An exquisite touch of distinction #mfrwhooks

Today, another hook from my WIP titled Audra Fleeing Audra Finding, book 5 in the Alien Contact for Idiots series. Kwadra’s queen has twisted the arm of a reluctant Duchess Opsie Beaverpaw to lead the search for Audra, a runaway young mother. Here Opsie talks with the runaway’s uncle, Matt Verhailey, a wealthy cyber security expert who is searching for her.

“I have an important meeting with the Defense Department in D.C. in six days,” Verhailey said. The hair at his temple and above his ears was turning grey. A few years ago, that would’ve warned Opsie that he was probably too old, but now it seemed like an exquisite touch of distinction, earned by long life and, perhaps, suffering. “Think we can find her by then?”

“If she’s desperate to see the sun again and wants to be found, the chances are ninety-eight percent. But if she doesn’t?” Opsie shrugged.

Verhailey’s expression went still, as though he hadn’t liked what he’d heard. For her own sake, she hoped he’d call off the search because his meeting was too important. But she liked the way he looked, so for his sake she hoped family was more important than business.

“Audra isn’t my blood niece,” he said, and Opsie was disappointed. He was weaseling out of the search.

“She’s fiercely independent,” he continued, “and she might not want my help, but . . .” His conflicted frown made her want to soothe him by running her fingers through his graying hair. “But if anyone deserves my help, it’s Audra. I’ll need the rest of today to brief my partner about the Pentagon meeting.”

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

Audra Fleeing, Audra Finding

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?



  1. Love it when someone treats our age as “distinction”!

    1. I’ll grasp at any straws available to me. Also, my primary heroine is very young so I wanted the secondary romance to balance her youth.

  2. Looks like he redeemed himself a bit there! Nice!

    1. This is basically just an informational scene, informing readers about the search that is on Audra’s tail, so the challenge is “how do I make it interesting?” That’s what this word play is all about.

  3. janwal · · Reply

    He seems to be torn between business and finding Audra. Good tension here

    1. Donald Maass calls this sort of conflict “micro tension.” It’s not the main conflict, just a little thing that gives a character second thoughts.

  4. interesting push and pull tension.

    1. Thanks! i was try to imbue the conversation with just enough tension to keep it interesting.

  5. Nice work. I like how you show “mature” characters as attractive and how Verhailey both condemns and then redeems himself in just a few words.

    1. When possible and appropriate, I like to show the pros and cons in a character’s mind — hence he thinks about the cons first before overriding them with the pros.

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