Tuesday, April 28, 2020


First of all, my apologies to S.K. Andrews, author of Bay of Darkness, as I am a day late with this interview. I work for an international logistics company, and as such, I'm a federally registered essential service member, so life is a bit weird now.
Nonetheless, it's good to take a little time to calm ourselves an seek solice in a good book. So with no further delay, welcome S.K.

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
SKA: Vivien Kelly is a powerful psychic and paranormal cleanser who in our modern-day world channels ancient Celtic power (from a past life) to banish dark entities threatening our existence.  Her full psychic power kicked in while recovering from a near fatal gunshot wound just before her thirty-fifth birthday.  She also dreamt about her soulmate before meeting him in the flesh, and he was even more gorgeous in person!  Vivien trained in Ireland once she accepted the call to adventure and realized she was chosen to save the world from pure evil.  Her hot Irish warriors, who help her in battle, aided in her training and now she’s wicked accurate with a Celtic sword.

If Bay of Darkness were to be filmed as a movie, the actress to play Vivien Kelly would be Gal Gadot from the film Wonder Woman and her soulmate Neal Harrington would definitely be played my Michael Fassbender from the X Men movies.
SC: Coolio. Goodness knows we can use some paranormal cleansing right not. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

SKA: Oh, yes!  I’ve always believed in the paranormal.  I think it comes from my creativity, because creativity for me is a spiritual experience and I always tap into that. 
But when I was 13 years old, I had a poltergeist experience with four other school friends.  We would do seances for fun, however this time our leader (of sorts) commanded something to make a sound.  Five seconds later the door to the bathroom started breathing.  Literally breathing!  A solid wooden door.  We were in my friend’s bathroom, because her bedroom was being painted on that Saturday afternoon back in 1973.  When the door stopped breathing (about twenty seconds later) we ran out of the house into the street, with her mother calling out behind us, “You silly girls!”

SC: Sounds like you have indeed.  What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
SAK: Since Bay of Darkness is the first book in The Kelly Society trilogy, I’m working on a novella called A Kelly Society Christmas.  It immediately follows the first book.  I’m also writing the second book in the series called Curse of Amen Ra.

But for now, here is a quick tagline to give you a taste of A Kelly Society Christmas.
Christmas tree – check.  Presents wrapped – check.  Cranberry sauce – check.  Save a friend from Krampus the demon Santa Claus who wants to drag him to hell – check.  Wait…what?

SC: Ha-ha. Let's take a look at your book now. Thanks for dropping by.  

Bay of Darkness
The Kelly Society
Book One
S.K. Andrews

Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: October 2, 2019
ISBN: 1509227792
Number of pages: 418
Word Count: 95,000
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline: To save the modern world, psychic Vivien Kelly channels an ancient Celtic life of treachery and murder—at the peril of her own soul.

Book Description:

After witnessing her fiancé’s murder and almost dying herself, Vivien Kelly’s mission is to destroy Dagda—a Celtic God turned demon.  When Vivien discovers she worshiped Dagda in an ancient life as Boudicca, the Celtic warrior queen, she’s compelled to the quaint Northern California town of Half Moon Bay. 

There Vivien finds Dagda’s creatures tormenting the locals—from a Fear Dorcha, to the Headless Horseman.  The Kelly Society is then born—her own paranormal cleansing team and the race is on when people around her begin to die. 

While banishing a Banshee, Vivien meets Neal Harrington—a soul partner who can promise true happiness.  But when Dagda’s black vapor creates a New World of darkness, her time is up.  Can Vivien abandon everyone she loves and succumb to Boudicca’s barbaric force to defeat the demon?  Her actions not only determine her future—but the future of the modern world.

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Announcing her presence, Vivien slapped open palms against the bedroom door. Shrieking stopped, as the Banshee tried to stab into her intuitive power—not even making a dent.
Julie I’m here to help. Don’t be afraid. After sending her telepathic message, she felt a definite shift. The young girl now had hope.
Sensing another female entity in the bedroom, Vivien tuned in sharper. A spirit connected to the house stood in front of Julie, also protecting her.
“That horrible noise stopped.” Neal eyed the door urgently. “Is that good or bad? I mean, is Julie safe?”
“Yes, she’s safe. I put a protective light around her.”
Heaving a sigh of exhaustion, he rubbed his temple. “Oh, right—the light thing. This is all so weird.” Neal’s head popped up. “No offense.”
“None taken.” She grinned like a debutant about to dance with the coolest boy in school.
“What now?”
Vivien desperately prayed for someone to slap her in the face. Where was Donna when she needed her? Clasping her hands tightly, she pressed on. “I go in and—” Her mouth stopped moving. A dustbowl of black energy swirled through the house coming from Neal, as well as Julie’s friends. “Please bring the other girls to me. Tell them we need to help Julie.”
“What?” His horrified face reflected his confusion.
“Do you trust me?” Relaxed eyes connected with his.
Neal’s voice came out in a whisper. “I do trust you. I don’t even know why.”
The universe ceased movement while they gazed at each other again. Finally, Vivien cleared her throat and Neal turned on his heel. “I’ll get the girls.”
After he rounded the corner, Vivien’s head dropped into her hands. He distracted her to the point of possible error, and that she couldn’t afford. Why did she have to meet him on a case? A damn weird one at that. Bringing her head up, Vivien found three nervous girls peeking out from behind Neal’s legs.
Neal looked down upon them with an encouraging smile. “It’s okay. Vivien is here to help.”
They gawked at her like fawns caught in the headlights of a tanker truck. A red-haired, freckled girl held Neal’s hand, a brown-eyed girl grasped his thigh like a rope tow on a ski slope, and a sandy-haired, blue-eyed girl sporting a pink kitty shirt clung to his second hand. All three held guilty faces.
Then it hit Vivien like a shot to the chest— they believed they’d abandoned Julie to a horrible fate. Neal got them out, but before Julie could escape, the creature sealed the door with an oozing black substance. “I want to tell you all something—and you too.” Neal looked at her with surprise. “Yes?”
“I feel and can see the terror you’re all in right now. Everything in this world has energy, and you’re sending out powerful fear. That’s what the creature wants. So, when you’re scared, you’re actually feeding the banshee and making her more powerful.”
Her helpful speech made the girls burst into tears. Stretching out her arms, she kneeled in front of them. “Wait! I know how we can fix this.”
“We didn’t mean to! We really didn’t!” The girls proclaimed between sobs.
“Now, listen to me.” Beautiful young eyes gazed back at her expectantly. “Go back to Neal’s bedroom and sit in a circle. Hold hands and think of the best, most fun memory you have with Julie. I see you all at the beach making sand- castles. Use that one, or another, but focus on the joy of that day. It’s like a daydream. Keep that vision going until I’m done.”
Neal came forward. “I’ll do it with them. Let’s go.”
Amazed at his instant acceptance of her task, she stood.
Suddenly the girls sprang to life, all smiles and nods. They pulled Neal down the hallway, chattering about which memory they would choose. Neal walked with them, but gave her a last, concerned glance before turning the corner. He wanted to protect her but didn’t know how.

Glowing from the inside out, Vivien realized it had been a long time since a man worried about her well-being.

About the Author:

When Starra Andrews wasn't swimming the Pacific Ocean in her hometown of Laguna Beach, California, she busied herself by writing fantasy stories and acting on stage. 

Having grown up watching Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Night Gallery shows on TV, Starra quickly fell in love with paranormal tales with a message of wisdom and love.  Also, being a fan of romance novels and non-fiction ghost stories, she decided to marry the two and write paranormal novels of suspense, adventure, and intrigue with a strong romantic foundation. 

The sense of adventure inside her came from summers of camping with her family in Mexico (Baja California) and walking along beaches with no other footprints but hers, as her family members unpacked the camper and got ready to collect clams right off the shoreline for dinner.  Starra attained a B.A. degree in Theatre from University of California, Irvine, and a Professional Acting Certificate from LACC Acting Academy.  Starra is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, which hosts the Thrillerfest writers conference every year in NYC.

The beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York is where Starra now calls home.  She loves being a quick train ride from New York City, but also enjoys country life.  Her two tabby cats Audrey Hepburn and Vivien Leigh are her constant writing companions, and love to curl up on the table next to her laptop.

Her heroine, psychic/paranormal cleanser Vivien Kelly and her team are in a race to rid the modern world of deadly Celtic creatures in her book trilogy, The Kelly Society.  Bay of Darkness is the first book of the series.

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Colombian Betrayal
A Bruce and Smith Thriller
Book One
Randall Krzak

Genre: action-adventure thriller, political thriller, suspense thriller
Publisher: Randall Krzak Books
Date of Publication: March 30, 2020 (Kindle)

ISBN: 0978944100

ISBN-13: 978-0978944100

Number of pages:  330
Word Count: 82,039

Cover Artist: Matt at www.darngoodcovers.com

Tagline:  Colombian Betrayal exposes the death and violence behind the entangled interactions between governments, revolutionaries, terrorists, and drug lords.

Book Description: 

Colombian Betrayal tears the cover off the drug trade and exposes the death, and violence behind the twisted connections between governments, revolutionaries, terrorists, and drug lords.

Watch as an unholy alliance is formed when the profits of a Columbian drug lord Olivia Moreno, begin disappearing and deadly new international competitors appear on the horizon.

Moreno, head of the Barranquilla Cartel, strikes a deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Little does she know she is signing her own death warrant! FARC has a group wanting a foothold in South America—the Islamic State, and she is in the way.

On the run, Moreno is captured by a CIA team. She spins a tale to use her money and manpower to destroy ISIS in an effort to save herself. Laws and rules of engagement are meaningless to Moreno, her life and her family are her only concern. Will the CIA leader fall for her offer?

Will team leader AJ Bruce strike a deal to turn the tables on Islamic State? Can she stop them from launching an attack on the United States? Or will she be too late?

Is it worth trading control of Afghanistan’s poppy fields with Moreno as a reward for her cooperation? Or is Bruce playing her in an attempt to double-cross her and kill two birds with one stone?

Get your copy today, and watch this high stakes game of kill or be killed.

Amazon     Amazon AU     Amazon CA     Amazon UK

Excerpt 1 (688 words)

Dawn broke with birds twittering outside Olivia’s country estate. She opened blue-green eyes and focused on the view through the open window. Tinges of red and orange stretched across the horizon, seeking the deep blue heavens. More songbirds joined in, their melodious voices adding to the morning’s chorus. Nearby, a rare Colombian screech owl hooted. Other birds shrieked, their wings beating the air as they scattered.
Olivia yawned and crawled out of bed. Twinges cascaded through her aching muscles caused by overexertion in yesterday’s intense personal security training. Time for some fresh air while it’s quiet. She slipped a purple velvet robe over her slender athletic body and pulled on matching slippers. Padding toward the balcony, she opened the doors and stepped outside. She gazed at the tranquil countryside and smiled.
Craack! Craack!
Bullets ricocheted off the stonework, missing her head by inches. She dropped to the floor amid a hail of flying rubble and dust. Hunched like a hermit crab, Olivia crawled inside and slammed the doors.
“Madre de Dios!”
Stomach lurching, chest heaving, she rolled across the floor to the bedside table. Her hands shaking, she grabbed the handle, opened the drawer, and removed her FN Five-SeveN handgun. She fumbled for a second magazine and stuffed it into a pocket on her robe. Keeping out of view, she crept back to the side of the balcony and slid down the wall.
She peered through a small opening, looking for signs of intruders.
Nothing. All seems normal.
Pushing through the doors, she dashed around the corner, squatted, and fired three times without aiming. An incoming round smashed into the wall in front of her. She leaned into the stone for cover as rough-edged shards whirled toward her face. Startled by the fast-approaching slivers, Olivia ducked and dropped the pistol. Blood trickled from a cut above her right eye. She sucked in her breath and wiped it away as anger replaced fear.
“Alto.” A man of medium height climbed over the railing from the patio. Piercing dark eyes shone beneath a mop of black hair as he plopped into a chair at the small bistro table, and helped himself to a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
“Diablo.” Olivia spat the word as the man with the physique of a bodybuilder stood and helped her into the other chair. “Ramon, one day you’ll cause my death. The training becomes more intense every day.” She grabbed his goblet. “Salud.” She drained the glass.
“Doña Olivia, you hired me to provide protection. When I’m not here, you must do this for yourself and your family. Your enemies will give you no warning, which is why the lessons must become more realistic.”
Olivia nodded. “Si, you are correct. I want to live a long time and enjoy my fortune—unlike my father, brother, and first husband, who died before their time.”
Ramon Cristobal Alvarez and Olivia Perfecta Moreno gazed at each other.
* * *
The following morning, Olivia woke again to the hoot of the owl. She rushed to the balcony to find the bird’s hiding place. Two shots rang out. Following her training, she crashed to the floor and squirmed back into the bedroom.
She grunted and laughed, thinking Ramon had upped the training. A moment later, a loud thump resounded against the door as Ramon forced his way inside, gun drawn.
“Olivia, this isn’t training—it’s real.”
Ramon pushed aside a balcony door. He crawled outside, peeked between ornate pillars, and scanned the area for would-be assassins. After completing his sweep from the balcony, he returned inside.
“They’re gone.” He twirled his right index finger in the air several times. “Stay here. The guards will scour the full perimeter for those seeking to harm you, while I check on Pedro, Alonzo, and the girls.”
Olivia nodded. Shaking, she wrapped her arms around herself.
Ramon walked to the door. Before he opened it—
A gunshot echoed in the corridor.
“Madre de Dios!” Ramon leaped toward Olivia, shoving her to the floor with one hand, a weapon in the other.
A high-pitched scream pierced the air, followed by a second.

About the Author:

Randall Krzak is a U.S. Army veteran and retired senior civil servant, spending thirty years in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. His residency abroad qualifies him to build rich worlds in his action-adventure novels and short stories. Familiar with customs, laws, and social norms, he promotes these to create authentic characters and scenery.

His first novel, The Kurdish Connection, was published in 2017, and the sequel, Dangerous Alliance, was released in November 2018. Both placed in the 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards, with The Kurdish Connection finishing as a semi-finalist and Dangerous Alliance being selected as one of seven first in category winners. The third novel in the series, Carnage in Singapore, was released in August 2019, and is currently a semi-finalist in the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards. He also penned "A Dangerous Occupation," a winning entry in the August 2016Wild Sound Writing and Film Festival Review short story category.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a general Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He currently resides with his wife, Sylvia, and six cats in Dunfermline, Scotland. He's originally from Michigan, while Sylvia is a proud Scot. In addition to writing, he enjoys hiking, reading, candle making, pyrography, and sightseeing.

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Monday, April 27, 2020


We're lucky to have author Cindy Keen Reynders with us today to answer our three fave questions.
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
CKR: Elizabeth “Lizzie” is the oldest of the seven Rose witch sisters. She is protective of her younger siblings and she has always been there to help them through trials and tribulations. In this book, she feels herself slipping as the protective older sister. But when Scottish banshees attack her clan, she rises to the occasion and does all she can to rescue her family, friends and other Hedge Haven Clan community members. She even summons the famous Spirit Wulver; a former lover with whom she parted on bad terms. Sparks fly!

SC: Banshees, yikes! Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share
CKR: I do! I don’t have any solid evidence, but I “feel” in my soul that there are things in this world humans will never understand. I was raised in a religious environment and playing with a Ouija Board was off limits. I never worried about it, though. When my sons were teenagers, they convinced me to buy one, so for fun, I did. My mother had just passed, and we tried to see if she would talk to us. The planchette moved so fast across the board, it was amazing! I jotted down some notes, and the answers we received seemed genuine. The boys swore up and down they weren’t making it move. I sure wasn’t doing it!

SC: I had a ouiji as a child. I guess that explains a lot. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
CKR: I just finished writing a mystery, “Wild Creek Whispers,” about a Wyoming private investigator, Reese Golden, who is hired to find a missing child. It’s been two years since the little girl was kidnapped. Cold cases are more difficult to work with, so Reese has got her work cut out for her. Especially since someone doesn’t like her snooping around. Mysterious murders begin to take place. Despite anonymous warnings to back off, Reese continues to pursue the truth.

While many towns and places are fictional, others are real. I’ve tried to develop a good feel for Wyoming’s unique qualities and beautiful settings. I’m editing it right now, but hopefully when it’s published, readers will find it satisfying and get a good sense of what Wyoming is like.

SC: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Let's take a look at your novel now.

Witch Tease
Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan
Book Three
Cindy Keen Reynders

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: December 19, 2019
ISBN: 978`677131563
ASIN: 781677 131563
Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 70,000

Tagline: Elizabeth, “Lizzie” Rose, high witch of the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan, must enlist the assistance of her former lover, Kincaid McAllister, the famous Spirit Wulver, to save her coven from a banshee attack.

Book Description:

As the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan prepares to celebrate Mabon (autumn equinox) by holding a “Blessing of the Brooms” ceremony at the Royal Witch Arena, a banshee swarm attacks. While clan members are held captive, the banshee leader, Sorcha, barters with the Supreme Witch’s Council to bestow life to her group within the next 48 hours.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rose, high witch of the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan, has recently been running late to coven events. She arrives at the arena after the banshees’ attack, and manages to escape.

She hires the famous Spirit Wulver, who is known in the magical world for dispatching demons and evil spirits. When he arrives, she realizes it is Kincaid McAllister—the same man she fell in love with centuries ago, back in Scotland.

Kincaid and Lizzie set aside their personal feelings in order to save her clan. Unfortunately, Kincaid’s typical pest exterminations fail. As a last resort, he plans to travel to the Land of the Fae to consult with the Faery King to determine the best way to get rid of Sorcha’s gang.

Despite the dangers, Lizzie insists on going with Kincaid. After rekindling their love, the two vow to spend their lives together. They find Uaithne; a magical harp that will destroy the banshees. Possession of the item requires the sacrifice of a life. To Lizzie’s dismay, Kincaid offers his.

Refusing to accept Kincaid’s fate, she frees her clan, then begins the process of returning to the Land of the Fae where she hopes to free her lover. Hopefully, Lizzie’s timeless love for Kincaid will unlock powerful magic to fuel her quest.


Breathing in the old magic wafting through the glade, Lizzie entered a ring of tall standing stones and placed the basket of herbs on the ground. The ancients had worshipped here, her Druid ancestors who had practiced otherworld mysteries by tracking celestial bodies.
They knew about life and its beginnings and they understand the nature of humans and other creatures. Much of their knowledge had been lost over time, but she and her Hedge Haven Clan did their best to pass along the fundamental teachings and learn the old ways.
At last Kincaid pushed his way through layered green foliage. Tall, powerful and exuding raw sexuality, he strode up to Lizzie. His familiar musky scent drifted toward her, and she breathed in his intoxicating presence. A smile curled her lips, but it faded when she realized he wore woolen soldier’s attire complete with a red plaid kilt.
Her stomach clenched. “What’s going on? Why are you dressed that way?”
“Come to me, lass,” he said in his thick Scottish brogue, his blue eyes dancing. “You ken I want you.”
“And I want you,” she whispered, momentarily forgetting her fears as he pulled her into his arms. When he lowered his shaggy head, his lips met hers in a warm, passionate kiss. Desire wrapped around her and she melted into his protective, loving embrace.
As the kiss deepened, Kincaid gently eased her down into the soft grass. She moaned as his talented mouth found the curve of her neck, nibbling the sensitive skin. His warm, moist lips thrilled her as he blazed a fiery trail of warmth. Nimbly unlacing the ribbons on her bodice, he made his way to her cleavage, then her nipples.
She arched her back as his lips encircled the rosy tips, sucking and licking until the center of her being nearly burst. Untying her cloak, she spread it out beneath them. Breathing heavily, she undressed him as he undressed her. Before long, they lay naked beneath the sky.
“I’m cold,” she managed before her teeth began to chatter. “We’ve barely entered the spring equinox and the weather still chills my soul.”

“Then ‘tis my job to warm ye.”

About the Author:

Cindy Keen Reynders is a contributing editor and staff writer for LCSD1’s Public Schools’ Chronicle. She worked as a book critic for Storyteller Alley and has published articles with True West and Wild West magazines.

She is the author of mysteries The Saucy Lucy Murders, Paws-itively Guilty and A Killer Slice. Additionally, Solstice Publishing released The Seven-Year Witch in March, 2019. The second book about the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan sisters is, A Witch at Midnight, which was released in July, 2019. Witch Tease, is the next book in the series.

Besides reading, writing and crocheting, Cindy’s favorite activity is seeing new places. She was born in Portland, Oregon and has lived all over the United States and in Misawa, Japan. She has visited Canada, the Philippines, Samoa, Hawaii, both the western and eastern Caribbean and New Zealand.

From baby alligators to glow worms, Cindy has seen a variety of life’s wonders.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cindy.k.reynders           

Saturday, April 25, 2020


Good morning everyone. I hope you're all staying safe in this crazy new world we live in. Just for a distraction, I'm going to share Beyond Paranormal's recent activity during their walk-through on the Willis Case.  


Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Shadow Magic
Macabre Academy
Book One
Sherry Soule

ASIN: B0871P32M5
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Subgenres: Paranormal Romance, Love Triangle, Academy
Upper-YA, New Adult, and Adult

Book Description:

Do you enjoy not-so-cozy paranormal mysteries, slow burn romances, and unconventional heroines? Then you'll love reading this new series by Sherry Soule.

Welcome to Macabre Academy!

Ghost summoning? No biggie. Raising the dead? Bring it on. Solving my sister’s sudden disappearance? A bit more complicated...

I’m Serena LeStrange, a necromancer who prefers to hide her freakishly fabulous skills from others. Only my sister makes me feel less of a weirdo, so when she mysteriously vanishes from college, I enroll at Macabre Academy to start my own investigation.

Except this is no ordinary school for the magically inclined, it’s home to all monsters—even the most dangerous ones. And after meeting an incredibly gorgeous vampire and a sinfully hot reaper, I find myself entangled in a passionate, yet forbidden, flirtation. To complicate matters, I get stuck with a ghostly genie sidekick and suspect a sinister sorority of misdeeds.

To solve the mystery, I’ll need all the help I can get. Someone at Macabre knows what happened to my sister, and I won’t stop until I dig up the truth.

Unfortunately, some dark secrets prefer to stay buried.

About the Author:

Sherry Soule is a multi-genre author, who lives in Northern California with her family and two spoiled rescue cats. She likes to surround herself with positive people and reads daily.

Sherry writes exciting tales of passionate romance, epic drama, and thrilling suspense. Many of her books have been on the Amazon bestseller lists and nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories on numerous review sites.

Official Author Blog:  http://sherrysoule.blogspot.com  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SherrySoule13 @SherrySoule13

Thursday, April 16, 2020


Such a strange time we're living in today. It's nice to have people virtually stop by to share their stories. Today we have author Kenneth A. Baldwin in the house, so to speak.

SC:. Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

KAB: Luella Winthrop is a woman that clawed her way out of the poor part of the town she lives in. She’s getting into her late twenties and hasn’t been married, which is a big deal for a woman in the late 1800s. She’s engaged to a man that publishes a weekly magazine, partly out of fear that no other offers will come along.
At the beginning of the book, her whole life is about taking care of her younger sister and trying to advance her reputation as a journalist. But, her fiancé only assigns her dreadfully boring article topics like street etiquette, reviews on fine china, and proper curtain hanging. 

She realizes that if she wants to take her career seriously, she’s going to have to find better stories. That’s where the book begins. She’s headed out to explore the more exciting side of the town she’s lived in her whole life. That’s where things start to get paranormal.
SC: Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

KAB: I do. I believe the line between magic and science is actually quite thin. It’s one of the themes I really hope to explore with this book series.
Personally, I’ve had a lot of brushes with things I can’t find a satisfying explanation for. I don’t share a lot of those because I believe they were gifts intended just for me. But, I’m happy to share one of them.

When I was probably seventeen or eighteen I had a job as a rehearsal and audition accompanist for a theater in my hometown. I lucked into the gig, and often I would find myself a little out of my league when it came to the amount of piano talent required to do the job.
In a musical audition, the accompanist just gets handed a piece of sheet music and has about thirty seconds to look through it before playing. Sight-reading, they call it, is a very difficult talent to develop. And, when an auditioner is relying on you not to mess up his or her song the pressure gets intense. I was also young to be filling that role, so I’d get stressed sometimes hoping to do a good job and not spoil my reputation. (Ha! If you want some parallels with my main character there you go).

Well, one evening the production staff was really in a rough mood, and what we could tell was going to be a difficult auditioner walked in, tossed me a piece of complicated sheet music with some rough markings on it, and strode to the stage. Looking at the song, I was in trouble, and I knew it. If I had a couple of weeks to practice that piece, sure. But, playing it on the spot was not happening.
My director gave me my cue, and what could I do but try?

When I put my hands down on the keyboard, I felt another pair of hands rest on top of mine and just guide me along. I played the piece near perfectly. I was floored, shocked, and a little scared.
My great-grandfather was a famous traveling musician in England. I like to think it was him helping out a grandson in a pinch. I have no other explanation.

SC: Thanks for sharing your story.  What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
KAB: The Crimson Inkwell is the first in a trilogy about Luella Winthrop. I’m working hard to get the sequel done soon. It’s called The Silver Currant and should be out later this year. It’s been an awesome challenge. We’re diving much deeper into the magic in book two and exploring the consequences of decisions to tamper with the unknown. I don’t appreciate stories that just wrap up neatly with a bow because the end of the book is coming up. The Silver Currant has given me a chance to explore what happened under the bandaids I applied to conflicts in The Crimson Inkwell.

I hope readers will love it.

Thanks for having me Supernatural Center. It’s been a total pleasure.

SC: Thanks for stopping in. Let's take a look at your novel now.

The Crimson Inkwell
The Luella Winthrop Trilogy
Book One
Kenneth A. Baldwin

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Eburnean Books
Date of Publication: May 8th, 2019

ISBN: 1095674749
Number of pages: 277
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Vikncharlie

Tagline: A Gaslamp Fantasy Novel

The Crimson Inkwell is a story about journalist Luella Winthrop. In her journey to become Dawnhurst-on-Severn's most acclaimed writer, she discovers that her city houses dark, magical secrets too uncomfortable to believe.

When an enigmatic carnival worker offers her a pen that can turn fiction to fact, she quickly learns that tampering with the unknown can be intoxicating, lucrative, and dangerous.

Book Description:

Magic exists where we cannot see.

It lives in unexplained phenomena, in attraction to strangers, in a pen and crimson inkwell, from a trunk, in a tent, at a fair, in the fog.

I didn't believe in magic.

Before he died, my father taught me the world was solid. Reporting was more like science, anyway. Hard facts. Logical inferences. Of course, I wasn't exactly an award-winning reporter so what did I know about it? But, when Detective Edward Thomas told me he had seen a phantom, something woke up inside of me. I could have tried to dismiss it as a trick of the lamplight, but how else could I explain the body on the cobblestones?

Instead, I simply believed him, and not just because he was arrestingly handsome. I was engaged, after all, to a sensible, though older man--the same man who published my articles, in fact.

No. I believed him because somewhere, deep down, I knew magic was real. What's worse, I knew it was a part of me. The detective's ghost story had just woken me up.

As soon as I accepted this truth, everything changed. My writing career, my family, my domestic prospects, and my freedom.

What woman, pray tell, can fit three men and a writing career in her life and still keep her sanity?

But there I landed.

Byron was my fiancé. He was sensible. He could provide a modest life of means for my sister and me. He could also continue to publish my little articles in his weekly magazine. He adored me.

Edward was my detective, so good and true, straight as an arrow and noble as a knight. He inspired me to be something more. But, I could never live up to such a high standard.

Bram was a mystery. Who could say where his life had taken him before he met me or what adventures he had endured. Everything he did was curious. I was drawn to him in ways I didn't understand.

Could I escape this journey with my engagement intact? Which course would lead me down a road to the woman my father always believed I should be?

And why did I feel so angry all the time?

My fingers still have that enchanted twitch even as I peck these words out on an old typewriter. Before another episode comes, let me tell you what happened that fateful autumn in Dawnhurst-on-Severn. . .


“Excuse me,” I said, after clearing my throat.
“Who’s missing?” The clerk didn’t look up.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Missing persons will file with Ms. Turner down the hall.”
“I’m not here to report a missing person,” I replied. This was enough to give the clerk at least a moment’s pause. He glanced his terrier of a face up at me and squinted one eye in the lamplight.
“Has your husband beat you?”
“I’m not married. I’m looking for Sergeant George Cooper.”
“Sarge, you’ve got a visitor!” he bellowed down the hallway behind him before turning back to me. “Right down the hallway, Miss. He’ll be happy to have a visitor that isn’t a felon. I guess, assuming you’re not here to turn yourself in… You aren’t uh, you know, soliciting wares and suddenly discovered religion if you catch my meaning?”
This I did not grace with a verbal response. Instead, I leveled my eyes at him the way I used to as governess of an impish child, took off my gloves menacingly, and started down the hall.
“Please have a seat,” said whom I presumed to be the Ms. Turner the clerk had mentioned. She wore a tweed skirt and vest, and her hair was done up into what was once a bun. She too was busy in paperwork, pounding away furiously at a typewriter. I brushed off a filthy chair and waited. I watched Ms. Turner for some time, wondering what pathway may have brought her to this desk. She appeared older than me. It’s difficult to guess the age of women around the middle of their lives, but the gentle lines around her eyes hinted to me that she was now closer to forty than thirty. I noticed no wedding ring.
I felt an almost immediate kinship to Ms. Turner. It wasn’t a large stretch to imagine that I was looking at myself in ten years, pounding away at a typewriter, perhaps trying to publish works of my own in my spare time outside of my professional duties.
I have Byron now. I had to remind myself about my fiancé so often. How silly. Even when I was here on his bidding, for his publication no less.
“I wasn’t drinking on the job, sir!” I heard a man’s raised voice through the sergeant’s door.
Ms. Turner slowly looked up at me. “They all say that.”
The door swung wide open, and I was struck by what I could only assume was the model for a police force figurine. The man had an acutely trim waistline that stretched up into a broad chest and shoulders. His hair was combed impeccably, as if each strand dared not stray from its assigned position. His eyes, alert and lively, were peculiarly warm for being steely grey. His brow furrowed, and his neatly trimmed policeman’s mustache curved downward into a disconcerting frown.
He swept through the office door and stood erect, as though he was at a self-called attention. Behind him, the large Sergeant George Cooper, a man whom I could only describe as a younger, meaner looking Father Christmas, filled the doorway.
“I don’t want outlandish stories, Lieutenant. I want arrests. I want brigands behind bars. I want young do-it-alls like you to stop trying to turn every little case into the next apocalypse,” Sergeant Cooper stammered. He was only mostly red in the face.
The young lieutenant stood and, though he looked thoroughly unamused, took the tongue lashing admirably.
“You’ve got a visitor,” butted in Ms. Turner. Sergeant Cooper looked at me, and his expression instantly melted into a rehearsed sympathy.
“Ma’am, my deepest apologies,” he said, putting his hand on his heart. “Do you have a missing person to report?”
“No,” I stuttered. “I’m here… do you get a lot of missing persons?”
“Most of the women we see in here are reporting a missing husband or, regrettably, a missing child,” he replied.
“I’m sorry to hear that. But, and, well, I’m not sure how to put this exactly. I’m here from Langley’s Miscellany, and I—”
Before I could finish my sentence, the warm expression on Sergeant Cooper’s face melted away.
“You’re a reporter. Thank you, Miss, but the door’s over there.” He turned and retreated back into his office. I stuck my foot in the door, which was more painful than I thought it might be.
“I don’t want to be a bother. I’m just curious about the latest. I don’t mean to fabricate anything or inflate your efforts. I just—”
“You just want to be first to know about the dreadful muck the police force deals with each day.”
“Well, yes,” I replied.
“Like I said, Miss, the door is over there. I have a lot to do.” He put on a pair of spectacles and sat down at his desk. I felt a burn creep up my cheeks. It was one thing to be denied, another to be rejected right in front of a woman I had suddenly come to admire and a deeply handsome police lieutenant. The propriety!
“Please, you knew my father,” I said. He looked up at me over his spectacles. They were comically small for his large face. “Gerald Winthrop.”
“Jerry Winthrop?” the sergeant said with a laugh. “Devils blind me. You were the scrap of a thing always hiding in the corner, thinking we couldn’t see you.”
I nodded. He barked out a triumphant laugh.
“Your father was a hell of a man! Always sticking his nose in places it didn’t belong. Any mate of his in trouble, he’d be here before a spit trying to talk their way out it.” He stared into the air as if he could see my father in the office presently. “How is Jerry doing? I got into more arguments with him. He could take a yelling and deal it out in turn. If only my lieutenants had half the backbone. We exchanged words like lads in a fistfight.”
“Well, I hope you got the last word in then,” I said. His countenance dropped sharply.
“You don’t mean—how’d it happen?”
“Fever. Or something like that. I never did get a straight answer from the doctors.” I hated doctors. A fair majority of them might as well be bunkmates with critics.
“Doctors are thieves,” the sergeant said.
“I’m very sorry for your loss, Miss,” said a clear voice behind me. They were the first words the lieutenant said to me. The purity in his voice took me off guard. After losing my father, I’d heard “I’m sorry for your loss” time and time again. In nearly every case, it was mere etiquette, obligation, and passing fancy, as though someone might check a box of a tidy little list somewhere by saying the appropriate thing. This man, whom I barely knew, sounded arrestingly sincere.
I turned toward him, and he bowed slightly. Behind him, Ms. Turner slid into focus with two very inquisitive eyebrows.
“Yes, well, this is Lieutenant Edward Thomas. He’s our resident… bleeding heart and imaginist,” Sergeant Cooper said. Edward extended a hand.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” I said. His eyes were smothering. I couldn’t seem to escape them. He had no shyness about looking a stranger squarely in the face, that’s for certain.
“The pleasure is mine,” I managed. “Imaginist?” I inquired of the sergeant.
“No doubt in it. In fact, Lieutenant Thomas may be exactly what you’re looking for,” he said with a coy smile.
“I’m engaged,” I spit out.
Sergeant Cooper erupted into an ungraciously loud belly laugh. I noticed Ms. Turner turn her face down to suppress a giggle as well. Edward flushed.
“I’m sure you are. I meant for the stories you’ve been looking for,” Cooper said. I immediately felt feverish as itchy perspiration appeared on the small of my back. Luella Winthrop. Gift with words, I have.
“He has a story for me then?” I muttered, eager to move on.

“Aye. Lieutenant Thomas here claims to have seen a ghost!”

About the Author:

Kenneth A. Baldwin loves stories you can sink your teeth into.

He lives nestled under the Wasatch Mountain Range with his wife and dog. He writes historical fantasy. When he's not working on his next book, he can be found teaching story mechanics or sketch comedy writing.

Kenny has worked as a staff writer for TV, Radio, web, and comedy scripts for years. The Crimson Inkwell is his first published novel.


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