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2011 Debut Author Challenge - July Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - July Debut Authors

Here are the debut authors and their novels for July 2011. Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.


Miserere: An Autumn Tale
AuthorTeresa Frohock
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (July 1, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1-59780-289-5

2011 Debut Author Challenge - July Debut AuthorsExiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina's soul, but Catarina doesn't want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen's hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven's frontline of defense between Earth and Hell.

When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina's wrath isn't so easy to escape.

In the end, she will force him once more to choose between losing Rachael or opening the Hell Gates so the Fallen's hordes may overrun Earth, their last obstacle before reaching Heaven's Gates.


No Hero
Author:  Jonathan P. Wood
Format: Trade Paperback, 318 pages
Publisher: Night Shade Books (July 1, 2011)
Price: $14.99
Language: English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-59780-282-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - July Debut Authors
Night Shade books is proud to present the debut novel from Jonathan Wood, NO HERO.

"What would Kurt Russell do?"

Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He's a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals.

But then, secretive government agency MI37 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO.

Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?



Look for interviews with Teresa Frohock on July 20, 2011 and Jonathan Wood on July 5, 2011.



For more information on the 2011 Debut Author Challenge visit the 2011 DAC page.

Guest Blog: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway

The Art of The Whitefire Crossing

By: Courtney Schafer

Ah, cover art. Two words certain to leave a debut author torn between excitement (“ooh, can’t wait to see my novel as a Real Live Book!”) and nerves (“Oh god, what if I hate the cover?”). For those not in the know, authors – especially brand new ones – often have no say in the cover. If you talk to industry veterans, you’ll hear a host of horror stories. Most tales of woe involve marketing folks who ignore the actual content of the story in favor of slapping the latest, greatest art trope on the cover. (“Put a tattooed chick with a sword on it. Those are hot right now. What’s that you say? None of the characters have tattoos, let alone carry swords? Who cares – you want it to sell, right?”)

So I was both delighted and relieved when my editor at Night Shade Books emailed me the cover art they’d commissioned from artist David Palumbo. Not only was the art gorgeous, but it did a wonderful job portraying the spirit of my book.

I like to call The Whitefire Crossing an adventure fantasy. When writing it, I aimed for the adventurous feel and tight character focus of sword-and-sorcery, but with pitons and ice axes instead of swords. One of Whitefire’s two protagonists is a mountain climber, the other a mage; at the start of the book, the mage (Kiran) hires the mountain climber (Dev) to help him cross the treacherous Whitefire Mountains and sneak over the spell-warded border of a neighboring country. Neither Dev nor Kiran trust each other, and for good reason – they’re each playing a deeper game than the other realizes. Soon enough they’re hip deep in trouble, caught between dangerous enemies with the fate of their home city hanging in the balance.

Looking at the cover art, the “mountain adventure” part of The Whitefire Crossing comes through loud and clear. I could tell right off that David Palumbo had actually read the book (or some portion thereof – though as it turns out, he read the whole thing). Not only are the mountains perfect: steep, snowy and rugged – which I’m thrilled about, since as a climber myself, mountains are important to me! – but so are the little details. The charm dangling from Dev’s wrist; the rope connecting the two men; the believably warm clothing; the tree turning black from Kiran’s touch because he’s stealing its life energy to supplement his own – all of that is just right.

Speaking of Kiran and the tree: the original version of the art didn’t have the red glow on the tree, just the blackened bark.

Guest Blog: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway

The original version was more true to the book; here’s a description of Kiran sucking life from a tree, as told from Dev’s perspective:

He didn’t say a word, just went straight for the nearest tree and grabbed a branch like it was a lifeline. I don’t know what I’d expected. A flash like a mage ward would give, or a sound, or something – but there was nothing like that. His head fell back, his eyes closed, and the look on his face made my skin crawl. I’d seen that same slack-jawed pleasure in lionclaw addicts when they swallowed a dose.

The needles of the tree withered to brown, then curled and blackened as if burned.

But while the blackened-bark art was both beautiful and accurate, I worried it was a little too subtle. I thought it might be good to clearly indicate to potential readers that the book had a strong magical element, and wasn’t historical fantasy. With the support of my agent, I brought it up with my editor. The editor agreed; so David added the red glow to the tree, to play up the magical element. I’m very happy with the result – I figure it’s more important for a cover to give the right feel for a book than be perfectly accurate.

Which brings me to character depictions: I think I’ve figured out why so many recent fantasy covers feature people in hoods or with their backs to the viewer. It’s so the publisher doesn’t have to worry the author will freak out over how the artist drew the character’s face. After all, it’s pretty hard to match whatever image the author’s been carrying around in their head for so long.

On my cover, Kiran’s face is showing, and he came out a bit more Asian than I’d imagined him. (In the book, he’s described as having black hair and high cheekbones, but blue eyes and fair skin). I don’t mind, though, because again I think it gives the right feel – most of the characters in Whitefire are meant to be either non-white or a mélange of races. Dev, for instance, is described as brown-skinned, dark-haired and green-eyed; I’ve always pictured him as a male, somewhat darker-skinned version of the green-eyed Afghan girl in that famous National Geographic picture. (See http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text) With Dev’s face hidden, I definitely prefer Kiran not to look like a fantasy-standard white boy.

I feel pretty darn lucky to have gotten such a great cover for my first novel. I’m hoping David Palumbo will do the art again for Whitefire’s sequel, The Tainted City (forthcoming in 2012). Regardless, I think I’m in great hands with Night Shade!


About The Whitefire Crossing

The Whitefire Crossing
The Shattered Sigil 1
(Night Shade Books, August 9, 2011)
Guest Blog: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel--where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark--into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution--and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet the young mage is not the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other--or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


About Courtney

Guest Blog: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway
Courtney Schafer grew up reading Diana Wynne Jones and Patricia McKillip and her love of fantasy has only grown with age. Her debut fantasy novel The Whitefire Crossing will release this August from Night Shade Books. When not writing, Courtney figure skates, climbs 14,000 foot peaks, squeezes through Utah slot canyons, and skis way too fast through trees. To support her adrenaline-fueled hobbies and writing habit, she received a degree in electrical engineering from Caltech and now works in the aerospace industry. Visit her at http://www.courtneyschafer.com/.


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win an ARC of The Whitefire Crossing from Courtney!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Have you ever bought a book because of its cover art?

or

Do you have a favorite cover or cover artist?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011

I'm happy to announce that Stina Leicht has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Stina's debut novel Of Blood and Honey was released earlier this year.

Of Blood and Honey
A Book of the Fey and the Fallen 1
(Night Shade Books, January 25, 2011)
2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011Fallen angels and the fey clash against the backdrop of Irish/English conflicts of the 1970s in this stunning debut novel by Stina Leicht.

Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant--His mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead.

But when the war between the fallen, and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn't know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts.

Only the direct intervention of Liam's real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting "The Fallen" can save Liam... from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.



Look for an interview with Stina on July 15, 2011.

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22, 2011

Please welcome Jenn Bennett to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Jenn:   I have a small audience of good luck charms that sit by my computer: a three-legged pig from Chile, a Chinese Buddha, and a Japanese Momiji message doll. Before I write, I like to double-check that they are are facing me.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Jenn:   Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron, Phllip Pullman, Anaïs Nin, William S. Burroughs, Diana Gabaldon, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison. I like rebels, counter-culturalists, madmen and madwomen. And I like subversive storytellers. I'm sure that everything I read influences my writing in one way or another, including magazines and nonfiction and emails from friends. But the biggest influence on KINDLING THE MOON was probably Arturo Pérez-Reverte's THE CLUB DUMAS.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?

Jenn:   Both! I've plotted every detail of a book, and I've started with nothing but a sense of place and a character. Recently, I've been leaning toward pantsing: there's a certain thrill of discovery you get when you're finding your way in the dark. However, at the very least, I prefer to know the goal and conflict of the story before I start writing.

TQ: What inspired you to write Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: I wanted to write a world in which no single group of people (or supernatural creatures) was necessarily bad or evil. Arcadia doesn't fight demons, Buffy-style: they are her friends, lovers, coworkers. Some are good—some, bad. I like gray characters.

I also wanted to write an urban fantasy with an independent lead who performed magic, but I didn't want to make her the average urban fantasy witch or sorcerer; I wanted to do something a little . . . darker. Arcadia has been raised in a occult group that taught her ceremonial magic. She doesn't necessary side with their viewpoints or subscribe to everything they're pushing, but she's smart enough to use what knowledge she's been given to her advantage.

TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world of Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: Arcadia's world in KINDLING primarily focuses on three supernatural groups: magicians (who are human), Earthbounds (descendants of humans with invoked demon souls), and Æthyric demons (big, bad scary demons who live on another plane). Most of my world-building is the product of an overactive imagination, but I did spend a good deal of time researching classic books about demons, including goetic texts like the Lesser Key of Solomon, De Praestigiis Daemonum, Dictionnaire Infernal . . . you know—breezy, light reading.

The series also includes a worldwide organization of occult orders that train and support ceremonial magicians. Though I took enormous artistic license with my fictional esoteric organization, I connected with a real-life one for inspiration—a local branch of the O.T.O., an Thelemic organization once led by Alister Crowley. Contrary to the general public's preconceived notions of Crowley, I found most of the members to be quite devout, friendly people.

TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Kindling the Moon?

Jenn: Heavy research aside, I think the greatest strength of the book is the intertwining relationships of three characters: Arcadia (the protagonist), Lon (a local photographer with a large esoteric library), and Jupe, Lon's teenage son. One of my favorite scenes occurs when thirteen-year-old Jupe calls up Arcadia at her bar and asks her on a date. It's one of the more lighthearted scenes in the book and some of my favorite dialogue.

TQ: Who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Jenn: Lon was the hardest to write. He's a famous photographer, older, and raising a teenager alone. He's also very reserved and a bit damaged. He puts on a front that ranges from hostile to aloof, and he's a terrible communicator. But he's got a legitimate reason for being this way, and Arcadia uncovers some of his secrets throughout the story.The easiest character to write was his son: Jupe is enthusiastic, geeky, cocky, and weirdly charming. He loves comics and monster movies. And despite everything he's been through, he's eternally optimistic. I like that Arcadia is somewhere between these two, personality-wise, and I enjoyed exploring how both of them could influence her (which is further explored in the second book,  SUMMONING THE NIGHT, due to come out in April 2012).

TQ: How many books are planned for the Arcadia Bell series?

Jenn: I'm contracted to Pocket for two, with an option for more. I have four total planned to complete a major story arc, and one day I'd like to do a young adult spinoff from Jupe's point of view.

TQ: Who should play Arcadia Bell if the book becomes a movie?

Jenn: I referred my editor (and the cover artist, Tony Mauro) to Cristina Scabbia for Arcadia's physical appearance. I'm not sure about her acting skills, though—or her Italian accent! Arcadia's parents are French, so maybe Audrey Tautou.

TQ: Is there a playlist for Kindling the Moon and what is it?

Jenn: There's one in my head, and it swerves from classic rock to metal to funk. If that doesn't scare you away, then you can look for it on my website in July.

TQ: What's next?

Jenn: I just finished a quirky young adult paranormal romance which could be described as Sixteen Candles meets The Hobbit in Appalachia. (Did you just do a double-take? Yep, that's about right.) I'm getting ready to start writing another young adult—a supernatural/suspense/romantic noir. After that, I might tackle adult paranormal romance. Whatever I write, I think it will always be offbeat, original, slightly humorous, unconventionally romantic, and it will take place in a dark or surreal setting. I think that's what I do best, and it's definitely what I enjoy.

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Jenn: It was my absolute pleasure! Thank you for having me. The Qwillery rocks!


About Jenn's Books

Kindling the Moon
Arcadia Bell 1
(Pocket Books, June 28, 2011)
Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22, 2011
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn't easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia "Cady" Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she's carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can't clear her family name soon, she'll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.


Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell 2) is slated for release in April 2012.


About Jenn

Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22, 2011
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist-turned-author. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She believes rebellion is an under-appreciated art form, has conjured more demons than you’ve had hot lunches, and likes her fairy tales like she likes her coffee: dark. She currently lives near Atlanta with her film-geek husband and two very bad pugs.

Jenn's Links:

Website:  http://www.jennbennett.net/blog
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/Jenn_Benn
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JennBennettauthor


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Kindling the Moon from Jenn!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:
If you visited the Tambuku Tiki Lounge, what beverage would you order from Cady?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Rima L. Jean - June 16, 2011

Please welcome Rima L. Jean to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Rima's debut novel, The Noble Pirates, now will be published in August, but we're going ahead with her interview as originally scheduled.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Rima:  I think I write better when there’s some noise around me, as opposed to dead silence. I like writing at coffee shops or cafes, with people talking and espresso machines whirring.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Rima:  There are so many! I love Agatha Christie; I read so many of her books as a teen that I’m certain her style influenced mine.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Rima:  With The Noble Pirates, I was a total panster. I had a general outline in my head, but because it was an online serial, I was more focused on each installment. With my current work, I’m somewhere in between. I’ve written a general outline and have a story arc.

TQ:  Describe The Noble Pirates in 140 characters or less.

Rima:  During a violent storm, Sabrina is pitched back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy – with a book that describes the lives of the pirates she is about to meet. When she falls in love with Howel Davis, a sailor forced into piracy through circumstance, she begins to wonder: Can she use her knowledge to change the past? Is her knowledge a blessing or a curse?

TQ:  What inspired you to write the The Noble Pirates?

Rima:  My desire to bring history to life. I chose pirates as my subject matter because I had just seen Pirates of the Caribbean and wondered what the real pirates’ stories were.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Noble Pirates?

Rima:  A lot! I read a ton of books on the subjects of piracy, slavery, etc. Readers can find out more detail regarding my research at http://fictionescape.com/research.

TQ:  Who is your favorite pirate? Why?

Rima:  Howel Davis. Based on my historical research, he really wasn’t a bad guy, and he made it a point to try and steal without causing unnecessary deaths.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) The Noble Pirates?

Rima:  The scene where Howel Davis becomes a pirate, and the speech he makes to justify his actions.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Rima:  Sabrina was easiest, because she is a modern woman and I based her thoughts and actions on my own. Bart Roberts the pirate was the hardest, since he is by far the most complicated character in the book.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series? (ignore this question if no more are planned)

Rima:  One more, I think. I don’t like dragging good stories on and on until it gets old.

TQ:  What's next?

Rima:  Well, there’s the sequel to TNP, Liberi, which I am currently working on. I am also working on a historical young adult book set during the Crusades. It’s a lot of fun.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rima:  Thank you! Your questions were awesome!


About The Noble Pirates

The Noble Pirates
(Cogito Media, August 29, 2011)
Interview with Rima L. Jean - June 16, 2011
A vacation in the Bahamas goes awry, and a woman from 2009 unexpectedly finds herself in 1718 – amidst pirates. Sabrina is so consumed with her present-day problems that the last thing she expects is to suddenly end up face to face with real pirates. The notorious bad boys of the Golden Age of Piracy, Edward England, Howel Davis, and “Black Bart” Roberts, become Sabrina’s means of survival in the past, and ultimately, her key to returning to the future.

The catch? Sabrina happens to be carrying a book about pirates when she is swept into the past, and that book contains biographies of the very men she meets. She forms relationships with them and learns that, contrary to what she previously thought, they are sailors, servants, and slaves who were pressed into service, victims of social and historical circumstances of the era.

When Sabrina finds herself falling in love with Howel Davis, a sailor who becomes a pirate out of desperation, she begins to wonder: Can she use her knowledge to change the past? Is her knowledge a blessing or a curse?

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


About Rima L. Jean
 
Interview with Rima L. Jean - June 16, 2011
Rima L. Jean graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in archaeology and history. She decided that, even though she loved history, it wasn’t exactly what she felt she was meant to do. Rima spent several years floundering, during which time she managed to snag a law degree and an amazing husband. It wasn’t until the birth of her first daughter that she returned to writing — something she had done quite a bit of as a child and teenager.
 
Put simply, writing is what Rima was meant to do.
 
She is the author of a forthcoming book about a woman who accidentally time travels back to the Golden Age of Piracy, The Noble Pirates. Rima loves to take real history and, with the help of some magical realism, transform it into a grand adventure with broad appeal. She is addicted to strong female characters who kick ass, and the strong male characters who fall in love with them.

Rima's Links:

The Noble Pirates Website:  http://www.thenoblepirates.com/
Rima L. Jean Author Website:  http://www.fictionescape.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/FictionChick

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 8, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Jeremy Wagner has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Jeremy's debut novel, The Armageddon Chord, will be published in August by kNight Romance Publishing.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 8, 2011
Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man…Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen.


With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed.

Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the “God of Guitar” by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself.

Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil…or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand?

What will happen when Kirk Vasito strikes The Armageddon Chord?

Jeremy will be visiting The Qwillery in August, but we're going to be doing something different and special!

2011 Debut Author Challenge - June Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - June Debut Authors

Here are the debut authors and their novels for June 2011. Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading.  If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Kindling the Moon
Author:  Jenn Bennett
Series:  Aracadia Bell 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher:  Pocket (June 28, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1451620528

2011 Debut Author Challenge - June Debut Authors
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn't easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia "Cady" Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she's carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can't clear her family name soon, she'll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.


The Noble Pirates
Author
:  Rima L. Jean
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Cogito Media Group (June 13, 2011)
Price:  $24.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical Fiction / Time Travel
ISBN:  978-1926893402

2011 Debut Author Challenge - June Debut Authors
A vacation in the Bahamas goes awry, and a woman from 2009 unexpectedly finds herself in 1718 – amidst pirates. Sabrina is so consumed with her present-day problems that the last thing she expects is to suddenly end up face to face with real pirates. The notorious bad boys of the Golden Age of Piracy, Edward England, Howel Davis, and “Black Bart” Roberts, become Sabrina’s means of survival in the past, and ultimately, her key to returning to the future.

The catch? Sabrina happens to be carrying a book about pirates when she is swept into the past, and that book contains biographies of the very men she meets. She forms relationships with them and learns that, contrary to what she previously thought, they are sailors, servants, and slaves who were pressed into service, victims of social and historical circumstances of the era.

When Sabrina finds herself falling in love with Howel Davis, a sailor who becomes a pirate out of desperation, she begins to wonder: Can she use her knowledge to change the past? Is her knowledge a blessing or a curse?


Look for interviews with Jenn Bennett on June 22, 2011 and Rima L. Jean on June 16, 2011.


For more information on the 2011 Debut Author Challenge visit the 2011 DAC page.

Interview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 2011

Please welcome Karina Cooper to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Karina:  Well, let's lay this out: there's interesting annoying-quirk, and then there's interesting addict-quirk, and then there's interesting quirk-quirk. The former involves saying each line aloud as I type it. Really, no one can write in a room with me. Can you imagine reading every word aloud as you're clattering your keys? It helps me with dialects, accents and speech-patterns, but nowadays, it's mostly just because I can't get enough of the sound of my own voice. (This is a joke. Which means it's only partially true.) My interesting addict-quirk ties into the concept that every writer has a vice. Some involve booze by one's elbow, some involve cigarettes clenched tightly between two fingers as nicotine enhanced authors type with eight. Mine involves a hot drink: I absolutely must have a hot cup of something -- coffee or tea or chai or hot chocolate -- near at hand. I may not drink it right away (I have a hot plate just for mugs), but it has to be there, at my beck and call. You know, just in case I have this undeniable urge to quaff back some caffeine and replenish what brain cells I may have wrung dry.

And then lastly, there's my interesting quirk-quirk: I never read my sex scenes until I'm doing revisions. When I write them, I write it all in one go, never even so much as read up a line, and hurriedly move on to writing the next scenes. I have no idea how good or bad or muddled or hot or shameless my sex scenes are until I've completed my first draft and am now working on my edits. Sometimes, I'm pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, I find jaw-droppingly embarrassing errors. It's great fun. And I always blush.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Karina:  My two favorite writers in the whole world are, interestingly enough, British. Perhaps this says something about me. Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett both have influenced me as a writer, although I couldn't say either influenced my writing. I look up to both men with equal respect-slash-stalkery, and Mr. Gaiman has miraculously managed to shape who I want to become in this career, all without actually meeting. It's complicated. I'm a little bit ion love with the man, but only in that "far away" sort of way that insures a) his wife will not come after me with a flaming ukulele, and b) if I ever do meet him, he won't have a restraining order in hand.

Cherry Adair and Chuck Wendig are two more writers that I have so much respect for, and both have helped to influence me greatly as a person. I'm not sure I could point to anyone as to who helped influence my writing... I read so much -- so much, y'all -- that I can't think of anyone off hand who shaped my voice more or less than the others.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Karina:  I used to be a pantser! But here's my fun little secret that I'm oddly yet abashedly proud of: I have 138 unfinished projects in a folder I call "Grab Bag" but which should probably be called "Crap I'll Never Touch Again". ...Can I share that? (Dear Publishers: I finish books, I swear!) The thing is, until I learned how to plot in a way that actually worked with me (Virgo/Libra, folks, line up to pity the fool), I had the devil of a time completing anything. Within, literally, one day of learning how to plot from Cherry Adair's workshop, I had a full book plotted out. Within three months of that, that book was done, and is now on sale as Blood of the Wicked. Since learning to plot, I have never, ever looked back, and I'm in the process of teaching a friend how to do the same!

TQ:  Describe Blood of the Wicked (Dark Mission 1) in 140 characters or less.

Karina:  Is it bad I had to alt-tab over to Twitter to make sure I got the characters right? Okay, here we go: A hunter is forced to use a woman as bait to complete his mission. A secret witch, she'll do anything to save her brother from death.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Dark Mission series?

Karina:  Supervolcanoes. Seriously! I was watching the Discovery channel and they had a segment on the supervolcanoes of the world, and as I was watching, I started to feel the gears of creation winding up. Next thing I knew, I was researching subduction zones and mapping out a fictional city built on the ruins of the city we know now. It was eerie. I was also sick out of my mind, but I got over that bit.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the the Dark Mission novels?

Karina:  I became a geologist! Okay, not really. But I did have to do a lot of research into the various tectonic zones and volcanoes around the Pacific Northwest. I also did a lot of looking into what areas of the world are plagued by what disasters. You don't hear a lot about the rest of the world in the Dark Mission series -- that may or may not come later, ahem-hem -- but I did learn that even places we don't hear about a lot have these epic disasters once every few centuries or so. Did you know that the Pacific Northwest has a truly massive quake -- like the kind that hit Japan -- every 200 to 900 years? It's a pretty random spread of numbers, but look at it this way: The last one was in 1700... 300 years falls firmly between 200 and 900, doesn't it? Something to think about!

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the Blood of the Wicked?

Karina:  Oh, my. My favorite scene of all in Blood of the Wicked is close-ish to the end. Silas has just learned something that Jessie deliberately didn't tell him and his reaction is so intense and visceral and raw that my stomach twisted up even while I was writing it. They share a kiss that is as vivid in my mind as if I was the one who experienced it (don't worry, my faithful Freud types, I didn't!), and as negative as the whole scene is, I love it to bits.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Karina:  The easiest character to write is Silas -- he's really not that complex. He's basically a giant teddy bear with fists of iron. All he really wants is to get the fuck out of the city (pardon my language, darlings, but this is Silas we're talking of) and go somewhere sunny and isolated and nurse his bum knee and fish for the rest of his life. He's tempered by his job as a witch hunter, so his inner squishiness is a little crusty around the edges, but he's still pretty matter-of-fact.

The hardest character to write was... Well. I'll say "the villain". That man is so ridiculously complex. He says up when he means down, can't be buggered to explain anything, and has the worst martyr complex I've ever in my life had to tolerate. Seriously, I loathe him. I mean, I love him, but really. I loathe him.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Dark Mission series?

Karina:  At the moment, there's three planned -- Blood of the Wicked (available May 31st), Lure of the Wicked (available June 28th, 2011) and then All Things Wicked (which will be available... um... sometime... ish). But the world is so ripe, and the characters so freaking busy sticking their noses into everyone else's business, that there could be more in the future. Who knows? Stay in touch, and I'll announce everything as it happens.

TQ:  What's next?

Karina:  As I mentioned, there's two more Dark Mission books coming out after Blood of the Wicked. However, I'll have another novella out later in the year. It's going to be a Dark Mission one, too, and it might just feature someone you didn't expect to see! I also tend towards a sickness in the head, which means I'm always working on something. Stay close. News is forever streaming through the glistening spam meat that is my Twitter feed!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Karina:  Thank you ever so much for having me! This was fun -- I hope to come back again, if you ever need a wall of text spam to occupy readers. I'm giving like that. ;)

TQ:  You're more than welcome to visit again!


About Karina's Books

Before the Witches
Dark Mission E-novella
(Avon Impulse, May 17, 2011)
Interview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 2011
In America, they didn't care about witches. But all that was about to change.

Katya Zhuvova fled a country that feared her gifts, but her escape to Seattle left her at the mercy of a ruthless man. With no one left to turn to, Katya hatches a desperate escape plan. Undercover Detective Nigel Ferris is determined to bring down a prostitution ring, whatever the cost. In order to the get answers he needs, he attempts to win the trust of one of the prostitutes involved—but one look at the deceptively sultry Katya and the cool, objective cop disappears. Before either can put their plans into place, Mother Nature shrugs: a cataclysm rocks Seattle, and life is turned upside down.

Brought together by chance, Nigel and Katya are in the fight for their lives. Surrounded by death and fear, shattered by immeasurable loss, they have only a bond forged in fire to cling to as they struggle to survive in a world gone straight to hell.

 AmazonBarnes&Noble : Borders


Blood of the Wicked
Dark Mission 1
(Avon, May 31, 2011)
Interview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 2011
When the world went straight to hell, humanity needed a scapegoat to judge, to blame . . . to burn.

As an independent witch living off the grid, Jessie Leigh has spent her life running, trying to blend in among the faceless drudges in the rebuilt city. She thought she was finally safe, but now she's been found in a New Seattle strip club—by a hard-eyed man on a mission to destroy her kind.

A soldier of the Holy Order, Silas Smith believes in the cause: trawling the fringes of society for the murderous witches who threaten what's left of the world. Forced into a twisting web of half-truths and lies, he has to stay close to the most sensuous and electrifying woman he has ever seen and manipulate her into leading him to the witch he has to kill: her brother. Silas doesn't know that Jessie's his enemy, only that he wants her, needs her, even as he lies to her . . . and must protect her until his final breath.

Amazon : Barnes&Noble : Book Depository : Borders


Lure of the Wicked
Dark Mission 2
(Avon, June 28, 2011)
Interview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 2011
Naomi West was plucked from one prison and placed undercover in another: the gilded cage that is Timeless, New Seattle's premier spa and resort, where owner Phinneas Clarke—the most seductive man Naomi has ever met—may be hiding a killer. She's an agent of the Holy Order, trained to hunt the guilty and render justice. But while she's tracking down a rogue agent on a killing spree, Phin is determined to uncover her most damning—and dangerous—secrets. Whatever the cost.

Amazon : Barnes&Noble : Book Depository : Borders









About Karina

Interview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 2011
After weaving happily ever afters for all of her friends in school, Karina Cooper eventually grew up (kind of) and fell in love with writing. Imagine her surprise to find that it counts as A Real Job. One part romance fanatic, one part total dork, and all imagination, she can’t help but write paranormal romance and obsess over urban fantasy.

When she isn't writing, Karina is an airship captain’s wife and Steampunk fashionista. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a husband, four cats, one rabbit, the fantasy of a dog and a passel of adopted gamer geeks. She adores hearing from readers, so visit www.karinacooper.com.

Karina's Links

Website
Twitter
Teatime Iniquity (blog)
Facebook
Photos (Flickr)


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Blood of the Wicked generously provided by Karina.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Whose side are you on, the Holy Order or the Witches?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 30, 2011

I'm thrilled to share with you the cover and back cover copy for The Whitefire Crossing by debut author Courtney Schafer. The Whitefire Crossing will be published on August 9, 2011 by Night Shade Books.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 30, 2011

Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel - where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark - into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.
But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution - and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.
Yet Kiran isn't the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other - or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.
Look for a guest blog from Courtney near the end of June and a 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interview in August.

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011

Here's a roundup of 2nd book covers, and sometimes 3rd book covers, for some of the 2011 Debut Authors. These books have not yet been published.

Anita Clenney
Embrace the Higland Warrior
(Sourcebooks, Novemeber 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
When the demon that left Amanda Logan for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution and the mysterious book he believes she stole. But he isn't the only one after it...

As a teen, Amanda fell in love with the boy next door, Cody MacBane. She didn't know that Cody was a Scottish warrior sent to protect her-or that she was descended from an ancient warrior clan. When Amanda learns the truth, she feels betrayed and her life unravels. But as danger lurks, Amanda is forced to return to her clan and the Scottish warrior who's the only man she's ever loved.

Karina Cooper
Lure of the Wicked
Dark Mission 2
(Avon, June 2011)
2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
Naomi West was plucked from one prison and placed undercover in another: the gilded cage that is Timeless, New Seattle's premier spa and resort, where owner Phinneas Clarke—the most seductive man Naomi has ever met—may be hiding a killer. She's an agent of the Holy Order, trained to hunt the guilty and render justice. But while she's tracking down a rogue agent on a killing spree, Phin is determined to uncover her most damning—and dangerous—secrets. Whatever the cost.

Virna DePaul
Chosen By Fate
Para-Ops 2
(Berkley, October 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011


J.N. Duncan
The Vengeful Dead
Deadworld 2
(Kensington, October 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011


Kevin Hearne
Hexed
Iron Druid Chronicles 2
(Del Rey, June 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

Kevin Hearne
Hammered
Iron Druid Chronicles 3
(Del Rey, July 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

Hannah Jayne
Under Attack
Underworld Detection Agency 2
(Kensington, November 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011


Darynda Jones
Second Grave on the Left
Charley Davidson 2
(St. Martin's Press, August 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the summer: Second Grave On The Left
.
Laurie London
Embraced by Blood
Sweetblood 2
(Harlequin, June 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he's managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won't rest until he's dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he'll risk anything to protect.

Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet—a rare blood type that's addictive to vampires—makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside, Lily won't let Alfonso near her heart again—until an irresistible hunger threatens to draw them back together… and into an assassin's snare.

Rebecca Zanetti
Claimed
Dark Protectors 2
(Kensington, November 2011)

2011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011

While geneticist Emma Paulsen appreciates vampire king Dage Kayrs rescuing her from the creepy Kurjan leader who wanted to mate with her, she wouldn’t have needed rescuing had the vampires not gone to war. And while she’s willing to spend one night fulfilling her fantasies with Dage, no way does she plan to stick around. Whether the king happened to brand her flesh or not.

That is until her pregnant sister, Cara, contracts a Kurjan virus that will not only destroy the baby but strip Cara’s chromosomal pairs until she’s possibly less than human. A virus that can only be defeated by science and magic combined. And the only way to save her sister is to
suspend her disbelief and trust in Dage’s power and passion…
2011 Debut Author Challenge - July Debut AuthorsGuest Blog: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 25, 2011Interview with Jenn Bennett and Giveaway - June 22, 2011Interview with Rima L. Jean - June 16, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 8, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - June Debut AuthorsInterview with Karina Cooper and Giveaway - May 31, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 30, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - Book 2 Covers - May 27, 2011

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