House of Rose, by T.K. Thorne: When a Rookie Officer Meets her Magical Ancestry

House of Rose ($16.95, 244 pages, 6×9 Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-60381-767-7), is the first book in a paranormal crime / urban fantasy series by T.K. Thorne. A strange vision and a shot suspect puts more than rookie patrol officer Rose Brighton’s job at risk—the added discovery of her witch ancestry means Rose is in even greater danger than she thought.

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“T.K. Thorne is an authentic new voice in the world of fantasy and mystery. House of Roseblends the realistic details of police work with magic. The result is an explosive story that will keep you on the edge of your seat as Rose learns of her true heritage… and the dangerous powers that are her birthright. Pick up this story–you’ll thank yourself over and over again.”
–Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney, Pluto’s Snitch, and Trouble the black cat detective mystery series

“Thorne delivers a spellbinding thriller, an enthralling blend of real-world policing and other-world magic. It’s a wild ride of high stakes that pits the warm humanity of Rose and her friends against chilling powers of darkness in a battle that is both ages old and totally of today.”
–Barbara Kyle, author of The Traitor’s Daughter

“Rookie cop Rose Brighton never imagined that a simple suspect chase into an alley would lead her into dark passages where she would question her definition of reality, her own identity, and whether she was pawn or prey. House of Rose is a gem.”
–DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Jake Longly thriller series

Rookie patrol officer Rose Brighton chases a suspect down an alley. Without warning, her vision wavers, and the lone suspect appears to divide into two men—the real suspect, frozen in time, and a shadow version with a gun. Confused by what she’s just seen, but with no time to second guess it’s meaning, Rose shoots the real suspect in the back.

Forced to lie to detectives, she risks her job and her life to discover the shocking truth of who she really is—a witch of an ancient House, the prey of one powerful enemy, and the pawn of another.

House of Rose, set in the Deep South city of Birmingham, Alabama, is the first book of the Magic City Stories.

T.K. Thorne retired as a captain of the Birmingham Police Department and as executive director of a downtown business improvement district in Birmingham Alabama. Both careers and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Alabama provide fodder for her writing. For more information, look here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

My throat feels like I just swallowed sand; my ears ring and the sulfur stench of gunpowder fills my nose. As a topper, my head is pounding with the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life. Air goes in and out of my lungs, but someone else is breathing, not me. Blue lights stutter across the cheek of a dead man. A man who lies sprawled on the asphalt, two bullet holes in his back staring up at me like accusing eyes.

This can’t be real. But it is real. It is the words that just came out of my sergeant’s mouth that aren’t: “You’re a hero; you saved your partner’s life.”

A hero? Is this how heroes are supposed to feel? I’m in denial—I did not fire my gun for the first time at a person instead of a cardboard target. I did not kill a human being.

But I am here, and I have shot someone, because that person’s body is now lying a few feet away, the centerpiece in a rectangle of bright-yellow police tape. Just beyond the tape, the staccato flicker of blue from several patrol cars illuminate the close-set houses, the man’s lifeless back, and Sarge’s beefy face.

His breath onions and cigar, Sarge grabs my shoulder with his burly hand, turning me away from the body. “Rose? You gonna be okay?”

Okay? What an idiotic thing to ask.

“I’m okay, Sarge,” I hear myself say in a thin, shaky voice.

“You did what you had to do. You made a tough call in a bad situation.” He squeezes my shoulder.

Did I? How would I know? I don’t think there is precedent for killing a person because you saw him shoot your partner in a vision, and it begins to happen in real time.

Am I losing my mind?

A few feet away, a guy in plainclothes is talking to Paul. My partner’s right elbow rests on his gun butt. To an outsider, he looks relaxed, but I recognize the tension in his stance. Still, seeing him nearby helps.

Paul shakes his head, pulls his gun, and hands it to the guy in plainclothes, but I can’t hear the exchange. Damn it. What are they saying?

“Who is that guy Paul is talking to?” I ask Sarge.


IAD—even a rookie dreads those initials and knows they stand for Internal Affairs Division, the detectives who handle internal police investigations and determine if a shooting is in-policy or not. This guy holds my career in his hands, maybe the rest of my life, if it goes badly.

Sarge keeps his hand on my shoulder, an anchor to reality in a world gone bizarre.

“What happens next?” I ask.

“IAD will take your weapon.”

Rookie that I am, even I know that’s standard operating procedure—SOP—for any police shooting.

“It’s SOP,” Sarge says, like some kind of echo of what’s playing in my head.


Am I going to prison?

Sarge moves off to brief the chief, who has just arrived at the scene. If this were a ball game and I weren’t a woman, he’d probably give my butt a pat of encouragement. But it’s not a game. When a cop shoots a man in the back, plenty of questions will be asked … and I’m not going to be able to answer them.

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