Themes in the JTR Victims Series
(Although this list is rather dry reading, imagine they are not just themes in a set of novels, but aspects of a reality that had an impact on the lives of real people)
Women’s issues and how they evolved in Victorian England
1)Women as the property of their husbands, having to obey, with little or no recourse against physical, psychological, or sexual abuse.
2)The slow evolution of these issues in Victorian England.
3)The worth of a woman in society having much to do with the worth of the man to whom she is wed.
4)The relative worth to society and employers of single middle-aged women with no family ties.
Poverty and social conscience
1)The relief system—the workhouses, out-relief, casual wards, and infirmaries.
2)Opinions based on social Darwinism that helped maintain a class system. The oppression and suppression of those of a lower station in a class system.
3)The various approaches of the innumerable beggars in the streets.
4)The use of child labor.
5)Scavengers of Victorian London, such as bone grubbers, toshers, pure finders, and mudlarks.
6)The struggle for survival in a time of societal change, great advances in technology, and a rapidly changing economy.
The industrial revolution and unemployment
1)The advantage employers had over workers with high-unemployment during the industrial revolution: low wages, abusive practices.
3) Piece work for manufacturers, such as finishing articles of clothing, making small items, adhering labels, or whatever small factory work a laborer might take home to be done in spare time or by children in the evenings. The term “piece work” comes from the fact that the worker is paid by the completed piece.
4)The dangers of the workplace in a society with few industrial and employment safety regulations: exposure to poisonous chemicals, powered equipment, and the stresses of highly repetitive labor over long work shifts with little variety.
1)The availability of drink (considered by many in that time another form of food).
2)Alcohol used to treat water to make it potable. Such water is given to children even at a very early age.
3)The use of alcohol to dampen feeling and the escape intoxication provides.
4)The bargaining alcoholics do with themselves as the disease creates ever more physical and social difficulties for the sufferer.
5)The availability of opium in various forms for children and adults.
The evolution of education for the children of the poor—the slow introduction of mandatory education.
Who engaged in prostitution and why the practice could seem attractive—see all categories above.
Alan M. Clark’s Jack the Ripper Victims Series is comprised of five novels, one for each of the canonical victims of the murderer. These stories are not only meant to appeal to those interested in the horror that was the Autumn of Terror, but also those interested in the struggles of women in the 19th century. They are well-researched, fictional dramatic stories meant to help readers walk in the shoes of the victims and give a sense of the world as each of the women may have experienced it. The timelines for the stories run mostly concurrently, so it doesn’t matter in what order the books in the series are read. They are simultaneously drama, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, and horror. They are novels concerning horror that happened.
A Brutal Chill in August
The First Victim of Jack the Ripper
by Alan M. Clark
Genre: Crime Horror
Print Length: 348 pages
Publisher: IFD Publishing
Publication Date: December 7, 2019
We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?
Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.
With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.
Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man
The Second Victim of Jack the Ripper
Print Length: 158 pages
Publisher: IFD Publishing
Publication Date: June 9, 2017
This novel is part of the Jack the Ripper Victims Series. Each novel in the series is a stand-alone story.
Annie Chapman led a hard, lower-class life in filthy 19th century London. Late in life, circumstances and her choices led her to earn her crust by solicitation. After a bruising brawl with another woman over money and a man, she lost her lodgings and found herself sleeping rough. That dangerous turn of events delivered her into the hands of London’s most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
Contrasting her last week alive with the experiences of her earlier life, the author helps readers understand how she might have made the decisions that put her in the wrong place at the wrong time
Say Anything But Your Prayers
The Third Victim of Jack the Ripper
Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: IFD Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2017
This novel is part of the Jack the Ripper Victims Series. Each novel in the series is a stand-alone story.
An imaginative reconstruction of the life of Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper. The beast of poverty and disease had stalked Elizabeth all her life, waiting for the right moment to take her down. To survive, she listened to the two extremes within herself–Bess, the innocent child of hope, and Liza, the cynical, hardbitten opportunist. While Bess paints rosy pictures of what lies ahead and Liza warns of dangers everywhere, the beast, in the guise of a man offering something better, circles ever closer.
Of Thimble and Threat
The Fourth Victim of Jack the Ripper
Print Length: 168 pages
Publisher: IFD Publishing
Publication Date: September 28, 2017
In Victorian London, the greatest city of the richest country in the world, the industrial revolution has created a world of decadence and prosperity, but also one of unimaginable squalor and suffering. Filth, decay, danger, sorrow, and death are ever-present in the streets. Catherine Eddowes is found murdered gruesomely in the city’s East End. When the police make their report, the only indicators of her life are the possessions carried on her person, likely everything she owned in the world. In Of Thimble and Threat, Alan M. Clark tells the heartbreaking story of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper, explaining the origin and acquisition of the items found with her at the time of her death, chronicling her life from childhood to adulthood, motherhood, her descent into alcoholism, and finally her death. Of Thimble and Threat is a story of the intense love between a mother and a child, a story of poverty and loss, fierce independence, and unconquerable will. It is the devastating portrayal of a self-perpetuated descent into Hell, a lucid view into the darkest parts of the human heart.
The Prostitute’s Price
The Fifth Victim of Jack the Ripper
Print Length: 342 pages
Publisher: IFD Publishing
Publication Date: August 30, 2018
A novel that beats back our assumptions about the time of Jack the Ripper. Not the grim story of an unfortunate drunken prostitute killed before her time, but one of a young woman alive with all the emotional complexity of women today. Running from a man wanting her to pay for her crimes against his brother, Mary Jane Kelly must recover a valuable hidden necklace and sell it to gain the funds to leave London and start over elsewhere. Driven by powerful, if at times conflicting emotion, she runs the dystopian labyrinth of the East End, and tries to sneak past the deadly menace that bars her exit.
Although THE PROSTITUTE’S PRICE is a standalone tale, and part of the Jack the Ripper Victims Series, it is also a companion story to the novel, THE ASSASSIN’S COIN, by John Linwood Grant. The gain a broader experience of each novel, read both.
About the Author
Author and illustrator, Alan M. Clark grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. His awards include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. He is the author of seventeen books, including twelve novels, a couple of novellas, four collections of fiction, some of them lavishly illustrated, and a nonfiction full-color book of his artwork. Mr Clark’s company, IFD Publishing, has released 42 titles of various editions, including traditional books, both paperback and hardcover, audiobooks, and ebooks by such authors as F. Paul Wilson, Elizabeth Engstrom, and Jeremy Robert Johnson. Alan M. Clark and his wife, Melody, live in Oregon. www.alanmclark.com Visit his blog: https://ifdpublishing.com/blog
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Dark Tales and Twisted Verses
A Fire-Side Tales Collection
Available in e-book, coming soon in print.
Dark tales of ghosts of war, blood from the Autumn of Terror, the wrath of nature, an unusual murder and a cynical vampire. Twisted poetry of loss and mayhem.
Some adult themes and language.
The Secret of Blossom Rise – A Ghost Story
The Watcher – A Tale of Jack the Ripper
The Last Forest – A Tale of the Wrath of Nature
The Last Dance – An Autumnal Flash Fiction
The Sleeper – A Yoyo Murder
So Many Nights, So Many Sins – A Vampire’s Tale
We Must Remember
Giving It All
End of Days
The Glass-Eyed Monster
Welcome to De Kenyon
What first prompted you to publish your work? Jealousy. An indie author started publishing his work, and rather than hate him forever 😛 I decided to follow suit.
How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it? I got invited. It’s fun and I very much recommend it.
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I vary. Sometimes I pants, and sometimes I plot. Sometimes I’ll even write up a full synopsis first (most writers hate them!). But I rarely stick to whatever plan I came up with in the first place!
What is your favourite mythical creature? Why is this? The Fae. I’m the kind of person who always wants to see behind the stage, under the basement, and the other side of the mirror. The fae are always sneaking around, slipping through the cracks between worlds. That speaks to me.
If you had to pick 5 books to take to a desert island which 5 would it be? How long am I going to be stuck on this desert island, anyway?
Assuming that a) they have to be paper books, and b) that I don’t want to use one of my choices as something like How to Survive on a Desert Island, today I’m going to say:
- The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart, because that’s my go-to book for terrible days.
- Journey to the West, the bawdy tale of a monk’s journey toward enlightenment, because it’s super long (2500 pages) and I’ve been meaning to read it.
- St. Augustine’s Confessions, because I hate that book and would gladly use it to start fires, for toilet paper, etc.
- Can I put the Internet in a paper book? No? Okay, then the collected works of William Shakespeare (Riverside Edition).
- The collected Anne of Green Gables series, or, if I can’t get that (it’s not available in a single collected edition), H is for Hawk. Both of them are nerdy comfort reading.
- And, finally, a blank book and a beeeeg box of pencils, which I will sharpen on rocks…
My favorite books are the Alice in Wonderland books by Lewis Carroll, but I think I could probably write them from memory!
If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat? I don’t want to eat with a literary character. I want to have dinner with Edgar Allan Poe and get the scoop on exactly how he died! Okay, literary character…I’m going to pick Hannibal Lecter. He doesn’t kill indiscriminately, after all, and he’s a gourmet. A lot of my favorite characters would be real pills at the dinner table, they’re such picky eaters. What would we eat? Whatever M. Lecter wanted…
Sort these into order of importance:
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I try to do a lot of background research for historical pieces, and fairly similar amount for sci-fi elements. I grew up reading a lot of folktales and mythology, so most of the time when I draw from those elements, I just need a refresher. My big thing lately is about researching real-life homicide detective procedures for some of my adult mystery stories (under another pen name). WOW. I don’t really even want to say some of the things I’ve researched for that. It gets gruesome.
Tell us about your latest piece? “Beware of the Easter Moon” is a short middle-grade creepy adventure story about a boy who discovers that his family isn’t exactly normal. It was inspired by me suddenly realizing, completely out of the blue, that Easter always falls on or just after a full moon. The reason the Easter celebration moves around so much is that it’s the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the spring equinox.
So…obviously there needed to be werewolves.
What’s your next writing adventure? My next adventure as De Kenyon is going to be London in the 1880s, infested by cats, rats, and tentacled things coming out of the sewers!
With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? How about a future of storytelling? It’s not like indie authors are the future of storytelling if they’re happening now.
The interesting question is, to me: what happens after this? If indies bring a major challenge to the big publishers, and they do, how do the big publishers respond? Do they shrink? Do their corporate over-bosses force them to shift course?
And what about collective groups of indies, or indies organized under other indies? I ghostwrite for some indie authors (who shall remain unnamed) who seem to be making the shift from indie authors to indie publishers.
Will the big publishers start trying to buy out those indie publishers? I mean, I would.
Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? We are, but less than we used to be. I think it helps that readers are noticing that big publishers aren’t doing the level of editing that they used to do, and have stopped assuming that traditionally published books are perfect.
I think it also helps that it’s easier and easier for readers to pick indie books with a reputation for quality behind them, by both recommendations and algorithms, so they tend to end up with the better books now, instead of a deluge.
Is there a message in your books? If I have a message, it’s “Beware of bullies! They aren’t always obvious.”
Blood Moon Bundle.
When the sun has set, when the moon is full, the shapeshifters gather—wolves, cats and totemic creatures, nightmares and revelations.
Seeking answers, seeking revenge, seeking a cure to affliction, seeking blood, seeking answers or seeking love—a gathering of beasts abounds. Dare you walk beneath the moonlight?
Eclectica A Short Story Bundle
On Preorder – available from 13th April 2019.
From fantasy to space adventure, pirates, mystery, horror, historical fiction, romance and coming of age you’ll find short, snappy reads herein. There is something for everyone in this lucky dip.
19 short stories and collections from multiple authors.
Blown – Diana Deverell
Socks and Pins and Aliens – Thea Hutcheson
Tales of Blood and Ink – Kate MacLeod
Tales of Tomorrow – Debbie Mumford
Shaken, Not Stirred: A Dawna Shepherd Short Story – Diana Deverell
City Shadows – Chuck Heintzelman
Outside the Walls – A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Tales of an Altered Past Powered by Romance, Horror, and Steam – Donald J. Bingle
Dear Brother – Felicia Fredlund
The Cache and Other Stories – Sherry D Ramsey
Sword Oath – Jackie Keswick
The Hooded Man – Barbara G. Tarn
S F & H – Harvey Stanbrough
Resonant Bronze – J.M. Ney-Grimm
Hitomi’s Path – M.L. Buchman
Children – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Jhyoti Planetside – Marcelle Dube
Petra and the Blue Goo – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Tears and Crimson Velvet – A. L. Butcher
Ooops late again…. but here we go.
October is here and it’s one of my favorite times of the year. The weather turns chilly, the leaves change color and I get an excuse to binge-eat Halloween candy/chocolate. As the wind shakes my windows, I love to curl up with a good book. N. N. Light feels the same way and they’re hosting a spooktacular giveaway. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Halloween pun. No tricks, just treats for booklovers! Everything from romance to paranormal to fiction is being given away. You can even enter to win one of mine. Go on, indulge your inner kid and enter this giveaway.
Trick or Treat Binge-Read Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775020/
Literary Giveaway Portal: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal
Here are some of the prizes
signed print copy of Hacking IT by Kimberley Dean
e-copy of Spirited Attraction by Ashantay Peters
e-copy of Heart Healer by Leslie Bowes
e-copy of A Kiss and a Promise by Tricia Schneider
e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling
print copy of Horu’s Chosen (An Alternate Egypt) by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)
print or e-copy (winner’s choice) of Emmie of Indianapolis by Kay Castaneda
e-copy of Pearlman by David Russell
e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn
e-copy of Oath of a Warrior by Mary Morgan (US/Canada only)
e-copy of The Secret of Hillcrest House by Melanie Robertson-King
e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell
e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan
e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton
e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie
print or e-copy of one of C. C. Bolick (winner’s choice)
e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser
e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of Lovers by Midnight (Monster Ball) by Ashantay Peters
e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of Other Dark Tales by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)
e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour
5 e-copy of The Adventures of Harry Morgan, Volume 1 by Clabe Polk
A Fifth of Boo!
Volume 5 of the Boo! series
Authors raising money for good causes.
A spooktacular collection of horror, fantasy, and Halloween-themed short fiction.
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2Nsdrp2
All proceeds for the sale of this book will be donated to Cancer Research UK
Dinner and a Show – Derek Moreland
Such an Adventure – Ann Cathey
The Voice – JD Mader
The Jaws of Ammon-Thet – John Petelle
Waiting – Oz Wainerdi
Untitled – Kristina Jackson
The Atherton Vampire – Lynne Cantwell
Happy Samhain – LB Clark
Punch Drunk – Laurie Boris
Betrayal – Erin McGowan
The Secret of Blossom Rise – A.L. Butcher
The Day of the Dead – Laurie Boris
Life Lessons – Ann Cathey
Flowers for Hannah – LB Clark
You Wish – Laurie Boris
Dinner – Jen Daniele
The Curse of the Single Bed – Mark Morris
Rose’s Screams – Erin McGowan
Dedicated to all those touched by cancer.
Author name: Linda Jordan
~What first prompted you to publish your work? Alfred Lets Loose is one of those magical stories that came to me just as I was waking up one morning. I could hear the voice of the main character and had the story unravel itself before I even made it to a standing position. I can’t remember how long it took me to write, but it’s rare that a story comes to me all spooling out like that. It’s a wonderful experience.
~Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I started out as a plotter, but have turned into a pantser. I read Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing Into the Dark and I was convinced that was the way to go for me. We have very similar problems with being easily bored. After I outlined a book, I no longer wanted to write it.
Making the change was frightening at first. I was afraid that no story would come. But it always has. Every single time. And I’m enjoyed being surprised by the story that does come. I figure if I’m surprised, the reader will be as well.
~What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? I wish I’d known to look at everything I was writing as practice. It would have taken some of the pressure off. Everything I write is always practice for something else. Also, I wish I’d known to trust myself.
~What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? I offer free books on a regular basis (usually the first in a series) as a means of giving people a taste of my work and as a gift for signing up for my mailing list. I don’t think free books are demeaning.
Libraries? They’re this awesome place that lend free books. All right, paid for by our taxes, free books.
I think free books are good marketing, if done right.
~What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. What people think of your work is their own business, not yours.
As a writer, you shouldn’t be reading reviews of your past work. You’re done with that. Over. Finished. You should have moved on and be writing the next book. You did the best you could at the time. Every book will get better. If you spend all your time neurosing about the skill level in your previous books, there will be no new work. You won’t improve.
~How influential is storytelling to our culture? Storytelling is so embedded in our culture we don’t even realize we’ll listen to any sales spiel if there’s a story involved. It’s the heartbeat of our culture. We crave stories and we’re drawn into stories on a daily basis. We want the story of our kid’s day at school. We want to listen to the stories of the world when we turn on the news. Songs are stories with a rhythm. We sit around the screen at night, watching stories.
~What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Write the next book, publish it. Then write the next one. And repeat.
~What is your writing space like? My writing space is in the kitchen (the center of the universe). I have a desk that closes with a drawer where my laptop lives. The closing desk is essential—because cats. My desk is covered with rocks, lists, post-its, fairy lights, pens and other cool stuff. And a couple of light boxes because I live in the Pacific Northwest where it’s dark and rainy for five months of the year. Next to this desk is a standing desk, which is home to too many piles of things. But I still use it, moving the laptop back and forth between the two. That’s my fall, winter and spring office. They summer office is outside at a table under an umbrella to keep the glare down. I’ve got three different tables out in various parts of the garden, each with an extension cord to plug in. Where I sit depends on the warmth of the day and whether I need more shade or sun at that time of the day. I love writing outside, but alas, it’s only for a short few months of the year.
~What’s your next writing adventure? I’m currently writing the second novel of a five book series. It’s a post-apocalyptic story with magic. I’m having so much fun with these characters and this world. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
~What is the last book you’ve read? Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans by Sonya Rhen. A fun YA science fiction book about a rock band touring the universe and all their mishaps. Finished it last night. Guess I’ll need to pick up the other two books in the series. Science fiction humor is a hard thing to balance and she does a great job.
~Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? I think we’re in the middle of a transition. I think the story is the important part and that the form it takes will continue to morph and expand, along with technology. I think ebooks are a huge thing, but not the end. I also think there will always be paper books. People still love them, including kids and teens. Bookshops are in decline at this point. They may rally and shift form, but I think the age of the super bookstore is over. They take up too much expensive real estate and don’t earn enough money to sustain the business. I also think new ways of storytelling will come into being with new technologies.
~With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? I can’t see that trad pub will be able to continue business the way they have in the past. They’re owned by such large corporations who are pinching every penny paid out to writers and not supporting books that aren’t bestsellers. I think being an Indie is a much more vibrant path and the potential for growth is awesome. Provided the vendors continue to send money our way. It seems to be working for musicians and for movies. I hope it continues to work for writers. I can’t say it’s the future, because the future is always changing.
~How important is writing to you?
Vastly important. I spent decades procrastinating and the days I didn’t write I felt terribly guilty. Now when I don’t write because life has gotten too busy, I feel uneasy. The whole day feels wrong. As a result, I write most every day. And most days it’s the most rewarding thing I’m doing. Telling this story, one chapter at a time. Writing is my life.
Linda Jordan writes fascinating characters, visionary worlds, and imaginative fiction. She creates both long and short fiction, serious and silly. She believes in the power of healing and transformation, and many of her stories follow those themes.
In a previous lifetime, Linda coordinated the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop as well as the Reading Series. She spent four years as Chair of the Board of Directors during Clarion West’s formative period. She’s also worked as a travel agent, a baker, and a pond plant/fish salesperson, you know, the sort of things one does as a writer.
Currently, she’s the Programming Director for the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest.
Linda now lives in the rainy wilds of Washington state with her husband, daughter, four cats, a cluster of Koi and an infinite number of slugs and snails.
Welcome to Steve Barras
- Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m dead. I occupy living human bodies.
- Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?
I didn’t choose it. It was thrust upon me. But I don’t want anyone else to go through this, either.
- Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be?
…I did, once. I helped people. I was good at it. But then I died, and now I have to kill to survive.
- Would you kill for those you love?
…I killed those I loved. I stopped myself and only kill strangers now.
- Would you die for those you love?
There’s no point. I’m already dead.
- Who is your greatest enemy?
I am my own worst enemy. But I will stop the Other in any way I can.
- What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell)?
I can’t just die for real. Instinct forces me out to hunt when by all rights I should die with the body.
- How would you describe yourself?
Look in the mirror. You won’t see me there, because I’m already wearing your body.
- How do you think others see you?
They don’t because they would only see someone they already know.
- Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?
I have to be. The Other is killing for the thrill of it. I have to stop him, show him he doesn’t have to live this way. He doesn’t have to burn this fast and I can show him how to live a little longer.
- What is your greatest fear?
That I will spend eternity burning out bodies until there are no more left.
- What do you think of your author/creator?
Another body to occupy until it burns out. *shrug* Not my preferred choice in bodies, but if needs must, then I will take it.
For the author
Books in which this character appears:
A Burning Rainbow Man, a short story
Available from Smashwords
Links, short author bio…
You can find my work here:
and of course, here on Bundle Rabbit.
Ann Stratton started writing at thirteen, with the typical results. She’s gotten a little better since then, she hopes, having taken a much more serious approach in later years. She lives in Southeastern Arizona, trying to juggle too many interests at once.
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.
18 rating for scenes of violence.
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2xdkprc
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2v6xDZs
Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/the-watcher
Audio – narrated by Matt Jenkins
Amazon UK audio