Tuesday, April 28, 2020

#A to Z Blogging; X-Y-Z Reading #Zombies

* Go to Day 1 

A combination post to share some books You may like to for the letters X to Z. How hard is that? haa!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

#A to Z Blogging; V - W for Virtual Writing

(Image: pixabay.com)

* Go to Day 1 

Given the month of staying home, it's a good time to explore some virtual writing courses, right? And if you want to try out some new writing ideas, I also included some places for writing prompts.

Here are a few things I found. I didn't check them so feel free to explore. Have fun!

* 90 free online writing courses list

* Free online university courses, non-credit

* Free writing software online

Writing prompts are also a fun way to inspire new story ideas. Here are some I found:

* 365 Creative Writing Prompts

*  Writing prompts for various genres

* 101 Terrifying Horror Writing Prompts

* 50 Spooky Writing Prompts

* 25 Horror Writing Prompts

Thursday, April 23, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: T - U - Thinking About the SUbplots

* Go to Day 1 

The hardest thing as a writer is figuring out a story, doing an outline and then as you write finding you don't have enough story. That's where the subplots come in.

The subplots are those things that make your character more realistic, their life's struggles, their background, the other things they encounter in life - and the problems that have an impact on the plot. The rule is if it doesn't move the plot forward, then chuck it.

Everything should somehow play into the character's main goal and how they approach that. It could be a potential or faltering romance; a job or career; a hobby, even a pet. Like real life, all those things have an effect on what we do and how we do things.

The same goes for your character if they're to be believable and real. They have goals, aspirations, fears, friends, etc.  All of that makes them more rounded and comes out often in the subplot and the story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: R-S Reading Dark Family Stories

* Go to Day 1 

Chilling new reads!

Dark Fantasy: 

Black Bells, Dawn Napier -   Megan's imagination has always been too lively for her own good.

As children, Megan and her sister spent most of their time making up stories and playing games in their own fantasy world. Their favorite character was a lively chap named Jack Benimble, a harlequin covered in jingling bells, who they summoned with a simple rhyme. But fantasy can't protect them from human monsters, and a single event shatters their world.
* On the to-be-read list.


 Blood Family, Jacqueline Seewald -  In the fifth Kim Reynolds Mystery, Kim, an academic librarian, wants to locate her biological father, James Shaw. Unfortunately after finding him, he dies unexpectedly. It is now up to Kim to connect with the family she has never known. She discovers a half-sister, Claire, who is in need of her help; that Claire's stepmother died under mysterious circumstances, and her stepbrother disappeared. With Kim's fiancĂ©, Lieutenant Mike Gardner, Wilson Township homicide detective, investigating along with Sergeant Bert St. Croix, the race is on to catch a killer intent on adding Kim to the list of deceased.

** Review: Enjoyable mystery, especially the relationships between Kim, her fiancĂ© and her "new" family. Soon Kim finds herself the target of threats as she gets pulled into what is soon revealed as a family with more than its share of problems. Sometimes her new half-sister is tedious and seems almost babyish in her neediness while her personality at times seems to conflict with her supposed intellectual shortcomings, but Kim's value as a character is shown as she tries to help her new sibling. The real dynamics of the family become more interesting due to Kim's interactions with Claire and the house's other inhabitants.

 Short chapters make it a quick read. You don't need to read earlier books in the series, but it can help to establish some of the relationships in Kim's life. If you're looking for a light mystery, this was a good read overall, except for a couple incidents that I felt came out of nowhere. Look forward to reading more about Kim's new life after her marriage and hoping that cranky co-worker of hers is finally retired! 4 stars.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

# A to Z Blogging: P-Q for Reading Pop Quiz

* Go to Day 1

I'm combining posts today and for fun, I'm going to make you wrack your brains a bit.
BONUS! I'll even throw in a prize of a couple paperback cozy mysteries off my shelf that I've read (50% Off Murder and Stuck on Murder) for the most correct answers! (If you have the books or read them, I'll sub another mystery. I have books. ha!) (Sorry, US shipping only.)
  **** Send answers with subject head Quiz to my website contact page. One entry per person. Contest ends 12 p.m., noon, Central Time, 4/30.

The questions all center around books that have been featured recently on my blog. A hint: check the top pages link for my monthly reading lists. I'll post the answers after a winner is chosen. 

1. A "sweet" mystery.

2. Famous swordfighter:

3. Victorian rich girl murder.

4. The dead never die even if the originator did.

5.  The horses go 'round and 'round.

6. Christmas and... zombies?

7. Ribbit!

8. The party never ends....

9. Dead and little.

10. Woof!

Ok, I tried to make them not too obvious, but a little challenging, I hope. Have fun!

Friday, April 17, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: O for Only My Favorite Horror Mystery Reads

* Go to Day 1

Okay, indulge me. I read a lot of different books in all kinds of genres. But some really hit me and stuck with me. Here's a few I really liked for various reasons:

Best Zombie Novel

 Zombie in Chief: Eater of the Free World , A Novel Take on a Brain-Dead Election, Scott Kenemore - Yeah, there's so much political stuff going on, but this is still a really imaginative take on real-life politics with a twist. 

Best Vampire Novel/Series

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith - An alternate view of the Civil War and Lincoln's life since he was a child as a vampire scourge touches his life and later the country. This is a read-it-again book. The bonus is the movie was really well done as well and worth re-watching. .

The Last American Vampire, Seth Grahame-Smith - Sequel to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. While most sequels don't always do a first book justice, this does and doubles the excitement as vampire Henry Sturges searches for new purpose after his friend Lincoln's death and is a witness to history through the Reconstruction to JFK's assassination. 

Best Cover and Historic Mystery Thriller

The Bone Shroud, Jean Rabe - What happens when a museum archivist goes in search of real-life history in Italy and ends up one step ahead of a killer? ** Winner of the 2019 Soon to be Famous Author Project sponsored by the Illinois Library Association

Best Horror


Infected series (Infected: A Novel; Contagious, Book 2Pandemic Book 3),  Scott Sigler - This was a can't-put-it-down series. Gory and eww!-inducing at times, but it's gripping and keeps you reading as the fight is on to save earth from... something sinister. 
   Book 1: Meanwhile Perry Dawsey—a hulking former football star now resigned to life as a cubicle-bound desk jockey—awakens one morning to find several mysterious welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices . . . he is infected. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: N for New #Mystery Coming Soon!

* Go to Day 1

If you haven't read Jean Rabe's Piper Maxwell series, then you better catch up quick as she is working on book 4, The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge, which she hopes to release by early summer. (Oh, and another cool cover! Wait until you see it!)

The series, what she calls "uncozy cozy" mysteries feature a cozy team in a small sheriff's department in a small town. Led by a youngish, former military officer and daughter of the last chief, Piper Maxwell is growing into the job while tackling some pretty big crimes for small town Indiana.

** Want to get caught up? Enter at Day 1 post for a chance to win the first 3 books!

About the Books: 

The Dead of  Winter, A Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 1  - Fifty-eight minutes into her first day on the job, twenty-three-year-old Sheriff Piper Blackwell is faced with a grisly murder—the victim artfully posed amid decorations on his lawn. Drawing on former military training, Piper must prove herself worthy of the sheriff’s badge, and that won’t be easy.

The Dead of Night, Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 2 - Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.

The Dead of Summer, Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 3 - 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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: M for Magical Read, Magic's Balance!

* Go to Day 1

Today I'm featuring a "magical" read - a new book by fellow Wisconsin author Steve Rouse.

Steve is still an honorary member of my writing group since he moved further north and enjoys writing short stories in the science fiction genre - yes, with some occasional "monsters," too.

His first book, Magic's Balance, is a collection of fanciful tales, including: (The first, Hodag is a favorite, based on a legendary Wisconsin creature. I can't wait to read the rest!!)

  • Hodag - Playing Fetch
  • Huntress - Grove of Ancients
  • Magic’s Balance -The Note
  • Inspiration -Salt Lick - The Nothing
  • When You Buy an Old House - The Gilric

About the Book:

What would you do when Magic picks you?
Magic’s Balance takes you on many journeys of imagination. Some will fill you with trepidation, while others can make you smile. Visit other lands and find new characters who experience their own fantastic lives through magic and the unexpected.
Jonah has known of his family’s secret his whole life. One day, a golden apple appears in their orchard and Jonah is whisked into the heart of that mystery… one that he must now fight to solve. What must he do in order to save himself and restore balance to the world of Magic?
Magic's BalanceAny story is but a snapshot of the lives of the characters within it. As one of the characters in my stories, the wizard Min’darr has led a full life. You have met him at its end. Did you wonder how he became a wizard? How has he come to be here, at this point in time? What part of his past has led him to want to share his magic? Would you like to know of his adventures? …his successes? …his mistakes? …his love?
 *** Get Magic's Balance here. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: L for Lizzie Borden and #Zombies

What if Lizzie Borden did kill her father and stepmother for a reason never suspected, like they 'd turned into... zombies?! 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter f ollows the real life 1893 murder trial as Lizzie stands accused of killing her father and stepmother the year before. She battles for her life while facing the gallows, and while trying to save her family from a deadly scourge unleashed on her city. 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall continues the story with a more fictional account of Lizzie's life after the trial. There are some spoilers if you didn't read the first book. 

** Check out the new interview at The Bold Mom:

 ** See more information on the real life crime on my website.

I also have other places to get the books on the website pages. See book 1 and book 2

Or get it ordered to your favorite bookstore at bookshop.org: 

book 1  https://bookshop.org/books/lizzie-borden-zombie-hunter-2-the-axe-will-fall/9781717351654

 book 2  https://bookshop.org/books/lizzie-borden-zombie-hunter-2-the-axe-will-fall/9781717100597

Friday, April 10, 2020

#A to Z Blogging I Just Like Other Kinds of Mysteries

Combination Today - I Just Like Other Kinds of Mysteries

* Go to Day 1 - Come back Tuesday, 4/14 for the next post for L

When it comes to mysteries, sometimes you get tired of reading the same old topic or theme. It's like knowing someone will turn up dead every time Jessica Fletcher appears. So, I went looking around and found some mysteries that are a bit different... And no, they don't have to be spooky or horrific all the time. 

Time Travel


In Times Like These: A Time Travel Adventure, (Book 1 of 4) Nathan Van Coops - Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What’s worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they’re not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead.

Leonardo and Gabriel, Tim Tigner - Leonardo was a genius of his time who dabbled in various fields. But his lasting works like The Last Supper, make the viewer ponder one of the greatest mysteries, where and how he got his inspiration. This offers a different, philosophical view and approach to the great painter's works... 

Fairy Tales

If you like your mysteries with a touch of fantasy... and romance...  

Snow White and the Seven Murders, A Romantic Cozy Novella,  Amorette Anderson - Snow White is a business reporter who learns a killer is on the loose. Her snooping pays off when she follows some hot leads - and finds an even hotter prince. (Of course.) 

Senior Sleuths 

From knitters to nursing home residents, this seems to be a growing cozy mystery category.


Seniors Sleuth, (Winston Wong Cozy Book 1), JJ Chow - It's not often you find an ethnic mystery, so this is refreshing. Winston Wong leaves a spiraling career to follow his childhood love of sleuthing and takes on his first case, to confirm the natural death of a man in his nineties and untangle the lies in a nursing environment with a cast of characters.

The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, (Books 1-3), D.E. Haggerty - Ha, fun description. The knitters are too busy solving crimes to actually get any knitting done. 

The Old Farts in Miami, Richard Hill - The title got my attention as did the idea of seniors as sleuths, this time a group of "old Vietnam Veterans" who take on a cartel and kidnapping.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: H for Historical Vintage Crimes

* Go to Day 1

  That's why I love hunting and doing searches as I never would've found this gem. This is a fascinating find! If you enjoy reading about historical crimes, then here's an interesting compilation based on actual vintage police and detective records. Sounds like something every crime writer and reader will want to have in their library.

Vintage True Crime Stories Vol. 1: Illustrated Anthology of Forgotten Cases of Murder & Mayhem, Dalton O' Sullivan -  The first 15 stories are taken from a rare true crime book,  Enemies of the Underworld: Embracing Sixty-Eight Stories by America's foremost Detectives, by Frank Dalton O’Sullivan. The 700-page book is a combination manual for new detectives, and true crime book featuring true stories co-authored by senior detectives and police chiefs from across the United States. Self-published in 1917, the book sold for five-dollars, the 2018 equivalent of $108--which might explain why it's nearly impossible to find a copy of it today.

Volume I contains fifteen stories from O’Sullivan’s book, while the remaining five chapters were selected from Fifty Years a Detective by Thomas Furlong, published in 1912.
Mixed in with these twenty stories are sixty-five images, fifty-two footnotes, a dozen epilogues, and ten annotations. BONUS: Volume I  has a companion webpage where readers can find more information including 116 images, and 139 pages of newspaper coverage about the crimes covered in the book.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: G for The Goodbye Family

If you like the old weird west, this is a fun idea. (Check out this cool animation!)

* Go to Day 1

 The Goodbye Family by Lorin Morgan-Richards is a unique, illustrated novel featuring a family of... undertakers....  (Hey, there are zombies, too!) Read on for a short interview with the author.

About the Book:

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain follows the lives of Weird West undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. Pyridine is a witch and matriarch mortician, Otis is a brainless but bold hearse driver, and Orphie is appointed grave digger for her strength of twenty men. Through bumbling, Otis discovers his neighbors are turning into zombies, a mystery that is directly affecting their burial business. 

In their backyard cemetery, they travel to the underworld for answers and uncover a plot to surface the evil entities that would otherwise burn in the Lake of Fire, have risen again through oil pumps that are bottled up as a tonic medicine for the ground above. The tonic goes fast, and the host takes over the body when the body perishes. Can the Goodbyes hilarious gaffes and revelations plug up the works? Find out in this fast-paced carriage ride through the underworld. The story includes an exclusive foreword by entertainer and medium Richard-Lael Lillard.

Got a copy of this fun book from the author so I'll be reviewing it later. I love that it has original drawings in it.

* This is fun. See the fictional town and the inhabitants' drawings at the website. Click around the map to visit the various locations.

* He also has a Wikipedia page about the book.

Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards:

How long have you been drawing? 

Professionally since 2009. However, I started as a child when I would use drawing as my main filter for expression. I struggled with dyslexia and just about every note for class had a doodle beside it.

Where else has your art been published? 

Before I started A Raven Above Press, I was published in a few zines and indie publications. I learned how to do guerrilla marketing and promotion through various projects I founded and co-founded, the most profound being Celtic Family Magazine that was distributed internationally and was in major chains across the US and Canada. The magazine took a lot of work, but I learned from it. One of my mentors of DIY publishing was publisher and author V. Vale of RE/Search Magazine who I first met at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a sequel to Me’ma and the Great Mountain. While Me’ma, is about an Indigenous child who overcomes her fears to battle an evil tyrant by using traditional knowledge, the Goodbye family exist in the same world as the town undertakers. I thought up the Goodbyes in 2009 on the streets of Paris. I took a journal on the trip which also included Oxford, London, Cardiff, and York. The trip itself had many inspiring themes that played into the book. 

A few years ago, I became close friends with a talented medium Richard-Lael Lillard who provided the foreword.
Was the art first or the story?

The original notes included Orphie, a daughter who was adventurous and had super-strength. The illustration followed with her sitting atop the Notre Dame Cathedral beside a gargoyle. Otis, a quirky undertaker, who was illustrated going through customs to board a train with shrunken heads and a casket. Pyridine, a matriarch of the family and funeral director, was sewing a cadaver arm in Cardiff. 

For the book, the story came first also but has evolved over the nine years it took to write. Then, nine collections and nine hundred comics helped develop the story further.

What inspired the whole concept?

I have vivid dreams that bring forward ideas  and when my daughter Berlin was born two years after Orphie was created, she helped fill out Orphie’s personality quite a bit. My wife Valerie and I have always been into what some might consider goth or darker motifs. We met at goth club after all in 1996 (it is called the Phantasy Nite Club). Additionally, her grandparents had a funeral business.

 Likewise, with a passion for the victorian era and Old West it was easy to build on Otis and Pyridine’s characters. Just like the Goodbyes, we laugh a lot and I believe humor bridges the weight of serious reflection. That said, the serious themes in the story include our dependence on oil and societal controls. As Me’ma in my first book uses traditional knowledge to overcome barriers, the Goodbyes use a touch of disorder and ability to laugh in the face of danger. Not to mention their love of the macabre. 

I live in California, specifically in Los Angeles near CBS Studios where they filmed the TV series, The Wild Wild West, with the late great Robert Conrad (not the Will Smith film), a major influence on me and the Weird West genre. 

What work did you do before this or still do? 

My career used to be in music, producing my own musicals and working for Caroline Distribution in New York. I had to abandon this dream to follow another when 9-11 led to a job loss and my finances couldn't  keep up with the expense. I turned to writing and illustrating, and traveled across country with my wife to start a new chapter in my life. I began working at an art gallery in Westwood, California and got to know the business while studying their many catalogs of art, honing in on the Surrealists. I started to craft my first novel here and would visit the nearby UCLA library to do research for my ideas.  

I then received an Anthropology degree from California State University, Los Angeles where I studied both folklore (my focus was ghostlore) under Dr. Elliott Oring, a key scholar in the field, and Native American studies. I followed a path in museums and currently work at the J. Paul Getty Trust. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: F for #Mysteries with Friends

What's better than listing a few friend-themed new mysteries from fellow writers. 

Cozies usually have a fun and punny theme, and most often feature friends and neighbors in the story, though that friendly atmosphere often includes a murder!

* Go to Day 1

Here's a few of the latest to enjoy:


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery Book 21), Laura Childs - Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

Mousse and Murder, An Alaskan Diner Mystery, Elizabeth Logan (Camile Minichino) 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.

Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery Book 16), Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran - It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?

Revenge is Sweet (Vintage Sweetshop Mystery, Book 1), Kaye George - In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

Monday, April 6, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: E for End of World, #Dystopian Reads

E for End of World 
* Go to Day 1

Fittingly, I'm writing this in March just as everyone is buying supplies and getting ready to stay inside for two weeks with the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19. Hopefully, things don't progress much worse by the time this runs.

But the fun of compiling this list is I've found some really interesting sounding books I didn't know about!


After the Bubbles: (Book 1 of The Touchers), Susan Berliner -  Strange "bubbles" drop from the sky transforming those who encounter them into monsters who kill with a touch. Now Erin and her family fight to survive while trapped inside, with a neighbor now toucher outside. (Interesting concept and the preview sounds good!)

Cyberstorm: A Novel, Matthew Mather -  (I don't think I've seen a book before with over 9,000 reviews!)  One family's struggle to survive the destruction of New York in a terror attack. Million-copy bestseller, coming out soon as a movie. (He has a whole string of books and series, see next book.)

Nomad  (New Earth Series Book 1), Matthew Mather -  Science Fiction Book of the Year. Humanity has days to prepare as something massive heads for earth - and somehow its approach was missed. The key to humanity's - and the earth's - survival lies in the answers astronomer Ben Rollins pieces together from his Cold War research. (Intriguing, I'm going to put this on my reading list though it has very mixed reviews.)


Recruitment, A Dystopian Novel (Resistance Trilogy, Book 1), K.A. Riley - The day you turn 17 the Recruiters take you. No one knows what happens after that but Kress and her friends are about to find out. And it's not like what any of them expected. 

Storyland Chronicles, Dawn Napier - Fairytale creatures and mythical monsters have crept out of the dark corners of humanity’s imagination, and the mankind is now an endangered species. Civilization has become a bedtime story to entertain children while they hide from things that move around in the darkness beyond their candles.

The Dystopian States of America: A Charity Anthology Benefiting the ACLU Many of us have publicly stated that the reality we’re currently living within is scarier and more surreal than anything any of us have ever dreamt up, so this anthology provided the chance to take that ball and run with it.
     TABLE OF CONTENTS:• An Introduction by Christopher Golden• Passage of Life: Stage 1 — Underground by Abby Bechtel• No One Who Runs is Innocent by Bracken MacLeod• Artificial Unintelligence by Linda D. Addison• Fake News by Tony Tremblay• Frontrunners by John M. McIlveen• Carving Out the Other by William D. Carl• The New Corbridge Free State by Dana Cameron• What You Need by Hillary Monahan• Abbatoir Blues by James A. Moore• Pigs by GD Dearborn• Divided We Fell by Hildy Silverman• Before I Formed You In The Womb I Knew You by Michael Rowe• For Want of Blue Eyes by Stephen Lomer• Antibodies by Justine Graykin• Blue & Red by Wrath James White• The Rules Are Different Here by Nadia Bulkin• Abandonment Option by Lucy A. Snyder• Close Your Eyes in Peace Tonight by Craig Wolf• Passage of Life: Stage 2 — Exiting by Abby Bechtel• Deep, Dark by Jonathan Maberry• the revolution will be in color by doungjai gam• Heart of ICE by Jeff Deck• African Twilight by Michelle Renee Lane• Xenophobia by Billy Martin• How All This Ends by Brad J. Boucher• The Twenty-Second by C.M. Franklyn• On a Dusty Trail by Cat Scully• Six Plus Four by Matt Bechtel• Scarves by Elizabeth Massie• The Sick House by Josh Waterman• Enemy of the People by Dan Foley• Abortion Diary by KL Pereira• Drive by Tim Lebbon• The Night Listener by Chet Williamson• We All Live Under the Sun by Errick A. Nunnally• Revolt by Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel•Passage of Life: Stage 3 — Molting by Abby Bechtel

The Price of Time, Tim Tigner - I included this in a previous list, but it sounds worth including again. What would happen if you found the fountain of youth? Would it be a blessing or a curse? Strange disappearances, secret murders and more...

Wanderers, Chuck Wendig  - Bram Stoker nominated. 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. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead. (I'm reading this now as the concept got my attention. Some of my impressions are listed in the 4/2 B post)

Saturday, April 4, 2020

#A to Z Blogging - D for Dogs, #Apocalypse & #Zombies

Dogs, zombies and the end...

(dog-reaper dz, pixabay.com)

What's life without a dog, right? Well, when it comes to apocalypses and zombies, a dog can complicate things. Not surprisingly, though, there are quite a few books that bring these three things together. Here are a few examples:


Cadaver Dog (Zombie Dog Series Book 1) Doug Goodman - Training a dog to track a zombie is like training any other dog. It takes patience, trust, and the right dog-and-handler team. And to not be afraid of zombies.

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, C. A. Verstraete - In real life, Lizzie Borden tried to resume her life after the "trial of the century" ended, with her being acquitted of the gruesome axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. She was snubbed often, however, especially when she and her sister moved into a fancier, larger home in a better side of town. She also was a dog lover in real life, so the book contains one (of her three) Boston Terriers. 
    In the fictional version, Lizzie tries to forge a new life--and maybe even romance?-- even as a new zombie outbreak threatens the town. NOTE: There may be spoilers if you haven't read book 1, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, which centers around the trial and events after.  

Rise of the Dead (ROTD Book 1), Jeremy Dyson - Blake was never one for taking chances. He lived in a world of formulas and equations. A statistician in a controlled society where everything had become predictably mundane. That world disappeared the day the dead got up and began attacking the living. Now, the end is here. Blake finds himself fighting for his life in a world that is rapidly spiraling out of control.


The Call of the Wild, Jack London -  This classic book (and new movie) does have an end-of-the-world feel as man and dog tackle the elements alone in the wild.  (Even with a fake dog in the movie, I still want to see it.)

The Hound of Endtown, Ben Longoria When the world comes to a mysterious end Scout finds himself alone and trapped in the absence of his masters. As hunger and thirst narrowly claim his small young life a chance event opens the doors to freedom. Outside Scout finds a world consumed by horror and death. During his perilous journey across the ruins of civilization Scout encounters cannibals, ravenous animals, the ghosts of the dead, and many other dangers. Through his eyes we witness the thin line between man and beast.

The Last Dog on Earth, Adrian J. Walker - Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from London, the day his city falls is finally a chance for adventure. Too bad his master Reg plans to hide himself away from the riots outside... But when an abandoned child shows up  looking for help, Reg and his trusty hound must brave the chaos in a journey that will prove not just the importance of bravery, but of loyalty, trust, and finding family in the unlikeliest of places.  


The Taking, Dean Koontz - No dogs, but there is a scene with coyotes swarming a porch. A community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps.

War Dogs Heading Home: Wounded Warriors of the Apocalypse, .J. Newman After suffering severe wounds during an IED blast in London, Staff Sergeant Jason Walker and his Military Service Dog and best friend, MMax, are being shipped home. An EMP blast causes their plane to crash in the middle of nowhere. Having survived two disasters, they face the struggle to get home.In a world gone mad, where life clings on by a thread and people will kill for a few scraps of food, can they make it home alive? And if they can, will there be anything left to return to?

Zombie Fallout 12: Dog Dayz, Mark Tufo - The Talbot clan has settled in to life at Etna Station. Mike has earned the rank of Lieutenant, but there’s no time to rest. Colonel Bennington has ordered Mike and his squad of misfits on a secretive mission to New York City to complete a complicated rescue that rapidly becomes nearly impossible to accomplish. As their mission becomes more covert and questionable than they had originally been told, Mike, BT, Gambo and their team are forced to choose between the security of their families and what’s best for Humanity. Will they succeed in what must be done? Or will they fall along the way as their ever-adapting, quickly evolving zombie enemies press the attack?