Wild Thoughts of the Fairy King: Ghost Chronicles, Tonight!

Join me and the lovely hosts of Ghost Chronicles, Ron Kolek and Anne Kerrigan, as we gather round the radio-machine to discuss all manner of creatures real and imagined. Tune in live tonight, Wednesday, March 22nd at 7 p.m. EST to talk about my new book, Fairies, Pookas and Changelings: A Complete Guide to the Wild and Wicked Enchanted Realm.

click HERE to listen

Stay strange and preorder below:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound 

 

Spend a Late Night in the Midlands With Me, Tonight!

Come spend a Late Nate in the Midlands with me–or an early evening if you’re on the West Coast. Host Michael Vara and I will be discussing all things freakish, ghoulish, odd, and bizarre. That includes Banshees, Werewolves, Vampires, and Other Creatures of the Night. 

Tune in tonight via the link below, at 6:30 PST/9:30 EST. The second hour includes callers, so be sure and give a shout!

Late Night in the Midlands on Blogtalk Radio banshees, werewolves, vampires

Vampires for All Tastes~A Very Bloody Happy Hour of Horrors

Some of my favorite people, lovers of horror and freaks extraordinaire, are down on vampires lately. They are anti-Twilight-saga, over Anne Rice, tired of trends. But I say “BAH!” Vampires are IMMORTAL and therefore IMMORTALLY popular.  Take, for instance, the glorious vampires  of movie fame, including Bela Lugosi, those beloved Lost Boys, and that creepy little girl from Let the Right One In. And vampire stories have been churned out for centuries including Polidori’s The Vampyre and Viereck’s The House of the Vampire, not to mention the searingly sexy and somewhat taboo story Clarimonde.  And we all know and love Bram Stoker!

You can get my vampire collection, available as digital bookiewooks for your devices, for the low, low price of $1.99-2.99, including haunting cover photos and intros by this vampophile. And for your convenience I’ve sorted them by vampire-loving topics, in case you aren’t sure. You probably would like them all, of course.

So check the mirror for your reflection, dim the lights, drape yourself in some velveteen and grab the ingredients for a Bloody Mary to celebrate a rainy wintery weekend with vamps, Varla, and vodka!

The Vampyre: A Tale by Varla Ventura and John William Polidori. Best for traditionalists, fans of Frankenstein and Lord Byron, historians.

Amazon

B&N

Dracula’s Guest by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker Best for classic vampires.

Amazon

B&N

B&N

Clarimonde by Varla Ventura and Théophile Gautier Best for necrophiliacs, priests, sexy vampires.

Amazon

The House of the Vampire by Varla Ventura and George Sylvester Viereck Best for psychic vampires.

Amazon

B&N

Here’s a fun adaptation of a Bloody Mary, which is veg friendly, for all you blood thirsty vegans out there.  What I think is key here is the lime instead of lemon, a dash of Sriracha  and the spicy garnish. I tweaked this recipe from Food.com:

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces tomato juice, but V-8 is best because it has extra salt and is yummier
  • 2 limes (most people put lemon juice but I just think lime is better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (get the Vegetarian kind so even your socially conscious drinking pals can enjoy! You can also make a Vegetarian version yourself, following this Martha Stewart recipe)
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce AND a dash of Sriracha.
  • pepper, fresh ground
  • salt, chunky sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish (optional–and frankly I think the Sriracha gives it all the kick it needs!)
  • Garnish: I like a pickled Serrano peppers, or pepperoncinis, or pickled green beans AND a couple of olives. It’s nice to get some kind of swizzle stick to stab these things on–like a Bat swizzle stick.

Directions:

  1. Rub lemon or lime around rim of glass and then put the rim in salt.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Mix Vodka, tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, Sriracha,  salt, pepper, and horseradish (if using) and pour in glass.
  4. Garnish as mentioned above.
  5. DRINK it fast and make another.

Haunted Houses on Huff Po!

ImageFor those of you who love a good horror story and you fans of the freaky, I’ve got a new post on the Huffington Post’s Weird News site about 5 Haunted Places I’d Love to Stay the Night! You can read it here and comment on where you’d stay. I think the list could easily be in the hundreds once we all get going!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/varla-ventura/best-haunted-houses_b_1539754.html

 

 

Charles Dickens, Ghostbuster

Today is Charles Dickens’ birthday and it seems that the world has caught a new batch of  Dickensian Fever with the publication of Claire Tomalin’s  biography and a fantastic article in the latest issue of Smithsonian Magazine. I’m not going to attempt to give you the greater details of Dickens’ life or his life’s work but instead I’m going to talk to you about my personal favorite Dickens’ collection: The Haunted House.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Charles Dickens I know and love is Charles Dickens, Ghostbuster!!

The Haunted House was published in an 1894 collection of three short stories by Dickens, under the title Christmas Stories, which is where I stumbled upon it. But as I researched further, I found that it was first published in 1859 in All Year Round, a publication for which Dickens served as editor. This contained a unique collection of stories under the same title, with Dickens writing the introductory story and the closing story. The other stories were written by writers of the time who Dickens invited to contribute a tale of their own set in one of the many haunted rooms of The Haunted House.

In his story, Dickens sets the stage for the paranormal parlor games that the protagonist invites his friends to join in. The abandoned house with rooms featuring names such as The Picture Room and The Clock Room is inhabited by a skeptical man who invites each of his dearest friends and relatives to arrive on the magical Twelfth Night of Christmas. It was often believed that the Twelfth Night of Christmas had a supernatural power—not unlike our current belief in Halloween as being a good time to communicate with those that have shuffled off this mortal coil.

He writes:

The understanding was established, that anyone who heard unusual noises in the night,  and who wished to trace them, should knock at my door; lastly, that on Twelfth Night, the last night  of holy Christmas, all our individual experiences since that then present hour of our coming  together in the haunted house, should be brought to light for the good of all; and that we would  hold our peace on the subject till then, unless on some remarkable provocation to break silence.

Each invited author then takes up residence in one of the particular rooms and writes from the point-of-view fo the ghost.

Thus far we’ve published the first two and the third is coming soon. You can find them here as digital books. Check out the paranormal games of Dickens!

The Haunted House eBook

Amazon

Nook

The Ghost in the Clock Room  eBook

Amazon

Nook

Happy Birthday Charles!!

Hallowpost

For those of you who missed my Halloween musings on The Huffington Post’ Weird News, you can read about kitchen ghosts, Halloween cookies, a dark and stormy night, and what this all has to do with Scooby Doo here:

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary 

The Ghost of Mark Twain

The latest Huffington Post blog gets into some details about a lone grave, the Ouija board, and the ghost of Samuel L. Clemens!!

Read it here:

Paranormal Parlor Games