Review: Draculaville by Lara Nance

Next up on The January Project, Draculaville by Lara Nance.

Are you over vampires and ready to throw your kindle across the room next time read a heroine swoons at the sight of elongated teeth? Yeah, me too. I read Draculaville anyway based on my previous experience with indy author Lara Nance. By the end, I wanted to hug my little ereader and dance around the house singing “someone made vampires fun again” to a tune of my own invention.

The standard vampire is dark and broods over his (or her) lack of mortality, that is when they aren’t consuming blood and/or seducing everything on two legs. Some of Nance’s vampires do this, but the hero (and love interest) Drake isn’t your standard vampire.  Nance understands that as characters vampires have become victims of sorts of their own pop-culture success. They are too ubiquitous to be monsters. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Nance takes on familiar tropes of the vampire stories and pushes them to the next level in consumption. Huh? you ask.

Heroine Talia Quinton, an advertising exec, rescues her vampire, Drake, from a dark alley. Her head wasn’t working right after a bender over the career failure of being shut out of a big money advertising campaign and foisted onto a Romanian tourism project.  Her resident vampire inspires a new direction – vampire tourism. The pinnacle of the project will be an amusement park, Draculaville, where patrons will pay money to be chased by seductive “vampires” in costume under the shadow of a ruined Romanian castle.  Doesn’t this sound fun? I thought you’d agree.  Better yet, this is the first book in a trilogy so there is more cheeky fun to be had.  You can pick up book 1 (and 2 and 3) below

http://www.amazon.com/DraculaVille-I-Discovery-New-York-ebook/dp/B00APPJYN4/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1389299430&sr=1-9&keywords=lara+nance

Here’s my full disclosure – I received an ARC of Draculaville in exchange for honest review. I know the author personally and we have swapped works in progress in the past.  If I hated her book, trust me, I’d let her (and you) know.

For the love of bookmarks

I’ve been experimenting with ebooks lately.  I don’t have a dedicated e-reading device, just an app for my i-Touch, but it is enough to give me a taste of the e-reading experience and to teach me something about myself.

I really like bookmarks.

The e-reading app lets me turn down the corner of virtual pages.  The ability to stop mid-chapter and not lose my place is handy, but the folded corner is no bookmark. I don’t fold down the pages of my physical books.  I will use anything at hand — a gum wrapper,a business card, a leaf, or a twig– in lieu of damaging the book by folding the page.

Besides, bookmarks bring me joy.  I recently gave my daughter the Garfield bookmark I treasured at her age.  I held back a tear as I recycled the beautiful gold foil trimmed rose my mother gave me when I first started reading chapter books.  It fell apart from years of use.  Han Solo accompanies me on Sci-fi journeys and my “Meg Cabot’s got your back” goes well with comedy.  I love promotional bookmarks from authors.  The clever pitches get me excited to read what ever book is being advertised next.  Sometimes, these pitches and a cute picture propel me to finish my current book faster so I can get started on the one touted by the bookmark.

I love finding other people’s bookmarks tucked inside books from the library and second-hand books.  I wonder who left their library receipt. More than once, I’ve been compelled to check out the other books printed on a stranger’s bookmark, I mean receipt.  I’ve run across hand written notes, credit card receipts, bank receipts, post cards, grocery lists and the occasional bookmark.  When I drop off books for my library’s book sale, I try to pass on promotional bookmarks where appropriate.  My own sort of recommendation.  “If you like Melissa Marr, you’ll love Memories of Murder by Lara Nance.”

I know I’ll get a dedicated e-reader soon, but I’m not ready to give up paper books yet.  I’m not ready for a world without bookmarks.