Wednesday, March 25, 2020


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

“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?” 
“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.


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