Horror – it can be so difficult to finding a really good young adult Horror novel but we’ve done just that. And today, Courtney Alameda, author of forthcoming novel SHUTTER is here to tell us about her nightmares for her special The Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas blog tour in celebration of her upcoming book.
Now lets hear it from the author herself about one of her nightmares!
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 Three: Nutcrackers, the Axe-Murderers of the Holiday Season
I have to admit it: I love nutcrackers. On December first of every year, they begin covering all horizontal surfaces in my home and hang on just about every branch of my Christmas tree. I’m crazy about the things, but if I’m being honest, it’s really only because I think they are creepy as all get-out.
This is my murder axe. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Decorative wooden Nutcrackers first emerged in Germany in the 15th century, and were given to families to bring good luck and protection in the new year. (At least that’s what they want you to believe.) They didn’t become famous in the United States until the 1940s, when Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet was first performed in San Francisco, California. After that point, these little critters exploded in popularity and appeared everywhere you turned. They’re even more abundant than my last Christmas nightmare, the Elf on the Shelf, and twice as dangerous. After all, these guys are armed and likely able to mobilize for maneuvers.
Don’t let their glitter and gems fool you: Nutcrackers are definitely unsettling. Maybe it’s the way their mouths open so wide they seem to scream, or how their grim, dead gazes settle on you from almost any angle; but Nutcrackers seem to lend themselves well to horror. I can just imagine one taking off a finger with their giant, lipless teeth, or a scene in a Christmas ghost story in which these guys begin clattering their teeth all at once, unbidden:
Their dead eyes stare STRAIGHT INTO YOUR SOUL.
All dolls are creepy—personally, I think it has something to do with the flatness of their eyes, the lifelessness of them, that strikes us as uncanny and unnatural. Or perhaps it has something more to do with the anthropomorphizing of things, which in turn makes us less human . . . whatever it is, dolls are sinister, and Nutcrackers might be the creepiest of them all.
Thanks to the wonderful Tabitha 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 NOT come to life and fight off a mouse army. You’re on your own.
Happiest of holidays, everyone!
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.
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 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.