Well, it’s not so much of an invasion as it is an invitation. They have appeared several times here on FFT, and I have reviewed several of their books, which never seem to disappoint. Their newest story, The Witches of Ravencrest just came out and I thought this would be a good time to have them back. Enjoy 🙂
Character Take Over
In our newest novel in the Ravencrest Saga, The Witches of Ravencrest, our characters often refused to do as we asked. Although most of them had already been established in the first novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, and we thought we could predict their behavior, they turned out to be just as full of surprises as our new characters – and this delighted us.
First, let us tell you that Ravencrest is a labor of love, our ode to all things Gothic, from Rebecca to Dark Shadows. There are hot and cold running ghosts traveling the halls of Ravencrest Manor – a 16th century home imported stone by stone from England to California at the turn of the 19th century. There are curses, crazed harlequins, an evil scarecrow, and even a passel of zombies running loose in addition to all the restless spirits.
Governess Belinda Moorland has been thrust into life – and death – at Ravencrest. In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, she started out as a naive and innocent young woman who insisted on evolving more quickly than we intended. Every time we tried to slow down her growth she refused. In fact, she became downright belligerent in her refusal to be used, frightened, or tortured by other characters without fighting back. We ended up letting her have her way, and in Witches, she truly begins coming into her own – and it turns out that she’s a force to be reckoned with.
We couldn’t be happier.
Another character who’s been evolving is multi-millionaire Eric Manning. He was something of a cipher to us at first – rich, handsome, attractive to Belinda – the usual rich guy – but now that we’ve watched him lose his temper, admit to a familiarity with the spirit world, and show his true feelings for Belinda, we’ve learned that he, too, has a mind of his own.
We always knew that butler Grant Phister is so much more than seems. He took Belinda under his wing as we asked, and in that way, he’s remained fairly close to how we originally envisioned him. But his snarky sense of humor and need for speed surprised and tickled us. His husband, Riley Doring, a handsome tanned Aussie who oversees Ravencrest’s grounds, has now informed us that he may not be typically human. Or perhaps he just has the world’s fastest metabolism. We know he’s teasing us and will reveal more about himself as we go along.
And then there’s Mrs. Heller, the self-proclaimed “house administrator” who thinks she’s in charge of Ravencrest and has her sights set on Eric Manning. Cordelia Heller has a long and dark history with the Mannings, just as we imagined, but now we’re seeing more aspects of her personality than vindictive spellcasting and plotting. Her relationship with Belinda is evolving and we are as intrigued by that as we hope our readers are. Mrs. Heller is not exactly what we first thought she was – she is far more intriguing now that she’s shown us what she can do when she’s not disciplining maids and stable boys in her beloved dungeon of kink. Like the rest of us, she’s worried about gray hair, wrinkles, and arthritis, and her plan to prevent them is nefarious, indeed.
Another character, a cross-dressing detective whom we assumed was a one-time player in The Ghosts of Ravencrest, has returned in Witches. We were as pleased as Grant Phister was when Detective Sasha Flankenball showed up at the Witch Days Festival in Devilswood and became involved again. He’s not only a great cop, he has best legs in the Devilswood Police Department.
There’s so much more, from a New-Agey gaggle of whiny would-be witches to the wrath of the vengeful spirit, Rebecca Dane, who turned out to be a lot more than we – and Belinda – bargained for. We love it when our characters refuse to do what we expect of them.
As annoying as disobedient characters might sound, they’re a sign that our work is going well – that it has a life of its own. They mean that our characters are not authors’ puppets but living, breathing, independent people who just happen to inhabit the world we’re creating. Because they live in that world, they know better than we do how to behave in the situations we put them in.
We bow to them. Always.
Also by this author: Eternity, Mother, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, The Crimson Corset
Dark and Unnatural Powers
In a remote part of California just above the coastal town of Devilswood, Ravencrest Manor, imported stone-by-stone from England more than two centuries ago, looms tall and terrifying, gathering its dark and unnatural powers, and drawing those it wants as its own.
Murder Lurks in the Shadows
Governess Belinda Moorland has settled into life at Ravencrest and, as summer gives way to autumn, romance is in the air. She and multi-millionaire Eric Manning are falling in love … but powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart. And as the annual Harvest Ball is set to begin, evil abounds at Ravencrest. Murder lurks in the shadows, evil spirits freely roam the halls, a phantom baby cries, signaling a death in the mansion, and in the notoriously haunted east wing, three blood-soaked nuns, Sisters Faith, Hope, and Charity, tend to the demented needs of a maid gone mad.
Ravencrest has come to life. In the gardens below, granite statues dance by moonlight, and a scarecrow goes on a killing rampage, collecting a gruesome assortment of body parts from unwilling donors … But Belinda’s greatest danger is the vengeful spirit of Rebecca Dane. Once the mistress of Ravencrest, Rebecca Dane has a centuries-old ax to grind with the powerful witch, Cordelia Heller - and Belinda becomes her weapon of choice.
Praise for The Ravencrest Saga
“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.
“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