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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Zombies, ghouls, nightmares, oh my! #zombie #books #horror

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.

Excerpt
Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter

Amazon | Barnes 'n Noble 
Chapter One

Q. You saw his face covered with blood?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you see his eyeball hanging out?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you see the gashes where his face was laid open?
A. No sir.
—Lizzie Borden at inquest, August 9-11, 1892, Fall River Courtroom

   August 4, 1892
   Lizzie Borden drained the rest of her tea, set down her cup, and listened to the sound of furniture moving upstairs. My, my, for only ten oclock in the morning my stepmother is certainly energetic. Housecleaning, already?
   THUMP.
   For a moment, Lizzie forgot her plans to go shopping downtown. THUMP. There it went again. It sounded like her stepmother was rearranging the whole room. She paused at the bottom stair, her concern growing, when she heard another thump and then, the oddest of sounds—a moan. Uh-oh. What was that? Did she hurt herself?
   Mrs. Borden? Lizzie called. Are you all right?”
   No answer.
   She wondered if her stepmother had taken ill, yet the shuffling, moving, and other unusual noises continued. Lizzie hurried up the stairs and paused outside the partially opened door. The strange moans coming from the room sent a shiver up her back.
   Lizzie pushed the door open wider and stared. Mrs. Abby Durfee Borden stood in front of the bureau mirror, clawing at her reflected image. And what a horrid image it was. The sixty-seven-year-old womans hair looked like it had never been combed and stuck out like porcupine quills. Her usually spotless housedress appeared wrinkled and torn. Yet, that wasnt the worst. Dark red spotsBlood, Lizzies mind whispered—dotted the floor and streaked the sides of the older womans dress and sleeves.
   Lizzie gazed about the room in alarm. The tips of Fathers slippers peeking out from beneath the bed also glistened with the same viscous red liquid. All that blood! What happened here? What happened?
   She gasped, which got the attention of Mrs. Borden, who jerked her head and growled. Lizzie choked back a cry of alarm. Abbys square, plain face now appeared twisted and ashen gray. Her eyes, once bright with interest, stared from under a milky covering as if she had cataracts. She resembled a female version of The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Another growl and a moan, and the older woman lunged, arms rigid, her stubby hands held out like claws.
   Mrs. Borden, Abby! Lizzie yelled and stumbled backward as fast as she could. “Abby, do you hear me?”
   Her stepmother shuffled forward, her steps slow but steady. She showed no emotion or sense of recognition. The only utterances she made were those strange low moans.
   Lizzie moved back even further, trying to keep some distance between her and Mrs. Bordens grasping fingers. Then her foot hit something. Lizzie quickly glanced down at the silver hairbrush that had fallen to the floor. Too late, she realized her error.
   “No! Lizzie cried out at the strange feeling of her stepmothers clammy, cold hand around her wrist. Abby, what happened? Whats wrong with you?”



Saturday, 28 October 2017

To get you in the mood for #Halloween: The Haunting of Dr. Bowen #novella

by
C.A. Verstraete

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?

Excerpt

The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, A Mystery in Lizzie Borden’s Fall River 


Amazon | Goodreads
Prologue


“Never did I say to anyone that she had died of fright.
My first thought, when I was standing in the door, was that she had fainted.”
—Testimony of Dr. Seabury W. Bowen, Trial of Lizzie Borden, June 8, 1893

“Why won’t anyone believe me? Why, Phoebe, why?”
Dr. Seabury Bowen shoved back the shock of white hair hanging over his forehead and wiped a wrinkled hand across his stubbled chin.
His appearance, like his surroundings, could stand a bit of major housekeeping, not that he cared a whit.
“Here, it’s here somewhere,” he mumbled.
The old man rummaged among the giant pile of documents, books, and what-not littering the large walnut desk in his study. Several minutes later, and after the search through dozens of loose papers, he saw the faded red book lying beneath a tottering pile. He pulled at it, sending the rest of the stack falling like so much unwanted garbage.
The good doctor, but a shadow of his once-robust self, flipped the pages. He stared at the offending journal entry before setting the book aside with a heartrending sob. 

Chapter One

“I saw the form of Mr. Borden lying on the lounge at the left of the sitting-room door. His face was very badly cut, apparently with a sharp instrument; his face was covered with blood.”
—Testimony of Dr. Seabury W. Bowen, Trial of Lizzie Borden, June 8, 1893

The man reached toward him with long, lean fingers. Dr. Seabury Bowen blinked and tried to make out the features of the unknown figure standing in the corner. The unexpected visitor had a broad, dark face and what looked like a band across his forehead. Bowen stretched out his arm in turn and jumped when their fingers touched, the jolt surging through him like the electricity he knew would soon replace all the gas lights.
“Seabury, dear, are you all right?” His wife, Phoebe, sounded concerned. “What’s wrong?”
Bowen breathed hard. He bolted upright and held a hand on his chest, trying to catch his breath. Still stunned, he gazed about the room, disturbed at the odd shapes until he recognized familiar things… the bureau, the armoire, the paintings on his bedroom walls. He swallowed and nodded.
 “Ye-yes. I-I’m fine. A bad dream, that’s all it was. Just a dream.”
“A bad dream? Dear, you’re breathing so hard, your heart must be pounding like a drum in Mr. Sousa’s band! Are you sure you’re fine?”
The doctor took his wife’s hand and kissed it, relieved to feel his heartbeat return to normal. He had to admit his reaction worried him for a minute, too. “I’m fine now, Phoebe. Really, it’s all right. Go back to sleep. I’m too wrought up to rest. I think I’ll go downstairs and read awhile.”
He gave her a loving smile before he rose, and slipped on his robe, his thoughts in a whirl. To tell the truth, these dreams or hallucinations or whatever they were, appeared to be getting stronger and more frequent.