I have just finished doing some fairly major edits to the sequel of Shadow Eyes. (Yes, I know I keep holding out on officially releasing the sequel’s name…that will be next!) And I am super pleased with how it’s turned out!
We are fast approaching February 2nd, when the original version of Shadow Eyes was first published…5 years ago. 😦 Huge apology to my very first readers who patiently (or not so patiently) waited for the next installment of the Shadow Eyes series and never got it. My readers who have probably long since forgotten about poor Iris and her sad and then triumphant story.
Well, my friends, the day is finally here! Okay, almost here. With final edits, getting the cover ready, and leaving time for a blog tour and some book reviews, I’m going to shoot for late February or early March at the latest for a release date. In the meantime, rest assured I will tease you with news and pictures and sneak peeks.
For now, here’s a humorous scene of Iris and Patrick in their Family and Consumer Science class on the unfortunate day Iris is assigned the baby simulator.
“All right, class.” Mrs. Bauder moved to the front of the room with a list in her hands. “I’ve got the names for today’s parents.” She waved the paper and smiled as though she were holding winning lottery tickets. She’d handed out the eight plastic babies to the first set of students last Thursday. I’d forgotten today would be the next round.
When I call your name, go ahead and get your baby, as well as one diaper bag and seven outfits.” She motioned to the row of carriers behind her filled with hard, lifeless dolls and then the long table with diaper bags and piles of clothes. “Meadow McClelland, Maria Malaveci, Brooklyn Gorman, Kaitlyn Posey, Cheyenne Clawson, Tori Compton, Erik Van Winkle – our only father for today…”
Erik, one of the only guys in our class besides Patrick, stood up and brushed off his shoulders. He strutted to the front as if his name had been called for the prestigious award of Coolest Fake Dad.
“And Iris Kohl.” She set the list down casually as though she hadn’t just delivered my death sentence.
My jaw dropped. Had I seriously signed myself up for this week? How could that have slipped my mind? Of all days, today could not be the day I was chosen to become the caretaker of a demanding imitation baby.
I hadn’t moved, so Patrick nudged me. “Iris. Go get your baby.”
I closed my mouth and stood up to shuffle to the front. There was one baby left. A girl. She stared at me with a fake smile as if to convince me she was a sweet baby and that we’d have loads of fun together. I wasn’t buying it.
Out of spite and to prove to the baby I wasn’t going to take it seriously, I grabbed the arm of the carrier as carelessly as I could without getting reprimanded by our teacher. Without even looking, I stuffed a handful of clothes into one of the diaper bags, and marched back to my seat.
“Congratulations on becoming a mother!” Patrick’s whole face brightened like an estrogen-charged woman at a baby shower.
“Shut up,” I spat as I slammed the heavy carrier down along with the bag and flung myself into my seat. “Gregory is so dead.”
“All right, new parents. Go ahead and get the baby out of the carrier so you can get used to holding it. These baby simulators are the same weight as a normal baby.”
I sighed as I struggled to unstrap the baby from the tangle of seat belts, clasps, and buckles. “Can’t we just leave it in this thing?”
“Here, let me.” Patrick bent over to the carrier and pushed two buttons. Instantly, the baby was free in his arms.
I gawked at him. “Do you have a child you’re not telling me about?”
He shrugged as he held the baby out to me, supporting the doll with his thumbs under the armpits. “I paid attention to her demonstration.”
“Uh-uh.” I shoved my hand in the baby’s face. “You hold it.”
“Hey, she called your name, not mine.”
I crossed my arms. “I seem to recall you saying we were going to help each other whenever the other one got the baby.”
“Yeah…” He eyed me warily. “But I’m getting the impression you won’t be holding up your end of the bargain.”
(Fun fact: The first two names of the students getting babies in this scene were winners of a contest a long time ago. The rest were students who helped act out some scenes from the first book for a trailer…that was sadly never made. But they did a great job and I wanted to honor them by including their names in the sequel.)