“It’s art,” I said.
“That’s what it seems like to me,” Lucas agreed.
“That is not art,” Arons joined us.
“Yes it is,” Lucas looked at him. “Art is subjective. You may like Renoir or Monet, but the person next to you will not. And many artists from painters to sculptors to writers have found beauty in death.”
“Art,” Arons shook his head. “Well, you may consider it art, but I don’t.”
“As he said, art is subjective,” I shrugged and turned away from the scene. “The bow and arrow melting the snow can be taken as art. The precision with which it has to be laid out along with the time necessary to have the salt from the skin melt the snow, there is beauty in all of it. You just have to change your perspective. He practically tip-toed over to the area to lay it out and then got down on his hands and knees to carefully put each piece down.”
They continued to talk, but I tuned them out. I was once again faced with a pristine winter scene. Evergreens covered in snow. The ground covered in the white devilish stuff with a thick, crisp crust on the top of it. It would crunch when you walked on it. I closed my eyes. How many people had trampled the path before our killer had used it? How many boots had crunched in the snow? There was no way for me to know these things.
Most people would consider the body in the tree a desecration of both the body and the pristine winter. I did not. Crime scenes were a hallowed area for me. Until the area became a crime scene, it was just a picture to put on a postcard. This was reverse of what most people thought. I knew that, but couldn’t change my logic.
Title: Elysium Dreams
Author: Hadena James
He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.
In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.
Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.
Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. By the time she graduated high school, she had published a couple of short stories in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at seventeen. Hadena began college as an English major, but quickly changed to a history major. However, she continued to write and took several extra classes in creative writing.
College showed her that while she could write short stories, novel writing was truly where her heart lay. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian Studies. During this time, she received a couple of contract offers from publishing houses, but ultimately turned them all down.
In August 2012, she self-published her first novel. In retrospect, she is appreciative of the contracts offers she received when she was younger, but believes she made the right decision with self-publishing.
When she isn’t busy writing, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities to visit are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, with her favorites being classic literature; Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Gaston LeRoux, and Jane Austen; modern favorites include Clive Barker, James Patterson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Her favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages. Some of her favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Rammstein, U2, Marilyn Manson, Oomph!, and Rob Zombie.