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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Danger in the Stars by Veronica Scott: An Empath and a Warrior @vscotttheauthor

I'm so happy to have Veronica Scott here again. She's one of my favorite authors of science fiction romance and a generous friend. Yesterday, she had me as her guest on Here Be Magic blog. 

I'm excited that she's here to talk about her latest release, Danger in the Stars. As soon as it came out, I had to read it. (You can read my review on Amazon.) Action, adventure, paranormal activity, a tortured heroine bent on revenge, and a reluctant hero. Doesn't that sound great?

Welcome, Veronica!

Thanks for having me as your guest again, with an excerpt from my latest scifi romance release, Danger in the Stars!

There were several themes I wanted to weave together in this book, one being the idea of an empath using her abilities as a powerful weapon. When I was a kid I saw a Star Trek episode entitled “The Empath” and I was much struck with the heroine’s abilities and limitations, and the effects of what she did. (I also decided at the time that I must be an empath too, although sadly without any extra super powers!).


It was fun to now take that concept and run in a totally different direction with it. I also included an organized crime element in my plot, which isn’t an area I usually delve into, but I figured the Mob will probably go to the stars with humanity in some form or another. Having an evil, unprincipled group like the Amarotu Combine entrenched in the Sectors offers a lot of plot possibilities. I like to keep my novels firmly in the science fiction realm but also to change things up and offer different looks at the interstellar world I’ve built and adventures my characters can be drawn into. With a strong romance and a Happily Ever After ending, of course!



Here’s the story for Danger in the Stars:
Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.

Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own–secrets that could get them both killed.
The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?
VS Note: This is the story of the sister who is mentioned in passing in Star Cruise: Stowaway, my story in the award winning PETS IN SPACE anthology. The new novel is completely standalone.

Excerpt  - the moment when Miriell is forced to show ruthless crime boss Opherra what her powers are capable of accomplishing. Jareck is her criminal ‘handler.’ The scene is in a luxurious restaurant.

It was at the third course when Opherra suddenly leaned over and said to Jareck, “I want a demonstration of what the performer can do. Prove to me you can be of assistance in what I need.”

“Can you give me a few more details on what you want me to make her do?” Jareck asked.

Miriell felt nauseated as her muscles tensed while she waited to learn what atrocious act she’d be required to perform now, what perversion of her Thuun-given gifts would be demanded.

“The end game is to help me attract a particular influential gentleman who’s been curiously resistant to my charms,” Opherra said, her lips twisted in annoyance. “I need him in thrall to me for our plans here to move forward. In too deep to back out when I reveal my true agenda. No names, but he’s key. My boss is tired of waiting for the standard ploys to yield results.”

“Is he here?”

She shook her head. “Of course not. I need to see these abilities in action before I risk my entire operation on an unknown.” Glancing around the restaurant, she laughed. “Oh yes, an excellent target for the demonstration I want. You see that blonde woman, the one with her husband, the older couple and three children? I’ve never seen anyone less likely to commit suicide. Make her throw herself off the balcony, and I’ll be a believer.” She drummed her talonlike red fingernails on the tablecloth. “Now.”

Miriell’s heart sank. The target was clearly happy, surrounded by her family, and had been casually targeted by Opherra to die just to prove a point. She gathered her power, which was curiously difficult to do, perhaps because she was so repelled by the task, and hummed the death song under her breath. Reaching out with her senses, she found the tiniest gray in the unfortunate woman’s vivid colors. Each sentient had their private sorrows and constant worries. Miriell worked to expand the gray, suppress the other colors. The woman’s companions were oblivious to her sudden silence, because the lively children were laughing and talking so happily. Suddenly, there were gasps as the target of Miriell’s attack rose abruptly from the table, knocking her chair into the person next to her. Face blank, the woman strode toward the edge of the dining area and the observation platform that built over thin air. It had safety rails, but nothing robust enough to stop a determined adult from pitching headfirst to the ground hundreds of feet below.  Her husband raced after her, but she had a head start and was increasing her speed as she went.

Hoping no one would notice what she was doing, Miriell continued her pressure on the woman but began to subtly affect one of the waiters carrying a huge load of dishes until, at literally the last second, he backed away from a table and collided with the suicidal woman, sending them both reeling and collapsing to the floor, tangled together, covered in food and broken crockery. Miriell released her hold on both sentients and fell back in her chair. Hand shaking, she reached for her glass of water and sipped, although her throat was nearly closed from stress. Please let that be enough of a demonstration for Opherra.

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Author Bio:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”





2 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me as your guest and I'm so happy you enjoyed the book!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always a pleasure, Veronica. Come back again soon.

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