Morbid Meals Holidaze – Eating Your Way Through the Zpoc


The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, but it is also a time of chaos. Imagine what would happen if during all of the holiday’s sales a zombie apocalypse occurred? That would be a very Black Friday, indeed. Surviving the Zpoc would be a whole new level of Holidaze. The thought of Pumpkin Spice Zombies frightens me more than anything.

When dealing with zombies and other apocalypses, one thing that I find is often missing is a discussion of keeping yourself fed. Sure, weapons and shelter are important. Fighting off hunger and thirst is crucial however to keep fighting off the undead hordes.

Thankfully, at this wonderful time of the year, we now have two excellent cookbooks and survival guides catering to the zombie apocalypse. It might come as a surprise that they were both written by the same author. The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide just came out this October. The same author, Lauren Wilson, also wrote The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide in 2014, which I lovingly call the Zpoc Cookbook.

Both are reliable resources that read like experienced prepper’s guides. Both have thorough chapters on improving our survival skills. They aren’t gimmicks, either. I think even the Boys and Girls Scouts would learn a thing or two. Les Stroud would be proud.

The included recipes differ dramatically, however. The Walking Dead Cookbook’s recipes are inspired primarily by characters and locations from the series. (Like Carl’s Chocolate Pudding or The Kingdom’s Breakfast Cobbler.) The Zpoc Cookbook, however, has more relatable recipes but with the usual campy names. (Like The Wok-ing Dead Stir-Fry and Wasteland Cupcakes.)

In many ways, the TWD Cookbook is an updated version of the Zpoc Cookbook. The chapter structure is a bit more organized and it simplifies a few concepts. It is also, of course, packed full of references to the characters of the TV show.

One thing that the TWD cookbook has that the other lacks is a whole chapter on alcoholic beverages. The Zpoc Cookbook does have a recipe for a mead, which would be excellent for barter, but that’s it. Conspicuously absent from both is a classic Zombie recipe, though TWD has a killer drink called The Walker which looks tasty. TWD also describes how to make mead. I think they both missed the opportunity for more instructions on how to make other boozes.

For example, I was at first excited to see the recipe for Cherry Moonshine in the TWD, but this is actually just how to take Everclear and fortify it with cherry syrup. Tasty for other cocktails, true, but learning basic distillation, like say to make applejack, would be a useful skill. (Yes, distillation is still illegal in most places, but during the apocalypse, I think prohibition is going to be the least of anyone’s worries.) Distilling alcohol can be useful as a way to make fuel as well, which will be handy in a post-apocalyptic gas shortage. For that matter, distilling water would be a vital skill, but while the Zpoc briefly mentions a solar still, the TWD only discussed boiling and filtration.

While both books do cover fishing and hunting and recipes for such wild game that you might catch (each has a squirrel recipe, for example), neither cookbook heavily features recipes using the food you have foraged, grown, or preserved yourself. There was one recipe in TWD Cookbook for chocolate chunk cookies that does make use of applesauce, and later provides a recipe for making and preserving your own applesauce for stocking up during harvest season. However, the majority of the recipes assume you have a decently stocked pantry and icebox and that you are willing to use your rations. For example, I think you’d be hard-pressed to sacrifice eggs and milk to make a homemade batch of chocolate pudding rather than stock up on canned chocolate pudding. I’m sure Carl would understand.

I was pleasantly surprised that neither cookbook resorts to parody recipes or kitschy Halloween gimmicks, and thank goodness for no recipes featuring brains or “long pig”. If you would like that kind of thing, you can find my take on The Walking Dead Terminus Tavern “Human Burger” recipe here on Horror Addicts to try. But I digress.

The Walking Dead Cookbook is an excellent coffee table cookbook. The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is a standard paperback size which would be more practical in a Bug-Out-Bag. They would both be fun gifts this holiday season. Really the question is are you a fan of The Walking Dead or a zombie fan in general? I think The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse may be the better resource, and it is less expensive if that matters. Both books have Kindle versions available. If you can’t decide, you can always buy both, like I did.

As Lauren says in The Walking Dead Cookbook, “Living or dead, there’s one thing that unites us all—hunger.” During the zombie apocalypse, holiday gatherings with your family, friends, and fellow survivors will mean more than ever.


Two from Crystal Connor


Crystal Conner the Author of  The Darkness and In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now is offering our readers a free copy of each book. If you would like a copy of one of these two books, be one of the first two people to email me at Now on to our reviews:

10099991Artemisia has devoted her life to science, alchemy and jewelry. Family wasn’t as important to her as trying to obtain forbidden knowledge. She is a founding member of The Skyward Group which is a team of scientists working on top-secret projects. Artemisia’s main goal is to learn how god thinks and play god herself. There is another woman like her named Inanna. Inanna is a powerful witch who also has everything she wants and desires to be more god like. The one thing that neither has is a child.

This brings us to Adam, a three-month old boy who is being kept in a cage in a science lab. The doctors won’t get close to him because he’s dangerous. Alex has power but he doesn’t understand it and what he wants more than anything is to be loved.  Inanna and Artemisia have their eyes set on the boy and want to raise him in their own image. Only one can be his mother while the other will suffer at the hands of both mother and child.

The Darkness by Crystal Connor is the first book in The Spectrum Series and it was hard to put down. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, it’s the story of  forbidden magic versus forbidden science. It’s also a study on what happens when you become to powerful and have too much forbidden knowledge. I admire Crystal’s ability to make you love a character and hate them at the same time. The story here takes place over several years and we get to watch Adam go from a child to an adult. We see what destruction he causes when he can’t get what he wants, but we also see a boy who tries desperately to save the people he loves when they are in danger and how bad he feels when he hurts someone he loves.

You also see the good and bad in Inanna. You feel bad for her when her mother is taken away and she cries but then when she takes her vengeance on a group of people, you see that maybe this isn’t a person you should show pity for. One of my favorite scenes in the book has Inanna summoning warlocks and demons in order to do a protection spell for Adam. As she does this, one of the demons says that when she dies there will be no end to her suffering. Inanna’s reaction to this is indifference. I loved this scene because she was using evil and sacrificing herself to protect someone she loved. Inanna knows what she wants and nothing will stop her from having it.

What makes The Darkness interesting is that there are no heroes and villains, everyone is a shade of grey. The characters are complex, at times both Artemisia and Inanna show that they have a dark side but they also both show that they have a compassionate nature. The boy Alex also shows a lot of depth such as at one point he takes his anger out on one of the doctors in the lab but then another time we see him cry as another doctor hugs him for the first time. The characters are so fascinating you don’t see any of them as good or evil, they’re just people. Rather then choose sides I found myself compelled to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The way their personalities are, you’re never sure who to root for, which made for an unpredictable story.

22077604In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now  is a collaboration between Crystal Connor and Lori Titus and is quite simply about people in a small town called Fates Keep dealing with the apocalypse. This book starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. We have angels, demons, wolves, a witch and lots of people hoping to survive. While the story is deceptively simple, there are a lot of characters and viewpoints to keep track of.

One way I would describe The End is Now is as ambitious. The way the book is written is different than anything I’ve read, there are no main character but it has several characters that are important and there is no resting point in the action. This book is about action and chaos in a war between angels and demons.  You have to stick with this book in order to get into it because it moves fast. What starts as a simple action driven apocalypse tale becomes a complex story about good versus evil and the choices we make.

While reading this one I found myself wondering what the writing process must have been like, because unless you have a program its hard to keep it all straight. My favorite part of the book was the humans, who despite the hopelessness of their situation still do what they can to survive.  This book is an original take on the apocalypse fiction genre that is so popular right now. There is a lot going on in this book and the story moves along at the speed of a freight train and doesn’t stop until the end.

Book Review: Contagious by Emily Goodwin

Review of Contagious

by Michele Roger

13416617“I wasn’t afraid of death. If I died, it would be over. My worst fear wasn’t of dying, it was of living. Living, while everyone around me had their flesh savagely torn from their bodies to be shoved into the festering and ever-hungry mouths of zombies. It terrified me, right down to my very core, to be alive while the rest of the world was dead.”

In the midst of the Second Great Depression, twenty-five year old Orissa Penwell doesn’t think things can get any worse. She couldn’t be more wrong. A virus breaks out across the country, leaving the infected crazed, aggressive and very hungry.

Orissa will do anything-no matter if it’s right or wrong- to save the ones she loves. But when she discovers that most of the world is infected or dead, she must decided if those lives are worth saving at all.

In her narrative story telling, Emily Goodwin presents a refreshingly strong female hero in her zombie-infested, survival tale, “Contagious“.  Orissa, the lead character is one part hard-drinking, drug looking party girl but one hundred percent butt kicking strategist and survivalist.  Upon reading it, I likened Orissa to Ellen Ripley in Alien.
Through Orissa, Goodwin thrusts the reader into new literary territory.  While Ripley grappled with her softer maternal instincts, Orissa juggles her command and leadership role against a sharp personal contrasting desire. While saving trapped hospital patients during a zombie plague, her heart wishes to be rescued by the handsome, Irish doctor, Padraic.
A corner-stone to a great zombie story is the element of gore and Goodwin delivers in spades.  From intestine chomping little girls found feasting on the newly dead in the hospital basement to lead pipes through zombie skull death blows at the grocery store, there is plenty for the reader to, errr, feast upon.  While the male characters do their fair share of “fending off the monsters”, it is the focus on blue jeans and leather jacket clad Orissa and her lead pipe weapon of choice that shines.
Contagious is fast-paced, smart and well written.  It’s above-board appeal is its fresh perspective and its gritty narrative.  Goodwin has shown that female writers can make flesh crawl, both living and undead just as well as her male peers.

Cheap Reads: Disease

Cover_SmallI have only one selection for Cheap reads this time around and that is Disease by M.F. Wahl. This is a six part serial that takes a look at life after the zombie apocalypse. When I first started reading this it reminded me of The Walking Dead because its main focus is on how human survivors change as they deal with the fall of civilization. It didn’t take long though to realize that the story for Disease is much better then The Walking Dead and I think this is how people would act when zombies take over the world.

Disease begins after society has collapsed. The first characters we meet are a young woman named Casey and a boy named Alex who are on the run. You see how desperate they are as they explore a house that’s crawling with zombies. They battle the undead and get excited as they find an unopened can of dog food.  Casey and Alex are slowly starving to death and a can of dog food is like a godsend, if there is a god in the zombie apocalypse.

Things aren’t bad for everyone though, we also meet a woman named Lot who has started a new society in a hotel. Lot and her followers have everything they need and they started trading with other survivors that have set up their own communities. Lot’s hotel looks like a little utopia in this world where zombies rule, but not everything is as it seems.

Meanwhile Casey and Alex meet up with a group of Lot’s followers led by Danny and it looks like they have finally gotten the help they need. The hotel for them is a blessing and a curse and they soon realize they may have been better off with the zombies.  Because some people are bigger monsters than the zombies outside.

If you’re a zombie fan, Disease is a must read. M.F. Wahl describes her zombies in gruesome vivid detail. All the zombie scenes are so well described that reading it is like watching a zombie movie. One of my favorite scenes was towards the end as a freshly turned zombie rises out of a shallow grave but the scariest parts of this book don’t include the zombies, the people are scarier. One character in particular in this story is the physical embodiment of evil and the way the author shows how evil she is by using innuendo was brilliant. Only one person sees past the facade of the villain in the story but he has his own agenda. I would love to talk more about the story but I don’t want to give away any of the surprises.

Disease is a fresh look at the zombie genre. I liked how the book had both fast and slow zombies and how some zombies were smarter than others. Most of all I enjoyed the characters and how each one of them is a shade of grey.  They all have a sense of right and wrong but when it comes to staying alive, what is right goes out the window. Another thing I liked about this book is how unpredictable it was. There were four times while reading this book that I was shocked because something happened that I didn’t see coming and that’s what I like to see in a great horror story. Disease is the kind of book that I would show to someone when they ask why I like to read horror and I can’t wait to see what M.F. Wahl comes up with next. 108, Alexander Beresford

Horror Addicts Episode# 108

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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40 days till Halloween!

alexander beresford, post rapture party, whitechapel

coolest little monster, john zacherley, halloween prep, whitechapel tv series, jack the ripper, eden lake, wolf creek, dating a zombie, c.a. milson, zombie town, pet cemetery, crystal connor, devil, m. night shyamalan, cam2cam, post rapture party, cropsey, dark wave, music, venus de vilo, queen of the pumpkin patch, a taste of murder, chocolate coconut oblivion cake, end of the world radio, zombies, 809 jacob street, marty young, christine sutton, all the little children, suffer the children, craig dilouie, apocalypse, flash fiction friday, ken macgregor, horror addicts guide to life, events, count dracula and his daughter boocula, reanimator, h. p. lovecraft, the ring, japanese novel, 30 days of night, comic, movie, clive barker, oscar wilde, bela lugosi, dracula, alexander beresford, doll face, charla, www panel audio, emerian rich, heather roulo, laurel anne hill.

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Book Review: Suffer The Children

18211208Suffer The Children by Craig DiLouie is a book that takes a look two of people’s worst fears. That being the death of your children and the end of life as we know it. The story starts simply enough by showing people dealing with the ups and downs of a normal life. Then the unthinkable happens, within a 24 hour period all children who have not reached puberty suddenly die. Doctors call the disease Herod’s Syndrome and there is no cure. As the world mourns the death of over a million children, they are shocked when the dead children start coming back to life.

The children return to their parents but they are not the same. They ask their parents for blood,scientists can’t explain it but the only way to keep the world’s children alive is to let them drink blood. When they do the children come back to life but only for a short time and each time they die and come back, they lose a little bit more of themselves. The question Suffer The Children asks is How far will a parent go to save their child?

That description of the book sold me, vampire children rising from the dead and their parents have to get them blood to drink, now that sounds like a great horror novel. This is not that kind of horror novel though, which leads me to my only complaint about the book. I would have liked to see a little more action and scary moments, but this is more of a character driven story. This book focuses on the psychological horror that parents go through when they lose a child and the science behind the disease that is causing all this to happen.

In Suffer The Children, blood is a high-priced commodity and desperate people will do anything to get it. Society is crumbling slowly and everyone feels it. One of my favorite scenes in this book was when a woman asks a priest to read a eulogy for her dead children. The priest tells her no, not because he is busy but because everything he ever believed was a lie and he doesn’t want to do a ceremony. He then says that he always liked the woman but can’t keep doing what he is doing. I loved how each character changes in the story.

Another example is when one woman blames herself for her son’s death and regrets that sometime she thought more of herself than her kid. She then does some disturbing things to make sure her son has the blood he needs. Another character named Doug goes from a caring father into a raging drunk when his kids die but when he finds out that his kids can be brought back, he gets the blood they need by becoming a criminal. Doug is kind of presented as being a villain of sorts in Suffer The Children  but I found myself liking the character because I didn’t see him as bad.  Doug was doing what he had to do to keep his kids alive because he looked at it as his purpose. Suffer The Children is a different type of apocalypse thriller and examines people’s worst fears on a personal level. I loved how the book ended and I’m hoping for a sequel.




This Darkness Light review by D.J. Pitsiladis

unnamedHello Horror Addicts! This is D.J. Pitsiladis with a review of “This Darkness Light” by Michaelbrent Collings. It is a story about an apocalypse at the outset, one in which normal everyday people are turned into horrific creatures for a short period of time before they die off. The story starts out with a man waking from a coma without any memories of who he is, how he got to the hospital, or even why he is there. A glance at his chart lists his injuries as multiple gunshot wounds, but doesn’t feel as bad as he should after a trauma like that. He’s vaguely able to recall that he has a mission, and that he needs to go to Kansas immediately. He doesn’t know anything else except that it is important for his mission. As an assassin enters the man’s room and stares in shock at the John Doe in the bed before he aims a silenced gun at him. As this is going on, a nurse arrives for her shift and discovers every one of her co-workers on her floor executed. She enters John Doe’s room and provides enough of a distraction for the injured man to subdue and kill the assassin. They escape the hospital, but are just as quickly hunted by an assassin named Isaiah, a former priest, who is blackmailed into chasing them by a shadow organization within the government in order to save the world.

I found this a very hard book to put down. It started like it might be a zombie style story, but just as quickly changed to a mixture of Stephen King’s “The Mist” and the 1989 movie “Leviathan”. The priest’s story was well-played out as the man who believes he is so unworthy that he tries to make things right by eliminating people who he knows for sure are abusive to other people. The back story on why is a well told story and very believable. The way John Doe’s character is painted keeps up just enough of a mystery to keep you wondering who he is and what his mission is. The nurse is a tag along who helps John in a couple of instances, but feels more like just a damsel in distress to be rescued. It read through good and very enthralling, but the ending just felt a bit anti-climactic. Up to that point, I thought it was a great read. My ranking is 3.75 out of 5.

Until next time, fellow addicts…