The Taking by Dean Koontz


The Taking, Dean Koontz, 2004 My favorite quote: “We’re down the hole to Wonderland, and no White Rabbit to guide us.” If I remember correctly, the White Rabbit was an unreliable guide, anyway.” Notable characters: Mary Sloan, the typically-insipid main character; Neil, the typically-bland husband; Virgil, the ever-present preternaturally intelligent dog Most memorable scene: OneContinue reading “The Taking by Dean Koontz”

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming


Casino Royale (James Bond, book one, Ian Fleming, 1953 My favorite quote: ” ‘People are islands,’ she said. ‘They don’t really touch. However close they are, they’re really quite separate. Even if they’ve been married for fifty years.’ “ Notable characters: James Bond, 007; Vesper Lynd, the femme fatale; LeChiffre, the wicked financier Most memorableContinue reading “Casino Royale by Ian Fleming”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951 My favorite quote: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’tContinue reading “The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger”

A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar


A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors, Michael Farquhar, 2001 My favorite quote: “The rigid, repressed [Queen] Victoria was never a particularly cozy mum, candidly acknowledging early on that she derived ‘no especial pleasure or compensation’ from her large brood ofContinue reading “A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar”

Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham


Pearls Before Swine (#12 in the Albert Campion series), Margery Allingham, 1945 (originally published as Coroner’s Pidgin) My favorite quote: “Nobody, nobody ever killed anyone simply in order to provide an awkward corpse in someone else’s house.” Notable characters: Albert Campion, the detective Most memorable scene: Campion in the bath while his servant, Lugg, andContinue reading “Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham”

Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul


Comes the Blind Fury, John Saul, 1980 My favorite quote: “All she knew was her anger. Her anger and her hatred … ” Notable characters: Michelle Pendleton, the new girl; Amanda, the blind dead girl Most memorable scene: I’m not gonna lie … Amanda, sailing off the cliff …  Greatest strengths: I have to say,Continue reading “Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul”

The Long Walk by Stephen King


The Long Walk, Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman), 1979 My favorite quote: “They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn’t like to look at them. They were the walking dead.” Notable characters: Ray Garraty, the main Walker; McVries, a Walker who befriends Garraty; Stebbins, a Walker with a secret; theContinue reading “The Long Walk by Stephen King”

Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy


Midnight Cowboy, James Leo Herlihy, 1965 My favorite quote: “Her voice went soft and sweet: it seemed to be luring some small child into a gas chamber with promises of candy.” Notable characters: Joe Buck, the cowboy; Ratso Rizzo, the con-man Most memorable scene: The bus ride to Miami, of course … Greatest strengths: Clear,Continue reading “Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy”

Behind the Book: The Forgotten, by Tamara Thorne


The Forgotten: Cozy Horror I haven’t revisited my novel, The Forgotten, since the early 2000s, when I first wrote it. Now, I’m listening to it chapter by chapter, as the audio producer turns it in, and it’s quite an eye-opener. While there is, as always, plenty sex and violence — along with ribald problems likeContinue reading “Behind the Book: The Forgotten, by Tamara Thorne”

Masking the Monster


Do you prefer in-your-face horror or suggestive horror? Which frightens you most when you’re reading a ghost story or watching a scary movie? In Poltergeist, while we do see a number of masks worn by the real supernatural entity, for most of us, the clown doll that we see in place of the monster itselfContinue reading “Masking the Monster”

Come for the Vampires, Stay for the Wasp – by Tamara Thorne


The Black Wasp is the third book in Alistair Cross’  Vampires of Crimson Cove series, and it’s a stunner.  I unabashedly love all my collaborator’s solo works, but with this tale, he has achieved new heights of imagination and storytelling. The book — and the title character — is riveting. When Alistair first introduced herContinue reading “Come for the Vampires, Stay for the Wasp – by Tamara Thorne”

Guess What’s Coming to Audible…


The Black Wasp, book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series, is on its way to Audible.com. Here’s an excerpt where Cade Colter meets the Exterminators — a fanatical group of would-be vampire slayers … Get the entire series … The Crimson Corset eBook: https://amzn.to/3ePl34T Paper: https://amzn.to/3xCgTWx Audio: https://adbl.co/3nKUMbV The Silver Dagger eBook: https://amzn.to/3vxN87nContinue reading “Guess What’s Coming to Audible…”

The Silver Dagger is Now Available in Audiobook!


The Silver Dagger, book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series, is now available at Audible.com! If you haven’t yet read book 1, The Crimson Corset, you can get it in audiobook as well. Book 3, The Black Wasp, is on its way and is available now in eBook and paperback at Amazon. BrotherContinue reading “The Silver Dagger is Now Available in Audiobook!”

The Black Wasp Has Landed


It’s official! The Black Wasp, book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series is available now! Get the entire series at Amazon! The Vampires of Crimson Cove series The Crimson Corset eBook: https://amzn.to/3ePl34T Paper: https://amzn.to/3xCgTWx Audio: https://adbl.co/3nKUMbV The Silver Dagger eBook: https://amzn.to/3vxN87n Paper: https://amzn.to/2PCMsOL Audio: coming soon The Black Wasp eBook: https://amzn.to/3gxVmGD Paper: https://amzn.to/3xcJUqKContinue reading “The Black Wasp Has Landed”

Creepy, Stabby, and Mentally Odd – A Review


I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Creepy, Stabby, and Mentally Odd — which comes out TODAY, btw! — and I was surprised by what I found. This was my first excursion into the work and world of Wednesday Lee Friday and I’m not going to lie: I’m impressed. Creepy, Stabby, andContinue reading “Creepy, Stabby, and Mentally Odd – A Review”

Movie Poster-Esque Artwork for The Black Wasp


The Vampires of Crimson Cove series The Crimson Corset eBook: https://amzn.to/3ePl34T Paper: https://amzn.to/3xCgTWx Audio: https://adbl.co/3nKUMbV The Silver Dagger eBook: https://amzn.to/3vxN87n Paper: https://amzn.to/2PCMsOL Audio: coming soon The Black Wasp: Coming 6/13

My Top Ten Favorite Paranormal Novels


Choosing my ten favorite paranormal novels is like walking through a candy store and trying to choose only a few favorite pieces. I discovered the paranormal and horror genres at a young age, and instantly fell in love, submerging myself in everything from Stephen King movies (Carrie was my favorite when I was a kid) andContinue reading “My Top Ten Favorite Paranormal Novels”

The Crimson Corset – a Review from FaerieFits


In honor of the June 13th release of The Black Wasp (book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series), here’s a review of book 1, The Crimson Corset, from FaerieFits: “I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked up The Crimson Corset. I don’t actually even know how I found it, but you know,Continue reading “The Crimson Corset – a Review from FaerieFits”

Of Nightmares, There Will be Plenty: A Review of Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco


Marian Rolfe desperately wants to spend the sunny season away from the city, and the summer rental she finds advertised is everything she’s looking for. Her husband, Ben, is initially against it, but she eventually talks him into it. After giving the place a look and meeting its very odd owners, Marian and Ben eventuallyContinue reading “Of Nightmares, There Will be Plenty: A Review of Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco”

The Black Wasp – Excerpt #2


Crouching behind a Dumpster near the mouth of the street, Scythe watched one of the women. She was beautiful, Asian, with startling electric blue eyes, and even from here, he could smell her. The bouquet of perfume, female skin, and human blood nearly pushed him over the edge. Her looks didn’t hurt either. She wasContinue reading “The Black Wasp – Excerpt #2”

She Comes with the Fog …


THE BLACK WASP, book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series, is coming June 13th! Something is coming … As he grieves the death of his girlfriend at the fangs of his own brother, Cade Colter attracts the attention of a group of fanatical vampire killers. His life is in turmoil and just whenContinue reading “She Comes with the Fog …”

The Wild West of Publishing, Episode 1: Things to Avoid


Thorne & Cross sit down with longtime author, editor, and publisher, Margaret Lucke, to discuss writing and publishing in today’s climate. In episode 1: Things to Avoid, Margaret discusses some of the pitfalls of writing and things she sees as an editor that will keep a manuscript from being accepted by a publisher. Listen inContinue reading “The Wild West of Publishing, Episode 1: Things to Avoid”

To Pants or Plot


One thing I’m frequently asked is whether I write an outline for my books, or just fly by the seat of my pants. The short answer is: both. The long answer is a little more complicated. In my experience there are two types of writers: plot-driven writers and character-driven writers. Whereas the strength of plot-drivenContinue reading “To Pants or Plot”

The Black Wasp Has a Release Date!


It’s official! The Black Wasp, book 3 of the Vampires of Crimson Cove series will be released on June 13th! The eBook version will hit first, followed by the paperback shortly afterward. Then will come the audiobook version – but not before the audio release of book 2, The Silver Dagger, which is on itsContinue reading “The Black Wasp Has a Release Date!”

Writer’s Etiquette – Top Tips for Writers From Thorne & Cross


While there are no definitive rules about how writers should present themselves, there are some things we’ve learned along the way about what works – and what doesn’t. My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I have seen and heard a lot of things in our combined 40 years of experience in the writing industry that haveContinue reading “Writer’s Etiquette – Top Tips for Writers From Thorne & Cross”

In the Wrong Vein: Writing the Book That’s Ready to be Written


With the release of The Black Wasp, book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove looming ever closer, I thought I’d write a little about the book that came before it, book 2, The Silver Dagger, which leads directly into The Black Wasp. The Silver Dagger was, if nothing else, a testament that some booksContinue reading “In the Wrong Vein: Writing the Book That’s Ready to be Written”

The King of Character: Thorne & Cross on the Work of Stephen King


Vampires hiding in mobile homes. Sentient vehicles with attitude. Characters haunted by ghosts, real or imagined. People tormented by addictions, supernatural powers, even their own sense of right and wrong. Folks fighting inner and outer demons alike, facing corruption by greed or some other deadly sin. Even alien shit-weasels burrowing into the darkest recesses ofContinue reading “The King of Character: Thorne & Cross on the Work of Stephen King”

I am Now Officially Fully Vaccinated … and I Don’t Care …


I got my second COVID-19 vaccine today … and I’m proud of it. I realize that getting vaccinated is basically as controversial as not getting vaccinated at this point, but I don’t care. I’ve long accepted that no matter what you choose to do, you’ll incite the ire of someone for one reason or anotherContinue reading “I am Now Officially Fully Vaccinated … and I Don’t Care …”

Tamara Thorne’s ETERNITY is now Available in Audiobook


Eternity by Tamara Thorne is available in audiobook at Audible.com! Eternity features Sheriff Zach Tully, who is now getting his very own series, so this is a great place to start. Welcome To Eternity … A Little Bit Of Hell On Earth Eternity, California, is the sort of charming spot tourists flock to every summerContinue reading “Tamara Thorne’s ETERNITY is now Available in Audiobook”

To Write a Thrilling Thriller


In honor a Mother’s Day – here’s a little about the Thorne & Cross thriller, Mother … and writing thrillers in general … Thrillers are a little different from mystery and a little different from horror. Though all these genres tend to blend and merge to varying degrees, writing them – and reading them –Continue reading “To Write a Thrilling Thriller”

RIP Tawny Kitaen


I’m saddened to hear about the passing of actress and 80s video vixen, Tawny Kitaen. I was always a huge fan of Witchboard, not to mention those awesome Whitesnake videos. Rest in peace. Read the article here. From Wikipedia: “Kitaen was born Julie Kitaen in San Diego, California in 1961, the daughter of Linda Kitaen (née Taylor), aContinue reading “RIP Tawny Kitaen”

False Starts … or Oh, How I Hate the Beginning


Every writer has their problem area, some part of the plot that just gives them fits. It’s usually what’s infamously known as the “sagging middle,” but for me, it’s the beginning. Always. Not the entire first act, just the opening scenes – especially that first one.  I’ve accepted that when I’m beginning a new book,Continue reading “False Starts … or Oh, How I Hate the Beginning”

Cats, The Writer’s Familiar


I’m a cat person. I just seem to have been born that way. Some of my first memories are of the family cat, a big gray tabby named Tiger. I wanted desperately to win his affection and can vividly remember inflicting upon him kisses, hugs, and vast quantities of unsolicited loves. As you might imagine,Continue reading “Cats, The Writer’s Familiar”

How Gretchen Got Her (Gruesome) Groove Back


Gretchen VanTreese is back – and more furious than ever. If you’ve read The Silver Dagger (book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series) you know she went through some, er, hard times and lost a little of her mojo for a while there, but in The Black Wasp, she’s back to her oldContinue reading “How Gretchen Got Her (Gruesome) Groove Back”

When You Join, It’s for Life …


As of today, you can get Tamara Thorne’s cheerleader-centric horror/comedy, The Sorority in audiobook at Audible.com. The Sorority is read by the inimitable Caroline Kiley – who also narrated Tamara’s classic, Haunted. I asked Tamara to tell you guys a little more about The Sorority and here’s what she had to say about it: “MyContinue reading “When You Join, It’s for Life …”

A Reading of my Poem, Connemara Eyes, by Mike Davidson


Poetry has always been an emotional and creative outlet for me. It allows me to express all kinds of things about my life and the world I live in without actually giving away anything too terribly personal. As a rule, I don’t like explaining the meaning of my poems because I want the reader toContinue reading “A Reading of my Poem, Connemara Eyes, by Mike Davidson”

Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin


A while back, my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I spent five nights documenting the phenomena inside – and outside – of an allegedly haunted cabin tucked deep in the woods in Gold Country. This being my first paranormal investigation, I was happy to be joining someone with Tamara’s experience, but I’ll be honest – IContinue reading “Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin”