Curiosity Quills is pleased to announce the review tour for our June releases! Between June 29 – July 12, you’ll find reviews for The Vampire Circus, by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr., Havelock, by Jane D Everly, Undercover Empath, by RaShelle Workman, Detour to Apocalypse, by Michael Panush, Silent Clarion, by Matthew Graybosch, The Defenders of Blackspire Abbey by Michael Panush, Space To Run by Sharon T. Rose, Who Is Mr. Plutin? by Rebecca Strong and The Summer The World Ended by Matthew Cox.
The Vampire Circus, by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
It is June of 1923. After serving twenty years on death row for executing five vampires, members of a traveling circus who had killed his wife and son, the 65-year-old Johnny Durango is pardoned and set free. Now penniless, the former best-selling author of a series of cowboy detective memoirs based on his life as a Pinkerton operative in the Old West, travels to San Francisco to empty his sole remaining bank account. And discovers that he is now worth twelve million dollars, as the result of owning a long-forgotten block of Atlantic-Richfield stock. With his newfound wealth, Durango resolves to travel to Europe and track drown the remaining members of the vampire circus troupe who murdered his family.
In Paris, meanwhile, Columbine Zwellinger (Coco), the Swiss-born young authoress who serves as editor and ghostwriter to her lecherous, syphilitic much-older husband Hugo Urbaine-Damon, is unexpectedly reunited with her long-lost twin sister, the American Zuleika (Zuzu). Both young women are the daughters of a black mother, a former circus performer, and a white Swiss doctor, now mysteriously dead. Zuzu is the freshly discovered sensation of Paris, the “Black Venus”, for her singing and “Negro” jazz-dancing act in the nude. Coco, who has passed for white all her life, envies Zuzu her freedom and longs to emulate it; however, she is constrained by feelings of responsibility for her increasingly insane husband, whom she despises, and Hugo’s mistress Minout, who lives with them.
Though she is unaware of it, Coco is worshipped from afar by her newspaper delivery boy, the fifteen-year-old Willy de Groote. Willy lives with his mother and uncle, Père Rémy, the parish priest, in the presbytery of a nearby church. Uncle Rémy, a former sergeant in the French Foreign Legion, is a vampire-hunter for the Vatican and is training the diminutive Willy to succeed him. Their murder of a predatory horla, a lawless predatory breed of vampire created by the evil Maître du Monde (Master of the World), brings them to the attention of Superintendent Alphonse Jauvet of the Paris Judiciary Police, who sets out to solve the riddles posed by the crime.
On his way from San Francisco to New York City, Johnny Durango is twice nearly killed by Corsican assassins, whom he suspects are vampires; in both cases, he and his newly engaged “secketary”, Emmeline Parry, barely manage to escape with their lives. Once aboard the Berengaria, he embarks on an affaire with a married Frenchwoman, Berthe Hadley, the younger sister of Superintendant Jauvet. Zuzu, making the round of Paris’ night clubs with her many lovers, is introduced to the eccentric Baron Emile Warburg, the wealthiest man in France, and his business partner the Marchesa dell’Ogg, who runs the exclusive brothel, La Bagne Rose, reputedly a club for vampires.
The battle lines between the vampires and the vampire-hunters are being drawn. Willy’s uncle Rémy is shot through the lung by the vampire they have stalked and killed, and lies gravely wounded in his bedroom at the presbytery. Finding the key to a hotel room in the dead vampire’s pocket, Willy burgles his effects and finds a cache of diamonds. With these he plans to rescue Coco from her husband.
Both Warburg and the Contessa do the bidding of the Master, who is the oldest vampire left alive in the world. And the Master, who has been in Bavaria grooming the young horla, Adolf Hitler, has plans for Coco and Zuzu, who are unknowingly doomed by their genetic heritage to become vampires themselves…
Havelock, by Jane D Everly
Eliana Havelock is a female with no past, whose determination to bring down a Karachi arms dealer catches the attention of the British Secret Intelligence Service. MI-6 is currently fractured due to political upheaval with many of its covert programs dissolved or disbanded. When Eliana presents the opportunity to divert an international arms disaster, the head of MI-6 partners her with one of it’s best and brightest, the enigmatic, Connor Blackwell. But in a world of secrets and hidden agendas, who can Eliana trust? And what, or who, is Eliana really after?
Undercover Empath, by RaShelle Workman
Nineteen-year-old detective Rose Hansen has a secret. She can read a person’s intentions by touching their hands. It’s a curse! A power she never uses if she can help it.
Only one person knows. Her partner Jack.
At least that’s what she believes until a handsome, shirtless stranger appears on her doorstep in small town Blush Valley, California.
He leaves her an envelope, but not before articulating his disappointment in her for ignoring her powers.
The contents send Rose on a path toward the supernatural, solving her parents’ murders, and possibly even saving the world.
Aside from that, Rose and her partner have two important cases they’re working. The first involves a missing child. The other is the death of a stripper. Ruled a murder, a very hot FBI agent from L.A. shows up and is given lead. To make matters worse, he asks her to go undercover.
Her life is a disaster. Rose can’t strip. She doesn’t even own a dress.
Detour to Apocalypse, by Michael Panush
Roscoe is a hot rod-riding zombie, an undead gearhead and defender of the small Southern California town of La Cruz in the Freewheeling Fifties. Along with his friends, college age witch Betty Bright, Zoot Suiter shaman Angel Rey, and former bank robber Wooster Stokes, Roscoe takes on monsters and magic with motors and mayhem. But now, a simple government job to capture a runaway rocket scientist and a stolen experimental flying saucer sends Roscoe and his friends into their toughest job yet. They’ll go up against ruthless Las Vegas gangsters, an insane alien-worshipping cult, a top secret government agency devoted to stealth and slaughter, and bizarre creatures from other worlds in their cross country mission to rescue a captured alien being and save the world from extraterrestrial destruction and an impending apocalypse.
Silent Clarion, by Matthew Graybosch
My curiosity might get me killed. I thought I needed a vacation from my duties as an Adversary in service to the Phoenix Society. After learning about unexplained disappearances in a little town called Clarion, I couldn’t stop myself from checking it out.
Now I must protect a witness to two murders without any protection but my sword. I must identify a murderer who strikes from the shadows. I must expose secrets the Phoenix Society’s executive council is hellbent on keeping buried.
I have no support but an ally I dare not trust. If I cannot break the silence hiding what happened in Clarion’s past, I have no future. I must discover the truth about Project Harker. Failure is not an option.
Silent Clarion is a new-adult science-fiction thriller by Matthew Graybosch, set before the events of the Starbreaker novels. Meet Naomi Bradleigh as an Adversary, seventeen years before Without Bloodshed.
The Defenders of Blackspire Abbey by Michael Panush
In the bloody height of the Dark Ages, when long ships carried Viking raiders across the waves and swords decided the fates of kingdoms, monasteries offer small pockets of civilization and learning – but Blackspire Abbey is no ordinary monastery. Located on a jagged chunk of rock off the English coast, Blackspire Abbey serves as a library for forbidden books of black magic and the occult, where heresy can be studied firsthand. Blackspire Abbey has a strange guardian -the Viking warrior known as Egil the Scarred. Egil was not born, but created by a mysterious witch who sewed the pieces of fallen Vikings into a patchwork man, and animated Egil with magic to create an unstoppable solider with war fused into his very bones. Now, Egil is trying to end his wandering and forge an new life for himself.
But danger is coming to Blackspire Abbey. Father Enrico Dori, a priest turned Satanist and author of a bloody, heretical rebellion, comes to Blackspire Abbey in chains so that he may be studied. Inquisitor Hox, a fanatic servant of God, seeks to cleanse Blackspire Abbey of heresy with Holy Fire. Viking raiders, including Egil’s former friend Ragnar Redye, seek to raid the abbey and steal its wealth. Egil’s only allies are Brother Cuthbert and Timothy Foundling, a wise monk and his apprentice, and Clare of Burgundy – a former nun turned outlaw queen sent to do penance in the abbey. They are the Defenders of Blackspire Abbey and they will stand against all foes and battle for the light of civilizations – and for their very lives.
Space To Run by Sharon T. Rose
Things are finally looking up for Jregli. She’s now an adult, with the new name Jrg’ella, running a business, officially adopted by two families, and in charge of her former Master. But she’s ignored certain matters back on Yerba Home for too long, and someone decides to take matters into his own claws.
Jrath’bwe once lost the n’n ‘Ovvunnith fortune to his younger brother, Shdr’edno, and he’s not about to let an interloper steal it away again. Secretly traveling to Fredan Sector Station 5, he sets a careful plan into motion to reclaim his rightful inheritance from the mysterious new Heir. With him are a trio of hired muscle, who happen to be Wind Brothers with their own motives for investigating the new Lady ‘Ovvunnith.
Commander Frank Neim works hard to keep the Station running smoothly. New rumors arise, linking the ever-present smugglers to a terrorist cell of religious fanatics. With the focal point of a new religion headquarters on FSS5, Neim can only brace himself for a fight.
Truth and justice don’t factor into battles for inheritance or dominance, and Jrg’ella now has too much to lose to run away. Even with all her new found freedom, will she have enough Space to Run?
Who Is Mr. Plutin? by Rebecca Strong
Yesterday Vika Serkova was in New York, eating takeout alone in her closet-sized apartment. Today she wakes up with a wedding ring on her finger, next to a man who claims to be her husband. In a designer flat in St Petersburg, Russia. Huh?
Her new reality is full of surprises. She owns only stilettos but can’t take a step in them without falling. People around her seem to think she’s lived in Russia her entire life. Her daily routine includes thousand-dollar spa visits with caviar and Dom Pérignon. And her husband is a handsome oligarch who buys her jewelry without any occasion. This new Russian life seems to be as different from the old American life as two countries’ views on Crimea.
Has reality blown a fuse? Vika won’t worry about it now that she is a living Cinderella story. At least not until her husband drops an ultimate bomb about why she’s forgotten everything, about the work she does with her father, and about her current assignment for the Russian President. The assignment, which, as she discovers a day later, sets her against her husband in a conspiracy big enough to cost them not only their Breguets but very possibly their lives. To save herself and the family she is beginning to remember Vika needs to fool them into defecting. A perfect plan but only if she can manage it with her Russian memory MIA and her opponents set on destroying each other even before Vika’s manicure dries.
Fun and fast-paced, WHO IS MR. PLUTIN? is set in modern day St. Petersburg, Russia where your chances in life are only as good as the car you drive, the clothes you wear, and the people you stay away from.
The Summer The World Ended by Matthew Cox
As far as Riley McCullough is concerned, her best friend getting ‘dragged’ off to Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks of summer vacation was the end of the world―at least until the bombs fell.
Life in suburban New Jersey with her mother has been comfortable, not to mention boring, to an introverted fourteen year old. As if her friend’s surprise trip wasn’t bad enough, her expectations for the ‘best summer ever’ disintegrate when she gets sent across the country to stay with a father she hasn’t seen in six years. Adjusting to a tiny, desert town where everyone stares at them like they don’t belong proves difficult, and leaves her feeling more isolated than ever. To make matters worse, her secretive father won’t tell the truth about why he left―or what he’s hiding.
Her luck takes an unexpected turn for the better when she meets a boy who shares her interest in video games and contempt for small town boredom. In him, she finds a kindred spirit who might just make the middle of nowhere tolerable.
Happiness is short lived; fleeing nuclear Armageddon, she takes shelter with her dad in an underground bunker he’d spent years preparing. After fourteen days without sun, Riley must overcome the sorrow of losing everything to save the one person she cares about most.