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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Audio Series Tour: Romance a Medieval Fairytale BK 5 by Demelza Carlton

Author: Demelza Carlton

Narrator: Mary Sarah

Length: 2 hours 28 minutes

Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, Book 5

Publisher: Demelza Carlton

Released: Aug. 29, 2020

Genre: Fantasy; Romance

Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray ~ Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza





Full Moon in Leo
Brooklyn Ray

Genre: Queer Holiday Romance

Date of Publication: October 1, 2020ISBN: 9798681122579ASIN: B08H1P6X2RNumber of pages: 210Word Count: 65,000

Cover Artist: BookCoverZone

Tagline: Small-town magic, two heavy hearts—one unforgettable winter solstice

Book Description:

Cole Morrison left Jewel's snow-covered fir trees ten years ago. But after a disastrous family Thanksgiving, Jewel seems like the only place left to go. When a run-in with a gorgeous stranger leaves him with debt to pay, Cole’s escape from his past turns out to be much more than a lonely Christmas vacation.

Jesse Carroway, the local Jewel witch, has been running his family's successful, small-town Apothecary ever since his grandmother passed away. When Cole stumbles into his shop and accidentally wrecks a good portion of his inventory, Jesse does the only thing he can possibly think of—offers Cole a job and himself some help for the upcoming holiday rush.

Cole’s clumsy with candles and doesn't trust easily, but soon Jesse gets a peek at the guy behind his bad-boy reputation. As the nights lengthen toward Yule, Jesse wonders if magic is to blame or if Cole might've fallen into his life for a reason…



Excerpt

Honeycomb littered the counter.

Jesse sprinkled golden shards into the scrub and closed his eyes, imagining prosperity and hope and truth, the ingredients needed to solidify the spell, cocooning around each piece of salt. The spell shifted. Strengthened. Like a lock, the honeycomb sealed everything in place.

“Will that work?” Cole asked. He crouched next to the reassembled shelf, scratching idly behind Waffles’ ear.

A smile pulled his mouth upright. “Yeah, it’ll work.”

“What happens now?”

“We package everything, tie a pretty bow around the jars, and put them out. Here, I’ll show you how to shelve product. Use the wooden spoons and scoop the salt into the jar. Fill it to…right about”—Jesse tapped the jar an inch below the top—“there.”

Cole followed directions easily. Every movement was slow, deliberate and precise, mirroring Jesse as best he could. Once they’d finished, Jesse showed him how to tie a bow around the lid with thin-cut burlap.

“I’m not great at this,” Cole said through a grimace, fiddling with a sad, droopy bow.

“Don’t think too much.” Jesse batted his hands away and undid the bow, retying it with practiced ease. “If you try to make it perfect it’ll look forced and…” He smoothed out the burlap, tipping his head back and forth as he searched for the right words. “Disingenuous. I mean, that’s pretty solid advice around here. Magic is messy and weird, but it’s honest. It never tries to be something it isn’t. Same with candle making and bath bombs and everything else. Don’t dwell on making your gift wrap look exactly like mine, just do your best to make it pretty.”

“I don’t exactly know how to make things pretty, Jesse.”

Jesse tied a bow, a little crooked, but good enough. He untied it again and handed the burlap to Cole. “Try again.” Cole held the ribbon so tight his hands quivered. Jesse could almost feel it—bones apprehended, too tense and strained to do any good. “Okay, hold on. You’re, like, ridiculously tense.” He heaved a sigh. “Can I try something?”

Cole’s flighty gaze swept to Jesse’s face. “Something?”

Jesse pushed the packaged jars aside and placed the stone bowl on the counter between them. He glanced over one shoulder. Then the other. There. He snatched the water bottle. “Can I see your hands?”

Cole didn’t move at first. His jaw flexed. Caution flared behind his eyes. Jesse waited, nodding from his open palm, dangling over the bowl, to Cole’s, twitching on the counter. His hesitation remained, even as he unbuttoned his cuffs and let Jesse take his hand.

Carefully, Jesse smoothed the leftover salt scrub over Cole’s knuckles, pulled one hand closer and pressed his thumbs to the center of Cole’s palm. Like this, guarded and entirely human, Cole gentled. His shoulders relaxed. Tension drained from his fingertips. Jesse focused on his hands, each one, pushing and kneading while Cole stood entirely too still, attention fixed on him.

The apothecary went quiet. Sometimes pressing trust through skin held more power than smiles or stories. As he worked the salt into Cole’s calloused hands, Jesse realized he probably hadn’t been touched this tenderly in a long, long time.

“Do these mean anything?” Jesse traced the edge of the koi fish tattoo on his left hand. Laced their fingers. Squeezed.

Cole’s throat bobbed when he swallowed. “Apparently they bring good fortune. Figured I could use some of that.”

“And this one?” He took Cole’s other hand, touched the wolf on his forearm, then went back to massaging the base of his fingers.

“I’ve been a lone wolf since I was young.”

“Wolves usually run in packs, right?”

“Usually,” Cole said, voice hushed and low.

Jesse wanted to read his palm. He wanted to map Cole’s past and future, find where his heart line met his destiny, just to test the universe. Is this a coincidence, he wanted to ask. Is there even such thing? He poured water over Cole’s hands and washed the scrub away.

“Better?”

Cole wrung his hands. “Yeah, much better.”

“Try again.”

This time, Cole’s hands moved fluidly, pulling a pretty bow into place. He smiled at the jar. Pride looked good on him. “Did you cast a spell on me?” he asked, grinning.

Jesse’s stomach fluttered. Don’t blush. He aimed his laughter at the ceiling and shook his head. Don’t you dare. “Not yet.” He reached for the keys in the drawer below the cash wrap and twirled them around his finger. “See you tomorrow?”

Cole’s brows twitched and his lips parted, but he cleared his throat and nodded. “Yeah, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jesse wanted to ask him what he’d planned to say—what he wanted to say. “Goodnight, Cole.”

Cole knelt to pet Waffles before he shrugged on his jacket. He tossed a smile over his shoulder, footsteps crunching through snow on the sidewalk.

Jesse let out a deep breath. He glanced at Waffles, who sat on her haunches, staring back at him.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he whispered, and rolled leftover salt between his fingers.

 

 

About the Author:

Brooklyn Ray (they/them) is a fan of fresh brewed tea, long walks through the woods, and evenings spent reading sexy books. They write Queer Paranormal Romance and Erotica about witches, necromancers, and other magical creatures, and moonlight as a tarot and palm reader in the Pacific Northwest.

Find them on Instagram @brooklynrayauthor



 



Victor Lewellyn’s Lavender Cheesecake

Who's ready for the perfect midnight dessert?

What You'll Need:

—Crust

•         1½ cup crushed gingersnaps 

•         ½ cup melted butter

—Filling

•         24 ounces cream cheese - softened (leave it out of the fridge for an hour before baking)

•         1½ cup white sugar

•         6  eggs

•         1 cup greek yogurt

•         1 cup sour cream

•         2 tablespoons cornstarch

•         ½ cup walnuts - chopped

•         1 tablespoon lemon juice

•         1 tablespoon  dried lavender flowers - crushed

•         1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

What You’ll Do:

•         Preheat oven to 350 F

•         Combine crust ingredients and press firmly into the bottom and up 2" of the sides of a 9" pan

•         Chill for at least two hours

•         With mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth - or mix by hand

•         With mixer on low, add eggs, sour cream, cornstarch, lemon juice, lavender flowers and vanilla

•         Blend all ingredients on medium speed for 3 minutes

•         Pour mixture into the chilled crust and bake for 1 hour

•         Turn off the oven and leave the cake in for 30 minutes longer to rest in the heat

•         Remove and let cool

•         Cover and refrigerate

•         To serve, remove the rim of the pan, loosen the cheesecake from the bottom, and slide it onto a plate

Top with lavender flowers, powdered sugar and drizzle with honey!




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Pursued by the Pantheon Prince by Hattie Jacks

 

Pursued by the Pantheon Prince
Pantheon Warriors Book 1
by Hattie Jacks
Genre: SciFi Romance



Prince Griigor never embraced his royal blood.
Everything he has done since he came of age was to distance himself from his Clan, whether that was fighting alongside his comrades in the Krylix wars, or sowing his wild seed on pleasure planets. Anything to avoid facing his responsibilities back on Pantheon.
He’s happy to be a playboy prince for as long as he can.
The last thing he expected was to find his fated mate fighting for her life in the arena games.   The beautiful, winged Faye. Fearless and fierce.  She has taken his heart in one glance.  Her strange master, the mythical Csigan, granted him an audience with her. For one night only.
In the morning, she was gone.
He has to find her at any cost. Pantheon warriors mate for life. If he has to pursue her across the Galaxies, he will, for his sanity and for the future of his line.
---
Faye is no longer human. The alien species that abducted her from Earth has seen to that. Equipped with wings, sharp black claws and a killer instinct, her alien master has her fighting for money in the arena games. The Csigan has become her world because she has nothing left.
Griigor is one of a long line of males she has had to entertain. He’s big, blue, sexy and intriguing. Somehow he has got under the psychic bond that the Csigan has over her. But even if she wanted to, she can’t stay with him.   Little does she know that their one night together has left her with far more than she bargained for. Or that he will come for her, no matter what.
This is a full-length, steamy romance novel packed with sexy alien warriors and feisty females, no cliffhanger, no cheating and a HEA guaranteed.
Be warned though, Griigor and Faye might just get you hot under the collar!


**On Sale for only .99 cents Nov 29th- Dec 6th!!**



Hattie loves writing stories about feisty females and the men (or aliens) that love them. Follow me here for new releases or sign up for my newsletter at www.hattiejacks.com




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon


Wish Upon a Duke by J R Salisbury

 



Wish Upon a Duke
Love & Devotion Book 1
by J R Salisbury
Genre: Historical Romance


The duke's bargain never included falling in love...

When Savannah Dawson married the second son of an English earl, she never dreamed she’d have to leave her beloved America, let alone enter the aristocracy at her son’s side. Yet when the earl dies and her husband disappears at sea, Savannah’s life is upended. Bringing her young son to England to meet her shrewish mother-in-law is only the beginning of her trials. The dowager countess has asked a duke to assist in the new earl’s education—a man whose power and position could define the course of Savannah’s life. Proud and stubborn, Savannah refuses to be intimidated. And yet neither can she resist the attraction that catches fire between them.

Reformed rakehell Gabriel Armstrong, Duke of Clevedon, has no room in his life for a woman. Especially an American commoner, the widow of his childhood friend. Beautiful and bold, Savannah nevertheless captivates his imagination. Unlike her English counterparts, she speaks her mind and demands to be heard. Something that does not endear her to the dowager countess, yet which Gabriel finds fascinating. Troubles follow her from America, however. Her husband’s business was in debt, his money invested in illicit trade, and his ship was not the first to be lost at sea.

Rumors abound that Savannah’s husband is still alive. Forces are at work to deny her son his title. And when an interloper arrives demanding repayment or revenge, the life of Savannah’s young son is in jeopardy. Savannah and Gabriel must work together to escape the shadows that could blot out the light of their future.


**Only .99 cents for November!**


I've always been a creative individual. Writing is just a facet of that creativity...

My careers in public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing,  artist management, modeling and special event planning all elevated my passion for writing, not to mention gave me a treasure trove for story lines. 

I write women's fiction; contemporary romance (as Jamie Salisbury) and historical romance (as JR Salisbury) which is ever evolving. I am fortunate enough that writing (and marketing of said product(s)) is my full-time job, although I always have one or two other projects going at the same time.
I now live in a suburb of Atlanta. Some of my other interests include photography, equestrianism, reading, and of course, travel.

I sincerely hope my writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick up the pen and pursue their own dreams. I love to be contacted by readers, writers, and history buffs.


Website * Facebook * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram* Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon


Monday, December 14, 2020

The Cursed Series by Kara Leigh Miller

 

Eternal Curse
The Cursed Series Book 1
by Kara Leigh Miller
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance


After pulling the plug on her mother’s life support, seventeen-year-old Chloe Madison moves to live with relatives she hardly knows. Her new hometown in the Adirondack Mountains is barely more than a pinpoint on the map, but it’s shrouded in deadly secrets and strange family legends. Chloe is determined to keep her head down, finish high school, and get the heck out of there. Until she meets the enigmatic Trent Halstead. Something intriguing hides beneath his quiet self-assurance and hero hair. Maybe there’s something—or someone—worth sticking around for after all.

But when a rash of unsolved murders leaves two of Chloe’s classmates dead, she begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations that build to the horrifying image of Trent as a murderous vampire. With nowhere else to go, she’s stuck in a town she hates, surrounded by people she can’t trust, and she’s pretty sure she’s going to be lunch.

If all that isn’t bad enough, Trent is hiding a lethal secret, besides the whole immortal bloodsucker thing. He’s the not-so-proud owner of an ancient, family curse—no Halstead will ever know true love—and he’s desperate to find a way to break the curse. Could Chloe be the key to his happiness or just another secret Trent wished he never unlocked?

** The Cursed Series is perfect for fans of The Crave Series by Tracy Wolff, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, and The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith **

**Only .99 cents!!**


Eternal Choice
The Cursed Series Book 2


Forced to move to California with her father, the same man who abandoned her ten years ago, Chloe is once again starting over. Only this time, she has a perky new stepmom and an annoying baby brother. To make matters worse, the sea of snobby rich kids at her new prep school pretend she's invisible. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, she has this gnawing sensation that she’s forgetting something important.

And then Trent Halstead crashes back into her life, bringing with him everything she's forgotten and the devastating news that there’s a coven of witches after her, and no one knows why—until Chloe discovers the answer in a box of old family photos. Now, she's keeping a secret that could save Trent's life. There’s just one problem: his salvation will come at a cost. Her destruction. And that’s a price she’s not sure she’s willing to pay.

**Eternal Choice is the exciting sequel to Eternal Curse.**

**Only .99 cents!!**


Eternal Bond
The Cursed Series Book 3


Chloe is in a fight for her life. Literally. Held prisoner by the Rose Coven, they are desperate for her to break the curse and restore the magical balance, but Chloe adamantly refuses—until a nearly starved Jax Halstead is tossed in the room with her. Now, hanging on to her humanity might be next to impossible.

When one act of mercy creates an unbreakable bond that threatens to destroy everything she’s ever wanted, getting away alive—and still human—is more important than ever.

Once freed, her love and devotion to Trent is at war with the bond she shares with Jax, a bond that’s only growing more intense by the day. And now she must decide which is stronger. All while navigating her senior year of high school, college applications, and waiting for the Rose Coven to return. If that isn’t bad enough, Isach Zoya is back. He knows the truth, and he’s watching her every move. What else could possibly go wrong?

**Only .99 cents!!**


Eternal Love
The Cursed Series Book 4

As if having an unbreakable bond with Jax isn't hard enough, Chloe’s now forced to work with him on a major school project, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the bond becomes. 

Fighting it will most certainly drive her mad. But if she ever wants to have a future with Trent, she has no choice but to resist. Unfortunately, any hope she has of ever becoming a vampire and spending an eternity with Trent hangs on breaking the bond, which is an impossible feat.

Until an unlikely source offers them a solution to their problem. There’s just one catch—in order to fully break the bond, Trent’s immortal life will be linked to her mortal one. And with two of the most powerful covens in the world hellbent on killing her, the decision is a no-brainer. Not even the promise of eternal love is enough to make Chloe risk Trent’s life.

**Only .99 cents!!**


Kara Leigh Miller is a full-time wife; stay-at-home mom to 4 kids, 3 pit bulls, and 6 cats; writer, and the Editorial Director at Anaiah Press. When she’s not herding her family, she’s working out, reading, or binge watching Netflix. Sometimes, she’ll even go golfing with her husband, even though she totally sucks at it.




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon gift card + 
a swag pack that will include a bookmark, pen & character trading cards



Believe by Author Nanette O'Neal



Best friends share everything, right? Unless it’s a secret that could cost them their lives. Robyn and Kit are born with forbidden magic-sense, the power to see and hear beyond Earthly sight and sound. It’s a curse that haunts them, but the girls are strangely drawn to it—could there be more to this power than they’ve been told?

When they spill their secret, it opens a doorway back to Forever—a beautiful realm where magic-sense began. They learn the truth: they have been given a noble gift. It connects them to the Skyborn royalty of this new world. They’ve been summoned back by the forces for good to preserve the kingdom and revive the power where it once flourished—on Earth. It can thrive again, if Robyn and Kit are brave enough to follow.
However, the doorway awakens more than magical fairy-tales. A dark force is unleashed—one that has battled the Skyborn since time began, and it wants the girls dead, the Earth destroyed.

Beyond the doorway is where the adventure begins—trickery, kidnapping, a prison break, rescue teams, sword fights, magical gold-dust, holographic medallions, and singing orbs—but only for those who have the courage to believe.



Nanette O’Neal is a five-time published author, certified transformational story coach, and professional speaker. Ever since childhood, Nanette was fascinated with the nature of storytelling and how it has the ability to connect us to our higher self and change lives for the good. She uses the power of story to help people find clarity, gain courage, and walk with confidence to become the hero of the most important story of all—the story of you.


A Doorway Back to Forever is a seven-novel series for teens and families designed to entertain, awaken courage, and magnify the divine power within the human soul. The books of the series are Believe, Trust, Defend, Honor, Remember, Restore, and Become. Remember is the most recently released (October 2020) while Restore and Become are scheduled for publication in 2021. Nanette O’Neal is a 2020 top-ten finalist in Fantasy for the global Author Elite Award for Honor, book four in the series. Nanette currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. She loves her family, hiking, Star Trek, and dogs. 









Top Ten List

Fun Facts About Author Nanette O’Neal

  1. Nanette is an author, coach, and speaker who uses the power of story to help you find clarity, courage, and confidence to become the hero of the most important story of all—the story of you.


  1. Nanette has had a passion for stories since she was young, recognizing the power they had to help people reach their highest self.


  1. She turned her passion into a career, writing A Doorway Back to Forever, a fantasy novel series to bring hope and inspiration to readers of all ages.


  1. Each book in the series is a fantastic adventure of courage that connects our world to a magical kingdom called Forever, where Robyn, Kit, and Cam discover magic-sense, the power to see and hear beyond earthly sight and sound.


  1. The children learn they are Skyborn warriors with the power to bring magic-sense back to their home world, but their arch enemy who has hated them since before they were born is determined to stop them.


  1. The story has symbolism designed to strengthen your faith and ground the readers in what they believe. 


  1. Nanette has turned the series into a coaching program to help people overcome whatever obstacles block them from becoming their most authentic selves. 


  1. Nanette gives speaking engagements about the power of story because she believes stories have messages that connect us to something greater—the story of who we are and why we matter.


  1. Nanette would love to see A Doorway Back to Forever in every home to let readers escape to a utopian world and use the messages and symbolism to make their world a better place to live.


  1. Nanette would love to see her series turned into a movie and start a non-profit for under-privileged children.


Character Casting

Robyn: Robyn is a 12yo girl with a long black braid and glasses and no friends because she has magic-sense: a curse that lets her see things that aren’t really there. She wants to learn more about it, but she’s afraid of being arrested, until she meets a new girl in town who has the same curse. 

Kit: Kit is a pixie-faced, strawberry-blonde girl with pony tails who moves in and meets Robyn. She’s excited to start life in a new town where she hopes to forget about this magic-sense she has—hearing things that aren’t there. But the curse follows her and she doesn’t know what to do about it, until her new best friend is accused of having magic-sense too. 

Cam: Cam is Robyn’s 15yo brother, with dark hair who loves football. He protects Robyn from their mean parents, and has a secret himself—not only does he have magic-sense, but he’s been waiting for his sister to discover her talent so they can join together and learn more about who they are and why they have been given tis gift.

Logan: Logan is a 12yo, bully to Robyn. He has greasy hair with bangs over one deformed eye. He hates her magic-sense and tries to shame her for having it.

Mr. Fischer: Mr. Fischer is Robyn’s elderly neighbor. He wears a baseball cap and is a secret magic-user who knows a lot about what happens beyond the doorway leading to the Kingdom of Forever

Michael the Brave: He is the magical guardian to the children, with a checkered past, but he’s trying hard to be a good leader. I see Chris Pratt playing his role.

Gabriella the Wise: She is the magical guardian to the children with a loving heart.  Jennifer Lawrence would be great in her role.

Prince Calemir:  Prince Calemir is the savior-figure in the story (magical hero in Forever) Chris Hemsworth

Sylvare, Lord Midnight:  He is the satan-figure in the story. (magical enemy in Forever) Tom Hiddleson


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Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel by KT Rose

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel by K.T. Rose. The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel is a new standalone supernatural horror book.

This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 15 December. See the tour schedule here.

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel
The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel
By K.T. Rose
Genre: Supernatural Horror
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 4 November 2020

Blurb:
Pride and greed infect the soul, anchoring the dead to Gallagher Hotel.

When Chris, a master thief, and Riley, a contract waitress, get mysterious invites to an exclusive party at the haunted Gallagher Hotel, they discover that there is more at play than simple celebrations.

Hidden truths are revealed, and all hell breaks loose. But the "party" has just begun.

Now, Chris and Riley face their demons as they fight to survive a hellish nightmare full of spoiled secrets, carnage, and vengeful spirits lost to the hotel dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Will they survive the night? Or will their souls be devoured by the most haunted building in Michigan?


You can find The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel on Goodreads

You can buy The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel here on Amazon 

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel teaser


Chapter One

She’ll never forget the day she died.

Torch flames lit up the town’s square, illuminating scowling and shouting faces. They launched stones and spit, pegging Trudy’s arms and face as she trudged through the abhorrent mob. Trudy cringed when a pebble struck her cheek. Pain erupted, shooting through her face like lightning striking the earth. 

Deputy Hill yanked her arm, leading her through the narrow path the townspeople opened up. Fists balled, Trudy groaned as the rope around her wrists dug into her skin. Her bare feet picked up glass shards and debris from the cobblestone path as she shuffled along. 

She glared around at the angry faces and recognized the men, women, and children of Holloway. She’d done more for them than any God before her. Many of those people owned the very businesses that lined the stone slab she marched across that night. Building and financing the rows of wooden businesses lining the town’s square accounted for half the things she’d done for Holloway. She fed the hungry, made clothes for cold children, and taught woman's independence. The ever-growing list of the townspeople’s wants was endless. At one point, she didn’t mind the busy work. Fulfilling dreams of the once poor town kept her boisterous and distracted from her bitter reality. Trudy was Holloway’s personal shepherd, making the people her needy sheep. 

Hands snagged at her lavender tea gown, adding dirty prints to the blood drops and grime from the beatings in that putrid cell. She glared at the bare-faced man towering over her. The brim of his Deputy hat cast a thick shadow, hiding his dark eyes and pale face. 

Deputy would miss her. She was sure of it. He got off on the assaults that bruised her face. His heavy fists pounded her bones and scraped her skin until she confessed. And even her confession, he continued with his evening visits, slamming her body into cinder block walls and passing off open-handed blows to her nose, cheeks and eyes. 

Trudy sighed. A bath with lavender and Epsom salt sounded good for the swelling. She didn’t realize how bloated and purple her once beautiful, smooth, fair skin had become until she passed by the picture window in front of the town’s jail just before they began her walk of shame. 

Even then, her face pulsed with intense hurt. Pain shot through it whenever she winced.

The sea of convictions roared, growing louder as she drew closer to the opposite end of the square. 

“Adulterer,” yelled a woman.

“Traitor,” screeched a boy.

“Murderer,” said a pot-bellied man.

Their accusations sent a sickening jolt through her bones. She watched the path underneath her slowing feet, fighting back tears.

How could they turn on me like this?

“Why’d you do it?” Trudy glared over her shoulder to find the small voice. Off to the right, a pale, round-faced girl sobbed. Arms across her belly, she grasped the sides of her smock dress: one of Trudy’s latest designs. She released it to Mary and Belle’s Boutique not even a month prior. “I looked up to you,” the girl shouted.

Trudy froze. The child would never understand. Holding the girl’s crying eyes in her own, Trudy thought, I did this for you

She caught the faces of women shouting and screeching, advocating her death. 

I did it for all of you.

“Eyes front!” Deputy said; his authoritative baritone struck Trudy in the gut. She frowned and did what she was told: eyes forward; just like the man demanded.  She watched her last stop approach in that ungrateful, dying town. After all the fighting, this is how it ends. She swallowed the ball in her throat, bowed her head, and pressed on.

With every step, she drew closer to the burnt building just beyond the angry mob. Charred and blackened, there it sat, blending with the night beyond the crowd’s orange flames. It moved her to tears to see her building reduced to rubble. The roof caved in, falling through the attic and second floor. The blast left the double-paned windows bare, with nothing to see inside but burnt walls and a black staircase. A crooked beam leaned over the arched door frame where the door held onto the bottom hinges as the top had burned away.

She scoffed. The people got creative, tying the noose to the end of the beam. Underneath it, a wooden crate. 

“You people are about to make a serious mistake,” Trudy hissed.

“You should save your breath for your last words,” Deputy said. He led her to the crate. “Step up,” he said.  

Legs shaking, she placed a bare foot on the crate and hauled herself up. The ground seemed miles below. Her head lightened and the jitters threatened to knock her onto the charred floor that used to be the honey waxed porch outside the front door. 

“Turn around,” Deputy said. 

Trudy turned and faced the prosecuting crowd. She grunted when a stone slammed into her forehead, pushing her off balance. She caught her footing and fought to stand straight as a heavy dizziness whipped around her head.

A cluster of women, including her sisters Belle and Mary, stood amongst the mob. Their faces, glossed in tears, glimmered in the flickering lights. They held her glance for what felt like hours, their eyes begging for an answer. 

Trudy had an answer for what she did but didn’t see the need in telling them. It was already too late. 

Slowly, they turned and pushed their way through the excited crowd, sauntering off in their fine silk lampshade tunics. Trudy remembered the day she’d bought those for them. She bought the boutique and the bakery for the girls, as well. Her heart raced as she cried. She expected backlash from the town, but never from Mary and Belle. As she watched her sisters leave her behind, Trudy went dead inside for the third and final time in her life. 

Deputy pulled the loop over her head and tightened the knot, fastening it. Her throat shrank and butterflies circled her belly. Through heavy gasps, she said, “You know this town wouldn’t have grown without me.” 

Deputy stepped back and faced the crowd. He pulled a note from his trouser pocket and opened it. Then, he reached into the breast pocket of his deputy button up and pulled his reading glasses free. He placed them on his face and looked over the note.

“You—you people wanted to bring money into this town,” Trudy yelled. “I caught the train over to Detroit and made connections that brought the money here! You people wanted Mayor Tucker out of office. I made him disappear! I paid the price to make Holloway the train-stop town that it is today! I made it Saloon Alley! While you people collected money from tourists and travelers, I was out there making deals that made us rich!”

“Quiet, whore,” a man shouted. 

“Hang the killer,” a woman yelled.

Deputy cleared his throat and raised a hand. The crowd fell silent. 

“Trudy Mona Lisa Gallagher, you have been charged with the following crimes against the town of Holloway, Michigan: destruction of property, conspiracy to commit murder, murder, and arson. You have been formally convicted by the people of Holloway and I, Sheriff Deputy Davidson Lee Hill. You were not allowed a trial as Judge Benjamin Rowles, District Attorney Allen Clyde Albright, and Sheriff Peter Kyle Louis have all perished on this very spot along with Michigan’s Governor Brighton James Fisher, Mayor Richard Tucker, Mrs. Louise Fisher, Mrs. Patricia Tucker, Mrs. Madeleine Albright, and Mrs. Freda Albany Louis.” 

The mob gasped and fell into hushed chatter.

“Also, amongst the dead are nineteen souls including the hotel’s waitstaff, maids, pianist, and bartender. I am sad to say that this will haunt Holloway forever.

“Our investigation concluded that you planted homemade explosives and barred those poor souls inside. You are sentenced to death by hanging on the grounds where your explosions claimed innocent lives. All that stand witness, aside from the townspeople of Holloway, are your two sisters, Mary Karen Welch and Belle Leanora Roth. Your husband, Ulysses Gallagher, God rest his soul, must flip and twist in his grave. He died in the muds of enemy territory for all of us. How you can defy him with your heinous behavior is beyond me.” He moved his eyes from his note and onto the mob. “Trudy Gallagher has lain with politicians and bootleggers alike to push her own sinister agenda. She poisoned the streets of Holloway with hooch, prostitutes, thieves, and brawlers. She is an illness to this town and needs to be extinguished before she harms anyone else.”

He turned to Trudy. “You are a disgrace, and, in my opinion, hanging isn’t enough of a punishment. I wanted the firing squad to take you down.” He flexed his neck and huffed. “However, after days of deliberation by the people of Holloway, this is the conclusion to your life of manipulation, greed, and murder.

“Reverend Pillars wanted to say a prayer for you, but the people would rather not waste any more time. But they will grant you your last words, an attempt at getting an explanation, perhaps. What say you?”

Tears fell down her face. The taunting and accusations made her chest swell. She inhaled deep and pushed a weak breath through her shaking lips. She understood the risks associated with her lifestyle. Keeping up with deals and tracking lies day in and day out was enough to drive anyone mad. But the rewards and freedom that came along with those risks changed her for the better. Trudy became the most powerful woman in Holloway. The reward was well deserved, and in the name of Ulysses, she’d claim the crown even after death. 

“Did you hear me?” Deputy asked.

She smirked.

The people groaned and gasped.

Deputy cleared his throat. “Murder is funny to you?”

She sighed and shook her head. “No.” She looked him in the eye. “But I’ve begged no one for anything before, and I won’t start now. Those people deserved what they got and if I had another chance, I’d do it again. No one stands in my way. Not you, not these people, and not the bastards who blew up.” She scoffed. “In fact, if I had the chance, I’d do the same to all you ungrateful imbeciles.” She glared at the faces of her persecutors. Faces that trusted her before. Faces she strived to keep happy. Faces that could burn in hell alongside the others. “I always win, and when you all go to sleep tonight, I want my words to sit deep in your conscience. I don’t beg.” She narrowed her eyes. “I take,” she growled. 

Deputy nodded, disdain across his face. It tickled Trudy’s heart to see him disappointed. He might take her life, but he’d never hear her apologize. He didn’t deserve it, and neither did they. 

“Burn in hell,” he said. 

Cheers filled the square as Deputy kicked the crate, sweeping it from underneath her. 

Her body dropped and the sound of snapping bones erupted in her ears.

My Review: 3 1/2 *

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel by KT Rose is a bit confusing and as you read there is a lo9t of past history on each character which at times is kind of boring, but in the end it kind of explains itself as to why all of that is put in there. At times the book can be a bit confusing as well. At times it is slow. But the 2nd half really picks up speed and the craziness begins. 

A handful of people all from different lifestyles, back grounds, and pasts are sent an invitation to Michigan's most Haunted Hotel the Gallagher, for a private party, No one knows why they were chosen or the real reason for the party. As the night goes on and more and more of the members of the party turn up dead. Chris a thief and Riley a waitress must turn to each other to survive the night. 


KT Rose
About the Author:
K.T. Rose is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a suspenseful short story series titled Trinity of Horror, an erotic thriller novel titled When We Swing, and A Dark Web Horror Series. She also writes supernatural and paranormal horror novels and short stories.

You can find and contact K.T. Rose here:
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