The Wedding Gift

The Wedding Gift

by Kathleen Mckenna


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The Wedding Gift by Kathleen Mckenna

Leann wasn't good enough for her upper-crust in-laws, so they gave her the mansion none of them wanted. Years ago, something or someone in the house killed Leann's brother. Will its violent secrets kill her next?

" . . . a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery-why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that 'Justice . . . just is not,' then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury."--Tim Roux, author of Missio and The Dance of the Pheasodile

Kathleen McKenna is a former adolescent social worker who holds a degree in Sociology. She is from Alaska and, after relocating to New Mexico, began writing. An admitted aficionado of a good scary tale, she began The Wedding Gift following a visit to New Orleans, where she saw a beautiful antebellum house and began imagining what if there were a beautiful young girl from the wrong side of the tracks who married her way in and then what if there was already a ghost there . . . . She shares her home in New Mexico with a morbidly obese, alcoholic Old English Sheepdog and is presently working on a new novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611940527
Publisher: BelleBooks
Publication date: 10/07/2011
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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Wedding Gift 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
librarysusie More than 1 year ago
Even though Leeann is a very unlikable character I still enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Leeann is the epitome of the dumb blonde and very self centered but she made me laugh and believe me it wasn’t with her! This books starts out with the story of Leeann on her wedding day to the richest man in town, George Willets, plus the story of his uncle and entire family being murdered in the old Willets house, also where a prank gone wrong took the life of Leeann’s brother when she was just a baby. But does she know the whole story? Will it be too late when she finally does? After Leeann & George get married they move into the house his uncle and his whole family were murdered in. This was a very different ghost story and kind of reminded me of American Horror Story in that this house has had some bad things happen in it and some of those people are still there. I thought this was a pretty good southern gothic horror but what was different was that there were parts that will make you laugh mostly some of the things Leeann says, she is definitely not the brightest crayon in the box, but after she what she goes through I do think she will grow up some. All in all I would recommend this to southern fiction fans and fans of ghost and horror stories. 3 ½ Stars I received this book from Netgalley in return for a fair and unbiased review.
KatZombie More than 1 year ago
The Wedding Gift starts with a prologue of newspaper reports on the murders committed in Willets House which sets the scene of the murder mystery perfectly, and then jumps straight into the head of Leeann, the beautiful, ‘‘dumb as a box of hair’’ girl who has recently become engaged to the only son of the Willets Petroleum dynasty. For me, Leeann was by far the best part of this book – she had me laughing out loud several times, moved almost to tears at others, and occasionally had me scratching my head at how she came up with some of her thoughts and actions. Definitely not your typical heroine, there was nothing I didn’t like about Leeann – ditzy, easily distracted by shiny things but with a heart of gold, as a character she will stay with me for a long time. The other characters are also well constructed, and I could easily imagine just how they looked and acted, and could hear their voices in my head. Without spoiling it for anyone else, there is a relationship between two key characters that evolved quite suddenly, and it would have rung a little more true with some more background and tension-building. There are some creepy (ok, very creepy) parts of this book, but although the story is based around a haunted house, I found The Wedding Gift was more mystery than horror which was not what I had expected, but in the best kind of way – as a horror story it would not have been as good as it was as a mystery. And the ending? It’s a pretty darn good one – it wasn’t what I was expecting, and it left me feeling decidedly unsettled. Now I just have to try and get to sleep….
GHott More than 1 year ago
Leanne has seriously messed up this time! She’s pregnant. And not just to anyone, oh no, Leanne has gotten knocked up by the heir to Willets Petroleum. The nephew of the biggest scandal to ever rock their small town. The son of the people her daddy blames for the death of his son. Then the odd things start happening. The maniacal laughter Leanne hears when no one else is near. The mother-in-law that just keeps getting crazier. The haunted house that Leanne suddenly must live in… Hott Review: Ummm. Didn’t love it. Actually, it was a pretty good book but I just couldn’t like Leanne and couldn’t seem to get past it. It was really odd because all of the other elements of a terrific book were there but between her character and the first-person telling I just couldn’t enjoy it.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Review: The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna 5 STARS The story just flows really well. I was definately drawn into the story. I can see why some reviews I have read like Leeann and others don't. Me I am mixed. Leeann you want things to work out for her but she is selfish. full of pride and I don't like her morals at all. But she has something that draws me to her. She is very young in some ways and very grown up in different ways. George is too grown up at 26 to be going after a 17 year old giving her drinks, cocaine,sex and expensive presents. Personally don't have respect for him at all. Plus he is getting everything he wants and no responsiblity. Mama's boy. Jessie is tough on the outside but is a loyal friend. She has had a hard life. Most of the characters drink too much and do drugs. But the story is well written and draws you into Leeann life and all those around her. The story is told in her voice as she is writing it down in journal and you see how she gets caught off guard by George and his riches. Then after a while the horror of the story just glides into place little by little. Its a good book to read just don't read too late at night if you have a good imangination. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review by Netgalley. 10/19/2011 PUB Bell Bridge Books
Katya_Sozaeva More than 1 year ago
Leanne Worthier is a beautiful, young woman – the most beautiful girl in Dalton, OK, - so no one one is terribly surprised when she snatches George Willets, the richest bachelor in town. However, George’s mother doesn’t think Leanne is good enough for her boy, and is intent on making Leanne miserable. Originally the young couple was going to live in a townhouse since Leanne flat refused to live in Bethany House with her in-laws, but George decides that he wants to live in Willets House, the ancestral home of his family – a beautiful, huge, old-fashioned mansion. However, tragedy struck there in the 1970s when George’s uncle Roger and his five children were apparently murdered by Roger’s wife, Robina, who then committed suicide – ever since then, the house has been considered haunted, the kids of the town daring each other to go onto the grounds or into the house, leading eventually to the death of Leanne’s oldest brother, who, it was determined, died after falling out of a tree into the empty pool after a Halloween prank gone awry. Leanne at first doesn’t want to live there, but once she sees how beautiful it is, she changes her mind. Until the day she sees Robina herself … This book was a real page-turner. Written in an engagingly dialectic style, the book is written like a journal by Leanne, so it is filled with less-than-grammatical sentence structures and lots of slang, but the essential sweet nature of Leanne shines through even through her vanity and self-absorption. The characters as seen through Leanne’s eyes really come alive, and I really enjoyed the style. This is Ms. McKenna’s third book (although I think it might be the first one to be published), and I am very impressed with it - I hope to see many more wonderful stories coming from this new author’s talented pen. It is also the first in a planned trilogy, which I really hope she continues. Highly recommended for fans of southern fiction and/or gothic horror and ghost stories!
bookaddict1 More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a fan of ghost stories; however, this was a page-turner! I couldn't put it down! It had short chapters, similar to James Patterson novels, which make a book an easier read. Not too many characters to keep track of, which is a turn-off to me. This author had a knack for building suspense, making me want more...wanting to know what would happen next? It actually made me jumpy as I read, any noise giving me a fright. The main character was shallow & self-centered, but MEANT to be that way, and yet you can still relate to her and find her likeable. I look forward to MORE from this author!
ChiKittie More than 1 year ago
Let me first start by saying I was contacted by the author of the book Kathleen McKEENA and was asked to read and review her book, The Wedding Gift. I loved the cover and the synopsis of the book so I decided I would give it a go. I am so happy that I did because this book was amazing! Right from the start I was hooked on this book. The story-line drew me in and keep me there wondering what would happen next. The Wedding gift has so myuch character and mystery - never a dull moment. So the book begins with a house - A huge, beautiful home made for a large family. Prefect in every way. Oh, expect the part that it is hunted. Many years ago a family lives there - A Dad, a Mom and some beautiful children. One day the Mother, Robina went a little crazy and killed her whole family. Now Robina stays around to haunt this not so prefect house. Soon you meet the main character Leanne - The book is written from her diary, Leanne's POV. She has always been the prettiest girl in town and everyone loves her. She lives in a small town where everyone knows each other and there are no secrets. She has been in love with her Brother's childhood friend since well always but never has the nerve to tell him the way she feels. Now it is to late becuase someone else has taken a liking to Leanne and after accidently getting her pregnant find the only solution is marriage. Although Leanne does not really feel that she loves George she decided to do the right thing a marry him. One perk is his family is very wealthy so George will have plenty of month to keep up the marriage and soon to be family. On the wedding day something happens to change there lives but Leanne knows she must stay with George. So out of the blue George announces that his family has given them a wedding gift - Only to find out the gift is the old house and will become more than meets the eye. When very strange events begin to happen in the same home where Robina once killed her family, Leanne will find any way she can to get out and away from these haunting's. But it wont be so easy because something has been buried within the home. Not a someone but a secret that has been hiding there for too long... Only the dead knows the truth about what really happen in the home and will find anyway she can share this secret with Leanne. I really enjoyed this book, the story was very interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what would happen next. A fun, fast paced, highly entertaining mystery. I loved the character's in the book. Leanne was a fun character although I found her to be kind of shallow and into herself. I liked that there was plenty of back story to help me understand more about the life of the house and what happen long before George and Leanne moved into it. I find a book a lot more fun to read when I do always know what will happen by how it is written and The Wedding Gift was not at all predictable. I adored that the setting of the book was in the south, since I once life in the south I found this to be refreshingly nice. Although my one pet peeve I had with the book was that Leanne would say the words "To me strictly honest" quite often and I got tired of hearing it. I do understand that she was from the south and talked different because of it but after a while I found myself getting tired of hearing her say that so often. Other that that I very much enjoyed the book and would so recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good scary story with a tw
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
When I first saw the cover and read the synopsis for The Wedding Gift, I was immediately intrigued. I love a suspenseful tale with haunted houses and ghosts. The beginning started off rocky for me but by the end I was glad I had read this shocking, humorous mystery. The tale is told in first person by protagonist Leeann Worthier. Leann is seventeen and the current Corn Princess. I struggled with my feeling regarding Leeann. I couldn¿t decide if she was a money grubbing snob or as her best friend Jenny said, ¿dumber then a box of hair¿. The story began with her telling us about meeting George, the courtship and the wedding. She tells it to us, as if she is writing a journal and she holds nothing back. I immediately disliked her. I tweeted, Google+ and posted updates to Facebook about it. Never had I felt such annoyance and disdain for a main character. I will never approve of some of her actions but a funny thing happened; I fell in love with this dimwitted, warm-hearted, dope of a girl. The tale took place in Dalton, Oklahoma and featured an array of colorful characters. All of the characters have questionable morals and their antics shocked me, made me laugh and at times cringe. The plot regarding the old estate was suspenseful and the paranormal events creepy. I was drawn into discovering more about the ghost and what drove a woman to kill her children. There were a few twists I didn¿t seeing coming, in part because of the crazy things the characters were doing. By the time I finished this fast paced, easy read I was both shocked and delighted. I recommend The Wedding Gift, to fans of paranormal mysteries, ghost stories and haunted houses delivered with humor. McKenna certainly has a gift for writing. As I reflect back on the tale, I am amazed at the wide range of emotions she was able to draw from me. This makes for a great tale and I look forward to reading more of her work. This novel is available both in paperback and eBook. I want to thank netGalley and Bell Bridge Books for providing me with this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.
skyla11377 More than 1 year ago
I so LOVED Kathleen's writing style. They way this story is told is through Leann starting a journal and telling us first hand about her life and all the things that have happened to her through her association with George Willets Junior and his family. When the story starts Leann is a high school senior. She doesn't have a lick of sense but she is a local beauty. She comes from a poor family but they have made a decent life for themselves. Leann also has a best friend Jessie, who like Leann, is dumber than a box of rocks (these kind of phrases are all through out the Did I also mention that Leann is engaged to marry George Willets Junior (whom by the way is 26 years old) when this story starts. One last juicy nugget at the start of this story is that Leann is also pregnant. I know right, what a way to start a book. When Leann and George Junior marry it is understood that, as a wedding gift, they will be receiving Willets House for their very own. This house has been in the family for many years BUT it is also were a whole family was murdered, as well as, Leann's brother Charlie years later. George Junior's uncle Roger along with this five children are murdered supposedly by Roger's wife Robina (who is also the children's mother) before she kills herself. No one in Dalton, OK (where this story takes place) talk about what happened in that house nor do they discuss what really happened to Charlie Worthier (Leann's brother) and his best friend Donny Readle on that dark night. The only living survivor, Donny, NEVER talks about what happens but remains a close family friend to this day. What you should also know is that Leann has LOVED Donny since she was about seven years old and her love for him has never died even though he marries someone else just as she has married another man. This added element is just another thorn in Leann's side to deal with along with the murderous ghost of Robina Willets. For all of Leann's faults I found her a very likable character. She may be misguided at times, but she truly doesn't mean anyone any harm with the things that she does. This story was so compelling it had me hooked from the first sentence. The story was fantastic and it flowed beautifully. The mystery surrounding Robina was gripping and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering just what exactly happened in that house all those years ago and what part does Leann play in it today. I really and truly had a hard time putting this book down. On A scale from 1-10 I give The Wedding Gift a humongous 10. If you are looking for a great thrilling murder mystery, true love, a psychotic ghost, and an all around phenomenally told story than The Wedding Gift is the book for you. I encourage everyone adult 18+ to pick up a copy of this book and find out why Robina is on a murderous rampage.
Kay2001 More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun book to read. It has a little bit of everything, murder, ghosts, romance, friendships, parents, funerals and so much more. Our main character is Leeann who is full of funny phrases and descriptions. She loves one man but marries another, George Willets who is old time rich. Let's just say his parents aren't thrilled with his choice of wife and his wife is even less thrilled with them. To appease everyone he decides to move himself and his new wife into the old mansion where it just so happens a brutal murder had taken place years before. Let's throw into this mix Leeann's best friend Jessie who is even funnier than Leeann. A smart mouth, sexy thing who gives not a hoot what people say or think about her. What I like to call a free-spirit. She reminded me so much of a girl I used to know I felt an instant bond with her. These two set out to figure out why Robina Willets, who years earlier had killed her family and herself, was haunting the old mansion so Leeann could get on with her life without being spooked! But of course they bit off more than they could chew. Without giving anything away I have to say that my favorite laugh out loud scene was the funeral scene. I don't think I can ever attend a funeral again without this scene replaying in my head! I found the beginning of the book a little slow moving and repetitive while the story was being set up. It really picks up towards the middle and is can't put down towards the end. I will look for more books by this author and will grab the next in this series when it comes out. Read this if you like a light ghost story intertwined with some romance and lots of laughs.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna is oddly addictive. Narrated by annoyingly self-absorbed Corn Princess Leeann Corrine Worthier, the story begins as she prepares for her wedding to local mogul George (otherwise known as Junior). Leeann is the sister of the boy who was killed one Halloween when falling from a tree outside George's long-deserted, ever-haunted ancestral home. And the home, of course, was a gift to George's great-uncle on his wedding day. There's the mystery of how George ends up marrying Leeann, the mystery of how Leeann's brother died, and the mystery of whether or not the old house is haunted. Soon Leeann, for all her shallowness, is drawn into danger, deep and dark. George's aunt may have killed her family and then herself, but there's unfinished business waiting to be resolved. And time proves there are depths and strengths to Leeann beyond those that meet the eye. Leeann's voice is consistent throughout the tale, but changes convincingly, growing sadder and wiser as events overtake her. She's no angel, but no demon either, and the reader is drawn into her tale, turning pages (or clicking buttons on the computer) till the final deed is done. Bracketed with columns from the Dalton Okahoma newspaper, the story proves to be chilling and oddly sweet; a satisfying scary tale with touches of horror and romance, and a fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cecilia11 More than 1 year ago
What to say about this book? I liked it and I didn´t at the same time. This is a ghost story, and the story in it self was really good and it is told from Leann`s (the main character) perspective. My problem with the story was the characters, or mainly the main character. Leann who is the main character in this story really got under my skin in a really bad way! I just didn´t like her at all. If anyone of you have seen hart of dixie, just imagine Lemon in that series in the way she acts and talks. But Leann is way more shallow and self centered, she just keep on telling us how she is the prettiest girl in Dalton! She is also really naive and seems to believe almost everything she is told. So most of the book I was just really irritated with her. The second half of the book she warmed up to me just because I felt kind of sorry for her but at the same time it was kind of her own fault she ends up with the wrong dude. But besides Leann being a pain in the as, the story was really good. I liked the idea of the story and both the plot and the writing was different. I think this could be a really good story but it is not for everyone. For me, I need to like the person I read about or I will have some trouble, but I am sure not everyone dislike Leann. I will say this, if you can look beyond an annoying main character and the southern accent this is a really good story so give it a chance if you want to.