Thursday, 24 October 2019

Lie To Me by Samantha Calcott

Cover reveal for LIE TO ME, the sophomore novel from
international bestselling author Samantha Calcott.

Coming November 7th from Encompass Ink, an imprint of CHBB Publishing.
Edited by Elizabeth Anne Lance of EAL Editing Services.
Cover art by SL Perrine of Mayhem Designs.

It started with detention. After all, where else are a Goth, a jock, a nerd, and a loner going to meet, let alone strike up a friendship?

Frankie didn't mean to get detention. He had no idea his mumbled comments about the teacher's attitude could be heard by everyone.

Taylor only wanted a quick snog with a boy in a broom closet. He didn't expect the boy to turn tail and run, leaving him to take the punishment.

Allen pushed Joe into a locker. Joe gave him a kick in the pants. And so they both wound up in trouble.

Four disparate boys. Eight hours of forced camaraderie. And a friendship to last a lifetime. Until, of course, their hearts get involved...


       Frankie used to think Allen was nice, just a bit on the unintelligent side. But after his actions with Joe earlier that week, he wasn’t so sure. The last thing he wanted was to end up stuffed in a locker. He was gangly and barely five-ten: he’d be a perfect fit.
       “Morning,” Allen said. His dark brown hair stuck up in wild spikes, as if he hadn’t bothered to brush it at all that week.
       Unlike Frankie, whose black hair was sleek and styled, brushed away from his face and held in place with a bit of pomade. He figured if he couldn’t choose his clothes, he could at least choose what his hair looked like.
       “Good morning,” he replied warily.
       Allen wore his letterman jacket over a t-shirt and jeans. He never failed to remind people that he was a football star. His eyes flicked over Frankie’s unfortunate outfit. “So, you ever been in detention before?”
       “Not at this school,” Frankie replied. “You?”
       He shrugged. “A couple times. Kinda boring, but it could be worse.”
       Footsteps could be heard, and Joe rounded the corner. The poor guy looked nervous, and Frankie couldn’t blame him. “Hey, Joe,” he called. He took AP math and biology with him.

        They’d been partners twice in junior year. He was quiet but nice.
       “Hey.” He adjusted his glasses, which looked like a nervous tic to Frankie.
       “I bet you’ve never had detention before,” Allen said to him.
       He ducked his head and blushed, the red of his face setting off his light, ginger colored hair. “N-no.”
       Allen gestured to his rolling backpack. “Taking out of your study time?”
       “Yes,” Frankie cut in, not liking the nasty expression on Allen’s face. “I hope they let us study, because I brought my books, too.”
       Allen gave him another once over and said, “Oh. Well, they let you read. Just not talk.”
       “Thank God,” Joe muttered, relieved. Frankie gave him a small smile, just to be nice.
       The deputy headmaster, Mr. Romani, came then. He was a tall, thin man with a drooping mustache and matching eyelids. He looked anywhere between forty and a hundred.
       “Where’s Graves?” he asked them.
       “I don’t know, sir,” Frankie said politely.
       “He better be here in the next ninety seconds,” Romani muttered as he unlocked the library doors. “You three sit down. Pick a seat you like, you’re not allowed to move the rest of the day.”
       “Um, sir? What if we need to stretch our legs?” Frankie asked.
       “Under the desk, Mr. Reis,” Romani replied. “Now sit.”
       The tables were long stained cherrywood, hand carved. The chairs could use some updating, but they were more comfortable than the classroom chairs. Frankie took a seat at one, and Joe sat kiddy-corner from him. Allen sat at another table, slinging his jacket over his chair.
       Just as Frankie was sure that Taylor was going to get into major trouble, he burst into the library doors. “I’m late, I’m so sorry! My roommate … he turned off my alarm. He thought I set it by mistake.”
       Romani gave Taylor a once over and said, “Sit down, Mr. Graves. And you’re lucky it’s not a school day.” He shook his head and muttered to himself, “We need a dress code for days off, too.
       “All right, you four. You will be here until three in the afternoon. Lunch will be brought in for you at noon. Bathroom breaks will come at ten AM and two PM. You may study or read quietly. No talking. No playing music. No games. I will be across the hall, in meetings, but I will be able to hear if you are getting out of hand in here. Good day, gentlemen.”
       He left then, but Frankie had barely heard a single thing the old man said. He was too busy looking at Taylor. On weekends, Frankie rarely left his dorm. He didn’t know any of his classmates outside of class. What they wore, what they liked, it was a mystery to him.
       So it was certainly a surprise to see the deacon’s son clad in a pair of black shorts with black and white striped thigh-high socks, shiny black leather boots, and a black tank top with sparkly silver wings on the back. Atop his blond curls he wore a black newsboy cap, his cornflower blue eyes were ringed in black eyeliner, and his lips were painted sparkly pink. Silver spikes dangled from his ears.
       Frankie’s throat felt like it had closed up, and he couldn’t speak.
       Taylor tossed his backpack on the back of a chair at the table Allen was sitting at, across from him. So Frankie could look right at him with barely a turn of the head. The other two weren’t staring, so apparently they already knew what he dressed like when not in class.
       “You have a problem, Reis?” Taylor asked, leaning back in his chair.
       “No, no problem,” he said, aware that his voice went up a few octaves. He cleared his throat. “You, um, you look good.”
       A small smile graced his face. “Thanks. No offense, but you look like my great uncle.”
       Frankie blushed but he wasn’t angry. Taylor wasn’t being mean. “I know. But I don’t have much of a choice of what to wear.”
       “How come?” Taylor asked.
       “Guys,” Joe hissed. “Romani just left. Don’t you think he might be listening?”
       Allen scoffed. “You really think we weren’t going to talk all day?”
       Joe gave him a dirty look. “I have nothing to say to you anyway.”
       “Why not?” Allen asked.
       “You tried to push me in a locker!”
       “Yeah, well, you kicked me in the balls.”
       “Because you pushed me into a locker!”
       “Hey!” Frankie said, barely raising his voice. “If we yell, he’ll definitely hear us. Cool it.”
       “What was the fight about, anyway?” Taylor wondered. “I didn’t even think you two came from the same universe, let alone knew each other well enough to fight.”
       Joe sighed. “He paid me to do his homework. I couldn’t get it done until the day after I said, and he was pissed at me.”
       The other two looked at Allen, who merely shrugged.
       “So, how are your balls?” Frankie asked him, a little miffed at his nonchalance. “Think you’ll be able to have a family one day, or will Joe have to be your sperm donor?”
       Taylor snickered, ducking his head, and Joe outright laughed out loud. Frankie joined them at the stricken look on Allen’s face. A moment later, a smile cracked his face and he rubbed his forehead.
       “Fuck, Joe, you got a Hell of a kick. Ever think of trying out for the football team?” he asked. “We’d only call you in for field goals.”
       The ice was broken then, tension dissipating.
       “Hey, I’m sorry,” Allen continued. “I was freaked out about failing. Football is my love, man. If I get kicked off the team, I don’t get seen by colleges. I don’t get on a good college’s team, I’m never making the NFL.”
       Frankie leaned back and said, “So you really do want to be a football player professionally?” When he had tutored him, he had never said anything. Actually, he hadn’t said much of anything at all. Most of his time had been spent staring at Frankie.
       Allen nodded. “Yeah. Didn’t you play baseball as a sophomore? Why’d you quit?”
       He glanced down at his worn shoes and debated lying. As a scholarship student, you were required to do an extracurricular activity, no matter what. He had started with baseball, because it was the shortest season of all the sports and gave him more time to study. However, before the season was halfway done, his mother informed him that she couldn’t afford the uniform every season, nor could she afford his share of the dues to make away games.
       So he’d quit. He had always liked music, so he auditioned for the choir, and somehow made it as the frontman with the most solos.
       “It’s a long story,” he finally said. “But I’m happy in the choir.”
       “And we are ecstatic to have you,” Taylor commented. “I just hope us both missing rehearsal doesn’t fuck anything up for our concert.”
       Allen gestured at him as a whole and said, “Just wear that getup. They’ll all be so scandalized no one will notice if you suck or not.”
       Taylor gave him the finger. “If my dad ever saw my clothes, he would die, resurrect himself to kill me, and then die again.”
       “What? Mr. Strict Catholic Deacon doesn’t like his son wearing women’s stockings and makeup?” Joe asked. “I never would have guessed.”
       Everyone laughed a little again, though Taylor looked a little uncomfortable.
       “Hey, if it means anything, you really do look great. I’d kill for your wardrobe … girl’s stockings and all.” Frankie plucked at his shirt. “Anything is better than this crap.”
       “That’s true,” Allen said.

       Silence settled over the foursome, but it wasn’t tense or uncomfortable. Each boy sat in their seat, quietly observing the others.

About the Author:

Samantha Calcott is a secret lover of romance when it's done right, and after years of writing under another pen name in the horror and paranormal genres, she decided to dip her toe into a brand new genre.

She's a Midwestern girl who spent nearly a decade in the gritty heart of Los Angeles, where sex, drugs, and rock n' roll reign. When not writing, she's reading, at a concert, or cooking.

She currently lives in Arizona. She also writes horror and paranormal books as USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi.

Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to her newsletter to get a FREE book!

No comments :

Post a comment