Monday, October 16, 2017

New Review Haunting of Dr. Bowen #Paranormal #Mystery

Hope you enjoyed the October Frights Blog Hop! Always a great event. Glad to see lots of new people stop by though I wish more of you would comment. Curious to learn who you are!

SURVEY: Are you interested in books, other authors? Writing? Paranormal talk, ghosts, zombies? Let me know! Share your ideas and suggestions!


If you're looking for a slightly different Halloween read, my short novellette, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River, just got a great review at Kings River Life.   

As reviewer Terrance McArthur is familiar with my work (and picked Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter as one of his Best Picks for 2016), he saw that this was somewhat different and asked: How was I to prepare myself for a partly paranormal mystery wrapped around a tender love story?

See what he says... Check it out. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Frights: Descent Into Darkness #Horror Stories

How about some more tasty horror morsels
 for the October Frights Blog Hop?

There are all kinds of spooky stories, excerpts, contests and more.  See the Facebook group for all info.  Be sure to visit the rest of the stops at the end of this blog. *  See the Halloween Horror Giveaway 1 and Giveaway 2!

* NOTE: I'll be in Kenosha WI tonight signing books - and they have a MONSTERS! show! 6-9 p.m., Left of the Lake Gallery,  4615 7th Ave. 
Here's a look at a few of the stories 
from the just released new horror anthology, DESCENT INTO DARKNESS  

What keeps you awake at night?

Murder and monsters...

Demons and forces of evil...
Ghosts and urban legends...
Dive into the darkness with twenty tales of terror that will keep you awake long after the lights go out.

A horror anthology featuring featuring several best-selling and award-winning authors from around the globe, "Descent into Darkness" contains a variety of terrifying short stories and novellas.

Baba by Tony Urban - Blood Note by Sylvester Barzey  - Nail Gun Glissando by Steve Vernon  - The Evil in Devil’s Creek by Paul B. Kohler  -  What’s Been Keeping Me Awake by Amanda Luzzader  - Mark of Perdition by R. L. Blalock - The Sun Makes Me Turn Purple by Gretta Penelope - Send in the Clowns by David J. Schmidt - The Nine Lives of Captain Osborne by E.E. Isherwood - They Want to Die, Let ‘em by L J Parker
Simon Says by Rachel McClellan - The Door by Delia Rai 
Thirteen Horses by C.A. VerstraeteZombie Apocalypse by Max Lockwood
Fetch by Joe Jackson - Knock, Knock by Cindy Carroll
His Model Son by Brian J.W. Lee - Ascension by G M Sherwin
Through a Dark Wood by Shayne Rutherford - Lock and Key by Patrick Logan

About the anthology:

I asked a few of the authors to give me some details on their stories. Here's what they said: 

Paul B. Kohler - The Evil in Devil’s Creek.

About the story:
A road trip to visit Sheri's son turns deadly when Owen runs over a stray dog in the road. As they look for help, their fear climbs when they discover the nearby town deserted . . . but only of humans. There are others watching.

What inspired the story?
“I was inspired to write this story after a dozen or so trips to visit my daughter in college. Several of the oddities along the way are included in the story. The scary stuff was added because of my wandering mind.”

Quote from The Evil in Devil’s Creek:
Blood, rusty and dirty streaked the walls and countertops and left dried lakes on the floor. With a shaky voice, he called out again, “Hello? Is there someone—anyone?” But the hollowness in his stomach told him he was alone.

** Paul B. Kohler is author of The Humanity’s Edge Trilogy (Turn, Book 1 and Detour, Book 2.) He is working on Book 3, Reversion.   
* * * 

C.A. Verstraete - Thirteen Horses

About the story:
A couple think they're being set free from jail, accused of a crime they say they didn't commit. But sometimes the punishment does fit the crime...

What inspired the story?
A couple had been arrested after a number of horses were found dead on their property. The story stuck with me. They continued to say they were not guilty but were out on bail. The husband killed the wife and himself once they were found guilty and sentenced. 

Quote from Thirteen Horses:
That wasn’t the only odd thing, she realized. The shadows…
In the few minutes since she’d come in, they’d edged closer. They now stood right behind her, almost as if—
As if they’re following me. How can that be?

** C.A. Verstraete is the author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and The Haunting of Dr. Bowen. Learn more at her website,
* * * 

Tony Urban, Baba

About the story::

After seeing a murdered girl in the forest, Phil convinces his two best friends to visit the scene, unaware that they were hiking into a nightmare.
What inspired the story?

I've always loved coming of age horror stories and wanted to put a darker, realistic spin on it.

Quote from Baba:

They had long blonde hair which was dirty and matted. Blood from the holes in their torsos swam up their bodies and formed rivulets on their upside down faces.
** Tony Urban is the author of the Life of the Dead series. The third book, The Ark, just came out. 

* * *

Brian J.W. Lee, His Model Son

About the story:

All hell breaks loose as dark forces connected to an ancient secret in Pulau Purba sweeps through the island. An old gun technician working in a remote military base there must learn to overcome both physical and mental threats to reach his son, a conscripted marine.

What inspired the story:

My real life experiences in the military, of real conscripts coming to terms with a life they're unsuited to. Local folklore amped up a thousand times to a point where it doesn't resemble the original source material And of course, Stephen King, H. P. Lovecraft.

Quote from His Model Son:
Help was further than Boon Teck thought, and so was his breath.

** Brian J.W. Lee is the author of a horror story collection, Through the Abyssal Gates. 
* * *
Delia Rai, The Door

What is the story about?
Not all doors are meant to be opened.

What inspired your story?
I was talking to a friend about writing inspiration and he said, you know, there are many writing prompts online, you should do a search and see what you can find. I did just that and found this: "You know...there is nothing as tempting as a locked door." All my horror bells went off at once and I sat down to write. The prompt became the first line in the story.

Quote from The Door:
“A locked door, a red scarf, a tiny key, an old paperback. I say these words again and again, a litany of sorts, or a spell meant to reveal something. The devil is in the details. And yet there are no revelations.”
** This is Delia Rai’s first published story. She is working on a short story collection and her first fantasy novel, and is aiming for 2018 publication.
* * *

Friday, October 13, 2017

October Frights #Horrror #Zombie Reading List!

 ** This is a special version of our Reading List for the 
October Frights Blog Hop! ** 

Find some cool spooky reads by some of the hop's authors!

* Don't forget to visit the hop stops for short fiction and more -- ** See list at end. Bonus:  Halloween Horror Giveaway 1 -Giveaway 2!

Creepy Short Stories & Poems: 

A Persistence of Geraniums and Other Worrying Tales, John Linwood Grant -  First collection of tales of the Edwardian... Tales of murder and madness in Edwardian England.   (** And for more short creepy stories in the occult vein, check out The Occult Detective Quarterly, edited by Grant.)

Curiously Dark Tales, Debbie Christiana - Supernatural beings and the evils of humanity come alive in dark tales with a twist.

New! Descent Into Darkness - Stories and novellas, zombies to horror and more, 700+ pages. Includes my story, "Thirteen Horses."

Final Masquerade, Lycan Valley Press, Naching T. Kassa and others - The evening is ending and the unmasking is set to begin. Welcome to Final Masquerade, 16 stories where no one is who they seem. 

Horror Haiku Pas De Deux, Anita Stewart - Poetry, horror and haiku to chill your bones. 

 Mushroom and Anchovy, K.M. Cooper - Pre-order! Collection of three stories spanning the lives of these two adventurers. The stories feature journeys to an accursed mountain, a forest filled with strange pocket dimensions, and Hell itself. Along the way, hearts will be broken--and so will the fourth wall. 

The 13: Tales of Illusory, Stephanie Ayers - Thirteen enchanted horrors, 13 spine-tingling tales. Down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 13? 

Mermaid Quay, Creatures Gone Astray Book 1,  Alice de Sampaio Kalkuhl -  The horrors of creatures gone astray are best visible in a beautiful landscape, and Nimue and her brothers find them at Mermaid Bay, Cardiff Bay.

Angels & Demons:

Dark and Dangerous Things (Dark Things Book 5), Kelly Martin - Elise makes it her mission to rid the world and her possessed father of Molly, and send her back to hell where she belongs. Molly Drake has souls to take - and the souls are fighting back. 

Path of Angels, boxed set - Patricia Josephine - Four books follows the highest angel Gabriel and his brothers as they follow the path of good and battle against darkness. 

Rose of Crimson, Zrinka Jelic - An immortal's tragic love story is Kate's obsession. Can she write it, and get his voice out of her head even as their love story unfolds? A tale of love, two lifetimes and desire vs. emotional need.

The Starblood Trilogy: Starblood, Psychonaut, Black Sun, Carmilla Voiez - Satori, Choas Magician, casts a spell to win back his true love, but Star Lillith, mother of demons, has other ideas. Summoned by his magic, Star makes it her mission to manipulate and separate the doomed lovers...


The Leah King Trilogy, Philip Harris - Leah is drawn deeper into the war and must face the woman who's torn her life apart. She must decide who she can trust and how far she'll go to uncover her past. 

The Prophecy Unfolds: Dragon Queen (Book 1), Scarlett Flame - A dystopian steampunk world of dragons, magic and werewolves where science fiction meets science fact. Can Alex survive in a world where three factions battle for dominance? 

The Haunting of Dr. Bowen:  A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River, C.A. Verstraete - Was Lizzie Borden's doctor haunted by the horrific axe murders of 1892? Now, two years after the Borden murders, Dr. Bowen is determined to uncover the mysteries stirring up the city’s ancient, bloodthirsty specters. Can he discover who, or what, is shattering the peace before Fall River runs red? Or will he be the next victim?

     Part mystery, part love story, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen reveals the eerie side of Fall River as witnessed by the first doctor on the scene of the legendary Borden murders.


Now Entering Silver Hollow, Anne Hogue-Boucher - Questions are answered and visitors of the town are tormented by forces at Dubbs House that they don't comprehend and may never understand...  

The Father of All Flesh, Nicholas Paschall - An ancient evil awakens in a Chinese village. Then the villagers turn into ravenous blobs of skin with an unslakable hunger for human flesh. 

The Revelation of Faithe Eileen, Melanie McFarlane - There once was a girl who lived in the woods... Faithe Eileen can't remember. All she knows is something goes wrong when she gets upset, and she's starting to lose control. Mystery YA Novella.

Witches & Wizards: 


Home Summonings: The Winter Trilogy, Omnibus One, James McDonald - Can wizard Greyson Forester regain his power in time to prevent an ancient evil from conquering the world and all the realms? 
    A dark comedy series where all the worlds' creatures from demon to fairy, angels and monsters must mke their way in a world that dismisses them as myth - or has forgotten them. Now some want to be remembered.

The Cottage, Lavinia Urban - Lydia is left reeling when she discovers her memories have been blocked for eight years. Then she finds she's not only a shape-shifting witch, but Gatekeeper to the Dark Realms. 

The Witch of Willow Lake (Kyrie Carter Supernatural Sleuth, Book 3), Leta P. Hawk - Left with unanswered questions after the paranormal investigation at Willow Lake College, Kyrie Carter vows to discover the events leading up to the fire in Appleton Hall’s bell tower that took Mary Bollinger’s life in 1958. Does the book of legends she uncovers also a portal to an evil from the past?



Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete - Finally, a reason for the brutal August 1892 axe murders of a Fall River, Mass. businessman and his wife... what if Lizzie Borden did it because she had no other choice? 2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the infamous murders.

Odium V, Dead Saga Series Book 5, Claire C. Riley - In a world where the dead have risen, Nina finds life is far different, and so is love. 

War and Pieces, complete first season (Frayed Fairy Tales)  - Tia Silverstone Bach - Once upon a time, in a land far away, there were zombies...  Havoc is going on in Ever After... Serial series ( Also: Complete Boxed Set)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October Frights Blog Hop 3 - #horror fiction

What better time to share something scary than during the annual
October Frights Blog Hop October 10-15? - Prizes, stories & more!
See all the blog stops below. *  See the Halloween Horror Giveaway 1  - Giveaway 2!

Today, I wanted to share a strange little story I wrote a while ago that some of you may have read already, and some of you maybe haven't.

Fall Leaves
By C.A. Verstraete
It was over with me and Hal.
I'd finally had enough when he came home late again, drunk. Then I saw the lipstick mark.
I lost it.
Not thinking, I swung the lamp.

Horrified at what I'd done, I spent all night digging and covered the hole with a big leaf pile. Tomorrow, I burn.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October Frights Blog Hop 2 - #1LineWed #horror #lizzieborden

What better time to share something scary than during the annual
October Frights Blog Hop October 10-15? - Prizes, stories & more! 
See all the blog stops below.

* Get some free horror -  *  See the Halloween Horror Giveaway 1! - Giveaway 2!

Since today is also #1LineWed, 1 Line Wednesday, I'm sharing a tiny excerpt from both my books. (Click titles to buy/read more on Amazon.)

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:
After the first hit, Lizzie closed her eyes, too, but kept swinging the hatchet. WHACK. WHACK. WHACK.
About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

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?

The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River:
The scene changed. A stream of dark, thick fog floated into the room. The sleeping Bowen murmured and stretched out his arm. "Phee-Phoebe, no." 
About The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden's Fall River:

Gruesome deaths haunt the industrial city of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Dr. Seabury Bowen—physician to the infamous Lizzie Borden—swears he’s being stalked by spirits, though his beloved wife thinks it’s merely his imagination. But the retired doctor insists that neither greed nor anger provoked the recent sensational axe murders in Fall River. Rather, he believes the city is poisoned by bad blood and a thirst for revenge dating back to the Indian and Colonial wars.

Now, two years after the Borden murders, Dr. Bowen is determined to uncover the mysteries stirring up the city’s ancient, bloodthirsty specters. Can he discover who, or what, is shattering the peace before Fall River runs red? Or will he be the next victim?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October Frights Blog Hop Day 1 #horror

Today starts the annual October Frights Blog Hop from October 10 to 15.

There are all kinds of spooky stories, excerpts, contests and more.
I'll be sharing a couple creepy little stories too!

See the Facebook group for all info.  Be sure to visit the rest of the stops and see my story below. *  See the Halloween Horror Giveaway 1 and Giveaway 2!

Today I'm sharing a fun, creepy but lighthearted little story. Don't worry, I'll get gorier later in the week. haa!


The Pumpkin Patch
By C.A. Verstraete

Every year he sat in the pumpkin patch, waiting for that one special person to come his way.
   Day after day, he grew larger and a vivid, brighter orange as he turned into a grand specimen of the pumpkin family.
   Then it happened. A cute little boy with a big smile and freckles almost as orange as his skin came and picked him up.
   The boy’s hug felt nice, so good, just like his ancestors had told him it would.
   The others rustled their big green leaves on the vine in goodbye as the man carried him to the family’s car.
   He rode to his new home nestled in the arms of the boy. He relished the warmth of the boy’s hands around him. The pumpkin patch seemed far away now.
   The boy insisted on carrying him in. Wait, what was that? A flash of orange on the porch step caught his eye. Another pumpkin. But-but what was wrong with that pumpkin’s face?
   He didn’t have the chance to see enough as they carried him inside. A rustle of paper. He sat on the table waiting to be set in the place of honor. That’s all he’d heard as he grew up in the pumpkin patch—that the one chosen had a place of honor in the family’s home.
   “All right,” the father said. “Scary or funny?”
   “Funny!” the boy cried.
   Wait . . . what-what was happening? ARGGGH! Something sharp cut into his brain. No-No! What are they doing?
   Oh, the pain! The cutting, the searing pain, the stabbing, seemed to last forever.
   Then the worst came. The horrible humans dug inside, scooping out his innards—his heart, his brain—until he sat there, nothing but an empty shell.
   Through the magic of the pumpkin patch, he still felt, though. He still followed their motions. The little boy, who had seemed so good, so loving, turned his gap-toothed smile of terror in his direction. The man gave an evil leer and leaned ever closer with that instrument of torture.
   He quivered in fear as the man cut into his soft, tender flesh. One cut, and then another, and soon a big evil smile with five little pointed teeth decorated his face.
   In surprise, he blinked, his vision sharp and clear as the man cut two triangular eyes above his newly formed mouth and nose.
   The electric candle they put inside him gave an eerie glow and lit the space around him. He looked out from his place of honor by the fireplace, listening as the house quieted and the family went to bed.
   Slowly, carefully, he rolled and bumped his way off the fireplace bricks. He slid along the wood floor, going down the hall. At the door, he stopped and listened to the soft breathing where the little boy slept.
   Longing filled him.
   Chomping his teeth, he slipped into the room without a sound, eager to be with the one who had given him new life. ## 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday Updates! #Horror #Writing #zombies

It's Monday! So it's update time. What else to do today, right?

What's New or Coming Up?

* I have a new story, "Thirteen Horses," in the Descent Into Darkness anthology. Stories, novellas and more! You can also get it in paperback, 700+ pages! 

* Yay! Got a new review on Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. 4 stars. I have a ways to go to 50 so feel free to add yours! 

* The October Frights Blog Hop starts Tuesday to Sunday. Prizes, spooky fiction and more! Come back to the blog here for all the links and info.

* Saturday: 6-9 p.m.: Halloween fun! Come see the new Monsters! show and get a signed book Saturday at the Left of the Lake Gallery, 4615 7th Ave., Kenosha, WI.

** Almost done with my weird, horror news-fiction story I've been working on.  Only a few edits to go. So far it's called "The Story of the Century." Stay tuned for details! 

Interesting tid-bit: 

Bet you didn't know.... The days and dates in August 1950 are the same as in August 2017! (I didn't know either until I looked it up.)

 * Feel free to share what you are working on!!