Sunday, May 24, 2015

Paris in the Spring, a Cliche? Part One--Art


Irises in Spring, Lily Silver copyright 2007

"Lilac bushes are in full bloom and the air is heavy with their fragrance. In all the public gardens and squares flowers have been planted and are thriving. The streets are thronged with ladies in beautiful dresses--crowds of persons sitting in front of the cafes and restaurants . . . the boulevards are filled with vehicles (carriages) of every description--yet there is no unpleasant hurrying no pushing. . . "  Quote from The American Register Newspaper, circa the late nineteenth century. 

I love Paris, all things Paris.  Big surprise there, who doesn't?  


 However, I just finished writing a novel where one of the main support characters doesn't.  To quote Dan Wilson in Some Enchanted Dream, "I hate Paris in the spring, its a &ex#@! cliche!"

Well, Dan is a modern man so he is forgiven for being a cynic.  He's also a sassy character who speaks his mind a bit too frequently. He makes the statement above when he arrives in Paris of 1889, during a blinding rainstorm. By the time he meets Henri Toulouse Lautrec, and goes to the Moulin Galette, however, he's loving Paris in this time period. Its a modern man's paradise.

For the past six months I've been researching Paris life in 1889, during the Belle Epoque.  Specifically the Montmartre neighborhood, and the Paris expo of 1889. It's been so much fun. I've devoted a couple of Pinterest boards to just the visual aspects of Paris in that era. 


What is the appeal for me? Or you?  Well, there is plenty to get your blood moving if you are familiar with the era. 

 

The Artist Movements: 

 

Van Gogh's The Starry Night, compare with image directly below this one

We've all heard of Vincent Van Gogh, right?  The guy who has his images plastered on mugs and tee shirts, whose original paintings sell now for a fortune each.  But back in 1889, things weren't looking so good for Vincent. He was a poor painter, had only sold one painting in his lifetime, and people generally thought he was nuts. He was laughed at, scorned, and looked down upon. He was an emotional guy, true, but he was brilliant and no one recognized that face. He lived in obscurity, painting life as he saw it. And his method was part of a new movement called Impressionism that the art world and critics hated. The art curators would not let the Impressionists hang their paintings in the annual salon show for veiwing by the public. They considered the works of Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Seraut and others to be too different from the norm of painting realistic almost photographic depictions of historic event.  See below:

 
Oath of the Horatii, by David, a traditional painting of era

The impressionists and post impressionists were painting what they saw in the blink of an eye, and that upset a lot of people. These artists were also delving into subject matter that was taboo, like nudes of women known in French society--recgonizable women. They immortalized prostitutes, and Absinthe drinkers, people most of society didn't want to even know about much less be the feature of a modern art show.  

But, the impressionists and other artists of the time kept painting. When they were refused entry to the established circles of galleries and salons, they set up their own art shows in the parks, allowing the general public to decide for themselves what they liked instead of the gatekeepers who controled the galleries and what was seen by the public.  So this era is very interesting as it brought unimaginable changes to the art world that we take for granted today. 

 Okay, two reasons to love Paris in the Springtime.  One, the  Spring Salon was a big annual event where vetted art approved by the critics and curators was put on display to the public for a couple of weeks. And second, the unapproved artists also displayed their works in parks and public cafe's to get the work out to art lovers when they were banned by the establishment. 

 
Gauguin's Tahiti period, Note a similiar style by later artist Frida Kahlo

These artists were also interesting characters, having wild affairs, being eccentric, drinking Absinthe to gain inspiration from the muse, living on a dime, and making the conservatives around them cringe with their flamboyant lifestyles. Paul Gauguin, for example, quit his day job as a stock broker and left his wife and children (not cool in any age), to pursue an art career. He went to Tahiti to paint nudes of natives, among other things like landscapes.  Abandoning his family is not admirable in any age, but he did become a famous artist, eventually.  He's best known for those Tahitian nudes, which are primitive by the standards of the art era he lived in, but sort of revolutionary in style compared to the traditional depictions of previous times.

 

Henri Toulouse Lautrec is also a prominent figure in this erea. He was the son of a count, but again chose to go to Montmartre, the artist's district just north of Paris, and become a painter. Toulouse Lautrec was height challenged, a little person in modern lingo. He was also very flamboyant at times. Henri created a cocktail he called a Tornado, a mix of equal parts Absinthe and Cognac. He is famous for his depictions of the night life of the cabarets, including the Moulin Rouge.  His style was not at all traditional, either, and he took a lot of flack for it from traditional, conservative art critics at the time. He essentially painted naughty girls--can-can dancers, prostitues, and gave some of the portraits a gritty edge. He was another brilliant player who influenced art in a big way, opening up the door to true realism in art and not just pretty, painterly realism that had a classic aesthetic.  Toulouse Lautrec begain doing poster art for businesses, like the Moulin Rouge. Like Van Gogh, he died poor and unrecognized except in a negative way, and was committed to an asylum.

 
Lautrec's poster art

Art was one of the huge draws for me in creating a time travel story set in 1889 Paris, and more specifically, Montmartre, the artist's district.  I've studied art history for years and minored it in in college. This era is exciting for art in so many ways, so much changed within a short time as new artists brought new styles and techniques into play. And boy, did they live the life!  

As Dan Wilson says in my book, the hippies of the Haight-Ashbury era had nothing on these daring souls. The men leaving a comfortable home to live in Montmartre were brilliant in their own right, visionaries in the art world, post humus in many cases. They drank, partied, brawled, hung out in cafes late at night and discussed art together, made love with their subjects at times, haunted the dance halls and created a new age in art by breaking down barriers. Artists coming after them are beholden to them for taking the scorn and rejection and pushing through.  

 

 
Painting by Toulous Lautrec

My apologies if I've bored you in my enthusiasm for the artists of this time. I started out in this post trying to share many of the elements that went into my newest Time Travel Romance Adventure, Some Enchanted Dream.  However, I couldn't put it all in one post. I couldn't limit my love of the artists of this time to one paragraph, as I originally planned. And since I've gone a couple of weeks without a post, this will make up for it, I hope. 


In the next few posts I'll devote time to other elements of the era that beckoned me to write the book, such as the Famous World Expo of 1889 that was held in Paris and used the newly completed Eiffel Tower as a centerpiece, the heavy use of Absinthe in this period, The search for the Green Fairy--the artist's muse, the avante gard lifestyles and of course the popular dance halls like The Moulin Rouge. FYI, there were other nightclubs before it that had just as much excitment going on to draw in patrons--circus acts, card games and beautiful showgirls enticing the men. Think Las Vegas, but without electricity!


Here is an excerpt from my book: Dan is a time traveler from our time, and is meeting local artists at a cafe in May 1889 to share Absinthe, dinner and some interesting conversation: 

Release date 5/30/15
Excerpt of Some Enchanted Dream, COPYRIGHT LILY SILVER, 2015
     "This was Paris, in the time of Le Heure Verte.
     Dan was enchanted by the phrase. The Parisians actually had a name for the time of day when everyone indulged in a glass of green liquor. L'heure Verte. The Green Hour.
     He was sitting at an outdoor table on the terrace of the Cafe Veron on Blvd Montmartre, sipping absinthe with two men he had met in the tobacco shop that afternoon.
     Never one for art, Dan couldn't name the famous fellow who had painted an outdoor cafe scene at night, he only remembered the guy had flaming red hair and was supposed to have cut off his ear and gifted it to some poor lady he admired. Mad fellow, that, but his paintings from this time were worth millions in the future.
     I'll ask Tara about the fellow, surely she'll know his name, Dan thought. Wouldn't it be a hoot if they could meet that famous painter? He was mimicking his companions, taking small sips of the bittersweet drink of pale, opalescent green that had an hour of the day named after it. L'heure Verte.  He tasted licorice, lemon balm and some other delicate flavoring that tickled his senses.  
     "Where are you from, good fellow?" Dan's companion asked politely. Arthur Bellows was the man who had directed them to their present lodgings the other day. Bellows hailed from England. He was spending a year in Paris, trying to establish himself as an artist.
     "America," Dan answered, rolling his lips and letting his tongue dart about them to garner another taste of the unusual drink. "I was visiting my daughter and her husband in Dublin. They decided to come to Paris on a whim. It seemed a pleasant diversion."

      "I salute their effort at spontaneity," Mr. Paul Gouffe' said with bold authority. "Didn't they realize every room in Paris would be let for the Exposition?" The man had a nose that seemed more broken than hooked. His face was grave, his hair black and his beard bushy and full where his comrade, Mr. Bellows had a countenance that was smooth shaven and his manner was quiet and cultured. "The world has come to bow at our feet. We are the city of light."  
      An odd pair, these two, but friendly toward a stranger, Dan conceded.
     "Paul, don't be so hard on the fellow," Arthur argued. "Here's to you and your daughter, Sir. May your dreams become manifest in our fair city of light." Arthur raised his small glass toward the tower glowing in the distance, the Eiffel Tower, and they drank to his toast.
      "It is the time for dreams, no?" Paul, the burly fellow, gestured about. "Take me? I've left my stuffy life as a bank clerk to become a painter. We must all embrace our dreams, oui?"
      "Ah, yes. And if only you could find patrons for your primitive nudes," Arthur laughed, and slapped the brute fellow on the shoulder. "Then you'd stop complaining about not having two sous to rub together in this glorious city of light."
      Paul's face, coarse and unpleasant as it was, grew red, signaling trouble. He stood up, and tossed his empty glass to the curb. The noise of it shattering made the men at the tables around them turn to look. "M'sieur Bellows, you insult me with your jest in front of our guest!"
   
"Paul, sit. I meant no insult to you and you know it. You tell everyone here night after night how you cannot sell your glorious paintings to the salon, how you need to find patrons to fund your next trip around the world, so why the pretended offense if I tell the same story to a visitor in our midst?" Arthur argued.
      Murmurs about them, mostly in French, gave Dan the uneasy feeling a fight was about to ensue between the gruff Mr. Gouffe' and his more temperate English friend.
      A long string of French exploded from Paul's ruddy lips like a wind storm. He glared at Arthur. Arthur stood up, appearing to take issue with the Frenchman's hot words.
     "Gentleman," Dan rose and extended a hand toward each of them. "Do not ruin my first evening out in Paris with a brawl. I should like to hear more about your paintings, Paul."
     "Not tonight," the Frenchman hissed, and lumbered away from the open cafe.
     "He is a hot headed chap," Arthur explained as they took their seats again. "Doesn't take much to set him off. He'll be off to visit one of his whores to soothe his ego."
      Dan nodded, but didn't comment. The fellow had been so jovial earlier that afternoon when they met in the tobacco shop. He was sullen and ill tempered this evening. "So, he paints nudes, does he?"
     "This is Paris. We all paint nudes. To the beauty of the female form." Arthur lifted his glass once again in a toast.  
     Dan couldn't contain his grin. This place was turning into paradise. "Here, here."  
     A waiter came out bearing a tray of cooked meat, and a woman followed with plates and forks.            Dan swallowed hard, realizing he'd not eaten since before noon and it was now past six in the evening. He patted his pockets. "How much? I'll toss in half."
     "No." Arthur held up a thin hand with long fingers. "You are my guest tonight, Mr. Wilson. And my father, the ill humored Earl of Leicester, is the benefactor for our feast. Eat, friend. Eat. Drink. Celebrate. This is Paris, after all. And we are her suitors from afar, come to court Le belle dame sans merci, The beautiful woman without mercy." 
      The scent of roasted fowl was curling about Dan's nose with exotic tendrils of seduction. He could not argue with his companion. Hopefully, he'd be able to return the favor and buy Arthur a few pints later this evening. "Are you a poet as well as an artist?"
      Arthur sliced a piece of breast meat from the sultry brown carcass between them. He offered it to Dan by reaching across the table and placing it on his plate. There were steaming potatoes, and green beans. Dan smiled with wicked delight. If Paul hadn't become so foul tempered, he'd be eating with them now. Well, then, all the more for himself and Artie.  
     "I do write verse from time to time, but that quote is not my own. It comes from Keats, written long ago. Do you not know your English Poets, my good man?  "'I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful--a  fairy's child, her hair was long, her foot was light, and her eyes were wild'.  To Keats, the beautiful woman without mercy is actually a fairy maid."
      Dan choked on the mouthful of roasted duck he was trying to swallow. Fairy. He'd been slapped upside the head recently over that odd business. And wasn't that what got him into this wild mess of time travel in the first place? Fairy magic. Tara's fairy magic, to be precise.
     "I say, good fellow?" Arthur stopped fussing with his plate to regard Dan with concern.
     His eyes were watering. Dan grasped the glass of green juice and guzzled it in an attempt to get liquid into his throat. The liquor didn't help. He coughed more, and took to wheezing.
    Arthur was on his feet, shouting to someone to bring water to their table. He started thumping Dan on the back with more gusto than Dan thought possible for such a sparse man.
    The waiter and several others hovered over the table as Dan tried to recover from the embarrassment of choking in a public place. He grunted a few times, and tugged at the opening of his shirt.  "I'm fine. Please . . . please, away." He made a sweeping gesture with his hand. Arthur, his host, nodded and herded the others away with his arms.
     Fairies. Yeah, right. Dan was still trying to wrap his head around the reality of having a friend on the inside of that secret club. Tara and her brothers were actually fairies. He didn't like to think about it too much. He tried not to. But when some jolly fellow like this made a random comment about creatures he had believed all his life were merely cartoon characters, Dan found himself choking and sputtering.
    "Travelling by sea can cause a fellow's insides to become unsettled." Arthur said dryly as he sat down again. "You should eat lightly for a few days, and avoid strong drink."
    "You have no idea," Dan quipped. "I find I don't travel well at all of late. But, never mind me, tell me more about this fairy woman without mercy."

   
Arthur made a face, as if considering his next words very carefully. And then he leaned in close, so those about them could not hear his low whisper. "My friend, you may think me mad, but there has been talk for some years of a fairy lingering about this place, a beautiful fairy woman strolling the streets of Montmartre late in the night. She visits those who practice the creative arts and bestows the gift of inspiration upon a rare few."
      Dan sat back in his chair and gazed out at the city lights below as he considered the finer points of keeping his own counsel on the reality of fairies while sharing a drink with a stranger. "That's a captivating story. I'd write it down if I were you, before you forget it. Gives this," he lifted his glass, "a unique allure. Here's to the Green Fairy, may her legend always inspire you."
     "Oh, she's quite real." Arthur tipped his glass at Dan for emphasis. "And pure Absinthe, the true Absinthe given to men by her, that is my conduit to finding her."                      
     "Best of luck." Dan sighed, and reached for his cigar inside his coat pocket. He had a bad feeling about this. He'd keep an eye on Arthur, look in on him from time to time to make sure the guy wasn't taking too much of this green elixir and melting his brain.
      "Oh, I've seen her, just once. I was transported to her court. It is an experience one can hardly forget. A beautiful garden cloaked in the night, with an amazing swirling green pool that glows, and iridescent flowers that wave and undulate in the night like fireflies with large, billowy illuminated wings."
       Dan brushed his hand over his jaw, wondering if this Absinthe the man ingested regularly was similar to LSD when taken in heavy amounts. "I see. Was it a dream?"
"No," Arthur was adamant. "No, she kissed me." 
COPYRIGHT LILY SILVER, 2015

NEXT TIME: Absinthe, that lovely green drink that inspires men to dream, to write, to paint, to create! 



Monday, May 4, 2015

Jane Austen: Why We Love Elizabeth Bennett!

Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie Bennet

If you are a Jane Austen fan, as I am, your favorite heroine might be Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. There are many other wonderful heroines in her stories, but Pride and Prejudice seems to be the perennial favorite. 

If you don't know the story: here it is in a nutshell.  Elizabeth Bennett is about twenty, still lives at home with her mom, dad, and four sisters. Their dad has a nice home, Longbourne, with servants. There's a little problem with their future, however, as daddy's home is entailed, meaning he cannot leave it legally to anyone but the nearest male relative. No sons. So mom worries all the time about what should happen if Mr. Bennett dies. She fears they will all be tossed out onto the street, penniless, when Mr. B's nephew obtains the property. 

So, mom has five unmarried daughters, and her plan is to marry them off to rich men of means, so they will all be ensured a prosperous future.  Well, it is the early 19th century here, so that was normal. Women couldn't go to college. They couldn't to out and get jobs, unless they were low born. Then they could be servants, tavern maids, or governesses.

Elizabeth is the second daughter. Her older sister, Jane, is said to be a startling beauty. Lizzy is the brainy one of the family, and her father's favorite. Jane is serene and quiet, like a beautiful swan gliding over a peaceful pond.  The other three sisters are annoying and shallow--just like mom. The youngest, Lydia, who is fifteen, is the worst of the bunch, being spoiled as the baby and clearly mom's favorite. 

So, when Elizabeth Bennett, a very feisty, smart woman who loves books, like her father, meets a certain man who is haughty and condescending, she immediately takes him in dislike. Worse for it, he actually insults her to his friend at a ball, (with her overhearing his nasty remarks), which adds fuel to her dislike. 

Getting back to the storyline of the house falling into the nephew's hands:  Mr. Bennett's nephew, Mr. Collins, comes to visit. He's a clergyman, and really rather . . . unattractive and simple minded. 
Mr. Collins

He comes with the intent of asking one of his cousins to marry him, thereby keeping the house in the family when he inherits it after Mr. Bennett's death ...and as an olive branch as his father and Mr. Bennett were estranged as brothers. 

Unfortunately, he fixes his fancy on Elizabeth. Her mother tries to bully her into accepting, but Elizabeth refuses to given in.  

Lizzie's father comes to her rescue, as he says "I'm afraid you are faced with a terrible dilemma, Lizzie. You mother has vowed to never speak to you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never speak to you if you do [marry him]." 

You can see where Lizzie gets her wit from. But this incident shows us Lizzie is not going to be bullied into marriage (a common occurrence in Regency novels and times) by her mother or anybody else. She's determined not to attach herself to an idiot for life, and her intellectual father upholds her decision. 

What is so different about Elizabeth Bennett over the many regency era heroines we love to read? 


  • Elizabeth is not really looking for a man!  Yeah, she's not really into the marriage gig. Oh, she's not opposed to it to the point of being militant about it. She just quietly goes her own way and lets all the men buzz around her beautiful older sister, Jane.
  • She loves her goofy, embarrassing mom, and her reclusive dad. Lizzie endures, as many young people do still trapped at home with parents. She endures their flaws without drama or tantrums. She's learned to just put up with their flaws.  
  • She loves her sisters, especially Jane, who she has a special bond with as they are the two eldest. Elizabeth does what she can to promote Jane with Mr. Bingley, where in this competitive society of must marry fast and well, a girl might consider her sister competition for a wealthy man's attentions. 

  • She doesn't mind if other women make fun of her for loving to read. She says as much to Miss Bingley, the shallow, snarky woman who is jealous of her because Darcy likes Elizabeth. Our Heroine takes the vixen's venom in mixed company in stride, and ignores the woman's callow remarks, decidedly lessening the barbs by not being baited. She just keeps reading her novel serenely. 
  • She speaks up for herself without apology, and gives her opinions.  Elizabeth is a gentlewoman, raised to adhere to the strict manners of society, yet she is self confident and uses her wit to good advantage to make fun of some people's expectations about society's traditions. 
Here is a perfect example of Elizabeth Bennett's (LB) spunk and self confidence:

 The following scene takes place Lady Catherine's home, at her dinner table with other guests literally quaking in their shoes in the presence of her ladyship, and not willing to speak hardly at all. Lady Catherine (LC)takes to quizzing Elizabeth on her family. Note how Elizabeth stands her ground on her opinions and doesn't resort to quivering or groveling: 
LC: "Are any of your younger sisters out?" 
EB: "Yes, ma'am, all of them." 
LC: "All!--What, all five at once? Very Odd ......the younger ones out before the elder is married?" 
EB: Yes, my youngest is not sixteen. Perhaps she is full young to be out much in company. But really, ma'am, I think it would be very hard upon younger sisters, that they should not have their share of society and amusement because the elder sister may not have the means or inclination to marry early. The last born has as good a right to the pleasures of youth, as the first. And to be held back with such a motive!--I think it would not be very likely to promote sisterly affection or delicacy of mind."
LC: "Upon my word! You give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?" 
EB: "With three younger sisters grown up," replied Elizabeth with a smile, "your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it." 



The Response: in Jane Austen's words 'Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much a dignified person.' 

You will find many such witty parries in conversation throughout the book. Elizabeth, her father, and other characters play mental chess with less intelligent people, [like her drama queen mom and her silly sisters!] and they do it with a smile and with charm their targets hardly even realize they've been made fun of.  It's not Duck Dynasty, it's brilliant writing, akin to Shakespeare but without the tedious 'thees', thous' and 'doth's.  

After Mr. Darcy's rude and condescending proposal of marriage to Elizabeth, in which he says that he loves her against his will and good judgement and has fought against his feelings for her as [according to him] she is so much lower then his family in society: 

"You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner."


Say What, you don't want to marry my wealthy, arrogant @$$? 
She could have just said 'No, I don't want to marry you.' Instead Elizabeth had the chops to point out to her arrogant suitor that his behavior was insulting, and therefore relieved her of the burden of feeling bad for refusing his offer. 





"In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal." 

Said to the haughty Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the elder woman was putting Lizzie down for her social standing and insisting Elizabeth was not suitable to marry the super wealthy Mr. Darcy. Instead, Lady Catherine's attack made Elizabeth all that more determined to marry Mr. Darcy. 

This story is full of family drama, romance, and wit. Jane Austen makes our heroine . self-confident, lovable and enduring.  Elizabeth has the grace and aplomb to stand her ground and yet to do so without being vicious or melodramatic. She remains strong and cool headed when faced with a family crisis--the youngest sister runs off with Mr. Wickham (the girl is hardly sixteen). While her mother wallows in self pity, feigns fainting spells and takes to her room wailing inconsolably, Elizabeth keeps her head and tries to help her father figure out a solution.  


Elizabeth is a sensible, intelligent heroine in this regency romance. And the really cool thing is that Jane Austen, the author, actually lived in that era, so it's a contemporary look at Regency and late eighteenth century life. If you are an author, you'll find hidden gems about life in this era, manners and so forth, and it's a great read! 

Note: I used photos from the 1995 BBC film version of Pride & Prejudice for illustration purposes.  This version is my favorite as it is pretty much word for word from the book (a rare thing in this era!). There are several film versions available but the best part is reading the book. You'll be highly entertained by our witty heroine as she navigates regency society and the uncertain waters of romance.  

Elizabeth, you'll live on in our hearts for generations to come! 
click below to see the infamous marriage proposal that insults Elizabeth:
The disastrous proposal of Mr. Darcy

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jane Eyre: A Modern Author Takes the Romance Element Deeper!



If you've been following this blog in the past few months, you know I've been doing a series of articles on Jane Eyre.  I've explored the story-line, the main characters of Rochester and Jane.


And I've explored the many, many movie adaptions of this great novel. 
I've even shared a recent find by a modern author, Anna Erishkigal, who wrote The Auction, and told you how I loved the modernized story set in the present. If you've missed that story, here's a link to it on Amazon, btw  The Auction by Anna Erishkigal

So, since we've covered the pluckiness of Jane, the brood factor of Mr. Rochester, the scary events and Thornfield Hall, and the pathetic marriage proposal from Sinjun, I have one more thing to share before moving on to another couple worthy of Timeless Lovers discussions.   

This week, as promised long before my surgery on March 5th, 2015, I'm sharing another great MUST read that I feel will delight my fellow Jane Eyre fans.  

This time, it's a historical romance novel, a Gothic novel written by a very talented romance writer of our time, Eve Silver  (No Relation!)

Babs Bunny, no relation to Bugs Bunny! 

Eve Silver's story, His Dark Kiss, is part of a Gothic Romance series named Dark Gothic. It is book two in the series. 
  • Book one:       Dark Desires 
  • Book Two:     His Dark Kiss
  • Book Three:   Dark Prince
  • Book Four:     His Wicked Sins
Although I've only read the first two novels, I have the third on my kindle and am waiting to savor it. Her books are wonderful if you are a huge Gothic romance reader, as I am. 


His Dark Kiss:  
It's about a girl, Emma, who is living with her not so nice aunts. This is a period drama, like Jane Eyre. Emma is illegitimate, and despised by the aunts. In this time period, children born in such circumstances were treat badly by most, often hated, reviled, and sometimes abused merely for being born to an unwed mother. I know, it seems weird in our time, but we're talking 19th century morals here. 

The aunts wish to be rid of her, as well. They've set upon a scheme to sell her off as a mistress to some man. Wicked Aunties, to be sure!  Doesn't that just make you burn with anger on Emma's behalf. 

Emma would like nothing more than to get away from her aunts, but what can a girl with no money and no familial connects that would willingly help her do? She's a dependent relation to them. Emma is offered a position at her cousin's husband's home to act as governess to her cousin's son.  It seems the perfect arrangement for her. 

She travels to the manor house, of course a very Gothic type mansion full of dark secrets and set in a remote region, and meets her employer, Lord Craven, a widower (husband to the deceased cousin). This guy is handsome, sexy and Emma is instantly attracted to him on a primitive level. He's also more than a bit scary. Like Rochester, he broods a lot, and is not always pleasant to those around him. He also has some dark secrets that worry Emma. 

The manor is sort of crumbling. And, there are whispers of murders, and mysterious accidents occurring with other governesses. There have been a few governesses before her, so she's entered into a very dangerous position, not a pleasant one as she'd hoped. But, she preservers as a good Jane Eyre role model would. Emma has no where else to go, really, but back to her nasty aunts. She falls in love with her little charge, six year old Nicky, and is developing some pretty scary (as in deep) feelings for her employer, her cousin's widower. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I won't tell you every nuance of the plot. If you're curious, read the book, you'll not regret it. 

It is a romance, make no mistake. And, as a romance, the main action is between the Hero and Heroine, and yes, there will be a lot more stolen kisses and sensuality, even a love (Sex) scene, so if you are expecting a chaste rendition of the Classic, you need to know this upfront before you buy it. This story is NOT--NOT-NOT erotica, by any means, it is historical romance with a sensual edge. I don't wish anyone to be misled. The prior book I mentioned, The Auction by Anna Erishkigal, is a sweet contemporary romance mirroring the Jane Eyre love story. 

His Dark Kiss is a creepy, keep you up at night story, and it is close to Jane Eyre. Not line for line, but the imagination of the Ms. EVE Silver has taken the romance trope of governess and brooding male employer to a new level as she's added a much darker and sinister tone in her work. Love it. You will, too, if you love Gothic Romance. Below are other books in the series. They are standalone reads, as the events of any one book to not influence your enjoyment of the other books. I'm passing along the series as well as the Jane Eyre-esque read to you so that if you like dark romance, you'll have a new lead. Gothic romance stories are a rare find these days, so check these out if you dare! 

Book One

Book Three

HAPPY READING! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Addictive Reads Boxed Set: Escape into Romance

 

A much awaited sequel, and a delicious Boxed Set Deal

Hello, I am going to be offline from this blog for a little while as I'm having surgery March 5th, 2015.  Your prayers are appreciated, and your patience as I recover.  I should be back in a couple of weeks. So, until then, a little author news to keep you informed.  

 

My own work: I am justing finishing up my 10th romance novel, Some Enchanted Dream, Seasons of Enchantment Series Book 2.  This is the sequel to Some Enchanted Waltz, a Time Travel Romance.  In Waltz, Tara, a modern girl from our time was thrust back to Ireland of 1798 and ended up falling in love with a rebel militia leader in a cause she knows is destined to fail.  This time, Tara and Adrian travel to Paris in 1889, during the Belle Epoque. It's still the past for Tara, but it is the future for Adrian. As lovers separated by a 200 year gap in beliefs and sensibilities, they need sort out issues in their new marriage. With their companions, Dan from the future and Tara's two fey brothers, Riley and Mick Gilamuir, Tara and Adrian will discover a horrible plot that could affect the future of mankind. As so many readers have emailed me personally asking for a sequel to Some Enchanted Waltz, and not just a sequel with other characters but another story about Tara & Adrian, I am pleased to report the book is finally complete.
It is at the editor at present and will be released in mid to late April.  

Here is a sneak peek at the cover.

Thank you Kim Killion at The Killion Group!

A Delightful and Wickedly Delicious Boxed Set Release: 

I'm honored to be included in a boxed set of contemporary romance reads with some awesome authors.   

 
The Addictive Reads Escape Into Romance Boxed Set has just been released.   

Escape Into Romance with the Addictive Reads 11-author / 11-book / 2,000+ page contemporary box set, a $27.28 value, most written by best-selling and award-winning authors. Join our lovers as they overcome adversity and, through the power of love, find their happily ever after.

Final Hours by Cate Dean. Elizabeth Barritt fought hard to put her childhood behind her. Now she has the chance to move forward, to reach out for a new future. And she does - right into Jackson Kane's path. He is a time traveler, from the future, and on the hunt for a rogue agent. ~185pp Rated NC-17

The Auction by Award-Winning Author Anna Erishkigal. Dumped at the altar and left without a home, Rosie Xalbadora takes a job as a governess at the edge of the Australian Outback. The Auction is styled with the heart-wrenching, Gothic undertones of Jane Eyre and just a hint of the supernatural. ~580pp Rated PG-13

A Valentine Challenge by Kiru Taye. Life is good for ex-soldier turned entrepreneur Michael Ede. Or so he thinks. When his friends challenge him to exorcise the memory of a woman from his past, he expects it to be a walk in the park. Or so he thinks until he sets his sights on socialite Kasie Bosa. ~95pp Rated R

Real Men Don’t Drink Appletinis by Liz Matis. Hollywood’s handsomest men surround celebrity agent Ava Gardner, but none are as intriguing as larger-than-life Grady O’Flynn. The Navy SEAL is on an unsanctioned mission when they end up starring in their own romantic comedy. ~35pp Rated NC-17

Game, Set, Match by USA Today Best-selling Author Nana Malone. Tennis star Jason Cartright is looking for a comeback, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of photographer Izzy Connors, the woman he loved, and left, fifteen years ago. ~325pp Rated NC-17

Aftershocks by Award-Winning Author Kristine Cayne. When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. ~85pp Rated PG-13

More Than A Kiss by N.Y. Times and USA Today Best-selling Author Stacey Joy Netzel. Something about Sadie drew Zach—and it wasn’t just the amazing kisses they shared during the filming of his commercial. Will his discovery of her mother's gold-digger history undermine his belief in her and break her heart? ~220pp Rated R

Jade O’Reilly and the Mysterious Musician by Amazon Best-Seller Tamara Ward. Sassy private investigator Jade O’Reilly investigates a mysterious young bass player who sounds too good to be true. Will Jade be able to close the case, or will she finally have to admit defeat? ~65pp PG-13

Malavita by Award-Winning Author Dana Delamar **Quarter-Finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award** Enrico Luccesi never wanted anything to do with the Mafia, but when his brothers were murdered, he accepted he would someday be the next don. However, he doesn’t accept he must marry Antonella Andretti, the daughter of the man who killed them. ~215pp Rated R

Something to Live For by Natalie G. Owens. **Haute Pink Magazine’s 2012 Summer Reading List Pick!** 15 years ago, one fateful day bound the lives of two perfect strangers. Can one passionate night together banish the ghosts of the past and give two lost souls a second chance? ~45pp Rated R

The Rock Star Next Door by Lily Silver. From the first moment he sees her, notorious rock legend Lex Coltrane recognizes up-and-rising singer Jessie Kelly. He knows they were lovers in a past life and their souls are destined for a reunion. Can he convince her they belong together? ~300pp Rated R

This collection has it all—(and only 99 cents!) --- contemporary romance, futuristic romance, romantic suspense, mystery romance, and paranormal romance—with a wide range of heroes, from time travelers, ex-soldiers, Navy SEALs, and multi-millionaire CEOs, to tennis stars, firefighters, Mafia princes, and rock stars! Heat levels range from sweet to sizzling, so there’s something to suit every mood.

Kindle US: http://bit.ly/1FaAFGd
Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1EgIR9U
Kindle CA: http://amzn.to/1Ag0Vzk
Kindle AU: http://bit.ly/1FHU0T4
Nook US: http://bit.ly/1B1eZgY
Nook UK: http://bit.ly/1833wRV
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1zvLC1A
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1CWspr3
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1FaBQFN

And, Dear Readers of Romance, we're hoping for some reviews on our new baby. So if you do read and review this boxed set, you'll be sending us a kiss and letting us know you want more romance from all these fabulous authors. Readers are the reason we keep doing what we do, writing stories to entertain and uplift, stories featuring that Happily Ever After we all crave!



Monday, February 23, 2015

The Classic Lives On: Jane Eyre Inspires Romance Writers Today

Congratulations to Barrie, aka Books4me67, the winner of the $25 gift card to Olive Garden for leaving a comment on this blog during our Addictive Reads Gifts of Love Blog Hop!  Hope you had a great time, Barrie, and made some new memories.



If you've been following this blog you know that I have been singing the praises of the classic Bronte story from the 19th century.  Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre has inspired romance writers for many years with stories of a governess and a brooding master of the estate.

I've read dozens of them. Many fade from memory but I have two very excellent choices to recommend for you if you are hungering for more from the Jane Eyre plotline.

Prepare to be entertained and Amazed! 

I recently read a modern rendition of Jane Eyre, a book that captivated me from start to finish.  I read this one in January of 2015, so the wonderful and imaginative story-line is still very much with me.

The book is The Auction, by Anna Erishkigal. It is a sweet, contemporary romance. In this story, the heroine, Rosie, is a recent college graduate who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. She's forced to move out of his apartment and has literally no place to go, as she is estranged from her family. Penniless, packing all her belongings into the boot of her car, Rosie accepts a job in a rural area of Australia as a caretaker and teacher to a 9 year old girl. The job is at a remote cattle station that is no longer running, so it's an isolated situation, just like Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Unlike Thornfield, it's no manor house with servants. It's basically an old farm house.

Meet a modern Jane Eyre, Miss Rosie Xalbadora

Our heroine has a tragic past, following the theme in Jane Eyre. Her parents divorced when she was a teen and she was left with the flaky mom as dad went off to build a new life in another country. She's got emotional baggage. She can relate well to her lonely charge, the darling little blond girl Pippa, who is going through the beginning stages of her parent's divorce. Rosie and Pippa bond as they explore the rugged landscape near the ranch. More than anything, Pippa wants a horse. As a former teen show rider and blue ribbon champion, Rosie can relate to the child's dream of having a special friend in a horse. Rosie would like nothing more than to see Pippa get her wish. The father is dead set against it. This causes friction between Rosie and Adam.

The title, The Auction, comes into play as it is an end goal for Rosie and Pippa. Rosie knows about unwanted horses being sold at auctions, usually very cheaply--a horse that is broken, a cast off nearly ready for the meat plant. Rosie goes behind Adam's back and encourages her charge to earn money for a horse, thinking they can find her a pony at the Horse Auction for a reasonable price. She feels this is important so that Pippa can take riding lessons with her new friends and find a sense of worth and self-confidence Rosie sees she is lacking. The horse will come to symbolize everything for the little girl, and the auction also holds a secret nightmare for Rosie that emerges from her past.

The hero in this wonderful tale is Adam, a brooding, troubled man who is separated from his wife and seeking divorce. As he has custody of his daughter, he needs someone to care for and teach his 9 year old daughter, Pippa, as his job takes him away from home for days at a time. He needs a babysitter, housekeeper and teacher rolled into one. Rosie will accomplish all three, plus a whole lot more.



A mystical, magical landscape, and old legends take on a new life

What I loved about this story-line was the element of magic the author skillfully weaved in. She brings in fairies (I love fairies!). Little Pippa talks to the Mimi's (the mythic fairy-like beings of the native Australians), and as she's a child, you're not quite sure if it's just her imagination at play. She claims the Mimi's guide her in her dreams. Our heroine, Rosie, also begins to have strange visitations in her dreams after she comes to the ranch house. In her dreams a young girl on horseback and a gruff old cowherd keep stopping in and try to show her things. There are many twists and turns in the plot, leading you on in the story as you root for Rosie to succeed, to find a place in the world (like JE), and nearly weep for Pippa, who seems so lost and forlorn. You hope Adam and Rosie will finally get together as they deserve to be, but it seems hopeless, just like the situation in Jane Eyre. You will be delighted by this author's fresh take on an old story from the 19th Century, I know I was.

The Auction mirrors the plot lines of Jane Eyre seamlessly 

And yet it's a fresh new story set in a modern world with very modern sensibilities. Adam isn't quite as frustrating as Mr. Rochester. Oh, he's intimidating and standoffish at first, but he warms to Rosie, and they seem to bond over Pippa's antics as time progresses. Like Mr. R, Adam gives Rosie mixed signals about his feelings for her. Adam appears to want to pursue a relationship with Rosie, but then ends up doubling back to his wife for the sake of their daughter. The wife is a piece of work. Adam and his wife are separated, as I mentioned previously, but she keeps showing up and messing with his head, causing real hurt to their daughter by not showing up to take her for the weekend as promised, and generally causing trouble for Rosie.  The wife is sort of like Miss Blanche Ingram in JE, the other woman seems to captivate Mr. Rochester, and who makes Jane feel so plain and unattractive in comparison. The wife also has a nasty secret, a very scary one in a plot twist that will surprise you as it's so parallel to the JE storyline it's genius. As I said, it's a modernization of that classic story, and it's executed brilliantly by this author.

If you love Jane Eyre, and you love a sweeping, engaging, and emotional read, you will truly enjoy this new book. It is currently available on all digital platforms and is included in an 11 novel box set that I also have a story in (The Rock Star Next Door). The set is a special treat just published for Valentine's Day. Look for Addictive Reads--Escape into Romance Boxed Set on all digital platforms.  If you would like to grab a copy of the boxed set, which includes The Auction plus 10 other awesome romantic reads, go to Smashwords.com in the link below:
Addictive Reads Escape into Romance Boxed Set , and choose your file format to download. Go ahead, you can do it, that's 11 contemporary romances by 11 bestselling authors for just .99 cents!



Or if you prefer to purchase just the book, The Auction, A Sweet Contemporary Romance, by Anna Erishkigal, you can purchase it at the links below.  I wouldn't recommend this if I didn't know it was worth the post, as I rarely talk about current works of fiction here. Like Jane Eyre, The Auction is a book you can read again and again as time goes by to get lost in the struggles of our very modern Jane Eyre, Miss Rosie Xalbadora--a woman who is part gypsy. That's another quirky and fun element to the story that will make you smile. Yes, didn't I say this is a very unique and refreshing story!




The Auction, by Anna Erishkigal:
The Auction on Amazon.com

The Auction on Nook

The Auction on Smashwords.com


Next time, I'll share another great romance read that mirrors Jane Eyre, a historical romance, I discovered some years ago, before I was a published author. I still remember that story, and that's what makes a story good, remembering the characters long after the book ends.



Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Blog Hop: The gifts of Love



We're celebrating love on this special weekend, with prizes and gifts to our lovely readers! Visit the Addictive reads main site to enter to win the main prize of  $50 gift card of dinner for two, or a $25 gift card (2 offers) for the digital reading platform of your choice, or a a 10 book digital prize pack valued at $35 by our romance authors.  Addictive Reads Main Event Page    And follow the other author's blog posts in this event to win more individual prizes offered on our blogs! Link to other blogs is at the bottom of this page. Happy Valentine's Day.

My gift to one lucky Romancing History Blog Visitor:  $25 gift card to Olive Garden from me (US residents only). To enter to win please leave a comment here about your worst Valentine Day Date. It can be one or two sentences if you like. Also leave your email address in the comments so I can contact the winner.  It's my gift  to help you make more romance memories.

True Story, True Love, Valentine's date becomes a disaster

My first Valentine's Day Dinner with my husband, (then just a boyfriend), ended up being a threesome. No, we didn't have sex with a third party. It was a little misunderstanding about who Dan was actually with that night.  It was a Church Youth Group Valentine's Day Dinner, and everyone was dressed in fancy gowns and suits. It was a formal dinner with music and fun. A prom date, sort of, for the Youth Group at our church.

my husband and I pre-marriage, 1980

Dan and I were dating for about six weeks by then. We had bought the tickets as a couple. I had a lovely long dress, a gunnie sack gown and Dan was decked out in a smart pinstripe suit of grey.  I was looking forward to this special date, our first Valentine's Day as a couple that would launch into a 35 year (to date) love affair.  The table for the dinner was a long one, being in a church hall. We took our seats, and were enjoying ourselves immensely, for about five minutes.

Darlene, a sweet older woman who was developmentally challenged, came to sit on the other side of Dan. She was alone at the party and she had a huge crush on him. She kept poking him on the shoulder when he was talking to me throughout the night, or if he were trying to hold my hand. I remember being a little frustrated at the time. Dan, being a true knight and a gentleman, was kind to her and we both just smiled through it. The situation became somewhat of a strain after an hour or so, as Darlene seemed to be under the impression that she was Dan's date for the evening. So, we endured that first Valentine's Day date as a couple, and now we look back on it and laugh, some 35 years later. To make up for the disaster Valentine's dinner that night, Dan took me out to very restaurant Villa Roma a few evenings later. True story, true love.

So, as part of this blog hop, we are all sharing things that make a great Valentine's gift. These would be my choices;

1. Trip to France to kiss at the Eiffel tower

2. An evening in an Irish Castle, with a roaring fire in the hearth, a candlelight dinner for two, with me in a silk evening gown ...... yeah, I know, I'm wishing pretty hard. A girl can dream.

3. A day and a night in the Caribbean, at an exclusive resort on the ocean.


4. A night at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center (PAC) to hear a classical concert or see a play. 
    >>> Notice I'm getting closer to home as we descend, and closer to reality. Fox Cities PAC is actually about an hour and 30 minutes from me, and Dan and I have been there a few times. 

5.  Dinner at an exclusive gourmet restaurant in Green Bay, like the Black & Tan on Walnut street.  Yep, been there too, many times for special events and it's really quite possible we will go there       again for V-Day. It's only a half hour or so from our home. The food is served as an art form so it is very elegant--and pricey!

Combine 4 and 5, you have a realistic heaven. 

So, yeah, I'd love a diamond necklace or a new Mercedes, too. Maybe a day at the spa ... 
Dreaming is good, as long as it doesn't give you a dissatisfaction with your reality. 

Don't forget to visit these lovely romance writer's blogs as part of our hop, as many are offering gifts of love as well. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Jane Eyre:Part 3, a Heroine We Admire




"What do I want? A new place, in a new house, amongst new faces under new circumstances . . . How do people do to get to a new place? They apply to friends, I suppose. I have no friends. There are many others who have no friends, who must look about for themselves and be their own helpers." Jane Eyre, Chapter Ten



When I first discovered Jane Eyre, I felt sad, very sad, for the main character of the book, Jane.
Her story is quite depressing when you read the first few chapters. She's an orphan in the care of her aunt. The aunt is a widow, and is wealthy. Auntie had three children of her own, so Jane is more burden than delight.

In this household, it seems little Jane is despised by all. The mistress, the servants, and the children she is raised with. It's a desolate beginning. But if you endure the first chapters, with Jane being sent to the awful school where she is badly treated, finds one friend--who dies--if you endure ten chapters of that, you get to her ah-ha moment when Jane decides as a young adult to take charge of her own life. This is when the story really gets started!



Note, it was the fashion of writers in the mid-nineteenth century to give incredible details of a characters's life, including childhood events that shaped them. In our modern era, novels tend to cut to the chase--or get to the point of change and give flashbacks into the character's childhood to relay events that shaped them for the story needs. But Charlotte Bronte was a 19th century author, so her story includes a lot of back matter in the beginning.)


Jane decides to put an advertisement in the newspaper to secure a teaching position as a governess. She could have stayed at the desolate school where she spent half her childhood, (She's now a teacher there), but her soul hungered for something more. Her situation was severe, as she states above she has no friends to rely on for aid in finding a new job, and no family. 

She takes a scary step for a woman in her position, and is rewarded for her efforts!  A letter arrives offering her a position at Thornfield Hall to be a governess for a girl of less than 10 years old. Joy! A new adventure, a new life away from the dreary school and the bitter memories that must haunt Jane there.



She sets off on this new adventure, unaware that she's about to meet fate, literally in the middle of the road on a dark night. Mr. Rochester, who nearly runs her over with his horse, is her destiny. She took action, something that was difficult for a single woman in 19th century England to do, and set in motion events that would change her destiny. Because of her courage to do this, to not remain a frightened little mouse her aunt and the school tried to make her be, she will have a better life then the one designed for her by others. That takes an incredible amount of courage, in any age.



Jane has a fascination for her employer. He's dark, distant, but has moments where he reveals a hidden charm. He's got his own dark problems (see previous post), but he seems to see something in her that attracts him. Though he is harsh at times, and seems to live to vex her, she never lets him truly bully her. Jane is admirable as a heroine, or protagonist if you prefer the word, because she rises above the bullying of her youth, and has developed a strong sense of self that cannot be destroyed.


Think about it, she had no friends, and no family who cared as she grew up. She learned to become self reliant, to stand alone and to stand strong. She's a survivor, not a victim. A Survivor! That is what sets her apart and makes her the heroine for 19th century female readers. She doesn't settle for the life that was laid out for her, she tries to make her own choices and resists the manipulations of those who would make her into something she is not.
Ah, ha--that's it! She Resists the Manipulations of others---



After the wrecked wedding scene, where Jane learns her beloved already has a crazy wife in the attic and cannot legally marry her, she runs off into the wilderness. She's taken in by a family; a brother and two sisters who are very religious. They care for her, and show her kindness. The brother, Sinjun (St. John), decides she'd make a perfect missionary wife, and sets out to convince her that her destiny is to marry him and go to India with him. If she didn't have the backbone she does, she might have been bamboozled into this. After all, she has no real prospects for a future.


Sure, Sinjun managed to get her a teaching position in his area as a favor, so she could be self sufficient (note she's still trying to earn her own way and not rely on others!), but he's still just trying to play her and convince her that what HE wants is what she wants, too. He even uses guilt, citing it's God's will for her to join him in India---Oh Boy! I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this dude is going to make one dreary husband for our heroine. His offer is noble, but ...... no..... just NO!

Thankfully, Jane has the inner strength, despite her lonely situation and lack of supporters, to stand up for her own wishes, and not be brow beaten (however kindly and gently Sinjun does this), to fit into someone else's idea of what her role or calling in life is. Brilliant, isn't it. Women everywhere are cheering for Jane. She could have just given in to Sinjun, and endured a loveless marriage bound by duty--even duty to God that was placed on her shoulders (missionary work), by someone else.  Jane came close to giving in, it was hard not to with Sinjun's persuasive abilities. But then her dreams started. She kept hearing Mr. Rochester crying out for her in her dreams.


This makes her realize she needs to find him, Mr. Rochester! Even if he's still married, she at least needs to find out if he's well, as her dreams are frightening her.  Plucky girl. Really, she could have just married the other guy, went to India, and let Mr. R. be a beautiful yet tragic dream in her past life. Many women would have done just that. No, Jane sets off to find him, and she is rewarded for her courage and stamina--she does find her true love, her destiny is with Mr. Rochester. How very modern for a woman living in the 19th century!

Compare this story to Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, where Cathy loves Heathcliff but married the other guy because he was wealthy and Heathcliff was not. Cathy and Heathcliff are soul mates, but she cast her life away with him to marry for money. That didn't turn out very well, for anyone. That's the girl doing the 'right' thing, marrying a man who is wealthy, honorable and will take care of her forever, instead of marrying the man she loves.  Interesting that these two sisters, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, wrote about choices the heroine makes regarding love, with different outcomes.

I'm rooting for Jane. She's a 19th century heroine with an inner strength and determination.  





By the way, if you noticed a few of the graphics on these posts, you'll note that there many, many film versions of this classic love story. All you have to do is pick an actor, and dive in with the popcorn. Even George C. Scott has gotten into the role of Mr. Rochester, along with other great men such as Orson Wells, Timothy Dalton, Ciaran Hinds and William Hurt. There are others, but these are the most prominent ones I found. Our most modern Mr. R to date is Michael Fassbender, who, by the way, does it up good as the brooding Mr. Rochester! 




So, in conclusion, Jane Eyre is a mixed, complex story of a woman surviving in a cold world, a woman taking charge of her own destiny instead of letting others do it for her. She finds love, true love, and that love is thwarted temporarily. She finds meaning in her work as a governess. She's an artist, by the way, and makes lovely drawings.  She endures, and doesn't just marry the next guy who asks her after her heart is broken by Mr. R's secret. 

She rises above pettiness. She doesn't become cold and mean, as you might expect with such a dire upbringing. She's a heroine for our century, a heroine who stands out in time because she doesn't conform to the conventions and expectations of her own time (marrying someone and allowing him to take care of her and provide for her). She maintains her independence, even when it might be better for her financially and socially to just marry Sinjun and move on her life.  I like Jane.  I love Jane Eyre, and I believe that Jane and Mr Rochester belong in the Timeless Lover's Hall of fame, right next to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy!  


Next time, I'll share a couple of romance novels by modern authors who have used the Jane Eyre story-line to perfection.  Happy Reading everyone. And since it's the weekend, why not curl up on the sofa with your favorite Mr. Rochester character and watch this classic story.