A Halloween Story – The Dirt Room

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[Halloween-art.com]

Folks have asked me where my inspiration for fantasy comes from and I tell them about my grandma. Visiting her house was like visiting the gates of Otherworld. She’d tell us stories about the gnomes and other magical creatures. Often we’d wake up in the morning to find candy in our shoes. Grandma would assure us the pixies had filled them with sweet treats during the night.

The next question I’m usually asked?

You seem like such a nice lady. Where did the horror stuff come from?

I usually shrug and tell them how I’ve always loved ghost stories. Writing dark fantasy is a great way for me to share wonderful spine tingling tales. It also allows me to explore the darker side of human nature. Then I started gathering ideas for this blog post and a repressed memory bubbled to the surface.

My grandmother’s house (built in the late 1920’s and made out of copper) rests at the mouth of Bingham Canyon in the little town of Copperton, UT. Once consisting of several little mining towns – including Galena Gulch and Highland Boy Mines – Bingham Canyon was eventually gobbled up by the Kennecott Copper Mine. The land was once home to several miners. If you ask me, they never left.

I still remember the narrow stairs descending from her kitchen to the backyard. Go left instead of right and you’d find yourself headed down into every kid’s nightmare. Some of you may be old enough to remember your own grandmother’s house. Do you recall the grumbling roar of those furnaces or the hiss of steam heat coming from the radiator pipes in each room?

Her basement was best avoided, but sometimes we’d have no choice. Grandma would send us down to her wash room for one errand or another. Braving the hollow sounds of my shoes striking the stairs, I’d descend toward the roar of the furnace. I remember the washroom and my uncle’s empty bedroom were painted a sickly mint green. Following the high gloss (and I’m sure lead-based) paint around the wash room, I’d head to my grandpa’s work bench.

Standing between me and my objective was a 3’ x 3’ door suspended in the very center of the wall. Reaching it required a ladder. Open the door and an unsettling darkness greeted you. Grandma called it the ‘dirt room’. I thought of it as the gates of hell. Every lost soul who’d ever passed through the mouth of the canyon could have stepped upon the dark earth in that room. I could feel them every time I went near that door.

Grandma passed away several years ago. Her children and grandchildren had the sad job of gathering her things. Somehow I got stuck with the basement and its Dirt Room. My flash light was a comfort as I climbed inside. The confident belief in “childhood fantasies have gone now that I’m grown up” vanished as soon as my feet hit the dirt. Utter darkness surrounded me, suffocating my courage. I clung to the only source of hope – the flash light.

Running the beam along the floor, I found old metal toys from the 40s and glass bottles from gawd only knows. Gathering as many as I could, I continued the search. Then my light hit them. Discarded doll heads. Not just any doll heads, but porcelain ones with the open and close eyes. You know. The ones that are usually possessed by a malevolent spirit.

Then the furnace roared. Something moved in the faint fringe of the flash light. I don’t know what it was. I don’t care what it was. Backing toward the door, I kept the beam in a protective circle about my legs. I crawled back out and shut the door. The house has new owners now. If they had any sense, they’d sheet rock over that door and forget it’s there.

Meanwhile upstairs in the light, the rest of the clan had been busy. Imagine my giddy excitement when my mother showed us the two intact porcelain dolls she’d found in the hidey hole above my grandma’s closet! A Shirley Temple doll and a Roxie doll (named for my grandma’s other daughter who’d passed away as a child). Both of them had those blinky demon possessed eyes. Shiver. My mother had them refurbished and still displays them by her bedside. I believe her plan is to leave them to one of her granddaughters. Maybe they can terrify a new generation?

So what childhood terror do you still carry around? Besides clowns I mean. Everybody hates clowns. Snakes maybe? Bugs? A deceased relative’s painted face in a casket? Leave your answer in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Halloween!

Witchy Week: The Season of the Witch

Witchy Week continues with my special guest, Guenivere. Thank you for joining us and sharing your creative process. And check out the pendants! Gorgeous.

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I love everything about Halloween! The fall leaves, the wind that chills your bones. The earth opens its dwellings to the warmth of little creatures and preparation for the turning of the season. The trees let go of their leaves and hold strong to the wind and cold. I feel the cold ground, at my feet as I look up into the sky, I watch for the winds of change to guide me. I wait for Luna to illuminate my view. The season of the witch is once again upon me. Different from the season before for my focus this year is a creative endeavor.

I like to create, love to dress up and feel the familiarity of a costume. Not only the interactions of trick or treaters, forming in the streets. People gather, they dance, sing, eat food and entertain children. You will always see a witch costume. She is always represented. The old woman, the crone. In history and urban myth from long ago. So many representations, but my focus for now is to learn the groundwork that calls to me personally.

For myself, the idea of the witch can today still tap into the ideas of each one of us, especially of course, as a solitary practitioner. The ways in which we learn how to help, to heal, to work together and most fortunate to learn the mysteries of connection in life and survive earthly ways. Just think if our conscious understood wholeheartedly that we are just like trees interconnected to each other constantly. Like an ocean wave, just Imagine.

Our herstory as womyn, our community involvement “She” has and can be the holder of community secrets. “She” has been seen as many things, the ebb and flow can be expressed in universal connection with some of the oldest of our origins written and existing knowledge.
 Root work, Shaman work, Medicine womyn of the community all the way to Ayurvedic practitioners to Homeopathic or Acupuncturists today.

The witch, can also express aspects of who we are as women in earthly realms.
 How we create, in image2the kitchen, in the garden, in our health, in our world and
relationships. Who was known “to stand tall” in community? To speak, for natural
 law? To farm and work with the environment and her seasonal changes to live, to 
survive with loved ones. These ideas about cycles of life is represented here with the turning of the wheel and eight celebrations of the year.

image3The woman that circles in the background of every herstorical aspect in our earthly time, the moon. She is always with us and constantly influencing. This pendant shows the crescent moon with a fire opal’s star created and dancing alongside her.

More amulets that “came up” in the beginnings of this study were created for the purpose of design and use as a tool. A wand, a first tool in drawing, mixing and calling forth purpose. For myself wands bring such young energy of growing up, imagining the possibilities of the dream. Witches write symbols to protect and charge the representations of beliefs and ideas. What tools were created? What would
 the altar look like, how does it function? It is a big borderless beautiful
 subject in front of me. So I ask and listen, beginning with some items close
 to me. A chalice unearthed from long ago, representation of womyn, water
 the west and ever flowing survivalist. This chalice is broken image4and scarred but 
still holds water. Made as an amulet for traveling altars, my favorite symbol to recreate so far.

Another strong representation of our divine purpose and power was documenting that wisdom. Giving the wisdom life as knowledge through spoken word and birthed itself in cuneiform work. We will need a writing instrument! I loved the challenge of chisel and hammer to create a quill feather, I intentionally set this pendant to the left before I learned the feather actually came from the left wing. Specifically made for the right handed.

For myself, I have found in my spiritual studies they especially like the left. For example, two left hands on deities to show “source”, let’s say. Me as a growing being, writing left handed I had finally felt welcomed. In the spirit of, automatically connecting to “source” as soon as the pen is put to paper, this pendants setting was chosen to constantly dance to write, moving in the air. So inspiring for me!

image5Constant learning to express myself through silversmithing. When I work, I feel and understand the energy, easier sometimes than the trickyness of alchemy in metal. The use and metaphysical properties of the stone. Finding the energy and study of the idea I want to express, is pure creation for me. Sometimes I simply create homes for stones. Other times the energy comes forth and teaches me, shows me definition of symbolism strengthening my intuition to listen, design. I learn my craft, spirit and matter work together and sometimes I can create a dream into reality. I want to express symbols that stand the test of time and I hope you may recognize today. I hope I have inspired you with my journey.

You can view more of my work online at https://squareup.com/store/queniveresjewelry

Many blessings to you and your witchy path.
 Like rising tide to the moon, merry meet and merry meet again!

 

Witchy Week: Najah Lightfoot

Welcome to Witchy Week!

The Spooky Season is filled with images of gnarled old witches with big hats and even bigger noses. They’re plastered across bags of Halloween candy. The stores are filled with sparkly witch costumes and green face makeup. I shake my head as I pass by the aisle. How did we come to caricature an entire group? I blame Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

We have witches among us today. The ones I’ve met look nothing like the cartoon candy bag characters. They are ordinary people walking a different path. So what is it like to be a real life witch? I’ll let the experts tell you in their own words. My first guest is Najah Lightfoot.

 

Hail and Welcome DTJ readers!

I’m excited to share my thoughts during DTJ’s Witchy Week. I’d like to thank C.R. Richards for this wonderful opportunity.

A bit about me: I am Contributing Author for Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing. I write for the Spell-A-Day, Witches’ Companion, Magical Almanac and Witches’ Datebook series. In short I am a practicing Witch, living my Craft one day at time, as the Wheel turns.

As with all lovers of this Season, I enjoy the cooler temperatures, falling leaves, the gorgeous Harvest full moon, and the chance to wear my Witchy clothes. I enjoy decorating my home in the spirit and fun of Halloween. I look forward to attending Witches’ Balls and Day of the Dead celebrations.  And with reverence I await the night of October 31st, to honor my ancestors and loved ones, who have gone before me, in the tradition of what we call Samhain, which is pronounced Sow (like “cow”) -in.

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As I write this post, I’m sipping coffee from my pentagram mug. The window is open and cool breezes are flowing across me.  I’ve just come in from my back yard, where I’ve honored the four directions, including Mother Earth and the Divine Spirit within. For me, this is how I practice being a true Witch. Being true is a practice of honoring Nature, ourselves as magickal people, and our ability to manifest change and good intentions.

A lot of people during this time of year like to dress up as Witches. For some it’s a sneaky way to embrace the calling of “Witch” they’ve felt for a long time. For others it’s an opportunity to come “out of the broom closet.”

It can be a long and difficult journey to announce your Witchyness to the World. I was recently reminded of the real fear people have about Witches, through an old black and white movie, called “Horror Hotel.” In the film local townspeople who are labeled “Witches,” wear black cloaks, kidnap and murder innocent people in the name of their religion. Oh my heart! Nothing could be farther from the truth in my experiences and in the Circle of my friends. These types of movies give practicing Witches a “bad rap.”

For many Pagans and Witches, this is a sacred time. During this time of Samhain, we honor our loved ones who have gone before us. As the veil thins, we create ancestor altars and perform divination for ourselves.

During this season, lots of seekers ask, “how do I become a Witch?”

From my experience, being a Witch is a calling that arises from deep within you. If you’ve asked that question, you already know you’re leaning in that direction. Many people choose to self-dedicate themselves after long periods of seeking. Some connect with teachers, while others may join covens. A high percentage of people simply practice being solitary Witches – where they can practice as they see fit, while joining in with group activities from time to time.

What you’ll find is that Witches are as unique and different as Moonrise and Sunset. None of us do it exactly the same way. There is no right way or wrong way to practice. One goes by heart, feel and intuition. The Craft is a mystery. It seeks to wander and explore.  It’s always best to trust your inner guides, listen to your Higher Power, and practice discernment. If you decide to choose this path, relax and enjoy the ride.

If you’re seeking resources, here are few places to get started:

Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing

http://www.llewellyn.com/

The Witches Voice

http://www.witchvox.com/

Dragonfest 2016

Feel free to look me up or follow me:

http://www.facebook.com/NajahLightfoot

http://www.twitter.com/NajahLightfoot

http://sistermoon13.blogspot.com

May you have a blessed and happy Halloween/Samhain season

 

Guest Post: Author Liv Hadden

I’m a really happy person, which doesn’t mean much unless you’ve read my novel, In the Mind of Revenge. You can tell from the title it’s not a tale of unicorns, rainbows, and happy-endings. It is dark, twisted, sad, murderous, and most certainly violent. So, I often get asked where I got the idea for this book, especially since it seems so opposite of me and my life experience.

Well, besides my love of all things Halloween (Creepy? Scary? Paranormal? Yes, please!), the inspiration for this particular story started as all my ideas do—with an unexpected visit from the main character. Shame came to me in a dream during a time of depression, which I am sure is why I latched on. In honor of Halloween and the release of the audiobook version of In the Mind of Revenge on October 31, I thought I would share the haunting that started it all—my eerie dream of shame.

***

The silence is heavy and jarring in a way no amount of noise could ever be. It commands stillness, taunting me to dare cross it. My lungs burn as they expand as far as they possibly can. I do not exhale despite my chest’s urging. Every inch of me is working hard to suppress the panic bubbling in my gut. The vast emptiness around me does nothing to aid my cause. Hot breath sends an icy chill across my neck and shoulders. I stiffen, hoping it is possible to be more still, more silent than I already am. I am becoming part of the emptiness, releasing into it everything I am made of. I know I will die in this place, slowly consumed by the darkness of silence.

It is then a whisper tickles my neck, curling its way around, tightening its grip. It crushes my throat, denying me any option for one last breath. I do my best not to look, not to hear. Just let me go, I shout inside the prison of my mind. But, it is stronger than me and its message rings through the air, cutting through the stark silence.

“I see you.”

Everything in me wants to recoil, but it won’t let me. The pressure in my chest and stomach are unbearable. I open my mouth, relenting to the burning in my lungs, but no air enters them. It’s strangling me, this invisible demon. I can feel it bucking and bursting in its relentless pursuit to break free of my body. Despite the blackness of my surroundings, I can see the demon oozing from my abdomen, one tendril at a time. It is blacker than the darkest night, more sinister than its most evil villain.

The contents of my bowels spill onto the ground with the amorphous form of the demon that was once living inside me. The smell is wretched, like nothing my senses have ever encountered before. I can see the stink of rot floating around the demon as it begins to grow larger. Fear grips me, urging me to run, but I cannot move my feet. I must watch in horror as the monster that has been suffocating me for years begins to take form. Black demonic fingers extend and retract from arms that are defining themselves quicker than I’d like.

I am scared to look, to face my demon. I close my eyes as hard as I can, my attention immediately drawn to my exposed insides. The hole my monster crawled from is still there, a wound I know will never heal. Blood is steadily dripping from the tear, which I now fear is feeding the demon. Suddenly, it is near me, its lips grazing my ear lobe. We are both still, waiting for the other to make a move. I wonder if it knows I am paralyzed. Is this part of its game? I can think of nothing crueler than continuing to plague me with the ultimate villain in dark silence like this—time.

Hands shoot up to my face. Fingers pry open my eyes, forcing me to see what I have been dreading. “I see you,” it hisses, licking my left cheek as if taste testing its last meal. My eyes lock with its, stopping my heart with the realization of its true nature. Staring back into my eyes is me—a shadow Peter Pan would surely be glad to lose. Though, I know it is more than just a shadow. It is the embodiment of everything I have ever hated about myself. Every piece of me I have ever abhorred, detested, looked down upon. I am right—my demon is drinking of my blood…of my shame.

My shame begins to laugh hysterically, its low booming voice somehow sounding of many. It wields its right hand to deliver my final death blow, plunging its fist into my chest. I can feel razor sharp claws penetrating my heart, slowly sealing my fate. It whispers in my ear again, one more time before it releases me into the nothingness for good.

“You fool.”

I begin to fall. The descent lasts so long I am certain there is no end. To my surprise, my shame is falling with me, now fused to my heart. It is a part of me now in a way I cannot escape. I knew I would die in this this place.

In the space where acceptance meets desperation, I feel a tugging that wrenches my head backward, threatening to remove it from my neck. My shame cries out in agony, and I realize the tugging is not hurting me. In fact, it is refreshing, like melting ice against too hot skin. No, the tugging is not breaking me—it is interrupting the black shadow’s snack of my feeble heart and soured soul. My demon’s ghoulish screams are music to my ears. I wonder what has come to fight it and hope it will win. The heat of it I now recognize as an old friend I was certain had abandoned me long ago. Love bends around me, cradling me in its arms, its whispers sweet and tender.

“I see you.”

I am at a crossroads called choice, and I must make a decision. It seems simple to my heart, who is suffocating under the weight of shame. Yet, my mind is ill-content to let it rest as such—these things are not so clear. This demon is mine—this demon I have earned. It came from me. It is of me. I must carry its weight. My shame knows I do not deserve love. The warmth rescinds as quickly as it came, leaving one last message before it departs.

“You fool.”

The blackness consumes me, and I disappear into my demon’s rotten form. We are one now, indistinguishable from one another. Where I start, my demon begins. I am my shame. My shame is me. We are the Shamed.

inthemindofrevenge_finalcover

Check out the trailer! Intense!

Grab Your Copy on Amazon

About The Author

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Debut novelist Liv Hadden has been writing ever since she was a little girl. But, it wasn’t until 5th grade when her teacher said she’d one day write a book that she started taking it seriously.

Her Shamed series began in college, when Hadden employed her writing as an outlet for her feelings during a serious bout of depression. After a brief, yet impactful first night of writing, she dreamt of a shadowy figure, tormented and demonized by their own mind and realized this was the shadow of pain that hurting people everywhere felt.

She woke from her dream feeling more energized that she had in months, picked up her computer and began to write. “I felt if ever there was a story inside me and a character worth taking the leap, it was Shame and this story,” says Hadden. “This one in particular is personal in nature, and perhaps the very reason it’s so close to my heart.”

Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont  and has lived in upstate New York and Oklahoma, where she went to college at the University of Oklahoma,, and earned her degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning & Management.  She now resides in Austin, TX with her husband and two dogs, Madison and Samuel and is an active member of the Writer’s League of Texas.

Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis. She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions, like music, body art, dance and photography. “I get chills when I have the great privilege of seeing someone express their authentic selves,” says Hadden. “I believe it gives us a true glimpse into the souls of others.

Author Website: LivHadden.com

A DTJ October

The Scary Season is here at last!

I have some fun plans for the blog in October:

Me on a local talk show (absolutely frightening).

Ghostly encounters in the Denver area.

And “Witchy Week” – Get the skinny on some real life witches. A few of my amazing friends share some creative…well, you’ll just have to join us the week of October 24th!

TinyPumpkin

Scream Week Guest Post: Good Omens by Duncan Ralston

This is probably going to sound like utter bullshit, but the night I started writing Salvage (a ghost story about a town submerged for a hydroelectric dam, and the people still haunted by its past), my house flooded.

The flood started in a broken pipe to the dishwasher while my roommate and I slept.  The rubber pipe split, and leaked water into the wall. The dishwasher hadn’t even been on at the time. The wall burst some time later from the pressure, and water spilled down the stairs into the basement. The basement ceiling split open from the weight of water. When I woke up, the entire basement was filled with about six inches of water. I spent the morning cleaning up, making sure DVDs were picked up off the floor and electronics and wiring hadn’t been affected by the water.

The strangest thing about this was that before I went to bed that night, I’d just finished writing a scene in which the main character, Owen, whose younger sister has just died from drowning, has a dream that his childhood home floods in the while he sleeps.

I’d like to think it’s a coincidence. I’d like to.

Another sort of weird thing happened during the writing: I’d picked a song to be played during a key scene in the book, Rock and Hyde’s (formerly The Payolas) “Dirty Water,” which is about religious corruption and hypocrisy. That day before work, I turned on the radio to hear that very song. I thought it was sort of odd, and kind of cool, but didn’t think too much of it. But one day a few weeks or a month later I was doubting myself, worried I was wasting my time, that I was writing the wrong book. I turned on the radio, and lo and behold, Rock and Hyde’s “Dirty Water” was playing.

I tried not to succumb to magical thinking, but after three, four times, I couldn’t help myself. It was a good omen, I told myself. This is the right book. This is the right time. It helped me get through the first draft.

I haven’t heard the song since.

 

salvage

SALVAGE: a Ghost Story

Something is Lurking Under the Lake

When Owen Saddler’s little sister mysteriously drowns, Owen is determined to uncover the circumstances by following in her footsteps, even if it means diving into the murky–some would say haunted–waters of Chapel Lake.

Thirty years earlier, the town of Peace Falls had been flooded to build a hydroelectric dam, and its ruins remain below the surface of Chapel Lake. The strange disappearance of the town Pastor, along with many of the parishioners, still haunts the citizens of Chapel Lake. But does the church haunt the lake itself? Is Owen really seeing ghosts… or has he descended into the depths of madness?

Salvage is the debut horror novel of author Duncan Ralston (Gristle & Bone). A darkly disturbing story of depression, religious fanaticism, and the afterlife, Salvage seeks to illuminate the evil within us all.

http://myBook.to/Salvage

 

DuncanRalston

Duncan Ralston was born in Toronto, and spent his teens in a small town. As a “grown-up,” Duncan lives with his girlfriend and their dog in Toronto, where he writes about the things that frighten and disturb him. In addition to his twisted short stories found in GRISTLE & BONE and THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS, his debut novel,SALVAGE, is available for preorder now.

Website: www.duncanralston.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/duncanralstonfiction

Amazon: http://Author.to/DuncanRalston

Trick Or Treat? I’ll Take The Treats!

TinyPumpkinHalloween Treats

from The Crazy Lady Authors

The Crazy Lady Authors are a group of women authors who support each other (almost) unconditionally. And, yes, we are all just a little bit crazy, so the name fits. We’re also busy women with diverse ideas of what it means to rustle up a batch of treats (or dinner) for the hobgoblins in our lives – not only on Halloween, but also on all those days when we’re crazy busy trying to keep up with our families and day jobs while still making a deadline and keeping our muses happy. Plus, who knew that even our muses could sometimes be foodies? In fact, you’ll find food rather prominently featured in some of our books. What the muse wants, the muse gets – just like those adorable little hobgoblins. As it turns out, our muses got together and  inspired us to write a cookbook . . .

Cooking with the Crazy Lady Authors.

CookingwithCrazyLadyAuthors

Today we’re sharing some easy ways to make Halloween treats for your favorite little tricksters . . . as well as a couple of Halloween cocktails especially for you – and any sexy creatures of the night you may encounter.

First, some treats for the hobgoblins . . .

PopcornBalls

Photo: Pinterest

Caramel Popcorn Balls – from the kitchen of RE Hargrave
1. Prepare 6 cups of popped popcorn (remove un-popped kernels so nobody cracks a tooth!)
2. In extra large pot, melt down and bring to a boil; stir occasionally:
2 sticks of butter (or 1 cup)
2 cups packed brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
3. BOIL for 4-5 minutes then remove from heat and add last ingredients, stirring quickly:
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
*OPTIONAL: add orange or black food coloring
4. Drizzle caramel over the popped corn and gently stir in a folding motion to coat
*OPTIONAL: add candy corn or nuts
5. Working quickly, but carefully so as not to burn your hands, shape the caramel corn into balls.
6. Wrap individually with wax paper, saran wrap, or in Ziploc baggies.
7. ENJOY!

Halloween Popcorn Mix – from the kitchen of Teri Riggs
One large bowl of popcorn (micro-wave is fine), one bag of M&Ms, one bag of Halloween Candy Corn, one bag of peanuts, and salt to taste. Mix it all in one large bowl and serve.

 

TexasCake

Photo: Pinterest

Texas Sheet Cake – from the kitchen of Melanie James

This makes a big brownie-like cake that serves a crowd. It can be adapted for any occasion, such as Halloween.

Ingredients:

2 Sticks butter or margarine

1 Cup water

4 Tablespoons baking chocolate

2 Cups sugar

2 Cups all-purpose flour

½ Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon baking soda

½ Cup sour cream

3 Eggs

½ Cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt margarine in a pan. Add water and chocolate. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Add sugar, flour, and salt mixing well. Beat in eggs, baking soda, and sour cream. Stir in nuts. Pour on to a greased 11×16 cookie sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Fudge frosting

1 Stick margarine

4 Tablespoons baking chocolate

6 Tablespoons milk

1 Teaspoon vanilla

5 Cups sifted powdered sugar

Melt margarine in a pan on low. Add in chocolate, vanilla, and milk. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Slowly whisk in sifted powdered sugar. Pour over top of FULLY cooled cake. Next, decorate with Halloween candy on top. Allow frosting to set 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Easy Peasy Cake Mix Cookies – from the kitchen of Jennifer Theriot

I started making these when my kids were younger. They all love chocolate chip cookies – I’m short on time, so this recipe was a no-brainer for me. They come together fast, and as

quickly as you make them, they get eaten. Get as creative as you want with these. I’ve done chocolate chip cookies, using a yellow butter recipe cake mix with chocolate chips and

nuts. These are also good with a lemon cake mix and white chocolate chips. For Halloween I suggest a spice or carrot cake mix and chocolate chips or some dried fruit.

Ingredients:

1 packaged cake mix (any flavor)

2 eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

Optional adds (1 cup chocolate chips, nuts, and dried cranberries – whatever you choose)

Directions:

Mix the cake mix, eggs and oil. Add your optional ingredients and drop by tablespoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes a couple dozen.

TIP: I take a fork and flatten the cookies halfway into the baking

just to make them look more like bakery cookies.

And, finally, some Halloween cocktails for you and your favorite sexy creature of the night  . . .

ChocMart

Photo: Pinterest

 Chocolate Martini – from the kitchen of Angela Ford

Makes 1 drink:

Ingredients:

2 Oz chocolate liqueur

1 Oz Vodka

8 Ice cubes or crushed ice

1 Oz Chocolate milk

1 Chocolate bar

Directions:

Pour the liqueur, vodka and chocolate milk in the shaker.

Add 8 cubes of ice.

Shake it hard! 20 times at least.

Double strain the cocktail into your chilled martini glass or over crushed ice in an old fashioned, or rocks glass.

Shave a piece of the chocolate bar over the drink, the shavings will add flavor and color. Or grate it and use it to rim the glass.

Note: You can also use dark crème de cacao instead of vodka.

 

DracKiss

Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

 Dracula’s Kiss – from the kitchen of Jayne Hyatt

The drink creates two layers for an elegant and spooky effect; the bottom is red with grenadine and the top is black with cola.

Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

½ ounce grenadine

1 ounce vodka, whiskey or rum

Cola, regular or cherry flavored

Maraschino cherries.

Method:

Pour the grenadine into the bottom of a clear glass.

Add ice and liquor of your choice.

Carefully top off with cola; DON’T STIR, you don’t want to disturb the grenadine syrup.

Garnish with maraschino cherries.

If you’re feeling playful, hang a plastic spider from the rim of the glass.

 

Don’t forget to check out our cookbook. It’s a diverse collection of recipes that has something for everyone. Available on Amazon.

You can learn more about The Crazy Lady Authors at our blog,

And, we’d love for you to connect with us on Facebook.

Happy Halloween!

TinyPumpkin