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The View From Monday - February 10, 2020


Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week!

The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet (Fantasy Debut);

The Light Years by R.W.W. Greene;

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates 1) by A. K. Larkwood;

and

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers.

The View From Monday - February 10, 2020The View From Monday - February 10, 2020
The View From Monday - February 10, 2020The View From Monday - February 10, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders is out in Trade Paperback;

Book of the Just (The Bohemian Trilogy 3) by Dana Chamblee Carpenter is out in Trade Paperback;

The Boatman's Daughter by Andy Davidson;

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks is out in Trade Paperback;

Blood Tally (Valkyrie Collections 2) by Brian McClellan;

and

Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle 2) by C. L. Polk.

The View From Monday - February 10, 2020The View From Monday - February 10, 2020
The View From Monday - February 10, 2020The View From Monday - February 10, 2020
The View From Monday - February 10, 2020The View From Monday - February 10, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - February 10, 2020



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

February 11, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The City in the Middle of the Night (h2tp) Charlie Jane Anders SF/AC
The Unwilling (D - Fantasy) Kelly Braffet F
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - The Martian Menace Eric Brown HistM - Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 30
Book of the Just (h2tp) Dana Chamblee Carpenter Fiction - The Bohemian Trilogy 3
The Chill Scott Carson SupTh
Wisteria Cottage Robert M Coates H/PsyTh - Valancourt 20th Century Classics
The Boatman's Daughter Andy Davidson Gothic
Daughter from the Dark Sergey and Marina Dyachenko DF
The Pandora Room (h2tp) Christopher Golden SupTh
The Light Years (D) R.W.W. Greene SF/SO
The Mercies Kiran Millwood Hargrave Hist
Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones (h2tp) Micah Dean Hicks CF
Tyll Daniel Kehlmann
Ross Benjamin (Tr)
LF
The Bear Andrew Krivak CoA/Dys
The Unspoken Name (D) A. K. Larkwood F - The Serpent Gates 1
In Accelerated Silence: Poems Brooke Matson Poetry - Jake Adam York Prize
Blood Tally (e) Brian McClellan UF - Valkyrie Collections 2
Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope Una McCormack SF - Star Trek: Picard
Stormsong C. L. Polk F/Gaslamp - The Kingston Cycle 2
A Dangerous Collaboration Deanna Raybourn HistM - Veronica Speedwell Series 4
A Witch in Time (D) Constance Sayers Occ/Sup
And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges Amber Sparks SS
Age of Death Michael J. Sullivan F - Legends of the First Empire 5
The Siren Depths (ri) Martha Wells F - Books of the Raksura 3



February 12, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Snow Collectors Tina May Hall HistM/Gothic



February 14, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Loneliest Band in France: A Novella Dylan Fisher LF



February 15, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Neon Leviathan T R Napper SF/HSF - Collection



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FR- Fantasy Romance
GothicM - Gothic Mystery
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


James L. Cambias (2014)

The Initiate
Baen, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A SECRET ORDER OF SORCERERS RULES THE WORLD. ONE MAN HAS VOWED TO DESTROY THEM.

THE SORCERERS WHO RULE THE WORLD ARE GOING DOWN!

The Apkallu are masters of magic. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon sent by an Apkallu. He knew that nobody would believe the truth, but now an old man offers Sam the chance to find out who is responsible and bring down the Apkallu forever.

Under a new identity, Sam must learn the secrets of magic, infiltrate the Apkallu, and walk a razor’s edge of daring as he attempts to destroy the Apkallu leaders and avoid the supernatural detectives on his trail. But Sam’s greatest challenge perhaps lies within—to avoid becoming like the hated Apkallu himself!





Dana Chamblee Carpenter (2015)

Book of the Just
The Bohemian Trilogy 3
Pegasus Books, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover and eBook, October 2, 2019

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
After centuries of searching, Mouse now has everything she’s ever wanted within her reach―a normal life, a lover, a brother. What will she risk to keep them?

Cherished by a Father, coveted by a king, loved by an almost-priest; tormented by demons, tortured by a madman, hunted by a cult, hounded by her father. Mouse has survived it all. But then, she was never just a girl.

Despite Mouse’s power, her father always wanted a son―and now, at long last, he has him. And Mouse has a brother, someone else in the world just like her. Though she’s never met him, the hope of what they might mean for each other tugs at her soul, even as it terrifies her lover, Angelo.

Hiding among a tribe of the Martu in the isolation of the Australian outback near the edges of Lake Disappointment, Mouse and Angelo have seemingly evaded at least one of the predators hunting them. Carefully dropping bogus breadcrumbs across Europe, they misdirect the Novus Rishi, a ruthless cult that wants Mouse as the ultimate weapon in their battle against evil. But when unnerving dreams start to plague Angelo, and the ancient beings of the Martu’s Dreaming send prophetic warnings that include visions of Mouse at her father’s side, the two lovers realize it’s time to act. With nowhere left to run, Mouse and Angelo prepare for a last showdown with their enemies. As they chase after legendary ancient weapons ensconced in the ages old battle between good and evil, Mouse and Angelo must each decide if a final victory is worth the cost.

Book of the Just continues Mouse’s story after The Devil’s Bible and completes the journey she started so long ago in Bohemian Gospel. Imbued with a rich sense of history, magic, and mythology, this explosive final installment in Mouse’s journey will keep you captivated until the very end.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Book 1
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Book 2





Andy Davidson (2017)

The Boatman's Daughter
MCD x FSG Originals, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A "lush nightmare" (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou

Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

With the heady of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman's Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.

The View From Monday - March 4, 2019


Happy 1st Monday in March!

There are 6 debuts this week:

Creation (Spin Trilogy 1) by Andrew Bannister;

Famous Men Who Never Lived by K. Chess;

The Migration by Helen Marshall;

The Reign of the Kingfisher by T.J. Martinson;

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan;

and

Today I Am Carey by Martin L. Shoemaker.

The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Fireweed and Brimstone (Grim Reality 3) by Boone Brux;

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson is out in Trade Paperback;

The Point by John Dixon is out in Trade Paperback;

Mahimata (Asiana 2) by Rati Mehotra;

The Bayern Agenda by Dan Moren,

If This Goes On: The Science Fiction Future of Today's Politics edited by Cat Rambo;

Pure Chocolate (Chocoverse 2) by Amber Royer;

and

The Last Dog on Earth by Adrian J. Walker.

The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
The View From Monday - March 4, 2019The View From Monday - March 4, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - March 4, 2019



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

March 5, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
12 Tales Lie, 1 Tells True (e) Maria Alexander H - Collection
The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories (h2tp) Michael Andreasen LF/SS/CF - Collection
Invisible Ecologies Rachel Armstrong HSF/SF
Creation Machine (D) Andrew Bannister SF/SO/HSF - Spin Trilogy 1
Ancestral Night Elizabeth Bear SF/SO - White Space 1
Wild Country Anne Bishop DF/CF/AH - World of the Others 2
Firebrand (tp2mm) Kristen Britain F/DF - Green Rider 6
Famous Men Who Never Lived (D) K. Chess SF/AP/PA
In the Valley of the Sun (h2tp) Andy Davidson H
Hoka! Hoka! Hoka! (ri) Gordon R. Dickson
Poul Anderson
SF/SO
The Point (h2tp) John Dixon SF/Th
String City Graham Edwards SF
Emergent Lance Erlick CyP/GenEng - Android Chronicles 3
Jacked Cat Jive Rhys Ford CF - Kai Gracen Series 3
Mad Lizard Mambo (ri) Rhys Ford CF - Kai Gracen Series 2
Black Dog Blues (ri) Rhys Ford CF - Kai Gracen Series 1
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (ri) Neil Gaiman
Terry Pratchett
MTI/F/HU
The Women's War Jenna Glass F - The Women's War 1
The Far Far Better Thing (e) Auston Habershaw F/DF - Saga of the Redeemed
Alice Payne Rides Kate Heartfield SF/TT/SP - Alice Payne 2
The Controllers Paul Kane SF - Collection
The Hunger (h2tp) Alma Katsu PsyTh/Hist/Occ/Sup
Another Kingdom Andrew Klavan F - Another Kingdom 1
The Wall John Lanchester LF/Dys
The Migration (D) Helen Marshall Dys/LF/H
The Reign of the Kingfisher (D) T.J. Martinson Sus/SH
Infinite Detail (D) Tim Maughan SF/Dys
That Ain't Witchcraft Seanan McGuire UF/P/HU - InCryptid 8
Mahimata Rati Mehrotra F - Asiana 2
While You Sleep Stephanie Merritt Th
The Bayern Agenda Dan Moren SF/Th - Galactic Cold War 1
Gingerbread Helen Oyeyemi LF/FairyT/FolkT/LM/MR
If This Goes On: The Science Fiction Future of Today's Politics Cat Rambo (Ed) SF - Anthology
The Unknown Soldier (e)(ri) Mickey Zucker Reichert F
Voices of the Fall John Ringo (Ed)
Gary Poole (Ed)
SF - Black Tide Rising Anthology
Pure Chocolate Amber Royer SF/SO/SFR - The Chocoverse 2
Today I Am Carey (D) Martin L. Shoemaker SF/HSF
The Last Dog on Earth Adrian J. Walker Dys/SF/AP/PA



March 6, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Knowledgeable Creatures: A Tor.com Original (e) Christopher Rowe F



March 8, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Fireweed and Brimstone (e) Boone Brux UF - Grim Reality 3
Blood They Brought and Other Stories Ed Kurtz H - Collection



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Parnormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Spec - Speculative
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2017 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on June 30, 2017.

Vote for your favorite June 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover by Dan Mayer




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Joan Wong
Cover images: city © Algol/Shutterstock and smokestacks © rsooll/Shutterstock




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Adrienne Krogh/Sourcebooks
Cover image © Silas Manhood Photography




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket design by Peter Dyer




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Erin Seaward-Hiatt




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Richard A. Kirk




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Brenoch Adams




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover art by Steve Stone @ Artist Partners




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket art and design by Bradley W. Schenck




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Jacket art by Stephen Youll




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Art © Arcangel-Images




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design Sandra Chiu
Cover art: Glittering dust © Westend61/Getty Images




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Kate Forrester




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover design by Kathleen Lynch and Illustration by Ben Perini




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June Debuts
Cover by Jenny Zemanek

Interview with Andy Davidson, author of In the Valley of the Sun


Please welcome Andy Davidson to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. In the Valley of the Sun is published on June 6th by Skyhorse Publishing.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Andy:  When I was ten, my fifth-grade teacher had us write in journals every morning—whatever we wanted, no restrictions. I filled up a notebook with weird, episodic little stories about an earthworm who wore a hat, drove a car, got married, had relatives come to stay. The teacher let us read aloud what we’d written, but I was too nervous to stand in front of the class. So, one day this other kid snatches my notebook and starts to read for me. Turns out, he’s a terrible reader, so I get up and finish the job, and to this day I still remember the expressions on the other kids’ faces when I looked up from the end of the story: they were rapt. That was the moment, I’ve always suspected, when I fell in love with writing.

It would be a lie to say I’ve been writing ever since. In fact, for about ten years after getting my MFA, I didn’t write fiction at all. I dabbled with screenplays, started smaller projects that went unfinished. Lost my way a bit. I don’t remember when, exactly, I woke up, but I did. A confluence of fear and love brought me back to it and made me see: it’s now or never. So, I worked harder at it than I ever had in my life, and I was as surprised as anyone when it paid off.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Andy:  I guess I'm a hybrid, but I lean more toward plotting than pantsing. There's something about the word “pantser” that sounds dirty, like you could get arrested for doing it, so I try not to do it all that much. But writing is an organic process, whether you plot or not. I plot heavily up front, so that I always know (mostly) where I'm going. Inevitably, how I get there changes based on the needs of the story, and I end up reshaping things along the way.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Andy:  I work forty hours a week in a regular job, so making time for writing—especially in the early stages, when I’m just trying to get a project off the ground—isn’t always easy. Imagining what the story could be, all the preliminary work, that’s play. It’s fun. But sooner or later, you have to start, and escape velocity is critical: getting enough words written so I can't turn back, so I have to finish. Eventually, the process kicks in and it becomes habit. But there’s an iffy period, early on, when I could easily crash and burn. Pushing through that (about the first 20,000 words of a novel) is tough.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Andy:  I keep a bulletin board at work pinned with pictures of writers and filmmakers (teachers, all of them) who remind me, daily, what I’m supposed to be doing and how I’m supposed to be doing it. Among these folks are Barry Hannah, Jack Butler, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Charles Portis, the Coen Brothers, Margaret Atwood, Flannery O’Connor, and David Lynch. Also: my wife. She’s a lifelong pen-and-paper gamer, and we often talk about the mechanics of story or some aspect of character or how to get out of a tricky place, plot-wise. It’s good to have someone who really understands storytelling to talk to. It keeps the wheels spinning.



TQDescribe In the Valley of the Sun in 140 characters or less.

Andy:  A Texas serial killer becomes a vampire at the hands of his would-be victim. Tender Mercies meets Taxi Driver by way of Near Dark.



TQTell us something about In the Valley of the Sun that is not found in the book description.

Andy:  There’s a lighter side to the book. It does have a few funny moments. And it’s ultimately a love story—not necessarily about one character’s pursuit of another but more about the idea of love, how we all need someone else to complete us, whether it’s a wife, a husband, a child, or even God.



TQWhat inspired you to write In the Valley of the Sun? What appeals to you about combining Horror and Westerns?

Andy:  About five years ago, my wife and I decided to enclose our yard with a privacy fence. It turned out to be a massive fence, and when it came time to paint the sucker, I found myself outside for days on end, painting and painting and painting. I plugged into my iPod while I worked. One of the songs that kept cycling through was Dwight Yoakam’s cover of Johnny Horton’s “Honkytonk Man.” It struck me that the singer—a man who tells the listener he just can’t stop doing what he’s doing—is fessing up to a compulsion, a compulsion that leaves him a little broken when all’s said and done. I thought it was kind of sinister, this song. At the time, I was learning scriptwriting by reading screenplays and books on writing, so I layered this idea—a psychotic cowboy who can’t stop hooking up with women in juke-joints—over Horton Foote’s Tender Mercies, which is one of my favorite films. I wrote the script, then turned the script into a first draft of a novel. But what I had written just wasn’t working. It had zero supernatural elements. It didn’t spark my interest, as a reader. So I went back to my great childhood love of horror novels, and I’m reading Salem’s Lot and it hits me: Travis is already a kind of metaphorical vampire, so why not make him a literal vampire? As a reader, now I’m hooked. It introduces mystery, antagonism, all sorts of things that weren’t there before.

Horror stories and Westerns share this idea of the unknown, I think. In Westerns, the unknown is usually some outcome or destination you can’t see, i.e. a perilous journey to some unmapped place. That place can be a literal landscape or a figurative destination, some dark place in our own hearts. In Horror, the unknown is typically what terrifies us: a dark storm drain or basement. But it can also mean the bad things we fear we’re capable of doing, given the wrong set of circumstances. In both genres, though, people are usually drawn toward something that will either damn them or set them free. There’s a lot of that in my novel, being compelled toward a thing you don’t fully understand—and all the dangers inherent to chasing that compulsion. For me, that’s what the West is.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for In the Valley of the Sun?

Andy:  Most of my research was about atmosphere and landscape, with a little bit of forensic research. Since the book is set in West Texas, I read No Country for Old Men again. I spent a long time with Google Earth’s ground-level views of the region. I listened to a lot of old country music, which was not all new to me (country music was a big part of my childhood, just like horror novels). I looked at a lot of Wikipedia articles about trees in West Texas. Diagrams of box turtle anatomy. Eventually, my wife and I were able to visit out there, which was invaluable in terms of finding perfect details the Internet just can’t give you, like the actual sound of a windmill turning in the desert, or the little bones you find littering the highways.



TQPlease tell us about In the Valley of the Sun's cover.

Andy:  Well, the sun’s going to feature prominently in any vampire novel—but especially in one called In the Valley of the Sun. The cover is really all about mood. In a word, “dread.” Erin Seaward-Hiatt at Skyhorse is the cover designer. Talking with my editor, we wanted it to have the feel of an old photograph found in a drawer, something that might chill you if happened upon it. Annabelle Gaskin, who owns the motel where much of the novel takes place, photographs sunsets and sunrises and hangs the pictures in her café. I always imagined the book’s cover was one of hers. Maybe one she never framed because it scared her, inexplicably.



TQIn In the Valley of the Sun who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Andy:  John Reader, the Texas Ranger, was the easiest. In part, that’s because I understood him from the beginning: he’s not particularly happy with what he does for a living, but he does it well, and he loves his wife more than anything else in the world. The two of them share what all couples share: a history of happiness and sadness and everything in between. Also, he’s an archetypal figure, the man of the law, so his course of action in any given situation was always clear to me, even if it wasn’t to him. Reader does what’s right. Maybe he strays, but he comes back to the path. Characters like that, if they have a clear voice, almost write themselves.

The hardest character was Travis. Writing a serial killer isn’t easy. The main challenge is imbuing him with a personality that’s not cold or blank—seeing all aspects of him, in other words, from his sense of humor to the genuine kindness he sometimes shows to others. Of course, at the end of the day, he does have to be scary, but he can’t be so scary that he loses the reader’s sympathy—ever. That’s a tricky thing to pull off. Props to my editor for pushing me to get him right. I’m really proud of him, actually—as proud as one can be, I guess, of a murderer.



TQWhich question about In the Valley of the Sun do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Andy:  This is sort of about the book. At a reading last year, I had a student ask me, “What’s your favorite novel?” It caught me completely off guard! I actually couldn’t think of a definitive answer. I told him I could have easily given him my favorite movie (it’s JAWS). But later, when searching for an epigraph for In the Valley of the Sun, it just struck me, the one book I’d call a perfect novel, and one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read? Davis Grubb’s The Night of the Hunter. So, there it is. If anyone ever asks me that again at a reading, I’m ready for it.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from In the Valley of the Sun.

Andy:  “The world’s just full of monsters.” – Reader



TQWhat's next?

Andy:  I’ve got another book already finished called The Boatman’s Daughter. I’m currently revising it, getting it ready for submission—it takes place in my home state of Arkansas, features a swamp witch and a mad preacher—and I’ve hit the 25,000-word mark on a third novel. If I had to pitch that one, I’d tell you it’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula meets Smokey and the Bandit.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Andy:  Thanks!





In the Valley of the Sun
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Deftly written and utterly addictive, this Western literary horror debut will find a home with fans of authors like Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and Anne Rice.

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning—with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her motel and offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low and heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas Ranger is hunting Travis for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.




IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN Trailer from Andy Davidson on Vimeo.





About Andy

Andy Davidson holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Mississippi. His work has appeared in Drunken Boat, Carve magazine, the Santa Clara Review, and other journals. He lives in Georgia with his wife.


Website

Twitter @theandydavidson


The View From Monday - June 5, 2017


Happy first Monday in June!

There are five debuts this week:

In the Valley of the Sun by Any Davidson;

Blackout by Marc Elseberg;

Necessary Monsters by Richard A. Kirk;

The Rebellion's Last Traitor by Nik Korpon;

and

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.




From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black is out in Trade Paperback;

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter;

Tyrant's Throne (The Greatcoats 4) by Sebastien de Castell;

Crown of Stars (Night Song Trilogy 2) by Sophie Jaff;

MJ-12: Inception (A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1) by Michael J. Martinez is out in Mass Market Paperback;

All Good Things (The Split Worlds 5) by Emma Newman;

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl is out in Trade Paperback;

The Himalayan Codex (R. J. MacCready 2) by Bill Schutt and J. R. Finch;

and

Talen (Dark Protectors) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017The View From Monday - June 5, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - June 5, 2017



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.


June 5, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Grave Calling (e) Wendy Roberts PM/SupTh - Bodies of Evidence 1



June 6, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Boxed In (e) Rebecca York PRS - Decorah Security 16
Year's Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3 David Afsharirad (Ed) SF - Year's Best Military & Adventure Science Series 3
Betrayals Kelley Armstrong F/Th - Cainsville 4
The DNA of Orphan Black Abbie Bernstein SF/MTI
The Day After Roswell (ri) William J. Birnes
Philip Corso
SocSci/CoT
Ninth City Burning (h2tp) J. Patrick Black SF
The Weight of Lies Emily Carpenter FL/Gothic
Tyrant's Throne Sebastien de Castell HistF - The Greatcoats 4
Tyrant of the Hollow Worlds Mark Clapham SF - Space Marine Battles
The Day After Gettysburg Robert Conroy
J. R. Dunn
AH
Monster Hunter Alpha Signed Leatherbound Edition Larry Correia F - Monster Hunter International 3
In Valley of the Sun (D) Andy Davidson H/W/Occ/Sup
The Master of Mankind Aaron Dembski-Bowden SF - The Horus Heresy 41
Starliner (ri) David Drake SF
Red Vengeance Brendan DuBois SF - Dark Victory 2
Blackout (D) Marc Elsberg TechTh
Slow Boat Hideo Furukawa
David Boyd (Tr)
LF - Japanese Novellas
Valley of the Moon (h2tp) Melanie Gideon CW/LF
Sovereign Silk ElizaBeth Gilligan F/FR/DF - Silken Magic 3
Moonbreaker Simon R. Green UF/CF - A Secret Histories Novel 11
Strangers of the Night Megan Hart PNR
Executed RR Haywood SF/TT/Dys - Extracted Trilogy 2
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization Nancy Holder MTI
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017 Edition Rich Horton (Ed) SF/F - Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
ME Tomoyuki Hoshino
Charles De Wolf (Tr)
Dys/LF/Psy
A Peace Divided Tanya Huff SF - Peacekeeper 2
Crown of Stars Sophie Jaff DF - Night Song Trilogy 2
Grim Expectations K.W. Jeter SP/AH/SF - George Dower 3
Protector Wolf Linda O. Johnston PNR - Alpha Force 11
Carnivalesque Neil Jordan LF/F
The Kill Society Richard Kadrey UF/Th - Sandman Slim 9
War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations Greg Keyes MTI/SF - War for the Planet of the Apes
Necessary Monsters (D) Richard A. Kirk HistF
Alexander Outland: Space Pirate (ri) Gini Koch SF/HU
The Rebellion's Last Traitor (D -SFF) Nik Korpon SF/AP/PA
A Study in Sable (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey HistF/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Elemental Masters 11
A Grave Prediction (h2mm) Victoria Laurie PM - Psychic Eye Mystery 14
Blood Wedding (h2tp) Pierre Lemaitre PsyTh
Dear Cyborgs Eugene Lim LF/Political/SH
Sherlock Holmes - The Labyrinth of Death James Lovegrove M/Detective/Cr
Dead West: Omnibus Two Tim Marquitz (Ed)
J.M. Martin
Kenny Soward
HistF - Dead West 2
MJ-12: Inception (h2mm) Michael J. Martinez HistF - A MAJESTIC-12 Thriller 1
Lot and Lot's Daughter (e)(ri) Ward Moore SF - Collection
All Good Things Emma Newman UF/HistF - The Split Worlds 5
Juma (e) Madhuri Pavamani FR - Keeper Series 2
The Essex Serpent (D) Sarah Perry Hist
A Hundred Thousand Worlds (h2tp) Bob Proehl FL/CoA/LF
The Secret Language of Stones (h2tp) M. J. Rose Hist - The Daughters of La Lune 2
Maestro (h2mm) R.A. Salvatore F - Homecoming 2
The Himalayan Codex Bill Schutt
J. R. Finch
Th - R. J. MacCready 2
Bound (e) Sue Tingey CF - Soulseer Chronicles 3
Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time Lords Steve Tribe SF - Doctor Who
Wolf Hunt Paige Tyler PRS - SWAT 6
The Refrigerator Monologues Catherynne M. Valente
Annie Wu (Illus)
CF
The End of Temperance Dare Wendy Webb Psy/Gothic
Nothing Left to Lose Dan Wells SupTh - John Cleaver 6
Bladestorm Matt Westbrook F - The Realmgate Wars 8
The Fortune Teller Gwendolyn Womack SupTh/RSus
Talen (e) Rebecca Zanetti PNR - Dark Protectors



June 12, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Soul of Fire (e)(ri) Laura Anne Gilman FR - Portals 2



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm - Mass Market Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp - Trade Paperback
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator


AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CoT - Conspiracy Theories
Cr - Crime
CyP - Cyberpunk
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GH - Ghost(s)
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RSus - Romantic Suspense
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superhero(es)
SocSci - Social Science
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

There are 16 debut novels for June.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The June debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite June cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on June 15, 2017.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for June 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.


Callie Bates

The Waking Land
Del Rey, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
  Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.



Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars
Berkley, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
  Literary Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
When the world ends, where will you go?

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…




Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
  Horror, Westerns, Occult & Supernatural

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Deftly written and utterly addictive, this Western literary horror debut will find a home with fans of authors like Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and Anne Rice.

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning—with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her motel and offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low and heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas Ranger is hunting Travis for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.




Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
  Contemporary Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.




Marc Elsberg

Blackout
Sourcebooks Landmark, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
  Technological Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
This is no accident.
This is no act of God.
This is Blackout.


A terrifyingly plausible million-copy selling debut disaster thriller.

When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere.

A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don't believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run with Lauren Shannon, a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn't just keep the lights on―it keeps us alive.




Theodora Goss

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Saga Press, June 20, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
  Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.




Michael Johnston

Soleri
Tor Books, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
  Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
  (Solo Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.




Richard A. Kirk

Necessary Monsters
Arche Press, June 6, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 282 pages
  Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Lumsden Moss is an escaped thief and an unrepentant bibliophile with a long-suffering desire to foist some karmic retribution on those who have wronged him. But when the opportunity to steal a rare book from the man who sentenced him to prison puts him on the wrong side of the wrong people, Moss finds himself on the run. And it's not just the book he stole that these people want, it's also the secrets of a long-forgotten location on Nightjar Island, a place cursed and abandoned since the Purge.

When Moss falls in with Imogen, a nimble-fingered thief who has taken a traveling bookcase filled with many secrets, he starts to realize how much of his unsavory past is indelibly tied to a frightening witch-child and her nightmarish pet monster.

In a fantastic world, still recovering from a war where magic and technology were fused together, Moss and Imogen must decipher the mystery of their mutual pasts in order to illuminate the dark heart that still lurks on Nightjar Island.




Nik Korpon

The Rebellion's Last Traitor
Angry Robot, June 6, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
  Fiction, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic
  (Debut SFF)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In a dystopian world ravaged by war and environmental collapse, one man fights history to discover the truth about his wife and child.

After decades of war, the brutal Tathadann Party restored order toshattered Eitan City by outlawing the past and rewriting history. Memory is a commodity – bought and sold, and experienced like a drug. Henraek works as a Tathadann memory thief, draining citizens’ memories.

Everything changes when Henraek harvests a memory of his own wife’s death, in the hidden rebellion that once tore apart their city. Now he will do whatever it takes to learn the truth – even ifit means burning Eitan City to the ground.

File UnderScience Fiction [ Memory Thieves | Collaborators | Brothers In War | City on Fire ]




David Mealing

Soul of the World
The Ascension Cycle 1
Orbit, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 656 pages
  Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Three heroes must rise in a world on the brink of destruction in the first book of this epic fantasy trilogy that RT Book Reviews called "an impressive fantasy debut with... a unique magic system sure to capture a fantasy readers attention"!


It is a time of revolution. In the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.

Arak'Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.

Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.

Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.

Start reading this gripping, vibrant, and imaginative addition to the epic fantasy canon for readers of Brandon Sanderson, Brian McClellan, and Miles Cameron.




Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent
Custom House, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 poages
  Historical (US Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016

"I loved this book. At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvelous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart—and it contains some of the most beautiful evocations of place and landscape I’ve ever read. It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I’d finished it I started reading it again."—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years" (Daily Telegraph, London).




Marek Šindelka 

Aberrant
Nathan Fields, Translator
Twisted Spoon Press, June 15, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 220 pages
  Supernatural Thriller, Horror, Crime
  (US Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
The remarkable debut novel from Marek Šindelka, already the recipient of his country's major literary awards for poetry (Jiří Orten Prize) and prose (Magnesia Litera), Aberrant is a multifaceted work that mixes and mashes together a variety of genres and styles to create a heady concoction of crime story, horror story (inspired by the Japanese tradition of kaidan), ecological revenge fantasy, and Siberian shamanism. Nothing is what it seems. What appears to be human is actually a shell occupied by an alien spirit, or demon, and what appears to be an unassuming plant is an aggressive parasite that harbors a poisonous substance within, or manifests itself as an assassin, a phantom with no real substance who pursues his victims across Europe and through a post-apocalyptic Prague ravaged by floods. The blind see, and the seeing are blind. Plants behave like animals, and animals are symbionts with plants. Through these devices, Šindelka weaves a tale of three childhood friends, the errant paths their lives take, and the world of rare plant smuggling — and the consequences of taking the wrong plant — to show the rickety foundation of illusions on which our relationship to the environment, and to one another, rests. It is a world of aberrations, anomalies, and mistakes.




Bradley W. Schenck

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom
A Novel of Retropolis
Tor Books, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
  Science Fiction, Humorous

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
ROCKETS. ROBOTS. DEATH RAYS. MAD SCIENCE. THE FUTURE THAT NEVER WAS IS BACK.

If Fritz Lang’s Metropolis somehow mated with Futurama, their mutant offspring might well be Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. Inspired by the future imagined in the 1939 World Fair, this hilarious, beautifully illustrated adventure by writer and artist Bradley W. Schenck is utterly unlike anything else in science fiction: a gonzo, totally bonkers, gut-busting look at the World of Tomorrow, populated with dashing, bubble-helmeted heroes, faithful robot sidekicks, mad scientists, plucky rocket engineers, sassy switchboard operators, space pirates, and much, much more—enhanced throughout by two dozen astonishing illustrations.

After a surprise efficiency review, the switchboard operators of Retropolis are replaced by a mysterious system beyond their comprehension. Dash Kent, freelance adventurer and apartment manager, is hired to get to the bottom of it, and discovers that the replacement switchboard is only one element of a plan concocted by an insane civil engineer: a plan so vast that it reaches from Retropolis to the Moon. And no one—not the Space Patrol, nor the Fraternal League of Robotic Persons, nor the mad scientists of Experimental Research District, nor even the priests of the Temple of the Spider God, will know what hit them.




Robin Shortt

Wellside
Candlemark & Gleam, June 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
  Genre Bender

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Ben is stuck in a backwater town, his parents have broken up, and he's facing jail time for some very poor choices.

Essa is stuck in a backwater world, trapped by a vengeful ex-lover and cut off from the Well, the infinite pit lined with doors to countless realities.

Then Essa finds a way back, and drags Ben along with her. They learn an ancient threat to the Well is rising. On the run, their only allies a clockwork spider and a girl made of iron, they'll have to work together to save all the worlds.




Matthew Sullivan

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Scribner, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
  Psychological

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Goodreads Debut Author of the Month and an Indie Next Pick!

“Sullivan’s debut is a page-turner featuring a heroine bookseller who solves a cold case with clues from books—what is not to love?” —Nina George, author of The Little French Bistro, and the New York Times bestselling The Little Paris Bookshop

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.​




Karin Tidbeck

Amatka
Vintage, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
  Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Visionary & Metaphysical

2017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2


The 7th year of the Debut Author Challenge commenced on January 1, 2017. I already have a list of nearly 150 debut novels the majority of which will be published in 2017. Here are the 12 debuts being published in April, May and June 2017 that I most looking forward to reading.



Ruthanna Emrys

Winter Tide
The Innsmouth Legacy 1
Tor.com, April 4, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Historical Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
"Winter Tide is a weird, lyrical mystery — truly strange and compellingly grim. It's an innovative gem that turns Lovecraft on his head with cleverness and heart" —Cherie Priest

After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future.

The government that stole Aphra's life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant, and hasten the end of the human race.

Aphra must return to the ruins of her home, gather scraps of her stolen history, and assemble a new family to face the darkness of human nature.

Winter Tide is the debut novel from Ruthanna Emrys, author of the Aphra Marsh story, "The Litany of Earth"--included here as a bonus.




Kent Lester

The Seventh Sun
Forge Books, April 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Technological Thriller, Political Thriller

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In a breathtaking debut, Kent Lester has married fast-paced narrative and cutting-edge, reality-based science to produce an edge-of-the-seat thriller in The Seventh Sun.

A seemingly random murder alerts scientist Dan Clifford to a global conspiracy that stretches from the halls of Washington to the Honduran coast. Illegal, undersea activities have unwittingly uncovered a primordial secret that is wreaking havoc on aquatic life and the local human population.

When the CDC and the full resources of a U.S. “threat interdiction” team fails to uncover the source of the devastation, Dan and a brilliant marine biologist, Rachel Sullivan, must race to unravel an unimaginable, ancient mystery in the murky depths. It's up to them to stop this terror before a determined multi-national corporation triggers a worldwide extinction event, the Seventh Sun of ancient myth.




Deborah A. Wolf

The Dragon's Legacy
The Dragon's Legacy Book 1
Titan Books, April 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Epic Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories— bond with fewer humans each year.

High above, the Sun Dragon sings a song of life and love, while far below, the Earth Dragon slumbers as she has since the beginning of time. Her sleep is fitful, and from the darkness of her dreams come whispers of war… and death.

Sulema is a newly minted warrior of the people and a true Ja’Akari—a daughter of the unforgiving desert. When a mysterious young man appears in her home of Aish Kalumm, she learns that the Dragon King is dying in distant Atualon. As the king fades, so does the magic that sings the Earth Dragon to sleep.

There are those who wish to keep the dragon trapped in endless slumber. Others would tap her power to claim it for their own. And there are those who would have her wake, so they might laugh as the world burns.




Robyn Bennis

The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Epic Fantasy, Steampunk, Humorous Fantasy, Military SF

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the tradition of Honor Harrington and the high-flying Temeraire series, Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs




Chelsea Mueller

Borrowed Souls
A Soul Charmer Novel 1
Talos, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.




Isabelle Steiger

The Empire's Ghost
Thomas Dunne Books, May 16, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
Epic Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Isabelle Steiger has crafted a powerful and masterful debut with The Empire's Ghost, the first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series.

The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession.

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history.




Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars
Gallery Books, May 23, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Literary Fiction

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
A startling and evocative novel, harkening to both One Day and Gravity, a man and a woman revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only ninety minutes of oxygen left.

After the catastrophic destruction of the Middle East and the United States, Europe has become a utopia and, every three years, the European population must rotate into different multicultural communities, living as individuals responsible for their own actions. While living in this paradise, Max meets Carys and immediately feels a spark of attraction. He quickly realizes, however, that Carys is someone he might want to stay with long-term, which is impossible in this new world.

As their relationship plays out, the connections between their time on Earth and their present dilemma in space become clear. When their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation—but who will take it? An original and daring exploration of the impact of first love and how the choices we make can change the fate of everyone around us, this is an unforgettable read.




Dan Moren

The Caledonian Gambit
Talos, May 23, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 312 pages
Space Opera, Military SF, SF Action & Adventure

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
The galaxy is mired in a cold war between two superpowers, the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth. Thrust between this struggle are Simon Kovalic, the Commonwealth’s preeminent spy, and Kyle Rankin, a lowly soldier happily scrubbing toilets on Sabea, a remote and isolated planet. However, nothing is as it seems.

Kyle Rankin is a lie. His real name is Eli Brody, and he fled his home world of Caledonia years ago. Simon Kovalic knows Caledonia is a lit fuse hurtling towards detonation. The past Brody so desperately tried to abandon can grant him access to people and places that are off limits even to a professional spy like Kovalic.

Kovalic needs Eli Brody to come home and face his past. With Brody suddenly cast in a play he never auditioned for, he and Kovalic will quickly realize it’s everything they don’t know that will tip the scales of galactic peace. Sounds like a desperate plan, sure, but what gambit isn’t?

The Caledonian Gambit is a throwback to the classic sci-fi adventures of spies and off-world politics, but filled to the brim with modern sensibilities.




Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Horror, Westerns, Occult & Supernatural

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Deftly written and utterly addictive, this Western literary horror debut will find a home with fans of authors like Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and Anne Rice.

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning—with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her motel and offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low and heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas Ranger is hunting Travis for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.




Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars
Berkley, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Literary Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
When the world ends, where will you go?

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…




Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Contemporary Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.




Callie Bates

The Waking Land
Del Rey, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

The View From Monday - February 10, 2020Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC AuthorsThe View From Monday - March 4, 20192017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - June DebutsInterview with Andy Davidson, author of In the Valley of the SunThe View From Monday - June 5, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2

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