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Dandelions In The Garden

Dandelions In The Garden

4.5 26
by Charlie Courtland

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Amara Borbala is certain she is the only living person in the sane world with intimate knowledge concerning the life and exploits of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. After all, she was Elizabeth's companion and confidant since her eleventh year. In 1573, after the death of her mother, Amara is sent by her cousin to serve as a lady-in-waiting at the castles of Sarvar,


Amara Borbala is certain she is the only living person in the sane world with intimate knowledge concerning the life and exploits of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. After all, she was Elizabeth's companion and confidant since her eleventh year. In 1573, after the death of her mother, Amara is sent by her cousin to serve as a lady-in-waiting at the castles of Sarvar, Varanno, and Cachtice.

Now it is years later, 1628, and Amara is aging, alone, and reduced to eavesdropping at her favorite café around the corner from her townhouse in Vienna. Befuddled by gossiping ladies, Amara determines perhaps it is time to finally put a stop to the rumors and once and for all, answer the question, 'Is it true?' Did Elizabeth Bathory, a descendant of Vlad Tepes really commit the horrible acts of torture, bathe in the blood of slaughtered virgins, and dabble in the dark magic that she was accused of during her trial?

One thing is certain, Amara knows the truth, but will it be enough to explain the habits of her friend?

Dandelions In The Garden is book one in a two-part series that begins with the journey of Amara, an impressionable girl who follows the Blood Countess through all the horrid events that lead to her rise and secure her place in history.

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)

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Meet the Author

The author writes under the nom de plume, Charlie Courtland. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on creative writing, and a minor in Criminology. She was born in Michigan and currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and two children.

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Dandelions In The Garden 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
readermeter More than 1 year ago
Refreshing! First book where I read every page since the Thornbirds. I am so tired of lazy writers that waste page after page giving worthless descriptions and I come away empty. Most books I skip over dozens of pages at a time and miss nothing. Not so with this book. It is a story within a story that doesn't waste my time. I had to read each page so I didn't miss anything. I could visualize each character and knew what every person should look like. It is a believable story being told by an aging woman in the 1600's and how things really were for her and the Countess she served, based on true historical events. I want the second book as I could have kept right on reading. The writer put me at that particular place in time and I want more. If you are into historical fiction this is a must read.
lloydhorace More than 1 year ago
For Mature Readers !!! You will love and hate the characters. Each chapter draws you in further waiting to see what happens. Wanting, wishing, hoping, can not wait to read on. Victorian young ladies caught in circumstances beyond their control until they choose to make their own destiny. A hard to put down book of love, lust, cruelty and revenge. Contains a few descriptions of a sexual nature, some violence and graphic overtones. Still a must read for the Mature Adult. Great Writing.
SimonDiamond More than 1 year ago
Combines real historical facts with a twist of fiction that keeps you reading page by page. Characters visioned so real that I was in awe and fear of them. Cover to cover you are immersed into the story. Can not wait for the Sequel. If you enjoy a read of danger, love, lust, intrigue with a touch of sexual overtones and graphic realism, you will appreciate Elizabeth, Amara and the men that move in and out of their lives. Set in the 1600 where men are driven by power and authority and women must find their own devices to survive and conquer. Great storytelling.
AdelaideLucille More than 1 year ago
Great Read !!! Set back in 1600 Vienna. Amara Borbala in her own words tells of her adventures with the infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory. As the story unfolds, you are privy to the thoughts of Amara as an impressionable girl: traveling back and forth through time with Amara as an aging, lonely women. Amara: knowing she is at the end of her life, has a personal need that the truth be told, so she sets about the task of penning her story. Funny, exciting, mysterious. I could not put this book down. From start to finish a page turner.
NatashaNorrisky More than 1 year ago
I love Historical Fiction so I decided to read this book by a new Author. Charlie Courtland you have made your mark in the writing world. Bold, brazen, seductive, characters that come alive on each page. From the first chapter you are endeared to the elderly Amara and her quirky ways. Then transported back in time to Amara's childhood, where you meet the outgoing Elizabeth. The two females seem such an unlikely pair. Circumstances and restrictions of 1600 era society force them into a bond that last throughout their lifetime. Great reading and the Author leaves you wanting more. Good thing Charlie Courtland planned a sequel to 'Dandelions In The Garden'. Can't Wait to buy 'Will of the Hidden Dragon"..
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Bathory, otherwise known in our history books as The Blood Countess, was, by most accounts, a savage killer who took pleasure in torturing her victims. Courland's book takes a look at the real Elizabeth's early life through the fictional eyes of young Amara, her closest friend and lady in waiting. Dandelions in the Garden starts out with Amara as an old woman. She decides to write what we would consider a memoir or biography and her writing then becomes the story. I am not normally a fan of books that shift back and forth in time but Courtland handled this well. She does a great job bringing her characters to life and showing what the world was like for women during the 16th century. The girls' behavior sometimes makes us laugh and other times makes us gasp. But, through it all, we can understand how circumstances could shape these young women. This is the first book in the series and leaves Elizabeth and Amara as young married women. Book two - The Hidden Will of the Dragon - takes them through adulthood.
DukeOfShire More than 1 year ago
I selected this book as the title intrigued me. I am prone to Historical fiction and this read did not disapoint. Exceptional writing by a talented new author. Very impressive. Refreshing to feature females as the main characters, especially in the 1600 era where authors tend to have the men dominate. Story flowed from page to page. I was finished with the entire book in one night. Now I can't wait to read it again. Note: contains some explcit sexual content and graphic violence. Suggested for adult readers only.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grace-42 More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. Riddled with typographical and syntax errors.  I felt like the author lost control of her subject a third of the way through and never got back on track with the plot.  Unlike some other reviewers, I was not transported to the 17th century, nor did I find the characters compelling. I expected that much more of Elisabeth would be revealed and instead felt derailed by the narrator's own obsessions. Kept reading, kept wanting it to get more intriguing, particularly given the subject,but was severely aggravated by what seemed a hastily-devised cliffhanger ending to a work that the author could not cull down to a manageable length in a single book or properly set up for a sequel. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this title on Nook, picking it up for $2.99. Overall, I enjoyed the author's take on a controversial historical figure, told from the sympathetic point of view of her lady-in-waiting. At times it felt as if the story dragged quite a bit, and I found the writing disturbingly uneven. I'm not sure if this was a self-published work; if not, the editor should be taken to task. Grammatical errors, spelling errors, shifting verb tense, and the use of modern expressions in a 17th century setting tended to jar me out of the story. I couldn't decide if the author was trying to use a modern voice to tell the tale on purpose, or if it was accidental. As far as the genre of the story, it was almost as if the author couldn't decide if she wanted to write a romance, a historical tale of fiction, or a horror novel and ended up with a mishmash of all three. There were cliched romantic scenes, interesting tidbits of history, and some well-written horror scenes. Thank goodness the voice of the main character stayed fairly consistent. I would say that it was definitely $2.99 worth of entertainment, even though I found myself skipping through some ludicrously long scenes that didn't seem to have any point other than to increase the length of the book and contributed little to advancing the story. I doubt that I will purchase the sequel.
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This book had me hating the wait between pages. Reading during breaks at work made me feel like real life was an interuption to the book.
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Ashley Brown More than 1 year ago
A fun and interesting read on the Hungerian Countess Elizabeth Bathory told from the perspective of her long time friend, companion, and Lady in Waiting Amara Landry. Countess Bathory has gone doen in history as the Blood Countess as she was found to have brutally murdered some odd 650 individuals and was, in part, a hisorical inspiration to the Count Dracula novel ( along with Vald Tepes aka Vald the Impaler) due to the belief that she bathed in theblood of young virgin peasants in an attempt to restore her youth. You eont be able to put this most interesting read down and cause you to seek the historical truth behind the tales of the Countess.
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Iola More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of stories about strong willed women. 'Dandelions in the Garden' fits the bill. I am also a fan of books written in the Victorian era where women have to be conniving, sneaky and sometimes brutal to survive in a time where men rule. Elizabeth and Amara perfect characters, I enjoyed every page. Can not wait for the next book 'The Hidden Will of the Dragon' This new author is fantastic. Hope to see many many more books by Charlie Courtland in the future. Well done.
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