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Old 01-17-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
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Modern Gothic Romances/Books Like "Rebecca"

Can anyone recommend newer books that are Gothic romances and are available as ebooks? I have collected (and even read ) a lot of the older Gothics -- Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, etc. Sadly, most of those aren't in ebook format, except for some Jennifer blake books. So for now, I'm looking for ebook reprints of older Gothics, and as well as newer books along those lines, such as indie-published Gothic romances.

By Gothic romance, I mean stories along the lines of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, covers with governesses running out of manor houses in their nightgowns while a single light shines in a distant window, that sort of thing. (See this blog for cool Gothic cover art.) Not romances about people read Gothic Beauty magazine. Although that would be cool to read, too.

I am also re-reading Du Maurier's Rebecca, and I'd love to know if anyone can suggest something along those lines? I love those "haunted by his dead wife" stories.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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You might like Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn or Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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Haven't read it yet, but The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson sounds intriguing. So do Susanna Kearsley's books.

A lot of Barbara Michaels's novels are available as e-books.

If you come across any gems, please post the titles--I love gothics too!
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #4
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You might be interested in Maybe This time by Jennifer Crusie. It is a modern re-telling of Taming the Screw. I think. Well. It has ghosts, and orphans, and an governant that gets into trouble. It lacks the cover, though. .

Edit: Another one that might interest you is The Spurned Viscountess by Shelley Munro. Still don't have the cover though. But really, really good.

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Thank you for the recommendations.

I did find some Nina Coombs Pykare Gothics available on Kindle, as well as Joyce C. Ware, and I'm pretty sure both of them used to write Gothics for the Zebra line. In years past, I've seen other reprints along those lines from smaller epublishers, but some of the epublishers might have shut down.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:39 AM   #6
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If you want to try Nina Coombs Pykare, then the most cost-efficient way to get her backlist works is via Fictionwise with the weekend discount coupons, which should take them down to below $3 if a good one is available.

They've got at least 24 of her titles as DRM-free MultiFormat, reprinted by Belgrave House, which also does a number of other previously-published reprints, mainly for Regency romance, but also a few other genres including gothics and non-romantic suspense from other authors when last I browsed.

Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley apparently tried her hand at writing gothic romances back in the day. If you are familiar with her sf/fantasy work, you may want to try them for the curiosity value, and they're fairly cheap at $2.99 each (less with coupon). Castle Terror & Bluebeard's Daughter

Disclaimer: I have not read any of these myself, although I did buy the MZB books on sale for said curiosity value.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:32 AM   #7
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Madeleine Brent, I don't know if she(he actually, since it is a pseudonym for Peter Odonnell?) is available in ebook format. Have you read any Elizabeth Peters? Her character Amelia Peabody is a turn of the century archaeologist. Elizabeth Peters also writes under the Barbara Michaels name. Stirring the cobwebs of my reading past by doing a search I found several more authors in that vein that I used to read
Edwina Marlow
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Barbara Wood
Anya Seton
Anne Maybury

I just recently finished reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian which is definitely a literary Gothic take on Dracula. I enjoyed it.

More modern style equivalents authors could be Mary Higgins Clark?

Last edited by beespeckled; 01-21-2012 at 03:46 AM. Reason: rephrasing
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
If you want to try Nina Coombs Pykare, then the most cost-efficient way to get her backlist works is via Fictionwise with the weekend discount coupons, which should take them down to below $3 if a good one is available.
Darn, I should have thought of Fictionwise. I often use them for multiformat backlist.


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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Also, Marion Zimmer Bradley apparently tried her hand at writing gothic romances back in the day. If you are familiar with her sf/fantasy work, you may want to try them for the curiosity value, and they're fairly cheap at $2.99 each (less with coupon). Castle Terror & Bluebeard's Daughter
I did buy at least one of those but still have to read it. Somewhere I have a paper copy of one of them. Probably a dinged up version, of course. The Gothics in used bookstores (those that haven't been hoarded by collectors or tossed out by Those Who Know Not What They Do) have all been around the block a few times.

From what I've read, MZB was proud of the fact that she did not end the Gothics in a traditional Gothic romance fashion. No, I don't think that means the heroines started a Darkover fanclub. But I think they ended up without the prospect marrying the hero (or would-have-been hero) in at least one of the stories. In a lot of Gothics, that would have been a major improvement in the story.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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From what I've read, MZB was proud of the fact that she did not end the Gothics in a traditional Gothic romance fashion. No, I don't think that means the heroines started a Darkover fanclub. But I think they ended up without the prospect marrying the hero (or would-have-been hero) in at least one of the stories.
Aw... I was hoping for a psychic secret society of inbred aristocratic redheads investigating spooky towers and having feuds over eminent domains or whatever.

But seriously, if they really do escape the standard romantic we-must-end-up-coupled-even-if-totally-unsuited-and-likely-to-set-up-a-mysterious-murder/suicide-for-the-next-doomed-couple-in-the-sequel-to-be-gothically-suspensed-about cliche, then I should probably go read them sometime sooner than I was planning.

BTW, the Fictionwise keyword search for "gothic" listed this work for some reason: Lillian Stewart Carl's Memory and Desire. I don't think I've read any gothics that I know about, so I'm not sure if it really fits the category, but I have read the actual book and I can vouch for its being a pretty good one with supernatural elements and a figuring-out-what-really-happened-in-the-mysterious-disappearance which is not overridden by the romance-y bits.

I therefore recommend it since you are looking for recommendations. But it may not be an actual gothic of the sort that you're looking for. Still a good read nonetheless.

And I should go post that FW 35% off coupon I got in my mail yesterday to the Deals forum.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beespeckled View Post
Madeleine Brent, I don't know if she(he actually, since it is a pseudonym for Peter Odonnell?) is available in ebook format. Have you read any Elizabeth Peters? Her character Amelia Peabody is a turn of the century archaeologist. Elizabeth Peters also writes under the Barbara Michaels name. Stirring the cobwebs of my reading past by doing a search I found several more authors in that vein that I used to read
Edwina Marlow
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Barbara Wood
Anya Seton
Anne Maybury
We might have some of the same cobwebs as I have some of the same authors. Did you ever read Gothic Journal magazine? They put out a small print magazine for several years, before they decided they couldn't compete with on-line reviews. They had great author profiles on Gothic romance authors. As one who wrote a couple of those, believe me, it's hard to track down information on some of those women (and men)! A publisher trying to track down a writer or their estate would have a hard time in some cases.

Sadly so many of the best known authors died before ebooks became a popular idea. (Although Mary Stewart is still alive!) They're also out of print and out of mind. While some of the Zebra Gothic authors from the 1980s have gone on to reissue their Gothics, it's harder to find ebooks by the older names from the 1950s-1970s. No Mary Stewart, no Phyllis Whitney, etc. Although I did just check Victoria Holt, and they now have Kindle editions. There are Holt, Barbara Michaels, and Rinehart ebooks. And there's some Velda Johnston there as well. So it's a start.

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I just recently finished reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian which is definitely a literary Gothic take on Dracula. I enjoyed it.

More modern style equivalents authors could be Mary Higgins Clark?
I have The Historian, but it's soooo long that I'm afraid to start it. I have read Mary Higgins Clark, although mostly her earlier books. I see her as more romantic suspense-ish, but that counts, too. Sometimes the difference between Gothic and romantic suspense is what the publisher choses to call it.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Sadly so many of the best known authors died before ebooks became a popular idea. (Although Mary Stewart is still alive!) They're also out of print and out of mind. While some of the Zebra Gothic authors from the 1980s have gone on to reissue their Gothics, it's harder to find ebooks by the older names from the 1950s-1970s. No Mary Stewart, no Phyllis Whitney, etc. Although I did just check Victoria Holt, and they now have Kindle editions. There are Holt, Barbara Michaels, and Rinehart ebooks. And there's some Velda Johnston there as well. So it's a start.
I noticed a few months ago that the Amazon UK site has a number of Mary Stewart titles for the Kindle. So I hope that means we won't have to wait too much longer in the U.S.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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Oh my gosh, my reading past. And there were a couple of Jane Aiken Hodge that I think would fit in the gothics.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:36 AM   #13
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Carmelreader, I forgot about Jane Aiken Hodge, mention of her trailed into another Gothic author, Joan Aiken.

Critteranne, I read a few of Velda Johnstons too! I had not been aware of Gothic Journal, I would have enjoyed it. I was voraciously reading everything I could get my hands on in that genre from about 8th grade through teens

Ok found a few more familiar names: Patrica Maxwell, Patricia Matthews. Georgette Heyer wrote a few mystery suspense novels also. Anne Mccaffrey also wrote a few gothic suspense novels: Ring of Fear, Mark of Merlin. I preferred her fantasy series though.

Anyone remember those somewhat green tinted slightly larger print Lancer Easy Eye paperbacks?

The Historian is not a fast paced read, it takes patience, could have been edited down some more I believe, but it was a fascinating spin on the Dracula legend.

you may have already found this link, some familiar names and many unfamiliar to me:
http://www.mysteryfile.com/Gothics.html

This is fun, going down Gothic memory lane!
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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I don't think anyone's mentioned Dorothy Eden yet.
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