Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)
May be edited a bit from published version.
The excerpt: Saffia begins her examination of the sick child:
“She’s never sick, doctor,” said the mother, wringing her hands, “This was the closest system with a Sectors’ trained physician so we came here—”
Cutting across the narrative, Saffia asked, “How long has the child been sick?”
With a helpless shrug, the mother stared at her husband, who was no help and then counted on his fingers silently, “First there was a rash and then she started coughing and now she has a fever—”
“Three days,” the nanny said, “Not improving.”
Saffia snagged her rolling stool with one foot and sat in front of the child, who was red-eyed and obviously miserable, “Hi, I’m sorry, I missed your name.”
“Liddy Grace Fremington-Ulms,” she said in a thin voice, followed by a coughing spell.
“Could you get me a glass of water?” Saffia asked the nanny, “There are disposable cups in the dispenser at the sink.” Using her medical handheld, she got the child’s vital signs. Heart rate was higher than normal, temperature was concerningly elevated and the child’s chest was mildly congested. Addressing herself to the mother, she fired off more questions, “Anyone else sick on the ship? Anyone sick at your last port of call?”
VS: And the rest of this exchange with the parents, wherein a key fact is revealed:
“No and no,” Mrs. Fremington-Ulms said. “We were on Hantimere Ten, for the big races, which of course Comet Queen won, you may have heard about the incredible upset even here on this backwater planet—”
“Cleaned up on my ten to one odds bet,” the father said jovially, buffing his nails on his jacket and admiring a huge ring on his left hand.
“And then we went to Walink Three for the space regatta where we hosted Jervy Hinkston’s reception and—“
“Fluffytail died,” the girl said in a woebegone voice between sips of the water.
The blurb: Newly graduated from a prestigious interstellar medical school, Dr. Saffia Mandell has been assigned to the Haven Two colony on the galaxy’s outer rim as the only doctor for some 2000 human residents. She’s counting the days until her five years there is up, trying to adjust to rural living after life in the crowded Inner Sectors and fighting her attraction to Chief Ranger Micah Navonn. She’s dreading the upcoming tourist season when the rich and pampered will descend on the planet for the scenic wonders and novel sports opportunities and no doubt inundate her little clinic but the colony depends on the seasonal income to survive.
As the senior official for his people, the Calinurra, the indigenous inhabitants of Haven Two, Micah enforces the treaty, regulates the tourist permits, patrols the forests and resists his fascination with Dr. Mandell. He never expected to be involved with a human woman and doesn’t want to believe in the concept of a fated mate. He wants to keep his life simple and isn’t ready for any long term commitment. Besides Saffia keeps proclaiming she’ll be leaving when her appointment is up in four and a half years so why should he risk his heart?
Then a ship arrives unexpectedly carrying a very ill little girl and soon the deadly virus is spreading through Haven Two. The colony authorities are desperate to cover up the problem to preserve the all-important tourist season and Saffia and Micah have to work together to battle the outbreak, the local administration and their undeniable feelings for each other.
Can the colony survive? And will Micah and Saffia be able to move past their fears about entanglements to act on the mutual attraction?
An 87K word novel of the far future…