Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Thirteen #Halloween #Horror Anthologies, short fiction

What better time than Halloween to enjoy a few scares? 

Short stories are a great way to try out a new author, delve into the writing from a favorite writer, or just enjoy a good scare in short story form.

Here are some different Halloween, horror and monster-themed anthologies to help you put a little spookiness in your life.


 208 Two Sentence Horror Stories, Vol. I-IV, (Immortal Scares), Michael Ridley - What horrors can be shared in two sentences? Well, a lot apparently...

999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense, Al Sarrantonio - Twenty-nine original stories from vampires to zombies by masters of the macabre. Including stories by Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and others. (692 pages.)

Fantastic Tales of Terror: History's Darkest Secrets, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry and others - (Pre-order, releases Oct. 26.) Lost supernatural stories behind some of the most famous people and events in history. How the Titanic really sank, what people did in the Depression and more... Includes: 

  • Introduction by Tony Todd   - “The Deep Delight of Blood” by Tim Waggoner
  • “Unpretty Monster” by Mercedes Yardley - “The Tell-Tale Mind” by Kevin J. Anderson
  • “Topsy-Turvy” by Elizabeth Massie - “Ray and the Martian” by Bev Vincent
  • “The Girl with the Death Mask” by Stephanie M. Wytovich - “On a Train Bound for Home” by Christopher Golden - “The Custer Files” by Richard Chizmar
  • “Red Moon” by Michael Paul Gonzalez - “The Prince of Darkness and the Showgirl” by John Palisano -“The Secret Engravings” by Lisa Morton
  • “Mutter” by Jess Landry - “La Llorona” by Cullen Bunn
  • “The London Encounter” by Vince Liaguno - “Bubba Ho-Tep” by Joe R. Lansdale
  • “Gorilla my Dreams” by Jonathan Maberry - “Articles of Teleforce” by Michael Bailey
  • “Sic Olim Tyrannis” by David Wellington -“The Washingtonians” by Bentley Little
  • “Scent of Flesh” by Jessica Marie Baumgartner -“Rotoscoping Toodies” by Mort Castle
  • “Lone Wolves” by Paul Moore -“The Great Stone Face vs. the Gargoyles” by Jeff Strand

Flight or Fright , Stephen King, Joe Hill, and others - Not the book to read before a plane flight. King and co-editor Bev Vincent share 17 new and classic tales of those things that can go wrong in the air. Includes new stories by King and Joe Hill.  Includes:
Introduction by Stephen King - Cargo by E. Michael Lewis
The Horror of the Heights by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson - The Flying Machine by Ambrose Bierce - Lucifer! by E.C. Tubb
The Fifth Category by Tom Bissell - Two Minutes Forty-Five Seconds by Dan Simmons
Diablitos by Cody Goodfellow - Air Raid by John Varley - You Are Released by Joe Hill
Warbirds by David J. Schow - The Flying Machine by Ray Bradbury
Zombies on a Plane by Bev Vincent - They Shall Not Grow Old by Roald Dahl
Murder in the Air by Peter Tremayne - The Turbulence Expert by Stephen King
Falling by James L. Dickey - Afterword by Bev Vincent

Ghosts, Goblins, Murder & Madness: Twenty Tales of Halloween, Rebecca Rowland, Editor -  Twenty-one authors from five countries and 11 states offer eerie tales of Halloween horror

Liaisons Macabre, Charles W. Jones -  Relations, even the dark ones, make the world go 'round. Not true crime, even if it sounds that way...

 My Favorite Story Podcast Anthology, Armand Rosamillia, Jonathan Maberry, Brian Keene and others - Fifteen podcast hosts and authors share their favorite stories. Includes:  "Spirits" by James A. Moore - "The Tin Box" by Kelli Owen 
- "Short Straw" by Jay Wilburn -  "The Rag And Bone Man" by John Urbancik 
- "The Priest" by Jaimie Engle "Seven Eight One Five Four" by Amber Fallon 
-"Kins" by Mary SanGiovanni -"Rainforest of Bones" by Armand Rosamilia 
- "Put On A Happy Face" by Christopher Golden - "Mr. Giggles" by Frank J. Edler  
"M.E.N.TOR by Thomas R. Clark - "I Sing A New Psalm" by Brian Keene
- "Dandelion Yellow" by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi - "Dead Beckoning" by Chuck Buda
- "Pegleg And Paddy Save The World" by Jonathan Maberry

Quoth the Raven, Amber Fallan and others -  Thirty authors retell and re-imagine Poe's eerie tales for the 21st century. 

Scream and Scream Again!, Spooky Stories from Mystery Writers of America - R.L.Stine, Heather Graham, Chris Grabenstein and others share some scary stories with wicked ice cream trucks, time traveling heroes, witches, warlocks, and haunted houses.

The Horror in the Water Tower & Five More tales of the Cthulhu  Mythos,   Mark McLaughlin - Tales with "grotesque, nightmare creatures" and two follow-up tales to Lovecraft's  "The Dreams in the Witch House."

The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories: Terrifying Tales Set on the Scariest Night of the Year,  Stephen Jones, Editor - Twenty-six terrifying tales from various authors, Joe R. Lansdale, Richard Matheson, Neil Gaiman and more.

Terror Threads: A collection of horror stories, Mark Cassell - Ten tales in the Shadows Fabric Mythos. Ghosts, demons and more. 

What Goes Bump in the Night: A Halloween Paranormal Romance Anthology -  Sometimes the monsters that watch you in the dark aren't scary, but are sexy... 

** My books, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2 (first time 99 cents on this one!) are also on sale! **

Happy, er, Spooky Reading!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

#HorrorFest! Read Something Spooky! #Halloween

All kinds of Horror books at the October Horror Fest - only 99 cents! Get them before they disappear! Wooooooo! Mwah-ha-ha! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

#Halloween Sales! Lizzie Borden, #Zombies #Horror


First time sale! 

The sequel, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, is on sale on Kindle for 99 cents to Halloween! But be warned - there are spoilers if you haven't read the first book! 

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?

Book 1, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, is also on sale for $1.99 to Halloween.  (Get details and see reviews of both books on my website.)

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?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Today's Creepy #Halloween Read #vampires

What I'm Reading:

 I admit I didn't finish reading the first book, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter though I absolutely LOVE the movie! It's one of those movies I like to watch again. 

I'll have to go back to the book again even though I'm reading the sequel. I didn't know there was one. While it's a few years old, it's fantastic reading!

The Last American Vampire, Seth Grahame-Smith - (See this link for free preview, 1st 3 chapters) Sequel to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  The book follows the story of vampire Henry Sturges through the centuries. It starts with Henry mourning the loss of his friend, Abe Lincoln and then... well, I won't give it away. There are some big surprises later, too.

What I like about the book is how it twists historic events. Real life events and persons are included, the Ripper murders, Rasputin, Tesla, Edison, different presidents... What's interesting is the twist on reality - a different reason why Rasputin was as strange (and evil) as he was in real life... Tesla's experiments, how the tide of World War II turned...  

If you like history, it's fascinating reading. 

What are you reading??

Friday, October 19, 2018

Creepy #Halloween Gifts!

For fun, I decided to look around and see what kinds of odd, Halloween-related gift items I could find. The better, scarier things are not cheap, but you can have some creepy fun if you want to spend the $!

How about some writing gloves? Get Dracula and other classic and horror story excerpts on these gloves at Storiarts. $26.

* Has the zombie and skeleton animal craze gone too far? 

You can get a full-size 72" tall zombie horse  (painted 'decaying' flesh, 'undead' horse neighs and red eyes, $224) and a 74" skeleton horse  for your lawn at Home Depot. 

Yes, there's even a saddle, cloak and more! There are all kinds of other animals, too.

Ha! I could see doing this! Oriental Trading has a "John Doe" body on a table that sits up! Sound activated with 2 AA batteries. $79. Check out the video at the link above, too.

Or if you're cheap like me, make your own stuff.  This is a must! Scare family and friends with this easy Head in a Jar in the fridge! 

Of course, I could fill a whole post with creepy, icky food ideas! I'll let you Google it yourself... In this case, it depends on how disgusting you want to be. Some are pretty gross!  This page starts out average enough but the further you go.... Icky bloody arm, and well, there's the really gross baby doll and... You know you want to go look... 

And... of course, books!!! There are a bunch of new creepy anthologies coming out.  But... that's in an upcoming post, so be sure to come back!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monsters oh my! New Pet Sematary coming!

Usually remakes aren't as good as the original. But I liked the movie remake of IT and it seems they're going to be remaking most of Stephen King's movies. 

Stephen King's Pet Sematary is one of my favorite books. I still remember reading it, totally engrossed, home alone, and then the dog moved and scratched the floor. I must've jumped 20 feet. haa! 

I liked the movie, too, but this remake is looking pretty good! Check out the trailer.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Frights Day 6: #Zombies & Lizzie Borden #Halloween

Today's the wrap-up for this year's OCTOBER FRIGHTS.
 I enjoyed compiling it. I sure hope you enjoyed the journey, discovered some new authors,  and found some new books to read! I know I did!!

Since I've been talking so much about monsters this week, I thought I'd get back to the topic that inspired me to start writing horror - zombies and Lizzie Borden. 

Odd combination, right? Well, for me it seemed to fit, especially once I read the actual autopsy reports online and looked at the crime scene photos. (Do a Google search or I have some information on my website.)  After all, what better reason could there be for a spinster, Sunday School teacher to viciously hack her father and stepmother to death, but that they'd become... zombies? 

Don't be mistaken - these were horrific murders. But as it's been 126 years since the murders occurred in 1892, they've become a part of history. 

Various spins and re-tellings of the story have been done as stated in this review on Vulture of the new Lizzie movie. I'm glad to say they mention my book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunteras one of the more original examples. (See the paragraph on the movie review page after the second blue mark.)

Obviously, more versions of the Borden story will continue to appear. It's a topic that never fails to fascinate true crime buffs. You can't help but wonder -- did she or didn't she? What do you think? You can read my book, which includes real life news and document quotes,  for my take on the murders. Learn more at my website. -- Chris Verstraete

(NOTE: Halloween is not over yet here on the blog. I'll have more stories and spooky finds up to Oct. 31 so be sure to keep stopping by!)

* Here's something really cool I found - check out these amazing Horror Illustration Bookmarks, all kinds of amazing monsters! And they even have one of Stephen King!

 * Today's Spooky Read: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. (Get it free at Project Gutenberg)

* See first day post and giveaway.  (Links to all the posts are on the October Frights Page tab on top of the blog.)

* Visit the other October Frights Blogs - prizes & more!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

October Frights Day 5: Favorite #Monsters #Halloween

Thanks for stopping by for another day of OCTOBER FRIGHTS!

Today, I thought I'd ask some other authors about their favorite monsters. (Bonus: check out their books!) This was fun to compile. Here's what they had to say:


 Donald J. Bingle, author of  Net Impact, (Dick Thornby Thriller Book 1), has a good point about calling the Doppelganger/Shapeshifter the scariest of all. "Because once those are in play, you just can't trust anybody, so there is never any rest or respite from the fear of betrayal and death."

Kody Boye, author of The Scarlet Jane Files, likes what has become a classic monster in our time  - the monster from Stephen King's It: "Pennywise is mine -- since it, can transform into any and everything it wants to terrorize you." (What's a list without King, right?)

Naching T. Kassa, author and contributor to the Crescendo of Darkness anthology, likes the true classic monsters:  (Who can't feel for Larry Talbot in Universal's Werewolf movie?)  "Werewolves are the best monsters. They're a tortured soul inside a monster's body." 

 Selene MacLeod, author and contributor to Fresh Blood (Vampire Writers Support Group Book 1), says her favorites are "skinwalkers. I've been listening to a lot of "true skinwalker stories" over on YouTube, and they never cease to be freaky all!"
(Got me curious - see video at end for a set I found... Beware...)

Carol J. Marshall, author of The Demon Dealer: A Horror Novel, offers this creepy monster: "Eyeball guy Pans Labyrinth. He’s silent and almost elegant in movement. Disgusting to look at and gives the viewer an incredible creepy crawl across the back of the neck!" (Agreed!!)

Chantal Noordeloos, author and contributor to A Plague of Shadows: A Written Remains Anthology, prefers her monsters to have an innocent demeanor: "I have to go with the trope: scary little girl. There’s nothing that terrifies me more than seeing that which you expect to be innocent, be utterly evil."


Loren Rhoads, author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die,   offers another classic monster - the vampire. Quoting Lestat in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, "Evil is a point of view. We are immortal. God kills, and so shall we; no creatures under God are as we are..." 

For David Schmidt, author of Three Nights in the Clown Motel, his favorite, not surprisingly, is "the killer clown. Indecipherable, inscrutable, terrifying. Not to mention, recent history has given us far too many real-life examples." And he admits, "it won't stop being my favorite monster, book or no book!"

C.A. Verstraete, author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, admits zombies give her a scare, but it's the unknown, the thing hiding in the closet, that really freaks her out. "Who doesn't remember looking at the closet, wondering if the door is shut, wondering if there is something hiding in there waiting to come out? It's the psychological horror that really makes your heart pound harder."

Jay Wilburn, author and contributor to Zombie Epidemic, slyly gives another author's monster a plug. (And it's a good one): "Ob in Brian Keene’s Rising universe. (The Rising: Author's Preferred Eidtion.) He’s a demon who possesses the dead and creates a powerful, relentless zombie."

* Today's Classic Spooky Read: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

* Visit the October Frights FB group. * See Day 1 post and giveaway.  *  
* See Day 6 post.

* Visit the other October Frights Blogs - prizes & more!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October Frights 4: #Frankenstein 200th Anniversary #monsters

NOTE: Today I also am talking about writing - and dogs! - at Pens Paws and Claws - Writers & The Animals They Love blog!

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the classic horror tale, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Follow along with a variety of events during Halloween week, Oct. 22-31 on the website, organized by the Keats-Shelley Assn. of America. There are some cool resources, printies and posters on the website.   

Ever since Mary Shelley wrote her horrific story, the monster has been a big part of our culture. I did some checking around and found there's quite a bit of Frankenstein-related things online. 

* Wikipedia has a list of all the ways Frankenstein has influenced culture in TV, movies, music, books and more.

 * Music: Who can forget the Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Some things to do: 
* Make a simple spinner game for kids. 

* Here's a video-science game with Dr. Tori Frankenstein that you can play online, Frankenstein 200. See Frankenstein.Life to take a personality test first, (not sure if it goes further).

* Pretty cool: Chicago theaters will have four new stage plays about Frankenstein as part of Frankenfest. 

* How much do you know?  Take a Frankenstein quiz. Here's another multiple-choice quiz.

* Watch the official 1931 Universal movie trailer for Frankenstein, played by Boris Karloff:

* Find various versions of the Frankenstein novel - download a free version on the website.

* Visit the October Frights FB group. -- * See Day 1 post for my giveaway. * See Day 5 post.

* Visit the other October Frights Blogs - prizes & more!!