Effing Feline is trying. Very.

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, tried to scratch my way into the innards of Mr Valentine’s couch (as I showed you last week). Mrs V is smart, though. She taped tin foil over my scratching place, trimmed my claws, and then closed the door to the family room.

Here’s another snippet from Rescuing Prince Charming. Dusty Johnson, a tech writer working on Earth’s first starship, has helped a Kwadran find a saboteur’s time bomb. They ran with the bomb to a terrace, where he throws the bomb into the ocean. She congratulates him on having a great arm.

Stupid to just stand there, yet she watched the bomb fall as though in slow motion. The lid floated away, wafting back and forth like a cardboard leaf.

The box arched beyond the pylons and the forest toward the ocean. Being a fiord, the bottom dropped off as steeply as the mountainside, so the box should be well submerged when it went off. She never could’ve thrown it so far.

The box hit the water with an insignificant splash. She waited.


That was all? This whole blood-pumping thing was a hoax?

Effing Feline here again. As I said above, Mrs V is smart — but I’m smarter. I’m proud to say I’ve made a start on scratching my way into the couch. Oh, what a clever feline I am.

I love a challenge, though. Do you have any suggestions she could use to try to keep me from scratching? I’m sure I can defeat even your best ideas, so bring ’em on!

While I scratch, be sure to visit other writers in the Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

I have a couple announcements about Rescuing Prince Charming:

  1. First, in a marketing-drive move, I’ve added a subtitle: A Native American sci fi romance.
  2. Second, I got a pleasant surprise this week when SFR Galaxy ( a website devoted to “Recognizing the Standout Books in Science Fiction Romance”) gave  the book an award for Best Opening Scene.

Want a peek at the award-winning first chapter?. It contains most, though not quite all, of the first scene.



  1. I’ve heard that lemon juice will deter felines from scratching. Not that it has ever worked for us…

    1. When life hands Effing lemon juice, he makes lemonade.

  2. So, Effing, it seems that Mrs. V tried to “foil” (ba-da-bum!) your efforts.

    I have no idea how to stop a determined kitty from scratching. Sorry!

    I sure do wish you’d write an Effing novella. I enjoy your humor in your romance fiction, Ed,but it’s modified after coming through the fictional character filter. When you write Effing, it seems that you hold nothing back in the humor department.

    Re: the snippet. I’m curious–was it a hoax, or is there a delay on the bomb?

    Congrats on the SFR award!

    I hope your new marketing attempt helps sales. 🙂

    1. You’re a true Effing fan!

  3. Wonderfully descriptive snippet. Here was I waiting for an explosion. Is there a bomb elsewhere? I need to read more

  4. I think they just need to wait for it–I predict a big boom and splash is on the way.

    I’ve heard the smell of orange deters cats from scratching or anything else. They supposedly hate it. We, however, have had no luck with getting our two cats to leave the sofa leg alone. Now on sofa #2.

    Congrats on your SFR award! 🙂

    1. If Effing is presented with lemon juice, he makes lemonade. When presented with orange, he makes Orange Julius.

  5. Was it a hoax? I’ll have to read more and find out.

    1. Yes, you absolutely need to read more!

  6. There must be an upcoming boom. Surely? Maybe it’s time for a new sofa. Effing can have that and I’m sure will leave your old one alone.

    1. “I’m sure will leave your old one alone.” ??? This is Effing we’re talking about!

  7. Interesting there’s been no explosion as yet – great way to throw the reader off balance a bit! Enjoyed the snippet and congratulations on the award!

    1. In hindsight, there is a lot of what Donald Maass calls ‘micro tension’ in this opening.

  8. Hey – rack up the suspense, why don’t you, Ed? 🙂 I too have this horrible feeling she’s about to get someting of a shock! Great snippet as usual, but I’m afraid, being a dog and horse person (not that I don’t love cats as well) I can’t really help with the Effing problem, he’s such a clever puss!

    1. Well, if you really want me to ratchet up the suspense, I’ll do so, Hywela!

  9. Oops, forgot to say, congrats on the Award, brilliant news, well done!

    1. Thanks so much.

  10. I doubt it’s a hoax. Waiting for next week.

    Congrats on the award. Well deserved.

    Hint for cat – going to be messy for a bit – double sided sticky tape all over the back of the couch. Cats dislike stickiness. They should have some at a pet store – but just regular double sided should work. My cat decided to use the wall as a scratching post – shredded the wall paper. Put that up and she gave up.


    1. I can’t be sure, of course, but I wonder if your cat didn’t give up scratching the wallpaper simply because you put up something less attractive — which means she bent you to her will.

  11. Congratulations! The award is well-deserved. Great description of the device falling through the air. I too am thinking it’s still going to go off. Isn’t it?? Regarding the couch, cats are very zen. He’s trying to teach you not to care about any of your material possessions.

    1. The zen cat thing is as good an explanation as any I’ve read. From this comment and also your writing, you clearly find it easy to get into a cat’s mind.

  12. Oh – interesting. Maybe she hasn’t waited long enough!

    1. Or maybe the author just wanted to prolong the moment.

  13. A time delay perhaps? 😉

    1. Well, it is a time bomb.

  14. Great snippet! I gotta say, I feel the same way the heroine does. Where’s the grand explosion? Congrats on the award!

    On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 5:11 AM, Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” I, Effing Feline, tried to scratch my way into the > innards of Mr Valentine’s couch (as I showed you last week). Mrs V is > smart, though. She taped tin foil over my scratching place, trimmed my > claws, and then closed the door to the family room. ” >

    1. Tune in next week, same time same station, for the explosion.

  15. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Congrats on your SFR Galaxy Award!

    I hope that’s not it after all the urgency put into getting the box out in time. Maybe the reaction was just delayed?

    As for the couch, double-sided tape (or packing tape with the sticky side out) works really well, too. 😉

    1. Thanks for the congratulations, Jessica!

  16. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Almost an anticlimax. Was it a bomb or a dud? (I know we’ll have to wait until next week.) Great except. Congrats on the Galaxy Award. Well-deserved.

    1. I wanted to plant a niggling little doubt about whether the bomb was real.

  17. nancygideon · · Reply

    Congrats, Ed! Deservedly so! Poor Dusty sounds almost . . . disappointed!

    1. She is indeed disappointed. Not for long, though. Only until next week.

  18. elainecsc2013 · · Reply

    Congrats on the award. I bet the big bang will happen and scare her.

    1. That’s your theory about what will happen next. Let’s call it . . . the Big Bang Theory.

  19. A hoax…. or something more sinister? Perhaps something to get them off the trail of the real bomb?

    1. I like the way you think, Eden.

  20. Another great snippet. Well done! And I second the suggestion about using double-sided tape as a deterrent. Works every time.

    1. I can see it now: Effing, stuck to the side of the couch.

      1. Effing will be too busy trying to get the tape of his fat little paws. And once he does, he’ll likely give that couch a very wide berth.

  21. Congratulations on your award! I wonder if the bomb will go off in a way no one expected, or if something darker is afoot.

    1. Sometimes 10-sentences seem very limiting and can lead to unanticipated questions.

  22. Karen Michelle Nutt · · Reply

    A hoax- Oh no but they couldn’t have taken the chance. Or is there just a delay and the kaboom is coming. 🙂

    1. Good thoughts. Hold onto them, Karen.

  23. no way is it a hoax … nice cliffhanger !.

    Congratulatons on the award !

    1. In this case, yes, a literal cliffhanger.

  24. It sures take it’s own sweet time to explode. I hope it’s an hoax, not sure who is on the water to get that little present, lots of fisherman in the fjord in general.

    1. The snippets haven’t made it clear, but this is pretty much an uninhabited, wilderness fjord, with a settlement at its head but nowhere else.

  25. Jennifer Reynolds · · Reply

    I’d not only be relieved but pissed off. Great snippet.

  26. Funny Crafty Cat.

    1. Effing is more popular than I am, I think.

  27. Cats are smart and always get their way. Love their determination. They can hide without moving for hours, waiting for their opportunity.

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