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Erzse%CC%81betBa%CC%81thory.jpg...I'm no match for Elizabeth of Bathory. Who was she? Just a woman who liked to kill virgins and bathe in their blood. Seriously. She was a consummate sadist and serial murderer.

According to News for Medievalists, two new movies about Bathory are in the works.

Bathory is accused of indulging in year-round atrocities - in winter, punishing servant girls by dousing them with cold water in the courtyard until they froze to death; in summer, stripping and smearing them with honey to be attacked by insects, and often searing the breasts and genitals of staff with red hot pokers.

Nice.

For those of you who haven't indulged in THE DIARIES OF THE FAMILY DRACUL trilogy, Elisabeth of Bathory is featured as a main character in the second and third novels. For some reason, I felt she and Vlad the Impaler would have gotten on well...


Dracula's Castle is for sale. At least, if you believe the headlines.

Since I'm a stickler for this sort of thing, I have to point out that the castle in question never belonged to Dracula. Its claim to historical fame is the probability that Dracula spent a couple of nights in its dungeon.

Fact is, the Impaler's real castle, the keep at Poienari, isn't even in Transylvania, but in Wallachia, now southern Romania. Sadly, it was already in ruins in the 1880s, when a landslide inflicted major damage. All that's standing now are some stone walls and a couple of towers.

Which makes the Castle Bran -- even if it isn't the real deal -- look like a pretty good bargain for a mere $78 million. Nice courtyard, no?

Laurell K. Hamilton writes lovely, ghoulish novels; this weekend, I'm hoping to steal away a little time to tuck into the book that launched the Anita Blake, vampire hunter phenomenon, GUILTY PLEASURES.

So I visit her LKH Blog, right? And I come across this line:

Okay, I just did twenty-seven pages today. Twenty-seven pages on the Jason novel/novellite. I went back over my calender and found when I started the project. I have done 147 pages in ten days. Ten non-consecutive days, which for me is even more impressive. I usually have a fits if a project is interrupted even a little bit. But my muse is hitting me heavy on this one.

Twenty-seven pages? Twenty-seven pages?

On a good day, I'll have six or seven. Granted, that's writing a historical, where I have to fact-check every paragraph a dozen times, but even so...

I feel so very, very inadequate.

Suzy McKee Charnas' THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY.

Suzy is a Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author, and THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY is a shining example of her elegant, lovely prose. When I first began to write, I studied TVP so that perhaps, some day, I might grow up to write like her. Trust me, and buy it.

Suzy is one of my writing idols. I met her at a Dracula convention once, and she was enormously gracious to me, even though I was reduced to a nervous, stuttering ball of hero worship. I've discovered she has a website and blog. Visit, and let her know who sent ya.

*Yes, I mean it. Even more than DRACULA.