Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coffin Hop: My Favorite Monster

Welcome to Day 2 of Coffin Hop 2014!

** Be sure to stop by the main Coffin Hop site and visit a bunch of authors, artists, etc. Coffin Hopping through Halloween. There'll be prizes, giveaways, ghoulish fun and more!  (See all the Coffin Hop books at the bookstore. Don't forget the giveaways we have on most of our posts here. See page tab at top or side logo for day one.)

For fun - 2 posts, 2 giveaways today! 

It would seem pretty obvious that my favorite monster is zombies.  And they are definitely ONE of them, but my favorite monster of all time is the alien from the Sigourney Weaver movies.

When I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be the queen alien.  I like them so much, a drone was the first tattoo I ever got.  I have a facehugger on the inside of my left wrist.  They are the coolest creatures ever!

In the spirit of Halloween and monsters, let's have a giveaway!  For a chance to win one of two Zombie Reader's Kit, please comment after this post.  The drawing will occur next Friday, and the winner will be announced on Saturday.  Good luck!

Coffin Hop: Monsters in History

Welcome to Day 2 of Coffin Hop 2014!

** Be sure to stop by the main Coffin Hop site and visit a bunch of authors, artists, etc. Coffin Hopping through Halloween. There'll be prizes, giveaways, ghoulish fun and more!  (See all the Coffin Hop books at the bookstore. Don't forget the giveaways we have on most of our posts here. See page tab at top or side logo for day one.)

This week, I and some interesting guest authors will be talking MONSTERS

Specifically, Linda S. Godfrey, author of American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in AmericaChristian A. Larsen, author of Losing Touch; and 
W.D. Gagliani  (Wolf's Trap) are among those coming up who'll talk about their favorite monsters. You won't want to miss it!

Today, I'm talking about monsters in general.

by Christine Verstraete

Throughout history, people have created monsters to help them cope with real life.

  Think Grimm's Fairy Tales.... "moral" stories that usually had a lesson presented as an evil character, like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, (see Neil Gaiman's text in this illustrated version - Hansel and Gretel Standard Edition (A Toon Graphic) or the original story of the wicked stepmother (a witch) who turns the brother into a buck in the story, "Brother and Sister."

Then there are the monsters who help humans face problems or challenge their belief systems. 

  Besides being a great horror novel, several messages can be seen in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: the story could address the fear of death, challenging God, the fear of science going too far, or other themes. 

On the surface, Bram Stoker's Dracula (download a free version

at Project Gutenberg) addresses the fear of death and the desire for immortality, but  instead of a foul, evil creature like Nosferatu, he has become a noble Count, a man of mystery, an object of desire. He is the allure of the forbidden, the lure of what is behind the curtain. 

On the other hand, the zombie is the ultimate monster. It can be viewed not only as a symbol of the death of society, or the death of humanity, it can be a symbol of a lack of faith or rejection of God. 

Or in simpler terms, it can be the thing we fear the most - the thing we cannot escape, the horror that can, and will, consume us. Un-death becomes the ultimate mockery of  life and true death.

The common denominator in these classic monsters is the authors' and people's fear of death. It is the one thing we cannot escape 

That fear is becoming even more real in places like West Africa where the ebola epidemic is raging  (4,000 dead and counting since April, see chart) ,and where fear has people being label as dead before they are, giving the illusion of coming back to life. 

You hate to bring such real life fears into Halloween. Despite its pagan background, the holiday today focuses on treats, costumes, and getting scared by spooks and monsters. It's supposed to be a fun escape, an escape from reality. 

Some, however, may choose to thumb their noses at reality by choosing the topic as their Halloween costume - dressing as aid workers, or... the disease itself, reports Reuters. (Hmm, does it seem rather hardhearted and thoughtless to make light of tragedy? Comments?

Given the news of today, there are enough real life events to get scared about. It almost makes a horde of zombies preferable.

 * For a "lighter" look at monsters and what happens when a girl turns part-zombie? Becca copes with that, and more. in Girl Z: My Life As A Teenage Zombie.

* See Monstropedia for other monsters.

* Get it while you can! Halloween gift - sale 99 cents for 24 hours to 10/26. Changes to 1.99 (still a deal!) 

** Comment on your fears or favorite Halloween memory to win a copy of GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. (US shipping only.) 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Coffin Hop 2014: If the Famous Read #Horror & #Zombie Books...

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2014!

During the 2014 COFFIN HOP event, a special group of "scary" authors  (including: Christian Larsen; Linda Godfrey; W.D. Gagliani; Pembroke Sinclair; Jean RabeJaime Johnesee; and me) will be sharing on this blog about our favorite monsters, so be sure to stop by and comment! 

** Don't forget to stop by the main Coffin Hop site and visit over 50 authors, artists, etc. Coffin Hopping through Halloween. There'll be prizes, giveaways, ghoulish fun and more!  (See all the Coffin Hop books at the bookstore. Most posts here have giveaways too ending 10/31.)

Coffin Hop Thoughts:

By Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

I know that it's not just the everyday people who love #horror and #zombies. Of that huge 17 million-plus viewing base for the premiere of The Walking Dead, there had to be some famous and well-known people who couldn't wait to sit and watch.

That got me thinking: what would the famous and well-known put on their reading lists and bookshelves?  What scary books would they read, or what would be their favorite monster or character? Here's my tentative idea list of randomly chosen books.  **Be sure to check out the giveaway-contest at the end. **

Horror Books the Famous and Well-Known May Read:

1. Cher -  Eternally youthful (we know she's had some "work" done.) No, I don't thinks she is evil inside and no malice intended.  I've liked her for years and have many of her cd's, albums, a newer Cher Doll, and the 1970s Mego Cher Doll and outfits. It is the outer which made me think of the ever youthful - Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover Thrift Editions).

2. Brad Pitt:  Naturally,  he should have a copy of The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles Book 2).

3.  David Boreanaz (Bones, Angel) -  He's been a vampire and now digs up bones on Bones.   So, of course, he would read a book about an army of Skeletons.


4. David Bowie -  What better read for Ziggy Stardust than something about monsters in space? Space Monster - Free Floating In Space Anthology Series: Short Science Fiction And Fantasy Stories In Comic Book Form Full Of Mild Romance, Cosmic Horror Novels, Alien Thrillers And Sci Fi Suspense.

  5.  Madonna -  In The Virgin Vampire (French Horror Book 16), , a soldier in Napoleon's army goes back on his marriage vow and is revisited by his vampiric ex-love out for revenge. (I chose this book for its uniqueness and it sounded good.)

6. Hayden Panetierre  - The lovely and talented actress plays the  selfish singer Juliette Barnes on one of my favorite shows, Nashville

As her ex-boyfriend on the show claimed, she consumes everyone in her path, hence the perfect pick: Consumed (The Hunger Book 2).

** And... More Halloween Fun! Stop by my other blog from Oct. 27-31 for something really different - Halloween in Miniature 2014 ! **

** Your Turn: Comment and include your 
favorite actor/singer-horror, scary book matches for the contest. **

 ** Add your own book/singer-actor matches in the comments.  One winner will receive a signed copy of my book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie  (US shipping only, and please do review it on Goodreads and Amazon.) Be sure to include a way to contact you.

*  YA Winner: 2013 Halloween Book Festival

** * Get it while you can! Halloween gift - sale 99 cents for 24 hours to 10/26. Changes to 1.99 (still a deal!) 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Don't forget tomorrow is HORRORFEST! If you're in Wisconsin, stop by the Racine Barnes & Noble. 

I'll be among some of the scariest Southeast Wisconsin writers around at this year's Horrorfest at the Racine  WI Barnes and Noble from 6-8 p.m., Oct. 24.

We'll be having an informal panel discussion about all things spooky and our connection to horror, so bring your questions and comments!

Authors include: 

Godfrey will discuss her latest release and answer questions on her unusual findings in the world of monsters from 7-8 p.m. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween: Would you do this to your pet?

More Halloween oddness... 

Halloween is the one time of year where we do terrible things to our pets. 

I don't mean animal cruelty, unless, well, you look at it from the dog's point  of view. I mean... what do they think when you try to put something like these on them? (And I have to admit they are pretty darn funny!)

Real dogs don't wear costumes - or at least they won't let you put one on them. It would last two seconds with my German Shepherd Dog.

Of course, that's the dogs. I know, cat people are already snickering behind their hands. I'm looking to see what I can find in the feline versions... (Hmm, they must be on to something. All that comes up are cute kiddy and sexy kitty costumes.)

Found these at Party City: 

Really??? haaa!

Apparently Petco knows something we don't or it's a conspiracy of sorts. Only one cat gets a vest; the others get funky hats. And the dog? Well, oddly both the costumes are in the Star Wars category...


How long would this last on most dogs? (Oh, chew toy!)

* Feel free to share any odder costumes than this that you find.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Coffin Hop is Coming! #Horror #Monster #zombie authors


It's almost Coffin Hop Time!

Join in for some spooky posts from hundreds of authors. Prizes, giveaways and more! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why Are Zombies Cannibals?

Have you ever thought about this question?  Did you ever wonder why a creature that is dead with a digestive system that no longer works would need to eat?  Or did you just take it on faith that that was how the creatures acted?

Cannibalism is incredibly taboo within our society. We view it as the most abhorrent act one human can do to another. It is primal and barbaric. Only in extreme cases of survival is it viewed as tolerable. By making zombies cannibals, it shows us how monstrous they have really become.

Zombies represent the worst-case scenario of what humans can devolve into. They are driven by pure instinct and the most base of human needs. By making zombies cannibals, it makes them the most reprehensible and vile creatures to ever exist.

But there is an incredibly thin line between zombies and humans. After all, they used to be us. Perhaps another reason to make zombies cannibals is to make us look at ourselves as a society and question all that we consume.