I’m delighted to welcome Leanna Renee Hieber back to the blog! Her work includes the timeslip novellas in the Time Immemorial trilogy; the futuristic, paranormal novellas in the Dark Nest Chronicles, beginning with her Prism Award–winning space opera novella Dark Nest; and the Gothic gaslamp fantasy books in the Strangely BeautifulEterna Files, and Spectral City series. (Plus she has written a couple of essays on Gothic fiction here, “Penny Dreadful’s Betrayal and the Complexity of Feminism in the Gothic Tradition” and “The Gothic as a Canary in Fear’s Coal Mine.”)

She is here today to discuss her upcoming contemporary Gothic romance novel, Ghosts of the Forbidden, which will be released just in time for spooky season on October 11. Read on to learn more about the first book in Glazier’s Gap—and to see the cover and step-back cover for Ghosts of the Forbidden created by In Churl Yo!

Cover of Ghosts of the Forbidden by Leanna Renee Hieber Step-back Cover for Ghosts of the Forbidden by Leanna Renee Hieber
(click to enlarge)

Greetings, friends! First off, thanks to Fantasy Café for being with me throughout the entirety of my career, from their review of my debut novel The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (now revised with Tor as Strangely Beautiful) to letting me rant about Gothic tropes, to hosting me in several different capacities through the years. This site has remained such a wonderful resource for our genres. I’m so thrilled to present the fabulous covers of Ghosts of the Forbidden, which marks not only a new line of fiction for Castle Bridge Media but marks my debut in contemporary (gasp!) Gothic Romance. I’m known for Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy set in the late 19th century. Thankfully, this category-length book merges all of my favorite things: Gothic shenanigans, haunted houses, handsome ghosts, quirky characters, past lives, unexpected found family, a sweet, sensuous romance and an eerie setting that is a character in and of itself.

When I was approached about the possibility of this book, I had to ask myself if I was ready to try a contemporary novel. (I worried I would be like the Steve Buscemi ‘how do you do, fellow kids’ meme but it’s me in full Victorian Mourning going ‘how do you do, fellow… 21st Centurians…’) But when I pitched the premise of ghostly lovers finding their way into a second-chance, I knew I had a concept that could bridge my lyrical, Victorian style into the present day. When I sat down to write this book, it just fell out as if I’d gone into a trance in a séance; the characters spoke to me vibrantly and I fell deeply in love with all of them. I hope you’ll love them, and this fictional town, as much as I do!

What I love about these covers is that the front cover gives you something fresh and modern, as this book is a contemporary voice, but the interior step-back cover (I’ve always dreamed of having a step-back!) is a nod to the book that the heroine, Lillian, finds that she’s inadvertently fallen into, full of details directly from my narrative. The step-back cover is a prime re-imagining of a 70’s Gothic paperback and as I really lean into my love of Dark Shadows in this book, it’s perfectly fitting. Huge thanks to cover artist (and talented author in his own right) In Churl Yo for creating a dynamic pairing that evokes the dual spirit of what I’ve written, with one foot in two eras.

Ghosts of the Forbidden cover blurb:

She should run. But can she?

When newly unemployed writer Lillian Anders tries to escape her personal demons by running off to Glazier’s Gap for a writer’s conference hosted by a reviving Gothic romance publisher, she lands right in the middle of her own Gothic novel. Her life begins eerily reflecting one of the early-’70s “women running from houses” books in the publisher’s archive. Striking 19th Century ghosts haunt darkened halls and carriage-house mirrors, startling Lillian with dangerous secrets. As a hungry, violent force lurks in the mountains and the abandoned silver mine, Lillian’s presence rekindles old flames and reopens aching wounds. When charming journalist Nathaniel Lynd arrives in town, he and Lillian forge an immediate bond when intimate memories surface from another century. Evil forces that killed star-crossed lovers in the past seek to destroy Lillian and Nathaniel in the present. It will take fortitude, ingenuity and unexpected help from the strange town itself to make sure the demons of the past don’t destroy a passionate future; destined to set old wrongs right.

About Glazier’s Gap:

Welcome to Glazier’s Gap, Colorado—a small, gossip-filled hamlet started by the mysterious owners of a now-abandoned silver mine whose unwitting rivalries set the town on a cursed trajectory. From an enormous luxury resort hotel destroyed years ago in a landslide—whose wreckage remains half-buried today—to unexplained fires in grand mansions, the town isn’t known for good luck. It’s a place with a bright side, though: tourists visit its rickety old ski resort, hike shadowed mountain paths and locals attend its small college. There’s even a defunct book publisher starting up again. But underneath it all: Glazier’s Gap is full of secrets and ghosts.

Every book follows a different person in Glazier’s Gap who falls into a supernatural love affair—like Broadchurch with phantoms, a romantic Twilight Zone in a beautiful, creepy town.


Ghosts of the Forbidden will be available via Castle Bridge Media (http://castlebridgemedia.com) on October 11th on Kindle, available for pre-order here (Ghosts of the Forbidden (Glazier’s Gap Book 1) – Kindle edition by Hieber, Leanna Renee. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.) and in paperback wherever books are sold! Paperback pre-orders will go live closer to release day.

Ghosts of the Forbidden is presently available on NetGalley for reviewers to request. Readers can also follow me on social media and sign up for my mailing list to be reminded on release day! Upcoming Appearances! – Strangely Beautiful Fiction: Leanna Renee Hieber

Cheers and Happy Haunting!