Don’t – touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show out there that interviews characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and even I’ve stocked up on garlic bulbs for this interview. “Welcome to the show, Vlad Dracul, The Impaler, Dracula himself.”
“Please call me Angela, and I’m sorry… I hope you and your listeners won’t be too disappointed. I know people were anxious to hear Vlad’s opinions and beliefs on many topics. It’s just…The prince couldn’t make it to your show. It’s only me. According to my mother’s spiteful words, Dracula’s Mistress. Carmen sent me to save your radio show, that’s if you want to talk to me, of course.”
“This is one of those, sorry – not sorry, moments. So what’s your story, Angela? The show must go on.”
“Well, it all started at a palace festivity. Mother couldn’t accompany father, so I pestered him until he took me. I was dying to see in flesh and blood the most feared man in the country. Many say it sounds corny, yet, it was love at first sight. The moment I saw him I knew it. I felt it in my heart and soul that all the gossip was just malicious slander and fabrications from his enemies. a powerful yet lonely man before me. A sad man, carrying on his shoulders all the worries for his countrymen.”
“Well, with my bio, I intended to ask him about the death of his wife.”
“After that tragedy, shortly after returning from his victory over the Ottomans, my father, Vlad’s most trusted advisor, invited Vlad to our manor and… you know… through my mother asked Nana to chaperone me. We found ways to be alone. I… we… lived two blissful weeks before duty called him back to the palace. He promised to return and ask my parents for my hand. It was… the last time I saw him. Imagine the shock my parents had upon learning I was with child several months later.”
“Well, they’re worried about you. I’m sure not many parents want their daughter in a relationship with a vampire.”
“No, no, you’re wrong. They, I mean, my mother is wrong. Vlad’s not a vampire. I know he behaves cruelly sometimes, but it’s the only way to keep the country free from the invaders and from the greediness of the landlords. And if you’re referring to those bodies that keep turning up, drained of blood and with the little finger missing… It can’t be Vlad’s doing, no matter what others say. He’s as much a normal human being as me or you… Sorry, I forgot you are a robot.”
“And you say he’s missing somehow? People really ought to keep a better eye on him.”
“All I managed to find out was that he was summoned at Corvinu’s court to get the money the Pope wanted Vlad to use in gathering a large army against the Ottomans. And he hasn’t returned. The landlords spread the slander that he stole the money and is now somewhere in Europe, spending it. Lies, trust me. Just lies.
“Such accusations are preposterous. Vlad is an honest man. He hates thieves and lying. Do you know what he did once? He tested whether his technique for dissuading theft or dishonesty worked. He had a valuable gold bowl placed in the public market on the rim of a well. The rule was that anybody could drink out of it, but it could not leave the square under any circumstances. The bowl stayed put! Such a man can’t be a thief.”
“So where do you think Vlad is?”
“There are rumors that he’s a prisoner in Corvinu’s court.
“It gets more and more difficult for me. …. after my father’s untimely death my mother simply threw me out. I had to go to some of my father’s relatives in another town. It’s there that I had my little cherub, Ileana. A child who, I’m afraid, will know only one parent. ( She chokes on tears). My mother’s hatred, her venomous allusions and her spiteful behavior toward my and Vlad’s child…. My mother always spoke derisively about Vlad, calling him a vampire and other bad names. My father was his trusted courtier and am sure he’d have been delighted to hear Vlad wanted to marry me. If only dear papa had waited to listen to my explanation. His suicide changed things completely. For me, for Vlad and for the baby…
“Isn’t life strange? You know, my distant relatives were friendlier and kinder to me than my own mum. They protected me and allowed me to have a maid and were delighted by the birth of my little girl. Let me tell you something your listeners might find amazing. My maid, Catinca, is the very person who took care of Varvara while they were both in the Sultan’s harem. Who’s Varvara? Oh, it’s a long story… Well, you’ll have to read the book and find out more about her and her fate. Coming back to my story, a year after my forced journey to my father’s cousins, I returned home. Together with Ileana and Catinca. You should have seen Mother and heard her. She cursed me and my child and all the coming generations, to the 20th branch.
“Catinca warned me that mother and the innkeeper’s wife, Maritza, are up to something against me. She has this ability to foresee the future, you know.”
“So do they know who you are, and who the baby’s father is?”
“They knew it. And I found comfort in the idea that they were not supporters of Vlad’s brother, Radu, who grabbed power the second Vlad left, and gave the landlords back the privileges Vlad cut. Vlad valued ordinary people, as long as they were honest and diligent and loved Walachia. Radu and his supporters can’t stand the idea to rub elbows with common people. Their only concern is for their purse. They want more money, more lands.”
“So Dracula actually wants to do the right thing for his countrymen. That kind of surprises me.”
“I don’t blame you but never judge a man by what some say. The man’s deeds speak for his character. Vlad is an honest man, a trustworthy person who had the misfortune to be born in an age when his country is a tasty morsel for the surrounding neighbors.
“He may not be exceptionally cruel, but rather doing what he has to do to fight a military force much greater than his own, the Ottomans, at the same time keeping at bay the scheming, treacherous landlords.
“Vlad earned his “Impaler” nickname by killing thousands of Turks and wrongdoers by the grisly method that he learned as a political hostage of the Ottoman Empire in Egrigoz, his fate hinged on the actions of his father.”
“When you put it like that, I kind of feel bad for him. I feel some real sympathy for your plight, but never thought I could feel bad for him. I sincerely hope you can find him and bring him home.”
“There are moments when I think I was wrong about his love for me, and that I imagined my feeling was reciprocated. His prolonged silence…. Then I chastise myself for such bad thoughts. Something bad must have happened to him.
“I wonder what surprises I may have. From my mother, from Radu’s supporters and Vlad’s enemies, from the future. I try not to think what the following day may bring. To keep my mind busy I started teaching the servant’s children to read and write. Another thing that maddens my mother.
“I thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to address your listeners. Hopefully someone hears something about Vlad and his whereabouts and can contact you with this piece of information. I’d be most grateful. Thank you again for your patience and I thank your listeners for their time, too!”
“If you want to learn more about Angela and Vlad, pick up the book Dracula’s Mistress by Carmen Stefanescue. Carmen lives in Romania, so you can bet the research is top notch here. I’ll get all the details from Angela and include them on the website.
“I’m always looking for guests on Lisa Burton Radio, particularly ones who show up. If you have a character who would like to appear, drop me a line.
“Please help support today’s guest by using those sharing buttons. You never know what could help Angela find her lost love, and maybe someone on Pinterest or Twitter can help. Think of it this way, if Angela has Dracula, he’s not outside your house at night. I’ve also been using the hashtag #LisaBurtonRadio. It helps me gain listeners, and please feel free to modify the title if you use the Tweet button.”
Publisher – City Lights Press
Genre – Paranormal historical/light romance
( just 0.99 $)
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.
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 communist oppression by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.
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.
Carmen Stefanescu’s Links:
Other books by Carmen:
Paranormal, romantic suspense, mystery
Paranormal/light history/light horror/light romance