Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Stew on Kaldar 3 is Fantastic (Flash fiction fun)

Hi, folks, today I used the picture above as inspiration for the story below. It was a free wallpaper and it lit up my imagination like crazy, I hope it sparks some of your own creativity and that you have a wonderful day!

The Stew on Kaldar 3 is Fantastic
Jaime Johnesee

The galactic toads were singing on their stalagmite perches and the bumblebirds were resting deep inside their mushroom gill nests. Everyone had their bioluminescence in full display, it was a typical gorgeous Kaldarian night, and even the hootblats shrieked sweetly in the air.
As Jeff made steelroot stew, his wife, Al'donk'a'lel, was out gathering horsetails and other ingredients to spice up the dish. He looked outside as he chopped ingredients and saw that the large umburt tree was full of heavy ripe fruit.
He decided to pick some and make a blart for dessert. As he stepped into the humid night to pick the delectable umburts, a dozen sucklers swarmed him and began to feast on the sweat dripping from his tentacles. He was grateful for the sucklers as his sweat was full of pheromones lately and Al told him she felt ill when he sweat too much. She said he smelled of landula blossoms and turgomot root and she was deathly allergic to turgomot. 
To appease her he typically wore a fragrance that smelled thickly of huntsberry and banesbridge. The sucklers meant he wouldn't have to douse himself in the cologne tonight and he was grateful for the reprieve.
He took his bounty into the house, washed them (and himself) up, and sliced a thick orange globdropper. Sap dripped everywhere and Jeff took a moment to lick the sweet sap off his claws as his tentacles set to work cutting the next slice. He plopped them into the stew along with some chaffsgrass and smokeberry then started on the blart.
It wasn't too much longer before Al'donk'a'lel came back. The woman of Earth that came back with her seemed excited. Jeff put the blart in the hobbanger to harden. He smiled at their guest. 
"Can I get you something to drink?" Jeff prided himself on being a beneficent host, Kaldarians were known universe-wide for their hosting skills.
"I have told her we are having her for dinner and she was so very happy about it." Al smiled at her mate.
"Oh, thank you for offering a drink but I'm okay right now. I have always heard the stew is fantastic here! Hi, you must be Jeff, it's so nice to meet you." The blonde walked forward with her hand extended, unaware the gesture was rude to Kaldarians. 
"She's perfect!" Jeff walked over to her and, in what appeared to be one fluid movement, grabbed the human with his tentacles, used his claw to slit her throat, and held her streaming lifeblood over his stewpot. 
As the human bled out, Al looked at her, smiled sweetly, and whispered, "Nothing makes steelroot stew taste as good as some fresh human blood. Thank you for agreeing to be our dinner " 
Al’s smile was the last thing the Earthling saw as her life drained away. Luckily for her, she died before they began harvesting her meat for dinner the next night.

Emerian Rich Talks Clockwork Wonderland

Today I turn my blog over to the lovely and talented Emerian Rich who is here to talk about her latest release! Without further ado, Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.
Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:
Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis
With Foreword by David Watson

Excerpt from
Midnight Dance
by Emerian Rich
Mr. March held his fireplace poker at the ready as he peeked into his kitchen. His good mate, Mr. White, had entered his house and seemed to be rummaging for food, but it wasn’t the White he knew from the club. White was generally a very congenial guy. A bit high-strung, but always courteous of others and definitely mindful of the inappropriateness of breaking into another’s home at quarter after midnight.
“Mustn’t give no quarter. Alms grrr…and a slab ‘a meat, yesssss…”
Pushing the kitchen door open another inch, March inspected his friend as he rambled an incoherent string of garbled words together. Perhaps his diabetes had taken a turn for the worst and he had low blood sugar? Still, the White he knew, would have at least rung the bell and requested entry instead of smashing the window and leaving the front door wide open.
White sniffed the air like a curious rabbit. His portly frame jittered in his food-stained plaid pajamas. His houndstooth wool slippers swam in orange juice pooled at his feet. White’s head snapped to the side and he stared directly at March, but didn’t seem to see him in the darkness. March held his breath despite his urge to gasp. White’s normally brown eyes gleamed red in the fridge light.
The grandfather clock in the drawing room bonged at the half-hour and White shuffled out of the kitchen, March following stealthily behind. White stared up at the clock, drool saturating his mouth. The second hand clicked just past the seven.
For a moment, White seemed himself again. His expression jovial as he clasped his hands behind him, rocking serenely back on his heels.
“White? You all right, old man?” March inched closer, hiding the poker by his side.
White turned to March, for a moment his old friend, but White’s lip pulled back in a snarl, displaying jagged teeth. He launched at March, causing them both to land in a heap on the floor.
“Meat and flesh, flesh and bone. Grrrr…” White growled like the Queen’s pup who’d contracted rabies.
“Stop! Get off me!” March struggled against White’s force, holding the fire poker between them as the only barrier.
White snapped his pointy teeth just inches from March’s face, slobber dripping onto his cheek.
“No, stop!”
White moved closer, his weight smothering March so he could barely breathe. From the open door to his right, March heard a scream. Out in the street, a royal guard attacked his neighbor, the Duchess, but March could do nothing to help. Turning back to face the maniac on top of him, March stared into the fiend’s red eyes. They seemed to glow and in the pupils there was some sort of design. A clock face? White salivated, the loud clamp of his jaw snapping as he tried to get ever closer.
White lunged, his massive belly pushing the air right out of March’s lungs. March gasped as his vision grew dark.
Footsteps, a clunk, and then White’s head falling lax to his neck allowed March the chance to use the last of his energy to push the maniac off him.
“March, chap, you all right?”
Gasping for air, March managed to sit up. He blinked and squinted in the dim light, seeing the unmistakable top-hatted silhouette of his good friend, Mr. Hatter. The lanky bloke offered a hand and March grasped it gladly.
“Hatter. My, you are a sight for sore eyes.” March wiped White’s saliva off his cheek with his paisley handkerchief. White’s still body lay in a dark stain growing darker on the rug.
“Pity about your rug, old friend.”
A scream in the street called their attention away from the soiled rug.
“What the bloody hell is going on?” March asked, retrieving his fireplace poker and cleaning it off as well.
“I’ll explain on the way,” Hatter said.
“On the way where?”
“The clock tower. Come on.”
March followed Hatter out of his house and shut the door behind him, although he didn’t think it much mattered. The neighborhood was in chaos and he wasn’t quite sure he’d survive to return. Pity about the strawberry trifle in the fridge. He’d worked hard on those perfect white and red layers for the picnic the next day in the park, but it seemed festivities would be cancelled. After all, the Duchess was hosting and her head rolled by in the gutter as he hopped over it.
Screams and snarls came from every direction as they sprinted to the clock tower situated in the center of town. He glimpsed friends he’d known for years, but they were alien to him in the zombie horde.
“Seems the clock infected some and the bitten become like them,” Hatter explained in hushed tones. His eyes swept the landscape as they made their way through town. “I don’t understand how it works exactly, but the clock must be stopped. Problem is, nothing—absolutely nothing—has worked. Every night it happens again and I can’t seem to stop it.”
“What do you mean every night? How long has this been happening and how come you are just now telling me?” They stood back to back as Hatter picked the clock tower lock and March stood guard. Snarls came from the darkness and March’s hands ached from gripping the blasted poker so tightly.
“You won’t believe me, chap, but this night has played out more than three dozen times.”
The ground shook and the wind picked up, tossing leaves into the air like confetti.
“What was that?”
“Earthquake. I think the clock caused that too, but I can’t be sure.” The lock clicked and Hatter escorted him inside. “Some nights I save you, some nights I’m too late. But I need your help. We have to jam the clock some way so that it can’t do this again.”
March stared into Hatter’s blood-shot, weary eyes and knew he told the truth.
“Show me how.”
Hatter led him down the corridor to the stairs and up four flights.
“How do you know the clock is responsible?” March asked between gasps. He was not used to so much physical exertion. Those cigars at the club were really taking a toll on his health. He’d have to cut back to once a week.
“I’ve traced it to the clock maker. He’s the only one infected after the clock strikes twelve. The earthquakes emanate from this location directly after.”
“And you’re the only one reliving this nightmare?”
“Yes, and then you ask me why I’m the only one. I don’t know why I’m immune. I just know the burden falls to me to stop it.”
The ground shook again and the clock tower creaked under the force. Hatter checked his pocket watch.
“Hurry, we’ve not much time. It’s 12:49 and at one o’clock it resets. Use your poker to jam that gear over there and I’ll try to damage this one.”
March stuck his fire poker in between two large metal gears and watched with amazement as they ate the thin metal up. Black cast iron trickled into the workings and fell to the floor like pieces of silverware from a dropped drawer.
“No!” Hatter yelled as his sword found the same fate. “Hell and damnation!” He grabbed a pipe on the wall and tugged until it gave way. The pipe spewed a fog of steam but it was short lived. Hatter banged on the gears, trying to harm them and March grabbed another pipe, doing the same. They fed the thin copper through the gears, hoping to stop them or break the mechanism, but they too were chewed up by the large mechanical monster.
“Damn!” Hatter kicked the gears causing no harm but to himself. He fell to the floor defeated, clutching his ankle. “How can we jam the gears if nothing can destroy this blasted thing?”
“Jam…” March crouched next to Hatter, his mind turning like the clock gears above them as he thought of how to stop the machine. “You might have something there. What if you’re going about this the wrong way? What if we made something sticky to muck up the works rather than trying to stop the gears themselves? Perhaps my mother’s jam…with a few minor adjust—” March’s face froze.
“What kind of adjustments? March! Please! No!” Hatter shook him, but he could not respond.
The clock bonged one o-clock.

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fun with Flash Fiction

The amazingly talented and super kind Nina D'Arcangela has been doing a flash fiction project that has helped feed my fun in writing. She sends an image and we write a piece of flash inspired by the picture.

I've really been enjoying it. I've been inspired to use this sort of flash on rough days to get my creativity flowing again. If I'm feeling blocked I'll find an image that sparks something in me and write a short 300-500 words just to get the mojo flowing. (Bless you, Nina!)

Below is the image I used today and the story I created from it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This is Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Ghostly Passengers
Jaime Johnesee

The dilapidated halls echo in disconcerting ways and as I move through the ruins of the once grand Michigan Central Station I can almost hear the whispers of boarding calls from days long past. 

A rat or cat, I can't tell which, runs by, startled by my presence. 

Unfazed, I marvel at the Beaux-Arts beauty around me and dream of what she was like in her heyday. She had once been the place to go for travel and meeting people in Detroit. Now, she sits and rots whilst they fight over whether to tear her down or renovate her. 

She's sat in this stagnate state since 1988, dying slowly day by day. 

Inside, the sound of creatures rustling replaces the cacophony of noise that once accompanied the bustle of train travel in this city. Sadly, we've given up the slow and romantic notions of traveling the country by train in favor of the faster, more efficient plane. 

There may not be people rushing through its corridors but the stately old building still retains her elegance and grandeur. You can feel the energy still pulsing through her, saved up over the years from all the travelers, those both weary and excited to be on the move. 

She sits and continues to love a city that turned their back on her. She continues to hope for resurrection at their hands even as they slowly kill her with neglect. Those of us who love her hope someone will come along to rescue her, but—after forty years—it doesn't seem likely. She shall continue to rot broken and not-quite-alone, filled with rodents, ghostly passengers, and memories of days long dead.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Don't let your empathy atrophy

I know there's a lot of upset and anger going around so many places about so many things right now. I've seen some mostly calm people get heated and lose their temper at all manner of ills. I've also seen many volcanoes erupt. It's been a rough end to a rough year.

Sometimes, when we are upset or angry about something we tend to forget that the people we are talking with also have feelings and that their opinions (even the wrong ones 😁) are just as valid as our own. We forget that because we don't see their faces when we call them Asshats (or hosers). We don't see the hurt that our words cause, we only get that rush of having the wittier comeback or the better meme.

Occasionally we humans get so angry at that Super Wrong Asshat online we can forget that Super Wrong might actually be a decent guy. We don't look at the fact that we just see things differently on an issue or a few. We see it as they have attacked our whole person and, sometimes they have. 

I tell my kids every day (and also remind myself) to think before they speak or act. I tell them to really think about how they would feel if someone said/did that to them. I suggest they take a moment to edit what they want to say so that it's honest but not mean or harsh. 

Empathy isn't easy for everyone, I get that, but it's not as hard as you think. It's 20% thinking how you would feel if you were in a situation like that and 80% thinking how they feel. You might hate peanut butter but if your friend loved it and won a pound of peanut butter fudge (OMG how good does that sound? Sorry, starving artist 😜) you'd be happy for her. 

You're happy because you know how fun it is to win something and even though you don't like PB you know she does. Now, it's easier to empathize with someone you like but you can use it with folks you don't. For instance, say someone you really dislike released a movie and it's really good. Award winning, box office smash type good. 

You have the choice to be bitter the opportunity wasn't yours, and hold on to that, or you can be happy for them because they wrote a script that deserved the attention it got and you know how awesome that would be. I know that may be going a bit far for some folks but the principle still remains. 😝

It's not easy and it won't magically make you happy, only you can do that for yourself, but it will help you to understand your fellow humans a little bit more and that can only help deepen your connection to everyone you love. Good luck and take care of each other out there.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

This ain't no trick

I come to tell you about a real treat. Rebecca Besser is having a Halloween Sale and she's giving mighty sweet deals on some of her most terrifying tales.

Undead Drive-Thru for Kindle is on sale until Oct. 31st.
Undead Regeneration for Kindle is on sale until Oct. 31st.

Nurse Blood for Kindle is on sale Oct. 28th-31st. #StrangeAuthors #13DaysofHalloween #NurseBlood

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death will be free for Kindle on Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st for #AllHallowsRead!

Cursed Bounty, a zombie western will be free for Kindle on Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st for #AllHallowsRead!

Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

Find out more about her:
Twitter: @BeccaBesser

Instagram: @BeccaBesser

Friday, October 28, 2016

Get Freaked Out with Lori Safranek

Today, I turn my blog over to a friend and author I enjoy reading; Lori Safranek. I love this series and the collection is one I am itching to hold in my hands. Sit back and enjoy this little taste of what's to come under the big top.

As the tents go up and another side show prepares to open, images of the strange and exotic swirl through our minds. Posters give us a preview of a man swallowing sharp swords, throwing knives at a woman tied on a spinning wheel! A woman charming snakes to do as she commands! Watch the world’s fattest woman strut the stage, showing off her gorgeous 500-pound body with pride. Catch a glimpse of a hypnotist who wants to invade your brain and take over your life! And look over there! A tattooed man, whose tattoos fade away, and then randomly reappear somewhere else on his body! And last but not least, there’s a contortionist whose body twists and turns and ultimately fits inside a small box!

Keep walking forward, past all the posters and take your seat in the tents. You now have a front-row seat for the famous Steiner’s Freak Show, one of the finest in the land. Steiner moves his show from town to town and has proved to be a genius at finding true freaks, no fakes in his little freak family!

But lately, strange things have been happening at the Freak Show. Things no one understands. Dangerous things, things that will freak you out!

The six stories collected in Freakshow: The Complete Freaked Out Series relate the exciting experiences of the fascinating characters in Steiner’s Freak Show. So step right up, the show is ready to begin!


Lori Safranek's Freaked Out series takes a creepy look at life in the circus sideshow. Marie, the tale of the Fat Lady in the sideshow, was the first book in the series, followed up with Mesmer, a hypnotist gone bad. Lily Dean explores the life of a snake charmer with special skills. Smudge is about a tattooed man whose tattoos have a mind of their own! More twisted tales of freaks on the sideshow coming soon.

Lori spent several years as a newspaper reporter in Nebraska before deciding to try her hand at fiction writing. In addition to her Freaked Out series, she contributed to the Fifty Shades of Decay: Zombie Erotica anthology; Dead Harvest anthology; Cellar Door II; Slaughter House: Serial Killer Edition; and had a story published in Tim Baker's novel Unfinished Business.

Lori lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two dogs. She can be found on Facebook at Author Lori Safranek.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Christine Verstraete and Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter!

Today Christine Verstraete takes over my blog to talk about her new release! 

12 Questions for Lizzie Borden

By Christine Verstraete

Vogue Magazine has an interesting question-answer format it does called 73 Questions where it asks celebrities the questions on video, while giving a glimpse of their home. The latest was Taylor Swift.

So I thought I’d try it out—but with a twist based on the upcoming release Sept. 13 (or pre-order now!) of my latest book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete.Ironically, Lizzie is portrayed during her 1893 trial for murder as far from a fashion doyenne, with one newspaper even calling her “a plain old maid.” (No matter what, that had to hurt.)

Outside of a few letters obtained by the Fall River, Mass. Historical Society in recent years and the still-enduring skipping rope rhyme that Lizzie Borden took an axe… , mystery still surrounds the real persona of Lizzie Borden. Many still wonder, did she or didn’t she? 

My take? What if Lizzie did it because she had no other choice? But let’s allow Lizzie to answer a few questions herself:

* Follow the blog tour: 

12 Questions for Lizzie Borden


I’ll say that I’ve had plenty to cry about in the past year.


I’ve grown rather fond of my sister’s cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches.


I never thought I was particularly strong, but circumstances can force you to dig deep for what you hold dear and what keeps you strong, like faith, family and friends.


I used to notice how someone was dressed, or how they smiled. Now I notice whether they look me in the eye or not. 


Despite what people may think of our relationship, I do miss my father.


Even with the horrid events that have happened, I did find time to read Miss Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was rather disturbing.


Fresh flowers. They can mask the smell of almost anything.


I’d rather not say. It was a disturbing message.


I do love dogs, especially Boston Terriers. I’m thinking of getting another though I know my sister Emma wouldn’t like it.


I used to love oatmeal-raisin cookies at one period in my life. Now, I prefer a nice, fresh piece of cake.


I so enjoy sitting out on my closed-in porch in the summer. It’s pleasant hearing the birds sing and sitting quietly with the dog, a good book in hand.


My freedom.

I think that’s as many questions as I’d like to answer right now, if you please. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. – Lizzie Borden

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete:

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. 

** Follow the blog tour and be sure to get your copy of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter in print and Kindle Sept. 13! 

*** Yes, there is a contest to win 1 of 10 Kindle copies (ends 9/14.). Entrants MUST enter an email as a blog comment or on the rafflecopter to be sent a gift copy if they win. Sorry, no time to hunt you down. No email, no chance to win. ** And please, review it on Goodreads and Amazon. **

Think you know Lizzie Borden? Read on! The blog tour schedule is:

Mon. Sept 5 - GirlZombieAuthors – Introduction – A Little About Lizzie

Tues. Sept. 6 - Jaime Johnesee blog – 12 Questions for Lizzie Borden

Weds. Sept. 7 - Jean Rabe's blog – Lizzie Borden… Dog Lover?

Thurs. Sept. 8 - AF Stewart blog interview

Fri. Sept. 9 - Haunt Jaunts blog – More Lizzie

Sat. Sept. 10 – Stephen D. Sullivan blog - Lizzie Films

Sun. Sept. 11 - GirlZombieAuthors recap

Camille Minichino blog - Why oh why zombies?

Tues. Sept. 13 - RELEASE DAY!!!

Join the FB Release Party - prizes, guest authors, zombie fun!! (See info posted on my Facebook page and website.)

Weds. Sept. 14 - Lizzie as a Zombie Hunter - Chapter Break Book Blog

This isn't the end! Get your copy. Share a review. And come back to the GirlZombieAuthors blog or the author website for info on another blog tour starting Sept. 26 with Bewitching Book Tours. 

The Stew on Kaldar 3 is Fantastic (Flash fiction fun)

Hi, folks, today I used the picture above as inspiration for the story below. It was a free wallpaper and it lit up my imagination l...