Monday, July 06, 2015

Interview with C.T. Phipps - July 6, 2015

Please welcome C.T. Phipps to The Qwillery. Esoterrorism, the first novel in The Red Room urban fantasy series, is published today by Ragnarok Publications. Please join The Qwillery in wishing C.T. a Happy Publication Day.

Join C.T. and Ragnarok for the July Block Party to celebrate the publication of Esoterrorism on Facebook tonight at 8pm here.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

C.T.:  Oh, I've been writing since I was six or seven years old. I've been writing **well** since about five years ago. I was inspired by Jim Butcher's DRESDEN FILES and Charles Stross' LAUNDRY FILES to create something similar. Truth be told, the Red Room and Derek Hawthorne have been rattling around in my head since the late Nineties. It's only now that I've become proficient enough to actually get their story down.

TQAre you a plotter or a pantser? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

C.T.:  I'm going to share one of my secrets: I create a list of about a dozen really-cool things I'd like to see in the novel or adventure and then I introduce the characters to them. I have a general idea of where I want a book to go, for example, but things change as I think my heroes (and anti-heroes) react to events. Many times, I have a plot point planned only for me to think, "You know, Derek/Gary/Jacob wouldn't do that."

For me, the most challenging thing is to avoid overwriting. I love my world and characters so much, I have to be very strict with myself to avoid going on tangents about them. Thankfully, I have very good editors for helping keep the plots moving. Really, I could talk for days about any aspect of them. Did you know Derek's favorite video games were Borderlands 2 and Alpha Protocol? Stunning, I know.

TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

C.T.:  I mentioned Jim Butcher and Charles Stross for being my chief influence for Esoterrorism. Derek isn't particularly much like either novel's protagonist but he does have their similar sense of sardonicism and disdain for authority (despite being, quote-unquote, "The Man"). I briefly beta-read for Jim Butcher, actually, before my father was hospitalized (he's fine now) and I wasn't able to keep up with the group. I've also been blessed to know several authors who write the kind of fiction I love to read like Tim Marquitz (Demon Squad), Shana Festa (Time of Death: Induction), Rob J. Hayes (Ties that Bind), and Jim Butcher (Confessions of a D-List Supervillain) who have helped inspire me in times of writer's block.

But if I had to name my favorite authors? We could be here all day. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Andrjez Sapkowski, Robert Jordan, Marion G. Harmon, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, David Weber, and a few hundred other ones I could name off the top of my head.

TQDescribe Esoterrorism in 140 characters or less.

C.T.:  Snarky secret agent Derek Hawthorne unravels conspiracy within his ruthless employers. Spies, succubi, zombies, mercs, & magic, oh my.

TQTell us something about Esoterrorism that is not found in the book description.

C.T.:  The books are kind of a deconstruction of the "Hidden World" concept. A lot of urban fantasy has the premise of a conspiracy keeping the supernatural hidden from the rest of us. Esoterrorism and the Red Room Files in general includes a lot about how that kind of coverup would require gross abuses of power, constant lying, and outright brainwashing. It's, at heart, incredibly amoral and weighs on our heroes for their part in it. That's going with the idea our heroes do think that it's better than the alternative (unrestricted magic and weirdness for everyone to access).

TQWhat inspired you to write Esoterrorism? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

C.T.:  I love fantasy of all types: epic, grimdark, dark, sword and sorcery, high, low, and everything in-between. Urban Fantasy appeals to me because I think there's very few stories which aren't improved by the addition of dragons. On a more serious note, Urban Fantasy begins with a world we all know and we get more world-building than we could ever put to paper just by saying, "look out your window. That's where this is set. Now this is where the plot begins."

As for what inspired Esoterrorism, well, I was a big fan of The X-Files in the Nineties along with many tabletop RPGs in the same genre: Delta Green, Mage: The Ascension, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Spycraft. I'm not a believer in real-life conspiracy fiction since, for the most part, reality trumps anything we could dream up but I don't mind drawing from the peculiarly American mythology of secret all-powerful societies controlling everything. I just enjoy portraying them as full of incompetence, nepotism, backstabbing, and people just doing their jobs as any other government branch.

My depiction of spywork is a little more James Bond than George Smiley but if you're going to insert werewolves and demons, your spies might as well kick ass.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Esoterrorism?

C.T.:  I did my best to sort of immerse myself in the kind of world I wanted to create. It's easy enough to envision the House (the conspiracy Derek works for) and the Red Room (its operations branch) but I had to start working out who provided them with their tools, equipment, funding, and so on.

I could have just easily just said, "They're rich and powerful because they are" but that would have been a cheat in my opinion. So, I did a lot of research on agencies both fictional and otherwise to get a sense of how I wanted the organization to feel. If nothing else, when you find out most of the Red Room's spies do more paperwork than shooting, you start think they're a little more believable.

TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

C.T.:  Derek is a character who is just very easy to right because, at the end of the day, he just doesn't give a damn. Having been an agent dealing with the supernatural for over a decade and having made way too many moral compromises for his own sanity, he's really dropped all pretenses of caring what his superiors or coworkers think. It allows a nice flow from the brain to the mouth which I think makes him terribly amusing.

One of the harder characters was his partner, Shannon O'Reilly, who is a character very much like an opinion. What you see is not necessarily who she is and what she reveals isn't necessarily all there is, even when she trusts and likes you. They're really kind of a Yin and Yang pair in the spy world. I also think it's what attracts them to each other.

TQWhich question about Esoterrorism do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

C.T.:  Who would win in a fight? Derek or Wolverine? To which I'd ask, "Movie Wolverine or comic Wolverine?" Ha-ha, no. If I wanted a fan to ask any sort of question of me, I'd have them ask, "What is Esoterrorism really about?" For me, it's about the ambiguities of the human condition in a very inhuman environment.

Poor Derek was literally born into the House and has been raised to be one of its agents, which means that he's something of an outside to the rest of the world and the honesty about our environment we take for granted. I had a lot of fun creating a morality for people who lie, cheat, and kill for a living--all, ostensibly, for the greater good. How that would affect someone who is, otherwise, a normal person was an interesting writing challenge. Especially, when you also note he lives in a world with quote-unquote real monsters.

Really, the fact Derek is a mountain of snark just covers up what a terrible time he's having. You know, in-between the martinis and beautiful double-agents. I'm not saying the job has no perks.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Esoterrorism.

"Karl, I've had a really bad day, so if we could skip to the part where I kill you I'd appreciate it."
"We are not listening to Magic Carpet Ride on a magic carpet. We're on a serious mission here."
The last one just begs for context, I think.

TQWhat's next?

C.T.:  I have another series published by Amber Cove Publishing called, "The Supervillainy Saga" which is a tongue-and-cheek look at what sort of person would want to become a criminal in a world of superheroes. The first book, The Rules of Supervillainy, came out last month to surprising acclaim and the sequel, The Games of Supervillainy, should be out this Fall.

What I'm really excited about, though, is both the sequel to Esoterrorism, Eldritch Ops, and my epic fantasy novel, Wraith Knight, also being published by Ragnarok Publications, next year. I think fans of my writing in Esoterrorism will like these books every bit as much even if the genres are different.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

C.T.:  I very much appreciate you interviewing me!

The Red Room 1
Ragnarok Publication, July 6, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 420 pages

Derek Hawthorne was born to be an agent of the Red Room.
Literally. Raised in a conspiracy which has protected the world from the supernatural for centuries, he's never been anything other than a servant of their agenda. Times are changing, though, and it may not be long before their existence is exposed.

When a routine mission uncovers the latest plan of the magical terrorist, the Wazir, Derek finds himself saddled with a new partner. Who is the mysterious but deadly Shannon O'Reilly? What is her agenda? Couple this with the discovery the Red Room has a mole seeking to frame Derek for treason and you have a plot which might bring down a millennium-old organization. Can he stop the Wazir's mission to expose the supernatural? And should he?

About C.T. Phipps

C.T. Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger, reviewer for The Bookie Monster, and recently signed a deal with Ragnarok Publications to produce the urban fantasy series, The Red Room.

C.T. Phipps is also the author of The Supervillainy Saga, the first book of which, The Rules of Supervillainy, was released this June.

Website  ~  Twitter @Willowhugger  ~  Google+

July Releases

Here is The Qwillery's list of novels, etc. being published in July 2015. If there is something that we've missed, please leave a comment below. Any genre mistakes are ours. Leave a comment below if you feel that the genre is wrong. Also note that this list is always under revision. Publication dates change. We try to keep this as accurate as possible. The most accurate lists usually can be found for each week in The View From Monday posts... on Mondays. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the US. Debut novels are highlighted.

July 1, 2015
Possessed by the Fallen (e) Sharon Ashwood PNR - Horsemen 4
Letters to Zell (D) Camille Griep FairyT /FolkT/L&M
nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre (e) Nancy Kilpatrick (ed)
Caro Soles (ed)
NeoGo - Anthology
Valkyrie's Song M.D. Lachlan F - Wolfsangel 4
Pyrophobia: A thriller Jack Lance Th/Sus/H
Prisoner of the Vampires of Mars Gustave Le Rouge SF
Goddess of Fate (e) Alexandra Sokoloff PNR
Robot Overlords Mark Stay SF
Drachengott: Fire (e) K J Taylor F - Drachengott
Shades of Treason (e) Sandy Williams SF - Anomaly 1

July 2, 2015
Darkhaven (D)(e) A. F. E. Smith F
Way Down Dark (Ke) James P. Smythe SF - Australia 1
A Distant Feeling (e) Les Wood SF - Short Story

July 6, 2015
The Returned, Part I (e) Peter David SF - Star Trek: New Frontier
An Immortal Descent (e) Kari Edgren PHR - Goddess Born 3
Nightlife: Night Terrors (e) Matthew Quinn Martin H - Nightlife 2
Esoterrorism C.T. Phipps UF - Red Room 1

July 7, 2015
Elisha Rex E.C. Ambrose F - Dark Apostle 3
Beneath Still Waters Alex Archer UF - Rogue Angel 55
Wicked Embers Keri Arthur UF - Souls of Fire 2
The Engineer ReConditioned (ri) Neal Asher SF - Collection
Iron Rage James Axler Dys - Deathlands 123
Steles of the Sky (h2tp) Elizabeth Bear F - The Eternal Sky 3
Veiled Target Robin Bielman PNR - Vielers 1
Spellcasting in Silk: A Witchcraft Mystery Juliet Blackwell PM -Witchcraft Mystery 7
Faces E. C. Blake F - Masks of Aygrima 3
The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City Jason Blum H - Anthology
Lady of the Trillium (e)(ri) Marion Zimmer Bradley
Elisabeth Waters
F - Trillium 4
Black Trillium (e)(ri) Marion Zimmer Bradley
Julian May
Andre Norton
F - Trillium 1
The Unnoticeables (D) Robert Brockway UF /H
Golden Son (h2tp) Pierce Brown SF - Red Rising Trilogy 2
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: 150th-Anniversary Edition Lewis Carroll F
Wandering Soul Cassandra Chandler PNR/TT
The Seat of Magic (tp2mm) J. Kathleen Cheney F - Golden City 2
The Shores of Spain J. Kathleen Cheney F - Golden City3
Time Salvager Wesley Chu SF/TT
A Dozen Black Roses (e)(ri) Nancy A. Collins H - Sonja Blue 4
Bone Swans: Stories C.S.E. Cooney SF/H/F - Collection
The Floating City Craig Cormick F - Shadow Master 2
Season of the Dragonflies (h2tp) Sarah Creech Oc/Sup
Vampires of Manhattan (h2tp) Melissa de la Cruz CF - New Blue Bloods Coven 1
Genpei (e)(ri) Kara Dalkey HistF
Final Protocol (e) J. C. Daniels R/SF
Weavers Aric Davis Sup/Th
Cold Hard Secret Sierra Dean UF - Secret McQueen 7
A, B, C: Three Short Novels: The Jewels of Aptor, The Ballad of Beta-2, They Fly at Ciron Samuel R. Delany SF
William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second Ian Doescher SF - William Shakespeare's Star Wars 2
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection Gardner Dozois (ed) SF - Anthology
The Arrows of Time (h2tp) Greg Egan SF - Orthogonal 3
Earth Bound Christine Feehan PNR - Sea Haven 4
1636: The Cardinal Virtues Eric Flint
Walter H. Hunt
AH - Ring of Fire 19
Chicks and Balances Esther Friesner F - Chicks in Chainmail 7 - Anthology
Flight from Death Yasmine Galenorn PNR - Fly by Night 1
Veiled Empire Nathan Garrison F
Devil's Breath (Ke) Greg F. Gifune H
The Tattooed Duchess (Kindle Serial) (Ke) Victor Gischler F - Fire Beneath the Skin 2
Dark Disciple: Star Wars Christie Golden SF - Star Wars
Girrrl (e) Devin Govaere H
Sailing Time's Ocean (e)(ri) Terence M. Green SF
Speak Louisa Hall LF/AI
Q Island Russell James H
The Spirit of the Wolf Karen Kay PHR - Lost Clan 2
The Captive Condition Kevin P. Keating H
Warrior's Dawn Isabo Kelly PNR - Fire and Tears 3
Fall of Macharius William King SF - Warhammer 40,000: Macharian Crusade Trilogy 3
We Are Monsters (D) Brian Kirk H
Sense of Deception Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 13
Hunting the Shadows: The Selected Stories of Tanith Lee Volume 2 Tanith Lee F - Collection
California (h2tp) Edan Lepucki Dys
Witchlock  (e) Dianna Love UF - Belador 6
Bell Weather Dennis Mahoney HistF
A Murder of Mages Marshall Ryan Maresca F - Maradaine Constabulary 2
Iron and Blood Gail Z. Martin
Larry Martin
Blood Trillium (e)(ri) Julian May F - Trillium 2
Sky Trillium (e)(ri) Julian May F - Trillium 5
Cold Copper (tp2mm) Devon Monk HistF/SP/AH - Age of Steam 3
The King of Swords: The Eternal Champion Michael Moorcock F - Corum 3
Logan's Run: Vintage Movie Classics William F. Nolan SF
Golden Trillium (ri) Andre Norton F - Trillium 3
Shattering the Ley (h2mm) Joshua Palmatier F - Shattering the Ley 1
Cities and Thrones Carrie Patel HistF - Recoletta 2
Spellbound Michelle M. Pillow PNR - Warlocks MacGregor 2
The Child Eater Rachel Pollack F
The Dangerous Type Loren Rhoads SF - In the Wake of the Templars 1
Prince Lestat (h2tp) Anne Rice Oc/Sup/P - Vampire Chronicles 11
Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson SF/SO
Queen of Fire Anthony Ryan F - Raven's Shadow 3
Splintered Jamie Schultz UF - Arcane Underworld 2
SEAL Wolf Hunting Terry Spear PNR - Heart of the Wolf 16
The Shapeshifters Stefan Spjut Th/F
The Annihilation Score Charles Stross CF - Laundry Files  6
Last Orders (h2tp) Harry Turtledove AH - The War That Came Early 6
Wolf in Her Bed N. J. Walters PNR - Salvation Pack 2
The Gods' Day to Die David Welch SF
Onward, Voyager: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Sampler Various F/SF - Excerpts
The Price of Valor Django Wexler F - The Shadow Campaigns 3
The Chart of Tomorrows Chris Willrich F - Gaunt and Bone 3

July 8, 2015
Islands Off the Coast of Capitola, 1978: A Tor.Com Original (e) David Herter F

July 10, 2015
A Charming Fatality (e) Tonya Kappes PM - Magical Cures Mystery Book 7

July 14, 2015
Primal Heat Part 1: A Paranormal Shapeshifter Werejaguar Romance (e) A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 6
Bad Wolf (e) Jennifer Ashley PNR - Shifters Unbound
The Great Bazaar & Brayan's Gold Peter V. Brett F - The Demon Cycle - Short Stories
Armada Ernest Cline SF
Raisonne Curse Rinda Elliott PNR - Brothers Bernaux 1
The Blue Girl Laurie Foos LF/F
Dark Orbit Carolyn Ives Gilman SF/AC
Last First Snow Max Gladstone UF - Craft Sequence 4
Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus (e) Mira Grant H - Newsflesh Novella
Valedor Guy Haley SF - Warhammer 40,000
Wylding Hall (e) Elizabeth Hand H
Witches Be Crazy: A Tale That Happened Once Upon a Time in the Middle of Nowhere (D) Logan J. Hunder F
ClownFellas: Tales of the Bozo Family (e) Carlton Mellick III UF - Collection
Stolen and Forgiven (e) Alexandra Ivy
Carrie Ann Ryan
PNR - Branded Packs 1
Solomon's Arrow (D) J. Dalton Jennings SF
Shower of Stones Zachary Jernigan SF - Jeroun 2
Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse A. L. Kennedy SF - Doctor Who
The Fatal Tree (h2tp) Stephen Lawhead F - Bright Empires 5
Cold Iron Stina Leicht F - Malorum Gates 1
Empress Game (D) Rhonda Mason SF - Empress Game Trilogy 1
Lagoon Nnedi Okorafor SF/AC
The Two of Swords: Part Six K. J. Parker HistF
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (D) Natasha Pulley LF/HistF
The Unforgiven Gav Thorpe SF - Warhammer 40,000: Legacy of Caliban 3
Bombs Away Harry Turtledove AH - Hot War 1
The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk Sean Wallace (ed) SF/SP
Lure of the Jaguar (e) N.J. Walters PNR - Hades' Carnival 7
The Harvest Chuck Wendig Dys - The Heartland Trilogy 3

July 15, 2015
Lois McMaster Bujold Edward James SF - Modern Masters of Science Fiction
The Night of the Long Knives Fritz Leiber SF - Dover Doomsday Classics
In the Cave of the Delicate Singers: A Tor.Com Original (e) Lucy Taylor H

July 16, 2015
Tracer (D) Rob Boffard SF

July 20, 2015
Last Wolf Standing (e)(ri) Rhyannon Byrd PNR - Bloodrunners 1
Ether & Elephants (e) Cindy Spencer Pape SPR - Gaslight Chronicles 8
Twilight Illusions: Beyond Twilight Maggie Shayne PNR - Wings in the Night 3

July 21, 2015
Xenos Dan Abnett SF - Warhammer 40,000: Eisenhorn Trilogy 1
Primal Heat Part 2: A Paranormal Shapeshifter Werejaguar Romance A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 6
A Cure for Suicide Jesse Ball LF/Dys
Rewinder Brett Battles SF/TT - Rewinder 1
War Dogs (h2tp) Greg Bear SF - War Dogs 1
Harmonized (e) Mary Behre PNR - Tidewater Novella
Skinner(Ke) David Bernstein H/Oc
The Supernatural Enhancements (h2tp) Edgar Cantero LF/Gh
Messi@: A Novel (e)(ri) Andrei Codrescu SF
The Blood Countess (e)(ri) Andrei Codrescu H
Bridged by Love Nancy Corrigan PNR
Bound in Black Juliette Cross UF - Vessel Trilogy 3
Fallen Embers P.G. Forte PNR - Children of the Night 5
Stormbringer (e) Alis Franklin UF - Wyrd 2
Agents of the Internet Apocalypse Wayne Gladstone Dys/Satire - Internet Apocalypse Trilogy 2
The First Confessor Terry Goodkind F - Richard and Kahlan - Sword of Truth Prequel
The Obsidian Temple (e) Kelley Grant F - Desert Rising 2
Dead Man's Reach D. B. Jackson HistF - Thieftaker Chronicles 4
The Flicker Men Ted Kosmatka Th/SF
The Devil's Bag Man Adam Mansbach Th/H/Sup - Jess Galvan 2
The Wars of Atlantis Phil Masters F
The House of Small Shadows (h2tp) Adam Nevill H
Beautiful You (h2tp) Chuck Palahniuk Satire/AP
All Those Vanished Engines (h2tp) Paul Park SF
Way Station (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
City (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
A Heritage of Stars (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Time Is the Simplest Thing  (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
All Flesh Is Grass (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Shakespeare's Planet (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
The Werewolf Principle (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
All Flesh Is Grass (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Enchanted Pilgrimage (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
The Dark Arts of Blood Freda Warrington DF/PNR - Blood 4

July 22, 2015
Ethics and Form in Fantasy Literature: Tolkien, Rowling and Meyer Lykke Guanio-Uluru H&C
The Totally Secret Origin of Foxman: Excerpts from an EPIC Autobiography: A Tor.Com Original (e) Kelly McCullough SF

July 23, 2015
Equilibrium (e) CS Sealey F

July 27, 2015
Saint's Testimony (e) Frank O'Connor SF - Halo

July 28, 2015
Half a War Joe Abercrombie F - Shattered Sea 3
Half the World (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie F - Shattered Sea 2
Visions (h2tp) Kelley Armstrong CF - Cainsville 2
Primal Heat Part 3: A Paranormal Shapeshifter Werejaguar Romance A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 6
Zombies vs. Unicorns Holly Black (e)
Justine Larbalestier (ed)
F - Anthology
Siren's Call Jayne Castle PNR - Rainshadow 4
Excalibur Michael Clary CF - Camelot Wars 1
Treasure Planet (tp2mm) Hal Colebatch SF - Man-Kzin Wars 16
Liberty: 1784 (h2mm) Robert Conroy AH
The Deep (h2mm) Nick Cutter H
Redzone William C. Dietz SF - Mutant Files 2
The Primarchs Christian Dunn (ed) SF - The Horus Heresy 20
Spider's Trap Jennifer Estep UF - Elemental Assassin 13
The Land of the Silver Apples Nancy Farmer F - Sea of Trolls Trilogy 2
Neverwhere: Author's Preferred Text Neil Gaiman CF
The Forgotten Heather Graham Sus/P - Krewe of Hunters 16
To Mate an Assassin Ceri Grenelle PNR - Lost Alphars 1
The Conquering Dark Clay Griffith
Susan Griffith
HistF - Crown & Key 3
Crooked Austin Grossman AH
Fool's Assassin (h2mm) Robin Hobb F - The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy 1
The Good, The Bad and The Smug Tom Holt F/Hu
Biogenesis Tatsuaki Ishiguro SF - Collection
Shades in Shadow (e) N. K. Jemisin F - An Inheritance Triptych - Short Stories
Vampyr (e)(ri) Jan Jennings H
The Terrans Jean Johnson SF - First Salik War 1
Killing Pretty Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 7
The Golem of Hollywood (h2mm) Jonathan Kellerman
Jesse Kellerman
The Drowning God (D) James Kendley Th/Sup
Dragon Fall Katie MacAlister PNR - Dragon Fall 1
Seekers: Long Shot David Mack SF - Star Trek 3
Master of Formalities Scott Meyer SF
The Dinosaur Lords Victor Milán F
The Remaining: Extinction D.J. Molles Dys - The Remaining 6
Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker's Nightbreed Joseph Nassise (ed)
Del Howison (ed)
H - Anthology
Grunt Traitor Weston Ochse SF - Task Force Ombra 2
The Map of Time Collection: Map of Time, Map of the Sky, and Map of Chaos (e) Félix J. Palma Hist/GB
The Fall R. J. Pineiro SF/Th
Clink or Cooler? Jutta Profijt PM - Morgue Drawer 5
A Stellar Affair Laurel Richards PNR
Tortures of the Damned Hunter Shea H/Th
Koko Takes a Holiday (tp2mm) Kieran Shea SF - Koko 1
The Chalice of Death: Three Novels of Mystery in Space  (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF - Omnibus
Hunt the Space-Witch!: Seven Adventures in Time and Space  (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF - Collection
The Man in the Maze (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
The Planet Killers: Three Novels of the Spaceways  (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
Tom O'Bedlam (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
To the Land of the Living  (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
The Edge of Ruin Melinda Snodgrass CF - Edge 2
Magnificent Vibration (h2tp) Rick Springfield F
The Ultra Thin Man: A Science Fiction Novel (h2tp) Patrick Swenson SF
Fish Tails (h2tp) Sheri S. Tepper SF
The Fifth House of the Heart Ben Tripp H
The Final Descent Rick Yancey H - The Monstrumologist 4
The Domino Pattern (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF - Quadrail 4
Judgment at Proteus (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF - Quadrail 5
Night Train to Rigel (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF - Quadrail 1
Odd Girl Out (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF - Quadrail 3
The Third Lynx (e)(ri) Timothy Zahn SF - Quadrail 2

July 30, 2015
Stealing Into Winter (e) Graeme K. Talboys F - Shadow in the Storm 1

July 31, 2015
The Best of Gregory Benford David G. Hartwell (ed) SF - Collection
Teaching the Dog to Read Jonathan Carroll Meta/F
Savages K. J. Parker F

D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AI - Artificial Intelligence
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT -Fairy Tale
FolkT - Folk Tale
GB - Genre Bender
Gh - Ghost
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
H&C - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hu - Humor
L&M - Legends and Myth
LF - Literary Fiction
Meta - Metaphysical
Oc - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Sup - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

The Shadow Revolution
Author:  Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Series: Crown & Key 1
Publisher:  Del Rey, June 2, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  978034553950 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

Melanie's Thoughts

The writing couple of Susan and Clay Griffith set their new series in Victorian London but in a version of London where the supernatural and magic reign supreme. The authors quickly introduce the reader to the characters that will monopolise the story over the coming chapters. The opening chapters introduce us to Simon Archer, the rogue and ladies man whose body is covered with magical tattoos, and his friend and mentor, Nick Barker.  The pair walk on the fringes of society, never fully accepted but never far away from it either. Neither have exploited their magical talents and Simon's magical abilities are still largely untested. He has let his studies with Nick slide in favour of a night on the tiles with his friend. Everything is about to change when fate intervenes in the form of a vicious and deadly werewolf that rampages through a ball when they end up being helped by the aristocratic Kate Anstruther. It would seem that Kate has everything going for her - social standing, wealth, a famous family name, and intelligence. She could be one of society's darlings if she wasn't more interested in alchemy and science than her social standing. Finally there is Malcolm MacFarlane the gun toting Scottish hunter who dislikes Simon on sight. Things irrevocably change when Kate's sister is kidnapped and it is linked to a key that Simon wears around his neck. This group of misfits are drawn together to stop a a deadly predator that will take every weapon they have to defeat.

I think The Shadow Revolution suffered a bit from an identity crisis. It read in parts like steampunk but without any of the 'coolness' that comes from this genre. Simon relies on his magic, Malcolm on his weaponry and Kate on her alchemy. Separately they are almost insignificant but together they are a powerhouse. Their strengths did not, however, help them with the challenges they face when up against a legion of werewolves and a much older evil that threatens not just London. I have to completely disagree with the comparison to Kevin Hearne's Iron Druids series, Penny Dreadful or Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey Jr? almost an insult to Arthur Conan Doyle). These comparisons subjugate the Griffiths' characters and are not accurate. In my view neither the plotline nor the characters are like any of these other stories.

Overall, I liked this book but I was a bit surprised at its simplicity. I guessed nearly every plot twist or big reveal well before it happened. I didn't think it was as a challenging of a read as Griffiths' other series The Vampire Empire. I never knew what was going to happen next in that series yet in book 1 of The Crown and Key I guessed every one. It is still enjoyable and I do so like the plucky Kate and the acerbic Malcolm. Bring on book 2 - The Undying Legion.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Guest Blog by Bailey Cates, author of the Magical Bakery Mysteries - July 4, 2015

Please welcome Bailey Cates to The Qwillery. Bailey is the author of the Magical Bakery Mystery series. Magic and Macaroons will be published on July 7th by Obsidian (NAL).

Magic and Macaroons is the fifth Magical Bakery Mystery featuring kitchen witch and one-third owner of the Honeybee Bakery, Katie Lightfoot. Katie has been in Savannah, Georgia for a year and a half now, and is still learning about the Craft from the members of the spellbook club. Mimsey Carmichael specializes in flower and color magic and dabbles in divination, while Bianca Devereaux focuses on traditional Wiccan spell work and moon magic. Jaida French is a tarot expert, and Cookie Rios -- well, she's a generalist since she turned away from the voodoo she grew up with in Haiti.

But Katie's specialty is hedgewitchery, or green magic, like her aunt Lucy whom she works with in the bakery. Together, they use their special knowledge of herbs and spices to gently bewitch the delicious goodies they bake up at the Honeybee with spells for love, prosperity, health, peace and more. She's also learned that she's a lightwitch, and while that might account for why she stumbles into so many murder investigations involving magic, she still doesn't know exactly what else being a lightwitch entails. Her mentor in that regard, Detective Franklin Taite, is now dead, and she's waiting for the replacement he promised would show up in her life.

As Magic and Macaroons begins, it's an unseasonably hot August in Georgia, and Katies is battling the heat with cool treats for the Honeybee patrons. But then a meeting of the spellbook club is interrupted by a stranger collapsing on the floor of the bakery, mumbling something about a missing talisman and voodoo queens. Soon an impossibly dead body is added to the mix.

Katie is compelled to investigate, and the first thing she does is enlist a reluctant Cookie Rios' help to find out more about Savannah's infamous voodoo queens and the possible uses for the missing talisman. She meets several members of this largely underground community, all quite different, and all possible suspects at first.

But they aren't the only suspects, and with the help of the members of the spellbook club, her boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, Declan's improbable Uncle Connell, and Steve Dawes, Katie tracks the magical killer.

I'm fascinated by the different aspects of magic, and how they relate to everything from quantum physics to psychic readings. However, friends became a bit alarmed when I started researching voodoo. It has a reputation for dark magic, for voodoo dolls and curses. I heard quite a few interesting stories during the year I conducted research.

However,there are many, many flavors of voodoo/voudou/vodou/hoodoo. Almost all are based on West African religions that date back centuries, but many of those have been added to, subtracted from, or altered by local culture. In the end, my goal was to address the magical aspects of voodoo with the respect I try to show all magical or pagan practices in the series. I did a lot of reading (a LOT), and spoke numerous times with a voodoo queen a friend referred me to. She was enormously helpful.

One thing I learned from my exploration of voodoo? Well, here's how Cookie Rios puts it in the book when she's trying to explain the ideas of dark and light magic to Katie: "[Voodoo] is black. It is white. It is purple and green and red. You and the others always talk about gray magic, as if the only colors of magic can be found on some continuum between white and black. But magic is bigger, wider, deeper than that."

This more expansive vision of magic rings true, however you happen to define it in your own life. Besides the spell work side of things, there's always a lot of food in the Magical Bakery Mysteries! For Magic and Macaroons, I include a recipe for coconut macaroons (what else?).

My (Katie's) version is also a thumbprint cookie. You can fill the center indentations with any kind of jam, but I also provide recipes for making your own pineapple jam and pomegranate jelly. The other recipe is for Pao de Quiejo, or Brazilian cheese bread. I am completely addicted to these cheese puffs made with tapioca flour, and had to share how super easy they are to make. As an added, if unintentional, bonus, all these recipes are gluten free.

Next up: Enchanted Garden Mystery #1! This is a new series starting in January of 2016, which I write as Bailey Cattrell. The first one is called Daisies for Innocence (the titles reflect the language of flowers) and features perfumer and gardener (miniature fairy gardens!) named Elliana Allbright. And, of course, I'm also working on Magical Bakery Mystery #6, Spells and Scones!

For information about all my books, please visit

Magic and Macaroons
A Magical Bakery Mystery 5
Obsidian (NAL), July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

From the New York Times bestselling author of Some Enchanted éclair comes a tale of delicious desserts and supernatural sleuthing…
For magical baker Katie Lightfoot, the only way to beat the Savannah summer heat is to whip up some cool treats for the Honeybee Bakery’s patrons. But when a meeting of the spellbook club is interrupted by a stranger collapsing on the floor of her shop, mumbling something about a voodoo talisman, Katie drops everything to begin investigating.
Her search for answers quickly leads her into a dangerous blend of Savannah’s infamous voodoo queens, a powerful missing charm—and a deadly witch who seems to be targeting the city’s magical community. And with the case getting hotter by the second, Katie will have to work fast to track down the talisman and the killer before the timer runs out…


About Cricket / Bailey

Author of the Magical Bakery Mysteries. Also writes the Home Crafting Mysteries as Cricket McRae.

A former resident of the Pacific Northwest where her novels are set, Cricket McRae has always dabbled in the kind of practical home crafts that were once necessary to everyday life. The magical chemistry of making soap, the satisfaction of canning garden produce, and the sensuous side of fiber arts like spinning and knitting are just a few of the reasons these activities have fascinated her since childhood. As a girl she was as much a fan of Nancy Drew as of Laura Ingalls Wilder, so it's no surprise that her contemporary cozy series features a soap maker with a nose for investigation.

For two years Cricket managed her own soap making business, including all product design, manufacturing and marketing. She has also worked at a variety of other jobs, ranging from driver's license examiner to program manager at Microsoft. This fulfills her mother's warning that she'd never have a "regular" job if she insisted on studying philosophy and English in college.

Now she lives in Colorado, fitting her interest in all things domestic around writing, hiking, biking and, currently, learning how to hate the game of golf.

Website  ~  Twitter @WriterBailey  ~  Facebook


Daisies for Innocence
     as Bailey Cattrell
An Enchanted Garden Mystery 1
NAL, January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,

From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright…

The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.

Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions,  bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.

But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud….


Brownies and Broomsticks
A Magical Bakery Mystery 1
Obsidian (NAL), May 1, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


Katie Lightfoot’s tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy’s cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben’s name and find the real killer.

Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti
A Magical Bakery Mystery 2
Obsidian (NAL), December 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


As a new witch—not to mention owner of Savannah’s most enchanting bakery—Katie Lightfoot is still getting used to casting spells, brewing potions, and mastering her magical powers. But that doesn’t mean she can’t find time to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy…until she stumbles upon a corpse.

The dead man’s tattoo reveals he was a member of a secret society—and it turns out he's missing an object that was very important to the group. When Katie learns the killer was after more than the man's life, she and her Aunt Lucy leave the baked goods on the rack to cool and set off in hot pursuit of a killer.

Charms and Chocolate Chips
A Magical Bakery Mystery 3
Obsidian (NAL), November 5, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


Between brewing magically spiced treats at Honeybee Bakery and volunteering with a local conservation group, Katie Lightfoot barely has time to see her firefighter boyfriend, Declan McCarthy, much less delve further into her destiny as a witch. But avoiding her fate won’t be as easy as whipping up a new recipe—especially when Katie finds herself once again mixed up in murder.

When a fellow volunteer for the conservation group is found dead, Katie’s mystical senses tell her that there’s more to the death than meets the eye. Her suspicions are confirmed when members of her coven are targeted next. Katie will have to embrace her powers quickly...or she may find herself chewed up and spit out by some serious black magic.

Some Enchanted Éclair
A Magical Bakery Mystery 4
Obsidian (NAL), July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages


When Hollywood invades Savannah’s historic district to film a Revolutionary War movie, magical baker Katie Lightfoot, and her witches’ coven, the Spellbook Club, take a break from casting spells for casting calls. One of the witches snags a part as an extra, while Katie’s firefighter boyfriend, Declan, acts as on-set security. Katie and her aunt Lucy decide to stay out of the action, but after the movie’s “fixer” fires the caterer, the Honeybee Bakery comes to the rescue, working their magic to keep the hungry crew happy.

But when someone fixes the fixer—permanently—and a spooky psychic predicts Katie will find the killer, the charming baker and her fellow conjurers step in to sift through the suspects…before someone else winds up on the cutting room floor….

Friday, July 03, 2015

Interview with S. K. Dunstall, authors of Linesman - July 3, 2015

Please welcome S.K. Dunstall to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Linesman was published on June 30th by Ace.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Hi. We are so happy to be here.

Sherylyn:  I have never known a time when I didn’t write or tell stories. Even in primary school, Karen and I wrote stories for each other. I used to tell stories at night to my younger sisters to send them to sleep – or until I fell asleep. During the day, I would tell stories to other kids at primary school. I just loved telling stories.

Karen:  Being one of those younger sisters, I was obviously indoctrinated at an early age. Like Sherylyn, I’ve been telling stories ever since. I can’t think of a time when I haven’t been writing.

TQAre you a plotters, pantsers or hybrids?

S. K.:  Pantsers, without a doubt. Although we came across George R. R. Martin’s ‘gardeners and architects’ (via a You Tube lecture by Brandon Sanderson) and think gardener suits us better. We’re constantly rearranging the garden and trying out new plants. Rewriting parts of the book, moving things around. And weeding. My goodness, weeding words.

We plot by talking ideas. We don’t actually write these down, just get the ideas and let them percolate.

We have found that we can over-talk things and when that happens we don’t write it. So we have to balance the talking and the writing.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you both about writing? What is your co-writing process like?

S. K.:  The most challenging thing? Time. We like to leave our writing sit for as long as possible and come back to it fresh. Ideally, we like to write one book, put it aside and write another. Then go back to the first book and rework the whole thing. Having a contract—as wonderful and fantastic as that is—means you can’t do this. We are not fast writers, and both of us work full time.

Co-writing is so much fun. We spend hours talking stories and ideas. We’ll try different ways of co-writing, too. Sometimes we each write a different character, sometimes we write the same chapter and pick out what we want to keep. Other times one writes the first draft while the other edits.

We always talk about a story as it progresses and if one of us doesn’t like something, we talk and come up with new ideas until we can both agree.

For Linesman, we wanted to keep the voice the same across all three books, so we wrote/are writing all of them the same way, as the person who writes the first draft sets the tone for the whole book.

Every day we’ll discuss what has happened so far, and what we think might happen next. Then Karen writes a rough first draft, with Sherylyn following behind, adding comments and rewriting sections.

Once the first draft is written Sherylyn takes over the bulk of the edits, while Karen comes along behind and works on what Sherylyn has edited.

As we fine-tune the story, Sherylyn takes over more of the work. In the end, for every one time Karen reads the book and makes changes, Sherylyn re-reads it at least five times.

TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Sherylyn: I read anything I could get my hands on; school adventure stories, Australian stories, science fiction, westerns. Anything except horror. Some of my favorite authors today are Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Diana Wynne-Jones, Robin Hobb, Anne Bishop, to name a few. There are so many writers I love. The list would fill the page.

Karen: Likewise, anything. We’d both read out the library at our primary school years before we moved on to secondary school, and ditto there. As a child I remember reading my way through every one of those yellow covered Gollancz science fiction books I could get my hands on. Some of my favourite current authors today are Diana Wynne Jones, Robin Hobb, Vernor Vinge, Connie Willis. We both read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. We also read mysteries and thrillers. And anything else that takes our fancy.

TQDescribe Linesman in 140 characters or less.

S. K.:  A guy who repairs ships gets caught up in the discovery of an alien spaceship and the fight between two warring factions who want possession of it.

TQTell us something about Linesman that is not found in the book description.

S. K.:  Is it cheating if we say ‘sentient spaceships’? It’s not part of the description, but one of the blurbs mentions it.

TQWhat inspired you to write Linesman? What appealed to you about writing Science Fiction, especially Space Opera? What is a 'Space Opera'?

S. K.:  Space opera is science fiction action adventure in space. There’s usually a war, or fighting, and it’s not too heavily scientific, although it can be. Most importantly, it is based around the characters. Star Wars (the original) is the classic space opera. Guardians of the Galaxy is also space opera.

We love both science fiction and fantasy. There’s something about creating worlds, and making everything fit, that’s so much fun. Plus, it allows us to write things we can’t if we’re restricted to our own world. Equality, for example. A world where anyone can be an admiral and no-one cares whether they’re male or female, or white or black or purple or green.

And to explore ideas. Linesman, for example, started as a “what if” dinner-table conversation. What if humans found alien technology in space? Would they know what to do with it? What if they worked out how to use part of it, but not all of it? It’s a bit like using a Swiss army knife. Suppose you learned to use the corkscrew to open bottles of wine, but didn’t even realise anything else on the knife existed? Then, as time passed, how would what they learned about the original technology diverge into something else?

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Linesman?

S. K.:  The brain is a fascinating part of the body and there’s so much we don’t know about it. For Linesman we looked at how the brain worked—particularly how it interpreted music. Plus a bit about synaesthesia, and handedness.

We also looked at spaceship design, and realised that provided a ship didn’t need to land on a planet it isn’t constrained aerodynamically. The limitations are air and power. Thus we came up with the idea that the ships in our universe will be large, any shape, with lots of levels, and modules that can be attached as required. And anyone who’s been following Commander Chris Hadfield (excellent source of research, by the way), would know that null-g in space is undesirable if you’re going to be on a ship for long periods of time, so we had to have gravity too.

TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

S. K.:  Jordan Rossi was easy to write because he could be unpleasant and it didn’t matter.

Hardest character? That’s difficult. Each character had a life of their own and wanted to be written.

Ean was fun to write because he is such an unreliable narrator (and because he’s great), but he was probably the hardest to write too, because he could be such a wimp. He isn’t helpless, but he lets things happen to him. We had to be careful because that’s very frustrating for the reader, who just wants him to do something. It was a hard balance. We hope we got it right.

TQWhich question about Linesman do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!


Q. Will Rossi have his own book?

A. I’d like to think so. I would love people to want a Rossi story.

Sherylyn: You wish. I might let him take part in another book, but he will not have a book to himself. You will have to work hard to sell me on this one.

Karen: Jordan Rossi is an unpleasant man. Confident, arrogant, always putting other people down, but I love him. Most people hate him.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Linesman.

Sherylyn: “The lines were crying out to be heard and no-one was listening.” Karen wrote that line and when I read it, I went cold. It held so much emotion for me.

Karen: I love the clever lines. The ones they say you should get rid of, because they’re not in the book to further the story but simply because you think they’re good. For example, after Michelle tells Ean that Abram likes him, and Ean thinks, ‘yes, and everyone sang to the lines too’. Which is a lie, because no-one except Ean sings to the lines.

TQWhat's next?

S. K.:  We’re contracted for three books in the Linesman series.

We just got the editor’s feedback on book two (Alliance), so we’re about to start working on those. Before that we were in middle of the first draft of book three. The next six weeks we’ll concentrate on Alliance, then it’s back to book three.

After we finish book three? Who knows?

There are so many books to write, so many ideas. We have a couple of science fiction stories we would love work on. One set in the Linesman world, the other a separate series. We also have an Australian fantasy we would love to finish, but that is for a distant future.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

S. K.:  Thank you for having us. It was a pleasure to take part.

Linesman 1
Ace, June 30, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

First in a brand new thought-provoking science fiction series.

The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he’s crazy…

Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level-ten linesman like Ean. Even if he’s part of a small, and unethical, cartel, and the other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he’s certified and working.

Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship’s secrets, but all they’ve learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy—and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius.

The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force—and reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them, forever.

About S.K. Dunstall

Andrew Kopp ©2015
Karen (left) and Sherylyn (right) Dunstall
S. K. Dunstall is the pen name for Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall, sisters who have been telling stories—and sharing them with each other—all their lives. Around five years ago, they realised the stories they worked on together were much better than the stories they worked on alone. A co-writing partnership was born.


Twitter @SKDunstall