Effing Feline resembles a clarinet

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, have gotten interested in tracking down my ancestors, and I’ve discovered some cats who are worthy of my bloodline. Today’s ancestor comes from the Russian Blue line of the family, though I can’t recall any contact with President Trump’s campaign. It’s the cat from Peter and the Wolf. The music is by Prokofiev, who is the favorite composer of my pet human, Ed.

Now, another snippet from an upcoming sci fi romance by my pet human: Rescuing Prince Charming. Last week, tech writer Dusty Johnson shocked herself by searching for a saboteur’s time bomb in the belly of a half-built starship. The bomb is set to go off in mere minutes.

Only one Kwadran (they’re aliens from the future) dares to help her dispose of the bomb. In this scene they’ve found the bomb and are racing to toss it in the ocean. But there’s a problem . . .

Dusty speaks first, to her Kwadran helper.


“Seventy-eight seconds.”

Oh, God, it was still a long way to the doors. She tried to be a heroine and what did she get? A ticking time bomb eager to remove her appendix.

On the bright side, she couldn’t have asked for a sexier, more valiant companion on that long tunnel into the light. Rattled by fear, she’d called him arrogant, a jerk, an idiot, and a moron, but he was none of those. Well, maybe arrogant; he was, after all, Kwadran.

When he reached the sliding doors, he yanked the handle.

Nothing happened except, of course, that a few more seconds ticked off the bomb’s timer . . . and her life.

Effing Feline here again. If you aren’t familiar with the cat’s music, as played by the clarinet, here it is.

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

Rescuing Prince Charming
Alien Contact for Idiots, book four

Available December 4

Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. Although she yearns to return to anonymity, that moment of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark secrets—and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable—and when the saboteurs strike again, she is his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies.



  1. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    Oh no. The door is stuck. Not a good sign. Tense scene. Loved the inner voice as she rehashes what she thinks of him. 🙂

    1. I enjoy adding these moments of micro-tension into the macro-tension of the bomb threat.

  2. Ok … tense moment. I like that last line to convey the situation with a bit of humour. Nice little cliffhanger.

    1. The whole chapter has been tense, so a bit of a light touch is needed at times.

  3. Didn’t expect this level of culture from Effing…! A favorite classical music theme of mine.

    1. He’s the cat of a classical musician, and he hears classical music a lot. I guess some of it rubs off on him.

  4. Of course there’s a stuck door, wouldn’t be good tension without a few obstacles. I do so love Dusty’s voice.

    Peter and the Wolf… that takes me back a few decades. Can still remember the puppet show that came to our school.

    1. Prokofiev wrote the Peter and the Wolf story for the school his son attended. A professional wrote words for the story, but nobody liked them so Prokofiev wrote a new set of words, too. The whole thing took him a week or two.

  5. Urg. Now’s a good time for him to kick into hero mode. I love Peter and the Wolf! I listened to it endlessly as a kid.

    1. I like to listen to Peter and Wolf, too. I don’t enjoy playing it all that much, because the oboe plays the duck’s theme in five flats, which makes it way more difficult than it sounds.

  6. Things aren’t looking good. I love the subtle humor you threaded throughout this scene, it actually enhances the tension.

    1. One of the things I like about my own story is Dusty’s sardonic voice that sees the humor in situations that aren’t outwardly funny.

  7. julieevelynjoyce · · Reply

    Love this bit: On the bright side, she couldn’t have asked for a sexier, more valiant companion on that long tunnel into the light. – Always look on the bright side of life…or death. 😉

    1. She’s been fighting with him for ten pages, but here we get the first glimpse of her admiration for him.

  8. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Uh oh! Sounds like the chances of succeeding with this mission just decreased. A very intense snippet! 🙂

    1. This could be a very short book, if that bomb goes off.

  9. Intense is the word and the scene is wonderful, Ed.

    1. I was going for intense, so thanks, Charmaine.

  10. Oh – she has time for sexy thoughts in this moment of danger? Why not! I hope she knows hope to open the door.

    1. There’s a ticking clock, or rather bomb: 78 seconds. If I wrote only the action, it would seem like 7 seconds. Gotta stretch out the tension, you know.

  11. Nice touch having the door refuse to open, really heightens the tension. Great snippet! On the edge of my chair for sure…

    1. If you fall off the edge of your chair, don’t you dare sue me for damages!

  12. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Great tension. Love her thoughts about him. LOL Now if they can just get that door open in time. Thanks for the clip from Peter & the Wolf. Such a great piece.

    1. This is a science fiction romance, so it’s natural to include a few fleeting thoughts of appreciation for the heroic hero.

  13. kimmydonn · · Reply

    Great action! Love the stakes.

    1. Life or appendectomy. Great stakes, I agree.

  14. “Oh, God, it was still a long way to the doors. She tried to be a heroine and what did she get? A ticking time bomb eager to remove her appendix.” Great paragraph here!

    1. Thanks so much, Amy!

  15. I really like her inner voice! She has this subtle humor that works perfectly with the tension you’ve built.

    1. It’s a nice balance, and it’s what I love about Dusty.

  16. I’m glad she has something nice to look at during her last fleeting seconds of life. Dusty is a great character. Hope she survives long enough to do more than look!

    1. Here’s a clue for you, Alexis: we’re at the end of chapter one and this is a 64,000 word novel.

  17. Great snippet – and you certainly do know how to rack up the tension. I’m another that likes Dusty’s wry sense of humour. I’m assuming they do manage to get the door open since you say it’s 64,000 words – but they do say time seems to stand still in a dangerous situation!:) Thanks for the clip, Effing – I’m quite partial to a bit of Prokoviev!

    1. Glad you like the tension. And Prokofiev, as well. You’re a woman after my own heart.

  18. nancygideon · · Reply

    I’m loving this book, Ed. Back to reading . . .

    1. As long as you’re reading this book.

  19. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Tense scene, but I loved the humor.

    1. I’m glad on both counts.

  20. Oh, crap! I hope they try pushing and pulling the door open! Too many seconds ticking down! Great urgency in this scene!

    1. Adding the stopwatch helps tremendously.

  21. I love the characters and races you create — and the humor in your books.

    1. Thanks for the beautiful compliment, PT!

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