SLEEP, SAVANNAH, SLEEP
The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace
Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own – and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings.
When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him.
Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem – and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace.
Alistair’s debut novel, The Crimson Corset, was an immediate bestseller, earning praise from such authors as Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series, and vampire-lit veteran, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Alistair also writes with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and together they have released several bestsellers, including Mother, The Cliffhouse Haunting, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Together, Thorne & Cross also host the popular radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has included such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels; world-wide bestseller, V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman); Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series, True Blood; Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series; #1 New York Times bestseller, Kim Harrison; Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser: 2, 3, and 4; Mick Garris, film director of Hocus Pocus, Psycho IV: The Beginning, and Stephen King’s The Stand; and New York Times bestsellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.
You can visit Alistair Cross’ website at www.alistaircross.com
“This is it? Seriously? It’s like we’re moving into Hill House.” In the passenger seat, Brent looked uneasy.
Jason Crandall turned to his son. “It has character.” He looked up at the old Victorian. But he’s right. It’s creepy. Surrounded by mid-century houses, the decrepit Victorian seemed like a flaw on the neighborhood, a stain on something otherwise clean. The cat’s claw vine climbing the walls seemed to shroud the house, as if trying to hide it, the violently yellow blossoms creating a diversion from the faded wood siding – as did the bowers of honeysuckle that accented the yard, draped the veranda, and sweetened the air. Two second-story windows peered out from between the lush vines, looking like the eyes of a hunted beast.
Surrounded on both sides by white split-rail fences coated in spindly climbing roses, the property was spacious, with a small courtyard beyond a wisteria-choked arbor that lead to the back yard. “I don’t know. I think it’s charming.” He offered his son a grin, and shut off the silver Legacy. The annoying squeal – probably a fan belt – went silent and Jason made a mental note to hunt down a local mechanic.
“It’s creepy, Dad. Seriously creepy.” Brent leaned back and assumed his usual air of annoyed indifference.
“But creepy in a cool way, right?” asked Jason.
Brent’s eyes, the color of seawater, looked unimpressed. “Only if you like haunted houses.”
“It’s haunted?” In the back seat, Amber sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Even Ruby, the blond, blue-eyed doll that never left her arms, looked alarmed.
“Of course it isn’t haunted.” Jason shot Brent a warning look. “It’s just old.”
The three of them stared at the house and it seemed to stare right back. All in all, it didn’t appear pleased to meet them.
“Let’s go have a look around.” Jason undid his seatbelt. “After that, you two can help me unload.” A large moving van was a day or two behind them; the small trailer they’d pulled contained only the essentials – and most of Jason’s massage equipment. He knew he was being optimistic about how quickly he could get his studio up and running, but he couldn’t help it. His new business was the entire reason he’d bought the house. It had a basement complete with its own entrance, so Jason could work without having strangers traipsing in and out of the family’s living space. Overall, the old Victorian was pretty ideal, even if it was a little spooky.
Then again, the whole town – or what he’d seen of it so far – was pretty spooky, too. Quaint and quiet, Shadow Springs was a startling contrast to the buzzing pace of Los Angeles. Jason told himself this would be good for him – good for all of them.
Here, just outside of Ojai in Ventura County, they’d begin their new lives, free of bad memories. That was what Jason had told himself a hundred times in the past weeks – it was what he had to believe.
Books by Alistair Cross
What people are saying
“The Crimson Corset” is a good read. There is a colorful cast of characters, a clever plot, and an intricate structure … there are surprises and jumps and starts, sex and death, beauty and gore, something for everyone … if you’re looking for set-up and payoff, this novel will not disappoint.”
Dianna Love, – New York Times Bestseller
“Alistair Cross’s THE ANGEL ALEJANDRO is an intriguing tale that pits evil against good and keeps the reader on edge with surprising shifts and changes.”
Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL
“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
Q.L. Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of the SAINT-GERMAIN CYCLE
“Alistair Cross’ new novel THE CRIMSON CORSET … is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (CARMILLA, UNCLE SILAS) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.”
Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID
“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
Andrew Neiderman, author of The Devil’s Advocate and the V.C. Andrews novels
“A great combination of strong characters that remind me of my V.C. Andrews characters, wonderful creepy twists, and a plot that will recall Mommie Dearest in an original take that shocks and delights at the same time. This is a full blown psychological thriller worth the investment of time and money.”
Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author
“While “binge-reading” the clever, shocking, deliciously creepy MOTHER by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross (amid gasps, laughing out loud and muttering “Oh, my God, no…”), it dawned on me that these two should be writing for AMERICAN HORROR STORY. The authors offer up a fun, juicy, gripping thriller that’s nearly impossible to put down. As I kept turning the pages, I was reminded of MISERY, ROSEMARY’S BABY, PEYTON PLACE, PSYCHO and several other classics. But this is an original—as is the main character, Priscilla “Prissy” Martin, the mother of them all. Her perfect, poised façade masks an ugly, twisted, utterly evil woman—a character you’ll never forget. I think we found a spouse for Hannibal Lecter! And I think you’ll find MOTHER a fast-paced, delirious, heart-pounding thrill-ride.”
A Reader’s Review Blog
“I was open-mouthed as the plot unfolded. This deeply psychological novel contains truly appalling revelations, and is certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are looking for an unforgettable and heart-stopping read that explores the depths of human depravity then this is the book for you.”
Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural
“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.”
Mark Hein, critic and editor at theaterghost.com
“Thorne & Cross keep the surprises coming as swiftly as a master magician …The characters quickly become people we know, but then wish perhaps we didn’t … The laughter of recognition rides like bubbles on the surface of a deep-flowing darkness …There’s something cold in here.”
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, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. 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.