Tag Archives: vampires

Mythic Monday: St. Andrew’s Night Re-Blog

When I read this post from Romanian author Carmen Stefanescu on her website, I found it incredibly fascinating. I’ve heard Carmen speak of St. Andrew’s Night before, and in this segment of her Mysterious Romania series she includes a lot of the details of the holiday. The folk customs reach way back into the dim recesses of time. I wanted to share it with you for Mythic Monday, as I know you’ll find it interesting as well.

Mysterious Romania Saint Andrew’s Night Romanian Halloween by Carmen Stefanescu

St Andrew’s Night is for sure the most mysterious and magic filled Christian holiday. He is the patron Saint of Romania. According to ethnologists, St. Andrew’s Night has ancient origins. It was the period when Dacians celebrated the New Year, known as The  Dionysian  Pastorals.

The end of November was the holiday of Romans Saturnalia. too. Many say that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest on this night. This allows the spirits of that dark unknown place to more freely walk among us.

It’s also known as the sleepless night, the night when nobody goes out,  the wolves’ night, of the zombies, of skies opening, the night of the spells or the night of the living dead. Zombies and vampires kidnap people so nobody takes the risk to go out.

It’s the moment when at midnight the animals’ tongues are unlocked and all talk one with the other, but you need courage to listen to them. If you brace up and keep quiet you can find out where treasures are hidden, the names of still free criminals and many other  secret things. But you can’t tell such secrets to other people, otherwise you turn into a living dead. Old people say that  daylight appears nine blinks sooner so that all evil should crawl back to their places in the other world. During these 9 blinks the skies open and the angels come down on earth to put the ghosts, vampires and ghouls on the run.

We have no Halloween where I live, I mean Romania, even if it’s Dracula’s country. However, St. Andrew’s Night, due to its beliefs and traditions, may be called a Romanian Halloween.

30th November is St Andrew’s Day in Romania, a day full of symbolism as St Andrew, one of the 12 Apostles is considered the one who made the Romanians Christians. But more powerful  in traditions and superstitions is the preceding night.

St. Andrew’s Night is a magic night when people have to do certain things to keep the evil away from them. St. Andrew’s Night is in some way the equivalent of Halloween.  It has a lot of traditions and superstitions. Ghosts come out in the human world, wolves speak the human language  and predict horrible things. People who are attacked this night by evil  spirits will turn into  werewolves. To protect themselves against evil, people can use  garlic and spells.

Here are several customs on this special night:

 To get rid of evil spirits, and prevent them entering the house,  villagers grease the doors and threshold with crushed garlic. They also use garlic to protect the stables, too.

Mothers draw small crosses on the palms of their small children to protect them.

The young maidens who want to get married put several leaves of basil under their pillows.  Or, another custom if they want to see their fated husband – the girls should stay naked between two mirrors, at midnight, holding two burning candles in their hands. They will see in the mirror behind them scenes of their future life, including the face of their future groom.

Housewives turn all the glasses and cups with the mouth down to prevent evil settling inside them.

The weather this night predicts how the coming winter will be. If the sky is clear, the winter will be mild with less snow  and warmer days.

 On St. Andrew’s Night, when the sky opens and the witches recharge their powers, is the best moment to find the answers of past mysterious and unsolved enigmas.  It means  implies taking part in an odd ritual in a graveyard. Then, in a basin with  water, over which  an incantation was uttered, they will see everything that happened.

I know you enjoyed reading about the folk customs surrounding St. Andrew’s Night in Romania. Please hop over to Carmen Stefanescu’s website and peruse some of the other fascinating topics there. Also, don’t miss her wonderful book, full of romance and mysterious happenings, Shadows of the Past.

Cheers & Happy Reading! Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Sneak Preview!

Paranormal Romance Tour 7 (1)WHO: 12 Amazing Paranormal Romance Authors

WHAT: International Paranormal Romance Blog Tour

WHEN: Every Thursday, starting October 1st and lasting through December 17, 2015

WHERE: Right here in my little ole cyber crib

WHY: Your chance to discover some fab paranormal romance authors and books!

 

Authors in the tour are:

Cassandra Ulrich – http://cassandraulrich.blogspot.com/

Kimbra Kasch – http://www.kimbrakasch.com

 Lyndi Lamont http://lindalyndi.com/

Carmen Stefanescu – http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

M S Kaye – http://booksbymsk.com/

Penny Estelle – www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com

Margo Bond Collins – http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Daisy Banks – https://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Adrienne Woods – https://woodsadrienne.wordpress.com/

Julie A. D’Arcy http://juliedarcystoryweaver.blogspot.com.au/

N. N. Light http://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

And me, who will be rolling out the process by posting my book information here tomorrow – Flossie Benton Rogers – http://flossiebentonrogers.com/blog/

See you right here tomorrow!

Many thanks to the amazing Carmen Stefanescu for organizing the event.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest: Harper A. Brooks

HIS HAVEN
The Redemption Series: Book One
by Harper A. Brooks

Ignorance isn’t always bliss…

Handsome and diligent Avrum Brenin should have died in the fire with his mother and older brother. Instead, he is saved by the powerful and wealthy immortal, Lord Henri. Placed under his care, Avrum shares in his world of endless splendors. He must do one thing in return—look after Haven, a human and Lord Henri’s newest rescue.
The simple task proves to be more complicated than it seems. Haven is disobedient, ungrateful, and hostile, yet she is beautiful and mystifying at the same time. One night, when Avrum stumbles across Haven barely clothed and bound at the wrists, the world he has trusted in unravels before his eyes. He soon discovers that no one—from Lord Henri and Haven to his closest friend, Lysander—are who they seem to be.
Now faced with the truth, will Avrum choose to surrender to the man who rescued him, or will he have the courage to save the woman who captivated him?

Paranormal/Historical Romance
Heat Level: Sensual

Praise for His Haven:
“His Haven is a fantastic mix of historical and paranormal romance… Action. Romance. A touch of horror. You can’t put this book down.”Cynthia Carole, author of the Cedarville Novella Series
“Exciting and suspenseful… sweet and hot all at the same time. I recommend that anyone that loves books about vampires read this and you won’t regret it.”–Crystal N., Reviewer from SSYL
“Ms. Brooks has started a story of other-worldly magnitude where adventure and secrecy filled the pages. Twist and turns ran amok as the author delivered angst, love, friendship and intrigue.”Evelise, Reviewer from S.E.X. Reviews

Want to read more? Here is an excerpt:
Maybe I can’t do this on my own…
“Help me,” she told him, realizing it was her only real option. “Help me leave… You can help me now. Together, we can get to my father and we―”
His disheartened expression made her stop.
“You can never go back to your father,” he said. “It will be the first place Keagan and Henri will look for you.”
Terror made her mind race and her hands tremble. There had to be a way for her to get out. “You can bring me and my father somewhere safe,” she blurted out in desperation. “Please, there has to be some way. I can’t stay here.”
Avrum’s eyes drifted over her shoulder to where the manor laid quiet and still. He inhaled. “You have been bitten,” he said.
Haven took a slight step back.
“I saw the wounds when I found you,” he replied to her perplexed look. “Your blood is now entangled with Henri’s. For as long as they are together and flowing through his veins, you will be connected to him. He will know where you are, no matter how far.”
She gasped, her hand flying to the place on her chest where the two pierce wounds laid underneath. “How do you know this?”
“It is something we all learn when we are first changed.”
“Have you ever killed?” she asked but then hesitated. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to know the answer to that question.
“No,” he replied. “I have taken blood from humans before, when I was first turned, but I have made sure to never harm any of them. Now, I drink from a stock supply of human and animal blood in the manor cellar.”
The thought of consuming a person’s blood made Haven nauseous. “Can you ever stop? Never drink it again?”
Avrum let out a short laugh. “I have asked the same questions,” he said. “I still have to be reminded that I am no longer like you. I cannot stop the drinking because I am no longer fully alive. The living blood replaces what I have lost during the change.”
“What are you, exactly?”
“We are called vampires.”
She couldn’t speak. She had never heard the name before, but for some reason, it made her voice freeze in the pit of her throat.
“With your blood still coursing through Henri’s veins, you can be tracked. I need to get you back to the manor before he wonders where you are and realizes you’re gone.” Avrum held out a hand to her. She stared at the open palm with wide, fearful eyes. The skin there glistened against the amber lights of the manor windows. It was marked with faint scars. Each one seemed to overlap the others.
“We keep the scars we have earned as humans,” he told her, as if reading her thoughts. “I have many of my own to bear.”
For some reason, his words made the warmth in her chest grow even more and the pains in her body ease. She stretched her own hand out, the raw and marred marks around her wrist standing out against the paleness of her skin.
Avrum offered her a tender smile―a smile that told her that this time she wasn’t alone. “Come back with me,” he told her. “I will protect you with everything I am. I swear it. Please…”
Haven hesitated for a moment, their hands hovering close. In the space between them, all her doubt and fears lingered. Could she really trust him? He was one of them after all. A vampire.
She sucked in icy night air and, taking a step forward, placed her shaking hand in his.

 

About the Author

 

Harper A. Brooks lives in a small town on the New Jersey shore and is currently a student on her way to a degree in English and in Secondary Education. Even as a young child, she has always surrounded herself with good literature, so it is no surprise that her love for reading and writing has expanded into all parts of her life. She is a dedicated softball coach, student, teacher, and friend who enjoys writing about fantastical worlds when she believes real life gets too mundane.

 

Writer Wednesday: Cynthia Arsuaga

Cynthia Arsuaga’s Villain Questions

Hello Everyone and thanks to Flossie for having me on her blog today! This week I’m the Author of the Week for Secret Cravings Publishing and trying to squeeze in some blog time. So, again, thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity to showcase my back list of fourteen titles! I’ve done a little interview with one of my villains from the Born Vampire Series. I’ll be doing a sweepstakes, picking a winner by random from all the commenters over the three days on this and the other blogs I’ll be a guest on. The winner will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to Secret Cravings Publishing. Good Luck!!!

I’m presenting Dragos Munteanu, one bad-ass vampire who along with his “squeeze” Ecaterina, wreaked havoc with my heroes and heroines in two Born Vampire stories. Between the two, I’m not sure who was worse, but each gets their true come-uppance, eventually. This interview/interrogation takes place during the High Tribunal Trial after Dragos was brought before them to answer for his crimes against vampires and humans. This “court case” was behind the scenes and not in any of the books, only talked about. Enjoy!

Washington, D.C.

HIGH TRIBUNAL: Dragos Munteanu, you have come before this tribunal to account for your crimes against not only the North American Blood Families but also against mortal world. Do you understand these charges that have been brought forward?

DRAGOS: My dear lords, surely you jest. I do not answer to you. You have become nothing more than pathetic puppets of these, these humans who think they control us with their laws. We are superior to them and I intend to take back what is rightfully ours.

HIGH TRIBUNAL: Enough, Dragos. You will answer our questions and take the proper punishment if so judged. Do you think following the rules and laws of our kind are only for a select few? They were created to protect both our worlds from—

DRAGOS: From what? Us annihilating the human race? You pompous, arrogant fools. Vampires should not fear these fragile beings. We can bring them under our control and use them any way we wish.

HIGH TRIBUNAL: Enough, Dragos. We’re not here to talk politics. You have been charged with serious infractions. You were the Master and Commander of the Florida and went beyond your territory to bring harm to innocents. Would you like to explain?

DRAGOS: I do not have to explain what I did. I answer to no one and did nothing against my nature. Your nature. We are vampire and would do the same as I did if you weren’t more concerned with your positions instead of using them to elevate our kind to reign as the omnipotent being we are. If I had to do this over again, I’d do the same except for dealing with that red-haired bounty hunter. She destroyed my love, Ecaterina, and if I knew she’d be such trouble, I’d have had my son, Stefan, take her out sooner.

HIGH TRIBUNAL: This is how you show your respect for us? You are blaming us and are taking no blame for what you have done? You attempted to create, what did you call it, The Sange Empire? Stefan Marin claims through his testimony you promised him the position of your Elector in exchange to assist you in distributing the drug Blue and addicting both vampire and human. The deadly virus your pharmaceutical company produced killed several people, innocents to create chaos and disrupt the fine balance created by the Vampires Laws of 1905. This grand plan of changing these laws has been thwarted and you continue to stand here in front of this High Tribunal and refuse to take responsibility for your actions.

DRAGOS: Ah, my wayward, misguided son. He’s been influenced by that meddlesome woman Alex Carlton. If she hadn’t stuck her nosey body into my affairs we wouldn’t be standing here now. She murdered my beautiful Cat, reduced her to dust. I will deal with her separately I assure you, but my Stefan, he has disappointed me. I was ready to share the world with him, but he betrayed me.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your lord masters, if I may. I’m Jason Worth with Minardi, Beall, and Lamont and represent Mr. Munteanu. Please forgive the ramblings of my client. He is distraught and not thinking or speaking clearly. In light of the last minute retaining of our firm, may we ask the High Tribunal’s indulgence and ask for a continuation so that we may prepare our client’s statement?

HIGH TRIBUNAL: This is highly irregular Mr. Worth. This council recognizes the seriousness of the charges against your client, but the evidence is quite compelling. We are here to listen to his explanation and determine the proper method of dispensing his punishment.

ATTORNEY: With all due respect lord masters, my client is not entirely at fault in the charges. The author has put Mr. Munteanu in a very precarious position. His character is being besmirched and is unfairly characterized. There wasn’t enough backstory written about him and his plight as a bad vampire. He and his lady love were made into villains, but they were only following their true nature as creatures of the night. To give him a fair trial, adequate time has to be put into his defense. The author has promised to give him more time to develop his character.

HIGH TRIBUNAL: Yes, we can understand your argument Mr. Worth. Ms. Arsuaga, the author, hasn’t given any of us much page space as well. Our purpose has been brief and we too wish our voices to be heard. We shall grant your stay until further investigation can be made and allow you time to prepare for a defense of Mr. Munteanu’s crimes. Until such time, we declare all blood family possessions of Dragos Munteanu be forthwith turned over to Stefan Marin to run as he so pleases, all manufacture of the drug Blue to cease and any biologicals produced that are harmful to either humans or vampires also cease to be made and/or destroyed immediately. Dragos Munteanu?

DRAGOS: (Stands and faces the High Tribunal) What?

HIGH TRIBUNAL: You shall remain in the custody of the U.S. Federal government under silvered confines until such time as this tribunal reconvenes in two weeks. We suggest you use this time wisely and confer with your attorneys to explain your actions to this court. Perhaps, you can also spend this time of solitary confinement to develop a better attitude.

DRAGOS: (With a smirk on his face) I’ll be back.

Author’s Note: Dragos Munteanu made his debut in Born to Be Wild and like all true villains seeking revenge, does return in Born to Play. Unfortunately, his lady love met with her demise in Born to Be Wild and won’t be returning.

EXCERPT from Born to Be Wild (Book 1 of the Born Vampire Series):

He gripped her wrist. “Prinţesa, that’s where you are wrong, now come with me. It’s time to leave. I’m through playing games. If you don’t leave, Dragos may find you and he will want you dead or turned. I can’t protect you if he catches you here.”
“And what do we have here?” Dragos asked. He and Ecaterina stepped in from the foyer of the office.
“I told you I sensed unrest in the building, Dragos. It was her,” Ecaterina said.
“Stefan, would you like to explain what is going on?” Dragos asked.
“I found her going through your desk and I was taking care of it when you walked in,” Stefan said.
“We’re you really? The little human thought she could find something to use against me? For what my dear, to put me in prison, take me before the High Tribunal? Please, I own them.”
“She’s a hunter. It’s what they do, hunt and put our kind away for crimes against humanity,” Stefan said.
“She’s Stefan’s woman. They’re working together. I saw her at the club last night with that Fed,” Ecaterina said.
Alex grimaced. Oh shit! I’m in trouble now.
Dragos drew closer, turning his head to take in her essence. “Yes, now I see it. The red hair, the green eyes, the plump flesh.” He drew a long fingernail across her cheek down to her chin, lifting it slightly.
After experiencing a moment of fear at his touch, she remembered about her appearance and her eyes narrowed defiantly. “Hey, I’m not plump.”
Dragos’ menacing gaze ran over her slowly, inch by inch. He didn’t miss anything; his eyes lingered on her face, her breasts, and her legs. Even though she had on clothes, he made her feel exposed. Her defiance began to waiver. What would he do to her? Kill her quickly, turn her, or lock her away to die a slow death. Or worse, turn her over to Ecaterina.
“My dear, it was a compliment. My son, you always did like the feisty ones. They make you feel alive don’t they?”
He nodded.
“Tell me, my dear, why were you in my office? By the looks of the mess, you were looking for something. May I ask what?”
“None of your business.” As a bit of defiance returned, she glared up at Dragos.
“I’ll ask you only once again, little one. What are you looking for? Next time, I probe your mind and I won’t care if it hurts you.” He grabbed her wrists.
“I told you none of your business and I’d like to see you try.”
A low growl escaped his mouth. “Woman, you are testing my patience. You have no idea what I’m capable of and what my business is here.”
“Why don’t you just kill her and be done with it Dragos? Stefan can find another mortal submissive to train.”
Stefan shot Ecaterina a venomous look, and then turned to Dragos. “Alexandra is a hunter, and yes, my woman. When you walked in, I was about to take care of her recklessness and disrespect. She seeks information about Ecaterina.”
“In my office?”
“I know she was close to you and had something to do with the vamp virus. I wanted proof, something to use against her. I want her dead.” Alex chimed in.
Ecaterina came toward Alex. Stefan stepped in the way. All Alex saw was a blur of motion.
“Enough,” Dragos said. “Stefan I know we have had our problems in the past, but you were never dishonest. I believe what you say is true. Ecaterina is the jealous type and I believe she did attack your woman. And what I’ve seen of her, she’s a fighter.”
“This is ridiculous. You’re taking his side?” Ecaterina asked.
“Not entirely.”
Dragos walked over to his desk and picked up the handset. A few moments later, two guards arrived.
“Take these two downstairs to my personal dungeon. I’ll be along later. Cuff him. I don’t want him to try anything heroic,” Dragos instructed.
Stefan groaned as the silver-coated cuffs were placed on his wrists, searing his flesh. Alex turned her head, grimacing at the sight.
“You evil bastard!” Alex directed at Dragos.