly spirits. My first interaction with a ghost was frightening, but fortunately, she meant me no harm. I did learn, though, that if she does mean someone harm, they’d better be on guard. If a malevolent spirit had it out for me, I’d be terrified.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Jane Eyre, because she was a strong, independent woman and leaps and bounds ahead of her time.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My mother always told me, before she passed away, ‘Be true to yourself.’ I’ve found when I apply that, my life seems to go more smoothly. I believe in being kind and trying to make others happy, but I don’t think it works if you try to be someone you’re not.
Thanks, Camille. This has been very interesting. Now it's Alicia's turn.
Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? I would say that Margaret Mitchell, Rosemary Rogers, Michael Connelly, and Dennis Lehane have all had a huge impact on my writing. Becoming absorbed in their characters and their world made me want to produce the same kind of experience for readers, although there is no way I could attain their level of excellence.
Wow. Rosemary Rogers. That takes us back. And Michael Connelly is one of our faves. But, with regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? The research was awesome! When I first decided to write a gothic mystery set in Oklahoma, I googled ‘legends and supernatural events in Oklahoma’ and I ran across the story of a spook light in Quapaw, Oklahoma. I was fascinated by the stories I read, and excited because my sister lives in that area, only a few miles from the light. Two of my writer friends and I took a road trip in March to see my sister and spook light road. It was great, although we didn’t really see the spook light. In my research I came across several legends regarding the spook light and I used many of them in my story. It did change my plot a bit. Originally, I was going to write about a death ON spook light road. Then, when I read about nearby Spring River, and the bridge called Devil’s Promenade, I decided that was where the death took place.
What are you reading right now? Immoral by Brian Freeman
What's next for you? I am currently writing a novella for the Martini Club 4 series titled Pretentious. After that, I will be working on Evil-Eye, a suspense I’m writing after receiving a request from an editor with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer line.

To purchase Devil's Promenade, go to:  https://amzon.com/B01GNGTU96

Ali brought along an excerpt:

A man stood with his back to me, looking out the floor-to ceiling window into the snowy night. He turned, and my heart gave an odd, unexpected little flutter when I recognized Declan.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here. I wanted to work on my book.”
He gestured with the glass he held toward the sofa. “Please, make yourself at home. I won’t disturb you.”
Hmmm. Not the reaction I expected. “Thank you.” I nodded toward an old-fashioned phonograph where a record played—the source of the music.
Where did you get that? I didn’t think they had been around in decades.”
It belonged to my grandfather.”
It still works. Wow.”
He smiled. “A little scratchy, but I think that’s how these old records were meant to be listened to.”
Who is that?”
Tommy Dorsey.”
I cocked my head. “Mr. Rush, are you sure you’re from this century?”
A grin tugged at his mouth. “Sometimes, I wonder that same thing.”
Listen, I was wondering…” I held the laptop to my chest and approached him. “Could I ask you some questions?”
About?”
I’d like to interview you regarding the spook light. For my book.”
He frowned and took a sip from his glass. “I would rather not.”
Why not? It might bring in business for the bed and breakfast.”
His frown turned into a scowl of irritation. “We get quite enough business as it is.”
At dinner, you mentioned that it’s real. I thought that might mean you had stories surrounding it. That you might want to get the word out about it.”
I’m afraid you thought wrong. I was just making conversation.” He finished off the contents in his glass and set it on the bar. “Now, I have work to do. If you’ll excuse me.”
What kind of work?”
I beg your pardon?”
What kind of work do you do? Do you do something other than own the inn?”
I’m an architect. I office out of my home. Will there be anything else?” He moved past me toward the door.
I was determined to get to the bottom of his unreasonable attitude. I blurted, “Why don’t you like me?”
He faced me, his jaw tight. “What makes you think I don’t like you?”
Because, you aren’t friendly to me.”
Has it ever occurred to you that I don’t know you, and I have no reason to be friendly to you? Loretta runs the inn. It’s her job to keep guests happy, not mine. If you have a complaint, see her.”
I grinned. “Do you think she’ll resolve my complaint when I tell her it’s you?”


*** A World of Gothic is a Gothic Mystery Romance Series by authors from all over the world. For information on other titles and for interesting tidbits on mysteries and the authors, check out A World of Gothic Facebook page: 


To learn more about Alicia Dean and the stories she creates go to:




Monday, July 11, 2016

Tarot Reader Meets Hunky Minister. . . ooh la la

Sometimes, all it takes…
Raynebeaux Starr's life is damn near perfect. She has wonderful friends. An interesting career. A man when she wants and none when she doesn't, thank you very much. But when tragedy strikes and she’s named guardian to her six year old niece, her world is turned upside down. She finds herself alone in a new town with a small child, no parenting skills and desperate for guidance. Until she meets Father Jared Sloan. The sexiest minister she's ever seen. He is kind, patient and a literal God-send. If only she could stop having unholy thoughts about him!
is one little lie,
Jared Sloan's love life is a disaster. He has one girlfriend he can't shake, and an ex-fiancée on his doorstep wanting him back. As if things weren't complicated enough, he encounters what must be a fallen angel in a church parking lot. Little does he know when he offers her counseling that she would be unlike anyone he's ever experienced. He wants to be the kind of man she can trust. He also wants to taste her so bad it hurts.
to lead you to the truth.
Can Jared convince Raynie there is such a thing as happily-ever-after? Or will his deceit only confirm her belief that fairy tale endings don't exist in the real world. Especially not in Lubbock, Texas.

Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Ann Everett and Raynebeaux Starr, 'star' of Say You'll Never Love Me. As usual, Raynebeaux is up first.
Where are you from? Austin, Texas. We have a motto there that says…Keep Austin Weird, which makes it the perfect place for me to live. During the 60’s it was a mecca for hippies. My mom and dad never outgrew that.
Tell us a bit about Say You’ll Never Love Me. When my sister and brother-in-law die unexpectedly and leave me as the guardian to their six-year-old daughter, Silbie, I panic. I know nothing about raising a child, and as if that responsibility isn’t enough, I find myself in a new city where the wind always blows and delivers wicked dust storms. One day I walk to a nearby church hoping to find a support group to help me figure out how to be a mother, and meet who I think is an associate minister. Turns out, he isn’t… but that doesn’t get revealed (to me) until much later in the story. By then, I’m hopelessly in love with him but I just can’t see myself living in such an awful place…with a liar. What to do…what to do?
Great hook. Keeps the reader guessing. Good for you. So . . . what did you think the first time you saw Jared Sloan? He wasn’t what I expected. Ministers were supposed to be older, fatter, and balder. This guy was young and gorgeous. Dark hair, brilliant blue eyes, and when he smiled, dimples deepened like sugar down a funnel. Not dressed like a preacher either. He wore jeans and cowboy boots. Silly me. What did I expect from a west Texas town where there was nothing but farmers and cowboys.
Know the type well only we call 'em “Father WhattaWaste”. What was your second thought? There was kindness in his voice. Probably the tone he’d practiced to offer sympathy and understanding to parishioners. I slid my palm into his. Warm and soft. Clearly a man who did little physical labor, but he must work out. What else could explain those broad shoulders or the way his butt filled out those jeans. I gave myself a mental slap. I shouldn’t focus on his body parts or the shape they were in.
Been there, done that. Unfortunately. Real unfortunately. But we digress. Did you feel it was love at first sight? Love, no. Lust…yes.
What do you like most about Jared? I could be myself with him. I told him things I’d never told anyone. And the way he treated my niece. He and Silbie had an instant connection.
How would you describe him? Gorgeous, kind, trustworthy.
How would Jared describe you? Quirky, beautiful, selfless.
What made you choose reading Tarot cards for a career? I have a college degree, but reading the Tarot had always interested me and I’d been doing it since college. It was just a natural fit. Luckily, I could conduct business via the internet, so that was helpful once I had to move to a new city.
Other than 'The Rev's' reaction to your job, what is your biggest fear? Falling in love…knowing there is no such thing as happily-ever-after.
How do you relax? I recently took cooking lessons and now that relaxes me.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Synola Harper from You’re Busting My Nuptials…because she is snarky and I love characters like that.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? When I was explaining to my next door neighbor, Mr. Remmus, why I never wanted get married--my stance on no such thing as happily-ever-after--he replied, 'Just one problem with that. At some point, being single, can turn into being lonely.' How true.

Well, this has been interesting. Starting with the spelling of you name, then to how you met the love of your life and what you thought he did for a living, this one sounds like a winner. We better talk to the creator for a bit.
Hi, Ann. Tell us about the movies or books that have had an impact on your career as a writer and why. I love anything written by Jennifer Cruise or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Although I will never rise to their level, reading their work inspires me to study more and work harder. As for movies, Jerry Maguire is one of my favorites. I love how he changes from self-centered to hopelessly in love. I strive to have my characters do the same thing.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Contrary to what you’d hear from people who know me, my private life is pretty boring. I have no desire to travel. No sense of adventure. I’m not competitive. I’m afraid of water, heights, escalators, elevators, skunks, clowns and a whole truck load of other things. I believe in making only right-hand turns when driving. I never turn around and go back for something I’ve forgotten, because it’s bad luck. I love being alone because I rarely am. My most favorite place in the whole world is home. However, all that boring stuff can be interesting when I give it to a character!
I have readers ask all the time which character I am in my books. My answer is always the same…all of them! Honestly, there is a little of me in each character I write. Usually, a secondary character will be closer to my personality, but someone will always have my fears, my smart mouth, and my good and bad habits.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? It was really just a fluke. I never intended to publish or even try. But I did want to improve my writing skills so I joined an online critique site…where I’m still a member. Anyway, one of my readers on that site suggested I submit to a small press publisher in her area. I did with the attitude I’d never hear from them. Later that night, the phone rang and when I answered, a man asked for Ann. I replied he must have the wrong number. And he said…You’re not Ann Everett the author? I quickly said I was, but I’d never been called that before. Ann Everett is my pen name, but I’d never used it. That relationship was a good one. They published my first two books. But when my three year contract ended, I chose not to renew. I’d learned a lot during that period and decided to strike out on my own as an indie author. Best decision I ever made! But I will always be grateful for the experience.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m currently about into my new book, which will be another New Adult Romance. Almost all of the characters are in their 20’s. However, I like to think of my romance books as women’s fiction, because I have a multitude of characters and there’s more to my stories than just two people trying to get into bed with each other for 200+ pages. They do get into bed and have steamy sex, but that isn’t what the whole story is about.
My current project involves an ex-con wrongly accused and a young woman running from something. They both end up sharing the same house. Along with that story line, the main female character has two friends with their own plots…and there’s a woman from the past that also comes into play. Throughout the book, there will be 4-6 alternating points of view. Those are the kinds of books I like to read, so naturally they are the kind I like to write.
What's up next for you? I hope to finish my current book by the end of summer. I’m a frequent speaker at workshops, conferences, and book clubs, so I’ll add those dates to the mix. I’m also a top reviewer on http://www.thenextbigwriter.com which takes some of my time. In addition, I’m in the market to join other romance authors in doing a box set of stories, so I’ll be pursuing that.

To purchase Say You'll Never Love Me, go to:

To learn more about our guest, go to:









Monday, July 4, 2016

Leonard "Bones" McCoy Meets Adam Bricker

. . . She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak? . .
     Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
     Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
     However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…

Wild Women Authors is always looking for new and interesting characters to meet and get to know. Author Veronica Scott has brought someone we'd like very much to know better: Dr Emily Shane. We'll let her do the heavy lifting.
Where are you from, Emily? The planet Haliron, in the Sectors; however during my time in the military, I served all over the galaxy.
Tell us a bit about Star Cruise: Outbreak. I accepted a short term job as the Chief Medical Officer on the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr and early in the cruise we had a passenger death, followed by an epidemic. There are 3000 people on board the ship and I’m responsible for trying to save all of them.
What did you think the first time you saw Jake Dilon? Honestly, that he was sexy – deep voice, strong hand shake, military bearing…but I didn’t want to get involved.
Understood. Knee deep in an epidemic is no time for a relationship. What was your second thought? I had mixed emotions. I’m still suffering from PTSD as a result of my combat experiences so it was nice to meet a fellow veteran who seemed to understand where I was coming from, but on the other hand, he’d met me once before, under the worst circumstances and I really didn’t want to talk about it.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Definitely not! I was attracted to him, sure, the guy is amazing…but I had a lot of my own emotional things to deal with, so I tried to stay uninvolved. Professional. At arm’s length. I was only supposed to be on the ship for a couple of months.
What do you like most about Jake? He’s extremely capable, like all former Sectors Special Forces soldiers. Efficient, deadly. Keeps his head in a crisis. But he’s also got a sweet, tender side. And a great sense of humor!
How would you describe him? A good guy to have watching your back in a bad situation and the best romantic partner a girl could ask for.
We like the order you listed them in. How would this good guy describe you? Uptight, intense, driven. Excellent doctor. A damn good volleyball player. He seems to appreciate my other physical attributes, too.
What made you choose medicine for a career? My father’s a doctor so ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be like him, and save lives.
What is your biggest fear? Too much downtime. Although now, with Jake around, my hours outside the sickbay are a lot more fun.
How do you relax? With Jake! There are also excellent amenities on the Nebula Zephyr for the crew and the passengers – a beach deck, a gym and more.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I’m not much for fiction but I do enjoy a good adventure trideo. Actress Liora Daburkn playing the heroine in “Pirates of the Solar Sails” is one of my favorite stories to rewatch. She was on our cruise, by the way.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Actually Jake gives me a lot of good advice about dealing with my PTSD issues, based on his experiences. And our ship’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) had some useful suggestions here and there, although she can be a nuisance at times.
This has been very interesting, Emily and we thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Now it's Veronica's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I started reading science fiction really young, beginning with Andre Norton’s Catseye, so I’ve been a fan of the genre since I was a kid. I just think there needs to be more romance in the books! My favorite movie is “Aliens”, with a strong heroine and her space marine hero, Hicks. I also love all kinds of romance novels!
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My Dad had cholera as a kid and may have been the only person in the whole state to have it that year, which – as he told the story – set off an intense epidemiological hunt to find the cause. Where and how did he contract it, you know? Anyway, from an early age I was fascinated by the way doctors can do detective work, and how an epidemic can spread. I enjoy stories with that kind of background and I thought it would be interesting to have the outbreak on a star ship. I also built on the way norovirus epidemics happen on modern day cruise ships.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I self-publish nowadays actually. My first two books were released by the Carina Press imprint of Harlequin and I learned so much from them, about the process. The people at Carina were terrific to work with. But I prefer the control of publishing myself. I pick the covers, I hire the editors, I set the date for release and the price, etc.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m currently working on my 14th novel, which is another science fiction romance but also a variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I hope to release it in the September time frame.
What's up next for you? Probably another novel in the Star Cruise series. I intend to tell a lot of stories on that ship! But no more about epidemics.

Veronica brought an excerpt Star Cruise: Outbreak along with her:
“The entire crew of the Nebula Zephyr is in your debt, Dr. Shane.” Now he let go of her arm and stepped away.
     Her cheeks warm, knowing she was red with embarrassment, Emily smoothed her hair off her face and stood straighter, trying not to stare at the man sent to fetch her. Taller than she was by at least a foot, the stranger had close-cropped black hair that probably curled a little if left to its own devices and deeply blue eyes set in a tanned face. He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a formfitting black T-shirt outlining broad, muscular shoulders. The edge of an intriguing tattoo showed below the left sleeve’s hem.
     Realizing she was staring, she took the hand he was offering. His grip was firm, her own tightening in reflex. She felt the stirrings of interest along her nerves but took a deep breath to shake off the sensation. Good to know she could still be affected by an attractive man with a deep voice and a strong handshake, but now wasn’t the time or place to pursue the unexpected sensation.
     “Jake Dilon, ship’s chief security officer, at your service, Dr. Shane. May I say it’s an honor to meet you, ma’am?”
     He hesitated as if he wanted to say more. With a self-deprecating laugh, she said, “Don’t make too much of the experience, you might be disappointed.” 
     She’d had a lot of experience blocking comments about her past since returning home to Harilon. It was almost second nature by now. Running on instinct, she retreated to the small office at the right of the corridor, the man following her. He moved silently. As she glanced over her shoulder, she felt compelled to warn him this berth on his ship wasn’t a done deal. “I haven’t agreed to ship out with you yet, by the way. My father had no right to speak for me and I’m still undecided.” As she sank into her father’s cushioned desk chair, she asked, “Why is this so urgent?”
     He focused on her face with an unnerving intensity. Blue eyes narrowed, he paused for a moment, rocking onto his heels. “Captain Fleming was told you’d said yes.”
     Surprised by his obvious dismay, she unbent a bit. “What happened to your ship’s doctor anyway?”
     “You would ask the question we can’t answer.” Jake’s grin seemed genuinely rueful. “He took shore leave when we arrived at Harilon ten days ago and failed to report back. Your planetary police can’t seem to locate him, and we can’t wait any longer. Even cruise ships have deadlines to meet, and we’re carrying a lot of cargo, which means penalties if we don’t deliver on time.” He spun the old-fashioned globe on the edge of the desk. Head tilted, studying her while she was contemplating him, he said, “I’m no doctor, but I think it’s pretty light duty, ma’am. I don’t recall Dr. Meers ever complaining about being overworked.”
     “I’m not afraid of hard work.” She drew in a deep breath, trying to block a flashback of stretchers full of injured soldiers. Her responsibilities in the past had been staggering and fraught with consequences. “Quite the opposite. I like to stay busy.”

To purchase Star Cruise: Outbreak, go to:
Buy Links:     Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks

To learn more about Veronica Scott and the stories she creates, go to: