Please welcome today’s guest, Ellora’s Cave author, Nina Pierce! ~DD
I’m not sure what it is exactly about science fiction that totally intrigues me. Perhaps it’s the fantasy of anything goes or the what if of alternative reality. Whatever the draw, I find stories about the future just suck me right in.
I’ve watched i-Robot, Logan’s Run, Star Wars and X-Men countless times. I’ve read Anne McCaffrey’s “Freedom” series until the pages were dog-eared. And don’t even get me started on Star Trek. I can name an episode from the original series after watching 5 seconds… okay 10 seconds…of any clip. So to set my stories in a new world just seemed natural for me. I love creating places that either don’t exist or occur in the natural world that’s been changed and imagining the things that could be.
My newest novel Healer’s Garden takes place in an alternative future…a world where a virus released during the melting of the polar ice caps in the late 21st century killed off nearly all human males and a large portion of the females. It’s now the 23rd century. Sperm is no longer viable for artificial insemination, cloning has not been perfected and infants that are born rarely survive. Woman outnumber men fifty to one, but they are genetically superior having been born with advanced gifts of telekinesis, visions or the highest honor—healing.
The situation is dire. In order for the human race to survive the government has stepped in and built breeding facilities where every woman is expected to reside for two years in hopes of procreating. Men of acceptable genetic viability are raised to work as breeders at these facilities known as Gardens.
And this is where my story begins.
Healer’s Garden is the story of a gifted Healer who has managed to hold off her obligation to the Garden. But Jahara Hriznek is nearly twenty-eight and no matter how prestigious her position, she can no longer put off the inevitable. She must now mate with a male—a distasteful task.
Brenimyn is the breeding instructor at the Garden of Serenity. He’s been enslaved for nearly three years, required to copulate with all woman who request is services. But he waits impatiently for the one woman who has been prophesied to help bring about equality between the sexes. But he’s not sure how much longer he can wait.
Jahara doesn’t want to enjoy the sinful rapture only Brenimyn brings to her body. Brenimyn has no intention of dousing the flames of desire licking at them until Jahara is completely his—body, mind, and heart. But when the government finds their loving relationship a threat to the natural order, there may be more than their stubborn wills at stake.
Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One:
Jahara Hriznek’s life was over. The evidence weighed heavy in her hands. In the time it had taken to do the retinal scan, her future had been stolen from her.
As she stood at the tall bank of windows, staring at the distant mountains, Jahara knew nothing could change this new course of her life. She felt the hollow reality as obviously as the barren expanse of desert stretching between her and the horizon. There was nothing to break up the monotony of the landscape. Nothing to take her mind off the inevitability of the days to come. Nothing to bring back the future she’d thought lay before her when she woke this morning.
No helo-vehicles were out this time of day. It was still much too hot for people to leave the climate-controlled confines of the buildings in the city on the other side of the mountains. It would be a few more hours still before the sun sat low enough to make the commute across the blistering sands a safe one. Then the nearly empty roadway, three stories below, would bustle with solar powered helo-vehicles and buses.
She wouldn’t be among the commuters winding their way from the Eastern Territory’s capital city of Lexington into her little village. Jahara had taken a much-needed day of rest from the healing facility.
The city’s new government expansion had brought with it careless male workers whose stupidity forced them to the hospital in droves for emergency services. Those healers not completely repulsed by the men’s presence were forced to work overtime to treat the injuries. Jahara had been fielding complaints and filling in for overworked healers for weeks.
For one day she’d wanted to think about nothing more taxing than what music selection she would pull from her computer files. She’d planned on using some of her monthly water allotment and soaking in a hot bath rather than her daily chemical wash. Jahara had even considered calling Merenith and convincing her to take the day off from the animal clinic and lounge around with her. She had no doubt her current lover and she could find ways to entertain each other.
But none of that had happened.
The messenger service had shown up at her door early this morning, delivering the wretched news. Had she known they were making their way to her, Jahara definitely would have worked at the hospital today and long hours into the night. Using her hands to heal males was preferable to holding this retched projection disk.
Now, as Jahara glared at the palm-sized disk, fear burned the back of her throat and trembled along her chin. Hot tears of anger welled in her eyes. She shouldn’t be so upset. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t known this was coming. Her twenty-eighth birthday was next month. It was law. Her birth-mother, the Dame of her family, had held off the inevitable as long as possible. Jahara’s position as medical director had, up until this day, kept her from fulfilling the horrid obligation. But no woman, no matter how prestigious her position, ever ran from it. The thought soured in her stomach.
Thanks, Delilah, for letting me hang out on your blog today.