Tag Archives: Seventh Star Press

Book Tour – Haunting Blue by RJ Sullivan @rjsullivanauthr

RJ Sullivan

It is with great pleasure I share todays interview with author RJ Sullivan. His newest release is a reprint with his new publisher Seventh Star Press of book one in the Blue Shafer series. Book two is available and I am sure he is hard at work on more for readers. The new rerelease has the lovely art work that anyone familiar with Seventh Star comes to know and expect. I’ve got a couple of these to share and they look great as always. The cover art and internal pics are done by artist Bonnie Wasson

I’ve interviewed RJ previously and had to pick his brain again. I thank RJ and Seventh Star Press for letting me be part of the tour.

HauntingBlue_Cover

Haunting Blue Book Synopsis:

Punk, blue-haired “Blue” Shaefer, is at odds with her workaholic single mother. Raised as a city girl in a suburb of Indianapolis, Blue must abandon the life she knows when her unfeeling mother moves them to a dreadful small town. Blue befriends the only student willing to talk to her: computer nerd “Chip” Farren. Chip knows the connection between the rickety pirate boat ride at the local amusement park and the missing money from an infamous bank heist the townspeople still talk about. When Blue helps him recover the treasure, they awaken a vengeful ghost who’ll stop at nothing–not even murder–to prevent them from exposing the truth behind his evil deeds. Haunting Blue is Book One of the Adventures of Blue Shaefer

RJ Sullivan

My interview with RJ below, the previous interview from back in 2012 should also be checked out

You’re very much an 80’s man, what about this decade has so much more
impact on you than others?

Well, that’s obvious. In 1981 MTV came out they put music on TV. TV makes everything better. J

Actually, I don’t think this is all that different from anyone else. Most music lovers fell in love with music in their early teens first, and their love and knowledge grows from that starting point.

I know several friends a few years older than that that swear by disco (I swear by disco, too, but that’s slightly different) and a few years older than that who swear by the 60s as the greatest era of pop music (they may have an actual case).

I love a wide array of pop and rock music, from the 50s through today. Also some eclectic jazz and genre soundtracks. I do think I was lucky to grow up with 80s music but it’s by no means the only music I listen to (even my Cyndi Lauper fascination is as focused on her under-appreciated 90s material as it is on her 80s hits). Among my favorites today are Pink, Paramore, Adele, Taylor Swift, and I have an on and off love affair, musically speaking, with Katy Perry.

Please tell us about your fan girl crush on Cyndi Lauper.

You mean, why of all the music from the 80s, do I fixate on her? I could go on and on, (and I did here with the Cabin Goddess ) I will point to a few things that to me make her different than many others. First, her fearless individuality resonated with my 10th grade self, at a time when kids are all under a great deal of pressure to conform, she was doing her thing in 1985 and taking a lot of crap for it by the industry, but she soldiered on anyway. Not that I was some crazy rebel, but I needed to see that. I will share this video from 1985 that absolutely floored me.

1994 was a very interesting time. Cyndi’s pop career in terms of her relevance had died, even I had thought much about her music for awhile. She was no longer a concern for her record company; she had more creative freedom than ever before. She recorded the first of two under-appreciated albums, Hat Full of Stars and Sisters of Avalon, respectively, her most interesting music, contemplative, artistic, but also not particularly radio friendly. At the same time, social media was blowing out–email morphed into Yahoogroups sorted by topic. Fans of Cyndi’s current projects found each other online, and looking back, it was like being in a secret society. I found another fan local to the area as well as a handful of others I connected with, people who over the years became close friends and concert buddies, some going on 20 years.

Connected with that, getting backstage and meeting Cyndi became much easier then than it would have been in the 80s. I had my first “meet n Greet” in 1997. They say never meet your idol, but I can honestly say, that warning didn’t apply here. We’ve met several times since that first time. It would be an exaggeration to say we’re friends, but she knows me, knows the group I travel with, and is generous with her time. She helped out with a friend who had cancer. Now when she comes to our side of town she knows she’ll hear from us and she does her best to make time for us, though she is busy again, and that’s a good thing. So yeah, it’s a pretty cool thing.

A couple years ago I channeled these experiences into a short story, with seeds of truth and LOTS of fiction, called Backstage Pass. The story includes an appearance by Rebecca Burton and is still available as an e-book from Seventh Star.

Who would play Blue if it was made into a movie?

Great question, I wish I had a great answer. My kids enjoyed Victorious and now enjoy Sam & Kat, so I have seen a lot of Ariana Grande, who is quite the comedian on that show, and I suspect she has the acting chops to switch over to drama/horror. Of course, she just won a Grammy for her music and I’m sure her career is about to take off in a big way.

How has your writing changed from when you started to now?

I’m assuming you mean other than that I wrote on an electric typewriter and that for the first ten years a paper manuscript backup was a given because even in the first few years of MS Word, a hard drive backup was too unreliable.

Like any other writer, I went through the process of being bad before I became less bad. I made all the beginner’s mistakes…passive tense, no immersive point of view. I stuck with it, learned, and broke those bad habits. But even more so, I’ve learned to not worry about what I’m going to do with the next project. It’s a great relief to “score” those first few sales, because it means almost everything I write is either pre-sold for an impending release or I have a good chance to find something to do with it. I wrote recently on my own blog about revisiting Haunting Blue, how I shoved everything into the story I could think of, because this was my “one shot” and my thinking was that I may never get another one, so I made it count by cramming it with plot and themes.

Now, in a place where I’ve sold a few things and can reasonably be assured I will sell more, each story can just breathe. Haunting Obsession is just about obsessive fandom. Virtual Blue is just about Blue’s coming of age. Red Lotus is the best space opera I can make it. I’m more relaxed and focused, and I think the stories are better. That’s not to say I think Haunting Blue is bad, but I think it is typical of a first novel by a newcomer eager to make their mark. And that’s okay.

Is there a genre you would like to try writing that you’ve yet to do so?

Maybe some sort of urban fantasy, but besides paranormal thrillers I have been trying my hand at some old school space opera, complete with a spaceship and a very cool Captain, if I do say so myself. The first two Red Lotus ebook stories are already out and if you only know my paranormal thrillers, these are very different, but very much in line with a genre I love.

What is the most satisfying part of writing?

Lately, it’s been building a readership, because unlike most of the time I’ve been writing, I know I have an audience waiting to read what I am working on, and that I will get some sort of feedback on it. That relatively fast turnaround is very nice indeed.

Some people poo-poo the idea of commercial success. Whatever, to me, without an audience, art is mental masturb…er…exercise.J I write stories that I want to be read and enjoyed by others, and I say that without apology. I wrote without an audience for years. This is much better. I wouldn’t go back for anything.

Do you enjoy interacting with readers at cons and other events or do you
prefer social media contact?

I love the interaction and camaraderie of conventions and book signings, but social media has the advantage of being a form of book promotion with no overhead. If I could be “beamed” to the event and back to my own bed every night, it would be a perfect situation. Since that’s not possible, I still do signings and conventions because I love the fan interaction, and that’s the only way to put an autographed book into someone’s hand–and readers dig that. Though truthfully, I may dig it just as much. Or more.

The last time I interviewed you your reading list was quite long. What
are you reading or trying to find time to at the moment?

Yes, I doubt I’ll ever catch up. I just finished Eric Garrison’s work in progress to give him feedback, and am now reading his SSP release Sinking Down. By then the third book might be out. I’ve not read the original versions of his Road Ghosts trilogy; I’m taking the rewrites at face value and enjoying them immensely.

Before that I was reading Sands of the Solar Empire–a fairly epic space opera by Ren Garcia which I am enjoying, and part one of a series, for that matter. So I’ll return to that.

Recently I’ve been hitting the library, catching up on the missed comic book stories of the last several years through collected editions, seeing what my buddy Spider-man has been up to (nothing good, I’m afraid), and the New 52, seeing how the botched Wonder Woman this time, and enjoying Batwoman quite a bit.

Bonus Question:

Have you ever put someone you know in real life into a book?

Yes I have, but usually as a cameo, not a major character, and always with the person’s knowledge and permission. For instance, my ebook Backstage Pass is a total fabrication inspired by my real-life travels with a group of pop star fans who attend the same area shows together. Those others are mentioned because I needed a group anyway,  so why not, if they were cool with it?

Beyond that, major characters are highly fictionalized. I want to emphasize that as the guy who wrote Haunting Obsession, a clear homage to Marilyn Monroe. Maxine Marie is still a fictional character in a make-believe world. Had I been trying to write Ms. Monroe into a story…well, I wouldn’t, but if I did, it would have played very differently. Because Maxine is a fiction, I can, for instance,  have her be as despicable as the plot requires.

 

RJ Sullivan

 

Rj Sullivan About RJ Sullivan:
Haunting Blue is the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer. This is the 2014 revised edition by Seventh Star Press. Seventh Star also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale. R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith: Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction novelettes. R.J. resides in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks coffee from a Little Mermaid mug and is man enough to admit it. www.rjsullivanfiction.com

Haunting Blue can be purchased in Print and Ebook

VirtualBlueRj

 The sequel to Haunting Blue – Virtual Blue, available now.

Tour Schedule and Activities
7/14 Jess Resides Here Interview
7/14 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
7/14 fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews Top Tens List
7/15 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Ten’s List
7/15 John F. Allen Writer Character Post
7/15 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
7/16 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review
7/16 SpecMusicMuse Interview
7/16 Workaday Reads Post on Artwork of Haunting Blue
7/16 I Smell Sheep Character Post
7/17 Bee’s Knees Review Review
7/17 Library Girl Reads & Reviews Guest Post
7/17 Come Selahway With Me Guest Post
7/18 A Haunted Head Author Interview
7/19 Nerd With A View Top Tens Post
7/19 Coffintree Hill Guest Post
7/20 Willow’s Author Love Review

Hades Disciples by Michael West #horror @byMichaelWest

Michael West

 

It’s a pleasure to welcome horror author and horror fanatic Michael West. It amazes me how he can go to a convention and have a tee to wear for every photo op with every celebrity. How he does this I do not know. I admire it though and try and control my own buying of tees because well there is only so much money to go around. Pity.I’ve asked Michael to share which of these t-shirts is his top 10 favourite.

This coincides with his newest horror book release which I am awaiting eagerly. I’ve ordered it in limited edition signed hardcover. Envy me people. I’ve reviewed his previous one in the series Poseidon’s Children and enjoyed it so much. Based on the illustrations I can tell there is more spine tingling fun and freaky sex. Thanks Michael 🙂

Michael West

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

Michael West

Top Ten Horror Shirts I Own
I have hundreds and hundreds of shirts, so it was tough to narrow it down to 10, but here are some that hold special meaning, or that I wear frequently…
1. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Limited Edition. I LOVE this shirt! It is a collage of faces and scenes from the movie, and on the back, it has the quote from Edgar Allan Poe: “Sleep, those little slices of death–how I loathe them.” I wore it when I met Robert Englund. Just…awesome!
2. John Carpenter’s The Thing. One of the best Horror films ever made IMHO. Plus, I wore it when I met John Carpenter, so it holds a special place in my heart.

The Thing
3. Bride of Re-Animator. I just love the design! It has the bride ripping her heart out, the head flying around on bat wings, and the eyeball walking around on fingers.
4. Return of the Living Dead: Tar-Man Limited Edition. It was designed by William Stout, who created Tar-man. Love it!
5. Edgar Allan Poe. It has the raven, skulls, a tell-tale heart, and the man himself in the middle of it all. I like to wear it while I write. It inspires me.

Poe
6. Pumpkinhead. I LOVE Pumpkinhead! When I see a shirt of him, I have to get it, and I love them all.

Pumpinhead
7. C.H.U.D. One of my favorite 80s Horror films, and just an awesome design. It doesn’t glow in the dark, but it looks like it should.

C.H.U.D.
8. “You’re so cool, Brewster!” from Fright Night. I love the film, and the Evil Ed character, and it’s one of my favorite lines.
9. Silent Night, Deadly Night. I wear it every Christmas.
10. Thanksgiving. I couldn’t believe they made a shirt from Eli Roth’s Grindhouse trailer, but they did, and I had to have it. I wear it every Thanksgiving.

michaeltees

HadesMichaelWest

 

 

MichaelWestAuthorPhotoAbout the author: Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

 

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

Michael can be found on Web site / Twitter / Facebook / Publisher

Hades Disciples is available in print and ebook

Tour Schedule and Activities
7/7 Shells Interviews Guest Post
7/7 Come Selahway With Me Interview
7/7 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
7/7 Fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews Review
7/8 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Tens List
7/8 Jess Resides Here Top Tens List
7/8 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
7/9 SpecMusicMuse Interview
7/10 Coffintree Hill Guest Post
7/10 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
7/11 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
7/12 A Haunted Head Top Tens List
7/12 Willow’s Author Love Interview
7/13 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review

Author Rj Sullivan original #shortstory guest post

 rj's angelsI’m pleased to share an original piece of flash fiction by author Rj Sullivan who is a mega awesome guy. This was meant to be featured on The Cabin Goddesses blog but she is taking a well deserved break, I’m sure Rj will be hanging out in the cabin at some point in the future. Stay tuned! I’ve read a couple of Rj’s books and must say I particularly love how his focus is on strong female characters. Rj is very in touch with his feminine side and I say the Little Mermaid Mug is to thank for that. So read and enjoy. Also leave some feedback. I’m sure Rj would love it.

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A funny thing happened while killing time in Broad Ripple…

Those that don’t live in Indy won’t care about the details, but suffice it to say, several of my long-time friends live north and east of Indianapolis. I am the only one of that clan to live south and west of downtown. One of my friends still lives in Broad Ripple, a place I used to visit frequently in my teens and twenties and now visit only a couple times a year.

Yes, that Broad Ripple. Fiona “Blue” Shaefer’s hangout prior to moving to the scary small town of Perionne, as referenced in Haunting Blue. Though an older, well-established suburb with many historical buildings, the presence of Butler University injects the area constantly with liberal youth often at odds with its long-term residents.

I took a trip north to meet up with my friends, and in a rare instance, we decided to group up in Broad Ripple. In a not-so-rare instance, being self-employed, I arrived in town a couple hours prior to my friends who all have to punch a clock. I thought I’d take advantage of the atmosphere to bring along the laptop (I really needed to replace that thing with some sort of pad–someday soon, I hope), find a coffee shop or restaurant, take in the local atmosphere, and see how it affects my muse.

Not many people know that the coffee shop Café Expresso as mentioned in Haunting Blue and Haunting Obsession really existed–past tense. It was a favorite hangout during my college years, a place for the more artistic type to meet during the day and, looking back, feel a bit insufferable about ourselves. Unfortunately, the little shop closed down around 1990 and so its legacy continued only in the pages of my stories, my little homage to a very cool place.

Or so I thought.

I barely had the presence of mind not to drive up onto the sidewalk when I saw the awning over a historical building in downtown Broad Ripple that declared itself to be the Café Expresso. I managed to pull over before embarrassing myself, and sat there for many seconds staring at the little shop and its ironic name. Dare I say…I felt like I’d seen a ghost.

Sometimes all you have is the cliché.

But that was nothing compared to how stunned I felt when I stumbled through the door to stare at the coffee bar….literally, a bar made up of several varieties of coffee beans behind see-through glass display containers, like a candy shop. The one element I recalled from the original place, and had put into my story. The booths and tables that gave my version a pub-like atmosphere… not so much….except….this new place had my revised layout.

Something really weird was going on, and I wondered if this was some sort of elaborate joke.

I heard a husky woman’s voice from across the room and froze. “Getting the usual tonight, Rebecca?” Literally, in mid-step, I simply stopped moving.

My brain wouldn’t accept what I was seeing. A woman in a black leather jacket proceeded to pull a fedora from her head and shake out waves of long, striking red hair. “Yes, please,” she answered, her eyes still hidden behind a pair of reflective sunglasses.

This has to be some sort of trick. Someone must have known I would be driving through and set this up. The only other explanation was that I had walked into a coffee shop of my imagination and now looked upon one of the major characters in my book series. And I knew Rebecca Burton didn’t exist. I’d made her up, along with everything else I was now looking at.

As cosplayers went, she was terrific. Mid 30s, stoic demeanor, and the perfect blend of Nell William’s and Bonnie Wasson’s interpretatoins.

As if on cue (and maybe it was) she looked up, did a double-take, and slowly removed her glasses. Her green eyes squinted at me, and her jaw slowly dropped. “What…are you…” Then words seemed to fail her.

I shook my head and approached. “Very good, Rebecca, or whatever your name really is. You must have practiced this moment for hours.

As I approached, she seemed to have regained her composure and motioned to the seat across from her. “Join me, R.J. Sullivan. I assure you I’m every bit as surprised as you are.”

Wow, she is good. “Okay, seriously, the act’s over. Who put you up to this? Stephen? John? Eric? Maybe Selah. This strikes me as the sort of thing she would concoct.”

“I assure you, this is no act, Mr. Sullivan.”

I looked around, half expecting to see the crew of What Would You Do step out any moment. “Come on, seriously. I hope I can use you for a book signing for cosplay.”

Rebecca’s eyes rolled. “I don’t cosplay, Mr. Sullivan. You, if anyone, should know that.”

“Okay, okay,” I laughed, then grew uneasy. “Still, the coffee shop, the awning, this is awfully elaborate for a practical joke.”

“I suggest you follow that train of thought, Mr. Sullivan. It’s amazing a person so dense is responsible for my existence.”

Okay, that comment stung a bit. “Hey, that’s not very friendly.”

“Sorry, it’s not very often one sees one’s creator walk through the front door. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to act.”

I considered, and then figured it would be better to go along and let them tell me in their own time. Clearly, whoever was responsible went through a lot of effort. “So you know who I am?”

“Of course, though I doubt the waitress does, or anyone else in this coffee shop. You gave me extraordinary perception, and I’ve been quite aware that I exist in two realities. There’s the one where I live and exist, where my actions impact the world I live in and those that reside in it.” She tapped her own chest, then motioned to me. “And then there’s your reality. The one where my reality is part of your imagination and put down in a series of paranormal thriller books.”

I laughed. “That’s terrific. Quite melodramatic. I could have written it myself.”

She released a sigh, the weariness in her demeanor showing through. “We can’t continue this way, Mr. Sullivan.” She extended her hand, palm up. “Take it.”

“Sorry, I’m a married…” Then her meaning became clear. “Wait…you mean, really… take your hand? Like…”

“Can you think of any other way to convince you?”

I felt the smirk come to my face. I couldn’t help it. This was too good. “Trying to hold my hand, Rebecca. You sly dog.”

She returned a humorless stare. She didn’t get it. Well, of course she wouldn’t.

“Okay, fine, here. I’ll take your—” As I placed my hand in hers, she gripped my fingers tightly, and the room suddenly spun out of focus.

“Listen to me, Mr. Sullivan. I’m really Rebecca Burton, I really have the power to influence your emotions. Since I know you’ve always wondered what this might feel like, I hope you enjoy the moment. But know that I’m not influencing you except to get you to accept this truth. I am Rebecca Burton.”

And, indeed, the room gently slipped out of focus and returned. My head swum, like fighting a bad cold, and a moment later, it cleared, and the reality of the situation sunk in. Of course she’s Rebecca. How could I have thought otherwise?

Then a second, competing thought. I’ve been manipulated by my own fictional character.

I released a sound, some sort of giggle. Or maybe a guffaw. Yes, let’s go with guffaw, because guys don’t giggle.

She released my hand, and the room returned to normal. “Wow…so….wow.” I released a breath, and tension left my body with it. “So…you’re really you. But…how?”

“An excellent question, Mr. Sullivan.” Her brows furrowed.

I waited. Come on, Rebecca, you’re the expert. You must have the answer.

And she did. “I suppose one could postulate a dynamic between the dimensions of our realities. Perhaps the point where your imaginative constructs would exist in your real world may sometimes create doorways that would allow you to travel to it.”

I considered. “Broad Ripple is a real place, but the café is not. But since I came here, and this is where the Café would exist, if it did, a doorway opened up, allowing me to enter.”

“Essentially, yes.”

“Or maybe it’s just a contrivance for a publicity blog,” I offered.

Rebecca ignored me. “In any case, I doubt you can remain here for long, and I have many questions.” She hesitated. “It’s not often one gets to ask questions of their creator.”

Her tone sobered me up. “I suppose that’s true.” I nodded. “Ask away.”

“Have you made up your mind about my story?”

The question caught me off guard. “The fact that you know I’ve been pondering several options means you have access into my insight already.”

“True.” She sipped her coffee and met my eyes. “Does that surprise you?”

I laughed. “Of course not. You’re good. I made sure of that.”

“And yet,” Rebecca said, “I’m much more than I need to be. For instance, all Rebecca Burton had to be in Haunting Obsession was a paranormal investigator, but you’ve given me many extraordinary powers. Quite useful, but hardly necessary.”

“Those powers came in handy during Virtual Blue.”

She nodded. “True. But you have a good imagination. You could have written in a workaround.”

“I could have, but I have big plans for you.”

“I know.” Then, after a short pause, “And that terrifies me.”

“You should like the next story. You and Blue have quite the fun adventure.” I was referring to Blue Shaefer, the protagonist of Haunting Blue and Virtual Blue. In Virtual Blue, my two main characters meet and interact for the first time.

Rebeccan pressed. “I know, you’re going to tell the story about last Christmas. But you have planned several stories and then canceled many of them. I’m not sure if I should be concerned.”

It was true. “I thought I’d write a few smaller books along the line of Haunting Obsession. I’m working up to a more epic story I thought of a few years ago. Back then, I didn’t think my skill level matched the challenge of the tale.”

Rebecca gulped, even though the coffee still set on the table at her side. “And now?”

“Now, I’m going to go for it. I think I’m ready now. And I think you are, too.” I reached out and patted her hand. “It’s going to be a grand adventure.”

Words erupted from her. “Not all the possibilities you’ve pondered go well for me.”

I’d never imagined Rebecca Burton with fear in her eyes, and the look unnerved me. “Yours is the most important story in what my readers jokingly call the ‘RJ-Verse.’ I don’t know how it ends, but it needs to be told.”

“Sometimes…I get very angry about that.”

I gripped her hands tighter, trying with all my might to imbue comfort, courage, contentment, into her the way she does with so many others. “It’s going to be okay, Rebecca. I write most of my tales in deep third person. I won’t put you through anything we both can’t handle.”

“Can you…tell me anything more than that?”

“Spoilers? Of course not. Who knows who’s listening in right now?” I patted her hand one last time before withdrawing mine. “I’m very proud of how you’ve turned out. You were sort of a seat-of-the-pants creation I added to over a long time, and because of you, a lot of people want to know your story and read my books. They want to know your tale almost as much as I do.”

“I’d like to know it even more.”

“Well,” I reached down and grabbed my laptop. “I suppose I should get on my way and start to write it, then.”

I stood and extended my hand. “Tell Blue hello for me.”

Rebecca took it. No tingles, no attempt to manipulate. “You probably shouldn’t try to find this place again.”

“I figured as much, but I’m glad I found it today. I guess there’s no way to get you to one of my book signings, is there?”

“I suspect these portals are exceedingly rare.”

I shook my head and headed toward the door. “Too bad. You’d look terrific handing out bookmarks.”

“Thank you, but I think you have bigger plans for me than that, Mr. Sullivan. Goodbye.”

I offered one last wave. “Goodbye, Rebecca Burton. I’ll see you again soon.” I exited.

I drove a few blocks down the road. I didn’t even bother to look in my rearview mirror as I drove away to see the building was no longer there, because that would be cliché. I pulled into a McDs, entered, ordered a giant Styrofoam Cup O Diet Coke, opened a new file on my laptop, and started typing.

Blue Christmas
A Blue Shaefer and Rebecca Burton Holiday Tale
By RJ Sullivan

Rj SullivanBiography: R. J. Sullivan’s novel Haunting Blue is an edgy paranormal thriller and the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Seventh Star Press released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, in 2012 and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale, in 2013. Seventh Star will release a new edition of Haunting Blue in spring 2014. R. J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction e-novelettes.

R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks regularly from a Little Mermaid coffee mug and is man enough to admit it. Check in to www.rjsullivanfiction.com to learn the latest.

R.J. can also be found on Facebook, his publisher Seventh Star Press and his books can be purchased on Amazon in print and ebook

The Rebecca Burton Series So Far (in character chronological order):

Inner Strength (short story)
Haunting Obsession
Backstage Pass (a Seventh Star Single)
Virtual Blue

VirtualBlueRj

Did you ever wish you could escape to a virtual world? What if you could…but then couldn’t get out?
Two years after her deadly clash with a vengeful ghost, Fiona “Blue” Shaefer still can’t shake off the trauma of that night. Moving to New York with her father didn’t help. Neither did absorbing herself in her college classes. Not even her poetry provided the solace it once did. She convinces herself that ending her relationship with Eugene “Chip” Farren, her long-distance boyfriend and final tie to the horrors of that night, might bring the closure she needs. Blue travels to Bloomington to break the news to Chip in person, but her timing couldn’t be any worse.
The Sisters of Baalina, vengeful cultists who practice a new form of “techno-magic,” have targeted Chip’s multi-player videogame as the perfect environment to cast a dangerous spell to free a demoness from the very pits of hell. In the process, their plan may trap Blue in a prison of the mind with no locks, no bars, and no escape.
Book Two in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer.

Steven Shrewsbury’s Philistine book tour #guestpost

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Welcome to my stop on the Philistine book tour. This book means a great deal to Steven I know that, he’s mentioned it in conversations and so when the time came for me to pick a post for this tour I thought what better than to have him elaborate on this his baby with a guest post on why this one means so very much to him.

Steven Shrewsbury Featured Book Release

Philistine

A Tale of Goliath

Book tour – March 3 to March 9, 2014

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Book Synopsis Philistine:

 

The Philistines, a mysterious warrior people known now for mainly one man: Goliath. The giant.

Goliath. A name grander than even the man himself. You’ve heard of his infamous end at the hands of a shepherd as written in a famous book, but what of the life of the man himself? What book tells his tale?

A warrior among warriors, a son of a god, a living legend. Goliath, the warrior champion of the Philistines. On the battlefield, he runs like a horse, wields killing instruments no normal man may heft, and revels in the fear his presence evokes. Off the field, his will is immutable, his trust invaluable, and his appetites unbearable. Goliath. This man knows no challenge.

But such a reputation will not discourage all men. Scheming rulers and generals, prophetic priests and powerful cults, dauntless warriors looking to make their own legend. Monsters. Gods. For one seemingly unkillable, at the very least, these things can ruin an otherwise pleasant day.

Along with his shield bearer, Abimelech, and soldiers more in awe than they are useful, Goliath will set out on missions for kings, face foul magic users, and walk in the shadows of mysterious halls. History tells us Goliath died at the hands of an Israelite.

Goliath may have something to say about that.

Philistine is the first Tale of Goliath, set in the same world as Steven Shrewsbury’s novels such as Overkill and Thrall, and his Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories.


Why would one want to write about a guy like Goliath? From what we see from the Bible and other sources, he comes off as a dick, kinda sorta, arrogant as hell. How many guys would really say, “Look, you dudes just send out your toughest guy and if he can kill me, this war isn’t worth fighting. We’ll just be your slaves, if he can kill me.”

 

It was the words before that which interested me, that Goliath was “A man of war since his youth.” I always wondered what he did for his entire life before that. PHILISTINE isn’t a bio of Goliath, just a peek into several weeks of his life at a certain time and does not chronicle his death. There are subtle hints at his demise some day, but read the book and enjoy.

 

PHILISTINE isn’t about furthering religion nor is it Christian fiction by any means. There is no debate on the accuracy etc of his existence. It’s a yarn, a tale about a giant in a realm of evil wizards, monsters and lusty gals…so I figure any lover of fantasy can get their mind around that, right?

 

But why did this one mean so much to me? Why did I want to write it?

 

There are many historical characters that fascinate me, but yes, as a kid, Goliath’s big ass made my mind roll. Of course it did, as he does to any kid that sees a giant. I think it was 2006 or 07 when I took my son John (then 8 or 9) to see WWE in Peoria and the Undertaker, billed at 6 ft 10, fought Mark Henry…but the Great Khali appeared the first time, a man over 7 foot tall. The crowd reaction to this figure, a head taller that Mark Calloway, the Undertaker, was a gasp. My son quipped, “I can’t believe he is really alive.” I never forgot his words.

 

Yes that’s a breathtaking thing to see. That wonderment is in there someplace, in my desire to tell that tale, but I didn’t make Goliath a clumsy beast. If anything, he moves with fluidity and I also don’t really say exactly how big he is…I hint at it, and certain parts of his anatomy of course.

 

Did I want to write on him as the ultimate macho guy, the man who could slay a woman with his manhood? The badass of all badasses, to satisfy some John Millius thing I got in my head? Naw, not that easy. My father was a huge man, as are all the guys in my family. I grew up with giants and heroes in the same house, so I don’t have prick issues. If anything, if was fun. I like action tales and long for pure escapism. I think many a writer who sets out to write a big assed volume forgets what fun is and is too in love with their won voice and ability to make a fake world be like the Earth. Change yer underpants, Junior and just set it on the Earth, for the luvva God.

 

Granted, PHILISTINE is a great deal more complex than my other novels. It’s longer, 137k, about 50k more than my usual books. I didn’t set out to write it like that, nor did I want to compete in some book door-stop fantasy novel contest. As the old saying goes, it ain’t how big it is, but how ya use it. I think I used the 137k of words very well, just as effectively as my 80k version of a work. I did go through it more, probably because I enjoyed spending time in the realm than I care to admit.

 

In the end, telling about Goliath and the military guys about him, the creepy priests, the petty gods and the insurrection in Canaan among the Philistines themselves made for a great story to spin. That’s what I wanted to do, tell a good story. I think I did.

 

It’s a work I wanted to do before I die, because, frankly, I think I can tell it better than others. Why? I was there. I felt every footstep, every strike, every drop of blood that hit the sand. I felt the men live, laugh and also felt them die. Life isn’t pretty and PHILISTINE is a brutal work not meant of the squeamish or the faith of heart.

 

But come take my hand, open the pages of scroll ‘em down. Read and enjoy a story about a time far away and a world full of action, adventure, lust and violence. You might learn a little about history and yourself while reading, too.

 

Are there more tales I want to tell before I die? Many.


StevenShrewsburyAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. Over 360 of his short stories have appeared in print or electronic media along with over 100 poems. 9 of his novels have been released, with more on the way. His books run from sword & sorcery (PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, THRALL, BEDLAM UNLEASHED) to historical fantasy (GODFORSAKEN) extreme horror (HAWG, TORMENTOR, STRONGER THAN DEATH) to horror-westerns (HELL BILLY, BAD MAGICK, and the forthcoming LAST MAN SCREAMING).

He loves books, British TV, guns, movies, politics, sports and hanging out with his sons. He’s frequently outdoors, looking for brightness wherever it may hide.

 

Author and buy links:

Website / Facebook / Print Version / Kindle Version

 

Steven Shrewsbury

Tour Schedule and Activities

3/3 Beauty in Ruins Character Post

3/3 Author HC Playa Review

3/3 Seers, Seraphs, and More Interview

3/3 Deal Sharing Aunt Tour Wide Contest

3/4 SpecMusicMuse Review

3/4 Come Selahway With Me Character Post

3/5 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review

3/5 Book in the Bag Interview

3/5 MichaelSciFan Interview

3/6 Workaday Reads Character Interview

3/6 Book and Movie Dimension Blog Review

3/7 Azure Dwarf Review

3/8 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post

3/8 The Official Writing Blog of Dee Dee Davies Character Post

3/9 I Smell Sheep Guest Post

3/9 Jess Resides Here Guest Post

 

Violet Patterson The Storm Sullivan Saga Book Tour #authorinterview

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Violet could you start by telling us something about you that no one knows

Hmmmm….I would have to say my intense love of the NFL, specifically the Houston Texans.  I’ve watched a lot of football since childhood and it’s always been a big part of who I am.  I was even fortunate enough to meet many of the players on the Texans team including my favorite player, Andre Johnson.  I hope to take my daughter to her first NFL game this year as she is following in my footsteps in more ways than one.

 

What are you reading now?

Actually, I usually read more than one book at a time so right now I am re-reading The Steampunk Bible, Scarlet Night by Megan J. Parker, and I am listening to the audiobook for Game of Thrones.

 

Some of your fave books and authors

All things Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Edgar Allan Poe,  J.K. Rowling, A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice (and I actually truly enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Catcher in the Rye, Little Women, Les Miserables, and, well, I could go on and on and on.

 

What is your work space and writing routine like? – 

My work settings change depending on my mood.  When I lived in Seattle I used to rotate between a few coffee shops.  Now I do a lot of writing on my couch or my bed though I truly enjoy writing in coffee shops.  I love the noise around me and the people watching helps me break though writer’s block.  As for routine, it is difficult to have one with kids and a full time day job but I write a little every day in one way, shape or form.  It is a part of who I am and if I even try to ignore it I tend to get a bit cranky.

 

 

Is writing a lifelong passion or a recent one?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  I have strayed from it at times but I always come back to it.  I’ve filled journals and notebooks and all through school I narrated my doodles.  Yes, you read that right.  I doodled and then created a story for the doodle.

 

Is there a genre you’ve yet to tackle but would like to give it a shot?

I’ve mentioned this a few times in the past but I really want to write a dark drama with film noir influence.  I fully intend to do it once I’ve completed my WIPs.

 

How important is the release of your work in box set format to you?

It was a huge accomplishment for me and I think having all of them in one set gives me a new sense of accomplishment.  The paperback version of the box set is fabulous and I am really looking forward to releasing that version because it will mean closure for me.  That’s how I look at this box set, as closure of this story.

 

What is the best advice you’ve received in relation to writing and publishing?

Have patience.  It is a long process that changes on an almost daily basis.  People do not “make it” overnight, they do not build fans overnight, and they absolutely do not become rich overnight.  Keep your day job and keep working hard.

 

What do readers have to look forward to next from you?

My Steampunk trilogy, Immortal Machinations.  I am looking to release the first installment by summer of this year.  It takes Dorian from the Emerald Seer Series and elaborates on his back story which includes the Illuminati.  There will be some other familiar faces from the Emerald Seer Series of course.

 

Author Violet Patterson

Featured Book Release

The Storm Sullivan Saga Box Set

(Book One: Ryder On the Storm)

VioletPattersonAbout the Author: Known in the convention circuit for her extravagant handmade top hats, Violet Patterson has also romanced her way into the hearts of Urban Fantasy readers with the Emerald Seer Series. With a cast of Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and more, Violet strives to leave her Midwestern roots behind as she soars to the far reaches of her imagination to compose vibrant stories of action and intrigue, magic and fantasy. Her current project promises to imbue part of the Emerald’s world with a healthy dose of Steampunk – stay tuned for Immortal Machinations.

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Book Synopsis The Storm Sullivan Saga Boxed Set:
Secrets have been formed in the dark corners of the kingdom. Change is in the air and whispers of new ideas and technologies have swept the land. Unfortunately, the King is old and simple and his daughter is concerned only with worldly possessions. A man by the name of Buul, a man long forgotten, has returned to pay a visit to the King on the King’s birthday. He has not come empty handed and will be the King’s undoing.

The King, in moments of panic and war, can trust no one with the protection of his daughter. He quickly decides to entrust her life with a creature most vile and uncommon and chains her to a Vork. He does not leave her empty handed though. His last gift to the Princess is an amulet with powers even he does not comprehend. The land’s only chance, the only one loyal to the King’s memory, is the daughter that cares nothing of the Kingdom of Vosh.

ryder_1200X800Book Synopsis: Ryder On the Storm: Storm Sullivan is a Seer from an ancient line forced to return home after the brutal murder of her aunt. But Storm finds she’s inherited more than just the family estate.

Ryder Cohen is an Immortal, a former enforcer commissioned to eradicate the Sullivan line and prevent the rise of the Emerald. But Ryder has come to question his mission and the reasons behind it.

Ryder On the Storm is the first in the Emerald Seer series. An urban fantasy with a supporting cast of Immortals, Seraphs, and Deities this is just the beginning of Storm’s journey.

The Emerald Seer saga continues with rebirth in LIGHT MY FIRE and intensifies with an uncovered past in LOVE HER MADLY. Still craving more Emerald Seer action? Check out WHISKEY, MYSTICS, and MEN to discover Angeline’s secrets.

 

Author Links:

Blog / Twitter / Facebook

 

Tour Schedule and Activities

3/3 Deal Sharing Aunt Tour Wide Contest

3/4 I Smell Sheep Character Post

3/5 Workaday Reads Review

3/5 Sheila Deeth Guest Post

3/5 Jess Resides Here Author Interview

3/5 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Promo/Spotlight

3/6 Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog Character Interview

3/6 Jorie Loves a Story Review

3/7 Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post

3/7 Come Selahway With Me Interview

3/8 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review

3/8 Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews Guest Post

3/9 Jorie Loves a Story Author Interview/Reader Submitted Questions

 

Amazon Links for The Storm Sullivan Saga: Emerald Seer Box Set

Print Version

Coming soon

Kindle Version

Amazon Links for Ryder On the Storm

Print Version / Kindle Version