John F. Allen will be featured author and panelist at Imaginarium Convention

Imaginarium Logo

This weekend is the first-ever Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY, a new type of creator/reader friendly convention, in which Seventh Star Press is front and center.

I’ll be in the Seventh Star Press section with my Indy author peeps R.J. Sullivan and Eric Garrison, selling The God Killers, my debut novel and Book I in a series and a NEW line of nail polish, brought to you by Akira Lacquer and inspired by characters from the novel. Most of the time you can find me in the Vendor’s Room and if not, I’ll be on a hand either moderating or sitting in on the following panels:

Friday 5:00 PM: The Big Reveal – Plot Twists are an important part of mystery writing. Ever wonder how to keep yours from sounding trite or goofy? Come talk to our experts about how they establish and reveal twists and turns in mystery settings without being corny. Moderator: Tony Acree Panelists: John F. Allen, Tommy Hancock, Christopher Kokoski.

Saturday 9:00 AM: The Evolution of Urban Fantasy – Panelists experienced in the growing Urban Fantasy genre talk about the evolution of the genre and how both their work and the work of their contemporaries fits into the grand scheme. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Missa Dixon, Addie J. King.

Saturday 12:00 PM: Paranormal Romance vs. Urban Fantasy (M) – A common misconception among readers is that Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance are the same thing. While this can be true, there are very distinct differences between the two. Our authors discuss those similarities and differences to help you distinguish between them. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Missa Dixon, Nicole Kurtz, Jettie Necole Angelia Sparrow, Pamela Turner.

Saturday 6:00 PM: Racial Lines in Romance (M) – Authors and editors discuss how to properly execute an interracial romance scene without being trite or offensive. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Maddie James, Annie Jones, Nicole Kurtz, Kimberly Richardson.

Sunday 11:00 AM: Urban Fantasy: The Gateway Genre –  Let’s face it, Urban Fantasy is a huge trend and a growing portion of the Speculative Fiction realm. Our panelists discuss how the rise in Urban Fantasy has changed the sci-fi/fantasy landscape. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Allan Gilbreath, Nicole Kurtz, Tim Waggoner.

Sunday 12:00 PM: Pulp Fiction 101 (M) – What is Pulp Fiction? This panel will cover the history of pulp writing and how today’s trends differ from the stories that started it. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Earl Dean, Andrea Judy, Sean Taylor.

I expect this to be a GREAT weekend and I hope to see some of you there. REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

AUTHOR RJ SULLIVAN GUEST BLOG POST

In my writer’s journey I was blessed to have met a very talented author, who also became a good friend. I am honored to present to you here in this guest blog, without further ado…RJ Sullivan!

 

Haunting Blue CoverHello, and thanks very much to my good friend the incredibly talented, John F. Allen, for having me on today as part of my guest blog in support of Haunting Blue, my latest release from Seventh Star Press.

The following “bonus scenes” were composed specially for this blog, but can be read as occurring before and after the school scenes in Chapter 2 of Haunting Blue. The scenes are self-contained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Janice Copley, Dean of Girls, stared at the paperwork on her desk, the official record of the new student seated across s from her, a Ms. Fiona Shaefer. She kept her eyes on the paperwork so she wouldn’t gape at the student herself.

When the girl had entered her office, Copley bit her lip to hold back a shocked noise. The new student looked like an extra in a Clash video.  Bright blue hair, spiked and unkempt, a jeans jacket and half-T. The head and shoulders of some pop singer glared back from the shirt. Did that style come back when I wasn’t looking? Every day, Copley saw something new in these halls that made her feel older and more out of touch.

Copley reviewed the record. Fiona, a senior, had transferred from Broad Ripple High School, a college town near Indianapolis. Well, that explains that. Fiona’s grades, for the most part, were pretty solid, with remarkable marks in English. She planned to major in poetry. No discipline problems. Well, that’s a pleasant surprise.

Having swallowed back the chuckle, she scanned the tentative schedule and scribbled her initials. She tore off the student copy and handed it to the stone-faced student. “Hello, Fiona. I’m always excited to see new faces here in Perrione. I’m a transplant myself. I grew up in Noblesville and took this job five years ago.”

The girl took the page. Copley waited while Fiona’s eyes scanned the paper. After a moment, her face broke into a grin. If not for the wild hair, Copley might have considered her attractive.

“So there’s no getting around it. You’re going to stand out a bit with your…city look, but—”

“Are there any rules against what I’m wearing?”

Not yet, but only because we never needed them before now, Copley thought. Out loud, she said, “Strictly speaking, no. But if anyone—”

“Listen,” said Fiona. “It’s not my choice to be here. My Mom moved us. I’m not in love with the idea, but I’m not going to start trouble. I just want to get through school and get on with the rest of my life.”

Well…that was something. Copley didn’t know what, but it was something. “I simply meant, if anyone causes you any trouble, you’re free to come to me. I mean that, Fiona.”

Copley waited. Fiona flashed another smile that, she had to admit, Copley found charming. “I won’t snitch—”

“Of course not.”

“— but if I have any problems, I’ll come to you.”

“Deal.” Copley reached out, and Fiona returned her handshake warmly. Maybe she’d been concerned over nothing. It seemed to her that the punk façade hid a gentle soul underneath. “Good luck, and welcome to Perionne High.”

****

An hour later:

Copley had just settled behind her desk with a fresh steaming mug of coffee. Movement drew her attention to the window. Oh, no, what? She recognized the gym teacher and two math teachers escorting a student in the direction of her office. Even through the slits of blinds, she could see the distinct blue-haired head of the new student.

She also knew the aftermath of a fight when she saw one. Figures.

She threw open the door and met the group halfway. Specks of blood marred the denim jacket. Dots of red also spotted the pop singer’s face on the half-t. A second look confirmed that the blood wasn’t the punk girl’s.

Copley struggled to keep her voice even, “Just an hour ago you told me I wouldn’t have to worry about you, Ms. Shaefer.”

Jeff–Mr. Fenley, she mentally corrected herself–spoke. “It was Clinty.” With his back to the punk girl, his look if sympathy communicated the rest. Go easy on her.

Clinty was a bully a frequent troublemaker. No two ways about it. She didn’t envy the Dean of Boys right now. The fact that this girl had tangled with Clinty and could walk to the office said something about her toughness as well.

But Clinty wasn’t her problem.

Conley pointed. “My office. Now.”

Head bowed, the punk girl walked, her feet dragging.

“You’ll need this,” said Jeff. He held out a leather strap with metal studs, perfect for fitting over knuckles. This, too, was stained with blood.

Conley took they weapon and followed the student. As soon as she shut the door, she let the strap drop between them on the desk.”What’s this for?”

“It’s an air freshener.”

“Funny. You asked me if your clothes were against the rules. This is.”

“I defended myself.”

I motioned to the stains on her clothes. “You look like you did pretty good.”

“He attacked me. I didn’t provoke him. I have witnesses. Those teachers saw it.”

Fiona folded her arms, focusing on a spot like every student Conley had ever seen who tried really hard to look toug while also trying really hard not to cry.

“I don’t doubt your word, Fiona.” She wrapped her fingers around the phone receiver. “I have to call your mother.”

“No!” Fiona sat up straight, and a tear escaped to fall over her cheek. “Please don’t call her.” Her eyes pleaded their case. “Look, can’t I just….do in class suspension?”

“The weapon ties my hands, Fiona. I have to suspend you from school three days.”

“From school?”

“I’m sorry. Your mother will have to come pick you up.”

“But I didn’t start it. I was defending myself. Please, Ms. Conley.”

Conley paused on the verge of dialing. She had no doubt that Clinty had jumped this girl. Maybe this time, the cowardly principal would expel that bully once and for all. Except Clinty’s father is the school security cop, so not likely.

“Listen, I’ll explain to your mother. I’ll tell her what happened. I’ll do whatever I can to make this easy on you.” She wasn’t sure why she said all this. Why did she feel moved to defend a girl she hardly knew? Because I know Clinty. That’s why.

 “It won’t matter,” Fiona said, wiping her cheeks. “Why do you think /’m here in the first place? My mom hates me. She brought me here to torture me, and no matter what you say, she’ll assume it’s my fault.”

Conley reached out and patter her hand. “I’m sorry, Fiona. I’ll do all I can. But I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you think.”

 

Haunting Blue Tour Badge

INCONJUNCTION SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY CONVENTION 2014 IS THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!

Inconjunction Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention 2014 is being held on the east side of Indianapolis, this Fourth of July weekend! It’s an awesome local event celebrating all things within the speculative fiction realms. This year I’m attending as part of the Speculative Fiction Guild (SFG) and we’re hitting the con in a big way.

TGK OFFICIAL COVER ART

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll have a vendor’s booth with all of our titles, where I’ll be selling and autographing copies of my debut novel,  The God Killers. Convention pricing is $15.

Also at the SFG booth: RJ SullivanMatthew Barron and Eric Garrison. Directly next to us is SFG member Crystal Leflar, who’s running her OWN vendor booth as event marketer for Nightscape Press, so check out their array of titles along with her own books.

The WONDERFUL folks who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) has the SFG hopping in panels this year and we’re glad for it!

This will be my second appearance at Inconjunction, first time with a novel to sell/promote and I’M VERY EXCITED to attend!

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Here’s my panel itinerary:

Friday, July 4th
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8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie with: RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.
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Saturday, July 5
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11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One with: the SFG: RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey

1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: with RJ Sullivan.

3 pm–Indianapolis Ballroom D: Modern Fairy Tales with Eric Garrison, Crystal Leflar and Rosemary Laurey.

4 pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Making the Jump to a Series with RJ Sullivan and Mike Shepherd.

5pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Comic Book Movies: Live Action and Animation with RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.

7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction with The SFG:  RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.

10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading with RJ Sullivan, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
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Sunday, July 6
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11 am-Indianapolis Ballroom B: This Year’s Comic Book Movies with Mike Suess.
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While you’re there, check out James Barnes of Loconeal Books, local filmmaker Kate Chaplin of Karmic Courage Productions, and check out the show by Five Year Mission.

I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

 

 

 

SEVENTH STAR PRESS SPRING FLING $0.99 EBOOK EXTRAVAGANZA WEEK 2

GREETINGS! Today we start the next round of $.99 titles offered by SEVENTH STAR PRESS! We have six new books that just went live at reduced prices, THIS OFFER IS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, SO ACT NOW!

Please be sure to share the links and take advantage of the FANTASTIC SALE!

REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

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ANGEL KILLERAngelkiller by HDavid Blalock:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Angelkiller-Triad-H-David-Blalock-ebook/dp/B006CR84AI

 

 

 

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OVERKILLOverkill by Steven Steven L. Shrewsbury:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Overkill-Steven-Shrewsbury-ebook/dp/B007X0G9IW

 

 

 

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REDHEARTRedheart by Jackie Gamber:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Redheart-Leland-Dragon-Jackie-Gamber-ebook/dp/B004VFNJIA

 

 

 

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VAMPIRES DONT SPARKLEVampires Don’t Sparkle – edited by Michael West:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Dont-Sparkle-Michael-West-ebook/dp/B00C2EYU0S

 

 

 

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WRITERS WORKSHOPWriter’s Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy – edited by Michael Knost:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Workshop-Science-Fiction-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B00CFU2K4W

TODAY THE GOD KILLERS IS ON SALE FOR JUST $0.99 AND IT GOT ANOTHER 5 STAR REVIEW!!!

HELLO STAUNCH PERUSERS!!!
Come one, come all to the SSP Spring Fling! Seventh Star Press titles will be offered for $0.99! That’s right, folks, just ninety-nine little pennies for the best of the best! Not sure what you need? That’s okay! We have something for everyone!
With the kind assistance of BookBub, BookGorilla, and BookTastik we’re putting the word on the streets. So step right up and… take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
The schedule for my book(s) are as follows:
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TGK OFFICIAL COVER ARTMarch 16-19: The God Killers (BookGorilla/BookTastik)
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REVISED_SWORD_COVER_1200X840April 7-9:  Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword (BookGorilla/BookTastik)
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HIT THE LINK BELOW FOR A SCHEDULE OF THE OTHER TITLES AND DATES!
https://www.facebook.com/events/463873437075218/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
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Also, here is a view of the BookGorilla ad and a link to the page!
TGK OFFICIAL COVER ARTA former professional art thief is hired to procure a pair of antique pistols and gets much more than she bargained for, in
The God Killers
By John F. Allen
Ivory Blaque’s client turns out to be a shadowy government agent who lets her in on the disturbing secret of her own heritage, and uses it to guilt her into working for him. Must she play along with the forces trying to manipulate her, to clear her name, unlock the secrets of her past, and protect the lives of those closest to her?
Today’s Bargain Price: $0.99

Everyday Price: $3.99
Deal Ends: 3/19/2014
Categories: All Fantasy; All Mystery & Thrillers
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Last, but certainly not least, here is a highlight from and a link to the latest 5 Star Review of The God Killers!!!

“Ivory herself is everything I look for in a heroine. She is independent and smart, she has had her share of heartbreak but still has that attitude that gives her a little bit of edge. I really appreciate that while she is slow to trust and has her demons, she is not totally isolated. There are people in her life she does trust. I absolutely love that she is involved in the art scene, making her a refreshing example of a kick-ass woman. She has a past that informs her actions. I did not even mind that there looks like there could be a possible love triangle in the making, because while men are certainly on her mind, they really are not the most important thing happening to her.
I adore the secondary characters. These people come alive, I want to know more about them and see what is going to happen in the future. I think these characters being so solid helps establish and ground this world. The political structure of the various groups is palpable, even though we only get fairly minimal exposure to each.
The mechanics of The God Killers just work really well. It excellently-paced, Ivory’s voice is strong and certain, and it sets up what I can easily see as being a much wider world with endless potential. The plot is fantastic, including some very effective twists that make this a really fun read. The God Killers is obviously the opening salvo to a promising series, yet it still manages to give resolution to the initial mystery.
John F. Allen has a splendid and solid debut on his hands. If you are a fan of Jane Yellowrock and Mercy Thompson I think you will get a huge kick out of Ivory and The God Killers. I cannot wait to see what is next.”

CLICK BELOW FOR THE FULL REVIEW!
STAY TUNED 4 MORE & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

RECLAMATION BLOG TOUR WITH JACKIE GAMBER!

JackieGamberTourBadge_450X300Today I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, “Reclamation” the latest novel from my friend, the wonderful and extremely talented Jackie Gamber!
Jackie 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 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. Jackie Gamber is a proven bestselling author with popular titles such as: Redheart and Sela. Her voice is powerful one, that is sure to entertain and enlighten.
I’m proud to know her and call her my friend, but even more than that, I’m inspired by her 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.
Don’t wait, go out and pick up a copy of Reclamation by Jackie Gamber, and while you’re at it, pick up Redheart and Sela too,  you’ll be glad that you did!

 
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Jackie_authorAbout the Author: As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart and Sela, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. 

Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves. Jackie Gamber was co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, helping writers connect since 2008.

 

9781937929404_Perfect_Cover.inddBook Synopsis Reclamation: The exciting conclusion of the Leland Dragon Series!
Leland Province remains in danger. The sinister Fordon Blackclaw has returned from the shadows to strike at the heart of neighboring Esra, killing its Venur and making clear his intentions to retake what was once his: Mount Gore, seat of the Leland Dragon Council.
All around, the land grows weaker and weaker. Leland, once thought saved by Kallon Redheart, is without purpose, and within its borders, Murk Forest, a place of mystery and danger, has driven its inhabitants to seek aid. Esra is in flames, and the Rage Desert grows. Dragon and human alike struggle to find their way, and the wizard Orman can sense that there may be more at stake than the affairs of dragons.
Hope remains, yet it is not without obstacles. In Esra, Sela, the daughter of Kallon and Riza, found the well, a source of life, and made herself whole again. But her homecoming is not what she had imagined.
O
ld wounds buried deep must reopen if life is to continue. Dragons, humans, wizards, and shape shifters are all at risk as the peace between dragon and human has finally been broken.

War is here.
The stakes?
Perhaps the whole world.

Reclamation_Illustration1PursuitReclamation_Illustration2Jastin
Author Links:
Website: http://www.jackiegamber.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mosaic-Mind-of-Jackie-Gamber/334783969938507
Twitter: @jackiegamber

 

 

 

 

 


Tour Schedule and Activities

2/24                A Book Vacation                                            Tour Wide Contest

2/24                Azure Dwarf                                                   Promo/Spotlight

2/24                Come Selahway With Me                             Guest Post

2/24                Jellowquake Productions                             Review

2/25                Creating Estelan                                            Promo/Spotlight

2/25                Workaday Reads                                           Review

2/25                Alexx Momcat’s Gateway Book Blog                       Promo Spotlight

2/25                Jorie Loves a Story                                        Character Post

2/25                I Smell Sheep                                                 Character Post

2/26                Kentucky Geek Girl                                        Guest Post

2/26                Deal Sharing Aunt                                         Review

2/26                Book in the Bag                                             Interview

2/27                Sheila Deeth                                                   Character Interview

2/27                John F. Allen Writer                                      Promo/Spotlight

2/28                Jorie Love a Story                                          Review

2/28                Azure Dwarf                                                   Review

2/28                Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My                        Guest Post

2/28                MichaelSciFan                                                            Interview

3/1      Elizabeth Delana Rosa ~Book Lover & Creator of Worlds~   Post on Art of Reclamation

3/1                  Coffintree Hill                                                 Guest Post

3/2                  Jorie Loves a Story                                        Author Interview/Reader Questions

3/2                  Bee’s Knees Reviews                                      Review

3/2                  Jess Resides Here                                           Guest Post

3/2                  Book and Movie Dimension Blog                 Review

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Amazon Links for Reclamation

Print Version

http://www.amazon.com/Reclamation-Jackie-Gamber/dp/193792940X

Kindle Version

http://www.amazon.com/Reclamation-Leland-Dragon-Series-Jackie-ebook/dp/B00HFPOU36

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3Covers_LelandDragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SSP BANNER

 

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

IMAGINARIUM 2014 ANNOUNCED!

Welcome to Imaginarium 2014, a creative writing convention where ideas transcend reality!
imaginarium-design-finalI am excited and extremely proud to announce that coming to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky from September 19-21 of 2014 is, The Imaginarium!

This is a unique kind of convention offering a wealth of programming, events, and all kinds of fun for those who enjoy the world of creative writing!

Imaginarium 2014 is an event open to all genres, exploring all kinds of creative writing, from books, to comics/graphic novels, screenplays, blogging, and much more! Featuring 11 tracks loaded with panels and workshops, a film festival, gaming, an art show, costume contest, awards banquet, and much more, Imaginarium is the region’s premiere creative writing event.

Imaginarium 2014 will feature a powerful array of panelists and guests, including authors, editors, publishers, screenwriters, game designers, and much more. Guests will be added regularly to the site throughout the coming months.

The event offers great discounts for early registration and exhibiting in the vendor hall, so be sure to come aboard early!

Whether you are a an author, screenwriter, a reader, a movie enthusiast, or just enjoy the convention experience, Imaginarium is sure to be one of your “can’t-miss” events of the year!

To find out more about Imaginarium 2014, including registration and vendor tables at discount rates, visit www.entertheimaginarium.com
– See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/10/imaginarium-2014-announced.html#sthash.GS033j6F.dpuf

FOREST OF SHADOWS FEATURED IN SEVENTH STAR PRESS ANTHOLOGY TITLED THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD

GREETINGS STAUNCH PERUSERS!
Double Book Cover Thunder on the BattlefieldMy latest character creation, Prince Jaziri of Kagiso, makes his debut in my BRAND NEW Sword & Soul short story “Forest of Shadows”! Available now in eBook format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and by mid-August in Print, as part of the Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword and Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery anthologies from Editor James R. Tuck, author of the dark urban fantasy series featuring Deacon Chalk and published by Seventh Star Press!
Here’s the full list of authors and stories in the two volumes:
(click link above to purchase!)
Featuring:
G. Jerome Henson: “THE HORDE”
Jay Requard: “PAPER DEMONS”
D.T. Neal: “THE WOLF & THE CROW”
John F. Allen: “FOREST OF SHADOWS”
Marcella Burnard “EMISSARY”
David J. West: “THE DOGS OF WAR”
Alexis A. Hunter: “THE RED HAND”
James R. Tuck “WHERE THE RED BLOSSOMS WEEP”
Loriane Parker: “THIEF OF SOULS”
W. E. Wertenberger: “THE GNAWED BONE”
Stephen Zimmer “ALL THE LANDS, NOWHERE A HOME”
J.S. Veter “THE WITCH OF RYMAL PASS”
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REVISED_SORCERY_COVER1200X835Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery  
(click link above to purchase!)
Featuring:
Jeffe Kennedy: “NEGOTIATION”
Alex Hughes: “THE FOURTH RULE”
Selah Janel: “THE RUINS OF ST. LOUIS”
Steve Grassie: “MARK OF THE WARRIOR”
James R. Tuck: “ANGELS OF SCRAWL”
M.B Weston: “THE CHERUBIAN, THE LINDWORM, AND THE PORTAL”
Brady Allen: “GRINDING THE GEARS”
S.H. Roddey “BLACK ICE”
Steven S. Long: “THE TWO FIRES”
D.A. Adams: “ACROSS THE WILDS”
Mark Taverna “DARK GENESIS”
Steven L. Shrewsbury “WHORE OF JERICHO”
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The awesome cover art for the anthologies were created by Enggar Adirasa, the same cover artist for my debut novel The God Killers!)