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WHY VERONICA SCOTT WROTE DARIK

And there's an excerpt!

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Thanks for having me back again as a guest! I love coming to your blog and talking about why I wrote my new book, each time I release something else. (Let me know if I get too boring!) This time the book is Darik: A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance (Sectors New Allies Series Book 4).

This is book four in my series set in the far future about genetically engineered warriors and the human women who love them, and as I always do, I challenged myself to make sure I made the events on the pages different from the three previous stories. For starters, this is the first book featuring a Badari from the pack which was created using more canine type DNA, rather than the feline/great cat line, and the story starts off with Darik being happy he’s a lone wolf at heart, sent on a mission alone to the far north mountains to check out a new lab. I figured it was time to highlight someone from the other pack!

I gave him a new companion no one else has ever had in the series, a miniature version of MARL, the alien Artificial Intelligence discovered by the heroine in the first book. Darik and MARL12 don’t have a good meeting of the minds and he, in fact, gets quite exasperated with the AI a time or two. Their assignment is to see how well a Badari and one of the MARL mini units can work together and Darik is pretty convinced for most of the book that it’s a bad idea.

The Khagrish lab itself is very different this time, built underground and not outfitted like any other installation Darik has ever seen, which throws him off a bit.

I threw a lot of barriers in the way between Darik and Nicolle, the woman he thinks might be his mate. They didn’t get to spend much time together in the early parts of the book (I’m nicer to them later, I promise). So far the other Badari in the novels have been side by side with the heroine pretty much right away but not this time. Darik and Nicolle think about each other though…

And I just might have thrown in a few elements as nods to some of my favorite scifi tales like Puppet Masters, Aliens and Outbreak along the way…but remember my motto – I write scifi romance that’s like the movie ‘Aliens’ but with a lot less gore and a lot more romance. So no worries about this turning into a horror story or anything. Lots of action, adventure, and romance!

About Darik: 

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.

The excerpt (the first meeting between Darik and Nicolle):

Suddenly, the angry and challenging cry of a large predator echoed across the mountain, followed by a woman’s scream. Darik didn’t hesitate but broke into a run, keeping to the shadows of the towering trees as much as possible but hastening in the direction of the sound. He unslung his pulse rifle and ran with it at the ready.

“I’m picking up a new scent, animal, probably like the one whose print we saw earlier.” Not slackening his pace, he threw the comment at MARL12.

“Why are we proceeding into an encounter with the predator?” MARL12 kept up with him but the question was querulous.

“There’s a human in jeopardy,” Darik said over his shoulder.

“Our mission is to infiltrate the enemy’s AI system, to observe. Not to assist captives.”

“Mission parameters change as conditions change.” Annoyed at the implied criticism of his choice to investigate, Darik added, “No one knew there were humans here. Now we do.”

“But—”

“Shut up or the mountain beast will hear us coming.”

When he emerged from the forest into the scattered smaller growth, he stopped, dropping into cover in a small dip in the ground. “Son of a bitch, what the hell is the human female doing out here? She’s gonna get herself killed and eaten.” He turned to the AI floating next to him. “Take down this section of the force barrier so I can get in there and protect her.”

Humming, red and purple waves swirling on its surface, MARL12 said, “Rescuing humans is not a mission imperative. I cannot risk our detection by interfering with the force barrier.”

Darik swore. “You and me are going to have a talk when this is over.” Rising to his feet, he sprinted toward the edge of the Preserve, where the energy barrier shimmered faintly in the morning air.

Nicolle stood with her back to the stream running unimpeded through the invisible fence, clutching a forked stick she’d grabbed from the ground as she slipped and scrambled to get away from the beast she was now facing. Holding the unwieldy branch like a trident, she tried to make herself appear bigger and more fierce. A human not to be messed with. Her throat ached from the first few screams of terror, but the sounds only seemed to intrigue the beast, so she bit her lip until she tasted blood. Not a good idea either, Nicolle. Blood probably entices the creature even more.

On all fours now, the animal studied her, sniffing the air as its massive head swayed from side to side.

Will anyone come to help me? But, even if Greer and the others heard her scream and followed her tracks, what could unarmed humans do against this terrifying beast? When the creature stood on its trunk-like hind legs, it was easily 7’ high and the dinner plate sized paws carried multiple hooked claws. Its coat was an odd mix of white, silver and gray, in a camouflage-style pattern that made the animal hard to focus on and the fangs were like daggers. She sidled sideways a foot or so and the creature tracked her movements, stubby ears flattening on its skull. Nicolle stopped, searching desperately for a crevice, anything she could use to shelter or hide. She’d never make it to the sparse tree growth in the direction she’d come originally. Damn beast can probably climb better than I can anyway.

Nothing helpful presented itself to her desperate gaze.

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.

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About Veronica:

Veronica ScottUSA Today Best Selling Author

“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 read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

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I always love having you visit, Veronica! Fun post! I’ve been reading the series in between the moving nightmares and it is SO good! Anyone have questionsn for Veronica?

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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