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Girl Forgotten – New Giveaway for UK and USA Readers

A new paperback giveaway for my latest novel Girl Forgotten will run for the month of July.  Simply click on the link below to add your name and mailing address at Goodreads for a chance to win!

Well done to Eugene from Minsk who won the last giveaway which had around 2,000 entries. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and interest.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Girl Forgotten by Carla Acheson

Girl Forgotten

by Carla Acheson

Giveaway ends July 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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The Whitechapel Virgin – In the Spotlight with Ripper Experts

Whilst most people have heard of Jack the Ripper, how many truly know his victims? And to what degree are they remembered as humans, mothers, or were they nothing more than just displaced members of London’s 18th century largely critical and class-obsessed society?

In The Whitechapel Virgin, the prostitutes are given a voice, and as can be expected it’s a terribly sad one. But the author’s harrowing portrayal of their downtrodden day-to-day lives is much more evocative and realistic than any other media representation that has ever been cast on Whitechapel’s prostitutes to date.

The ‘fictional’ Jack the Ripper works his way through the entire story, terrifying the ‘ladies of the night,’ and even though he is not cast as the cunning, sly, blood-thirsty gentleman that the media love to portray, he is by many reader’s accounts as good and likely a culprit as any.

mikecovell“Carla Acheson’s story takes you down the dark streets of Whitechapel, to a time when all was not as it seems, and an immense shadow was looming over the metropolis. The book is a real page turner, and one that grips the reader until the very end. An excellent addition to any shelf.” – Mike Covell – Actor, TV Producer

The following review of The WhiteChapel Virgin is  given by award–winning author Brian Porter who has won many book awards such as Preditors & Editors Best Thriller Novel Award, 2008 for A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper.

“The Whitechapel Virgin is a thoroughly entertaining fictional rendition of life among Whitechapel’s prostitutes at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders. Great empathy in depicting the women as real human beings with their own hopes, fears and aspirations.” Brian Porter – A Study in Red

While Ripperologists deal with fact, Acheson’s novel delves deep into the emotional and debilitating lives which the women likely led. In her view the victims were not just victims but real people with a heart, a soul, and each led a sad life only to experience a devastatingly painful ending, their deaths being recorded as one of the ‘worst slaughters’ in British history.

Acheson effectively leads you away from the blood and gore for a little while, only to entice you into a warm lodging house where you will find the prostitutes laughing drunkenly by the fireside on a bitter cold night, and if you follow them to their private quarters you can sit and watch them shed their tears.

The ebook is currently available at a discount price at Amazon UK Amazon US

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Further reading and related sources:

Mike Covell – IMDB – TV Production credits

Jack The Ripper Casebook – The Victims and an insight into the murders.

Fifty Shades of Victorian London – An interesting invitation into Whitechapel and the novel by Carla Acheson.

The Whitechapel Virgin – The author discusses her concept and research into the story.

The Victorians and Sex – Yes you may think the Victorians were a particularly prudish bunch – but think again!

 

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Review: The Girl in the Photograph – Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photographby Kate Riordan

When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts, none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton, whose only trace remains in a few tantalizingly blurred photographs. Why will no-one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish?

The storyline centres on motherhood, the shame and disgrace of being an unmarried mother, as well as post-partum depression – something which we rarely get to view in the Victorian era. These elements are weaved into a tale around Stanton house and its buried secrets.

There were some very evocative and poignant descriptions in this 400 page novel. The story was interesting, though the pace a little to slow for my taste, which made the read slightly tedious to complete. The dual narrative introduces you firstly to Alice, a young unmarried lady in the Edwardian era, who is sent to Stanton House to await the birth of a child that she may be forced to give up, and Elizabeth Stanton, an upper class woman suffering multiple miscarriages and post partum depression who had lived at Stanton many years before.

If you are a reader who wishes to savour deeply colourful description and slow building suspense this is a perfect choice. There were instances where the book did feel hauntingly atmospheric, though sometimes I felt the intertwining stories were a little enforced.

‘Gripping’ is not how I would describe this read, but the author’s exploration of the maternal themes mentioned above were interesting enough to hold my attention, and the air of mystery throughout the book prevailed until the very end.

 

 

 

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Fifty Shades of Victorian London

whitechapelvirginIMAGE1Dear Reader, 

Welcome to Fifty Shades of Victorian London, where philanderers, drunkards and the very dredges of human society reside.

Wrap up well for the air is cold, and follow me as we first step foot inside Whitechapel, where there exist more slums, brothels and pubs than you will find in any other city.

Remember dear reader, when entering here you will need to keep your wits about you, for many an unsavoury fellow will walk alongside you. A filthy urchin may alarm you by grasping your leg in the faint hope you are feeling generous enough to toss a coin.

But proceed fearlessly and look ahead. You will see that the street lanterns are now alight as we follow the hard-knuckled workers making their way through the dingiest cobbled alleyways, seeking only to fill their bellies with ale.

And here begins a tale inside one of Whitechapel’s fireside taverns.

Step inside this tavern awhile to witness the host of complex characters within. You will hear music, shrill laughs, and witness the devious antics of females sitting atop men’s laps at rickety tables. You may even witness a cat fight or two amongst the unwashed whores, as they battle each other for valuable custom from the slurring, inebriated men. 

You may too, if she happens to be checking upon her employees, meet Madame Davenport, the savvy yet heartless brothel-mistress who keeps organised her world of social outcasts and misfits.

If you can stay awhile into the early hours you will very likely stumble upon fifteen year old Catherine Bell who will arrive at a late hour, alone and afraid. Like you, she will feel somewhat repulsed to witness this decrepit scene within, but whilst you, dear reader, may close the pages of this book and return to a life of moderate comfort and social freedoms, she must remain here amongst the disease-infested scourge of society, to be lured upon a pitiful path where many desperate women have trodden before her.

The immoral path of a lower class whore.

Oh pity her if you must, but do not abandon her here for she is an intelligent girl beneath her innocent gaze and her life choices are few. Watch intently as she is groomed in the ways of seduction, for her very survival will depend on it, see how she learns the skilled game of pandering to men’s pleasures for a fee. But Catherine’s unblemished youth and beauty, whilst being a blessing, will also serve as her curse inside this popular tavern, for the seasoned old whores within will envy, despise and reject her.

Soon enough you will witness how her fortunes appear to rise tremendously when one middle class gentleman seeks her favours, if only for much darker ambitions than his pleasure alone.

But we shall leave them now to draw out their scenes of vulgarity, drama and misery in peace. Yes, come, let us step well away from these deliciously flawed and well-drawn characters inside the tavern, and return to the crusty fettering gutters outside.

But wait…

Be mindful that this is the year 1888. The year Jack the Ripper made famous his dark reign of slaughter. And yes, dear reader, I promise that if you trawl these streets with me long enough, you will undoubtedly discover him within these very pages lurking in and around the stinking mire of Whitechapel’s nest of rotten alleyways, weaving his way between the shadows of thieves, whores, drug gangs and many other irreputable sorts.

Take a gamble though if you will, and walk on with me to witness an empowering tale of jealousy, desperation, desire, fear, abortion, sexual debauchery and of course – murder. 

Do not flinch near the end of our journey however, for five women will soon be slaughtered and the man responsible will name himself ‘Jack The Ripper.’ He will embark on a bloody spree that will bury a gut-wrenching fear deep inside the bellies of every living whore.

He too might leave you pale and afraid.

You may wish to stop here, for the imagery he leaves behind is candid, brutal and all too strikingly real. But no, I urge you to continue, for ‘The Whitechapel Virgin,’ is a powerful and complex journey, evocative and gritty in its realism. A journey which hauls the past back to the present, for you to discover and enjoy from your own safe distance. Your patience and courage will be rewarded, for no other souls but ours will discover his identity, none other than you and I will unveil this truth, for the world will always marvel and wonder who he is…

So take the journey and see…

Historical Fiction Published Feb 2014

Get the Amazon Kindle Book

“Carla Acheson’s story takes you down the dark streets of Whitechapel, to a time when all was not as it seems, and an immense shadow was looming over the metropolis. The book is a real page turner, and one that grips the reader until the very end. An excellent addition to any shelf.”Mike Covell – Actor, TV Producer

“ACHESON HAS A GIFT FOR BEING ABLE TO BRING THE GRIT OF POVERTY TO LIFE…” – Rachel Malone, (Historical Novel Society.)

“A TREMENDOUSLY compelling story woven around the time of Jack the Ripper’s reign. The author has effectively raised from the dead the bitter voices of downtrodden prostitutes.” – (Metro MANIA)

“DARK, sensationally gripping read… true voyeurism into the Victorian seedy underworld.”  A N Hoyle – Historian

 

 

 

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The Last Gift Competition Giveaway

Thanks to the success of my first book Giveaway competition on Goodreads.com, a second will now run until February 05, 2013.

Over 500 people entered the previous book Giveaway which was an astounding amount. A Goodreads winner from Idaho received a free paperback copy.

All you have to do is click on enter and provide a mailing address to where you want the book to be delivered and that’s it!

The competition is open to participants in GB/CA/AU/US.

Good luck readers.

More:

Watch The Last Gift video interview here 

Read the reviews