This is one of those series screaming from my To-Be-Read shelf.
I am going to rectify that situation as soon as possible.
I am thrilled that Author Laura DiSilverio could stop by today for a visit.
I have enjoyed so many of her other books.
Gothic Novels–Gone for Good?
(Post provided by publicist.)
When I was a teenager, back in the Jurassic period (okay, the late 1970s),Gothic novels were hugely popular. I read them voraciously, entranced by atmospheric castles on the moors (or someplace equally remote), sinister servants, and heroines standing up to brooding heroes (or were they really the villains?). I read Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Joan Aiken and her sister Jane Aiken Hodge, Daphne duMaurier, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Eden, Philippa Carr, Mary Stewart, and many others. I hope those names ring a bell for some of you. They swept me up and entertained me, gave me something to look forward to after doing my Algebra homework, and comforted me when the objects of my crushes ignored my existence.
I’m not sure what attracted me to that variety of romantic suspense, but I think it had something to do with a young heroine, sometimes protecting a child (if she was a governess or new wife as many of the protagonists were), striking out on her own and emerging triumphant. (The fact that “triumph” in these books meant, at least in part, snaring the moody man of the moment was a non-feminist story chestnut that didn’t bother my teen self as much as it perhaps should have.) By the time I was in my twenties, though, these books had fallen out of popularity, and I was forced to find new reading material.
Amy-Faye Johnson and her Readaholics friends are taking part in a Celebration of Gothic Novels in my August release, The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala. In honor of their new adventure and classic gothic novels, I’m giving you a tongue-in-cheek list of the top five reasons Gothic novels went the way of the dodo.
5. No one can afford servants anymore. Butlers and housekeepers are thin on the ground these days. Without a Mrs. Danvers or two to persecute the heroine, or at least un-nerve her, the story doesn’t have the same tension.
4. The gloomy castles/mansions have been spruced up and turned into tourist attractions. With property values and taxes what they are, savvy castle owners have capitalized on their properties by inviting tourists in. Think of “Downton Abbey” (Highclere Castle). It would have made a lovely setting for a gothic novel, but the hordes of visitors asking “Where’s the loo?”really put a crimp in a budding romance.
3. Feminism. Fewer young women these days want to be governesses or private secretaries. They set their sights on jobs with better paychecks, more thrills, and bigger opportunities. They might be up for a one night stand with a dark-browed and inscrutable hero type, but unless he can mentor them into a CEO-ship or similar job, they’re unlikely to sign on for the long term.
2. Cell phones. Heroines trapped in burning houses by first wives we thought were dead, or pushed into oubliettes by mad uncles escaped from attics, can just dial 9-1-1. No heroics necessary.
1. The Internet. Today’s savvy heroine can Google her new employer before accepting that job on the isolated estate or tropical island and find out that his first four wives died under suspicious circumstances, get a look at just how remote the old manor house is via Google Earth, and see a floor plan including that secret room in the attic with a quick trip to Zillow.
Luckily, even if there aren’t many new gothic novels being published these days, we still have the classics to revisit.
The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala (A Book Club Mystery)
3rd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (August 2, 2016)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01839Q4IG
One sleuthing book club finds themselves in the midst of a gothic-esque mystery as they read Du Maurier’s Rebecca in the latest from the author of The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle.
Reading the gothic classic Rebecca already has the Readaholics spooked, and the chills only get worse when someone in town actually gives up the ghost….
Amy-Faye Johnson has her hands full coordinating the Celebration of Gothic Novels in Heaven, Colorado. The festivities start off smoothly, but the weekend is soon cursed with large egos, old resentments, and uninvited guests. Matters become truly grave when a dead body is found at the gothic-themed costume party.
The out-of-town authors claim not to know the victim, but Amy-Faye has doubts. With skeletons turning up in all of the suspects’ closets, Amy-Faye and the Readaholics must tap into their knowledge of gothic literature to find a killer who lurks in the shadows…
You can find out more about Laura and her books on her webpage here.
Writing As Ella Barrick
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The Reckoning Stones:
A Novel of Suspense
Setting – Colorado
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2015)
Cover Design – Lisa Novak
Paperback: 360 pages
E-Book ASIN: B013J68VZW
After accusing the pastor of her close-knit religious community of molesting her, fourteen-year-old Mercy Asher is branded a liar and publicly humiliated. She runs away on the night someone beats the pastor into a coma and kills his wife.
Two decades later, Mercy has become Iris Dashwood, an emotionally troubled but brilliant jeweler. She thinks she’s in control of her life until news of Pastor Matt’s miraculous awakening broadsides her and leaves her unable to design. Iris returns to Lone Pine, Colorado, determined to confront her past to restore her creativity.
Iris reconnects with her mother, best friend, and boyfriend who harbor secrets she must unearth to find a killer. In the final reckoning, the truth may cost more than she anticipates. Will it bring redemption…or devastation?
Lone Pine, Colorado is home to the Community. A religious group based out of the God’s Community of Believers and Disciples Church. Mercy Asher left Lone Pine and the Community behind after years of molestation by the pastor of the church. No one believed her when she confessed to her abuse and she was the one punished. She couldn’t stand to stay somewhere where it seemed even her own family thought she was lying. But someone must have knew she was telling the truth because on the night she ran away someone beat the pastor almost to death and his wife is found dead. The pastor has been in a coma ever since.
Mercy has moved on, traveling from place to place. She is Iris Dashwood now and has become a well known jeweler. She creates amazing pieces that are true works of art. Everything is going fine until she learns the pastor had a miracle recovery and after 20+ years later awakens from him coma. She is unable to think of anything else, her creativity is gone and she knows she has to confront the man who ruined her life. She hasn’t seen or communicated with her family and friends since the day she left. She has no idea what kind of welcome she will receive but she has to go back to Lone Pine.
This is a gripping story will serious topics. The cult like church, the abuse and molestation, secrets, lies and murder. I knew the author from her cozy mysteries. Let me tell you there is nothing cozy about this story. The people of Lone Pine had blind faith when it came to the pastors and the elders. They followed and were brainwashed and even those that knew the truth stood silent.
This has to be the best thing Laura DiSilverio has written. She grabs you by the collar with the prologue and doesn’t let go until the last word. The first twist was good but the last twist would rate a 10 on the Richter Scale.
I grieved for Mercy for what she endured and then suffered again as a young runaway. Her life was so tortured after what that man did to her and then to have no support from anyone until she connected with someone that saved her. She was saved but she was still so broken.
This story is one that will stick with you a long time, especially when you know places like Lone Pine actually exist.
Great character development and a super strong plot will definitely land this book on my Best Reads of 2015 list.
You can find out more about Laura and her books on her webpage here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”