Star Survivor by Veronica Scott
Thanks for having me as your guest!
There’s nothing more fun for an author than revisiting favorite characters from a past novel, especially if now is the time to tell the story for two of those people, who were not the primary couple in book one. Almost as soon as I finished writing Wreck of the Nebula Dream, my “Titanic in space” scifi novel with romantic elements, I was being asked by readers to write the sequel. It seemed people really wanted to know what was going to happen next for Twilka, the ‘Socialite’ rich, spoiled girl and Khevan, the sexy, deadly bodyguard/assassin who serves a jealous alien goddess.
I honestly can’t tell you if I originally intended for them to be together at the end of Wreck, but as characters so often do, they told me in no uncertain terms that they were attracted to each other. (The joys of being a “seat of the pants” author who lets her stories unfold as they will!). It made sense though. My characters went through a lot to survive the wreck of the Nebula Dream, and reach safety, so it seemed natural that these two had formed a bond.
For the ongoing story in the sequel then, I had to develop a lot more detail of the lives each one stepped out of when they survived the disaster. The wreck was a moment in time and now I was going to do more of a deep dive and see what Twilka and Khevan each were about, and how they’d go on once the excitement and adrenaline of the near-death situation was over.
For Twilka, I envisioned immersion in the world of fashion and celebrity, because she was already a famous party girl. Add to that the notoriety of surviving this most terrible spaceship wreck in the history of the galaxy and she could leverage her ‘brand’ to do certain things. I had a lot of fun researching various celebrities in our modern day who could serve as role models for different aspects of Twilka’s choices. (I’m betting a lot of names come to your mind, as they did to mine LOL.) I also – being a huge fan of the “Project Runway” show – seized my moment to stage a fashion show, with all the behind the scenes chaos and craziness and put Twilka square into the middle of it as the strongminded designer.
Khevan was a different issue. When I started working on Wreck of the Nebula Dream and doing the world building for the Sectors, which is my interstellar civilization, I knew there were two alien goddesses, sisters, remnants perhaps of a long ago intergalactic race. The Sisters have treaties with the Sectors, because they’re valuable allies against a marauding alien race everyone fears. The Red Lady is served by deadly men and woman, who kill or guard at her whim and command. The Lady in White is more interested in doing good works and keeping her bloodthirsty sister in check. As a D’nvannae Brother, or adherent of the Red Lady, Khevan had sworn powerful oaths. Writing Star Survivor allowed me to go deeper into the D’nvannae and share some of the behind the scenes aspects.
I also brought back Nick and Mara, the hero and heroine from Wreck, in a supporting role.
And I have a new character, known as the Renegade. You’re probably going to see him in his own book at some point.
So I united all these disparate people together in my attempt to answer the question, what happened next for Twilka and Khevan?
I hope the readers won’t be dismayed at what the couple has to work through to achieve their Happily Ever After – nothing worth having is ever simple, right? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?
I did try to make Star Survivor as standalone as possible. I don’t feel you have to read Wreck of the Nebula Dream first.
The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.
The long-awaited sequel to The Wreck of the Nebula Dream…
They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.
Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?
D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady. Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.
But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?
The dreams she couldn’t escape for long were especially bad tonight. Twilka tossed and turned on the huge bed in the city’s most luxurious hotel, more than a little afraid to seek more sleep. She’d clawed her way out of the nightmare where she was surrounded by laughing, faceless drunks, intent on living their last few hours of life aboard the Nebula Dream by passing her around among themselves. In the dream, there was no help coming, no rescue, and she woke screaming. Heart pounding, she lay still for a moment before reaching for the glass of water at the bedside. Should she take the meds her doctor had given her to suppress the memories?
No, the prescription stuff made her into a robot who’d sleepwalk through tomorrow’s activities, and she needed all her wits about her in the negotiations. Taking the glass, she kicked her way free of the covers and strolled barefoot to the private terrace, high above the planet’s surface. Inhaling a deep breath of the flower-scented air, she took one tentative step onto the balcony, clutching the door handle with her free hand. Acrophobia was a bitch. As she sipped the water, she reflected on the irony that she, of all people, was reluctant to take a drug to quell the nightmares. “A legal one no less,” she muttered to herself. After years of enjoying all the feelgoods all the time with no regard for consequences.
The view of the city was breathtaking, all colorful twinkly lights at this hour. Raising her eyes to the plateau, she took a deep breath. The Red Lady’s oversize temple dominated the horizon, glowing ruby like a baleful eye. Shivering, wishing she’d put on her robe, Twilka pivoted to re-enter the room. With a stifled scream, she saw a dark shadow standing beside the bed. Breaking the water glass on the door frame and holding the jagged base fragment as a weapon, she said, “I’ve activated my personal panic button. The hotel’s security detail will be here in a minute. Leave now and I won’t press charges.”
He stepped into the moonlight. “We need to talk. Cancel the alarm.”
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.
Three 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 recently 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.”
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This sequel to The Wreck of the Nebula Dream answered questions about what happened to the main and two secondary characters. I'd hoped that Twilka and Khevan would find their HEA. The road to true love did not run smooth for these likeable characters. In Nebula Dream, we saw a hint of Twilka's strength. She had no idea what would be expected of her--or what she would agree to.
Khevan needed a good kick in the pants for not following Twilka after their life-threatening adventure on the Nebula Dream. But the D'nvannae Brother had a jealous mistress, The Red Lady. And she is vengeful toward those in her service who put others first, especially, a human female.
Ms Scott weaves a complicated tale of separated lovers who need to dig deep for inner strength and find the courage to decide if love is worth the risk. A fast-paced, action-adventure tale that you'll want to read in one sitting--or stay up late reading far into the night.
Star Survivor is a standalone book, but it's more fun if you read The Wreck of the Nebula Dream first.