Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor: Michelle Hauck
Mentees: Wendy Roberts and Alicia Zaloga
Title: THE RESURRECTIONIST OF CALIGO
Category/Genre: Adult Gaslamp Fantasy (dual POV)
Word Count: 112,000
Roger Weathersby, Man of Science, is reduced to body-snatching after a prison stint rewards his love affair with Sibylla, a princess exiled for refusing to marry her cousin. When Roger unearths a strangled woman and is framed for her murder, Sibylla must pardon him from the scaffold with her “faerie-magic”—thus cursing him with an unquenchable addiction—as the murder count rises in a dangerous game of magic vs. science.
Gas lamps bobbed like faerie lights in the foul wind sweeping down from Greyanchor Necropolis. Roger Weathersby adjusted his topcoat to conceal the rope and rolled-up sheet slung over his shoulder. Thrusting his moth-eaten gloves in his pockets, he inventoried his supplies with his fingertips: candles, tinderbox, lockpicks, folding candle hood, and a reassuring—if useless—garlic bulb for protection.
“Yer lookin’ a mite wet, Roger love,” crooned a painted doxy from a tawdry lodging house doorway. Her skirt clung to her thighs like rotten leaves. “Still no coin? Discount fer that handsome face.”
Roger cast her a regretful look and tucked his chin behind his collar. “Try me again tomorrow. You’ll hear my pockets janglin’ all the way in Mouthstreet.”
Veering off Goatmonger Street, he headed toward a looming hill, swollen with centuries of bones. He lost his hat in a mad shimmy over the necropolis wall but didn’t waste time searching. Enveloped by fog, Roger relied on water-filled wheel ruts left by a hearse to find his way through the forty-acre necropolis. On the previous day, he had trailed a funeral through the gate and noticed the simplicity of the affair: a single gentleman mourner and an anonymous mute clad in the traditional crape and mourning mask. Such closefisted families never bothered to hire a night watchman. This corpse would be ripe for the plucking.