Today we are pleased to welcome Diane Burton who brings Laning Servary, from THE CHAMELEON a science fiction romance.
First, a bit about our author guest: Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. 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.
Now, let's hear from Laning: Where are you from? I’m originally from the planet Traish in the Coalition of Planets Central District. For the past eight years, I’ve been a Security Chief out on the Frontier of space, the Outer Rim—comparable to a sheriff in your old west.
Tell us a bit about “The Chameleon”. Socialite Jileena Winslott appears to be the spoiled, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s her father's smart, savvy aide, who yearns to run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. But he insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years. That’s me, even though I never knew.
What did you think the first time you saw Jileena? Just what she wants everybody to see—Baby Winslott, a fluff-brain ditz, a royal pain in the butt. I didn’t realize I’d met her a long time ago when she was 12 and I was a Space Fleet Cadet. I thought she was charming.
And second thought? There’s a lot more to Jileena than meets the eye. She’s very talented and more sensitive to others than she lets on. Once she revealed her true nature, I was quite attracted.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Absolutely not. I had a mission—to protect her on what I thought was a damn fool sightseeing trip. If I returned her safely to her father, he promised to procure for my family the land they farmed on Traish. I’d do anything for my family—even pretend to be Baby Winslott’s fiancé.
What do you like most about Jileena? Her determination to prove that she’s worthy to take control of her family’s business. I couldn’t believe she earned 3 degrees and worked in various departments under an assumed name. That took a lot of guts.
How would you describe her? She has curly blond hair that brushes her shoulders. On shipboard, she ties or clips it back. Though she looks more serious that way, I like her hair all mussed after we’ve made love. Her green eyes reveal her intelligence (when she wants to). They can go from warm to flashing green fire when I put my foot in my mouth, which I do often. She’s tiny, her head barely reaches my shoulder. Yet when she stands up to me, she seems so much bigger.
How would she describe you? An arrogant, reluctant participant in her plan. She thinks the dimple in my left cheek is charming. She also thinks I have a cute butt.
What made you choose Space Fleet as a career? When I was young, I wanted to fly, to explore. I wanted no part of the back-breaking farm work that was slowly killing my father. My brothers, on the other hand, enjoy the challenge—if only they didn’t have to give away so much of the profit to the landowner. If Jileena’s father fulfills his promise to give my family the land, they will be set. Then I can pursue my dream to have my own charter service.
What is your biggest fear? At first it was that Jileena’s father would renege on his promise. But it took marauders capturing her to make me realize I never wanted to lose her again. Terror doesn’t come close to how I felt when they left me tied up and took her away. Idiot that I am, that’s when I realized I loved her.
How do you relax? A drink at a local tavern with my buddy. But he found his true love in “The Pilot” and they’re off the stars know where. I exercise, run, read all I can on owning my own business.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t have a lot of time to read fiction, but I remember a fairy tale about a knight and a fairy queen who could make dreams come true. Jileena says I’m her knight. I know she’s my fairy queen.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My buddy Trevarr said when you want something bad enough, go for it. He certainly did and got more than he bargained for. I’m finding out that’s true for me, too.
Now it's Diane's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Star Wars and Star Trek opened my eyes, and imagination, to space adventures. Linnea Sinclair, Jayne Castle, and Ann Aguirre showed me the world of science fiction isn’t all dry facts and mind-numbing descriptions of how things work. That romance and space adventures were a lot more fun.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. That’s me. Almost four years ago, I learned about self-publishing. I was hesitant at first—scared to try something new until a friend mentioned that since I had the rights back to my first sci-fi romance, “Switched”, what did I have to lose. I’m so glad I did. That was in November 2011. Since then, I’ve self-pubbed 2 more books in the Switched series and “The Chameleon” is the second book in the Outer Rim series. I contract out the editing and cover design and control where my books are distributed. There are drawbacks to self-publishing, of course, but then there are drawbacks to being traditionally published. I’m glad I did it myself.
Let's get a preview of “The Chameleon”:
“Commander Servary, your assignment is to escort Baby Winslott on a sightseeing tour of the Outer Rim.”
Security Officer Laning Servary clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached. By the Matriarch’s left tit, that was why he’d been recalled from the Rim to Coalition HQ? To be a glorified tour guide? A babysitter? He thanked the Exalted One that he was standing, his feet wide apart with his hands clasped behind his back. Otherwise, he might have wrapped them around Chief Vanutial’s neck and throttled him.
“Baby, sir?” Laning knew full well who Baby was. He’d met her Royal Pain-in-the-Ass at a social function last year.
“Chief Representative Winslott’s daughter wants to visit the Frontier. Her father insists you protect her.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “She has some damn fool notion about having an adventure. Apparently, those damn fool pioneers have been filling her head with damn fool ideas.”
“But, sir, I have an assignment—”
“Servary, your assignment is what I say it is,” Vanutial boomed, shattering the air in the spacious office much the same as his Volpian Cruiser did when shooting through the atmosphere.
Laning cleared his throat and snapped to attention. “Yes, sir.”
“At ease, Commander, at ease. By Lexol’s Fire, I need you out there patrolling Malcor Sector for smugglers and other miscreants. And keeping that gangster Hallart out of your sector. Not escorting some spoiled rich girl who wants a damn fool adventure.” Chief Vanutia’s voice rose.
Although he agreed, Laning knew enough to keep his mouth shut.
“Winslott insisted on you specifically. Although I don’t know why after that fiasco with President—ex-President—Filana’s son. I still can’t believe she was in Hallart’s pocket. The Divine One only knows how far his influence extends.” Chief Vanutial blew out a breath. “Never mind that. Screw this up, Servary, and your next assignment won’t be a cushy sightseeing tour. You’ll be swabbing decks on a garbage scow.”
Veronica and I thank Diane and Laning for visiting us this week. We wish you luck with The Chameleon and all future stories in this series.
Kat Henry Doran
To learn more about Diane Burton and the stories she creates go to: http://www.dianeburton.com
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane's website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Connect with Diane Burton online at:
Goodreads: Diane Burton Author
“The Chameleon” is available at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chameleon-diane-burton/1119480831?ean=2940149208616