YOU LET ME IN is OUT in the UK!

I am so very proud and pleased to announce that You Let Me In is out in the world!
It was published in the UK this week, and will be out in the US next month.

Praise for You Let Me In:

“By the end of the third page I was not only hooked, but beginning to think that this might be the best book I’d read all year . . . creepy, pagan, detailed, entrancing. I loved it.”
JOANNE HARRIS, author of Chocolat and The Strawberry Thief

“A bewitching, beguiling, and deeply unsettling tale of one woman’s strange life. It will ensnare you from page one and keep you riveted until the end.”
CAITLIN STARLING, author of The Luminous Dead

“Dark and immersive; a feast of storytelling that lingers long after the last morsel’s been consumed.”
SAM LLOYD, author of The Memory Wood

“A glorious, pitch-black fairytale of a book. Lush, strange and defiant. As soon as I finished it, I went straight back to the start and read it again.”
KIRSTY LOGAN, author of Things We Say in the Dark

“Exploring the darker side of fairytales, it inhabits that liminal space where folklore and horror collide. A worrying tale where reality is filtered through the unreal, and the rational rubs shoulders with the supernatural, this is a beguiling story of love and revenge.”
LUCIE MCKNIGHT HARDY, author of Water Shall Refuse Them

You can buy it here

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YOU LET ME IN Looks Gorgeous!

Over the last few months, my twisty faerie book, YOU LET ME IN, has taken shape, both inside and out.

Here are all the beautiful covers together (US, UK and Germany):

You Let Me In delivers a stunning tale from debut author Camilla Bruce, combining the sinister domestic atmosphere of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects with the otherwordly thrills of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?

After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy–everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).

Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body–just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript.

Then again, there are enough bodies in her past–her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother.

Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story–but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods–and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…

You can pre-order the novel here.


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I’m SO thrilled to announce that my dark historical novel about Norwegian-American serial killer Belle Gunness has found wonderful homes with Berkley (US) and Michael Joseph (UK).

I just couldn’t be happier, and can’t wait to see it become a real book!



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The Lively Lady of Mære

I sometimes lament how few interesting murderesses we have in my part of the world when the truth is that I just might not know about them. I guess devious murder isn’t something people in general talk about, and that very vintage scandals have been nearly silenced to death through the centuries. Imagine my surprise then, when I found out that a Norwegian pioneer in the art of arsenic poisoning once lived and killed just around the bend from me — and I had never even heard her name!

When I read more about it, I was even more surprised to realize I had stumbled across one of the most bizarre stories of murder and deception that I had ever heard.

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Arsenic – A Girl’s Best Friend

Nevermind the diamonds, arsenic has been a girl’s best friend for centuries. The mineral has been useful as cosmetics, fabric dye and as a component in home decorations like wallpapers, lampshades and paint. It has also proven to be gem in the war against rodents in the cupboards, and – of course – troublesome husbands.

In a time when divorce was a disgrace and/or difficult to get, arsenic was the perfect weapon of choice to end a domestic dispute. It was everywhere: in rat poison, flypaper and other useful things one kept at home. The symptoms of the poisoning were hideous though, as a body exposed to arsenic will shut down the digestion system. There will be vomiting, bloody feces – and quite a lot of pain.

Many famous people have succumbed to the poison: George III of Great Britain and Napoleon Bonaparte are just the tip of the iceberg. Arsenic is held responsible for Monét’s blindness and Van Gogh’s neurological disorders, though the latter weren’t poisoned; they just painted with the wrong kind of paint.

Poisoning in general and arsenic in particular has often been considered a woman’s method, and history is rife with incidents to support the claim. In honor of Women in Horror Month, here’s some horrific examples:

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How To Survive a Long House in October

I still remember the moment before we left, when I was looking into my storage, thinking, “Oh, look all those sheepskins — well, I probably won’t need those. It isn’t that cold. ” Little did I know I was in for one of the coldest 48 hours of my life, and certainly the least luxurious. Viking life just isn’t for everyone.

The reluctant shield maiden.

We were visiting the island of Jøa, off the coast of Mid-Norway, where a local enthusiast has built a long house amidst a gorgeous landscape studded with graves and other traces of Viking-age settlements. The island is famous amongst the historically inclined for the mysterious sitting graves (dated between 650 – 1000 AD), that no one really knows the meaning of. While other graves on the island are traditional mounds, a small group of people was buried in a sitting position, surrounded by expensive artifacts like knives (though not for combat), jewelry and bone combs. Most of them were women, and they were generally older (at the time of death) and taller than the average Viking. Nothing like it has been found anywhere else in Norway, and there’s speculations that the inhabitants of the sitting graves belonged to some sort of priesthood.

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Katie Bender, Witch of the Prairie

While researching folklore that crops up in serial killers’ wake, I found some really interesting stories linking Katie Bender, of the infamous Bender family, to old-school witchcraft.

The Benders, Ma, Pa and Katie and John, arrived in Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1970. The family settled down and built a cabin to be used as an inn close to the main road between Independence and Fort Scott. The family’s origins are shrouded in mystery: Some said the family had been part of a German or Dutch settlement in Pennsylvania, and had been forced to leave after some sort of dispute, another theory went that the family had been part of an Amish community. The family relations were a bit unclear too. Some said that Katie and John were siblings, others man and wife, and some even said they were siblings living as man and wife. Of the four of them, only Katie spoke English fluently and the family as whole spoke to each other in German.

Shortly after their arrival, travelers — mostly men — started to disappear. When as many as a dozen had failed to arrive at their destinations, it was decided that all the farms in the area had to be searched. The Benders, who saw their share of travelers at their makeshift inn, had not been suspected at that point but took the cue and fled. Not long after, neglected animals had people look in on the farm, which seemed deserted, and a persistent, bad smell made them search the premises.

It didn’t take long before they discovered a cellar smeared with blood, and several graves in the apple orchard. The Benders are believed to be responsible for at least a dozen murders — all of them guests at the inn.

Though it’s a fact that stories told after a horrible event are hardly ever objective and sometimes outright lies, it doesn’t make them any less interesting to me. And in this case it’s particularly fascinating to look at the stories that links Katie Bender to witchcraft and sorcery.

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