“The Tale of the Vampire Bride” By Rhiannon Frater Cover model: Megan Young Cover photography by Helena Cruz Cover art by Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Designs Interior Formatting by Kody Boye Edited by Felicia Sullivan and Helen Bibby Copyright © 2009 – 2012. All Rights Reserved ISBN10 – 1478116455 ISBN13 – 978-147811645 Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. This book is a work of fiction. People, places, events and situations are the product of the author’s imaginations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or historical events, is purely coincidence.
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.
Zombies As The World Dies Trilogy The First Days: As The World Dies Book 1 (Tor) Fighting to Survive: As The World Dies Book 2 (Tor) Siege: As The World Dies Book 3 (Tor) Untold Tales Series As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 1 As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 2 As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 3 Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters The Last Bastion of the Living Vampires Vampire Bride Series The Tale of the Vampire Bride (Book 1) The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride (Book 2) The Lament of the Vampire Bride (Book 3) (release date 2013) Pretty When She Dies Trilogy Pretty When She Dies Pretty When She Kills Pretty When She Destroys (release date in 2013) Short Story Collections Blood & Love and Other Vampire Tales Cthuhluâ€™s Daughter and Other Horror Tales (release date in 2012)
In celebration of the new covers for the Vampire Bride Series and the interior design overhaul of the trade paperback, I decided to share a bit about the backstory of the series and the epic battle between the heroine, Lady Glynis, and the villain, Vlad Dracula. The Tale of the Vampire Bride was born in a very vivid dream. Encapsulated in the mind of Lady Glynis Wright, I bore witness with breathless anticipation to the events of the first chapter of this novel while they unfolded. I dreaded where the carriage would carry the aristocratic family from England and when it rolled into the courtyard of a formidable, yet crumbling castle in the Carpathian Mountains, my fears were confirmed. I awakened with the startling green eyes of Count Vlad Dracula searing into my soul. Immediately, I knew I had to write the tale of the fourth Bride of Dracula. It didn’t take long for me to fall utterly in love with Glynis, her world, and her struggle to free herself from the most villainous and evil vampire of all time. The challenges of writing a novel that takes place in the 1820’s were difficult enough, but capturing the personality of a legendary character from one of the greatest books in literature, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was incredibly daunting. Stoker’s novel is one of my favorites of all time, but I still felt I truly did not understand the vampire. Since Count Dracula is only seen through the eyes of his enemies in the novel, I decided to delve deeper and read about the Romanian hero, Vlad Tepes. I immersed myself in the tales of Vlad the Impaler, struggling to understand how a man could be so cruel, so violent, yet so revered by his people. Slowly, I began to see a pattern in his actions, his strict adherence to his own moral code of what was right or wrong. I remember reading one terrible story about him killing a woman for not properly mending her husband’s clothing and finally grasping the key component to the personality of Count Dracula. His absolutely unyielding
viewpoint on how the world should operate and his role in ruling it made him the perfect, terrible villain in Glynis’s life. Lady Glynis is a rebel. She chaffs against society and all its rules. Though she is still an aristocrat through and through, she defies the strict moral codes of her time. That she should become the Bride of Dracula is not only ironic, but sets up an adversarial relationship between the two that is sometimes difficult to witness. The word “bride” in the title of this book does not imply the happily-in-love woman on the day of her wedding, but the designation of a female vampire created by a male vampire. Glynis’s beginnings as Dracula’s Bride are not born out of love, but violence and blood. Glynis may be the Bride of Dracula, but he is her tormentor, her abuser, and her nemesis. This dichotomy sets the stage for their battle for control of Glynis’s life. Without a doubt, Lady Glynis is our heroine and Vlad Dracula is our villain. Yet there are many more characters in this epic tale that will choose sides and impact the tale of the vampire bride named Glynis. I hope you enjoy this first volume in her story and the many to follow. Eternally, Rhiannon Frater August 22, 2012
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 bloodâ€Ś so much bloodâ€Ś 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 toldâ€Ś
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
2 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. “Really, Glynis! Have you no sense at all? Why do you wish to upset your sister so?” I bristled under my mother’s scolding as Father intoned, “There, there,” patting her hand to soothe her. Instead of coddling May, as Mother was wont to do, I decided to irk them both even more. I was incredibly tired of the two of them being so decidedly female about the entire journey. So, I leaned even further out the window and flashed my mother a defiant smile. “Glynis, pull your head back in here! I cannot believe your daughter, Edric!” I realized that my mother’s Italian temper was about to get the best of her. As I did not wish her to scold Father for my disobedience, I sat back in my seat with a petulant sigh. Fluffing up my skirts, I perched primly and proceeded to glare at her. “Do not look at me like that, young lady! If you had behaved yourself in Venezia, Roma, Firenze, and even in Paris, we would