For my regular readers, this is my entry for a contest I've entered. (See details here.) Feel free to peruse or ignore as you'd like. :)
Seventeen-year-old Essie knows how to stitch up robotic drones so the men in the mining settlement remember she’s worth keeping around. She knows how to use her fists to make sure they keep their hands off her. What she doesn’t know is how to deal with a boy who’s depending on her to get his crashed shuttle off the ground and out of orbit.
He’s polite, chivalrous, even a little charming, and he gives Essie the kind of attention she’s never had ... until he discovers her secret. She’s the missing princess of his people’s greatest enemy. One betrayal later, he’s taking her home whether she likes it or not, to exchange for prisoners of war. What he doesn’t know is she had damn good reasons for running away. His ‘leverage’ means her death.
STITCHING SNOW is 68,000 words of Snow White in space, if Snow were a cage-fighting tech-head with daddy issues.
First 250 Words:
It took seventeen seconds to decide Jarom Thacker’s reputation as the sharpest fighter on Thanda had been a minor exaggeration. At twice my size—and age—he was still quick, forcing me to move or risk getting pinned against the cage. Like everyone else who came through Mining Settlement Forty-Two, though, he aimed for my gut or back. Never the most obvious target.
Wouldn’t want to botch the pretty girl’s face, right? Idiot.
I blocked him on the left, but missed his swing on the right slamming into my ribs. Pain flared through my side. I let it fire me on and slipped Thacker’s grip when he tried to grab me.
Unlike him, I had no qualms about uglifying him further—not with the way he looked at me, the shudder it sent across my skin. The heel of my palm slammed into his nose with a satisfying crunch despite the cushioning of my shock-fiber handwraps. He ignored the blood and lunged blindly; I dodged with a knee to his groin. When he doubled over, I kicked his legs from under him. He went down and I followed, pinning him. He tried to raise himself up. Before he could throw me off, I grabbed a fistful of his hair and knocked his head against the floor.
“Three ... two ... one ... fight goes to Forty-Two’s own Essie.”