Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding Romance in Science

Please welcome Kat Duncan to the blog today! 

Be sure to comment at the end of the post b/c she will be awarding gift basket worth over $15 of Irish items to one randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada only please). Be sure to follow the tour by clicking the logo, because the more the enter, the better chances you have!

Finding Romance in Science

We expect romance to sweep us off our feet and transport our often weary, jaded psyches to new and exciting realms and places only our minds can reach. Romance makes us believe in human goodness, fate, destiny and countless other imponderables. We expect science, on the other hand, to ground us, to give our skeptical, suspicious minds facts that help us understand how the world works and why people behave the way they do. Science doesn't ask us to believe anything. Science provides factual knowledge, and proof to back up that knowledge.

So, what happens when romance invades science, or the reverse? You might think the obvious answer is chaos, but the true answer is synergy, a blend that has advantages for both romance and science. Not so very long ago science was based on belief and not evidence. Nineteen people died in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 on the say-so of a few young girls who accused people in their town of afflicting them through witchcraft. The judges and juries at the time accepted belief as proof and condemned hundreds of innocent people to die. And die they did, until the governor of Massachusetts intervened, making a rule that belief was not enough. He declared there must be evidence to go along with the claims. Although the incidents in 1692 were not heralded as the beginnings of science, it stand as an example of what can happen when beliefs are shored up with underpinnings of science.

Great. So, what happens when science is shored up by romance? In the short time since 1692 have scientists lost their romantic sides, if ever they possessed such things? I think not. It is the romantic side of science that keeps scientists interested in pursuing answers to some of our most difficult questions. Nearly thirty years ago, award-winning scientist Carl Sagan discovered that the brain of a well-known scientist, Paul Broca, had been preserved in a jar in a museum in France. Dr. Sagan's romantic side wondered if Broca's memories were still alive and well in that jar and further wondered whether it would someday be possible to access them and learn all that Broca knew.

Authors also have such wondering thoughts. Unlike true scientists who must stick to physically provable evidence, authors can wander about in their imaginations and take legions of readers on the journey with them. It is a completely romantic notion to think that as you read Synapse you are really wandering with me in my mind as I wonder what may be possible in the world of science as well as in the world of romance. If there were no romance in science, or no science in romance, both of these worlds would be diminished. It is only in the blending, and the synergy, of these and other worlds that can make us wonder and dream and through these dreams and wonderings search for and discover all that is new and exciting.

Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat has been telling her lies ever since and writing stories to entertain and enlighten. After a successful career as a software engineer, Kat decided she needed something different to do. She's now a tutor of adolescents with special needs.

Twitter: @write_about


Stalked by a killer bent on stealing her laboratory notebook, scientist Molly Augur is desperate to figure out who she can and cannot trust. With the help of co-researcher Bill Banely, she uses DNA technology she invented to prove she can release hidden ancestral memories. In the brain synapses of her mind she finds one person who may know the truth - her long dead ancestor, Mailsi, whose life memories have been recorded in the depths of Molly’s genes.

Ancient passions and betrayals come alive and collide with the present when Molly discovers philanthropist Dr. Philman, with a secret billion dollar need for the technology only she possesses could be the one after her notebook. And Bill, whose wandering heart she has finally won, is working for Philman. In the face of limitless money, what is the value of Bill’s love? Or the value of her life? The answers lie deep within the synapses of her mind.


"Banely!" she screamed. "The hydrogen tank. It's gonna blow. Run!"

Banely disappeared and she heard the massive lab door slam shut. The floor trembled like a pending volcanic eruption. She covered her eyes and sucked in a breath. The impact hit her and she went rolling. But it wasn't the hydrogen. It was Banely. After his flying tackle he pulled her behind a concrete lab bench, his arms gripping around her, forming a protective shell. A pop, and a whoosh of gas.

She moaned, waiting for the explosion.


Just the steady hiss of escaping gas.

Cautiously, she looked around the corner of the bench at the cloud of helium that blanketed the fuelsile as the automatic exhaust system sucked away the cloud of frozen hydrogen.

"The helium extinguisher worked," she whispered.

"The what?" He sat up, still holding her.

"Don't move," she said, her voice hushed as if any disturbance would upset the delicate balance of gases. "It's not over yet." The hiss slowly lessened, and then it stopped.

Silence. Except for two heaving chests.

She sat back, allowing herself one muffled sob as she covered her eyes.

"It's ok, Molly. It's over. No one is hurt." His arms were still around her.

Her beautiful DNA machine. Gone. She wanted to bury her face into his chest and cry.

"What's going on?" he asked. "You shouldn't be working alone on a machine like this. It's dangerous."

She looked to the damaged fuelsile that could never again be used. "You're right. I'm not supposed to be in here alone. The dean would fire me."

Be sure to comment at the end of the post b/c she will be awarding gift basket worth over $15 of Irish items to one randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada only please). Be sure to follow the tour by clicking the logo, because the more the enter, the better chances you have!


  1. This excerpt sounds really exciting. This entire book sounds just wonderful. Good luck. I for one, am going to get a copy.

  2. Hi MomJane - I'm so glad you like the excerpt and I hope you enjoy reading the whole story! :)

  3. Hi! This book sounds really unique and interesting. This is the first I have seen of it but I know that I will be checking into it more.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  4. It's been a fun tour. I like the mix of science & romance. It's a good formula (pun intended).


  5. This was a very interesting post. I actually stopped over to look through the blog and saw this. Thank you for the treat.

  6. Hi June - I'm so glad you got acquainted with Synapse. I do hope you like it if you try a sample...

    Hi Catherine Lee - thanks for following the blog tour so faithfully! Hey, I like your comment that it's "a good formula" LOL, I'll keep that in mind and maybe work on more stories like Synapse.

    Hi Romance Reader Enthusiast - I'm so glad you stopped by and enjoyed our treat! :)

  7. Thanks for the tour, and good luck with the book.

  8. I enjoyed reading your post. It was very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.


  9. Hi Kat, I love the title of your book and you are so right. Romance and science do go together. How else can you explain love? christina_92 at

  10. Hi Renald - thanks for stopping by and for the good luck wishes!

    Hi bn100 - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Christy - LOL, good point! The combo does explain love... :)

  11. Congrats to Deb Pelletier who won the Irish items giveaway!

    And congrats to Carrie Ann Ryan for winning the $10 GC for the most comments!

  12. I love the cover! Thanks so much for the fantastic interview and excerpt. Adding this to my TBR list for sure.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. SciFi and Romance are my two great literary loves, and when they combine... well, it just doesn't get any better!

  14. Romance and science are a good combo. I really enjoyed the post and the excerpt. Thanks so much!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com