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Wednesday 1 January 2020

☀☄✂❔ Jack the Ripper Victims Series [1-5] - Alan M. Clark

Thank you for joining us on the opening date of the Virtual Book Tour for the  Jack the Ripper Victims Series, a Crime Horror series written and illustrated by (IFD Publishing).

The series is complete and comprises of five novels, as well as a further two related ones.

Don't miss our guest post by author Alan M. Clark, coming on 15 January 2020, "Nipper Dippers, Mug-hunters, and Bludgers: Dangers on the Streets of the Victorian East End". In the mean time, test your knowledge of a couple of Jack the Ripper's victims with Alan's JTR's Victim's quiz!

PREVIEW: Check out below the full details of each book in the series, including trailers, an Exclusive Excerpt from book five, and a fun quiz created by the author.

Author Alan M. Clark will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card, a paperback set of the Jack the Ripper Victims series, and other ebooks to five randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), quizzes (❔), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

|| The Series || Trailer || The Books || Teaser: Exclusive Excerpt || Teaser: Alan's JTRV Quiz || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

The Series: Jack the Ripper Victims

"Mother and child colorized" by Alan M. Clark
from Of Thimble And Threat
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?

Alan M. Clark’s Jack the Ripper Victims Series is comprised of five novels, one for each of the canonical victims of the murderer: Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly.

Since the murderer was never caught, fascination with the unsolved mystery has been widespread and enduring. But what of the women? Who were they? What was life like for them in London of the time period? What were their struggles, their hopes, their regrets? What of the decisions they made in life might have delivered them into the bloody hands of the Ripper?

The books in this series give possible answers to these questions.

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 about horror that happened.

Each novel in the series is a stand-alone story and is beautifully illustrated by the author, Alan M. Clark, who is a World Fantasy Award-winning illustrator, with a freelance illustration career spanning the past thirty-five years.

Horror that happened...

Jack the Ripper Victims Series
Available NOW!

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Jack the Ripper Victims: The Books

Alan M. Clark, "A Brutal Chill in August"
Alan M. Clark, "Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man"
Alan M. Clark, "Say Anything but Your Prayers"
Alan M. Clark, "Of Thimble and Threat"
Alan M. Clark, "The Prostitute’s Price"
Alan M. Clark, "The Assassin’s Coin"
Alan M. Clark, "The Surgeon’s Mate: A Dismemoir"
Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

A Brutal Chill in August [1]

A Novel of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols, the first Victim of Jack the Ripper

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.

[Published 30 August 2016, 348 pages]

Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man [2]

A Novel of Annie Chapman, the Second Victim of Jack the Ripper

Annie Chapman led a hard, lower class life in filthy 19th century London. Late in life, circumstances and 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.

[Published 24 April 2017, 158 pages]

Say Anything but Your Prayers [3]

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.

[Published 1 August 2014, 224 pages]

The night of September 30, 1888, Jack the Ripper took two lives in the Whitechapel district of London. Elizabeth Stride was killed about 1:00 AM. A ten minute walk away, and less than an hour later, Catherine Eddowes was killed; her story is told in Of Thimble and Threat.

The next day, a letter known as the Saucy Jacky postcard was received at the Central News Agency. The message was meant to taunt the police and perhaps the entire city. The writer, who signed the postcard Jack the Ripper, referred to the killings of the night before as “The Double Event.”

Get both stories in one book, Jack the Ripper Victims Series: The Double Event.

Of Thimble and Threat [4]

A Novel of Catherine Eddowes, the Fourth Victim of Jack the Ripper

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.

[Published 27 June 2011, 168 pages]

The Prostitute’s Price [5]

A Novel of Mary Jane Kelly, the Fifth Victim of Jack the Ripper

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.

[Published 10 September 2018, 342 pages]

The Assassin’s Coin by by John Linwood Grant

The True History of the Deptford Assassin

She is Catherine Weatherhead, and she is Madame Rostov. She will lie, though not with malice. She will deceive, though often with good cause. And she will change the course of history, for murder speaks to her.

In Whitechapel, all talk is of Jack the Ripper, but there is another killer in play, and he most definitely has a name. Mr Edwin Dry, the Deptford Assassin.

The truth is not what you believe. It is what he makes it.

[Published 10 October 2018, 368 pages]

Although THE ASSASSIN'S COIN is a standalone story, it is also a companion novel to THE PROSTITUTE'S PRICE, and they were written at the same time.

Grant and Clark coordinated their efforts so that the novels both stand on their own as separate books, but also appear together in one volume titled 13 Miller’s Court, in which the two novels’ chapters alternate. The stories, from two different POV characters, share the same timeline, some scenes and some characters.

To gain a broader perspective of each novel, read both, preferably together in the single volume, 13 Miller’s Court. Intertwined here, they share a single timeline and a single purpose - to lead you to 13 Miller's Court, the room made infamous during the Autumn of Terror. [Published 9 November 2018, 695 pages]

Teaser: Exclusive Excerpt

From Chapter 15 of The Prostitute's Price by Alan M. Clark

In this scene Mary Jane Kelly is robbed by children in a through passage in Brick Lane. This is to whet your appetite for Alan's guest post on 15 January 2020, where he will talk to us about crime in the East End, "Nipper Dippers, Mug-hunters, and Bludgers: Dangers on the Streets of the Victorian East End".

     Mary Jane walked southwestward along Bethnal Green Road, stopped at a tavern for a meal, then made the mistake of continuing on toward her goal after nightfall. She noted that the gas lamps on the street were dark near the crossing of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane. On the south side of the street, she hurried forward to pass quickly through the darkened area.
     Close to Brick Lane, five creatures rushed out of a building’s thin through-passage. Mary Jane let out a small cry of surprise, and backed away only to discover they had surrounded her. Goblins! she thought, seeing merely glowing eyes in dirty faces, and the filthy tatters of their clothing.¬¬
     No, she thought, getting a better look, children. She couldn’t determine the sex of the raggedy creatures in the gloom. The two largest, perhaps ten to twelve years old, threatened her with knives that reflected the blue-gray of the night sky and what little warm light came from nearby windows. The other three grabbed her bags and pulled her toward the passage opening.
     “Stop!” she cried, still holding onto the handles of the bags.
     They seemed to anticipate her, and all cried, “Stop,” drowning her voice with theirs. As if playing a game, they followed that with laughter, the sound echoing up the passage.
     Mary Jane wouldn’t let go, and they pulled her into the darkened corridor.
     “Help!” she cried.
     Again, they anticipated her. They all cried, “Help the little children, Lord,” drowning her out, More laughter followed.
     “Let go if you value your life,” came a boy’s voice from her left, the tallest figure, one with a knife.
     “Such drama,” Mary Jane said, trying to sound calm and confident. Despite knowing better, she had decided they would not harm her if she showed enough courage.
     She was losing the battle of strength.
     “We get ream swag from this toffer,” came a girl’s voice, one of those tugging on a bag. “Too bad if we have to cut her pretty face.”
     Another child giggled, the high-pitched sound clearly belonging to one well below the age of ten.
     Mary Jane’s eyes had adjusted somewhat to the darkness.
     An adult appeared in the passage, an older fellow.
     “Sir, help me, please,” Mary Jane said, breathlessly.
     “He ain’t no help to you, miss,” came the boys voice again on her left. “He’s got to live here with us.”
     The man walked by without a word.
     Mary Jane prepared herself to yank her bags free with great force, to push past the children, and go on her way.
     As she planted her feet firmly to make her move, the boy on her left stabbed her in the arm.
     Mary Jane cried out again, and went into a slight crouch. Not a deep wound, just enough to draw blood. She could feel it running under her sleeve.
     She thought of the knife in her boot. I won’t have to use it on the children, just frighten them with it.
     She reached for it. The child on her right kicked the boot where the knife was hidden. Mary Jane cringed with pain as the point of the blade punctured her ankle. The sheath she’d fashioned for it was lightweight because her boots were already tight.
     The boy on her left swung his blade in threat a couple times, with a warning look in his wide eyes, the circles of whites the only part that showed in the dimness.
     Mary Jane realized she was about to lose everything she had.
     “Do it now, fancy woman,” he said, “or we shall take it.”
     They closed in.
     Mary Jane let go of her bags, backed away quickly.
     The one with the knife on her right let her pass. The boy on her left waved his knife and lunged toward Mary Jane to dislodge her from the passage.
     She continued to back away into Bethnal Green Road, turned toward Brick Lane, and ran.
     Mary Jane wept, feeling cruelly molested, and ashamed for having suffered such treatment from children. She’d been slow to appreciate the severity of the threat. Gaining distance from the nippers, she discovered gratitude for finding herself alive. Her savings and other possessions could be replaced.
     Her right ankle stung from the puncture the knife had inflicted. Mary Jane slowed to a walk.
     Most of the Ladybirds she knew didn’t carry weapons because clients were known to take them and use them against their owners on occasion. The little bit of training Fleming had provided hadn’t prepared Mary Jane to face true danger. If she hadn’t been able to use the knife against children, what further disaster might come from drawing it on an adult? Another item she could add to the list of failings she held against Fleming. Disgusted, she crouched, extracted the blade, and threw it in the gutter.
     Mary Jane gave up the idea of going to Buller’s. Some funds remained in the pocket under her top skirt. She would find a doss house and a bottle of laudanum.

The Surgeon’s Mate: A Dismemoir

A meta story within the Jack the Ripper Victims Series.

A story that illuminates the dark corners of creative endeavor in which inspiration, no longer an elusive, spritely muse, turns deadly and begins stalking the artist.

In this gritty, poignant novel, the life of an alcoholic artist and author, Aiden, collides headlong with that of a serial murderer.

The artist fights a serious brain infection and struggles to hide his addictions, while holding his family together. The wall between reality and imagination comes crashing down when psychopathic Frederick invades Aiden's life, with a horrific lust for violence against young women. The artist's world careens out of control toward pure terror.

[Published 1 March 2016, 244 pages]

Alan M. Clark's Jack The Ripper's Victims Quiz

How much do you know about Jack the Ripper's victims?

Test your knowledge and learn some tidbits with Alan M. Clark's quiz on two of the victims. You do not have to read the books to participate as all the answers are part of history.

About the Author

Alan M. Clark grew up in Tennessee in a house full of bones and old medical books. As a writer and illustrator, he is the author of sixteen published books, including 11 novels, a lavishly illustrated novella, four collections of fiction, and a nonfiction full-color book of his artwork.

His illustrations have appeared in books of fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, young adult fiction and children's books.

Awards for his work include the World Fantasy Award and four Chesley Awards. Mr. Clark's company, IFD Publishing, has released 42 titles of various editions, including traditional books, both paperback and hardcover, audio books, and ebooks by such authors as F. Paul Wilson, Elizabeth Engstrom, and Jeremy Robert Johnson.

Follow Alan M. Clark:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the  the Rivers Edge on Facebook Visit the author on LinkedIn Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Instagram Visit the author on BookBub

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win one of the following prizes: a $25 Amazon GC, a Paperback bundle of the series (US Only), an ebook of A Parliament of Crows, an ebook of The Door That Faced West, an ebook of The Surgeon’s Mate: A Dismemoir – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Jack the Ripper Victims Series' tour at:

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9 Jan: The Library of Erana ✉
10 Jan: 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼
10 Jan: Book Club Gone Wrong
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1 comment:

Bea LaRocca said...

This sounds like a fascinating historical series. Thank you for sharing your book and author details