Vampires for .99

Vampires for .99!

Posted: July 13, 2016 in books, reading, Uncategorized
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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.

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Scandalous Interview!

Gingernuts of Horror has just published a wonderful and scandalously fact-filled interview with Alistair Cross and me. You’ll find out how we met, how we work, news about our horror novel, Grandma’s Rack,  and our erotic serial novel, Belinda. You’ll see news of my Candle Bay sequel, and Alistair’s solo novel, The White Room.

We also give the skinny on how we met, what scares us, what influences us, our favorite brands of breakfast cereal, our preferences in shoelaces, and what makes us fight like cats and… cats.

And at least some of the above is true, we swear it.

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HALLOWEEN BOOKSIGNING SATURDAY

JOIN ME AT MYSTERIOUS GALAXY SATURDAY!

Halloween booksTomorrow at 2 pm,  I’ll be doing a big Halloween signing at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego.  They’ll have tricks and treats and lots and lots of book – including all of mine.  Hope you can make it to this wonderful store!

If you can’t, but would like signed or personalized books for yourself or for gift-giving, all you have to do is give the store a call at 858-268-4747 (or simply fill out the order form at their site, putting your special instructions under the notes on the order form).

Bad Things and Moonfall are Halloween-oriented, if you’re looking for something to help celebrate the season!

Mysterious Galaxy is located at 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302, San Diego, CA 92111

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858-268-4747

Thirteen Questions with Alistair Cross

 

Alistair Cross is a man of many talents. His prose is powerful, by turn horrifying, humorous, or humane, his poetry faultless, and his bon mots as sharp and funny as a sixer of knife-wielding clowns.  While you may not yet know his work offhand  — his first novel was published under a pseudonym — I have every confidence you will soon count him as one of the best new horror writers to hit the stands.

Alistair and I met well over a year ago, shortly after his novel was published.  I remember the first night he phoned; the chemistry was instantaneous. Within five minutes, we were both laughing maniacally, barely able to catch our breaths.  We found ourselves accidentally brainstorming and, eventually, despite a promise to myself never to collaborate again, I asked if he’d like to try it because I knew he intimately understood the logistics of such an undertaking.

And, oh, what fun we’re having now.  Look for our first novella later this year with a full length novel to  follow.  While neither of us intend to give up our individual projects, we have three or four other collaborations ready to go after that — and one of them just might trump nearly everything else.  Read on…

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Q: What made you decide to write horror?

A: I don’t think I really chose to write horror. I love to write, and what comes out is just usually classified as horror.

Q: What qualities do you think a good horror writer should have?

A: Any writer of horror needs to at least have a good, solid love of the genre. Also, good horror writers need to have a slightly twisted sense of humor. Without humor, horror just isn’t as good.

Q: What is the difference between good horror and bad horror?

A: Good horror is written by people who understand that fear is one of the cardinal passageways into the core of humanity. Good horror is generally written by folks who grew up on horror; books, movies, etc. You can’t simply decide to write—in any genre—if you don’t first have an understanding of the topic and a strong mental backlog of reference.

Q: What is the scariest book you’ve ever read, and why?

A: The “Space Cowboy” in Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game scared me. The description of that character is just creepy. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin also made me a little ill-at-ease. The scariest book though, was The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule. This book is a non-fiction account of Ted Bundy. Real life is always more terrifying than fiction. Horror is, after all, extracted from the real world.

Q: What are your favorite monsters, and why?

A: Vampires, because at their core, they are the essence of slow death. They are not, to me, romantic or glamorous figures—even though contemporary fiction demands it. They are creatures who depend solely on other life forms to sustain; parasites of the cruelest, most horrifying kind. They are death, animated.

Q: How would you advise a budding horror author?

A: Know your horror. The 80s are over and readers don’t accept slashers-for-the-sake-of-gore anymore. Also, you need to be unafraid of being afraid. You need to be on a first-name basis with fear if you plan to effectively write about it.

Q: What do you think prompts people to read horror?

A: They want to be stimulated. They want to read something that can get under their skin and hang out there for a while.

Q: Do you think horror writers are born or made?

A: Born. Absolutely. Just like any profession, the good writers of any genre will have the personality and character traits that make them good at it. You can get somewhat good at doing something outside of your element, but I don’t believe you can ever excel without the edge of that natural-born understructure.

Q: What surprises you most about the horror authors you’ve met?

A: That they aren’t scary. At all. In fact, they are funnier and quirkier than most writers I’ve met.

Q: Who is the scariest famous horror figure, and why?

A: Jack the Ripper, because we have no idea who he was. Facelessness is one of the core instigators of terror. On top of this, he was savage, shrewd, and elusive. Jack had it all…

Q: Who is your favorite famous horror figure, and why?

A: Aside from Jack the Ripper, I’d say Elizabeth Bathory or Delphine LaLaurie… because these women were truly wicked in a time when we weren’t socially equipped to accept, let alone deal with, evil women.

Q: Is there anything you strictly prohibit in your writing?

A: I have a few rules, yes. One, I never hurt animals. It’s a cheap shot. Two, I never write sexual assault for the sake of titillation, and three, I will not walk reader’s through the abuse of a child.

Q: Recently, an idea you and I are working on has interested a major player, which means we are about to go on a research road-trip in California. What excites you most about this get together?

A: Rolling down the window and singing at the top of our lungs. I’m also very excited about the haunted cabin up in gold country your friend has arranged for us to stay in. That will rock. Finally it’s going to be seriously cool having the meeting with that big guy down in LA.

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Alistair’s website will be live soon, and we’ll announce it here. Meanwhile, you can hook up with him at
www.alistaircross.com

 

Jack the Ripper, Bigfoot, and Elvis: Exploring Eternity

Now that Eternity has hit the stands, I want to call your attention to Mike Aronovitz’s discussion and review of Eternity,  recently Eternitypublished on Hellnotes.  Take a look and please give it a “like” if you think it’s as awesome as I do.  I’ve gotta tell you, I’m in heaven!  Alice Walks, his first novel,  is officially one of my all-time favorite ghostly tales.

Eternity is one of my favorites. I always love research and this book required lots of it.  I became an expert on Jack the Ripper, Bigfoot, and the lore that belongs to Mt. Shasta, a sacred site way up at the north end of California.  While the town of Eternity is much smaller and quainter than the real city of Mt. Shasta, Icehouse Mountain  is very much like Shasta itself. I patterned the geography and roads on those of the real mountain. And the lore.  Mt. Shasta, scene of a crystal-packing “Harmonic Convergence” some years ago, has everything from UFOs to golden cities built inside the mountain. It’s said the Count St. Germain wanders the slopes dispensing wisdom, and that Lemurians still live deep in the bowels of this sacred mountain.  Add Jack the Ripper and a couple of Elvises to the mix, and you’ve got Eternity instead of Shasta.

I’d say more, but Mike’s review sums things up better than I can.

If you’ve read Candle Bay, you’ve seen references to Eternity and Icehouse Mountain there.  In Candle Bay’s sequel, currently being written, some of the vampires of Candle Bay head north for a huge vampire family reunion taking place there.  Look for plenty of cross-references and meetings, but you don’t need to read Candle Bay or enjoy Eternity or vice versa. They’re all stand alone, but I love putting everyone – and every book – in the same world.  Most of all, I love sneaking in tiny references and seeing if anyone notices.

For instance, Sheriff John Lawson, of Moonfall, is the younger cousin of Sheriff Frank Lawson of Eternity.  And Sheriff Tully, Eternity’s new sheriff, is from the town of Santo Verde. (Santo Verde is loosely based on Redlands, CA.)  I suspect he probably went to the carnival with Ricky Piper of Bad Things.  Both undoubtedly went apple-picking up at Moonfall, loosely based on Oak Glen) since it’s only thirty minutes up the mountain.

PERSONALIZED BOOKS FROM DARK DELICACIES

I’ll be signing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California at 2 pm on September 14.  You can order autographed and/or personalized copies from this terrific horror-oriented bookstore by going to their website then clicking “Signings/Events” in the upper left, and scrolling down to September 14, where you’ll see The Sorority, The Forgotten, Bad Things, and Eternity listed.  Order and, in the notes, let them know what you’d like in the way of personalizations or signings. (You can specify something — and if it’s a gift, make sure you give the name! — or you can leave it to me, your choice.

Candle Bay, Moonfall, and Haunted – last year’s releases – aren’t listed but you can order them as well. Just write them in in the notes section, along with personalization requests.  These three are a bargain at $4.99 a piece!

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The Theme is Vampires (and Sororities, Ghosts, Evil Nuns, Jack the Ripper, and Halloween)

Joining me are Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, signing her new Count Saint-Germaine novel, Night Pilgrims, Amber Benson signing  the 2014 Buffy calendar, and — squeeee! — Lara Parker, the original Angelique from the original Dark Shadows, signing her novel, Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising.  (I was Angelique for Halloween in sixth grade. Oh, the beautiful gown my mother made for me! I wish I’d  kept the photos!)

The Heat is Tyranosauric so Cool Down with Some Hot Horror!

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It’s hot out there. Stinking hot.  What little shade there is isn’t enough. You need relief!  Whether you choose to relax at the beach, stretch out by the pool,  or  just plant yourself under a fan,  it’s time to relax and read something chilling. Or think about sex.  Or even better — both!

Candle Bay is a little town full of vampires on the sweet central coast of California.  If you’re craving perfect weather with the tang of salt and blood in the air, the crash of waves, digging your toes in the sand as you walk along the beach exploring caves and tide pools in hopes of finding floaters, Candle Bay is just the book for you. It’s the place where you can enjoy the ocean breeze against your face and the fangs in your neck!

Eternity is a little town far up in the redwood forests of northern California.  A sweltering summer day is pleasantly cool here as you amble the pine-needled forest paths, enjoying  the sounds of nature and the screams of Jack the Ripper‘s victims. In fall and winter, the seasons in which this twisty tale is told,  the skiing is to die for. So are the tours of Little Stonehenge, where you can learn all about Icehouse Mountain’s weird history and, if you’re lucky, see lots of fresh body parts!  But to really cool off,  join Saucy Jack, Jim Morrison, Ambrose Bierce, not just one, but two Elvises, and Amelia Earhart as they work to befuddle Eternity’s new sheriff, Zach Tully.  By the way, Tully predates Eureka’s sheriff by a few years, but Sheriffs Lawson and Carter sure would like each other. (And Colin Ferguson, if you’re reading this and don’t mind being typecast, call my agent.)

If you prefer your weather cool but not icy, why not travel to Moonfall, in inland southern California.  It’s a mile-high apple growing community on top of a mountain overlooking Santo Verde, and it’s probably no more than 80 degrees there even as the towns below hit the 100 mark.  In Moonfall, you can get cold cider, apple pie, and an education at St. Gertrude’s School for Girls – St. Gruesome’s, as the locals call it – that will curl your short hairs.  The nasty nuns of St. Gertrude’s really enjoy punishing the girls in ways that would get them in deep trouble if they weren’t nuns. There are old murders, new murders, the nuns’ odd-tasting mincemeat pie, and lots and lots of ghosts in tiny Moonfall and it’s witches versus nuns at St. Gruesome’s, so move over Satan’s School for Girls — you’re old news!  It’s almost Halloween as the tale unfolds. The dog days of summer are blessedly gone and the crisp air carries the autumn scents of chimney smoke, pumpkin, and blood.

For a very brief time, all these reads can be had for $2.99 — as Alfred E. Newman and Trader Joe’s say — Cheap!

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Candle Bay: http://www.amazon.com/Candle-Bay-ebook/dp/B009EHR8UU/ref=pd_sim_b_3

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Moonfall: http://www.amazon.com/Moonfall-ebook/dp/B009TZRUKK/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1

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Eternity for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Eternity-ebook/dp/B00AA3WWW6/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3

Eternity for Sony Readers: https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/tamara-thorne/eternity/_/R-400000000000000884229

James Gandolfini and Candle Bay

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When The Sopranos debuted on HBO,  I’d never seen any of The Godfather movies, Miller’s Crossing, or any other gangster flick.  I had absolutely no interest in the genre.

But I did have HBO and my husband wanted to check out The Sopranos, so I watched it. I watched it again.  And again. I still didn’t love the mafia genre, but I couldn’t resist The Sopranos. We’d watch it the night it aired and then again before the next episode.  I didn’t want to like it — this was a culture I still had no interest in, nothing in common with — but James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano,  he just kept drawing me back in.

I don’t think anyone else could have done that.  Gandolfini’s lovable psychopath, Tony Soprano, was pitch perfect, fascinating, charismatic, and vile, all at the same time.  Because of Tony, I watched The Godfather and the other classics and developed a new appreciation for them.

A couple seasons in, I decided to write my vampire novel, Candle Bay, and something fun popped into my head: what if the pater familias of the clan, Orion Darling, had a thing for The Godfather? Maybe he had a long history of faddish fascinations and his current one was with one don or another.  I already knew he had more than a passing similarity in looks to Robert DeNiro — what more could I ask for?

And so, in Candle Bay, Ori’s office mirrors  Don Corleone’s, he watches Sopranos reruns and played the Godfather theme in the background.  He even acts like Corleone, delighting in playing at gangster games.

I am currently well into Candle Bay’s sequel and when I began, I considered giving Ori Darling a new all-consuming interest, but decided against it. With James Gandolfini’s untimely passing, I’m doubly glad Ori remained smitten with Tony Soprano.  Here’s to you, Mr. Gandolfini.  RIP.

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