The Tale of the Vampire BrideBy: Rhiannon Frater
The Dark Rebirth Trilogy
The Tale of the Vampire Bride
Set in the 1820s, The Tale of the Vampire Bride is sure to thrill fans of vampires of literary past with its lush, gothic atmosphere and terrifying spectacle.
All Lady Glynis Wright ever wanted was the freedom to live life as she pleased, despite her aristocratic parents’ wishes for her to marry into wealth. But her fate is far more terrible than an arranged marriage when her family becomes prisoners to one of the most fearsome and powerful vampires of all time, Count Vlad Dracula.
Imprisoned in the decrepit castle in the Carpathian Mountains, Glynis’s new life as a Bride of Dracula is filled with bloody feasts, cruel beatings, and sexual violence. There is no hope for escape. Vlad Dracula has elaborate plans to use her familial connections in England and she has become his favored pawn. Even more terrible is the bond of blood between them that keeps Glynis tethered to his side despite her deep hatred of him.
It’s only when Vlad Dracula takes Glynis to the picturesque city of Buda on the Danube River and she meets a mysterious vampire in the darkened city streets, does she dare hope to find love and freedom.
Dedicated with much love and affection to my mother, husband,
and my best friend, Dru.
Special thanks to Felicia for offering to edit this novel and to Helen for making sure it was properly English
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The Journal of Lady Glynis Wright,
4th of August, 1819
There is no solace in this place. I struggle to find it, but it eludes me. I have drifted through this castle like a specter, seeking to find one shred of comfort. This place is death. It reeks of it. Tastes of it. I can hear its cries on the wind, and I cannot hide from its cold touch.
How very odd that this sad little journal, with its tattered pages and frayed binding, should be my only companion. Yes, there are the others, but I am angry with them. I would rather curl up in this corner and record all that has occurred in this terrible place.
The death, the pain, the blood...so much blood...
It seems only proper to commit to paper the trials I have suffered, even if no one shall ever read this journal.
Sweet little diary, you are my one and only friend. Let me pour my words into you.
I shall write until my story in this place is fully told...
The cruel beauty of my surroundings filled me with a sense of dread, and I slipped one of my small-gloved hands under my father’s strong, yet gentle fingers. With a tender smile, my father cradled my hand against his bony knee, squeezing it gently. I drew comfort from this small gesture of love as I gazed out at the brutal, majestic beauty of the Carpathian Mountains beyond the dirty carriage window.
Tilting my chin, I stared toward the high summits looming above the pass. The dark red curls framing my face danced in a breeze that was a soothing balm to my flushed skin.
Allow me pause to describe myself; I am a strange looking creature with the light olive complexion of my Italian mother and the red hair of my British father. My features have been described as classical: large aquamarine eyes, Roman nose, and a perfect little rosebud mouth.
“What do you think, my dearest?” Father asked me.
I smiled ruefully. “It’s bloody awful.”
“What an improper response for a young lady,” Mother chided.
My mother sat across from my father, as dignified as one could be in a lurching carriage. With hair the color of bronze, eyes as blue as the Mediterranean, and her fine features still containing the illusion of youth, beautiful was the only word to describe my mother. Her one flaw was her sharp tongue, which was quicker and deadlier than any sword, or so my father liked to declare.
“What should I say then?
My mother sighed and flung out a hand in exasperation. “She is your daughter, Edric. Please speak to her. I have not the strength left after this abominable ride.” She gave me one sharp piercing look, then turned to comfort my sister.
May sat wan and sickly, her dark blue eyes gazing fearfully from beneath her bonnet at the view beyond the carriage. I adored my younger sister, but she was always timid and fearful. I was forced to bully her into any adventure we undertook. She had not taken well to traveling and always seemed sick during our transits, whether by water or by land. “I believe we are going to fall down this mountain, Mama.”
“Don’t say such a thing, cara mia. We shall reach the village soon, and all will be well.”
“She never calls me cara mia,” I whispered to my father.
“There, there,” Father said in a rather bored voice, patting my hand.
The journey had been long and tiresome. We were all so very weary and cantankerous.
“Well, if we do fall off the mountain, I’m sure it will be quite a relief from all this traveling. One last bit of excitement in our boring lives,” I decided.
“Glynis, really,” Mother scolded.
Ignoring her, I opened the carriage window and leaned out to peer down the steep drop that lay a mere two feet from the spinning wheels of the carriage.
“Mama, make her stop!” May cried out, burying her face in Mother’s shoulder.