- INK'd Press
- Release Date
- June 2018
- Book 4 of Interstellar Rescue
Action/Adventure Romance, Alternate Universe, Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic, Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Earth shielded his secrets--
Until her love unlocked his heart.
Rescue agent Rafe Gordon is human, though Earth has never been his home. But when his legendary father Del becomes the target of alien assassins, Rafe must hide the dementia-debilitated hero in the small mountain town where the old man was born—Masey, North Carolina, USA, Earth.
Home care nurse Charlie McIntyre and her therapy dog, Happy, have never had such challenging clients before. Del's otherworldly "episodes" are not explained by his diagnosis, making Charlie question everything about her mysterious charge and his dangerously attractive son. Rafe has the answers she needs, but Charlie will have to break through his wall of secrets to get them.
As the heat rises between Charlie and Rafe, the deadly alien hunters circle closer. The light they seek to extinguish flickers in the gloom of Del's fading mind—the memory of a planet-killer that threatens to enslave the galaxy.
BOOK INTERVIEW on June 2018
Interview by Laura
Hi Donna, welcome to The Romance Reviews, and let's talk about your latest book NOT FADE AWAY, the 4th book in the Interstellar Rescue Series
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for the Interstellar Rescue series? How are the books tied together?
I wove together two idea threads to make the series possible. One was the common story of alien abduction--how people are Taken by little Gray aliens, and, often, Returned to Earth after experiencing all manner of abuse. The other was the idea of interstellar slavery. If the aliens are taking humans to use as slaves, I thought, then why couldn't there be intergalactic abolitionists who fight on our behalf? That's the concept of Rescue, the heroes (and heroines) at the center of my books. The books take place in the same Interstellar Rescue universe, but each book features a different romantic couple at the heart of the story.
Q: Please tell us more about heroine Charlie McIntyre. What made her into the woman we meet in the story?
As a home care nurse Charlie's default setting is to be a gentle soul, kind and giving, with an open heart. She easily forms a bond with her elderly clients and their families in the small mountain town where she works, just as she opened her home to shelter puppy Happy, who became her therapy dog and best friend. But her kindness once led to trouble, and the ex in question still haunts her. Charlie has been forced to build some walls to protect her vulnerable heart.
Q: What about Rafe Gordon? Why has Earth never been his home? Where has he been calling home all this while?
Rafe is human, but he was raised on the colony planet of Terrene far from Earth. He joined the Interstellar Council for Abolition and Rescue as a teenager to fight alien slavers with his mother and father. His mother was killed in battle when he was 17. His father Del, once the Chief of Field Operations for Rescue, but now suffering from multiple health problems, has become the target of alien assassins. Rafe must hide the legendary fighter on Earth, where Charlie comes into their lives.
Q: What is their first meeting like?
Enjoy this excerpt!
The driver's side door opened to reveal his visitor--the woman from his debriefing, Charlotte McIntyre. She raised a hand in greeting, a bright smile on her beautiful face, and Rafe suddenly realized he was rooted to the spot, staring. Snap out of it, ptark! Act like you have some manners.
He crossed the porch and went down the steps to meet the woman, but drew up fast when he saw the big, furry creature she was letting out of the back seat, a thin piece of leather attached to a collar on its neck. The thing had four legs, a tail like a flag--and teeth.
Charlotte took one look at his face and spoke to the animal before it thought to charge him. "Happy, sit!" Then she turned back to him and held out a hand. Her smile made him forget about the creature at her feet--for a second. "I'm Charlotte McIntyre. Everyone calls me Charlie. You must be Rafe."
Her hand was warm and strong; Rafe felt like he'd just gone out an airlock and that hand was the only thing keeping him from drifting away into uncharted space. "Nice to meet you, Charlie. Uh, is this your bodyguard?"
The beast was still sitting, its head cocked at an angle, as if it couldn't figure out how best to tackle and eat him.
Charlie laughed, a sound warm and light, like the sunshine buttering the valley below. "He looks scary, but Happy wouldn't hurt a fly. He goes everywhere with me--even to visit my clients, as long as they respond well to him." She paused to look at Rafe again. "You don't like dogs? Had a bad experience with them, maybe?"
Rafe stood up a little straighter. "Well, it's just . . . I've never been around them much." He'd seen dogs, of course. But they were small, and rare, animals whose ancestors had been part of some smuggler's booty call to Earth.
"I could leave him at home if you prefer--or in the car for now. But I find that he can be helpful in reaching clients who are otherwise lost in their own worlds." Her hand was on Happy's head, and the animal was looking up at her with adoration. It was . . . ah, for Portal's sake.
Rafe shrugged. "Let's just see how my father, reacts to him. It might be a good thing." Did Del have a dog when he was a boy? Rafe had a hard time imagining his irascible father as a boy, but he was beginning to get just a glimpse of what that must have been like.
"Can I meet him?" Charlie was waiting, that smile on her face. Happy wagged his tail.
Rafe led the way up the stairs to the porch, and whatever lightness of heart he'd been feeling scattered. This was the part where the pretty girl and the fluffy dog-thing decided the crazy old man was too much for them and ran screaming back to their normal lives.
Q: What makes them perfect for each other?
Charlie is the yin to Rafe's yang. She has a gentle sort of strength; he has a more restless, active energy. Without him, her loneliness would overcome her; without her, his emptiness would overcome him.
Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?
Enjoy this excerpt!
Rafe lifted a hand to touch her face. "I know it's selfish of me, Charlie, but I'm not a bit sorry we met. I'm just sorry that means you got caught up in . . . all this."
She shook her head. "All this is your life. And Del's. It's a package deal."
"Midnight murders, slave-trading aliens and all?" he countered.
"Kidnappings, intelligent machines and all," she answered, smiling. Then she took a chance and laid her heart open. "I don't know. Could be that means I love you, Rafe. What do you think?" She held her breath and waited for him to find a way out of the bind she'd put him in.
Instead, Rafe pulled her closer. "I think that's a good thing, Charlie, because I don't want to let you go. Nothing could make me leave you now."
She met his gaze and would have spoken, but he stopped her words with a kiss. She gave in to warmth of his lips on hers, to the slow taking of her mouth as he rolled her to her back. She put her arms around him and held him close, replaying his words in her head, letting them sink deep into her heart. Where they would stay forever.
Q: Which character in the series is the hardest to write? Why?
The villains in the series are always the hardest characters to write, because no bad guy ever thinks he's a bad guy! I use multiple points of view, which means the villains always get their say, too. I have to find a way to make them at least a little bit sympathetic, so they aren't just cardboard characters.
Q: What draws you to write Science Fiction Romance?
I've been a fan of science fiction since I was a kid—all the classic writers, then Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and later, X-Files and the rest. I just always thought Captain Kirk should actually have the girl, not just leave the girl, you know? So, I started out writing Trek fan fiction back in the ‘90's before I moved on to creating my own universe to play in.
Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.
Of course, I did my due diligence to make sure my character with dementia was authentic. But my therapy dog Happy was a character in his own right, too, so I needed to make sure he behaved consistently. I asked my friend Beki Weight to help me with him. She has lots of experience with shelter dogs and dog training. Happy would not be the dog he is without her expert help. Thanks, Beki!
Q: Please give us a sneak peek at book 5 in the series.
Readers of my series will recognize Trevyn Dar, alien half-brother of Gabriel Cruz, hero of Trouble in Mind, Interstellar Rescue Series Book 2. Trevyn now has his own starship and crew, and makes an appearance on the side of Rescue in Not Fade Away. But political turmoil will call him home to his birth planet of Thrane, where he will meet an alluring shapeshifter out to transform his world in King of Pain, Interstellar Rescue Series Book 5.
Q: What's up next for you?
I'll be signing books at Shore Leave 40, the largest fan-run Star Trek convention in the country in Towson, Maryland in July. William Shatner will be appearing. Come find me in the Dealer's Room!
Sounds great! *grin* Thank you for your time, Donna!
Bio of author, Donna S. Frelick:
Donna S. Frelick has been a journalist, a Peace Corps Volunteer and an author of STAR TREK fan fiction. She was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her contemporary SFR Interstellar Rescue series, and a 2016 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for the third book in the series, Fools Rush In.
Join the fun with other fans of the Interstellar Rescue series with exclusive updates, cover reveals and video chats on the Interstellar Rescue Squad Facebook Group Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963997450356186/