Please welcome Maegan, author of Sacrifical Muse on my blog today.
So what is Sacrificial Muse about?
After learning the identity of the serial killer behind her 83 horrific days of rape and torture, Sabrina Vaughn has suffered more physical and emotional wounds than she can handle. Despite reeling with pain both old and new, Sabrina is given a second chance as a San Francisco homicide detective. But as reporters dog her every step and hordes of mail pour into her office — from supporters and nutjobs alike–Sabrina falls deeper into a pit of humiliation and anxiety. When nine red roses repeatedly show up on her desk, followed by an ominous red envelope addressed to Calliope, Sabrina realizes that a new killer is targeting her. She is his chosen muse, and the Fates require sacrifice.
Sounds great. How about an excerpt?
“Sabrina made piles. Note cards with things like watercolor landscapes or cartoon puppies on them went in a pile to the left. She didn’t even have to read them anymore. She could tell by the look of them that the people who sent them were sane. She flipped them open anyway, scanned the handwriting inside of each. Neat, well-spaced letters. Medium pressure on the page. That’s how normal people wrote.
She reached into the bag and pulled another envelope. It was legal-sized and bore the postal code for San Quentin. It was thick, the lettering on the front small and cramped together, pushed deep into the paper. She tapped the side of the envelope against her desk before using a pair of scissors to cut a thin strip along it. Slipping the carefully folded pages through the hole, she opened them up. More cramped, heavy writing, creating a solid block of text. She scanned for key words.
Kidnap. Rape. Stab.
They jumped out at her from the page, each one like a physical assault. She had to stiffen her neck to keep from recoiling in disgust. For some reason, the wingnuts all wanted to confess their crimes to her. Even the ones no one knew about. She re-folded the papers together as they had come and placed them into an evidence bag. She wrote the sender’s name and the number two hundred seventy-three. That’s how many letters she’d opened so far.
And the bag was still half full.
Something moved in her peripheral vision and she looked up. “Hey, Henley.” She smiled at him, flattening her hand against the evidence bag she’d just written on. The letters and packages were just evidence—nothing to be ashamed of. That’s what she tried to tell herself anyway. She glanced at the vase on her desk. “Your turn, huh?”
Henley cracked a dry grin. “I jumped the line—got caught up in a triple last night and didn’t even get home to shower. The wife is less than pleased.” He picked up the flowers and tucked them under his arm, his smile turning awkward. None of them knew what to say to her anymore. It was like she’d come back a complete stranger.
And she guessed she had.
She forced herself to pick up the evidence bag and drop it into the file box on the floor,
next to her chair. His eyes followed its progress, landing in the pile along with the rest of them.
“Well, if I were you, I’d stop at the market across the street and grab a bottle of wine to go with the flowers,” she said, deliberately reaching into the bag and pulling out her next contestant. A thin, white square with loopy, feminine handwriting. Postmarked Oklahoma.
She placed it on her desk and looked up. Henley was still standing there, looking at her. The look on his face said he was about to offer to stay and help her.”
Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement, and feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on.
When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade.
And there’s a giveaway as well.
Thank you for stopping by, Maegan.