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How do you define desperate? This might qualify! SFFS for May 4

asmalldegreeofhope3This month, my Science Fiction and Fantasy snippets will likely all be about my June release, A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, coming from Lyrical Press. It’s a sci-fi romance with an unusual twist. Everyone can understand the appear of cuddling with a warm, furry werewolf now and again, but in this story our shapeshifter is an alien reptile.

To be fair, Griff is a “good guy.”  When his kind come to the planet Andan, determined to make over the female population into lizard breeders, Griff comes to stop them. He also falls in love with the cop investigating the resulting deaths, Kylie Sanderson. When she’s captured by Griff’s brethren, she goes through a bit of hell:


The reptiles passed an electronic device over the lock, and the door released. The women didn’t react, but kept mournfully rocking, even after the reptiles entered the cage and closed the door. Each approached one of the women, making an odd, throaty sound almost like purring.

As though hypnotized, the women’s moaning stopped. Each laid her head against the broad gray chest of a reptile male, who stroked her back rhythmically, comforting her as if she was a child having a bad dream. Nothing romantic about it–certainly nothing sexual. The point had to be the test of control.

When the lizards quieted, the women stumbled away from their captors, tortured sounds issuing from their throats. The look in their eyes, though, more hopeless, desperate, even, than those of war prison camp survivors. Such horror.


Is Kylie going to be changed into a reptile, too? Or will Griff’s desperate attempt to bring her back succumb to the iron will of his kind?

SFFSat logoFind out June 3, from Lyrical Press!

Find other great science fiction and fantasy snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday this week and every week.

Read more about this book, including several other promotional stops/excerpts at the tab above! May the fourth be with you!!

Sneak a peek at my new Sci-fi romance!

asmalldegreeofhope3Hello, Sneaky-Peekers! Hope your Sunday is going well, and that you’re getting some time to just relax and do what you want to do.

Today I have for you something a little different. (Yes, I know I say that about a lot of my books….but then a lot of my books are a little different!) Today’s  excerpt is from my soon-to-be-released science fiction romance A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE. Here’s the scoop from the back cover:

TAG: Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?


I really love this story because it takes the concept of falling in love with a shapeshifter (wolf/bear/Loch Ness monster/bat/whatever) and adds an alien twist! See if you like this cut, taken from a point where Griff’s been captured and Kylie’s the officer assigned to interrogate him:


“I want to talk to you.”

“Then talk. I’m right here.”

“No. Talk to you.” He whirled, almost faster than her eyes could follow. Taking the thin mattress off the narrow bunk, he ripped it in half. Claws flashed out of his fingertips amid the shredded bits of cheap stuffing that showered the room. As the detritus settled, he glared at the monitor. “Talk to you like equal being. Face to face. I tried. You won’t let me! Now one is probably lost, maybe more because you are too inflexible to listen.”

Only when she realized she was holding her breath did Kylie notice the others had done the same. They’d frozen at the demonstration of Griff’s swiftness and power. She made herself breathe as she gathered her thoughts. Those claws. An inch long at least. He wanted her to go in there with him.

Her nerves tingled. “You keep saying women are going to die. But you won’t tell us where they are. You won’t help, like you say you want to. This shows me you don’t really mean what you say. You’re going to let those women die. You’ll be an accessory, Griff. You’ll go to prison.”

He turned away. “Then you are, too. Because you won’t listen.”


Fortunately, Kylie realizes there’s more to this reptile/man than meets the eye. Enough more that, hounded by her own people, on the run for her life, she realizes Griff is the only one she can count on, no matter what or who he is.

A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE will be a June 3 release from Lyrical Press! Read more about it at the tab above. Can’t wait!

Preview: The 777 Meme – A Small Degree of Hope

Meme: The 777 Meme – A Small Degree of Hope

I  just got tagged in The 777 Meme, which is very much like the Lucky 7 meme from last year. Thanks to Heidi Ruby Miller for tagging me.

1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
2. Go to sentence 7.
3. Copy and post the next 7 sentences as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other writers.

Here’s an excerpt from A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE,  the science fiction shapeshifter romance coming out from Lyrical Press later this year. In this scene, reptile Griff has just escaped from a lab, with the altered Kylie in tow. Her former law enforcement squad awaits them outside and doesn’t like what they see.

The human in front, a squat, balding man just stared, his jaw dropped. “What in Sprechan’s name is that?”

“This is Kylie Sanderson,” her male said. “She has been transformed. I can help, but only if we are quickly taken to a medical facility.”

One of the other men, his gun trained on them, called out, “That’s bullshit, Jaco. He’s just saying that so we don’t turn him into a piece of luggage right now!”

reptile loveDESCRIPTION:
A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is an evolution from the paranormal romance genre, with the shapeshifting hero not a vampire or werewolf, but an alien reptile who’s come to stop his fellow aliens from kidnapping human women and changing them into mindless reptile baby machines.  Heroine Kylie Sanderson is an agent with an elite force investigating the abductions, who ends up much too close to the action.

Back Cover Blurb…

Kylie Sanderson is a lead investigator studying a string of deaths on the planet Andan, where young women have been found, discarded, partially mutated into green, scaly reptiles. In the course of the case she meets Griff, a man who knows much more than he should about the murders. He turns out to be not a man at all, but a shapeshifting alien reptile from a planet where reptiles evolved into intelligent beings instead of mammals.

She learns more than she ever wanted to about these aliens when she is captured and transformed into a female reptile herself. When Griff rescues her, this launches the two of them on a hot-fueled race on the wrong side of the law to thwart the aliens’ plan to convert women into breeding lizard females.

No other human female has survived the transformation, and in finding out why she did, Kylie uncovers long-hidden family secrets that doom her sister Nissa to be a victim of the reptiles as well. Rejected by her family, her friends, and even the rest of her police team, Kylie comes to depend on Griff as her sole support. But is he  her savior or is he leading her back into the clutches of the reptile labs?

Travis McBee
Bertena Varney
Tony Acree

James Peercy
Catherine E. McLean
Tricia Ballad
Edward Eaton

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