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?.

#Halloween October Frights & Spooky Nights!

Got your Halloween reading all set?

If not - check out these great spooky reads through Oct. 31

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

New Undead Worlds 3 : #zombies #horror

Pre-order now up! 

 New from the Reanimated Writers Group!

Undead Worlds 3: 16 new stories to sink your teeth into! (Releases Oct. 15)
(Get other links here.)



Also available:

Get it free  today to Oct. 10

Undead Worlds 2 - 15 original stories with bite!  Includes:

 La Petite Mort by Ryan Colley
You don't know stress until you've ran a restaurant in the apocalypse.

The Last Day by Justin Robinson
A man's loves determine his past, but his mistakes determine his future.

Cookie Jars and Bluebirds by Valerie Lioudis
Avery is back!

Inception by Jessica Gomez
Where romance collides with the apocalypse.

First Occurrence by Joshua C. Chadd
Sheriff Gibson chases a cannibalistic serial murderer as all around him the world begins to unravel.

Dominion by R.L. Blalock
A new kind of leader emerges in the apocalypse.

Forget the Mall by RJ Spears
When zombies arrive, a trip to the mall turns into a death trap.

The Zee Brothers: First Job
The origin story of Jonah & Judas Zee continues!

Zombie Exterminators by Grivante
Two brothers saving the world one job at a time!

Valley of the Shadow by LC Champlin
It'll take everything Amanda has to protect her family from
mindless cannibals, armed raiders, and her own neighbors.

Airborne by Arthur Mongelli
Fleeing the bourgeoning chaos on the streets of San Diego

Breakfast in Hell by Dia Cole
Never underestimate the "survival skills" of a former stripper.

Alone Against Zombies by Alathia Paris Morgan
An eerie return to civilization has Sarah Beth wondering if she's alone in the world with the dead.

Gods and Monsters by Richard Restucci
The only thing more powerful than the wrath of a god is the hunger of the dead.

Zombie Beginnings: The Oracle by Javan Bonds
Smokes is The Oracle, Ponderous, Prophetic, and Profane.

Picking it up in the Middle by EE Isherwood
It only took a plane crash, a city full of zombies, and a stolen
armored personnel carrier for Mel and Phil to have their first date.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

#Horror #Zombie #Halloween & More to Read!

'Tis the season to get spooky and scary, so I'm going to be sharing lots of books on various Halloween-inspired themes!



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.

Something Different.... 

Kitchen Overlord's Dead Delicious Horror Cookbook, Chris Rachael Oseland - Perfect for Halloween! Enjoy 69 Gore-Met recipes. Strings of ears, looping guts and more. YUM!


Apocalyptic Beginnings Box Set -  Assorted authors. Limited time release, sale! Includes Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo  - Planet Dead by Sylvester Barzey -Undead Ultra by Camille Picott -Deep Darkness by Stephen Landry -The Zee Brothers: Zombie Exterminators by Grivante -Aftershock by Kristopher Lioudis & Valerie Lioudis -Zombie High by Jeremy Flagg -Underground by John Grover -Z-Day Series by Daniel Humphreys

Listen to Poe...

5 Hours of Poe Stories - read by Basil Rathbone & Vincent Price - See page to download.

Or Color Poe...

 Edgar Allan Poe: An Adult Coloring Book, Odessa Begay - Color illustrations, designs, and motifs inspired by The Tell-Tale Heart and more. 96 pages. 

Bonus! Free & .99 Books!  Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy & More!  (Hurry! Ends 10/4)

Read Something Scary!!!

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

#Halloween is Coming! Reading List #dystopian #plague #horror

The nights are getting cooler, leaves will be dropping soon and ... Halloween is Coming!

Like the stores, I'll be starting some Halloween - October Reading Lists early. Stay tuned all through September & October for some great books to add to that TBR list!!

This week: fiction and real life horrors.

Anthologies - Horror


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. (Right at beginning, too! )
Andrew Lennon - Enter Night

P. Mattern - The Fungus Among Us
RJ Meldrum - Invasion
RJ Meldrum - One Night Stand
C.A. Verstraete - A Mother's Love

Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, Ellen Datlow, Editor - Beloved ghost stories from the traditional to eclectic, bizarre and more. Contributors include: Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Vincent J. Masterson, A.C. Wise, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Lee Thomas, Alison Littlewood, M.L. Siemienowicz, Richard Kadrey, Indrapramit Das, Richard Bowes, Nick Mamatas, Terry Dowling, Aliette de Bodard, Carole Johnstone, Dale Bailey, Stephen Graham Jones, Bracken MacLeod, Garth Nix, Brian Evenson, Jeffrey Ford, Gemma Files, Paul Tremblay, Nathan Ballingrud, Pat Cadigan, John Langan.

New Fears 2: Brand New Horror from Masters of the Macabre - Twenty-one brand-new stories of the ominous and terrifying. Includes 'The Dead Thing' Paul Tremblay draws us into the world of a neglected teenage girl and her younger brother and the evil that lurks at the heart of their family. In Gemma Files' 'Bulb' a woman calls in to a podcast to tell the terrifying story of why she has escaped off-grid. 

Tales from the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror - Chicago-style deep dish darkness to New York thin crust carnage.  Bring your most monstrous of appetites, because we're serving suspense and horrors both chillingly cosmic and morbidly mundane from acclaimed horror authors such as Brian Evenson, Jessica McHugh, and Cody Goodfellow, as well as up-and-coming literary threats like Craig Wallwork, Sheri White, and Tony McMillen. (Never knew this was a genre. ha!) 

👻 A great selection at the Countdown to Halloween Book Fair - Ends Sept. 30



Doubt: A Truth-Seekers End of World Trilogy series (Among Us Trilogy Book 1), Anne-Rae Vasquez - Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game Truth Seekers, has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry's missions, Cristal and the team of 'Truth Seekers' stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the end of the world. 

Pandemic (The Extinction Files Book 1), A.G. Riddle - A worldwide pandemic... A scientific experiment that could change humanity forever... A race to find a cure--and unravel humanity’s darkest secrets. As the virus spreads around the world, Peyton uncovers clues that lead to a dark secret in her past. With only hours left to stop the plague, she faces a choice that will change her life forever. Can Peyton stop the outbreak in time? And what’s the truth behind the virus? Is humanity being engineered for some purpose? Is this the end of life as we know it?

The Distance, Jeremy & Hilaree Robinson - The human race has turned to dust. It wasn't natural - and the architects are looking for survivors. There are two across the country from each other. Make that three - one is pregnant.


The Power, Naomi Alderman - What happens when women possess a fierce new power? The world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

VOX, Christina Dalcher -  What happens when the government decrees women can speak no more than 100 words a day? Or work? Or do anything beyond stay home as "obedient wives and mothers?" Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial - then she'll do whatever she can to reclaim her voice, her daughter's and that of every woman silenced.  (Including this again as I 'm reading it. Astounding. Scary parallels to real life and what if's...) 

Wanderers: A Novel, Chuck Wendig - Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it


I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters With Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore, Linda S. Godfrey -  Monster or myth? Journalist Godfrey investigates present-day encounters with mysterious creatures of old. Werewolves, goatmen, Bigfoot and more. Real or ?

👹 List of free Kindle Unlimited Sci-Fi & Fantasy Titles (Ends Sept. 30)

Plague and Disease

What says end of the world more than the plague? 

A Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Dafoe - Written by a survivor of the London Plague of 1666. Free version. Fiction but factual report. 

The Weight of Ink, Rachel Kadish - London 1660s and early 21st century - Interwoven tales of two women, an emigrant from the Netherlands who scribes for a blind rabbi before the plague hits the city, and an ailing modern historian. who tries to decipher the identity of the mysterious cipher of some newly found 17th century manuscripts. (I really like historical tales set in past and present.)

... And the Real-Life Horrors 

Crisis in the Red Zone: Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History and the Outbreaks to Come, Richard Preston - Author of The Hot Zone (Origins of the Ebola virus)  gives accounts of the scientists and doctors on the front lines of protection, and an urgent wake-up call about emerging viruses.

Polio: An American Story - David M. Oshinsky - The story of the polio terror and efforts to find a cure.

The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic & How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World, Steven Johnson - London in 1854 is emerging as a modern city. But without infrastructure - garbage removal, clean water, sewers - it's the perfect breeding ground for a disease no one knows how to cure - cholera. The story of historical hero Dr. John Snow and a local curate battle and solve one of the most pressing riddles of their day.  (Sounds interesting!)

The Great Influenza: Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, John M. Barry - The great flu epidemic of 1918 killed as many as 100 million worldwide. It killed more people in 24 months than AIDS did in 24 years.  The tale of the first collision of epidemics and science. Contains new afterword and updates on avian flu.

💀 Kindle Unlimited Fantasy & Sci-Fi  (Ends 10/2)