For a limited time only (November 26th to the 30th), you can download the prequel to the Dracula Chronicle series; Birth of the Monster for free on your Kindle.

BOOK #0 – BIRTH OF THE MONSTER

Dracula sits astride his horse, surveying the battlefield below. He has defeated another Ottoman army and won back his throne for the third time. Confident in his victory, he is unaware of the events about to unfold and the plans Lucifer has for him.

Prequel to the forthcoming The Dracula Chronicles series.

Click here to download Birth of the Monster from Amazon.

Christopher Lee Dracula
There are few names in popular culture today as famous as that of Dracula.  I would go as far as to say that in the western world the name conjures up an image of one description or another for anyone who hears it, anyone above the age of twelve at least.  For me personally, as a youngster anyway and even now to an extent, I see the face of Christopher Lee, who will always enjoy immortality as the on-screen icon.  Of course, the name Dracula is not limited only to western culture.

Read more

Starting November 19th, I will be embarking on an online book tour for the Dracula Chronciles right up till late December.

Below is a list of dates and websites where you can find interviews, reviews and guest posts.

Read more

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Dracula Chronicles series of books.

You can send me a review by either leaving a response on Amazon, or sending me a message from my contact page.

Thanks

Shane KP O’Neill

A legend is born

Vlad Dracula was born in November or December 1431 at the fortress in Sighisoara in Transylvania. His father was Vlad Dracul and his mother, Cneajna of the ruling Musatin family in Moldavia. Dracul hailed from the Basarab dynasty that had ruled Wallachia since the early 1300′s. When his father, Mircea the Old, died in 1418 the family split into two factions, Draculesti and Danesti.

Earlier in 1431 Dracul had been initiated into the Order of the Dragon. This was a fraternity of knights established by the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund of Luxemburg, to preserve the Catholic faith. In that same year Sigismund appointed him the commander of the southern frontier in Transylvania where he guarded the border into neighbouring Wallachia.

Taking the throne

In December 1436 Dracul seized the throne in Wallachia from his half-brother, Alexandru. He took up residence in his capital, Tirgoviste, where the young Dracula spent his early years.

It was a turbulent time with Sultan Murad II looking to expand the mighty Ottoman Empire into Eastern Europe. Dracul had an uneasy alliance with him to preserve his autonomy. Because he did not involve himself in the conflict in 1442 between the Ottomans and Hungary, under the command of John Hunyadi, he fell foul of both sides. Murad took the young Dracula as a hostage with his younger brother, Radu.

The mighty fall

This prevented Dracul from joining the Christian crusade of 1443 and 1444, which culminated in the crushing defeat of the Christian forces at Varna in 1444. It deepened the rift between him and John Hunyadi. In 1447 Hunyadi ousted him from power. In the fall of Tirgoviste, Dracula’s mother and older brother, Mircea, were brutally slain. Dracul was killed in battle soon after. Hunyadi placed Dracul’s half-brother, Vladislav Basarab, on the throne in his place.

Dracula received a sound military schooling during his time in captivity. He showed an incredible ability as a swordsman and archer and proved himself a capable leader. After his release he seized the Wallachian throne for a two-month period late in 1448. However, circumstances forced him to flee again to Anatolia. He moved on to Moldavia where his uncle, Bogdan, still ruled. Bogdan was assassinated in a coup in 1451, which forced Dracula to flee the country with his cousin, Stephen. They moved into Transylvania in 1452 where John Hunyadi still held the reins of power. They agreed an alliance in 1453, which saw Dracula take command of the fortress at Sibiu.

In 1456 his army crushed Vladislav Basarab near Tirgsor in one of the bloodiest episodes in Romanian history. Basarab died by Dracula’s own hand. He seized the throne a second time. In the same month Hunyadi defeated a mighty Ottoman army on the Danube at Belgrade. Two weeks later he died from the plague that the Ottoman army had brought with it from Anatolia. This period up to 1462 saw Dracula’s most famous and brutal reign. He waged a vicious campaign on the Saxon cities in southern Transylvania in 1457 and 1458. In this conflict it is believed 30,000 Saxons lost their lives in the district of Amlas alone.

Dracula came down on his own people with equal ferocity. Most crimes he punished by death. His favoured method of execution was impalement, though this was not unique to him. Nevertheless it saw him become nicknamed Tepes, or the Impaler.

Revenge

He took a vicious revenge against the boyar, or landowning, class. Many of these he implicated in the plot to bring down his father. He impaled large numbers of them, while many more died in the building of his fortress in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the Arges River. Dracula built a strong economy and an excellent army in Wallachia. He did this in preparation for the war with the Ottomans, which he knew was sure to come. Mehmed II succeeded Murad II in 1451. In 1453 he conquered Constantinople. The setback Mehmed suffered at Belgrade in 1456 allowed Dracula the time he needed to prepare.

In the summer of 1462 Mehmed finally invaded Wallachia. Dracula fought a brilliant campaign and enjoyed several great victories against a superior invading force. But it was not something he could sustain over time. When Dracula’s own brother, Radu, laid siege to his fortress in July of that year he was forced to flee. He met with Matthias Corvinus, the King of Hungary, at Konigstein. Matthias was the youngest son of John Hunyadi. He arrested and imprisoned Dracula at Buda, where he held him for thirteen years.

Pope Sixtus IV began a new crusade in 1475. This saw Matthias release Dracula again. Dracula led a Christian alliance through Bosnia and eventually into Wallachia. He won back his throne for a third time later that year.

Late in 1476 Basarab Laiota launched a campaign against him. Despite a great victory at Snagov, Dracula died from his wounds.

Bram Stoker

It is clear that the writer, Bram Stoker, would have read pamphlets about the life of Vlad Dracula. Stories of his brutality and military exploits, as well as the exaggerated tales of his bloodlust were widespread across Europe in the 19th Century. It certainly gave him the basis for his famous vampire character. It should be noted however, that Stoker modelled the image of Dracula most common to us, on the 19th Century stage actor, Henry Irving.

 

In the beginning…

God, with His eldest and favourite son, Lucifer, embarks on the creation of the universe and then the earth. They fill it with the continents and the great oceans, and design a myriad of life forms to finish off their great work.

Jealousy consumes three of Lucifer’s brothers. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael resent his relationship with God and conspire to bring it to an end. While he wanders the earth with Moloch, glorying in his work, they draw their plans against him.

Michael and his brothers convince God that His work is incomplete. They suggest that He create man and mould him in His own image.

The idea excites God and, in Lucifer’s absence, He creates man. He places him in Eden and from his rib He creates woman for a companion. His sons rejoice and agree that now His work is finally complete. To their delight, God agrees and falls in love with His new creation. He gives man a status higher than any other creature and the most special gift of all, the power of free will.

The divide…

Lucifer returns and sees that his father now favours man even over him. He reacts violently to God’s new creation and swears to destroy all mankind. A ferocious battle ensues between Lucifer and his brothers that causes a great divide in Heaven. The angels take sides and kill each other relentlessly in the bitter struggle.

God despairs at Lucifer’s actions. Yet, because of His love for His favourite son, He refuses to intervene and vanquish Lucifer from Heaven.

Lucifer identifies woman as man’s weakness and introduces her to mortal sin. She succumbs to his trickery and makes man a party to her fall from grace. In a desperate act of rage, God evicts man from Eden, and her with him. He turns on Lucifer and, although not destroying him, casts him out of Heaven and condemns him to the bowels of the earth, where he is gone from His sight.

Fallen angels…

The battle rages on between the angels while Lucifer regroups and builds a rival kingdom below the surface of the earth. In the meantime, man spreads out and multiplies over many generations. Lucifer re-surfaces and leads his legions of fallen angels against his brothers.

Faced with the choice of destroying him or the extinction of the angels, God agrees to a truce. To end the war, He grudgingly accepts Lucifer’s demand that they must contest the soul of every man.

Through His love for man, God bestowed on him the power of free will and the ability to choose his own path. On those terms, Lucifer accepts that he cannot physically interfere in the life of any man or woman, but that he can use any of his powers of suggestion and persuasion to influence their minds. Ultimately, the final choice for his destiny would be man’s and man’s alone. Yet the destiny of the human race hangs in the balance. If at any time Lucifer controls more souls than God, then he can return again to Heaven and cast God and his brothers out, and signal the end for all mankind.

God hands Michael greater powers and appoints him the Protector of Heaven, as His warrior Archangel.

Lucifer uses his great cunning to turn man away from God. Seeing how easily man turns his back on Him, God destroys the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in anger. He sends His prophets one after another to bring man back to the path of righteousness, but it is only delaying the inevitable. In one last attempt to save mankind and prevent Lucifer’s return to Heaven, God gives to the world His son made man, Jesus Christ.

In giving His life on the Cross, Jesus wipes away man’s sins. In one deft stroke, he undoes all of Lucifer’s hard work. The Crucifixion stands as God’s great victory over him. Before departing the earth, Jesus gives Peter the authority to build His church. The Catholic Church breathes life on that very day in Jerusalem to stand as a constant reminder of God’s great victory.

Lucifer’s Great Plan…

In the aftermath of the Battle of Varna in 1444, Lucifer meets Michael on the desolate, ravaged battlefield. Michael reminds him of the great victory over him and of how the Catholic Church is representative of that. It gives Lucifer the determination to put into practice an idea he has harboured for over a millennium. He realises that if he can bring down the institution of the Catholic Church, then he can turn man against God once more.

Lucifer seeks the perfect candidate to carry out this immense task. Though he has monitored many over the ravages of time, his need to find that special one has finally come to pass. He needs someone born into a world of strife; who knows only great loss or betrayal from those he loves; who is strong and unyielding and who can fight against insurmountable odds. And one who can rise up above other men in a bitter world to take what is his.

The religious strife in the world following the Crusades in the Holy Land gives him the opportunity he has waited for. With Saladin’s ultimate victory in Palestine, the spread of Islam continues on. The Ottoman Empire is born and presses on the borders of the eastern European states. It is here Lucifer knows he will find the candidate he seeks.

And now he looks for this most special of men whom he can manipulate into leading the cause of Christianity against the mighty Ottoman Turk. This same man that he hopes will wade in blood for the righteous cause. He knows that in doing this his candidate will suffer the ultimate betrayal in his hour of death when he expects the angels to come and claim him. For it is only then that Lucifer can put his dastardly plan to work and conduct the fiendish experiment, where he creates a monster that will bring down the last great icon of God.

He chooses the twelve-year-old Vlad Dracula, whose progress he has followed from birth. Young Vlad is the son of the great Vlad Dracul, voivode of Wallachia. Imprisoned by the Turkish sultan, Murad II, Lucifer goes to the boy in a guise of a woman to set his plan in motion….

 

Author 1Shane KP O’Neill is the writer of The Dracula Chronicles, a new and exciting series adding a fresh dimension to the Dracula legend, which combines the real historical Vlad Dracula with a new and different version of Dracula the vampire. He has released the series in two arcs, one that follows Dracula the man and the other following Dracula the vampire.

The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid lover of history, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject. He built a concept and premise where he could accommodate both Dracula the vampire and Dracula the man.

Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He reads a lot of books from a wide variety of authors, though his main interest lies in the horror genre. His love of books is matched only by his love of the countryside and of course, his family. As an added note, he has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels, he likes to search out locations with an historical interest and will always hunt for the ruins of an old castle before heading to the beach.

The concluded chapters of the Dracula Chronicles.

Full synopsis to be revealed at a later date

Read more

The concluded chapters of the Dracula Chronicles.

Full synopsis to be revealed at a later date

Read more

With Dracula vanquished, but not gone, the scene is set for his Second Coming. The Maglaks are leaving Romania to ensure Dracula returns to orchestrate the beginning of the Apocalypse.

Read more

Dracula continues his assault on God through the carnage of WWII Europe and its aftermath.
Andrei is re-born and takes up the fight against him.

Read more

The battle rages on between the Powers of Light and Darkness. Crafted from the bones of Andrei and his six sons, The Vatican possess weapons that can kill Dracula.

Read more

Dracula begins his assault on the Catholic Church, initiating the Reformation and the split between Henry VIII and Rome. The forces of Light build their plans against him.

Read more

As his moment of death looms Dracula suffers the ultimate betrayal. The champion of the Catholic faith in Eastern Europe realises it is Lucifer who is coming to claim him.

Read more

Dracula wins back his throne for the third time, on the battlefield. Confident in his victory, he is unaware of the events about to unfold and the plans Lucifer has for him.

Read more

With his throne lost to his brother, Radu, Dracula is imprisoned by King Matthias of Hungary and held at Buda. He converts to Catholicism and marries again in preparation for his assault on Wallachia, while Lucifer strengthens his hold over him.

Read more