NOT ALL MONSTERS arrives early! CRADLELAND OF PARASITES on the way! A sale on COVER ART! AND… we spill some beans about Christmas. —

Ah, best laid plans! They always go EXACTLY how you want them to. And, yes, that’s sarcasm you are detecting. We wanted to offer up a Halloween surprise and make NOT ALL MONSTERS and CRADLELAND OF PARASITES available early for those of you looking for something to settle in and read over Halloween, and… well… […]

NOT ALL MONSTERS arrives early! CRADLELAND OF PARASITES on the way! A sale on COVER ART! AND… we spill some beans about Christmas. —

Delicious Horror: KP Kulski

Today I am very excited to bring you K.P. Kulski’s other two contributions to Delicious Horror! If you missed her first one, which was a dinner inspired by Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, check out that post here, which also features Becca’s very yummy ghostly cupcakes. You can also check out submission guidelines here if you want to contribute to Delicious Horror.

Today, K.P. brings us treats inspired by Sara Gran’s Come Closer and Hailey Piper’s Benny Rose, The Cannibal King. Speaking of Hailey, she might just have a Delicious Horror post of her own this week, so stay tuned! Enjoy the posts below as K.P. takes us deeper into each book.

K.P. Kulski’s short fiction has appeared in Unnerving Magazine, anthologies Not All Monsters and Typhon Vol. 2. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, an MA in History and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. She has a special interest in feminist horror, historical horror and stories that examine Korean-American experiences. Her debut novel, Fairest Flesh will be released by Strangehouse Books in December.

She can be found at www.garnetonwinter.com or via twitter @garnetonwinter.

KP: Come Closer. Can a book title be more tantalizing? Then you figure out that it’s about demonic possession and holy, GIVEMETHATBOOKNOWTYVM. I love that Sara Gran’s Come Closer gives us a glimpse into the protagonist’s internal fight for control. This is the heart of the terror because as a reader we identify with Amanda, yet with each step she slips away. Or does she?

Naamah, a demon found in Jewish mysticism is all about seduction and taking what she wants. There’s a point that the edges of the demon, Naamah and Amanda blur. Come Closer is a brilliant little read and probably a bit too identifiable for many women who have learned to embody the empty patriarchal pursuit of being good girls. Naamah finds that emptiness and fills it with decadence, impulsivity and pleasure.

Because of this I felt that what I paired with Come Closer had to give off the same feeling. There needed to be alcohol involved and then in my mind, I could see a glass of deep red Sangria in Naamah’s uplifted grip. It seemed just right.

I don’t know about everyone, but Sangria has a tendency to sneak up on me if I’m not careful. It’s refreshing sweetness makes it too easy to feel like I’m drinking fancy juice and it isn’t hard to drink too much without realizing it, not all that different from Amanda’s harrowing experience with Naamah. I opted for frozen dark red cherries and cherry infused apple juice with a solid red wine to give it a deep scarlet color. I added the cherries still frozen to help chill the Sangria. You can add grenadine if you like more sweetness. I’m pretty sure Naamah would have used grenadine.

I purchased with the best contact-free delivery red wine (look I’m on a budget) and cherry apple juice. The ratio of wine to juice is all your judgement call. I used the bottle of wine with 2/3 of the bottle of juice. But really the thing that makes this simple Sangria is the dark red cherries. These soak up the wine, combining to create a treat to consume after you’ve drained the glass. I used one apple and about half an orange, mostly for the contrast in color. Cut these up, then add the cherries. Go ahead, free yourself, pour as many of those beauties as you’d think Naamah would like, I mean you. YOU would like.

As you sip your glass, think about what it would mean for you to be free and what exactly are your true desires? Perhaps what Naamah really means to show us is that if we don’t indulge sometimes, we become easy husks for her to bring back to life. But her way includes much more blood.

So go ahead. Enjoy the Sangria. Live a little.

KP: If you haven’t heard of Hailey Piper, you will.

I eagerly await her upcoming novella, The Worm and His Kings from Off Limits Press. But this pairing is all about Benny Rose, the Cannibal King. Guys, Benny is indeed the king of cannibals and this novella is a work of gory fun. You can’t help but enjoy the ride and then at some point you realize, oh shit, Piper is telling us something more. I can’t share with you exactly what, that is something you’ll just have to read to find out.

BUT I can tell you, it is this that made me fall in love with the book. It is more than entertainment and I always dig stories that give me something deeper to ponder. My pairing… you see, there is a particular scene that has stuck with me where Benny takes a bite out of someone’s head and well, I KNEW that I had to make candy apples for Benny and they had to be pale like Benny’s naked belly. *shiver*

All the credit for this recipe goes to the 1 Fine Cookie food blog. Now this is my first time making candy apples, so my little project pales in comparison. Nonetheless, I’m still quite proud of the blood-splattered dead-flesh, I mean white chocolate with red “festive” flecks apples. The nice thing about working with the white chocolate is that it coats the apples rather easily. You want to be sure to let that coating sit and harden before adding the flecks, or drips if you prefer to give off that Halloween vibe. My daughter wouldn’t eat these particular apples because they were “way too creepy.” So I think Benny would approve. (I used some sprinkles for the other apples so my daughter would consider them acceptable food.)

Excuse me now. Time for a snack before dinner.

Oh, and, have a bloody good Halloween.

Delicious Horror: Ellen Avigliano

Today I am back with a beautiful post created by Ellen Avigliano. I think you will really enjoy these photos and the care Ellen took in putting this together! Find out how to submit a Delicious Horror post of your own here.

Ellen Avigliano is an artist and reviewer based in New Jersey. She can be found on Twitter @imaginariumcs — on Instagram @thejackalopes.warren and @imaginariumarts; and she is also a writer and admin for Divination Hollow Reviews. On her website, she notes that common themes in her art include a focus on “modern cultural issues such as intersectional feminism, mental health, disability, LGBTQ+ rights, diversity, identity/gender roles, etc.” Find her artwork and more at www.imaginariumarts.com

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I chose to highlight The Familiars by Stacey Halls.  It is a beautiful story of the power of women, sisterhood, and a generally witchy read. It’s a slow burn, and very thoughtful.  I loved the historical fiction balanced with the fantastic, magical elements of witchcraft.  It isn’t something that is dark, gory, or overtly violent, but contains a lot of themes we often find in witchy reads: misogyny, women’s issues, pregnancy and pregnancy loss, the meaning of family/chosen family, etc.  It is also very moody and romantic in a way. I thought it really leant itself to a non-traditional choice in Halloween baking!  While it’s not the most obvious choice in “Horror” — it’s horror adjacent enough that I felt it had merit to be included. 🙂 Plus, how could you not fall in love with that cover art aesthetic?

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

I wanted to focus on the themes of femininity, witches, natural foraging, herbs, and the home of the characters.  I chose pomegranate and pumpkin seeds to show beauty, growth, and feminine qualities. I chose flax seed since it is recommended to pregnant women as well.  I incorporated the use of Earl Grey Royale tea for its delicate, fragrant perfume aroma and vanilla notes, and it is also representative of the English countryside and traditional teatime.  For my decoration I added starfruit to represent magic, ritual, and religious beliefs.  I thought it best to create something a little heavier and dense, that could hold you over for a time, to represent the fact that many of the characters were working class, may not have a lot, and would need sustenance for awhile. I wanted it to also have a woodsy feel, so using bright red berries, roasted pumpkin seeds, and yellow star fruit gave it an autumnal appearance. I wanted to find a balance between rustic and beautiful, to highlight the contrast between the upper/lower class characters in the story.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

“The Familiars” Inspired Fruit Cake by Ellen Avigliano

(Gluten Free, Vegan)

3 Cups of GF Baking Flour (I used: 2c Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 as well as 1c almond flour)

1 teaspoon of finely ground loose leaf Earl Grey Tea (ground mind in a coffee grinder!)

¾ teaspoon of Lavender Sea Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Cup Earl Grey Milk (1 TBSP Earl Grey Royale Tea, Steeped in 1 to 1 ¼ cups boiled non-dairy Vanilla Milk)

2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

½ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

¼ Cup Pomegranate Seeds

¾ C White Sugar

¼ Cup Brown Sugar, packed

3 “Flax Eggs”

⅔ Cup Neutral Oil like Canola Oil

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Optional: ½ cup of golden raisins or ½ cup of chopped pitted dates

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Boil one to one and ¼ cups of Vanilla non-dairy milk in a pot and set in 1 TBSP of earl grey tea to steep for about 5 minutes.  Strain and set aside to cool to room temperature.  When cool, mix in the 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar and allow to thicken slightly (may curdle, this is okay!)

To make a Flax Egg combine 1TBSP of ground flax seed with 2-3TBSP of water or non-dairy milk, let set aside until it forms a yolky, gel-like consistency. (You’ll need 3 for this recipe!)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the GF Baking Flour, Ground Earl Grey Tea, Sea Salt, Baking Powder, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Mix together well.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if mixing by hand) combine the following ingredients on medium speed: white sugar, brown sugar, canola oil, and Earl Grey Milk.  Mix well then add in the flax egg until thoroughly combined.

Switch the mixer speed to low, and slowly sift in the dry mixture ½ to ¾ of a cup at a time. Don’t worry about over mixing as gluten free flour does not get tough like regular flour when “overmixed.”  Mix until all flour mixture is well incorporated then remove bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in your pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and other dried fruit or nuts if using.

Line a 9” loaf pan with parchment paper, and spray generously with non-stick spray.  Pour the batter evenly into your pan and spread flat so the top is even.

When the oven is up to temperature, place the loaf pan on the middle rack close to the rear of the oven.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.   Depending on the size, make, age of  your oven, cook times may vary; convection ovens do tend to have a tendency to cook up to 25% faster.  Some older ovens may take longer to bake (50-65 minutes) so keep an eye on your loaf and check for doneness occasionally.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a parchment lined wire rack to cool. Slice and serve when room temperature. Cake will be more dense and a bit closer to a fruit-cake or date-nut bread texture than a traditional airy cake.

*NOTE*: To achieve the decorated top as I did in my images, you’ll need a little bit of patience and a few extra ingredients. I used 1 ripe Starfruit, sliced into ¼ inch pieces.  Before filling the tin with the cake batter, I carefully laid them into the bottom of my loaf pan, then sprinkled extra pomegranate seeds around and in between. Once your fruit decorations are arranged as you like, carefully and gently pour the batter in over the top! When you demould your cake after it’s done, it should have a slightly caramelized star fruit and beautiful “upside down cake” appearance!

*NOTE*: I like to keep this cake refrigerated in slices separated by parchment. Then I toast them to have along with my morning coffee, with a little shmear of vegan butter like Miyokos, or vegan cream cheese!  Although this cake hardly lasted a week, in the past I have frozen and defrosted similar cake recipes before and it went fairly well! 🙂

Delicious Horror: Jessica Guess & Angela Sylvaine

Happy Friday! To kick off the weekend, Jessica Guess and Angela Sylvaine are here with some excellent drink recipes and horror reading recommendations. I recently read Jessica’s novella Cirque Berserk and had such a blast! And Angela has a fantastic short story, “Antifreeze and Sweet Peas” coming soon in the Not All Monsters anthology, which will be released on Halloween! Thank you so much to both of these amazing writers, and find out how to submit a Delicious Horror post of your own here!

Jessica Guess

Jessica Guess is a writer and English teacher who hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She earned her Creative Writing MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2018 and is the founder of the website Black Girl’s Guide to Horror where she examines horror movies in terms of quality and intersectionality. Her creative work has been featured in Luna Station Quarterly and Mused BellaOnline Literary Review. Her debut novella, Cirque Berserk, is available for purchase on Amazon.

Her story “Mama Tulu” is now available on Come Join Us by the Fire Season 2 via Nightfire.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I’ve talked about The Book of Night Women by Marlon James before, but I don’t think this book is talked about enough, so I’m going to again. The Book of Night Women tells the story of Lillith, a young girl born into slavery in 18th century Jamaica. On the day that she is sent to work in the fields for the first time, Lillith must defend herself from a would-be rapist and ends up killing him. That’s when she meets the Night Women. A group of female slaves who come to her aid and reveal that they are planning a revolt.

This book is violent, disturbing, and at some points hard to stomach, but reading it changed me. In Lillith and the Night Women, I found characters that were intelligent, determined, strong, and vengeful in a time where Black women couldn’t be any of those things. Before reading this book, I had a limited view of slaves and slavery. I thought of it only in terms of brutality and hopelessness. I didn’t think of the acts of defiance, both small and large, the hopes and dreams that women of this time had, the yearning for love and attention. Make no mistake, this book is brutal. It’s one of the most frightening things I’ve ever read and stayed with me for weeks after reading it, but it also awakened in me a sense of pride and adoration for my ancestors who survived the most brutal aspects of history.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

I’m pairing Sorrel with this book. Sorrel is a drink Jamaicans usually have during Christmas time. You can make it with or without alcohol and it’s super tasty. It starts with using the sorrel flower that you steep in boiling water as you would tea. Then you add the other ingredients and get a flavorful drink that packs a punch. 

I’m paring it with The Book of Night Women because not only is the drink a staple in Jamaica, but because it’s usually enjoyed in the Christmas season, it reminded me of a section of the book. Basically, Christmas was one of the few good times for slaves on the islands because you would get extra food and a day free from work. If memory serves, something pretty momentous happens during Christmas in the book, though I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

This is the closest recipe I found to how my aunt makes it but this person didn’t mention that in addition to white rum (which by the way, you need to use Wray and Nephew rum) you also need to add Red Label wine to it. Everything else is on point with the recipe though.

Angela Sylvaine

Angela Sylvaine is a self-described cheerful goth that still believes in monsters and always checks under the bed. She holds degrees in psychology and philosophy. Her work has appeared in multiple publications and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Places We Fear to Tread, and Not All Monsters. A North Dakota girl transplanted to Colorado, she lives with her sweetheart and three creepy cats on the front range of the Rockies. You can find her online at angelasylvaine.com.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I chose Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy by Mercedes M. Yardley, a perfectly creepy fairy tale that I totally devoured. The writing is gorgeous and the theme of women being seen as prey really resonated with me. The tagline, Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, hooked me immediately. The entire time I read this book I felt utterly hopeless for Bryony, while nursing a secret hope she would be able to escape the inevitability of death.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

My cocktail is a Sour Cherry Pie Martini, because the fairy tale and Bryony Adams herself are utterly sweet, but the story is tainted by the sour mark of death.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

1 oz. Vodka

1 oz. Vanilla Vodka

2 oz. Tart Cherry Juice

A splash of grenadine

A splash of lemon juice

Cherry pie filling

Finely crushed graham crackers

Maraschino Cherries

Spoon cherry pie filling in a wide bowl that will fit the mouth of the martini glass. Dip the glass in the filling.

Spread the crushed graham crackers on a plate, dip the pie filling coated glass in the graham crackers.

Combine vodka, vanilla vodka, cherry juice, grenadine, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the rimmed martini glass.

Cut a slice in the bottom of a maraschino cherry and place on the rim of the glass

Bonus recipe- Use the leftover pie filling to make turnovers! Cut puff pastry into squares, spoon pie filling into the center, seal the edges with egg, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Delicious Horror: Sam (@literaryhooker)

Today on Delicious Horror I have my favorite Canadian, Sam, aka @literaryhooker over on Twitter! Through the Woods is already on my TBR, and Sam has made me want to read it even more now! Check it out below and find out how to submit your own Delicious Horror post here.

Sam is a reader, reviewer, and all around fan of all things spooky. She lives in Quebec, Canada with her husband and their cat, both of whom mostly tolerate her love of horror films. When not reading, Sam can usually be found cross stitching, knitting, staring at her stacks of unplayed video games, or taking on a new and ill-advised hobby. You can find Sam’s reviews on Sci-Fi & Scary, or on Instagram @theliteraryhooker and Twitter @literaryhooker.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I chose Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods as my book. I read this one earlier this summer, and it immediately became one of my top books of the year. The stories are deliciously gothic, and Carroll’s artwork is beautifully paired with the tone of these stories. It’s a perfect read for this time of year too – lots of autumnal colors in the illustrations, and of course the creepy woods in each story!

This is the first graphic horror “novel” (it’s actually a short story collection) I’ve read, and I loved it so much that I’ve since added a few others to my TBR so that I can explore the genre and format a bit more. I love a book that opens new horizons, and this one definitely did it for me.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

While the whole book is fantastic, “The Nesting Place” was definitely the story that stuck with me. There’s one panel in particular that made me react out loud as I was reading, it was THAT horrifying. Without giving away the story, apples play a significant role, so doing something with apples seemed like the obvious choice. I decided to make caramel apple tarts – with the pastry creating a nesting place for the apples, and the hidden caramel centre representing the hidden monsters in the story (except much tastier, I promise!).

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

Definitely! This one is a bit of a mishmash. The pastry was made following this recipe from Love Foodies. For the apples, I peeled and diced 3 Granny Smith apples, mixed them with ⅓ cup packed brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and let them sit for a bit while I rolled out the dough. Those little soft caramel squares work well for the caramel, but a thick homemade caramel sauce is an extra layer of deliciousness. I used this recipe from Of Batter and Dough for my caramel, and it’s well worth the effort!

Delicious Horror: Cassie Daley

Happy Monday! Despite the rain in Pennsylvania today, I’m bringing a rainbow to Delicious Horror with Cassie Daley! Check out what Cassie made and what book she is recommending below! Find out how to submit a Delicious Horror post of your own here.

Cassie Daley is an artist, writer, podcaster, and horror blogger. She’s a contributing member of the Ladies of Horror Fiction & Divination Hollow Reviews teams, as well as one of the hosts of The PikeCast, a podcast dedicated to reading & discussing the 90s teen horror fiction of Christopher Pike. Cassie’s first short story, “Ready or Not”, is a part of Fright Girl Summer, and she has stories in two anthologies being published later this year: We Are Wolves by Gemma Amor & Laurel Hightower, and The Infernal Clock: Inferno by Stephanie Ellis & Alyson Faye.

Outside of writing, Cassie’s spends a majority of her time creating new art. This year, she released THE BIG BOOK OF HORROR AUTHORS: A Coloring & Activity Book, as well as YOU’RE OUT OF THIS WORLD: A Magical 12-Month Planner & Activity Book for Boss Witches. She hopes to release a horror novella and children’s book both in 2021.

You can find Cassie on Twitter, Instagram, Patreon, and on her blog, Let’s Get Galactic. Her art can be purchased in her shop, Let’s Get Galactic Art.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I’m obviously a big spooky horror art fan (and a big fan of art in general!), so I had to go with a creepy graphic novel for this one.

There are so many amazing comic books in the horror genre that it was hard for me to narrow it down – I’m a big fan of Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS book, Cullen Bunn & Tyler Crook’s HARROW COUNTY, and Joshua Williamson & Mike Henderson’s NAILBITER, to name just a few! But I think one of the most iconic authors in the ‘horror comic’ genre has to be Japanese horror artist Junji Ito, who has been working within the genre since the mid-eighties.

Ito’s works are some of the most visually disturbing I’ve ever seen, and I love his ability to create such strong emotions in the people reading his books – most often, ones like horror, fear, and disgust. The stories he writes are pretty weird – a monstrous succubus-like girl that causes destruction around her, hordes of zombie fish – and I love that about them!

In UZUMAKI, we’re introduced to a small Japanese town that’s cursed by spirals. There’s an overarching theme about the passage of time and how it impacts us and the world around us. I love that there’s a sort of depth to it – it’s horrifying and gross at times, yes, but it’s also sad. It deals with the loss of loved ones, the fear of change, and the idea that sometimes, you just have to accept the circumstances you’re dealt – even if you don’t like them, and they aren’t good.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

Aside from the obvious visual aesthetic, I was really inspired by Junji Ito’s process behind writing UZUMAKI itself. In the afterword of the deluxe omnibus edition of the book, there’s a bonus little comic talking about Ito, and what sort of research went into the creation of the story.

One of the things Ito did a lot of was eat specific foods that had spirals in them – he notes soft-serve ice cream, sushi rolls, and fiddlehead ferns as being a few of the things he intentionally ate in an attempt to “understand spirals”.

While I’m unfortunately out of fresh ferns in the kitchen, I did have a recipe for some really delicious Spinach & Feta Spirals that I thought Ito and the residents of Kurouzu-cho would be impressed – or terrified? – by!

This recipe is also gluten-free and low-carb (keto friendly) for anyone with special dietary considerations! The “dough” is made from almond flour, cream cheese, & mozzarella, so if your belly is a little sensitive to wheat-y things (like mine!), you can still enjoy these little spiral babies!

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

Ingredients for the ‘dough’:

2 cups shredded mozzarella

4 ounces cream cheese (softened)

⅔ cup almond flour

2 large eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp xanthan gum

Ingredients for the filling:

8 ounces frozen, chopped spinach (thaw & drain in advance, and pat dry!)

1 cup crumbled feta

¼ cup shredded mozzarella

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp salt

Instructions for the ‘dough’:

  • Whisk together your dry ingredients in a small bowl (seasonings/powders)
  • In another bowl, combine the mozzarella and cream cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir. If the dough is fully incorporated / melted (not burned!), you’re done – but if not, keep going in increments of 15 seconds until it’s melt-y.
  • Remove from the microwave, and mix in your dry ingredients and eggs, one at a time. It helps if you use parchment paper on the counter at this stage, so you can work out & knead the dough until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. The resulting mixture will feel pretty close to normal dough!

Instructions for the filling:

  • Drain / squeeze out as much moisture as you can from your spinach, and then combine with the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl. Don’t stir too much that the large crumbles of feta break down – those big chunks look pretty in the finished result, and adds a difference in texture!

Instructions for the spirals:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once your dough is fully incorporated, you can roll it out about ¼ inch thick in a flat sheet. If it’s too sticky, sprinkle some almond flour down! Having wet hands also helps when working with the dough.
  • Spread the filling on top, leaving a 1 inch border around the edges.
  • Starting from one end, begin rolling the dough into a log from one side to the other. The length will depend on how you rolled your dough out, but it should be pretty large!
  • Once you have your spiral log, use a sharp, wet knife to slice out spirals that are about 1 inch thick.
  • Lay these on your nonstick baking surface in neat rows, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, checking frequently after 15. You’ll want the dough to be golden – it’ll crisp up, and smell great!

You can sprinkle a little parmesan on top of these once they’re out, dip them in marinara sauce, or even just grab a couple for lunch-on-the-go when you need it!

Delicious Horror: K.P. Kulski and Becca (astoldbybex)

Today I have two fabulous posts covering one of my own favorite books, A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. Who knew you could plan a whole meal around the horrors experienced by Merry and Marjorie? Let’s get to it! Also, K.P. Kulski actually has two more delicious horror posts coming soon, so stay tuned in the next week or so to see what else she created!

K.P. Kulski

K.P. Kulski’s short fiction has appeared in Unnerving Magazine, anthologies Not All Monsters and Typhon Vol. 2. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, an MA in History and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. She has a special interest in feminist horror, historical horror and stories that examine Korean-American experiences. Her debut novel, Fairest Flesh will be released by Strangehouse Books in December.

She can be found at www.garnetonwinter.com or via twitter @garnetonwinter.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

When deciding on which books I wanted to use for these blog articles, my husband suggested I should pair Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts with spaghetti sauce. If you’ve read the book, then you know why I promptly laugh-snorted. After I regained my composure, I realized this husband of mine was on to something. I happen to love this book and well… pasta features prominently in it, rendering it a perfect Delicious Horror candidate.

On the surface A Head Full of Ghosts is about a family facing the possible possession of one of their daughters, Marjorie, told from the perspective of the younger daughter, Merry. This is great example of a horror that makes the reader think on a deeper level and I adore it for this reason. There is so much to think about, gender and family dynamics, coming of age, reality television and social media. That’s just scratching the surface. It is just so well done and everyone should read it. (Seriously, get thee a copy now if you don’t already have one.)

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

I opted to go for a pasta dish that didn’t include spaghetti sauce, for reasons you’ll have to read the book to find out. I settled on Carbonara because 1. I love bacon and 2. Yum. I’ve never made Carbonara before and I’m sure I committed many sins against the dish in my process. I used the recipe I found on bon appetit website, finding it rather straightforward. I felt ready and rolled up my sleeves to create deliciousness.

Then I realized.

I had forgotten to pick up spaghetti noodles.

Friends, I am not easily deterred from making (and therefore eating) dishes that include bacon. I searched my pantry for a solution and ended up using what I had on hand, ziti noodles. While I’m sure I violated some sort of cooking rule, the dish came out quite tasty.

There you have it. My sauce-less pasta creation. May it give you long life.

“Merry” Halloween!

Becca (astoldbybex)

Mother of cats, baker of treats and crafter of… crafts.

Becca lives in Michigan where she spends a majority of her time surrounded by her four-legged pals, devouring the horror genre in all of its beautiful mediums and playing video games. Since she was raised by a horror-obsessed father, Becca was introduced to the genre at a very young age. She remembers her tiny hands typing blood-soaked poetry on her family’s 98 Windows desktop and publishing them in various Yahoo! groups for the world to see.

Now, Becca just wants to spend her time screaming about her favorite genre while supporting the wonderful humans that continue to conjure up nightmares. You can catch Becca on her blog As Told By Bex and Divination Hollow Reviews sharing book reviews & all things horror! She’s also 1/3 of The PikeCast, a podcast that dives into the world of Christopher Pike.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

When someone asks for a horror book recommendation, I’m always quick to choose The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I’m sure to a lot of my pals, I sound like a broken record. And for that reason, I decided to step out for this project and recommend something a bit more modern, but similar.

A Head Full of Ghosts introduces us to the suburban New England family, The Barretts. Everything seems normal, until their fourteen-year old daughter, Marjorie, begins to show symptoms of schizophrenia. From there, things go off the rails; Catholic priests are called in, exorcisms are recommended and the Barretts find themselves the stars of a new reality television show, The Possession.

There’s two things that I love about A Head Full of Ghosts. One would be the format in which Tremblay tells this story. We not only get Merry’s (Marjorie’s younger sister) first-person narrative of the events unfolding, we also get to listen to an interview with an adult Merry, as she discusses what happened. And throughout the read, we get blog posts recapping episodes of The Possession. Having all three perspectives really helps the reader to get even deeper into what’s really happening in the Barrett family.

The second thing I love is something Tremblay often does in his books – leaving the book up to the reader’s interpretation. Was Marjorie possessed? Did she have schizophrenia? It depends on what reader you ask. A Head Full of Ghosts gets inside your head and leaves you feeling extremely uncomfortable, long after you close the book. If you’ve yet to read A Head Full of Ghosts, I strongly urge you to throw it in your cart the next time that you go book shopping.

And, horror fans, Stephen King even says this book scared him – so, if you’re not going to listen to me, at least listen to him.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

As mentioned above, I usually recommend The Exorcist and let’s be real – there’s one major food pairing I could have gone with if I was to stick with that. Yes, friends, pea soup. But, no one in this house is going to eat that and therefore, it would just be a waste.

Once I decided that I was going to recommend A Head Full Of Ghosts, I started to remember the ridiculous amounts of Halloween baking/decorating supplies that I’ve purchased in the past and realized that I had so many candy ghosts lying around. And, reader, what’s cuter than a cupcake full of ghosts?

So, no – there’s nothing especially deep about the pairing of cupcakes and A Head Full of Ghosts. I don’t remember a scene where Marjorie and Merry chow down on some baked goods, prior to (or after) spiraling into demonic possession and exorcisms. Cupcakes are simply good, just like this novel by Paul Tremblay.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

As much as I love baking from scratch, I also enjoy doctoring up a simple box of Betty Crocker Cake Mix. Replacing water with milk, oil with melted butter (but double the amount!) and an extra egg can really give your cake that straight-from-the-bakery-feel!

Thank you SO much to Becca and K.P.! I adore these posts and had so much fun reading their answers. Find out how to submit a Delicious Horror post of your own here!

Delicious Horror: Submissions

For October 2020 I invited various horror authors, artists, and creators to submit a food or drink inspired by a favorite horror book or short story. I enjoyed these posts so much that I decided to keep it running as a feature on my blog. If you’re interested in participating, please find the guidelines below! I also suggest taking a look at past posts to see what books have been covered (you can certainly do one that’s been featured already, but in case you’d like to do something different, take a look!). Anyone who has submitted before is welcome to submit again, too!

This is being done for fun and for the love of horror, but I will happily help promote anything you’d like to share. You do not need to be writer to submit something, fans of the genre are more than welcome to contribute!

To submit, simply answer the questions below and email your response to saratantlinger@gmail.com with “Delicious Horror Submission” in the subject field.

*Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

*What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

*Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

*Please send along a short bio, a headshot (if you’re okay with that!), and any links to promote your work! If you have anything specific you want to promote, highlight, or draw attention to, please let readers know where to find that or when anything forthcoming will be out! And don’t forget to send along a photo or photos of your tasty creation along with its book pairing if you have the book handy!

Delicious Horror: Gwendolyn Kiste

Today I have the wonderful and very talented Gwendolyn Kiste on Delicious Horror to talk about a Shirley Jackson favorite! Enjoy the post, and make sure to check out the preorders for Gwendolyn’s forthcoming novel, Boneset & Feathers, one of my most anticipated 2020 reads!

From Gwendolyn: My second novel, Boneset & Feathers, is due out on November 3rd! It’s all about witches, ghost birds, and bones that won’t stay buried. It’s a little bit fairy tale, a little bit folk horror, and a whole lot of bewitching magic! You can pre-order it now from Broken Eye Books.

Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books; and the occult horror novelette, The Invention of Ghosts, from Nightscape Press. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Vastarien, Tor’s Nightfire, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Unnerving, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

GK: I had to go with We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It’s been my very favorite book for years now, and Halloween in particular is a wonderful time to revisit it.

There are so many reasons I love this book so much. The prose is achingly beautiful, the characters are richly drawn, the setting is so relatable yet so gothic too. But probably more than anything else, We Have Always Lived in the Castle makes me feel less alone in the world, and I can’t imagine a higher compliment for a work of literature than that.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

GK: Food is such an integral part of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, to the point that The Toast did a great article a few years back that listed all the food featured in the book.

That being said, when I think of the novel, what immediately comes to mind are the poisoned sugar bowl and the blackberries that the Blackwood family has for dessert—their last dessert.

So I made what I’m calling Merricat’s Sugar Bowl Surprise: giant sugar cookies paired with berry ice cream.

Ideally, this would have been blackberry ice cream, but since my husband and I are still sheltering at home (and will be for the foreseeable future), I decided to just go with the berries we had on hand, which were blueberries. I figured that as introverts themselves, Merricat and Constance would understand the desire to stay locked up safely at home.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

GK: I made some small adjustments to both, but overall, I was inspired by these two recipes:

Blueberry Ice Cream by Taste of Home

Giant Sugar Cookies by Martha Stewart

After all, at Halloween, you can never go wrong with Martha Stewart!

Delicious Horror: K.L. Lord

Welcome back! Today my lovely and talented friend K.L. Lord is chatting with us about Tananarive Due‘s The Good House — a book that has been sitting on my TBR for way too long, so I need to get on that ASAP. Enjoy the post!

K. L. Lord is a lover of all things ink. She grew up in a small suburban town in Southeastern Michigan. She’s lived all over the country, including a three-year stint in Hawaii, before settling (for now) in Northern Virginia. She teaches English by day and works on her stories at night. Her poem “Sliver” is in the spring 2018 issues of Infernal Ink Magazine; her short story “Till Death Do Us Part,” Ink Stains: A Dark Fantasy Anthology (April 2019); and her short story “Mona…Lisa” will be in Propertius Press’s Summer 2020 anthology Whispers From the Universe. She’s currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Catholic University of America. When she’s not writing books or teaching, you may find her haunting the local tattoo shops expanding her collection of tattoos.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

I chose The Good House by Tananarive Due, published in 2006, because it is a beautiful work of gothic fiction. This modern haunted house story is on par with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. This book quickly became a favorite of mine. Due combines family, loss, and strong African-American themes with the supernatural and a long-standing family curse to terrify her readers. I was frequently unnerved and taken by surprise by this gorgeous modern ghost story.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

I paired this work with this Strawberry Chocolate Mirror Cake because it’s dark and rich, just like the story Tananarive Due so intricately weaves. The book takes place in a house known by locals as “the good house.” It’s been a place of healing for many, but also an infinite source of pain. The cake holds hidden depths, just like the good house. From the outside, it is an innocent chocolate cake. Once inside, it’s a decadent confection filled with white chocolate mousse and strawberry jelly.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

Here is where I found the recipe:

https://www.homecookingadventure.com/recipes/strawberry-chocolate-mirror-cake