Ring in the New Year with Murderous Bells: A Very Happy Hour of Horrors

the bells that committed murderThe usual gaiety of chiming bells ringing in the New Year might sound a little more sinister once you get through this short little eBook, selected by me from a collection of fairy and folklore by Welsh “Grimm” William Wirt Sikes.

Don’t walk into that churchyard or a schoolhouse without a hard-hat! There are more than just the usual hazards of daily life in rural Wales that could bring you harm. There are murderous bells afoot!

Bells on B&N 

Bells on Sony

Bells on Amazon  

You can grab your little e-reading device and buy the book, it’s less than $3, and then mix up a nice Champagne Cocktail. You’ll want to have a few before serving them to guests–to be sure they are as delicious as they sound, so you might as well test run them tonight!

If you want a nice list of other champagne and sparkling wine cocktails, check out Martha Stewart’s List HERE for amazing ideas like Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail and Lemon Drop Champagne Punch.

Bells on B&N 

Bells on Sony

Bells on Amazon  

This is Martha’s recipe, and I like it just the way it is, although I prefer just one or two drops of the bitters.

Ingredients

  • 3 drops bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 4 ounces chilled Champagne

Directions

  1. Drop bitters onto sugar cube; let soak in. Place sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Add Cognac, and top with Champagne.

Happy New Year! May it be merry, bright, and safe. And be careful where you walk, for the bells of towers may be chiming your own demise.

Taming the White Rabbit~A 99 Cent Happy Hour of Horrors

TAMING THE POOKAPooka, phooka, puka. No matter how you spell it the shape shifting beastie, most commonly appearing in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, often takes the form of a black horse or a white rabbit. Even Lewis Carroll’s white rabbit was a pooka of sorts. They trick you, they lead you in the wrong direction, you are the only one who sees them and your driven to think you’re crazy. Most accounts are dismissed as the ramblings of a drunkard (Harvey) and while actually relatively harmless, there are pookas that appear to scare the living daylights out of you. YOu may be taken on a fearsome midnight ride. You may be lead on a dark-of-the-night ghost chase through a graveyard. They are really pretty unpredictable.

So to honor this beloved creature of the night, I’ve put together a collection of pooka stories form folklore, available only in digital form and priced at the low, low rate of a mere 99 cents. Includes a T. Crofton Croker story and  tales from William Butler Yeats. So grab your digital reading machine, download Taming the Pooka, and mix yourself up a stiff drink. The more you drink, the more you will believe.

Taming the Pooka on Amazon

Taming the Pooka on B&N

Try this recipe for a White Rabbit, adapted from Drinksmixer.com

3-4 oz vodka

1 oz milk

2 oz vanilla liquer

Now, if you use something like Vanilla vodka (Stoli makes one) you can omit the vanilla liqueur. I like to add a little whipped cream to the top, for fun. This version of a White Rabbit is a bit more like a White Russian, really but with vanilla. You can also make a version that involves brandy, baileys, vodka, and Kahlua. But who has all of those on hand? Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, over ice, and shake.

Serve this drink  in a coffee cup. Why? So that when no one believes your story of the pooka you saw, you can claim you were just sipping tea.

Happy Happy Hour!

The Screaming Banshee~A Just-in-Time Cocktail for Thanksgiving’s Happy Hour of Horrors

My Happy Hour of Horrors are usually late Friday themes but since this week is a madhouse of gluttony, joy, and frenzied family freakery, I’ll let you have a drink right now. (I always say drink early and often). But seriously, you know that over dramatic little sister that “can’t quite handle” the family gatherings and bursts into tears after a few too many? Right when you realize you’ve not had quite enough? Well, she’s probably more related to the banshee of folklore than to you, but you can’t very well prove that right?

So now, for the low-low price of just $2.99 grab your little nerdy device and buy one (or both!) of these banshee books, then rush out and get all the ingredients you’ll need for The Screaming Banshee. And when you are feeling very full and someone starts to discuss politics or religion in the post-turkey consuming haze, tuck yourself away in a corner, maybe with your coolest cousin, and drink up and read up to your heart’s content. I guarantee you the creatures in these books will make you feel a little better about those relatives you think are the worst. Your heart will grow two sizes, after being scared out of your wits.

The Malevolent Banshee by Varla Ventura and Elliot O’Donnell Amazon or B&N

Alleged Counterparts of the Banshee by Varla Ventura and Elliot O’Donnell (Currently available only on Amazon)

The Screaming Banshee

(I got this one from Good Cocktails, but as usual adapted it slightly)

Screaming Banshee Drink

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Banana Liqueur (seems a little gross but just try it!)
  • 1/2 oz. Crème de Cacao (White)
  • 1/2 oz. Cream / Half & Half/I like to use whipped cream straight from the can. And it’s nice on the drink too.

Instructions

Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. So easy!!!
It’s okay to put this in a plastic pint glass so everyone thinks you’re drinking soda. No garnish necessary, but you will need some alone time. Goes great with chocolate cream pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sex on the Beach with Mermaids~A Happy Hour of Horrors

As the cold of November settles upon most of us, sinking into the bones and sharpening our breath, even the most heavy-caped of us might find ourselves–even for just a moment–wanting the feel of sand beneath our toes and the lapping of warm waters against our flesh. So how can we achieve these sensations, even with a few inches of snow on the ground? It’s not as (ahem) hard as you may think. Just grab yourself a copy of one of my Magical Creatures eBooks on the topic of mermaids, mix yourself up a potent Sex on the Beach, crank up your heater (and maybe your humidifier) and get wild!

Available now for under $3 you can read these on your Kindle, Nook, iPad or whatever digital creation you’ve managed to procure. Just make sure you read them before you’ve had too many cocktails, as they don’t recover from sticky spills like hardcover books!

The Mermaid of Druid Lake by Varla Ventura and Charles Weathers Bump

Amazon

B&N

Among the Mermaids by Varla Ventura, T. Crofton Croker and William Butler Yeats

Amazon

B&N 

The Mermaid’s Prophecy and Other Stories by Varla Ventura

Amazon

B&N

And once you’ve had your night of wild fun, don’t forget to read my post on my forthcoming, full-length book (pre-order here) coming this next year. I’m still accepting submissions about your mermaid encounters. I know you’ve had them. Or if you’ve got some other sea-creature or water-beast hiding in your bathtub, I want to know! If you know pirates, scuba-divers, or oceanographers, please share the call for entries with them.

Sex on the Beach

I got this basic recipe from DrinkNation but I’ve made some notes on variation to really Horror-fy it.

  • 2/3 oz. Schnapps, peach (you can add peach juice if you’d rather, but the Schnapps give it an extra kick, thus insuring you’ll get drunker. I like to use a few frozen peaches as well, but the drink can get muddled–much like your mind when you’ve had a few!)
  • 1 1/3 oz. Vodka
  • 1 1/3 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 1 1/3 oz. Orange Juice
  • Sometimes I add a splash of coconut rum here, if I have any leftover from my most recent romp with the pirates. Instead of juice you can use a syrup like Torani, and you can even sub raspberry for cranberry.

Mixing Instructions

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.

I like to add a mermaid swizzle stick or at minimum a mini-paper parasol. You can also serve this in a martini glass but once you’ve had your third one you might want to switch to the highball. It doesn’t spill as easy!

Trust me, drink enough of these and you’ll remember a mermaid encounter or two…