The fictional town of Coventry, Massachusetts, is the type you probably think of when you hear “New England town”. A commuter town with at least one white church with a tall steeple, white Colonial-style homes with black trim, big trees that have been there a long time, etc.
What makes the town of Coventry notable are the mysterious deaths during a blizzard twelve years before. Memories of that blizzard make residents of Coventry dread any call for snow in the weather forecast, especially the residents who lost family members. Jake Schapiro has some vivid memories from that storm but has almost been able to convince himself that his 12-year-old eyes played tricks on him at the time, and that what he saw happen in his backyard in the driving, swirling snow didn’t really happen.
Twelve years later, another blizzard is in the forecast. Jake and his mother, along with the other residents of Coventry try to convince themselves they have no cause for dread as they brace themselves for power outages and slippery roads, but they have no idea what (or who) is really coming their way in the storm.
This horror novel won’t win any literary awards, but it succeeded in creating an atmosphere of horror and I thought was pretty scary, even though I read it in warm weather and daylight!
Yesterday, I decided it was time for some fall baking. If you’ve been following my Weekend Cooking posts for a while, you may know that we converted our kitchen to gluten-free so it will be safe for our daughters with celiac disease to use on family visits and I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free baking.
I pulled out my favorite gluten-free baking cookbook, Nosh on This, which I’ve posted about before. This cookbook is a definite keeper, but although I purchased the extra-fine brown and white rice flours the author recommends for baking a while ago, since then then didn’t haven’t done much baking. So in the interests of science and economy, I pulled out the cookbook yesterday to bake something pumpkin-y.
Author Lisa Standel-Horel, who blogs at Gluten Free Canteen, isn’t kidding when she says “no cookie, strudel, brownie, tart, or treat left behind”. I found a few pumpkin recipes to choose from and decided on the Pumpkin Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream. The recipe is on Gluten Free Canteen here.
I mixed up a batch of the flour mix using my fabbity-fab, new(ish) kitchen scale and also weighed out the other ingredients instead of using volume measurements, except for teaspoons and tablespoons. (It was much easier than I thought it would be to use grams instead of cups!)
The recipe called for finely diced dried apples, which I didn’t have, so I substituted minced golden raisins, and for the frosting, I went with cream cheese frosting instead of the honey buttercream, but otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly and they came out just right. Although you can still tell from the texture that they’re gluten-free, I think, they come pretty close!
Happy Weekend Cooking!
The bookish cover design and these blurbs from authors I really like lured me into reading The Quick by Lauren Owen – over 500 pages of subtle suspense or passages of normal Victorian life, broken up by occasional scenes of intense horror.
“A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist.” – Kate Atkinson
“A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre…As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin. It’s a skilled, assured performance, and it’s hard to believe it is a first novel.” – Hilary Mantel
“Ambitious, elegant, atmospheric, and often deeply poignant, The Quick is a seamless blend of Victorian London and rich imagination. This is a book to savor.” – Tana French
Literary fiction with horror elements, The Quick is an engrossing story of love, loss, bravery, and fear, set in a Victorian London where one of the many exclusive, men-only clubs is especially secretive about its mysterious members and club activities.
Oh, yeah. Almost forgot to mention…it’s a vampire novel!
R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX is organized every year by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings, and runs from September 1st to October 31st.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.
This year I happen to be reading a lot of horror and dark fantasy for a work project, so I hope to post at least four horror-related reviews during October. That will put me at the Peril the 1st level.
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