I really appreciate the privilege of launching my new novels with a visit to your blog, to explain the background and inspiration behind the ideas. This is definitely an honored part of my new book process, so thank you for the opportunity!
There was a reality TV show on BRAVO for two seasons, called “Below Deck”, which followed the crew of a luxury charter yacht in the Caribbean as they sailed with different guests. You can imagine there were a lot of soap opera-like goings-on since this was reality TV after all. Although I have no idea how true to life the program might have been, I was pretty fascinated by the show – I get hooked occasionally on these things. Not so much the “Real Housewives” type program, but the ones like “Say Yes To The Dress” or “Project Runway.”
The concept of the luxury charter cruises stayed with me but of course being a science fiction romance author, I kept thinking “what if” this were set in the far future, in the Sectors, which is the galactic civilization where my SFR novels occur. I’ve already written about the interstellar liner Nebula Dream, and the sad end to her maiden cruise, and I’m working on a series of novels set on a sister liner that doesn’t suffer a wreck. But this TV show made me think about a smaller framework and a different subset of crew and passengers. On the program, the crew often had to take the guests ashore for a beach party or an excursion. I was intrigued by the idea of my luxury space yacht taking parties of rich, bored guests to scenic wonders in their area of the galaxy. As Meg, the cruise staffer says, “We specialize in conveying our passengers on a tour of exotic natural wonders. This part of Sector Thirty is full of amazing sights on so many planets.”
But what if the situation wasn’t as expected on the planet? What if the ranger station was deserted? What if things slowly start going wrong and the crew and guests don’t get picked on time up by their ship? Which of course is what happens at the beginning of Star Cruise: Marooned.
Another aspect of the “Below Deck” environment I found interesting was how the crew members went from ship to ship, depending on who was hiring, who else was working on what vessel – very few of them seemed to remain on the same boat over time, but they all knew each other. I liked the idea of crew mobility, which allowed me to have my hero Simon ‘Red’ Thomsill join the crew for this one cruise, while on his way to a much better berth on a bigger ship.
Being a seat of the pants style writer, I started with that concept and let the story unfold for me. The book turned out to be a short novel, about 48K words. A lot of adventure and romance jam-packed into the pages and only 99 cents! No spoilers, because I always have a Happily Ever After ending, but I’m pretty sure Meg and Red will be signing on to my new ship, and appearing as secondary characters in the stories I intend to write about her cruises.
Here’s the story for Star Cruise: Marooned:
Meg Antille works long hours on the charter cruise ship Far Horizon so she can send credits home to her family. Working hard to earn a promotion to a better post (and better pay), Meg has no time for romance.
Former Special Forces soldier Red Thomsill only took the berth on the Far Horizon in hopes of getting to know Meg better, but so far she’s kept him at a polite distance. A scheduled stopover on the idyllic beach of a nature preserve planet may be his last chance to impress the girl.
But when one of the passengers is attacked by a wild animal it becomes clear that conditions on the lushly forested Dantaralon aren’t as advertised – the ranger station is deserted, the defensive perimeter is down…and then the Far Horizon’s shuttle abruptly leaves without any of them.
Marooned on the dangerous outback world, romance is the least of their concerns, and yet Meg and Red cannot help being drawn to each other once they see how well they work together. But can they survive long enough to see their romance through? Or will the wild alien planet defeat them, ending their romance and their lives before anything can really begin?
Best Selling Science Fiction and Paranormal Romance author Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library full of books as its heart, and when she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories. Married young to her high school sweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one young grandson and cats Keanu and Jake.
Veronica is the “SciFi Encounters” Columnist at USA Today Happily Ever After and a three time SFR Galaxy Award winner.
Veronica, I love having you and anxious to dive into this new book! Awesome cover and the story looks amazing and the price is great, too! Seriously, grab this novella, people!
You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.
Oh wait, this is the first post of the new month, so here’s the June winner!
Congrats! I’ll be in touch with you about how to get your gift basket. 🙂