Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Crimson Vale: A Modern Gothic Love Story by Jennifer Harlow



Crimson Vale: A Modern Gothic Love Story

Jennifer Harlow







Genre: Horror, Paranormal Romance



Publisher: Devil on the Left Books

Date of Publication: September 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7326854-0-6 
ISBN: 978-1-7326854-1-3
ASIN: B07GD4QTC3

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 99,000

Cover Artist: Jennifer Dowis

Tagline: Lust…Murder…Madness. Welcome to Crimson Vale.

Book Description:

Lust…Murder…Madness…

Welcome to Crimson Vale.

It’s a dream come true. A vast inheritance. A beautiful mansion in the heart of the small town South. A seductive, mysterious, literal man of her dreams offering true, pure love. Ravaged in both body and mind, Jane Harrow leaps into that living dream with abandon.

Despite the voices.

Despite the visions.

Despite the warnings from both the living and the dead.

Because what Jane doesn’t know is nothing and no one are what they seem.
Because demons from the past are patient. Because dreams can quickly turn into living nightmares, especially in…Crimson Vale

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Excerpt:
This must be
where it happened. My uncle lay in this room for close to forty years with my
grandmother by his side, apparently knitting as the tubes and respirator kept
him…I wouldn’t call that alive. Undead.
What on earth was she thinking? Waiting one year sure, but thirty-plus?
Giving up her own life to watch over a comatose man? Insanity. It really must
run in the blood. I only hope—
Creaking in the
hallway startles me out of my dark thoughts. Darn it, I guess he didn’t leave.
I’m not sure how much longer I can handle social niceties. I’m exhausted from
the drive, not to mention out of practice with people, and would derive great
satisfaction from smacking that letch with my purse should he glimpse down my
shirt again. I just want to take a shower, get into my pajamas, and sleep for a
week. Have to get him out of here first. I walk into the hallway.
Everything
stops.
My lungs, my
heart, even my ability to blink stops the moment I set eyes on him. If it were
storming outside I would swear I’d just been hit by a bolt of lightning. Time
stands as still as we do, just staring at one another with the same awestruck
expression. The stranger my age is a few inches over six foot with a lean body
encased in an expensive gray suit with matching tie and vest. He could grace
the pages of a magazine with that suit, wavy dirty blonde hair with a lock
brushing his forehead and coiffed to appear slightly disheveled, big blue eyes,
feminine lips, straight nose, and strong jaw ending at a pointed chin. He’s
around my age, but as our eyes meet and another wave of whatever this is jolts
through me, he seems a century older and I’ve known him every moment, every
millisecond of that time. I’m scared, exhilarated, unnerved all at once. But
deep down there’s a …recognition peeking through the strum and drang.
I never believed
in love at first sight, and I don’t know if that’s what this is, but every atom
of mine senses, every atom of his calling to me, screaming for me to sprint
over to this stranger, tear off our clothes, and have him rut me like a beast
right on the hardwood floor. To feel him stretching me, thrusting inside me. My
most sacred place pulsates and grows wet just from the mere thought. What the
heck is happening to me? This stranger must be suffering the same torment
because those blue eyes grow ravenous like an anorexic faced with prime rib. No
one’s ever gazed at me like this, with pure unadulterated, hot, wild, salivating
lust. The same way I’m gazing at him. My resolve to remain on my side of the
hall cracks with each passing moment. His fails. He lets out a soft grunt and
takes a stride toward me. Thank God.
“Mrs. Harrow?”
Those two words
break whatever enchantment engulfed me. I somehow pry my eyes away from the
stranger toward the creaky stairs. Suddenly I’m freezing and trembling as if in
shock. At least I can breathe again, though only in short bursts. D.J. takes
the final step up into the hallway. “Oh, good, you found her,” he says to the
stranger.
“Yes,” the man
says, quiet voice cracking a tad, “I did.”
“Mrs. Harrow,
may I present my son, Bram. He’s the one who tracked you down.” D.J. glances
from his son to me, eyes narrowing in confusion. “What the hell is the matter
with you two? Y’all look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“We’re fine,
sir,” Bram says with only a faint trace of a Southern accent. “Just got a
chill. Old house and all.”
“Oh. Well, you
can get someone to fix that, I guess. Bram can give you the handyman’s name and
number. He’s been the one taking care of things. Hey,” he says to his son,
“I’ve been meaning to ask. What happened to all those weird looking creatures
and symbols that used to be on all the walls and tables? The gargoyles and
such? There were still a ton of them even after the renovation.”
“I, uh, had them
removed.” Bram turns to me. “I hope you don’t think I overstepped my bounds. I
had them remove the medical equipment too and clean up. I just…wanted to cheer
the place up for your arrival.”
“Um, thank you.
For thinking of me.”
“Your
grandmother would have wanted me to, um, make things as comfortable for you as
possible.”
“You’re very
kind,” I say, blushing. I’m sure as red as a fire engine. I look over at D.J.
“Both of you.”
“So, have you
decided what you’re going to do with the place?” D.J. asks me.
“I haven’t
really thought that far ahead.”
“But you’re
planning on staying, right?” Bram asks with urgency. “At least for a while?”
I meet his eyes
again, instantly overpowered by the intense fear in them. I can stand it for
only a millisecond. “Um, I-I guess.”
“Well, you are
welcome to stay here while the will’s in probate. Or the Cypress Hotel is
lovely. There’s also the Crimson Vale Motel, but it’s a tad low rent.”
“Um…” Do I
really want to spend the night alone in this house? Two people died here, and
those are just the ones I know of. I don’t believe in ghosts—your soul either
enters heaven or hell—but this house feels as if it’s under an enchantment.
Frozen in time by an evil witch. But it’s mine. I came all this way, and if I
don’t stay in this house tonight, I never will. “No, I’ll be staying here. The
letter said everything was still turned on?”
“It is,” Bram
says. “I-we kept the utilities up to date for when you finally arrived.”
“Thank you. Both.”
We stand in
silence for a few awkward moments. I sense Bram staring at me, waiting for
something, but I can’t return his gaze. My eyes remain glued to the floor.
“Well,” D.J. says, “we’ll get out of your hair. You’re probably tired from your
trip. Bram?” The son follows the father down the hall and stairs with me three
steps behind to show them out. Bram glances back, each time his mouth opens to
say something, but he thinks better of it each time. “You have my card if you
have any questions,” D.J. continues. “Don’t hesitate to call, even if it’s just
for the name of a good restaurant.”
“Thank you.”
The men step out
onto the porch, but I wait at the threshold. “Remember. Anything,” D.J. adds as
he ambles to his BMW.
All I want is
for you to leave now. “I will. Thank you.”
His son moves
toward his own BMW SUV, but halfway there Bram suddenly stops, doesn’t move for
a moment, then spins around to face me. For some reason my stomach clenches
from nerves as he does. I grip the door handle in case he’s about to finish
what he started in the hall, whatever that was. “I, um, I…” he says. His mouth
clamps shut again to find the right words. If possible, he’s as unnerved as I
am. He shakes his head to clear it and smiles. “Welcome home, Jane.”
Those words send
a cascade of warmth through my body like warn rain just washed over me. I
haven’t a clue what to say back. All I can manage is a weak smile before
retreating inside like a mouse into a hole. The moment the door shuts, I turn
my back to it and rest against the wood with a sigh. What is the matter with
me? Have I replaced voices and seeing invisible people with nymphomania? I
remain pressed against the door until I hear both men drive away, the tension
waning as the sounds fade, leaving nothing but glorious silence. The house is
still. My house. Mine.



Home.

About the Author:

Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Atlanta home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills. She is the author of the Amazon best-selling F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, Midnight Magic Mystery series, The Galilee Falls Trilogy, and won the Independent Publisher’s Award for Best Mystery Novel.

For the soundtrack to her books and other goodies visit her at www.jenniferharlowbooks.com




Mailing List: https://bit.ly/2MPt2iY

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3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I enjoy these tours and finding out about many terrific books.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cover is creepy. Just in time for Halloween?

    ReplyDelete