The Best Kind of Retreat, with Anna Hackett

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to have this week’s guest – Anna Hacket is one of my personal favorite Sci-Fi Rom authors, and her Phoenix Adventures series is one of my automatic one-click buys. Today she talks about how a weekend away turned into her contribution to this year’s Pets in Space anthology:

How Anna Wrote Desert Hunter (also known as a good excuse for a writing weekend away)

I enthusiastically agreed to join the other awesome authors for the Pets in Space 3 anthology, and loved knowing it would be contributing to a wonderful charity like Then I realized I’d already set my writing schedule for the year and would work out how to fit in writing my story, Desert Hunter, which is part of my Galactic Gladiators series.
As it turned out, I used it as a wonderful excuse to get away for a writing retreat with some fellow authors (the gang included fellow sci-fi romance author Michelle Diener, urban fantasy author Lana Pechercyzk, and contemporary and romantic suspense author Claire Boston). The four of us headed to the gorgeous Margaret River wine region in Western Australia. We spent three full days writing. We woke up and wrote in our pajamas. We visited coffeeshops and teahouses and wrote. We walked on the beach and headed back to our cottage to write. I also made all my friends drink out of Galactic Gladiators mugs!

I wrote my entire novella over that weekend. My body was in Margaret River, but my mind was on the distant alien world of Carthago with its deserts, gladiators, and dangerous beasts. I had a big tough desert hunter hero (that’s Bren), a smart, determined heroine (that’s Mersi), and a shaggy, wild desert canine playing matchmaker (that’s Fiend).

Here’s a snippet of Fiend’s matchmaking skills after being forced into a dreaded bath:

“I like him.” Mersi rubbed the dog’s head, letting his fur drop. “You’re so goofy and friendly. Now, time to get out.”

She laid a rug down on the ground and pulled out some drying cloths. Fiend leaped onto the rug, and Mersi rubbed the cloths over him. He flopped down, like he was exhausted.

She glanced up at Bren to make a comment, and saw he’d gone as still as a statue. He was staring at her chest.

Glancing down, she realized she’d gotten soaked during the bath, and the water had made her shirt almost transparent.

Fiend suddenly leaped up, headbutting Bren’s knees, and knocking him into Mersi.

His arms wrapped around her, stopping them from crashing to the sand. Drak, his body was so hot and hard. His fingers brushed the skin at her neck and she shivered. Her heart was pounding, and she licked her lips. Their gazes locked.

Anna Hackett is a USA Today bestselling author who loves action romance. She loves stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. For more info on Anna and her action-packed romances, visit

Why We Do It, with special guest S.E. Smith

Readers, I am extremely flattered to have New York Times/USA TODAY bestselling author S.E. Smith as a guest on my site. I had the opportunity to ask her what’s so important, not just about being part of Pets in Space, but about writing as a whole. Here’s her answer:

Three years ago I was approached by Pauline Baird Jones and Veronica Scott to write in the Pets in Space anthology. I was hesitant at first to write in another anthology until they told me that they were raising funds for, a non-profit charity that helps veterans receive service dogs. As the daughter of a career Air Force veteran, I was honored to lend my talents to such a worthy cause. Three years later, I’m thrilled to still be a part of such an amazing group of authors.

Graham, my grand-bunny

I thoroughly enjoy the entire concept that Pauline and Veronica have developed around the Pets in Space theme. I love animals as my readers know. I’m forever posting pictures of wildlife, my cat, PIA, or my grand fur babies, like Graham. I think adding pets into our stories helps remind us that no matter who or where we are, pets add to the richness of our lives. For thousands of years, pets have become an intricate part in many families. They give us unconditional love and acceptance and a huge amount of joy and comfort.

I truly believe that if you have an ability to give back to the world you should. I’m fortunate that I am able to use my gift of storytelling to not only help, but hopefully give readers hours of enjoyment. For me, being able to give to others fills me with a deep sense of satisfaction. I want to make a difference in the world. I can’t help but think if we each pay-it-forward by doing one small thing each day, what a better place this world would not only be today, but also tomorrow. Giving laughter, a smile, or just listening to someone and asking them how their day is can have an amazing impact on a person’s life. I hope you open your heart and your mind and take off on a wonderful journey with us in Embrace the Passion: Pets in Space 3 coming October 9, 2018. Preorder here:

S.E. Smith is a New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author who encourages readers to reach for the stars and embrace the action, adventure, family, friendship, and true love that is found in the worlds she creates. Learn more at