The Prospero Chronicles Book 1
by Fiona J.R. Titchenell & Matt Carter Genre: YA Horror, SciFi
Under normal 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; she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small Northern California town of Prospero, with its rich history of cryptid sightings, miracles, and mysterious disappearances, has no normal circumstances to offer.
When Ben’s missing childhood friend, Haley Perkins, stumbles out of Prospero’s surrounding woods and right into her own funeral, Ben and Mina are forced to work together to uncover what happened to her. Different as they are, their unlikely friendship may be the only thing that can save the town, and possibly the world, from its insidious invaders.
“A snapping, crackling, popping homage to classic horror.” —Kirkus Reviews.
“Whip-smart dialogue... genuinely terrifying Splinters, the descriptions of which will have fans of monster films utterly enthralled... A promising series opener, this will satisfy those readers who like their scary stories to be as clever as they are chilling." —KQG, the Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books.
“The stakes are high. The action is intense." —Washington Independent Review of Books.
When autumn descends on Prospero, California, Ben hopes the normality of the new school year may offer a reprieve from the town’s paranormal horrors. Mina knows all too well that there are no reprieves and no normality to be had in Prospero, but even she can’t prepare for what the coming year holds.
On top of the vivid hallucinations that have plagued Mina since the attack on the Warehouse, and the brewing Splinter civil war that threatens all of humanity, inside the walls of Prospero High, Ben, Mina, and their expanding Network face a vicious campaign to destroy their friendship, and a mysterious assassin picking off human rebels – an assassin with powers like no Splinter they’ve fought before.
Ben and Mina’s one hope rests with a mysterious old man hiding in the woods outside of town; a living legend who may be able to teach them how to fight this dangerous new breed of Splinter. That is, assuming he doesn’t kill the pair of them himself.
“Titchenell and Carter hold nothing back in this solid sequel that thrills and expands on its predecessor. Aided by swift writing, relatable characters and unexpected scares, Shards is a chill-inducing delight.” —David Powers King, co-author of Woven.
“Maintaining the same level of popcorn-munching fun, Titchenell and Carter are taking The Prospero Chronicles in a promising direction.” —Joe Dell'Erb, Washington Independent Review of Books.
Growing up is hard, and growing up in Prospero is even harder, but I think we manage. I mean, yeah, my friends and I spend more of our time fighting a race of shapeshifting aliens than we do hanging out, but we have our fun. We go to parties, help each other with our classes, maybe even fall in love…
I’ve no illusions that we live ordinary lives, but they’re our lives, and I’m going to make sure we make the most of them whether the Splinters want us to or not.
The truce is temporary. We will not humor the Splinters forever. It's only until the Slivers can be stopped, until the army of Shards being planted among our classmates can be disassembled, until we get our hands on the thing I'd almost given up believing in.
The humanity test.
For the chance to know, once and for all, who can be trusted, some dealings with monsters must be excusable. Inevitable. Just like this feeling between Ben and me.
The Prospero Chronicles Book 4 by Fiona J.R. Titchenell
This is Prospero’s darkest hour. The few remaining humans trapped within the quarantine zone are all but defenseless against the multiplying forces of the Sliver Queen, Locusta. With Ben missing, Aldo among the enemy ranks, and more steel plates than bones left in her body, Mina’s passing the hours drowning in morphine and throwing heavy objects at her guards.
Stripped of her weapons, her gadgets, and the Network itself, she has just one card left, hidden somewhere under her oft-sutured skin. It might be powerful enough to complete her life’s work once and for all… or to reach the one person who could make her life into more than a means to an end. But playing it will cost everything she has, or everything she believes in.
The final chronicle of Prospero waits in these pages.
F.J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.
Most of my books so far, including The Prospero Chronicles, have been intended for a YA-crossover audience. Mature teens and up. I’m not one to pull punches, so the content gets dark when it needs to, sexuality is acknowledged, and the language can sometimes be more true to life than true to prime time TV. I think a lot of what I write about in my YA books can speak to established adults too — if you’re an adult now, you were a teen once, after all — so I allow myself a few geeky jokes meant mostly for the older readers, but the stories are still definitively YA.
I believe that what qualifies a book as YA isn’t the absence of scary, edgy, or heady content, but the presence of themes that are especially relevant to teenage and young adult readers. In fact, I find the job of writing honestly about the coming-of-age experience can be downright antithetical to the kind of sanitization and dumbing down that people sometimes want to associate with such stories.
I write YA the way I wish more of it had been written for me, but as I’m getting older, I’m also feeling the urge to write about experiences that come later. That’s a lot of what Matt (my husband-slash-partner) and I have been doing recently.
Last August, our first shared adult title came out from Talos Press. It’s called Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir, and it’s about a superhero starlet and a psychic private investigator from opposite sides of the tracks teaming up to save their city from a conspiracy that spans both their social worlds. It’s a superhero story, and a detective story, with all the flash and grit of both those things, but it’s also a story about overcoming apathy and denial. We’ve never been shy about the social satire in our work, but that was the book were we really cut loose with it, and it gets delightfully vicious if I do say so myself.
Since then, we’ve been working on a postapocalyptic dieselpunk series full of magic, mythic monsters, and mad science. We’re hoping to release a few books of that in 2019. The series will be called The Risen Union, and the first book, solo authored by Matt, will be called Hard Road to Frankenstein City. I join in on the second book, during the writing of which I once had to step back and wait for the giggles to subside, when I realized I’d just written a scene about my POV character having to smuggle a severed arm and a talking seagull past a skinless gentleman underneath her hoopskirt. It’s that kind of book.
Waiting on the shelf to be polished up and published, we’ve also got a meta-horror thriller, tentatively titled Agent Ingénue Vs. The Lord of Terror. I can’t wait to get into final edits for that one. It’s about horror movie-style villains and the secret society of “final girl” archetypes who keep them in check, and the cat-and-mouse game the breaks out between a pair of archnemeses.
On my own, I’ve been working on an audiobook edition of my YA paranormal book, Out of the Pocket, and I’ve got a literary romance out on submission to publishers at the moment called The Future Mrs. Brightside. That one’s a pretty serious, personal meditation on marriage, the ups and downs and how love changes over time — exactly the kind of story you can’t tell in YA form, but that life events compelled me to write.
Matt and I have talked about doing an adult horror novel together on similar themes of adult, long-term relationships. Weirdly, for being a married pair of authors who spend a lot of time writing dual-protagonist stories together, we’ve only ever written one pair of lead characters who fall in love with each other. Most of them have been friends, or enemies, or, in the case of the Pinnacle City leads, the parties of a one-night stand who got stuck working together afterward. It’s probably time to tap into a dynamic that’s a little closer to home.
I doubt I’ll ever stop writing new YA, though. The teen years are full of such an intense concentration of feelings and experiences. There’s so much to write about, and it’s also a time when you’re especially in need of stories to relate to. Everything’s new, and you just want to know that you’re not alone, that you’re normal, that you’re real, that other people have felt what you’re feeling. Books kept me sane through those years, and that was the age when I knew I wanted to create more books that could do the same.
I’ve been toying for a while with a YA time travel story that I still plan to come back to, so be on the lookout for that one of these days!
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!