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.

Welcome 2017 B2BCyCon Visitors

Hello and Welcome Brain to Books Cyber Convention Visitors!

I’m author W. J. Howard, but you can call me Wendy.

Tomorrow starts the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo, so I thought I’d let you know what I’m up to the next three days.

I write dark stories mixed with comedy for all ages. My main focus is creating action-packed stories for young people who are looking for books as fast paced as video games. My stories feature unique and memorable characters everyone can relate to. I have watched countless horror movies since the age of six, and have become a bit addicted to any form of media that aims to scare. In my spare time, I hangs out with her husband and two cunning beagles while drinking lots of wine. MORE ABOUT ME

This is my first Brain to Books Cyber Convention. I hope you enjoy the events here on my website. Below is a summary of my activities from April 7th through April 9th. Go to the B2BCyCon Horror Page for more awesome activities.


HORROR GENRE TOUR STOPS

Christine (C.A.) Verstraete is my guest author for the the B2BCyCon Genre Tour. She’s written Zombies and Real Life Monsters, and you can return here tomorrow to read her article.

I’ve also contributed Horror: Best Believable with a Daub of Blood to the Genre Tour. I ask “What is it about the horror genre that makes us want to transform the questionable into the believable?” Christine is hosting me and you can CLICK HERE to go to her blog.


HORROR BLOG HOP

I’m the final stop on the Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop, and it’s dark at the end of the road where dragons lurk. I’m talking about how monsters have evolved from human fear and anger in Why We Create Monster.


JOE LIVE

I’ll be on Joe Live April 9th at 12:00 PM MT with Joe Compton, Karina Kantas and the other horror authors.


ABOUT MY GIVEAWAYS

FOR THE HORROR SCAVENGER HUNT, visit my Why We Create Monsters post for the blog hop tomorrow for the details on how to enter this contest. I’ve contributed a $10 Amazon gift card for the winner of the scavenger hunt.

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.


HOW TO READ MY STORIES

I believe in taking full advantage of any and all available methods to distribute my stories. There are a number of ways to read The Courier series. Follow the links below to access my profile pages and then further purchase, download, or read online.

AmazonNoiseTradeWattPad – Smashwords

Want to save a book for later, follow me on GoodReads or add Call for Obstruction to your to-read list.

BOOK DREAMS ANTHOLOGY: My short story, Road to Nowhere, is in this year’s B2BCyCon Anthology with a bunch of other great authors works. CLICK HERE to purchase Book Dreams.

Road to Nowhere Blurb: What’s a girl to do when she find herself lost on a rural highway? Text her sister? Consult the GPS? Whatever her choice, there’s only one way to exit a road to nowhere.

Movie Review: Night of the Living Deb

This week I’ve got a goody, at least in my opinion. I’m reviewing Night of the Living Deb. Here’s what it’s about:

“After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.”

Okay, people, this is one that doesn’t deserve the whiny reviews. Lighten up. It’s a pretty damn fun romzomcom. If you’re late to this romantic zombie comedy label like me, it’s an actual thing in the Urban Dictionary. Maria Thayer who plays Deb was great in her part. She in particular made me laugh quite a few times. I also loved her friend.

I get really irritated when reviewers compare zombie comedy movies like this one to Zombie Land or Shaun of the Dead, and I saw a lot of that with Night of the Living Deb. STOP IT ALREADY! This movie is not trying to be either. It’s a corny romzomcom, and it’s cliche, but that’s part of it’s charm.

I’m really starting to enjoy the romzomcom, but I am a woman. Guys, if you don’t like romcom, why would you watch a romzomcom?

Anyway, I loved Night of the Living Deb. I laughed throughout. Give it a try.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Movie Review: Freaks of Nature

This week I’m reviewing Freaks of Nature, a mishmash of  zombies, vampires, and aliens. Here’s what it’s about:

“In Freaks of Nature, we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat – and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this “normal” little town.”

I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s got a pretty good cast and decent acting, but most of the storyline didn’t do it for me. I expected light comedy and instead got a few light laughs. I must have missed something because other people liked it. Other people laughed. Maybe it was a lack of consistency with the funny moments and that some parts were really slow. Then there’s the fact that I watched a month ago and found it hard to recall the movie at first.

Can’t say that I like this one any better than last week’s review of Little Dead Rotting Hood, so I’m giving Freaks of Nature the same rating. Glad I’ve got a few good ones coming up for the next two weeks.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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