Interview & Giveaway: The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be sharing my interview with Autumn Bardot! Autumn is currently on blog tour for The Impaler's Wife, a historical about Vlad Dracula and his wife. I started it last night and I AM HOOKED! It's SO good! It's taking every bit of will power I have today to work and not sneak away to read it :)

Hello Autumn and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Impaler’s Wife!

Thank you for having me and shining your post on a new author. I’m grateful for the opportunity to chat about books!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

I write historical fiction and historical erotica about courageous women and daring passions.

The Impaler’s Wife is my debut historical fiction! To date, I’ve written 8 books—3 historical fiction and 2 historical erotica. Cleis Press publishes my historical erotica. Legends of Lust debuted in January, and Confessions of a Sheba Queen is scheduled for release January 2020.

I’ve also written 3 paranormal romances with another pen name.

I’m a wife, mom, and high school teacher who loves to write about fearless women in history because, ladies, we need to embrace our power!

What inspired you to write The Impaler’s Wife?

Several years ago, I bought a fun book about little-known women in history. Each page had a sketch and a sassy bio. One of those women was Ilona, Dracula’s Hungarian wife. The blurb portrayed Dracula as the stereotypical evil prince. That bugged me because he’s a hero in Romania. I wanted to know more about the real man, so I purchased an out-of-print book from the foremost Dracula experts. I was blown away! His early life was heart-wrenching, but sadly, all too common for heir apparents in the medieval ages.

I knew after reading that little blurb that I had to write a novel about Ilona—from her perspective as a smitten and ambitious noblewoman. It was a risk. Readers expect anything with Dracula to be about bloodsucking and neck biting. I wanted to portray the man through two lenses, that of history and that of the woman who loves him.

What research did you undertake when writing The Impaler’s Wife?

I researched intensely for a month or two before even outlining. Good thing I love researching, right?

Not only did I read, mark up, and highlight (I see you cringing) that out-of-print book, I also purchased books about the middle ages, including a 10-lb tome dedicated to the clothing of the era. Next up, internet research. Anything from indigenous foliage to legends, to topography, to castles, to weaponry, to, well, you get the picture. (Confession: Details are important to me.) Research was ongoing through the first several drafts. I prefer going to the primary source if possible. I’ll also consult several sources on the same subject.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Hands down, the scene where Vlad and Ilona are in the labyrinth under Buda Castle. It was a key scene, one where I introduce the legends and superstitions of both Hungary and Romania, reveal more of their character, and foreshadow their relationship, as well as other events in the book. It was sexy, sensual, frightening, and creepy all at once. It also leaves the reader on edge.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

For me, there are technical difficulties (all that literary stuff) and emotional difficulties (when a scene takes a lot out of you). There’s one scene in the middle that was quite challenging. I incorporate many of the well-known stories about The Impaler. How true are they? Who knows? But it’s part of Romanian lore. One was particularly horrifying but also understandable given the time period. After writing that scene I actually got up and walked around the house for a bit. (Hint: Vlad discovers his mistress is lying to him about her pregnancy.) A quick look at the world news, however, reminded me that medieval atrocities are still present in other countries today.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My mom says I wrote as soon as I held a crayon. Evidently, I scribbled across a paper and told her it was a story. I didn’t get serious until five decades later. Writing is my obsession and Happy Place. I’d rather write than shop, which explains why my daughters are always trying to drag me to the mall for wardrobe updates.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Oh, it’s super glamourous!
• After work from 4 pm to 10 pm
• Weekends from 8 am to 10 pm, minus visits with children and grandbabies
• Summer break from morning to night, minus swimming laps and visits with family

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

I have a pretty challenging job and a grueling commute on a congested California freeway, so getting the most out of the precious time left in the day is an ongoing struggle. There’s only so much one can do after work or on the weekends. It’s annoying to have so much to write about but so little time to do it. Unfortunately, there’s no overcoming this obstacle. Quitting the day job isn’t possible. I try (unsuccessfully) not to worry about it and get done what I can.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Lisa See, Diana Gabaldon, Ken Follett, James Rollins, Jean Auel, Christian Jacq, Ken Follett, Susan Howatch, Wilbur Smith, Preston and Child, and the Grand Dame herself, Agatha Christie. I left out hundreds more.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Probably Gone With The Wind.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The Ramses series by Christian Jacq. I have The Book of the Saladin By Tariq Ali in the queue because I’m thinking about teaching it.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. My spirit animal is an octopus because I multi-task, spit ink, and love the water.
2. I’ve been married 3 times. Number 3 is a keeper.
3. No one at work knows my pen names.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love learning about the time period and all the cool historical details that go along with it. History is fascinating to me.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

The ancient and medieval time periods are my favorites.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Hang out with my family, swim, and read. Sometimes I’ll bake.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

There’s plenty of multi-tasking happening in the next few months. I get the most done during summer because I’m home all day. This summer is super-crazy busy. I’m
~ revising a paranormal romance
~ working on final edits for Confessions of a Sheba Queen
~ writing the 4th and final book for the paranormal romance series
~ working on final edits for Dragon Lady
~ drinking a lot of coffee!

What’s coming next?

Dragon Lady (historical fiction) will be released this summer.
The Emperor’s Assassin (historical fiction) will be released this fall.
Confessions of a Sheba Queen (historical erotica/ Cleis Press) will be released January 2020.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat!

Historical fiction lovers don’t be shy. It always makes my day when you message me. Usually, I get back to messages on Facebook pretty fast (octopus here, remember).
Also, I’m always looking for ARC readers. Subscribing to my newsletter is the easiest way to get in on the swag and ARCs.

You can find me at:

• Autumn
• Facebook page:
• Facebook Group: Club Autumn:
• Instagram:
• Twitter:
• Bookbub:
• Amazon:
• Goodreads:
• Wattpad:
• Pinterest:

Thank you so much for stopping by to talk with us today! I cannot wait to read your future works!

The Impaler's Wife by Autumn Bardot

Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Flores Publishing
eBook; 452 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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.

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, June 4
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, June 5
Review at Amy's Booket List

Friday, June 7
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, June 10
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, June 11
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, June 17
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, June 18
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, June 21
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 25
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 1
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, July 2
Review at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, July 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, July 4
Review & Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, July 5
Review at CelticLady's Reviews


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

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