Guest – Diane Burton
I’m privileged to have fabulous sci-fi romance writer Diane Burton join me – Her latest book “The Pilot” is now out and judging by the blurb and excerpt, it is definitely worth reading. Welcome, Diane.
Anne, thanks so much for having me here.
I’m often asked by family and friends why I write science fiction romance. The simple answer is I love it. When I saw Star Wars for the first time back in 1977, I was hooked. Adventure, action, romance. What a combo. And they flew spaceships, went to alien planets and it all seemed real. That movie was my first venture into the world of science fiction. I had never seen the original Star Trek, never read sci-fi books and thought those science fiction movies of the 50’s cheesy. Though I’m trying to catch up, I still feel inadequate when people talk about “classic” science fiction. I even waded through Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.
For me, the appeal of space adventure is imaging a future where we survive and thrive. Now I’m not crazy about dystopian books or movies, yet I loved the Matrix series. Perhaps it was the promise of hope for mankind at the end. The same promise we get at the end of a good romance novel. That life will go on.
So I write what I like to read, what I enjoy in my favorite movies. Adventure and romance. In my books, they just happen to take place in space.
Creating a world that is different from our own yet similar enough for the reader to relate to is a challenge. A fun challenge. Gene Roddenberry, when pitching the concept of his TV series Star Trek, referred to it as “wagon train to the stars”. At the time, the most popular TV programs were Westerns so that should have been an analogy the network producers could relate to. I like the concept of space being a new frontier. Like the explorers of long ago, we can set off into the unknown—if only in our imagination. And like those old Westerns, good always triumphs over evil and the guy always gets the girl. How escapist is that?
But isn’t that what we have to believe in? That good will triumph? That the bad guys will “get what’s coming to them”? It would be very depressing otherwise. There’s enough to be depressed about in real life. So in sci-fi romance, we set off for the stars. We don’t know where we’re going. We don’t know what we’ll find when we get there. We don’t know who or what we’ll encounter along the way. Friends, enemies or the one who will turn our universe upside down? All we know is that an adventure awaits.
Blurb: There’s no place like home and he just confiscated hers.
Forced to use her starship as collateral to replace stolen cargo, pilot Celara d’Enfaden risks losing everything if she fails to deliver the goods. Her ship is the home she never had as a child. Determined to bring order to the frontier, rule-bound official Trevarr Jovano refuses to tolerate those who disrespect the law. So when an indie pilot refuses to obey, he seizes her ship and cargo.
The only thing Celara cares about more than her ship is her brother. To rescue him from the clutches of a galactic gangster, she’ll even join forces with Trevarr who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.
Excerpt from The Pilot
“I have come to apologize for my unseemly behavior yesterday.” She smiled sweetly.
“Of course. I should have guessed.” Giving her a wry look, Trevarr picked up the crockery mug of aromatic tea. Staring into the depths, he made a show of inspecting it for foreign substances. “Are you apologizing for attempting to inflict bruises or for insulting my heritage?” He snapped his fingers. “I have it. You are apologizing for contributing to the hearing loss in my right ear.”
Her knuckles shone white before she dropped her hands into her lap.
“Administrator Jovano.” Her voice contained a good mix of apology and pleading. “Please forgive me. I should not have interrupted your First Meal. When I came in and saw you here, I knew I couldn’t eat until I settled the matter between us. I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night, so torn was I with remorse. Why, I wanted to rush to your residence last night and offer amends, but Arjay convinced me to wait until morning.”
“How? Did your AI tie you to the bed?”
“Of course not.” She took a deep breath as if steeling herself for an unpleasant task. Eating one’s words was never pleasant. What had she asked him? Boiled, broiled or fried?
“Yesterday, I was a trifle upset.” She sniffed delicately.
Trifle? In the ensuing pause, while he waited to see how deep a hole she could dig for herself, utensils clattered on crockery and voices murmured.
“I am certain a man as perceptive as you understands how distressing it was.” She pinched the bridge of her nose. When she looked up, her eyes shimmered with tears.
While she heaved a sigh, he took a bite of the spherix eggs. They were delicious, as always. Baro was a chef worthy of the finest eating establishments in the capital city. His talents were wasted out here.
Trevarr looked at d’Enfaden thoughtfully. “Those Terrans—the ones whose entertainment you record—have an aphorism that is appropriate for this occasion.” He paused to sip his tea. “If I believe your performance, you have a . . . bridge to sell?” At her astonished look, he blinked twice as if perplexed. “Did I not get the expression right?”
She jumped up, all trace of tears—and smiles—gone. He thought he heard a small popping sound that increased when she planted her palms on the table and leaned in. What he saw next completely distracted him from the soft noises. The scoop neck of the overlarge dress gaped.
Well now, he smiled. He had been fairly certain her breasts were not confined by a supportive undergarment—not that he recalled seeing supportive undergarments in the drawers she had emptied yesterday. Her bright green undertunic also gaped.
Heat jolted through him. A heat he hadn’t experienced since—
“Oh, you got it right, buddy.” Her voice, as strident as it had been yesterday in the repair bay, attracted attention from the diners. “Here’s another saying from Earth. ‘There’s no place like home.’ You stole mine, and I want it back.” She flipped the contents of his plate into his lap.
On her way past the astonished newcomers, she called through the open window to the kitchen. “Baro, Admin Man needs a new meal.”
During the silence that hung in the wake of Celara d’Enfaden’s exit, he was more aware of the fine way her gauzy skirt displayed the twitch of her hips than he was of the blue spherix eggs and pink plantens in his lap.
Sweet Divinity, he thought with a smile. What a fem.
The Pilot is available at http://amzn.com/B00AE6OH4K
See Diane’s website www.dianeburton.com for other retailers for The Pilot and Diane’s other books.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Mid-Michigan, Young Adult and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RWA chapters. She is the author of the Switched series, about twins exchanging places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse. With The Pilot, she begins a new series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Diane can be found around the Internet at:
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