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
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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?
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.
Here Be Ghosts Bundle
Myth, Monsters and Mayhem Volume 6
Who are they? What are they? The souls of the long departed, or wicked manifestations of sin?
Tales of ghosts and spectres have enthralled us since time began. From ghostly servants, spectral possession, a space-going ghostbuster, to Halloween horrors, wicked toads and missing children these tales bring chills and thrills.
Ancient horrors, long-dead rockers, family secrets and helpful murder victims join them in providing the shivers and the quivers.
Dare you venture with the dead-walking?
13 tales of spooks, lost souls, and weird adventures.
Communication Breakdown – Dayle A. Dermatis
Alfred Lets Loose – Linda Jordan
Seventh – Debbie Mumford
Crossing the Naiad – J.M. Ney-Grimm
Full Circle – Kate MacLeod
Roadside Ghosts: A Collection of Horror and Dark Fantasy – Steve Vernon
The Palace – Leah Cutter
A Burning Rainbow Man – Ann Straton
The Whole World for Each – Kate MacLeod
The Queen of Toads – Joe Bonadonna
Ghosts and Ghoulies – Deb Logan
The Secret of Blossom Rise: A Ghost Story
The Popcorn Thief – Leach Cutter
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
Here’s today’s news:) I am delighted to announce the release of my latest short story – Tears and Crimson Velvet – a short story based (loosely) on the characters and events in Phantom of the Opera.
The latest Legacy of the Mask Tale features Madam Giry, a much underrated and misunderstood character.
Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.
When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.
A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.
Name: SAMIR KARIMO
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I like to create different worlds, namely strange and surrealistical ones with known characters which try to attract the audience. I have a strange relationship with the reader, I like to play with him/her, e.g. I like to try them to question about things, even the smallest ones and that’s why most of my stories are flash stories. In those short stories I try to synthesise my conception of horror, science-fiction and terror.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures? First of all, follow your dreams, whatever they are and try to have a certain writing style. People will always criticise the way you write but it’s important to create your own style with your features. When I began I wanted to write grammatically well but now I want to have a style of my own.
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?
Pirandello, Unamuno and Pessoa due to their idea about the being, not being and the different characters we assume every day. Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hide, Adriano Meis, Sheherazade from Arabian Nights without doubt and Ramayana’s Valmiky.
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
As I have mentioned, on one hand I was deeply influenenced by Pirandello, Unamuno and Pessoa. Their ideas are still updated and even today we don’ t know how to interact in society…. I like that idea of double personality, the heteroynms and ortonyms, on the other hand, as you read the book, you’ll find references to Indian mythology, Nordic folklore and also D.Juan’s Myth. Kafka also, there’a flash story, DAMNED WORDS which looks Kafka’s IN THE PENAL COLONY. But I have also a muse called Reyam who inspires my work. Besides I have a text dedicated to her, music divine.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Someday maybe, but there are still people wanting to feel the “taste of the book”. I like both, but more and more people are using e-books . And besides, e-books are more compact and easy to carry than a book. And with the digital stuff in e-books it is possible to create more things than in a book, like for example holograms, and so on.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
Arabian nights because I love the stories Sherazade tells to the sultan, and because is one of the most important books of the world which influences our way of seeing the world.
Lucian of Samostata’s true story because it’s a very advanced book, even today with their creatures and the idea of Moon and, finally, Charles Nodier’s Infernaliana, one of best scary books ever written. Some stories make me beg for more, one of my favourites is the “Devil pact”.
Author bio and book synopsis
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
My name is Samir Karimo, and besides of being a translator, I’m also a writer. This book SOBRENATURAL is my first English book which was written almost at the same time that in Portuguese and Spanish also. I usually write in Portuguese to BABELICUS EM PORTUGUÊS and in Spanish and English to MINATURA. I also collaborate with DEMENCIA magazine and WAX MAGAZINE, both in Spanish . And I’m also a comic screenwriter to a comic magazine called H-ALT where by September it will publish my first story.
My first stories appeared at FENIZ FANZINE in Spanish in 2013. But I published my first Portuguese poems in late 1998.
I like to create strange situations with strange characters…. like Kafka
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
Sobrenatural (supernatural surrealistical scary stories ), a small anthology of flash stories and tales where the reader will find famous characters in strange situations. Imagine yourself having a dream where nothing is what it seems, when you find space vampires and their connection to dinosaur’s extinction, killing noses and other alien creatures. Imagine if D.Juan would go to paradise or, finally, would find peace. Also imagine Oscar Wilde as an attorney or Dulcinea having a relationship with a snake…. And imagine a character called INTRODUCTION, and a FUN GOD falling in love by a cyborg woman in Harlequin Carnavalin.
Finally, the book cover was done my the ESFS Awards winner’ JUAN MIGUEL AGUILERA
For United States
For United Kingdom
Character Name: Travis Malone
Which book/world do you live in?: Hell Bent
Tell us about yourself: Well, I’m pretty damn hard to kill, for one thing. Also, I’m part-monkey. Both of those come from some genetic stuff my mom did. Not like that, though! I’m adopted, and she’s a scientist. Also, my hair grows a little every time I come back from the dead.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths, hm? I’m…uh…well, I guess I’m kinda cute in some way? I know I’m not that smart. Hell, if I were, I might’ve made it through college. I’d say I’m perfectly fine, but the multiple nightmares and shit have made that a complete lie. Uhh…please don’t tell McManus, Jesse, or my dad that one. They’d totally take advantage of that. Plus, my nose is too big, and… Damn. I think I focused on the weaknesses a little too much.
Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
Ooh, first up is Spencer. Dude’s my best friend, has been since we were kids, and he married my sister a few years ago. And then there’s the law enforcement around Hell Bent..UGH, they need to fix that. Seriously, homelessness isn’t a reason to experiment on people. Actually, the only good reason to experiment on someone is if it’s to help people, AND if you, y’know, get the test subject’s permission (Thanks for that one, mom!). Oh, wait. I need to pick a third one. That’d probably be my mom, Dr. Serena Taylor. She adopted my sister and me when dad threw us out. And as it turns out, she’s one of the leading scientists working with genetics and cybernetics.
What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?
Heroism, I guess, would be when someone does whatever they can to help someone else, no matter how much it might hurt them.
What do you think of your ‘creator’?
Do NOT get me started on that psycho! Do you know how many different labs I’ve been taken to against my will because of her?! Oh, and then? Then we have the times I’ve died and come back and then been killed again. And y’know the worst part? She says I’m one of her favorites!
Give us your favourite piece of advice: “Play through pain”, I guess. I dunno. I really can’t remember too many different pieces of advice, and I suck at giving it out. Though I will say to be careful about random strangers offering to help you get some pictures taken. Sometimes they’re friendly and legit. Other times, they turn out to be a serial killer that creates snuff films.
Links to book
Start of arc 2 (Deception): http://a.co/gVOpegE
Who are you?
Sure, we can start with the most open-ended question of all time. My name is Erin, my nickname was Lark once upon a time, but you can call me anything, so long as you don’t call me late to dinner. I’m an accountant/administrative assistant/whatever-the-hell-my-boss-tells-me-I-am by day and a writer and very occasionally editor by night. I love to read, travel, read, drink coffee, read, take walks on the bead, and read.
Tell us about your Boo! story:
I have one story about friendship, life, love, and scary shit. My second story is about brotherhood, friendship, love, bikes, and more scary shit. Seriously, though, one of my stories is about two best friends who go on an impromptu Halloween road trip and find more than they bargained for. The other story is about a motorcycle club and the lengths they will go to in order to keep people safe. I just now realized that both of my stories deal with travel and unbreakable bonds, but that’s not too surprising, because those are both things I value immensely.
What else have your written?
I’ve written short stories in “Music Speaks” and the other three “Boo” books. I’ve also written two full-length novels. “Aftermath” is a contemporary fiction novel that I am still half-tempted to entitle “Everybody Dies” just so I don’t have to give a summary of the book. “The Mage: Awakening” is a young adult urban fantasy book about a young woman who learns how to control her magical powers and tries to fit in in a new school and the mage society. It’s the first in a series. I hope the second book will be out soon.
What frightens you the most?
Being alone, or letting the people I love down. And clowns.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
I have. It was in an apartment, and it was massively angry.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m just about to start “Dead Zone” by Stephen King. I thought, given the election, it was fitting.
If you could meet any living famous person for dinner who would it be and what would you eat?
I would love to meet Jimmy Buffet. I don’t think I could bring myself to say anything, but I’d be in Heaven. We’d eat some sort of fish, I’m sure. I’d let him choose.
If you could meet any dead famous person who would be and what would you have to eat?
I have to pick one? Did you ever see the Gilmore Girls episode where they had all their friends come eat a fancy dinner at the Inn? I want to do that with dead people. Shakespeare and Byron and Amelia Earhart and Dorothy Parker and Sid Vicious and David Bowe and Rich Meyer and Cina Clark and Brian Wilson and so many more that I can’t even keep them straight. People I love, people I admire, and people I aspire to be like would all be there.
Which book do you see as the most influential in your life?
Too many to choose from. I would say Jim Butcher and all of his books changed my life in a major way, though.
In the zombie apocalypse what would be your weapon of choice with which to defend yourself?
I want Harley’s mallet and giant thews.
Social media links etc.
Lonestar Book Works: http://www.lonestarbookworks.info/