Effing Feline’s HEA

Space cat-wewriwa

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior posts on Mr. V’s behalf

I, Effing Feline, wish to congratulate Ed Hoornaert, aka Mr. Valentine, on his special day. Some folks think it’s unusual for a man to write romance, but he told me his secret last night as he rubbed my chin.  He married his high school sweetheart, several cat-lifetimes ago … and he’s still married to her! As he switched to scratching behind my ears, Mr. V said this is what’s called an “HEA” in the writing trade, short for “Happily Ever After.”

And today’s his wedding anniversary.  So no sarcasm from me today. Nor furballs (if I can help it). Just this snippet from Mr. V’s newest release, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters.

Last week we saw our conman antagonist, Quinn Lebatarde, get bested by a little girl wearing Hello Kitty pj’s. Today’s scene shows that Quinn does indeed have a hero buried somewhere deep inside. He, Marianne, and Elfy are trapped in an underground city, and murderous gendarme rebels have just caught up to them.

The air filled with bangs and hisses and flares of light stronger than the lightning and with the incongruous smell of frying bacon from Quinn’s Kwadran needler. Marianne peeked out to glimpse the rogue gendarmes retreating from the dense shower of needles.

And Quinn—her heart nearly stopped—was running across the square, open to enemy fire. At least he had the sense not to act like a B-movie hero who stood tall, knowing bad guys never hit anything. He crouched low, ducked as much as possible, and fired almost without aiming. Marianne’s heart leaped in relief and something stronger. Breath failed her, making her dizzy with apprehension.

Elfy stood frozen in wide-eyed terror. With one arm, Quinn scooped her up without stopping, and he kept firing, too.

Effing Feline here again. If it were up to me, I would’ve left the girl out in the open. Don’t blame me, though. I can’t fire a pistol–no opposable thumbs.

Check out the other great snippets from the Weekend Writing Warriors.  Maybe some of them are having anniversaries, too … or even better, gun battles!



  1. Happy anniversary! Who better to write romances than the guy who married his high school sweetheart??

    Great snippet this week. She’s starting to fall for him!

    1. You’re right, Teresa. If my marriage had ended in divorce I might be soured on romance.

  2. Happy anniversary!
    Good action in scene and I loved the idea of a bacon scented weapon.

    1. Thanks, Aurora!

  3. Congratulations Mr V! Happy anniversary and happy Fathers’ Day! Good for Quinn. I am (almost) afraid to ask about the smell of bacon 😊

    1. It’s a needler, Kim, that extrudes liquified metal into needles that harden in flight. The melting process gives off a bacon-like smell … although I was just searching for a neato smell.

      1. I was afraid it was that 😊

      2. Sorry, Kim — no, the pistol doesn’t also fix breakfast while you’re killing bad guys!

  4. Happy Anniversary! Quinn is really stepping up. I probably would too, if I had a bacon-scented weapon. 🙂

  5. Good action, which fuels the tension in this scene. I write romance, too and I say men can write it just as equally as women. Congrats on the anniversary!

    1. I agree, Frank. Some studies even show that men think more romantically than women … but in writing about romance, men tend to concentrate on actions, women on emotions. So there are differences, and viva la difference!

  6. What a scene! Love, love, love it. Cracked up over the bacon scented weapon.
    I, too, married my high school sweetheart, the love of my life and had way too many kids.

    1. We have four children.

  7. You are being very kind, Effing Feline. I’m sure Mr. V. appreciates it:).
    Great snippet! Love the action and the emotion connected to it. Fabulous 8.
    Happy anniversary.

    1. Quinn has just realized, for the first time, that he can be heroic. I guess Marianne inspired him.

  8. A gun that smells like frying bacon? Interesting…

    1. I’m getting the idea that this sensory detail has made an impression!

  9. The bacon scented needler definitely drew in the masses on this one, Ed. I love the way you structure your writing – this scene pulled me right in. And, I was impressed with the action – Quinn dodging rounds to save our Hello-Kitty garbed Elfy. Great Eight!

    1. Considering that Quinn is a charming rogue and con man pretending to be someone he isn’t, and has sent a ransom note while supposedly leading Marianne and Elfy to safety, he really needed a scene to show he is worth redeeming.

  10. Great action, but how to cruel is it to have a mouth-watering weapon shoot needles into you? Glad to see Quinn step up.

    1. Existentially speaking, probably no crueller than having any other weapon fired at you. But yes, Quinn is stepping up.

  11. Happy anniversary! It’s so nice when our antagonists show glimmers of decency and that they have hearts too.

  12. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Happy Anniversary! The idea of the needles is awesome. It made me cringe.

    1. Ah, I bet you’re one of those people who hates hypodermic needles, too.

  13. Happy Anniversary! This must be a great date to get married because it’s mine and my husband’s anniversary too! And it’s another writer friend’s anniversary to boot. The most romantic day of the year, perhaps. 🙂 And I was so glad to see Quinn show those hero instincts. Good for him. No wonder Marianne’s heart was beating a little faster. 🙂 Great, action-packed snippet!

    1. Absolutely, it’s a great day for an anniversary. In our case it was the first Saturday after I graduated from university; we weren’t going to wait any longer than that!

  14. Happy anniversary, Ed! (We’re celebrating ours tomorrow… and just noticed that Jenna posted it was hers today as well. It must be June!)

    Good for Quinn! Nice to see he’s not just about causing trouble with the police and getting beat up by little girls. 😀

    1. Lot of anniversaries in the air. I’ll bet Judi and I have been married the longest, though: 46 years. God that makes me feel old.

  15. Happy anniversary! Wishing you many more enjoyable years together. Great scene, I can see a lightning storm of fire as I visualize it! Excellent work!

    1. Action scenes make for great snippets like these.

  16. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Hope you have many more.
    Enjoyed your snippet. Great imagery. Quite an exciting scene. I’m glad Quinn is turning out to be hero after all. 🙂

  17. Hope you have a great anniversary! Love the “B” movie reference!

  18. chellecordero · · Reply

    I adore a good “bad-boy” with a hero side to him, well done. I could just imagine him scooping up the little girl. Great snippet.

    (Sorry, i thought I entered a response earlier this week) Belated happy anniversary! 46 years, that’s some long-time romance there, good for you. My husband & I are going on 40 the end of this year and my sis & her hubby just made 45 this month. Romantic men are the BEST.

    1. I have no idea how I’ve managed to be married so long, especially considering I’m only 39.

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