Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blogging A to Z: Quite a Puzzle! #zombie #horror

Today is Q for the Blogging A to Z Challenge

Quite the Puzzle... or is it??

For something different - a contest!

Get entered to win a copy of the upcoming Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter or Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2 book or Kindle e-books!

How? Play a jigsaw puzzle. Send me your details! See the details and rules on the website puzzle page!!

Have fun!

** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.

** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blogging A to Z: Oh Progress! Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter 2. #horror

Today is the Letter O and P for the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

And it is, Oh, Progress!!

Finally! This feels like it has taken forevvver. Well to me it does. ha!

I edited, had a couple people re-read, re-edited, then even changed some more! But now Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2 is in production! It will be coming to pre-order pretty soon.

* Preview! Here's the back blurb:

After being acquitted of brutally slaying her parents, Lizzie Borden thinks her nightmare is over—but it’s only just begun!

Now Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers.

When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost?

Next will be the new version and cover for 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.

** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Blogging A to Z: NEW Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter 2 - #horror

Today is the Letter N for the A to Z Blogging Challenge
** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here. 
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

* It sounded like fun to include a sneak peek of The First 7 Lines of my upcoming releases! Because of how my chapters are set up with headers, I'm only counting the first paragraphs for this.

(NOTE: Keep up with the latest at my website - and sign up for the newsletter (top center column) while you're there.)

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete 
NEW second edition & new cover coming!


Chapter One

Q. You saw his face covered with blood?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you see his eyeball hanging out?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you see the gashes where his face was laid open?
A. No, sir.
—Lizzie Borden at inquest, August 9-11, 1892, Fall River Courtroom

August 4, 1892
 Lizzie Borden drained the rest of her tea, set down her cup, and listened to the sound of furniture moving upstairs. My, my, for only ten o’clock in the morning my stepmother is certainly energetic. Housecleaning, already?
    For a moment, Lizzie forgot her plans to go shopping downtown. THUMP. There it went again. It sounded like her stepmother was rearranging the whole room. She paused at the bottom stair, her concern growing, when she heard another thump and then, the oddest of sounds—a moan. 

New! The sequel: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: (Title to be announced!)  by C.A. Verstraete

* CHECK out the new web page. Being updated as details come!

NOTE: Yes, you can read it alone, but there are spoilers if you haven't read the first book!

Chapter One 

“We pray thee that innocence may be revealed and guilt exposed…”
—The Rev. M.C. Julien, opening prayer
Trial of Lizzie Borden, June 5, 1893

Fall River, Massachusetts—October, 1893

Lizzie Borden sprang awake, startled by a sound she never expected, or wanted to hear again—a low, eerie keen that made her skin crawl and the long, straight hairs on her neck curl up into tight ringlets.
“No, no!” She jumped out of bed and ran to the window, her heart pounding in fear. “Please, don’t let it be!”
     The chaotic scene on the street below filled her with disbelief and horror. No matter which direction she looked, she saw pure evil—groups of the undead she’d truly thought were gone forever. 
** Stay tuned for details for pre-orders and contests, etc.!!!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blogging AtoZ: #Mystery #Thriller Week!

Today is the letter M in the A to Z Blog Challenge for Mystery Thriller Week!

Mystery Thriller Week runs from April 12-22. 

Actually it's more than a week - a  good chance to discover some cool, new and new-to-you books!
* See MTW info on the Facebook group
* Check out the details and links (see left column) at website 
(Cool prizes, etc. including a master class with promo guru Mark Dawson)

 ** Here are a few of the participating authors & books: **
(See more mysteries - thrillers ) 

 * A Hole in One, A Glass Dolphin Mystery, Judy Penz Sheluk 

 * Death in the Time of Ice, People of the Wind Mystery, book 1, Kaye George


* The Dead of Winter, Jean Rabe
 (And the sequel, The Dead of Night, are on sale!)

* The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, C.A. Verstraete

* The Inheritance, Jacqueline Seewald

** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.

** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

* More to come!

Friday, April 13, 2018

April Reading List New #Mystery #Thriller #Zombie #horror

* Today is the letter L for April Reading List in the A to Z Blogging Challenge * 

This time, I found quite a few new mysteries and thrillers, plus some creepy new reads you're sure to find intriguing.

The Heads Have Eyes, Robert W. Walker -  This prolific author creeps us out even further in this latest in his Chicaghosts novella series. The nostalgic series with a touch of humor will have you squirming this time with parasitic spiders nesting inside human heads. Oh, you have to read the introduction, but beware!

The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories - Twenty-six terrifying tales of Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, etc. by Lisa Morton, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale and others. (Pre-order, releases Sept. 4.)

The Outsider, Stephen King - An 11-year-old boy's body is found and evidence points to the Little League coach as the killer but it wouldn't be King without a turn toward the supernatural...  (Pre-order, Releases May 22.)



Color Me Murder, Krista Davis - The coloring craze hits mysteries! Bookstore owner and coloring book creator Florrie Fox finds a new apartment comes with conditions, and murder. 

Death on the Trek, A People of the Wind Mystery, Book 2, Kaye George - The Neanderthal tribe must trek south to flee the approaching glacier. When an elder is drowned, Enga Dancing Flower suspects a murderer travels with them. (See book 1, Death in the Time of Ice)

Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery (Adventures of Zelda Richardson, Book 3), Jennifer S. Alderson - Art, religion and anthropology collide in this stand-alone novel. Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased. Grappling with an anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, she learns a  present-day murderer will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth. 


The Bone Shroud, Jean Rabe -  Chicago Field Museum Archivist Irem Madigan's trip to Rome turns into a search for historical relics... and a struggle to stay steps ahead of a killer.

The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, C.A. Verstraete - Was Lizzie Borden's doctor haunted by the murders of his neighbors supposedly at the hands of their daughter, Lizzie Borden? And was he haunted later by the city's bloody past? A ghostly love story and mystery. 

Romantic Suspense - Thriller 

Beautiful Victim, Claire C. Riley -  The perfect girl, or the perfect victim? Ethan now has  a singular focus: Keep the girl, no matter the consequences.

Awake: A Good Twin, Bad Twin Thriller, Morgan Mandel - After suffering the devastating loss of her parents, Rina returns home to confront the man who’d broken her heart. Danger awaits when she plots revenge. She has no idea the man she defies is not the person she once loved.

Psychological Thriller

Forget Me Not, Kristen Middleton -  At the mercy of a psychopath, Amanda realizes she's in a game of cat-and-mouse, where the killer keeps changing the rules and the winner... is the last one standing.


Red Runs the River, Life of the Dead Book 5, Tony Urban - This is how the end begins - In the thrilling conclusion of the LIFE OF THE DEAD series, the men and women who survived the initial days of the zombie apocalypse are faced with new challenges and epic adventures and every decision is the difference between life and death. (See how it begins, Hell on Earth, Life of the Dead, Book 1

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blogging A to Z: What Did Lizzie Borden's Doctor Know? #paranormal #ghosts

Today is the Letter K for the A to Z Blogging Challenge

What did Lizzie Borden's Doctor Know? 

Writing about Lizzie Borden for Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter has been both fun and interesting. When I decided to branch off in another direction, I started thinking - how did the murders affect Lizzie's longtime doctor and neighbor?

 Dr. Bowen was the first professional on the scene, and despite his training, he had to be shocked at what he found that morning of August 4, 1892. Not only was his longtime neighbor dead, but this was an incredibly gruesome murder. Even worse, maybe even unfathomable, was that it was Lizzie being looked at with suspicion.

Then Mr. Borden's wife, Lizzie's stepmother, is also found dead and horribly butchered. Could Lizzie, a 32-year-old spinster and Sunday School teacher, really be responsible? She was arrested for the crime and went on trial a year later in 1893.

The fact is, the ground of Fall River, Mass. is soaked in blood, going back to the bloody wars between the Indians and the Colonials. Then there were other axe murders that occurred around the same time.... could the city have been haunted, maybe even cursed, by its past, too?

That's the backdrop of some of the events haunting the doctor, who decides to retire early. In my fictional version, he faces the paranormal, and the past, supported by the everlasting love of his devoted wife, Phoebe.  

It was fun bringing a new supernatural twist to the story and introduce another important person in Lizzie Borden's life.

Learn more  in my book, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen: A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River

 ** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Blogging A to Z: J for Haunt Jaunts #horror #paranormal

Today is the Lettter J for the A to Z Blogging Challenge

** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.


The letter J prompted a natural request - I asked my friend Courtney Mroch, director of Paranormal Tourism, to talk about her cool site, Haunt Jaunts.

What is Haunt Jaunts? 
It started with a rework of the tagline, which used to be: Haunt Jaunts, a travel site for restless spirits.

But Haunt Jaunts covers more than just travel. It''s now called "A skeleton crew of restless spirits in search of the latest paranormal, horror, & Halloween news, events, & entertainment. Jaunt with us! If you dare...”

Join the Skeleton Crew
We’re also looking for writers. Either permanent contributors or guest bloggers. We’re not a paying site…except in linkbacks and exposure!

urrent regular contributors include one of Arizona’s leading, well respected members of the paranormal community, Debe Branning. And we just recently formed a #ParaPower partnership with Lesia Schnur, The Haunted Librarian.

What  Else is on Haunt Jaunts?
We’re always on the lookout for news tips and suggestions. 

 Weekly Haunted Headlines:  a  roundup of the most spirited news stories we’ve come across.

Tune In and Play: Check out  the Fake News or Not Game on our radio show. (Which airs live on Tuesday nights from 8-9 pm Eastern on ParaMania Radio

Trivia Tuesday:  They like weird Trivia, too! 
Each week we send out a teaser of some sort about some kind of trivia tidbit we’ll share at the start of our show. So if you know anything trivia worthy (that may pertain to your product or business and you’d like a little free exposure/publicity), please get your inner Know It All in touch with Haunt Jaunts.

On Facebook: 

Check out the Haunt Jaunts Hangout for almost anything and  Skellie’s Boo-k Club for the readers and writers. Writers of paranormal (fiction and non), horror, and mystery are welcome to share their latest works. Readers are encouraged to talk about their favorite books, authors and genres.

More Stuff:

April is HJ’s birthday month. Skellie, HJ’s skeleton mascot, has been doing some spring cleaning and dejunking his closet. He found a lot of HJ swag just laying around. T-shirts, has, notebooks, pens…he’ll have a slew of things to giveaway.

Newsletter subscribers get extra entries. (And sometimes exclusive subscriber-only giveaways and prizes.) People can sign up at the nwsletter page. on the site or this link will take them directly to the newsletter signup page. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Blogging A to Z: Robert Walker #Horror #thriller #historical

Today is the Letter I for in the daily A to Z Blog Challenge!

Today I welcome the master of horror and all things ICKY and creepy, author Robert W. Walker!

This prolific author - 70+ books! - loves keeping readers on their toes, and his latest offerings will do just that! And if you like old Chicago history, you'll love this series!

First, Inspector Alastair Ransom is back in this latest historical Chicago thriller!

Inspector Alastair Ransom, Chicago PD is back, pulled from a poker game when his snitch is found murdered in a back alley. The seemingly unimportant victim comes to full-blown life and recognition as Alastair uncovers the clues to his murder. With each new revelation, Henry Bosch, aka Dot'n'Carry (due to the sound of his wooden leg) becomes more real to Ransom than when he was alive. The old veteran of the Civil War, town drunk, gambler, hobo and storyteller, who'd become a staple of life on Chicago's streets, in death, becomes Inspector Ransom's latest obsession, and far more than just another case to be solved. Serpents slither in and out of the ongoing case, as do the women in Ransom's life.

All the principle players are back in a story that leads into Ransom's eventually finding himself on the doomed ship TITANIC, as this fifth book in the City Series takes Ransom to the already published sixth title in series -- Titanic 2012 - Curse of RMS Titanic, wherein Ransom rides the Titanic to the bottom of the sea to effectively end the series at six books. Begun with City for Ransom, Shadows in the White City, City of the Absent, City of Lies, now City of Serpents, and finally Titanic 2012, the books are best read in that order.

 (See what happened before in book 4, City of Lies) 

** There seems to be an underlying theme here as we go into his really scary stuff! Oh, and he also seems to have a thing for.... yes, spiders.

This is where it gets creepy, though Walker also has a touch of humor, urban legend, and old-Chicago history in his fun Chicaghosts novella series. 

When a new strain of 'smart' spiders emerge in Chicago known as Chi-racnids, heads will roll, as these parasitic spiders make babies inside humans. Specifically inside human heads, until the weight of the growing horde inside the skull becomes too heavy for the brain stem and spinal cord to support.

 The four 'horsemen' of the Old Fart Squad, led by Retired Detective Aubrey Hamilton, along with Wiz, GD, and Reggie, who have combated spirit gorillas in Gone Gorilla, oil-slick monsters in The Monster Pit, and a Chicago River she-devil serpent in previous cases of the Chicaghosts Series, are faced with their strangest case ever, one that involves a growing number of citizens succumbing to the Spider Plague of 2018. 

When spiders destroy a perfectly good hot fudge sundae, it is too much for the Old Fart Squad. They go after the enemy with liquid nitrogen and fire.

** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here.

** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Blogging #AtoZ: New International #Mystery: The Bone Shroud, Jean Rabe

** Today is letter H - for The Bone SHroud in the A to Z Blog Challenge ** 
** Check out the full list of A to Z blogs here. 
** See all this blog's A to Z posts and links here.

  Today I welcome Jean Rabe, USA Today Bestselling Author
who's talking about her latest, the newly released  international mystery, 

* See all stops of the blog tour here. Read on for an exclusive (cool & eerie!) except (with skeletons!) and her giveaway!

Irem Madigan’s wedding trip to Rome turns into a desperate search for an archaeological prize, and a struggle to stay ahead of a killer.

Set in and under Rome, The Bone Shroud is a love story wrapped in a perilous relic-hunt. Irem flies to Italy to be the “best man” in her brother’s wedding. He’s marrying an archaeologist bent on revealing the graves of some famous ancient dead. Irem, an archivist at the Chicago Field Museum, becomes obsessed with the centuries-old mysteries.

Unfortunately, Irem discovers there are other players in the game, and some of them are playing deadly. Can she survive and uncover the ancient secrets?
* * * 
“Intrigue, romance, and danger amid the relics of Rome’s storied past, with compelling characters and building tension that will keep you turning pages!” Gail Z. Martin, bestselling author of Vendetta

“Strong characters, shady dealings, ruthless villains, a beautiful setting, an ancient mystery–The Bone Shroud has ’em all. Don’t miss it!” New York Times bestselling Richard Baker, author of Valiant Dust

* * *
Can You Judge a Book by the Cover?
 By Jean Rabe
I’ve 36 novels out by traditional publishers, but I went the Indie route with The Bone Shroud … because I could. I’d wondered what it would be like to “do it myself.” I discovered it is a lot of work. Still, there is a lot of satisfaction. I want to do another Indie—I enjoyed the process that much. I’ll get to work on that when The Bone Shroud blog tour has finished.

I loved searching artist websites for potential book covers. Looking at some of them gave me ideas for future novels! When I stumbled upon the skeleton I stopped. I HAD TO HAVE THAT PIECE OF ART. The piece that is the cover for The Bone Shroud. Sure, it would make a great cover for a spooky book, a horror novel, and The Bone Shroud isn’t that. BUT, The Bone Shroud has skeletons in robes in it, a chest, and eerie scenes. The cover was perfect.

I contacted the artist, bought the cover, and he took it down from his website so no one else would use the image. I liked the notion of a one-of-a-kind cover. He was a dream to work with. And my next indie project … I’ll be going back to Juan Padron.

I just liked looking at it, the skeleton piece, seeing all the little things in it, feeling a mood. Can you judge a book by the cover? I hope so ‘cause I think my cover is four shades of awesome sauce. I hope the cover draws people to the book—and that they’ll read that it’s a mystery, not a squishy horror novel. Chris Verstraete, the host of this blog, also liked the cover enough to contact the artist and arrange for covers for her upcoming books, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and book 2 (yes, the squishy horror kind!). Check out his website. 

*** Enjoy an excerpt from The Bone Shroud … the bit with the robed skeletons:
Hundreds of eyeless sockets fixed Irem in place.
“Incredible,” she said with a shiver.
Skulls covered a large section of wall in the underground chamber, stacked floor to ceiling and packed tight. Femurs formed an arch above them, and finger bones were scattered along the base like straw edging. Two complete skeletons, skulls tipped down as if in prayer, were clad in brown robes rotting from age.
The air felt ancient.
It was so incongruous to what stretched directly above them, a vibrant, sprawling city filled with life: women in the latest fashions clicking their heels against sidewalks, tourists rushing to the next attraction and snapping pictures of everything in their path, taxis honking, pigeons fluttering down to grab the crumbs dropped by those eating breakfast at outdoor caf├ęs.
This was lifeless and solemn and appealed to Irem for her love of history.
There were more bones on the opposite wall and along the corridor she and Benito had traveled; all of them used as decoration, including vertebrae chandeliers and skulls and crossbones placed long before pirates had used the symbols.
“These catacombs are a major attraction,” Benito said. He pointed to the ceiling where evenly spaced lights provided minimal, but appropriate, illumination. There were guardrails to keep people from disturbing the remains. “A dozen or so tourists at a time—always small groups—are led through every afternoon. Here and nearby, as the many burial catacombs cover miles and miles. Everyone is told to wear comfortable shoes.”
Irem wore comfortable shoes this morning, with thick terrycloth socks that were making yesterday’s blisters a fading memory. She noted that the stone floor was smooth and shiny from the countless feet that had crossed it.
“All these bones. Remarkable,” she said. Macabre, she wanted to add. Despite the eeriness, there was something beautiful about it.
“Some of these burial vaults date back to a hundred and fifty years before Constantine made Christianity legal in Italy.” He droned on as if giving one of the tours. “Down another tunnel is the world’s oldest painted image of the Virgin Mary. This particular vault, with all the skeleton art, is part of the Capucin Crypt. The bones of more than four thousand friars are entombed here. Historians say it was meant to be respectful, never intended to be morbid.”
“Dust to dust,” Irem whispered.

Benito chuckled. “Dust we will all be, eh?”

  Jean Rabe is the author of three dozen novels published by small and major presses, has been on the USA Today bestseller’s list, and is a former crime reporter. Jean lives in a tiny town in central Illinois that boasts a gas station, Dollar General, and a pizza place with slow service. She writes with dogs wrapped around her feet while listening to the “music” of passing trains.  She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

The tour giveaway is for a 25.00 gift certificate or a fused glass necklace.