Monday, April 9, 2018

Blogging #AtoZ: New International #Mystery: The Bone Shroud, Jean Rabe

** Today is letter H - for The Bone SHroud in the A to Z Blog Challenge ** 
** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here. 
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

  Today I welcome Jean Rabe, USA Today Bestselling Author
who's talking about her latest, the newly released  international mystery, 

* See all stops of the blog tour here. Read on for an exclusive (cool & eerie!) except (with skeletons!) and her giveaway!

Irem Madigan’s wedding trip to Rome turns into a desperate search for an archaeological prize, and a struggle to stay ahead of a killer.

Set in and under Rome, The Bone Shroud is a love story wrapped in a perilous relic-hunt. Irem flies to Italy to be the “best man” in her brother’s wedding. He’s marrying an archaeologist bent on revealing the graves of some famous ancient dead. Irem, an archivist at the Chicago Field Museum, becomes obsessed with the centuries-old mysteries.

Unfortunately, Irem discovers there are other players in the game, and some of them are playing deadly. Can she survive and uncover the ancient secrets?
* * * 
“Intrigue, romance, and danger amid the relics of Rome’s storied past, with compelling characters and building tension that will keep you turning pages!” Gail Z. Martin, bestselling author of Vendetta

“Strong characters, shady dealings, ruthless villains, a beautiful setting, an ancient mystery–The Bone Shroud has ’em all. Don’t miss it!” New York Times bestselling Richard Baker, author of Valiant Dust

* * *
Can You Judge a Book by the Cover?
 By Jean Rabe
I’ve 36 novels out by traditional publishers, but I went the Indie route with The Bone Shroud … because I could. I’d wondered what it would be like to “do it myself.” I discovered it is a lot of work. Still, there is a lot of satisfaction. I want to do another Indie—I enjoyed the process that much. I’ll get to work on that when The Bone Shroud blog tour has finished.

I loved searching artist websites for potential book covers. Looking at some of them gave me ideas for future novels! When I stumbled upon the skeleton I stopped. I HAD TO HAVE THAT PIECE OF ART. The piece that is the cover for The Bone Shroud. Sure, it would make a great cover for a spooky book, a horror novel, and The Bone Shroud isn’t that. BUT, The Bone Shroud has skeletons in robes in it, a chest, and eerie scenes. The cover was perfect.

I contacted the artist, bought the cover, and he took it down from his website so no one else would use the image. I liked the notion of a one-of-a-kind cover. He was a dream to work with. And my next indie project … I’ll be going back to Juan Padron.

I just liked looking at it, the skeleton piece, seeing all the little things in it, feeling a mood. Can you judge a book by the cover? I hope so ‘cause I think my cover is four shades of awesome sauce. I hope the cover draws people to the book—and that they’ll read that it’s a mystery, not a squishy horror novel. Chris Verstraete, the host of this blog, also liked the cover enough to contact the artist and arrange for covers for her upcoming books, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and book 2 (yes, the squishy horror kind!). Check out his website. 

*** Enjoy an excerpt from The Bone Shroud … the bit with the robed skeletons:
Hundreds of eyeless sockets fixed Irem in place.
“Incredible,” she said with a shiver.
Skulls covered a large section of wall in the underground chamber, stacked floor to ceiling and packed tight. Femurs formed an arch above them, and finger bones were scattered along the base like straw edging. Two complete skeletons, skulls tipped down as if in prayer, were clad in brown robes rotting from age.
The air felt ancient.
It was so incongruous to what stretched directly above them, a vibrant, sprawling city filled with life: women in the latest fashions clicking their heels against sidewalks, tourists rushing to the next attraction and snapping pictures of everything in their path, taxis honking, pigeons fluttering down to grab the crumbs dropped by those eating breakfast at outdoor caf├ęs.
This was lifeless and solemn and appealed to Irem for her love of history.
There were more bones on the opposite wall and along the corridor she and Benito had traveled; all of them used as decoration, including vertebrae chandeliers and skulls and crossbones placed long before pirates had used the symbols.
“These catacombs are a major attraction,” Benito said. He pointed to the ceiling where evenly spaced lights provided minimal, but appropriate, illumination. There were guardrails to keep people from disturbing the remains. “A dozen or so tourists at a time—always small groups—are led through every afternoon. Here and nearby, as the many burial catacombs cover miles and miles. Everyone is told to wear comfortable shoes.”
Irem wore comfortable shoes this morning, with thick terrycloth socks that were making yesterday’s blisters a fading memory. She noted that the stone floor was smooth and shiny from the countless feet that had crossed it.
“All these bones. Remarkable,” she said. Macabre, she wanted to add. Despite the eeriness, there was something beautiful about it.
“Some of these burial vaults date back to a hundred and fifty years before Constantine made Christianity legal in Italy.” He droned on as if giving one of the tours. “Down another tunnel is the world’s oldest painted image of the Virgin Mary. This particular vault, with all the skeleton art, is part of the Capucin Crypt. The bones of more than four thousand friars are entombed here. Historians say it was meant to be respectful, never intended to be morbid.”
“Dust to dust,” Irem whispered.

Benito chuckled. “Dust we will all be, eh?”

  Jean Rabe is the author of three dozen novels published by small and major presses, has been on the USA Today bestseller’s list, and is a former crime reporter. Jean lives in a tiny town in central Illinois that boasts a gas station, Dollar General, and a pizza place with slow service. She writes with dogs wrapped around her feet while listening to the “music” of passing trains.  She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

The tour giveaway is for a 25.00 gift certificate or a fused glass necklace.

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