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Catherine Morland, The Horror Addict

Hi! It’s Emmy and I am here to talk about the heroine of Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland.

You see, being a Gemini, I have a romance side and a horror side (I host the podcast horroraddicts.net under the name Emerian Rich) which makes me the perfect person to talk to you about Northanger Abbey and its horror-loving heroine, Catherine Morland.

I’ve been told people don’t like Catherine because she’s just a silly, naive girl that lives a large part of her life in her head. I’ve also been told that she’s un-relatable because she likes Gothic novels and horror. Well, I’m here to explain her fascination in a way I hope will be more relatable.

I will attempt to prove that Catherine Morland was not simply some ignorant young miss wiling away her hours in a fantasy world, but she was a horror fan misunderstood by her peers but with a healthy imagination.

To understand Catherine as a horror fan, you have to break down the attributes of a horror fan.

First:

We are people who like to be scared in a removed way through movies, books, and music. Inspecting a horrid situation from a distance not only allows us to experience danger without any real harm to ourselves but also prepare ourselves for the true horrors of life that may come like—the zombie apocalypse. Horror Addicts are just like any other fan. Fans of Jane Austen might read Jane Austen all weekend, or attend a Northanger Abbey ball. Horror Addicts might read Stephen King all weekend or go to a horror film festival. As a rule, we aren’t axe murders, we don’t glorify serial killers, and we definitely don’t want to die at the hand of a chainsaw-wielding maniac. We do, however, like spooky things like ghosts, vampires, and like Catherine Morland, spooky old Abbeys that may contain such creatures.

Second:

We have active imaginations. This may be said about any reader. How many times have you watched a movie based on a book and been dissatisfied? The movies are never better than books, right? Those of you who agree with that statement have vibrant imaginations. The reason they can’t make the movie to please us is because our imaginations have weaved such an awesome image of what we’ve read, that no movie could possibly match. Just like Catherine conjuring up this gothic idea of Mrs. Tilney’s room… and then being disappointed at it looking just like any old bedroom.

Third:

The third aspect of Horror Addicts is, we like to geek out with other Horror Addicts. One reason Catherine likes Henry so much is that he gets her. He is at least in part an addict himself. He is able to make jokes about the novel she’s read, and by teasing her, show he likes her passion and accepts that part of her. And who doesn’t want to be accepted by someone who understands you?

Fourth:

Which brings me to attribute number four. Horror fans often like to find the humor in things. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and often accompany our love of horror with comedy. Either in an attempt to lighten the mood of such serious scary stuff or just because we are generally jovial people. Another reason Catherine likes Henry is because he has a good sense of humor and makes her laugh. For someone who likes humor, Jane painted the winner pretty clear. Grumpy old General Tilney, pompous Frederick, and ridiculously boastful Thorpe have no chance. Henry is clearly the best choice.

So given these attributes of a horror fan,

I think we can all agree that Catherine Morland is one and although she has some growing up to do, just because she learned something about the difference between fantasy and reality does not mean she ceased being a horror addict. I like to think that she went on to read more Gothic novels and perhaps even wrote some herself, but learned to not take them so literally.

Contrary to popular belief,

Horror Addicts don’t tend to grow out of our fascination with the macabre. I hate it when I read reviews that say Catherine grew out of her innocence and realized horror was just for kids. I don’t think that’s what Jane was saying at all. I think she captured perfectly the vision of a young Miss who didn’t know how to enjoy her passion without letting it bleed into reality and by experiencing more and falling in love, she could experience her passion in a somewhat removed way that didn’t get her in trouble.

Now, one of my favorite passages (abridged) of Northanger Abbey and shows her Horror Addict tastes.

Again she passed through the folding doors, again her hand was upon the important lock, and Catherine, hardly able to breathe, was turning to close the former with fearful caution, when the figure, the dreaded figure of the general himself at the further end of the gallery, stood before her! The name of “Eleanor” at the same moment, in his loudest tone, resounded through the building, giving to his daughter the first intimation of his presence, and to Catherine terror upon terror. An attempt at concealment had been her first instinctive movement on perceiving him, yet she could scarcely hope to have escaped his eye; and when her friend, who with an apologizing look darted hastily by her, had joined and disappeared with him, she ran for safety to her own room, and, locking herself in, believed that she should never have courage to go down again.

When I read that, I imagined how I might feel, being watched by a tyrant, but also still wanting to solve the mystery… WHAT IS BEHIND THAT DOOR??

Catherine found herself alone in the gallery before the clocks had ceased to strike. It was no time for thought; she hurried on, slipped with the least possible noise through the folding doors, and without stopping to look or breathe, rushed forward to the one in question. The lock yielded to her hand, and, luckily, with no sullen sound that could alarm a human being. On tiptoe she entered; the room was before her; but it was some minutes before she could advance another step. She beheld what fixed her to the spot and agitated every feature. She saw a large, well-proportioned apartment, a handsome dimity bed, arranged as unoccupied with a housemaid’s care, a bright Bath stove, mahogany wardrobes, and neatly painted chairs, on which the warm beams of a western sun gaily poured through two sash windows!

Catherine had expected to have her feelings worked, and worked they were. Astonishment and doubt first seized them; and a shortly succeeding ray of common sense added some bitter emotions of shame. She could not be mistaken as to the room; but how grossly mistaken in everything else!–in Miss Tilney’s meaning, in her own calculation!

She was sick of exploring, and desired but to be safe in her own room, with her own heart only privy to its folly; and she was on the point of retreating as softly as she had entered, when the sound of footsteps, she could hardly tell where, made her pause and tremble. To be found there, even by a servant, would be unpleasant; but by the general (and he seemed always at hand when least wanted), much worse! She listened–the sound had ceased; and resolving not to lose a moment, she passed through and closed the door.

At that instant a door underneath was hastily opened; someone seemed with swift steps to ascend the stairs, by the head of which she had yet to pass before she could gain the gallery. She had no power to move. With a feeling of terror not very definable, she fixed her eyes on the staircase, and in a few moments it gave Henry to her view.

“Mr. Tilney! How came you up that staircase?”

“How came I up that staircase! Because it is my nearest way from the stable-yard to my own chamber; and why should I not come up it? And may I not, in my turn, ask how you came here? This passage is at least as extraordinary a road from the breakfast-parlour to your apartment, as that staircase can be from the stables to mine.

‘I have been to see your mother’s room.”

“My mother’s room! Is there anything extraordinary to be seen there?”

“No, nothing at all.”

“You look pale. I am afraid I alarmed you by running so fast up those stairs. Perhaps you did not know–you were not aware of their leading from the offices in common use?”

“No, I was not.”

“And does Eleanor leave you to find your way into all the rooms in the house by yourself?”

“Oh! No; she showed me over the greatest part on Saturday–and we were coming here to these rooms–but only… your father was with us. I only wanted to see…”

“My mother’s room is very commodious, is it not? Large and cheerful-looking, and the dressing-closets so well disposed! It always strikes me as the most comfortable apartment in the house, and I rather wonder that Eleanor should not take it for her own. She sent you to look at it, I suppose?”

“No.”

“Eleanor, I suppose, has talked of her a great deal?”

“Yes, a great deal. That is–no, not much, but what she did say was very interesting. Her dying so suddenly” (slowly, and with hesitation it was spoken), “and you–none of you being at home–and your father, I thought–perhaps had not been very fond of her.”

“And from these circumstances,” “you infer perhaps the probability of some negligence–or it may be–of something still less pardonable.”

She raised her eyes towards him more fully than she had ever done before.

Catherine Morland grew up in that moment. She realized sometimes when a most beloved mother dies, it’s just because she ceased to live, not because of some murder plot by an overbearing husband. And by learning the reality of such situations, this led her to build more devious and believable plots in her career as a novelist…or that’s how I’ve written the end in my head anyway. 🙂

Do you like Northanger Abbey? what are your favorite parts?

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Review: Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay

Ruined Reputations by Lela Bay

A pair of delightful tales from a new Regency author. I personally like the second one better because it’s a bit steamer, but they are both fun stories.

“The Unusual Manners of Mr. Arrons” is a sweet romance and speaks more of the comedy of manners popular in Regency tales. I would expect nothing less of a tale began in church. This is a story about hats and birds. It’s comical and I like that neither the author nor her characters take themselves very seriously. There is a different kind of love here between a fashionista and an odd gentleman from out of town that isn’t familiar with societal ways. I didn’t connect with any character in particular, it was more like watching a humorous stage play.

The second story, Virtue’s Temptation is about a selfish, flighty young woman named Bitsy who you just want to smack. Eleanor, an older and wiser woman, tries to step in to help, but Bitsy may not head her warnings. When an acquaintance of Bitsy’s comes in to aid them, Eleanor questions her own heart. Is it as broke as she thought, or will she find love again?

The male lead in this story is yummy and worth ruining a few reputations for. For you Pride and Prejudice lovers out there, this tale reminds me of Lydia. What would have happened had a wiser female observed her running off with Wickham? Are girls like Lydia and Bitsy destined to be ruined, or can they head the warnings long enough to save themselves and their families heartache?

I would like to see a sequel to this. What exactly happens after they go to Mr. Stinson’s large estate?

Through a Different Lens– Character Interview & Giveaway

I love this idea of giving an interview of the different Mr. Darcys in JAFF!

Stories from the Past

I’m so pleased to have another guest for the blog this month! I was interested in Through a Different Lens when I saw Riana posting on social media about writing Mr. Darcy with Autism. As both of my kids are on the Spectrum, I was eager to see how the story would change with Darcy having such a different way of viewing the world. The book is one of a kind and I loved this chance to interview Mr. Darcy! Riana is also offering a giveaway for my readers!

Considered the father of American Psychiatry, Benjamin Rush was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, and founder of the Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He was internationally known in the academic and medical worlds for progressive ideas for the mentally ill and handicapped. In Through a Different Lens, we learn that Mr. Darcy…

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End of Year Update, What is coming in 2019?

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe audiobook coming and much more…

  • NEW! Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe  audiobook coming in 2019
  • NEW! Romance podcast coming in 2019
  • Northanger Lodge: I am working hard on the modern rewrite of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I have my “holes” list and I’ll be filling them in soon. Is complete! I am shopping it now.

Read more at the FULL UPDATE.

LAST DAY to get Meant to Be MINE – FREE!

LAST DAY to get this book FREE!

First Kiss Friday with Meant to Be…Kissed

Sherry Ewing

Welcome to First Kiss Friday. Today I have a box set treat for you, my lovelies and a couple of sales. Check it out and happy reading!

Meant to Be Press announces the release of Meant to Be…KISSED (Love Notes Book 2). This is the second collection of sweet of stories from Meant to Be Press authors. This heartwarming collection is themed around winter kisses. The two primary stories are historical romances, with a bonus contemporary flash fiction piece from Meant to Be Press’s newest author, M. M. Genet.

There are several stories in Meant to Be…Kissed, so you get more than one first kiss!

“The Grand Gesture” by Lela Bay, takes a public humiliation and turns it into an act of heroism. Rosamund Windham, daughter to the duke, literally drops herself into a pool of filth to save an innocent and in the process befriends the…

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Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, 99 cents on Kindle! #ilovemrgrumpy

I’m excited to announce
Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe
is now only 99 cents on Kindle!
Get this special for only one week.
November 22nd-28th

LHLDNewFrontLord Alexander Harrington’s life is rather tame until a shoeless, coatless waif is found wandering his estate with no memory of who she is. Despite his stoicism, Lord Harrington finds himself drawn to the lost girl who he compares to a scared doe. Caring for her illness despite speculation of her mental state, he develops feelings for her.

Is she an escaped lunatic, or simply a lost woman desperately in need of his help? A revelation about his own family’s history with the mental asylum down the road causes him to question his feelings. When a massive fire breaks out on estate grounds, will he lose her forever?

#ilovemrgrumpy

Also, meet Mr. Grumpy’s friend, Mr. Gloomy in… Meant to Be…KISSED

Meant to Be…KISSED is available as an ebook on Amazon.

Meant to Be Press announces the release of Meant to Be…KISSED (Love Notes Book 2). This is the second collection of sweet of stories from Meant to Be Press authors. This heartwarming collection is themed around winter kisses. The two primary stories are historical romances, with a bonus contemporary flash fiction piece from Meant to Be Press’s newest author, M. M. Genet.

“Miss Montague’s Winter Kiss” by Emmy Z. Madrigal turns sadness into hope. Grayson is a man who has lost everything, but Cecelia saves his life and rekindles his belief in love. Broken ice and traumatic losses give way to the start of something new, if only the hero can give up past hurts. As Emmy writes, “It was more of a feeling that, if the flame between them was fanned, they could be happy for the rest of their lives. He’d endured so much grief, she longed to bring him joy.”

#ilovemrgloomy