FACEBOOK EVENT Today at 7 – 8 pm EST


Today, at 7 – 8 pm EST, Tamara Thorne​ and I will be chatting about our upcoming book, MOTHER, on Facebook at The Edge of Madness Release Party.
Just go to this page, join the event, and come hang out with us from 7 – 8 pm EST, where we’ll be discussing writing, MOTHER, books, and anything you’d like to know!

MOTHER

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The First Interview About “MOTHER”


Here is the very first interview about our book “MOTHER.” Tamara Thorne dishes a little dirt about this twisted little soon-to-be-released psychological thriller, over at Fiona Mcvie’s Author Interviews.

MOTHER

THE CRIMSON CORSET: Foreword


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As THE CRIMSON CORSET nears availability as a paperback, I’d like to share the foreword, written by my friend, my collaborator, my favorite author, Tamara Thorne, whose books I’ve adored since my teen years when I never could have imagined I would ever meet her, let alone one day write books with her.

I can think of no better way to be introduced into the world of writing than by horror-lit royalty like Tamara Thorne. She has published so many books that I love, and have loved, for so many years, and to hear her praise my work is, in itself, a dream come true.

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THE CRIMSON CORSET
FOREWORD
by Tamara Thorne

“Alistair Cross is a hell of a good writer, and I’m not just saying that because he’s the collaborator of my dreams. It’s because I’ve read the novel you now hold in your hands half a dozen times – from first draft through final edit – and with each read, it just kept getting better, addicting me more and more to its gripping – and at times, eye-popping – plot.

The characters are lucid and sublimely alive as they take Alistair’s story and run with it, delivering strong doses of excitement, terror, humor, and sexuality. His dialogue shines; I can hear his characters so clearly it’s as if I’m eavesdropping … and it’s a juicy conversation.

The Colter Brothers, Cade and Brooks, are hunky, hilarious, and a pleasure to get to know. They could be your next door neighbors (if you’re lucky!) but as they face their demons, they teach us so much about growth, about confronting adversity, and about the nature of the human spirit that it would be impossible to write them off as mere entertainers. Watching these brothers develop, watching how they argue, joke, and then work together is not only delightful, it’s inspiring. Theirs is a bromance worthy of Sam and Dean Winchester’s and this adds a fascinating layer to an already riveting piece of fiction.

And then there’s the sheriff, Ethan Hunter. While so many of his kind are stereotypical, Ethan has strengths, weaknesses, amusing quirks – and some very interesting hobbies – that deliver him from the trenches of mediocrity and place him under a spotlight of his own. Ethan is more than a means of moving the plot forward and relaying information – he’s a man with a story. And it’s the kind of story that will keep you up at night.

At Eudemonia, a pricey and beautiful health spa, lives the messianic Michael, leader of the peaceful faction of vampires. Michael is in equal parts magnetic and mysterious – a thoroughly fascinating figure even without Reaper, the movie-quoting raven on his shoulder. Through Michael’s eyes, we see a world that is never sullied, never without hope – a world in which we’d all love to spend some time. Perhaps less blinded by idealism is Winter, his second-in-command, and slightly medieval buddy. This guy is the kind of fearless grinning sidekick any leader would be glad to have, and together, Michael and Winter are a compelling force capable of making any villain flinch.

Which brings us to the bad guys – the vampires of the Crimson Corset, a notorious nightclub at the other end of town. Its inhabitants are complete well-rounded characters with intrigues of their own. There’s my personal favorite, the psychotic and beautiful little leader, Gretchen VanTreese, who’s never met a man she didn’t want to dominate. We are also treated to her lieutenant, Jazminka of the thigh-high boots, questionable sexuality, and thick Slavic accent she hasn’t lost in 200 years. Then there’s Aidan and Ambrose, the beautiful twin boys that Gretchen keeps as pets – but these guys have nothing on her favorite plaything of all, her bodyguard Scythe, whose anatomy is so impressive she calls it Vlad the Impaler.

As an added treat, there are several cameos by vampires from my own novel, Candle Bay. When Alistair asked if they could stop by The Crimson Corset, I was surprised and pleased. And he wrote them like a boss. He understood my guys completely and put exactly the right words in their mouths. I was so impressed I asked him to collaborate on my sequel to Candle Bay. He agreed, and we intend to release it sometime in 2016, so you’ll get another dose of the Crimson Cove vamps as they join the fanged ones of Candle Bay on a very special road trip.

As for Mr. Cross, the writer: He always delivers. Failure is not an option. Writing with him – or watching him write a solo in our virtual office – is a study in inspiration. He meets every deadline and makes sure we reach our individual and collaborative goals. He takes his job seriously, makes no excuses, and has the grit and determination to make things happen. And his prose is absolutely beautiful. What a combination!

This is a man who is going places, I guarantee it. He’ll write many more solos and I’ll read and love them all. I also look forward to our future collaborations. I don’t take Alistair for granted, and I never will. Neither should you. It’s my pleasure to introduce this outstanding new author and his remarkable debut novel – so unsheathe your claws, sharpen your fangs and step on in to The Crimson Corset. I’m confident that you’ll enjoy your stay – and look forward to his future works – every bit as much as I do.”

                           –  Tamara Thorne, July 15, 2015

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.

The Crimson Corset: The Story Behind the Story


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The Crimson Corset is a vampire novel, but to me, it is more than that. It is a representation of human descent, the power of influence, the corruption of greed, the savagery of addiction, the lust for domination … it is a representation of the human will, and a testament to the strength of family ties.

It is, after all this time, the story I wanted to tell – the story I meant to tell the first time.

Edits will begin this Monday, and as I start cutting the fat, sharpening the plot, and strengthening the characters, I can’t help but think back to this novel’s humble beginnings.

Although The Crimson Corset is a “new” book, it isn’t actually new at all. My history with this story is a long one, going clear back to 2005, when the idea of writing seriously was just a budding concept. I’d always written, and I had the boxes and bags full of poems, vignettes, and uncompleted novels to prove it, but by 2005, these side-projects left me cold. I was no longer satisfied with hobby-writing. I wanted to do something more – something that I felt had some substance. This was when the concept for The Crimson Corset was born. I began writing it immediately … and I quickly learned that novel-writing is not as effortless as it appears to be.

Although I completed this novel (which was then titled The White Room) in 2010, I had a very long road ahead. Long enough that, had I known it then, I might not have dared to take. But, rather blindly, I kept walking that road, and during the next ten years I found my voice, refined my style, honed my craft, and was lucky enough to collaborate on some incredible projects with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne. I love collaborating with her and I intend to do it until the very end, but collaborating was never my goal. I would never be satisfied if I didn’t also have a body of solo work.

I began thinking about The Crimson Corset again in January of this year because Tamara and I had finished our collaborative novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, and we had several months of less creative, editorial work ahead of us. I had the completed version of The White Room and I thought I could certainly make a strong novel out of the existing material. However, the more you write, the better you become, and as I looked at the manuscript I realized there wasn’t much that could be salvaged. So I started it from scratch – one more time – vowing that I would make it the best story it could possibly be. I changed the narrative from first to third person, re-developed the characters, created a new setting, and weeded out all but two or three minor scenes from the original version. This is not the same book I wrote six years ago.

Many of the characters that populate this novel have been with me for a very long time now. Gretchen, Cade, Brooks, Winter, and Michael all go back as far as ten years in my imagination. Also, having improved my skills, I was able to cohesively give stage time to some of the others who got lost in the previous versions. Scythe, Aidan, Ambrose, Chynna and her two white tigers, Absinthe and Hyacinthe, were all conceived and developed between 2005 and 2008, but were never able to make it to the page before now. And there are new players, as well. There are the “mermaids” Violet and Scarlett, the cryptic and terrifying Emeric, Winter’s little buddy Arnie, the Crimson Cove sheriff, Ethan Hunter, and the local “missing girl,” Samantha Corbett, to name a few.

Old or new, each of these characters has his or her own story, his or her own soul, and learning about them was truly joyous for me. They all signify a part of myself – good, wicked, and otherwise. Some express for me that which cannot, for various (and in some cases, legal!) reasons, be expressed in the material world, while others are just innocent flirtations with my dark side. But all of them are real; all of them are part of my truth.

Regarding publication, The Crimson Corset will be available this summer. I wish I knew an exact date, but it’s too early to say. As soon as I have one, I will post it. Next Friday, I have a meeting with the cover art designer who will finalize the cover’s details, and after that, I’ll be allowed to post the art. I have seen it, and it is beautiful. In closing, I have to give great thanks to two very wonderful people who have helped me with this book: My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, who guided me, read for me, and continues to help me be a better writer. As a side note, for those who are fans of Tamara Thorne’s vampire novel, Candle Bay, you’ll be tickled to see a few familiar faces in The Crimson Corset, as well. Finally, thank you to Berlin Malcom, who gets us all the good interviews, and works as hard as we do to make this happen.

Why I Dig My Collaborator


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‘Tis the season for gratitude, and although I have never enjoyed any of the traditional Thanksgivings customs, I do like to take a little time out around this time of year to reflect on the things I’m grateful for, and there are a lot of them. A lot. I am thankful to my family for their ongoing support, my friends for their love and loyalty, my kitty, Pawpurrazzi, for amusing me, my dog, Sven, for refusing to die after all these years, and my friend, my mate, my manager, Berlin, who has earned every title given here and without whom I would not be where I am… in many, many ways. Also, I am grateful to the models who allow me to photograph them in strange ways for our book covers and e-posters. Like these guys…

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Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my collaborator, Tamara Thorne. I began reading Tamara’s horror novels in the ’90s and was a huge fan. Then, through a series of events (which basically means I stalked her), we met and became fast friends. In 2012, she asked me to collaborate with her on a novel and I said yes. And my whole life changed. That collaboration worked so well, we haven’t stopped. In 2014 so far, we’ve written two full-length novels and a considerable amount on a serial novel called The Ghosts of Ravencrest.

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Because Tamara has been so good to me these past years, I have a lot of gratitude for her; too much to just say, “Thanks for everything…” and I’m not sure I have ever really properly thanked her. So here is a list of reasons I’m thankful for her. These are the reasons I adore this woman.

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1. She trusts my writing. For someone who precedes me by almost 20 years in the publishing business, she might easily  insist on doing things her own way, but she doesn’t.

2. She shares the same vision as me. We’re almost always going the same direction and I love that.

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  1. She loves my kitty almost as much as I do!
  1. She’s loyal. After all this time, she hasn’t once tossed me aside, thrown me over for someone more interesting, or made me feel irrelevant. Even in the presence of some truly amazing people, she’s never treated me like a second-class citizen.
  1. There is no drama. Ever. Period.
  1. She loves my characters. She invests in my fictional creations and flatters me endlessly by delighting in them as much as I do.

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  1. She respects my time and space. She doesn’t interfere or impose.
  1. She wants me to succeed. That is more rare than many of you might realize.
  1. She is a hobbit. I think she’s only like 4 foot 9 or something, and that is funny. (Okay, she’s 5’2” but, whatever. I like to tell her she’s 4’9”.)

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  1. She doesn’t have to be the teacher. She respects me as a writer in my own right and gives me credit for having practical sensibilities. She trusts my senses of ethics, business, and creative direction. And she’s secure enough in her own intellect to be teachable.
  1. She knows the most amazing people… and she introduces me to them. Seriously. I have met some truly incredible folks. Writers, agents, editors, entertainers, film directors… she knows some really awesome people.
  1. She’s a great writer. She writes by instinct, not formula. She’s a natural-born and that keeps her writing fresh, unpredictable, and engaging.
  1. She’s an excellent researcher. Before she starts a story, she digs in, gets her hands dirty, and makes sure she knows what she’s writing about. I admire this in a writer.

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  1. She’s hilarious. Her sense of humor – and lack of gloom and self-pity – is constant and uplifting. On and off the page, she knows how to make me laugh.
  1. There is no competition between us. There are no games, no popularity contests, no bullshit; just a consistent genuine resolve that we succeed, both as individuals and as a unit.
  2. She’s a great radio show co-host. I wouldn’t do Haunted Nights LIVE! without her.

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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.

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“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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