Dirty Ghosts, Dirt Cheap


THE GHOSTS OF RAVENCREST is available at: http://tinyurl.com/hzvae3e
 
“The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!”
 
-Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.
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THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is on sale!


A deranged doctor with an appalling side-hobby, a macabre groundskeeper who delights in terrifying children, an unlikely vandal with vulgar talents, a lovestruck cop, a 60s Scream Queen, a death-portending ghost, and an egomanaical self-proclaimed psychic who wants to write a book about it. What happens when they all end up in a cozy cliff side lodge, and bodies start piling up? Find out for .99! THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is 80% off today and tomorrow only: http://tinyurl.com/zeyyekv

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And here’s what’s happening in the town of Cliffside this week!

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THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is on sale NOW for .99!


Today through Saturday, The Cliffhouse Haunting is on sale for only .99 at Amazon! To celebrate, here is this week’s copy of the The Cliffside Weekly Chronicle! Just click the pic below to obtain your .99 cent copy!

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THE CLIFFSIDE WEEKLY CHRONICLE

Another Death at the Peppermint Stix Motel

Another body has been found in Cliffside. The unidentified male was discovered by Bernard Cox, owner of the Peppermint Stix Motel on Main Street. “I’ve seen a lot of disgusting things – I’ve been running this run-down piece of sh*t motel for years – but I ain’t never seen anything the likes of this!” Cox went on to describe the scene. “So this fellow – he was ripped apart. A leg here, an arm there. And there was water everywhere. And his intestines, or something like that, was pulled out of him and draped around like festoons on the fourth of July!”

The body was taken to the Cliffside Funeral Home where coroner Gene Holmes, M.D., was expected to autopsy it this morning. Police Chief Jackson Ballou refused to answer questions, saying it was too early in the investigation. “This savage murder is just the latest in a series of deaths that may or may not be related. We haven’t even ruled out a bear attack at this point.”

But Cliffside residents have theories of their own. According to young locals Belle Tabrum and Lacey Mylett, there’s “obviously a serial killer on the loose, you know?” When asked what made them so certain, they seemed at a loss and failed to respond. Tessa Cornhull, RN, also believes the murders are connected. “It’s practically common sense,” says Cornhull. “Each of the victims is torn apart, but that’s not even what kills them. They die by drowning. Water in the lungs. That sounds like an MO to me!” Neither the police nor the coroner would confirm Cornhull’s claims of water being present in the lungs of the deceased, saying only that “The investigations are ongoing,” though Cornhull retains her belief that murder is afoot.

But Walter Gardner, groundskeeper of the Cliffside Lodge, has a different theory. Says Gardner, “It’s the Blue Lady. She’s come back. And when the Blue Lady walks, death walks with her.” Maggie O’Connor, a maid at the lodge, concurs with Gardner, saying, “I saw her. In the mirror in a room on the third floor. It scared me to death and I almost quit my job until my boss talked me into staying.”

Unable to obtain any substantial findings, we contacted local doctor, Roger Siechert, who was physician to several of the deceased. When told of the locals’ speculations, Dr. Siechert gave a boisterous laugh, saying, “I don’t know about all that, but are you guys coming to Oktoberfest this year? I’m making my famous Weisswurst. I’m going to win the contest this year! You just watch and see!”

According to Pastor Harry Beaver of the Baptist church, that comes as no surprise. Says Beaver, “Dr. Siechert wins first place every gosh darned year. It’d be nice to see someone else take that ribbon for once.”

So Who is the Blue Lady?

Interest in Cliffside’s own local ghost, the Blue Lady, has increased since long-time Cliffhouse Groundsman, Walter Gardner, said that he thinks the latest murders in our town – specifically at the Peppermint Stix Motel – may be connected to the deaths. And he says his theory has nothing to do with the unverified rumor that the victims’ lungs are full of water.

The Blue Lady sightings date back to the late 1700s when a short-lived Spanish Settlement occupied the area, then reemerged in 1886 when the Cliffhouse Lodge was built. The Blue Lady is often connected to serial murders such as those committed by The Gaslight Killer in the 1880s and The Bodice Ripper of the Prohibition Era. Local lore has it that the Blue Lady, a vengeful spirit of unknown origin, is said to appear during times of violence and death, and that such sightings are a prelude to murder.

It is most commonly believed that the ghost makes her home in or near the water, hence the name of the small lake near the Cliffside Lodge, Blue Lady Lake.

Self-Proclaimed Psychic Signs at the Crystal Cavern

Psychic medium Constance Welling has written many books on the occult and will be at the Crystal Cavern Occult Book Shop this Saturday from 2pm to 4pm signing her latest book in the Crystal Method series, The Kiss of the Wild Crystal. She will also be a giving a talk on getting in touch with your inner spirit guide. Her own spirit guide, (referred to as Eliza,) has been with her since childhood, after a near-fatal accident. Welling says Eliza has given her insight and guided her hand while writing her many books, as well as “helping others with their spiritual needs.”

Welling is currently staying at the Cliffhouse Lodge and says it’s extremely haunted. The medium says she hopes that the owners, Adam and Teddy Baxter-Bellamy, will relent and allow her to hold a seance in the lodge to speak with notorious 1920s serial killer, the Bodice Ripper. She hopes to once and for all identify the Ripper so that, “his many victims can at last go into the light.”

Adam Baxter-Bellamy responded to this reporter’s question. “We want to reassure our guests – past, present, and future, that Cliffhouse is not haunted – except possibly by a friendly feline ghost – and that no ghost-hunting or seances will happen here.”

Ms. Welling vehemently disagrees, stating that most non-gifted persons are unaware of ghostly goings-on. According to Ms. Welling, she is the only member of her family to have inherited what she calls the “gift.” Says Welling, “I used to tell my older sister what her dates were going to be like, and I was always right.” Constance’s only sibling, Phyllis Stine of Snapdragon, California, refused to comment, saying only that she had to get off the phone as a pressing neighborhood matter required her immediate attention. “Just make sure she has the best of everything,” said Stine, “and she’ll make you a few bucks. She insists on dining and traveling in style.”

And Ms. Welling is not traveling alone. She’s brought a hired hand to “help her manage her schedule,” and to “keep the fans at bay.” When asked if he thought his employer was as psychically gifted as she claims, Welling’s personal assistant, Luke Donovan, abruptly excused himself.

Welling’s The Crystal Method Series, as well as her children’s book, My Crystal and Me, are published by Faerie Dust Press, a small publisher based in Bakerton, California, owned by Rodney Hicks. You can obtain copies of Ms. Welling’s ebooks through Amazon. For paperback copies, send self-addressed stamped 6X9” envelopes to Rodney at his mother’s residence at: 17 Peanut Berry Circle, Bakerton, CA. For signed copies of her books, Ms. Welling says, “You’ll just have to come to one of my signings.”

Sadly, Ms. Welling’s first book, Beautiful Cluster, has gone out of print.

Wine Tasting Weekend at The Cliffhouse Lodge

The Cliffhouse Lodge will host their bi-monthly wine tasting this Saturday evening from seven to nine pm. The event is free to guests of the lodge and open to the public for $10 a person. Chantrieri wines from California’s own Valentyn Vineyards will be served along with Cliffhouse’s own Blue Springs Sparkling Water and an assortment of o’dourves prepared at the in-house bistro, Le Chatte Rouge. The event takes place in Cliffhouse’s historic lobby and features Jordan Cartwright on the piano.

“Our evening wine tastings are very popular,” says co-owner Sara Baxter-Bellamy. “Cliffhouse is an amazing place, one of the first hotels ever built in the San Bernardino Mountains. The lobby is breathtaking and even has a natural brook running through it. Try it once, you’ll want to come again.”

Dinner will be served from 4 pm through 10 pm at La Chatte Rouge and manager Paul Butters says they will be featuring their own California cuisine, including Asiago and Kale pizza, Trout with Cranberry and Peppercorn Glaze, and Filet Mignon with Framboise du Congélateur.

Old West Days

Later this month, as part of Cliffside’s, Welcome to Summer festivities, The Cliffhouse Lodge will play host to Old West Days, a reenactment of the old west that’s been a popular event for over fifty years. “Back in the day, it was called ‘Cowboys and Indians Days,” explains local historian Stanford Swiller, “but we aren’t allowed to say that anymore. Nor are we allowed to depict battles but there will be a rodeo in the field by the Cliffside Stables near the lodge.”

On the Great Lawn, there will be native American dances and crafts, Cowboy crafts, including a class in whittling led by our own chief of police, Jackson Ballou, knot-tying classes, a reenactment of the Gunfight at the OK Corral and plenty of strolling, strumming, singing cowboys. The hotel will sponsor a barbecue in conjunction in La Chatte Rouge and welcome plenty of concession stands for food and libations. Other concessions will sell cowboy and native gear for young and old alike and each evening there will be square-dancing under the stars.

Admission to Old West Days is $15 per person. Cliffhouse Lodge will supply a free shuttle to ferry guests between the hotel and the stables.

Obituary

Services for Eliot “Rainbow” Nash, 43, will be held at the Cliffside Funeral Home Thursday at 10 a.m. Mr. Nash is survived by his wife, Myrna, and children Greenwich, Daffodil, Hoody, and Solstice. Mr. Nash was a locally famous glassblower whose Pine Street shop, Tinkling Things, was destroyed in the freak explosion that took Mr. Nash’s life. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, mourners donate to Old Seamen’s Retirement Home in Red Cay.

Film Festival Honoring Maisy Hart

Next Friday night, the Cliffside Arts Theater will feature an evening of films starring our own Maisy Hart. Miss Hart, who is a permanent resident at the Cliffhouse Lodge, was a scream queen back in the 1960s, starring in such films as Creature of the Indigo Swamp, Scream of the Shrew Monster, Screaming Girls of Calaveras County and Screams of the Sorority Sisters.

Miss Hart will be there in person to answer questions and autograph DVDs. Admission is $12. The doors open at 5 pm.

Person of the Week

We all know yearly Person of the Week, Noble Mason, who regularly helps Cliffside residents deal with everything from plumbing problems to choosing the right paint, but how many know about Pat Matthews, his righthand man and brother-in-law? This week, Pat is our Person of the Week.

Pat has worked for Noble Mason since marrying Noble’s sister, Taffilynn, fifteen years ago and they, along with their twelve children, are prominent residents of our fair village. “Pat’s a good guy,” says Noble. “He follows my orders with a smile and takes good care of my baby sister and all my little nieces and nephews.”

Pat, who hails from Twin Falls, Idaho, says he loves Cliffside and is glad to be a part of our town. In addition to acting as handyman, he likes to spend lots of time with his wife and children. “Taffilynn has one in the oven, if you know what I mean, and we’re hoping eventually to have enough kids to make two baseball teams. That would be great. Just great!”

Pat works full time taking care of problems for the town’s residents while Taffilynn is a stay-at-home mom who fills her days taking care of their children. “She loves it,” says Pat. “She was born to be a mom. And I was born to be a dad. It’s great. Just great.”

Taffilynn declined to be interviewed but Truthanne and Shrudilee, their twin girls, said of their dad, “He’s great. When Mom’s not home, he lets us watch The Walking Dead!

Police Blotter

Loyd McRoid, aka Loyd the Roid, was arrested for illegally occupying a hotel room and cleaning out honor bar at the Doc Holliday Inn. McRoid, 53, evidently slipped into the unoccupied room and spent the night. Hotel worker Felicia Hornblower found him passed out naked on the bed, the entire contents of the honor bar strewn about him. Everything had been consumed. Two empty bottles of whiskey were also found in the room, one filled with urine. The bathroom was untouched.

Harvey Tanbottum, 37, was arrested after throwing a barstool through a window at Bloodhound’s Bar Wednesday night. Tanbottum claimed a blue-skinned woman had tried to sodomize him in the bathroom. When other patrons disregarded his claims, Tanbottum “Just lost it!” says an anonymous drinker. Bloodhound’s – locally known as Boozehound’s – is next door to the Peppermint Stix Motel, but police say Tanbottum, despite staying at the motel, was not involved in recent deaths there.

Carlotta Wellbourne, 52, was arrested for shoplifting at Cliffside Market Tuesday afternoon after she was seen stuffing lobster claws into her blouse. The society matron is famous for her charitable works, particularly for her annual Scotsman’s Balls in which attendees come dressed in kilts and other Scottish attire.

 

It’s Alive! Alive! And on Amazon!


The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a traditional gothic, complete with a young governess, handsome millionaire, a houseful of mysterious staff members… and hot and cold running ghosts. There are mysteries and family curses and a historical novella within each volume of The Ravencrest Saga. Just because it’s traditional, like Rebecca, Turn of the Screw, or Dark Shadows, doesn’t mean you should expect the expected. This is a modern gothic, with the kind of extra helpings of terror, sex, and surprises you’ve come to expect from a Thorne & Cross novel!

“The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!”

-Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.

In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, you’ll travel in time back to the London Frost Fair of 1788 to meet millionaire Eric Manning’s ancestors and explore some of the mysteries and spectres plaguing the house in contemporary times. You’ll celebrate Christmas with the Mannings too, and meet the mysterious Bran Lanval, a Knight of the Order of the Mandrake, as he works to stop a plague of witchcraft meant to destroy the Manning family for all time.

In modern times, there are witches afoot and spirits galore. As governess Belinda Moorland unearths the mysteries of her new home, she realizes the house – and all of its inhabitants – is mired in terror, scandal, and deadly secrets. From the hellacious house administrator, Mrs. Heller, to the long-dead nuns, Sisters Faith, Hope, and Charity, who rule the ghost-soaked east wing – to the screaming, cold presence in the indoor pool, and the unnatural creature who watches her from the vents, everyone – and every thing – seems to have an interest in Belinda.

From her first night at the manor when she’s seduced by a handsome phantom who sends her on a deadly quest, Belinda knows she must unravel the secrets of her own identity before she, herself, becomes yet another ghost of Ravencrest.

“Ghostly secrets abound. Tortured spirits wander the hallways. Star-crossed lovers walk the paths of time. Servants connive, and the heroine faces an uncertain future …Run, do not walk, to get The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross take the reader on a delicious journey of twisted family secrets, troubled dreams, and barely-concealed passions. Wrap yourself in the silken robe of this story and escape to Ravencrest.”

— Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural

At last, the complete first volume of The Ravencrest Saga: The Ghosts of Ravencrest, is available to purchase on Amazon.com.  Other formats (including paper) will follow in the not-too-distant future.

Watch for the first installment of Volume 2 of The Ravencrest Saga, coming in October, just in time for Halloween.

Just click the pic to buy!

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It’s Coming …


The Ghosts of Ravencrest

Volume 1 of The Ravencrest Saga

Darkness Never Dies …

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold …

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest …

Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

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Raves for Ravencrest…

The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!”  

 -Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.

  The Ghosts of Ravencrest is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”

 -QL Pearce, bestselling author of Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”

 -Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits and Hunting Demons

“In this classic-style gothic, young Belinda Moorland takes a job as governess for the children of Eric Manning, whose family mansion, Ravencrest, was reassembled stone by stone after crossing over from England. Now stalked by a bevy of quirky, shady characters … the sinister estate and its naughty nightside hijinks take center stage in this expert tale of multi-generational evil – and love. The Ghosts of Ravencrest will chill you and make you hot and bothered at the same time. There’s nothing like a stay in a California town created by Thorne and Cross!”

 -W.D. Gagliani, author of Wolf’s Blind (the Nick Lupo Series)

The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a scary, intricate read. The horror is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breathtaking. 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

“Scary and scandalous! The Ghosts of Ravencrest will leaving you shivering with excitement and terror …”

 -William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message

Excerpt:

“Ravencrest Manor at midnight. Within the great house, Cordelia Heller was awake, casting spells, amused that Phister and the governess thought she didn’t know what they were up to. And in the carriage house, Grant and Belinda prepared for their rescue attempt, exchanging information, checking flashlight batteries, and repeating simple protection spells to one another.

Outside, the sky was black velvet embroidered with cold silver stars awaiting the moonrise. Greek statues stood silent sentinel over the grounds, and if their eyes moved, no one noticed.

The persimmon tree’s leaves flirted and danced with a dark breeze as something moved deep within the earth. New buds formed and green fruit turned red in the dark. A night bird landed on a branch then fell to the ground, dead.  

The scent of night-blooming jasmine wafted, consuming the wisteria’s sweet perfume, strangling it.

Silence. The world held its breath …”

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About the Authors

Tamara Thorne’s first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity and The Sorority. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross as well as an upcoming solo novel. Learn more about her at: http://tamarathorne.com

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, an Amazon bestseller, is available now. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com

In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they also host the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which has featured such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton, Christopher Moore, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Charlaine Harris, and Christopher Rice. Thorne and Cross are hard at work on several upcoming collaborations, including a sequel to Tamara’s Candle Bay, which will feature plenty of vampy action as the Darlings and Julian Valentyne are joined on a road trip to Eternity with Michael and Winter from Alistair’s The Crimson Corset. It’s going to be a harrowing ride!

Pssst … Wanna See Something Spooky … ?


Have we got an early Halloween present for you! In just a few weeks, the complete and unexpurgated The Ghosts of Ravencrest will be released. Originally published only as a serial novel in ebook format, The Ghosts of Ravencrest will soon be a full-length novel available as an ebook and, shortly after that, in trade paperback.

And guess what? We’ve begun Volume Two of The Ravencrest Saga and the first installment will be available in October. Look for the return of those evil nuns, along with further explorations of the haunted pool, the east wing, the White Violet, the Bride of Ravencrest, Old Peckerhead, and of course, the continuing badness of Cordelia Heller. What won’t she do next?

We also have some special surprises cooked up, but our lips are sealed except to say that in Volume Two, we’ll again be returning to the past, this time to the Mannings’ early years in America as they rebuilt Ravencrest and encountered the bloodthirsty witch who laid a powerful, dark curse upon the manor’s inhabitants and their children.

But for now, (drumroll please) we’d like to reveal The Ghosts of Ravencrest’s cover. To say we love it would be an understatement. We worship it. We want to have its children. (And we will! And if they don’t behave, we’ll throw them in the east wing.)

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Darkness Never Dies…

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold…

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell within Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night… the ones who enter her dreams… the ones who are watching… and waiting…

Home is Where the Horror is…

Welcome to Ravencrest, magnificent by day, terrifying by night.

Welcome to Ravencrest, home of sordid secrets and ghastly scandals from the past.

Welcome to Ravencrest, where there is no line between the living and the dead.

Raves for Ravencrest

“The Ghosts of Ravencrest is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”

-QL Pearce, bestselling author of Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”

-Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits


“The Ghosts of Ravencrest by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a scary, intricate read. The horror is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breathtaking. 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

“Scary and scandalous! The Ghosts of Ravencrest by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement and terror …”

-William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message

An Interview with Dead People


We really didn’t get to know the first victims of The Cliffhouse Haunting’s own serial killer, Hammerhead, so we’d thought we’d take a moment and talk with them about their experience in our novel. First, here they are in action:

Cliffhouse

Hammerhead heard voices and paused. One male, one female.  It had been a long time since he had taken down two at once. The prospect delighted him, but he was nothing if not cautious; if it wasn’t safe, he would wait until another day.

He stepped into the dappled shade of a huge fir, pulled his water bottle from his knapsack and drank. The prey drew closer, and after capping the bottle, he patted the rip claw hammer that hung from a loop on his belt, hidden by his light jacket.

When the voices were no more than fifty feet away, he began walking toward them, timing it so that they would meet near a steep cliff with a panoramic view.

The couple appeared, early twenties, slender and smiling.  Hammerhead moved to the side of the trail.

“Hello!” said the young man. “Here for the view?”

Hammerhead nodded, a smile painted on his face.

“It’s worth the hike,” the woman said. “It’s so clear today.”

“It is.” As they passed, he drew the hammer, whirled, and hit the man in the temple. The hiker crumpled where he stood. Before the girl could scream, he turned, and as graceful as a dancer, spun the weapon around and impaled her temple on the claws. She didn’t fall because he held her up by the hammer. He pulled a compact mirror from his pocket, flipped it open and held it up as he lowered her to the ground.  Her eyelids drooped, so he held them open with two fingers until she died and her soul was captured in the mirror. He snapped the compact shut, retrieved another, and turned to the young man. Disappointment flooded him. He was dead, his soul already gone. At least he had one soul.  It felt good; it had been too long.

Hammerhead dragged the bodies to the edge of the rocky cliff. Once there, he lifted one head and brought it down on a sharp rock where the hammer wound had been, then dropped the rock over the cliff. He repeated the action with the other on a different rock. Then he pushed the bodies over. The coyotes and hawks would eat well, and in the massive brush and trees below, it was unlikely the remains would be found. There were others down there, after all, who’d been there for years.

And now, on to their interview. Please note that due to their head wounds, they are unable to tell us their names and since it’s unlikely their bodies – what’s left of them – will ever be found, we’ve taken the liberty of calling them Victor and Vicky Victim.

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T & A: How are you feeling today?

Victor: I have a headache.

Vicky: Me too.

T & A: We’re sorry to hear that. Is it your sinuses?

Victor: Partly, but, uh … I think it might have more to do with the great big fucking holes we have in the sides of heads.

Vicky: Now, Victor, you shouldn’t swear like that during an interview! It’s not polite.

Victor: I didn’t say anything when you bled all over the sofa.

Vicky: (rolls eyes) Tamara, Alistair, you’ll delete the f-word, right?

T & A: Of course we will. Now tell us, what were you doing that day in the mountains?

Victor: We were hiking to Deep Creek. We were going to swim naked.

Vicky: We even brought joints!

Victor: Shhh! Don’t fucking tell them that!

Vicky: What, it’s legal here. And stop swearing!

Victor: Sorry. It’s just that my head is killing me.

Vicky: Mine too. My hair is never going to look good again. I just can’t cover this hole!

T & A: Joint?

Vicky: You know, weed. (giggles)

Victor: Shhh!

Vicky: What, that bastard probably killed us for it.

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T & A: Mr. and Mrs. Victim, we can assure you that you weren’t murdered for your cannabis.

Victor: Well, what the fuck DID he kill us for then? My wife’s smoking hot body? She wasn’t even naked but man, look at those leg bones! You should’ve seen them before the vultures!

Vicky: Language.

T & A: He killed you for your souls. It’s kinda weird, we know, but it’s the truth.

Victor & Vicky in unison: Our souls?

T & A: Yes. He traps them in mirrors and keeps them in what he calls his Hall of Souls.

Victor and Vicky look at each other, then burst out laughing.

Vicky: What a nut job!

Victor: Crazy bastard! Who does that?

T & A: He calls himself Hammerhead and he kills people with a-

Vicky to Victor: Hammerhead! See! A hammer! I told you I saw a hammer!

T & A: It was probably the last thing you saw.

Victor: Well, I hope they caught the bastard.

Vicky nods vehemently.

T & A: We can’t tell you that. We don’t give spoilers.

Vicky: Spoilers?

T & A: You’re going to have to read the book.

Victor: The book? What book?

T & A: It’s called The Cliffhouse Haunting and it’s available now!

Vicky: We’re in a book!? Isn’t that wonderful,dear!

Victor: (grunts) Wait a minute. You mean to tell us that we died – in your book – and you have the nerve to try to sell it to us? What, were you born in a barn?

T & A: Yes.

Vicky: I think we should buy it, dear!

(Victor scowls)

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T & A: Halloween is coming up. It will make a great gift for the season.

Victor: We’re dead, you assholes. We don’t even have a credit card, let alone cash.

Vicky: Language, dear. (turns to T & A) Well, I think it’s wonderful. I’ve always wanted to be in a book.

Victor: But we died in the book!

Vicky: Semantics, dear. Where is this book available, Tamara and Alistair?

T & A: Amazon.

Vicky: Well, as soon as this interview is over, we’re going to buy it. I don’t care what my husband here has to say about it. (Turns to Victor) My mother will be so proud!

Victor: Whatever you say, honey. Do we get any royalties from this book?

T & A: (Look at the ground and avoid eye contact with the victims): Look, we’ll go to the place you died and throw some flowers at your carcasses. Will that do?

Vicky: White roses. We’d like white roses.

Victor: Fucking roses, good call. You do that, we won’t haunt you.

Vicky: Language. You really will clean this up?

T&A: Yes. Sure. Thanks for your time. (They run away. Fast.)

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Thorne & Cross

The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Danse Macabre #7


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(Danse Macabre, the 7th installment in The Ghosts of Ravencrest series, will be available next week)

House of Fear

Even as governess Belinda Moorland and her handsome employer, Eric Manning, grow closer, she is haunted by her own past  – and Ravencrest’s. From the screams in the shadowed blackness of the indoor pool, to the horrifying face of a scarecrow in the garden, and the nightly, urgent  messages from the dead, the darkness is all around her …

Ravencrest Has Plans of Its Own

But the real horror awaits inside the manor when a delightful day turns deadly with an unwelcome appearance by Belinda’s overbearing mother. Rhonda Moorland is convinced that Eric is holding her daughter at Ravencrest against her will and she intends to do something about it.

Witchcraft Gone Wrong

But nothing at Ravencrest is as it appears and when Cordelia Heller casts a spell meant to frighten Belinda, she gets more than she bargained for. Cordelia knows witchcraft – and she knows that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

COVER REVEAL FOR THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING!!



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

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When the Blue Lady Walks…

Since 1887, Cliffhouse Lodge has been famous for its luxurious accommodations, fine dining… and its ghosts. Overlooking Blue Lady Lake, nestled among tall pines, Cliffhouse has just been renovated by its owners, Teddy and Adam Bellamy, and their daughter, Sara.

Cliffhouse has not always been a place of rest and respite, though. Over the years it has served many vices, from rum-running to prostitution – and although the cat houses have been replaced by a miniature golf course and carousel, Cliffhouse retains its dark history; darkest during the Roaring Twenties, when a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper terrorized the town, and a phantom, the Blue Lady, was said to walk when murder was imminent.

 

Death Walks With Her…

Now, there’s a new killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. The Bellamys are losing maids, and guests are being tormented by disembodied whispers, wet phantom footprints, and the blood-chilling shrieks of mad laughter that echo through the halls of Cliffhouse in the dead of night.

The little mountain town of Cliffside is the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer… and the Blue Lady. Police Chief Jackson Ballou has bodies piling up, and between the murders and the mysteries, he can hardly pursue his romance with Polly Owen. And Sara Bellamy may lose her true love before they even have their first kiss.

The Cliffhouse Haunting will be available this March!

The Ghosts of Ravencrest


Darkness Never Dies…

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California over a thirty-year period in the 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold…

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night… the ones who enter her dreams… the ones who are watching… and waiting…

Home is Where the Horror is…

Welcome to Ravencrest, magnificent by day, terrifying by night.
Welcome to Ravencrest, home of sordid secrets and ghastly scandals from the past.
Welcome to Ravencrest, where there is no line between the living and the dead.

* * *

The Ghosts of Ravencrest is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”
-QL Pearce, bestselling author of Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs

* * *

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”
-Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits

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The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadows is now available at: http://www.amazon.com/Darker-Shadows-Ghosts-Ravencrest-Book-ebook/dp/B00OZ4C21C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1414713939&sr=1-1&keywords=darker+shadows+Thorne

The fourth installment, the novella, Christmas Spirits, is also available: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Spirits-Ghosts-Ravencrest-Book-ebook/dp/B00QN0Q7ZI/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1/181-7585638-5956058?ie=UTF8&refRID=17M1E0Z7HBBPWTXTVZP1

The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Christmas Spirits


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“The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Christmas Spirits is riveting. The characters are wonderful, the subplots are perfect, and the setting is stunning and well-researched. This series is like a roller coaster that goes up and up – the Mannings are literary gold.”

-QL Pearce, bestselling author of over 100 books, inlcuding the Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs series and film tie-in books for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time.

Christmas Spirits is available now on AMAZON.

The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadows


Scary Ladies and Gentlefiends,

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

ARavencrest

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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Welcome to Ravencrest…


Threshold

Darkness Never Dies…

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California over a thirty-year period in the 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold…

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

 Home is Where the Horror is…

Welcome to Ravencrest, magnificent by day, terrifying by night.

Welcome to Ravencrest, home of sordid secrets and ghastly scandals from the past.

Welcome to Ravencrest, where there is no line between the living and the dead.

ARavencrest

“In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is dark, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of scares and seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne, and hear the footsteps on the stairs.”

-Sylvia Shults, paranormal expert and author of Fractured Spirits and Double Double Love and Trouble

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Sinister. Sexy. Soon…


It’s sinister. It’s sexy. It’s coming soon…

After just one night at Ravencrest Manor, the new governess, Belinda Moorland, begins to suspect her beautiful 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 Ghosts of Ravencrest. Cross the threshold…

Ravencrest

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

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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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