BESTSELLING AUTHORS AMBER LYNN NATUSCH & MARTY MAYBERRY PRESENT SUPERNATURAL MISFITS ACADEMY, A YOUNG ADULT PARANORMAL PRISON SERIES.
After Maddy and Cece failed to defeat the energy source fueling the wards of Wadsworth Reformatory, they discover a whole new set of problems. The headmaster is gone, and everyone else is acting eerily normal. If the girls didn’t know better, they’d think nothing had happened.
Except strange occurrences start cropping up around them, from crystal balls and ominous messages, to magical rooms and possible ghosts. These new hurdles threaten to throw the sisters off their original mission: escape. But an even greater threat looms over Wadsworth, and even with the help of Rhys and Aidan, it’s going to take a miracle for them to get out alive.
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About the Book
Rogue Reformatory: Broken
by Amber Lynn Natusch & Marty Mayberry
Supernatural Misfits Academy
July 30, 2020
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ROGUE REFORMATORY: BROKEN
A Supernatural Misfits Academy Novel
© 2020 Amber Lynn Natusch & Marty Mayberry
“Fuck off,” a guy growled as I rounded a corner and slammed into him. Cece, Rhys, Aidan, and I bolted down the hallway, fear rising with every step. A few seconds ago, Wolfy, my twelve-inch-tall, bonded sentinel wolfling, had burst into Aidan’s room and woken us up, shouting something has happened. We were on our feet and out the door seconds later.
While early morning sunlight poured in through the windows in the hall, we piled into the elevator, and I gnawed on a fingernail as the car plunged down to the lowest basement floor. Last night, we’d cracked a blob-like power source in the dank basement of Wadsworth Reformatory, knocking it out of commission. To top it off, we’d stuffed the evil headmaster into the gap, and it had sealed around him. But with the way Wolfy came barging into the room with his ominous message, I knew something was wrong.
I just didn’t know what.
Before the doors finished opening, I jumped out and rushed down the hall into the cavernous room where we’d—supposedly—eliminated Wadsworth’s headmaster problem.
Bad thought on our part.
As I gaped at the huge, glowing, pulsing source of power, my limbs shook. Yeah, we might’ve subdued it, but no, we hadn’t come close to caging it. The icy glow in the center flickered, and white lights rippled across the bulbous surface. At least it wasn’t growing bigger.
Wolfy charged into the room and slunk over to hide behind my legs.
“I…” I shook my head as horror rushed through me. The crack we’d made had smoothed over somewhat, but no snarling headmaster glared out at us. “Where is he?”
“Dead, I hope,” Cece said from beside me.
I reeled on Aidan, who stood close to her—but not touching her—his arms crossed over his chest. Whatever had happened between them when he’d pulled her from her mute and unresponsive state the night before had clearly changed something, since she wasn’t clutching her head and screaming in pain like she had only hours earlier when she’d stood before the source without his touch.
“I thought you said this would end it,” I said. “If the headmaster’s not here, where did he go?”
He unlinked his arms and lifted his hands, but his smirk negated his contrite pose. “Rhys and I stuffed him into the crack, then sealed it over. That should’ve taken care of him for now.”
“Perhaps,” Wolfy said, slinking forward to stand between us. The dusty black fur on his back bristled, but I doubted he was challenging Aidan, because his little body trembled. “I don’t understand. He should’ve been trapped until we could decide what to do with him.”
“Looks like the headmaster decided for himself,” Cece said.
Suddenly, the source rumbled and shook, and tiny bits of energy lifted off it like solar flares.
“What’s it doing?” I asked. My jaw tightening, I called the beast curled up deep inside me, just in case I needed it. My beast roared, eager to be released, but I mentally kept it at bay. It snarled, but I persevered. Be patient. I’m in control, not you. Hopefully. I hadn’t done a very good job with that so far.
“Um…” Cece backed up a step. “My guess is it’s still pissed off about last night.”
“Perhaps…” Aidan said, walking around it. He stepped closer and stooped down, and I wanted to grab his arm to haul him back, but he seemed like he knew what he was doing. “Last night, Maddy tried to destroy it by herself, but it didn’t work. What if…if we all channeled our power at the same time, that should be more than enough to obliterate it.” Leaving the source, he returned to stand beside Cece.
“Great idea.” Rhys flanked my other side, and power arced between his fingers like thin bolts of lightning. “I’m sure my family’s connection to the building will make a difference. Let’s do it. Finish this thing off before it causes more damage.”
“Hold on.” Cece’s eyes closed. “I sense something. It’s searching. Pulling.” A shudder ripped through her. “I think it’s straining to break free.” She winced, as if simply listening to the source had caused her great pain.
“That’s it for me,” I ground out, my gaze flicking to Rhys and then Aidan. “Time to show this blob of light who’s boss.”
Something flickered inside the source. “Did you see that? It…” I stopped. Leaning closer, I saw nothing. Had I imagined it? I must’ve. With a nod to Aidan, I lifted my arms. Wolfy moved to stand beside me, a growl rumbling in his chest.
Aidan’s face tightened, the only evidence that he was ready to add his strength to mine and Rhys’s.
“Guys…” Cece said. She bolted forward and grabbed my sleeve, tugging me backward. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. It—”
A thunderous boom shook the floor, and a blast of energy shot out of the source, knocking all of us backward. Aidan dove to the side, while Rhys somehow remained on his feet, his arms extended. Light poured from his fingers, ready to be deployed.
Thrown backward, I smacked into the wall, and the bang of my impact reverberated in the room. My body aching, I slumped to the dirt floor, clutching my arm. It stung and itched at the same time, and I gulped as I stared down. Scales erupted across my hand, creating a rippling, gleaming, greenish glove. Had I been burned and were blisters forming? Before I could blink or wail for Cece to help, the blister-scales disappeared, absorbed back into my skin.
My eyes were playing tricks on me.
Cece moaned from beside me and rubbed her head. “You okay?”
I nodded, unable to push words past my lips. What the hell had just happened? Dirt and dust dropped from the ceiling as the power source expanded and then retracted. Its bluish-green center darkened to colors found only in the deepest part of the sea. When it swelled again, and a boom resounded, a second wave of energy blasted across us.
Wolfy raced over to stand in front of me, peering over his shoulder. “This doesn’t look good.”
Cece yanked on my arm, hauling me to my feet. Her attention shot to the pulsating mass in the center of the room. It smoldered, and inky smoke drifted off it and across the floor. The stark fear I found in her eyes made bile rise up in the back of my throat. “We need to get out of here.”
Aidan cocked his head and stared at her. “But—”
“Now!” Cece shouted. She dragged me toward the entrance, with the guys behind. “We can come back later. Like when we have a less hare-brained plan—and that’s rich coming from me.” The look she shot Aidan was stern, but the panic that lined it set me on edge. “Run!”
With Wolfy scampering ahead of us, we fled the scene. When the elevator doors opened on the first floor to eject us, Wolfy bolted right, his little claws clicking on the floor.
“Hey, we’re going this way,” I said, tipping my head to the left. My hands shook, and my heart had surged up into my throat. I lifted my hand, examining it from all angles, but it appeared normal. What had happened back there?
“I have something I need to check out,” Wolfy said. “I’ll find you later.”
“What’s going on?” I called out as he scurried away. What aren’t you telling me? I added, sending the last directly to his mind.
“Nothing.” He darted around the corner, disappearing from view.
We hurried to the central hall area, then leaned against the wall while we caught our breath, acting casual, or at least as casual as we could when high color filled our faces. Sweat trickled down my spine, and I ached to rub it away. Kids strode by, only a few sparing us a glance.
Which…was odd. Had no one heard the blasts in the basement? Shouldn’t someone be aware of what had happened? And why wasn’t the floor collapsing beneath us?
“What did you feel back there?” Aidan asked Cece.
“Yeah,” Rhys said, “why did we have to run?”
“It…I can’t quite explain it, but I knew if we left, it would back down. And if we stayed there any longer, bad shit would happen.”
“Bad shit like what?” Aidan asked as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
“I don’t know. Do you want to go back down and find out?” she asked. The set of Aidan’s brow said that he didn’t. “I could sense that distance would keep us safe. That it would be…subdued. For now.”
“That thing is unpredictable,” I said. “Dangerous.” We needed to neutralize it.
“I think we’re okay for now.” Cece lifted her nose to sniff, then bumped off the wall with joy filling her face. “Wait. I. Smell. Waffles!”
I groaned. “How can you think of food right now? We were just saying that thing is dangerous. I think we have to—”
“I’ve been starved since the moment I got here.” Her elbow bit into Aidan’s side, and he exhaled. “Someone keeps waffle-blocking me.”
“But what if that…thing finds a way to come after us?” I ground my teeth together so hard, it was a surprise I didn’t break them.
Cece paused partway down the hall and turned to face us. She squinted inward, seeking… “Nope. We’re okay for the moment. It’s sort of going to sleep.” She dipped her head at Aidan. “We barely ruffled its feathers.”
Not good. “I wonder…maybe we need to go back and try to destroy it again.” Whirling, I started toward the elevator with fire licking through my veins.
Rhys caught up with me. “I think we should hold off,” he said softly, watching as two guys shuffled past us. Other kids streamed around us, hurrying toward the cafeteria. What was it about the waffles? “Let’s get something to eat and discuss the options first.”
“I’m worried that it’s not done with us.” My hand flicked out. “With all of us.”
“Agreed. But next time we go down there, we’ll need a better strategy. We couldn’t demolish it last night, and it still feels volatile today. There has to be another way besides blasting it with power.”
Cece and Aidan joined us. Her eyebrows rising, Cece made eating gestures at me and whispered. “Food?”
My shoulders dropped as I relented. “Okay. But while we’re eating, we’re going to talk about what we’re going to do with…it.”
“Of course!” Cece pivoted and rushed toward the cafeteria, hauling Aidan behind her.
I reluctantly followed with Rhys. Everything inside me said we didn’t have much time. We needed to eliminate the threat before it eliminated us, but I couldn’t do it alone, and Rhys was right. Blasting away at it was not going to get us anywhere.
My sister waited for us in the cafeteria entrance. Aidan’s attention was focused on something inside the room. We walked inside and joined the back of the line, moving forward and taking trays of food. Turning, we paused to locate an empty table.
Aidan’s fellow fey waved and called out for him to join them. Him, not us.
Separation based on our different powers was still alive and well at Wadsworth. It seemed silly to worry about something like that after we’d just been blasted by a creepy, oozing mass in the basement, let alone the fact that we’d killed a bunch of keepers and possibly the headmaster last night. Which raised an important question: why did everything appear so normal?
You’d think they at least would’ve noticed the power surges from below ground.
Speaking of keepers, I could swear the one standing near the door was one of the guys we’d battled last night, but I had to be mistaken. Wolfy had said he’d take care of things, and who would smile benignly at us after something like that? Later, I’d have to clarify exactly what Wolfy had done with the keepers.
At first, I thought Aidan would sit with us, but his demeanor had changed from part of the group to distant the second we’d walked into the cafeteria. He gave Cece a quick, dispassionate glance before he left without a word and sat with the other fey. Matching collars and all that.
Collar issues we planned to ignore.
“You okay?” I asked Cece, and she shot me an indifferent look. To someone who didn’t know her, she would appear unfazed. But I could see that his actions hurt her. I shot Aidan a glare that lost its impact since he’d turned his back and missed it. Grumbling, I followed Cece and Rhys as they crossed the room, where I sat across from Cece at a table filled with kids with more than one power. Like me.
A brunette girl sitting with three guys at the end of our table scowled at Cece.
Cece had one focus: her plate. After pouring syrup on her waffles, she cut into them, then took a big bite. Closing her eyes, she moaned and wiggled in her seat.
“What are we going to do?” I asked, buttering my waffle.
Rhys bit into a slice of bacon. “First thing after breakfast, I think we should stop by someone’s office.”
Yes. The headmaster was either dead or huddled inside the power source. No time better than now to snoop. Wolfy could join us and direct our search.
“Cool,” Cece said. “And after that?”
Rhys shrugged. “We can find somewhere quiet to figure out how to eliminate that thing in the basement. We probably should wait for Aidan. I imagine he has input.”
As I chewed, the brunette at the opposite end of the table started to get up. Fire burned in her eyes, and the flames were directed at Cece, who was oblivious, completely absorbed in eating every crumb of her waffle.
I glared, but the brunette rolled her eyes.
Irritation sparked through me. Deep inside, something wild and untamed and unknown stirred. Like the beast, yet different than the source of my power, this new part of me ached to break free.
As the brunette stomped toward us, I unleashed it. It shot out of me and toward her.
She came to a full stop, her jaw dropping. She gulped and floundered backward, the fire in her eyes extinguished, as if I’d chucked a cup of water in her direction. Guppy-breathing, she plopped back down onto her seat. The guys she sat with looked back and forth between us before leaning close to her. Furious whispers erupted from that end of the table.
Uh oh. Everyone assumed I was wearing a collar, due to Aidan’s glamour. Crap. Had I given myself away?
Cece’s fork clattered onto her plate, a bite still speared by the tines. “Maddy…what the hell was that?”
“I….” After carefully lowering my fork onto my tray, I rubbed my face. “I was just…” I frowned. What now? The feral thing I’d touched wasn’t quite the same as the beast I’d come to know and…okay, tolerate, not love. With a shrug, I picked up my fork and took another bite of my waffle. “No clue.”
Rhys and Cece gaped at me, their hands lying motionless on the table. Unease shot through me, and my hands shook.
“We need to get out of here,” Cece said. She shoved her chair back, and its shriek rang out in the room. Heads turned our way. “Now.”
“Okay,” I said slowly.
We dumped our trays and left the cafeteria, not stopping until we were back in the hall.
“What’s up, guys?” I asked, playing dumb. Damn. I had ruined this for us. My shoulders hunched forward. “I’m not wearing a collar, and I gave it away. That’s why the brunette freaked, right?”
“That’s not quite what we’re worried about,” Rhys said. “She came toward us.”
“Know that already.”
He leaned back to study my expression. “You don’t know what you did.”
“I have an idea, but…” Gnawing on my lower lip, I waved my hand at him.
“Your eyes.” He shook his head.
I almost hated to ask. “What about my eyes?”
“They changed,” Cece whispered. I hadn’t seen her this scared since the time I’d ‘borrowed’ her longboard and taken on the tallest hill in town. One of my braver moments.
“For a moment,” Rhys said, “your eyes were amber.”
Cece nodded. “And slitted like a reptile’s.”
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Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of ROGUE REFORMATORY: BUSTED by Amber Lynn Natusch & Marty Mayberry, we’re giving away a 3-month membership to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a free 3-month Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership (or equivalent value Amazon gift card). This giveaway is administered by BookMojo on behalf of Amber Lynn Natusch & Marty Mayberry. Giveaway ends 8/31/2020 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Amber Lynn Natusch
AMBER LYNN NATUSCH is the author of the bestselling Caged series for adults. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, and is still deeply attached to her Canadian roots. She loves to dance and practice Muay Thai―but spends most of her time running a chiropractic practice with her husband, raising two young children, and attempting to write when she can lock herself in the bathroom for ten minutes of peace. Dare You to Lie is her debut YA novel with Tor Teen.
About Marty Mayberry
MARTY MAYBERRY writes young adult fiction and infuses it with suspense, romance, and a touch of humor. When she’s not dreaming up ways to mess with her character’s lives, she works as an RN/Clinical Documentation Specialist. She lives in New England with her husband, three children, three geriatric cats, and a spunky Yorkie pup who keeps her on her toes.
Marty is a member of YARWA and a PAN member of RWA, as well a four-year PitchWars mentor.