Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host R.C. Matthews and her new book, “Blackburn Castle” which is Book Two from her Tortured Souls Book Series!
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win some exciting prizes like an ebook copy of the featured book, “Blackburn Castle,” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!! Also, come back daily to interact with R.C. and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
Tortured Souls Series Book 2
by R.C. Matthews
Victor Blackburn is living on borrowed time. An ancient curse violently claims the life of each Blackburn male on his twenty-seventh birthday. As his approaches, his only hope of survival is a witch who vanished long ago without a trace.
Mercy Seymour eagerly counts down the days until the curse will claim Victor’s life. She watched him murder her mother, and only his death will free her of the hatred and anger she harbors.
When fate throws them together in Devil’s Cove, desire simmers between the handsome pirate and the spirited barkeeper’s niece until they learn the truth about each other. Desperate for her cooperation, Victor spirits her away to Blackburn Castle in the Scottish Highlands, where forces of magic and mists from beyond the grave weaken her resolve, opening her eyes to the truth of the past.
RELEASE DATE of April 10, 2017
Shrouded in unspeakable horror and spoken of only in whispers, the abandoned Devil's Cove Manor lures Captain Devlin Limmerick and his unquenchable thirst for revenge to its doors. Feared as the Devil on the high seas, the pirate's desire to avenge his past is matched only by his hunger for the powerful young medium he has coerced to aid him in his nefarious quest.
Blinded from youth and touched with an ability to communicate beyond the grave, Grace is both feared and revered by the uneasy town folk. Yet she is powerless against the unrest brewing within the manor walls and finds herself drawn to the Devil's darkness. Still, she refuses to sacrifice her soul to set Devlin's unspeakable plans in motion.
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The fine hairs on her neck prickled, and her instincts flared to life, warning her to flee. Whatever business these pirates had with Charles Mitchell was best left between them and their Maker. She glanced at the tavern door, mentally calculating the odds of sneaking inside now without notice. Quite poor, considering the angle at which Charles stood. But with the pirates’ backs to her, it was now or never.
Just as she crept from behind the barrel, Hatchet sidled up behind Charles and clasped his upper arms in an iron grip, both men now facing her. The deadly glimmer in the pirate’s eyes halted Mercy in her tracks, and she crouched lower.
“Tarnation,” she grumbled under her breath while peeking over the top of the barrel.
Charles grunted in shock, before he struggled to break free. His fair skin paled a shade further when Victor grasped a handful of his shirt. “What can I do for you, Victor?”
“Well, you can start by keeping your fucking mouth shut,” he said, slamming one fist and then the other into Charles’s jaw in rapid succession.
The dull thud of bone on bone rippled through Mercy, and she shuddered as blood spewed from Charles’s battered mouth. Well, that had escalated quite quickly. She clasped her hands to her chest, praying for Freya’s guidance. Should she hold her tongue or scream? Would anyone come to her rescue? Not likely, given the boisterous patrons of The Black Serpent. No, best to remain silent. They wouldn’t kill the man in an alley, would they?
“I’ll keep it shut,” Charles said, slumping forward. “Tell me what I’ve said wrong, and I promise not to say another word.”
Good man. Yes, listen close and keep your mouth shut.
Victor sank his hand into Charles’s hair and yanked his head up. “Stop spreading filthy lies about your wife and daughter, you rat bastard.”
Charles snarled, his lip curling in an unsightly manner. “Eveline isn’t my daughter! She’s Deveraux’s bastard.”
Mercy shoved her fist into her mouth. She had met Eveline the day she moved to Devil’s Cove. Her aunt had hoped they would become friends, being of an age with one another. But then Charles Mitchell had sent his daughter to live at the priory under Brother Anselm’s care and renamed her Grace. An odd business, that. Or, perhaps not so odd, considering this bit of news.
Without warning, Victor pummeled Charles in the stomach with so much force that the man doubled over and vomited with great, heaving gulps. The second he recovered, Hatchet held him up for another round of beatings from Victor’s effectual fists. He was relentless, pounding his victim without mercy until he hung like a rag doll in Hatchet’s firm grip.
Bile threatened to choke her. Despite years of working in her uncle’s tavern, she’d never witnessed a beating as prolonged and vicious.
Victor’s shoulders heaved with every breath, and he shook out his hands before taking a step back to assess the damage. “Not another goddamned word, Charles,” he said, motioning for Hatchet to hold up the man’s lolling head. “The next time I catch wind of your rantings, you’re a dead man.”
Mercy gasped then sank to her haunches. Stupid mistake! Blood rushed into her ears, and her heart thundered with each passing second. Had they heard her over Charles’s groans and feverish pleas for mercy?
“Drag the bloody blighter home, Hatchet, and leave him on the doorstep.”
She closed her eyes and rocked softly, tapping her head against her knees as she counted to twenty. Please go away. Taking one final, deep breath, she opened her eyes—and screamed.
Victor pressed his hand against her mouth, muffling her cries as he hauled her to her feet and backed her against the wall, covering her body with his. She stiffened, unable to move a single inch. His touch was firm but exerting only the requisite pressure to ensure her compliance. Pressing his lips into a grim line, he regarded her with his emerald eyes.
The hue was unusual, so calm, almost beckoning her to lay down her defenses. Oh, dear, she shouldn’t gaze into his eyes. But he held her head in place, so she glanced down instead and was met with a view of his cracked and bloodied knuckles.
Her stomach lurched, and she struggled to break free from his hold, using every ounce of strength she possessed.
“Calm down before you attract every bloody man in the tavern,” he said, his gaze steely. “I won’t hurt you. Do you hear me?”
She nodded vigorously while tears stung her eyes. What would he do to a nosey young lady who’d witnessed his ruthless deeds?
“I’m going to remove my hand so you can answer my questions. No more screaming. Or I’ll be forced to cover your mouth with mine.”
His mouth on mine? Better than his bloodied hand, but no, feeling his lips pressed against hers would not be good. Well, it would certainly feel good, but it would not be good. Because he would wish for more. And more, until … Questions? The pirate wanted to ask her questions? She nodded again.
His brow furrowed. “How much did you see or hear?”
What did he expect her to say? Every single blow of his lethal fists upon a man half his size. Secrets capable of destroying Eveline’s already tenuous reputation. Threats against his victim’s life. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth, and she swallowed hard before finding her voice.
“Nothing,” she whispered, avoiding his piercing gaze. “I didn’t hear or see anything, I tell you.”
He chuckled, drawing her gaze back to him. A wisp of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he studied her face, and a blush heated her cheeks. She was a horrible liar.
“Good girl,” he crooned, rubbing the soft pad of his thumb absently over her cheek. “I believe you. What’s your name, lass?”
She breathed for what felt like the first time in five minutes and inhaled a rich mixture of sandalwood and his perspiration. His eyes burned with desire as they dropped to her mouth, lingering there for a few heart-stopping moments before he met her gaze again.
Her belly quaked under his possessive stare. Goodness, he wanted to kiss her with those full, supple lips … and a small part of her longed for his kiss, to feel the warmth of his mouth. ’Twas useless to deny her physical attraction to the man. But succumbing to his charms would be foolish. He would only offer a taste of passion, bringing her ruin and shame. Yet, she couldn’t fight him off if he wanted to take her innocence in the dark alley, so why did he not ravish her?
Instead, he traced his thumb along her jaw until his hand threaded into her hair at the nape, holding her prisoner to his steady gaze. “You tremble in my embrace. I would never hurt a woman or force her into submission. Do you believe me?”
She nodded, though, in truth, her instincts warned her otherwise. He had brutally beaten another man only minutes before. And he was first mate on The Savior to the Devil himself, a renowned pirate. She didn’t wish to reveal her name to him. Best that he forget her.
“Come, tell me your name, sweet lass.”
R.C. Matthews’ debut book entitled Little White Lies, was conceived in 1997 while living in Cologne, Germany. However, marriage, children and a day job that paid the bills put writing the book on the back burner until 2012 when she discovered the folder with her research in the basement while reorganizing! Determined to finally realize her life-long dream of writing a book, R.C. Matthews spent 15 months writing on weekends to complete the manuscript.
R.C. Matthews was raised in the Metro-Detroit area by deaf parents along with four siblings. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a B.A. in Accounting and German and continues to work as a certified public accountant. She enjoys traveling with her loving husband and children, reading, down-hill skiing, and playing board games. Talisman and LIFE are high on the list of favorites at her home.
R.C. Matthews is the author of contemporary and historical romances featuring bold, sassy heroines and magnetic alpha heroes. Warning! The chemistry between her characters is off the charts hot, so read at your own risk. She resides in the Midwest and is surrounded by men: her husband and three sons. During her free time you'll find her watching The Walking Dead, reading a fabulous book or hanging out with her family.
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