Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Cry from the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

Back Cover Blurb:
A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of lives.

Gwen Marcey was tops in her forensic field. Then cancer struck, her husband left, and her teenage daughter engaged in active rebellion. Gwen's best chance to start a new life was a temporary job in Utah reconstructing faces from an 1857 massacre site.

The Mountain Meadows Interpretative Center asked Gwen to reconstruct the faces of three intact bodies that were discovered from the wagon train massacre of more than 120 people by Mormon fanatics calling themselves Avenging Angels. But just as she is nearing completion on her reconstructions, things around the center turn deadly.

Gwen discovers the ritualized murder of a young college student with a stolen identity and is called on by the local police to use her forensic art skills to aid the investigation. Soon she discovers an uncanny resemblance between one of her reconstructions and the death mask of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. And realizes that she's the next target of the recreated Avenging Angels who believe she has an icon from the grave.

Gwen must weave through a labyrinth of Mormon history, discovering secret societies and festering grudges in a race against time.

Will she be able to stop another massacre?

“Tightly sculpted suspense drawn from history with a pencil.  

Real life forensic artist Carrie Parks bestows her skills and experience upon a plucky heroine, then sends her rummaging through dark, unresolved history for bizarre possibilities.  You haven’t read a story like this one.” -NYT Bestselling Author, Frank Peretti

Read an Excerpt:


Mountain Meadows, Utah, Present Day

“Are these from the three bodies they dug up?” The question came from my right.

The first of the early afternoon tourists gathered just outside my roped-off work area. More people charged toward me, ignoring glass-fronted display cases holding historical articles and docents in navy jackets hovering nearby.

You can’t beat disembodied heads on sculpting stands to draw a crowd.

The open, central structure of the Mountain Meadows Interpretative Center featured towering windows that overlooked the 1857 massacre site. The architect designed the round building to resemble the circled wagons of the murdered pioneers. Exhibits were below the windows or in freestanding showcases, allowing visitors an unobstructed view of the scenery, with directional lighting artfully spotlighting displays. In the center of the room was a rock cairn, representing the hastily dug mass grave where the US Army interred the slaughtered immigrants more than two years after the attack.

A woman in a lime-green blazer with the name of a tour group ushered silver-haired couples past the welcome banner and to a tidy grouping on my left. Neatly dressed families with a smattering of dungaree-clad teens joined the spectators and advanced to my cluttered corner.

Out the window I could see another surge of visitors scurry through the late summer heat from the tour bus parked on the freshly paved lot.

A hint of sweat, deodorant, and aftershave replaced the odor of fresh paint and new carpeting. I double-checked to be sure the two finished, reconstructed skulls faced toward the vacationers. The clay sculptures rested on stands looking like high, three-legged, wooden stools with rotating tops. I’d nicknamed the three Larry, Moe, and Curly. Larry and Moe were complete, resting on shoulders made of wire covered with clay. Once I finished Curly, all three would be cast in bronze for permanent display. 

The questions flew at me from all sides.

“Who are they?”

“Are real skulls under that clay?”

“Doesn’t it bother you to touch them?”

Buy her book here:


About Carrie:

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. She teaches forensic art courses to law enforcement professionals and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing. Carrie began to write fiction while battling breast cancer and was mentored by New York Times best-selling author Frank Peretti. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling with cancer.

Connect with her here:

Carrie is giving away a copy of A Cry from the Dust. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Anonymous said...

This really peaked my interest. A relative's sister was "sucked" into this cult & only through prayer & openly loving family members was she able to see the truth & break free. Would love this book.

Linda C said...

Wow! That sounds like a great book! I have always been fascinated and saddened by the events at Mountain Meadow. Looking forward to reading it! Linda

Patricia Bradley said...

Sounds like a great book! Would love to win it. pat at ptbradley dot com

Anonymous said...

What a life - you've had a lot of experiences. So nice of you to share some of them or types of them with us. God Bless!
Joyce Guard

Boos Mum said...

This sounds like a very different book. Thanks for the giveaway.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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