Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Zanne Raby and her science fiction space opera Descent Into Darkness
Descent into Darkness: Mayhem follows the Mayflower in the second book of The Chronicles of Deneb series. Journey along with the crew of the Space Ark Mayflower as they adapt to their new home on the planet Deneb. But along with their struggle to integrate into an alien culture, a new battle sweeps across the planet with the arrival of the human-transmitted Chimera bactovirus, bringing war and fanning the flames of racial intolerance. With a bloody conflict raging across the planet, the crew of the Mayflower is split between the two factions and embroiled in the chaos and destruction. Descend with the crew into darkness, where the only survivors of a global war will be on the right side of the border.
About Zanne Raby
Since the days of the Napoleonic War, there has always been a member of Zanne’s family in uniform. Choosing to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors, Zanne joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1980, and was selected to attend the Royal Military College of Canada – the first year that women were accepted into that prestigious academy of learning. After graduation, she studied to become a Transportation and Movements Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
During a career spanning 38 years, some of the most memorable experiences involved command of 8 Mission Support Squadron as part of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, leading a study on support to the Canadian Arctic involving several trips to Northern Canada, including Canadian Forces Station Alert (the most northern settlement in the world), a three–year tour with NATO at Joint Force Command Brunssum, a deployment as the NATO Liaison Officer to United States Central Command, and finally a nomination as the Deputy Commander for the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group.
After hanging up the uniform and putting away the combat boots, Zanne bought a small acreage in Central Ontario and designed her own house. With an office overlooking the picturesque shores of Georgian Bay, surrounded by maps and images of alien worlds, she is pursuing her life-long ambition to become an author. Enough of the reports and returns that littered her desk over her career, now she could turn her attention to unleashing the creativity that had taken a back seat to the analytical world of logistics. The time had come to shake the dust off and begin a new career. The winds of change had called.
Zanne is currently crafting The Chronicles of Deneb, a sci-fi series that will take the reader from a dystopian earth on a voyage across the galaxy in search of a safe haven. But the planets the team discover provide anything but the sanctuary they sought. In her spare time, Zanne enjoys travel, photography, hiking, and gardening. And always, a good story to pass the time.
Zanne Raby shares her thoughts
I like to ask other authors if they had a minor character in their book who insisted on playing a larger a role. Zanne Raby definitely did and she’s going to tell you about it in her own words.
I’m really excited at being featured as a guest author on the Seven Troublesome Sisters blog and I’d like to thank Sherrie Cronin for inviting me to write about my latest novel, Descent into Darkness, the second book in the sci-fi/ space opera series, “The Chronicles of Deneb”.
You remember back in high school that kid who sat in the back of the class and didn’t say too much? Kind of a mysterious, secretive type? When all the popular kids were hanging out, they were always in the shadows. A minor character who just blended in. Yup, you knew somebody like that, right? Well, when I began writing the first novel in the series, I created a character just like that. Except she just didn’t know her place. And that’s what I’m going to write about – a minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story.
First though, a bit of background. The thread that runs through the entire series revolves around a crew of humans who flee a dying Earth. Dr. Daniel Radu, a brilliant astronautical engineer teams up with a Nobel-prize winning astrophysicist named Dr. Tara Kóbor, and they start off as the main characters in the opening chapters of the first novel in the series (the Flight of the Mayflower, by the way). Add to that a small crew aboard a gargantuan Space Ark zipping across the galaxy on the look out for a new planet to call home. Well, they make it safely except that the world they thought was virgin territory is already taken and the welcome wagon is anything but welcoming.
Enter my bit player: General Ravenna. So my crew of plucky human space travellers get set to dock their spacecraft on Deneb7 and settle right in. Instead, they’re met by an armed Denebian war force, with the ruthless and powerful General Ravenna in charge of the nation’s army. Ravenna was just a minor character whose role was to throw everything the Denebian war host had at what they thought was an alien invasion. Then she was supposed to vanish into the cream-coloured pages of the novel.
But Ravenna wasn’t satisfied with staying in the wings, oh no! She blossoms, and like a vine begins to spread across the pages. After all, Ravenna’s a powerful woman and not one to be kept down. When the humans manage to convince President Meryx that they’re just peaceful intergalactic migrants with every intention of integrating into Denebian society, Ravenna smells a rat. It’s not like she got to where she was by being trusting, and this ferocious woman with a mysterious past suddenly rises to major character status. Finding herself doubting the nation’s leader, the loyal but mistrustful officer dutifully carries out the mission all the while doubt dances through her mind. And of course, she blames the humans for pulling the wool over the eyes of the nation. So my minor character now vaults into stardom by doing her utmost to unveil the truth, and she stops at absolutely nothing in her quest to be proven right. In the meantime, she thrusts reason aside when a sophisticated assassin crosses paths with her before coming to the conclusion that there’s no love left for a woman with a scarred history. Then there’s misguided loyalties that come back to haunt her when a blast from the past blows in General Diti Cavell, an old friend who takes no prisoners herself. When her own life hangs by a thread, can Ravenna tear the cords that bind her to the past? Will she learn to trust and let her guard down just enough to find a future where happiness awaits? I found myself exploring the notion of giving up control and allowing others in to your life through General Ravenna’s eyes. That’s not easy for a powerful, intelligent, and resourceful woman like Ravenna and let me tell you, she sure made it impossible for me to hold her down as a minor player once the planet of Deneb begins its Descent into Darkness.
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Yes, there is a giveaway
The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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My Favorite Excerpt
Nagib looked overhead at the sun and shook his head. “I’m starting to think that Brynn’s right, Charra. Maybe they’re not coming after all.” His wife threw her hands to her hips and swivelled to face her husband.
“We wait, husband. And you’d do better to wipe that dirt smudge from your tunic.”
With her chin pointing at him defiantly, Nagib knew he was beaten and lowered his head timidly. “She’s only nine Charra, and she’s so full of life. Can’t this wait a few more years?”
“What are you, stupid or something?” his wife fumed. “It’s for this very reason, wasn’t it, that we made the match in the first place. This daughter of yours has too much spirit, and I blame you for encouraging her. If we wait any longer, her behaviour will shame us and then no family will want this girl who doesn’t know her place in the world.”
Frowning partly in frustration and mostly in impotent anger at his wife, Nagib turned his back on Charra. My fault? As if this wife of mine knows her place, he fumed, tucking his hands into the sleeves of his billowing tunic. But still, he knew that Charra was a good woman, one who bore him strong children and had nursed him through the illness with no complaints. And she looked the other way when he stayed high in the hills with his flocks, long past the hot days of summer after the other shepherds had driven their animals back to the valleys and winter villages where the Geiten congregated during the short months of the Cooling. Truth be told, he knew Charra did not love him, nor did he care much for her. But theirs was a partnership built for survival and in that they had succeeded in their match. Only he held hope in his heart for more than this for his daughter, the sprite who touched his heart with her dear ways.
Around them, the circle of villagers started to rustle impatiently like the tall grasses in the wind, everyone wondering if sickness had carried away the young bridegroom and his mother, or if they had fallen prey to the bloodwolves that had recently learned to appreciate the taste of Geiten flesh. And mingling amongst the Geiten of Urkyn was a cluster of beings who from a distance could pass for foreigners from any one of the planets that made up the Interstellar Collective for Peace and Security.
Zanne Raby — we appreciate your sharing your book Descent Into Darkness with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.