Even though I’m not ready for that final frontier for the SWITCHED series with book 3, SWITCHED RESOLUTION, I’ll admit it was a great ride while it lasted. Strap in and blast off on another bumpy ride to true love with Diane Burton’s latest star-crossed lovers, Scott and Veronese. As you enjoy their witty repartee during this interview, savor a taste of the author’s voice that makes her writing such a sassy, interactive pleasure to read.
So get on board for some out-of-this-world techie fun . . . and no, you don’t have to be a geek to sign on for the trip . . .
©What word best describes true love?
Veronese: I am uncomfortable discussing something so personal. *turns to Scott* Must I answer this stranger’s questions?
Scott: That’s what an interview is, love. Go ahead. Nobody will read your answers. *winks at the interviewer*
Veronese: All right then. Dependable would be my word.
Scott: Everlasting is mine.
©Finish this sentence: When I think of love, I think of _______
Veronese: It’s such a new concept. I’m having difficulty expressing what I think.
Scott: One word—Neese. I mean, Veronese
©What’s your ideal romantic evening?
Scott: There’s this great, little Italian bistro in Ann Arbor. Nobody’s discovered it yet. Papa Georgio makes THE best mosticiolli, just like my grandmother used to make. (I think he stole her recipe. LOL) And Mama Sophia’s bread is to die for. We’d have a corner table with only a candle in a Chianti bottle. I know that sounds hokey, but there it doesn’t seem so. Papa’s brother, Antonio, would stop serving and grab his violin and play sweet Italian love songs. Perfection. Oops, forgot one thing. Mama’s cannolis for dessert.
Veronese: A quiet dinner in the captain’s quarters with no interruptions from the crew.
©What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift?
Veronese: I do not understand. What is this Valentine’s Day? We do not have such thing on Serenia.
Scott: Oh, babe, do I have a surprise for you. We should be back on Serenia in February—I know, Serenia doesn’t have months like we do on Earth. But I’ll still keep track. Oh, yeah. You’re really going to be surprised.
©Did you ever think you’d found that perfect love? What happened?
Veronese: No. There is no such thing on Serenia. We accept an offer from one of the prospective mates The Elders have chosen for us. Unfortunately, none of mine were interesting enough to commit to.
Scott: Good thing. I’d hate to have to take one of those guys behind the barn and show him who’s your true love.
Veronese: I do not understand how taking a man behind the barn would convince him.
Scott: Oh, babe, I love it when our expressions trip you up. *whispers in her ear*
Veronese: *wide-eyed look* You would do that?!
Scott: Since you’re the true love I never thought I’d find, of course.
©What are the ideal traits you’re looking for in a forever love?
Veronese: The traits I looked for in a mate—remember forever love is a foreign concept for Serenians—
Scott: Good thing you’re not a Serenian, just an Earthling like me. Oh, no. There she goes giving me a death look. Go ahead, Neese. Sorry I interrupted.
Veronese: I looked for someone with whom I had common interests, a man with an agreeable personality—that is, someone calm and peaceful and—
Veronese: *sighs* Alas, you are correct. Perhaps that is why none of The Elders’ choices was unacceptable, even though two fit my criteria. The other kissed like a wet fish.
Scott: *laughs out loud* Come on, admit it. You love my craziness.
Veronese: I do. I also discovered how much I value honesty and integrity. *squeezes his hand* I know your switching places with the captain is a lie, one you will have to continue in order to stay in space. I’m talking about honesty in our relationship. I do love your honesty.
Scott: And my hot bod. Right?
Veronese: *blushes* You know I do.
Scott: As I do yours. *lays a kiss on her that makes the interviewer blush*
©What was your first opinion of each other?
Veronese: He was an arrogant, smart ass (yes, I do know some Terran expressions) who thought switching places with the captain would be a piece of pie.
Scott: Cake. And I thought she had a stick up her ass. (cute ass that it is). She was all rules and regulations. She didn’t think I could be a proper Space Fleet captain. Boy, did I show her!
©Were you first attracted to each other?
Scott: Actually, I was sort of falling for her before we met. Her brother would go on and on about her bravery and shy sense of humor. And she worked on a starship, where I’ve wanted to be since I was six. So, yeah, I was halfway gone before I even met her.
Veronese: You were? You fell in love with me then? *shifts uncomfortably* When I first met him, I, uh, had very strange sensations whenever we were alone together—like vidges crawling under my skin and shivers when he spoke in my ear and the oddest feeling very low in my abdomen when he invaded my space. At first, I thought I had contracted a Terran ailment.
Scott: *looking very pleased* You were horny.
©What kept you from acting on that attraction?
Scott: Sabotage to the ship. We were a little busy. But she came around. *gloats*
Veronese: *swats his arm* You have no sense of decorum.
Scott: And you love me for that.
Veronese: *sighs* I do.
©Who made the first move and what was it?
Scott: Neese started to loosen up. But it wasn’t until I realized how much her help jeopardized her position on the ship that I knew I had settle down. My smart mouth has gotten me into trouble before. Even though curbing my impulsiveness was hard, it was worth it to see little glimpses of admiration in her eyes.
Veronese: He became more serious. What really changed my perception of him was when I realized he always put himself between me and danger. He has a protective streak I didn’t expect. Once I put aside my initial impressions, I saw the strong, good man underneath.
©What’s the best thing about the two of you together?
Veronese: He makes me laugh.
Scott: We’re stronger together. When all the sabotage was going on, she was the one person I could trust. I knew I could count on her. I’d do anything for her. Even give up staying in space.
Veronese: *leans into him* You don’t have to. ©What are you most looking forward to as a couple?
Scott: Not having to sneak around or make up excuses for her to come to my quarters—or me going to hers. I want to marry her so we can be together forever. Independent little cuss that she is, she beat me to the proposal.
Veronese: Are you still going on about that? I thought you would be pleased that I want to commit to you. That I want to be with you forever. That I love you and want to have your chil—
Scott: *stands and pulls Veronese in his arms, kisses her soundly* Interview over.
Actions have consequences as Space Fleet Captain Marcus Viator and NASA reject Scott Cherella discover when they switch places. Switched Resolution, which wraps up the Switched series, takes the reader from Earth—where Marcus adjusts to a pregnant Jessie—to the starship Freedom commandeered by rebels, to the chase ship with Scott and Veronese aboard.
With duffle bags slung over shoulders, banging against hips and each other, Scott Cherella and Veronese Qilana raced through the Malawea Spaceport terminal. His ship was gone. Stolen. Not just by the rebels incarcerated on board but by three of his own crew.
“I still can’t believe Drakus and Usolde took the Freedom.” Neese panted from running.
Scott was surprised at how many people either milled around or strolled down the terminal’s main corridor in the middle of the night. He and Neese attracted attention. Maybe Serenians didn’t run through public buildings. Too damn bad. This was an emergency.
“Those two have a lot to answer for,” he said.
Once they got to the hangar—or whatever Serenians called the area where various flight vehicles landed and took off—he let her lead the way. He’d only been through there once, yesterday, after arriving aboard a shuttle from Space Station Alpha where the Freedom had docked. Where it should still be docked.
“This way.” Neese darted down a narrow passageway. “I want to know about the other man. Both Drakus and Usolde mentioned a he who tricked them. Any ideas?”
“You know the crew better than I do. Well, longer anyway.” He had only been aboard the Freedom for three weeks, ever since he switched places with his twin. And, holy shit, what a time it had been. Sabotage, capture, rescue, ecstasy, betrayal.
Yeah, he wanted to know the other guy’s identity, too. A member of the Freedom’s crew had not only masterminded the recent sabotage but also the release of war criminals and the theft of Scott’s ship. How the hell had they gotten it out of spacedock? There had to be controls. Clearance requirements. On top of that, he wondered why the Freedom. The rebels needed a ship to escape. Surely, other ships were easier to take out from under Space Fleet Security than an Alliance battle cruiser. Or maybe that had been the point. A way of thumbing their noses at The Powers That Be.
“Wait.” He snagged the strap of Neese’s bag. They’d gotten to the end of a long hall. She turned to him, questions in her Lake Michigan blue eyes. God, he loved seeing them without the silver lenses she had worn to pass as Serenian. He couldn’t wait for her short hair to grow out. Like wearing camouflage lenses, she’d dyed her hair black to look like a Serenian. He bet if left to nature, her hair would be a deep auburn like Jessie’s. With waves, too, once it was long enough. Or maybe it would curl cutely around her face.
Nah. Neese was many things—striking, intelligent, strong-willed—but never cute.
Edging her into the corner, he dropped his duffle and pulled her into his arms. “I gotta do this before we meet up with the others.”
She opened her mouth in surprise as his came down. He hoped the kiss he planted on her made her remember what they’d been doing two hours earlier. Finally alone and no longer worried about non-fraternization rules, they’d made love in a proper bed. It had been perfect. Perfect until she beat him to the punch and proposed. If the damn computer hadn’t interrupted with urgent messages, he would have made sure she understood there were some things a guy just had to do on his own.
Independent little cuss.
She broke off the kiss, her eyes huge. “We—We shouldn’t do this. Someone might—”
“Relax, Neese. Nobody’s around.”
“There could be.” When she scooted past him, her bag swung out and caught him in the side. Uttering a quick apology, she opened the door to a spacious hangar. “Chief Luqett and Mr. Glaxpher said they’d be waiting for us in Area 72.” She pointed overhead.
Up in the rafters, large white lettering designated areas. Naturally, he couldn’t read them. He didn’t think his link, which she’d programmed to translate Serenian symbols, would be able to “read” that far away.
“Where are we now?” he asked softly as he followed her.
That stopped him. “You have got to be joking.”
She turned to him and shook her head. “I do not understand.”
“Area 51. Aliens. Roswell, New Mexico.”
“Oh, that fiasco when the Cardijian ship crashed. We need to hurry.”
“You mean that was real?” He started grinning. “Hot damn.”
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s: