First things first – a great big THANK YOU to all the fans of the Wallis Jones series (including that one reader in Japan and the other one in Australia – plus the hundreds of new fans in the U.S.!) and more thanks for sharing posts and tweets about the stories to tell others, and for writing to let me know how much you’re enjoying the winding, twisting story of conspiracy and shadow governments that surround Wallis Jones and her family.
Could it really happen? Is there a way out? Keep reading… more will be revealed and I’m willing to bet you won’t see it coming but you’ll love it when you get to The Butterfly Project – the 6th book due out in February! For now – Book Three, The Keeper Returns is on sale this Thursday, December 22nd just in time for the holidays! Book Four, The Circle Rises goes on pre-order.
Nothing can take her back to what was…
Not in a world-wide conspiracy…
While the Circle searches for the answers to George Clemente’s game and the clock is ticking on the chance to find a missing loved one. Wallis Jones is in a race against time and an age-old legacy to save the people under her protection. Can she finally grow into the role that was destined to be hers and lead the Circle? Or is she determined to hold onto a lost idea of normal and unknowingly let George Clemente advance his global rise in power?
Pre-order starting on Thursday, The Circle Rises, the fourth installment of Martha Carr’s fast-paced new take on an old conspiracy and shadow governments in The Wallis Jones Series!
Kindles and … and soon the new interactive short story app with a thriller side-story for William Bremmer comes out in January. Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come…
The holidays are less than a week away! After that, the New Year and a bunch of resolutions. Need to get that heart rate up but not so thrilled about the gym? Read the Wallis Jones series and let this tale of conspiracy and what you don’t know can take away your choices get your motor revving!
Okay, let me leave you with a little snippet from The Keeper Returns…
The pain in his side was getting to Staff Sergeant Leonard Kipling. He shifted the M249 machine gun to the front, strapping it down tighter to keep it from jostling. The pain was rattling down from his waist and into his hip with every step he took. There was no open wound but he was sure he had torn something in his abdomen, maybe even broken a rib. It was gradually getting harder to take a deep breath. The skin was already mottled with crimson patches of red but it didn’t matter. He had to make it up Haskill Mountain before the enemy squads found him.
Sergeant Kipling had never been completely comfortable with using the term, enemy when referring to the other side. They had all grown up in similar neighborhoods after all.
Maybe even some of the same neighborhoods. It wasn’t the country that was dividing them.
That had all changed today when he saw how focused they were on drilling them all full of holes. He was all that was left of his squad.
Kipling had no more doubts. He was an Army Ranger in the Circle, fighting in a very real civil war that was only sanctioned at the top because everyone in the middle knew nothing about it. There were the politicians elected to pass laws and that kept the lesser wheels of a middle class life running smoothly. But the real power had always belonged to others.
Soldiers from both sides, whether it was the Circle or their enemy, the larger menacing Management, knew better than to say anything when they went on leave, back to their suburban homes along quiet streets and cul de sacs.
On the battlefield men and women went on missions to hunt down the enemy, who could be their neighbors back at home. When they were in their communities they made a point of giving everyone a wide berth until new orders came in and they set out again.
If someone came back injured it was from an unfortunate vacation mishap or a car accident. If they were dead the family might suddenly move without an explanation to avoid having to explain at all.
There was talk in the upper levels of the Circle that plans were underway to congregate the families of soldiers in neighborhoods, like open bases hidden in plain sight so that all of this would become easier to keep under wraps.
But for Sergeant Kipling that was all going to have to wait. He was going to have to figure out how to live through today if he wanted to see his family again. He knew that the casualties his battalion was taking were already the worst of the civil war. Something had changed.
The mission for his squad was straightforward. Not easy but very simple. Get a message to a former Circle operative living in Montana. The only known operative to have ever been a part of both sides and left it all behind without having to be put in the ground. He was living a quiet life in the wilderness with his boys and little girl. There were whispers about him on both sides with stories about how he had pulled it off. Some even said he had never really existed but the Sergeant knew that was just folklore.
He had met Whiting once when he was younger and a foster father had introduced them at a Circle meeting back in Richmond, Virginia. It had been a small, quiet gathering of the descendants from the remnants of the original Circle. His father had said Mark Whiting was a very smart man who knew how to think for himself. The Sergeant had never forgotten how in awe his father looked when he said those words. Not too long after that his parents had died in a car accident, leaving just Sergeant Kipling and his brother Dennis. He pushed the thought aside.
After that, there were too many foster homes to count till he had finally landed in an orphanage run by the Circle. That had been his salvation. He was finally surrounded by people who treated him like family again and he had an entire campus to roam that felt like a small town full of kids who all had something in common with him.
It was only natural that one day he would end up working in the Circle’s system trying to be of service to his country.
“Get to Mark Whiting,” mumbled the Sergeant, licking the blood off of his lip. It was his mission imperative.
He was moving fast across the terrain and didn’t stop to use the satellite phone to let someone know what had happened. It wouldn’t matter anyway. No one was going to try and rescue him. Everyone in his squad had understood that before they set out. No communication until after the mission was complete and they had made it to the next post in Billings.
The Sergeant and his squad of six men had left the Circle base camp that was located in Calgary, one of the largest prairie provinces of Canada. They headed for a soft spot along the U.S. border where they could cross into Montana without being detected by Management drones. The war made it harder but there were still places where Circle held the terrain and could keep out enemy drones and block certain satellites from seeing too much.
Their urban base camp was typical of what had evolved during the combat that was less than a year old and was quietly moving across North America. The war was a new style started by Management and being waged between two old forces who wanted to win at any cost but were hoping to never have to tell the general public.
Everything was contained to small areas so that it could be explained as an industrial accident or if necessary, a terrorist plot that was stopped before it got too far. A body count was tolerable but exposure of the inner workings of either side was not.
The idea of a common man’s democracy meant a lot to most people. If the general populace knew that the lines were drawn in different directions that crossed traditional borders, fear could cause order to break down.
Panic among the middle class might cost both sides to lose too much power. If the infrastructure could stay hidden then neither side, Circle or Management had to give up the idea that they could were right and knew the best way to provide a better life.
Once the war was decided there would still be a prize worth keeping.
It didn’t matter that one side, Management thought that force was occasionally necessary for the greater good. In order to be happy for any length of time in Management it was necessary not to look to hard at what everyone was doing or ask many questions.
People in Management learned how to smile ‘up’ to their superiors and crack the whip to anyone below them. It was a very comfortable life but with fewer choices and generally no out clause, other than death.
The Circle was much easier to get along with but they were idealists and that left them open to almost being wiped out only a couple of generations ago. Only twenty of the original Circle had survived the earlier slaughter but they had instituted a new plan to gather recruits by operating children’s homes, called the Schmetterling Operation and their numbers had been growing and were rumored to be in the thousands.
Things were changing rapidly and for now, the Circle was in the White House. Both sides knew that President Ronald Haynes was likely to win reelection.
Management was apparently taking notice. They were pushing back.
At first it had only been a few direct and deadly hits against suspected Circle operatives. They were ones that Watchers had been keeping track of for years and were just high enough to cause harm without declaring war.
The Watchers were Management’s spies in plain sight who kept track of their neighbor’s movements and over the years had come to know who was most likely working for the other side. Someone within Management had pulled the trigger on a different plan and things had escalated. Recent events had caused the Circle to make a change.
Okay, this is where I have to stop to save all the good reveals… Want more? Thursday….