Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Traveling Adventures to the Edge of South America

Been writing, working hard, and doing a little travel, so this is going to be a pretty big post. LOL Well, what do you expect from an epic fantasy author, other than an epic-scale post, right?

So, the new year has hit the ground running, but I'm going to back up just a little bit.

I got a nice surprise from my mom, along with my sister, in the way of a trip that took us to Panama, Costa Rica, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and across Carribean waters over the holidays. The weather was certainly a lot warmer than it has been at home in Kentucky.

I love traveling, and this was my third trip to this region in the last five years, added to a trip to the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Alaska. I've always felt that travel is of great benefit to writers, and I find myself drawing off of my international experiences all the time.

Going through the Panama Canal was a real amazing experience, seeing how the locks work, getting a sense for how it operates, and getting a good feel for the size of it. They are in the midst of building some new locks/gates at the moment, so there's a great deal of construction going on, but the operation is really impressive.

Furthermore, I got to have a spider monkey on my shoulder. Friendly little fellow who stood still for some pics too!

Costa Rica was, as I imagined, beautiful. I got to go into a rain forest and kept imagining velociraptors (as one of the Jurassic Park Movies was shot in Costa Rica, LOL). Got to see a noble sloth, howler monkeys, and all kinds of fun stuff. Really beautiful country and the people there were super cool. One thing I found funny was the popularity of Axel Rose. We got told that many people in Costa Rica have named their boys Axel after the Guns and Roses lead singer! LOL Guns and Roses must be big all through Central America, as they were the only rock band being displayed in some t-shirt shops we saw in Panama, haha.

I absolutely love the Carribean Islands. Always have found the people living there to be super friendly. There's a really laid back air to things around there. I've been to a large number now, including St. Martin, St. Thomas, Tortola, Barbados, Dominica, Grand Turk Caicos, and others, but I have to say that my fav is still Dominica.

Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire all had a different feel to them than many of the other Carribean islands. Less rainy by fair, with a more arid type of environment (Cactus plants are everywhere), they sit below the hurricane belt. We encountered perfect weather on all three of them. They are all largely their own countries, having gained varying degrees of independence from Holland (these were once part of the Netherlands Antilles).

As you probably know from my posts and updates, I have the 4 new short stories out now in the Seventh Star Singles line, 99 cent eBooks that are affiliated with the various authors' novel series. I have three in the Chronicles of Ave, which go with the Fires in Eden Series, and I have one in the Annals of the Rising Dawn, which goes with the Rising Dawn Saga. I'll probably do a series of posts about the stories individually so I can put them each in the right context.

The latest Fires in Eden book is in the edit phase, and I really think those of you who are reading this series are in for a very special installment. I'll be talking a little bit more about this new one in the coming months, but wanted you all to know where things are at with it.

I'm doing only a couple of January appearances, and then in February doing 2 conventions, with ConNooga and MystiCon, before a very busy March as the convention circuit kicks in full gear.

Going to be a very busy time, but I will be keeping you all posted. Expect a few more eBook short stories too...including some in the horror genre! :) more on that very soon....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fires in Eden series makes the Watch Play Read final gift guide

Always good after enduring a hellacious work schedule to get some good news, which is what happened today when I got a note that the folks at Watch Play Read chose Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends, the current Fires in Eden series titles, as selections for their final gift guide for the holidays.

The books were included in a short list that included the incredible Orson Scott Card, and they recommended it as a gift for those that like Lord of the Rings and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire.

As most all of you know, J.R.R. is my favorite overall author, and George R.R. Martin is my favorite living author, so you can imagine how cool I thought it was to be recommended in relation to those two series. wow! Anyhow, here's the page if you want to take a look (and leave a comment if you want to encourage/support their pick of the books :) )

In other news, the four new short stories are now available on both Kindle and Nook, and I hope that those who have been getting them are enjoying them and seeing what they have to offer. If you haven't seen the synopsis on the 4 stories and their titles, then visit this page for more info:

There is a LOT more coming in this series, as I want to be able to tide all my wonderful reader-friends over in between main book releases, and this is a perfect way to do it!

Speaking of main book releases, the third Fires in Eden book has been handed in to Karen (my editor for the Fires in Eden Series), so we are on course for a spring release window. Readers have a lot to look forward to with some resolutions of things from Dream of Legends, some new things unfolding, and a couple of very important characters introduced. Very action-heavy book too. Get ready to explore the realm of Midragard quite a bit more, and perhaps a tour around Avalos and the Unifier's big mountain citadel... hint, hint... maybe just a bit with the big fellow from Dream of Legends too.... :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

4 Brand new eBook Short Stories from Ave and the Rising Dawn Saga world!

Here's a nice surprise for fans of either the Rising Dawn Saga or the Fires in Eden series, just in time for the holidays. The new Seventh Star Singles line went live today, with participation from myself and Steven Shrewsbury. On my end of it, no less than 4 brand new short stories, 3 set in the world of Ave (Fires in Eden) and 1 new one from the Rising Dawn Saga world.

The theme of this series is short stories set in the worlds of the novel series. They are stand alone, but will give readers of the novels much more content, background, history, and even some foreshadowing. There's so much to explore and I plan on regularly building onto this collection.

The full press release is below. I hope everyone checks this out. I've had great fun putting these together, and they are only 99 cents too. To read a breakdown of the stories, you can visit this page:

Let me know what you think! :)



For Immediate Release December 12, 2011

Seventh Star Press Proudly Announces New Seventh Star Singles eBook Series

Seventh Star Press is proud to introduce Seventh Star Singles, an exciting new eBook series that represents a creative approach to eBook publishing. The debut of the new line kicks off with brand new tales from sword and sorcery/fantasy author Steven L. Shrewsbury, and epic fantasy/urban fantasy author Stephen Zimmer. Best of all, the new eBook short stories are all priced at just 99 cents.

Seventh Star Singles offer more for fans of the authors' novel series, as well as being stand-alone stories. The short stories are set in the worlds that the authors' novels with Seventh Star Press are based. For example, readers who came to know Gorias La Gaul in Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall will now be able to go on more adventures with Gorias in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories included in the Seventh Star Singles line. Similarly, fans of Stephen Zimmer's Fires in Eden series and Rising Dawn Saga will get to explore more of those worlds in his Chronicles of Ave and Annals of the Rising Dawn short story collections for this new line.

"I was the instigator of the new Seventh Star Singles, as I wanted a way for readers of my series to explore more of my worlds in a way that was also accessible to new readers," Stephen Zimmer commented. "They are entirely stand-alone stories, but provide all kinds of background, further depth, and perhaps even some foreshadowing that all relate to the novel series. They have been a blast to develop, as there are so many stories to be told from these worlds that can't be addressed in the plotlines of the Fires in Eden and Rising Dawn Saga novels. I'm really excited that Steven Shrewsbury stepped forward to develop a Gorias La Gaul collection. Any fan of Robert E. Howard is bound to love Steven's work and this new series opens things wide for him to write all kinds of Gorias adventures! "

Steven Shrewsbury's collection Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul starts off with two new Gorias La Gaul tales, Author and Finisher of Our Flesh, and Insurmountable. Stephen Zimmer has three contributions to the Chronicles of Ave collection, Into Glory Ride, Land of Shadow, and Lion Heart. Stephen has one story for the Annals of the Rising Dawn, Temples Rising.

A new page on the Seventh Star Press website gives full synopsis and availability on the various story collections. The page can be found at:

Many new titles are planned in the series in 2012, to be released on a monthly basis alongside the scheduled novel releases.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at,

Contact: C.C. James Public Relations, Seventh Star Press

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.