Curiosity Quills Present:
Billy Lovecraft Saves the World,
by Billy Lovecraft
Genre: middle-grade, action-adventure, paranormal, horror, science-fiction
Date of Release: November 13, 2014
Cover Artist: Andy Garcia
The last thing Billy Lovecraft’s parents sent him before the crash was a photo of something on the wing of their plane.
Now he’s stuck with a horrible and heart-breaking mystery: What was that awful creature, and why were his parents targeted?
It’s up to Billy to gather a team of like-minded kids and lead them through a dark new reality where the monsters are real, not everyone is who they seem to be, and an ancient alien wants to devour the world.
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Check the Billy Lovecraft Excerpt Exclusive for you!
A jock walks toward the nerd table. A tall, popular guy wearing his red letter jacket. The jacket reads: CAPTAIN, SERLING SPARTANS, the Serling Middle School basketball team. The name on the jacket pocket is R. Carlucci, the team's star.
Metal Max grumbles. "Oh, good, Richard Carlucci."
Billy thinks, AKA: Dick.
Carlucci gives Metal Max a death stare, but Metal Max doesn't back down. "You've seen my dad. You think anything you do is gonna scare me, Dick?"
Carlucci sneers. "Well, maybe we can get you on a boat back home. Garcia can go with you."
Sweet-Tooth rolls his eyes. "You don't take a boat to Mexico, you frakking idiot. It's on the same continent as America."
"You and Max just need some encouragement, like your little buddy Bruno."
Billy's face burns red—confusion and anger more than embarrassment. He thought the nerds, at least, would show some compassion. They're supposed to be smarter. More open. Everyone seems the same right now.
Carlucci puts his palms on the table. "Billy, man, don't you know better? Nerds are weird and they don't care about all that money you've got. Hell, they probably like you even less because you're rich." Carlucci flicks Jackrabbit's ear. "You can't impress them. Not even with your dumb dead parents."
That's all it takes for Billy.
He launches himself at Carlucci—AKA: Dick.
Even though Carlucci is a foot taller than Billy, Billy's fists find the jock's nose. Then his lips. Then one of his eyes. He grabs the big athlete. Punches and punches and punches and punches.
It is fast and scary.
Billy stands over Carlucci, who's sprawled out on the ground.
The big jock moans.
Billy's got tears in his eyes. He looks around the lunchroom. He looks at all the shocked faces. "You make fun of me… because I'm rich, and I don't fit in with the rich kids. Or the poor
kids. Or the nerds. But I'm rich because my parents worked and then died. You think that's all right?" He pants. "What is wrong with you jerks?"
The whole room stays quiet.
Billy walks back to the nerd table. His knees tremble from the adrenaline that's still coursing through him.
Sweet-Tooth's jaw hangs open. "That was frakking badass."
Metal Max bumps his fists together. "This guy's like Wolverine."
Jackrabbit sips his coffee. "You're gonna get wedgied when the other jocks hear about it."
Billy shakes his head. "Please shut up. School goons will be here in, like, soon. Just shut up. I need your guys' help. I really do." He looks at Big Jim. "You guys know about weird crap, right? I mean real weird crap."
Big Jim watches Carlucci pick himself up. "Yeah. You—you just beat the poop out of the basketball captain. He should've ruined you. How did you do that?"
"I have anger issues." Billy pulls out his phone. "I'm upset, and, apparently, I'm Wolverine."
He remembers the text from his parents: It's dangerous alone. There's isn't much time.
Billy draws his lips into a straight line. "I need you to look at some photos. Focus."
Big Jim waves his hands. "Fine, fine."
Billy gives Big Jim his phone. Together they go from photo to photo. The whole group of nerds gathers around. Metal Max is quietly resigned. Jackrabbit keeps tapping the screen. Sweet-Tooth nods as the images fly by.
They all gasp at the last picture.
Jackrabbit jitters with excitement. "Holy jeez."
It's a shot taken out the window of an airplane—cramped but filled with contrasts. There's lightning outside. The wing is bright white. A jagged bolt of lightning flies through the frame. The sky is blue. The shape at the engine on the wing is… mind-bogglingly bizarre. It's a large, mottled lump that seems to be solid then formless, cloudy but defined, all at once.
There are tendrils around the shape.
Tendrils that burrow into the engine on the wing.
It's impossible, but the image moves when they look at it from different angles. Like a holographic card. Different prisms of reality.
Big Jim shrugs. "Oh, it's a Shoggoth."
Billy rolls his eyes. "Delightful. I'm so glad I know that now. But what the snot is a Shoggoth?"
"I can't believe you never played your parents' game."