Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Towers of Fear

The Towers of Fear by Caroline Farr
Cover Art by Allen Kass
published by: Signet Books
Copyright 1972



To Storm Towers, the brooking mansion of the
wealthy and influential Hailsworth family, came
lovely black-haired Ali Cavanagh on a visit to her
former college friend, Joan, young daughter of
the house.

Almost at once Ali was drawn into the web of
mystery that encircled the Hailsworth family:
Joan, strangely remote, was locked in her private
nightmare world; Ursula, whose relationship with
Joan held sinister undertones; Monty, the
handsome playboy, who attracted Ali yet frightened
her by his strange behavior; Donald, whom Ali
longed to trust but didn't dare. And then there was
Greg, Ali's former colleague - what was the real
reason for his unexpected presence in the mansion?

All were captive to the fear that filled the vast halls
of the old house where an unknown intruder
prowled the hidden corridors. The silent menace
grew until one fearful night when Ali found herself
struggling against a faceless evil that threatened
her sanity-and her life-and Storm Towers
revealing its shocking secret ....

This whole Hailsworth family seems just a little too familiar. FLASH BACK 18 YEARS: Joan? Easily me. Strangely remote and also lock in a private nightmare world. Ursula? Totally my younger sister, our relationship has ALWAYS held sinister undertones. Monty? No doubt my older brother, if strange behavior can include playing role playing games. As for Donald and Greg? They could be any number of the people who paraded in and out of my childhood home. I can say with all confidence that I don't think I'd like this book.

Now this cover is an Allan Kass whom we have see here on "WRFH" before. In fact there is a blogger site here dedicated to to his work.

Allan Kass was born in New York City in 1917. He received his BFA in Painting from Syracuse University after which he received an apprenticeship in the fashion art department of a Manhattan newspaper.

He joined the Air Force during WW2 flying 44 combat missions over Burma and Thailand. He was awarded 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and promoted to Captain.

After the end of the war he continued to fly for the Air Force, art becoming only a hobby. After not being called for duty for the Korean War, Allan Kass retired from the military and began again to work as an artist. This time for an auto catalogue located in Detroit.

In the last part of the 1960's, after years in advertising, Kass painted sample book cover illustrations and traveled to New York City to solicit freelance work from book publishers. Here began what Kass himself said was a more artistically satisfying career. (Though I personally am rather fond of his advertising work.)

With approximately 1000 book cover illustrations from 1969-1998 for publishers such as Signet and Fawcett covering Romance, Western, Young Adult, and Historical Fiction, Allan Kass retired. Eventually moving to Big Sky, Montana.

Allan Kass died September 2, 2005.

Below are just a few additional examples of his work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Silent Place

The Silent Place by Rachel Cosgrove Payes
Cover Art by George Gross
published by: Ace Books
Copyright 1969

There was just one more year to wait
before Rome Barclay would be officially a
widower and free to remarry. Though
his wife Suzanne had drowned six years
before, her body had never been recovered.
His secretary, Paulette, was waiting out
the time with eagerness. But then so
was lovely Fiona, his little girl's governess.

But then Suzanne came back to Cliffhouse,
not remembering her past, her identity a
mystery to herself but to no one else. Everyone
in the isolated coastal estate had a reason
for wishing her gone again - permanently.

But whose reason was the most desperate?

And how many women would have to die
in the Silent Place before Cliffhouse could
be at peace again?

Hooray! We have a signed cover here. George Gross was born in 1909 Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents from Szeged, Hungary. Art ran in the family. His father attended Pratt and became a successful artist in the fashion industry, running his own art studio - Fashion Paper.

After graduating high school, George also attended Pratt, graduating in 1931 even while working within his father's studio. Later he moved on to Fiction House where he soon became a top illustrator, painting hundreds of pulp covers for Action Stories, Detective Book Magazine, North West Romances and many more.

After barely missing serving WW2 due to a life long vision impairment in his right eye. he began to sell freelance illustration to paperback books for publishers such as Dell, Bantam and Ace Books.

His work can be seen on hundreds of fiction book covers and men's magazines. If you are interested in learning more about George Gross take a look at the "Guide to the Wild American Pulp Artist" listed in my Artist Resource Links.

Below are just a few examples of his other illustrations.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chateau Chaumand

Chateau Chaumand by Andrea Delmonico
published by: Ace Books
Copyright 1968

Chateau Chaumand

An ominous storm was brewing the night Geraldine (Really? Geraldine?)
arrived at Chateau Chaumand as bride of Charles Chau-
mand. After a whirlwind courtship Charles had swept
her away with him to his gracious but intimidating home,
a vast resort on a lake in Wisconsin.

Vaguely apprehensive before meeting his family,
Geraldine too soon became aware of real, definite fear.
Someone at the chateau resented her sudden marriage
to Charles. Was it the Indian girl, Fawn, who had loved
Charles? Or her husband's handsome cousin, Matt, who
rivaled Charles for mastery over the estate ... and cov-
eted Charles' new bride?

Whoever it was, Geraldine was certain the "acci-
dents" pursuing her was the intentional acts of a
murderer ...

You might be asking yourself why I would shell out cash for a book with such a large tear in the cover. Well there are, in fact, three reasons:

Firstly, it is a "EASY TO READ - LARGE TYPE" and one never knows when a dreadful tragedy might strike that would leave you with a Vincent Price "Fall of the House of Usher" sensitivity to light. A sensitivity that would force me to read only by the barest amount of candle light, therefore making large type books quite useful.

Secondly, my husband and I once drove 10 hours to attend a Halloween Party in Wisconsin were we happened upon a very cheap haunted house that had actually stolen nearly all of dialogue from Disney World's Haunted Mansion and used it in ways that made no sense.

And thirdly, and most importantly, the publisher actually thought this book was so packed with sexual tension that it was wagering we readers would need a smoke somewhere between pages 64 and 65.

Newport, your "Alive with pleasure" ad is dated and oh so cheesy but Kent, as always you are a class act.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rebecca, the Mysterious

Rebecca, the Mysterious by Katheryn Kimbrough
published by: Popular Library
Copyright 1975

The Saga of the Phenwick Women


in 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.

Bewitching Rebecca Phenwick's young life had
been scarred by a brutal abduction by a runaway
slave, and her loving father and strangely hostile
mother agreed on one thing: Rebecca should go t
the old family mansion of the Phenwick House to
escape the memories of the harm done to her.

It was at Phenwick House that Rebecca first saw
the portrait of her ancestress Augusta Phenwick,
and began to delve into the eerie books of the occult
in the Phenwick archives. It was in this house that
had witnessed so many horrors that Rebecca
learned of her legacy as a Phenwick - the evil that
was waiting to be awakened within her, and her
weakness in the arms of a man who sought to
possesses her body and soul ...

For the life of me I can't figure out WHY I don't read these books! Rebecca, the Mysterious has just about anything anyone could ever want. Abduction, the Occult, and old house, even a cover whose "Bob Ross" style tree completely destroys the perspective
. (Is she behind it? Or is it behind her?) And that woman's hand seem really large to me.

If anyone has read any of the Phenwick Women Books I would love to know if they are really as great as they always sound.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Devil's Dreamer

The Devil's Dreamer by Alice Brennan
published by: Magnum Books
Copyright 1971

Can You
Die In A Dream?

This was impossible - this room, this place. Where
was she, and how had she come to be here?
Carsa caught her breath on a sob of relief, for it
was morning, and daylight was filtering through
the drawn shades.

Then she saw that the light, which was very bright
and had a strange bluish cast, came from only
one spot. It seemed to come for a woman who
stood in a large circle. Long hair, pale and silky,
flowed over her sholders and blue eyes burned
bright with golden light. There was something
horrifyingly familiar about the face, and Carsa
struggled with a memory that was just out of reach.
Then the woman spoke.

"This is a dream. Everything that happens to you,
everyone you meet, is part of the dream. When
you awaken, it will be an awakening to death..."

Seeing that the last book I cover was also a Devil book I really should have tried and put together a "Devil" week, but it is too late for that. This cover has its problems but I must say that it really like the quality of illustration of our woman. It is really quite nice. The Devil child? Not so much.

Sadly we have no illustration credit here but as I have begun this blog, even these uncredited artists are starting to become familiar to me. Who know, eventually I may become confident enough to start making guesses as to their identities.

Who doesn't like View-Masters?

Because I am apparently not happy unless I have too much to do, I have FINALLY launched ...

View-Master 3-D Spectacular

Click on the image to take a look.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Devil and Mrs. Devine

The Devil and Mrs. Devine by Josephine Leslie
Cover Art by Lou Marchetti
published by: Pocket Books
Copyright 1974



Barely out of her teens, winsome Danielle
Davine was already an orphan and a widow.
No man on earth, it seemed, could be to her
what her loving father and handsome young
husband had been. Was she doomed, then, to
wither into joyless old age? "No!" whispered
a strange, uncanny voice, a voice that seemed
to come from nowhere, promising Danielle
perpetual beauty - in exchange for her im-
mortal soul ...

In this tale of romance that spans two centu-
ries, the author of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
tells of one woman's quest for the peace and
salvation that only the greatest love, human
and divine, can bring.

Danielle Devine is not the first twenty year old to dread the thought of withering into "joyless old age". In fact I remember crying about turning 23. But did I listen to a strange uncanny voice offering me perpetual beauty in exchange for my soul? No, of course not. But I can thing of nothing more romantic.

Josephine Leslie seems to have a real obsession with the whole ghost thing. A ghost helping you write a novel is a little less evil than trying to buy your soul but to each their own. This cover is signed by the initials RES but I have had no luck in tracking down any information the possible artist.