Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas: Guest Post by Courtney Alameda

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On this Christmas eve, I’m happy to have the Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas tour stop by – I mean, y’all know me by now, right? >.< But don’t worry, it’s a lot more fun than scary 😉 On each day of this tour, Courtney is featuring a Christmas monster – keep reading to find out ours with a fun guest post below along with a giveaway! Here’s a bit of info on the book, too:

Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas: Guest Post by Courtney AlamedaShutter by Courtney Alameda
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA
Buy on Amazon

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas: Yule Cat

Hi! I’m Courtney Alameda, author of the soon-to-be published YA horror novel, SHUTTER. I love Christmastime and all things scary, so I wanted to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite Christmas beasties with everyone this year—twelve of them, to be exact! Join me and a few of my blogger friends every day from December 13 – 24, as we feature different holiday nightmares . . . if you dare!

So without further ado . . .

Nightmare Twelve: Yule Cat Won’t Make You LOL

I saved my favorite nightmare for last! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you for your holiday horror consumption . . . YULE CAT!

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 12.27.39 AM

I can’t even tell you how excited I am that Yule Cat is a real thing—he’s even better than Mari Lywd, the Welsh zombie Christmas horse, because Yule Cat’s not benevolent. Yule Cat will toy with you, kill you, and eat you with relish. Don’t let the somber picture above fool you—Yule Cat’s actually having the time of his life.

So what’s the deal with Yule Cat? Well, for starters, he belongs to Gryla, the ogress who descends from the mountains during the twelve days before Christmas and feeds on naughty children. Like his owner, Yule Cat is predisposed to violence, and stalks the countryside on Christmas Day, eating every person who isn’t wearing a new article of clothing.

. . . Wait, what?

That’s right—you’d better work hard enough during the year to earn a new article of clothing, or else Yule Cat is going to eat you on Christmas Day. Happy holidays!

Icelanders used tales of Yule Cat to incentivize their children to work hard and help get the autumn wool processed before Christmas. The children who helped with the work would receive new clothes, but those who did not were marked as “naughty” by their parents and became Fancy Feast for Yule Cat. Ouch.

Some people believe that Yule Cat’s just a metaphor for winter. I say that’s no fun.

Thanks to the wonderful Giselle and Xpresso Reads for hosting this post! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a pre-ordered copy of SHUTTER, a “Reaper” necklace, and a signed bookplate. Please note that the giveaway is US only, and we promise prizes will include a new article of clothing you can wear to fend off Yule Cat!

Happiest of holidays, everyone!

About the Author

Courtney Alameda’s spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran of the big-box bookstore trenches, Courtney now works as a librarian for the prettiest library you’ve ever seen, where she spends her time ordering large stacks of YA books, doing readers’ advisory, and dressing up as various mythical creatures for a variety of library events.

Courtney has an affinity for brightly colored lipstick, urban exploration, cosplay, video games, and Twitter. If she’s listening to music, it’s usually Florence + the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Rodrigo y Gabriela, or Jason Graves. Her addiction to Dr. Pepper is legendary.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the amazing and talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with a legion of books and a tiny, five pound cat who possesses a giant personality.





Courtney has generously offered up a fab giveaway for our stop. You can win a Preorder of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, reaper necklace, and signed bookplate!

Open to US addresses only
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Y’all have a wonderful Christmas!

Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Posted by on 11/11/2014 • 31 Comments

The Helsing Corps only showed up when someone didn’t stay dead.

Do you hear that? Those are the sounds of my tears dropping, because shit just got serious, and I am overwhelmed with emotions over the fact that YA does know how to write a horror-filled, action-packed book. I nearly gave up! Hallelujah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

If you liked Fatal Frame, you would like this. Even though I only played 15 minutes of that game, it was enough to permanently scar my brain for the rest of my life. Everything was going so well with the slow prologue, and then a ghost appeared from out of nowhere and I threw my Playstation controller at the TV and ran out of the room like shrieking like a baby (I am not kidding. My little brother…

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Posted by on 10/01/2014 • 17 Comments

I really REALLY wanted to love this one. A girl with mysterious powers who doesn’t age and can apparently never truly die!? What’s not cool about that? If it wasn’t for the infinite details that bogged the plot down to a snail’s pace, it might have fared better with me, but my interest quickly waned and kept dropping until I found myself skimming the last few chapters.

I love a book that immediately throws you in the action like Lailah does, grabbing your attention with all the excitement, but in this case I mostly felt dazed by the disorganized chaos. This abrupt start left me with no time to get to know our main character, I simply felt disjointed without any emotional investment. When we meet Gabriel, for instance,…

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Posted by on 08/14/2014 • 22 Comments

Whoa! Having had no luck with witch books lately this was a nice surprise. It’s unique and well written, with a quick pacing that turned it into an unputdownable read.

Trial by Fire starts with the introduction of Lily, a sickly girl who has had a rough life of weakness and fevers. I knew right then that this was going to be a great read. This girl was funny, awkward, easy to connect to, and with a compelling narrative voice. Plus you just knew this constant sickness was something witchy and had you craving to know more. Wanting to get away from all of it, Lily finally gives in to the voice inside her head that, unbeknownst to her, is from another world completely. When she suddenly finds herself in…

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by on 02/05/2014 • 22 Comments

When I read Cinder in 2012 I came out of it feeling like we had a rocky love/hate relationship. In the end I rated it 3 stars and then bumped it up to 4 stars a few weeks later. Then Meyer put out Scarlet and the novel came into my life like a wrecking ball (cue Miley singalong here) and tore me apart. Scarlet completely immersed me in the character’s lives and it literally had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I believe I ended up rating that one 5 stars x1000 on my blog. Now that I have read Cress I am sad to say that the reading experience was much more like the one I had with Cinder rather than the completely perfect one…

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted by on 01/14/2014 • 30 Comments

Holy crap what a wild ride! In this 3rd novel of the Lunar Chronicles series, we meet Rapunzel Cress and embark on her unplanned journey to earth. This novel is easily my favorite in the series thus far – and funnily, Rapunzel is also my favorite fairytale princess! We are just meant to be!

We swing into action from the very beginning of this novel, during which we meet Cress and get to know the kind of life she lived inside this satellite for almost a decade. Like always, I love the references to the original fairy-tales this series is based on. After an explosive start, we engage on a survivalist-type story through a desert that is described with such realism you will feel parched and out of breath, Cress’s…

Review: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Review: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Posted by on 05/14/2013 • 27 Comments

Sky on Fire, the sequel to Monument 14, is more action packed and exciting, but the writing is still filled with irritating quirks that doesn’t allow me to give it a higher rating, no matter how much I might have enjoyed the rest–which was actually quite a bit.

Since we’re at it, let me tell you what I mean about the writing. I knew from the first book that the author likes to write as if her readers are a little… slow? The first novel was filled with commentaries and unnecessary repetitions to make sure we understood clearly what was happening. This sequel is, unfortunately, not without these redundancies. The best example:

“Right before Castle Rock, there was a long stretch of open highway. (“Open” meaning that there was one…