Author: S. H. Roddey

+Blog Book Tour+ Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions {edited by} Scott M. Sandridge, featuring an Editor Guest Post!

Posted Sunday, 22 June, 2014 by jorielov , , 6 Comments

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Heros Best Friend Anthology Blog Tour with Tomorrow Comes Media

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress), 12 February, 2014
Official Author WebsitesBlog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads
Available Formats: Softcover Page Count: 472
Genres: Short Story | Fantasy  | Animals in Fiction

Converse on Twitter: #HerosBestFriendAntho & #7thStar

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There are books which enter our lives and conscience heart well ahead of their actual publication date, and this particular anthology came into my view in late 2013. It was around the time of the first-ever Twitter party for the debut writerly convention Imaginarium in Louisville, Kentucky this coming September! I was quite charmed by the premise of the stories which would be lit alive inside its covers and I was quite eager to learn more about the collection as it came time to review it for a blog tour! Clearly confident in my ability to secure a tour spot, as sometimes when you believe in a book, you just have to go the extra mile! (as I have for Uncovering Cobbogoth and Portals, Passages, and Pathways!)

Imagine my gobsmacked horror to realise that the complimentary copy of Hero’s Best Friend went plumb amiss in the Post! Yes, dear hearts, somewhere out there between Kentucky and here, there is a copy floating through the mail system! You see, I had planned to compose my observational thoughts on the stories today! Never one to throw in the towel if life throws me lemons, I quickly contacted the editor Mr. Sandridge and conferred with him about an impromptu Guest Post in lieu of the planned review!

Sandridge came through for me and provided me with lovely insight into how animal companions and animals inside stories have enchanted him as much as they have myself! I am always delighted finding others who appreciate the same interests I have but to have such a stellar essay whipped up as quickly as he threw this one together is a blessing to a book blogger! I cannot thank him enough for giving me a way ‘back on the tour!’

Please take a moment to look over the information on the anthology’s contents before proceeding into his essay about the genre-bending inclusion of ‘animal companions!’

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Heroes Best Friend : Anthology by Seventh Star Press
Artwork Credit: Enggar Adirasa

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May I take a moment to express my gratitude for the artwork by Enggar Adirasa! The front cover’s image simply draws you into wanting to seek the stories out inside this collection of shorts! Especially if you are an appreciator of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe motion picture! (I did not get as enraptured with the books!) I would love to hear your take on what alights in your mind as you look a bit at the cover and compose your thoughts in the comment threads below! I look forward to seeing what you share! It is still a bit of a mystery for me to know of which story this illustrative piece is referencing! And, I cannot wait to find out!

Anthology Synopsis: Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions

Scott M. Sandridge

How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!
Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long.

Whether you’re a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you!

So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero’s Best Friend.

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Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

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Stories inside: Hero’s Best Friend:

Joy Ward: “Toby and Steve Save the World”

Frank Creed: “Dusk”

Cassie Schau: “The Hunter’s Boy”

Steven Donahue: “Grit”

Jason Cordova: “Hill 142”

Herika R. Raymer: “Dook”

Essel Pratt: “Brothers”

Lisa Hawkridge: “Ezra’s Girl”

S. H. Roddey: “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

Steven S. Long: “The Wolf Sentinel”

Laura Anne Ewald: “Memorandum”

Cindy Koepp: “The Hat”

Ian Hunter: “Scarheid in the Glisting”

Steven Grassie: “The Masterless”

David Wright: “Wind of Change”

Renee Carter Hall: “The Emerald Mage”

Nick Bryan: “The Violet Curse”

Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy: “The Restless Armadillo”

Douglas J. Ogurek: “Stuck on the Squigglybounce”

Sheila Deeth: “Passage”

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Animal Stories Span Genres

By Scott M. Sandridge

Growing up, I watched all the classic films of Lassie and Benji. Reading White Fang showed me that the best animal stories are the ones done from the animal’s point of view, and I later realized that they can be some of the most difficult stories to write. Cujo showed me that animals can make for great characters in Horror, and Lord of the Rings introduced me to Shadowfax. And who hasn’t seen Mad Max or The Beast Master?

The post-apocalyptic video game series, Fallout, expanded my view of the different genres that animal companions can be in. Fallout and Fallout 3 introduced me to the roughest, toughest, and most loyal companion you can have on your team: Dogmeat, a dog so tough he can take down a super mutant with his bare teeth (and can survive my very bad aim with grenades). Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas introduced me to robot dogs and cyborg dogs. They were pretty tough, too (but could never survive my bad aim with grenades, alas).

When I pitched my idea for an anthology about animal companions to Seventh Star Press, I knew the Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery genres would be well represented. Animal companions have been a classic mainstay in those genres for a long time. But by allowing the anthology to be open to all genres, I became pleasantly surprised at the submissions that arrived. In Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, not only will you find Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and Contemporary, but also Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, and Bizarro. If Hero’s Best Friend proves anything, it’s that animal companion stories can span all genres and subgenres.

And why not? Our relationship to animals, and their relationship to us, tells us as much about the human condition as human-to-human relationships. Just as we see our real life pets as extended family members, in fiction (when the writer does it right) the animals we read about become just as real to us as the human characters. They make us laugh, make us cheer, and make us cry: just as much as, if not more than, the human characters do.

I’m honored to have been the editor of such an anthology, with a theme so dear to my heart. And I’m thankful that Seventh Star Press gave me the opportunity to have such an anthology available for all of you to enjoy.

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What I appreciate the most about this particular collection of stories is having each of them capture the essence of a genre-bending sphere of literary delight! They are representative of their actual genres, but they sound as though they give a bit more than what those branches of literature might usually encompass at the very same time! I love fiction that takes on new meanings and new depths, whether I am soaking into a book, a short story, or even whilst immersed into the latest Doctor Who episode I am discovering for the very first time! I find that the series is the epitome of ‘genre-bending’ and brilliance of execution on captivating a person’s attention at the jump-start beginning!

Sandridge and I share a common ground for appreciating animal companions, as his top three choices match my own, as I quite literally rented “Benji: the Hunted” from the rental shoppes so often they nearly gave me the VHS tapes for free! I say ‘nearly!’ as they never could seem to get permission from corporate to do so! Oy! I was simply captivated by Benji, for the same reasons I loved “The Adventures of Natty Gann” in which Natty’s companion is a wolf; “The Neverending Story” who as the wickedest dragon on the planet! (another film in common, he mentions this elsewhere on the tour!); the Mountain Family Robinson trilogy where Crest protected the family; previously I have mentioned my affection for “Pete’s Dragon”; and many others I am failing to draw to memory today! What I appreciate about Jack London is his ability to get your heart attached to a wolf in a way that is different than Natty Gann but is a bit similar to “Due South”; a tv series which features a deaf wolf who takes interest in protecting a Mountie!

From our beginnings of noting animal companions and animals in fiction, we differ a bit on our paths after childhood because I am suspecting the video games are not the ones I’d personally play myself! I’m always going to have half a step and foot on the family and children side of the ledger, not only because I’m a future foster-adoptive Mum, nor even because I’m an Auntie at present, but because I tend to like the innocence in stories for younger generations. I’d wrap myself into a family film far quicker than I would an intense video game! I am a gamer, a title I apparently acquired at three, as I’ve been playing games on the computer since I first started using one! Wayy back when Atari was all the rage and long before Nintendo or the ability to borrow my neighbourhood friend’s Sega Genesis so I could play with Sonic, the quirky hedgehog!

You’ll even note a new ‘tag’ on my Twitter profile which sums me up quite well: Vintage Gamer! By board, card, or video, I like a bit of a unique ‘vintage’ or ‘yesteryear’ spin to what I game! Not to say I don’t like an action-based game either, as let’s face it, I cannot deny I helped beat “Street Fighter” in sixth grade! I digress!

The best news of all, no matter how we gather our passions for animal companions, nor where we wander to find the companions that mean the world to their masters, we each have our own ‘coveted niche’ in the genres we appreciate reading and watching! And, I for one will always celebrate the uniqueness of our individual passions if we can sometimes draw a common thread towards each other and celebrate the love of story-telling which ignites a fever pitch passion for our imaginations!

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Blog Book Tour Stop, courtesy of Tomorrow Comes Media

Heros Best Friend Anthology Blog Tour with Tomorrow Comes Media

Virtual Road Map of the “Hero’s Best Friend” Blog Tour:

16 June: Guest Post of Scott M. Sandridge “Writers Are Born, Then Made” @ Beagle Book Space

16 June: Interview: S.H. Roddey (author of a short) @ Deal Sharing Aunt

17 June: Guest Post of Essel PrattSheila Deeth

18 June: Guest Post of Henrik R. Raymer @ Come Selahway With Me

18 June: Guest Post of Scott M. Sandridge “Animals & the Hero Archetype” @ On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half

19 June: Guest Post of Sheila Deeth @ Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

20 June: Guest Post of S.H. Roddey @ Beauty in Ruins

21 June: Guest Post of Scott M. Sandridge “Animal Stories Span Genres” @ Jorie Loves a Story

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comCheck out my upcoming bookish events to see what I will be hosting next for

Tomorrow Comes Media Tour Host

and mark your calendars!

I am going to be reading & reviewing “Hero’s Best Friend” 

as soon as I receive a copy of the anthology!

Stay tuned!

Watch my tweets!

And return back to this blog!

What draws you into reading anthologies in the fantasy realms?! What are some of your favourite fantasy-centered anthologies of short stories!? Are there any authors you were ‘introduced to’ via an anthology that you regularly read now!? Who are some of your favourite ‘animal companions’ in fiction and motion picture?! And, don’t forget to share your thoughts about the book cover art!

{SOURCES: Editor photograph, Editor Biography, Book Synopsis, Book Cover, and TCM Tour Host badge were provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and were used by permission. Jorie requested an Author Guest Post from Scott M. Sandridge by way of Mr. Sandridge, of which she received a reply. She wanted to remain on the tour when the book went amiss in the post, and he obliged her with this wicked post topic! Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.


Posted Sunday, 22 June, 2014 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, An Editor Point of View, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Convention, Bookish Discussions, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Imaginarium, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, The Writers Life, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Writing Style & Voice