Friday, September 30, 2016

The Raveners by LD Towersn Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway


The Raveners
Book 1
LD Towers

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Publisher: BadBird Publications

Date of Publication: September 20, 2016

Word Count: 100k

Cover Artist:  Pranav Lohani
Photo by Blackbird Photography

Book Description:

On 26 May 1897, Bram Stoker brought us the story of Dracula; an undead creature who terrorised the living by drinking their blood. He based his creature on the legends of Ireland and Eastern Europe, bringing it to life with all the pomp of Victorian literature. What if his concept was correct, but the execution was not? What if there was not one creature, but a band of twenty-four? Crusader knights who committed such a terrible act that the Pope of Rome and the Rabbis of Jerusalem joined together in petitioning God to bring a terrible curse upon them.Sentenced to eternal life as punishment for their crimes, yet hounded by both the clerical and the secular as they struggle to live them. The Jews called them Ga’ashekelah: the Raveners. To the Catholic Church, they are the Accursed Ones. Feasting on the bodies of the living to maintain their power.

What starts as a simple trip on the Eurostar to the buried trenches of World War One in Northern France is going to take Imperial War Museum expert Dr. Alexandra Horne on a journey she could never have conceived. From the bustling streets of Paris to the azure waters of Collioure and the very Vatican itself, Lexa will discover the Raveners and those who have sworn to hunt them down.

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Excerpt:
She found herself going from map to map. This was sometime around the second phase of the battle, before Beaumont-Hamel was finally taken. Thiepval as well. “This must be from the middle of September 1916. Maybe October. It’s obvious from this that he was trying to bring men around to penetrate the Allied lines from the areas they couldn’t budge.” She found herself gnawing on a thumbnail. “Dear God! With a counteroffensive like this, he might have shifted them. It’s a bold plan. Whether or not he could have managed it, with the Germans bleeding to death at Verdun, would have been the question. But damn! This might have changed the battle. Maybe even the war.”
“I wondered about that.” Another voice behind her.
Lexa turned and coloured, realising that in her wonder she had completely ignored the stranger in the room. “Oh! I am Sorry! Dr. Lexa Horne of the Imperial War Museum.” She held her hand out.
“Dr. Jack Bennett. Pleased to meet you.” Bennett was a large, fit man in his mid fifties with close-cropped, iron grey hair and a face lined from years digging in the sun. He had a bit of the George Clooney about him and Lexa was sure that all the archeology undergrads wanted him as a prof. He was a trifle swoon worthy. “Call me Jack. It was great that you could come out here at such short notice. We will be wrapping all this up in the next week or two.”

About the Author:

LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.

Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. In fact, her new book is a complete redo on the vampire concept. Look for The Raveners; coming September 20, 2016.

Interview
-Thanks for hosting me! It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to tell you a bit about me and The Raveners.
Where are you from?
- I am from Victoria, BC, Canada. Just north of Seattle for those in the US. On the very left side of North America for everyone else. Just to confuse everyone, Victoria is on Vancouver Island, which has nothing to do with the city of Vancouver.
Tell us your latest news?
-Biggest news is The Raveners came out on September 20, and that’s been huge. It’s literally taken up the entire summer to bring this baby into the world.  At the same time, it’s almost in the past now, and I’m already finishing another book and doing the research for the sequel to The Raveners, so… I think that’s about it at the moment.
When and why did you begin writing?
-When? Probably when I was about 10. A friend and I started writing plays and little stories at school. Why? Secretly, I wanted to be like my elder sister. She’s five years older and was writing super cool things in high school. I was trying to be cool too.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
-I will let you know when that happens. Maybe about the time my earnings buy me a car.  I recently did a post on my blog about Post Completion Blistering Insecurity- when you think you are awesome, and then you decide you aren’t until someone else says you are. Three novels under my belt and I still don’t know if I qualify as a writer yet.
https://ldtowers.net/2016/09/12/post-completion-blistering-insecurity/
What inspired you to write your first book?
-The first one I completed was a Star Trek:TNG fanfic. I think I wrote it because I had THE BIGGEST crush on Mr. Worf. Michael Dorn’s voice still makes me a little breathless.
Do you have a specific writing style?
-Lots of description and dialogue. I try to make it cinematic. I want my readers to see what I saw in my head when I wrote it.
How did you come up with the title?
-That’s a good story! I did a lot of research into demons for the book, which is where the word Ga’ashekelah comes from. They are a demon in the Kabbalistic Tradition. Originally, I was going to call the book by that name, but the team gave it a resounding no. Rachel, my editor, is a librarian and she pointed out that no one would know how to spell the name to search for it. So it was going to be The Devourers, but someone else has used that name a few times. Then it was Curse of the Devourers. We nixed that one because in this world of Twitter, that’s a lot of characters in a tweet. (I learned that lesson with New Austrian Order) In the end, after I went through the thesaurus and didn’t find something relevant which the team and I liked, I remembered the name of these ghouls in a David Eddings book. To raven (pronounced RAH-ven) is an old fashioned term to eat voraciously and it worked really well with the entire concept. And the team approved! VERY important.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
-Redemption comes through selflessness, not in doing what you convince yourself is right. I think that’s the biggest one. Much of the book is about making amends and atonement.
How much of the book is realistic?
-I spent six months in Collioure ogling French Commandos, so that part is entirely realistic. :D All of the locations are real and all are places I’ve spent time. The events of the book? Not overly- though when they are excavating the trench at the beginning of the book? That happens quite a bit. They are still making big finds along the front lines of World War One.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
-Not particularly. Can I say- only in my dreams?
What books have most influenced your life most? /If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
-I’m combining these because bar none, David Eddings. His dialogue is amazing. I would say that his writing style in all his big series are a huge influence and I would love to have him as a mentor. It’s funny, considering I don’t write in the fantasy genre, but that’s ok!
What book are you reading now?/Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
-I feel terrible answering these because I rarely read fiction- unless someone asks me to. Last books I read were Kathy Reich’s Death de Jour (I’ve been rereading hers from the beginning) and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Before that was Sarah Morgan Dawson’s Diary of a Confederate Girl which is non fiction. I’m brewing an idea for my American Civil War epic. Usually if I do read fiction, it’s because I’m travelling or sick and just can’t handle the non.
What are your current projects?
-Murder Amid Slaughter which I’m hoping to release in January. It’s a murder mystery set against the trenches of WWI. No paranormal, no romance. It’s completely different from The Raveners. It’s about 20k words away from being done. Then I will boot it off to the team.
-Crash (working title) which is the sequel to The Raveners. What happens when a man who cannot be killed is on a plane blown up by terrorists. Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in aviation related terrorism- I’m even doing a course on it at the moment- and I’m planning to do the writing in November during NaNoWriMo. I think the team will be happy when this one is over. A few of them have already expressed some meef at my talking about plane crashes.
What would you like my readers to know?
-Read The Raveners and plan a trip to France. Actually, this book is deeply personal for me in that I love the country very much and the last 18 months of terrorist attacks in France hung up the completion a few times. It just hurt too much to write it. I work with many people across France and the company I work for has offices in Paris so it’s been a scary time.
At the same time, people need to go and see the country. Live in the country. Hopefully my love of France comes out in this book. I tried to stamp it on every page.






Giveaway

1 $20 Amazon GC



Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete Excerpt, Giveaway & Interview


Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter
C.A. Verstraete

Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy
Paranormal/ Zombie

Publisher: Imajin Books

Date of Publication:  Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77223-273-8
ASIN: B01KISRS80

Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 74,000 +

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

Book Description: 

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.





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?”
Mrs. Borden said nothing and moved in closer. Her mouth opened and closed, revealing bloodstained teeth.
“No! Stay away! Lizzie yelled. “Stop!
She didnt. Instead, Mrs. Borden scratched and clawed at her. Lizzie leaned back, barely escaping the snap of the madwomans teeth at her neck.
Mrs. BorAbby! No, no! Stop!
Lizzies slight advantage of a few inches in height offered no protection against her shorter stepmothers almost demonic and inhuman strength. The older woman bit and snapped like a rabid dog. Lizzie struggled to fight her off, and shoved her away, yet Mrs. Borden attacked again and again, her hands grabbing, her teeth seeking the tender flesh covered by Lizzies long, full sleeves.
The two of them grappled and wrestled, bumping into the bedposts and banging into furniture. Lizzie yelped each time her soft flesh hit something hard. She felt her strength wane as the  crazed womans gnarled hands clawed at her. Lizzie wondered how much more she could endure.
Lizzies cries for help came out hoarse and weak. “Em-Emma!” She tried again. “Help! Help me! She knew Emma had come in late last night from her trip out of town. But if Emma already woke and went downstairs, will she even hear me?
Lizzie reeled back, her panic growing as her spine pressed against the fireplace. She pushed and fought in an attempt to keep this monster away, yet Mrs. Bordens ugly face and snapping teeth edged closer and closer.
Then Lizzie spotted it: the worn hatchet Father had left behind after hed last brought in the newly chopped wood. No, no! Her mind filled with  horror,  but  when  her  stepmother  came  at  her  again,  Lizzie whispered a prayer for forgiveness and grabbed the handle. She lifted the hatchet high overhead and swung as hard as she could. It hit her stepmother’s skull with a sickening thud.
As impossible as it seemed, Mrs. Borden snarled and continued her attack.
Lizzie hit her again, and again, and again. The blows raked her stepmother’s face and scraped deep furrows into tender flesh. The metal hatchet head pounded her stepmothers shoulders and arms, the bones giving way with sickening crunches. Mrs. Bordens broken arms dangled, hanging limp and ugly at her sides and yet, dear God, yet she continued her attack.
With the last bit of her strength, Lizzie raised the hatchet again and brought it down on Mrs. Bordens head. Only then did her stepmother crumple and fall into a pile at Lizzies feet.
It took a few minutes for Lizzie to comprehend the horrible scene. It didnt seem real, but it was. With a cry, she threw the bloodied hatchet aside. She gagged as the weapon caught in the braided artificial hairpiece hanging from the back of Mrs. Bordens gore-encrusted scalp.
Retching, Lizzie ran to the other side of the bed, bent over, and vomited into the chamber pot. She crossed the room and leaned against the wall, her shoulders shaking with each heart-rending sob.
Her hands trembled so hard she could barely hold them still, but she managed to cover her eyes in a feeble attempt to block out the carnage. It didnt stop the horrific images that flashed in her mind, or the many questions. And it certainly did nothing for the soul-crushing guilt that filled her.
Why? she cried. Why? Dear God, what have I done? What have I done?


About the Author:

Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys putting a bit of a “scare” in her writing. He stories have appeared in various anthologies and publications including Mystery Weekly, Happy Homicides 3: Summertime Crime, Siren’s Call Magazine, and more. She also is the author of books on dollhouses and a YA novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.

Her latest novel is Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

Learn more at her website, http://cverstraete.com  and her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com


Twitter: @caverstraete https://twitter.com/caverstraete

Goodreads:








Interview  

By Christine (C.A.) Verstraete

Where are you from?
Originally, I’m from Chicago. I now live in Wisconsin.

Tell us your latest news?
My new book is Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, which answers the question, what if Lizzie did it … because she had no other choice?

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing for newspapers in college. I wanted to write and that seemed the best place to do it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first story was published.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I love writing nonfiction, but fiction is completely different. I always say it lets me put words in people’s mouths.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s hard to get too analytical with zombies. Or I could say, if you think your life is bad… it could be worse.

How much of the book is realistic?
I did follow the murders and Lizzie Borden’s trial in the book, though, some events did have to be changed for the story. The core story is true. I also included historical excerpts from newspapers and records like Lizzie’s actual inquest testimony at the top of each chapter.

What books have most influenced your life?
I don’t think any one book has influenced me that much, except the “Good Book,” of course. I love reading so my favorite is always the next one.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have several friends I meet with in a writing group that have been helpful. I’ve learned a lot from them.

What book are you reading now?
I always have several books I’m reading at a time. Right now, it’s Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran and Gone by Michael Grant, along with a few others.

What are your current projects?
I just got a great new idea I want to develop as a short sideline series in Lizzie Borden’s world. It’ll include supernatural elements. I also am working on a short Halloween dollhouse project book. Then I am outlining the next part of Lizzie’s story.

What would you like my readers to know?
Don’t be afraid to try new things, like even reading a book with the word ‘zombie’ in the title. Ha! I know that may put some people off… but hopefully not!


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.


Tour giveaway

5 Kindle copies Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete