The Qwillery | category: Bec McMaster | (page 3 of 4)


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - October 6, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review  - October 6, 2013

TWO MEASLY BOOKS! I can't believe I only read 2 books this week. That is dismal and I hang my head in shame at this complete lack of reading progress. I am going to plan my reading better so that I do better next week.

Melanie's Week in Review  - October 6, 2013
So what did I read? I spent most of the week reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I read the first book of the Throne of Glass series last year. While I really enjoyed book one I thought the second was a bit dull. It almost read like it was two two separate books combined together into one or that they had been written by different authors. The first half of the book was quite sedate and built up more of the main characters and a tiny bit of the overall plot.  However, at the midway point it completely changed and it was all action, intrigue and secrets revealed. It wasn't until the latter part of the book that I started to get interested and I am not one to think a book is boring just because it focuses on character development. I think it was a lack of flow that caused me to not enjoy it as much as I did book one. Imagine my frustration when my main read of the week took ages to finish! I love the cover and I spent a lot of time looking at it. Maybe that is why it took me so long to read it. The swirling reds colours, the swords and the flow of the cape really give you a sense of the character and what you might expect when you read the book (although you have to wait for 200 pages for it get that exciting!).

Melanie's Week in Review  - October 6, 2013Lucky for me I was saved from the embarrassment of only having read 1 book when My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster popped onto my Kindle. This is the third novel in her London Steampunk series. I like the world that McMaster has created in this series and her steampunk version of London. This installment focuses much more on romance than the other two books of the series. I realise that is the point of SFR but the first two books teased the reader with the growing attraction between the hero and heroine whereas, in My Lady Quicksliver it starts much sooner. In fact in the first few pages. This book tells the story of the Nighthawk and vampire, Lynch and the humanist rogue, Mercury who we met in book 2 (we may have met Lynch in book 1...I can't remember).  Mercury was an interesting heroine and her back story was well constructed. There was only one scene with a character from the other books of the series and not the one I was expecting. I think McMaster could have put other characters into cameo roles to really bring the series together.

As much as I enjoyed this series for its 'steampunkiness' and resilient female leads I was quite disappointed with the cover of book 3. I know that I probably shouldn't but I am influenced by book covers and spend a lot of time looking at them. I was disappointed with the model used for Lynch as he looked nothing how he is described in the book. He looked a bit more like he is part of a boy band rather than a ruthless and driven leader of the Nighthawk guards (not to mention being a super, strong vampire). I kept referring back to it as I read passages where Lynch was described thinking how poorly it represented him. I did think that Mercury was quite 'sassy' looking although something vital is missing from the cover that is very important to the plot (I won't tell what it is in case you haven't met this character before). Don't put my lack of love for the cover put you off.  It is a great series and if you like PNR or SFR then give this series a go.

That is all for me this week and I will try harder to read more than just two books.  As always, thank you for reading and I hope you have had more success than I in reducing your TBR.  Happy Reading.

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013

What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to 2013?  This is the eighth 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 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.

Chris F. Holm

The Big Reap
The Collector 3
Angry Robot (July 30, 2012 US/Canada; August 1, 2013 UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013
Sam Thornton has had many run-ins with his celestial masters, but he’s always been sure of his own actions.

However, when he’s tasked with dispatching the mythical Brethren – a group of former Collectors who have cast off their ties to Hell – is he still working on the side of right?

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Soul Solution | Secret Origins | Flaming Torches | Double Dealing ]

Benedict Jacka

Alex Verus 4
Ace, August 27, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013

I don’t publicly advertise that I’m a mage, but I don’t exactly hide it either, and one of the odd things I’ve learnt over the years is just how much you can get away with if you’re blatant enough. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they’ll tear the place down looking for what’s there.

Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures—a talent that’s gotten him out of many a tough scrape. But this time, he may be in over his head. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of.

As rumors swirl that his old master is coming back, Alex comes face to face with his misdeeds in the form of a young adept whose only goal is to get revenge. Alex has changed his life for the better, but he’s afraid of what his friends—including his apprentice, Luna—will think of his past. But if they’re going to put themselves at risk, they need to know exactly what kind of man they’re fighting for…

Anne E. Johnson

Blue Diamond Delivery
Candlemark and Gleam, June 25, 2013

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013
All Webrid has to do is make one simple delivery to prevent the planets of the Raralt Circle from cracking to pieces. How hard could that be? Join Webrid, Stravin, and Zatell as they stagger into another nail-biting, spit-taking adventure to save the world, whether they feel like it or not.
From the author's website.

Suzanne Johnson

Elysian Fields
Sentinels of New Orleans 3
Tor Books, August 13, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013
The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi.

New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. Namely, DJ.

Combating an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power.

Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench could be DJ’s best option.

Bec McMaster

My Lady Quicksilver
London Steampunk 3
Sourcebooks Casablanca, October 1, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013
Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother's disappearance. And get out.

In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn't count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.

He could be her most dangerous nemesis – or the ally she never dreamed existed.

The View From Monday - May 6, 2013

Happy 1st Monday in May. This past weekend was terrific with Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) and May the 4th Be with You falling on the same day. I had a grand time at FCBD this year.

This is a heavy publication week, which I love!  Here is a printable PDF of this week's releases. Take it shopping, then make an origami book out of it!

The View From Monday - May 6, 2013

There are 4 debuts out tomorrow.

Generation V by M. L. Brennan. I'm really enjoying this so far.

S.D. Perry's first original novel (as in not a tie-in or part of another series) - The Summer Man.

Sidney Poitier's first novel - Montaro Caine.

There is also the US debut of The Finno-Ugrian Vampire by Noemi Szecsi.

John Mantooh has an eNovella being released tomorrow - Broken Branch.  It includes a preview of The Year of the Storm (June 4, 2013)

Debut Author Challenge alumni also have new novels out this week:

Chuck Wendig starts a new series, Gods and Monsters, with Unclean Spirits.

Kira Brady continues her Deadglass Trilogy with Hearts of Shadow.

Bec McMaster's Heart of Iron comes out tomorrow as well. It's the second novel in her London Steampunk series.

May 6, 2013
The Brazen Amazon (e) Sandy James UFR - Alliance of the Amazons 3

May 7, 2013
The Alteration (ri) Kingsley Amis AH
The Green Man (ri) Kingsley Amis Gh
Hearts of Shadow Kira Brady PNR - Deadglass Trilogy 2
Generation V (D) M.L. Brennan UF -An American Vampire 1
Guardian Jack Campbell SF - The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier3
The Influence Ramsey Campbell H
His Broken Angel (e) Beth Ciotta SPR - The Glorious Victorious Darcys Novella
The Cursed Alyssa Day PNR - League of the Black Swan 1
Community Service (e) Vaughn R. Demont UF - Broken Mirrors 3
Dead Man's Deal Jocelynn Drake UF - Asylum Tales 2
Taming the Demon Doranna Durgin PNR
Eversworn Hailey Edwards PNR - Daughters of Askara 3
The Fictional Man Al Ewing SF
Portal Eric Flint
Ryk E. Spoor
SF - Boundary 3
Goodbye for Now (h2tp) Laurie Frankel SF/R
Into the Shadows Greg F. Gifune H
Elminster Enraged (h2mm) Ed Greenwood F - D&D: Forgotten Realms: The Sage of Shadowdale 3
Baneblade Guy Haley F - Warhammer 40,000: Imperial Guard
The Havoc Machine Steven Harper SP - Clockwork Empire 4
Dead Ever After Charlaine Harris UF - Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire 13
The Mist-Torn Witches Barb Hendee F - Mist-Torn Witches 1
Taken by a Vampire Joey W. Hill PNR - Vampire Queen 9
Shield of Sea and Space Erin Hoffman F - Chaos Knight 3
Undone Sara Humphreys PNR - Amoveo Legend 4
Predatory Alexandra Ivy
Nina Bangs
Dianne Duvall
Hannah Jayne
Black Magic Russell James H
The Tower Jean Johnson PNR - Guardians of Destiny 1
Alien in the House Gini Koch SF - Katherine 'Kitty' Katt 7
Assassins' Dawn Stephen Leigh SF
The Reason is You (tp2mm) Sharla Lovelace R w/ PE
Time Thief Katie MacAlister PNR - Time Thief 1
Broken Branch (e) John Mantooth UF
Heart of Iron Bec McMaster SPR - London Steampunk 2
Tunnel Out of Death Jamil Nasir SF
Children of the Gates Andre Norton SF
The Belly of the Bow (ri/e) K. J. Parker F - Fencer Trilogy 2
Colours in the Steel (ri/e) K. J. Parker F - Fencer Trilogy 1
Memory K. J. Parker F - Scavenger Trilogy 3
Pattern (ri/e) K. J. Parker F - Scavenger Trilogy Series 2
The Proof House (ri/e) K. J. Parker F - Fencer Trilogy 3
Shadow (ri/e) K. J. Parker F - Scavenger Trilogy 1
Deathwatch Steve Parker F - Warhammer 40,000
Red Moon Benjamin Percy Su/Th
The Summer Man (D - 1st original novel) S.D. Perry H
Oberon's Dreams Aaron Pogue F
Montaro Caine (D) Sidney Poitier Metaphysical
Seduction: A Novel of Suspense M. J. Rose Sus/Gh
Tales of Majipoor Robert Silverberg SF - Short Stories
Keeper of the Shadows Alexandra Sokoloff PNR - The Keepers: L.A.
Shadows of Falling Night S. M. Stirling UF - Shadowspawn 3
The Finno-Ugrian Vampire (US D) Noemi Szecsi Satire
Nightbound Lynn Viehl PNR - Lords of the Darkyn 3
House of Steel: The Honorverse Companion David Weber SF
Unclean Spirits Chuck Wendig UF - Gods and Monsters 1
Eternal Demon Laura Wright PNR - Mark of the Vampire 5
Sorry Please Thank You: Stories Charles Yu SF - Collection

May 8, 2013
Fire Above, Fire Below: A Tor.Com Original Garth Nix F

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
F - Fantasy
Gh - Ghost
H - Horror
PE - Paranormal Elements
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6

What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to in 2013?  This is the sixth is 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 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.

Linda Grimes

Quick Fix
Ciel Halligan 2
Tor, August 20, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6
The second installment of the original urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan

Ciel Halligan, an aura adaptor with a chameleon-like ability to step into the lives of her clients and fix their problems for them — as them — is working a job at the National Zoo with her boyfriend, Billy, and his ten-year-old sister, Molly. It's supposed to be a quick fix, giving her time to decide if it's wise to pursue the romantic relationship her charming scoundrel of a best friend wants, or if she should give Mark, the CIA spook she's crushed on since hormones first rattled her pubescent brain, a chance to step up to the plate.

Molly has already begun to show signs of being an adaptor herself. She's young for it, but she's always been precocious, so it's not impossible. What is impossible is her taking on the form of the baby orangutan she touches — adaptors can only project human auras. Until now, apparently. Worse, Molly is stuck in ape form. She can't change herself back.

Escaping from the zoo with their new baby orang, Ciel and Billy head for NYC and the only person they know can help: Ciel's brother James, a non-adaptor scientist who's determined to crack the aura adaptor genetic code. But when Billy winds up in jail, accused of attempted murder, Ciel begins to suspect Molly's unusual adapting ability is more than just a fluke. Who's been experimenting on Molly, and what do they hope to gain? And will Ciel survive to find out?
Cover and descritpion from the Author's site.

Rhiannon Held

Silver 2
Tor, May 21, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6
Experience the romance and danger of running with the werewolves in this urban fantasy.

Andrew Dare has found his mate in Silver, but they haven’t found the pack they can call home. Some of his old friends think he should return and challenge Roanoke for leadership of all the werewolf packs on the East Coast. But Andrew has baggage—his violent history with the packs of Spain and the rumors of his lack of control. And then there’s Silver—the werewolf who has lost her wild self to a monster’s assault, and who can no longer shift forms. But perhaps together they can overcome all the doubters.

The second book in this wonderful urban fantasy series plunges readers into the world of the shape-shifter packs who live hidden among us.

Alex Hughes

Mindspace Investigations 2
Roc, April 2, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6

As a Level Eight telepath, I am the best police interrogator in the department. But I’m not a cop—I never will be—and my only friend on the force, Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino, is avoiding me because of a telepathic link I created by accident.

And I might not even be an interrogator for much longer. Our boss says unless I pull out a miracle, I’ll be gone before Christmas. I need this job, damn it. It’s the only thing keeping me sane.

Parts for illegal Tech—the same parts used to bring the world to its knees in the Tech Wars sixty years ago—are being hijacked all over the city. Plus Cherbino's longtime nemesis, a cop killer, has resurfaced with a vengeance. If I can stay alive long enough, I just might be able to prove my worth, once and for all...

J.A. Kazimer

Froggy Style
F***ed-Up Fairytale 2
Kensington, February 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6
Jean-Michel La Grenouille has a lot going for him. He's a prince. Handsome. Filthy rich. And definitely charming. But he also spent his first few years as a fly-catching, pond-dwelling frog. All that saved him was the kiss of The One, the girl who saw nobility through his slimy form and fell into True Love. Okay, fine. Technically she was a toddler who tried to eat him, but whatever. The curse broke, and as long as he finds and marries her by his 30th birthday, he's a free man.

Trouble is, he's going to be 30 in ten days, and he's getting some seriously cold-blooded feet. He's pretty sure Princess Sleeping Beauty is The One. But his best man has some villain issues, his in-laws-to-be belong in a really special castle, and a smoking-hot lady biker named Lollie Bliss has him rethinking all this happily-ever-after stuff. Oh, and he may have accidentally put out a hit on his blushing bride. Oopsie.

Bec McMaster

Heart of Iron
London Steampunk 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 7, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6
Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London’s vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger.

Will Carver, is more than man, he’s a verwolfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she’s in a world of trouble. To protect her, he’ll have to seduce the truth from her before it’s too late.

Carol Wolf

Wolf Moon Saga 2
Night Shade Books, April 2, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 6
What do you do after you’ve saved the world—and nobody believes you?
Amber is a teenage runaway, hiding out in Los Angeles, who is also a daughter of the wolf kind. And, not long ago, she had her own personal demon. Richard was her servant, her lover, and a hellish force bound to the earth against his will. Together they turned back the World Snake that threatened to destroy the city—and she had granted Richard his freedom.
Now Amber is alone, but nobody accepts that she has truly shed her demon. Many still fear the World Snake and seek to capture the demon’s power for their own purposes, unaware that Richard has already departed the mortal realm. Amber finds herself hunted, in both wolf and human forms, by cultists, illusionists, raisers of power, and even an evil veterinarian.
Saving the world was one thing. To save herself Amber may have to call back her fearsome demon lover, who is no longer bound to obey her. . . .

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for September 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 in which the novel is released in the US.
You have 13 novels to choose from in September!

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

And the winners are...

Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk 1) by Bec McMaster - Ended August 28, 2012 -  Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question: The upright hero just begging to have his hair mussed? The possessive alpha? Or even a self-made workaholic? What’s your favourite hero type – literary or otherwise - and why?

Victoria who said...

I like the sarcastic alpha male hero who has a very tortured past.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Forbidden (Plain Fear 2) by Leanna Ellis - Ended August 29, 2012 - Read the interview here. US/Canada ONLY

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Leave a comment OR ask Leanna a question.

Tore who said...

I loved the first book. It was really good. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds very good. How many books do you plan to have in this series? Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

The Trouble with Magic (Magic 3) by Patricia Rice - Ends August 30, 2012 - See the post here. US/Canada ONLY

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question:  What is your magical power? OR What is one of your favorite paranormal historical romances?

lavendersbluegreen who said...

I know we only have to answer one... but since I cannot possibly narrow down fav paranormal historical romances... I would say my magical power is passion in the kitchen. I like to cook and feed people and it can be magical!

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino - Ended September 2, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question: What is one of your favorite Gothic novels? or What is one of your favorite fairy tales?

DMS who said...

My favorite fairy tale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It has always fascinated me. I read the Grimm versions as a child and they have always stayed with me.

What a fabulous interview! This author is new to me- but like him, I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. This book sounds interesting (I love Jane Eyre). Thanks so much for sharing! I would love to win.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Immortally Yours (Monster MASH 1) and The Accidental Demon Slayer (signed), The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers (signed) and A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox - Ended September 4, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question: In a war between the gods, which god or goddess (or demi-god or demi-goddess) would you want on your side?

pamerd who said...


I would have to pick Ares as well - however reading many UF and PNR books there are many demons and gods created by wonderful authors that I would pick also.

I have read your Demon Slayer books and really enjoyed them and I am looking forward to this new series.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman - Ended September 5, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question: Are there 'hidden things' where you live?

Lexi H who said...

Hahaha, I love your story of how Calliope Jenkins was born. And I agree with your friends (having lived in Minnesota and South Dakota), nothing magical happens out here. All we ever get are cowboys and Indians. So yay!!! Thanks for finding some hidden things for us!

As for me, I scare myself into thinking I see hidden things all the time when I am out hiking with my husky.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Blades of Winter (Shadowstorm 1) by G. T. Almasi - Ended September 6, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Question:  If you were in charge of a team of Levels (superspies) what sorts of modifications would your Levels have?

April who said...

It is to be hoped that I am never put in charge of anything outside of a library or a dish of pastries. However, in the twisted world of the question writer, I am in charge of a team of Levels. I would like to have one with camoflage abilities, one with super hearing, one with extra special sight and one that is good at getting dishes of pastries to me without cost...

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

Ace/Roc 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Sampler from Jill Archer - Ended September 7, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here.

Question:  Do you like post-apocalyptic stories? If so, which are your favorites? Why do you like to read it (or watch it)? What about stories that explore the nature of good and bad and right versus wrong? Do you enjoy stories where the line between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" is more muddied than it is in our world?

Jo who said...

I love reading post-apocolyptic and dystopic fiction, and my absolute favorite is the S.M. Stirling's Change novels.


Sorry - didn't get to finish! What I like about this genre is that people have to start from scratch and there is a lot of character development in leaving the current world behind and learning how to start again.

Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012

The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Saturday, September 22, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Interview with Bec McMaster, author of Kiss of Steel - September 14, 2012

Please welcome Bec McMaster to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk 1) was published on September 4, 2012.  You may read Bec's Guest Blog - I need a hero... - here.

Interview with Bec McMaster, author of Kiss of Steel - September 14, 2012

TQ:  Welcome to the Qwillery!

Bec:  Hi! And thanks for having me!

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

Bec:  Sometimes if I am having a bad day, I will hijack the scene I’m struggling in and shoot my main character or have everyone explode. I kill my characters off in more and more interesting ways, and then I delete everything and go back to writing that scene. It gets the creative juices flowing and eases my frustration.

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

Bec:  I love anything by Lilith Saintcrow, Meljean Brook, Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews or Stacia Kane. Dorothy Dunnett is another old favourite and Nalini Singh consistently hits it out of the park. Authors who write strong female characters and in-depth world-building tend to be auto-buys for me.

Anything and everything influences me, though I will admit that I’m very visual. If I see a beautiful photo or artwork, my mind is often off and running with how to utilise it. I also like movies for this very reason.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Bec:  Pantser by natural inclination and plotter by necessity, now that I have a contract. I follow the synopsis fairly closely, but there are always moments when inspiration strikes and I deviate slightly.

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

Bec:  Food amnesia. I swear, I get involved in the story, wander aimlessly to the kitchen whilst plotting something out, obviously eat something, return to computer, rinse, repeat… By the end of the day I’m staring into my fridge wondering where the cheese has gone, and then I’ll remember that I ate it sometime. I am forcing myself to stick to regular breaks these days, and only then can I have something to nibble on.

Writing itself is rarely challenging. When I am not at the computer I’m thinking about the story, so that when I do sit down I’m ready to go. If I feel a little blocked I go read something, or start working on one of my side projects to refill the creative well. Or, as above, kill off all the main characters.

TQ:  Describe Kiss of Steel in 140 characters or less / like a tweet.

Bec:  In a steam-fuelled world a woman fleeing from a crazed duke with a secret he’d kill for, makes a deal with a notorious rogue for protection.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Kiss of Steel?

Bec:  I’ve had this idea about a vampiric version of the ton in my head for a while now, and a world run by their rules. This image of a woman on the run from something popped into my head and I wanted to see just how desperate I could make her position, and just what she would do to survive when all the odds were against her. Honoria is a fighter and I loved that about her.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Kiss of Steel?

Bec:  In creating an alternate world, the first step is to know the rules before you break them. There was a lot of research into day-to-day Victorian-era life and as Kiss of Steel is steampunk, into the inventions that scientists have either attempted or dreamed up over the years. And then of course, there are the gorgeous costumes one must simply stare at.

TQ:  What is the oddest bit of information that you came across in your research?

Bec:  Victorian prostitutes often wore pubic wigs to disguise signs of disease. The merkin went back further than I ever imagined – all the way to 1450 in fact. And no, this particular tid-bit didn’t actually make it into the book.

TQ:  Tell us something about Kiss of Steel that is not in the book description.

BecKiss of Steel is ultimately about family and what one will do to protect them. My heroine Honoria is the oldest sibling, and desperate to protect her ill brother and flighty sister. The hero, Blade, has survived the worst the streets could throw at him and created his own safe-haven in the slums of Whitechapel with his adopted family. The relationships between all of the characters were very important, even the secondary characters.

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

Bec:  The easiest character to write was definitely Blade, my hero. He popped into my head almost fully formed and I could practically hear him whispering in my ear during the dialogue, which was handy considering his Cockney jargon. I think it was because he was very self-assured as a character, he knew who he was, flaws and all, and he wasn’t ashamed of it.

The hardest to write was his lieutenant Will Carver, my stubborn, taciturn verwulfen bodyguard. Writing Will was like prying bits of information out of him one by one, with him fighting me the whole way. Just the nature of the man.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favourite scene(s) in KOS?

Bec:  I have several. The duel scene is a favourite, because it was so easy to write (give me an action scene any day) and the odds were so against my hero and heroine.

Also, there is a scene where Honoria is forced by circumstances to go to Blade for protection – which in their world means she offers her blood or her body to him. Its something she dreads and that shames her, so she is blown away by how he reacts.

TQ:  What’s next?

BecHeart of Iron is out in May 2013 and features Will Carver, and Honoria’s younger sister Lena. If anyone went through my search history for this book, I’d be locked up; how to make something explode, mechanical squid, knife wounds, Scandinavian military costumes, Greek fire…

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Bec:  Thank you for having me!

Kiss of Steel

Kiss of Steel
London Steampunk 1
Sourcebooks, September 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Interview with Bec McMaster, author of Kiss of Steel - September 14, 2012
When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

About Bec

Interview with Bec McMaster, author of Kiss of Steel - September 14, 2012
Bec McMaster writes romance novels featuring red-hot alpha males, kick-ass heroines and edge-of-your-seat adventures. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Her debut steampunk romance, Kiss of Steel, is available Sept, 2012, from Sourcebooks. Read more about her at, or follow her on twitter @BecMcMaster.

The View From Monday - September 10, 2012

Monday again. Fall is the air. Time to start thinking about Halloween decorations!

It will be another busy week at The Qwillery with guest blogs from or interviews with Kristine Grayson, Adam McOmber, Lee Battersby, Bec McMaster, and John Park.

It's a light release week:

September 10, 2012
Broken Promises (e) J.K. Coi SPR - Seasons of Invention 2
Sky Riders (e) Fae Sutherland SFER - Crux Ansata 1

September 11, 2012
Full Blooded (D) Amanda Carlson UF - Jessica McClain 1
Under the Moon (ri) Natalie J. Damschroder PNR - Goddess Rising 1
Fire Dance Delle Jacobs FR
Loki's Daughters Delle Jacobs FR
Captured Heart Heather McCollum PHR - Highland Hearts
The White Forest (D) Adam McOmber F/G
Delusion in Death J. D. Robb UF - In Death 35
Turn to Darkness (e) Jaime Rush PNR - Offspring Novella
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire Mitzi Szereto (ed) EF - Anthology
The Blinding Knife Brent Weeks F - Lightbringer2

September 12, 2012
Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature Through Cinema and Cyberspace Kiene Brillenburg Wurth Criticism

September 13, 2012
Hobbitus Ille: The Latin Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien F

September 15, 2012
Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound Mark Leslie (ed) SF - Anthology
An Evolutionary Definition of Magical Realism: A Study in Literary Style Kenneth S. Reeds Literary Criticism
Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal Sherryl Vint SF

September 16, 2012
The Painted Alphabet: A Mythical Story of Bali Diana Darling F - Mythology/Fairy Tales

D - Debut
e - eBook
ri - reissue or reprint

EF - Erotic Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
G - Gothic
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFER - Science Fiction Erotic Romance
SPR -  Steampunk Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

There are 13 debuts for September.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

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

Dark Light of Day
AuthorJill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx
Publisher:  Ace, September 25, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Dystopian
ISBN:  9780425257159 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

Full Blooded
AuthorAmanda Carlson
Series:  Jessica McClain
Publisher:  Orbit, September 11, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $12.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780316205207 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
After living in hiding for the last twenty-six years, Jessica wakes up to find she's become a full-blooded werewolf -- claws, fangs, fur, everything. It was never supposed to happen: female werewolves don't exist.

When a mercenary killer comes looking for her, her Pack finds themselves caught in the middle of a war. They must rise up to protect her, but no one knows if she's means the end of their race-or just a new beginning.

In a Fix
Author:  Linda Grimes
Series: Ciel Halligan
Publisher:  Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Books, September 4, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $14.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780765331809 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she's able to take on her clients' appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don't want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel's island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client's about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

Bad Glass
AuthorRichard E. Gropp
Publisher:  Del Rey, September 25, 2012
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Price:  $15.00 (print)
Genre:  Dark Fantasy
ISBN:  9780345533937 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
One of the most hauntingly original dark fantasy debuts in years—perfect for fans of Lost and Mark Danielewski’s cult classic, House of Leaves.

Something has happened in Spokane. The military has evacuated the city and locked it down. Even so, disturbing rumors and images seep out, finding their way onto the Internet, spreading curiosity, skepticism, and panic. For what they show is—or should be—impossible: strange creatures that cannot exist, sudden disappearances that violate the laws of physics, human bodies fused with inanimate objects, trapped yet still half alive. . . .

Dean Walker, an aspiring photographer, sneaks into the quarantined city in search of fame. What he finds will change him in unimaginable ways. Hooking up with a group of outcasts led by a beautiful young woman named Taylor, Dean embarks on a journey into the heart of a mystery whose philosophical implications are as terrifying as its physical manifestations. Even as he falls in love with Taylor—a woman as damaged and seductive as the city itself—his already tenuous hold on reality starts to come loose. Or perhaps it is Spokane’s grip on the world that is coming undone.

Now, caught up in a web of interlacing secrets and betrayals, Dean, Taylor, and their friends must make their way through this ever-shifting maze of a city, a city that is actively hunting them down, herding them toward a shocking destiny.

AuthorAlex Hughes
Series:  Mindspace Investigations
Publisher:  Roc, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  SciFi/Mystery
ISBN:  9780451464750 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

The Vanishing Act
Author:  Mette Jakobsen
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, September 17, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
Price:  $23.95 (print)
Genre:   Fantasy
ISBN:  9780393062922 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
On a small snow-covered island—so tiny that it can’t be found on any map—lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou’s mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother’s disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother’s death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes’ philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.

AuthorJay Kristoff
Series:  Lotus Wars
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781250001405 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Kiss of Steel
AuthorBec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk
Publisher:  Sourcebooks, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
Price:  $6.99 (print)
Genre:  Steampunk Romance
ISBN:  9781402270277 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

The White Forest
AuthorAdam McOmber
Publisher:  Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, September 11, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451664256 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.

Something Red
Author:  Douglas Nicholas
Publisher:  Emily Bestler Books / Atria Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451660074 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
From debut author Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting story of love, murder, and sorcery.

During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.

An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous.

Author:  John Park
Publisher:  ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages
Price:  $15.95 (print)
Genre:  SciFi
ISBN:  9781927469101 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.

The City's Son
AuthorTom Pollock
Series:   The Skyscraper Throne
Publisher:  Flux, September 8, 2012 (US)
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
Price:  $16.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780738734309 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

"Gritty, dynamic, and beautiful.
I can't wait for more."
author of Blood Magic

Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Filius opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen—where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Filius’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Filius raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.

The Well of Tears
AuthorRoberta Trahan
Series:  The Dream Stewards
Publisher:  47North, September 18, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 325 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781612183725 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.

Guest Blog by Bec McMaster - Up Close and Personal with Mercury - and Giveaway - October 15, 2013Melanie's Week in Review  - October 6, 2013What's Up for the 2012 Debut Authors in 2013? - Part 8 - May 26, 2013The View From Monday - May 6, 2013What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2013 - Part 62012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September  2012Winners x 8 - September 15, 2012Interview with Bec McMaster, author of Kiss of Steel - September 14, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

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