Touched by an Alien (Alien Novels)

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9780756406004: Touched by an Alien (Alien Novels)
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Sci-fi action meets steamy paranormal romance in Gini Koch’s Alien novels, as Katherine “Kitty” Katt faces off against aliens, conspiracies, and deadly secrets. · “Futuristic high-jinks and gripping adventure.” —RT Reviews 

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly.

But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien.

In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began...

Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels.

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About the Author:

Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles. She also has a humor collection, Random Musings from the Funny Girl. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series and she’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of other pen names as well, including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. She has stories featured in a variety of excellent anthologies, available now and upcoming, writing as Gini Koch, Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, and J.C. Koch. Reach her via: www.ginikoch.com

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

WHAT GETS ME IS THAT IN ALL THE COMIC BOOKS and movies and even novels, whenever someone gets superpowers, there’s at least an eighty percent likelihood they’ll use said powers for good.
 
It’s always some man or woman of science looking for a cure for the world’s ills who gets hit with the gamma rays, or an outcast kid who happens to have a wise oldster around to show him the right ropes as soon as the muta­tion hits. The few bad guys who turn superpowered always have some fatal flaw that renders them easy pickings for the good guys, who also manage to outnumber the baddies every time it matters.
 
In real life, of course, it never works that way. At all.
 
In real life, there are no superheroes.
 
Of course, this doesn’t mean there are no superpowered beings.
 
But never fear—­I’m on it.
 
Yeah, it doesn’t sound all that comforting to me, either.
 
Chapter 1
MY FIRST SUPERBEING WAS AN ACCIDENT. Literally and figuratively.
 
I was walking from the courthouse to the parking ga­rage. Jury duty was over, I’d been released early, right after the lunch break, so I was free to go back to work and try to catch up on my missed half a day.
 
The parking garage was across the street, so I had to wait for the light. As I stood there hoping I wouldn’t sun­burn, I witnessed a small fender bender. One slow-mov­ing car rear-ended another right in front of the courthouse, about fifty feet away from me.
 
The drivers got out—­man from the front car, woman from the rear—­and he started yelling at her immediately. At first I figured he was raging because he’d been hit and the start of summer in Arizona always makes everyone here a little crazy, but I could hear him, and it dawned on me that this was his wife.
 
She was apologizing, but he wasn’t having any of it, so she got mad, too. Their fight escalated into shouting in a matter of moments. This was a full-on domestic dispute, the kind the cops rightly want nothing to do with.
 
The light changed, and I wondered if I should just head across the street to avoid getting involved with these two when it happened. The man’s rage went supernova, and all of a sudden he sprouted wings out of his back.
 
I’m not talking little wings, either. They were huge, eas­ily six and a half feet high and I guessed the span as dou­ble. They had feathers, but they were odd looking, which, I know, you’d figure would be a given in the first place. But they didn’t look like bird feathers—­they gleamed, and not with blood. There was a viscous substance on them, and as I watched, the man turned toward his horrified, scream­ing wife and shot blades out of the feathers that lined the wings’ edges.
 
She was cut to ribbons in a matter of seconds, and he turned toward the courthouse and let more blades fly. The main Pueblo Caliente courthouse, a nine-story building with mostly glass walls, was built a few years ago and was really very modern and attractive, doing its best to pretend the city hadn’t once been a pioneer cow town.
 
I flinched as the projectiles hit. Glass shattered and flew everywhere—­the courthouse went from sleek to rubble in a matter of moments. I could hear screams—­the people com­ing out of the courthouse, those near the windows in the first few floors, anyone in his path, maybe more—were all being cut down, possibly murdered by this man. I couldn’t guess how far the projectiles went; for all I knew, they were going deep into the building.
 
I don’t know why I didn’t try to run or hide. In hindsight, I could say maybe I just knew it would be futile. But at the time, that wasn’t what I was thinking. I was scared, but more, I was angry, and I just wanted to stop him. He wasn’t slowing the attack at all, and I realized he was enjoying it, enjoying the power, the fear, the death.
 
His back was still to me, and I could see a spot, right be­tween where his shoulder blades had been and wings now were. Something was there, pulsing, almost like a human heart, but it didn’t look like a heart. It resembled a small jellyfish, really.
 
I tried to think of what I could use to stop this monster—it wasn’t as though they equipped marketing managers with Uzis. I didn’t take my eyes off the pulsing thing on the man’s back as I dug through my purse and my fingers found my weapon—­my heavy, expensive Mont Blanc pen. It had been a gift from my father when I’d gotten a promotion at work. I doubted this was what he’d hoped I’d use it for, but I wasn’t holding any other options.
 
I dropped my purse, kicked off my heels, and ran, straight for his back. He was moving closer to the courthouse but was still less than a hundred feet away from me, and back in school I’d been on the track team. I was a sprinter and a hurdler, and some things don’t leave you, even if you haven’t done them for a while.
 
Because he was a little taller than me, I knew I needed to be airborne when I hit him. I judged it and leaped at the last possible moment. My pen slammed into that jelly­fish-like thing on his back just as he started to turn. I could see his eyes—­they were wide, glowed red, and no longer looked human.
 
As I drove the pen into his back, his mouth opened, but he didn’t make a sound. His eyes, however, went back to human, and they glazed as I watched them die. Then his body fell forward and mine with it. I scrambled to my feet, covered with ooze from his wings and the exploded jelly­fish thing.
 
The police arrived. After all, many of them had been in­side the courthouse. The scene was chaos—­people scream­ing, glass and blood everywhere, sirens in the distance—­but as I stared down at the dead body, all I could think about was whether I should retrieve my pen or not.
 
A man appeared out of nowhere. He was over six feet, big and broad. I didn’t register much else, other than his suit, which I was pretty sure was Armani and looked excel­lent on him, meaning he probably wasn’t with the police. My eyes were drawn back to my pen, still sticking out of the dead man’s back.
 
“How did you know what to do?” he asked, without any opening formalities.
 
“It just seemed . . . right,” I answered, winning the Lame Reply Award of the hour. “Can I take my pen out?”
 
He squatted down and examined the body. He pulled the pen out slowly. I got the impression he was ready to ram it back in if the body gave the slightest indication of coming back to life.
 
“I saw his eyes. They weren’t normal, and then, as I killed him, they went back to human again. And I saw him die,” I added. I wondered if I was going to have hysterics and realized I wasn’t. I was somewhat relieved.
 
The man looked up at me. I registered his face now—rather broad features, strong chin, light-brown eyes, dark, wavy hair. Handsome, definitely. I hated myself for it, but I looked immediately to his left hand. No ring. I looked right back at his face, but he’d noticed and grinned. “Jeff Martini. Single. No current girlfriend. And you are?”
 
“Wondering if I’m going to be arrested.” I noted several of Pueblo Caliente’s finest bearing down on us with a de­termined attitude.
 
Martini stood up. “I don’t think so.” He turned around. “Our agency will handle it, gentlemen. Please perform crowd control.”
 
The cops all stopped and did what he said, no argu­ments, no issues. I felt nervous now, much more than I had before.
 
He turned back to me. “Let’s go.” As he said this, a large gray limo with tinted windows pulled up across the street. Martini took my arm and led me over.
 
“I need to get my car,” I protested. “And my shoes.” I hopped from foot to foot. I contemplated standing on top of Martini’s shoes, then figured the brevity of our relation­ship probably meant I shouldn’t.
 
“Give me the keys,” he said.
 
“I don’t think so.” I pulled my arm out of his grasp and managed to find a tiny patch of shade to stand in. “What the hell is going on?”
 
An older man got out of the back of the limo. He was built like Martini but was at least two decades older. They didn’t look related, but I was pretty sure they were in the same line of work—­whatever that was.
 
He gave me a long look. “Give Jeffrey your car keys, please. You’re wasting time, ours and yours.”
 
“Then I get to sleep with the fishes?” I asked with as much sarcasm as I could muster.
 
He laughed. “We’re not the Mob, we’re an authorized world-government agency. You can stay here and be ques­tioned by the police about the death of that unfortunate, or you can come with us.”
 
“You’ll tell me what happened? I mean, what really happened?”
 
“Yes.” He moved aside and indicated the car’s interior. “We’ll also help you get cleaned up and keep you out of the papers.”
 
“Why?” I didn’t move toward the limo or to get my purse.
 
He sighed. “We need agents. Ours is a dangerous job. And it’s a rare thing when a civilian not only has the cour­age to do what’s needed but also the natural instinct to know where and how to kill a superbeing.”
 
I felt a nudge, and as I looked around, Martini handed me my purse. He had my shoes as well. “Pickpocketing part of the trade?” I asked as he tossed my car keys to another man who’d appeared out of pretty much nowhere. Same Armani-clad look, maybe a bit smaller in build, but still obviously one of the crew. “I don’t think I fit the agency’s look,” I added as I grabbed my shoes and put them back on.
 
Martini grinned again. He had great teeth and a great smile. I was already disgusted with myself for looking for a wedding ring and more now that I was paying attention to his looks while I was possibly teetering on the edge of life or death.
 
“We can use some female intuition,” Martini said. “That’s what it was, right? You didn’t know what was going on, but you knew what to do.”
 
I shrugged. “I have no idea. Can I have my pen back?”
 
Martini laughed. “Only if you get into the car with us.” He leaned down. “And only if you tell me your name,” he whispered in my ear.
My knees went weak then. Somehow, this made it all real, not something I’d wake up from in a moment. I felt myself blacking out, felt Martini catch me and lift me into his arms, and then . . . nothing.
 
Chapter 2
I WOKE UP INSIDE THE CAR. I was sitting up, leaning against someone who had his arm around me. Even the confusion of waking up from fainting didn’t cause me to wonder whose arm it was. That I didn’t mind made me want to turn myself over to Gloria Steinem as a real failure as a modern woman.
 
“. . . think she’ll be willing to be an agent?” It was a man’s voice, but not Martini’s and not the older man’s, either. I kept my eyes closed and tried not to change my breathing too much.
 
“Hope so.” This was Martini. “Be nice to have someone easy on the eyes around.”
 
“Jeffrey, this isn’t a dating service.” This was the older man. “You’d better hope she doesn’t slam that pen of hers into your groin when she comes to.”
 
“I didn’t give it back to her yet,” Martini said with a laugh. I could feel him move a bit. “Can’t wait to find out why she used this.”
 
“It was all I had.” I opened my eyes to see him holding my pen out to the others in the car. I snatched it out of his hand. It was still covered with slime.
 
“I’m more interested in how you knew where to stick it.” The third man’s voice. I looked around and realized Martini and I were facing the back of the car, Martini across from the older man, me across from this one. He was built along the same lines as Martini and the older man—­big, handsome, and Armani-clad. He was also bald, and his skin was the kind of black that looks almost ebony.
 
“All the men handsome in this agency?” I asked the older man. “Because, if so, trust me when I say I can help you recruit all the women you want.”
 
He laughed. “I’m Mr. White.”
 
“Right. And he’s Mr. Black?” I said, indicating the man across from me.
 
“Great sense of humor,” the black man said dryly. “No, I’m Paul Gower. But thanks for the compliment. His name really is White. Richard White. Don’t call him Dick.”
 
“Unless he acts like one?”
 
“Not even then,” Gower said with a small smile. “Now, you going to impress us with your manners and tell us your name?”
 
“No. I’m sure you all went through my purse while I was out.” I looked up at Martini who contrived to look inno­cent. “Right. So, you know who I am.”
 
“Actually, you woke up before I could find your wallet,” Martini admitted. “I don’t know how you found that pen; your purse is like a black hole.”
 
“I prefer to think of it as Mary Poppins’ carpetbag. Okay, okay,” I added to the looks I was getting from both White and Gower. “I’m Katherine Katt, k-a-t-t, and yes, before you ask the obvious, my parents call me Kitty.”
 
“I like it,” Martini said with a sly grin.
 
“What do your friends call you?” Gower asked.
 
I gave him a long look. “You’re not my friends yet.”
 
White chuckled. “Fair enough, Miss Katt.”
 
“Oh, let’s call her Miss Kitty,” Martini pleaded.
 
I wiped the slime on my pen off on his pants. “I’m not gracing that with a response.”
 
“My God, I think I’m in love,” Martini said with a laugh. But he didn’t take his arm from around my shoulders.
 
“I’ll bet you say that to every girl who stabs some weirdo with a pen.” I tried not to think about the fact I liked his arm around me. There was more going on, and I had to stop acting as though we were at a singles bar.
 
“Only the sexy ones,” Martini replied, pretty much wrecking my not-a-singles-bar mind-set.
 
“I’d have gone with beautiful,” Gower said. “Women tend to prefer that compliment.”
 
“But we want her because she’s smart and resourceful,” White said, and I could hear something in his tone that sounded like my father’s when he’d finally had enough and wanted us focused on business.
 
Martini and Gower heard it too, because they stopped bantering and both looked more serious. Me, I didn’t care about White’s wants. Yet.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Sci-fi action meets steamy paranormal romance in Gini Koch's Alien novels, as Katherine "Kitty" Katt faces off against aliens, conspiracies, and deadly secrets. - "Futuristic high-jinks and gripping adventure." --RT Reviews Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien. In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began. Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels. Seller Inventory # AAS9780756406004

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Sci-fi action meets steamy paranormal romance in Gini Koch's Alien novels, as Katherine "Kitty" Katt faces off against aliens, conspiracies, and deadly secrets. - "Futuristic high-jinks and gripping adventure." --RT Reviews Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn't even begin to cover it when the "man" suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien. In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with "the agency," and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his "boss." And that was how Kitty's new life among the aliens began. Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels. Seller Inventory # AAS9780756406004

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