Decadent. Dark. Devastating. Seventeen-year-old Harper Ellory knows the ruins of the past are a dark place for a new beginning. Then she meets Antoine Marigny, and discovers just how seductive darkness can be. After the death of her twin sister, Harper dreams of a new life. But not only is the Mississippi mansion she moves into cursed, it’s also Antoine Marigny’s family home. Now he wants it back—no matter the cost.
Harper’s seen too much death to be frightened off by a curse. But Antoine is a different kind of threat. He has an infuriating smile, an annoying habit of turning up when she least expects it, and a frustrating knack for getting Harper to talk about things she’d rather keep hidden.
Like her emotions.
Antoine is also keeping secrets of his own. Secrets that Harper suspects are far darker than the curse he says he wants to protect her from.
Harper knows Antoine is dangerous. Part of her wants to take his offer and run. No dream is worth dying for.
But Harper is done running from death.
She’s ready to make an offer of her own. An offer destined to turn Antoine Marigny’s life upside down.
Even if it means binding herself to the curse forever.
Red Magnolia is the bewitching first installment of the Nightgarden Saga. A heart wrenching YA/NA paranormal romance full of Southern Gothic atmosphere, supernatural adventure, and shocking twists that will keep you turning pages deep into the night.
If you’re a fan of The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, and romance that rips your heart out, you’ll love the Nightgarden Saga. Red Magnolia is a YA/NA paranormal romance that is sweet with heat, without any explicit scenes, suitable for ages twelve and up. The first in a series of seven, it can be read as a stand alone or as part of the series.
I’m also hosting a US only giveaway for a paperback copy of Red Magnolia on Instagram today. Head on over to my Instagram to check it out!
Lucy Holden is a pseudonym for Paula Constant, Random House published author of Sahara and Slow Journey South and indie author of the Visigoths of Spain historical fiction series. The Nightgarden Saga is Paula’s first foray into YA/NA paranormal romance. Lucy Holden is Paula’s alter ego. She is a romance tragic and has a deep fascination for all things supernatural. Starting with Anne Rice as a teenager, Paula has read her way through the vampire panoply. Her passion for the supernatural is so ingrained, she can recite whole scenes from The Vampire Diaries. Her favourite thing in the world to do is sit on Cable Beach at midnight under a full moon with a glass of wine,something she gets to do almost every month now that she lives in the tropical North West town of Broome, Australia. While off work with a broken leg, Paula wrote the entire Nightgarden saga and now has plans for two related series set in the same world.
At mid-morning break I’m heading back out to my car to get a book I forgot when I see Jeremiah and Antoine standing by the teal Chevy. Even from a distance, I can tell they’re arguing. I move a bit closer and stand behind a nearby truck, listening.
“What were your parents thinking?” I hear Antoine say, his voice low and furious. “They knew what would happen if they sold it. This should never have happened.” He grips the car door, so hard I would swear he actually bent it.
“The lawyers don’t think she’ll change her mind. But I’ll find a way, Antoine, I promise.” Jeremiah’s voice sounds scared. “I’ll make this right.”
“You’ll do no such thing.” Antoine’s voice is grim. “If Harper and her brother haven’t changed their minds after the week they’ve had, they aren’t likely to. I’ll work it out. Just stay out of my way, and don’t do anything stupid.”
He shakes his head, and Jeremiah walks away, casting nervous looks over his shoulder as he goes. I’m about to follow when Antoine turns around and looks right at me. “Harper,” he says, in a resigned tone, and I wonder how he knew I was there.
I step out and face him across a few empty car spaces. “What did you mean, ‘after the week they’ve had’?” I glare at him. “All the problems with the power company and water board – they were your doing, weren’t they? And Jeremiah – he has just lost both of his parents, and here you are, bullying him, as well. It’s not his fault his parents sold the house.”
“His parents knew the house wasn’t to be sold.” His eyes glint darkly in the sunlight. “They made a mistake that I’m just trying to put it right. Jeremiah knows that.”
“Well, if you’re hoping I will sell it back to you, I won’t.”
He’s at my side so fast I barely see him move, standing so close it makes me shiver, staring down at me. “You have no idea,” he says softly, “what you are playing with. If it’s money, then name your price. I don’t care how much it is. But believe me, Harper. You do not want to stay in that house. And if you think shower problems are the worst thing you’re going to encounter in there, think again.”
“Is that a threat?” I don’t back away from him. “Because if anything happens to my brother or me, it’s not a very smart conversation to be having.”
He makes an impatient sound and for a moment I think he’s going to say something else, then he starts to walk away. I’m not sure what impulse makes me say it, but I call out from behind him, “what’s in the hurricane cellar?”
He stops still and I can tell by the slow way he turns around that I’ve hit a nerve. Then he is right in front of me again, unnervingly fast, his face is so closed and forbidding I take an instinctive step backwards, suddenly very aware that I’m alone in the lot. I’m waiting for some threatening command not to go anywhere near the cellar, but when he does finally speak, his words are completely unexpected. “How have your dreams been?” his tone is soft but his eyes boring into mine are dark and turbulent. “That face you sketched. Has it started laughing at you yet?”
I’m so taken aback I can’t find the words to reply, just stare at him instead. He nods slowly, not taking his eyes away from mine. “I thought so,” he said grimly. His mouth is a hard line. “Tell your brother you want to sell, Harper. Sign the house back to Jeremiah and find a new project for your brother to work on. I’ll even help you find one. But don’t stay in that house.”
He starts walking away from me. I’m so shaken from what he’s just said that I’m still standing frozen in place, trying to make sense of how he knew about the dreams, when he stops by his Chevy and faces me again. “Jeremiah said there’s a party out by the old place on Perdu tonight,” he says. “Are you planning to go?”
“Why on earth would it be any of your business if I was?”
His mouth twists in one corner, almost a half-smile. “Riverside parties around here have a tendency to get a little rough.” His eyes on my face are oddly opaque. “Since you seem to lack a sense of your own mortality, can I offer a second piece of advice, and suggest you choose a different way to pass your evening?”
My eyes narrow, and he sighs and shakes his head.
“Well.” He pulls the Chevy door open so hard the entire truck shakes. “If you die, I guess at least it will make it easier to buy the damned house back.”