Effing Feline keeps it simple

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, am going to keep this holiday season simple — and the Simple Truth is that Christmas is for cats. Here’s proof:

In Mr. Valentine’s recently released sci fi romance novel, Escapee, enemies have invaded the mining moon where Catt Sayer, a civilian pilot, makes her living flying supplies on a decrepit airship. A lone survivor, Captain Dukelsky, who wants her to fly her airship to the far side of the moon to attack the enemy’s base.

To avoid this suicide mission, Catt jettisons the cannon he planned to use for the attack — thus killing the last military option he had. He’s totally dependent on Catt’s hospitality and piloting skill; his only alternative is to leave the airship for the moon’s unbreathable air. The man of action has no actions left, and thus no purpose. He withdraws into himself — and that affects her deeply.

If he’d argued or ranted, the anger he roused would’ve insulated her from her own guilt, but silence . . . ah, silence was much worse. Silence gave her time to think. To realize the enormity of what she’d done. To make her wonder if she would ever grow up enough to stop rebelling against patroons. To wallow in the realization she was no longer the innocent party, put upon to do the impossible. She was now the wrongdoer.

She wanted him to speak so she could answer and explain herself, yet she dreaded what he’d say — and so she avoided him, doubling the unlikelihood of them talking out their concerns. They existed in separate bubbles of silence, sharing only the air they breathed, more isolated than if they existed on separate planets.

Night came. Darkness swathed the cabin, thanks to the howling storm. But even in the dark, she imagined his gaze boring into the vulnerable tissues of her heart.

Effing Feline here again. It’s disgraceful, really, how cats got edited out of the Christmas story. Cows, sheep . . . sure they were there — but what about the cats who kept mice from taking over the animals food? CATS WERE THERE! Furthermore, a tabby brought frankincense for the baby, a Siamese brought gold, and a manx brought gold. It’s the Simple Truth. Just ask your own cat!

Be sure to check out the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.


Book 2 in the Repelling the Invasion series

A Disillusioned Soldier
Hector Dukelsky, an upper-class career officer, yearns to fight a righteous war instead of defending corporate interests on Banff, an isolated mining moon torn by volcanoes. That dream seems dead when his entire command is slaughtered while he’s on leave. He returns to smoldering rubble, with no chance to survive let alone strike back at the enemy.

A Pilot with a Chip on Her Shoulder
Catt Sayer, a working-class fugitive from the law, earns a meager income carrying supplies on a decrepit airship, but her hard-won career vanishes when invaders capture Banff. While searching for survivors, she rescues Hector and flies him to safety. But he doesn’t want safety. He wants her to risk her life on a hopeless trek to attack the enemy headquarters.

A Dying Moon
Catt is sure Banff will kill them long before the enemy can, yet she agrees to Hector’s mad scheme, certain he’ll quit after experiencing one of the moon’s eruptions or ferocious storms. But he doesn’t quit, and his noble dream—and his love—conquer her heart. She pits her life and love against Banff’s lethal environment, even though the only reward for success will be the opportunity to face 10,000 enemy warriors.



  1. Merry Cat-mas!

    (And I hope Escapee is doing really well, Ed. It’s on my to-buy list!)

    1. Thanks Lisabet, and Merry Maew-mas to you, too!

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Seems like the silence is more punishment than anything else. A great snippet!

    1. In the novel African Queen, the Humphrey Bogart character reacts with anger when the Kate Hepburn character dumps out his booze. She’s led such a sheltered life that she doesn’t know how to respond to anger, and so she retreats into silence — which for him is a much worse punishment than if she’d shouted at him. In Escapee the genders are reversed, but it’s somewhat the same dynamic at work.

  3. This is such a powerful snippet! Loved this line in particular: They existed in separate bubbles of silence, sharing only the air they breathed, more isolated than if they existed on separate planets. – Very nicely written!

  4. Diane Burton · · Reply

    silence was much worse. Oh, boy, is that right! They both are lost in their anguished thoughts. This is a great story. Wishing you much success with it. Effing, of course cats were at Jesus’s birth. The cows, sheep, etc. are merely representatives of all animals. I’m sure dogs were there, too.

    1. Oh, Diane, Diane. You’d managed to curry great favor with Effing — but then you had to blow it by saying dogs were around the manger, too.

  5. She’s really putting herself through the guilt wringer! And he’s probably thinking something else entirely…loved the Nativi-Cat! Oh, and enjoyed the snippet 🙂

    1. Got to play up the emotions, you know. That’s what novels are all about.

  6. nancygideon · · Reply

    Guilt is the worst punishment ever! And I can’t say she doesn’t deserve it but I hope he rallies soon. They’re going to need each other.

    1. In the darkness of the middle of the night, they can finally open up to each other . . . but only after Catt is overwhelmed with sadness for all the friends and acquaintances who died in the enemy invasion. LOTS of emotion coming up.

  7. Did she really do the right thing after all? Her guilt says she’s starting to doubt herself.

    1. Is thwarting his will to lead her to her death the right thing when it involves making things easier for the enemy?

  8. Ah the power of guilt! I like the darkness description at the end too! Happy holidays Ed!

    1. Darkness can make guilt worse, in my experience.

  9. I feel her anguish. Remorse sucks, and when the other person won’t talk to you….hopefully they’ll be attacked soon so the silence can be broken 😉

    1. You WANT them to be attacked? And here I thought I treated my characters horribly . . .

  10. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    Give me a good argument over silence any time.

    1. All of these people love to argue, it seems.

  11. I love that last line.

  12. Yup, silence is more damaging than talking in this kind of situation.

    1. If she were one of his troopers, he’d know exactly what to say, but since she isn’t, he’s as a loss.

  13. I really don’t think she was in the wrong, here. It was wrong of him to try to risk her life, and perfectly acceptable of her to say no!

    1. Which she did, very emphatically!

  14. what a great snippet, her indecision very well put into words.

    1. She’s a Belgian waffle right now.

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