Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~December Releases~

It's the most wonderful time of the year! [Well one of the best times of the year since we're talking about book releases :) ] It's time for another lovely batch of paranormal romance books to be put on the shelves, online as ebooks and maybe even slipped into your stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve as a nice little gift. Let's face it; you'll spend more time reading through the pages of your favorite books instead of staring at that perfume set someone got you that makes you smell like vanilla. Point is!- the wintery Christmas season means you get to cuddle up nice and warm next to the fireplace, or just with someone special (yes that still means your other friends who love these books so much) and read about your favorite immortal man candy. So sit back, get a cup of hot cocoa and have happy holidays while you make the difficult decision of which book to pick up and read first. [These are just a few, many more are to come in the upcoming year!] 



December 1st:


She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice...
Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her.

Why is he playing so hard to get?


The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders...
Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature-no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late...




December 7th: 


He's a ruler in a divided world...
In the magical, watery world of the Sea Forest, the divide between the rulers and the people is an uncrossable chasm. Handsome, arrogant prince Korl Com'nder has lived a life of luxury that is nothing more than a fantasy to the people he rules. Until the day he is accidentally kidnapped by a beautiful outlaw smuggler and is forced to open his eyes to the world outside his palace walls.
She's an outcast, but at least she has her independence...
Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn't think twice about kidnapping one. But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of the Sea Forest, Mahri knows that this is her only chance to change the fate of her people...


 




Beautiful archaeologist Madison Dartmoor unearths an astonishing find, one of vast importance to a handsome stranger-a man who is not human, and who holds a dangerous secret that may break her heart.

 




After her car plummets off a bridge, Isabel, a world-weary photojournalist, struggles between life and death when she's saved by the Water Goddess-with one tiny caveat: Isabel must travel to another time to seduce the legendary Lancelot du Lac away from Queen Guinevere.

The handsome knight is a dream for any woman in any century. But Isabel is the one who's seduced by King Arthur. For Isabel, a deal is a deal. Now, the King watches as fate takes from him the mysterious beauty he has come to worship, knowing all too well that any interference on his part could destroy the kingdom he loves.

December 28th:




Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with super-natural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist - even as he tells her: 'I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me'. Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman's love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own - a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood...satisfy his thirst...and seal their fates forever.

 



The magic she tries to hide . . .
Born a lady, but reduced to surviving in the slums of Dublin, Catriona O’Connell has been hired to steal a mysterious book from Aidan Douglas, Earl of Kilronan. But Cat is secretlyOther, an age-old mixture of Fey and human—something Aidan recognizes immediately when he surprises the lovely young burglar in his library, about to steal a magical diary.
 . . . is the magic he desperately wants.

From the moment Aidan sees her, Cat’s spirited beauty enchants him, but her uncanny abilities are what he truly needs, for Cat can understand the mystical language in the diary he inherited from his murdered father. So Aidan makes an offer: translate the book or be thrown in prison as a thief. And as Cat slowly deciphers each page, she and Aidan are drawn together by passion . . . and into the violence of the Other world that is the Kilronan legacy. Can they defeat those who seek the book, or are their lives in even greater danger than their hearts?





Even magic can’t solve everything. . . .
After facing down the forces of Fairy in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi still must deal with the aftermath. Not only does Seph now possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverly’s tenth birthday party to plan.
And that’s not all. . . . Seph’s boyfriend Johnny has revealed himself as the wærewolf Domn Lup, and the ruler of the wære world is en route from Romania to make sure Johnny really is the “king” he claims to be. But Johnny’s hiding a dangerous secret: his magic is locked in his mysterious tattoos. He and Seph must find a way for him to reclaim it—fast—despite those who have no intention of letting Johnny gain his full powers. Seph knows that, in the arcane world, strength is always a necessity and power must be constantly proven, but how far is she willing to go to succeed . . . and at what cost?



FBI profiler Jace Valchek's ticket home from the twisted parallel universe where she's been called to duty hinges on the capture of series killer Aristotle Stoker - and an alliance with a sorcerer known as Asher. The problem: Asher has joined forces with some of the most dangerous creatures Jace has ever encountered. The solution: There is none, without Asher's help. Jace's goal seems simple enough - to get her man, like always. But just hours after she arrives in Vegas, she's abducted...and she isn't even sure who the real enemy is. Now Jace has to wonder if she's the predator or the prey in a very dangerous game that could change not only her fate, but the world's...Meanwhile, a serial killer is still on the loose. And time has already run out...


She’s definitely getting warmer.

Her flame power nearly extinguished in a battle against the dark forces attempting to control Manhattan, fire Sybil Camille Fitzgerald is down but not out. Joining a new squad of warrior witches, she hopes to reclaim her fighting spirit and, with luck, her pyrotechnic mastery. Two problems on that front: a new army of cannibalistic demons and her superheated lust for John Cole, an unholy blend of demon and U.S. Special Forces agent now working undercover for New York’s Occult Crimes Unit.
John knows he can’t be trusted—hell, he can’t trust himself. His warrior soul has entered a new, supernaturally fit body. Unfortunately, it’s a body belonging to the Sybils’ worst enemy, whose supernasty essence still lingers. But when John’s demon energy seems more alive than dead, it’s Camille whose scorching kiss keeps him human—for now. All he’s got to do is master his dark side and save Camille and the Sybils from an army of satanic hellboys planning their ultimate destruction.
 


A magnificent creature, Utah wants vengeance against the bloodsuckers who murdered his brother. Once the beast within him is unleashed, he won’t rest until every vampire is destroyed. But he never expected to encounter a leader of his immortal enemies who was so beautiful, bewitching . . . and mortal.
It is Lia’s destiny and her duty to stop the renegade vampires who are intent on annihilating the human and non-human races alike. But she never dreamed that Utah, once a deadly foe, would now become her ally and protector, or that loving him would be more dangerous than anything she’s ever faced before. For when Utah frees his predator soul, there will be no end to the carnage.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Demon's Fall - By Karalynn Lee


Rating: New Moon(4 out of 5)


A Look into the Story: 


She was an angel at the gates of Hell.

When Kenan, an incubus, finds a caged angel for sale in the Hellsgate marketplace, he sees her as a challenge. Certain that his skills in seduction will work as well on a heavenly creature as they do on mortal women, he buys Jahel, intent on having her soul as a novelty in his collection.

Knowing he must gain Jahel's trust if she is to come to his bed willingly, Kenan treats her more as his guest than as his slave. When she reveals what brought her to the mouth of Hell in the first place—retrieving the soul of a young girl she was guarding—he even offers to help her complete her mission.

Though he has promised Jahel freedom, Kenan soon realizes she has captured his heart instead. And as their passion for one another grows, they find themselves caught in a struggle between Heaven and Hell, one that will lead them to the very edge of the apocalypse...

My Thoughts: 

Despite this story being only a short 104 pages it really left an impression on me because of the plot and its characters. Jahel reminded me of a lost puppy once she was bought by the irresistible incubus Kenan but their time together was both sweet and kept me wanting to read more and more. In the beginning, Kenan was sort of distant towards his newly bought angel but his inner feelings and concerns started to show through his actions; like when he took Jahel to go shopping for clothes; sweet moment to me. Another good thing about the story line was that it had a good mix of both plot and character development. The ending satisfied me because it did well with finishing everything up nicely and I was no longer disappointed with how short the book actually was.  Only thing is that I felt that more could have been involved with this story and its characters - I think it could have actually been made into a full length novel with all the ideas that could have been added to it, but overall still a fun, great and quick read that I'll remember. 

Favorite lines: "gutter-wing" & "my glory" - If you read through it, you'll understand <3

Ecstasy in Darkness - By Gena Showalter



Rating: Full Moon (3 out of 5)




A Look Into the Story:
Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator or be the prey. No contest. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all—a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the abilityto manipulate time. Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind.To McKell, humans should be nothing more than sustenance. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past. But the answers will come at a price, even for a woman who thought she had nothing left to lose.

My Thoughts: Ava and Mckell definitely were an interesting couple in this book; they always teased each other but you could still sense the attraction they towards one another. Mckell definitely gets added to my list of favorite male characters because of his possessive and alpha personality as well as his witty comebacks made him memorable. It was a long book which I didn't mind since I never like it when a book is too short or not nearly long enough for me to really appreciate it and Ecstasy in Darkness was a good length and the story did flow at a good enough pace (not too fast and not painfully slow either) as well as keep me interested in the plot and character development. Still, by the end of the story I was left with a lot of questions that had yet to be answered and I felt a little disappointed by the end because I was unsure of a few things but I'm sure it'll be cleared up later on. Overall I did enjoy the book, but I will always love the Lords of the Underworld series above all else. 



Favorite quote from the story: "mmm, butterscotch" - you can never go wrong with tasty butterscotch ;) 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

~November Releases~



So, what are you going to be thankful for this season? Friends? Family? That great thanksgiving dinner, or maybe the paranormal romance books that are going to come out this month? Well whatever it is, at least you can feel happy knowing that no matter which relative's house you're at for thanksgiving, or even if you're just at home, you can always grabs one of these books and enjoy a good read :)


---------------------------------------------------------------

November 1st:


The Taming of the Wolf by Lydia Dare




 Dashiel Thorpe, Earl of Brimsworth, has a certain recklessness about him, but even he can’t explain why he bites Caitrin Macleod. A full moon can make a werewolf lose his wits, but to mark a woman as his mate is serious. If he can’t convince Cait to fall for him, he’ll spend the rest of his days miserable and alone, pining for her. But Cait sees no future with a Lycan. In truth, she can’t see him with her witch’s sight at all. Despite the moments of calm this brings her, his nearness otherwise confounds her and leaves her breathless. Animal magnetism doesn’t quite shine in the fourth book of Dare’s series (following The Wolf Next Door, 2010). Dash’s actions on occasion aren’t honorable and tarnish his role as hero, and while Caitrin is sweet, she often comes across as immature. Furthermore, Dare’s use of dialect for Caitrin’s speech will charm some but may not appeal to others. However, readers who are already engrossed in the series will want to continue the story.


Touch of Temptation by Rhyannon Byrd 


In this densely layered sixth Primal Instinct urban fantasy romance installment (after May 2010's Touch of Surrender), an abundance of intricate backstory threatens to submerge the action-packed main arc. Werewolf Kellan Scott, the emotionally scarred youngest of his pack, is determined to protect his heart, which means he has to keep it casual with attractive witch Chloe Harcourt. But he quickly realizes Chloe represents the fulfillment of his deepest hidden longings, leaving him both fascinated and terrified. Meanwhile, Chloe thinks their passion is just a symptom of her sex-seeking Merrick heritage and the Mallory witch curse, which amplifies the emotions of people who come near her


November 2nd:

Firewalker by Allyson James


Janet Begay's Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural ever since it opened. But a new, dark power is rising, this time inside Janet herself. Her boyfriend Mick, a sexy dragon shapeshifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, know what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe. But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel-and Janet becomes the main suspect. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives...


Afterlife by Elle Jasper


Savannah's most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she's put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley's beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she's never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all...


 Living Nightmare by Shannon K. Butcher




For nine years, the Sentinel Nika has had one goal-to save her younger sister from the Synestryn who hold her captive. Now, the psychic bond Nika forged with her sibling on that terrible night is fading, and time is running out. But the one man who can unlock the power inside her may be the greatest danger to her.

 Reckoning by JC Wilder


A world where good and evil dwell…
 
Seeking justice for her murdered twin sister, Maeve finds herself trapped in a world of magic and deception. She’s discovered the key that will guarantee her success—a magical spell to control a vampire. Now she needs to locate a witch of pure intent to teach the spell to her.
 Quinn Montgomery wants nothing to do with his birth mother, Mortianna, the most powerful witch in the world. When he discovers Maeve is his mother’s prisoner, he rescues the prickly immortal from imminent death. Determined to set things right, he returns her to the Scottish Highlands only to find that Maeve isn’t the only victim of Mortianna’s treachery. Together, Maeve and Quinn reluctantly join forces to battle the forces of darkness as they fight their growing attraction for each other. Will Quinn teach Maeve the spell she desperately needs, or will she fall under his spell instead?
 
Warning: This book contains a kick-ass heroine, a Wizard hero to die for, copious amounts of throw-the-hero-down-and-jump-him sex, more corpses than you can shake a stick at, sleeping vampires, cranky witches and wee beasties guaranteed to give you nightmares.

In the Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister


When Francesca arrives at GothFaire to save her mother from the trickster god, Loki, things go from bad to worse. Her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there, full of secrets-and with a new girlfriend. Now Fran must battle a power-hungry group who wishes to dominate both the immortal and mortal worlds-and the woman who claimed Ben's heart. It's a good thing Fran's no ordinary mortal...


November 23rd:

Captive Spirit by Anna Windsor



Trapped by temptation, bound by desire

Saving humanity from the supernatural has been challenging lately—even for a well-trained earth Sybil like Bela Argos, who must harness the magic of a fractious group of warrior sisters and battle a new wave of paranormal attacks. Another challenge is Duncan Sharp, the hunky NYPD detective who might turn into a demon overnight and devour Bela in her sleep. Still, the darkness taking over Duncan’s body can’t stop the molten heat unleashed by the intense attraction between them.

Duncan has two major problems: First, he has the soul of a suspected serial killer hitching a ride on his vibe. Worse (yes, worse) he’s got a demonic fever raging inside that promises a world of hurt for everybody, especially Bela. Now he’s all about getting even with the demons that put this freak curse in his blood—satanic forces that dare to unleash their savage lust on Duncan’s soul, his city, and the woman he loves.

November 30th:


Devoured by Darkness - Alexandra Ivy


Tane is a Charon, sworn to hunt and kill rogue vampires. His new assignment seems like a waste of his talents - until he catches up with the jinn he's been sent to capture. Half human, half demon, Laylah has a vulnerable streak that strikes right through to Tane's cold heart. He should be furious when she uses her powers to bind them together, preventing him from dragging her before the Commission. Instead he welcomes any reason to stay close enough to touch, to taste, to seduce...Laylah doesn't know why she was chosen to protect a child who may be the catalyst in a war between good and evil. But the mysteries of her past pale compared to the dangers approaching. Tane is devastatingly strong, breathtakingly sensual. And Laylah will have to trust in every ounce of that strength, because her enemies are drawing near, eager to destroy them both...


 Hungry For You - Lynsay Sands


This vampire has been alone for far too long . . .
As one of the most ancient in the Argeneau clan, Cale Valens has given up on finding a life mate. His friends and family, however, have not. In fact, they believe they've finally found his perfect match. Getting them together, however, requires one little white lie . . .
Alexandra Willan is in a panic. Her restaurant is due to open in two weeks, but her chef just walked out. Then a highly recommended replacement arrives, an impossibly handsome culinary genius who sends electric tingles racing through her body . . .Except he can't cook. In fact, Cale hasn't eaten real food in two thousand years. Yet he's determined to prove to Alex his prowess in the kitchen . . . and elsewhere. Because never has he hungered so for any mortal woman. And not just for a taste of her, but for the whole delicious feast!



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monster Eyeballs Anyone?....


Think of them as your own homemade Reeses....that are shaped like monster eyeballs :] (there's nothing wrong with that right? Especially since it's the season of spooky Halloween)

Ingredients


  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (start with very soft butter, or the ingredients will be hard to mix)
  • 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 (3-ounce) package miniature M&Ms (for the eyes of course!)


Preperation

1. Blend the peanut butter with the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. It may be easiest to use your hands (kids love doing this).

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture by teaspoons into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up the eyeballs.

3. Put the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.)

4. Take the sheet of balls from the refrigerator; use a fork or a toothpick to dip each one most of the way into the chocolate, leaving a round or oval opening of undipped peanut butter on top. (This opening in the chocolate will be the cornea.) Hold each ball over the chocolate to catch the drips, and then return to the wax paper, cornea side up.

5. Place an M&M in the center of the peanut butter cornea to make an iris. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store the eyeballs in the refrigerator or freezer and serve chilled.


Source

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tombstone Brownies



              Tombstone Brownies make the perfect Halloween dessert for any Halloween party or event. They're very easy to make :) , all you'll need is brownies, or make your own with brownie mix and of course your own cookie tombstones that you can also shape yourself, or use a tombstone cookie cutter. After those two are done you can just go crazy with your own icing and candy decorations and then enjoy <3.
Brownie Ingredients
6 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Flour
2 Eggs

Tombstone Brownies Directions
In a microwavable dish, melt the 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the 6 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa. Mix in sugar, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract, flour, and salt. Pre-heat the oven to 325F degrees. While waiting for the oven to warm up flour the baking pan.
Pour the brownie batter into an 8×8 dish and cook for 35-40 or until a toothpick stuck in comes out clean.
Cookie Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tbsp cream
1 tsp almond extract
Chocolate, white and green icing and little candy pumpkins for decor.


Directions for the Tombstone Cookies
Sift dry ingredients together and place into a bowl. Add butter, eggs, cream, and almond extract. Blend thoroughly and chill for several hours. Once chilled break off a piece of dough the size of an apple and pat it flat in your hand.
Roll out dough onto floured board about a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out using tombstone shaped cookie cuter and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes at 400 F. Remove the cookies from the oven as soon as you see them turn color and let cool on a wire rack
Put chocolate frosting on the cut brownies and on one side and place the sugar cookies on the side of the brownie. Decorate with mini pumpkins and more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Origin of the Vampire



              Of course we’ve all heard of vampires. Those tall, dark and mysterious creatures of the night who seek to suck the blood of us humans and even other immortals. But where exactly did the idea of this all-black wearing, sunlight hating, overly attractive and alluring species come from? They weren’t always the sexy beings we think of today. They were first seen as disgusting and inhuman beings who would rise from their graves at night, drink the blood of innocent humans and then return to the cemeteries before the sun could rise and destroy them. Some say that the legend and history of vampires is as old as our own history! Hmmm a vampire caveman? I wonder what that would look like. History reveals that the first appearance of the word vampire  in English, was in the 1700’s, but even then vampires had already been discussed in so many other cultures.



       So…..how does someone became a vampire exactly? Ancient cultures believed in things like, if a cat or dog jumped over you then you were of the undead. In Ancient Greece, the practice of placing a coin in the mouth of a corpse to get them through the River Styx in the underworld was to ward off demons from entering the body of the corpse. This led to the idea of vampires because many times the people believed that not all corpses could be protected from the evil demons that would seek to enter their bodies, thus created the undead, or vampire. Finally, any human bitten by a vampire would then become one themselves.[Vampires were pretty much the scapegoat for any unexplained diseases, so whenever someone would pass on the easiest explanation was that they had become one of the un-dead.]

Over the centuries, the folklore of demons who would steal away the lives of humans continued to turn a world-wide belief but it wasn’t until the 18th century that vampires were popularized and became a fear of the Victorian patriarchy. One reason was that because the Victorian era was a time of acting proper and for women to be maternal and well-behaved members of society. The era was always very strict with ideas of sex and sexuality and anything having to do with the two, was feared and looked upon as taboo (sex was only needed as a way to reproduce). Vampires were an enemy of these ideals. They were the symbols of seduction and sexuality and therefore able of corrupting any human and luring them into their grasp. [Bram Stroker’s Dracula (published in 1897) continued the idea of vampires being creatures of alluring beauty and so it led on to the idea that vampires would forever be the irresistible and mysterious  beings that they have turned into up to now.
                                          
                                                            
There is definitely a lot more to the history of vampires. Like a vampires desire to find a mate, or bride to become his and continue the species of vampire, along with how the beliefs of how to kill them came to be. For example, holy water and crosses were used since a vampire was known for being an evil and undead demon from hell, so holy water and crucifixes seemed the best for battling against these demons.  And Garlic? Well in Romania it was always believed that garlic was used to ward off evil because of its horrible smell and it would be used on everything. So one of the reasons that it is linked with repelling vampires is because of a vampire’s strong sense of smell and a garlic strong sense of….well stink. 



Now then, let’s go over the rules of vampires that history (along with the novel Dracula) has set out for us J

  • A vampire cannot exist in the sunlight. A vampire can change into a wolf or a bat. (why? Because wolves and bats were the two creatures known strongly for lurking in the night, they were also seen as the most dangerous and so linked with vampires. Especially bats since they were animals who sucked the blood of cattle; people believed that they also sucked the blood of humans as well.
  • A vampire sucks the blood of the living, and doing so turns the living into vampires as well (unless the vampire chooses to kill its victim).
  • Since the vampire is undead, he is essentially immortal and does not age. (which is how we get the hot male vampires who appear to be in their 20’s or 30’s but are probably somewhere in the thousands?....hmm.
  • A vampire may not enter a home unless invited. A vampire is afraid of Holy Crosses, Holy Water and garlic.
  • Finally, a vampire may be killed by the act of driving a wooden stake through its heart. (or the more effective method: beheading the vampire, taking out their heart and burning the body.)

Oh, and for all your vampire hunting needs, you could always stop by your local antique shop and buy yourself a vampire hunting kit! (I’m serious! These were sold a lot in the 18th century, mostly to tourists who believed that places such as London, Paris, and Romania were practically crawling with vampires.)


So, anyone interested in buying one? J (unless you’re dating a hot and sexy vampire yourself)

Comes fully equipped with holy water, stakes, crucifixes, a bible and of course the knives and ax you'll need for chopping off that vampire's head and stabbing out its heart. Happy Hunting!

[P.S: No vampires were harmed in the making of this post, nor were they hunted with the hunting kit listed above. I'm a fan of vampires and I will continue to be for many years to come :)]


Friday, October 22, 2010

And the first treat of the night is~...


Vampire and Werewolf Cupcakes!



Seriously, how could I not start off the Halloween season with the infamous Dracula and The Wolf Man? That, and once I saw cupcakes which used tic-tacs as vampire teeth I immediately started to laugh and felt that these cupcakes deserved to be first on my list :) Plus these little cupcakes are bound to be popular with any vampire or werewolf fan. Sorry they can't be as hot as the one found in the paranormal romance novels, maybe someday the recipe will come with steps to applying six pack abs? :( So, if you're interested in serving up these tasty immortals at your party, or you just want to make them and devour them yourself (like I do) then just follow these steps!:


How To Make The Vampire And Werewolf Cupcakes:

Start with 24 homemade cupcakes (or use a mix) and one batch of homemade buttercream frosting for decorating. (If using store-bought frosting, I recommend Duncan Hines, which has a good consistency. Do not use whipped frosting, which tends to droop.)

Gather the following supplies, then get started.

For the Vampire Cupcakes:
• Pastry bag with cake tips (#5, #8, and #230)
• Red jam, jelly or frosting
• Miniature chocolate chips
• Black shoelace licorice
• White Tic-Tacs
• Sliced almonds
• Ivory and black icing colors (preferably Wilton, available from Michaels or AC Moore)
• Metal spatula


For the Werewolf Cupcakes:
• Tootsie Rolls (about 6)
• Small black jelly beans (Jelly Belly brand is best)
• Yellow M&M's
• Small red gumdrops
• Brown and black icing colors (preferably Wilton, available from Michaels or AC Moore)
• Pastry bag with cake tips (#5 and #16)


start decorating!







To fill vampire cupcake, fit a pastry bag with a Bismark tip (cake tip #230). If you do not have a Bismark tip, a regular cake tip such as a #10, #12, or #16 should do the trick. Just "pre-drill" a hole in the cupcake with a wooden dowel first.

Fill the pastry bag with you favorite sweet red filling. (We used Smucker's brand strawberry preserves but you could also use another red jam or jelly or red-tinted frosting).


Repeat with remaining cupcakes (fill enough for 12 vampires or, if you'd like the werewolves to have bloody centers too, fill all 24 cupcakes).



Filling the Vampire Cupcake

Insert tip into center of cupcake until it almost reaches the bottom. Squeeze the filling into the cupcake until it just starts to ooze out of the top.

Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 1

Prepare your frosting: Take 1/2 cup frosting and mix with black icing color. Set aside. In a separate bowl, take 2 cups frosting and mix with ivory icing color (alternatively, use green or purple food coloring for your vampire's "skin").This should be enough frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes.

Using a pastry bag and a #8 cake tip, pipe an ivory border around the edge of your cupcake, then work your way in, filling in the middle until the top of the cupcake is completely covered. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can cut a small hole in the corner of a freezer bag and use that.

With a metal spatula, smooth out the frosting until flat.

TIP: By lightly wetting your spatula while smoothing out the frosting, it will make it easier to flatten out. You will have to wet the spatula a few times during the smoothing process.

Decorating Vampire Cupcakes Step 3

Using black frosting and the #5 cake tip, draw the hair for your vampire.
Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 5

Press 2 sliced almond pieces (one on each side of his head) into the frosting to create ears, then press 2 miniature chocolate chips (upside down) into the frosting to make eyes.
Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 6

Cut the black shoelace licorice into three pieces: one 1-inch piece and two quarter-inch pieces. Press the pieces into the frosting to create a mouth and some devilish eyebrows.

Vampire Cupcake Decorating Step 7

With the ivory frosting, add a nose. Then, place two Tic Tacs (one on each side of his mouth) to create fangs

Time to move on to the werewolves!


Werewolf Cupcake Decorating Step 1

Prepare your frosting: Take 1/2 cup frosting and mix with black icing color. Set aside. In a separate bowl, take 3 cups frosting and mix with brown icing color. Leave remaining frosting white (for werewolf teeth). This should be enough frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes. OPTION: Instead of coloring frosting brown, you can use chocolate frosting. Duncan Hines makes a good frosting, just do not use the whipped variety.

In the microwave, soften Tootsie Rolls (about 5 to 8 seconds). Flatten them out using your fingers and then set aside to harden.

Once the flattened Tootsie Rolls have hardened, cut triangle shapes out of them. These will be the werewolves' ears. Using brown frosting and the #16 cake tip, make 2 small dollops near the top of a cupcake (as "glue") and attach the Tootsie Roll ears.


Werewolf Cupcake Step 2

Starting from the outside edge, pipe brown frosting in multiple strokes around the cupcake to create the werewolf's fur. Cover the bottom part of the ears with fur as well. This will help to keep them on, as well as make your werewolf's fur look more realistic. Continue until
 you have filled the entire cupcake with fur.

Werewolf Cupcake Step 6

Flatten a red gumdrop with your fingers, then put it on the cupcake to create a mouth. Pipe brown frosting along the edge of the gumdrop in the same manner as you did above. Pipe a line of brown frosting just below the ears to give the werewolf a thick brow.
Werewolf Cupcakes Step 7

Stick 2 yellow M&M's sideways into the cupcake, just below the eyebrows. Place a black jelly bean right above the mouth to give him a nose.

Werewolf Cupcakes Step 8


Using black frosting and a #5 tip, draw 2 dots in the center of the M&M's to make pupils. Using white frosting and a #5 tip, draw teeth around the edge of the gumdrop to give him a fierce bite.


Enjoy!



The idea for these cutie cupcake creatures came from Here. Tomorrow I'll be going through the history and origins of these two famous folklores, as well as another yummy recipes for Halloween! :)