The 99 Cent House and the Brain~A Happy Hour of Horrors

Oh you lovers of horror fiction, you members of the Dark and Stormy Night Brigade! You can now get Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s incredibly odd and deliciously occult story The House and the Brain, with an introduction by me,  for a mere ninety-nine cents for your Kindle! Also  available NOW as an e-book for any device of your choosing.

Famous for having written the opening line “It was a dark and stormy night” Lytton was a prolific novelist and occult scholar who was also responsible for the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword.”In The House and the Brain (1859), Lytton—who worked on such diverse projects as operas, poems, plays, historical fiction, science fiction, and romance—demonstrates his deep understanding of the occult as well as his love of suspense.

You can also check out occult superstar Lon Milo DuQuette’s digital book collection, The Magical Antiquarian Curiosity Shoppe, and his Edward Bulwer-Lytton favorite Zanoni. You can go now and get book three of Zanoni for free! And the rest are nearly free…Just click the link below.

So grab your little nookie book or iPadium or whatever it is you use to read non-paper things, click the links below, and mix yourself up Dark and Stormy cocktail so you can  settle in for a proper Happy Hour of Horrors.

Zanoni

(Amazon) (B&N)

The House and the Brain

(Amazon) (B&N)

Dark and Stormy (taken from Esquire. This recipe is the best!)

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice

Glass Type: Collins glass

Instructions

Combine the rum,* the ginger beer,** and the lime juice, which is optional, in a tall glass full of ice cubes. Stir. The key here is nailing the precise ratio between the spice of the ginger beer and the richness of the rum. Depending on brands of each used, you may want to play around with the proportions.

* Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Black Seal is of course the preferred brand, but anything dark and funky will work.

** If you can find Barritt’s, it’s from Bermuda. If not, anything will work as long as it’s ginger beer and not ginger ale.

PS: Varla’s Happy Hour of Horrors –Watch for future drink and ebook combos every Friday!

Church of Mabus and Varla’s House of Horrors

Just had a great interview with Jeffery Pritchett. Jeffery  is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show “bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.”

Read about hospital horrors, magical creatures, psychic premonitons, and body snatchers~

Interview on Examiner dot com, Varla Ventura on Real Life Horrors

This video explains how to write a successful horror story by keeping your reader gripped and always wanting to know what's in store for the characters.

Who’s That Knocking on my Coffin Lid? Vampires, Magical Creatures Part Three

Lovers of True Blood, Dracula devotees, and Twilight tweens: I offer you the ancient vamps of my Magical Creatures series!

These are the stories that Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice read when they were but wee babes, suckling on their mothers (or the  neck of their mother). These are the groundwork stories about vampirism, both horrific, romantic, and psychic.

Currently available exclusively as e-books, these are found volumes of forgotten lore (many a quaint and curious tale!) and cover the realm of such creepy and cool beings as goblins, werewolves, vampires, banshees, mermaids, and phookas, to name but a few.

(If the response is positive on these little e-beasts, I’ll be expanding them into book form!!)

Horror devotees will recall the story of the infamous gathering at a lake house outside of Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1816 where a small party celebrated the settling darkness by reading ghost stories aloud to one another. Present were the host, Lord Byron, and his guests: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley) and her sister, and Lord Byron’s physician—John William Polidori. At the prompting of Byron, pens were set to paper to write ghost stories of their own. Here the groundwork was laid for what would become Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus. Shelley himself wrote Fragments of a Ghost Story, and Byron wrote something called Fragment of a Novel. This “fragment” became the basis for Polidori’s The Vampyre, A Tale—the first vampire novel published in English, some seventy years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Also in the vampire collection, are two lesser known tales by Bram Stoker: Burial of the Rats and Dracula’s Guest. Both were part of a collection of stories that Stoker had been working on but never published. After his death, his widow decided they were fit for print and submitted them to his publisher in 1914. And Théophile Gautier’s Clarimonde is by far one of the most controversial vampire stories from the early 19th Century. A would-be priest begins to doubt his path and his God when he meets (by chance?) fair Clarimonde. I won’t give it all away but this is some necromantic romance at its best! And finally, George Sylvester Viereck’s 1907 short story The House of the Vampire was the first novel to introduce psychic vampires.

You can purchase these little digital gems following the links below:

The Vampyre: A Tale by Varla Ventura and John William Polidori (Amazon) (B&N)

The Burial of the Rats by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Dracula’s Guest by Varla Ventura and Bram Stoker (Amazon) (B&N)

Clarimonde by Varla Ventura and Théophile Gautier (Amazon)

The House of the Vampire by Varla Ventura and George Sylvester Viereck (Amazon) (B&N)

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

 

 

Paranormal Parlor

A Haunting in Paris:

Ralph Adams Cram was a master builder with a secret talent for occult horror writing. This wonderful short-story shows a side to this famous architect that proves his own dabblings as a writer are just as noteworthy as the Federal Building in Boston, one of Cram’s most famous building designs. Besides deco architecture Cram is best known for the Gothic revival movement, and is the architect behind dozens of beautiful cathedrals and buildings throughout New England. A true gothic at heart, his story of No. 252 Rue M. le Prince in Paris–where dark magic lurks and horrors await any who dare enter–shows just how dark this draftsman could be.

This, and four other exciting titles including Water Wizardry and The House and the Brain are part of a new venture of electronic books,the Paranormal Parlor collection,  brought to you by Weiser Books (one of the oldest publishers of occult books in the U.S.). And I am happy to be curating such a devilishly delightful new collection of stories and tales of the supernatural. There are many more to come, as I have only just scratched the surface of the cavernous world of collectable creepery!

Available now on Kindle, coming soon to a e-reader of your choice.

Sinister Serial Sisters

It is nearly Halloween! I will have to post today as I will be well away from my computer come Halloween eve and Halloween night, what with freaky parties and tricks and treats. If you have the time to listen in on Halloween morning or evening, two shows will be on the air.

The first is a segment during a cooking show in Tampa Bay, Florida! The lovely Elizabeth Doughtery took some time away from her regular program to talk to me about some freaky Florida facts, including the haunted Tampa Bay Sunshine Skyway and Zombie Ants. You can listen live, from 9am-11am EST, if you are in Florida, or tune in from the web.

http://www.860wgul.co#mce_temp_url#m

For Elizabeth, I put up this picture of a marzipan witch finger. Edible, fairly delicious, and absolutely gruesome. Once you put them in the fridge for an hour, they really start feeling like dead flesh.

And if you are interested in hearing a great show 6pm PST, 9pm EST, tune in and listen live online to Jeremy Scott’s anything-goes Halloween show.

http://lifestylewebradio.net/?page_id=1#mce_temp_url#22

And finally, you can listen to the podcast of my interview from today with the venerable Ron Ross by following the link below.

http://www.wjbc.com#mce_temp_url#/

Now that some business is in order, I will share with you one more tale of terror before I depart for Halloween Heaven. This one is about the sinister serial killers Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, two sisters that owned and operated a brothel in Guanajuato, Mexico, in the 1950s and 60’s. The sisters had a successful business, but they also had a problem on their hands: the prostitutes who got too old to work expected continued financial support. Every good businessperson knows that carrying dead weight is unsustainable, and the sisters came up with a workable solution: killing their low-achieving sex workers. They also killed any customer who appeared to have a big wad of cash with him. When investigators finally questioned the sisters and examined the property, they found the bodies of 11 men and 80 women!

A true tale of terror for your Halloween weekend!

http://redwheelweiser.com/detail.html?id=978157863464#mce_temp_url#4