9th Annual Kentuckiana Independent Authors Fair This Saturday

I will be appearing this Saturday at the 9th Annual Kentuckiana Independent Authors Fair, taking place from 10am to 4pm at the YMCA Community Center in La Grange, Kentucky. There’s going to be a great group of authors there, including some favorites of mine like Robb Hoff, Daniel Dark, Glenn Porzig, Mysti Parker, and many others.

If you are within range of La Grange (not far from Louisville, KY) come on out! I love seeing readers in person and this is a great event for visiting and talking for awhile!

A Thank You for a Wonderful Books and Bourbon II

I had a great time at Books and Bourbon II this past Saturday in Lexington, at the Kroger Wine and Spirits store off Boston Road. The staff were great hosts, and took very good care of myself and Holly. The three hour event just flew by, and from what I could tell everyone had a lot of fun.

This is another event where it was easy to talk and visit with those who attended. I got to meet some new readers who took home some of my books to try for the first time. I also had many other readers, some of whom have been with me for several years now. The environment was perfect for hanging out and visiting with all of them.

I am already looking forward to Books and Bourbon III!

Also, keep your eyes out for some new appearance dates to be posted very soon!

Here’s me with Holly! We had a LOT Of fun at this event!
Myself with reader Jonathan H. of Lexington, KY. My readers are simply awesome!

Appearing Saturday for Lexington Kentucky Charity Event!

A last minute addition, I will be appearing at the Victorian Valentine Affair, a steampunk-themed charity event in Lexington, Kentucky being held at Arabesque World Dance! It will be from 6pm to 11pm

This event has a lot going on, from a costume contest, to live performances, a drum circle, vendors, and much more. Come out and check it out! Proceeds benefit the Heart to Home Adoption Agency! I’lll have copies of Dream of the Navigator, along with the two new compendiums (Rayden Valkyrie and Ragnar Stormbringer) for signing.

Interviewed for New Episode of The Blurb TV

I am a guest on the latest episode of The Blurb TV that was released this afternoon. Host Glenn Porzig interviewed me on an array of topics with a special focus on Dream of the Navigator, my recent YA/Dystopian novel that began the Faraway Saga.

I really enjoyed this interview and it goes in-depth behind the writing of Dream of the Navigator. Here’s the episode, give it a look!

A Great First Event of 2019 in Vevay, IN

I had a great time this past weekend at my first 2019 event in Vevay, IN at the Community Art Center of Switzerland County! I love going to this venue as it is first-class and has a great atmosphere for visiting with readers.

It is relaxed and laid-back, and very conducive to having great conversations, which is what I like about these kinds of events the most. I can really visit with readers individually and spend time with them.

Had the amazing Robb Hoff stop by too (he’s 2nd from the right). He’s a supremely talented author and is very supportive of authors and events in the area. Definitely check his stuff out, I recommend it!

Got to do my first signings of the new Rayden Valkyrie and Ragnar Stormbringer compendiums. These two books really go well together! It was great to display them side by side for the first time.

Already looking forward to my next visit to Vevay!

A Personal Appeal to Friends, Readers, and Those Who Understand The Love of Family

About six years ago, my better half, Holly Phillippe, got an animal hoarder busted that she had become aware of, close to where she lived in Indiana.  In addition to 92 dogs kept in a trailer, 25 cats had been packed into a bathroom on the same trailer.

Holly followed up with the animal shelter coordinated with the raid, and two of the cats made it very clear that they wanted to go home with her that day.

One of them was a nearly two year old Russian Blue cat, named Dubious.

Dubious came home with Holly severely overweight, at 30 pounds.  Holly took care of him, gave him a loving home, and worked on his diet, until he reached the healthy 15 pound weight that he has maintained during the nearly three years that I have had the tremendous blessing of having him in my life.

To say that he is a loving cat is an understatement.  He greets us at the door when we return home. Whenever I am sick and in bed, he stays right there with me.  During many of our meals, he even sits quietly in one of the open chairs and keeps us company, though I always make sure to give him his dinner before we sit down to eat.

When I am working in the office, he lounges in his window hammock or other favorite spots in the room and keeps us company.  He only starts interrupting me if I work an exceptionally long day, as if to say “Stephen, you really need to get some rest and take a break.”

Speaking of talking, he talks all the time, a very vocal cat who can always put a smile on your face.

He has a keen sense of when I am feeling upset, sad, or frustrated, and it is in those instances that he keeps particularly close to me, wherever I go in the house.  When it is the hardest of times, he won’t let me out of his sight.

Dubious is truly my right hand little fellow.

A great many people can vouch for how Dubious has never met a stranger.  He goes up and greets all who come to the house, and he adopts special interactions for individuals, from curling up on my sister’s shoes (while she is sitting or standing!) to the vocalizations he uses with specific people.

Dubious went with us when we were in production on the Rayden Valkyrie TV Pilot, where he won over many members of the cast and crew such as photographer and drone operator Jason Young, pictured below.

He even inspired one of the characters in my latest novel Dream of a Navigator, as a recent sharp-eyed reader caught.

Dubious is, in every way, family to me, and he has become a big part of me.  I love this cat dearly and so many worries went through my mind when I saw him take a sharp downturn in health about a week and a half ago.

He stopped drinking, eating, and became lethargic.  He also started going to the litter box non-stop.  I could tell that he was sick and in pain.

After immediately getting him to the veterinarian, we learned that he had an infection and that he also had a major blockage of his urinary tract.

We ran a course of antibiotics, got him relieved with a catheter, and the plan was to push the crystals/stones that were detected out of his tract and then dissolve them.  What followed became a harrowing pattern of bringing him home, having him block up, taking him back to the veterinarian, including overnight stays, with more anesthesia, catheters, and treatments.

We did everything we could to care for him on our end, from making sure he got all his meds to making certain that either myself or Holly was with him to keep a watch on his behavior.

He blocked up again bad on Friday night, and this time when we went to the veterinarian it was revealed that he had brought up everything in his bladder into his urinary tract.  It also was revealed that these were of the kind of crystals/stones that do not dissolve.

At this point, the bills had run up to almost $2,000.   At that juncture, it was already an emergency situation for us, on a personal level, financially.  Holly had created the support campaign just on this situation alone..

We were left with only one option after the discovery of the severely blocked urethra and non-dissolvable stones..  He had to get surgery.

We were sent over to MedVet in Lexington, which is a top line facility with advanced surgery capabilities.  The surgery needed for Dubious requires a rerouting of the urethra, and the surgeon on hand Saturday did not feel comfortable with the procedure.

The surgeon needed would be available on Monday.    The hospital stay between Saturday to Monday alone has added almost $1500 more to the bill.  The surgery Monday is going to be another $4,000.  They have no payment plans.

Dubious can be returned to full health and a full quality of life, but if he does not get this surgery, he cannot survive.

This has blindsided us and it is an overwhelming amount.  We have had a very trying couple of years after suffering a big hit holding one of our projects in place when one of the principle financiers failed to come through after everything had been set in place.  Because of that situation, I had to give up being a homeowner, among other sacrifices.  We stood by our commitments and the project, and honored what we set out to do, but it put us in a very tight, precarious position, one that we have been working very hard to come out of, in a long, slow process.

We live in a very frugal manner to get by, even before that happened.  We’ve been disciplined in keeping our cost of living as low as we possibly can. Among a few examples I can cite: I have no health insurance, I drive old vehicles that are paid for, which keeps insurance and taxes lower. I haven’t had a real vacation in well over seven years.

I’m not complaining about any of this, it is part of the price you have to pay to pursue a creative career and I chose that more austere path.  But I say this to make it clear that we are in no position to get hit with such bills, suddenly and unexpectedly, that are upwards of $7,500.

We will work hard to weather the storm, but we really need some help.  If you understand the love of family, you will understand why we have no choice but to pursue this surgery for Dubious.

We really have nowhere to turn to but our community, from my friends, to my readers, to strangers who I have never met.  I know it is a holiday week, but if you can find it in your heart to spare a little, even five or ten dollars, to help us try to survive this avalanche of bills, it would be appreciated more than I can express right now.

Please help.

To contribute to the campaign for Dubious, visit the link below:

Click This Link to Help With Dubious’ Medical Costs

Update: November 26, 2018:  Dubious has been making strides in recovery.  The first couple of days he rested a lot, was on regular pain medication (morphine) and did not show much of an appetite.  Thankfully, around Thursday of last week he started to regain his appetite and over the course of the next day was eating and drinking more normal amounts.  As of Sunday he is off the pain medication, and has been showing no signs of discomfort.  He has about another week to go with wearing the cone and until he gets the stitches removed from along his underside.  We have been watching him very close and he appears to be on course for a full recovery.  We still are facing a very difficult bill situation even with what has come in so far in support of his medical costs.  I know everyone is busy during the holiday season, but please give some thought to helping, as every bit makes a true difference given that we were already in a really tight spot before this happened.

Update: December 3, 2018: Dubious had his follow-up examination and removal of stitches today. I am very happy to say that he looks to be healing very well. He does not have to wear the cone-collar anymore, can use his normal litter again, and resume his usual routine once more. He will have to make dietary adjustments, and they do want to have a urinalysis every three months with a radiograph every 6 months to keep a watch out for any new calcium cyst formations. The surgeon believes that Dubious should pass these through his new urinary tract site before they get big enough to cause blockage, if they form up again, but we will be keeping a close lookout. Dubious came home and purred like a motorboat after that cone-collar was removed. I could tell he felt really good and we are looking forward to having him back to himself for Christmas. We are facing a very severe uphill climb with the bills that mounted during the course of this entire trial. Any help you can spare toward Dubious’ medical costs is deeply appreciated and needed.

Cover Reveal and Announcement on New Print-Only Release, The Rayden Valkyrie Tales, Volume I!

A new announcement today on a print-only release!  Check it out!  🙂

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Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the cover art by Olivia Pro Design for a new print-only release, The Rayden Valkyrie Tales, Volume I, by Stephen Zimmer!  This new compendium will be available on November 21st, just in time for the holiday season!

The Rayden Valkyrie Tales, Volume I, will contain the first three novellas previously released in the collection on eBook formats.  These novellas include Blood of a Queen, Winds of War, and The Sun’s Caress.

The novellas in the Rayden Valkyrie Tales collection will continue to be released and made available individually on eBook formats and the compendium is only being released in a print edition.  Print compendiums are a great way to make the Rayden Valkyrie tales available to readers who do not have eReaders or prefer print formats.

Here are the synopsis of the three novellas included in this exciting new compendium!

Blood of a Queen: Traveling farther east, Rayden Valkyrie comes upon a city shrouded in fear and anger.

A devastating drought has been followed by a nightmarish rash of brutal murders and disappearances that only occur after the sun goes down. A few witnesses speak of terrifying, monstrous wraiths prowling the streets at night.

The ruler of Terith-Ka, Queen Annukeyen, claims that the demonic entities have been summoned through dark magic wielded by sorcerers in the rival city of Rastapur. A war looms and the people clamor for vengeance against the city they believe has caused their suffering.

Rayden suspects something much darker at work underneath the simmering atmosphere of Terith-Ka. When all others have gone inside with the fall of night, Rayden heads into the empty streets of the city to find answers and confront the evil plaguing a frightened populace.

Blood of a Queen is a stand-alone novella that is part of the Rayden Valkyrie Tales.

Winds of War: The winds of war are stirring.

The kings of Thrakkia and Samosia quarrel with each other as a wave of invaders from a powerful empire crashes upon the shores of the nearby Kingdom of Pargemon.

Having finished a harrowing mission aiding the Thrakkians deep in their mountains, Rayden Valkyrie understands the looming, perilous threat from the Astrian Empire. Without unity, none of the Griacan kingdoms stand a chance against the much larger invasion that Rayden knows will follow the conquest of Pargemon.

With time dwindling fast and the kings set on a course to weaken each other in battle, Rayden undertakes a bold mission. The fate of many lands hangs in the balance

Winds of War is a stand-alone novella that is part of the Rayden Valkyrie Tales

The Sun’s Caress: At the edge of the world, far to the east, Rayden has joined with a band of pirates led by Timiko, the young widow of a great warrior revered for showing compassion and generosity to the powerless toiling in the fields and villages on the islands of Yamatainu.

When word arrives that a raiding fleet is approaching under the command of the pirate Fujimara, a man known for extreme cruelty and barbarity, Timiko and Rayden know that the villages throughout their region are in great peril.

Though greatly outnumbered, Timiko’s fleet sets out against all odds to confront Fujimara’s raiders.

The Sun’s Caress is a stand-alone eBook novella that is part of the Rayden Valkyrie Tales.

 

If you have an eReader and would like to enjoy these stories today, you can get them now on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and Kobo!

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Kobo Link

iTunes Link

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Cover Reveal for Across Desert Plains, a New Rayden Valkyrie eBook Novella!

Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the cover art by Olivia Pro Design for Across Desert Plains, a new Rayden Valkyrie eBook novella by Stephen Zimmer! A Kindle pre-order window is now open for Across Desert Plains, which will be released in all eBook formats on Monday, November 19th!

Preorder the Kindle version of Across Desert Plains at the following link for just $1.99!  Delivered automatically to your Kindle device on November 19th!

Kindle Pre-Order Link

A stand-alone novella, Across Desert Plains is the fourth Rayden Valkyrie tale to be released, following Blood of a Queen in May, Winds of War in July, and The Sun’s Caress in August!  Fans of dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, and action-driven fiction will love this latest tale featuring an iconic, inspiring heroine!

Synopsis of Across Desert Plains: Only the foolish deem the desolate places of the world truly abandoned.

Journeying to the Kingdom of Thrakkia, Rayden Valkyrie encounters a large contingent of nomadic Barradans. Knowing the routes through the great desert expanses and the numerous dangers encountered within them, the rugged tribal people are also hospitable to strangers and they welcome her among them.

Heading westward to avoid becoming swept up in the ambitions of a bloodthirsty desert warlord, the Barradans have only one other individual among them who is not a member of their tribe; an enigmatic Hebrennan elder.

Mysteries soon unfold, and Rayden’s own life will teeter on the edge of an abyss.

Where no man or woman dwells, things with darker intentions and ravenous hungers can set root, grow, and cast a deepening shadow across desert plains.

Across Desert Plains is a stand-alone novella that is part of the Rayden Valkyrie Tales.

About the Author:  Stephen Zimmer is 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), the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk), and the forthcoming Faraway Saga (YA Dystopian/Cross-Genre).

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.

Find Stephen online at:
Website: www.stephenzimmer.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7
Twitter: @sgzimmer
Instagram: @stephenzimmer7

A New Imaginarium 2018 Video Spot to Share!

Be sure to check out this new video spot for Imaginarium 2018.  It is a convention near and dear to my heart, that I founded 5 years ago.  It brings together storytellers and creatives with fandom and readers.  A very fun and content-rich event that is coming to Louisville, KY this October 5-7!   Visit the site for full info!