I’m so happy to once again host fellow MMRWA member Diane Burton! I’ve read several of Diane’s books, because they always offer great adventures and loveable, believable characters – even though they often live in other worlds! Diane has a brand new release to share with us today – it’s the second in her Outer Rim series, and it’s called The Chameleon. Let’s see what Diane has to say about one of the issues prevalent in this book:
Are people who they seem to be? Remember when you were a child and Mom said to be on your best behavior? Or there was your “church” behavior and recess behavior. A friend of mine and I often talk about the behavior of her five-year-old son and my four-year-old grandson. So similar. On the Friday of the first week of school, her boy came home, drop his backpack, and started screaming at her. He was so wound from being good in school, he had to let it out. My husband and I know better than to take our grandkids out to dinner on a Friday night. They’ve behaved so well in school that they can’t be “good” anymore.
When I taught elementary school, I was amazed when I told parents how well behaved their children were and the parents didn’t believe me. According to them, their kids were hellions at home. Then there was the reverse—kids being raised in such a restrictive atmosphere at home, let it all out at school. It wasn’t until I had my own kids that I understood the phenomenon.
The face some people show the world is not who they really are. In a small way, we all do that. It’s part of getting along in society. Think about Star Trek’s Spock, especially in the latest movie, Into Darkness. When Kirk is mad at him for revealing all in his report to the superiors, Spock says as a Vulcan he can’t lie. He doesn’t get the difference between being truthful and protecting his captain and friend. Most of our husbands when ask that dreaded question “does this make me look fat” evade or outright lie. The life he saves may be his own.
Then there are the criminals who hide women in their attic, abusing them, and the neighbors say he was such a nice man. Serial killers like sweet Norman Bates or pedophiles who are such great coaches are other examples. The person they present to the world is not who they are.
In The Chameleon, Jileena Winslott is not who she appears to be. She hates this dual personality and just wants to be herself. More importantly, she wants the man who has haunted her dreams since she was twelve to see the real her—not the fluff-brain Baby Winslott. What will she have to do to convince him she’s intelligent and capable without revealing her secret mission?
Blurb for The Chameleon:
Legally Blond meets Mata Hari
Socialite Jileena Winslott has perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s a smart, savvy aide to her father in social situations where she is his eyes and ears. She yearns to be her true self and run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. Big problem. He insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years.
Security Officer Laning Servary has better things to do than babysit a spoiled rich girl on a tour of the Frontier. If he refuses, he can kiss his career good-by. Then Jileena’s father sweetens the pot. If Laning keeps her safe, his family will receive the land they share-crop. He can’t refuse.
In the close quarters of her ship, Laning and Jileena discover they aren’t who they seem. Pirates, weather, and her recklessness threaten to derail the mission. As Laning and Jileena revise their impressions of each other, they’ll have to make hard choices about their goals. Can their budding love survive?
Excerpt from The Chameleon:
“The company belongs in the family,” Jileena said.
“You have to accept that your brother is dead.”
Despite her heartache, she stood in front of her father, hands on her hips, determined to bring this to a head. She’d danced around the subject long enough, dropping hints that he ignored. He may have groomed her older brother to take over, but she wasn’t going down without a fight. “I am family.”
With his trademark stare—one that made competitors back off and employees quake—he pinned her in place. “You don’t have what it takes to replace me.”
His remark sent such an arrow of hurt through her she snapped, “Neither did Konner.” The moment the words left her mouth, she wanted to retract them.
Father slumped back in his chair. The desolation in his expression broke her heart.
Immediately, she dropped to her knees in front of him. “I’m so sorry, Daddy. I shouldn’t have—”
In a gesture she remembered from childhood, he smoothed her hair away from her forehead then tipped up her chin. “What you say is true. He had no stomach for this cutthroat business. And neither do you, thank the Divine One.” He patted her head twice. “You don’t have to worry about that. Now get up. We have work to do. Plans to make.”
“Baby, I’m sending you to Galeria 7 to check out this discovery.”
“To the Outer Rim?” Jileena’s jaw dropped. While her father had sent her on discreet missions before, he’d never sent her that far from the Central Planets—especially since Konner had died out on the Frontier.
“You will check the site and do your own analysis. Put that geology degree of yours into practice. If, indeed, it is high-grade lambidium, you will negotiate mining rights with the local tribe.”
He’d done it again and seemed to enjoy surprising her. He couldn’t mean it. He wasn’t sending her. He had to be teasing. Yet he’d never been intentionally cruel. At least, not to her.
“I certainly can’t send Sindaro. As soon as reporters learn he left for the Rim, rumors would fly and negotiations would fail.”
He was right about that. If secrecy was paramount, Father had to send someone whose presence was innocuous. Someone like his fluff-brained daughter.
“Discretion is imperative. No one will suspect you are going out to the Rim for anything other than a vacation.”
Hope began to trickle through her. He’d never had her negotiate anything as important as mining rights. He was giving her a chance. A chance to prove herself.
About the Author:
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. 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 website: http://www.dianeburton.com
Books by Diane Burton:
The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel
The Chameleon: An Outer Rim Novel
One Red Shoe
How I Met My Husband (contributor)