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Friday, September 24, 2021

Silver Dagger Book Tours Presents: Haunted Bride by Maggie Tideswell; #BookTour, #NowAvailable, #OutNow, #TBR, #Live, #Giveaway

Haunted Bride
Moragh's Ghost Book 1
by Maggie Tideswell
Genre: Paranormal Romance

"Excellent read! Maggie Tideswell's book is impossible to put down. This writer is skilled in evoking deep emotions in the readerA pleasure to read." - Amazon Reviewer

A marriage of convenience - no strings attached - suited both Holly and Joshua just fine; a virgin marriage, so that they could both walk away… But they made a crucial mistake: they didn't take chemistry into account.

Holly —
Seriously? They actually advertised for a husband for her without telling her?
She was going to have to kill them, stone dead.

But having a ‘husband’ behind her would give her an edge she didn’t have now. Donald, her ex, and his wife would have to revise their strategy of keeping her children away from her. That was an advantage worth taking a risk for. But what kind of man was likely to respond to a tiny ad in the newspaper no one reads anymore?

Joshua —
Nicole had to marry him now or let him go. He was done waiting, but he did not know what else he could do to persuade her to his way of thinking. Until he saw the little ad in the paper. A plan fell into his head as if he'd snapped his fingers. This woman who audaciously advertised herself as available would do perfectly. Married to another woman would make him irresistibly attractive to Nicole – as was the case with everything she wanted and couldn’t have.

From the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage, strange things started happening to her, and the strangeness followed her to her new (temporary) home. She was going to have to unravel a decades-old mystery before anything else.

A ghost, a wronged fiancĂ©e, and trouble with everyone around them. Will Holly and Joshua get what they’ve set out to achieve?

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The kitchen was spotless, the cake and wine already on the table doubling as altar. “We should get ready,” Nina said.

“What we did was wrong. You know that, don’t you?” Susan said. She pushed the two glass dishes, one with salt, the other with water, into line with the little copper vessel. “Now we have to do this to protect Holly. Although nothing seems to have come of it, I feel the karma building like a heavy cloak around that sweet girl.”

Blair clasped her hands under her chin. “It was in direct interference with Holly’s will.” She pressed her fingers to her lips. “I’m glad Heather will be here. She’s strong. She’ll know how to make the best of everything.”

Running her finger along the flat of the curved blade, she looked at the other women. “She’s going to hex us for interfering with her baby sister and then lying to her about it. It’s no more than we deserve.”

“You need to calm down, Blair, and clear your mind. We meant well, that at least must count in our favor.” Susan closed her eyes for a moment. “Now, you two have to go have your bath. Nina, you first. The herbs are already in there. Blair, you’ll have to soak a while longer to neutralize your negativity. I’ll set up in here.”

Twenty minutes later Nina was back in the kitchen, her damp hair streaking the back of her black robe. “Susan, are you sure we’re doing the right thing? Could any harm possibly come from this?”

“Don’t be daft, Nina. It’s a redirection of energies. The correspondences are perfect. The full moon is in Libra, which will provide the balance we need, with the added emphasis on relationships. It’s Sunday, the best day for a protection spell, and we’ll do the work at midnight. Now stop worrying. Everything is going to be fine. Help me get these holly branches into the circle. Mind the thorns.”

“Heather will approve.”

As if conjured, the doorbell rang. Susan let Heather in. “Briefly fill me in,” she demanded. “Blair said strong protection is needed. Who for, and against what?”

Susan swallowed painfully. “Heather, please don’t be angry with us, we only meant well.”

Heather squared her shoulders, pulling herself up to her full five foot two. “What have you done? Holly is in trouble, isn’t she? That’s why you decked the place out in holly. Where is she?”

“Asleep. You know how she feels about…” Susan swept her hand to indicate the ritual space. “We didn’t tell her you were coming.”

“Susan, you’re beginning to irritate me.” Heather’s chin disappeared into her neck. “This is too much foliage. Nina, take it away. Leave only what is on the altar. Susan, what have you done to Holly? Tell me everything.”

In a rush, while Nina piled the holly by the door, Susan explained about the advert and why they thought Holly should marry again. “But nothing has come of it,” she ended lamely, staring at the floor.

Heather was furious. “You fools! How could you take such a risk? Believe me, something has come of it. I feel Holly’s anxiety like a tangible thing.” Heather shivered. “Are you sure you told me everything?” The girls looked at each other. “Never mind, it will come to me in the circle. At least you have chosen the correspondences well.”

“Heather, there’s more,” said Nina in a tiny voice.

Susan breathed in deeply. “We think Holly is being haunted. You see, she’s been working on a story because she says someone told her to. Things have been happening around her. I…umm…we think this person she is investigating is calling to her from the grave. That’s what we wanted to protect her against, more than…the other,” Susan ended. “We don’t know who this person is, or how she picked Holly.”

“You should have told me everything when I asked you the other day. I know about the presence hovering around Holly, but the person doesn’t want to speak to me. I don’t think Holly was chosen randomly. I think this entity was deliberately sent to Holly and somehow everything is connected.”

The girls glanced at each other.

“But…but is this entity a ghost, or only someone taking advantage of Holly’s emotional vulnerability?” Nina asked.

Heather stared at the wall for a long moment before she sighed. “A bit of both, I think. Now, I need to meditate. Give me ten minutes. In the meantime, sweep the sacred space and clear your minds. Clowns,” she muttered as she closed the door to the lounge quietly so as not to wake her sister in the next room.

By the time Blair joined Susan and Nina, it was five to midnight. “Where’s Heather?” she mouthed. Nina pointed at the lounge door and quickly dropped her hand when it opened, and Heather appeared. No one spoke as they took their places.

At exactly midnight, Susan raised her arms above her head and said in a clear voice, “Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, bless this space with light and air, and protect the one we love.”

She repeated the invitation to the South, West and North before she kneeled before the altar. Nina lit the white candle with Holly engraved onto it, while Blair mixed three pinches of salt with the water in the glass dish. The girls’ movements were stiff but accurate. It was the first time they stood in a circle with Heather.

Susan dipped the ankh in the salty water while they intoned:

Water be healing and salt be pure

Keep Holly safe and protected for sure

Guard her and hers from any harm

Whilst she keep this sacred charm

Bad energy please turn from her

Go back to whence it came

And it harm none, so mote it be.

“It’s crowded in here tonight,” Nina whispered.

“Someone we haven’t invited has joined us.” There was a note of panic in Blair’s voice. “Banish it, Susan. Heather, please, help us.”

Heather, a vacant look in her eyes, didn’t react.

Susan drew the banishing pentagram in the air. “Lady or Lord, we haven’t invited you. Thank you for visiting, but could you please do so from the gallery?” Susan pointed her wand at the triangle marked with chalk outside the circle.

“Is it gone?” Nina whispered.

“No, it won’t go.” A keening wail filled the sacred space; the girls gripped each other in fear. “If we do it together, we might banish it. Stand close.”

The howling got louder; a wind twisting anticlockwise inside the circle flung the girls’ hair into their eyes. The pages of the Book of Shadows on the altar fluttered. The quarter candles blew out, but the girls did not dare let go of each other to relight them.

Heather’s voice was low, but it filled the kitchen. “She is not the mother. She usurped my place in his affection.” The sound of her own voice snapped her back to the present from wherever she had been, just as the altar candles sputtered and went out, plummeting them into total darkness.

“Go!” Heather commanded.

The girls glanced in her direction, even though they couldn’t see her. It was amazing how such a tiny woman could produce such a volume in command, but the disturbance ended with that one word.

“Close the temple. We won’t have the cakes and ale tonight.”

Shaking, Susan thanked and dismissed the guardians and closed the circle. Blair turned the lights on. They all looked at Heather.

“Was that Holly’s ghost? Is it still here?” Nina whispered, her eyes rolling in all directions.

Heather stared at the floor. Without lifting her eyes, she said, “Trouble is coming.” Three other pairs of eyes followed the path of hers and gasps filled the air.

Spots of blood covered the circle area. “Finish the blessings,” Heather commanded. Her voice sounded eerie, other-worldly.

Nina’s hand shook when she took the bowl of salt water and sprinkled it in the doorway, all over Holly’s bedroom door, and around the apartment, while muttering the chant. Blair threaded the ankh onto a delicate silver chain, careful not to touch the ankh itself, and wrapped it in a piece of black silk.

“That’s good,” Heather said. “Holly will be protected against the evil that is about. I sense a man, a good man, and a baby who can’t be born until the restless one sleeps. The one who is not the mother will die along with another.”

The girls glanced at each other and then back at Heather. “Did we do all that?” Nina asked in a tiny voice.

Heather audibly released her breath. “No, unwittingly the man did.”

“Does the one who is not the mother refer to Gwen? And the other, Donald? Are they going to die?” Susan’s hand fluttered in search of the comfort of other girls’ hands.

Heather glanced at her sister’s panicky friends. “It’s not clear how everything is tied together, but Holly is in the middle of it all.” She turned to the door, but before she reached it, she turned, and for the first time since they had known Holly’s formidable sister, the woman looked uncertain. “Girls, before I go, there is something I must ask you to do. Please, if you care at all for Holly, let me know everything that happens to her. I sense turmoil…and a tortured soul crying out for peace.”

Susan clapped a hand across her mouth. “Holly is the tortured soul,” she said.

Heather touched Susan’s shoulder. “No, she isn’t. I can help Holly, but I need to know every tiny thing as it happens to her.”

Maggie Tideswell, internationally acclaimed bestselling South African author, has a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, making it love, not money, that makes the world go round.
Ghosts just can't seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can't be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can't do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time.
The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them.
That might change soon.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon giftcard,

ebook of Find My Love by Maggie Tideswell

- 1 winner each! 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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