New YA – The Coterie-Declaration by Richard C. McClain II

 

Dakarai Holt, sixteen, is sentenced to a rehabilitation facility. He unearths a conspiracy imposing mind control with ramifications affecting the U.S and the greater world.

Today I’m sharing a new YA novel.  I know this is a popular genre.  Many of you write it, more of you read it.  It certainly sounds like it will keep you intrigued.  Here’s more about it.

BLURB

Arrested for hacking, socially awkward and speech-impaired sixteen-year-old Dakarai Holt is sentenced to two years at Sheffield Academy, an exclusive juvenile rehabilitation facility. Within the first two hours, Dak is subjected to mandatory brainwashing. The academy’s enforcers, the R.A.T. SQUADS, patrol Sheffield to ensure each student’s full compliance. Gacheru, Dak’s roommate, pressures him to drink a tonic that conspicuously counteracts Sheffield’s indoctrination. This places Dak in the middle of many adversarial and explosive situations. Additionally, Dak becomes knotted in a clandestine plot involving the Secretary of State and a mysterious group who goes by the name, The Coterie. While at Sheffield, Dak must find a way to survive the R.A.T. SQUADS’ terror, the annexation of a remote island, and battle his own inner demons.

 

EXCERPT

It is 04:22:31 on Saturday morning and I’m having trouble sleeping. I sit up and turn the light on to give life to the dark room. Instead of celebrating Gacheru’s absences, allowing me space to live on my own and nurture my promise to abort ideas of relationships, worrying about him is all I seem to be doing.

A sound at the door steals my attention. I wait for Gacheru to enter but nothing happens. On the floor underneath the door, an envelope sticks halfway into the room. I pick it up and work my fingers underneath the sealed flap and run my fingers the entire length.

The note reads,

Please put the twenty-five billion back.

I sit on the bed as the weight of the words hits me. Nothing in the words themselves denotes any kind of emotion. Except for maybe the “please.” Still, a cursory reading initiates a panic attack in my body. A brown bag sits on the floor. I roll off the bed, hitting the floor hard. I pull the bag to my face, scrunch my body to the fetal position, and rock and breathe…

Who sent me the note? I ask an hour later. As far as I know, the man who accosted me in the computer room and his superiors are the only ones aware of what they think is a hacking mistake. To apprise me of this kind of critical information now when I’m not under the influence would violate Sheffield’s environment of covertness.

Revealing such knowledge to me makes no sense.

I read the letter again. The word “please” continues to stand out. Sheffield has not proved themselves friendly on the administrative, teacher, or security levels. Why now would they want me to “please” put the money back? They’re the type that would hang me up by my thumbs and torture me to get the information. I exaggerate of course.

This message couldn’t have come from them. Which begs the question, who sent me this note?

I sift through short list of names. Gacheru’s is the only name on it. Somehow he found out I took it and wants me to return the money. He’s the only one I know who’s been able to bypass Sheffield’s mind control and for whatever reasons considered it important that I not succumb to their brainwashing. Would Gacheru send a note? He could speak to me any time. It’s not Gacheru. That leaves nobody.

I walk to the window. Darkness still pervades the night, fighting to maintain control. Daylight is hours away. Since the note can’t be from Sheffield or Gacheru, I decide to get rid of the evidence. I rip the area of the paper around the sentence and then stick it in my mouth, chew it till it’s soggy, and swallow it.

I lie back in bed when I remember the drinks in the closet. It takes a second to pry the board loose. There is nothing in the crevice apart from a thick envelope and three cans. On closer inspection, all are empty. I put the hollow cans back inside and replace the board. The contents of the envelope are none of my business. I’m not a spy. Gacheru helped me for a reason. To betray him this way reeks of self-interest, the worst kind of egotism.

Lightning strikes my mind. Three cans could only mean one thing. A third person has ingested the liquid and like Gacheru and me, this person is resistant to Sheffield’s mind control.

Who?

Since Sheffield wouldn’t ask me to put the money back except under mind control, and Gacheru could talk to me any time, the person who sent the letter has to be the person who drank the third drink.

Why should I put the money back, especially if we’re seemingly on the same side? Wouldn’t we have a better chance of stopping whatever it is they’re doing and going to do by hitting them in the wallet?

It seems cut-and-dry to me.

While back on the bed sheet I rack my mind, wondering who this third person is. If Gacheru trusts this person, would he approve of the letter? He could have asked this person to send it to me. So why not introduce me? What’s the reason for keeping this person’s identity secret? As always, my mind considers the worst. If this is a ploy by Sheffield to test whether or not I am still subject to their mind control, seeking out this third person could be nothing more than a trap.

I know three cans means three people are outside the boundaries of brainwashing. I know the third can was unopened more than a week ago. I’m making an assumption here. If Gacheru kept all three cans, this third person ingested the drink after I consumed mine. He would not need to wait till I arrived to give the drink to this person, which means this third person is likely one of the seven people who traveled with me in the van. I’m sure I can nail it down even more. I know this person is aware of the twenty-five billion dollars I stole. By process of elimination it can only be one of three people, and two of them I’m responsible for bringing to Sheffield. Shipley and Jayden. Tasi is the only other person in the room with us when the hunt for the twenty-five-billion-dollar search took place. I can constrict it more. Since I’m in the men’s dorm building, it can only be Shipley or Jayden.

The doorknob twists. My heart is catapulted into my throat. Is it the R.A.T. SQUADS coming to drag me away so I can be tortured? Is it Shipley or Jayden?

I hold my breath.

ISBN: 978-1-62420-310-7

Author: Richard C. McClain

 Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

 AUTHOR BIO:

Richard C. McClain II, “The Storyteller”—an advocate of imagination and a deliverer of truth through creative writing. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Richard is one of five children who was taught to dream and believe that anything is possible. This thought premise inspired Richard to pursue the creative arts, through music, theatre and writing. Richard later became a pastor where from the pulpit he used his story telling abilities to bring the word to life in the hearts of the congregation. Richard is the husband of Sharon, and father of Nicholas, Nicola, Nathan, Natalie, and Nadia. He has had the privilege of honing his storytelling craft and understands the balance between imagination, fantasy, and real life.

 

“Consider this, before the story is ever heard, it is active, pulsating, and full of passion. It needs but the storyteller to tell it.”

 

 

The Black Coach by Nickie Fleming

The Devil is riding his black coach across the moors of Yorkshire and hunts virgins. Or is this so?

I’m happy to be sharing The Black Coach with you today.  For those of you who enjoy historical romance, you should give it a read.  It also offers some mystery for all you mystery lovers.

the-black-coach

BLURB:

Strange things are happening in the village of Pickering, Yorkshire. Two girls are found murdered, and there is talk about strange going-ons at night. Caught in the middle of this turmoil is Maggie Thompson, an orphan, who needs to fend for herself. Running away from an employer who maltreated her, she nearly dies during a winter storm. She is rescued by a man who lives in a nearly abandoned house. Neil Harrington has his own secrets however. Maggie will have to trust on her feelings to know what is right or wrong. And she can’t forget there is a killer on the rampage…

EXCERPT:

It didn’t take long before Maggie was fast asleep once again. When Martha noted her drooping head, she put a cushion behind it, to make the girl more comfortable and lastly spread a plaid over her, lest she should catch a cold.

She studied the girl for a while. Cleaned up, she already looked a lot better than the previous day. She had better talk to the master. The girl’s speech was remarkable fine for a working-class child. She felt sure there was something of a mystery involved here. Perhaps thinking about this would lighten Neil’s mood. He’d been mourning Lady Suzanne long enough to her liking.

Around noon her son walked into the kitchen for his lunch. He looked up when he saw the sleeping girl.

“Is she fit to come down already?” he wanted to know.

“She’s not completely better,” Martha told him, “but she ate all of her breakfast, and as you can see she’s sleeping again. No better healer then rest, I say.”

“The master asked me how she was,” Amos said. “I’m glad I can tell him she’s doing fine.”

“Did he need you to fetch something?” Martha wanted to know. They both knew to what she was referring.

“I brought in the usual. I don’t mind, though,” her son acknowledged.

She nodded. “We have a good master in his lordship. No matter what other people may think, he’s a decent human and I’m proud to be serving him.”

“So am I,” Amos agreed.

He sat down at the kitchen table and immediately began to eat when his mother put a full plate before him.

“I thought you’d like some stew,” Martha said. “There is enough meat in it to give you stamina for the next trip.”

No need for more words. Mother and son understood each other perfectly.

 

~ * ~

 

Later that afternoon, in Pickering village, the men of the region gathered in the local pub after ending their work on the fields and farms. The talk was lively and the beer flowed freely.

John Barry put down his pint, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and remarked to his mate Ben, “Saw that black coach again yesterday, when I went to check on the sheep.”

Ben hardly looked up. “Aye, I’m listening.”

“Wonder whose property it is and what its business is. Always appears when darkness falls.”

Ben took another gulp of his pint. Then he acknowledged what John mentioned. “My brother’s son, Tim, saw it too. He said it rode so fast, as if chased by the devil.”

“Yeah, it was speeding for sure. Could not see who or what was in it.”

“Not the first time it’s been seen on our road. Something strange going on, I think.”

Joshua Thistlewaite, the landlord, heard the comments but didn’t comment on them. He just poured the drinks like a good landlord. Besides, he couldn’t well afford to spend time talking to his customers. The pub was full, as always around this time. His sharp eyes surveyed everything to be sure he could intervene at a timely fashion.

All the men and lads he knew from around, except for the one stranger. He’d never seen the man before. The man entered about half an hour ago and ordered a light ale in a polite way. Now he was seated in the farthest corner of the pub, sipping his pint.

While enjoying a calmer moment behind the tap, Joshua studied the stranger more closely. He looked to be in his forties, had a stern face and lips which seldom laughed. A lawyer or a banker in all probability, he thought.

What bothered him a little was that the man appeared to be listening in on the conversation of Ben and John, although he couldn’t fathom why such ordinary talk would interest a man of his quality.

Disturbing his thoughts, the stranger beckoned him.

“What can I do for you, sir?” he asked, hurrying over to his table and trying not to show he had been studying him.

“First, fetch me another pint of this excellent lager and then, if you can spare the time, I’d like to talk to you for a while.”

It was said in a cultivated tongue, and Joshua could immediately tell the stranger didn’t originate from this part of the country. London or some other southern town, he guessed.

He hurried to carry out the order, while asking Ben to step behind the bar for the time he was occupied elsewhere. He returned to the table.

“I am now at your disposal, sir.”

He saw how the stranger glanced shortly at Ben, who was already tapping another pint for John.

“Do you get a lot of people in here?” he then wanted to know.

“It depends,” Joshua replied. “On weekdays it can get busy when all the men need to water their throats.”

“You must know quite well what goes on in the village,” the stranger continued.

Joshua shrugged. He carefully weighed his words, not wanting to reveal too much. His instinct told him something was not right here.

“Not much goes on in Pickering I don’t know about.”

The gent nodded. “I thought so. Well, I am trying to locate a young woman by the name of Margaret Thompson. She would be eighteen years of age and has blonde hair. Do you know if any such girl lives in or passed by your village?”

Joshua was silent for a moment. The request confirmed his ill feelings. He understood he would have to be very sparse in answering, to make sure he didn’t cause harm to anyone or anything.

“Why do you need to know?” he asked, but in such a way the other would not be insulted.

The man smiled. To all appearances, he looked innocent and seemed trustworthy. Joshua knew better. He felt an underlying coldness and sensed some feeling of threat.

“She’s come into an inheritance and the trustees have asked me to find out her whereabouts,” the man answered, while smiling again, and producing a gold coin out of one of his pockets.

Joshua eyed the coin and reconsidered. It could be true. He knew there existed men who were employed to search for people who were lost or had disappeared. After all, the stranger had done nothing wrong yet.

“Farmer Aldleigh has a blonde girl working for him,” he offered, feeling at last he could trust the man enough. “She came asking for work not so long ago. Perhaps she’s the one you are looking for?”

“It might be,” the other agreed, while putting the gold coin into his hand. “Can you be so kind as to give me directions to this farm?”

“It’ll be my pleasure, sir,” Joshua beamed. “When you follow the road leading out of the village, you go until the crossroads and then turn left. Aldleigh’s farm is a mile or so from there. If you don’t wait too long, you can be there before darkness falls.”

“Thank you. I’ll go and have a talk with the farmer.”

“Glad to be of service.”

“No, it is I who must thank you,” the stranger said while putting a second gold coin on the table. He then got to his feet and grabbed his overcoat.

Joshua returned to his work. His eyes followed the gentleman as he made his way through the throngs of farmers and finally left the pub.

ISBN: 978-1-62420-311-4

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

AUTHOR BIO:

Nickie Fleming was born and raised in the historical town of Dendermonde, Belgium, home of the legendary Horse Bayard. Nickie read English and Dutch Literature and Linguistics at the University of Ghent, where she took her master’s degree in 1978. She began work as a teacher of languages to 16-18 year-olds and has done so during her long career. She has been writing since she could hold a pen in her hand, but only came to publication when she was well over 50—mainly because she was not actively seeking it. Besides writing, Nickie spends her time with the things she loves—and those she doesn’t like so much: housekeeping, reading (favorites are thrillers and good romances), listening to good music, going to see shows and concerts, travelling, food and wine… Nickie is single and shares her house with her only sister, who is equally single. The two ladies get along just fine and do most things together.

Trickery by Constance Masters

Constance Masters is sharing her book Trickery with me today.  I know I certainly wouldn’t want to go back and revisit any of my teen years, but if it involved pursuing the man of my dreams, I may reconsider.

trickery_promo-5

Blurb:

Morgan King is a 23 year old virgin who has never had a proper boyfriend. The fussy young woman longs to meet a man everything like the heroes in the spanking romance novels she loves to read. When such a man comes along, Morgan is sure that he must be too good to be true and balks at actually meeting him.

Jackson Brooks is a 29 year old middle school teacher who works summers at his family’s summer camp. When he gets to know Morgan on an online dating site, he is sure she’s the girl for him. They are both ready to settle down and he doesn’t understand why she is so hesitant to meet him in person. His confusion deepens when he finds out she has sent him a fake photo; he is not happy. With his job as director of the summer camp looming, he decides to give the elusive Morgan some space.

Morgan is devastated when she realizes she has probably blown things with Jackson. The desperate young woman hatches a plan to get to know him secretly. She pretends to be her own mother and books herself into Sunnyvale Summer Camp under the name of Alyssa King, using her sister’s birth certificate. What will happen when Jackson finds out?

 

Excerpt:

Jackson stood and walked around to her side of the desk. “Stand up.”

“What are you doing?” Morgan’s eyes were wide with disbelief but she did as he asked.

“Bend over the desk.” He moved his things out of the way and stood back while she bent over. “Stay there.”

“What are you going to do? You can’t really mean to spank me, not here. Someone will hear you!” Morgan shifted nervously, her fingers automatically tugging at the frayed hem of her shorts.

“They won’t because you will not make a sound. You are going to take what you have coming to you and you are going to be completely silent. Not one little whimper because you know you deserve every single lick.” Jackson was angry and he had to decide what to do but there was no way he could even think straight until he’d metered out at least some punishment. It was nothing compared to what he wanted to do but he had to bear in mind there were kids on the property and for the most part he had to concentrate on them. This bottom warming would have to be quick and sharp.

“But I?” Morgan squirmed uncomfortably.

“The only butt I’m interested in is the one I’m about to punish. Stay in that position and wait.” He was surprised that she did as he told her. Jackson locked his office door and walked through to his adjoining sleeping quarters to find something to spank her with. He needed something with maximum sting and yet whisper quiet. He had to remember that as far as the other counselors knew, he was holed up in here with a teenage girl. If they heard any kind of slap they could call the police and both of them could end up in jail. He took a belt out of his closet, folded it and cracked it across his palm. The sting was considerable but it was not noiseless. Could he use a rubber flip-flop? Nope, the slapping sound was distinctive and quite loud. Finally he grabbed the tilt wand from the blinds and flicked it across his hand. Perfect. It packed a good sting and was completely silent.

 

When he walked back into the office he was pleased to see that Morgan hadn’t moved. That was something. So her name was Morgan King. At least he could put a name, face and very soon, smacked bottom to the person he’d been talking to, at last.

“What’s that?” Morgan asked, her head shooting around and her jaw dropping with shock when she saw what he was holding.

“Bend back over.” He pressed her down slightly and pulled at her light shorts until they were buried within her crease. This left a pleasing amount of her naked butt cheeks on show.

“I’m scared,” Morgan whimpered into her arm.

“Good, you deserve to be scared.”

“I’m sorry Jackson, I really am.”

Jackson had to steel himself. “I’m going to spank your sassy, dishonest behind hard with this, plastic whatever it is, because you have put both of us at risk of being in terrible trouble with the law. You haven’t even had a criminal record check. My brother and sister in-law could lose their business. All because you didn’t think about anyone but yourself.”

“And I’m not a criminal!”

“I didn’t say you were but it is against the law to work woth kids without the proper checks.”

“I just wanted to get to know you.” Morgan was crying and he hadn’t even smacked her yet.

“There were better ways than this to get to know me.”

“I can see that now!”

“Hush,” he whispered.

  

Jackson raised his hand and brought the fiery little stick down hard across both plump cheeks. He would have loved for the first time he spanked this woman to have been with his hand. He wanted nothing more than to feel those soft cheeks ripple beneath his bare hand. He so wanted to hear the satisfying clap of flesh meeting flesh. He brought his chosen gadget down again, a little lower than the first pink line.

“Please Jackson,” Morgan begged quietly. “It hurts.”

“It’s not supposed to tickle Morgan. Honestly, you are so lucky that I can’t give you exactly what you deserve or you would be getting a thorough hand spanking followed by a few licks of my belt.”

“I’ll do anything you want if you stop, please.”

The whippy little plastic rod danced up and down her soft white flesh and she was dancing on her toes to ease the sting. “Keep still Alyssa,” he whispered. “You know you deserve this.”

“But it burns—and my name is Morgan.”

“Good, I hope it keeps on burning Morgan.” He hoisted her up by a handful of shorts and made sure he covered the area that usually remained hidden in the crease. He didn’t want the effects of this spanking to wear off too soon. Finally he put the wand down on the desk and pulled her shorts back into place to cover her bottom. She looked adorable; both hands were rubbing her sore bottom while she stood there with her messy hair and her tear stained cheeks looking completely contrite. He wanted nothing more than to hug her and kiss away her tears.

“That hurt.”

“I hope so honey.” He pulled her against him for their first ever, real hug and he had to admit, it felt good to hold Morgan in his arms, if only it was under better circumstances. “Enough, I need to figure out what to do next.”

“What are we gonna do?”

“Good question and when I decide I’ll let you know.”

“Fine, don’t let me interrupt your thoughts on what I am going to be doing.”

“Hush Morgan, I need to decide quickly what to do about this,” Jackson said. “Whitney is going to be expecting me to have you removed.”

“Oh well we have to do what makes Whitney happy.”

“What do you mean happy? This isn’t about making Whitney happy it’s about Whitney knowing what the rules are and expecting me to follow them.”

“Does she even know what was in the bag?”

“No, I asked her to bring it to me. Counselors don’t have the authority to search bags.” He was starting to realize that they were the only two that knew about any of this.

“This is about me. At least I should have a bit of a say about what we do next.”

“Deciding what’s the right thing for everyone though isn’t easy and I’m the adult here.”

“I am an adult.”

“And you have demonstrated that so well.”

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://goo.gl/Qh6qQJ

Barnes and Noble:  http://goo.gl/3yqfgJ

Bio:

Constance Masters is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend and author.

She writes romantic spanking fiction with the main emphasis on romance.

Constance has always been a sucker for reading romance and that reflects in her writing but she also likes to laugh. Her stories are full of love, laughter and family comedy. It’s a lot like her life.

 

Where can you find Constance?

Facebook:    https://goo.gl/GXrB9P

Twitter:  https://goo.gl/L3CGFd

Email: constancemasters@gmail.com

Blog:  https://goo.gl/8ZAwLy