She’s an alien empath. He’s an interstellar mob enforcer.

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?

What is the name of your world?

My science fiction romantic suspense novels are all set in the Sectors, an interstellar civilization in the far future, spanning large portions of this galaxy. Many different beings inhabit the Sectors, in a more or less peaceful union. Humankind and their allies continue to explore and expand but have run into a powerful enemy in the alien Mawreg, who are determined to conquer the Sectors. I have a range of novels set in this universe, from tales aboard luxury interstellar cruise ships to stories of men and women trapped on planets in the throes of war. The current novel is set on a highly civilized planet but moves outside the borders of the Sectors for the final events.

What makes your world special or different?

I like to include an element of mysticism and the unknown in my novels. Not everything reduces neatly to a scientifically explainable phenomenon.

Many of the planets have installations and relics from spacegoing civilizations that rose and fell long before humans ever ventured out from Earth.

Their abandoned technology is often still operative to some extent and is so beyond ours as to seem like magic. Other worlds have their own powerful religions, artifacts and people with powers, some in the psychic realm. My matter of fact, competent Special Forces soldiers and others come up against these elements on occasion and may be helped or hindered, depending on the situation.

How does your main character fit into this world?

In the current novel, Miriell has been kidnapped by aliens allied with the enemy Mawreg and sold to the Amarotu Combine crime syndicate because of her empathic powers. She does her best to cling to her own beliefs and to survive in the often hostile technological world of the Sectors, while being coerced by the Combine to help them commit crimes. She’s an undocumented alien sentient with no idea how to find help or who to trust. The hero, Conor, is a former soldier and now works as a mob enforcer, but he’s keeping a lot of secrets. He finds himself drawn to Mirielle and wants to protect her against his boss’s schemes.

What are the two most interesting facts or features of your world?

I have several sets of beings who influence events in the Sectors – the Mellureans, an ancient race of secretive beings living on a closed world who may or may not be what they seem. These people have immense powers and allied themselves with the people of the Sectors because they too hate the Mawreg. Everyone is a little scared of the Mellureans but at the same time want their help. I’ve also created two alien sisters, the Red Lady and the White Lady, who each maintain their own religious order and keep checks and balances on each other. The Red Lady runs the D’nvannae Brotherhood, a sect of extremely dangerous men completely dedicated to her, who serve as bodyguards or assassins at her whim. (Yes, there’s a D’nvannae Sisterhood as well, equally powerful but I have yet to feature them in a novel.) The D’nvannae don’t have a role in this current book but have been in other Sectors novels.

And as I mentioned above, there are the remnants of what are known as the “Ancient Observers,” the civilizations that came before, sometimes millions of years before. Humans want to learn all they can about these beings from the fragments.

What is one last thing you would like readers to know all about your world?

A lot of exciting action and adventure occurs in the Sectors, with strong heroines and equally tough heroes…and Happy Ever After endings because this is romance.

About Veronica Scott

Veronica Scott square photo250Best Selling Science Fiction, Fantasy & Paranormal Romance author, as well as the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy 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 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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