Karen E. Taylor joins Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!


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Tonight on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, we’ll be talking to novelist and vampire aficionado, Karen E. Taylor, who is having a GREAT big book giveaway. To win, send us an e-mail at our Haunted Nights LIVE! Facebook page, or at hauntednightslive@gmail.com, saying you’d like to enter the contest. We will choose 3 winners. The first will win the entire VAMPIRE LEGACY series in paperback, and the second and third will win an e-book copy of her soon-to-be released novel, CELLAR.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=793FWLH6TNc

The link goes live tonight at 9:00 EST, 6:00 Pacific. Just click it to listen: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairradio2/2015/02/27/karen-e-taylor-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-night-live

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COVER REVEAL FOR THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING!!



At long last, our cover for The Cliffhouse Haunting is ready to be revealed. We love it, and would like to thank our cover design artist, Kealan Patrick Burke, for perfectly capturing the SPIRIT of our book!

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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 Over the years it has served many vices, from rum-running to prostitution – and although the cat houses have been replaced by a miniature golf course and carousel, Cliffhouse retains its dark history; darkest during the Roaring Twenties, when a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper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.

The Cliffhouse Haunting will be available this March!

It works if you work it…


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When I joined forces with Tamara Thorne in 2012, people warned me that collaborations are difficult and often don’t work out. Tamara no doubt received the same warnings and worse – she was, after all, an already-established novelist with over a dozen books under her belt. Undoubtedly, there was some nail-biting going on behind the scenes… but we knew there was no need to worry.

Tamara and I had both collaborated previous to meeting each other, so this isn’t new territory for us. We both come from a place of professionalism; ours is a strict tantrum-free work zone with a rigidly enforced no-drama policy. It helps, of course, that neither of us engages in drama to begin with.

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We stuck together, ignored all advice, and extracted any meddlers with prompt micro-surgical precision. For two years, we’ve had our noses to the grindstone, working eight-plus hour days, six and sometimes seven days a week. All of that hard work is paying off now, though. In 2015, we will be releasing a total of five novels.

First will be The Cliffhouse Haunting, which will come in March. Grandma’s Rack, which is in the final edits, will come next. Then, I will release my debut solo novel sometime this summer. In fall, we will have written the next two installments of The Ghosts of Ravencrest, which wraps up this story arc and will then be made into a full-length novel. Finally, we will finish the next collaboration which we started planning in 2013 – it will be a hard fast stabby jaunt into the thriller arena – and before the year is out, it will be done.

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Shit happens, and things can change… we know. But the future will take care of itself, and as long as we keep at it, which we fully intend to do, I believe the next few years will be just as exhilarating and productive as the past two.

And regardless of what’s to come, I can’t help looking back at the past two years and saying, “Wow. We did it.” And writing isn’t the only thing we’ve been doing, either; we’ve also been hosting Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, since November. Haunted Nights LIVE! is a horror-themed live internet radio show that airs every Thursday at 9:00 pm Eastern. Already, we’re booked through spring.

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And here’s the best part: We haven’t even had a fight. Not one. And I don’t see one coming any time soon.

So… it can be done, and done well. I realize our union may be unique, but it is absolutely possible to collaborate and benefit from it. If Tamara and I wrote nothing else together, I could say with confidence that working with her was productive and well worth it. I don’t think we’ll stop anytime soon, though. We already have plans for 2016…

The Heart Does Not Grow Back


Sometimes, you read a book, and it reaches into you and rearranges things. You don’t usually know exactly what’s changing, only that some quiet alteration has been made – and that somewhere down the line, you’ll likely react differently to a situation, solve a problem in a new way, or draw an unexpected conclusion about something. You may never even be aware of those subtle differences in yourself, but they’re real. Nothing is wasted; every experience shapes you – and a good book is one of the strongest arguments for that.

I have never actually met Fred Venturini... but I will this Thursday on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, and when I do, I want to thank him for writing a book that changed something in me. Mr. Venturini was recommended as a guest through a publicist that my co-host and co-author Tamara Thorne introduced me to. When we booked Mr. Venturini, we asked for a copy of his novel, The Heart Does Not Grow Back, which was promptly mailed to us and arrived a couple of weeks ago. I planned to start it this weekend, read a little of it each night before bed, and finish it up just in time for Thursday’s interview.

I did start the book this weekend – this morning, in fact – but I haven’t been able to put it down until now. The book is finished, and if it wasn’t, I would still be reading.

I really don’t know what to say about The Heart Does Not Grow Back except that it’s a brilliant story about compelling characters, beautifully told by a gifted author. I am thrilled to have Mr. Venturini on our show, and until then, I will be trying to put order to the many questions I have for him about his work and this incredible book.

I recommend The Heart Does Not Grow Back to anyone who likes a strong story that puts emphasis on friendship, loyalty, love, loss, fresh starts – and the power of change. Fred Venturini will appear on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! this Thursday at 9:00 pm EST, 6:00 Pacific. You can click the book cover below to go to Amazon and purchase the book.

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EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE…

Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.

The Cliffhouse Haunting is Coming…


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The Cliffhouse Haunting is coming in March! This is the story that started it all when, in 2012, Tamara Thorne and I decided to try writing something together. We began with a modest concept – and hoped for the best, both knowing it could go either way. We quickly realized our union was creative, complementary, and productive. The synergy blazed like fireworks as The Cliffhouse Haunting grew into the book that it is now… and beyond. Together, we’ve generated so many ideas that we haven’t stopped collaborating since, and we have enough material to write until we retire.

As a fan of Tamara’s since the mid-nineties, it’s been an honor working with her, and I consider this novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, to be one of greatest achievements of my life. There will be other collaborations between us, but this one will always be the first one. And I couldn’t be happier with it. I have no doubts about this book, and I can’t wait to give it to the world. Right now, the final edits are underway and a truly amazing artist is creating our cover. Until then, here is a little about The Cliffhouse Haunting:

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 houses have 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.

Writing Surprises: Things I Didn’t Expect to Find Out About Writing…


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From setting a good scene, to creating believable dialogue, there’s a lot to learn about writing, but writers aren’t always in the student position. Writing is also a great teacher; storytelling is an age-old practice that has shaped and inspired us since the dawn of time.

A while back, I started a list of things that surprised me about the writing business. I did this simply because it was interesting to me, and now I’ve decided to share a few of my findings. Take from it what you will. These are the things I didn’t understand until I started writing with my whole heart. They haven’t necessarily made me love the process any more or any less, but they are my experiences and I speak only for myself here.

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  • Writers who don’t write? Yes, they exist… and they’re everywhere. I know it sounds critical, but I’ve known dozens of ‘writers’ who do everything but actually write, and they love telling you all the reasons they can’t make it happen. Children, day jobs, unsupportive spouses, housekeeping, you name it – the ways a person can make themselves into victims of circumstance are endless and this kind of avoidance often requires as much creativity as actual writing. I don’t know where the reward in this lifestyle is, but there must be one because of non-writing writers, there are plenty. Though their intentions may be grand, the fact is that you can’t intend your way into writing a book. Until I dig my heels in and put writing first, I can call myself a writer, but no one is going to take me seriously – and that’s what’s fair.

 

  • Writers are artists! And publicists, and marketers, and business owners, and… a lot of other things, too! So you want to be a writer. Great! Now you just need to brush up on your personal relations skills, develop a brand, finish that book, find an audience for it, and start the next novel! The days of writing and leaving everything else to the publishers are gone. Maybe those days will return, maybe they won’t, but one thing is certain: publishers, for the most part, can’t support you. They, like everyone else, are low on resources and trying to recover economically. And even if they did all of your marketing, they don’t manage the business that is your career. And it is a business. As a writer, you’re an entrepreneur; a businessperson. You need to know a lot more than how to write a book – even if it’s a damn good one. Career writing is in an entirely different playing field than hobby writing. In fact, it’s not even the same sport.

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  • It’s all about illusion. We all know that everything we see on TV – even the “reality” stuff – has been refined and prepared for public consumption before it reaches us. That’s because, by its very nature, entertainment relies on glamour, refinement, and illusion. And writing is entertainment. As an author, you are a public figure, and you can’t be a dull one. Back in the old days, authors were mostly faceless storytellers that readers knew nothing about. Now, thanks to social media, readers can connect with authors, and they expect to. These days, writers need to be aware of how they present themselves. It’s confusing for readers to see their favorite author of serial-killer slash-trash beaming into the camera like a flower child on Prozac as he pushes his tow-headed nephew on a swing. It’s equally conflicting when you come across the Facebook photos of a children’s author face-down and ass up in a puddle of her own sick after a party. Writers are brands and readers have expectations about what kinds of people they are based on what they write. And to fail to deliver is to disappoint your audience.

 

  • Time is a cruel mistress. When you have deadlines, there isn’t time to waste, so a lot of pastimes must go by wayside. I’ve come to realize that when I’m not writing, I should be plotting, researching, or working on marketing, lest I fall into the naïve philosophy generated – and perpetuated – by authors who presume the world cares that they’ve written a novel. People don’t care until you give them a reason to care, and that takes time. Take days off, yes, but like money, time is either spent or invested, so I have to be aware of where mine goes. With the exception of a few TV shows, I don’t like television, and I’ve cut down social activity to the things I really enjoy. For the most part, I live by this philosophy: If you aren’t part of the path, get off the road. It’s harsh perhaps, but I know I wasn’t put here to socialize, have babies, or make lots of friends. I was put here to create something bigger than me. I’m not a sentimental person, and if cutting the fat so I can spend more time writing makes me a dick, I’m comfortable with that.

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  • But I wrote a whole book! Every book you write stimulates the sales of your previous books and from observing other writers, I’ve learned that writing one book, or two for that matter, isn’t enough to build much interest. If that one book is all I want to write, that’s fine too, but if I’m looking to have a career, I need more than one or two products to offer.

 

  • They came to be entertained. If you are a fiction author looking to teach before entertain, you had better be very subtle about it. Readers rarely browse the fiction sections looking for life lessons. Fiction readers mainly want to be entertained, and in much the same way viewers don’t care if J-Lo is an amazing cake-decorator in her free time, no one cares about your degrees, or what invaluable wisdom your great Aunt Ethel passed down to you. These things give you no prevalence here. Do you know how to tell a compelling story…? That is the question.

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  • There are no days off. When you aren’t writing, you’re still writing. That’s all I have to say about that.

 

  • Sometimes… the voices really do tell me what to do. We’ve all heard writers say things like, “Oh, I just let my characters tell me the story.” It sounds so fickle, and yet, it’s the God’s honest truth. I try to keep my characters under some control to be sure the plot doesn’t go off track but these make-believe people really do have agendas of their own. It’s a phenomenon that I don’t understand; but for me, it’s just part of the joy. I don’t want to analyze it, I just love that it happens.

 

  • People want to be part of your progress. When it’s innocent, it’s a testament to the good in people. Your real friends are thrilled that you’re doing something you love and they celebrate the accomplishments with you. This is the support group you’ll need when things get tough, and these folks are rare. Hold them close because there’s another type of person who wants to be part of your progress too, except their motives are different. These guys like to take credit for your success. Or they like to think they’ve inspired your art – that you base your characters off them, write your poetry about them, and paint your paintings in the likeness of their divine beauty. It’s embarrassing. And instead of being joyful of your success, these guys will wave your hard work away and say you “got lucky.” Some of these folks are other writers and some are not… but all of them are unfulfilled and unable to find their own power in the world. They’ve resorted to stoking someone else’s fire just to get close to some sparks. Cut these people away from you like a mole that just changed color.

 

  • You really can make a living doing this. Maybe that wasn’t true in 1950. Maybe it wasn’t even true in 1998, but today, if you produce quality work, put effort into marketing, make informed decisions, and continue building a backlog of material, you can thrive as a writer. I know many people who do. Some of them are with one of the “Big Five” and some of them are self-published on Amazon. They have nothing in common with each other regarding genre, age, sex, or race. But what they do have is grit and determination. They all make time to write, they all work hard, they all finish what they start, and none of them are willing to let the world – or anyone in it – tell them they can’t do it.

A Testimonial from Horror Author, William Malmborg


“I must say, of all the interviews I have given during my writing career, appearing on Haunted Nights LIVE was, by far, the most enjoyable of them all. The chemistry between Tamara and Alistair is fantastic and handled in such a way that it is easy for a guest like myself to not only join in, but feel like we’ve all been hanging out and talking for years. Never before have I felt so at ease during an interview. It was so much fun, and, if given the opportunity, I would love to do it again!”

~William Malmborg, author of Jimmy, Text Message, and Scraping the Bone

Listen to our live show at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! and visit my website for a full-guest list.

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