In Alien Contact for a Christmas Nutcracker, Holly Jansen is an American hired to conduct The Nutcracker ballet in a performance for and by alien humans from an alternate Earth. During a tour of the aliens’ arts center, Lissette, the center’s manager, mentions that she’d had a one night stand with the lead dancer, Rafe Sekwa, who wants to marry her as a result. Lissette introduces her to Rafe.
Rafe embraced Lissette more thoroughly. “My petite fingerling. A kiss, my shu-shu.”
Lissette avoided a kiss by turning her cheek with a deftness Holly admired. It was sad, though, that such maneuvers were necessary for dealing with men from other worlds, too.
“I’ll leave you two alone so you can discuss the Christmas opening,” Lissette said.
After watching her leave, Rafe pulled his shirt over his head and wiped his face with it. Holly seized the moment to admire the finely chiseled muscles of his arms and stomach. What a gorgeous Christmas present he’d be for some lucky woman to find under the tree.
He wants to marry Lissette, though, so take a deep breath and cool down, woman. With Rafe half-naked in front of her, that was easier said than done.
She shoved aside her voyeuristic pleasure and checked his body for signs of enhancement, but nothing was obvious. He grabbed her hand and pulled her so abruptly she stumbled. “Come meet my dancers. We all speak English, so you need not feel stupid.”
He waved expansively at a score or so of people, mostly young adults wearing an assortment of disappointingly ordinary street clothes. A willowy young woman leaped into the arms of a burly guy. She laughed about the leap and he apologized for the catch. She backed up to try again.
Rafe clapped. “Behold, the orchestra’s new conductor, Dr. Holly Jansen. Say hello and goodbye, because we must quickly practice from latet.” He turned to Holly. “Latet means the head in our language. Do you know any Shanoog?”
“No. As you noted,” she said with a smile, “I’m stupid.”
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 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.