If Jansens were to get locked out #mfrwhooks

Alien Contact for an Enhanced Nutcracker, a holiday novella, is the sixth installment in my Alien Contact for Idiots series, though it can stand alone. The book opens five years from next November on a dark, rainy side street in Tacoma, Washington. Holly Jansen is trudges miserably with her cat, Thug, and when she gets to her car, it doesn’t start.

Unable to deal with yet another disaster, Holly sat and stared straight ahead. “This can’t be happening, Thug. It’s not real.”

Her family was comfortable, not wealthy, but everyone was an achiever. Her mother was a wedding dress designer who’d run her own modest little shop. Her father: retired creative robotics consultant for some of hi-tech’s biggest names. Her brother: lawyer. Her sister: doctor. Aunts, uncles: all successful. Jansens simply did not get locked out on cold, rainy nights. If Jansens were to get locked out, it would be on a sunny spring day because six months ago they’d planned for this very possibility.

“Am I being a snob, Thug? Jeez, I hope not. We celebrated every holiday by helping out at soup kitchens the family funded, because Mom didn’t want us to become snobs.”

Still, if it looked like snobbery and quacked like snobbery . . . . The heat of shame tingled across Holly’s cheeks. The unavoidable truth was that Jansens achieved.

Except for one of them.

Oh, aiming at conducting a symphony was Jansen-family ambitious, but her achievements were un-Jansen-like failures.

Holly’s shoulders shook as a shiver wracked her body — the first signs of hypothermia. If she felt this way, how much worse must it be for poor Thug? He could dieShe pulled him out of the carrier and held him against her belly, giving him what little warmth she had. After a minute,  she lifted her tee shirt so he rested against her skin rather than the wet cloth.

“Oh jeez!”

Each hair on his obese body felt like an icicle. He must’ve been taking lessons from the guys she dated, too, because he put his cold head on her boob.

Unlike her dates, she left him there. “But after this, I’m becoming a dog person. You think I’m kidding, but—oh jeez, you’re so cold! — but I’m not.”

Her phone buzzed.

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

Alien Contact for an Enhanced Nutcracker

They both need a Christmas miracle

Holly Jansen, a young orchestra conductor down on her luck, is secretly hired by an alien king to conduct The Nutcracker on Kwadra Island as a Christmas present for his American wife. This big break seems like a Christmas miracle. But after she meets the lead dancer, she wonders if it’s a curse, instead . . .

. . . because the queen has secretly ordered Rafe Sekwa, dancer extraordinaire, to produce a potlatch ceremony honoring her husband’s ancestors — on the same day, time, and stage as The Nutcracker. The stubborn genius is determined to do so no matter what. Soon Holly finds her ambition melting in the face of her growing admiration — and love.

~ ~ ~

As of Monday, Alien Contact for an Enhanced Nutcracker is now available! Get your copy at:



  1. She has obviously dated the wrong guys!

    Your protagonists often seem to have family issues, I’ve noticed.

    1. Family issues? I suppose Holly has issues in a way, but only in the sense that she wants to live up to their standards and at this low point in her life, she feels she’s failed.

  2. My big fat calico cat, whom I miss very much, tended to have a thing about kneading my big fat boobs whenever she found me lying on my back. It was not conducive to sleeping at all.

    1. With claw? Yikes.

  3. Cute bit here/ Love the cat.

    1. Everybody loves a cat, it seems.

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