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**
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.
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.
And then darkness.
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.”
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.”
“You’ve refilled your meds?”
“You have your daily schedule made out—the one we’ve talked about?”
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.