I recently interviewed Nancy about her new release. Here’s what she had to say…
SFRB: First of all, Nancy, welcome to the SFR Brigade! As one of our newest members, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to write Science Fiction Romance. What inspired or still inspires you? Who are some of your favorite authors or books in the subgenre?
I began my career as a published author writing futuristic romance as Nancy Cane for Dorchester. Marilyn Campbell was in my critique group and published in that genre at the time, and she inspired me to write one of my own. I’d written six previous romantic intrigue stories and none of them had sold. I was a big Star Trek fan so it wasn’t much of a stretch to combine science fiction with romance. I wrote four stories for Dorchester and then switched to mysteries when the market cycled down. My Bad Hair Day mystery series was very successful but I always had in mind the story for Silver Serenade and couldn’t let it go.
Some of my favorite SFR authors are Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Catherine Asaro, Susan Kearney, Patricia Waddell, among others.
SFRB: Tell us a little about Silver Serenade. Who are the main characters? What’s the meaning behind the title Silver Serenade? What do you think makes it a great story—the romance, the world-building, the imaginative premise…or something else?
Silver is the heroine’s name and that’s where the title comes from, but it also relates to the mourning hymn she chants every night in her parents’ memory. They were killed by Tyrone Bluth, leader of Tyrone’s Marauders, and she’s pledged her life to revenge. She’s about to shoot Bluth from her sniper position above a hilltop when someone crashes into her. Jace Vernon has spotted her and takes her down before she can kill the one man he needs alive as witness in his defense. He’s been accused of murder on his home world of Kurash, and only Tyrone Bluth can clear him. He won’t allow Silver to complete her mission.
What makes it a great story? Everything! The complex universe, the characters, the touch of humor, and the paranormal element all combine to make this a memorable romance.
SFRB: Tell us a little about the universe where Silver Serenade takes place.
Two main governments occupy known space. One is the Terran Consortium consisting of Earth and its colonies. The Maxima Chancellor is the elected official at the head of this system. He sits on the Council of Directors, mostly made up of interplanetary corporate CEOs. Under them are divisions called Earth Centrum, Security Integrated Network (S.I.N.), and the Colonies. S.I.N. is the intelligence branch and that’s where Silver works. Earth Centrum and the Colonies each have their own presidents. The colonies are further divided into departments such as Administration, Exploration, Agriculture, Mining, etc. Earth Centrum has Defense Command, Justice, Education, Science, etc.
Across the border is the war-like Kurashki Alliance which, except for its space fleet, follows a feudal system with a hereditary monarch. They believe in conquest rather than diplomacy.
These two systems are on the brink of war, which can only be forestalled by the hero’s vote in the Kurashki body of government called the Parsate. Unfortunately, Jace has been framed for murder and his greedy cousin has taken over his estates and his titles. Jace has to regain his status to offer his plan for peace. He won’t succeed if Silver kills the man he needs alive to prove his innocence. Jace pursues justice while Silver is bent on revenge.
The politics are complicated, and there are hints of worse threats on the horizon as the story unfolds. I like adding political intrigue into my stories and building the groundwork for more tales of adventure in the same universe.
I’ve put bonus features like Weapons and Warships on my website for fans who like more details. Access them here.
SFRB: Nancy, I know you’ve written other novels—Circle of Light (a HOLT Medallion Award winner!), Moonlight Rhapsody, and Starlight Child--that I’d classify as SFR from the blurbs, but they’re identified as Paranormal Romance. Do you see a distinction between SFR and Paranormal Romance, or do you feel SFR falls under the broad PR umbrella?
In my case, it’s a matter of marketing! Paranormal romance gets more hits than futuristic or science fiction romance, and since my stories fit into both definitions, that’s what I call them on certain sites. I definitely see a distinction between the genres. Science Fiction Romance extrapolates on what might be real in the future or on technology or real issues we’re dealing with today. Futuristic Romance is similar but sometimes takes place in a pre-technological environment and focuses more heavily on the romantic conflict. Paranormal Romance includes elements like magic, extrasensory perception, or anything out of the ordinary often in a modern-day setting. Since my books take place in futuristic settings with at least one character who possesses special powers, I’m loosely interpreting that as meaning they can fit into either category. Just between you and me, they’re really SFR.
SFRB: When, where or how did you come up with the idea that became Silver Serenade? How long did it take you to write it? Are there any anecdotes connected with the story you'd like to relate?
I was intrigued by the notion of two characters, a man and a woman, who would be after the same bad guy but for different reasons. What would happen when they caught him? Which one of them would prevail? Thus I created my heroine, an assassin, whose assignment is to kill the terrorist, Tyrone Bluth. The hero, a convicted murderer, needs the villain alive to prove his innocence. Jace and Silver team up to catch the bad guy but what will happen when they succeed? Which one of them will give up their goal to help the other person?
It took me a long time to write, because I did it in between my other book obligations. I finally had free rein when I finished my Bad Hair Day mystery contracts. Silver and Jace nagged at me to finish their story, and I couldn’t get them out of my head.
What surprised me were the unexpected twists the story took, and I hope they delight you as much as they did me. I don’t want to spoil your fun except to say that a couple of surprises involve the Elusians. Jace’s valet, Mixy, is an Elusian who has the ability to magnify Jace’s emotions and display them through his colored robe for all to see. He adds a touch of humor to the story and also the paranormal element. Mixy is a riot. If anything, he threatens to steal the thunder from our heroes.
Also what amazed me in this story was the spiritual or mystical turn of events when Silver and Jace go to Stacktown. That’s a planet where people go and don’t return, and there are rumors about ghosts. I wasn’t quite sure what would happen in that place and the outcome surprised me.
SFRB: Do you have a favorite quote, line or scene from Silver Serenade that you'd like to share?
Here’s an exciting scene where Silver and Jace are making an escape:
[Silver is speaking to Jace] “We used to play with turbo scooters when we were kids. These are the newest R-25 models by Royce. I checked the fuel levels earlier, and we should have enough to get to the hospital. We’ll blend in with ground cover if we fly low.”
Jace gave her an admiring glance that shot a thrill through her. “Resourceful. How about the noise?”
“Dampeners take care of that problem. Are you okay with driving your own?” Bending, she grabbed hold of one device and uprighted it.
“I’ll manage.” Following her example, he placed one foot in front of another on the single board, gripped the handle bars, and wound a safety strap around his torso.
“It can get a little bumpy when you hit an air current, but we’ll go faster with a tailwind. Stay on my tack.”
Silver pushed the start button, and a familiar vibration rumbled underfoot. Punching the anti-grav flow valve, she suppressed a whoop of exhilaration when her scooter lifted. Hoping she could maintain her balance with rusty skills, she jabbed the turbo boost.
Her pulse raced as she shot over the edge of the roof, tilted sideways, centered her rider, and soared forward. Uh oh, security detail below at two o’clock. Veering left, she avoided the estate’s main entrance and surged toward a clump of trees leading to a major thoroughfare. That would take them into the city. Loose hairs whipped her cheeks and stung her eyes as she spun into the air lane.
Glancing backward, she grinned at Jace who proved his mettle by waving. Gods, this was fun. It had been eons since she’d done something so sinfully playful. A flush warmed her skin as she remembered their lovemaking. Well, maybe not so long.
As they neared her apartment complex, she slipped into a stream of other night owls prowling the streets. The rush of wind in her ears died, replaced by roaring engines and nonstop loudspeaker advertisements. She plunged her scooter up and down geometrically designed avenues and looped around skyscrapers. Intent on checking over her shoulder for signs of pursuit, she narrowly missed a dive-bombing aircar.
Her stomach catapulted into her throat as she careened sideways and flipped upside-down. With a lurch, she righted herself and swooped north just in time to avoid hitting a flyby night train.
Her apartment building loomed into sight. Hopefully anyone watching from the street wouldn’t notice their descent.
SFRB: What’s next? Any more SFR novels in the works?
Right now I’m working on a true paranormal romance. It takes place on modern-day Earth with magical elements and is based on Norse mythology. Once I get this story out of my head, I may do a sequel to Silver Serenade. I already have an overall series title and the spin-off characters in mind. It will help if readers clamor for more stories in this universe! You can keep track of my releases and projects here:
SFRB: In closing, would you share a blurb and/or an excerpt from Silver Serenade?
Here’s a blurb and an excerpt showing the romantic conflict since we already did an action scene above.
Ace pilot Jace Vernon is forced to flee his home world after being framed for murder. He seeks justice, but S.I.N. agent Silver Malloy gets in his way. The platinum-haired beauty counters his every move in the quest to clear his name. As he makes it his mission to break her, he doesn=t count on the personal consequences of success.
Silver refuses to abort her deadly mission even if it means killing the one man Jace needs alive to prove his innocence. Her resolve wavers when Jace’s charms melt the barriers around her heart. Can she help him win his case, even if it means betraying her own people?
Silver bowed her head. Just when she’d finally cast aside the darkness of her past to grasp the light, Jace snatched it from her.
By the stars, she didn’t want him to know how much she cared. Duty meant more to him than she did, or he’d renounce his obligations in favor of staying with her. She should have realized happiness was merely an illusion.
“So, I bring you to life, huh? Like this?” Pressing a hand to the small of her back, he dragged her against him. With his other hand, he tilted her face. She lifted her gaze to his resolute jaw and contoured lips.
His mouth crushed down on hers. At first, she refused to respond, but his relentless kiss weakened her defense. She parted her lips, letting his tongue swirl inside her mouth.
He explored her crevices, leaving nothing untouched, while she grew languorous in his embrace. Switching his angle, he scoured her mouth until her teeth hurt.
You want to play with fire? I can handle the game. She knew he wasn’t immune to her charms. Maybe he had to marry Yvette, but the proper Kurashki lady could never give him what Silver could. She’d make him remember her for all eternity.
Intrigued? Here’s the Silver Serenade book trailer to really get you hooked.
Silver Serenade sounds like a wonderful SFR treat. And now for the party favor!
For a chance to win a .pdf copy of Silver Serenade add a comment below. You can just say hello or tell Nancy what intrigues you about her novel. Have fun!
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