From the #1 Best-Selling Horror Anthology, Dark Visions, comes Excavation Murder from award-winning author, Victoria Clapton!
Without a word we followed Eugene down into the darkness as the cellar doors closed behind us. We were forced to creep in the silent oppression, listening only to the sounds of our racing hearts and ragged breaths while smelling what surely was the awful, unmistakable scent of death. Along the way, I had begun to beat myself up for not having the foresight to put a stop to this charade earlier. We should never have followed him down to this pit. I’d had a bad feeling from the beginning, and now, we were underground in the middle of nowhere, walking into what I imagined would be a horrific death. I opened my mouth to shut this mission down. For the first time ever, I did not care what waited in the unknown. I did not even care if my suspicions were unfounded. “It’s time we…”
“We’re here.” Eugene’s excitement filled the cold space. “This isn’t the way I’d hope you’d discover my treasure trove, but, Ally, I’m so glad it is you. I’d always hoped your parents could come here. But alas, they were the ones who got away. Not you, Ally. I knew I could depend on you.”
Darkness thickened around us, and I fought an urge to tell my crew that I was sorry, though I didn’t know for what, when Eugene struck a match and lit a couple of old oil lanterns, casting an eerie, dull light around a large chamber illuminating an unimaginable sight…
I know you’re intrigued!
If you liked Excavation Murder, you’ll love Victoria’s Clapton’s work!
I am a huge fan of The Binding Series!
Why did I write a prequel to
Monsters & Angels,
instead of a sequel?
I spent the last few days before the release Raimond, reflecting on how the Monsters & Angels Series was born.
In January of 2013, the winter after Superstorm Sandy, I was desperately searching for an escape. Though the season was tremendously bleak and depressing, it held an unexpected gift—a story.
Monsters & Angels is the tale of Sorcha Alden’s life and death, her tragedy, rebirth and epic love. I released that novel as my debut in October of 2017 and immediately got to work writing the sequel…then a funny thing happened.
I realized that a step back was necessary in order to move forward. My readers also pointed out that, while I was writing Sorcha’s story, Raimond was the real leading man of this saga.
Raimond is more than a prequel, it’s the foundation for Monsters & Angels…and now we can truly waltz into the future.
Please welcome Guest Author K.M. Pohlkamp to the blog today!
How a Roman Poisoner Inspired A Tudor Thriller
Inspiration is all around us and sparks uniquely in each person. That is the beauty of individualism and creativity. So when I read an article about a Roman poisoner, I’m guessing I’m the only one who envisioned her in Tudor England.
Locusta was a female poison assassin from Rome (Gaul) and is considered to be the first serial killer. Days of research later, I discovered there is not much known about Locusta, but that only incited my imagination. The fact the first serial killer was a woman also struck me. As a female engineer, I relate to the challenge of going against traditional stereotypes. I imagined the challenges Locusta must have faced and wondered if her gender ended up being an asset in a field where surprise would provide an advantage. And with the little historical bits I could find, a story began to weave in my mind.
During this time, my priest gave a sermon about how easy it is to fall into a cycle of sin and penance. How often we realize our actions are incorrect and then feel guilt and perform penance. But after a while the guilt wears and it becomes easy to commit the sin again. Of course he was talking about minor offenses, but as a matter of reductio ad absurdum, I applied this concept to a murderer. My main character, Lavinia, believes she can continue to murder because confession forgives the sin.
Inspired by the notion confession could provide a source of false permission, I lifted Locusta’s inspiration out of Rome and placed my novel at the height of the Catholic church in Tudor England, my favorite period of history. The exact year is open within the book, but I imagine it to be ~1520. During this time, the priest was a powerful official at the local level and the historic practice of “indulgences” helps bolster why Lavinia may (falsely) think she can simply go to confession to be forgiven for mortal sin.
APRICOTS AND WOLFSBANE follows Lavinia’s career as a poison assassin, however Lavinia could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves. When the magistrate uncovers her ruse, he pressures her priest into breaking her confessional seal. Lavinia must decide between the magistrate or her love of her craft, but the betrayals are just beginning. This Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice novel was also shortlisted for the 2018 International Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction, among other awards and honors.
If you do decide to google Locusta for yourself, you’ll discover she was ultimately executed for her crimes. I do not believe the lore she was raped to death by a giraffe, but I’ll leave that up to your imagination . . . (Now you want to google her, don’t you?)
K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife, proud mother of two young children, and an aerospace engineer who works in Mission Control. She operated guidance, navigation and control systems on the Space Shuttle and is currently involved in development of upcoming manned-space vehicles. A Cheesehead by birth, she now resides in Texas for her day job and writes to maintain her sanity. Her other hobbies include ballet and piano. K.M. has come a long way from the wallpaper and cardboard books she created as a child. Her award-winning historical fiction thriller, Apricots and Wolfsbane, is published by Filles Vertes Publishing.
Synopsis of Apricots and Wolfsbane
(Or watch the book trailer!)
Lavinia Maud craves the moment the last wisps of life leave her victim’s bodies, to behold the effects of her own poison creations. Her morbid desires are balanced with faith since she believes confession erases the sin, though she could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves.
At the start of the 16th century in Tudor England, Lavinia’s marks grow from tavern drunks to nobility, but rising prestige brings increased risk. When the magistrate suspects her ruse, he pressures the priest into breaking her confessional seal, pitting Lavinia’s revengeful instincts as an assassin against the tenets of love and faith. The dilemma distracts her struggle to develop a pledged tasteless poison and avoid the wrath of her ruthless patron.
With her ideals in conflict, Lavinia must decide which will satisfy her heart: love, faith, or murder, but the betrays are just beginning.
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Happy October 11th !
Happy 1st Book Birthday
Monsters & Angels !
To celebrate the occasion, I’m thrilled to share my brand-new cover for Raimond…the prequel to Monsters & Angels.
Yes—prequel. Why am I writing books out of order? Let me explain.
After the successful release of Monsters, exactly 1 year ago, I
went straight to work writing the sequel. My readers demanded it.
OMG, it sounds surreal to say that, but they all wanted to know. . .
What happens next?
What happens to Sorcha?
What happens to Raimond?
And then I realized how much I didn’t know… and the incredible story I was
still driven to write.
This book is dedicated to
my extraordinary readers,
who knew Raimond was the true star of this show
long before I did.
Vive la magie!
Sometimes, in order to move forward, we all need to take a step back.
October 25, 2018
Cover design by Eight Little Pages —
Fellow author MK Mancos is putting the finishing touches on Book 4 in this brilliant series! Catch up and be ready when she’s done!
A fiend is murdering the Queen’s agents.
Menagerie Special Agent, and tiger shifter, Mordecai Pope is charged with apprehending the villain who litters the river’s edge with the half-shifted corpses of his colleagues. As he examines the bodies he discovers the murderer has not only taken tissue samples and blood, but removed the talises – a special tattoo used to prove the shifter’s registration and animal class. When an unregistered, half-shifted man is found alive and repeating the Reaver word for venom, Mordecai begins to suspect there are more to the murders than meets the eye.
Lady Evangeline Murray has spent the last seven years cursing the memory of her fiancé who was lost on an exotic expedition to the far ends of the world. His pursuit of scientific discovery often overstepped the bounds of morals and propriety. Through the years, Evangeline has had to keep her own counsel over the man all of society dubbed “a man without peer” but whom she felt little respect. To prove his madness and free herself from binding betrothal laws, Evangeline has embarked on a perilous venture of her own. In possession of her fiancé’s notebooks, Evangeline has painstakingly recreated his experiments and deciphered his secret codes even though scientific exploration is illegal for women in East Angelía. Now her work has brought her under the suspicion of her new beau and Menagerie Agent, Mordecai Pope.
When Mordecai’s case and Evangeline’s past collide, they must work together to find a killer bent on creating an army of shifters and setting them loose on the world, even if it means losing each other forever.
…Halloween is just around the corner!
I know this blog has been quiet lately, but that’s all about to change.
So much exciting news on the way from the friends and family
Monsters & Angels