Hooray! SLEEPS WITH THE FISHES, Book 1 in my new Sedona West Mystery Series is now available.

SLEEPS WITH THE FISHES, Book 1 Sedona West Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com
Price: $2.99

Buy link:

In Print: Coming soon!

Blurb:
About Sedona West:
Recovering from a nasty divorce, Sedona gets more than she bargains for when she moves to the idyllic town of Cozy Haven. Her intention is to piece together her shattered life. But Fate decides to throw major roadblocks in her way. First, the hunky sheriff has his eye on her. Second, a celebrity psychologist tries to get her on his private couch. Third, her disreputable ex husband unexpectedly makes an appearance. And fourth, a Girl-Night party turns into an actual Murder party... with all the guests drugged by sedatives in the wine. Talk about a major hangover! And now, Sedona finds herself under the sheriff’s scrutiny as a possible murder suspect. She had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to kill the deceased so how can she convince everyone that she’s innocent?

Scene Set-Up:
While food shopping, Sedona runs into Doug Marino, Cozy Haven’s sheriff. He asks her to join him for dinner at the adjacent cafĂ©. Still skittish about dating, she reluctantly agrees.

Excerpt:
After seeing Sedona and the sheriff settled in a booth by the back window, Nan handed them menus, and then took a step away. She beamed. “Lovely. Um, I mean Terry will be your server. She’ll bring some water. Just take your time you two. Enjoy!”

Nan scurried away, no doubt to spread the gossip. Sedona couldn’t help but chuckle. Setting her lower arms on the wooden table’s edge, she leaned in toward him. “You do realize Cozy Haven’s gossip mill is going to be working overtime tonight, don’t you?”

A twinkle lit his dark eyes, “You mean linking your name with mine?”

“Exactly.” She admired his unaffected smile. “Your office will be getting a boatload of calls from unhappy women, Sheriff. So you’d better do some damage control and fast!”

He removed his bomber jacket, placed it on the side peg on their booth, and then added his big hat to it. He then gestured to her as if asking if she wanted to remove her blazer.

She shook her head. If anything she was too cool, not too warm.

While the lake scene outside the window might’ve been terrific, the view across from her was even better. She stared at his brown uniform shirt with its star badge, colorful patches and nametag, which read, D. Marino, naturally. Underneath the crisp long-sleeved shirt was an undershirt. Peeking above the edge were a few dark curly chest hairs.

Something stirred inside her. Yep, he was very appealing. Very manly. And it had been way too long since she’d felt any stirring whatsoever.

She took the glass of water from their assigned waitress, Terry Yates, who also happened to be one of Sedona’s creative writing students.

“I’ll be back in a sec to take your order,” Terry said as she rushed off.

Maybe Terry was also part of the gossip hotline?

The sheriff took a drink, set his glass on the oak tabletop with a thud, and caught Sedona’s gaze. He didn’t even blink. “First thing, call me Doug. Second thing, I’m not sure I want to do damage control.” He lifted a bushy eyebrow. “What do you say to that?”

She blinked at him--several times. “Oh. I, ah...” Was he flirting with her? Man oh man she did not want to have to deal with that kind of thing.

 ***************

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


ANGEL FIERCE by Vijaya Schartz
Blurb:
Something’s rotten on the angel planet. When Avenging Angels turn up dead, Urielle, their Legion Commander, suspects the handsome intruder brought unspeakable evil to Azura.

Maksou never met a woman he couldn’t seduce. He came to the forbidden planet to rescue his friends and get rich in the process, but the jungle crawls with lethal life forms… including a gorgeous warrior angel, who saves his life but keeps him prisoner and challenges his irresistible charm.

Urielle, sworn to protect Azura at all costs, has no use for a maverick who ignores the rules and endangers the planet… no matter how attractive. Especially when the Galactic Trade Alliance (GTA) wages a secret war to get their greedy hands on the priceless crystal at Azura’s core.

Set up:
Maksou just escaped from the Byzantium space station in a stolen ship.


The engine noise settled to a low purr. Maksou exhaled his relief then lay back and relaxed in his seat. Safe! He allowed himself a smile. Soon, he would rescue his friends and they would all be rich beyond measure.
A silver-gray blur streaked through his field of vision and landed atop his console.
Maksou’s heart skipped then raced. “Holy Motherboard!”
Two green round eyes stared at him suspiciously from a fluffy mass of gray fur. “Meow!”
“Well, barnacle my circuits! You are frightfully big for a house cat.” The records didn’t mention any giant pet onboard. Maksou couldn’t resist the impulse and caressed the big cat’s head, enjoying the silky feel of the luxurious fur. “What’s your name?”
The cat purred louder under his ministrations.
“Your owner was in the hospital for months, but you look well fed and groomed.” Had Maksou missed some fine print in the deed of the ship? “Who has been taking care of you all this time?”
“I have.” The scantily clad girl, with blond hair rippling down to her waist, smiled as she walked toward him with a loose-hipped stride. “He’s a genetically engineered oversized Maine Coon, bred for companionship and stress release. His name is Comet.”
Shazbits! Passengers? That would complicate things. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“My name is Eva, and this is my home. Where is my captain?” She had perfect skin, lots of it, perfect nude shoulders and long naked legs... the most beautiful and tantalizing woman he’d ever seen… and he had seen many.
Yet, something familiar in the tone and cadence of the voice struck Maksou and he relaxed.
“You are an AI.” So, it was EVA, not Eva.
“Artificial Intelligence, yes. How can you tell? Most people cannot.” She smiled coyly.
“Let’s say I’m an expert.” Maksou admired the craftsmanship, the subtle body language, the sophisticated subroutines that made her look and probably feel as real as a natural woman. “Your old captain had excellent taste... in AIs, cats, and ships.”
The large cat stopped grooming to stare at Maksou, then resumed his toilette.
“Had?” EVA’s brow went up and her expression perfectly mimicked perplexity.
“Sorry to tell you, but your owner was long past his expiration date and very sick. He recently died in the hospital. This ship now belongs to me, Maksou Grosvenor.” Maksou gave a polite nod and felt silly for showing good manners to an automaton.
“I was not told of this. Why?” EVA’s large blue eyes widened. “How did you become the captain?”
“I bought the ship at the liquidation of the estate.” Maksou struggled to keep calm. He willed his maxillary muscles to relax. Some AIs could detect lies from facial expressions and body temperature.
EVA stared into empty space for a moment. “Verifying official records.”
“They are in order.” Maksou had hacked into the system and falsified the chain of transactions to redistribute the ownership. He’d forged every detail of credit transfer. No one would ever contest the authenticity of the new deed. “I officially own this ship with everything on board. So, I guess you now belong to me as well.”
“The records seem to be in order.” EVA smiled suggestively. “What should I call you, Captain Grosvenor?”
“Just call me Maksou.” He managed to hide his unease. This title of captain sounded weird.
EVA stepped closer and laid a warm hand on his thigh. “All right, Maksou. What can I do to give you pleasure? My old captain and I had a sweet connection.”
Maksou gently lifted her hand off his thigh. “Sorry, EVA. Not interested in that kind of interaction.” Any man would be lucky to use such a gorgeous piece of technology for pleasure, but Maksou wasn’t about to engage in a relationship with a machine... no matter how beautiful and sophisticated. Besides, he could never trust an amalgam of integrated circuits designed by someone else.
EVA pouted prettily and ran a light finger down his chest. “Are you certain? I am specifically programmed to simulate true love and give the most intense pleasure.”
“No, thanks.” Maksou chuckled. Her previous owner had more credits than brains. 

Each book in the series is a complete story, but FYI, here is the first book:


ANGEL MINE by Vijaya Schartz

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz, author
High Octane sci-fi fantasy romance with a Kick
http://www.vijayaschartz.com 
amazon  - SmashwordsB&N

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

#Bisexual Fiction from Giselle Renarde ~ Pie Girls and the Very Lonely Man

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/920415?ref=GiselleRenardeErotica

When Butler meets a retro rockabilly pie shop owner, the last thing he expects is that she’ll try to seduce him. No, scratch that. The last thing he expects is for the pie girl’s wife to walk in on them! When the pie girls invite him to stay at their house, a visit to a lonely small town grows into the kind of adventure Butler wouldn’t have dreamed up in his wildest fantasies. Can a lonely man live in a dream?

PIE GIRLS AND THE VERY LONELY MAN is new bisexual fiction from award-winning queer Canadian author Giselle Renarde.

Available now from your favourite ebook retailers, including Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/920415?ref=GiselleRenardeErotica
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=l3-FDwAAQBAJ
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N7BJ8PL?tag=dondes-20
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pie-girls-and-the-very-lonely-man-giselle-renarde/1130417118
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/pie-girls-and-the-very-lonely-man

Let me tease you with an excerpt:

Who was this girl?

She lifted her skirt and grabbed his hand. He couldn’t see what was going on down there, only feel. And what did he feel? Fishnet stockings. No panties. A smoothly shaven pussy. God Almighty! A slick, wet slit. Did she just walk around like that all day long? Wet and ready?

Or was she turned on by him? Was this all for him?

No. Of course not. He was nothing special. Tracey had told him so when she ended their six-year relationship.

Six years. He hadn’t touched any woman but Tracey in six long years.

Not that they felt long. No, they went by in an instant.

And now they were gone.

She was gone.

But Lindy was here. Lindy, who seemed so warm and compassionate. Everything Tracey wasn’t. Other than bold. Boldness was a quality they shared. Tracey had made the first move, too. They’d have never gotten together otherwise. He’d have never had the courage to hit on someone like Tracey. Dark hair. Model thin. Firm breasts. Long legs.

She always seemed to come so hard. Had she been faking all those times? Was she really so impressed by his sexual prowess?

Well, Lindy sure seemed to be, and he’d barely gotten started. All he’d done so far was rub her juicy clit through those wicked fishnet stockings, and already she was tearing at his fly.

“Put it in me,” she begged. “God, it’s been forever.”

Hard to believe a girl like this, who was willing to get it on with a stranger, was capable of going through a dry patch. You’d think she’d just go up to the nearest guy, remove his dick from his pants, and place it commandingly inside her.

That’s what she seemed intent on doing with Butler.

Except wait—what was that? A noise out front. A key in the lock.

Lindy froze, then backed away.

Butler’s mind went straight to the money pouch she’d left on the counter. “What’s happening?” he panted. “A break-in?”

“Worse,” Lindy said. “It’s my wife.”


Here are those links again so you can buy a copy!
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/920415?ref=GiselleRenardeEroticaGoogle Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=l3-FDwAAQBAJ
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N7BJ8PL?tag=dondes-20
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pie-girls-and-the-very-lonely-man-giselle-renarde/1130417118
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/pie-girls-and-the-very-lonely-man

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Promo: New Romantic Suspense--SIGNATURE OF A QUEEN (excerpt PG)



Hooray! My newest Time-Travel Regency, A DELICATE CONDITION, is now available.

SIGNATURE OF A QUEEN

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Available electronically at Amazon.com
Price: $3.99
Soon to be available in print at Amazon.com

Buy link:

Blurb:
After a fall down a flight of stairs, Ali struggles to remember who she is and why someone wants her dead.

SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER
Ali wakes up with a raging case of amnesia. Her New Hampshire hospital records state she’s Alabaster Kinedulay, age twenty-four, married to a professor who has a son the same age as Ali. She remembers none of that. The only thing she knows for certain is that she’s in danger. Her intuition tells her to run away. And so she does, ending up on the Pacific side of the country. Everyone she meets seems very helpful, but are they really? When she learns she’s a mega rich Regale heiress, more attempts are made on her life. Her heart is in danger, too, from hunky psychiatrist Mack McClanahan. But is he telling the truth? Who can she trust?

HE CAN’T FORGET HER
Security specialist Mack McClanahan is hired to protect a wealthy client, Alabaster Regale Kinedulay--without her knowledge. Trouble is, she has amnesia and doesn’t remember who she is, that she’s rich, or why she has no recollection of her past. Pretending to be a psychiatrist, he tries to help her while also insuring her safety. It’s a tough job, with a gaggle of suspicious characters hanging around--the inattentive husband, the devious relation and his henchman, the same-age stepson, even the patronizing attorney who hired Mack in the first place. Or is the perpetrator someone else? As he struggles to protect Ali, he breaks the number one rule in his job: never fall in love with the client.

Scene Set-Up:
Suffering from amnesia and distrust of strangers, Ali, goes to pick up her new friend, Matilda Winthrop, at the psychiatrist’s office.

Excerpt:
Ringing the doorbell, Ali lifted her face to soak up the warm California sun. She was a million miles away when the door opened.
“Good morning. You must be Ali, Mrs. Winthrop’s new friend.”
Blinded by the sun, Ali blinked her attention to the man with the sexy voice. No prim and proper psychiatrist stood over the threshold, but a tall, well put-together specimen of the male persuasion.
She gulped down surprise. He was dreamy in a Hollywood actor kind of way. Mid-thirties, black-framed eyeglasses, dark brown hair brushed back with a heavy lock falling down on his forehead.
He smiled and extended his large hand.
Surprisingly, the thought of shaking his hand was intimidating. Instead, she gave him the plate of muffins. “Um, yes. That’s me. And these huckleberry muffins are for you, Doctor Daw--”
“Thank you. They smell delicious. Actually, I’m Mack, Mack McClanahan.”
“Oh, I thought--”
“Family emergency,” he said quickly. “I’m subbing for Doctor Dawson.” He gestured for her to come inside. “Mrs. Winthrop’s freshening up.”
Once Ali stepped into the foyer, he raised his voice to carry down the open area to the left. “Mrs. Winthrop, we’ll be out on the terrace.”
A mumbled “okay” came from one of the closed doors down the lobby.
Ali walked with him through the Great Room. From what she could see, the setup of the doctor’s villa was the same as Matilda’s except for the lobby area off the foyer. That must’ve been his office space. He had the same fireplace, compact kitchen, and roomy terrace. Beyond the kitchen was the bedroom or bedrooms. She couldn’t tell how many. Matilda had two.
Now outside, she took in the unobstructed view of the ocean. Wow.
“This is fantastic! So serene.” The sound of waves crashing against the shore seemed to relax every muscle in her body. “No wonder you, I mean Doctor Dawson, works out of his home.”
“It is nice, isn’t it?” He set the plate of muffins on the round table, and then pulled out a cushioned chair. “Please, have a seat. How about something to drink? A brew--” He glanced at his wristwatch. “Er, brewed coffee? Iced tea?”
She pressed her lips together to keep from smiling. She’d stake money he’d been about to suggest a beer. “No thanks, I’m fine.”
“Yes.” He sat across from her. His dark grey eyes almost glowed as he looked at her and his lips curved up slightly as if in appreciation. “Yes, you are.”
Hmmn. Ali sat up straighter. His practiced gallantry was off. Alarm bells rang. She felt like a lamb in the presence of a wolf. Incredibly exposed.
Matilda, hurry up! 
He leaned in closer to her. She could smell his earthy masculine fragrance. “Mrs. Winthrop tells me you’re from the East Coast. From New Hampshire, isn’t it? Are you just visiting or are you planning to move to California?” He glanced at her left hand. “Single?”
She gulped down distress. Sudden perspiration popped up on her forehead. All her senses seemed heightened around him. She had to be on her guard.
Thrusting her hands under the table, she inhaled a ragged breath. “Goodness, so many questions. I do hope you’re not drumming up business, intending to send me a bill for psychoanalysis. I’m on vacation, Doctor McClanahan. Nothing more than that. And as for my marital status, well, it’s none of your business.” There. Fingers crossed that would deflect his interest.
His chuckle was deep and genuine. Appealing dimples showed briefly on his clean-shaven cheeks. “TouchĂ©, Ms...?”
She flared her nostrils. “Ali.”
“Ali, then.” His dimples flashed again. “I promise there will be no bill waiting for you after our talk. And please, call me Mack.”
As she had no intention of ever using his first name, she just shrugged.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy Reading!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist! 


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

New Release: ANGEL MINE, high octane SFF romance by Vijaya Schartz


ANGEL MINE - Azura Chronicles Book 1
by Vijaya Schartz
Sci-fi Fantasy Romance
 Amazon - Barnes & NobleSmashwords -  KoboFacebook
 
BLURB

What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.

Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement...

Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.

Chapter One

“By the frozen hells of Laxxar!” Strapped in her command chair, Fianna Grosvenor tapped the symbols on the control console.
Emergency sirens blared throughout the hull of her small ship. Red rectangles flashed on the navigation screen.
“Warning! Approaching dangerous forbidden planet,” Rapscallion, the onboard computer, droned in a disembodied male voice.
“Are these the right coordinates? Where is my quarry?”
“The quarry ship does not show on my scanners,” Rapscallion announced in a chirpy voice.
“Triblets!” Fianna immediately regretted the cuss word. “Where is he?”
“Sheba not like swearing,” the voice of her feline companion intruded in her mind.
“Sorry, Sheba.”
The large puma ensconced in the clear gel safety globe at Fianna’s side, blew her frustration through dilated nostrils. The feline covered her round ears with wide tan paws. “Sheba not like noise.”
Answering the puma’s telepathic complaint, Fianna swiped her screen, silencing the alarms.
“Sorry, girl. I forget your ears are so sensitive.” An asset in the hunt for dangerous felons.
Fianna glanced up, through the clear titanium pane of the forward bridge. Floating in black space, blinking space beacons linked by red laser lines like a grid, delimited the forbidden zone. Too loose a grid to prevent small ships from slipping through. Not an interdiction but a stern warning. Beyond the grid loomed an oddly luminous turquoise planet.
“Computer, zoom on the planet.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Rapscallion activated the central screen.
Three moons, one larger than the other two, orbited in a cluster, but no visible satellites or space stations.
“Preliminary scans suggest a low-tech planet, Captain.”
“Then why the warning beacons?” Fianna stared at the screen, fascinated by the planet’s bright turquoise color. “Is the planet toxic? Analyze the color spectrum.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Rapscallion buzzed as it searched. “Color spectrum reveals an M-class planet, many known minerals, rare crystals, breathable atmosphere, water, vegetation, and animal life.”
“So, it’s livable.” Triblets. The low life she was hunting could have taken a chance despite the warning beacons. “Is the planet hostile to human life in any way?”
“Negative.” The computer sounded bored.
“Then why is that planet forbidden?”
“Searching.” Electronic chimes punctuated the search. “Azura is quarantined by the Galactic Trade Alliance. Level-three warning in effect. Do not approach under any circumstances. Those who ignore the warning are never seen again.”
Triple Triblets! Fianna drummed her fingers on the command console, where a small statuette stood. A Guardian Angel of the universe, chest bare, wings spread, said to protect space travelers. “Rapscallion, scan the planet for Tarkan’s ship.”
“Scanning.” The computer paused. “I detect a recent ion trail dwindling toward the surface, but the planet is shielded. Deep scans cannot penetrate to detect specific objects or people.”
“Shields? But there is no sign of technology.” What kind of planet was that? “Show me the history records for Azura.”
“Minimal records available. They seem to have been expunged.” Images of lush jungles scrolled on one of the side screens lining the command center, but no people.
“Anyone lives there?”
Rapscallion chimed. “The inhabitants are labeled hostile, dangerous, unpredictable, with powerful, lethal natural defenses but no known technology. They refused to deal with the GTA in the past and forbade the construction of spaceports.”
“That explains the isolation sanctions.” The Galactic Trade Alliance did not tolerate rejection well. “What else?”
“The native’s ideologies of truth telling and reckless honesty would have catastrophic consequences for the preferred way or life of the Galactic Trade Alliance. Costly wars and attempts to destroy the planet in the past have failed. Now it’s off-limits... in quarantine... indefinitely.”
“Wow! Are you telling me that natives with no technology kicked the Alliance’s butt?” Fianna whistled, eliciting an ear-rise from Sheba.
The large cat shuddered in her clear gel globe. “Sheba not like whistling.” 
The feline’s coat shimmered then turned from tan to silver gray. Unlike the proverbial leopard, this puma could change her spots... thanks to genetic engineering.
Fianna ignored the feline’s complaint. “No wonder Azura is the perfect place for that bastard to hide.”
Her quarry must have landed there. Fianna wouldn’t abandon the chase because of a silly interdiction based on opposing ideologies. Tarkan had already killed and maimed too many innocents... including her brother. He must pay for his crimes, and this time she’d make sure he remained locked up in a high-security prison.
On the viewer scanning the planet, something caught the sunlight and flashed it back into space. It flashed again.
“What was that? A signal, or a reflection? If there are shiny, reflective surfaces, there must be some kind of technology. But if there is no technology, then it can only be Tarkan’s ship. He escaped in a silver luxury yacht.”
“A logical assumption, Captain,” Rapscallion chimed.
Fianna checked the coordinates on the console. “Computer, plot a trajectory to land in the same spot as that flash of reflected light.”
“But, Captain, the beacons warn against approaching the planet! Those who ignored the warning never returned.”
“Oh, shut up, you arrogant agglomerate of integrated circuits.” Fianna would have to fine tune Rapscallion’s obedience routines. “It’s not the first time we break the rules. You are not my conscience. Just land your butt where my quarry landed.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Flagrant sarcasm dripped from the synthetic voice.
Fianna hated computers with an attitude.
As the ship neared the laser grid blocking passage, the proximity beacon warnings increased in frequency and intensity. More alarms blared.
Fianna muted them. “Ignore the beacons and stay true.”
“Aye, aye, Captain. I know the drill.” That judgmental attitude again.
Fianna would also have to reduce Rapscallion’s sarcastic abilities.
The small ship glided through the loose grid into the forbidden zone. The surrounding beacons quieted and returned to sleep mode. Apparently their scanners only looked outward to warn. They did not interfere. And her quarry must have known that.
As the ship approached the planet, Fianna detected a shimmering rainbow shell, unlike anything she’d ever seen before. “Shields? What’s their power source?”
“Unknown,” Rapscallion droned in its monotone voice. “It could be dangerous to get any closer. I... feel... dizzy...”
“Dizzy?” As if a computer could feel anything.
The ship’s emergency lights flashed red and blue on the bulkheads all around the command bridge.
Sheba, in her clear, gel-padded globe, covered her eyes with her paws. “Sheba not like blink.”
As if the feline had powers, all lights went out and the dull vibration of the engines ceased. Blackness enveloped Fianna. No LEDs, no emergency lights, no forward viewer. She felt strangely light. No gravity either. She blinked to activate her internal night vision. The outlines of bulkheads and consoles emerged in muted colors. The angel statuette floated in front of her, demagnetized from the console. Fianna grabbed it and stuffed it in her cargo pants’ pocket.
“Computer, what’s happening?” Fianna tapped the dark controls.
Rapscallion remained dreadfully silent.
The ship wobbled, then some gravity resumed, but speed increased. Triblets! “We are being sucked by the planet’s gravity. Computer, please tell me you can fix that.”
Silence. Was it disabled by an EMP? A solar flare? Her ship was shielded against electromagnetic pulses.
“Triblets! Our shields are dead!” Heart in her throat, Fianna frantically attempted to restart the manual controls. Emergency batteries, no go. “Computer, if you don’t wake up, we are going to explode on that rainbow shell!”
The large cat huffed. “Sheba not like yelling.”
“Sheba, brace for impact!”
Fianna saw her life flash before her eyes... not really, but she always wanted to know how that would feel. For now, she wanted to catch the lowly bastard she’d come to collect. If this was part of the planetary defenses, how had his shiny yacht reached the surface? She cringed as she braced for impact with the planetary shield. Guardian Angels of the universe, please protect us.
Nothing.
The ship kept falling... and accelerating toward the lush blue-green planet below. “We dropped through the shield with no damage!”
“Good, yes?” Sheba’s eyes rounded in question.
“Yes.” Triblets! Unlocking her safety harness, Fianna fumbled with the backup landing controls. No stabilizers, no thrusters.
She struggled to think. “We are headed straight for the surface in free fall.”
“Not good?” The feline shuddered and her fur turned black. “Sheba not like falling.”
A collision shock, a loud bang, then the roar of air against the hull indicated they’d entered the atmosphere. They only had a few minutes.
Fianna wiped sweaty palms on her synthetic leather pants. Did the temperature on deck increase? Without shields, they’d burn into the atmosphere, or crash and explode on the surface. Unless...
The emergency landing thrusters could function without sophisticated electronics, but they would need a spark to ignite.
“Sheba die?”
Sheba! “No, baby girl, thanks for reminding me.”
“Sheba not baby. Sheba big.”
Fianna’s implanted vision software and telepathic link still worked. Her body must have shielded its power source from whatever disrupted the ship's electronics. She could use it to spark the thrusters... if she survived the hard linkup.
She slid off her seat, stumbled down through a floor hatch, and down ladders, to the underbelly thrusters. She’d never used them before. The sudden, intense heat made sweat drip from her brow. Would the ship explode? She scratched the small port at the base of her neck and pulled out a thin wire, then she touched the end of the wire to a port in the dark console.
May the Guardian Angels of the universe protect cat and human.
The wire sparked. Fianna shook and jumped off with the shock. The console lit up and the emergency landing thrusters roared to life. The sudden deceleration pinned Fianna to the floor, then she bounced off the engine room bulkheads. The entire ship rocked like a flimsy, disjointed toy. Saved? Or was it too late?
Triblets! The hard impact sent Fianna flying. Metal twisted and groaned. Bulkhead popped open. Vegetation and dirt filled the engine room. Muffled explosions popped in the distance and pain pierced Fianna’s body. Flames erupted around her. She choked on the smoke filling the space.
Fianna didn’t want to die. Too much depended on her mission’s success. Her mind went blank.

Vijaya Schartz
  High Octane sci-fi fantasy romance with a kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & NobleSmashwords -
 KoboFacebook

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS