The vibrations increased. Jane peered in fascination at the screen as the umbilical gangway detached from the ship and retracted into the building. With a jarring bump that drew a gasp from Will, the ship began a slow taxi. After a sharp turn, the Solar Vortex moved into position dead center between two rows of parallel blinking lights bordering the runway. With the effect of perspective, they angled toward each other. The lights seemed to meet at a single glowing dot in the distance—a shining arrow pointing to an unwritten future.
Heart pounding, a strange tingling sensation raced up Jane’s arms. Her mind lifted on a cloud of elation. She and Will had slipped from the grasp of the zebras, no longer chained to mindless certifications and pointless exams. She peered at the monitor, but couldn’t see past the last light in the darkness. There was no way for her to tell what lay in store after that.
Jane smiled. Nor did she care.
“Solar Vortex, this is Port Control. You have final clearance.”
“Roger, Port Control,” said Captain Kwan. “Sixty seconds until go.”
Bright red numerals materialized, floating in the middle of the 3D display. Will counted out loud. “Sixty…fifty-nine…fifty-eight…”
The engines revved. The ship trembled like a racehorse at the starting gate.
Seconds ticked away. Will’s voice rose in pitch. “Twenty-five…twenty-four…”
The shuddering increased. Lights in the cabin winked out. The only illumination now came from the soft glow of the monitor.
Will shouted above the roar of the engines. “…ten…nine…”
Jane held her mother’s ring tight against her chest.
The acceleration slammed them against the seats. Jane’s heart pounded out a ferocious beat. She wanted to scream, but pressure squeezed the breath from her lungs. Images of smoke and flames clouded the screen. An instant later, they cleared. The runway lights disappeared, replaced by an illuminated carpet stretched along the coastline—the glare of the cities blended together.
With a violent lurch, the Solar Vortex broke from the atmosphere and into space. The pressure vanished. Jane’s head and body felt light. She opened her hand and to her delight Eva Benedict’s ring floated to eye level. The field of view in the monitor rotated from Earth. Millions of stars now blazed across the screen. More than Jane had ever seen. More than she ever imagined existed. Nothing in her life ever produced the same sense of awe. “It’s so beautiful,” she murmured.
Author: L.A. Kelley
Genre: YA Space Opera
Teenager Jane Benedict is awakened by her father and ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company’s murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father’s last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew’s fight against UEC, Jane saves the life of young smuggler Maclan Sawyer and learns her father’s code identifies a secret cargo shipment that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race.
Piracy, intrigue, romance, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the planet Rimrock. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose on the galactic rim or will death for high treason be her fate?
I’m the author of seven fantasy and science fiction adventure novels with smart female characters more comfortable with thinking rather than shooting their way out of a tricky situation. Rimrider is the newest and the first book in the Rimrock Adventures series. The second, Outlaw Jane, is also available with the third due in 2017. The story arc is a nod to the American Revolution, but with space colonists as the Yankees and Earth as the redcoats. A reader can expect to find an element of fantasy and sweet romance, humor, space battles and conflict, but no gore.
Florida is my home. The state is a good place for speculative fiction since most people speculate the heat and humidity here have driven residents slightly mad. I can’t argue that. In my spare time I enjoy calling in Bigfoot sightings to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from me.
Rimrider is available for 99 cents on Amazon or free for members of Kindle Unlimited.
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