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!

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…

The Goblins of Springtime

Ah, the Vernal Equinox. A time for gathering round the fairy ring and dancing two by two, drinking the dew from the Lady’s Mantle for eternal youth and beauty, lying in wait to capture a Brownie, or a Pixie, or if you are lucky, enslave a little Gnome.

The nature of the folktales of Ireland and Wales, collected widely throughout the latter part of the 1800’s by the likes of W.B. Yeats and William Wirt Sikes, were not always the “fairy tales” they’ve morphed into today. Like the Grimm brothers, Yeats and Sikes spent time traveling the countryside and writing down what had always been an oral tradition.

These beasties and beings, though not always evil or menacing, are always portrayed with an air of warning about them. The creatures of the Fairy Kingdom are working to trick you but if you get to them first you will have riches untold. The stories also serve as a warning: mainly to children and drunks to mind your manners and stay off the roads late at night.

Check out these collections of Welsh and Irish folklore I’ve curated as part of the Magical Creatures collection for Weiser Books.

The Occult Power of Goats

The Goblins of Electricity

The Malevolent Banshee

The Mermaid’s Prophecy

Merry meet and Happy Spring!

~Varla