Greetings greedy goblins and lovers of the strange! I’ll be interviewing tonight with Mark Eddy and Thomas Becker, hosts of Open Canvas on Revolution Radio (www.freedomslips.com). You can log in before the show, listen live by following THIS LINK. Scroll down to the bottom and click the Open Canvas link. This will create a pop-up window with a player that will stream the show live. There’s even a chat room you can join: look for Studio A. this is tonight, the 4th of November from 10-midnight EST. That’s 7-9 pm PST. Come join us for vampires, mermaids, and more!
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)
I hope you can join us as we traverse the forgotten, the foreboding, and the utterly freaktacular!
Greetings guys and ghouls! I’ll be conversing with the great George Noory tonight, Wednesday the 17th, on Coast to Coast AM and I hope you can join us! The show starts at 10pm PST , and I’ll be on at 11PM PST. We’ll be discussing mermaids, and other strange and mythical beasties, banshees, and things that howl and bump in the night!
Click the link below to find out what stations will be airing the show. If you are a subscriber you’ll get it as a podcast too.
Check out my new book, Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths and Enchantments of the Sirens of the Sea. and keep your eyes here for special give-aways, Varla-approved book trailers, mermaid swag and other goodies.
Summer reading for supernaturalists!
If you’d like to read an excerpt, click here: mermaid excerpt
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
Among the Mermaids by Varla Ventura, T. Crofton Croker and William Butler Yeats
The Mermaid’s Prophecy and Other Stories by Varla Ventura
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.
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…
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:
Clarimonde by Varla Ventura and Théophile Gautier (Amazon)
My most recent article on mermaids!
Please read and comment on the mermaid conspiracy…
Have you ever seen a mermaid? Do you know someone who has? Do you have a family legend or terrifying (or delightful tale) that involves a sea creature, a mermaid, or a magical creature relative to the mermaid? Or perhaps you know a real-life mermaid and/or you can hold your breath for a really long time under water? If any of these questions have sparked your imagination or memories send them to me at email@example.com and I may include them in my next book. Note: I am NOT looking for lengthy fiction submissions. This is a collection of facts and folklore, so your great grandmother’s Irish tale is a yes, but your own romantic short-story is a no. I’d love actual encounters with the merfolk–I know they are out there!!! This includes your first-hand account of the giant squid! And watch here for more details on the forthcoming new book on mermaids–a real print book!! If I pick your story you’ll be notified and receive a signed copy of the book when it comes out in the Spring of 2013.
You may have noticed the question or the requested comment that I’ve asked you, dear readers, to answer for me as part of this Bizarre Giveaway. What is your favorite magical creature? Dear Varla, why-ever do you want to know?
I’ve been working on a series of e-book only books for my publisher, Weiser Books, on the subject of Magical Creatures and we are very pleased to pre-announce that one creature in particular is making it to print early next year. And more will likely be on the way. So your comments are serving as more than a mere factoid–they are helping me help the publisher pick from my menagerie of banshees, werewolves, mermaids, phookas, and other crazy, creepy, cute, crawling creatures of mythical and magical proportions. So stay tuned, weigh in, and write to me about your favorite freaks! And in the meantime, buy my digital books!!
As we all roll out of bed on this post-Thanksgiving Monday morning, possibly still clutching our guts in regret of the pie-we-ate-that-lasted-too-long, we can have a nice snack from an entirely different table. Dive into the juicy tidbits on this wonderful site The Magical Buffet. Lots of fun things, but of course you know I am shamelessly linking directly to my interview with the founder Rebecca Elson.
Today marks the launching of a new venture, so get out those lady luck candles and send your good vibes to Varla! Weiser Books has created a series of electronic books and yours truly is the official curator of the Magical Creatures and the Paranormal Parlor series. I’ve been combing dusty stacks and virtual archives to find lost and forgotten freakery for you lovers of the creepy, the curious, and the so old-its-new modern era of digital books. Each story or book features an intro by me. Not only are the stories interesting but the “back-stories” and author’s bios lend an element of appeal that can’t be planned! Think Lord Byron’s physician and a children’s author does horror, for starters…
Magical Creatures includes fairies, goblins, pookas, mermaids, mummies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, devils, elves, and more! Basically all of the creatures you might find if you were to open up the cobwebby closet of my mind. I am completely and utterly thrilled and honored to be working on such an exciting project. It truly is a Brave New World!!
These books are available today on Kindle and will be available this week on other digital readers. I’ll send links when those go live!