Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

One of 2018’s most highly anticipated fall reads has to be author Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker’s novel Dracul. The book is the official prequel to the classic literary horror classic Dracula, written by Dacre Stoker’s great-granduncle Bram Stoker. Taking the concept first explored by Bram and showcasing how the legend of Dracula first began, the story puts the Stoker family in the role of protagonists and explores where the myth and legends truly came from. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen–a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen–and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.

The Review

I will say it now: this is one of my 2018 picks for best book of the year. It was truly amazing to read, and was as engaging as the original novel written by Bram Stoker over a century ago. Capturing the gothic, Victorian era setting and interweaving history, mythology and handwritten notes from author Bram Stoker himself, the authors really did a wonderful job bringing the life of Bram Stoker and his family to life in a horror based setting.

Now while the world knows the works of Bram Stoker’s Dracula to be a fiction horror tale, what fascinated me about Dracul was not only the amount of history and real life individuals mixed into the narrative, but learning about the creation of Dracula to begin with. Readers will be enthralled to learn the true manuscript first written by Bram Stoker was never meant to be a fictional tale, but through the words of Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker’s afterward we learn how the book came to be what we know today, and that large portions of the original novel have never been published before. How much of this horrific and scary tale are fiction as we know it, and how much is fact?

The writing itself was amazing. The story was written in an epistolary format, allowing us to delve into the minds of the Stoker family themselves, as well as associates of the family and historical records to match some of the claims. Fans of the original tale of Dracula will love the similarities and context given throughout this novel, while modern day horror fans and readers will be enthralled with the vast character development and parallels between the life of Bram Stoker (in the novel) and the stories told within his novel years later.

The Verdict

This is a must read book for 2018. As a history buff, classic horror fan and overall Bram Stoker enthusiast, this story really captured my attention from the beginning. From the author’s early years battling illness to the life or death battle with unknown forces he and his siblings undertook, this is the kind of story that comes along rarely. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up the novel Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Dacre Stoker:

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Dacre Stoker, a Canadian citizen and resident of the U.S., is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker. He is also the godson of H.G. Dacre Stoker, the commander of the AE2 submarine, whose tactics were instrumental in Gallipoli in World War I.

Dacre, who now calls Aiken, South Carolina home, was a member of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Team, Senior World Championships in 1979 and coach of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Olympic Team, Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Dacre is married to Jenne Stoker and is the father of two children. He is the Executive Director of the Aiken Land Conservancy.

Dracula: The Un-Dead is Dacre’s first novel.

Dacre Stoker’s Links:

https://twitter.com/dacrestoker?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/DacreCStoker/

J.D. Barker:

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J.D. BARKER is the internationally best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and winner of the New Apple Medalist Award. His work has been compared to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. His 4MK Thrillers, The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die, were released in June 2017 and June 2018 respectively. He has been asked by the Stoker family to coauthor the forthcoming prequel to Dracula due out in fall 2018. His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television. Barker currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, daughter, Ember, and their two dogs, both of whom sit outside his office door daily, eagerly awaiting his next novel.

A note from J.D.

As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.

I would never go down to the basement.

Never.

I had seen enough movies to know better, I had read enough stories to know what happens to little boys who wandered off into dark, dismal places alone. And there were stories, so many stories.

Reading was my sanctuary, a place where I could disappear for hours at a time, lost in the pages of a good book. It didn’t take long before I felt the urge to create my own.

I first began to write as a child, spinning tales of ghosts and gremlins, mystical places and people. For most of us, that’s where it begins—as children we have such wonderful imaginations, some of us have simply found it hard to grow up. I’ve spent countless hours trying to explain to friends and family why I enjoy it, why I would rather lock myself in a quiet little room and put pen to paper for hours at a time than throw around a baseball or simply watch television. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to do just that, sometimes I wish for it, but even then the need to write is always there in the back of my mind, the characters are impatiently tapping their feet, waiting their turn, wanting to be heard. I wake in the middle of the night and reach for the pad beside my bed, sometimes scrawling page after page of their words, their lives. Then they’re quiet, if only for a little while. To stop would mean madness, or even worse—the calm, numbing sanity I see in others as they slip through the day without purpose. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t understand. Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to people you’ve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and that’s when you know it’s good.

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J.D. Barker’s Links:

http://jdbarker.com/

https://www.facebook.com/therealjdbarker

https://www.instagram.com/jdbarker_author/

https://twitter.com/jdbarker

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Smashwords July Summer/Winter Book Promotion: 50% Off And Free eBooks!

Hello there!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer thus far! As I continue preparing for the upcoming release of novella #2 in my YA series Nightmare Academy, I thought it would be a great time to start sharing my books with you all. That’s why I’m excited to share that my books I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered and Welcome to Nightmare Academy are taking part in Smashwords annual Summer/Winter promotion! Throughout the entire month of July, I Was An Evil Teenager: Remastered is going to be 50% off (that’s $1.50 for an entire novel), and Welcome to Nightmare Academy will be completely free! Yes, the first entry in the series is now free for the entire month. So click the link down below and get both a marked down, scary horror novel about a teenage killer and get a free copy of a highly reviewed and engaging upcoming YA series. If you enjoy these stories then I would love for you to leave a review on any site you are able to and also preorder your copy of Freshman Hunt: A Nightmare Academy Novella today! Thanks everyone, and enjoy your summer!

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Book Announcement: Freshman Hunt: A Nightmare Academy Novella by Anthony Avina Preorder

Hi there everyone. This is Author Anthony Avina. You know I share a lot of reviews, author interviews, blog tour posts and so much more on this website. Yet something I haven’t done a lot of that I need to start doing is sharing more of my own personal work. I am an indie author, and for the past few months I’ve been hard at work finishing the second novella in my YA series, Nightmare Academy. Today I am happy to announce that the book I’ve been working on nonstop is now available for preorder!

FRESHMAN HUNT Book Cover Professional Art
Cover Art by Mike Wehner http://www.mikewehner.com

That’s right, my book is now available. I had the good fortune of working with an incredible artist on the cover named Mike Wehner. He designed this amazing polygon art cover that is truly unique to the YA genre. I hope you guys like it. His work is truly amazing and you can find his work at his website! I will be making several more announcements in the weeks to come, including some giveaways, freebies, book trailer news and so much more. If anyone would be interested in a free copy of this ebook in exchange for a fair and honest review, email me using the contact page on this website! Feel free to share this online and sign up for my newsletter to get the latest news about this release. Expect the book to come out August 24th, 2018 on all online retailers!

Preorder Your Copy!

Select Young Adult Paperbacks: 3 for $20

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Book Blitz: Vampire Huntress: Rebel Angels Book One by Rosemary Johns

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*˛˚ RELEASE BLITZ ˚ ✰*

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VAMPIRE HUNTRESS

REBEL ANGELS, VOLUME ONE

BY ROSEMARY A JOHNS

Buy Here

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Vampires and angels are locked in a deadly war. But first, they want their daughter back.

Half vampire/half angel, Violet, was abandoned amongst the humans in London as a baby. Suddenly discovering monstrous powers on her twenty-first birthday, she thinks she’s the most dangerous creature to prowl the streets.

She’s wrong.

When a snarky angel falls into her lap and her adopted sister disappears, Violet is forced into a new role: Huntress. But the deeper she’s dragged into this supernatural world, the more she struggles to survive.

On the run, Violet’ll have to rely on a sexy vampire geek, while facing off the harem boy angel threatening her sister. And there’s only one way she’ll win: by letting out the monster…

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Join The Event

This party will be taking place on May 26, 2018 in the Author Friends With Benefits Group. Be there, you won’t wanna miss this! For now, invite your friends to the large link above and we’ll make sure everyone knows how to request a join to the group. There is a Pre Order/Order for a Prize in the pinned post! It’s so exciting! Have you seen this lineup? A plethora of different genres with their own games and possible prizes!

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EXCERPT ONE

Vampires? Angels? All I know is they’re both bastards.

And I hunt bastards.

In the beginning, I made games about them. None of it was real, only play. I was human, after all, in a world of humans. At least, I reckoned so. The gamer and developer, lost in make-believe.

Until everything changed, and the monsters fell from above.

Except, they tasted of sugar and blood.

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EXCERPT TWO

There are dark kisses that bruise your soul as well as your mouth. Kisses as soft as feathers. Light. Gentle. Kind. Whereas others blaze and burn to ash.

And then there are kisses that are a revelation.

As I drifted back towards the grey, once more out of the black, soft lips kissed mine.

The kiss didn’t bruise or burn but it was firm and possessive.

Right.

Until it wasn’t.

I bit hard. The bastard gasped, and the mouth pulled back. But not before a coppery sweet blood crescendo exploded; my tongue chased after heaven.

It’d been Rebel’s kiss…and blood.

The new, fluttering forces deep within me awoke and roared at the taste, claiming Rebel. Wanting him, even if I didn’t.

How had I lost control even of myself?

Then I blinked awake.

Rebel peered down at me, concerned. He stroked my arm, as he had when I’d first awoken; I reckon it soothed him more than me.

Rebel hadn’t chained me this time, only snapped steel handcuffs around my wrists.

Maybe he was experimenting with bondage techniques.

When Rebel leaned closer, I elbowed him — oomph — in the guts. ‘Congratulations, you’ve just made my List of Asses to Kick.’

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About The Author:

WINNER OF SILVER AWARD in the National Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is also author of the bestselling Rebel Vampires series.
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is an award-winning, #1 Amazon bestselling fantasy writer, music fanatic, and paranormal anti-hero addict. She writes sexy angels, savage vampires, and epic battles.
Rosemary is also a traditionally published short story writer. She studied history at Oxford University and ran her own theatre company. She’s always been a rebel…
Want to read more and stay up to date on Rosemary’s newest releases? Sign up for her *VIP* Rebel Newsletter and get a FREE novella!

https://mailchi.mp/rosemaryajohns/subscribe-rebel-newsletter

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Website: https://rosemaryajohns.com
➡ Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rosemary-a-johns
➡ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-A-Johns/e/B01JOJVTNE
➡ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15571684.Rosemary_A_Johns
➡ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RosemaryAnnJohns
Twitter: @RosemaryAJohns
➡ Google: https://plus.google.com/+RosemaryAJohnsRosemaryAJohns1
➡ Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/rosemaryjohns1

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Series by Rosemary A Johns

Rebel Vampires
Rebel Angels
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Murderous Little Darlings by John Hennessy Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author and
Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review. Many
thanks!

A short, spine-tingling adventure with a surprise twist! That’s how this blogger would describe the story Murderous Little Darlings by John Hennessy.

This short story follows three siblings, all caught up in a web of intrigue as the eldest brother, Marcus, believes that they are vampires,
destined to hunt and kill whomever they please. The middle child, Rocco, fought the urge to feed and turn, but ultimately lost as a result
of his brother’s influence, leaving the youngest sister, Juliana, to fight Marcus for what is right and what is wrong. Yet the mystery
of the story showcases that no one truly knows what is happening to these three innocent looking yet deadly children. Are the children
merely suffering from a delusion, or are vampires truly walking among them?

While there were a few minor grammar and pacing issues in this first story, the overall theme, mystery and character development were highly
intoxicating to read, and left me wanting more as the final pages finished. The first of a planned series, this is a story that needs to be
delved into more, and that in my books is the true marks of a great story. This is worth the read, and I can’t wait to see the next installment
in the A Tale of Vampires series. Be sure to get your copy of the book now!

Character Insight: Jackson Stevenson

Hello there everyone, I’m back with a character insight into one of my favorite protagonists, Jackson Stevenson, the lead character in my major series Nightmare Wars.

Jackson Stevenson was born the son of a major league baseball player and owner of a popular magazine turned entertainment company. He met the love of his life in high school, and became a part of successful rock band with his best friends, his sister and his wife. His luck was perfect, and he couldn’t have been happier. Unfortunately, Jackson came face to face with a side of the world he never knew existed. After getting attacked by a violent ex-boyfriend of his wife Bella, who had been killed in prison but had somehow come back to life, he remained in a coma, and when he awoke, he found out that the world had been overrun by supernatural forces.

Finding the world he knew gone and his family being a part of the few humans left that had formed a resistance to the supernatural army, Jackson went from a weak coma survivor to a natural leader. What I love about this character is that through him I was able to showcase the true meaning of being a monster. He struggled to overcome the darkness within him that had been building up throughout the novel to bridge the gap between the good supernatural creatures and the human resistance. He has taken the mantle of leader after being elected by his friends, family and fellow survivors, and after learning to accept some new aspects of his life, he has gone head to head with some of histories most notorious monsters, including Dracula, known in this series as Dalca, and the original werewolf.

Thanks for checking out this character study. Tune in for more insights into my characters.

The Strain Episode 8 “Creatures of the Night” Review

All hell broke loose on The Strain, FX’s hit horror series, as night descended on Manhattan and the infection spread further among the populace.

After their battle with Thomas Elchorst, (the former nazi turned vampire helping The Master to spread the vampire contagion), in the subway station, Setrakian, Eph, Nora and Jim learn that ultraviolet light is deadly to the creatures, and go to Brooklyn in search for special ultraviolet flashlights to use as weapons.

Upon arriving at the location of the lights, the group meets city exterminator Vasilly Fet, who is also in search of the lights. Seeking supplies in a local gas station, the group and the other occupants of the station come under attack by a horde of vampires.

The hour features heart pounding suspense as the survivors must find a way to get out of the gas station alive and survive until sunrise. Full of terror, twists and turns, and a shocking end to one of the survivors that provides an emotionally charged push for the rest of the group, showcasing once more why The Strain is one of this years strongest freshman shows. Stay tuned for a preview of the next episode of The Strain, here for On Request Magazine!