As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dracula in Love - Karen Essex (Giveaway!)

Book: Dracula in Love

Author: Karen Essex
Paperback (ARC): 384 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
Published Date: August 10, 2010

I love Karen Essex. Let me just put that out there right now. I read Leonardo's Swans a while back (my review) and fell in love with the story and her writing. She has this way of writing historical fiction that stays true to historical facts, something I love in an author. So when I heard she came out with Dracula in Love I immediately requested an ARC copy and jumped for joy when I received it (my post on the gorgeous cover). I also have to tell you that I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula quite a few times and also love that book.

Karen Essex's novel is from Mina's perspective as she tells the true story of her and the Count. It is a Victorian Gothic story of love, possession, betrayal, and of course some erotic scenes so yes, there is a bit of sex. But what I found fascinating is how Ms. Essex spun Mina's tale. The story starts off with Mina explaining how this was the true story and not Stoker's more popular fictional tale. Mr. Stoker even makes a cameo in the story which I thought was pretty cool.

While I adored the story and Ms. Essex's writing, I do have to warn you that it does have some a strong women's perspective from a very constrained Victorian society who deemed women as sort of a lesser class than men. For instance, once married most women did not control their property or money. It also shows an interesting spin on the asylum where Van Helsing is employed. **Side note: I had recently watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Shutter Island and found it's portrayal of the asylum very much like the one in this book. Very interesting.

My only gripe with the book is towards the end. I thought her explanation for the Count and Mina's attraction to each other was kind of, well, out of the blue. But it didn't detract my enjoyment of this highly Gothic love story. I've noticed another Mina/Dracula book out there called Dracula, My Love by Syrie James. I am really curious to see how the two compare. I will try hard and get my hand on a copy of that novel.

Now on to the giveaway!!

I asked Maxwell Brown at Random House if I could PLEASE have a copy to giveaway and he sent one to me ASAP! Woohoo! So I have a special ARC available to one lucky reader. Again my giveaway is open internationally. Here's the deal:

1) Please leave a comment with your email address (or blog address) telling me why you want to read this and if you are a fan of Stoker's version or any other vampire stories/movies/etc. Come on, talk to me!

2) I will give you an extra entry if you comment on my new blog A Library of My Own. If you only comment on my new blog I'll give you two entries as well.

3) Contest is open until August 17th when I get back from my trip to Alaska. Good luck!


  1. I would love to win. I have only recently started reading vampire type books...the mainstream so far twilight and the sookie stackhouse series, I am ready to move on to new ones that I have not heard of yet!

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

  2. My introduction to Dracula was through a wonderful book which was like a travel memoir as well. I just cant remember the name but it made the story almost like a history lesson. I would love to win this book.

    Thank you so much for making this international. Much appreciated.


  3. I love vampire books! I wrote my novel DRACULA, MY LOVE because I truly believe that Mina and Dracula were involved in an intense, secret, passionate romance that even Bram Stoker didn't realize was going on between the pages of his classic novel. I'd love to win a copy of Karen Essex's book so that I can see how she handled a similar topic.

    There are lots of FREE online giveaways of my book, DRACULA, MY LOVE! For details please visit

  4. This sounds so good. I love historical fiction, and I do enjoy vampire stories. I don't think I've read a vampire tale that's set in the past, and now that I read your write-up, I really would like to. I loved that Warner Herzog vampire movie...I can't remember the title, but Klaus Kinski was the vampire and it was amazing. Of course, I'm also a sucker for the JR Ward series.

  5. This looks really good! I got my introduction to vampires via Stoker, as usual. I do love the Queen Betsy "Undead" novels by MaryJanice Davidson now. And True Blood in moderation. :)

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

  6. Karen Essex is novel perspective Mina, as she tells the true story of his county. It is a Victorian Gothic tale of love, possession, betrayal, and of course erotic scenes.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.