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2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 21, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Erin Morgenstern has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Her debut, The Night Circus, will be published in September. I love the book trailer! See it below.


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.





You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011

Please welcome Anita Clenney to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Anita:  Oh, I have so many…let’s see. I absolutely love mirrors. My husband thinks I’m insane. J  They’re not for looking at myself, but for the sheer art of them. It’s really the frames I love. I have several that are inexpensive, but look like they belong in a castle. Too bad I live in a small rambler. J

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

Anita:  Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites. I love her Outlander series. I love Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series, Elizabeth Peters and her Amelia Peabody series, just to name a few. I don’t know that any of them influenced me in more than a general way. I only found Diana Gabaldon’s books about a year ago. Thank goodness I did. I adore her writing.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Anita:  Some of each. I love the brainstorming process. That’s my favorite part, designing characters and worlds and layering them with mysteries and surprises. I don’t really outline, rather, I make a lot of notes, but I do know where the story is going before I start writing.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  The part about demons disguised as humans started with a dream. At the same time I had been considering writing a story about a warrior who was found buried but not dead. I love mysterious things.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Awaken the Highland Warrior?

Anita:  It didn’t require as much as it would have if it were historical. I did have to make sure Faelan’s history was accurate.

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

Anita:  I love all the scenes. In fact, I had to cut some scenes because the book was too long. One of my favorite is the opening, when she first finds Faelan. Part of that scene is posted in an excerpt here. I love the mystery and suspense of that scene.

TQ:  Who would you cast to play Bree and Faelan if Awaken The Highland Warrior was made into a movie?

Anita:  I think Bridget Regan of Legend of the Seeker would make a good Bree. For Faelan, I’m not sure. Gerard Butler could probably do the part justice, but he doesn’t look a lot like Faelan.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Highland Warriors series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in Highland Warriors' world?

Anita:  There are three books planned for now. Possibly more. I love this series! No novellas that I know of.

TQ:  What’s next?

Anita:  I’ve turned in the second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, which is due out November 2011. I’m working on the third book now. It’s due out Fall 2012 and will answer a lot of questions for the series. It will also have some surprises. Here’s a blurb for each.

When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.

A talisman belonging to Tavis Connor’s brother is the only weapon powerful enough to kill the demon hell-bent on stealing the clan’s Book of Battles so he can destroy the world. But the talisman has been locked in a time vault with Tavis’s brother and won’t open for 150 years. In desperation, the Scottish warrior breaks the clan’s sacred rules and uses another time vault to travel forward so he can protect the book and rescue his brother, or if he’s dead, finish his quest. But when Tavis finally wakes in modern-day New York, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. Anna MacKinley has been searching for her clan’s Book of Battles which has been missing for 150 years, but instead she finds a warrior with no memories who claims he’s come to save the world.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Anita:  You’re very welcome! Thanks for having me. I would love for readers to visit my website and look around. Join my newsletter for upcoming news and giveaways! My publisher will give away a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior to one commenter.


About Anita' Books

Awaken the Highland Warrior
(May 1, 2011)
Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011Historian Bree Kirkland has always been in love with the past, but when she accidentally wakes an ancient Scottish warrior who's spent the past 150 years sleeping in her backyard, her present is suddenly fraught with danger. Faelan has awakened from the time vault ravenous--in more ways than one. He grieves for his lost family, wondering who sent the woman to wake him. If she's a demon, Faelan will have to kill her. If she's innocent, she's unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard. Either way they must rely on each other to save their future.




Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders
 
 
 
 
 Excerpt:

      Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?

     An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.

     She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.

     She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.

     A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.

     Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.

     She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.

     Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.

     One.

     Two.

     Three.

     She heaved open the chest.

     Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.

     The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.

     Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.


Embrace the Highland Warrior (Book 2) will be published in November 2011.


About Anita

Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 2011
Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids. You can learn more about her writing at http://www.anitaclenney.com/


Anita's Links

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  A Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken The Highland Warrior generously provided by Sourcebooks and a Mass Market paperback copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior provided by The Qwillery. That means that there will be two winners each receiving 1 book!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What's sleeping in your backyard?

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, May 25, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 17, 2011

The Qwillery is happy to announce that Jonathan Wood is joining the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Jonathan's debut novel, No Hero, will be released in early July.


2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 17, 2011
"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 an interview with Jonathan on July 5, 2011.

You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.

Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011

Due to the Blogger outage this interview has been reposted and the date for giveaway entries extended for 1 day. If you have already entered, please note that I have your comment, but you are welcome to comment again.

Please welcome K.M. Ruiz to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

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

K.M.:  Thank you for letting me stop by! As for a quirk, I guess you could say I have a habit of writing in layers. I’ll write bare-bones stories, then go back and fill in more details. I assume the reader doesn’t need or want every last nitty gritty word in my head, so I’ll write ten words when I should really be using more. Then I’ll print it out in hard copy and continue adding stuff. It’s a weird process.

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

K.M.:  Melanie Rawn, C. J. Cherryh, David Weber, Karin Lowachee to name a few. I fell in love with Melanie Rawn’s Exiles series as a kid. C. J. Cherry’s Foreigner series is amazing. She writes really strong character focused stories that are just brilliant. I learned a lot by just reading her.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

K.M.:  I’m kind of a mix. I’m a plotter, in the sense that I’ve got an overall idea for a series and I usually know how a book will end before I figure out the beginning and middle. I’ll have a few major events that I know have to happen and I’ll write my way to them, which is where the punster part comes in. The mixture gives me a little more freedom. I find a chapter by chapter outline to be restricting, at least for me, but for the most part I do know the major things that need to happen before I start writing, I just have to get there.

TQ:  Describe Mind Storm in 140 characters or less.

K.M.:  Post-apocalyptic tale where human and psion survivors of nuclear war fight for their future but the best answer isn’t always the right one.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Mind Storm?

K.M.:  I loved comics growing up as a kid. Even though I haven’t been into them for quite a few years now, comics are still a big inspiration. I liked how a lot of the big plot arc questions in comics were never answered until the very end of the story (if then), but I also liked how there wasn’t always a clear-cut answer. Comics are great when it comes to the morally gray area and I tried to emulate that here.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Strykers Syndicate novels ?

K.M.:  Actually, quite a bit now that I think of it. I did some research on certain incurable diseases and how the body changes because of it to help differentiate psions from humans in the story. I’ve always been really into the sciences dealing with the human body, though I’m not an expert by any means. I wanted to try to ground psion powers as much as possible within the confines of the human body and digging through medical possibilities helped me with that. As much as I love comics, I wanted the story to be less fantastical in some ways.

I also did some research on the aftereffects of nuclear fallout, how it shows up as disease even generations down the line and how those same people are treated, both medically and culturally. In light of what happened recently in Japan, I won’t delve too deep. I will say that the tragedy in Chernobyl and a photo essay book called Chernobyl Legacy done by photographer Paul Fusco helped me form some ideas for the segregated society in Mind Storm. Even today people discard others who don’t fit their vision of normal and I wanted to bring that into the story.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Mind Storm?

K.M.:  Some of my favorite scenes would give away too much, so I’ll skip those! I like the scene between Lucas and Matron (a human scavenger), where they’re sitting in an abandoned weather station right before everything goes to hell. I like how it shows their motivations and how far they’ve come, that a psion and a discarded human can actually work together.

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

K.M.:  Lucas was the hardest character for me to write because I never got into his head. He’s very much a driving force of the plot, but I unintentionally wrote him with having a distance from the reader that was frustrating at times. And then I had to keep writing him like that for both books. Talk about wanting to strangle a character! Threnody was the easiest because I knew what motivated her, but I never got deep into her head either. She’s a soldier and soldiers are supposed to obey without question in this story and I wanted to showcase that attitude by not delving too much into her emotions. Threnody does learn to start questioning the status quo and that’s what made her easier to write than pretty much everyone else.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

K.M.:  Two books are planned so far. The second book is coming out sometime next year. I don’t know when yet, but I’m hoping spring.

TQ:  What's next?

K.M.:  I’m working on the second book, though I don’t know what title we’re going to use. A lot of the questions I purposefully left unanswered in Mind Storm get addressed in book two, I promise! I’m also working on a proposal for something else that I don’t want to say too much about since I’m still in the planning stages of it. It’s something I’m really excited about though.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K.M.:  Thanks so much for having me!


About K.M.'s Books

Mind Storm
Strykers Syndicate 1
(May 10, 2011)
Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011
After the world was nearly wiped out by a nuclear war 250 years ago, what’s left of society fights over the scraps of the Earth as the rich and powerful plan to secretly ascend to another planet. But the deadly new breed of humanity that the rulers have enslaved to protect their interests is about to change everything.

This is the story of Threnody Corwin, a psion with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches. As a soldier-slave for the human government, Threnody is recruited by an unknown enemy: the son of Earth’s most powerful human family.

But Lucas Serca is far from human and he intends to make Threnody and her fellow psions meet their destiny, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it. Mind Storm chronicles the fight for survival by the psions and other gene-trash humans, before they’re killed by a corrupt world government or left to die on a crumbling Earth.


Strykers Syndicate 2 will be released in 2012.


About K.M. Ruiz

Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011
K.M. Ruiz lives in California with a cat or two for company and the occasional earthquake. She earned a B.A. in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and a minor in American Indian Studies from San Francisco State University. She likes her movies loud, her music louder, and when not writing, can be found traveling, looking for new ideas.

K.M.'s Links

Website: http://www.kmruiz.com/
Blog: http://km-ruiz.livejournal.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KM_Ruiz





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a hardcover copy of Mind Storm generously provided by K.M. Ruiz.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Science Fiction, science fact, or both?

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 Friday, May 20, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Interview with Virna DePaul and Giveaway - May 11, 2011

Please welcome Virna DePaul to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.

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

Virna:  I can write really fast. I wrote the partial for Chosen By Blood (my debut paranormal romantic suspense) in a weekend. Then, when an editor told me she needed the full in order to buy it, I got the full manuscript to her within a month (and that included having my awesome agent review it). Of course, I revised and polished it after it sold, but I was proud of the initial version, too. I'm thankful I don't have to write that fast regularly, and I've certainly experienced "writer's block," but I think one of the reasons I ultimately sold is because of my speed.

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

Virna:  Larissa Ione, JR Ward, Rhyannon Byrd, Lori Foster, Anne Stuart, Linda Howard are just a few. Lori Foster and Linda Howard have probably been the biggest influences on my writing. I love how they can balance an external plot with a romance. They both create sexy heroes and strong, relatable heroines.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Virna:  I'm a pantser with plotter tendencies. I wrote my first three manuscripts without plotting them. However, once I began submitting on partials, I learned to write a synopsis, an outline of the novel from beginning to end. I generally stick to the synopsis, but have no problem changing things as I write if I need to.

TQ:  Describe Chosen By Blood in 140 characters or less.

Virna:  Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and Otherborn— humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA—still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Para-Ops series?

Virna:  I started writing contemporary romantic suspense. When I was challenged by my agent to write a "big book" series to increase my chances of selling, I realized I love paranormals and editors couldn't get enough of them, so why not try writing one that combines elements of the special ops teams I love, and a whole new kind of supernatural world. One where supernatural creatures and humans must band together despite years of mistrust and war in order to finally attain peace. When I came up with the idea for the Para-Ops team, I thought of it as "special ops with fangs" or a cross between X-men and Romancing The Stone.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Para-Ops novels?

Virna:  I did a lot of research on the Internet, including research on North Korea, how to parachute from a plane in a high tech bat glider suit, and what kinds of special ops teams the FBI has developed. In addition, I reread many of the the paranormal books I'd already read to figure out how I could make my series different.

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

Virna:  I love the scene I refer to above in which the team parachutes out of a plane into North Korea. I also wrote a "Fight Club-esque"/Mixed Martial Arts/Wrestling scene in which the team participates in a fighting match.

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

Virna:  I definitely formed an idea of Knox Devereaux, the hero of Chosen By Blood, right away. I knew I wanted him to be alpha, but also elegant, honest, and honorable to a fault. His conflict and internal flaw--the inability to balance duty with desire--formed early on, as well, and helped give my story forward momentum. Hardest and why? I'd say the hardest character to write was Wraith. She's the team's ghost, and she's a blend of prickly bitchiness and vulnerability. I wanted to do her character justice by showing the pain of her background (she wakes up in an alley one day with no memory or vital signs), but also give her enough humanity so that readers can root for her as the heroine of Book 2.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Virna:  I'm contracted for two books and an option book. I'm currently writing the proposal for Dex Hunt, the team's werebeast, Book 3. Fingers crossed the first two books do well and Berkley picks up the third. I'd love to see Book 3s cover as I absolutely love the first two.

TQ:  What's next?

Virna:  Thankfully, I'm lucky to write for two wonderful houses. I write the paranormal books for Berkley, but I also get to write contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin. My debut Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Dangerous To Her, launches in September 2011. It's about an undercover cop who investigates a judge and ends up reuniting with his college love. Then in April 2012, my new series with HQN launches. I've also already self-published several novels, under Virna DePaul and Ava Meyers, and I plan on continuing to do that.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Virna:  Thank you so much, Sally. It's been a pleasure being with you today!


About Virna's Books

Chosen by Blood
A Para-Ops Novel 1
(May 3, 2011)
Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn- humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA-still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.




Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders












Chosen by Fate, A Para-Ops Novel 2, will be released in October 2011.






About Virna

Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor whose debut mass market paranormal romantic suspense novel, Chosen By Blood (Book 1 in the Para-Ops series), comes out May 3, 2011 by Berkley Books but is available for pre-order now! In addition, Virna writes contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (Dangerous To Her, September 2011) and HQN (new series launching April 2012). Virna has also self-published several novels, including "A Vampire's Salvation," "This Magic Moment," and the craft book "Love Writing: How To Write And Publish Your Romance Novel Without Losing Your Perspective, Passion or Sanity." Visit her at http://www.virnadepaul.com/.

Virna's Links

Website
Twitter
Radio Interview with Virna on How She Really Does It

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:   Virna says: "I'd like to give away to one random commenter a Para-Ops tote filled with a Para-Ops mug, chocolate, sunglasses and other goodies, including a copy of my vampire e-novella, A Vampire's Salvation.  Open to international participants."

How:   Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is your favorite supernatural being?

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 Thursday, May 19, 2011****. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

**** The giveaway closing date has been extended by one day from May 18, 2011 to May 19, 2011 due to the Blogger outage.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 10, 2011

Here is the latest addition to the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Rima L. Jean, author of The Noble Pirates, will be stopping by The Qwillery for an interview in June.

Rima L. Jean

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?


Teresa Frohock

A book trailer has been released for Miserere. Teresa will be stopping by The Qwillery in July for an interview.






You can also keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011

Amanda Bonilla's debut novel, Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) will be published in December 2011.  Here is the gorgeous cover and the official back of cover blurb.

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer Tyler at arm’s length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

Amanda is participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge so look for an interview with Amanda later this year!

Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011

Please welcome Kevin Hearne to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Today marks the release of Kevin's debut, Hounded.

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

Kevin:  Well, I’m not much of a fighter; I’m much closer to a pacifist, so fight scenes are tough for me to write. Fight scenes require special preparation. I have to drink a bit (sometimes a lot, using a proper flagon) to loosen my inhibitions and listen to death metal to get myself in the mood, or else I want to steer things toward a diplomatic solution. Of course that means I always have to go back and clean up the language when I’m sober, but that’s better than staring at a blank screen for hours and crying, “Why can’t they all just get along?”

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

Kevin:  Neil Gaiman and Neal Stephenson are a couple of my faves, as well as William Gibson. They’re all influential in terms of world building; I don’t write anything like them and I certainly wouldn’t want to compare myself to them. That would be akin to hubris!

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Kevin:  As Forrest Gump famously said, “I think it’s both happening at the same time.” I have skeletal outlines that serve as a scaffolding for my books, but sometimes I leave out parts, rearrange events, and then add something that I never planned on.

TQ:  Describe Hounded in 140 characters or less.

Kevin:  Gods! Whiskey! Demons! Polish witches! A vampire with a grudge against Thor! Redheads! A magic sword! Smoosh together, that's HOUNDED. :)

TQ:  If Atticus O'Sullivan was a beer-type beverage which one would he be and why?

Kevin:  Smithwick’s Irish ale! He’s got flavor and character without being inaccessible to the average drinker. And he goes great with everything.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Iron Druid Chronicles?

Kevin:  I’ve always wanted to talk to dogs, so that was part of it; I wanted to write about a character who could talk to animals, and Druids are one of the magical classes capable of doing it, if you believe your Irish myth. But I also wanted to explore Irish mythology (and other mythologies) a bit, taking the Fae back to their original Irish roots with the Tuatha Dé Danann. That part I blame on Disney. My daughter loved the Disney fairies and I was like, “No, sweet child o’ mine, those aren’t fairies. Someone in California made that stuff up to make money. It’s better to believe in stuff made up by Irishmen centuries ago to scare the bejesus out of you.” So that experience narrowed my focus on the Tuatha Dé Danann and the idea that they were the progenitors of the Fae.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Iron Druid Chronicles?

Kevin:  I looked at lots of old Irish stuff like The Annals of the Four Masters, the Ulster and Fenian Cycles, and then some historical sources like Julius Caesar’s account of the Druids. I also looked into modern Druidry and discovered it had very little to do with the real Druids who got wiped out by the Romans and St. Patrick. On top of this, since I was dealing with a 2,100-year old character, I had to come up with a timeline of where he was throughout our recorded history. Many of his adventures will never get to be told, but I had to spend the time doing it anyway so I don’t wind up putting him in two different places at the same time later in the series.

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

Kevin:  Pretty much every scene with the widow MacDonagh has a special place in me heart. That character is loosely based on me own dearly departed grandma, so of course I’m quite partial to her.

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

Kevin:  Oberon’s easiest. He gets the best lines, all the snarky stuff you always want to say but never think of in time. Malina Sokolowski was the hardest to write in all three books because I had to somehow create a smidgen of sympathy for her character when my narrator doesn’t trust her.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Kevin:  Seven or nine. Eight is right out! Of course, that’s assuming people buy the first three. J 

TQ:  What's next?

Kevin:  Currently I’m working on book four and hoping the demand will be there; it’ll be called TRICKED. I’m also working on an epic fantasy and a secret project I hope I’ll be able to announce sometime over the summer.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kevin:  Are you kidding, Qwill? I’m thrilled to be here! You like bacon and comic books and taking photographs of beautiful things, so I feel privileged to hang out with you, virtually speaking! Thanks so much!


About Kevin's Books

Hounded
The Iron Druid Chronicles 1
(May 3, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders

Read the Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Hounded here

 
Hexed
The Iron Druid Chronicles 2
(June 7, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 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.
 
Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


Hammered
The Iron Druid Chronicles 3
(July 5, 2011)
Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 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.
 
Amazon : B&N : Book Depository : Borders


About Kevin

Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 2011
Kevin Hearne is a native of Arizona and really appreciates whoever invented air-conditioning. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and now teaches high school English. When he's not grading essays or writing novels, he tends to his basil plants and paints landscapes with his daughter. He has been known to obsess over fonts, frolic unreservedly with dogs, and stop whatever he's doing in the rare event of rain to commune with the precipitation. He enjoys hiking, the guilty pleasure of comic books, and living with his wife and daughter in a wee, snug cottage.
Kevin's Links

Website
Blog
Twitter

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed, personalized author copy of Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles 1) directly from Kevin!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Druids or gods?

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, May 10, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors

Here are the debut authors and their novels for May 2011. Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading.


Awaken the Highland Warrior
AuthorAnita Clenney
Series:  Highland Warrior 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Publisher:  Sourcebooks (May 1, 2011)
Price:  $6.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1402251238
2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
Historian Bree Kirkland has always been in love with the past, but when she accidentally wakes an ancient Scottish warrior who's spent the past 150 years sleeping in her backyard, her present is suddenly fraught with danger. Faelan has awakened from the time vault ravenous--in more ways than one. He grieves for his lost family, wondering who sent the woman to wake him. If she's a demon, Faelan will have to kill her. If she's innocent, she's unleashed the gates of hell in her backyard. Either way they must rely on each other to save their future.









Chosen by Blood
AuthorVirna dePaul
Series:   Para-Ops 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher:  Berkley (May 3, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-0425241547

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn- humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA-still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.


















Hounded
AuthorKevin Hearne
Series:  The Iron Druid Chronicles 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  Del Rey (May 3, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-345-52247-4

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.


Mind Storm
Author K.M. Ruiz
Series:  Strykers Syndicate 1
Format:  Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books  (May 10, 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0-312-67317-8

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors

The first in an exciting new sci-fi series that’s being described as Blade Runner meets X-Men
Two hundred and fifty years after the world was nearly wiped out by nuclear war, what’s left of society fights over the scraps of the Earth as the rich and powerful plan to ascend in secret to another planet. But the deadly new breed of humanity that the rulers have enslaved to protect their interests are about to change everything. 

K.M. Ruiz’s Mind Storm is the rip-roaring tale of Threnody Corwin, a “psion” with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches. As a solider-slave for the human government, Threnody is recruited by an unknown enemy: the scion of Earth’s most powerful (and supposedly human) family, the Serca Syndicate. But Lucas Serca is far from human and he intends to make Threnody and her fellow psions meet their destiny, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it.  

Mind Storm is the first of two books chronicling the fight for survival by the psions and other “gene-trash” humans, before they’re killed by the racist world government, or left to die on a crumbling Earth.


America Pacifica
AuthorAnna North
Series: NA
Format:  Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher:  Reagan Arthur Books (May 18, 2011)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0316105125

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica--one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in "Manhattanville" mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of "Hell City" and "Little Los Angeles," places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.

But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home--the only one she's ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It's only when her mother doesn't come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former "Mainlander," and her mother's role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica's early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island's first inhabitants--including her mother
.


The Failing Machine
AuthorAndrew Mayer
Series:  Society of Steam 1
Format:  Trade Paperback, 305 pages
Publisher:  Pyr (May 24, 2011)
Price:  $16.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Steampunk
ISBN:  978-1-61614-375-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
In 1880 women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime...

But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York’s greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.

The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One) takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.



Blood of the Wicked
AuthorKarina Cooper
Series:  Dark Mission 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher:  Avon (May 31, 2011)
Price: $7.99
Language: English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN9780062046857

2011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors
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.




Look for interviews with Anita Clenney on May, 18, 2011, Virna dePaul on May 11, 2011, Kevin Hearne on May 3, 2011, K.M. Ruiz on May, 12, 2011, and Karina Cooper on May 31, 2011.

For more information on the 2011 Debut Author Challenge visit the 2011 DAC page.
2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 21, 2011Interview with Anita Clenney and Giveaway - May 18, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 17, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 15, 2011Interview with K.M. Ruiz and Giveaway - May 12, 2011Interview with Virna DePaul and Giveaway - May 11, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge Update - May 10, 2011Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011Interview with Kevin Hearne and Giveaway - May 3, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - May Debut Authors

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