Finding my way home by Maegan Beaumont

Title: Sacrificial Muse
Maegan Beaumont
Release Date:
July 8th 2014

Publisher: Midnight Ink
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Sabrina opened the red envelope and saw one word...

 Mox. Soon.

After learning the identity of the serial killer behind her 83 horrific
days of rape and torture, Sabrina Vaughn has suffered more physical and
emotional wounds than she can handle. Despite reeling with pain both old
and new, Sabrina is given a second chance as a San Francisco homicide
detective. But as reporters dog her every step and hordes of mail pour
into her office -- from supporters and nutjobs alike--Sabrina falls
deeper into a pit of humiliation and anxiety. When nine red roses
repeatedly show up on her desk, followed by an ominous red envelope
addressed to Calliope, Sabrina realizes that a new killer is targeting
her. She is his chosen muse, and the Fates require sacrifice.

Croft smiled and came forward. She skirted around the
hood of the car, throwing the uniforms and crowd a curt wave, “Thanks for the
help, guys.”
sure. You two have better things to do than schlep my mess around,” she said,
softening her refusal with a quick smile. Waiting for a break in traffic, she
opened her door to see Croft leaning over the driver’s seat, his blood-stained
hand hovering over the envelope that waited there.
touch it.” She kept her voice low but his head snapped up and he moved back in
his seat. The uniforms weren’t going to leave until she did, and neither was
the impromptu film crew gathered on the sidewalk. Shit, even Little was still
standing at The Sentinel’s window,
waiting to see what she’d do next.
She looked down at the red
square resting on her seat and weighed her options. The envelope that showed up
at the station had been handled and shuffled from counter to bag to box by
multiple people before it reached her. Even if there had been prints or trace
evidence on it, she’d had little to no hope of gathering any of it. This one
was different. It was in her car. The only person who’d touched it so far was
responsible for leaving it there. She needed to bag it, but there was no way
she could preserve the evidence without doing so in full view of everyone
watching her.
dug a glove out of her back pocket and pulled it on. “Get a paper bag out of my
glove box,” she said to Croft. He didn’t hesitate, didn’t ask—just opened the
compartment in front of him and pulled out a bag. She snapped it open and
dropped the envelope inside it before folding the top of the bag over. Sliding
behind the wheel, she twisted around and placed the bag on the backseat before
she started the car and pulled into traffic.
envelope. Does it have anything to do with what you asked your roommate last
night about the word mox?” Croft
finally said.
shot him a look. “Why would you think that?”
didn’t answer. “It does, doesn’t it?”
pulled into the first parking lot she found and slammed on the brakes before
throwing the car into park. “Did you put it in my car?”
Croft looked her in the eye when he said it. He was either telling the truth or
he was a fabulous liar—God knew she’d been fooled before.
you’ve been following me all morning.” It wasn’t a question and Croft was smart
enough to know he’d been caught.
shrugged. “Just like any other day, right?”
if you didn’t leave it, you saw who did.”
eyes narrowed before he took a quick look at the bag behind him. “No, I didn’t.
I figured out where you were going before you got there so I parked and made a
few phone calls before I followed on foot. By the time I got there, you were
already at your car.”
or fabulous liar—she still couldn’t tell, but it didn’t matter. “Fine. You
don’t know anything useful? Get out of my car.”
Croft settled deeper into
his seat. “Maybe you just aren’t asking the right questions.”
Mox… it’s Latin. It means soon. For some reason, Croft had drawn an
immediate connection between that word and the envelope left on her seat.
“The word—name—written on the front of that
envelope. Is it Latin?” she said, every word sticking in her throat. Asking
Croft for help was a painful thing.
but you’re right, it’s a name. What do you know about Greek mythology?” he
said, the corners of his mouth hugged tightly against the words as if he didn’t
want to let them go.
“Zeus. Thunderbolts. Mount
Olympus…” she said, trailing off impatiently. He just sat there, looking at
her. “Look, Croft. Playing with me—not a good idea for anyone. For you, even
He fixed her with a defiant
glare. “I want to know what really
happened that day in the woods.”
She’d known it was coming,
but hearing him say it made her want to break his nose all over again. They
stared at each other for a few seconds. “Forget it,” she said, reaching across
his lap and opened his car door.
He shut the door. “You just
beat me up. Me—the reporter who took
your very private and very painful story national—in front of a newspaper
office, not to mention several outraged citizens with camera phones.”
“What does it matter? You
don’t even write for The Sentinel
anymore.” Her voice sounded whiny and complaintive. It made her nauseous.
He ignored her. “Answers, Sabrina. Not just one. I want
as many as I ask for, and I want the honest truth to every question I ask,” he
said, his eyes burrowing into hers.
She sat back, glaring at
him. “Or you’ll write a story about how I attacked you, unprovoked in the
middle of the street. That I’m unhinged and should be locked up, is that it?”
After what’d happened to Sanford—found dead in his truck, face caved in with a
baseball bat—and the connection she had to his death, it would be as easy as
breathing to convince the public that she was an unbalanced threat to society.
“That’s exactly it. I may
not write for The Sentinel anymore
but I’ve got plenty of freelance contacts.” His tone was hard. “A story about
you finally losing your shit would be an easy sell.”
She’d be lucky if they let
her write parking tickets after Croft was through with her—and he’d do it, even
if he didn’t want to. She’d just had her career in homicide yanked out from
under her. That was more loss than she could stomach for one day.
Croft’s mouth flopped open
but he recovered quickly. “Yes? You’ll talk to me. Just like that?”
“You just successfully
blackmailed me, Croft. Try not to sound so surprised.” She didn’t look at him,
instead staring through the windshield, her hands wrapped around the steering
wheel. He was quiet for a few moments. Sabrina wanted to believe that his guilt
was getting to him but she knew better. Croft had been waiting months for an
opportunity like this. Exclusive interviews from her far outweighed any regret
he might feel over how he got her to cooperate. She finally looked at him. “The
“Calliope is the name of one
of the nine daughters Zeus fathered with the Titaness, 
Mnemosyne. They were given to a nymph, Eufime
and Zeus’ son, Apollo, to be raised,” Croft said. “They grew to be known as the
Nine Muses. Calliope was the superior muse. Protector of justice. Said to be
the lover of both Apollo and his brother Ares, god of war. Conflicting stories
had her bearing both of them sons.”
She reached back and plucked
the evidence bag off the backseat, putting on a fresh pair of gloves before
opening it. Removing the envelope, Sabrina paused for a moment.
Wait. Take it back to the
station. Have it processed properly.
She pulled the wax seal from
the paper, slipping the card from its sheath before flipping it open. Inside,
in the same beautiful lettering, was another message:
In mortem, et est soror
Sabrina turned the card in
Croft’s direction. “What does it say?”
He glanced down at the card,
his mouth going flat for a second before it turned downward. He looked at her.
“My Latin is way rusty. I can’t be sure that—”
“Tell me,” she almost
shouted, her voice bouncing off the windows.
He sighed, his hands still wrapped around the shirt
she’d given him. “In mortem, et est soror
as best I can tell… it means, in death, she is your sister.

From Sacrificial Muse by Maegan Beaumont. © 2014 by Maegan Beaumont. Used by permission from Midnight Ink Books,

May 8th 2013
by Midnight Ink

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Past horrors bleed into a present day nightmare

years ago, a psychotic killer abducted seventeen year old Melissa
Walker. For 83 days she was raped and tortured before being left for
dead in a deserted church yard... But she was still alive.

begins a new life as homicide inspector, Sabrina Vaughn. With a new
face and a new name, it's her job to hunt down murderers and it's a job
she does very well.

When Michael O'Shea, a childhood
acquaintance with a suspicious past, suddenly finds her, he brings to
life the nightmare Sabrina has long since buried.

Believing that
his sister was recently murdered by the same monster who attacked
Sabrina, Michael is dead set on getting his revenge--using Sabrina as

Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in
the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink,
spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make
you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line
has locked in his basement, and feel a strong desire to sleep with the
light on.
When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess
for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four
children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot
and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade.


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There For You Editing


Finding my way home

By: Maegan Beaumont

I grew up reading books that caused dubious glances and concerned frowns to dance across the face of any adult who made the mistake of asking me, “So, what are you reading?”

What I was reading was whatever I wanted to. And usually whatever I wanted to was considered wildly inappropriate for a “girl my age”… or even a girl in general.

In grade school I was enthralled by Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown. In these books I caught my first glimpse of something that I needed very much—female characters who were like me. Bookish and a bit brazen. Awkward but unflinching in their resolve to be themselves. I still love these books. I own then and will push them on my kids every chance I get. 

I had my brief fling with romance novels in junior high… Dusty cowboys and roguish pirates, rescuing damsels and marrying women they won in card games. I like to joke that everything I know about sex, I learned from Danielle Steele novels. Reading Family Album in the 5th grade changed my life… it also made me the girl no one was allowed to invite over for dinner. 

In high school, I peppered my required-but-very-much-enjoyed readings of Shakespeare and Hawthorne, Dostoyevsky and Dickens with as much Stephen King and Thomas Harris as I possibly could… and it was in books such as Harris’ Red Dragon and King’s The Dark Half where I finally found my literary home.

In thrillers, I felt a click. They made sense to me like nothing I had ever read, before or since. There were no cowboys. No dragons (unless you count the one tattooed on a serial killer’s back…). No pirates. No magical swords. These were not stories of love and redemption or good versus evil in any obvious sense, but in them I found a fundamental truth I’ve never found in any other genre of book. 

We all harbor darkness. 

A good thriller not only shows us this darkness, it entices us to invite it in. Gives us characters we not only relate to, but shakes us to the bone with their disturbing sameness to ourselves. A good thriller will show us what we are made of. Put us in situations that force us to poke at our own secret wounds, to test our own battered moorings. Situations that we can’t help but use to measure what we hope ourselves to be against what we truly are. A good thriller will force us to question how far we’re willing to go to protect ourselves and the ones we love. How close to that darkness we are willing to tread in order to survive…

And if the thriller is great… we don’t always like the answers we come up with.


  1. Thanks so much for participating on the tour :)
    Cath - Book Chatter Promotions


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