Steel Coyote

Cover Coming Soon

Entangled Publishing - Amara
July 22, 2019


Read an Excerpt


The universe can be a tough place to make it as a cargo ship captain and Remington Hawthorne fights every day to scrape together enough to get by. Hanging on by her fingernails, she has to find something to keep herself and her quirky crew alive. 

When a sketchy deal goes south, she doesn’t want to accept help from the stranger who calls himself Max Fletcher. Life however, doesn’t give her a choice. Hurtling through space with illegal cargo, extra passengers she doesn’t want, and a growing attraction to Max she can’t resist, Remy knows she’s in trouble. 

When worlds collide, Remy and Max have to find a way to trust each other, save the crew, and not get themselves killed in the process. It’s gonna be a helluva ride. 




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Excerpt

Remy concentrated on reaching the ship. Her stomach jumped and she had to swallow back bile at least twice. There was no time to be weak or let anxiety take over. Tomorrow, they would have cargo and money to buy fuel and supplies. She was tired of eating dried food she couldn’t identify. Pitiful as it was, she ached to eat a piece of real fruit.

That all hinged on the fact Cooper thought she’d hired a pilot.

Max Fletcher. She’d vaguely heard his name bantered about over the last few years. Nothing good, but nothing bad either. She didn’t need him at the helm of the Steel Coyote. Remy could pilot her own ship.

Much as she didn’t want to face it, the truth of it was, she was stuck. She needed Fletcher to get the cargo, and Cooper might want to see them take off together to seal the deal. Without this job, they wouldn’t be going anywhere. She didn’t want to allow Fletcher to step foot on board but common sense told her that she was going to have to.

When she finally reached her ship’s berth her anger had cooled. Foley sat on a metal crate, the ramp wide open. The old curmudgeon had been her father’s chief engineer. Now that his eyesight was failing, he did maintenance around the ship, keeping things oiled, tightened, and clean. The grizzled beard hid a gaunt face. Foley had lost a great deal of weight and Remy suspected he was sick. Most outposts had someone who served as a physick and a handful of healers. The Corporation kept the real medical facilities and physicks for their own use. The “have nots” and those who slid between, like cargo pilots, made do with the old ways. If only she could convince Foley to accept a healer’s touch.

He wore the same navy-blue shirt and trousers he’d had for as long as she could remember. One day she might dare herself to check his quarters to see if he had dozens of the same outfit. Perched on what was left of his halo of frizzy white hair sat a black hat that had seen better days. A bullet hole graced one side and stains of unknown origin decorated most of it. A tiny blue earring was pinned in the center. She’d never asked him where it came from but suspected it had been a woman from his past. In her twenty-one years, she’d never seen him with one, so perhaps this was the one who’d set him on the course of bachelorhood.

“Well met, Cooper.” She sucked in a much needed breath.

“Well met, Captain.” Foley pointed his favorite knife at a spot behind her and squinted. “Who’s that?”

Remy stopped and put her hands on her hips. She didn’t have a choice and that was the bald truth. Pride was one of her biggest flaws, and it didn’t go down easy when she had to swallow it but for her untraditional family, she would do what she needed to. She took a deep breath and accepted what the universe decided to throw in her path.

“Our new pilot.”

“Looks like a pretty boy to me.” Foley snorted. “The boy ain’t even got dirt under his nails.”

“Well met, good sir.” Fletcher huffed a laugh. “I can see good hygiene is not of particular concern.”

“Pretty boy.”

“Old bastard.”

“Shut up both of you.” Remy shook her head. “Foley, stop taunting him. Fletcher, stop being an asshole.”

She turned to look at them posturing like a couple of bantam roosters they’d carried a few times in the cargo hold. Male creatures were foolish. And annoying.

“I ain’t gonna like him. Doesn’t even carry a gun.” Foley used his knife to scrape at his filthy nails.

“What makes you think I don’t have a gun?” Fletcher’s smile was a slash of white, and not at all friendly. “I don’t like to wear a holster on my hip, but that doesn’t mean I’m not armed.”

“Well met, Remy. Glad you’re back. Who is this?” Katie strolled up, hands in her pockets and a friendly smile on her face. “You picking up strays?”

“Unfortunately, we have to. Katie, Foley, this is Max Fletcher.” Remy waved her hand in the general direction of the man. He opened his mouth to likely say something charming, but she cut him off. “I couldn’t get the job from Cooper unless Fletcher was at the helm. Apparently, my experience and reputation aren’t good enough.”

“Well that’s just stupid.” Katie frowned.

“Cooper will be here at five. Let’s get the ship ready.” She waited while the three of them sized each other up. “Or I can fire all of you, sell the ship, and live the rest of my life with pretty boys feeding me hydroponic grapes.”

“Fine but I ain’t gonna like him.” Foley levered himself up out of the chair with a creak of his old bones. “I’ll inventory our supplies and get fresh water in the tanks. Make sure this one stays out of my way.”

Katie shook her head. “Can’t wait to hear this story. In the meantime, I’ll make the engine ready and arrange for fuel to be delivered.” She raised her eyebrows at Remy. “This is going to be an interesting trip.”

Once her engineer bounded back into the ship, Remy was alone with Fletcher again. She didn’t want him there, didn’t trust him. But she had to do what she must to save the Steel Coyote.

“What do you want me to do?” His deep voice sizzled over her already tight nerves.

“Stay out of my way.”