May 24, 2017

I am a Guest today

I am thrilled to let you all know that Sally Cronin from 
                  Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
selected one of my poems and showcased it today. 
Above is the link to the post, if you'd like to read it. It so well fits my present day state of mind.
I hope you will visit the post and let me know what you think about it.
Thank you, in advance!

May 18, 2017

Bizarre facts about Vlad III Basarab, nicknamed, Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), or Dracula.

1. Bram Stoker didn’t make up the word Dracula for his book. DRACULA in Walachian language means DEVIL.  His father, Vlad II Basarab, was a member of a secret society known as the Order of the Dragon, which fought the Ottoman Empire. He was so proud to be a member that he had his name changed to “Dracul,” Romanian for “Dragon.”  Vlad III also got involved in the Order, which prompted him to change his own name to Dracula.
2. The name Tepes is the Romanian for “the Impaler.” It was a title given to him posthumously. Vlad III earned his “Impaler” nickname by killing thousands of Turks and others by the grisly method that he learned during his teens, when he was a political hostage of the Ottoman Empire in Egrigoz.
3. When Vlad’s father was called to a diplomatic meeting in 1442 with Sultan Murad II, he brought his young sons Vlad III and Radu along, having no idea that they fell in a trap. All three were arrested and held hostage. The elder Vlad was released but he had to leave his sons behind.
4.  It was during his hostage years that Vlad witnessed the impalement of his Ottomans' enemies. According to historical accounts, Vlad suffered much at the hands of the Ottomans. He was tortured for part of that time, and was locked up in an underground prison.  However, his younger brother, Radu, caught the eye of the sultan's son. Radu was released and converted to Islam, and he was allowed into the Ottoman royal court.
5.  In the 1400s, the region of Wallachia was under constant threat from its neighbors, the Turks. Vlad III sent an army to push the Turks out of his land. Eventually, though the Turks forced Vlad into a retreat—he was not done. As he retreated, he burned down his own villages along the way so that the Turkish army would have nowhere to rest. He even went so far as poisoning his own wells just so that the incoming Turkish army wouldn’t have the satisfaction.
6. When Ottoman diplomatic envoys had an audience with Vlad in 1459, the diplomats declined to remove their hats, citing a religious custom. Commending them on their religious devotion, Vlad ensured that their hats would forever remain on their heads by having the hats nailed to the diplomats' skulls.
7. Vlad tested whether his technique for dissuading theft or dishonesty worked.  He had a valuable gold bowl placed near a river crossing. The rule was that anybody could drink out of it, but it could not leave the square under any circumstances.  The bowl stayed put! It’s believed that during this time about 60,000 people lived in the town—yet during his entire reign, the priceless cup was never touched.  
8. Reports state that Dracula’s body was buried at a cemetery in the Snagov Monastery, outside Bucharest, where one of his brothers was a monk. But there are conflicting reports - some that his body was never actually found there, while others say that his possible remains were indeed found, but then disappeared. It is believed that the archaeologists searching in Snagov, (a commune outside Bucharest), in 1931, found Dracula’s remains. The contents were transferred to the History Museum in Bucharest, but they later disappeared without a trace, leaving the mysteries of the real Prince Dracula unanswered.
 It’s pretty likely that his body was just robbed at some point; as royalty, he would likely have been buried with treasure, making his grave a good target for grave robbers. And then there’s the other theory about why his body was never found: because he’s Dracula.

                            Dracula’s Mistress

Publisher – City Lights Press
Genre – Paranormal historical/light romance


From the day that the powerful, brave and merciless Vlad III Basarab, a descendant of the Draculesti family—better known to most people as the infamous vampire Dracula—ascends the throne, he knows only battles, betrayal and intrigue.

Evil grips the town of Targoviste, capital residence of Walachia. The secrets behind the stone walls of the palace are as dark and violent as a winter’s night, as terrifying as the prince’s deeds. Dead bodies, drained of blood and missing their little finger keep appearing in the streets at night.

Lovely, smart, determined, Angela Oltenescu ignores all the aggressive rumors and her mother’s warning regarding Vlad. Will she suffer the consequences of falling in love with a man nicknamed Dracula by his enemies—an infamous creature of the night?

Rich, sly, treacherous,  Marin Craioveanu, a powerful landlord, craves the same woman loved by Vlad. Marin's hatred toward the prince will make him an ally to Handsome Radu, Vlad’s brother and Sultan’s friend, ready to sell the country to the Ottomans to get rid of his rival.

Dracula’s Mistress will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction

Buy link   Only 0.99$

Other books by Carmen: Till-Life-Do-Us-Part
                                        Dracula's Prodigy


May 9, 2017

Visiting with Dracula's Mistress

My regular posts Oddities of all kinds and Mysterious Romania will be postponed for a while, until I sort, hopefully in a positive way, my health  problems.
Meanwhile I was honored to be, virtually, invited abroad with the main characters in Dracula's Mistress and an author interview.
1. On 10th May

2. You can find tomorrow, 10th May, an interview with Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula, at Bonnie Phelps, Author blog. 
Here is the link:

3. And on Thursday, 11th May another  interview. Angela, Dracula's mistress, is Lisa Burton's guest. Here is the link:

 Remember the links will not work until they go live.

I'd be happy if you could visit the posts and see what Vlad and his lovely lover have to share. 
           Thank you in advance for your time!

May 7, 2017

Book Review LILY AND THE GAMBLER by Linda McLaughlin

Respectability is in the eye of the beholder. Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society's rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton 'King' Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.

King believes that since life is a gamble, there's no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

Only Lady Luck knows for sure.

 Buy link: Amazon
My Review
Linda McLaughlin, one of my favorite authors, writes another winner!  If you've read any of  Linda McLaughlin’s books you know she doesn't disappoint.  From the first page to the last. This author is entertaining in her storytelling and keeps you flipping pages.

As always, the author comes through with an entertaining, smart and well written book that keeps you involved to the very end.

Lily Penhallow  posing as the widow Alright and King Callaway are fantastic characters and their story is everything you hope for in a Western Historical Romance.  The heroine was smart and strong despite her young age. The hero was enticingly rakish.  What King did, seemed not right to Lily, but I was able to see glimpses of his true, kinder, more gentlemanly self  as well. It was an intoxicating combination. Although they may protest, women love a "bad boy" regardless of the era. The seduction scenes were wonderful. Hot and spicy and deliciously drawn out. For me, there is nothing better than the anticipation as long as it culminates in a HEA. The road to this HEA was paved with obstacles and misunderstandings and a little bit of danger that made this one of the best stories for in a Western Historical Romance I have read this year.

I highly recommend this book, it is so worth your time to read it.