Monday, May 29, 2017

New page for Dr. Bowen Mystery - Lizzie Borden's Doctor




Set up a new web page for my upcoming short mystery, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River. 

Check out the page here.

More details to come, but what do you think? 

To see who is reading this -  How about a quiz? What do you think will be on the full cover? Comment on the blog here to be entered to win a Kindle copy when it comes out! Be sure to leave a way to contact you!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Giving World War Z (the book) a Second Chance

Years ago, I attempted to read the book World War Z.


I had previously read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks and loved it. I assumed I would also love his other book.  (** Read Chris' interview with Max Brooks HERE.)


I didn’t hate it, exactly, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the other.

I loved the movie. But as you can imagine, the book and the movie are two very different things.
One day at work, I got into a discussion about zombies with a coworker and commented about how I didn’t really enjoy the book World War Z. I read about half to three-fourths of the book before putting it down. He recommended I check out the audiobook. He told me there is a whole cast of characters that really bring the story to life.

I was slightly skeptical, but I was going to be driving for a ridiculous amount of time, so I decided to check it out.

I have no regrets about my decision. I didn’t finish the entire book while in the car, but I’m still engaged and still listening. It’s my unwind before I go to bed story at the moment. The different character voices really add to the story, and I think the audio version was the way the story was intended to be told.

Max Brooks does an amazing job of showing the human side of the zombie outbreak. Most films touch on this in their narrative and try to show how humans fight to survive the undead and how there is a thin line between us and them, but Brooks takes it to a degree of realism. He shows us how policies, laws, and a new way of life can be created with the rising of the dead. He does this through personal stories that range from politicians to soldiers to random survivors and shows us how they’ve changed and how the world has changed.

I feel like when I first read the story, I wasn’t aware of what Brooks was attempting to do. I get it now, and it’s brilliant. The book still has its fair share of zombie carnage and gore, but the realism of surviving is just amazing. He constructed his story well.

If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend listening to the World War Z audiobook.

Has anyone else read or listened to the book? What are you thoughts?

Before I go, because it’s still May, I’m giving away another zombie book. This one is my nonfiction book, Undead Obsessed. Enter now for your chance to win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Writing is Not for the Meek, #1LineWed

As I'm working on my latest project, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River, and looking at the latest set of notes/suggestions from another reader got me thinking - writing is not for the meek.

And since it's also #1LineWed - 1 Line Wednesday - here's a sample line from the upcoming Dr. Bowen story:


"A dream. A bad dream, that's all it was. Just a dream." --Dr. Seabury Bowen

Now, back to writing.... you thought it was easy? haaaaa! Well, for me, nonfiction is easier since that's my background training and many years of newspaper writing. It doesn't mean it always goes smoothly, it's just my first experience.

Fiction is harder. If you are curious about the process, (well, for me), read on. Otherwise you might find this rather boring.

The saying is you write and then you rewrite and rewrite and... add about x times more. (I'm a serial re-reader and re-writer. So probably 20 times??) Very true.

I wrote the novella, revising as I go. Rereading quite a few times and revising some more. My writer's group got a short read of the very beginning. As it's short, two of the group read it and gave minor suggestions. Another fellow writer/editor read it - different suggestions.

Edited it. Edited it again.

Last reader/editor gave some other suggestions. Good ones, too, as they all see different things. Funny thing is how you can read something several times and you still don't see or miss certain things. But that's what pre-readers and beta readers are for.

So, I'll do some other changes, not major ones, which is good. Then it should be ready. Will I miss some things? Maybe. But it'll be the best I can make it right now. You simply do your best.

The main thing: others like the story. I like the story. And I think you will, too.

I really had fun with this one, melding the past and distant past, and adding different spooky elements and some mysteries to Lizzie Borden's hometown. And Lizzie also has an influence in this since, after all, the doctor was among the first on the scene of the Borden murders....

So stayed (See? That's why you have readers and editors. ha!) tuned for more details! I'll share the back cover copy and the cover soon!!





Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sneak Peek. #Mystery Cover in Progress!

A Sneak Peek!

The cover for the novella set in Lizzie Borden's hometown is making progress!

Here's a tiny sneak peek - deciding on which color looks better. 

What do you pick?

 ** One winner will get a Kindle copy when it's done so post your preference!
 (Be sure to include an email to contact you.)




-- Christine Verstraete

Friday, May 19, 2017

Zombie Awareness Month

Half of May is already over, but did you know that it’s Zombie Awareness Month?

May was chosen because, apparently, a lot of zombie films are set in this month, including George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Personally, I’m always aware of zombies and plan ways to defeat them.  It pays to be constantly vigilant.  My plan is to get out of town and into an area with terrain that is difficult for zombies to navigate or that makes it easy to see zombies coming from a long way away.  If possible, I don’t plan on being around them at all.

Do you have a zombie plan?  I would love to hear what it is!

I’m also celebrating Zombie Awareness Month by giving away zombie books.  This time, it’s my religious zombie novella Finding Eden.  For a chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!


Drunk womanizer Duke, spends his life selfishly taking care of himself and screw the rest of the world. After one particular black-out alcoholic binge, he wakes to find the world changed the dead are rising from their graves.

Lonely, guilt-ridden Hank is someone who minds his own business, and sympathetic but strong-willed Lana is on the receiving end of harassment by other students. Forced together for survival, the three misfits must confront their world gone strange. God said the people of Earth would be punished for their sins, and so the end has come.

Duke, Hank, and Lana must walk their own paths to salvation, but they also must depend on each other. Will their salvation lie in Finding Eden?

A zombie story with inspirational elements.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#1LineWed - 1LineWednesday - The Haunting of Dr. Bowen #mystery #spooky

 #1LineWed  - I'ts 1 Line Wednesday!



Getting excited! Working on finalizing the Dr. Bowen novella, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen: A Mystery in Lizzie Borden’s Fall River)  - a spooky mystery and love story set in Lizzie's hometown. 


It's a companion story to my book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, from the point of view of Lizzie's neighbor and family doctor. I've really had fun writing this!


Here's one line: 

Can he discover who, or what, is shattering the peace before Fall River runs red?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lizzie Borden - 125th Anniversary of Borden Murders #horror


I'm doing sporadic new and older posts about Lizzie Borden in honor of the 125th anniversary this year of the Borden murders.

Yes, it is nothing to "celebrate," but the murders of Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby Durfee Borden have become part of history and folklore. Who hasn't heard that little ditty... Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks...

The real crime that August 4th morning of 1892 is no less horrific, even if the rhyme has the numbers wrong. See Borden autopsy reports

Though Lizzie Borden, the younger spinster daughter/stepdaughter, was charged with the crimes, the jury declared her not guilty of the crimes on June 20, 1893.  

Did she do it? What do you say? 


Let's hear what the fictional Lizzie, based on my book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, has to say for herself:

What are you doing now?

Reading. I found a rather unusual book of poetry recently published called The shadow of death: poems, songs, and sonnets written by Eric Stenbock. Given recent turns of events, it fit my mood rather well.


 What keeps you awake at night?
Not what you think.

 Are you a glass half empty or half full person?
I would say half full. I’ve learned there are things you can’t control in your life, so it’s best to look forward.

What is it about Fall River that keeps you here?
I was born here and prefer to die here. No matter what others think of me, this is my home and always will be.

If you could have a five-minute conversation with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
I would ask my father one question: Why?
--Christine Verstraete

Amazon link - all countries


About LizzieBorden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete:


Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?


Friday, May 12, 2017

Another May Reading List

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time for Beach Reads!

Or, conversely, if you don’t have a beach to visit, just regular reading. Whatever your plans, I’ve compiled a list of books that are on my To Read list or Have Been Recently Read list that I recommend to others.

We’ll start with the zombie books.

The Girl with All the Gifts


Great new take on the zombie genre. I really enjoyed the book, and the movie wasn’t terrible either.

After the Cure


Another really fascinating new take on the zombie genre. I haven’t read the others in the series yet, but I will attempt to get to them at some point.

The Cold Beneath


This was written by one of my indie-author friends. Fantastic mix of steam punk and zombies and a little mystery. I really enjoyed it.

Non-zombie Books

Jurassic Park


I just finished reading this book to my boys. It’s been about 20 years since I last read it, and I apparently did not remember what happened in the story, so it was great to be reminded and surprised.

Aliens: Bug Hunt


This is my current read. I love pretty much anything that has to do with the Alien world, so I was thrilled when this book came out. I’ll let you know how it is.

Thrawn


In addition to all my other nerdish leanings, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I just finished rereading the Thrawn trilogy recently—I should actually clarify that I relistened to it. I got the books on audio, but it’s just like rereading. I had originally read them several years ago, and I remembered better what happened in these books, but it was still fun to revisit them. I’m excited to see what happens in this book.

What books are on your list?

Also, if anyone is interested, May is Zombie Awareness Month, so I’m celebrating by giving away signed paper backs. This week I’m giving away Life After the Undead and Death to the Undead. Sign up for your chance to win some copies below!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter in the news!

Cool! I got a mention for Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter in The Guardian newspaper-
The Lizzie Borden murder industry won't die - but its feminism has.

I like the subhead - But zombies and other kitsch are taking over the franchise.

That's me!!!!

Ooops!!!! - they think C.A. Verstraete is a he. haaa! (Ah, the fun is over. They fixed it.  :) ) 

I beg to differ with the analysis, of course, as I never intended to use Lizzie in this setting just for gore's sake. In the horror realm, she has a purpose, and it also makes perfect sense in the genre, based on the actual autopsy photos. It sounds like the writer is not necessarily a horror fan, given the mention of the Christina Ricci movie, too. (Which I liked.) And unlike in real life, Lizzie is even somewhat heroic, and not only a social pariah. I followed the facts, even if I gave them a fictional twist. But hey, a mention is a mention. No complaints, there.

Let's see if this gets anyone curious enough to want to read it!



   About LizzieBorden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete:

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?







Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Review! Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter - #horror

** Got a great new review for Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter - 5 stars!


"The story flows so well and will give you goosebumps and might make you gag from the epic detail used throughout this book. I am a huge horror fan, so this did not disappoint at all! If you like historical horror, read this! Or Lizzie might hack you next!" - Destiny at NerdGirlOfficial.com

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies? 

Monday, May 8, 2017

May Reading List! #Horror #Zombie #Mystery #Lizzie Borden

April showers bring May flowers - and some new and new-to-you books to read! Load up that Kindle!
(See links to previous reading lists on the top tab!)



And for something different - 

I had to add this as it's too funny not to. And hey, when I last looked it was free. Who knew the Colonel was so, um, hot??


Tender Wings of Desire - Colonel Sanders - yes, it's a romance with that KFC stud-muffin, Colonel Sanders...









Apocalyptic- Dystopian:

(On sale - 99 cents to May 8!) Get it quick! Ends today!
Watcher - (Watcher Series Book 1), AJ Eversley - What if you had to choose who would live and who would die? Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect humanity, and as a Watcher she’s done just that. But the Bots and Carbons that took her city are evolving, and they start picking the Watchers off one by one. A betrayal blurs the line between friend and foe. Now it all comes down to one choice – who can she save? And who does she have to let go? (Amazon.CA)

Horror:


The Monster Pit - Robert W. Walker - People are disappearing near the gaping hole of the soon-to-be-built Chicago Spire. Can Det. Aubrey Hamilton and members of the retired "Old Fart Squad" find out what monstrous mysteries are lurking beneath the surface of what locals call The Monster Pit? Novella with a touch of history, mystery and horror! 



Lizzie Borden:

 Did you know there were actually two murder plots to kill the wealthy couple, the father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden? Here, for the first time, we offer new evidence, photos, and the identity of mysterious key players in the tragedy--two men the police and attorneys searched for, but never found. Who were they? And how did they figure into this surreal murder case? We also offer photographic evidence of how the murderer broke the famous hatchet, and in only seconds.


The Murderer's Maid: A Lizzie Borden Novel - Erika Mailman - Intriguing new tale centering on Lizzie Borden's maid! (Hardcover, releases Oct. 30)

Past and present stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous murderer Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life. Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. Lizzie, the younger sister, seethes with resentment against her father and stepmother. Unknowingly connected to the events of a century before, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men she thinks want to kill her. When she meets Anthony, an attorney who believes in second chances, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

Mystery:
New! Audiobook!
The Dead of Winter, (A Piper Blackwell Mystery, Book 1) - Jean Rabe
In a deceptively peaceful county, a murderer hides in plain sight.
Fifty-eight minutes into her first day on the job, 23-year-old Sheriff Piper Blackwell is faced with a grisly murder, the victim artfully posed amid decorations on his lawn. Drawing on former military training, Piper must prove herself worthy of the sheriff's badge, and that won't be easy.
Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, Piper's opponent in the recent election, doesn't like her and wants her to fail. She doesn't like him either, but she needs Oren to help catch the killer before another victim is discovered. Too late!  (NEWS-The sequel comes out Sept. 1! - See her website for updates.) 


Happy  Homicides 5 - The Purr-fect Crime, Joanna Campbell Slan, etc.
The latest in the Happy Homicides collection of short stories. This one features felines. Includes stories by Joanna Campbell Slan, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Loulou Harrington, Neil Plakcy, Teresa Trent, Terry Ambrose, Amy Vansant, Randy Rawls, Christina Freeburn, Wendy Sand Eckel, and Karen Cantwell. Includes a special email address so you can send away for a bonus file full of recipes and fun project ideas.

Zombie:

 Aliens Vs. Zombies, Mark Cusco Ailes - War of the Worlds meets Night of the Living Dead!
In need of replenishing their food supply, aliens travel to Earth - and find a zombie apocalypse. Will the aliens win in their battle against the zombies, or turn into a food source? (Two nightmares in one!) 




Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete -

Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.




BONUS: Apocalyptic - Dystopian:
 Babylon Working , Davy Lyons - The end of the world is just a beginning... Sign up for his mailing list to get a free copy. Get Part 2 and Part 3 on Amazon - sale 99 cents.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter is Book of the Day!




Hey, hey! Today - Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter - is the Book of the Day at
at Bookoftheday.org. Check it out! Also see the horror category.


Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

Friday, May 5, 2017

#Horror #Zombie Movies to See!

Amazingly, there's quite a few movies out or coming out that I want to see!  Have you seen or want to see any of these? Actually, I'm pretty excited to see most of these:
*


* The Girl with All the Gifts:
(Update - saw it... um, it was ok. I thought Maggie had a better storyline and plot)



* The Mummy:



* The Train To Busan:


* Upcoming:
Wonder Woman with Gail Godot





* Just saw there's a trailer out now for Stephen King's Dark Tower. I read this though I quit by about the fourth book. But this will be intriguing: 



* Stephen King's IT:
(And I forgot - Cell is coming out, too.))




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter #1LineWed!

It's another #1LineWed - 1 Line Wednesday!


I'm going to plan some regular fact-oriented Lizzie Borden posts, but for now, here's an "icky"  line from the "zombie" side of my book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

1 Line:
The monster struggled to its feet, an ugly hole in its leg leaking black ooze.


About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

 Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday!

A working weekend so I'm way behind on starting the week!

I'll have a May reading list and Lizzie Borden posts coming up this week.

In the meantime, I found this..... (Oh, so bad!)