Effing Feline repents #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, am shaky, nauseous, and I can’t sleep. Withdrawal symptoms — because Mr Valentine (aka Ed, my cruel, cruel pet human) has cut off my catnip allowance. The horrible jerk insists I apologize for posting that nasty picture of Twiggles the Dog last week. He wants me to admit that Twiggles is a cuddly sweetheart who sorta likes cats — and all in all is a well-trained saint among dogs who has never bitten a living creature.

There — is that good enough, Ed?

Once again, today’s snippet is from Ed’s Valentine’s Day sci fi romance, Constellation XXI. We jump ahead a few paragraphs from last week. Sienna Dukelsky is a young starship pilot on her first solo flight on a tugship. But things get complicated when her ship’s lights, power, even artificial gravity, all die.

Her third thought after the ship’s death felt like an obituary. She could almost see the scoffing headshakes and curled lips of Tugship Service veterans as they gossiped about her with sniggers of contempt.

Have you heard about that Dukelsky idiot? On her first mission—the very first!—the dumb Cherry destroyed one of our newest, most expensive tugships.

“No,” she growled into the blackness. There was nothing she or anyone else could’ve done to kill the ship’s electronics; if she flew it into the rocky head of a comet at top speed, this ship was built so some systems would survive, for a while at least.

Mere facts didn’t matter, though. She was the captain, so she was responsible — period.

When an uncaptain-like whimper escaped her, her cheeks flamed with humiliation, even though no one could’ve heard. “Calm down; think; breathe.”

She wished she hadn’t said the word breathe –– if everything else had shut down, why not life support, too?

Effing Feline here again. Groan — Mr V noticed that I didn’t actually admit anything or apologize. Okay, okay. Sheesh. I’m sorry, regretful, remorseful, wretched, and repentant that I posted this picture of Twiggles:

(Notice how sneakily I slipped in the picture again? Heh, heh, heh.)

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

Constellation XXI

Rediscovering Love at the Worst Possible Time

Although Sienna Dukelsky had been the most promising student pilot at Keening AstroSpace Academy, she inexplicably settles for a routine, unglamorous job guiding incoming spaceships to safe berths at Farflung Space Station. Rumors blamed her odd decision on heartbreak after Crispin Hunt, the love of her life, got expelled.

Approaching Farflung, Crispin’s freighter is greeted by Sienna’s tugship. Love rekindles, but is threatened by old betrayals. And when her ship loses power while aimed straight at the space station, Sienna must confront astonishing secrets about Crispin and his cargo—secrets that make hers the most important job in the whole galaxy.

Constellation XXI will be released February XIV. Until then, pre-order it from these fine sites:



  1. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Effing, you are a naughty cat! 😁

    An intriguing snippet! I hope she is able to pull herself together enough to figure out the issue.

    1. She’s going to spend the rest of the book figuring out how to pull it together. As for Effing . . . did you just figure that out about him?

  2. Effing, seems like you never learn!

    A week or two without catnip will build your character.

    1. I have little sympathy for Effing. I’ve done without catnip all my live and it’s never bothered me one little bit. He’s going to have to be like me, a teetotaler.

  3. Poor Twiggles! And poor Sienna! I’m really intrigued though. Why has everything shut down?Who’s responsible?

    On Sun, 20 Jan 2019 at 02:53, Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” I, Effing Feline, am shaky, nauseous, and I can’t > sleep. Withdrawal symptoms — because Mr Valentine (aka Ed, my cruel, cruel > pet human) has cut off my catnip allowance. The horrible jerk insists I > apologize for posting that nasty picture of Twigg” >

    1. Excellent. I want you to be intrigued.

  4. I suspect sabotage, but from someone who wants her alive.

    1. That’s a good guess. Mostly wrong, but still a good guess.

  5. Effing, you are a naughty cat! Poor Twiggles…

    Good snippet, Ed. I enjoyed being inside her head while she ran through the scenario. This is nice–unexpected: “…an uncaptain-like whimper …” !

    1. I have little use for heroes or heroines who don’t suffer even small pangs of uncertainty when they’re alone.

  6. You are way beyond many writers, Ed. Love what’s happening, something different always

    1. Great, because I strive for different . . . yet the same, if you know what I mean.

  7. Oh my, she’s thinking too much and needs to get back to diagnosing the problem and figuring out next steps! Enjoyed the excerpt – you show clearly what a dire situation she’s in.Makes me want to keep reading, no doubts!

    1. She’ll find it hard to find the problem when all her diagnosis tools require power.

  8. Bad Ed, making Effing suffer without catnip. Not even a little pinch once a day to wean him off it?

    I think she’s going to get it together and work the problem. Therein lies the solution usually. The question is, will she be able to do it in time? Or is this like a Kobayashi Maru exercise?

    1. Although the name was familiar, I had to Google Kobayashi Maru. It’s a pretty apt comparison, except the rescue has to come to life within via an utterly unexpected avenue.

  9. LOL! Love the train of thought taking her from inspirational self-talk to life support!

    1. I tried to put myself in her shoes and flail around when the myriad procedures she’s learned are useless . . . though Sienna is much braver than I’d ever be.

  10. Yep – life support is vital.
    I’ve just realized my snippets are also from a ship (ground to space) shuttle losing power. Except, my shuttle is flying low over a desert.

    1. My ship is flying over a desert of sorts — the Oort Cloud above and below the solar system, where nothing except comets roam. Maybe we’re writing the same story?

      1. No. Mine is set firmly on an inhospitable planet far from our solar system.

  11. Oh yeah, oxygen. There are bigger things at stake than her reputation.

    1. And she’s gradually realizing just how much is at stake. Needless to say, those stakes will rise as the book progresses.

  12. Diane Burton · · Reply

    LOL at Effing’s attempt at apologizing. Great snippet, Ed. I’m eager to read this book. Love her inner thoughts. Her mind is racing like crazy, panicking. I’m anxious to see what happened. Great job.

    1. You’ve made my day, Diane. I’m anxious for your to read the book!

  13. What a dire situation. Hopefully, she can concentrate and figure it out.

    1. Actually, the cause is beyond anything that anyone could possibly figure out.

  14. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    Sounds like she’s in a hard spot. Can’t wait to see how she gets out of it.

    1. I’ll tell you this much: the crew of her ship is going to be more of a hindrance than a help.

  15. I like that she knows she has to take responsibility.

    1. Taking responsibility is one of the things they taught her at the Keening AstroSpace Academy.

  16. nancygideon · · Reply

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never to ask “Could anything worse happen?” because it usually can. Fun excerpt, Ed!

    1. I’d think you’d ask that question a lot while writing your own books, Nancy!

  17. Hoping life support stays on – breathing is a bit important.

    1. You too, eh? I know I’m a bit partial to it myself.

  18. Interesting train of thought she has there. Hopefully, she’ll be able to get out of her troubles.

    1. This book isn’t a tragedy, so draw your own conclusions!

  19. Love ya Effing despite your devil dog picture. Super glad Twiggles has not bitten you. Ed sounds like another exciting space adventure awaits.

    1. This book is my closest approach to the space opera subgenre.

  20. Good point about live support! She has more urgent things to worry about than her reputation!

    1. Clearly she’s a person who does care what people think of her.

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