I, Effing Feline, am starting snippets from my pet human’s Christmas science fiction romance, Alien Contact for a Christmas Nutcracker.
The heroine, Holly is an orchestra conductor hired to conduct a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet for the aliens who’ve come here from an alternate Earth. In last week’s snippet, Holly was introduced to Rafe Sekwa, the lead dancer she’ll have to work with.
Rafe now introduces her to his dances.
“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. If you wish, you may watch our rehearsal, as long as you say nothing.”
“Just one question before you begin. What recording are you using? I’ll need a copy.”
The dancers would rehearse to recorded music and get used to the recording’s tempos; any other speed might throw them off, either subtly or disastrously. Holly would sit with the recording and a metronome to time how fast each piece was played. Then she’d listen to the recording over and over until the speeds became part of her heart’s rhythm.
Rafe understood none of this, because he regarded her with open astonishment, as though she’d asked if he breathed water. He held a finger to his lips. “Remember. Say nothing.”
“But I need –”
He touched his index finger to her lips. “Nothing.”
The touch made her eyes go wide. Not just because such forwardness by a stranger was unheard of in the States, at least in front of witnesses, but also because of the electricity that leaped between them. He kept his finger there until any protest she might’ve made was thoroughly smothered then removed it with tantalizing slowness.
Or maybe — and this could’ve been wishful thinking — maybe he’d felt the same zing and wanted to prolong the contact. She should’ve looked at his face instead of concentrating on his touch.
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 native 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.
Which will she choose — love or her dreams?