Monday, January 16, 2012

Excerpts from Amanda Younger

Sarah stared at her foster sister incredulously as she, Amanda and Steve pretended to be playing marbles on the school play ground. “You mean you were a grown up and you changed into being a kid again?” she asked her. “And you’re some kind of a secret agent?”
“That’s right,” answered Amanda. “I was working on an assignment and I was attacked, shot at, cut and the next thing I remember, I was in the hospital and I was, well like I am, a kid.

My head got beaten in and I can’t remember a lot of things. At first I couldn’t even remember my name.”

“And this guy that’s coming to see you today, he really isn’t your uncle?”

“No, you see I just took the name Younger because I’m, well younger and since he says that’s his name, he’s got to be a phony.”

“I believe her,” spoke up Steve. “This is the real thing.”

Sarah nodded her head slowly. “I believe you too, Amanda,” she said. “I really do. But I’m scared for you. I don’t want you going with this guy if he’s really a fake. There’s no telling what might happen to you. I know you’re really a grownup, but you’re a kid too, I don’t know how to put it, but you’re my sister and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“I feel the same way about you,” answered Amanda. “You and Steve and Brenda and Robbie, you’re my brothers and sisters but I’ve got to do it, it’s my job. I’m part of Operation Themis, our country depends on me.”

“Can’t you get hold of some other agent and tell them about this Uncle Teddy Younger fellow?” asked Sarah.

“I’m working on that, answered Amanda. “I just wish I could remember everything, but my head still isn’t working right. I need you and Steve to help me. You’re the only ones I’ve told about this. You’ve said you’d like to be like that girl detective and Steve said he wants to be an agent, now you’ve both got your chance. Are you with me, Sarah? Do you really want to help? It could get dangerous. I mean really dangerous. You could get changed like I have or you could even get killed. Are you sure, really sure? I won’t think less of you if you change your mind. Doing this for real is a lot different than reading a book and pretending to be the heroine.”

“I’m in this,” answered Sarah.

“And you’re not getting rid of me,” said Steve.

“Good,” answered Amanda. “I may really need help and you two are perfect. I’ve already taught Steve a secret code so we can communicate and the two of us will teach you.”

“Are you going to tell Brenda too?” asked Sarah.

“No,” answered Amanda. “She feels loyal to the Carters for adopting her and she might feel she had to tell them. I think it should be just the three of us.”

The three of them clasped hands quickly and then hurried to obey the clanging school bell, each wondering what the rest of the day would bring and each especially wondering about this man calling himself Uncle Teddy Younger and what he was up to.

“Is he another agent out to rescue Amanda or is he out to do her harm?” wondered Steve. “I wish I knew. I sure wish I knew.”

After school Brenda, Amanda, Sarah and Steve hurried home. Terri O’Rourke’s car was already in the driveway and a stocky man dressed in a business suit and a middle aged women were standing in the driveway with her, talking to Kate Carter. Even at that distance, it was easy to see that the man resembled Amanda.

“That must be that Uncle Teddy fella,” whispered Steve, pulling Amanda back so that Brenda wouldn’t overhear them. “He looks like you, Amanda. Are you sure he has to be a fake? “

“I’m not sure of anything,” whispered Amanda. “There’s so much I can’t remember. But I do know I made up the name Younger and since he’s using it, there has to be something going on.”

“I wonder who that woman is,” whispered Steve. “Maybe you’ve got a phony aunt too.”

The children reached the Carter driveway and the stocky man stepped forward, giving Amanda a big smile. “Well here you are,” he said, leaning down and giving her a kiss on the forehead. “I am so glad to see you.”

Amanda stepped back. “I don’t know you,” she told him. “I don’t remember ever seeing you in my life.”

“That’s all right,” the man said soothingly. “I’m Dr. Theodore Younger, you call me Uncle Teddy. Actually I’m your father’s cousin and I’m your guardian until your parents come home. I was told that you’re head was hurt and that there are a lot of things you don’t remember. That’s all right, I’m hoping that things will begin to come back to you now that you’re back with family. This is Mary, she’s, well, my number one helper. I thought you might feel more comfortable if I brought a lady along with me, in case you didn’t remember me.”

Amanda looked up and found herself looking into the face of the contact person she often met with when leaving and receiving messages in connection with Operation Themis. She quickly reached out and shook hands with the woman called Mary and surreptitiously gave her the secret hand sign that identified her as an Operation Themis agent.

Mary gave her the hand sign that also identified her. “Good, very good,” she thought to herself. “And wouldn’t she be surprised if she knew she was actually shaking hands with the chief of Operation Themis. Wouldn’t she just be surprised?”

“I thought I wasn’t going to be going with you today,” said Amanda to the man who had introduced himself as her Uncle Teddy.

“That’s right, that’s right,” he assured her. “I know you’re head was hurt, I was hurt myself so I do understand, we’re going to take things slowly. I thought we’d go out to supper and sort of get reacquainted and we’ll just do things together and pretty soon you’ll be living with me in our new home we got just before all this happened. Things will be back to normal pretty soon and all will be well, yes indeed, things will be just the way they should be.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Excerpts from Amanda Younger

“Hey, we’ve got company,” said Ken Carter, as the police car pulled into their driveway. “Quick, any of you kids been up to anything you haven’t told me about that the police would be on your trail?”

“Oh Daddy, you know better than that,” said Robbie. “The police are our friends remember? You read me about that in my book.”

The others laughed at the little boy’s seriousness and Brenda tossed the basketball into a nearby box.

“Well hello there,” said Sgt. Bill O’Rourke. “Amanda, I’ve got some good news for you. We’ve found your family.”

“You found Amanda’s parents?” asked Brenda.

“No not her parents, but somebody just as good. We found her uncle, Uncle Teddy Younger.

“Well this is certainly a fake,” thought Amanda. “Since I remembered the code name Amanda and chose Younger this isn’t really a relative. Wonder what this guy is up to.” She glanced over at Steve and was pretty sure by the expression on his face that this hadn’t been lost on him.

“Are you sure he’s really Amanda’s uncle?” asked Steve.

“Oh yes,” answered Bill. “He had all kinds of idenfification. He even had some pictures of Amanda when she was a little younger Younger.” He laughed at the joke he had made about Amanda’s last name.

“I don’t remember him at all,” said Amanda. “What if I don’t like him? What if I don’t want to go with him?”

Bill put his arm around her shoulder. “Everything is going to be just fine,” he promised her. “We’ll work slow. Where you took those blows on the head, you may not feel too comfortable going off with him and if you don’t, well, we’ll work slowly. I’m sure that’s what Mrs. Terri will say too. You can go for a short visit, then come back here, then go for a longer visit and come back and

keep that up till you’re living there.”

“Living there and visiting here,” Ken Carter told her. “We aren’t going to just forget about you. You’re part of our family now.”

Amanda smiled and leaned against Bill. “I’ll do just fine,” she thought to herself. “This is going to go just fine. The thing I’ve got going for me is that everyone thinks of me as a kid and they have no idea I’m twenty-six, no idea at all.”

“You and your uncle had just moved into the area,” continued Bill. “That’s why nobody recognized either of you and you’re going to be going to the same school, so you kids will see each other every day, how does that sound?”

“That’s great,” said Sarah and Brenda toge4ther. They looked at each other and laughed. “How’s that for team work?” asked Sarah.

“I’d say it was pretty good and it’s good too that Amanda will still be going to school with us,” said Steve.

“Yeah, it’s pretty good, Manda,” echoed Robbie.

“When will I have to go?” asked Amanda.

“Mrs. Terri will be out to see you with your Uncle tomorrow,” answered Bill. “Maybe seeing him will trigger off something in your memory and you’ll remember him, then I’m sure you’ll feel more comfortable about going with him.”

“Will I go tomorrow?” asked Amanda.

“No, not unless you remember him and want to,” answered Bill. “I promise we’re not going to rush you into this. We’ve checked him out and everything is ok, but we’re going to do this at a pace you’re comfortable with. Ok?”

“Yeah, I guess ok,” answered Amanda. “Boy this is some kind of crooked,” she thought to herself. “But this guy has got to be some kind of high up crook to be pulling this off. I wish I could remember the rest of my code name to get hold of the chief and find out what he wants me to do. I’ll do ok, I can look after myself, but I’d sure feel better if I knew Operation Themis was looking after me too.”

Steve handed Amanda a note later. She took a quick look and grinned. “So he figured out the code on his own,” she thought. “Good job. I know a number of adult agents who haven’t been able to figure it out this quickly and certainly not without some help. After I get my life back on track, I’ll have to talk to the chief about him. Maybe we can use him, give him some early training. Looks to me like he might be a real asset to Operation Themis someday.”

When she got a chance, Amanda read the note carefully. “UQOGVKPI UETGYA OGGV NCVGT” She sat down at her computer and sent Steve an email. “Thanks for the directions, homework will go much easier. I agree with your directions.”

She hit send and then checked to see if she had any email. “That

ought to work ok,” she thought to herself. “Simple message about homework.”

“There, that ought to do it,” said Amanda to herself, later that night. She looked at her bed. The way that she had folded that extra blanket, she felt sure that anyone looking into her room would be sure that someone was in the bed.

Amanda tiptoed down the hall to the empty room at the end and slipped out the window and into the sprawling tree outside. Just as Steve had done a few minutes earlier. “I’ll just pull the window down except for about half an inch, so that it will look as if it is shut,” she thought. She pulled the window down and suddenly it slipped, closing completely.

“Oh no!” thought Amanda, as she tried to open the window and found that she couldn’t. “Now I’ve got us in a fine mess. What will Dad Ken and Mom Kate think about this if we can’t get back in and they find us out here? Especially both of us because Steve is out here too.” Her twenty-six year old mind thought about this. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” she thought.

Quickly she climbed down the tree and hurried to meet Steve as arranged.

“Ok, what do you think this is all about?” asked Steve, once they were both well hidden in the meeting place. “Younger is just a name you made up, so something’s pretty rotten here. This guy using the name Younger has to be a fake and you could be in serious danger.”

“Yes I know,” answered Amanda. “And I’m going to need you to be ready to help me if I need it. This guy must know something about me but I don’t know what. I just wish my brain would let me remember the rest of my code name and some other things so that I could get in touch with the chief. This guy may be from the one they call the boss, he may even be the boss himself.”

“Now who’s the boss?” asked Steve. “You told me about the chief, the head of Operation Themis, is this another name for the same fellow?”

“No, this is the exact opposite,” answered Amanda. “He is our country’s greatest enemy.”

“Do you think maybe you should tell Dad Ken or Sgt. O’Rourke that he’s got to be a fake?” asked Steve. “I mean, you’re just a kid and you could get hurt in this mess.”

“But that’s just it,” answered Amanda. “You’re forgetting, I’m not just a kid. I may look like a kid now but I’m still twenty-six years old and I’ve had all kinds of special training as a government spy. The question is, does this Uncle Teddy Younger know that? He obviously knows something but I don’t know what or how much.”

“Could he possibly be someone from Operation Themis, sent to rescue you or whatever it ought to be called?” asked Steve.

“No, I don’t think so,” answered Amanda. “They wouldn’t be looking for me as an eleven year old. They’d expect me to contact them with my code name and all I can remember is Amanda I’ve got to figure out a way to contact them and convince them who I am. I really may need your help. I might not be able to explain but just ask you to do some things for me without asking any questions. Can you do that?”

Steve hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “As long as I remember that you’re really an adult and a well trained government agent, yes I can,” he told her. “I’ll be ready and willing to do anything you say.”

“Thank you,” said Amanda. “I may need you to do just that.”




Saturday, December 3, 2011

Excerpts from Amanda Younger

“You’ve done a good job getting me all restocked, Mary,” said the professor. “I can always count on you to take care of whatever I need.”

“Yes you can Mr. Professor, you certainly can,” answered the chief. “Unless it’s on a Friday night of course. I know you wouldn’t ask me to miss my beano night.”

“Oh now Mary, you mean you wouldn’t miss one night of beano to help me out if I really needed it?” asked the professor.

“Well, maybe, yes, of course I would,” answered the chief. “If you really, really needed it.”

“You’re a good girl, Mary,” said the professor, patting her on the shoulder, as one would pat a pet dog. “A very good old girl.”

“Now Mr. Professor, I’m not old enough to be called an old girl, not quite yet,” said the chief. “Aren’t we both about the same age.?”

The professor laughed. “Yes, I guess we probably are, Mary, I guess we probably are. I tell you what, I’ll agree that you’re still young if you’ll agree that I’m still young.”

“That sounds like a good idea Mr. Professor,” answered the chief. “That’ll make us a pair of liars won’t it?”

“I guess it will Mary,” said the professor. “Yes I guess it really will. By the way, Mary, if this new formula works, how would you like to look the way you looked ten years ago? Or maybe you’d like to look like your favorite movie or tv star. How about it Mary? If this works like I hope it will, I can make your face over to look just the way you want it to look, and without any surgery or pain, just like molding a lump of clay. How about it, Mary, want to look like Miss America?”

“No thanks, Mr. Professor,” said the chief after pretending to think it over for a minute. “None of my friends would recognize me if I did that. I think I’d rather just keep the face I’ve got, I’m used to it.”

“Ok Mary,” chuckled the professor. “But if you ever change your mind the offer will always stand.”

“Yes sir, Mr. Professor, thank you sir,” answered the chief.

The professor laughed silently to himself.

“He so loves talking to the woman he regards as being simple minded,” thought the chief. “If he ever knew, if he ever finds out who I really am. It’s like my mother used to say, the best place to hide is right in plain sight.” She worked around the room, finding out information to pass along to agents of Operation Themis as she worked and the professor didn’t suspect a thing, but just went back to work on the experiments upon which he had been working before Amanda, or perhaps I should say Patricia Mason, had made her unexpected appearance.

Amanda and Steve played a game of Horse Basketball on the playground. “This is a good way to get a chance to talk,” said Steve. “We can see all around us and know if someone is coming near us and be careful not to be overheard. Did you bring the note in code to see if I can figure it out?”

“I sure did,” answered Amanda, handing it to him. “You can see if you can read it while I beat you at spelling horse.”

Steve grinned. “Fat chance,” he told her. “I’m going to solve this right away.

“Jk Uvgxg, K jqrg aqw ecp tgcf vjku,” read Steve. “Ummm I should be able to solve this.” He read the note over and over and then knelt down and scribbled with his finger in a nearby patch of dirt.

Amanda grinned as she watched. “Not as easy as you thought?” she teased. “You’d better hurry, I’m already on R.”

Steve wrinkled his brow thoughtfully. “Every time I think I’ve got it, I find that I haven’t,” he told her.

“You want a clue?” asked Amanda, shooting another basket.

“I guess I’m going to have to give in and say yes,” answered Steve.

“What are you two doing?” asked Sarah as she and her friend Dorrie came over to join Steve and Amanda.

“I’m teaching Amanda to play Horse Basketball,” answered Steve, He wiped out what he had been writing and wrote in the basketball score instead.

“Looks like she could teach you a thing or too,” teased Dorrie, as she looked over his shoulder at the figures.

“She’s good alright,” answered Steve. “It’s just that she’s never played basketball before and so she needs to learn the rules.”

“Mrs. Stevens is motioning that it’s time to go in so we’d better get going,” said Sarah. “Maybe we can play Horse at home later.”

“It would be fun to do it with our spelling words,” said Steve, “It might help us to learn them.”

“Yeah, you need all the help you can get when it comes to spelling,” teased Sarah. The others all laughed. They knew that although Steve was smart, he tended to spell words the way they sounded and of course words aren’t always spelled the way one would think they would be from the way they sound.

“What’s this?” asked Dorrie, picking up a paper from the ground.

“Oh, that’s mine,” answered Steve. “It must have fallen out of my pocket.”

“I couldn’t help seeing the writing when I picked it up,” said Dorrie. “Is that some foreign language?”

“No, no it’s not,” answered Steve. “Sarah here told you I’m a terrible speller.” He quickly tucked the note deep in his pocket.

“Maybe you can come over later and practice basketball with us, Dorrie,” said Sarah. “And Brenda, Amanda and I can show you our new school clothes.”

“That sounds neat,” said Dorrie. “I’m sure my mother will say yes.” The three girls linked arms as they headed towards the school and Steve dribbled the basketball as they walked along.

“It is nice to have friends,” thought Amanda. “I never could when I was a kid before. If Agent 13 and I ever get married and have kids, I’m going to let my kids be kids and have friends no matter how smart they are, it’s important.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Excerpts from Amanda Younger

“Good shot, Amanda,” called Mr. Bailey, as Amanda succeed in making a basket in gym class. “Your dad been working with you?”

Amanda started to say no, that her foster father and foster brothers and sisters had, but then she realized that he meant Dad Ken when he referred to her father. “Actually the whole family has been helping me learn to play basketball,” she told him.

“She never played basketball till she came to be part of our family,” said Sarah. “So we’ve been giving her what our dad calls a crash course.”

“Your dad,” spoke up Julie. “You mean Mr. Carter? He isn’t your dad, your just second hand kids that the Carter’s take in to make money.”
“That will be enough of that,” roared Mr. Bailey. “Julie, you apologize immediately to Sarah and Amanda.”

“I’m sorry Sarah and Amanda,” said Julie. “I guess Mr. Carter is the nearest thing either of you has to a father.

“Oh that’s alright Julie,” spoke up Amanda, her voice sweet. “We all tend to speak about things we’re ignorant about now and then.”

Sarah glanced quickly at Mr. Bailey to see if it looked as if her foster sister was getting herself in trouble and was quick enough to see the teacher quickly cover his mouth with his hand so that the class wouldn’t see that he was grinning.

“Julie, you can sit the rest of the class out and think about what you just said,” said Mr. Bailey.

“You’ve done it now,” Sarah whispered to Amanda. “Julie is really going to have it in for you.”

“That’s ok,” answered Amanda. “She asked for it and I can handle her.”

“Amanda Younger, I need to speak to you for a moment,” said Mrs. Stevens, as the class was dismissed at the end of the school day.

“Yes ma’am,” said Amanda, putting on her backpack and approaching the teacher’s desk.

Sarah, hung back and waited for her foster sister.

“I think this is self explanatory,” said Mrs. Stevens, handing Amanda the essay which Amanda had passed in earlier. At the top of the paper was a large red F and a note reading, ‘parent must sign and paper returned to teacher’.

“I don’t understand,” said Amanda. “I thought I did a good job on that essay.”

“You did,” answered Mrs. Stevens. “Too good. No eleven year old wrote this, you copied it.”

“I did not,” answered Amanda. “I sat right there at that desk and wrote it, I never got up after you gave us the paper to write on so I couldn’t have copied it.”

“I don’t know how you did it, but I know you never wrote this yourself,” answered Mrs. Stevens.

“Yes I did,” answered Amanda.

“If you want to take it up with the principal feel free to do so,” answered Mrs. Stevens sternly. “You can make an appointment to talk with him in the morning.”

“I want to talk with him right now,” answered Amanda.

“Well I’m afraid you can’t always do things the way you want to do them, young lady,” answered Mrs. Stevens. “You students don’t run this school.”

“I’ll be more than happy to take this to the school board,” answered Amanda, completely forgetting she was not her twenty-six year old self. “You’ve accused me of stealing someone else’s work and passing it in as my own and I resent that. I am sure that I am perfectly capable of proving that I did nothing of the sort.”

Amanda’s eyes flashed as she spoke and Mrs. Stevens was more than a little startled. She was not used to being answered in this manner by a student. “You just take it home and have one of your parents sign it and you bring it back,” she answered. “If they want to carry it any further, they may but that certainly isn’t your place.”

“Since I’m a ward of the state, I’ll call my caseworker about this,” answered Amanda. “And as far as my taking this to the school board, I would not be the first student to do that.” She was so angry that she completely forgot her role as an eleven year old and rattled off a number of cases of students making complaints to school boards across the country with which she happened to be familiar.

Sarah wanted to giggle as she saw Mrs. Steven’s jaw drop as Amanda spoke. Sarah slipped out of the room and found Brenda and Steve waiting in the hall for her and Amanda. Quickly she explained to them what was going on.

“You girls go in the room and listen so Amanda’s got witnesses,” said Steve. “I’ll see if I can get the principal or somebody in there.”

Steve hurried to the principal’s office and quickly explained to the secretary what was happening. Hearing the angry voices, Mr. Darian, the principal came out of his office and listened. “Sounds like this is all getting blown out of proportion,” he said. “Let’s go see if we can’t get this soothed down. This is Amanda’s first day here and maybe there’s been some sort of misunderstanding. And I don’t think that Mrs. Stevens would accuse her of copying unless she thought she was right. Let’s see what we can do about this.”

“My sister wouldn’t cheat,” Steve told him coldly.

“Ok, well, let’s not you and I fight about it,” said Mr. Darian. “I sincerely hope you’re right. Let’s you and I go see what we can do to help straighten this out.”

The two of them hurried to the classroom and found Mrs. Stevens and Amanda glaring at each other.

“Ok, now let’s see what we can do about this,” said Mr. Darian.

“This girl passed in an essay that is way beyond the capabilities of an eleven year old and insists that she didn’t copy it,” said Mrs. Stevens. “I don’t like having to accuse any of my students of cheating, but in this instance, there’s no other explanation.”

“And I don’t like being accused of cheating and not being given a chance to prove that I didn’t,” said Amanda coldly.

Kate Carter and Robbie slipped into the room and took a seat in the back. Brenda smiled. “I’m glad I thought to call Mom and tell her we’d be late and what was happening,” she thought and went to the back of the room to sit with her mother.

“May I see the essay?” asked Mr. Darian. Amanda handed it to him and he read a part of it silently, then he shook his head. “This is quite an impressive essay, Amanda,” he said. “Are you sure you want to insist that you wrote it?”

“Yes sir, because I did,” answered Amanda. “I should have remembered to write like an eleven year old,” she thought to herself. “But it’s too late now, so I’ve made myself a mess.”

“You said you’d like a chance to prove you didn’t cheat,” said Mr. Darian slowly. “How would you suggest you do that?”

“Why don’t you give me some paper and a topic to write on and let me sit right here and write it while you all watch me?” suggested Amanda. “If it’s the same quality as this paper, you’ll all know I didn’t copy anything.”

“That sounds fair,” said Mr. Darian. He looked at Mrs. Stevens to see what she thought.

“I think so too,” said Mrs. Stevens. “And Amanda, I’d like nothing better than to have you prove me wrong.” She took several pieces of paper out of her desk and handed them to Amanda who sat down at her desk and took out a pencil and waited expectantly to be given a topic.

“Suppose you write an essay about Abraham Lincoln,” said Mr. Darian. “You probably know enough about him not to have to look anything up so nobody can say you’re copying any thing.”

Amanda started to write and the room was quiet. Mr. Darian joined Kate Carter at the back of the room and Mrs. Stevens looked through a pile of papers that were laying on her desk. Nobody wanted to make Amanda feel uncomfortable by feeling like everyone was staring at her.

“All right Amanda,” said Mr. Darian after Amanda had been writing for fifteen minutes. “That ought to be enough to show your writing ability, don’t you think?”

“Yes sir, I think so,” said Amanda. She sounded very confident as she handed the paper to Mr. Darian as he approached her desk.

Mr. Darian read the paper silently, then looked up. “Good Lord,” he said, looking around the room. “I’d be proud if I wrote that myself.” He handed the paper to Mrs. Stevens who also read it.

“Amanda, I apologize,” said Mrs. Stevens. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to be wrong about something. You have a wonderful gift for writing. I am shocked to find an eleven year old writing like this, there are students in high school, maybe even college who can’t write that well.”

“Yay!!” whooped Steve. “We knew you didn’t cheat Amanda, we knew you didn’t!”

“Well, I guess I’m not going to get to be an ordinary eleven year old this time around either,” thought Amada. “But I won’t let them make me a genius and stop me from playing basketball and things either. I guess I’m going to sort of be somewhere in between and that seems like a pretty good place to be.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Free Children Ebook

Hi, everyone I'm giving away my children's ebook Amanda Younger: Girl Detective for free on Smashwords until December 24.
Amanda Younger is about a spy finally getting her man. She is a genius spy who tracks down her old professor only to find him arm to the teeth. She escapes from his fortress barely, but before she goes she is doused with a youth potion. She wakes up in a hospital bed with memories of her adult life, but trapped in a child's body. Now she must decide if she was a spy. Being considered a kid she is forced to live in a foster home where she meets a true family with a dark secret. Learning the secret opens her to who she really is allowing her to prepare for her nemesis. Who comes and takes her away in the guise of her uncle.

The book is in many different versions from Kindle to Nook, to just pdf. If anyone wants to buy a paperback they can visit Please review the book on Amazon if you liked it. I appreciate all who read this post to pass it to their friends. Sincerely, Yancey Lane The code you need to enter as a coupon on Smash words is LD54E.

Excerpts from Amanda Younger: Girl Detective

“Ok, now see if you can throw it in the basket, Amanda,” said Brenda, as the young people in the Carter family gave Amanda her first lesson in playing basketball.

“You can do it, Manda, you can do it,” screamed little Robbie, jumping up and down in excitement. “Then it’s my turn everybody, ok?”

Amanda grinned as she stared up at the basketball hoop on the garage. “This is fun,” she thought to herself. “I like being a kid again. I remember enough about being a kid the last time to know I never got to do anything like this. I remember some people saying that this sort of thing was for ordinary children and I mustn’t waste my time on it.”

Amanda shot the ball three times and finally managed to get it through the hoop. “I did it, I did it!” she shouted.

“Yes you did,” laughed a tall, smiling man who had just climbed out of the car which he had driven into the driveway. “Good job too! You must be Amanda. I’m Ken Carter, most of the kids that are part of our family call me Dad Ken. I hope you will too. I’m glad you’ve come to be a part of our family.”

“Thanks Dad Ken,” said Amanda shyly as the man put his arm around her shoulders and gave her a quick hug. The memories that were slowly clearing in her mind had already told her that in what she now thought of as ‘the first time she was a child’ her father had always been called “Father” and as for hugs, well the nearest thing she could remember were profunctionary kisses on the forehead which were few and far between.

“Manda made a basket, Dad Ken,” said Robbie. “She really did, did you see?”

“Yes she did and it was a good one too,” said Ken Carter. “With more practice, Amanda is going to be a really good basketball player.”

“Do you really think so?” asked Amanda, looking at Ken Carter and trying to decide if he was just being nice or if he really meant what he was saying.

“I sure do,” said Ken. “And the more you practice, the better you’ll be. We like to play basketball around here, so we’ll give you plenty of chances to practice.”

“Now it’s my turn,” said Robbie, doing his best to dribble the basketball, which in his case was a bounce and catch effort.

Ken Carter scooped the little boy up in his arms and held him up near the basket. “Now throw it in, Robbie, you can do it.”

Robbie threw the ball into the hoop and the others all cheered.

“I did it, I did it,” crowed Robbie. “I’m going to be a basketball star just like Manda. I made a basket just like Manda.

“Yes you did,” his foster father told him. “But you know the most important thing isn’t winning, it’s doing your best and having a good time.”

“Then you don’t think it’s a disgrace to lose?” asked Amanda. “My father always used to say that losing was disgraceful, you should always be the winner.”

“Well this father doesn’t say that,” Ken told her. “Everybody likes to win of course, but the most important things are to do your best and to have a good time.”

“And to try to make sure that every body else has a good time too, right Dad?” asked Sarah.

“That’s right,” said Ken. “Amanda, do you remember anything else about your father? I know you’ve been having trouble with your memory.”

“Not really,” admitted Amanda. “I remember he wanted me to work with my teachers till I could answer all the questions correctly and do all the work that they gave me, but that’s about it. I remember he used to wear suits to work, but I can’t remember just what he looked like. He didn’t have much time for kids, neither did my mother.”

The fact that Amanda spoke of her parents in the past tense wasn’t lost on Ken. “I wonder if something happened to them and she’s going to eventually remember that they’re dead,” he thought to herself. “Sounds as if she wasn’t allowed to have much fun. Hopefully we can make up for that a little bit while she’s with us.”

Ken sat Robbie back down on the ground and took a shot at the basketball hoop himself. “Well, looks like I need some practice too,” he grinned as the ball hit the edge of the hoop and then rolled off. “I’m going in and let your mother know I’m home. You kids have got about fifteen minutes or so for fun stuff, then why don’t you come in and help get things ready for supper?”

“I can help, Dad Ken,” said Robbie. “I’m a good helper. Mom Kate said so.”

“Yes you are,” Ken told him. “You’re a very good helper and we’re lucky to have you as part of our family.”

Robbie beamed. It was evident to Amanda that he definitely valued his foster father’s opinion.

“This being a kid again is really pretty nice,” thought Amanda. “I couldn’t possibly have come up with a better disguise. Nobody is going to be looking for Patricia Mason as an eleven year old.” Amanda gasped as she realized what she had just said. Suddenly memories started whirling through her mind and she felt dizzy.

“Hey there,” are you alright?” asked Steve grabbing Amanda by the arm. “You look sick, sort of like you’re going to pass out.”

“I’m, I’m ok,” said Amanda, allowing him to lead her to a nearby lawn chair where she sat down. “I guess it’s where my head got banged up, I just suddenly, felt dizzy but I’m ok now.”

“Are you sure?” asked Brenda. “Maybe one of us should go get Mom or Dad.”

“No, please, for goodness sakes don’t do that,” said Amanda. “I’m ok, I’ve had enough of sitting around while I was in the hospital. Please don’t say anything, I’m ok, really.”

“Ok, if you’re sure,” said Sarah. “I don’t think any of us would want to have to sit around and act like an invalid either. If you think you’re ok and it doesn’t happen any more none of us will say anything, right gang?”

“Right,” answered the others. They took turns shooting at the basket for a little while longer, then Steve took care of the basketball and they all started towards the house.

“Wow, that was really something,” thought Amanda. “Now if I could just remember the last name I’m supposed to be using and the code to get hold of the chief I’d be all set.”

In the meantime, the chief followed the professor around, helping him to make a list of the things he was going to need for his experiments. “He’ll never suspect that his helper is the chief of Operation Themis,” she thought to herself. “He wouldn’t expect me to be out here in the field, but I like to kind of keep my finger right on what’s going on. Besides, I’ve always said the best place to hide is right in plain sight.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Excerpts from Amanda Younger: Girl Detective

“How could you have let her get away?” snapped Edward “She was hurt, hurt bad, I could see that from the blood. She couldn’t have traveled very fast. You should have been able to stop her.” He glared at the other two men in the room. He was a middle aged man, and looked like nothing more than the successful business man that he pretended to be. He used the money from his illicit dealings to make his business look legitimate. Only a handful of people knew just how dangerous he could be and none of them had any desire to incur his wrath. They knew how threatening that could be to their health, indeed to their very lives.
“There were bullets flying all over the place, bottles breaking, glass flying into us, we did the best we could boss,” answered the professor. “It wouldn’t have done any good for us to get killed trying to grab her, we wouldn’t have had her then either and we wouldn’t have been around for another chance to capture her. This way at least we can keep trying.”
“Yes, well, you’d better make this other chance count for something,” snarled Edward. “I don’t keep you boys supplied with money and whatever for nothing. I expect you to make it worth my while, understand?”
“Yes boss,” answered Josh. “But…”
“I don’t need to listen to any of your buts,” snapped Edward. “That woman is one of the top agents in the country and probably the only one with the evidence to cause us any trouble. Plus she’s got information we can use. I need her alive and I need her here. Now that’s your orders, Get Patricia Mason and bring her here.”
“I doubt if she’ll talk,” spoke up the professor. “I remember what she was like as a kid. She was a genius, but she was still a kid. Stuborn little thing. Any thing she didn’t want to do, she didn’t do.”
“You just get her here,” ordered Edward. “You get her here, I’ll see to it that she talks. Now get out of here and stop wasting my time. There could be clues out there as to what happened and you need to find them.”
“Yes boss,” said Josh, he turned and hurried out of the room, glad to get out of there.
The professor nodded and followed after him. “I’m sort of glad he didn’t get his hands on her,” he thought to himself. “I can’t say I have any special love for Patricia, but I’ve known her since she was a kid and well, even though I want to capture her and use her money to carry out my experiments, I wouldn’t wish for my worse enemy to get in that guy’s hands. I wouldn’t be working with him myself if it wasn’t for the money he gives me for my experiments.”
“Whew,” said Josh. “I’m sure glad to get out of there.”
“Why do you work for him?” asked the professor, even though he was pretty sure he knew the answer.
“Same reason you do,” answered Josh. “If we don’t, he’ll make it look like we’re to blame for some of his deals and we’ll be the ones that go to jail. He can do it too, he’s got that much power.
We can’t just walk away, he’s got to much on us.”
“I guess your right,” answered the professor. “I’d sort of hate to see him get his hands on Patricia though. I knew her when she was a kid, her folks hired me as one of her teachers. Regular schools weren’t good enough for her, know what I mean? Minute that the school folks labeled her as a genius, they yanked her out of school and set up their own educational system for her. They had the money to do it too. They wouldn’t let her play with other kids or do a lot of things kids usually do, they said it was a waste of her time and her brain. Sometimes when we’d take a break in our work, I’d see her watching some kids out the window. I tried to tell her folks that even though she was a genius, she was still a kid and needed to be interactive with other kids to help her grow up able to interact with other folks, but they weren’t having it. They didn’t even want her around any kids in their own families.”
“How did she ever get into undercover agent stuff?” asked Josh. “I mean she’s one of the top ones in the country. We wouldn’t even know about her if we weren’t in our line of work.”
“I really don’t know,” answered the professor. “I’d better watch it,” he thought to himself. “This guy is trying to pump my brain to help him find Patricia. I don’t mind getting information from her to help Edward, provided helping him helps me, but I don’t really want to see her get killed or anything. If it’s her or me, well that’s a different story.”
“Well, I guess we’d better both get going, see what we can find out,” said Josh. “You’ve got quite a mess to clean up in your lab. Maybe you’ll find some clues there.”
“Yes,” answered the professor. “And I want to talk to my assistants too. I saw how badly she was hurt, I can’t believe she managed to get away. Somebody had to have helped her, she couldn’t have done it by herself. Question is, who helped her and why?”
The two men parted and each went their own way, each bent on finding Patricia Mason, otherwise known, although not to them, as Amanda Younger.