Jul 262016
 

Dark Minds Tour Banner

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Release Celebration for Dark Minds by Michelle Diener

Dark Minds is book three in the Class 5 Series. Michelle is sharing about the Class 5 world today. If you missed Michelle’s release-day message, go read it HERE, if you missed about the rise of the genre, go check that out HERE, and don’t forget to check out the entire series and enter the giveaway below!

Dark MindsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #3)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 331 Pages
July 22nd 2016

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…

Goodreads | Amazon

Creating the World of the Class 5 Series

A few days ago, DARK MINDS, the third and final book in my Class 5 series was released. I have had a lot of readers express disappointment that this is the final book. They love the world and they want to keep exploring it.

Nothing is sweeter to me than hearing that the world I’ve created in my head is a place people want to linger. I am working on a new series, though, and hope everyone loves the new one just as much.

When I started the Class 5 series, it wasn’t really with a series in mind. The main character in DARK HORSE, the first book in the series, Rose, came to me so strongly, with such a compelling story, I set aside the historical I was working on and jumped right in to write it. It was only near the end of DARK HORSE that I realized there was still a lot of the story left to tell, and the Class 5 series was born.

I know the fact that Rose and the world she found herself in was so clear in my head and so vivid in my imagination helped me create such a strong world for the series as a whole. I had invented way more in my head than ended up on the page in DARK HORSE, and that gave me scope to include the greater world of the Class 5 series or explore things I only touched on in DARK HORSE in the other two novels.

The part of the universe where my heroines Rose, Fiona and Imogen find themselves is run by a coalition of five races. I only go into detail about the culture of the Grih, the race my human heroines have the most affinity for, but I do lightly touch on aspects of the other four’s cultures. It was fun creating the worlds and customs, the look and feel of the places my heroines are forced to go, and I like to think that while they’re there unwillingly at first, I’ve made the places interesting enough, sometimes even magical, so that they can see good in their new part of the universe, as well as bad.

If you are already a fan of the world of the Class 5 series, I hope you love DARK MINDS, and if you haven’t tried the series yet, I hope you’ll consider giving it a go. If action, adventure, and romance appeal, you won’t be sorry you did.

— Michelle Diener

Other Books in the Series

Dark DeedsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #2)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 340 Pages
January 4th 2016

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.

Goodreads | Amazon

Dark Horse 300pxDark Horse
(Class 5 #1)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 381 Pages
June 15th 2015

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.

GoodreadsAmazon

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

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.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings. or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.

GoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Release Celebration Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card
Four ebook sets of Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds
Open internationally
Ends July 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dark Minds Release Book Blitz: Day 2

 Dark Minds, Giveaways, Where I Am on the Web  Comments Off on Dark Minds Release Book Blitz: Day 2
Jul 242016
 

Dark Minds Tour Banner

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Release Celebration for Dark Minds by Michelle Diener

Dark Minds is book three in the Class 5 Series. Today Michelle is sharing about the rise of the genre. If you missed Michelle’s release-day message, go read it HERE, and come back on Tuesday, July 26th, HERE to read about the Class 5 world. Feel free to enter the fabulous Amazon/book giveaway as well. So check those all out below!

Dark MindsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #3)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 331 Pages
July 22nd 2016

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…

Goodreads | Amazon

The Rise of Science Fiction Romance and Space Opera

It started in 1977. 🙂

I was too young to watch the first Star Wars movie, but classic space opera is epitomized by the Star Wars franchise. It became a cultural phenomenon because it was fresh, it was exciting, and it explored other galaxies and worlds.

Nearly forty years later, I don’t think the interest in any of these things has waned. We’ve had another six Star Wars movies since then, each as commercially successful as the last, and we’ve had a plethora of other space operas, from Star Trek, to Battlestar Galactica, Guardians of the Galaxy and the darker Serenity. We can’t get enough of them.

Space opera is about exploring new worlds and finding adventure, love, and action. It is just such fun. Even when exploring serious topics or when it incorporates bittersweet threads, there is a wonder and excitement to the genre that I absolutely adore.

Amazing strides in space exploration, like Juno’s successful trip to Jupiter, only fuel the fire of our imaginations and our wonder at the amazing universe we live in. Who wouldn’t want to explore what’s out there from the safe and comfortable seat of our armchair?

And the great news is that more and more readers are finding space opera and science fiction romance novels that give them the same thrill ride as the movies.

Just over a year ago, when I released my space opera novel, DARK HORSE, I didn’t really know what to expect. My previous books had been historicals and fantasy novels, but as a hard-core science fiction fan, and a massive fan of the space opera movies mentioned above, I had worked for eight months on DARK HORSE, even though I knew the sensible thing was to stick to the genres I was already established in.

Taking that risk paid off for me. Because people, as I’ve said above, love space opera, and science fiction romance. DARK HORSE became my most successful book, and has won me awards and bestseller status. It is the first book in my Class 5 series, and I’ve since published a second book, DARK DEEDS, which has done just as well. On July 22nd, the third and final book in the series, DARK MINDS, was released, and I hope readers love it just as much as they did the first two. I certainly loved writing it.

— Michelle Diener

Other Books in the Series

Dark DeedsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #2)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 340 Pages
January 4th 2016

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.

Goodreads | Amazon

Dark Horse 300pxDark Horse
(Class 5 #1)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 381 Pages
June 15th 2015

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.

GoodreadsAmazon

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

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.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings. or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.

GoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Release Celebration Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card
Four ebook sets of Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds
Open internationally
Ends July 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 222016
 

Dark Minds Tour Banner

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Release Celebration for Dark Minds 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 enter the fabulous Amazon/book giveaway as well. Enjoy!

Dark MindsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #3)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 331 Pages
July 22nd 2016

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…

Goodreads | Amazon

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

Dark DeedsDark Deeds
(Class 5 #2)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 340 Pages
January 4th 2016

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.

Goodreads | Amazon

Dark Horse 300pxDark Horse
(Class 5 #1)
by Michelle Diener
Adult Sci-Fi
ebook, 381 Pages
June 15th 2015

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.

GoodreadsAmazon

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji

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.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings. or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.

GoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Release Celebration Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card
Four ebook sets of Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, and Dark Minds
Open internationally
Ends July 31st

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 152016
 

PRISM 2016 FinalistI am really honoured and thrilled that DARK HORSE has won best futuristic at the Prism Awards in San Diego a couple of hours ago. It is such an amazing feeling, with DARK MINDS about to be released, to have the first book in the series win such a prestigious award.

It is a bittersweet moment for me, because exactly ten years ago, I attended my first RWA conference, in Dallas, and the very first event I went to was The Gathering, where the Prism Awards are given. I attended with my roommate and good friend Liz Kreger, who even then was fighting the good fight against cancer and passed away over a year ago now.

This win is for you, Liz. I think of you often.

Dark Horse 250px heigh

Jul 132016
 

I’m very happy to let those readers waiting for the third and final book in the Class 5 series know that Dark Minds will be released on July 22nd. Below, please find the awesome cover, designed once again by EJR Digital Art, and the blurb for Dark Minds.

Dark MindsAbout Dark Minds:

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…

Dark Horse is a PRISM 2016 Finalist

 Dark Horse  Comments Off on Dark Horse is a PRISM 2016 Finalist
May 272016
 

PRISM 2016 FinalistI got the news a few days ago that DARK HORSE has finaled in the PRISM Awards 2016 in the Futuristic category. The PRISM is a contest for published books run by the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Writers Chapter, and the winners will be announced at The Gathering in San Diego this July. I am thrilled DARK HORSE made the list, and am in very good company. You can find the list of all finalists here. It’s a real honour, and good luck to everyone who finaled.

May 202016
 

Dark Horse 250px heighFor those readers who’ve previously contacted me about audio book versions of the Class 5 books, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve just signed a contract with Podium Publishing, the audio book publishers behind the world’s highest selling audio book THE MARTIAN, for all three books in the Class 5 trilogy.

The first audio book in the series, Dark Horse, won’t be out for some time, as we are not yet in production, but I’m happy to say it is in the pipeline.

Update on Portals Project: Volume 1 is live

 Where I Am on the Web  Comments Off on Update on Portals Project: Volume 1 is live
May 132016
 

Portals Vol 1I’m thrilled to say that the first volume of the Portals Project is live and available at all the various online retailers. Readers get a free sampler of first chapters of ten different science fiction romance novels with a medium heat level in Volume 1. The other volumes will be released at two week intervals.

You can download the Portals Volume 1 from your favourite retailers here:

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

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