My friend and fellow West Michigander Diane Burton was a guest here on this blog last fall with her cozy mystery series (you can read that post HERE), but I knew Diane first as an author of science fiction romance. I’ve read her Switched series, and more recently I’ve been reading the books in her Outer Rim series. I absolutely love to read about strong women, and the main characters in these stories definitely qualify! I’ve linked the book covers below to my reviews on Goodreads (as of today – June 6 – I’m still reading The Chameleon so I’ll attach that review when I get it finished). I’ll let Diane tell you about these books. Here she is!
The Outer Rim—the Frontier of Space
Several years ago, I had the idea of writing a series about strong women on the frontier of space—the Outer Rim. I ran that idea past an editor at Harlequin, because they were looking for stories about strong women. Of course it didn’t fly. HQ didn’t want space adventures. In fact, they weren’t looking for anything futuristic, as science fiction romance was called back then.
Fast forward to 2012. I’d just self-published an out-of-print sci-fi romance (Switched) to which I had the rights back. Was that an eye-opener. I’m not saying the money rolled in, but my “paychecks” (auto deposits) from Amazon made me sit up and take notice.
The Pilot (first book in my Outer Rim series) was finished, so I thought what the heck, self-publish it. That book really took off. I followed up with two more in the series, The Chameleon and The Protector. I love the fems in these stories. They are so different and yet the same.
Celara (The Pilot) may be tiny in stature, but her personality is huge. She’s a red-head with a temper to match. All her life, she’s had to fight for everything. Now she has to fight the Sector Administrator to get back her starship. Not only is the space freighter her livelihood, it’s her home, and he confiscated it to make a point.
Jileena (The Chameleon) is a dainty blonde who’s perfected the image of the spoiled, rich, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s her father’s smart, savvy aide in social situations where she’s his eyes and ears. She’s determined to prove to her father that she can do more. She’s capable of managing his empire. If it means leaving “civilization” for the frontier, she’ll do it.
Rissa (The Protector) is a big, raw-boned dark-haired tavern owner. She can heft unruly patrons the way she lifts kegs of ale. Confidence and determination hide her vulnerability. When she rescues two teen girls hiding out from traffickers, Rissa has to rally the inhabitants of the frontier colony. No mother should ever lose a child to slavers—the way she did.
No matter their appearance, all the heroines in the Outer Rim series have spines of steel, guts, and grit. Nobody will stop them from their goal, not the heroes who want to protect them. And especially not a galactic gangster.
Writing about the Outer Rim is like writing about the Old West, except for starships instead of wagon trains. Just like the people who headed West in the 1800s, people who wanted adventure or to reinvent themselves headed to the frontier of space. The colonies grew from numbered outposts to named villages. A fem alone had to learn to take care of herself. If it meant fighting for what she owned, she’d do what was necessary. I’m working on another book in the series. It, too, will have a strong fem as the main character.
Although I like my creature comforts (indoor plumbing, please!), I’d like to think I could survive and thrive on the frontier like my heroines.
All books in the Outer Rim series are available in digital and print formats. Each book is a stand alone and need not be read in order.
Buy links for the series:
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 the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.