Who put Bella in the wych elm?

Words and sigils, scrawled in blood across walls and miles and time.

Who put Bella in the wych elm?

Knowing the answer requires a journey across worlds and into the darkest of hearts.

Who put Bella in the wych elm?

Ava thought she had forever to find out.

About Raven and Bone:

Ava Aurildis has been running and hiding for a very long time, but at least she has her friends. Lex and Viv have been at her side for decades-- they’re more than friends, they’re her heart’s family.

When Viv is brutally murdered, and Lex is rendered incapable of helping, Ava must unravel the mystery that’s haunted them on her own. If she wants any chance of putting her family back together she’ll have to confront her past before time, or something worse, catches up with her.

From the author:

I started writing Raven and Bone almost four years ago when a friend on Tumblr posted a wickedly chilling true crime story. In 1943, four boys tromped through Hagley Woods, in the English Midlands, hoping to poach some bird’s eggs. Instead of eggs, they found a human skull.

When the police went to extract the skeleton from the tree, they found it had actually grown around the bones. This led them to believe the body had been placed there while it was still warm. If that’s not creepy enough, they found that one of the body’s hands had been severed and buried near the tree.

Shortly after the body’s removal, someone began began writing “Who put Bella in the wych elm?” in the surrounding area. Many theories have circulated about who killed Bella. My favorite though, is that a cult of witches might have killed her as a part of a dark ritual.

It’s not surprising that I would latch onto this tale. I love urban legends, true crime and above all else: witches. In my mind, I watched the boys find the skull through someone’s eyes who knew the body might be there to begin with, someone who didn’t want anyone else to find it. I sensed that another watched that someone, and that Bella was a part of a larger story.

That’s when Ava showed up. A witch with anxiety, a lot of anger and a past so dark it’s kept her running for centuries. And at first she came with two pretty typical urban fantasy counterparts: a shapeshifter named Lex and a vampire named Vivienne. But things went sideways pretty quickly for me as I started writing their story. As a result, Raven and Bone is a sprawling genre mash-up: Part dark fantasy, part portal fantasy, part paranormal romance. A little bit scary, a little bit sexy, a lotta bit dark.

I hope you enjoy Raven and Bone as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

P.S. Raven and Bone is planned as a duology, meaning that there will be one sequel.