Thursday, November 20, 2014


Featured Book: A Shadowed Soul by Kira Tregoning

Enemies old and new circle around the Aligerai, waiting for a fatal mistake. One of the Aligerai’s own remains trapped in the Chaos world of Metanoia. And the threat of the soul-eating demons and the end of Cora looms ever closer . . . Sita and her friends Ariene and Roxanne must stay one step ahead of their enemies and find a way to track and defeat the demon Pur. But each of the Aligerai faces their own internal battles. When their enemies strike too close to home, the Aligerai must decide whether to stay together . . . or splinter apart. (Taken from Goodreads)

Title: A Shadowed Soul
Author(s): Kira R. Tregoning
Average Stars (from Goodreads): 0.00

Summer heat retreated before the cool of night. On top of a small hill stood a noble mansion, tall and statuesque among the fields and trees that surrounded it. Lights flickered through windows on the lower floors, but no sign of human life could be seen.

Inside, in a bedroom on the second floor, slept Sita Newbury, the heir of the ancient House of Awle. She tossed in her sleep, her long golden hair tangled around her throat. Fine sheets of red satin covered her slim figure, the light material keeping her cool in the late July heat.

Sita turned onto her side, still dreaming, sweat beaded on her brow. A word escaped through her lips: “Owen . . . ”

Another dream began to intrude, chasing away the memories of battles, enemies, and lost lovers. This dream entangled her mind so fully that she began to rise to wakefulness. A woman in the dream—impossibly tall, her dark brown skin glowing softly, eyes full of the universe—called out to her. “Sita. Come to me. I must speak with you. Come to me on the lake.” Sita resisted. Her warm bed embraced her, kept her safe and calm. Why should she leave it in the middle of the night?

“Sita,” the woman called, even louder now. “Sita, come to me now. It is urgent.”

Finally Sita’s eyes opened. The dream stuck with her. She knew the figure, and knew she couldn’t refuse the demand of a goddess. “Fine, fine, fine,” she said. Grumbling to herself, Sita rose from the bed and stumbled into her closet. She lit the lights with a wave of her hand, her power and the house’s inherent magic combining to do the task for her. She thumbed through her clothes before grabbing a simple dress and pulling it on.

An insistent wordless urging crashed against her like wave on a beach. The force of the pounding set Sita’s stomach roiling. She frowned and tsked. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” she said to the air. Shaking her head, the young woman walked through the hall and down the stairs to the foyer. “Stupid Corá, interrupting my sleep. Why can’t she save this for normal hours?” The front door opened of its own accord, the magical house doing its duty by its mistress.

Guided by a bright moon, Sita ambled down a wide field toward the lake to the east of her mansion, the water hidden within the forest. Compared to the heat of the summer days, Sita welcomed the coolness of the night air and was glad to find she was comfortable in just the dress. Moonlight enhanced the waist-length hair flowing behind her. As she entered the forest she discovered the lake through the trees.

Sita picked her way through the last of the grass and reeds by the lake’s shore. The feel of the cool plants and just-damp dirt between her toes made her grin with pleasure. Tiny waves rolled onto the muddy shore, creating a soothing aquatic song. Her hemline would be ruined, and she would make sure Corá heard a great deal about the subject before she left tonight. This was, after all, the Lady Corá’s idea.

The woods around her breathed with life, even in the middle of the night. Crickets chirped all around, and fireflies illuminated the trunks of trees with yellow dots. Night fliers winged their silent ways through the shadowed branches. An owl hooted nearby.

A ripple on the water caught Sita’s attention. She stepped closer to the lake, the cold liquid just lapping at her toes. Something began to rise from the water. Sita waited impatiently.

Finally the goddess Corá floated above the lake, her feet just on the surface. Her body was transparent, which only made sense—she was made of the clear blue waters, and moonlight shone straight through her. The being walked over the water. Droplets sprayed off her form in an invisible breeze. “Thank you for coming,” said Corá. The multi-toned voice of the goddess felt like a caress across the skin, and Sita noticed that the lake and forest seemed brighter and more vibrant when the goddess spoke.

Sita crossed her arms and stuck out her chin. “Do you realize what time it is? Iwas asleep.”

“I apologize, but I need to speak with you, Sita. I promise it is important.”

“It better be,” Sita grumbled. “Oh, and thanks to you, my hem is ruined. Just had to tell you that.”

Corá crossed her own watery arms. “The more you complain, little Earth child, the longer you will be out here, my dear.” Sita sighed and allowed her shoulders to slump just slightly. Satisfied, Corá continued. “I need to warn you. There is something happening, something that could change life on both worlds as we know it.” The droplets flung away from her more rapidly now. “I cannot see what it is, but I feel it building. Darci is planning something that could end life as we know it.”

Sita clenched her hands into fists. “Um, duh. It’s called a war. We know that already. What else’ve you got?”

A drop of water slashed across Sita’s cheek and drew a shallow line of blood. She jumped and touched the cut with a finger. The injury stung, but the pain soon faded and the bleeding stopped.

“Don’t be rude, Sita. When I speak, you should listen. It is not often I give such warnings.” Sita bowed her head, placating the goddess. “Now, this is not about the war, not exactly. This is something bigger, more heinous, more . . . well, evil.

“I fear for my sister, Earth, as you call her. The nature of this evil is aimed at her. I am sorry I cannot tell you anything more specific, but I am not a strong seer, and I only See the things relevant to me and mine.”

Sita groaned. “Let me guess. You want me to do something about it, right?”

“In a way. Just see what you can observe.” The water of Corá’s body ran in slow swirls around her face. “Also, you should consider bringing those you love here to Corá to live with you.”

“What do you mean?”

The swirls across Corá’s watery skin moved faster, creating stronger currents and distorting her features. Waves on the lake that had been small and gentle now churned, and more cold water engulfed Sita’s feet. “Have you not been listening? Earth will be attacked. Anyone caught in the crossfire will be destroyed, obliterated. Your safety is here.”

“I don’t think so. I’m going back to school in the fall. What about that?”

“You live here. What do you mean you are going back?”

Sita bit her lip. The goddess was sometimes less understanding of human affairs, such as now. “This is not my home. I’m on vacation. I’m going back home to Maryland in the fall.”

“You should stay here.” Corá stamped a foot, water spraying all over the girl. “Besides, have you not been making the mansion livable?” She shifted to view over Sita’s head. Sita turned to follow her gaze. Trees bent and swayed out of the way at Corá’s command to reveal the mansion’s upper stories. “It looks quite homey to me.” She paused, considering. “Perhaps you do not know this yet, but there is a stable of some size in the far part of your property. You might want to see it.”

Sita’s shoulders drooped. “You’re trying to keep me here, aren’t you?”


The young woman’s features scrunched up into an angry scowl. “I’m going back to school in the fall. I don’t care what you say, I’m going back. My sister is there, my friends are there, and my school is there. I won’t abandon them so I can live here in luxury and boredom.”

Corá’s face of water twisted into a maelstrom. She snarled. “Stop being so selfish and do your duty. You were born to protect my sister, you were born to protect me, so do it!”

Just as the goddess reached out to embrace her, Sita ran into the forest and back to the mansion, leaving a distraught Corá behind.