Wednesday, July 31, 2019

#Walking Dead #Zombie Movie Coming!

This is being billed as the Rick Grimes story.... I sure hope it's more decisive than how he handled Negan...? But it'll be good to have more perspectives on the story....

I don't see a release date, but see more info at

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Blog Tour: The Dead of Summer #Mystery, Jean Rabe

Today I welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe to the blog to share about her latest, The Dead of Summer - the third book in her Piper Maxwell mystery series. (Isn't the cover great?)

About the Book:

Shouts of delight turn to screams of terror when a carnival ride goes berserk at the Spencer County Fair. Sheriff Piper Blackwell must contain the chaos and investigate the possible sabotage, even as she tries to solve a local businessman’s horrific murder. 

But managing two investigations with at least one killer on the loose pushes the young officer and her tiny staff to their limits. Can Piper catch the murderer, or will the summer’s body count continue to rise?

* Get more news, tidbits about her upcoming books, reviews of what she's reading, and writing advice.  ** Subscribe to her newsletter here. ** And.... check out the cool giveaway at the end of this post.

Today, Rabe shares some thoughts on the book and the inspiration behind it:

What inspired the book?

I love summer, and so I had to have a Piper book set in the summertime. I love everything about summer—even the heat. But what inspired the book was a trip to the local county fair. I’d bought tickets to the country concert, which started at 7 p.m., but I thought I’d go early and people-watch. I took a notebook, bought a BIG lemonade, sat at a picnic table and wrote down descriptions of people, their dialog, and added in all the sights, sounds, and smells. I basically drank in the summer. The picnic table was at the edge of the rides, so I watched them and took pictures. Then I asked “what if?” I’m always asking “what if?” as a springboard to a story.

What if one of the rides broke?

One of those big, fast aggressive rides?

Would people fly through the air to their doom?

So that’s how The Dead of Summer starts, and Piper is thrust into dealing with an awful disaster in a small county.

How is Piper different this time?

Piper has matured, even though she’s still twenty-three. (She’ll have a birthday in Piper #4.) She’s more comfortable in her role as sheriff. She’s hit the six-month mark, is enjoying the job, and her staff is more accepting of her. She’s stopped thinking about returning to the army and she’s started to sink her roots deeper into the county soil. She has her own house (a nice one she inherited), and her love life is kicking up a notch. And she wants to be an even better sheriff … Piper is studying the detective she hired away from the Chicago Police Department. She realizes she can learn a lot from the man.

What was your favorite part of the story and why?

I liked sprinkling in my geekdom. I am a geek and a gamer. I collected comic books, played collectible card games, and visited a lot of shops similar to the one I detail in my book. Actually, the shop in the book is a meld of Calinbus, a comic shop I went to when I lived not terribly far from Owensboro, Kentucky, and Gopher Mafia, a game store I go to regularly now. Some of the customers in the book are based on folks I knew from “back in the day” or that I’d seen recently at local game days. It was fun putting bits of me into the book. I put in lemonade, dogs, and country music … those are bits of me, too.

What kind of research did you have to do this time?

I always do a lot of research on my mysteries because I want everything “just right.” I regularly talked with a county prosecutor … who happens to be our Dungeon Master, to make sure all the legal stuff was authentic. And a former cop, who was also a gaming buddy, is always instrumental in helping me with the police procedural part. I am fortunate to have such knowledgeable friends. Without giving away the plot, I learned why you might not charge someone with a crime, even though they did something awful; why local law enforcement is responsible for any charges stemming from big accidents at fair grounds; what all the US Marshal’s office handles; and who inspects carnival rides. And I watched several documentaries and biographies about the Mob. I also researched rides that have broken around the country.

What did you find out that was unusual?

That the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is responsible for inspecting carnival rides. Interesting, eh? They have a division called Elevators and Amusements, and they inspect rides, elevators, ski lifts, and the like. They visit hospitals, schools, grain elevators, amusement parks, water parks, and ski resorts to conduct their work. Some states will rely on inspections from other states when a carnival moves its rides across the border. Not Indiana. Indiana inspects everything fresh. Interesting.

What was the best moment of writing this Piper book and why?

I’d say it was a little scene out on the county road. Piper stops on her way home. It’s late at night, and there’s nothing but the road and a big field. No light pollution from nearby farmhouses. There are myriad stars and thousands of lightning bugs hugging the crops. Nature’s fireworks. I used to live out in the country and at night I’d go out on my deck in the backyard and just watch nature’s fireworks. Me and my dog. My husband and some of our friends thought it was boring. I considered it pretty close to heaven. Writing that scene in The Dead of Summer took me back to that time in my life. I was missing all of those Wisconsin lightning bugs … so I put them in my book.

* See more tomorrow at the Between the Lines blog. You can follow all the stops here.

Excerpt from The Dead of Summer:

   Oren stayed outside and peered in through the front window, seeing neat rows of shelves and a center table with comic books arranged like records used to be displayed “back in the day.” Easy to look through them, he figured. Piper and Alden went inside.
   He turned and looked out across the lot and down the front of the strip mall, noting two other surveillance cameras … one in front of a Dollar General, the other at a hardware store, neither at an angle that would catch the front of Silver Age Sam’s, but both of which might still be useful. The sidewalk that stretched across the entire front of the mall was chipped and cracked and decorated with fast food wrappers that hadn’t come from this area—Oren had noticed a lack of restaurants in this vicinity. His stomach snarled. A top-heavy woman in hot pink leggings and a black tank top came out of the beauty supply store, carrying a curly brown wig on a mannequin head. An obvious father and son strolled out of the hardware store, each carrying two paper sacks. They headed toward an old red pickup, put the sacks inside the bed, then not worrying about thieves, turned around and went to the Dollar General.
   He continued watching, wanting to get a feel for the area. It seemed safe and aged. He’d been to Owensboro more times than he cared to think about, had his father in a nursing home here that called itself a “memory care center.” If he’d been by this strip mall on one of his trips, he couldn’t recall—not the sort of shops he’d stop at. He saw a thin woman in a yellow sweater—how could she be cold today?—shuffle toward an Edward Jones office on the far side of the beauty supply place. She wasn’t old, fifties maybe, but she leaned on a cane, hadn’t gotten out of a car that he’d noticed. Maybe she’d come from a nearby bus stop or been dropped by someone; and if the latter was the case the driver could have been kind and let her off at the door.
   Oren sighed, decided he’d go make sure she got to where she was going. But he stopped when a gangly boy toting a backpack ran toward her and gallantly extended his arm. The boy walked slowly with her. Maybe she was more than in her fifties, and maybe the boy was a grandson.
   In front of the hardware store two kids rode bicycles that looked too small for them, thick wheeled dirt bikes, one so bright blue it was likely fresh from the shop. The other was a burnt orange, caked dirt on the rims, playing cards hooked to the spokes so they clacked. Oren had done that when he was a kid, but he’d used baseball cards—players from 1959 and 60—that would probably have brought a good piece of change had he left them in the pack. He remembered using a Yogi Berra card, from when he was a catcher with the Yanks.
   Oren shifted his attention to the far corner of the strip mall lot. An older gentleman—Oren chuckled at calling anyone “older” when he, himself, was an “older gentleman”—ambled up an aisle between cars. Oren changed the label to geezer; stoop-shouldered, head forward bringing to mind the image of a pigeon walking, drab olive pants and a striped sport shirt, walking aimlessly. The man turned a corner and started down another aisle, made it to the end, and then turned up another, this one the closest to the comic store. Maybe he suffered from dementia, like Oren’s father, couldn’t remember what car was his and thereby shouldn’t be driving. As he neared the comic shop, Oren got a better look. His sport shirt was partially unbuttoned, revealing a ropy scar likely from some sort of open heart surgery. He wore expensive-looking athletic shoes and had an overlarge Fitbit on his wrist that he occasionally consulted, designer eyeglass frames, and a couple of thick gold rings on one hand.

About the Author:

When she's not attending game conventions, USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe writes - a lot. She's written 40 SF, fantasy, mystery, and adventure novels (including a couple of ghosted projects), more short stories than she cares to count, along with editing magazines and anthologies. 

Right now it’s all about mysteries…thrillers, suspense and uncozy-cozies. She says she had to change genres from SF and fantasy "’cause her feet were itching again and I needed to do something different."  Learn more about her and her books at her website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"Dress" Lizzie Borden for her Acquittal Anniversary!

Today in History: Lizzie Borden was acquitted on June 20, 1893 of murdering her father and stepmother.

Lizzie Borden is alive and well these days with new movies, books and now some interesting new products!

I really like this idea! I used to love paper dolls, still do, and this is definitely unique.

Borden researcher Shelley Dziedzic of the Lizzie Borden Warps & Wefts blog has published a paper doll book based on Lizzie Borden! See more info on the Hollister Press book page  and sales page. 

The book contains 12 depictions of Lizzie's dresses, derived from descriptions in newspapers of the day as what Lizzie wore in 1892 and 1893 was as much a part of the story as what she did.

Most fitting for today is her "Acquittal Day" dress. (Shown is the Pansy Brooch dress.) 
 (Photos: Lizzie Borden Warps and Wefts, Hollister Press.)

The book includes details of the gowns and where they were worn as well. Of course, this almost seems too pretty and interesting to cut into! Price is $18.92 plus shipping.

You can also get the book at the Lizzie Borden B&B gift shop (the original murder house in Fall River, Mass. , the photo isn't up on the page yet), in addition to other books (like Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

Happy Cutting!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June Reading List! #horror #zombie #anthologies #mystery

Yes, I'm late. Been busy working on a new idea! And, hey, summer is here. (Well, kind of. Been so cool, rainy  lately in the Midwest. But nice enough to get outside - and catch ticks! It seems every time I garden or pull weeds, the ticks find me!)

Anyway, there's always new stuff to read! I love anthologies, so here are some new ones I came across, plus some other book and release news . Enjoy!

Anthologies - Horror

Carnival of Strange Things, Creepiest Show on Earth Book 3 - Samie Sands and others - Step right up, folks. Evil is coming... are you brave enough to face the Carnival of Strange Things? Creepy stories by 12 authors. 

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road - Joe R. Lansdale and others - There are people doing everyday, normal things. Then there are the desperate and lost, the cruel and criminal... and then there are the stranger things... places not on any map, the legends weary travelers whisper about. Stories... or are they? Introduction by Brian Keene.

Anthologies - Mystery

The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery and Suspense Superior Shores Anthology Book 1, Judy Penz Sheluk - Many best laid plans come with no guarantees as these 21 authors show in their stories. 

Anthologies - Alternate Tales
Classics Remixed: An anthology of new spins on classic tales - Steve Rouse and others - A writing friend had the nerve to tackle Moby Dick, a book that's on my most hated list. But... knowing him, I bet he definitely has a better twist on this classic.  This looks like a fun read!

Table of Contents:
  • Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother Tells All by Jill Hand
    The inside story behind one of our favorite fables
  • Sailor’s Saga by Steve Rouse
    Old Man and the Sea meets Moby Dick meet 20,000 Leagues
  • Not a Single Soul by Tom Howard
    A good witch, a wicked witch, but which witch is which?
  • The Maze Under the Clouds by Blake Jessop
    A sci-fi spin on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur
  • The Upper Hand by A.P. Sessler
    In a spin on “The Monkey’s Paw,” be careful what you wish for...
  • Of House and Home by Eric Andrews-Katz
    Were Hansel and Gretel the victims? Not so much.
  • Solomon’s Moon by Kevin M. Folliard
    Not all invisible men are created equal. Some are just bad.
  • A Taste of Wonderland by Gregory L. Norris
    Starvation twists Alice, Wonderland, and all its inhabitants
  • Gluttony by Henry Herz
    What happens below decks, stays below decks in this biblical misadventure.
  • Moby n’ Queegs by William Ade
    This ain’t your daddy’s Moby Dick
  • Follicles, Fables & Follies by Paul K. Metheney
    Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down ... never mind
  • Jane, Designed to Love by Brandon L. Summers
    Jane Eyre or A.I.? Do androids dream of electric love?
  • Ding Dong the Pitch is Deadly by Jonathan Shipley
    There’s no place like home plate
  • Catcher in the Crawlspace by Jay Seate
    Catcher in the Rye or Stalker in the Crawlspace?
  • Curse of Avalon by Anthony Regolino
    That’s no Lady of the Lake...
  • Treasure Moon by Robert Allen Lupton
    Treasure Island with a sci-fi twisted sense of humor
  • Noah from Mars by Lawrence Dagstine
    Science fictions versus one family’s faith
  • Strike the Match by Robert Petyo
    The Three Musketeers go bowling. Seriously.
  • Handsome and Greedy by Katherine Brown
    Hansel and Gretel like you’ve never seen them before
  • Copper County Fair by Cheryl Stevens Clark
    The story of the Minotaur comes to Copper County
  • Mermaid by Karen Janowsky
    The Little Mermaid in modern day prose
  • A Novel Gathering by Neil Childs
    A band of fictional rogues who attempt to rob the poor to feather their own nests

Other Books & Book News:

Apocalyptic - Zombie:

Escape to the Last Bastion, A Last Bastion Prequel Novel, Rhiannon Frater - 

The surviving aircrew is grounded and ordered to maintain their silence about the possible emergence of an old enemy so ruthless its sole purpose is to wipe out humanity. In the past, the fanatical Gaia Cult has used the potent Inferi Plague Virus as a terrorist weapon. The zombie virus kills, brings the dead back to life, and instills in the resurrected Scourge the overwhelming need to bite and spread the contagion. If Machie’s suspicions are correct and the dangerous Gaia Cult has returned, then an apocalyptic outbreak is imminent, and it will be up to her to save her loved ones and find a safe haven in a dead world.


Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete - is on sale - 99 cents for Kindle! Lizzie Borden took an axe... Family dysfunction, murder... and zombies?


Author Jean Rabe's third Piper Blackwell mystery, Dead of Summer, will be coming out in July! I've read this pre-pub and it's a good one! Love the covers, too. Be sure to read all three! 

A new book is coming in the colorful, New Orleans-based Scrapbooking Series by the team of Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran. Following up on  Glitter Bomb,  comes Mumbo Gumbo Murder. (Pre-order, releases Oct. 1). The setting this time is Jazz Fest, with giant puppets, a puppet theater and of course... murder! 


Author Stephen D. Sullivan also has a unique book series and the latest coming out soon is The Tournament of Death 4. If you like fantasy, odd creatures and fighting tournaments, you'll like this one. I got to blurb it, too. Details to come, but check out his website.


(If you like classic monsters, be sure to also read Stephen D. Sullivan's serialized stories, Dr. Cushing and the Chamber of Horrors, see prologue; and his gothic horror series, Frost Harrow

Friday, May 17, 2019

OWS CyCon 2019 #Sci World Building with SE Zbasnik

Welcome to another fantastic stop in our World-building Showcase blog hop! On this stop, were highlighting a story where the world changes or ends as we know it, but you can find a full list of authors and topics on the OWS Cycon website. Let’s dive in!

Find out More About the World of POWER by Science Fiction Writer 
SE Zbasnik During OWS CyCon 2019

Welcome SE Zbasnik!


1.    Before we dive in to the nitty gritty, what is POWER’s story about?

Jaya Foster creates portals from across the globe. It sounds impressive, but in a world where mailmen spit fire and secretaries cover their bodies in granite it’s not. With a yellow jewel embedded in her forehead, Jaya’s stranded on her people’s side of the city. Across the scar are the Blues, a division of completely different powers. For that reason, society cut in half. Most go their whole lives without meeting a different gem, but Jaya’s job keeps her in contact with the others.

When a bizarre murder lands in her lap, Jaya teams up with Riktuo Fujita, a dashing Blue. Terrorist bombings, assassination attempts, and more threatens their every step. Yet, even with every brush with death, Jaya can’t stop flirting with Rikuto nor can he seem to stop brushing his hand against hers. If the murderer doesn’t get to her first, the Council of 100 will.

2.    Did you invent any new slang or terminology during your world-building process?

As I wanted to establish that this is a world that takes place far into the future after a major disaster created rampant superhero powers, I used my own slang to help. Police are called Collars as in the early days they were required to wear collars that regulated their powers, treating them like bulldogs. People refer to the glowing red gaps in the earth’s crust scattered across the world as “scars” without a second thought. Powers themselves have their own official nomenclature while also getting given slang as well to show how humans have had them for a long time.

3.    What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?

It’s only hinted at in the first book, but the world’s been upended. There’s a glowing sea so hot only a handful of people with powers can visit it. The north is stripped clean of nearly all topsoil, rendering the forests destitute and ash regularly falls like snow. About the only truly livable spots left are a utopian meadowland in the middle of the continent that few ever see.

4.    Is there any kind of faith system in your world? Did you draw inspiration from any real cultures, living or dead?

My main character isn’t religious, but there’s a hint to people worshipping a man who united the warring tribes that humanity fractured into after the great cataclysmic event. That’s the predominant religion, but some of the original traces of old faiths still remain even if their way of worshipping has changed.

5.    Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about your world-ending event and how it led to the world of your story? Was it a distant event or does it happen as part of your tale?

My setting is so far removed from what rocked the earth to its core that no one remembers it to the point some honestly believe that humans were always gifted superpowers. Whatever happened obliterated nearly all records, and as humanity picked back up the pieces, it was lost to time. Some people are finally beginning to explore the scars, but they’re so dangerous most researchers wind up suffering from tumors and other cancers.

Your Process:

6.    When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?

I’m a little of both. I’ll try and do some research before writing, sometimes I just make things up while in the moment and check it later. Others I’ll rely on my own historical studies and swipe a things from that. Human nature is best studied by looking at history, and humans guide society’s direction and the world at large.

7.    How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop, or is it integral to the events of the story?

It begins as a backdrop, but as the story unfurls it drives home the deep division between not only the city itself but humanity as a whole. Due to whatever caused this new world, humans are dividing themselves down jewel color lines and across the scar itself. It’s also used to show the eternal division between the haves and have nots, as many of the poor must live near the scar regardless of its dangers.

8.    When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?

I’m very much a crumb here and there writer. Often, I’ll keep ideas of the world entirely to myself and never show much less explain. Such as the fact humanity has no idea why people have powers. Not once do I mention that to keep the mystery of nature alive.

9.    How much of a role does realism and hard scientific fact play in your world-building? Do you strive for 100% accuracy, or do you leave room for the fantastical and unexplainable in your world?

Well, since this one involves people being able to control rocks with their mind and open portals across the world there’s not much science involved. Though, I do have fun in setting limitations upon the powers. Everyone one has some drawbacks, an outside force that can seriously drain their skill, and something they must consume to power their skill as well. Such as those who create portals use their own body heat, so they must stay warm or risk hypothermia. Or ones that control earth and rocks, if they don’t eat a lot of minerals, their skill will leech the minerals from their bones. That level of detail is both fun and highly important as it gives clear rules to what can and cannot be done by the super powered.

10.  Do you have any specialized training or background from your real lifethat has informed your world-building?

My background is genetics, which is why I try to avoid ‘we gave them an extra chromosome’ excuses as much as possible. If anything, I prefer to fall back on the Frankenstein explanation as much as possible. How did he reanimate a corpse? He’d rather not talk about it thanks, there’s more important plot to get to.

Where can people find you on the web? 

 My OWS CyCon Booth — stop by to take a fun quiz to figure out which Power you’d get.

You can also find me here on social media:
              Author Website -          Dwarves in Space Website
              Facebook -            Twitter  -          Mailing List

For more stops on our End of the World World-building Showcase, visit the tour page on the OWS CyCon website. You can also find more great Sci Fi authors and books on our main Sci Fi event page.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May Reading List: #Apocalypse, #Horror & #Mystery!

Where has May gone already? I'm sharing a short Reading List this month, 
but with LOTS of great deals!

Apocalyptic - Dystopian - Zombie

Armageddon Book Bonanza! Get a wealth of books for 99 cents, special priced box sets, books in KU/Kindle Unlimited and more! Sale from May 14 to June 4. 
  ** Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter is on sale for 99 cents! See Promo here &  99 cents Book Bonanza.


End of the World OWSCyCon Blog Tour: Begins May 17. See posts here. (See blog post of Sci Fi Author SE Zbasnik here.)


Just for fun! Find some new authors! Pick your favorite cover in the OWSCyCon Horror/Thriller Cover Wars - Begins May 16 (9:30 a.m. Central/10:30 a.m. Eastern), ends May 19! (Voting goes live on Friday, May 17.)

And.... please vote for my book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter! 


Summer Snoops Unleashed - Assorted Authors. 
Love dogs? Help support several animal charities. Stories from 14 award-winning authors. Now on Amazon (and a #1 New Release!) Pre-order 99 cents, also on Apple, Nook, Kobo; Releases July 23

Freebies - Horror & Other

Author Robert W. Walker is on a Kindle giveaway bonanza during May! Check all his books and links on his website. 

Here are a few that may interest you and the free dates:


May 12-16  - Party of 8 - Short stories based on Walker's eight series characters.

11-15 Dead On: A Noir Mystery Private Eye Novel
Just when disgraced Atlanta cop-turned-private eye Marcus Rydell prepares to eat his gun, a kid in trouble, a call to duty, and a dirty blonde named Kat Holley stop him cold. They seek to destroy a local legend, a cave-dwelling ex-marine and murderer, a monster whose instincts and military training have allowed him to survive in the wilderness for four years, eluding the Feds as well as Atlanta PD. When the hunters become the hunted, they must duel with this psychotic deviant.

12-16 Vampire Dreams - Archaeology vs. Supernatural (Bloodscreams Book 1.) - Bones of the dead are taken from their graves ... and then the residents begin to disappear.


12-16 Darkness Chasing Light, Tales of Science Fiction, Horror, Suspense & Beyond - Ten stories with incubi to hit men, assorted monsters and more. 

13-17 Killer Instinct, (Instinct Series, Dr. Jessica Moran, ME, FBI Book 1) - Dr. Jessica Moran thought she could face anything. That was before Wisconsin; before she saw one of his victims. 

Other horror titles coming up free include: (See his website link above for all titles)
May 16-20 Floaters
17-21 Flesh Wars 
22-26 Brain Stem
22-26 Front Burners
25-29 Dying Breath26-30 The Serpentine Fire
26-30 Satan’s Edge
27-31 Final Edge