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Published author and book nerd, I write and review romance novels.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Interview with Carmen Stefanescu, author of 'Shadows of the Past'

Today I am delighted to host Carmen Stefanescu, author of romance novel 'Shadows of the past.'

If you want a book to remember and ponder on after you read it, `Shadows of the past’ is for you. Beautifully written, it draws you right in and is nothing like the average romance novel of boring mediocrity. `Shadows of the past' is anything but that.
Anne’s relationship with boyfriend Neil is clearly compromised, but they are determined to rekindle it, and a vacation seems the ideal plan. Little they know that their trip will lead them to a cursed forest, where their fate will intertwine with a past life love story, that of a medieval nun Genevieve, and her lover, priest Andrew. As I followed two parallel lives (that of Genevieve in her path to the Abbey, through her childhood hardships, and Anne’s journey through the cursed forest) I experienced the amazing connection the author was able to create between the two women, the emotional turmoil, I felt the power of love, the darkness of sad experiences.
Carmen Stefanescu has spun a wonderful story that keeps folks reading until the end. She has the gift of getting ones emotions involved in the story and making them care about characters. When I read a story I want to become emotional (laugh, cry, get angry, feel sad,) and this book seriously drew on my emotions. ‘Shadows of the past’ is wonderful, poignant, and intense, a fascinating story, well presented with a plot that was thrilling enough to win my heart. It's an emotional ride, the kind of book that makes the reader fall in love with romance and mystery or remember that they do love it. An undeniable 5 STAR.
'Shadows of the past' blurb:
Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejewelled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
Here is a peek into the novel, for your delight:


"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."

Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"

Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.

With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.

"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.

Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.

                             … . . .

            Tears welled in Anne's eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?

Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?

Away from the forest.

Away from Neil, the man who'd betrayed her trust and her love.

            An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.

Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart.  An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
Megan's face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, "Yes, come... I'm waiting... I've been waiting for you for such a long time..."

Interview with Carmen (over a virtual cup of tea :))

1. Would you tell something to us about your book?

            Shadows of the Past is a paranormal, light romance. It's about Genevieve and Anne, focusing on the lows and highs of the two, alternatively revealing the hardships, passion, truth or betrayal they meet.  Their destinies seem to weave together, although they live in different epochs. Genevieve is torn between her sacred vows to God and a doomed love for the nuns’ priest.  Anne, a well-to-do young English businesswoman, is trapped within a difficult mission - on the one hand she is desperately trying to rebuild her broken relationship with her former fiancĂ©, Neil, and, on the other hand she is drawn to fulfill Genevieve’s mute plea.

2. Why traditional publishing?
            I absolutely didn’t want to go self-publishing, though many fellow authors point to me the advantages of doing it; I wanted to know, and this could be told only by a professional editor, if my writing had any value. It appears it has.

 3. Which character did you most enjoy writing?

            Genevieve. I have an attraction for sad characters

4. Are you like any of your characters? How so?

          Many of my feminine characters have something from me. They impersonate my feelings, thoughts. Sometimes actions. It depends.

5. Did you have to do any type of research for this story?

            Oh, yes. Of course, I read and made notes about what Wicca means and extensively studied English History, especially the Middle Ages.

 6. When writing, are you more of a plotter or pantser? Does the story ever get away from you and end up going in a direction you weren't expecting?

            I guess in a way I am both, though for the most part, all of my plots develop from the actions of my characters.  Otherwise, it would be like forcing my characters to do things they didn’t really want to do. Many times I think something’s going to happen, but the characters lead me in another direction altogether. It’s like a movie in my mind that I see as I write—with twists and turns I didn’t expect.

7. Print or ebook - which format do you prefer to read?

            I’m torn between ebooks and print—really, I love both. Ebooks are very convenient, but nothing beats the feel of actually turning a physical page of a book.

8. You said that there is a debate going on about your book.  Can you tell us about it?

             I didn't expect my paranormal novel, Shadows of the Past, would ruffle so many feathers and trigger offended remarks from some readers. On the one hand, there are people accusing me of trying to drive people away from faith, as the story is focused on a girl that goes to a monastery and then falls in love with the wrong person. Reading such comments, I simply had to look and check the calendar date. I am stunned to read this kind of remarks in the twenty-first century. Luckily I don't live in the Middle Ages. They would have taken me to be burned at the stake, very likely.  

            On the other hand, there are others who object, and say God and church are mentioned too many times in the story, and consider it a pitch on religion to attract people to the church. No kidding. In chapters taking place in an abbey, in Medieval England, what do you think the dwellers had talked about?

9. What are you working on now?
            It’s something linked to Vlad the Imapaler’s life, Dracula's Mistress. Another paranormal. A historical one. So again, the Middle Ages, but this time in Romania. There are so many books on him, written by foreigners who focus on the “vampire” idea, and I think it’s time for one of his country people to show what historical, political and social circumstances led to his being nicknamed Dracula.

10. Do you have a message for my blog’s followers?
            A last piece of advice: Get quickly Shadows of the Past and read it! If not, you don't know what you are missing!

Thank you so much for hosting me today!


Author, Carmen Stefanescu's  Sitehttp://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

Twitter      @Carmen_Books

Trailer: Shadows of the Past

Buy Link: Wild Child Publishing



Buy Link: Barnes & Noble


So, what are you waiting for? Go for it, and enjoy a wonderful read!