Once a month the Science Fiction Romance Brigade authors showcase snippets from new work, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things. The link is here for all the participants.
I had a new release in April – STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK, so here’s an excerpt from the book. I realize this coming weekend is Mother’s Day in the USA, so I picked an excerpt involving one of the guests, caught in the epidemic aboard the interstellar liner. This episode is early in the book, when everyone believes the bug is an annoying but pretty harmless norovirus.
The actress was pale, which emphasized the dark shadows under her eyes. “I’m predictably nauseous the first few days of traveling at hyperspeed,” she said, rubbing her abdomen. “But this is excessive. I haven’t been able to keep anything down today.”
“You should rest after I give you the Galamialate,” Emily advised. She frowned at her scanner and redid the readings. “Hold on a minute. No Galamialate for you, I’m sorry.”
“But, Doctor, I have commitments. I have to be in the casino in two hours. We’re filming a segment of the infotainment special there with the ship’s dance troupe. That’s why I called you—the show must go on, you know. It’s not merely a nice slogan—we have a contract to fulfill.” Liora twisted the blanket in her trembling hands. “Can’t you give me something to relieve this nausea? Give me an energy boost?”
Emily hesitated, but there was no easy way to broach the topic. “Are you aware you’re pregnant?”
Tears glistening in her eyes, Liora nodded. “I hoped I might be. We’ve been trying for some time now. Sid doesn’t know yet.”
“I won’t tell him unless it becomes medically necessary. But you can’t have Galamialate, which can cause birth defects in Terran-descent humans. Have you been pregnant before?”
“Not to my knowledge. We’ve had no luck at all. Until now, apparently.” Liora’s smile grew but was only a pale imitation of the glowing expression she was known for across the Sectors. “I’m from a big family and so is Sid. We’ve wanted children so badly.” She laughed. “You must not read the gossip feeds. The story of my infertility has been a headliner for the past two years. Ever since we got married.”
“I’ve been pretty much immersed in my own life.” Frustrated at her lack of direct experience in obstetrics after one rotation in med school years ago, Emily thumbed through the reference library on her personal AI. “I’m afraid my clinical training on pregnancies is limited. I was a military doctor on the frontlines. Blaster burns, trauma from explosions and the like. Not much here for morning sickness.” She asked a few questions about other symptoms and performed a more detailed exam than she’d planned. “The pregnancy appears to be progressing well. No issues there. My diagnosis would be nothing more than a mild case of the norovirus compounded by morning sickness.”
“All-day-and-night sickness.” Liora grimaced, rubbing her stomach. “She must take after me, hates space travel.”
“She?” Emily glanced at her scanner and smiled.
Liora held up a hand. “Don’t tell me. I’m old-fashioned and I want to be surprised. Until the birth, I’m going to think of the baby as she. I’ve dreamed of having a little girl.” The actress frowned. “The gossips would pay a fortune for this story.”
“I’ve had some experience with being hounded by the media myself,” Emily said. “You’ll have nothing by sympathy on that score from me.”
“Oh right, you’re the Angel of Fantalar. I’m sorry, I forgot.”
“I wish I could.”
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target. If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…