Effing Feline hates phones #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, am so selfless I’m virtually a saint. You see, I selected a snippet that includes a telephone call, even though I hate those things. Imagine napping on a nice warm lap when the phone rings. Mr Valentine jerks, waking me up. Then he reaches for the phone, dumping me unceremoniously off his lap.

Telephones are evil, I tell you.

Ed’s new Christmas novella, Alien Contact for an Enhanced Nutcracker — newly renamed Alien Contact for a Christmas Nutcracker — includes a phone call. It doesn’t turn out well, and as you can see here, it doesn’t start well, either. She wants to let her brother, Paul, know she arrived safely on Kwadra, only to learn that telephones are scarce. She finds one, though. It’s right beside a tall, dark and handsome Kwadran who doesn’t leave to give her privacy. (Hint: he’s the hero.)

Paul jumped right into the middle of things, as always. “Hi ho, Holly — unlawful detainer.”

His words were so loud she jerked the phone away from her ear — it was on speakerphone, and the dark Kwadran presence was sitting there, listening. She turned away from him to fashion a pretense of privacy.

“Your landlord kicked your ass out of your apartment and padlocked the door,” Paul continued in his lawyer’s voice; she’d never before noticed how loud it was. “That’s unlawful detainer.”

“Could you not tell Cressida?” Their older sister was the family scold, and this incident would give her way too much ammunition; “Just tell her I’ve got a job, okay?”

“You know her; she’ll find out anyway.

In other words, he would tell Cressida. She loved her siblings, always had and always would, but sometimes she wanted to divorce them all.

Effing Feline here again. From your comments, I know many of you are loving pet owners. Might I suggest doing your pets a favor by tossing your phones in the garbage?

No, I take it back. That’s not a suggestion, it’s an order! When Effing Feline says toss, you toss! Got that, Sunshine?

As soon as your phone’s gone, visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

Alien Contact for a Christmas Nutcracker

The Nutcracker ballet, for and by aliens?!?

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

Check out the new cover (at right). Then get your copy at:

NanoWrimo update

To help keep myself on track this November, I’m going to try to post my progress. This has been one of my best NaNos.

After 21 days — 55,938 words and counting.



  1. Your character is my long-lost relative!
    I say this because my family is rife with scolds. So, Cressida is obviously one of our lot. 😉
    I hate phones too, Effin. My standard ringtone is vibrate. I give assigned ringtones to people I actually know. Unfortunately, this includes all the scolds.

    1. This reminds me of Star Beast (I think that’s the title) by Robert Heinlein. The only thing I remember about reading this book decades ago is that the main character was in the process of ‘divorcing’ some of his family. Not his wife, but members of his family who had become problematic. That would be one way to rid yourself of scolds!

  2. Hywela Lyn · · Reply

    Congratulations on the NaNO! I’ve just finished reading ‘The Christmas Nutcracker’ (Good thinking to change the title) and loved it! My favourite of yours so far, I think!

    1. Christmas stories so often have the word ‘Christmas’ in the title that I figure it must be an important part of marketing. And thanks for letting me know how much your enjoyed the novella!

  3. Ed, this one is a dooze. I always get a kick out of your snippets.

    1. For a minute there, I was afraid you’d said not “dooze” but “snooze.” That was close. Whew!

  4. Hahaha … we’ve all been there at some stage in our life, I reckon. Nice snippet.

    1. I’ve really put poor Holly through an emotional wringer. First she gets kicked out of her apartment and swears at an alien king. Now her loving brother is taking his turn to embarrass her. I’m a real meany, aren’t I?

  5. Teresa Cypher · · Reply

    Outstanding family dynamics! lol

    Saint Effing… So selfless… lol

    Ed, do the reviews follow a book’s name change–or do I need to write a new one?

    1. The reviews followed the book into its new name. I researched that before I made the change.

  6. Most of us probably have a relative like that, who finds out things we’d prefer to keep private.

    1. Let’s face it — not all relatives are created equal!

  7. It’s a good thing we can’t divorce our family or all we’ll end up orphaned and alone at some point! Fun snippet, as always.

    1. I think you’re right. At some point in adolescence, every teenager in the world would divorce their parents.

  8. Yes – families can be a mixed blessing, especially in holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Her sister’s interfering ways are, of course, totally well-intentioned.

  9. Good luck on the idea of divorcing the siblings LOL. I wonder what the Kwadran will say to her after the phone call ends? Enjoyed the snippet and Effing’s comments on a cat’s view of phone calls…

    1. People do seem quite taken with the idea of divorcing their brothers and/or sisters.

  10. I love that last line. That’s family!

    1. Some family members seem to feel that they’re always entitled to know as much as when they were kids living together.

  11. Ah! Not the threat of sibling scolding! Always makes me happy that I’m an only child.
    But could a guy not have given her some privacy? Jeez.

    1. Not only is there no privacy, her brother is about to spill some of her dark secrets.

  12. Sometimes divorcing your family is the best option.

    Effing, tell your slave to get a cell phone and keep it on his person at all times. That way he can talk without disturbing your resting place on his lap. And have him keep it on silent so it doesn’t disturb your rest.

    1. Effing says thank you very much, but Ed keeps his cellphone on him in his pants pocket. If he’s sitting, he has to roll to the side to get it out, which dumps Effing off.

  13. Effing all I have is my cell phone, and I will be happy to throw it away! It’s a necessary evil in this fast paced world we live in, though. I can’t drive anywhere without it.

    I don’t have any siblings, so I don’t have to worry so much about scolds (although I have a cousin who terrorized me as a child–does that count?), but I do agree that you’ve really done a number on Holly, Ed.I hope her HEA is worth all this angst and suffering! 🙂

    1. I hope so too, Jenna. This book features one of the more transcendent endings I’ve written, surpassed only The Trial of Tompa Lee, in which the heroine is anointed a goddess in the last scene. (Hey, it’s science fiction!)

  14. I’m sure we’ve all had a family member or two we’d love to divorce. lol Great snippet.

    1. Just imagine how messy things could get, though. Let’s say you divorce Uncle Julian the tippler but want to keep in touch with Aunt Bertha. How’s that supposed to happen unless they divorce, too?

  15. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Wow! You are killing NaNo. (Wish I was.)

    So, you renamed the story. I like it better. This snippet shows her family connection. Love her last line about divorcing them. I’ve felt that at times about my own siblings. lol

    1. I’ve ‘lost’ NaNo as often as I’ve ‘won’ it. Personally, I prefer Camp NaNoWriMo in the spring because you can choose your own goal and 30-35K is more comfortable for me.

  16. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    I do so love your last line.

    1. I’m startled by the strong response to the idea of divorcing family members. This must be the sort of thing people go to sleep dreaming about.

  17. I like the “dark Kwadran presence” – I’m thinking in the end she’ll care more about him than her siblings anyway!

    1. You’ve clearly read a few romances in your day!

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