I’m back… Cue the evil laughter

I’m back, bitches. Put up the blaster shields because Maggie Lynn is back in power. Er, has power. You get the idea 😂 Thanks to all the out of state power crews that came to the rescue and to all the lovely indie books that kept me occupied when I wasn’t writing by candlelight.

I spent the last few days fuming. The power put me back a week on Del Muerta. I was literally one chapter away from completion of editing when – dun, dun, dun. The power went black. Still, while I was waiting, I finished the paper daft of Blood War. It worked out. A few trees down but we’re good. How are you all? Safe I hope?

Either way, I’m hoping for a good Autumn launch period this Fall. I’m thinking a release for Forgotten Hart in September, the release for Del Muerta on November first (El Dia de Los Muertos), and sometime around Christmas, both Blood War and the next (though still untitled) Wings of Caligo novel. I’m so excited for them all.

Needless to say, I’ll be taking signups ARC readers for my street team in advance since a few spots opened up, so make sure to either comment, DM or email me for the details.

It’s gonna be an exciting Fall. Stay tuned, for there will be blood… 😉

– Maggie Lynn

Behind the Writers Desk: Deleted Bonus Scene #2 From Slave to War

Hello everyone!

Here’s the second special behind the scenes look at some of the chapters that hit the cutting room floor in Slave to War. These are unedited and raw bits of the story that were cut for the sake flow of the novel.

So without further adieu, here’s the deleted chapter. Yet again it was cut for the speed and continuity. I decided that there was enough scenes between Cain and Sierrenna that it wasn’t necessary when the entire book was finished. But it’s still a cute and funny scene, so take a read.

WARNING | SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T READ WAR MACHINE OR SLAVE TO WAR… CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK…

Right now I sat on the back terrace, still silent after forty five minutes of sitting. Cain had attempted to talk to me, but I had yet to respond. Instead, he had spent the hour calling up all of his buddies, in the service and the associated press alike, and cajoling them into bombarding Rogee junior’s office with phone calls about my status and also to spread the word outside of the base. Surprisingly, most hadn’t needed much prodding at all. There was much congratulating, especially when he informed them he was not only my boyfriend, but we were married. There had also been a great deal of laughter and jeering directed his way. Some thought he had been joking.

He turned to me after the latest one (who had laughed for three minutes straight and proclaimed that hell had frozen over if he was indeed married), seeing me watching him. “Have we come back to earth yet? Come out of shock?”

I decided to be humorous and skirt the issue of my past history. “So you have a lot of friends. Now I know why we get along. They ridicule you just like I do. But your mother is going to love this ‘announcement’, I’m sure.”

He grimaced. “She’ll probably be disappointed I haven’t knocked you up and won’t be getting a grandkid out of this. That’ll be the first question as to why I’ve suddenly gotten hitched and kept it a secret.” He chuckled as I shook my head. “Nah. I’m not bothered with rumors. Right now I’m about ready to jump out of my skin, itching to take Rogee on. But I know better. For tonight, we wait while Argon and the others research how to get that damn kill switch out of you. Then I can focus on bringing him down once you’re out of the crosshairs. And since Michael is spearheading an attempt to free Tanya and the rest from Xorratti’s clutches, I have you all to myself for a bit. Walk with me?”

I nodded and took his hand as he led me out of the back gate. We said nothing to each other as led me to the furthermost corner of the property. I glanced around as he stewed in silence. We were at the edge of the bubble oddly enough. It was also the same entrance that should have gone up in a fiery inferno from a nuclear blast. This was the one that opened directly up into the desert.

I peeked back over and saw him staring at me concernedly, anger diminished. The ‘general’ facade had faded it seemed. I saw the real emotions flitting behind his eyes instead of the hard front he put up normally.

Abruptly he put his arms on the top of the small chain link fence and leaned against them, looking out at the desert. Maybe he was frustrated, but I couldn’t understand why he would be with me. Our situation was screwed up, that I knew. But whatever was on his mind was troubling him. And so I waited. He peeked over at me after a few moments. “You never initiate conversations, do you?”

“I haven’t spoken in months, Cain. I am unused to talking without my hands. I’ll find my voice again, even if it does not sound like mine,” I admitted. “Plus speaking first always gives some power away to the other party. It’s a decade old habit, nothing meant by it. I was confused anyway. You seem perturbed by something, so I thought it would be best not to disturb you.”

“Nah. It’s best never to leave me alone in my own thoughts. It usually results in some crazy ass scheme that nearly gets me killed but works out in the end.”

I looked down with a chuckle. “I must suffer from the same affliction.”

He sat beside me, watching me scan the horizon. The clouds had shifted, creating a red hued sky. God’s vision wavered in my eyes with the strength of the sun. Even more beautiful was the half rainbow stretching over the remaining cloud. I found myself smiling.

“This reminds me of the mountains. I used to climb the peak and watch the sun rise. It was cold, but very worth it.” I got no reply. But after a minute he huffed and muttered something under his breath. “Is something else troubling you?”

“Uh… Yeah. Though I doubt it would be very well received at present.”

“Try me,” I murmured curiously.

“You don’t like it when I put my arms around you I’ve noticed.”

That was completely untrue. “I usually jump because I am not expecting it, nor am I used to it. It’s not a derogatory reaction at all. On the contrary, I prefer it.”

They were around my shoulders immediately and he spoke in my ear. “Good. It is a nice reassurance I haven’t dreamed your return up and you aren’t still M.I.A.”

I returned the affection and leaned my head against his shoulder. “It is for me, too. I would stare out the window and wonder where you were, what foreign place you had traveled to on mission. I doubted you would find me any time soon. And when you did…”

“And when I did?”

The words stuck in my throat. “It would not matter any longer.”

“Are we talking mortality?”

“A lack of interest and feeling was more what I was thinking of, but the death is apt all the same,” I admitted.

“I’m hoping the lack of interest was a reference to me and not you. It wouldn’t do to have me show up and have you hate me again. And as for me, I will never lose interest.” I shivered at the vehement tone in his voice. He meant it for now. Snuggling deeper into his embrace, I watched the sun disappear. But he wasn’t willing to let the subject go. “You don’t believe me, do you? This is the same old story from my summer house again, isn’t it?”

I attempted look away but he tipped my chip up so I had to look at him. “I fail to see how that affects this conversation.”

His eyes widened. “You’ve convinced yourself that I didn’t mean what I said; that I don’t love you. Before I had thought you knew and were uncomfortable with the fact. Now I see that you… You don’t believe. This is why you were so uncomfortable with our discussion that night.”

I closed my eyes, not entirely pleased with the turn our discussion had taken. With everything that was happening, I still wasn’t sure what to do about my relationship with Cain. Between the danger I posed him from Rogee and dealing with the plot Rogee had for the city, I was still uneasy. “Cain, all I did was suggest we give our relationship some time. I never rebuffed your affection, did I?”

That did nothing to satisfy his yen to argue this point. He kept talking as if I hadn’t spoken. “And you said it back to me that day. Unless… You didn’t mean it then, did you?”

The crestfallen way with which he said that had me worried, not to mention how completely untrue it was. “That is not factual in the slightest.”

He growled deep in his chest exasperatedly. “Then what the hell is it you are thinking? You said you loved me, and then you implied you didn’t. I’m not a mind reader! Talk to me!”

Looking up into his eyes, I lost my nerve at the last second and tried to worm out of his grip. He wasn’t having any of it. My eyes bulged out of their sockets as he grabbed the back of my tunic and pulled me back to him. “You know, running away doesn’t work with me like it does Dantenn. He’s content to sit on his ass and let what he wants flaunt itself in front of his face. I’m not into waiting. If I want something, I go and get it. And if you insist on running, I hate to inform you but I play tag very well. There is no telling what I’ll do when I finally catch you.”

That probably should not have sent a thrill down my spine. It certainly didn’t do my nerves any good. Further betraying my disquiet was the fact I spontaneously developed a bad stutter under his eyes. “I – I still say we should give our relationship some time.”

“Time for what?! Is that about proving something to you? Giving you time to get over your fear? I’ve managed to get over mine considering I believed I would never even entertain the thought of keeping a relationship going for more than a few weeks, let alone chasing a woman all around the globe!”

I bit my lip, entirely unsure what to do. “We still barely know each other.”

He groaned. “How is it you’re willing to walk into fire for me and yet won’t tell me how you feel? But I can read the meaning between the lines. You do love me; you just don’t want to admit it.”

To that I said nothing. He chuckled and then sighed. “I’m not worried. I’ll get it out of you eventually. I figure if I never let you go, you’ll have to accept it. ”

I didn’t debate that one.

His hold on my waist tightened. “Just checking. I had to make sure you weren’t planning on bunking with lover boy Michael and using him as a shield again.”

“Not a bad idea,” I teased, chuckling as he grumbled in my ear. “Perhaps Argon would fill in for me. After hearing both of your extracurricular activities, I think you two would make an adorable couple.”

“You are a tease,” he said, trailing his fingertips over the skin right underneath my ear.

I turned my head and came nose to nose with him. “And you aren’t?”

“Nope. I follow through with what I offer. You don’t. I’m still waiting for-” He trailed off absentmindedly, picturing whatever it was. “I believe it was a discussion on desks that I am thinking of.”

We had indeed returned to his less serious state of mind. “And I am still waiting for a return on my prized tomatoes. You never ate them, did you? No?”

“Naw. I was too busy trying to figure out how to flush you out of the tunnel system and then there afterwards consequently having dreams of naked women trying to drown me in a bathtub. That made my irritation with you a bit more pronounced. Dreaming of someone you despise in real life appearing in your dreams and liking it. Come to think of it, I still have dreams like that, minus the dislike.”

“I don’t have to guess what action you were dreaming of I suppose,” I drawled, earning myself an unrepentant squeeze around the waist. “You still owe me dinner.”

“Consider it a date,” he agreed happily.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, watching the moon rise. With our active discussion on how things stood, we had neglected to watch the sun go down. The stars glinted at us, shining bright. But unlike usual, after watching the required amount of moon, I relaxed my neck and leaned back into him. He must have liked that considering the warm reception it got. I turned my head to the side to look up at him. I blushed when I realized he was watching me instead of the view. “You’re not watching the stars.”

“Who says? There’s a mark right under your chin that looks like one,” he said playfully.

I didn’t question it. I remembered how I had gotten it and didn’t want to share. Smiling, I closed my eyes again. They rocketed open again when I felt a tentative kiss pressed to the spot. I quivered under his touch. His icy eyes were warm despite their color. “I’d like to kiss you now, but you don’t seem open to the idea.”

He stopped as I put a finger to his lips. “Don’t speculate. Find out for yourself.”

I was surprised with my uncharacteristic wave of self-assurance, but didn’t question it. I didn’t have time to. He didn’t hesitate now, leaning in to close the deal. But then to both of our intense irritations, the phone rang, making us jump.

“What?!” he snapped into it and then listened. “Fine. Meet you there.”

He tossed the phone down below and I heard a dull thud as it hit the sand. He growled at it irritably. “I swear he has radar for whenever I am trying to romance you. Damn timing he has, Michael has gotten everyone together.”

“That’s great,” I said, trying out my new found confidence. I pulled on his lapels bringing him back to where we had been a second before. His eyes widened. “But whoever said you had to answer the phone the exact second it rang?”

I giggled as he went in for the kill again. And then laughed as the commlink predictably went off, causing his teeth to grind together. “Sergeant stuffy pants, I would get inside. Rogee has instituted a curfew. Get your girlfriend indoors.”

The line went dead and he sighed. “Looks like we need to go.”

I disappointedly rose from the roof and jumped down into the sand. I picked up his cell phone and sauntered towards the truck. A loud thunk and then a grunt of pain caused me to turn around. Turns out Cain had decided to copy me by jumping off. Upon landing however, he had lost balance and fallen back onto the sand but first. I covered my mouth, stifling another laugh.

He stood, collecting his dignity without much success. “At least I am good for a laugh. Just promise me you won’t go back to ignoring me in front of others. Michael will take that as encouragement and I will take it as a challenge. And when I am challenged, there a few lengths I won’t sink to get what I want.”

Clapping my feet together to rid them of excess sand, I turned to him. “Consider it done. We are married after all. It would not be right for me to go off with someone else unless we had enacted a ‘divorce.’”

I knew he liked the fact I had said that just by the way he smiled in response. He took his phone as he passed, heading towards the fence. I eyed something funny as he went.“Oh, and Cain? What should I tell everyone when they ask why you wet your pants?”

As soon as he put his hands to the seat of his slacks, he knew what I was talking about. The sand where his rear had landed had been wet. He looked glumly at his butt and then at me, disapproving of my mirth. “Let’s go. And stop laughing!”

– Copyright 2018 Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the writers desk! If you loved this, I bet you’ll love STILL DEATH, the prequel to the Destiny in the Shadows series! It’s free for anyone who signs up for my email newsletter. I frequently email freebies out to my readers, so make sure to grab your copy here by signing up!

From Behind the Writers Desk: Slave to War – The Bonus Chapters

Hello everyone!

Today I have a special behind the scenes look at some of the chapters that hit the cutting room floor in Slave to War. These are unedited and raw bits of the story that were cut for the sake flow of the story. I’ll be releasing three bonus chapters, so keep an eye out for chapters two and three!

So without further adieu, here’s the first deleted scene. It was one of my favorites that I wrote for Michael’s character, and is in Rain’s POV, but found it was unnecessary in the end for the final draft of the novel. So it hit the cutting room floor.

WARNING | SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T READ WAR MACHINE

OR SLAVE TO WAR

Much to my unease, Michael took me to the garden where his party had been. But this time he took me to an aviary in the way back I hadn’t spotted on my first fateful visit.

Once inside, I looked around with amazement. Long rows of branches held creatures regarding me with keen, shrewd eyes. Vultures, hawks, owls, and one enormous looking condor all regarded us with glittering eyes. These were all military-trained birds. I could see transmitters hanging up in the corners with cameras they fastened on their backs.

I felt myself grin. Master Rascorr had had a pet hawk and excelled in falconry. He allowed me to practice with it every day. I whistled in a low tone following a particular pattern that perhaps they would recognize if the trainer had taught them in the style Master and I had.

I couldn’t hear their calls, but I could see most of their mouths open and a great deal of wings spread as they chorused their calls back at me. Michael jumped and stared around wondrously. Owls were blinking at us, falcons bobbed their heads up and down, and the lone condor spread its enormous wings and screamed at me in defiance. It was unnatural for so many birds of prey to be in one place, so it seemed they had formed their own social hierarchy. The condor reigned supreme, probably by sheer size. It stared me down with a hiss, cocking its head. Its lack of a comb and red eyes told me it was a female.

All the other birds stilled as I stepped towards her. I whistled softly, extending my hand in a friendly gesture. I saw scars lining her head. Seeing an electrical collar around its neck I understood her reluctance though she had been trained. I looked around at all the others. They had collars, too. They were just like me: trapped and forced to obey.

She eyed me with distrust and I whistled again. She lowered her head after a minute and allowed me to scratch her head. I lowered my head next to her and whistled softly in an affectionate tone. She hissed at me again and I stroked the feathers along her back until she jiggled her feathers back and forth. I had hit the spot.

I turned back to Michael to see him nose to nose with an owl that had settled itself on his shoulder. He winced as its talons dug into his shoulder. I saw blood starting and rushed forward. I stuck my hand out and the owl snapped at it.

I looked back at Michael who seemed utterly terrified as it bore its enormous yellow eyes into his and screeched at him. “You don’t have food, do you?

He stuck his hand in his pocket, pulled out a bag of jerky, and stuck it at me. I opened the bag and all yellow, orange, red, and black eyes turned on me. They all returned to their perches as I whistled a command. The owl screamed at me and did the same, leaving his shoulder. I tossed the condor the biggest piece and divided the rest.

I gave a few to Michael and gestured he should give it a try, too, in particular to feed the owl. It was still eyeing him with interest. He tossed the piece at it and it caught it with a snap. It called at him, bobbing its head and twisting it around so it was upside down. Finally he cracked a smile and cooed back at it. The owl screeched at him for more. He jumped back with a start.

For the first time in months, I really laughed. And boy did it hurt. It turned into a coughing fit real fast as the scar where my vocal cords should have been stretched. It really didn’t feel good, but they didn’t rip. That was good. It meant they had healed even if it was badly. I probably sounded like a chain smoker laughing.

I shrugged off Michael’s concerned hand and ventured further into the building realizing it wasn’t just an aviary. It housed a lot more than just birds.

Through another door, I entered a dark room. A red light flicked on for me to see ruby eyes gleaming back at me. A breeze whipped around my hair as wings flapped around me. I stumbled back as a cold nose sniffed along my neck. I came eye to eye with an upside down brown head and enormous black eyes. It was a giant fruit bat. It probably was looking for its food. More eyes from all corners blinked open at me.

The room after the next was the best, though. It was a large enclosure that held a weird assortment. Two wolves, a black leopard, a cheetah, a brown bear, and panda all eyed me. They were in a cluster together except for the panther which paced its end of the cage restlessly. I gathered they had been raised together and had adapted to each other’s presences as the birds of prey had.

I looked at the electrical prod hanging in the corner and ignored it. I sat down on the opposite wall pretending I had no interest in them. The door to my left opened again and Michael stepped through, fighting off what appeared to be one of the giant fruit bats trying to get into his pocket. He threw in what looked like a bag of candies and slammed the door shut.

When he turned to face this room, I think he had a near coronary. He gripped the handle of the room with too much force and slammed his back into the wall. His wild eyes found me on the floor and started saying something out loud. I rolled my eyes, patting the floor. He looked at me as if I had sprouted a third head.

I shrugged. The panda was sauntering toward us, sniffing the air. Behind it was the brown bear. The others watched to see what we would do. “Thank you for bringing me here.”

“Sure,” he signed with sarcasm as the panda came over and plopped in front of him. He waved at it weakly. To his and my intense surprise, it waved its paw back before rolling over on its side. The brown bear growled, already bored, and sat down behind it.

It’s hard to believe Emperor Huang domesticated pandas and used them to defeat Emperor Yan 4000 years ago. They aren’t very intimidating.”

I can believe it,” he signed, sitting beside me. “All I see are rows of razor sharp teeth. I think the army had the same idea. But it got too expensive so my father took on the care of the menagerie. He likes having the bragging rights to his own private zoo.”

He stopped as curiosity got to the others. The Leopard and wolves hung back, but the cheetah came over with a chirrup. I couldn’t hear it, but I remembered the call from the visit to the zoo as a child with Master and Dantenn. I whistled the birdlike call back and it came forward with a purr. It sank down next to my side, rubbing its head against my arm. I stroked its ears as it nipped at my hand playfully.

Michael stayed with his knees curled up to his chest. The other animals ignored us and the leopard went back to pacing at its end of the cage. The wolves watched with pricked ears. I was disgusted to see all of these animals too bore scars and collars.

Michael nodded, venturing to put his hand out for the cheetah to sniff. “I brought you here to talk without prying ears. I wanted to discuss what may happen tonight.”

He looked at me then. Bitter loathing for his father warred with the warmth for me in his eyes. “Sorry he’s attempting to force you to marry me. I’m not sure how he’s going to work this considering you’re still supposedly still hitched to Cain.”

I sighed. “There are worse things than being married to your best friend.

He squeezed my hand. “Yes, but if you were going to marry me I’d want it to be on our terms. I have no aversion to marriage; in fact I rather like the idea of binding oneself to the one you love for eternity.”

His eyes held such warmth and affection that I gulped. I felt like I was cheating on Cain it was so strong a connection. He drew me to him then, like he hadn’t dared do before, resting his head on my shoulder and stroking my hair. We stayed like that for a while. He just held me like there was nothing on the planet he wanted to do more and perhaps that was true. I felt for him, I really did. We were just two broken souls that the world had spat out years ago. But we had saved that world together despite what it had done to us and now it had turned on us once more. But we still had each other.

If I weren’t too young would you consider me being with me?” he asked suddenly, pulling back just far enough so I could see his hand but not far enough so I was out of his embrace. I didn’t reply. “If you had never met Cain, would it be a different answer?”

The questions were getting more difficult. “I don’t think you’d like me very much if I hadn’t. I am a killer, Michael. Never forget that.”

I felt him suck in a breath. “But you wouldn’t be if it weren’t necessary, right?”

I reflected on that for a second. “If there were no more evil in the world, I suppose would find myself without a purpose. There would be no use for my skills to defend those I love-“

But you do love,” he insisted. “That is the difference. Evil is most often defined as a lack of love. I know evil. It is my father. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t love anybody, which is why he ripped me from my mother’s arms as she died from childbirth. I’m just an heir so he’ll have a legacy when he dies.”

I bowed my head. “I’m sorry about your mother. She must have loved you.”

She did. The doctors told her she wouldn’t survive if she had me. My father tried to stop her and blames me for her death. That’s why he hates me so much. But she insisted to carry me full term. Sometimes I wish she hadn’t. She would still be alive then.”

I gasped at that statement. That rivaled even my way of toxic thinking. He was wishing himself away. “Don’t belittle her sacrifice with those thoughts. Do something with your life. You are valued-“

Am I? If I died, my funeral would be a show for my father to profit off of.

But I would grieve,” my hands said.

He looked down at me with sad eyes. “Yeah, and you would run to Cain for comfort.” He shook his head and glanced at his watch. “We have to go. Father will be looking for us soon. After tonight, I doubt we’ll be spending much time together-” I started to protest – “Alone, that is.

I stood with what I’m sure was a fierce expression. “I’m not leaving without you. Remember that.”

He stood and nodded, still thoroughly unhappy looking. He didn’t release my hand as we went back to reality, leaving our little piece of solitude behind.

– Copyright 2018 Maggie Lynn Heron-Heidel

Thanks for reading! Make sure to leave a comment on what you thought of this scene! And if you haven’t read Slave to War, make sure to pick up a copy here!

Keep an eye out for bonus chapters two and three in the next few days!

Rebooting 1 2 3 – A Note to All My Readers

Thank you all so much! I’ll be back at full speed in no time! Just have to take some ’me’ time after the operation and get the last six months of my life back on track ❤️ More science fiction and fantasy novels and @WhatsitProFilms comedy to come! Love and prayers to all who have been so supportive!

Enter to win an autographed copy of Slave to War

Enter to win an autographed copy of Slave to War here!

Slave to War is available now on Amazon in Ebook and Paperback editions. Here’s a little more about the novel:

He took my city. They chained me as a slave. Nothing will stop my revenge.

In aftermath of bitter betrayal, the city of Nacin will tremble to its core under my wrath. Truth will come to light; the underbelly of the city rising from the darkness below as age-old secrets surface from their graves. Death is the only solace to be found and blood will be the currency to pay for their sins. But can Operation Night-Butterfly be stopped once fate is called to action? Or will the city that was once mine become nothing more than a graveyard of what it once was as martial law descends upon the ashes that remain? That is the question…

Pick up your copy here

The World of Destiny in the Shadows – A Map

Who knew that making a map of a dystopian science fiction world would be so time consuming? Plotting Nacin, Mercaine, and MoiRai on a map was difficult, but I finally got it done for you all!

Make sure to check out Slave to War to continue where War Machine left off in the epic cliffhanger! It’s now available on Amazon here!

Slave to War: Exclusive Snippet #2

Here’s an exclusive excerpt of SLAVE TO WAR:

“This isn’t going to do anything,” Michael said, coming to me as well. “All it will do is create chaos. They’ll seize control again. No one will stand against them except the drug and crime lords. No one will fight-“

“No one?” I replied hollowly.

I let that linger in the room for a moment, letting them realize just what was in store. They hadn’t yet realized what I was planning. If Nacin needed a savior, they were going to get one. But they were also going to get the bad and the ugly with it; that being me.

“No,” Michael said, taking my other hand as Max shook against me. “You can’t. Don’t let them do this to you.“

“I warned you, Michael,” I murmured, brain planning my next step. “You don’t know me as well as you think you do. The city needs exactly what it created; its vigilante assassin has come back to roost. If they want a slave to war, they’re going to get it!”

– Slave to War coming February 5th! You can order it here!

you enjoy the snippet? Comment and let me know!

Snippet copyright ML Heron-Heidel 2019

The Bionic Technology of Destiny in the Shadows: No Longer Science Fiction, Now A Reality

Science really is an amazing field. While it has led us to many controversial issues, sometimes the yields it bears can be life changing.

As a writer when I see imaginary technology that I wrote into my fiction novels years ago becoming a reality, it really is mind blowing. As many of you know, at the end of War Machine (HUGE SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ IT YET. LAST WARNING!), the lead character Rain is transformed with bionic limbs. Amazingly now these fictional plot points are becoming reality with more and more frequency.

Brought to the public by Open Bionics, there are now bionic arms being made that respond to muscle impulses and function much like a normal hand.

These developments make me wonder what our future holds. Will it follow similar sinister events that the Destiny in the Shadows series foretells? Only time will tell…

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to sign up for my exclusive readers club! Just for joining you’ll receive a free copy of my best selling novella STILL DEATH!

Slave to War – An Exclusive Sneak Peek

Hi everyone! Just a few more days until Slave to War is here! Wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peek before the book is released. This is the prologue the story, so not too much for a spoiler for ya!

“Where is she?!”

The terrified-looking secretary leaned away from her desk as General Cain McRattin suddenly lunged and grabbed her by her shirt collar, losing his patience. Now nose to nose, he bore down on her, causing her to to drop the phone in fright.

“Call Rogee and tell him if he doesn’t cough Rain up this instant, I’m going to tear his city apart from the inside out!” he snarled, shaking her roughly. “I know he has her! I’m not putting up with the runaround anymore. Either get him on the phone or this is going to get ugly…”

Her eyes widened as his grip tightened around her shoulders. “I’m sorry, General, but I already inquired about her to my boss multiple times and the Prime Minister insists he had nothing to do with Sierrenna’s disappearance. Maybe she left voluntarily,” she stuttered and then gulped as he shook her. “I can leave him another message-“

“That’s bullshit!” he roared, icy blue eyes narrowing dangerously. “She was abducted! I have it all on security footage and the license plate of the vehicle that took her belongs to Rogee!”

“Cain,” Rig inserted calmly, reaching over to attempt to pry Cain’s fingers off of her. “Let her go.”

“She’s full of crap,” Argon added, shooting her a disgusted look as Cain reluctantly released her. “She’s not going to talk. Let’s blow. If Rogee won’t answer our calls, then maybe he’ll respond to us releasing the evidence linking him to your father’s murder. How about that, bitchface?”

That seemed to get a rise out of the secretary. She shook, mouth opening and closing for a minute while all four soldiers glared at her. “Look, I have searched the records myself for this Sierrenna, but we have no records in our system of such a person inside the government database.”

“Then how do you explain all the photographs in the paper?” Ray demanded, slamming her fist on the counter while Rig nodded. “Or the security footage from the nuclear incident?! She was chosen by the state for the mission! There has to be a record somewhere!”

The secretary shook her head. “Then someone has erased all records of her existence. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. If she is still alive, you’re going to have to find her yourselves.”

Cain stood up with a start as she folded her arms, refusing to talk further. Storming out of the room, he headed outside of the building to escape all of the lies. He slammed the door shut and headed out to the car. All was quiet as he muttered under his breath mutinously and dragged his hands through his hair.

Seven long days had passed since Rain had been taken. All evidence indicated that his love was beyond his reach, but he refused to give up. He had been through the city and across the desert to MoiRai, but still no sign of her had been found… until this morning, that is.

Argon had called. A woman was found washed up on the shore of the river on the other side of the city. Limbs missing, artificial organs, innards and eyes cut free to steal the technology, she wore Rain’s violet dress from the night of Michael’s party. Even the leather jacket that Cain had tossed over her shoulders had washed up, covered in white blood. A gang’s insignia had been burned into her forehead as a grim signature.

His stomach sank thinking about it. It was so grizzly that Argon warned him to stay away, but he had gone and he was glad he had. Sorry for the poor soul sacrificed to throw him off of Rain’s trail, but relieved because it hadn’t been her.

The true Rain had a small scar under her chin that he’d noticed one night while she was asleep, unaware of his study. It was almost like a small star on her silky copper skin. It was missing from the corpse. That they couldn’t fake. This woman also had pierced ears. Rain didn’t. She had no brand on the back of her neck and many of her other scars weren’t present either.

The empty eye sockets made him sick with disgust and brought images of Rain’s lifeless body to mind. But that was too much to bear now.

Determination rekindled, he spent the day redoubling his efforts and still came up with nothing. He knew she was still out there somewhere in Nacin. Rogee wouldn’t send her far. He’d want her right under his nose to keep an eye on her. She was too dangerous to leave without supervision, but with her new technologies too valuable to kill.

Cain sighed, forcing himself to take a deep, calming breath. It wasn’t easy. Every breath hurt knowing he had failed to keep her safe. If he never shared the locket with her, she wouldn’t have been dragged into this mess. She would never have discovered the dark secret Rogee was so desperate to hide and would still be a free woman.

Rain’s face swam in front of his eyes, thinking of how her eyes crinkled at the corners when she cracked a rare smile. He thought of how her violet eyes fluttered closed and how she shivered when he finally confessed his feelings for her, overcome with emotion because no one had ever loved her before. Those eyes were the windows to her soul and the very thing that had captured him as a boy. They held endless pain but also a sea of yearning for someone to reach out and gain her trust again.

So close…. If only they had had more time he was sure she would have come to trust him, to give in to his love completely. And even better, for her to love him back.

He longed to hold her, feel her heart fluttering under his fingers again, responding to his touch. The raw feeling of their one and only kiss, stolen in the moment just before she had been taken from him, was just a bare memory now. The moment that should have held so much promise for them was now a reminder of his failure.

An acid desire for revenge warred with his forced sense of calm. If anyone touched one hair on her head they were going to be a cadaver before long. He’d sworn to himself that he’d keep her from ever being hurt again. Cain hated that he’d failed in his promise. She had already suffered beyond measure.

Cain looked up as Argon came out of the building, heading to his side. Argon shook his head, pulling his hood up. “The sec knows nothing. She didn’t even know about the body that washed up this morning. I also inquired about Michael. All she can say is he was sent to a prestigious prep school, but we both know that’s a bunch of shit. They have their stories straight and they’re sticking to ‘em. Xorratti is in Mercaine so we can’t question him either.”

“We have to find her,” Cain said, putting both palms on the hood of the car and exhaling heavily.

“We will,” Argon replied wearily, patting his shoulder. “Rain’s strong. She’ll be fine. Rogee must be desperate to hide her if he’s willing to try and fake her murder.”

But he could hear the lie in Argon’s voice. Argon already thought that it was too late to find her. He just didn’t dare to say it straight to Cain’s face. And he was probably right but Cain refused to give up.

Both men stood for a minute, enmity strong for the city that had betrayed them. They both knew what the elites had planned and had no idea how to stop them. All they could do for now was keep searching and wait for the opportune moment to bring Rogee down.

Argon shifted, looking at Cain suddenly. “You really do love her, don’t you?”

Cain didn’t answer, still looking out over the cityscape before them. His eyes narrowed, knowing that Argon didn’t need an answer to that rhetorical question. He already knew the truth, as did everyone else that they had interrogated over the last week. And they all had the same bleak look in their eyes, thinking that it was a lost cause to keep searching.

“Call Dantenn,” Cain ordered, turning away. “Check again to make sure Rain hasn’t been there.”

Argon nodded and headed off as Cain looked out over the city once more. Cain gritted his teeth, squaring his chin as the dawn came over the city of Nacin.

“I’m coming for you, Rain. I will find you,” he vowed to no one in particular as the drizzle fell, dampening the smog. “I will find you.”

Did you enjoy it? Comment and let me know if you’re excited for the book to come out! Slave to War will be within your grasp in a week!