Effing Feline’s heroic scratching

Photos: DepositPhotos

Fart-Fueled Flying Feline, Effing for short, writes the Weekend Writing Warrior / Sunday Snippet posts on Mr. V’s behalf. Click the pic for info.

I, Effing Feline, have orders from my pet human, Ed Hoornaert, to show some of the romance in Newborn, Mr V’s newest science fiction romance.  Personally I loved last week’s excerpt, about the salmon run.  The thought of all those fish was enough to make me swoon. But he who buys the cat food picks the tune, as they say in Scotland.

And so another excerpt from Newborn. Jo Beaverpaw, has been programmed to kill her alien nation’s number one fugitive, then kill herself. When an injury forces her to outlive her planned lifespan, she becomes attracted to Darby Lapierre, the fugitive’s bodyguard.

In this snippet, Darby has helped Jo practice walking.  They are outside, near a woodshed.

I pictured Darby shirtless, sheened with sweat, whipping an axe through the air and then down with controlled male violence, the kind of violence that built rather than destroyed. And then I pictured him catching his breath, still shirtless, smelling flagrantly, gloriously male.

I felt a little breathless. Against an outside wall, a slab of wood rested on cedar rounds, forming a rough bench. “Can we rest here?” I asked.

I turned around, preparing to sit—and we ended up face to face, his arm around my waist. We both paused; I raised my face, wanting…

Wanting what? Something I hadn’t been programmed to want, but desired regardless. My lips opened.

Effing Feline here again. I can really identify with Jo’s heroic image of Darby. It’s much the way I picture myself while scratching at my scratching post.

Be sure to visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday posts.

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She was born to kill

Jo Beaverpaw is born fully dressed, well-armed, and impatient to tackle her Destiny. Namely, killing her alien nation’s most wanted fugitive. Her programmers want her to live a few hours, kill, then die.

newborn-final-2But something goes wrong.

Darby Lapierre has the thankless task of protecting Jo’s target while the woman heals from gunshot wounds. It’s a hard job, but not impossible for a skillful bodyguard like Darby.

Until, that is, Jo shows up at the private hospital after an accident. Beautiful, naive, young Jo knows nothing about life and love, and wants Darby to teach her. Just until she’s well enough to attack her Destiny, of course.

And then Darby will be in her way . . . .

Find Newborn at:

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Newborn will be on special for only 99c during the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s upcoming cross promotion. Check it out — and the other great books, as well.





  1. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I love how she is discovering her desires here. So innocent yet sexy. Great snippet! 🙂

    1. I envisage Jo as the most naive assassin you’re ever going to meet.

  2. Budding romance in the most delicate way. Ed, you have the touch. Yum.

    1. Poor, naive Jo scarcely knows what she’s feeling — but learning about desire and love are major steps to becoming fully human.

  3. chellecordero · · Reply

    Wow, Jo is …developing into a woman with passion and emotions. You have handled this scene in a deliciously delicate way. Kudos on a terrific snippet.

    (and Effing, salmon is my favorite fish)

    1. Salmon is my favorite, too. Especially when it’s fresh off a fishing boat. Yum.

  4. “smelling flagrantly, gloriously male”
    Love that line, Ed.

    Excellent cliff hanger, I hope you continue from your last line next week!

    1. Ahem. I have to admit that I stole that line — from myself. I used it in The Trial of Tompa Lee, which came out in 2005, and I always remembered it.

  5. nancygideon · · Reply

    You’re such a tease, Ed. Love how her emotions build with each reveal. Great scene.

    1. ‘Tease’ and ‘building emotions’ — in a nutshell, that’s what authors do, right?

  6. She has an intense imagination and it seems her body knows what to do!

    1. Buried under her heavy handed programming, she is human; she just needs to uncover herself.

  7. The way she knows what she wants–not what she’s programmed to want–shows very clearly how she’s becoming human. Very poignant scene.

    1. Love and desire are a major component of becoming human.

  8. Clearly whoever programmed her didn’t do a good job. I love how she is slowly discovering the essence of being human, yet not fully realising what is happening to her. A very delicate and skilful touch, and wonderfully written.

    1. Well, they programmed her to do the killing immediately and then commit suicide, with a lifespan of a few hours; they didn’t expect her to fall, break bones, and spend a week in the private hospital where her prey is also incarcerated and where Darby does bodyguard duty.

  9. Oh, she’s definitely in trouble now! He’s probably the last guy she should be wanting to kiss. Though I really say all this is her makers’ fault, forcing her to take the risks that got her injured.

    1. And from his point of view, she’s the last woman he should find attractive. My favorite line from this book comes later, when they become physically involved. Darby says, out of the blue, “Why does it have to be *you*.”

      1. How romantic of him. 😉

  10. This isn’t what she planned for… not that I blame her. 😉

    1. Part of being human is dealing with the unexpected.

  11. angelicadawson · · Reply

    Great snippet.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Angelica.

  12. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    I love how each emotion she experience is fresh and curious, making the reader believe she’s never had such feelings before. Well done.

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! This is exactly what I’m aiming for.

  13. Ah yes, some things transcend programming, as she’s learning. Enjoying the story! Excellent excerpt…

    1. Exactly, Veronica.

  14. Great snippet. Exquisite description and inner monologue.

    1. A kiss isn’t nearly as dramatic as thinking about and hesitating before a kiss.

  15. Andrea R Huelsenbeck · · Reply

    I love Jo’s confusion with her unexpected feelings. You’ve created a compelling character.

    1. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing a character for whom every emotion is brand new and unexpected.

  16. Diane Burton · · Reply

    I love her confusion, her innocence. She’s a contradiction, and that makes her intriguing. Nice snippet.

    1. Yes, she’s a bundle of contradictions.

  17. Nice, palpable tension between them here. Love the depiction of him swinging an axe, “the kind of violence that builds rather than destroys.” My favorite line. Looking forward to more of this one!

    1. That thought is especially appropriate for her, because she’s been programmed to kill — and that’s the kind of violence that destroys, both her target and her soul.

  18. Great story, a lot of twists. Just when I thought I knew what was happening, you shook it up again.

    1. Can’t let readers get *too* comfortable, can we?

  19. I love ‘the violence that built rather than destroyed.’ Potent stuff!

    1. Yup. The violence that chainsaws trees, for example, and turns them into lumber used to build houses. We may not usually think of that as violence, but back when I cut and split enough firewood to warm a house in the Canadian Rockies, I was extremely aware of the violence involved.

  20. I guess it’s hard to fight biology.

    1. So you think biology might be stronger than her programming? That’s the premise that this story argues.

  21. Excellent visuals, great snippet

  22. Wanting what, indeed! Great snippet! Sorry about the romance without fish, Effing. Maybe they’re eat some later to build up their strength.

    1. To be clear she knows she wants something from Darby, and her databanks contain clinically detailed information about sex, but she hasn’t yet put two and two together.

  23. A little breathless? Wow … I’m surprised it was only a little 😉 Enjoyable snippet!

    1. Her only excuse is that she’s new to this passion stuff. As she gains experience, she’ll learn the proper level of heavy breathing. 😉

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