Olivia the Tormented by Katheryn Kimbrough published by Popular Library Copyright 1976
Sage of the Phenwick Women OLIVIA, THE TORMENTED
is one of the spellbinding novels in the greatest series of gothic romances ever conceived - THE SAGO OF THE PHENWICK WOMEN. 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.
The Dark Shore by Susan Howatch published by Fawcett Books Copyright 1965
The Dark Shore
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.
Dark Carnival by MaysieGreig Cover Art by Lou Marchetti published by Pyramid Books Copyright 1950
CHATEAU OF DEATH
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 deRevenau. 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.
The Stranger at the Gate by Jospehine Edgar published by Pocket Books Copyright 1973
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 audience.
Who was their target audience? Well, let just say they covered all their bases.
Several years ago I had the good fortune of stumbling across a collection of 60's and 70's Gothic romance novels at a garage sale. The uses of the term "good fortune" has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the novels themselves. In fact, they were all equally terrible. But it was my "good fortune" to learn of a previously unknown art form. The art of women running from houses.
Gracing the cover of each book was an interpretation, some better than others, of this same subject matter. On their back covers each described roughly the same story. How completely wonderful!
Since then I have managed to obtain hundreds of these books and while I may never have time to read all of them, I am making it my mission to share their glory with the world.
I am a great fan of comics, View-Masters, magazine and book cover illustrations from the 50's, 60's and 70's, as well as old horror films. So that I don't drive my husband too crazy (or distract him too long from his own obsessions) I have chosen to obsess to strangers.