In anticipation of the upcoming release of Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book III: Elizabeth I am releasing a free excerpt once a week until release day on June 1, 2017. This is Part 4. Read Part 1, Part 2 , and Part 3 here. I hope you enjoy! Please share and order your copy today!
The Daughters of Shadow and Blood trilogy is crammed full of real history. Yasamin spans almost two years, from 1599 to 1601. Elena covers several months in the fall of 1689. Elizabeth takes place over a few weeks in the summer of 1878. Also, sprinkled throughout are vignettes from many other time periods. I did tons of research to get everything right. If you find yourself interested at all in the history I talk about, here are some books to get you started:
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West. Rebecca West was a celebrated British journalist. She wrote this travelogue of Yugoslavia in 1941 when Europe was on the verge of World War II. It’s more than just a travel book, though. West’s masterful prose weaves the history and culture of the former nation into a compelling narriative. Fair warning, though. She does bring her biases. Don’t make this the only book you read on the Balkans.
Lords of the Horizons by Jason Goodwin. This book corrects many of the biases Rebecca West has. It is a short history of the Ottoman Empire with a strong emphasis on the culture of the Ottomans and how it drove them to persist. Goodwin is also the author of a series of detective novels set in Istanbul in the nineteenth century, beginning with The Janissary Tree. His sleuth, Yashim, is unique in that he’s a eunuch.
Osman’s Dream by Caroline Finkel. This is a very detailed, comprehensive history of the Ottoman Empire, from it’s beginnings as a Turkish tribe in central Anatolia through the height of its power, to its downfall shortly after World War I.
The Balkans by Misha Glenny. This book covers more recent history, from 1804 to the present, but it sets up perfectly how the violence and warfare of the late twentieth century came about by showing its roots in earlier conflicts.
Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan. This is another travelogue by a journalist. Kaplan also delves into the roots of the recent strife in the Balkans. Unlike the other writers on this list, he focuses heavily on Romania and the toll of the Communist regime there.
Kosovo: A Short History by Noel Malcolm. The Serbs claim they were in Kosovo first. The Albanians claim they were there first. As Malcolm points out, the truth is somewhat more complicated.
Bosnia: A Short History by Noel Malcolm. Bosnia has always been a crossroads of culture. In this book, Malcolm explores how a place renown for its tolerance and the peaceful coexistence of religions was torn apart by war.
The Raven King by Marcus Tanner. Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, amassed the largest library in the Christian world. He also held Vlad the Impaler captive for ten years.
The last volume in the saga of the Brides of Dracula is finally here. Pre-order Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book III: Elizabeth today!
Berlin, Germany, 1878: Lady Elizabeth James, the neglected wife of a British diplomat, receives a disturbing reminder of her past—a calling card bearing her father’s name. But he disappeared ten years earlier, and Elizabeth believes him dead. When a murder at the British embassy raises even more questions about her father, Elizabeth finds a number of unlikely allies, including an American named Thomas Parson, a self-styled vampire hunter. She becomes embroiled in an intrigue involving fortunetellers, assassins, and foreign spies, but dark forces threaten her at every turn, and as she discovers, even friends harbor deadly secrets.
Bucharest, Romania, 1999: Adam Mire reels at the abduction of his one-time love, Clara MacIntosh. Left with the admonition to “work faster,” Adam knows he’ll only see Clara again if he can find Dracula’s infamous medallion. Using the clues he’s pieced together, he follows a bloody trail across Romania, but Clara’s time is running out.
Meanwhile, Clara finds herself in a secluded manor house, the captive of a man both seductive and terrifying. Plagued by dreams of Elizabeth’s life in Berlin, Clara works to uncover her mysterious host’s agenda. However, she soon realizes both she and Adam are pawns in the schemes of all three of Dracula’s Brides, and to stop them, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
I’m a guest this weekend at ConCarolinas in Charlotte , NC at the Embassy Suites Concord. Here’s my schedule. When I’m not on panels I’ll be out at my table with copies of books ready to sign. Come find me!
Friday, June 3
4:00 p.m. Research for Dummies
5:00 p.m. Paranormal Suspense – How to Ramp up Action in your Paranormal
8:00 p.m. The Burden of Years
Saturday, June 4
9:00 a.m. Don’t You Wish You started Ten Years Ago? The Realities of Self Publishing
3:00 p.m. The Trouble with Trilogies
Sunday, June 5
2:00 p.m. Are We Working Too Hard?
I’m a guest this weekend at RavenCon at the DoubleTree Hotel in Williamsburg, VA Here’s my schedule. Come find me!
Friday, April 29
5:00 p.m. Southern Gothic Fiction
9:00 p.m. Reading
Saturday, April 30
10:00 a.m. Book Launch for Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book II: Elena
2:00 p.m. Researching Your Book
5:00 p.m. Book Signing
9:00 p.m. Alternate History
11:00 p.m. Ghost Stories
Sunday, May 1
10:00 a.m. Book Covers that Sell Books
1:00 p.m. The Indie Toolbox
Gračanica. Kosovo, 1689: Elena, an Albanian peasant girl, has sacrificed her own future to keep her family from starving, but one horrific night they are taken from her, murdered by monsters out of her nightmares. She seeks refuge at the nearby monastery, where she meets Stjepan, a Serbian monk familiar with creatures that stalk the night. Elena longs to return to her farm, but piecing her life back together may be impossible. Stjepan draws her into a dark conspiracy involving an ancient brotherhood, and as war looms, a stranger named Lek appears, threatening to overturn everything she thought she knew about her family and herself.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1999: Since surviving the showdown between the vampire Yasamin and the terrorist group Süleyman’s Blade, Adam Mire has lived in hiding, posing as an unassuming Czech librarian. His life is upended again, however, when a new threat arises—one intent on using Dracula’s legacy to unleash another wave of violence across the already war-ravaged nation.
Meanwhile, Clara MacIntosh, the love Adam left behind, has come to Eastern Europe to find him. While tracking him down, she becomes entangled in a string of grisly murders—deaths Adam is investigating as well. As they both follow clues literally written in blood, time runs short to unmask the killer before history comes full-circle and chaos engulfs the region again.