The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel) by @dmburton72 is a Love and Romance Festival pick #99cents #scifirom
Title: The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel: Book 1)
Author: Diane Burton
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Cargo hauler, risk taker Celera d'Enfaden must work with rule-bound Administrator Trevarr Jovano to save her brother from a galactic gangster.
Life on the frontier of space is hard enough so when pirates stole Celara d'Enfaden's cargo, she vowed not to be tricked again. Determined to make an example out of indie pilots who disobey orders, Coalition Administrator Trevarr Jovano impounds Celara’s starship and cargo. If he backs down, he’ll lose respect. If she can’t deliver her cargo, she’ll default on her loan and lose her only home—her ship. More important than her ship, though, is her brother. To rescue him from a galactic gangster, she’ll even work with Jovano who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.
Celara stopped looking for the Dock Master when she saw a pair of legs topped by the most gorgeous set of male buns she’d seen in at least a year. The owner of the aforementioned body parts, encased in the dark blue uniform of the repair crew, was bent over the open hatch of an Agilean Speeder.
Now there was a ship. The sleek vessel—one of the fastest in the galaxy—almost distracted her from the mechanic. He’d shrugged off the top portion of the jumpsuit so that it pooled around his waist. The environment of the repair shop affected many newcomers, especially those unaccustomed to the heat.
As she stared at his butt, all she could think was oh, mama. She hoped he was human and the rest of him lived up to the preview. Better yet, she hoped he was in a party mood. After escaping from the pirates, Celara wanted to howl . . . and someone to howl with.
“Hey, big boy,” she called to the mechanic. “Wanna party?”
“Yo, d’Enfaden,” a pilot hollered. “How come you never ask me to party?”
“Yeah,” called his buddy. “I’ll party with ya, girl.”
“You space jocks will party all right then stick me with the bill,” she shot back before approaching the mechanic. “You there, working on the Agilean. That is one fine ship.”
As the mechanic abruptly straightened, he whacked his head on the raised engine hatch. He muttered a Bricaldian curse about origins. She hoped he meant the ship’s, not hers. But then, considering her origins, that curse wasn’t out of line. When he turned around, she sucked in a breath. Oh, yeah. A primal part of her sat up and took notice. His backside, gorgeous as it was, didn’t compare to the rest of him. He had the broad shoulders and muscles of a laborer plus the black hair, square jaw and blade-straight nose of Bricaldian aristocracy. What a delicious combination.
He tossed aside the rag on which he’d wiped his hands. As he raised his arms to slip them into the work uniform, she noticed a fading red scar near the bottom of his ribcage. Knife fight. Recent. He was lucky the wound hadn’t been deeper or higher. With a sweep of his hand, he fastened the front placket.
“No need to cover up on my account.” She winked.
“Did you arrive on that hauler?” He nodded to her ship. His voice, a tantalizing allure of baritone and chokiris, sounded vaguely familiar.
“Yep. That’s my ship.” She tucked her thumbs into the side pockets of her trousers and thrust out her chest a little in pride. “D’Enfaden’s Thermopylae. Fastest little transport in three sectors.”
He walked past her to examine her ship then ran his hand—long, strong fingers, she noted—over the dents and scrapes along the aft section. “It appears to have sustained damage.”
He even spoke in that formal manner of Bricaldians. No wonder he’d dropped the top of his uniform. After the temperate climate of their home planet, Bricaldians would have difficulty adjusting to the atmosphere on Mag Prime. Even she, who was from a less hospitable planet, had a tough time.
“My thruster gimbal got damaged when I kissed an asteroid evading filthy pirates. They didn’t catch me, though.” She grinned. “Hey, you new around here? Don’t remember seeing you before—and I sure would remember seeing you.”
He arched his dark eyebrow.
She raised her hand, palm outward, in the traditional indie greeting. “Celara d’Enfaden.” As he stared at her with green eyes as sharp and clear as veridion, she raised her own eyebrow. “And you are . . .”
When he reached into the pocket of his work uniform and pulled out a zircan leather folder, she groaned before he even opened it. She knew what the folder contained. A shiny gold badge, carved with an intricate array of stars, swirls and a tiny red jewel in the center. The insignia of the Coalition.
“I am Administrator Trevarr Jovano.” He snapped his fingers, and two armed Security personnel stepped out of the shadows of the Agilean Speeder. “I am impounding your ship and confiscating your cargo.”
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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
Writing about happy-ever-after. Some people either don’t believe in it or think it’s fantasy. I truly believe everyone deserves an HEA. And some of us get one. As a writer, I can put characters into difficult situations where they have to work together to win. Their reward is discovering their true love. Life can hand us surprises, seemingly impossible situations. Love for each other helps us work through the hard times and our love becomes stronger.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
Date Night. No matter how long you’ve been married, arrange a regular Date Night. Get a sitter for the kids and do something you enjoyed doing when you were dating—going out to a restaurant, a movie, take carryout to the park. Try something new, or something you haven’t done for a while, like bowling or rock wall climbing. Romance that is neglected will wither. Keep it active by doing something together.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account to win.
Runs February 1 – 28
Drawing will be held on March 1.
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 Numbers Never Lie and One Red Shoe, romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband of almost 50 years live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
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