R.J. Introduces John F. Allen’s The Best is Yet to Come

It was my pleasure to write the introduction to the first short story collection of the talented author and my good friend John F. Allen, released last month. I could tell you why, but I explain it in detail in the introduction. So without any further delay, here is the foreword in full.

I’m pleased and honored to write the foreword in this collection, though also a bit intimidated. For many of you readers, this may be your introduction to the imaginative world of John F. Allen, and introducing you to that is quite a task to take on in a few hundred words. John and I have been through a lot together in the last half decade or so, both as storytellers trading and refining ideas, and as independent authors trying to launch our respective careers and take over the world one book at a time. We have bonded like brothers and have frequently feuded in the same manner. But ultimately it is our love and admiration for each other that keep us together on the journey. I think there’s a 70s song by Captain and Tennille that fits here (Google it, kids).

Old songs frequently come up when hanging out with John. Love songs. Dance songs. Great songs of passion. Because if there’s one word that I would use to describe John, it’s passion. John is passionate about writing, and, as these stories show, he is passionate about life.

…if there’s one word that I would use to describe John, it’s passion.

Continue reading “R.J. Introduces John F. Allen’s The Best is Yet to Come”

Pioneers SF Short Now Live

Pioneers-CoverI’m excited to announce that my short story Pioneers is now up and live on Sci-Phi Journal, an online magazine that publishes tales of science fiction and philosophy. Some stories take awhile to sell, some go pretty quick. Some I am still trying to find a home for, years later. In the case of Pioneers, I had written it for an anthology that turned it down. No hard feelings, it happens, but I knew when I heard the focus of Sci Phi Journal that Pioneers would be a good fit.

Pioneers is the story of Magellan, the artificial intelligence of a deep space exploration ship, and its discovery of a new planet for potential human colonization. Speaking of humans, there are two of those in the story, as much as Magellan would prefer not to acknowledge that fact.  This is a quick read, perfect for an online publication, that asks the question: On the final frontier, will human be superfluous?

Enjoy the story by clicking here.

RJ at Karen’s Book Barn Nov 5

 

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Me, John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, Mysti Parker

 

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Reece McKiernan at Inconjunction earlier this year

This Sat, Nov 5, Karen’s Book Barn in LaGrange, KY, (click the link for address, etc) is hosting a multi-author book signing, conveniently scheduled to help readers get a head start on their holiday shopping. We’ll all be there on site from 11 am-4 pm. Besides yours truly, many of my favorite author peeps will there, with our full array of titles that cover a spectrum of genres, including romance, ghost stories, superheroes, urban fantasy, steampunk, adventure, children’s, YA, science fiction, fairy tale, horror, fantasy, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. Suffice it to say, you have a great chance of finding exactly what you’re looking for and getting it signed and personalized to that special someone (even if that special someone is you…that’s okay, we won’t tell).

Meet The Authors! (click on the name to see their online book catalog)

John F. Allen brings his unique voice to his Ivoryverse books populated with superhero, urban fantasy and Spy-fi fiction tales. Among my favorite titles: The GodKillers and his Knight Ranger series.

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My favorite photo of Katina French because Batgirl

Katina French writes stellar science fiction, fantasy and a unique mashup of steampunk fairy tales that I love.

Chris Garrison‘s books come in many favorite flavors, including dimension-hopping SF, Trans-Continental Steampunk pulp-style adventures, and her popular Tipsy Fairy Tales series.

Maurice McKiernan will offer his first horror short story collection Manuscripts of the Macabre in hardback and softcover editions (yes, I still need to read it, can’t you tell?)

Mysti Parker offers an array of romance titles and children’s books and another author whose writing I need to get better acquainted with.

And then there’s your humble blog host R.J. Sullivan (name listed for SEO purposes cuz I want ALL the hits!)   SF, fantasy, and ghost story titles which you can learn all about by clicking here.

All my titles are priced to meet or beat the internet. Autographs as always are FREE and worth every penny you pay! Karen’s Book Barn is just a couple hours away from Indianapolis, so come on down! What else have you got to do but stress about the election? Here’s a link to the official Multi-Author Book Signing Facebook Event Page.

Many thanks to Mysti for agreeing to let other authors “invade” her book signing.

 

Get your spooky on

interior-2‘Tis the season for ghosts and goblins and all things scary, and if you’re a reader, you’re looking for a seasonal read to get your spooky on!

I’d like to humbly suggest my paranormal series.

My first novel, Haunting Blue, is a dark homage to the Hardy Boys style of mystery, with Frank and Joe replaced by punk girl Blue and her small town computer nerd boyfriend Chip. Together they try to solve the mystery of a robbery gone awry and discover once and for all what happened to the infamous criminal Gunther Stalt and find his bag of bank money. Chip and Blue find the treasure…and the vengeful ghost still guarding it after all these years.

Haunting Obsession is my bestselling sexy ghost story about Maxine Marie, a dead Hollywood starlet, and Daryl, the fixated fan who accidentally conjures her. But just because he brought her back doesn’t mean he can control her. Before too long, Maxine’s powers grow to alarming levels as she feeds on the energy of her fans, including Daryl. It’s up to Daryl’s girlfriend Loretta–who’s feeling a bit put out by these events–to find help in the form of the mysterious paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton.

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Virtual Blue, the exciting sequel to Haunting Blue, finds our heroes fighting demons and their servants in a video game reality where death is temporary but the pain is all-too-real. Even with the help of Rebecca Burton, it’s going to take all of Blue’s wits and strength to survive this.

And don’t forget my short story collection of fantasy, sci-fi and horror, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, featuring a “bag full” of thrills and chills.

You can order all titles in ebook or paperback from major internet outlets–click the link on each title in this article to go to each dedicated order page.

If you want something extra special for Halloween, you can order titles directly from me for about the same price, signed and personalized with a Halloween message and mailed to your door. Payppal and credit card orders accepted. Here’s how you do that.

Thanks in advance for choosing my paranormal tales as part of your Halloween reading escape!

Darkness Blog Tour Master Link List

RJSullivanTourBadgeDWACOW low rezMy blog tour in support of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy launches Monday! Check out Seventh Star’s announcement here. As I’ve done the last few times because it works so well, this blog post will serve as the master list, and I’ll add live links to the each post as soon as I know they’ve gone up.

It’s going to be an exciting week and I hope you come back frequently to check it out.  I want to thank the 11 book bloggers who volunteered to be a part of the fun.

The complete blog tour is as listed:

Mon Sept 28
Book in the Bag Review (4 /5)
I Smell Sheep Review (4.5 / 5 “Sheep”)

Wed Sept 30
Bee’s Knees Reviews Review (4 / 5)

Thurs Oct 1
FUOnlyKnew Review (5 / 5)

Fri Oct 2
L. Andrew Cooper’s Horrific Scribblings Review and accompanying interview
Shells Interviews: RJ’s Top Ten Anthologies and Collections

Sat Oct 3
Jorie Loves a Story Review
Azure Dwarf: RJ’s Top Ten Women of Fiction (#1-5)

Sun Oct 4
Coffintree Hill: RJ’s Top Ten Women of Fiction (#6-10)
Armand Rosamilia, Author RJ Beyond the Darkness…

Fri Oct 9 (late post due to technical difficulties)
RJ Q and A hosted by Kylie Jude

Check in regularly to see the list fill in, and leave a comment below as the tour progresses and to let me know what you think.

RJ to be at Imaginarium 2015

E. Chris Garrison, me, John F. Allen
E. Chris Garrison, me, John F. Allen

Next weekend I’ll be attending the Second Annual Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY. Last year’s event was, quite simply, the most fun I had last year. With Seventh Star Press as a major organizer and several Speculative Fiction Guild authors well represented, I’m anticipating bigger, better, and more fun than ever.

What is Imaginaruim? Quite simply, If you love books and the people who write them, or you aspire to write and want an inspiring weekend training seminar, Imaginarium will be the place to be.

First of all, let’s get to a huge change over year one. The change that affects each and every one of you. The dealer’s room, crammed full of authors and vendors, will be free and open to the public. To participate in the programming, you need to buy a one-day or weekend pass, but if you just want to shop for yourself or for people on that list that starts to become relevant very soon, you can come and go as you like, free of charge. Click here to see Imaginarium’s website to read all the details about location, passes, hotel, etc.

11403423_1017912164885713_4460008536803645248_nYou’ll find me at a table with good buddies John F. Allen and Chris Garrison in the Seventh Star Press section. You’ll find my full array of books, which you can buy with cash or credit card all weekend. Autographs as always are free and worth every penny you pay. Here’s my price list:

10468076_813484258661839_5960947186833888854_nHaunting Blue $15
Haunting Obsession $10
Virtual Blue $15
Darkness with Chance of Whimsy $10
Lost Sole Ghosties $5 each or free with any purchase
I’ll also have special deals on multiple title purchases.

I’m on three panels this year, my schedule:

Fri, 7 pm in the Madison Room
Comics and the Silver Screen: Also with Glenn Porzig, John F. Allen, S.C. Houff, and T. Lee Harris

Sat, Noon in the Oldham Room
The Great Space Opera Debate: also with Dave Creek, Kathryn Sullivan, and Katina French

Sat, 9 pm in the Shelby Room
Writing a series: Also with Brick Marlin, Melissa Goodman, T. Lee Harris, and Teresa Reasor

Of course, you’re all coming just to see me, but you should know there’s dozens of panels for readers and writers, a movie screening room, a masquerade ball, and two free writer’s workshops. Hope to see you there! And if you can’t make it, follow my updates on Facebook and Instagram throughout the weekend.

Check out my photo album from Imaginarium 2014.

Whimsy Preview: Robot Vampire

DWACOW low rezClick here to view the previous entry “Starter Kit”
Click here to read the 8-part blog series of previews from the beginning

“Robot Vampire” has gotten a lot of good attention since its release in 2012 as part of Vampires Don’t Sparkle, an anthology edited by Michael West. I suspect that the story being a fundraiser for cancer research helped, not to mention its amazing table of contents, with story contributions from Lucy A. Snyder, Maurice Broaddus, Tim Waggoner, Gary A. Braunbeck, Bob Freeman and Stephen Zimmer, to name a few, all helped to bring attention to the story my way. I’m certainly proud to be in such  company.

I recall the germ for the story came about on a long family drive, one in which you find yourself playing nonsense games with each other. Anyway, for reasons I can no longer remember, we started pairing up monster types and giggling over the results because when you’re slaphappy, you’re also the most hysterical people in the world. And so, someone shouted “zombie robot!” (giggle) “werewolf zombie!” (giggle) “vampire werewolf!” (giggle) “robot vampire!” And while I giggled, a part of my brain already started to wonder “how could I make that work?”

Less than a month later, Michael West and I were talking and he asked if I had any ideas to submit to his anthology. Before I could think it through, my mouth responded, “Robot vampire”. Michael smirked that awesome Michael West smirk and said, “If you can make that work, I will buy it.” “You got it,” I said, even though I had no idea beyond the title.

Must brainstorming later, I turned in a story, one I’m pretty durn proud of, and still am. And so, apparently, was Michael.

The Setup: Jinan is an experimental robot who appears as a dark-haired Japanese girl and who emulates the agility of a human dancer. Moments before her premiere exhibition, Jinan is given a last-second programming tweak. The unintended consequence is that the robot achieves sentience, and the performance that follows wows the audience beyond almost everyone’s wildest expectations. Toshio, the show choreographer, is the one person who is not happy. In fact, he is furious over Jinan’s improvisations. The moment Jinan is alone, Toshio expresses his anger.

FINALVDS_coverWith their absence, something changes in my internal processes, a discordant flow of energy, again beyond my parameters to analyze. A response on the opposite side of the spectrum of the positive response I experienced earlier. I search my vocabulary for an appropriate word.
Dread. Is this dread?

Toshio yells in my face. “I know what you’re doing. Showing off for your masters. They programmed you too well, you little Diva bitch in the making.”
I file a conclusion about Toshio in a heuristic subroutine and speak my conclusion out loud. “I don’t like you, Toshio.”
Toshio’s face changes; his lips curve the opposite of a smile. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that! You don’t like me? You think I give two shits if you like me?”

Toshio walks to the toolbox in the far corner, opens the lid and examines its contents. “Gentoshu says you can learn now. To me, that’s great news. And very bad news for you, little Diva.” He turns toward me. One hand grips a screwdriver. He waves it in the air, the end pointed toward my face. “That means you can now respond to being punished, doesn’t it? But how?” Toshio looks upon me for several seconds. “I’d backhand you if you were a real girl. But I’ll bet I can come up with a way to make you respect me.”

You don’t need to listen to him, my special friend.
I detect a voice, speaking directly to me, in my head, but outside myself. The experience, so unexpected and without context, causes me to speak out loud. “What?”

Toshio looks at me. “I said it’s time to make you understand your place.”
From his tone, I conclude that Toshio has not heard the voice.
As I consider this, the voice speaks again. I can help you, special one. I can protect you now. He cannot see me, he cannot hear me, but you can. Do not give me away, and in return I will help you.

A new thought forms in a subroutine. The voice could be caused by a splinter in my thought processes that formed a separate thought entity within my own. The idea intrigues me. But the words keep me silent.
The voice in my head laughs. A real laugh, not a simulated one. I am not in your head. I am a spirit from outside you. Do you know what a guardian angel is?
____

Thank you for reading through this series of previews. I’m very proud of this collection and hope that this gives you a better idea of what you will find inside.

Click here to go to the dedicated ordering page of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy.