It is available HERE
Part 1, The Farm of the Delphian Sisterhood, introduces Sam Reilly a retired ex Marine, to the Delphian Sisterhood, a group of four beautiful but mysterious women quietly tending a farm in Western Pennsylvania. As a neighbor on an adjacent farm, Sam assumes the role of protector and guardian for the four women. But as he learns, his role entails much more. He is protector, lover and frequently, disciplinarian, for the sisters have a need for a strong man who will dispense domestic discipline in order to maintain domestic harmony.
In Part 2, LaForge, the remote alpine village of LaForge is introduced. Bridget O’Brien, a sculptress, has fled New York for a simpler life and hopes to find it in LaForge, a village known for it’s artist colony feel. A chance meeting with the deputy constable, Tom McRae, leads to a budding romantic involvement she hadn’t anticipated. But carrying that relationship forward may mean accepting Tom’s notion of domestic discipline, and will call for her participation in an ancient Rite, one that requires bravery and sacrifice. But the Rite itself reveals an awakening threat, one poised to strike at the heart of LaForge.
Part 3, Thermopolis Springs, brings Sam Reilly to LaForge seeking the Delphian Sisterhood. With him is Racheal Greene, a renown physicist, searching for her lost sister, last seen in the care of the Delphian sisters. The pair must team up with Tom and Bridget, not only to find Rachael’s sister, but to prevent a catastrophe from destroying LaForge itself. It means going under cover into the heart of a cult of cruelty, one that employs the rod and the lash to achieve its ends.
Here are a few brief excerpts:
Bell’s Camp, Oregon Cascades, 1880
The four ladies stood in row facing Josiah Bell who sat on a stump that sometimes sufficed for a chair. He used it when he needed something sturdy, and by all accounts this was one of those times. The four fidgeted, from time to time casting nervous glances at each other.
Josiah’s face was grim as he eyed the four, and from time to time slapped his left palm with the short leather strap that he carried in his right. The four were in their cotton underwear, chemises and drawers, having undressed for this scolding and the inevitable reckoning that would follow.
“I told you all to stay away from that clearing up in the hollow, and I find you there, middle of the night, holding hands, bare naked, circling that tree, chanting somethin’ er other. Now I don’t know what that was all about. I know you got your religious practices, and that’s fine. But your safety is my worry. You made me your Guardian and so I set some rules. And one of ‘em was, stay away from that clearing. I’ve seen a cougar’s kills there. I told you that. You were lucky I come along looking for you and got a good shot at that cat. I bet you don’t know he was stalking you the whole time.”
One of the four, the oldest, spoke. “Please, Josiah. We’re sorry. We had to do it. The enchantment can only be laid on the night of the August moon. It is a special time for us, and that tree, indeed, this whole valley is a special place.”
Josiah shook his head. “Maybe. But ladies, I have to do this. You should have got me to come. You broke a rule and there’s a punishment for that.”
He stood up and gestured at the youngest, a slender girl with long reddish hair.
“You first Jessie. Get up here and bend over. Put your hands on the stump.”
The girl approached the stump while the rest of them stood back.
“Pull your drawers down, Jessie.”
The girl obediently untied her drawers, letting them fall to her ankles, thereby revealing a firm and exquisitely shaped bottom. The lovely sight made Josiah catch his breath, but just for a moment. He had a duty to perform. He stepped to the side, and drawing the strap through his left hand, cocked his right arm and let fly with a firm stroke. It landed with a firm thwack! The girl tensed and drew a hiss of breath through her teeth. Her buttocks wobbled at impact and a red swath appeared.
“That’s one. You are all getting a dozen,” announced Josiah.
He meted out eleven more licks with the supple strap. Each one painted a red band across Jessie’s bottom and each one drew a hiss or a yelp from the girl. But she did not move or try to evade her punishment. As her licking drew to a close, Josiah resolved that he’d treat the other three in exactly the same way. And at the same time the thought intruded, would any of them come to his bed tonight? Often, after a punishment, they did. It was as if the spankings or strappings he administered on occasion stimulated some lusty desire. He didn’t understand it, but they had asked for this type of discipline. It was part of their compact. He put the thought aside and motioned for Jessie to get up.
He wiped his brow and gestured with the strap. “Amelia, you next. Get over here, gal.”
Three more to go. They were lovely women but oh, so very different. Barely a year ago they had wandered into his camp, a pristine valley set high in the Cascades. Where they had come from, he did not know. He’d taken them in, built them a cabin. They farmed and he trapped and hunted. Then they’d ‘adopted’ him, according to their custom, they’d said.
Well, this chastisement was according to their custom too. He steeled himself, resolving to mete out this punishment fairly, but severely enough to teach them all a good lesson. They were his family now and he loved them all too much to let any harm come their way.
At dusk they came for her. Three women, Helen St. James, Molly van Pelt, and Erica Gilbert. It was not, as she was surprised to learn, to be a solemn occasion. The women chatted with her gaily as if they were embarking on a picnic. They made their way on foot to a grove of willows, on the bank of the river and near the trail that led into the forest. They had brought garden shears and a knife.
“We’ll help you Bridget, but you have to prepare the willow rods yourself,” said Erica. “Willow doesn’t grow naturally at this altitude. This willow grove, many believe, was planted in the 1860’s by the Delphian Sisterhood. It’s supposed to be enchanted.”
“The Delphian Sisterhood? Who were they?”
“A group of women who lived in this valley when the LaForge family arrived. I’ll explain more later,” she said.
“But right now we’d best get to it. Try to find a good stout one then cut it to size.”
It wasn’t difficult. She quickly found four or five that would do. “Now cut it here,” said Helen indicating a spot a few inches from the thick end. “The grasping end should be about as big around as your thumb and then the other end will be about right—maybe a third to a quarter inch thick. See, they taper off.”
Bridget did as she instructed and ended up with three yard long withes. They looked formidable. Butterflies began to churn in Bridget’s stomach. This is really it, she thought. I’m cutting switches for my own whipping.
“Now,” said Molly, “be sure to smooth the ends. Strip off all the shoots and buds. That’s right,” she said as Bridget worked the knife, stripping them into smooth lengths. When she was done, she presented them to the women. The stripped withes met with their approval.
There was no one else in the grove and it was getting dark. All of the women doffed their clothing and put on gowns belted with silken cords. Bridget’s gown was both silky and diaphanous, flowing over her body while clinging to reveal her natural curves. Crossed white straps sown into the front separated and lifted her breasts. Like the others she wore sandals.
“You are beautiful, my dear,” said Helen, handing her the rod bundle. With her lush red hair tumbling about her shoulders, wearing an almost see-through white gown, and holding a wicked looking bundle of willow switches, she looked no different from pagan princess of 1000 years earlier, ready to be delivered for a Druidic sacrifice.
And, a third excerpt:
The meeting at the junction found a pair of frightened but relieved girls, and a concerned Sam and Tom. Bridget related the story. Tom didn't say anything except to express how glad he was that they were safe. Tom had Sam drive Bridget's car. Bridget got in the truck with Tom.
As they started the drive over the pass Tom said, "What were you thinking, Bridget?" Tom now felt free to be clearly annoyed since the danger had passed and all were safe.
Bridget told him about Rachael's insistence on the reconnaissance mission.
"And if Rachael had wanted to jump off a cliff, too? That would have made it ok?"
"I couldn't let her go alone," Bridget pouted.
"We'll discuss this further at home." To Bridget that sounded like 'wait 'til I get you home'.
They conferred in the living room at Bridget's farmhouse. "Ok ladies," Sam began, "suppose you tell us what you found out on that unauthorized adventure." Sam thought that it had been reckless. He knew Tom did too.
Rachael reported exactly what they'd seen, feeling justified that they had gone. "It is certainly enough for me to suspect that something is happening there. Was there a person in that sack? It was big enough. And what on earth is a pillory doing in the courtyard of a hotel, not to mention the other things. They looked like frames of some kind, like for tying people down to do God knows what to them. What did you men find out?"
Tom was looking at Bridget with a look of both relief and anger. "We found out a lot. We'll discuss it over supper if you don't mind. Right now I need to have a little discussion with Bridget alone. Why don't you folks go for a walk? Work off some that tension from all of this."
Sam and Rachael looked at each other as if waiting for a cue from the other. Sam finally slapped his thighs and said, rising, "Good idea. C'mon Rachael, lets give them some privacy."
Tom turned to Bridget, as soon as they'd left. "I can't believe it. You told me you wouldn't do this." He shook his head slowly. "Upstairs. Go. Take off all your clothes and wait for me."
"Tom, no." Her hands flew unconsciously to her rear end, cupping the cheeks that she feared were due a real tanning . It wasn't going to be a playful paddling like on their honeymoon. Tom had gently warmed her bottom then, and it had been very sensuous and arousing to be taken across her new husband's knee to have her bottom cheeks lightly spanked to a rosy hue amid much stroking and rubbing. The sex afterward had been nothing short of fantastic. This would be different.
"Bridget, I will not have this. You told me one thing then did another. You could have been torn to bits and the only reason you were not is because Sam had a last minute thought to see the hotel himself. This will not happen again."
Knowing that further argument was futile she trooped upstairs. As she stripped for what she feared would be a real and very sound spanking from her husband she caught the reflection of her pert figure in the mirror. Maybe I can distract him, she thought.
But Tom would entertain no such thought. He entered the room to find her naked and sat on the bed, frowning. "I hate to do this, but you know you deserve this licking, Bridget. Come here." He gestured, pointing to his knee.
"Tom, no please," she entreated. "Nobody got hurt and we found out some things. We won't do it again. I promise."
"You're right about that last part. You will not do it again," he said as he took her wrist and tipped her across his knee. It took him a minute to position her struggling body just so, bottom arched up over his left knee, jutting skyward at just the right angle. His left arm encircled her waist like an iron band. She felt helpless. Her feet were kicking but it wasn't doing any good.
In the history of spankings Bridget would later reflect that it had been one of the very best she ever got. But as Tom commenced a noisy and vigorous smacking of his bride's bare bottom cheeks, all she could reflect on was the burning pain that stung with ever increasing intensity as Tom poured smack after smack on her quickly reddening globes. The first few smacks tingled sharply, the next few stung and were uncomfortable but manageable. After that the sting became a furious bonfire in her bottom from which she could neither escape nor endure with any grace whatsoever. An observer who could have seen the proceedings would have seen a tearful girl wriggling across her lover's lap, clearly in distress at her painful predicament, as smack after stinging smack landed, each globe flattening momentarily before rebounding to its formerly rounded shape. The same observer would have seen the determined lover intent on his task, brow furrowed with concentration, taking careful aim and striking briskly in a steady cadence, evenly spanking the tender bottom globes to infuse the entirety of their surfaces with the hot glow of what he surely believed to be justifiable chastisement. For nearly five full minutes the room resonated with the cracks of bare palm meeting bare bottom accompanied by Bridget's yelps and entreaties.