ETERNITY . . . Not by Calvin Klein

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.

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The Cast of Ghosts of Ravencrest

Alistair Cross and I compiled the cast from The Ghosts of Ravencrest in order to keep track of things in our new serial novel in the Ravencrest Saga, The Witches of Ravencrest. Look for some of the”honorable mentions in this cast list to play major roles in Witches and future Ravencrest novels

The Players

**Repeat Offenders (characters who have made appearances in other Thorne & Cross novels)

BELINDA MOORLAND, the governess

ERIC MANNING, the master of Ravencrest

At Ravencrest

GRANT PHISTER, butler

CORDELIA HELLER, house administrator

RILEY DORING, head groundskeeper

THADDEUS MANNING, Eric’s son

CYNTHIA MANNING, Eric’s daughter

WALTER HARDWICKE, driver

JUSTINE CHAMBERS, maid

DOMINIQUE DE LA CRUZ, maid

PHOEBE WAXWING, maid

SETH RAWLINS, stableboy

NIKO STAVROS, chef

THE HARLEQUIN

OLD PECKERHEAD, scarecrow

In 1788

EDWARD MANNING, baronet, Eric’s ancestor

ALICE BEAUCOEUR MANNING, Edward Manning’s first wife

CELIA, deceased daughter of Edward and Alice

PRUDENCE MANNING, Edward and Alice’s daughter

PARNELL MANNING, Edward and Alice’s son

THOMAS MANNING, Edward’s brother

LADY BERLIN, Thomas’ horse

CHARLES MANNING, Edward and Thomas’ father

JOHANNA MANNING, Charles’ wife

BRAN LANVAL, physician

ODIN, Bran’s raven

CARMILLA HARLOW, governess

JACQUES FERRANT, stableboy

FIONA CONNOR, kitchen maid

Dr. ARCHER, physician

MARGARET DUNWOODY, seamstress

OLIVER, driver

LONG STEPHEN, first footman

PERSHING, butler

The Ghosts

ISOBEL MANNING, Eric’s deceased wife

REBECCA DANE, Edward Manning’s second wife

SISTER FAITH, nun

SISTER HOPE, nun

SISTER CHARITY, nun

VIOLET LEBLANC (The White Violet) Henry’s second wife

AMELIA MANNING (The Bride of Ravencrest) Grandmother to Edward and Thomas

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In Bakerton

RANDENE (RANDI) TUCKER, Belinda’s former roommate

RHONDA MOORLAND, Belinda’s mother

BILLY TAYLOR, Belinda’s former employer

MAURA, a waitress at Lizzie’s Diner

JOHN VENEZIA, undertaker

Dr. PEARCE, physician

FATHER IGNATIUS, priest

SCOOTER, Rhonda Moorland’s car

LINDA LU, from Milkwort Falls

In Devilswood

RICHARD AIKEN, M.D.

VIRGINIA MASSENGIL, nurse

JEFFREY JOHNSON, M.D.

CALVIN BOWERS, high school student

SHELLY HARRINGTON, high school student

AIDA HARRINGTON, Shelly’s mother

DETECTIVE FLANKENBALL, investigator

Dr. HARRINGTON, Shelly’s father

Mrs. FINCH, school librarian

On the Air

**REVEREND BOBBY FELCHER, evangelist

**COASTAL EDDIE, radio deejay

Honorable Mentions

CHLOE HARKER, assistant to Rebecca Dane

LORD HARKER OF WOODLEY GLEN, Chloe’s father

ALBERT MANNING, Eric’s uncle

HENRY MANNING, Eric’s uncle

GAVIN MANNING, Parnell’s son

CALEB MANNING, Gavin’s son

CELESTE MONTGOMERY, previous governess

ALOYSIUS MANNING, ancestor

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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Bad Things, Horror’s Roots, and Rock and Roll

So, my favorite DJ, Mimi Chen, on my favorite classic rock station, 100.3, The Sound,  gave me a Facebook thrill this morning when I found her post about loving Bad Things. Mimi isn’t a horror reader, but she liked it so much she reviewed it on Amazon.

Bad Things

Bad Things is a coming of age Halloween tale about Ricky Piper, his legless twin, Robin, and the greenjacks who cavort and taunt and try to steal the souls of those who can see them.  As a boy, Ricky is terrified of everything – the dark, greenjacks, his brother, and especially, Halloween.  As an adult, he returns to his childhood home with his own kids, having spent years convincing himself the greenjacks – and their leader, Big Jack, don’t exist…  And you know how that always goes.

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Inspired by my own childhood game – sitting outside at night watching leaves move in the breeze and pretending to see faces and figures dancing among them – greenjacks – Bad Things was a labor of love. Writing it brought back all those nights spent gleefully spooking myself then racing into the house to write ghost stories. But many other things played into Bad Things, too.

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I’ve always loved the Green Man – the guy you see with leaves growing out of his mouth – grinning down from the ornamentation on old buildings – including churches, or staring at you from his hiding place amongst the foliage on English tapestries, and old paintings. The Green Man even has his own story in beloved Arthurian Legends. (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight). A pre-Christian figure, he has been embodied by such diverse figures as Pan, Bacchus, Dionysus, Robin Hood, Herne the Hunter, Shakespeare’s Puck, and Tolkien’s Ents.

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He is the lord of the forest. There are lords (and ladies) associated with the other elements – fire, water, and air – as well. (In fact, my collaborator, Alistair Cross, and I have just turned in a new novel that deals with one of these other elementals.)

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I love the green man so much that I incorporated him into The Sorority as the Forest Ghost, along with tales of greenjacks told by my recurring professor, Dan S. McCobb. (Say it out loud.)

Sororityhand_1000There’s much more to Bad Things than green men, though.  Santo Verde, Rick Piper’s hometown in SoCal, is based on a very real little city called Redlands. It’s an hour east of Los Angeles, a place full of citrus orchards, greenery, and Victorian mansions. Years ago, it was a favorite weekend retreat of Hollywood’s elite.  The cemetery in Bad Things is a clear reflection of Redland’s own fabulous boneyard. Redlands/Santo Verde is also only a few miles from the apple-growing mountain town of Oak Glen which provided inspiration for my  witchy Halloween tale, Moonfall,  (FOr that matter, Thunder Road‘s Old Madelyn is based on Calico Ghost Town, two hours north, in the desert.)m 180x300But I digress.  The next thing you should know about Bad Things is that Todd Browning’s classic Freaks also helped inspire it. Years before I wrote it, I was fascinated by the legless boy, Johnny Eck, who walked on his hands. This grew into an interest in freaks in general; their history, their lives.

220px-Kobel-JohnnyEck-handstandJohnny Eck is particularly inspiring. He lived a long life, was well-loved and a master of many trades.  What I didn’t know when I researched for Bad Things – it wasn’t in the books I used – was that Johnny Eck had a “normal” brother, Robert, with whom he traveled and lived his entire life. Just like Ricky and Robin. Synchronicity rules.

The final thing about Bad Things is that, well, that’s a secret… Suffice to say, I don’t like practical jokers.

41QZH57ZEELBad Things is one of my favorite tales not only because Halloween is a subject dear to my heart, because it helped me understand why I am endlessly fascinated with human nature, especially its dark side. As for my love of ghost stories – there’s nothing to understand. I was just born that way.  Yowza.

http://tamarathorne.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghosts of Ravencrest

Alistair Cross and I will be releasing the next installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda in early October – but we’ve changed the series title to The Ghosts of Ravencrest to more accurately reflect the story, which is becoming very spooky, indeed.  We will be adding some things to the first two installments to indulge our love of ghosts, so the new installment, Darker Shadows, will be an omnibus that includes The New Governess and Awakening for the same price of $2.99.

Shhfresco Calistohttp://tamarathorne.com

 

Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live!

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A few months back, Alistair Cross and I we were interviewed by Pam Stack at Authors on the Air. We had a great time on the show and the three of us quickly double entendered ourselves into a fast friendship.  A few weeks ago, Pam asked us if we would be interested in hosting some horror-themed shows in October. This sounded like a lot of fun and we agreed, though we’ve kept it under our Halloween masks until today.

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Since, Pam has invited us to host our very own brand new radio show… so starting in November, we will be hosting Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live. We will be interviewing horror authors and other macabre personalities, talking about horror in general, telling ghost stories – ours and yours – and are planning some very special T&A – style features for your amusement.

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Already, we have an impressive list of excellent horror authors on tap, ready to share their personal stories in the horror industry as well as the secrets of their writing processes. But don’t expect deep dark critiquing and heavy duty analysis. If you follow us on Facebook, you know we like to have fun. We’ll talk about books and movies, the publishing world and about our own writing processes, as well as our unique methods for breaking writer’s block and other catastrophes.

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A shiny new Facebook page for our show will appear soon, but you can friend us right now on our individual Facebook pages at Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. We welcome questions and suggestions.

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We have a vision. We want Haunted Nights Live to be the liveliest show about dead things in existence! It will be Halloween all year long at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live. Boo!

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Riding on Thunder Road – and an Excerpt

Thunder Road, my novel of a small apocalypse, is releasing today in paperback online and in terrestrial bookstores everywhere. Here’s a brand new interview about the book on  Cyrus Webb Presents .

Thunder Road began with a modern cowboy named Tom Abernathy.  One day, he simply emerged, fully formed, and ambled patiently around in my head for quite some time before another character came to life via one of the most horrifying yet fascinating nightmares I’ve ever had.  Not long after that, I read about UFO reports in the California High Desert, out by my favorite historical amusement park, Calico Ghost Town.  (Even if you’ve never visited Calico, you may have seen bits of it in movies like Tremors 4.)Thunder Road Mech.indd

I had cowboys, amusement parks, serial killers, and UFOs – but I needed one more thing.  I remembered that, years and years ago, there had been a cult of sorts surrounding a high desert structure called the Integratron, where people went to try to communicate with aliens.  While I kept some UFO cultists hanging around Old Madelyn Amusement park – Madland, my version of Calico – I decided my main cult would be a religious one.  That was because too many missionaries had been knocking on my door lately and I needed some sweet revenge.

Also, I really wanted to try my hand at an apocalypse novel and where there are cowboys, there are horses, so I suddenly had visions of the Four Horsemen prancing through my skull.  I was now officially in love with the the book.

The mountains around Calico are famous. As the sun sets, they glow with eerie colors cast by all the minerals that were mined there besides silver. One of the most famous was borax, as in Boraxo Hand Soap. The chemical was hauled by a twenty-mule team on a hard road between mining towns (all the way out to Death Valley) and then into the city.  I had walked the road behind Calico and recalled seeing it on TV as a little kid.  What better name than Thunder Road, especially since I knew drag racing was going to be a problem in Madland.  So I named my new novel for Bruce Springsteen’s song. He, in turn, had been inspired by the poster of the 1958 Robert Mitchum  movie of the same name. It was about running moonshine.  It all fit.

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So, there, you have it. Cowboys, sheriffs, tattooed ladies, a sexy shepherdess, horses, rodeos, crazy prophets and crazier followers babbling about the coming apocalypse, aliens, one ghost story (how could I skip ghosts?), a beautiful UFO researcher, lots of quotes by Jacques Vallee, and not one, but two – count ‘em, two – serial killers!

In addition to being a very fun write, Thunder Road gave me some great returns. One was a friendship with Jacques Vallee (the French scientist in Close Encounters of the Third Kind is based on him); and another was a treasure trove of ghost stories.

While I believe the UFO sightings up in that area of the desert are primarily atmosphere or military related, I came to find out – and witness – that the real Calico Ghost Town is absolutely overrun with ghostly anomalies that’ll knock your socks off (though you’ll get nothing but denials if you ask those currently running the park). But that’s a story for another novel…

 

An excerpt from Thunder Road:

‘Justin had never been in here before, and he looked around, impressed with the rich, dark colors, the candlesticks and stacks of cards, the Tiffany lamp in the corner. He sat at the table and reached for the crystal ball.

“Don’t touch that.”

Justin hesitated, then withdrew his hand.

Carlo folded his arms and leaned against a rolltop desk. “What do you need to talk about?”

“Tonight. What we’re, I mean you’re, going to do to Alexandra Manderley.”

“Peel her,” the man said slowly. “What else is there to discuss?”

“You’re going to do it?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re going to teach me?” he added hopefully.

“You may watch. Whether you can learn or not is a question that remains unanswered.”

The doorbell rang, and Carlo stood. “Come back tonight at midnight. You may go now.”

Justin rose, in awe. The man was a king, a leader among men, with a voice so commanding that Alexandra Manderley would probably peel her own skin from her bones if he asked. “Midnight,” he repeated, following Carlo to the back door.’

 

* * *

Related links:

http://www.calicoghostwalk.com/BearDanceObservedg.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-mule_team

http://www.tamarathorne.com

Oh oh-oh-oh Thunder Road!

Tamara Thorne, will be interviewed at Conversations Live by Cyrus Webb, on Tuesday, September 2nd, at 3 p.m. Pacific and 6 p.m. Eastern time to talk about the release of her novel, Thunder Road, which hits bookstores everywhere in next week.

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

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

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

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

 

$1.99 – Cheap!

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Bad Things is on sale at Amazon for $2! Meet Ricky and his legless twin brother, Robin. He walks on his hands with the greatest of ease and he licks your butter, too!  Bask in the badness of Aunt Jade and her creepy poodles! Get ready for Halloween with Big Jack. He’s a real scream, as are his minions, the greenjacks.  Do you have symptoms of greenjack infestation? Find out now!

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