Success! Last night I wrapped up my sixth book, Episode 2 of my Cosmic Cowboys Series: The Astronaut’s Princess. Not gonna lie, my Apache princess, Ela, gave me fits, refusing to comply with my demands. In the end, we came to a tenuous truce, which left us both stronger.
The book took 25 days of writing…which took me SIX MONTHS TO FINISH. Good grief, Charlie Brown.
The novella is off to beta readers, and then to editing the end of January. Look for a February release date.
In the meantime, here’s a bit to whet your appetite. It’s unedited. Be kind.
Apaches, Aliens & Astronauts … What could possibly go wrong?
The Astronaut’s Princess
Cosmic Cowboys Series, Episode II
SpaceXport Base Antigravity Bay, New Mexico–the near future
“Use the grab bars, Carlton. You’ll never make it to the cargo bay without using the grab bars,” Noah Wright instructed through the intercom to a struggling member of his astronaut training class.
These folks were engineers and scientists, yet the very basic, common sense tasks were somehow the most difficult for them to grasp.
“Stop spinning, Ramirez. What are you? A circus performer?” Noah turned the dial on the antigravity control panel. “Prepare for gravity. That’s it for today.”
The class of five settled ungracefully to the ground.
This team tested what remained of his patience. The only saving grace was the first crew was already working on the hotel pod construction. This group? This group wouldn’t have lasted two months in the NASA program. Noah pinched the bridge of his nose, willing the headache pounding behind his eyes to go away.
Not my circus. Not my monkeys.
Except they were.
The door behind him opened, and Noah closed his eyes tighter, not turning. “Captain? You have a call from sick bay. It’s Ela,” the intern said.
Of course it was Ela.
Ever since they’d returned through the wormhole with the Apache princess, his literal and metaphorical headaches had begun. Technically, she wasn’t his responsibility. His morality demanded otherwise. He’d been at her bedside for weeks after their return, and she had begun to recover quickly from a severe case of measles after the first round of vaccines. But mentally? Emotionally?
Apparently, being dragged more than two hundred fifty years into the future from her 1800s New Mexico home and tribe was going to take longer to adjust to.
Hell, he got it. He did. When they’d landed in the desert and into the past, he’d been overwhelmed and confused. He was currently one of three people on Earth who understood her predicament, but that didn’t make her any more cooperative.
You could take the princess away from the Apaches, but you couldn’t take the Apache out of the princess.
“Captain?” the intern repeated.
“I heard you. I’ll be there in a minute.” The door clicked closed behind him, and Noah took a deep breath. He waited for the training class to clear the hallway before he made his way out. Conversation was the last thing he wanted at the moment. Well, maybe second to the last. Making the long trek to the sick bay for an earful of Apache was currently topping that list.
So far she’d lived up to his every expectation of the title of Princess.
Curt. Rude. Demanding.
And ninety percent of the time, he didn’t understand a word she said.
Noah wound his way through the complex, past the construction bay where his transport shuttle was currently being filled with supplies and construction equipment. The ground crew walked with clipboards, doing their final flight checks of the supply laden transport. Cole and Tessa were already aboard the first of the launched hotel pods, now anchored to and floating nearby the Moon, readying it for his arrival.
Their employer and benefactor, Duncan Janson, had carried on without them the six months they’d been assumed lost in space after their asteroid mining debacle. And when they’d returned with an alien ship shelled with platinum and a fuel hopper full of asteroid samples? The boon had been the financial boost Janson needed to launch the next phase of his plan for space tourism.
“Captain,” a voice called behind him.
Noah spun around abruptly. “What now?” he bit out.
The look on the intern’s face tweaked at Noah’s conscience, but he didn’t apologize. The kid was on his last nerve.
“Nevermind. I’ll take care of it.” The intern slinked away, avoiding further eye contact.
The overhead page requesting his presence in the sick bay nearly pushed him over the edge. For a second, he considered walking out of the building, getting into the Bombardier and driving across the desert until the blasted thing stopped.
Instead, he lowered his head and pounded across the campus to the sick bay.
To his Apache Princess.