She didn’t even shudder #mfrwhooks

Today, I have some backstory about one of my heroines’ wound from my WIP titled Audra Fleeing Audra Finding, book 5 in the Alien Contact for Idiots series. Here’s the short-form blurb:

She’s running from an abusive lover . . . but what is she running to?

When her abusive lover threatens to take custody of her baby, Audra Verhailey flees where even he can’t follow: the aliens’ forbidden cities underneath Kwadra Island.

But can the safe isolation she wants for her daughter survive a search party, a gang of alien criminals — and the love of an emotionally damaged Kwadran?

Kwadra’s queen is twisting the arm of a reluctant Duchess Opsie Beaverpaw to lead the search for Audra, the runaway young mother. Opsie tells us more about Tal Bakwiss, the young man who had helped Audra to flee to the underworld.

“Tal is a scarred man.” Realizing that he was watching her hand performing its nervous habit, Opsie lowered her hand from her jaw. “He sort of personifies Kwadra’s situation on this Earth. He’s a brilliant guy who can install or fix almost any of our devices. But does he use his skills? No, he works in construction.”

“Like you,” Verhailey said.

She’d started to touch her plaster-filled scars again. She lowered her hand and sat on it. “Between marauders and environmental collapse, the last few decades were a traumatic for my people.” And for me. “Tal lost not only loved ones, but he watched his whole world die. Given the overwhelming demand for our twenty-third-century technologists, Tal should be a wealthy man, but . . .” She shrugged.

Tal is me, she thought, but with alcohol thrown into the mix. And I am Tal, filled with rage about what marauders had done to me . . . except that I hide it better.

“The marauders,” she explained, “were desperate people from neighboring countries that had reverted to savagery when Earth’s environment collapsed. Marauders, as much as bad air and a dying environment, were why we moved our cities underground and turned them into fortresses.”

Nineteen years ago, seven marauders had attacked her when she stubbornly sneaked onto the surface without an escort. What a naïve, spoiled idiot she’d been. When she stole a knife and plunged it to the hilt into one of her assailant’s eyes, they avenged their dead comrade by beating and slashing her, then leaving her for dead: bleeding, naked, and shivering in cold, windswept rain.

A brief replay flickered across her mind, highlights only, yet she didn’t even shudder.

Maybe she and Tal should get roaring drunk together some time.

Be sure to check out the hooks by other great writers in the Book Hooks blog hop.



  1. Oh, this is deftly done! One has to be careful with back story, not to make it too heavy handed. This fits right into the context.

    1. Glad to hear your opinion, Lisabet.

  2. janwal · · Reply

    Interesting and traumatic back story and nicely done.

    1. I wanted to make it dramatic, but not too disturbing.

  3. good job working in backstory

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Helen.

  4. She comes across as strong, both physically and mentally, having learned from the school of hard knocks.

    1. Seemingly a good preparation for being a duchess, eh?

  5. awesome job – when something as horrid as a person being beaten and left for dead – doesn’t destroy the snippet – that’s a great job.


    1. I’m glad you think so. It’s tricky writing about horrible things without turning the story too grim.

  6. Clearly, she’s a very strong person. Nice teaser!

    1. And she gets revenge, too, even if it (nearly) kills her.

  7. Love the idea they should get roaring drunk. LOL That would be fun to read!

    1. Or maybe not. He’s a nasty drunk.

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