I have a lot of fun and exciting news to share with you today, but before we dive into this week's pet-centric Monday blog, I've got a *newsflash* for you about a popular writing contest.
LERA Reinvents the Rebecca Contest -- Bigtime!
Exciting news from the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (RWA New Mexico chapter)! The Rebecca has been a very popular contest with science fiction romance writers and authors (et al), but LERA may have just taken things up several notches with this year's makeover. Here's the deets...
You’ve Seen The Voice!
Do you want to be THE WRITER??
The Rebecca is making changes – and offering you “celebrity” judge support! The top three finalists in each category will go to an author well known in that genre. That author will pick a winner and give them a month of mentoring. At the end of the month, the chapter will vote on those five revised entries and pick The Writer. All five winners will be lovingly promoted by their author mentor, and The Writer will receive social media support from the entire LERA chapter!
Here's a link to the LERA Contest 2017 rules and information. If you're interested, you'll have to act fast. The deadline is JULY 31ST! (One week from today.)
The Rebecca is one of the rare contests that is open to both published and unpublished writers, but the entry itself must be unpublished and can't be contracted for publication in any form at the time of entry.
And the celebrity judges? Darynda Jones! Jeffe Kennedy (Paranormal/Speculative category which includes SFR)! Robin Perini! Katie Lane! Tamra Baumann!
For an opportunity like this, it might be worth turning on those afterburners to get 'er done!
|Universal Preorder Link for all Stores|
In case you missed the round of pet introductions from the authors of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 last week. I've put together a quick recap of the intros below, with links.
Each blog includes an adorable sketch of the pet and more about the story in the upcoming Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2.
Ready to meet some dynamic non-human heroes and heroines?
A time traveling parrot? Anything can happen (and usually does) in a story by Pauline Baird Jones. Meet Sir Rupert, the feathered Time Rebellion Operative from Time Trap, a story in the Project Enterprise series.
Guy Roark, a cyborg field agent, is gifted with an unexpected going away present by his little niece, Jessamine. Meet Mitzi from Cara Bristol's Rescued by a Cyborg, part of the Cy-Ops Sci-Fi Romance series.
“I’m little but I’m loud.” —Puppy
Meet Puppy, a little brown and black puff of fur featured in The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy, a story by Susan Grant. On a space station 43 light years away from Earth, two best friends who are fighter pilots just need a little help to see that they are in love. This novella is otherwise known as Star Puppy in the Star Series.
In the future, the pet-trade industry has a pleasant front, selling designer pets to the wealthy, but with much shadier underpinnings. Meet Shiza the foo dog from Carol Van Natta's Pet Trade, a story in the Central Galactic Concordance universe.
Jessica Subject created a pet called a tibbar--similar to a baby rabbit, but with hamster-like claws and ears and the intelligence of a cat, which can get her into all kinds of trouble. Meet Elynyn from Gib and the Tibbar, a Galactic Defenders story.
S.E. Smith begins her pet introduction with: "Once upon a time in the not so distant future… or past… well, one of those… there lived a mighty mob of emus…." Yes, you read that right. Emus! And one particular emu has a dragon. Want to read the rest? (I know you do!) Meet Pearl, the heroine of Pearl's Dragon, a Dragon Lords of Valdier story.
And in case you missed my blog last week, I had the pleasure of introducing my adorable trouble-inspiring pet along with a lovely rendering by sketch artist Nyssa Juneau. Meet Luna, the StarDog in my story, which is a sequel to both my original Pets in Space story, StarDog, and my full-length novel, Inherit the Stars. My story is titled Courting Disaster: StarDog2 and it's part of the Inherited Stars Universe.
Here's a special treat for you from the authors of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. We're having a contest (except everyone's a winner!) for a coloring book featuring all the pets in the collection. Just go to the Pets in Space website to download your copy!
Want a Look at My Writing Space?
Bestselling Author Cara Bristol is hosting a series on her blog about authors and their writing areas, and I was first up on her list. Stop by to get a few glimpses into my creative surroundings and a peek at some of the characters I share it with, both friendly and not-so!
Laurie Green Invites you to her Star Wars Themed Office :)
I'm thrilled today to be able to share with you the unveiling of a brand new cover in my Inherited Stars series. This story was part of the original Pets in Space collection, so although it was first published nine months ago, it's never had its own cover. Until now.
Friends -- [whips off the veil] -- feast your eyes on the amazing new art for StarDog.
This brilliant design was created by my fabulous cover artist, Danielle Fine, and I absolutely love it! Yup, she just hit another one out of the park. I'm so proud of all of my covers.
For StarDog, I gave Danielle some ideas, and told her she could take a shot at creating a StarDog for the cover--if she so chose to tackle a creature that doesn't even exist. I left it totally up to her. And wow! Did she ever nail Katrina!
Of course, she does have an advantage as my cover artist, because she's also my editor so she knows the heart and soul of each story so well.
She did a fantastic job "re-dressing" Taro and Adini to look the parts of starship navigator and charming Carduwan tent vendor. And if the good ship Calypso looks eerily familiar...yeah, there's a reason for that. (But no spoilers!)
I'm so proud to be adding this cover to my Inherited Stars Universe. My banner will be updated soon!
In The Works
So what are the plans for StarDog?
I'm working to have it ready for the Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 release as a *FREEBIE*. The link will be included at the conclusion of my story Courting Disaster: StarDog 2 as a special bonus for those who didn't get a chance to read the original story or who did and simply want to have a copy of the individual book.
Plus since Courting Disaster is a sequel to StarDog (as well as a sequel to the full-length novel, Inherit the Stars) I wanted to be ensure the story was available. (Pets in Space is no longer for sale and will never be offered as a collection again).
If you're curious about the status of other stories from the original Pets in Space, be sure to check the Pets in Space Website and look under the Pets in Space 1 tab for info and links to some of your other favorites.
And here's something new that might be in the works...
Will There be Another StarDog Story?
All this Pets in Space excitement has got me thinking about yet a third StarDog story to enhance my Inherited Stars series. This will be Maura's story. When I promised my own little Maura she'd get her own namesake someday, I thought "someday" would be more like "someyear." Surprise! My muse has other ideas.
Because StarDog takes place about six months before Operation Reset (a pivotal point in the series) and Courting Disaster: StarDog2 takes place about three years after, I thought it might be fun to have a StarDog story that happens simultaneously with the novel, Inherit the Stars. There may be cameos by some of the characters from the main book and it will most likely involve a mission that will run concurrently with the story arc in the novel. It'll be a bit Rogue One-esque in that aspect, except I promise a much happier ending. After all, this is SFR!
Since both the first two stories allude to rumors of StarDogs who served as spies on Alliance ships, I decided the series needs a story about a StarDog who is just that. Tentative title: SpyDog. How and when SpyDog will be released is undecided at this stage. I'll be posting updates in later blogs.
My Three Little Inspirations
Meet the canines behind the fictional StarDogs--Katrina, Luna and Maura.
Collectively called "The Triplets" these three miniature longhaired dachshunds all hail from the same respected breeder in Texas. All were acquired after their breeding careers concluded, when they joined us in their new forever home.
As mentioned above, the two StarDogs in my first two stories are named for my real-life writing buddies, Katrina and Luna. Both of whom, purely by serendipity, have names that clicked beautifully with my series story arc. How cool is that?
As mentioned above, my third little buddy will lend her name to my StarDog-heroine-in-waiting, Maura.
In the stories, Katrina and Luna are genetically related, but Maura will be a slightly different genetic code. I just realized that, once again, life is imitating art (or is it vice versa?), in that Katrina and Luna are, in human terms, aunt and niece--so are indeed genetically related, where Maura is not.
Here's a quick profile on each so you can get to know the real-dogs-behind-the-fictional-pet-heroines better.
|Katrina, the old hat (with Luna behind her).|
Registered name: Katty Katrina (born about the same time as the hurricane)
Black and tan
12 years old, 11 pounds
Katrina's the old hand of the bunch. She's been with us since 2009 and has taught the other two the "Let's go write!" routine and showed them how to scamper to my office and curl up under my desk when they hear those special words. She's the shyest of the three, and prefers snuggling up in her crate by herself at night. She's not a fan of thunderstorms, but she's much less traumatized now that she has two sisses to hang with. She's the only one who has the ability to jump up on the bed or the furniture without assistance. She loves to snuggle up on the couch and watch TV, movies or news with us. Preferably with popcorn!
|Luna -- "Hi!"|
Registered name: Engel's Lolapalooza Lulu
Black and tan piebald
6 years old, 12 pounds
Luna's our big cuddly lug. She's the largest of the three, and she's absolutely terrified of thunderstorms. I always know when a storm's coming, because she'll whine and crawl into my lap long before we hear the first rumble. Luna is a real people-pleaser who always wants to be the center of attention and strives to be the "good dog!" but gets her feelings hurt very easily when she isn't Ms. Perfect.
|Our introductory photo of Maura taken by her breeder.|
Registered name: Engel's Miraculous Maura
5 years old, 9.8 pounds
Maura's the little heart-warmer of the trio. She's the tiniest and cuddliest, especially when its time to go into her kennel (she's perfected the technique to delay that) but yet is the boldest of the three, personality-wise. Thunderstorms don't phase her--not much does--and she can get a little vocal when the big dogs are out cavorting across the property, because she believes herself to be a much larger dog who should be out running with the pack. She loves belly rubs and giving kisses.
So there are my own little StarDogs. Hope you enjoyed learning more about them.
Unveiling Our Sofie and Echo Mini-Me's
And speaking of pets. Well, okay, technically I suppose they aren't really pets, but they definitely fall into the four-legged family member category, so close enough for jazz.
We've now received the two recently completed model sculptures of our Thoroughbreds--Soulful and her 2014 foal, Echo Eight. We were delighted with how these turned out. The artist totally nailed them. With Sue Kern Thompson's (artist) permission, I'll share a few of the Sakori Customs shots of these two lovelies.
|Soulful is one of our Thoroughbred broodmares.|
In addition to Echo Eight, she produced Inherit the Stars,
a three-year-old filly now in race training.
|Soulful was sired by Lion Heart (2nd in the Kentucky Derby to Smarty Jones)|
and her dam is a stakes-producing daughter of Seattle Slew.
|Soulful's nickname is Sofie.|
The real Sofie with (a slightly older than the model portrait) Echo Eight.
And here's Echo's portrait...
|Echo Eight (yes, he's named for Sharon's novel).|
|Echo was sired by Diabolical, a leading sire in the Southwest|
who earned over a million dollars in his racing career.
|The artist perfectly captured Echo's "falling asteroid" star,|
his tiny nose snip and white rear pastern.
That's it for this week. Hope you all have a good one!