Guest Post: Veronica Scott Talks About Darik
The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl welcomes back author Veronica Scott as a guest blogger to talk about her newest release, DARIK.
Take it away Veronica!
DARIK (A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL): SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 4 By Veronica Scott
Thanks for having me as a guest one more time so I could once again update how things are going with the series! I’m happy to say that book three, JADRIAN, and now book four, DARIK, have been among the bestselling titles of my entire author career and I’m so very grateful to the readers for taking the time to find my series and enjoy the adventures and romance.
I had a special thrill recently when author Laurann Dohner, whose New Species series is a huge favorite of mine, said on my author page about DARIK: “It’s an awesome book and series. I’m hooked!” I was floating on air, let me tell you!
Darik is the fourth book of the series and focuses on a soldier in the pack which was created with canine DNA influences. I wanted to tell a story about a ‘lone wolf’ Badari warrior, sent off on a solo mission and enjoying time away from the pack. He thinks he’d be happy to have a mate someday maybe, but he’s not in any rush. So of course he promptly meets the human woman he suspects is his mate, but she’s a prisoner of the evil Khagrish scientists, held for much of the book in a basically impenetrable underground lab.
I had a lot of fun with this one and threw in some nods to a few of my favorite scifi movies, like “Aliens”, “Puppet Masters” and “Outbreak” but remember, I’m writing romance so the on the page gore level was kept low and of course there’s a Happy For Now ending. (It’s HEA for Darik and Nicolle but as far as the arc for the entire series, things are only HFN because the bigger challenges of defeating the enemy still exist.)
I’m working on book five, Gabe, now and this one will spring a huge surprise on the Badari and the humans. But no spoilers!
I released Jadrian, book three, in May. The books can be read in any order but the series does build upon itself with each successive book.
For now, enjoy this excert of Darik…
Setting: Nicolle is trapped inside a zoolike, outdoors portion of the alien lab complex. Darik and his metallic Artificial Intelligence companion are outside the force field barrier. This is their first meeting:
The pretty stream flowed through a meadow. The berries had lured Nicolle here as the Khagrish rations upset her stomach but, apparently, the wild animal had been breakfasting on the berries as well.
And now it wants me for a meal too.
Raising its outsized head, the predator sniffed the air and took a step in her direction. Rising to its hind legs and towering over her, the animal roared a challenge before dropping to all fours again and coming toward her, moving faster as it approached.
Frozen, hand clenched on the nearly useless forked stick, Nicolle had a vague idea of throwing herself into the creek or falling to the ground and playing dead.
A roar sounded from behind her, across the water, maybe even from outside the force barrier. Startled, she screamed and slipped on the mossy rocks, barely keeping her footing. The animal in front of her rose to its full height again, bellowing and displaying an impressive array of sharp teeth, as well as yellowed claws on its massive front paws. Nicolle cowered, but the beast wasn’t paying any attention to her now. All its attention was on whatever was beyond the stream.
The next roar from behind her was even more impressive. It sounded almost…human?
Ears flattened, the beast pivoted, dropped to all fours, and scrambled away from Nicolle as fast as it could go, bushy tail tucked away between its legs.
Breathing shakily, she steeled herself to turn, hoping this new threat was outside the force barrier and couldn’t get in.
Having wheeled to face the other direction, at first she couldn’t believe her eyes. Nothing but one man stood across the force barrier from her. Granted, he was incredibly tall and well built under his camouflage uniform, but there was nothing about him to suggest the ability to utterly terrify a creature like the one recently slavering to eat her. Had the beast been frightened off by the sight of his lethal pulse rifle? But then who or what had been roaring? “Thank you,” she said, her vocal cords barely working. “Who are you?”
Thank the Lords of Space—he speaks Basic.
He looked her up and down critically. “Are you ok? No wounds?”
She dropped the stick into the water, wrapping her arms around herself in an effort not to shake so hard. “Just scared. Can you—can you get us out of here?” Nicolle sank onto the nearest boulder as her legs gave way from reaction to the danger so recently averted.
Brow furrowed, he glanced at the oddly colorful small orb floating in the air beside him and shook his head. “Not today. How many of you are there?”
“Twenty, including me. We arrived late yesterday, shipped from the lab in the flatlands.”
“Originally from the Amarcae colony in the Sectors?”
She blinked in surprise at how well informed he was and nodded. “Most of us. How did you know?”
“We must retreat,” said his metallic companion in a warbling birdlike voice, moving side to side as if nervous. “The other humans approach. We must not be detected.”
“I have to go,” the man said, slinging the pulse rifle over his shoulder. “Promise not to mention me to anyone. I’ll see what I can do about calling in a rescue, but it’s complicated. The Khagrish can’t know I’m here, so you can’t even tell the other prisoners. Not all humans can be trusted.”
She ignored his slur on humans’ integrity. “I swear not to talk about you, but please, please help us. These aliens conduct experiments—”
“I know all about what the Khagrish do.” He seemed reluctant to abandon her, taking two steps in the direction his metal companion had gone but then turning to face her.
Hoping knowing her name might make her plight more difficult for him to ignore, she said, “I’m Nicolle, by the way.”
Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments. Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.
Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.
Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?
Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
About Veronica Scott
USA Today Best Selling 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.”