James Wymore’s The Actuator Series: Book Four Release & Sale

We’re excited to announce that the final book in James Wymore’s SciFi, fantasy The Actuator Series is OUT NOW. You can get the digital edition of THE LAST KEY on Amazon, with the paperback edition forthcoming.

And to celebrate the new release, the rest of the Actuator series will be on sale from November 17, with each title discounted so that you can get the whole series for under $8.

The Last Key

The Actuator, a machine capable of literally changing reality, was created to make a utopian paradise. Before it happened, a saboteur used it to transform the world into patches of every kind of genre fiction, scattering the keys necessary to put it back across the globe. Everyone alive found their lives radically altered, some living in fantasy realms with real magic and others in incomprehensible horrors. Thrown into chaos, people struggled against aliens, pirates, orcs, and vampires. Many died. Only a handful of people on the planet, called Machine Monks, even knew why it happened or how. Now they have to put it all back before humanity is destroyed.

Continuing their quest for the Actuator keys, the Machine Monks realize their cause is becoming hopeless. An army of half-machine men is rapidly spreading over the face of the earth, converting anybody they don’t kill to their cause. With superior numbers and technology, their leader will not stop until every living human is subdued and loyal to him.

Keeping the first key with him, preventing anybody from using the Actuator to change the world, the sociopath rampages. Even if they could get all the keys, the small group opposing the tyrant don’t know what to do when they get to the final one—a key they’ve never seen before. If they don’t find the answers fast, the world will be lost.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Actuator: Fractured Earth – FREE

Known as “The Actuator”, this machine is capable of transforming entire communities into alternate realities. In theory, these often terrifying realities are reversible. The scientists in charge of this machine employ operatives called Machine Monks, who attune their minds to manifest single ideas from the realms of fantasy and science fiction. These ideas are then superimposed upon sparsely inhabited areas for testing.

For a while, the enigmatic Actuator cooperates with the experiments, using dampeners to limit the affected area. But those in charge of the project eagerly anticipate exploring the full potential of this amazing device. Experiments progress to where they feed more than twenty different genre ideas simultaneously into the Actuator’s database.

Meanwhile, an unknown saboteur dismantles the dampeners. The effect is catastrophic. The entire world is plunged into chaos, and familiar landscapes become a deadly patchwork of genre horrors. Overnight, the Actuator becomes the worst menace the earth has ever seen, claiming lives in staggering numbers.

Can a few surviving Machine Monks band together to set things right again? It all depends on whether Red McLaren and the Monks can survive their journey through the various realms that separate them from the Actuator, where ever-present orcs, aliens, pirates, and vampires seek to destroy them.

They must move quickly, as time is running out to stop the Actuator and the villain who controls it and the earth’s destiny.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Actuator: Borderlands Anthology – FREE

When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.

  • In Remembering Emily, by Sara Wolf, Daniel must rescue his distant girlfriend from danger. Worse, she might forget him.
  • Matthew Cox explores Cyberpunked China in Stolen Orchid, where a man finds his wife has become a ghost. His only hope is to cross the border to an unfamiliar realm.
  • In The Blackbird’s Tale, Dan Willis tells of a Machine Monk named David, who works his way through Chicago’s noir scene to find an Actuator Key.
  • Nathan Yocum gives us The Dream Journal of Oren Smith Wessely, in steampunk Arizona where his dreams suddenly come to life.
  • Mara Valderran’s The Austenation crosses Pride and Prejudice with werewolves so the young heroine is forced to do the unthinkable and take matters into her own hands.
  • In Escape, by Patrick Burdine, a group of teenagers are caught in a motherless town where all the fathers have turned into faceless, soul-sucking monsters.
  • The Ritual, by Whitney Trang, is a haunted house in Japan where a ghost seeks to sacrifice a young woman’s sister to save his family.
  • The Gatekeepers of Change is James Pratt’s chronicle of the awakening of great power in a man preparing to enact terrible plans.
  • The Ringer is Craig Nybo’s tale about a detective in New Orleans facing zombies and other undead monsters as he assists a client in taking on her crime lord husband.
  • A Soviet soldier guarding Chernobyl, in Jason Purdy’s Anna and Lena, must escape the poisoning by crossing an unknown border.
  • Jenny Persson brings us a teen in Viking Sweden in Once upon a Frozen North, who looks to the steampunk airships just across the border as a means for her escape.
  • Jay Wilburn tells of drug addicted Travis, in Halfway, who finds the sanctuary of the sanitarium suddenly turns violent.
  • The author Juhi’s The Search for Punarnav takes us to India, where a man seeks to become a healer despite the dangerous Hindu mythologies suddenly made real.
  • Jason A. Anderson brings us 15 Seconds of Fame, in Steampunk London where a detective risks everything to save a child from her mob boss father.
  • In Forever Young, Wilbert Stanton explores the fate of an old man who finds himself young again, after paying his life’s savings to gain admission into an exclusive realm.
  • Finally, James Wymore’s tale, Cult of the Actuation, continues the story from book 1, as Dragon Star takes on religious zealots, organized in the wake of the Change, who have taken one of the Machine Monks captive.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur  – 99 cents

The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.

Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.

Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.

None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Actuator 3: Chaos Chronicles – 99 Cents

Scattered all across the world, the Machine Monks struggle to deal with the saboteur’s next big move. Isolated in a situation they’ve never experienced before, their mission to collect all the Actuator keys grows desperate.

In “Eyes in the Void,” by Dan Willis, Holly Dark must convince David, a hard bitten, Noir PI, to help her rob a high security train so she can pay off an Ogre who is also her late father’s loan shark.

An elven ranger finds himself in the Old West after a ritual gone awry. Having traded in his longbow for six-guns, he accepts a quest from a strange lawman in exchange for help returning to the home he loves. Matthew Cox tells us “The Ruin of Man.”

When the world’s most dangerous kaiju marches on manga-inspired Japan, can Isaac Tran defeat it using only his wits and the power of anime? Find out in “Memories of a Kaiju,” by Bob Defendi.

A honeymoon “Safari” (by Lorna Marie Larson) goes horribly wrong when rudely interrupted by the chaotic Actuator. Without guns, how do you fight against ancient wildlife with a mind of its own?

Harry’s back from out west, but he’s returned as an orc. Now he’s trying to set up a drug deal that will make Butch rich, if it doesn’t get him killed first. “Monsters in Chicago,” by D. J. Butler.

“Stranded in Camelot” by her so-called friends, Machine Monk Elizabeth Darling seeks a way home to Steampunk London—and finds an unexpected surprise in the medieval forest. Get medieval with C.M. Spivey.

Tina and a group of injured teens stands between a horror and millions of innocent lives. Robert J. Defendi gives us “Big Trouble in Greater Tokyo.”

Patrick Burdine gives us the continued story of orphaned teens in “The Bayou King.” While Lennie is traveling to a safe haven with her little brother through the nightmare lands of the Dead South, disaster strikes and she is forced to rely on a woman with a dark secret if she hopes to survive.

James Wymore tells the next part of the ongoing saga as Brian and his crew face the saboteur face to face in a high tech war that will alter the fate of the world.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Sequels Release Day November 2017

Once again we’re bringing you three much-anticipated sequels to three much-loved series. This month we have The Last Netherworld of the Apocalypse, book four in Nina Post’s Kelly Driscoll Series, Disposal, book three in Tara Tyler’s Pop Travel Series, and Containment, book two in J.R. Rain and Matthew S. Cox’s Winter Solstice Series.

The Last Netherworld of the Apocalypse

Kelly Driscoll is supposed to be on hiatus from her job as manager of Amenity Tower, but she needs money, and the barn her boyfriend bought has a spectral bee infestation. And while Kelly knows never to take a job offer at face value, she accepts a job to track down an immortal women’s restroom designer named Sun. The target was last spotted in Gridlock City, so Kelly—along with her dad, the single-purpose angels, and Af, the former angel of destruction—drive non-stop to get there.

When Kelly first locates Sun, she decides to not turn him in until she finds out who she’s actually working for, but he goes missing after accepting an award for his design of the women’s restrooms in the Ghostburp Hotel. She and her team meet Bes, an Egyptian goddess working as a travel nanny; Lemur, an angel who puts songs in people’s minds; and Penny, a woman who leaves her body behind and joins them as a floating disembodied head.

They search for Sun through a series of strange netherworlds, looking for clues to his current location. But after a narrow escape from the largest netherworld corporation, a bewildering experience on a college campus, a side job in a labyrinth, and an inescapable dentist office and airport, things look bleak. A maddening netherworld portal system is keeping Kelly separated from her family—and Sun is nowhere to be found.

Kelly learns that Sun is key to a plan that would obliterate all of the netherworlds. And as the condo board of Amenity Tower makes a trip to flush five very special toilets, her boyfriend negotiates a life-changing deal with a powerful entity, and her replacement manager at Amenity Tower teeters on the verge of a breakdown, Kelly has to hustle like never before to find Sun and protect both her world and the netherworlds from destruction.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Disposal

In the future many problems are the same, but cool gadgets make chasing the bad guys more fun.

Cooper and Geri are finally in a good place, but their bliss is short-lived. When Cooper’s rebellious nephew Jimmy comes down to stay with them in Atlanta for a summer internship. Now he thinks he’s found the girl of his dreams in a fiery, exotic beauty. Pursuing her against all words of warning into a dangerous underground world, he ends up getting kidnapped by her powerful Drug Lord father. Geri tracks him down, but gets herself kidnapped as well.

Now it’s up to Cooper to use all his resources to save them, including the hot homicide detective Geri secretly despises, and the latest sketchy gadgets his genius friend Hasan needs field-tested. Sure, why not? Cooper will try anything to get his family back.

DISPOSAL is the third book in my Pop Travel series – sci-fi noir, a detective thriller set in the near future.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Containment

Something big stirs in the murk of the Volga river, emerging at night to sow mayhem and death along the banks. Since she’s already stranded at ground zero, Solstice Winters agrees to help. A small numina problem stands between her and getting back to her family―its only about twenty feet long.

Yay for being the only elf in the world.

After narrowly escaping the Ordo Sanguinem Aeternam, she winds up sharing a flat halfway across the world from home with the enigmatic Cristiano, an agent of the secretive organization she may have obligated herself to join. He seems to know his way around the city, and he’s not bad on the eyes either.

Solstice soon realizes she’s tracking a beast the likes of which none of her father’s books have mentioned, a creature unique to Russia that her magic lacks the strength to kill. To make matters worse, the Federal Security Bureau sticks their noses into the mix.

While hunting the dangerous numina, she awakens a forgotten power in the depths of the river that has the potential to alter the course of human history―and not for the better.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

October Sequels Release Day

Don’t you just love that feeling when you’ve been waiting for a much loved series to return, and the day finally arrives? [Much like fans of The CW’s DC superhero shows must be feeling this week!] Well we have our own trio of “returns” for you, too, as three much-loved CQ series release their second installments.

Death by Cliche 2: The Wrath of Con, by Bob Defendi

Damico is trapped in a fantasy roleplaying game. Not “trapped at the table” like Thanksgiving dinner after a particularly unpleasant election. Trapped inside. Back in the real world he’s probably bleeding to death in the trunk of the game master’s car.

On a happier note, he currently rules this improbably-constructed world from the very plush Comfy Chair, which he ordered built to replace the previous overlord’s throne. It’s amazing what a true artist can do with hard wood, soft animals, and relaxation magic.

Unfortunately, this world exists to serve a fantasy roleplaying game, and players back in the real world have started rolling dice again. An artifact that grants complete control of the weather has fallen into the hands of a mad man, and Damico must join the adventurers in their quest to face-stab evil in the name of justice.

Also, he needs to decide whether to become the Dark God of Destruction, so his schedule is filling up quickly.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Dreamhouse (Paperdolls Book 2), by Nicole Thorn

Layla Hall is one of the Paperdolls. Four girls were kidnapped at the age of twelve, and held in an underground bunker that they called ‘The Dollhouse’. Seven years later, they’re free from their captor, and trying to rebuild their lives. Layla distracts herself with other people’s pain. She wants to heal them, and Bennett needs healing.

Bennett Posey is broken. He knows it, and everyone in his life knows it. His life changes when he decides to end it. Before he does, he calls the crisis hotline that Layla volunteers at. She promises him that life will get better, and that she would show him.

Bennett is gone from the start, obsessed with the girl who makes life hurt a little less. She can make him forget about his abusive mother, and passive father. He thinks he deserves what he gets, so what does it matter if they hurt him? As long as Layla doesn’t find out, everything will be fine. It has to be fine.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Oracle of the Song (The Oracle of Delphi Trilogy Book 2), by Gail Strickland

Determined to save her best friend Sophia, Thaleia—the young Oracle of Delphi—descends into the Underworld, a forbidden land from which none escape.

But does Sophia want to be saved? If so, why does she trick Thaleia to drink from the River of Forgetfulness, so she no longer knows the reason she descended into Hades’ Realm?

Thaleia prays for the gods’ help. Instead of their guidance, she encounters Hades’ rage and Athena’s jealous fury.

Always, the gods defy her.

Beneath fire skies, Thaleia outwits Typhon, a hundred-headed sea monster; challenges the Graeae—three hags who share one eye and one tooth between them and risks being turned to stone with the gaze of Medusa, a snake-haired priestess.

Ultimately, all paths lead to Hades Palace and a box hidden beneath Queen Persephone’s bed. Can Thaleia stop blaming the gods for her friend’s death? Can she let honesty and courage guide her? Can she bring Sophia home?

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

99 Cents Sale on 4 Titles

We have an end of the month treat for fans of urban fantasy, and sci-fi, as four titles buy some of CQ’s most prolific authors are on sale. The Dead Detective, Ghosts of Christmas Present, and Deadbeat Dad, by J.R. Rain and Rod Kierkegaard Jr, as well as Hand of Raziel by Matthew S. Cox, will be on sale for 99 cents; September 28 – 30.

The Dead Detective, by J.R. Rain & Rod Kierkegaard, Jr. - CoverAbout The Dead Detective

Medical-school-dropout police detective Richelle Dadd is… well, dead.

But that won’t stop her from trying to hold on to her house in a divorce battle with a bitter husband. Or keep her from digging into her own murder, to discover who put the bullet into her heart. Or from coming to terms with her Gypsy heritage. And it certainly won’t stand in the way of finding out the reason she’s been reanimated as a zombie assassin, no longer in control of her life.

Richelle will face off against Romani shamans, double-crossing ghosts, a partner she can’t trust, and her own undead nature in a journey into the depths of the occult world and out the other side without losing her sense of humor – or humanity – along the way.

It’s a good thing her deductive skills – and her aim – are still up to par.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghosts of Christmas Present, by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr. and J.R. Rain - CoverAbout Ghosts of Christmas Present

Richelle Dadd is feeling an emptiness in her heart this holiday season. And not just because said heart is as cold and dead as the icy cityscape in her window. The undead have feelings, too – and in the time for family and presents and friendship, this lost soul is feeling… lost.

Backstabbed by those she considered her allies, neglected by the only ghost that understood her, and with her best friend murdered before her very eyes, Richelle doesn’t have a ton to celebrate this year.

But the “Christmas miracle” isn’t just something that goes on a greeting card..

Ghosts of Christmas Present is a short story set in the aftermath of the events in The Dead Detective, and is accompanied by Christmas in the Morgue (a Department of Magic short story) by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr., and Zombie App, by J.R. Rain.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About Deadbeat Dad

Hard-boiled police detective Richelle Dadd is back. And in a whole world of fresh trouble. Still… well, dead as the result of a Gypsy curse, she must now face life as a single mom. Not only does Richelle have to worry about all the usual stuff—her baby’s health and well-being and keeping a roof over their heads by working a precarious dead-end job—there’s also her homicidal ex-boyfriend to fear, the father of her child, stalking them both day and night with the avowed intent of kidnapping baby Tamara.

Not to mention a mysterious Russian agent hell-bent on “recruiting” Richelle into a suspiciously perfect overseas job, plus there’s a vicious Ripper-style killing to investigate, one that ties in with the Black Rose Murders that terrorized the city nearly ninety years ago. Throw in the increasingly bizarre behavior of Richelle’s ex-husband Devon and the fact that somebody’s bugged every inch of Richelle’s house—and it all adds up to a recipe for disaster…

But once again, just as in the Dead Detective, the first book in the series, some very off-beat characters come to her aid. There’s her love-sick ex-detective partner Malena Ayon, for one, and the long-dead ghost cop Bull McGuinness for another. And Richelle’s equally dead new boyfriend, a dreamy World War I vet cut down in the prime of his youth. Last but hardly least, the roguish old Irish Traveler and scam artist Dicky Dadd, who claims to be Richelle’s vanished father, but who may be something else entirely; a half-Gypsy wizard sent to watch over her by the kriss, or Romani High Council.

On the eve of a second ‘Ripper’ murder at a nearby theme park, Richelle and Malena must race to save an innocent victim’s life—along with that of Tamara—while battling shadowy forces both real and supernatural, as the story builds to a shattering and unexpected climax.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About Hand of Raziel

Risa Black will decide the fate of an entire planet. After all, an angel told her so.

Orphaned young, she grows up among the resistance, fighting to give the people of Mars command of their own destiny. Two governments from Earth vie for control of the Red Planet; she wants them gone, regardless of how many explosives it takes.

To the outside world, she’s an emotionless, broken marionette. Inside, her father’s fiery end haunts her every waking moment. She never cared for destiny or politics, until the angel Raziel focused her anger. Both friend and foe alike believe her grip on sanity tenuous; she knows he is real, and pities those who
will never feel his divine presence.

Whenever her adrenaline wears off, guilt at what her bombs did cuts deep, as does the apathy of the citizens she wants to liberate. The pain worsens after unexpected love cracks open her armored heart, causing her to question the role she plays in the bloody conflict Torn between duty and desire, she learns change never comes without loss.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

CQ at The Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival

Curiosity Quills is excited to announce that Courtney Sloan, Keith Fentonmiller, Marianne Kirby, J.P Sloan and Adriana Arrington will be manning a Curiosity Quills table at The Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, September 23, from ten a.m to five p.m. They can be found at table H6 if you want to stop by, have a chat with our authors and grab signed copies of their books.

The festival is located at: Riverfront Park, Sophia Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

About The Authors

A New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating.

Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor.

She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night.
A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade.

Books by Courtney: Of Scions and Men

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Keith Fentonmiller is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His Pushcart-nominated short story was recently published in The Stonecoast Review.

Books by Keith: Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat

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Marianne Kirby writes about bodies both real and imagined. She plays with the liminal space between vanishing and visibility: she thinks the things that go bump in the night need to spend some time in the sun.

A long-time writer, editor, and activist, Marianne is a frequent contributor to women’s interest publications, news outlets, and tv shows that require people to have opinions. She has been published by the Guardian, xoJane, the Daily Dot, Bitch Magazine, Time, and others. She has appeared on tv and radio programs ranging from the Dr. Phil Show to Radio New Zealand.

Marianne was born in Florida and returned there because Florida Weird calls to its own. She has briefly escaped again but is already plotting her eventual winter migration.

Books by Marianne: Dust Bath Revival

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J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author … primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a certified beer judge.

Books by J.P: The Curse Merchant, The Curse Servant, The Curse Mandate, Yea Though I Walk, The Dark Interest

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Born to an Air Force JAG father and an artist mother, Adriana Arrington learned from an early age there are at least two sides to every story, and each deserves to be told. After a nomadic upbringing, she married a southern charmer and settled down permanently in his home state of Virginia. To satisfy her enduring wanderlust, she transports herself to the sometimes scary, sometimes beautiful, but always interesting worlds of beautifully crafted novels. Formerly an IT consultant to the DoD, she now writes the stories banging around in her head.

Books by Adriana: Bleed Through

 

Flash Sales

Thanks to a glitch on Amazon, a number of titles are on sale, including digital and paperback releases, for an unknown duration.

Be sure to grab a bargain while the sales are still in effect!

Static Mayhem, by Edward Aubry. Digital editioncurrenty 99 Cents

A year after the world was thrown into magical chaos, Harrison Cody takes part in an expedition to learn the cause. What his team finds is an unfathomable enemy, who intends to finish what was started and wipe out every remaining survivor. Harrison is the key to stopping it, but doing so will come with an unbelievable sacrifice, one he might not be willing to make.

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Gears of Fate, by Wilbert Stanton. Digital editioncurrenty 99 Cents

Centuries have passed since the Fey conquered Earth, forcing mankind and gods alike to flee to the sky city Olympus. Forgotten gods walk amongst man, lost and powerless. Little do they suspect a second Fey war looms, and an unlikely duo will set in motion the gears of fate.

Zak Walker is a fringe rat living in the slums who would do anything to protect his sister, Alice. His neglectful father threatens to consign him to a life away from home on an airship, but he yearns for his life to mean something more than drudgery.

Princess Seneca Rose is the last surviving member of the Seelie royals. They tried to establish peace with mankind, but fell to the forces of Queen Mob and the Unseelie Court. Fleeing for her life, Seneca arrives on Olympus in hopes of uniting the forgotten gods against the oncoming Fey.

Zak couldn’t care less about the fate of Olympus, until faeries kidnap Alice. He doesn’t believe Seneca’s stories of faeries or gods, but soon has no choice but to accept their lives are intertwined. All his life, he’s dreamed of something more. If he cannot face the dangers that await down on Earth, the gods, mankind, and his sister Alice are all doomed.

Amazon US | Amazon UK


UnHappeningsUnhappenings, by Edward Aubry. Paperback edition currently $5.23

When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.

Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone.

And then he meets Helen.

Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along.

Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, Unhappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.

Amazon US

Interview with The SwitcH authors A.W. Hill & Nathanael Hill

Want to know more about the father-son duo behind our latest YA scifi thriller, The Switch? Well you’re in luck, as we have an interview with authors A.W. Hill & Nathanael Hill about writing a book together, the science behind parallel universes, and if there will be a The Switch 2.

Okay, so who gets credit for the idea?

A. W. Hill: That one’s easy. Nathanael does. But I’ll take credit for leading his mind down the forking path of parallel realities. It was the literalness of his concept of the switch—that it was a physical thing flipping Jacobus from universe to universe—that hooked me, because then it could become almost like another character, and it would also make the extremely weird physics easier to understand.

Nathanael Hill: I don’t want to undersell myself – I’m sure that if it weren’t for me, my dad wouldn’t have taken on this book, and certainly not in YA form – but he gets the credit for the way the idea was fleshed out into a big story. That’s something I don’t quite know how to do yet. One day, hopefully. I had a lot of input on the dialogue, and a lot to say about the way we should feel when certain things happened to the characters.

Do you think the fact that it’s a literal switch makes the book less…scientific?

AH: Only in the way that the old school phone booths in the original Matrix movie give a sort of grungy, analog realness to all the crazy metaphysical stuff. But there’s also something about the idea of a switch that feels scientifically right. A switch is either on or off, like a digital bit. And if you were actually going to flip into a parallel universe, there would have to be some kind of trigger, right? This made more sense to us than, for the time, than having the kids chant a magic word like ‘Abracadabra’ or click their heels together like Dorothy.

NH: If there’s a possibility that humans, or living things from our universe, could ever transfer into another reality, what other medium would we have than a physical object? We’re not trans-dimensional; if we could ever hope to go to another universe, the only plausible way would be to interact with something third-dimensional, since we can’t make contact with anything else. At least not yet.

Do you guys believe there really are parallel realities? A ‘multiverse’ where we all have these cosmic doppelgängers?

AH: The jury’s still out on this, and maybe always will be. I mean, how would we ever provide concrete evidence? But we have to keep two things in mind. The first is that the ‘many worlds theory’ is just a logical extension of what’s already high school science. Second, as the Youssef character says in the book, we “switch” all the time without knowing it. Every time we make a decision, we leave behind many roads not taken. These parallel worlds aren’t ‘places’ until we actually go there. They’re just probabilities. But that means there’s also a probability that someday we might become aware of them.

NH: Whether or not its existence in real life is as literal as our interpretation in the book, there’s no doubt in my mind that each opportunity you don’t take, and the things in our reality that never came to be, have to exist somewhere. I’m not sure if they exist in mirror worlds or dystopias like the ones we’ve created in The Switch, but even if they’re simply information, tucked away in some corner of the universe, it has to exist in some form. The wonderful thing is, since we know so little about the topic in general, anything could be true, even us being spot-on in the way it works in the book, as crazy as it seems.

Did you guys argue over any of the main plot points or characters? Psychology says that the relationship between a teenaged boy and his father is pretty competitive.

AH: I might’ve lost my temper a few times when he insisted on taking breaks from editing sessions to go play video games. But other than that, Nathanael was pretty much always there for me. It was like working with a really good editor, the kind who gets totally invested in the manuscript. The only times he called me out were when I’d lost the emotional thread of a character. I’m honestly much more interested in ideas than I am in people, not a great quality for commercial fiction. He kept me grounded to feelings.

NH: There were a few times when my dad introduced story elements or plot points that I disliked, and when I voiced that, he got understandably frustrated that I would shoot down something that he had spent time writing and thinking about. Normally, though, we would just talk through our differences in opinions and it would make me realize that I didn’t give his ideas enough a chance at first, or that he would agree with me after re-reading it. Sometimes we would compromise, and meet somewhere in the middle, whether that was with characters or story, which, I think, makes it even more of a collaborative effort.

Was this project a bonding experience for the two of you?

AH: I think so. I highly recommend it to dads who don’t fish, coach little league, or play Assassin’s Creed. We were kind of stranded over in a pretty dismal part of Northern Belgium after a music production deal I had went sour. Nathanael hadn’t had time yet to make close friends. I was restless, and it rained a lot. Like five days out of every week. And we didn’t have the money to jet around Europe. Doing the book meant creating an imaginary world that we could both live in when we wanted to. That’s a cool thing.

NH: I would say it was, but my dad and I were already pretty close. If I was ever thwarted by a metaphysical puzzle of some sort, I would always consult my dad first. We talk about the kind of stuff that the book is about all the time, so it was more of an exercise of putting our discussions into something real that we could hypothesize about and experiment with. Doing that sort of thing undoubtedly strengthens bonds.

Will there be a Switch 2?

AH: I hope so, but it’s in the hands of the gods, readers and Amazon now. Story-wise, I have to believe that once a group of smart, curious teenagers find a way to make their lives an adventure by pulling a switch, staying in one world will seem pretty dull.

NH:  As much as I would love to re-enter the multiverse and the life of Jacobus, the answer to that question is in the hands of our prospective audience. There’s a lot of room for more to come, and considering the number of worlds out there still left to discover, there’s surely no drought of possible misadventures for the crew.

About The Switch

IMAGINE THAT you could change your world with the flip of a switch. You might be prettier, more athletic, more popular, or even living on an exotic island, because your history—your world line—would be different. But here’s the catch: you have no way of knowing if the reality on the other side of that switch will be better…or much worse.

JACOBUS ROSE is a fifteen year-old who believes—as many fifteen year-olds do—that his life could use improvement. School is a numbing routine, and his parents’ marriage seems to be imploding before his eyes. ‘Maybe I was born into the wrong world,’ he thinks. Lured by his best friend, CONNOR, into a strange little house containing nothing but empty rooms and an oversized circuit breaker, he’ll discover that reality comes in a plural form, and that our choices create a continuous web of branching worlds, any of which is as ‘real’ as another.

A solo odyssey becomes a duo, a trio, and then a quartet, as Jacobus befriends other interdimensional travelers along the way: GORDON NIGHTSHADE, the veteran pilgrim and chief theorist; MOSES DeWITT, the alley cat with an old soul; JEMMA DOONE, a girl of many-worlds who becomes the main river home for Jacobus and his crew; and finally, his lost friend Connor, who just may have preferred an alternate universe to his own.

THE SWITCH is the story of their journey home. The question is: if they get there, will it be the same place they left behind?

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About A.W. Hill & Nathanael Hill

A.W. Hill is a classic late bloomer. He began his writing career in 1995, under the influence of California—a place that makes one believe that crazy things are possible. Until then, he was (and still is) involved professionally in one aspect or another of the music business. He was a rocker, playing the circuit until he turned 31. His last band was called TigerTiger, after the William Blake poem, which may indicate that his literary aspirations were already germinating. In 1995, when he began work on what would become his first novel, ENOCH’S PORTAL, he had just left a 9-year stint as Vice President of Music Production for Walt Disney Studios.

(PORTAL, in a textbook instance of beginner’s luck, was optioned by Paramount Pictures and slated for production as a $60mil movie, only to crash into turnaround when the producers, director and studio couldn’t agree on a script)

That was 2000. That same year, he won a Grammy Award, which ought to have made it his favorite year, except that it was also the one in which he reported the lowest adjusted gross income ever to Internal Revenue Service, consisting in part of his meager earnings as a pseudonymous writer of women’s erotica.

He wrote two more books with the same protagonist as in PORTAL—THE LAST DAYS OF MADAME REY and NOWHERE-LAND, published, respectively, by Carroll & Graf in 2004, and Counterpoint Press in 2010.

The fourth year of the new century was also the one in which he first had short works of literary erotica published under his own name, in Susie Bright’s BEST AMERICAN EROTICA and in an esoteric journal called Absinthe Literary Review, the latter of which awarded him its Eros/Thanatos Award for short fiction.

Along the way, he was introduced by his literary agent, Dorris Halsey, longtime agent to Aldous Huxley, to an Indian physicist in need of a ghostwriter.  Together, they dove deeply in quantum physics and the mysteries of the cosmos. He allows that his experience in editing two books on these subjects is perhaps the only thing that gave him the confidence to undertake THE SWITCH. Between 2012-2015, he spent four years teaching film composers in Europe, and along the way, produced an independent album, Another Country, for iTunes .

Nathanael Hill

Nathanael Hill, co-author of “The Switch”, has always been interested in the possibility of parallel worlds. Even at a young age, he and his dad would mull over things like wormholes and higher dimensions. But how, he wondered, could one ever experience these alternate realities? He went to his dad and said, “What if there were a Switch?” That was how things began.

Nathanael, born in Los, Angeles, currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his mom and dad. But these aren’t the only homes he has known. His family has also made moves to Chicago, Spain, and Belgium, which may also have influenced the main character’s world-hopping in “The Switch.” Nathanael’s hobbies include playing guitar, drums, writing, and video games. He is currently attending Nashville School of the Arts, and as of yet has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up.

Website | Facebook

 

 

Double 99 Cents Sale

Good news, book lovers! We have two titles on offer for you for a limited period. Wilbert Stanton’s recently released steampunk take on the fey world and Greek mythology, GEARS OF FATE, is 99 cents from July 25 – 26. Edward Aubry’s post-apoclyptic fantasy, PRELUDE TO MAYHEM, is 99 cents July 25 – 27, in celebration of release of the sequel STATIC MAYHEM, which is out today!

Gears of Fate

Centuries have passed since the Fey conquered Earth, forcing mankind and gods alike to flee to the sky city Olympus. Forgotten gods walk amongst man, lost and powerless. Little do they suspect a second Fey war looms, and an unlikely duo will set in motion the gears of fate.

Zak Walker is a fringe rat living in the slums who would do anything to protect his sister, Alice. His neglectful father threatens to consign him to a life away from home on an airship, but he yearns for his life to mean something more than drudgery.

Princess Seneca Rose is the last surviving member of the Seelie royals. They tried to establish peace with mankind, but fell to the forces of Queen Mob and the Unseelie Court. Fleeing for her life, Seneca arrives on Olympus in hopes of uniting the forgotten gods against the oncoming Fey.

Zak couldn’t care less about the fate of Olympus, until faeries kidnap Alice. He doesn’t believe Seneca’s stories of faeries or gods, but soon has no choice but to accept their lives are intertwined. All his life, he’s dreamed of something more. If he cannot face the dangers that await down on Earth, the gods, mankind, and his sister Alice are all doomed.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Prelude to Mayhem

In the ruins of his world, Harrison Cody follows a mysterious voice on the radio as he and his pixie sidekick travel on foot across a terrifyingly random landscape.

They discover Dorothy O’Neill, who has had to survive among monsters when her greatest worry used to be how to navigate high school.

Together they search for what remains of Chicago, and the hope that civilization can be rebuilt.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Author Event at Lansdowne Woods

Curiosity Quills is excited to announce that Courtney Sloan, Keith Fentonmiller, and Adriana Arrington will be at Lansdowne Woods, VA on Wednesday July 19, speaking about the inspiration for their stories, the publishing process, and forthcoming subscription box service CQ are soon to launch, followed by short readings of their novels, and questions from those attending.
There will be wine provided for after dinner by the management.

About The Authors

A New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating.

Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor.

She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night.
A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade.

Books by Courtney:Of Scions and Men

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Keith Fentonmiller is a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy at colleges in the Mid-Atlantic States. His Pushcart-nominated short story was recently published in The Stonecoast Review.

Books by Keith:Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat

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Born to an Air Force JAG father and an artist mother, Adriana Arrington learned from an early age there are at least two sides to every story, and each deserves to be told. After a nomadic upbringing, she married a southern charmer and settled down permanently in his home state of Virginia. To satisfy her enduring wanderlust, she transports herself to the sometimes scary, sometimes beautiful, but always interesting worlds of beautifully crafted novels. Formerly an IT consultant to the DoD, she now writes the stories banging around in her head.

Books by Adriana:Bleed Through

About Lansdowne Woods

Retired, semi-retired, or still employed? Friends and family near or far? Ready to see the world or kick back and relax at home? For wherever you are in life, Lansdowne Woods offers spacious condominium residences, resort-style amenities, a vast array of activities and a rich social life, all in a truly beautiful setting overlooking the Potomac River and surrounded by the Golf Club at Lansdowne. Choose from what we have to offer to create the lifestyle you always wanted.

Four Aiden James Titles for 99 Cents Each

Fans of fantasy and the fantastical, we have a great deal for you this summer. Between July 17 – 18, FOUR titles by prolific writer Aiden James will be on sale for 99 cents each.

Titles in the offer include:

Reborn, written with Lisa Collicutt – 99 cents

“The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt is seriously cool, and another winner for Aiden James! This time he teams up with the talented Lisa Collicutt–and what a fantastic team it is!” ~J.R. Rain, Bestselling author of Moon River and Silent Echo

Since the Civil War, the name Solomon Brandt, has been reviled, a painful reminder to all descendants of the slaves the wicked plantation owner cruelly tortured.

When a man bearing this cursed name stumbles into the heart of Savannah and its storied history, he can’t help but attract the attention of the locals in the know.

A seemingly kindhearted amnesiac, he is drawn to an ancient and haunted plantation home that bears his name, as well as to a Hoodoo practitioner who converses with spirits, and her gorgeous green-eyed niece.

But curses run deep, and Solomon’s crippling nightmares tell him more than he cares to know – or bear. Immersed in wickedness long ago, he has been given a second chance to set things right and redeem his feared name.

Will he use the life he once took for granted to save the hearts – and lives – of the women he cherishes most? Or will the bloodthirsty Solomon of ages past reign once more, in the modern age?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Murder in Whitechapel, written with Michelle Wright – 99 cents

Emmanuel Ortiz holds an ancient and dark secret…
His real name is Judas Iscariot.

Forced to walk the earth as a cursed immortal, Judas’ disguise as Emmanuel does little to ease his eternal loneliness. Having recovered nine of his thirty blood coins, his focus is not yet on redemption for his treacherous role in the betrayal of Jesus Christ.

Distractions come easily for the rich entrepreneur and sometimes sleuth who presently resides in England, 1888. Fascinated by the spate of murders in London’s poverty stricken Whitechapel, Emmanuel soon realizes the killings resemble others he is familiar with, and the bloody signature of killing and taunts speaks to the unholy talents of yet another immortal…an enemy from long ago.

This knowledge fuels his determination to track and apprehend the infamous Jack the Ripper at any cost.

With the backdrop of a Victorian Society, rigid and moralistic, along with the plight of those less fortunate, Emmanuel seeks to align himself with Scotland Yard. With the help of his immortal pal, Roderick Cooley, and by pretending to be an American private investigator interested in the horrific prostitute killings, he sets out to stop the senseless bloodshed. But, has he bitten off more than he can chew, by immersing himself in the slums and disease of the Ripper’s hunting grounds?

As the mystery unfolds it becomes the ultimate test…not only of his abilities as an immortal, but also of his very soul.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Fractured Earth, written with James Wymore – 99 cents

On a secret military base tucked in a remote desert mountain, a dangerous machine lies hidden from the American public.

Known as “The Actuator”, this machine is capable of transforming entire communities into alternate realities. In theory, these often terrifying realities are reversible. The scientists in charge of this machine employ operatives called Machine Monks, who attune their minds to manifest single ideas from the realms of fantasy and science fiction. These ideas are then superimposed upon sparsely inhabited areas for testing.

For a while, the enigmatic Actuator cooperates with the experiments, using dampeners to limit the affected area. But those in charge of the project eagerly anticipate exploring the full potential of this amazing device. Experiments progress to where they feed more than twenty different genre ideas simultaneously into the Actuator’s database. Meanwhile, an unknown saboteur dismantles the dampeners. The effect is catastrophic. The entire world is plunged into chaos, and familiar landscapes become a deadly patchwork of genre horrors. Overnight, the Actuator becomes the worst menace the earth has ever seen, claiming lives in staggering numbers.

Can a few surviving Machine Monks band together to set things right again? It all depends on whether Red McLaren and the Monks can survive their journey through the various realms that separate them from the Actuator, where ever-present orcs, aliens, pirates, and vampires seek to destroy them. They must move quickly, as time is running out to stop the Actuator and the villain who controls it and the earth’s destiny.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

The Vampires’ Last Lover, written with Patrick Burdine – 99 cents

Txema Ybarra is the most unenviable nineteen-year-old girl alive.

Smart, pretty, and athletically gifted, this University of Tennessee freshman should be enjoying college life and her entrance into adulthood. And for a moment she does… until the vampires show up.

Born with an unusual ‘twin teardrop’ birthmark on her neck, Txema (pronounced Chema) is one of only a handful of females in the world who bear this trait. It marks her as a vessel of eternal youth and beauty for an elite vampire society determined to protect her precious blood… But it also is the only thing standing in the way of a rogue ‘undead’ nation determined to destroy mankind and usurp the power their sexier brethren have held uncontested for centuries.

Caught in the middle of this war after all the other bearers of the birthmark are murdered, Txema must flee America and heads to France under the protection of five beautiful vampires who all have a vested interest in her survival. The race is on to save her blood, as well as her very life, to ensure the survival of Les Amantes de Vampire.

Otherwise, Txema will be the last one… the vampires’ last lover.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads