I have a new story, "Thirteen Horses," in the Descent Into Darkness anthology. In print and Kindle. Check out the cool cover! 700+ pages!
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. Verstraete
Zombie 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
Out Now - print and Kindle! New flash fiction anthology - BABY SHOES - 100 flash fiction stories by 100 authors.
Includes my story, "Second Chances" - yes, even zombie stories can have a happy ending!
When zombies appear, the town hoarder sees the baby shoes in the hall of the day care and hopes she isn't too late...
Buy: Amazon.com - All Amazon Links
April 1 means it's the A to Z Blog Challenge (no April Fool's joke!)
I started it off with a weird little flash fiction story, "Today's Special" based on the theme for A - "It's Alive!" heh-heh... I'll be adding more stories in the weeks ahead.
See the GirlZombieAuthors letter A blog post.
Get in on a unique Kickstarter project!
The Baby Shoes Flash Fiction Anthology Kickstarter is live!! - FUNDED! But... stretch goals are coming so check in!
The Baby Shoes Flash Fiction Anthology features 100 stories from 100 authors.
The Kickstarter has raised over the $1800 goal - more bonuses coming. ENDS Feb. 9, 9:17 pm Central time.
The anthology features assorted stories under 1,000 words.
Oh, yes, those zombies... well, in my story, "Second Chances," the "crazy hoarder" lady has the last laugh when the Z-apocalypse hits. She has plenty to live on, but one worry - what happened at the day care? Her discovery results in, yes, "Second Chances."
It's a story with #zombies and heart. (Not what you think!)
Just an FYI - my new flash fiction Zombie Story - "Second Chances" - will be in the upcoming Baby Shoes anthology. A new, revised Kickstarter will be launched for the project after the holidays. 100 authors, 100 flash stories under 1,000 words each. Yay!
Wow, the print version for the Athena's Daughter's anthology is beautiful!
I shared previously about my story, "The Songbird's Search" coming out soon in the anthology, Athena's Daughters, from Silence in the Library. (Coming out so far in July)
Interestingly, as part of the Kickstarter funding, original art was commissioned for the print version.
The cover reflects the beautiful women represented in the various stories.
The art features Athena, (of course!), along with women from all walks of life, including a historical figure like Amelia Earhart and Bee, whose flight suit brings to mind NASA and space travel, reflecting the introduction by former NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander Pam Melroy, and the story, "Millie," by author and US Marine Corps Pilot Janine K. Spendlove.
The back cover reflects the steampunk/gothic ladies featured in several stories and Mina from Cynthia Ward's story, "Whoever Fights Monsters."
There is also an Amazonian river goddess from Jean Rabe's story, "Visage" and an older, physically handicapped woman (who happens to be a superhero), representing Sherwood Smith's character in "Commando Bats."
Then there is a contemporary figure resembling an everyday working woman based on Gail Z. Martin's character in "Retribution.
The cover for the ebook version (below) stays the same. Here also is the wonderful art portrait of my character Marietta from my story, "The Songbird's Search." Read an excerpt of my story.
This is such a great project, with stories from all different genres. I can't wait to read it! (And even better - for once I'm not listed last because my last name starts with a V! ha!)
A little stroll down memory lane. Thought I'd reprint a mystery short story perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
(Reprinted from Mysterical-e)
So here's wishin' ye....
The Luck O' The Irish
By Christine Verstraete
The car lurched into another pothole, prompting Robert O'Flannery to check the address his wife Margie had written down and tossed wordlessly at him earlier that morning.
He hadn't turned wrong. Three twenty-was that a zero, a six? Anyway it was Sycamore. He was going the right way. The house numbers were getting smaller, just as the houses themselves and the lots they sat on were getting larger the nearer he came to the lake.
His anticipation, along with his suspicions about his wife's motives, grew during the drive. She'd given him some decent leads in the past, but she hadn't shown much interest in his work since the real estate market had started bottoming out.
He didn't want to admit that she hadn't shown much interest in him at all lately, except to throw a coffee mug at his head for coming home flowerless on Valentine's Day. Given their rocky relations, her sudden generosity was odd.
Maybe she'd forgiven him?
No matter. Even if she hadn't, he wasn't about to look a gift house in the mouth, he thought, laughing at his clever rephrasing.
Pulling up to the curb, he rechecked the address on one of the brick pillars, then turned the car into the long, curving driveway. He drove slowly down the narrow, gravel lane closed in on both sides by rows of barren trees and virgin pines that reached their spindly limbs upward.
The lane ended and merged into a blacktopped circle. At sight of the expansive brick home ahead, Robert caught his breath in surprise.
"Oh Margie," he muttered. "If this pans out, I'll bring you all the flowers you want."
The hanging shingles and broken windows on some of the smaller cottages and work buildings gave the place an unkempt appearance, but the main house was in decent shape. It looked unoccupied, too. All the better. No tenants to deal with.
Grabbing his appointment book, Robert stepped from the car and did a little jig like an overgrown leprechaun. He couldn't believe his good fortune.
The undulating overgrowth gave him a minute's pause. Overgrown brambles and bits of rough vines bit at his ankles. The brush probably hid insects, reptiles... He swallowed his apprehension and relaxed remembering the epinephrine pen he'd tucked inside the pocket of his appointment book.
He brushed the weeds aside impatiently, anxious to see what the house and some of the buildings looked like inside. He hoped they were livable.
His first peek into one of the outbuildings was a disappointment. The floor was covered with piles of brown leaves and other debris that had been carried in by rodents or blown in through the broken windows. The musty smell unnerved him. He shivered and moved on.
The next two buildings were no better. His spirits sinking, Robert headed across the deadened lawn towards the main house, his feet crushing the remainders of last fall's leaves underfoot.
He peeked inside a side window, nodding in approval at the sheet-covered furnishings filling the rooms. Maybe things weren't so bad. Someone cared enough to cover the furniture. The place wasn't totally abandoned.
At the front of the house, Robert set his calendar book down on an empty flowerpot and tried to see through the grime-encrusted glass panes of the door. His eyes took in the layer of dust covering the hallway floor.
"Hello?" He called and pushed the doorbell. It didn't work. He rapped on the wood doorframe and the window glass. "Hello? Anyone home?"
No one answered, so he reached out and grabbed the doorknob. It turned easily. He stepped through the doorway and sneezed. The musty odor tickled his nose and made his eyes water. He ignored it and continued.
His steps disturbed the floury coating of dust on the floor, sending it swirling into the air. He sneezed again. Despite the need for a good cleaning, the house was well kept.
He walked through the doorway and stopped. The kitchen was the exception. He looked around in disbelief. His nose wrinkled at the odor coming from the mounds of refuse and plates of decayed food littering the room. Had kids done this? Vandals, animals?
The stench was unbearable. His stomach churning, Robert rushed out the kitchen door into the adjoining greenhouse, no longer caring what had happened or who was responsible. Relieved, he breathed in the marginally fresher air tinged with an underlying scent of mildew. He noted the dead vines still clinging to the greenhouse supports. His eyes lingered on the decayed leaves covering the ground and the stalks of lifeless plants lying withered in the crusted soil.
Maybe his earlier impression had been wrong. His uneasiness growing, he reached for the St. Patrick's medal that never left his neck. It was time to end this tour.
He stepped through an opposite doorway, then walked backwards when a spot of bright green among the grim decay caught his eye. He edged closer to the planter and stared at-what? An envelope of all things. Here? It looked new, too.
He stared, the feeling of things being out of place fading as his curiosity grew. He grabbed it, slipped open the flap and-hey, what was that rustling?
It stopped. He looked around and, hearing nothing, pulled the card from the envelope.
"Happy St. Patrick's Day," it said.
He flipped it open and frowned. There was that sound again. What was--? Too late, Robert saw the leaves move. Snakes! He must've disturbed a nest hidden under the leaf pile. Eyes wide in panic, he lunged for the door, then winced in pain at the first bite on his ankle.
The card dropped from his hand as he grabbed at the doorframe, wondering how far he could drag himself. In horror, he realized that the appointment book, and the all-important emergency epinephrine pen, were still sitting on the flowerpot out front where he'd left them.
As he slid to his knees, Robert gazed at the inside of the card lying on the ground. With eyes nearly swollen shut, he managed to read the sentiment - "Here's wishing you the Luck O' the Irish!"
It was signed, "Love, Margie."
I have another new flash story out! "The Perfect Gifts" is in the Feb. Women in Horror issue 13 of The Sirens Call Ezine.
It was fun providing a brief look at Spence, the cousin who infects Becca with the Z-virus in GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. The story (just over 300 words) provides a small glimpse into what his life might have been like post-zombie.
Download the magazine PDF for lots of great free horror fiction.
Blog by Chris Verstraete - author, award-winning journalist, miniaturist. I love dogs, too. It's all good.