Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Before We Leave by Mari Collier

  KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH

Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!


Before We Leave by Mari Collier

Back Cover Blurb

BEFORE WE LEAVE continues the saga of a Thalian-Justine mutant from the planet Thalia.  While strand on Earth, he is using the name MacDonald.  He has the spaceship to return to his planet and complete his mother’s revenge on the Justines.  He needs to gather a force to leave with him, but first he must raise his Earth daughter. His adopted son, Lorenz, a Justine-Earth mutant, is vital for this task of conquering the Justines.  Lorenz refuses to leave as long as his wife lives and their children need him.  MacDonald needs to convince others to go with them.  Before they leave, the Earth mutant offspring experience elopements, Comanche and outlaw raids, hangings, blizzards, madness, quarrels within the family, and a FBI investigation.  The remaining family mutants will be trained to staff the MacDonald Corporation and carry on their family traditions.

EXCERPT…Before We Leave

[Note: This is from the sixth chapter when Comanche attack the Rolfe ranch.  Antoinette does not know that Lorenz’s father is from another planet.]

Anna let loose with a blast from her shotgun and ran under the porch roof and into the house. Toni slammed the door. Both of them lifted the bar and lowered it into the metal prongs set into the wood on either side, and then Anna began to issue orders.

“Mina, take all the children into one of the bedrooms. Now!” She didn’t wait to see if Mina obeyed. “Brigetta, do du know vhere there is any ammunition in this house?”

Brigetta stared at them, her eyelids almost devoid of lashes blinking over her pale blue eyes, her breath coming in short pants, and her right hand supporting her protruding belly. “I think my water broke,” she said in German while water ran down around her feet.

“Down,”screamed Toni. “Get into the bedrooms. An arrow flew through the window and thudded into the opposite wall.

Anna thanked God the Rolfe house was dug into the river bluffs. The only wooden room was the long one used for the kitchen, eating, and sitting areas. The furnishings were minimal: a black stove, a table and chairs for eating, a daybed, and a desk. The only windows were on either side of the door and they were small. The porch roof sloped upward over the porch and the long room. The roof was secured into the bluff with beams driven into the soil and calked every year with mud, stones, and willow boughs.

Toni was busy pushing the desk against the door while Anna dumped the table over on the floor. Then she pulled it closer to the arch doorways dug into the bluff.“Check the drawers for ammunition,” she ordered Toni.

Outside they could hear the horses whinny and heard the banging of tubs being overturned and men laughing and whooping. They’re probably amused by the white men’s clothing thought Anna.  Toni scooted behind the table with a box of bullets, and Brigetta let out a scream.  This set the children to screaming and more whoops could be heard outside as someone jumped onto the porch and started for the window. Toni pulled the rifle trigger and they heard a grunt before the man disappeared from view, his blood splattering against the window sill.

Brigetta and the children were still screaming and Anna longed to slap them into silence. They heard the men outside bang at the door, then hatchets crashing into the heavy oak timbers, but the door held firm, and the Indians stayed far away from the windows set on either side. For a moment there was silence. Then a flurry of arrows sailed through the windows, most of them went downward into the floor while others struck the tipped over table top.

“Antoinette, scream in your mind for Lorenz,” Anna said through set teeth.

“Why, whatever for?” Toni had heard of Anna’s kenning ways, but never that Lorenz possessed any.

“Sometimes vhen two people love each other and something is not right, they sense it.” Anna closed her eyes. Lorenz had not told her! Something was wrong, her stomach was still making her dizzy and she fought back the nausea.

  Meet Mari Collier, Author….

My birth state is Iowa , but I have lived in Arizona , Washington  and now Southern California .  Before I left Iowa , I wrote a neighborhood column for the Audubon Advocate.

While In Arizona , I completed my education.  Then I became a young wife and mother, served as a bookkeeper, collector, and sold my first story.

During our Washington  stint, we were the care givers for his mother for nineteen years.  I also found employment with Nintendo of America.  While at Nintendo, I wrote a mixture of fantasy and fact to the many fans that contacted their Call Center  operations.  Currently, I write Snapshots in Time column for the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’s Old Schoolhouse Journal.  I’m also the Coordinator for the Desert Writers Guild of Twentynine Palms.  I live in the quirky little town of Twentynine  Palms . 

I started my first novel, GATHER THE CHILDREN, when I was twelve.  I killed everyone but Lorenz in the first chapter.  My older brother roared with laughter.  Everyone in that chapter stayed dead except for Anna.  She wanted her children.  GATHER THE CHILDREN was published in 2008.  BEFORE WE LEAVE is the sequel.  The prequel is finished and I hope to have that out by next year.

FMI about Mari Collier & her books:
Now Available! BEFORE WE LEAVE by Mari Collier
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3 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: Before We Leave by Mari Collier

  1. Greg Gilbert says:

    Mari Collier’s series is truly original. Published long before the debut of the film Cowboys and Aliens, it is a work that transcends such shot-em-up encounters by offering the reader generations of fully developed characters, rich sub-plots, and a captivating central story that reaches into the cultures of interstellar civilizations. Her depictions of alien cultures are as groundbreaking as her original concept of stranding extraterrestrials in 19th Century America. In the tradition of Gene Roddenberry, each culture represents facets of her characters and turns an insightful mirror toward our own human foibles – while presenting some rituals that Roddenberry could never have gotten past the television censors. Whether we encounter them on distant worlds or in America’s 19th and 20th centuries, Mari Collier’s characters remain with us long after we’ve closed her books, and we long to meet them again in future episodes.

  2. Karen Cote says:

    Fabulous interview and what an intriguing story line. I like how fresh and different it is. Great job and much success to you Mari.

    I always love visiting here because of the deep versatility Karen offers.

    I live in Southern California as well (Newport Beach) and I’ve driven through Twentynine Palms a few times. Lovely, lovely area.

    Nice to see you here Mari and best wishes for your continued journey.

  3. Debbie Parker says:

    Mari Collier is a breath of fresh air. It is great to get into a book and loose yourself . Mari does this with her ideas and expresses them onto paper so the reader can become the one with the book and story line.

    I have had the great pleasure to meet and enjoy a conversation with Mari Collier. I would recommend it highly a GREAT classy lady. To talk to her face to face is amazing. Please keep writing Mari! Best Wishes to you, Debbie Parker

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