SINKING DOWN BLOG TOUR WITH ERIC GARRISON!

EricGarrisonTourBadge_225X150Today I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, “Sinking Down” the latest novel from my friend and writing peer Eric Garrison!
Eric is also an author at Seventh Star Press, publisher of my debut novel last summer and various short stories, so if you are a fan of speculative fiction within the urban fantasy realm, then this novel is bound to be a real treat! Not only am I a friend of the author, but I’m a fan of the series. Eric Garrison is a rising star in the speculative fiction world and a fresh voice for the genre.
I’m proud to know him and call him my friend, but even more than that, I’m inspired by his creativity and skill as a writer. As a relatively new writer for Seventh Star Press, I’m honored to be in the company of such a fine writer and person.
Do yourself a favor and check out the work of Eric Garrison, you’ll be glad that you did!

EricGarrison_authorpicEric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape. His stories vary from science fiction to supernatural fantasies and dark fairy tales

 

 

 

 

 

SinkingDownCover_1200X800Poor Little Ghoul
Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves
back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a road kill-eating creature offers up a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it
becomes clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought. Worse than that, Brett’s own fate is linked to the little ghoul’s.
So it’s back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and even drinking and
fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light, Brett finds there’s much more at stake
than getting through a rough patch with Liz.
A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries. Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride. Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop themselves from …Sinking Down?

 

Sinking Down is the 2nd Book in the Road Ghosts Trilogy!

SinkingDown_FinalInterior 1  SinkingDown_FinalInterior 2Here’s a sneak peek at some of the AMAZING interior artwork!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, be sure to check out Book 1 in the Road Ghosts Trilogy, Four ‘Til Late!

FourTilLate_CoverIn Four ‘Til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won’t keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine’s running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it’s Four ‘Til Late.
Four ‘Til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

 

 

 

 

 

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SSP BANNERSeventh Star Press Links

Website: http://www.seventhstarpress.com
Blog: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/7thstarpress
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seventhstarpress

AUTHOR RJ SULLIVAN INTERVIEWED BY IVORY BLAQUE FOR HIS VIRTUAL BLUE BLOG TOUR!

Welcome to the latest installment of my friend and fellow Seventh Star Press author, RJ Sullivan’s Virtual Blue Tour, this stop features an interview with RJ conducted by none other than Ivory Blaque!

Ivory: Thanks for agreeing to this interview Mr. Sullivan.

RJ: No problem, thanks for having me.

Ivory: So I hear that you’re a male writer whose stories tend to feature strong female protagonists (sounds like someone else I know), what motivates you to use them?

RJ: Well it’s kinda complicated…I suppose it started with the female 80’s Rock stars such as Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benetar, Joan Jett and the band Heart. I saw that those women from MTV were so much more dramatic and in charge. A lot of that carried over into my writing because I found those figures very interesting. When I sat down to write my first novel, I wanted the challenge of writing outside of myself and you certainly can’t get more outside of yourself than by writing from the perspective of the opposite gender.

Ivory: I heard that your character Rebecca Burton is an investigator of the supernatural? I myself am employed with policing the things that go bump in the night. What inspired you to write about a character who explored those types of issues?

RJ: I was tasked with writing a series by Seventh Star Press. I wanted the freedom of writing standalone stories, while making them part of the series. So, making the continuing character an investigator seemed to be the solution to that. I went back to Columbo and Perry Mason for inspiration to tell standalone stories, where the story is the guest star. In Virtual Blue, the main story is about Blue Shaefer and Chip Farren, while Rebecca is kinda the background guest star. I also wanted to have a character who would remain somewhat a mystery. I didn’t want it to be where the reader learned all there was to know about Rebecca Burton in one story, to be followed with stories where she was just doing her shtick over and over again. I wanted there to be layers of her character that we would be exposing over the course of several adventures, that way there would be more of a reason for her to be present. The reader would learn something new about her with each story. You know a lot more about Rebecca Burton by the end of Virtual Blue than you did from the end of Haunting Obsession. The reader learns more about the organization she works for and there’s plenty more to be uncovered as the series progresses. I like having the flexibility to tell a different kind of story each time, feature her in the story and reveal more about her as a character. I’m sure we don’t know everything about you, do we?

Ivory: Seeing as though my life is one big adventure after another, to coin a phrase from someone we both know, “The Best Is Yet To Come.”

Moving right along, I particularly like the character of Blue Shaefer. This punkish girl has a lot of spunk and flava, she reminds me of a younger version of myself. What prompted you to bring Blue and Rebecca together?

RJ: Haunting Blue was my homage to The Hardy Boys. I wanted to do a Hardy Boys type of story for big kids that turns dark. I started with two male characters, but couldn’t make them gel. So I changed the gender of one of the characters and added sexual tension, which gave me much more to play with. At that point, one of the characters became Blue, who took over the story and pushed Chip into the background. There’s still the Hardy Boys tradition of two kids going off and getting into trouble and encountering a mystery, but soon the story turned out to be more about Blue.

When writing Haunting Obsession, I realized I needed a paranormal investigator and immediately Rebecca Burton came to mind.

Ivory: In Virtual Blue, you explore the themes of the occult and technology, to blend them into the perfect threat. Is this something that you intend to explore in later works or is this a one-shot deal?

RJ: I indicate that there are other events that happen simultaneously to the events in Virtual Blue. I think that there are some other stories to be told, so I may have another short story or two that touches upon the Techno Magic aspects sometime in the future.

Ivory: In creating a protagonist like Rebecca was it important that she live in Indianapolis or that the setting be Indianapolis?

RJ: Yes, mainly because it’s what I know. Rebecca Burton is definitely transportable and has federal status with no jurisdiction, even though her base of operations is Indy. I set this up in that way so that she can travel broadly if necessary.

Ivory: In writing Virtual Blue, what do you want fans of your work to take from this novel? How do the events in this novel set them up for future works?

RJ: Haunting Blue is not widely available yet, but in a couple of months it will be. I wanted to challenge myself to get to the crisis more quickly. There’s a lot of lead time in Haunting Blue that I didn’t need to address in Virtual Blue. I wanted to tie up things from Haunting Blue and then jump right into the story. I wanted to up the ante a bit with Virtual Blue, but still have it tied to Haunting Blue in some way. My intention was to give my readers a direct sequel, but also something very different than before. My thoughts were in writing a sequel, to make it as fresh as possible.

Ivory: I know that our mutual friend, Mr. Allen tends to procrastinate when it comes to penning my adventures. How did you handle the writing of Virtual Blue? Was it something you just sat down and got done or did you have starts and stops along the way?

RJ: I started Virtual Blue right after Haunting Blue, but got sidelined with Haunting Obsession, which actually started out as flash fiction. It was then that Haunting Obsession took over my life for the next six months. I wanted Virtual Blue to be my longest and most intensive offering to date. I generally work on one project at a time.

Ivory: How have your fans/readers reacted to Rebecca Burton in regards to the series? Have they given you any feedback as to what they want to see in the future?

RJ: I listen to my readers. They’re very passionate about seeing more of Blue. I will include her in future stories, but Rebecca will be the main protagonist moving forward. Virtual Blue serves as a passing of the baton so to speak. I want future stories to feature Rebecca as I wanted a more professional, adult protagonist that I can better relate to. I try to meet the expectations of my readers, but also continue to surprise them. I think that the joys of reading any series is the surprise and discovery one experiences while reading the stories. In order to do this, I want to explore introducing new genres into the Rebecca-verse.

Ivory: I guess we’ll conclude this interview with one last question which your readers and I are dying to learn about. What is in the future for Blue and Rebecca?

RJ: I’m currently experimenting with a Sci-Fi series (Red Lotus). The next Rebecca Burton story will have her as a supporting character exploring male issues. I’m going to really be digging into the things that males deal with.

Ivory: Thank you for allowing this interview Mr. Sullivan.

RJ: You’re welcome Ivory, it was my pleasure.

Ivory: Your pal Mr. Allen and I had a long talk about him exploring new exciting things. Hopefully someday in the near future I may cross paths with Rebecca Burton and Blue Shaefer, who knows…it’s a small world filled with infinite possibilities.

RJ: Indeed it is!

RJSullivanTourBadge450About the Author: 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 early 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 novelettes for readers of all ages. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. Check in regularly to learn the latest about the projects of R. J. Sullivan.    

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Book Synopsis: 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.

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Author Links:
Website: http://rjsullivanfiction.com/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/R.J.SullivanAuthor
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5199299.R_J_Sullivan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjsullivanauthr

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Tour Schedule and Activities:

October 28 Jess Resides Here Contest  
October 28 Jorie Loves a Story Review
October 28 Come Selahway With Me Guest Post  
October 29 Sheila Deeth Blog Character Interview w/ Blue  
October 30 Armand Rosamilia Guest Post  
October 30 A Haunted Head Special Post Tba  
October 30 Deal Sharing Aunt Review  
October 30 Word to Dreams Promo Spotlight  
October 31 John F. Allen Ivory Blaque Interview of RJ!
October 31 Spellbindings Character Post with Rebecca Burton  
October 31 Library Girl Reads and Reviews Character Interview of Rebecca Burton  
November 1 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
November 1 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post  
November 2 Azure Dwarf Guest Post  
November 3 Angela Meadon Review  

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Where to buy Virtual Blue:

Amazon Print Versionhttp://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Blue-R-J-Sullivan/dp/1937929329  
Kindle Versionhttp://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Blue-ebook/dp/B00EVIX1A8  

Other eBook Links
Nookhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtual-blue-rj-sullivan/1116802948?ean=2940148624493
Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/virtual-blue  
iBookstorehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtual-blue/id696653418?mt=11

AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC GARRISON!

Four Til Late

Four Til Late

I want to extend a hearty congratulations to my very good friend and fellow Seventh Star Press author, Eric Garrison on his latest novel, FOUR TIL LATE. Eric, as I write this, you’ve gotten your first shipment of print copies of FOUR ‘TIL LATE your novel. I know what a thrill it is to see ideas take solid form, but tell my readers, how do YOU REALLY feel?

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, John!

It’s been a long road for this book. It was the one that started it all, my first novel, and yet now it’s my latest novel. It was a project done out of love and honor, as I wrote it the month after my writer uncle Chuck died in 2007. I didn’t know then that I’d be a published author a little over 5 years later, but opening that box to see the shiny trade paperbacks with gorgeous professional artwork, I felt a thrill of excitement and a burning rush of pride.

It”s been a long time coming, but this labor of love has been refined and updated and improved with editing and the experience of four other books written since then under my belt. I am PSYCHED.

I know a little about FOUR TIL LATE, but please let my readers know (in your words) what the novel is all about. I got a Supernatural meets Scooby Gang vibe. Would you agree with that assessment, or is there another more succinct description? What inspires your writing?

I think “Scooby-Doo meets Supernatural” isn’t too far off. I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid, and I am a huge fan of the Supernatural TV show today. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is a haunted road trip, as much a buddy story as it is a thriller. It stars an amateur ghost hunter named Brett who sets out on a fun trip to New Orleans with a couple of buddies, and along the way, he reignites a romance with his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to leave his hobby behind, as supernatural warnings turn into much more dangerous encounters with the paranormal world.

When it comes to ghost stories and the supernatural in general, are you more of an adherent to classic spins or do you prefer the more modern takes? Which authors inspire you, particularly with this work?

You know, I wasn’t even intending to write a ghost story to start with. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is meant to be an urban / supernatural fantasy, and I had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher, who are my favorite authors in that genre. I think I ended up at least somewhere between the subtler magical realism of de Lint and the high-powered urban fantasy of the Dresden tales. But as the story unfolded, it DID become a ghost story, and I was shocked when another writer friend called it horror later. I didn’t set out to write a horror story, but I’ll admit, it’s got horror elements. So yeah, there’s more of a modern influence on my writing, but if you’ve ever read any of Fritz Leiber’s darker stories, you may see a strong influence for the supernatural forces in my books. He’s just got a sort of slow, steady, driving rhythm to his storytelling that I love, and I try to emulate that when I’m building tension or unfolding the stranger parts of the story for the reader.

Is it true you’re an actual ghost hunter? Please briefly tell us one of your favorite exploits and how this undertaking effects/enhances your writing?

It’s true! My wife and I joined the Indiana Ghost Trackers in 2003. I went expecting a bunch of attention-seeking lunatics, but instead found a group of intelligent, curious, friendly people who had a sense of adventure. We both got very interested in ghost hunting and the paranormal in general and became officers in the club. Being one of the biggest skeptics in the group, I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of experimenting with equipment and analyzed evidence more closely than a lot of folks, and ended up as Trainer for both the Indy and Lafayette chapters. We left the group on 2010, but are still friends with the organization’s president and the folks we knew in our time there.

Exploits… Well, nothing specific comes up in FOUR ‘TIL LATE, but I can tell you I have some fairly accurate retellings of some ghost hunts in the third ROAD GHOSTS book, ME AND THE DEVIL, which will be coming out through Seventh Star Press later this year or early next year. Let’s see, one time, we investigated Hannah House, a notoriously haunted mansion on Indy’s South Side (where you and I will be appearing as part of the Paranormal Meet & Greet on August 10th!). We were in the basement, voice recorders running, being given a tour among dusty, 150 year old jars of canned fruit and other bric a brac. One of our guides said “Isn’t this where you got that ‘find me’?” And when qurstioned, they said they’d been there before with recorders and had gotten an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) that said, “find me”, when they played it back. So when Amy and I got home, we played back OUR recording, and something freaky happened. About 10 seconds *before* our guide mentioned what the voice had said before, a voice played on our recording, also whispering, “find me!”

What do you hope readers take away from FOUR TIL LATE? What did you take away from it as an author?

FOUR ‘TIL LATE isn’t just a ghost story, it’s also about friendship and love overcoming demons of the past that come back to haunt you. I hope readers come away feeling like they’ve just had an adventure with a bunch of great friends, and that the characters are people they’d like to spend time with again and again.

I wrote two more books after writing this one, SINKING DOWN and ME AND THE DEVIL. I guess it shows how much I wanted to spend more time with these people that I kept coming back to them.

You’ve completed five novels and and this is your first publication with Seventh Star Press. Please tell us what the experience has been like for you? Share some details of your writer’s journey.

It was FOUR ‘TIL LATE that kicked everything off, so it’s both my first and also my latest novel in a way. I’ve come full circle, having written 3 other urban fantasy novels and a science fiction novel. I started out by self-publishing my work, then I fell in with a critique group that helped open my eyes to the craft of writing, to things I didn’t see in my own writing that I learned to improve on. I was invited to join the Indiana Horror Writers, and that’s helped me see the publishing world beyond writing. My fifth novel, Reality Check, was written with the goal of publication in mind, and was the first to go through beta readers and rewriting and polishing. Hydra Publications took a chance on me and that book went through another couple of rounds with a professional editor. It was then that Seventh Star Press said yes to my pitch to have the ROAD GHOSTS novels revamped and done up properly to get it in front of a wider audience.

I think it’d be best to describe my career growth as an author described as incremental. Ever since I started, it was always about going a few steps more outside my comfort zone, to do something new and bigger, to stretch my boundaries.

This is going to be a crazy busy summer for us, appearing all around. What event do you look forward to the most?

You know, I had to be talked into Fandom Fest, but the more I hear about it and the closer it gets, the more excited I get about it. Rumor has it that the Seventh Star Press booth is going to be next door to a VERY major personality that has all of us excited. I’m looking forward to the fantastic writing track that’s being run by our own Stephen Zimmer. I’ll be seeing a big bunch of authors I normally only talk to online. It’s going to be big, really big, and I just asked for Monday off as well since I can feel in my gut that I’m going to need a day to recuperate.

Eric Garrison

Eric Garrison

What is the background of the series? What other novels are planned for this series and when can we expect them out?

ROAD GHOSTS started as a single book. But the summer after I wrote it, I had a dream about a little ghoul being found by Brett and Liz, and I woke up laughing at the image of the couple taking the ghoul to a McDonald’s dumpster to feed. I tried to write a short story about that, but it demanded to be more, and that became the first chapter in SINKING DOWN, the sequel. That book is in editing right now, and I hope to have it out this fall. Since I had two books, and since I had some loose ends, I decided to make it a trilogy and wrote ME AND THE DEVIL, which I hope to have out this winter. One of the characters in SINKING DOWN was too funny not to write more about, so I wrote a spinoff called BLUE SPIRIT, which is the story of Skye MacLeod, who sees fairies when she’s had a couple of drinks. Dark, Grimm-style fairies, not Tinkerbell. So, she spends most of that book tipsy, trying to save her vampire-gaming friends from very real danger. That’s going to be a second trilogy, probably called TIPSY FAIRY TALES, and those will be released next year sometime (I still have two to write).

I appreciate this opportunity to speak with you on your latest novel, Eric. I wish you long lasting and continued success in your writing career. REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

Thanks, John, I wish you the best too, and can’t wait to start reading my copy of THE GOD KILLERS!

To my readers, go pick up your copy of Four Til Late at the following link!

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Til-Late-Eric-Garrison/dp/1937929221/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374520017&sr=1-2&keywords=Four+Til+Late

BURNING THE MIDDLE GROUND BLOG TOUR WITH L ANDREW COOPER

Burning-CoverRev3Title: Burning the Middle Ground

Author: L. Andrew Cooper
Publisher: BlackWyrm
ISBN: 978-1-61318-138-6
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 330
Available @: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

LAndrewCooperToday I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, writer L Andrew Cooper! His debut novel is titled, “Burning the Middle Ground.”

L Andrew Cooper is a writer at BlackWyrm Publishing, a publisher of fine speculative fiction. Cooper is a fresh new voice and rising star in the speculative fiction world.

Biography:

L. Andrew Cooper thinks the smartest people like horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. Early in life, he couldn’t handle the scary stuff–he’d sneak and watch horror films and then keep his parents up all night with his nightmares. In the third grade, he finally convinced his parents to let him read grownup horror novels: he started with Stephen King’s Firestarter, and by grade five, he was doing book reports on The Stand.

When his parents weren’t being kept up late by his nightmares, they worried that his fascination with horror fiction would keep him from experiencing more respectable culture. That all changed when he transitioned from his public high school in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia to uber-respectable Harvard University, where he studied English Literature. From there, he went on to get a Ph.D. in English from Princeton, turning his longstanding engagement with horror into a dissertation. The dissertation became the basis for his first book, Gothic Realities (2010). More recently, his obsession with horror movies turned into a book about one of his favorite directors, Dario Argento (2012). He also co-edited the textbook Monsters (2012), an attempt to infect others with the idea that scary things are worth people’s serious attention.

After living in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California, Andrew now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches at the University of Louisville. Burning the Middle Ground is his debut novel.

Burning the Middle Ground is a unique blend of horror and dark fantasy which takes place in a  a small Southern town being ripped asunder by a supernatural conspiracy.

Five years after tragic murders divide Kenning, Georgia along religious lines, Ronald Glassner, a web journalist from New York, arrives to write a book about the tragedy’s sole survivor, Brian McCullough. Homicidal house pets, enucleated corpses, and menacing apparitions soon help Ronald understand that there’s something much bigger going on in Kenning, something connected to the town’s First Church and the imposing Reverend Michael Cox. With Brian, Brian’s girlfriend Melanie Grayson, progressive preacher Jeanne Harper, and police officer Winston Beecher, Ronald embarks on an investigation that takes them all into a nightmarish plot that will change the entire country.

I thoroughly enjoyed L Andrew Cooper’s modern take on the Horror/Dark Fantasy hybrid genre he produced in Burning the Middle Ground and I’m sure you will also! As a writer, I’m  honored to be in a position to spread the word about such a talented storyteller.

You owe it to yourself to check out Burning the Middle Ground, it’s definitely a treat to be had!

LAndrewCooperTourBadge