Welcome to this week’s Book Hooks blog hop, sponsored by Marketing for Romance Writers! For my part of the hop, I’m sharing an excerpt from Tiny and Fierce: Her Alien Crew Book 1. Check it out below, then follow the link to the rest of the hop for some great romance books!
In a galaxy where humans are considered the least of all races, she’ll build a crew that adores her strength and style.
When Lise Klein took over her family’s deep-space salvage company, she never expected to stumble through a wormhole into a whole other galaxy full of strange alien races ruled by a cruel empress.
She learns she’s not the first human to wind up there—but the others were captured and sold as slaves. She’ll have to fight to survive.
All she wants is to find a way home. But when she takes on a crew of alien conmen, she finds something truly worth fighting for.
Now, to stay alive, they may have to free the entire system. Luckily for all of them, Lise may be little, but she’s tough.
Her Alien Crew is a slow-burn sci fi reverse harem romance featuring a fae prince with a giant ego and a smart mouth, an insectoid Chilchek warrior with a sensitive soul, and a mysterious, brooding fighter with the wings of a dragonfly—plus an illegally enhanced AI ship captained by one tiny human with room enough in her heart for them all.
Fans of Ruby Dixon, Anna Zaires, and Rebecca Royce will love this hot new whychoose sci-fi romance.
“You’re a cheat and a liar!”
I didn’t turn to find the source of the voice. It had nothing to do with me.
After a heartbeat, I realized the translation running from The Bluebird to the communication device implanted behind my ear didn’t come with its usual delay.
“Way to go, Blue,” I whispered. “You’re getting better at this.”
My ship’s AI snorted in my ear. “I didn’t translate that.”
Frowning, I spun around on my too-tall barstool, designed for creatures much larger than any human. In the corner of the spaceport bar, a Chilchek warrior unfolded himself to his full height—easily seven feet, not counting his pincer horns. Those added at least another three feet to his height.
Even in the dim lighting preferred by most of the bar’s patrons, the royal blue of the Chilchek’s chitinous body gleamed, the color a sure sign that he was male. The facets of his eyes twirled in shades of blue and green. He lifted all four of the legs—arms?—attached to his thorax and pointed them at the man he was facing off against.
Man. As in human male.
I gasped, my eyes widening. No wonder Blue hadn’t had to translate his speech.
A series of clicks and snaps came from the mandibles around the Chilcheck’s mouth. A heartbeat later, Blue’s translation came through. You dare dishonor my colony name? I will squash you like the tiny bug you are.
Bug? That was a bit rich, coming from a Chilchek. I bit down on a giggle and leaned in closer to watch the drama unfolding before me.
The Chilchek leaned forward over the table, looming over the man, who glanced around nervously before taking a step back, giving me a clear look at his face.
And oh, my hot, heavenly stars, he was gorgeous.
Not just because he was the first human I’d seen in months and months.
No, he was flat-out handsome. Dark hair, wide luminous eyes, full lips, high cheekbones.
Quit it, Lise, I scolded myself. No matter how long I’d been stuck here, I wasn’t in this freakshow of an alien bar looking to get laid. I needed a crew.
The Chilchek dropped all four forelegs onto the table, scattering the cards and currency that presumably made up the game they had been playing moments before.
Taking another step back, the human finally replied, raising his own arms as if to ward off the alien warrior. “Fine. If you say you weren’t cheating, then there’s no problem. I don’t want any trouble.”
Most of the players had pulled back from the table and were now, along with the rest of the bar’s patrons, focused on the confrontation.
Any second now, one of the two combatants would lunge for the other and the whole place would erupt in fighting. Time to get out.
I tossed some coins on the table to pay for my drink—Blue had translated its name as a Galactic Blaster—and dropped off the stool to stand on the sticky metal floor beneath. But as I turned to leave, I noticed one of the players step in closer to the table. This one looked more human than not, but built on a bigger scale. And with beautiful, multicolored metal wings on his back. He wore an eyepatch over one eye. With his single good eye, he shot a glance at the human, who gave an almost imperceptible nod.
What was going on here?
With an audible screech of his mandibles, the Chilchek scuttled across the table, employing all six of his appendages as legs, his pincer horns snapping closed inches from the man’s face.
Cursing, the human picked up a nearby chair and swung it toward the Chilchek.
The rest of the bar exploded, everyone drunk and itching for a fight.
The butterfly guy, though, took advantage of the distraction and swept all the currency off the table and into a bag.
Another alien staggered back from a blow someone had landed on its face and bumped into me, almost sitting in my lap. I pushed it off me and focused on the two who had started this bar brawl. They were still lunging, but neither had made contact.
This was a setup. They planned it all.
Without stopping to second-guess myself, I ducked and wove through the reeling crowd until I reached the back-entrance butterfly guy had slipped out through.
If my guess was right, I might have just found the crew I’d been looking for.
* * *