Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Title: Shards
Series: The Prospero Chronicles
Author: FJR Titchenell
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release Date: 16th June 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
With a strong Lovecraftian bent, this is the continuing saga of ordinary human resistors who must sacrifice their normal lives in favor of fighting for all humankind

When autumn descends on Prospero, California, Ben Pastor hopes that the normality of the new school year may offer a reprieve from the town’s recent paranormal horrors. Mina Todd, however, knows all too well that there are no reprieves and no normality in this town, especially after she starts having crippling, unexplained hallucinations of the dead. But even she can’t prepare for what the coming year holds. On top of a brewing civil war that threatens all of humanity, inside the walls of Prospero High, Ben, Mina and their expanding network face a sinister campaign that aims to destroy their friendship, a newly human Haley Perkin struggling to readjust to life, and an assassin of untold power who is picking off human rebels. Ben and Mina’s one hope may rest with a mysterious figure hiding in the woods outside of town; a living legend who may know how to stop this dangerous new breed of supernatural foe. That is, assuming the figure doesn’t first kill everyone himself.



1. Psychological Warfare


Marian Kelly died in a one-car accident near her home in Turtle Lake, Montana, on August twentieth, at the age of forty-two.
Marian is predeceased by her parents, Rand and Millicent “Millie” Kelly, and her brother, Christopher.
Marian was born in Prospero, California, and studied Psychology at the University of California,–San Francisco. She held black belts in multiple martial arts and was an accomplished member of the Turtle Lake Hunting Club.

I skipped the details of Marian’s perfunctory funeral service, put the newspaper clipping back in the plain, unstamped envelope it had arrived in, and filed it out of sight; not that this did anything to clear the smudged print from my vision. Alone, it was unsettling. In a stack of six other recent obituaries of other Splinter hunters, in six other anonymous envelopes with my name stamped on the front, it sent a very clear message.
I’m no stranger to death threats. And at the time of Marian’s death, it had been less than a month since the Splinter who poses as my father told me to my face that if Ben or I fought back again, if we even tried to run, the humans would be wiped out of my infested little town of Prospero completely.
I’d fact-checked each obituary as it came in.
Every one of the hunters had died under circumstances that looked very much like suicide. Most of the obituaries didn’t say so, exactly, but after the few that did, omissions of the cause of death and euphemisms like “one-car accident” and “chemical overdose” were easy enough to decipher. Sometimes, when the deaths had been a little more bizarre or had occurred on slow news days, there were more details to be found when I looked up the rest of the news sources in the area.
These weren’t suicidal people. They weren’t quitters. Wondering how someone could possibly have made it appear as if Drake Tymon had slit his wrists and throat alone in an industrial freezer that was later found barricaded from the inside was filling my head quite effectively with distractingly disturbing scenarios.
But the thing bothering me most about the obituaries was the fact that all seven of their subjects were currently loitering around my bedroom.
Sometimes, if I stared directly at them for long enough, they seemed to remember that they were supposed to be dead and vanish accordingly, temporarily. Otherwise I could see them, silently and blankly watching me work, as clearly as I could see my bookshelves, my bed, and the stark beige walls and end tables that, until recently, had held my very large and very useless anti-Splinter amulet collection.
Nightmares are no more new to me than death threats. That’s not what these were. A hunter would die and join the rest of the hallucinations in my room the day after the obituary arrived, and then another one would die and join him without fail. If things carried on this way, my room was going to become unmanageably crowded quite soon.
It wasn’t even as if I were going to miss the hunters. A few of them, like Drake, I’d known pretty well years ago, but I’d stopped assuming they were still alive—never mind still human—long before they’d turned up dead. Others, like Marian, I only knew by reputation in the first place.
Not knowing them well only made it stranger that they were here, after everything I’d lived through and lost without having suffered from any sensory distortions before.
Ready? The text scrolled across my phone’s screen after Ben’s name.
Almost. I texted back.
I wasn’t looking forward to conducting the upcoming meeting for my entire Network, a roomful of people who had nothing in common other than their knowledge of Splinters and their confidence in my judgment and clarity of perception. Ben had insisted, though. A lot had changed, and people needed to be brought up to speed.
Billy was gone, lost to the Splinters, if we had ever even had him. Whatever had been passing for my absentminded ally had been using us to breach the peace, such as it was, for no one knew how long.
Ben hadn’t even met some of the others yet. Our discovery of portals to other parts of the world in the Splinter Warehouse had put an end to the Effectively Certain Non-Splinters list, or at least had reduced it to a uselessly small number of people. The only people in town I could really be effectively certain of anymore were myself and Haley, since we’d both recently been ripped directly out of replication pods. That wasn’t enough to work with, so I’d had to downgrade my entire Network to Extremely Probable Non-Splinters and start training myself to live with that because the alternative was not getting anything done at all.
Ben was still stubbornly under the impression that Haley’s presence on the list alone qualified her as a Network member. I disagreed.
Most important, we now knew more terms of the Splinter-Human treaty and exactly how precarious our position was. Two human-on-humanoid Splinter kills by the same human would mean all-out war, and Ben and I each had one strike already. And no matter how careful we were, Billy and any like-minded Splinters would find a way to incite that war sooner or later. We were counting on an unforeseen miracle to make the human side a significant power before then.
As someone who doesn’t believe in miracles, this wasn’t news I would enjoy delivering, even on my best day.
I finished up some new touches on the map over my desk—the new world map I’d posted under the map of Prospero to track probable Splinter activity at the other portals—and blinked hard, hoping the illusion of the hunters would fade out at the usual time. Their faces were already getting blurry around the edges, right on schedule.
That was something, at least. I was going to be able to function for another day. If my Network, the few humans still invested in finding or building that miracle, found out what was happening to me, it would probably be the end of what hope we had. They would give up on the one thing they all agreed on, my reliability, and maybe they’d be right to do it. I’d probably do the same in their position.
But even if I couldn’t see a difference between the walls and furniture that constituted my room and the dead people that my brain had decided to superimpose in front of them, at least I still knew the difference. I still knew what was rational and what wasn’t. Before the first hunter had appeared, the evidence of my senses had been the basis for almost everything I thought and did. It was going to be difficult to get used their new fallibility, just like the fallibility of the ECNS list. As long as the inner workings of my mind were still in order, it was worth at least trying to do my job.

At least, that’s what I told myself for the thirty-seventh time when I recognized Ben’s knock on the front door above.


Title: Splinters
Series: The Prospero Chronicles
Author: FJR Titchenell
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release Date: 23rd September 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he's an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she's a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. In order to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.



F, J. R. Titchenell

F.J.R. Titchenell is an author of Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and Horror fiction. She is represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel and lives in San Gabriel, California with her husband, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.

Matt Carter

Matt Carter is an author of Horror, Sci-Fi, and yes even a little bit of Young Adult fiction. Along with his wife and frequent co-author, F.J.R. Titchenell, he is represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, CA.



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