Our guest today is best-selling author, Veronica Scott. She is a two-time recipient of the SFR Galaxy Award and the winner of the 2014 National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award for Paranormal and Futuristic Romance. She has written a number of science-fiction and paranormal romances and writes the SciFi Encounters column for the USA Today/HEA blog. Kirkus Reviews stated of her last SFR novel, Escape From Zulaire: “Scott, an experienced romance novelist, distinguishes herself first and foremost as a gripping storyteller; the conventional romantic undertones only distract a little from a well-constructed sci-fi escape novel.”
We invited Ms. Scott to tell us about one of the characters she has created.
Etier: Welcome, Veronica. Who will we learn about today?MissionToM2
Scott: Thanks for having me as your guest today! We agreed I’d talk about one of my characters in a bit more detail so I’ll give you Major Mike Varone, of the Sectors Special Forces. Not familiar with that fine organization, you say? Well, in my science fiction adventure/romances, the action takes place in the far future, when humans have spread through the galaxy, met other sentient beings of all types and have formed a civilization together known as the Sectors.
Of course there are several Big Bads in this universe, one being the Mawreg, a deadly alien race that wants to destroy everything the Sectors has built. Hence the need for a top notch military in space and on the ground. Mike is a member of one branch of the service. The Mawreg don’t figure too much in the plot of Mission to Mahjundar.
So, fire away with the questions!
Etier: When and where is the story set?
Scott: The action occurs on the planet Zulaire, located in one of the more distant Sectors.
Etier: What should we know about Major Varone?
Scott: Mike and his cousin Johnny, who is also a Sectors Special Forces operator, have done their time in the military and were actually in the retirement processing center when Command pulled them to handle the job on Zulaire. A small ship carrying a squad of operators has crashed in the planet’s Djeelaba Mountains. The men had been operating behind enemy lines and were believed to have obtained some vital information. But mineral deposits on Zulaire make it impossible to pinpoint the site of the wreck. Because they grew up on a frontier world, our hero and his cousin have some skills that make them the best match for an assignment on backwater Zulaire. Mike agrees to take the job because Command thinks there might be survivors to extract. Johnny takes the assignment because he always watches Mike’s six.
Etier: What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Scott: Day One on the planet, Mike is in the right place at the wrong time as a terrorist bomb goes off. He ends up saving the life of Princess Shalira. Daughter of the dying emperor, she’s been blind since an incident in her childhood. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. After Mike saves Shalira from the bombing attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike and Johnny along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.
Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be. Here’s a quote from the novel, revealing how Mike feels after agreeing to this side trip:
What had the mission briefers said? Nothing was ever simple and straightforward on Mahjundar. Expect the unexpected. Yeah, but who could have foreseen this set of complications? Princesses are the stuff of kids’ fairy tales, not an assignment for a first-tier operator like me.
Etier: What is the personal goal of the character?

Scott: As I said above, Mike’s committed to finding the wrecked military spaceship and retrieving the crew, dead or alive, and recovering the vital information. He never loses that overriding imperative but his personal goal becomes completely entwined with Shalira’s fate.

Etier: Where can we read more about the book?
Scott: Mission to Mahjundar was published in August and is available as an e book and a POD paperback.

Here are the links:
Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO
You can find out more about her and her books at http://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

or follow her on twitter @vscotttheauthor