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:

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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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by Tamara Thorne

My books often start with a dream, and that’s how Eternity – on sale now for .99 cents  – began.

One night I dreamed I was driving in the mountains. They were tall and green, the ground dotted with melting snow, the road a twisting asphalt ribbon spinning out through the shadows and sunlight. The incline was so steep that sometimes the car felt like it was going to tip over backward. And then my destination came into view.

The town lay in a little valley in the shadow of a tall mountain called Icehouse. Quaintly beautiful, it was exactly as I would later describe in it the novel – a huge green park surrounded by businesses. I kept driving as the road dipped toward downtown Eternity. As I neared, I saw a big blue house with white trim with a sign out front that said, “Dimple’s Boarding House.”

Next thing you know, I’m inside and an older couple named Dimples were introducing me to their guests. Among them was Elvis Presley – and he was looking healthy. The Dimples went on to warn me that when I explored the town’s local landmark, Little Stonehenge, I should watch out for a sanitarium escapee named Jim Morrison who, unlike Elvis, was a pretender, an escapee from Shady Pines Sanitarium.

I don’t remember much else from the dream, but those images were so vivid that I wrote them down and immediately began playing with the idea that would become Eternity.

The plot didn’t take long to put together because I was ready to write another book about serial killers and I really wanted an excuse to study Jack the Ripper in detail. I’d long been a fan of Ripper entertainment; my very favorite was and is a 1988 two-part miniseries starring Michael Caine as Chief Inspector Abberline. In this version, the royal physician, Sir William Gull, is the Ripper, which is patently absurd – but it’s the thought that counts and it’s a great movie. (Gull has been named as the Ripper numerous times, but in reality he wouldn’t have been physically able to carry out the crimes.)

I delved deep into Ripper lore and used it throughout Eternity; my Ripper was one of the original suspects and while I make no claims to know who the Ripper actually was, my suspect fit perfectly with my story.

The prologue opens with a tour guide discovering Sheriff Frank Lawson (cousin to John Lawson of Moonfall) dismembered on Icehouse Mountain, in the prehistoric stone circle known as Little Stonehenge. It’s rumored to be some sort of portal, sort of a wormhole with other connections on earth (Stonehenge, Sedona, and many more) that sometimes deposits strangers in Eternity. Most people think it’s nothing but tourist hype. . .  

Soon, former Los Angeles police detective Zach Tully drives north to take over as  as Eternity’s Sheriff. He has delusions of Mayberry when he arrives which are quickly dashed. Tully, a man haunted by the murder of his family by the Backdoor Killer – the serial killer that got away – is burned out and thinks Eternity’s quiet is the answer. Instead, he is immediately beset by citizens telling him about Bigfoot, UFOs, sanitarium escapees, and claims that Ambrose Bierce is their mayor and Amelia Earhart is the postmistress.

Tully can handle all that, but then the murders begin in earnest. There’s no rhyme or reason to the gruesome homicides but Tully knows he’s up against a serial killer for the ages.

As a side note, my collaborator, Alistair Cross, and I are currently working on a sequel to my novel, Candle Bay. It takes place in Eternity, when my vampires – and several of Alistair’s vampires from his book, The Crimson Corset,  are taking a road trip there for a vampire family reunion. Look for more action in Eternity later this year! And right now you can get Eternity for .99 cents on Amazon. 

Tamara Thorne’s ETERNITY goes on sale for .99 on Monday, August 1st! Get a copy at: http://tinyurl.com/hgo8xzw Read a review of ETERNITY at HELLNOTES: http://tinyurl.com/jktk5xm
 
Currently, she and I are writing a collaboration that takes place in Eternity, which is a sequel to CANDLE BAY and features Michael, Winter, Chynna, and Arnie from my novel,THE CRIMSON CORSET. It will be out later this year. Until then, catch up with the folks in Eternity for .99
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ETERNITY by Tamara
 
When Zach Tully leaves Los Angeles to take over as sheriff of Eternity, a tiny mountain town in northern California, he’s expecting to find peace and quiet in his own private Mayberry. But he’s in for a surprise. Curmudgeonly Mayor Abbott is a ringer for long-missing writer Ambrose Bierce. There are two Elvises in town, a shirtless Jim Morrison, and a woman who has more than a passing resemblance to Amelia Earhart. And that’s only the beginning.
 
Eternity is the sort of charming spot tourists flock to every summer and leave every fall when the heavy snows render it an isolated ghost town. Tourists and New Agers all talk about the strange energy coming from Eternity’s greatest attraction: a mountain called Icehouse, replete with legends of Bigfoot, UFOs, Ascended Masters, and more. But the locals talk about something else.
 
The seemingly quiet town is plagued by strange deaths, grisly murders, and unspeakable mutilations, all the work of a serial killer the locals insist is Jack the Ripper. And they want Zach Tully to stop him.
 
Now, as the tourists leave and the first snow starts to fall, terror grips Eternity as an undying evil begins its hunt once again…

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Some years ago a young woman named Amanda Pearce came to a sleepy little California town on the central coast where she began work as concierge at the Candle Bay Hotel & Spa. She liked Natasha and Stephen Darling – the siblings who owned the inn, and was especially attracted to Stephen, a tall, broody drink of … water.  A good girl, Amanda didn’t even allow herself to fantasize about him because she knew you shouldn’t have affairs in the workplace. And Stephen, though attracted to her, kept his fangs to himself.

She met Natasha and Stephen’s uncle, Orion Darling and thought him eccentric because of his identification with The Godfather – even his office was an exact replica of the one in the movie – but that was fine with her. And then, along came a stranger, an old family friend – or so he claimed – named Julian Valentyn. There was something about him that frightened her, but Amanda was too happy in her new position to question things.

But after a run-in or three with Stephen’s lascivious, eternally sixteen-year-old twin sisters, Lucy and Ivy, and then finding a bloodless body in a laundry cart that never seemed to stay in one place, she began to think the hotel wasn’t quite what she’d bargained for.  

The bodies began piling up, but Amanda, her love for Stephen growing, persevered through every trial, through the strange dreams about Julian Valentyne, and despite threats and dangers at every turn. And at the end of the story she and Stephen had their first kiss.

But the question was never answered: Did he turn her or didn’t he?

At last, that – and many other questions – will be answered.

The sequel to Candle Bay had been planned for years, but simmered on a backburner until after Alistair wrote his vampire novel, The Crimson Corset, and asked if he might give the Darling clan cameo roles in the book. Tamara happily agreed and it went so well that she and Alistair decided to tackle the Candle Bay sequel as a collaboration, bringing together both Tamara’s Darlings (and Julian Valentyn, of course) and Alistair’s vamps – particularly peace-loving Michael and his lieutenants, Winter – the big lusty fellow with a deadly sense of humor – and Chynna – a beautiful warrior with a soft spot for her white tigers, Absinthe and Hyacinthe.

In the sequel, there is a vampiric festival coming up – a very special one that only occurs every century or so – in Eternity, California, a tiny town in the shadows of Icehouse Mountain, where Sheriff Zach Tully once battled a time-travelling Jack the Ripper. It’s a town where people like Ambrose Bierce, Elvis, and Amelia Earhart are rumored to live thanks to a supernaturally-charged prehistoric monument known as ‘Little Stonehenge.’  

Eternity is also on the bucket list for vampires as it was once the home-away-from-home for vamps misplaced after Atlantis met its watery death thousands of years ago. Icehouse Mountain is rumored to be the site of a very special vampiric holiday where the vamps gather to celebrate their long ago champion and king, the Trueborn, Kelieu. Think of it as Christmas with fangs.

Natasha Darling of Candle Bay and Michael Ward of Crimson Cove are travelling together to the festival in Eternity, and they have an intense past together. But these days, Michael is celibate while Natasha remains hot as hellfire, igniting their reunion with plenty of sparks and steam. And when Juicy Lucy and Poison Ivy carpool with Winter and Chynna, well, Chynna finds herself in charge of keeping everyone’s hands – and fangs – to themselves. As for Stephen, Julian, and Amanda, that eternal triangle is coming to a head. Will wedding bells chime? Will fangs fly? Will blood spill? Will the serial killer have a stake in the action? Will Sheriff Tully decide he’s had enough?

In the sequel, we again meet all these vampires and humans – as well as some fresh faces – as they head up to Eternity, some for marriage, some for fun, some to kill vampires, some to seduce them. Even the rarely-seen-but-oft-heard deejay, Coastal Eddie Fortune, is going. He’d really rather not – he’s no fool – but what can you do when you’re in love … with the mother of a serial killer?

We are hard at work on the sequel, approaching mid-point, and expect to see it in print before 2016 ends. Until then, you can read Candle Bay for just .99 now through Sunday, to refresh your memory and get ready for the sequel! Eternity and The Crimson Corset are also available if you really want to do your homework.

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THE ANGEL ALEJANDRO – coming later this year.
 
After a near-fatal accident, Madison O’Riley is faced with an extraordinary problem: What to do with the man who saved her life. He calls himself Alejandro … and he has no memory of who he is or where he came from. As they set out to recover his past, Madison realizes there’s something different about him – something that goes beyond his child-like innocence and unearthly good looks.
 
And now there’s another stranger in town. By day, Gremory Jones, in top hat and trenchcoat, tempts the citizens of Prominence with mysterious wares from his shiny black briefcase. By night, he manages Club Mephistopheles, housed in an old Catholic church he’s renovated into a den of darkness and desire.
 
The townspeople are changing in outrageous and appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to uncover Alejandro’s lost identity before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of reality … and costs them their very souls …