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:

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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!

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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!

Anna Hackett Store

SFR Read: Alien Attraction (Alien Mate 2) by Cara Bristol

If you are looking for a sci-fi romance to read while you wait for Imperator, then make sure you check out Cara Bristol’s latest, Alien Attraction!

This one is sitting in my TBR and is reality show meets sci-fi romance!

How insane is it to marry an alien as a publicity stunt?

I’m Sunny Weathers. You probably recognize me from my reality show, Sunny Weathers’ Excellent Adventures. I’ve had to perform a lot of crazy stunts in my career, but this one takes the cake! The producers are sending me to another planet to become an alien’s mail-order bride. I’m not allowed to tell anybody it’s a put-on, and as soon my contract is up, I’ll be leaving planet Dakon. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on my attraction to Mr. Tall, “Darq,” and Handsome…

I’m Darq. The moment I laid eyes on the female with pretty mud-colored hair and a sunny smile, I knew she was mine. Competition for females is fierce, and I was determined to claim a mate from the latest shipment from Earth, so I broke the rules. If anyone finds out, my own brother will banish me to the icy wilderness, and I’ll lose my mate. I will do anything to keep her…

 

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Cara also donated a signed paperback from her cyborg series Cy-Ops to help celebrate the Galactic Gladiators cover reveal of Imperator. Pop over to the cover reveal to enter the giveaway!

Hell Squad Quiz: Find Your Hell Squad Job

With Hell Squad: Manu about to come out, I thought we could have a little bit of fun! Take the fun little quiz below to find out what your perfect job in the Hell Squad world is…

Let me know in the comments what you got!

 

More Info

Cover Reveal: Hell Squad – Manu

It is time to check in with the Hell Squad gang again! Today I have the cover of Hell Squad: Manu to show you.

This time, the oldest Rahia brother, Manu, is going head to head with the Enclave’s head of security, Captain Kate Scott. Manu is big, muscled, and knows what he wants…and what he wants is Kate!

Of course I have a giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal. I have some super cute plush rexes to give away along with some signed Hell Squad paperbacks and trading cards. Scroll down to the bottom to enter the giveaway.

Manu
Hell Squad #16
Release Date: Tuesday May 8th

Cover art by the awesome Melody Simmons

Excerpt from Levi featuring Manu and Kate

Manu finished setting the last batch of charges under some stacked crates. Swiveling, he jogged back toward the pickup point, trusting his armor’s illusion system and the darkness to keep him hidden from the nearby raptors.

He pushed for more speed. He was almost as fast as he’d been before his prosthetic leg. It was state-of-the-art, stolen by Hemi and Tane when they’d snuck into the city to find it for him. They’d been more upset when he’d lost his leg than he had.

Manu had trained hard on the treadmill to adjust to his different balance, and it had paid off. He lengthened his stride, enjoying being outside.

He lifted his head and saw the Gizzida mothership looming above.

Okay, maybe he wasn’t enjoying being outside as much as he could. Anger—sharp and visceral—cut through his gut.

These motherfuckers had come here to take and destroy. Manu had no idea if his family—his beloved mother—in New Zealand had made it. The Rahia clan had been sprawling and close, and he knew in his heart that not all of them would have made it.

And the bastards had taken his leg. He might have adjusted to life without it, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t lay the blame where it was deserved.

The Gizzida had thought Earth was going to be an easy target. Manu smiled grimly. They’d been wrong.

Ahead, he saw a sagging wire fence and a row of warehouses beyond it.

“Incoming,” he murmured.

“We see you,” the cool female voice in his earpiece replied.

He wondered if that voice ever heated. Did she get angry? Did that voice turn husky when she was turned on?

Not now, Manu.

He quickly scaled the fence, cursing when his prosthetic foot slipped. He paused, adjusted, and kept moving. He dropped down on the other side and ran.

His practiced eye spotted the shimmer that he knew was the camouflaged Hawk. They’d taken a huge fucking risk parking themselves practically on top of the alien mothership, but they’d had no choice.

As he approached, the side door slid open. He saw Captain Kate Scott waving him aboard.

Manu took two steps and jumped. He landed inside the Hawk, wincing when he felt a pain flare up his thigh, where his prosthetic was attached.

Kate slammed the door closed. “Let’s go.”

Manu nodded his thanks, and then turned to the rest of his makeshift team. “Jacob, you ready to set those charges off?”

The young man nodded. “Yes, sir.”

Damn, the boy made Manu feel old. With a small lurch, the Hawk lifted off.

“Then do it,” Manu ordered.

The man lifted his small detonator and thumbed the control. The first explosion made the Hawk rock as they rose higher in the air. Manu leaned against the side door, looking out the small window. Below, he saw the explosion had the raptors scrambling.

A second explosion followed, moments later.

“Bring us around,” Manu called out to the pilot.

The Hawk wheeled around to the left.

Below, the ground rumbled and flared with more explosions, but Manu knew there weren’t many left. It wasn’t enough.

He palmed the specially modified grenades clipped to his belt. They were his own creations. Running the firing range at the Enclave kept him busy, but he always had time on his hands to play. Especially with things that made aliens go boom.

He pulled the door open, the wind rushing into his face.

“What are you doing?” Kate called out.

He lifted a grenade. “Making more of a mess.” He activated the explosive and tossed it over the side.

Manu watched it fall until it was out of sight. One. Two. Three. Four.

Boom.

“Wow.” A young female soldier leaned in from behind Manu. “Those things pack a punch.”

“Sure do. Maddy, fly closer to the mothership.”

The female pilot yelled back, “On it, Manu.”

God, he’d missed this. He thought about his brothers, out there risking their lives. He hoped to hell they were okay, and that he could buy them enough time.

“Berserkers are tough.”

Kate’s voice made him glance up. She wasn’t even looking at him, but she’d clearly read his mood. She was sitting on the cannon beside him, her hands light on the controls.

“They’ll make it,” she said, matter-of-factly. “So, let’s keep these aliens busy so your brothers can get away.”

Hell, yeah. Manu yanked more grenades off his belt, handing one to the soldier hovering behind him. The woman’s eyes lit up as she took it.

They dropped several more and were doing another pass, when projectiles peppered the side of the Hawk.

Fuck. Manu ducked back, cursing under his breath. “Shit, can they see us?”

Kate shook her head. “They’re guessing from the trajectory of the bombs. Sniper.”

Manu had one more grenade in his hand. He leaned out again and tossed it.

More bone-like projectiles slammed into the Hawk. Kate swiveled her cannon, her face intent. “I see him.”

She opened fire. Manu watched the laser arc through the sky seconds before a small building below went up in rubble and flames. He saw the body of a raptor get tossed into the air. Smoke billowed upward. Hell, she was good.

“You got him!” Manu turned his head, looking into cool, blue eyes. “Nice shooting.”

She gave one short nod.

“Oh, God, surface-to-air missiles incoming!” Maddy’s panicked shout from the cockpit. “Everyone hold on!”

The young pilot threw the Hawk into evasive maneuvers. Manu grabbed the side of the door, holding tight. He needed to get the door closed. He reached for the latch, but a second later, the Hawk jerked wildly.

“One rotor’s hit!” Kate yelled.

The Hawk shuddered, tilting to the side.

Manu lost his grip, sliding toward the open door.

Shit. He reached out, trying to grab onto something to stop his slide.

Suddenly, a body slammed into him, knocking him in the opposite direction and back into the Hawk. They hit the floor, Manu on the bottom and Kate on top.

The Hawk leveled out.

“Jacob, get that door closed,” Kate ordered.

“Yes, Captain.”

Kate looked down at Manu. “Are you all right?”

“I am. Thanks to you.”

“Don’t mention it.” Her hands flexed on his chest, like she was about to push off him. Her gaze dropped down, skating down his body.

Manu was suddenly aware of the compact, curvy body under her fatigues. Strong legs were straddling his hips. Manu was a big man, and he’d always liked strength in a woman.

Her gaze lifted and met his. For the briefest second, he saw a flash of heat in the blue before she hid it.

She quickly climbed off him. “Maddy, report?”

“We’re okay,” the pilot called back. “We can make it back to base. And I just got an update from the Enclave. Squad Three made it! They’re on their way back.”

Manu sat up, releasing a breath. Thank God.

His gaze drifted back to the oh-so-capable Captain Scott. That small glimpse of heat had intrigued him.

He’d noticed her before. She was about his age, fit and athletic, and spent a lot of time in the firing range. But she was serious, worked a lot, and kept to herself. She was contained. Usually, Manu had always been attracted to outgoing women with a healthy sense of humor.

But something about the composed captain got to him. And he’d always been a man who liked getting to the bottom of things.

“Let’s go home,” he called out. “We’ve all earned the right to get back and celebrate.”

The volunteers cheered, and the captain studiously avoided looking at him.

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