The Takeaway: No one will here you if you scream.
I've taken a little break or five months (cough, cough) from Thirst for Thrillers. My goal is to get back into the swing of things. I will have to prioritize the painstaking task of thinking up delicious cocktails, drinking them for testing purposes, of course, and reading good books to match. What torture!
For this post, I've decided to spotlight my first Ania Ahlborn book. Ahlborn has a "Queen of Scare" reputation within the horror community, and after reading Brother, I can see why.
Set at a dilapidated farmhouse nestled deep within Appalachia, anxiety grows from feelings of extreme desolation. The atmosphere nails the whole 'no one will hear you if you scream' kind of thing. You know, good ol' Texas Chainsaw vibes. I wouldn't describe this as a slasher book, though. Sure, it has its fair share of blood, gore, and grisly murder scenes. But at the same time, it's emotional. The main protagonist, Michael Morrow, adds an element of realness and relatability despite his surreal and horrific living situation. I highly recommend this book for those of you who enjoy character-driven plots. For me, this was a binge-worthy read that I couldn't get out of my head. I've heard only great things about Ahlborn's other novels, and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of them.
Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it's served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don't knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what's buried in the Morrows' backyard.
But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn't like the rest of his family. He doesn't take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he's sure that someday he'll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he's immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he's become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place.
This book demands attention. It calls to you from your nightstand, tempting you to pick it up even though you should be cooking dinner or running errands. This is why I've chosen to pair Brother with my Extra Lazy White Sangria because when I'm in the middle of a readathon, I don't have time to make fancy cocktails.
I make this drink when I'm feeling like something a bit more sophisticated than the basic glass of wine but don't have the energy or creativity to mix a cocktail (hence the lazy part). This requires the minimum skill level of pouring a glass of white wine, dropping in a few frozen berries, and topping with a splash of peach juice or sparkling water if you prefer.
I can hear some of you laughing now from the other side of your screens. The critical ones will say, "But that's not a cocktail." And you know what? You're right. It's not really a cocktail, which is why it is absolutely perfect for those days you come home from work, and just "can't deal."
Extra Lazy White Sangria
Yields: However many you damn well please
What You Need
- A bottle of your favorite white wine chilled (I recommend a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
- Frozen strawberries and raspberries (or sub with any frozen fruit of your choice)
- Peach juice
- Sparkling water or seltzer water (optional)
What You Do
1. Pour wine into a wine glass (Yes, it’s hard, but you got this!).
2. Toss in a handful of frozen berries or frozen fruit of your choice.
3. Top with a splash of peach juice and sparkling water (if desired). Give the drink a quick stir.
4. Let sangria sit for a few minutes, allowing frozen fruit to infuse.