It is 1837 and the young Queen Victoria has just ascended the English throne.
Orphaned and penniless after her father’s death in India, Lucy Alleyne is forced to accept a post as companion to an elderly lady until a distant relative spirits her away to Castle Athal on the Cornish coast. But Lucy’s initial gratitude at Lady Demelza Jago’s benevolence soon gives way to unease.
The ancient Cornish castle, known locally as Tenebris, is a dark monument to the family’s history and secrets. Within its embrace Lucy is drawn into friendship with Tynan Jago. The young Earl of Athal is handsome and poetic yet tortured, like his father before him. Tynan is utterly different from his uncle, Uther, whose seductive, leonine power radiates from his every word and gesture.
Between them the two Jago men have innocent Lucy enthralled—mind, body and soul. If she remains within the bloodstained castle walls, with their history of ill-starred passion and madness, a mere broken heart will seem a blessing.
Targeted Audience: 21-50
Jane Godman writes in a variety of genre. Many of her stories are heavily tinged with the supernatural and elements of horror, with haunted characters tormented by dark secrets.
The Jago Legacy Series, her gothic romances, are love stories with a dash of horror and a creepily ever after. Her dark erotic romantic suspense books, The Cunning Prophet Series feature supernatural elements and a charismatic, obsessive villain. Jane also writes steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing and is working on a three book series for Harlequin in their Nocturne (paranormal) line.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Young Adult horror novella she has coming out later in the year with MuseItUp Publishing!
Jane loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at:
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Why do I love reading and writing gothic romance?
Gothic romance is a melodramatic style of writing that originated in 18th century England in the tortured imaginations of writers including Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe. Soaring castles, dark dungeons, ghosts, murderers, eerie secrets, kidnap, incest, rattling chains, mad monks…some, or all, of the above feature in the best examples of the genre.
Many of the plots of later gothic romances followed a similar theme to the classics such as Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca or Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. A young woman who is all alone in the world goes to live in a creepy old house owned by a mysterious man with dark secrets. Once she gets there she is terrorised by a series of unexplained events, and must find the courage to solve the mystery, usually discovering that the man who appears to want to harm her is, in reality, a damaged soul who she can save with her love.
Reading, and writing, in the gothic style allows us an outlet for our darkest imaginings. From the safety of our armchair, we can accompany the gothic heroine as, clad in a clinging white nightdress, with only a single candle to light her way, she climbs the creaking stairs to discover just what those strange noises in the attic actually are.
In the best gothics, a sense of menace pervades each part of the story, because every character has secrets. We suspect them all. Our heroine’s life is constantly in danger, yet she has to stay in the crumbling mansion or spooky castle. She must find out who is trying to kill her young charge or uncover the mystery of the first wife who haunts her marital home.
The more of the story she unravels, the greater the tension. The hero behaves in a strange and often churlish manner and we are repeatedly invited to question his motives. He has dark secrets, yet our heroine, who we have come to love, is irresistibly drawn to him. Can she/we have got him all wrong?
There was a lot I could not understand about him, but that air of mystery about him enthralled me. There were times when he talked freely about himself, but even at such times I had the impression he was holding back something, some dark secret perhaps, or something he did not entirely understand himself. Catherine, the heroine in Victoria Holt’s Kirkland Revels
One of the best things about a well written gothic is the atmosphere. Picture our heroine in her flimsy gown, nervous but determined as she enters the forbidden abandoned wing, or tiptoes down the stairs to the dungeons, climbs the ladder to the attic full of cobwebs and moth-eaten furnishings, running from the house in terror toward the clifftop… We’ve all seen those scenes in horror films. We’ve all shouted at the screen “Don’t go into the attic!” and shivered with a combination of pleasure and terror when our heroine ignores us.
Gothic romances have been crying out for a revival. Our heroine was due an injection of feistiness. The gender tables had to be turned. The sensuality that was hinted at by Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels and their contemporaries needed to be made explicit.
The ‘New Gothics’ had to happen.
Read more, including a sample from the book [Read more…]