I would like to introduce you to a personal friend and one of my fellow Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space authors, Susan Grant. Susan’s story is The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy (Star Puppy). Susan not only writes kickass stories, she’s pretty kickass herself. She’s logged over 18,000 hours in the sky as an Airforce and then commercial pilot. She flys the big jets and get’s to travel the world. I’m still trying to get her to pack me in her suitcase (hint, hint).
Here’s Susan to tell us about her Pets In Space story.
Puppy Dishes on Her Favorite People
I can’t wait for you to meet Trysh, Rornn, Puppy, and the crew of Bezos Station, a city in space above the planet of Barésh. (You may recognize these places—and even some of the secondary characters (including Puppy)—from from Star Champion (previously titled The Champion of Barésh) and Star Hero (expanded from my short story Stray from Pets in Space 1). As a veteran, I enjoy creating military characters. As the “mom” to a border collie, I adore smart dogs. Is there any wonder why I loved writing The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy (Star Puppy) so much? It was a match made in heaven!
Here’s my Skye:
And here’s Puppy:
Puppy is a “yipwag”, an alien street dog. They’re believed to be much smarter than Earth dogs and can read human emotions better too. Some think they can even read minds. Puppy won’t say if this is true or not, but I thought it would be fun to see what she wants to share about the people in her life:
- Who is your favorite person aboard your Forever Home, the space station Bezos?
I have two favorite Tall Ones—My Trysh and My Rornn.
- Other than your people.
That would have to be Danger. He’s a starfighter pilot like My Rornn and My Trysh. He helped My Rornn say and do the right things to win Trysh’s heart. He’s funny, and when no one is looking, he gives me pieces of bacon.
- What can you tell us about Trysh?
My Trysh is a lot like me. Our early lives were hard, and we never knew our fathers. Her heart was broken by that and even though the pieces knitted back together, it too easily tore along the same old scars. Our mothers were worn down by hardship but still had the strength to love us more than anything. Yet sometimes it’s those who pay us no mind, who won’t acknowledge us no matter how hard we try, who won’t care for us or love us the way we deserve to be loved and cared for, that we seem to focus on the most. That was the case with My Trysh. She wanted nothing more than her father’s attention. So much so that she almost missed seeing true love when it was right in front of her nose. She was so focused on making a mistake with My Rornn that she almost let him go.
- Tell us about Rornn.
My Rornn was also ignored by his father. But unlike My Trysh he wanted to be. Yes, King Laren loves him, but he wants to keep My Rornn close to the den when he has the brave, confident heart of an adventurer. But when it came to communicating his love for My Trysh, My Rornn was like a dog that jumps when he should sit and barks when he should listen. To My Trysh, this made his feelings seem false. But luckily, I was there to help or he might have kept tripping over his own tongue and let My Trysh get away.
Please enjoy this excerpt of Puppy’s first moments on the space station with her favorite Tall Ones:
“It’s a puppy!” voices cried out. The crowd in the mess hall surged toward the commotion.
“Oooh. I want to see,” Trysh said. “Two things I’ll never turn down—a homemade brownie and the chance to hold a puppy.”
These were the things Trysh desired most? An Earth confection called a brownie and a puppy?
Rornn blinked at her as she angled toward where one of the cargo rats wrestled with what looked like a puff of black-brown fur. He could not fathom how such an ear-piercing sound could come from a creature so small. It was barely larger than the size of two fists held end to end. It had a mottled dark brown coat, huge black eyes and upright ears.
It was a cute little thing.
But the noise it made… It was an unholy, ear-splitting screeching.
“Do you want to carry it down to the docks?” Jack said, hurrying after Trysh. “I’ll catch it, calm it down, and you can cuddle it all you want.”
Rorrn narrowed his eyes. This man, Jack Freeman, was an opportunist and an interloper. The way Trysh had reacted to his clumsy probing about her father had caused Rornn’s protective instincts to surge. Rornn knew that Trysh hid the pain of General Milton’s rejection deep inside her. Under all her confidence, beneath all her fighter pilot swagger, it was a tight little ball of shame she concealed from everyone except Rornn. No man would ever understand her as he did. Or love her as he could.
Yes, love. He’d been a fool not to have admitted it to himself sooner. He would be even more the fool to allow her to waltz away into this other man’s life without a fight. A man who would never be the mate she deserved.
Carlynn laughed. “If you could see your face.”
Rornn frowned at her. “What does this Jack Freeman have that I do not?”
“A puppy?” Danger offered.
Rornn groaned. Earth people had a famous fondness for their domestic creatures. Pets—their felines and canines. Feathered beasts too. Even fish. There were no pets in residence at the palace—unless one considered the cranky, genetically engineered pink-feathered Arkeets pets, which he certainly did not. Able to pose, wings spread, on perches for hours on end, they were used for decoration. When he was a little boy, he tried petting one and it nearly bit off his finger.
Now Jack Freeman had leaped in while Rornn was “snoozing” to fulfill this unanticipated need of Trysh’s. The need to hold a pet.
“She’s got it bad, Charming,” Carlynn said. “The feels. She keeps quiet about it, but it’s right there. You can’t miss it. But I guess you did.”
“She has only just met him!” he protested.
“Not Jack, you goof.” Carlynn laughed. “You! She’s smitten. Trysh. Or haven’t you noticed?”
“Smitten…with me?” This was the best news imaginable. Yet, she had gone off with him. She made her choice. He would endeavor to unmake it.
I will win you back, Firefly. Rornn’s hopes surged as the bracing promise of a new competition overtook him. He started forward.
Danger warned, “Wait, Charming, remember what I told you—”
“Minutes matter, my friend.” Rornn set his jaw and strode off in the direction of the chaos.
Find out what happens next in Embrace the Romance, Pets in Space 2! http://www.petsinspaceantho.com/pets-space-2-embrace-romance-2/
When NY Times/USA Today bestselling author and Air Force veteran Susan Grant isn’t driving an 18-wheeler (a 747 jumbo jet) she loves writing romantic, action-packed stories featuring gutsy woman and honorable men. Flying to exotic places and trying every kind of food imaginable helps Susan bring her sci-fi worlds alive for readers. She is a winner of the prestigious RITA award for her book Contact, an alien abduction sci-fi romance.
BACON! I can’t read or smell bacon without craving it. Now I need bacon. I hope you enjoyed today’s treat. Now, go get some bacon.