Maxine: I’ll have you know, Mister, that I haven’t been a day over 33 in nearly 50 years!
RJ: ….That would only make sense to you, Maxine.
Maxine: Why, thanks. I think.
RJ: I just mean that yesterday, Haunting Obsession received its 40th review on Amazon, and even though it was my second book, it’s easily the most it’s the most popular book in my loose trilogy in terms of both sales and reviews. So I thought—
[Maxine slaps RJ’s other cheek]
RJ: Ow! Seriously? What is wrong with you??
Maxine: You just called me loose. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.
RJ: I thought you’d want a chance to thank our loyal readers for all their support in getting us this far.
Maxine: Thank them? Shouldn’t you be thanking me? Do you want me to tell your “loyal readers” what you pay me to be your ongoing mascot every time you can’t think of a clever idea for a blog?
RJ: Hey now! I’m just saying, we owe our audience a huge thank you because we’d never had done it without them.
Maxine: Or maybe your loyal readers know an awesome cover when they see it. I mean, look at me. I am a dish, aren’t I? And Bonnie Wasson captured my good side.
RJ: Well, yes, it is a great cover, but—
Maxine: I mean, let’s face it, prop it up at your table and it sells itself. What fan of steamy ghost fiction can possibly resist?
RJ: Fine, then let me talk. I wrote this to extend my heart-felt thanks to each and every reader and for all the terrific comments I’ve heard about Haunting Obsession since its release. And I want to thank my publisher Seventh Star for it’s incredible support of me on this journey, and all my peers and friends who have helped me in more ways than I can say. I promise the best is yet to come. Most especially to Bonnie Wasson, Nell Williams, Nikki Howard, and Lily Monstermeat for offering their great interpretations of the character for me to use.
[RJ looks at Maxine]
RJ: Don’t you have anything to say?
Maxine: Sure. Thank you, RJ’s readers, for demonstrating your elegant good taste and serving as my willing minions in my plans to take over the world…one book at a time.
RJ: Okay, never mind, just join me in taking a bow.
Maxine: [wink] Ah-ha, I knew you were up to something, Mister.
Thank you, readers, for helping me reach this milestone. As a good friend likes to say: The Best is Yet To Come.
Inconjunction was the first con I ever attended over 20 years ago as Mrs. RJ’s date. The authors were my heroes and I always wanted to be where they were. Now I’m dpoing just that for my third time. Unreal.
So it turns out, the awesome people who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) moved their monthly meetings to a few miles down the road from where I live. I opened my big mouth and said “sure, the SFG will do as many panels as you want.” So they got us hopping this year!
Here’s your Stalker’s Guide to finding me.
Friday, July 4th
4 pm–Main Programming Room: Book Trailers–what are they good for? With: Eric Garrison and Author Co-Guest of Honor Kat Falls.
7 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: What are your favorites in genre television, and why? With: Mike Suess
8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie With: John F. Allen and Mike Suess.
Saturday, July 5
11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One With: the SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey
1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: With John F. Allen
4 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 & 8: Making the Jump to a Series With: John F. Allen and Mike Shepherd.
7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction With: The SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.
10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading With: John F. Allen, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
The 99 cent promotion has moved a lot of Haunting Obsession ebooks in the past three days. Not only am I seeing positive spikes on the impossible-to-comprehend Amazon bar charts they make available to authors for endless head-scratching confusion, but just a few minutes ago I discovered that the book has officially cracked the Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Ghost Fiction chart at #89! Please continue to spread the word…let’s see how far we can take this!
Thank you very much for all your support. This would not have been possible without my readers and fans.
Apparently we’re starting the 99 cent sale on Haunting Obsession …and that’s fine by me. Now and for a limited time, download your choice of e-book: Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, for only 99 cents! Part of the Seventh Star Spring Fling!
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling has been going for several days now, in which a few titles at a time from the press’s catalog drop to 99 cents for a limited time. During those price drops, the press has hit some new bestseller highs. Michael West had his terrific haunted theater title Cinema of Shadows (click here to read my 9-Arjay Review) hit the top ten in horror.
Even more exciting, Michael was the editor of Vampires Don’t Sparkle, which also became a top ten bestseller…and that title includes my story Robot Vampire. I am now a contributor to a bestselling anthology! How cool is that?
As we head into next week, author peep Eric Garrison‘s book, Four ‘Til Late–the first book in his road ghost trilogy–gets the 99 cents treatment March 31-April 2, and my popular paranormal thriller, Haunting Obsession, goes on sale April 1-April 3. That’s all e-options, including Amazon and Nook, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, that’s the time!
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling continues through mid-April, with a Facebook event devoted to telling everyone about it. Click here to go there! There’s a lot more deals by terrific authors available. Thanks for your support and please spread the word!
“Daryl is obsessed with Maxine Marie (think Marilyn Monroe) and has quite a memorabilia collection. His girlfriend, Loretta, has coped with this up until the night Daryl takes her shopping for her birthday present only to insist on buying himself a framed rent check Maxine had signed before becoming a household name. Storming off in a fury, Loretta makes her own way home, ignoring the advice of the Transit King to go wait for Daryl in his apartment. Unfortunately for Daryl, the rent check has become tied to Maxine’s ghost and, as she discovers the new world available to her as a powerful ghost, she doesn’t want to leave.”
Here, re-posted for your consideration, is a writing exercise I composed this morning in one of my writer’s groups. A bit of metafiction whimsey and proof that while Haunting Obsession has been out for several months, Maxine isn’t done haunting me yet. (Yes, at the mentioned moment, two men stood just outside our open conference room door and proceeded to have a conversation.)
I stared at the laptop screen; the blank white surface stared back, screaming intimidation.
I glanced at the clock, mulling over the exercise, thinking, Wow, Steve, that’s a bit of a tall order. An evocative scene, using all five senses, simple words, and you want us to read it at the end of the hour? Really?
Behind me, I felt her lean against my shoulders, her breathy whisper in my ear sending a responsive shiver down my spine. “So, what’cha doing R.J.?”
I turned and looked behind me. There was Maxine Marie, the glamorous Hollywood ghost, the late great shapely gorgeous blonde, grinning for me and only me.
Still, I didn’t appreciate the timing. “Maxine, what are you doing here…now?”
Her bottom lip protruded, and she looked down at her feet. “Oh, look at Mister Serious Author, turning all grumpy-puss. As if I have any control over when I enter your mind.”
She turned and sat on the table, seated on her shapely bottom between myself and the new woman. Her body phased right through the chair, as ghosts tend to do.
It was fine, I could still see through her to the end of the room. A hint of vanilla lavender perfume drifted toward me. (Vanilla lavender? Sure, why not.)
“So,” said Maxine into the air, her nails tap-tap-tapping a quick rhythm on the tabletop. “You’re supposed to write to the five senses. What can we write about?”
I glared down, her nails, still ticking out their rapid tempo, the rhythm rapidly ratcheting on my last nerve. “Would you stop doing that please?”
She looked down, flashed an abashed grin, and folded her hands in her lap. “Sorry.”
“So how many have we covered?” she asked. I started looking over my draft. “Not sure. I wish those two guys out in the hallway would stop talking so we would concentrate on the assignment.”
Maxine nodded. “No kidding. Hey!” She offered a mischievous grin. “Want me to go out and scare them?”
I considered. I knew I should be filled with alarm, the very idea jolting my body so I could describe all sorts of abnormal sensations for this writing exercise, but my heart just wasn’t in it.
Truthfully, the thought of her walking through the wall, appearing between them while donning thick black glasses, hissing a librarian-like “shhhhh……” and then vanishing into thin air gave me the giggles.
But…I shook my head. “No, better not.”
“Oh, poo. You’re no fun.”
I reached for my blue travel coffee mug and took a sip, the tepid liquid, two hours past its prime, left a bitter aftertaste.
Maxine nodded. “Nicely done, sneaking in the sense of taste.”
I smiled at the compliment. “Thanks!”
I drummed my fingers lightly across the black keys in a repetitive motion, trying to think where else to take this scene.
“Hey, Mister,” she chastised. “Now who’s being annoying?”
I stopped. “Sorry.”
Maxine’s gaze lifted, settling on the clock, which showed quarter ’til.
“Think you have enough?”
“Sure. Thanks, Maxine.”
“Don’t mention it. Talk to you soon, RJ.” And she vanished.