Monday, May 7, 2012


Viking, the rat hunter in Noah's Ark
I love cats. That's no secret. For proof, visit my website's  CAT PAGE. But what could possibly bring a cat into a spaceship? Well, think about it. Space is a lonely place. A cat would be good company for a lone space traveler, or for a small crew. Cats don't eat much, and they bring a lot of love and affection. Their purr is calming in stressful situations... their contact is healing... Pets are known to prolong the lives of their owners... I could go on and on. Even Captain Picard, on the Enterprise, had a small dog. Not as good as a cat, but I'll forgive him. Most guys prefer dogs.

But what would be the scientific justification? Keeping up the morale? Studying cats in space? Maybe. The thing is that if I had to go in space for a long period of time, I'd like to have at least one of my furry friends with me on the voyage.
In the older days of ocean exploration, ship captains used to keep cats onboard. The felines took care of the rodent problem. This could also apply to a spaceship. No matter how sterile the environment, all that food stored in the pantry could fall prey to a stowaway rodent, familiar or alien, and the crew could die of starvation or disease if the sealed packages were ever compromised. Trips to the grocery store are not an option in space.

In NOAH'S ARK, my latest romantic science fiction novel, cats are part of the scenery. Here, of course, they belong to settlers who intend to colonize a new planet, and for them, cats are just part of the natural order they want to bring to their new world. They also have goats and sheep and dogs and even cattle. But as all cat lovers know, cats are special.

In many cultures they are imbued with mystical powers, whether it's good luck or bad luck, but no one can deny the magic effect of cats on people and on their entire environment. In my mind, a well organized society includes cats. From the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Romans, and in all civilizations since, cats may not be sacred, but they have a special place in our hearts.

Chronicles of Kassouk Prequel
by Vijaya Schartz

When Trixie's star freighter, Noah's Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M-class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship.

Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Everyone on this voyage to seed a new planet with life, is running from something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is. Even Viking, the furry rat hunter, has a secret.

But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding them for evil purposes... And when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will have to fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love...

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