Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Congratulations to Deanna Stevens, Annie of Just Commonly and Trixi owners of The American Heiress Brides Collection!

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Dark Shadows Effect

Well, there was Dark Shadows, the tv show, and there were authors Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. If you see a connection, you might just be a fan of gothics and romantic suspense.  
On my recent visit to the rocky shores of New England, I sat mesmerized by surf crashing on the black rocks below me. Then. Whoosh. A flashback to the opening of the old cult hit, Dark Shadows, and its eerie music.     

I've read every Phyllis Whitney book published. For me, she was the queen of romantic suspense, and even her contemporary stories had a historical feel to them. The storylines were formulaic, but I gobbled them up anyway. 

Now I read Anne Perry. No surprise. 

So far, I’ve never added vampires to my fiction, but visiting New England’s coastline reinforced my love for gothic settings. When Inkwell's Jennifer AlLee posted a Barnabas Collins photo (the actor Jonathan Frid from Dark Shadows) on her facebook page I recalled the allure that kept me glued to my tv screen at 4:00pm weekdays. If you don’t recall, it might be your age!  If you instead think of Johnny Depp, I’ll just shake my head.

My mother and I watched  the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir multiple times. I’m a sucker for old houses, rocky shorelines, fog and mystery, and tales of the sea. During my stay on Cape Ann, I called the Emerson Inn by the Sea home. My friend and I agreed it was just right for the setting of a Murder, She Wrote episode. 

What settings do you enjoy in your fiction? 


  1. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir has always been on my top 50 movie list! Just reading the title Dark Shadows cued the theme music in my head. Blustery wind and crashing waves are a great start to any dark Gothic novel.

  2. Oh, goodness! We NEVER missed Dark Shadows. I don't remember much about it now, though it would probably be unbearably cheesy to watch. Still old houses and rocky shores and fog and creepy locked rooms . . . oh my!

    And I just started reading Anne Perry. Love her books!

    1. ahah! you know just what I mean then...
      I've also started reading Louise Perry. Not gothic but a great series

  3. Debra, I wrote a similar post about the coast of Maine for Craftie Ladies a few weeks ago. My only TV reference in that post was Murder She Wrote, but I used to rush home from school to watch Dark Shadows and I absolutely LOVED The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

    1. great minds and all...

      I'll have to check out the Craftie Ladies post. Thanks Mary!

  4. I've never heard of Dark Shadows, but I think I would've liked it. I certainly love Anne Perry books. Glad to see others who enjoy her work.

    As for settings... anything with mountains gets me. I grew up in the Colorado Rockies, so I'm partial to them. Rocky coastlines though... gotta love them too.