GUEST POST: E. Chris Garrison Talks About BLUE SPIRIT

BlueSpirit_cover_1200X800I’m really excited today because I have the pleasure of bringing you to a work close to my heart.  Blue Spirit is a fast-paced modern fairy tale that blends the fantastical and the humorous.  It’s really no surprise as it’s author, E. Chris Garrison whom I find completely hilarious.  I love the book and I know you will too.  But don’t take my word for it….

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m Chris Garrison, an indie author from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am here because my publisher, Seventh Star Press, is helping get the word out about my latest release, Blue Spirit, a Tipsy Fairy Tale.

About me? Well, I’m a fan of all things science fiction and fantasy, though I mostly write urban fantasy, science fiction, and some steampunk. I am a long time homebrewer, and have been jokingly named Seventh Star’s official Brewmaster. I think it’s just to get me to bring “samples” of my stuff to conventions. I love board games and spending time with friends and family. My favorite band is Five Year Mission, who are doing a rock song for every original Star Trek series episode.

What inspired you to write Blue Spirit

Blue Spirit is a sort of spin-off of my Road Ghosts Trilogy. I had finished those three and wanted to move on to other characters and situations. I had the thought that rather than ghosts and demons, I’d like to write about fairies in our modern world. I also wanted to write something even funnier than the Road Ghosts, and I wanted it to be in first person so I could filter the world through one person’s senses and thoughts. I’d written in a sort of comic relief character in the second Road Ghosts book, Sinking Down, a drunken vampire roleplaying gamer named Skye, and it came to me that she might be the most fun to turn into a protagonist. Originally, I thought about setting it in Chicago where Skye lived, but instead went with what I know and set it here in Indianapolis. It was fun thinking up places in my own city that could be magical.

Blue Spirit is a fairy tale, of sorts.  What are some of your favorite fairy tales and why?

I am a huge fan of the Little Mermaid, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s the Disney version that I love best. I empathized with Ariel wanting to transcend the world she’d grown up in to become something else. Skye’s definitely impulsive and brave like Ariel, though she’s a bit older and makes more questionable decisions. I love the story of Pinocchio as a child, because I knew what it was like to yearn to be more than I was. I guess this is a similar theme with the Little Mermaid too, now that I think of it.As an aside, I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons as a kid, and I loved the Fractured Fairy Tales segment most of all. I loved the skewed take on classic fairy tales, the sense of humor, and visual jokes. I guess that’s why I am a bit wry in my telling of my own fairy tales. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Although he was meant to be a sort of whimsical side character, I love the Transit King, Bask. He wasn’t meant to be more than a humorous plot device initially, but he’s turned out to not only be my own favorite, but a fan favorite as well. He’s also been borrowed by fellow Seventh Star Press authors R.J. Sullivan and John F. Allen in their writing. There’s just something irresistible about the little Fairy Godfather, riding the buses granting favors to those in need – in exchange for any favor he asks later. Also, I have great fun writing his vaguely Celtic accent and using him to say cryptic and prophetic things to my characters.  

Chris, you’ve been writing for quite a while now.  What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?

I’ve learned that you’ve got to love writing. It’s not a quick path in any sense of the word. It’s a skill you have to work on by doing it often, and by getting feedback from others. I highly recommend finding or forming a critique group with other writers. The most important thing while writing the first draft is to keep going, don’t worry about whether your grammar and spelling or details are perfect. If you’re uncertain about something (say, a character’s eye color, or the length of a zeppelin) make a note as a comment in bold and move on. Write now, fix later. And be sure you do fix it later, go over the result before giving it to beta readers. When you get feedback, don’t feel obligated to change anything, but be sure to listen to what’s being said. If one reader says one thing, but others say different things, then it’s probably a matter of personal preference. But if many readers point out the same thing, it’s probably something you’ll need to fix.

Art seems to be a big part of the Seventh Star marketing model.  The cover art on this book is pretty extraordinary and it’s my understanding that the authors have a lot of say in the covers. Did you work closely with the artist, Anne Rosario? Tell us about that process.

Anne is a fantastic artist, a real professional, and a friendly person. I supplied her with a file containing my (often hilariously 1_Illustration_BlueSpiritbad) whiteboard sketches, along with notes and blocks of text from the book to go with the scene. She came back excited and had many questions about the characters, what they looked like, their personalities, and so on. She sent me pencil sketches of her ideas, and used feedback from me to produce the beautiful artwork you see on and in Blue Spirit. I very much look forward to working with her for the sequel, Restless Spirit. I’m interested to see how she’ll draw my trolls.

Blue Spirit is available right now!  Tell us where we can get it!!



Barnes and Noble Link:

I also have a book trailer video, which features the artwork of Anne Rosario, along with other information about Blue Spirit here:

My Blog and contact information are at and I can be found on Facebook as E. Chris Garrison, author.

Thanks once again for having me as a guest!

Synopsis of Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships. With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

ECGarrisonAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric 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.

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on during a promotion in July 2013.

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.

How to Sell Your Book by Way of a Great Cover, or Cover Lovin’ by David Blalock


Once more I’ve decided to welcome another author over to the Belle to do my dirty work.  Today, author and cover art critic David Blalock has come over to talk about his Angelkiller Triad and how a really great cover artist can give your book the boost it needs to excel.  Because, as we all know, your book might be the best thing ever, but no one will know if they don’t pick it up.  And if you’re like me, you often choose a book initially because it has an interesting cover.  Seventh Star Press is well known throughout the industry for having the very best in cover and interior artwork and David’s trilogy is a perfect example.  But I’ll let him tell you…


What can I say about Matt Perry’s artwork that can do it justice? His covers have drawn some significant attention to the series, attention it probably would not otherwise have had. As an artist, Matt has the ability to take an idea and imbue his own personal interpretation into the image without losing the original theme. It is a tricky balancing act, one he has mastered admirably.


Click me to buy!

Click me to buy!


The cover of Angelkiller is a striking image, unlike anything I’ve seen. His use of atmospheric imagery on that cover gave it that disturbing, unreal feeling that conveys the essence of the Great Conflict. The books are about a war between entities more than human and that cover shows just enough humanity to connect with the reader while retaining that otherworldly quality. The interior images in Angelkiller faithfully reproduce the scenes from the text in an exciting and provocative manner. They more closely connect the reader to the text, inserting more humanity into the art while retaining just enough emotional impact.



CLICK ME to buy!

CLICK ME to buy!


For Traitor Angel, Matt reached into the idea of virtual reality crossing over into mundane reality by presenting the combat between good and evil, represented by the knight and the dragon, against a background of circuitry. As a lot of the book contained just this combat, it was again faithful to the ideas embodied in the text while making a broader statement about the story arc in general. The interior art continues this theme, reaching toward the humanity without letting us forget how different the virtual reality conflict can be.



CLICK ME to buy!

CLICK ME to buy!


Finally, in Doom Angel’s cover, Matt states the Great Conflict in an iconic image that sums up the series marvelously. The feedback about this art has been unanimously positive. Again, he took the road of impression instead of strict interpretation, resulting in a stunningly beautiful, yet slightly troubling, image. The Great Conflict could not have been better presented in a single piece of art. The interior artwork only reinforces and strengthens the conviction that what is happening has a deeper meaning than simply a war between human factions.



Having Matt Perry as my artist for the series was a struck of incredible luck. I am very fortunate to have such a talented and perceptive individual on my team. And Seventh Star Press has a gem of an artist in their employ.


Now you all know that while I’m a romantic at heart, I really love a dark urban fantasy.  I’ve just started reading Angelkiller but I’m already in love.  Read this description.  I dare you not to be desperate to read it…

Why do bad things happen to good people? Simple. In the ancient war between the Angels of Light and Darkness, the Dark won. Now it is the job of an undercover force simply known as The Army to rectify that.

Using every tool available, The Army has worked to liberate our world from The Enemy for thousands of years, slowly and painfully lifting Mankind out of the dark. On the front of the great Conflict are the Angelkillers, veterans of the
fight with centuries of experience.

Jonah Mason is an Angelkiller, and his cell is targeted as part of plot to unseat a very powerful Minion of The Enemy. Mason and his troop are drawn into a battle that stretches from real-time to virtual reality and back. The Conflict is about to expand into cyberspace, and if Mason is unable to stop it, The Enemy will have gained dominion over yet another realm.

Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?  Okay, kids.  That’s it for me today.  I’ve got a dragon by the fireplace waiting.  He seems pretty tame but he keeps shouting, “Bored!” and breathing fire. If I don’t act quickly, my house may burn down.  See ya, kids!

BLOG TOUR: Top Ten Horror Movie Villains


Welcome!  Today kicks off the Death’s Dance blog tour.  That’s right, author Crymsyn Hart is stopping by the blog today to talk about her top ten horror movie villains.  And Crymsyn knows horror movies.


Yes, it’s true I am a big lover of horror movies. Have been since the first time I saw one when I was four. That movie was Poltergeist. I remember peeking out from behind the chair in our living room and watching the movie. Although I can’t recall what about the movie frightened me the most, probably that darn clown doll that attacks the kids because it still creeps me out today. From that first movie I was hooked.

I watch B movies and some I classify as C grade movies because we know they are just so bad that you can’t look away. For a couple of years when I was a teenager and there were such things as video rental places, I would walk up the street and rent a video for $1.25. And the video store was stocked with movies from Full Moon Productions way back in the 1990’s and I watched things like Subspecies, Puppet Master, Meridian, & Trancers to name a few.

Horror villains come in all shapes, sizes, and other supernatural varieties. Here are my favorite top ten.

  • Death – from the Final Destination movies because you can’t cheat death.
  • Blade – From all the Puppet Master movies
  • The Tall Man – Phantasm franchise
  • PumpkinHead – PumpkinHead
  • Pennywise – It
  • Radu – Subspecies Movies
  • Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street
  • The Creeper- Jeepers Creepers
  • Chrome Skull – Laid to Rest & Chrome Skull: Laid to Rest 2
  • David – Lost Boys



So yeah these probably are the typical ones most people pick. However, these are some of my favorite franchises I watch while I’m writing. If you haven’t seen any, I suggest checking them out.


DeathsDance1200X800Ugh!  How is David from The Lost Boys not higher on the list??!!!  He’s one of my favorites as well.  But I suppose I have to forgive Crymsyn, as she is a true goddess of horror.  This month, she’s spotlighting her new release from Seventh Star Press, Death’s Dance.  Here’s a little taste:

Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are. Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost. From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.



You’re asking, where can I get this jewel??  This tome of horrific loveliness that will haunt my dreams so badly that I’ll have to shove it in the freezer til morning?  Well, kittens, you can just click on the cover above or follow these links:

Kindle Version:

Print Version:

Barnes and Noble:


You can also stalk Crymsyn in many other venues:  CrymsynHart


Twitter: @crymsynhart




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Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

What’s Wrong with Romance?

Click me for more info!

Click me for more info!

No one could possibly be as surprised as I was the first time I wrote a romance novel.  Given my track record as a reader, I’m probably the most unlikely romance novelist that you’re ever going to meet.  While I believe in true love, I don’t believe in being stupid and the problem with most romance novels is stupidity.  Stupid people in stupid situations making stupid decisions with stupid dialogue.  Now, I know some writer folk are going to get all up in arms about that statement thinking that I’m insulting their work.  Look, if you’re that insulted that means you got some stupid goin’ on in your book.  If you’re a reader, then use this little vignette as a primer on how to choose a good romance novel.

Don’t think that I don’t believe in the genre.  I do.  I think writing good romance is damn hard work and is an art form in and of itself.  The problem is, it has a shit reputation because there are so many people out there who think it’s a quick path to fame and fortune.  Therefore, the market is flooded and it has gotten nigh on to impossible for good writers to get their work in front of readers.  In a sea of $0.99 dinosaur porn and incest fantasies, good books are drowning.  So as a reader, you have to consider what you’re looking for:  a satisfying story with believable characters and interesting plot OR shower nozzle masturbation material.   Don’t get me wrong, both are worthy endeavors.  But if you’re going to spend the money, you may as well get the good stuff.

I offer, for your convenience and pleasure, the biggest mistakes going on in the romance industry:

1.  Underestimating the intelligence of the reader.  There seems to be this idea in publishing that every romance reader is a mouth-breathing, undersexed soccer mom who can’t understand big words or shifts in POV.  I like to think that the folks reading my books are smart people who are looking for a good story and perhaps a little erotic inspiration.  I refuse to dumb down my plots or use smaller words to “make the story accessible.” I also refuse to believe that my readers are incapable of following a third person omniscient point of view.  To me, limited POV is well… limiting.  I want to see the whole picture.  “Head-hopping” is a fan fiction term that has no place in the literary world.  Word choice is part of what makes erotica so appealing and so sexy.  And in my opinion there is nothing sexy about crude language and degradation.

2.  Sacrificing story for more sex.  I admit it– sex sells.  But I hate reading books where interesting plot points are ignored in favor of having another poorly executed sex scene.  For real people, how many different ways can you say “insert tab A into slot B.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.”.  I’d rather have a good story with lots of action that shows our hero and heroine working together as equals and in turn growing their relationship instead of a sex scene every few pages.

3.  Same shit, different day.  Think back to when Fifty Shades of Gray became such a hit.  Remember how for the next year, every romance novel had the same cover?  They were all BDSM romances and they all had young nitwits falling in love with billionaires?  Yeah, we have this problem in romance where if one dwarf with a foot fetish fairy tale romance is good, then a million is better!  We jump on bandwagons and flood the market with a billion copycat stories.  I even watched my friends, desperate for sales, jump on the Pervy Billionaire Romance train.  Of course it didn’t work because there were a million other people with the same idea.

So what’s the answer?   Where is a smart, sassy gal (or guy) to find a great romance novel?  Well, the folks over at Seventh Star Press have decided to help us all out.  On Friday, they announced the launch of a brand new imprint, Seventh Starlight, that will showcase unique speculative fiction with a romance twist.  Seventh Starlight will literally be romance novels for folks who don’t like romance novels. The imprint embraces cross-genre adventures with a strong romantic element.  It looks to be extremely promising.  Already they have publishing vet Jessica Glanville as the managing editor of the imprint and three incredibly talented authors ready to launch:  Siobhan Kinkade, Crymsyn Hart and YOURS TRULY– Alexandra Christian.   In keeping with the Seventh Star brand, each book will also have hand painted cover art done by Anne Rosario.  If history is any clue, then Seventh Starlight will be romance of the finest quality.  Watch this space for more details on release dates and launch parties.

So take heart, kittens.  It’s an exciting time to be a romance reader, writer and lover!




EXCERPT TIME! “Wormwood”

Hey kids!  I have been a bloggin’ fool this week.  I’m probably just feeling guilty because I haven’t done it in so long.  I thought tonight that I’d put up a little excerpt that’s way different than my normal fare.  The story is called “Wormwood” and it’s from an anthology called “A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court.” The setting is the antebellum south, a place where one might not expect to find faeries.  But one would be wrong, because Robin Goodfellow shows up and helps our heroine get even in a grotesque way straight out of Shakespeare.  I hope you like, kiddies!


“Are you going to sit there like that all night? Don’t you know it’s nearly midnight?” Freedom’s head snapped up at the unfamiliar voice. She looked up and a blurry figure stood before her, leaning on one of the gnarly old oak trees. She rubbed her eyes to clear them of the grit that tears sometimes leave behind. “Well?” the voice said again, a touch of impatience tempering its tone.

“Who are you?” she croaked, pulling her knees in tighter. “I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

The shadow came forward into the moonlight and Freedom gasped. The most beautiful creature she’d ever seen came fully into view. It was a boy, but not a human boy. For a moment she thought he might be an angel. Of course, no angel would have such a mischievous grin. His skin nearly glowed with the light of the moon and his features were fine. His jet colored hair fell in careless waves over his brow and he had a long, slim pipe perched between his lips. The smoke from the end curled around him like a plume of silvery feathers. His only clothing was a pair of mossy green trousers that fell low on his hips, almost a part of the skin underneath. Most amazing were his wings. They looked like skeletal twigs covered in dewy spiderwebs that sprang from his back. They flapped so quickly in the still air as he lit on the branch just over her head. They hardly looked to be moving at all. “I am Robin Goodfellow. And you are Freedom Jenkins,” he replied matter-of-factly, taking a long pull of his pipe. “And now we’re not strangers.”

“How you know my name?” Freedom asked, standing up quick.

“Your sister told me.”

“You know my sister?” He seemed to ignore her question and jumped down to the ground. As he began to pace, Freedom watched him back and forth, unable to tear her eyes away. Was he even real? His silvery skin and almond eyes were like nothing she’d ever seen before and she sat there transfixed. “What are you?” she blurted, not considering her rudeness.

“Me? Well I’m a creature of the forest. Your kind call us woodfolk or sprites…”

“A fairy? You’re a fairy!” Freedom cried, for a moment forgetting about her predicament.

Robin gave a perturbed scowl and turned his nose up snottily at Freedom. “I prefer Fae, for I am, in fact, the prince of all Fae. A most cunning sprite and knavish Puck, at your service.” He gave an exaggerated bow and nearly fell over, making Freedom giggle in spite of her sadness. He stopped and looked up at the girl, his mouth curled into a thoughtful sneer. “You are so very sad, just as your sister said.” He shook his head and inhaled deeply on his pipe again. This time when he exhaled, the smoke formed a sparkling, silver bird that fluttered toward Freedom. Just before it lit on her nose, the bird blew apart into an entire flock that fluttered around her head for a moment before dissipating. “No little child born of the Fae should be so sad as you. It isn’t natural.” With a graceful leap, he alighted on the low bough of the oak and squatted there. “You have a touch of our magic, of course. You and your sister.”

“What kind of root you got in that pipe, Suh?” Freedom asked, her eyes bugging. “If’n we had magic, we be out of this place long ago.” She sighed miserably and put her head in her hands. “It’s hopeless, Robin. Me and Ady gon’ die here and that nasty old Gerald Wilkins is goin’ to git away wit’ his mischief.”

The sprite had a roguish grin that was almost too large and Freedom couldn’t help but return it. “Sometimes magic is hard to see, but it was magic that brought me to you. If you hadn’t called, I wouldn’t have come. What do you think about that, Freedom Jenkins?”


Like it?  It’s one of my favorite pieces.  If you like it too, the whole book full of faery stories is available from Seventh Star Press!  You can click on the picture above or here!

Cover Reveal: The Undying Light by Stephen Zimmer

So kids, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but as always– I’m workin’ on it.  Things have been hectic and crazy, so I’ve let a few things slide. However, today, I just couldn’t let this one go.  Understand, this isn’t like a regular cover reveal in that I was not asked to reveal nor was I implored by a blog tour.  No, kittens, I’m unveiling this one all on my own because my very good friend, Stephen Zimmer, is always doing such nice and wonderful things for other people.  I felt it was my duty to help promote a book that he believes in so much.

His new book, The Undying Light, is the next in his Rising Dawn Series from Seventh Star Press.  It’s been anxiously awaited for a while now and as a reader– I’m extremely excited for the next chapter in the series.  As his friend, I’m very excited for the release of a book that is obviously so close to his heart.  This has been a tough year for Stephen, but he’s persevered and continued to be that “undying” light for everyone else, so let’s drum up some buzz and excitement for this new chapter!

undying light

Isn’t it beautiful?  Matt Perry, one of Seventh Star Press’s amazing cover artists has really outdone himself with this one.  Again, let’s give Mr. Zimmer a round of applause!  Now… the hard part…. waiting for release day…

A word from Stephen about Undying Light….

This day last year I endured the most nightmarish experience I ever had, the last hours with my mother in a hospital. While today is a very difficult day, I am following the advice of a friend, Susan H. Roddey, and unveiling the cover art and illustrations created by Matt Perry for my new book as a tribute to my mom, for very appropriate reasons. All of my novels have been dedicated to her, as she is a major reason why I am who I am today, and why I do what I do. She is the one that got me started along the path of the fantastical and using my imagination, reading me The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit at a very young age. She lives in everything I do, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate book cover to unveil for this moment, when I think of what the title is referencing and what it means. It is not easy as this is the first full novel I’ve released since she passed away on this day last year. I’m here today to show that I’m continuing the fight and that the things that brought her great joy with me continue forward. I love her more every day and miss her dearly. The Undying Light portrayed in this novel embodies my greatest dreams, the ones that I hope most will be realized and I hope that everyone enjoys the new book. – Stephen

Share and share alike, kids!

NEW RELEASE: Olde School by Selah Janel

olde school picDo you like fairy tales?  I’m a huge fan and therefore SO excited for my next featured release to go live.  Olde School is the new book by my very good friend, Selah Janel.  It’s an incredible fantasy that mixes fairy tales, humor and a diner from Hell.  Not to mention a kickass heroine.  I’ve already started reading and I can tell you– you will NOT be disappointed!  Check it out…


Olde School introduces you to Kingdom City, which has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians.