Showing posts with label Romania. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romania. Show all posts

Monday, July 13, 2015

Guest Blog by Carmen Stefanescu

Shadows of the Past
Carmen Stefanescu

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Genre: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light horror.


Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them. 

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment. 

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest? 

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love. 

Guest Blog by Carmen Stefanescu

I thank Gothic Mom for suggesting the topic of this post -
What does it mean to live among the shadows of a legend, in Dracula's country?

            I won't bore you with economical, social and political details. I'll leave these for another place and another time.

            By the way, have you ever thought that the blood of someone famous, whose name inspires even nowadays, a feeling of admiration or unease or dread may be flowing through your veins? No? I must admit that I haven’t either, till I wrote the novel Dracula's Mistress and, come to think of it, Dracula’s blood may flow through my veins, too, as I am a native of his country.

            If you go outside in the street, in the States, and ask at random, ordinary people passing by "Have you heard about Romania ", you’ll be, most often, met by frowned eyebrows, confused looks or shrugging. Or even answers like: "Well, I don't know... is it South America... or maybe Africa...."

Ask the same people "Have you heard about Dracula's country?" A large grin will lighten the face of your interlocutor. "Oh, Dracula. Yes, yes, I heard about it. Somewhere in Europe. Transylvania.  Vampires."

So, I’m glad to live in a country known to everyone, be it only because it’s linked to a name bearing negative connotations: creatures of the night, fangs, sucking the blood of maidens, crimes and horrors. Dracula is said to have drunk his victims’ blood, terrified his enemies and turned into a bat at will. The border between legend or history and figments of people's imagination is difficult to perceive in his case.

Strong connections between the British Royal Family and Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century nobleman whose deeds inspired the vampire legend, are exploited now for advertising reasons. Books, movies, restaurants, T-shirts, fan clubs, toys, posters, wine.... So many products with this name Dracula. It's a powerful brand and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

There are many people in Romania bothered by this analogy, Romania - Dracula's country. I’m not. I’m proud to be one of his country people. And I chose to think about Dracula as a symbolic personality, a hero, a true leader, who used harsh yet fair methods to reclaim the country from the corrupt and rich boyars. I wish there lived another man like him in his present-day country!

            Anyway, words are never enough to describe the place. Beautiful landscapes with gorgeous mountains and mysterious ancient forests, clear rills coming down grassy slopes to meet the Danube.

            Well, not to mention that there are enough elements in the Romanian mythology - ghosts, zombies, vampires - to be a real attraction for visitors. We have our paranormal, haunted places, too. If you want to know more about them, I invite you to visit my blog and the posts under the title: Mysterious Romania.

My best advice to you - come and visit Romania and you'll see for yourselves how Dracula's country really looks like. And to prevent getting bored while crossing the ocean, get a copy of Shadows of the Past and read it. Otherwise you don't know what you are missing! (The other novel I mentioned at the beginning of the post will be released by the end of 2015, I hope)

            Thank you, Tiffany, for hosting me today!

Author bio: 

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 

Carmen Stefanescu's Links:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Twice Tempted Review

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
Night Prince Book Two
Published March 26, 2013 by Avon

"They say never judge a book by its' cover, but this one is just as hot as it looks!!"

Summary -

Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges...

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.  (Goodreads)


What's the best way to judge how good a book truly is?  How long it takes you to read it.  Read this one in a day and a half, all while juggling the kids, work and friggin' Girl Scouts.  Though I still regret reading Up From The Grave BEFORE reading Twice Tempted, since it gave away such a big secret, "seeing" the way it played out was phenomenal.  

While I am still extremely hurt to have had to say goodbye to Cat and Bones, I am equally as glad to have Leila and Vlad.  To say these two are another dynamic duo to be a drastic understatement.  With his pyrokenisis and her electrical currents, not to mention both of their temperaments, they truly know how to heat up a page.  And if there was ever a true match for Vlad the Impaler, Leila has truly proved to be it.

Vlad has kept his heart wrapped in a cage of ice for centuries, not an easy thing to do when you're the Prince of Flames.  So should come as no wonder that he finds it difficult to allow himself to admit is true feelings for Leila.  After-all, they both went into this relationship under the agreement of remaining strictly physical.  And we all know which road is paved with good intentions.  Leila comes to her final straw after the proposal she is given is far from what she expected, and gives Vlad an ultimatum.  When he makes the wrong decision, she does the unthinkable and leaves.  Heading back to the carnival and a whole new heap of trouble.  Leila will learn the hard way that Vlad isn't the only one who likes playing with fire, with deadly circumstances.  As she is the initial target Leila is faced with a decision of her own; to trust the man she loves and humiliated by walking away from, or the man she considers a friend and has never kept his desires a secret.  So the question becomes whether the threat on her life is an act of vengeance, a ploy at a deadly love affair or whole new party altogether.

Pages filled with blood, mayhem, betrayal, deadly desires, manipulation, heat and gruesome death, readers will not be able to put this book down until the last page.  There is never a dull moment when dealing with Vlad Basarab Dracul.  And pity the man, or woman, who dare cross him.  Both Once Burned and Twice Tempted are true must reads for true vampire lovers.  Please do not cheat yourself and read this book as a stand alone.  At least start with Once Burned, but to get the full affect, read the entire Night Huntress Universe series.  And look out for the final installment to Leila and Vlad's trilogy, due out in December, 2014. 

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