The truly horrid

Charliedrac
Hi, Jo here, along with Charlie as Dracula.

A year ago, more or less, I posted about. Valancourt Books which does reissues of gothic novels and some other old books. It’s time again, as you’ll see below.

Their site is worth a look if only to show that wild imagination, dark incidents, and mad passions are nothing new in fiction.

Currently on their front page they have four books.

Curioscover

Curios, first published in 1898. The Amazon description includes the following. "Ranging in tone from horrifying to mysterious to darkly comical, these stories follow Tress and Pugh as they come in contact with an array of strange objects, including a poisoned pipe that seems to come to life when smoked, a 13th century severed hand bent on murder, and a phonograph record on which a murdered woman speaks from beyond the grave. "

Midnightbellxl
Then we have The Midnight Bell.
"Young Alphonsus Cohenburg enters his mother’s bedroom and finds her covered in blood. She tells him his uncle has murdered his father, and orders him to flee Cohenburg castle forever to save his own life!  (Hmm, just a hint of Hamlet here, maybe?)

A disconsolate exile, Alphonsus wanders the earth seeking the means of survival, first as a soldier, then a miner, and finally as sacristan of a church, where he meets the beautiful Lauretta. They wed and establish a home together, and everything seems to promise them a happy future. But their domestic tranquillity is shattered, when a band of ruffians kidnaps the unfortunate Lauretta! Alphonsus must solve the mystery of Lauretta’s disappearance and the riddle of his mother’s strange conduct. And when he hears that ghosts inhabit Cohenburg castle, tolling the great bell each night at midnight, the mystery only deepens…."

The Magic Goblet (with a luscious cover)Magicgobletxl

"Preparations are underway in the Swedish village of Hammarby for the reception of Rudolph Seiler, the young Norwegian architect who is coming to build the new church. But when Alfhild, the provost’s daughter, accidentally shatters an antique goblet with a mysterious history, it seems to be an omen of future misfortune….

Seiler arrives and quickly inspires love in two women: Alfhild and Thelma, the fiancΓ©e of the insane and deformed Count Albano. But all is not what it seems. Behind his polished and handsome exterior, Seiler is cold and calculating, and it soon becomes clear that he has come to Hammarby for reasons other than to build the church. His real aim is vengeance, and the fulfilment of a generations-old curse!"

Demonofsicilyxl
And  — trumpets please!The Demon of Sicily  with front page credit to yours truly.

First I have to tell you that this is not a good book. It’s sad, I know, but the cover sort of sums it up, in a bad way. It’s a kind of wild, formless horror with a huge body count and not much structure or resolution.

So how did I come to be writing a foreword to it? The publisher contacted me because I’d mentioned the book in a novel. In An Arranged Marriage  which was published back in 1991. The first draft was written about 15 years earlier and I haven’t tried to find out if the reference was there. Probably not, because I don’t think I would have tracked down a real title at that stage of my writing career.
Amnew
Amold

On the right is the original cover, which I like a lot. On the left is the reissue, which is okay, but a "thingie cover" which were popular at one point.

In the book, Eleanor, who had experienced some pretty horrid events herself, (I do believe I was influenced by the gothic novels of the ’70s and ’80s, even though I rarely read them) including a strange marriage, finds her husband’s house contains a shelf of novels. She passes over the intriguing Demon of Sicily for Miraculous Nuptials, which seems more relevant to her situation.

And that was it. That was back before general access to the internet when detailed information was so much harder to find, and that was all I needed for the story.

(Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)

I don’t think Valancourt has done Miraculous Nuptials, which I believe was a Minerva novel. They were the a very popular "line" of high-flown romances of the early 19th century. Though it isn’t on this
list of Minerva Press books.

(Another question. Which title here most intrigues you? I’m making it easy for you to comment because Valancourt is going to send one commenter, chosen at random, a copy of The Demon of Sicily. You can display it at Halloween to frighten the kiddies.*G* The winner will be chosen at midnight, Saturday, 28th, pacific time. So get those comments in.)

On Valancourt’s main gothics page  intrigued by WHO’S THE MURDERER? OR THE MYSTERY OF THE FOREST. A NOVEL. IN FOUR VOLUMES. BY ELEANOR SLEATH, not only because it sounds like the first(?) whodunnit, but because Sleath is so close to sleuth.

What’s in my foreword? I wasn’t about to attempt a scholarly analysis, so I talked about the popularity of these novels in the Regency period and how I have incorporated them into many of my novels. Those ofTrargoodfront
you who read To Rescue A Rogue will remember than Mara uses the gothic novel as a way to bring humor into Dare’s life. The Ghastly Ghoul of Castle Cruel doesn’t sound like a laugh, but in irreverent rhyme with puns, it did the job.

Do check out Valancourt’s various offerings because some of them are fun, and many would make great and unusual gifts. I’m tantalized by Love and Horror (1812) Ircastrensis (sic, I assume that’s the author) Edited by Natalie Neill, because castrensis sounds so much like castration, which would certainly be connected with love and horror. Speaking of Abelard, which we weren’t.

Believe it or not, I’ve started another blog. This could be insanity, but I think it makes sense, because I have things I want to share. Not my life, but things around the web and such. It’s quick and easy, and I can also use it to toss copies of brilliance (?) I spin here and there. And some odd pictures from the past, which I like to collect. Find it here. Jo Talk

It’s very new. I’m not sure I even have a feed set up yet. But there is a picture, believe it or not, of me in a conga line at the Harlequin party in Dallas. (Scroll down a bit.) What me, a party crasher? *G* The fan’s nice, though.

Oh, and talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily? There aren’t as many as when I was writing the forword, but there are still a few.
The Sicilian’s Red Hot Revenge
The Sicilian’s Marriage Arrangement

Do you think the Presents line is a direct descendand of the gothics? If not, any idea what is? Dark fantasy, perhaps?

Did you enjoy gothics when they were the most popular type of romance, especially historical romance?\

Do you like to be pleasurably terrified by a book, and if so, which book has done that for you? I’ve never been a horror reader by choice, but I remember reading as a teenager reading The Ka of Gifford Hilary by Dennis Wheatley when in a room of my own at a conference and getting that effect. I did a quick google search and found "scared shitless" a number of times.Lbgoodsm

Give me thoughts! I’ll also pick from among comments for a copy of one of my books, which could be Lady Beware, which has done splendidly. Yes, historical romance is on the way back, I think, especially the "heart of romance" sort, which I think I mostly write.

That”s probably a subject for anoher blog.

Jo πŸ™‚

 

195 thoughts on “The truly horrid”

  1. “talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily?”
    I suspect it’s that for most readers it’s
    (a) “a far away country about which we know little”, as Chamberlain put it (though in a different context)
    (b) associated with mafia/traditional code of honour/revenge
    (c) is part of Italy, so associated with darkly handsome Latin lovers.
    So yes, some similarities with the reasons why authors of Gothics might have used the place, except that for those authors I think there was also a prejudice against Catholicism, and for them and their readers that added to the air of mystery, fanaticism etc. That’s not the case for authors of Harlequin romances.

    Reply
  2. “talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily?”
    I suspect it’s that for most readers it’s
    (a) “a far away country about which we know little”, as Chamberlain put it (though in a different context)
    (b) associated with mafia/traditional code of honour/revenge
    (c) is part of Italy, so associated with darkly handsome Latin lovers.
    So yes, some similarities with the reasons why authors of Gothics might have used the place, except that for those authors I think there was also a prejudice against Catholicism, and for them and their readers that added to the air of mystery, fanaticism etc. That’s not the case for authors of Harlequin romances.

    Reply
  3. “talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily?”
    I suspect it’s that for most readers it’s
    (a) “a far away country about which we know little”, as Chamberlain put it (though in a different context)
    (b) associated with mafia/traditional code of honour/revenge
    (c) is part of Italy, so associated with darkly handsome Latin lovers.
    So yes, some similarities with the reasons why authors of Gothics might have used the place, except that for those authors I think there was also a prejudice against Catholicism, and for them and their readers that added to the air of mystery, fanaticism etc. That’s not the case for authors of Harlequin romances.

    Reply
  4. “talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily?”
    I suspect it’s that for most readers it’s
    (a) “a far away country about which we know little”, as Chamberlain put it (though in a different context)
    (b) associated with mafia/traditional code of honour/revenge
    (c) is part of Italy, so associated with darkly handsome Latin lovers.
    So yes, some similarities with the reasons why authors of Gothics might have used the place, except that for those authors I think there was also a prejudice against Catholicism, and for them and their readers that added to the air of mystery, fanaticism etc. That’s not the case for authors of Harlequin romances.

    Reply
  5. “talking of Harlequin, which I was, I was astonished as the number of Sicily titles in their Presents line. What is it with Sicily?”
    I suspect it’s that for most readers it’s
    (a) “a far away country about which we know little”, as Chamberlain put it (though in a different context)
    (b) associated with mafia/traditional code of honour/revenge
    (c) is part of Italy, so associated with darkly handsome Latin lovers.
    So yes, some similarities with the reasons why authors of Gothics might have used the place, except that for those authors I think there was also a prejudice against Catholicism, and for them and their readers that added to the air of mystery, fanaticism etc. That’s not the case for authors of Harlequin romances.

    Reply
  6. I’m cautious about scary stuff–no starting one before bed, for example. And I have to take breaks because my heart pounds and I stop breathing in suspense πŸ™‚
    I’m not sure what “heart of romance” means (except it’s a RT award, I think). But I’d be thrilled to see good historicals on the upswing.

    Reply
  7. I’m cautious about scary stuff–no starting one before bed, for example. And I have to take breaks because my heart pounds and I stop breathing in suspense πŸ™‚
    I’m not sure what “heart of romance” means (except it’s a RT award, I think). But I’d be thrilled to see good historicals on the upswing.

    Reply
  8. I’m cautious about scary stuff–no starting one before bed, for example. And I have to take breaks because my heart pounds and I stop breathing in suspense πŸ™‚
    I’m not sure what “heart of romance” means (except it’s a RT award, I think). But I’d be thrilled to see good historicals on the upswing.

    Reply
  9. I’m cautious about scary stuff–no starting one before bed, for example. And I have to take breaks because my heart pounds and I stop breathing in suspense πŸ™‚
    I’m not sure what “heart of romance” means (except it’s a RT award, I think). But I’d be thrilled to see good historicals on the upswing.

    Reply
  10. I’m cautious about scary stuff–no starting one before bed, for example. And I have to take breaks because my heart pounds and I stop breathing in suspense πŸ™‚
    I’m not sure what “heart of romance” means (except it’s a RT award, I think). But I’d be thrilled to see good historicals on the upswing.

    Reply
  11. In the 1700s and 1800s Naples was the capital of the kingdom of Two Sicilies and a favorite place to go on the Grand Tour. I doubt, though, that many travellers went as far south as the island of Sicily itself. But surely there was a public perception of Sicily which fit into it. Allow me to skip the quite active history involving the kingdom of Naples and the kingdom of Sicily between the Royal Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon but it was a major European conflict involving France, Germany and Spain, thus surely being a topic of discussions in Britain as well.
    And remember Webster’s famous play “The Duchess of Malfi” (written in 1614), which takes place in Amalfi in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily – quite a gothic story there and surely inspiration for a lot of writers.
    As for today’s historicals with Sicilian settings, Laura already mentioned very important points. Plus IMHO the novel “The leopard” (Il Gattopardo” )by the Sicilian Principe di Lampedusa and the film based on the book by Visconti gave impressive insights in the world of the Sicilian nobility and added to the attraction of this setting for romances.

    Reply
  12. In the 1700s and 1800s Naples was the capital of the kingdom of Two Sicilies and a favorite place to go on the Grand Tour. I doubt, though, that many travellers went as far south as the island of Sicily itself. But surely there was a public perception of Sicily which fit into it. Allow me to skip the quite active history involving the kingdom of Naples and the kingdom of Sicily between the Royal Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon but it was a major European conflict involving France, Germany and Spain, thus surely being a topic of discussions in Britain as well.
    And remember Webster’s famous play “The Duchess of Malfi” (written in 1614), which takes place in Amalfi in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily – quite a gothic story there and surely inspiration for a lot of writers.
    As for today’s historicals with Sicilian settings, Laura already mentioned very important points. Plus IMHO the novel “The leopard” (Il Gattopardo” )by the Sicilian Principe di Lampedusa and the film based on the book by Visconti gave impressive insights in the world of the Sicilian nobility and added to the attraction of this setting for romances.

    Reply
  13. In the 1700s and 1800s Naples was the capital of the kingdom of Two Sicilies and a favorite place to go on the Grand Tour. I doubt, though, that many travellers went as far south as the island of Sicily itself. But surely there was a public perception of Sicily which fit into it. Allow me to skip the quite active history involving the kingdom of Naples and the kingdom of Sicily between the Royal Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon but it was a major European conflict involving France, Germany and Spain, thus surely being a topic of discussions in Britain as well.
    And remember Webster’s famous play “The Duchess of Malfi” (written in 1614), which takes place in Amalfi in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily – quite a gothic story there and surely inspiration for a lot of writers.
    As for today’s historicals with Sicilian settings, Laura already mentioned very important points. Plus IMHO the novel “The leopard” (Il Gattopardo” )by the Sicilian Principe di Lampedusa and the film based on the book by Visconti gave impressive insights in the world of the Sicilian nobility and added to the attraction of this setting for romances.

    Reply
  14. In the 1700s and 1800s Naples was the capital of the kingdom of Two Sicilies and a favorite place to go on the Grand Tour. I doubt, though, that many travellers went as far south as the island of Sicily itself. But surely there was a public perception of Sicily which fit into it. Allow me to skip the quite active history involving the kingdom of Naples and the kingdom of Sicily between the Royal Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon but it was a major European conflict involving France, Germany and Spain, thus surely being a topic of discussions in Britain as well.
    And remember Webster’s famous play “The Duchess of Malfi” (written in 1614), which takes place in Amalfi in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily – quite a gothic story there and surely inspiration for a lot of writers.
    As for today’s historicals with Sicilian settings, Laura already mentioned very important points. Plus IMHO the novel “The leopard” (Il Gattopardo” )by the Sicilian Principe di Lampedusa and the film based on the book by Visconti gave impressive insights in the world of the Sicilian nobility and added to the attraction of this setting for romances.

    Reply
  15. In the 1700s and 1800s Naples was the capital of the kingdom of Two Sicilies and a favorite place to go on the Grand Tour. I doubt, though, that many travellers went as far south as the island of Sicily itself. But surely there was a public perception of Sicily which fit into it. Allow me to skip the quite active history involving the kingdom of Naples and the kingdom of Sicily between the Royal Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon but it was a major European conflict involving France, Germany and Spain, thus surely being a topic of discussions in Britain as well.
    And remember Webster’s famous play “The Duchess of Malfi” (written in 1614), which takes place in Amalfi in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily – quite a gothic story there and surely inspiration for a lot of writers.
    As for today’s historicals with Sicilian settings, Laura already mentioned very important points. Plus IMHO the novel “The leopard” (Il Gattopardo” )by the Sicilian Principe di Lampedusa and the film based on the book by Visconti gave impressive insights in the world of the Sicilian nobility and added to the attraction of this setting for romances.

    Reply
  16. Wow Wench Jo, that’s allot of questions. I’m not any kind of guru on Gothic, but I was very intrigued by THE MAGIC GOBLET. I like psych thrillers.
    I’m also a fan of vampires, well-written ones, that is. The ones that ache deep down for what they cannot have while trying to survive amongst those who do.
    As for “scare” – bring in real life, ordinary elements that I encounter every day and make me wonder. (i.e.: Poltergeist – TV static – need I say more?)

    Reply
  17. Wow Wench Jo, that’s allot of questions. I’m not any kind of guru on Gothic, but I was very intrigued by THE MAGIC GOBLET. I like psych thrillers.
    I’m also a fan of vampires, well-written ones, that is. The ones that ache deep down for what they cannot have while trying to survive amongst those who do.
    As for “scare” – bring in real life, ordinary elements that I encounter every day and make me wonder. (i.e.: Poltergeist – TV static – need I say more?)

    Reply
  18. Wow Wench Jo, that’s allot of questions. I’m not any kind of guru on Gothic, but I was very intrigued by THE MAGIC GOBLET. I like psych thrillers.
    I’m also a fan of vampires, well-written ones, that is. The ones that ache deep down for what they cannot have while trying to survive amongst those who do.
    As for “scare” – bring in real life, ordinary elements that I encounter every day and make me wonder. (i.e.: Poltergeist – TV static – need I say more?)

    Reply
  19. Wow Wench Jo, that’s allot of questions. I’m not any kind of guru on Gothic, but I was very intrigued by THE MAGIC GOBLET. I like psych thrillers.
    I’m also a fan of vampires, well-written ones, that is. The ones that ache deep down for what they cannot have while trying to survive amongst those who do.
    As for “scare” – bring in real life, ordinary elements that I encounter every day and make me wonder. (i.e.: Poltergeist – TV static – need I say more?)

    Reply
  20. Wow Wench Jo, that’s allot of questions. I’m not any kind of guru on Gothic, but I was very intrigued by THE MAGIC GOBLET. I like psych thrillers.
    I’m also a fan of vampires, well-written ones, that is. The ones that ache deep down for what they cannot have while trying to survive amongst those who do.
    As for “scare” – bring in real life, ordinary elements that I encounter every day and make me wonder. (i.e.: Poltergeist – TV static – need I say more?)

    Reply
  21. Jo – I love how you’ve incorporated other genres of books into your own characters lives. Very cool!
    I’m not a big fan of the gothics. I guess I don’t like to be scared! My absolute favorites are historicals. Nothing better than a brave brawny Scotsman or a handsome British rake in my opinion!
    Bonnie-Lass

    Reply
  22. Jo – I love how you’ve incorporated other genres of books into your own characters lives. Very cool!
    I’m not a big fan of the gothics. I guess I don’t like to be scared! My absolute favorites are historicals. Nothing better than a brave brawny Scotsman or a handsome British rake in my opinion!
    Bonnie-Lass

    Reply
  23. Jo – I love how you’ve incorporated other genres of books into your own characters lives. Very cool!
    I’m not a big fan of the gothics. I guess I don’t like to be scared! My absolute favorites are historicals. Nothing better than a brave brawny Scotsman or a handsome British rake in my opinion!
    Bonnie-Lass

    Reply
  24. Jo – I love how you’ve incorporated other genres of books into your own characters lives. Very cool!
    I’m not a big fan of the gothics. I guess I don’t like to be scared! My absolute favorites are historicals. Nothing better than a brave brawny Scotsman or a handsome British rake in my opinion!
    Bonnie-Lass

    Reply
  25. Jo – I love how you’ve incorporated other genres of books into your own characters lives. Very cool!
    I’m not a big fan of the gothics. I guess I don’t like to be scared! My absolute favorites are historicals. Nothing better than a brave brawny Scotsman or a handsome British rake in my opinion!
    Bonnie-Lass

    Reply
  26. You can’t beat a bit of Dennis Wheatley! The scariest book I ever read was the short story “The Shadow-cage” by Philippa Pearce. Highly recommended even if it is a children’s book.

    Reply
  27. You can’t beat a bit of Dennis Wheatley! The scariest book I ever read was the short story “The Shadow-cage” by Philippa Pearce. Highly recommended even if it is a children’s book.

    Reply
  28. You can’t beat a bit of Dennis Wheatley! The scariest book I ever read was the short story “The Shadow-cage” by Philippa Pearce. Highly recommended even if it is a children’s book.

    Reply
  29. You can’t beat a bit of Dennis Wheatley! The scariest book I ever read was the short story “The Shadow-cage” by Philippa Pearce. Highly recommended even if it is a children’s book.

    Reply
  30. You can’t beat a bit of Dennis Wheatley! The scariest book I ever read was the short story “The Shadow-cage” by Philippa Pearce. Highly recommended even if it is a children’s book.

    Reply
  31. Jo here.
    Bibiana (hi!)I hadn’t thought about Sicily being sort of familiar (Naples) and far enough away to be weird at the same time. Great vignette of context.
    RfP, “heart of romance” is my long-time shorthand for something that would need an essay. Perhaps a blog someday. I could say “classic” or “undiluted.”
    What I mean is novels that are completely focussed on the developing love story and progress to a fully satisfying triumphant ending. Not hybrids like romantic-suspense, or women’s fiction romance. Romances in which a drive to have sex scenes doesn’t subvert the believable progression of a mating bond in that time and place. Those in which setting doesn’t overwhelm. Etc, etc. Complicated, but I know them when I read them and it’s also what I like to write. Most of the time.
    Jo

    Reply
  32. Jo here.
    Bibiana (hi!)I hadn’t thought about Sicily being sort of familiar (Naples) and far enough away to be weird at the same time. Great vignette of context.
    RfP, “heart of romance” is my long-time shorthand for something that would need an essay. Perhaps a blog someday. I could say “classic” or “undiluted.”
    What I mean is novels that are completely focussed on the developing love story and progress to a fully satisfying triumphant ending. Not hybrids like romantic-suspense, or women’s fiction romance. Romances in which a drive to have sex scenes doesn’t subvert the believable progression of a mating bond in that time and place. Those in which setting doesn’t overwhelm. Etc, etc. Complicated, but I know them when I read them and it’s also what I like to write. Most of the time.
    Jo

    Reply
  33. Jo here.
    Bibiana (hi!)I hadn’t thought about Sicily being sort of familiar (Naples) and far enough away to be weird at the same time. Great vignette of context.
    RfP, “heart of romance” is my long-time shorthand for something that would need an essay. Perhaps a blog someday. I could say “classic” or “undiluted.”
    What I mean is novels that are completely focussed on the developing love story and progress to a fully satisfying triumphant ending. Not hybrids like romantic-suspense, or women’s fiction romance. Romances in which a drive to have sex scenes doesn’t subvert the believable progression of a mating bond in that time and place. Those in which setting doesn’t overwhelm. Etc, etc. Complicated, but I know them when I read them and it’s also what I like to write. Most of the time.
    Jo

    Reply
  34. Jo here.
    Bibiana (hi!)I hadn’t thought about Sicily being sort of familiar (Naples) and far enough away to be weird at the same time. Great vignette of context.
    RfP, “heart of romance” is my long-time shorthand for something that would need an essay. Perhaps a blog someday. I could say “classic” or “undiluted.”
    What I mean is novels that are completely focussed on the developing love story and progress to a fully satisfying triumphant ending. Not hybrids like romantic-suspense, or women’s fiction romance. Romances in which a drive to have sex scenes doesn’t subvert the believable progression of a mating bond in that time and place. Those in which setting doesn’t overwhelm. Etc, etc. Complicated, but I know them when I read them and it’s also what I like to write. Most of the time.
    Jo

    Reply
  35. Jo here.
    Bibiana (hi!)I hadn’t thought about Sicily being sort of familiar (Naples) and far enough away to be weird at the same time. Great vignette of context.
    RfP, “heart of romance” is my long-time shorthand for something that would need an essay. Perhaps a blog someday. I could say “classic” or “undiluted.”
    What I mean is novels that are completely focussed on the developing love story and progress to a fully satisfying triumphant ending. Not hybrids like romantic-suspense, or women’s fiction romance. Romances in which a drive to have sex scenes doesn’t subvert the believable progression of a mating bond in that time and place. Those in which setting doesn’t overwhelm. Etc, etc. Complicated, but I know them when I read them and it’s also what I like to write. Most of the time.
    Jo

    Reply
  36. Ah, thanks. I can raise my hand for “know that when I see it.” That’s why I enjoy Devilish so much. Strong enough characters to hold center stage even with a circus happening around them; the tension between the h/h comes from within the relationship more than from external pressures; and the h/h find moments of intimacy even amidst the hoopla, so the journey isn’t simply a gallop driven by events.

    Reply
  37. Ah, thanks. I can raise my hand for “know that when I see it.” That’s why I enjoy Devilish so much. Strong enough characters to hold center stage even with a circus happening around them; the tension between the h/h comes from within the relationship more than from external pressures; and the h/h find moments of intimacy even amidst the hoopla, so the journey isn’t simply a gallop driven by events.

    Reply
  38. Ah, thanks. I can raise my hand for “know that when I see it.” That’s why I enjoy Devilish so much. Strong enough characters to hold center stage even with a circus happening around them; the tension between the h/h comes from within the relationship more than from external pressures; and the h/h find moments of intimacy even amidst the hoopla, so the journey isn’t simply a gallop driven by events.

    Reply
  39. Ah, thanks. I can raise my hand for “know that when I see it.” That’s why I enjoy Devilish so much. Strong enough characters to hold center stage even with a circus happening around them; the tension between the h/h comes from within the relationship more than from external pressures; and the h/h find moments of intimacy even amidst the hoopla, so the journey isn’t simply a gallop driven by events.

    Reply
  40. Ah, thanks. I can raise my hand for “know that when I see it.” That’s why I enjoy Devilish so much. Strong enough characters to hold center stage even with a circus happening around them; the tension between the h/h comes from within the relationship more than from external pressures; and the h/h find moments of intimacy even amidst the hoopla, so the journey isn’t simply a gallop driven by events.

    Reply
  41. I’m not into “scary” either. I like romantic suspense (Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc.) and I like magical elements like Mary Jo’s Guardians, but I stay away from vampires and werewolves and things like that. I much prefer the “heart of romance” books (like yours, Jo), where even though there is some mystery and maybe some laugh-out-loud humor, the relationship between the H&H and their HEA is the main thing. I guess I’m in the minority, but I prefer “feel good” stories to “scared shitless”.

    Reply
  42. I’m not into “scary” either. I like romantic suspense (Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc.) and I like magical elements like Mary Jo’s Guardians, but I stay away from vampires and werewolves and things like that. I much prefer the “heart of romance” books (like yours, Jo), where even though there is some mystery and maybe some laugh-out-loud humor, the relationship between the H&H and their HEA is the main thing. I guess I’m in the minority, but I prefer “feel good” stories to “scared shitless”.

    Reply
  43. I’m not into “scary” either. I like romantic suspense (Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc.) and I like magical elements like Mary Jo’s Guardians, but I stay away from vampires and werewolves and things like that. I much prefer the “heart of romance” books (like yours, Jo), where even though there is some mystery and maybe some laugh-out-loud humor, the relationship between the H&H and their HEA is the main thing. I guess I’m in the minority, but I prefer “feel good” stories to “scared shitless”.

    Reply
  44. I’m not into “scary” either. I like romantic suspense (Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc.) and I like magical elements like Mary Jo’s Guardians, but I stay away from vampires and werewolves and things like that. I much prefer the “heart of romance” books (like yours, Jo), where even though there is some mystery and maybe some laugh-out-loud humor, the relationship between the H&H and their HEA is the main thing. I guess I’m in the minority, but I prefer “feel good” stories to “scared shitless”.

    Reply
  45. I’m not into “scary” either. I like romantic suspense (Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, etc.) and I like magical elements like Mary Jo’s Guardians, but I stay away from vampires and werewolves and things like that. I much prefer the “heart of romance” books (like yours, Jo), where even though there is some mystery and maybe some laugh-out-loud humor, the relationship between the H&H and their HEA is the main thing. I guess I’m in the minority, but I prefer “feel good” stories to “scared shitless”.

    Reply
  46. I don’t like to be terrified so I avoid horror plots at all cost. I haven’t even read Odd Thomas because just the thought of Dean Koontz scares me. Kind of pathetic, I know, but I’m very impressionable!
    I did used to like gothic romances, but I found them lacking somehow and was very happy to move on to the “heart of romance” type that you described. I’ve enjoyed some of the new gothic style romances coming out now. They concentrate on relationship but stick the relationship into a gothic setting.
    My sister still loves the old gothic romances though she has a time finding them. We used to go to a UBS that had an extensive section of gothics until a new owner took over and trashed the whole section. We just about had heart attacks right there in the store, and we’ve never been back.

    Reply
  47. I don’t like to be terrified so I avoid horror plots at all cost. I haven’t even read Odd Thomas because just the thought of Dean Koontz scares me. Kind of pathetic, I know, but I’m very impressionable!
    I did used to like gothic romances, but I found them lacking somehow and was very happy to move on to the “heart of romance” type that you described. I’ve enjoyed some of the new gothic style romances coming out now. They concentrate on relationship but stick the relationship into a gothic setting.
    My sister still loves the old gothic romances though she has a time finding them. We used to go to a UBS that had an extensive section of gothics until a new owner took over and trashed the whole section. We just about had heart attacks right there in the store, and we’ve never been back.

    Reply
  48. I don’t like to be terrified so I avoid horror plots at all cost. I haven’t even read Odd Thomas because just the thought of Dean Koontz scares me. Kind of pathetic, I know, but I’m very impressionable!
    I did used to like gothic romances, but I found them lacking somehow and was very happy to move on to the “heart of romance” type that you described. I’ve enjoyed some of the new gothic style romances coming out now. They concentrate on relationship but stick the relationship into a gothic setting.
    My sister still loves the old gothic romances though she has a time finding them. We used to go to a UBS that had an extensive section of gothics until a new owner took over and trashed the whole section. We just about had heart attacks right there in the store, and we’ve never been back.

    Reply
  49. I don’t like to be terrified so I avoid horror plots at all cost. I haven’t even read Odd Thomas because just the thought of Dean Koontz scares me. Kind of pathetic, I know, but I’m very impressionable!
    I did used to like gothic romances, but I found them lacking somehow and was very happy to move on to the “heart of romance” type that you described. I’ve enjoyed some of the new gothic style romances coming out now. They concentrate on relationship but stick the relationship into a gothic setting.
    My sister still loves the old gothic romances though she has a time finding them. We used to go to a UBS that had an extensive section of gothics until a new owner took over and trashed the whole section. We just about had heart attacks right there in the store, and we’ve never been back.

    Reply
  50. I don’t like to be terrified so I avoid horror plots at all cost. I haven’t even read Odd Thomas because just the thought of Dean Koontz scares me. Kind of pathetic, I know, but I’m very impressionable!
    I did used to like gothic romances, but I found them lacking somehow and was very happy to move on to the “heart of romance” type that you described. I’ve enjoyed some of the new gothic style romances coming out now. They concentrate on relationship but stick the relationship into a gothic setting.
    My sister still loves the old gothic romances though she has a time finding them. We used to go to a UBS that had an extensive section of gothics until a new owner took over and trashed the whole section. We just about had heart attacks right there in the store, and we’ve never been back.

    Reply
  51. Oh, my. I looked at that list of Minerva Press novels. I can’t believe there was a novel called “Feudal Events.” Talk about a generic title! Can you imagine what a publisher would say to that today?
    This gives rise to a thought: I’d love to see one of you (or all of you!) do a blog on what makes a good book title. Preferably with anecdotes from your publishing experiences!

    Reply
  52. Oh, my. I looked at that list of Minerva Press novels. I can’t believe there was a novel called “Feudal Events.” Talk about a generic title! Can you imagine what a publisher would say to that today?
    This gives rise to a thought: I’d love to see one of you (or all of you!) do a blog on what makes a good book title. Preferably with anecdotes from your publishing experiences!

    Reply
  53. Oh, my. I looked at that list of Minerva Press novels. I can’t believe there was a novel called “Feudal Events.” Talk about a generic title! Can you imagine what a publisher would say to that today?
    This gives rise to a thought: I’d love to see one of you (or all of you!) do a blog on what makes a good book title. Preferably with anecdotes from your publishing experiences!

    Reply
  54. Oh, my. I looked at that list of Minerva Press novels. I can’t believe there was a novel called “Feudal Events.” Talk about a generic title! Can you imagine what a publisher would say to that today?
    This gives rise to a thought: I’d love to see one of you (or all of you!) do a blog on what makes a good book title. Preferably with anecdotes from your publishing experiences!

    Reply
  55. Oh, my. I looked at that list of Minerva Press novels. I can’t believe there was a novel called “Feudal Events.” Talk about a generic title! Can you imagine what a publisher would say to that today?
    This gives rise to a thought: I’d love to see one of you (or all of you!) do a blog on what makes a good book title. Preferably with anecdotes from your publishing experiences!

    Reply
  56. Gothics were my gateway drug. I miss the gothic deeply. I think it sometimes returns in the form of a ‘dark’ HoR, but mostly it’s lost. I can appreciate hybrids for what they are, but my bread and butter is HoR. Most paranormal is trying too hard. Can’t serve all the masters at once.

    Reply
  57. Gothics were my gateway drug. I miss the gothic deeply. I think it sometimes returns in the form of a ‘dark’ HoR, but mostly it’s lost. I can appreciate hybrids for what they are, but my bread and butter is HoR. Most paranormal is trying too hard. Can’t serve all the masters at once.

    Reply
  58. Gothics were my gateway drug. I miss the gothic deeply. I think it sometimes returns in the form of a ‘dark’ HoR, but mostly it’s lost. I can appreciate hybrids for what they are, but my bread and butter is HoR. Most paranormal is trying too hard. Can’t serve all the masters at once.

    Reply
  59. Gothics were my gateway drug. I miss the gothic deeply. I think it sometimes returns in the form of a ‘dark’ HoR, but mostly it’s lost. I can appreciate hybrids for what they are, but my bread and butter is HoR. Most paranormal is trying too hard. Can’t serve all the masters at once.

    Reply
  60. Gothics were my gateway drug. I miss the gothic deeply. I think it sometimes returns in the form of a ‘dark’ HoR, but mostly it’s lost. I can appreciate hybrids for what they are, but my bread and butter is HoR. Most paranormal is trying too hard. Can’t serve all the masters at once.

    Reply
  61. Ah, Gothics- instead of the clinch covers of modern romance, we always had the picture of the heroine in a white gown, hair streaming behind her, as she fled into the night from a tall mansion with ONE LIGHTED WINDOW IN THE UPPER STORY. Wonder why nobody ever left the porch light on, or the kitchen light, so she could make herself a snack before fleeing into the night? Nope, just one lighted window upstairs. And she always ran away, at night. Why not wait until after breakfast, and take the car? But that would not be Gothic enough, I guess. As to scary stories-I used to read H.P. Lovecraft, talk about scary, but I don’t like scary anymore. Reality is scary enough for me. Keep those “heart of Romance” books coming, Jo. They’re still my favorites.

    Reply
  62. Ah, Gothics- instead of the clinch covers of modern romance, we always had the picture of the heroine in a white gown, hair streaming behind her, as she fled into the night from a tall mansion with ONE LIGHTED WINDOW IN THE UPPER STORY. Wonder why nobody ever left the porch light on, or the kitchen light, so she could make herself a snack before fleeing into the night? Nope, just one lighted window upstairs. And she always ran away, at night. Why not wait until after breakfast, and take the car? But that would not be Gothic enough, I guess. As to scary stories-I used to read H.P. Lovecraft, talk about scary, but I don’t like scary anymore. Reality is scary enough for me. Keep those “heart of Romance” books coming, Jo. They’re still my favorites.

    Reply
  63. Ah, Gothics- instead of the clinch covers of modern romance, we always had the picture of the heroine in a white gown, hair streaming behind her, as she fled into the night from a tall mansion with ONE LIGHTED WINDOW IN THE UPPER STORY. Wonder why nobody ever left the porch light on, or the kitchen light, so she could make herself a snack before fleeing into the night? Nope, just one lighted window upstairs. And she always ran away, at night. Why not wait until after breakfast, and take the car? But that would not be Gothic enough, I guess. As to scary stories-I used to read H.P. Lovecraft, talk about scary, but I don’t like scary anymore. Reality is scary enough for me. Keep those “heart of Romance” books coming, Jo. They’re still my favorites.

    Reply
  64. Ah, Gothics- instead of the clinch covers of modern romance, we always had the picture of the heroine in a white gown, hair streaming behind her, as she fled into the night from a tall mansion with ONE LIGHTED WINDOW IN THE UPPER STORY. Wonder why nobody ever left the porch light on, or the kitchen light, so she could make herself a snack before fleeing into the night? Nope, just one lighted window upstairs. And she always ran away, at night. Why not wait until after breakfast, and take the car? But that would not be Gothic enough, I guess. As to scary stories-I used to read H.P. Lovecraft, talk about scary, but I don’t like scary anymore. Reality is scary enough for me. Keep those “heart of Romance” books coming, Jo. They’re still my favorites.

    Reply
  65. Ah, Gothics- instead of the clinch covers of modern romance, we always had the picture of the heroine in a white gown, hair streaming behind her, as she fled into the night from a tall mansion with ONE LIGHTED WINDOW IN THE UPPER STORY. Wonder why nobody ever left the porch light on, or the kitchen light, so she could make herself a snack before fleeing into the night? Nope, just one lighted window upstairs. And she always ran away, at night. Why not wait until after breakfast, and take the car? But that would not be Gothic enough, I guess. As to scary stories-I used to read H.P. Lovecraft, talk about scary, but I don’t like scary anymore. Reality is scary enough for me. Keep those “heart of Romance” books coming, Jo. They’re still my favorites.

    Reply
  66. I was an avid reader of mystery novels for much of my life. Then two (unrelated)things happened: I had my first baby and read one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books (perhaps the first one?).
    Maybe because I was newly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable baby, and at home alone with her a lot of the time, that book scared the KAJEEBERS out of me. IIRC, the evil serial killer chooses his women victims in a particularly loathsome and terrifying way that seemed All Too Close For Comfort.
    I actually went Cold Turkey on mysteries and haven’t read any since (except for Laurie R King’s Sherlock Holmes series which are set comfortably in the past).
    Oh, well, more time to read romances!

    Reply
  67. I was an avid reader of mystery novels for much of my life. Then two (unrelated)things happened: I had my first baby and read one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books (perhaps the first one?).
    Maybe because I was newly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable baby, and at home alone with her a lot of the time, that book scared the KAJEEBERS out of me. IIRC, the evil serial killer chooses his women victims in a particularly loathsome and terrifying way that seemed All Too Close For Comfort.
    I actually went Cold Turkey on mysteries and haven’t read any since (except for Laurie R King’s Sherlock Holmes series which are set comfortably in the past).
    Oh, well, more time to read romances!

    Reply
  68. I was an avid reader of mystery novels for much of my life. Then two (unrelated)things happened: I had my first baby and read one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books (perhaps the first one?).
    Maybe because I was newly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable baby, and at home alone with her a lot of the time, that book scared the KAJEEBERS out of me. IIRC, the evil serial killer chooses his women victims in a particularly loathsome and terrifying way that seemed All Too Close For Comfort.
    I actually went Cold Turkey on mysteries and haven’t read any since (except for Laurie R King’s Sherlock Holmes series which are set comfortably in the past).
    Oh, well, more time to read romances!

    Reply
  69. I was an avid reader of mystery novels for much of my life. Then two (unrelated)things happened: I had my first baby and read one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books (perhaps the first one?).
    Maybe because I was newly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable baby, and at home alone with her a lot of the time, that book scared the KAJEEBERS out of me. IIRC, the evil serial killer chooses his women victims in a particularly loathsome and terrifying way that seemed All Too Close For Comfort.
    I actually went Cold Turkey on mysteries and haven’t read any since (except for Laurie R King’s Sherlock Holmes series which are set comfortably in the past).
    Oh, well, more time to read romances!

    Reply
  70. I was an avid reader of mystery novels for much of my life. Then two (unrelated)things happened: I had my first baby and read one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books (perhaps the first one?).
    Maybe because I was newly in charge of a tiny, vulnerable baby, and at home alone with her a lot of the time, that book scared the KAJEEBERS out of me. IIRC, the evil serial killer chooses his women victims in a particularly loathsome and terrifying way that seemed All Too Close For Comfort.
    I actually went Cold Turkey on mysteries and haven’t read any since (except for Laurie R King’s Sherlock Holmes series which are set comfortably in the past).
    Oh, well, more time to read romances!

    Reply
  71. RevMelinda,I’m very cautious about contemporary suspense and mystery, because often the evil seems too real.
    I can deal better with it in the past, or in an SF&F setting.
    Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible, with no one knowing the why or where they came from, and them just emerging to render people to ash. (Come to think of it, one of my working names for them was “horrors” but I liked the double-play of blight, as in plants, and blighter, as in the British word for someone undesirable.
    But by any name they were completely my imagination and on a planet far, far away. I did have some qualms about the solution, but by then the story was in charge.
    Not the happiest ending I’ve ever created.I let myself do it because it was romantic SF, not an SF romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  72. RevMelinda,I’m very cautious about contemporary suspense and mystery, because often the evil seems too real.
    I can deal better with it in the past, or in an SF&F setting.
    Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible, with no one knowing the why or where they came from, and them just emerging to render people to ash. (Come to think of it, one of my working names for them was “horrors” but I liked the double-play of blight, as in plants, and blighter, as in the British word for someone undesirable.
    But by any name they were completely my imagination and on a planet far, far away. I did have some qualms about the solution, but by then the story was in charge.
    Not the happiest ending I’ve ever created.I let myself do it because it was romantic SF, not an SF romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  73. RevMelinda,I’m very cautious about contemporary suspense and mystery, because often the evil seems too real.
    I can deal better with it in the past, or in an SF&F setting.
    Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible, with no one knowing the why or where they came from, and them just emerging to render people to ash. (Come to think of it, one of my working names for them was “horrors” but I liked the double-play of blight, as in plants, and blighter, as in the British word for someone undesirable.
    But by any name they were completely my imagination and on a planet far, far away. I did have some qualms about the solution, but by then the story was in charge.
    Not the happiest ending I’ve ever created.I let myself do it because it was romantic SF, not an SF romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  74. RevMelinda,I’m very cautious about contemporary suspense and mystery, because often the evil seems too real.
    I can deal better with it in the past, or in an SF&F setting.
    Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible, with no one knowing the why or where they came from, and them just emerging to render people to ash. (Come to think of it, one of my working names for them was “horrors” but I liked the double-play of blight, as in plants, and blighter, as in the British word for someone undesirable.
    But by any name they were completely my imagination and on a planet far, far away. I did have some qualms about the solution, but by then the story was in charge.
    Not the happiest ending I’ve ever created.I let myself do it because it was romantic SF, not an SF romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  75. RevMelinda,I’m very cautious about contemporary suspense and mystery, because often the evil seems too real.
    I can deal better with it in the past, or in an SF&F setting.
    Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible, with no one knowing the why or where they came from, and them just emerging to render people to ash. (Come to think of it, one of my working names for them was “horrors” but I liked the double-play of blight, as in plants, and blighter, as in the British word for someone undesirable.
    But by any name they were completely my imagination and on a planet far, far away. I did have some qualms about the solution, but by then the story was in charge.
    Not the happiest ending I’ve ever created.I let myself do it because it was romantic SF, not an SF romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  76. I, too, looked at the list of Valencourt books….
    “A Tale Without a Title” took my fancy….
    It’s amazing how many of the titles seem very modern. The titles could be found on many bookshelves and not look out of place in today’s world.
    Keep on writing, Jo, love your books.

    Reply
  77. I, too, looked at the list of Valencourt books….
    “A Tale Without a Title” took my fancy….
    It’s amazing how many of the titles seem very modern. The titles could be found on many bookshelves and not look out of place in today’s world.
    Keep on writing, Jo, love your books.

    Reply
  78. I, too, looked at the list of Valencourt books….
    “A Tale Without a Title” took my fancy….
    It’s amazing how many of the titles seem very modern. The titles could be found on many bookshelves and not look out of place in today’s world.
    Keep on writing, Jo, love your books.

    Reply
  79. I, too, looked at the list of Valencourt books….
    “A Tale Without a Title” took my fancy….
    It’s amazing how many of the titles seem very modern. The titles could be found on many bookshelves and not look out of place in today’s world.
    Keep on writing, Jo, love your books.

    Reply
  80. I, too, looked at the list of Valencourt books….
    “A Tale Without a Title” took my fancy….
    It’s amazing how many of the titles seem very modern. The titles could be found on many bookshelves and not look out of place in today’s world.
    Keep on writing, Jo, love your books.

    Reply
  81. In the Eighties, I rolled my eyes at the whole Gothic, Anne Rice phenomenon. It took itself so seriously, and nothing bores me faster than the inability to laugh at oneself. But now I wonder if I didn’t miss some decent reads.
    Keep writing those “heart of romance” books. I love hybrids, and as an artist, I love things that experiment, mix it up, if done well. But there needs to be people maintaining the standard, which you do so well. I stopped by your table at the literacy signing at Dallas, but you’d gone on break and I needed to take my place in that really long line. So, Hi!
    Jane

    Reply
  82. In the Eighties, I rolled my eyes at the whole Gothic, Anne Rice phenomenon. It took itself so seriously, and nothing bores me faster than the inability to laugh at oneself. But now I wonder if I didn’t miss some decent reads.
    Keep writing those “heart of romance” books. I love hybrids, and as an artist, I love things that experiment, mix it up, if done well. But there needs to be people maintaining the standard, which you do so well. I stopped by your table at the literacy signing at Dallas, but you’d gone on break and I needed to take my place in that really long line. So, Hi!
    Jane

    Reply
  83. In the Eighties, I rolled my eyes at the whole Gothic, Anne Rice phenomenon. It took itself so seriously, and nothing bores me faster than the inability to laugh at oneself. But now I wonder if I didn’t miss some decent reads.
    Keep writing those “heart of romance” books. I love hybrids, and as an artist, I love things that experiment, mix it up, if done well. But there needs to be people maintaining the standard, which you do so well. I stopped by your table at the literacy signing at Dallas, but you’d gone on break and I needed to take my place in that really long line. So, Hi!
    Jane

    Reply
  84. In the Eighties, I rolled my eyes at the whole Gothic, Anne Rice phenomenon. It took itself so seriously, and nothing bores me faster than the inability to laugh at oneself. But now I wonder if I didn’t miss some decent reads.
    Keep writing those “heart of romance” books. I love hybrids, and as an artist, I love things that experiment, mix it up, if done well. But there needs to be people maintaining the standard, which you do so well. I stopped by your table at the literacy signing at Dallas, but you’d gone on break and I needed to take my place in that really long line. So, Hi!
    Jane

    Reply
  85. In the Eighties, I rolled my eyes at the whole Gothic, Anne Rice phenomenon. It took itself so seriously, and nothing bores me faster than the inability to laugh at oneself. But now I wonder if I didn’t miss some decent reads.
    Keep writing those “heart of romance” books. I love hybrids, and as an artist, I love things that experiment, mix it up, if done well. But there needs to be people maintaining the standard, which you do so well. I stopped by your table at the literacy signing at Dallas, but you’d gone on break and I needed to take my place in that really long line. So, Hi!
    Jane

    Reply
  86. Hi, Jo
    It’s been that kind of day. I posted a lovely response (even if I did write it) to your posting but the software ate it. Thanks for reminding me of good reads from when i was much younger and for moving Sicily once more to my list of places to visit before I die.
    /glee

    Reply
  87. Hi, Jo
    It’s been that kind of day. I posted a lovely response (even if I did write it) to your posting but the software ate it. Thanks for reminding me of good reads from when i was much younger and for moving Sicily once more to my list of places to visit before I die.
    /glee

    Reply
  88. Hi, Jo
    It’s been that kind of day. I posted a lovely response (even if I did write it) to your posting but the software ate it. Thanks for reminding me of good reads from when i was much younger and for moving Sicily once more to my list of places to visit before I die.
    /glee

    Reply
  89. Hi, Jo
    It’s been that kind of day. I posted a lovely response (even if I did write it) to your posting but the software ate it. Thanks for reminding me of good reads from when i was much younger and for moving Sicily once more to my list of places to visit before I die.
    /glee

    Reply
  90. Hi, Jo
    It’s been that kind of day. I posted a lovely response (even if I did write it) to your posting but the software ate it. Thanks for reminding me of good reads from when i was much younger and for moving Sicily once more to my list of places to visit before I die.
    /glee

    Reply
  91. Jo, I used to LOVE gothic romances in the ’70s – but as I got a little older it became hard to understand why the heroine would walk down a dark hallway in her nightgown with just one candle. So, I gave ’em up. I read a few Stephen King type novels but not so much lately. I still love Kay Hooper & her psychics. I think of her as modern day gothics. The heroine almost always has a gun & a clue – unlike the ‘woman in jeopardy’ gothics of the ’70’s. Did those die out as a response to the women’s movement?
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Reply
  92. Jo, I used to LOVE gothic romances in the ’70s – but as I got a little older it became hard to understand why the heroine would walk down a dark hallway in her nightgown with just one candle. So, I gave ’em up. I read a few Stephen King type novels but not so much lately. I still love Kay Hooper & her psychics. I think of her as modern day gothics. The heroine almost always has a gun & a clue – unlike the ‘woman in jeopardy’ gothics of the ’70’s. Did those die out as a response to the women’s movement?
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Reply
  93. Jo, I used to LOVE gothic romances in the ’70s – but as I got a little older it became hard to understand why the heroine would walk down a dark hallway in her nightgown with just one candle. So, I gave ’em up. I read a few Stephen King type novels but not so much lately. I still love Kay Hooper & her psychics. I think of her as modern day gothics. The heroine almost always has a gun & a clue – unlike the ‘woman in jeopardy’ gothics of the ’70’s. Did those die out as a response to the women’s movement?
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Reply
  94. Jo, I used to LOVE gothic romances in the ’70s – but as I got a little older it became hard to understand why the heroine would walk down a dark hallway in her nightgown with just one candle. So, I gave ’em up. I read a few Stephen King type novels but not so much lately. I still love Kay Hooper & her psychics. I think of her as modern day gothics. The heroine almost always has a gun & a clue – unlike the ‘woman in jeopardy’ gothics of the ’70’s. Did those die out as a response to the women’s movement?
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Reply
  95. Jo, I used to LOVE gothic romances in the ’70s – but as I got a little older it became hard to understand why the heroine would walk down a dark hallway in her nightgown with just one candle. So, I gave ’em up. I read a few Stephen King type novels but not so much lately. I still love Kay Hooper & her psychics. I think of her as modern day gothics. The heroine almost always has a gun & a clue – unlike the ‘woman in jeopardy’ gothics of the ’70’s. Did those die out as a response to the women’s movement?
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Reply
  96. Sorry – second post – but got to agree with RevMelinda! I read one of Patricia Cornwell’s (the first or second one) and couldn’t sleep ever again with a window open (my bedroom was on the first/ground floor). Now that I live in a high rise I can stand to sleep with the windows open again – but realistically, I bet there aren’t many women cops who sleep with their windows open either!

    Reply
  97. Sorry – second post – but got to agree with RevMelinda! I read one of Patricia Cornwell’s (the first or second one) and couldn’t sleep ever again with a window open (my bedroom was on the first/ground floor). Now that I live in a high rise I can stand to sleep with the windows open again – but realistically, I bet there aren’t many women cops who sleep with their windows open either!

    Reply
  98. Sorry – second post – but got to agree with RevMelinda! I read one of Patricia Cornwell’s (the first or second one) and couldn’t sleep ever again with a window open (my bedroom was on the first/ground floor). Now that I live in a high rise I can stand to sleep with the windows open again – but realistically, I bet there aren’t many women cops who sleep with their windows open either!

    Reply
  99. Sorry – second post – but got to agree with RevMelinda! I read one of Patricia Cornwell’s (the first or second one) and couldn’t sleep ever again with a window open (my bedroom was on the first/ground floor). Now that I live in a high rise I can stand to sleep with the windows open again – but realistically, I bet there aren’t many women cops who sleep with their windows open either!

    Reply
  100. Sorry – second post – but got to agree with RevMelinda! I read one of Patricia Cornwell’s (the first or second one) and couldn’t sleep ever again with a window open (my bedroom was on the first/ground floor). Now that I live in a high rise I can stand to sleep with the windows open again – but realistically, I bet there aren’t many women cops who sleep with their windows open either!

    Reply
  101. I love the look and sound of the Valancourt books; imagine reading them at night in a draughty room with a flickering candle! My favourite title is “Edgar: or The Phantom of the Castle.” I can’t picture an Edgar as a castle phantom.
    Oh well. And I don’t need to be in a draw for any Jo books I have them all (except those darn old regencies that are out of print!) I loved Lady Beware but my favourite Rogue book has to be An Unwilling Bride but only by a smidge! My favourite Jo character is Elf Maloren. I have two copies of Lady Beware, I ordered one from Chapters and then bought one at Coles because I couldn’t wait for the mail. It was wonderful.

    Reply
  102. I love the look and sound of the Valancourt books; imagine reading them at night in a draughty room with a flickering candle! My favourite title is “Edgar: or The Phantom of the Castle.” I can’t picture an Edgar as a castle phantom.
    Oh well. And I don’t need to be in a draw for any Jo books I have them all (except those darn old regencies that are out of print!) I loved Lady Beware but my favourite Rogue book has to be An Unwilling Bride but only by a smidge! My favourite Jo character is Elf Maloren. I have two copies of Lady Beware, I ordered one from Chapters and then bought one at Coles because I couldn’t wait for the mail. It was wonderful.

    Reply
  103. I love the look and sound of the Valancourt books; imagine reading them at night in a draughty room with a flickering candle! My favourite title is “Edgar: or The Phantom of the Castle.” I can’t picture an Edgar as a castle phantom.
    Oh well. And I don’t need to be in a draw for any Jo books I have them all (except those darn old regencies that are out of print!) I loved Lady Beware but my favourite Rogue book has to be An Unwilling Bride but only by a smidge! My favourite Jo character is Elf Maloren. I have two copies of Lady Beware, I ordered one from Chapters and then bought one at Coles because I couldn’t wait for the mail. It was wonderful.

    Reply
  104. I love the look and sound of the Valancourt books; imagine reading them at night in a draughty room with a flickering candle! My favourite title is “Edgar: or The Phantom of the Castle.” I can’t picture an Edgar as a castle phantom.
    Oh well. And I don’t need to be in a draw for any Jo books I have them all (except those darn old regencies that are out of print!) I loved Lady Beware but my favourite Rogue book has to be An Unwilling Bride but only by a smidge! My favourite Jo character is Elf Maloren. I have two copies of Lady Beware, I ordered one from Chapters and then bought one at Coles because I couldn’t wait for the mail. It was wonderful.

    Reply
  105. I love the look and sound of the Valancourt books; imagine reading them at night in a draughty room with a flickering candle! My favourite title is “Edgar: or The Phantom of the Castle.” I can’t picture an Edgar as a castle phantom.
    Oh well. And I don’t need to be in a draw for any Jo books I have them all (except those darn old regencies that are out of print!) I loved Lady Beware but my favourite Rogue book has to be An Unwilling Bride but only by a smidge! My favourite Jo character is Elf Maloren. I have two copies of Lady Beware, I ordered one from Chapters and then bought one at Coles because I couldn’t wait for the mail. It was wonderful.

    Reply
  106. I’m not a real fan of the gothic theme or horror in general. However, I do like historical romance with some (a few)gothic elements, just enough to set it apart from others and add a little suspence. I mainly read when everyone else has gone to bed, so I don’t like to be scared as I read.

    Reply
  107. I’m not a real fan of the gothic theme or horror in general. However, I do like historical romance with some (a few)gothic elements, just enough to set it apart from others and add a little suspence. I mainly read when everyone else has gone to bed, so I don’t like to be scared as I read.

    Reply
  108. I’m not a real fan of the gothic theme or horror in general. However, I do like historical romance with some (a few)gothic elements, just enough to set it apart from others and add a little suspence. I mainly read when everyone else has gone to bed, so I don’t like to be scared as I read.

    Reply
  109. I’m not a real fan of the gothic theme or horror in general. However, I do like historical romance with some (a few)gothic elements, just enough to set it apart from others and add a little suspence. I mainly read when everyone else has gone to bed, so I don’t like to be scared as I read.

    Reply
  110. I’m not a real fan of the gothic theme or horror in general. However, I do like historical romance with some (a few)gothic elements, just enough to set it apart from others and add a little suspence. I mainly read when everyone else has gone to bed, so I don’t like to be scared as I read.

    Reply
  111. “”Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible . . .””
    I actually really love that story despite the horrors and their horrible solution – go figure.

    Reply
  112. “”Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible . . .””
    I actually really love that story despite the horrors and their horrible solution – go figure.

    Reply
  113. “”Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible . . .””
    I actually really love that story despite the horrors and their horrible solution – go figure.

    Reply
  114. “”Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible . . .””
    I actually really love that story despite the horrors and their horrible solution – go figure.

    Reply
  115. “”Someone told me my “blighters” in “The Trouble With Heroes…” were too horrible . . .””
    I actually really love that story despite the horrors and their horrible solution – go figure.

    Reply
  116. On the Minerva Press list, sometimes there are reviews. Here’s one.
    KIDDERSLAW, Johanson [pseud?]; MACKENZIE, Anna Maria (trans?). Swedish Mysteries (1801)
    Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Apr 1802): 476.
    “We have not leisure to examine whether this novel be really a translation from the Swedish, or whether it be the original production of him who calls himself the translator. The narrative is sufficiently gloomy, and the language sufficiently turgid, to warrant a belief that it is the offspring of some northern author. It will, most likely, amuse for two or three months those who search after novelty; and then, like its brethren, it will be forgotten.”
    I find this so similar to modern notions. First, there don’t seem to have been that many reviews of Minerva novels, but this one appears to be by a man. Is that why it was so favored?
    But of course, being a “little book” it will soon be forgotten.
    It’s sort of funny that a British publication expects turgid gloom from a “northern” author. There’s another reason for Sicily. Heat!
    Jo

    Reply
  117. On the Minerva Press list, sometimes there are reviews. Here’s one.
    KIDDERSLAW, Johanson [pseud?]; MACKENZIE, Anna Maria (trans?). Swedish Mysteries (1801)
    Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Apr 1802): 476.
    “We have not leisure to examine whether this novel be really a translation from the Swedish, or whether it be the original production of him who calls himself the translator. The narrative is sufficiently gloomy, and the language sufficiently turgid, to warrant a belief that it is the offspring of some northern author. It will, most likely, amuse for two or three months those who search after novelty; and then, like its brethren, it will be forgotten.”
    I find this so similar to modern notions. First, there don’t seem to have been that many reviews of Minerva novels, but this one appears to be by a man. Is that why it was so favored?
    But of course, being a “little book” it will soon be forgotten.
    It’s sort of funny that a British publication expects turgid gloom from a “northern” author. There’s another reason for Sicily. Heat!
    Jo

    Reply
  118. On the Minerva Press list, sometimes there are reviews. Here’s one.
    KIDDERSLAW, Johanson [pseud?]; MACKENZIE, Anna Maria (trans?). Swedish Mysteries (1801)
    Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Apr 1802): 476.
    “We have not leisure to examine whether this novel be really a translation from the Swedish, or whether it be the original production of him who calls himself the translator. The narrative is sufficiently gloomy, and the language sufficiently turgid, to warrant a belief that it is the offspring of some northern author. It will, most likely, amuse for two or three months those who search after novelty; and then, like its brethren, it will be forgotten.”
    I find this so similar to modern notions. First, there don’t seem to have been that many reviews of Minerva novels, but this one appears to be by a man. Is that why it was so favored?
    But of course, being a “little book” it will soon be forgotten.
    It’s sort of funny that a British publication expects turgid gloom from a “northern” author. There’s another reason for Sicily. Heat!
    Jo

    Reply
  119. On the Minerva Press list, sometimes there are reviews. Here’s one.
    KIDDERSLAW, Johanson [pseud?]; MACKENZIE, Anna Maria (trans?). Swedish Mysteries (1801)
    Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Apr 1802): 476.
    “We have not leisure to examine whether this novel be really a translation from the Swedish, or whether it be the original production of him who calls himself the translator. The narrative is sufficiently gloomy, and the language sufficiently turgid, to warrant a belief that it is the offspring of some northern author. It will, most likely, amuse for two or three months those who search after novelty; and then, like its brethren, it will be forgotten.”
    I find this so similar to modern notions. First, there don’t seem to have been that many reviews of Minerva novels, but this one appears to be by a man. Is that why it was so favored?
    But of course, being a “little book” it will soon be forgotten.
    It’s sort of funny that a British publication expects turgid gloom from a “northern” author. There’s another reason for Sicily. Heat!
    Jo

    Reply
  120. On the Minerva Press list, sometimes there are reviews. Here’s one.
    KIDDERSLAW, Johanson [pseud?]; MACKENZIE, Anna Maria (trans?). Swedish Mysteries (1801)
    Critical Review, 2nd ser. 34 (Apr 1802): 476.
    “We have not leisure to examine whether this novel be really a translation from the Swedish, or whether it be the original production of him who calls himself the translator. The narrative is sufficiently gloomy, and the language sufficiently turgid, to warrant a belief that it is the offspring of some northern author. It will, most likely, amuse for two or three months those who search after novelty; and then, like its brethren, it will be forgotten.”
    I find this so similar to modern notions. First, there don’t seem to have been that many reviews of Minerva novels, but this one appears to be by a man. Is that why it was so favored?
    But of course, being a “little book” it will soon be forgotten.
    It’s sort of funny that a British publication expects turgid gloom from a “northern” author. There’s another reason for Sicily. Heat!
    Jo

    Reply
  121. Oh, sheesh, I’d better stop looking at the reviews there.
    ARMSTRONG, Leslie. Anglo-Saxons, The (1806) (Notes that this is a man.)
    Flowers of Literature (1806): 495.
    “This is an historical novel, a kind more interesting and edifying than any other. The author is an elegant writer, and by this work of fancy has shewn himself capable of greater performances. Romance writing is certainly below his talents.”
    Haven’t we heard that one before, too?
    Jo, off to do something more useful.

    Reply
  122. Oh, sheesh, I’d better stop looking at the reviews there.
    ARMSTRONG, Leslie. Anglo-Saxons, The (1806) (Notes that this is a man.)
    Flowers of Literature (1806): 495.
    “This is an historical novel, a kind more interesting and edifying than any other. The author is an elegant writer, and by this work of fancy has shewn himself capable of greater performances. Romance writing is certainly below his talents.”
    Haven’t we heard that one before, too?
    Jo, off to do something more useful.

    Reply
  123. Oh, sheesh, I’d better stop looking at the reviews there.
    ARMSTRONG, Leslie. Anglo-Saxons, The (1806) (Notes that this is a man.)
    Flowers of Literature (1806): 495.
    “This is an historical novel, a kind more interesting and edifying than any other. The author is an elegant writer, and by this work of fancy has shewn himself capable of greater performances. Romance writing is certainly below his talents.”
    Haven’t we heard that one before, too?
    Jo, off to do something more useful.

    Reply
  124. Oh, sheesh, I’d better stop looking at the reviews there.
    ARMSTRONG, Leslie. Anglo-Saxons, The (1806) (Notes that this is a man.)
    Flowers of Literature (1806): 495.
    “This is an historical novel, a kind more interesting and edifying than any other. The author is an elegant writer, and by this work of fancy has shewn himself capable of greater performances. Romance writing is certainly below his talents.”
    Haven’t we heard that one before, too?
    Jo, off to do something more useful.

    Reply
  125. Oh, sheesh, I’d better stop looking at the reviews there.
    ARMSTRONG, Leslie. Anglo-Saxons, The (1806) (Notes that this is a man.)
    Flowers of Literature (1806): 495.
    “This is an historical novel, a kind more interesting and edifying than any other. The author is an elegant writer, and by this work of fancy has shewn himself capable of greater performances. Romance writing is certainly below his talents.”
    Haven’t we heard that one before, too?
    Jo, off to do something more useful.

    Reply
  126. Is there a place called Ircaster? Because Ircastrensis would mean ‘of Ircaster’.
    It has to do with castrum, the Latin word for army camp, not castration. Castellum, from which English derived castle, is a diminutive of castrum. So you could think of that. Though castles always make me think of fighting and war, so that’s not much of an improvement.
    I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was: castrensis, of the army camp.
    There were of course plenty of army camps in Roman Britain and there are many place names deriving from them. The only two I can think of straight off are Lancaster and Doncaster, but there are bound to be more. So, does anyone know of an Ircaster?

    Reply
  127. Is there a place called Ircaster? Because Ircastrensis would mean ‘of Ircaster’.
    It has to do with castrum, the Latin word for army camp, not castration. Castellum, from which English derived castle, is a diminutive of castrum. So you could think of that. Though castles always make me think of fighting and war, so that’s not much of an improvement.
    I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was: castrensis, of the army camp.
    There were of course plenty of army camps in Roman Britain and there are many place names deriving from them. The only two I can think of straight off are Lancaster and Doncaster, but there are bound to be more. So, does anyone know of an Ircaster?

    Reply
  128. Is there a place called Ircaster? Because Ircastrensis would mean ‘of Ircaster’.
    It has to do with castrum, the Latin word for army camp, not castration. Castellum, from which English derived castle, is a diminutive of castrum. So you could think of that. Though castles always make me think of fighting and war, so that’s not much of an improvement.
    I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was: castrensis, of the army camp.
    There were of course plenty of army camps in Roman Britain and there are many place names deriving from them. The only two I can think of straight off are Lancaster and Doncaster, but there are bound to be more. So, does anyone know of an Ircaster?

    Reply
  129. Is there a place called Ircaster? Because Ircastrensis would mean ‘of Ircaster’.
    It has to do with castrum, the Latin word for army camp, not castration. Castellum, from which English derived castle, is a diminutive of castrum. So you could think of that. Though castles always make me think of fighting and war, so that’s not much of an improvement.
    I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was: castrensis, of the army camp.
    There were of course plenty of army camps in Roman Britain and there are many place names deriving from them. The only two I can think of straight off are Lancaster and Doncaster, but there are bound to be more. So, does anyone know of an Ircaster?

    Reply
  130. Is there a place called Ircaster? Because Ircastrensis would mean ‘of Ircaster’.
    It has to do with castrum, the Latin word for army camp, not castration. Castellum, from which English derived castle, is a diminutive of castrum. So you could think of that. Though castles always make me think of fighting and war, so that’s not much of an improvement.
    I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was: castrensis, of the army camp.
    There were of course plenty of army camps in Roman Britain and there are many place names deriving from them. The only two I can think of straight off are Lancaster and Doncaster, but there are bound to be more. So, does anyone know of an Ircaster?

    Reply
  131. I loved Mary Stewart, and recently enjoyed a Jane Yolen gothic in the Best New Paranormal Romance collection (the 2nd volume is more accurately called Best New Romantic Fantasy). Anne McCaffrey’s gothics are similar. All of these use the classic setup (girl in remote place, surly male character, things that go bump in the night) but leave out the creepiest accouterments of the story. (The Yolen was the creepiest, and it was pretty mild as gothics go.)
    I’m not sure if this subgenre of gothics has a name, but I’ve come to think of its defining characteristic as a focus on things unspoken, often unseen. The events and the romance are very atmospheric, with that aura of things understood under the surface levels of consciousness.
    Of course, some of the effect in Stewart’s case may be due to the era: she created the atmosphere and the sexual tension using layers of symbols and pacing, rather than spelling it all out. But that too is part of the charm: it creates a rich story that strongly depends on the reader’s active participation in fleshing out the undercurrents.
    I really enjoy the style, because there’s so much left up to the reader’s imagination. This, in marked contrast to genre romance that spells out every event and emotion like case notes from a psychologist’s couch. And also in contrast to some of the heavier-handed gothics that spell out everything that has emotive content or shock value.

    Reply
  132. I loved Mary Stewart, and recently enjoyed a Jane Yolen gothic in the Best New Paranormal Romance collection (the 2nd volume is more accurately called Best New Romantic Fantasy). Anne McCaffrey’s gothics are similar. All of these use the classic setup (girl in remote place, surly male character, things that go bump in the night) but leave out the creepiest accouterments of the story. (The Yolen was the creepiest, and it was pretty mild as gothics go.)
    I’m not sure if this subgenre of gothics has a name, but I’ve come to think of its defining characteristic as a focus on things unspoken, often unseen. The events and the romance are very atmospheric, with that aura of things understood under the surface levels of consciousness.
    Of course, some of the effect in Stewart’s case may be due to the era: she created the atmosphere and the sexual tension using layers of symbols and pacing, rather than spelling it all out. But that too is part of the charm: it creates a rich story that strongly depends on the reader’s active participation in fleshing out the undercurrents.
    I really enjoy the style, because there’s so much left up to the reader’s imagination. This, in marked contrast to genre romance that spells out every event and emotion like case notes from a psychologist’s couch. And also in contrast to some of the heavier-handed gothics that spell out everything that has emotive content or shock value.

    Reply
  133. I loved Mary Stewart, and recently enjoyed a Jane Yolen gothic in the Best New Paranormal Romance collection (the 2nd volume is more accurately called Best New Romantic Fantasy). Anne McCaffrey’s gothics are similar. All of these use the classic setup (girl in remote place, surly male character, things that go bump in the night) but leave out the creepiest accouterments of the story. (The Yolen was the creepiest, and it was pretty mild as gothics go.)
    I’m not sure if this subgenre of gothics has a name, but I’ve come to think of its defining characteristic as a focus on things unspoken, often unseen. The events and the romance are very atmospheric, with that aura of things understood under the surface levels of consciousness.
    Of course, some of the effect in Stewart’s case may be due to the era: she created the atmosphere and the sexual tension using layers of symbols and pacing, rather than spelling it all out. But that too is part of the charm: it creates a rich story that strongly depends on the reader’s active participation in fleshing out the undercurrents.
    I really enjoy the style, because there’s so much left up to the reader’s imagination. This, in marked contrast to genre romance that spells out every event and emotion like case notes from a psychologist’s couch. And also in contrast to some of the heavier-handed gothics that spell out everything that has emotive content or shock value.

    Reply
  134. I loved Mary Stewart, and recently enjoyed a Jane Yolen gothic in the Best New Paranormal Romance collection (the 2nd volume is more accurately called Best New Romantic Fantasy). Anne McCaffrey’s gothics are similar. All of these use the classic setup (girl in remote place, surly male character, things that go bump in the night) but leave out the creepiest accouterments of the story. (The Yolen was the creepiest, and it was pretty mild as gothics go.)
    I’m not sure if this subgenre of gothics has a name, but I’ve come to think of its defining characteristic as a focus on things unspoken, often unseen. The events and the romance are very atmospheric, with that aura of things understood under the surface levels of consciousness.
    Of course, some of the effect in Stewart’s case may be due to the era: she created the atmosphere and the sexual tension using layers of symbols and pacing, rather than spelling it all out. But that too is part of the charm: it creates a rich story that strongly depends on the reader’s active participation in fleshing out the undercurrents.
    I really enjoy the style, because there’s so much left up to the reader’s imagination. This, in marked contrast to genre romance that spells out every event and emotion like case notes from a psychologist’s couch. And also in contrast to some of the heavier-handed gothics that spell out everything that has emotive content or shock value.

    Reply
  135. I loved Mary Stewart, and recently enjoyed a Jane Yolen gothic in the Best New Paranormal Romance collection (the 2nd volume is more accurately called Best New Romantic Fantasy). Anne McCaffrey’s gothics are similar. All of these use the classic setup (girl in remote place, surly male character, things that go bump in the night) but leave out the creepiest accouterments of the story. (The Yolen was the creepiest, and it was pretty mild as gothics go.)
    I’m not sure if this subgenre of gothics has a name, but I’ve come to think of its defining characteristic as a focus on things unspoken, often unseen. The events and the romance are very atmospheric, with that aura of things understood under the surface levels of consciousness.
    Of course, some of the effect in Stewart’s case may be due to the era: she created the atmosphere and the sexual tension using layers of symbols and pacing, rather than spelling it all out. But that too is part of the charm: it creates a rich story that strongly depends on the reader’s active participation in fleshing out the undercurrents.
    I really enjoy the style, because there’s so much left up to the reader’s imagination. This, in marked contrast to genre romance that spells out every event and emotion like case notes from a psychologist’s couch. And also in contrast to some of the heavier-handed gothics that spell out everything that has emotive content or shock value.

    Reply
  136. Jo here.
    Good point, Ingrid, about castles. It sounds close to Lancastrium, near where I was born. It could just be a transciption error somewhere along the line.
    RfP, interesting angle on gothics. I do think the Harl. Presents line is close, but without the supernatural. I’ve hardly read any for years, so anyone more up to date please comment, but the plot usually isolates the 21st century woman in the power of a surly man, which is half of it.
    Of course that was very popular in historical romances not that long ago, whereas now heroines tend to have interfering families.
    Or is that true?
    I think leaving much to the imagination is a style that crosses genres, however. It’s more obvious if there are paranormal elements because the reader can’t make so many assumptions, but it can be there in anything.
    It’s very much there in Dorothy Dunnett, while other details are clear.
    Fascinating spin offs, but I have to go and work.Feel free to discuss one another’s points!
    Jo

    Reply
  137. Jo here.
    Good point, Ingrid, about castles. It sounds close to Lancastrium, near where I was born. It could just be a transciption error somewhere along the line.
    RfP, interesting angle on gothics. I do think the Harl. Presents line is close, but without the supernatural. I’ve hardly read any for years, so anyone more up to date please comment, but the plot usually isolates the 21st century woman in the power of a surly man, which is half of it.
    Of course that was very popular in historical romances not that long ago, whereas now heroines tend to have interfering families.
    Or is that true?
    I think leaving much to the imagination is a style that crosses genres, however. It’s more obvious if there are paranormal elements because the reader can’t make so many assumptions, but it can be there in anything.
    It’s very much there in Dorothy Dunnett, while other details are clear.
    Fascinating spin offs, but I have to go and work.Feel free to discuss one another’s points!
    Jo

    Reply
  138. Jo here.
    Good point, Ingrid, about castles. It sounds close to Lancastrium, near where I was born. It could just be a transciption error somewhere along the line.
    RfP, interesting angle on gothics. I do think the Harl. Presents line is close, but without the supernatural. I’ve hardly read any for years, so anyone more up to date please comment, but the plot usually isolates the 21st century woman in the power of a surly man, which is half of it.
    Of course that was very popular in historical romances not that long ago, whereas now heroines tend to have interfering families.
    Or is that true?
    I think leaving much to the imagination is a style that crosses genres, however. It’s more obvious if there are paranormal elements because the reader can’t make so many assumptions, but it can be there in anything.
    It’s very much there in Dorothy Dunnett, while other details are clear.
    Fascinating spin offs, but I have to go and work.Feel free to discuss one another’s points!
    Jo

    Reply
  139. Jo here.
    Good point, Ingrid, about castles. It sounds close to Lancastrium, near where I was born. It could just be a transciption error somewhere along the line.
    RfP, interesting angle on gothics. I do think the Harl. Presents line is close, but without the supernatural. I’ve hardly read any for years, so anyone more up to date please comment, but the plot usually isolates the 21st century woman in the power of a surly man, which is half of it.
    Of course that was very popular in historical romances not that long ago, whereas now heroines tend to have interfering families.
    Or is that true?
    I think leaving much to the imagination is a style that crosses genres, however. It’s more obvious if there are paranormal elements because the reader can’t make so many assumptions, but it can be there in anything.
    It’s very much there in Dorothy Dunnett, while other details are clear.
    Fascinating spin offs, but I have to go and work.Feel free to discuss one another’s points!
    Jo

    Reply
  140. Jo here.
    Good point, Ingrid, about castles. It sounds close to Lancastrium, near where I was born. It could just be a transciption error somewhere along the line.
    RfP, interesting angle on gothics. I do think the Harl. Presents line is close, but without the supernatural. I’ve hardly read any for years, so anyone more up to date please comment, but the plot usually isolates the 21st century woman in the power of a surly man, which is half of it.
    Of course that was very popular in historical romances not that long ago, whereas now heroines tend to have interfering families.
    Or is that true?
    I think leaving much to the imagination is a style that crosses genres, however. It’s more obvious if there are paranormal elements because the reader can’t make so many assumptions, but it can be there in anything.
    It’s very much there in Dorothy Dunnett, while other details are clear.
    Fascinating spin offs, but I have to go and work.Feel free to discuss one another’s points!
    Jo

    Reply
  141. Gothic Romances were the first books I read when I stopped reading YA fiction, so they take up a huge space in my heart, and truly, when current romances grow dissatisfying, I can always turn to a good gothic romance.
    But the plots don’t work too well in today’s landscape, which is why a few of my plots are reverse gothics–the heroine is the one with the dangerous, mysterious past that bewilders and intrigues the hero. *g*

    Reply
  142. Gothic Romances were the first books I read when I stopped reading YA fiction, so they take up a huge space in my heart, and truly, when current romances grow dissatisfying, I can always turn to a good gothic romance.
    But the plots don’t work too well in today’s landscape, which is why a few of my plots are reverse gothics–the heroine is the one with the dangerous, mysterious past that bewilders and intrigues the hero. *g*

    Reply
  143. Gothic Romances were the first books I read when I stopped reading YA fiction, so they take up a huge space in my heart, and truly, when current romances grow dissatisfying, I can always turn to a good gothic romance.
    But the plots don’t work too well in today’s landscape, which is why a few of my plots are reverse gothics–the heroine is the one with the dangerous, mysterious past that bewilders and intrigues the hero. *g*

    Reply
  144. Gothic Romances were the first books I read when I stopped reading YA fiction, so they take up a huge space in my heart, and truly, when current romances grow dissatisfying, I can always turn to a good gothic romance.
    But the plots don’t work too well in today’s landscape, which is why a few of my plots are reverse gothics–the heroine is the one with the dangerous, mysterious past that bewilders and intrigues the hero. *g*

    Reply
  145. Gothic Romances were the first books I read when I stopped reading YA fiction, so they take up a huge space in my heart, and truly, when current romances grow dissatisfying, I can always turn to a good gothic romance.
    But the plots don’t work too well in today’s landscape, which is why a few of my plots are reverse gothics–the heroine is the one with the dangerous, mysterious past that bewilders and intrigues the hero. *g*

    Reply
  146. Most intriguing: Curios… not the title so much as the blurb. Sounds like an entertaining book.
    (Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)
    No, I think good detail is a result of the knowledge and experience of the writer. (Heyer had tons of fascinating detail.) Detail is just another layer that has to be worked in. I wonder… Are new writers, unless they are historians, less likely to have quite so much detail? If this is so, do they have to be particularly good at writing in a ‘historical’ style, or risk reading like a contemporary romance dressed up in old-fashioned clothing?
    I can’t think of an instance where historical detail was too much for me.

    Reply
  147. Most intriguing: Curios… not the title so much as the blurb. Sounds like an entertaining book.
    (Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)
    No, I think good detail is a result of the knowledge and experience of the writer. (Heyer had tons of fascinating detail.) Detail is just another layer that has to be worked in. I wonder… Are new writers, unless they are historians, less likely to have quite so much detail? If this is so, do they have to be particularly good at writing in a ‘historical’ style, or risk reading like a contemporary romance dressed up in old-fashioned clothing?
    I can’t think of an instance where historical detail was too much for me.

    Reply
  148. Most intriguing: Curios… not the title so much as the blurb. Sounds like an entertaining book.
    (Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)
    No, I think good detail is a result of the knowledge and experience of the writer. (Heyer had tons of fascinating detail.) Detail is just another layer that has to be worked in. I wonder… Are new writers, unless they are historians, less likely to have quite so much detail? If this is so, do they have to be particularly good at writing in a ‘historical’ style, or risk reading like a contemporary romance dressed up in old-fashioned clothing?
    I can’t think of an instance where historical detail was too much for me.

    Reply
  149. Most intriguing: Curios… not the title so much as the blurb. Sounds like an entertaining book.
    (Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)
    No, I think good detail is a result of the knowledge and experience of the writer. (Heyer had tons of fascinating detail.) Detail is just another layer that has to be worked in. I wonder… Are new writers, unless they are historians, less likely to have quite so much detail? If this is so, do they have to be particularly good at writing in a ‘historical’ style, or risk reading like a contemporary romance dressed up in old-fashioned clothing?
    I can’t think of an instance where historical detail was too much for me.

    Reply
  150. Most intriguing: Curios… not the title so much as the blurb. Sounds like an entertaining book.
    (Question. Do you think the ready access to so much detail has affected the style of romance novels? Is there sometimes too much for the story?)
    No, I think good detail is a result of the knowledge and experience of the writer. (Heyer had tons of fascinating detail.) Detail is just another layer that has to be worked in. I wonder… Are new writers, unless they are historians, less likely to have quite so much detail? If this is so, do they have to be particularly good at writing in a ‘historical’ style, or risk reading like a contemporary romance dressed up in old-fashioned clothing?
    I can’t think of an instance where historical detail was too much for me.

    Reply
  151. The Magic Goblet does have a gorgeous cover and sounds intriguing. I have read and enjoyed gothic romances but I never enjoyed reading horror stories. My husband read Stephen King’s It and had trouble sleeping, imagining Penny Wise hiding somewhere.

    Reply
  152. The Magic Goblet does have a gorgeous cover and sounds intriguing. I have read and enjoyed gothic romances but I never enjoyed reading horror stories. My husband read Stephen King’s It and had trouble sleeping, imagining Penny Wise hiding somewhere.

    Reply
  153. The Magic Goblet does have a gorgeous cover and sounds intriguing. I have read and enjoyed gothic romances but I never enjoyed reading horror stories. My husband read Stephen King’s It and had trouble sleeping, imagining Penny Wise hiding somewhere.

    Reply
  154. The Magic Goblet does have a gorgeous cover and sounds intriguing. I have read and enjoyed gothic romances but I never enjoyed reading horror stories. My husband read Stephen King’s It and had trouble sleeping, imagining Penny Wise hiding somewhere.

    Reply
  155. The Magic Goblet does have a gorgeous cover and sounds intriguing. I have read and enjoyed gothic romances but I never enjoyed reading horror stories. My husband read Stephen King’s It and had trouble sleeping, imagining Penny Wise hiding somewhere.

    Reply
  156. I enjoy gothics and coccasionally I will enjoy a horror book from someone like Dean Koontz but I am by no means addicted to horror. Too much of a scaredy cat for that and I like to sleep at night.

    Reply
  157. I enjoy gothics and coccasionally I will enjoy a horror book from someone like Dean Koontz but I am by no means addicted to horror. Too much of a scaredy cat for that and I like to sleep at night.

    Reply
  158. I enjoy gothics and coccasionally I will enjoy a horror book from someone like Dean Koontz but I am by no means addicted to horror. Too much of a scaredy cat for that and I like to sleep at night.

    Reply
  159. I enjoy gothics and coccasionally I will enjoy a horror book from someone like Dean Koontz but I am by no means addicted to horror. Too much of a scaredy cat for that and I like to sleep at night.

    Reply
  160. I enjoy gothics and coccasionally I will enjoy a horror book from someone like Dean Koontz but I am by no means addicted to horror. Too much of a scaredy cat for that and I like to sleep at night.

    Reply
  161. I like “The Necromancer” and “The Forest of Valancourt”. I would type more but my break is over. Great post!

    Reply
  162. I like “The Necromancer” and “The Forest of Valancourt”. I would type more but my break is over. Great post!

    Reply
  163. I like “The Necromancer” and “The Forest of Valancourt”. I would type more but my break is over. Great post!

    Reply
  164. I like “The Necromancer” and “The Forest of Valancourt”. I would type more but my break is over. Great post!

    Reply
  165. I like “The Necromancer” and “The Forest of Valancourt”. I would type more but my break is over. Great post!

    Reply
  166. Here’s Jo, back from the fray. A bit of work, an interview with someone from the local paper, and — ack! — a photographer. I wonder what I’ll end up looking like.
    Great points, everyone.But I forgoct to ask, how many regency heroines read gothics and Minerva novels, in your experience, and how does it affect their reaction to the book?
    I did a novella called Forbidden Affections about a young heroine who finds herself in a house once owned by the author of her favorite novel, Forbidden Affections. She was very much affected.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  167. Here’s Jo, back from the fray. A bit of work, an interview with someone from the local paper, and — ack! — a photographer. I wonder what I’ll end up looking like.
    Great points, everyone.But I forgoct to ask, how many regency heroines read gothics and Minerva novels, in your experience, and how does it affect their reaction to the book?
    I did a novella called Forbidden Affections about a young heroine who finds herself in a house once owned by the author of her favorite novel, Forbidden Affections. She was very much affected.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  168. Here’s Jo, back from the fray. A bit of work, an interview with someone from the local paper, and — ack! — a photographer. I wonder what I’ll end up looking like.
    Great points, everyone.But I forgoct to ask, how many regency heroines read gothics and Minerva novels, in your experience, and how does it affect their reaction to the book?
    I did a novella called Forbidden Affections about a young heroine who finds herself in a house once owned by the author of her favorite novel, Forbidden Affections. She was very much affected.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  169. Here’s Jo, back from the fray. A bit of work, an interview with someone from the local paper, and — ack! — a photographer. I wonder what I’ll end up looking like.
    Great points, everyone.But I forgoct to ask, how many regency heroines read gothics and Minerva novels, in your experience, and how does it affect their reaction to the book?
    I did a novella called Forbidden Affections about a young heroine who finds herself in a house once owned by the author of her favorite novel, Forbidden Affections. She was very much affected.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  170. Here’s Jo, back from the fray. A bit of work, an interview with someone from the local paper, and — ack! — a photographer. I wonder what I’ll end up looking like.
    Great points, everyone.But I forgoct to ask, how many regency heroines read gothics and Minerva novels, in your experience, and how does it affect their reaction to the book?
    I did a novella called Forbidden Affections about a young heroine who finds herself in a house once owned by the author of her favorite novel, Forbidden Affections. She was very much affected.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  171. Jo: I loved that story, although I cringed at her very young age!It was great descriptive writing when she was exploring the house next door. I like the fact that heroines love Gothics. It adds an extra dimension to their character that we can relate to; after all we love romances and they are derided by the literay elite!

    Reply
  172. Jo: I loved that story, although I cringed at her very young age!It was great descriptive writing when she was exploring the house next door. I like the fact that heroines love Gothics. It adds an extra dimension to their character that we can relate to; after all we love romances and they are derided by the literay elite!

    Reply
  173. Jo: I loved that story, although I cringed at her very young age!It was great descriptive writing when she was exploring the house next door. I like the fact that heroines love Gothics. It adds an extra dimension to their character that we can relate to; after all we love romances and they are derided by the literay elite!

    Reply
  174. Jo: I loved that story, although I cringed at her very young age!It was great descriptive writing when she was exploring the house next door. I like the fact that heroines love Gothics. It adds an extra dimension to their character that we can relate to; after all we love romances and they are derided by the literay elite!

    Reply
  175. Jo: I loved that story, although I cringed at her very young age!It was great descriptive writing when she was exploring the house next door. I like the fact that heroines love Gothics. It adds an extra dimension to their character that we can relate to; after all we love romances and they are derided by the literay elite!

    Reply

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