Spotlight — Understanding the Stars

Today the Book Ninjas are spotlighting Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto!

Between her father’s terminal disease, high school graduation, and a job delivering pizza, Alexandra Blackwood has enough on her plate. But when she leaves on another routine delivery and meets Ronan, her life goes from complicated to perilous. He warns that she’s been the unwitting victim of an alien experiment gone wrong and sets out to help her escape looming abduction.

Questions From the Ninjas

Ninjas must train in all sorts of things--one of us (who will go unnamed) is even a ninja at decorating cakes. What's your secret ninja skill?

My secret ninja skill is doodling. Doodles get cast off as "not real art", but I've kept some of my doodles from over a decade ago because I like them so much. :)


White steam swelled around me as I tilted my chin upward. I slowly rocked my head back and forth underneath the showerhead to completely drench my grease-laden hair. Eyes closed, I concentrated on the moment: the tapping of the water droplets against the tile; the warm, humid air filling my lungs; the liquid beads snaking down my legs.

Did that really just happen?

After Ronan’s…. declaration, I had the following gracious reactions: first, my mouth dropped open; then I muttered something about a shower; and then managed to trip over the bar stool on the way out.

Real smooth, I rebuked myself, blushing with humiliation.

But… what is proper protocol when someone you barely know pronounces their love? Most of my knowledge about romance came from movies and books, but I couldn’t think of any of those that dealt with this type of situation.

This situation. What was my situation? Let’s see, I had been basically kidnapped from my home by the CIA, rescued from an involuntary brain surgery, whisked off to who-knows-where, and now an alien says he’s in love with me.

I shut off the water and grabbed a fluffy white towel to wrap myself in. Thankfully there was a bathroom located in my room—right beneath the loft. Thankfully it was stocked with shampoo and soap. But I wasn’t so lucky with the closet—but for linen and blankets, it was bare.

A sudden knock on the door made me jump. “Just a sec,” I called as I grabbed one of the blankets and wrapped myself in it. Even though I was covered from head to toe, I still felt naked as I opened the door. But no one was there. Sitting on the floor was a small white cotton bag. I picked it up and closed the door.

Examining the contents, I found a hairbrush, razors, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and body spray. All in the same brands I used at home.

Trying not to think too much about that, I made quick use of the supplies and eventually began feeling more human.

Then it was time to go face Ronan again.


About the Author

Xela is a working mother of three, living in the Utah. Currently in her ninth year of teaching secondary education, she decided that after talking to students about achieving their dreams, she would take her own advice and complete a lifelong goal of writing a novel. When not playing Legos with her sons, or sorting through the endless laundry, you’ll find her watching The Walking Dead, horseback riding, or working on her next book.

Posted in .