By Lyndi Alexander
Just about the time I’d hit forty and decided that I would never find love again, I wandered into an online role playing game (RPG) based on the Star Trek mirror Universe. This was a free-flowing RPG, not a multi-player scripted game. Everyone created characters of their choosing, from whichever Sci-fi/fantasy universe they liked. We had everything from Trek to Wars to the Buffyverse to Stargate….you name it. A lot of us had original characters we just made up.
Which is how Kylie and Griff came to be. And at the same time, how I met my husband.
I was a lawyer in real life, a strong woman who took care of myself. Kylie embodied a lot of that passion in me. As a character, when she came up against the evil of the lizard aliens as the story line played out over days and nights, she found a sympathetic ear and helpmate in Griff, who might be a beta male as far as his race was concerned, but he was strong enough to persist in defeating that evil. His creator, my future husband, was very much the same.
Once we connected, we found we had much in common. Best of all, out of the whole world, he lived only 90 miles away. We quickly arranged a F2F meeting, and before long, became a family.
Though my kids were mostly gown by then, I ended up adopting his three very young kids, all of them on the autism spectrum. We had a very interesting life with all we did to help them get their feet on the ground in a neurotypical world.
The youngest still lives with me, and has recently started her first job. We hope all continues to go well for her, but I’m convinced it’s the willingness to embrace our “otherness” that her father and I share—and have since the days of Kylie and Griff—that will get her there.
A Small Degree of Hope blurb
Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?
As Kylie took another drink, she noticed a man at a table near the door stared at her, dissecting her in a way that felt not like he was undressing her, but more like he looked past her skin, into her psyche, or perhaps her soul. Kylie stared back, putting a forbidding expression on her face. Usually, that was enough to scare off a would-be masher. But it didn’t seem to faze this one.
The man’s persistence triggered a defensive response, and she lost interest in the alcohol. She left half a dozen plat coins on the counter, enough to cover her tab and something for Lin, and then headed for the door.
As she approached the man’s table, he stood up. “Please join me,” he said.
“No, thanks, I’m on my way out.”
“Please,” he said firmly. She stopped to look at him. That glance froze her steps. His eyes were the exact yellow tone of the dead woman’s. Exact.
She surveyed the room, but no one seemed to be paying attention. One gesture from her would have garnered assistance, but those eyes compelled her to wait. “Why should I?”
His voice softened. “I have information that could be of use to you.”
“Then perhaps you should come to the Cendiary. That’s where SIRT’s camped while this investigation is going on.” Her mind clicked along frantically trying to reject the half bottle of alcohol she’d consumed. There was something about this man, something about him. His eyes, but more than that. Taller than most men, and broad-shouldered. Hair, perfectly combed, his skin, without a blemish. Not even the hint of an old scar. Clothing, unremarkable. Hands, not quite perfectly proportioned, his fingers a little long, the nails even but lengthy for a man.
“No. I need to talk to you now.” His gaze continued to dance with hers.
She blinked and looked away. “This isn’t a good time, friend.”
He cocked his head, a, thin eyebrow raised. “You consider me your friend?”
His hesitation made her miss a beat, too. “No, I don’t consider you my friend.” She frowned. “Come to the Cendiary in the morning.” She turned to go, but her wrist was suddenly caught in an iron grip.
Tugging on her captured hand, she looked over her shoulder. He held no apology in his eyes, and his expression was grim. He nodded to the empty chair beside his.
“I need to talk with you, Investigator Kylie Sanderson. Please hear what I have to say before any more females are damaged or killed.”
Lyndi Alexander bio
Author bio Lyndi Alexander dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over forty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications is eclectic, from science fiction to romance to horror, from tech reporting to television reviews.
She’s now a single mother of seven with three children on the autism spectrum, a quilter, a gardener, and woman of all trades. When she has time, she blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at Awalkabout’s Weblog
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