Check out Going Through The Change By Samantha Bryant

I’m pleased to Share this Guest post from Samantha Bryant with you today.

Menopausal Superheroes: An Origin Story

As a superhero fiction fan, I love a good origin story. You know: Joe Schmo was just some guy, until (cue dramatic music) (insert comic book power causing event) and his life was forever changed! When it’s done right, it can be so much fun!

My own superhero novel owes its origin story in part to my having read and seen way too many angsty teenagers find out they were special and then go out to save the world. I’m getting old. I’m not as engaged by the melodrama of teen life and the kinds of life issues that cause the very young angst. I wanted a hero I could really relate to, and she was hard to find in my comic book store.

I was kvetching about that very thing one night, out walking with my husband and the dog (when you’ve got kids, sometimes dog walking is the best way to be able finish a sentence or two). We posited that if all superheroes seem to come into their powers when they are teenagers, it must have something to do with hormones. I said something like, “If that’s the case, then menopausal women would be the most powerful people on the planet!” He laughed and told me to write it down. I did. And a book was born.

Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is an origin story of its own. In Springfield (so named because there’s a Springfield in nearly every state, and I like the Simpsons), a non-geographically specific town in the tradition of comic book cities like Central, Coast and Hub City, four seemingly unrelated women are going through menopause. For them, it comes with some more unusual changes.

JESSICA Jessica Roark was thirty-two when she went through the change. A little young, but when it’s a choice between your ovaries or your life, hormone fluctuations are the least of your worries. Depression was a side effect she was dealing with, but the gravity of her issues is entirely different than she was expecting.

LINDA-LEONEL Linda Alvarez was always a strong woman. She and her husband had been through a lot in their twenty-five year marriage. When she started her cambio de vida at age forty-eight, she was sure they would get through it, too, side by side, just like they’d done everything else. When her new strength came with a new body, though, all bets were off.

HELENHelen Braeburn was hot under the collar after her husband of twenty years went on a motorcycle trip and never returned. His mid-life crisis turned her life upside down. Her grown daughter’s refusal to cut him out of her life wasn’t helping either. Then, when she was sixty-three, the hot flashes came, and she found a new, literal fire in the belly.

PATRICIA Patricia O’Neill had always been thick-skinned. You had to be to break through the glass ceiling and succeed in corporate life. At age fifty-eight, she was at the top of her game and had a reputation as a battle axe you didn’t want to cross. That became even more true after her changes. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

Of course, there’s a common thread, and once the women find each other and figure out what—or rather, who—that is, the hunt is on!

*artistic renderings of the characters by Charles C. Dowd

cover2500 copy

Going Through the Change is going through a change in price for a couple of days in early August. On August 5th and 6th you can get the Kindle edition for free on Amazon. Check it out at: http://bitly.com/face-the-change

full-swing-computer-shoes2 copy Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her debut novel, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is now for sale by Curiosity Quills. You can find her online on her blog,  Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on the Curiosity Quills page, or on Google+.

What is speculative fiction? Tara Tyler explains. And see the fabulous cover for Pop Travel!

Thanks for letting me spend some time at your blog today, Elsie!

speculative fiction!

Elsie and I are both published through the wonderful Curiosity Quills Press. When folks ask me about my publisher, I tell them we are a small but growing force and we specialize in Speculative Fiction. Most people just nod and smile when they hear that and don’t have a clue what Speculative Fiction is. Well, that’s what I’m going to talk to you all about today!

Speculative Fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements. The popularity of the term is sometimes attributed to Robert Heinlein, who referenced it in 1947 in an editorial essay, although there are prior mentions of speculative fiction, or its variant “speculative literature” -.Wikipedia

Movies and Books that popped up for Speculative Fiction were: A Handmaid’s Tale, Lord of the Rings, Brave New World, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and Farenheit 451

TV Tropes said Speculative Fiction was also a “backronym” for SF. They define it as science fiction and fantasy and everything in between. I like that one best and I hope I made it clearer what it speculative fiction means!

Elsie and I fit right into CQ Press. She writes about a teenage grim reaper and my two series are a futuristic sci fi thriller and an MG fantasy.

Thanks again, Elsie for helping me show off POP TRAVEL’s new cover – it’s hot! And the re-release has a sneak peek at the first chapter of SIMULATION which comes out Sept 14th!

POP TRAVEL

by Tara Tyler

Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, technology has gone too far for private detective J. L. Cooper. He thinks he can avoid pop travel teleportation, until he stumbles onto a video of a pop traveler who turns to dust.



Sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and threats to his brother, Cooper wants to pass off the evidence but knows he’s being watched and can’t trust anyone. And who would believe him?



With help from the neurotic genius “Creator” of pop travel and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper must expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She’s an adventure writer who believes every good story should have a moral, and a few laughs!
 
 
Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s here! The Black Oracle by Michael Cristiano

Humans, you are not alone.

The_Black_Oracle_Cover“Joachim is a hunter in the jungle of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Though generations have passed since the Great Death, something has evolved in the trees beyond the giant glowing mushrooms, mutants that want to see human entrails spread along the jungle floor.

And now they’ve taken Joachim’s wife.

To get her back, Joachim will have to give the leader of these demons something in return: immortality. A creature knows when he is going to die, after all. Plunged into a world of magic and darkness, Joachim must find the only woman who knows where the ingredients are. She is a prophetess known as the Black Oracle living in the realm of Zalm, but she’s a little preoccupied at the moment. She leads a rebellion against the ruthless High Council, and when Joachim seeks her out, he too finds himself consumed by her struggle.

In a story of betrayal, prophecy, and bloodshed, Joachim has ten days to retrieve the ingredients and return to Earth all while evading the High Council’s army, one that wants the Black Oracle and her associates killed — Joachim included.”

“The Black Oracle” is a New Adult post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, and it is available now. You can pick up an eBook copy on Amazon here or a paperback copy here. Check out the excerpt below and join the adventure today.

banner

“Darcie had been sitting in the doorway when he returned to the village not yet two evenings ago. The day had been hot, and Joachim was sweaty and dirty and tired. He lowered his rucksack, and she closed the book she had been reading, one from Baruch’s Old Earth library, like all the others.

“Welcome home.”

He’d spent the last six weeks in the arms of the jungle, the cold, dark, unforgiving wilderness that never truly felt right even on the most beautiful of days. Joachim had hunted in those trees all his life, but nothing compared to Darcie. In her eyes, he was home.

“How did the great hunters fare?” she teased. “Did you take down three alligators this time? How about an elephant? Will we have enough elephant meat to last us until next summer?”

“Not quite,” Joachim replied.

She stood with her hands on her waist. From the back, someone would think that she was upset if not for the expression on her face. She watched him from under her brow, her chin turned slightly downward. She smiled.

“I missed you,” he whispered as he snuck his hands onto her hips.

“No, you didn’t.” She smirked. “You and Ben and Trent are like children out there—like young boys. And the jungle is your little paradise.”

“What if I told you that you are my paradise?” He kissed her neck.

She snorted. “Oh, please. Think you can just walk in here and woo me with some flattery?”

“I know I can.”

Darcie’s arms snaked around him. Her lips were as intoxicating as barley sweetened in the sun, and soon, he lifted her off of her feet and pressed her against the wall.

“Joachim!” she exclaimed. “The neighbors.”

“There’s no one watching.”

She laughed and hit him lightly on the chest.

“How was everything while I was gone?” Joachim asked.

“Fine,” Darcie said. “Boring.”

They went inside the dwelling. There was simmering jackalope stew on the stove.

“Ophelia’s ceiling had a leak last week,” Darcie continued. “A big rainstorm pushed through here, and it ripped some of the roof off. Did you get a storm out there in the jungle too?”

“Yes,” Joachim said. “I’m not even sure my rucksack is dried all the way through yet.”

He dipped his finger into the stew. It tasted salty.

“And how are you?” he asked.

Darcie played with a lock of her dark hair and bit her bottom lip. She reminded him of the day they married. There had been no parent left to walk Darcie down the aisle, so she walked herself. The whole time she eyed him: shy yet eager. Almost childlike.

“I’m pregnant,” she said.

He almost dropped his hand back into the stew. A little boy, she had just called him, alluding to his exhilaration whenever he entered the jungle. And Darcie was right: he often became so energized that he did feel like a little boy—and he felt like one again now. He felt like laughing, like scooping Darcie up and twirling her around. He could feel life bursting through his chest: ravenous innocence and maddening excitement. They’d been yearning for a child for so long.

“You are?”

“I found out into the second week of the hunt.” She touched his face. “I skipped my cycle, and I told Jolyne. She ran a test and told me I was expecting.”

Joachim cried. The hunter was supposed to be brave, but being brave sometimes meant having courage to show his emotions. He wept for her, smiling and laughing through the tears, and she cried too.

She spent the night tight to his chest and coiled in his arms like a huntress in camouflaging paints, like a butterfly in a cocoon.

Like she was protected by a shield.

Joachim wished she were there for him to protect now. She hadn’t mentioned the creatures that evening, and he doubted she even knew that they had come while he was away. But now she was gone, and so he had to be too. If he waited too long, the creatures would keep her away from him forever.

If she wasn’t already.”

ender

Headshot.The.Black.OracleMichael Cristiano is a Canadian writer. His relentless obsession with writing began long before he could spell the words ‘relentless obsession’. Growing up in endless suburban sprawl, he spent most of his childhood pretending to be Harry Potter and attempting to get published by the age of thirteen.

When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found planning his next backpacking trip around the world. He is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with studies in Foreign Language and Linguistics. Previously, he attended a Regional Arts high school where he majored in drama. He is fond of all things dramatic.

Michael currently resides in the Greater Toronto Area, and he is using his years as a twenty-something to establish what he hopes will be a long career in writing. He works in editing and acquisitions for Curiosity Quills Press, and his freelance work has appeared on websites such as Nexopia, FluentU, and BlushPost. The Black Oracle, his debut novel, is out now.

Like him on Facebook. Follow him on Twitter.

Untaken by JE Anckorn is coming. Don’t miss out!

Blog tourUntaken, by J.E. Anckorn

Genre: young-adult, science-fiction

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Re-Release­­: March 23, 2015

Cover Artist: Amy Chitulescu

cover1000-4

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 

Description:

It turns out that a real alien invasion is nothing like the Sci-fi shows 14-year-old Gracie loves. Not when it’s your own family who are swallowed whole by those big silver ships. Not if it could be you next.

In her search for her family, Gracie meets Brandon, a high school dropout who would never have been caught dead hanging out with a dork like Gracie before the world ended. Gracie isn’t too crazy about Brandon either, but he has one thing she doesn’t: A plan.

Brandon’s uncle has a cabin up in Maine, and If Gracie and Brandon can survive long enough to get there they can hide out until the Space Men pack up their ships and leave.

Until the army guys come to rescue them, says Brandon. Brandon is big into army guys. Gracie has to admit that Brandon’s Awesome Plan probably would have worked out great if wasn’t for Jake.

They found 5-year-old Jake, laying half-dead under the remains of someone’s ranch house. He’s a good kid, even if he won’t-or can’t- talk. But Jake has a secret, and when Gracie finds out what it is, the fragile new life they’ve started to forge looks set to break apart.

When the people you’ve been counting on to put the world back together start hunting you down, alien invaders are the least of your worries.

 

Excerpt: Chapter 1 Untaken

The only thing on TV was the news, and the only thing on the news was the invasion. Who needs the news, I thought to myself as I padded through the house, when you can walk right out the back door and see it for yourself? The wood boards of the porch were hot beneath my bare feet, and it took my eyes a few minutes to adjust to the sun’s glare. Sure enough, when I squinted up at the blue summer sky, all those big, silver ships still hung there, like clouds that never moved. The sun reflected off the metal, causing a shimmer that was too bright to look at for long—not that I wanted to.

When I rubbed my eyes, the shapes of the craft still floated within the blackness inside my head, like they’d invaded my own mind the same way they’d invaded the skies. Even though it was another blistering day, goose bumps covered my skin, and I rubbed my arms as my gaze drifted back to the more reassuring sight of the orderly wooden houses and lawns of my neighborhood. No one had seen the ships coming; they just showed up one day. At first, no one went to work. They all wanted to stay home to see what would  happen, even though the TV guys said we had to carry on as normal. People rushed to the grocery store and bought up all the milk and the bread. “Just like when there’s a winter storm,” dad had grumbled. “They planning on fixing our alien overlords a PB&J?”

In our neighborhood, all the houses have these big porches, but people rarely sat on them. Why have a big porch if you’re not going to sit outside? That’s what I always thought. Our own porch had a rocker made of scratchy wicker, and a little table beside it, just big enough for a can of soda and my tablet, and that was where I planned to spend today.

The familiar clatter of Gilda loading the dishwasher rang out from the kitchen, so I scooted down an inch so she wouldn’t see the top of my head over the back of the chair.

Last week, I’d pulled a patio chair out onto the lawn to try and get a tan while I read, but I’d fallen asleep in the chair and woke up burned red like a clam shack special, and the goofy wicker pattern of the chair back pressed into my face.

Mom had gone crazy. “Do you want to get skin cancer?” she’d yelled at me. “Not to mention ruin your complexion. You only get one face, you know. Why do your father and I work ourselves ragged looking after you kids when you never take the least bit of care of yourselves?”

I knew that if Gilda saw me she’d tell me to come inside. She was even more scared of mom yelling than I was. I guess that’s fair. It’s not like Mom could fire her kid, but Gilda didn’t have that security.

Safe under the porch’s shade, I rocked myself slowly to and fro, picking at one of the peeling spots on my arm, the dead skin coming off like tissue paper on the world’s worst birthday gift.

The chair had been painted white and I liked to pick the paint off that, too. On days I sat outside on the deck, paint chips would litter the floor in a circle around where I sat: my own private summer snow storm. I used my foot to sweep the latest flurry off into the begonias, along with the skin, so Mom wouldn’t see the mess when she came home.

It was bad enough I was risking death by instant skin cancer going outside again when she’d said I had to stay indoors, but she’d be doubly mad if she saw I’d plucked a new bare spot on the chair—which was a valuable antique, according to her—and triply mad if she guessed I’d spent all day online again.

 

 

jea_author-2About The Author:

JE. Anckorn has been an artist and writer ever since she began to surreptitiously doodle on school supplies instead of learning about practical things, like osmosis and mathematics.

After barely surviving a freak mathematical osmosis disaster, she set out to travel the world, living in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong before returning to her native Britain- just in time to marry an American and leave for the U.S.A.She still failed to learn anything about osmosis, but did manage to cultivate an accent that is unintelligible to almost everyone. (It happened through a mysterious net movement of information from the outside environment into her brain. If only there was a word for that!)

This led to her development of a new language, based almost entirely on polite yet uncomprehending nods. In between these adventures, she has worked as a toy designer, copywriter, and freelance illustrator. She lives in Boston, with a small grumpy dog, and a large, slightly less grumpy husband.

Find J.E. Anckorn Online:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.

Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Walking Shadow… Book Two in The Darkworld Series is here.

Walking Shadow promo banner-2The lovely and talented Emma Adams took time out of her hectic writing and editing schedule to answer a few questions about her writing process, her demons and her upcoming work. Book Two of the Darkworld Series was just released and I’m excited to share this interview and links to her book with you. So without further adieu, here’s my interview with Emma 🙂

 Are you a panster or a plotter? How do you approach a new idea?

I’m a mixture of both, but I do a lot of planning in the beginning. I write fantasy, so I start with research and figuring out the “rules” of the world I’m writing about. I also write a plot summary and character arcs, and eventually that develops into an outline. But I don’t pre-plan every scene – just a general overarching outline that I adapt as I go along.

What is the most difficult aspect about being a writer? How do you stay organized between writing and working as an editor?

Balancing is something I struggle with. I’m a workaholic, and my workday never seems to end! I try to designate certain hours for writing (usually in the morning) and others for editing, and leave time in between for answering emails, blog posts… the list goes on!

What are your top three nuggets of wisdom you would like to share with unpublished writers?

  1. Write the book you want to read.
  2. Persistence is key.
  3. Every setback is a learning experience.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love drafting when I’m inspired and the words are just flowing. But then, there are days where it’s like repeatedly running into a wall. The ups and downs of writing!

Do you have other stories in the works?

I’m working on an adult contemporary fantasy series I’m really excited about! – Emma shared info about this upcoming series yesterday and it looks fabulous. Stop by her website and read more!!

I wrote a blog about self-doubt being a new demon I encountered. Do you have any writing demons?

Self-doubt is definitely a persistent one! Also, the deadly Comparison Demon always makes an appearance on bad days.

If someone wrote a book about your life, who would star as you in the movie version?

Oh wow… I’ve no idea! I’d say Emma Watson, though she’s far prettier than I am, haha.

Favorite recipe or story you’d like to share

Recipe? Hmm… I did have a recipe for awesome chocolate chip cookies, but I’m not sure what I did with it! But I do have a story: I used to do bake sales for fundraising when I was at university (and sold chocolate chip cookies), and I almost set the kitchen on fire when a cake… kind of exploded all over the oven. I still have no idea how that happened! (Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only time, which probably says a lot about my cooking skills. :P)

 

 And now… check out Emma’s latest book… Walking Shadow.


When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but
when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is
practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the
protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are
suspicious of any sorcerer unaware of their origins.

The trouble is, what Ash does know might just
get her killed.
Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as
the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s
guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out
what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of
control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around
Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…

Amazon link, click here

Barnes and Noble

 Add on Goodreads!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And here’s more information on the
first in the series, Darkness Watching
(Darkworld #1)
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one
interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s
losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into
the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the
small town of Blackstone  – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that
led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain
the barrier keeping demons from crossing from theDarkworld into our own world.All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all
part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus
on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is
soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a
connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The
demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her
before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they
appear to be…

Reviews“In the vein of Buffy and Supernatural, DARKNESS WATCHING found that perfect
balance between the freaky and the fun.” 
– YA author Jen Estes“Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better
supernatural suspense set-up?…It’s full of suspense, danger, evil and dark
humor. The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this
book had me hooked.” – Rose at 

Desert Rose Reviews“A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy
series.” – 

Sharon Stevenson, supernatural
author
“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the
original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining.
The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into
something very fresh and exciting.” – 
Lexa Cain, author of Soul
Cutter

“This is a wildly different story than any I have read about demons…I
loved it!” – Kathy at 

Bookmarks, Spoilers, and
Happily-Ever-Afters

 

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

Fear’s Touch:
A Darkworld Novella 
is also available now!

 

Amazon

This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As
it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it
doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come
into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes
aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck
at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are
the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another
magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy
organisation which hunt them down.
Claudia’s never had to worry about
making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a
Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back
on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.
But in a world where everyone seems to
have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?

 

Emma spent her
childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average
reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing bizarre, fantastical
stories. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first
opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three
years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured
a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She
also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by
submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to
workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian
piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will
never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not
embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various
publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she
signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in
her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in
October 2013, the first in a five-book series.

Emma’s books tend to contain monsters,
magic, and wildly inappropriate humour.