Archive for Seventh Star Press

The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with…Stephen Zimmer

Posted in Last Writes with..., Sword & Sorcery with tags , , on August 23, 2017 by Occult Detective

Welcome to a Special Edition of The Occult Detective’s Last Writes.

StephenZImmer_AuthorPhotoToday’s guest-of-honor is none other than Stephen Zimmer, an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

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Before we get down to the business at hand, I thought I might share with you my thoughts on Stephen’s Rayden Valkyrie series.

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Heart of a Lion is a fast-paced sword & sorcery tale starring Rayden Valkyrie, a strong-willed warrior with a sense of justice and fair play. The author really shines when he delves into her character, highlighting her strict code of honor.

Written in a very visual style, but leaving plenty of room to breathe, Heart of a Lion reminded me of a cross between Lin Carter’s prose and Sam Raimi’s sensibilities.

It certainly had a throw-back feel, like the novelization of a Saturday Matinee cliffhanger serial with Ray Harryhausen effects.

The second book in the series, Thunder Horizon, was a stronger outing. Rayden is still ThunderHorizonCover_1200X800the same ass-kicking warrior woman you fell in love with in Heart of a Lion. You can really tell the author is inside her head. He gets her.

The big difference here are the supporting characters. While handled with skill in the debut novel, in Thunder Horizon, this cast really comes alive.

There are some real spine-tingling moments throughout, and the author deftly navigates between these larger-than-life fantasy tropes and rich, textured human elements.

He makes you feel for every character and that’s an incredible accomplishment.

With another book in the Dark Sun Dawn Saga still to come and a tv pilot in post-production, we have thankfully not seen the last of Rayden Valkyrie.

Speaking of “last”… it’s my pleasure now to draw your attention to Stephen’s responses to our morbid curiosities — It’s time for…

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The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.

 

Last meal you’d eat: Would have to be a pizza, true New York-style, with at least a pepperoni topping.  Most likely double pepperoni and banana peppers, mushrooms, and olives.  But New York-style pizza is a life-long favorite of mine.  Thankfully here in Lexington we have a pizza place (Brooklyn Pizza) that does it very, very well.  I’d go with that as my choice!

Last book you’d read: Lord of the Rings trilogy compendium.  These books have had a life-long impact on me from the first time my mother read them to me at age 7.  I always see new things in the story every time I read it, and at this point I’ve read these books many times over.  They would be an appropriate final read before making the big transition.

Last movie you’d watch: I’m going to sound very single-minded, but I have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy again.  I was so impressed with how well Peter Jackson captured the look and feel of the books.   There are major differences between the books and the movie, but the core spirit remains intact onscreen and that is what is most important to me!

Last song you’d listen to: This is a very difficult choice as I am a huge music fan.  But I’d want to end things on a positive note, so I’d have to go with a Kiss song, as I’ve been a Kiss fan since the days I was exposed to Lord of the Rings novels!  While “Rock and Roll All Nite” is not my favorite Kiss song, it does sum up the magic of Kiss and as a last song would be fitting indeed!  It’s a pure expression of living life with zest and would be a great way to cross over!

First person you’d like to meet on the other side: I cannot choose one of my folks over the other, so this is co-awarded to my father and mother.  No question they are first on my list as far as who I want to see in better realms beyond.  I miss them every single day.

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I’d like to thank Stephen for allowing Occult Detective to be one of his whistlestops on his whirlwind Rayden Valkyrie Blog Tour Celebration.

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To follow along on the tour, click HERE for everywhere Stephen’s been and where he’s headed next. You can also follow Stephen via his social media presence:

Twitter:  @SGZimmer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7
Instagram: @stephenzimmer7
Website: www.stephenzimmer.com

If you dig heroic fantasy and strong female protagonists, then I urge you to order Heart Like a Lion and Thunder Horizon. They will more than scratch that itch, believe me.

BOBOD
My occult detective collection, First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum, and both novels in the Cairnwood Manor series — Shadows Over Somerset and Keepers of the Dead — are available via Amazon and other online retail outlets in both ebook and trade paperback.

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Three from Seven

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , on August 4, 2017 by Occult Detective

I’ve had three books published by Seventh Star Press — two in the Cairnwood Manor series (Shadows Over Somerset / Keepers of the Dead) and the first in my Tales of the Liber Monstrorum (First Born), with the second (Descendant) soon to follow.

I am, understandably, proud of each of them. They are, oddly enough, all very different. Shadows is something of a Gothic Horror, while Keepers is far more Fantasy/Adventure. First Born is a mixed bag of traditional Occult Detective tales and Urban Fantasy, while Descendant will have elements of both of those with a bit of Police Procedural for good measure.

One thing I can promise about each and every one of them is this — I did my level best to spin a good yarn.

I hope you agree…

The Cairnwood Manor Series

sosShadows Over Somerset
Trade Paperback / Ebook

kotdKeepers of the Dead
Trade Paperback / Ebook

Tales of the Liber Monstrorum

Cover 01 First BornFirst Born
Trade Paperback / Ebook

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Liber Monstrorum Begins Here…

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by Occult Detective

 

I am proud to announce that First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum is, at long last, available for purchase. First Born is an occult detective collection, bringing together twelve short stories, a novella, and two illustrated tales.

These are the stories I’ve been working toward since I first put pen to paper as a boy growing up in rural Indiana. My obsession with witchcraft, magick, and religion, in both fact and fiction, has all led to this.

Published by Seventh Star Press and edited by Scott Sandridge, First Born is my love letter to the occult detective genre and to those glorious supernatural tales that thrilled me as a child… I hope these stories do the same for you.

Cover 01 First Born

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe, this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.

First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…

First Born can be ordered from the following online outlets:

AMAZON
Trade Paperback
Kindle

AMAZON UK
Trade Paperback
Kindle

BARNES & NOBLE
Trade Paperback
Nook

KOBO
Ebook

iTunes
eBook

Below are some examples of the artwork you’ll find inside:

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One Week Till the Release of First Born

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First Born

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe, this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.

First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…

The ebook for First Born is available for pre-order now, with the actual trade paperback and kindle editions dropping on Friday, July 14 — one week from today.

First Born boasts fifteen stories in all, consisting of a novella (*), twelve short stories, and two illustrated tales (**). All are connected in various degrees. For instance, The Grim Beast of Iaeger (originally published by Michael Knost in Legends of the Mountain State 2) is a prequel to the events in the Wolfe & Crowe Investigation The Hour of the Wolf.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Mourn Not the Sleepless Children
The Devil’s in the Details
The Soul Cages
Ashes to Ashes
Nos Galan Gaeaf
Familiar Territory**
Observance

Ghost of a Chance
The Cabin in the Woods*
Wyrdtails
Strange Magick**
The Grim Beast of Iaeger
The Hour of the Wolf
A Murder of Crows
A Gathering of Shadows

FB Mourn

An illustration from “Mourn Not the Sleepless Children”

I hope you get some semblance of the same feelings from these tales as I experienced whilst writing them. This genre, that of the occult detective, has been my unwavering passion for most all my life.

It has long been my desire to add to the grand tradition, to keep it alive im Geiste, as it affords me the pleasure of playing in the most thrilling of sandboxes imaginable.

Occult detective fiction, whether in a modern context or set within another era altogether, offers us the chance to glimpse beyond the veil, to dissect the greatest mysteries of all. We are beings of mind, body, and spirit, and through these works, and in works to come, I look to examine what these mean, individually and as a whole.

The Kindle Edition Pre-Order for First Born is LIVE

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by Occult Detective

firstbornI am pleased to report the Kindle Edition of First Born is now available for Pre-Order.

I will pretend it is purely coincidental that I also completed a book trailer for First Born today and published it to youtube. The truth of the matter is more akin to my wallowing in a surreal state of synchronicity…

When dealing with subjects such as these, preternatural forces are always at play.

Anyway, check out the trailer below, but be warned —  its default playback is only 144p. You’ll want to increase that to 360p for optimum viewing.

Enjoy.

Who’s in the mood for a collection of supernatural thrillers?

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First BornIt’s official.

I am thrilled to announce that the cover reveal for First Born has dropped over on the website of my publisher, Seventh Star Press.

It’s been a long time coming.

These Liber Monstrorum tales, largely focusing on occult detective Landon Connors, have been near and dear to my heart for the past dozen years or so.

Even the Cairnwood Manor books are interwoven into this surreal landscape of supernatural fiction.

First Born is a collection of occult detective stories, all connected to a larger tapestry. These short tales have been placed in chronological order and served up as a prequel to Descendant, a novel featuring many of the characters you’ll be reading about in First Born. Following Descendant will be the novel Born Again and another collection titled Afterbirth.

Intrigued? Here, have a look at First Born’s backcover synopsis:

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wicked Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe,this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.

 First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…

Now, before I slink off to my library and get back to work, I thought I would leave you with this missive written by a good friend and fellow writer. I hope you’ll consider trying First Born on for size.If you’re into supernatural thrillers, then I think it will be a good fit.

BOB FREEMAN’S MAGICK
by Steven L. Shrewsbury

Someone asked me why I often spell magick with a ‘k’ attached. True enough, I first read of this spelling via the writings of Aleister Crowley and his use of the number eleven (K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet). Frankly, all cool appearances and Hammer of the Gods references aside, I use it to differentiate between what many may call magic. I’m not talking about magic, like sleight of hand with cards, parlor tricks; table knocking or David Copperfield wet dreams. True Magick has meaning, holds power and can be felt.

That said, I believe magick lurks in Bob Freeman’s tales. No deceit, no tricks, no BS. The stories in this collection hold a connecting resonance and flow naturally. I’ve seen many a writer struggle to find their voice or try to use someone else’s. Bob’s voice can reach a fine crescendo, not unlike the sweep of a wand…then rise and fall with the might of a bludgeon. Some folks want to pretty up their yarns, overcome by an overwhelming desire to whip out their throbbing thesauri. Bob tells a story and entertains, as simply as if he sat down on a couch to relate it. A natural storyteller, his opening lines grab hold fast. In “A Murder of Crows” the opening paragraph ends with the line, “The White Christ rose after three days on the cross, could the servant of the rook do less?” I had to find out more.

Some writers can lose their hold on that delightful feeling that can gush in storytelling, instead vomiting prose that sucks more ass than Dracula at a donkey farm. Bob’s sense of reality and desire to comprehend mysteries of the unknown mingle to keep one’s attention. In this connection, he makes one hungry to devour more. Part of his spell comes from life experience, both in harsh times and good, which give each story a firm frame of grit.

If this is your first taste of Bob’s brew, prepare to be hooked. If you’ve read Bob before, these shorter works will only make the head nod in a desire to read more… especially the teasers that lead up to his novel, DESCENDANT. Enjoy this glimpse into his mind.

The tales here breathe, and oft times, there’s a hint of brimstone, perhaps some of that old black magick lurks in the exhale. Bob’s tales are never typical of the classic mystery, noir or horror tale, but he places a fresh polish on certain underpinnings. His narrative in “Ashes to Ashes” dealing with Crowley’s remains, made me say aloud, “Damn, wish I’d have thought of that.” Knowledgeable beyond my vaguest hoping in such lore, he’s never dull. Bob tells a story that draws one in to accept this reality.

These yarns are Bob Freeman’s. Does he remind me of anyone else? Sure, but to say that tale is a Bob Freeman story and holds a unique magick all its own, hey, what more is there to say? He succeeds in getting it across, hitting the mark, weaving his spell.

So, grab a drink, sit down and get comfy. Let’s go to places only Bob Freeman can see and take us to…they are dark places, moody, scary and downright magickal. Get ready. We’ll be there most of the evening.

Steven L. Shrewsbury
Rural Central Illinois

First Born

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First Born

Mark July 14th on your calendars. That’s right, at long last, I have a release date for my occult detective collection forthcoming from Seventh Star Press — First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum.

For review requests or press inquiries, you can contact my publisher via ccjames (at) seventhstarpress (dot) com or email me direct through my freeman (at) occultdetective (dot) com address.

You can also sign up for the Seventh Star Press Read to Review Program

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