Gothic Shivers (or Romance with a Dash of Horror!)
Crumbling manor houses, gloomy corridors, ghostly apparitions and eerie secrets. Just a few of the reasons why gothic romance has enthralled readers for over two centuries
Gothic romances are all about setting, uncertainty, and an element of creepiness that makes the romance all the sweeter. The hidden story is as important, perhaps more important, than the explicit. Think ghostly shadows rather than chain-saw wielding serial killers. Fingertips of nervous and sensual excitement are trailed down the spine in equal measure. The dark atmosphere is integral to the suspense, and the most frightening elements are often implied rather than stated outright. Our heroines have a tendency to ignore common sense and explore dark houses or stormy cliff-top castles, but they are also brave, loyal, and determined. The gothic heroine will fight for the man she loves, even if she has a sneaking suspicion he may be trying to kill her. Our brooding heroes are misunderstood by everyone, including the heroine at first (see above).
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. 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. Harlequin Shivers needed to happen.
In January 2014, Harlequin Shivers was launched with a four book digital box set. On 1st April 2014 the four titles released individually. At the same time, the second box set was launched. This cycle will be repeated every three months.
Jane Godman Shivers books
The Jago Legacy Series
LEGACY OF DARKNESS (single title released 1st April 2014)
1837 Cornwall, England
Orphaned, penniless and reduced to the role of lady's companion, Lucy Alleyne is relieved when a distant relation spirits her away to Castle Athal. But gratitude soon gives way to fear—and unlooked-for pleasure.
The ancient Cornish castle is a dark monument to family, fortune and blood. Within its walls, the Jago family keeps its wards close…and its secrets closer. Lucy is drawn to Tynan, Earl of Athal. The young heir is handsome and caring, yet tortured in his mind like his father before him. Tynan is utterly different from his uncle Uther—a commanding, seductive presence whose leonine power radiates from his every word and gesture.
These two Jago men have innocent Lucy enthralled—mind, soul and body. But if she remains within the poisonous castle keep, with its history of ill-starred passion and madness, a mere broken heart will seem a mercy.
ECHOES IN THE DARKNESS (available now in the April 2014 SHIVERS box set)
Not betrothed, but beguiled.
In artistic circles she is the Divine Dita, Paris’ most sought-after nude model. But now she’s not so much posing as playing a role: fiancée to the next Earl of Athal. The charade is a favor to Dita’s friend, Eddie Jago, a dissolute painter…and the aforementioned heir. As deceptions go, it is innocent compared with what will come.
On the grim Cornish coast, from the ashes of a ruined castle rises the Jagos’ sumptuous new manor house. The fresh-hewn stone, however, cannot absorb the blood of centuries or quiet the echoes of past crimes. Dita struggles to decipher the family: the infirm Earl and his inscrutable wife; resentful Eddie; sheltered sister Eleanor. And Cad: the handsome second son whose reputation is spotless in business—scandalous everywhere else.
Drawn by friendship, ensnared by lust, Dita uncovers a sordid tangle of murder, desire and madness. It will lay her bare as no portraitist has done before.
The third and final book in the Jago Legacy series is coming soon!
I also have two ‘stand alone’ Shivers titles due for release over the coming months. Both are set in the 1930s. One is located in a Welsh valley and the other story takes place on an isolated Italian island. I’m really excited about them both because they feature stronger elements of horror alongside the romance in the stories. The contrast really does increase the shivery element.
Jane Godman Bio
I am an avid reader, particularly of historical romances, and my favourite authors are Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen and Victoria Holt. I have always enjoyed writing (I still have a copy of the medieval novel I wrote, in felt tip pen, when I was 14!).
Gothic romance (love stories with a dash of horror) is my favourite genre. I love the lush atmospheric settings of the true gothic, the dark, unexplained secrets and feisty heroines. The heightened sensuality the new gothics sends an extra shiver down the reader’s spine.
I write Shivers (Gothic Romances) for Harlequin. I also write historical romances, with heroes and heroines you fall instantly in love with, fascinating supporting characters and luscious settings.
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 married to a lovely man and mum to two grown up children.
I love to hear from readers and can be contacted at:
Legacy of Darkness: http://tinyurl.com/ovr4vta
Shivers box set 2: http://tinyurl.com/nvkj7l3
Mills and Boon:
Jane Godman page: http://www.millsandboon.co.uk/jane-godman