Hoping for Success #mfrwhooks

Today, another hook from my WIP titled Audra Fleeing Audra Finding, book 5 in the Alien Contact for Idiots series.

Audra Verhailey, a runaway young mother, flees with her baby from Oregon to Kwadra Island. Kwadra is an alternate Earth’s Vancouver Island. The Kwadrans “hopped” their island to our Earth when the environment of their planet became so polluted and globally warmed that it was close to uninhabitable. Now there are two identical islands off the west coast.

Duchess Opsie Beaverpaw has agreed to lead the search for the runaway young mother. Here Opsie thinks about meeting the runaway’s uncle, Matt Verhailey, a Seattle cyber security expert who is searching for her.

“Until tomorrow morning, Matt.” Opsie extended her hand.

He shook it firmly but without the forceful aggression she hated in some of the American policemen she’d met—the ones who saw her as an uppity Injun and female to boot, or who resented that Kwadra had eclipsed the US in technology, or who disliked women in positions of power. She smiled her approval at Verhailey. So far, nothing disqualified him from becoming a short-term lover.

As she strolled back to her office alone, she created a list on her implant of things she needed to do before leaving early tomorrow morning. Plastering, thank the spirits, was not on the list.

When that was done and a dozen messages sent, she sat behind her desk with her feet on it. She stared at the unpainted ceiling.

Or rather, her eye pointed at the ceiling, but her mind’s eye concentrated instead on the prospect of returning home to Nuxalt. Her emotions were mixed, to say the least, and furious in their power. She would control those emotions by viewing the visit as a vacation whose purpose was the seduction of Matthew Verhailey.

She’d gotten used to fresh air, wind, and weather. Despite having lived most of her life in a cave, she didn’t feel like a subterranean creature. A shudder passed over her at the thought of rocks surrounding her, entombing her.

Nonetheless, Queen Elinor had chosen this task well. If the lost soul had been a young man, she would’ve refused to become troglodyte again, even though she liked men. Quite a lot, actually. More than they liked her, ever since marauders had scarred her, inside as well as outside.

But a young woman in trouble?

A new mother?

She’d never been a mother. Never would be. The marauders’ nightmare had ended all hopes of having a baby.

But that was precisely why she defended mothers so staunchly. As head of Kwadra’s gendarmerie, she’d fought to ensure that women received respectful treatment, and she’d pioneered programs geared toward helping the sort of problems young women faced so they wouldn’t have to deal with police, instead.

So, would she search for Audra Verhailey and her young daughter? Of course. The chances of finding her weren’t great, yet Opsie hoped for success.

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. She’s such a sympathetic character. I love her. (I love uppity women…!)

    1. Opsie has been a minor or semi-major character in a couple of the books in this series, and I’ve always enjoyed writing her.

  2. janwal · · Reply

    Am enjoying her. The uppity Injun comment made me smile. She’s just one determined woman.

    1. Determined and, in her own way, hardened.

  3. I’m glad to see you championing the rights of women in your fiction. Thank you for that, Ed.

    1. I suspect that if I weren’t the kind of guy who did that, I’d never have gotten published by Silhouette Books.

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