Swim Through the Murky Depths with Me and Jim Harold

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Get out that mP3-pod-listening-device-computer-radio machine and listen to this lovely podcast. Then, throw off your shoes at the sands of a beach and go for a stroll while staring out at the sea and pondering the existence of mermaids. Not near the sea or a lake or any large body of water. Mores the pity on you! Go draw yourself a bath or fill up a bucket to soak your feet. It makes it much more fun to talk of mermaids. Last ditch, do the dishes with headphones on.

 

Click the link below to listen to my interview with Jim Harold of Paranormal Podcast. And you might want to check out his other interviews too, because they rock in all manner of freakery and supernatural spectacularness.

 

http://content.blubrry.com/paranormalplus/Among_The_Mermaids_with_Varla_Ventura-The_Other_Side_91.mp3

pirate flag

 

A Melding of the Paranormal Minds: Tonight! Live!

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Greetings you little elves and gnomes and hobgoblins, ye’ merry creatures of the night. Tune in tonight at 6 pm PST/9 PM EST for a delightful hour of the paranormal persuasion. I’ll be a guest on Paranormal Minds Radio.

Click here to listen live.

You never know where the conversation will lead, although I can guarantee you will probably want to double check your locks after. Varla Promo

Varla on Ghost Chronicles–Tonight, Wednesday the 24th!

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Greetings!

Tonight I am honored to be on Ghost Chronicles with hosts Ron Kolek and Anne Kerrigan. Ron has been a supporter of my books since lo’ those many years ago when The Book of the Bizarre came out, and he regularly includes a tidbit of Beyond Bizarre on his shows, so not only will you hear me tonight talking about Among the Mermaids and all manner of other things, you can hear me there week after week!

Ron is the head of the New England Ghost Project, and his own book A Ghost a Day, which he co-authored with Maureen Wood, is one of my go-to campfire reads. It’s a really wonderful book–a ghost for everyday of the year. I like to meet people and look up their ghost based on their birthday!

You can tune in here, from 7pm-8pm EST (tonight, and every Wednesday)

http://toginet.com/shows/ghostchronicles

I hope you can join us as we traverse the forgotten, the foreboding, and the utterly freaktacular!

Preston Castle

 

I Am an Android

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robot valentineAnd I’m a tablet, and an iPad and all kinds of other robotic things.

Freaky stories available now as apps for your devices! Including awesome bonus things like interviews with me!

 

My publisher just released the following information:

 

Dare to explore the dark side with this superbly disquieting collection of tales featured in our Paranormal Parlor, Magical Creatures, and Antiquarian Curiosity Shoppe apps!  Now available in iTunes, Android, and soon for Kindle tablets.

 

Enjoy this compendium of hauntings, seances, psychic investigations, magic, trickery, and more…at a great price!

 

Download the free BiblioBoard app for access to our anthologies.

 

For iTunes click https://service.biblioboard.com/featuredContent/refer/SEO/APPID-00000000483/Tp

 

For Android click https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.biblioboard

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

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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.

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

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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

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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…