Thursday, October 6, 2011

Excerpt and Giveaway - Dracula in Love, by Karen Essex

Today, I would like to share an excerpt from Dracula in Love, a Victorian horror romance, written by Karen Essex.  You might remember this one from when I interviewed Essex during Dracula Week.

At this point in the novel, Mina Harker wakes find herself in an insane asylum while Doctors Seward and Van Helsinger prepare to perform experiments on her...

"I was in a somnolent state, in which the line between reality and hallucination was easily blurred, my mind alternating between the sweet sensations of my imagination and the faint sounds in the room – the tinkling glass and metal as Seward and Von Helsinger prepared for the procedure, words muttered between them in German, and the low, ambient hum of the asylum’s inmates.

All of a sudden, I felt a shift in the room, as if someone had made a surprise entrance, but through hazy eyes, I saw that the door was still closed. Von Helsinger’s alarmed voice barked exclamatory words to Seward in German, and Seward responded with a strange cry. I wanted to slip back into my reverie, but then something crashed to the floor, as if one of the doctors had dropped a thing made of glass. I opened my eyes again and in my dreamy state, I thought I saw a thick mist seeping through the shuttered window. Confused, wondering if this was part of a dream, I blinked my eyes and looked again. The two doctors – eyes wide with astonishment – stood frozen, watching the vapor as it swirled before them, growing in luminescence and intensity. Before our eyes, the numinous particles began to sculp into a form, and I thought that perhaps an angel ad come to save me.

Slowly the thing took shape. It was not an angel but a shimmering coat of silver fur, which gradually molded itself over great muscled haunches, its outer ends elongating into a bestial tail and head. My dream world collided with my reality as I watched the wolf dog I had seen in Whitby growl at Von Helsinger, backing him against a wall and baring his teeth at the incredulous doctor. Von Helsinger pressed himself against the wall, yelling something in German, and the beast lunged at him, pinning him with its thick paws. The treacherous canines were not an inch from Von Helsinger’s face. Seward tried to get the door, but the wolf dog turned around and, with preternatural speed, leapt on him from behind, sinking its teeth into the doctor’s back. Seward cried out in anguish as he pulled away, leaving some of his flesh in the animal’s mouth. Von Helsinger pushed Seward through the door, but before he could escape, the animal swiped at his face and neck, leaving sharp claw marks from check to throat. With a howl of agony, Von Helsinger grabbed his face and fell through the door after Seward, slamming it shut. I lay in bed paralyzed. The wolf dog jumped on the bed, straddling me, staring at me with its vivid indigo eyes. The last thing I remember seeing in that room was his huge incisors above my face, red and dripping with Seward’s blood." (pp 254-255 of the ARC)

Also, I am excited to tell you that the publisher, Doubleday, has offered a brand new paperback copy of the novel for Lions and Men to give away!  So here's the deal!

The giveaway will run from 10/06/2011 to 10/20/2011.  The winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on 10/21/2011.  US and Canada entrants only.  To enter and increase your chances of winning...

+1 entry:  Comment on this post and include your email address (required to enter)
+3 entries:  Become a follower, or tell me if you are a follower
+3 entries each:  Start following me on Twitter or on Goodreads, or tell me if you already do
+1 entry each:  Link to this post in a tweet, blog post, blog sidebar, Facebook, etc.  Be sure to include a link to your content in your comment.

Good luck everyone!


  1. +1 I have been dying for a copy of this one! Thanks so much for this giveaway and including Canada!

    +3 I'm a GFC follower
    +3 I follow on goodreads.


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  3. I've had this on my TBR list for awhile; it sounds great! I follow you on GoogleReader and just started following your reviews on Goodreads.


  4. I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for the giveaway..
    I follow your blog
    I follow on Goodreads


  5. I would love to win a copy of Dracula in Love. I have wanted to read this book for a while. Huge wait list at the library.
    I am now a follower on your blog and at goodreads.

  6. I would love to win a copy of Dracula in Love. I have wanted to read this book for a while. Huge wait list at the library.
    I am now a follower on your blog and at goodreads.

  7. thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. Count me in. Thanks.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com