shadowsofthepastbkThank you Linda for inviting me to your blog, today. Your question is one that  people often ask me  – where I get my ideas for my stories.

First of all,  I read a lot and learn from other writers. Authors can spin ideas from just about anything.

 I also think, in my humble opinion, that writing, whatever its influences, comes naturally and as a result of accumulating life experiences. We don’t create from nothing. Life touches us and our writing reflects this. So, life is the most valuable source of inspiration, my muse whispering into my ear. Truth is, my ideas come from all over the place – weird dreams, conversations I overhear, song lyrics. I find inspiration in the strangest of places. You never know where an idea may come from, just have to keep an open mind. And then spin them into wonderful novels.

Today, I want to talk about the inspiration for Shadows of the Past, my first released novel. Shadows of the Past is a paranormal, light romance. I read a small article in a Romanian newspaper about a haunted mountain in England. The souls of two sinners, a nun and a priest who break their vows and elope, can’t find their rest. The moment I put down the newspaper, I knew that I had to write the story of the two unfortunate lovers. I wrote a poem first, a ballad. Later, I considered that a poem wasn’t enough.  I felt that Genevieve’s story must be told in detail. This is how Shadows of the Past came to life. It’s about Genevieve and Anne, focusing on the lows and highs of the two, alternatively revealing the hardships, passion, truth or betrayal they meet. 


No sooner had Andrew swung off his horse and tied the reins of both horses to a tree than Genevieve, managing to break out of her petrified state, hurried from behind the gates.

A warm smile brightened his face upon seeing her.  His smile melted away. Something about her expression must have warned him all wasn’t well. His gaze, worried and questioning, lingered on her face.

“What’s wrong, my darling? Have you changed your mind? Why are you here by the gate? I thought I’d find you in the old man’s house? Someone could have seen you and alerted the Abbess,” he said.

He pulled an ivory wood anemone from his saddlebag and gave it to Genevieve. “I picked this along the way. It looks like you: pretty and delicate.”

She heaved a sigh and accepted the flower. “Oh, Andrew, how sweet of you.” She managed a smile.

“Come, we should leave at once,” she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. “Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan’s cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her ‘friends,’ is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word.”

Andrew pulled her into his arms and tightened her in his embrace. “Calm down, please. Tell me what’s wrong.”

“No, please, let’s leave. There’s danger all around us. I know what I’m saying.”

“Then you can tell me what happened along the way.” Andrew took hold of her hand as if trying to instill courage and confidence in her. He untied the reins of the horse he’d brought for her.  Placing a tender kiss on her forehead, he helped Genevieve up and then swung himself into the saddle. He turned his head as if to hide the worried frown across his face. “A scorned woman is worse than an unleashed hurricane,” he said. Then he addressed Genevieve, “We’ll follow the most direct route through the forest.”

Genevieve flinched.

The forest. The very cursed forest. The main reason for the tragedy in her family.

He nodded, saying, “Don’t worry. We’re together. Have faith my love.” He led the way into the forest.

Genevieve wrapped the dark mantle covering her shoulders more tightly around her and swallowed her fears as they began the cautious ride through the silent forest, through the silent night, enveloped by their own silent guilt.

* * * * * * *

Tears welled in Anne’s eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?

Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?

Away from the forest.

Away from Neil, the man who’d betrayed her trust and her love.

An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.

Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart.  An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.

Megan’s face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, “Yes, come… I’m waiting… I’ve been waiting for you for such a long time…”

My review of Shadows of the Past:

on May 19, 2016
Shadows of the Past presents a story of forbidden love, yet it feels more like true love. The story is told from alternate viewpoints of women who may be one soul reincarnated. From page one to the last page, I never wanted to put the book down and turn out the light—not because it was scary but it was an interesting read. Ms.Stefanescu makes good use of secondary characters and develops them well. All her characters are well-developed. This is not a simple love story. Without giving away any plot spoilers, I can say that the author touches on many metaphysical points. Shadows of the Past is deep and intriguing and a definite recommended read. The description is excellent, and she can create a real sense of foreboding.
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