Rise and Shine. Today Jane Godman has taken over my blog. I’m so excited about the topic she has chosen – Gothic Romance. It’s all yours Jane.
Bringing Back the Gothic Novel
I love Gothic romances. The first Gothic’s were written in the late 18th and early 19th century in England. Gothic romances were mysteries, often involving the supernatural and heavily tinged with horror. They were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins, mysterious manor houses and haunted castles. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole was the forerunner of the genre, which also included the works of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Gregory Lewis and Mary Shelley. Jane Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey pokes fun at Gothic romances.
During the 1960s Gothic romances became enormously popular. Modeled on Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’ and Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, these novels usually had a spirited young heroine, a large gloomy mansion, peculiar supporting characters, precocious children and darkly handsome men with mysterious pasts. Authors included Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Dorothy Eden.
The popularity of the Gothic has waned in recent years. But I have always loved the darker side of romance novels and missed the Gothics. So, what do you do as an author if you want to see more of a particular genre? Get writing, of course!
The ‘new’ Gothics have elements of the supernatural or unexplained, but are not paranormal romances. They have high levels of sensuality, but are not erotic romances. I was delighted, having written my own new Gothic, to find that Harlequin were launching their new Shivers digital first line. Harlequin, always at the cutting edge of publishing, had noticed exactly the same gap in the market that I had seen.
So what can readers expect from a Jane Godman Gothic?
1. The setting is dark, gloomy and atmospheric.
2. A feisty heroine who pushes the boundaries.
3. A villain you fall in love with.
4. And a hero you fall in love with. (for different reasons)
5. Dark secrets, the past comes back to haunt the present.
6. Some surprises along the way.
I hope that you will join me on my quest to ‘bring back the Gothic’ and enjoy this genre as much as I do!
Jane Godman Author Bio
I am an avid reader of historical romances, and have always enjoyed writing (I still have a copy of the medieval novel I wrote, in felt tip pen, aged 14!).
My Powder and Patch romances, published by Front Porch Romance, are set in the Georgian era – from the wild passion of the Jacobite rebellion to the charm and formality of the Regency – with heroes and heroines you fall instantly in love with, fascinating and amusing supporting characters and luscious settings.
I also love the darker side of the romance novel and I write Gothic mystery/romance books. The first of these will be be published by Harlequin later this year as part of their new ‘Shivers’ digital first line.
I live in England and love to travel to European cities which are steeped in history and romance. Venice, Dubrovnik and Vienna are amongst my favourites. I am a teacher, married to a lovely man, mum to two grown up children and slave to a spoilt-brat cat.
‘The Rebel’s Promise’ is Book 1 in The Powder and Patch Collection
In December 1745, Jacobite troops, led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, march on Derby intent on seizing the throne. Rosie Delacourt’s quiet existence is thrown into turmoil when she rescues a rebel lord from certain death. A passionate attachment blossoms but there is a price on Jack’s head and he must flee the country. Before he leaves, he makes Rosie a promise that he will return and claim her as his bride.
Rosie believes that Jack has been killed in battle at Culloden. She is threatened with ruin and forced into a distasteful betrothal with her ruthless neighbour, Sir Clive Sheridan. When Jack returns, he is unable to hide the anguish he feels at her betrayal … and Rosie dare not risk both their lives by telling him the truth. They inhabit the same privileged world of balls, routs and parties, but it seems the only feelings which remain between Jack and Rosie now are bitterness and anger. When danger throws them together again, however, they are reminded of the tenderness they once shared.
‘The Rebel’s Promise’ book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK4w-ci2bU4
“Your gown suits you very well,” he informed her, steering her expertly around the dance floor, “It announces to the world that you have the heart of a common harlot beneath all that expensive silk and lace.”
He might be angry – although Rosie had no idea why – but that was going too far! They were separated briefly by the movement of the set and, when they came back together, Rosie’s own temper – usually slow to ignite – had already reached boiling point. Between his cold fury and her white hot chagrin, it was obvious to even the most casual observer that a sizzling argument was underway.
“How dare you!” Rosie hissed, her hand, gripped tightly in his, twitched convulsively with the effort of not slapping him.
Jack shrugged, “The truth stings, does it not?” he asked, through gritted teeth, “You should take yourself off to Covent Garden and ply your trade there. With your wares so openly on display,” he indicated the exposed half-globes of her bosom, “I’ve no doubt you would be a success.”
“Is that where you found your fine mistress?” Rosie spat back at him, “I don’t see you berating Lady Cavendish who is practically falling out of her gown. Since when did you become a puritan, my lord? Was it in her bed? I had heard she teaches a very different type of lesson from its oft-used depths.”
“Is this display for any man who cares to look his fill? Or is it to inflame your intended? I believe his predilection for whores is well known. Do you whisper sweet words of love to him as you flaunt your charms in front of his eyes?”
Jack knew he was degenerating into a jealous rant now, but he found he could not stop firing bitter questions at her. A few interested glances were cast their way.
“What do you say to him, Rosie? Do you use the same sugared phrases and feigned artlessness with which you charmed me?” He gripped her wrist tightly as she tried to swing away from him. “After all, it was not so very long ago that you said ‘I love you more than life itself, Jack’…”
“If I said that, I lied! I don’t love you!” she panted under her breath, trying to pull away. “I hate you! I wish I had never met you!”
‘The Corsair’s Revenge’ is Book 2 in The Powder and Patch Collection
Caro Trelawn has no idea why she has been kidnapped on the way to her wedding.
She is taken prisoner aboard a pirate galleon by the notorious brigand known as Le Corsaire, a man who seems strangely familiar.
When Laurent Bergeron, Comte de St Valier, succumbs to a vengeful impulse and abducts Caro, he does not bargain on the impact his feisty captive has on him. From the minute they set eyes on each other, their relationship is volatile and fiery. Try as he might to keep his distance, Laurent cannot resist the passion that sizzles between them. So how will he react when Caro succeeds in escaping from him?
Caro’s journey takes her from the wild Cornish coast to the elegant salons of Paris and ends, with a shocking denouement, in the slums of London’s St Giles. In The Corsair’s Revenge, we meet some familiar faces from Jane Godman’s first novel, The Rebel’s Promise.
“Kidnapping is a new venture for me, as well you know,” he stated calmly, in response to his valet’s reproachful glances. “So pray spare me those dagger-eyes, Pierre, and tell me instead, how fares our … guest?” There was a slight, sardonic emphasis on the last word.
“She is quiet, monseigneur,” the little man bustled about the quarterdeck, dodging the sailors as they prepared the ship for its voyage, “Ominous quiet,” he shook his head and sighed.
“I confess I was surprised to find her so docile when Foutaise and Maggot carried her aboard.” The two seamen he referred to were on the deck below. Maggot, delighted to be noticed by his captain, signalled this by looking up with a gap-toothed grin. Foutaise, on the other hand, maintained a muttered diatribe in his native French. Some, he muttered, casting darkling glances in the direction of the tall figure on the quarterdeck, might consider it unbecoming to the dignity of a seasoned sailor to be sent ashore to procure a wench for the captain. Maggot, fearing their master’s displeasure, cuffed him lightly around the ear before hauling him out of earshot.
“Mon Dieu!” Pierre shuddered theatrically. “I too would be obedient in the hands of two such scoundrels! Monseigneur, I do not know why you could not have sent someone with more finesse to …” he paused, searching for the right word, “… collect her.”
The captain made an impatient gesture, “Because I wanted them to abduct the wench, for the Lord’s sake, not invite her to afternoon tea! Have done, Pierre, she is aboard and unharmed.” He frowned, “Hendry must like his women pliant. Myself, I prefer a bit more spirit … but I suppose we must be thankful to find her so amenable. Feminine tears and tantrums would add naught to our comfort during this venture.”
He turned away and exchanged a few words with the first mate. A strong breeze tugged at the sails so that they creaked and groaned in their eagerness to be away. A brief squall of rain had washed the deck that afternoon, leaving diamond droplets clinging to the wooden rails and a fresh tang in the air. But conditions now were perfect. They would weigh anchor and depart within the hour.
Pierre lingered, plainly still troubled. “But, monseigneur, I very much fear she … our …” he hesitated again delicately. The task of finding the right words for such an occasion was placing a strain on his ingenuity, “… visitor could be unwell. Despite what you say, ‘tis not natural for one in her position to be so placid …” Pierre twisted his hands together and regarded his master pleadingly.
The finely moulded lips thinned briefly. “Very well, I will check on her.”
He made his way along the companionway, which ran between the cabins. Pausing outside the door of the first mate’s quarters, he listened briefly for any sound from within. There was none.
The key grated in the lock as he turned it and the door swung inwards. With superb reflexes, he ducked at the last minute and narrowly avoided the pewter tankard that had been aimed, with remarkable precision, at his head.
‘An Improper Lady’, Book 3 in The Powder and Patch Collection, will be published by Front Porch Romance in time for Christmas 2013.
My first Gothic Shivers novel will be published by Harlequin later this year. It doesn’t have a title yet … but it will be dark and brooding! Watch out for a dramatic, atmospheric setting, a villain to take your breath away and a heroine who breaks all the rules …