Wednesday, July 31, 2013

GIRL Z Zombie Book Now on Kindle!


GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie just went live on Kindle!

What happens when you're 16... and not-quite-dead?

Becca's life is changed forever, the day her cousin comes home....

Zombie Book Release - One Day to Go!

  Counting down now!!! One day to go for the "official" release of my zombie book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie!

*** But - get it on Kindle now:

 Wow.... two-plus years, where oh where did it go?  Time seems to go really sloooow when you are working on something, but then you look and it's gone!

 Funny as I've been counting down the time to this and it's hard to believe it's finally here. It's interesting to have a concrete goal such as a book since it has a specific timetable you can more or less follow along.

Now if only I'd met some other goals... ha! But I'm working on other projects,which are moving along, which is good. The others are coming along, slow but sure.

So, I hope to see you at book signings and events soon!

** Don't forget to come back Aug. 5 for the blog tour! And the book launch party is August 15  - details on my website.

I hope you are as excited about all this as I am! Or at least curious!!  Be sure to come back here or stop by my website or see me on Facebook and celebrate with me tomorrow!!  And I hope you'll buy a copy too! :)

Since Gabe, my main character Becca's boyfriend in GIRL Z likes "bad" jokes and puns, here's a little cartoon I found for  a chuckle:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Zombie Book Coming Out This Winter - 2013/2014

Okay, not that I don't already have 4-6 other books that I'm planning on getting out by the end of the year, but after seeing this book cover, I just couldn't resist getting it. I'm a book cover junkie. I see a cover and I'm like a kid in a candy shop- I HAVE to HAVE it. And talk about inspiring! I don't yet have a story written for it, but I have an idea. Sigh...don't you just love a good zombie romance?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Girl Z + Darlings of Decay zombie books

 Days to go for the release of my zombie book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie - download chapter 1 and prologue at link. Stay tuned for the blog tour on Aug. 5-17 - prizes and more!

In the meantime....

You can now get Darlings of Decay with stories from 32 female authors (includes two of my new flash stories)  - free at Barnes & Noble. -now free on Amazon.

Good reading!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Week's Zombie Research

This week, I was still focused on pathogens and the various ways they can be transmitted to humans.  It's mind boggling to believe that we are constantly surrounded by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, all things that have the potential to make us sick.  In response to this constant bombardment, we've developed these fantastic defense mechanisms called immune systems.

Disease and pathogens have been among us since the dawn of time.  They are highly evolved and incredibly specialized.  Occasionally, if the conditions are just right, they create havoc among humans, wiping out the vast majority of the population.  Epidemics have occurred throughout history.  Thankfully, one of the ways to combat the threat is advanced technology and breakthroughs in the medical field.

Since we have come such a long way from the Dark Ages, I wonder how easy it would be for an epidemic or pandemic (a global-scale disease) to wipe out the vast majority of the population.  Air travel definitely aids in transferring pathogens from one part of the globe to the other, but we also have the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control to nip any outbreaks in the bud.  Does the possibility even exist that a pathogen could get out of control and become unstoppable?

Wait, you say, what about a biological attack?  Well, that is a distinct possibility, but weaponizing bacteria and viruses is not as easy as you'd think.  They are highly specialized creatures, and they evolved over time to have highly specialized means of transferring to specific hosts.  Trying to replicate that is difficult.  And remember, it could always backfire and infect the attacking troops.

Now, I'm not saying it hasn't been done, it has.  Occasionally, it has also been successful.  However, because of the health organizations that are in place and their close monitoring of the disease population, it's pretty easy to tell when a biological attack has occurred.  Thankfully, it can be squashed pretty quickly.

If the vast majority of the world is going to be transformed into zombies by a pathogen, what would it take?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lisa Morton and The Mammoth Book Zombie Apocalypse-Fight Back!

It's week 2 with Lisa Morton, and today, she's talking about the second Zombie Apocalypse anthology, Fight Back.  This and the original tie in to her novel Apocalypse: Washington Deceased coming out in 2014.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! -  Fight Back:  Set in the near-future, this sequel to the innovative “mosaic novel” Zombie Apocalypse weaves together various “voices” in the form of essays, reports, letters, official documents, and transcripts relating to the fightback against the New Zombie Order.

Lisa's Story: 

For ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: FIGHT BACK (2012), I was assigned a story, "Day of the Dead", about an intelligent zombie general leading his ravenous army through Southern California. This one also involved vast amounts of research, this time into military strategies and reports. The protagonist in this story, General Dawson, will be making a return appearance in my 2014 novel ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: WASHINGTON DECEASED. Visit her Website: or Facebook:

About Lisa: Four-time Bram Stoker Award winning author and screenwriter "Her work is consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening" - American Library Association's READERS' ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR TRICK OR TREAT: A HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN - Reaktion Books WITCH HUNTS: A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE BURNING TIMES - McFarland SUMMER'S END: A HALLOWEEN NOVELLA - coming from JournalStone (October 2013) MALEDICTION - Coming from Evil Jester Press (October 2013)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Zombies to Color

Scouting around, I found some fun stuff - quite a few free zombie art, coloring books and sheets, plus some other great coloring art at reasonable prices. So get out your colored pencils, crayons and markers, and get ready for some zombie coloring fun!

 *  Plants Vs Zombies coloring pages

* Zombie - coloring book sample pages

* Very cute! 18 zombie coloring pages by artist Art Fink

* Cute, hand-drawn, 8-page zombie coloring book for sale at
*  Links to a bunch of zombie coloring books on Squidoo

 * Two-for-One:  Author Sherry Snider is offering a special PDF coloring book with purchase of her kid's book, MY PET ZOMBIE

 Have fun!!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Cover For Zombie Games Three

Another new cover replacement. This one has to be my favorite!
Eventually, Zombie Games Four will also have a new cover. Gotta love the little zombie images in the

Thanks again to for coming up with the perfect cover!

Here is an excerpt from the book - note- it's told in third person. I did something different with this book, putting the first half of it in third person and the second half in first person. It's not very common, but with so many characters and things going on, I wanted to capture what was happening in the other character's lives without doing them in first person (For me, it just didn't feel right doing first-person for anyone but the main character).

Excerpt -

His head hurt.
A lot.
He opened his eyes and stared blankly at the gravel in front of his face. Clenching his teeth against the throbbing pain, he sat up and brushed away the tiny pebbles of sand from his cheek.
Where the hell am I?
 It wasn’t every day that he woke up in an alley, sprawled out in the dirt. Nothing looked familiar and the silence was deafening. It was eerie how quiet it was; there weren’t any sounds from traffic, no hums from any of the nearby air conditioning units, not even a single bird chirping from the trees. He felt like he was in an old black and white episode of the Twilight Zone.
He looked around, relieved to be alone in such a state of mind. Scratch that – there was a crow picking at a headless body nearby, and three zombies, about fifty feet away, staggering towards him.
What the fuck?!
He stumbled to his feet, watching incredulously as the figures, along with their pungent smell, edged closer.
So maybe he’d lost his freakin’ mind?
His mind was foggy; in fact, he couldn’t remember anything – not why he’d been unconscious, why a headless man was lying next to him, why dead people were walking above ground. Most importantly, he couldn’t even remember who the hell he was. From the pain in his head, he’d obviously been hit in the melon and it was making him forget all of the important details.
The nasty stench drifted closer – a mixture of rotten eggs and fresh dog shit. Yes, he could definitely smell, which meant he wasn’t dreaming, and from the look of things, kind of screwed.
One of the zombies moaned its excitement and it sent a chill up his spine. The damn thing was staring at him as if he was a succulent piece of Kobe steak, served extra-rare.
He grunted.
I don’t think so, buddy.
As the distance between them closed, its face twisted into a sickly grin. From the hungry stares of all three zombies, and their outstretched arms, they definitely wanted more than a hug.
He shook his head and smiled humorlessly. The walking fucking dead…
Well, the two men and one female were beyond dead with their rotted flesh, missing appendages, grayish skin, and bloodshot eyes. But their hunger was alive and obviously not sated.
Sighing, he looked around for something to defend himself with. What he found was nothing short of a miracle – an ax, leaning up against one of the garage doors. He walked over, picked it up, and moved towards the zombies.

Monday, July 22, 2013

And Chewing Brains with...

Today, I'm also "Chewing Brains with.." Julianne Snow who asks me some unique questions and I try to answer at her blog.

Crime, Death and the Undead in Chicago

Who says zombies have nothing to do with Chicago? (Have you watched city politics at all lately? ha!)

I may live in Wisconsin now, but you can't take the Chicago out of me. So, it seemed the perfect pairing to write a story involving crime, a little mystery and yes, zombies, as that pertains to GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.  (The book contains scenes in a fictional Lake Geneva and parts of Chicago.)

My story, Crime, Death and the Undead in Chicago is in the just published summer issue (Vol. 29, #2) of Mystery Readers Journal.  See the link for table of contents (my story is on page 51) and samples of a couple other author stories.

Check out the issue (print and pdf) for some other great author stories too!

I really enjoyed writing this story! I've reprinted it here and will add it to my website as well.

Crime, Death and the Undead in Chicago
By Christine Verstraete

Crime and Chicago may be synonymous in real life, but the two can also be strong fictional elements, especially when a story or book character is running from, and fighting ... zombies.

I can hear the gasps and utter horror nowoh, no zombies have hit mysteries and crime novels, too? Yes, but when you think about it, there is no greater crime against humanity than someone fiddling with science and developing a mutant virus that makes the infected undead.

Many novels in the zombie genre, however, do feature crimes and/or mysteries, even if they are not always in the classic Agatha Christie or "who-done it" sense. For instance, besides uncovering corruption in crime-ridden Chicago, Zombie, Illinois by Scott Kenemore features the fitting event of having an undead Al Capone kill (read: eat) the mayor, which, given Chicago politics, is kind of funny and ironic when you think about it.

While set in Pennsylvania, Jonathan Maberry's Dead of Night involves a rogue science experiment gone awry, resulting in a serial killer becoming a zombie and the ensuing unraveling of the crime.

Then there are the multiple crimes of murderkillings by zombies and killings of zombies, though you have to wonder, does it count if they're already dead?--plus the thefts and crimes to property that go along with life in a zombie-ridden world. No one said the zombie apocalypse wouldn't be dangerous--and messy.

In my upcoming novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, (coming in August from Intrigue Publishing) the crime, if you will, is both social and physical. When her cousin comes home and infects her with the zombie virus via an accidental scratch, 16-year-old Becca must cope with a new life as a part Z (zombie), while having to protect her other cousin and her family from hungry, full zombies. 

Of course, becoming a part Z comes with its own problems and situations. Not only does Becca have an odd diet (no, not that, though her diet may have you looking at a certain food in a new light. ha!), plus weird quirks and bodily changes that no teenage girl wants to be noticed for, she has to navigate an often violent new world. She and others like her also face danger from bands of roaming vigilantes and members of the general public who still distrust them.

That mistrust finds Becca and friends not only fighting off roaming Zs as they head to Lake Geneva and then to Chicago, but they must escape an angry, gun-wielding homeowner and do a little breaking and entering of their own. Becca has her moments of conscience, but this also is a different world where the old rules don't always apply.

While Becca and her friends' trip to Chicago to track down her and her cousin's missing mothers in GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie involves only a few specific locations, those spots, such as the motel near O'Hare Airport and a hospital, not only provide key elements to the story, but offer a little thought-provoking fun. Who says crimeand zombiescan't be funny? (Humor being subjective, of course.)

It wasn't intentional on my part to include any hidden or secondary meanings to the premise of zombies invading a hospital and a motel, but they're there. What began as a comic moment when a group of zombie doctors invade the hospital waiting room where Becca and her friends are ends with its own crime as she is attacked.

That scene below also provides, perhaps, a statement on medicine today, especially in a big city run by politics, and in this case, overrun by zombies:

"I'd taken only one step to go find the doctor when everything went crazy. A group of Zs dressed, of all things, in surgical garb and doctor's whites, shuffled through another door. Talk about bedside manner. . ."
Growing up as I did with Chicago politics and covering some government events later as a reporter, plus my being a TV news and daily Chicago newspaper junkie, must've nurtured a subconscious desire to write a book featuring assorted crimes, a little mystery, and yes, zombies.

I've always been a horror or "monster" fan, so that made sense. On the other hand, I'd already seen enough of the monotone answers and half-dead reactions of many in government and politics to make zombies seem, well, almost natural.

You see? Crime, mysteries and zombies really do mix after all.
(C) 2013 C. Verstraete

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Zombie Reading...

  What everyone needs for their coffee table.a zombie magazine... haa! See other weird magazine covers...

Definitely going to shrink this one down for the spooky dollhouse!  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Zombies and Water

Water is one of the most important substances humans need to survive.  If you're like me, you pretty much take it for granted that clear, clean water will come out of your tap when you turn it on.  How often do you think about where it comes from or what it goes through to become clean?  I've heard about water treatment plants, but I've never given two thoughts about exactly what they do.

For the first part of my research, I was examining how important water is for civilized society and how it can contribute to illness.  Believe it or not, there are quite a few pathogens in water, even water that comes from the tap and is fit for consumption.  Most of the time, the pathogens aren't in high enough concentrations to make us sick.  Other times, we aren't so lucky.

This scene from The Walking Dead was part of the reason I wanted to examine water.

Aaaaaaah!  The water has been tainted!

You would think this would be damning and that water would be infected with zombie bugs until the end of time.  Interestingly, that may or may not be true.  Soil acts as a natural filter for pathogens occurring in water.  Depending on how deep and how connected this well is to other underground water supplies, it might not taint everything around it.  Then again, pathogens can travel for miles in underground water sources.  This one act could taint water sources for communities a long way off.

It got me wondering:  what if the zombie pathogen is transferred through the water supply?  It's easy to test water to see if a certain pathogen is present, but it's incredibly difficult to trace the source or figure out exactly what a "lethal" dose is.  Thousands of people can be affected before authorities figure out the contamination came from the water.  Once that happens, it's easy to stop the spread.  However, we ALL have to drink water to survive.  How late is too late if you ingest the zombie disease?

This is one of the questions I will be looking at in my new nonfiction novel.  What is the probability of the population being infected through water?  How long would it take to realize the water was tainted?  What could be done about it once that is realized?  We still have to drink water, even with zombies wandering the earth, so how do we protect ourselves?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Review for GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

  Happy-happy!! Just got a great review from the Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch for GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie (book comes out Aug. 1):

"...Can anything stop the deadly Z transformation - and is it too late for Becca to live as a human again? Told in first person from Becca's point of view, Girl Z is a different type of zombie apocalypse story, especially recommended for fans of the genre!"

** Read the rest under Fantasy/Sci-fi shelf:

* Pre-Order at

*** And another new review: "....The story is well written and the timing throughout the story is just right.  As a fan of anything ZOMBIE related, I can truly say that this novel is a much needed “Breath of fresh air”! - Dina B. Reed, actress,  One Last Sunset

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I'm having a 7" Kindle Fire HD Giveaway. It's easy to enter and there's no purchase necessary. Just visit me on Facebook and Like My Author Page! Go Ahead And Click Here!

Oh, and because this blog is dedicated to zombies, I should probably mention something about them-

Zombies freaken rule and so does this book, Darlings Of Decay!!! Featuring some awesome tales of everything undead! Free on and soon to be free on Amazon (now $.99).

Monday, July 15, 2013

World War Z: Max Brooks Talks Zombies

(Max Brooks, author of zombie books, World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide. C. Verstraete photo)

(Note: this is a two-part story. See part 2 at Zombie Pop)

Max Brooks Still Talks - and Fears - Zombies

Max Brooks is a man of two natures.
   There is the serious Brooks, the man who talks about zombies and links them with real life issues. Then there is the entertainer who gets his point across with wry and often hysterical humor.
  But in whatever persona he is, to this author of the still popular zombie books, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Deadzombies are more than just scary monsters. They are real life--just in another form and body. And that real stuff is what actually has kept him interested in the whole zombie thing for the past decade.
   "It's fear," he said in a phone interview Friday prior to his lecture appearance at Harper College in Palatine, Ill. "For me, they're a global threat."
   Global meaning real life disasters - the floods, the earthquakes, the Katrinas, that can turn life into an apocalypse at any moment. That is the underlying message of his books, Brooks says: "I like writing about stuff from a real perspective. The only part of a zombie story that should be unreal should be the zombies."
   That message is what he tries to share in the countless lectures he's done across the country since his first book, The Zombie Survival Guide, was published in 2003. He does not take ideas of an apocalypse or natural disaster lightly and says neither should we. Those zombie preppers you read about? Extreme, maybe, but not as crazy as you might think. Being prepared is the one thing they do have right, Brooks says. He can relate.
   "The nice thing is zombie peppers have a kit ready for natural disasters," he says. "...I had an earthquake prep kit as a kid. A student journalist asked me, 'what if you have it wrong?' What's wrong about if you don't know how to purify water, you will die...? Zombies are Katrina. It's all how you look at it."
   How Brooks looks at it is with humor, natural for a guy who was a writer with Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2001 to 2003. And being the son of legendary actor Mel Brooks must have rubbed off, too. Such credentials certainly helped him make the jump to author, right?
   Brooks wrote the first book, The Zombie Survival Guide, thinking it would fail - and it almost did. "I thought it was a book that would get stuck in a drawer," he says. "Who would want to buy a real survival guide on something that wasn't real?"
   Being linked to SNL actually made it worse, he adds: "That hurt me. It haunted me the first years of publication. I was at a big disadvantage. (Bookstores) put it (the book) in the humor section. The hardcore (zombie) fans thought I was pissing on them. The humor fans expected a joke book and didn't get it."
   The solution? Brooks began his lectures as a way to promote the book and thanks to a genius suggestion by wife Michelle Kholos, things turned around.
   "I started the lectures to hand-sell the books," he says. "She suggested I go directly to the Better Homes and Gardens of Horror, Fangoria, and ask to plead my case. They did an interview."
   These days he's been doing so many lectures, "I don't know how many," that he says he and his wife had a serious talk. "It was getting to the point, I was afraid to be away from my family (for too long). My son is eight-years-old. He needs a dad more than we need a zombie author."

   So, he may begin cutting down on the lectures, but he hasn't stopped writing or working on other projects. Nor has he left the zombies behind. Just out is a new comic based on his short story, The Extinction Parade.
    The first of a 12-part series tells the story of a zombie plague through the eyes of vampires. Or as he says, again relating back to his preparedness theme, "vampires have always been at the top of the food chain so they never developed survival skills. With zombies, they realize, what are they going to eat? It's an exploration of the downside of privilege, people who don't know how to work, don't know how to struggle, don't know how to (survive). You can apply this to an actual disaster. There is nothing cool or sexy about it. Zombies are just the catalyst."

 * Read more about Max Brooks' Lecture: Zombie Facts, but Funny:
   Zombies and preparing for that zombie apocalypse were never so funny, not unless you are Max Brooks, former Saturday Night Live (SNL) writer and author of the popular zombie books, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and The Zombie Survival Guide.
  **  Read the rest at ZombiePop.

Student "zombies" added some "reality" to the lecture event. (Photos: C.Verstraete)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Zombies and Giant Monsters, Oh My!

Fellow writer and author Stephen D. Sullivan has an interesting project going... a Daikaiju (Giant Monster) serial that'll run each week free at his site.

Think Godzilla and Mothra... remember all those old Japanese monster movies?

Fun idea and intriguing. He'll be posting a new chapter each Friday or on the weekend. Chapter two should be up but by now, but here is the link to the whole project called DAIKAIJU ATTACK. And here's the link to Chapter 2.

He'll also be adding new art headers, so be sure to check it out! And if you're really into the monster thing, there is a discussion group on Facebook.

And..... lest you think I am getting off-topic... Stephen also has two zombie projects in the works. Check out the teaser zombie graphic for his upcoming "secret" project. Can you guess what it is based on?

I will be doing an interview with Stephen later once his zombie project goes live. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zombie Research

I know a lot of people who would cringe to hear the word "research."  What?  You want to learn things on your own?  You're reading a textbook and you're not in school?  They are forgetting the most important part of that phrase: zombie.

I've started my research for my nonfiction project, and even though I am reading a textbook about the Principles of Public Health Microbiology, and zombies aren't mentioned, it's still fascinating.  I love thinking about how real-world issues could be easily translated into a zombie apocalypse.  It's giving me some great ideas for my novel!

I readily admit that I'm a nerd.  I'm proud of that.  Personally, I think research is fun, especially when the end result is to enhance something I truly enjoy!

Have a great weekend and learn something new!

Michael Koske, zombie from The Walking Dead.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Zombie author Angela Meadon and A Taste of You

I'm getting ready for a zombie hunting trip. Well, no, actually, it's a third honeymoon cruise with my husband. Much more fun! Anyway, while I'm off being spoiled getting a taste of the Eastern Mediterranean, Angela Meadon is here to tell you about her book, A Taste of You.

About A Taste of You: The undead have risen from their graves. Robin, Carla, and Dylan must try and escape the city and make their way to a secluded nature reserve. Robin is haunted by dreams of her younger brother who died by her own hand a year ago. Will they make it to safety? Will Robin be able to overcome her guilt? Who will survive the rising of the dead?

Website (with trailer):

Angela Talks about A Taste of You:

My debut novel, A Taste of You, was published by Damnation Books in December 2012. This was an incredible moment in my career and the book was a culmination of a lot of work (read about my journey in writing the book).

Today I thought I would share some of the sources of inspiration that fuelled my brain and produced this novel.

First and foremost, I have to give huge credit to World War Z by Max Brooks. This amazing portrayal of the zombie apocalypse is what got me hooked on the post-apocalypse genre, and the gruesome flesh-eaters in particular. A lot of my ideas for the behavior of the zombies comes from Brooks, although my explanation for them is probably the polar opposite of Brooks’ virus.

I read a lot of other books about the zombie apocalypse and I have to say that WWZ stands head-and-shoulders above the rest for skill and terror.

Secondly, Robert Kirkman’s incredible graphic novel, The Walking Dead, had me hooked from the very first issue. I have re-read the series now and am still amazed by Kirkman’s storytelling. Also, the way people die, suddenly and without remorse when they do stupid things. That’s what would happen in a real-life zombie apocalypse. Shit happens, then you’re zombie food. I definitely incorporated this attitude into A Taste of You.

Both the book and movie versions of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road chilled me deeply. The unforgiving emptiness of the world, and the violent nature of ungoverned humans struck a chord in my mind. That’s what it would be like, I thought to myself and my novel reflects this. I’ve read a lot more McCarthy since and I am blown away by his work.

Of course, I think that every novel I have read, and every movie I have watched, has some influence on my writing. But I think that these three sources form the foundation of A Taste of You.

About Angela:  Angela is an author of fiction and non-fiction work. Her stories can be found in numerous anthologies. Angela’s novel about the zombie apocalypse with a dash of psychological terror and a sprinkling of guilt, A Taste of You (Amazon), was published in December 2012.
Angela lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her two sons, three cats and a husband who rick-rolled her at the altar on their wedding day.

Angela’s website: