Kicking off Sci-Fy May with TWCS – guest post and giveaway!

1 May

Today I am proud to join forces with the lovely people at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House to help them celebrate my favourite month, Sci-Fy May! (Keep reading – there’s a giveaway, my first on the blog!)

Sci-Fi May Promo Banner

As a special treat, we are joined by Warren Cantrell, author of Obvious Child:

Although the events of Obvious Child take place in what is now the present (2015), when I wrote the book in 2010, my aim was to set it in the not-too-distant future, when time travel technology was just being discovered. This was done to give the story a little distance from the real world and modern scientific techniques and methods, so that any specific analysis of the supposed time travel technology could be explained away or buttressed by “future” developments that were never really expounded upon. There was a reason for this: my book was written in the present tense and in the 3rd person to give it a sense of urgency and immediacy, as well as to put the audience in my main character’s shoes.

That character, Sam Grant, is a History graduate school student, not a scientist, and he is somewhat reluctantly pulled into the larger events of the story. As a result, he only gets partial, passing information about the time travel technology, and never gains much more than a cursory understanding of how it all works. Since Sam is a slacker, stoner, and something of a drunk, this fit well with his character, and since the narrative structure never left Sam’s POV, the audience didn’t know all that much more than Sam. Thus, Obvious Child didn’t spend a lot of time explaining the nuts and bolts of the time travel technology, because Sam didn’t really need to know about it to have his adventure (and it didn’t fit with his character). As a result, since Sam didn’t need to know how the technology worked, the audience didn’t really need to know, and as an author I was let off the hook. The fact that the story takes place in the “future” and is viewed through the eyes of an unwilling participant in a celebrity whirlwind affair allowed me to craft the story in such a way as to keep the attention focused on Sam’s handling of the ordeal, rather than the minutiae of how the technology fueling it worked. After all, the story is an exploration of what it means to become famous in the modern, social network, 24-hour news cycle age: time travel was just a means to an end to bring those themes to the surface.

Because there was not a lot of focus on the technology, and the rules behind the functionality of the time travel device, it allowed me considerable freedom to play around with different concepts as it concerned travelling to the future in my book’s universe. Since I didn’t go into much detail about how the time travel technology worked, I wasn’t hampered by a self-imposed set of rules regarding its capabilities. Yet Obvious Child is just the first book in a series, and if TWCS picks up the second volume in the series (which is already written), readers will find that things can get a little tricky when a character is leaping around through time. As the adventures of Sam Grant develop, it has become more challenging to keep the events of the book within the bounds of space-time’s rational limits. For example, if somebody travels forward in time, then attempts to return home to their own era, might not actions taken on that return journey alter the landscape of the future (which is really the main character’s past)? Such questions can be tricky, yet are part of the fun of writing a time travel adventure story! Readers have responded enthusiastically to Obvious Child, and have been clamoring for the long-promised sequel, so my narrative gamble seems to have paid off!

About The Author:

Warren Cantrell is a film and music critic based out of Seattle, Washington. One of the few surviving journalists of the Gonzo school, Mr. Cantrell’s work has appeared in such publications as Lost in Reviews and Scene-Stealers.

A classically trained scholar with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in History, Mr. Cantrell has spent the majority of his time since graduation writing novels and paying off his student loans. Working as a critic and an on-the-ground correspondent, Mr. Cantrell has covered the Seattle International and Sundance Film Festivals and has had the pleasure of interviewing people ranging from Sissy Spacek to Joss Whedon.

As an established film and music critic, Mr. Cantrell finds that it is best to keep his political views private, except to say that he feels Greedo definitely did not shoot first and that The Misfits ceased to exist the moment Danzig left the band.

A life-long Arizona Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns fan, Mr. Cantrell enjoys fast cars, Italian opera, Norwegian cinema, Kentucky bourbon, and Motörhead concerts. Connect with the Author on Facebook.

Obvious Child back cover blurb: Sam Grant doesn’t want to be famous, but he doesn’t have much of a say in the matter.
On the verge of graduating from college with his master’s in History, Sam and the rest of the world bear witness to the invention of time travel. Revealed via a YouTube broadcast, the brothers responsible for inventing time travel find their remarkable device coopted by the U.S. government. In a magnanimous gesture, the U.S. government holds a worldwide competition to decide who will be the first time traveler in history. This turns Sam’s world upside down after a half-baked joke application he sends in gets him accepted as a contestant for consideration.
Thrust into a political and media blender set to puree, Sam and his fellow contestants vie for the affections of a worldwide audience who will vote on the eventual winner. As the successive rounds of the contest pass by, and Sam tries everything from indifference to wild irreverence to get himself voted out of the competition, he finds that all his actions only serve to make him more popular.
As the contest goes on, Sam and the time travel project become more of a referendum on our society’s fascination with celebrity disasters, and what they will do to make sure the entertainment doesn’t stop anytime soon. Unable to get out of the contest via logical means, Sam learns to embrace the perks sudden celebrity provides, yet also suffers some of its typical consequences.
Stuck between two worlds—one he can’t handle, and another he can’t control—Sam finds himself considering a third option, one that has him confronting a time traveling reality that terrifies him to his very core.
5cupcakes
My review can be found HERE. I loved this book and gave it 5/5 cupcakes.

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Purchase from TWCS, Amazon, B&N

Thanks for stopping by, Warren!

To help celebrate the month, TWCS has reduced the price of 15 of their sci-fi and paranormal titles to just 99c! I’ve read 11 of these books and loved them! Now the rest are only 99c I’ll have to grab them, too! And check out the bottom of this post for an amazing giveaway!

 Say NO to REALITY!

This May, TWCS is paying tribute to the SciFy genre in honour of the EPIC Star Wars series and LEGENDARY The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, amongst others…

 

BOOKS ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 PENNIES!

LEGACY OF A DREAMER, Allie Jean, Paranormal

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Chantal Breelan is plagued by horrible nightmares too realistic to ignore. Her past has been a mystery, and the foster system isn’t providing any answers. Starting a new life alone at eighteen is a challenge, especially when things that go bump in the night appear out of the shadows, and her dreams begin to breach reality. Darkness surrounds her from all sides, but is it only evil that hides in the shadows, or are the answers to her past lingering just beyond?

 

 

 

ZOMBIFIED, Maggie LaCroix, Paranormal Fantasy

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Monsters know their place: vampires are sexy; zombies just decompose. But Maggie La Croix’s Zombified conjures up an entirely different kind of undead raised by good old-fashioned Voodoo. Take Henri—still gorgeous, over one hundred years after his death. And now a hurricane has set him free from a curse.

Enter Josie, a reporter with her eyes on Henri. But falling for a man without a heartbeat could get her more than a broken heart. It could get her zombified.

 

 

THE SIX, K.B. Hoyle, Fantasy

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Darcy Pennington feels like she is an insufferably average thirteen-year-old, but when a change in her dad’s job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Camp, she unwittingly stumbles upon a magical gateway. Along with five other teenagers, she will travel to a world called Alitheia. The “arrival of the Six” was prophesied long ago, but will she have what it takes to save Alitheia?

 

 

 

MORE, T.M. Franklin, Paranormal

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Haunted by terrifying nightmares and certain she’s being watched, college student Ava Michaels finds an unlikely ally in Physics tutor Caleb Foster. But Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bent on Ava’s capture, and possible extinction. As Ava fights to survive, she learns the world’s not what she thought.

It’s a little bit more.

 

 

 

THE SILVER CRESCENT, Debby Grahl, Paranormal

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An ancestor’s tale of betrayal, murder and a stolen fortune in silver leads Elise Baxter to Max Holt’s Victorian inn.

She is reluctantly, though irresistibly, attracted to Max. Leery of loving again, Max lets passion overrule caution, tumbling them into an erotic encounter.

Guided by ghosts and opposed by an evil presence, the couple searches for the treasure. But there are others who will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.

 

 

THE MEMORY HEALER, Julie Filarski, Paranormal

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When Beth Montgomery reluctantly agrees to carry out a psychic assessment of Carrington House, she is transported to another era, where she sees a date on a calendar that fills her with dread.

Back in the present time and sensing an eternal bond with the irresistible Dr Matthew Jamieson, she wonders whether he was once the darkly handsome but unfaithful Samuel Methven. Beth must regress to the tragic events of 1895 to learn the truth.

 

 

HUNTED, Lorenz Font, Paranormal

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Disease is ravaging the vampire community in New York City’s underworld. Harrow Gates is sick, alone, and hunted. When Pritchard Tack offers him a new beginning, he is in no position to refuse.

Jordan is a young vampire whose only focus is revenge. In her search for her family’s killer, she meets a man who threatens to pull her heart away from her sworn mission. Is love strong enough to override her thirst for vengeance?

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN CHARM, Sydney Logan, Paranormal

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“True love and sweet whispers, till death do us part;

Send someone to love my Appalachian heart.”

At the age of thirteen, Angelina Clark followed in the footsteps of her ancestors by casting an Appalachian love spell, which promised she would blossom into a beautiful and gifted woman who would find her true love. A young Angelina had been thrilled to participate in the sacred ritual, but through the years, her father’s untimely death and her mother’s failing health have shaken Angelina’s magical faith to its core. As her twenty-first birthday approaches, she refuses to practice her supernatural gifts and no longer believes in the love charm.

 

 

REDEMPTION, Lindsey Gray, Paranormal

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Life is for living. Afterlife is a chance at redemption. As the only remaining female vampire in existence, Lily attempts to make her way towards her ever after. But with best friend Becca, new beau Ian, human husband Ryan, Archangel Peter, and a host of demons all standing in the way of Lily’s chance at a peaceful eternity, how can she possibly survive?

 

 

 

CONVERGENCE, J.D. Watts, Paranormal

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Daniella Rossi is a nineteen-year-old college student who sees the world quite differently than those around her. From infancy, she was aware of the beings that walked among her kind who were not like them, as well as her own personal Guardian who watched over her. Dani always knew she was different, but she never dreamed the full scope of her importance. When a new male Guardian comes to replace her lifelong friend and companion, will Dani be able to accept him as she deals with a world full of the other Children of Creation, Angels, both good and evil?

 

 

 

OBVIOUS CHILD, Warren Cantrell, SciFy

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In 2015, Sam Grant is chosen to take part in a contest that will choose the world’s first time traveler. There’s just one problem—Sam doesn’t want anything to do with the contest. Yet his deliberately profane public appearances and sabotaged interviews only boost ratings. Now stuck, Sam must plot how he’ll get out of the contest, or if he should embrace it all and become the most famous person in history.

 

 

 

 

GHOSTWRITER, Lissa Bryan, Paranormal

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Unemployed, with her savings dwindling, Sara Howell thinks things are looking up when she lands a ghostwriting job and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925.

Strange things happen, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left. When she finds an old trunk of Seth’s letters, she delves into a world she never imagined, filled with love and a family curse it seems only she can break.

 

 

 

THE STARS ARE FALLING, Michelle Birbeck, Paranormal

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Jenny’s life revolves around surviving university, watching the stars, and staring at her housemate, Dale. But as the night sky glows with the light of falling stars, Jenny’s classes and crush seem unimportant. The Stars are retaking Earth, saving mother nature by eliminating the problem. Together, Jenny and Dale can save the world and the human race, but surviving long enough to convince the Stars of that is perilous and may kill them both.

 

 

 

EVERYBODY OUT OF THE LAUNDROMAT, I NEED TO THINK!, Phil G. Glenn, Paranormal

 

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When the ordinary life of Virgil Blaine crosses the path of the even more ordinary Doug Coulthard, it sets off a series of extra-ordinary events. Doug Coulthard is a Filing Clerk and the President of the Unpublished People’s Poet’s Party –Political Unit (UPPPPU) where a catastrophe has just happened; two of his long time members have been published. The UPPPPU goes on a recruiting drive by distributing leaflets, one of which finds its way into Virgil Blaine’s pocket. Virgil Blaine, who is a slight poet himself, attends one of the meetings where he meets Forward Slash who offers Virgil Blaine a job. The offer comes with two things Virgil Blaine has never had; a job and a car and on a whim he accepts. The problem is, through no effort of his own, his position is suddenly elevated. Virgil Blaine says the job is ‘messing with his DNA – Deliberate Non-Achiever’ and he misses his old life and so hatches a plan to get it back…

 

 

SEBASTIAN AND THE AFTERLIFE, William j. Barry, Paranormal

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Sebastian, an average seventeen-year-old boy, has just paid this debt. He awakes in a surreal world somewhere between mortal life and the afterlife, where the Grim Reaper rules and his loyal agents maintain the law. But not all is peaceful in this mystical realm. Axis Red and his soul pirates threaten the future of all who dwell there.

Sebastian soon finds himself at Sapentia, a high school for the departed. There he makes new friends but longs for his lost love, Sarah, who is still alive in the mortal world. Some things are forbidden; some lines cannot be crossed. What will Sebastian risk to be close to Sarah again?

Continue the adventure with Sebastian and the Afterlife Book II – Agents of the Reaper

 

 

 

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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