Wednesday, March 31, 2010

They said it couldn't be done! - Dark Interval

Yep, that's right. They said it couldn't be done but with today's offering I will have judged exactly 100 books by their covers!

On our journey we have seen beautiful illustrations and childlike scrawls. We have seen lovely ladies and frightening drag queens. We have seen looming castles, Greek ruins, crypts, swamps and turbulent seas. And we were even lucky enough to see a wheelchair.

So I wanted to thank you for stopping by as Women Running from Houses celebrates its 100th book and vows to bring you 100 more!

Dark Interval by Joan Aiken
published by Pocket Books
Copyright 1974

She Woke to Terror

When Caroline awakened, she didn't know where
she was. Then a name pricked at her memory.
Beaumont - a word from her childhood at the
manor. Beaumont - where the hopelessly mad
were committed. Beaumont - great, gloomy
home of the living dead.

And now she was there, watched over by hard-
eyed nurses, visited by a doctor whose smile could
not hide the icy indifference of his gaze. Why was
she there? How could she escape? And above all,
where was the man who had claimed her body
and destroyed her mind - and who she so des-
perately loved?

This cover brings many questions to mind the least of which concerns that woman's creepy man-hands. Yikes! Questions like how much does it cost to check into a mental health facility located in a castle? Does that floor length pink gown come in a straight jacket? And is it really a good idea to have crumbling archway structures dotting the landscape outside of a madhouse?

All sensible questions.

But my real question is if there is really anything unhealthy about "desperately" loving someone who wants to destroy your mind? Isn't that the whole bad-boy thing taken to a super extreme? And EVERYBODY knows that if a little of something is good for you a whole lot more is even better,

If loving a man who wants to destroy my mind is wrong I don't want to be right!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Whistle for the Crows

Whistle for the Crows by Dorothy Eden
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1962

The job had seemed a godsend to Cath-
leen Lamb, alone, friendless, and in need of
a home. It has been fascinating at first,
tracing the O'Riordan family tree. But the
past, she soon discovered, was intricately
and diabolically woven into the present, and
its strong, slender threads were even now
involving her with
  • The tyrannical spinster who controlled lives and purse-strings
  • The younger heir who might - but did he? - kill to get what he wanted
  • The girl who married the wrong man
  • The baby who was born to the wrong woman
  • The brother who weren't bothers
  • The two drownings - and the accidents that weren't accidents
In the gloomy castle on the edge of a moor,
a spirited girl pokes among the moldering
bones of a family skeleton and stirs up the
dust of malice and murder.

You know that is exactly the kind of Craigslist job ad that inevitably turns out to be too good to be true. It will assuredly end with something like "Please send topless photo and measurements to help selection process." Damn! Burned again.

Okay, so this is driving me crazy.
We have a signature but I just can't make it out. I would also swear on the Necronomicon that I have another book with a cover illustrated by this same artist but I can not locate it. I have scanned the books I have already posted and I even sorted through the books waiting in the wings but no luck. If you know who it is, put me out of my misery, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Shadows - Barnabas, Quentin and the Haunted Cave - Book 21

Barnabas, Quentin and the Haunted Cave by Marilyn (Dan) Ross
published by Harper Collins Publishing
Copyright 1970

Harriet Turnbridge asks Barnabas Collins
for help after her husband, her brother-in-
law, and father-in-law are found dead, their
throats savagely ripped open.

The police insist the killer is a mad beast.
Harriet thinks that the phantom recently
seen at Collinwood is responsible. Barnabas
suspects that Quentin Collins, disguised a
wealthy hippie, is guilty.

Where will they find the murderer? In the
nightmare world of Harriet's dreams? In the
haunted cave beneath the Collins' family
cemetery? Or in another century - when
witchcraft and demonology threatened Col-

I was very excited to pick up 3 more of the Dark Shadows paperbacks this weekend, and while their covers do not hold the iconic image this site is dedicated to seeking out, Dark Shadows is just awesome!

Why, if not a woman running from a house, couldn't this cover hold an image of David Selby disguised as a "wealthy hippie"? I wonder exactly what a wealthy hippie would look like. I only know that they would smoke the very best of weed.

Much like the television show there doesn't ever seem to be much attention paid to the details with these books. If you take a closer look you'll notice that the image on the front isn't even in the correct proportion for the oval inset and they just added a sad little block of gray at the top. But that is all made up for by Quentin Collins sporting one of those sport jacket and tight dress pant ensembles all the woman love.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kate, the Curious ... this is just TOO easy

Kate, the Curious 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 romance ever conceived.
You won't want to miss the others,
all exclusively in Popular Library editions.

The world knew Kate Phenwick as a ravishingly beauti-
ful young woman. (we must assume that is NOT her
on the over)
But secretly Kate suspected there
was more to herself than anyone around her imagined,
or than she dared confess even to those she loved.

Within her Kate felt the spirits of the dead stirring and
struggling for her soul. In her dreams she moved be-
yond the grave to envision scenes and dramas that both
filled her with fear and lured her to press ever deeper
into the dark unknown. From one great Phenwick man-
sion to another she moved on the trail of the mystery
that bewildered her, and the shadowy fate that beck-
oned to her. Then, in the arms of a handsome stranger
from a distant place, she found herself at last on the
threshold of the truth in all its terror - a truth to be dis-
covered only by her surrender to the ultimate posses-
sion ....

God lord, what can't you say about this book. First it cleverly sucks you in thinking that it may be a little risqué. But then, like a bucket of cold water, you are smacked with what has to be the ugliest dress ever conceived being modeled by a most frightening woman. The dress with its horrid colors, terrifying pattern, and gorilla suit fit. The woman with her Crayola eyebrows and Star Trek make-up. I suspect that the house would run from her.

But, I don't what to leave everyone heartbroken with disappointment, so I will share with you another little gem I picked up in a dusty little bookstore out of state this weekend.


My next blog? We'll see.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Shadow on the House

A Shadow on the House by Florence Stevenson
published by Signet Books
Copyright 1975


The concert at the magnificent Fowler mansion was to be
the beginning of a long and success-filled career for
lovely, young opera singer Leila MacKenzie. But when her
chaperone fell ill, Leila was forced to remain with her as
an unwilling guest of the Fowlers, mournfully watching
the opera company move on without her.

Yet almost before she knew it, Leila found herself caught
up in a new life - a life and love centered around
George Fowler, the handsome master of the mansion.
Even when she learned his dread family secret and the
tragic destiny of the other women in his life, Leila was not
afraid. It was not until the ancient curse began to work
that Leila understood the true meaning of fear and
the horror of the fate from which even George might not
be able to save her ...

Ah, once again we have another dumb girl with more time to kill than common sense.

I am willing to admit that we ALL have secrets. I, for one, would never want any of my business clients to know that I spend my spare time blogging about bad romance novels, comic books and View-Masters under the name Spectergirl. But it is always a good rule of thumb to NEVER pursue a romance with anyone who has a "family secret". It almost assuredly will have something to do with some sort of Wilbur Whately recessive gene, Hitler or cross-dressing (and not in a good Tim Currey kind of way).

Terror? A mansion of doom? Even the advertisers weren't going to pull out their A game for this sad little collection of clichés.

But what a great cover! The mansion is fantastic and the execution of the dress is wonderful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Seed of Evil

Seed of Evil by Petrina Crawford
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1967

Evil That Men Do

"The evil that men do lives after them ..."
Joanna Bruce had heard those words, of course,
but she had no idea how true they were -
or how that truth could change the course of her
life. She had no idea of the depths of evil
to which man could sink, nor of the dangerous
heritages one can leave behind him ...

But she was to learn. Hired abruptly as companion
to warped, bitter old Martin Crask, Joanna
was thrust into a new and alien environment.
The old Cornish mansion was a veritable lair of
evil ... and Joanna gradually became aware
of its nefarious secrets. But could she learn
the ultimate secret in time to escape with her
sanity ... and her life?

Wow, Martin Crask sounds fantastic! I think all books should contain at least one warped and bitter character. I hope someday to inspire the warped and bitter character within a novel written by one of my children, or if I don't perfect it right away, a novel written by my children's children. Either way, it will be kind of like having my own "evil" living after me. And with out all the effort of holding the world hostage like a James Bond villain.

Oh, and by the way Joanna, what's up with your sleeves?