Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Trad Tuesday: Star o' the Bar sung by Old Blind Dogs


Davie Robertson was born in 1945 and has lived all his life in the village of Longniddry, East Lothian. He has been interested and involved in the folk revival since the mid 1960s and during that decade started composing songs, which he sang in local folk clubs and at other events. He later went on to enter (and win) a number of Scottish songwriting competitions. He wrote Star o' the Bar in the traditional mode.

Old Blind Dogs is a Scottish musical group which plays traditional Scottish folk music and Celtic music, with influences from rock, reggae, jazz, blues, and Middle Eastern music rhythms.

Lyrics:

Oh I'll sing you a stave if you'll gies your attention
It's no song of pity, it's no tale of woe
And no word of honor or love will I mention
But I'll sing of a lassie I kent long ago

Chorus:
No better than most, and no worse as many
And what drew me to her's no' easy to say
She was course, she was heartless, and she wasnae that bonnie
But she was the star o' the bar in her day

I've stravaiged the Royal Mile with her, drinking in style with her
And Rose Street from end to end often surveyed
Fought and swore in the pubs with her, rolled in the dubs with her
Cadged many's a sub from her never repaid

(Chorus)

All you chaps with young lassies, believe me, love soon passes
And all your bright dreams are but straws in the wind
Better one who'll sit down with you, sing a fine tune with you
Pass the glass 'round with you, drink herself blind

(Chorus 2x)

Monday, August 20, 2018

Book Tour and Giveaway: Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Macy



Bear Witness to Murder
A Teddy Bear Mystery #2
by Meg Macy
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Cute and cuddly on the outside, murder and mayhem on the inside . . . Totally adorable.” —Duffy Brown on Bearly Departed
As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .
Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .
But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

Praise For Bearly Departed
You’ll fall in love with this delightful debut mystery.” —Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights
The first in a new series features a complex plot awash in red herrings, a perky heroine . . . and everything you ever wanted to know about teddy bears.”—Kirkus Reviews
The appealing, impulsive amateur sleuth, dedicated to the family business, will appeal to fans of character-driven cozies.” —Library Journal
Entertaining . . . inhabited by quirky, fully developed characters and good dogs and cats.” —Publishers Weekly



Bearly Departed
A Teddy Bear Mystery #1

You’ll fall in love with this delightful debut mystery.” —Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights
The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .
As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .
But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .
A twisty mystery tale with a likable protagonist and a colorful supporting cast. Sure to be a very enjoyable series!”—Livia J. Washburn, bestselling author of Black and Blueberry Die
Cute and cuddly on the outside, murder and mayhem on the inside—I love this book!!! Totally adorable.”—Duffy Brown, bestselling author of Braking for Bodies



Meg Macy is an award-winning author and artist. Her first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Spur Award for Best First Novel from Western Writers of America. Meg is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland, authors of the Eliza and Henry Higgins Mystery series—of which two titles have been Agatha Award finalists. Meg lives in Southeastern Michigan, the setting for her Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear mysteries.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!






Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review: The Stairs in the Woods by Matthew Cesca

Kaitlynn Jenson has come home to Connecticut to help her dying father. In cleaning out his house, she discovers a secret he's kept from her - a secret that leads her on an adventure through dangers she never expected. She finds a new world and becomes friends with a satyr named Faljon as well as other creatures she never thought existed.
Ever since I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I've loved portal fantasies. The idea of someone being swept away through a gate or door into another world is fascinating. The author here has done a nice job of worldbuilding in creating Somalie. It is peopled by different creatures from myth and folklore. and he's added good detail about the various peoples and beasts. The world itself is described well from the forests through swamps and into the mountains. It is easy for the reader to become engrossed in this world.
The writing is good with nice pacing and a good flow to the story. The dialogue has the occasional funny moment as Kaitlynn's view of the world collides with how the people of Somalie think things should go. The battle scenes work well with excellent detail on the thrust of spears or the slashing of a sword.
The developing relationship between Kaitlynn and Faljon is interesting. The author is careful not to rush them into anything so it evolves in a natural manner that is entirely believable.
I very much enjoyed my venture into the world of Somalie and I hope to be reading more from this new fantasy author. Mr. Cesca is someone to watch for.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Book Review: Calming the Storm by Melanie Snitker


When Brandon offers Rachel a chance to resolve some of her problems, she isn't sure she should take
his help. She is trying to gain custody of her niece after her sister's death, she's being evicted, and has to drop out of school. Brandon is attracted to Rachel, but he just wants to help her after praying on the matter.
This is a sweet Christian romance. Brandon and his family are wonderful people. Rachel is a little prickly at first, but she learns that it's okay to have help sometimes. A very nice story.

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Release: The Stairs in the Woods by Matthew Cesca




After spending most of her life a continent away, Kaitlynn Jenson has come home to Connecticut to tend to her ailing father. But little does she know, her father has been the guardian of a deep family secret that goes back nearly a hundred generations; one that will embroil her in an adventure of a lifetime in a far away land that she never could have dreamed of, and a battle for the survival of two very different worlds.

Link to Amazon

Trad Tuesday: Flowers of the Forest sung by Isla St Clair




Traditional
Earliest found in print 1746.
The Battle of Flodden Field took place in 1513. Because of the alliance between Scotland and France, James IV attacked England when Henry VIII invaded France. The Battle of Flodden was a disaster for the Scots, with estimates of Scottish losses numbering as high as ten thousand. Numerous nobles were killed in the battle, including King James.
Jane (Jean) Elliot (1727-1805) wrote the poem "The Flowers of the Forest A Lament for Flodden". She published it anonymously circa 1755. It was, at the time, thought to be an ancient surviving ballad. However, Burns suspected it was an imitation, and Burns, Ramsay, and Sir Walter Scott eventually discovered who wrote the song. The tune is much older, echoing the Old Welsh poem Y Gododdin about a similar defeat in about 600.
Due to the content of the lyrics and the reverence for the tune, it is one of the few tunes that many pipers will perform in public only at funerals or memorial services, with play otherwise limited to private practice or to instruct other pipers.
Lyrics:

I've heard them liltin' at the ewe milking
Lassies are liltin' before dawn o' day
Now there's a moanin' on ilka green loanin'
The Flow'rs o' the Forest are a' wede awa'.

At baughts in the morning, nae blythe lads are scornin'
Lassies are lanely and dowie and wae;
Nae daffin', nae gabbin', but sighin' and sabbin'
Ilk ane lifts her leglin, and hies her awa'.

At e'en in the gloamin', nae swankies are roamin'
'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk maid sits drearie, lamentin' her dearie,
The Flow'rs o' the Forest are a' wede awa'.

In har'st at the shearin', nae youths now are jeerin',
Bandsters are runkled, an' lyart, or grey;
At fair or at preachin', nae wooin', nae fleechin',
The Flow'rs o' the Forest are a' wede awa'.

Dool for the order sent our lads to the Border,
The English, for ance, by guile, won the day;
The Flow'rs o' the Forest that fought aye the foremost,
The prime o' our land lie cauld i' the clay.

We'll hae nae mair liltin' at the ewe-milkin',
Women an' bairns are heartless an' wae;
Sighin' an' moanin' on ilka green loanin',
The Flow'rs o' the Forest are a' wede awa'.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Book Review: When Time Stands Still by Sara Furlong Burr

Elle Sloan hasn't seen Luke Hutchins in over a decade since she broke up with him over the phone.
His mother calls her because Luke was in a bad car accident and can't remember anything since the time he and Elle were together in college. She agrees to go see him, hoping to help recover. There are just a few complications: Elle is married, Luke's family and friends still blame her for the breakup, and Elle has her own issues from her background to cope with.
I love second-chance stories, and Ms. Burr does a nice job on this one. The book goes back and forth from the current time to the ten years earlier when Elle and Luke met. It builds the story quite nicely and the pacing is good. Elle and Luke are a good pair though I did think that Elle might have displayed more angst over her background - her mother's alcoholism and the bad boyfriend - than she did; it would have made her eventual reason for the breakup to be more believable.
The secondary characters are fun. Both Mena and Malone deserve their own book as Mena's dialogue is hilarious.
The writing is okay. There's a bit too much passive voice, tense changes, and some YA tropes and over-writing such as: "I know I look like a hot mess - one that has been stomped on by an elephant, run over by a train, and then shit on by life." The story is so good I wish some of this had been addressed, but I didn't find it too distracting.
Anyway, this was a good story, and I enjoyed the read very much. Readers who like second-chance romances will like this one.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Book Release, Review, & Giveaway: Flip the Beat by Roxanne D Howard



Flip the Beat
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance, Modern Day Fairy Tale, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 10th, 2018


Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR
Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, complete with a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.
Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn't given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.

Molly has her life set; she's about to graduate and has a dream job lined up in Paris. Sure, Evan, the guy who lives downstairs, rocked her world six months ago, but that's in the past - she thinks. Evan has other plans.
This is a fun and quick read. Molly and Evan are a nice couple. Evan has hidden depths, and I was glad to see Molly give him a chance. I didn't quite understand the parts about her life coach; to me, Molly was pretty together, and that part seemed superficial. But I loved her roommate and the dance instructor. They deserve their own book.




Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she's not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!








Promo Blitz: Days of Reign by Elisa Hansen



 photo Days of Reign ebook cover_zpsalzicusl.jpg
Dystopian Fiction
Date Published: June 29, 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Described as Dune meets The Hunger Games, this epic narrative of survival will have you in suspense and intrigue. Set in the futuristic world of Eldon, our hero, Zelenka, is forced to abandon everything she loves for a chance at freedom.

With parallels to today’s global crises, this book will have you questioning; would you risk it all?

It is year 2107 and the planet which was once called Earth (now Eldon), is ruled by a single, oppressive government.  Many of those who suffered under the tyrannical rule of Eldon, have fled to a neighbouring planet, Amaryllis, and attempted to grow a utopian society.

Relations between the two worlds are fraught.  Each believe the other to be evil.  Each believe it is their responsibility to save humankind from the other.

Within this interplanetary political backdrop, lives Zelenka.  The Eldonian teenager is forced to hide her intelligence and knowledge.  Naïve and idealistic, she has never fitted into Eldonian life.  She longs to openly be herself but is terrified of the government’s harsh rules and punishments.

“Zelenka is a true hero to me,” says the author, Elisa Hansen. “She has a strength of character that I see in many women facing similar fates today. Facets of the Eldon society mirror the present. Our heroes should not always the ones who succeed, but the people with true intent, and drive, to change.”



About the Author

 photo IMG-20180622-WA000012_zpsinziva6h.jpg
Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Elisa Hansen was curious about other worlds. The travel bug bit her young, and she spent her early years with a pack on her back and hiking boots on her feet. Beyond exploring she loves to dance, cook, eat, learn other languages and paint.







Contact Links



Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Book Tour & Giveaway: All of my Heart by Sophie Jacobs



 photo HF-AllofmyHeart 2_zps1kc5deeh.jpg
Contemporary Romance
Date Published:10-3-2017
Publisher: Sand Dune Books (indie published)'

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

When Suzie Hart inherited the lakeside Victorian cottage that would soon become Sweet Hart Inn, she imagined her life all planned out ahead of her. She would run the inn, write her recipes, and pick up an occasional catering job with her cousin Sydney. What she didn't plan on was Brad Matthews.

Suzie Hart has it all. A beautiful home, friends and family, and the sweetest job in the world. She's the best darned cook in Harbor Falls, North Carolina, and has the street cred to prove it. She runs her own bed and breakfast, writes a food blog, and is working on her first cookbook.

Life is perfect. Right?

Wrong. You see, Suzie has a secret. And when that secret rides up to her doorstep on a bad-ass Harley and tosses her not-so-perfect little world into some kind of big, bad tumble, happy-go-lucky Suzie panics.

Brad Matthews doesn't have a secret, he has a plan--and that plan includes luring Suzie back into his life. When she worked as his sous chef in Asheville, he had no intention of falling in love with the sassy chef, or any woman for that matter. No room in his life for romance. But when Suzie disappeared and took Brad's heart with her, his good intentions shattered. Now that he's found her again, he's not about to let her alter the new path he's set out for his life--and hers.


About the Author

 photo maddiejames6_zpsegrljcul.jpg
Sophie Jacobs writes to silence the people in her head, and she needs two pen names to get the stories down! (If only cloning were so easy.) Whether writing contemporary romance or women’s fiction, she strives to get their stories told. Writing as Maddie James, she pens romance genre fiction from cowboys to suspense. RT Book Reviews says, James “deftly combines romance and suspense,” and Affaire de Couer claims she “has a special talent for traditional romance.” Published in print, ebook, audiobook, and in at least seven languages, Maddie has been listed as a Top 100 Romance Author on Amazon and as an iBooks Rising Star in Western Romance.


Contact Links



Purchase Links




RABT Book Tours & PR

Monday, August 6, 2018

Pre-Order Blitz: The Shadow Minds Journal by Kia Carrington Russell



 photo The Shadow Minds Journal_zpsfjehyak1.jpg
Dark Fantasy
Date Published: August 6, 2018
Publisher: Crystal Publishing

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png


New Series from International Award Winning Author, Kia Carrington-Russell:



Limited time Pre-Order Price:  $.99

Price increases to list price of $3.99 on August 13th



In this world, there are creatures lurking in the shadows. As a child, I once played with them. As a teenager, I began to fear them and became victim to their attacks. As an adult, I now realize that no matter how much I try to escape the grasp of this world, I was inevitably born into it.

Now reborn as a Guardian in the year of 2986, Vivian Lair must uphold the treaty between Angels and Demons on the human world and city of Shabeah. Contracted to seven demons who she can shift into while taking direct orders from the Underworld Lord, Haymen, it wasn’t exactly her ideal rebirth. Involving herself with the Angel of War, Gabe is even worse.

Still fighting those who try to possess her during her sleep, Vivian must now record and try to hunt the Volv through the Shadow Minds Journal. Now stuck between the hatred and lust of two of the most powerful entities in all worlds, Vivian is involved inevitably in the upcoming conflict.

Blood. Lust. War. She must kill before being killed.




 photo The Shadow Minds Journal print front and back_zpsfofdrek6.jpg



Excerpt



The Shadow Minds Journal- Prologue



The problem with sleeping was it left me vulnerable to the creatures that would prey on me at night. In this place, a very distant and dark reality, I could not fight, scream, or control the environment. All I could do was run. The world and experience were completely controlled by the entity which was imposed on me. All I could do was my best at escaping its clutches and not fall for the numerous ways that they would come to me. Was I terrified? Extremely, because every time was the matter of life and death. Was I strong enough?

                Sometimes I dreamt normally, like any other human. Little did anyone know that before I was turned into a Guardian I already had run-ins with these creatures of the night. Those attacks started when I was a teenager and entirely human. No one knew, not even Haymen, and I would keep that information hidden. The attacks increased when I reached adulthood but I was able to better identify it, prepare myself for the lethargic effect it would play on my body. It increased and it got worse. But I was able to handle it somehow until Haymen turned me and forced the contract upon me. Death would have been my better option. Now being a Guardian, I was the very host that those entities savagely struck and now I had to find a new way to handle it and disperse their interest in me.

Just like now, I was dreaming, rather standard and easy sleeping. But then there was a shift, like my dream had connected into a different channel on an old tv antenna. The dream went slightly distorted, or should I say, it felt like I went distorted. Sometimes instead of a new attack, I would relive memories of the old ones.

I was already running along the dark road which surrounded me with dim houses, the light posts flickered off as I ran past each of them. The man or creature behind me was laughing as he chased me with a slight limp that did nothing to affect his speed. I was no longer the sixteen-year-old girl who had first lived this but tears still welled in my eyes as I panicked. I could not fight them. I knew I couldn’t. I could not change into my demon forms and I knew that to linger, to try and oppose the entity of whomever it was, would only allow it to get closer to me.

I ran faster; my lungs heaving and shards spreading up from the chill in the air. My breath began to lock from exhaustion as I felt him getting closer and the odd niggle on my back, a brush with coldness that I feared was him catching up and his fingers reaching for me. I could not let him touch me! He would possess and take hold of my body. He would kill me from the inside and I feared not to face death but the uncertainty of what kind of afterlife or darkness it would spiral me into. These creatures were unholy and the touch of demonic spirit that not even I wanted to confront in the light of day.

I noticed an old warehouse which splayed lights on and ran for it. I knew I shouldn’t have. But it seemed like every other option around me had disappeared. He was leading me into there.

The bright lights of the warehouse which catered for a retail store speckled my sight for a second. I panted for only a moment before dashing between the shelving, forklifts, and jumping over crates. I looked behind me but couldn’t see him. My shoulder smashed into the corner of one of the crates throwing me off balance. I caught myself and instinctually clutched for my shoulder heaving. The hair on my arms rose as I circled around in the small shelving I was at. My breath was heavy and I willed it to stop. Please. He will hear me. A tear slid down my face. This was my sixteen-year-old self reliving the moment. Ready to wake and cry to my mother about a force against me that I could not explain. I knew what was to come but I still tried to change the fate of it. It didn’t make it any less terrifying.

I turned to run into the other direction when a splash of cold water hit me. It felt like shards over my already too cold body and I screamed from the pain. The chuckle from the chucky doll ran up my leg and across my shoulder with an open wire. I didn’t have time to react but only to scream. As soon as the wire touched my entire body I convulsed and hit the floor with the current of electricity that my body could never handle…



My body was convulsing as I woke despite the sleep paralysis I woke up with every time I had one of ‘those’ dreams. Tears slid down my eyes as I felt like I was that sixteen-year-old girl once again. I knew what would happen. It was the same as last time. Eventually, the convulsing stopped and I could move. Slowly but surely, I sat up to sit in my King-sized bed, the silky light blanket dropping to the floor with my movement. I wiped away the drool from my mouth and wrapped my arms around my legs. I sat in the dark unable to identify anything in my room. Luke had left hours before and I made certain of that. I never slept with another in the room. It was a vulnerability and a risk I wasn’t willing to take. No one else could know about the night terrors that haunted us.

I sighed heavily trying to balance my breathing. So much has changed since I first had that dream at sixteen. Now twenty-four, I no longer had my mother to cry to. She died when I was seventeen. She didn’t understand, didn’t want to. Saying that it was just a nightmare. But at least I had that companionship and someone to talk to instead of others who would say I was going crazy. In a twisted way I wondered if it was the reason why I was handpicked by Haymen to become a Guardian. Not that he ever said anything from that day and I couldn’t remember how I was turned. I just remember that it was against my will. I never dared ask the others if they had the same experiences in their human life too.

I touched the large silken marble on my bedside table that summoned Doc. I had to report this to the Shadow Mind Journals. The only thing I would keep to secrecy was that I was reliving the nightmare, I had to tell Doc that it was all anew. The Shadow Mind Journals was the recording and deciphering of those who reached out to us in our dreams. It was in hope that we could identify the entity and it could be tracked so then we could hunt them during the day. There were many secrets of the Guardians but no outsiders knew that this was our true purpose. To find those who Haymen considered his greatest threat, or so I presumed.  I couldn’t imagine anyone going to all this trouble to find one species of demon unless threatened by it in some way.



I walked up the hallway from my bedroom and placed my hand on the marble panel of the door. It instantly slid open. The white room was bright in comparison to the darkness of the hall I had just walked through. It was the sector within our home that Doctor Tellith would appear at as soon as we summoned her. She was a witch that worked for Haymen and kept track of our stability and the physical toll that the dreams were taking on us. Not out of concern but as to whether we were close to being compromised. We were simply property in Haymen’s eyes and that thought was extended to those who worked for him. The attacks drained us physically more than any of us would admit and that was because while we were running and fighting for survival the entities were sucking the life out of us, hoping to drain us completely so they could take our bodies upon the next attack. It was still questionable as to whether the soul was sucked out and eaten or if the person remained and screamed beside their laughing possessor. It wasn’t something I was ready to find out.

“Those leaves fall into your hair, Doc?” I asked her as I looked at the colored feathers threaded through her black tangible hair. She arched an eyebrow not raising those wooden brown eyes from her task at hand. The room was surrounded by few white benches and she ushered me to sit back into the white leather chair.

                “Were your poor manners a result of being dropped as an infant?” She asked as she pressed the needle into the vein of my arm. I smiled at her and her own were filled with the same lack of delight. My dark mahogany, almost black blood threaded through the tube, reminding me that I was far from human.

                “I don’t know why we have to do blood tests each time,” I said in agitation. Despite my warrior like attitude, from human life to now, I still did not like needles.

                “I told you last time. I will take a sample out each time to see if there’s any variance and besides, I need more from you than the others. We still haven’t identified the heritage of four of the demons who you’re contracted with,” she said.

                “I didn’t contract them,” I said laying my head back and looking up to the bright light. “They came to me and for whatever reason that might’ve been they just have no appetite to appear in front of me yet.”

                “But unlike the others you seem to be hazy on those who accepted and contracted with?” She said now taking the needle out. It was true. After the initial contract with Haymen, I was faced with demons who encouraged my growth and would aid me in my task as a Guardian. They were demons who had already died in their lifetime and were willing to resurface when I needed their strength. And yet unlike the others, I completely blacked out and awoke in this very house with tattoo markings that stretched out further than most.

                “Oh, come on. It’s kind of like a surprise every time I turn, what’s in the box?!” I joked with her. She shook her head and as usual did not find it funny.

                “You’re lucky so far that in most situations you have the descendant of a demon who can challenge the ones you are hunting. But I fear without this data one day you might be caught off guard and you might be seriously injured.” She labelled the clear bag which held my thick substance of blood and scribbled down in her diary a language which I couldn’t identify. Witch scribblings. The black ink shortly went invisible and I imagined only eligible for her eyes.

                “I don’t fear fighting in the real world, Doc,” I said with much purpose. “It’s the demons when I sleep that will end me.” She looked up from her notepad with a grim expression and that was fact. That’s how more than seventy percent of our kind had died to date. And Tellith had been around for many years opposed to what her naturally youthful skin looked like.

                “It’s necessary so we can find them. These entities are what truly challenge the treaty. On top of that, they are an immediate threat to Haymen and his empire. That is why you are contracted.” I knew not to argue with her or tell her how I truly felt about that statement. It wasn’t disclosed to us why they were such a threat to Haymen, but what I couldn’t voice to people was that contract to him wasn’t signed willingly by myself. All those that worked for Haymen would never speak ill of him. To do so would be death.

                She brushed away my hair and I presented the back of my neck all too used to the process now. “I heard you had a pretty little angel at your hip last night,” she mused as if trying to distract me. How things circulated quickly around here. Then again, the entire house was monitored.

                “And most of the morning,” I added. “Four hours to be exact until I kicked him out because I heard Destiny coming back. To say the least I think she is burning the couch.”

                She smiled with little humor and raised the small metallic chip which had four sharp prongs on it. She pressed my head down and injected it into the back of my neck.

                “Shadow Mind Journal activated,” the room sounded in a woman’s robotic like tone. I closed my eyes not wanting to relive the experience of my dream. But that would be to feign ignorance and weakness. I looked up to the ceiling again where now the room had dimmed and my nightmare was displayed on a projector. Tellith was the first inspector as she watched and studied it, as she always had done. As she did, she monitored the small screen beside her which read information about my body’s reaction during that time. I watched on as I ran through streets, the experience threatening to make me want to coil up again. But to do so would be to show weakness. Especially in front of a witch employed to Haymen.

                And so, we watched on until the last moment of my convulsing and then the image distorted and sharply cut out.

                “This one seemed different. You didn’t look back or try to confront the attacker. You lacked in trying to identify them or the location,” Tellith said scribbling in her book with ink that would soon disappear. “Your brain waves are also overlapping like a few of your previous collections. I will ask you again, Vi, is this a memory, have you dreamt this before?”

                “Not that I know of,” I said and held her gaze. Tellith had her suspicions of that I was certain. She eyed me and ripped the reader out without warning. I rubbed my hand against the back of my neck, trying to remove the itch that remained. She pressed a small cloth there to wipe away the blood that would’ve already begun to clot and heal. “I’m sorry, I figured it was too dark to see him, which is why I was looking for better lighting in the warehouse.” I lied.

                Her face was expressionless as she continued writing. Doc was the first to examine it. I wasn’t sure what happened to the journals afterwards and if there was another program or team on it afterwards. I suspected there was more to the story of the Shadow Mind Journals and our purpose but I learned long ago to not press for answers. There were always consequences. Especially when that demon I had in mind was Haymen.

                “If you recall anything else or would like to enter new data please let me know. Until then, you are dismissed Vi,” she said widening her hand out towards the door.

                “Hey Doc, we haven’t seen Alexa for a while,” I said thinking of the fourth in our team. The fifth was killed weeks ago and a new member would be deployed to us in coming weeks.

                “She is with me for the time being,” Tellith said. “It shouldn’t be too long before she comes back.” Doreen, the prior Guardian that we hadn’t seen for weeks had spent one of her final weeks with Tellith. She didn’t disclose much to us but told us she had a close call. Tellith made her physically stable and healthy but we knew Doreen hadn’t been the same since. One week later she went missing. No body to remain, only the knowledge that she had been possessed and a message painted in her own blood on the walls in a language far older than any of my ancestral demons could read. Only Haymen who immediately ported in seemed to know what it read. He simply told us to clean it off the walls and repaint over it for the next Guardian who came.

                Knowing that our discussion was over I nodded goodbye and left the room. I took a moment to catch my breath on the other side of the door. I rolled my shoulders and cracked my neck. I embraced the demon blood within me, taking a deep breath and feeling comforted by the power that radiated within me and of the knowledge those demons brought me. This was now the real world and day. I could protect myself and kill as I pleased.


 photo The Shadow Minds Journal on tablet with fantasy background_zpsn8sto1im.jpg


About the Author 

 photo The Shadow Minds Journal Author Kia Carrington-Russell_zps5smb5qrr.jpg
Kia Carrington-Russell grew up in the Darling Downs Region in Queensland, Australia. Graduating High School, she pursued a career in freelance journalism. In 2014, having always had a passion for writing fiction, she decided to follow her dream of becoming an accomplished author.

During the weekdays Kia works at her Monday to Friday job in Logistics and Transport. She leaves her book worlds to the night and weekends, being well described as a driven young woman.

Now living in Brisbane, Australia, Kia has a can do attitude, a strong will and the touch of kindness that makes it hard not to fall in love with her. Announced 'The Best New Author of 2015' by AusRomToday, she has no intentions of stopping. Kia Carrington-Russell is definitely the new author to be looking out for.

Learn more about Kia at www.kiacarrington-russell.com/ and follow @kia_crystal on Instagram.



Contact Links


Purchase Links



Limited time Pre-Order Price:  $.99

Price increases to list price of $3.99 on August 13th


RABT Book Tours & PR