Book Feature-Acts of Life by Merita King

Today I’m featuring a wonderful book called Acts of Life by Merita King. The cover of this book is awesome, don’t you think?

Now, let’s get to the blurb, excerpt, Merita’s bio and where you can purchase Acts of Life.

Jake Elloway has a glittering career as one of Earth’s most celebrated vidicom movie stars and enjoys his privileged lifestyle to the full. An arrogant megalomaniac, Jake is handsome and talented, but selfish and indulgent. When he is offered a role that is something of a departure from the muscle bound action heroes he usually plays, he is hesitant to accept. Persuaded by his Personal Assistant to take the role, Jake reluctantly agrees to spend three months living and working aboard an inter galactic freight liner as research for this new role, and hopes that his new environment will afford him plenty of beautiful female fans to seduce.

Life aboard the Mayan Queen quickly proves to be anything but comfortable, and when the vessel is boarded by pirates intent on kidnapping Jake for a substantial ransom, he realises that not everyone aboard is keen to protect him. When the small group of friends make a desperate bid for freedom, a new nightmare begins.



Shib looked at the sensor readout and nodded. He was pleased that his calculations were correct and the shuttle did have enough power to get them to Tellizon 4 but he was a little worried about how his companions would survive the landing. He wondered whether to tell them or not and decided that honesty is always the best policy.

"Gentlemen?" he called.

"Yeah buddy," Nef replied.

"We’re approaching the Tellizon system now and we do have enough power in the cells to reach the fourth planet."

"That’s fantastic." The group sighed with relief and grinned at each other.

"However," Shib continued, "we don’t have enough to control our landing."

"Oh shit," Crib hissed.

"What?" Jake exclaimed. "You mean we’re gonna crash after coming all this way? What the fuck?"

"Our power will run out approximately two thirds the way into our landing manoeuver, which will mean we have to glide our way in and our landing won’t be the most comfortable."

"How long do we have?" Manlee asked.

"Forty six minutes," Shib replied.

"Okay everyone, lock down," Nef yelled and the group leapt up, leaving Jake sitting there wondering what was going on.

"What can I do?"

"We have to lock down everything that isn’t already bolted down," Crib called. "Anything loose could take off your head when we touch down so either tie it down, lock it up, stuff it somewhere or sit on it. Whatever works for ya buddy, just use your initiative."

"Oh shit," Jake hissed as he too, leapt up. "Okay, yeah." He looked around and saw several boxes at the back of the shuttle, stacked together. He ran over, grabbed one, and looked around for somewhere to put it. He was about to despair when he saw the door to the toilet standing open. He stacked the boxes in the toilet cubicle, along with the ten emergency space suits he found stuffed into a corner, the boxes of emergency ration packs and a toolbox full of tools. He checked and double checked the rear section for anything loose and found nothing more so he shut the toilet cubicle door and went to join the others.

"Everything clear down the back Jake?" Ace asked and he nodded.

"Yeah, I stuffed everything into the toilet so y’all are gonna have to piss ya pants," he replied. Everyone looked round at him and one by one, started to laugh.

Manlee came rushing over and handed everyone a small package.

"Here ya go guys; I found these under a seat."

Jake took one and turned it over in his hands. It was roughly six inches square and wrapped in some kind of clear film.

"What’s this?" he asked.

"It’s a crash collar," Nef replied. "Open it up and unfold it." Jake found what looked like a twelve-inch-by-twelve-inch inflatable cushion three inches thick, with two stiff, three-inch wide bands attached to one side.

"You blow it up by pulling out that plug there," he said as he pointed to a small nipple in one corner, which Jake pulled and watched as the cushion immediately inflated.

"Then you put the two bands around your neck," Nef continued as he demonstrated, "with the cushion at the back of your head. Once we’re strapped into our seats, these will ensure that your head and neck are stabilized so that the movement of the crashing shuttle doesn’t cause your head to rock back and forth enough to damage your neck."

"Oh I see," he nodded. "Neat, thanks. I may have two broken legs and a shattered pelvis but at least I won’t have a crick in my neck." Guffaws once again filled the shuttle and this time, Manlee was amongst them.

"I would urge you all to buckle up now gentlemen," Shib called and the group leapt back into their seats and strapped themselves in. Jake struggled with his until Nef came to his aid, before strapping his backpack to a bulkhead and jumping back into his own seat.

"I’m trying to ensure we land as near as possible to one of the scientific outposts but as we will be gliding in, I cannot be accurate as to exactly how far away we will be."

"We trust you buddy," Ace yelled as the shuttle gave a lurch and Jake went white.

"It’s okay Jake," Manlee said from the next seat. "It’s just the natural turbulence of re-entry. Once we’re through the outer atmosphere things will calm down."

Jake looked at Manlee as much as the crash collar would allow and tried to smile but he was terrified and it showed.

"It didn’t jump around this much when Shib flew me up to the Mayan Queen," he remarked.

"We are going a hundred times the speed now Jake," Shib called. "And it is essential that I lower our speed considerably if we are to have a chance of survival. To do this I have to turn the ship’s nose up slightly so that we’re effectively in the belly flop posture. This is extremely un-aerodynamic which is the cause of the turbulence. Once we’re down further I can get the nose down a little and things will calm down, trust me."

"Okay," Jake hissed. "I choose to trust you buddy."

The shuttle shot down through the outer atmosphere of Tellizon 4, the belly of the craft soon becoming white-hot and the turbulence rougher with each passing second. Jake was convinced that they were going to break up any second and although not a religious man in any sense of the word, he prayed for deliverance. All at once, they broke through the cloud layer and into the bluest sky any of them had ever seen and as Shib brought the nose down and the turbulence disappeared, the engines died. The shuttle glided silently down and those in the nearest seats to the cockpit craned their necks to see out of the windows. Thick forest met their eyes and Ace wished he had not bothered to look. He turned away and gulped.

"What?" Jake asked when he noticed him pale. "What did you see?"

"It’s thick forest down there," he replied.

"Oh shit," Nef exclaimed and closed his eyes."

"So I guess that’s a bad thing huh?" Jake asked, his eyes darting from Ace to Nef and back again.

"It’s certainly not the best thing we could’ve hoped for," Nef replied.

"Why not? Won’t the trees help to break our fall or something?"

"Unfortunately not," Manlee cut in. "The first moment we hit a tree, the momentum will flip us over and we’ll end up cartwheeling down through the trees. This is probably gonna hurt guys."

"But won’t they just break under our weight?"

"This shuttle is too small and at the speed we’re traveling, any sudden change of balance will have a massive effect on the whole craft."

"For fuck’s sake," Jake hissed. "This movie better break the box office records or I’m gonna be seriously pissed."

"What’s the movie called Jake?" Manlee asked. "You never told us."

"Acts of Life," he replied. "It’s a play on words y’see. Facts of life to acts of life. It’s about this man going through a traumatic experience, but it’s also about him facing up to his life and how he gets to know himself, the real guy within and how that changes him into a better person. Up to then he’s been something he’s not, hiding behind a mask designed to keep the real person hidden away from sight and it’s all about how he finds himself again, the real person. So instead of acting someone he’s not, he becomes his true self. Y’see? Acts of Life."

"That’s a nice title," Ace said and Crib nodded. "Clever."

"Thanks," Jake smiled. "Actually I thought of it myself."

"That shows insight Jake," Manlee said. Before Jake could reply, there was an almighty bang, the shuttle lurched violently up at the rear, and everyone found themselves momentarily upside down as the craft cartwheeled twice through the air. Shib fought with the emergency glide controls and managed to right the shuttle moments before it hit the ground belly down with a bone wrenching crunch and slid several hundred yards; coming to rest facing back the way they’d come.


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Merita King has loved the science fiction and fantasy genre in both books and movies since she was a young child. She has been greatly inspired by years of watching movies and reading books and has wanted to make a contribution to this genre for many years. Her stories all contain a strong spiritual thread as she believes that spirituality is universal and crosses all boundaries. She believes that the creative process is largely intuitive and can be very effectively blocked by too much pre-planning. "Plot lines, characters and events all come to me intuitively," she says, "and this makes the act of writing a constant pleasure." She is a psychic medium and lives alone in Hampshire, UK.