Cosmic Cowboys Series
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Big Cedar
Date of Publication: 02/16/16
Number of pages: 111
Word Count: 33K
Cover Artist: Sweet ‘N Spicy Designs
Astronauts, Aliens, and Apaches? What could possibly go wrong?
Working for a billionaire space entrepreneur has its perks: a nice paycheck, free room and board, and all the space flight hours a guy could want. But everything has a price. Astronaut Noah Wright has survived an alien attack, time travel and a wormhole, but the Apache princess he brought back through time may be the death of him.
Ela, only daughter of Chief Itza-Chu of the Mescalero Apaches, finds herself out of place and out of time. Everything she knows of her early 1800’s life has vanished. Her savior and protector, Noah, is kind, but he’s not her family and certainly not Apache. Her only wish is to get home, but returning through the wormhole that brought her to the future threatens more than her past, causing her to have to rediscover what home really is.
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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 trapeze 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? These guys 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’s 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 insisted otherwise. He’d been at her bedside for weeks after their return, nursing her back to health. She had begun to recover quickly from a severe case of measles after the first round of vaccines. Considering the shape she’d been in when they’d arrived home, she wouldn’t have made it another week in her time. Hell, she wouldn’t have made it in his time, forty years ago. They even had a vaccine for cancer now. Medicine had come a long way. Physically, she’d recovered. 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 90 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 near 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 provided the financial boost Janson needed to launch the next phase of his plan for space tourism.
“Captain,” a voice called from 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.
“Never mind. I’ll take care of it.” The intern slunk 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.
About the Author:
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.
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