Brides of Darkness: Tales of Opulent Darkness

Brides of Darkness: Tales of Opulent Darkness
Genres: Gothic Horror, Gothic Mystery and Suspense, Short Stories
ASIN: B00F089I50
ISBN: 0008950
Dare to Open this Book! A collection of four short stories and two novelettes steeped in Gothic mystery and suspense.
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About the Book

Six scary stories for the price of three!

The Red Masque: A French aristocrat escapes the Paris bloodbath only to find greater horror in his country estate.

The Vampire’s Mirror: Analise’s fiance unwittingly gives her a most dreadfully cursed engagement gift.

The House Witch: An unlucky gambler loses the ultimate card game.

Priestess: A Roman priestess deserts the Temple of Diana to be hunted by a vengeful lover who vows to turn her in—-to her death.

Portrait of a Vampire: When artist Gina’s dance-away lover dies, she paints him back to lethal life.

The Strange Marriage of Lady Crawford: A bereaved lady in a creepy castle has a strange coming out party… and an even stranger wedding.

Praise for The Red Masque:

GORGEOUS, LUSH, I want to sit and just drink this stuff in.  You are a
 POET, Alyne.  I feel as if I just watched some stunning 
cinematography, or sat in front of a complex, color-rich narrative
painting while I drank a glass of port.  I’m telling you, girl, you
can WRITE!!!!  I really am so impressed.  As I was reading your
 beautiful story, I truly was thinking that someday your work is going 
to be famous, Alyne. You are THAT GOOD!!!!  I’ve never quite read 
anyone else’s work who uses your combination of coloratura, bravado,
operatic, theatrical, combined with a spare minimalism.  I don’t even 
know how to categorize what you do.  Do you?  You cut away anything 
that is remotely overkill, yet even with the spare, bare minimum of
 sentences, your work is deep, crisp, and lavish.  It really is amazing
and fun and a joy to read.  Thank you so much for sharing this.  You 
leave me wanting more. – Cheryl Nance

The Vampire’s Mirror:

“The mirror possesses me.” Analise whispered…

Indeed, it does possess her. It all begins when a young nobleman, Stefan, enters the grounds of a cursed castle and picks up a mirror and comb. Unknown to him, they belonged to the Lady of Castel Drag, who died long ago. When Stefan gives the mirror to his betrothed, Lady Analise, she falls under the spell of the Lord of Castel Drag, the husband of the woman who owned the mirror and comb. A man, who became an evil creature when he returned from the war to find his wife dead. He now feeds on the blood of others. When Analise peers into the mirror, the Lord of Castel Drag is able to see her and she reminds him of his long dead wife.

This is a gothic style tale one that could have sprung from the Victorian age. A truly, old fashioned Vampire story. Though it has romance elements, it is not a romance, but I think most romance readers will like it. Smoothly written with a Victorian flair. The descriptions are exquisite, even poetic. It’s a short novella that can easily be finished in just a couple of hours.- Cornelia Amiri

Portrait of a Vampire:

I read your story Portrait of a Vampire and enjoyed it immensely. You have such a facility for creating rich, vivid and sensuous imagery, much as Oscar Wilde did, so it’s a pleasure reading your well-designed phrases even before the story develops. But you do have a strong handle on structure, too, for your story had good pacing and a nice plot architecture. I found it interesting that its was a dark satire about goth subculture, too…like a goth fairytale! Well done…it was a delight to read, and memorable, too. You would be such a fascinating person to sit down and converse with over dinner…I hope I have that opportunity someday.
- Garth von Buchholz


The Priestess’s Tale is fantastic. Great details, and an phantasmal mix of Roman and Gothic elements that requires close attention be paid at every turn. There are a succession of character transformations that are important to keep track of–Portia and her daughter at the beginning, and then Sylvana’s introduction to the rites, including a great scene in which the author draws on elements from the story of Actaeon, familiar to readers of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The story takes a deeply mysterious turn towards the end; without giving too much away, a play of mirrors in the context of an ancient mystery religion disolves time, love and death in a way that both unified a number of strands in the story and caught me by surprise. This is a great work for readers with imaginative intelligence, if not a familiarity with ancient mystery religions, and younger readers will enjoy Winter’s creation of moods and an atmosphere in a world that is both mysterious and exquisitely described.-  Brian Jobe

The House Witch

Inspired by Russian authors Anton Chekov and Alexander Pushkin, this piece of Flash Fiction won inclusion in the Variation on a Theme Anthology.

The Strange Marriage of Lady Crawford

A very unusual Regency Romance with darl occultic themes, The Strange Marriage of Lady Crawford was published in Lisette’s Tales of the Imagination and Tales of the Blood and Roses-–in shorter form. The version in Brides of Darkness is the Director’s Cut.




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