Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Regency Christmas 1

A Regency Christmas 1 was published in November 1989 and was so successful that Signet published a Christmas short story series for many years after. While Allan Kass didn't illustrate all of them,  he did enough that you can see and enjoy. This was the first book and has stories by famous authors Anita Mills, Patricia Rice, Mary Balogh, Gayle Buck, and Edith Layton. They are still great reads.

Allan Kass creates a Christmas card image here with guests arriving for the holiday season! We see them bringing gifts in the horse drawn sleigh and happy residents greeting relatives and guests to their home. It's a magical picture of the season.

This is the last book that I have that I know for sure Allan Kass illustrated and a great one with which to end the series.. He told me before his death that he illustrated somewhere between 800-1000 book covers and this book is # 785. Before illustrating books, Kass lived in Detroit illustrating auto company magazine ads.

 If you find a book that I don't have listed in the blog, please contact me with the information. I hope that you've enjoyed reading and seeing the work of this talented artist.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Victorian Christmas

A Victorian Christmas was published in November 1992 by Signet and contains Victorian Christmas stories by authors Patricia Gaffney, Betina Krahn, Edith Layton, Mary Jo Putney, and Patricia Rice. This was the only year that this was published, so it may not have been as popular as its regency counterpart.

Allan Kass illustrates a family celebrating Christmas day as they sing around the piano and play with gifts just opened. I like all of the detail Kass puts into these festive covers with a highly decorated tree, the expressions of the children, and the detail of the outfits worn. I like that it evokes memories of past and future holidays.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Country Christmas

A Country Christmas was published by Signet in November 1993 and is an anthology of short stories set all over America. The authors are Emily Bradshaw, Raine Cantrell, Karen Harper, Patricia Rice, and Jodi Thomas.

Allan Kass illustrates a village scene with a large snow covered  farmhouse and church where people are gathering to celebrate the season. I like that the nearest sled has the tree which is about to be decorated. It's a joyous scene and one that evokes all of the memories of the Christmas holiday.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Regency Christmas 3

November 1991 Signet's publication date for A Regency Christmas 3 and it's a collection of holiday short stories by Mary Balogh, Sandra Heath, Melinda McRae, Edith Layton, and Mary Jo Putney. If you haven't read any of these, try and find since they are some of the best holiday stories around!

Allan Kass illustrates this cover with a group of Christmas carolers which embodies the joys of the season as they sing and make merry. I like their colorful costumes. The young child and animals make it a festive occasion for all.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Regency Christmas 5

A Regency Christmas 5 was published by Signet in November 1993 and has holiday stories by famous regency authors Mary Balogh, Gayle Buck, Sandra Heath, Emily Hendrickson, and Laura Matthews.

Allan Kass illustrates a family at the dinner table for a Christmas feast for this cover. We see the turkey being brought in to an animated group of all ages sitting down together. It's a happy and joyous event that comes across to the reader of the joys of the season.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Regency Valentine 2

A Regency Valentine 2 was published by Signet in January 1992. It has stories by authors Mary Balogh, Sandra Heath, Carla Kelly, Edith Layton, and Carol Proctor.

Allan Kass gives us another illustration of a couple in love, this time set in an oval frame. Our couple is dressed for a ball and look very elegant. The pink and lacy theme of the cover reference the holiday. Signet published two more editions of Valentine stories but Kass didn't illustrate them.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Regency Valentine

A Regency Valentine was published by Signet in February 1991 and is a short story anthology with stories by authors Mary Balogh, Emma Lange, Joan Wolf, Patricia Rice, and Katherine Kingsley. All of the stories revolve around Valentine's Day and love.

Allan Kass gives us a valentine of a cover with our couple in love. We don't see much more except that they are dressed in regency garb and standing outside and obviously in love. It's a neat idea to place the painting inside a lacy heart but I like the full cover illustrations better.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Regency Summer

A Regency Summer is a short story anthology published by Signet in June 1992. It contains stories by Mary Balogh, Charlotte Louise Dolan, Sandra Heath, Melinda McRae, and Sheila Walsh.  These anthologies by Signet are some of my favorite reads and I highly recommend all of them.

Allan Kass gives us a glimpse of regency beachcombers on this cover! Dressed for sun and fun, our people are enjoying a sunny day. While the hero is probably overheating, the ladies look cool and lovely in their summer muslin dresses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Regency Christmas 4

Next we have 9 short story anthologies that Allan Kass illustrated. This one, A Regency Christmas 4, was published in November 1992 and has stories by popular regency authors Mary Balogh, Marjorie Farrell, Sandra Heath, Emma Lange, and Mary Jo Putney.

These must have been fun covers to illustrate since they wrap around the book and offer a large scope for detail. This one of couples skating is especially wintery and it's fun to see their clothing and skates. Kass injects this cover with fun and frivolity of the season.

Monday, October 20, 2014

John Dickson Carr: Scandal at High Chimneys

Scandal at High Chimneys was published by Bantam in July 1968 and is a mystery/horror by well known author John Dickson Carr. In a Victorian mansion, two females live but one is the embodiment of pure evil.

Allan Kass illustrates our heroine fleeing the haunted mansion. I like the sea of green which gives it an eery look along with the tree branches reaching out like fingers to grab the heroine. Note Allan's signature under her hand, otherwise I'd have had a problem believing this was a Kass cover!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Robert Ackworth: North County Nurse

North County Nurse is a Dell Candlelight novel by Robert Ackworth. Published in November 1969, it's the story of nurse Mary Loring who came back to work in her beloved home with the doctor she desires until he returns a married man! Can a crazy pilot change her mind?

This is an early Allan Kass illustration since he began around 1968-9, so it's interesting to see how he uses his talent to conform to what the editors want on these romance series. I think he had more freedom with the regency covers but these earlier ones still show the detail he's known for.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Edward S. Aarons: I Can't Stop Running

I Can't Stop Running is a contemporary thriller by Edward S. Aarons and was published in April 1971. Crane is accused of a stealing gold and those who want it will stop at nothing to retrieve it.

Allan Kass creates a provocative cover for this novel! It definitely leans towards the pulp novels from the 1950's and '60's. We have the armed hero who has visited or is visiting the unclad lady. It's a study in anatomy which Kass is master, so enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Carol Beach York: Nothing Ever Happens Here

Nothing Ever Happens Here by Carol Beach York was published in August 1975 by Signet. It's the story of fourteen year old Elizabeth and her concern that her summer would be dull since all of her friends were traveling.

Allan Kass captures the teen's boredom as she swings on a wicker bench with her kitten nearby. It looks like a nice house and yard even though we don't see more than the porch. I like the shaft of sunlight on the edge of the porch and the plant blooming on the table nearby. Also note the pattern on the wicker--what detail!

Next we will list a few books that I have found since I began the blog alphabetically and then list some short stories that Kass illustrated.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dorothy Worley: The High Road

The High Road by Dorothy Worley was published by Dell Candlelight in November 1970 and it's fitting to end our alphabetical list with one of Allan Kass's earliest book illustrations!

This book is about Ann Woodward and her work with the Malone brothers who served in their small community. When an exciting offer comes for the doctors, all have to decide if they want success away from home and Ann needs to decide which brother she really loves.

Allan Kass creates a wonderful cover with our heroine and shows the conflict between her and her choice of suitor. This is a very early Kass illustration and while within the Dell guidelines shows his skill with the detail of the people, their clothing, and the setting. If you see more nurse romances that Kass may have illustrated, please contact me. You can usually find his signature or "ak" in the illustration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Phyllis Anderson Wood: Your Bird is Here, Tom Thompson

Your Bird is Here, Tom Thompson was published in February 1976 by Signet for young adult author Phyllis Anderson Wood. She writes a story about the titled Tom who is sent to a different school because he cuts class and the friends that he meets there who help him realize that he's not such a mess after all!

This is such a joyous cover by Allan Kass! I love the beach setting and the look of joy on the faces of the teens as they let the seagull go. I like the hilly dune that they stand upon and the sky is perfect. Kass gets teens and it's evident in these past covers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Phyllis Anderson Wood: I Think This Is Where We Came In

I Think This Is Where We Came In by Phyllis Anderson Wood was published by Signet in November 1977 for its young adult line. Paul, his sister Maggie, and Mike, decide to camp after school ends and their trip turns into an adventure with an abandoned dog and a hunt for a lost child.

I think this is a great cover by Allan Kass because we see the kids setting up camp but if you look closer, you can see that Mike is watching Maggie in a protective and loving way. My copy isn't pristine but if you click on the photo, you can see it enlarged.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Phyllis Anderson Wood: Song of the Shaggy Canary

Song of the Shaggy Canary by Phyllis Anderson Wood was published by Signet in May 1976. It's the story of Sandy, a young mother who is raising her son on her own, and John, a young vet with his own issues. Two people who become friends in a relationship that may possibly become more.

Allan Kass illustrates a tender moment here between our two young lovers and uses the cage as a metaphor for the troubles in their lives. It's a sweet picture and more importantly, hopeful.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Phyllis Anderson Wood: I've Missed a Sunset or Three

I've Missed a Sunset or Three was published by Signet in March 1975. It's the story of Jim and Rachel, their problems, and how this friendship began to solve them.

I think that this is such a pretty cover by Allan Kass. I love the sylvan setting which feels as if you can hear the water running over the rocks and the bees buzzing! Our teen couple are young and vibrant as only Kass can create. It's a poignant moment, but honest and beautiful.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Phyllis Anderson Wood: A Five-Color Buick and a Blue-Eyed Cat

As we head into the last of our Allan Kass illustrated books, we get to review young adult stories by Phyllis Anderson Wood. Published in July 1977, this is the story of Randy and Fred and the summer business they create of transporting animals.

Allan Kass creates a colorful illustration for this book with shows our teens, a few animals, and the brightly colored car! It must have been a fun change to illustrate a modern day cover and Allan gets it right with the styles, hair, and vehicles of the 1970's! I hope you enjoy this and the next few blog posts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Joan Wolf: The Scottish Lord

The Scottish Lord is the last book by Joan Wolf and was published by Signet in January 1982. Frances Stewart once married for security. Would she now marry the man she scorned for love?

All Outlander fans would like any kilted cover by Allan Kass!! Our hero is definitely attractive as he holds the heroine, who is lovely. I like her hair sweeping against her neck and the red of the walls echo the plaid of the hero.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Joan Wolf: The Rebellious Ward

The Rebellious Ward was published by Signet in February 1984 for author Joan Wolf and is the story of Catriona MacIan who plans to rise above her birth and marry the catch of the season in spite of her guardian or anyone else!

Allan Kass paints our couple embracing and intimate to the point where we almost want to turn away as to give them their privacy! I think her dress slipping off the shoulder and his gaze make this a steamy scene but their handclasp is definitely sweet to see.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Joan Wolf: Margarita

Margarita, by Joan Wolf, was published by Signet in June 1982 and is the story of the heroine of that name and her marriage to the Earl of Winslow. She quickly becomes jealous when it looks as if he's continued affairs with others but wants to make her marriage work and survive and will do what it takes for that to happen.

Allan Kass illustrates our couple in an embrace that looks like it could be unwanted on the heroine's part. She is a beautiful Spanish lady while the hero is decidedly handsome. I like the books on the table which make it seem like it's her special retreat. Kass makes the reader wonder if this couple will be able to repair their marriage.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Joan Wolf: Lord Richard's Daughter

Lord Richard's Daughter by Joan Wolf was published in July 1983 by Signet for its regency romance line. It's the story of Julianne who comes back from deepest Africa to announce her father's mysterious death and was about to marry until she met her rescuer again!

Allan Kass illustrates a romantic cover by showing the hero and heroine outside a building. It's an intimate embrace and gives the impression that the couple know each other well. I like her dress which hints at an earlier Georgian style. The hero is less visible but gives us a hint of strength and gentleness.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Joan Wolf: A London Season

January 1981 is the date of publication for A London Season by Joan Wolf. This Signet regency romance is about Lady Jane Fitzmaurice and her love for a man who trains horses! Can a society beauty marry for love and not position?

Allan Kass creates a passionate cover for this story. I'm convinced that these great covers are part of what made this a successful series for Signet! Our dashing hero embraces the heroine in front of a massive four poster bed! The hero takes the eye and is definitely a Kass masterpiece.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Joan Wolf: A Kind of Honor

A Kind of Honor by Joan Wolf was published by Signet in July 1980. It's the story of Amanda Doune and her struggle as an unloved wife when she meets and falls in love with Lord Stanford, who is the total opposite of her husband.

Allan Kass illustrates a great cover for this novel with our beautiful heroine in the arms of the hero. The setting is elegant and rich and we wonder if they are free to marry or stealing a precious moment together? I love her red gown and vivid coloring which is a good blend to the gold color of the room.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Joan Wolf: His Lordship's Mistress

His Lordship's Mistress by Joan Wolf was published in April 1982 by Signet and is the story of Jessica O'Neill who was a lady now acting as an actress in order to save her family from ruin. She's willing to accept the Earl of Linton's offer but didn't realize that falling in love was part of the script!

Allan Kass gives us a glimpse into an intimate scene with our hero and heroine by showing their embrace in front of an elaborate bed! I like the green hangings and gold trim which seem to compliment the heroine's coloring. It's a sizzling scene which I'm sure sold a lot of copies for the author!