Metaphor of the Spiral Staircase

spiral stair


No Gothic novel would be complete without a spiral staircase. To me it is almost the symbol of the genre. The ever-tightening spiral illustrtaes the very structure of suspense: Begin wide, draw the characters and readers in, and as they descend, tighten, tighten, tighten. Don’t let them off until they reach the bottom, then let them run free.

Just looking down a spiral stairwell can give one the willies….

Going up can be frightening, especially of it begins to come away from the wall….

There is a large spiral stairway in my current novel in progress, The Shadows. It goes right down through the core of Blight’s Academy, a residential school for girls in the beautiful English countryside. In order to see more clearly in my mind how it is built so that my use of this device will be most effective, I have to look at pictures. I found some really cool ones, so thought it would be fun to share them with you!

spiral stairway

An ancient castle stairway…



Chateau de Chambord external spiral stairway…



Close up! I love anything Medieval.






Fashion statement on stairs…


Compagne de Jesus Spirals in spirals…



Spiral with chandelier….How do they change the lightbulbs?




Like Blight’s…



A most famously haunted spiral stair…




Gothic Romance: The Dark Allure at Gothic Romance Reviews

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Miss Stacy at Gothic Romance Reviews invited me to write

a blog post on the Gothic Romance genre.

Find it here:


I will have an interview with Stacy on her blog at the end of July about my writing with a focus on The Lady in Yellow. 

I’ll post the link here when its up there.

Meanwhile go to Stacy’s great blog and read my post: Gothic Romance: The Dark Allure.

the apparition


Dark Reliquary Series: Roses of the Moon New Cover!

Custom Book Cover Alyne 2 Official-1


Since I am moving forward on completing this series, I decided I needed covers that go together. Like DUH! It took years for a model who looks like Lady Mara to come up. Now she has. Now Mara can look at you. She even has a fringe to cover the light that shines from her brow—an inheritance from her Dragon Queen lineage.

Book Two will be The Lucifer Tree which refers not only to the mysterious tree inside the wall-without-a-door in the heart of Castle Szepasszony where Lady Mara lives in the ruins and myst flee for her life.

Book Three—I am not sure if the title will be Queen of the Hidden Sun, or The Hidden One. I’ll have to finish it to be sure. In this one Mara has fled to the Romanian castle of Princess Borbala. There she meets, not only the half mad Princess, but Bela who has become a powerful Alchemist. Here, Mara diecovers the deepest magical secrets of her family and her true identity.

Book Four will be The Moonstone. It takes place in the contemporary times. Anna, a Hungarian girl in the London Goth scene meets a young antiques dealer, Sebastian, who has come into possession of a moonstone of great value. This find leads her back home to the Mountain of the Moon where she confronts her ancient vampyric ancestors.

Here is the Prequel cover—Dark Reliquary: Prelude to Roses of the Moon that gives some backstory to Mara’s arcane world.

Custom Book Cover Alyne Official Ebook


Digital Book Day: July 14! Lady in Yellow FREE!


Free Monday, July 14th




Best selling Thriller Author, C.J. Lyons, is holding Digital Book Day!

Monday, July 14, you can get a FREE e-book from many other vest-selling authors in many genres.

I submitted The Lady in Yellow: A Victorian Gothic Romance

Top 10 – 20 in Werewolves and Shifters since March, this is my personal best seller.




For those of you who recieve my Newsletter— a sporadic, updating affair— I will also send

The Haunted Garden: Secret of the Memento Mori Free!


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Works in Progress: 2014 Planned Releases!

Yay! I have finally solidifed my publishing schedule for 2014!

It’s difficult for me to plan in advance since I never know how long a project will actually take. I am a bit slow because I have to work a day job and take care of my health—-don’t want to go the way of all writers… ahem! And life’s little challenges, of course…

I also don’t want to put a book out before its really ready. Got burned on that the first time out. (I did learn a lot though publishing those novellas. Due to reader feedback, The Lady in Yellow is now my best-selling novel and Memento Mori became The Haunted Garden: Secret of the Memento Mori, a full-length novel as well.) I could always tell when an author was writing to a deadline and not quite making it, because the endings seemed to be skimpier, or plot elements not as well thought-out as the books that made them famous. Or: the lousy sequel syndrome.

But, I digress… Here we go:

Dark Reliquary: Prelude to Roses of the Moon


Custom Book Cover Alyne Official Ebook

This Dark Fantasy of the Dragon Queens that work behind the scenes in Roses of the Moon, details the story of the Old Countess, Anastasia, and her tragic demise. She ruled on the Mountain on the Moon prior to the arrival of Countess Orzsebet, mother of Lady Mara, young protagonist of Roses of the Moon who must try to stay true to hereslf in a world distorted by evil. It also reveals the dangers of roses and the moon to Mara’s ancestresses, and what the nature of the light that shines around their heads really means.

This will be two volumes done out of this five part epic fantasy.

Also look for a new cover for Roses of the Moon that is more in keeping with Dark Reliquary as a series.


Dominion of Dreams: Gothic Faery Tales

Dominion of Dreams-1

This collection of short stories, many previously published in print or on blogs, is an extension of my other blog: Gothic Faery Tales. Some of these stories were begun on there and developed from those drafts.

We have: Drumroll please!

Thirteen: Red Riding Hood

The Keys: Bluebeard with Zombies

Lenore: Beauty and the Beast

Dollies: Cinderella

Roses, Briars and Blood: Sleeping Beauty ( due for a revision, so it will not duplicate the current version.)

The Endless Sea: Celtic Tale of the Selkie.

Due to a highly educated Scottish beta reader, The Endless Sea grew from short story to novella and will be developed into a full-length novel in the future. It has turned out to be very powerful.

Amazon’s algorithms like us to put something out at least every 3-4 months. Short pieces help us to do that because they don’t take as long to write. The Vampire’s Mirror started out as a short story and kept going. It has great reviews but hasn’t sold well. I think this is because its not Twilight related or erotica, though is has eroticism in it. It was also mis-catagorized, placing it amongst those kinds of books. I believe it has potential for traditional vampire fans, so plan a sequel, The Vampire’s Bride, and would like to get that out in 2014, God willing.


The Shadows


Terror in a remote English boarding school for girls, Blight’s Academy. But this is not the kind of thriller you expect. Fourteen year old Poppy Farrell  is far too original and independent for that! The teenage characters may scream YA, but this book is meant for adult readers as well.

At Blight’s each incoming (freshman) girl is assigned a senior girl to be her mentor, her guide and her Shadow. So why is Poppy so uneasy? What is going on in the woods that spread for acres around the school? What is happening to her roommate, Clair, and why does she disappear? Why does the actress, Diana Harrow return to Blight’s to resurrect her failing career?

And the head mistress, Mrs. Wick, why does she carry that music box around?

This story began as a screenplay. Since I have no way to get it in front of producers, I decided to make it into a novel. It is proving to be really fun to write, and easier than most.


Look for these in late summer, fall and winter of 2014! I plan some giveaways and for those on my list, FREE copies of each e-book the minute they come out.

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