Cord, a former soldier who lost his young family, is hired to ensure a scientist’s sister is transported safely to the Ashula Mountains. Easy money, right? Not when a self-proclaimed governor, the natives and Cord’s old friend are all against him. Add to that his personal demons, alcoholism and an unwanted attraction to an alien…Cord has his hands full.
Hope, however, has a destiny. One that will save the planet and everyone on it, but only if she succeeds. Unfortunately for her, the only one who can help is a hairy and uncouth alien male.
There’s never a dull moment in this new frontier where winter is never-ending and tech doesn’t work, but one question remains. Will Cord accept the second chance at love he’s offered or will Hope slip through his fingers in this touching Science Fiction Romance?
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is an idea I came up with year ago so I cannot remember what inspired it. My inspirations in general are original series Star Trek, Firefly and the like.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main male character was inspired by a photo of a New Zealand soldier, Corporal Willy Apiata. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the field several years ago and became something of a minor celebrity in New Zealand. But it was the picture of a scruffy, long-haired, bearded soldier that caught my attention and gave me ideas.
Coming up with the main female character was harder. She had to be alien without being too alien. Whenever I wrote from her perspective she viewed the other characters as the aliens. Oddly enough she ended up having similar traits to that of a loyal soldier, without being one. That made it interesting to write her alongside a former soldier who had seemingly cast aside most of those traits in order to lose himself and his memories.
Night had fallen long before they reached his cabin. He was surprised at how rundown it looked. Two years ago he had walked away and hadn’t been back since. His happy home life had been destroyed that day when his wife and son were killed by some Camo. He hadn’t been there to save them, having gone out to track and trap wildlife for trade. Instead, it had been Gerrit that had found their bodies and buried them in the garden behind the cabin.
Keela’s snout snuffled the air as they stared at the homestead. The girl in front of him woke. She’d fallen asleep hours ago. Keela’s rolling gait had that effect. Now she peered at the wooden construct before them and waited for him to take the lead.
Cord ran a hand over his eyes and beard and sighed. He couldn’t go inside and he dared not go into the garden. They would have to camp out front. He clumsily slipped from Keela’s back and winced when his feet hit dirt. That bullet needed to come out. He staggered away, leaving the girl to see to getting herself down, and dropped to the snow-covered ground.
Hope gave Keela a loving rub before gracefully hopping down. She followed the alien, knowing he was in pain, yet hesitant to help. She wanted to see what he would do before she offered her gift.
He gingerly peeled his shirt away and tried to look at the back of his shoulder. He couldn’t reach it. The girl would have to dig the damned thing out.
“Hey, girl,” he called to her. She stood there just staring at him as if he was the freak.
Cord muttered under his breath about the dead and his own stupidity. He pulled out his flask and knife and unsheathed the latter. Normally he’d have sterilized the blade in a fire, but he didn’t have that luxury. Cord sighed and stared morosely at his flask. He took a few quick sips to take the edge off before he carefully poured the rest of his precious liquid over the knife and his shoulder.
“Hope,” he said, trying again to get her attention. This time he got a reaction and cautiously she approached.
Having watched him, she knew he intended to dig the object from his flesh. It did need to come out. She reached for the knife he held out. He glared at her, not releasing it until the last moment, as if reluctant to trust her.
“Don’t kill me,” he told her before presenting his back. Not that she knew what he said.
Hope crouched over him, her night vision allowing her to see the light hairs on his back and shoulders. The dark ones she had seen on his chest when he had removed his shirt had startled her. Not even the aliens who had held her captive had this much hair.
Hesitantly she placed her fingertips to one side of his wound and felt him shiver. Without warning, she thrust the tip of the sharp blade into his flesh. His muscles clenched and his breath rattled around the stick clamped between his teeth. It took a lot of wiggling, but finally she coaxed the bullet free.
Cord spat what had once been one stick, now two, out and after a couple more sips, poured the last of his drink over his mutilated shoulder. He grabbed up his shirt and used it to dry the sweat that coated his body.
He was about to stand when he felt the cool touch of the girl on his shoulder again. A warmth tingled over his skin, spreading from the wound out. It felt as if a soothing balm coursed through his veins, healing as it went. When that faded Cord was surprised to find his shoulder no longer hurt. He chanced moving his arm and when nothing impeded its movement, he started to question his sanity.
Heavy breathing behind him reminded him he should thank his surgeon. Cord turned and found the girl on hands and knees, panting. He soon realized she was in pain and the first thing that came to mind was that she was going into labor. It reminded him of when his wife had given birth to their son.
When he got closer, he was shocked to find blood blossoming across her right shoulder.
“Crut,” he muttered. She’d been shot too! How had he missed it?
Cord grabbed her dress by the back collar and ripped it, revealing the wound. It looked exactly how he imagined his was. Had that bastard gotten two shots off instead of one?
While he berated himself for his carelessness, he watched in shock as the wound knitted itself back together.
“What the. . .”
And then it disappeared. Gone completely. Her strained breathing also returned to normal. She sat back on her haunches, pushing that damn ugly hat off as she did. His eyes widened and he stared in horror. Although it was dark, he could see she wasn’t human.
“What the. . .” Cord repeated. He abruptly stood, grabbing one of his guns as he did. On unsteady feet, he aimed at the Camo kneeling before him, and without hesitation pulled the trigger…
About the Author:
Erica Conroy lives in New Zealand–otherwise known to the rest of the world as: that pretty scenic place where they made the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. She is an avid fan of Science Fiction, particularly: Star Trek, Firefly, Stargate SG1, Eureka, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Haven, Futurama, Red Dwarf and Quantum Leap.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy His Only Hope On Amazon