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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.
2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 20122012 Debut Author Challenge - March 2012 Debuts

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