Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Star Called Home Marina Landry





A Star Called Home
by Marina Landry
Genre: SciFi Romance
198 pages

Jul Kisling's heart aches for the homeless children living beyond her office window. Her father, Chancellor of the Third Quadrant of Akila, refuses to use his power to help them. Frightened but determined, Jul secretly searches for transportation to bring some of the children to a newly-colonized planet.

Marc Prejean is an out-of-work, out-of-money Earth starpilot living on the land of his Cajun ancestors. Wrongfully convicted of smuggling and recently released from forcedsleep, he reluctantly agrees to Jul's proposition. His desperate situation, the betrayal of his wife and brother, the loss of his starpilot license, and his stolen six years have left Marc angry and withdrawn.

Marc and Jul begin a journey of agonizing mistrust, smoldering sexual desire, and the shared goal of safeguarding the twelve children. Pursued by ruthless adversaries on both sides of the law, they soon realize they are delivering the children into even greater danger. 


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Excerpt from A Star Called Home by Marina Landry

She stared up at him for a long moment, then said, "It wasn't fair, keeping the children a secret from you before we boarded. I'm under a lot of stress, also. Maybe we could start over?"
Her openness drew him closer. It would be so easy to lean down and kiss those lips. Miss Kiss, that's what the kids called her. What would she taste like? His hand moved toward her cheek, but stopped short of touching her. He took a step back into the hallway, away from her inviting warmth, and shrugged. "Sûrement."
She still looked tired, he thought, studying her face. More than tired -- burdened. Burdened by more than traveling with a dozen children. Maybe she wasn't the pampered snob he'd thought at first. In fact, though her quiet manner disguised the fact, she hadn't stopped, yet, in her care of all those kids, despite her injuries. It wouldn't hurt him to ease some of the weight on her shoulders, even if he didn't understand it.
"I was fixin' to have a cup of coffee. Would you like some?" It felt awkward, but he liked the idea of sharing something with her, doing something nice for her, even if it was only café au lait.
"Well... I... I guess the children will be fine alone for a few more minutes. Thank you, coffee sounds wonderful. Anything I can do to help?"
"I think you should take a break while you have the chance, don't you, chère. Just find a seat on the bridge; I'll bring it to you."
He walked to the rear of the cabin and quietly ordered two servings of hot café au lait. After a few seconds, he took the fragrant mugs from the galley portal and turned to the bridge.
She was watching him from the navigator's seat. He walked past his command console and sat in the seat next to her. "I hope this isn't too strong for you. It's not nearly as muddy as Gabe's. Did you ever taste his coffee?"
She gave a quick laugh. "Oh, my Maker, yes."
His heart flipped in his chest. He was surprised how much he enjoyed making her smile. "Pretty awful, non?"
"Yes! He keeps pushing his special blend on people all the time. I guess it must taste good to him."
She really had a warm smile, he thought, and he remembered the first time he'd seen it, in Tauzin's Bar on Earth, when he'd thought of her as a prissy intellectual.
"He's a terrible cook, too, though he won't give it up," he grinned.
Jul said, softly, "He likes to use his mother's recipes. I believe to keep her with him, in a way."
Gabe had told her about his mother. Was Gabe that serious about her, then? Of course. He should have realized it sooner, dammit. Why hadn't Gabe told him she was his lover? Marc's chest tightened. He didn't like what a selfish bastard he'd become, resenting his friend for finding happiness with this woman.
"So... er... how long have you been friends?" Jul asked.
He shrugged off the unwelcome envy. "Since childhood, really. We lived in the same neighborhood, though he attended the Talented Academy. He was a wizard with numbers, could see patterns in anything. He was accepted into the Mathematical Talent Program at a young age."
"Yes, he's still that way, so smart. But he really makes the average student see the complexities of economic structures. He's such a gifted educator."
The uncomfortable twinge flowed through Marc again. He could see why Gabe would be attracted to her, even beyond her graceful beauty. She was proving to be an interesting person -- soft-spoken, patient, yet pragmatic and competent. And she obviously loved Gabe very much.
He looked away as he drank his coffee. He needed to stay out of her business. In three days, she'd leave his ship. He'd head back to Earth and his desperate attempts to clear his name. There wasn't much chance they'd ever see each other again, despite their mutual friendship with Gabe. But a man could always wish.
With a sigh, he set the mug on the console and turned back to her.
"Would you like me to show the kids how to use the showers? I can see your headache is still bothering you. You could use a break, non?"
She stared at him a long moment, probably trying to decide if she could trust him. All she said was, "I promised you wouldn't need to babysit."
"These are the quietest children I have ever met. I think I can handle teaching them the controls in the waterroom while you get some rest. Really, I think it'd be good for all of us."
"It might help them relax if they knew you better," she admitted. "Lying down for a few minutes might clear this headache. Are you sure... that would be all right?"
He nodded, seeing her nibble on her lower lip. He wondered if she even knew she was doing it. "I'm sure. Do they have any clothes to change into?"
"Oh, no," she moaned. "I didn't think of that. I didn't bring enough of mine for all of them, assuming I have anything that would fit."
"Don't worry," he said. "I'll find something for them to wear. You just have the job of convincing them to trust me."
She smiled and nodded, her brow relaxed. "Yes. All right, I'll talk to them."

Despite her initial reluctance, now that the decision had been made, she apparently accepted the new situation and was eager to get back to the children. He watched her walk to the cabin corridor, and struggled to find acceptance in himself, as well.

Marina Landry has gained attention in both the romance and science fiction communities for her
heart-warming, emotionally intense, character-driven stories. Her debut novel A Star Called Home (Desert Breeze Publishing) has consistently received five out of five stars on multiple online book review sites. Marina has taught language arts and mathematics in south Louisiana for 18 years. She speaks on the craft of writing and teaches all levels of writers online. Though her education has not followed a typical path nor timeline, she has Masters Degrees in Education of the Academically Gifted, Secondary Mathematics Education, and Adult Education. 



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