Raven by Stacey Rourke

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New release

covergifTitle: Raven

Series: Legends Saga # 2

Author: Stacey Rourke

Audience: NA Paranormal

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Formats: E-book and Paperback  

Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing

Cover by: Najla Qamber Designs

Editor: Melissa Ringsted

Date Published: Sept 22, 2014


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An infamous love, destined nevermore,

For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,

searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

 

 

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excerpt

Clamping her eyes on the wash of tears that threatened, Ireland ignored the wailing of her heart … and laid a palm to each of their cheeks. One lone tear snuck between her lashes at the cascade of tingles seeping up her arms.

“You can’t blame them for not understanding,” a familiar voice drawled behind her.

She spun as he neared, leaving Rip and Noah wheezing for breath—or, more likely, completion of her task.

Techno-colored flowers bloomed in a colorless world each time the sole of Ridley’s shoes met the earth. The crisp cut of his white, tailored suit was accented by a burst of color from the button-down shirt beneath that changed in hue to match the species of flowers that sprung to life. Hydrangeas blue. Orchid purple. Lily fuchsia. Rose coral. As he neared, Ireland noticed his eyes morphed to match as well. The result hypnotic.

His haggard and troubled façade was a thing of the past. The man before her exuded confidence and a zest for life from every pore. The draw of which was so magnetic Ireland had to fight to keep her feet planted while her body insisted she close the distance between them.

“To them this is a thrill, a game of chicken against the Reaper himself.” Ridley paused beside her, his shoulder skimming hers. Even then he didn’t grace her with a glance, his attention fixed on Rip and Noah. Tipping his head toward her, the warmth of his breath teased over her breast bone. “For us, it’s destiny.”

The moment he stepped away from her, the chill of solitude lashed at Ireland’s soul and cut deep. Bending eye-level with her withering subjects, Ridley pursed his rose petal lips to blow a soft, healing breath over both of them. Wan complexions of the dying were ripened to plump apricot. Both men blinked away their disappointment before dipping in a low bow—foreheads to the ground in a show of respect.

“No need for that, boys.” Ridley smoothed the front of his suit coat, a self-depreciating chuckle playing over his lips.

Neither humbled servant budged.

“You’re like me?” Pacing in a slow circle around him, Ireland’s eye narrowed.

He matched her steps, leading them in an intimate waltz normally reserved for predators—or lovers.

“Like you?” He tsked. “Oh no, my darling flower. There is no other like you. Our only similarity is being pawns in a game that began centuries before either of our fathers got an amorous gleam in their eyes.”

Ireland’s gaze lingered over the soft curve of his mouth, wondering if his lips could possibly taste as delectable as they looked. “How do we play?”

Curling one finger into a ruffled tuft of her skirt, Ridley pulled her to him. Bowing his head, he brushed his cheek over the delicate curve of her collarbone. “The game is already in motion,” he murmured. “The rule sheet not meant for our eyes. All we can do now is stay alive.” 

Ireland weaved her fingers into his hair, yanking his head back with a passion driven force that bordered on violent. “I’ve taken lives. I’m a monster,” she snarled against his lips, tormenting them both with the agonizing veil of energy that denied their touch.

His hand snaked up her arm to find her fingers and loosen her grasp. Palm to palm. Fingers entwined with fingers. “Does granting it make me any better?”

Ridley didn’t give her time to answer. With one hand pressed to the small of her back he crushed her to him.  Their lips met with a desperate urgency that caused Heaven and Earth to quake in nervous anticipation of what was coming … 

 
~~~REVIEW~~~

It is rare that a book comes along that renders me unable to write a review about it. Not that Raven was a bad read; just the opposite in fact. I find myself befuddled when trying to write a coherent statement. How does one review the mind of Ridley and Poe? Well, here goes.

Rourke still brings the wit, humor and sarcasm that she is known for as she intertwines Washing Irving’s The Headless Horseman with the morbid, craziness that is Edgar Allan Poe. The cast you fell in love with from Crane; Noah, the strong, mostly silent type, Rip with his selective narcolepsy, and Ireland the Hessian, all return in Raven. This unlikely trio sets off for Manhattan in search of why and by whom this curse has been placed on Ireland. What they find only adds more mystery to their situation. Meet Ridley. Ridley is the character you hate to love. One the one had he is a total sleaze ball, but on the other hand he is a frightened man who cannot escape the torment of seeing ghosts everywhere. Ridley is your Edgar Allan Poe. Like Crane, Raven is a two part tale with Ireland and crew in the present and the past is told by Poe.

Put your thinking caps on folks because Rourke is taking us back to high school as she weaves in a few Poe classics like, Lenore, The Tell Tale Heart and The Masque of the Red Death into her plot. These references are fairly obvious but it may spark your interest enough to go back and reread them as I did. It added to the story for me.

My favorite character in Raven is Lenore. She is bad ass and gives credence to the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! What Lenore unleashes in Manhattan should truly make any man think twice before pissing off a woman again.

I loved this second installment in the Legends Saga. This story takes off on page one and never slows down. Stacey Rourke has unleashed another fantastic story for her readers to devour.

 

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Title: Crane

Series: Legends Saga # 1

Author: Stacey Rourke

Genre: NA paranormal

Date Published: May 26, 2014

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The Horseman is unending,

his presence shan’t lessen.

If you break the curse,

you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

 

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~~~REVIEW~~~

Think you know the story of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow? Think again.

Stacey Rourke delivers a heart pounding thrill ride in her newest tale, Crane. Your heart will race and your breath will hitch with each terrifying step the Horseman’s steed takes as he closes in on his next unsuspecting victim.

Some of the residents of Sleepy Hollow are not who they appear to be. Who has called the Hessian forth? Can a past injustice and a lost love be righted? Most importantly who dawns the Hessian’s cloak in search of centuries old revenge?

Fans of The Gryphon Series will love that the main character, Ireland, carries on the author’s trademark witty, flirtatious, and sarcastic sense of humor. The climatic end to the novel left me sitting up in bed gripping my kindle at 2:00am. I was so engrossed in the story. My heart was pounding. My dogs were pacing not understanding the palpable tension that seemed to hang in the air as I neared the end of this tale. Even after finishing the story, putting down the kindle and snuggling back into bed; scenes from the novel continued to dance in my head.

I give this tale a 5 Star Review. Stacey Rourke weaves a tale that includes dark flashes from the past when Ichabod Crane first encountered the Horseman to present day Sleepy Hollow and the unexplained murders of 2 of its prominent residents. You will not be disappointed on the journey this book takes you.

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authorgifThe Gryphon Series is written by Stacey Rourke. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects. The Gryphon Series is available wherever fine books are sold.

Contact Info: Visit the author at www.staceyrourke.com

Twitter @Rourkewrites

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