A creature from the distant past #mfrwhooks

Today, another hook from Constellation XXI., my sci-fi romance releasing on Valentines Day. Sienna Dukelsky is a starship pilot on her first solo flight when all power, lights, and mechanical systems on her ship suddenly, inexplicably die.

She’d spent the last three years memorizing procedures for troubleshooting every component of this ship. All the procedures required power, though—and there was no procedure for recovering from a total shutdown. No procedure for dealing with a tyrannosaurus rex materializing in the mess hall, either. No need. Both were impossible.

Yeah, right. Impossible

Shock had made her waste precious time. Habit forced her eyes up to check how much on her helmet’s visor, but it remained dark.

Sienna took several deep breaths as she flicked switches and pressed touch-panels, hoping to troubleshoot systems manually. Nothing worked, of course. Had she really done it, then? Ruined a magnificent new tugship?

An echoing voice from downstairs was a reminder her duty now lay with the crew . . . and her passenger, Crispin Hunt.

Sorry, Crispin. I’ve let you down — betrayed you, destroyed your life — yet again.

Before she left the bridge, she attached the other magnetized torch to her belt, pulled the log wafer from the dashboard recorder, and grabbed a water bottle. She rose and spared two seconds to look around for anything else of use, then yanked her family pictures from the wall. The violence of that motion caused her to spin in the darkness like a leaf in a whirlwind, but without gravity to confuse her inner ear, she felt no dizziness. The holograms folded easily as she spun. She stashed them in a pocket then pushed against the command chair to propel herself toward the ladder.

She pushed too hard and slammed against a bulkhead. It would take awhile to get her zero-gravity legs under her . . . but she wouldn’t have enough time because she would fix the damned problem. Really, she would. Soon, very soon.

No colors glimmered from downstairs. Afraid of what she’d find, she shined the torch at the tube leading to the lower deck, where Crispin awaited. Her thought about a dinosaur in the mess room had been gallows humor, but he was a tyrannosaur of the heart—a creature from the distant past capable of tearing at her hard-won peace until all that was left was quivering flesh and raw, bleeding emotions.

And to think that this mission had begun so well . . .

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

Last week you saw the book’s back cover blurb. Here’s the short blurb:

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 startling decision on heartbreak after Crispin Hunt, the love of her life, got expelled.

Approaching Farflung years several later, Crispin’s freighter is met by Sienna’s tugship. Love rekindles, though dampened 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 galaxy.

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



  1. A dinosaur in the mess hall. That line shocked and made me laugh. This is indeed a dilemma

    1. The dinosaur bit is probably the most vivid imagery in the first chapter.

  2. henhousepublishing · · Reply

    Well-written insight into the character’s personality.

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