Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New #Zombie #Fiction Coming!

A great way to start the new year!

Got word that two of my latest "drabbles" - 100 word stories - have been accepted!

The stories, "The Comedians" and "Fido, fetch!" will be coming soon in the upcoming 100 Word Bigger Zombie Bites. This is book 2 in the series put out by the Reanimated Writers Group. Oh, and the second book will be as cool-looking and neat to read as the first.

I had fun writing these as it's a challenge to try to stick to that short-short format. The first story, "The Comedians" also is a fun, tie-in to the book covers. Stay tuned for more details!!

 100 Word Zombie Bites, An Undead Drabble Anthology  - Reanimated Writers - Bite-size stories by group of writers. Includes my two new stories, The Heist and The Awakening by C.A. Verstraete

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Cozy Mysteries - A New Alaska #Mystery coming...

I used to read a lot of cozy mysteries, then I guess I read too many, so I lost interest. I actually stopped reading them for a couple years, but I've started again and am enjoying the stories.  Of course, I always get a kick out of the punny titles, too.

I'll be making a list of new mysteries coming out, but for now, I see fellow writing pal Camille Minichino has a new series coming out under the pseudonym Elizabeth Logan. I'll have to ask her why she picked Alaska? Inquiring minds want to know!

Looks fun!

Mousse and Murder, An Alaskan Diner Mystery, Book 1 in the series, releases on May 5. 

A young chef might bite off more than she can chew when she returns to her Alaskan hometown to take over her parents' diner set in an Alaskan tourist town.

When Chef Charlie Cooke is offered the chance to leave San Francisco and return home to Elkview, Alaska, to take over her mother's diner, she doesn't even consider saying no. After all--her love life has recently become a Love Life Crumble, and a chance to reconnect with her roots may be just what she needs.

Determined to bring fresh life and flavors to the Bear Claw Diner, Charlie starts planning changes to the menu, which has grown stale over the years. But her plans are fried when her head cook Oliver turns up dead after a bitter and public fight over Charlie's ideas--leaving Charlie as the only suspect in the case.

With her career, freedom, and life all on thin ice, Charlie must find out who the real killer is, before it's too late.--from Amazon

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Happy 2020! Still Writing - and you?

(animations: https://www.fg-a.com/newyear.shtml)

Happy 2020 to everyone!

Yes, I've been remiss in posting here. Taking a small break, I slowed down a bit on blog and other writing, but not totally. 

I'm taking on a new focus this year, trying to finish the mystery I started, which actually is going well. 

BUT... no I haven't totally given up on horror. I can't, it seems. I was slowing off but then I saw a couple anthology calls that got me inspired. So, I wrote a couple flash stories before New Year's. Then today I decided to expand one to a short story. 

These stories, like another I finished earlier, seem to be following a theme  - the '20s and '30s and gangsters. I was looking into a nonfiction project centering around that too. Still not sure how/if I'll follow up on all of it, but it's pretty interesting.

So with it being the '20s again, it seems fitting to be looking into the Roaring Twenties. I'd previously bought several books on the era to read, also. It's a fascinating time period.

So that's what I'm working on. We'll see where it all leads... Keep checking back for more projects and news.

And... What are you working on?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

New Anthology: 100 Word #Zombie Bites

Just got a few copies of the new anthology I have stories in - 100 Word Zombie Bites from the Reanimated Writers Group. (Get it in paperback and Kindle here.)

I have two stories in here, The Awakening and The Heist. 

These are my first entries with this writer's group, which has published quite a few anthologies before, and I can say they produce a great product. I know most people read ebooks and Kindle today, but it's nice to have a paperback, too.

I've been in quite a few anthologies, so I've seen some good ones and some that are amateurish. I mention this as I've seen a few books done without the elements you expect to see in a print book like the table of contents and page numbers. To me, that takes away from the final product.

Proper formatting and a nice layout make the book worth buying. This has nice little illustrations added, and a "cute" picture of the group "mascot" on the cover page, too. 

The cover photo (love it!) and the title especially drew me in from the start. Plus, it's a challenge and dare I say FUN to write a story in just 100 words. And they're addicting! Give it a try.

A good book day!  Happy reading!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Meant to Be SPOOKED - When Love is #Supernatural #halloween

Today we have a teaser of a "spooky love" story from the new anthology, Meant to Be... SPOOKED.

An anthology of otherworldly love stories from Meant to Be Press authors.
Meant to Be…SPOOKED
Available now on Amazon.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find not only a magical spring, but a handsome man to go with it?

   If not for the magic embroidered into her tattoos, Cherry would already be dead. Isaac’s life revolves around duty and protection, so he hardly has time for the rockabilly woman bringing chaos to his mountain. Sometimes, a little chaos is a wake-up call. Too bad what Cherry wants is at odds with what Isaac has to give. His secrets might be worse than hers.
    H.E. Roulo’s “Cordial Foe” excerpt begins when Cherry is brought back to Isaac’s remote cabin after falling into an icy stream on Mount Rainier. Not at all shy, the rockabilly Cherry sets out to learn more about her hermit rescuer, and have some fun along the way.
    Check out this excerpt for a taste of what “Cordial Foe” has to offer.

Cordial Foe

By H.E. Roulo

“You need me to get in there?” asked Cherry
 “I can cook,” Isaac said.
“I like you better already.”
He eyed her figure.
She lifted her arms to re-pin her hair, which not incidentally did nice things for her bosom, only to find all but one pin had all come out. The rest were likely swimming in currents down the length of Mt. Rainier right now.
“You should shower. That water wasn’t good for you. My robe might fit you.”
He’d been guessing her measurements against his ratty old robe?
Deflated, she set her hands on her hips. “Water looked clear when we left, though, didn’t it? Got to be glacier-fed, right?”
“You stirred up the bottom when you fell in.”
Doubtful, she accepted two towels. “You the only one here, hermit?”
“Isaac. And yes, abandoned and forgotten by everyone but you.”
“All right, all right.” A shiver raced over her skin. He’d been so deadpan, it rang like truth. She crushed the towels to her chest. “A hot shower sounds good.”
She backed into the bathroom and slammed the door. Leaning against it, she pressed the towels to her face. Isaac was a new and disturbingly intriguing problem. She was safe from the fire she’d kindled in Seattle, but this might be an out-of-the-frying-pan and into-the-fire type situation.
“Jesus, I’m starving.”
The towels smelled good, but fortunately not like food. She inhaled, enjoying the scent of fresh laundry.
He tapped on the door behind her back. Cautiously, she opened it.
“My go-bag!” She accepted the red backpack from his hand and shoved the door shut again. Or tried to.
“Go bag?” he asked through the opening.
“For when you’ve got to go. Emergency supplies.”
“I’ve heard of them. Like for natural disaster or nuclear war. Anything I should worry about?”
“I’m a hipster. All my calamities are homemade.” She shoved, despite the obvious futility.
Laughing, he allowed the door to close.


The anthology includes: 

“Parsers and Prejudice” by Emmy Z. Madrigal
Sometimes digital love is all you got.

In a future world, where men are all but extinct, Laney falls in love with her only companion, a male android built to meet her every need. But when a deadly virus sweeps the bot population, she must do everything she can to save the bot she loves.

"Cursed by Cupid" by Naching T. Kassa
Nothing is scarier than love.
Jane Sanders is a professional matchmaker and her new client is to die for. Henry Roberts is a handsome and charming Englishman, someone every woman would want. There’s just one problem. Henry is also ghost, cursed to appear as each woman’s nightmare. Can Jane aid him in his hunt for true love? Or will she experience her first failure and condemn his soul to hell forever?

“The Phone Booth” by M.M. Genet
What would you give for one last chance?

What would you give to talk one last time to someone you lost? Would you give up your savings, your house or car? How about your best friend or a member of your family? After a tornado hits their small town, the names of the missing gradually become the names of the dead. A haunted phone booth might give Ahi one last chance to call his missing girlfriend.

“Cordial Foe” by H.E. Roulo
Magic isn’t found, it’s made

If not for the magic embroidered into her tattoos, Cherry would already be dead. Isaac’s life revolves around duty and protection, so he hardly has time for the rockabilly woman bringing chaos to his mountain. Sometimes, a little chaos is a wake-up call. Too bad what Cherry wants is at odds with what Isaac has to give. His secrets might be worse than hers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

More Spooky Scary #Halloween Reads! #horror #zombie

'Tis the Season to read spooky! Okay, it's all the time, but indulge me! 
More great horror and Halloween-flavored anthologies
 and books for your reading pleasure!


100 Word Horrors Book 3: Anthology of Horror Drabbles - Assorted authors.  Over 100 short horror drabbles - Includes my story, A Mother's Love by C.A. Verstraete.

New! 100 Word Zombie Bites, An Undead Drabble Anthology  - Reanimated Writers - Bite-size stories by group of writers. Includes my two new stories, The Heist and The Awakening by C.A. Verstraete


A Murder of Crows,  Michael Bracken, Kaye George, John M. Floyd, Jacqueline Seewald, Earl Staggs and others. Twenty-one authors pen tales about animals and their collective names. The humans don't fare as well...

Fantastic Tales of Terror: History's Darkest Secrets, Jonathan Maberry, Kevin J. Anderson, Christopher Golden, Bentley Little, Lisa Morton, and others - Twenty-four stories from noted horror authors. Stories of the secrets of history and alternate tales from the real story of the sinking of the Titanic to the horrorific lengths people went to during the Great Depression in New York City. 

Handbook for the Dead, Pamela K. Kinney, Jacob Floyd, Jenny Floyd - A look at haunted locations, information on the sites, plus insight on the paranormal. Non-fiction. 

Shallow Waters Volume 3, A Flash Fiction Anthology - Shallow waters - where nothing stays buried. Explore 21 tales of life, death and the pain in-between.

Strange Tales of the Macabre: Gothic, John Palisano, Lisa Morton, Eric Guignard, Rena Mason, Kate Jonez - Group of authors explore the Gothic world with curses, old buildings, the superantural and more in this collection of stories.

Tales from the Old Black Ambulance, Robert W. Walker, Tim Waggoner, and others - Sixteen stories about hearses of all kinds, creepy to ghostly, and more! Includes: Ded Society — Larry Hodges, The Piper’s Song — Gail Z. Martin
Feed The Stove — J. D. Blackrose, The Devil’s Chair — Rob MacGregor
Caddy Man — Gustavo Bondoni, Bone Whispers — Tim Waggoner
Pearls Before Swine — Angela Roquet, Good Boy — A. G. Hilton
Only the Young Die Good — Emily Lavin Leverett
The Albatross Man — Robert W. Walker, Always Room For One More — Tally Johnson
The Solitary Procession — Mackenzie Kincaid, Maho To Satsujin — Jason J. McCuiston
Hearse — Jennifer R. Povey, Buffoonville — Clark Roberts
What the Heart Wants — Rick Duffy

Trickster's Treats #3: The Seven Deadly Sins - A collection of 49 short stories addressing the seven deadly sins (7 stories, 700 words each). An international lineup, assisted by comic artist (Hellblazer, Things in the Well,) Steve Dillon, artist/author Lori R. Lopez and others. Proceeds go to Charity: Water.


Read something spooky!

October Nights & Spooky Frights Books (Ends Oct. 31)



Doll Manor, (Lucifer Falls Book 2), Chantal Nordeloos - Someone is working to break the seven seals of the Apocalypse. Is Angel Manor the last one? 

The Daemon Device: Book One of the Enchanter Chronicle, Jeri Westerson - London, 1891. Dirigibles, steam powers and strange murders... Magician Leopold Kazsmer, the Great Enchanter, is a man of secrets, including the ability to summon demons and perform real magic. Now he must discern what is behind a rash of revolting murders. 

 The Institute, Stephen King - Luke Ellis's parents are murdered and he's kidnapped, waking in a room that looks like his. Except here, other kids like him with special "talents" - telepathy and telekinesis - are subjected to having their gifts extracted - no matter what it takes. And escaping seems impossible. (Ooh, I have to read this next. Sounds like another version of Firestarter!)



Life is Short and Then You Die: Mystery Writers of America Presents First Encounters with Murder,  Barry Lyga, Caleb Roehrig, Emmy Laybourne, Jonathan Maberry, R.L. Stine, Rachel Vincent, Y.S. Lee, and others.  - Murder mysteries add a sinister spin to the firsts in life, from high school clique "backstabbers," to finding a body on the way home from school...

The Dead of Summer  (Piper Maxwell Book 3), Jean Rabe - Latest in the Piper Maxwell series has the new sheriff tested to her limits with a county fair accident and a horrific murder.


A Warning in Blood: The Vampire Inquisitor Series, Joseph R.G. DeMarco Dru is not a commonplace vampire – he’s an Inquisitor, chosen by the elders of a most sanguine and secret society. His role is to investigate sedition and punish treason among the undead, of whom there are clans, factions, and territories. He’s made enemies over the centuries. He’s dealt with many of them using the help of myriad assistants, including gargoyle spies. But now a mysterious force has broken one of the cardinal rules governing vampire society.


Legion of the Undead: Special Extended Edition, Michael Whitehead -  (Pre-order, Releases Oct. 19) New reworked edition of the greatest empire on earth, the ancient Romans vs. the undead who would destroy them. Include a new chapter answering a previously unanswered question, plus two new short stories, Pirates, and Demons, and a previously released story, The Fort.

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete (On sale!) A dysfunctional family, greed, murder... and zombies? In August, 1892, Lizzie Borden took an axe... what if she did it because her father and stepmother had already become... zombies?

Undead Worlds 3: 16 new stories to sink your teeth into! (Get other links here.)




Thursday, October 10, 2019

Congrats to Jean Rabe on the Bone Shroud! #spooky #thriller #mystery

 A BIG congrats to fellow author Jean Rabe whose fantastic book The Bone Shroud (which has been featured on this blog) was recently named as a finalist in the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project sponsored by local libraries.

If you haven't read it, there's enough creepy characters and catacombs, plus some great history to fit right into your Halloween reading schedule! Plus there's that cool creepy cover!

About The Bone Shroud:

Irem Madigan’s wedding trip to Rome turns into a desperate search for historical relics, and a struggle to stay ahead of a killer. Irem, an archivist at the Chicago Field Museum, flies to Italy to be the “best man” in her brother’s wedding. He’s marrying an archaeologist who lures Irem into a centuries-old mystery. Unfortunately, there are other players in the game, and some of them are playing deadly. Can she survive and uncover the ancient secrets?.