This Christmas, Jilly is hoping for a miracle, but instead she gets a hunky purple alien.

Vhyl is determined to acquire a certain lost artifact, but when he lands on the forbidden barbarian planet known as Earth, he finds more than expected. An attractive human female is in possession of the priceless object, and she’s agreed to hand it over—for a price.

Apparently she doesn’t know of his reputation…or doesn’t care.

Intrigued by her fearless nature—and her luscious brown skin—this acquisition expert can’t resist stealing a kiss. But before he can take more, his enemy arrives to stake a claim.

It seems Vhyl isn’t the only one interested in Jilly’s treasure—and Jilly herself. On the run not only from Earth forces but his enemies too, they must fight to survive and evade capture. However, he can’t escape the effect the human has on him.

In the end, Vhyl has to make a choice—Jilly or the priceless treasure he came for?

 

Excerpt:
  • “Never forget they’re always watching. And they see everything. It’s why I line my bras with tin foil.” – Grandma’s philosophy on alien life.

THE END of the world didn’t happen.

Another wish dashed.

Staring at the sky didn’t produce a horde of alien spacecraft about to invade Earth, but as if to mock her, the most delicate of snowflakes tumbled from the clouds overhead. Without a breeze, each sparkling mote drifted down to coat the ground in an innocent layer, which tormented her.

Logically, Jilly knew she shouldn’t blame the land. It wasn’t the farm’s fault she was so damned screwed. Instead, she should condemn those stupid pencil pushers in their cubicles at the bank who seemed to think that today’s economy and lack of employment weren’t their problem. Well, it was, and hers too if she didn’t find a way to make some cash, and quick.

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Only a few days before Christmas and less than a week until the mortgage came due, along with all the penalties she’d accrued from missed and late payments. If she didn’t pay the sums owing in full, she stood to lose her home, which totally sucked. Of all her aspirations in life, homelessness didn’t number among them.

Was it any wonder she’d kind of hoped for a solar flare that would wipe out all the computers in the world leaving her with more time to figure out where she would find the money to make ends meet?

One thing was for sure. She wouldn’t find any money on the farm.

The orchard with its stunted apple trees, which had barely produced any fruit the last two years, wouldn’t suddenly leaf green bills.

The field infested with butterfly larva wouldn’t suddenly sprout a crop she could use.

And the restaurant she used to work at wasn’t likely to reopen its doors and give her back her job, not with the scathing report the health inspector wrote. Mario, the owner, should have never broken up with Marianne. She didn’t take the rejection well.

Perhaps Jilly could pull the money from her ass. More like by shaking her ass. With things down to the wire, there weren’t many options left to make a few grand quick, unless she got naked. For strangers.

Shudder.

There has to be a better way. Something she could sell other than her body. But what?

The house contained relics of a bygone era, but she wouldn’t exactly call them antiques. Somehow she doubted butt-ugly furniture from the seventies and cracked knickknacks—glued a few too many times—would find many buyers. Heck, given the state of some of the stuff, she’d probably have to pay to get it taken away.

As Jilly continued to stare at the sky, still not giving up hope that an alien invasion would target her bank, she noted a bright spot streaking through the low hanging, cloud layer.

A shooting star?

Should she take it as a positive omen?

Quick. Make a wish.

She closed her eyes tight as she whispered words that only the falling snow could hear. “Help me find a way to have a Merry Christmas.” And a Happy New Year where she wasn’t homeless.

Fervent plea made, she opened her eyes, and her jaw dropped open as she gaped. Perhaps she should have wished to keep her house instead because the falling star seemed intent on colliding with it. The brilliant spot, instead of winking harmlessly out of sight, appeared to be headed straight toward her.

Much like the dumb deer—whom she took potshots at when they came to nibble on her crops—she stared at the bright light. She wasn’t stupid enough to think she could outrun it or that hiding inside would save her. Not at the speed the shooting meteor traveled and the size, which grew from a speck to a boulder to the size and shape of a…coffin?

Closing her eyes and reopening them did nothing to change her perception. It still looked like a bloody sarcophagus.

Creepy. Especially since it slowed right down and parked itself gently and upright on her front lawn.

While happy the flying tomb didn’t smash into her or the house, somehow she wasn’t completely reassured.

If this were a horror movie, then what comes next probably won’t be good for my general health.

Foreboding formed a ball in her stomach, and she ran inside the house to grab the shotgun. As she wrapped her hand around the familiar wooden stock, she could almost hear her departed grandma say, “Jilly, if it don’t look right, fetch the gun.”

Actually, Grandma’s solution to most problems involved fetching a weapon, loaded with custom-made silver bullets because as Grandma said, “Always be prepared for anything, Jilly-bean. Just because we ain’t never seen a werewolf doesn’t mean they’re not lurking out there.”

With crazy advice like that, as well as the garlic strung over every window, the salt Grandma kept pouring around the perimeter of the house and the aluminum they went through every month, was it any wonder why Jilly canceled Grandma’s issue of ‘True Believers Wear Tin Foil Hats’? Cousin Betty stopped talking to her after that, as if it was Jilly’s fault Grandma was her only subscriber.

Uttering a silent apology to both her cousin and grandma, whom it seemed might have been right when they claimed life was out there—and waiting to enslave all women as sex slaves—Jilly thanked the fact she knew how to shoot.

With Problem Solver in hand—the name she gave her gun when gifted to her on her twenty-first birthday—Jilly stood on her front porch wearing pink, tattered bunny-eared slippers, baggy red plaid, flannel pants, a snug T-shirt that read ‘Ray of fucking sunshine’ and a blanket around her shoulders because it was winter after all. As outfits went, she wouldn’t win any prizes unless it was how to not impress possible alien life when it landed on your doorstep.

If it was an alien.

Perhaps the strange object was some kind of government drone thing. Those money-spending, tax-collecting jerks were always wasting funds on stupid projects.

But if it was them, why were they visiting her farm at nine o’clock at night?

The giant coffin sat there, attempting to appear innocuous but not succeeding. It surprised her to note that the snow at its base didn’t hiss or steam. Obviously it used some kind of propulsion system, but of a sort that didn’t emit heat. Weird.

Or a sign it’s not from this world. She could practically hear Grandma cackle in glee at the thought.

Cradling her gun in her arms, Jilly studied the vessel, trying to pigeonhole it into something comprehensible, but it seemed determined to thwart her.

Snow didn’t stick or melt upon it. Instead, it drifted down around the object, leaving its surface untouched. The impression of a large coffin only increased as she looked at it, but not the modern day rectangular kind, more like those they unearthed from ancient Egyptian tombs, except this one lacked markings and appeared a uniform, metallic gray.

No lights shone from any one spot, and yet the surface itself appeared to emit some kind of glow. Odd, almost as odd as the lack of seams and despite the fact it flew in as if guided, she didn’t hear any kind of engine noise. Nothing.

Could she totally hear Twilight Zone music playing in her head? Fucking right she did, and it didn’t help she heard her dead grandma saying, “I told you they’d come one day.”

A pity the woman who raised her wasn’t around to see it. She’d have probably baked one of her famous seven layer cakes—with real to-die-for buttercream icing—to celebrate.

When the coffin decided, with just the tiniest of clicks as warning, to split open, she didn’t know what to expect. Friendly and cute, bobble head, green Martian saying, “I come in peace”, or slavering monster with great big fangs and slimy, warty skin intent on seeing if human flesh was a delicacy?

Given the possibilities, was it any wonder Jilly raised her shotgun and aimed it at the exposed interior?

But as the interior was exposed, along with its occupant, she didn’t fire, although she did stare in slack-jawed disbelief.

I’ll be damned. Grandma was right.

There was life out there. And it was a heck of a lot sexier than expected.

Bright blue eyes, that held a hint of a glow, met her brown gaze and studied her intently. Up. Down. He—had to be a male with that square jaw, strong nose, and masculine build—didn’t disguise his perusal of her, and she fought an urge to fidget. When the alien—because no human ever sported purple skin like this dude—raised a dark brow and smirked, she straightened her spine.

She also channeled the corniest line in known cinema. “Come out with your hands up.”

“And if I don’t?” The reply, spoken in a low, silken tone, took her aback.

“You speak English?”

“I speak and understand every language in the known universe thanks to my upgraded thought-to-speech voice modulator. But that is of no import. You have yet to answer my first question. What will you do if I do not exit my surface pod?”

Grandma would have advocated shooting first, asking questions later, but Jilly preferred to think violence wasn’t always the only answer. Which led her to another thing Grandma always said. “Men always think with their bellies.” Did that apply to galactic invaders too?

“Stay in your pod thing if you want. But it will be your loss because I’ve got fresh, oven-baked cookies and hot cocoa.” Without the arsenic her grandma might have laced it with if she wasn’t too crazy about the company coming over.

Living with Grandma, who went a little insane after Grandpa died, Jilly dumped more than her fair share of suspected beverages and snacks. She’d learned her lesson after Timmy dared to sneak a kiss, Timmy being a boy Grandma did not approve of, given he had no goals in life. Luckily all he ended up with was an upset stomach, but Jilly learned to watch Grandma carefully after that.

Back to her alien guest and roundabout offer to come in for cookies and cocoa. She didn’t wait for a reply. She turned on her heel and walked back into the house.

Lest anyone think she was nonchalant about the situation, her heart raced so fast she feared a coronary. Her hands, despite the outdoor chill, sweated enough to make her grip on the gun slick, and the only reason she hadn’t peed herself was because she clenched her Kegels so tight she’d attained virgin status again.

Yet she let none of her trepidation show. She attempted to treat her unexpected visitor with a bit of trust because I damn well don’t want it said that I started an alien invasion because I was trigger-happy.

Determination to not make history didn’t mean she was completely stupid. The gun stayed with her as she strode down the straight hall to her kitchen. Any second, she expected to go up in a vaporized puff of smoke. Instead, she heard the click of her front door closing.

Great. I invited a giant alien inside. Now what?

Feed him before he fed on her.

I hope he likes chocolate chip cookies and not chocolate-dipped humans.

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