If you weren’t mad when you entered the gates, you will be soon enough…. Emilie Autumn tells a complex dual narrative of madness and mental institutions in her semi-autobiographical book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. If the author’s name sounds familiar, it may be that you know her from her music career. Emilie Autumn has been one of my favorite musicians for over a decade by this point. Her dark lyrics, haunting voice, classically-influenced music, and unusual style appeal strongly to many goths, though Emilie tends to reject that label for herself. One of the recurring themes throughout her music is madness, especially how women struggling with mental illness are perceived and treated by society. In The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, she explores this topic more directly. Continue reading Emilie Autumn’s The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls Ebook Review
Valentine Wolfe is a gothic metal band that I first encountered at the final Wicked Faire last year. Since then, I’ve been able to catch snippets of their performances at various Jeff Mach Events over the past year, but finally got to listen and dance to a full set of theirs—at a Harry Potter convention of all places—during the goth night at MISTI-Con 2017. The band is based out of North Carolina and consists of Sarah Black, whose soprano vocals give their music its ethereal quality, and Braxton Ballew, who rocks out on the electric upright bass. Their music is particularly popular in both the goth and steampunk scenes, and they perform at a number of conventions up and down the east coast. To get an idea of what their music is like, check out the video of their rendition of “Annabel Lee” below and read on for my interview with Sarah and Braxton:
Oriel’s life seems like a fairy tale when she finally escapes her emotionally abusive father to go live with some loving—and wealthy!—long-lost relatives. But when she meets Herron, the dark and brooding young duke, she learns that this paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. Could someone in her new family really be a murderer, as the duke suspects? Find out when you read Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees! Last year, I picked up a couple of works by this spectacular self-published author of Victorian Gothic fiction, including her short Christmas tale Upon a Ghostly Yule. As a bit of a spin-off from Sea of Secrets, this short story introduced me to the Reginald family and hinted at their myriad scandals. It was about time, then, that I finally picked up Sea of Secrets itself. Continue reading Sea of Secrets Review—A Gothic Romance Spin on Hamlet
Talk about a Ghost of Christmas Past! “Upon a Ghostly Yule” is a festive short story by Amanda DeWees, one of my new favorite authors who writes traditional-style Gothic novels, such as the one I reviewed earlier this year, With This Curse. Last year, she published this yuletide tale which continues in a similar vein. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, “Upon a Ghostly Yule” is a sort of companion story to one of Dewees’s other novels, A Sea of Secrets, though it functions as an entirely independent piece. Much like Leanna Renee Hieber’s “A Christmas Carroll,” this story is the perfect blend of ghosts, romance, and holiday cheer. Continue reading “Upon A Ghostly Yule” Review—Another Victorian Christmas Tale!
Who doesn’t love a good Christmas ghost story? Especially when that ghost story is also a love story! And of course, it’s even better when that story is a companion novella to a series you’re (not so) patiently waiting for the next book in. You’ve heard me rave all year about Victorian fantasy author Leanna Renee Hieber and her newly re-released Strangely Beautiful saga. Books one and two have been re-edited and published by Tor in a beautiful single volume, which I reviewed back in April. The next book, a prequel called Perilous Prophecy is slated to be reissued next June. In the meantime, Leanna’s short novella “A Christmas Carroll” is just the thing to tide us over, and it’s appropriately festive for the season! Continue reading Leanna Renee Hieber’s Heartwarming Holiday Story, “A Christmas Carroll”
What could tempt you to reenter a cursed house, where all that you loved had already been taken from you once before? For Clara, only the dismal prospects of being an unmarried Victorian woman without hope of employment could drive her back to Gravesend. This predicament opens the story of With This Curse by Amanda DeWees, a traditional-style Gothic novel which won the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award. Amanda’s books were first recommended to me by an author I’ve talked about at length in many posts here, Leanna Renee Hieber. I knew I could trust such glowing praise from one of my favorite authors, and when With This Curse arrived in the mail and I saw its gorgeous and elegant cover, I was even more excited to read it. It took several months to make its way up my to-read list, but when I finally cracked the spine, I was not disappointed. Continue reading With This Curse Review–An Excellent Victorian Gothic
Our favorite Victorian paranormal research teams are back this week, with Book 2 of the Eterna Files! Back in January, I posted about how much I loved The Eterna Files, the first book in Leanna Renee Hieber’s latest series. Tomorrow, August 9th, the story continues with the release of Eterna and Omega. I’ll be attending the New York City book launch event this Thursday at the Morris-Jumel Mansion. If you’re going, come say hi! If you’re not in NYC but still want a signed copy, WORD bookstore is offering signed and personalized copies for preorder! You can also find it on Amazon or at your local bookstore starting tomorrow. Continue reading Eterna and Omega Review: Sensitives, Psychics, and Spirits, Oh My!
First things first, congratulations to Ewan for winning our Eterna Files giveaway! Ewan, who has been notified by email, will be receiving a signed copy of the brand new paperback edition of The Eterna Files directly from the author herself!
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, last week I wrote a review of Leanna Renee Hieber’s latest gaslamp fantasy novel The Eterna Files. In brief, The Eterna Files chronicles the efforts of two secret teams established by their respective governments on either side of the Atlantic and tasked with finding answers in the quest for immortality. As always after finishing a good book, I am currently in a state of mourning over no longer being able to live in this fantastical world, especially in this case a world so full of exciting international drama and paranormal intrigue. Luckily for me (and any of you that decide to read this dark Victorian masterpiece), the second book in the series, Eterna and Omega, is coming out in August!
Until then, author Leanna Renee Hieber has graciously decided to help us get through these six long months by answering some questions on behalf of her characters. I asked her a question directed at Clara Templeton—one of the main characters of The Eterna Files and the one inadvertently responsible for sparking the American government’s interest in immortality. Clara is more sensitive to aspects of the paranormal than most people are, particularly to ghosts and apparitions—though it was another power of hers that intrigued me throughout the book: Clara can remember details from her past lives. Continue reading Eterna Files Character Questions and Giveaway Winner
Yup, you read that right. The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber is a Victorian paranormal spy drama—and so much more! This book has been sitting at the top of my to-read list for a while, and I’ve mentioned several times how excited I was to read it. Leanna Renee Hieber is one of my absolute favorite authors, largely because her aesthetic tends to line up perfectly with my particular brand of gothic tastes. Well-researched gaslamp fantasy with dark paranormal elements and nuanced feminist characters who kick ass in their fashionable Victorian finery? Count me in! Darker Still, one of Leanna’s previous books, was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog and it still holds the title of my favorite. But The Eterna Files did not fail to live up to my high expectations. Be sure to read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win a signed copy of The Eterna Files for yourself! Also, make sure you tune in next week to see Leanna answer some of my burning questions on behalf of her characters. Continue reading Eterna Files Review and Giveaway—Victorian Paranormal Spy Drama
Love classic Gothic novels, but prefer protagonists with a little more spunk than the defenseless damsels typically featured in these works? Then the books of Leanna Renee Hieber may be just what you’re looking for. In Darker Still, the first in her Magic Most Foul series, Hieber follows the tropes of her Gothic predecessors, writing in an epistolary style and featuring murder, mystery, and the occult set in a romanticized past. The story takes place, however, in a museum in 19th-century New York, rather than in the stereotypical Old World gothic manor.