Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sadly David Selby had come to expect this at most casting calls.

Sorry, I have had distractions, both worldly and other-worldly, that have kept me from my sworn mission of spreading the word about the art of Women Running From Houses.

Using Quentin's "Staircase Through Time" I plan to remedy the situation over the next few days. Make sure to check out my future-past posts.

Thanks to all of you who have voiced concern and sent their sympathies.

Olivia, the Tormented

Olivia the Tormented by Katheryn Kimbrough
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1976

Sage of the Phenwick Women

is one of the spellbinding novels in the greatest
series of gothic romances ever conceived -
You won't want to miss the others,
exclusively in Popular Library editions.

The ghostly spirit of Augusta Phenwick predicted that
the future bride of handsome, virile Joshua Phenwick
would be named Olivia - but now Joshua was forced to
choose between three incredibly tempting women who
bore that name. One was lovely, aristocratic Olivia
Loring. One was the captivating actress, Olivia Prit-
chard. And one was the breathtaking Italian noble-
woman, Olivia di Luca.

One of these women would make marriage a paradise.
One would make it a hell. One could well turn it into
a grave. But until the terrifying night in an ancient Eng-
lish manor when their true natures were unmasked, each
was a creature of menacing mystery, as against a glit-
tering background of high society and satanic intrigue,
the eeriest and most spellbinding chapter of the Phen-
wick saga mounted to its shattering climax ...

If it were me, I would rule out the chic that would make marriage hell. And the one who would, more than likely, turn it into a grave would definitely be out of the running. So, once again, where is the dilemma? Do men never use logic when picking a woman? Does nothing matter but looks? I mean really, I don't care how good looking a man is, if he is threatening me with a bottle of acid, I'm not going to find him hot.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Dark Shore

The Dark Shore by Susan Howatch
published by Fawcett Books
Copyright 1965

The Dark

The anonymous voice from the past
whispered into the receiver, "Welcome
home, Mr. Towers. Does your financée
know how you killed your first wife ten
years ago?"

Soon after Sarah moved into her new home
as the bride of charming, enigmatic Jon
Towers, some instinct warned her to run
for her life. Too many "accidents" were
beginning to plague her.

Sarah knew only that her husband's first
wife had plunged to her death from a
nearby cliff, under mysterious and ques-
tionable circumstances. Now someone was
trying to kill Sarah.

So, newlywed Sarah has an inside voice telling her to run. Could it be that some part of her knows that her "charming" new husband had something to do with his first wife's death? Could it be that Jon's home titters on the edge of a cliff. Could it be that she couldn't possible get cell service out there?

The fact is you can't put a biker-chick in white heels and a maxi skirt and expect her to be happy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dark Carnival

Dark Carnival by Maysie Greig
Cover Art by Lou Marchetti
published by Pyramid Books
Copyright 1950


The imposing form of Chateau Trione rose ominously
above a cold, lifeless cliff from which, too recently, a
young girl had plunged mysteriously to her death.

Shirley had come to the medieval chateau at the invita-
tion of her good friend Robert, Count de Revenau. She
had come to recuperate from a broken engagement, to
loll on the sun-drenched sands of the Riveriera and to lose
herself in the gaiety of Carnival time in Nice.

What had she to do with a terrible tragedy that belonged
to the past? Now - with new love so near - why did she
find herself inextricable drawn to the cliffs ... to mystery
... to death? (all very good questions)

Wow, Lou Marchetti did a great job on this cover. It just screams Italian film dubbed in English. How appropriate. Awesome.

Born in Italy in the 1920's, Lou Marchetti grew up in United States, becoming a freelance
illustrator and portrait painter. His illustrations graced the covers of numerous romance and pulp novels and magazines. His art was risqué, beautiful and truly memorable. There are many links to information on his art, including this one where there are posted image of his oil painting by his granddaughter


I want this book!

When he had run through the men in the boat, he had to look elsewhere.

Another fabulous piece!

Um ... I've interrupted you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Stranger at the Gate

The Stranger at the Gate by Jospehine Edgar
published by Pocket Books
Copyright 1973

Forbidden Legacy

As she drew nearer the great hall, Sarah
fought back the fear and dark memories that
had made her a stranger at its gates. Six years
ago she had been a baronet's daughter, and this
had been her home. Now, sixteen and father-
less, she was an actress begging her aunt, Lady
Sefton, to take her back.

But her aunt drove her away with the bitter
words that Sarah was not a Sefton, and worse,
that her true father was unknown.

Cruelly hurt, Sarah vowed there would come
a day of reckoning - when Lady Sefton would
be humbled and Sarah would again rule her
ancestral mansion.

It seems to me that Lady Sefton was justified is not really liking Sarah. Firstly, she is sixteen. No one can get along with a sixteen year old. Secondly, she is an actress and teenage actresses tend to be a bit self-centered. Add that to the fact that she is a power hunger bastard and I would have driven here away too.

Now publishing is an expensive business and so is marketing. There is a story that goes around in the industry of a man who says he wastes half of the money he spends on market but he just doesn't know which half. Well Pocket Books was too smart for that. If they were going to press anyway, they were going to sell a little ad space. And if they were going to sell ad space, they wanted to make sure it worked for their target audie

Who was their target audience? Well, let just say they covered all their bases.

The young.

The middle aged.

The old.

True marketing genius.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pretty Ones

The Pretty Ones by Dorothy Eden
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1957

Pretty Ones

on earth are they talking about?)

It seemed that nothing would ever
upset the joys of marriage for Emma and
her husband Barnaby, even though she
knew little about the man she had met
and married in a matter of weeks. (so what
exactly are you basing this eternal optimism on?)

Then the unpleasant rumors started
-that Barnaby's first wife disappeared
under sinister circumstances; that no one
really knew what happened to the two
pretty young governesses who simply
ran off without cause or explanation.

Emma trusted Barnaby; there were
no questions she could or would ask him.
But when a pathetic, lonely grave turned
up in the field, her loyalty to her brood-
ing, secretive husband gave way to cold,
hard fear ...

Okay, I knew my husband (Aaron Bias - See Silver Age Gold) pretty well when we got married. In fact, I could, with all confidence say I trusted him completely. (Oh to be 21 and naive again) but I would have to say, I would not have had any hesitation is suspecting that he was responsible for a mass grave in my backyard even without all the suspicious circumstances surrounding this guy.

I mean really. Mysterious disappearances, brooding, secretiveness? Emma, that ugly shirt isn't going to save you from having your neck broken.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Darkest Room

The Darkest Room by Grace Corren
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1969

Touch of The Dead

Toby had been Anne Gunther's first and
only love - but Toby was three years dead,
killed in a tragic car crash (as opposed to a comic one?)
for which Anne still felt responsible. But was Toby
dead? Or was he still with her, unwilling to
let her know peace as long as she still
lived the life of which he had been
deprived? (sounds kind of like a jerk)
Anne tried to escape to Edith
Allen's country house, but no matter where
she went, how far she traveled, she could
not escape from herself. She saw Toby in
every stranger, in every darkened room,
until she thought that she must be losing
her mind. The old house that was to have
been a refuge soon became a prison -
and then fantasy turned to reality as some-
one in the Allen house tried to kill her! (okay, so was
she even invited)
Was that someone motivated by living
hatred for this girl who was a stranger in
their midst - or was it the ghost of Toby,
who could not rest until Anne joined
him in eternity?

We finally have a woman smart enough to run from a house wearing a sensible matching pant and top active wear set and she doesn't think to wear shoes, or a bra for that matter! Did she leave these items in the darkest room and was unable to find them? Is Toby really such a jerk as to resent her being alive? And, if so, what was Toby's appeal to begin with? I think Anne must just go for the bad boys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Fear In Borzano

A Fear in Borzano by Willa Jay
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1966


From the moment she arrived in
Borzano, Sally Grant Knew that
something was wrong. (it's a
wonder she stayed then)
servants were strangely aloof,
the workmen were sullen, the
natives unfriendly. Everywhere
there was resentment against
the small party of Americans who
were transporting the Mazzini
castle to America - and who might
find the gold that was rumored
to be hidden in the castle walls.

but the greatest danger was not
from the people of Borzano -
it was from the something unseen,
something evil, that lurked within
the castle itself. Sally was the
first to sense it - it stalked her
like a soul-hungry demon. And
the time came when her only
protection was a scream!
in the night! (and how exactly would that help?)

Who would have thought that anyone would have a problem with Americans taking one of their country's landmarks and shipping it back home. Those damn foreigners with their "but that is part of my country's history", and their "that is part our heritage". If it really belongs to them, then why did God give Americans enough money to buy it? You don't have an answer to that do you?

This cover is awesome. I would swear I've seen that fountain outside of Collinwood. And exactly how long does a wine need to age in order to taste like terror and death?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Louise, the Restless

Louise, the Restless by Katheryn Kimbrough
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1978

is one of the spellbinding novels in the greatest
series of gothic romances ever conceived.
You won't want to miss the others,
all exclusively in Popular Library editions.

On the surface, Louise seemed the most perfect of Vic-
torian young ladies - a beautiful, talented, charming
creature, the apple of her physician father's eye, and a
seemingly untouchable ideal to the young suitors who
flocked around her.

Only Louise knew of the fever that burned in her blood,
turning her life into an inferno of forbidden desire ... for
a handsome, worldly aristocrat with too much sensual
experience and seductive skill to be trusted ... for a
dazzling concert pianist with a wife who refused to give
him up ... for any man who promised to quench the rag-
ging fires that threatened to consume all of Louise's
hopes and dreams. There had been many Phenwick
women before Louise - but none so blessed with every
grace, and so damned by a curse that turned passion to
peril and made love another word for fear ...

Wow, who would have suspected the inferno of lust that could not be doused even by a center part and hood. Looks like the boys in town have really beaten a path to Louise's door by the looks of those ... wagon tracks?

Oh those wacky Victorians! Clearly, Louise just needs to get laid.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moon Garden

Moon Garden by Jan Alexander
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1972


Fleeing from the tragedy of a loved-one's death, beau-
tiful Ellen Miles come to her aunt's Southern mansion to
regain her strength. Although she had only recently suf-
fered a nervous breakdown, Ellen found herself gradually
rediscovering life and romance - drawn to two handsome,
charming men and finding love with one of them.

Suddenly strange, terrifying events began to haunt her.
Were the mansion and its garden really possessed by
some diabolic force from the distance past? Or was Ellen's
illness slowly, subtly returning to poison her thoughts?

No one - not even the man she loved - believed her tales
of terror in the night. Was his affection genuine or merely
a means to keep her silent? Struggling against the dark
powers that engulfed her, Ellen began to doubt her own
sanity ...

QUEEN-SIZE GOTHICS are a new idea. They offer the very best in novels of romantic suspense, by the top writers, greater in length and drama, richer in reading pleasure. Each book is guaranteed to be: "READING FIT FOR A QUEEN"


There is something wrong in the logic that would ever bring someone recovering from a nervous breakdown to a dilapidated old plantation house that looks to be sinking into the swamp. The ambience just wouldn't be good for a fragile mind. Neither would a helmet of hair that looks totally too heavy and out of proportion to your head.

And what is up with all these women falling for jerks? Rule number one, if a guy doesn't believe you when you tell him something, he is probably not the guy for you. Rule number two, if you suspect a guy is dating you to "merely keep you silent" , he is probably not the guy for you. Rule number three, if a guy likes hanging out in a dilapidated old plantation house that looks to be sinking into a swamp, once again, he is probably not the guy for you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Faces of Fear

Two Faces of Fear by Julie Wellsley
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1971

Blood in the night ...

Seacliff House was ancient, a crumbling ruin
threatened to fall into the sea. The locals avoided it,
claiming that at best it was a house of evil and
at worst - they shuddered, and quickly changed the
subject. But Mary James could not change her
mind so readily. She had accepted the job as nurse to
Gerald Winchley in a desperate attempt to
escape from London and she could not let the fears
of superstitious natives drive her back to the city.
Then the first murder was committed, and the
blood ran free in the night. Was it a harbinger of
things to come - or was it intended as a special
warning to Mary? For the murderer - or murderers -
would not be content to stop now ... and Mary
seemed marked to be their next victim!

London must really suck for someone to prefer possible death to being there. I've never been to London but obviously I should avoid it in the future. AAA should start handing this one out as a travel brochure. Sure it wouldn't be good for their tourist industry but maybe London will think twice before being worse then being murdered.

This cover totally reminds me of a Nancy Drew cover. It could be the the upturned eyes, the clean cut look of Mary James or the face that looks to be piecing together clues but it's probably just Nancy Drew's rampant hatred of London.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Drifthaven by Dan Ross writing as Clarissa Ross
published by Avon Books
Copyright 1974

A Chilling
By An Actor's

When Jean finally regained consciousness in the
hospital, her brother-in-law Ian was at her bedside.
He explained that she'd been lying there unconscious
for five years as a result of the car crash that had
taken her husband Darrel's life.

Darrel had been a successful actor, but a
temperamental one and a hard drinker. Their
marriage had always been a stormy one. Right after
she left the hospital, Jean realized that her problems
with Darrel were far from over. Her husband's
ghost began to make frequent appearances. Jean was
soon aware that Darrel intended to kill her. But a
spirit surely couldn't do her real physical harm ...
or could it?

How many of you are guessing that it is actually going to be her brother-in-law Ian. He wants all the money her dead husband left to her. He probably had control of it while she was in a comma and, after five years, doesn't want to loose it.

But it seems to me that after five years in a comma you are bound to wake up with some sort of supernatural powers. I don't see any way around it. Maybe she can read your thoughts. Maybe she knows what is going to happen minutes before it does. Maybe she can send you flying across the room with only an evil stare. It's hard to say, but one thing for sure is nobody better mess with Jean. And not just because she has a tough-girl, Camel smokin', steal your boyfriend and then beat you up kind of name either.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Inheritance

The Inheritance by Daoma Winston
published by Avon Books
Copyright 1972

She was the heiress to
a chilling legacy -
a time of terror,
torment, and death

When Mary Ellen and her six relatives chose to live
in the bleak New England mansion they inherited,
a series of bizarre and baffling events occurred.
Soon, one by one, her relatives were mysteriously
killed. And slowly, Mary Ellen began to feel that
she had inherited something she never guessed -
something creeping up on her out of a maelstrom
of fear and trembling!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say stress. I think stress is killing her relatives. I can't imagine the expense of maintaining a house of that size, not to mention the amount of property taxes involved. Good lord. I'm stressed out about my own house expenses and my place is only about ... um ... well it's just a little smaller than her place, so I should know.

What a great cover. If I was ever to run from a house I would definitely wear a cape. And, if at all possible, a dress that matched the place. In fact I think I may take this book into my next hair appointment and ask Whitney to give me "the trembling heiress". I think this is a beautiful cover. Awesome!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Tuscany Madonna

The Tuscany Madonna by Miriam Canfield
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1965

a strange proposal

Strangely impelled by her
father, lovely, spirited
Denise de Bonneville accepts
the wealthy stranger
Brian Cowle's unorthodox
proposal of a 'Marriage
Blanc' - a union in name
only - to save the family's
ancestral chateau Les
Cedres, which houses the
priceless painting of
the Madonna by Raphael.
By authority of the family
will, the rare painting
can not be removed from
the estate.

Reluctantly, Denise returns
to the sullen and isolated
chateau which she feared
in her childhood. Now as
a bride - surrounded by
strangers and without the
protection of her beloved
parents - Denise senses
that Les Cedres is more
ominous and filled with
unexplicable (this is not my typo) danger.

When her withdrawn
husband locks himself
and the painting in his
private chambers, Denise
knows she must fight the
enigmatic forces which
engulf her ... She knows
she must unbolt to door
to survive.

Okay, this one just sounds good. It maybe because it has a little bit of "Night of Dark Shadows" going on with it.

The cover art has an odd finish to is but I like it. It also looks to be signed "Avalon".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cat's Prey

Cat's Prey by Dorothy Eden
published by Coronet Books
Copyright 1952

'No-one can suggest an eerie
atmosphere and the sinister trifle
better than Miss Dorothy Eden'

When Antonia arrived in Auckland, the voice that
warned her of danger over the telephone sounded
heavy and menacing. It decoyed her away from the
hotel - and while she was away someone searched her

When she eventually reached her cousin Simon's
house, were the noises she heard in the night those of
an imprisoned and terrified woman, or just echoes in a
mind stretched to exhaustion? Surely she wasn't
imagining the light in the deserted wing ... ?

That is two book in a row with someone being menaced via telephone. Do you think Dorothy Eden had some issues to work through?

Our cover artist appeared to have signed their work "GD" but I have had no luck tracking down any information on them. You've got to love the matching eye shadows and dress though and anytime you can have a font color match someone's hair it is truly marketing genius! But, quite frankly, I am disappointment that there isn't actually a cat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Afternoon Walk

An Afternoon Walk by Dorothy Eden
published by Fawcett Crest Books
Copyright 1971


shattered the peaceful sun-drenched afternoon.

The voice was the voice of a stranger. "Am I
speaking to Mrs. Simpson?"

"Yes," said Ella tensely, "I am Mrs. Simpson."

"The very lady I want. Just a word of advice,
love. Drive carefully."

The caller hung up abruptly.

Not that Ella would have wanted to talk to him.
She hated the sound of his voice. Very vulgar. But
why was he calling her all the time? Warning her?
About lots of things. Even about her small
daughter, Kitty.

"Do you know where Kitty is?" the voice

Her husband didn't believe a word of it. Told her
she was imagining things. That she was loony.

He also didn't believe about the old, empty house
she and Kitty had stumbled upon a few afternoons

But she had seen the house. And so had Kitty. And
now that she thought about it she realized that all
her troubles had begun with the visit to that house.

There was something dark and evil about the
place. Something terrible. But what? And who
would believe her even if she did find out?

Now I don't want to take sides here, but really, I'm sure her husband has some reason to not believe her. A person just doesn't up and decide to call their spouse a loon without some precedent. The poor man has probably been through all this before. He has probably struggle with it only to finally break down and accept that fact that his poor wife was crazy and very likely had passed the "crazy gene" town to their child.

How horrible for him. How utterly hopeless a place to find yourself, with no one to talk to but the loon herself.

Poor, poor Mr. Simpson.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Lute and the Glove

The Lute and the Glove by Katherine Wigmore Eyre
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1955

"Fine psychological
thriller ...
one of the best."

entertaining novel which holds the reader
in bone-thrilling suspense to the end as it
probes the strange affinity of a red-haired
American heroine for the Tudor mansion
of her ancestors.

"The past is not dead for Anne Carey
at the centuries-old estate she visits after
her father's death. Although summer
blooms outside, she alone sees a winter's
rain on non-existent window panes and
a clandestine meeting of lovers, one of
them her double.

"How Anne learns the identity of these
two, and how she escapes from them, pro-
vide unusual suspense."

Wow, this book cover holds a total of 4 reviews. The San Francisco Examiner with its "one of the best" and with The San Francisco Chronicle says it belongs on the "bone-chiller shelf". So what is this "provides unusual suspense" crap from the Washington Post? Did the reviewer even bother to read it? It sounds like a book report you write when you didn't even manage to rent the movie.

"George Orwell's Animal Farm provides an important lesson through barnyard antics."

Just seems like the reviewer is just not committed to the project. If you've got the ego to feel you can judge for others you really need to own it. Go for "You call that a suspense?" or "She actually being a man was obvious from the first." If you're not going to read it, be bold! Have some balls.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Darkwater by Dorothy Eden
published by Fawcett Crest Books
Copyright 1963

My Dear Family -

If ever you have doubts
as to what is happening, if

every you are uneasy, will
you tell me, or send a

message to me or my aunt?
If this injunction seems
like nonsense to you now,
it may not always be nonsense...


Fanny knew then that Adam felt as she did
about the strange events at Darkwater. Even
before the sudden death of the old Chinese
amah, she had sensed a chill of menace in the
atmosphere. Now there was real peril in the
mists and fogs that beshrouded the ancient
English estate. There was danger ... especially
for Fanny - ravishing, lovely young Fanny -
who was too curious and headstrong for her
own good ...

"A gem of its species." - Boston Globe

"Dorothy Eden ... knows how to build
Gothic romance as solidly as a Gothic
tower." - Chicago Tribune

Nature plays a delicate balancing act. The spiders is to a mosquito what wolves are to deer. Everything needs to be kept in check. In this case Fanny is not just lovely, she is ravishing, so it is only fair to the rest of us that she also be "too curious and headstrong for her own good".

In my case, to make up for my own breathtaking cuteness, I am a poor proofreader and grocery stores make me cry.

I had a lot of fun with Dark Shadows October but to be completely honest, I am thrilled to be back to my cover theme. Though I am on a hunt for some weird Thanksgiving or Christmas themed "woman running" cover. We'll see.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dark Shadows the Salem Branch

Dark Shadows the Salem Branch by Lara Parker
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 2006

As the original Dark Shadows story line
ended, Barnabas Collins had escaped
the curse of the witch Angelique and found
his way back to humanity after two hundred
years as a ravenous vampire. Now actress
Lara Parker, Angelique herself, reveals the
next dark twist in the sage of love and cruelty.

The roots of the Collins family's power and wealth go deep ...

Barnabas Collins is ready to embark on a new life and marriage
with his savior, the virtuous Dr. Julia Hoffman. But when
Antoinette, a beautiful sixties flower child with a shocking resem-
blance to the immortal witch Angelique, rebuilds the Old House,
his past returns to haunt him. Discovering a grisly corpse in the
basement - where his own casket once lay - Barnabas realizes
another vampire has invaded his domain.

Did Antoinette summon the vampire, or is she as innocent as she
is beautiful? And what of her daughter, Jacqueline, confined for
delusions of witchcraft to the local sanitarium?

Back to the corrupt witch trials of old Salem itself ...

Barnabas's fight to protect his family from this new threat will
take him back through time to an evil moment in America's his-
tory. Two hundred years ago, Jacqueline's previous incarnation
was tried and condemned to hang as a witch in Salem.
Desperate, she spilled the blood of her newborn babe to cure her
greedy and corrupt judges - including a Collins. How powerful is
her malevolent curse, and how much of her fate and her witch-
craft does present-day Jacqueline remember?

After a wait of thirty years, the next chapter in the Dark Shadows saga finally unfolds with the full measure of eroticism, spellbind- ing suspense, and gripping storytelling that made the original television series a timeless hit.

This cover is really cool. I think we have a men running from houses cover here. The witch, looming over a sinister house and our poor tormented hero in the foreground. Ah, Photoshop is SO fun.

Best thing about this book ? Lara Parker signed it. Go me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barnabas Colins and the Mysterious Ghost - Book 13

Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 1970

Collinwood is plagued with a series of men
acing events when a ballet troupe arrives
there to perform for the summer tourists.
One girl in particular, the beautiful Diana
Samson, who Barnabas has come to love, (of course he has)
is repeatedly attached by a mysterious, in
visible presence.

When the star of the ballet is murdered,
everyone is suspect - including Diana and
Barnabas. (of course he is) And when several graves are
found opened, the old legend of the invisible
ghost of Collinwood is revived.

As the attaches on Diana continue, Barna-
bas must find a way to stop them before she
is murdered. But will he have to fight a hu-
man enemy - or a supernatural force with
powers greater than his own?

TERIOUS GHOST is the thirteenth in a
series of thrilling novels based on ABC-TV's
popular suspense drama, DARK SHADOWS.

Apparently Collinwood is like the Motel 6 of Collinsport. Everyone comes to stay. Despite all the mysterious attacks by wolves , deaths by misadventure and flat- out, poor hospitality, they all flock to visit.

That must be one hell of a brochure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Demon of Barnabas Collins - Book 8

The Demon of Barnabas Collins (Dan) Ross
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 1969

The arrival of a movie company at Collin-
wood gives Barnabas a chance to escape
Angelique's awful curse - the curse which has
made him one of the living dead.

Barnabas meets and falls in love with beau-
tiful film star Rita Gleen. In order to save
him, she introduces him to the mysterious Dr.
Moreno who has a cure for Barnabas.

Barnabas is jubilant over his recover - but
not for long. Suddenly he is in a life and death
battle with another vampire - with Rita's life
at stake. The only way to save her is to return
to the curse once again.

is the eighth in a series of thrilling novels
based on ABC-TV's popular suspense drama,
DARK SHADOWS. For a complete list, see
page two of this book.

Wow, Barnabas is like a teenage boy with how easily he falls in love. Just be remotely attractive and in the same general vicinity and he's head-over-heels. He's ready to confess to you about his poorly concealed "condition", switch to your health care provider and even be willing to get re-cursed all for someone he's known for a week.

They don't mention it but I am just sure the before page forty he's broached the subject of a joint checking account.

I just got access to a couple more of the Dark Shadows earlier books. Even though this will make them a bit out of order, I wanted to included them.

One last thing, don't you think it odd that on this cover Barnabas Collins is staring at his stake and mallet like he doesn't know quite what to do with them? I mean, he's been a vampire for 200 years, it's pretty straight forward.

Anniversary Message

Being our thirteenth it only seems appropriate that all our plans have taken the turn that they have.

I love you Aaron.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dark Shadows Dreams of the Dark

Dark Shadows Dreams of the Dark by Stephen Mark Rainey and Elizabeth Massie
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 1999


Angelique and Barnabas. Lovers once upon
a time, through treachery and deceit they have
now become immortal enemies. To pay for her
evil jealously that left Barnabas damned to
feast on the blood of humans, Angelique has
been banished to the netherworld. Meanwhile,
Barnabas lives a lie, carefully guarding his
hellish secret from the unsuspecting mortals
with whom he lives - including Victoria
Winters, the ethereally beautiful governess to
the Collins family.

Determined to escape her dark
imprisonment, Angelique conjures a diabolical
plan that will make her flesh again. Using her
psychic powers, she will send another vampire
to destroy Barnabas completely. But as she will
soon discover, the powers of darkness may
have found their match in the burning light of
innocence .... and love.

Vividly imagined, grippingly written,
each Dark Shadows novel is filled with the
eroticism, supernatural suspense, and
spellbinding story telling that has made this
classic daytime serial a timeless hit.

Okay, well our covers are getting a little closer to the theme. We have a beautiful house which, for our purposes, we will call scary. We have a bat and we have a man wearing too much make-up posing with a cane in a less than menacing way, but for our purposes we will say that we are being threatened by a cane.

I like to think that in this cover WE are the woman running from the house. Pretty exciting really.

Note to self: Must read gothic romance novels when walking on the treadmill for increased speed inspiration.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dark Shadows Angelique's Descent

Dark Shadows Angelique's Descent by Lara Parker
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 1998

Two of the most popular Dark Shadows characters,
Barnabas Collins and Angelique, were eternally
bound by love and hate. Now, actress Lara Parker,
Angelique herself, tells you how it all began.


The dashing heir of a New England shipping magnate,
Barnabas Collins captured the heart of the exquisite, young
Angelique amidst the sensual beauty of Martinique, her
island home. But Angelique's brief happiness is doomed
when Barnabas cruelly deserts her and becomes engaged to
another. Little, though, does Barnabas know of the evil his
betrayal will unleash ...


For Angelique is no ordinary woman. Raised in the
mysterious black art of voodoo witchcraft, she had long ago
pledged her soul to darkness and become immortal. Vowing
to torment and destroy Barnabas, a vengeful Angelique
damns him to eternal life as a vampire - a companion to
accompany her forever. Little, though, does Angelique
understand the depth of Barnabas's fury...

Vividly imagined, grippingly written, each Dark Shadows
novel is filled with the eroticism, supernatural suspense, and
spellbinding storytelling that has made this classic daytime
serial a timeless hit.

Now I promised all Dark Shadows this month but I have run out of the 60's and 70's novels.

I am a huge fan of Dark Shadows, and of the books written by Dan Ross. And, while this one is actually written far better, it just loses the innocence of the old show and book series. It is still fun and Angelique, of course, is a total badass.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Barnabas, Quentin, And the Magic Potion - Book 25

Barnabas, Quentin, and the Magic Potion by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1971

Barnabas predicts trouble for Collin-
wood when Nicholas Freeze, in whose
antique shop Carolyn Stoddard works, dis-
covers a centuries-old potion that promises
eternal youth. Soon after, Mr. Freeze's
daughter Hazel, tricked into taking the
serum, dies. Carolyn is grief-stricken over
her friend's death. Barnabas insists she stay
on at the shop to watch Nicholas Freeze and
his associates, one of who Carolyn suspects
is Quentin Collins, back at Collinwood in a

Then Carolyn sees Hazel's ghost.

She interprets this as a warning that Mr.
Freeze has marked her for his next victim.
Barnabas still refuses to let her quit.

Has Barnabas made a fatal mistake by
deliberately endangering Carolyn's life? Or
will his plan avenge Hazel's murder and put
her spirit to rest?

Why does Carolyn need a job? If she does need a job, why doesn't she work for the family? Don't they own a shipyard or something?

Not to mention the fact that the Collins family abandoned a house because it became dusty. It's hard to believe any of them really have an appreciation for antiques.

Plus, I really don't think that Barnabas needs to worry so much about Mr. Freeze. I do believe that the Dynamic Duo are already on the case.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Barnabas, Quentin and the Frightened Bride - Book 22

Barnabas, Quentin and the Frightened Bride by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1970

Ann and John Hayward's honeymoon at
Collinwood slowly turns into a series of

Soon after their arrival, John, who is re-
covering from a war injury, falls victim to
strange, violent spells. In a fit of irrational
jealousy, he accuses his wife of falling in love
with Barnabas Collins.

Meanwhile, a series of attacks on her life
frighten Ann into believing John is trying to
kill her. Though tormented by doubts of
John's sanity, she believes his warning that
Barnabas is a vampire. Ann nevertheless
accepts help from Barnabas - and unknow-
ingly becomes the prey to the evil forces at

Lets break this down, shall we.

Firstly, John Hayward is too cheap to take his wife anywhere good for their honeymoon. I see nothing romantic at all about spending ones first few weeks of marriage around a bunch of angry people you don't know. (that's for Thanksgiving)

Secondly, the only irrational thing about John's jealousy is that it is about Barnabas Collins. How can you suspect your woman of falling for Barnabas when Quentin "Man of Action" is staying in the same house. I have seen that man violently tear a decorator sword from the wall to defend himself and back HARD into a doorknob with barely a flinch. What woman wouldn't fall for that?!

Thirdly, and most importantly, Barnabas Collins is the worst vampire of all time. Why does everyone always "suspect" him of being a vampires? Because he is so painfully obvious with his "I won't be back until after sunset.", "I'll be out of town during the daylight." and "Oh, by the way, I'm not a vampire." stuff. That man really needs to learn a little about playing it close to the vest.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Email for a Reader

I just received my first email from a reader. I was so exited I wanted to share ...

I’m a 53yr old married biker dude who just so happens to love the old Gothic Romances. My wife loves books generally reserved as “guy books” so we really have our roles turned around but hey, it works for us. I really enjoyed going through your web site and blowing up every book cover to take a closer look. I appreciated your comments on the books. I sure hope you keep adding book covers! Are there many people interested in Gothic Romance? I feel like I’m out there all alone until I see a website like yours. Usually they have long since become inactive but you are going on strong. That is refreshing for me. Keep it up!


Tecumseh, Kansas

Thanks Clark. Glad you enjoy the site.

Barnabas, Quentin and the Nightmare Assassin - Book 18

Barnabas, Quentin and the NIghtmare Assassin by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1970

Carolyn Stoddard is knocked unconscious
when the sports car she and Barnbas are rid-
ing in skids on a patch of ice. She regains con-
sciousness in Collinwood with Barnabas and
Quentin Collins at her side - but the year is
1870! And Collinwood is being terrorized by a
savage Killer. Carolyn likes Quentin and re-
fuses to believe that even in werewolf form he
could be the murderer. But even Quentin is
convinced of his own guilt. The old family
lawyer hires someone to kill him. Several days
later, before he can reveal the assassin's name,
the lawyer dies. Quentin has signed his own
death sentence, marked for death by an un-
known killer.

NIGHTMARE ASSASSIN in the eighteenth
in a series of thrilling novels based on ABC-
TV's popular suspense drama, DARK
SHADOWS. For a complete list, see page 2
of this book.

I believe I have actually read this one. But even with the moment by moment back over synopsis, I can't remember it every well. The one thing I do remember is that the "sports car" the back cover refers to is a station wagon, Barnabas, it seems, is constantly being referred to as "handsome" and Caroline seems to want to shag her own cousins. Distant or know, ick.

Best thing about this one? Take a look at the mustache on Roger! Isn't it fabulous. Now there's a real man for you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy's Curse - Book 16

Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy's Curse by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1970

When Professor Anthony Collins decides
to catalog his Egyptian relics at Collinwood,
he brings with him the mummy of King Re-
hotip, who "died" over 2000 years ago.
Only the professor knows (and everyone who
saw the quotes around the word dead)
that Rehotip is really in a state of suspended
animation. One night, the professor brings the
mummy to life. (of course he does) Suddenly a
young girl is killed. The police suspect Quentin
Collins. Maggie Evans, certain the killer is the
mummy wants to warn the police. Professor Collins
threatens to accuse Barnabas if she does.
Frightened into silence, Maggie lives in ter-
ror, wondering if she will be the next victim.

Okay, this is the Collins family. They live in Collinwood. They live in a town called Collinsport. Can't they just hush this stuff up like a Kennedy would? Surely there is benefit to being super rich, living in a house everyone in town is too spooked to go near and, most importantly of all, being the biggest employer around. I mean, what's a little bit of "the walking dead" to sixty thousand a year at the Collins family shipyard.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch - Book 15

Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1970

Warned by a gypsy witch that violent
death will surround her, Roxanna Collins
turns to her distant cousin, Barnabas, for

But Barnabas is also in trouble. For when
Roxanna's father and brother are murdered
suspicion centers on Barnabas. Even Rox-
anna, who feels she is under some strange
spell, soon begins to doubt the man she has
come to love.

To save his life, Barnabas must prove to
the police - and to Roxanna - that he is inno-
cent. And he must find the key to the mad-
ness and mystery surrounding Collinwood
before Roxanne becomes the next victim in
a nightmare of evil.

teenth in a series of thrilling novels based on ABC-TV's
suspense drama, DARK SHADOWS.

Okay, Barnabas Collins is a vampire. Why does he care if the police as suspicious of him for a crime? Shouldn't he just kill them? I mean, if I were ever a vampire, I would just kill them. All of them. Roxanna, her father, her brother, the police. Everybody really. Then I'd kill the Gypsy Witch for revealing my agenda.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon - Book 14

Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1970


When Quentin Collins invited Lara Balfour to
Collinwood, they knew each other only from the
correspondence that had grown out of Quentin's
admiration for the haunting waltz her father had

Soon Quentin professed to love Lara - but is his
love really a threat? His first wife's throat was torn
out by a wolflike creature who escaped capture.
Since then, other young women had died in the
same grisly fashion ... in the full of the moon, when
Quentin's mysterious "attacks" occur.

Lara faces the terrifying possibility that her
brooding, sensitive host is a werewolf. She won't
leave Collinwood, for that would mean leaving
Barnabas, who she has come to love. But will Bar-
nabas be able to save her, if she strays?

In 1968, when the the Dark Shadows producers began to feel that their immortal vampire wasn't as young as he used to be, the show decided they needed some fresh "eye candy". Well, since nothing gets ladies a-swooning like tall, snide and paste-on mutton chops, (Actually, replace snide with smart-ass and you have my now husband when I first met him. I made him get rid of the mutton chops though.) Quentin Collins was born. Leaving Barnabas to battle him for the ladies attention and forcing him to share the spotlight in all but two of the books that followed Quentin's introduction. Poor, poor Barnabas.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Barnabas Collins In A Funny Vein - Un-numbered

Barnabas Collins In A Funny Vein by No Author Listed
published by Paperback Library
Copyright 1969

Dig the groovy new humor craze
that's sweeping the country
-inspired by TV's cool
ghoul, Barnabas Collins - America's
favorite pain in the neck!

Why did Barnabas accept the part in DARK SHADOWS?
Because they said he could drink on the job.

Why did Barnabas become a vampire?
He failed his blood test.

How does Barnabas open the door to his house?
He uses a skeleton key.

Why does Barnabas like to bite airplane pilots?
He says they make him high.

Why does Barnabas use make-up when he goes on TV?
Otherwise he'd have DARK SHADOWS.

Vampires are well known as they are for their sense of humor this seems like an easy leap to make...

I am actually embarrassed 40 years later for Barnabas Collins.