Today is the last day to get your copy of THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING for .99 on Amazon!
And here’s a list of the weekend’s events!
Today through Saturday, The Cliffhouse Haunting is on sale for only .99 at Amazon! To celebrate, here is this week’s copy of the The Cliffside Weekly Chronicle! Just click the pic below to obtain your .99 cent copy!
THE CLIFFSIDE WEEKLY CHRONICLE
Another Death at the Peppermint Stix Motel
Another body has been found in Cliffside. The unidentified male was discovered by Bernard Cox, owner of the Peppermint Stix Motel on Main Street. “I’ve seen a lot of disgusting things – I’ve been running this run-down piece of sh*t motel for years – but I ain’t never seen anything the likes of this!” Cox went on to describe the scene. “So this fellow – he was ripped apart. A leg here, an arm there. And there was water everywhere. And his intestines, or something like that, was pulled out of him and draped around like festoons on the fourth of July!”
The body was taken to the Cliffside Funeral Home where coroner Gene Holmes, M.D., was expected to autopsy it this morning. Police Chief Jackson Ballou refused to answer questions, saying it was too early in the investigation. “This savage murder is just the latest in a series of deaths that may or may not be related. We haven’t even ruled out a bear attack at this point.”
But Cliffside residents have theories of their own. According to young locals Belle Tabrum and Lacey Mylett, there’s “obviously a serial killer on the loose, you know?” When asked what made them so certain, they seemed at a loss and failed to respond. Tessa Cornhull, RN, also believes the murders are connected. “It’s practically common sense,” says Cornhull. “Each of the victims is torn apart, but that’s not even what kills them. They die by drowning. Water in the lungs. That sounds like an MO to me!” Neither the police nor the coroner would confirm Cornhull’s claims of water being present in the lungs of the deceased, saying only that “The investigations are ongoing,” though Cornhull retains her belief that murder is afoot.
But Walter Gardner, groundskeeper of the Cliffside Lodge, has a different theory. Says Gardner, “It’s the Blue Lady. She’s come back. And when the Blue Lady walks, death walks with her.” Maggie O’Connor, a maid at the lodge, concurs with Gardner, saying, “I saw her. In the mirror in a room on the third floor. It scared me to death and I almost quit my job until my boss talked me into staying.”
Unable to obtain any substantial findings, we contacted local doctor, Roger Siechert, who was physician to several of the deceased. When told of the locals’ speculations, Dr. Siechert gave a boisterous laugh, saying, “I don’t know about all that, but are you guys coming to Oktoberfest this year? I’m making my famous Weisswurst. I’m going to win the contest this year! You just watch and see!”
According to Pastor Harry Beaver of the Baptist church, that comes as no surprise. Says Beaver, “Dr. Siechert wins first place every gosh darned year. It’d be nice to see someone else take that ribbon for once.”
So Who is the Blue Lady?
Interest in Cliffside’s own local ghost, the Blue Lady, has increased since long-time Cliffhouse Groundsman, Walter Gardner, said that he thinks the latest murders in our town – specifically at the Peppermint Stix Motel – may be connected to the deaths. And he says his theory has nothing to do with the unverified rumor that the victims’ lungs are full of water.
The Blue Lady sightings date back to the late 1700s when a short-lived Spanish Settlement occupied the area, then reemerged in 1886 when the Cliffhouse Lodge was built. The Blue Lady is often connected to serial murders such as those committed by The Gaslight Killer in the 1880s and The Bodice Ripper of the Prohibition Era. Local lore has it that the Blue Lady, a vengeful spirit of unknown origin, is said to appear during times of violence and death, and that such sightings are a prelude to murder.
It is most commonly believed that the ghost makes her home in or near the water, hence the name of the small lake near the Cliffside Lodge, Blue Lady Lake.
Self-Proclaimed Psychic Signs at the Crystal Cavern
Psychic medium Constance Welling has written many books on the occult and will be at the Crystal Cavern Occult Book Shop this Saturday from 2pm to 4pm signing her latest book in the Crystal Method series, The Kiss of the Wild Crystal. She will also be a giving a talk on getting in touch with your inner spirit guide. Her own spirit guide, (referred to as Eliza,) has been with her since childhood, after a near-fatal accident. Welling says Eliza has given her insight and guided her hand while writing her many books, as well as “helping others with their spiritual needs.”
Welling is currently staying at the Cliffhouse Lodge and says it’s extremely haunted. The medium says she hopes that the owners, Adam and Teddy Baxter-Bellamy, will relent and allow her to hold a seance in the lodge to speak with notorious 1920s serial killer, the Bodice Ripper. She hopes to once and for all identify the Ripper so that, “his many victims can at last go into the light.”
Adam Baxter-Bellamy responded to this reporter’s question. “We want to reassure our guests – past, present, and future, that Cliffhouse is not haunted – except possibly by a friendly feline ghost – and that no ghost-hunting or seances will happen here.”
Ms. Welling vehemently disagrees, stating that most non-gifted persons are unaware of ghostly goings-on. According to Ms. Welling, she is the only member of her family to have inherited what she calls the “gift.” Says Welling, “I used to tell my older sister what her dates were going to be like, and I was always right.” Constance’s only sibling, Phyllis Stine of Snapdragon, California, refused to comment, saying only that she had to get off the phone as a pressing neighborhood matter required her immediate attention. “Just make sure she has the best of everything,” said Stine, “and she’ll make you a few bucks. She insists on dining and traveling in style.”
And Ms. Welling is not traveling alone. She’s brought a hired hand to “help her manage her schedule,” and to “keep the fans at bay.” When asked if he thought his employer was as psychically gifted as she claims, Welling’s personal assistant, Luke Donovan, abruptly excused himself.
Welling’s The Crystal Method Series, as well as her children’s book, My Crystal and Me, are published by Faerie Dust Press, a small publisher based in Bakerton, California, owned by Rodney Hicks. You can obtain copies of Ms. Welling’s ebooks through Amazon. For paperback copies, send self-addressed stamped 6X9” envelopes to Rodney at his mother’s residence at: 17 Peanut Berry Circle, Bakerton, CA. For signed copies of her books, Ms. Welling says, “You’ll just have to come to one of my signings.”
Sadly, Ms. Welling’s first book, Beautiful Cluster, has gone out of print.
Wine Tasting Weekend at The Cliffhouse Lodge
The Cliffhouse Lodge will host their bi-monthly wine tasting this Saturday evening from seven to nine pm. The event is free to guests of the lodge and open to the public for $10 a person. Chantrieri wines from California’s own Valentyn Vineyards will be served along with Cliffhouse’s own Blue Springs Sparkling Water and an assortment of o’dourves prepared at the in-house bistro, Le Chatte Rouge. The event takes place in Cliffhouse’s historic lobby and features Jordan Cartwright on the piano.
“Our evening wine tastings are very popular,” says co-owner Sara Baxter-Bellamy. “Cliffhouse is an amazing place, one of the first hotels ever built in the San Bernardino Mountains. The lobby is breathtaking and even has a natural brook running through it. Try it once, you’ll want to come again.”
Dinner will be served from 4 pm through 10 pm at La Chatte Rouge and manager Paul Butters says they will be featuring their own California cuisine, including Asiago and Kale pizza, Trout with Cranberry and Peppercorn Glaze, and Filet Mignon with Framboise du Congélateur.
Old West Days
Later this month, as part of Cliffside’s, Welcome to Summer festivities, The Cliffhouse Lodge will play host to Old West Days, a reenactment of the old west that’s been a popular event for over fifty years. “Back in the day, it was called ‘Cowboys and Indians Days,” explains local historian Stanford Swiller, “but we aren’t allowed to say that anymore. Nor are we allowed to depict battles but there will be a rodeo in the field by the Cliffside Stables near the lodge.”
On the Great Lawn, there will be native American dances and crafts, Cowboy crafts, including a class in whittling led by our own chief of police, Jackson Ballou, knot-tying classes, a reenactment of the Gunfight at the OK Corral and plenty of strolling, strumming, singing cowboys. The hotel will sponsor a barbecue in conjunction in La Chatte Rouge and welcome plenty of concession stands for food and libations. Other concessions will sell cowboy and native gear for young and old alike and each evening there will be square-dancing under the stars.
Admission to Old West Days is $15 per person. Cliffhouse Lodge will supply a free shuttle to ferry guests between the hotel and the stables.
Services for Eliot “Rainbow” Nash, 43, will be held at the Cliffside Funeral Home Thursday at 10 a.m. Mr. Nash is survived by his wife, Myrna, and children Greenwich, Daffodil, Hoody, and Solstice. Mr. Nash was a locally famous glassblower whose Pine Street shop, Tinkling Things, was destroyed in the freak explosion that took Mr. Nash’s life. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, mourners donate to Old Seamen’s Retirement Home in Red Cay.
Film Festival Honoring Maisy Hart
Next Friday night, the Cliffside Arts Theater will feature an evening of films starring our own Maisy Hart. Miss Hart, who is a permanent resident at the Cliffhouse Lodge, was a scream queen back in the 1960s, starring in such films as Creature of the Indigo Swamp, Scream of the Shrew Monster, Screaming Girls of Calaveras County and Screams of the Sorority Sisters.
Miss Hart will be there in person to answer questions and autograph DVDs. Admission is $12. The doors open at 5 pm.
Person of the Week
We all know yearly Person of the Week, Noble Mason, who regularly helps Cliffside residents deal with everything from plumbing problems to choosing the right paint, but how many know about Pat Matthews, his righthand man and brother-in-law? This week, Pat is our Person of the Week.
Pat has worked for Noble Mason since marrying Noble’s sister, Taffilynn, fifteen years ago and they, along with their twelve children, are prominent residents of our fair village. “Pat’s a good guy,” says Noble. “He follows my orders with a smile and takes good care of my baby sister and all my little nieces and nephews.”
Pat, who hails from Twin Falls, Idaho, says he loves Cliffside and is glad to be a part of our town. In addition to acting as handyman, he likes to spend lots of time with his wife and children. “Taffilynn has one in the oven, if you know what I mean, and we’re hoping eventually to have enough kids to make two baseball teams. That would be great. Just great!”
Pat works full time taking care of problems for the town’s residents while Taffilynn is a stay-at-home mom who fills her days taking care of their children. “She loves it,” says Pat. “She was born to be a mom. And I was born to be a dad. It’s great. Just great.”
Taffilynn declined to be interviewed but Truthanne and Shrudilee, their twin girls, said of their dad, “He’s great. When Mom’s not home, he lets us watch The Walking Dead!”
Loyd McRoid, aka Loyd the Roid, was arrested for illegally occupying a hotel room and cleaning out honor bar at the Doc Holliday Inn. McRoid, 53, evidently slipped into the unoccupied room and spent the night. Hotel worker Felicia Hornblower found him passed out naked on the bed, the entire contents of the honor bar strewn about him. Everything had been consumed. Two empty bottles of whiskey were also found in the room, one filled with urine. The bathroom was untouched.
Harvey Tanbottum, 37, was arrested after throwing a barstool through a window at Bloodhound’s Bar Wednesday night. Tanbottum claimed a blue-skinned woman had tried to sodomize him in the bathroom. When other patrons disregarded his claims, Tanbottum “Just lost it!” says an anonymous drinker. Bloodhound’s – locally known as Boozehound’s – is next door to the Peppermint Stix Motel, but police say Tanbottum, despite staying at the motel, was not involved in recent deaths there.
Carlotta Wellbourne, 52, was arrested for shoplifting at Cliffside Market Tuesday afternoon after she was seen stuffing lobster claws into her blouse. The society matron is famous for her charitable works, particularly for her annual Scotsman’s Balls in which attendees come dressed in kilts and other Scottish attire.
Today, at 7 – 8 pm EST, Tamara Thorne and I will be chatting about our upcoming book, MOTHER, on Facebook at The Edge of Madness Release Party.
Just go to this page, join the event, and come hang out with us from 7 – 8 pm EST, where we’ll be discussing writing, MOTHER, books, and anything you’d like to know!
GRAVE EXPECTATIONS, episode 1 of THE WITCHES OF RAVENCREST is now available!! Just click the book below to buy!
A New Day Has Dawned
After confronting the evil lurking in the east wing of Ravencrest Manor, butler Grant Phister realizes governess Belinda Moorland’s talents may be the key to undoing centuries of bloodshed and evil. Taking her under his wing, he begins teaching her the ways of her power – but is she strong enough to break the curse that has plagued the Manning family for centuries – the curse that keeps her handsome employer, Eric Manning, just beyond her reach?
A New Power Has Awakened
Meanwhile, strange things are happening at Ravencrest. A furious entity is breaking things in the parlor, the scarecrow has gone missing, and the creature in the vent is tormented by a ravenous new hunger. The very earth is alive – with an insatiable appetite for blood.
Praise for The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Book One in The Ravencrest Saga
“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.
“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
“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.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID
“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
“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 and the CHESTERTON HOLT MYSTERIES
“THE CRIMSON CORSET is a good read. There is a colorful cast of characters, a clever plot, and an intricate structure … there are surprises and jumps and starts, sex and death, beauty and gore, something for everyone … if you are looking for set-up and pay-off, this novel will not disappoint.”
“This was an awesome read. Mainly because it kept me entertained and excited for the entire book. THE CRIMSON CORSET isn’t every other vampire book.”
“Falling somewhere between paranormal romance and vintage horror, THE CRIMSON CORSET is a tale of small towns, family ties, and vampires. Alistair Cross puts just enough of a spin on vampire mythology to distinguish his tale from the competition, and tells it with a slow-burning, subtle sort of flair that really pays off in the end …THE CRIMSON CORSET is one of those rare novels that manages to succeed across the board.”
-BEAUTY IN RUINS
“Do yourself a HUGE favour – if you only read ONE horror/vampire themed book this year then be sure to make it THE CRIMSON CORSET by Alistair Cross. Horror lovers will adore its unashamed gore and graveyard humour and it has plenty of romance to satisfy paranormal romance fans who fancy a darker, Gothic inspired read … a tale that not only has a lot of bite but also plays with the readers’ emotions, in one scary, bloody and lust-filled ride!”
-A READER’S REVIEW BLOG
Tomorrow night at 8:00 pm EST, Tamara Thorne and I will on Authors on the Air – on the other side of the mic. Host Pam Stack is turning the tables and will be interviewing us about our upcoming novel, THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING, which will be available soon.
Also, my hometown of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, did a feature in their local newspaper, The Pyramid, about THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING’S release. Give it a read and find out the official title of my upcoming solo novel, which will be available later this year.
It’s a matter of days now until we unleash the beast that is THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING on an unsuspecting public, and we’re very excited to do so. Tune in to Authors on the Air tomorrow night at 8 to hear more about this novel.
March 12, 2015
It’s been a decade since I began concentrating my energy and aiming my efforts at a specific destination – and only in the past year or two have things started to make some sense. The journey from there to here has been a long hard practice in blind faith, and while the distance ahead is just as daunting, it’s hard not to look back from time to time and say, ‘Wow. What a ride.’
People have come; people have gone. Some of them knew me; some saw only their own ideals. But the few who really understood me and where I was trying to go – those who remain at my side today… they have my unending loyalty and love. They are my tribe, and I think that’s what it’s all about: Finding your tribe.
I have found my tribe. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time. I’m doing something that utilizes every detail of who I am. Through writing, I’ve become fulfilled – which is, I believe, as close to any kind of lasting happiness as one can possibly get.
It hasn’t come easy, but on an innate level, I always believed that if I plowed onward, despite adversity and doubt, that by one means or another, I’d acquire the things I’d need to get where I was going. I’m happy to report that, so far, this has proven true for me. Also, I believe in leaps of faith, and understand faith to be a verb and not an idle state of mind. I’m grateful for that understanding because it hasn’t allowed me to be taken in by illusions of fate, privilege, or chance; I knew I’d have to work hard for this, and I that there’s a lot more work ahead of me. But I’m grateful for where I am now. Truly. And there’s much to be grateful for.
As I write this, my co-author, Tamara Thorne, and I are on the brink of releasing our debut novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting. While we’ve had five installments of The Ghosts of Ravencrest published – with the sixth on its way – Cliffhouse is special because it’s the first story line Tamara and I ever discussed together – it is the reason we’re still collaborating on so many projects, including Grandma’s Rack, which is in the final stages of production. Also, I am 60,000 words into my first solo novel, which has been a long time coming, and on top of all this, Tamara and I are happily hosting our own horror-themed internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, where, once a week, I get to meet some of the biggest names in the business. It’s all so surreal and I never would have predicted any of it. I don’t take these things for granted, and even if it ended now, I’d say that, yeah… persistence pays off. And then some.
Saranna De Wylde has always been fascinated by things better left in the dark. She wrote her first story after watching The Exorcist at a slumber party. Since then, she’s published horror, romance and narrative nonfiction. Like all writers, Saranna has held a variety of jobs, from operations supervisor for an airline, to an assistant for a call girl, to a corrections officer. But like Hemingway said, “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.” So she traded in her cuffs for a full-time keyboard.
E-mail us privately at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! for your chance to win an ebook from Saranna. Just email us at ay time today and and we’ll announce the winner.
Listen to the show tonight at 6:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Eastern:
Click the pic to go to the show!
Although I have yet to achieve my goal of meeting Stevie Nicks, I will be interviewing New York Times bestseller Christopher Rice, who’s mother, the legendary Anne Rice, is mentioned in the Stevie Nicks song, New Orleans. Baby steps…
It’s a stretch, I admit, but hey… no matter how you look at it, it’s pretty cool.
But really, I have read many of Christopher Rice’s novels and have been captivated by them all. Recently, he did a book signing with my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and the two of them hit it off, and voila! Yesterday he confirmed that he would, in fact, love to be our guest on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! We don’t have a definite date yet, and are booked well into the spring, but as soon as soon as I do… I will post it everywhere that’s legal, and perhaps even a few places that aren’t (watch out, Wal-Mart bathroom stalls; I’m talkin’ to you.)
Until then, our podcasts with some of the biggest names in the business are available – and we have many upcoming shows with writers and paranormal experts of the same clout. You can listen to these podcasts on iTunes or by going to the Haunted Nights LIVE! page of my website where you can also see the full guest list.
So, give us a listen at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! where we discuss everything horror; from fact, to fiction, to that indiscernible area in between.
Also confirmed today:
Kealan Patrick Burke is coming to Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Burke is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Currency of Souls, Stage Whispers, and Master of the Moors, just to name a few.
He is also a fantastic book designer who has designed cover art for such authors as Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Brian Keene, and Scott Nicholson.
His story Peekers is in development as a feature film from Lionsgate Entertainment, and we are STOKED to have him.
As soon as I know the date, it shall be posted…
Write what you love. That is the cardinal rule Tamara Thorne and I live by. That being said, we are pleased to announce some exciting changes coming to our serialized novel, The Erotic Adventures of Belinda.
Although we began this serial as a strictly erotic tale with just a hint of ghostly goings-on, we’ve found we enjoy our specters and scandals far too much to stick to erotica alone. Therefore, we have decided to make ourselves happy by including more of what we love most – ghosts, mysteries, and chills. But no worries if you’re reading Belinda purely for the erotica – there will still be oodles of sexy thrills, we promise. However, with the release of our third installment, Darker Shadows, due out in the coming weeks, Darkness and Erotica will become equal partners in a sexy, spooky Danse Macabre.
First, we’ve changed the series title to something that speaks of the shadowed corridors, disembodied voices, and mysterious footsteps that haunt the halls of Ravencrest Manor: The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
We will also be adding some previously deleted scenes that concentrated more on the spectral than the sexual. The changes are minor, but because of these additions, we’ll be combining all three installments – The New Governess, Awakening, and the new release, Darker Shadows – into an omnibus edition for the single-installment price of 2.99. That way you’ll be getting all three for the price of one. Think of it as the unexpurgated version of Belinda’s tale.
We hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy writing it!
I just heard the news of Joan Rivers’ death. I am saddened and I wish comfort and peace to her loved ones. She was a very funny woman who spoke her mind and that’s something I always admired. Here are a few of my favorite Joan Rivers quotes:
1. “The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.”
2. “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”
3. “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.”
4. “People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”
5. “Don’t tell your kids you had an easy birth or they won’t respect you. For years I used to wake up my daughter and say, ‘Melissa you ripped me to shreds. Now go back to sleep.”
6. “I’m Jewish. I don’t work out. If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.”
7. “I have no methods; all I do is accept people as they are.”
8. “Boy George is all England needs – another queen who can’t dress.”
9. “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.”
10. “I’ve learned from my dealings with Johnny Carson that no matter what kind of friendship you think you have with people you’re working with, when the chips are down, it’s all about business.”
May she rest in peace and may her funeral be everything she dreamed it would be.
What is the most blatant lie I’ve ever told?
What eye color do I think is sexiest?
Do I admire my own writing?
These are just a few of the questions Sonnet O’Dell asked me in my interview for her Meet a Writer Monday guest spot at Dusty Pages. Give her a visit to find the answers to these – and many more – questions. While you’re there, look around and you’ll find all kinds of other interesting things…
Naming characters is a surprisingly phenomenal thing, because, more often than not, they name themselves – as strange as that sounds. What I mean is that they tend to present themselves to their authors fully-formed; they know their own appearances, personalities, and often, they come pre-named. That being said, this wasn’t the way it worked with Belinda.
The name Belinda and I go way back, but first, I thought its historical meaning was interesting. As I researched it, the name struck me as fitting for this story line because in German, Italian, and American, Belinda means: From the Old German Betlindis, which is derived from the word for snake. Images of snakes draw my mind to the Garden of Eden scene in the bible, and Belinda’s story, at its roots, is one of a similar nature.
Still, as interesting as this was to learn, it wasn’t the reason I wanted to use the name Belinda. My reason, I’m afraid, was far simpler.
When I was a kid, I happened upon a book called The Ghost That Goofed by Edith W. Boutelle. This little book had everything I wanted in a story at the time: a ghost, a talking pet, and a grand Halloween party. The ghost’s name, of course, was Belinda. (I feel I need to note here that Boutelle’s ghost and our Belinda Moorland, of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, have nothing in common except the name.) But this wonderful little book, I believe, set the course for me in terms of storytelling, and because of that, I’ve long wanted to pay some kind of tribute to it. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be an easy task.
I have tried to use the name Belinda in just about everything I’ve previously written, and for one reason or another, up until The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, it hasn’t worked out. Belinda is a strong name and not – in my mind – well suited for a minor character. As for main characters, like I said, they tend to name themselves, and none of them jumped up and said, I’m Belinda! I’m Belinda! Then, on the few occasions that I did find a suitable place for the name, I was told no.
No, because it stands out too much.
No, because it’s too long and unusual.
No, because it will remind readers of Belinda Carlisle.
While I had my doubts that the front woman of the Go-Go’s really dominated the consciousness of today’s audience – and I certainly didn’t think the name was too lengthy or foreign for readers to manage – I was new to the business and I took advice easily. Too easily. But I think these things happen for a reason.
When Tamara Thorne and I began to discuss writing an erotic serialization, I knew Belinda was our girl. But I also knew that Tamara had to agree to it. After all, if she had wanted to name our heroine Gonzarella, I would not have been pleased – and I owe Tamara the same respect. We both had to love this name. So I didn’t present it to her right away. I would wait till the time was just right, then – like the snake that the name Belinda is derived from – I would strike! But as fate would have it, I didn’t need to do that.
Tamara knew about The Ghost That Goofed. She knew how much I loved that story, and when it came time to name our girl, Tamara herself basically suggested ‘Belinda’ when she asked me, “What was the name of that ghost you loved as a kid?”
“Belinda,” I said.
She thought about it for about three seconds and said, “I think that would be perfect here.”
And with every cell in my body, I knew she was right, and I was suddenly very glad that I hadn’t used the name somewhere else.
That was many many months ago, and since then, Belinda’s first installment, The New Governess, has been released. Her second installment, Awakening, is in the last stages of publication and will be available in a matter of days.
Belinda’s is a story of handsy spirits, envy and ecstasy, the elusive hit-and-miss nature of love, and magic of the right and wrong kinds, all set in a beautiful Gothic mansion on a breathtaking estate. On the surface, it’s a fun little romp down the haunted hallways of Ravencrest Manor – but at its core, it’s a story about a woman coming into full possession of her sexuality; a woman harnessing her own power, and this new installment, Awakening, is aptly titled. This is where it really begins for her.
I’ve never had as much fun writing anything as I have this story. It’s a pleasure to sit down to every day… and I happen to think her name, Belinda, is just right. I’m grateful to Tamara for agreeing with me on that.
And that’s the story behind the name…
Our article, Extreme Collaborating, is up at Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror. In it, we discuss our unique form of collaboration – how we get in the Cloud and literally write together, often in the same paragraph. Go on over to Crystal Lake Publishing and check it out. While you’re there, look around; you’ll see all kinds of good stuff!
Meanwhile, back at the old Thorney-Cross Ranch, we’ve put the final touches – and strokes – on Belinda’s second installment, Awakening, and you’ll be holding and caressing her with your warm, loving hands very soon! The first installment, The New Governess, is available now!
A radio interviewer asked Tamara Thorne and me how we write together and that was one of the most eye-opening questions we’ve ever had. She was amazed when we told her our method and said she’d never heard of anyone writing like that before. Evidently, many writers split things up with one brainstorming and the other writing. Neither of us can even imagine having any fun doing our job this way. To not be allowed to brainstorm would be horrible! And to not write would be just as bad! We can each imagine this working in non-fiction, but in fiction, if you don’t love both sides – creating and writing – where does that leave you? How can you imagine ideas for your plot and characters without being able to set them down as well, and vice versa? Can a good writer write without his or her imagination taking off and soaring to the heavens? It sounds absolutely horrible to us.
Our collaborations are a 50/50 effort. We plot together, we develop characters together, and we even transcribe together by getting on Skype, opening the Cloud, and working side by side. Sometimes Tamara takes the lead, sometimes Alistair does – but nothing is written without both of us present. We each have our own individual strengths and weaknesses, and we each are aware of the other’s. Luckily for us – as we learned early on – our weaknesses and strengths balance out; where one of us has difficulty, the other is at ease.
One very important part of our process that we stress very much when asked about it, is the personal side of our relationship. Writing is a job, a business, and although we are business partners, we are also friends. We may share the same vision, the same sensibilities, and even similar writing styles, but all of this is pointless without three very important elements: respect, honesty, and loyalty.
Respect comes first. We are aware of each other’s time. We meet every day, six days a week, and work anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. But if something comes up or one of us is running late, we are okay with that.
As for honesty… honesty is something you have to be comfortable with if you intend to write with another person. If one of us hates what the other is writing – though it hasn’t really happened – we’d say so… but kindly. If one of us isn’t feeling the same vibe as the other and thinks the story needs to go a different direction, we discuss it openly.
No drama. We are similar in that we both avoid drama – and the people who spew it – so one of us getting drawn into the chaos of the other one’s personal life issues is never a problem for us. This zero tolerance for drama, in fact, is probably the glue that holds this whole thing together. (Sure, we each tell the other what’s going on in our lives – we’re friends and that’s what friends do – but we don’t dwell. We go to work.)
So kindness, honesty, and a no drama policy is what makes up the respect facet of this deal. Then there is loyalty.
Loyalty comes into play because we are given a lot of advice by outside forces, and sometimes, the advice is not good. We’ve made a firm pact that no decisions will be made without the consent of the other one. No one is allowed to call one of us and discuss changes behind the other’s back. We are business partners, and we operate as such, no exceptions.
With loyalty comes trust, which could easily be the fourth part of the sum. We trust each other with the characters, the storyline, and on a personal level as well, but this trust is built on the foundation of the respect, honesty, and loyalty to which we adhere.
And now that the personal elements of our collaboration have been covered, we come to the creative part of the process.
Each day we spend an hour or two in the morning warming up. We chat, we do our PR and marketing work, whether it’s writing a blog, posting to Facebook, or answering interview questions. We spend a little time studying some aspect of our business most mornings as well, whether that’s going through a lot of covers or promotional posters and talking about what we like and dislike, discussing articles we’ve just read on traditional vs indie publishing, or anything else writing-oriented. We tell some jokes. We laugh a lot.
And then we get down to writing. If we’re having trouble getting going, we get silly, each sneaking in outrageous dialogue or descriptions for the other to laugh at. That’s actually one of the best tricks we’ve found for getting a scene moving. We’ll add on to the silliness, each of us, and suddenly the scene comes to life and, when we’re done, we remove the goofy stuff.
We each enjoy following certain characters and take the lead on our favorites, but we are also careful to switch off so that we each know every character well. To us, familiarity with our characters – all of them – is vital to the story.
While, individually, we both do a lot of world-building in order to get to know our characters and their locale, together, we probably spend twice as much time doing this. When you are collaborating, the littlest details become important and are (usually) best figured out beforehand because both of us must know whether a character has dimples or drives a beat-up old Chevy or hates seafood. Otherwise, incongruities can get past us, unnoticed.
The characters’ voices, however, evolve during writing and whoever creates the voice sets the tone the other follows for that character. For example, a character in one of our upcoming novels has a unique way of swearing that Alistair made up. We both love voicing her and work together to get the most insane profanities out of her as we write, always following Alistair’s original style.
While we occasionally write two scenes in tandem – this usually happens when we are writing one scene together and one of us is inspired by something the other writes – we still consider ourselves to be writing together; after all, via Skype, we have instant access to one another. After that, we go over both scenes together and make sure everything is in synch and do a light edit. Mostly, though, we quite literally write together. One of us may write most of a scene with the other trailing along fixing things, or simply taking in the tale as it evolves. Sometimes we take turns in the same scene. Tamara often takes over descriptions of locale because she really enjoys it. Alistair enjoys writing certain situations and takes those. We think the main reason one or the other of us takes the lead, though, is character. We each have our favorites.
We write in similar voices and have similar sensibilities, senses of humor, likes and dislikes, and this, of course, is part of our chemistry. But if you have a collaborator you constantly disagree with, our question is why? If you have nothing in common, how can you enjoy your work – or one another?
We received some great feedback the other day. After reading The New Governess, the first installment of our Gothic Erotica serialized novel, The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, a reader said to us: “Which one of you wrote this? I can’t tell.” To which we happily answered, “We both wrote it.” And we did. Just like we wrote this blog. Together, in the Cloud.
What is Gothic Erotica? It’s what wakes you up in the middle of the night as randy as you are terrified. It’s those things that go bump – and grind – in the night. It’s the sound of footsteps at the foot of your bed that, instead of fading away, draw nearer and, well, get what they want.
When we began The Erotic Adventure of Belinda, we had a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to frighten our readers while simultaneously seducing them. We wanted to build a world as eerie as it was arousing… we wanted to stir a new set of emotions.
The first installment, titled The New Governess is now available on all formats. If you like your terror titillating, your fright fulfilling, and the kinds of stories that curl your hair with horror and your toes with desire, Belinda is your girl. And she’s available now at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.
Let the adventures begin…
The Adventures Have Begun…
New adventures will appear every four to six weeks. Expect serious erotica, lots of ghosts, romance, and intrigue as we put our own spin on Gothic Erotica.
THE NEW GOVERNESS
When Belinda Moorland steps across the threshold of Ravencrest Manor, she feels as if she’s entered a fantasy world. The mansion is breathtaking, and her new employer, Eric Manning, is as mysterious as he is handsome.
But after just one night, she begins to suspect there is more to Ravencrest than she was told. Haunted by nightmares and seduced by erotic dreams, Belinda realizes her new home has a dark side.
By day, the house and grounds are sublime, but the night is alive with dark shadows and phantom footsteps in empty corridors. Eyes – and hands – are upon her, and not all of them belong to the living.
Reviews for Belinda:
“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Crossfire novels and are craving more, look no further. In Belinda: The New Governess, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is rich, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne.” ~ Sylvia Shults, author of Double Double Love and Trouble
“The Erotic Adventures of Belinda” by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a fun, intricate read. The erotica is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breath-taking. 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
“Shocking and fun! The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement as the innocent Belinda breaks free of a minimum-wage hell hole only to move into a sprawling Gothic estate where her body becomes the focal point of a mysterious specter. Out of the pan and into the fire? Only time will tell.” ~ William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message.
For more: http://alistaircross.com
After a brief but necessary hiatus from interviews, Tamara Thorne and I are back at it, full-force. We’re schedule for a live interview at Conversations Live on Monday, May 26th at 8:00 pm Eastern time. The show will be streaming at: www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive
Conversations Live has featured such guests as Kim Fields (The Facts of Life) John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard) Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Scott MacIntyre and Taylor Hicks from American Idol.
Our interview will be archived as a podcast for future listening.
The Erotic Adventures of Belinda
Coming soon from Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross
“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Bared to You novels and are craving more, look no further. In Belinda: The New Governess, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is rich, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne.” ~ Sylvia Shults, author of Double Double Love and Trouble
THE NEW GOVERNESS
When Belinda Moorland steps across the threshold of Ravencrest Manor, she feels as if she’s entered a fantasy world. The mansion is breathtaking, and her new employer, Eric Manning, is as mysterious as he is handsome.
But after just one night, she begins to suspect there is more to Ravencrest than she was told. Haunted by nightmares and seduced by erotic dreams, Belinda realizes her new home has a dark side.
By day, the house and grounds are sublime, but the night is alive with dark shadows and phantom footsteps in empty corridors. Eyes – and hands – are upon her, and not all of them belong to the living.
Seduced by Darkness
She followed him inside the chamber. It was lit only by guttering wall sconces and the dying flames in a fireplace across the room. Rich tapestries lined the walls and the tall heavy four-poster bed was covered with soft furs.
“Come be with me, Belinda.”
She raised her eyes and looked across the bed. He stood in shadows, but she saw the glint of his teeth as he smiled. “My darling girl.”
Heat rose in her belly and shot lower. Flushed, embarrassed, she looked down at herself, saw her body through the gossamer robe, saw her nipples turning dark and hard. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but that voice …
“The Erotic Adventures of Belinda” by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a fun, intricate read. The erotica is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breath-taking. 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
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – Author is the first woman to be named a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild and is one of only two women ever to be named as Grand Master of the World Horror Convention (2003). She is a good friend, a great lady, and I am honored beyond words that Grandma’s Rack and The Erotic Adventures of Belinda will be sidled up next to her Vildecaz Talents series at Avalerion Books.
Here she is, listed as one of Open Road Integrated Media’s Featured Authors on their homepage: http://www.openroadmedia.com/chelsea-quinn-yarbro
With fans like Neil Gaiman, you really can’t go wrong with Yarbro…
And here’s what Stephen King has to say about her novel, A Mortal Glamour – which I am currently reading and loving:
“Terrifying. Her picture of women going slowly mad in a convent during one of history’s darkest periods is both gruesome and irresistible.” – Stephen King
Learn more about her at her website.
Michael Aronovitz, author of the terrifying ghost story Alice Walks and the subversively delightful The Voices in Our Heads has honored us with comments about “The New Governess,” the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda. We’re thrilled.
Here’s what he has to say about it:
“The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a fun, intricate read. The erotica is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breath-taking. 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 and The Voices in Our Heads
The adventures are about to begin…
While at the Imperial Court, Erianthee witnesses an enormous Conjure Storm that turns half of the palace complex to rubble. Afraid of what could come next, she heads for Vildecaz and home with Kloveon escorting her.
Meanwhile, in her searches for possible clues to Duz Nimuar’s location and condition, Ninianee has come upon something that sends her and her partner, Doms Guyon, back toward Vildecaz, But both sisters find their travels marked by hindrances and unexpected difficulties. When they finally arrive, they discover that malefic forces have been at work here, too, and they have little choice but to take them on, or lose their Duzky, their father, and their talents completely.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
A professional writer for more than forty years, Yarbro has sold over eighty books, more than seventy works of short fiction, and more than three dozen essays, introductions, and reviews. She also composes serious music. Her first professional writing – in 1961-2 – was as a playwright for a now long-defunct children’s theater company. By the mid-60s she had switched to writing stories and hasn’t stopped yet.
After leaving college in 1963 and until she became a full-time writer in 1970, she worked as a demographic cartographer, and still often drafts maps for her books, and occasionally for the books of other writers.
She has a large reference library with books on a wide range of subjects, everything from food and fashion to weapons and trade routes to religion and law. She is constantly adding to it as part of her on-going fascination with history and culture; she reads incessantly, searching for interesting people and places that might provide fodder for stories.
In 1997 the Transylvanian Society of Dracula bestowed a literary knighthood on Yarbro, and in 2003 the World Horror Association presented her with a Grand Master award. In 2006 the International Horror Guild enrolled her among their Living Legends, the first woman to be so honored; the Horror Writers Association gave her a Life Achievement Award in 2009.
A skeptical occultist for forty years, she has studied everything from alchemy to zoomancy, and in the late 1970s worked occasionally as a professional tarot card reader and palmist at the Magic Cellar in San Francisco.
Be sure to read my interview with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
And give her a like on Facebook
The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is a true gothic thriller, filled with steamy romance, ghosts, and some of the hottest erotica you’ve ever read.
The New Governess
This morning we completed our final round of revisions and sent the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda to the publisher. This first installment is titled The New Governess. It has lots of ground to cover, so it’s twice as long as the future installments. We plan to release new adventures every four to six weeks.
The New Governess takes Belinda out of the life she knows and places her in a dazzling – and allegedly haunted – manor house called Ravencrest. Her beautiful new home comes with an assortment of unusual staff members, including a handsome English butler who seems surrounded by secrets, an icy power-mad head housekeeper with a chip on her shoulder and a whip in her hand, and – most attractive of all to Belinda – her mysterious new employer, Mr. Eric Manning.
After just one night in Ravencrest Manor, Belinda realizes that the staff, as strange they are, have nothing on the other residents of the house – the ones who only come out at night… the ones who enter and dictate her dreams, twisting them into dark, carnal visions of her deepest desires… and her greatest fears.
The adventures of Belinda are about to begin…
Available in June everywhere ebooks are sold.
Sallie’s Book Reviews featured Tamara Thorne and I as guest authors. Check it out here.
Thank you, Sallie’s Book Reviews, for your interest and the wonderful guest spot.
This weeks sexy reminder that Belinda will be here this summer…
The Erotic Adventures of
Belinda is an erotic serialized novel chronicling the sensual adventures of a beautiful and naïve young woman named Belinda Moorland. When she is hired as governess to the children of the handsome but mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning, she quickly learns that the kids are going to be the least of her worries.
The installments will follow her from the first tentative visit to spooky old Ravencrest Manor, to meeting the strangely lascivious staff – and several sex-starved spirits – who gradually initiate her into an erotic lifestyle she never knew existed.
Belinda’s experiences at Ravencrest will prepare her for the ultimate challenge: to earn the love – and lust – of the enigmatic Mr. Manning.
The first adventures are coming this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…
In just a few more hours now – 5:00 pm Pacific, 8:00 pm Eastern time – my collaborator, horror legend Tamara Thorne, and I will be live at Authors on the Air. They do call ins, so if you have a question for either of us about our work, our writing processes, or anything else, call the show at: (347) 884-8266.
Here is the direct link to the show. We look forward to hearing from you.
In the meantime, enjoy the latest poster from the upcoming Belinda series…
Before getting into anything else, I want to share a great joint interview I did with my collaborator – horror legend Tamara Thorne – at Gingernuts of Horror. We covered everything from horror, erotica, ghost hunting, and photography to our solo works, our process, our plans, and a bit about a future novel we haven’t discussed until now. Thank you to everyone at Gingernuts, for the fun and unique questions. Tamara and I had a good time with this one.
Also, next Thursday, April 17th, at 8:00 pm EST Tamara and I have a LIVE interview at Authors on the Air with Pam Stack that we’re very excited about. I’m not especially keen on live interviews as I find any kind of public speaking worrisome, but Authors on the Air is a considerable force that you don’t say no to! The show is about an hour-long and we’re looking very forward to it. I am usually only nervous about these things beforehand. Once the show starts, I’m sure I’ll be fine, so tune in and give us a listen. It’s sure to be a good time. As soon as I have a link to the show, I will post it in all the post-able places.
(A promotional poster for Belinda)
In the meantime, the writing is going as strong as it possibly can. Tamara and I have been spending anywhere from six to nine hours a day, five and six days a week, developing setting, establishing characters, composing plot, and polishing finished content. Our hands are full and we’re doing a bang-up job of juggling tasks, but we’re also having the time of our lives and are getting more excited every day to get our creations into readers’ hands.
Grandma’s Rack is in the final stages and once the last few scenes are completed – which will be done within the week – we intend to let the manuscript sit for six to eight weeks till we can return to it with a clear perspective before doing a final rewrite. Then it still has to go to the editor, back to us for any needed modifications, then finally, to the publisher. As soon as we have it ourselves, the release date will be revealed.
(Cover for Grandma’s Rack)
Belinda is plowing along and full-speed. As per our publisher, Tamara and I have creative control over the cover art for the various installments and promotional material, so for the first time, I’m putting my years of photography experience to good use. The first photo session was last weekend, and there’s another one this weekend which will include one of the male models we’ve chosen. Also, I eventually want to revisit Billy the Serpent, as he was easily one of the most natural and photogenic creatures I’ve ever had the honor of capturing with my lens… so watch for further images of him as well as his beautiful human counterparts. A great big Thank You! to Avalerion books for allowing us the artistic freedom to pursue our vision of the Belinda series.
(A promotional photo for Belinda)
And speaking of Avalerion, I just received my copy of A Mortal Glamour by living legend Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a veteran horror author and very good friend who has several books being released through Avalerion. Between her, Gryffyn Phoenix, and Tamara Thorne, I am very good company and can’t express the gratitude I feel to be grouped with these great, great pros. Anyway, I have a lot of reading to do this summer and intend to get started on it within the next few weeks, beginning with A Mortal Glamour which I’ve already taken the confident measure of adding to my list of all-time Favorite Books.
(A Mortal Glamour by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo. And yes… that’s a blurb from Stephen King at the top!)
Lastly, we created a logo for the Cross & Thorne collaborations. We call it The Glass Apple and we love it dearly. You will be seeing this – and possibly, variations of this – on our upcoming projects.
(The Glass Apple)
Gingernuts of Horror has just published a wonderful and scandalously fact-filled interview with Tamara Thorne and me. You’ll find out how we met, how we work, news about our horror novel,Grandma’s Rack, and our erotic serial novel, Belinda. You’ll see news of Tamara’s Candle Bay sequel, and my solo novel, The White Room.
We also give the skinny on how we met, what scares us, what influences us, our favorite brands of breakfast cereal, our preferences in shoelaces, and what makes us fight like cats and… cats.
And at least some of the above is true, we swear it.
Tamara and I are hard at work on the first installments of our erotic serial novel, Belinda. Our lusty heroine is already thigh-deep in a sea of sensual exploits… and we expect her to go even deeper very soon.
The laces come undone this summer…
Belinda is a paranormally-inclined serialized erotic tale which chronicles the story of a beautiful young woman who acquires a job as governess to the children of a mysterious and unattainable millionaire named Eric Manning. This series follows Belinda from her first tentative visit to the spooky old manor, to meeting the strangely lascivious staff, and finally, to her initiation into an erotic lifestyle she never knew existed. Her experiences will prepare her for the ultimate challenge: to acquire the lust and love of the handsome and entirely oblivious Mr. Manning.
The first installment of Belinda is due out this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…
You see something you want… something that seems always to exist on The Other Side from wherever you stand now. So you push, you pull, you learn to make your way through the crowd, giving them smiles… smiles and smiles and smiles… in spite of the quietly clucking tongues, the sorry sideways smirks, and the daggers cast on behalf of the particularly unpretty ascent to… well, anywhere.
You shine for the believers and avert your gaze from the naysayers. You make peace with the critics, strip bare the saboteurs, and disarm the prophets of doom with more of those smiles, more of that feigned happiness ~ as unholy war is waged upon your direst doubts and deepest fears. And all the while, you’re trying to get better and better at what you do. Better, better, better. Good enough to one day finally make it to the ever-elusive Other Side. And the hours go on and on like a chain of echoes down the jagged walls of a fathomless canyon.
The smiles are as thin as the armor now. The whipcrack-quick glints of the eye faded to dead stars before they had the chance to fall. The weaponry sits in a rust-covered heap. Your heroes are dying.
These are the days they’ll tell you you got lucky ~ that Fate, in its brute favoritism chose you as a representative for diligent daydreaming while they, the Forsaken and the Forgotten, were left behind to keep the cross warm. Fuck them. They don’t know you. They’ll first fall silent and they’ll hate you for their own cowardice. Then they’ll actively seek to dissuade you, to divert you, to dis-entitle you. They’ll tell you now, as they always have, that there is no Other Side.
You’ll shut your eyes and cover your ears… but you’ll keep walking because for each of them comes a believer ~ someone who recognizes the truth of who you are ~ someone who has walked the same thin line ~ someone who, when the sounds of empty lust and ill-will have been muted by proof, will turn to you… and welcome you to the Other Side.
© Alistair Cross
For more: www.alistaircross.com
The date and time for our upcoming interview is official. Tamara Thorne and I will be live at Authors on the Air with Pam Stack on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 8:00 pm EST. We’ll be discussing our upcoming projects Grandma’s Rack and Belinda as well as anything else that happens to come up.
Grandma’s Rack is in the last stages of creation and – after we do an extensive edit of our own – the manuscript will head over to the editor. After that, it will go to the publisher who will provide the final finishing touches and get it on its way. We have no idea how long these processes will take so an exact date for release is still unknown.
(Grandma’s Rack – coming in 2014 by Avalerion Books)
Belinda, our paranormally-inclined serialized erotica, is coming along nicely as well. Belinda’s story will be released in a series of installments beginning later this summer, also by Avalerion, and will showcase a few of our favorite personal topics – provocative characters, spooky vibes, and unrelenting sexual exploits.
(A promotional poster for Belinda – coming this summer from Avalerion Books)
It’s an eventful year and we’re looking forward to the release of these projects. As soon as we have release dates, we will post them here on our blogs – along with any interview links and other promotional events – as well as on our websites, which you can visit if you want to learn more about us.
Tamara Thorne: http://www.tamarathorne.com
Alistair Cross: http://www.alistaircross.com
For writing, I’ve recently been doing a lot of research on human nature, sex, and the differences between men and women. And I’m stunned by all the very bad advice and mostly inaccurate articles about the ‘mysterious’ ways of men… so here – based on myself and the men I’ve known – is some real-life clarification:
1) We don’t hate chick flicks because we’re out of touch with our feelings. We hate them because they’re predictable and unimaginative.
2) We are not unimpressed by other people’s newborn babies because we lack paternal instincts. We are unimpressed by them because they, too, are predictable and unimaginative.
3) There are no deeply rooted psychological reasons why we touch ourselves so much. We touch it because it’s there, and very often, it’s in the way.
4) We do not enjoy the sexy skimpy underwear you buy us and we will never wear them. This isn’t because we don’t appreciate the effort or even because we’re afraid of feeling girly. It’s mostly because the manufacturing process of sexy skimpy underwear for men doesn’t seem to take into account the reality of testicles.
5) Often times, the reason we seem to shy away from commitment isn’t due to issues of monogamy. Often, it is because the female in question is making premature demands and thereby exhibiting emotionally unstable qualities. That will send us off running in the other direction because – holy shit… there’s nothing creepier than a woman with a glint in her eye and an unreasonable fantasy on her mind.
6) Sometimes we don’t feel like having sex either. And that is okay. It’s not personal.
7) We really like the way you smell as is. Please, stop with the perfumes and those hideous Victoria’s Secret lotions.
8) We do not like women who base their sense of worth on our opinions of them. That’s weak, and it’s tough to respect.
9) We aren’t even a third as insecure or sensitive about our masculinity as society says we are. We simply feel more in our element when we’re in a dominant role. It really is that simple.
10) We really don’t worry that much about our penis size. Really. And we abhor women who put emphasis on this.
11) Generally – but not always – we like our sex aggressive and animal-like. We mean no disrespect with our snarling, hissing, growling, and spanking, but if it offends you a little, well, we like that, too.
12) Some days, we feel fat, too. And emotional.
13) We do not like women who pine for men. It’s just boring is what it is. Unless, of course, you’re naked.
14) We all know, on some inherent level, that women are tougher than us. For some, but not all, this is cause for power battles.
15) We are all willing to behave like gentlemen, so long as we’re in the presence of a lady. The presence of a real lady demands it, and we know this.
16) We really do revert to infancy when we’re sick. I don’t know why. We just do.
17) We really don’t like big fake boobs, so don’t be getting that shit done on our account.
18) We don’t really care about anything we can’t take pride in. So, if you want us to like your cat, make us feel like it’s our cat.
19) The fastest way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach. It’s with respect and loyalty. If you can cook, great, but it’s not really a big deal. Unless, of course, you’re naked. We like that.
20) We don’t think we’re smarter or more capable than you. We don’t even know why, statistically, we still make more money. We don’t think it’s fair, either.
21) We like power. It’s our strongest weakness. And with this knowledge, the smart women rule us – and their worlds – entirely.
22) We like being alone. A lot. And we enjoy silence. Unless, of course, you’re naked.
23) Tattoos. Please, just don’t. Please?
24) Yes. We think about sex a lot. And so do you. So… let’s have sex. Rough sex.
25) Oh, and we will always want to have a threesome. We just will. Never let us have it… just accept that we will always want it.
26) We really can be just friends with you. Unless, of course, you’re naked.
27) Looks are not as important as they’d have you believe. We really prefer humor, brains, and confidence.
28) We fall asleep after sex only because it was good. If we hopped off you the second it was over and rushed to go take the dog for a walk and mow the lawn, you might appreciate this more.
29) We don’t care about the toilet seat. We will never care about the toilet seat.
30) More than anything, we want you to inspire us. Behind every brave act, every world-changing event, and every brilliant work of art – is a woman. We want you to be our Mona Lisa.
visit me at The Dungeon:
My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I have made substantial progress on Grandma’s Rack these past two weeks. I’ve completed all my scenes in acts one and two and am well into the remaining scenes of act three. Tamara is kicking out scenes of her own as well as spending a lot of time editing and getting this story put into some kind of sequence. We’re at the end of the story so the climax is rising and the tension is high. The Rack is still surprising us with new twists and turns, but we’re still hopeful it will be completed in spring and, hopefully, available to buy this summer.
I’m scheduled to appear on Writerly Wednesday which will be coming up soon. I finished the interview questions earlier this week and am just waiting to find out the date I’ll be on. Also, Tamara and I have been booked for an in-depth interview at Ginger Nuts of Horror, the site to go to for the latest news and greatest reviews of all things horror. As soon as we know, we will post the date that the interview will go live. Also, the two of us are scheduled for a live radio interview on April 17th at Authors on the Air. Visit my website – The Dungeon – for more information on interviews, past and future.
Finally, if you missed it, we have compiled into one post the records of the five nights we spent in an allegedly haunted cabin up in Gold Country late last year.
So, until next time,