Archive for October, 2012

A Closer Look at Spectra and its Main Characters

Premise:

Imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit and betrayed by those closest to him, Dean Weston struggles to stop the genocide of newly discovered energy-based life forms so unique they cause humans to acquire extraordinary intelligence for a brief period following exposure. As genius edges toward insanity for those exploiting the peaceful entities, a ruthless experiment goes awry leading to the creation of an evil capable of redefining human existence.

Background:

In 2273 CE, representatives from the governments of Earth and the settled planets Lyra, Draco, and Cygnus came together to form the Consortium of Planets to facilitate collaboration between the individual governments. The Consortium’s mandate includes control of interplanetary commerce and immigration. Ships fueled by vacuum particle energy enable space travel between the planets. Incredible speeds are possible by flying along rare defects in the cosmic particle energy structure of space called textures. Freighters and passenger ships travel daily along the texture corridors between the planets. Spaceports located on the three base stations include the Earth Base Station on the moon, the Eagle Base Station at the entrance to Lyra space, and the Lyra Base Station orbiting the planet Lyra.

 Principal Characters

DEAN WESTON is the flight navigator of a six-member Consortium mining expedition crew whose mandate is to survey new planets. On an expedition the crew discovers an intelligent life form so unique that Dean insists their existence remain secret for their protection as exposure to people is lethal to them. The crew agrees, some reluctantly. Months go by, and Dean moves on to the prestigious position of Director of the Eagle Base Station, and later is framed for murder and imprisoned. Dean is ruggedly handsome, a tough customer in a crisis who can handle himself in the worst situations without breaking. He is also a successful academic, holding a degree in flight engineering with a minor in particle physics. Dean maintains a sense of humor even when faced with terrible circumstances, and he possesses high moral principles, choosing life over power and greed. You want him on your team.

IVAN CAMPBELL, the mining crew’s leader, is the polar opposite of Dean in temperament and Dean’s chief antagonist. Later moving on to manage the cutting-edge Lyra Particle Accelerator on the Lyra Base Station, Ivan is a cold, calculating sociopath who will sacrifice anyone and anything to satisfy his hunger for power and control. With his black hair, brown eyes and average stature, Ivan has the look, and most often the disposition of, a pampered English gentleman. He is jealous and disrespectful of Dean, whose qualities of bravery and resourcefulness Ivan could never hope to obtain. Ivan, somewhat lacking in intellect, will do anything, including the murder of those with knowledge of the entities, to covet the power of the entities for his own gain. Believing the entities may hold the secrets that define the spiritual basis of human life, he carries out ruthless experimentation on them.

DR. LAURA SIMMONS is a particle physicist invited by Ivan to be a guest worker at the Accelerator. When she inadvertently becomes privy to Ivan’s murderous agenda, she’s hurtled from her sheltered existence and forced to run for her life, learning the meaning of keen wit along the way. Not your typical academic, Laura is a striking blonde, innocent yet sporty, and manages to pull it off with great poise. Laura and Dean suffer many calamities together, and become lovers.

KEVIN COWAN, the pilot of the mining expedition team, is Ivan’s flunky, a “sniveling little puppet,” in Dean’s choice words. Ivan had rescued him from the dead-end job of piloting shuttles between Earth and its moon. Kevin, grateful for the new challenge, dedicated himself to doing Ivan’s bidding, whatever it happens to be. Kevin follows Ivan to the Accelerator to become the chief engineer and is the key operator in harvesting the entities for Ivan. With Kevin on his side, Ivan’s plan to systematically take out the remainder of the crew that discovered the entities is on track, leaving him free to harvest the entities to maintain his high intellect.

KAREN JENKINS, Dean’s wife at the time of the mining expedition, is the team medic and biologist. Of Caucasian and Asian descent, her daintiness and beauty is comparable to her favorite flower, the orchid. Shortly after Dean settles into his position on the Eagle Base Station, she and Dean split. This spirals into an acrimonious encounter, which will provide Ivan and Kevin the perfect ammunition for the finale of their grand plan to eliminate those with knowledge of the entities: kill her and frame Dean for her murder.

“UNCLE” JOHN BECKER, the Minister of Transportation and Communication for the planet Draco, is an African-American and a good friend of Laura’s who will prove instrumental in helping Dean and Laura.

MATT JENKINS, Karen’s brother, is head of security for Eagle Base Station. He is tough and hot-headed, and he and Dean are best of friends. But, when Matt finds Karen’s body in her apartment and signs point to Dean as her killer, his friendship for Dean corrodes into barely containable rage. He wants Dean convicted and sent to prison for life.

Happy Reading!

Behind THE DELPHI BLOODLINE:

The Philosophy of “The Flow”

by Donna Del Oro

 How to explain my vision of “The Flow” or spirit world that my heroine Athena Butler, a gifted clairvoyant, alludes to often in my romantic thriller, THE DELPHI BLOODLINE?  Below is a passage that might begin to explain this vision of mine and its important role in the story.

Athena has just explained to her friend, Kas Skoros, that she has telepathic visits with her psychic mother. That is how they keep in touch with each other at night when they are separated by thousands of miles.

“How do your night visits with your mother work?” Kas asked.

“Difficult to explain. I send my Upper Mind, which is separate from my biological brain—anyway, I send it out there into…”

“Yeah?”

“Into the Flow, a dimension where our spiritual consciousness lives. I can float about at will, go where I want, observe, interact with other spiritual entities or souls. Sometimes, a spirit will call me. Sometimes I’m drawn to a certain spirit or moment in time.

“My mother calls it The Flow, or the World of Spirits. I think physicists would call it a dimension we have not discovered yet, the invisible dimension around our planet that holds all of the thoughts and memories of past and future mankind. Everything that humans have experienced or will experience. A kind of vast CD storage place. Did you know, Kas, that most physicists believe there are at least ten dimensions? Humans know and experience only three. Einstein discovered a fourth. The others will become known as humans evolve.”

“Uh-huh,” was all Kas could manage.

“Anyway, it’s our way of connecting with each other when we’re apart. My mother and me. She comes to me or I go to her. Tonight I’m going to try to go to Italy and find her. I feel she’s in the mountains somewhere.”

Athena’s disembodied voice, soft and modulated, was lulling him to sleep. He wanted to keep listening to her, fought to stay awake. The Flow. Spiritual entities. In his concrete, material world, this was all bizarre as hell.

“Wow. You bottle this, Athena—this ability to move your mind around this planet and it’ll put the airlines out of business,” he joked. His own voice sounded rough and slurred, like he’d just been shot with Novocain. “It’s a kind of time travel. My mother travels forward. You travel back in time to ancient Greece. Incredible.” He yawned loudly. “Tell Annabella hello for me.”

Although Kas Skoros claims to be a Guardian of the Delphi bloodline, like his father is to his mother, he lacks the psychic ability of these women he admires so much. Nevertheless, his courage and commitment to the survival of this bloodline compensate for this lack. His dark, good looks and good humor ultimately win Athena over, and she allows him the privilege of being her Guardian. They do not plan on falling in love with each other, and it is this newfound love of theirs that prompts Athena to visit The Flow again, this time to visit the spirit of Kas’s dead brother. What she tells Kas about that visit becomes the emotional and philosophical climax of the book.

Writing about The Flow was a wonderful release for me spiritually. I’ve always believed in another dimension of spiritual energy, and the physics of such a dimension made so much logical sense to me. I’m looking forward to hearing from readers about The Flow. Do they believe such a dimension is possible, even likely? How closely does this vision of The Flow align with the Judeo-Christian idea of heaven? The Hindus’ belief in the Afterlife?  Have they ever experienced a connection with such a dimension?

 ****

Present day descendants of the ancient, psychically powerful Delphi bloodline face the threat of extinction when an evil tycoon hunts them for his own nefarious intent, a global spy network.

When artist Athena Butler, the modern-day descendant of a powerful, ancient bloodline of psychic women, realizes she’s the target of mysterious and dangerous kidnappers, she gets help from strange sources—the spirit of an ancient ancestor and a handsome man who claims to be one of her bloodline’s Guardians. Her mental powers and his brawny skills keep them one step ahead of the mastermind behind these kidnappers. Until the time when an FBI task force decides to use Athena as bait.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Pyramid Valley, Nevada
Thursday AM

Athena Butler’s eyes blinked open and she sat up.

Coming back from The Flow was always jolting. Emerging from the stream of spirits was like a water skier lurching out of the water, pulled by a strong, invisible force. The mind caught up later to the body as if it required a rough snap to break free.

Likewise, to go there was like jumping out of a plane and feeling the air rush to your face, your limbs weightless and wobbly. Most of the time, it was a joy to enter this world of unseen spirits. Athena welcomed her visits, especially at night when she found herself invariably alone.

When she was a child, she’d often emerge from The Flow with a fearful whimper and a cry. She’d wept and wanted to stay in The Flow. Now, at twenty-six, Athena had grown accustomed to her mental flights. They were no longer fear-inducing for she understood their purpose. But her exits were still mind-wrenching and she often lay in bed afterwards, disoriented.

This morning, fear clutched her heart and she could barely breathe. With a trembling hand, she reached for her phone.

Breathless, she raked her other hand through her hair and kicked her legs over the side of the bed.  Six AM, Nevada time. She punched her mother’s mobile numbers. It was nine o’clock in D.C.

“Thank God, Mama! Where are you?”

“I’m in Baltimore, near the—.”

“Mama, I had a dream about you. A Flow Dream. The spirits—they want me to warn you! Whatever you’re doing right now, get off the streets.  Go home and lock the door. Call the police!”

Her heart felt like a ticking bomb in her chest.  Athena could barely speak. But her mother knew her and understood her Flow dreams. They were seldom wrong though sometimes a little off in timing. Today, a threat was imminent. She knew it.

“Slow down, Thena. Take a deep breath and tell me slowly about your dream. I don’t doubt you but we must be able to interpret it correctly. You know how these Flow Dreams are. Sometimes the symbolism is strange and difficult to interpret.”

“Okay—just go home and lock the door. Now, Mama!”

Athena had to swallow hard and take big gulps of air in order to speak. Losing her mother was unthinkable. She’d already lost her father, and in a way, her brother.

“Where are you, Mama?”

She inhaled and counted to five. Her mother wasn’t in Georgetown, where she lived with her second husband. Athena sensed water nearby, a large body of water. Her mind jumped ahead. The body of water in her terrifying dream was vast, a bay leading to the ocean. The Baltimore harbor—of course!

“Near downtown Baltimore. I’m heading toward a section of the city where I believe a little girl’s body was hidden. The police need the evidence from that location.  They think she was hidden somewhere, killed and then a day or two later dumped into the bay. I think I’ve found the monster’s hideout.”

“Mama—”

“I had a session with the homicide detective last night. I handled a few articles of the poor child’s clothing, what she was wearing when they found her. I got some visions so I drove up here to pinpoint the location. It’s not in a very nice part of town but I thought I’d drive around, and then call Detective Bonner when I got something.”

Athena groaned. Her mother was at it again.  Getting involved with homicide cases and trying to use her powers to bring killers to justice.

“Mama, get out of there, please! Go home—”

“I’ve had no sense of this danger, Athena, not to me personally,” her mother said. “Listen, we must talk soon. There are other dangers that I’ve seen…but don’t fret, my car doors are locked, I’m driving my big SUV. I’m in traffic, so relax.”

“Maybe you’re too focused on that homicide case,” Athena stressed. Her mother had no idea the danger she was putting herself in. First-hand experience had taught Athena that working with the cops was a dangerous business. Let them do their work and solve their own cases.

I’m done with all that.

Her mind darted back to the vision in her dream. She took a deep breath and steadied her voice.

“I saw you in your car, Mama. You stopped to get out. A black car pulled in front of you and another one—a long white one—blocked you in back. There was a woman driving the car in front and she was with men who had guns.  Someone grabbed you and carried you to the white car. I could smell salt water and then they took you away. Some place far away. And then I was in the mountains, the Sierras, searching for you.”

Athena bent over, clutching the cell phone, her lifeline to the one person she loved most in the world.  Her stomach cramped into a hard ball.

There was silence. “Mama, go home,” she repeated.

“Okay, Thena, I’m turning back toward the freeway. The harbor shops are on my left. Remember that eight-sided tower, the one with a great view of the harbor and breakwater. The octogon tower. You remember going there on your last visit here, don’t you?”
More silence followed then as an image sprang to Athena’s mind. Yes, they’d had lunch there…

Her mother gasped loudly.  A screech of brakes, metal crunching, glass breaking. Her mother cursing a blue streak in her native Italian.

“What happened, Mama? Are you all right?”

“Yes, dear. Just a stupid fender bender. Merda! Daniel’s going to throw a fit. My second one this year! I’m getting so distracted with these cases—not paying attention to what I’m doing. I swear this car pulled right in front of me, cut me off. It’s not my fault this time.”

More angry muttering followed.

“Dio, I really smashed up that rear end! Thena, I’ll call you right back as soon as I exchange insurance information with the driver. Be right back, Thena.”

“Mama, don’t get out of the—”

The line went dead.  With a cry, Athena sank to her knees on the cold, tile floor. Shivers of dread rippled through her. Her mind went numb with panic.

For God’s sake…Think! Get help!

 ****

About Donna Del Oro…

My pen name is Donna Del Oro and I live in Northern California near the Sierra Nevada foothills and Folsom Lake. After retiring from high school teaching, I decided life was too short to waste. Thus, began a journey doing what I’d been wanting to do for many years–write fiction. I sold my first novel, OPERATION FAMILIA, right away and this book went on to win an award for the Best 2010 Latino Books into Movies Award. Following that first sale, I published three more women’s fiction books, then branched out into writing my first love, romantic thrillers. This year, 2012, saw the launch of A BODYGUARD OF LIES and THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, both ebooks and available on Kindle, Nook, Apple, and elsewhere. If you have read any of my books, I welcome your input. Leave me a review on Amazon and your name goes into a pile for a $50 gift card at B&N, my favorite bookstore. You can email me: donna@donnadeloro.com. Thanks for dropping by!”