KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where 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!
FALL AND RISE OF THE MACAS
Chronicles of the Maca, Book 6
BY MARI COLLIER
After the destruction of a Justine Golden One spaceship, the Maca of Ayran is hunting down the one responsible for its demise.
Having ignored the orders of his superiors, he has formed an alliance with Lillie, daughter of the Guardian of Flight. After they get attacked by an unknown alien vessel near a De’Chin mining outpost, they come across a mysterious female prisoner who has shocking news about their common enemy: the Draygons.
Unable to penetrate the Draygon mind with their telepathic powers, they summon help from the Justine Refuge. What they are about to find out will bring their part of the galaxy to the brink of war and beyond.
FALL AND RISE OF THE MACAS
Chronicles of the Maca, Book 6
BY MARI COLLIER
Jarvis, Maca of Ayran, Captain of Flight, stirred at the sound of Captain Tamar’s words coming into his quarters. “We are closing in on the attackers,” brought him to his feet. He finished dressing and ran through the short corridor into the Command Center.
He clenched and unclench his huge hands, easing the tenseness of all those years of searching for an enemy that they knew were out there. His dark eyes swept over his staff as he ran in and slammed his bulk into the commander’s chair. His straight, dark hair was swept back and heavy, black eyebrows softened the wide angled face cut by a huge wedge of a nose. His thick, sensuous lips curled in a triumphant smile. His facial features were supported by a wide, corded neck blending into the slope of his shoulders. His whole body gave promise of vicious fighting, but now he was stilled as he focused on the screen showing the approaching craft.
Jarvis never cared if his crew hated his decision to remain these extra five years in space searching for Draygons. They had known this would be a long mission in a Thalian spaceship designed to find and close with an attacking ship. Over the ten years of this mission their enthusiasm for a fight had dimmed, but Jarvis persisted.
At five minutes before twelve hundred hours the message had come through the Communication’s audio. The De’Chin’s language was auto-translated into Thalian. “Urgent! We are under attack by unknown beings. Respond. This is our exploratory outpost at system Twenty-five on the Quadrant charts. Respond. This is urgent!”
He had squelched any reply the staff person at the communications station was ready to send. Lasa, a Tri from Don protested.
“They need assistance.”
“Aye, and they shall have it, but whoever the attackers are, they shall nay ken we are coming.”
Now Jarvis turned to Captain Tamar, Lad of Don, and snapped out his orders. Take us in.”
Lillie, Lady of Don and Betron, his Communications and Recording Director, sat to his right, her dark head bowed over the screen. He heard her mutter, “Here it comes.”
All were staring at the screen. Jarvis looked at the shape and the numbers running at the top of the screen and worked his portion of the panel to settle his ship slightly lower and to the left. The alien’s craft was round, unlike the oval shaped spaceships in the Justine League.
“Steady, Warriors. Nay misses.”
“They will try to fire first.” Lillie was muttering.
“Aye, when we close.” Jarvis’s response was clipped as his attention was on the screen and the number coordinates massing in his mind. He sensed, rather saw the ship shift to his left and he redirected the first blast.
The alien returned fire and both ships wobbled as they moved closer. Again and again his wide fingers struck the blast panel, their bodies rocking with the ship’s sway. The alien ship tilted and shifted downward toward the planet and Jarvis followed.
“Back off,” Lillie pointed at the screen. “They have a craft below us and are firing upward.”
Jarvis saw the alien ship turning and moving toward them.
Tamar’s frantic voice advised, “We must go up.”
“’That tis what they want,” and Jarvis swept his ship lower and to the left. His eyes danced as the beam from Dragon’s grounded fighter caught its own ship. He swung his craft around and Tamar had to grasp at the arms of his chair to keep from tumbling out. Jarvis leveled the craft and fired again. Elation surged through him as the alien vessel spiraled downward and once more his fingers worked the panel blasting the ship into debris that turned into burning bands as they entered the atmosphere of the asteroid. He swooped down and blasted the fighter that was beginning to rise.
“Lillie, run the scanners. We need to determine where the rest of their fighters are.”
“Ye pilot recklessly.” She smiled at him, her brown eyes gleaming and then bent over the screen.
Jarvis leaned backward and swiveled the chair. “Damage?” He noticed Tamar helping Lasa up.
Lasa gave both a sickly smile and scanned her section. “Nay damage here, but the Supply Sector took a hit. All systems are operational.”
Jarvis nodded and connected to Engineering. “Are we battle ready? We need to take out any low flight fighters and ground installations.”
“Aye, Captain, Nay damage here except minor shaking of our teeth. All shields are intact again.”
He swung back to the screen. Lillie had the locations of grounded fighters and their coordinates in batches of numbers. The crew could hear his words on the Command channel.
“Three fighters coming upward,” Lillie could not help adding unnecessary words. “Mayhap they think we are damaged to send such insects after us.”
“Do ye wish to capture them?” Tamar asked.
“Nay, I wish to check their abilities.” Jarvis eyes were lit with hard beams of light. The fighters were swift, but lacked the fire power of the mother ship and one by one the bolts from the Thalians’ ship made them disintegrate.
“Shall I take it down for ye?” asked Tamar.
“And be blown into the Darkness?” Contempt was beginning to build in Jarvis. He swallowed and turned to Lillie.
“Lillie, keep the scans going. We’ll cruise for a closer look. Tamar, when anything shows, I want degrees for blasting.”
“Captain, there could be De’Chins alive,” protested Tamar. “Ye canna destroy the base without cause. The Justine League has certain standards.”
“The League can discuss standards for centuries,” he snapped as he completed the maneuver to orbit.
Lasa’s next words stopped any fight. “Captain, the Director of Supplies reports a disaster area.”
Jarvis punched the communicator. “Kahli, what tis wrong?”
“The shaking and turning has tumbled some of our tanks. Sodium and hydro trays were dumped. There tis metal in the walls. Mayhap the shields shifted. The engineering crew tis on their way to do the repair if possible. We may go on short rations ere we return to Thalia if we canna pick up supplies and bios off the asteroid below.”
Jarvis suppressed a grin. Kahli, Lad of Don, did nay believe in failure. He simply totaled the obstacles and calculated ways to circumvent them.
“If ye were thinking of blowing up this place, dinna.” Kahli’s sharp voice continued. “Besides the bios, I will need fresh water. We have been away too long.”
“Aye.” Jarvis conceded. He needed his crew intact when they returned and he needed to ken more about the enemy. It had been the excitement of battle. The space attack forty years ago when on a probe had been a blow to his pride. He was nay sure whether it was his fighting skills, the technology, or Daniel’s starpath skills that had mapped the way home that enabled him to make it to Brendon and then back to Thalia. Some had speculated the attack had been lost beings from another part of the universe. Now he could prove them wrong. The Justines had not approved the building of space fighters, but since Thalia controlled the Justine League, it mattered nay.
Lillie nudged him. She had everything displayed on screen: ship locations, hot spots, and where all the beings were.
“Good,” he grunted not bothering with thanks.
“There are still three fighters grounded,” she said. “A ground cruiser tis there, but I canna determine whether they belong to the De’Chins or the attackers.”
He took the ship in on her coordinates and blasted. In battle, he expected no favors and granted nay. Thrice he held the key down and then looked at his Recording Director.
“All tis logged.”
Jarvis could almost hear the crew relax.
“Do we land now?” asked Tamar.
Meet Author Mari Collier…
I’d like to thank Karen for allowing me to visit.
I was born and raised on a farm in Iowa and attended a one room country schoolhouse. Severe allergies left my immune system in shatters. Mother took me to Phoenix, Arizona. I attended high school there and met my husband of forty-five years before he passed away. We had two wonderful children, but he decided to move to the Pacific Northwest. He had a small construction company and after the children were grown, I went to work for Nintendo of America. It was a fantastic opportunity. They paid me to write, read, talk, and play games. I did a few more things, but retired early when my husband was ill. We found refuge in a small community in the high desert of California where our daughter lived. I’m on the Board of Directors for The Twentynine Palms Historical Society and the congregational secretary for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. I write two columns for the Old Schoolhouse Journal and enjoy family, friends, the local art galleries, and theaters. Earthbound, Gather The Children, Before We Leave, Return of the Maca, Thalia and Earth, and now Fall and Rise of the Macas are the published novels in Chronicles of the Maca series. Twisted Tales From The Desert, Twisted Tales From The Northwest, and Twisted Tales From The Universe are the anthologies.
Links to Mari’s website, blog, books, etc.
Fall and Rise of the Macas: http://amzn.to/2a8pyaO
Enjoy my website for a free read, to learn more about me, and the rest of my series and anthologies:
Check out all of Mari’s books:
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Mari is giving away a mobi copy of EARTHBOUND, Chronicles of the Maca, Book 1, to one lucky reader who comments on this Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Thank you, Mari, for sharing your stories with us.
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!