The Carnival Keepers
by Amber Gulley
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: October 10th, 2016
World Castle Publishing
Summary from Goodreads:
It's 1879, and James, a time-wasting escapist, is trying to win a bet. His challenges include purchasing a lighthouse, hosting a séance, and spending the night with his father's prize-winning stallion in a notoriously haunted attic. But the Carnival is in town for the All Hallows' Eve celebrations, and the London fog has other ideas for James. Something vicious is waiting to pounce and lead him unwittingly towards a destiny he could never have imagined.
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͞Shutup!͟ he heard someone shouting from Mr. Scraps’s courtyard.
͞Robby!͟He wanted to cry, he was so happy to hear his friend again. But his eyes refused to make tears, and so he grinned madly instead when he saw the cat.
͞Arry!͟cried Robby, as he looked up from the bird he was ripping into. His eyes glowed with an unnatural golden light that Arry assumed was due to the strange way his own eyes were seeing things now.
Casually, Robby tossed aside the limp little carcass he had been nibbling on and bounded up between the table and chairs. Arry noticed a row of very unhappy looking nightingales sitting on the back fence of the courtyard, but at that moment, it didn’t seem important enough to mention.
͞Oh, Robby!͟ Arry crouched down and scratched the purring tabby behind an ear. ͞I was so worried. I thought you might be dead.͟
͞Not a chance,͟ replied Robby, leaning his head into the scratch. ͞And besides, I told you you’d be lost without me, didn’t I?͟
͞Yes, you did.͟ Arry laughed and then stood up to have a proper look at the courtyard. As he gazed in wonder at the softly glowing wisteria coiled through the overhead lattices, he realized he could still hear the angels singing. ͞Can you hear that?͟ he asked Robby, who had wandered back to continue feasting on the dead bird.
͞Hear what?͟ he replied absently.
͞The singing.͟ It was growing louder, and, although still beautiful, some of its notes were beginning to sound dark and sinister. ͞Robby?͟
Arry had already seen so many strange and wonderful things, he wasn’t entirely surprised by what he saw next. The nightingales no longer sat on the back fence, and he only just caught a glimpse as the last one shivered and shuddered, lifted up its spindly little bird leg, and placed a heavy paw upon the ground. A rumble like thunder rolled ominously through the courtyard, scattering the fireflies, as six enormous lions bared their fangs and scowled at Robby, licking their chops as they began to advance.