Good morning. It’s February 1st, Superbowl Sunday. If you aren’t a football fan, then it’s just another day, but to fans of the gridiron, it’s a holy day, the day this year’s best will be crowned. I’ll bet there won’t be an under-inflated football in the lot. This morning, I’m highlighting the writing of Melinda De Ross and her latest novel, Chronicles of the Blood Countess.
Melinda De Ross lives in Romania, and has used bits and pieces of her countries notorious history in some of her other books, teasing us with a glimpse at historic figures and locations such as a haunted forest, and Vlad III, the impaler, a national hero who saved his country from invasion, the man we credit for the inspiration for Bram Stokers, Dracula.
Melinda takes it one step further introducing us to Erzsébet Báthory, a notorious Hungarian countess accused of murdering and torturing as many as 650 young girls between 1585 and 1610.
Here’s the premise of the story:
In legendary Transylvania, a castle belonging to Countess Erzsébet Báthory is discovered. Cameraman Hunter Cole and broadcast journalist Serena Scott arrive to make a documentary about the discovery, and the sinister Hungarian noblewoman, known as the most prolific female serial killer in history.
The two Americans could cope with roughing it in a fifteenth-century castle, with no modern amenities. They can even cope with each other, despite their initial mutual dislike for one another, which gradually turns into a mind-blowing attraction.
But when two girls are tortured and killed in Báthory copycat style, the nearby village is shaken to the core. In terror, they wonder who will be next…
So there you have it. I was intrigued with the blurb and when I finally put down the book I wasn’t disappointed.
Chronicles of the blood Countess is probably the best of Melinda De Ross’ s books that I’ve read to date. I didn’t want to put it down. The book is an intricate mix of snippets from the Countess’s diary, coupled with realistic descriptions of the countryside, its infamous history, and the decrepit old castle, and of course the tension between Hunter and Serena. When I first started to read, I was sure this was going to turn out to be your typical vampire or evil ghost novel. I was wrong. There’s nothing typical about it. The story is full of twists and turns. Like many of today’s journalists, Hunter and Serena want to experience the story, so arrangements are made for them to stay in the moldy, drafty old castle while they film their documentary. In lovely old-world fashion, the townspeople see to their needs… I know what you’re thinking, fatten the sacrificial lamb, but…
In an unusual twist, Hunter and Serena’s romance isn’t there at the beginning. If love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin, they are definitely in hate mode, so that has you wondering, if the secret door opens and the monster comes through, who’s going to protect who? Toss in a fete with a handsome, enigmatic local and a sexy woman and the story gets complicated, the sexual tension ramps up, and when the bodies show up, and our journalists become persons of interest, forced into smaller, closer quarters, well the heat level soars..
The story kept me guessing all the way through. The ending surprised me, and left me hoping to read more of Hunter and Serena’s adventures.
You can get a copy of Chronicles of the Blood Countess at: