This Halloween, McCallum J. Morgan will be releasing his latest novel, 'Ambulatory Cadavers' a Regency Zombie Romance with quite a dash of comedy.
We are super-excited to share this with you, and we have had such a fun time working with McCallum on it. As always, his writing is bewitching and his characterisation quite magical - somehow he always gets the reader to fall in love with the most dastardly of characters.
Ambulatory Cadavers is out on OCTOBER 30th 2016, and is now available on Amazon Pre-order. Scroll down for an exclusive sneak preview of the opening...
AMAZON US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX8TJDL
AMAZON UK www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX8TJDL
AMAZON CA www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LX8TJDL
The cover includes an original piece of artwork by McCallum himself. For McCallum, creating artwork around his stories is an integral part of his artistic process.
You can follow McCallum on his Facebook page www.facebook.com/mccallumjmorgan/?fref=ts where you can follow both his new releases and see more of his artwork and creations..
BLURB for Ambulatory Cadavers:
Two cousins. One on the verge of a great discovery... and excessive power, wealth, and infamy, the other on the verge of an odious marriage.
Lyra will stop at nothing to achieve her father’s dream of dissolving Parliament into anatomical sludge, and to search out the farthest reaches of science and the arcane arts. That is until her own dreams begin to awaken, jolted by the electric sparkle of an artist’s eyes.
Lacking a strong constitution, Alice can only run from her problems, that is until she collides into the company of a strange young man of questionable occupation and discovers her cousin’s terrible plans.
The dead are about to rise, the Lords are about to fall, and things are about to get creamy.
High society will never be the same again.
READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE OPENING OF 'AMBULATORY CADAVERS'
“Alice,” Lady Crawft repeated, “open this door at once, I must speak with you on the subject of your marriage.”
Alice darted into the armoire. It was bare. She hadn’t unpacked, which meant that as soon as Lady Crawft opened it, Alice would be exposed. And it sounded as if Lady Crawft was breaking down the bedroom door at that very moment.
Alice’s back pressed against the back of the armoire. Again she heard the mice in the wall; their frantic shuffling mirroring her heart.
“Alice! Open. This. Door. Now!” Alice splayed her hands against the back of the armoire and squeezed her eyes shut. Her finger pressed a knot. The armoire back flipped open, dumping her into a secret passage.
Landing on her derriere in a cloud of dust, she thought, So this was how Lyra snuck into my room to imitate dead soldiers under my bed. Her nose twitched. She sneezed.
“Alice?” Lady Crawft asked.
Alice felt around for the secret door and pushed it closed. Her mother’s demands for immediate matrimony were muted. She stood in the narrow passage and inched along, trailing her hands along each wall. The dark was terrifying. She couldn’t see a thing, but she was so very tired of hearing the tedious reasons for her insalubrious marriage enumerated. She came to another door. She opened it and peered in. It appeared to be the interior of Lyra’s wardrobe. No one else would wear such immodestly adorned gowns, especially not Uncle Hopenheim.
Lyra was not very high on Alice’s list of favorable alternatives to coercion so she closed the door quietly and kept moving down the passage. A light flickered somewhere ahead. Behind her came the distant sounds of Lady Crawft beating on her door.
Alice quickened her pace and fell face-first down a very narrow flight of stairs. She tumbled with a cry of horror into a tiny space. Regrettably, the space was already occupied.
“Ow!” yelped a voice.
Alice gasped wordlessly in shock and pain, her limbs tangling with more limbs that were certainly not hers.
“You’re crushing my arm,” a voice said in her ear. “And most of my other body parts as well.” Alice nearly screamed, scrambling off the invisible person and bashing into the wall rather violently; violently enough to give her a goose egg on the back of her head. Her heart sputtered and nearly died.
There was a scratch and a flare as a flint was struck, then a candle bloomed to life and Alice could see a young man with grey eyes that twinkled rather demonically, through a tangled mass of grey curls – although they seemed to be grey from dust and cobwebs rather than the natural cause of aging. His face was thin and his nose and ears stuck out rather comically. Alice sighed in relief – he wasn’t a dead soldier.
“Oh, hello,” he said, looking at her curiously. “Who are you?”
Alice turned red and tried to stand, but her ankle squealed in protest and she collapsed. “Oh, I’ve broken my ankle!” she exclaimed.
“Gosh,” said the young man, kneeling and setting down his candle. “You shouldn’t go around without a light, you know,” he admonished, taking her foot gently and examining it.
Alice thought she might faint. “You shouldn’t either,” she gasped, not sure why she said it. Lack of air seemed the most logical answer.
“I have a light, I just put it out because I thought one of those horrid Hopenheims was coming,” the young man explained. “Your ankle’s not broken. What are you doing in Hope Hall?”
“The other one.”
“What other Hall?”
“No, my other ankle is broken,” she said, holding it out. She wasn’t sure why; it certainly seemed unlikely he was a doctor. She just wanted someone — anyone — to tell her she was fine. The prospect of lying in bed in Hope Hall was far more terrifying than being alone in a secret passage with a complete stranger whilst being deprived of air.
“What are you doing in Hope Hall?” the young man repeated, looking at her other ankle.
“What are you doing? Who are you?” Alice asked.
“Ah, that would be top secret,” the young man said, winking. Alice was mortified.
“Did you just wink at me?” Alice asked.
“Yes,” he replied, apparently taken aback. “Does that offend you? Your other ankle is also not broken.”
“Yes, that offends me!” Alice said. “I mean, the winking, not the ankle. I mean…it’s very familiar.”
“Ankles are,” the young man nodded, picking up his candle and standing. Alice blushed. She didn’t like his being familiar with her ankles, nor remarking on his familiarity with ankles, hers or otherwise.
She also stood, wincing. It forced her into scandalous proximity with the strange young man. She stared up into the curved nostrils of his epic nose. Behind her were the stairs, up which she very nearly flew, but the strange young man opened a door on the other side of the tiny space and Alice’s curiosity rooted her in place. Where did the secret passages in Hope Hall lead? What was this young man dressed rather like a highwayman doing here? Surely burglars dressed in floppy hats, fingerless gloves and jackets, not greatcoats and scarves?
“Who are you?” Alice demanded. It wasn’t very polite, but she was certain that he wasn’t one of the servants, and so a little rudeness could be excused as he presumably didn’t belong in the house.
“Call me Creamey,” he said. “And you?”
“Alice — I…I mean, Miss Crawft,” she said. She really needed some air. The things one did when deprived were truly quite frightful.
Creamey stepped through the door. Alice thought again of fleeing back up the stairs to her room, but as Creamey vanished into the mysteries of Hope Hall, the candlelight went with him, plunging Alice once more into darkness.
Alice lurched through the door after him. Once back in the light, she proceeded more cautiously. Her left ankle still hurt some when she stepped on it. They emerged in another ridiculously narrow passage with a door at one end and steps going down at the other.
“I see, and your business?” Creamey asked, heading towards the steps.
“This is my cousin’s house.”
“Oh…” Creamey said, stopping at the top of the steps. He turned to her. “Um, ah, you won’t mention seeing me, will you?”
“I don’t see that I shouldn’t,” Alice said, much more bravely than she felt. It occurred to her a shocking number of knives could be concealed in a coat of such voluminous nature. Creamey grinned rather queasily.
“Look…I—” he was cut off by footsteps coming down the stairs behind them. The Duke of Hopenheim’s voice boomed down the passageways.
“Heaven help us all,” he was saying. “I can’t imagine that poet is still alive!” The poet in question was Alice’s father. “What he has to put up with… it makes my skin crawl and my eyes flood with sympathetic tears – and you know how unsympathetic I am.”
“Yes, Papa,” Lyra’s voice answered.
“Dammit,” Creamey said, grabbing Alice’s arm and running down the stairs. Alice bolted gladly. The last thing she wanted was to be caught by her cousin and uncle in secret passageways with a strange young man of questionable occupation.
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