A brief hiatus, I’m back with a hook from Rescuing Prince Charming, a near-future science fiction romance. Without further ado, I hereby present the very opening of the book for your reading delectation.
Dusty Johnson really didn’t want to do this.
She took a deep breath, trying without success to dispel the dread clogging her belly. Some women daydreamed of rescuing princes from dragons. Not her.
Yet here she was, all alone, creeping through the dark guts of the half-built starship, searching for a time bomb about to explode. If the siren ordering evacuation of the research facility had summoned the expected herd of guards, she would’ve offered advice then fled with the rest of the staff. Having come this far, though, she couldn’t leave without branding herself a coward in her own eyes.
And so Dusty wove her way timidly around machinery that smelled of oil and ozone. Nothing was neat and tidy down here; in a prototype, speed and ingenuity trumped meticulous design. Everything was makeshift, a giant kludge sprawling through three-thousand cubic yards. That meant a lot of places for saboteurs to hide a bomb, but only two where technicians wouldn’t discover it in the course of a workday.
The first hiding place was a niche behind the backup life support nexus. Staring into its shadows, she paused. A heroine wouldn’t hesitate, but an ordinary, everyday woman would think twice about squeezing into a dirty cranny while wearing a new, cream-colored chambray skirt with filigree trim.
Maybe she should just walk away.
But there was no one else around to save the ship, and reaching the stars was her dream…
Imagining she was watching a movie heroine who’d never had a second thought in her life, Dusty slipped between a girder and the grease-streaked life support housing. When her skirt survived unscathed, she felt an instant’s relief—
Until she spied a cheap plastic lunch kit. Oh, God. The bomb?
If this were flash fiction, the lunch kit would explode — end of story and roll the credits. But it’s a novel, so be still your beating hearts.
Rescuing Prince Charming
She’s no heroine. He’s no Prince Charming.
Not exactly the pair you’d choose to defend Earth’s first starship, right?
Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism when saboteurs try to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but that burst of courage propels her ever deeper into dangers that tear the scabs off her dark past — and thrust her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.
Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable — and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s most elusive enemies.