Monday, June 15, 2015

Mission: Harbeasts of Mars (Book 4 of Mission) by V.A. Jeffrey

Release date: June 6, 2015
 Subgenre: Science fiction, Space Opera

About Mission: Harbeasts of Mars:

Crash landing!

After a rowdy victory celebration after the battle of Europa, Bob goes for a stargazing trip in the desert and wrecks his speeder. Stranded, he soon finds he isn't alone. Harbeasts, the savage, fearsome, genetically engineered predators that roam the Martian deserts are hot on his trail!

With no water or food, limited air supply, no working vehicle, and the nearest way-station days away, Bob finds himself in a dogged fight for survival. Unfortunately, he also finds that the harbeasts aren't the only predators out to get him.



She landed several yards away from me on a small, rocky plateau. She growled, her teeth and terrible looking fangs bared. Saliva dripped from her mouth. Her eyes were now orange slits as she gathered her haunches ready to pounce. I could see the powerful muscles in her forelegs rippling through the skin armor and fur. I grabbed my rifle and looked around desperately for a hiding place. I had only a few more shots before the rifle would be rendered useless.

This time the rifle did not seem to give her pause at all. I climbed and then leaped up onto a higher plateau, turned and fired. I hit a boulder at the edge of the plateau. Part of it cracked and slid off. The harbeast had nearly cleared the boulder but its hind leg caught on it and it slipped and fell down with the boulder. Even as she fell she twisted with the lethal grace of a cat in mid-air. I watched in fascination as she fell back toward the lower plateau. Again, she leaped in for the kill and had swiped at my weapon, her cruel claws extending out from those powerful, scaly paws, and barely missing the barrel of the rifle. While I'd pressed the trigger to kill the creature, the loss of energy caused the reaction time of the weapon to slow down considerably and what would have killed her had missed. However, the last, singing blast of the rifle threw me back and had blown another large piece from the boulder. I forced myself up and climbed farther, half leaping, half climbing until I reached a small cave. Thankfully, its opening was so small that only one person at a time could get through. It was too small for her to get to me. I sat down with my guns in front of me. The atomic rifle was completely spent of energy and without an extra power supply it was only useful now as a stick or a makeshift bat as a weapon. But I still had my dragon left which I would need to use judiciously. I peered out at the orange sky and the shimmering white sun, now sinking on the horizon. I heard the bone chilling, full-throated roar of the female harbeast outside my hiding place and the answer from her mate farther away. She peered into the mouth of the cave, her eyes like two flames, piercing the safe darkness. And I wondered what to do next.


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About V.A. Jeffrey:

Victoria A. Jeffrey grew up in Portland, Oregon, attended Portland Community College and studied graphic design. She is an author and an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy. She also enjoys reading historical fiction and non-fiction. She has written four collections of poetry and some short stories. She is a content developer for the Middle-Earth Network, the author of the Red World myth-fantasy trilogy. She has two upcoming series for this year, the Mission space opera series and a steampunk science fiction series.

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