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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance - Clark Hays, Kathleen McFall

This is one of the weirdest stories I have ever read. It’s right up there with Neil Gaiman’s man-swallowing woman parts and talking tents. Instead, here we have rocket-launching, womb-sucking, Bible-bending, non-pointy-toothed vampires. And love. And cowboys. Depending on what you are looking for, that might be a good thing.


If I had to liken this book to a movie, it would either be to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or maybe more appropriately, Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk to Dawn. That’s cool, right? Don’t go into this expecting high literature or an in-depth emotional love story. If you give it too much thought, you’re going to have a rough ride.


Here’s what I mean. I just finished reading THE GOLDFINCH and Egger’s Pultizer-Prize winning novel before reading this. The double negatives, the “or” after a “neither”, and the switching perspectives (switching back-and-forth from first person to third person narrative) were causing my brain to fizzle. The deus ex machinas were the proverbial nail in the coffin (you like that pun?). Once I set aside my brain’s function and just went along for the ride, it was pretty fun.


Backstory time. Okay, this is another breed of vampires without sharp, neck-piercing teeth. According to the story, these vampires were created by God. While the Bible mentions God creating light and day, it really was “a metaphor for separating humanity from vampires.” The history gets a little tricky around the time of Jesus, when Malthus choose Mary Magdalene as a mate, turning her into a vampire, and Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, turning him into a vampire. What we know today is mixing “Messianic bloodline and the Reptilian bloodline is strictly prohibited.” Go ahead; I’ll wait here why you re-read that. Let it sink in.


So…besides miraculous events of death rising, how do these non-pointy-toothed vampires turn folks into fellow vampires? Well, buckle-up. The main vampire of the story, Julius, turns his daughter into a vampire by cutting a hole into her womb, then slicing himself, sucking his own blood, and then…we’ll let his daughter describe the rest: “[he put his] lips between my legs, pushing his blood inside my womb, mixing it with my own.” I’ll let you do the anatomical math and figure out where her dad was putting his lips.


What about the cowboy? Oh, yeah. So, Lizzie, the daughter of Sir Modern Day Dracula, is a high society magazine writer and coincidentally is doing an article on a cowboy and an article on vampires. The word coincidentally comes to mind often in this story (shut-up, mind, shut-up; just enjoy it). So, between interviewing cosplay vampires, she flies out to meet said cowboy and falls in love and lust. And, as Tucker the cowboy said, “She’d grabbed my heart by the horns, wrestled it down and slapped her brand on it.”


The vampires arrive in the West, hurt the cowboy’s dog and horse, and take his girl. His first logical choice is to fly to New York and save her. Of course. But first he must stop off at his convenient (there’s that word again) friend’s house, who is afraid of watching TV because of the government spies, but can capably makeshift a shotgun that shoots mini-wooden spikes and grenades held together by duct tape. Yee-haw.


The arsenal seamlessly ships to New York, available for Tucker to walk around openly with, along with his leash-less dog. He stumbles upon the vanishing vampire fortress in Central Park, is invited to stay for dinner and a sleep-over, and he gladly accepts. Wouldn’t you say “yes” to an offer to stay overnight with some vampires? This is all because Tucker would “rather die than live without Lizzie.” The vampires release him after his slumber party so he can scour the city of “twelve zillion people” in search of his girl. After he intuitively finds her via the telephone book, he leads her to an un-hitched robbing of a blood bank so she can eat. Yum, yum.


I think you get the gist of it all. Lots of crazy, lots of unexpected, and potentially lots of fun. There’s adventure, there’s sexual romance, there’s blood, there’s even a bit of incest. What more could you want? The bottom line is, I was debating on reading this and when I saw the authors’ Twitter handle “cowboyvamp”, I decided this was my book to read. I think I’ve given you enough to consider, so now the choice is now yours.


Thanks to the publisher for throwing a review copy my want to sink my teeth into. And with that, I’ll stop the bad puns.