Friday, June 7, 2019

Blog Tour Guest Post: The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Please join me in welcoming Autumn Bardot to Let Them Read Books! Autumn is touring the blogosphere with her newest release, The Impaler's Wife, and I'm thrilled to have her here today with a guest post about danger, desire, and Dracula! Read on and enter to win a paperback copy of The Impaler's Wife!

Legend, history, and passion collide in this gritty, evocative, and sensual story about history’s most notorious price and the woman who paid love’s ultimate price.

The year is 1464, and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula.

Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.

This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to a man tortured by his past comes with a price.

Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.

With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.


Danger, Desire, and Dracula
by Autumn Bardot

Hi Let Them Read Books followers!

A big thank you to Jenny for hosting THE IMPALER’S WIFE and letting me dish about danger, desire, and Dracula. Those three words just naturally go together, don’t they?

I’m a sucker for the medieval period. Mind you, I have zero desire to actually go back in time and live there—I’d probably end up a scullery maid instead of a princess. Novels, Netflix, Renaissance fairs, museum exhibits—I adore them all. I even follow an IG account that posts all things medieval. Much of my online visual inspiration is on Pinterest:  I confess, researching the time period was fascinating, exhausting, and often bloodcurdling. Which brings us to the first topic…


Admit it, we love stories about bad boys. And Vlad the Impaler is the ultimate bad boy. But it wasn’t Prince Vlad that gave me the idea for the novel. Several years ago, I bought a fun book about little-known women in history. Each page had a sketch and a sassy short blurb. One of those women was Ilona, Dracula’s Hungarian wife. The blurb portrayed Dracula as the stereotypical evil prince. That bugged me because Dracula is a hero in Romania. The muse smacked me upside my head and that’s when I knew I had to write about Dracula’s wife. And from her perspective as a naïve, smitten, and ambitious young woman. It was risky. Readers expect anything with Dracula to be about bloodsucking vampires. I tracked down and purchased an out-of-print book from the foremost Dracula experts and was blown away. His early life was tragic and horrific, yet, unfortunately, all too common for an heir apparent during the medieval ages.

I portray the man through two lenses, that of history and that of the woman who loves him. Oddly enough, as I delved into Dracula’s world, the more Ilona’s character crystalized. 


Staying true to the history and beliefs of the time is important. I think readers appreciate factual accuracy. Historical fiction lovers are curious history buffs. That’s why we devour it, even when it’s full of grim, gruesome, and heart-wrenching inequities.

I like to ‘keep it real.’ In addition to the real people (most characters), birthdates, marriages, coronations, locations, battles, and events, I also explore the Romanian folklore associated with vampire myths (the strigoi), as well as Dracula’s quest for ancient wisdom (the Solomonar).

Like the reader, Ilona must sort through the lies and truths that surrounded his fearsome reputation. And therein lies the danger for the author who offers a different perspective, one asking the reader to join a treacherous world about the woman who loved and desired one of the most notorious men in history. Ah, desire! The feeling most likely to get us into trouble.


How can Dracula be a romantic lead? Well, if we’re truthful we can admit that powerful, ruthless men are intriguing and, more often than not, charming and seductive when they want to be.

Vlad Dracula is well-educated, schooled in court etiquette, wealthy, respected, feared, charismatic, and mysterious. And a prince. What noble maiden wouldn’t be smitten? There’s just something about an alpha man that makes our heart skip a beat. A man who is confident, purposeful, sincere, dependable, genuine, fearless, and isn’t afraid to break the rules is pretty darn appealing.

Ilona is a noblewoman who knows that her life and that of her future children require a man with status, power, and the ability to keep them safe. Ilona is a courageous woman who desires it all, from a vibrant relationship with a difficult man to a royal future for her children. Like any person in a relationship, Ilona desires to understand her husband at the core level. And if any of you are yoked to a reserved partner with lots of emotional baggage, you know how tricky it is too break through that barrier. Or how gratifying it is to attain the love and respect of uncompromising person. Ilona desires what most of us seek—love, passion, approval, and purpose.

If you have questions about whether something in the novel is fact or fiction leave me a message on Facebook.

About the Author:

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and erotica about sassy women and daring passions!

Her erotic fiction includes Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World, published by Cleis Press. Confessions of a Sheba Queen (erotica) will be available Jan 2020.

The Impaler’s Wife is her debut historical fiction, releasing in April 2019.

Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching literary analysis for fourteen years

When Autumn’s not writing or working, you’ll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue pooch. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.


The Impaler's Wife is on a blog tour!


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one paperback copy of the Impaler’s Wife! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
The Impaler's Wife


  1. Love this guest post! Thank you for hosting Autumn's blog tour, Jenny!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. Love this book's topic. There is just something about Dracula that draws you in.

    1. Yes, both the man and the myth are enduring legends!


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