"A thoroughly enjoyable gothic mystery, couldn't put it down." Anna Jacobs author of over a hundred best selling novels including The Gibson Family Saga series,The Rivenshaw series, Birchend series, Blackshaw Moss series and more.
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Stacey Christian unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend, Peter Mansfield, while touring Ireland. They join forces to help solve the puzzles surrounding Lady Katherine O'Flannery, Peter's formidable great-aunt. Finding herself implacably installed in Lady Katherine's eerie castle, referred to by the locals as Faoilenn Màrrach, or Gull Castle, Stacey quickly becomes obsessed with the castle's disturbing legends; legends of suicide, desertion, embezzlement and revenge culminating in mystery and ghostly hauntings.

Skepticism quickly turns to incredulity, and finally terror, as Stacey and Peter come face to face with a reality that neither could ever have imagined.

Enjoy more Stacey Christian and Peter Mansfield paranormal romance adventures in these novellas:

Ghosts of Auld Lang Syne
'Neath Hallowed Halls and Ivied Walls

Where will Stacey's visions lead them next?
Will Stacey and Peter finally forget past issues and succumb to their desperate love for each other?

"A surge of panic seized me. I began to scream hysterically, beating the thick door with my fists. I couldn't think, aware only of the oppressive blackness stifling me as it had in the tower. Hideous pictures flashed across my mind  gleaming eyes, wicked smiles, misshapen, faceless silhouettes, laughing . . . laughing . . .! I fell against the door, with a moan, tears streaming down my cheeks unheeded. There must be some way out. I knew I couldn't bear to be imprisoned again.

"From the dark void behind me I heard a low groan. My heart stopped and I choked on a sob. I whirled to face the impenetrable darkness. There was someone in this prison with me, someone  or something! Terror pulsed anew through my temples. I held my breath to silence my sobs and listened.

"There was a scrape, a grunt. My eyes darted frantically, straining against the gloom but to no avail. I was unable to determine from which direction the sounds were coming. In the back of my mind I reasoned that if I stood still, perfectly still, whoever or whatever waited for me in that inky void would not find me.

"There was another scrape and a soft shuffle. I lowered my head and squeezed my hands into fists, trying to ward off the images of fanged beasts and faceless ghouls that threatened my sanity. As my eyes became used to the blackness, I opened my mouth in renewed horror. From under the door a faint beam of light fell on the toe of my white sneaker, making it stand out like a light bulb.

"I choked with renewed panic and began to grope to my left, past the door, feeling frantically along the wall. I pressed my back flat against the moist stony rock, working my way as far away from that betraying beam as possible, my fingers inching ahead, touching damp, slippery moss, cold rock, slimy droplets and suddenly  warm flesh!"

"The gulls are gone, but their screeches still fill the air above the cliff overlooking Belderrig bay.  It's just one of the mysteries surrounding Gull Castle, where Stacey Christian finds herself on a romantic holiday that soon turns perilous.  Author Maureen McMahon creates an irresistible setting and tells an intriguing tale."

Martha C. Lawrence, author of Murder In Scorpio and many more
Maureen McMahon

A modern gothic mystery/romance with paranormal set in a castle in Ireland
© Maureen McMahon 2001
All material on this site is copyrighted 
RETURN OF THE GULLS "...allows me to enjoy a wonderful suspense (or more accurately a contemporary gothic) by a writer of distinction.  It's her second book, and, after reading it with increasing speed, a few gasps, and sitting on the edge of my chair, I know I have found a new author to add to my list of "hafta-read-everything-they-write" authors.  Ms. McMahon goes on the list with Mary Stewart (who just happens to be her heroine as far as writing is concerned).  Yes, she's that good.

"In Ireland to write articles for a magazine, Stacey Christian meets Peter Mansfield, an old love (one that can still kindle sparks).  He invites her to go with him to visit his aunt--the one who lives in haunted Faoilenn Marrach, or Gull's Castle.  Intrigued by the idea, and knowing there had to be a story there, Stacey agrees.  

"Is the castle actually haunted? The locals all think so--Stacey doesn't believe it for a moment.  Determined to prove her point, Stacey stays at the castle when Peter leaves to go to Dublin and try to untangle his aunt's snarled finances.  That's when things start happening, really unusual things--and Stacey can't stay out of it.

"I'm a fan of gothics--especially if they stand above the crowd in the genre--and HAUNTING PASSIONS certainly does that.  Well fleshed, interesting characters, all with quirks and warts, a truly evil antagonist, a legend that comes to life, and a plot that meanders, twists, curls back on itself, and refuses to allow the  reader a chance to escape.

"Mary Stewart mentored Ms. McMahon, at least in spirit, and this book shows how apt a pupil the author has proven herself to be."

Rating: Four out of four crescents
Review for: CRESCENT BLUEShttp://www.crescentblues.com 
Reviewer: Patricia Lucas White
"Those who have felt the lack of gothic romance, rejoice. It has definitely returned...

"Peter was possibly the last person Stacie expected to see as she attempted to kiss the Blarney Stone, but there he was. Years ago, their relationship had fallen apart for reasons that are never clear. Surprisingly, there appears to be little or no bitterness between them, as is often the case in modern novels. It takes little persuasion for him to convince her to stay in his slightly mad aunt's haunted castle while she is in Ireland. He has come there to take care of his aunt, Lady Katherine's, finances and believes that Stacie's presence will be good for Katherine, who lives alone with only servants for company never seeing anyone. 

"The castle has a grim reputation. It is said that years ago a young man, Victor, in a bitter rage committed suicide and now haunts the castle he feels should rightfully be his. It is also rumored that he holds Katherine prisoner and Victor has frightened away the gulls that used to frequent the beach. They will return when his spirit is put to rest. Stacie is determined to find out the truth because she is a reporter, and she comes to care about Peter and his aunt... 

"Blending elements of classic gothic writers such as Mary Stewart and Dorothy Eden with a modern heroine, this story appeals to all ages..."

Review for: Romance Reader’s Connection
Reviewer: Amanda Killgore 

"The story Return of the Gulls was very interesting and very well-written. The love story behind the two main characters (although, truth be told, there was really only one main character) was slow and uninspiring, but that honestly just led the story to more of a mystery, and for a short mystery, it was rather good. The details were superb, allowing the reader to see themselves in the story, and the twists and turns guaranteed an inability to put the book away. Very much relatable, the main character led the story with courage, light-heartedness, and quick wit. All in all, a very nice simply mystery."

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Reviewed for Romance Writer's Reviews
Reviewer: Shannon