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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19


This is the nineteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their 2015 works published since the last update and any upcoming works for 2016. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 herePart 11 here
Part 2 herePart 12 here
Part 3 herePart 13 here
Part 4 herePart 14 here
Part 5 herePart 15 here
Part 6 herePart 16 here
Part 7 herePart 17 here
Part 8 herePart 18 here
Part 9 here
Part 10 here



Emma Newman (2013)

Planetfall
Roc, November 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thornscomes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…


The Unkindest Cut
Monstrous Little Voices Book 3
Abaddon Books, February 5, 2016
eBook, 44 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
Lucia de Medici sought only to marry, ending a war that has engulfed the world from Navarre to Istanbul; but she has been lied to, and made into an assassin. Now, armed with new knowledge and accompanied by the ghost of her victim, she sets out to find who so grievously deceived her, and to what end, to try and restore the damage done.


Note that the first three Split Worlds novels are being republished by Diversion Press in 2016 and there will be 2 additional novels in the series published as well. In addition, After Atlas (a standalone SF novel) will be published in late 2016 by Roc.




Suzanne Palmieri (2013)

The Witch of Bourbon Street
St. Martin's Griffin, June 30, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
Situated deep in the Louisiana bayou is the formerly opulent Sorrow Estate. Once home to a magical family-the Sorrows-it now sits in ruins, ever since a series of murders in 1902 shocked the entire community. Now the ghosts of girls in white dresses shift in and out of view, stuck in time as they live out the past on repeat.

When Frances Green Sorrow is born carrying the "signs" of the so-called chosen one, it is believed she will bring her family back from the brink of obscurity, finally resurrecting the glory of what it once was and setting the Sorrows ghosts free.

But Frances is no savior.

Fleeing from heartbreak, she seeks solace in the seductive chaos of New Orleans, only to end up married too young in an attempt to live an ordinary life. When her marriage falls apart shortly after having a son, she returns home again-alone-just out of reach from the prying eyes of her family. But when her son disappears, she is forced to rejoin the world she left behind, exposing her darkest secret in order to find him and discovering the truth of what really happened that fateful year in the process.

Set amidst the colorful charm of The French Quarter and remote bayous of Tivoli Parish, Louisiana, Suzanne Palmieri's The Witch of Bourbon Street is a story of family, redemption, and forgiveness. Because sometimes, the most important person you have to forgive.... is yourself.


The Witch House of Persimmon Point will be published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 11, 2016 (Amazon : Book Depository : Books-A-Million : IndieBound)




M.C. Planck (2013)

Gold Throne in Shadow
World of Prime 2
Pyr, October 13, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 315 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
The continuing adventures of Christopher Sinclair, mechanical engineer turned priest of war.

Christopher, raised from the dead and promoted to a moderate rank, takes command of the army regiment he trained and equipped. Sent south to an allegedly easy posting, he finds himself in the way of several thousand rabid dog-men. Guns and fortifications turn back the horde, but Christopher has other problems that cannot be solved with mere firepower: a wicked assassin; hostile clergymen; dubious allies including a bard, Lalania, with a connection to a mysterious group of scholars; and worst of all his own impolitic tongue. But all of these pale into mere distractions once he discovers the true enemy: an invisible, mind-eating horror who plays the kingdom like a puppet-master’s stage. Lalania claims she can help—but will it be enough?




Jay Posey (2013)

Dawnbreaker
Legends of the Duskwalker 3
Angry Robot, August 4, 2015 (North America Print and eBook)
     August 6, 2016 (UK Print)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook
Cover Art: Steven Meyer-Rassow

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
Wren is living in Greenstone under the temporary care of Charles and Mol, and the protection of Chapel. Unable to determine the fate of his mother and those he left behind in Morningside, Wren believes there is nothing left to do but wait for Asher’s final blow … until a man named Haiku walks into the Samurai McGann, looking for Three.

After learning of Three’s fate, Asher’s ascension, and Wren’s gift, Haiku offers his help, and together they set out to find the remnants of House Eight and convince them to help.

As Cass and the few who survived the fall of Morningside face overwhelming odds to escape Asher and the Weir, they realize it is impossible…until their daring and probably suicidal plan to strike turns out to have surprising results and unexpected discoveries.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Third of Three / Nil Desperandum / Against the Weir / jCharles the First ]


Outriders
Angry Robot, May 3, 2016 (North America Print and eBook)
     May 5, 2016 (UK Print)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

[cover not yet available]
A daring hostage rescue leads to the discovery of an imminent terrorist attack. Thanks to the Outriders, thousands of lives are saved. Until they aren’t.

Despite the intelligence and the warnings provided by the unit, the terrorist attack goes off unhindered. What was supposed to be a triumph becomes a tragedy, and a “mission completed” completely unravels. And when they learn the reasons why, the Outriders find themselves tasked with stopping a war before it can ever start.

A dangerously cunning woman who most assuredly should be dead has seemingly returned. And her plans aren’t just devastating, they might be unstoppable.

How do you defeat a hidden enemy when you can’t let them know they’ve been discovered?

You send in the Outriders.

File Under: Science Fiction




Amy Raby (2013)

The Fire Seer and Her Quradum
Coalition of Mages 2
Amy Raby, March 24, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 314 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
Mandir would rather wrestle a lion with his bare hands than confront the dark secrets of his past. He’s a quradum, one of the Coalition’s magic-using warriors, and when the Coalition elders send him to his childhood home to recruit a boy with magical abilities, Mandir must face his sadistic father and the family he hoped never to see again.

Taya, his partner and lover, arranges to join him on the mission, knowing that Mandir will need the support of a companion he trusts. But when someone in the household is murdered and Mandir finds himself the prime suspect, Taya will need all her wits, not to mention her fire magic, in order to clear his name.


Guardian's Secret
A Hearts and Thrones Novella
Amy Raby, September 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 200 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19
Drusus, recently retired from the imperial guard, has a secret he’s kept all his life. He’s a “morsey,” the Kjallan slang term for a man attracted to other men. But there is little tolerance for morseys in the imperial city, and Drusus must conceal his nature to preserve his friendships, his pension, and his social standing.

It’s not working. Drusus is lonely, and the woman he ineptly courts has sensed his ambivalence and fallen in love with someone else.

When a fire mage starts burning down morsey taverns and the corrupt city guard ignores the crimes, Drusus takes it upon himself to stand guard over the last remaining tavern. There he meets Caz, a gregarious dock worker, who boldly flirts with him. Drusus wants Caz, but is he willing to risk everything in the pursuit of his desire?

Note to readers: Guardian’s Secret is a gay (m/m) romance set in the Hearts and Thrones universe. It is a long novella, approximately half the length of a novel, and is a side story that occurs chronologically after Healer’s Touch.


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8


This is the eighth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for update throughout 2014 as well!


Part 1 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 2 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 3 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 4 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 5 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 6 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 7 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.



What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8



J. Kathleen Cheney

The Seat of Magic
The Golden City 2
Roc Trade, July 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….

It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.

Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.

To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic….




Suzanne Palmieri

The Witch of Belladonna Bay
St. Martin's Griffin, May 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
In Suzanne Palmieri’s thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, Bronwyn is forced to return home to Magnolia Creek, Alabama—a place she hasn’t been since her mother, Naomi, died fourteen years earlier—and the troubled family she left behind. With her brother Patrick behind bars for the murder of her childhood friend and her eccentric father, Jackson, at wits end with her eleven year old niece Byrd, Bronwyn finds herself back at her childhood home, the Big House, and surrounded by ancient Magnolia trees dripping with Spanish moss. But before she can even take in what she left behind, she’s wrapped up in the mysteries surrounding the murder and what the “Strange Ways” running through little Byrd might mean. As Bronwyn unravels the secrets behind the murder, long forgotten memories surface, and the magic living quietly inside of her grows stronger, creating an unbreakable bond between her and Byrd—a bond that will define both of their fates forever.




Jay Posey

Morningside Fall
Duskwalker Cycle 2
Angry Robot Books, April 29, 2014 (US and eBook)
May 1, 2014 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

File Under: Science Fiction










Amy Raby

Archer's Sins
Hearts and Thrones Novella
January 2014
eNovella

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
Nalica Kelden, war mage and world-class archer, doesn’t need love. She’s come to the imperial city for a single purpose: to win Kjall’s most prestigious archery tournament.

Until she meets one of her fellow competitors, and he sends an arrow straight into her heart.

Justien Polini is the man she’s always dreamed of. Like Nalica herself, he’s from the rough country in the eastern highlands. He’s big and strong and handsome, and he’s nearly as good an archer as she is. Best of all, in a country where most men look askance at women warriors, Justien admires Nalica’s talent and strength.

But Nalica can’t let her personal feelings get in the way of her ambitions. The tournament must come first… and there will be only one winner.
[from the author's website]


Prince's Fire
Hearts and Thrones 3
Signet, April 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
As the sister of the Kjallan emperor, Celeste cannot choose where to bestow her heart....

The imperial princess has been offered in marriage to the Prince of Inya as part of an alliance needed to ensure Kjall’s military prowess. And despite having been hurt in the past by men using her to gain power, Celeste finds herself falling for the passionate fire mage.

Prince Rayn has no intention of allying his country with the militaristic Kjallans. But his political enemies at home may be the greater threat. The princess’s beauty and intelligence catch him off guard, throwing an unexpected and dangerous hurdle in the way of his plans.

As a deadly political plot threatens Rayn’s life, the attraction between Celeste and Rayn ignites into a sizzling affair. But to save her people and herself, Celeste will have to discover if Rayn’s intentions are true or risk having her love burn her yet again....




Bee Ridgway

The River of No Retunr
Plume, March 25, 2014
Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Previously released in Hardcover and eBook, April 23, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
Named a Notable Fiction Book of 2013 by The Washington Post

An engrossing adventure, with mystery, romance, humor, and impeccable historical detail. The Boston Globe

Devon, 1815. The charming Lord Nicholas Davenant and the beguiling Julia Percy should make a perfect match.

But before their love has a chance to grow, Nicholas is presumed dead in the Napoleonic war.

Nick, however, is lost in time. Somehow he escaped certain death by leaping two hundred years forward to the present day where he finds himself in the care of a mysterious society the Guild. Questioning the limits of the impossible, Nick is desperate to find a way back to the life he left behind. Yet with the future of time itself hanging in the balance, could it be that the girl who first captured his heart has had the answers all along? Can Nick find a way to return to her?




Anthony Ryan
Tower Lord
Raven's Shadow 2
Ace, July 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 624 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
In Blood Song, Anthony Ryan introduced readers to “a fascinating world of conflicting religions and the wars fought in the name of those faiths” (Library Journal). Now Ryan’s epic tale continues as Vaelin Al Sorna discovers that there is no escape from the call of destiny…

“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.

But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
[from the author's website.]




Kerry Schafer

Wakeworld
Between 2
Ace, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8
Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind.

Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. But when a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter.

Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.






2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts



2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts


There are 9 debuts for April.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The April debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). 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.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite April cover for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

Note:  Updated to include A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar.
            Updated to include Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann.



Bite Me, Your Grace
Author:  Brooklyn Ann
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 2, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781402274442 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
London's Lord Vampire Has Problems

Dr. John Polidori's tale "The Vampyre" burst upon the Regency scene along with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein after that notorious weekend spent writing ghost stories with Lord Byron.

A vampire crazy broke out instantly in the haut ton.

Now Ian Ashton, the Lord Vampire of London, has to attend tedious balls, linger in front of mirrors, and eat lots of garlic in an attempt to quell the gossip.

If that weren't annoying enough, his neighbor, Angelica Winthrop has literary aspirations of her own and is sneaking into his house at night just to see what she can find.

Hungry, tired, and fed up, Ian is in no mood to humor his beautiful intruder...





The Lives of Tao
Author:  Wesley Chu
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books, April 30, 2013 (US/Can)
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780857663290 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn’t.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

File Under: Science Fiction [ The Tug of War | I Was Genghis | Diary of a Slob | Spy vs Spy ]





Promise of Blood
Series:  The Powder Mage Trilogy
Author:  Brian McClellan
Publisher:  Orbit Books, April 16, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 560 pages
Price:  $23.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780316219037 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It's a bloody business overthrowing a king...
Field Marshal Tamas' coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

It's up to a few...
Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved...
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should...





Assassin's Gambit
Series:   Hearts and Thrones
Author:  Amy Raby
Publisher:  Signet, April 2, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780451417824 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.…





The River of No Return
Author:  Bee Ridgway
Publisher:  Dutton Adult (Penguin), April 23, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages
Price:  $27.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780525953869 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
In Bee Ridgway’s wonderfully imaginative debut novel, a man and a woman travel through time in a quest to bring down a secret society that controls the past and, thus, the future.

“You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.





The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope
Author:  Rhonda Riley
Publisher:  Ecco (HarperCollins), April 23, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780062099440 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
In the waning months of World War II, young Evelyn Roe's life is transformed when she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier, all but completely buried in the heavy red-clay soil on her family's farm in North Carolina. When Evelyn rescues the stranger, it quickly becomes clear he is not a simple man. As innocent as a newborn, he recovers at an unnatural speed, and then begins to change—first into Evelyn's mirror image, and then into her complement, a man she comes to know as Adam.

Evelyn and Adam fall in love, sharing a connection that reaches to the essence of Evelyn's being. But the small town where they live is not ready to accept the likes of Adam, and his unusual origin becomes the secret at the center of their seemingly normal marriage.

Adam proves gifted with horses, and together he and Evelyn establish a horse-training business. They raise five daughters, each of whom possesses something of Adam's supernatural gifts. Then a tragic accident strikes the family, and Adam, in his grief, reveals his extraordinary character to the local community. Evelyn and Adam must flee to Florida with their daughters to avoid ostracism and prying doctors. Adrift in their new surroundings, they soon realize that the difference between Adam and other men is greater than they ever imagined.

Intensely moving and unforgettable, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope captures the beauty of the natural world, and explores the power of abiding love and otherness in all its guises. It illuminates the magic in ordinary life and makes us believe in the extraordinary. 





A Stranger in Olondria
Author:  Sofia Samatar
Publisher:  Small Beer Press, April 30, 2013
Format:  Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages
Price:  $24.00 (hardcover), $16.00 (trade paperback)
ISBN:  9781618730626 (hardcover), 9781931520768 (trade paperback)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
Jevick, the pepper merchant’s son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land where books are as common as they are rare in his home—but which his mother calls the Ghost Country. When his father dies and Jevick takes his place on the yearly selling trip to Olondria, Jevick’s life is as close to perfect as he can imagine. Just as he revels in Olondria’s Rabelaisian Feast of Birds, he is pulled drastically off course and becomes haunted by the ghost of an illiterate young girl.

In desperation, Jevick seeks the aid of Olondrian priests and quickly becomes a pawn in the struggle between the empire’s two most powerful cults. Even as the country simmers on the cusp of war, he must face his ghost and learn her story before he has any chance of freeing himself by setting her free: an ordeal that challenges his understanding of art and life, home and exile, and the limits of that most seductive of necromancies, reading.

A Stranger in Olondria was written while the author taught in South Sudan. It is a rich and heady brew which pulls the reader in deeper and still deeper with twists and turns that hearken back to the Gormenghast novels while being as immersive as George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.





The House at the End of Hope Street
Author:  Menna van Praag
Publisher:  Pamela Dorman Books (Penguin), April 4, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
Price:  $25.95 (print)
ISBN9780670784639 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.





The Golem and the Jinni
Author:  Helene Wecker
Publisher:  Harper, April 23, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
Price:  $26.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780062110831 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 Debuts
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.





Guest Blog by Amy Raby - Dangerous Women - March 4, 2013

Please welcome Amy Raby to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Assassin's Gambit (Hearts and Thrones 1) will be published on April 2, 2013.



Guest Blog by Amy Raby - Dangerous Women - March 4, 2013



Dangerous Women

Assassins are not uncommon in romance novels, but usually the assassin is the hero.

What if the assassin was the heroine?

The romance genre is full of stories about women falling in love with dangerous men, but I wanted to write the opposite, about a man who falls for a dangerous woman. And while femme fatales are not uncommon in literature either, usually such stories are cautionary tales, where the man who falls for the powerful woman ends up punished for it, either coming to a bad end or learning his lesson and finding another, tamer woman.

What if instead the man who falls for the dangerous woman realizes there are advantages to being allied with her?

Vitala Salonius, my assassin heroine, was born for a simple reason: I needed a character strong enough to stand up to my hero. I’d established Emperor Lucien in a previous book, in which he’d played a supporting role and stolen every scene he was in. He’s a brilliant young military strategist who can no longer take the field because of a disability: he’s an amputee. Hated by his father, who can’t stand having a disabled son, Lucien developed an obsession with the war game Caturanga (similar to chess), which served as an outlet for his prodigious intelligence.

What sort of heroine could I pair him with? I figured she needed to be great at Caturanga, maybe even better than Lucien. That would spark their initial attraction. And then I came up with the idea of having her be an assassin sent to kill him. At first I thought the idea was hilarious. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I gave it a serious treatment, I had the makings of a special book.

So often, accomplished women today are told to downplay or even hide their strengths—otherwise (so the stereotype goes) they’ll never find a man. I wanted to challenge that assumption. I wanted to write about a woman who was strong and never apologized for it, and a man who felt secure enough in himself to respect that—indeed, he’s attracted to her because of it. Neither of them can accomplish their goals separately. But by working together and pooling their strengths, they can achieve a great deal.





About Assassin's Gambit

Assassin's Gambit
Hearts and Thrones 1
Signet, April 2, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Amy Raby - Dangerous Women - March 4, 2013
Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.…





About Amy

Guest Blog by Amy Raby - Dangerous Women - March 4, 2013
Amy Raby is literally a product of the U.S. space program, since her parents met working for NASA on the Apollo missions. After earning her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Amy settled in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she’s always looking for life’s next adventure, whether it’s capsizing tiny sailboats in Lake Washington or riding dressage horses. Amy is a 2011 Golden Heart® finalist and 2012 Daphne du Maurier winner.





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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 19What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 82013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2013Interview with Amy Raby, author of  Assassin's Gambit - April 2, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge - April 2013 DebutsGuest Blog by Amy Raby - Dangerous Women - March 4, 2013

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