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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15


This is the fifteenth in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year that author was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 here Part 11 here Part 21 here Part 31 here Part 41 here
Part 2 here Part 12 here Part 22 here Part 32 here Part 42 here
Part 3 here Part 13 here Part 23 here Part 33 here Part 43 here
Part 4 here Part 14 here Part 24 here Part 34 here Part 44 here
Part 5 here Part 15 here Part 25 here Part 35 here Part 45 here
Part 6 here Part 16 here Part 26 here Part 36 here Part 46 here
Part 7 here Part 17 here Part 27 here Part 37 here Part 47 here
Part 8 here Part 18 here Part 28 here Part 38 here Part 48 here
Part 9 here Part 19 here Part 29 here Part 39 here Part 49 here
Part 10 here Part 20 here Part 30 here Part 40 here Part 50 here



Mitchell Hogan (2011)

At the Sign of the Crow and Moon
A Sorcery Ascendant Prequel Novella
Mitchell Hogan, July 4, 2016
Kindle eBook, 81 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
A fast-paced fantasy adventure in the world of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, from Aurealis Award winning author Mitchell Hogan.

Ten years before A Crucible of Souls…

In the bustling capital city of the Mahruse Empire, Felicienne Shyrise spends her days as a talented investigator, taking on stolen goods and missing person cases, and the occasional murder the city guard are too incompetent, or too lazy, to resolve.

During nights, she hones her skills playing Dominion, a board game almost as complicated as life itself. She dreams of making a name for herself, and becoming the richest woman in the Empire.

But when she’s roped into a murky investigation by a First Adjudicator to the immortal Emperor himself, her life is thrown into disarray. Will this be the perfect opportunity to showcase her skills and make valuable connections, or will her future now be in the hands of political powers that can never be denied?

Working against her will, and afraid of the consequences of refusing the commission, she uncovers evidence that points to an attempt on the Emperor’s life. Felicienne rapidly finds herself a target, and must use her considerable wits to uncover the plot of an unseen enemy who always seems to be one step ahead of the game.

This is a standalone novella of 25,000 words. No prior knowledge of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence is required to enjoy it, which means it's a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Sorcery Ascendant veterans to spend a little more time with Felicienne Shyrise.


A Shattered Empire
Sorcery Ascendant Sequence 3
Harper Voyager, September 13, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 592 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
In this gritty and breathtaking conclusion to the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, the award-winning fantasy series, a young sorcerer must learn to wield his extraordinary powers to defeat two warring empires.

In a battle of armies and sorcerers, empires will fall.

After young Caldan’s parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked, and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice.

Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic. But as he grows into his powers, the young sorcerer realizes that not all the monsters are on the other side.

And though traps and pitfalls lie ahead, and countless lives are at stake, one thing is certain: to save his life, his friends, and his world, Caldan must risk all to defeat a sorcerer of immense power.

Failure will doom the world.

Success will doom Caldan.





Jon Hollins (Jonathan Wood) (2011)

Fool's Gold
The Dragon Lords 1
Orbit, July 19, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure.

It's not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it's time to band together and steal back some of that wealth.

No one said they were smart.


False Idols
The Dragon Lords 2
Orbit, May 23, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages

[cover not yet revealed]
Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure series.

The Dragons who once ruled over the land are dead.

The motley crew that stumbled through that revolution are rich and praised as saviors.

Everyone gets to live happily ever after, right?

Right?

Well, it might have worked out that way if the dragons in Kondorra had been the only ones. If they hadn't been just the tip of the spear about to fall upon the whole world...





Chris Holm (2012)

The Killing Kind
Mulholland Books, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 15, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself.

- Winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel
- Nominated for the Lefty Award for Best World Mystery Novel
- Nominated for the Best Thriller Barry Award
- Nominated for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he's not so bad a guy.

Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life--and beloved fiancée--and set out on a path of redemption...or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts--he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he'll make sure whoever's coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living--but a great way to make himself a target.


The Approach
Mulholland Books, August 9, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
Hitman with a heart of gold Michael Hendricks is back in this digital-exclusive short story.

When a strip-club mogul puts out a hit on a dancer who won't give him off-the-clock attention, Hendricks takes a detour to Las Vegas to stop the job in its tracks. With tech genius Lester in his ear and a fake identity as cover, Hendricks has only one problem: he has no idea what the target looks like. Against the scorching heat of the city's desert outskirts, a case of mistaken identity nearly turns fatal, but our principled hitman has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve.


Red Right Hand
Mulholland Books, September 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
If the good guys can't save you, call a bad guy.

When viral video of an explosive terrorist attack on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge reveals that a Federal witness long thought dead is still alive, the organization he'd agreed to testify against will stop at nothing to put him in the ground.

FBI Special Agent Charlie Thompson is determined to protect him, but her hands are tied; the FBI's sole priority is catching the terrorists before they strike again. So Charlie calls the only person on the planet who can keep her witness safe: Michael Hendricks.

Once a covert operative for the US military, Hendricks makes his living hitting hitmen... or he did, until the very organization hunting Charlie's witness--the Council--caught wind and targeted the people he loves. Teaming up with a young but determined tech whiz, Cameron, on the condition she leave him alone after the case, Hendricks reluctantly takes the job.

Of course, finding a man desperate to stay hidden is challenging enough without deadly competition, let alone when the competition's shadowy corporate backer is tangled in the terrorist conspiracy playing out around them. And now Hendricks is determined to take the Council down, even if that means wading into the center of a terror plot whose perpetrators are not what they seem.





Jason M. Hough (2013)

Zero World
Del Rey, May 31, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 560 pages
Hardcover and eBook, August 18, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
Published in rapid succession, Jason M. Hough’s first three novels, The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge, earned mountains of praise and comparisons to such authors as James S. A. Corey and John Scalzi. Now Hough returns with a riveting near-future spy thriller that combines the adrenaline of a high-octane James Bond adventure with mind-blowing sci-fi speculations worthy of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

Technologically enhanced superspy Peter Caswell has been dispatched on a top-secret assignment unlike any he’s ever faced. A spaceship that vanished years ago has been found, along with the bodies of its murdered crew—save one. Peter’s mission is to find the missing crew member, who fled through what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space. Beyond this mysterious doorway lies an even more confounding reality: a world that seems to be Earth’s twin.

Peter discovers that this mirrored world is indeed different from his home, and far more dangerous. Cut off from all support, and with only days to complete his operation, Peter must track his quarry alone on an alien world. But he’s unprepared for what awaits on the planet’s surface, where his skills will be put to the ultimate test—and everything he knows about the universe will be challenged in ways he never could have imagined.

Includes the complete bonus novella The Dire Earth, a prequel to the bestselling sci-fi adventure The Darwin Elevator.


Injection Burn
The Dire Earth Duology 1
Del Rey, May 30, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 512 Pages

[cover not yet revealed]
Skyler Luiken, the daring hero of the Dire Earth Cycle, returns in the first book of a standalone action/sci-fi duology pitting a team of tenacious postapocalyptic survivalists against an incredible alien foe.


Escape Velocity
The Dire Earth Duology 2
Del Rey, June 27, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 512 Pages

[cover not yet revealed]
In the second book of the action/sci-fi duology that began with Injection Burn, Skyler Luiken’s elite team of space-faring adventurers must defeat a violent, technologically superior foe if they wish to ever return to Earth.





Sylvia Izzo Hunter (2014)

A Season of Spells
A Noctis Magicae Novel 3
Ace, December 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15
In the latest novel from the author of Lady of Magick, Sophie and Gray Marshall must save the Kingdom of Britain from a tide of dark magic…

Three years after taking up residence at the University of Din Edin, Sophie and Gray return to London, escorting Lucia MacNeill, heiress of Alba, to meet the British prince to whom she is betrothed. Alas, sparks fail to fly between the pragmatic Lucia and the romantic Prince Roland, and the marriage alliance seems to be on shaky ground.

Sophie tries to spark a connection between Roland and Lucia by enlisting them both in her latest scheme: reopening the mysterious and long-shuttered women’s college at Oxford. Though a vocal contingent believes that educating women spells ruin, Sophie and her friends dream of rebuilding the college for a new generation of women scholars.

But the future of the college—and of the kingdom—are imperiled when the men who tried to poison King Henry escape from prison and vanish without a trace. Sophie and Gray will need all their strength and ingenuity—and the help of friends both present and long past—to thwart the enemy at Britain’s gates.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47


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

This Update includes covers that have recently been revealed (by the author or publisher) for books already mentioned in a previous update and/or new books.


Part 1 herePart 11 herePart 21 herePart 31 herePart 41 here
Part 2 herePart 12 herePart 22 herePart 32 herePart 42 here
Part 3 herePart 13 herePart 23 herePart 33 herePart 43 here
Part 4 herePart 14 herePart 24 herePart 34 herePart 44 here
Part 5 herePart 15 herePart 25 herePart 35 herePart 45 here
Part 6 herePart 16 herePart 26 herePart 36 herePart 46 here
Part 7 herePart 17 herePart 27 herePart 37 here
Part 8 herePart 18 herePart 28 herePart 38 here
Part 9 herePart 19 herePart 29 herePart 39 here
Part 10 herePart 20 herePart 30 herePart 40 here




Jordanna Max Brodsky (2016)

Winter of the Gods
Olympus Bound 2
Orbit, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47
Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.

Winter in New York: snow falls, lights twinkle, and a very disgruntled Selene DiSilva prowls the streets looking for prey.

But when a dead body is discovered sprawled atop Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull statue, it’s clear the NYPD can’t solve the murder without help. The murder isn’t just the work of another homicidal cult — this time, someone’s sacrificing the gods themselves.

While raising fundamental questions about the very existence of the gods, Selene must hunt down the perpetrators, tracking a conspiracy that will test the bonds of loyalty and love.
Book Depository

[revealed by Orbit on March 29, 2016 here.]  





Kristi Charish (2015)

Owl and the Electric Samurai
The Owl Series 3
Pocket Star, August 22, 2016
eBook, 416 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47
The third exciting novel starring the unforgettable antiquities thief Owl—a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. From the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish (Owl and the Japanese Circus) and for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.

The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.

Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.

Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…

Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

All in all, just another great day on the job.





Nathan Garrison (2015)

Shadow of the Void
Sundered World Trilogy 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, May 24, 2016
eBook, 448 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47
The Veil has fallen . . . and the gods have been woken.

For many, a new dawn has risen, as freedom from the tyrannical Emperor Rekaj has created a land replete with opportunities. But for those who had lived outside the Veil for generations, the sudden appearance of a new nation is not cause for celebrationits the cause for war.

Yet, even as the political machinations of men and mierothi and valynkar start to manifest on a global scale, there are a few playing their own games. Whether its the powerful combination of Vashodia and Jasside trying to carve out a country for those freed from the Veil, or the warrior Mevon and assassin Draevenus forming an unlikely alliance in search of the dark god Ruul, the world is in chaoswhich might be exactly what some are counting on.

Continuing where VEILED EMPIRE left off, SHADOW OF THE VOID shows us how individuals can shape their own destinies, but not necessarily control them.





Chris Holm (2012)

Red Right Hand
A Michael Hendricks Novel 2
Mulholland Books, Sept. 13, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47
If the good guys can't save you, call a bad guy.

When viral video of a terrorist attack in San Francisco reveals that a Federal witness long thought dead is still alive, the organization he'd agreed to testify against will stop at nothing to put him in the ground.

Special Agent Charlie Thompson is determined to protect him, but her hands are tied; the FBI's sole priority is catching the terrorists before they strike again. So Charlie calls the only person on the planet who can keep her witness safe: Michael Hendricks.

Once a covert operative for the US military, Hendricks makes his living hitting hitmen... or he did, until the very organization hunting Charlie's witness--the Council--caught wind and targeted the people he loves. Now Hendricks is determined to take the Council down, even if that means wading into the center of a terror plot whose perpetrators are not what they seem.





Emma Newman (2013)

After Atlas
A Planetfall Novel 2
Roc, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47
Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems…

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes…


Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015


Here are my top 5 favorite/best books of 2015 (in no particular order). Each of these novels deserves a place on your reading list!



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman

Silver on the Road is one of my favorite books of 2015 because of the wonderful characters and the gorgeous worldbuilding. The novel is at moments like the soft brush of gently swaying prairie grass and at times like the thunder of a herd of buffalo stampeding. There is magic. There are monsters and a 16 year old girl - Isobel - learning her place in the world. The mythology and lore underpinning Silver on the Road are terrific. Isobel is a great character and watching her learn and grow into magic and her new life is captivating. Silver on the Road is a fabulous coming of age story set in a deeply memorable alternative American West.



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig is a technological thriller surrounding issues of government surveillance and overstepping. The Zer0es of the title are 5 hackers on the hook for one year of servitude to the government instead of multiple years in prison. Wendig quickly introduces us to this disparate group as they are rounded up. The novel starts off as hackerpunk and gently slides into cyberpunk and then into what-the-hell-is-that? I absolutely loved it. Wendig has a talent for writing fabulous characters and I always enjoy his offbeat ones immensely. Zer0es surprised me, occasionally frightened me, and totally delighted me.



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Los Nefilim, Part One and Part Two by T. Frohock

I can't tell you how much I adore this series so far - In Midnight’s Silence (Part One) and Without Light or Guide (Part Two). T. Frohock has written engaging characters with an extremely well thought out mythology while at the same time making them confront deeply human emotions and conditions. Diago Alvarez who is half angel and half daimon struggles with this conflict in his nature and the way others perceive him. The relationship between Diago and Miquel (his lover) is gentle and loving and rings with veracity. The writing and pace are gorgeous. The machinations of humans, Nefilim and others create a great backdrop for Diago's story. I can't wait to see what happens in the Part 3 of this series.



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Planetfall by Emma Newman

I am a big 3D printing fan with 2 printers running most of the time at home. Newman takes 3D to new levels in Planetfall - where most everything that the settlers use on a new world is 3D printed. While this part of the novel charmed me, it's not what kept me reading. This story of betrayal, lies, religion, science, and extraordinarily flawed characters is fantastic. Newman pulls off the neat trick of making me empathize with characters that I often did not like, in particular Renata Ghali. Things really go sideways for Ren during the 22 years she and the rest of the settlers have been living on a planet far from earth. Newman slowly peels back the layers of lies and mysteries that surround planetfall and the colony giving readers a fascinating look at human behavior.



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
The Killing Kind by Chris Holm

Hands down this is the best thriller I read in 2015. Holm bends the hired killer trope to give us a fascinating look at hit man who kills hit men. Getting inside the mind of our 'hero', Michael Hendricks, was a blast if often somewhat disturbing. The cat and mouse game between Hendricks and the hitman hired to take him out is nerve wracking and exciting,  The action scenes are often breathtaking. The writing is top notch. The Killing Kind kept me on the edge of my seat. Hendricks is the morally challenged good guy that you'll come to really like.







Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Silver on the Road
The Devil's West 1
Saga Press, October 6, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

A heroic fantasy by an award-winning author about a young woman who is trained in the art of the sinister hand of magic, but at what price?

Isobel, upon her sixteenth birthday, makes the choice to work for the devil in his territory west of the Mississippi. But this is not the devil you know. This is a being who deals fairly with immense—but not unlimited—power, who offers opportunities to people who want to make a deal, and they always get what they deserve. But his land is a wild west that needs a human touch, and that’s where Izzy comes in. Inadvertently trained by him to see the clues in and manipulations of human desire, Izzy is raised to be his left hand and travel circuit through the territory. As we all know, where there is magic there is chaos…and death.





Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Zer0es
Harper Voyager, August 18, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

An exhilarating thrill-ride through the underbelly of cyber espionage in the vein of David Ignatius’s The Director and the television series Leverage, CSI: Cyber, and Person of Interest, which follows five iconoclastic hackers who are coerced into serving the U.S. government.

An Anonymous-style rabble rouser, an Arab spring hactivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll are each offered a choice: go to prison or help protect the United States, putting their brains and skills to work for the government for one year.

But being a white-hat doesn’t always mean you work for the good guys. The would-be cyberspies discover that behind the scenes lurks a sinister NSA program, an artificial intelligence code-named Typhon, that has origins and an evolution both dangerous and disturbing. And if it’s not brought down, will soon be uncontrollable.

Can the hackers escape their federal watchers and confront Typhon and its mysterious creator? And what does the government really want them to do? If they decide to turn the tables, will their own secrets be exposed—and their lives erased like lines of bad code?

Combining the scientific-based, propulsive narrative style of Michael Crichton with the eerie atmosphere and conspiracy themes of The X-Files and the imaginative, speculative edge of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, Zer0es explores our deep-seated fears about government surveillance and hacking in an inventive fast-paced novel sure to earn Chuck Wendig the widespread acclaim he deserves.





Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
In Midnight’s Silence
Los Nefilim: Part One
Harper Voyager Impulse, June 23, 2015
eBook, 128 pages

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…

Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can't get to him directly, they do the one thing he's always feared.

They go after Miquel.

Now, in order to save his lover's life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world's next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.

A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock's In Midnight's Silence shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he'll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.



Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Without Light or Guide
Los Nefilim: Part Two
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 3, 2015
eBook, 128 pages

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…

Always holding themselves aloft from the affairs of mortals, Los Nefilim have thrived for eons. But with the Spanish Civil War looming, their fragile independence is shaken by the machinations of angels and daimons…and a half-breed caught in-between.

For although Diago Alvarez has pledged his loyalty to Los Nefilim, there are many who don't trust his daimonic blood. And with the re-emergence of his father—a Nefil who sold his soul to a daimon—the fear is Diago will soon follow the same path.

Yet even as Diago tries to prove his allegiance, events conspire that only fuel the other Nefilim's suspicions—including the fact that every mortal Diago has known in Barcelona is being brutally murdered.

The second novella in T. Frohock's Los Nefilim series, Without Light or Guide continues Diago's journey through a world he was born into, yet doesn't quite understand.





Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
Planetfall
Roc, November 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thornscomes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

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

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

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

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





Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015
The Killing Kind
Mulholland Books, September 15, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Trade Paperback to be published September 1, 2016

A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself.

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he's not so bad a guy.

Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life--and beloved fiancée--and set out on a path of redemption...or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts--he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he'll make sure whoever's coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living--but a great way to make himself a target.


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10


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



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




Linda Grimes (2012)

Pre-Fix
A Ciel Halligan Short Story
Tor Books, March 31, 2015
e-Book, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Meet Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, in this charming introduction to Linda Grimes' "sparkling series" (Publishers Weekly).

A genetic quirk means Ciel can take on the appearance of anyone she meets by projecting their aura. This startling ability presents endless possibilities, and she's one of a rare few who has it...so you'd think it'd be easier finding a day job that lets her put it to use. Actress? Model? Ethically dubious and possibly criminal activities, like her best friend Billy? Ciel's long-time crush and fellow aura adaptor, Mark, has found his calling as a CIA agent-a life of intrigue, danger, and the perfect utilization of their rather unique skill set. It seems like the obvious choice to Ciel: She could do good and spend time with her crush. What could be better?

"Seamlessly blending humor and action...This deliciously sexy and fun-filled romp simply is a must-read."-RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars, Top Pick! on In a Fix


The Big Fix
Ciel Halligan 3
Tor Books, May 12, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Linda Grimes's sexy and hilarious urban fantasy series that began with In a Fix and Quick Fix continues in The Big Fix.

Aura adaptor extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients' problems—as them—is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest mega-millions Hollywood blockbuster. There's only one thing Jack fears more than snakes, and that's the possibility of his fans finding out he screams at the sight of one. Going from hero to laughing stock isn't part of his career plan.

Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn't particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price—which Jack is offering, and then some. What she doesn't count on is finding out that while she was busy wrangling snakes for him, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder.

Ciel begins to suspect Jack's phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi—but if she goes to the police, she'll have to explain how she knows he wasn't really on set. Up against a wall, Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime.


All Fixed Up
Ciel Halligan 4
Tor Books, May 24, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, has a lot of experience filling in for her clients--as them. A rare genetic quirk gives her the ability to absorb human energy and project it back out in a flawless imitation. She's hard at work, posing as a well-known and celebrated astronaut, about to make a stunning announcement on behalf of the space program...when the photographer documenting the job sees right through her aura. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that he not only knows Ciel’s not who she's supposed to be, but means her harm.

When Ciel's elderly Aunt Helen—also an aura adaptor—is murdered in Central Park, and the same photographer shows up at the funeral, Ciel starts to feel even more exposed. Then more adaptors are killed in the same way, and she becomes terrified her friends and family are being systematically exterminated ... and it's starting to look like she's the ultimate target. She turns to Billy Doyle, her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, for help, but when an unexpected crisis causes him to take off without a word, she's left to rely on her not-so-former crush, CIA agent Mark Fielding.

Staying alive, keeping control of her romantic life, and unraveling the mystery of why adaptors are being pursued becomes a harder balancing act than ever in this new Ciel Halligan adventure from Linda Grimes.




Rhiannon Held (2012)

Back a Winner
A Silver Universe Story
July 6, 2015
eBook, 12 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Pierce must soon give his alpha an answer whether he will accept a position of Seattle pack beta, but he can’t bring himself to decide. At the track, memories haunt him, throwing his fear into sharp relief.


Temper
A Silver Universe Story
July 6, 2015
eBook, 21 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Hoping for a relaxing vacation to roam and get over a bad break-up, Tom instead finds something incredibly dangerous for all werewolves: a cemetery with Were secrets engraved on the stones for any human to see. When a couple of young werewolves from the Billings pack interfere with his plans to take care of the problem, it gets hard for him to keep his anger in check.


Lady Ceremony
A Silver Universe Story
Aug 5, 2015
eBook, 16 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
School’s out for the summer, and Ginnie’s determined to visit her friends in the Boston pack, even if she has to defy her father and sneak out to do it. After all, it was her father the alphas exiled to the wilds of northern Quebec, not her. But she never counted on her first shift into wolf coming so soon, leaving her aching and frightened on a bus, surrounded by humans who can’t be allowed to see her other form.


Wolfsbane
Silver 4
Rhianon Held, August 22, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
When an envoy arrives from the secretive Russian werewolf pack, Roanoke alphas Silver and Andrew Dare are instantly suspicious. Tatiana claims she has been sent to locate an heirloom, lost by immigrants centuries ago, but she and the alphas both suspect that Russia fears the strength of the newly-united, continent-spanning Roanoke pack.

What Tatiana doesn't realize is that her pack is willing to sacrifice even their own trained spy for their goals. The drugged wine they’ve given her is too strong, and instead of rendering Silver and Andrew biddable, it nearly kills her and traps the alphas in dreams that could destroy them. The alphas must fight to wake and Tatiana must fight to help them—because with the furious Roanoke pack howling for her blood, her life could depend on it.




Chris Holm (2012)

The Killing Kind
Mulholland Books, September 15, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Trade Paperback to be published September 1, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself.

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he's not so bad a guy.

Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life--and beloved fiancée--and set out on a path of redemption...or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts--he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he'll make sure whoever's coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living--but a great way to make himself a target.




Alex Hughes (2012)

How to Drive Yourself Crazy as a Writer
July 2015
eBook, 68 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Lately I’ve been noticing a distressing excess of sanity in the creative and writing worlds. Why, new writers have even begun to challenge the Great Assertion that one must be poor and miserable to be any good! This Assertion, as you know, is the bedrock to creating meaningful Art.

Fear not. You are not at the mercy of the forces of Sanity and Productivity. For those distressed by the relentless forward drive of Efficiency, this book will provide a refreshing antidote.

Before you know it, through my simple and practical Assertions, you too will adopt the maddening and complex process that is True Writing, and embrace creative insanity as comfortably as a bat in a belfry!

How to Drive Yourself Crazy as a Writer is the satirical how-to writing book you never knew you needed, chock-full of practical advice and easy steps to fill your creative life with trauma, missteps and angst.

Take another look at the life of a writer, and immerse yourself in the hysterical chaos of the life of a miserable, starving-in-a-garret author… or, perhaps, laugh your way to the other side of writer’s block.


Fluid
A Mindspace Investigations Novella
Book 4.5
October 27, 2015
Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Good Cop, Bad Cop

A prominent journalist has been found dead, a journalist investigating police corruption. I'm supposed to be working in my new P. I. firm, but the money's not enough so I'm back consulting for the police as a telepath. Turns out this case is a doozy--the journalist was an addict, even worse than I was before I cleaned up my act. But he saved some kids from a sweatshop years ago, and then there's this corruption thing he's been looking into, which makes all the cops sweat.

The police's Powers That Be would really, really like for the journalist's death be an accident--the physical evidence even points in that direction. In Mindspace, however, it's clearly murder. With increasing pressure on myself and Detective Freeman to drop this case, I'll have to fight my way through to find the killer. And worse? If it's one of the cops who did the killing, I don't know if they'll get justice, or I'll get paid.

Fluid and Temper are companion novellas, taking place at the same time.  Fluid follows Adam’s activities; Temper follows Cherabino’s.


The Three Words Project
Stories Inspired by Readers
November 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 62 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Banana. Elephantine. Kendama. -- What kind of worlds can be created from just three words?

In the summer of 2014, I asked the readers of my email newsletter to send me just three words, which I would use to inspire flash fiction pieces I'd write on the spot. The project ended up a lot more popular than I expected, with dozens of word sets coming in both that summer and the following winter. The words ranged from fedora to susurrus, from explosion to widdershins, and I was inspired to write flash fiction stories just as diverse in content.

From a time traveler stuck on hold while being chased by a dinosaur, to family inheritance dispute, a magician's quarrel to a private investigator on New Mars, not to mention a haunted bone garden and a Viking coming of age story, these stories run the gamut of time and space in bite-sized pieces. Each comes labeled with the three words that inspired it, both as a tribute to the original reader and as a fun glimpse into the mind of a writer at play.


Temper
A Mindspace Investigations Novella
Book 4.7
Alexandra Hughes LLC, December 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 100 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Introducing Temper, the first Mindspace Investigations novella from ex-Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino's point of view...

Some Clients Test You More Than Others

Getting fired from the DeKalb County P.D. was hard, and starting up a private investigation firm has turned out to be even harder. The bills aren't getting paid, and it doesn't help that my partner the telepath keeps getting called away to work for the police department that dropped me like a bad habit. It makes me sad. And angry. A whole lot angry. But when a big-time steel mill mogul comes to Mindspace Investigations PI for help finding his blackmailer, I jump at the chance to get justice for someone again.

Unfortunately, there's a lot more to this case than meets the eye. Shady union dealings. Ties to the mob. Questionable motives. Lies and half-truths. But we need the money, and I can't afford to be picky about jobs right now. No matter how much I dislike the client.

My sensei used to tell me that picking a fight was a bad idea for anyone, but a particularly bad idea for me. But sometimes you don't get to pick your battles. I just hope this is a fight I can win without crossing too many lines.

Fluid and Temper are companion novellas, taking place at the same time.  Fluid follows Adam’s activities; Temper follows Cherabino’s.




Benedict Jacka (2012)

Burned
Alex Verus 7
Ace, April 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Mage Alex Verus is back in the seventh in the “gorgeously realized”* urban fantasy series from the national bestselling author of Veiled.

I’m used to people wanting me dead. But, this time, I’m not the only one on the hit list—and time is running out…

Diviner Alex Verus finally made one too many enemies on the Council of Mages, and now one of them is angry enough to have him executed. Fighting for his life is nothing new, but this kill order also calls for the death of Alex’s dependents—and there’s no way that he’ll let Luna, Anne, and Vari take the heat.

With only a week before he’s history, Alex will have to figure out how to disassociate himself from his friends, scrounge up allies on the Council, and hopefully keep his head attached to his body.

But saving himself is going to bring him into direct opposition with his former master and the Dark mages surrounding him. And, this time, escaping with his life might mean losing his soul…




Anne E. Johnson (2012)

Things from Other Worlds
October 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 82 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
"Enchanting!" -Ellie Ann, New York Times bestseller

Many strange things wait inside these pages. There's a fuzzy ball of kindness, camped out on a grumpy man's porch. A chewed piece of gum with a mind of its own. A smart Alec who actually stands in line twice when they're handing out brains. A girl who isn't afraid when all the plants in her neighborhood come to life.

This collection of science fiction and fantasy stories for kids by award-winning author Anne E. Johnson is perfect for ages 8-12, or anyone with a child's heart.


The Clay War
November 8, 2015
eBook, 16 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
One minute, Shelly is on her fire escape in Detroit. The next, she's in a strange world with two rival battalions of fairies flying toward her. Good thing she has some city-smarts to get her out of this alarming situation.

This short fantasy story by award-winning children's author Anne E. Johnson is intended for ages 8-12.

Amazon : Barnes and Noble : iBooks : Kobo


2016 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide     Multiple Authors including Anne E. Johnson
Dreaming Robot Press, November 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 402 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
The Universe keeps getting bigger! The adventure continues in this second collection of science fiction short stories for middle grade readers. From a future that could be right around the corner, to cultures that stretch what it means to be human, the common thread of our stories are the girls and boys who take action, solve problems, and become the leaders of tomorrow. Welcome Young Explorers!
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
iBooks : Kobo


The Orpheus Factor
December 15, 2015
ebook, 59 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10
Maybe the aliens are already here.
These six works of short science fiction by award-winning author Anne E. Johnson range from Earth-bound cyberpunk to a space-opera retelling of an ancient Greek myth. All-in-all, the collection will leave you ... unsettled.


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 15What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 47Qwill's Favorite/Best Books of 2015What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10

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