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John Ellis
Dormant Curse

Are you safe? Imagine this—celebrity Twitter and Facebook accounts have been hacked, allowing encrypted messages to be sent to maliciously-altered chips in our smartphones and tablets. A Chinese cult leader, out for revenge and power, is to blame. As vicious cyber attacks force the U.S. to retreat and watch, China grabs oil and gas resources with their co-conspirators, as we scramble. Fodder for spy movies? Hardly. Dormant Curse is based on Ellis’ years in national security and semiconductors. The key question is, “Will we be prepared?”


Book Description

- Vengeance with a purpose


- A leader’s retribution for past atrocities


- China’s insatiable hunger for resources


Based on current geopolitical upheavals and coming technological advancements, Dormant Curse is a cyber terrorism, techno-thriller that steers the reader through the twisted mind and actions of a Chinese-cult leader hell-bent on pay-back. Dormant Curse is the mission; retribution for past atrocities, seizure of ever-scarce natural resources, and restoration of China to her former glory, are its goals.


An overlooked security flaw in smartphone and tablet assembly allows the cult leader, a tormented victim of the Rape of Nanjing, to implant killer Trojan chips. Always-on and ever-present social networks provide the chip’s activation path. Nothing is what it seems as strategic attacks manipulate the U.S. public, mislead the press, and divert attention from the cult’s true objectives—all while forcing the U.S. military to back down.


Greg Cannon, a young engineer with the NTSB, uncovers the cyberterrorists’ attack method, but an overzealous reporter exposes Greg’s investigation before he can identify the source. Now alerted, the cult leader activates a sleeper assassin—the seductive and psychotic Shelly Chambers—to take out Greg before he can avert Dormant Curse.


It’s an intense, high-stakes game as Greg, Shelly, and the cult are set on a collision course. Meanwhile, the Chinese, the U.S., and Middle East governments are pulled into a momentous battle toward an unpredictable yet credible shift in global strata.


Short Biography


With years of experience in semiconductors, national security, and weapons development, John’s background has provided him with the knowledge and experience in technology and geopolitics to write Dormant Curse.


Born in Kansas and raised in Nebraska, John moved to Texas to attend graduate school at The University of Texas in Austin. After graduation, John went on to work at Sandia National Labs in New Mexico before eventually coming back to Austin to work for SEMI—a global, semiconductor trade association.


While at Sandia, his experience working on research and development projects for the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards, and other agencies, have given him a unique perspective on technology and global events. Leading his team at SEMI, responsible for developing global semiconductor manufacturing standards, gave John insight into how technology, now “in-the-pipeline,” could be used for ill-intent.


John lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Jennifer, has 4 children, and two dogs.


Review Snippets (a few from Amazon)


“…John Ellis’ real life experiences and global geo- and politico-economic insights lend significant credence to the book’s underlying cyber threat. With that in mind, this book for me was not only a hugely intriguing and entertaining novel but one that is timely and needed to awaken our nation’s sensitivity to the future risk of cyber terrorism…”

- Tom Baum, 25+ year veteran in the semiconductor industry


“…scenario is plausible enough in the real world. In the hands of a creative story teller, it serves as the platform for a page-turning cyberterrorism novel…and in this era of real-world China-based hackers allegedly attacking U.S. government and corporate Web sites, China’s involvement in a cyber terrorism plot takes on more plausibility…”
- David Lammers, Editor-in-Chief, Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design


“Dormant Curse is a must read for all conscientious souls. Ellis does a brilliant job capturing our attention and opening our minds to tragic possibilities that could erupt in our world of high-technology. We are able to see, feel, and hear the action that’s played out in this gripping story that has us turning page after page. While it is highly entertaining, reading Dormant Curse is an eye-opening experience.”
- Martha Iglehart, Spirit 105.9 FM, Austin, Texas



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Contact: Jennifer Ellis,, (512) 608-5623

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Jennifer Ellis

(512) 608-5623

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