We’re so pleased to have author Selina Kray stopping in today on the kickoff of the Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo blog tour. She’s joining us to talk a bit about the inspiration for the book, and there’s also a giveaway so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for details.
Hi, romance lovers! I’m Selina Kray, and this is the first stop on the Stoker & Bash blog tour. A huge thank you to the lovely people at The Novel Approach for hosting me today. I thought I’d talk a little bit about what inspired Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo, namely a real-life pair of deadly lions.
It all started with Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. Sort of. For those of you who have not seen the cinematic monsterpiece The Ghost and The Darkness, i.e. anyone born after 1985, it’s a typical mid-’90s action flick that is very, very, very loosely based on a true story.
The story being that from March to December 1898, two lions terrorized construction crews building a railroad bridge over the Tsavo River in Kenya. One of the workers claimed in his journal that the cats had killed around 135 people; recent scientific data estimates the number closer to 35 or 40. The Tsavo region was a bad area for a sleeping sickness borne by tsetse flies, which might account for the exaggerated number of deaths. Their corpses also drew the lions, who grew accustomed to eating human flesh and preying on those weakened by illness, making them easy kills.
In this hotbed of tension and discomfort, it’s not hard to see how the legend of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo grew. Lions don’t tend to kill humans unless provoked and, through the years, The Ghost and The Darkness (those names!) became the largest, fastest, most vicious and terrifying lions of all time. They were eventually taken down by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, who sold their bodies for $5,000 to the Field Museum of Chicago, where you can see them to this day. (source: Smithsonianmag.com)
But as Jimmy Stewart once said, “When legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The Hollywood version of the lions of Tsavo planted the seed that eventually grew into my new Victorian mystery romance, Stoker & Bash: The Fangs of Scavo. I confess I’ve taken some liberties with the story.
The setting is 1873. My not-always-so-intrepid detectives, Hieronymus Bash and DI Tim Stoker, are investigating the theft of one of the fangs of the Demon Cats of Scavo. After terrorizing an African village, the demon cats were killed by a group of four hunters, all members of a spiritualist society in Victorian London. Each hunter was given one of the lions’ fangs as protection. When the first one is stolen—and that protection revoked—strange things start happening to the hunters.
The lions send them a message through a medium: We see all. We know all. We will feed.
Can Stoker & Bash stop the demon cats before they claim another victim? And who is the mastermind behind the thefts?
They’ve come a long way from chasing down Douglas and Kilmer, but the legend of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo lives on.
About the Book
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | B&N | GooglePlay | iBooks
Length: 100,000 words
Cover: Tiferet Design
Blurb: At Scotland Yard, DI Timothy Stoker is no better than a ghost. A master of arcane documents and niggling details who, unlike his celebrity-chasing colleagues, prefers hard work to headlines. But an invisible man is needed to unmask the city’s newest amateur detective, Hieronymus Bash. A bon vivant long on flash and style but short on personal history, Bash just may be a Cheapside rogue in Savile Row finery.
When the four fangs of the Demon Cats of Scavo—trophies that protect the hunters who killed the two vicious beasts—disappear one by one, Stoker’s forced to team with the very man he was sent to investigate to maintain his cover. He finds himself thrust into a world of wailing mediums, spiritualist societies, man-eating lions, and a consulting detective with more ambition than sense. Will this case be the end of his career, or the start of an unexpected liaison? Or will the mysterious forces at play be the death of them both?
And just who is Hieronymus Bash?
About the Author
Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor.
Professionally she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a bookstore, at a cinema, in children’s television, and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd). A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and lowercase A.
Selina’s aim is to write genre-spanning romances with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart. Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot warmer and in-house critic.
If you’re interested in receiving Selina’s newsletter and being the first to know when new books are released, plus getting sneak peeks at upcoming novels, please sign up at her Website.
Follow the Tour
June 7 – The Novel Approach, BookLove
June 12 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
June 14 – MM Good Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, BFD Book Blog, We Three Queens, Inglorious Bitches
June 16 – Gay Book Reviews
June 19 – Keysmash
June 21 – Bayou Book Junkie
June 23 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Padme’s Library, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books
June 26 – Diverse Reader