“Starline (Book 1, Warriors of the Elector)” by Imogene Nix
Secret Cravings Publishing, 201 pages
Erotic Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance
One man, one woman, one psychotic alien. Now the race is on to save humanity. Past. Present. Future.
Mellissa Davis is your average bookstore owner and aspiring romance author until one day an electronic book pad slides through the mail slot of her little bookstore. Now all she has to worry about is a sexy time travelling stealthship captain, staying out of the way of the bad guy and saving the universe, past and present. Not much to ask…
Duvall McCord, an up and coming stealthship captain travels to the past to stop the Ru’Edan leader, Crick Sur Banden, destroying the Earth Empire of the future. His mission? Retrieve the handbook for the Elector. He doesn’t count on love, or saving the woman of his dreams. But time is running out. This warrior must do everything he can to stop the plot...
Eyes sore and weary from watching information on the changes and major events since her own time had passed, Mellissa reached out and turned off the screen. Amazing. So much had occurred, and to think, I have a chance to be part of it. She shook her head. But so much she needed to learn. Could she manage to do that? What a question to ponder, she thought.
Inside the cramped cubicle of a Security Officer protecting her from prying eyes, she recapped in her mind the wonders she had seen. Interstellar travel—a huge technological leap there alone, she thought, and the change in the governmental systems—so much to learn about. Meeting new species and forming alliances, not to mention colonizing other planets and even inter-species marriages. How amazing was that? In her time, they still carried on talk fests about the feasibility of “some day” considering travel to the stars.
She grinned. And here she was, Mellissa Davis, in space and travelling toward a future she couldn’t possibly have imagined. “George and Eliza would love this,” she muttered to herself.
“Who are George and Eliza?” McCord peered at her, making her jump at the sound of his voice. She had missed the thud of boots on the flooring during her musings.
Mellissa gulped, wishing the floor would open and engulf her. How could she explain without him thinking less of her, not to mention her characters? George, a rough tough space Captain, and his protégée and maybe sometime lover, Eliza? Was it really something you could just blurt out? “Umm, they are characters in a book,” she said.
“A book? Of course, they were still huge in your time. In ours, only the rich have them. The rest have bookpads.” He smiled. “Who was it by? I might be able to access a copy for you.”
Her discomfort deepened. “Umm, I was writing it.” Her cheeks grew rosy.
“Really? Wow. What kind of book is it?” He looked at her, and she was sure his interest seemed genuine. She cringed at the thought of telling him it was a romance. After all, wasn’t it maiden aunts that wrote this sort of stuff anyway? Let alone read them.
Uh oh, she knew what to expect, she thought to herself. “Umm, it was a Sci If Romance.”
He looked at her. “You know, some of the most enduring books from your time are romances. Fancy that.” He grinned, and she could feel the air clear a little. She still felt embarrassed, but not as much as she had.
“Yeah, in my time, romance writers are sort of, well, you know, the bottom of the pack…gaining ground though. We actually have whole associations dedicated to reading romance.” She grimaced up at his face in embarrassment. What must he think of me? I’m some kind of old spinster? But wasn’t that what I was on the road to becoming? An insidious little voice in the back of her head quietly asked. Thinking how she wished her character, George, could be half as sexy as Duvall McCord, she had to mentally remind herself that here stood a real rough-and-tumble Captain and not some figment of her imagination.
“Well, there is definitely a career waiting for you as a writer of romance.” He grinned. “Come on and I’ll grab you a coffee, and you can give me the lowdown on your characters…was it George and Eliza?”
She hopped up quickly and followed him to the mess. Really, it seemed funny how quickly she had settled into ship life, she mused. “So, do you believe in romance yourself?” he asked, and he seemed just as surprised as she did by the question.
“Romance? Yes, absolutely.” Her enthusiastic answer surprised him. It radiated clearly on his face, the way it screwed up slightly. “That’s why I own a bookstore and am writing a novel.”
“Hmm, yes, but did you live alone?” His query zeroed in on a spot she didn’t really like to explore. “I mean, is there a man in your life?”
His gaze zeroed in on her again. She hoped, in fact had prayed, that there was more to the question, and then reminded herself it couldn’t be real. Her imagination still looked for the possibility of a relationship that didn’t and couldn’t exist.
“Not really. I mean, my man is really George at the moment. It’s kinda hard to explain.” She floundered a little, looking for the right words. “The way I grew up, in an orphanage, I never really got to see how families worked together, and I guess it kind of made it harder for me to work out what it looked like, so I guess…” He looked at her strangely.
“Orphanage? I was a fosterling. The Gentry’s fostered me. They were great.” His face softened. “Really good people. It must have been hard with no one in your corner. And they gave me a fabulous sister.” Gently his hand extended toward her chin and raised it until her eyes looked into his. “Really hard for you though…” The words dropped to a trailing whisper as he leaned toward her.
Her eyes fluttered closed as the distance between them melted away. She knew he was going to kiss her. Knew it probably wasn’t a good or even wise decision, but she needed to find out if he tasted as good as he looked.
“Captain, Miss Davis,” Elara called, interrupting the moment. “I see you think it is time for coffee too. Wonderful!” Then she looked again, the realization clear on her face that she had walked in on something. Then Elara seemed to mutter to herself and headed for the mess hall door.
The moment broken, they looked at each other. A wry grin on his face softened the years and hardness from his features somehow. He turned, motioning her toward the door and the coffee that lay within. It didn’t make her feel any better though. She had nearly made a mistake. A big one. Hadn’t she?
Secret Cravings Publishing:
A mother of two, compulsive reader and bookstore owner. Imogene lives in regional Queensland, Australia with her husband, 2 daughters, dog, cats, guinea pigs and chooks. She has a particular fondness for Vampires, Star Ship captains and things that go bump in the night. Visit Imogene at http://www.imoginenix.com.