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By Toni V. Sweeney

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to leave home!

Against her parents’ wishes, spoiled teenager Jenny Halpin’s doting uncle gives her a space cruise as a graduation gift. Unfortunately, before Jenny can enjoy much of the voyage, the ship collides with a meteor shower and her escape pod is separated from the others. Landing on an uninhabited world are Jenny and her pod-mates…three little poodles. They’re not just any poodles, however. They’re the telepathic Royal Family of Canaris and they seem to think Jenny’s now their servant, existing just to protect and serve them…

Dredging up all the lessons in school she ignored or slept through, Jenny now must take charge. Soon she’s up to her neck in native dogs, pirate salamanders, and newborn pups…

Robinson Crusoe had it easy!

Young Adult Science Fiction

Sensuality rating: 0

Cover Art by Mallory York
Price:
$14.99
Author: Toni V. Sweeney
Description

Chapter 1

 

“Cute, aren’t they?”

Jenny Halpen turned her attention from her morning meal, looking over her shoulder in the direction the stewardess indicated. Across the deck, a tall woman in a blue gown, her very bearing reeking Wealth and Power, was walking three little dogs.

She’dseen them every morning crossing the sundeck, as punctual as could be. A trio of small dogs marching a few feet in front of their mistress, heads held high as they took their morning stroll.

“They certainly are,” she agreed. She was enjoying her breakfast toast, in spite of its being labeled on the menu as genuine whole semolina toast-made-with-the-Halpen-Process-and-containing-no-artificial-ingredients. She tore off one crispy edge. Little dogs always like bread crust. “As cute as…”

“…a button.” A loud high-pitched voice finished for her. Its owner, dressed in a robe looking in size and pattern like a circus tent, bent to offer some kind of treat to the first of the little dogs, a dainty golden creature. “Does the ’iddle dawdie likums some kwunchie?”

Apparently the ’iddle dawdie did not. It looked from the tidbit to the woman, opened its tiny mouth and let out a single, disdainful yip. Then it trotted on, leaving the woman bent over, hand outstretched, her face an unlikely and very mottled shade of red.

So much for that idea. Jenny dropped the crust onto her plate.

“She’s very well-fed,” the woman in the blue gown said. “Thank you, anyway.” She hurried after her rapidly disappearing pet, who paused, looked back, and yapped as if urging her to come along.

Well!” With an obvious effort, the Circus Tent Lady straightened, watching the quartet a moment longer. As much insulted feeling as possible was put into the word before she turned to the buffet tables, consoling herself among the fresh fruit and endless varieties of desserts.

As they passed her table, Jenny glanced at the three little animals, wanting to stare but knowing it’d be rude. It seemed the little golden dog had enough lack of manners for everyone present, though her owner wasn’t so rude. She actually looked at Jenny and nodded as she walked by.

Jenny was too busy watching the dogs to do more than meet their owner’s gaze before glancing back at the little animals, however.

All three were small and fuzzy. If they’d been Terran dogs, she would’ve thought they were poodles. Hair neatly groomed and clipped so it looked like nothing more than a mass of feathers, they had tiny pompoms for tails and curly topknots. The little rude one’s hair…fur?...was the bright color of a newly-minted coin. She truly looked as regal as her mistress. Around her neck hung a glittering circle of brilliants, more necklace than collar. In the curls between her silky ears rested a sparkling clip resembling a tiara.

     “Who’s that?” As the blue gown hurried past, Jenny whispered the question at the little stewardess. She didn’t dare raise her voice for fear the woman might hear.

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