Today my guest is Carmen Stefanescu, author of Shadows of the Past, a #RockingSummerRomance. Welcome, Carmen. Please tell us about your book.
4 Fun Facts about Shadows of the Past
1. I wrote, at first, a ballad – The Ballad of the Nun and the Priest telling about forbidden love that was punished. Later, I thought it was a good topic for a paranormal romance that would allow me to enlarge the ideas. Readers can find the ballad included in the novel in one of the last chapters.
2. The novel started a controversy soon after its release. There are two differently opposite opinions. Each claiming I try to push the people to or away from the same thing. My editor initiated a debate at Goodreads on this topic.
3. Many people think, because of the cover, that it is an adult or erotica story. They are mistaken. Shadows of the Past can be read by adults as well as by young adults. The romance elements are at a sweet level of sensuality. In fact, Shadows of the Past is a cross-over: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light mystery/light horror. A little bit of everything, thus addressing a wide range of audience.
4. The road from finishing the novel, 2002, to its release, 2012, was tiresome. There were moments when I wanted to throw the towel in. Genevieve and Andrew, Anne and Neil – my characters -scolded me and accused me of cowardice and of being, as you Americans say, “a quitter.” For me, living in Romania, better known to most people as Dracula’s country, having it published in my country was impossible. There are no such things as literary agents or editors to work with, and self-publishing was something I didn’t want. On the other hand, they will never publish this genre, in another language, on top of everything. E-publishing was the only available solution for me. Wild Child Publishing was the one that accepted my submission in 2010 and, Shadows of the Past was released in December 2012.
Publish date: 4th December 2012
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: paranormal/light romance/light horror
Anne’s relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world–one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil’s vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve’s soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.
View the video trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LmY-9yDl5s
No sooner had Andrew swung off his horse and tied the reins of both horses to a tree than Genevieve, managing to break out of her petrified state, hurried from behind the gates.
A warm smile brightened his face upon seeing her. His smile melted away. Something about her expression must have warned him all wasn’t well. His gaze, worried and questioning, lingered on her face.
“What’s wrong, my darling? Have you changed your mind? Why are you here by the gate? I thought I’d find you in the old man’s house? Someone could have seen you and alerted the Abbess,” he said.
He pulled an ivory wood anemone from his saddlebag and gave it to Genevieve. “I picked this along the way. It looks like you: pretty and delicate.”
She heaved a sigh and accepted the flower. “Oh, Andrew, how sweet of you.” She managed a smile.
“Come, we should leave at once,” she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. “Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan’s cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her ‘friends,’ is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word.”
Andrew pulled her into his arms and tightened her in his embrace. “Calm down, please. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“No, please, let’s leave. There’s danger all around us. I know what I’m saying.”
“Then you can tell me what happened along the way.” Andrew took hold of her hand as if trying to instill courage and confidence in her. He untied the reins of the horse he’d brought for her. Placing a tender kiss on her forehead, he helped Genevieve up and then swung himself into the saddle. He turned his head as if to hide the worried frown across his face. “A scorned woman is worse than an unleashed hurricane,” he said. Then he addressed Genevieve, “We’ll follow the most direct route through the forest.”
The forest. The very cursed forest. The main reason for the tragedy in her family.
He nodded, saying, “Don’t worry. We’re together. Have faith my love.” He led the way into the forest.
Genevieve wrapped the dark mantle covering her shoulders more tightly around her and swallowed her fears as they began the cautious ride through the silent forest, through the silent night, enveloped by their own silent guilt.
Tears welled in Anne’s eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?
Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?
Away from the forest.
Away from Neil, the man who’d betrayed her trust and her love.
An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.
Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart. An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
Megan’s face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, “Yes, come… I’m waiting… I’ve been waiting for you for such a long time…”
Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but 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.
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.
She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years 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.
Contact her online at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Stefanescu/e/B00APVDGAA/
Carmen, I admire your persistence in finishing Shadows of the Past and in finding an American publisher. That cannot have been easy. Your book reminds me a little of Anya Seton’s classic romance, Green Darkness, a book I loved.
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