So over the weekend I opened the two-story lounge where I will be hosting a big party over the next couple of weeks.
No, I didn’t rent a ballroom. There, obvious joke over.
Two of my stories are going live within a few days of each other and I’m super-stoked. The release dates are extremely fluid because Seventh Star is a sort of crunch mode after some unavoidable delays earlier this summer, and both of my books post Very Soon Now. We just don’t know….exactly when. So I said “what the heck” and decided to host an interactive party on Facebook.
Okay, it’s more like a virtual lounge. In fact, that’s what I call it, the R.J. Sullivan Two-Story Release Party Lounge. I’m so clever. Essentially it’s a temporary public group on Facebook where fans, friends and peers can drop in and out and see the latest news, play some trivia, and I’ll raffle for all sorts of prizes, thanks to my author buds.
Plus–its primary purpose–to make it easy for you to track the release of my new science fiction Singles novelette, the Fate of the Red Lotus, due out mid week. And of course, capping off with the long-anticipated follow-up in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer–Virtual Blue! We’ll have excerpts and art reveals before it goes live.
And with the convenience of being in a group, the update posts won’t scroll several pages off your feed in a couple of hours. So even if you can only check in once a day, you won’t miss any updates.
Oh no, you’re thinking, I can’t bear to hear RJ talk about himself for days and days. To which I say–FREE stuff! You love to read, don’t you? (Yes, RJ, why else would we be here, duh!) So I’ve asked several of my talented and generous author buds to help make it worth your while to stick around, including Eric Garrison,John F. Allen, Chantel Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Kat French, and James W. Kirk, and that’s just the folks I reached out to on short notice.
The list is growing. We’ll have lots of ebook giveaways–mainly because ebooks are so easy to handle in something like this, but don’t be surprised if some “actual” things may need to be boxed and mailed before it’s over. Wow, I have a way with words.
So why are you still reading this? The party’s already started and going on without you. Click here already!
But that’s not a lot, and the wait has been long, but I hope well worth it. In early 2013, with deadline approaching and a long way to go, I took a few month writing sabbatical (not entirely, but mostly) to finish Virtual Blue, the second book in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer. Add to that, some unavoidable delays that are the reality of small press publishing, we were pushed back probably another month. And so, without yet committing to a release date, I can announce with confidence that Virtual Blue is coming out next month.
The story picks up with Chip and Blue two years after the events of Haunting Blue, carrying on an uneasy long distance relationship as they attend colleges in different parts of the country. For reasons obvious at the end of Haunting Blue, things are not going well for them. Things are so bad, that Blue arranges to fly back to Indiana to break up with Chip over Thanksgiving break. She thinks she’s in for a miserable weekend, and she’ right–but she doesn’t know the half of it.
“Hell Just Went Digital.” That’s the tagline and hints of things to come. The many people who loved Rebecca Burton, my paranormal investigator from Haunting Obsession, will be happy to know she will play a big part in the next installment, and I include a few other surprises and characters from other Seventh Star authors.
At 90,000 words, Virtual Blue is my most ambitious project (certainly my longest). There’s ghosts. Also demons. And psychopaths. And warriors. And sorcerers. And swordfights. There’s a bathroom sink, but in retrospect, I should have made it a kitchen sink.
If you enjoyed Haunting Blue and the relationship between Blue Shaefer and Chip, you will find much to love here. That said, by design and based on pre-reader feedback, you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy the second (more on that below).
Virtual Blue will not be out in time for the Paranormal Meet n Greet. It’s a choice between rushing production or taking the time to make it right. Seventh Star has been supportive times a million. Hyperbole aside, I took extra time with this. I wanted to make this the best effort I could. It’s what my readers deserve, and what you’ll always get. It just might not always be as fast as I’d like it.
So all that said….after I turned in Virtual Blue, I had some time on my hands, as well as a desire to stretch my genre muscles and to explore strange new worlds, so to speak. So I started messing around with a sci-fi spaceship idea I’d had for awhile, and before I knew it, I’d drafted The Fate of the Red Lotus, the first of a series of space opera novelettes. I grew up reading the spaceship fiction of Andre Norton, Elizabeth Moon, and of course, watching certain tales on TV created by Gene Roddenberry, and finally put my own slant on the classic genre. The first Red Lotus story will hit later this fall, as a Seventh Star Single, and if you love it as much as my pre-readers, we might see a new series before too long.
But wait, there’s more! As the year wraps up, Seventh Star is scheduling a re-printed, authorized version of Haunting Blue, the first book in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer, featuring a new cover and interior art by Series Illustrator Bonnie Wasson, giving my three novels a unified series look for the first time ever.
Three authors are offering brand-new releases exclusive to this event first! When I say brand-new, I mean you can’t even purchase these books though normal retail or internet outlets for a few more days. I mean the first print run in still the mail to the authors and will get here just in time. Bookmama’s will be the very first place in the galaxy you can buy these books!!
Let’s break down the new stuff.
New voice John F. Allen will be offering the first book of the Ivory Blaque trilogy through Seventh Star, The God Killers, here BEFORE HIS OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH NEXT WEEK, featuring cover and interior art by Enggar Adirasa!
Eric Garrison will release Four ’til Late, the first book of his Ghost Roads Trilogy, with new cover and interior art by Bonnie Wasson!
Michael West is bringing the highly anticipated re-issue of The Wide Game, with new cover and interior art by Matthew Perry!
There will be author readings. And snacks. And temporary tattoos. A good time is guaranteed. Hope to see you there.
A complete listing of books available:
The God Killers by John F. Allen; Blue Spirit*, Four ’til Late, and Reality Check** by Eric Garrison; Haunting Blue*** (Limited copies!) and Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan; Cinema of Shadows, Poseidon’s Children, Spook House, The Wide Game, and Vampires Don’t Sparkle! (Limited copies!) by Michael West.
Books are $15 per title except Haunting Blue, $20.00. All titles are Seventh Star Press releases unless otherwise indicated.
It’s now officially less than two week before the Context SF Con, and I’ve just received my panel schedule, which I’m anxious to share with you all. I’ll be discussing some fascinating topics with some very talented and entertaining people, so there’s sure to be something worthwhile at each and every one.
When I’m not at a panel, I’ll probably be at the Indy Horror Writer’s table in the book vendor space, selling and signing, talking to fans, and hanging out with Sara Larson, Eric Garrison, A.D. Roland (the Haunting Blue cover artist—sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone) and more.
10:00 p.m. @ Arena District
Horror: Books and Movies
With Michael West, David L Day, and David Burkhead.
1:00 p.m. @ Short North
Point of View
With Gary Wedland and Linda Robertson.
6:00 p.m. @ Arena District
With Lucy A. Snyder, Linda Robertson, and Matthew Cook.
8:00 p.m. @ Short North
Ghosts: Are they real or just scary?
With Karin Shah, Mark Evans, and Joseph Martino.
Clutching a bright blue trade paperback book in her hands, the punkish teenage girl steps through the door of the Café Expresso in Broad Ripple and looks around.
Her gaze falls on the willowy young woman already seated and waving a dark green book back at her. Breaking into a grin, Fiona “Blue” Shaefer heads over to the table and shakes hands with Skye MacLeod before taking a seat across from her.
Blue: Hi there, Skye! [Blue points to the Blue Spirit paperback in her hands] Thanks for answering my email.
Skye: How could I refuse? I mean, I get to talk about myself, right? [laughs]
Waitress: What can I get you?
Blue: Medium Mocha, please, extra syrup.
Skye: [nods at her cup on the table] I’m good, thanks.
Blue: [to Skye] So, it’s been so long since I moved away, I wasn’t sure if you still remembered waiting on me all those times at the Starbucks. It’s been almost a year!
Skye: It’s good to see you again, without a counter between us this time. Wow, you’re not a kid anymore, are you?
Blue: N-no… [nods at copy of Haunting Blue in Skye’s hands] I guess you could say I’ve grown up a bit. I’ve been through a lot since the last time I was in ‘The Ripple’. I always think of you at Starbucks, it’s weird to see you here in the Café Expresso.
Skye: Well, I still go to the Broad Ripple Starbucks sometimes, but after they fired me up in Nora, I just kind of prefer independent coffee shops.
Blue: And the coffee you have there…is that…uh…just coffee?
Skye: [rolls her eyes] You know, I’m not always boozing it up, kiddo. Just unleaded coffee today for me! I, uh, kinda had to promise Annabelle I’d cut back. Being a Vampire Noble in the game is awesome, but it doesn’t, like, pay the bills, you know?
Blue: Yeah, I hear you there. So… [looks around the room] If I understood what you wrote, you have a little guardian fairy named Minnie you have to be tipsy to interact with. Is she around now? Or can you tell?
Skye: [shrugs] I see her more without alcohol these days, but she’s also more independent of me, too. I haven’t seen her today. She’s becoming much more her own person. It’s good for her, but kind of sad, since I’d gotten used to always having her around, watching out for me. So, I’m going through two separate types of withdrawal, sort of. Three, really… [sighs] But I have Annabelle and my gamer friends to help me get by.
Blue: Oh, yes, Annabelle. [fans herself with paperback] I read all about you two. Only boy I can attract is the small town computer nerd but you…you land a firefighter. Every girl’s dream. Well…sorta.
Skye: [smiles and sighs] Actually, I adore nerdy guys. Stuart was the biggest nerd. Annabelle… well, she’s a bit like you, kiddo; adorable but a lot tougher than she looks.
[Waitress deposits Blue’s coffee, looks back and forth between Blue and Skye, winks at Blue, and returns to the counter]
Blue: (turning pink) Well, uh, thank you, Skye. And I’m not a prude, but it is a little weird. For months, all you used to talk about was Stuart this and Stuart that. Then he goes off with another woman, so you turn around bring in your own other woman. I’d call that sweet revenge if I thought you did it on purpose.
Skye: Stuart really betrayed me, Blue. He was the love of my life, then he sold me out. Blamed me for the fire in our apartment. Meanwhile, Annabelle saved my life. She was there for me when I’d lost everything. And, well… we can’t help who we fall for, right?
Blue: Don’t I know it? I would never thought I’d fall for a guy who plays Dungeons and Dragons. Speaking of roleplaying, tell me more about the Live Action Roleplaying game you’re into. I never played myself. Never really wanted to, then when I moved to Perionne and of course Chip talked me into it. But that was paper and dice. The live action vampire roleplaying thing seems like a whole other level, with costumes and the improv in character thing. Do players really take staying “in character” as seriously as you say in your book?
Skye: Oh definitely! Some people hate to break character, like, ever. I have a lot of fun with it, it’s good to get to be someone else for a while. And, for most of us, our pretend lives are a lot more glamorous than our actual lives. It’s like living in a story, and some days, you just don’t want the fantasy to end. Which, I know is funny coming from a girl who sees fairies. [laughs]
Blue: So… speaking of Fairies, I guess Indy has its own gnome-like Scottish Fairy who calls himself the “Transit King”? What’s up with that?
Skye: [laughs] I know, right? He’s actually pretty formidable, even if he seems to be a batty little old bum on the surface. He’s older than dirt and claims dominion over the bus system. I wonder if IndyGo knows about him? He’s mostly friendly, though I get the feeling you wouldn’t to tick him off!
Blue: Well, I didn’t see him on the bus on the way up, but then again, I try not to look very closely at the other passengers. It can get you in trouble. Speaking of colorful characters, tell me about this fella Leslie? The huge costume designer guy with the great vampire fashion sense—does he just make people look great for roleplaying vampires or can he work similar miracles for a prom or something?
Skye: [laughs] Oh yes, he’s larger than life! He wouldn’t turn you away, doll, not if I introduced you first. He specializes in costumes, nothing all that durable. But I guess a prom’s all about costumes, isn’t it? So… does this mean prom is close for you? So, I’m guessing you’re going with Chip?
Blue: No, I just meant any kind of party. [trails off] I don’t know, a big costume party would be great about now. Just dress up like someone else and…forget about everything for a few hours. Yeah, that would be nice.