These are all releases from Curiosity Quills Press.
April Releases for Review
When 12-year-old John Watson is sent to Candlewood boarding school, he makes quick friends with a boy named Sherlock Holmes, a universally disliked know-it-all and amateur sleuth. Before long, Sherlock embroils his new friend in a covert investigation of the mysterious disappearances blamed on a vengeful ghost. Dodging the meaty fists of the bully Moriarty, and aided by bumbling patrolman Lestrade, they uncover a deadly secret hidden deep underneath Candlewood. But does the duo have the brains–and the brawn–to crack this dangerous case?
Award-winning speculative fiction author Mike Robinson offers up 19 of his creepily provocative short stories in his new book, Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray: A Collection of Weird Fiction.
A beer run becomes an interdimensional excursion. Two men settle their differences after discovering an extraordinary secret in the wilderness. A woman faces the bureaucratic logistics of a digital afterlife. A grieving man seeks to know where his wife was reincarnated. Strange lights in the sky begin to transform the lives of a small town. God and the Devil play billiards for people’s souls. A teenage deity’s science fair project sprouts a startling discovery.
These and more dream-like detours into the surreal, interstitial and inexplicable await within the pages of Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray: A Collection of Weird Fiction.
David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.
Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.
Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.
History repeats itself like a song. The verses may vary, but the melody is always the same. The eastern empire of Aukasia has a new leader, a man who means to bring war to all the land. Yet, even in all his bloody ambition, he does not realize that he is but the puppet of a greater evil. Only the Kalyra – The Children of the Crystal Star – can stand against what’s coming. Only they can protect the world of Valcoria from the mad hatred of the fallen god, Aedar. A new verse of the song has begun. The last verse.
The private war between Jregli and Shdr’edno isn’t as secret as they’d like. Others have noticed, and they’re choosing sides. The biggest threat, however, doesn’t involve them at all, but it could change everything.
Commander Neim has his hands full running the Station; the last thing he needs is a group of sentients making waves. The mysterious K’Tomals didn’t bring trouble, but trouble happens around them. They didn’t come to negotiate, and no one can stop them from doing what they came to do.
Business is not as usual aboard Fredan Sector Station 5, and the internal problems are the least of anyone’s worries. The prized Wormhole now threatens half the galaxy, and Shdr’edno’s patience grows thinner by the hour. Who will survive this Fall Through Space?
Hellfire, Texas is a strange town that needs a strange sheriff. Hellfire is in the shadow of Silver Mesa, an otherworldly chunk of gleaming rock with strange properties. It’s a magnet for trouble and danger. So it may seem like the perfect gunslinger for the job of the town’s sheriff is Clayton Cane — a patchwork man assembled from the bodies of dead soldiers and brought to life with dark magic. And after years of working as the violent bounty hunter known as El Mosaico, Cane would like nothing more than to settle down and begin a new life as Hellfire’s stalwart peacekeeper.
But, as Cane soon discovers, being a sheriff has its own challenges. He’s got to deal with caterwauling temperance marchers, an inquisitive newspaperman and Nelly Needles, his fiery, sharp-tongued new deputy. And something worse is coming to Hellfire – a foe more terrible than any outlaw or monster that Cane has battled in the past: industry, commerce and modernization. Powerful business tycoon Gaspar Noble wants Silver Mesa – and the town of Hellfire — for himself. Cane decides to stand against him, in a battle that may be more than Hellfire – and Clayton Cane – can possibly bear.
When tragedy claims the life of her dear husband, Lucy Cook packs up her two daughters and heads to the coast of Maine to start again. There, in a cottage in the woods, she looks for peace and renewal as she heals from the loss and alienation of her former life in Vermont. But her new home and the man who owns it are shrouded in mystery. And Lucy must learn to live without certainty. Follow Lucy as she navigates a fresh start for herself and her family in regard to matters of home, loss, love, and hope.
Being in love with a zombie bites, but that won’t stop true love. Can it? Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead is unlike any zombie book you’ve ever read. Meet Amber Vanderkamp, senior at Stephen E. King High School. Amber is poised to be class valedictorian when she graduates this year and has her sights set on the New York Center for the Performing Arts for college. Everything is wonderful in Amber’s world. She always gets the lead in her high school’s plays and is counting on the lead role in the school’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. That is until her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when her boyfriend, Zach, dies and comes back as a zombie. But how can she turn her back on the love of her life? How does she deal with the pressure? And will she remain committed to the boy she once considered her soul mate? Especially when her mother (with secrets of her own) is encouraging her to wait and experience more of the world. And her flighty best friend, Jasmine, is acting more peculiar than ever since Zach has become a member of the undead club. Add in the class bullies, Caleb and Darla, who seem to be doing everything in their power to ruin Amber’s life and everything is here for a page-turning romp through a world where zombies are a part of everyday life.
Johnny Wolfe carries his dog Sindra in a vial that he keeps in his pocket. He carries her out of loyalty. He carries her out of guilt. He carries her because there are no more dogs in this world. And he carries her to connect to her feral nature, so that he might take her inside himself and feel her animal wildness.
Johnny’s life is in shambles. His sales career at Bulldog Enterprises is on the blink. On his way to work one day he comes across a colleague who is killed by a dog. But with dogs now extinct, how is this possible? Going through his colleague’s dead body, Johnny discovers the colleague is carrying a rather sizeable sales order. Figuring “he’s dead, I’m not”, Johnny decides to place the order as his own.
Except he can’t figure out what product the colleague is selling. As he gets closer to understanding the product, Johnny starts to realize it has more and more to do with why the dogs might be returning, and why they’re so angry.
Then he starts to wonder if maybe the dogs know more about him and Sindra, and if maybe they’re angry with him.
A man wakes on a frozen battlefield when a scavenging couple finds him among the dead. As they nurse him back to health, he is struck with the horrible realization he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. Taken in by the kind pair, he begins helping with their farm. She even takes him to meet her family, especially her single sister. The ideal life offered in the high mountains of Winigh is shattered when he sees a transport bringing enemy monsters to the shores below. Cut off by high snow on the pass, their fate will soon be the same as the town his company failed to protect in the last battle, if this estranged soldier cannot help them fight off the next wave of invaders. Even worse, the people of the town don’t trust this Selene soldier. He has a strange resistance to their folk magic which some say make him as dangerous as the enemies preparing to destroy them.
Nina Duchenne walked away from a perfect life of wealth and ease to pursue a noble idea. Unfortunately, her hope of becoming a forensic investigator drowned in two years of mandatory street patrol. After one tragic night shatters her dream, she finds herself questioning the very nature of what it means to be alive.
Joey Dillon lives at the edge of a perpetual adrenaline rush. A self-styled cyber cowboy that chases thrills wherever he can find them, he is unconcerned with what will happen twenty minutes into the future. Lured into a dangerous region of cyberspace, he soon has the government of Mars trying to kill him. After fleeing to Earth, he takes refuge in places society has forgotten.
When two international agents threaten the security of West City, Nina gets command of the operation to stop them. Joey just wants to find his next meal. Voices from beyond the grave distract Nina from her pursuit, and send Joey on a mission to find out who is responsible. His suspicions lie grounded in reality while she hopes for something science cannot explain.
The spies prove more elusive than expected, convincing her they have help from a master hacker. Joey falls square in her sights with the fate of the entire West City, as well as Nina’s humanity, at risk.
Only one thing is so powerful, so dangerous that Heaven and Hell must work together to find it: the Shard of Gabriel.
With a mysterious Black Cloud of Death hot on the shard’s trail, a desperate Heaven enlists the help of Bart, a demon who knows more about the shard than almost anyone. Six years ago, he had it in his hands. If only he’d used it before his coup to overthrow the devil failed. Now, he’s been sprung from his eternal punishment to help Samantha, an angel in training, recover the shard before the Black Cloud of Death finds it.
If Bartholomew wants to succeed, he’ll have to fight the temptation to betray Samantha and the allure of the shard. After an existence full of evil, the only way Bart can get right with Hell is to be good.