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: I’ve jumped ahead a few days. Micah, the Chief Ranger, has rescued an injured hunter, had to track down the mama grizval (a big furry predator with fangs and huge claws) the hunter had shot and now…
Much later in the evening, Saffia got a call from Micah. “Calling to check on Dayn,” he said. “Were you able to save his arm?”
“Yes, although we’re trying to get him to Sector Hub for advanced care and therapy.” She couldn’t stop herself from grimacing. “I never knew there could be so much paperwork and process. Henry’s handling most of it but I have to review and sign everything. Thanks to your fast action today, at least Dayn has an arm to save. I’m not sure how the colony’s charity fund regards cyber augmentation parts.” She peered more closely at the vid. Micah looked as tired as she felt. “How are you? Did you find the grizval and the cubs?”
VS: The rest of the scene:
He rubbed his forehead and frowned. “Dayn did wound her. I trailed her for about a mile and then found her down in the brush. I had to end her misery.”
Even though she was terrified of grizvals and despite the fact she’d spent all day trying to save the life of the man who’d shot the animal, sorrow for the creature touched Saffia’s heart strings. “Tragic news.”
“Yeah, not a good day. The one bright spot is I managed to find the den and retrieve the cubs. I’ve got them here at the ranger station, penned up in back. You can probably hear them in fact, squalling.” He winced as a particularly loud yowl reverberated in the background.
She grinned because she could indeed hear the ear splitting noise. “Now what? Will you hand raise them?”
“I have a team coming in tomorrow to take them on. We have an animal conservation center deep in our own territory where the cubs can be cared for and eventually released into the wild. Right now they’re in the cute stage, which helps, since I’ll have to bottle feed them a couple times in the middle of the night. I won’t be so mad when I get up at 2AM once I see their faces.” Micah’s eyes were soft and he chuckled.
Remembering the adult grizval pictures she’d seen in her briefing packet, Saffia shuddered. “Hard to imagine.”
Micah’s next remark surprised her, as he issued an unexpected invitation. “Want to come see them? Can you get away for a little while?”
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…