Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Author Betsy Dornbusch

Greetings everyone. It's my pleasure to introduce the fabulous Betsy Dornbsuch as she kicks off her blog book tour for the release of her book, Lost Prince. Betsy has been a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers here in Colorado for 6 years and served as hospitality chair, Vice President and is now the website liaison. She is also one of the founding editors for Electric Spec, a free online magazine. If you have time please check Electric Spec out. I know they ask for submissions regularly.

Now I will hand over my blog to Betsy.

Writing Space Opera
Betsy Dornbusch

Star Wars (the original) is my favorite film, hands down. Jump into the Way Back Machine with me for a sec: I was the weird, geeky kid at school who obsessed over Star Wars. The Force, the dog fights in space, the “destiny” themes, the lightsabers and mentors, the princess and the smuggler…sigh. I saw it in the theater seventeen times that summer and fall. When I had the opportunity a few years later to see Mark Hamill on the stage in Amadeus and he smiled at me, my heart stopped. He’d had the reconstructive surgery from that car accident, but all I could think of was him and his lightsaber. I still have my original R2D2, the first of my collection of robots. So when my publisher put out a call for SF erotica, I knew I wanted to try my hand at it.

Space opera is about people, first and foremost, but the backdrop is enormous and their struggles require massive scale. I cribbed rebellion from Star Wars (diplomatically referred to as “paying homage”) but that’s where the similarities end. I wanted an astronomically mismatched couple carrying around smugglers’ holds full of emotional baggage, so I put them on opposite sides in the war and fast forwarded two years after Prince Aric’s homeworld has been destroyed by the Coalition. He’s on the run, alone, determined to take revenge on the man who betrayed them to the Coaliton. Katriel is AWOL after losing her husband in the battle over Aric’s world. The complications run deeper than that, of course – I can’t leave anything well enough alone. But together, they launch a rebellion against an empire that controls the lucrative Salt Road, which spans five galaxies and countless oppressed species. And I hope, in the process, Aric and Katriel take the reader along on a fun ride.

Visit Sex Scenes at Starbucks to find out more about LOST PRINCE and the author:

The only thing that’s kept Alaric, the so-called Lost Prince of Calixte, from giving into his grief over his beloved homeworld is the thought of revenge against the man who betrayed his people. But he couldn’t be more wrong about Haydn, who actually saved two thousand Calixten soldiers from certain death and secreted them on an inhospitable planet. There, they’ve launched a fledgling rebellion against the Coalition that rules six galaxies, including the lucrative Salt Road. They only need their prince to lead them.

Alaric needs a pilot to get him to his soldiers, someone too desperate to betray him. Katriel, a hotshot deserter pilot enslaved to Haydn by debt, is perfect for the job. But neither Katriel nor Alaric realize how the battle over Calixte binds them closer than blood, and when they find out, their collision will send shockwaves through the universe.

Salt Road Saga Book 1

Chapter 1

It wasn’t going to be easy achieving a meeting with Haydn Albrecht, the Salt Road Devil. Haydn was a busy man, even busier than when Alaric had known him as a child; anyone could see that. Pilots and customers had kept his inner office door sliding open since Alaric had arrived at sun-up on the hot, smoky planet called Pyrrcor, and the day was winding down to Final Meal.

Despite having sat for a long, long while, Alaric kept his back straight and his knees apart, prepared to stand at any moment. His sweaty hands rested on his knees, but well away from the weapon strapped to his thigh. Even so, Haydn’s exosentient secretary kept pointing its eyestalks in his direction. Alaric knew he looked more nervous as time went on, felt the anxiety crease his forehead and weigh on his shoulders. But the physical stress was no great hardship. He’d been trained since childhood to guard himself well, and such habits died hard when one bore a bounty exceeding a standard-year’s officer’s pay in the Junta.

Central Coalition Command, Alaric reminded himself. Loyalists to the military Coalition didn’t use derogatory language when speaking about their stratocratic government, especially when they sat in the middle of their galactic empire. After two standard-years on the run, Alaric knew better than to even think like a rebel.
He blamed his mental slip on the proximity of Haydn, though he’d barely caught a glance of the man through the door that slid soundlessly open and shut to admit Haydn’s many business appointments.

As the last visitor departed the outer chamber, Alaric leaned back and silently sighed. Haydn would no doubt slip out the side door, get away somehow, like he had during the Coalition’s attack on their homeworld. The bloody traitor. Alaric should have told the secretary he was a prospective Salt Run pilot. That might have gotten him into the inner sanctum sooner. Or he should have sussed out where Haydn lived and cornered him there…

The door to Haydn’s office slid open. All three of the secretary’s eyestalks turned that way. Alaric blinked at the figure in the doorway.

Haydn looked much the same—his greyed, clipped hair, barrel chest, and fighter’s stance all betraying his years of service in the military on Calixte. He’d changed his eye color from the heliotrope of the royal family, but he hadn’t fixed the scars on his face. It revealed nothing.

Haydn twitched his chin toward the exosentient, who tapped a question on its desk with its smallest pincer. It didn’t use the translator. Likely there was no need. Haydn had always had a knack for languages.

“Of course, let him in. Did you not hear the man? He is an old…friend.”

Another string of tapping.

“No, you’re finished.” Haydn turned back to his office and left the door open behind him. “Go home.”

“You may enter, sir,” the secretary said through its translator.

The metallic voice spoke in cadence to the secretary’s tapping, sounding almost like street faire drumming in the markets back home. Alaric had to remind himself there were no markets, no home at all any more. Calixte was a desolate landscape of bones and ruined sand, scraped free of life by the Acid Wind wielded by the Coalition.

Alaric bowed his head politely as the secretary moved from behind its desk toward the outer door on its backwards joints. Then he followed Haydn into his office. The door slid shut behind him and Alaric had to fight the urge to look back. He couldn’t shake the feeling he was stuck like a cockrat in a cage. But he’d been brought up to face his fears and his enemies with his back straight, so he removed his eyeshades and stared hard at Haydn.

Haydn leaned back against a large metal table with multiple tablet inserts, legs crossed. Face still set and hard, he gripped the edge of the table on either side of his hips with white fingers. He didn’t appear armed, but that meant nothing.

“Sir,” Alaric said, and drew his weapon.

That was all. What else did one say to one’s former armsmaster, a man who’d been a favored bastard uncle and a general in the King’s Army, but who’d disappeared into the ether when the fighting got tough? This meeting had only one of two outcomes, and Alaric certainly planned on coming out alive.

Betsy's other books include: Quenched and Quencher, through Ainsley publishers. Also, a soon to be released urban fantasy series this coming January, 2012. Sentinel: Archive of Fire.

Betsy will be here throughout the day to answer your questions. So don't be shy, ask her anything.


Madeleine said...

I'd heard of the term space opera, but not given it much thought until now. Great post :O)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My books are space opera as well and Star Wars was a big influence. I'll look for this book!

Joanne said...

It's interesting how your passion for a movie from years ago stayed with you and influenced your writing all these years later. What a nice way to keep that passion alive, in some connection to what you write now. Thanks, Betsy and Nancy!

N. R. Williams said...

Greetings all.

Thank you Madeleine, Alex and Joanne for coming by. It's interesting how movies influence us.

I'm thrilled to welcome Betsy and hope everyone stops in to read her post.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Hi all, thanks for coming by!

I also read a bunch of Star Wars books when I was a kid. I was just a wee bit obsessed. :)

I was amused by my Australian editor calling it "Space Pash" though, for Space Opera/Passion. Maybe it should be a new genre.

Summer Ross said...

The book sounds intriguing- great post.

Nancy- you really don't live that far from water world and the like? I'd love love love to meet you in person.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Thanks, Summer!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Betsy, glad to see you here.

We will have to arrange that Summer.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Thanks for having me, Nancy!

N. R. Williams said...

You're welcome Betsy. I hope more bloggers will come by after work.

M Pax said...

Hi Nancy :D

All success to you, Betsy! I'll have to check out your book. I love space opera.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Thanks! Me too. Makes me want to watch the new Star Trek movie again. Too bad I'm under deadline. Maybe that will be my reward for turning it in...

N. R. Williams said...

Hi M. Pax.
Thanks for dropping by.

This post will be up tomorrow too in case anyone is interested.

Nas Dean said...

Hi, this book sounds so intriguing!

Thanks for sharing!

Nancy, thanks for introducing yet another author!

N. R. Williams said...

You're welcome Nas, thank you for stopping by.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Thanks, Nas! I really hope it is as fun to read as it was to write.

Tony Benson said...

Great guest post Nancy. I've not come across Betsy before, but I'll go and visit her on her website.

Mario said...

Great story. Love your SF stuff. *cockrat?* Sounds dirty but you know me.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Tony, thanks for the visit and glad to introduce Betsy to you.

Hello Mario, nice to see you.

Thank you both for stopping by.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Mario, you dog. Actually, I used it as a placeholder as a joke with myself and then left it in there cuz I thought it was funny.

Thanks, Tony!

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