Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas, Nightmare Five: Nightmare Five: The 13 Yule Lads

a.k.a. the Cheaper-by-the-Baker's-Dozen-Beasties

Good Wednesday Morning, everyone! And, boy, do I have a treat for you! You might recall that every now and again I go wild about a book releasing in February, 2015. That book in particularly is a wonderful horror novel called SHUTTER, the debut of Courtney Alameda, and I happened to be a lucky girl who won an arc way back in July. I then read it, reviewed it (read the review), and loved it so much that I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of ya'll to have the same chance.

And, well, two weeks ago Courtney Alamdea herself emailed me and gave me the honor of participating in a Christmas celebration: the Twelve Nightmares of Christmas! Welcome to stop Five: the 13 Yule Lads.


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 Five: The 13 Yule Lads, the Cheaper-by-the-Baker’s-Dozen-Beasties

So you remember Gryla (Nightmare Four at Bittersweet Enchantments) the crazy Christmas ogress from yesterday’s post, right? Well, that happy little denizen of Icelandic myth had some kids. A LOT of kids. Boys, in particular, who came to be known as the 13 YULE LADS. And with names like Stubby and Bowl Licker and Meat Hook, they seem like a charming lot, don’t they?

So what do the 13 Yule Lads have to do with the Christmas season? On each of the 13 nights leading up to Christmas, Icelandic children place one of their shoes on their windowsill. The night’s visiting Yule Lad leaves candy for good children, but for the bad . . . well, naughty children get rotten potatoes.

“Big deal!” you say. “They’re not as bad as their mother Gryla, the child-eater!” Well, that’s because the government of Iceland turned the Yule Lads from their trollish selves into Snow White’s freaking dwarves in 1746. In that year, parents were officially banned from telling their children monster stories—and the thuggish, thieving, food-stealing Yule Lads had to go. Unwilling to part with tradition, parents began telling their children the Yule Lads were pranksters and mischief-makers instead.

The 13 Yule Lads are as follows (Names and descriptions via

  • Sheep-Cote Clod: He tries to suckle yews in farmer's sheep sheds.
  • • Gully Gawk: He steals foam from buckets of cow milk.
  • Stubby: He's short and steals food from frying pans.
  • Spoon Licker: He licks spoons. (Anyone remember Salad Fingers?)
  • Pot Scraper, aka Pot Licker: He steals unwashed pots and licks them clean.
  • Bowl Licker: He steals bowls of food from under the bed (people in Iceland used to store food under their beds for midnight snacking).
  • Door Slammer: He stomps around and slams doors, keeping everyone awake.
  • Skyr Gobbler: He eats up all the Icelandic yogurt (skyr).
  • Sausage Swiper: He loves stolen sausages
  • Window Peeper: He likes to creep outside windows and sometimes steal the stuff he sees inside.
  • Door Sniffer: He has a huge nose and an insatiable appetite for stolen baked goods. • Meat Hook: He snatches up any meat left out, especially smoked lamb.
  • Candle Beggar: He steals candles, which used to be sought-after items in Iceland.

Not so sure how you can make Window Peeper any less creepy, parents of Iceland. You’re on your own with that one.

Thanks to the wonderful Rae 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 be snapped up in USPS by Sausage Swiper. 

Happiest of holidays, everyone!


Shutter, 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.

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes &  Noble

Meet 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. (source:goodreads)

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SHUTTER author @courtalameda talks Nightmare 5 of the Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas + GIVEAWAY via @Rae_Slater (Click to Tweet)


  1. Other from Christmas, Easter is another holiday I celebrate with the family. Usually my nieces visit and we'll hide bunny eggs with candy and money and once we're done, they'll look for them and see who gets the most money. It's really funny when the older kids join in. ^_^

    1. That sounds wonderful! And definitely reminds me of spending Easter with my family when I was younger (before we all went off to college). My sisters and I would race to find the eggs my parents hidden, and once they were all found we'd hide the empty shells to keep playing!

      Thanks for sharing, dear!