Wednesday, July 27, 2016


We all go through interruptions to our normal daily routines.  I've seen a few of my blog sisters describe some of theirs.  Usually, my interruptions consist of going to conferences, or other travels.

This time, I had a medical procedure last week.  It was relatively minor and went well, but I'm still tired and sore and grumpy.  I want to spend as much time as usual at the computer but that's not currently happening. 

I attended a free screening of a new movie last night after hoping not only that I could go, but that I could sit still long enough to enjoy it.  Fortunately, it all worked out.  And now, today, I'm still attempting to--what else?--write.

As a result, I'm keeping this blog post brief so I can go take a rest... and then return to my computer. 

Hope all of you reading this are well.  I'm well, too--and intend to feel like myself again soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sad Post

We have a wonderful, competent and compassionate veterinarian.  He comes to our home, which costs more than a clinic visit, but this has been far less stressful on our pets.  But we won’t be seeing him anymore.  We had our cat Snaps put to sleep on Monday.  It was a hard decision, he’d been going downhill lately, but had been cheerful through it all.  But he seemed depressed lately and in pain some of the time, and . . . well, not himself.

He sat calmly on my lap while getting a sedative, then lay down after a minute and then lost consciousness.  The vet administered the anesthetic and in about two more minutes, he was gone.  No fuss, no struggle, painless. 

This is probably the hardest part of owning a pet; they don’t live as long as we do and so sooner or later it comes to this.  He was a good cat, friendly, loving and cooperative, though he had severe digestive problems all his life.  We’re not sure how old he was, we got him as an adult from a friend who had acquired him as an adult.  We figure he was probably about fourteen.  In the  midst of all the sorrow, there’s also a sense of relief.  No more vomit on the carpets, no more thoroughly disgusting litter box.  No more strange loud cries in the night, or cold, wet nose on the face at three a.m. by a lonely cat.  No more expensive vet visits and prescription cat food. 

But no more purring snuggles.  

We had long ago agreed he was our last cat and we intend to stick to that decision.  But oh, my dear sweet orange cat, I’ll miss you.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Birthing A Book...

Many of us have shared the roller coaster ride of birthing a book.

First there's the idea, and working on it. And working on it. And... 

Then subbing, and subbing, and...

No, my keyboard isn't stuck. That's how it's gone. ha! Mostly it's not a process for the weak. It can be discouraging, but if you really love your project, and believe in it, you keep at it unless you decided to self-pub it.

Then once it's accepted, it's another edit and another after the X times you already read it.

Then as I said on my previous post, you still think of stuff to change!

The best part though? Seeing it come to life. Seeing that cover being formed.

That's where I'm at now with my upcoming book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.  Coming soon - Sept. 13!!!  !!! 

 ***** Wanna see the cover???? Just released! See my website!! 

Yeah, you read it right. I know, it's a bit scary sounding, I suppose, compared to most of the books on this blog. At least I know I fit in somehow with the word Killer in the blog title. ha!

You can't help what comes to mind and what you decide to write about. I've always been fascinated by history and older crimes like Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden. Maybe it's the endless unanswered questions associated with such crimes...  

Having read years of Stephen King books, horror doesn't bother me. I admit I don't like a lot of the modern slasher movies, but I don't mind a good suspenseful scary movie And I love reading horror, maybe since I can fill in the blanks myself, in my own way. 

So, when I started reading and looking at the Borden autopsy photos (which , of course, would be tons worse in full color), it got me thinking... and I realized another, perfectly plausible explanation could be made for why she might've committed the crimes. Yes, it's horror and gore and zombies, but there's also a unique mystery running through it with Lizzie and her sister uncovering the pieces to the puzzle...

I'll share more details as they come along. For now, here's more about it: 

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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Crafting with Wine Bottle Corks

I love recycling nearly as much as I do crafting. I especially enjoy turning trash into treasure, which was the inspiration for my Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series. (You can read the first one in the series--Tear Down and Die--absolutely free on a number of platforms. Check it out at or click on TDD )

Wine corks are a fun item to use for crafts. I've made several things from them, including a large trivet. For this, I arranged the corks in a pleasing design, hot glued them together and finally, I added twine around the outer edge.

Recently I had occasion to use corks in my miniatures. I had an idea for how to make a tiny vial of test tubes of blood for my witch's kitchen. However, the vials needed stoppers. I cut a cork into small pieces, sanded them, and plugged the vials. (They're filled with red nail polish!)

That set me thinking. I had a lot of cork left over. Blood would need to be mopped up, right? In fact, if you were cooking with it, surely you would have a bloody handprint or two.

I upended a cork. Using a Sharpie marker, I drew a hand on the end. It was only a rough silhouette, but that was plenty for my purposes. Using a craft knife, I carefully cut around the hand. Next I tested my stamp by dipping it in acrylic paint and stamping on paper. Okay, the cuts needed a bit of work. I trimmed them with the knife again and double-checked my work. Finally, I cut a small piece of paper napkin, using a high-quality napkin without any raised design to interfere with my impression.

And here's the final bloody handprint on the towel.

Have you ever used corks to craft with? What did you make? What do you think of my bloody scene?