And to celebrate the announcement, here is one of the last excerpts that I will be posting before the book is released.
The vehicle arrived in two minutes, and when Amanda saw the headlights approaching she rushed to it and hopped into the passenger's side of the warm interior. Kahua sat in the driver's seat and he flashed her a grin. “Where to, my lady?” he inquired cheerfully, putting the car into reverse and backing out into the street.
“My home,” she replied distantly. “I need sleep, and I need it now.”
“Bad operation? Dr. Charles said it would be complex, no?”
“Something like that,” Amanda replied. “No, not bad … just … melancholy.”
Kahua glanced over at her lap briefly before returning his eyes to the road ahead. “What's in the package?” he asked conversationally.
Amanda jumped a little at the question. “Oh, just Charles trying to buy back my affection,” she said, fingering the case. “A brain scanner he scrounged for us to use with the SubVersions. I'll take it over right away after our meeting tonight.”
Kahua raised his eyebrows. “Some men…” he remarked almost to himself.
“Yeah,” Amanda breathed, her stomach knotting with an unknown feeling. “Some men.” She pulled the envelope free from the brain scanner case and turned it over in her hands. Her name was scrawled on the front in a masculine cursive hand, Amanda. She bit her lip at Charles' handwriting, a flood of memories rushing back and threatening to carry her away on their rising tide. Shaking her head, she slid a finger into the top of the envelope and ripped it open, pulling out the card inside.
A cartoon man stared at her from the front of the card, an apologetic grin on his face and his hands holding a wrapped gift which he held out to the viewer. Amanda smiled at the words “Let's Be Friends?” arcing over the cartoon man's head in puffy red letters. She flipped the card open…
…and her heart stopped.
Inside were a few short sentences written in black pen:
Remember what you are, a snitch and a liar. Central Admin has not forgotten Project Wraith.
The brain scanner you carry must go to where Vérité is keeping the SubVersions they stole, and it must be placed near a window. If both of these conditions are not met in the next twenty-four hours, Dr. Charles Wallace will be tortured to death. If you reveal any of this to anyone, especially your Vérité friends, I will expose Project Wraith and you will hang, either from Vérité's gibbet or Central Admin's.
Have a good night, Mandy.