Regular WWMB readers know that I am a fan of the quirky humor that is abundant in the books of Pauline Baird Jones. But ever since the Pets in Space phenomenon, I am even more of a fan. So I asked Pauline if she would like to feature Sir Rupert today.
Nyssa Juneau – Artist
Guest Post by Pauline Baird Jones
I commit random acts of plotting, which results in random acts of writing. When I decided that my pet for Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 was going to be a parrot, I had no clue what role he or she would play in the story. Possibly because I had no clue what the story was going to be about. I knew one thing about the story.
I knew that Briggs, from The Key and Girl Gone Nova would be the hero.
Readers had been requesting a story about the gruff, older Sergeant Major who was almost as mysterious in many ways, as the Project Enterprise expedition.
Choosing Briggs as my hero created an almost insurmountable problem for me. He was currently stationed in a highly top secret location in another galaxy equipped with alien cloaking technology, so no one could ask for directions or get in very easily.
Not exactly the location for a coffee or dinner date.
Plus, for a short story, I needed the “meet” with the heroine to happen fast and for them to be relatively isolated from other sources of help.
And then something mystical happened. I “saw” my heroine and she had a parrot on her shoulder.
Why? Who was she? Where was she going?
I remembered a rebel time travel organization from Nebula Nine and suddenly I had a plot percolating inside my head for what was to become “Time Trap.” Eventually, the story spilled onto the page and I learned a lot about Sir Rupert, my parrot. But there was still a lot I didn’t know about him.
So when he strolled onto the scene in Lost Valyr, I was excited for round two with this sentient—and in my humble opinion—very funny parrot.
No surprise he added some challenges to the writing.
He’s a very strong personality.
He doesn’t just nudge, and occasionally shove, Rachel, he also made his presence in the plot known in some interesting and surprising ways.
He had some goals that weren’t always compatible with Rachel’s.
And, as we learned in “Time Trap,” he has some abilities that can be helpful—but also dangerous for him if they become widely known.
While Sir Rupert gets a partial resolution to his story in Lost Valyr, there are still threads that could be picked and explored. So I have a feeling that we will meet up with Sir Rupert again.
Here’s an excerpt featuring my wily avine:
“The ticking is bugging me. And the music helps me concentrate.”
The other brow rose. “Concentrate?” His expression asked how that was possible.
She grinned. “You have to feel the beat, get into the zone.” She started to move her upper torso to the beat of “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” Something she’d never be, but it had a great beat. She kept the moves subtle and then held her hands up, flexing the fingers. “Rock’n roll. You rock to it and the inspiration rolls.”
She turned to the console, laced her fingers and gave them a nice stretch, then dove in. The music changed to a mellow version of “Twist and Shout.”
“It feels less loud if you feel the beat,” Sir Rupert said, moving his head in time to the organ solo. Rachel gave him a thumbs up and noticed Valyr trying not to look incredulous. Though he wasn’t trying very hard. The edges of his mouth were twitching again. All the best heroes had a sense of humor, in her opinion. Not that he was a hero, well, he wasn’t her hero. He might even be her downfall when she presented him to Doc.
“It helps to move,” Sir Rupert told Valyr, adding a few hops to his routine.
Her gaze lifted just in time to meet Valyr’s—and a flicker of heat flared in the yummy brown depths. And then it was gone, and she wondered if she’d imagined it. Probably imagined it. Her sense of humor prompted her to tease him just a bit.
“Just a small shoulder shake?” She wriggled hers, sort of surprised at herself. Maybe it was the red shirt? When his brows arched and his shoulders didn’t, she gave him an impish smile.
His lips twitched again, which she took as a positive sign of…something. He crumpled the wrappers from her former lunch, stuffed them into the brown lunch bag and looked around for some place to put them. If there’d ever been trash cans in their room, there wasn’t now. He finally set the bag on the floor and drank the rest of the water, then set that bottle by the bag. It bothered him, which was curious. She filed it with all the other curious things about him. She should get to work, but her eyes stayed glued on him, even as her body kept time with the song.
He rubbed his temples, then with an interesting reluctance, looked at the Urclock. She couldn’t see his face, but there was a lot of tension in his super straight back. He lifted his hands, flexing them as if he wanted to do something with them, but wasn’t sure what. Her inner physician noticed that he was getting more flexible and his color was better. Nothing in their research indicated this swift of a recovery from cryo-stasis. His brows drew together in a scowl, and his hands curled into fists. So small at first, she wondered if she imagined it, his shoulders twitched. When they did again, right on the beat, she had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. The heart of rock and roll was hard to resist. She ticked the volume up just a little.
To her surprise, Sir Rupert began to sing along. He leaned his head toward hers and, well, it would have been rude to an important ally not to join in. Valyr swung around to stare at them as they—and their voices—rose in the final crescendo.
She grinned at his dropped jaw—which he snapped shut—and said, “We could take our act on the road.”
Sir Rupert lifted a claw for her fist bump. “Indeed.” He looked thoughtful. “One could make the case that we are on the road—and off-road.”
Rachel laughed. “And running into the ditch—” She met Valyr’s gaze and forgot what she was going to say. His head tipped to one side, and well, she didn’t know what his gaze said. Other than it curled her toes in her expedition issue boots. She was a genius, but also a girl. She’d observed attraction, both the good and the bad. She’d wondered what her type was. She had not expected it to be a thousand-year-old, recently defrosted alien.
About Lost Valyr
She’s a scientist in the wrong galaxy. He’s an alien in the wrong century. Can their love reset a terrifying future?
Dr. Rachel Grant knows her way around the Garradian tech on the Kikk Outpost. But the technology she encounters in an alien medical lab stumps even her brilliant mind. With a little help from her scheming parrot sidekick, she manages to push the right buttons and transport them to an uncharted planet…where they find a recently defrosted alien, who heats up Rachel.
Valyr wasn’t going to warm up to the bright-eyed scientist anytime soon…not after she pried centuries of cryosleep from his cold fingers. But waking up in the wrong century is nothing compared to the robots targeting his still-frozen team. And their situation only gets worse when he discovers the spiderweb of destruction trailing in the robots’ wake. With their backs against the wall, Valyr is blown away by Rachel’s determined passion in the face of impossible odds… but they’ll need more than a chemical reaction to survive what is headed their way.
Lost Valyr is the seventh standalone book in the explosive Project Enterprise sci-fi romance series. If you like heart-pounding chemistry, ragtag bands of misfits, and action-packed space battles, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ rollicking romance.
Buy Lost Valyr to defrost a fast-paced interstellar love story today!
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About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Pauline Baird Jones never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance.
Find Pauline at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Pauline-Baird-Jones/e/B000APFS0M/
Youtube (Dead Author Live Videos): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC246_a-liiXa_Y_uRlSQZgQ