Tamara dishes about her new novel, Brimstone, plus lots of other things. David Kemph asked some great questions.
Desecration, installment #3 in the Ravencrest Saga: Exorcism, is available now at Amazon!
A ghostly pool party is in full swing; maid Justine Chambers is hiding a dangerous secret; and governess Belinda Moorland and her partner in all things spectral, butler Grant Phister, realize they’re up against more than a mere evil spirit this time.
The Ravencrest Saga: Exorcism, is first released in serialized installments in eBook. To catch up on the story, you can get the first and second full-length volumes, THE GHOSTS OF RAVENCREST and THE WITCHES OF RAVENCREST at Amazon, as well as the first two EXORCISM installments, BEGOTTEN and INCUBUS.
A fascinating look at the classic horror novel – and movie – The Sentinel. Beware – here there be spoilers!
How is it going my apartment dwelling friends? This summer has certainly shed its warmth upon us. Here in Chicago, we have already had days of severe heat. (Note: At the time I wrote the beginning of this article, it was hot. I assume no responsibility for any unusually cool weather that may have transpired since then). I hope all of you have functional air conditioning, especially you folks in the upper-floor apartments. If not, I feel for you. But know this – matters could be worse. Sure, an apartment that is at the mercy of the heat index makes for some uncomfortable living conditions, but imagine if your cozy little abode was at the mercy of the souls bound to Hell! These souls could tell you a thing or two about bearing conditions in an overheated environment, believe me! Heat or no heat, an apartment haunted by…
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In actuality, I only waxed his back. And seriously, it was like seeing an old friend. We had bonded so closely from our very first phone chat that it didn’t feel like we were meeting for the first time.
The cabin season is about to come to a close, at least here on this blog. Sorry, but it has to be this way. After all, one cannot be forever “cabinated.” Unless, perhaps, that “one” happens to be a ghost that haunts the cabin. But even in that case, I think the ghost will eventually evaporate, dissipate, and therefore, no longer “cabinate.” But what of a cabin beset with residuals hauntings; echoes of the past in motion, or “repeated playbacks of auditory, visual, olfactory, and other sensory phenomena that are attributed to a traumatic event…” (from http://parapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Residual_Haunting)
Do such hauntings endure forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and…
Authors Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross claim to have witnessed several residual hauntings while staying at a cabin located in Gold Country in California. They document this experience…
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This year, Alistair Cross and I are thankful for …
To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we’re going to do things a little differently.
It’s been said that the lives of fictional characters begin before the author uncovers them – and that they go on once the book is completed. We try to keep that in mind by occasionally checking in on the casts of our previous books, and what better time to see how the folks are doing on Morning Glory Circle – where our thriller, MOTHER, is set – than Thanksgiving! In honor of MOTHER’s $0.99 sale in ebook now through November 28th, we thought it would be interesting to stroll through the neighborhood and find out what some of the residents are most grateful for this year.
- Priscilla Martin, aka Mother, is grateful she has six years’ worth of frozen turkeys in her freezer. She won’t have to buy one this year. And everyone said they wouldn’t…
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Remember when the parapsychologists in Poltergeist tell the Freelings about a fantastic poltergeist experience they’d had just before they see what’s going on in Carol Ann’s room? It goes like this:
Yes, Ryan photographed an extraordinary episode on a case in Redlands.
A child’s toy, a small matchbox vehicle, rolled seven feet across a linoleum surface. The duration of the event was seven hours.
Seven hours for what?
For the vehicle to complete the distance. This would never register on the naked eye, but I have the event on the time-lapse camera.
Poltergeist (1982) has a number of realistic incidents (mixed with many not-so-real ones) in the first portion of the movie – even the chairs stacked on the kitchen table are not far off from the more spectacular of documented poltergeist incidents. (In fact, Tamara witnessed something similar – but far less artistic – in an anomaly-laden house, not once, but three times in succession.)
The most realistic thing in Poltergeist is the investigators’ excitement over that little Matchbox car moving by itself. In reality, assuming the floor was level and there were no other factors that might affect it, that movement would be pretty amazing – unless you believe everything you see on shows like Ghost Hunters.
The truth is, anomalies don’t perform on command, and for something truly anomalous to happen while a TV crew is filming, would be truly jaw-dropping. Reality TV is entertainment, pure and simple. Oh, there’s no doubt episodes are based in true stories and experiences, but we guarantee you that real events caught on camera on a weekly series, are about as likely to happen as water turning into wine.
Recently, someone asked us why nothing “big” happens in Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin, our account of our stay in an allegedly haunted little house in the woods. We were surprised by the question because we were trying our best to recount what really happened and didn’t want to exaggerate the events for the sake of entertainment. Rather, we wanted to document them. We had been given a specific duty: to investigate and report. We were not there as a TV-style ghost hunters.
That’s why we went in with as little knowledge of the history of the cabin as possible. We didn’t want to have any expectations because the mind plays tricks, makes connections, and leaps to conclusions when you’ve been fed information, and that leads to inaccurate reporting.
That said, we were pretty amazed by what did happen. We even conceived of The Cliffhouse Haunting during our stay and were inspired by several events we witnessed.
But as far as reality goes, Tamara has spent many hours in allegedly haunted locales over the last thirty years and has been fortunate enough to witness a handful of anomalies that are pretty impressive. But the cabin was the gift that kept on giving. We saw, heard, and felt things in and around it that were peculiar – and occasionally quite frightening. While we can find possible explanations for most – if we try very hard to dig some up – we can’t explain everything we experienced. We were, to put it mildly, impressed.
Compared to the ghost-of-the-week TV reality shows, our experiences are pretty tame, but from the moment we walked in, there were minor anomalies that would thrill a serious non-entertainment-oriented ghost hunter. They certainly excited and inspired us.
We hope you enjoy our account for what it is – a realistic look at a “haunted” house. We admit that going back in and reliving it while we prepared it for publication gave us both the shivers, but we’ll tell you up front that neither of us levitated, spoke in tongues, or spotted any demons. However, we did experience some things that made us wonder if we’d ever agree to go back.
We probably would, but we’re just crazy that way.
And speaking of ghosts, don’t forget that our Gothic Horror novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, is available now for just .99!
by Tamara Thorne
My books often start with a dream, and that’s how Eternity -on sale now for 99 cents – began.
One night I dreamed I was driving in the mountains. They were tall and green, the ground dotted with melting snow, the road a twisting asphalt ribbon spinning out through the shadows and sunlight. The incline was so steep that sometimes the car felt like it was going to tip over backward. And then my destination came into view.
The town lay in a little valley in the shadow of a tall mountain called Icehouse. Quaintly beautiful, it was exactly as I would later describe in it the novel – a huge green park surrounded by businesses. I kept driving as the road dipped toward downtown Eternity. As I neared, I saw a big blue house with white trim with a sign out front that said, “Dimple’s Boarding House.”
Next thing you know, I’m inside and an older couple named Dimples were introducing me to their guests. Among them was Elvis Presley – and he was looking healthy. The Dimples went on to warn me that when I explored the town’s local landmark, Little Stonehenge, I should watch out for a sanitarium escapee named Jim Morrison who, unlike Elvis, was a pretender, an escapee from Shady Pines Sanitarium.
I don’t remember much else from the dream, but those images were so vivid that I wrote them down and immediately began playing with the idea that would become Eternity.
The plot didn’t take long to put together because I was ready to write another book about serial killers and I really wanted an excuse to study Jack the Ripper in detail. I’d long been a fan of Ripper entertainment; my very favorite was and is a 1988 two-part miniseries starring Michael Caine as Chief Inspector Abberline. In this version, the royal physician, Sir William Gull, is the Ripper, which is patently absurd – but it’s the thought that counts and it’s a great movie. (Gull has been named as the Ripper numerous times, but in reality he wouldn’t have been physically able to carry out the crimes.)
I delved deep into Ripper lore and used it throughout Eternity; my Ripper was one of the original suspects and while I make no claims to know who the Ripper actually was, my suspect fit perfectly with my story.
The prologue opens with a tour guide discovering Sheriff Frank Lawson (cousin to John Lawson of Moonfall) dismembered on Icehouse Mountain, in the prehistoric stone circle known as Little Stonehenge. It’s rumored to be some sort of portal, sort of a wormhole with other connections on earth (Stonehenge, Sedona, and many more) that sometimes deposits strangers in Eternity. Most people think it’s nothing but tourist hype. . .
Soon, former Los Angeles police detective Zach Tully drives north to take over as as Eternity’s Sheriff. He has delusions of Mayberry when he arrives which are quickly dashed. Tully, a man haunted by the murder of his family by the Backdoor Killer – the serial killer that got away – is burned out and thinks Eternity’s quiet is the answer. Instead, he is immediately beset by citizens telling him about Bigfoot, UFOs, sanitarium escapees, and claims that Ambrose Bierce is their mayor and Amelia Earhart is the postmistress.
Tully can handle all that, but then the murders begin in earnest. There’s no rhyme or reason to the gruesome homicides but Tully knows he’s up against a serial killer for the ages.
As a side note, my collaborator, Alistair Cross, and I are currently working on a sequel to my novel, Candle Bay. It takes place in Eternity, when my vampires – and several of Alistair’s vampires from his book, The Crimson Corset, are taking a road trip there for a vampire family reunion. Look for more action in Eternity later this year! And right now you can get Eternity for .99 cents on Amazon.
Vampires for .99!
Some years ago a young woman named Amanda Pearce came to a sleepy little California town on the central coast where she began work as concierge at the Candle Bay Hotel & Spa. She liked Natasha and Stephen Darling – the siblings who owned the inn, and was especially attracted to Stephen, a tall, broody drink of … water. A good girl, Amanda didn’t even allow herself to fantasize about him because she knew you shouldn’t have affairs in the workplace. And Stephen, though attracted to her, kept his fangs to himself.
She met Natasha and Stephen’s uncle, Orion Darling and thought him eccentric because of his identification with The Godfather – even his office was an exact replica of the one in the movie – but that was fine with her. And then, along came a stranger, an old family friend – or so he claimed – named Julian Valentyn. There was something about him that frightened her, but Amanda was too happy in her new position to question things.
But after a run-in or three with Stephen’s lascivious, eternally sixteen-year-old twin sisters, Lucy and Ivy, and then finding a bloodless body in a laundry cart that never seemed to stay in one place, she began to think the hotel wasn’t quite what she’d bargained for.
The bodies began piling up, but Amanda, her love for Stephen growing, persevered through every trial, through the strange dreams about Julian Valentyne, and despite threats and dangers at every turn. And at the end of the story she and Stephen had their first kiss.
But the question was never answered: Did he turn her or didn’t he?
At last, that – and many other questions – will be answered.
The sequel to Candle Bay had been planned for years, but simmered on a backburner until after Alistair wrote his vampire novel, The Crimson Corset, and asked if he might give the Darling clan cameo roles in the book. Tamara happily agreed and it went so well that she and Alistair decided to tackle the Candle Bay sequel as a collaboration, bringing together both Tamara’s Darlings (and Julian Valentyn, of course) and Alistair’s vamps – particularly peace-loving Michael and his lieutenants, Winter – the big lusty fellow with a deadly sense of humor – and Chynna – a beautiful warrior with a soft spot for her white tigers, Absinthe and Hyacinthe.
In the sequel, there is a vampiric festival coming up – a very special one that only occurs every century or so – in Eternity, California, a tiny town in the shadows of Icehouse Mountain, where Sheriff Zach Tully once battled a time-travelling Jack the Ripper. It’s a town where people like Ambrose Bierce, Elvis, and Amelia Earhart are rumored to live thanks to a supernaturally-charged prehistoric monument known as ‘Little Stonehenge.’
Eternity is also on the bucket list for vampires as it was once the home-away-from-home for vamps misplaced after Atlantis met its watery death thousands of years ago. Icehouse Mountain is rumored to be the site of a very special vampiric holiday where the vamps gather to celebrate their long ago champion and king, the Trueborn, Kelieu. Think of it as Christmas with fangs.
Natasha Darling of Candle Bay and Michael Ward of Crimson Cove are travelling together to the festival in Eternity, and they have an intense past together. But these days, Michael is celibate while Natasha remains hot as hellfire, igniting their reunion with plenty of sparks and steam. And when Juicy Lucy and Poison Ivy carpool with Winter and Chynna, well, Chynna finds herself in charge of keeping everyone’s hands – and fangs – to themselves. As for Stephen, Julian, and Amanda, that eternal triangle is coming to a head. Will wedding bells chime? Will fangs fly? Will blood spill? Will the serial killer have a stake in the action? Will Sheriff Tully decide he’s had enough?
In the sequel, we again meet all these vampires and humans – as well as some fresh faces – as they head up to Eternity, some for marriage, some for fun, some to kill vampires, some to seduce them. Even the rarely-seen-but-oft-heard deejay, Coastal Eddie Fortune, is going. He’d really rather not – he’s no fool – but what can you do when you’re in love … with the mother of a serial killer?
We are hard at work on the sequel, approaching mid-point, and expect to see it in print before 2016 ends. Until then, you can read Candle Bay for just .99 now through Sunday, to refresh your memory and get ready for the sequel! Eternityand The Crimson Corset are also available if you really want to do your homework.