You’re about to be deflowered #mfrwhooks

This is the last hook from Constellation XXI., my sci-fi romance. The last hook, that is, before the book officially releases 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.

The visor of Sienna’s flight helmet cycled from jade to burgundy and back in a soft, ever-brighter rhythm. The signal combined with a subtle influx of drugs to nudge her out of trance.

Incoming ship!

She jerked straight in her command chair even before it was fully upright. Her hands flew to the dashboard and tapped sensors to life. Only then did she remember to use mind controls.

Gravitational-wave sensor eight displayed an insignificant dot. When she magnified it to maximum, the dot grew a short tail that wiggled like a stringfish tadpole. Sienna thought the command to turn on the communication channel to Rampart-G Base so she could report the approaching ship.

“Sergeant Scheherazade Vallant here,” a raspy alto replied through the radio after a short pause.

Sienna sat up even straighter. This marine was a Tugship Service legend. Everyone knew about the fight with six space pirates. Her voice could grate the peel off an orange, because the pirates had damaged her vocal chords. Everyone also knew Vallant had single-handedly defeated those six pirates, killing four of them.

“You have a tadpole?” Vallant asked.

“Tracking,” Sienna said.

“If this one holds course, it’ll be yours, Cherry. You’re about to be deflowered.”

Sienna hoped this one worked out better than her physical deflowering. He Whose Name She Dared Not Speak had thought she was joking about being a virgin at her age. He apologized for days afterward for being too rough —  even though he hadn’t been. Not at all.

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

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. That’s got to be one of the best hooks I’ve read!

    1. Blush blush blush

  2. henhousepublishing · · Reply

    I’d like to hear more about Sergeant Scheherazade Vallant. She sounds VERY interesting.

    1. All you have to do, then, is buy and read the book, because she’s one of three main characters in the book.

  3. Nice description, especially regarding Vallant’s voice. Great excerpt!

    1. The key to descriptions, experts say, is to find a detail that matches a character’s dominant impression. Vallant’s voice is that detail.

  4. Great excerpt and your subtly in the language is fantastic.

    1. If I have subtlety, it comes from going over and over and over a passage until it’s as good as I an possibly make it.

  5. Wonderfully visual scene here, Ed, and I just love the way Scheharazade’s voice ‘could grate the peel off an orange.’ What a great line! (sorry I didn’t get to this post earlier, I was working my way through the list – good job you mentioned your ‘forgotten link’ 🙂

    1. Thanks Hywela . . . but since this book is science fiction, the proper phrase isn’t “forgotten link” but “missing link.” 😉

  6. Very intriguing! Sounds like a fun read.

    1. Thanks, Neil! I tried, and my wife will agree. I’m very trying.

  7. This book sounds so exciting and I love your characters’ names.

    1. Character names are very important to me. Although I can’t tell what makes a name fit a character, I do know that this fit must be there while I’m writing or something feels off and I have to fix it, eventually.

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