The Haunting of Thores-Cross
Ghosts of Thores-Cross Book 1
by Karen Perkins
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
"The ghost of a wronged young woman in the village of Thores-Cross waits 230 years to have her story told in Perkins's suspenseful and atmospheric first Yorkshire Ghost novel" - BookLife by Publishers Weekly
*Silver Medal Winner, European fiction - 2015 IPPY Book Awards
*#1 Bestseller in 6 Amazon Categories, including Ghost Suspense, British Horror and Gothic Romance
*Top 10 Bestseller in 8 more, including Historical Thrillers and Occult Horror
*Over 100 5-STAR reviews on Amazon.com
Likened by independent reviewers on Amazon to the Brontë sisters, Edgar Allen Poe, Barbara Erskine and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Karen Perkins' novels are filled with unflinching honesty and an acute understanding of human nature. She explores not only the depths of humanity, but the depths of human motivation behind the actions and pain people inflict upon each other, as well as the repercussions of these actions not only in the short term, but also the later generations who live with the implications of the past.
Emma Moorcroft is still grieving after a late miscarriage and moves to her dream house at Thruscross Reservoir with her husband, Dave. Both Emma and Dave hope that moving into their new home signifies a fresh start, but life is not that simple. Emma has nightmares about the reservoir and the drowned village that lies beneath the water, and is further disturbed by the sound of church bells - from a church that no longer exists.
Jennet is fifteen and lives in the isolated community of Thores-Cross, where life revolves about the sheep on which they depend. Following the sudden loss of both her parents, she is seduced by the local wool merchant, Richard Ramsgill. She becomes pregnant and is shunned not only by Ramsgill, but by the entire village. Lonely and embittered, Jennet's problems escalate, leading to tragic consequences which continue to have an effect through the centuries.
Emma becomes fixated on Jennet, neglecting herself, her beloved dogs and her husband to the point where her marriage may not survive. As Jennet and Emma's lives become further entwined, Emma's obsession deepens and she realises that the curse Jennet inflicted on the Ramsgill family over two hundred years ago is still claiming lives.
Emma is the only one who can stop Jennet killing again, but will her efforts be enough?
Ghosts of Thores-Cross Book 2
Jennet's here. No one is safe.
A skeleton is dug up at the crossing of the ways on Hanging Moor, striking dread into the heart of Old Ma Ramsgill - the elderly matriarch of the village of Thruscross. And with good reason. The eighteenth-century witch, Jennet, has been woken.
A spate of killings by a vicious black dog gives credence to her warnings and the community - in particular her family - realise they are in terrible danger.
Drastic measures are needed to contain her, but with the imminent flooding of the valley to create a new reservoir, do they have the ability to stop her and break her curse?
Ghosts of Thores-Cross Book 3
‘Jennet will have your heart and your fear in equal measure’
Karen Perkins is the author of eight fiction titles: the Yorkshire Ghost Stories and the Valkyrie Series of historical nautical fiction. All of her fiction has appeared at the top of bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, including the top 21 in the UK Kindle Store in 2018.
Her first Yorkshire Ghost Story - THE HAUNTING OF THORES-CROSS - won the Silver Medal for European Fiction in the prestigious 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York, whilst her Valkyrie novel, DEAD RECKONING, was long-listed in the 2011 MSLEXIA novel competition.
Originally a financial advisor, a sailing injury left Karen with a chronic pain condition which she has been battling for over twenty five years (although she did take the European ladies title despite the injury!). Writing has given her a new lease of - and purpose to - life, and she is currently working on a sequel to Parliament of Rooks: Haunting Brontë Country.
When not writing, she helps other authors prepare their books for publishing and has edited over 150 titles, including the 2017 Kindle UK Storyteller Award winner, The Relic Hunters by David Leadbeater, and has also published a series of publishing guides to help aspiring authors realise their dreams.
Karen Perkins is a member of the Society of Authors and the Horror Writers Association.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
It’s impossible to choose just 10 books, so I’ve gone for 10 authors I really enjoy (although this could be much longer too!):
What book do you think everyone should read?
Lord of the Flies – it shows humanity and group psychology at its basest, and I’ve seen echoes of it in office environments, institutions, pubs & clubs, small communities, reality TV shows, and of course the playground (both children and parents!).
How long have you been writing?
I’ve always written stories – and echoes of The Haunting of Thores-Cross are even recognizable in stories I wrote at school. I started writing my first novel, Dead Reckoning about eleven years ago – and when it was long-listed in the 2011 MsLexia novel competition, I realized it was time to think seriously about publishing and I published a year later.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
The main character(s) come first, and I spend time getting to know them, then the rest of the cast arrive. They’re there in my subconscious and waiting for their turn to step forward, and the main character(s) are most definitely in charge. This was especially true with Jennet, who is the main character in The Haunting of Thores-Cross. That was supposed to be a stand-alone novel, but she came back for the short story, Cursed, then wanted another full-length novel and Jennet was written. I don’t know yet if there will be any more, although I did notice she left a way back should she decide to return…
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
An awful lot! Before I can start writing the book, I need to not only know the characters but understand how they lived.
The Yorkshire Ghost Stories are dual-timeline books, and the setting links the two timelines. For the Thores-Cross series, I knew the area around Thruscross Reservoir extremely well anyway – I’d virtually grown up there – but I still needed to formalize that knowledge, draw out maps of the houses and landmarks, and mark on them the fictional characters who lived there, what they did etc.
I then needed to understand what the landscape and village looked like in the 1700s, before the valley was flooded, and before all the dry stone walls that are so iconic of Yorkshire were built. I based my fictional village on the real one (Thores-Cross is the old Viking name for Thruscross), and wanted it as accurate as possible. I also needed to know how the villagers lived, so learned about keeping sheep, spinning their wool, growing wheat and grinding grain for bread, as well as the foods they ate and meals they prepared. Then there’s the houses they lived in, the clothes they wore, the tools they had, all the details of their daily lives.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
When an idea first hits me, it snowballs and I very quickly know where the story is set, who the main character is, what part/event of history the book will explore, and what the story will be. I make lots of notes, developing the idea, until it stops sparking, then I go back to concentrating on the book I’m actually writing at that time. But the new book has a notebook which is never far away, and any more ideas on it are jotted down straight away. I’ll start doing some preliminary research around the place and time, and then when it’s time, I’ll start plotting.
I do more intensive research as I plot, and outline first of all what the place looked like in the historical timeline. This is always the one I start with and is the main thrust of the story – what happened, why are those characters not at rest today, and what are they trying to achieve by haunting the people now living in that place? I always draw a map so I know exactly where everyone lives and works, which ensures everything is consistent as I write. I flesh out my main characters as I get to know them, and often draw them as well – this gives them life and depth within my subconscious, which is when they start developing pretty much on their own, and take over . . .
My next task is to plan out the year’s diary. What would my characters be doing each month? If they’re sheep farmers, as are the characters in Thores-Cross, I need to know when they wash the sheep, shear them, send them to tup, and lamb them. I need to know what potential problems there are: diseases, what to do in heavy snow storms, how to birth a lamb. Then there are the village celebrations, the religious context of the time, even the climate. For example, the historical timeline for my next book, A Question of Witchcraft is 1612, which is within a mini ice age, so my story and the actions of my characters need to reflect this – they would most certainly by affected by the wet and cold in most aspects of their lives.
I then bring in the character’s story and weave that within the known calendar. By this time I have a rough outline for the full timeline, with notes on what would be going on in the wider community and environment.
I’ll then plan out the early chapters in detail before I start writing, and will plan in short sections as I write – I found early on that planning the whole book out in detail is a waste of time for me as my characters quickly become as living, breathing people, and they don’t always do what I want them to. I’ve made intricate plans in the past which had to be thrown out as the character’s early actions went a different way. It can be frustrating when the path of the story changes without warning, but I have learned that it’s the best sign possible that the writing is going well. The characters are always right!
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