Monday, March 30, 2020

Treasure Fever: New Release from California Author James B. McPike



What: Treasure Fever
Who: James B. McPike 
When: Get it now on AMAZON

What People Are Saying: 

“A brilliant blend of Dan Brown and National Treasure, McPike’s latest is the escape you need in today’s world. Put down your tired thriller and adventure fiction, because much like El Dorado, a real goldmine of a book is waiting for you in Treasure Fever.”

—Red City Review (5-stars)

“The character development is ingenious…there is a sort of James Bond-ish ending which is absolutely delightful.”
—Literary Titan

“McPike’s plot is imaginative and unpredictable.”
—Readers’ Favorite (5-stars)


SYNOPSIS:

Max Finley is an American spy tasked with tracking down an old flame responsible for the theft of a rare 16th century manuscript from Spain. Little does he know but she's hot on the trail of finding the long-lost city of El Dorado. A place of magnificent gold wealth left by the Inca Empire and pursued for centuries by treasure hunters abroad. 

But it’s also rumored to be cursed after expeditions were lost and explorers tragically perished. As Finley reluctantly joins her quest, he finds himself mixed up in a deadly game of international espionage and intrigue where the powers that be will do anything to stop him.

***
 Add to your shelf on GoodReads 
or 
buy now 
on Amazon!

***

About the Author 


Treasure Fever is McPike’s sixth novel. He wrote an acclaimed trilogy about an Israeli investigator on a mission to solve biblical mysteries before that. His books have been the recipients of numerous literary awards, including the Pacific Book Award and the Beverly Hills Book Award for The Lost Prophet. In 1998 he was recognized with an Honorable Mention for the William Saroyan San Joaquin Valley Writing Contest. He lives near Yosemite, California and is a member of the International Thriller Writers. Readers can reach him at mcpike@gmx.com or follow him on his Twitter page @JMcPikeAuthor




Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CHILD OF DARKNESS: NEW RELEASE DATE & SNEAK PEEK AT PROLOGUE


While it may appear that the apocalypse has struck us all amidst the COVID-19 epidemic, I can assure you that Cassidy Hart might disagree. My on-campus classes for the semester have been cancelled until at least August (boohoo!), which means I have a little bit more time during the week to work on my manuscript that was postponed in January. Currently I am planning an APRIL 2020 release for Resurrection: Child of Darkness. I don't want to give a specific date yet, because I may experience a few delays in formatting due to the current pandemic crisis. This is my tentative goal, as I've already got most of the work on the novel done. It's an interesting book, about forgiveness, rebirth, and parental love. But yeah, it's also mostly about survival, kick-ass action, and romance. THERE ARE A LOT OF ELEMENTS TO COVER HERE, OKAY? *wink* 

As disappointed as I am about the cancellation of my classes, the only way to handle it is to keep moving forward and setting new goals. Maintain productivity, no matter what! Keep doing those workouts! Keep organizing those cabinets! Stop what you're doing and enjoy coloring with your children - these are precious moments, and someday you will look back at this time and perhaps, instead of recalling the fear, you will instead recall the love. 

Emotions aside, I'm hoping to make a Kindle Pre-Order available for this book, and I plan on accompanying this release by a sale on the Resurrection Series, so that you guys can catch up with the series if you haven't already. If it so happens that I just suddenly have the book ready one day, I won't bother with the Pre-Order and I'll just release it immediately. Like I said, it's a fluid situation with this whole pandemic, so I'll have to play it by ear! Meanwhile, I am releasing the prologue to the novel here today, to whet your appetite for the mystery and action story that's coming your way. Cassidy Hart is back...and as you can see, so are a couple of other characters who you will soon be both reunited with and introduced to. 

Enjoy, and keep checking my social media pages (and here on Writing Belle) to stay in the loop about the release! I'll be updating daily at this point, since I'm quarantined along with the rest of you!
Meanwhile...enjoy this special look into Child of Darkness


  prologue 
“I love the sky,” she says, clutching my hand. Small fingers entwined in mine. Her black hair rustles in the cool breeze, carrying a hint of autumn. I crouch low beside her, peering across the vast landscape, an ethereal, rolling wilderness of mountains, trees, and impossibly puffy clouds. Rivers wind through the forest. Birds fly through the air. And, above all else, there is the quiet. 
The silence. The beautiful, blessed, peacefulness of nothing. 
Nothing but nature and my own heartbeat and the tiny hand holding mine. 
“What do you see?” I ask her. 
She looks up at me. Pale, cherubic face. Blue eyes. The touch of pink on her cheeks. Thick, warm jacket buttoned up to her neck. 
She says, “Clouds. Rain.” 
“How do you know there is rain coming?” I reply. 
“Smell.” She touches her rosy nose. “I smell it, Mama.” 
“Yes.” I smile softly. “We can smell the rain, and soon, we’ll feel it.” 
“Will it be cold?” 
“Maybe.” 
“Will it hurt?” 
“No. Rain is good. It waters the earth. Makes the plants grow.” 
“Like the L-A-B at home?”
I flinch. The Lab. Home. Her little mind, still struggling to grasp the breadth and size of the outside world, still relating it to things she knew on the inside: within the silo. The plants that grew in the hydroponics lab. The holoscreens that projected artificial images of the night sky onto the ceiling of the library. The playground that was nothing but plastic turf and fake trees. 
“No,” I say. “Not like the Lab. These trees and plants grow wild. There are too many for us to count.” 
She ponders this for a moment, squinting at the horizon. 
“When is Daddy coming back?” she asks quietly. Hopefully. 
I lick my lips. I have been waiting for this question. 
“He’s not coming back,” I say, my voice soft. Merciful. “Remember? I told you. He’s gone away.” 
“But why?” she pleads, confusion dancing in her eyes...and God, she looks like him. The dark hair, the pensive expression. The attention to detail and the need to be independent - to be alone. It’s only her eyes, so bright, so blue, that set her apart from him. So innocent. Still so pure. 
“I don’t know why,” I say, smoothing her hair back. “But see? You have a new friend now. He’s going to take care of you, just like Daddy did.” 
“I don’t want him,” she retorts. “I don’t want anyone. Just you and Daddy.” 
I exhale. This will be a battle we have for years, I think. 
“Watching the rain?” Chris asks. He steps carefully through the trees, a light backpack slung over his shoulder. “What do you see, Penelope?” 
“Rain,” she answers simply, turning from him. Her expression is clear to me, though. It says, This is not my Daddy. He never will be. 
Chris squeezes my free hand and I smile at him. He is like a breath of fresh air, like a ray of sunshine cutting through a dark room. His very presence brings me peace. And, after all these years, it brings me something else: normality. 
“I brought you something,” Chris says, kneeling beside Penelope. His hair is long again, strands hanging around his face, escaping his simple braid. He pulls an apple from his backpack. Penelope’s eyes widen. She has never seen an apple before and honestly, I’m curious as to where Chris got it - and what he traded for it. 
“What is it?” she asks.
“It’s called an apple,” Chris replies. “It’s very rare these days. It’s sweet. You’ll like it.” He holds it out to her. “Go on, try it.”
She stares at it, touching the edges, probing the red, circular fruit. She takes it and then very, very carefully bites into it. Juice runs down her chin. She smiles. 
“Yummy,” she whispers. 
Chris looks up at me, grinning. Progress. 
I live for moments like this. 
Moments where I can put the past behind me and enjoy my small family without wondering what tomorrow will bring. To breathe air. Fresh, real air. Not recirculated, recycled air. To see the sky. To touch the dirt and feel the brush of leaves against your skin as you walk through the forest. 
“I love you,” I say quietly, to both of them. “Forever.” 
“Forever, Mama,” Penelope echoes, offering the apple for me. “Forever.” 

Copyright 2020, Summer Lane
Do not reproduce, unless to quote, without the permission of the author.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  




Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Quarantine and Chill? Making the Most of Confinement

For those of us who have experienced what it's like to work from home, staying home to avoid increasing the spread of COVID-19 is not a new idea. I worked exclusively out of a home office for almost an entire decade, and the way of life that surrounds that sort of career is definitely unique in comparison to the rest of the world. Granted, I did have different jobs here and there (from journalism to teaching), but my HQ was always in a home office, and I spent much of my time squirreled away there. 

I understand that for many of you, being tucked away in a quarantine is not only strange, but somewhat upsetting. Don't worry! I understand. My routine has been disrupted as well. My daughter and I are used to leaving the house daily and exploring playgrounds and parks, an activity that has been put on pause thanks to this fun little pandemic situation. I'm also used to attending my on-campus college classes lately, and to suddenly be thrust into a structure-less schedule is more than a little annoying. 

Thankfully, I have old habits to lean on. I know how to make the best out of being cooped up in an office or a small space, and today, I'd love to share some of those ideas with you - and they are especially useful if you are now sharing a house full of children who are home from school! 

First, establish a routine. Anyone who has run a business out of their home will agree that having a routine is a great way of staying sane. For me, all those years of writing books required a routine. I would write for the first 4 hours of the day, break for lunch, move to office work (paperwork, PR, management correspondence, etc). After I was done, I would complete any other tasks that were pressing, and I would either finish the day with a workout or a visit with a friend. Dinner was the most relaxing and fun part of my day. It signaled the end of work and the beginning of a period of time where I could relax, watch a TV show, or take a hot bath. While this is a simplified example of what my day might have been like, you can see that if you have a routine, time passes quicker. Time, instead of becoming a drag, becomes an express train to productivity. I highly recommend establishing a routine while you're stuck at home. Get up at the same time every day (if possible), make breakfast, workout, do homework with your kids, make lunch, do arts and crafts, clean the bathrooms! There is a lot to do. The point is, routine is the key to maintaining control and sanity (trust me, I know). 

For those of you who are parents, you can do this! I understand that a lot of people are overwhelmed with suddenly having to school their children at home since COVID-19 has essentially temporarily shut down our educational system (at least in CA). You can do this! I encourage parents who are having a hard time teaching their kids to reach out to friends or family who are educators and ask for their help if you're having issues. Trust me, teachers are there to help! Getting your kids' homework done is also contingent upon a solid routine, as I discussed above. This won't last forever, so just remember to do your best. Do yourself and your kids a favor and don't stress. Homework is important, but it's even more important to keep your family healthy and relaxed while you're at home! Prioritize as needed. 

Something that I've been doing myself while we're at home is having one thing to look forward to at the end of the day. The days can be long sometimes, even within your routine. I have been making it a point to have something to look forward to every day. For example, whether it's watching a show together on Disney+ or baking a fun dessert, that is my reward for surviving the day. Maybe it's a hot bath for you. Maybe it's being able to read a few chapters of that book you've been wanting to escape into. Find what motivates you and use it to put a little sunshine in your day. 

Work on those projects! Why not? I'm using this time at home to further prepare for our big move (our new house is almost ready to move into)! I'm organizing cabinets and closets, catching up on laundry, and washing dishes. I'm a HUGE fan of the Marie Kondo method, so you can bet that there is going to be a lot of organization happening in my household for the next month or two. In fact, I just cleaned and reorganized my pantry this morning! I'm working on just one area of the house every day so that I won't get overwhelmed. Today it was the pantry. Tomorrow it's the medicine cabinet. After that, I'm reorganizing my closet and my daughter's closet. I have a list of goals that I would like to accomplish during this time. I find it very helpful to write it down! 

Conquer cooking! Maybe this sounds weird to you (or most likely, you totally relate), but I'd like to use this time to work on my cooking skills. Usually, life is so busy schedules are so crammed that I hardly have time to cook during the week, and I usually end up making casseroles or simple stir-fry dishes. I'd like to focus on cooking at least 1-2 new things per week, whether it's grilling meat on the stove or baking a new type of cookie. Use your rations and supplies wisely, of course. There's no reason you can't put a new twist on a dish, though! 

Don't let exercise fall by the wayside. This is a big deal for me, because I have worked extremely hard to get back in shape after having a baby in early 2019. Forcing myself to work out several days a week was one of the most challenging things I have ever done (because I honestly had a long, not-so-fun recovery after my child was born), but also the most rewarding. Being stuck at home will not defeat my workout schedule! I have decided to work out in the evenings (rather than the mornings, like I was doing during the school semester). My workouts are simple - usually 30 minute to 1 hour in length. I can do them in the living room, and there are days when I'm holding my daughter while I'm doing squats (hey, it's like weight training!). No matter how I get it done, it's important to me to maintain my physical health, and I heavily encourage you to engage in some kind of workout routine while you are at home, as well. You will not only feel better physically, but you'll feel better mentally, too! 

Let's be real. We can all take advantage of streaming services right now. I was never a big television person until my daughter was born. Suddenly I was stuck on the couch for hours at a time, attempting to nurse a newborn. I started getting engaged in more TV shows and movies on Netflix, and now thanks to Disney+, I've found so many fun shows and films that I love (I especially love a good classic movie, too). There's no shame in having fun and catching up on that new show you've been wanting to watch. A few shows I've been getting into lately? Locke & Keye, I Am Not Okay With This, Love is Blind, The Imagineering Story (on Disney+), Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Zumbo's Just Desserts, and because of my daughter, virtually every single princess movie ever (we are partial to Moana, Frozen, and Beauty and the Beast). I also am watching the Alien movies for the first time, and my husband and I just started watching Game of Thrones for the first time. We're definitely a little behind the trend, but at least we don't have to wait for all the seasons to be released now! 


For the writer, this is a good time to work on your manuscript. I am still busy. I'm taking 5 college classes this semester, and they are all being moved to an online format. I'll have plenty of homework to keep me busy, as well as attempting to entertain a 1-year-old who no longer can play at the public playground. All of that aside, I'm using the hours that I would normally spend on campus to finish my postponed manuscript, Child of Darkness. I would love to have a finished novel for you all to read during this COVID-19 crisis. I'm giving it my best shot!  


Don't let this crisis get you down. Remember that most of the drama surrounding COVID-19 (at least in the states) is due to the absolute atmosphere of hysteria and panic that people create by rushing stores and hoarding supplies. Just be smart, kind, and put your family first. Trust that God has this under control (because He 100% does). There is nothing on this Earth that happens that does not have His hand in it. I trust Him, and so should you! 








   


Thursday, March 12, 2020

CoronaVirus Panic: Prepping in Panic vs. Prepping in Common Sense

I have opinions about prepping for disasters. This is mostly due to the fact that I began my writing career as an author of survivalist fiction, and during the course of writing my original 10-part series, I did tons of research on, ahem, STAYING ALIVE during the end of the world. This whole #CoronaVirus panic got me thinking (yet again) how quickly and easily the general population flurries into an absolute panic, hoarding supplies and fearing the fall of man. This is not to say that the Coronavirus doesn't exist, and that it hasn't done some obvious physical harm to some people, but it's a good reminder that it doesn't take much to send the very fragile economy and stability of an entire country into a frenzy. Don't believe me? Go ahead and check out the toilet paper aisle of your local Costco. It's okay. I'll wait. 

As usual, most people wait until a crisis arrives to try and prepare for it. As far as the Coronavirus goes, there is a lot of media flash and flare associated with it, elevating the terror regarding the virus and unsurprisingly, causing even more panic. (If you're feeling panicked, please check out these articles debunking myths about the virus: Business InsiderCNBCForbesWHO.) Clearly the virus does pose a risk, but the bigger issue here is that people are panicking about it, and panic doesn't do anyone, anywhere, any good. 

Yes. Welcome to the human race. A crisis arises and people start panicking. Can you imagine the national and international chaos in the event of a much bigger crisis, such as a synchronized EMP attack on the United States or a world war? This is child's play in comparison. 

In light of the Coronavirus and what a stark reminder it should be to us to always be prepared anyway, here are a few things I believe can help families everywhere face a crisis with both calm and control. 


1. Be prepared, always. Honestly, everyone should have a little extra supplies on hand if possible, like TP and hand sanitizer. Since when did we become a society so oblivious to looking ahead more than a week at a time? Think long term. Every time you go grocery shopping, pick up ONE or two extra items, whether it's an additional bottle of Tylenol or a box of feminine hygiene items (hey, think of how hard life would be without them!), it's always good to have extra. Over time, you'll have a nice supply closet. 
2. Understand that people will always panic. You cannot stop the general populace from panicking. Accept that people react in mass, and move on with your life. Stay away from hotbeds of overreaction. For those of you who live in big cities, this is pretty much impossible, but you can minimize your contact with large groups of people by avoiding locations that may be problematic, like Costco on a Saturday. 
3. Protect your family, above all else. At the end of the day, when the you-know-what hits the fan, your family's safety is all that matters. The brainless mob of panic that may or may not surround a situation must be avoided at all costs! Place your family's priorities first, above all else. This is the mindset of survival. Keep your circle tight and trustworthy. Avoid heavy population centers. Stay out of the city. If you live in the city, get out. Go somewhere else (if the situation really is THAT bad). Large groups of people tend to do stupid things, so the less people who you are around, the better! 
4. As pertains to this current crisis, maintain basic hygiene. This should be a NO BRAINER. If you haven't been practicing hand-washing and covering your mouth when coughing already, what is wrong with you? It's a sad day when the Coronavirus makes people realize that it's JUST NOW a good idea to be sanitary. If you're a normal, decent human being with basic standards of cleanliness, thank you for exercising common sense. The rest of you? Please grow up and be clean. 
5. Treat Corona like the flu. By this I mean do what you would normally do to avoid the flu. Don't share drinks or food with people and again WASH YOUR HANDS. If you have a toddler or infant, wipe the handlebars of a grocery cart with a sanitary wipe before you let them sit in the seat. Yeah, there's no Corona shot developed yet, but there will be next year, most likely, from what I've been reading and seeing. Ride this year out with basic safety precautions, get the shot next year, and guess what? STILL BE HYGIENIC. You should always be hygienic. I can't believe I even have to say this....
6. Food runs out quickly, just like hand sanitizer. Like the concept of grabbing an additional supply here and there at the store for items like TP and soap, you should also be stocking up here and there on canned goods, rice, distilled water, and if you're really feeling into it, MREs (they last forever and they are excellent emergency food). The same goes for dog food! Do you have pets whom you love and care for? Keep extra food and water for them on hand. Remember, EVERY member of your family must be protected. I even recommend stocking up on some extra pet supplies like flea and tick medication, dewormer, and so forth. The same goes for medications and prescriptions of your own. At the very least, have some painkillers stocked up, some multivitamins, C tablets, and maybe even Omega 3 capsules. You really CAN'T be too prepared. 
7. Have an escape plan. This is a very important part of being prepared. Hopefully, no crisis will ever come to this, but it's a really good idea to have a confirmed plan of exit for your family in the event of a disaster. How will you get out of your city or apartment? Where will you go? How will you transport your family there. Know ahead of time. You don't need to sit around and stew, steeped in panic. Make a plan and agree on it as a family. Place the plan aside. Only use it when needed. Like Cassidy Hart says, "Hope for the best, get ready for the crappy." 

I have spent so much time thinking about survival and prepping because 1) like I said, I started my career writing survivalist fiction and became saturated in the concepts of prepping over the years and 2) it's just basic common sense. It's never paranoia or stupid to be ready for a crisis. I think the Coronavirus - while it does pose a valid threat and contracting it would suck - can be easily combated by common sense. By basic hygiene. By cool-headed reasoning. It is an excellent reminder to us to be ready for anything, and I guess I can thank Cassidy Hart for that attitude. She has taught me well. 

Want to read my #1 bestselling series about survival, warfare, and fighting back? Check out the Collapse Series on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Be prepared for anything! 
Copyright 2020 Summer Lane




Thursday, February 27, 2020

Literature, Libraries, and Little Ones: The Influence of Lit on Young Minds and the Libraries That Support Them

I don't really remember a time when I didn't read. I can remember, quite clearly, the first time I strung together the words in a learn-to-read book with my mom. I remember the elation and sense of accomplishment I had when it dawned on me that those squiggly little letters formed words, which formed sentences, which in turn, formed entire ideas. It was like cracking Enigma. Exhilarating! My fascination with this concept has never diminished. Reading is a wonderful escape into a brave and unknown world, and it has gotten me through many hard spots in my life. Without reading, I would not be who I am today. 

Let's take this a step farther. Without reading, would any of us be where we are today? Lately, I've been spending a lot of time studying libraries. I'm currently finishing my B.A. and one of the topics of an essay that I'm writing is "The Importance of Libraries." I have chosen to focus on how literature affects children in society, and furthermore, why libraries play an important role in it. Reading, as I'm sure you know, has an integral effect on children. The child who reads becomes a child who has a higher chance of achieving not only academic success later in life, but economic success as well. And let's face it: reading a paperback book is different than reading a digital one. In fact, in an article written by Ferris Jabr for the Scientific American, he discusses the influence that the digital world is having on us. "Compared with paper," he says, "screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder for us to remember what we read when we are done." 

Paper books, then, suddenly begin to seem all the more important. Yet this brings us to another point: does this mean we should simply shove literature at our children and expect them to read - and love - the same books that we do? I say no. It is not up to us to force our children to love to read. We shouldn't need to do that. Children will naturally gravitate toward the books they like, and we should allow them to do so without our interference. In fact, it is the child who is an engaged reader - that is, the child who finds reading to be an enjoyable activity - who is even more likely to succeed in other areas later in life. In his well known lecture in 2013 ("Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming"), prolific author Neil Gaiman says, "The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read." (catch his full speech on YouTube)

This is profound. Over the past 8 or so years, I've found that this concept is startlingly true. I've met with many writing students who, at the beginning of the semester, clearly stated, "I don't like to read. It's boring." By the end of the semester, they will have read over a dozen books in my class! How is that possible? How do we take a child who hates to read and help them see that it can be a wonderful experience? We allow them to read what they want. One of the ways I do this with my students is to first ask them, "What are your favorite movies?" What are the films or hobbies that keep them entranced and fascinated? That is usually a good starting point to help find a genre or category of book that will fit for them. Why are we so concerned with pushing literature at children that is "literary" or "academic?" Truth be told, children don't care. They just want to be entertained. They want to have fun. And it is in the process of reading something that totally captivates them that they begin to learn to process information in a totally new way. They learn to use their imaginations. This is an incredible skill that will come in handy for the rest of their lives. For example, many scientists or cultural leaders grew up reading science fiction! Jane Goodall (a primatologist and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute), told the HuffPost in 2014 that "Three books of my childhood probably had the greatest impact on my life. 'The Story of Doctor Doolittle," and Tarzan of the Apes..." (she later goes on to mention The Miracle of Life as the third book!)

It is clear that those who read are setting themselves up for success later in life. Science Daily reports in this article that "Children who read and write at home - whether for assignments or just for fun - are building long-term study and executive function skills, according to a paper from the University of Washington." 

So how does this factor into the importance of brick and mortar libraries? In an increasingly digital world, where children are far more likely to play a game of Plants vs. Zombies on a tablet than hide their nose in a dog-eared paperback copy of Little Women, libraries are a much-needed resource for the children of today. You could say that checking out a paper book from the library is actually a novelty, something a child will delight in. Librarians are there to help guide children toward something that will interest them. It is a communal, societal melding of culture and creativity. Libraries are a center for the arts and for education. They provide access to books - and this is especially important for low-income families who could not otherwise provide literature for their children. Without libraries, how will our children learn to love to read? 

The importance of libraries and the influence of literature on young minds is a single issue. They support each other and lend to each other. We must support reading in our children because doing so will set them up for a successful, creative life. We must support our libraries because they can provide our communities with these tools for our children. So today, when you come home from work and your child is clamoring for attention or asking to watch something on television, reach for a book instead. Read aloud (reading aloud is also supremely important for a young, developing mind: it teaches pronunciation, syntax, and broadens the vocabulary). If your child shows interest in reading Harry Potter but you would rather they read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, don't deter them! Never mock a child for their interest in a story or genre. It may be different than your tastes, but that doesn't mean that it is wrong. Encourage their reading, always. In doing so, you are molding the next generation of creative world changers. 






All images are royalty free images, sourced from PixaBay.
Articles referenced have been linked in the body of the essay.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Springtime Update for Writing Belle: Getting Back Into Writing (and release announcements)

It's been crazy around here! For the first time in an entire decade, I took a short hiatus from novel-writing. My break has lasted roughly 2 months (honestly not long enough, but I'll take what I can get!), and it's been one of the most cleansing experiences of my life. For me, after writing 25 + books in less than 8 years, a small break was greatly needed. I recently began my journey to finishing my B.A. as well, and that has kept me busy too. I'm taking almost 20 units this semester, and with a running, leaping toddler to keep me on my toes, there aren't enough hours in the day to juggle coursework with mom life. But hey - I wouldn't want it any other way! 

It's possible that you're not up to speed on my announcement regarding Child of Darkness. I was forced to push the release out a few months, due to the fact that I personally felt the novel was not up to par with my normal standards. I hadn't had enough time to finish the manuscript, and I hate rushing through a project like this. Therefore, this installment of Cassidy Hart's latest adventure will release Summer 2020 instead. I am currently working on it between my mounds of homework and toddler meal-prep. I deeply apologize for the delay, but you'll be much happier as a reader if I take my time with the story rather than simply release it to make a deadline. The story is important to me, and to maintain the quality and integrity of Cassidy and crew, I just need to take a few more months to finish the novel. 

My daughter, Lacey Esther.
Last fall, I also released a special sneak peek into my science-fiction novel project, titled EXPEDITION 99. I have no release date on that, as I'm still working on the first draft, but that is definitely another project that's on my horizon. 

We also celebrated my daughter's first birthday in January! Where has the time gone? I have a toddler on my hands now! She sings, she dances to music, and she is the most motivated, cheerful child in the world. What an incredible year it's been! 

I appreciate your readership and love so much, and am very grateful for your patience as I create the next Cassidy Hart novel. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of you! 

Stay tuned on Writing Belle for more posts. My hiatus has ended, so I will resume regular posting again. I can't wait to get started! 



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

RESURRECTION: CHILD OF DARKNESS | COVER REVEAL!

Title: Resurrection: Child of Darkness 
Series: Resurrection Series #5
Author: Summer Lane 
Release Date: January 18, 2020 
Synopsis: 

The darkness swallowed us up, but now...
We're coming back into the light. 

In the wake of devastating nuclear attacks across the globe from the evil, fanatical leader Ares, President Cassidy Hart and Uriah True have been forced underground. The militias have gone silent. The rebellion has gone dark. It seems like the war - and the world - has ended at last. 

Cassidy and Uriah find themselves appointed as commanders in an underground bunker society, Silo Nation. Life is carefully controlled, regulated, and structured. Humanity is preserved beneath the surface of the earth...or is it? What secrets are preventing Cassidy from seeing the light of day again? Will she be able to protect her daughter from the evils that lurk within the bunker? What about the rest of the militias? Is Chris Young still alive? Is there any life left on Earth? Is Ares dead? 

So many questions. So much fear. 
So little hope. 

When confronted with a terrifying but challenging question, Cassidy decides to push back against the toxic leadership of Silo Nation and discover the truth about the apocalypse, and the world outside. She fought for freedom, once...

The fight is not over yet. Hope will be born anew. 

Step out of the darkness...and into the fallout. 

*** 
Huge shout-out to my friend Steven Catizone, for creating, once again, an awesome cover for this novel. Resurrection is the second-to last book before Cassidy Hart's personal adventures come to a final close. It will continue her journey of survival and leadership, loss and love. 

Many, many questions will be finally answered. It will all come down to one moment, one very important fork in Cassidy's path. She will have to make a decision, a choice, that will change the course of her life forever. 

Chris Young will be back, as well as a few beloved and familiar characters from the Collapse Series. January 18, 2020 is the launch date for this novel, and I am so excited! January 18, 2013 was the day that I launched my very first novel, State of Emergency, so it's a bit of a meaningful date for me. 

Until then...the countdown is on! Tomorrow, November 27, my digital books will drop to 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for my annual Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale! Also, keep an eye out for my Christmas novella surprise! I can't WAIT to share this story with you, it's been a pure joy to write. Just good, clean fun! 

More later, writing peeps! Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!