Dandelions In The Garden

General Fiction

By Charlie Courtland

Publisher : Amazon/Bitsy Bling Books

ABOUT Charlie Courtland

Charlie Courtland
Charlie Courtland is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a Master's in Forensic Psychology and Bachelor's in English Literature.  She works as an investigator in cooperation with AG office in Seattle. Bad habits include expensive coffee, cigarettes, shopping by phone a More...


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.


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Website:  Charlie Courtland 

History of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560 at the castle of Ecsed in Hungary. As a child, Elizabeth threw frequent fits. It was reported that she would be easily overcome with rage and lash out with uncontrollable behavior. As Elizabeth matured, it was easily recognizable that she was exceptionally intelligent. She was also adventurous and rebellious. She liked to dress up in men’s clothes and play men’s games. It gave her a kind of freedom and power that she, by nature, craved. She carried out her ruling position of head of household like her family tradition encouraged, and soon became known for her cruelty to her servants. She relished her freedom and power and ran the estate with an iron hand, often personally delivering torture as punishment. In addition and due to her renowned beauty, she accumulated an innumerable amount of lovers. Historical records are peppered with the cruel and sadistic acts of the Countess. She would beat, torture and kill her servants with an alarming fervor that even authorities of the court began to question. Elizabeth’s formal trial began on January 2, 1611. It was a huge public affair and details were broadly cast. When the public learned of the accusations against the Countess they labeled her the, ‘Blood Countess.’ The story grew more and more fantastic making it difficult to know what was true and what was silly folklore and superstition. Gossip spread from every mouth about bathing in blood, draining blood and drinking blood – and forevermore, the association with vampirism and the Countess Bathory was born.

Exceptional Writing by a Talented Young Author !!!by DukeOfShire

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February 18, 2010: 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.

Historical Fiction at Its Best - Wonderful New Writer -by NatashaNorrisky

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February 18, 2010: 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"..

Goodreads 5.0 out of 5 stars"Wonderful new writer !! Loved every page. Amara and Elizabeth come to life as true characters.  Can not wait for the next book in this series 'The Hidden Will of the Dragon'. "

"Great Read. Best historical fiction I have read in a long time.  This new writer has the gift. Gripping tale of Amara and Elizabeth set in 1600 Vienna. Story of love, lust, sorrow, cruelty, some vivid sexual encounters and bloody battle scenes. Definitely for the mature reader. Keeps you wanting more... Amara returns to finish her tale in the sequel "The Hidden Will of the Dragon."  I can't wait.... "

"Loved the lust, intrigue, and boldness.... Great character strong willed Elizabeth: Amara is the perfect companion and story teller. I have always been fascinated with Bram Stokers Dracula. This is a new twist to the events of that area.   Appreciated having females as the dark characters in a story. Truly enjoyed evey page." 

Barnes & Noble 5.0 out of 5 starsMY KIND OF READ  "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."

Perfect Historical Novel  "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."

'Dandelions in the Garden' by Charlie Courtland "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."

Dandelions In The Garden by Charlie Courtland  "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."

Amazon 5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read, January 21, 2010  "I am into historical fiction and I loved this book. Story within a story told by an aging lady about the mistress (The Blood Countess) she served.  It is so well written and descriptive that I could not miss a page or a paragraph..."

Bitsy Bling Books 5.0 out of 5 starsFeatured New Author