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A Girl’s Worst Nightmare is Her Mother …

Priscilla Martin. She’s the diva of Morning Glory Circle and a driving force in the quaint California town of Snapdragon. Overseer of garage sales and neighborhood Christmas decorations, she is widely admired. But few people know the real woman behind the perfectly coiffed hair and Opium perfume.

Family is Forever. And Ever and Ever …

No one escapes Prissy’s watchful eye. No one that is, except her son, who committed suicide many years ago, and her daughter, Claire, who left home more than a decade past and hasn’t spoken to her since. But now, Priscilla’s daughter and son-in-law have fallen on hard times. Expecting their first child, the couple is forced to move back … And Prissy is there to welcome them home with open arms … and to reclaim her broken family.
The Past Isn’t Always as Bad as You Remember.
Sometimes it’s Worse …
Claire has terrible memories of her mother, but now it seems Priscilla has mended her ways. When a cache of vile family secrets is uncovered, Claire struggles to determine fact from fiction, and her husband, Jason, begins to wonder who the monster really is. Lives are in danger – and Claire and Jason must face a horrifying truth … a truth that may destroy them … and will forever change their definition of “Mother.”
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Happy Black Friday! MOTHER is on sale for $0.99: http://tinyurl.com/jtsuq2l
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To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we’re going to do things a little differently.

It’s been said that the lives of fictional characters begin before the author uncovers them – and that they go on once the book is completed. We try to keep that in mind by occasionally checking in on the casts of our previous books, and what better time to see how the folks are doing on Morning Glory Circle – where our thriller, MOTHER, is set – than Thanksgiving! In honor of MOTHER’s $0.99 sale in ebook now through November 28th, we thought it would be interesting to stroll through the neighborhood and find out what some of the residents are most grateful for this year.

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  1. Priscilla Martin, aka Mother, is grateful she has six years’ worth of frozen turkeys in her freezer. She won’t have to buy one this year. And everyone said they wouldn’t come in handy …
  1. Her daughter, Claire, is grateful she thought of claiming to be a vegetarian for the time being.
  1. Claire’s husband, Jason, is thankful that Prissy Martin has given them a place to stay. He’ll be sorry he ever met the woman before long …. but for now, he’s just happy to have a home … foolish, foolish man …
  1. The local priest, Father Andy, is grateful that he’s dining with the Vandercooths. They bought a fresh turkey. He’s always gotten a bad feeling from Prissy Martin … and food poisoning.
  1. Frederick Martin, Priscilla’s invalid husband, is glad she forgot to feed him. Very glad indeed. Fred’s feeding times are extremely unpleasant for him …
  1. Coastal Eddie Fortune is grateful that he doesn’t have to interview Priscilla Martin.
  1. The vampires of Crimson Cove and Candle Bay are also grateful that they don’t have to see Priscilla. Hell, they don’t even want to bite her. If there’s anything worse than Mother, it’s an eternal Mother …
  1. Priscilla’s neighbor, Phyllis Stine, is secretly thankful that her sister, Constance Welling, was killed in THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING a while back. She never did like that attention-seeking little bitch.
  1. Little Noble Creed, who has only heard of Prissy Martin, is grateful for the pins he found in his mother’s sewing box. He’s sticking them in a voodoo doll named Mother.
  1. Timothy Martin, Priscilla’s firstborn, is grateful he’s dead and will not have to endure another holiday at Mother’s house.

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And the folks in MOTHER aren’t the only thankful ones. Here’s OUR list of things we’re grateful for!

  1. We are both grateful that we don’t have to spend the day with relatives who want to argue politics.
  1. We are grateful that our Thanksgiving dinners are very small affairs. As introverts, we believe in dining at home. Alone. Away from other people’s children.
  1. Tamara is grateful that her husband likes to cook. If she had to do it, she’d make a pot of chili because if it can’t be made in one pot or pan, it can’t be made.
  1. Alistair is grateful for enchiladas – which are so much better than dry-ass turkey and that disgusting jiggly cranberry “sauce” that looks like a blood clot having a bad day.  
  1. We are thankful to all the cute cat pictures on the internet for lowering our blood pressure.
  1. Tamara’s husband is grateful he only roasts a breast, not a whole bird. Because he tried boning a turkey once and found it rather unpleasant. And there was an embarrassing injury.
  1. We are grateful we don’t have to sit through boring-ass football games on Thanksgiving.
  1. We are grateful to Netflix for running plenty of cheesy horror movies to go with the holiday meal.
  1. We are both grateful for our kitties – the family we share our feasts with. They don’t get drunk, they don’t whine, and don’t care who won the election. Sometimes they throw up in the string bean casserole, but we weren’t going to eat that shit anyway.
  1.  We are grateful we don’t have to have Thanksgiving dinner at MOTHER’S house. Oh, are we grateful. We can’t say why in mixed company, but if you pick up a copy, you’ll understand soon enough.

And speaking of MOTHER, be sure to get your copy for $0.99 at Amazon today through the 28th.

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Now through the end of the month, get three Thorne & Cross ghost stories for just three bucks at Amazon. Check the poster below for sale dates.

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Book descriptions:

The Cliffhouse Haunting

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When the Blue Lady Walks…

Since 1887, Cliffhouse Lodge has been famous for its luxurious accommodations, fine dining… and its ghosts. Overlooking Blue Lady Lake, nestled among tall pines, Cliffhouse has just been renovated by its owners, Teddy and Adam Bellamy, and their daughter, Sara.

Cliffhouse has not always been a place of rest and respite, though. Over the years it has served many vices, from rum-running to prostitution – and although the cat house has been replaced by a miniature golf course and carousel, Cliffhouse retains its dark history; darkest during the Roaring Twenties, when a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper terrorized the town, and a phantom, the Blue Lady, was said to walk when murder was imminent.

Death Walks With Her…

Now, there’s a new killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. The Bellamys are losing maids, and guests are being tormented by disembodied whispers, wet phantom footprints, and the blood-chilling shrieks of mad laughter that echo through the halls of Cliffhouse in the dead of night.

The little mountain town of Cliffside is the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer… and the Blue Lady. Police Chief Jackson Ballou has bodies piling up, and between the murders and the mysteries, he can hardly pursue his romance with Polly Owen. And Sara Bellamy may lose her true love before they even have their first kiss.

Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin

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In 2013, bestselling horror authors Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross were working on their first collaborative novel and had yet to meet in person. That all changed when they got together to investigate an allegedly haunted cabin in California’s Gold Country.

The cabin’s owner and his family had fled the building on two occasions, beset by anomalies ranging from poltergeist phenomena to a darkly looming apparition. They wanted answers and were referred to author and long-time paranormal investigator Tamara Thorne. She and Alistair Cross decided that a few days and nights in a haunted cabin was the perfect setting for their first face-to-face meeting.

They ended up spending five nights documenting the phenomena inside – and outside – the little log cabin tucked deep in the woods. By turns intrigued and terrorized, Thorne & Cross not only came away with great story ideas, they left the cabin with a new definition of horror.

The Ghosts of Ravencrest

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Darkness Never Dies …

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …

Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

The Ravencrest Saga continues with The Witches of Ravencrest. Get the first for installments of this serialized novel:

Grave Expectations (#1)

Dead of the Night (#2)

The Dark Heart (#3)

The Romerus Conjury (#4)

And coming soon:

Bedeviled (#5)

Praise for Thorne & Cross

“The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!”
-Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.

“While “binge-reading” the clever, shocking, deliciously creepy MOTHER by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross (amid gasps, laughing out loud and muttering “Oh, my God, no…”), it dawned on me that these two should be writing for AMERICAN HORROR STORY. The authors offer up a fun, juicy, gripping thriller that’s nearly impossible to put down. As I kept turning the pages, I was reminded of MISERY, ROSEMARY’S BABY, PEYTON PLACE, PSYCHO and several other classics. But this is an original—as is the main character, Priscilla “Prissy” Martin, the mother of them all. Her perfect, poised façade masks an ugly, twisted, utterly evil woman—a character you’ll never forget. I think we found a spouse for Hannibal Lecter! And I think you’ll find MOTHER a fast-paced, delirious, heart-pounding thrill-ride.” – Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A great combination of strong characters that remind me of my V.C. Andrews characters, wonderful creepy twists, and a plot that will recall Mommie Dearest in an original take that shocks and delights at the same time. This is a full blown psychological thriller worth the investment of time and money.”– Andrew Neiderman, Author of The Devil’s Advocate and the V.C. Andrews novels

“Ghostly secrets abound. Tortured spirits wander the hallways. Star-crossed lovers walk the paths of time. Servants connive, and the heroine faces an uncertain future …Run, do not walk, to get The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross take the reader on a delicious journey of twisted family secrets, troubled dreams, and barely-concealed passions. Wrap yourself in the silken robe of this story and escape to Ravencrest.” – Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural

To celebrate October, Halloween, and last week’s show at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! with vampire author extraordinaire, Laurell K. Hamilton, THE CRIMSON CORSET is on sale at Amazon for just $0.99 in ebook, now through October 6th.

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“Alistair Cross’ new novel THE CRIMSON CORSET … is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (CARMILLA, UNCLE SILAS) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.” – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of the Saint-Germain Cycle

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ” – Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”  – QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

To celebrate the release of The Romerus Conjury, the 4th installment of The Witches of Ravencrestwe’ve put it’s predecessor, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, on sale for just .99. You can get both The Romerus Conjury and the full-length novel of The Ghosts of Ravencrestat Amazon.

In The Romerus Conjury, the hammer has come down at Ravencrest Manor. Evil has spread its wings, casting its black shadow on the town of Devilswood below, infecting the unknowing locals with a viscous corruption that will turn the entire community into a writhing, not-quite-living hell. At the manor itself, governess Belinda Moorland is stalked by former housemistress, Rebecca Dane … who was brutally murdered and decapitated over two centuries ago. And Belinda’s not the only one the phantom woman has set her dead, staring eyes on …

Here’s an excerpt from The Romerus Conjury, available now at Amazon:

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Kiss of the Dead

Eric Manning slept fitfully, locked in a nightmare.

He walked down one of Ravencrest’s endless corridors in search of something – or someone – and although he wasn’t sure what he was looking for, he knew it was imperative that he find it. Passing the closed doors looming along the hall, he noticed that the wall sconces flickered, many of them dying, as he passed them. He became aware of something in his hand. He didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to look, fearful of what he might find.

He turned down another corridor. This one went on as far as the eye could see. This is the right one. As he went deeper, he grew very hot and began sweating. The hall went on and on and soon, there were no doors – just an endless expanse that would lead him to … to what? He didn’t know, but he had to get there.

The thing in his hand became heavy and he felt the pull of it in his shoulder. Ignoring the pain, he walked on, his heart pounding harder, the feeling of being very alone and very lost closing in upon him.

“Eric …” The woman’s voice came from behind. He didn’t look back, he had to keep moving. His bare feet slapped the hard floor as he broke into a jog.

“Eric … Wait …”

No, he thought. Keep going. Keep going. Sweat ran in rivulets down the sides of his face, down his bare chest and abdomen.

“Eric …”

He ignored the voice. I have to get away. I have to get out! Turning a corner, he slammed into a brick wall. “No!” His scream echoed endlessly. “No, no, no!” He raised his fists to beat on the wall and that’s when he saw what he held in his hand.

It was a head. A woman’s head. Rebecca Dane’s mouth smiled up at him.

He tried to fling it away, but her hair had wrapped itself around his hand, through his fingers, over his wrist, tethering itself to him.

“Eric …”

He spun and saw the woman who called his name.

Rebecca Dane’s headless body approached, arms out, blood pumping like a fountain from her neck stump, staining her white dress. But the voice wasn’t coming from the body – it couldn’t be. It was coming from the head in his hand.

The body, bright and clear in the darkness, glided toward him, its feet an inch above the floor.

He was trapped. There was nowhere to go. He tried to scream, but his voice had gone missing. He felt her cold fingers on his bare arm. Her other hand unraveled the thick blond hair from around his wrist.

Eric watched, frozen in horror, as Rebecca Dane fitted her head back onto her body. The fountain of blood ceased to flow, and slowly, her face began to change. The cheeks turned pink. The bloodless lips went crimson. The dark glazed eyes blinked.

And suddenly, he was staring into the face of Belinda Moorland. Rebecca Dane was gone.

Belinda undid the ties at the neck of her dressing gown. The garment fell open and Eric stared at her bare breasts – petite, upturned, and tipped in rose-petal pink.  

“Eric.” She placed one hand at the back of his neck while the other played feathery designs down his bare arm. “Eric,” she whispered. “I want you.”

She pulled his face to hers, her lips touching his.

The kiss was gentle at first, chaste, and Eric relished the softness of her lips. Then came the warmth of her tongue. He’d wanted this for so long. He let his hands roam her body, memorizing her contours. Then the kiss deepened, becoming rough, passionate … savage.

Under Eric’s probing hands, her skin felt sleek, velvet-smooth, tight. Rigid with need, he pressed himself against her body. Her warm tongue tasted of sweet things – honey and ecstasy – as it explored his mouth, dancing, teasing his teeth with little stabs. He inhaled her breath, her scent, taking all of her into him, wanting more. And wanting to be inside her. He cupped her breast, squeezed it, and pressed his erection hard against her.

Slowly, the sensations began to change. Her tongue went leathery, dry, and its sweet taste turned bitter, redolent of blood and things long dead.

She moaned and the scent of death filled his mouth, his lungs. Under his touch, her skin went cold and rubbery.

He panicked, broke the kiss, and shoved her away.

Her head toppled from her body. Both dropped at his feet.

“No!” He looked down, stepping away from the cold, black pooling blood. The decapitated head was no longer Belinda’s; it belonged to Rebecca Dane. The eyes went wide with horror. Threads of wet gore hung from her neck. The blue lips pulled back into a scream – a shriek so high, so piercing, so filled with terror and madness, that it rang out like a siren.

Eric Manning jerked awake, sweat-soaked sheets twisted around his body, a scream lodged in the back of his throat. His breath came hard and rasping, and it took him several moments to realize he’d been dreaming. He turned on the light and rubbed his eyes.

The nightmare of Rebecca Dane hadn’t plagued him since he was sixteen, four years after the night he wandered into her art studio in the east wing and saw her ghost. He rose and went to his shower, taking it cold, trying to erase the nightmare. Why is it back now? And why was Belinda there?

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Remember when the parapsychologists in Poltergeist tell the Freelings about a fantastic poltergeist experience they’d had just before they see what’s going on in Carol Ann’s room? It goes like this:

LESH

Yes, Ryan photographed an extraordinary episode on a case in Redlands.

RYAN

A child’s toy, a small matchbox vehicle, rolled seven feet across a linoleum surface. The duration of the event was seven hours.

STEVEN

Seven hours for what?

RYAN

For the vehicle to complete the distance. This would never register on the naked eye, but I have the event on the time-lapse camera.

Poltergeist (1982) has a number of realistic incidents (mixed with many not-so-real ones) in the first portion of the movie – even the chairs stacked on the kitchen table are not far off from the more spectacular of documented poltergeist incidents. (In fact, Tamara witnessed something similar – but far less artistic – in an anomaly-laden house, not once, but three times in succession.)  

The most realistic thing in Poltergeist is the investigators’ excitement over that little Matchbox car moving by itself. In reality, assuming the floor was level and there were no other factors that might affect it, that movement would be pretty amazing – unless you believe everything you see on shows like Ghost Hunters.

The truth is, anomalies don’t perform on command, and for something truly anomalous to happen while a TV crew is filming, would be truly jaw-dropping. Reality TV is entertainment, pure and simple. Oh, there’s no doubt episodes are based in true stories and experiences, but we guarantee you that real events caught on camera on a weekly series, are about as likely to happen as water turning into wine.

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Recently, someone asked us why nothing “big” happens in Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin, our account of our stay in an allegedly haunted little house in the woods.  We were surprised by the question because we were trying our best to recount what really happened and didn’t want to exaggerate the events for the sake of entertainment. Rather, we wanted to document them. We had been given a specific duty: to investigate and report. We were not there as a TV-style ghost hunters.

That’s why we went in with as little knowledge of the history of the cabin as possible. We didn’t want to have any expectations because the mind plays tricks, makes connections, and leaps to conclusions when you’ve been fed information, and that leads to inaccurate reporting.

That said, we were pretty amazed by what did happen. We even conceived of The Cliffhouse Haunting during our stay and were inspired by several events we witnessed.

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But as far as reality goes, Tamara has spent many hours in allegedly haunted locales over the last thirty years and has been fortunate enough to witness a handful of anomalies that are pretty impressive. But the cabin was the gift that kept on giving. We saw, heard, and felt things in and around it that were peculiar – and occasionally quite frightening. While we can find possible explanations for most – if we try very hard to dig some up – we can’t explain everything we experienced. We were, to put it mildly, impressed.

Compared to the ghost-of-the-week TV reality shows, our experiences are pretty tame, but from the moment we walked in, there were minor anomalies that would thrill a serious non-entertainment-oriented ghost hunter. They certainly excited and inspired us.  

We hope you enjoy our account for what it is – a realistic look at a “haunted” house.  We admit that going back in and reliving it while we prepared it for publication gave us both the shivers, but we’ll tell you up front that neither of us levitated, spoke in tongues, or spotted any demons. However, we did experience some things that made us wonder if we’d ever agree to go back.

We probably would, but we’re just crazy that way.

And speaking of ghosts, don’t forget that our Gothic Horror novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, is available now for just .99!

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THE GHOSTS OF RAVENCREST is available at: http://tinyurl.com/hzvae3e
 
“The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!”
 
-Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.
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