ALICE TAKES BACK WONDERLAND, BY DAVID HAMMONS
Genre: Contemporary FantasyA
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: September 28, 2015
Cover Artist: Amy Chitulescu
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
After ten years of being told she can’t tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she’s going crazy. Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real. But all is not well in Wonderland.
The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful. But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?
Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows. Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.
With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.
About The Author:
While visiting Cambridge during my time studying abroad, I tried to sneak into C. S. Lewis’s old apartment. I wanted to stand where the old master stood. I wanted to glean bits of imagination that no-doubt still clung to those walls. A locked door barred my path, and I fled to the safety of the campus pub.
It has been my goal to live a life that is notable as the life of that master of writing. I’ve climbed the slopes of Machu Picchu, swam in Loch Ness, smuggled ice cream into China, and made moonshine in my hometown. I studied writing and business in school, and gave up a position in my family’s Black Walnut company to chase my dream. Life, if you make it so, can be an adventure.
Despite all my adventures, there is no greater journey than that which can be found in a book. It was cartoons that got me into writing, works meant for children that as an adult fascinated me with their joyful outlook. It was the old masters, Lewis, Tolkien, Hemmingway, Vonnegut, who challenged me to live an adventure of a life, and then write even greater adventures in books. Perhaps one day I’ll make it into that old Cambridge apartment. Perhaps one day I’ll be invited.
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!
Excerpt from Alice Takes Back Wonderland
Did you know that fairy tales are real?” asked the cat.
“Cheshire Cat, help me!” I shouted to the grin floating above my head.
The Queen of Hearts, sitting in front of me behind her gilded judge’s pedestal, swung her club and barely missed my head. I turned and fled the courtroom, bursting out the heavy wooden doors and into the grounds of the Palace of Wonderland.
“Off with her head!” the Red Queen shouted at my back.
The Cheshire Cat, or at least his grin, kept pace with me as I ran, screams of soldiers chasing me. At first I thought the cat was frowning. But then his body reappeared, and I realized he was just upside down. He wasn’t much bigger than a regular, fat, housecat. His white fur had horizontal black stripes all along his body, and his puffy tail swished with interest as he looked back at our pursuers.
My shoulder throbbed from slamming open the wooden, heart-crested courtroom doors. I tried not to cry, but couldn’t help it. They’d said very bad things about me in the courtroom, things that weren’t true.
I had to escape.
“Off with her head!” screamed the Queen, her bulbous, mink fur-covered body careening into the courtroom doors as she and fifty card-bodied men with spears and swords crashed into the doorway.
The queen was too fat to fit through the door, and her hips jammed into the sides of the frame. The fifty soldier cards collapsed like bowling pins against the queen’s stuck backside.
I laughed, even though I heard the crack of the door about to break.
“This part will probably be told different,” the Cheshire Cat noted.
If he found the stuck queen funny, as I did, he didn’t show it. With that constant grin, it looked like the Cheshire Cat thought everything was funny.
“What do you mean?” I asked, laughing at the silly danger as I
turned to run.
“This part. This fairy tale. I enjoy them all, don’t you know? Every one of them. Especially yours, because I’m in it!”
I found a tear in my bright blue summer dress, most likely from when I’d grown fifty feet tall inside the White Rabbit’s house and scraped against the chimney. There were grass stains on my stockings from rolling down the hill with Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I’d lost my hair band to a dodo bird, one of my shoes to Bill the Lizard, to say sorry for hurting him during the chaos at the White Rabbit’s house, and the other shoe to the Mad Hatter. That skinny, silly man with the tall, silk hat was still inside the courtroom, laughing at the cards and wearing my shoe over his ear.
“Mom’s going to be mad about my clothes,” I said.
“That will likely be different too,” said the Cheshire Cat.
I ran across the green grass of the royal croquet grounds, and stopped when I reached the low wall that surrounded the palace. It wasn’t tall, but I was only seven, and my fingers barely touched the top of the moss-covered barrier.
“Where do we go, Cheshire Cat? What do we do?” I asked.
I could hear the distant cracking of the door as the cards pressed against the queen’s huge behind, the wooden courthouse shaking with the pressure.
The palace sat on a high plateau overlooking the rest of Wonderland. I stood upon the grassy croquet course, next to the flamingos who’d been used as sticks and left leaning against red-painted-white rose bushes.
“Do? Oh come now, doing is no fun. You should be looking. Look at the fairy tale around you,” insisted the Cheshire Cat.
“Mr. Cat, I…” I started.
“Call me Cheshire.”
“On second thought, call me Lou! Call me Oxford, or Arkham or Homer!”
“Cheshire Cat, please!” I said.
“Relax. This is Wonderland. What can go wrong?”
“I’ll relax when I get back to that garden and away from the Queen of Hearts.”
“Did you know that everyone will know who you are? Of course you don’t. You don’t know that yet.”
“You’re talking nonsense again, Cheshire Cat.”
“I said to call me Virgil, did I not?” asked the Cheshire Cat.
“Can you help me get over this wall? Here, grab my hand.”
“But… why do you want to go?”
“Because I’m scared.”
“Off with her head!” the stuck Queen shouted, her voice echoing against the walls.
“Why are you scared? You’re in a fairy tale,” the Cheshire Cat insisted, standing on his hind legs and waving his front paws at the world around me.
“I thought I was in Wonderland?” I asked.
“True, true, they are different. In the fairy tale, Alice is much nicer, for one thing. She doesn’t ask silly questions, and she most certainly never comes back,” the Cheshire Cat noted.
I stuck my tongue out at the silly, floating cat.
“Things get muddled up in the journey through the rabbit hole, true. Lots of unknowns with all those echoes. In the fairy tale, Alice is from England, and in reality, you’re from Misery,” said the Cheshire Cat.
“I’m from Missouri,” I corrected.
“Same thing. In reality, you’re from the twenty-first century United States, but in the fairy tale, Alice is from the jolly nineteenth century UK. You lucked out on that one, though I prefer the twenty-eighth century. It’s much cleaner.”
“How could I be in a fairy tale?”
“You’re not. You’re real. The fairy tale is an echo. Let me continue.” The Cheshire Cat stood on his hind legs and drew a
book out of nowhere. He grinned at the flipping pages, reading like he had all the time in the world. “Oh yes, this is good indeed. In reality, Wonderland is a place of magic. In the fairy tale it is too, but I’m much prettier in real life. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one.”