Body Shaming=Bullying=Not on my Watch. #BodyShaming
Body Shaming=Bullying=Not on my Watch. #BodyShaming
Welcome to another installation of Take A Moment Monday. With the French Open Tennis tournament right around the corner, I find my thoughts turning courtside. I typically watch the slam tournaments and read player interviews because to me, these athletes epitomize the never say die attitude I want to embrace. And that is my moment this week. That caption above is something I take to heart. I work to achieve my dream of being a successful author.
To that end, I surround myself with people I know will root for me to attain my goals. My Writing Warrior friends, who get up early with me, and cheer me on when I hit a word count goal. Ladies who will kick my ass when I need it, but also tell me it’s okay to take a few days off when everyday stress gets me down.
I have several friends who know just the right words to say when I find my faith in myself flagging (I do thrive on flattery. I mean who doesn’t?). But I strive to return the favor because I want to be the supportive friend to them they have been to me.
Every game in tennis starts with love. When you fault on the first serve, you get a second chance. You learn from the wins and the losses. Each point is a new opportunity, just like each new story. If you keep your eye on the ball and follow through, you can add a tick on the win column. Even when the fans are for the other guy, they will cheer you on as well.
I’m just going to take this moment and enjoy each match, on the court and off. Wishing each of you a lovely week. May all your matches start with love.
Good morning, everyone! Kyra here with news that my fourth book, and first in a new fantasy romance series, is now available! DRAGONS AMONG THEM is book 1 in the Kingdoms of Fire and Ice trilogy (all set to release this year!) and a fun, sexy adventure akin to ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets GAME OF THRONES. And the best part? It has dragon-shifters. Mmm….dragons…
You can find the book here:
As part of the release, I’ve got a giveaway going on for a $40 Amazon gift card. Be sure to swing by Bewitching Book Tours to follow along for your chance to win. And if you’re looking for a few sexy excerpts, here are today’s stops:
I’ve also included the blurb and excerpt below. Enjoy!
Two worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all.
Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty.
When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away.
Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart.
Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.
Zayne shook the thought from his mind. He had come here to forget his impending doom, not wallow in self-pity.
The prince drew an arrow from the quiver on his back, nocked it to his favorite bow, then shifted away from the oak and lined up his shot on the buck. During battle, the action would have taken him but a second—two, perhaps, if he were dodging an attack. Here in the deep woods where any sudden movement would give his location away, it took several minutes. Time well spent, he knew from experience, if it resulted in fresh venison for dinner.
The deer raised its head and stared in the direction of his hunter with unseeing eyes, ears twitching as he chewed. Zayne held his stance, praying his patience would pay off. After a long moment, the great beast turned its rack in the opposite direction. A victorious smile tugged at Zayne’s lips as he squared his shoulders, took a deep breath to steady his aim—
A woman’s scream shattered the forest.
The arrow slipped from his fingers and sailed six feet over the startled buck’s head. In a flash, he drew another, but the opportunity was already lost. The deer zigzagged over brush and bramble, bounding away to seek refuge in the darkest depths of the forest, and Zayne cursed his own arrogance. He’d taken too long, been too sure of himself. And while his stomach rumbled painfully at the thought of foregoing his anticipated evening meal, he knew better than to pursue the beast. Dangers far greater than the dark awaited him in that direction, and no buck was worth the risk.
A second high-pitched scream sounded, closer this time, and commanded his attention. Whoever joined him in the woods today sounded terrified, not hurt. Lord knew he’d been through enough skirmishes to recognize the subtle differences.
Zayne slung his bow onto his back and charged forward, sacrificing stealth for speed to try to reach the woman before one pitch bled into the other. Thick underbrush snagged at his clothes and sliced his skin, but still he surged forward. It would have been easier for him to transform, faster even, but then his whereabouts would be discovered, and he was not yet ready to return and face his father. Or his betrothed.
The wall of vegetation around him thinned as he drew upon a small clearing. Zayne slowed to quiet his footsteps, then stopped altogether as the scene before him came into view. A pack of wolves milled around one side of the clearing, snapping and snarling as they pawed at their muzzles. Across from them stood the clearing’s other inhabitant: a lone peasant woman.
The source of the screams.
Her outer layers of clothing must have been ripped away during her attempted escape, as she stood quaking in scraps of clothing the likes of which Zayne had never seen before. The bizarre black-and-purple fabric failed to do much more than contain her supple bosom, rounded hips, and slim thighs. Her long, golden hair was pinned up and back and, though mussed, offered him a clear view of her delicate shoulders and creamy pale skin. But what struck him the most was her eyes—startling blue, like brilliant sapphire ice.
A ray of sun broke through the clouds and washed over her, giving the girl an angelic appearance. Never had he seen a woman more beautiful. The sight took his very breath away.
A wolf stepped free from the pack, and the air around Zayne began to swirl. He gasped, as helpless to resist the beast within as he was to draw his next breath. Never before had the transformation begun without his prompting, nor surged forward with such haste. An armor of golden scales replaced his skin, his fingers stretched into talons, and human logic gave way to animal instinct. As the growing fire within his chest sought to consume him, Zayne could comprehend but three things:
He must save her.
He must protect her.
He must have her.
So what do you think, do dragons sound like fun to you?
The past few weeks have been about two different journeys for me. One for business, one to visit family. With each journey came excitement, a sense of adventure, worry, doubt, and a serious case of nerves. Both have left me musing about what lies down the road for me in my career and my life in general. You can’t rush the journey, just sit back, hold on and hope for calm and peace to as a companion on the winding road.
Here’s what I’ve learned on my excursions: Savor the moment. Enjoy the company. Tell those you are close to what they mean to you. Seize the chance to dance with abandon, even if it’s just for thirty seconds. Spare a kind word for people you meet along the way. Walk, skip or dance as you go. There will be rocks to trip you up, and boulders to divert your path. Remember, sometimes a detour can be the best thing.
Look for the secret gate or hidden road that will lead your heart to where it belongs. But most of all, enjoy the journey. Even if it’s a wild ride.
And along the way, be good to yourself. You may need it.
As the Irish say … As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way. Happy journeys, my friends.
Welcome Veronica Scott with her fabulous new book, Star Cruise Outbreak. If you love SciFi Romance you will love Veronica. She is most definitely Kicking Ass!
A.S. ~ I loved Nebula Dream and can’t wait to read Star Cruise Outbreak. Tell us why you write about cruise liners in space? What makes the genre and these stories special?
Veronica ~ I was always fascinated by the events of the Titanic sinking, which led me to write Wreck of the Nebula Dream. For that book I had to design an interstellar cruise ship in great detail, and then of course destroy it! But as time went on, I found I still wanted to write more novels set on a cruise ship that didn’t suffer a disaster. So I’ve made the new starship Nebula Zephyr my “village” and plan to tell many stories set on board this upgraded vessel. You can have a huge cast of characters and lots of adventures on a big cruiseship. I’m always fascinated by how people react to intense, crisis situations, and of course I LOVE romance.
A.S. ~ What’s your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Veronica ~ I enjoyed writing the scenes about the actual disease outbreak – the mystery of why people are falling ill, the tension over who will survive and will a cure be found. But I also enjoyed telling the story of my hero and heroine, who both have PTSD from their experiences in the ongoing war against an aggressor alien race. Here’s the beginning of one of my favorite moments with Emily and Jake, having dinner in her quarters, when they’re still finding their way to each other’s heart.
She clinked her glass against his, and they drank the toast in companionable silence. Then she set her glass on the small table and leaned closer. “Tell me about the day we met on Fantalar.”
He was so surprised by the change of subject that at first he thought he must have heard her wrong. Distressed, he put his glass next to hers on the table and fumbled for the right words. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin the easy, relaxed mood they had going “No, really, I don’t need to talk about it. I know you don’t like people thanking you for saving their life. I was just one guy out of what? Hundreds you operated on?”
“Too many, for sure. Sectors Command kept throwing men and women into that battle zone, and the enemy kept chewing them up.” She blinked and focused on his face, her blue eyes sparkling. “I want to hear your story of the time you met the Angel of Fantalar.” She rubbed his arm gently, her touch warm and oddly soothing. “I warn you, I probably won’t remember any of it even when you do tell me. I-I recall bits and pieces, flashes of those weeks, but considering what came after, sometimes I think I’m lucky I made it home knowing my own name. But I will appreciate hearing about your perception of events.”
He still wasn’t sure she genuinely wanted him to unpack his combat experience as it related to her, but she kept her hand on his arm and nodded encouragement, so he decided to start the story. If he could tell it was distressing her too much, or triggering a flashback for either of them, he’d stop. Having made up his mind, he took one more sip of wine and said, “I was on a Team operating way behind enemy lines. We’d strike and run before the bastards knew what hit them. Played cat-and-mouse games for months, softening up the Mawreg and Betangray forces, keeping them off balance. We were one of a bunch of small groups doing the same thing.”
She nodded. “I was embedded at several forward operating bases in the Sector over the time of my deployment out there. I know.”
“We were effective. The enemy hated us, put a huge bounty on our heads.” He gave her a proud grin. “I wish I could tell you some of the things we pulled off, but it’s all classified. Can’t discuss the details.”
“No problem. I can guess. So what happened that brought you to me and my beach?”
“I don’t know if we got cocky or the enemy got smart, but there was an ambush.” He leaned against the couch and closed his eyes. He could smell the stink of the Mawreg in his nostrils, hear the explosions faintly. “I got caught in a blast, not too bad, could still shoot. My buddies got me out of there, along with Frankin and Boddie, who were injured worse than me, at least initially. We were on the run, hunted hard, calling Command for extraction. And there was another ambush. Squad was decimated. Six good operators, gone. Nothing left to bury. Jayna and her partner, Sills, got me out. We’d lagged behind, because of my leg, so we missed the primary blast.”
“Jayna was on your team?”
He nodded. “Yeah, she’s a tough customer, good to have at your six.”
“Good to know, reassuring. I’ll make a note to call her if I ever need backup and you’re not available.”
“You sure you want me to keep talking?” He searched her face, but she seemed calm.
“You haven’t got to the part where we met.”
“This is the one time I’m making the offer to go back to Fantalar, Jake, so if you want to go there with me, you need to tell me the rest of the story. Unless it’s too much remembering for you tonight?” She cupped his cheek with one soft hand. “I don’t want to force you to talk about it.”
The memories had a death grip on him now, although he could shut up if she needed him to. But she was encouraging him to continue, and he’d never told anyone the full details of his encounter with her. So he swallowed hard and continued as Emily leaned on the pillows with her elbow and watched his face.
A.S. ~ How much of you is in your characters? If none, where do they come from?
Veronica ~ I usually write tough Special Forces heroes, probably as a combination of men I met when my late husband was in the USMC, plus the influence of my admiration for exmilitary author friends I’ve made, as well as science fiction heroes such as Corporal Hicks in “Aliens” and Kyle Reese in “Terminator” (both played by the same actor!). I admire the way the real ‘operators’ are such tough, smart, indomitable guys, yet dedicated to protecting and defending. If I’m ever in a dire situation, I want someone like that as my partner. The heroines are strong women because I don’t have much patience with Too Stupid To Live characters. I’ve had more than a few tough situations in my own life – in business and in physically dangerous moments – where I had to be a KickAss Chick, so to some extent I ask myself, what would I do? And then that informs how my heroines act and react. But I’m not Dr. Shane in the current book, or Mara in Wreck of the Nebula Dream and they aren’t me – I hope they’re fully formed women on their own, with influences from me!
A.S. How do you do research for a cruise ship in space? How much do you have to know about space travel?
Veronica ~ I did a lot of research for creating the original Nebula Dream, and expanded on that a bit for the new Nebula Zephyr. I had done intense research on the Titanic, and tried to take what was cutting edge for them – like one of the first ever on-board swimming pools – and transform that into a futuristic feature. So my cruise ships have a ‘beach deck’ with a combination of holograms and real water and sand, for example. I also researched travel blogs on the cruise industry and sailing experiences, cruise line home pages, union information for staffers, job postings, news accounts, books about the logistics of sailing in big ships like aircraft carriers…..I don’t explain the working of my future scifi world, any more than we explain how an elevator works when we ride in one, you know? I was exposed to the real science of current space travel in my many years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and for my novels I opt to take a strictly fictional approach! No physics, all imagination!
A.S. ~ Please tell us more about Star Cruise Outbreak?
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 …
A.S. ~ Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Things: Cats, chocolate, reading, roses, romance of all genres, purple, long blingy earrings!
Pet Peeves: Being bored, being stuck somewhere without a book to read
Addictions: Nalini Singh novels, Project Runway, ancient Egypt, Twitter, blueberries
Kick Ass Superpower: I wish I could fly but I do have a slight touch of “the sight” (I come from a long line of Irish forebears) and occasionally have premonitions that come true. No lotto numbers tho!
Of all the cool tech in your world, what are top three you wish you had now? The blaster, definitely. The antigrav technology. The “rejuve resonator” which is a machine that can cure anything and restore person to perfect health.
A.S. ~ Thank you for stopping by, Veronica. You are most definitely a KickAss Chick! Where is the best place for readers to connect with you?
Veronica ~ You can always find me on Twitter! @vscotttheauthor https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
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!
Veronica recently played Crew Woman in the all star audiobook version of Harlan Ellison’s “The City on the Edge of Forever” Star Trek episode.
Connect with Veronica
It’s time for Take A Moment Monday. I want to talk about words, and how even one little word can make a difference.
We’re writers, and it’s our job to evoke pictures, even entire worlds, with our words. You’ll often hear authors talking about word count, and how lofty their daily goal might be. Or lamenting that they haven’t hit that goal in a couple of days, weeks or even months. Somedays, stringing an entire sentence together can seem a bit like climbing to the top of Mt. Everest … dragging a sled loaded with boulders behind us.
I recently saw a video and knew I had to share. The message is clear. It really isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it. And I’ll keep that thought with me as a venture through this week, striving to hit my word count, but more importantly, striving to use the best words possible to achieve the goal.
My wish for the week is that I can pick the right words in all I say and do. It’s my wish for you as well.
Remember when you worried you didn’t have enough friends. My mother use to tell me, you only need one real friend. I count myself extremely lucky to have several REAL friends.
Call your bestie today and tell him/her how much you appreciate her.