Wednesday 28 August 2013

Once in a Blue Moon by Diane Burton

Dreamstime Image
Did you happen to see the full moon last Tuesday night? Not just big, huge. That was a Blue Moon.
What, you may ask, is a Blue Moon—besides an interesting beer? The most common definition (the one I was most familiar with) is the occurrence of a second full moon in a calendar month. Last week’s Blue Moon was different. It’s the third of four full moons in a season.
How many times have we said or heard the expression “once in a blue moon”? Is a Blue Moon really that rare? By either definitions (above), a Blue Moon occurs every two or three years. That’s a lot less rare than I would have thought. And, no, that moon is not really blue. However, on rare occasions dust particles caused by volcanic eruptions or huge fires can make the moon look bluish in color even if it’s not a full moon. Considering the fires in the western part of the U.S., we may very well see a moon that looks blue.
So the next time you say your kids will clean their rooms once in a blue moon, it may be sooner than you think.
As for me, I think I’d rather have the beer.
Moons, planets, and starship travel are fodder for science fiction romance writer Diane Burton’s imagination. She takes her readers on adventures that are out of this world. Her latest release, Switched Resolution, concludes the Switched series about twins switching places—from Earth to a starship and the reverse.

With duffle bags slung over shoulders, banging against hips and each other, Scott Cherella and Veronese Qilana raced through the Malawea Spaceport terminal. His ship was gone. Stolen. Not just by the rebels incarcerated on board but by three of his own crew.

“I still can’t believe Drakus and Usolde took the Freedom.” Neese panted from running.

Scott was surprised at how many people either milled around or strolled down the terminal’s main corridor in the middle of the night. He and Neese attracted attention. Maybe Serenians didn’t run through public buildings. Too damn bad. This was an emergency.

“Those two have a lot to answer for,” he said.

Once they got to the hangar—or whatever Serenians called the area where various flight vehicles landed and took off—he let her lead the way. He’d only been through there once, yesterday, after arriving aboard a shuttle from Space Station Alpha where the Freedom had docked. Where it should still be docked.

“This way.” Neese darted down a narrow passageway. “I want to know about the other man. Both Drakus and Usolde mentioned a he who tricked them. Any ideas?”

“You know the crew better than I do. Well, longer anyway.” He had only been aboard the Freedom for three weeks, ever since he switched places with his twin. And, holy shit, what a time it had been. Sabotage, capture, rescue, ecstasy, betrayal.

Yeah, he wanted to know the other guy’s identity, too. A member of the Freedom’s crew had not only masterminded the recent sabotage but also the release of war criminals and the theft of Scott’s ship. How the hell had they gotten it out of spacedock? There had to be controls. Clearance requirements. On top of that, he wondered why the Freedom. The rebels needed a ship to escape. Surely, other ships were easier to take out from under Space Fleet Security than an Alliance battle cruiser. Or maybe that had been the point. A way of thumbing their noses at The Powers That Be.

“Wait.” He snagged the strap of Neese’s bag. They’d gotten to the end of a long hall. She turned to him, questions in her Lake Michigan blue eyes. God, he loved seeing them without the silver lenses she had worn to pass as Serenian. He couldn’t wait for her short hair to grow out. Like wearing camouflage lenses, she’d dyed her hair black to look like a Serenian. He bet if left to nature, her hair would be a deep auburn like Jessie’s. With waves, too, once it was long enough. Or maybe it would curl cutely around her face.

Nah. Neese was many things—striking, intelligent, strong-willed—but never cute.

Edging her into the corner, he dropped his duffle and pulled her into his arms. “I gotta do this before we meet up with the others.”

She opened her mouth in surprise as his came down. He hoped the kiss he planted on her made her remember what they’d been doing two hours earlier. Finally alone and no longer worried about non-fraternization rules, they’d made love in a proper bed. It had been perfect. Perfect until she beat him to the punch and proposed. If the damn computer hadn’t interrupted with urgent messages, he would have made sure she understood there were some things a guy just had to do on his own.

Independent little cuss.

She broke off the kiss, her eyes huge. “We—We shouldn’t do this. Someone might—”

“Relax, Neese. Nobody’s around.”

“There could be.” When she scooted past him, her bag swung out and caught him in the side. Uttering a quick apology, she opened the door to a spacious hangar. “Chief Luqett and Mr. Glaxpher said they’d be waiting for us in Area 72.” She pointed overhead.

Up in the rafters, large white lettering designated areas. Naturally, he couldn’t read them. He didn’t think his link, which she’d programmed to translate Serenian symbols, would be able to “read” that far away.

“Where are we now?” he asked softly as he followed her.

“Area 51.”

That stopped him. “You have got to be joking.”

She turned to him and shook her head. “I do not understand.”

“Area 51. Aliens. Roswell, New Mexico.”

“Oh, that fiasco when the Cardijian ship crashed. We need to hurry.”

“You mean that was real?” He started grinning. “Hot damn.”

Switched Resolution is available at:
Amazon :

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. She is the author of science fiction romance the Switched and The Outer Rim series. With One Red Shoe, soon to be published by The Wild Rose Press, she takes her writing in a new direction into romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

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  1. Anna, thanks for having me here on your lovely blog.

  2. Interesting post, Diane. I didn't see the *Blue Moon* last week, but my DH did. He's the star watcher in the family.

    Really enjoyed your excerpt. Humor, aliens and romance. Nice combination. Best of luck with your sales!

    1. Thanks, Lynda. I love that combination, too.

  3. Ah, I did not know blue moons were that frequent. Guess I will have to stop using that expression. :) I did not see the blue moon. Maybe next time... Loved your excerpt!

    1. Thanks, Alicia. I thought blue moons were much rarer, too.

  4. Love it! My kids probably do only clean their rooms once in a blue moon! Loved your excerpt, hot kiss!

  5. The beer is pretty good...but there's also something about sitting outside on a still night with a full moon above you. Maybe I'm still dreaming about summer vacation...back to school/work is making me sick! ;)

    1. I had the beer for the first time last year. Pretty good is right. Hubs and I lay on the deck waiting for the Perseid meteor showers. Kinda romantic for 2 old fogies. :)

  6. The blue moon has always made me feel that magic is alive and well, and visits us once in a while. Thanks for writing about it, enjoy your beer!

  7. Magic is so cool. Thanks for stopping by, Gemma.

  8. Nice post, Diane. Yes, I knew what a blue moon was. I did a share world story with some friends a few years ago and we called it Blue Moon Magic. All of the titles had Blue Moon in them: By the Blue Moon, Night of the Blue Moon, Twice in a Blue Moon and Never in a Blue Moon. It was the most fun series I'd ever written because it was with others.

    Great excerpt...I love the characters interplay...very exciting.