Hello regular readers! I'm handing over my blog today to show you what a writing friend and colleague has been up to. D.M. Burton's latest is a middle grades science fiction adventure! Read on to learn more! -SB
Her father is
gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the
Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the
kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with
impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their
frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another
boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine
to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.
they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns
fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she
ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise.
Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her
best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets
off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why
the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does
he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating
baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to
get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her
own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.
the sound of voices, two male and one female, make me stop. They’re coming from
the back side of ‘port and speaking Coalition Standard. Strangers. Nobody in
our village uses Standard. After school hours, Father teaches those who want to
learn Standard—like Lukus and Wilanda. He makes me stay, too, so whether I want
to or not I’ve learned the language of the Central Planets.
pass within a meter of where I’m making like a statue. They’re so busy talking
in low tones about the target and
their mission they don’t even look my
way. As they head toward the village center, I slip around to the back of the
‘port building. I gasp at what’s parked there. A sleek Gilean Cruiser. What a
fine ship. Jako would go ballistic if he knew. I’d seen one before, just once
when Magistrate from the Consortium of Mines came after the riot. Basco let me
work on it.
really. I got to hold his tools as he repaired a small leak in the hydraulics.
Father thinks I don’t want to improve my mind. I sure do. I want to learn to
all about starships like this. And fly them, too.
I linger for a
moment, wanting to reach out and touch the shiny skin of one of the fastest
ships in the galaxy. Only the thought that they might have left a guard on board
prevents me. Reluctantly, I make for the hills and the safety of the scrub
trees. They offer some concealment, especially now that the clouds are breaking
up. Looks like no rain tonight. First Moon is setting behind the mountains.
Soon, larger Second Moon will rise in the south. When it does, it will flood
the farmland and illuminate the foothills.
come from the southeast. I crouch under the thickest scrub tree in the copse
and hear grumbling. The Dunpus brothers. If they catch me out alone, I’m done
“. . . gonna get
that Teacher’s kid, teach her a lesson.”
“Yeah, and the
little brat, too.”
“It’ll take too
long for that little brilium rat to come out of the mine tunnels. The girl is
easier. We’ll wait outside her house, and when Teacher leaves . . .” The oldest
one’s voice trails off as they stomp away.
the tree so hard I have splinters. Jako and I’d better make sure we see them
coming or we’re going to be in deep planetary poop.
After I climb
toward a mine that was played out years ago, I crouch behind a rock near the
entrance. I don’t want to run into any packs—especially not the two-legged
variety, like the Dunpus brothers. Gangs usually roam the village late at
night, searching for anything people haven’t locked up or just wreaking havoc.
I’m lucky I haven’t run into them. Whoa.
Maybe that was why Lukus pulled a knife.
Jako lives in
one of the tunnels. He would be good company. With Lukus at the café, Jako will
be alone. Finding him is my biggest problem. I could search the tunnels, call
his name. But then I might run into a gang roaming the mine. Or, the Dunpus
brothers could return.
When I took off
from home, I didn’t think about the dangers. I guess I didn’t think, period.
Running away is a stupid idea. Coming up here alone is even dumber. It’s one
thing to come with Father or to explore with Jako during the day. Everything
looks different at night.
I square my
shoulders. I can’t depend on anyone except myself now. Father forbid me to go
to Pamyria, to the Tech Institute. I’m going anyway. I just have to figure out
About the Author:
The first time D.M. Burton saw Star
Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel.
The Star Trek movies made her want to
travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband
live in Michigan, close to their two children and five grandchildren.
Join D.M. Burton's readers’ group on Facebook.
She writes adult fiction as Diane Burton, where she combines her
love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic
fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense,
and cozy mysteries.
Connect with Diane Burton
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