Welcome back and Happy Halloween! I hope you all enjoyed Something Wicked Comes! I have the final stops on the tour for you:
Cambria@Cambria Hebert: Tish Thawyer Prophecy's Child
Maria@A Night's Dream of Books: Bloodrights: Kristin Painter
Krista@Breathe in Books: Libba Bray: The Diviners
Blu@ Not Now...Mommy's Reading: Brody Sommers
Monique@Monique Morgan:Rise of the Infected Release Day!
A big thank you to each and every blogger who participated in this event. You all had some great stops and awesome giveaways! Thank you for helping me to make October a wicked month! Also a huge thank you to all the authors who guest posted and donated their books for giveaways. Without them, I could not have done this event. So thank you to all of you who took the time to write posts and appear on my blog. I appreciate all of your efforts! Please know you are all welcome back at any time!
Finally, today I am bringing to you a frightening vampire tale by Rhiannon Frater. This is Ms. Frater's second appearance during Something Wicked. If you missed her first spot you can see it here. Rhiannon returns to tell us about more about her take on vampires. Here is a bit more about Rhiannon:
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other horror novels. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
Here is Rhiannon on vampire brides:
What is a Vampire Bride?
By Rhiannon Frater
Sometimes being an avid fan of vampire lore can work against me. I don’t always remember that other people aren’t obsessed with vampires, haven’t watched way too many hours of old vampire movies, and haven’t devoured volumes of books detailing vampire legends.
I’m pretty well acquainted with the terminology surrounding vampires to the point that it flows naturally when I’m around other vampire fans. Therefore, when I decided to name the first book of my gothic horror novel about a fledgling female vampire THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE, I never dreamed people would read the book anticipating a sweet romantic vampire novel, or fairytalesque romp about a female vampire and her groom.
“The groom in this book sucks,” someone commented in a review on the novel. “I hated him.”
When I read that, I sat back in my desk chair stunned. Groom? Groom? What did they mean…groom? I thought, What did they…oh.
With a dawning horror, I realized that people literally thought the novel was about a female vampire getting married. I never dreamed that people would interpret the title to mean a literal, walking-down-the-aisle bride.
Let me explain what a vampire bride actually is…
Despite all the new incarnations of vampires in countless films and books, I have remained staunchly loyal to the rules and folklore established by Bram Stoker in his epic novel Dracula. Ann Rice had abolished most of the old vampire rules (repulsed by holy water, crosses, garlic, etc) and sex in her vampire series and most horror writers followed in her wake. When at last I decided to write my own vampire novel, I made the conscious decision to return to the more traditional vampires who were fearsome, terrible creatures that would seduce you and drain you of your life blood.
Since Stoker’s Dracula is pretty much my vampire bible, I drew inspiration from the world and the monsters he created. One of the most intriguing and mysterious aspects of Bram Stoker’s novel is the three vampire women who live in his castle with him. There is much acrimony between the women and Dracula, though it is hinted at that at one point they had loved him and he had loved them. The women are never given names, but are called “the sisters” though their descriptions don’t necessarily indicate they were sisters by blood. When Dracula was translated to the stage then film, these three women were labeled “the brides of Dracula.” This title stuck and has been used among vampire aficionados for years. There was even an early Hammer film called The Brides of Dracula. Dracula actually isn’t in the film, but the story is about a handsome vampire who kills and transforms women into vampires. The vampire women flit about in white dresses and are his “brides.” Basically, the term vampire bride connotes a woman who is the concubine of a master vampire.
Ah, so you can see now where I was coming from when I named the book THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the series THE VAMPIRE BRIDE series. It’s the tale of a young English aristocrat during the Regency era in Europe who ends up the unwilling “bride” of Dracula. The book and the series are all about her struggles to break free from his power and live her life as she deems. The term “vampire bride” in the title doesn’t mean a blushing bride madly in love with her groom on her wedding day, but a woman who has been killed by a vampire and resurrected to be his concubine. Not at all romantic!
So is Lady Glynis Wright a blushing vampire bride? Absolutely not. But she is a firecracker of independent thought in a tiny body that is not about to let Dracula or anyone else tell her how to live her life. I’d like to think of Glynis as the reluctant bride that bashes the groom she’s being forced to marry with her bouquet and takes off out of the church with her secret lover. To me, that’s a much more exciting story to tell.
Thank you, Rhiannon! Glad you dispelled our illusions of a blushing
vampire bride. Rhiannon comes bearing goodies for Halloween, and she wanted to be sure that everyone could get in on this giveaway so she is offering to one lucky winner ebook copies of both books in her Vampire Bride Series: The Tale of the Vampire Bride and The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride she is also including a signed copy of the new cover art. To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
The Tale of the Vampire Bride (Vampire Bride #1) by Rhiannon Frater
All Lady Glynis Wright ever wanted was the freedom to live her life as she pleased. Unfortunately, her aristocratic parents want her to marry well and settle into a life of luxury. When her family becomes guests to one of the most fearsome and powerful vampires of all time, Glynis finds her fate is far more terrible than an arranged marriage. Trapped in the power of her new master, she fights for freedom, revenge against her creator, and the chance to be with the one she truly loves. Bloody, horrific, romantic and rich in gothic atmosphere, The Tale of the Vampire Bride is sure to thrill fans of the terrible, yet romantic vampires of literary past. Paperback, 328 pages Published December 7th 2009 by Library of Horror Press.
Glynis resents the fact that she is being carted all over Europe to prospective male suitors. Why does she have to marry? Why can't she be free to choose her own mate and live a life free of societal constraints? As the coach lumbers up the treacherous mountain road, she feels an overwhelming sense of foreboding. When their journey is suddenly halted by boulders in the road, her anxiety grows. The giant rocks look like they were deliberately placed in the way. The group has no choice but to continue up the mountain. The lantern lights barely pierce the gloom, and Glynis feels like the night is alive around her. At last, the coach stops in front of a decrepit castle. Glynis and her family are surprised to find that the very man they came to Romania seeking, Lord Vlad, occupies the castle. Thankful, the weary family takes refuge in the Count's castle. Glynis soon finds that her troubles are just beginning and she has no idea of the horrors that await her.......
What I Liked:
- I have read my fair share of vampire books over the years, but none can compare to the original, Dracula by Bram Stoker. I was pleased to find that Ms. Frater borrows heavily from this old tale and brings us her version of Count Dracula in The Tale of the Vampire Bride. Dracula is terrifying and creepy, just as he is in the original. I am not a big fan of the sparkly, romantic depictions of vampires so I was thrilled to return to the kind of vampire I like best: monstrous and horrible!
- How I admired Glynis. She is a young lady trapped in the rigid expectations for young ladies of class and privilege in the nineteenth century. She might be locked into the demands of the society, but she doesn't let it control her fiery, stubborn and outspoken personality. Not for one minute does she conform. She is constantly fighting and raging against her captors, whether it be the pressure to marry, Count Dracula, or her vampire life style. She rages against all the things that try to contain her. I especially admired how she remained steadfast to win her freedom despite the horrific conditions and terrible odds that were stacked against her. I loved her spirit and fire!
- I liked that this book kept my on edge with its creepy atmosphere and frightening story. I felt anxiety as the coach crept up the dark mountain, pursued by wolves and dense fog, I knew danger awaited. Ms. Frater does a superb job creating atmospheric tension in this one, and it was eerily similar to the terrifying scenes in Dracula.
- I enjoyed getting to know Dracula's vampire brides and learning their stories. I was surprised that I ended up feeling such strong feelings for the brides. At first, they frightened me, but by the end I felt very sympathetic toward them, especially Cneajna.
- I liked the dark tone of this one. Make no mistake this is not a sweet, fun vampire romance. This is a horrifying tale of lust, murder, betrayal and revenge. Vlad is an absolute monster, and Glynis' situation is tragic and terrible. She is torn from her family and trapped in a vicious marriage against her will. Her unwavering resolve to exact revenge against the man who ruined her life is what sustains her through her darkest days, and believe me she endures hell! I can't tell you how much my heart ached for her when she faces her mother.....
- I was amazed at the array of emotions this book made me feel. From intense dread and terror, to horror and sadness, wanting revenge and then at the end, I was shocked that I actually wavered and felt sympathy. Ms. Frater certainly knows how to drag you through thrills, chills, heart break and more, and her writing is beautiful as well!
And The Not So Much:
- Keep in mind that this is not a vampire book for the faint of heart. At times it is brutal and downright scary. There is violence and lots of bloodshed so if you are looking for a sweet vampire romance, move on....this is not the book you want. If you are in the mood for something dark and terrifying with an ominous atmosphere and driving revenge, definitely pick this one up.
- I was a bit disappointed with the insta love that erupts between Glynis and Ignatius. One minute they meet, and the next they are tangled into a fiery hot embrace without even knowing each other's names. I was shocked with how suddenly this romance developed. I guess I was expecting Glynis to be a little more weary of male vampires.
- At the end, I was left with some burning questions: I desperately wanted to know who created Vlad and Ignatius. I was also unsure of the strange encounter Glynis had in the hotel when she first arrived in Hungary. Who was the mysterious stranger that melted away in the shadows? Finally, I wanted to know more about the Fallen, Astir, and what his role on Earth is and how his Purgatory sanctuary worked.
- Finally, I wanted more information on the dhampirs and vampire hunters. They suddenly just appeared on scene and there is nothing about them, how they hunt and destroy and so forth. The dhampirs were especially troubling, if I hadn't read other vampire books, I would be completely clueless on them. I really wish that there was more explanation on them and their powers.
"As the sky transformed from light to dark, so did our mood. The day had been drenched with refreshing sunlight. The night was darker than any I could recall, the air stifling. I felt as though I could not even take a full breath. The darkness filling the carriage smothered me."
"Deep shadows covered the stairs, dark and menacing, as though a piece of the night was hiding from the sun."
"As we descended the narrow spiraling staircase into the blackness below, I clung to Cneajna as an old childhood fear of monsters returned. I then realized that the only monsters were the three lovely women, and to my horror, me."
"I know you hate me, but loyalty to one does not also mean that you must love the one you serve."
"Winter was dying as Spring rose her head and the night was cool and fresh with life."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Happy Halloween Everyone! Be safe! I will see you back tomorrow for the final post of Something Wicked Comes 2012! Be sure to enter the contests (click on wicked button) today is the last day for many of them!