Wednesday, December 18, 2013


by Patricia Clapp
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1969
Cover Illustation: Robert McGinnis

"She's dead, I tell you!
Emily's dead!"

Louisa wanted to believe her own words. But the presence of the little girl who had died twelve years before, the hateful, dark-eyed girl who always had her way, could still be felt in the Canfield mansion.

The globe in the garden glows mysteriously at night. Notes are left for the living. And young Jane, a nine-year-old orphan who had come to spend the summer with her and mother, is in touch with Emily. Emily wants her!

Admittedly, this book has a lot going on for it, cover and story wise. Not surprisingly, this Robert McGinnis cover rocks. His woman tend to have unusually long slender fingers and a penchant for touching their faces. The eerie blue glow of the garden gazing ball really give our heroine a creepy bone white quality.

I should note here the my husband's grandmother has one of these gazing balls in her back garden but sadly it does not glow. But perhaps that if for the best as it would tempt me terribly to spend the bulk I my visit standing by it and caressing my face in mock terror.

Story wise, MY GOD! Hateful, dark-eyed dead children are like gothic novel kryptonite. Who wouldn't get weak in the knees? But where is my handsome and brooding Lord of the Manor? Perhaps he could be lonely, misunderstood and have a tendency for memory lapses. MMMM

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Master of Blue Mire and The Yellow Gold of Tiryns

The Master of Blue Mire
by Virginia Coffman
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1971

When lovely young Livia Roy was sent by Captain Nicholas Brandon to the isolated manor of Blue Mire, she was warned that the two Brandon children might seem strange, their minds still affected by the mysterious violent death of their beautiful mother.

But nothing could have prepared Livia for the hate in her youthful charges' eyes - or the growing signs they were in league with the evil that seemed to haunt this accursed mansion where so many already had died. Could these angelic-looking children be spawns of Satan? And if they were, what kind of man then was their father, handsome and dashing Nicholas Brandon, who Livia so helplessly loved and desperately feared? ...

I am sure you will agree that this book description has all sorts of awesome going on with it. We have our heroine who is not only lovely, but young. - Who would have thought! - We also have her new employer and lord of the manor Captain Brandon - We will just drop the Nicholas so we can pretend a loose association with Jane Austen to hopefully help the WRFH genre gain a little residual respect. - and we have evil young children. 

I for one have a handful of evil children at home and personally I go out of my way to avoid mentioning that they might seem strange or their questionable evil Satan pedigree when looking for a sitter but baby-sitting gigs were probably harder to snag back in the day.

One last thought. Am I the only one who has the fact that Livia helplessly loves and desperately fears Captain Brandon setting off all kinds of warning bells?

I have also received this awesome cover from John in California. This cover for The Yellow Gold of Tiryns besides being very cool has the distinction of being one of the rare Strange Dude On the Cover covers that I have so few of. It also appears from my research, and PLEASE let me know if I this is incorrect, that the cover for this edition was actually illustrated by the book's author Helena Osborne.

In the process of trying to locate the illustration information, I have also stumbled across this alternate cover for a later edition.

My thanks go out to John for sharing!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Porterfield Legacy and Cook to Bang

The Porterfield Legacy
by Casey Stephens
published by Zebra Books
Copyright 1980

Desperate for money after her husband's death, Nora Bellingham tries to sell her only valuable possession: an antique brooch that her mother left her when she was killed seven years before.

Mysteriously, the brooch changers her fate and Nora finds herself being offered a job as a secretary and housekeeper at the great Porterfield mansion.

As soon as she arrives, Nora has an immediate premonition of danger and disaster. She almost succeeds in putting all fears and worries aside when she discovers that her precious brooch is gone!

Unable to trust anyone, Nora is frightened and alone. And when she finds a hidden family portrait of a woman wearing a necklace that is identical to her brooch she realizes that is more than haunting secrets lurking behind


Okay, the fashion on this cover is so awful that I want to jump into it and manhandle Mrs. Bellingham into a bra. Any bra.  Demi, Punch-up, Plunge, Shelf, hell, perhaps we just need to start with a basic training bra.

Now that her lingerie needs are met, we need to do something drastic with that dress. Something about it reminds me of those 8 millimeter films of late 70's discos that show up on the History or Biography channel when they are talking about someones youth spent in a drug induced haze. 

One thing this dress lacks is structure. I'm not saying that we need to whale-bone her or anything, but the sleeves just tumbling down from her shoulders like that does nothing for her but make her head look huge. And, if we are not going to lift those girls up along with that empire waist, we need to forget it all together. A twenty-something shouldn't look like her breast are resting on her stomach.

 And it goes without say that she needs her ends trimmed, an eyebrow pencil and I believe she is a medium warm fall, so I don't think that god-awful color works for her.

Now that I have that out of my system, what is up with the cat? I just want to scoop him up, have him checked for ear mites and bring him home with me.

Now, on to my next paper-back treasure. 

Thanks to a friend introducing me to this, I am in desperate need to share "Cook to Bang"! A book that teachers us that hot single woman in strappy shoes can not get enough of a man who knows his way around a skillet.

Personally I think Do Dishes to Bang, Pick Up After Yourself to Bang and Put Gas in the Car When it is on E to Bang would be far more affective, but perhaps that is just me.

But cooking works too. And since Mr. Kiss the Cook looks like a complete ass, no doubt he can use all the help he can get.

Oddly, I never even realized that cooking for seduction was even a thing. Though it does help make a certain date I once had make far more sense.

Personally, I don't think he was going to have any problems with the blond or the brunette sitting at his feet anyway.

For the record, I really enjoy the word bang. It really conveys its meaning without resorting to profanity. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

House of Many Shadows and My Sister's First Book Review

House of Many Shadows
by Barbara Michaels
published by Fawcett Crest
Copyright 1974

She was trying to solve
a murder that was two
hundred and fifty years old...

When Meg's wealthy cousin Sylvia lent her the old house in Pennsylvania, Meg did not dream she would be drawn into a strange girl's distant past and into the brutal murder of three innocent people.

Meg saw them clearly. The old man, the servant, and the girl. She knew what horror lay in wait for them. But could she reach them across the years? Was it even safe for her to try?

Shuddery entertainment... The thrills keep coming..." - Publishers Weekly.

I haven't read the book but I like Meg already. Firstly, she is one of the few WRFH women who are actually appropriately dressed for fleeing. She looks warm, damn warm. And not in any anyway panicked despite the fact that there appear to be three shadowy men in pursuit. But, again, that could be due to the sensible boots and the confidence that can be instilled by a sweet pair of shoes.

Secondly, to my eye, Meg looks quite a bit like a young Linda Blair. 

I was also excited to see on the inside page of the book a review from my own hometown paper.

"Few writers can compare to Barbara Michaels when she conjures the inexplicable ... Fascinating too all who enjoy the eerie." - Columbus Dispatch

No legible signature but a very familiar style.

Well, on to other things.

My sister has never been much of a reader. In fact, she claimed to have not actually read a book since elementary school when she read Gertrude Chandler Warner's The Boxcar Children. This seems impossible but she swears it is the truth and no doubt that says something terrible about the state of our public school system.. 

Well a few weeks back she stopped by my office singing the praises of E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Gray. I personally have not read this book but am all for any book that inspires someone read, assuming said inspirational literature doesn't preach hate.

A BDSM-lite book seems quite the leap from a story of orphaned children living in a rusted out boxcar in the woods but sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet. She claims that if she had known there were books like that she would have started reading a long time ago. She had begged me to read it. And I have considered it if only so that we would have something terribly inappropriate to talk about in front of my dad, though the book sounds rather tame compared to a lot of things I have already read.

Well driven by the whirlwind of lust Fifty Shades appears to inspire, my sister has now moved on to the classic Anne Rice (as A. N. Roquelaure) Beauty series, which have been even more entertaining to talk about if only because I have read that, though years and years ago. And even my husband is familiar with the  infamous hot guy impaled on a stone phallus scene thanks to living in a college dormitory where it was apparently  passed around like a joint.

So, my sister's first book review ...

"Best book since The Boxcar Children." - HSM

Beautiful! Thank you H, can't wait to hear your next official review!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barnabas, Quentin And the Crystal Coffin

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


Heiress Betty Ward is worried about her twin sister, who has eloped with Jeremy Frene. She follows them from Paris to the Frene estate at Collinwood - but arrives too late!

Her twin is dead, victim of a mysterious illness. Her body has been sealed in a crystal coffin and kept in a darkened room. Jeremy swears that because her ghost returns to the castle each night, he refuses to bury the coffin.

Betty is convinced her sister's death was not a natural one. Jeremys aunt opposed the marriage. Her ally against the couple seems to have been Quentin Collins, a suspected werewolf.

Betty turns to Barnabas Collins for help, despite the rumors that he is a vampire. But she does not realized that by doing so, she has placed herself in mortal danger....

For a complete listing of other books in this series please turn to page two.

With such a long wait  between posts, the passing of Jonathan Frid and the release of the new movie, I though it only appropriate to post a book from everyone's favorite 60's supernatural soap opera.

Several months back I was able to add this title, along with book 26, to my series collection. 

Once again we have a woman throwing herself into the waiting arms of Barnabas Collins.  Despite rumors that he is a vampire!  Now, admittedly, woman can be rather forgiving if they find someone hot, so I find it hard to believe that she doesn't just skip the middle man and throw herself into the arms of Quentin Collins. Firstly ladies, look at that hair! (meow!) If it was me, I would just assume that if Quentin has against my sister's marriage he had his reasons and get on with the romance! Life is too short. Especially in Collinport.

But again, that's me.