Monday, July 23, 2007

Springtime For Hitler

I happened across this cover flat while I was at RWA. What does this cover art say to you? Erotic? Contemporary? Or as The Boyfriend mused, "Transvestite dominatrix?" Yeah, it really is a laugh a minute living with him.

Well whatever it says to you, I'd hazard a guess that it didn't scream Nazi Germany. Don't believe me? Here's the back cover blurb:
Sophie de Havilland fled London and her past, vowing never to return. In Germany she sought solace, with her aunt, and couldn’t help but admire how the Third Reich had reclaimed a country so near ruin. But soon the veneer crumbled. Beneath the frenetic nightlife of 1939 Berlin, the swirling parties with the dashing SS in their night-black uniforms and their beautiful dames, she saw cancer growing. Stories of an impossible nature—terrible stories, terrible crimes—she began to believe.

These Nazis were Germany’s demon lover: handsome, fearsome, faithless, murderous. Her aunt had been right to seek escape. But, was it possible? One man offered hope: a handsome half-American. But while his spicy scent and strong arms seduced her with safety, the lightning on his collar and his searing blue eyes reminded her that sometimes the handsomest faces hid perfidious intent.

Elspeth McKendrick is another name for Morag McKendrick Pippin, who has written a couple of other historical romances in "unique" time periods. One wonders on the name change. This too is an unusual setting and doesn't sound that different from her previous releases (it's not like she's switching from writing sweet historicals to erotic paranormal here). One hopes the name change isn't because of previously sluggish sales (and I know nothing about her sales - I'm just wondering out loud here).

As for this book, I'll probably try it - although I wonder how well it will do in the market place with an odd title and weird cover. I suspect Dorchester was shooting for a Cabaret look, but honestly it falls a wee bit short.

Time will tell, but gotta say that it's nice to see someone taking a chance on historical romances set in the 20th century. Laydown date is August 28.

8 comments:

C2 said...

Okay, I might have to agree with The Boyfriend on this one. ;-) Who are they marketing this to?

And your title when combined with the blurb? Perfect! I love The Producers. LOL

Rosie said...

You are such a clever wench. Do you know if they (publishers) ever market test anything?

Kristie (J) said...

I didn't realize it was Morag McKendrick Pippin when I saw it. I'll certainly have to read it then. When I saw the cover flat and then the blurb, I thought very much it was Cabaretish and thought I'd give it a try. Now I know I will.
I think you have to give her kudo's for writing a way different setting!

Wendy said...

C2: The release date is late August - but Springtime for Hitler just has a better ring to it than Late Summer for Hitler or Early Fall for Hitler don't ya think?

Rosie: I think publishers idea of market research is to see what sells :) Dorchester doesn't always have the best covers (they firmly believe in clinch and man-titty for westerns), but I give them major props for spreading around the love. You won't just see one type of book published by them. They do a bit of everything - westerns, Egyptian settings, romantic suspense, paranormal, futuristics, romantic comedy etc. I like that they take chances.

Kristie: I think the 20th century is ripe with story possibilities for historical romance - but for some reason publishers seem slow to catch on to this. This one looks intriguing to me, so I'll probably give it a shot. I just wonder if the weird cover and title will hold it back at all....

Mailyn said...

Beneath the frenetic nightlife of 1939 Berlin, the swirling parties with the dashing SS in their night-black uniforms and their beautiful dames, she saw cancer growing. Stories of an impossible nature—terrible stories, terrible crimes—she began to believe.

These Nazis were Germany’s demon lover: handsome, fearsome, faithless, murderous.



What?!? Huh?!?! Is anyone else disturbed by this?!? The dashing SS officers?!?! Germany's Demon Lover?!?! Seriously, seriously disturbing. Of all the places, of all the eras Nazi Germany and the SS were NOT romantic. Yuck, Talk about twisted.

Dear god this is just unbelievable. I'd stick with the boyfriend and got wit the transvestite. LOL.

Wendy said...

Mailyn: But you left out -

But soon the veneer crumbled.

Also, the heroine sees "a cancer growing."

Germany was in ruins after WWI - both structurally and financially, so the Nazi party was seen, for a brief moment in time, as a savior by many people. High ranking U.S. and British officials made visits to Nazi Germany, as they admired Hitler's rebuilding and rise to power. They were literally in awe of him - at first. Nothing recovers an economy quite like building up your military base. Most argue that the U.S. didn't fully recover from the Great Depression until we entered WWII.

So I wasn't disturbed by the back cover blurb. Totally believable that the Nazi party would be seen as "glamorous" to some until the ugliness was fully revealed. And that's how it reads to me. The heroine is in "awe" until the truth starts to come out...

Mailyn said...

I agree since the same has happened in a lot of countries where dictators first are seen as saviours but I have to say for a romance novel that just feels very weird. I guess I couldn't get past that whole SS romanticism. Gives me the creeps still. LOL.

I'll wait and see what you think about it. Or maybe they have a chapter up online?

Wendy said...

She has an excerpt up at her site:

http://www.moragmckendrickpippin.com/perfidia.html

I'm always on the look-out for historical settings that write the good and the bad. This is actually my main beef with Regency Historicals. Many feature a way too romanticized view of the time period for my tastes. I want the fluff with the gritty reality.

I also like to believe that people never stop being capable of falling in love - regardless of world events. Yes, WWII was horrific. There's no getting past that. But people don't just put their emotions on hold. Certainly falling in love will take a lower priority to, say, survival - but as we all know sometimes it just happens regardless of our best intentions.

But then I also think that people other than Dukes and Earls fell in love in England in the 19th century. Which shows you how much I really know.