I read George Orwell’s 1984 in school, but I had no idea back then I would one day be living it. I’m sure none of us did.
I went to the grocery today. I went at 7:15 in the morning, and by myself, because I’d already heard they weren’t going to let Bruce tag along with me. The parking lot was full when I arrived. There was one door letting people into the store and another ushering people out. I was counted both on entry and exit because only a fixed number were allowed to shop at a given time.
For once, the store was partially stocked with food, instead of being mostly empty as it had been on my previous trips during the last month, but there were signs over most items stipulating the limits of what I could buy. I pushed my sanitized cart through the aisles and waited for my turn when multiple people hovered near something I needed.
People were watching me shop the entire time to make sure I stayed 6 feet away from other shoppers. Some shoppers wore masks. Some wore gloves. Some wore both. Others like me–Baby Boomer rebel that I am–wore neither. I’m blaming my youthful years for my resistant attitude, but I’m sure my mental state is a lot more complicated.
I’m not going to apologize for my stubbornness or my need to be a little in denial. Please–no lectures. I get enough of those from my always prepared Marine husband. Next time I go, I probably will wear a mask, but today I was winging it. I hadn’t gone anywhere alone in weeks.
Okay… well… I’m not a complete rebel. I did have a tiny hand-sanitizer in my pocket, one of those “mini” ones from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that I’m sure someone got me for Christmas. I used it before I went into the store and after everything was loaded into the car. I don’t like it. I think in the big picture sanitizer and all anti-bacterial products compromise our immune systems. But the virus alternative is worse. I guess. Unable to mentally wade through all the daily bombardment of information and misinformation, I’m choosing not to listen to the news. I prefer to rely on common sense and caution and trying to keep my husband from being insane with worry.
However… despite the danger… I refuse to live in complete abject fear of every human interaction I have. I was raised to be nice, and friendly, and polite. I’m not saying all my choices this morning were smart. I’m just sharing how I felt about what happened today.
At the checkout line on the very clean floors of the store I shopped, there were do-not-cross lines which were precisely measured for maximum safety. Not a single rebellious person was in sight as I waited my turn. I think the other rebellious people were all like me–hyperventilating with panic on the inside while lecturing themselves about acting like a grownup instead of being freaked out.
This week I’m featuring another talented author from the USA Today Bestselling Pets In Space 4 Anthology. Welcome, Regine Abel!
It’s such an honor to have been invited to participate in the Pets in Space Anthology this year alongside such a fabulous line up of sci-fi romance authors. Coming up with which story to write has been instantly clear to me.
I had always wished to write my own spin on the transfer of consciousness theme found in The Matrix, but I wanted the whole thing happening in the real world. This led to the creation of the Xian Warriors and their Soulcatchers: the psychic women of the Vanguard capable of holding the souls of fallen warriors until their rebirth. Ever since I published Legion, the first book in my Xian Warriors series, I knew that I needed to write the origin story of the human Soulcatchers. It only made sense to seize this opportunity to introduce Doom and his woman, Victoria, the very first alien and human female couple in Earth’s history. Seeing how most of my sci-fi romance novels have epic battles, and how Doom is a badass, genetically engineered super warrior, my pet in space was bound to be some kind of war creature.
Stran is a Creckel, a warrior beast that resembles a pangolin with a dragon head. Bigger than a Tibetan mastiff, he’s covered with thick, dark scales that protect him from almost any form of damage when he rolls up into a ball. As Doom’s lifelong friend and war companion, he has come to Earth to help free humanity from the Kryptid invaders who had also previously attacked his homeworld. Though he cannot speak, Stran is extremely smart and can communicate through telepathic imagery. The minute he sees Victoria, he recognizes her as his best friend’s soulmate and becomes extremely protective of her.
Here’s a little snippet from Doom featuring Victoria and Stran, shortly after they first meet amidst a massive Kryptid invasion:
Although his companions fought as savagely as he, I couldn’t take my eyes off Doom. I couldn’t say if it was because he’d been the one to talk to me, or the gentle, respectful tone of his voice when he’d addressed me. All I knew was that for the first time in two weeks, since the beginning of the dreadful invasion, I felt a sliver of hope.
A cold wetness on my hand startled me. I looked down to see Stran rubbing his dragon snout on my palm then lowering his head so that my hand would rest atop it. While I’d been busy gaping at his friend, the Creckel had closed the distance between us.
“Thank you for saving me, Stran,” I said in a gentle voice while caressing the top of his head, careful not to cut myself on the sharp horns fanning across his forehead.
He emitted a deep sound, halfway between a growl and a purr, then lifted his chin, exposing the leathery underside of his neck. I grinned and scratched his neck. The Creckel rewarded me with an even louder purr. Although he clearly enjoyed getting petted, he pulled away from my touch, licked my hand with his forked, lizard tongue, then looked around us, keeping watch for possible aggressors.
At last, a sense of safety washed over me. Humans weren’t alone. And maybe, just maybe, we had a chance after all.
Grab your copy of Pets in Space® 4 today! For a limited time, Pets in Space® 4 brings together today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors to help Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that helps our service veterans and first responders.
CLICK this link for all the Buy Links: https://www.petsinspaceantho.com/books/pets-in-space-4/
Author Website: https://www.regineabel.com
Cats, Dogs and Other Worldly Creatures Books is thrilled to announce that the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning Pets in Space® anthology is back for its 4th year!
Pets in Space® 4 released on October 8th, 2019 and once again, 10% of pre-orders and the 1st month’s royalties go to Hero-Dogs.org who raise, train & place support dogs with U.S. veterans.
Contributing authors this year are 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. I hope you are as excited as we are!
Like romantic comedy with a feel good ending? Like a story where the good guy wins the girl?
Aliens In Kilts is the silliest, spoofiest, craziest series I’ve written, and yes, I’m making fun of alien abductions, as well as every other SciFi trope out there. Sorry Whovians, Trekkies, and those who have the Force strong within them because my Irish hero and heroine have no idea about any of that.
Angus MacNamara and Erin O’Shea are ground up technophobes from the 1950s who are trying as hard as they can to catch up. That’s not easy when they’re dealing with time travel, space portals, growling aliens, and knowing that nearly everyone they meet is keeping secrets from them. Add in the expectation to use their matchmaking skills to run a dating agency set up to keep Earth from being attacked and you get a real mess
It’s hard to fully explain the humor in these books, but if like movies like Galaxy Quest, Spaceballs, or more recently Guardians of the Galaxy, then you’re going to like this series.
The stories do have a bit more language than usual… but in my world, as well as in the one that abducts Angus and Erin, I prefer to think Irish swearing doesn’t count. Their passion sets them apart.
These might possibly be the funniest action and adventure stories I’ve ever written. Get your copy of Matchmaker Abduction and see if you agree.