A con man at work #mfrwhooks

New year, new book, or at least new to book hooks.

Alien Contact for Kid Sisters is part of my Alien Contact for Idiots series of near-future sci fi romances. To escape environmental collapse, Native Americans from the future of an alternate earth move Kwadra Island to the Pacific off the coast of Washington State.

They’re now the planet’s most technologically advanced nation, but they have their share of fun-loving con men — such as Maquinna Lebatarde, who is perhaps my favorite of the romantic leads I’ve written.

“Fifty, fifty-five, sixty,” the white-haired tourist said. “There you go, chief, paid in full.”

Chief? Quinn Lebatarde’s lips tightened at the insult, but almost immediately, he grinned. The tourist’s clothes shouted money to burn, as did his Rolex watch and expensive digital SLR camera. Quinn pocketed the money but held onto the cheap, plaster replica of an ancient Kwadran woodcarving the man and his wife were buying.

Time for some fun. Hordes of tourists crowded the streets, celebrating the birth of the heir to Kwadra’s throne. Business was great. Only three more ‘carvings,’ a mask, and some miniature totem poles remained on his rickety street-side table. And now the prospect of conning this man made Quinn’s day even brighter.

“All original,” he said to the couple in the thick accent and broken English dumb tourists expected. If you spoke too well, they didn’t believe you were from an alternate Earth. “Historic. Maybe I sell too cheap.”

Instead of giving them their mythological monster from Kwadra’s distant past, he clutched it to his chest. Not very hard, though. The trashy fakes broke under the least pressure. “Too cheap, ahha. Thirty dollah more.”

“We had a deal,” the tourist’s wife said.

With a loving fingertip, Quinn stroked the carving’s ugly, wide-open lips. “Fifty dollah more.”

“Wait just one darned minute,” said the man. “Isn’t this against the law or something?”

“You no on America now. Merkin law useless. Where you from you no know that?”

“Oklahoma,” the man said. “Of course we know Kwadra is a sovereign nation.”

“Uncle Homa, eh?” Fleecing them became still more fun. He wondered if these two thought him a drunken Injun despite his people’s technology being more advanced than anything this version of Earth had yet invented. This one’s for all you downtrodden Oklahoma Indians.

“No heard of Uncle Homa,” he lied. “Seventy dollah more.”

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

Alien Contact for Kid Sisters

Fleeing murderous rebels, the queen’s sister finds a hero to save her.
Or is he kidnapping her, instead?

Marianne is sick and tired of being just the kid sister of the famous queen of Kwadra Island. Although she daydreams about being a warrior, when rebels bomb the royal ball she’s shunted to one of the many tunnels that honeycomb Kwadra, where she awaits a captain of the valiant Royal Guardians.

Quinn, a scam artist fleeing the police, dons the uniform of a Royal Guardian killed by a tunnel collapse. When Marianne mistakes him for her bodyguard, Quinn can’t decide whether to save the feisty maiden, fall in love with her—or kidnap her. With bloodthirsty rebels pursuing them and a treasure map in his pocket, what will he choose?

Amazon customer rating 4.8 out of 5. Goodread rating 4.44 out of 5!

14 comments

  1. Nicely done, you can tell you were definitely into your characters.

    All post today have been shared on Excerpt & Promotions
    https://www.facebook.com/Excerpts.and.Promotions/

    Dee
    #PMInc

    1. As always, Dee, thanks for the Facebook share!

  2. Definitely get the con man vibe here

    1. I threw in the ‘insult’ to make Quinn morally justified in trying to bilk the tourists.

  3. The con man has some interesting decisions to make. Nice blurb and excerpt, Ed.

    1. He’ll base his decisions on however he happens to feel at the moment. Planning ahead is one of the things he needs to learn.

  4. Uncle Homa – hilarious. Great con man snippet.
    Tweeted.

    1. Wait till you get to the line where Quinn change Uncle Homa to Uncle Homo.

  5. kryssiefortune · · Reply

    Love your Native American conman. He’s sharp. Love the Uncle Homa too. Not often a snippet both sucks me in and makes me lol

    1. I gotta admit that I love Quinn too. Although he’s at the very bottom of society, he’s never at a loss for what to do. That makes him a great foil for the heroine, who feels a little lost and unhappy with her lot as the sister of the woman who married the Kwadran king.

  6. Hywela Lyn · · Reply

    He certainly seems to have got this con thing down to a fine art! Love the mispronounciations too!
    Great snippet, Ed!

    1. If I do say so myself, I’m GREAT at mispronouncing things.

  7. Happy New Year Ed! Wow, a new exciting book to bring in 2020.
    I love it when a character uses vernacular lingo.

    1. In real life, I use little vernacular. I still remember my surprise and confusion after moving to the States because of the bewildering quantities of ever-changing slang, so I try to avoid it. But in my sci fi books, I love slang. The more the merrier!

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