TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with Jessica Coulter Smith’s new romance Ella and the Alien Gamer, now available from Changeling Press and other purveyors of fine online romance. Take it away, Jessica!
Ella has had a hard life as a single mom who barely makes ends meet. But she’s never once asked for help, and she never would. When Valero barrels into her life asking for things she’s not ready to give, she holds herself back. Mostly. The thought of taking the sexy alien to bed is more than a little tempting … except he’s playing hard to get.
Valero has wanted a mate ever since he was old enough to think of having a family of his own. He’s never thought of claiming a female with a child in tow, but Connor’s amazing gaming skills intrigue the video game designer. Asking the small family to move in with him seems reasonable enough since he plans to claim them as his, but Ella’s commitment issues prove to be a problem.
What’s a geeky gamer to do when the Cinderella of his dreams wants sex, but nothing else?
Valero growled as he jabbed at the buttons on the controller. Rory and her damned dragons! When she’d said she couldn’t beat this level, he’d thought it would be a piece of cake. How hard could a game be that centered around an adolescent purple dragon? Harder than fuck, that’s how hard.
“Bust the gem, turn the wheel,” he muttered as he went through the steps. Little green things attacked him. “Argh. Die, you little bastards!”
“My mama will wash your mouth out with soap,” said a small voice.
He glanced to his right and nearly dropped the controller when he saw a small human child. Where the hell had he come from?
“You’re doing that wrong,” the boy said.
No shit. That was why he’d been trying to put out the fires for the last half hour without success. What the hell did the small child know about it though? He held out the controller.
“Since you seem to know what you’re doing, want to show me how it’s done?” Valero asked.
The boy grinned from ear to ear, snatched the controller, and started playing with the finesse of an advanced gamer.
“How the hell did you know where the buckets were?” Valero asked.
“Soap,” the boy replied in response to his bad word. Apparently hell wasn’t allowed either. “And I have this game at home. I beat it on the second day. I probably would have done it sooner, but Mama wouldn’t let me stay up playing all night.”
The boy beat the level and handed the controller back.
“What other games can you play?” Valero asked. He’d never met such a young gamer before and he had to admit he was a little fascinated. He hadn’t even known such a small human could play video games.
“I have Minecraft, Sonic, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Star Wars, and a few others.”
“What about Halo or Gears of War?” Valero asked.
“Mama says they’re too violent for me. But I wish I could play them. The kid games are too easy. I don’t see why the adults are the only ones being challenged.”
Valero’s eyebrows went up. A challenging children’s game? Was there a market for such a thing? Unless this child was a gaming prodigy, then there were probably others out there feeling his same frustration. Definitely something worth looking into.
“What types of challenges would you like to see in a game?” Valero asked.
“Well, I like the time challenges where you have to complete so many tasks in a certain amount of time. I like the fighting levels in Lego Star Wars. But collecting stuff like the rings in Sonic or the gems in Spyro can be fun. I just wish you could do more with it.”
The kid was rather insightful for someone so young. And he was giving Valero an idea. His game company was still in the fledgling stages and he needed something new and edgy to put him on the map. Or so he’d thought. Maybe he was looking at the wrong demographic. He’d been thinking of a game adults would like where you blew up stuff, but if gamers were starting out as young as this kid, children who weren’t allowed to play the more violent games, then maybe he needed to tap into that audience. The only problem was that his game testers were Rory and Zwyk, and neither would be able to give him the information he needed.
“He’s not bothering you, is he?” a soft voice asked.
Valero stood and faced the woman, and damn near swallowed his tongue.
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About the Author
Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth — and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.
Jessica firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world. She’s often gazed at the stars and wondered what, or who, else might be out there. Who’s to say that hunky model on the hottest romance bestseller isn’t really from some far off galaxy? Maybe that blue Martian you saw at Halloween wasn’t really in costume. After all, there’s an awful lot of space out there for us to be the only ones living in it.
Find more Changeling Press books by Jessica Coulter Smith at http://www.changelingpress.com/author.php?uid=144.