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Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013


Please welcome Anne Lyle to The Qwillery. Anne is the author of the Night's Masque series.  The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque 3) is published in the US and Canada today. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Anne a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery! Please tell us something about your newest book, The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque 3) that we won't find in the book description.

Anne:  Unlike the previous two books, each of which takes place over the course of about six months each, The Prince of Lies spans approximately eight years. The reason for this is that I wanted to move events forward to the death of Queen Elizabeth and the subsequent struggle for control of the throne. Admittedly I could have invoked alternate history again and killed her off sooner, but I also had a character waiting in the wings who was born at the end of Book 1, The Alchemist of Souls, and whose fate I wanted to cover. Fast-forwarding to 1603 allowed me to combine both these storylines in what I hope is a satisfying conclusion to the series.



TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for Night's Masque series and what is the oddest thing you've found so far?

Anne:  I use a combination of books, online research and visits to historic locations—I’ve been to the Tower of London several times, and also visited Venice as part of my research for The Merchant of Dreams.

As for oddities, I’m struggling to think of anything at the moment—over the past seven years, I’ve spent so long in the sixteenth century, figuratively speaking, that it all seems perfectly normal to me! Though come to think of it, the oddest thing that occurred as a result of my research was when I visited the Globe Theatre and the Tower of London and found myself mentally projecting the historical map I’d been using onto the modern-day streets. The buildings may have changed over the centuries, but a lot of the streets in central London are in the exact same place as they were in Shakespeare’s day, so it’s possible to walk some of the routes my characters would have taken.



TQ:  Please tell us about the magic system in the Night Masque's series.

Anne:  I’d hesitate to call it a “magic system” - that implies something akin to an RPG rules set! My approach was to take a few simple principles and explore the consequences. So, there’s a parallel dimension or plane of existence where our minds go when we dream. For most people, their dreams exist as self-contained “bubbles” which they can never leave, but some individuals can move around the dreamlands and enter the dreaming minds of others. One’s connection to the dreamlands can be affected by contact with substantial quantities of iron (or other ferromagnetic substances such as nickel and cobalt); a property that can be used both to hamper the powers of a dreamwalker and to protect oneself from possible attack.

Most “magic” therefore occurs in people’s dreams, and has no effect on the physical world. The main exception is the ability of a few powerful individuals to physically transport themselves from one place to another via the dreamworld. This requires someone to act as the “anchor” at the desired destination. The other major magical effect outside of dreaming is that upon death, skilled dreamwalkers can use the dreamlands to locate an unborn child into which they may reincarnate.

These abilities have been developed by the skraylings through experimentation with meditation and psychotropic drugs—a secret they are careful not to share with humans, whom they do not trust to use such power safely.



TQ:  Which character in the series has surprised you the most? Which character has been the hardest to write.

Anne:  I was surprised to discover how important Gabriel Parrish became to the series. He was originally a fairly minor supporting character, one of several actors involved in the theatre storyline of Book 1, but by making him the lover of one of my PoV characters he became much more invested in the plot.

I think Coby has been trickiest to write. The role of women in Elizabethan society was very different to the present day, so creating a female character who was understandable to modern readers and yet didn’t feel like a 21st-century girl plonked down in 16th century London was a delicate balancing act. I suspect I still won’t have satisfied everyone, but I’m happy with the way she turned out.



TQ:  What's next?

Anne:  I’m just about to start writing the first draft of a new fantasy novel set in a secondary world. I don’t really want to say too much about it at this stage as it’s still very much under development, but I guess it’s fair to say that it won’t be a million miles from Night’s Masque in terms of tone. What I really enjoy writing is tales of action and intrigue in a pre-industrial urban setting, so that was the foundation I used when designing this series.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Anne:  Thank you for having me!






Night's Masque

The Prince of Lies
Night's Masque 3
Angry Robot Books, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
     November 7, 2013 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013
Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted – his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it – but his work is far from over. The renegade skraylings, the guisers, are still plotting – their leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor. But while he is still young, Mal has a slim chance of eliminating his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.

With Sandy’s help, Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the guisers, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…

File Under: Fantasy [ Princes in the Tower | Revenger's Tragedy | Much Ado | Boys Will Be Boys ]



The Merchant of Dreams
Night's Masque 2
Angry Robot, December 18, 2012  (US/Canada)
     January 3, 2013 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback (US) and eBook, 528 pages

Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013
Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet Coby Hendricks for the past year.

But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.

When Mal’s dream about a skrayling shipwreck in the Mediterranean proves reality, it sets him on a path to the beautiful, treacherous city of Venice – and a conflict of loyalties that will place him and his friends in greater danger than ever.

File Under: Fantasy [ Skrayling Dreams | Pound of Flesh | Venice in Peril | The Dark Lady ]



The Alchemist of Souls
Night's Masque 1
Angry Robot Books, March 27, 2012 (US/Canada)
      April 5, 2012 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback (US) and eBook, 528 pages

Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013

When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

File Under: Fantasy [ Midsummer Magic | Skraylings | Double Trouble | Comedy of Terrors ]





About Anne

Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013
Author photo by Andy Fountain
Anne Lyle was born in what is popularly known as “Robin Hood Country”, and grew up fascinated by English history, folklore, and swashbuckling heroes. Unfortunately there was little demand in 1970s Nottinghamshire for diminutive swordswomen, so she studied sensible subjects like science and languages instead.

It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t take Sherwood Forest out of the girl. She now spends practically every waking hour writing – or at least planning – fantasy fiction about dashing swordsmen and scheming spies, set in imaginary pasts or parallel worlds.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter


The View from Monday - October 28, 2013


Happy last Monday in October! Halloween is only 3 days away. I live in New England and after the last 2 years (early Nor'easter and then Superstorm Sandy) I am hoping that we have a quiet Halloween with no unusual weather.

I did not get much reading done this week. I do a lot of behind the scenes stuff at The Qwillery that is much too dull to talk about. I have a huge TBR and too many books that I want to read all at once. I'm finishing up some reviews that need to be written.  I'm also working on New York Comic Con posts and more, including the November genre release list. By genre I mean speculative fiction, horror, PNR, etc. You actually know what I mean by 'genre fiction' if you've been reading the blog for a while.


The View from Monday - October 28, 2013

On Saturday, I took photos at the Halloween ComicFest at my local comic shop. Legends of Superheros. There were Free Comics (of course) and three guests - artist Dave Meikis, artist T.C. Ford, and author Alex Giannini.  I picked up a copy of Alex's book - Sarah Faire and the House at the End of the World. It is beautifully illustrated by Abigail Larson. I also picked up Thomas who is a teddy bear featured in the book. I'll be interviewing Alex soon!

The View from Monday - October 28, 2013


And now on to this week's genre releases!


The View from Monday - October 28, 2013



There are two debuts this week:

The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh;

and

The Eidolon by Libby McGugan


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

The Deaths of Tao (Lives of Taw 2) by Wesley Chu;

Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence 2) by Max Gladstone;

and

The Prince of Lies (Night's Masque 3) by Anne Lyle.


October 28, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Vampire Games (e) Tiffany Allee PNR - From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency 4
Ghosts of Kinston Cottage (e) Libby Bishop PNR
Trancehack (e) Sonya Clark FR - Magic Born 1
Realm Walker (e) Kathleen Collins FR - Realm Walker 1
Ghosts of the Falls (e) Sarah Gilman PNR
Less Than Perfect (e) Kelly Jensen PaR
Bad Cop (e) Angela McAlister PNR
Four Weddings and a Werewolf (e) Kristin Miller PNR - Seattle Wolf Pack 2
Battle Scars (e) Sheryl Nantus PNR - Blood of the Pride 4
The Faceless One (D) (e) Mark Onspaugh H
Rusted Veins (e) Jaye Wells UF - Sabina Kane Novella



October 29, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth Stephen Jones (ed) H/W - Anthology
Kiss the Night Goodbye (ri) Keri Arthur PNR - Nikki and Michael 4
Dream London Tony Ballantyne UF
Allegiance Beth Bernobich F - River of Souls 3
Katabasis Joseph Brassey
Cooper Moo
Mark Teppo
Angus Trim
F - Mongoliad Cycle 4
Dreams and Shadows (h2tp) C. Robert Cargill UF
After Moonrise (tp2mm) P.C. Cast
Gena Showalter
PNR - Possessed / Haunted
The Deaths of Tao Wesley Chu SF - Tao 2
Rising Sun (h2mm) Robert Conroy AH
Abyss Deep Ian Douglas SF - Star Corpsman 2
Two Serpents Rise Max Gladstone F - Craft Sequence 2
Midnight's Promise Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors 8
Midnight's Promise: Part 4 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Warriors
Parasite Mira Grant Th/H/Z
After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse Charlaine Harris UF - Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire
Ever After (h2mm) Kim Harrison UF - Rachel Morgan 11
Doctor Who: The Vault: Treasures from the First 50 Years Marcus Hearn SF - Doctor Who
Black Heart Christina Henry UF - Black Wings 6
A Study in Darkness Emma Jane Holloway SP/M - Baskerville Affair 2
Hellhound Nancy Holzner UF - Deadtown 5
Darkship Renegades (tp2mm) Sarah A. Hoyt SF - Darkship 2
Dead Set Richard Kadrey DF
Annihilation (h2mm) Drew Karpyshyn SF - Star Wars: The Old Republic
The Clone Assassin Steven L. Kent SF - Rogue Clone 9
Big Bad Beast (tp2mm) Shelly Laurenston PNR - Pride Stories 6
The Influence Bentley Little H
Devilishly Wicked Kathy Love PNR - Devilish 3
The Prince of Lies Anne Lyle F - Night's Masque 3
Star Trek: The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses David Mack SF - Start Trek
George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set George R.R. Martin F - Game of Thrones
Wild Cards II: Aces High (tp2mm) George R.R. Martin (ed) SF - Anthology
The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister George R.R. Martin F
The Cassandra Project (h2mm) Jack McDevitt
Mike Resnick
SF/Th
The Eidolon (D) Libby McGugan SF
Imager's Battalion (h2mm) L. E. Modesitt F - Imager Portfolio 6
Accidentally In Love With...A God? Mimi Jean Pamfiloff PNR - Accidentally Yours 1
Lords and Ladies (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 14
Men at Arms (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 15
Small Gods (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 13
Soul Music (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 16
Dark Witch Nora Roberts PNR - Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy 1
Heartwood Freya Robertson F - Heartwood 1
Defender Mike Shepherd F - Kris Longknife 11
Descending Son Scott Shepherd H
Archangel's Legion Nalini Singh PNR - Guild Hunter 6
The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life (h2tp) Noble Smith Humor
True Blood: Steve Newlin’s Field Guide to Vampires Gianna Sobol
Michael McMillian
UF - True Blood
Kiss of Revenge Debbie Viguie PNR - Kiss Trilogy 3
The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett Daniel Wallace
Ryder Windham
Jason Fry
SF - Star Wars



October 30, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Brimstone and Marmalade: A Tor.Com Original (e) Aaron Corwin UF



October 31, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Balfour and Meriwether in The Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs Daniel Abraham F
Robinson Crusoe on Zombie Island Daniel Defoe
Ivan Fanti
Mu/Z
The Night Boat Robert McCammon H
The Monkey's Other Paw: Revived Classic Stories of Dread and the Dead Luis Ortiz (ed) H - Anthology



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

AH - Alternate History
DF - Dark Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
M - Mystery
Mu - Mashup
PaR - Post Apocalyptic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
UF - Urban Fantasy
Th - Thriller
W - Weird
Z - Zombies

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12


What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to in 2013 and beyond?  This is the twelfth in a series of posts.


See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.



Anne Lyle

The Prince of Lies
Night's Masque 3
Angry Robot Books, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted – his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it – but his work is far from over. The renegade skraylings, the guisers, are still plotting – their leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor. But while he is still young, Mal has a slim chance of eliminating his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.

With Sandy’s help, Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the guisers, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…

File Under: Fantasy [ Princes in the Tower | Revenger's Tragedy | Much Ado | Boys Will Be Boys ]




Megan Powell

No Love for the Wicked
Magnolia Kelch 2
47North, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 268 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
It’s taken six months, but supernaturally gifted Magnolia Kelch finally seems to have her surging powers under control. Then she arrives home to find a group of strangers in her beloved farmhouse, and that control is immediately put to the test. Magnolia quickly learns that her “guests” are actually part of the Network—not from the task force headed by her mentor, Thirteen, but a second group, led by British agent Colin St. Pierre.

Unfortunately, Theo, a Network agent who shares an intimate connection with Magnolia, doesn’t trust Colin as a new commander. When team missions collide, Magnolia finds herself in the middle of Network infighting, asking herself who among those closest to her truly has her best interests at heart.

But an even greater threat lies on the horizon. Intent on tracking down the source of Magnolia’s powers, a familiar enemy resurfaces with a plan—one that is far more sinister than the Network has ever seen.




Cecy Robson

A Cursed Moon
A Weird Girls eNovella
Signet, December 3, 2013
eNovella

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…

Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia Wird to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…

Includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!



Cursed by Destiny
Weird Girls 3
Signet, January 7, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they're products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird…

Celia’s a girl in trouble. Her heart is bound to Aric, but he is a pureblood were who must deny her or risk condemning his species to extinction. And that’s just her love life. She’s also been called to take down a group of demon terrorists looking to overthrow the paranormal world. (No pressure.)

In order to bring them down, Celia must ally herself to Misha, the master vampire who has made no secret of his desire for her.

And if that weren’t enough misfortune for one girl, a clairvoyant’s prediction could destroy Celia and Aric’s love for good. The only way to protect the world from unbridled supernatural terrorism is for Celia to bind herself to her destined mate. And that doesn’t appear to be Aric…




Simone St. James

Silence for the Dead
NAL Trade, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
“Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....”

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?

Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.





Joan Swan

Shatter
Phoenix Rising 4
Kensington Brava, December 31, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
For seven years, Halina Beloi has been in hiding. But she's never forgotten Mitch Foster, the long, lean man she had to leave behind. Until, that is, Mitch shows up with a list of questions and a 9mm in his hand.

All Mitch knows is that Halina broke his heart and disappeared. But new information has surfaced implicating her as a player in the deadliest game of Mitch's life. This time, he's not letting go without answers. Now terror, danger and heat will fuse them together or shatter the future. . .




David Tallerman

Prince Thief
Tales of Easie Damasco 3
Angry Robot, September 24, 2013 (US/Canada) and eBook
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Altapasaeda, capital of the Castoval, is under siege by its own King.

Far to the north, rebels have set a bastard prince up as a figurehead.

Yet again, Easie Damasco finds himself roped into a desperate scheme to preserve the Castoval, And kidnapping the Prince seemed like such a good idea at the time…




Michael R. Underwood

Celebromancy
Ree Reyes 2
Pocket Star, July 15, 2013
eBook, 400 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Fame has a magic all its own in the no-gossip-barred follow-up to Geekomancy. Ree Reyes gets her big screenwriting break, only to discover just how broken Hollywood actually is.

Things are looking up for urban fantasista Ree Reyes. She’s using her love of pop culture to fight monsters and protect her hometown as a Geekomancer, and now a real-live production company is shooting her television pilot script.

But nothing is easy in show business. When an invisible figure attacks the leading lady of the show, former child-star-turned-current-hot-mess Jane Konrad, Ree begins a school-of-hard-knocks education in the power of Celebromancy.

Attempting to help Jane Geekomancy-style with Jedi mind tricks and X-Men infiltration techniques, Ree learns more about movie magic than she ever intended. She also learns that real life has the craziest plots: not only must she lift a Hollywood-strength curse, but she needs to save her pilot, negotiate a bizarre love rhombus, and fight monsters straight out of the silver screen. All this without anyone getting killed or, worse, banished to the D-List.





On The Qwillery's radar:

Shanghai Sparrow by Gaie Sebold out in April 2014

and

Cateveiro (The Osiris Project 2) by E.J. Swift out later this year.


What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3

What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to now and in 2013?  This is the third is a series of posts.


See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.



Suzanne Johnson

River Road
Sentinels of New Orleans 2
Tor Books, November 13, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.




Ted Kosmatka

Prophet of Bones
Henry Holt and Co., April 2, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
A relentlessly suspenseful high-concept thriller set in a world where science has run amuck and the key to unlocking a terrifying secret lies in the hands of one man

Paul Carlson, a brilliant young scientist, is summoned from his laboratory job to the remote Indonesian island of Flores to collect DNA samples from the ancient bones of a strange, new species of tool user unearthed by an archaeological dig. The questions the find raises seem to cast doubt on the very foundations of modern science, but before Paul can fully grapple with the implications of his find, the dig is violently shut down by paramilitaries.

Paul flees with two of his friends, but within days one has vanished and the other is murdered in an attack that costs Paul an eye, and very nearly his life. Apprehended by Indonesian authorities and deported back to America, Paul tries to resume the comfortable life he left behind, but he can't cast the questions raised by the skeletons on Flores from his mind. Searching for answers, Paul begins to piece together a puzzle which seems to threaten the very fabric of society, but the status quo, in the form of the world's governments and Martial Johnston, the eccentric billionaire who financed Paul's dig, will stop at nothing to silence him.


Anne Lyle

The Merchant of Dreams
Night's Masque 2
Angry Robot, December 18, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
Exiled from the court of Queen Elizabeth for accusing a powerful nobleman of treason, swordsman-turned-spy Mal Catlyn has been living in France with his young valet Coby Hendricks for the past year.

But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.

When Mal’s dream about a skrayling shipwreck in the Mediterranean proves reality, it sets him on a path to the beautiful, treacherous city of Venice – and a conflict of loyalties that will place him and his friends in greater danger than ever.

File Under: Fantasy [ Skrayling Dreams | Pound of Flesh | Venice in Peril | The Dark Lady ]




Shawntelle Madison

Kept
Coveted 2
Ballantine Books, November 27, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
A funny and sexy new paranormal romance, perfect for fans of Charlaine Harris and Patricia Briggs, Kept features the charmingly quirky werewolf, Natalya Stravinsky, as she navigates the minefields of love and war in the Garden State.

Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.

Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.




Hanna Martine

A Taste of Ice
The Elementals 2
Berkley, December 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
There is an untapped world of magic that any man would covet...

Five years ago, Xavier escaped from the Ofarian Plant. Today he calls a Colorado mountain town home. It’s there he buries himself in his work, swearing off magic and relationships—until a woman threatens every promise he’s made to himself.

Cat has always known she is different. Water speaks to her on an uncanny level, and she channels this gift into beautiful painted waterscapes. Now, a gallery is debuting her work in Colorado—and it’ll reveal far more about her than she imagined.

The spark between Cat and Xavier is enough to throw both of them off balance. Every tantalizing moment sends them dangerously close to a rising flood of desire. Dangerous because Xavier comes to suspect that Cat is an Ofarian—his people’s enemy. But they’re both about to discover a far greater, more malicious power at play...




E.S. Moore

Tainted Night, Tainted Blood
Kat Redding 2
Kensington, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
In the darkness, it’s easy to lose your way…

Kat Redding is a vampire with a job to do—wiping out the vamps and werewolves who prey on Pureblood humans. Someone has to do it…as long as that someone is her. But suddenly Kat, also known as Lady Death, has competition, and it’s causing problems. Vampire houses and werewolf clans alike are blaming her for a spate of gruesome murders, and Kat needs to figure out who’s really responsible before she becomes the next target…

On the hunt, she forms an uneasy alliance with both the Luna Cult and a powerful rogue werewolf. But the truths Kat’s uncovering—about her enemies and her few remaining confidantes—are far from comforting. And when the chance comes to leave her life of vengeance behind, Kat must decide whether her real motive lies in protecting the innocent, or sating her own fierce hungers…


Blessed by a Demon's Mark
Kat Redding 3
Kensington, December 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3
In a job like this, there’s no retirement plan

Kat Redding’s life is dangerous enough when she’s hunting the rogue vampires who prey on Pureblood humans. But now that Kat is thinking of getting out of the killing business, she’s faced with a slew of new problems. Like the demon Beligral, who offers help at an escalating cost, and the werewolf cult with whom she’s entwined professionally and personally. And then there’s Countess Baset—the terrifying vampire who wants Kat to become her personal assassin.

It’s no wonder that Kat has been seeking refuge in the mysterious town known as Delai, a place where she can shed her Lady Death persona and live a life that’s as close to normal as she’s ever known. But even in this haven, something feels askew. Delai is a little too serene. And the more she discovers, the more Kat realizes that the only choice left to her is not whether to do battle, but which side she’ll risk her life to defend…

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Apologies for not announcing some of these winners sooner. We had a family emergency and I was not around for the most of last week. Let's catch up! And the winners are...


Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) by Chris F. Holm - Ended March 24, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question:  What are some of your favorite cross genre novels? or Are there any genres do you think should not be crossed?

marybelle who said...

I think I might baulk at reading the cross between Horror & Regency. The mind boggles.



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski - Ended March 27, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question:  If you could time travel, which historical event or events would you like to witness? OR Write a limerick about a book you've read.

Anne who said...

Boy, it's hard to pick just one big event. It would have to be an event where I'd be safe, so no Salem witch trials or crusades. I was actually up for the first moon walk, but so young it didn't really mean anything to me. Maybe the first actual flight.



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Devil's Luck (Disillusionists eNovella) by Carolyn Crane - Ended March 29, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question:   On what device do you read your eBooks?

Filia Oktarina who said...

I read my ebooks on my Samsung Tablet with epub or PDF format. Just two format was enough for me:)



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Exogene (The Subterrene War 2) by T.C. McCarthy - Ended March 30, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question: Favorite Military SciFi novel, movie, short story, or TV show?

rissatoo who said

Three of my favorite scifi series immediately popped to mind when I read the question... David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Orson Scott Card's Ender's series, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. Love lots more, but these are top three. (Other scifi authors I love include Elizabeth Moon Robert A Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, etc. I could go on. And on!)



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Three A.M. by Steven John - Ended April 3, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question: What are some of your favorite dystopian or noir novels?

molly.frenzel who said

Some of my faves are Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, and A Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood.



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Wicked as They Come (Blud 1) by Delilah S. Dawson - Ended April 3, 2012 - Read the review here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question:  What have you read recently that you loved?

Natalia J who said

I recently read The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams. I loved it and can not wait for the next. Thanks for the giveaway.



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Winner's Choice of one of the first 4 Jane True novels by Nicole Peeler - Ended April 6, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question: Which book series would you like to go on forever? OR Which book series do you think should end/should have ended already?

Stephanie who said...

I want the Hollows series to go on forever.



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



Deadworld (Deadworld 1), The Vengeful Dead (Deadworld 2) and The Lingering Dead (Deadworld 3) (signed) by J.N. Duncan - Ended April 7, 2012 - Read the guest blog here. US/CANADA ONLY

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question: What do you expect to see over the course of a series, what pulls you in more, and even those things that make you end up bored and stop reading a series?

BookAttict who says...

I can't believe this series hasn't appeared on my radar until now.. Deadworld sounds like a fantastic series that I'd love to read!

I read. A lot. What do I look for in a series that keeps me reading? I absolutely LOVE UF and Fantasy, so it's the details and world-building that pull me in, as well as well-drawn characters (main AND secondary) that I want to know more about.

While I realize nobody's perfect (even authors) -- and not every book is going to be a perfect read for me -- what really will turn me off a series is lack of development in the characters. I've noticed this seems to happen quite a bit in well-established series (14-15) books in. The author finds a formula that works and the characters stay in this time-warp and never change, just regurgitate the same jokes, situations, etc. -- Time moves forward-- people change. This should be true of characters in a series as well.

The other thing will put me off a series is a forced story arc -- like the author forced the characters to go in a direction that, well, seems manufactured and awkward, to get them from where they are to where the author "needs" them to be (if that makes any sense...)

Thanks for the amazing giveaway!



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque 1) by Anne Lyle - Ended April 9, 2012 - Read the interview here.

A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012

Question: Leave a comment.

Lilian who said...

Thank you so much for the interview! The book sounds like a great hisotircal read...I haven't read one in awhile!



A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012



The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly chose a new winner or winners. Thank you!

Interview with Anne Lyle and Giveaway - April 2, 2012

Please welcome Anne Lyle to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Anne's debut, The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque 1) was published on March 27, 2012 (US/Canada) and will be published on April 5, 2012 (UK/RoW).


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

Anne:  Gosh, that's hard to say! I don't think I have any, to be honest. I'm a bit obsessive about word count once I get to the second draft and start licking the book into shape, though I'm not sure that counts as interesting. I don't have any eccentric rituals associated with writing; as long as I have my project notebook, a smooth-writing pen and my laptop, I'm good to go.

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

Anne:  I would have to say Jane Austen, Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett and Tim Powers. If there's any influence, it's mostly by way of giving me standards of writing to aspire to: great characters, great storytelling, and in the case of the latter three, some really cool, fun ideas.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Anne:  A bit of both - I plan out a skeleton of the story, then pants my way between the major plot points. I tried pantsing it when I began writing and found I ran out of steam very quickly. On the other hand I can't outline in too much detail, because I find it hard to imagine how my characters are going to react to a given situation in the abstract. They're only real people to me when I'm writing them.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Anne:  The second half of a book, between the midpoint and the climax. The first half is relatively easy, setting up all the obstacles, and I usually have a fairly clear idea of how I want it to end, but getting my characters there in a plausible and coherent way is still a huge challenge for me. There's generally a lot of flailing around and panicking to begin with, but I just have to force my way through and somehow it works itself out eventually. To quote the movie "Shakespeare in Love":
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

TQ:  Describe The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque 1) in 140 characters or less.

Anne:  An Elizabethan swordsman finds himself in way over his head when he is assigned as bodyguard to an ambassador from the New World.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Alchemist of Souls?

Anne:  I wanted to write something a bit different from all the bog-standard medieval fantasy I'd been reading, and having read Charles Nicholls' "The Reckoning", about the murder of Christopher Marlowe and the beginnings of the English secret service, I thought the Elizabethan period would be a great setting for a fantasy novel full of political intrigue and derring-do, rather than the usual quests and battles.

Then I read "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond and got thinking about how history would have been different if the conquistadors had been prevented from conquering the Americas. Putting those two ideas together produced the scenario of an ambassador from the New World being assigned an English bodyguard on a visit to London, and from that point I just had to work out the link between these two characters and how their story would play out.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Alchemist of Souls?

Anne:  Lots of non-fiction reading, obviously, but also visiting the real locations where possible. I reckon I know parts of the Tower of London almost as well as the official guides!

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

Anne:  I think Mal is both the easiest and the hardest to write. Easy because I've been developing his character for about five years now and know him inside-out, but hard because he's the main protagonist and has to carry the story. If readers don't believe in him and root for him, the whole thing falls apart.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Alchemist of Souls?

Anne:  I would have to say the various scenes between Mal and Ambassador Kiiren; there's humour to be had from the culture clash, especially at the beginning, but also some pretty intense stuff when you find out what's really going on.

TQ:  What's next?

Anne:  I have two more Night's Masque books in the pipeline - The Merchant of Dreams has just been handed in to my editor and should be out early next year, with the final book in the trilogy, The Prince of Lies, some time after that.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Anne:  Thank you for inviting me!


About The Alchemist of Souls

The Alchemist of Souls
Night's Masque 1
Angry Robot Books, March 27, 2012 (US/Canada), April 5, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Mass Market Paperback (US), 448 pages

Interview with Anne Lyle and Giveaway - April 2, 2012
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

File Under: Fantasy [ Midsummer Magic | Skraylings | Double Trouble | Comedy of Terrors ]


About Anne

Interview with Anne Lyle and Giveaway - April 2, 2012
Author photo by Andy Fountain
Anne Lyle was born in what is popularly known as “Robin Hood Country”, and grew up fascinated by English history, folklore, and swashbuckling heroes. Unfortunately there was little demand in 1970s Nottinghamshire for diminutive swordswomen, so she studied sensible subjects like science and languages instead.

It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t take Sherwood Forest out of the girl. She now spends practically every waking hour writing – or at least planning – fantasy fiction about dashing swordsmen and scheming spies, set in imaginary pasts or parallel worlds.

Anne's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque 1) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

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

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

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, April 9, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The View From Monday - April 2, 2012

Happy first Monday in April! This week is very busy (again) at The Qwillery and is filled with 2012 Debut Author Challenge goodness.

Monday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Anne Lyle. The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque 1) was published on March 27, 2012 (US/Canada) by Angry Robot.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Jillian Stone. The Seduction of Phaeton Black {Phaeton Black 1) was published on March 27, 2012 by Brava.

Wednesday - Guest Blog by Gerry Bartlett. Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans, the 8th Real Vampires novel, will be published on April 3, 2012 by Berkley.

Thursday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Thomas Morrissey. Faustus Resurrectus (Donovan Graham 1) will be published on April 3. 2012 by Night Shade Books.

Friday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with J.A. Kazimer. CURSES! was published on February 28, 2012 by Kensingston. Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons will be published today by Champagne Books.

Saturday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Gust Blog by V.M. Zito. The Return Man was published on April 1, 2012.

Sunday - Laura Kaye West of Want Event.  West of Want (Hearts of the Anemoi 2) will be published in July by Entangled Publishing.


There are many books out this week. I'm not including cover images because it would make the post too long. A book shopping list in PDF format may be found by clicking HERE. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF).


April 1, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Twisted Metal Tony Ballantyne SF - Penrose 1
Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 Damien Broderick
Paul Di Filippo
Literary Criticism
The Rogue Trudi Canavan F - Traitor Spy Trilogy 2
Lessons After Dark Isabel Cooper PNR - Englefield 2
Crystalfire Kate Douglas PNR - Demonslayers 4
Siddon Rock Glenda Guest F
The Kingdom of Gods (tp2mm) N. K. Jemisin F - Inheritance Trilogy 3
Mariana (h2tp) Susanna Kearsley F
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall Nancy Kress SF
The Slayer Theresa Meyers PHR - Legend Chronicles 2
Grey Expectations Clea Simon PCM - Dulcie Schwartz 4
Moonblood Anne Elisabeth Stengl F - Tales of Goldstone Wood 3
The Return Man (d) V.M. Zito H/PA/Th/Z



April 3, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Devil's Punch Ann Aguirre UF - Corine Solomn 4
Home for a Spell (h2mm) Madelyn Alt PCM - Bewitching Mysteries 7
Magic Unchained Jessica Andersen PNR - Nightkeepers 7
Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans Gerry Bartlett PNR - Real Vampires 8
The Eye of the Chained God Don Bassingthwaite F- Abyssal Plague Trilogy 3
The Straits of Galahesh Bradley P. Beaulieu F - The Lays of Anuskaya 2
R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen, Volume I: Dissolution, Insurrection, Condemnation Richard Lee Byers F- Forgotten Realms
Ride the Star Winds A. Bertram Chandler SF - John Grimes Saga 4
The Wolf Who Loved Me Lydia Dare PHR
Something Secret This Way Comes Sierra Dean UF - Secret McQueen 1
Betrayal Christina Dodd PRS - Bella Terra Deception 3
The Road of Danger David Drake SF - RCN 9
The Lingering Dead J.N. Duncan UF - Deadworld 3
Plague Town Dana Fredsti H - Ashley Parker 1
Dog and Dragon Dave Freer F - Dragon's Ring 2
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Seth Grahame-Smith H - Movie Tie-In
Tall, Dark & Dead (tp2mm) Tate Hallaway PNR - Garnet Lacey 1
The Vampire Shrink (ri) Lynda Hilburn UF - Kismet Knight 1
Lost Horizon (ri) James Hilton F
So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel Phil Hornshaw Humour/Science
Untouched Sara Humphreys PNR - The Amoveo Legend 2
Vengeance Ian Irvine EF - Tainted Realm 1
Alien Diplomacy Gini Koch SFR - Katherine "Kitty" Katt 4
The Haunted Bentley Little H
The Reason is You (d) Sharla Lovelace R w/ PE
Magic Without Mercy Devon Monk UF - Allie Beckstrom 8
Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art Christopher Moore PM/Humor
Faustus Resurrectus (d) Thomas Morrissey UF - Donovan Graham
Enraptured Elisabeth Naughton PNR - Eternal Guardians 4
The Shining City Fiona Patton F - Warriors of Estavia 3
Triggers Robert J. Sawyer SF
The Shape of Desire Sharon Shinn F - Shifting Circle 1
Cats Can't Shoot Clea Simon PCM - Pru Marlowe 2
Banner of the Damned Sherwood Smith F
Caine's Law Matthew Stover SF/F - Act of Atonement 2
Bloodright Karin Tabke PNR - Blood Moon Rising 2
Werewolf in Seattle Vicki Lewis Thompson PNR - Wild About You 3
Savage Awakening J.D. Tyler PNR - Alpha Pack 2
The Thirteenth Sacrifice Debbie Viguie PS - Witch Hunt
Hunter's Rise Shiloh Walker PNR - Hunters 14
The Helix War Edward Willett SF
The Summoning (d) Carol Wolf UF - Wolf Moon Saga
Except the Queen (h2mm) Jane Yolen
Midori Snyder
F
Let Them Eat Steak Sarah Zettel PCM - Vampire Chef 2



April 4, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers Sarah Marques F
A Song Called Youth John Shirley SF/Cyberpunk Omnibus



d - debut
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback

EF - Epic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
Th - Thriller
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PE - Paranormal Elements
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
PS - Paranoral Suspense
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for March 2012!

As part of this year's Debut Author Challenge I thought it would be fun to choose a favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2012 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month that the novel is released in the US.

January 2012  Winner - Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) by Myke Cole. Cover Art by Mike Komarck.

February 2012 Winner - Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) by Chris F. Holm. Cover Art by Amazing 15.


For March you have 9 covers to choose from.





























2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts


There are 9 debuts in March.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for the your favorite March cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

The March 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.


Wide Open
Author:  Deborah Coates
Format:  Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher:  Tor Books (March 13, 2012)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0765328984

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.

The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.

The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.

Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.


Wicked as They Come
Author:  Delilah S. Dawon
Series:  Blud
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher:  Pocket Books (March 27, 2012)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  9781451657883

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?


Three A.M.
Author:  Steven John
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher:  Tor Books (March 27, 2012)
Price:  $24.99
Language: English
Genre:  Paranormal Noir
ISBN:  9780765331168

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
Fifteen years of sunless gray.

Fifteen years of mist. So thick the streets fade off into nothing. So thick the past is hazy at best. The line between right and wrong has long been blurred, especially for Thomas Vale.

Long gone are the days when new beginnings seemed possible—when he was a new recruit, off to a new start fresh in the army. He had hoped to never look back. Not like there was much to see, anyway.

First came the sickness, followed by the orders: herd the healthy into the city, shoot the infected. The gates closed and the bridges came down… followed by the mist.

Fifteen miserable years of the darkest nights and angry, awful gray days.

Thomas Vale can hardly fathom why he keeps waking up in the morning. For a few more days spent stumbling along? Another night drinking alone? Another hour keeping the shadows at bay….

But when Rebecca Ayers walks into his life, the answers come fast. Too fast.


The Games
Author:  Ted Kosmatka
Format:  Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher:  Del Rey (March 13, 2012)
Price:  $25.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction Thriller
ISBN978-0-345-52661-8

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and—most disquietingly—intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.


The Company of the Dead
Author:  David Kowalski 
Format:  Trade Paperback, 752 pages
Publisher:  Titan Books (March 13, 2012)
Price:  $15.95
Language:  English
Genre: Alternate History
ISBN:  9780857686664

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
A mysterious man appears aboard the Titanic on its doomed voyage. His mission? To save the ship.

The result? A world where the United States never entered World War I, thus launching the secret history of the 20th Century.

In April 2012, Joseph Kennedy—nephew of John F. Kennedy—lives in an America occupied in the East by Greater Germany and on the West Coast by Imperial Japan. He is one of six people who can restore history to its rightful order—even though it would mean his death, and the deaths of everyone he loves.

A magnificent alternate history, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest maritime disasters of the 20th century.


The Alchemist of Souls
Author:  Anne Lyle
Series:  Night Masque 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Publisher:  Angry Robot (March 27, 2012)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9780857662149

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

File Under: Fantasy [ Midsummer Magic | Skraylings | Double Trouble | Comedy of Terrors ]


Hemlock Grove
Author:  Brian McGreevy
Format:  Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  FSG Originals (March 27, 2012)
Price:  $15.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Gothic
ISBN:  9780374532918

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.


The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Author:  Simone St. James
Format:  Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  NAL (March 6, 2012)
Price:  $14.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical/Ghost Story
ISBN:  9780451235688

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?


The Seduction of Phaeton Black
Author:  Jillian Stone
Format:  Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  Brava (March 27, 2012)
Price:  $14.00
Language:  English
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
ISBN:  978-0-7582-6896-9

2012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts
In the gaslit streets of Victorian London, phantoms rule the night, demons dance till dawn, and one supernatural detective dares to be seduced by the greatest power of all…

He’s The Man With The Magic Touch

A master of deduction, seduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known…

She’s The Devilish Miss Jones

Pressing a knife to his throat—and demanding he make love to her—Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing her. As deadly as she is, with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampiric killer he’s been staking out—but she may be just what Phaeton needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possesses uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only salvation…or ultimate sacrifice.

Guest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research

Please welcome Anne Lyle to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs.


Historical research

     Don’t despair if you don’t have that kind of background, however; there are lots of other hands-on ways to learn about a historical period. For starters, any kind of practical experience is very helpful. If you’re the active type, you could take riding lessons or learn to fence. If that’s not an option, how about making your own bread, growing herbs, or learning calligraphy? I’ve done most of these (fencing is on my to-do list this year!) and more - it really helps in adding all the little sensory details to a scene if it’s something you’ve actually experience rather than relying on your imagination. If you have plenty of spare time, you could even join a re-enactment group, which will give you access to lots more information and resources.

     The biggest part of historical research, of course, is reading books. Not so much the kind of history books you read in school, all about kings and queens and politics - though of course you need to know that stuff - but the details of everyday life. What did people eat? What did they believe? How did they entertain themselves? I have a whole shelf of books about Elizabethan England, of which my favourite is probably The A to Z of Elizabethan London. It's an enlarged version of a map drawn in around 1570, with annotations helping you to identify streets, churches and other salient features. With it, I can plot my characters’ movements around the city as if I were really there. Even more cool, I can navigate my way around present-day central London using my mental map of its sixteenth-century layout. The buildings may be concrete office blocks instead of timbered houses, but you can still walk from the Globe Theatre to the Tower of London by crossing the river and then following Thames Street eastwards. (It takes about twenty minutes, by the way; I timed it on one of my research trips.)

Guest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research
Reprints of books from your chosen era are an invaluable resource

     That brings us to my favourite part: visiting historic locations. I visited the Tower of London twice whilst writing The Alchemist of Souls, once for a general reconnoitre, once to research specific locations in detail. I've been inside various medieval and Elizabethan houses, from Kent to Yorkshire and from Suffolk to North Wales, and even stayed in a Renaissance house in Venice when researching my second novel, The Merchant of Dreams. Nothing can compare to actually walking into rooms where sixteenth-century people once lived, sometimes amidst incredible opulence but more often in very spartan style.

Guest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research
Museums, like this one at the Globe Theatre, often include 
displays of everyday scenes with replica artefacts

     But what if you don't live in the UK and can't travel to all these wonderful places? Thanks to modern movies and TV shows, you can still get a glimpse of real historic locations, and better still they may recreate places that no longer exist. Of course you have to take anything you see with a pinch of salt and back it up with proper research, because the purpose of these productions is to entertain not educate, but the best of them will give you a good feel for the period. I recommend being particularly wary of the portrayal of historical events and characters, because these are the most likely to be manipulated for dramatic purposes. On the whole, costumes and sets are pretty accurate these days, but even then you can't be certain; the creators of the two "Elizabeth" movies starring Cate Blanchett commit all manner of inaccuracies in the name of visual drama. Ironically I found Shakespeare in Love more useful as a visual reference, despite its self-conscious anachronisms like the "priest of Psyche" (Will Shakespeare's therapist). The picture we get of Southwark, as a semi-rural place of muddy lanes and market stalls, is pretty close to the impression I get from sixteenth century maps of that area.

     In summary, if you want to research a period for a novel, you need to take a multi-pronged approach and use every resource at your disposal. Really immerse yourself in the period, reading both modern-day books and, where available, writings from that time. Watch films, listen to music, learn some practical skills. The more you can get into the mindset of a historical person, the better, because good historical fiction is about putting all that research in context and showing the world through the eyes of someone who is actually living that life.


About The Alchemist of Souls

The Alchemist of Souls
Night's Masque 1
Angry Robot Books, March 27, 2012 (US/Canada), April 2, 2012 (UK/RoW)
Mass Market Paperback (US), 448 pages

Guest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

File Under: Fantasy [ Midsummer Magic | Skraylings | Double Trouble | Comedy of Terrors ]


About Anne

Guest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research
Author photo by Andy Fountain
Anne Lyle was born in what is popularly known as “Robin Hood Country”, and grew up fascinated by English history, folklore, and swashbuckling heroes. Unfortunately there was little demand in 1970s Nottinghamshire for diminutive swordswomen, so she studied sensible subjects like science and languages instead.

It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t take Sherwood Forest out of the girl. She now spends practically every waking hour writing – or at least planning – fantasy fiction about dashing swordsmen and scheming spies, set in imaginary pasts or parallel worlds.

Anne's Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Interview with Anne Lyle, author of the Night's Masque Series - October 29, 2013The View from Monday - October 28, 20132012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 3A lot of Winners! - April 10, 2012Interview with Anne Lyle and Giveaway - April 2, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 20122012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 DebutsGuest Blog by Anne Lyle - Historical Research

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