Monday, July 3, 2017

The Thirteenth Gate by Kat Ross Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

The Thirteenth Gate
Dominion Mysteries
Book Two
Kat Ross

Genre: Fantasy/mystery

Publisher: Acorn

Date of Publication: June 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9972362-8-6
ASIN: B071RQ142S

Number of pages: 380
Word Count: 88k

Cover Artist: Damonza

Book Description:

Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who's interviewed their patient and isn't sure he's a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she's ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he's searching for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Sabelline's death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?


“We don’t know what happened yet,” he pointed out. “Superintendent Barrett can hardly be faulted considering we withheld certain information. I rather doubt he would have believed us anyway.”
Vivienne scowled. “You may be right, but it was only a matter of time. I’ve known that since the day Clarence was brought here. The S.P.R. made a very bad mistake entrusting him to Greymoor.”
“We still don’t know for sure—”
“Yes, we do. The killings stopped, didn’t they?”
“That could be for any number of reasons,” he said stubbornly.
“Including that the creature who committed them is behind bars. Or was, at least.”
Alec Lawrence buttoned his woolen greatcoat. This was not a new debate. “Perhaps. But there’s not a scrap of hard evidence against him. Nothing but a single reference in a report by some American girl and Clarence’s own odd demeanor. Had there been more, he would have been locked up tight in Newgate Prison.”

 About the Author:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy series (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and the new Dominion Mysteries. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Where are you from?
Hi Auntie! First off, thanks so much for having me on the blog today. I’m from New York City, born and raised. So I really enjoyed setting my first mystery in 1888 Manhattan. It was great fun to research how much the city has changed – and how much it really hasn’t at all.
Tell us your latest news?
So the sequel to that book (The Daemoniac) is out this week. It’s called The Thirteenth Gate and continues the adventure, but also ties into my fantasy trilogy. Kind of a paranormal mystery genre mash-up.
When and why did you begin writing?
I adored creative writing as a kid but found myself drawn to journalism in college. Honestly, it seemed like a more sensible way to actually make a living! I worked as a reporter and editor for many years, and I think it taught me discipline in story-telling (with a very limited number of words, you can’t waste any) and also crushed that fear we all have of putting our work out there for public inspection. You meet your deadline with your best effort and…that’s it. You just move on. It made it easier to push through and finish a book when I decided to try my hand at fiction again a few years ago.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to return to fiction. And it was very exciting to land an agent, and then a publishing deal. But we all have our bad days too, where everything seems like dreck and you wonder if you should even be doing this in the first place. I think pushing past the doubts – whatever it is we do – is just part of creative work.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel is set in a future where humanity has been driven underground by massive continent-sized storms called hypercanes. When I sat down to write Some Fine Dayback in 2012, there was no question that climate change would be a big part of the plot. As a journalist, I'd been covering it for almost a decade, and every year, the predictions got scarier. Some stopped being predictions about the future and started actually happening.
I was struck by the massive disconnect between what scientists and the public were saying - like hey, can we do something about this? – and the total lack of government action. The elephant in the room there is obviously the fossil fuel lobby, among others. They spend billions of dollars spreading "doubt" about the science, which is ludicrous. It’s even worse now, of course. But I think fiction can be a great way into a conversation about these issues, especially with young people.
Do you have a specific writing style?
It actually varies a lot book to book, depending on the genre and audience. The “voice” in my historical mysteries is quite different from the teenaged protagonist narrating the story of Some Fine Day, and also my fantasy trilogy set in ancient Persia, which is a mix of first and third person.
How did you come up with the title?
Sometimes I struggle with titles, but The Thirteenth Gate just popped into my head. It has a nice intriguing ring to it, and it’s a central element of the plot.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not sure there are any heavy themes in this series, not yet at least! But there are certainly ideas about loyalty, redemption, and the nature of good and evil. One of my favorite morally grey characters is introduced in The Thirteenth Gate, a former necromancer named Balthazar. He’s done terrible things, but part of me can’t help but like him for the way his character has evolved.
How much of the book is realistic?
I did a great deal of research, so many historical details are accurate. You can take a look at my Pinterest page for some of those places and things. There are also cameos by real people, like the crusading reporter Nelly Bly and Arthur Conan Doyle. But most of it is pure fiction.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not in the least, I’m afraid.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I read across many genres and always have. But the Sherlock Homes stories were a huge influence on this particular series, as well as The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I learned a lot about high fantasy reading Robert Jordan. He’s amazing. For locked room mysteries, John Dickson Carr is the undisputed master.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud. He’s so utterly wonderful. Scary and hilarious at the same time.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch up next on my TBR list. Also Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell and The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.
What are your current projects?
I’m continuing the Fourth Element storyline with a new series called The Fourth Talisman. There are many books planned, and one of the fun hooks is that it’s set in a divided world - half in eternal sunlight, half in eternal darkness. The first installment is titled Nocturne and will be released this fall.
What would you like my readers to know?

I try to connect all my stories, so if you end up reading The Daemoniac (which is free on Amazon, btw) and The Thirteenth Gate, you may wish to go back and read the Fourth Element trilogy since there are characters who move between both series and you can get all of their backstory. Book #1 of that series, The Midnight Sea, is also free. I try to make my books as accessible as possible, since I understand we don’t all have hundreds of dollars to spend even when we happen to be prolific readers.

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