Cute little fireflies #mfrwhooks

I’m back after an noticeable absence from the weekly Hooks blog hop. Forgive me for being missing in action.

I currently have not one but two WIPs. Given the way I work, that’s terribly unwise — but while I usually hold sway over my Muse, sometimes she throws me curve balls and strikes out my commonsense. I’m continuing with the opening of my sci-fi romance/adventure tentatively titled Secrets of Love and War. The first draft is done and some of the rewrites. Last time I was part of this meme, I ended with these lines:

Childish game forgotten, Cynthia looked around for danger, saw none, then searched for the source of the sound, which echoed off the cliffs. The sky held only high, thin clouds, so it couldn’t have been thunder. No smoke mushroomed into the sky, so it wasn’t an explosion.

Picking up from there:

A sonic boom?

More likely, two simultaneous booms. She’d grown up with those nerve-shattering bellows at Dad’s pub near the spaceport on Kinsle-Tilene, the home world she shuddered to think of. But here? Not even incoming spaceships were allowed to create sonic booms over this hemisphere, for fear they’d ruin Rixolla Conurbation’s calm ambience of ancient, civilized beauty.

As she turned to reassure Kaushelle, another shattering burst demolished all thoughts. Then a third, fourth, fifth, sixth tore through Cynthia’s ears, until she lost count and the lagoon’s placid calm vanished as an army of ripples goose-stepped over it.

And that could mean only one thing.

“War comes!” shrieked Kaushelle. She hunched over and covered her earpads with saucer-like hands. Rixids’ ears were less sensitive than humans’, but adolescence was just as insecure an age for them as for humans.

Cynthia reached for Kaushelle’s arm but lost her balance, instead. She splashed to the cold, soft mud, landing on her backside with face raised to the war-torn heavens. Explosions blossomed here and there, cute little fireflies that vanished as quickly as they came.

Yes, the hero of the tale has arrived . . .  but I bet you couldn’t have expected him to arrive this way. Be sure to check out the book hooks by other great writers in the Book Hooks blog hop.


  1. Cute little fireflies of war – what a great line!

    1. Great line, perhaps, but also in keeping with Cynthia’s slightly childlike outlook on life.

  2. Cute little fireflies – At first, I thought this was amusing. Then I realized this was war. Great excerpt.

    1. I’m glad I was able to upend your expectations. That’s what I was trying to do.

  3. Exciting and intense excerpt.

    1. Thanks so much.

  4. never thought of explosions as fireflies. Cute little fireflies in the blog post pulled me in. then reading the excerpt smacked me in the face. good job.

    1. The opening of this book is very heavy on irony. The park where they’re watching the beginning of the war is name Peace or All Species Park.

  5. Such an unusual way to depict a war – intriguing

    1. I wasn’t aiming for unusual, actually. It’s just that this lead character has a somewhat childlike outlook, at least at the beginning of the book, and I tried to see this attack through her eyes.

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