Discover more from The Black Hand
The Black Hand, vol. 25
Cheescake and murder
What does cheesecake have to do with murder? (Alternative question: Why does everything have to do with murder, and how does a poor, defenceless cheesecake somehow find itself involved?)
Look, leave the cheesecake out of it, in my opinion. But here goes: a NYC woman was recently convicted of trying to poison another woman (who looked a lot like her) with a sedative-laced cheesecake. The prosecution claimed that Woman1 was hoping to impersonate Woman2 by stealing her valuables and identity papers after her death. Incidentally, Woman1 was also accused of fatally drugging a neighbour in her native Russia in 2014 (but I’m sure that’s neither here nor there 👀).
I do love the quote from the defence attorney: “While we are disappointed with the jury’s verdict, we respect it and are exploring our options going forward.”
This is lawyer-speak for: “My client is guilty as hell – guess we lost that one 🤷♀️”
Putting the cheesecake business aside though, the whole ‘I killed my doppelganger’ thing is far from uncommon – a case like this made the news in Germany recently when a woman killed her lookalike in order to (I kid you not) fake her own death.
Honestly, you cannot make this shit up. And I write this stuff for a living, so I should know.
Murderers, please get some more believable material – my editor would reject this in a heartbeat.
SOME SHALL BREAK giveaways
Friends, I’m giving you a chance to get in early on a couple of giveaways, check it out:
1. Goodreads is giving away a bunch of arc copies of SOME SHALL BREAK, starting 5 April (US time). Go here to enter. This one is only open to US/Canada readers, so if that’s you, good luck!
2. I’m doing a giant celebratory giveaway in the lead-up to SOME SHALL BREAK’s release, and everyone can enter that! The prize: 1x arc copy of SOME SHALL BREAK, 1x US copy of NONE SHALL SLEEP, 1x US copy of THE KILLING CODE, and 1x AU copy of EVERY BREATH.
That’s four books in one prize pack, including a pre-release arc. Open international from 8 April until 11.59PM on 10 April AEST.
Get TWO early entries in the hat by commenting here on this post – only legit subscribers can enter (yes, I can check!).
For a bonus THIRD entry, RT my Instagram post of the giveaway when it shows in your feed on 8 April (and remember to tag me with “The Black Hand @elliemarney”).
Three entries for the price of one, just for being a subscriber? Sounds like decent odds to me 😊
Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here! (I promise not to send you a sedative-laced cheesecake!)
SOME SHALL BREAK audiobook
While we’re still talking SOME SHALL BREAK, some exciting news:
Those of you who loved Jake Abel as the voice of Simon Gutmunsson in the audiobook for NONE SHALL SLEEP (I know there are some of you out there 😊), well take a little peek at this…
Isn’t that just the most delightful thing you’ve seen in some time? It sure made me feel happy!
The link for the audiobook is already up, if you’re interested.
A HUNGER OF THORNS release
Another glorious YA fantasy book arrives in the world!
On Thursday 20 April at 6.30PM, I’ll be in the audience at Readings Kids in Carlton to see the arrival of Lili Wilkinson’s fantabulous new novel, A HUNGER OF THORNS, a witchy tale about forbidden magic and missing girls who don’t need princes to rescue them.
You can join in the celebrations here.
Well, I was in Queensland for Somerset Storyfest, which was pretty wild, check it out:
It was a massive week, and I had an excellent time talking serial killers and how I became an author with students from all over Qld. I’d like to say a big thank you to every student who listened to me! And extra special thanks to my protocol students, who took care of me, plus all the teachers and organisers who made things work smoothly.
I also have an appearance at Sydney Writers Festival lined up in May – I’ll be on a panel talking YA thrillers for All Day YA on Saturday 27 May, you can find out more here.
And I’ll be attending Lili Wilkinson’s party for the launch of A HUNGER OF THORNS, as mentioned above.
Altogether, a very eventful time!
This month’s random giveaway is a signed US hardcover copy of NONE SHALL SLEEP – please keep an eye on your email to see if you’re the lucky winner! (and remember to check your spam folder…)
What I’m working on
I’m currently transitioning from one project to another as I leave the world of Sekret Project and re-enter the world of juvenile serial killers… That’s right, I’m hard at work on the third book in the None Shall Sleep Sequence!
I’m actually having a ball writing this book – which will be the final book in the series – and by this stage, writing about 1982 FBI Behavioral Science is like wrapping myself in a warm blanket (I should give the caveat that I’m only 60 pages in, so in a few months I’ll probably be complaining about how hard it all is. When that happens, feel free to ignore me, or just point wordlessly at this newsletter post).
My publisher is still deciding if this book is right for them, which is pretty normal – these days, the publisher will usually wait to see if sales of subsequent books are consistent before they commit. So if you’re wondering about the best way to ensure None Shall Sleep Book 3 gets published, my answer is: please support Book 2! You can do this by buying SOME SHALL BREAK (preorder links are open! And keep your receipts - check out news about the preorder campaign below), spreading word of mouth, leaving a review on Goodreads or Amazon, listening to the audiobook, requesting the book at your library, voting for the book on Goodreads lists, sharing it on social media…Yeah, you know how it’s done!
Thank you for the support, my characters and I are full of gratitude ♥
SOME SHALL BREAK preorder campaign
Yes, it’s finally happening!
It kicks off at the end of April - keep an eye on my Instagram to make sure you’re signed up early. There’ll be various swag goodies available for those who preorder the book, so if you’ve already ordered, screenshot your receipt to enter. There’ll be a Google Doc ready to go soon…
Watch my Insta, there’s more news to come in next month’s newsletter 😍
This month’s new title is NIGHTBIRDS by Kate Armstrong – you can find out more about the book and join in our April read by connecting with us at our Instagram page 😊
This month my Nailbiters crew is getting a deep dive into the character of Travis Bell (we found out some interesting facts behind the creation of Simon Gutmunsson last month), as well as a giveaway, some details about SOME SHALL BREAK merch for subscribers, gothic cross-stitch, and the history of Silence of the Lambs posters.
You can sign up here.
What I’m reading
I’m only halfway through The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias, and I can tell you right now that it’s going to be one of my most-recommended titles of the year. It’s been described as a crime/horror novel and it definitely ticks both those boxes – the plot focuses on a man struggling under the weight of debt as a result of his daughter’s illness, who takes a job as a hitman and descends into violence of both the real-world and the supernatural type.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted, this one – I’ve already read some scenes that made my eyebrows climb – but the writing is powered by a gritty, noir-ish realism that makes the whole thing shine.
Now I think I mentioned a while back that I wanted to read The Ruins by Scott Smith? Well, here’s an interesting conundrum: I can’t (at least not right away).
In an alarming twist, the book is not available in ebook in Australia. I’ll have to wait for my hard copy to ship, and UGH, there’s nothing worse than having a book-itch that you can’t scratch! Guess I’ll have to find some way of kicking my ‘delayed gratification’ response back to life – until my copy arrives, anyway.
But the book looks so good!! It has evil sentient plant-life in the Yucatan jungle (kinda like an earlier, gorier, pulpier version of Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer?) and as I’m too much of a wimp to watch the movie, I will Just. Have. To Wait.
Pray for me.
I hope you’re having an excellent start to April! 😊 Life is getting busier as the SOME SHALL BREAK release barrels closer (if you’ve emailed me lately? My apologies, I’m real slow atm) and now the school holidays are about to start…which means lots of fun family time, but less time to do work things. I’m trying not to beat myself up about that – we all need downtime, including me. Life is too nice to just be working constantly.
Keep an eye out for those giveaways I talked about, and maybe see you over on bookclub or at the Hunger of Thorns launch.
I hope your current reads are all really good, and your responsibilities are light! And may you have an excellent April – Happy Easter to those sharing this time together, Ramadan Mubarak to those who observe, Chag Pesach sameach to those celebrating Passover – and much love to you all. See you next month!