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  • Writer's pictureJ. M. White

Amaretto Aloha (The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires)

Takeaway: Southern hospitality is no match for a vampire.

Vampires are my jam. There is a mystique about them that is fascinating. They are timeless beings controlled by a powerful hunger. It is a tragic, lonely existence. That is why vampires, no matter what period they exist in, are inherently gothic. I don't care if that bloodsucker is wearing skinny jeans and holding a damn iPhone—it's gothic.

Now that I've poorly explained my obsession with vampires. Let's talk about Grady Hendrix's newest novel, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Vampire Slaying. The "Author's Note" is excellent (do NOT skip it!). Hendrix sets the stage by explaining the inspiration behind his vampire reimagining. In short, the goal was for a housewife to battle a bloodthirsty vampire, or in his words, "I wanted to pit Dracula against my mom. As you'll see, it's not a fair fight."

If you read my post on My Best Friend's Exorcism, you already know that I'm crazy about Hendrix. He is an author I just click with. Much like his other books, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Vampire Slaying is riddled with pop culture and zany worldly observations. Hendrix's signature style gives everyday settings a supernatural twist, like a haunted IKEA or, in this case, a vampire in southern suburbia. If you're searching for fun horror—Hendrix is your man.

The Plot

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she—and her book club—are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community

The Drink

I wanted to pair this novel with a unique cocktail that is quick and easy to make. Somehow this strange concoction of pineapple and Amaretto works. It's sort of like Hendrix's books. Who would've thought to pair housewives with a vampire?

Amaretto Aloha

yields: 1 serving


What You Need:

- 1.5 ounces Amaretto

- 3 ounces pineapple juice

- ice

- maraschino cherry (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Put Amaretto and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for twenty seconds.

  2. Pour into a martini glass and drop in a cherry (optional).

  3. Serve immediately.


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