She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?
For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.
For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.
Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?
As a teen I was a practicing witch and interested in alternative therapies. I studied aromatherapy, and was a firm believer in spiritualism, life after death, and the concept of auras. Later, that idea of auras bled into my love for scifi and the theory behind the Jedi religion—how the Force was an energy field binding all living things. That was something I could still believe in even when I lost my faith in everything else and having never been what most would consider as religious.
A lot of my stories feature psi abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, and even teleportation (though this involves wormhole theory). A strange mixture of science in the form of SF, and what might be considered magical, or at least paranormal elements. But then, Star Wars, with its mix of fantasy in the scifi, has been a huge influence on my writing.
So when I decided I was going to write a story about a very succubus-like heroine but set in a far future out in space, I guess that same mixture of paranormal and scifi was inevitable. And rather than my succubus being a demon sent to seduce men in their sleep and suck them dry of energy, Tyree became a cloned assassin, capable of stealing the energy—the living aura—from any target she was sent after. While auras are considered more a luminous halo representing the spiritual holiness of a particular person, I've depicted them as a living energy field much like the description of the Force, with colours representing the emotions of the person concerned. Tyree considers the taking of them a perk of her trade, uses them to judge people in the same way others might use body language, and feels the need of them for comfort when away from her own kind and home. But when it came to what different colours signify, some of the information conflicts, so I went with what they meant to me personally.
Green – cool, calm and relaxed, like summer grass or sunlight through trees.
Red – bright red for fury and fear, deep crimson for passion
Silver – sharp and bright=pain, hazy=drugs, stupor
Yellow – fear
Gold/brown – warmth, steadiness
Grey – shielded
Black – death, injury, grief
Ragged aura=chaos, lack of control, emotional turmoil
Steady aura=strength, confidence, control
Perhaps not the most logical or technically correct in terms of parapsychology and spiritual practice, but it works for me. So Tyree sees the universe defined in a rainbow of color that she not only uses to evaluate her world, but feeds from as well. An energy field that ties her to all the living things in the universe. But sometimes, it just makes life more confusing for her.
Do you think being able to see someone's emotions as colors would be a help or a hindrance?
About the author:
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.