Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review Shadows of the Past

Review: Shadows of the Past

   Shadows of the Past

Publish date: 4th December 2012
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: paranormal/light romance/light horror.
Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

My Review:

The book is exactly what the blurb promises to be: a beautiful and touching paranormal love story that plays on the idea that love transcends time and soul mates will always search for each other.

First, I loved the premise of the book: the restless soul of a young nun from the XVth century leads Anne, its present day reincarnation, towards the place where the nun's body has been abandoned centuries ago without being aloud to find peace.

Secondly, I loved the shift between present and past, between Anne's and Genevive's stories and the way their stories are woven together. Carmen plays the visions/apparitions/dreams card and the fact that in spite of telling the story of two different female protags, she manages to create background for both Genevive and Anne.

Thirdly, I liked the descriptions the author used to put everything in place - I'm not usually a big fan of thorough descriptions, but this book is one of the few exceptions.

I'd say Carmen managed to write a beautiful, touching love story that transcends time, about overcoming adversity and one's learning, personal growth and transformation and a second love story about choices.

The end of the book is a happy one if just a little gloomy, which is understandable for such a tragic story (promising more, maybe? - I hope so). 

I felt for Genevive's lack of luck, I loved Anne for her strenght and I loved the  book.

Author bio:
            Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
            Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 
            She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.
Find her on:



Carpe Diem
April 15th - The Wheel of Fortune

silent mid-spring clouds -
young gypsy reading the cards
near an acacia ***

foretold destiny -
a May rain washes away
all my misfortune

my fate's dual coin -
tossing up the dry  branches,
down they go again

my faith and my fate -
walking by a water stream
searching direction

karma comes and goes -
in Mother Earth's ancient laws
I find my justice

April 15th - odour and ornaments

robed in small sharp thornes,
perfuming my green garden,
roses' pale blossoms

tasting like spring day -
red poppies smile at the sun 
in wheat fields odour

*** I'm not a racist I'm just playing on stereotypes


  1. An excellent series of haiku Adriana, thank you for sharing these with us all here on Carpe Diem.

    1. Thank you, Kristjaan! I love your prompts and your articles!

  2. Great haiku! Thank you for the review too. I'm always looking for new paranormal stories to read.

  3. Wonderful haiku and nice review, always good when a book is what it claims to be at ones sea.

  4. Thanks for the review. I'm always looking for good books! Enjoyed your haiku, too. :)

    Have a great day!

  5. my faith and my fate -
    walking by a water stream
    searching direction

    Love that the most... great take.

  6. Thank you for the lovely review!
    This is what every author craves for - to write something that brings pleasure to the readers. I am so glad it was worth your time. And the fact you could relate to my characters, Genevieve and Anne, is my greatest satisfaction. Bless you!

  7. Sounds like a great book. I'll have to add it to my list.

    1. I can't wait to see what you'll have to say about it!

  8. A very good read, indeed, for anyone who loves history, romance and a touch of hte supernatural . . . this book and author are for you.

  9. Congrats on the new book Carmen... sounds very promising.

    1. Thank you!
      As I said once, please, go get a copy and read it. If not, you don't know what you are missing! Ha-ha-ha!
      Best luck to you too!

  10. Sounds like an interesting take on reincarnation. Congrats to Carmen! Lovely haiku, too.

    1. I strongly believe in reincarnation, karmic retribution. Hence this approach in my book! As many reviewers say, it's a good read.

    2. Thanks, Nick! It is a different take on reincarnation.

    3. As for karma - what comes around goes around - just as I said in my haiku. Isn't it funny that I chose to write the review the same day as I was writing about the wheel of life and fortune? I didn't even realized it at the time.

    4. What you are saying, Adriana, strengthens my belief that everything happens with a reason in life.
      And who knows, perhaps like Anne and Jennifer in Shadows of the Past, we were friends in a past life.
      I wish we had been!