New Release Giveaway: Bishop Takes Knight by McKenna Dean

Bishop Takes Knight Book Cover Bishop Takes Knight
Redclaw Origins Book 1
McKenna Dean
Paranormal Romance
Redclaw Publishing
September 18, 2019
363

New Release Giveaway!

Knight Takes Bishop (Redclaw Origins Book 1) by McKenna Dean

1 lucky winner will receive their pick of McKenna’s backlist
and a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate

**Giveaway Eligible in US Only**

Sept 22 thru 28, 2019

Book blurb:

New York, 1955. Former socialite Henrietta (“Rhett”) Bishop, destitute after her father gambles away the family fortune, takes a job at Redclaw Security. But Redclaw is no ordinary operation. Part detective firm and part enforcement agency, Redclaw regulates matters involving the growing population of shifters who have emerged since the onset of the nuclear age.

Peter Knight is a nuclear scientist shattered by the death of his wife. Blacklisted by the government and scientific organizations, he drowns his sorrows while searching for the people behind his wife’s murder.

When Rhett is assigned to recruit Knight, their meeting is more than either bargained for—a rival organization will do anything to secure Knight for themselves. Following a lead to locate a missing cache of alien technology stolen from Redclaw, Rhett is thrown back into her previous glittering life with Knight as her pretend boyfriend. But when someone from the past turns up to start a bidding war on the artifacts, Bishop and Knight wind up in a fight for their very lives.

Excerpt:

I couldn’t decide if he’d insulted or flattered me, so I said nothing, but took two bowls down from the cabinet. Regardless of my earlier snack, the soup smelled good as he ladled it into the bowls.

He just shook his head when I added crumbled saltine crackers to my portion as we sat at the table. “Why don’t you just open the shaker and pour salt directly into your mouth?”

“I like crackers with my soup.”

He stabbed at my bowl with his spoon. “That’s more like you enjoy a little soup with your crackers. It looks revolting. Like chicken-flavored porridge.”

Put that way, it did sound disgusting. As I eyed the sodden mess, I changed the subject. “You never said how it is you’re able to leave Redclaw with no one being the wiser.”

Especially in view of the added security.

He must not have been all that hungry, for he pushed the bowl of soup aside and fished something out of one of his pockets. After placing it on the table in front of him, he gave it a gentle push in my direction.

I didn’t reach for it. Much like the previous devices I’d seen, this one had that same dull metallic casing, with odd markings carved on the sides. Unlike anything else I’d seen before, however, it had a raised ring in the center that cast a warm yellow glow. “What’s that?”

An infectious grin lit up his face. “I call it an image-projector. I think about what I want to look like in great detail, and it projects that image over me. I’m still wearing the same clothes and everything, but if I can imagine it, I can look like it.” He swept the device back toward him when I would have picked it up. “Few people question the boss when he’s leaving the building.”

“What if you run into the boss? That could be awkward.”

He didn’t seem concerned. “The odds are low. Besides, I can just as easily be an anonymous lab tech. Have you been downstairs? There’s a lot going on, and as I said the other day, they’re more worried about unauthorized people getting in than paying attention to who’s getting out.”

“But to what purpose?” His attitude made little sense. “You’re safer inside Redclaw. Why leave?”

“Boredom.” He shrugged when I raised a disbelieving eyebrow. “Okay, then. The desire for decent food.”

My eyebrow went even higher as I stared pointedly at the cooling soup in front of him.

“Fine. I don’t like being caged. Is that answer enough for you?”

I could see his point. And since I had him here, I asked about something that had been on my mind since the day of the mechanical spider. “What do you think is the purpose behind these artifacts?”

He leaned back in his chair to the point he risked toppling it over backward. The front legs lifted until he settled the chair back in place with a thump. “That’s the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question, isn’t it?” His raised eyebrow implied both curiosity and concern. The combination was frankly compelling. “Where do they come from? Who or what is behind the technology? It’s beyond anything I’ve ever seen, and I’ve worked on some top-secret projects. My guess? It’s not from this planet.”

My mouth dropped open. “You mean… alien?” I sputtered.

He nodded in all seriousness.

“You seriously believe Martians or Moon Men or something like that is seeding our plant with their gizmos?” The shock of his statement having worn off, scorn now laced my voice.

His shrug was eloquent. “Maybe. I think it more likely an advanced race implanted these devices millennia ago, knowing at some point we’d develop nuclear technology, hence the activation of said devices now.”

“But why?”

He shook his head. “A test? A trap? Who knows? Maybe the awakening tech triggered some kind of signal to the developers and even now, they’re on their way to greet us.”

I wondered if we would disappoint them. It was a distinctly disturbing thought. “Is this a working theory or are you just blowing smoke?”

His devilish smile made an appearance. The way it peeped out of hiding, combined with the fall of that rebellious lock of hair over his intense eyes when he leaned forward, would have charmed the pants off most women I know.

I don’t charm that easily.

“My dear, I just tinker with the gizmos.” He leaned back in his seat once more, his clever fingers toying with his spoon as he spoke. “I’ll leave winkling out the motives of the artifact-builders to the scary people, like you and Ryker.”

I straightened. “Me? Scary? What on earth have I done to give you that impression?” Ryker, I could understand. We knew so little about the shifters, how they lived, and what they could do. The way Ryker had tossed Billy around that day in the office was a fair indication he was stronger than most men, and of course, there was the rapid healing thing as well. More than that, I didn’t know.

“Scarily competent.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Am I supposed to thank you? That makes me sound like every other woman in the workplace. Standing behind the boss and making him look good.”

His laugh caught me off guard. “No, you have it all wrong. The smart man stands behind the girl with the ray gun.”

Okay. Perhaps I could be charmed a little.

 


About the Author:

McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock.

She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.


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New Release Giveaway: Whickering Place By London Clarke

Whickering Place Book Cover Whickering Place
Legacy of Darkness Book 2
London Clarke
Supernatural thriller
Carfax Abbey
July 30, 2019
353

New Release Giveaway!

Whickering Place (Legacy of Darkness Book 2) By London Clarke

3 lucky winners will receive a signed paperback copy!

**Giveaway Eligible in US Only**

Book blurb:

In this gripping follow-up to The Meadows, a woman trapped by her own fears inherits a house haunted by a legacy of darkness and a history of ritual sacrifices.

A violent attack that happened nearly a decade ago has left twenty-seven-year-old Avery Tullinger barely able to walk outside. Following her estranged father’s death, she inherits Whickering Place, a historic mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, currently occupied by two tenants: Colin Gallagher, a young doctor, and his mysterious brother, Pearse. Soon after moving in, Avery learns that when her father lived at Whickering Place, he was obsessed with the house’s supernatural occurrences … and the activity appears to be starting again.

As paranormal events within the house escalate, so does Avery’s attraction for Pearse, even though Colin warns her that his younger brother is involved in a dangerous cult called The Colony. Faced with losing Whickering Place, her heart, and even her life, Avery is forced to make unimaginable choices. And as Whickering Place becomes the focal point for The Colony’s bloody rituals, the house’s dark history threatens to repeat itself.

At turns a novel of terror and a story of love, Whickering Place is a paranormal thriller of nonstop suspense about the risks of living and loving outside safe boundaries and the relationships that change, motivate, and sustain us.

 

Excerpt:

Charlotte, North Carolina

Ten Years Ago

 

Avery looked down at her arms, her hands. They were covered in blood.

Vermilion rivulets dripped from her fingertips. Deep slashes bisected the skin of her forearms.

A woman from the crowd prodded the onlookers to move away, stand back, while a man pulled off his T-shirt and tried to press it to Avery’s arms. Then the woman turned to her, reaching out as though she wanted to touch her but wasn’t sure if she should.

“Come on, honey,” she said, her voice shaking. “Hold on. Ambulance is on the way. Can you hear the sirens?”

A minute before, Avery had been standing beside Vince, her boyfriend, while they waited for the 4th of July parade to start. Later they would have been going to a party, celebrating her acceptance into the criminal justice program at UNC. There would’ve been a lot of smiling people.

Not the screaming people who surrounded her now.

Avery shifted her gaze to the ground where Vince lay. Several people squatted around him. His legs jutted out from their huddle—but only from the knees down. He wasn’t moving. He’d been wearing shorts, and his summer-tanned skin was slick and stained red.

Something had happened. Avery tried to compose her thoughts to remember what. A girl had sprung out of the crowds, slashing at them with something sharp. A knife?

“Vince!” Avery called out.

Vince didn’t answer.

People around her spoke rapidly, frantically—to her, to each other—their voices fading in and out … just like her vision.

“She’s losing a lot of blood.”

“Tie the tourniquet tighter.”

“It doesn’t seem to be working.” A man breathed. “At this rate, she’s gonna bleed to death.”

“Ambulance is here. They’ll help.”

Were they talking about her? Bleed to death. But she couldn’t die. She’d just turned eighteen. She was going to be the best police officer in North Carolina. Just yesterday she’d won her division in an archery competition. Bull’s eye. Every time.

But that moment seemed like years ago as she stared at her arms, fixated on the blood. The sunny day slowly dimmed, the edges of her vision framed by a black haze that narrowed to a small circle of sight. Her knees buckled, and she barely felt the grip of hands around her waist as she started to sink.

“They were stabbed. Both of them.”

The whir of lights around her.

More sirens.

And then darkness.

Chapter One

North Carolina

Present Day

Tuesday, January 7

 

“This will be our last session for a while. Maybe for a long while.”

Dr. Murphy sat across from me, dressed as always in slacks and flats. Her brown hair flipped up at the ends—probably newly styled from a trip to the salon.

Dr. Murphy and I had been sitting across from each other once a week for the past five years. Now, it struck me that I might never see her again.

A hard lump materialized in my throat. “It’s starting again.”

“What’s starting again?”

I toyed with the ends of my hair. It was so long I could keep my hands in my lap while twisting it around my fingers. “I woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t move. Just like before. Like something was lying on top of me, holding me down, breathing in my face.”

“You haven’t had that happen in a few years.” Her eyes remained steady on mine. “Was there any particular formation to what held you down?”

“No. I never see anything. And I can’t scream.”

“How long did it last this time?”

“About five minutes. Then it lifted off of me. And everything went back to normal. Except I couldn’t go back to sleep.”

She breathed in through her nose. “It sounds like more sleep paralysis. You’re experiencing a natural reaction to a big life change.”

But there was more to it. “And then I didn’t want to go outside again today. I feel like I’m right back to where I started.”

She nodded.

I waited for her to say something. When she didn’t, I filled in the blanks. “Maybe it’s not the right time for me to do this.”

Dr. Murphy shifted her position in the mauve armchair that looked like a leftover from someone’s garage sale and crossed her legs. “Avery, moving is stressful for anyone, and for someone who has recently walked through some of the challenges you’ve had—your mother moving back to Italy, your father’s suicide, this is doubly hard.”

Tell me I don’t have to do this now. Tell me I should give it more time, wait a while before making such a big decision. The lump in my throat swelled.

“Agoraphobia is hard enough to overcome on its own, but you’ve made some great strides this past year. Facing a move to a new house and a new town is bound to cause you fear. Give it time.”

I looked down at my hands, defeated.

“You’re twenty-seven. It’s been nearly ten years since the stabbing. And you’ve made progress. But this is your chance to really step out and try your wings, so to speak.”

I nodded.

“You’ve refilled your meds?”

“Yes.”

“You have your daily schedule made out—the one we’ve talked about?”

“Yes.”

She clasped her fingers together and settled them in her lap. “You can always call me if you need me.”

“What about the sleep paralysis?”

“Get settled in. Then we’ll reassess.”


About the Author:

Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young age, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes. Wuthering Heights and Dracula are her favorite novels, and although now happily married, she readily confesses that she once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. In fact, London considers herself a recovering runaway and also tried living life down under. She graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She’s had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.

London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and two greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or binge watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human over and over again.


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REVIEW: WHICKERING PLACE – LONDON CLARKE

Whickering Place Book Cover Whickering Place
Legacy of Darkness, Book 2
London Clarke
Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
Carfax Abbey Publishing
July 30, 2019
353

In this gripping follow-up to The Meadows, a woman trapped by her own fears inherits a house haunted by a legacy of darkness and a history of ritual sacrifices.

A violent attack that happened nearly a decade ago has left twenty-seven-year-old Avery Tullinger barely able to walk outside. Following her estranged father’s death, she inherits Whickering Place, a historic mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, currently occupied by two tenants: Colin Gallagher, a young doctor, and his mysterious brother, Pearse. Soon after moving in, Avery learns that her father’s life in the house was consumed by the supernatural … and the activity appears to be starting again.

As paranormal events within the house escalate, so does Avery’s attraction for Pearse, even though Colin warns her that his younger brother is involved in a dangerous cult called The Colony. Faced with losing Whickering Place, her heart, and even her life, Avery is forced to make unimaginable choices. And as Whickering Place becomes the focal point for The Colony’s bloody rituals, the house’s dark history threatens to repeat itself.

At turns a novel of terror and a story of love, Whickering Place is a paranormal thriller of nonstop suspense about the risks of living and loving outside safe boundaries and the relationships that change, motivate, and sustain us.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

It has been ten years since Avery Tullinger and her boyfriend were attacked by a crazy woman with a knife, ten years since her boyfriend died and ten years since she for all intent and purposes gave up living as well. Avery suffers from agoraphobia and now at the age of twenty-seven she barely leaves her apartment. After years of therapy her doctor has finally gotten her to the point where she is willing to leave her home and move into the mansion left to her by her father, a father she hasn’t seen in nearly twenty years and who took his own life.

As a web designer instead of the police officer she always dreamed of becoming she is able to work at home another excuse to not leave the house. The house her father left to her is called Whickering Place and it is huge just another place with more room for her to lose herself in. She has two tenants living in the house, two brothers a doctor and a phlebotomist so the idea of two elderly gentlemen living there gives her a small sense of security. Unfortunately, the elderly gentlemen are anything but, they are young and handsome but still she isn’t alone.

Maris Manners her father’s attorney has taken Avery under her wing and keeps insisting that the house is too much for her to handle especially with her disease and is more than willing to buy it, it sounds good to Avery but she is not ready to just walk away yet. Then the unbelievable happens, strange noises, a ringing phone that isn’t hooked up and her father’s journals outlining his experience with demons and vampires. The vampires in this book are not the living dead just humans who practice drinking blood and sacrifices. These humans are scarier than the real vampires because blood is not a need to survive but just a means to torture and kill.

Colin Gallagher and Pearse Gallagher are two totally different people in spite of being brothers; Colin is a doctor and quite normal unlike Pearse who always seems to disappear, is moody and sometimes seems to be covered in blood. Through her father’s journals and Pearse’s confessions Avery learns about the existence of the Colony, a cult who have a very strong attachment to the Whickering Place and the demons who reside there want Avery and the house.

At this point in my review it would be so easy for me to reveal what happens but I won’t. I will say that there were times I had to close the book to catch my breath that was how intense this book was but I didn’t stay away for long because I had to continue reading. A lot happens to Avery, Colin and Pearse and a lot is still left to learn. My only complaint is that I have to wait until next year to get more answers as to what happens to Avery, but I will wait for my next fix.

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Review: The Meadows – London Clarke

The Meadows Book Cover The Meadows
Legacy of Darkness Book 1
London Clarke
Supernatural Thriller
Carfax Abbey Publishing
October 19, 2018
442

A decades-old murder. A blood-thirsty cult. And a house full of spirits.

It was supposed to be a new beginning, a fresh start in the Shenandoah Valley, where Scarlett’s memories weren’t riddled with drug addiction and rehab. But after purchasing an abandoned house with a checkered past in the hopes of transforming it into a luxury bed and breakfast, strange things start to happen. Disturbing voices and noises interrupt her new life. Strangers appear, bearing cryptic warnings. A tunnel is discovered underneath the house—one historically used for a local cult’s rituals. After a late night encounter with an entity that leaves her injured, Scarlett realizes she is being targeted by violent spirits.

Driven to the edge of despair, Scarlett vows to fight back—but she has no idea what she’s really battling. And her nightmare is just beginning…

The Meadows is a gripping supernatural thriller in which the monsters may be vampires, demons, or flesh and blood. It is a nightmare that will make you believe it could easily happen to you.

The Meadows is another great offering by London Clarke, full of suspense and terror. - Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Scarlett DeHaven has just gotten out of rehab for an addiction to drugs and alcohol and knows that if she stays in Nashville she will just fall right back into her old habits so when a grand estate called Asphodel House in Shenandoah comes up for sale she immediately sees it as a bed and breakfast. Scarlett attended college in Shenandoah and that is where some of her happiest memories are from so it made sense to move there and start over.

Scarlett is a famous songwriter who wrote her songs while under the influence now she is afraid that she will not be able to write while sober but that fear is nothing compared to what she will face when she finally begins working on her bed and breakfast. The Asphodel House was abandoned in 1990 and has stood vacant every since and Scarlett learns very quickly the reason for that. A family was murdered in that house in 1986 and the last occupants ran from the house leaving everything behind.

Voices, apparitions and a trap door that leads to a black frightening tunnel are just the beginning of Scarlett’s nightmare and after a few days her five months of sobriety are gone and alcohol is once again her coping mechanism. It doesn’t take long before her contractor and his men take off and refuse to return leaving the fate of her bed and breakfast looking worse day by day.

When Scarlett’s best friend Stella comes to visit, a friend who stood by her through all her missteps she feels a little stronger not being alone but her selfishness and drinking allow Stella to be a victim of the house and the evil that resides there. It is only after she meets Hunter Massabrook that she sees a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, an ex-priest and now a demonologist he is convinced that he can cleanse the house of the spirits that are there.

When Hunter was a teen he and a group of friends entered the house and came face to face with the evil that lived there both demonic and human. The Colony is a group that practice vampirism and barely escaping one friend was left behind and died. Now he faces evil everyday and banishes it but his work did not leave him unscathed.

This was a chilling story and I found the suspense really picked up in the last half of the book. I did not care for Scarlett but Stella and Hunter were amazing characters that you would not hesitate to call friend.  For those who love the supernatural filled with demons and cults then this is the book for you.

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