Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

At Last

Posted: March 30, 2016 in books, reading
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By Alistair Cross

The 4th (or is it the 5th?) and FINAL read-through of MOTHER is finished. All that’s left is a quick detail check. MOTHER will go to publication next week and Tamara and I will return to The Witches of Ravencrest, our solos, and begin research and development on the Candle Bay sequel.

I will never read MOTHER again. I never read my work after it goes to publication because, by then, I’m sick of the sight of it. Usually, I’m pleased to never lay eyes on it again, but this time, I admit to a certain sadness. I will miss MOTHER … and all the folks of Morning Glory Circle.

This book, I believe, is the best work Tamara and I have done … so far. I am pleased. And that’s rare.

MOTHER

 

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Check out our interview with the author behind the V.C. Andrews book series, which has sold over more than 100 MILLION copies worldwide, and spawned such classic moves as FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. Just Click our pic to listen!

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One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her first family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than fifty novels in V.C. Andrews’ bestselling series. V.C. Andrews’ novels have sold more than one hundred million copies and have been translated into sixteen foreign languages.

Sage’s Eyes has just been released and is available everywhere. 

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Following the death of Virginia Andrews in 1986, the Andrews family worked with a carefully selected writer to organize and complete Virginia Andrews’s stories and to create additional novels.

The identity of this writer was kept a secret from the general public for years, but the ghostwriter has since been identified as horror novelist Andrew Neiderman, beginning with the completion of Garden of Shadows and the later novels of the Casteel series.

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Neiderman has carried the VC Andrews torch, satisfying her devoted readers for many years, as well as writing dozens of other novels, which include DEFICIENCY, Unholy Birth, Life Sentence, Deadly Verdict, Garden of the Dead and THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, which was made into a major film starring Keanu Reeves, Charlise Theron, and Al Pacino. He also wrote the screenplays for Rain, based on the VC Andrews novels, and Duplicates.

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Andrew Neiderman’s latest novel, Lost in His Eyes, is also available now.

About Thorne & Cross

Tamara Thorne’s first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity and The Sorority. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross as well as an upcoming solo novel. Learn more about her at: http://tamarathorne.com

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(Click Moonfall for books by Tamara Thorne)

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Ghosts of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His novel, The Crimson Corset, debuted to great acclaim and was an immediate bestseller. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com

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(Click The Crimson Corset for books by Alistair)

In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the serial, The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Their first horror novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is available now at Amazon. Their next project, Mother will appear in this spring, and several more projects are on their way. They’ve already begun the next tale of terror…

MOTHER

(Mother, coming soon from Thorne & Cross)

Also, if you enjoy things that go bump in the night, be sure to check out our radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, a weekly one-hour horror and thriller-themed show that has featured such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Christopher Rice, Cheslea Quinn Yarbro, V.C. Andrews, Christopher Moore, Douglas Clegg, Jay Bonansinga, and many more. Visit the Guest Page to catch one of your favorite authors.

Over at Books that Hook, they’re doing a 3-book giveaway of THE CRIMSON CORSET, the first installment of sexy terror and undead intrigue in THE VAMPIRES OF CRIMSON COVE series. If you like a little venom with your vamps, go to Books that Hook for your chance to win a free copy.

Still not convinced? Here’s what New York Times bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD, Jay Bonansiga, has to say about it:

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”

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The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a traditional gothic, complete with a young governess, handsome millionaire, a houseful of mysterious staff members… and hot and cold running ghosts. There are mysteries and family curses and a historical novella within each volume of The Ravencrest Saga. Just because it’s traditional, like Rebecca, Turn of the Screw, or Dark Shadows, doesn’t mean you should expect the expected. This is a modern gothic, with the kind of extra helpings of terror, sex, and surprises you’ve come to expect from a Thorne & Cross novel!

“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.

In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, you’ll travel in time back to the London Frost Fair of 1788 to meet millionaire Eric Manning’s ancestors and explore some of the mysteries and spectres plaguing the house in contemporary times. You’ll celebrate Christmas with the Mannings too, and meet the mysterious Bran Lanval, a Knight of the Order of the Mandrake, as he works to stop a plague of witchcraft meant to destroy the Manning family for all time.

In modern times, there are witches afoot and spirits galore. As governess Belinda Moorland unearths the mysteries of her new home, she realizes the house – and all of its inhabitants – is mired in terror, scandal, and deadly secrets. From the hellacious house administrator, Mrs. Heller, to the long-dead nuns, Sisters Faith, Hope, and Charity, who rule the ghost-soaked east wing – to the screaming, cold presence in the indoor pool, and the unnatural creature who watches her from the vents, everyone – and every thing – seems to have an interest in Belinda.

From her first night at the manor when she’s seduced by a handsome phantom who sends her on a deadly quest, Belinda knows she must unravel the secrets of her own identity before she, herself, becomes yet another ghost of Ravencrest.

“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

At last, the complete first volume of The Ravencrest Saga: The Ghosts of Ravencrest, is available to purchase on Amazon.com.  Other formats (including paper) will follow in the not-too-distant future.

Watch for the first installment of Volume 2 of The Ravencrest Saga, coming in October, just in time for Halloween.

Just click the pic to buy!

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The Ghosts of Ravencrest

Volume 1 of The Ravencrest Saga

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 …

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Raves for Ravencrest…

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.

  The Ghosts of Ravencrest is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”

 -QL Pearce, bestselling author of Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”

 -Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits and Hunting Demons

“In this classic-style gothic, young Belinda Moorland takes a job as governess for the children of Eric Manning, whose family mansion, Ravencrest, was reassembled stone by stone after crossing over from England. Now stalked by a bevy of quirky, shady characters … the sinister estate and its naughty nightside hijinks take center stage in this expert tale of multi-generational evil – and love. The Ghosts of Ravencrest will chill you and make you hot and bothered at the same time. There’s nothing like a stay in a California town created by Thorne and Cross!”

 -W.D. Gagliani, author of Wolf’s Blind (the Nick Lupo Series)

The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a scary, intricate read. The horror is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breathtaking. Most importantly, from page one, readers fall in love with Belinda. We care about what happens to her, and we hope exactly what that is remains deliciously extensive!”

  -Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks

“Scary and scandalous! The Ghosts of Ravencrest will leaving you shivering with excitement and terror …”

 -William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message

Excerpt:

“Ravencrest Manor at midnight. Within the great house, Cordelia Heller was awake, casting spells, amused that Phister and the governess thought she didn’t know what they were up to. And in the carriage house, Grant and Belinda prepared for their rescue attempt, exchanging information, checking flashlight batteries, and repeating simple protection spells to one another.

Outside, the sky was black velvet embroidered with cold silver stars awaiting the moonrise. Greek statues stood silent sentinel over the grounds, and if their eyes moved, no one noticed.

The persimmon tree’s leaves flirted and danced with a dark breeze as something moved deep within the earth. New buds formed and green fruit turned red in the dark. A night bird landed on a branch then fell to the ground, dead.  

The scent of night-blooming jasmine wafted, consuming the wisteria’s sweet perfume, strangling it.

Silence. The world held its breath …”

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About the Authors

Tamara Thorne’s first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity and The Sorority. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross as well as an upcoming solo novel. Learn more about her at: http://tamarathorne.com

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, an Amazon bestseller, is available now. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com

In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they also host the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which has featured such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton, Christopher Moore, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Charlaine Harris, and Christopher Rice. Thorne and Cross are hard at work on several upcoming collaborations, including a sequel to Tamara’s Candle Bay, which will feature plenty of vampy action as the Darlings and Julian Valentyne are joined on a road trip to Eternity with Michael and Winter from Alistair’s The Crimson Corset. It’s going to be a harrowing ride!

Have we got an early Halloween present for you! In just a few weeks, the complete and unexpurgated The Ghosts of Ravencrest will be released. Originally published only as a serial novel in ebook format, The Ghosts of Ravencrest will soon be a full-length novel available as an ebook and, shortly after that, in trade paperback.

And guess what? We’ve begun Volume Two of The Ravencrest Saga and the first installment will be available in October. Look for the return of those evil nuns, along with further explorations of the haunted pool, the east wing, the White Violet, the Bride of Ravencrest, Old Peckerhead, and of course, the continuing badness of Cordelia Heller. What won’t she do next?

We also have some special surprises cooked up, but our lips are sealed except to say that in Volume Two, we’ll again be returning to the past, this time to the Mannings’ early years in America as they rebuilt Ravencrest and encountered the bloodthirsty witch who laid a powerful, dark curse upon the manor’s inhabitants and their children.

But for now, (drumroll please) we’d like to reveal The Ghosts of Ravencrest’s cover. To say we love it would be an understatement. We worship it. We want to have its children. (And we will! And if they don’t behave, we’ll throw them in the east wing.)

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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 within 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…

Home is Where the Horror is…

Welcome to Ravencrest, magnificent by day, terrifying by night.

Welcome to Ravencrest, home of sordid secrets and ghastly scandals from the past.

Welcome to Ravencrest, where there is no line between the living and the dead.

Raves for Ravencrest

“The Ghosts of Ravencrest is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”

-QL Pearce, bestselling author of Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”

-Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits


“The Ghosts of Ravencrest by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a scary, intricate read. The horror is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breathtaking. Most importantly, from page one, readers fall in love with Belinda. We care about what happens to her, and we hope exactly what that is remains deliciously extensive!”

-Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks

“Scary and scandalous! The Ghosts of Ravencrest by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement and terror …”

-William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message

We really didn’t get to know the first victims of The Cliffhouse Haunting’s own serial killer, Hammerhead, so we’d thought we’d take a moment and talk with them about their experience in our novel. First, here they are in action:

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Hammerhead heard voices and paused. One male, one female.  It had been a long time since he had taken down two at once. The prospect delighted him, but he was nothing if not cautious; if it wasn’t safe, he would wait until another day.

He stepped into the dappled shade of a huge fir, pulled his water bottle from his knapsack and drank. The prey drew closer, and after capping the bottle, he patted the rip claw hammer that hung from a loop on his belt, hidden by his light jacket.

When the voices were no more than fifty feet away, he began walking toward them, timing it so that they would meet near a steep cliff with a panoramic view.

The couple appeared, early twenties, slender and smiling.  Hammerhead moved to the side of the trail.

“Hello!” said the young man. “Here for the view?”

Hammerhead nodded, a smile painted on his face.

“It’s worth the hike,” the woman said. “It’s so clear today.”

“It is.” As they passed, he drew the hammer, whirled, and hit the man in the temple. The hiker crumpled where he stood. Before the girl could scream, he turned, and as graceful as a dancer, spun the weapon around and impaled her temple on the claws. She didn’t fall because he held her up by the hammer. He pulled a compact mirror from his pocket, flipped it open and held it up as he lowered her to the ground.  Her eyelids drooped, so he held them open with two fingers until she died and her soul was captured in the mirror. He snapped the compact shut, retrieved another, and turned to the young man. Disappointment flooded him. He was dead, his soul already gone. At least he had one soul.  It felt good; it had been too long.

Hammerhead dragged the bodies to the edge of the rocky cliff. Once there, he lifted one head and brought it down on a sharp rock where the hammer wound had been, then dropped the rock over the cliff. He repeated the action with the other on a different rock. Then he pushed the bodies over. The coyotes and hawks would eat well, and in the massive brush and trees below, it was unlikely the remains would be found. There were others down there, after all, who’d been there for years.

And now, on to their interview. Please note that due to their head wounds, they are unable to tell us their names and since it’s unlikely their bodies – what’s left of them – will ever be found, we’ve taken the liberty of calling them Victor and Vicky Victim.

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T & A: How are you feeling today?

Victor: I have a headache.

Vicky: Me too.

T & A: We’re sorry to hear that. Is it your sinuses?

Victor: Partly, but, uh … I think it might have more to do with the great big fucking holes we have in the sides of heads.

Vicky: Now, Victor, you shouldn’t swear like that during an interview! It’s not polite.

Victor: I didn’t say anything when you bled all over the sofa.

Vicky: (rolls eyes) Tamara, Alistair, you’ll delete the f-word, right?

T & A: Of course we will. Now tell us, what were you doing that day in the mountains?

Victor: We were hiking to Deep Creek. We were going to swim naked.

Vicky: We even brought joints!

Victor: Shhh! Don’t fucking tell them that!

Vicky: What, it’s legal here. And stop swearing!

Victor: Sorry. It’s just that my head is killing me.

Vicky: Mine too. My hair is never going to look good again. I just can’t cover this hole!

T & A: Joint?

Vicky: You know, weed. (giggles)

Victor: Shhh!

Vicky: What, that bastard probably killed us for it.

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T & A: Mr. and Mrs. Victim, we can assure you that you weren’t murdered for your cannabis.

Victor: Well, what the fuck DID he kill us for then? My wife’s smoking hot body? She wasn’t even naked but man, look at those leg bones! You should’ve seen them before the vultures!

Vicky: Language.

T & A: He killed you for your souls. It’s kinda weird, we know, but it’s the truth.

Victor & Vicky in unison: Our souls?

T & A: Yes. He traps them in mirrors and keeps them in what he calls his Hall of Souls.

Victor and Vicky look at each other, then burst out laughing.

Vicky: What a nut job!

Victor: Crazy bastard! Who does that?

T & A: He calls himself Hammerhead and he kills people with a-

Vicky to Victor: Hammerhead! See! A hammer! I told you I saw a hammer!

T & A: It was probably the last thing you saw.

Victor: Well, I hope they caught the bastard.

Vicky nods vehemently.

T & A: We can’t tell you that. We don’t give spoilers.

Vicky: Spoilers?

T & A: You’re going to have to read the book.

Victor: The book? What book?

T & A: It’s called The Cliffhouse Haunting and it’s available now!

Vicky: We’re in a book!? Isn’t that wonderful,dear!

Victor: (grunts) Wait a minute. You mean to tell us that we died – in your book – and you have the nerve to try to sell it to us? What, were you born in a barn?

T & A: Yes.

Vicky: I think we should buy it, dear!

(Victor scowls)

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T & A: Halloween is coming up. It will make a great gift for the season.

Victor: We’re dead, you assholes. We don’t even have a credit card, let alone cash.

Vicky: Language, dear. (turns to T & A) Well, I think it’s wonderful. I’ve always wanted to be in a book.

Victor: But we died in the book!

Vicky: Semantics, dear. Where is this book available, Tamara and Alistair?

T & A: Amazon.

Vicky: Well, as soon as this interview is over, we’re going to buy it. I don’t care what my husband here has to say about it. (Turns to Victor) My mother will be so proud!

Victor: Whatever you say, honey. Do we get any royalties from this book?

T & A: (Look at the ground and avoid eye contact with the victims): Look, we’ll go to the place you died and throw some flowers at your carcasses. Will that do?

Vicky: White roses. We’d like white roses.

Victor: Fucking roses, good call. You do that, we won’t haunt you.

Vicky: Language. You really will clean this up?

T&A: Yes. Sure. Thanks for your time. (They run away. Fast.)

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Thorne & Cross