Laurel Richards. A Stellar Affair.

I’m very pleased to welcome Laurel Richards to my blog today, especially because I get to congratulate her on her new Samhain Publishing release, A Stellar Affair!


Thank you for having me on your blog, Rosanna. I write a range of fiction, all with some degree of romance mixed in, but I have a special love for sci-fi romance. A Stellar Affair is my new SFR novel from Samhain.

I’m a firm believer that most people across planet Earth basically want the same things. Those things include safety, love, family, friends, the ability to support ourselves and our loved ones, and having our hard work rewarded. To watch the media or listen to the politicians, though, you’d think none of us have anything in common. The news would have us believe that people on different sides of an issue are enemies who can’t possibly get along.

This dichotomy was a large part of the inspiration behind A Stellar Affair. All Ardra really wants is to own her own home and find someone to love. Just when she thinks her dreams have come true, however, her life is ripped from her, and she finds herself plunged into the middle of a war she wants no part of. That’s where she meets Jack—a good guy determined to make a difference in the universe. He started out using his ability to read and manipulate people’s thoughts to heal people and act as a therapist. When his people asked him to use his psychic talents to help their side of the war, though, he answered their call.

Everything changes when Jack meets Ardra. With her, he doesn’t see an enemy. He sees a person. The more he gets to know her, the more he falls for her, and Ardra slowly loses her heart to him too. The two find love in the midst of war. Can they find a way to fight for their dreams?

A Stellar Affair explores the mind and heart and how one can strengthen the other. I tried to keep this novel a lighter read while exploring what really are some very dark topics. I hope readers will enjoy the characters and the universe I’ve created for them.


Sometimes the heart leads and the mind must follow.

Ardra has no idea why she’s been abducted and thrown into a Roimiran interrogation room. She is simply a Tetch botanist on her way to a distant planet, not an enemy spy. She’s scared of the piercing eyes of the mind-reading precept assigned to uncover whatever secrets her mind might be holding. But even more worrying is the strange soul-deep connection between her and her captor.

Jackson Deimos excels at slipping in and out of someone’s memories to retrieve military intelligence deliberately hidden away—even from an unwitting carrier. But Ardra’s brain is a labyrinth of defenses he’s never encountered before. Plus, her beauty shouldn’t be this much of a distraction.

As their battle of wits and wills wears on, their emotions are the first to betray them. But if Jack can’t break through Ardra’s barriers, his superiors will turn her over to someone who will—by force. Leaving Jack having to choose between doing his duty or following his heart.


Ardra stared at his open palm. This was a precept? The guy looked like an ordinary man, not a monster or mutant. In fact, he was handsome and friendly looking. He couldn’t have been older than his early thirties. His hair was a fine light brown, and he had striking hazel eyes, which were now fixed on her. Under different circumstances, she might have attributed her fluttering pulse to something other than nerves. When she shook his hand, his fingers felt warm and soft and made her shiver.

“Rosemary Warner.” She offered the false name again.

After they had been captured, she and the other passengers had been questioned and pressured into giving information. Tarrin had recited his name, rank, and serial number, but she wasn’t a soldier. Figuring the less the Roimirans and their precept knew, the better, she had done some fast thinking and blurted out the only other name she could think of—that of her brief traveling companion back on the space station. Now that she was here, she was very glad she had done so.

Jack studied her for a moment before he motioned toward one of the tall, round chairs at the island counter. “Please sit down.”

She settled into the seat and looked around. Behind her, there was a couch, a cocktail table and some overstuffed chairs in the living room, and a covered patio opened off the back of the house. She could see a bit of yard and wild fields rolling away toward a small forest. The kitchen was open, and she had the impression that a bedroom sprouted off somewhere down the hallway to her left.

“I’m making some iced tea,” Jack said. “Would you like some?”

He turned his back on her to get something out of the cabinet and then returned with two glasses. Although she hadn’t answered, he tilted the pitcher and set a full drink in front of her. So far, she had refused everything her captors had tried to offer her, so she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since the previous morning. She was thirsty, but she stared suspiciously at the glass. Wasn’t there some rule about not accepting the first thing the enemy offered you? She didn’t know, but she decided to play it safe.

“I hope you like tea,” he said. “Some people think it’s too mundane now that they’ve invented all those new fusion concoctions, but I like to keep things simple. How about you?”

“Sure.” She played along, though she wondered what kind of interrogation this was.

Jack sat across from her. “The temperature seemed right for it. If it needs more sugar, let me know, although I tend to make it sweet.”

He was acting sweetly too. Was that the plan? Was he going to be nice to her until she let down her guard, or was he some kind of strange Roimiran welcoming party? She felt off-balance.

“Can you believe this wonderful weather we’re having?” he asked. “You can really feel that summer is around the corner. I like the warmer months, don’t you, Rosemary?”

Ardra nodded absently, but she was distracted by a familiar tinkling noise on the patio.

Jack followed her gaze. “Those are my wind chimes. Do you like them?”

“Yes,” she said. “My mother’s house used to be filled with the sound of them.”

“That’s interesting. Where was that?” He asked the question casually, but she wasn’t fooled.

She frowned, but the suspicious look she gave him didn’t seem to bother him. Instead, his expression turned sympathetic.

“You look tired,” he told her. “I hope you didn’t have a bad night.”

Ardra rubbed her eyes and stifled a yawn. After she and the other passengers of the Oberon had been taken aboard the Roimiran ship, they had been transported down to this planet and separated. She assumed the guards had thrown Tarrin and Slade into a holding room too, but she had no way to be sure. Then last night, the guard who had escorted her here had told her she would be taken to the precept for interrogation in the morning. Although she had nothing to hide, that announcement hadn’t helped her get to sleep. It had been a long night.

Jack took a big sip of his iced tea, and she gulped in envy as she watched. The next thing she knew, she was lifting her own glass and allowing the cool liquid to flow into her mouth. He smiled at her.

Maybe the tea would perk her up. She had to fight the dozing sensation that came over her.

“Are you really a precept?” she asked, still thrown off by how normal Jack seemed.

He looked a little surprised by the question. “Yes, I am. Not what you expected, huh?”

She shook her head. God, why was she so lethargic all of a sudden?

“I know,” he said. “Precepts are getting a reputation as the bogeymen of the galaxy, aren’t we? I promise you I’m not that bad.”

“And you work here?” she asked.

He laughed, and the sound was as pleasant as the tinkling of the wind chimes. “I’m a homebody. I live here, and I work out of the house. It’s convenient.”

“And where is here? What planet is this?”

She didn’t think he would answer, but he must have figured there was no harm in sharing.

“You’re on Ryso,” he told her. “It’s one of our better kept secrets, a temperate planet not far outside of Tetch space.”

She took another sip of her drink. Her hand shook so badly she nearly spilled. For some reason, it had become difficult to concentrate, but the more she fought it, the more her adrenaline surged. She felt like something was wrong, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.



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What’s happening on Gemini Island? An excerpt.

As you may have already heard, Predator’s Trinity, Gemini Island Shifters 6, is about a month away from its release. I am already hard at work on book 7, tentatively called Predator’s Rescue. Some of my street team members have already read ARCs of Predator’s Trinity and reviews have been outstanding!

Don’t forget you can preorder it at a discount at as well as at Amazon at You’ll find it at other outlets soon.


Predator’s Trinity is the most explosive of all the books so far and when it came to plotting the final two books, I knew exactly where I had to take them.

For one, we had to venture away from the Ursa Resort for a short spell. When Jani and Fleur embark on their adventures, you will still be able to visit with Ryland and Lia and friends, but Jani and Fleur have business off the resort as well. Dangerous business.

I am also dealing with the rehabilitation of a certain female she-wolf. Now, I don’t want to give too much away because many of you haven’t been able to read Predator’s Trinity yet.  However, I thought it might be fun to share what I’m working on with book 7.

Please enjoy the following unedited excerpt from my work-in-progress, Predator’s Rescue:

Chapter 1

     Jani Fodor strode into the bar, expecting trouble. He knew he’d found it when every delinquent there turned to gape at him. He smelled it in the old sweat and beer-stained upholstery. The cockroach beating a hasty retreat toward the door only confirmed it.

The only people who frequented this pit were shifter thugs. And her.

He swallowed, tasting Fleur. She was near, or at least, she had been recently. Her green apple scent still clung to the air. Or was it possible it clung to him? He wasn’t sure anymore.

He breathed in deeply, utilizing his tiger shifter senses to the best of his ability. His pretty she-wolf might not be in common area of the bar, but she was close. He spied a couple of closed doors in back. Private rooms? They wouldn’t be private by the time he finished here.

Resisting the urge to tear those closed doors off their hinges, he sat at the bar and ordered a beer, taking stock of the situation. His back itched with all the gazes turned his way. He’d counted about fifteen shifters in the room, all dressed like bikers who hadn’t seen showers in months. Not good odds.

For them.

In his experience, even one pissed off shifter could take down several of his kind if given the right motivation. He had plenty.

Leveling his gaze at the bartender, Jani ignored the anxious frisson traveling along his spine.

“Haven’t seen you here before,” the bartender lisped through his missing teeth, setting a beer before him.

Jani didn’t touch the drink. Call him a snob but he didn’t like drinking from slimy glasses. “Where’s Fleur?”

The bartender grabbed an empty glass and wiped it with an even dirtier cloth, staring at everything but Jani. “Looks like it might rain. They called for five centimeters on the weather report.”

Jani’s tiger bristled, already eager to knock heads. He bit back the urge to lash out and continued on the diplomatic tack. “I didn’t come here for your thoughts on precipitation levels. Where is Fleur Bissette? I’ve asked around and I was told to come here.”

The man’s watery brown eyes seemed to grow more watery. “I don’t think I can help you.”

“Of course, you can. I can smell her perfume. She’s been here.” He motioned to the doors in back. “I could save you the trouble of telling me. I could poke around instead.”

“Now, now, buddy. I don’t know anyone by the name of … what did you call her, Fleur?”

Jani inhaled deeply, fearing his flared nostrils might actually make him resemble the angry tiger crouching inside his human body. “Let me explain something. Not only was I sent in the direction of this bar, I was told to talk to the bartender. So unless there are a few more urine-peddling publicans behind this counter, it would seem you are my man. My source said Fleur has worked here in the past and that she recently picked up a couple of waitressing shifts.” He sighed. “Which makes you a terrible liar, my friend.”

The bartender’s gaze landed on the tense muscles at Jani’s shoulders. “Listen here, friend. I don’t want any trouble.”

“I’m not offering it to you, unless of course you continue to lie.”

A few of the men in the back of the bar stood and meandered close to Jani, listening to the exchange, clearly hoping to see a fight. With his tiger shifter senses, Jani could almost hear the quickening of their excited pulses. They wanted a brawl? Good. He was in the mood for one, too.

The tiger inside him snarled, eager to spill blood. His spirit animal was mad. Ever since Fleur had run away, ever since he’d lost her scent, the animal had been ravenous. Neither of them trusted her on her own. She was confused, distraught.

And although she might not be willing to admit it, she needed him.

He spun around on his bar stool and leaned back on the bar. “Ah, more new friends. How kind of you to welcome me.”

One of the men, a big grizzly shifter, spat on the floor. “This ain’t no welcome, kitty cat.”

Another man sniffed. “Where are you from anyway? You talk funny.”

Jani resisted the urge to slap him. As chief advisor to the Grand Prince of the federation of Hungarian tribes, he commanded respect back home in Budapest. Of course, these hicks from backwoods Northern Ontario wouldn’t understand. “None of your business.”

The first man, a great oaf if Jani had ever seen one, picked at Jani’s jacket lapel. “We don’t like foreigners who ask questions.”

Once again, Jani’s temper flared but he swallowed his simmering rage. He stood and raised his voice so he could be heard over the tinny country music from the jukebox. “Now I’m going to ask everyone here in this shithole one more time. I’m looking for Fleur Bissette. Where is she?”

There was a crash and a feminine cry from behind one of the closed doors. Jani didn’t hesitate. He launched himself off his stool and toward the door, already on the verge of shifting. His tiger hairs danced under his skin, ready to burst through his pores.

The two men who’d approached him grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him back.

“Hey, asshole,” the grizzly man shouted. “You’re not allowed back there.”

Jani glanced at the hand on his shoulder and then at the man. “One warning. Take your hands off me.”

The idiot snorted and looked at his pal. “Why waste your time lookin’ for Fleur anyway? That girl’s nothing but trouble. Trouble loves her. In fact, she’s probably spreading her legs to trouble right now.”

Jani reached for the man’s arms and spun him around. “What did you say?”

“It’s all the bitch knows how to do. That’s all women like her are good for anyway.”

Jani reared back and let his fist fly, cracking it against the man’s face. The grizzly shifter flew across the room, hitting the back wall, collapsing to the floor. The grim satisfaction of seeing the man crumple overrode any pain in his knuckles. In fact, it felt so good to hit the jackass he had to hold his hand behind his back so he wouldn’t hit him again.

No one, no one, insulted Fleur. The man was lucky Jani didn’t kill him for the slight. Fleur had been called too many names in her time, and he’d made it his mission to see she was never belittled again.

Jani nodded toward the other men. “Don’t even think of stopping me.”

He tried the closed door, relieved to find it unlocked. He flung the door open and his tiger senses homed in on her immediately.

Fleur had clearly been serving drinks to the small group of shifter bikers inside, but one of them had gotten a little too close to the new waitress. Her tray of drinks lay on the floor, smashed, and one of the men had her over his lap. His large hand caressed her ass as she squirmed in his grip.

As time seemed to freeze for Jani, Fleur glanced back at him.

“Jani,” she said, her voice almost a whisper. Her dark eyes seemed to grow darker, black with emotion, but he didn’t take time to analyze the sentiment flitting behind her irises.

With a roar that must have sounded more animal than man, Jani raced toward her and pulled her off the man’s lap. He shoved her toward the door, so she wouldn’t be hurt in the melee. He then turned to the shithead who’d grabbed her, a growl emanating from his furious core.

The biker, startled and likely drunk, didn’t react quickly enough to shift. Jani hauled him off his chair and thrust him toward the wall.

“Jani,” Fleur called. “Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“His hand was on your ass. I know enough.”


Looking for Inspiration in London!

If you follow me, you may know I have written books as a result of various trips I’ve taken. Well, I’m hoping this will be the case again shortly.

My blog will be a little quiet over the next while because the family and I are heading to London, England in the first part of August. I’m so excited. Have you ever visited a country and felt like you were coming home? That’s how I feel about England. This will be my third trip since I was a teenager and a lovely thrum of anticipation is building in my breast. We have a huge itinerary compiled and we’ll likely be exhausted when we return, but it’ll be worth it.

I’m hoping this trip will provide inspiration for a new book as well. Two of my books are based on my travels.

Sunburn is based on my stays in the Mayan Riviera.



Vice was inspired my a trip to Las Vegas.



So what do you think might be the source of new inspiration in London? The castles? The old cemeteries? Those sexy British men? I can’t wait to find out.

Although I won’t be blogging during my time away, I hope to document my journey on Instagram. If you’d like to see what I’m getting up to (other than sneaking looks at the aforementioned British blokes in their bespoke suits), join me on Instagram. I might even hoist an ale in your honor!