THE CRIMSON CORSET: News


As the release of The Crimson Corset draws close, I find myself humbled by the amount of interest that readers have taken in this book. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about its release date, what formats it will be available in, and whether or not it is part of a series. I’m flattered by this interest, and will answer these questions the best that I can.

As for its release and format, I’ve already begun receiving feedback from the editors and am pleased to say that, so far, it’s been positive. Monday, I will start on the first round of edits and within the next couple of weeks, the other rounds will have returned and been completed. The book will be available in eBook format in July or August, and shortly after that, it will go to paper as well. I don’t have any exact dates for either yet, but when I do, I will post the information.

Regarding sequels, I hadn’t initially intended to write a series, but before The Crimson Corset was completed, it became clear to me that continuing this tale was, for a couple of reasons, probably the best route. First, there’s enough opportunity for continuation that it would be a shame to stop. This is a character-dense novel with each player possessing a fully-developed story of his or her own, and once I started exploring their pasts, I quickly realized there was no way I’d be satisfied not exploring their futures as well. The real story of The Crimson Corset begins as far back as the late 1600s – so there’s a lot of room for continuation and exploration here, and I’m excited by all the possibilities.

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Also, although The Crimson Corset is a complete story within itself, I left it open because, to be honest, I think I knew I wasn’t quite done with it just yet; on some level, I knew I’d be returning to the spooky little tourist town of Crimson Cove, California, where The Crimson Corset takes place, and already, the next plot is germinating in my imagination.

But it isn’t something I’ll begin right away. Having put so much on hold to complete this book, I have fallen behind on other projects. Tamara Thorne and I have begun our next collaborative novel – which I’m super-duper-stoked about – and once that’s complete, I will likely begin another solo (not Crimson Cove-related) that’s been gnawing at me for a couple of years now. And then there’s Grandma’s Rack which continually surprises us with its new developments, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest, which is ongoing as far as either of us can see. But after this, I will return to Crimson Cove.

If you’re interested in learning more about our work, Maureen’s Books did a great interview of us recently where we talked about The Cliffhouse Haunting, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, our process, and our plans.

In closing, if you’re a fan of vampires, be sure to check out Haunted Nights LIVE! this week where we’ll be talking to New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, Laurell K. Hamilton about her latest release, Dead Ice. The show goes live at 6 pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, and 9 Eastern. Just go to Authors on the Air to listen in. You can also join the Facebook event.

To see our full guest list, visit my website

The Ghosts of Ravencrest


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.

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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!

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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Tamara Thorne Live at Conversations Live


My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, will be interviewed at Conversations Live by Cyrus Webb, on Tuesday, September 2nd, at 6 p.m. Eastern time to talk about the release of her novel, Thunder Road, which hits bookstores everywhere in September.

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“Evoking Stephen King’s terrifying novel The Gunslinger and the epic adventure film Cowboys and Aliens, Tamara Thorne delivers a tantalizing blend of horror and Western SciFi–in an arid, dangerous world from which there is no escape. . .

The California desert town of Madelyn boasts all sorts of attractions for visitors. Join the audience at the El Dorado Ranch for a Wild West show. Take a ride through the haunted mine at Madland Amusement Park. Scan the horizon for UFOs. Find religion with the Prophet’s Apostles – and be prepared for the coming apocalypse.

Because the apocalypse has arrived in Madelyn. People are disappearing. Strange shapes and lights dart across the night sky. And a young man embraces a violent destiny – inspired by a serial killer whose reign of terror was buried years ago.

But each of these events is merely setting the stage for the final confrontation. A horror of catastrophic proportions is slouching toward Madelyn in the form of four horsemen – and they’re picking up speed. . .”

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Tamara Thorne

“Tamara Thorne has become one of those must-read horror writers. From her strong characters to her unique use of the supernatural, anything she writes entertains as much as it chills.” – Horror World

“Tamara Thorne is the new wave of horror – her novels are fascinating rides into the heart of terror and mayhem.”Douglas Clegg

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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Our Raciest Meme to Date…


From a Racy Reader!
 
Here is our raciest Belinda meme yet. We like it because it straddles the line of decency, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you to all the readers who are sending us these wonderful, clever memes. These are so great we are considering doing a contest for them one day…
 
If you haven’t read the second installment, Awakening, it’s available on Amazon now. Click the naughty lips below to get your copy.
 
* * * 
 
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Let’s Look at Some Bad Things


Halloween is getting closer and that means it’s time to break out your favorite scary stories. One of mine is Bad Things by Tamara Thorne. Bad Things is about sibling rivalry of the direst kind, greenjacks that only special little boys can see, crazy aunts with penchants for perished poodles, and of course, Halloween.

Bad Things (Kindle) is on sale at Amazon for $1.99 today through August 24.  Get yours now and get in the mood for Halloween.


Click the Bad Things below to get your copy.

Bad Things

Something Lusty This Way Comes…


The latest e-poster form the The Erotic Adventures of Belinda series

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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.

The third installment of Belinda, titled Darker Shadows, is underway and will be available in September. The first two installments, The New Governess, and Awakening, are available now! Click on the titles below to read them.

The New Governess

Awakening

Here’s what people are saying about Belinda:

“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Crossfires novels and are craving more, look no further. In The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, 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

Thunder Road


Thunder Road, coming to bookstores everywhere from my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, in September!

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Evoking Stephen King’s terrifying novel The Gunslinger and the epic adventure film Cowboys and Aliens, Tamara Thorne delivers a tantalizing blend of horror and Western SciFi–in an arid, dangerous world from which there is no escape. . .

The California desert town of Madelyn boasts all sorts of attractions for visitors. Join the audience at the El Dorado Ranch for a Wild West show. Take a ride through the haunted mine at Madland Amusement Park. Scan the horizon for UFOs. Find religion with the Prophet’s Apostles–and be prepared for the coming apocalypse.

Because the apocalypse has arrived in Madelyn. People are disappearing. Strange shapes and lights dart across the night sky. And a young man embraces a violent destiny–inspired by a serial killer whose reign of terror was buried years ago.

But each of these events is merely setting the stage for the final confrontation. A horror of catastrophic proportions is slouching toward Madelyn in the form of four horsemen–and they’re picking up speed. . .

“Tamara Thorne has become one of those must-read horror writers. From her strong characters to her unique use of the supernatural, anything she writes entertains as much as it chills.” —Horror World

“Tamara Thorne is the new wave of horror–her novels are fascinating rides into the heart of terror and mayhem.” –Douglas Clegg

110,000 Words… and Counting…


Tamara Thorne and I are kicking literary ass these days. A few hours ago, we hit 110,000 words on our collaborative project (not Belinda, and not Grandma’s Rack, but the other book).

Had this novel been content to conclude itself at the average length of 80,000 to 120,000 words, it would be complete, but as it is, we anticipate another 20,000 before we write The End. There will, of course, be some cutting, but no matter how we look at it, this will be a good-sized book ~ and that makes me very proud of us.

This story line is the one that brought Tamara and I together in 2012, so it has special meaning for me. We got to know each other plotting this novel out over the phone, hundreds of miles apart. We ended up setting it aside to write Grandma’s Rack, then, due to publishing obligations, set Grandma’s Rack aside to return to – and finish – this one. The reason for this juggling act is mainly due to the fact that Grandma’s Rack was originally intended to be a short story. And it grew. A lot.

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Also, while all this was happening, we managed to get the first few installments of our serialized Gothic Erotica novel, The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, written and out into the hands of the readers at the time we promised them it would be available.  What all of this has meant is that we’ve had to spend 8 to 12 hours a day, 6 (and now 7) days a week, writing, editing, and doing various other writing-related necessities. It’s meant we’ve had little to no free time. It’s meant we’ve had to say no to a lot of our friends and family members. It’s meant we’ve had to pull the plugs on some processes that weren’t quite geared for our degree of production. It’s meant we’ve worked our asses off. But we did it, and we did it well.

As I write this, Tamara is waiting for me in the Cloud where, after a short break, we will continue writing out the final scenes of this novel. It will be completed shortly. And after that… it’s back to Grandma’s Rack, which will pretty much keep us just as busy. What a year it has been. And will continue to be…

All the World’s a Page


It’s been a long week.

While my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, was at Comic Con for a couple of days, I took the lead on Belinda’s third installment, which we are calling Darker Shadows. I only got about ten pages deep when Tamara, having had enough of Comic Con, came home. We’ve since polished up those ten pages, added more to it, and are excited about the upcoming installment ~ probably because, like the title implies, the shadows of Belinda’s adventures are getting darker, deeper, and a bit more foreboding (you didn’t really think we could keep the creepy-crawlies and ghosts out of our erotica, did you?) and we are pleased by the direction of the story and the readers’ response to it. So thank you to everyone who has purchased The New Governessas well as the latest installment, AwakeningThe third is underway and will be here soon.

Meanwhile, on other projects, Tamara and I are in the climax of our other story, and things are getting very intense. We’re having a good time, but due to the crunch of deadlines, we have very limited time off – although I did spend the day doing photos yesterday for upcoming Belinda art…. but we more than made up for that today, I think, by kicking out nearly 5,000 words.

On a side note, we did an interview at Susanne Bellamy’s All the World’s a Page, where we talked about Belinda, collaborating, and how we go about writing a serialized novel.

Otherwise, it’s writing, writing, writing for now, and we’re getting very excited about our progress.

Thank you again, readers, for the support and love.

Till next time…

Belinda: The Awakening is Live on Amazon!


In The New Governess, Belinda Moorland became governess to the children of handsome and mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning. She met several interesting employees at Ravencrest Manor, including the mischievous butler, Grant, and the frightening house administrator, Mrs. Heller. During her first night, Belinda was also greeted – and groped – by other inhabitants of the house; ones who are more phantom than flesh.

Now, in Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares. Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?
The erotic adventures of Belinda continue…

The second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, Awakening, is now live on Amazon!  In coming weeks, it will be available in all other formats, too.

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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…

 

 

 

Author Spotlight at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog


Tamara Thorne and I did an Author Spotlight guest post at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog, which has now gone live. We talked a little bit about our writing processes, our trip to the haunted cabin, Belinda, and the other projects we are currently working on. Go to Morgen Bailey’s and read about it.

Meanwhile, Awakening, the second installment in The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is days away from publication. When she has gone forth into the grand world of books, the buy links will be posted here.

Meanwhile, here is the teaser and cover…

Awakening

In Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares.  Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?

The Doctors are In!

The young man moved to Belinda’s left side and suddenly masculine hands encompassed each of her breasts. She went crimson. Oh please, let this be over with! Please! She closed her eyes. Dr. Akin’s hand was large, his fingers very long. He was cupping and enfolding her entire breast. The intern’s wasn’t quite as big. Both men’s hands were dry and uncallused, smooth, gentle. Warm.

This new feeling upset her almost as much as being nude. Stop it! This is a doctor’s exam; it’s not supposed to feel good!

Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is coming soon!

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Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror… and Belinda!


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!

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Awakening – The Cover


Here is the (almost) finalized cover for Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belindadue out later this month!

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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

Workin’ It


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It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and write anything conversational on my blog, so now that I have an hour or so of free time, I thought I’d drop by and say hello. With the publication of something new, you kind of go into what I call “Machine Mode,” which is that place where nothing but the book exists. You don’t think about anything except the marketing – the interviews, the guest appearances, and all other avenues of PR you can participate in – whatever you can do to get your story out in front of people, and of all the aspects of the writing life, this is, for me, the most difficult. Probably because, in this case, we aren’t done with Belinda. As great as it is to have that first installment out to readers, this is a serial novel, so the show must go on… leaving us in a somewhat constant state of being pressed for time. It doesn’t help that Tamara and I are working under a looming deadline on another project as well.

I don’t hate it though. The only other option is to decline interviews and guest appearances altogether. While I do know some authors who do this, it isn’t an option for me.  Not working for your book is as nonsensical to me as ignoring an infection and hoping for the best. I believe in Belinda and I think she’s worth the hard work. In the coming weeks – and months – Tamara and I have a slew of events and appearances that I’m actually pretty excited about. We’re getting some really good gigs and we’re meeting some pretty cool folks.

In the meantime, the second installment of Belinda’s hot and horrifying adventures is well underway. In fact, we’re down to the final scenes – and they’re getting wilder by the page. I’ve never had as much fun writing anything as I am Belinda’s story.

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As for the other project we’re working on, it’s coming along at a freight train’s pace. It is, almost literally, writing itself. We intend to have this one done by the end of summer, and then, for those who are patiently waiting, Grandma’s Rack will go through the final rewrites. No, we haven’t forgotten about Grandma. We couldn’t if we tried to – God love that sweet old lady with her very special talents. We will return to her in Fall, no doubt bewitched anew by her otherworldly ways…

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Until then, it’s writing, writing, interviewing, writing, interviewing, petting the cat, writing, writing, interviewing, moving the cat off the keyboard, writing, interviewing, writing, writing, removing the cat from the bookcase, writing, writing, and more writing…

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Delivered Into Darkness


Gothic Erotica by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Belinda is the new governess and is settling into her home at Ravencrest Manor. Her employer, Mr. Manning, is handsome and mysterious with kind, welcoming eyes, but Mrs. Heller, the head housekeeper, wears black stilettos and studies Belinda with a different kind of gaze… a gaze that frightens her.

After getting through her first day at Ravencrest, Belinda fell into bed and discovered that, after dark, there were more inhabitants of the manor than she knew; lusty, restless, and not of this world, they are ready to introduce themselves – and their passions – to Belinda. How did she sleep? Find out at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

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In July, you’ll find out what happens next. Join her as she explores the house, the spirits, and her own dark desires.

In the meantime, visit Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross at their websites.

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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

 

Hot Sexy Haunted


The New Governess, the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is available at Amazon and Smashwords now. More links for places of purchase will be coming soon…

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“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.

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 

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

 

 

Let the Adventures Begin



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.

First Installment

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.

Haunted by Sex!


We’re proud to announce that the first installment of our erotic serial novel, Belinda, will arrive in June. It’s called The New Governess. 

Expect thrills, both sexy and ghostly.

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Visit us at our websites at: alistaircross.com

and

tamarathorne.com

Belinda – The First Installment


First Installment

It’s been a productive couple of weeks for my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and me, and probably the most exciting accomplishment of all is the completion of the first installment of Belinda. Yes… it is completed… and thanks to an especially haunting scene we polished off last night, it is hot.

Installment #1 , which is titled The New Governess, will be a bit longer than the rest – weighing in at about 30 pages. Being the first installment of many to come, there was a lot to cover… and uncover, as it were. But we got Belinda to Ravencrest Manor, introduced a handful of her potential friends and foes, and brought her face to face with a few beautiful and needful things, both of this world and of another.

Belinda has begun her journey… and there’s no stopping now. We’re as eager as anyone else to see what flirty fiascoes and delectable disasters she falls into…

The first installment of Belinda will be out this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…

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

Sallie’s Book Reviews


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.

To learn more about us and the soon-to-be released first installment of our serialized erotica, The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, visit us at: http://alistaircross.com and http://tamarathorne.com

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Want a Bite?


Belinda.

Serialized erotica coming this summer from Thorne & Cross

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Two True Ghost Stories From Tamara Thorne On Anything Ghost


My collaborator, horror legend Tamara Thorne, is no stranger to things that go bump in the night. Anything Ghost narrator, Lex Wahl, gives a superb reading of two of Tamara’s best! Check it out here… if you dare.

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~AC~

http://alistaircross.com

Mr. Manning on Casual Friday


This weeks sexy reminder that Belinda will be here this summer…

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The Erotic Adventures of

Belinda

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…