October 21, 2011
Sorry, Twilight fans, paranormal romance is not just for teens.
Vampires, werewolves, demons… whichever tall, dark and (of course!) handsome creature strikes your fancy (sucks your blood, whatever), there's a book for you…
So this Halloween, why not curl up with a novel that's red-hot and bone-chilling at the same time? Here are some great new paranormal romances out this Fall...
Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare
"Wickedly sensual! You'll wish you had your own vampyre to make your heart race." —Love Romance Passion, on It Happened One Bite
Also by Lydia Dare:
Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend by Linda Wisdom
"Fireworks explode in this passionate novel by the inventive Wisdom, who incorporates a veritable potpourri of paranormal characters into this fast-paced tale. Humor, danger and steamy sex make for an exciting read. Maggie and Declan burn up the pages." —RT Book Reviews
Also by Linda Wisdom:
Mr. Darcy's Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen
Having read Mr. Darcy Vampyre, by Amanda Grange and come away with a less than stellar opinion, I was super nervous at reading another Pride and Prejudice fan fiction novel that infused some type of supernatural beings within the plot. Fortunately, Simonsen has made this idea work with Mr. Darcy’s Bite, which seriously impressed me. Unlike another popular vampire work, Twilight, where werewolves appear because of vampires, Simonsen provides an actual realistic explanation for it. The novel is written with fabulous Gothic undertones, creating a dark and spooky reading atmosphere that grips you from cover to cover. The ending was my favorite part! So much so, that I immediately emailed Mary and asked her to write a sequel! [...]
For those of you who are nervous about dipping your toes into the paranormal fan fiction world, may I highly suggest that you start your journey with Mr. Darcy’s Bite? Not only does it top my JAFF list, but it’s pretty high up on my paranormal reading list as well. You won’t be disappointed! —AustenProse.com
It's time to put all the warmth and coziness of Thanksgiving behind us, and embrace the cold, dark... Hallowen is just around the corner.
Here are few books to get you into the Halloween spirit ... and awaken the spirits... Mmwhahaha!
Plain Fear: Forsaken
by Leanna Ellis
A vampire novel set in an Amish community, Plain Fear: Forsaken is a haunting and heartbreaking story. When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it's more than a choice of passion; it's a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.
"Forsaken exemplifies the ultimate literary juxtaposition of good and evil, and is made all the more powerful by Ellis's ability to paint a vivid and realistic picture Amish life."
—Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author
Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel
by Jonathan Maberry
St. Martin's Press
New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero, Jonathan Maberry returns with another creepy tale... A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang... but a bite.
"An intriguingly fresh slant on the zombie genre."
—John A. Russo
The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes
Edited by Christopher Golden
St. Martin's Griffin
An all original anthology from some of todays hottest supernatural writers, featuring stories of monster's from the monster's point of view. With contributions by Lauren Groff, Chelsea Cain, Simon R. Green, Sharyn McCrumb, Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Kevin J. Anderson, Jonathan Maberry, and many others.
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter
Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse
A Lost Zombies Book
Post Secret meets World War Z in this chilling vision of the fallout following a global zombie pandemic. A gradual mutation of a virulent strain of "super flu" gives rise to millions of the undead, who quickly overwhelm treatment facilities and swarm cities around the world, leaving survivors on their own against a legion of the infected. This chilling story is told through the scraps of paper, scrawled signs, and cryptic markers left by survivors as they struggle to stay alive and find those they've lost in a world overrun by zombies...
Following in the footsteps of the New York Times bestselling graphic novels and the record-breaking new TV show, this debut novel in a trilogy of original Walking Dead books chronicles the back story of the comic book series greatest villain, The Governor.
"The Walking Dead: The Rise of the Governor is a book that's meant for both fans of the comics and fans of the show… Kirkman's mark is all over the book. It takes great advantage of the literary medium in a way that most tie-in books would not.” —TVOvermind.com
Chasing Ghosts, Texas Style
On the Road with Everyday Paranormal
by Brad Klinge, Barry Klinge and Kathy Passero
Thomas Dunne Books
Part high-adventure tale, part autobiography, this page-turner recounts the eerie experiences that convinced brothers Brad and Barry Klinge, founders of Everyday Paranormal and stars of the TV series Ghost Lab on Discovery Channel, that ghosts really do walk among us Brad and Barry Klinge have been investigating paranormal occurrences for the last twenty years, and in Chasing Ghosts, Texas Style , they divulge some of their most exciting ghost encounters and analyze the science behind their paranormal hunts.
"In this enjoyable read, sure to entertain even skeptics, the Klinge brothers recount how they first became interested in ghosts, what led them to start their company, and why they decided to make scientific experimentation the hallmark of their practice." —Publishers Weekly
Here's a clip of the brothers' typical antics on the show:
And now that your jaw is clenched and your fingernails are firmly embedded in your chair... I'll finish this list with a few books that are slightly less terrifying...
Ace Your Zombie Exam!
The Official Ph.Z. Study Guide
by David Murphy
The #1 way to get your official PhZ diploma!
Humans, Zombies, we're not that different. We're all hungry for a better life or post-life. That's why the living and living dead alike are turning more frequently to education in order to improve their station, pursuing the highly coveted PhZ. No enrollment necessary — you need only this book and that high-performance noggin of yours.
Day of the Dead
by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack
The Day of the Dead Celebration is the most important holiday of the year in Mexico and parts of the American Southwest, a joyful time when families remember their dead. Day of the Dead provides a colorful look at the iconic folk art and family traditions that play a vital role in the event, which happens across the country from October 31 through November 2.
The Book of Skulls
by Faye Dowling
The Book of Skulls presents a cool visual guide to the skull, charting its rebirth through music and street fashion to become today's ultimate anti-establishment icon. From Black Sabbath to Cypress Hill, skater punk graffiti to Gothic tattoos, from high-couture to Hello Kitty and Dali to Damien Hirst, this book is the ultimate collection of cool and iconic skull motifs. Drawing together artwork from music, fashion, street art and graphic design The Book of Skulls is a celebration of one of today's most iconic cultural symbols.
News / October 18, 2010
Ghosts, werewolves, witches, zombies, and monsters... Halloween can be a scary time of year to venture outside, so we completely understand if you would rather stay at home and read a book. But, if you want the best of both worlds — scaring yourself half-to-death without ever leaving the safety of your armchair — have we got some books for you!
Following last year's chilling Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection, Chronicle Books have published Werewolves, an illustrated journal that plunges you headlong into the life of a high school girl-turned-werewolf as she makes her transformation!
If you're more craftily inclined, then Witchcraft, Quirk Books' follow up to Creepy Cute Crochet, is full of color photos and simple illustrated instructions for crafting everyday items into wonderfully witchy treats: A truly wicked charm bracelet made from a handful of old trinkets; spooky little skulls made out of marshmallows; a bewitching midnight black tutu that can be stitched up in minutes; a wicked poison apple fashioned from an everyday plushie; witches, monsters, spiders, and ghosts to top your cupcakes; and much, much more!
For kids, there is Owlkids' My Beastly Book of Monsters to get your creative little beast doodling, scribbling, colouring, and drawing. And, with 30 recipes for Halloween fun, the Little Monsters Cookbook will have your little monsters cooking in the kitchen in no time.
You can find more Halloween books available from Raincoast here.
Food & Drink / October 27, 2009
Time for part two of our yummy Halloween Cookie Recipe from the book COOKIE SWAP. On today’s menu Friendly Ghost Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
(1¾ x 2¼- to 2½-inch-tall) “ghosts”
Enshrouded in meringue, these chewy date and nut treats are oh-so sweet. Note: For a quick and more kid-friendly option, omit the filling.
Because meringue quickly attracts moisture, package these cookies in airtight containers as soon as they’ve cooled. Store at room temperature up to 1 week. Even if properly stored, the cookies may still get sticky due to their high fruit content. In this case, re-dry in a 225 degree F oven, if desired.
1 cup dried pitted dates (stems removed), finely chopped
1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons candied orange peel, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons Grand Marnier or other premium orange liqueur
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons pecan halves, toasted and finely chopped
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sifted superfine sugar
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
About ½ tablespoon miniature chocolate chips (or about 4 dozen chips, 2 per cookie, for the “eyes”)
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (If you have two ovens, preheat both. The meringue needs to be baked immediately or it softens and deflates. The cookies will also dry more evenly with one cookie sheet per oven. If you don’t have two ovens, you’ll need to make a second batch of meringue to coat the cookies on the second cookie sheet. But do so only after the first sheet is out of the oven.)
2. Mix the Date-Nut Filling. Combine the dates, orange zest, juice, peel, and liqueur in a medium (3-quart) nonreactive (stainless steel or coated) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the dates have softened and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Cook the mixture another 3 to 5 minutes to dry it further. Stir regularly to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans and spices. Cool the mixture completely before shaping.
3. Portion the filling into small mounds using a level 1- to 11⁄8-inch (#100) scoop or 1 level teaspoon per mound. Roll the mounds between your palms to form uniform ¾-inch balls and arrange them evenly around the perimeter of each cookie sheet. (It will be easier to add the chocolate chip eyes to the cookies in Step 6 if the cookies are arranged this way.)
4. Mix the Meringue Cloak. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment. (Note: Be sure the whites are at room temperature, as cold meringue is more likely to crack in the heat of the oven. The bowl, whip attachment, and all mixing utensils should also be completely free of fat, or the egg whites will not stiffen.) Beat on low speed until the whites are frothy. Turn the mixer to medium speed and gradually add the superfine sugar, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time. Quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl and then turn the mixer to high speed. Continue beating until the whites are very stiff and glossy and the sugar has completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds longer.
5. Fit a pastry bag with a large (¾-inch) 8- to 10-pronged star tip and fill with meringue. Work on one cookie at a time, but work quickly before the meringue deflates. Hold the bag perpendicular to the date ball with the pastry tip directly touching the top, and press so the meringue covers as much of the ball as possible.
Slowly lift the pastry bag straight up, still applying pressure, to make a ghost that stands 2¼ to 2½ inches tall; then pull up quickly, without applying pressure, to create a peak. Repeat with the remaining meringue.
6. For the ghosts’ eyes, carefully place two mini chocolate chips on the side of each cookie, about one-third of the way from the cookie top. (Insert the tips of the chocolate chips into the meringue so that the round bottoms are left exposed.) Gently press the chips into the meringue with the tip of a paring knife.
7. Bake until bone-dry to the touch but only minimally discolored, about 1½ to 2 hours. (Note: Drying time varies significantly with ambient humidity. Bake toward the longer end of the spectrum on rainy days.) Immediately transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing.
If you missed it make sure to check out yesterday’s recipe for Great Pumpkin Cookies. Happy Halloween everybody!
Photo by Steve Adams.
Food & Drink / October 26, 2009
Cookie swaps have become all the rage. Whether your hosting a playdate, birthday party, girls night in or even a family reunion cookie swap parties are a fun, yummy party idea for every season. Since all good things come back around and we’re hoping to get lots of yummy treats this Halloween we decided to share this delicious recipe with you for Great Pumpkin Cookies from the book COOKIE SWAP.
Great Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 2½ to 3 dozen (2-inch) “pumpkins”
Embellished with orange glaze, cinnamon stick “stems,” and green sugar “vines,” these pumpkins appear to be freshly plucked from the patch. Note: For smoother pumpkins for decorating, you may decrease or omit the raisins and walnuts. Without these add-ins, the recipe yields closer to 2½ dozen cookies.
Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days. Because of their high pumpkin content, these soft cookies will get even softer within a few days, especially under humid conditions. Eat freshly baked if you want to enjoy a crunchy exterior.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1¼ cups canned pure pumpkin purée (with no added sugar or spices)
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ cups walnut halves, lightly toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped (optional)
11⁄3 cups raisins (optional)
Orange Icing and Glaze (optional)
1 recipe Royal Icing (p. 151)
½ to 1 teaspoon water (to thin the icing)
About 60 drops orange soft gel food coloring
½ teaspoon pure orange extract
About 3 drops red soft gel food coloring
About 3 drops brown soft gel food coloring
About 4 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed orange juice
Powdered sugar (as needed to thicken glaze)
About 12 cinnamon sticks, cut into 2½ to 3 dozen small (¾- to 1-inch) pieces (1 per cookie)
2½ to 3 dozen (¾- to 1-inch) fondant leaves
2½ to 3 dozen (1½- to 2-inch) fondant vines
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix the Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Place the sugars and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-low speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed and beat in the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure even mixing. Note: The batter will separate slightly after the addition of the pumpkin, but this is completely expected.
Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the walnuts and raisins, if desired.
3. Portion the dough into mounds using a level 15⁄8-inch (#40) scoop or 1 heaping tablespoon per mound. Place the mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. (A scoop will make rounder pumpkins than a tablespoon.)
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until dry and firm on the outside and lightly browned on the bottom. Immediately transfer to wire racks and cool completely before storing or glazing.
5. Mix the Orange Icing and Glaze (optional). Prepare 1 recipe Royal Icing. Portion out ½ cup. Add enough water (½ to 1 teaspoon) to bring this portion to outlining consistency (p. 152). Stir in a drop of orange food coloring to make a pale shade. Cover the surface of the icing flush with plastic wrap and set aside for use in Step 7.
To the remaining icing, add the orange extract and the rest of the orange food coloring, and mix until well combined. To enrich the bright orange to a burnished shade, add the red and brown food coloring, if desired. Gradually add enough orange juice to make a thick glaze. (The glaze should thinly coat a “test” cookie, but you should not be able to see through it. Adjust the glaze consistency as needed by adding more juice to thin it or powdered sugar to thicken it.)
6. Apply the glaze and cinnamon sticks (optional). Set a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper. (The paper will catch the glaze drippings and make for easier cleanup later.) Work with one cookie at a time. Hold the cookie by the bottom and completely immerse its top in the dark orange glaze. Turn the cookie right side up and gently shake it to remove excess glaze and to smooth the top. Place on the rack and insert a small piece of cinnamon stick into the top center of the cookie to make the pumpkin stem. Repeat with the remaining cookies. (Remember: Tell guests to remove the cinnamon sticks before eating.)
Before the glaze dries, slide a paring knife under each cookie to sever any drippings that may be clinging to the rack. (The glaze will otherwise dry onto the rack, making it more difficult to remove the cookies later.) Let the cookies dry until the glaze loses its sheen.
7. Add contours; decorate with fondant leaves and vines (optional). Fill a parchment paper cone with the reserved pale orange icing and cut a small (1⁄8-inch or less) hole in the tip. Add contours to the pumpkins by piping 8 to 9 thin lines radiating out from the cinnamon stick stem on each cookie. For the finishing touch, use the icing to glue a fondant leaf and vine around each stem.
8. Let the glaze (and any pumpkin contours) dry completely before storing.
Make sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll be telling you how to prepare Friendly Ghost Cookies.
Photo by Steve Adams.