Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gothic Ladies and House of Cards

Welcome friendly gal and Gothic author Juli D. Revezzo to the blog! She is going to share a bit about her historical gothic story, House of Cards and share a bit about herself, too. :)

Lisa asked me to speak with you today on my gothic story, House of Cards. When I was in college, I studied art history and when I first began, I had a mild interest in the artists of the 19th century. I adored Renoir and was particularly intrigued with the story of a somewhat forgotten French sculptress named Camille Claudel who lived around the turn of the last century. I’d caught the movie on cable that year and fell so in love I went out and bought the videotape and watched it …oh, about a billion times. I even tracked down a biography of her. In short, Camille was once the assistant to Rodin, became his lover, and poor thing, lost her marbles when he finally tossed her aside. (You can read a longer bio on her here).


I’d been writing at the time, as well, and my first finished novel was set during that time period. Was it any good? Well, I haven’t heard any complaints from the dust mites under my desk. *innocent look*

But I digress… If we jump up to just a few years ago, I found a small dark fantasy and horror zine for which I decided to attempt a tale. I guess somewhere my subconscious caught up with me because the first thing I decided to do was to set this story, what became House of Cards, in the midst of the opening days of the French Revolution. Now you might not see how that ties together, since Mademoiselle Claudel was active in the late 1800s, but believe me, it ties in for to me it’s to her that I owe this delving back into the French setting.

So, I put my main character in carriage on his way out of Dodge because his family faced the Guillotine. He doesn’t quite make it to safety, however, but finds himself facing a very different horror than the one from which he escaped. A horror built by a ghastly set of characters, most notably a mischievous “Hanged woman”, in a dark and horrid place. The woman gives him a mystery to solve if he’s to keep his head on his shoulders, and his life heading to a better place.

Maybe in a way that is a bit like Camille, poor thing, who ended up forever lost and languishing in an insane asylum. At least until the art historians found her. Add a dash of the macabre and supernatural (which, by the way we could say that’s influenced by Mary Shelley, who is also another Gothic lady I love), and a nod to Mademoiselle Claudel’s sometimes tortured clay and bronze figures (see her pieces Deep Thought, or the Beseecher)—now can you see the connection between her influence and my story House of Cards? Well, the French Gothic setting and is one I so love, I plan to revisit these characters again.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll give House of Cards a try, and the next time you see something in the paper about a gallery showing of French art, maybe you’ll think of this little known, but fantastic artist and give her a little “hail” in the Otherworld. :)

Interested to see how this story plays out? Here’s the synopsis for House of Cards:

You can't escape Fate....

A young nobleman flees the bloody Reign of Terror, France, to find himself dragged into a demonic underworld.  An evil hag tortures him during a horrific trial in which he must rely on his wits. Can he thwart his horrible fate, one far worse than the guillotine? Will his knowledge of the Occult and his familiarity with tarot help him survive this ordeal--or seal his doom?

If you’d like to try the story it’s available at in ebook format from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

More on Camille Claudel

About Juli D. Revezzo
Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world–slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted SummerDark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. She recently released her debut novel, The Artist’s Inheritance.
She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.
Should you like to learn more about this and future releases you can find Juli at:
Twitter: @julidrevezzo

Thanks for having me here today, Lisa!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Welcome Gothic Romance Writer Amber Newberry!

I'm so happy to welcome gothic romance writer Amber Newberry to the blog today! She has a wonderful post about her writing and a great giveaway. I am also in love with the cover art for Walls of Ash. Please post your entries to the contest below this post. If you have too much trouble doing that, you can post your comments on the Facebook page, too
Take it away, Amber! :)

What draws us toward the danger and mystery of a gothic romance?  We begin reading a Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart or Phyllis A. Whitney novel expecting great suspense and a love story that may very well not have a resolve until the final pages.  We go into these gothic adventures knowing that we will experience a certain amount of fear and at the same time, a flutter of our hearts when the heroine first meets a man she both loves and despises for his arrogance or one who must be saved from the depths of darkness.  We are the gothic romance readers, we choose our books based on the ‘woman running from house’ cover art and the cover blurb which usually reads something like, ‘...the secret will destroy her, or save her...’ or ‘only the bounds of love can save him...’  It is a grand and faithful tradition that we devote ourselves to for the rest of our lives.  We read our first gothic at 13 or 30 or 55 and no matter who we are, this under-appreciated genre is with us from then on.

For some of us, the obsession is a hobby and for others, a way of life.  My obsession began as a young teen, having completed too many books for my age-group too quickly, my mother suggested I started reading at a higher level.  My mother reads like it’s her day job and I remember hundreds of trips to the used book store, flea markets and thrift stores to search for our next great adventures.  We had recently stocked up on teen books for me, I was in the sixth grade and finishing a book a day and when my mom realized there was no challenge in the ‘Babysitter’s Club’ books and that I’d already swept through Avonlea and Narnia, she knew that something had to be done.  I was yearning for something new and I wanted something historical, so we went through the many shelves my mother kept around the house.  They were absolutely stuffed with books, magnificent fantasies and alternate realities and stories of space and time.  She handed me book after book that I declined or showed little interest in until she handed me a tan hard-cover book that smelled musty and had a layer of dust across the top.

The Pride of the Peacock”, I read aloud.  There was no book jacket and the letters were in an ominous dark brown font with the name ‘Victoria Holt’ below it.  My mom stopped there and said that it was the one she’d been looking for.  She gave me a brief synopsis and I stopped her at the mention of Australia and was reading for the rest of the day.  My mother was shocked that I finished it within 48 hours but then gave me another Holt book called, “The Spring of the Tiger” and by this time, I was ready to give over my life to the genre and I suppose you could say that I did.  That was when I began collecting gothics and when the creative energy began to stir within me that I needed to write my own stories of great houses with secrets so horrifying and intriguing that they spurred the main character into running out into the mist to get away from the darkness dwelling within those walls.  Sadly, it would be over a decade before I began writing novels seriously and I have only recently achieved my goal.

They say ‘don’t quit your day job’, but in a moment of either clarity or insanity I quit my job just before a trip to Ireland where I unwound and began to live my life for me again instead of the so-called ‘man’.  I kept a travel journal for the trip and when I arrived home began blogging of my experiences, but the creative release in writing was overwhelming and no poetry or short stories seemed to relieve the need.  There was an idea building in my head and I sat down one May morning and began to write ‘Walls of Ash’ a story that stretched out into a novel over the course of ten very long days.  I woke up, wrote from 7am till 2am, skipping meals and forgetting about the outside world.  I wore my pajamas all day and lived off of coffee.  I spent 10 glorious days living within the walls of Rhineholt House, oblivious to what went on around me.  My dreams were filled with the images on the pages I wrote and I had to get the story out before the inspiration left me.  When I wrote the final words on the very last page, I breathed a sigh of relief, enjoyed the achievement and began writing the next story before I even started the long editing and rewriting process that took a good six months with the help of a very dear friend.

So, for me, the gothic romance genre has become a way of life that was shared by few around me.  I was thrilled to discover the Gothicked community where like-minded people went to bask in the joy of intrigue and mystery.  I’ve had such fun reading Lisa’s reviews and the posts.  I was excited when Lisa opened the blog up for guest-posts and she agreed to allow me to host a giveaway.  We have two print copies available for you, dear friends, to win!  With much thought on how to host the contest, I’ve decided to ask you all what your first gothic read was and why it drove you into the madness of continuing to read these stories of darkness and love.  Give the book title and the author’s name and a short reason why it made you continue reading gothics in the comment section below.  The winners will be chosen in two week’s time and notified right away.

For those of you who would like to begin reading ‘Walls of Ash’ right away, it is a great time to take the plunge as it is on sale at .99 for a limited time.  You can get it for Kindle, Nook or Kobo or for any of the aforementioned apps on your iPad or iPhone.  I have posted the synopsis and a cover photo below, as well as a link to the book on Goodreads.  The first few chapters are available to read for free in the “sample” option on Amazon.  I thank you for taking the time to read about my obsession with my favorite genre and wish you luck in the contest!

Walls of Ash, A New Gothic Romance That Echoes The Style of A Forgotten Genre

Tamsin Rhineholt is a stubborn and unconventional daughter of Rhineholt House. In a time when young women were bred to wed and follow orders, she finds herself faced with decisions that could lead her into the arms of love, or into danger. With the discovery of harrowing family secrets, Tamsin’s sweet dreams of her mother become dark, terrifying nightmares, warning her of the terrible things to come.
This homage to the gothic greats breathes new life into a forgotten genre that has been too long left in the cold.  Walls of Ash takes a refreshing look at the gothic romance.

Amber Newberry is a musician and writer who grew up in the South but later migrated to New England.   With a variety of creative interests, writing became a hobby that was generally focused toward lyrics and poetry until she recently developed an itch to write a novel.  With a flare for the macabre, Amber has made her home in Salem, MA with her very own bard and their three cats.
Wordpress Theme by wpthemescreator .
Converted To Blogger Template by Anshul .