When I was writing Battling Rapture, I needed the scenery to not only say something about the futuristic world my heroine lived in after Earth is invaded by aliens, but also about Niki, my heroine. Niki is resourceful, hostile, guarded and dangerous. What kind of environment would show her to advantage? In a world devastated by alien destruction, how could I use the environment to show her strength?
I open with her standing in the rubble of a hospital. Why? As she gazes out on what is hopeless, she is also gathering what she can from the wreckage, ensuring she and the people around her survive. This character’s entire life has felt like the gaping hole she stares out of in the hospital, yet she keeps going. What type of strength does moving forward take when all around there is only desolation? The excerpt below is just a glimpse of Niki before she meets her hero. I hope you enjoy it.
Niki is captured by hostile aliens after Earth is invaded. Once a soldier, she is now a slave. She is sold to the highest bidder, and then lost in a game of cards to a tall Ordanian spaceship captain, who claims to have been sent to rescue her. They work together to survive the dangers of the United Universe, while Niki battles her desire for the only man to ever enflame her mind, body and soul.
Captain Rhine’s mission is to reunite the Earth woman with her family. Outmaneuvering beast shifters and a crazed stalker are the very least he is willing to do to keep her by his side. Her touch ignites his passion. Her scent drives his lust. Her strength eases his soul even as she challenges him every step of the way. In the end, Rhine understands, the biggest battle is for her heart.
The following excerpt is for those readers who are 18 and over only.
Copyright © Stormie Kent, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
She filled bags with medicines, needles and bandages. She saw a pile of hospital gowns and shoved those in too. She had a little of everything loaded into the packs, including soap, hospital toothbrushes and sheets. Their third salvage mission might be their last. The next time they came, the entire place could be vaporized. This was the only city for miles which still contained the original architecture and infrastructure—even if it was in ruins.
She walked to the gaping hole in the wall. Craters dotted the landscape. Some were filled with buildings, others with vehicles. The building across from her had the top two floors collapsed in. All the windows were blown out. She looked down. Movement caught her eye, and she quickly hid behind what was left of a pillar. She carefully peered down again and relaxed when she noticed it was only a pack of stray dogs.
At least it isn’t a lion or tiger from the zoo.
She heard a whistle, and then a man stepped into the doorway.
“You ready, Niki?” Antoine said.
“Yes, let’s get these down to the wagons and go get the others. I hope they found baby formula and ammunition.”
Dragging the heavy packs down the emergency exit stairwell was slow work. When they reached the ER entrance, they began loading the bags in the carts.
“I wish I knew how the aliens track us when we use cars and trucks. This would be so much easier without the horse and cart,” Antoine said.
“Just be happy we don’t have to hike back up the mountain with this stuff on our backs or pulling it behind us on a makeshift gurney.” She was slightly out of breath. Some of the bags she’d packed weighed more than she did. She pulled her gun from her hip. “You steer the cart. I’ll be lookout.”
There were four teams spread out all over the city. They needed to pick them up and make it back to the mountain by late afternoon without stumbling onto an alien hunting party.
She scanned the rubble for dead bodies. They tried to burn them when they could. If not, the animals—well, it was better if they burned the bodies. She refocused. She had a job to do. To make it back to camp safely, they all needed to use their heads, stay sharp and work as a team.
Their survival depended on it.