Zooloos Book Tours Presents | Rosie Shadow by Loiuse Worthington
Today I am here with another tour with the fabulous Zooloo's Book Tours.
On the blog today I open the blog tour for the creepy Rosie Shadow by Louise Worthington and present you with an extract of the book which is described as creepy and spine tingling!
But before we get to the extract, let's have a look at what the book is about!
A child with a morbid gift. A demon father. An ancient prison where Clare makes a horrible mistake.Destruction follows Rosie, and now Clare wonders if there is more to Lennie’s death than she sees. On the surface, everything appears normal, but there’s a creepy underworld thriving in Ward D of the Medieval prison and down its ancient steps to the dungeon where a demon feeds on the dead. Worryingly, his store is almost empty.
Who decorates the branches of the ancient yew tree where Clare's boyfriend crashed his car? Will Clare listen to the murmurs within the prison walls in time to rescue her best friend from the clutches of evil? And why is someone else hanging around Ward D?
Rosie Shadow is a dark and twisty Gothic horror, perfect for fans of Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower and Ania Ahlborn
and if that captures your interests, here is an extract from the book!
An extract from Rosie Shadow by Louise Worthington
People in the modern world, tottering above Archie’s head, have never known real suffering or real hunger. Sure, a belly rumble if they skipped breakfast, but not the agony of hunger, the death from hunger, the desperation, the instinct to chew, bite, swallow, denied day after day until it’s tempting to eat your tongue, to chew the flesh from the insides of your mouth or an inmate’s ear, just to taste something in your mouth and use your teeth.
The convenience of vending machines, take-outs, drive-throughs, irritates him – that and so much more at the touch of a button. It’s unbelievable how easy people have it now. People whine about the weather, for God’s sake. Get them down here, in this dungeon; then they’ll have something to whine about. Experience real and prolonged suffering, and then the sun never stops shining.
There is a chastity belt on the stone floor – old pickings of his. Once the woman got skinny the belt slipped right off, like a ring on a finger. No mistake. A ball and chain loosely encircle the bones from a dismembered leg. Had rats eaten their flesh? There are so many rats scuttling over his shoes; he kicks the fat ones off, sending a couple flying against the stone wall. Using salt as a preservative, and exhuming more recent corpses from the grounds, he’s managed to keep the pantry stocked and himself alive.
‘Rosie, can you hear me? I’m talking to you. If you can hear me, send me food, Rosie. Send me food. There’s a good girl, then Daddy will come for you to bring you home.’
Ah, the blissful stinking and whispering, the cackling and the odours of people left to rot in their cells, one on top of the other. Humane? What’s humanity in the business of criminality and punishment? He’s glad the women were convicted, so he can fill his belly.
‘Hello, stinky,’ he says to a female corpse who is still wearing her work shoes. ‘Nice of you to drop by. Or rather, nice of Rosie to feed her Daddy-coo. Do you have any salsa to go with you, or guacamole goo?’ He laughs, and the sound thuds against the damp walls. ‘Man, you stink, lady! Weeeell past your best. I’m going to call you Jasmine today, just for a touch of irony.’
Archie tries not to overindulge on what he calls his Mexican meal, since rations are low.
‘I’m hungry, so you’ll have to do.’ A snuffling sound comes from his mouth as he dines on the female corpse, who is still on some missing persons’ list. The flesh is chewy; pieces get stuck in his canines. ‘You’d taste better boiled, or braised. I’d sooner have fresh meat to flesh me out. Got any tips for me, Jasmine, to make Clare want me?’
The grey outline of the man-thing begins to flesh out, to take a firmer, more definite shape, as the grotesque sound of chewing and smacking of lips takes hold. There’s a slurping sound as he finishes up. Archie rubs his biceps, enjoying the feel of muscle, then runs his hands over his chest, pleased by the small swell of his pectoral muscles.
As he exhales, Archie’s breath is an icy circle hanging in the air. The sight of it makes him happy. Breathing. It’s a bitterly cold, gloomy place, perfect for a man like him to savour the joy of life. He’s lucky to be alive. The restaurant lit by candlelight is most suitable for a banquet. The gibbet is a piece he’s fond of, empty now of course, but a decorative piece. The mask of shame and torture shoe are still in reasonable shape, though rusty and unbelievably heavy.
On an iron rack there are bones so old they have almost perished to nothing. He snorts their white dust up like cocaine. The door to an iron maiden is open, another closed with a skull for a joker’s head. Archie likes to stand in it, just for fun. He picks up a skull and aims it at the open iron maiden, but misses.
‘Do you think I should get my hair cut, Jasmine? I mean, it stopped growing about two hundred years ago, but it’s still long.’ He fingers his hair gently. ‘I do like my hair, though. I think Clare does, too. There aren’t many men who can make long hair look masculine.’
There isn’t the usual background music to dine to: the history of suffering and sounds of pain come and go in waves as if all the inmates are one wave, one break, longing for fresh air, natural light, food and water.
‘Ssssh,’ he says. ‘I’m talking to Jasmine. If I can make Clare happy, make her want me, I needn’t dine on dead flesh ever again. How perfect that would be. Staying fat and fed on pure sex. No gristly bits between my teeth.’
Prisoners had been friends down here in the place Archie thinks of as his pantry. They talked about their crimes, their victims, their hopes. He hasn’t touched any of the men. Their stories are embedded in the brick, buried in the soil. He eavesdrops, then gets up from his knees a fatter, wider man with one hand on his stomach, which is bloated and feels gassy.
Merek, Tybalt, Rowan, Thea, Alice, Brom.
They were here, once.
Elspeth, Tristin, Josef, Cedric.
He removes a mask of shame from a skull. ‘You think I should be wearing you, don’t you?’
In one cell no more than ten-by-ten there are twenty or more fragments from skeletons. Men and women locked up for their crimes, to ‘do time’, perhaps dead from starvation, torture or disease – cholera, polio, the plague. Maggots and beetles, which had once perhaps wriggled through the eye sockets in a macabre game of hide and seek, have shrivelled up and died as if in sympathy.
His friends had rotted to nothing. But not Archie. He didn’t need bread or meat to feed on. Just a woman’s body. Living or dead, but the living kind fills him up faster for longer – not that there’s much left of anything down here, now after the rats have gorged with their fill.
Clare is tender meat. Soft flesh, and muscles. But she’s still off the menu for a while. ‘I bet she misses that boyfriend. Thinks about him when she’s in bed. Jasmine, I think it’s time we had some fun, don’t you? Send her running in fright, and I’ll have my arms open wide for her when she comes running to Daddy-coo.’
IF THAT SOUNDS UP YOUR STREET YOU CAN BUY IT HERE!
Her latest novel is Doctor Glass, and her poetry and shorts are brought together in the collection Stained Glass Lives. Rosie Shadow is book one in the Black Tongue Series. Louise is currently writing a psychological horror. Watch this space!
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