A Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

If you’ve been celebrating the holidays, I hope you’ve been having a wonderful time. I took a few days off to eat, drink, and build way too much Lego with my boys (my fingers are numb!)

But during that time, I also jotted down a short Galactic Gladiators story! More about that in a second.

Farewell to 2018

In 2018, I was so incredibly fortunate to have so many wonderful readers enjoying all my books. I released 11 short novels, an one novella as part of an anthology. Those books came out across five different series AND I launched two new series (Team 52 and Eon Warriors). I also had 13 books come out as audiobooks this year. That all adds up to over half a million words written and over 65 hours of audio 😀

I’ve seen some people write that authors today are forced to write fast and are burning out, but I love what I do! Sitting down every day to write (even when it is hard work) brings me so much joy. Knowing that I have readers waiting for the next book in their favorite series leaves me inspired.

Hello to 2019

I’m so excited for the new year! I have lots more stories in my head — so expect books from Hell Squad, Eon Warriors, Team 52, and more Galactic Gladiators! Also expect more audiobooks. More Hell Squad audiobooks are on the way, as well as the continuation of Team 52 and Treasure Hunter Security, plus the launch of Eon Warriors in audio.

You can keep up to date on what books I have coming on the horizon on my Coming Soon page.

I always have a couple of new stories and series brewing in the back of my head. Whether any manage to sneak in during 2019…well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I wish you all the best for 2019 and hope it is a great year for you. I am a big goal setter, and at the beginning of the year, I set all my goals and then split them into quarterly, monthly, and weekly chunks. Life, of course, likes to throw a few curve balls in there, but having a plan helps me stay on course. Taking small actions daily — whether it is exercise, writing, reading, or whatever your goal is — is absolutely vital. Those small steps add up over time.

2019 will kick off with the next Eon Warriors book, Touch of Eon. That’s just over 10 days away!!

Touch of Eon

Eon Warriors #2

Release Date: Tuesday January 8th

Special Forces Space Marine Lara Traynor will do anything to free her sister and save the Earth from invasion…even if she’s blackmailed into stealing sacred Eon artifacts. And even if a dark, deadly warrior is sent to hunt her down.

Excerpt from Edge of Eon (Eon Warriors #1) featuring Lara

Lara Traynor squeezed out of the narrow tunnel and came out on top of the wall. She crouched there, balanced high above the temple forecourt.

The temple was sturdy. It had a masculine feel, with lots of straight lines, blocky towers, and large, regular columns. She liked it a lot. The Eon were good at more than just creating badass warriors and technology.

And here she was, sneaking into another Eon temple. Not exactly how she’d seen her career going, but Lara liked getting her missions done—no matter what.

She swiveled, and pressed her special climbing gloves and boots to the slick rock. She started making her way down the stone wall.

She already had one of the sacred Eon gems in her possession. The gorgeous, seafoam-colored stone, the Ston gem, was hidden on her stealth ship. The amazing jewel actually had a live, alien symbiont inside it. Incredible.

Now she was after her second target—the Alqin gem.

As she climbed down the wall, her thoughts turned to her sister.

Was Eve still alive? Heat shot through Lara, leaving a bad taste in her mouth. Fucking Space Corps. They’d fucked her family over so many times, and now they’d sent Eve on a suicide mission. It made Lara want to punch someone in the face. Preferably an admiral or two.

And here she was, blackmailed into this insane mission.

Her boots touched stone, and she turned away from the wall. She crouched down and held her breath, studying the shadowed courtyard and listening for any sound.

Just the tinkle of a water fountain and the faint glow from lights inside. After she had gem number two, she just needed the third and final one, then she was going to find out what the hell had happened to Eve.

She rose, heading toward the statue in the very center of the courtyard. The gem rested on the crown of the god.

“Bad choice, Terran.”

The deep voice made her spin. It was cold and dark, and sent shivers up her spine.

She flipped one arm out, her blade dropping from her forearm holder and into her hand. She scanned the darkness but couldn’t see him.

Then he stepped out of the shadows.

Holy cow. He was huge. An Eon warrior wearing full, black-scale armor.

He had a raw, masculine face with a hard edge. It looked like it had been carved from granite. And cold eyes.

Their gazes locked, and tension wound between them. His eyes were black as night, with thin threads of silver through them.

At the same time, they launched at each other.

Lara slashed out with her knife. He blocked her blow, and she veered away. Then, he swung a punch at her, and she ducked. She kicked, aiming for his legs, but he jumped, leaping over her leg.

They both spun away, circling each other. She watched as a long, blue sword formed on his arm. Oh, man. She’d heard about the symbiont-formed weapons. Damn thing was gorgeous. She wanted one.

He charged and Lara rushed to meet him.

They traded hits and kicks. She put all her effort into avoiding that glowing sword. The warrior was big, strong, and well-trained, but Lara had been born to fight, and her job had honed her abilities.

She leaped up and kicked. Her boot connected with his strong jaw, and his head snapped back.

Lara smirked. “Like that?”

The warrior growled and swung out with his sword. She dodged, the blade slamming into a pillar.

She lifted her head and laughed. “What was that? A love tap?”

Now, she felt a throb of annoyance and anger off Mr. Cool. They launched into another deadly dance. They passed the pond, and Lara leaped over the water and its lily pads. The warrior followed her.

It didn’t take her long to see he wasn’t using his full strength against her. That pissed her off.

“You’re holding back,” she snapped.

“Eve asked me not to hurt you.”

Lara stilled. “Eve?” A flood of emotion tightened Lara’s throat. “She’s alive?”

“Yes.” One cool word.

If that was true, then she was a prisoner of the Eon. Could she trust this deadly warrior?

Lara stroked her blade, working through all the scenarios. This changed nothing. She still needed to complete her mission.

Lara quickly snatched a StrikeBolt off her belt. She tossed it through the air.

It made a small whistling sound and the warrior dodged. But he was a shade too slow, and the small device caught his side. Small prongs flared, digging into him.

Blue electricity raced over his body. She saw his jaw lock and he dropped to his knees.

Lara sauntered over and snatched up the gem of Alqin.

“It’s been a good time, warrior.”

“I’ll… Come for you.” He pushed the words out through gritted teeth.

Lara had felt the effects of the StrikeBolt in training. She’d passed out within seconds. She’d never seen anyone stay conscious this long.

“You’ll…feel my breath… Back of your neck. I’ll hunt you to the end of the galaxy.”

Lara felt a cold shiver. “You can try.”

With the electricity holding him still, she raced across the courtyard and back to the wall. She braced a hand against the stone and glanced back.

His black-and-silver eyes were locked on her.

She tossed him a salute and started climbing.

Now, she needed to get off this planet and head to the temple on a small moon of Ath. Two gems down, one to go.

She needed to finish her mission, and save Earth and her sisters.

And on top of that, she also now needed to avoid one very angry Eon warrior.

Lara smiled grimly. Should be child’s play.

Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

Like I mentioned, on my days off I couldn’t help visiting with the Galactic Gladiators and seeing what they were up to! The short story is from the point of view of Imperator Magnus Rone as the survivors of Earth show him and all the gladiators of the House of Galen the meaning of Christmas. Warning: if you haven’t read all the Galactic Gladiators books, there are spoilers in the story. It fits in after the novella Desert Hunter from the Embrace the Passion anthology.

To read the story, head over to my Galactic Gladiators Extras page.

Galactic Gladiators Extras

Happy New Year to you!

Release Day: Embrace the Passion and Mission: Her Rescue

I am SO excited. Today is release day for not one, but two new books!

To celebrate I have a Release Day Giveaway with FOUR different prize packs up for grabs. Scroll down to the bottom to enter.

Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3 Anthology

The pets are back in this new, exciting collection of eleven original stories from today’s hottest Science Fiction Romance authors! My story is the Galactic Gladiators novella, Desert Hunter.

Mersi Kassar is a woman of the desert. Born, raised, and sold into servitude on the desert world of Carthago, she’s finally found her freedom and her place on the Corsair Caravan. She’s the right hand to the caravan master, and works leading travelers from the gladiator city of Kor Magna through the desert. She also works side by side with her friend—the big, silent Bren—a man she’s desperately in love with. But stubborn Bren shuts down her every attempt to deepen the feelings they have for each other and Mersi isn’t sure she can take the pain anymore.

Desert hunter Bren Hahn has secrets. Life taught him early to never share the terrifying darkness he hides within. He will protect the few people he cares about with everything he has, that includes the smart, lively woman he cares about most of all. A woman who sparks a simmering passion he finds harder and harder to ignore. But Bren knows the one thing he can’t live with is Mersi looking at him in horror. So even if it kills him, he vows to guard her from the most dangerous thing in the desert—himself.

On a perilous journey in the heart of the desert Mersi and Bren rescue a strange alien creature. Working together to heal the big, shaggy canine, their smoldering desire ignites, but their feelings turn out to be the least of their concerns. A deadly enemy is hunting their new pet. An enemy that threatens Bren’s darkest secret and all they hold dear. Will Mersi still feel the same for Bren if he has to unleash the darkness inside of him or will he lose the one woman who holds the key to his heart?

More Info on Galactic Gladiators

Mission: Her Rescue (Team 52 #2)

The next high-octane installment of Team 52 is here! They are a covert, black ops team known only as Team 52. Their mission: to secure and safeguard artifacts deemed highly dangerous and classified…and protect the women who capture their hearts.

When archeologist January’s plane is shot down over the Guatemalan jungle, she knows she’s being hunted for the invaluable Mayan artifacts she’s carrying. Only one man and his team can save her…the covert, black ops Team 52, and the distrusting former CIA operative who drives her crazy…

Dr. January James has a motto: live life to the fullest. A terrible incident in her past, where she lost both her mother and her innocence, taught her that. Now she spends her days on archeological digs doing the work she loves. When her team uncovers a pair of dangerous artifacts in an overgrown temple, she knows they need to be secured and safeguarded. But someone else knows about the artifacts…and will kill to get them.

Working for the CIA, Seth Lynch learned the hard way that people lie and will always stab you in the back. He has the scars to prove it. He lives for his work with Team 52—ensuring pieces of powerful ancient technology don’t fall into the wrong hands. When he learns that the feisty, independent archeologist who works his last nerve has died in a plane crash, he makes it his mission to discover who the hell is responsible.

Deep in the jungle, Seth rescues a very-much alive January and it is up to him to keep both her and the artifacts safe. Hunted from every side, their attraction is explosive and fiery, but with January’s life on the line, Seth must fight his own demons in order to rescue the woman he can no longer resist.

Currently exclusive to Amazon for a short period.

Amazon US  Amazon Other

Release Day Giveaway

Two wonderful reasons to celebrate! The Release Day Giveaway includes:
 
– 2 x Team 52 Signed Book Packs (includes a signed copy of Mission: Her Protection AND an Aussie romantic suspense novel I picked up at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference!)
 
– 2 x Galactic Gladiators Pets in Space Swag Pack (includes a tote bag, mug and magnet featuring my alien canine Fiend and a signed Galactic Gladiators paperback
 
 
Enter using the Rafflecopter below (you don’t have to do all the options, just pick the ones you want!). Giveaway ends on Sunday 14th October. FOUR winners will be selected randomly. Open internationally.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3

Pets in Space is back!

I am so happy to be joining the amazing group of authors who are contributing stories to the Pets in Space 3 anthology. It was no hardship for me to find an alien beastie and some romance in my Galactic Gladiators series!

My story is called Desert Hunter and stars Mersi and Bren from the Corsair Desert Caravan! As always, expect action and adventure on the desert planet of Carthago, the long-simmering romance of one competent woman and her hard-headed best friend, a strange creature they find in the dunes, some hidden secrets, and cameos from some favorite gladiators.

Mersi Kassar is a woman of the desert. Born, raised, and sold into servitude on the desert world of Carthago, she’s finally found her freedom and her place on the Corsair Caravan. She’s the right hand to the caravan master, and works leading travelers from the gladiator city of Kor Magna through the desert. She also works side by side with her friend—the big, silent Bren—a man she’s desperately in love with. But stubborn Bren shuts down her every attempt to deepen the feelings they have for each other and Mersi isn’t sure she can take the pain anymore.

Desert hunter Bren Hahn has secrets. Life taught him early to never share the terrifying darkness he hides within. He will protect the few people he cares about with everything he has, that includes the smart, lively woman he cares about most of all. A woman who sparks a simmering passion he finds harder and harder to ignore. But Bren knows the one thing he can’t live with is Mersi looking at him in horror. So even if it kills him, he vows to guard her from the most dangerous thing in the desert—himself.

On a perilous journey in the heart of the desert Mersi and Bren rescue a strange alien creature. Working together to heal the big, shaggy canine, their smoldering desire ignites, but their feelings turn out to be the least of their concerns. A deadly enemy is hunting their new pet. An enemy that threatens Bren’s darkest secret and all they hold dear. Will Mersi still feel the same for Bren if he has to unleash the darkness inside of him or will he lose the one woman who holds the key to his heart?

Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3

Release Day: October 9th, 2018

Join us as we unveil eleven original, never-before-published action-filled romances that will heat your blood and warm your heart! New York Times, USA Today and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner, E D Walker, JC Hay, and Kyndra Hatch combine their love for Science Fiction Romance and pets to bring readers sexy, action-packed romances while helping our favorite charity. Proud supporters of HeroDogs.org, Pets in Space authors have donated over $4,400 in the past two years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3 today!

The pets are back in this new, exciting collection of eleven original stories from today’s hottest Science Fiction Romance authors! Feel the action and passion!

Preorder your copy today:

Amazon US  Amazon Other  B&N  Google Play  iBooks  Kobo

Want more information about what’s inside?

HEART OF THE CAT

Sarafin Warriors Series

By S.E. Smith

Can love bridge the gap between a wounded alien warrior and the reclusive human woman who holds the future of his species inside her?

DESERT HUNTER

Galactic Gladiators Series

By Anna Hackett

Among the desert sands of an alien world, a man with secrets to hide finds himself face to face with the one woman who can bring him to his knees.

QUASHI

Mandrake Company Series

By Ruby Lionsdrake

Alien fur balls, a handsome doctor, and a little white lie create havoc for a young woman who only wanted a job.

STAR CRUISE: MYSTERY DANCER

The Sectors SF Romance Series

By Veronica Scott

A long-lost princess and her three-eyed cat seek refuge on the Nebula Zephyr only to catch the attention of an inquisitive Security Officer.

OPERATION ARK

Project Enterprise Series

By Pauline Baird Jones

A not quite routine mission to return rescued prisoners to their home worlds turns deadly for unlikely allies, a USMC Sergeant and a raised-by-robots pirate. Is the Sergeant’s unusual pet the wild card that will save or doom them?

CATS OF WAR

A Central Galactic Concordance Novella

by Carol Van Natta

A disgraced military Sub-Captain, a repair technician with secrets, and two special cats must save the day when trouble erupts at an important factory.

HUNTER OF THE TIDE

The Kraken #3

By Tiffany Roberts

Nearly broke by betrayal, a human discovers solace—and a chance for love—among the creatures he once hunted, but he must overcome prejudice and inhibition to claim the female he desires.

STARWAY

By Alexis Glynn Latner

A lonely interstellar pilot and a passenger’s mistreated consort find each other in an interstellar hotel that offers everything to satisfy its guests’ desires—even desires they didn’t know they had.

THE BAJO CATS OF ANTEROS XII

By E D Walker

Two ex-lovers, stranded in space, have to save a pair of kittens with hazardous powers before the local drug cartel catches up to them.

SHADOW OF THE PAST

By JC Hay

On a world of perpetual night, an aging ranger and a widowed veterinarian need to put aside their past to protect a pack of wolves… and their future.

AFTER THE FALL

By Kyndra Hatch

The Invaders took everything worth living for. Could an Invader show him how to live again?

HEART OF THE CAT

By S.E. Smith

Series: Sarafin Warriors Book 3

Prince Walkyr d’Rojah’s mission is to find an ancient artifact known as the Heart of the Cat, a revered gem that holds the mystical power that connects his people with their cat-form. He isn’t the only one searching for the Heart. A secret sect determined to overthrow the royal families wants the power contained in the gem, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain it.

Trescina Bukov’s affinity and ability to care for large cats has taken her all over the world. A frantic call from a rescue group compels her to fly to Wyoming in the western part of the United States. She is confused and wary when she discovers the injured leopard is more than he seems.

Walkyr is shocked when the human female caring for him connects with his leopard and recognizes who he is. Now, he has to contend with the assassins who followed him, his leopard who wants to claim the woman, and find out why all the clues in his search for the Heart of the Cat are pointing to a planet so far from home.

When Walkyr discovers the secret that Trescina has been hiding, he is forced to make a difficult decision: let her go, or kidnap her and return with her to his world. Can Walkyr convince Trescina that their lives are bound in more ways than one or will she flee, taking her secret and the future of the Sarafin species with her?

DESERT HUNTER

By Anna Hackett

Series: Galactic Gladiators

Mersi Kassar is a woman of the desert. Born, raised, and sold into servitude on the desert world of Carthago, she’s finally found her freedom and her place on the Corsair Caravan. She’s the right hand to the caravan master, and works leading travelers from the gladiator city of Kor Magna through the desert. She also works side by side with her friend—the big, silent Bren—a man she’s desperately in love with. But stubborn Bren shuts down her every attempt to deepen the feelings they have for each other and Mersi isn’t sure she can take the pain anymore.

Desert hunter Bren Hahn has secrets. Life taught him early to never share the terrifying darkness he hides within. He will protect the few people he cares about with everything he has, that includes the smart, lively woman he cares about most of all. A woman who sparks a simmering passion he finds harder and harder to ignore. But Bren knows the one thing he can’t live with is Mersi looking at him in horror. So even if it kills him, he vows to guard her from the most dangerous thing in the desert—himself.

On a perilous journey in the heart of the desert Mersi and Bren rescue a strange alien creature. Working together to heal the big, shaggy canine, their smoldering desire ignites, but their feelings turn out to be the least of their concerns. A deadly enemy is hunting their new pet. An enemy that threatens Bren’s darkest secret and all they hold dear. Will Mersi still feel the same for Bren if he has to unleash the darkness inside of him or will he lose the one woman who holds the key to his heart?

QUASHI

By Ruby Lionsdrake

Series: The Mandrake Company

“If she’d had a hand free, she would have scratched her head. Lab rats didn’t trill, did they?”

When Chanda decided to finagle her way into a job she wasn’t qualified for, she didn’t expect to end up on a ship full of hulking mercenaries. They’re rude, crude, and so covered with scars and tattoos that she can’t imagine any woman being interested in them. Except perhaps for the soft-spoken doctor with the haunted eyes.

She would love to know more about him, especially since he stares at the game logo on her T-shirt rather than her breasts, but a little problem comes aboard the ship at the same time she does. Quashi. Furry alien fluff balls with stubby legs and very expressive antennae. Are they harmless – or a danger to the ship? And why were they in a box labeled lab rats?

When some of the creatures go missing and systems start malfunctioning, Chanda is assigned the task of quashi wrangler. Though she’s worried she isn’t qualified, the intriguing doctor is also sent to help, and she’s determined not to fail in front of him. Maybe this is her chance to find out what network games he plays and why his past troubles him. But as the lights flicker and the ship’s life support systems are threatened, Chanda realizes there might not be time for romance. If they can’t round up the missing quashi before it’s too late, she may never see home again.

STAR CRUISE: MYSTERY DANCER

By Veronica Scott

Series: The Sectors SF Romance Series

Tassia Megg is a woman on the run after the death of her elderly guardian. Her search to get off the planet in a hurry comes when chance directs her to an open dance audition for the luxury cruise liner Nebula Zephyr’s resident troupe. If there is one thing Tassia can do, it is dance!

Security Officer Liam Austin is suspicious of the newest performer to join the Comettes. She shows all the signs of being a woman on the run and seems to fit the Sectors-wide broadcast description of a missing thief, accused of stealing priceless artifacts. As he gets to know Tassia during the cruise, he starts to wonder if she’s something more – a long vanished princess in hiding from deadly political enemies of her family perhaps? And what’s the story with the three-eyed feline companion other crew members swear Tassia brought aboard the ship? Does the animal even exist?

As the ship approaches its next port of call, all the issues come to a boil and Liam must decide if he’ll step in to help Tassia or betray her. Life is about to get very interesting aboard the Nebula Zephyr as Liam tries to uncover the truth. Could F’rrh, the peculiar alien cat he has been hearing about, be the key to the mystery and Tassia’s fate?

OPERATION ARK

By Pauline Baird Jones

Series: Project Enterprise

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!

CATS OF WAR

by Carol Van Natta

Series: A Central Galactic Concordance Novella

Military Sub-Captain Kedron Tauceti counts the days until he can leave the rare metals factory and his current duty station as the liaison to the Criminal Restitution and Indenture Obligation system. The post was protection—and punishment—for exposing a theft ring in his previous assignment. He’s more than ready to get his career back on track on a new base halfway across the galaxy, even if it means leaving behind the one person who makes him want to stay. Not that he’s told her, because technically, he’s her warden.

Former financial specialist and current indenturee Ferra Barray, hiding from her past, only has three months to go on her restitution sentence. She’s lucked into a tech repair job, and If she keeps her head down, she’ll be free to figure out her future. Unfortunately, the local boss behind every illegal scheme in the facility wants her to steal for him, and she’s running out of excuses. And now the heroically handsome Tauceti, who she hoped could help, is transferring out.

Everything changes when Ferra discovers two genetically modified cats. Saving them takes incredible risks. She doesn’t know what she’ll do if she can’t convince Tauceti to take them with him and keep them until she’s free to come for them.

When trouble erupts at the factory, it might just be the cats who save them. Find out what happens in this exciting stand-alone novella from Carol Van Natta’s award-winning Central Galactic Concordance space opera series.

HUNTER OF THE TIDE

By Tiffany Roberts

Series: The Kraken #3

HIS SOLICE AND HIS HOPE

Randall Laster crossed Halora to hunt the kraken, sea monsters that weren’t supposed to be real. Betrayed by men he trusted, he was left to die. Instead, he finds himself living with the beings once meant to be his prey. Randall struggles to find his place amongst the kraken and to find a purpose to the new course his life has taken. Hope comes in two unexpected forms: an injured, amphibious sea creature in need of care, and Rhea, a strong-willed kraken who’s made no secret of her interest in him. Can he reconcile the tensions between humans and kraken and look beyond their differences so that he can claim Rhea as his own, or will old prejudices and hostilities tear them apart forever?

STARWAY

By Alexis Glynn Latner

Starway is an interstellar hotel that offers guests something to satisfy almost any wish—even wishes they didn’t know they had.

Nikka Steel is a lonely interstellar pilot. Danyel Parry is a wealthy passenger’s mistreated consort. When they find each other in Starway, they discover how much they have in common, including remorseless enemies and resourceful friends—one of which has four paws—and mutual attraction as perilous as it is powerful.

Danyel and Nikka soon realize that they have a hopeful new destination. The interstellar crossroads at Starway can take travelers to many places, some of which are strange and secret. To get there, though, they will have to find their way through anger, danger and—

even more frightening—change.

THE BAJO CATS OF ANTEROS XII

By E D Walker

Zandro alienated the love of his life years ago with one giant mistake. Consumed by his animal rescue work, he didn’t realize what he had given up until she was gone. Now, his work to save two alien kittens with dangerous pheromones will reunite him with his old flame – and hopefully give him a second chance.

Aliette’s work as a space captain keeps her mind off of what she lost – Zandro – or it did until she receives his desperate plea for help. She reluctantly agrees to assist him for old time’s sake. But the simple transport mission quickly escalates into a fight for survival. The local drug cartel has discovered the unusual kittens and will do anything to obtain them.

With dangerous events and concern for the vulnerable kittens drawing them close again, Aliette will have to decide if being with Zandro is worth sacrificing everything for – even her life.

SHADOW OF THE PAST

By JC Hay

Loss casts a shadow you can’t outrun…

Commander Rafe Penzak is tired of jockeying a desk. With only months left before his forced retirement from the rangers, he decides to bend a few rules for one last mission: follow up on intelligence that vicious criminals have found the ranch that supplies the rangers’ umbra wolves. He’s ready to confront the reminder of his wolf’s death, but nothing in the Three Systems could prepare him for the spitfire who runs the farm.

Veterinarian Nafisi Sultana has run her wolf breeding program her way since the death of her husband. The last thing she wants is another ranger taking up space, correcting her methods, or being underfoot. But she can’t miss the pain and sorrow that haunts the greying commander, and her need to heal others pulls her into his orbit despite the agonizing memories he wakes in her.

With storms, raiders, and a renegade wolf pup driving them together, Nafisi and Rafe have to set aside their damaged past, or they’ll never be able to save something they both want more—a future.

AFTER THE FALL

By Kyndra Hatch

A’ryk Chiste of Korth marooned himself on an uninhabited world for a reason. He doesn’t want to be reminded of a galaxy where his people lost the war, taken over by the merciless Invaders who changed his life forever. A galaxy where he failed at the one thing he was born for, to protect worlds. He wants no part of the shaky forced ‘peace.’ So when an Invader crashes onto his planet, the simple solution is to let her die. But his furry companions have other ideas.

Lyra Merrick is a surveyor for the Earth Council of Habitable Worlds. She searches for and reports planets that can be terraformed for human survival, comfort and stability. It is business as usual when she finds another planet in a little-known section of the galaxy. A routine mission turns into a fight for survival when her ship has a malfunction and she crashes to the icy, unrelenting world. When she comes to, she hears a voice in her head. Confused, she wonders if the lonely existence of a surveyor finally made her crazy. Not only is she hearing things, her eyes are deceiving her too, because she’s in the domicile of the sexiest man she’s ever seen.

Preorder your copy today!

Amazon US  Amazon Other  B&N  Google Play  iBooks  Kobo

Galactic Gladiators Cover Reveal: Imperator

I can not tell you how many readers have sent me emails and messages wanting this particular hero’s story — there were a lot of them! So many readers have been waiting for the mysterious, protective Imperator of the House of Galen’s turn to meet his match.

I am absolutely thrilled to show you the cover for Galen’s story, Imperator!

In Imperator, Galen has to work with the former head of security of Fortuna Station and Champion of the Zaabha Arena, Samantha Santos, to survive and escape from the dangerous desert arena of Zaabha. Let me just say one thing: this is story is super action-packed!

To celebrate the cover reveal, I have an awesome Galactic Gladiators Swag Giveaway. Scroll down to the bottom to enter.

Imperator
Galactic Gladiators #11
Release Date: Tuesday July 10th

Cover art by the awesome Melody Simmons

Excerpt from Cyborg featuring Galen and Sam

She was good.

Galen’s muscles strained as he fought. Blood pumped through his body.

Sam swung her sword at his head and he jumped back. He spun, and used his speed to come up behind her. With the hilt of his sword, he knocked her forward.

But she didn’t go down like he’d anticipated. She was already spinning to face him. Drak, she was light on her feet.

She twirled, and he saw that deadly, poison-tipped blade coming at his face. He dropped to one knee, then rammed a fist into the toned belly bared by the ridiculous fighting leathers the Thraxians had given her.

As she staggered back, shaking her head, Galen pushed up and raised his sword.

She watched him with blank eyes, her boots moving through the sand to circle him. He matched her moves.

“I promised to come back for you, Captain Santos.”

Nothing flickered in those brown eyes of hers.

“Remember, I told you that I’ve been protecting your people. We agreed to protect them and bring Zaabha down.”

She lunged at him, and their swords crashed together. She drove him back, and he moved his sword to meet her blows.

Galen was aware of his gladiators fighting around him. Another explosion rocked the ground beneath them, and he shifted his weight to keep his balance.

Anger punched through Galen. His backup team was stuck on the ground. If they could find a way to land Zaabha and get their full contingent of fighters aboard, then he could finally destroy this drakking hellish pit.

Sam leaped high, her strong body a thing of beauty. She had bold features and golden skin turned bronze by the sun. Light flashed off the sword that was like an extension of her body.

Galen had learned to not covet things, but he could only think of one word for her. Magnificent.

It was wrong for her to be imprisoned. To be leashed by that drakking implant.

He’d vowed to free her, and if there was one thing Galen always did, it was fulfill his promises.

As she came at him again, he slammed his sword against hers. He used more of his strength this time. Their bodies crashed together, their swords driven up above their heads. His cloak blew around them, trapping them in a private cocoon. Heat pumped off her body.

“Samantha.”

Something shifted in her eyes and she tilted her head. Then she blinked, and it was gone.

He felt her muscles bunch, but before she could strike out, he rammed into her. They tumbled to the sand and rolled.

 Galen managed to get on top of her and pinned her beneath him. She bucked her hips, trying to fight him off.

“No,” he growled.

Her eyes narrowed. They were still the same gorgeous brown that had haunted his thoughts since he’d first seen her on this sand. But the fierce intelligence and drive he’d spotted was missing, dulled by the Thraxians’ implant.

Suddenly, her strong legs twined with his, and with a vicious thrust of her body, she managed to knock him off her.

They scuffled in the sand, but Galen had the advantage of height and weight. And he used it.

He pinned her again, and this time, her strong legs were spread, his hips settling into the cradle of her thighs. Awareness rocketed through him.

Drak. Now was not the time. He captured both her wrists with one of his hands. She jerked and fought, but he held her down.

With his other hand, he pulled his dagger off his belt. He lifted the dagger above her head, aiming it downward.

Her eyes widened, her gaze shifting to his.

He stabbed the knife down.

The tip of the blade pierced her implant. There was a sizzling sound, and the light on the implant blinked out.

Her eyes closed, then opened. Awareness filled her gaze.

“You,” she breathed.

“My name is Galen, remember?”

“I remember.” She turned her head, taking in the fighting in the arena in a second. Emotion crossed her face so fast he almost missed it. “You came back.”

“I told you I would. I told you that I would take care of your friends, and that I would come back for you.” The words echoed in him. He’d been born and raised to protect and to honor his vows. “And I promised you that we would destroy this place.”

“Your gladiators are outnumbered.”

“We’ll retreat for now, but we will be back.” Galen pushed off her and stood. He held his hand out to her. “Are you with me, Samantha Santos?”

She stared at his hand for a long second, then she put her hand in his. “Yes.”

They both turned, raising their swords.

Then Sam frowned. “Something’s wrong.”

Galen saw Magnus clutching Ever’s still body to his chest. The cyborg’s face was filled with emotion, ravaged.

No. Galen and Sam broke into a run. A second later, they reached Magnus’ side. Galen saw that one of Ever’s arms was missing a hand. The stump was wrapped in blood-soaked fabric.

“Galen.” Magnus’ eyes were wild. “Poison. She was touched by diseth.”

Sam looked down at her sword and her face spasmed. “This is my fault.”

Galen shook his head. “No, it’s the Thraxians’ fault.”

“I…I had no other choice.” Magnus stared at Ever’s face. “I had to remove the source of the poison.”

“We’ll get her to the healers,” Galen said. They weren’t losing the woman or her child.

Shouts and screams echoed over the sand, and Galen lifted his head. A fresh wave of Zaabha fighters was rushing across the arena.

“We need to go,” Galen ordered. “We need a way out of here.”

All around them, his gladiators were drawing back, protecting them.

“The flying creatures?” Magnus asked.

“Gone.” Galen scanned the stands. “Are there ships or shuttles anywhere?”

“Not that I’ve seen.” Sam tossed her honey-brown braid over her shoulder. “But there is an emergency exit.”

“Where?” Galen demanded.

“Near the northern stands. I’m not sure exactly. It’s heavily guarded, and I’ve only overheard the guards talking about it. It’s some sort of wire ladder that will reach down to the surface.”

Galen nodded. “Let’s move.”

He took the lead. With Sam beside him, and his gladiators at his back, they fought through the Zaabha fighters.

“There.” Sam pointed with her sword.

He saw a tight group of Thraxian guards huddled in the stands.

Galen leaped over the railing. Almost all the spectators had scattered, leaving the stands nearly empty.

Guards rushed at them. As he thrust his sword at the first attacker, Sam moved in beside him, taking on another.

“For honor and freedom,” Galen yelled.

“For honor and freedom,” Galen’s gladiators roared.

Galen cut down the guard, pulling his sword back. His gaze met Sam’s.

“For honor and freedom,” she murmured.

Galen felt a flood of energy and he nodded.

“We have more fighters incoming,” Raiden yelled, bringing Galen back to the present.

Galen turned and saw the wild crowd of fighters leaping into the stands. Nearby, he saw Magnus was holding Ever carefully, Jax and his other cyborgs protecting them.

They needed to get Ever out of here. Now.

Galen ripped into the fighters. He ran along the seats, swinging his sword and taking down fighter after fighter. He focused solely on the battle, nothing else. Blood splattered on the seats, and for a second, he was on another planet, watching red blood splatter on stone.

No. Stay in the present. He scanned the desert arena. This place was an abomination, and it had to end.

“Galen.”

Sam’s warning had him spinning.

A huge Thraxian swung a giant axe at him. He leaped backward, the blade missing him by a thread.

Sam jumped over a row of seats, driving her sword through the alien’s gut. She stepped back, and shoulder-to-shoulder, they fought the incoming fighters. They fought together like they’d been fighting together for years. Galen forced the shocking feeling of awe away.

Sam glanced his way and smiled. Galen inclined his head, marveling that she could look so beautiful, even with blood staining one smooth cheek.

A horn sounded out across the arena. More gates clanked open below them.

Sam’s face hardened. “They’re throwing everything at us.” She dragged in a breath. “There are too many. We won’t make it.”

“We will.” Galen lifted his sword.

She arched a brow. “Do you always just say something and it happens?”

“Yes. I’m good at giving orders.”

Sam snorted. “What a surprise.” Then her gaze moved to the arena floor. It was packed with fighters, Thraxians, and beasts. “Get your people out of here, Galen. Get Ever out and help her. I’ll hold the fighters off.”

Not again. He grabbed Sam’s arm. “No.”

“You might give your orders, imperator, but I’m unlikely to follow them.”

With that, she broke free of him. She leaped down the seating, racing to meet the oncoming fighters. Then she jumped, flying through the air, sword swinging.

Drak. Courageous fool.

“Galen!”

He swiveled and saw Raiden waving at him from higher in the stands. A trapdoor was open, and he watched as Magnus disappeared down the hole, carrying Ever. The others were quickly following them.

A muscle ticked in Galen’s jaw. They’d be overrun before they got far enough down the ladder, even with Sam holding some of the fighters back.

“Get Ever out,” Galen yelled at his best friend. Raiden was his closest friend, his brother.

Raiden’s eyes widened. He shook his head angrily.

“Get them all out safely, Raiden. That’s an order.”

With that, Galen turned and followed one stubborn, intriguing Earth woman into the fighting mob.

Galactic Gladiators Swag Giveaway

To celebrate the Imperator cover reveal, I am giving away a big tote bag of signed Galactic Gladiators paperbacks and swag to ONE lucky winner! AND the awesome Cara Bristol has offered a signed paperback of Claimed by the Cyborg that will also be part of the main prize as well!

I also have THREE runner up prizes of signed Galactic Gladiators paperbacks to give away too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open internationally and closes on Tues 3rd July. Winners notified by email by 7th July. You DO NOT have to use every option below to enter. Just select the one(s) you prefer to do.

To purchase your own Galactic Gladiators gear, just visit my Zazzle store!

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Cover Reveal: Galactic Gladiators – Cyborg

Ready for some more gladiators?

This time we’ll be peeking inside the doors of the House of Rone at the Kor Magna Arena. Today I’m revealing the cover for Cyborg!

Cyborg is the story of Magnus Rone, the cool, emotionless cyborg imperator of the House of Rone, and human survivor Ever Haynes…who happens to be pregnant with his baby!

To celebrate the cover reveal, I have an awesome Galactic Gladiators Paperback Giveaway. Scroll down to the bottom to enter.

PLUS, I have another exciting announcement: you can now purchase House of Galen merchandise!! I’ve added the gladiators to my Zazzle store. Down below, you’ll see mugs, T-shirts, mousepads and more!

Cyborg
Galactic Gladiators #10
Release Date: Tuesday April 3rd

Cover art by the awesome Melody Simmons

Excerpt from Guardian featuring Magnus and Ever

Magnus’ internal heads-up display streamed with text. It warned him of the number, size, and power of the incoming enemies.

He didn’t panic. He couldn’t panic. He had emotional dampeners that kept him cool and focused. With a simple command, he could compartmentalize any emotions he might feel. Generally, he left his dampeners running all the time.

Life was far more efficient without emotions.

He strode towards the body of the Earth woman. A fighter charged at him with a wild, desperate cry. Magnus simply smacked the man with his cybernetic arm and sent him flying.

Another fighter leaped in front of him, swinging a ragged sword made of scrap metal. He lifted the sword above his head, and thrust it toward Magnus.

Magnus’ cybernetic hand flashed out and he caught the blade in his palm. There was no way the dull sword could penetrate his high-tech metallic skin. As comprehension dawned, the fighter’s eyes opened in shock. With his organic arm, Magnus slammed a hard punch into the man’s face. He collapsed in the sand.

Finally, Magnus reached the woman.

He crouched, ready to pick her up, and suddenly she rolled, throwing sand into his eyes. It had no effect on his artificial eye, but his right eye stung a little. He blocked the pain.

The woman was already launching her attack, her arm swinging in a practiced move.

He caught her fist in his and finally looked at her face.

No. It couldn’t be. He knew this woman.

Shock penetrated through his dampeners. She shifted, bringing her knee up. He deflected the blow and yanked her in close. He catalogued her appearance in a second. Tall, fit, more muscular than her sister. She wore loose-fitting leather armor. Black hair with a slight curl, and eyes the same pale green as her sibling. Although those eyes were currently dull, and under the influence of the silver implant at her temple.

Attractive.

Magnus frowned internally. He was cataloging facts, not constructing a personal opinion about what Ever Haynes looked like. His program must have a glitch.

How did he know her? He was sure he’d only ever seen her picture before. But with her pressed against his body, something whispered through him. A memory. A bone-deep knowledge of her he shouldn’t have.

She shoved against him, and this time, he lifted her off the ground. She made a snarling sound, then slammed her head forward and headbutted him.

Drak. Pain flared.

He dropped her, and took a step back. She came at him again, and he gripped her arms. They scuffled across the sand, and he fought hard to subdue her without hurting her. She was very well-trained.

His gaze moved to the implant embedded at her temple. His systems scanned it, and he knew he needed to short-circuit it to release her from its control.

He touched the implant and shot an electrical impulse through it.

She let out a cry and collapsed. Magnus lowered her to the ground, and this time, when she turned her head, he saw pain-filled eyes.

“You.” Her voice was low and husky.

“You know me?” he asked, frowning.

“Yes…” Her eyes fluttered, and then her face contorted.

Something was wrong. A red warning flashed on his controls. Her heart rate was decreasing.

Drak. He touched the implant again and her vitals evened out. The Thraxians had tied the implant to her main systems. Magnus cursed again. And he’d just fried it. Without it, she’d die.

His jaw hardened, unfamiliar emotions churning inside him. He had an expert medical team that dealt with cyborg implants. They would find a way to remove it.

“Can’t…breathe.” She tore at the armor on her chest.

Magnus helped her remove it.

She heaved in a breath. “Help me.”

“I will, Ever. Your sister’s here. We’re getting you out of here.”

“Neve.” Her face went pale and she grabbed his organic hand. She pressed it to her abdomen. “Please, help me.”

Magnus went still. Her stomach was swollen and rounded. It had been hidden beneath the armor. His sensors picked up a second, faint heartbeat inside her.

“Please, help the baby.”

Ever Haynes was pregnant.

The words echoed in him. Magnus was unable to procreate and had never given any thought to children. But now that faint heartbeat whispered through him, along with a strange sense of awareness.

The primitive need to protect her slammed into him. Monitoring her implant and vitals, he scooped her carefully into his arms. Whatever had happened to her, he was going to ensure she was safe…and that no one ever harmed her or her child again.

 

Galactic Gladiators Merchandise

For the Galactic Gladiators fans…would you like to get your hands on your own House of Galen gladiators? Check out all the new Galactic Gladiators products in my Zazzle store.

Anna Hackett Store

Galactic Gladiators Paperback Giveaway

To celebrate the Cyborg cover reveal, I am giving away FOUR signed Galactic Gladiators paperbacks to four lucky winners. Winner’s choice from what I have on hand.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open internationally and closes on Wed 28th March. Winners notified by email by 31st March. You DO NOT have to use every option below to enter. Just select the one(s) you prefer to do.