The Whiskey With My Book blog header is currently featuring a picture I took of my bookshelf. On it are several SciFi Romance and Steampunk Romance titles. These are all favorites of mine and wonderful 5-star adventures, so they will be featured in several posts over the next few weeks.
Tales of the SFR Brigade is an anthology of eight SciFi Romance stories from eight different authors: Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Erica Hayes, Liana Brooks, Pippa Jay, Berinn Rae, Amy Laurens and Kyndra Hatch. The digital collection is a free download at many e-book retailers.
And if free isn’t good enough for you, then read the stories too. You will not be disappointed. I found new stories by familiar authors and got a taste of the talents of new-to-me authors.
I bid on and won the rare print copy on my shelf in a charity auction. Do not ask me to lend it to you!
For today’s blurb, I’ve chose the story Nobody’s Present by Marcella Burnard.
A space-obsessed physics teacher is kidnapped by a far-too-charming alien.
Here is an excerpt from Nobody’s Present.
“I take it the company’s ultimate goals are colonization and terra-forming?” I asked.
“Finlay, I’m sorry,” he said, regret in the slope of his shoulders. “I can’t answer that question. You’ve cemented my opinion that you’re over-qualified for a public relations position.”
I gaped at him. My breath went out of my chest. And under-qualified for anything else went without saying.
“Look,” I rasped. I forced air past the boulder lodged behind my breastbone. “You want to know why I applied for that job? It’s because my father told me that if I couldn’t have my dream, I should get as close to it as possible. I can’t go to space. I don’t yet have the degree I need to be taken seriously in astrophysics…”
Trygg’s brow crinkled as he stared at me. “You believe this PR job is the closest you can come to the far side of the moon?”
I sighed. “I realize I’m making a hell of an impression. I mean, so far, I’ve gotten emotional over my parents, made declarations about what I wouldn’t do, and made it clear I want more than the job I applied for.”
He’d made it clear he didn’t want me for the job I’d applied for.
I had nothing to lose.
“The fact remains. Teaching high school physics requires that I make science accessible and compelling to a group of people who think anyone over twenty-five is a waste of air.”
He grinned. The corners of his eyes crinkled.
My heart skipped a beat.
“You are determined, aren’t you?” he murmured, smile dying. “Would you give up your life to go into space?”
“What’s to give up?”
He pressed his lips tight. Combined with the way his gaze slid away from mine, it looked like uneasiness.
For a moment, fear burned a path straight down my throat to my stomach. But what were we talking about really? My chances of landing the job were as remote as Mars. Never mind ever seeing Earth from orbit.
Old, familiar longing tugged at my sternum.
“I can’t hire you for the PR position,” he said.
Nodding, swallowing sour disappointment, I reached for my briefcase. “I appreciate your time, Mr. Carrollus.”
He leaned in and touched the back of my hand, forestalling me.
Awareness rippled through me from that simple contact.
“I like your drive and your devotion to something you think is out of reach,” he said. He drew in an audible breath.
“Would you be willing to meet a few of my people?”
Startled, I stared into those blue eyes. “Wait. You said—”
“Wouldn’t you rather be doing science than PR?”
“Outreach is part of science, but yes.”
He awarded me a flash of that breath-taking grin. “I want you on my team, not someone else’s. Come on upstairs. Let’s see if we can’t come up with something mutually beneficial.”
“Sure.” I sounded like an infatuated teenager.
He rose and offered me a hand.
Off balance because I’d expected to be slinking out of the interview with failure hounding my steps, I accepted. I stood and reclaimed my hand. I needed distance. I wanted to at least pretend I was a cool professional.
He ushered me out of the office, and across the pink granite-tiled hallway to the elevator.
The doors opened.
We stepped in.
The elevator had buttons for parking, and for floors one and two. It also had another, unlabeled button with a cardkey reader next to it. Carrollus waved a hand in front of the reader. It beeped. The unnamed button lit. He pressed it.
“We take security seriously,” he said and nodded at the grab rail. “You might want to hang on.”
The elevator moved without a sound.
A wave of dizziness slammed me. I held my breath and frowned, willing it to pass. A buzz filled my ears and I noticed two things at once.
One, Carrollus watched me far too intently, an odd, avid gleam in his eyes. Two, as the noise in my head increased, my eyesight blurred.
An arm went around my waist, supporting me. Just in time. My knees gave up trying to negotiate keeping me upright.
“Easy,” Carrollus said. “Close your eyes. It’ll help.”
He pressed cool lips to my brow.
Surprise and a tendril of pleasure pushed back dizziness for a split second.
“My everlasting regret is that I can’t have you myself,” he said in a voice that led me to believe I wasn’t supposed to hear him.
Then the buzzing in my ears rose to a deafening shriek and it occurred to me it sounded curiously like my own voice.
Sound interesting? Did I mention the e-book is free? Want to get this for your e-reader? Here is the Amazon ‘buy’ link:
Want to see what else the SFR Brigade is up to? Visit the SFR Brigade Fan Page on Facebook.