The Alien and the Elf by @TriciaSchneider is a Christmas in July Fete pick #romance #scifi #giveaway
Title: The Alien and the Elf
Author: Tricia Schneider
Genre: Sci-Fi Holiday Romance
My name is Noelle, and I'm an elf. I was minding my own business, testing a newly installed engine on Santa's sleigh when it suffered a slight malfunction. I found myself spiraling out of control. Then a bright beam of light hits from above, and I'm taken on board a spaceship. Jaxar is a sexy, to-die-for, green-skinned alien who thinks I'm stealing his salvage. He's never met an elf. Well, I've never met an alien. With no way to get home, I need Jaxar's help. Can we work together to fix Santa's sleigh in time to save Christmas?
I stared out the window. Earth spun far, far below. The blues and whites swirling together in a mixture of ocean and atmosphere. I never dreamed I’d see my home from this distance.
I glanced over my shoulder where the alien stood fiddling with a panel just outside the room. He’d locked me in here a few hours ago, then left. I presume he used the time to inspect my sleigh.
“You better not have damaged it any more than you already have.”
“What?” He didn’t pause whatever he was doing as his fingers flew over buttons. I could hear tiny beeps echoing from the panel.
“My sleigh,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest. “You better not have damaged my sleigh.”
“I did nothing to your vehicle.”
“Like spicy gum drops, you didn’t.” I moved away from the small window where I’d been gazing at my planet to step closer to the door. There was an electrified, invisible barrier between us. I’d discovered it after he had shoved me into the room, then hit some buttons on the panel and left. I had tried to follow him but got zapped as soon as I touched the barrier.
It hadn’t been a pleasant sensation.
“I was taking the sleigh on a test flight,” I said, leaning against the wall to watch him as he concentrated on the panel. “It was going peachy until you and your bright as glistening snow light showed up. What did you do to it? How did you make it malfunction like that?”
“I did nothing to your… sleigh.” His dark brows bunched together as he spoke the word like it was foreign to him. “I was salvaging when I caught sight of movement. I went to investigate. That’s when I found you.” He paused his business with the panel to tilt his gaze toward me. Heat flashed through me at the intensity of his gaze. “It appeared your vehicle was in distress. I believe I saved you.”
A small, confident smile accompanied his words. While the zinging sensation stirred strangely in my nether regions, I tightened my fingers into fists beneath my crossed arms.
“There was a slight malfunction,” I stated between clenched teeth. “If I’d had some time, I would have figured it out and fixed it.”
“Uh-huh.” He nodded, the smile still in place as he went back to work on the panel. “Or you would have been squashed on the ground below. You and your sleigh.”
I shook my head, refusing to believe it even as a tiny voice in my head admitted that he was probably right. I still don’t know what went wrong with the sleigh. The engines shouldn’t have stalled. While waiting in this room, I’d gone over in my mind everything I had done with the engines. Failing like that… It shouldn’t have happened.
I hated to admit it, but I was going to have to take it apart, maybe even start from scratch. Rebuild from the ground up. It was the only way to be sure it didn’t happen again.
What if it had been Santa in that sleigh on Christmas Eve?
The thought sent chills through me.
No, I had to be sure the engine was perfect before letting the big man take it for his annual journey. If something went wrong during flight, he wouldn’t know how to fix it.
I sighed, saddened I let Santa down this year. Not only did the engine not work, but I went and got abducted by an alien, too. I had to get back to the North Pole. I had to tell Santa that he’d have to take the magic reindeer on the journey this year. Let him know the engine didn’t work. Or I had to fix it.
“How long are you going to keep me here?” I leaned my shoulder against the wall, careful not to get too close to the invisible barrier between us. “I have things to do and you’re wasting my time.”
The alien chuckled low. “I plan on keeping you until I know what planet you’re from, because you’re not from this one.” He raised one dark eyebrow as he glanced at me, his gaze taking me in from the red hat on my head to my little black boots. “I want to know what kind of competition I have.”
“Competition?” I scowled, leaning closer. “What do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean.”
“No, I don’t. How many times do I have to tell you? I’m from Earth.”
“Right. And what exactly were you doing flying over Seattle?”
“I told you. Testing the engines on the sleigh.”
“Uh-huh.” He nodded. “And what are your intentions with that sleigh?”
“We’re back to this again. I feel like we’re talking in circles.” I huffed my dismay, then shook my head. “Let’s start again, shall we? Hi! My name is Noelle and I’m an elf. What’s your name?”
“An elf?” The alien’s brows lowered again as he looked at me. “I thought elves were extinct on this planet.”
“Obviously not.” I waved one hand over my body indicating that I was very much not extinct.
“Don’t elves live in trees? They’re little people. You’re too tall to be an elf.”
“Elves come in all shapes and sizes just like humans. Just how do you know anything about elves anyway?” I scoffed, placing a hand on my hip. “You’re an alien.”
“I’ve visited this planet a time or two. Or twenty. I’ve learned something about the culture.”
“Well, you haven’t learned enough about elves because you’re looking at one.” With that, I lifted my white-trimmed red hat from my head, revealing my mess of blonde hair still tied in a wreck of a ponytail and the tips of my pointed ears for his view.
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What I love most about the holiday season:
As soon as the Christmas carols start playing on the radio, I know its time to decorate. I love to see the bright, twinkling lights and the holiday decorations. If I had my way, I would keep the decorations up all year long.
Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?
This is a short, fun, steamy happy-for-now romance between a sassy elf who is all about Christmas and a brooding alien that is sure to get you in the mood to celebrate the holidays.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US account to win.
Runs July 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on August 2.
Tricia Schneider is a multi-genre romance author. From werewolves, vampires and witches to wicked pirates and sexy aliens, she weaves sensual stories where happily-ever-after is a guarantee. She believes there is a book for everyone. A sentiment she gained after years of working as Assistant Manager and bookseller at Waldenbooks. After the store closed, she turned to writing full-time, publishing paranormal, historical, fantasy, sci-fi and gothic romances.
Tricia lives in Pennsylvania with her four children and two rescued cats. When she’s not typing away on her laptop, she’s riding shotgun in a ’67 Impala while keeping her eyes open for a madman in a Big Blue Box.
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