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Series: Legends Saga # 1
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: NA paranormal
Date Published: May 26, 2014
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?
“Tonight was meant to be the Harvest Ball,” Katrina said as she slid between the folds of her crimson and taupe gown. “Now the town is meeting, trying to concoct a plan to stop a being that death itself couldn’t tame.”
Ichabod sat on the edge of the bed with his back, respectfully, to Katrina while she changed. His loaded musket lay across his lap. In the reflection of the window in front of him he could see the soft curve of her hips as they tapered into her narrow waist. He cleared his throat and shifted his gaze to the floor. His chin tipped to the side, ever so slightly, to ask, “Are you secure in our plan?”
“I am to attend the summit on the arm of Brom Van Brunt,” she reaffirmed as she pulled her long, blonde locks out from the back of her gown and began tightening the laces of her bodice. “Then speak with as many people as I can, searching for anyone that may have motives leading to the Horseman.”
Ichabod nodded. Mostly to himself, he muttered the remaining details they were depending upon, “Rip will be inside as well. That man can finesse a crowd with a skill that truly baffles. If there are secrets to be found, he will uncover them. Irv will be outside with me, primarily because the Horseman isn’t the only one in this town that would like to see his head on a spike. We will be on horseback, patrolling the grounds with a few other men that have volunteered. You will have nothing to fear.”
Her elegant gown in place, Katrina turned to Ichabod wearing an expression equal parts timidity and fear. “What of Brom?”
The bed squeaked as Ichabod shifted his weight to face her. “Boorish as his ways may be, he cares for you. If you adopt the guise that you have interest in him, he will do all he can to protect you inside the gathering, while I provide you the same service outside.”
“And,” her long lashes brushed the tops of her cheeks as she cast her gaze to the floor, “you aren’t bothered by me being on his arm?”
In the midst of the plotting and planning, Ichabod had slipped into the role he knew well of military strategist. He had detached himself from the emotional aspects—until that very moment. The reality of his request sank in like a heavy stone. He had asked her to take another man’s arm, asserting her place beside him. The implications of that dug into his gut like a dull blade, churning and twisting deep.
“The mere idea of that makes me ache,” he stated, forcing the words through his suddenly parched throat. “Yet I would endure this hardship, and countless others, to keep you safe.”
She moistened her lips with a flick of her tongue, seemingly wrestling with words that gave her pause. “Ichabod, when this is over … w-would you call yourself mine?”
Ichabod closed his eyes. The euphoria of that question washed over him, cleansing him of all his sins with the promise of tomorrow. Rising to his feet, he took her velvet soft hand in his. A love he hadn’t known possible illuminated her striking face. “From the moment I saw you, my heart belonged to you alone. If by some miracle you were to give me your love in return, I would need nothing else to sustain me the rest of my days.”
Katrina’s palm tenderly brushed his cheek. “You have already claimed that.”
Allowing no further hesitation, Ichabod gathered her in his arms. Katrina tipped her head back, the soft curves of her body molding to his. Full lips parted in an alluring invitation it would take a stronger man than him to resist.
Series: Legends Saga # 2
Author: Stacey Rourke
Audience: NA Paranormal
Date Published: Sept 22, 2014
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.
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 …
Dream cast of The Legends Saga;
Ireland Crane- Allison Scagliotti
Most people would recognize Allison as Chloe from Warehouse 13. With her dry wit, and punk edge with underlining vulnerability she would be ideal as the tortured soul that is Ireland Crane.
Noah Van Tassel – Jensen Ackles
Good looks, charmingly cock attitude, and a heart of gold; Jensen seems perfect as Ireland’s fated beau, Noah.
Rip Van Winkle – Sir Ian McKellen
McKellen can embody any role, and how much fun would it be to see him portray Rip’s stress induced narcolepsy?
Ridley Peolte – Collin O’Donoghue
Best known as Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time, Collin could nail the balance of lunacy and charisma that Ridley is cursed with. And, truth be told, I’d cast that boy in the opening of an envelope if I could.
Lenore – Amanda Seyfried
Angelically beautiful, with the ability to embrace her dark side for a character portrayal, Amanda would make the ideal Lenore. Couldn’t you just see her with purple eyes and a thirst for vengeance?
1.) Sleepy Hollow Soundtrack Track 1- composed by Danny Elfman2.) Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks3.) I’m on Fire by Mumford and Sons4.) Monster by Skillet5.) Crazy by Kat Dahlia6.) Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds7.) Voices in My Head by Randy Orton8.) Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace9.) Counting Flowers on the Wall by Eric Heatherly10.) The Monster by Eminem & RihannaTop Ten Funny Quotes from Raven:
1.) “If you fall asleep here, you will wake up with a dolphin tramp stamp. I promise you that.”
2.) “There’s no pretending ya didn’t hear that! She … uh … suffers from low blood sugar. It turns her into a slightly demonic nympho. Awkward as it is here, family gatherings are the real bitch.”
3.) “I cannot believe you two left me behind! I mean, yes, eventually you came back for me—and I thank you for that. However, that does not change the fact that I woke up to an Asian family taking pictures of me! It is hard to determine who was more traumatized by it, me for waking up with an audience or them for thinking one of the statues came alive. From the way their kids screamed, I assure you they will never set foot in a museum or gallery again! I ruined culture for those poor children!”
4.) “If you’re contemplating seeing if the Horseman could survive that jump, I’m going to ask you not to. It’s way too early in our relationship for you to hear my girly scream.”
5.) “Ireland? The flashing, illuminated man means walk,” Noah patiently explained, gesturing to the street sign behind him. “Look, it’s even counting down for you! You now have 16 seconds to cross the street before this becomes a game of Frogger.”
6.) “That was … invigorating,” Ridley’s chest rose and fell with each panted gasp, “and somewhat arousing in an incredibly confusing way.”“That pretty much describes every day spent with Ireland Crane,” Noah admitted with a subtle cock of his head.
7.) “And if not, we can go in search of that fake cop and I can threaten to give him a colonoscopy with my sword unless he tells us what he knows!” Ireland chirped with enough enthusiasm to raise eyebrows.Rip pulled up short, his nose crinkling. “Tha’s tewwifying.”
8.) “Funny, I don’t feel real, probably because I can do this.” Jamming his hand through Ireland’s chest, he wriggled his fingers between her shoulder blades before reaching down to slap her ass. “Yow-za!”
9.) His chin jerked in Ridley’s direction. “Hey, Rid, are the walls talking to you?”Ridley’s head slowly turned their way, his eyes wide and glassy. “The fat little piggies found a delectable sandwich, and now they’re orchestrating an elaborate masquerade ball.”“See? Would you get him, please?”
10.) Wetting his lips, Ridley did his best to keep his tone neutral—and minus any sexual undertones. “He … wants to enter me.”An almost smile tugged at one corner of her cobalt lips. “Well, you make him buy you dinner first.”1.) Katrina turned to Ichabod to borrow the lantern. Instead, she witnessed his face falling slack with horror.Top Ten Spooky moments from Crane;
“Ichabod? What is it?”
“Katrina, don’t turn around!” Ichabod yelled, a moment too late.
He tried to grab her and pull her to him, yet instinct spun her head toward the darkness. She sucked in a shocked gasp, followed by a blood curdling scream. Thundering footsteps from various parts of the inn hammered toward them. Katrina buried her head in Ichabod’s shoulder, allowing him to gather her in his arms as she shielded her eyes. The lantern rocked back and forth in Ichabod’s trembling hand, illuminating fresh bits of the gory scene with each swing and sway.
Splattered across the furniture.
Smeared into the carpet.
Streaked on the walls.
2.) Behind her came the sharp clang of metal and the thundering hoof beats of her stalkers galloping in pursuit. Ireland desperately wanted to chance a look over her shoulder, to see how fast the gap between them was shrinking. However, every scary movie she’d ever watched warned of what a bad idea that would be. Instead, she forced herself to ignore the growing pinch in her side and pump her legs harder still.
3.) Katrina roused with a groan, which Ichabod stifled by clamping a hand firmly over her mouth. As she squirmed and fought against him, he urgently hissed against her ear, “Katrina, I can assure you there has never been a better time to panic. Yet, you must be still. The killer is in the house.”
Katrina twisted her head, her frightened eyes bright with unshed tears, as she sought confirmation on Ichabod’s face. He nodded, pleading with his eyes for her to be still. A thud in the hall snapped both of their stares toward the sliver of light shining in from under Katrina’s door. Heavy footfalls echoed down the hall, drawing near with an ominous thump, sss, thump, sss.
4.) He stared straight ahead with fixed, unseeing eyes. Blood trailed down his face from various points of origin, soaking the front of his shirt. “Cloak of night, brings Horseman’s plight. His pricy toll, will be a soul.”
“Mason? Are you okay?”
A hard blink and his eyes found focus on her. A desperate panic flared his nostrils, forcing his breath to come fast and ragged. “Help me, you have to help me,” he pleaded, his teeth pink with the blood that streamed past his lips.
5.) “Oh, no.” Rip’s face blanched. “Ireland, what are you doing?”
Eighty-seven, eighty-eight, eighty-nine …
Her trembling hand closed around the grip. “What has to be done.”
Her arm turned skyward as she laid the iron on it flat. Pain seared like a thousand needles. A wash of tears flooded her eyes. Even so, Ireland denied herself the right to yell out, viewing that as a privilege she’d given up the moment she took the life of a child.
6.) Amber hung before her, strung between two posts. Her hands and feet were splayed out wide, bound by thick leather straps. The gaping hole in her gut allowed her entrails to spill out and swing in the nonexistent breeze. If this was who Noah meant for her to save, it was too late. No one could survive torture like that.
Or, so she thought.
Sluggishly, Amber’s head lolled in Ireland’s direction, revealing eyes clouded a deathly white. Rotting grey lips cracked into a grotesque smile lined with black gums and rotting teeth. A rattle reverberated from her chest, shuddering through her decomposing form in an almost sing-song melody. “Save her, save me. Save her, save me.”
7.) “I can’t control it.” Focusing on her breathing did little to distract from her scorching skin, which yearned to be sated. “There’s something about this place. Please. Don’t question it, and don’t hesitate. I think I can hold him back, but you have to hurry. Do it. Do it now!”
Rip shook his head. Slowly at first, but quickly gaining speed and conviction. “No, I—I can’t. Why would you ask me to do such a thing?”
Da-dun, da-dun, da-dun!
“Because all I wanna do right now is tear your head off and bathe in your blood!” Ireland snarled. She rotated her upper body just enough for her other hand to squeeze around the iron knob, in hopes of buying herself even a moment longer. “Don’t make me live with the guilt of that, Rip! Knock me out!”
8.) Her gaze locked with Ichabod’s, a manic smile spreading across her face as she turned the blade on herself. She drew it down one cheek, then the other, reveling in the slashes like a lover’s seductive caress.
9.) “I-I couldn’t have. I couldn’t—“ Ireland’s attempt to console herself in the face of true gruesomeness transformed into a choked sob, purging forth her sins.
The bare bulb swung, casting shadows over the ground that seemed to mock her with their illusion of a doubled body count. Noah. Ana. Hanging limply from the floorboards overhead. Their fixed stares cloudy. Their heads craned to the side in an unnatural angle caused by tightly wrapped nooses. Hollowed voids gaped from their chest cavities where their hearts had been ripped out, showering the front of their funeral attire with gore. Their feet dangled, clomping against each other with each sway of the rope.
10.) The next clear recollection she had found her standing over his slumped form, shocked into submission by the reflection staring back at her from the glass door. She had turned her head one way, then the other, examining her skin, the pale hue of luminescent moonlight, which whispered over the jutting bones of her face in a delicate veil. Dark brown eyes had warmed to melted gold, the color swirling and roiling within the black hollows of her sunken sockets. Sapphire veins scrolled across her cheeks and brow in a pattern as intricate as hand-woven lace. Raising one trembling hand, she brushed the tips of her fingers against formerly rosy lips now kissed by the blue hue of death. In the change she once feared, she found a tragic beauty. One strikingly similar to the sugar skull image inked on her arm.
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.
- Visit the author at www.staceyrourke.com
- Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
- Twitter @Rourkewrites
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
InterviewWhere are you from?Born and raised in Michigan.
Tell us your latest news?The second book in my Legends Saga just released with the third and final installment coming in 2015. After channeling Poe for Raven I had to lighten up for a little while. Therefore right now I am working on my first ever romantic comedy novel that will be out March 2015.
When and why did you begin writing?I have been writing stories since I was able to put crayon to paper. If you don’t believe me, you can ask the kids in my elementary school class that were subjected to listening to my awful stories that all seemed to have a Scooby Doo type of ending. Point is, I have always written and will always write no matter where life takes me. It is just part of who I am.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?When I was the keynote speaker at a youth writing event where I discussed the creative process of creating a novel with 75 teenagers. Igniting their imaginations like that and spreading the love of reading and writing showed me why I do what I do
What inspired you to write your first book?My daughters. As the mother of two I noticed the shortage of strong female characters in movies, books, etc. For my children I wanted to create a relatable main character that would teach them, and young girls everywhere, that they could be the hero of their own story. Celeste in my Gryphon Series was created just for that reason.
What would you like my readers to know?That while my books may have some dark elements to them they will always find humor and laughable moments mixed in. Why? Because reading is a form of escape and there is no better escape than through laughter.
Tour Schedule - Series Blog Tour for The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke from Oct 23 to Oct 31, 2014Oct 23Coffee Books & Art - Promo, Top Ten, Dream CastCrazy Beautiful Reviews - PromoBound 2 Escape - Promo2 Girls & A Book - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastOct 24V's Reads - Review - Raven #23 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - PromoAngels with Attitude Book Reviews - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastOct 27Say What? Savannah Mae - PromoThe Phantom Paragrapher - Review - Raven #2The Avid Reader - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastCajun Book Lover - PromoWord to Dreams - Promo & Book SoundtrackOct 28Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews - Promo, Review - Crane #1 , Review - Raven #2The Idle Musings Of A Writer's Mind - Promo, Top Ten, Dream CastEclipse Reviews - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastPortals to New Worlds - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastOct 29Paranormal Book Club (PBC) - PromoDeal Sharing Aunt - Promo & Author InterviewBooky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastHope To Read - PromoOct 30Kelly P's Blog - PromoFictional Rendezvous Book Blog - PromoAngee's After Thoughts - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastBook Nook Nuts - PromoOct 31Movies, Shows & Books - Promo, Dream Cast, Book SoundtrackDarkest Cravings - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastA Cauldron of Books - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream CastWhat Shall We Blog About Today? - Promo, Book Soundtrack & Dream Cast