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!

Also Reviewed By:

Fashion Piranha 

Historically Obsessed


  1. I'd love to be entered! Thanks

  2. I would love to read this because I love Dracula (and it has a pretty cover). Really. I read Dracula in high school and fell in love with Renfield... well in love with his character not, like, in love in love. I also loved the ship scene-- super creepy! The movie with Winona and Hopkins was also pretty cool aside from Keanu's numbing performance. ;p I liked him much better in Bill & Ted's. Have you read The Historian? Not too shabby of a story, either! Anywho, I would love to be entered!

    ecaramil at gmail dot com

    Have fun in Alaska-- I have a friend who just got back and loved it!

  3. Yes, me!! I love Bram Stoker's Dracula and just wrote a review on Dracula The Un-Dead, so I'd love to read another "perspective" of it! I've heard so much about this novel and am ready to take it on -- there's just something about the "real" Dracula story that just gets me going, and I was such a fan of The Historian as well, that this book would be right up my alley!!
    coffeeandabookchick (at) blogspot (dot) com

    Ooh, ooh, pick me!!

  4. I love vampires and 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.

    If you're interested in reading my view of Mina's story, there are lots of FREE online giveaways of my book DRACULA, MY LOVE. For details please go to
    or visit

    And here's a just-posted interview with me at Night Owl Reviews:

    Thanks so much for holding this contest!

    Syrie James

  5. So I'm not a fan of the current popular vampire stories but I do love the the older novels that are more gothic and spooky. I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula years ago of course and I bought myself a copy last year with the most gorgeous cover. My most favourite vamp story ever is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which seems to be popular here! Not for everyone but one of my on my top 5 best books ever list. I've seen many positive reviews for Dracula In Love in bloglandia and would love to win a copy. I love novels that trend toward the gothic and have strong female characters. I own a copy of Leonardo's Swans...I really should read that book.

    Thanks for the contest!

  6. Dracula is my favorite story. I've been reading so many version of Dracula or vampires, and it makes me more and more hooked with Dracula :)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  7. thanks for the chance to read this novel...i read 'abraham lincoln, vampire hunter' and enjoyed it...did you read it? :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. I would really like to win this book. Dracula is my favorite vampire story!

    and this book Sounds Different coz it's from Mina's perspective .

    uniquas at ymail dot com