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Do I belong here? I write science fiction, and I know some regulars here have seen my writing, both in Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday and in Weekend Writing Warriors. Romance? Not always, by any means, but there are bits of romance, sweet rather than spicy, in my writing.

This excerpt is from the second book of the trilogy I’m writing, at the moment called Both Sides Now. (It was Horizon War, but I decided to save that for the whole trilogy.) Here Coralie, the first to speak, is talking with her brother Mik in advance of the yearly trek to new pastures undertaken by their horse nomad clan. Coralie has been nursing Kevi, who is an injured off-worlder in hiding. Bethe was the group’s midwife, who died during the last winter.

“Is anyone able to take Bethe’s place?”

“Tried to talk Doc into it, with the usual luck. He suggested we take Kevi.”

“Kevi? Mik, that’s a wonderful idea! But is he up to it? He’s made a very fast recovery, but he still tires quickly, and he can’t walk any distance.” She shivered a little, remembering the condition Kevi had been in when he had first arrived at the cave.

“He says he can ride. And he was balancing even when he was unconscious.”

“Well, he gets along with Joker. And he’s a good doctor and vet. Certainly he knows more than old Bethe did, and he’s good with animals and people both. Nonie, would you feel safe coming along on summer trek if Kevi comes too? You’d have to ride some. I can’t carry you double all the time! Mik, can we manage a gentle pony? Kevi’s been giving her lessons on Joker, but she really needs something smaller.”

The child came forward a step. “Kevi’s coming too?” she asked eagerly.

Mik looked as if a horse had kicked him in the head. “You’d feel safer with Kevi along?” he asked.

Nonie, by the way, is a little girl who has been raped and left for dead, and is panicky around most men.