Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday Weird: The Gatton Murders

To continue on our Wednesday Weird trend as we ramp up towards ASSASSIN'S HEART'S release date (wooo!) today we have another strange murder. This one took pace in 1898 in Australia.

Which, I mean, it's Australia. Pretty much everything's trying to kill everyone there, but still. Spiders and snakes and even platypuses (yes, they're venomous too) got nothing on people.

On December 25th, Michael, Ellen and Nora Murphy went out to a country dance. They never came home.

The next day, their relative, William McNeil, went out to search for them. He followed the tracks from their cart to a rural area called Moran's Paddock. And that's where he found them.

They had been badly mutilated and he found them carefully arranged on rug with their hands bound behind their backs. The women had been sexually assaulted and Michael had been shot behind his right ear.

Let's not forget that this was in 1898 in a small, peaceful (not counting, y'know, the spiders) area of Australia. William McNeil didn't really know what to do, but he did run back and find people to return with him and act as witnesses. Unfortunately, they didn't do much to help with preserving the crime scene. In fact, the crime scene was so bad, with the public coming and going and wandering around, that someone actually looted Michael's corpse. Stay classy.

Michael, Ellen and Nora were well-liked people and had no criminal histories or trouble in the past.

The inspector put in charge did what most small town law enforcement did back in the day and accused an out of towner. But he had an alibi. So he accused another out of towner. Who also had an alibi.

And that was pretty much as far as the law enforcement ever got on the case. It didn't help that the inspector was so incompetent and so patronizing to Michael, Nora and Ellen's mother that the entire family refused to deal with the police any further.

Theories abound still today. One of the strongest ones, developed by a sleuthing grandmother (I'm not even joking here) is that Michael had earned an enemy when he had acted as a special constable at one time, to keep the peace in Gatton.

Thoughts or theories?

(see you next year!)

Monday, December 28, 2015

In Which Gifts Are Given

Well, Christmas (for those who celebrate it) is over. Which is sad and also a bit of a relief. It's a lot of work, and my family goes crazy with presents which is a lot of fun but also a lot of work so once it's over, it's nice to get back to normal.

I got books of course. As well as a buckwheat pillow and a butter crock, and some great earrings from Twin.

Of course New Years is this week, so normal is still a ways off.

But we finally have some snow here. I mean, we've had snow a few times this year, but so far it hasn't stayed. And we're supposed to get more snow tonight, which is great. If the temperature holds or gets colder, it should actually stick around for more than a day or two.

So yay! It's not really winter, in my book, unless there's snow.

And it's my birthday in a few weeks, too, which means  . . . you guessed it, maor books! But that's great. I've been reading a ton of 2016 arcs and I'm excited to be able to buy them now that they'll be out.

And once we're into 2016 it will be end of year and beginning of year blog posts, which are always fun to write.

Anyway, how was your holiday? Did you get any fun or neat or needed gifts?

Friday, December 25, 2015

In Which It's Christmas

Happy Holidays, all!

See you next week!

I hope you all remembered to deck your halls!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday Weird: Ricky McCormick Death

We're only a few days away from Christmas for those that celebrate so it seems like a good time for another Wednesday Weird!

As i said last week, since we're counting down the days until ASSASSIN'S HEART releases, the Wednesday Weirds are all going to be strange, creepy or unsolved deaths.

Today we're talking about Ricky McCormick.

Ricky McCormick was 41 years old when his body was found in a cornfield, June 30th, 1999 in Missouri. He hadn't been reported missing, but someone had seen him five days earlier so at the most he could have been missing for less than a week.

Despite that, his body was strangely decomposed already. And the cornfield was 15 miles from his home, and not only did he not have a car, there were no bus lines that lead out their either.

Ricky also supposedly suffered from either a heart or lung condition and was a high school dropout. His family would later say that Ricky was more or less illiterate. He could write his name but really nothing else.

And for twelve years, that was all anyone knew about Ricky McCormick's death.

Until the FBI released more information in a plea for the public's help.

Because Ricky had had notes in his pockets. But not just any notes. These notes were written in a cryptic code and had been written at least 3 days before his death.

The FBI had spent 12 years trying to break the code of the letters and were unsuccessful, and so they were reaching out for the public's help in the hopes that the notes will help lead to Ricky's killers.

And that's where the case stands today. The encrypted notes are listed as the FBI's Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit's (CRRU) top unsolved cases.

Thoughts or theories?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Fun

Woo! Yvie's here again, ape-friends, to launch us into the fun that is Friday!

fun involves napping, right?

Let's get this started!









Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Weird: Lake Bodom Murders

All right. Since we're counting down the days until ASSASSIN'S HEART releases, from now until then, all the Wednesday Weirds will be in some way related to AH.

Which mean, time for some weird, creepy or unsolved murders!

Today we're starting with the Lake Bodom Murders.

Lake Bodom is in Espoo, Finland and on June 4th, 1960 a group of 4 teenagers decided to spend the night on its banks camping in a tent together.

That was the end of their fun.

While they slept, someone with a knife crept into their tent and violently stabbed the teens. Only one of them survived the attack, 18-year old Nils Gustafsson. Which, you think would be great (objectively) because at least there would be an eye witness to help the police catch the murderer.

Except Nils's face had been bludgeoned so bad that he couldn't really remember anything.

Unfortunately, the case went cold.

Until twelve years later, on the anniversary of the murders, when a man committed suicide. In his note, he confessed to the killings. In fact, the man used to work in a lakeside kiosk selling drinks, and had quarreled with the teens more than once. Hey, motive!

Case solved, right?


The man had an alibi during the night of the murders. He'd been at home with his wife.

Around the same time, a doctor revealed that he had treated a man at his hospital shortly after the attack. The man, Hans Assman, was a German immigrant and lived near Lake Bodom. He arrived at the hospital wearing red stained clothes and discombobulated. But somehow, the police never thought to question him.

When the doctor did some research on his own, he discovered that Assman was former KGB and possibly a violent, ex-nazi.

But Assman also had an alibi for the night.

In 2004, another suspect entered the scene. Survivor Nils Gustafsson himself.

A new witness had come forward and said that Nils had been drunk and aggressive right before the murders, Also, with new forensics technology, including blood spatter analysis, there was some evidence that showed that perhaps Nils had murdered his friends in a drunken rage, and had received the facial injuries in the fight.

But, over a year later, Nils was cleared of all charges, too.

And that's where the case stands today. Two of the suspects dead and Nils cleared.

Thoughts or theories?

Monday, December 14, 2015

In Which I Talk ASSASSIN'S HEART Holidays

'Tis the season and all that Jazz!

This time of year blogs are full of Christmas and other holiday posts. And I've certainly done so in the past.

But, since ASSASSIN'S HEART will be out in the world in less than 2 months (eeeee!!!) I think I'll do something a bit fun and talk about a holiday in the world of ASSASSIN'S HEART.

Of course, there are many different countries and kingdoms in ASSASSIN'S HEART but today I'm going to focus on the kingdom of Lovero and their main holiday Susten Day.

Lovero has a patron goddess names Safraella who is the god of death, murder and resurrection. She's a real happy and lighthearted god, if you can't tell (kidding! One day, one day we will have a sarcasm font and everyone will rejoice)

In Lovero, disciples of Safraella are clippers (assassins) and they murder people in Her name. And the clippers wear bone masks when they work.

Susten Day takes place the ninth night after the midsummer new moon and the festival lasts for three days.

People wear Susten Day masks, masks made of feathers and gems.

And there's pretty much a constant party, with street vendors serving food, fire breathers, stilt walkers, puppet shows, pretty much anything and everything.

Because Lovero is on the sea, much of the food is fish or sea related. Want some deep fried fish served on a skewer? Sure thing! Honey and seed stuffed dough balls? Why not! (I love to write about food (probably because I love to eat food) and so I try to make sure I go into detail about foodstuffs)

Yay for Susten Day!

What's your favorite fictional holiday? Or is there a holiday in one of your books you've written? Share in the comments!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Fun

Well, another week has gone by. And this one was a boring week, too. With no holidays with lots of good food or presents.

Also, gross snow.

But, one thing this week does have is a Friday! Which means it's time for Friday Fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Weird: The Sweating Sickness

It's been, like, forever since I've had a Wednesday Weird, so I'm glad today we're back at it.

It's also been forever since we've done a weird disease so it seems like today is the day!

The sweating sickness.

So, it sounds kind of harmless, right? I mean, sweat.

But here's the thing. The sweating sickness will kill you deader than dead within a few hours. Prepare to be kind of creeped out in the way that all deadly diseases are creepy.

The Sweating Sickness begins with, awesomely, "a sense of apprehension" (great, right?) and from there it's followed by cold shivers, severe neck, shoulder and limb pain, headaches, and then giddiness.

All of that is considered the cold stage, which can last from 30 mins to 3 hours.

Then, you're into the sweating stage, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Sweating. Profuse sweating.

And then you die.

Well, sometime the sweating stage isn't immediately fatal, but when it isn't, it leads to additional sweating stages, and one of those WILL end you.

The Sweating Sickness first appeared in England in1485 and killed thousands of people within a year. Mostly because by the time anyone realized they had it, everyone else around them was already infected.

And, because it's not terrible enough, no one knows what causes it. Is it a bacteria? A virus? Who knows! Some people think that perhaps its an illness related to the hanta virus (which is terrible enough, as all hemorrhagic fevers are) but we really don't have enough information to know one way or another. All we really know is that it's popped up 6 times so far. Which, okay, that's not so bad.

Except, yeah it is. Because those six times it showed up were epidemics. So, yeah, we really don't want it showing up again.

Monday, December 7, 2015

In Which I'm Excited For December (And Star Wars!)

I'm really having a hard time realizing that the year is only a few weeks away from being over.
Like, really? REALLY?

But, also, you know what happens before then?

Frickin star wars.


(he just looks so terrified about the shit that's about to go down)
It is going to be awesome. I feel it in my gut. Though I'm slightly worried about what may happen to Han Solo. I mean, especially if you want to compare its possible arc to episode IV. Is all I'm saying.
But I guess we'll find out in a few weeks (eeee!) Of course I don't get to see it until Sunday the 20th, so hopefully people will avoid posting spoilers for a week or so.

I cannot express how I excited I am.

I think the only think I'm more excited for (and, really, I'm so excited for both of these that it's really hard to tell what I'm more excited for) might be Captain America Civil War, but that doesn't come out until May, so I have some time before then.


(I mean, LOOK AT THIS!!!)

How about you? What are you looking forward to over the next few months (holidays notwithstanding)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Fun

It seems like it's been forever since we've done a Friday Fun, and before we know it, 2015 will be gone forever.

But before 2016 we have a holiday of presents!

So let's get this first December Friday started off right!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Well, today is the last IWSG of 2016. Seems like the year just flew by.

It was a year of a lot of new things for me. I did edits on ASSASSIN'S HEART and copy edits. And first page passes. I got to see my cover for the first time, then hold my arcs. I got my first Goodreads reviews, and my first trade reviews.

And in 60 days the book will be out in the world, to do it's thing.

Which is extremely exciting.

But also scary.

Things move so slow in publishing, so even though you have an agent, or a book deal, etc, etc, it really doesn't feel like much has changed. Unless you quit your job to write full time or something. Which, yeah, is something I would love to do sometime in the future, but also, right now, I think I want to work my day job as long as I possibly can, for financial reasons alone. A twice monthly paycheck is something I'm not sure I'm ready to give up, yet. Even though multiple times a week I sit at my desk and just think about putting in my notice.


But, really, nothing much feels different. And I suspect the same will be said on February 2nd, the actual release date of ASSASSIN'S HEART. It will probably just be like any other day. And that's okay.

(though, really, I'm totally taking the day off from work. Probably get something good to eat for lunch, and then maybe hit a couple of bookstores to see my little book baby in the world.)

Anyway, I have work to do. Book 2 will need to be revised. And revised again. And in January, before any of this, I'll be graduating from my MFA. Something I'm both super excited and super sad about. 2 years went by too fast.

So, yeah. It's going to be a busy few months. But exciting. And I'm looking forward to it.
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