Friday, May 24, 2019

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: Author, Mary Ann Bernal is asking the question — Was Vlad the Impaler the "real" Count Dracula?

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: Author, Mary Ann Bernal is asking the question — W...: Was Vlad the Impaler the “real” Count Dracula? By Mary Ann Bernal Whitby Abbey. The answer is o...

Whitby Abbey.

The answer is obvious, isn’t it? The formidable Vlad the Impaler is the person Bram Stoker thought of when creating his Dracula persona, meant to scare young and old alike.

Dracula by Bram Stoker book cover — Wikipedia.

When Mr. Stoker was considering writing his story, was the information about Vlad factual or mythical? Or was the evidence circumstantial, based upon hearsay from the poor souls having survived Vlad’s bloody reign of terror?

  Vlad III — Wikipedia.

Briefly, Vlad III was a nobleman from the House of Draculesti (Volvode (Baron) Dracula) whose father ruled Wallachia (Romania) until his murder during a Hungarian invasion. As a young man, Vlad witnessed the atrocities of warfare, which awakened his psychopathic tendencies. His bloodlust was left unchecked and impaling his prisoners was his favorite method of execution.

Transylvania map — Wikipedia.

Vlad did invade Transylvania (Central Romania) with its own Dacian mythology. There is a wealth of inspiration stemming from this wide range of myths and legends. Focusing on immortality; gods and animals were worshipped but it was the wolf cult that created the werewolf. The vampire belief originates from Sumerian, Assyrian and Jewish mythologies.
And here we have it, all in one place, enough folklore to fill a library with scary novels.

Let’s go back a bit further to ancient Mesopotamia where there is mention of Lilith, a possible vampire, who hunted newborn children at night. The ancient Greeks believed in monsters who ate children and drank their blood. Ancient China’s vampire monsters were called the kiang shi. There are vampire stories from ancient India and Nepal. Ancient Nepalese cave paintings show a man holding a blood-filled human skull goblet while standing in a pool of blood. Malayan monsters lived by drinking the blood of infants. Mexico feared vampires into the sixteenth century when the Spanish Conquistadors conquered the country. Ancient Peru also believed in devil worshipers who sucked the blood of infants, and even in Africa, there was the belief that the dead returned and lived again off the blood of the living.

Vampire Monsters — Wikipedia.

Truth be told, people from days of old received information via word of mouth, keeping the tales alive, and in all likelihood, the narratives were embellished over time, but they did believe the stories and sought remedies to protect themselves from the devil! Who else could control the paranormal creatures roaming the earth in search of human prey? In all of Christendom, it was the devil that was feared the most because he coveted human souls.

Killing Vampires kit — Wikipedia.

We all know how to keep vampires at bay, never invite them into one’s house. Of course, that means never leaving home and that is just not practical. What about using garlic? The theory being vampires are allergic to the chemical composition of the vegetable. What about crosses? Christianity was widespread with Christ’s cross being a symbol to ward off evil, and vampires were pure evil. And let’s not forget sunlight – remember, vampires are cursed and their skin will burn. Another choice is the wooden stake through the vampire’s heart, which would be done during the day when the vampire is sleeping. Ridiculous, you say? There are no such things. Right? Not so fast. In Bulgaria, a few years ago, archeologists unearthed a gravesite where people were buried with metal stakes through their hearts, which would have kept them from joining the ranks of the undead.

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) — Wikipedia.

There is a blood disorder, Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), that can cause painful blisters in children suffering from the disorder when exposed to sunlight. Also, the child generally appears tired and pale. Could this condition be the reason for the sunlight “cure” to kill a vampire?

Unfortunately, superstitions continue to flourish in the modern era. A few years ago, in Malawi (Africa), an angry mob killed eight accused “vampires”. The police arrested the perpetrators, charging them with murder.

Bram Stoker would have had ample examples to choose from while creating his Dracula character, but did he bother to extensively research the topic before writing his story? Irving Stoker has stated his father’s Dracula was a figment of his father’s imagination and nothing more. Since we cannot ask the author himself, the answer is pure conjecture. Was it because Vlad the Impaler has been compared to Caligula and Nero as being one of the worst sadistic psychopathic rulers of the day that has fostered the myth? You decide.

Scribbler Tales (Volume Four)

Newlywed Charlotte von Lichtner is obsessed with Transylvanian folklore when she encounters her husband’s mysterious kinsman.


“Try not to get into any trouble while I’m gone,” Frederick replied with a devilish grin as he left the room.

Walking towards the window, Charlotte pulled back the drapes and admired the breathtaking view, which overlooked the quaint village nestled in the valley. A howling sound made the hairs on the nape of her neck stand up because it appeared to be inhuman, reminding her of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

There’s nothing supernatural here. You really need to control your imagination, Charlotte thought. It was the wind.

Pick up your copy of

Scribbler Tales (Volume Four)

Monday, May 20, 2019

RED HEADED BOOK LOVER review of Scribbler Tales Presents: Escape from Berlin by Mary Ann Bernal

Scribbler Tales Presents: Escape from Berlin, Mary Ann Bernal

AnthologyLiterature & Fiction

Escape from Berlin is an excellent book written by the exceptional and talented author Mary Ann Bernal and wow what another stellar story courtesy of Bernal! Escape from Berlin is a book I was keen to read as I have read and loved two books by Bernal before so I was excited to get lost in another collection of short stories! Escape from Berlin is one of the most well written and well-developed books I have ever come across, and I truly mean this as Escape from Berlin is exceptional and should not be missed!
Escape from Berlin is a sensational book that will introduce the reader to five different stories titled: Escape from Berlin, Betrayal, Deadly Secrets, The Ritual and Murder in the First. I loved each of the five stories as I believe they read beautifully and the character and story development were to the highest standards, however! I do have two personal favorites which are Escape from Berlin and Deadly Secrets. Escape from Berlin is the main story in this fantastic book, and it follows a man called Mark Dresdner’s who has his cover blown, which forces him to leave Germany. However, he has fallen in love with a woman, and so matters get complicated quickly, especially when the border is blocked! The other story Deadly Secrets is just as sensational and will follow Lysandra,  a woman looking for a fresh start in America but soon her past will come back to haunt her, and this book lovers is the short premises of two of the five amazing stories featured in the incredible Escape from Berlin!
The story of Escape from Berlin is a thrilling one thanks to the enthralling moments as well as the unpredictable nature of the stories that will have the readers turning the pages with haste from beginning to end. I love books that involve a journey, and the reader has just this in Escape from Berlin as the reader is taken on an extraordinary journey from start to finish with each story featured. What I loved most about Escape from Berlin is that the reader is taken on an adventure in each story that is continuously evolving and changing which in turn kept me hooked from beginning to end.
Escape from Berlin is a remarkable, fascinating, and addictive read that managed to entertain me for many hours on end thanks to the unique premise of the stories as well as the excellent literature courtesy of Bernal. Escape from Berlin has fast become one of my favorite reads of 2019, and this is because the stories featured are sensational! Very rarely do I discover a book that captivates me as fast as Escape from Berlin has so the fact that I am so taken with this book shows you, readers, that this book indeed is incredible and not to be missed!
Mary Ann Bernal is an incredibly talented author who clearly knows how to write unique but engaging stories. It was evident to me from the start that Bernal is a passionate writer who surely loves entertaining readers with her literature and putting a smile on readers’ faces. I loved this about the author, but what I loved the most about Bernal’s writing is her remarkable descriptions because they genuinely amazed me.
Overall Escape from Berlin is a marvelous, stellar and supreme book that will entertain, delight readers from start to finish and so I, of course, have to award this book five stars! Be sure to have a read of the preview below book lovers; you won’t regret it!
Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much, I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre? Please let me know your brilliant thoughts below and I will be sure to comment back. Thank you so much again for reading.

Escape from Berlin
Mark Dresdner’s cover is blown, forcing him to flee East Germany, yet he refuses to leave the woman he loves. Finding the border crossing blocked, and the enemy closing in, will he evade capture or be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?
Aelia gives herself completely to the man she loves, revealing a life-threatening secret, trusting her husband unconditionally, but is he deserving of her trust?
Deadly Secrets
Lysandra seeks a new life in America, hoping to forget her past, but an accidental meeting with a man who knows her true identity endangers her happiness. 
Murder in the First
As judge, jury, and executioner, Bethel decides the fate of the man responsible for her plight, but things go terribly wrong and the predator becomes the prey.
The Ritual
Devona’s initiation into a modern-day pagan sect on All Hallows’ Eve sends the terrified young woman fleeing for her life amidst a raging storm. Escaping the sacrificial altar, will she survive the tempest?