Category Archives: #amreading

BeetleJuice “DaY- o” Shrimp cocktail by Dan Shaurette

I am proud to share an excerpt today from Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2: a recipe from Dan Shaurette for BeetleJuice “DaY- o” Shrimp cocktail. And tomorrow I plan to try to make it. Me in the kitchen? That’s where the horror comes in. But, now for the excerpt…

BeetleJuice “DaY- o” Shrimp cocktail by Dan Shaurette


“DAY-O! Dayyyyy-ohhhh…”
Beetlejuice may be the ghost with the most, but Delia can sure throw a party. It ain’t a shindig until the shrimp cocktail is served. Take my advice, however, and share your feast with your ghostly guests rather than make them angry. Your shrimp cocktail will thank you.

While it is easy to find cooked shrimp and jars of cocktail sauce at the store, there’s something magical about a proper shrimp boil and fresh cocktail sauce.

Court bouillon or seafood boil (Old Bay, Zatarain’s, etc.)
1 lb. uncooked jumbo shrimp (shell-on and de-veined)
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp fresh or store-bought horseradish, grated
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
The juice of one large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
Yield: serves 4

Apparatus: stock pot or large cooking pot

In a large pot, bring to a rolling boil 2 quarts of water and about 1/4 cup of your favorite shrimp/seafood boil. If you want a traditional court bouillon, see the directions in the DISSECTION below.

Carefully drop your shrimp into the boil and turn off the heat. The water is hot enough to poach the shrimp at this point.

Remove the shrimp when the shells turn pink, the flesh is solid white, and they begin to curl. This is about 3-5 minutes depending on their size.

Allow the shrimp to cool to room temperature (or refrigerate them if you like) and then peel the shells off. It is to your style of presentation if you want to keep the tails on or not.

While the shrimp are cooling, prepare the cocktail sauce by mixing the ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Chill in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve either on one large bowl with the sauce in the bowl and the shrimp hooked along the edge, or provide individual cocktail glasses for each guest with sauce in the glass and shrimp around the edge, like in the Beetlejuice movie.

I prefer to cook the shrimp in their shells and then remove the shells after cooking rather than peeling them before cooking. First, this brings a lot more flavor to the boil. If you’ve ever made stock, you know what I mean. Secondly, the shells turn from brownish-gray to pink indicating that the shrimp are fully cooked. Third, the shells are easier to remove after cooking because the shrimp shrink and curl up. I usually buy frozen shrimp that are de-veined with the shells still on but split. This marries the flavor of the shells with the convenience of cleaner, easier-to-peel shrimp. If you do choose to peel the shrimp first, trust me when I say you should toss the shells into your boil so that you get all the flavor you can into the shrimp.

A court bouillon is a French term for a broth used to poach food, usually seafood. A standard version uses mirepoix, along with the juice of one lemon, and a couple bay leaves. You would bring that to a rolling boil then let it simmer for about 30 minutes before you add the shrimp.

While a court bouillon is the traditional way to poach shrimp for a cocktail—being a low-country boy at heart—I personally prefer a good ol’ shrimp boil like Old Bay. The point is to give the shrimp some flavor and not just boil in plain water.

Regarding the cocktail sauce, I know some people like to add hot sauce to their cocktail sauce—that is cheating in my mind—in order to cover up for not using good horseradish or not enough. Most stores sell jars or tubes of grated horseradish and they are quite effective on their own without peppery assistance. Feel free to kick it up a notch if you really must.

Finally, to use fresh or frozen shrimp? Frankly, unless you are catching the shrimp yourself, the shrimp were sold to you frozen. If your fishmonger sells you “fresh” shrimp, they are really thawed, previously frozen, shrimp. You can thaw your shrimp at home before cooking, but tossing in frozen shrimp adds only a few seconds of cooking time in boiling water, versus spending hours properly thawing your shrimp.

Bubba Gump might like his shrimp prepared many different ways—I admit I do as well—but I always prefer a simple yet fresh shrimp cocktail. Like Lydia, Delia, and the gang, it makes me wanna get up and dance! “Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch! Daylight come and me wan’ go hoooooome!”

To read more amazing recipes, go to: https:/

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horror addict’s life.

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile vacations.

Allow us to curate your horror lifestyle.

With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch, Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich, Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge, Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu, Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K. Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R. Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson, Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers.

Available now at Amazon: Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2

Embracing Madness: Excerpt from HORROR ADDICTS GUIDE TO LIFE 2

A brief sampling of my piece on the dual nature of madness and creativity originally written for and now reprinted in the HORROR ADDICTS GUIDE TO LIFE 2. Find it on Amazon here:


The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, since 1976, is one of the most honored literary project in America – including Highest Honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Each year they welcome up to six nominations (print or online) from little magazine and small book press editors throughout the world. The nominations may be any combination of poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs or stand-alone excerpts from novels. The Pushcart Prize is one of the last surviving literary co-ops from the 60’s and 70’s.

For the year of 2021

From Space & Time magazine

“The Ghost, the Goat and the Robot” by Mariah Montoya (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

“And I Have Served” by Alina Maciuca (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

“The Hum of the Wheel, the Clack of the Wheel” by K.G. Anderson (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

“Substance” by Blaise Langlois (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

“A Walk in the Woods” by Pete Kelly (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

“haiku” by Scheila Scheffler (Spring, 140 Space & Time)

From Yuriko Publishing

“Beyond Shouting Hill” by Lee Murray (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

“Cheongsam” by Lee Murray (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

“When the Girls Began to Fall” by Geneve Flynn (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

“Abridged” by Geneve Flynn (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

“Conversations with the Dead 1928” by Christina Sng (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

“Conversations with the Dead 2028” by Christina Sng (Tortured Willows: Bowed. Bent. Unbroken)

For the year of 2020

“interference” by Leonard Speiser (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

“I Fear the Trees” by James Harris (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

“The Skin Least Taken” by Willow Dawn Becker (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

“Lovely Ludwig Van” by Alessandro Manzetti (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

“Explorer” by Lee Murray (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

“Bitten” by Cindy O’Quinn (Winter 139, Space & Time magazine)

For the year of 2019

“A Farewell to Worms” by Jon Linwood Grant (Autumn 134, Space & Time magazine)

“A Glass Darkly” by Ian Rogers (Autumn 134, Space & Time magazine)

“Hands of a Toolmaker” by Eric Del Carlo (Winter 135, Space & Time magazine)

“Looking Into My Bone” by John Reinhart (Winter 135, Space & Time magazine)

“Crimson Faces” by Maxwell I. Gold (Winter 135, Space & Time magazine)

“Reticence-Reticências” by Luiz Peters (Winter 135, Space & Time magazine)


Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas is now available and this book is incredible… the loveliest book I’ve even been published in. Chupacabra approves everything about this book. I’ll be showing it off and reading my poem this Saturday during Cake & Hyperbull… and there will be a giveaways (but not of Shadow Atlas yet).

Truly a work of art, congratulations to the Hex publishing team for an extraordinary job. Reviews are starting to come in, and the praise is glowing. Here are just a few gems:

“Dead serious in its horror, yet delightful and inviting in its design and conceit, Shadow Atlas is a rare, beguiling treat, a collective fantasy with teeth, vision, and grounded in urgent, ancient truths.” – BookLife Reviews (BookLife section of Publishers Weekly)

“Think The DaVinci Code or Indiana Jones, but with more literary force, as it comments on mortals, immortals, and the intersection of worlds which holds them.” – Midwest Book Reviews

“A host of sublime writers and settings create an entertainingly macabre collection.”– Kirkus Reviews


Horror Tree just shared their list of Indie Bookshelf CHARITY Releases and there are some fantastic looking books here including some I hadn’t seen yet. I was also pretty excited to see Giving the Devil His Due included, the charity anthology I contributed a story for. All proceeds go to the Pixel Project which seeks to end violence against women.

There are 14 books listed in all. Every book supports a different charity and all were published by small and indie press. Good reading for a good cause… what’s not to love?

Check the list out for yourself:


Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich, the Horror Writers Associations presents their eighth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best in never-before-published dark verse. Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich with judges Sara Tantlinger and myself, this year features the first Crystal Lake Poetry Contest winner, poems from Cynthia Pelayo, Lindy Ryan, Sarah Read, Alicia Hilton, Corrine De Winter, Sumiko Saulson, Querus Abuttu, Carina Bissett, Lee Murray and many more poems from the talented members of the Horror Writers Association. Cover artwork by Robert Cabeen. I’m excited to have the honor of editing the next two volumes in this series.

Thank you to Stephanie for putting together this incredible collection and Sara for judging with me. Now Available in Print and on Kindle here.


Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

One of the interesting articles I read this week was from Kristin Nelson, founder of the Nelson Literary Agency. Titled “14 Reasons Agenting Is Harder Now Than 20 Years Ago,” she brings up some really interesting points from an agent’s point of view that I’ve never considered.

One of the points I found most surprising was email. As I work to bring my own inbox under control this week, I was surprised to read that agents struggle with bloated inbox too. You won’t hear me whining about it anymore. Where I receive maybe 20-30 emails a day, Kristin gets 300. “Three hundred emails is a light day… The pace of business is simply faster now with immediate responses often necessary,” she says.

Not that I ever wanted to be an agent, but that alone would deter me. It also really makes me want to hug an agent. Great piece to see what’s going on in from a different POV, you can read it all here.


In my book mail this week: The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (available here). This is a release from the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, a line of reissued classic horror literature books from over the past 250 years. From Poisoned Pen Press and The Horror Writers Association (HWA) these books are recognized as literary masterpieces of their era.

Today they are remembered only through distorted theatrical or movie versions, have been relegated to academic study, or have otherwise been nearly forgotten entirely. Series editors Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger now bring back these seminal titles of the genre, making them easily available to modern readers.

I grew up reading classics but most of these I’ve never read. Over the next year I’m going to try to work through this list, starting with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle… I thought I read all his works but I think I may have missed this one. Thank you to the HWA, Poisoned Pen and Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger for bringing these back.

Check out the complete collection here. What book will you choose?


Happy birthday to one of my favorite writers of all time—Neil Gaiman. I first discovered him with The Sandman comics. Death was my role model, Morpheus was my crush. Those books taught me how to be a person.

I got to hear him speak in person back in 2018. It’s impossible to pick a favorite Gaiman book, but Stardust, Coraline, American Gods and all The Sandman graphic novels would be on that list. Short post, because I’m going to celebrate Neil’s special day with him—maybe The Graveyard Boys. What are your favorite Gaiman books? Here’s a list in case you need refreshing.

It’s also Jack Ketchum’s birthday but that makes me sad. Jack/Dallas passed away in 2018. I was lucky to have gotten to meet him a few times. He was one of the first to welcome me into the horror community as I bummed cigarettes off him and we talked about cats. He was impossible not to like, even if I could never finish The Girl Next Door. No fault of the writing, the subject matter is one I avoid. RIP Jack…

And speaking of passing away, Neil Gaiman is currently on a mission to prompt writers to make sure they have wills. It’s a morbid topic to be sure, but when has that ever stopped me? You can read Neil’s take on the importance of wills for writers, and download a sample will here.

And in case you haven’t seen the new Sandman trailer… you’re welcome.


The Last Sakura: Tales of the Yuta by Ashley Nakanishi is not my normal reading material but I’m glad I picked it up. The reason for my interest came from the reference to yuta. A yuta is an Okinawan medium, which figured heavily into the research I was digging through with for Tortured Willows.

If I did need anymore convincing to read a YA, how could I resist any book that features the hajichi—Okinawan hand tattoos—featured so prominently on the cover? Hajichi are a cultural practice by Okinawan women that has been all but stamped out because of cultural oppression. I plan to get hajichi myself one day when we are no longer in lockdown. To see the tattoos featured so beautifully, I was hooked.

This is a cute story about a girl named Kiko and her sister who are packed up and sent to live with their obaa in Okinawa after their mother dies. The text is rich with cultural reference and while the yuta “magic” is really ramped up with some Hollywood-grade special effects, on the whole I not only enjoyed the story but learned some things from it. There are some good messages here for younger readers about anger, guilt, regret, forgiveness and the importance of culture.

The illustrations by Toni Silva add a lot to this book. I probably spent as much time studying the illustrations as I did reading the text. Humorous and clever, The Last Sakura: Tales of the Yuta is a pleasure to read and look at. Definitely worth it. Parents looking for a different type of “witch” book for teens with some true cultural value can find it here.

Find it on Amazon here.