Effing Feline, cover artist #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, was in charge of the poll to select a title for Ed’s WIP: Love thy Galactic Enemy. Titles are one of the most important things to sell books, along with book covers. Since Ed does such a lousy job of both, I’m hereby seizing charge of the cover, too. Smart, eh?

This book features a ratlike alien pet called a mizzet. I’ve sketched a mizzet, and I insist you all demand Ed use it on the cover!

Now for the snippet. A woman currently calling herself Lou was a secretary for a business that was a front for a spy team. The team has abandoned her, trapped and fearful, on Farflung Space Station, which orbits a planet inhabited by her home world’s enemies. She has left the station’s busy main corridor for an empty one.

There was no one in this corridor to see her. “Except you,” she said to a skinny baby mizzet clinging to the wall at knee height.

After glancing around — the corridor was still empty — she bent down to pet the creature. It was one of the domesticated breeds, not a pest but a pet that had been bred for the beauty of its eyes and feathery fur. It coloring was standard caramel-and-mustard, but instead of a plume-like tail, it had only a thumbnail-length stump. It was the skinniest mizzet she’d ever seen, weighing not even a kilogram, and the fur on its right leg was torn off in clumps. It had been on the losing side of a fight . . . sort of like her.

It leaned into her hand as though just as alone as she was. She had no time or money for a pet, whether cat, dog, mizzet, or skoot. Animals couldn’t help her get passage off this mousetrap, so she should leave the miserable creature here.

Effing Feline here again. Ed, the jerk, has vetoed my drawing! He says I stole it from some ninja named Leonardo da Vinci. If the turtle doesn’t object, I don’t see why Ed should!

Be sure to visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. And and feel free to critique this snippet, as it’s unedited.

Love thy Galactic Enemy

Abandoned to the enemy’s tender mercy

Minta, the reserved secretary for a spy team that spread a man-made plague, leaves the planet too late — the team abandons her on the enemy’s space station. She’s forced to fend for herself until she can make contact with an elusive spy, Watcher, who can take her home. To avoid arrest, she nurses a plague victim — a gentle, whimsical man who spouts Lewis Carroll. But to know this enemy is to love him . . .

When Finn Shanwing falls ill, he doesn’t intend to hide that he’s actually a high-ranking cyborg warrior. Neither does he intend to fall in love with the secretive nurse who saves his life . . . but by the time he reveals to Minta she saved an enemy commando, it’s too late for his heart. Or hers. Also too late to escape the wrath of Watcher — half-human, half-machine, and both halves obsessed with her.

Love thy Galactic Enemy is available for pre-order:


  1. The first paragraph of the snippet just tells us so much about Lou. Great opening. And congrats on the new title!

    On Sat, Jun 29, 2019, 10:04 Ed Hoornaert (Mr. Valentine) wrote:

    > Ed Hoornaert posted: ” Now available for pre-order! I, Effing Feline, am > getting double catnip this week. Mew mew! Why? Because I’m the official > emcee who is to announce the winner of the poll to choose the name of Ed’s > next book! (You didn’t vote? Well, tough furballs. ” >

    1. Thanks, Elyzabeth!

  2. hmm … i have a feeling she won’t be able to leave the little creature behind. Nice little snippet.

    1. I attended a (rather poor) writing workshop years ago in which the presented guaranteed us we could reach readers’ heart if only we did this one thing. After 45 minutes, she finally revealed what the one thing was: include a dog. This is science fiction, so no dog . . . but a mizzet, instead.

      1. Does it work?

      2. Beware of anyone who says writing is so simple it comes down to one simple rule!

  3. It’s always fun to add a cute animal to a story.
    Lost and alone – why was she abandoned on the station?

    1. Animals can be fun to add. For the most part, this creature (whom she names Brainless) merely does the occasional cute thing, but it does have an important role to play.

  4. Oh, I do like the Mizzet!
    I agree that Leonardo seems like a pretty cool broski. He’d probably let you use the drawing!

    1. Any idea where I could contact Leo to get permission?

  5. Interesting to see your rat like alien pet. Oh please do more sketches. Artwork is great!

    1. That depends on the artist, Trin!

  6. She petted the animal – they’ve bonded.

    1. Not only did she pet it, she’s carrying leftovers from dinner. From the mizzet’s POV, they’ve definitely bonded!

  7. Ed, this story is absolutely delicious. The critters make me laugh. I look forward to next weeks carrying on.

    1. In this story, I’m returning to a formula I used in book #2 of this series, Escapee — introduce an alien pet as a semi-important character.

  8. I somehow think she’s stuck with this particular mizzet. From what we know of her, she won’t be able to leave it. Great character discovery moment!

    1. Yep, she’s got herself a pet — and at the denouement, she’ll be glad she did!

  9. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    I think that miserable creature has already found a place in her life. She just doesn’t realize it yet. The mizzet sounds like a great pet anyway!

    1. If one likes rats, sure.

  10. I think that mizzet is going with her. lol Great imagery.

    1. Thanks, Karen!

  11. I’m the sort that would collect every stray I came across (and currently have three dogs from shelters) so I’m all for her rescuing the poor little critter.

    1. Ahem. You’re a mindreader. This isn’t the last stray she’ll pick up.

  12. I feel like mizzets could almost exist after such fantastic description! I don’t think I’d want one for a pet, though. I’d rather a turtle, like Leonardo. 😉

    1. You’d like a pet with weapons? I’m not sure about that, myself. I prefer pets who, come dinner time, can’t threaten me with nunchucks or twin katana. “Now, Ed, now! And twice the serving size!”

  13. Teresa Cypher · · Reply

    Gawd, I’m such a sucker for pet stories. lol I just preordered it. 🙂 Great writing, Ed. Always expect it from your snippet–and am never disappointed.

    1. I love ’em too. It’s fun making up an alien pet and trying to make them lovable.

  14. Diane Burton · · Reply

    She needs that mizzet the way it needs her. Such a poignant scene. It describes her situation so well.

    1. People do need what pets bring, don’t they?

  15. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    She’s kind hearted. She won’t leave it.

    1. She’s both kindhearted and lonely, so . . . no, she won’t leave it.

  16. Gotta love a critter with a stubby tail (why I adopted my Stubs!) and a woman who brakes for animals.

    1. And my Twiggles the dog is also tailless!

  17. I love the mizzet description. I wouldn’t want to leave it, so I wouldn’t blame her for taking it.

    1. I’m glad you’re on the mizzet’s side, because it’s supposed to be lovable.

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