My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

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ErikaMailman
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My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:40 pm

I'm excited to announce that my (hopefully decently-researched) novel The Murderer's Maid: A Lizzie Borden Novel is coming out in October. It's available for preorder now (http://amzn.to/2oJWrD7).
"THE MURDERER’S MAID is amazing! Fascinating, mesmerizing, and so darkly atmospheric that you keep looking over your shoulder as you read. A truly unique voice" -Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series.
cvr with DG quote.jpg

Bram Stoker Award finalist Erika Mailman brings the chilling legend of Lizzie Borden into new focus by adding a riveting contemporary narrative. The true story of the brutal murder of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother haunts American history, and Mailman’s prose brings the tale squarely into the modern world, ensuring its relevance to a new generation of readers.

THE MURDERER’S MAID interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous murderer Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. Lizzie, the younger sister, seethes with resentment against her father and stepmother. As conditions deteriorate, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary murderer, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men she thinks want to kill her. When she meets Anthony, an attorney who believes in second chances, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on a brutal American myth and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, THE MURDERER’S MAID is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

ABOUT ERIKA MAILMAN:
Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch's Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award nominee. She's a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family.

THE MURDERER’S MAID: A Lizzie Borden Novel
By Erika Mailman
Published by Bonhomie Press
Price: $25.00
5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches, 398 pages
Hardcover (IBSN: 978-0997066449)
Publication date: October 2017

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:43 pm

The book cover didn't seem to load in the previous post. Let me try again.
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:20 pm

Good luck with your new novel.

I strongly feel that the only medium left when it comes to writing anything new and refreshing about the Borden case is in the field of fiction.

Everything that is known about the Borden case has been written about. The case has been conjectured to death, with every other writer thinking they have the elucidatory solution to the murders.

As yourself, I too like to read and write about the lives of those who lived long ago. My latest novel takes place in 1861. Much easier to dilute, digest, and discern characters and their dilemmas. People and circumstances today are so complicated.:smile:

:study:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:51 pm

Thanks for your response! I can see we love the same era. I hope my novel brings a little something different to the Lizzie Borden narrative; we'll see! :) Many thanks.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:37 am

Writing fiction about a real character in history is risky business. How far to stray, how accurate or how outlandish or bizarre? Some times it works, sometimes it does not. Take "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Haven't read it but those who I know who have love it.

In some cases one finds a fan-base niche but the book sells very little. If well promoted it may be tawdry and still sell well, while even receiving bad reviews. Fiction is in the mind of the beholder. The market can be very fickle. Though publishing has become much easier, pedaling our wares in today's market can appear to be almost impossible at times. If one has a very proficient publisher, that can make all the difference. Even with a bad book. Or if self-published and writing the great all American novel, makes no difference at all.

Being very familiar with the history of Lizzie Borden, writing about her, and living in Lizzie's home town in a apartment house once owned by lizzie, and abutting Mapplecorft, bla, bla, bla... I find that any radical twisting of the truth or remolding of Lizzie and her contemporaries risky business. Thus, it is no surprise that I found the movie (series) "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax trashy, boorish, and irksome.

So, I have stayed away from "Lizzie Fiction" even though I have written some myself. But as soon as I retire I will pull a couple of fictional accounts off my shelf and give them a read, if not an opportunity at redemption.

This being said, I still feel that the best channel in writing is fiction when it comes to the Borden case. Anything more is a rehash of what is already known. (with the exception of the Fall River Historical Society who still have unseen material to be published)


Further, I am always surprise how much little play new "Lizzie books" get here on the forum in the way of feed back, which tells me that apart from reading LizzieAndrewBorden.com almost no one reads books any longer.


:study:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:53 am

For sure, for sure :!: Forgot about this one :!: Perfect example of unadulterated fiction. Good or bad, how more extreme :?:
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:21 am

Hi! Yes, I was going to mention Christine's book to you when I saw your reference to Abraham Lincoln, but you're already on it! That was a fun read with, like my book, some stretches of historical facts (for instance, she has Bridget Sullivan with children--which gave me a jolt and made me go back and look at my sources again to ensure she died without issue). In my novel I tried very hard to keep to the facts except for when I invented--so what's real is real, and what's unreal is unreal, if that makes sense. I also have a contemporary story strand within the novel which gave me a lot of leeway to be inventive (my modern-day character visits the B&B). That's really cool you lived in an apartment once owned by Lizzie; you are very close to the case! Sad to think no one is reading fiction these days. My days hardly end without a book in my hands at some point. I held off on reading fictionalized Lizzie accounts until my book was in galleys so as not to unconsciously influence myself. I've read two now and am looking forward to working my way through the rest.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:23 am

And P.S.....the delicious mention of materials from the FRHS....I'm so, so curious. I have seen a blog post about an unpublished photograph of the family (Andrew, Abby, two girls) that I would so much love to see someday. And how great would it be to don a pair of gloves and go through the contents of that attic bathtub?!!

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:35 pm

Yes Erika:

Thanks for the reply:

The photograph you mention does not exist. There are no photos of any Borden family member together with another Borden member in the same photograph in existence. The only one that does exists is of Sarah Anthony Morse Borden, Lizzie's mother, holding baby Emma.

Some people get the photograph taken for the 1975 movie, The Legend of Lizzie Borden, mixed up thinking it is real.
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:02 pm

In the past several years there has been a downpour of lizzie based novels. Here's another. Due out soon. By the same author of Lizzie Borden Zombie Hunter. The hero in this one is Doc Bowen.

GO DOC BOWEN :!: :cheers:


:study:
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:14 pm

Re the photo, it was something I saw on Faye's blog so definitely legit. I just spent a while trying to track down the mention (without success); it'd be wonderful if she put a search widget on her site.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:26 pm

Yes Erika:

I believe you. You could have definitely seen something similar. That blog is well known for being creative with photographic manipulation... for fun, you understand. If the gerrymandering of the photo is well done, it could be misinterpreted.

But, I assure you that no such photo exists. But if you can display it, and it is indeed real, I would be happy to place my neck on the chopping block and admit my ignorance.

:study:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:34 pm

And if you think it will stop raining in 2018... don't hold your breath. The downpour of Lizzie novels will continue... and that is a good thing. Below is another publication due out sometime in 2018. This one has Lizzie working at a B&B. Yep :!: That's what I said. It is the third book about the Borden girl to be issued with the title LIZZIE I say, keep them coming.



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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:43 pm

I do like the cover of your book Erika. Very elegant, tasteful, and pleasing. Classy, really. :smile:

I agonized over finding a cover for my book that I liked. In the end I designed one myself. With a little work and some great help from my publisher, we were able to come up with something simple.

But trying to come up with an original and refreshing cover for a Lizzie book can be challenging. To include blood, (?) an ax, (?) a photo of Lizzie's face, (?) lace material, etc, etc. Fun endeavor in any event. Of course, if you are writing about zombies and vampires the sky's the limit. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:46 pm

I hasten to mention, the photo was not displayed on Faye's blog. She talked about seeing it, and that someday others could maybe see it. Darn, I wish I could find the reference. I think she was writing about a visit with someone who had been connected with the family and had the photo that they didn't want to release to the public. Hm...maybe it had something to do with the Whiteheads. I'll try again to find the blog post.

Thank you for the compliments on the book cover. I love it too--I asked the designer to move her eyes from looking to the side to looking straight at the viewer: a subtle but vital difference that those who know Lizzie will recognize! Can you share your book cover here? I'd love to see it.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:22 pm

That's funny, Erika:

I hadn't noticed the eye placement on the Lizzie image on your cover. I knew something was different. But I couldn't put my finger on it.

But now I can see it. Eerie, really. But a great job was done in enhancing the image, with the blue eyes, crease definition of the mouth between the lips and nose, the wispy hair along the ear, and the color. Great job. Very original.




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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:27 pm

I've seen reference to what sounds like the same photo? One of 'the Borden couple with both daughters'. Something about it still being unknown to the public. It is referred to somewhere & I read that only in the last couple of days but of course have no idea if it's truthful :smile:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:45 pm

mbhenty wrote:
Further, I am always surprise how much little play new "Lizzie books" get here on the forum in the way of feed back, which tells me that apart from reading LizzieAndrewBorden.com almost no one reads books any longer.



My sister phoned me up raving about See What I have Done, she thought it marvellous - and she didn't know of my interest in the subject. So we do have some book-readers here still.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:07 am

I'm so relieved I wasn't the only one who had heard of this mysterious family photo! Phew! Thank you for chiming in. I'm curious to read See What I Have Done, too. I know the author sold many foreign rights, which is fantastic.
Michael, what a neat and elegant cover for your novel! Blood and flowers...very Baudelaire ;) I will love to read it when I catch up with my TBR (to be read) pile.
Thanks for the kind words, and I agree the designer did a great job enhancing the photo on the cover of The Murderer's Maid. He cut the image off so that it was possible to see her as a modern woman (no brooch, no hairstyle visible other than the wisps around the ears). I can only hope it's eye-catching. We'll find out in a few months. :)

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby twinsrwe » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:55 am

Erika, your book sounds intriguing. I have put it on my ‘wish list’. Thank you for sharing that you asked the designer to move Lizzie’s eyes from looking to the side to looking straight at the viewer. Very nice.

ErikaMailman wrote:... Michael, what a neat and elegant cover for your novel! Blood and flowers...very Baudelaire ;) I will love to read it when I catch up with my TBR (to be read) pile. ...

I have always thought Michael’s book cover design is very clever. Did you also notice the shadow of a hatchet? The tip of the hatchet blade is right under the ‘P’ in the title word of Pin.
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby twinsrwe » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:31 pm

I have not heard about the unpublished photograph of the Borden family. I hope one of you will be able to find the article referring to that photo. I think it would be interesting to read. Just for fun I did a Google search for 'unpublished photograph of borden family', and was surprised to actually find the following one, which has a picture description of: The Borden Family Andrew Borden, Abby Borden sitting next to 5year old Lizzie Borden and Emma Borden standing next to her step-mother AbbyBorden:

4a45ae86775ad429e976d4de5ec77f79.jpg

I enlarged the photo so that we can see their faces better. (You can enlarge it again by clicking on the image.):

Borden Family Photo - NOT.png

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y9hw6f88

This same photo is also on Pinterest: http://tinyurl.com/y9c9d9kn

Sorry, but these people do not look anything like the Andrew J. Borden family to me. What do you think?
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:16 pm

Hilarious. Definitely not them in the portrait. Those in the know are being close-lipped about the photograph so all we can do is shrug.
No, I hadn't noticed the hatchet at the other end of the pin! Clever (or...cleaver?) ha ha ha
Thanks for putting my book on your wishlist, Twinsrwe! :)

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:58 pm

:smile: I attended a lecture tonight about Lizzie Borden, given at Bristol Community College in Fall River and put on by the Fall River Historical Society. The subject matter was lizzie in print and movies. All sort of publications were mentioned and critiqued. Your book, Erika, was mentioned and described in good light by the speaker.... (from what little is known about it) along with Sarah Schmidt's book. Some other books and videos about the crime did not fair out very well, and rightfully so.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:17 am

Oh my goodness, I had no idea such an event was being held. I know my publisher sent a copy to the Fall River Historical Society; I hope it was received in time. Thank you for telling me my book was held in a good light by the speaker! I appreciate hearing that. Do you know the speaker's name? I'd like to send them a note. Thank you.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby twinsrwe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:21 am

ErikaMailman wrote:Hilarious. Definitely not them in the portrait. Those in the know are being close-lipped about the photograph so all we can do is shrug. …

I thought that family photo was pretty funny, too. The people in that portrait don’t come close to looking like any of the real Borden family members. As MB has pointed out in another thread, Lizzie’s name sells. As for the mysterious unpublished photograph of the Borden family, I don’t know why we are surprised that it is being kept hidden. There are a lot of mysterious things about the Borden murders, so this is just one more thing we can add to the already long list of mysteries.

ErikaMailman wrote: … No, I hadn't noticed the hatchet at the other end of the pin! Clever (or...cleaver?) ha ha ha …

:peanut19: Good one, Ericka!

ErikaMailman wrote:… Thanks for putting my book on your wishlist, Twinsrwe! :)

You’re welcome. :grin:
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby twinsrwe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:32 am

mbhenty wrote::smile: I attended a lecture tonight about Lizzie Borden, given at Bristol Community College in Fall River and put on by the Fall River Historical Society. The subject matter was lizzie in print and movies. All sort of publications were mentioned and critiqued. Your book, Erika, was mentioned and described in good light by the speaker.... (from what little is known about it) along with Sarah Schmidt's book. Some other books and videos about the crime did not fair out very well, and rightfully so.

Thank you for sharing this information with us, Michael. :grin:

Ericka, I am thrilled for you! :lol:

I don’t want to take anything away from Ericka, here, but I am curious to know if the speaker happened to mention Ronald Bartle’s book, titled, Lizzie Borden and the Massachusetts Axe Murders? I also have his book on my wish list; it sounds like it would be a good read, since he was Deputy Chief Stipendiary Magistrate (now District Judge) for Inner London having also practiced as a barrister.

Here is the link to his book at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/y79a7rpa
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby InterestedReader » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:59 am

twinsrwe wrote:As for the mysterious unpublished photograph of the Borden family, I don’t know why we are surprised that it is being kept hidden. There are a lot of mysterious things about the Borden murders, so this is just one more thing we can add to the already long list of mysteries.


I think it would be weirder if one doesn't exist. Of Borden, second wife, and daughters. I'm very struck by how expensively Emma Borden is dressed in that early photo of her in the taffeta, by how expensively LIzzie is always dressed in the photos taken while her father was still alive. It looks as if Borden liked his daughters to be wearing the tangible proof of wealth on their backs and so it's highly probable they all somewhere sat for the photographer displaying that wealth together :smile: ...According to acid neighbours' gossip after the trial that business with the cheap dress-fabric had given very much the wrong impression - LIzzie was said to spend a fortune on clothes, on silks, and thought nothing of buying dress-trimmings 'at ten dollars the yard'. That, conservatively speaking, would be a hundred dollars' worth of trimming on the average dress. So I wouldn't be surprised if all three women were photographed together with Borden to show off the Money.

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:38 am

:smile:


Yes Erika: The speaker was the administrator of this forum, Stefani Koorey.


:study:

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:40 am

Yes Twins:

The lecturer did comment on the book but just gave a general description, and voiced the fact that she is yet to look it over, thus no review.

I have read a bit of it. (very little) It appears ok. But be prepared for errors. Just because you have an elevated degree in law doesn't make you and expert. There's one funny line in the book where the author tells us that he is sitting and looking at a series of lizzie photos. He describes the age of Lizzie in each one. The funny thing is, by his description I know that he is looking at photos from Edmund Pearson's book. Thus, one of the resources he probably used in his research.

As for errors: He gets Emma's birth date wrong. Mentions 1849 when Emma was born in 51. And he mentions Anna Borden who accompanied Lizzie to Europe and adds that she is "no relative". These are elementary facts. So how many other errors are there.

Ordering one on Amazon will just about take all of 30 dollars, once you include postage.
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby twinsrwe » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:05 pm

Michael, thank you for the information regarding Ronald Bartle’s book. I have also read a little bit from the 'Look inside' option on the Amazon website. (I haven't gotten all the through the pages that are available with that option, because the two times I attempted to read through it, I got pulled away from my PC. :sad: )

I agree with you; an elevated degree in law doesn't make anyone an expert. I do have to wonder how accurate the rest of the book is, if Mr. Bartle can't get basic information correct, such as the year Emma was born. :scratch:

I do know that I am going to purchase Erika's book first. and then Sarah Schmidt's book. :grin: By the time I get through these books, I will hopefully have a better idea if I want to purchase Ronald Bartle’s book, or not. We'll see.
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:33 pm

I have been collecting books for 40 years or so. Recently, I have sold quite a bit of my collection, but that being said, continue to collect new stuff.

One item that came in just today was a volume called THE NEW PACIFIC. The book is a political and historical look at the entire Pacific Ocean and the islands and countries that border it. Printed in 1900 it is very dated and of little use today. But the reason why I purchase it was for the cover. Margaret Armstrong designed the cover art. Margaret was a book illustrator and cover designer. She was also an author. She was born 7 years after Lizzie Borden and died one year before WWII ended. She was famous for her Art Nouveau style. Her designs were used by famous authors in her day.

Thus the reason I purchased the book was for the Margaret Armstrong cover.

Unlike someone who judges a book by its cover, I collect books for their covers. So a book cover means a lot to me and getting it right is an art form.

Below are two books with the same 'image of Lizzie' but with very little in common. One is factual and one is fiction. Though Mr. Bratle's book is nicely done, it doesn't speak to you. But that's ok. It's not fiction. With fiction one must be much more crafty, should I add, canny, leaving us lured and curious to what it's about. If it's about murder, it must contain mystery, and in some respect, speak to the book's title... in an informal way.

When it comes to Lizzie Borden it is difficult to come up with an image of Lizzie that is new. Erika's book cover does that. Makes you want to pick it off the shelf an thumb through it. It is simple and evasive, and somewhat enigmatic... especially Lizzie's expression. There's more to Lizzie here than I already know... something new. You can see it in her eyes. At least that is what I think it says to us.

Out of all the covers of books published about Lizzie in the past couple of years, The Murder's Maid, and Sarah's "See What I Have Done" are two examples of cover art done right.

:study:
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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby mbhenty » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:39 pm

Below is a site containing the cover book art of Margaret Armstrong, should anyone be interested. :smile:


http://www.rarebook.com/index.php/colle ... collection

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Re: My new novel The Murderer's Maid focuses on Bridget

Postby ErikaMailman » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:22 pm

Whew, I missed a lot of posts during my quick trip out of town. Thanks for the wealth of information, the speaker's name, the interesting talk about book covers, and letting me know about the attorney's book--that should be fascinating to get a lawyer's perspective. I'd also love to see a psychiatrist write about Lizzie's behavior, incorporating what is today known about human behavior. Wouldn't that be amazing!!?

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