I'm excited to welcome back Veronica Scott who has a new release. I'm such a fan girl of Veronica's, her books are always a 1-click for me. At the end of the post, I've posted my review.
Thanks for having me as your guest! I’m a huge fan of your blog and your books so it’s great to be here.
My latest book COLONY ON FIRE, is a bit different for me because I’m writing a series where I’m following the same couple in each book. Saffia the human doctor and Micah the Calinurra Chief Ranger first appeared in COLONY UNDER SIEGE and I found I really enjoyed the world I’d created and wanted to ‘stay there’ and tell more stories about it and watch the two of them grow in their relationship.
As I mentioned last year when explaining the first book, Haven Two is loosely inspired by an island where I have relatives, which we used to visit in the summer when I was a kid. (All people and places in the books are fictional, however.) The real island triples in population during the summer season, as wealthy off-islanders arrive and the divide between the two sets of people is quite clear. Since we had family on the island, we were almost-but-not-quite accepted and I’m sure I heard a lot of conversations about the whole topic when I was a kid. So perhaps more than most books I write, I personally feel at ‘home’ there and can visualize the setting quite clearly.
This book is standalone, however, and picks up in Saffia’s second year on the job. She owes the Sectors five years total as a colony doctor in order to get forgiveness on her medical school loans. Having fallen in love with Micah in the first year, she’s quite content – now – to stay.
Here’s the blurb:
When she came to Haven Two Dr. Saffia Mandell expected to grimly do her five years of medical service as the colony’s only doctor, work off her medical school debt and leave. Then she’d fallen in love, handled an epidemic and become an accepted member of the community. Now, in her second year, she faces new challenges as the tinder dry planet heads into a fire season and a mysterious food allergy threatens the local restaurant’s reputation.
Chief Ranger Micah Navonn of the Calinurra never expected to fall in love with a human woman but Saffia was a special person who captured his heart and now means everything to him. Not all of his people are as enthusiastic about the situation and his efforts to handle the politics are getting complicated. Add to that an infestation by insects from another world, causing portions of the forest to die off and his plate is full.
When the jet stream shifts course and the fires rage, will the colonists and the Calinurra set aside their differences? With Saffia’s life hanging in the balance, can Micah arrive in time to save her and the colonists in jeopardy?
Life on Haven Two never lets up…
Here’s an excerpt from her first trip to a remote village, in her refurbished mobile medical clinic. This part of the trip is based a tiny bit on the Fourth of July parades on the island I mentioned above, in that the real life parade would march down the main street, turn around and march back! One of my treasured memories is participating in that parade as a kid. The excerpt:
“This is a genuinely small town, doc. You coming up here is a huge thing to them, mark my words. I’m sure it’s the biggest news Northern Station’s had in a long time. The good thing is, there aren’t that many residents so even if there’s a crowd, it’ll be tiny.” Micah snapped his fingers as a new thought clearly occurred to him. “We should make a bet.”
“On what?” she asked, genuinely curious.
“Whether there’s a parade.”
Saffia burst out laughing at the ludicrous suggestion. “Oh come on, don’t be ridiculous. Of course they wouldn’t do anything so silly.”
Utterly serious, Micah shrugged. “I don’t know. Bet me.”
Willing to play along and take the minimal risk, she asked, “What are the stakes of this awesome bet?”
His answer was prompt. “I win, you take an extra day off and go on a day hike with me. We haven’t made nearly enough time for exploring the wilderness lately. I have a special fishing spot and a waterfall I want to show you.”
Saffia decided to negotiate for something important to her. “All right. And if I win and there’s no parade, I want a kitten.”
A few minutes later they flew over the town and she studied the vids with interest. “This place is tiny. I mean, I knew it was nowhere near as big as the main village on the coast but wow—I might have overestimated how much time to allocate for this trip.” There’d been a short main street strip lined by shops, with a few houses scattered around, a school and a small office building and that was the extent of Northern Station.
“Most of the people live in the woods on large lots,” Micah said calmly as Saffia circled the bare landing pad on the south side of town. “Each household its own little forest kingdom. You’ll see. The mine is a few miles further north.”
Proud of her new skills as a pilot, Saffia set Gretchen smoothly on the edge of the paved space and heaved a deep sigh as she cut the power.
“I could have flown part of the time,” Micah said, studying her. He rose, stepped behind her chair and massaged her shoulders. “Your muscles are tight enough to snap.”
She rolled her head side to side, enjoying the pressure of his strong fingers, working the tension out. “I’ll be all right. It was important for me to prove to myself I could fly Gretchen up here solo since you can’t exactly drop everything to accompany me each time.”
There was a knock on the cockpit door and Roann the nurse along for the trip stuck her head in. “Hey, you guys, sorry to interrupt and all but there’s kind of a brass band waiting outside.”
“What?” Saffia straightened in shock and Micah stepped out of the way as she surged to her feet. Activating the outer vids she saw her nurse wasn’t kidding. A group was waiting on the edge of the landing pad and there did indeed seem to be a small band.
“Told you.” Micah was gracious enough in victory not to laugh as he stood aside for her to pass on the way out into the main cabin. “Face it, you’re a big deal, doc.”
Normally she wasn’t vain about her appearance but Saffia wished she could take a moment to at least fix her hair a bit but she’d already kept the good people of Northern Station waiting long enough. Mortified, she triggered the portal and Gretchen’s ramp slid out as the panel moved efficiently aside. There was a cheer as she stepped onto the ground and the band struck up a slightly wavering rendition of a fanfare. With annoyance she was aware of Micah stifling his amusement behind her, whether he was taking delight in being right about the scale of her welcome or the dubious musicality of the band she had no idea.
Roann came behind him. “Whoa, the town is sure pulling out all the stops for us, doctor.”
There was now a banner waving with “WELCOME DR. MANDELL and STAFF” emblazoned on it.
So is there a parade? No spoilers from me!
Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
My Review: 5 Stars
My Review: 5 Stars
Another treat from Veronica Scott. I was thrilled when I learned of this sequel to Interstellar Plague. I love this couple. Saffia & Micah are perfect for each other. Each is strong and independent yet are stronger together. Excellent world building, as always. The dangers they face are so real it kept me on the edge of my seat. Despite this being on a frontier planet, the instructions when facing a fire are just as relevant to us today. This story was just what I needed for escape.