Friday, November 27, 2020

Recreating Vlad Tepes, History’s Dracula by Melodie Romeo, Author of Tribute in Blood @EdaleLane @TCMPublicity @SGZimmer

Get ready for thrills and romance immersed in a historical setting as you explore Tribute in Blood, by Melodie Romeo, in a new blog tour taking place November 25 to December 2!

The return of Vlad the Impaler brings Nicolae and Maria together through mutual tragedies, and only they dare to try to stop his reign of terror! A thrilling read for the coming holiday season!

The Tribute in Blood Blog Tour features reviews, interviews, guest posts, top ten lists, and more!

Recreating Vlad Tepes, History’s Dracula

Everyone has heard of the vampire character Dracula, but many do not know that Bram Stoker based his supernatural villain on a real fifteenth century Romanian prince, Vlad the Impaler, surnamed Dracula. My revitalized historical thriller, Tribute in Blood, mixes carefully researched facts about this notorious despot with fictional characters and events to fill in the gaps that historical chronicles left.

In 1456, Vlad first became prince by orchestrating a coup against the legal ruler and establishing a bloody reign that lasted six years. During this time period, records estimate he killed at least 100,000 of his own people, or one in five Wallachian citizens, and an additional 50,000 Turks. His favorite method of execution was impaling people on pikes, a drawn-out, painful death.

Very few Romanian historical documents from this time period exist. Our primary sources of information on Dracula come from German, Russian, Ottoman, and Vatican histories and archives. They agree on most stories of Vlad’s cruelties, but we must bear in mind these were written by people who disliked him. Many Romanians consider Vlad a national hero because he continually defeated the advances of the Ottoman Turks who threatened to invade Europe. He also eliminated crime. How, you may ask? Simple. All crimes were punishable by death. There is a famous tale of the well with the golden chalice which was never stolen in the six years of his first reign. He also eliminated poverty; you guessed it—by killing the poor. Numerous accounts record Vlad’s tactic of inviting “unproductive” members of society to splendid feasts, promising that they will never go hungry again, and then burning down the building with all inside.

Vlad did not limit his executions to criminals and vagrants; clergymen, nobles, and foreign diplomats were not exempt. One of his first acts as prince was to hold a great Easter feast, inviting all of his nobles, their families, and servants to attend. Once inside, he accused them of plotting to murder his father and brother. He had all who would have been adults at the time of their assassinations impaled along with their wives and servants, then appointed new nobles who would be loyal to him.

Additionally, Vlad embarked on a bloody rampage through Transylvania, killing everyone in his path, in search of a rival to his throne. During this venture, the rest of Europe discovered what he had been up to. They described Dracula as “chopping up men, women, and children like cabbage.” The outside world discovered his taste for blood, as he would often have his meal table set before his impaled victims and drink their blood from a silver cup. Once he impaled 20,000 Turkish prisoners around the capital city to discourage an invasion; the tactic proved successful.

Modern psychiatrists would have a field-day trying to diagnosis his various psychoses. Descriptions and accounts indicate that he despised women, although he did have two wives and several mistresses. He was brilliant but paranoid, probably a sociopath and psychopath as he enjoyed watching people suffer and die, and prone to violent mood swings. Perhaps such tendencies ran in his family, as his cousin, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, was infamous for bathing in the blood of virgins as a youth and beauty treatment.               

The bottom line is, Vlad Dracula was not a vampire; he was something much worse—a real man. He did not hesitate to torture in unheard of ways any man, woman, or child he chose, even forcing Gypsies to eat the flesh of one of their own. He was a monstrous mass-murderer on an epic scale; he was also a successful warlord, nationalist, and protector of Christendom in Romanian history.

Tribute in Blood focuses on the last month of his life and the fictional characters who set about to end his bloody reign once and for all. After fourteen years of exile, Vlad returned to power, but there were those who were not about to let history repeat itself. Chronicles tell when and where Dracula was killed, but the man (or woman) who ended his life remains a mystery. This provided me a wonderful opportunity to fill in the missing pieces with a probable scenario. Using author’s license, I created two principal characters, Nicolae and Maria, and gave them both excellent reasons to summon the courage needed to go after a despot. I then filled in their lives with other fictional characters intertwined with actual historical figures to weave a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense. Can Nicolae fulfill his plan of justice and revenge while winning the heart of the lovely Maria, or will he become the Impaler’s next victim?

Was Vlad Dracula evil or insane, neither or both? Read Tribute in Blood and decide for yourself!

Landscape with old castle at night

About Tribute in Blood:  Tribute in Blood, a Tale of Vlad the Impaler, by Melodie Romeo (previously released under the title, Vlad, a Novel)

The most terrifying horrors are revealed in the pages of history.

After killing over 100,000 people during his first reign as Prince of Walachia, Vlad has returned, ready to inflict tortuous death on anyone he chooses. Only Nicolae and Maria, drawn together through mutual tragedies both inflicted by the ruthless Prince Dracula, dare try to stop him. Can Nicolae fulfill his plan of justice and revenge while winning the heart of the lovely Maria, or will he become the Impaler’s next victim?

With heart-stopping danger at every turn, detailed historical accuracy combined with fictional characters, and a myriad of surprises, Tribute in Blood is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Order this historical thriller-romance today!

Tour Schedule and Activities:

11/25  Afshan Hashmi Guest Post

11/25  Armed with a Book Top Ten List

11/25  The Literary Underworld Guest Post

11/26 Author Interview

11/27  Jazzy Book Reviews Author Interview

11/27  Saphhyria's Books Guest Post

11/28  Horror Tree Guest Post

11/29  Sheila Deeth Guest Post

11/30  The Seventh Star Blog Guest  Post

12/1    The Book Lover's Boudoir Review

12/2 The Bookwyrm's Guide to the Galaxy Top Ten List

Links for Tribute In Blood:


Barnes and Noble

Meet the Author:

Melodie Romeo, who also writes under the pen name Edale Lane, is the author of the award winning 2019 novel, Heart of Sherwood, and the Night Flyer Trilogy. As Melodie Romeo, she has written Vlad a Novel (soon to be re-released as Tribute in Blood), Terror in Time, and others. She founded Past and Prologue Press in 2019. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Melodie is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

Author Links:

Twitter:   @EdaleLane

Official Site:

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