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It's been a long while since I wrote out a blog post. Been busy writing and tackling a bunch of different projects. I do give updates more often to my newsletter subscribers, 1-2 times a month, along with other content such as giveaways and manuscript input, and post often on social media with more day to day type updates. So if you're looking for those kinds of updates/content, subscribe and follow me!

 

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Over the past few months I've diligently worked away on book 4 of the Experimental Heart series. I'm happy to announce, that book is in pre-production and will come out early October! The book is nearly finished with the editing process and the cover is in progress.

 

But that can't be the only thing I've worked on, right? Well, you'd be correct. I've sealed a deal with fellow author F.P. Spirit and the two of us have worked on a collaboration project. My roll in it was minor, but we enjoyed it enough where we've chosen to do another project together. I can't share much on either project at the moment, but know, that information will be coming at some point.

 

I've also been diligently working on book 5 of the EH series, and started a romance book to be published some time next year. There were some talks about audio books but it was placed on hold for a few reasons. That will resume in time, though I'm not sure when.

 

While short, this is the update I have to give all of you. I do have the first chapter of book 4 for you to enjoy.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Two weeks. It had been two weeks since I had sent Raikidan away. It took a little adjusting to his absence, but now everything was back to normal. I flipped a page in my Library book. Back to normal. Right. Who was I trying to fool? Myself…that's who.

 

It was hard for me to adjust, but I was getting there. I just needed time. I'd think about him from time to time and wonder what he was up to and how he had felt when he woke up in that cave. And that was okay to think about, nothing wrong with it. It wasn't like it stopped me from doing my job in the rebellion or anything.

 

"You don't need him." It was the malicious voice in my head that took delight in taunting me.

 

"Get lost." I concentrated on my research.

 

Someone knocked on my door frame. I looked at the short, buxom, brown-haired woman standing in my doorway. "Hey, Ryoko, what's up?"

 

She smiled at me. "Genesis has an assignment for us."

 

I shut the book. "Good, I need something productive to do."

 

Her lips twitched before nodding and leaving. Strange. It was if she were upset over something.

 

I slid off the bed and entered the living room. A slim woman with pale skin and dark hair and a tan man with white hair were sitting on the large couch. Both Genesis and Rylan appeared content, so why had Ryoko not?

 

Rylan looked at me. "Hey."

 

"Um, hi?" I replied.

 

He chuckled. "You've been secluding yourself all day, so this is the first time I've been able to greet you."

"I haven't been secluding myself," I objected. "My door was open."

 

Rylan opened his mouth, but Genesis intervened. "We don't have time for this. Where is Raikidan?"

 

Ryoko and I looked at each other before Ryoko answered, "Uh, Gen, Raikidan is gone, remember?"

 

"What? Oh, right." She rested her forehead on her hand. "Shoot."

 

"What's wrong?" Rylan asked.

 

"I had accepted this assignment thinking he was here." She sighed. "I okayed Zane to take the boys to the shop to work on a big-income project because I thought we were all set."

 

"Tell us the mission and we can tell you if we can pull it off," Ryoko said.

 

"The mission is to infiltrate two buildings at a command post," Genesis explained. "We have intel that alludes the military has paper filing rooms with some information on potential new supply locations we could infiltrate, as well as troop movement outside the city and numbers residing here that could help us."

 

Ryoko cocked her head, her brow knitted. "That's weird. Why would they store paper files at a command post?"

 

"Probably because they know few would suspect them to store the files there, as it would be rather illogical," I said. I looked at Genesis. "We can still pull this assignment off. Rylan and Ryoko can go into one building while I go into another. Nothing to it."

 

"You sure?" she asked.

 

I nodded. "Yeah, of course. I don't need someone to help me. Sure, it'd make it easier, but I'm used to working on my own."

 

I could tell Genesis doubted my words, but she nodded instead of voicing an argument. "All right, we'll continue with the plan, then. Get ready, and I'll send the coordinates to your communicators."

 

The three of us nodded and readied ourselves quickly before heading out.

 

*******

 

The window didn't want to budge as I tried to open it, but I was going to be just as stubborn. It finally gave in and I slipped into the filing room of the building. The room was dark, but there was enough light from the windows to allow me to see. I crouched under the window and listened. I could hear someone moving around, but couldn't pinpoint where.

 

Keeping my movements slow, I made my way over to the filing cabinets and pulled open a drawer as quietly as possible. While it wasn't smart to send a common illiterate person to grab files, Genesis only expected me to grab anything I could manage. We'd find out later if they were of any use.

 

My backpack was about half full when the air in the room changed. I froze and listened. When I heard unfamiliar, heavy breathing, I spun around and narrowly dodged a soldier who had been sneaking up and attempted to grab me. Acting quickly, I grabbed onto him instead, and smashed his head into the metal filing cabinet. He fell to the floor, out cold.

 

"Raikidan, what the hell? You're supposed to watch"—I looked around and realized I was alone—"my…back…" I sighed. Right… Hard to watch my back when you're not actually around.

 

"Fool."

 

There it was again, that same harsh voice in my mind. Yet it was right this time. I was stupid. I did exactly what Genesis had done. I knew he wasn't here. I knew I had to rely on myself. I was used to relying on myself. So why had I not been able to do it? Why had I failed the easiest thing for me?

 

I grabbed a few more files before shutting the drawer and headed for the window. It didn't matter. I needed to leave, now that I had incapacitated the soldier. His comrades were sure to come looking for him soon with the ruckus I caused.

 

Sliding the window shut, I slipped into the shadows and sent a signal to Ryoko and Rylan before heading to an area where we could meet up and head home. As I did, a thought about Raikidan popped into my head, but this time, I pushed it away. He's gone and I need to move on. That's just how it is.

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