Spotlight: Alistair Cross Visits to Talk About Fantasy/Horror/Romance, THE CRIMSON CORSET!

Today, fellow author Alistair Cross is stopping by to talk about his latest solo book!

Hello, Alistair! As always, it's a pleasure to see you. Welcome back to the MLB blog! :)

Hello! Thank you for having me here. 
Of course! So, let me ask a few questions since you're here...

All right.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?
The Crimson Corset takes place in the fictional tourist-centric town of Crimson Cove, where the night is no one’s friend - where, after sunset, the vampires of the village awaken to satisfy their appetites. On one edge of town is the notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset, run by undead proprietor, Gretchen VanTreese, where patrons can slake their darkest thirsts. On the other side of town is Eudemonia, a peaceful health spa and retreat, owned and managed by Michael Ward - also undead - who, unlike Gretchen, believes in the peaceful coexistence of humans and vampires.  

At the center of Crimson Cove is newcomer, Cade Colter - a human with a rare genetic trait that will break the uneasy centuries-old truce between Gretchen’s side and Michael’s. As Gretchen’s attempts are stymied by Michael and his Loyals, she realizes she’s going to have take a subtler, more cunning course if she wants to get her hands on - and her fangs into - Cade. So, she begins laying a sophisticated trap … a trap that will put everyone around Cade in mortal danger.

The Crimson Corset came out in August of last year and is available in paper and ebook. This is the first in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series.

Wow! It sounds quite intriguing.
So, what inspired you to write this book? And how did you get into writing fantasy/horror?
I was struck by the basic idea for this novel at a nightclub with some friends several years ago. There was something about the atmosphere of the place that inspired me, and I spent the evening alone at the bar, taking notes on the backs of napkins.

As for why I write in my chosen genre, I was born interested in fantasy and horror. My best guess is that due to my unquiet, quickly-bored mind, the otherworldly and the fantastical appealed because it was so much more stimulating than the cold, hard facts of life. But that’s just a guess. Otherwise, I blame faulty DNA.
LOL. Okay.
I think writers are naturally weird. ;) 

So, tell us...what, do you feel, sets your book apart from other books in the genre?
I love vampires and wanted to maintain their fundamental integrity, so while there’s sexiness, there’s also much menace. I wanted to write an all-encompassing novel that reached readers on many different levels, and I feel good about the outcome. Readers can expect glamour and gore, beauty and terror, laughter and woe, and fresh ideas with a strong respect for tradition.
Please give us a teaser or two of the book if you can.
Untidy, Ryan Closter had called it. The young deputy had a knack for understatement and when Ethan arrived at the scene, he was prepared to be put off - but this was downright ghastly. This wasn’t the way Ethan liked to start his mornings.
Blood was everywhere, a dried riot of red rust all over the floor, across the bed, and even on the ceiling. It was as if someone had put a bomb in a can of paint. And the smell was unbearable. Flies swarmed like a black cloud above the body.
Closter spoke at Ethan’s side. “A neighbor heard some noises last night. She informed the landlord this morning, and after knocking and getting no response, this is what he walked into.”
At the center of the bed lay the woman, face-down, in her own dried pool of fluids.
“Her name’s Rose Keller,” Closter said.
Ethan shook his head. “Day manager of the Black Garter.”
“You know her?”
“Our paths crossed recently.” Ethan wouldn’t have been surprised to hear the woman had overdosed on something, but would never have guessed she’d go like this.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” Closter looked a little green, and his partner, Nick Grayson, gave Ethan an uncertain glance.
“Why don’t you go get some fresh air, Closter?” Ethan said. “We’ll be fine till the others show up.”
The deputy swallowed and nodded, his face clammy. The last thing they needed was for someone to throw up on the crime scene - not that it’d be the first time it had happened.
As Closter stepped out, Ethan heard the buzz of bystanders just outside the door. “Jesus,” someone said. “I’ve never seen so much blood …”
“I heard they can’t find her head,” said another.
The voices faded as the door closed. How eagerly people swarm to violence and death. Like ants to a piece of rotten fruit. It unsettled Ethan.
The room was hot, intensifying the reek of blood, of innards - of death. Dozens of flies crawled lazily over the body and more were landing. Ethan’s own stomach roiled a little. He hadn’t been sick at a scene since his earliest days on the force and he didn’t intend to buckle now, but it wasn’t easy. He’d never seen anything this theatrical; it looked like the police photographs from the Jack the Ripper crimes. But in horrible living color. He moved closer and stared down at the woman on the bed. Two stumps of spine, glistening white, jutted out of the mess that was the rest of her. It was as if someone had unzipped her skin, reached inside, and yanked her backbone out. And they’d managed to snap it in half in the process.
“Whoever did this was sending a message.” Deputy Grayson was crouched beside the bed, his gaze roving over the late Ms. Keller. A former quarterback in his early-forties with broad shoulders and the earliest beginnings of a beer gut, Nick Grayson was one of Ethan’s best.
Ethan nodded. “I’ll agree with you on that.”
Grayson’s gaze never left the victim. “A killer doesn’t cause a scene like this unless he wants to make a statement.”
The question was, who was the killer, and what was he trying to say? “No sign of any weapons?”
Grayson shook his head and Ethan noticed some graying at the temples of his deputy’s black, curly hair. This was the kind of job that would do that. “Nope. Nothing.”  
Ethan had figured as much. There was something about this scene that didn’t work.
The woman was tangled in white sheets reminding him, morbidly, of an old barber’s pole. Red and white, red and white, blood and bandages, blood and bandages. He walked around the bed, seeing it from all angles. Every crime scene told a story, you just had to know how to read it. And this one, Ethan was certain, was one hell of a tale.
The more he saw, the more certain he became of two things. One, Rose’s killer was not human, and two, it was not an animal. Not in the usual sense, anyway. He bent and moved the victim’s hair back, careful not to disturb anything. He saw the bite marks on her neck that confirmed his suspicions. He’d have them checked against dental records and if he was lucky - which was highly unlikely - maybe they’d catch the perp fast.
There were also several places along her shoulders and arms where the skin was torn. Someone went to town on her. The thick sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach went colder.
“I’ve been trying to figure that out, too,” said Grayson, watching him. “They’re bites.”
Ethan’s knees popped as he stood and moved to the window. He pinched back the blood-spattered white curtains and stared down. Outside, the Ivory Heights apartment complex was already surrounded by a swarm of onlookers, and it was only going to get worse. Rose Keller’s one-bedroom, second-story apartment would soon be a frenzy of technicians, detectives, plainclothes, more uniforms, a photographer, and a probably even a man with a video camera. There was no dignity in death, he thought as he looked at the shredded body on the bed. Especially not when you die like that.
Ethan decided it was time to pay Michael Ward another visit.

Let's try another question, okay?

I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?

As always, my collaborator, Tamara Thorne and I working on the continuing Ravencrest Saga and have just released the second serialized installment titled, Dead of the Night. We are also working on a sequel to Tamara’s vampire novel, Candle Bay, which also serves as a continuation of The Crimson Corset

The Darling family of Candle Bay made appearances in Corset and that set the course for Candle Bay II - we decided we had to get our vamps together in a serious way. As soon as Candle Bay’s sequel is complete, we will begin work on the second book in our Trilogy of Terror. Our thriller, Mother was the first. We’re also both knee-deep in a pair of solo novels.

Sounds great! We certainly look forward to your next book! 

Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about The Crimson Corset, Alistair! 

Thank you, Marie, for having me on your blog! 

You're welcome! It's always a pleasure!

Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this fascinating, fantasy/horror novel!
Here is the blurb for The Crimson Corset.
Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.  

What people are saying about The Crimson Corset:



“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
- Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
- QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS 

Purchase Links:    

Sounds like an interesting read! 

About the Author:
Alistair Cross' debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write - among other things - the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was a bestseller. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.