I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and enjoying delightful fall weather (in the Northern Hemisphere) or delightful spring weather (in the Southern Hemisphere).
Before I get into the main news of the day, I wanted to let you know that the Chirp deal on the first two audiobooks in the Doctor Rowena Series is still going strong. You can currently get the audiobook of Campus Confidential for 99c here and the audiobook of Permanent Position for $1.99 here.
Okay, now for the big news. I’m thrilled to say that the I have a special treat this week–a sneak peek of Honor Court! Yes, book 5 in the Doctor Rowena Halley series is here!
Well, not quite here. I’m still doing another round of proofreading. But in the meantime, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Honor Court. If you’re intrigued and want to know more, it’s currently available for preorder here.
Some background: Rowena and Chloe are having lunch together on the first day of the spring semester. As the scene starts, Chloe is telling Rowena about her mysterious ongoing health problems.
“Deal. So, they kept going on and on about somatization disorder and did I have any episodes of childhood trauma and what was my difficult childhood like growing up in the ‘hood. I told them I grew up in a loving nuclear family in a well-to-do suburb of Atlanta and I had about the least traumatic childhood a person could have, but they just shook their heads and muttered stuff about repressed memories and sent me to get more psychiatric counseling.”
“Is it helping?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Maybe. I keep trying to tell myself that at least they didn’t find anything really wrong with me, but I tell you what, there were times when I was hoping they would, just so that I could get them to take me seriously—is that girl trying to talk to us?”
A girl in a headscarf was edging towards us. Gosh, she looks North Caucasian, I thought.
“Professor Halley? The Russian professor?”
She sounds North Caucasian too. “Yes?” I said.
“I, um…I hoped I can talk to you,” she said in a rush.
“Yes, of course.”
“In Russian?” she asked hopefully.
“Of course,” I said in Russian.
“Oh, thank God! I’ve been here for years but I still don’t feel comfortable speaking English. My name’s Aishat, by the way.”
Boy, does she sound Chechen. The hairs on the back of my neck had risen at the sound of her distinctive Caucasian hard “n.” Which was completely unfair. Probably she was a perfectly nice person who had nothing to do with the man who had held me at gunpoint in Moscow. But the visceral terror provoked by her accent remained.
“So is Russian your native language, then?” I asked.
“Well…” She looked down, twisting her toe on the floor. “Chechen,” she mumbled, not catching my eye.
“I thought so,” I said.
“Really?” Now she did look up. “Do you know many Chechens, then?”
“I’ve known some,” I said. “Do you want to take Russian classes?” I couldn’t think of any other reason for her to seek me out, although I was surprised that she would do that. There was not a lot of love lost between Chechens and Russians, as a general rule. But maybe it was the closest she could get here in small-town Georgia to reconnecting with her native culture.
“No.” Now she was looking down at the ground again. “I, um…I might need your help. Over a question of honor.”
So there you have it! Here are those links again if you’re interested: