Nothing to Declare

I introduced a town called Harbor, Kansas in Homeworld for the Holidays, and decided to spend some time there for book thirteen. Nothing to Declare is about a woman who refuses to believe that aliens are real in a small town that has the most reports of alien encounters in The Department of Homeworld Security‘s Earth. Part of the reason for that is that Craig loves to hang out there 😉

The space cats figure in tangentially as well, and we get to meet a new Scorpiian! Nothing to Declare furthers the plot line as well as introducing us to new characters and a new setting where we’ll be spending lots of time going forward.

Nothing to Declare 400 px Cover

She’s sure that aliens aren’t real—until she falls for one.

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Homeworld for the Holidays

Book twelve in The Department of Homeworld Security series takes us in a new direction—quite literally. Homeworld for the Holidays features an Earth chef named Buddy and Nika, chief engineer for the Reckoning.

We get to see more of what makes the space kittens so special in a way that I really enjoy. Much of this series is about looking at things with fresh eyes and noticing things we’ve never noticed before. When Buddy meets Patches, the fiestiest of the kittens, she’s able to communicate her name to him. He sees that she looks like a kitten, but doesn’t really have preconceived notions of what she can do and if she really is a standard Earth cat. Because of that, he’s able to see her for the extraordinary life form that she is.

Can you tell that I’m excited about the space cats? Because I’m very excited about the space cats.

I had an absolute blast writing an actual holiday special novella in this world. I added so many of my own favorite parts of the season. Family, friends, pets, music, lights, food. And I did my best to make this book as inclusive as possible. I’ve heard from so many readers that I succeeded there, and their gratitude warms my heart to this day.

We also got to see our first actual Cygnians in this book, and do I ever have plans for them! But that…is another series 😉

He wanted to spend Christmas with the girl of his dreams—but never dreamt they’d spend it in space!

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Import Quarantine

For book eleven in The Department of Homeworld Security series, something amazing happened. I was invited to join the incredible authors in the Pets in Space® 4 anthology with my novella, Import Quarantine.

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had so much fun, I leapt at the chance when invited for the Pets in Space® 5 anthology the next year. Again, it was just so amazing working with such talented and generous authors.

Import Quarantine ended up being yet another favorite in this series. I had already spent time with Dane and Brigid, who are Marq and Caitlin’s twins. Marq and Dane have one of the most fascinating—and emotionally taxing—of the backstories in the series. Again, I did my best to keep the camera off of that part of the story, and show more how their relationship developed because of that.

This book also introduces a trio of characters that figure in significantly in later stories—or maybe I should say significatly 😆 Marq’s cat, Meredith, has a litter of kittens on board the Reckoning. In the books ahead, we find that these are no ordinary kittens. They’re space-kittens! And that makes them extra special. But is that all that’s behind their unusual traits? We’ll just have to see!

It was supposed to be a simple house call for a sick cat, so how’d she end up on a spaceship?

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Coalition Reckoning

Many of the books in The Department of Homeworld Security series had started getting longer by the time I was approaching the big number 10! I wanted to do something really special for this book, so Coalition Reckoning is a double-length book! It actually passed the minimum word count to be considered a novel with this one, which felt really good.

Having the extra space to explore what was going on turned out to be a double-edged sword for me. I could explore more of the characters and have a more intricate plot, but I also found that the more room I had to play around, the darker the story started to become.

Up to this point, I’d done my best to keep the evil machinations of the High Council in the background to the stories. In this one, they were front-and-center. It was, after all, a reckoning for the Coalition.

That the warship heading to Earth was also called the Reckoning absolutely worked with the story. This was also a reckoning for several of the characters in the story.

It was really wonderful to be able to spend more time with these characters and revisit more of the people we’ve met and love. And, of course, Craig and Barbara played a key role!

Things in the kitchen are about to heat up.

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Export Duty

Export Duty has one of my all-time favorite scenes in The Department of Homeworld Security series.

I love cats, and I love writing about aliens who encounter things that we take as commonplace but that they have no idea how to react to. Enter Rin and a clowder of cats belonging to Lily’s Nana.

Rin really gets put through the ringer in this story. From sandspurs to feral cats looking for a treat, his encounters are very up-close and personal. Then again, the same can be said for his interactions with Lily—and I don’t think he’s complaining about that.

I also played around with having the Earthling see something that on one hand is very mundane, but in a different proportion… Well, it’s startling, to say the least.

At the heart of this story, like many of my favorites in the series, is a joke. A terrible, make-you-groan joke (the best kind). It all centers around gluten and another miscommunication. You’ll have to read the story to learn more 😉

Her next delivery will be out of this world!

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Invasive Species

This was a story I just had to write in The Department of Homeworld Security universe. Invasive Species was originally more of a stand-alone, but I managed to work it into the rest of the storyline.

Early on in writing this series, I had this idea of a character who thinks he’s a normal Earthling, but discovers quite suddenly that he is very, very wrong about that. I learned a lot about this group of sentients while writing Kyle and Tracey’s story, and had a ton of fun doing so!

She wanted to curl up with a Sci-fi Romance—she never thought she’d be living one!

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