Showing posts with label Gothic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gothic. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2022

[Review] - Victoria Winters by Marilyn Ross

Most tie-in novels tend to stay in the continuity of whatever television or movie series it's from, but that wasn't such the case with the Dark Shadow novels by Marilyn Ross (William Edward Daniel Ross). Between December 1966 to March 1972, Paperback Library published thirty-three Dark Shadows books (minus the House of Dark Shadows novelization), and all shared a different continuity than the 1966 - 1972 soap opera series. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

[Review] - Dark Shadows by Marilyn Ross

One Upon a Time in the '80s, I was a little bitty kid who would curl up with his grandma in the extra bedroom/laundry room and watch reruns of Dark Shadows on PBS on an old black & white television. That was my first introduction to the mysterious world of the Collins family and their vampire ancestor, Barnabas Collins. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[Review] - Out of the Rain by V.C. Andrews

The newest ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novel, Out of the Rain, was published last month by Gallery Books. It's the sequel to "The Umbrella Lady" (here's the link to my review if anyone wants to read it) written by Andrew Neiderman - otherwise known as the ghostwriter. After V.C. Andrews died in 1986, her family and publisher hired Andrew Neiderman (The Devil's Advocate) to write the Flowers in the Attic prequel Garden of Shadows, based on Ms. Andrews' notes, and finish the Casteel series. Since then, Mr. Neiderman has penned each new V.C. Andrews title, who just celebrated his 81st birthday in October.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

[Review] - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I am assuming most readers have already read the classic gothic tale REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. I, for one, am late in the game with this novel. I saw the Albert Hitchcock Oscar-winning adaptation way back during my childhood, and while the plot details are scarce in my memory, I did like the film. In early January, I watched Netflix's 2020 remake starring Lily James, Armie Hammer (the less I talk about him, the better), and Kristin Scott Thomas. Even though the gothic-aspects were watered down compared to Hitchcock's vision, for the most part, I liked it enough to rewatch it twice. Later, I remembered seeing the book with a tie-in cover at a Walmart the previous month. I had almost picked up the book but decided against it at the last minute. Of course, I had regretted it after viewing the Netflix film, and luckily for me, the store still had the book in stock.

Friday, February 19, 2021

[Review] - The Hensley Mansion by Judith Holstrom

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Drew has always lived in the shadow of the Hensley Mansion, a sinister southern home up on the hill.

Once you enter, you really never leave and Drew discovered that no once but twice.

The first time she was sixteen-years-old with a group of friends on Hallow's Eve and the second time to get rid of an abusive husband she couldn't escape, but it cost her more than just her freedom.

To make it worse now, Drew Anderson has to relive her time in the Hensley mansion to help demolition constructor Stansley flatten the evil brooding in that house. But little did she know she has to visit for a third time to fulfill the task.

Monday, January 4, 2021

[Review] - The Hush Sisters by Gerard Collins

Sissy and Ava Hush are estranged, middle-aged sisters with little in common beyond their upbringing in a peculiar manor in downtown St. John’s. With both parents now dead, the siblings must decide what to do with the old house they’ve inherited. Despite their individual loneliness, neither is willing to change or cede to the other’s intentions. As the sisters discover the house’s dark secrets, the spirits of the past awaken, and strange events envelop them. The Hush sisters must either face these sinister forces together or be forever ripped apart.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review - Out of the Attic by V.C. Andrews

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.
Available on Paperback and Kindle!

The newest V.C. Andrews' book, Out of the Attic, was released last week from Gallery Books, which is the 10th book in the Dollanganger Saga/Family series that originally began in 1979 with Flowers in the Attic. That story involved four children being forced to live in an attic by a greedy mother and their crazy grandmother. Toss in a bit of incest into the mix, the novel turned became a bestseller despite being challenged by schools and libraries due to its dark themes. Three sequels were published before V.C. Andrews' death in 1986. A ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, was hired to finish writing the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows, and to continue the Casteel series, as well as penning all future V.C. Andrews' titles.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review - Beneath the Attic by V.C. Andrews

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

"Once upon time, there was four siblings who were forced by their mother to live in their grandparent's attic for nearly 3 ½ years. Thanks to a crazed grandmother, rat poison, and a little bit of incest, the children's experience in the attic was a nightmare."

Does the story sound familiar?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter Reads: My Sweet Audrina

Retail: $7.99: Pages 560
The Gothic fiction genre has almost completely disappeared, with the exception of Anne Rice and of course the ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novels. While I read my first Anne Rice title during my teenage years, I didn't read my first V.C. Andrews novel (Flowers in the Attic) until I was about twenty-years-old, which I found a few hardcovers at a thrift store. After learning that I was reading the Dollanganger series, my late grandmother gave me her collection of V.C. Andrews books (which she owned all the books up to the first title in the DeBeers series).

Anyway, after I finished reading the Dollanganger series, I read My Sweet Audrina, which was the only published standalone (originally published in 1982) by V.C. Andrews before her death in 1986, and it became one of her most popular titles. The novel has been adapted into a two hour (90-minutes without commercials) that will air on LIFETIME on Saturday, January 9, 2016! To tie-in with the movie's premiere, Pocket Books is re-releasing My Sweet Audrina (ISBN: 978-1501138843) to paperback with all new cover art. There is also a sneak peak at the upcoming sequel, Whitefern, scheduled to be published in July.

I don't reread very many books, but I was definitely wanting to read My Sweet Audrina before the LIFETIME movie premieres as I only recall bits and pieces from the novel. Luckily, I didn't have to hunt down my old hardback copy as Pocket Books nicely sent me an advanced copy of the re-release.

My Sweet Audrina chronicles the life of Audrina Adare from age seven to adulthood. Unlike other girls her age, she isn't allowed to attend school, though her coldblooded cousin Vera is allowed to go school. She spends her days at the Whitefern mansion with her mother, Lucietta and her aunt Ellsbeth (Vera's mother). When her father, Damian, isn't working, he makes her sit in the rocking chair in her deceased older sister's playroom (her name was Audrina too), so she can try to receive the "first and best" Audrina's gifts.

The original Audrina died nine-years before the second Audrina was born, which resulted in Audrina (the second) being shutoff from the outside world. She isn't allowed to have any friends or venture off into the woods (where the older Audrina was raped and murdered). While one would think that Vera would be her best friend, that isn't the case as Vera is extremely hateful to her; constantly jealous of the attention Damian gives Audrina.

Despite Audrina's short-term memory problems, she is well aware to stay away from the woods, but she eventually goes beyond Whitefern, so she can get a look at the teenage boy, Arden Lowe, and his mother, Billie, whom live in a small groundskeeper cottage on her family's property. One glance at Audrina's chameleon hair and Arden was in love with her. The two start out as just friends, but eventually end up getting married when Audrina became of age.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review - The Legacy of Croft Castle by Jean Barrett

The Legacy of Croft Castle
BY: Jean Barrett
ISBN: 0-373-22804-X
Pages: 249
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Set on a small island off England, ghost hunter Meredith Allen, along with private eye Jackson Hawke, investigates the strange occurrences happening at the Croft Castle. Of course, this castle is your typical haunted castle with secret passages, eerie lights and ghosts.

Jackson is a non-believer of the supernatural and believes that a human is responsible for the strange happenings at the castle. At first, Meredith wants nothing to do with Jackson, but this is a romance novel, so she falls for him. They explore the castle and uncover a dark mystery.

This was an easy fast read for me. One thing that really bothered if Meredith was suppose to be a ghost hunter, why didn’t she have any ghost hunting gizmos with her? The book cover says this is a gothic romance. Beside for being set a castle, I never really got the feeling that this was a gothic novel. Overall, I enjoyed the novel because of its fun characters.