Thursday, December 17, 2020

From Daylight to Madness The Hotel Book 1 by Jennifer Anne Gordon Genre: Psychological Suspense, Gothic Horror


Doomed From the Beginning

 Previously Published on

If I look back on it now, with the clarity of adulthood, I know that I was doomed from the beginning…

Well, isn’t that a strange way to start a guest post, isn’t it?

You may be wondering what it is that’s happening, and who exactly I am, well I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Anne Gordon, I am a published gothic horror novelist, as well as a dancer and choreographer. But you see, I wasn’t always the person I am now, no, once I was much different than the person who is writing this.

Perhaps though I may not be so different than some of you.

You see I was a pale awkward child, that wonderful combination of allergies, asthma, and sun sensitivities kept me indoors for most of the summer (well and winter too, I’ve never been great with the outdoors with the bugs, the pollen, and the people).

I fell in love with reading and books at a young age and remember tearing through the entire collection of Nancy Drew while I was in first grade. I would go to our school library and check out as many books as they would let me.

At an early age, my parents told me that they would never say no if what I wanted was a book…though to be fair, they had no idea what they were getting into with me.

From Nancy Drew I quickly turned my attention to Christopher Pike, I loved that all of his books were basically just about a pack of upper class teenagers that did something wrong ,usually running over a homeless person while “joyriding” or accidentally killing a friend by switching out their insulin as a “joke”, and then having to pay the price sometime during the summer of senior year by being psychologically tortured.

I swear I read my copy of Chain Letter way too many times.

Reading these books made me feel edgy, and cool, so much cooler than the rest of the pale asthmatics at Catholic School.

Around the age 10 my uncle came to stay with us for a while, after he left New York. To me that sounded wildly cool. As I got older, I realized that it was in fact Buffalo, New York and that did take some of the allure away. But nevertheless, at age 10, my uncle came to live with us. He had a mustache and wore a jean jacket that had Native American embroidery on it. He smoked cigarettes and he and my mother would talk in French to each other when they were telling secrets.

I was enthralled.

I would sneak into his room and snoop through his stuff as much as I could. To be honest it was boring. He just had normal grown up stuff. Shaving cream, socks, a wallet with no money, the coolest thing was he had a driver’s license from TWO states. He was just a normal grown up, that is until I saw something precious.

A book.

Not just any book, but a book that was thick and heavy, it even had a cat on the cover. I didn’t know they wrote long books about cats for grownups. I snatched the book and headed upstairs to hide behind my giant Victorian Dollhouse to read.

I hoped with all I had, that this was not going to be another situation like the “Rabbit Book For Grownups” (Watership Down…frankly my parents should never have allowed me to read that when I was 8 I went to school with puffy eyes from too much crying for almost a week).

So, there I was, behind the dollhouse, it was almost like I was in the dollhouse. I was staring into the face of this angry cat, a rabid, angry, mangey, puff ball, and read the title Pet Sematary.

I remember thinking that the word was spelled wrong, and I got a snide little bit of only child “know it all” satisfaction about that. Nevertheless, I tucked into my hiding spot behind the dollhouse and opened the book. It was clear to me after a few pages that this was NOT a book that I should be reading…

This was when I got the taste for something a little darker, a little more tragic. Not only did King’s novel scare the hell out of 10-year-old me, it also broke my heart. I couldn’t go back to normal books or normal life, I wanted to be scared AND sad. I wanted to feel the emotional weight of fear clutch onto my heart and not let go.

Now, of course, I was too young to read these books, as far as my parents were concerned, so now I had to start being sneaky. A girl has to get her fix.

I would go to the bookstore with my mom and sneak into the horror section, and stare at the covers, I was too scared to even pick them up.  My mother would eventually grow bored with the magazine section and find me. She would escort me promptly back where I belonged. To the young adult section, which if anyone my age remembers was not nearly as cool as it is now. It was mainly made up of one large bookcase, and of that case at least three rows were “Sweet Valley High” books.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the adventures of those two beautiful blond twins, hell sometimes they even went to parties and in book #5 All Night Long One of the twins let a boy with a mustache go to second base. They were risqué for a sheltered 10-year-old, but still not what I wanted, what I needed.

Sadness, and Scares.

I had to play my cards right to sneak those books back into my life.

Luckily, as it was summer, I found the perfect way.

There was a ratty old ramshackle flea market a mile from my house, and my mom loved to go there on the weekends. You see, my mother collected clown figurines (yeah, scary and sad, but not in the way I wanted), our house filled with 100’s of them. She would scour all the tables at the flea market every weekend, snatching up each on she could find.

This is when my plan took form. I remember passing tables and tables of books every time we were there. If I could just get my mother to hand over a few bucks while she was in the midst of a clown buying delirium, I would be all set.

She played right into my hands. She handed over the $3 and told me I could buy books, but she just needed to see them first.


I walked in defeat towards the book table. The man who ran it wore a straw hat and had a parakeet perched on his shoulder. He smoked Pall Mall cigarettes like my dad. He asked me what I was looking for, and I said, “something scary”.

He walked me over to the corner of his table and that is when I saw them, all laid out. These didn’t look like scary books to me. They were too pretty, all the covers had women on them, and castles…but, the women, they looked scared, and some of them looked scared AND sad.

I thought to myself, this is it.

I picked up one of the books, it was called Conjure Wife. It looked magical. “How much is this?” I asked him. He said the words that still ring with beauty in my ears.

“All the gothic books are a quarter each.”

I knew I needed permission before I dove in and bought $3 worth of these classics. So, I went to my mom, showed her the cover of Conjure Wife, told her there were more like this, and she said “go ahead”.

She looked at the cover, probably liked that it had the word “wife” on it. Saw a castle, a floaty dress, and assumed that these books were fine. I went back to the table and bought 11 more. It didn’t matter which ones, and to this day, really only Conjure Wife stands out.

You always remember your first.

What I can tell you, about my long hot Gothic Summer, of the year I was ten, almost 11, was that I read a pile of books, and all were the same. Tragically, none of them ever featured a woman running from an old manor house in the middle of the night, clad only in a chiffon robe or an evening gown.

In fact, Conjure Wife, I remember was about the wives of Professors in a college town in the 1950’s, who practiced “magics” and had jealousy issues. There were no castles, no running. There were just games of bridge and women being upset over something called “tenure”.

I found that the idea of these books, these “Gothic” beauties, was usually more entertaining than the books themselves. Now, maybe that is because I was 10 (almost 11!!) and didn’t really understand them.

Maybe I didn’t want to. Why would I want to be a bored professor’s wife when I could somehow get my wits scared out of me causing me to run along a rocky shore in high heels with marabou feathers, almost teetering to my fictional death…

Still I read on, waiting, and hoping for the next book that would make me hide behind my dollhouse in delight and terror.

It would take a couple years before I found that next “big book”, the next fictitious naughtiness that would in turn change who I was as a person. The next book that unbeknownst to myself at an early age, would eventually shape me as a writer.

It’s Flowers in the Attic, just ask any woman of my age range, it’s ALWAYS Flowers in the Attic.

I never really got over my love for gothic, it has refined over the years, turning from the “gothic romances” that I was sold on a hot afternoon at a flea market. To a deep love and appreciation for the slow burning almost Victorian tales the edged somewhere on the brinks of madness and terror. The books that swam in the depths of memories that may be better off forgotten but cannot.

That is where I live now, as I writer…you see, I was right when I said I was doomed. My past is coming back to haunt me…it always does.

Quick, I should run from my house in my fanciest gown.

From Daylight to Madness
The Hotel Book 1
by Jennifer Anne Gordon
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Gothic Horror

The latest book from the critically acclaimed author of Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent; Jennifer Anne Gordon.
On an almost uninhabitable rocky island off the coast of Maine, a Hotel looms over the shore, an ever-present gray lady that stands strong like a guard, keeping watch. For many who come here, this island is a sanctuary and a betrayal.
This is a place where memories linger like ghosts, and the ephemeral nature of time begins to peel away …like the sanity of all who have been unlucky enough to step foot on its shore.
In the late spring of 1873, Isabelle gave birth to her son Oscar, he cried for three startling minutes, and then went silent. During the months that follow, Isabelle is drugged and lulled into an almost hallucinatory world of grief and fear. Her life begins to feel as though it exists in a terrifying new reality separated from those around her …
When her grieving begins to make her husband, Henry, uncomfortable, he and his mother conspire to send Isabelle away to a Summer Hotel on Dagger Island, where she can rest and heal. While they are adamant that the hotel is not an asylum and that Isabelle will be able to return eventually to her home, Isabelle understands in her heart that it is all a lie. That perhaps, everything about being a woman in this time, may have always been a lie.
Her family has lied to her, and she has lied to herself.
The Hotel, of course, is not what it seems, and the foreboding Dagger Island begins to feel more like a prison than a retreat. Isabelle hears relentless sounds coming from the attic above her room, and the ever-present cries of small children scream in her head almost constantly. Are they hallucinations, or are they connected to the small cemetery she found, filled with the fresh dirt of little graves, the brokenhearted reminders of people that no one believes ever existed?
She meets a fellow guest at the Hotel, a young, enigmatic, and deeply damaged priest, named Francis.
Together they teeter on the edges of reality and try desperately to become free from the fates that their pasts have bound them to.
From Daylight to Madness is a poetic, and haunting Gothic Fiction novel that is both profoundly unsettling and darkly romantic.

**Only .99 cents!!**

When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk
The Hotel Book 2

Critically acclaimed Author Jennifer Anne Gordon's conclusion to The Hotel Series, with the sequel to From Daylight to Madness.

In one startling moment in the late summer of 1873 a tragedy fell like summer sun on the gray jagged shores of Dagger Island. Francis loses everything he thought his life was, and what it could have become. His heart breaks and his feet run, all the way back to his childhood home, he reaches for a past that may not exist.
He is there, in the little house in Dorchester Neck. A place haunted with missing time. He feels the comfort from walls that lean in too close, but then …He feels the trauma that ripped his life in two and in a blink of an eye he is back at the hotel. He can feel the memories fade as the cold fingers of winter wrap around him. He does not know how he got there, or indeed if he ever left.
Francis has lived his whole life veiled in the memories that are more alive than his present. The current days fade away before he can hold on to him. Everything he was or thought he could have been is gone. He realizes he may be a monster, and the person he has fallen in love with may not even exist. Francis holds onto the memories he thinks are real …until he is almost consumed by them.
Francis is isolated in a world of mesmerism, with his tormentor and healer Doctor Hughes.
Francis is a guest in this hotel with his past, his present, and who he believes to be his future. Isabelle. His world is a labyrinth … he feels her hand in his. The fingers intertwine and there is nothing left but her …
She is a memory, a ghost, and a hallucination.
He can almost remember the moment when his father’s glass shattered into his face…he can almost remember who he was before he was broken in two.
He can almost remember…
He can almost…
He can…

JENNIFER ANNE GORDON is a professional ballroom dancer and choreographer by day, and a curly haired neurotic writer by night. She is an actor, a traveler, a photographer, a lover of Gothic Horror, and a dog mom. She lives in the wilds of New Hampshire with her partner on and off the dance floor. Her novels include the Kindle Award for Horror 2020 Winning book, Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent, as well as the historical Gothic novel From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel #1) as well as When The Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel #2). She also has a published collection of her artwork, titled "Victoriana {mixed media art of jennifer anne gordon}.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

An autographed copy of my novel Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent 
(finalist for the kindle awards for horror 2020),
 An autographed copy of my art book "Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Anne Gordon" 
and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. 

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