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It’s All About the #Pets!

An alien, a robot and a caticorn walk into a bar...

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One of the super fun things about the Pets in Space® 4 Anthologies are the pets. With number 4 about to release, we’ve already had 30 stories and 30 pets and there are 13 more incoming for you to meet!

So I really didn’t have to up the game last year when I wrote “Operation Ark.” 

If you’re looking at “ark” and thinking Noah and lots of animals, well, you are right to do so. 

Officially, I only had the one pet…a caticorn. Yes, you read that right. My pet last year was a caticorn, but I also loaded my ship (aka ark) down with a bunch of animals that needed to go home. 

My heroine is a USMC Sergeant deployed to the Garradian Galaxy and to help her she’s got an alien, a robot, and the aforementioned caticorn. 

It’s a bar joke without a punch line. 

It’s also 40,000 words, which technically makes it more than a short story. For a short story anthology. Lol Good thing I’m one of the bosses and can break the rules when a story runs away with me. Which this one did. 

But I think it ran to fun and exciting places. Sergeant City and Kraye showed up in Lost Valyr and I had a ball getting to know them. 

Here’s a snippet to give you sense of how many animals there are in Operation Ark:

They filed in two by two, the click and scrape of claws and paws against the stone floor adding a discordant note to the music filtering quietly through Central Outpost’s intercom system. Some of them paused for a last look around before starting up the lowered ramp of the spaceship Emissary. 

At the head of the unusual column were the Erinaceines, a pair of hedgehog-like creatures whose waddle was almost on the beat. They had the pointed noses of an Earth hedgehog, but their coloring was brighter, more in the yellow and orange range. 

Behind them came the Pinyians, most closely resembling pandas, but they had black and red coloring. They ambled in, following a wandering path, and pausing often to return the curious looks of the humanoids. 

After the pandas were the two Sulian Nebos. According to the Kikk Outpost’s biologist, these two were a green-footed version of the blue-footed booby. Their comically wide eyes explained the “booby” appellation, at least in their version, but it didn’t help that they waddled like cartoons characters into the room and up the ramp.  

The two pure gray Cygninains made an interesting contrast with the boobys. Their swan-like grace was somewhat blunted by having to herd their small brood of cygnets onto the ship.  

The Testudinians should have appeared next, but even by another name—and in another galaxy—they looked like turtles and were as slow as turtles. They’d started first and would arrive last. 

The lone Harparian must have wearied of following them, because she appeared next, the tuft of feathers on the top of her head weaving with the snap of her clawed feet against stone. 

According to their biologist, her species was similar to an Earth Harpy Eagle, though much, much larger. With feathers that were a mix of gray, royal blue, white, and pink, she was as tall or taller than the humanoids in the hanger, giving her a wing span that was four times longer than she was high. Each of her individual claws were the size of a big man’s hand, and they were so sharp, they glistened when they caught the light. Her black and gold gaze was fixed on the ship and nothing else. Her passage seemed to leave behind the scent of woods and high mountain cliff breezes. 

And then they waited for the Testudinians. And waited some more. Finally, the turtle-like creatures appeared. They were about half the size of a Volkswagen Beetle—and would have looked at home with any of the painted psychedelic versions from the 60’s. Their coloring was a strident mix of yellow, orange, and green, outlined in black. Before they reached the top of the ramp, the music had trailed off so that the slow scrape of their steps seemed loud in the quiet bay. 

Only after they were out of sight did the scent of the sea drift past. 

* * * * *

Here’s the blurb for the book, okay, yes it is a book! A short book, but a book!

She’s a USMC Sergeant deployed to the Garradian Galaxy.

He was raised by the robots who freed him from slavery.

It’s a match made nowhere anyone can figure out.

They clashed as enemies but joined forces to defeat a common foe. Now they’re tasked with returning some freed prisoners to their home worlds. In the next galaxy. With an alien, a robot, and a caticorn. It was a bar joke without a punch line, though Carolina City has a feeling it is out there—like the truth.

Kraye isn’t eager to return to his galaxy where the dark secret of his past lays in wait, but he’s willing to risk it in hopes that Caro can teach him what the robots couldn’t: how to be human.

Together they must face a dangerous journey, a lethal enemy with a score to settle, their unexpected desire, and an uncertain future if they make it out alive.

Can Caro and Kraye navigate the minefields—both emotional and space based—to land a happy homecoming for the sentient animals in their care? Can the man raised by robots learn how to kiss the girl while the starchy Marine decides if she is willing to bend the rules for a happy ever after? Don’t miss Pauline Baird Jones’ newest Project Enterprise story!

This book was previously published in anthology  Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space® 3, which is no longer on sale but you can buy Operation Ark by clicking here.

And speaking of Pets in Space®, there’s going to be a fourth anthology, releasing October 8, 2019! That’s right, we’re less than a month out! 

And stayed tuned for Pets in Space® 4 update! In thirteen days thirteen stories will land on your eReader IF you preorder it now! Here’s the details: 

For a limited time only! Pets in Space® 4 is proud to present 13 amazing, original new stories! Join the adventures as today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors take you on a journey to another world. Pets in Space® proudly supports Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that provides service animals to veterans and first responders in need. Join New York Times, USA TODAY and Award-winning Bestselling authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Tiffany Roberts, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Donna McDonald, Regine Abel, Alexis Glynn Latner, JC Hay, E.D. Walker, Kyndra Hatch, and Cassandra Chandler for another exciting Pets in Space® anthology. Get the stories before they are gone!

Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $7,100 in the past three years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space® 4 will again go to Hero-Dogs.org. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space® 4 today so together we can continue to assist this worthy charity! 

And while you’re waiting, make sure you don’t miss Pets in Space® Sampler! It’s going away forever on Oct 7, 2019! 

A must have collection! Only available here!

Pets in Space® 4 Sampler: Stories & Art from some of today’s best known and award-winning Science Fiction Romance authors!

NEW & EXCLUSIVE short stories from

* S.E. Smith, Lords of Kassis series

* Anna Hackett, Galactic Gladiators: House of Rone

* Tiffany Roberts, The Kraken series

* Veronica Scott, Star Cruise series

* Pauline Baird Jones, Project Enterprise series

* Donna McDonald, My Crazy Alien Romance series

* Alexis Glynn Latner

* Cassandra Chandler, The Department of Homeworld Security series

Not enough? Check out the preview chapters of their upcoming Pets in Space 4 stories from:

Laurie A. Green, Regine Abel, JC Hay, E. D. Walker, and Kyndra Hatch! 

Finish off this fabulous Sampler with gorgeous alien artwork from Tiffany Roberts.

Download your FREE Sampler now!

So, what would do you if you found out that everything you thought you know wasn’t true? I know I’m mulling it!

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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