Publisher – City Lights Press
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.
Angela smiled with fond indulgence and looked at her father. “Prepare for mother’s. . .” She stopped as the words passed her lips, looked over her father’s shoulder, and started violently. The image behind her father made her words freeze on her lips. A sickening sense of dread overpowered her.
The pale light of the moon fell on a man’s face. A man dressed in torn clothes. Some ragged ends of silken thread were still attached to his arms, stretched towards them in begging.
His face, all covered in blood. His eyes were closed. His bluish lips mumbled something Angela couldn’t clearly understand. Slurred words reached her. She thought she heard, “Candle. . . candle. . . pleaaaase. . .” A sickening odor reached Angela’s nostrils. Slowly, the closed eyelids opened revealing two empty sockets instead of eyes.
A low moan of horror escaped her.
“What? What’s wrong?” Grigore asked.
But before he turned his head to see what triggered Angela’s reaction the apparition melted into the darkness.
Angela staggered a little, and then found her balance.
“Nothing,” she answered in a shaken voice. “I thought . . . Nothing, Father.” She pushed the horrible apparition from her mind. Perhaps all the stories about the souls of the young noblemen killed so cruelly here were not just stories.
Grigore shook his head and shrugged. Then reaching out his hand, he helped her climb into the carriage. She was barely able to move as she trembled from head to foot. She shrank back on the bear skin spread inside.
Grigore sat facing her, but looked absorbed by the things that had happened that night.
The neighing of the horses sounded strange to her ears. The sound of a tree branch scraping the roof of the carriage sent Angela’s heart into her mouth.
She leaned forward until her nose was touching the glass of the carriage window. Outside, on the side of the road, she glimpsed again the silhouette of the horrible man, dressed in tattered clothes. She peered into the darkness to see better. There was no doubt. The same specter. With begging hands stretched towards her. She covered her mouth with her hand to suppress a cry. And then she shook her head and passed a hand over her eyes and dared to look out again.
There was nobody in sight. A dark cloud had settled over the moon. All that met her eyes was the deep darkness. Her heart hammered as she gripped her fan harder, almost crushing the fragile spikes. Sweat collected at the base of her neck despite the cool evening. With a trembling hand, she covered the window of the carriage with the small curtain and leaned back on the carriage pillow. To fight the panic yammering in her head, Angela forced Vlad’s face back into her mind.
All through the rest of the journey home, the thought of Vlad’s enthralling smile and dark, intent eyes never left her.
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula 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.
High-school 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. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.
She has dreamed since childhood to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.
She likes to blend genres and thus she writes paranormal stories with a smidgen of mystery, history and romance. The reader will find suspense, dark themes, adventure, danger as well as sweet revenge. She calls her stories “gothic” romance. Her writing focuses on rebirth, past life regression, karmic retribution.
Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.