April 20, 2022

BLOG TOUR: Descent into Darkness by Zanne Raby

Hi friends! I'm excited to feature today's book - Descent into Darkness by Zanne Raby. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author, Zanne Raby, will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the link below to see the other tour. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win!

About 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.

Check out an excerpt from the book!

“Pallav? You alright?” Tara’s voice broke him from his reverie and he pasted on a phony smile.

“Sorry darling, I was a million light years away. I’ll be fine,” he promised. Sweat trickled down his back in the unrelenting heat of the Denebian day, his disruptive pattern shirt already sticking to his body as he shrugged into his rucksack.

“Daddy, I’m gonna miss you.” The chirpy sing-song voice of little Jolanta gave him cause to smile at the child as she held out her arms to him. Swooping her up, Pallav dropped a kiss on the little girl’s rosy brown cheek, her eyes glistening with tears.

“And I’m going to miss you too, little one.” Hugging the orphaned girl to his chest, he burrowed his face into the cloud of dark hair that was as soft as a feather before pinching her cheek and gently setting her down. Guilt pierced his heart at the sad resigned look on the child’s face. Had it not been for him, Jolanta would be snug as a bug with her biological parents and not in lockdown high above the capital city living with a pair of humans.

Poor little thing… she’s known so much loss in her short life, he thought. Surrounded by death as the human Chimera bactovirus raged across Deneb, Jolanta had been cruelly abandoned by her mother after Tara retrieved the fallen child from the cobblestoned marketplace in the centre of the capital city. He could still picture his wife walking through the door with the tiny tot in tow. Shocked, surprised, but then captivated, Pallav let the child into his heart. It wasn’t like his two teenagers wanted him around anymore. No, Luke and Isabella were busy chartering their own course in the Wessel world with Gomalan insisting that they attend the best boarding school in the nation.

Taking advantage of his position, Pallav had initiated a thorough search for Jolanta’s parents only to get confirmation that they were amongst the thousands in Styria who had succumbed to the pandemic. Since her arrival, the young orphan had been his little shadow, never leaving his side, following the big man’s movements with her luminous opalescent eyes. He smiled inwardly at the thought of Jolanta climbing into her little cot and begging her new daddy for a bedtime story. Guilt-ridden he realized that he’d miss her more than his own children who were so immersed in their new lives that even their weekly holotalks were rushed and awkward. Laughing at himself, Pallav knew he was totally under the child’s spell.

“I promise to be back in time for market day, so no tears, okay?” Taking the little urchin’s chin in his hands, Pallav stared into her eyes. “And you have a promise to make to me too young lady, don’t you?” The little brown head nodded up and down, serious eyes acknowledging the responsibility her adopted father had assigned to her.

Q&A with the Author

What are four things you can't live without?

That really depends if you’re asking about young me or old me. Old me says water (cold or hot – made into green tea), running shoes, a good pillow, and my smart phone. If you’d have asked me the same question a couple of decades ago it’d be completely different: mascara, a great pair of jeans, hoop earrings and a Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. Well, I still want that Porsche! 


What is your favorite television show? 

Truthfully I don’t watch a lot of TV. What I do watch is mainly on YouTube. I’m a big fan of “The Great War” and “Time Ghost History” on YouTube. 


Where do you get your inspiration, information, an ideas for books? 

After I retired from the Canadian Armed Forces, I had to do some soul-searching to find meaningful and interesting activities to do with all this spare time on my hands. 

Some of my Department of National Defence colleagues asked me to partner with them in writing two articles for military magazines that would discuss the challenges women face in the armed forces. I worked on the historical section and learned quite a bit about the evolution of the role of women, from unrecognized nurses on the battlefield during the 1800s, to war fighting in the late 1990s in Canada. I was completely captivated by writing these two articles. Although this was non-fiction, writing provided me with an outlet for my creativity and was the inspiration for me to embark on a second career as an author. But what to write about? That was a question that plagued me for a while. I decided to draw on my experience in the military. Some of the work that I did while in uniform was related to planning for contingencies and emergencies, and this inspired me to write my first novel, The Flight of the Mayflower. I’ve always looked to the stars for inspiration, so I wanted to get my characters off Earth and onto a new fictional planet. The best way was to examine where our planet is heading and extrapolate that a hundred fold. Current events at the time gave me a lot to work with! That’s unfortunate actually, because our planet is a jewel in the solar system and humanity has been given the abilities to protect our world, yet we do not always recognize this. I also wanted to incorporate some very strong female characters in my novels, in recognition of the strong women I worked with during my career. In my current novel, Descent into Darkness, I introduce two female top generals and a female head of state. They don’t always play nice, but why should they? You don’t get to the top by being the gal with the candies on her desk, right?



Do you write full-time or around another job? If you have a full time job, does it ever play into your writing? 

Like I was mentioning earlier, I retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force a few years back. After moving around every three or four years, I finally bought a piece of land and designed a house. My forever home. That took over a year of work, but after that I began to work on my writing. If you read the novels that make up “The Chronicles of Deneb” (so far there are two novels in the series – The Flight of the Mayflower and Descent into Darkness) you can definitely see a reflection of my career in the Air Force. 


What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

Here’s where it gets a bit strange. I’m writing an adventure-filled science fiction series with a military slant and the authors that have influenced me the most have nothing to do with my genre. Let’s talk Leo Tolstoy. The man was a literary genius. I’ve read Anna Karenina so many times the book’s falling apart. And my copy of War and Peace? It’s almost in tatters. I love the way he meshes together different stories in W&P and I’ve done the same throughout in ‘The Chronicles of Deneb’. His novels are rich with a plethora of characters (I’ve read he included over 500 different characters in W&P) who evolve with time through the hardships they face. In my current novel, Descent into Darkness, and the next book in the series, Fires of Fury, the characters are faced with some terrible choices that force them to contemplate the consequences of their actions, reminiscent to the evolution of some of the main characters in Tolstoy’s works. He’s my literary hero!


What is your favorite writing snack and/or drink? 

When I write I don’t snack all that much, but I drink green tea. And water. But what I do is chew gum. That’s something I forgot to mention, I can’t live without gum. 


What was your hardest scene to write and why?

It was the death of one of my characters and takes place in Descent into Darkness.
That one person had to die so that another of the main characters could develop in a certain way. I don’t want to give away the name or the situation, but they had everything to live for. Their new life was really just beginning. Then they went off and became a hero and ended up paying the ultimate price. It made me sad to have killed them off, and I had to take a day off from writing as it was a very difficult piece to write. 


What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft? 

Oh so much! In the beginning, the novel was about revenge. It hinged on a mediator who was sent to broker a peace between two warring factions on a distant alien planet and things went south when they returned home. I wrote probably six or seven chapters and then I realized that I needed a back story that took my human mediator from Earth and flung them into the far reaches of the Milky Way. So I came up with The Flight of the Mayflower where in 2080, the Earth is dying and the leaders of the most powerful nations conspire together to abandon humanity to its fate. That meant there had to be a massive space craft which in turn needed a team of engineers and scientists to design and create the Space Ark Mayflower. And of course, the group busts apart the conspiracy and takes off into space to save their own skins. There’s still revenge in the cards, but those first few chapters that I wrote in 2018 are sitting by patiently until the back story that became the main story catches up! 


Aside from writing, what is one thing you do for fun? 

I absolutely love being in nature, so I go hiking as often as I can. This year I dislocated my knee and in the process also tore the meniscus so I haven’t been able to be as active as I normally am. So I took up knitting. It’s so satisfying to watch a project taking shape, and the feel of the wool between my fingers is relaxing.


What exciting projects do you have coming up next? 

At the moment, I’m working on the next novel in “The Chronicles of Deneb” series. The third novel in the series, Fires of Fury, has a more political edge to it while keeping the sci-fi and military flavour. There’s a couple of cliff hangers waiting in the wings too, and I’m pretty sure that readers are going to be staying up late trying to find out what happens to the main characters.

About the Author

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.

Connect with Zanne Raby

WEBSITE zanneraby.com


INSTAGRAM @zanne_raby



Buy Descent Into Darkness






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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog Rita :) I hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement Rita

  3. Thank you for sharing your Q&A and book details, Descent into Darkness sounds like an excellent read and I am looking forward to it

    1. Thanks Bea! I appreciate your kind comments

    2. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog Bea! I hope you have a great weekend :)

  4. I love the cover and the excerpt.

    1. Thank you Sherri. It was a lot of fun creating the cover :)

    2. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, Sherry! I hope you have a great weekend :)

  5. Thanks for the great excerpt. The book sounds exciting. Great cover!


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