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No sparkly vampires here – ‘New Blood’ by Donna Ansari (review & a recipe)

A great addition to my “Thank GODS it doesn’t Sparkle” Vampire selection! Plus a recipe for

NEW BLOOD
Vampire in the City
(Book 1)  

by Donna Ansari

4.5 snowflakes

Emma Hammond is a normal young woman living in New York City whose life changes forever when one misstep brings her very close to death. Luckily, Alex Thompson, a handsome stranger (who also happens to be a vampire), jumps in to save her, turning Emma into a vampire. She quickly discovers the numerous advantages (no more allergies, glasses, or acne) and slight drawbacks (wanting to eat her boyfriend) of joining the ranks of the creatures of the night. But Emma soon finds out her new undead life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when she gets pulled in to an age-old dispute between two feuding vampire clans.

I can never pass up a good vampire novel, no it is just not in the blood *nudging you* get it.. haha blood *cough*  OK that was a real bad one I apologize profusely! I know y’all see me reading zombie stories constantly, at least lately, but truth be told I cut my teeth with the horror genre with reliable old Stoker‘s misogynistic gothic horror/romance Dracula like any good little vampire girl should! Daddy and I read Dracula together when I was a wee lass I have been obsessed with the vampire mythos ever since. Of course the obsession love grew to include werewolves and zombies and fairies etc, but the romantic mystery surrounding vampires will always be a classic favorite for this girl.

Donna Ansari doesn’t let me down either. I adored the leading lady Emma from the beginning of the novel. Her sudden “rebirth” which happened after she carelessly was about to walk and talk on her cell phone doesn’t hurt either. (Ya I know a tiny spoiler but come on you knew someone would be changed!)

Emma works the night shift, good thing too at least that much won’t have to change. She works in a thankless industry, which so many of us can relate too and the anonymity of the cubical will add to the convenience. But wait? Shouldn’t she be worried about hunting? A new wardrobe consisting of 19 different shades of black and 23 different levels of blood-red in satin? Well yes, but she also is a home owner with bathrooms to clean and beds to make and a cat to feed! She is not going to let a little death in her day ruin her routine right?  OK so that is not all she is about but you get the idea.

She is kind of your average girl! She describes herself as “reasonably attractive” and even though she is of average weight she sees herself as overweight because living among a sea of models can make even the girl I think of as skinny seem fat. She is a 9-5 am working girl. What makes her fun to read as she begins her journey is her pragmatic approach to becoming a vampire. When she shows up at Alex’s (her maker) apartment (after having her boyfriend Stuart drive her there), he is caught a bit unawares. Apparently he was expecting what was deemed normal “newborn” vampire behavior!

“No, it’s quite alright. I expected much worse. I thought you would go on a killing spree on your way home.:

“No, I just cleaned my bathroom.” Then I remembered something. “I washed the clothes you lent me, but I left them at home.” 

That is fine you are taking this very calmly, You’ve even got our first blood doll.”

I had only ever had Barbies before, so I asked, “What’s a blood doll?”

See what I mean? Practical application of her new abilities and “powers”. The power to shine the chrome in the bathroom! Rapidly fold clothes while standing stock still in a single spin cycle. Moving the bed to from where it was under her window to the darkest corner of her room while sipping .. er umm wait she cannot sip tea anymore! From my point of view, which is from someone  who is housework challenged, being a vampire would certainly help me out in many ways! Plus she already works the night shift! Was it really a surprise that she was adapting so well?

It is not all humor, but the humor makes for a great thread which weaves the nuances of becoming a Vampire in New York. The story will grab you, keep you laughing, make you go ooooh at times and at the end make you go check Goodreads to see if the second one is out! (and yes it is folks!) The only disappointment for me is her relationship with Alex, I wanted more for those two and his character had the potential to really be plumped out. He was a little to typical and box-shaped, no crunched corners or pretty wrapping that stood out.  It would have made it a five snowflake read for me!

So what are you waiting for? It is only $.99 right now or you can choose another from our Win With eBooks authors and choose this one for free!

Donna Ansari was born in New York City and has lived there for most of her life. Donna graduated from Pace University with a BA in Literature and Communications. Since then, she has been working as an editor, primarily in the field of medical education. 

Donna lives in Queens with her husband, son, and large black cat. She is not currently aware of any vampires in her neighborhood. 

I had to include a recipe with this, and since I was already planning on Angel Food for another author, I could NOT resist sharing my Strawberry Sauce recipe which is a must in our house when I whip Belgium Waffles up for his Highness the ManBeast. It is also OH so good on top of crumpets or biscuits or shoved in the mouth with a spoon followed by Maple Bacon Beer Jam and washed down with some of Allie’s coffee (ya I went there!). Plus it is that time of year! I just picked up two pounds of big fat juicy ones for 4 dollars! 

5 from 1 reviews
Sparkle Free Strawberry Sauce
This is perfect served over waffles or pancakes. We love to smother our fresh Angel Food cake with it ... almost looks like we are eating real angel flesh (waggling eyebrows.. hey it is for a Vampire book did you expect unicorns and kittens?)
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ripe strawberries
  • ¾ cup Turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ Juice one half lemon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Read more: http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/strawberry-sauce-103421#ixzz1p2rBi8jS
Instructions
  1. Poke your lemon four times on top and zap it in the microwave for 1 minute on high (yes I am serious and no it won't blow that is why you POKE it), cut in half and juice it right away (might as well juice all of it but only half of that is needed for the sauce) Cool your juice to room temp at least.
  2. Hull your strawberries and chop into nice nibbly chunks* (1/4 inch chunks the kids call it nibbly size)
  3. Blend the corn starch quickly with a small wisk into the cooled lemon juice
  4. Combine ingredients in medium saucepan over medium-low heat; stir gently and continually until sugar dissolves and berries are soft, about 10-15 minutes**
  5. Remove from heat and cool.
Notes
You can cut them in slices if you want the sauce to have a pretty look with the elegant strawberries. But we use this for our angel food cake and our waffles so we like it all nibbly sized
* If you sliced the strawberries you will want to cook it closer to 10 minutes, if you are like me and want to whip the sauce at the end to blend even further for a more chutney like look than cook it closer to 15 minutes but continue to stir because you do not want your sugar to burn or start forming strands.

 

One Comment

  1. I like comic relief in my horror books, this seems perfect that way!
    Show me some love!

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