Love Across the Universe
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Stars and Stone Books
Date of Publication: August 1 2017
12 Stories of Science Fiction Romance Set on Intergalactic Shore
Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft or time machine and travel across time and space with these thirteen tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars.
Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, A.E. Hayes, Sheri Queen, M.T. DeSantis, L.J. Longo, K.W. Taylor, Mary Rogers, Elsa M. Carruthers, Emmerite Sundberg, Serena Jayne, and Oriana Maret.
If she can only save one thing, which will it be—the red beaches of Mars or a love she can’t imagine living without?
Bria has just been fired from her job as an ecologist at Trans Life Corp, the global leader in virtual reality living, and she’s devastated that her life’s work has ended with nothing more than a pink chip severance package. She’s been deemed obsolete in a world where every aspect of life has been automated, and even relationships are carried out in virtual environments. Then Bria’s sister, Samira, enters her in a singles sweepstakes to an exclusive Mars resort to force Bria to have a little fun for once, and Bria is one of the lucky winners.
Thayne is the owner of the exclusive Mars resort and has set his sights on expanding to a remote area on the other side of the planet. He is looking for the right person to lead his new venture when he comes across Bria. She’s exactly what he needs. His success is driven by his gift for acquiring rare talent, and he always gets what he wants—until now.
Bria refuses Thayne’s job offer. She’s not interested in helping destroy another ecosystem for corporate greed, and she’s definitely not interested in any kind of romantic entanglement—virtual or real. Yet despite her better judgment, she’s drawn to his zest for life and his creative nature. But finding a way to keep their clashing values from destroying their chance at love proves harder than Bria could have thought possible.
About the Author:
Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. She especially loves visiting old graveyards.
A Dream to Build a Kiss On
A Dreamworld Short Novella
Can passion bloom between a bookish botanist and an analytical android?
Adam has served as a devoted assistant since the day he was created twenty-six years ago. His ordered world centers on logic and logistics, until a strong solar flare causes a glitch in his synthe-soul circuits and his normal routines are thrown into chaos. In a flash, his universe is filled with wild, dark desires that until now Adam has only imagined.
Jillian Lewis has spent her entire career in search of the rare, elusive Shadow Moondrop Orchid. She’s forsaken any semblance of a normal life in pursuit of her goal and now has the ultimate prize within her reach. By securing a coveted invitation to the fabled Dreamworld Resort, she has just three days in which to locate and record her once-a-century flower before it disappears again.
With the clock ticking, will they surrender to the unpredictability of love or will their chance at forever disappear like stardust on the summer wind?
About the Author:
Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order.
Newsletter Sign-Up: http://tracidouglass.net/author-newsletter/
Iyonne has despaired of ever finding the right woman for her. But when she crash-lands on a seemingly uninhabited planet, she finds her. Sissiasandra has been alone for so long, the last of her kind. She believes that she will never again know love. Until Iyonne walks onto her beach. The two fall in love instantly, but there is one big hurdle to their happy ending. Iyonne cannot live in the ocean, and Sissiasandra cannot leave the sea to walk on land. Will they overcome their separation or are they doomed to live alone forever?
About the Author:
Sundberg is the friend of dragons and mother of chinchillas. She spends her time pairing people with good books. She lives in Pennsylvania with her two bunnies and five chinchillas.
You Only Love Once
Carpe diem the hell out of love.
In the year 2222, venturing outdoors is dangerous. Exposure to the searing ultraviolet rays of the sun could turn anyone into a crispy critter. The ocean is a toxic stew of chemicals and home to a horror show of mutant monsters. When a three-eyed creature skulks out of the sea to nibble on Leo, his beautiful neighbor comes to the rescue.
Since the tragic accident that resulted in Ivy’s cybernetic limb, she’s embraced the mantra “you only live once,” but her dangerous plans might be more a death wish than a desire to carpe diem the hell out of life.
Can Leo convince Ivy that nothing makes a person feel more alive than taking a chance on love?
About the Author:
Serena Jayne loves experimenting with different genres and mythologies. Anti-heroes and quirky characters are her favorites to write. While her first love is paranormal fiction, the mundane world provides plenty of plot bunnies. She studies Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University and is a member of Romance Writers of America.
Breakfast on Pluto
A chance encounter with a man she could love causes Princess Kerrinda of Kerberos to make a choice – do what her people expect and need, or follow her heart. Prince Belloch may not be the one she chooses, but what happens if he is?
About the Author:
Mary Rogers is a Brooklyn native now living in Southern California with her husband, her kids, and too many rescue animals. Completely addicted to romance – she decided to write it. She is inspired by her swoon-worthy hubby, her children, her spoiled pets, and the best friends in the universe. They teach her daily the meaning of love. She also appreciates the wine.
One mysterious being. Two lovers who find her. Can this threesome handle the heat of this scorching summer?
Tristan works for the American government, but rarely speaks about his job. Why? Because his job involves intergalactic travel. Despite the fact that the year is 2041 and human beings are now capable to travel at faster-than-light speeds, Tristan’s projects are often kept secret – hidden even from his girlfriend, Cassandra.
When Tristan reveals to Cassandra that they are going to take a special trip to Delmar, a planet located in a different solar system that is mostly comprised of beaches and oceans, Cassandra is ecstatic. The planet was recently discovered by Tristan and his team, and so far, very few people have used it as a vacation spot.
Cassandra and Tristan pack their bags and safely travel to Delmar, finding themselves surrounded by beautiful beaches with white sand, sparkling turquoise waters, and a strange line of trees lining the perimeter of the particular beach they have chosen to visit.
During some intense foreplay on the deserted beach, Cassandra and Tristan are startled to hear movement coming from the trees behind them. When they stop to look, they see a beautiful female emerge. She tells them that her name is Lynx, and that she is an inhabitant of the planet. Tristan is baffled, as he was unaware that the planet allowed for immigration and human habitation. And when Lynx expresses her fondness for Tristan’s body and Cassandra’s golden “star eyes,” Tristan and Cassandra find themselves attracted to her. But should they give in to this strange, beautiful inhabitant of Delmar? And if they do – what might possibly happen to them?
About the Author:
A.E. Hayes is a published author who has been writing since the age of four. She has been featured under various pseudonyms in myriad novels, anthologies, poetry collections, music magazines, and newspapers. Her memoir, “Shattered: Memoirs of an Amnesiac,” is set to be released on September 12th, 2017.
She is currently finishing her 6th fiction novel, “On Common Ground,” writing for the upcoming sci-fi romance anthology “Love Across the Universe,” (which will be released August 1st, 2017), as well as writing a paranormal sci-fi story for the upcoming graphic novel “The Eynes Anthology.”
She studied English and Writing at Hood College, where she earned her B.A., and later studied Fiction Writing at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. A.E. resides in Maryland with her husband and son, and when she isn’t writing or singing (or doing both at the same time), she spends her time drinking far too much coffee, logging miles by pacing around the living room floor in order to make her Fitbit happy, studying the violin, pretending to be a Cylon, and plotting ideas for several new projects (which usually happens during her living room pacing time).
A soldier and a café manager find themselves trapped beneath the surface of a resort by the deadly beasts native to the planet. As they fight to survive, they discover danger is a potent aphrodisiac.
As part of a hidden military outfit protecting rich civilians as they vacation on the resort planet Pangaea, Nathan Oyola planned to keep secrets, fight aliens, and maybe tan under the rays of an artificial sun. What he did not expect was to fall for his so-called boss, the manager of the café located directly above the aliens’ nest. When the native wildlife starts behaving more aggressive and strange than usual, how will Nathan keep them secret and keep his new-found love safe.
All B+ut You
Elsa M. Carruthers
In a world where looks are so important that Genetic Modification is standard procedure, how will those without Genetic Modification cope, let alone find love?
About the Author:
Elsa is a speculative fiction writer, academic, and poet. She lives in California with her family. In 2011, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing and English from Seton Hill University. Since graduating, Elsa’s work has been published in several anthologies, magazines, and e-zines.
Elsa is an active member of HWA, RWA, SFPA, IAFA, and the Poetry Foundation. She regularly attends writing conventions and loves meeting new people!
The Pirates and the Pacifist
Kai doesn’t believe in violence. Sam and Dek believe the ends justify the means. Will passion be enough to bridge the gap between the pacifist sent to broker galactic peace and the space pirates hired to keep him away at all costs?
Kaikoa met Sameer and Dek—leaders of a crew of sometimes space pirates—when they abducted Kai and kept him from attending an important peace summit. But when the pirates’ payment never appeared and a gunship showed up instead, Kai, Sam, and Dek found themselves on the same side of a galactic conflict–and tumbling headlong into a reckless passion.
Now they are searching for the truth about who hired the pirates to keep Kai from the summit—and whether the enemy wants one side to win, or simply chaos in the galaxy. But when the allies find the ones who double-crossed them on a terraformed resort moon, will Dek and Sam follow their new lover’s pacifist wishes, or will the pirate code of an eye for an eye tear their fragile threesome apart?
About the Author:
Cara McKinnon is the author of the Fay of Skye fantasy romance series. She is addicted to adding magic to other genres and creating fantasy hybrids. She earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, where she found her writing tribe. She lives on the East Coast of the US with her husband, two kids, and an oversized lapdog named Jake.
The Princess of Sands
The solar panel that powers the Sand Palace Hotel on planet Andala is failing. The hotel’s tyrannical owner will go to any length to secure a new panel, including arranging a marriage for his only daughter, Eliara Desanthar. Unable to reconcile marrying to benefit her father, Eliara sneaks aboard a ship in the castle’s landing bay, ready to make her escape.
But this ship is no ordinary vessel. It carries Prince Randroth of Belmret, who is on a diplomatic mission to Andala. When Eliara accidentally tries to hide in the prince’s chambers, Randroth vows to protect the terrified but beautiful girl, even if it means destroying relations between the two planets.
Unaware Randroth is her betrothed, Eliara returns with him to Belmret, where fun-in-the-sun, deep passion, and trapping revelations await.
And the truth might not set them free.
About the Author:
M.T. DeSantis currently resides in a small city on the U.S. eastern seaboard. When not writing, she can be found practicing yoga, attempting to answer trivia questions at restaurants, or plotting her next adventure.
She’ll brave the arms of destruction to shed the arms that betrayed.
When Kestrel discovers Mercer is alive and well, she embarks on a dangerous journey to escape the pain of his jilt. When Mercer turns the tables, Kestrel discovers the true meaning of betrayal, and the ultimate cost of love.
The antique film credits roll, and Kestrel strips the ocular screen from her brow. She stuffs the device into the bin at her knees and taps the evac release. Never violate your own rules. No romance means no romance because it’s rot. The silver screen disappears with a whoosh deeper into the guts of Galaxy Delivers, Inc. The next time she volunteers as previewer for Galaxy’s annual ancient films revel she’ll select a sci-fi meat grinder like The Whirling Vortex. Her vision blurs with tears. Not some thrashing B-list not happily-ever-after space-love pile of…
“Rot,” she whispers.
The film won’t get a thumb’s up from her. The leading lady dies of Veneda Syndrome. The star expires moments before medical staff can wrap molecular stabilizers around her body that’s eaten up by rogue cell necrosis. Nothing romantic about that. Even less inspiring is her lover’s desertion.
The room seems to shrink. Kestrel’s cubicle is wedged into a precise row of ten cubicles in a room of ten rows by ten. It’s in the ground floor of the Galaxy Delivers, Inc. spire that juts one hundred stories into planet Jaster’s ocher skies. The spire’s weight pins Kestrel to her roller chair. She sips antiseptic air in shallow breaths.
Unlike her co-operators’ empty gray desktops, hers is littered with antique novelties.
All gifts from him.
A calendar of curling paper the color of jaundiced skin leans against the back partition. It was his first gift. “To celebrate our first month together,” he’d said.
Kestrel runs a finger over the tarnished silver spoon he gave her at the close of month two. “For the lady who appreciates history.”
She lifts the ocean blue candle and inhales its sweet scent. “To match your eyes.” He’d kissed her, and that night she’d lost herself in Mercer Eridanus’s orbit. Even now her lips tingle.
With trembling fingers, she strokes the wire rim glasses that rest like a paperweight on top of the spacer license Mercer helped her earn. He’d called her a white-knuckle flier.
“My knuckles aren’t white.”
“No,” he’d said. “Mine are.”
The license isn’t worth sand these days because of Tabara Gold’s desquamation. A sister planet that sheds chunks of its surface the size of mountains tends to discourage transportation and trade.
Kestrel uncurls her left hand.
She hasn’t worn it in a year—the swirling platinum strands of precious metal that clasp a brilliant cut diamond as its prize. Her gaze strays to the paper calendar’s single digit number. Mercer proposed marriage one year ago today.
She’s memorized his note: Dear Kes—it could never work. I’m jumping a hyper-shot freighter out of Tabara Gold. The universe calls, babe. I’m sorry.
A good thing she doesn’t have Veneda Syndrome.
His note is twenty-two words. Where in twenty-two words is the essence of a man who combs antique slums on two planets to locate an artifact to celebrate each month of romance? He isn’t a man who ditches responsibilities and hyper-shots away. But he did leave.
And now he’s back.
The gossip grills who document Adalon City’s social scene breathlessly welcomed him home. Apparently, Mercer’sshadow is enough to send females aged two to one-hundred-seventeen into vapes. Men want Mercer for cards, bar jaunts, investment advice, jet races…
Three days have passed since she’s learned he breathes Adalon’s air. Three days.
The answer is that he regretted his proposal because she never fit Adalon’s scene—that whirling show of parties, fizzy drinks, and false laughter. When did he ever, ever take her about? His silence proves she should move on with her life. He is.
She stuffs the ring into a pocket.
Love absorbs and expands beyond its capacity, but when it dries up it’s stiff and useless. If not for the sister planet’s annoying skin peel, she’d blast through Adalon City’s ochre skies, break clean of Jaster’s gravitational pull, and run and run and never stop.
Instead, she’s here.
Operators’ voices hum as color-coded deliveries pour in at a rate of two every fifteen-point-three seconds. The operators sort the bids and roll them up onto the giant boards that march around the room. Competitor operators in fifteen buildings around Adalon City vie for the bids. In a city of millions, there’s money in messages and packages. Galaxydelivers.
Kes taps her temple, and her implant flickers behind her eyes. Pain streaks up her shin.
Bending double, she spies a pair of boots the size of freighters on a guy in the row opposite. She kicks. Never met him, so who cares?
“Hey!” The gray partition muffles his voice. “Watch it.”
“You watch it,” she snaps. “Keep your space boats to yourself.”
“Thrashing-A, Kes.” The voice of the operator next to her climbs an octave. “You got a thrashing blue to bid!”
Heads pop up. Blue…ah, blue…sighs off every tongue.
Kestrel launches to her feet. A job coded red is bound for Jaster’s far side; pink is for local delivery. Blue—beautiful, brilliant, and rare blue—is OWDR: off-world delivery required, baby. While she’s been gathering linen—or is the saying wool?—the blue flitted through her queue.
Blip! It disappears.
The blue’s been snagged by number 100: the top of the spire; Theodosia Galaxy, CEO of Galaxy Delivers, Inc.
Adalon’s delivery industry is no place for swimmers afraid of sharks. The gossip grills report Ms. Galaxy’s balls live in one tower, her body in another. Until Tabara Gold’s demasquation ends, the sister planet puts a choke-hold on Jaster’s economy. No doubt Ms. Galaxy will cut the other companies’ jugulars to win the off-world job and a fat commission.
Kestrel snatches her spacer license. The universe propels her down the perfect rows and fifty steps to the lift. She slides in, taps the round button marked 100, and the reflective gold doors glide shut. She’s a big-eyed, tight-jawed slash of pale skin in loose clothing drenched in shadows.
There’s only one way to clear the dust of this past year’s desert experience. Theodosia Galaxy will win the bid to deliver the package, and Kestrel will fly the mother-thrashing thing down the throat of a whirling vortex if it means putting space, and lots of it, between her and Mercer.
About the Author:
Oriana Maret is a science fiction writer whose careers include the military, corporate sales and management in cancer genetic diagnostics, and nonprofit brand management. She’ll earn an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2018.