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Introducing SHORTCUTS

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Paper Road Press aims to bring you ‘books from beyond the beaten track’, but just for now we’d like to lead you down one path in particular. Take a shortcut to strange worlds past, present and future with our new series of science fiction and fantasy novellas inspired by Aotearoa New Zealand.

Interdimensional forests, atomic ghosts and future tech gone horribly wrong abound in SHORTCUTS | Track 1, the first story of which will be launched this Easter. Keep an eye out on Amazon and Kobo, or subscribe now to receive the ebook direct to your inbox when it goes live.

The first book in the SHORTCUTS series is Mika, by Lee Murray and Piper Mejia. Tomorrow we’ll be posting an excerpt from the start of Lee and Piper’s story of one woman’s strange American odyssey.

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Pride, prejudice – and murder?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a mother in possession of a surfeit of daughters must be in want of eligible bachelors. Less well documented are the extremes to which she might go if her daughters’ prospects are endangered by other neighbourhood beauties…

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Murder & Matchmaking is a darkly comic mash-up of two classics: Jane Austen’sPride and Prejudice and Arthur Conan-Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The young ladies of Meryton are dropping like flies – can Lizzie Bennett solve the mystery in time? And who is this fancy London detective who has suddenly appeared on the scene?

Debbie Cowens is a Kapiti-based writer and English teacher. She co-authored the award-winning Mansfield with Monsters with her husband and her stories have been published in both New Zealand and international publications and anthologies.

Murder & Matchmaking is her first novel and it weaves together many of her favourite things: Jane Austen heroines, a Sherlock Holmes-inspired detective, mischievous canines and intrigues. She is a little surprised that more chocolate didn’t sneak its way into the narrative.

We are launching Debbie’s book in April, and to raise funds for a New Zealand print run (to get as many copies of the book into local shops as possible), we’re running a PledgeMe campaign to raise $1000 towards print costs. You can pledge to the campaign to pre-order your paperback or ebook copy of the book – or even have a character in the book named after you!

Check out the PledgeMe campaign
Debbie Cowens’ website
Download a free PDF sample of Murder & Matchmaking

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Engines of Empathy, Paul Mannering

Click to read an excerpt from the book.

Charlotte Pudding, computer psychologist and recent orphan, is not precisely thrilled with her lot in life (and not just because of the ‘orphan’ bit). Nevertheless, having her routine disrupted by a shadowy corporation, a man who claims to be a retired god, and the secrets of her own family history isn’t a walk in the park, either.

Charlotte’s quest for answers will lead her on a perilous journey into a religion based on Quantum Physics, a hunt for unexpectedly rare plant oil, and a fight to the shame against a black-belt in sarcasm. In a world that runs on peace and harmony, Charlotte is going to discover just how far some people are prepared to go to maintain tranquillity.

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Engines of Empathy is also available from select bookstores within New Zealand:

Auckland

Unity Books

Paper Plus Newmarket

Christchurch

Scorpio Books

Dunedin

University Bookshop Otago

Palmerston North

Bruce McKenzie Booksellers

Wellington

Unity Books

Vic Books

 

Praise for Engines of Empathy

“A hint of Adams, a dollop of Pratchett, all delivered with a mischievous smile for an intriguing tale that is great fun … A wonderfully humorous tale that keeps you smiling and intrigued to the very end.”
Te Radar

“Ever wondered what life would be like if all our machines were powered not by electricity or petrol, but by emotions? Neither had I. But now, thanks to Paul Mannering, I can’t stop wondering. Clever, satirical and more than a little weird, Engines of Empathy introduces one of the strangest worlds I’ve encountered in New Zealand fiction – a world that, much like our own, is haunted by the moral consequences of an energy-intensive industrial revolution. From sulking toasters, depressed computers and a passive aggressive fridge to quantum religions and corporate conspiracies, Engines of Empathy is a crazy ride.”
—Dylan Horrocks

Engines of Empathy is charming, clever, funny, and a rollicking good read. Charlotte Pudding is a heroine sensible and capable enough to tackle an abundance of eccentric characters, shady conspiracies, neurotic machines, attack-sarcasm, and a religion based on quantum mechanics. If Douglas Adams had been forced to undergo relationship counselling with his toaster, this is the book that would have resulted.”
Debbie Cowens, author of Mansfield with Monsters

“This would have to be one of the freshest and most entertaining books that I have read this year … Madcap entertainment at its best. Highly recommended for a quick read that will hook you from the get-go and keep you racing for the climax, with surprises at every turn.”
—Angela Oliver, Booksellers NZ

“Is New Zealand the speculative fiction capital of the world? This book from new independent publisher Paper Road Press is evidence that we might just be.”
—Ngaire Atmore Pattison, Bookiemonster

“Mannering has nailed breakneck pacing, his main character Charlotte is strong, independent, vulnerable and grows over the story.”
—Will Harvie, The Dominion Post

Paul Mannering

mannering-profileWellington-based Paul Mannering’s voracious reading and writing habit began at age 8 after his family’s black and white TV set blew up during the opening credits of an episode of Space 1999.
This personal trauma and some odd reading material (Forensic medicine textbooks and years of Reader’s Digest) has shaped much of his writing since.
Engines of Empathy will be Paul’s fourth book, following The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Strange Stories (2011), Tankbread (Permuted Press 2013) and Tankbread 2: Immortal (Permuted Press, 2013).

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Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror

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Click on the cover to read a free sample.

Edited by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

Kids can say the creepiest things.

27 New Zealand and American authors delve into the strange, the unexpected, and the downright terrifying things that kids say in this collection of all new flash fiction. From the mouths of babes come 37 stories, from the haunting to the hilarious to the horrific.

Leave the lights on tonight. So you’ll see them coming.

 

AWARDS

Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Edited Publication, 2014
Winner – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: Debbie Cowens, “Caterpillar”
Finalist – Australian Shadows Award for Short Stories, 2014: JC Hart, “The Dead Way”

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CHARITY

Paper Road Press is proud to support Duffy Books in Homes by donating the proceeds from sales of Baby Teeth to their programme, which provides free books to over 100,000 New Zealand children every year.

Baby Teeth in the News

Children say the scariest things – Sophie Speer, Dominion Post 29.10.13
Tiny terrifying tales turn prize-winner – Sophie Leggett, The Wellingtonian 29.05.14

Table of Contents

Caterpillars Debbie Cowens
White Grant Stone
Burying Baby Paul Mannering
People Pleaser M Darusha Wehm
Con Somma Passione Lee Murray
Giant Jack Newhouse
Winter Feast Elizabeth Gatens
What’s the Story, Mother? Lewis Morgan
Blonde Obsession Jean Gilbert
Simon Says Matthew Sanborn Smith
Tarantella Moon Dan Rabarts
Backyard Gardening Jake Bible
Because I Could … Celine Murray
End of the Rainbow Jenni Sands
Kiss Your Mother Alan Lindsay
Practice Makes Perfect Sally McLennan
Blood Sisters Matt Cowens
Windows M Darusha Wehm
Dad’s Wisdom Eileen Mueller
Recession Darian Smith
Paper Butterfly Alan Lindsay
The Skulkybunking Wurld Champyon of the Hole Woorld Paul Mannering
Teach Your Children Well Lee Murray
The Character of 82 James St Anna Caro
Love Hurts Jan Goldie
Dark Night Jenni Sands
Friends AJ Ponder
Shadowed Halls Michael J Parry
If They Hadn’t Landed So Close Matt Cowens
All the Ghosts Dan Rabarts
The Boy with Anime Eyes Kevin G Maclean
The Oracle of Karawa Paul Mannering
Lockdown Piper Mejia
The Birthday Present Sally McLennan
Peter and the Wolf Lee Murray
How They See You Morgan Davie
The Dead Way JC Hart

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