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Guest Blogger Giveaway: Heather Massey

I Blame Ted Danson For My Erotic Sci-Fi Romance ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE

Quite a few years ago, I watched an interview with Ted Danson, the actor best known for his stint as Sam Malone on the 1982 sitcom Cheers. The interview was on some kind of celebrity-oriented show, possibly Entertainment Tonight (back in the day when it was helmed by Mary Hart and John Tesh). Anyway, this interview is when I first learned that the actor was also an environmental advocate.

At one point during the interview, Ted Danson remarked something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “whenever we flush the toilet, it becomes somebody else’s problem.”

Well. Well. Talk about a massive guilt trip! I hopped right on that one, let me tell you. I don’t know if it was my upbringing or Ted Danson’s rebuking tone or the way he seemed to look right into the camera—right at me—but that moment was the first time I developed real insight regarding the monumental task of keeping Earth healthy.

Unfortunately, I was too naïve at the time to make a connection between my thoughts about his statement and my behavior—meaning that my behavior could change. But his words stayed with me, replaying in my mind even decades later. Naturally, this tended to occur most often when I had to use the toilet. Ugh! I kept agonizing over whatever harm I was causing the environment every time I had to pee or poop.

Eventually, I got wise about the fact that the only way to relieve my sense of unrelenting guilt was to start doing my part to help Earth. I began with easy things, like shutting off lights when leaving the room. Reusing items whenever I could. Keeping the water off while brushing my teeth. Recycling. Composting. I’m not as consistent as I could be, but I’m actively working on retraining myself and ditching maladaptive environmental habits.

Ted Danson’s words were so powerful that they had a particularly unexpected repercussion. When I decided to write my erotic sci-fi romance Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), I channeled my experience with his message into the narrative. On one level, my book is about a hawt futuristic explorer who tangles with a sexy, ruthless space pirate during his quest to find a new world. But on another level, the story explores the consequences (albeit in a very fantastical way) of pollution allowed to continue unchecked on planet Earth.

Don’t get me wrong: my story is pure unabashed entertainment all the way. I intentionally avoided pulling a “Ted Danson” during the course of the story—no preaching allowed. But, given my encounter with his interview and its subsequent impact, I couldn’t help but speculate about the relationship between flushing toilets and a dying Earth. Are we really heading toward a time when we’ll be flushing our planet away for good? I shudder to think so.

Since writing the story, I’ve been working even harder on flushing away my harmful habits. In fact, as I write this, I’m awaiting delivery of a Fiskars 6201 18-Inch 5-Blade Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower. Even though I’m hardly a lawn mower expert, I can’t wait to start using this baby. The exercise ain’t exactly gonna hurt me, either—take that, Ted Danson!

And now for a giveaway!  To help celebrate Earth Day, I’m giving away a $10.00 Red Sage gift certificate to one winner (because going digital with books is another way I’ve gone green, and I’d love for you to join me, even if it’s just for one book). To enter, leave a comment telling me one way you’ve gone green or plan to do so.

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

Heather’s debut erotic sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.

For more information, visit her Web site at

Story blurb:

In the sea of stars, an epic love story is about to begin…

Earth is dying. Nick Venture, the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus, embarks on a dangerous mission to find a new planet and save humanity. This places him on a collision course with Raquel Donovan, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
Raquel lives for one purpose: revenge against a horrible demon from her past. When an attempt to hijack Nick’s starship backfires, Raquel becomes his protector in order to avoid capture by the tyrannical Space Defense Corps. Nick and Raquel are irresistibly drawn to one another despite the forbidden nature of their attraction. But the conflicted pirate’s deepest secret could tear the couple apart even as humanity’s time runs out….

Addition:  I’m going to match Heather’s giveaway!  So we’re offering TWO $10 Red Sage gift certificates!

12 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Giveaway: Heather Massey

  1. Oh I so love the idea behind Earth Day. I’m rather green through and through. BF always sneers at me. In my household we are very strict on recycling. Don’t get caught by me when you put plastic in the junk- you could regret that. Besides that? I’m actually reprimanding anyone around me when they throw something on the ground- I hate that ppl leave their cigarettes everywhere. Makes me crazy. And I vote Green and the list goes on and on. I really hope more ppl would think Green.

  2. Oh, that book sounds good. I’m looking forward to reading that. A wonderful post Heather.

    Ref: going green

    We’re changing out bulbs to florescent as the regular ones go out, I’d say we’re 50-60% there. I’m like Susi when it comes to recycling, it drives My Guy and the wee beasties crazy. The wee beasties are also great at “if it’s yellow let it mellow” which I get but it also grosses me out, LOL.

    You are both extremely generous with your Earth Day giveaways. Kudos.

  3. Being green (and my name really is Greene!) is a lifestyle. I’ve recycled for years and found that if you plan ahead when you shop, you’ll greatly reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill. Containers and packaging make a huge difference!
    One fun tip – let your dog clean out the remnants of peanut butter jars. It’s an easy way to clean the jars before recycling and the dogs love it. 🙂
    This year’s goals – make my home more energy efficient (caulk, weather stripping, etc), recycle unused electronics, clean out the closets and recycle clothing, and increase my “grow and share” garden.

  4. Basically, I recycle. I try to use up all leftovers and not toss food could still be used, i.e. bruised apples can become apple sauce. I’ve changed most of my lightbulbs to the better ones. I’m always after the kids to turn off lights, water, close the fridge door, and the outside doors. I have the craft using materials one would normally throw away. Basically, after reading the Tightwad Gazette series years ago I started using many of the recycling tips in the books. I don’t dumpster dive, but I do wash my foil! LOL.

  5. @SusiSunshine Increased awareness is definitely a challenge. Once I became a parent, I started teaching my daughter about going green as soon as I could. Fingers crossed we get better with subsequent generations.

    @Raelyn Thanks for reading!

    @Rebecca Great ideas! Decreasing my consumption around packaging is one of my current goals. The waste just agonizes me.

    @Anna Amen to using up leftovers! I just recycled some veggies into a quiche the other night. It certainly makes it easier if one likes to cook or has a chef in the family.

  6. Fun post and appropriate for the day. Let’s see, I’ve been reading green since 2000? Ebooks where possible. Enjoying your ruthless pirate and hawt explorer! Congrats on the release!

  7. I’m kinda hit or miss on my greeniness, but I am HUGE about turning off the lights. It used to be because I’m pretty light-sensitive, but as I started paying my own electric bills and realized how much it costs (ie., how much energy is just being wasted), I cut down even further. Now, I’m more likely to have a lamp on than a main light, and definitely a low-wattage one. And since they’ve come out with the new efficiency bulbs with both lower wattage and usage, I’ve made use of them, too!

    Light is EVIL! Make it STOP! *snerk*

  8. We recycle everything we can and we compost more than we ever had before, so now there is very little we put in the trash.

  9. we recycle or reuse (like making planters out of old bunk bed slats) and generally try to do our bit to help Mother Earth. We also rarely use packaged meals to save on the need to recycle even more waste.

    Oh, and we use energy efficient electrical stuff (including light bulbs)as well as minimise the use of water, old washing water for plants and a special toilet cistern that uses less water etc.

  10. @Pauline Thanks!

    @GutterBall Go, you!

    @Hobbes_Kat Me too! There are weeks when I don’t even bother putting out the garbage can because there’s only one bag in it. Saves on trash bags, too.

    @Ilona I’m so jealous you have that toilet! Thanks for commenting.

  11. I’m also very environmentally concious (I have the nickname at home as the light police because I’ll shut off/tell you to shut off a light if you leave one on in another room) and I often find that opinion trickles into my writing as well. I often have my characters using environmentally friendly products, owning green companies or spouting the same beliefs. I never think of it as preaching, since it suttle, part of the character and story, yet I do like the idea of bringing some of these ideas to the forefront, even if its in romance novels. 😉

  12. Heather, we have a Ford Philco freezer from the 1970’s – no, they no longer make that brand! – that recently went on the fritz. In the true spirit of recycling, we decided to buy a new gasket, wait for it to arrive, and install it ourselves – a very painful process – rather than stuff it in a landfill and go buy a brand new one. Hey, we can afford a new one, but why dump the unit that works? That, to us is recycling. 🙂

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