A HALF-RISEN SUN
Sixteen-year-old Kittilyn Kite never expected the girl on her doorstep to be an interplanetary fugitive. As the heiress of a large—but crumbling—estate on the planet of Salome, Kittilyn was happy to oblige when a friend of a friend needed a place to stay. But once seventeen-year-old Lennox arrives, Kittilyn discovers she may have just invited someone very dangerous into her home.
Chipper Kittilyn and gruff Lennox do not mesh well, and at first Kittilyn can't think of a reason not to hand Lennox over to the police. If Kittilyn doesn't turn her in, she risks becoming a wanted criminal herself. But if she does give Lennox up, she could be putting an innocent girl in the hands of a corrupt government that has so often wronged Kittilyn's own family. What Kittilyn doesn't know is that Lennox may hold answers to questions about her family's past and the key to finally saving her estate from financial ruin.
A cross between Downton Abbey and Firefly, A HALF-RISEN SUN is the story of a debutante, a teenage hacker, and a dog named Milward who take on pretentious socialites, aggravating boyfriends, and the galactic government.
I had sixteen empty rooms but nowhere to put the rain-soaked girl who stood at my front door.
Over the past year, I had been forced to gradually sell off most of the furnishings and décor within Cherishbough Hall. The few remaining pieces included a small wrought-iron bed for myself, one piece of a sheersilk sofa set in the parlor, and a rickety wooden table in the kitchen.
But despite my predicament, my genteel breeding did not fail me. I would figure out somewhere for my off-planet guest to sleep. Members of the Kite family were nothing if not resourceful.
“Hello! You must be Lennox,” I said cheerily to the girl, who had yet to change her expression from anything other than a scowl. Her hair—a yellow I guessed was as bright as Salome's sun when dry but was a dour mustard color wet—clung to her face. A black stripe about two fingers thick on the right side of her hair ran from root to tip, like an outer reflection of an inner dark streak.
“I'm Kittilyn. Of course, you probably guessed that.” I waited for Lennox to laugh, but she didn't even crack a smile. I swallowed a nervous giggle. “Please, come in and we'll get you dry in no time.”
Lennox's shin-high boots squeaked as she entered the foyer. Her hair and clothes dripped puddles of rainwater onto the priceless, centuries-old marboleum floor.
Inside I was cringing with each splash, but I didn't bat an eye.