On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Welcome to the Release Celebration for
By Michelle Diener
Dark Minds is book three in the Class 5 Series. Michelle has a message below and you can come back on Sunday, July 24th, HERE to learn more about the rise of the genre and on Tuesday, July 26th, HERE to read about the Class 5 world. Feel free to sign up to review Dark Minds (if interested) and enter the fabulous Amazon/book giveaway as well. Enjoy!
The mind is the most powerful weapon of all . . .
Imogen Peters knows she’s a pawn. She’s been abducted from Earth, held prisoner, and abducted again. So when she gets a chance at freedom, she takes it with both hands, not realizing that doing so will turn her from pawn to kingmaker.
Captain Camlar Kalor expected to meet an Earth woman on his current mission, he just thought he’d be meeting her on Larga Ways, under the protection of his Battle Center colleague. Instead, he and Imogen are thrown together as prisoners in the hold of a Class 5 battleship. When he works out she’s not the woman who sparked his mission, but another abductee, Cam realizes his investigation just got a lot more complicated, and the nations of the United Council just took a step closer to war.
Imogen’s out of her depth in this crazy mind game playing out all around her, and she begins to understand her actions will have a massive impact on all the players. But she’s good at mind games. She’s been playing them since she was abducted. Guess they should have left her minding her own business back on Earth…
The Difference Between Science Fiction and Space Opera
Most readers don’t really care what labels publishers or book sellers give to the books they enjoy, they are just interested in the books. But sometimes, those labels, or categories, interfere with finding just what a reader might be looking for.
I think mainstream science fiction and its sub-genres, science fiction romance and space opera, fall into that category.
Quite often, when someone finds out I write science fiction, they look slightly deer-in-the-headlights, and apologetically tell me they don’t like that kind of book, and they’ll look for my historicals instead. I don’t mind that (really! There are some genres I don’t love that much, too :)) but if I ask them if they enjoy movies like Star Wars, Star Trek, Serenity, or Guardians of the Galaxy, and they say they love them, then I tell them it’s safe to give my books a go, because those movies are space operas, and that’s what I write.
The difference between mainstream science fiction and the space opera and science fiction romance sub-genres is in the science.
Science fiction is supposed to be science-based, and that puts a lot of people off. Even if they are interested in science, some science fiction novels, especially what’s called hard science fiction, has the reputation of being about too much detail. How big is the gun, what cool science has gone into the space ship, and so on. Science is almost a main character in the story, with a side-kick of technology and cool toys. If that’s not your idea of a relaxing read, you’ll probably avoid it.
The sub-genres of science fiction–space opera and science fiction romance—are about the characters and about the plot, with the science a minor thread. To understand what space opera is, just think of Star Wars and you’ll know immediately, because Star Wars is a definitive example of the sub-genre. The world and its rules aren’t explained, and there is no expectation that it will hold up to any kind of scientific scrutiny. Sometimes, though, the ideas that appear in space opera can in fact be prescient, like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ space elevator, for example.
When I write my science fiction romance / space operas, I like to get at least the basic science right. The way gravity works, for example. 🙂 And I do actively try to use known scientific concepts. I’ve watched How to Build a Planet and Brian Cox with the best of them, and my work is more accurate for it. I’m not a scientist, and I don’t pretend to be one, and biology is more my field of interest than physics, but that said, some of the classic hard science fiction novels have subsequently had their science proven wrong, and new and wonderful things are being discovered in space all the time, so I’m actually not that worried about what I make up. Readers of space opera are looking for a fun, action-packed read, not an explanation about how the technology behind faster-than-light travel works. Which suits me fine!
If you listen to astrophysicists, a lot of what they say seems so outlandish, I don’t think what I make up is really that much more outrageous :). Space opera is about the story, about the characters, and about the excitement and adventure. If you like those things, and haven’t given space opera or science fiction romance a try, you are really in for a treat. Aside from my Class 5 series, there are hundreds of amazing books out there for you to find.
A group of science fiction romance / space opera authors got together, and we created the Portals Project, a set of volumes containing the first chapters of ten science fiction romance books per volume. They’re a great way to find science fiction romance novels, and they’re free. The first chapter of my SFR novel DARK HORSE, the first book in my Class 5 series, is in Portals: Volume 3, and you can download it for free at most major online book sellers.
We’re celebrating today because the third and final book in my Class 5 series, DARK MINDS, was released today, and I had as much fun writing it as I did the other two. It has all the classic elements of space opera: romance, action, and intrigue.
With space opera, the only limit is your imagination. If you haven’t given it a go, you’re depriving yourself ;).
— Michelle Diener
Other Books in the Series
Far from home . . .
Fiona Russell has been snatched from Earth, imprisoned and used as slave labor, but nothing about her abduction makes sense. When she’s rescued by the Grih, she realizes there’s a much bigger game in play than she could ever have imagined, and she’s right in the middle of it.
Far from safe . . .
Battleship captain Hal Vakeri is chasing down pirates when he stumbles across a woman abducted from Earth. She’s the second one the Grih have found in two months, and her presence is potentially explosive in the Grih’s ongoing negotiations with their enemies, the Tecran. The Tecran and the Grih are on the cusp of war, and Fiona might just tip the balance.
Far from done . . .
Fiona has had to bide her time while she’s been a prisoner, pretending to be less than she is, but when the chance comes for her to forge her own destiny in this new world she grabs it with both hands. After all, actions speak louder than words.
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.
Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she’s made a powerful ally–a fellow prisoner with whom she’s formed a strong bond. Sazo’s an artificial intelligence. He’s saved her from captivity and torture, but he’s also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.
Captain Dav Jallan doesn’t know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he’s not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.
She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5’s owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn’t the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.
In this race for the truth, he’s going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. Having worked in publishing and IT, she’s now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.
Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.
Release Celebration Giveaway
$25 Amazon eGift Card
Four ebook sets of Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds
Ends July 31st