Mina Harker: An Uncooperative Protagonist

From the first time that I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula in my teens, though I revered the work, I just knew that the character Mina Harker, Dracula’s obsession, was not satisfied with the role Mr. Stoker gave her—the quintessentially compliant Victorian virgin.  I knew that there had to be more to her than that.  (I knew that there had to be more to any woman than that.)

Anyone who has read my books knows that I am all about restoring grrrrl power to the historical record.  In Dracula … Read more.

Panther (or creature of the night) stalks Tuscany?

More missing sheep, this time in Tuscany!  Call it a panther if it makes you feel better…but we know the truth!

Tuscany Trembling over Big Cat

Phantom Panther Gives Italians Paws for Thought

By Hans-Jürgen Schlamp in Massa Marittima, Italy

The village of Massa Marittima in Tuscany, Italy.

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The village of Massa Marittima in Tuscany, Italy.

A large black cat believed to be a panther is stalking the fields and forests of southern Tuscany, striking fear into residents and holidaymakers. Hunters have angered animal rights campaigners by offering to kill it, but the debate is academic — … Read more.

Chasing Vlad1: The Case of the Missing Sheep

Believe it or not, people often ask me, “Karen, was Vlad the Impaler really a vampire?”   I finally decided to make a trip to Romania and Transylvania to investigate.  The next few posts will be about that journey. 

We’d set out for the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania from Bucharest in the morning, encountering a tempestuous rainstorm so severe as to be deafening, lashing the vehicle and obscuring our sight.  In the brutal rain teaming from a blackened, ominous sky, it became … Read more.