Hawthorn’s watering hole was a favorite of law enforcement. The tables and barstools were placed so no one had his back to the single door. Robby J, the jovial owner, knew he’d have free security around the sixty-hour clock. In this neighborhood, it was indispensable.
Kylie parked her vehicle, then crossed the busy street with long strides. Nefarious characters leaning against the wall next to the heavy plaz door stared. She ignored them.
Inside, she got the same treatment, that fascination. She could have been a model, like her sister Nissa, but intrigue and innards fascinated her more than fashion and fame.
On the other hand, her appeal could be useful. Sometimes it got her free drinks.
She nodded at some of the local cops and took a stool at the end of the bar. One of Robby’s girls, Lin, came to wipe the polished plaz counter in front of her. “What’ll it be?”
“Something quick-acting,” Kylie said. “Then a bottle of Jack.”
“You got it.” Tongue flicking out to wet her lips, the girl studied her. “You’re the lizard cop, aren’t you?”
Really? The lizard cop? Where was the dignity in that? Holy Sprechan’s ass.
“I can’t discuss cases, Lin. You know that. You got something for me, or not?”
“Sure, honey. Coming right up.”
The jukebox played an upbeat tune with stringed instruments and a strong drum beat. Kylie approved. She poured two shots from the bottle Lin brought. After her third shot, the memories of the dead woman, the photos and dumpsters started to fade. The music seeped in, creating a pleasant haze. Background noise filtered the conversations.
A man near the door stared at her, dissecting past her skin, into her psyche, perhaps her soul[EE1] . Kylie stared back. Usually, that was enough to scare off a would-be masher. But it didn’t seem to faze this one.
The man’s persistence made her lose interest in the alcohol. She left coins on the counter, then headed for the door.
As she approached the man’s table, he stood up. “Please join me,” he said. His eyes were the exact yellow tone of the dead woman’s. Exact. They compelled her to wait.
His voice softened. “I have information for you.”
“Then you should make a formal report.” Her mind clicked along frantically trying to overcome the half bottle of alcohol she’d consumed. Something about this man, something about him.... Taller than most, and broad-shouldered. Hair, perfectly combed; his skin, without a blemish. Not even the hint of an old scar. Clothing, unremarkable. Fingers a little long, the nails even but lengthy for a man.
“Now.” His gaze continued to dance with hers.
She blinked and looked away. “Come to the Cendiary in the morning.” She turned to go, but he caught her wrist.
He held no apology in his eyes. His expression was grim. He nodded to the empty chair beside his. “I need to talk with you, Investigator Kylie Sanderson. Before any more females are damaged or killed.”
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 planet's 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?
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander/dp/1616508396/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1452813694&sr=8-5&keywords=Lyndi+Alexander
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. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida. She writes urban fantasy and science fiction, and The Elf Queen, her first novel, was released by Dragonfly Publishing in July 2010. The series continued with The Elf Child, The Elf Mage and The Elf Guardian. She’s recently completed the space opera Horizon Crossover series, and a YA post-apocalyptic trilogy, The Color of Fear. A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is her eighth novel.
She is a single mother of seven, with one last special needs child at home with her in Pennsylvania, and she volunteers making blankets for Project Linus. For more information, see Lyndi’s blog at http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com; or her Facebook page. She also writes at http://awalkabout.wordpress.com, where she talks about life, autism, travel and writing.