More Ways to Waste Energy

Welcome back to a new #WineWednesday drinking gadget feature. This week I’m hopping mad and not because this week’s gadget keeps your drink warm. I’m here to say we need to stop creating gadgets like the USB Beverage Cup Cooler and Warmer in the video below. Like we don’t already use way more energy than we need. Drink your beverage while it’s hot or cold, or get your ass up to reheat it or add a few ice cubes. Enough said.

Movie Review: Hell and Back

This week I’m reviewing Hell and Back, an animated horror comedy. Here’s what it’s about:

“Two best friends set out to rescue their pal after he’s accidentally dragged to hell.”

This is a fun movie. I did enjoy it, although I can’t give it a spectacular review. Hell and Back was completely and totally predictable. The comedy was the same old same old, as if the writers stole a bunch of jokes an threw them in. At times I was bored and ready for the story to just move on because there wasn’t anything original going on.

I did liked most of the characters. Didn’t like the stupid demon theme though. Demons must be evil and funny to keep my interest. I have mixed feelings about Satan personified in two forms, although I think it was more the way he was portrayed in each form that was the issue.

I’m a huge fan of stop action animation and it was well done in this movie. In fact, it carried most of the movie and is what makes some of the more annoying things about the story line tolerable.

Anyway, I do suggest you watch it with lowered expectations and you’ll find it as fun as I did.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Wine Wipes

Happy #WineWednesday! Although I won’t be partaking today. I’m going in for part 2 of a root canal tomorrow and really don’t want to face the dentist with a wine headache. It’s bad enough going to the dentist (my greatest fear), so I’ll be saving the wine guzzling for after the torture session.

I’m back after a few years away from weekly wine blog posts. I’ve decided to bring back this fun event, but instead of reviewing wine, I’m highlighting wine and other liquor drinking gadgets.

Now here we go…

Can you believe this? Wine Wipes? These puppies remove that pesky red wine stain from your teeth. Their website is at winewipes.com if you’d like to buy.

Once upon a time, I knew someone who could use these wipes. Her teeth turned deep purple when she drank red wine. She had suffered from bulimia in her younger years and all the enamel on her teeth had been eaten away. So, if I ever see someone whip out Wine Wipes, guess where my mind is going?

Would I buy this product? No. First of all, I don’t even know if my teeth stain when I drink red wine, although I will probably check the next time I polish off a bottle. Well, if I remember. The main reason I’ll skip Wine Wipes is my ‘I don’t care’ attitude. That and once I would reach the point my teeth stain, I’m too tipsy to even think about whipping out some wipes to clean my teeth. And if I’m really drunk, I’ll likely pass out in bed without brushing my teeth. Anyway, my teeth are my last thought when I pop the cork. I guess this explains why I now need lots of root canals.

Zombies and Real Life Monsters by Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

Today, I’m excited to have Christine Verstraete back in my blog for the Brain to Book Cyber Convention’s Genre Tour.

Christine is an award-winning author and journalist from Wisconsin. She loves writing odd little stories with a touch of the macabre. I’m currently reading her book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and loving it.


When I mention zombies to some people, they cringe and complain about the blood and gore. They’re grossed out.

Maybe they don’t watch The Walking Dead or are a crime TV fan instead, which has its own share of blood and death, albeit in a different format. But in either instance, it’s a depiction of something we fear—crime, death, danger—that draws us in. It’s watching or reading about what seems impossible or often unbelievable.

Real life, of course, can be more frightening than anything an author can create. That’s what makes actual killers scarier than any monster with fins, scales, fur, a non-beating heart, or other elements. You can’t imagine what leads someone to cross the line to the “forbidden” and kill their own family, or attack a stranger, or do even worse things.

Maybe that’s what made writing my recently released book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, so interesting and challenging. In reality, it’s almost hard to accept that Lizzie—a seemingly “normal” Victorian woman, Sunday School teacher, daughter of a wealthy businessman—could so viciously attack and kill her elderly father and stepmother. At least that’s what the jury probably thought, declaring her not guilty of the crime in June, 1893.

But was she?

That’s what we have trouble with, and what makes human killers so scary: they don’t have four eyes, or scales, or whatever. They can look perfectly normal, like your neighbor; like the girl or guy next door. And even more frightening? You can’t see what’s going on inside their heads.

In my case, writing about an accused killer had to come with a reason as to why she did it. And what more plausible reason could there be for viciously striking them in the head, especially once you look at the actual autopsy photos, than to say she committed the crime since her family members had turned into zombies?

It doesn’t mean the crime should be taken less seriously, of course. It was a terrible crime made even more horrific if she was indeed guilty and got away with it. But as this year marks the 125th anniversary of the murders, it’s far enough in the past to make it more of a historic event.

Sadly, history is full of real-life monsters, from Genghis Khan to 1920s mobsters, Manson, and those who kill out of hate, for so-called “honor” or other nonsensical reasons. The list is endless. The human race is drenched in blood. Maybe it’s true that it seems worse the older you get.

And that’s the scariest part of all: fictional monsters can be vanquished, but the human soul has a darkness that often can’t be cleansed.

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?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter
Add it on Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd
Website: http://cverstraete.com
Blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

C.A. Verstraete is also appearing this weekend in the B2BCyCon Book Expo, Blog Hop and various Panels.

RETURN TO B2BCYCON HORROR PAGE


The Goodies

WIN A ZOMBIE MUG: For those of you in the U.S. and Canada, leave a comment on any of the blog posts for the event or LIKE my Facebook page and you’re entered to win one of three of these zombie mugs. I’ll draw a new name all three days of the convention. Winners will be announced in the right column.

WIN A $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD: Anyone who signs up for my newsletter or downloads Call for Obstruction on NoiseTrade during B2BCyCon is entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Why We Create Monsters

Scavenger Hunt & Drawing Details Below

Welcome to the final stop on the Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop and Stalk the Monster’s Scavenger Hunt. Be careful! It’s dark at the end of the road and there are dragons lurking.

Who doesn’t love dragons, one of the fiercest of monsters created across world cultures? How did they become such a universal threat in the minds of man? I particularly love David E. Jones take on how this monster came to be in his book, An Instinct for Dragons. Jones says that our primate ancestors combined a fear of large cats, birds and snakes in our evolving minds to construct an image of the worst predator. Take a look at a dragon and tell me you don’t see a little of each animal.

Whether or not Jones’s controversial claims are true, the fact that our ancestors struggled to survive against the worst of circumstances was an everyday reality. Hell, we’re still struggling to survive in our own ways. The monsters we battle are both fictitious and genuine, and they have evolved throughout time based on our ancestors creative and terrified  psyches.

Down through history, humans have invented numerous monsters to provoke fear in the name of controlling others. Take child-rearing for example. ‘Big Bad Wolf’ stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs are still told today. We tell children these terrifying stories to teach them about the dangers of life or to ensure they stay out of mischief. And we twist our need to control in some of the most warped of ways. Santa Claus, a jolly old elf, is meant to bring happiness with his annual drop off of presents. However, many children would argue he’s a sadistic monster whose lap is capable of eating countless babes alive.

We greatly fear organizations that steal our loved ones and our sense of security.  We have made real-life monsters out of evil banks and corporations. Terrorists are today’s ‘Big Bad Wolf.’ It’s unfortunate that we take protection against some monsters to the extreme, and if that means labeling certain cultures as monsters, so be it. Yet we cower against other evil organizations that steal our livelihood.

Not only are we terrified of what we might lose, we’re angered. It’s a strong combination of emotions that brings us together as a community. While once we used sticks to protect each other against teeth and claws, countries now band together to combats our greatest fears with some of the worst weapons imaginable, making us equal to the monsters we fear.

What beasts are lurking in our future as technological progresses? Drones and artificial intelligence and cyber attacks, OH MY! These are not things to worry about for another day. We’re already venturing into this territory with self-driving cars, job loss to robots, election tampering, drone bombings and more.

Now step off the Monster Blog Hop path and hike back to reality. You tell me, which is scarier?


The Goodies

STALK THE MONSTER’S SCAVENGER HUNT: Find the thing down below that kept you up at night as a child. What color is it? I’ve contributed a $10 Amazon gift card for the winner of the scavenger hunt, so GOOD LUCK!

Go to the B2BCyCon Horror Page to submit your scavenger hunt answers.

Go to A.F. Stewart’s blog to start the hop over again.

WIN A ZOMBIE MUG: For those of you in the U.S. and Canada, leave a comment on any of the blog posts for the event or LIKE my Facebook page and you’re entered to win one of three of these zombie mugs. I’ll draw a new name all three days of the convention. Winners will be announced in the right column.

WIN A $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD: Anyone who signs up for my newsletter or downloads Call for Obstruction on NoiseTrade during B2BCyCon is entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

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