Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
Wild Women Authors is always looking for new and interesting characters to meet and get to know. Author Veronica Scott has brought someone we'd like very much to know better: Dr Emily Shane. We'll let her do the heavy lifting.
Where are you from, Emily? The planet Haliron, in the Sectors; however during my time in the military, I served all over the galaxy.
Tell us a bit about Star Cruise: Outbreak. I accepted a short term job as the Chief Medical Officer on the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr and early in the cruise we had a passenger death, followed by an epidemic. There are 3000 people on board the ship and I’m responsible for trying to save all of them.
What did you think the first time you saw Jake Dilon? Honestly, that he was sexy – deep voice, strong hand shake, military bearing…but I didn’t want to get involved.
Understood. Knee deep in an epidemic is no time for a relationship. What was your second thought? I had mixed emotions. I’m still suffering from PTSD as a result of my combat experiences so it was nice to meet a fellow veteran who seemed to understand where I was coming from, but on the other hand, he’d met me once before, under the worst circumstances and I really didn’t want to talk about it.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Definitely not! I was attracted to him, sure, the guy is amazing…but I had a lot of my own emotional things to deal with, so I tried to stay uninvolved. Professional. At arm’s length. I was only supposed to be on the ship for a couple of months.
What do you like most about Jake? He’s extremely capable, like all former Sectors Special Forces soldiers. Efficient, deadly. Keeps his head in a crisis. But he’s also got a sweet, tender side. And a great sense of humor!
How would you describe him? A good guy to have watching your back in a bad situation and the best romantic partner a girl could ask for.
We like the order you listed them in. How would this good guy describe you? Uptight, intense, driven. Excellent doctor. A damn good volleyball player. He seems to appreciate my other physical attributes, too.
What made you choose medicine for a career? My father’s a doctor so ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be like him, and save lives.
What is your biggest fear? Too much downtime. Although now, with Jake around, my hours outside the sickbay are a lot more fun.
How do you relax? With Jake! There are also excellent amenities on the Nebula Zephyr for the crew and the passengers – a beach deck, a gym and more.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I’m not much for fiction but I do enjoy a good adventure trideo. Actress Liora Daburkn playing the heroine in “Pirates of the Solar Sails” is one of my favorite stories to rewatch. She was on our cruise, by the way.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Actually Jake gives me a lot of good advice about dealing with my PTSD issues, based on his experiences. And our ship’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) had some useful suggestions here and there, although she can be a nuisance at times.
This has been very interesting, Emily and we thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Now it's Veronica's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I started reading science fiction really young, beginning with Andre Norton’s Catseye, so I’ve been a fan of the genre since I was a kid. I just think there needs to be more romance in the books! My favorite movie is “Aliens”, with a strong heroine and her space marine hero, Hicks. I also love all kinds of romance novels!
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My Dad had cholera as a kid and may have been the only person in the whole state to have it that year, which – as he told the story – set off an intense epidemiological hunt to find the cause. Where and how did he contract it, you know? Anyway, from an early age I was fascinated by the way doctors can do detective work, and how an epidemic can spread. I enjoy stories with that kind of background and I thought it would be interesting to have the outbreak on a star ship. I also built on the way norovirus epidemics happen on modern day cruise ships.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I self-publish nowadays actually. My first two books were released by the Carina Press imprint of Harlequin and I learned so much from them, about the process. The people at Carina were terrific to work with. But I prefer the control of publishing myself. I pick the covers, I hire the editors, I set the date for release and the price, etc.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’m currently working on my 14th novel, which is another science fiction romance but also a variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I hope to release it in the September time frame.
What's up next for you? Probably another novel in the Star Cruise series. I intend to tell a lot of stories on that ship! But no more about epidemics.
Veronica brought an excerpt Star Cruise: Outbreak along with her:
“The entire crew of the Nebula Zephyr is in your debt, Dr. Shane.” Now he let go of her arm and stepped away.
Her cheeks warm, knowing she was red with embarrassment, Emily smoothed her hair off her face and stood straighter, trying not to stare at the man sent to fetch her. Taller than she was by at least a foot, the stranger had close-cropped black hair that probably curled a little if left to its own devices and deeply blue eyes set in a tanned face. He was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a formfitting black T-shirt outlining broad, muscular shoulders. The edge of an intriguing tattoo showed below the left sleeve’s hem.
Realizing she was staring, she took the hand he was offering. His grip was firm, her own tightening in reflex. She felt the stirrings of interest along her nerves but took a deep breath to shake off the sensation. Good to know she could still be affected by an attractive man with a deep voice and a strong handshake, but now wasn’t the time or place to pursue the unexpected sensation.
“Jake Dilon, ship’s chief security officer, at your service, Dr. Shane. May I say it’s an honor to meet you, ma’am?”
He hesitated as if he wanted to say more. With a self-deprecating laugh, she said, “Don’t make too much of the experience, you might be disappointed.”
She’d had a lot of experience blocking comments about her past since returning home to Harilon. It was almost second nature by now. Running on instinct, she retreated to the small office at the right of the corridor, the man following her. He moved silently. As she glanced over her shoulder, she felt compelled to warn him this berth on his ship wasn’t a done deal. “I haven’t agreed to ship out with you yet, by the way. My father had no right to speak for me and I’m still undecided.” As she sank into her father’s cushioned desk chair, she asked, “Why is this so urgent?”
He focused on her face with an unnerving intensity. Blue eyes narrowed, he paused for a moment, rocking onto his heels. “Captain Fleming was told you’d said yes.”
Surprised by his obvious dismay, she unbent a bit. “What happened to your ship’s doctor anyway?”
“You would ask the question we can’t answer.” Jake’s grin seemed genuinely rueful. “He took shore leave when we arrived at Harilon ten days ago and failed to report back. Your planetary police can’t seem to locate him, and we can’t wait any longer. Even cruise ships have deadlines to meet, and we’re carrying a lot of cargo, which means penalties if we don’t deliver on time.” He spun the old-fashioned globe on the edge of the desk. Head tilted, studying her while she was contemplating him, he said, “I’m no doctor, but I think it’s pretty light duty, ma’am. I don’t recall Dr. Meers ever complaining about being overworked.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work.” She drew in a deep breath, trying to block a flashback of stretchers full of injured soldiers. Her responsibilities in the past had been staggering and fraught with consequences. “Quite the opposite. I like to stay busy.”
To purchase Star Cruise: Outbreak, go to:
To learn more about Veronica Scott and the stories she creates, go to:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1