Here’s another hook from my now-finished WIP, tentatively titled Audra Fleeing, Audra Finding. The title confused some people (including Lisabet, who’s opinion I cherish) because I haven’t shown you Audra yet. Instead I’ve been giving selections from the book’s other main thread.
Therefore I’ve decided to confuse you by switching to Audra’s thread. This is the very beginning of the book, and it’s longer than my usual. I apologize in advance!
Time: Five years from the next summer solstice.
Place: A forest on a duplicate of Vancouver Island that doesn’t exist…yet.
“I don’t care how helpful you’re being,” Audra Verhailey panted with as much defiant dignity as she could muster. “I am not going to have sex with you.”
Her lanky, dark-skinned guide—an honest-to-God alien from another world, though he looked like someone she might meet on an Indian Reservation—slowed his stride. He glanced back at her with a sad, faraway expression, as though remembering a healthier forest on a distant planet. Then he resumed climbing the steep hillside.
Scowling, she followed. If he got too far ahead, she’d have to shout, and that might wake Roxie, the best baby on this Earth. The least the alien bastard could do was stop to listen to her.
This was the first time either of them had spoken during forty minutes of climbing through a dense yet sickly evergreen forest that shrouded her with soul with a sense of otherworldly age. She’d been meaning to state her terms for at least thirty-nine of those minutes, ever since they started up this mountain. But the steep trail and his fierce silence had robbed her of words.
He was being so over-the-top helpful that he obviously wanted something from her. All she had was her baby and her body, and of those two she assumed that he, well…
She’d met him this morning when he climbed out of a construction company pickup truck near where she was sitting with a map spread out on dirt that would one day be a paved street or a sidewalk. Maybe a house. She remembered thinking they might have to build whatever-it-was around her dead body, because she was at the end of her hope, almost quivering with despair.
But then came an unexpected ray of not-despair. Baby Roxie had smiled up at him and dropped the keys Audra had given her to play with. He picked them up then let Roxie grab his finger.
For no better reason than that, Audra had made a rash decision she now regretted. She asked him if he could read the map for her. Maybe give her directions to her destination.
No, he wouldn’t give directions. She’d just get lost. Instead, he volunteered to guide her.
Everybody, or at least every woman, knew that a guy who abandoned work to help a total stranger was damned suspicious. Or sick of the job, she supposed; she knew that feeling. Even so, he must want something.
Confused yet? This is the Audra of the title, a young runaway. Her uncle Matt, whom you’ve met in my other posts, is enlisting Kwadran Duchess Beaverpaw to search for her.
Be sure to check out the hooks by other great writers in the Book Hooks blog hop.
The Trial of Tompa Lee is currently available on Instafreebie. This science fiction novel with romantic elements rose to #2 in its niche back when it was re-released; it first came out in hardcover back in 2005, and I created the e-book when I got the rights back. It’s the first book in The Trilogy of Tompa Lee.
- “Tompa Lee is an attractive, ambitious vagabond.” — Arizona Daily Star
- “Ed Hoornaert is a marvelous writer: a terrific, engrossing storyteller and a consummate stylist.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo-Award winning author
- “A rollicking romp on a distant planet, full of adventure and heart.” — Amber Belldene, author of the Blood Vine series
- “Reminiscent of the best of classic Star Trek.” TheBestReviews.com
- “Hold a tissue ready, as Mr. Hoornaert knows how to squeeze the heart of the reader.” — Love Romances
- “Classic science fiction, but with enough character development to interest non-science fiction readers.” — Romance Reviews Today