The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadows


Scary Ladies and Gentlefiends,

We give you The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadows. Available now.

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In Darker Shadows, Belinda ventures into the east wing of Ravencrest in search of schoolbooks for her charges. But she finds much more than a few dusty texts. This branch of the manor is kept under lock and key, supposedly to keep the kids and employees from exploring the vast troves of family treasures stored there. Supposedly…

But there are horrors stored there as well. As Belinda explores the barely-lit hallways, she hears strange noises, and comes face to face with Sisters Faith, Hope, and Charity.  And someone else from the past… a little girl dressed in red. Is she there to help Belinda… or hurt her?

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Repackaged, revisited, and revamped, we’ve made some spooky changes to the first two installments of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, and they are included here free of charge under their series title, The Ghosts of Ravencrest. If you’ve already read them, you’ll probably want to do so again – they’re the same but… eerier. We realized that this story was taking on a life of its own and wanted more than anything to be classic Gothic horror – a genre we both love dearly. Ravencrest will still have lots of erotica, but it now comes with 99% more screams – and more ghosts than you can shake a stick at.

Ravencrest has become a sweeping saga of the Manning family, spanning centuries, and they have closets full of skeletons… not to mention witches, ghosts, and diabolical creatures beyond your most harrowing nightmares. And that’s just the closets. You don’t even want to know what’s in the basement… or do you?

Stay tuned for some upcoming interviews about Ravencrest, the first being a one-on-one conversation with Belinda herself, at Marie Lavender’s Writing in the Modern Age. You’ll find out all sorts of things about Belinda: her aspirations, her darkest fantasies, and her feelings about her new home, Ravencrest. You’ll also get to hear from us, and we’ll give you an inside look at the creation of Ravencrest and the people who inhabit it.

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Take a Ride Down Thunder Road Today


My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, has just blogged about the release of her novel, Thunder Road, which hits bookstores all over the country today. She also discusses the interview she has coming up in a few hours on Cyrus Webb Presents at Conversations Live. 

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Tamara Thorne on Thunder Road:

Thunder Road, my novel of a small apocalypse, is releasing today in paperback online and in terrestrial bookstores everywhere.  I will be talking about it today, September 2, live on Cyrus Webb Presents at 3 p.m. Pacific (6 p.m. Eastern).  You can get a reminder from the show at the link.

Thunder Road began with a modern cowboy named Tom Abernathy. He emerged, fully formed, one day and ambled around in my head for quite some time before another character came to life in one of the most horrifying yet fascinating nightmares I’ve ever had. And then, I read about UFO reports in the California High Desert, out by my favorite historical amusement park, Calico Ghost Town.  (Even if you’ve never visited Calico, you may have seen bits of it in movies like Tremors 4.)

I had cowboys, amusement parks, serial killers, and UFOs – but I needed just one more thing.  I remembered that, years and years ago, there had been a cult of sorts surrounding a high desert structure called the Integratron, where people went to try to communicate with aliens.  While I kept some UFO cultists hanging around Old Madelyn Amusement park – Madland, my version of Calico, I decided my main cult would be a religious one.  That was because too many missionaries – you know who I mean – had been knocking on my door lately and I needed some sweet revenge.

Also, I really wanted to try my hand at an apocalypse novel and where there are cowboys, there are horses, so I suddenly had visions of the Four Horsemen prancing through my skull.  I was now officially in love with the the book.  

The mountains around Calico are famous. As the sun sets, they glow with eerie colors cast by all the minerals that were mined there besides silver. One of the most famous was borax, as in Boraxo Hand Soap. The chemical was hauled by a twenty-mule team on a hard road between mining towns and then into the city.  I had walked the road behind Calico and recalled seeing it on TV as a little kid.  What better name than Thunder Road, especially since I knew drag racing was going to be a problem in Madland.  So I named my new novel for Bruce Springsteen’s song. He, in turn, said he was inspired by the poster of the 1958 Robert Mitchum  movie of the same name. It was about running moonshine.  It all fit. 

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So, there, you have it. Cowboys, sheriffs, tattooed ladies, a sexy shepherdess, horses, rodeos, crazy prophets and crazier followers babbling about the coming apocalypse, aliens, one ghost story (how could I skip ghosts?), a beautiful UFO researcher, lots of quotes by Jacques Vallee, and not one, but two – count ‘em, two – serial killers!

In addition to being a very fun write, Thunder Road gave me some great returns. One was a friendship with Jacques Vallee (the French scientist in Close Encounters of the Third Kind is based on him); and another was a treasure trove of ghost stories.

While I believe the UFO sightings up in that area of the desert are atmosphere or military related, I came to find out – and witness – that the real Calico Ghost Town is absolutely overrun with ghostly anomalies that’ll knock your socks off (though you’ll get nothing but denials if you ask those currently running the park). But that’s a story for another novel…

An excerpt from Thunder Road:

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‘Justin had never been in here before, and he looked around, impressed with the rich, dark colors, the candlesticks and stacks of cards, the Tiffany lamp in the corner. He sat at the table and reached for the crystal ball.

“Don’t touch that.”

Justin hesitated, then withdrew his hand.

Carlo folded his arms and leaned against a rolltop desk. “What do you need to talk about?”

“Tonight. What we’re, I mean you’re, going to do to Alexandra Manderley.”

“Peel her,” the man said slowly. “What else is there to discuss?”

“You’re going to do it?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re going to teach me?” he added hopefully.

“You may watch. Whether you can learn or not is a question that remains unanswered.”

The doorbell rang, and Carlo stood. “Come back tonight at midnight. You may go now.”

Justin rose, in awe. The man was a king, a leader among men, with a voice so commanding that Alexandra Manderley would probably peel her own skin from her bones if he asked. “Midnight,” he repeated, following Carlo to the back door.’

* * *

Related links:

http://www.calicoghostwalk.com/BearDanceObservedg.html

http://www.tamarathorne.com

The End Is Upon Us


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If you had told me ten years ago, when I really got serious about this writing thing, that I would one day write a novel with Tamara Thorneone of my longtime horror heroes – I would have scoffed, chortled, guffawed and otherwise vehemently disbelieved you. But as I’ve always said, life has a curious way of providing you with what you actively seek, and today, that is exactly what happened. Tamara Thorne and I have just finished our novel. We have written the final words. The first draft is complete. Weighing in at a staggering 171,486 words, the story wrapped itself up at 7:15 pm today.

We started this book about four months ago while finishing up the first draft of another horror novel called Grandma’s Rack. We took this sudden sharp turn for a few reasons. First, Grandma’s Rack needed to sit a while so we could return to it with fresh eyes before finalizing it. We’d hit it hard and fast and both felt it needed some air. Then, another writing prospect emerged, one with a deadline, and one that would – as the fates would have it – fulfill the initial story line Tamara and I discussed when we first decided to write together.

Although, for professional reasons, I can’t say much about this book’s plot, I can say that it was inspired by our experiences during the five nights we spent at an allegedly haunted cabin in California’s gold country a while back (you can read a night-by-night account of that here). I can also say that this novel includes a character of mine who was developed in 2011, during the writing of Beautiful Monster, that I haven’t, until now, been able to find a home for. He fits nicely into this book.

As for the process, these have been the most demanding circumstances I’ve written under. For four months, we’ve worked eight to twelve hour days, six – and more recently – seven days a week, and the rigid time crunch hasn’t been the only factor contributing to the intensity. This plot is complex – more intricate than anything I’ve written. It’s character-dense with upward of a dozen major players, each with his or her own story, and each requiring enough stage time to tell it.

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I’ve had to learn how to weave multiple threads, fuse varying subplots, and play puppet master to a slew of characters with intertwining story lines. I’ve loved every minute of it, even though the whole thing has been painstakingly meticulous. Even the setting is complex – a small California resort town that we built one character, one tiny life-like detail, at a time. Admittedly, it’s the kind of place I’d love to live in – minus all the violence and depravity, of course – but this kind of world-building is mentally taxing and surprisingly exhausting. However, I am by no means complaining. This is the kind of novel I’ve always wanted to write.

This book has taught me more about writing than anything else ever has. Ever. And I’m learning from the best. Tamara, who is a veteran to this lifestyle, has surfed the waves smoothly and without visible distress. I, on the other hand, am cranky, fatigued, and at this point, brain dead. But we did it, and ridiculously, as we neared the end, I think we both felt a little twinge of sadness. Even though we intend to write together more in the future, this is the last time it will ever be the first time we wrote a book together. I will treasure this for the rest of my life.

Now that the book is written, we begin the process of cutting and revising. Given its tremendous length, this will be an interesting task, but we will nip, tuck, and tighten by any means necessary in order to sculpt this story into the finest, most powerful version of itself possible, and I know we will be fine.

Due to the particular publishing process of this book, I have no idea when it will be released, but as soon as finishing touches are complete, we will be sending it to the editor, and then we will be returning to, and finishing off Grandma’s Rack, which will be available by the end of this year. In the interim, we’re working on the third installment of Belinda, which will be undergoing some favorable changes that will be apparent with the new release.

In closing, I want to thank everyone around me for supporting this project and respecting my inability these past weeks to do anything but sit in front of my computer and write, write, write. I still have a lot to do, and it will be a while before I have a lot of free time, but I will have a little more of it after a few more weeks. I think, anyway…

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Gross Encounters of the Absurd Kind


My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I have been sitting down together to write everyday for months. We’ve gotten a lot done, and we still have much to do. On top of the Belinda serial, we’re finishing up a horror novel  and have another novel  to edit and publish around the holidays. Needless to say, we don’t really have time to play around. And yet, that’s exactly what we do. Play is the reason we can Skypewrite together for 12 hours a day, every day. It keeps us sane and snickering.

We don’t wake up chomping at the writing bit every morning. In fact, most mornings we spend a little time waking up, gossiping, looking over media stuff, working on interviews, and, always, reviewing and tweaking our storyline. Then it’s time to get to work.

Sometimes, we still have trouble focusing first thing in the morning – and there are always a few brain freezes during that day. That’s when we often start writing freestyle; we just let the words go where they want until we find our way back to the true course of the story. These passages are, to us, hilarious, twisted, and – in some cases -sickeningly disturbing. What the hell is wrong with us? We don’t know and we don’t care. We do this both to jar our brains loose and to crack each other up. This is not the kind of material we can use in an actual book (with a few exceptions – we’ll let you guess what they are when you read the books, maybe even have a contest).

Because of the pleasure these passages have given us, we’ve decided to stop throwing them out. Why not share the joy? The sick, demented, twisted, repugnant joy.

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So we had an idea. What if we post these ridiculous meanderings on our blogs? Many contain portions of real scenes you find in the books, which we think makes this extra fun.

So we’re going to do it. We’re going to begin posting our outtakes and bloopers today. They work for TV shows specials, so why not here? We may even include some of the best evil autocorrects from our texts, as appropriate.

With that in mind, here are yesterday’s best outtakes:

Belinda lay in her bed, her body deliciously warm under the down comforter, as the morning sun shot thin rays through the crack in the her buttocks. And her drapes. Her drapes were fucking ugly. She stretched and yawned and decided she’d buy new drapes. But not until the sun finished shining out of her ass.”

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* * *

Omar, a sleek, plump Siamese cat, snuggled into his mistress’s lap, then flehmened, mouth hanging open, eyes half closed, when he realized his human had forgotten to change her tampon for at least a week. He couldn’t contend with a stinking bloody human and decided he’d get a new one just as soon as she finished petting his glorious head.”

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* * *

“The room was large, luxurious, and honestly breathtaking, and every time Belinda stepped inside, she felt a little as if she were floating. This might have been due to the design of the floor, which was cobalt blue tile, patterned with gold stars, giving her the impression that she was walking on the midnight sky. Or it could have been the fact that she’d shot herself up with a homemade combination of absinthe, super-glue, and weed-killer, using a needle she’d found under the sofa. That might have accounted for the floating feeling in her head. But probably not. It probably really was the design of the bathroom.”

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* * *

(Warning: If any of the above grossed you out, skip this one.  It’s our favorite…)

“Margaret Massey stepped into the tub. It brimmed with sweet-scented lilac bubbles and as she settled into the water and rested her head against the cool rounded porcelain lip of the huge mint-green tub. “Heaven,” she said as she pinched her nipple and stuck an entire bar of Ivory up her wrinkled twat. “If only I’d remembered the toilet plunger,” she lamented as she queefed 100% natural bubbles that rose to the surface and popped like Lawrence Welk’s champagne music. Then her 70-year-old anus, the victim of one too many rounds with the local Hell’s Angels, sharted, but just a little. It didn’t even smell and what you couldn’t see beneath the bubbles couldn’t hurt you. She knew that from long experience.”

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Belinda: The Story Behind The Name


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.

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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.

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That was many many months ago, and since then, Belinda’s first installment, The New Governesshas 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.

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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…

 

 

 

It’s Cherry Season!


The Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, is on its way…

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The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is a serialized Gothic Erotica novel by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. The first installment, The New Governessis available everywhere.

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http://alistaircross.com

&

http://tamarathorne.com

Gothic Erotica by Thorne & Cross


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.

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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.

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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.

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Let the adventures begin…

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Visit us at: http://tamarathorne.com and http://alistaircross.com

 

BELINDA HAS ARRIVED!


The Adventures Have Begun…

The New Governess, the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.  (We will have Nook and other links soon.)

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.


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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.

It’s All About the Shoes…


The Erotic Adventures of Belinda

Coming soon from Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

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 “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 

Belinda Excerpt and Back Cover Teaser


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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.

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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 …

First Installment

“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 at Open Road Integrated Media


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

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Learn more about her at her website.

Belinda’s First Blurb


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 New Governess, the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, is due out this spring from Avalerion Books.

The adventures are about to begin…

First Installment

 

 

Agnith’s Promise: The Vildecaz Talents, Book 3


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Agnith’s Promise, the final book in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Vildecaz Talents series from Avalerion Books is for sale. Be sure to give it a look-see here.

Agnith’s Promise

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

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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

Stay twisted…

~A~

Want a Bite?


Belinda.

Serialized erotica coming this summer from Thorne & Cross

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Writing… and Riding the ‘One Day’ Wave


You know those books you’re going to write ‘one day’ but never seem to get around to? Well, for me, ‘one day’ has arrived, and let me tell you, Bub – it’s nuts. I rode the ‘one day’ wave for as long as I respectably could, but eventually, you have to get off – and for the past six months, I’ve been getting off like nobody’s business. I’m knee-deep in edits, world-building, cover art design, interviews, character development, and revising, re-hashing, and revisiting.

Tamara Thorne – my collaborator – and I have respectfully asked the publicist for a two to three-week hiatus from interviews. Not that we’ll get much relief. We have two written interviews to do and two or three radio and podcast shows scheduled for May and the rest of April. (In case you missed it, here is the podcast from last weeks live interview at Authors on the Air.)

Later today, Tamara and I will get together to finalize details for The Book We Can’t Say Much About Right Now. Meanwhile, the first draft of Grandma’s Rack is complete and sitting for a six to eight week period before we go back to it – with fresh eyes – for revisions. Belinda is coming along nicely and has become a wonderful escape from the chaos of the less pleasant things.

Belinda’s cover art – which Tamara and I asked for control over – is progressing, as well. After two photo sessions, we’ve  procured a generous handful of keepers – thanks to our wonderful models – which are being used as posters till it’s time to decide on covers. We have many more sessions over the next  months, and despite the madness of it all, I’m looking forward to it.  It’s been suggested that by adding cover art into the already heaping mix, perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. To that, I say, good. I hope so. Because that’s what gets shit done.

If you haven’t yet seen the latest Belinda poster, here it is… it’s my favorite so far.

First Installment

And a page has been added to my website at alistaircross.com  to showcase all the book covers and posters.

The deadlines are crushing. The days are short. The words are so abounding that – at times – I can’t stand emailing, blogging, IMing, or sending out a freaking Tweet. But the view of the future is vast and exciting, and – most importantly – we are on schedule.

Belinda’s first installment will be out this summer. Grandma’s Rack will come out later this year. The Book We Can’t Say Much About Right Now is running on time and will do whatever it has to do. It won’t always be like this…

Will it?

 

Shhh… Don’t Let Her Catch You Looking…


Here’s a peek at Belinda in one her private moments.

First Installment

Coming this Summer

http://.alistaircross.com

http://tamarathorne.com

~

Just a Few More Hours Now…


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…

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Going Down…?


This weeks hot reminder that Belinda is on her way…

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Belinda

An erotic series by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Coming this summer from Avalerion Books

 

Grandma, Belinda, Haunted Cabins, and Author Interviews…


zacacspider

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.

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(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.

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(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.  eroticacover

 (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.

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(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.

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(The Glass Apple)

All best,

~Alistair Cross

www.alistaircross.com

 

Scandalous Interview!


eroticacover

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.

Thorne & Cross Go Live!


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(Tamara Thorne)

Hello all,

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.

shownotes AC

(Alistair Cross)

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.

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(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.

shownotes (Belinda)

(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

All best,

~AC

zacacspider

 

Current Status & Upcoming Events


Hello all,

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,

Happy haunting…

zacacspider

Rackin’ it Up


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Grandma’s Rack, the short story turned novella turned full-length collaborative novel is bouncing right along with enough speed and determination to rival a pair of smooth, round, metaphorical melons bounding down a steep and obstacle-free figurative mountainside.

Today, my co-author – veteran horror novelist Tamara Thorne – and I spent three hours brainstorming new scenes and smoothing out the plot before heading separate directions to each spend several more hours writing. Tomorrow, we meet to establish and appoint the final components of the book’s third act which, once completed, will catapult us into an even more accelerated momentum. We realize that completing the project by the spring deadline will be pushing it, but we also believe it can be done. We’re in the last stages and luckily, we’re having enough fun that what’s left to write will hopefully flow smoothly by. I go through a series of mental and emotional stages during the course of completing a novel, and the one I’m in now is probably my favorite.

By the third act, the climax is rising, and all those things the characters said and did pages and pages ago suddenly start to make sense. This is where we are now in Grandma’s Rack, and it is my favorite because it assures me that my instincts to trust the characters were correct. It’s been said that writers don’t create story as much as they discover story – like some creative archaeologists of sorts, digging up pre-existing plots from the trenches of the mind, the universe… or wherever it is that stories come from – and I am inclined to believe that.

Today, during our three-hour brainstorming stint, all the misfit pieces of the puzzle fell wonderfully and magically into place, revivifying my passion and magnifying my feeling that this was going to be a great story. In fact, although I always knew it was going to be good, today I realized that it’s going to be even better than I thought because I realized it has all the ingredients that are key to the kinds of books I love to read: characters of both the loathsome and lovable kind – traits which are often found within the confines of the same character –  a seductive setting,  an intriguing plot with a fair blend of humor and horror, a series of little scandals, and enough human truth to sustain the creative inventiveness of fiction.

And so… we plug on, and as we do, I become more excited as the end draws ever-nearer. I suspect it will be a bittersweet farewell once the final words have been written… and this is why we have decided to continue working together. Tamara and I both have our solo projects to write, but we’ve decided our power as a unit is too total and too dynamic to end at one collaboration… and this is just one those little life wonders that forces me to think that maybe… there’s some method to the madness around us after all.

To see more of Grandma’s Rack and other projects, visit me at: www.alistaircross.com

Yours,

~AC~

zacacspider

Websites, and New Years, and Books, Oh My!


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The art design for my website is back from ‘slicing’ – whatever that means – and now, it’s just a matter of adding the content to the pages before we can set it live. That shouldn’t take more than a week or two, I think, as I have been working on the content already for some time now. So, as per my initial goal several months ago, I will – unless something goes terribly awry – have a website by the end of this year. I’m going to need it because Tamara and I have received the finalized draft of the cover art for our upcoming collaborative novel and marketing for it needs to begin.

Once the front cover and the “back” cover are complete, we will do a reveal on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and of course, here and on our websites. Great big thanks to Mike Rivera, Michele, Zeb, Berlin, Cheryl, and Jon for the work they’ve put into the website and cover art. You all rock. And to the cover art model whose name I can not reveal – thank you.

Yesterday, Tamara and I also did some work on our upcoming serial novel, which I blogged about yesterday. While Tamara worked on Belinda’s personal history, I worked on some of the other characters she will interact with once her sordid journey begins. I’m getting very excited about this one too, as I watch it come to life. Working on it was a nice change of pace, but our focus remains on the novel, which we hadn’t originally intended to be full-length.

In the meantime, our Haunted Cabin saga continues. We quickly found we couldn’t condense it into one – or even two – blog posts, so we’re taking it one night at a time. Night three will be coming shortly, so stay tuned. Also, my friend, Michael Aronovitz’s collection of short stories, The Voices In Our Heads, is due out in February and will feature an introduction by Tamara, so be sure to check him out. I’m here to tell you… this guy’s good. You’ll love him.

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Finally, once the new year comes, I will be returning full-time to my solo project, The White Room, while the collaboration is in edits. I put White Room on a temporary hold in order to make as much progress as possible on the current book, and I’m glad I did, as many of the plot problems with it worked themselves out while I was looking the other way. It’s been whispering my name these past weeks, and by this year’s end, my scenes for the collaboration will be written, and I can justify getting back to it.

It’s been a wonderful year, 2013, and as I look back on it, I am awed by the creative results and the turns my life has taken. I do hope for a somewhat calmer 2014 in which I can divide my attention more equally, though. As fruitful a year as it has been, 2013 was a terribly busy one for writing, which has left me isolated and well, somewhat lonesome. I’m up till all hours of the night, I sleep all day, and the warm glow of the computer monitor has done nothing for my tan… so I’m slowly learning the discipline of time management, and coming to respect it as the vital ingredient to happiness that it is.

But in the end… I think will be worth it.

~Mr. Cross~

Who’s That Girl?


A collaborative post by

Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

 

If you’ve been following our progress you probably know we are nearing the end of our soon-to-be-revealed collaborative project. You also might have heard us talking about a woman named Belinda. Recently, we’ve had some people ask us who she is, so we decided it’s time to tell you a little more about her.

Belinda is the protagonist of a series of adventures we will soon have underway. And hers is a fascinating story that we’re getting restless to tell.

Since all this talk of collaborating began over a year ago, we’ve come up with a surplus of exciting ideas we probably won’t live long enough to write, but once we finally settled on the best storyline to begin with and the writing process began, we were thrilled—but not entirely surprised—by how naturally our styles integrated and meshed to form a single-minded unit.

Of the story concepts we’ve entertained, we’ve have a few favorites, and one of these is an erotic paranormally-inclined novel. It would center on a morally apt young woman and her inexhaustible desire to learn everything about the art of lovemaking in order to attract her handsome but out-of-reach employer.  Her name, we knew immediately, was Belinda.

We promptly put Belinda into a now vast file of story ideas, and although we knew this was not a throw-away, we didn’t necessarily expect to be stepping it up to the front of the line so soon… but an interesting thing happened recently.

The publisher for our first collaboration asked us recently how we felt about doing an erotic serial for the eBook market. Sex and scary of the literary variety are two of our favorite things, so we agreed that this would be a lot of fun, especially since we had Belinda on the backburner already and a serial would allow us to do our regular writing and have some sex on the side.

Each installment of Belinda will have a different cover. From the beginning, we knew exactly who Belinda was and that only this person could possibly represent her.

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The model’s name is Heather and she has agreed to represent our character, Belinda. Heather has been a great asset to us, and she is, in our minds, a dead ringer for the heroine of this story. We look forward to working with her.

In the interim, our current project has crossed that line between novella and novel, so a little extra time will be needed to tend to the recently added layers…. but Belinda will begin as early as possible in 2014. Details are being fine-tuned, but we suspect chapter-length installments will be released approximately every 4 to 6 weeks.

This is a little different than anything either of us has done before and we are excited to meet the challenge. This story is alive in our minds and we’re eager to give it wings. It isn’t the new year’s only project, though.

Aside from Belinda and our current collaboration, we will also be returning to our solo projects full-swing before moving on to our next collaborative novel. We can hardly wait!  It’s going to be a very busy year and we’re both preparing ourselves for the dedication and discipline it’s going to take to accomplish it. But with all the hard work, there is also a bottomless goldmine of fun to be had, and we will no doubt enjoy every bit of it along the way.

And for now, that’s the story of Belinda.

Meanwhile, the cover art for the current project is nearing completion, and is soon to be revealed, along with a teaser about the tale itself. We’ve been tight-lipped about the storyline and it’s going to feel good to finally be able to talk — a little — about what we’ve been writing all this time!

Collective October


Another horror month has come and gone, and as it is for all writers of the macabre, it was a busy month for me. I had a lot of interviews, guest blogs, and other Halloween-related events, and between them, my collaborator Tamara Thorne and I worked diligently to stay on top of our work-in-progress.

We not only stayed on top of it, but we got ahead… so far ahead, in fact, that this “little” project isn’t so little anymore. Chances are good this will end up a full-length novel instead of the 40-60k word novella we originally planned. And we are okay with this. We talked to our publisher earlier today, and the plan is to get the manuscript in by the end of the year. From there, it will go through a series of revisions, and probably be available to purchase by spring ~ but the point is that the length is a non-issue.

Tamara and I had a very specific vision for the cover art of this book, and luckily, we’re able to use it. The cover art is now under the knife, somewhere in the editing process, and although I haven’t seen the final product, I have seen drafts of it, and I love it. Shortly, Tamara and I will be revealing the cover (in its entirety), as well as a brief synopsis of the story, to the public. We’re very excited about that.

Meanwhile, aside from writing with me, Tamara was busy making the front pages of eight Southern California newspapers with her “Thirteen LA Ghost Stories by Tamara Thorne” feature. If you missed it, here is the link: http://www.dailybulletin.com/lifestyle/20131030/claremonts-haunted-school-13-la-ghost-stories-from-author-tamara-thorne

While she was doing that, I was working on an interview for The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST, which will feature me in the November 11th issue. I’ve heard rumors that November’s issue will be spotlighting some pretty amazing folks, and I’m excited to see who it is. Till then, check them out at: http://www.taem.us/ and read about the other people they’ve been showcasing, such as actress Jona Xiao, film composer Cory Perschbacher, and Sons of Anarchy actress, Eileen Grubba.

Finally, I will soon be blogging about a woman named Belinda, who has Tamara and I very excited for the new year. Right now, no one knows who this Belinda woman is, but keep coming back and soon you will find out.

Till then, I have compiled my online October events for anyone who missed out on the horror-month fun. The links below will take you to my October events.

* * *

This was a fun little Halloween feature I did at Defending the Pen, where I talked about monsters, Band Camp, Halloween, scary movies, and oddly, Madeline Kahn:
http://yolandarenee.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-beautiful-horror.html

For Flash Fiction Friday at Deadly Ever After, I revealed an excerpt of my solo work-in-progress, The White Room, which will be completed sometime in 2014: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/18/flash-fiction-friday-the-white-room-excerpt-from-alistair-cross/

On my guest post at BDSM Book Reviews, I discuss the pleasures and perils of life behind the blindfold, and what it’s like to write kinky: http://networkedblogs.com/QqoXi

At the Little Blog of Horrors, I gave an interview about the ins and outs of writing, and specifically, writing horror:  http://tamarathorne.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/thirteen-questions-with-alistair-cross-2/

Just before October, I also did an interview for Delisha’s Place at: http://delisha1964.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/interview-with-alistair-cross/

And, also at Deadly Ever After, the feature Haunting Poetry from Alistair Cross showcases a few of my darker, more horrific poems for those who like a little fear with their rhyme: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/20/haunting-poetry-from-alistair-cross/

* * *

All in all, it was a great month, and I’m sad to see it go. Luckily though, at least for those of us who write horror, there’s a bit of Halloween in every holiday, and we have several more coming up.

Till next time, stay scared…

Yours,

~Alistair~

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(Image taken from Google images)

Halloween News


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Happy Halloween!

I will be featured and interviewed in the November 11th issue of The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST, where I will be discussing my collaboration with Tamara Thorne, my influences, Beautiful Monster, and the horror genre in general. I will post the link to the interview when it goes live. Till then, check them out at: http://www.taem.us/ and read about the other folks they’ve been showcasing, such as actress Jona Xiao, film composer Cory Perschbacher, and Sons of Anarchy actress Eileen Grubba. I will be in VERY good company!
Also if you didn’t see Tamara Thorne’s feature on thirteen haunted places in southern California, check it out here: http://www.dailynews.com/lifestyle/20131030/las-haunted-old-zoo-13-ghost-stories-from-author-tamara-thorne
This is just one of the eight newspapers her article made the front page of. Very interesting (and spooky) stuff.

Have a safe and happy holiday, and although this is the best (and most important) day of the year, remember to add a little Halloween to the other 364.

Haunt on…

~Mr. Cross~

A Review, a Release, and a Reminder


Good evening, Cross Talkers,

Trisha at Delisha’s Place recently did a review for Beautiful Monster. Read it here: http://delisha1964.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/review-beautiful-monster/#comments and be sure to give this very sweet lady a follow. If you love all things words, books, and more words, you’ll dig her. I promise.

Also, the project I’ve been working on with Tamara Thorne is coming along nicely, and it is my sincerest hope that it will be available to purchase by the new year… or sometime very shortly after… but we’re aiming for the end of this year. I’m getting terribly excited as we move toward the climax. The tension is building, the suspense is rising, and things are getting nice and sticky for the characters.

As we near its release, Tamara and I will be revealing a bit more about it. We’ve pretty much kept the thing under wraps since the beginning, but we’re getting anxious to expose ourselves a little more.

With that mental image firmly planted, be well, keep reading, and ~ just a friendly Halloween reminder ~ if it isn’t wrapped, don’t put it in your mouth.

Yours,

Mr. Cross

www.facebook.com/crossalistair

P.S. ~ I have several other interviews, guest blog posts, and Halloween features coming up this month, which I will post here, so stay close.

Thank Yous and Such…


Good evening, Cross Talkers,

I have finished going through the last of the questions for the “Ask Alistair” section of my upcoming website. In the next week or so I am hoping to have them answered and then they will be on the site once it goes live… at least, that is the plan.

Thank you, everyone, for participating and making this a lot of fun. The website is coming along nicely, and I would like to give a great, big, Thank You to Zeb Jenkins, the best web master in the world.

I also need to give a big thanks to Berlin Malcom, for all the great marketing, PR and website help, Tamara Thorne, my co-author, for hooking me up with all the right people, Lauren, for being the best there is, and Lily Cavanaugh, for all the tedious research you do for me. There is no way I could do all of this myself.

So, thank you all… from the very bottom of that empty pit where my heart should be…

Horrifically yours,

Mr. Cross