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 continues her examination of the sick child, who has just proclaimed that “Fluffytail died…” :
Unsure if this was a significant fact, Saffia leaned closer, “And who or what is Fluffytail?”
The father gave the nanny a glare, “A pet my daughter was allowed to acquire on Hantimere, against my specific orders.”
“He was soft and sweet,” Liddy said, addressing Saffia, her voice hoarse, “He had stripey colored fur.”
“Sounds pretty,” Checking her patient’s inner left ear and then the right, Saffia followed up on the original point, “What kind of animal was it?”
The parents exchanged glances and the mother shrugged.
“A mangy rodent of some sort, big tail, annoying chitter. Fit for a street child to keep in a box, hardly suitable for my daughter. Why we’re wasting time discussing wildlife, I can’t imagine,” Having delivered himself of this heartfelt scorn, the father turned away with an oath and pulled out a feelgood stick.
“No smoking in here,” Saffia said sharply, “Didn’t the pet have papers describing its species? It must have to be allowed off the planet with Liddy.”
VS: And the rest of this discussion:
“She lured the beast in with food at the damn park,” the father said, stuffing the feelgood back into the elaborate metal box he’d withdrawn from his jacket pocket. “And allowed to sneak it aboard the ship.” He pointed at the nanny with his free hand and shouted, “And you will be getting fired.”
The child wailed, clinging to the nursemaid. The mother made soothing noises, directed at the husband, rather than the child.
“Seven hells, the damn thing probably got into a vent on the ship and is perfectly fine, living off crumbs in the crew mess for all I know,” he said. “Why all this interest in the animal anyway? My daughter is the one who’s sick. Unless of course the damn manager at the spaceport got it wrong and you’re actually a veterinarian.”
Ignoring the jab at her professionalism, Saffia said, “I was curious about the rash on her chest. Could have been an allergy to the pet fur.”
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…