Posted 6 February, 2015 by Heather in Author Guest Post, Blog, Blog Tour, Giveaways, Heather / 17 Comments

I love horror–nothing’s better than horror done right–and Shutter is that and so much more. Today, I have Courtney Alameda here on Bewitched Bookworms to introduce you to Micheline Helsing, the protagonist from Shutter. Courtney gives you an in depth look at Micheline’s ghost and monster hunting gear necessities.

Be sure to check out the bottom for the giveaway and other tour stops! I’ll post my full review on Wednesday, so check back.





Photographers require a lot of gear . . . but when your camera is the only weapon standing between you and the legions of the (un)dead, you’ll need to be packing a lot more heat than a standard point-and-shoot, if you know what I mean.

In Shutter, protagonist Micheline Helsing uses an analog Nikon camera to capture spiritual energy on film, but she also battles legions of the corporeal undead with her trusty Colt .45 handgun. Since hunting the dead is so dangerous, here’s what Micheline keeps in her bags to stay “safe” . . . or at least as safe as a reaper can ever be!


Analog Nikon Camera

NikonMicheline’s weapon of choice against the spirits of the dead is an analog Nikon camera. Thanks to the tetrachromia she was born with, she’s the only member of her reaping crew who can see ghosts—and therefore the only one who can fight them. Micheline only uses analog cameras, because digital cameras don’t require film and/or have the space required to contain spiritual energy in her world. Nikon stopped producing analog cameras in 2006, so she’s forced to make do with older models in Nikon’s F series. In Shutter, she utilizes a modified Nikon F4.





A monopod is a mobile, single-legged tripod photographers use to steady their shots (without all the fuss of a three legs). Micheline not only uses her monopod to keep her hand steady, but it doubles as a weapon in a pinch—she can eject a small, retrofitted knife from the base, just in case a ghost decides to slide into a corpse and reanimate it in the middle of an exorcism . . .


35 mm Film

FilmFor most people, photographic film is out of style—but for Micheline, it’s the only medium able to contain spiritual energy. Photographic film contains silver halide salts; and in Micheline’s world, silver conducts ghostly energy to the realm of the dead. On any given night, Micheline will have three or four rolls of film in her bag; it’s ammunition, just in case. Micheline’s film is specially optimized by Helsing’s Research and Development department to be extra-sensitive to wavelengths of violet light, or the color of the ghostlight auras in her world.



Quartz Telephoto LensesLenses

Along with her specialty camera and film, Micheline uses lenses made with quartz instead of glass. Quartz conducts electrical energy (whereas glass inhibits it); therefore, in order to exorcise ghostly energy, Micheline needs to use lenses made of quartz. Honestly, of all the discoveries I made about film and photography while I researched Shutter, the existence of quartz lenses in the real world—and quartz’s ability to conduct electricity—was one of my favorites!


Colt 1911 .45 Handgun

ColtHandgunMicheline carries Helsing’s standard-issue handgun: the Colt 1911. I chose this particular handgun for the Helsing Corps because it’s one of the United States’ oldest and most reliable handguns, as Colt began producing them in—of course—1911. Also, the .45 caliber bullet packs a nice punch against the undead. Micheline carries a single handgun with two spare clips when she goes hunting at night.



Toy Matchbox CarMatchboxCar

This item may seem odd, but Micheline also carries a Matchbox car given to her by her youngest brother, Fletcher, before he was killed. The car reminds her of her vow to never let the undead hurt anyone she loves, ever again.


Other items in Micheline’s hunting bags:

  • Black eyeliner pencil (she’d never be caught dead without it!)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Maglite flashlight
  • Multi-tool with knife
  • Energy bar
  • Chapstick
  • Paracord survival bracelet
  • Camera flash
  • Spare batteries for the camera


So there you have it, the tools necessary to bring down some of the undead monsters and ghosts inhabiting the world of Shutter! Thanks for reading, and happy hunting!


shutterHorror 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.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

CourtneyAlamedaCourtney 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.

Twitter / Website / Goodreads


Follow the Shutter Tour Here for other opportunities to win, and Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a Hardcover copy of Shutter.

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Micheline has a very specialized set of weapons to do her job, and it’s a very hard and dangerous job. Do you carry any of the things Micheline does in her arsenal? Would you make a good ghost hunter? Let me know in the comments below.



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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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17 Responses to “GIVEAWAY and GUEST POST by Shutter Author Courtney Alameda: UNBOXING MICHELINE HELSING’S HUNTING GEAR”

  1. I’m more of an Olympus digital kinda girl, but I so looooved reading about Micheline’s gear: lenses, film, camera, monopod!! Courtney really did an amazing job at adding something else to the refular ghost hunting!

    If I had just to click shots at ghosts… nah, not even then, I don’t think I’d survive long as a ghost hunter!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted..Friday Reads: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner!!!My Profile

    Reply »

  2. Carl

    I don’t know about being a ghost hunter. I might be OK at it because I’m not easily spooked but I’d want to work with experienced people for sure. Thanks

    Reply »

  3. Amy

    I definitely would not be a good ghost hunter. Just the other night, my tv came on all by itself around two in the morning. The remote was in a place where nothing could have gotten to it.
    I am still flabbergasted as to what turned the tv on but I am sleeping in the recliner of my living room right now!

    So, no, I would not be a good ghost hunter at all!

    Reply »

  4. January

    I would be a terrible ghost hunter! I get frightened too easily and would have trouble killing anything, even if it is already dead! Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

    Reply »

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