Paperback available at World Weaver Press.
Covalent bonds aren’t just about atoms sharing electron pairs anymore—it’s about the electricity that happens when you pair two geeks together. This anthology celebrates geeks of all kinds (enthusiasts, be it for comics, Dr. Who, movies, gaming, computers, or even grammar), and allows them to step out of their traditional supporting roles and into the shoes of the romantic lead. Forget the old stereotypes: geeks are sexy.
Featuring nine stories ranging from sweet to hot, by authors G.G. Andrew, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Tellulah Darling, Mara Malins, Jeremiah Murphy, Marie Piper, Charlotte M. Ray, Wendy Sparrow, and Cori Vidae, Covalent Bonds is a chance for geeks get their noses out of the books, and instead to be the book.
Featuring my short story, Girl Meets Grammarian.
Poet Eliza Stein is trying to establish herself as a new professor at a prestigious university. But when she meets and quarrels with the older Dr. Kunal Narang over sentence diagramming, she realizes it’s going to be more difficult to stake out her place than she expected. If only Kunal wasn’t so infuriating, so infuriatingly charming–or so good with his hands.
EXCERPT of Girl Meets Grammarian:
She tossed her cup in the trash. “Diagramming is English class for people who should’ve been math majors,” she said to Dr. Narang.
Undeterred, he slowly shook his head. “What inept excuse for a teacher failed to teach you how to diagram a sentence?”
She laughed to cover her embarrassment. “No one failed me.” She wouldn’t admit to failing anything. Not to this man, not so publicly in her new position.
“No?” He stepped closer to her and paused. “You use a lot of references to the body when you speak. You talk about the senses.”
“Do you mind if I …” He offered his hand to her, his palm up, long fingers splayed out, and Eliza felt something grip her low in her belly.
She didn’t know what he meant exactly, but she placed her hand cautiously atop his.
He bowed over her arm, turning it with his warm fingers until her palm faced the ceiling. “I can show you how to feel a sentence. You see, the upper arm, it’s like the subject of a sentence, correct?” His hand stopped inches away from touching her upper arm. She looked up at his face to see him glancing at her with raised eyebrows, as if asking her permission.
She laughed nervously. “Are you going to diagram my arm?”
“Yes.” He gave her a Cheshire grin. “Is this your first time?”
She bit back a giggle, a blush filling her cheeks. “Yes.”
“I’ll be gentle, then.”
He rested his palm lightly on her forearm. “The subject is the upper arm. It guides the action, it often comes first.”
“An arm would look pretty funny if it didn’t.”
“Hush.” His palm slid down to cup her elbow and she felt the strength of his hand. “But the action, the thing around which everything pivots, is the verb.”
“The elbow.” He nodded. “It’s dynamic, it indicates movement, it begins the predicate.” He moved onto her bare forearm and Eliza felt the little hairs stand on end. “The predicate is the other part of the sentence, the second part of your arm. It’s controlled by the subject, but it’s very much its own, well, limb.”
“The hand—well, it’s maybe like the direct object of the sentence. Often near the end of the predicate, but a small, crucial part.” His fingertips grazed down her wrist until he gripped her fingers, turning her hand palm-down again.
Her breath caught.
“These fingers are like modifying words,” he continued. “Adjectives. I know you know words. Small things, but so very important to the whole arm, the whole sentence. They allow us to grasp things the way they’re intended. ‘Soft,’ for instance, in the sentence, ‘Dr. Stein’s hands are small and soft,’ would change the meaning of a sentence in a very real way. ‘Soft’ is one finger.” He touched her index finger lightly. “‘Small’ would be another. Or adverbs could be our sentence modifiers. Lively, shyly.” He touched the tip of each of her fingers as if counting them off.
Eliza wasn’t sure what was happening, how this man had ended up touching her or why it was sending small seismic activity to all the nerve endings of her body.
Want to keep reading this story and others? Get Covalent Bonds today!