To be notified of future Backlist to the Future posts, you can subscribe to this blog (top of the sidebar). If you’d like to submit your book for this feature, click here to get the particulars.
By Diane Burton
In the late 1990s, I was at a low point in my writing life. So many rejections on the contemporary romances I’d submitted. For fun, I wrote a story about an Earth girl who was kidnapped by aliens . . . by mistake. They wanted Cindy Crawford and got Amy Poehler. It was fun to write something crazy. It also brought back that wondrous feeling I had when I first started writing.
Then I tried to get it published. I had no idea Switched was a science fiction romance. Back then we called it a futuristic. Of course, none of the BIG publishers were buying futuristics. When a local publisher visited my RWA chapter’s weekend retreat, she said she’d heard from a mutual friend that I had a futuristic and asked why I hadn’t sent it to her. Her new company, ImaJinn, published paranormal, fantasy, and futuristic novels. I never got “the call”—rather an email offering to publish. My first published novel! I was ecstatic. Even more so, when she said while reading my manuscript she fell out of bed laughing. (Here it is seventeen years later and I still remember that compliment.) Switched came out in late August, 2001. Two weeks later, we all know what happened. September 11th. Elation turned to shock and horror.
Fast forward ten years. I had the rights back, and another friend suggested I use Kindle Direct Publishing to put Switched in digital format. I updated the story, added a new beginning, and changed an unpronounceable name. That’s how a new aspect of my writing career began. When asked which of my books is my favorite, I say it’s like asking which of my children is my favorite. Secretly, though, Switched is my fav because it was my first.
As if being kidnapped by aliens isn’t bad enough, Jessie Wyndom discovers they grabbed her by mistake. She wise cracks past her fear especially when she learns she was part of an experiment separating Terran twins before birth. Her twin just took Jessie’s place back in Ann Arbor, Michigan while she gets to twiddle her thumbs on an Alliance of Planets starship. The only good part is the hunky captain. Except, he’s so unemotional he could be Mr. Spock’s clone.
Captain Marcus Viator’s well-organized life is turned upside down by the free-spirited female from Earth. Problems with the starship prevent him from returning her to her home. Fate brings them together. Treachery tears them apart. Is their love strong enough to reunite them?
At the whisper of a whoosh, Jessie spun around. A portion of the wall parted to reveal a doorway. A tall man in a burgundy and silver jumpsuit strode into the room.
Oo-whee. What a hunk. Raven black hair and brows. A blade-straight nose and a strong jaw. No five o’clock shadow for this guy. He had soot-black lashes to die for and silver eyes. Hold on. Silver eyes? She shivered at their intensity. Not in fear but in a purely feminine reaction. Yowza. Get me a fan.
“My name is Captain Marcus Aurelius Viator of the Alliance starship Freedom. This is Ensign Drakus, a member of our Security team.” The tall man indicated his considerably shorter companion.
Intent on the hunk, Jessie hadn’t even noticed the little guy who climbed on a step and peered into the pedestal monitor. She stretched out her hand. “Hi, I’m—“
“Captain. I checked the coordinates in the booth.” Drakus nodded to the upper right wall. “And verified them here. She was transported from a residence outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Earth. If she is the owner, her name is Jessica Marie Wyndom. Age: twenty-nine. Occupation: repairman.”
“Transported?” She snorted. “Ri-ight. Okay, I’ll play along. But, c’mon, guys, let’s be PC. I’m a repairperson. So, is there a secret salute I should know?” She dropped her hand and glanced down at the little guy. “A troll. Nice costume, kid. Aren’t you a little young to be one of my nerdy brother’s friends?”
The man who called himself Captain Viator raised a finely-sculpted black eyebrow. “Ensign Drakus is not a child. He is a Trucanian.”
She snorted again. “From the planet Trucania, I suppose.”
“The planet Trucan,” the troll corrected with glee.
“Right. And I’ve been kidnapped by aliens.” She rolled her eyes. “Give me a break. I’m not going to fall for that gag. I recognize Tim’s handiwork here.”
“Captain, she does not believe—“
The tall man held up his hand. “It is better that she not.”
An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. She shook it off. “I like your outfit, big guy. Pretty authentic looking.” Hobbling on one shoe, she circled the Captain, examining him. “You’re quite an improvement over the geeks Tim usually hangs with.” She stopped behind him. “Great buns.”
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 One Red Shoe, a 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 live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren. For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com