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Guest Blog by Claire R. McDougall - The Balls are in Your Court - April 14, 2014


Please welcome Claire R. McDougall to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Veil of Time, Claire's debut novel, was published on March 11, 2014 by Gallery Books. You may read our interview with Claire here.



Guest Blog by Claire R. McDougall - The Balls are in Your Court - April 14, 2014




The Balls are in Your Court

I was told a story recently which shows just how whimsical this publishing business is and why you shouldn't give up.

Here is Jenny's story: she wrote 8 novels that didn’t sell. In 2000 she got an agent. In the next 13 years, she had 3 agents and had her eighth novel come very close to being accepted by several major publishers, always to miss at the very end.

One day she wrote Nancy Pickard a fan note about Nancy's new book, Scent of Rain and Lightening. They got into an email exchange and when Nancy learned how close her novel had come several times, she offered to read it. (Something she normally never does.) And she liked it! So much so that she sent it to her editor at Ballantine (something else she has never done.)

Her editor liked it! And the novel is now out in hard cover. (Title is Cover of Snow). Ballantine accepted the manuscript 2 years ago and even though it was already highly polished, Jenny spent another year of polishing under the aegis of her editor.

Jenny’s story sounds a lot like mine, except in my case there was no magical fan note and no celebrated author to get me to that publisher. I went along to agent meetings at the local writer’s conference every summer for many years until finally one of my (8) manuscripts was picked up by a New York agent. And even then it took a couple of years until the manuscript sold, and even then it wasn’t even the manuscript he had picked up but one I wrote while waiting for the first one to sell!

The late John Denver who hailed from this area, was due once to meet his brother for a round of golf at a local course. When his brother arrived at the clubhouse, he was handed a couple of golf balls by the superintendent: "John said to give you these. He says, for this game you're going to need balls." Same goes for writing and publishing and any other stage for which there is a glut of performers standing in the wings.

The problem is, that glut of artists needs to get through a barrier manned by folk who often wouldn't know a good piece of art if it jumped up and did a belly dance. I know people all through the arts facing this. I always say there are two levels of art in any given age: there's real art and then there's fashion. Fashion always has its guardians, the ones who need to attach themselves to trends to give themselves some sense of identity. These are the guardians of buzz and not to be mistaken for wizards. Wizards are few and far between.

So, the lesson today is: Keep pushing ahead! Elbow those twits out of the way and get to the stage. Sing your song for all your worth. Turn deaf ears on the boos if they come, and on the applause if it comes instead. Both are empty responses. You should be listening to your heart. That's all. Here endeth the first lesson.





Veil of Time

Veil of Time
Gallery Books, March 11, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Guest Blog by Claire R. McDougall - The Balls are in Your Court - April 14, 2014
A compelling tale of two Scotlands—one modern, one ancient—and the woman who parts the veil between them.

The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe, my heart? 





About Claire

Guest Blog by Claire R. McDougall - The Balls are in Your Court - April 14, 2014
Claire R McDougall was born and raised in Scotland. The daughter of a minister, she moved from parish to parish until her family settled in rural Argyll when she was twelve. After high school she moved to Germany to work as an au pair for a year, then studied at Edinburgh University pursuing a masters degree in philosophy (with a detour to Dartmouth College.) From Edinburgh she went on scholarship for four years to Christ Church, Oxford, where she attempted to shake the foundations by writing a thesis on Nietzsche and Christianity. No luck there, and, anyway, the writing life was calling. For a couple of years Claire wrote a column for a New Hampshire newspaper. A move to Aspen, Colorado, coincided with her first forays into the genre of poetry, and from there she explored the short story form, finally settling on writing novels. Claire's first novel to be published comes out March 2014.

Website  ~  Twitter @Kilmartin1978


The View From Monday - March 10, 2014


Happy first Monday after the start of Daylight Savings Time in most of the US. Oddly we spend more time in DST than Standard Time now.  I envision a future in which DST will be in place for the entire year and become Standard Time. I'm sure there's an SF story in that somewhere. Moving on to real stories, we've another very full release week with 4 debuts.


The View From Monday - March 10, 2014



This week's debuts:

Full-Blood Half-Breed by Cleve Lamison;

The Detainee by Peter Liney;

Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall;

and

The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone by Will Storr.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors:

The Raven's Shadow (The Wild Hunt 3) by Elspeth Cooper (you can enter to win a copy here).

No Hero (Arthur Wallace 1) by Jonathan Wood is reissued in Mass Market Paperback (a terrific read; you can read my review here).



March 10, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Slam Dance with the Devil (e) Nico Rosso PNR - Demon Rock 2
Helmut Saves the World (e) Matt Sheehan AH/UF



March 11, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: Prisoner of the Daleks Trevor Baxendale SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Doctor Who: Corpse Marker Chris Boucher SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Night Broken Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 8
The Fell Sword Miles Cameron F - Traitor Son Cycle 2
Doctor Who: Sting of the Zygons Stephen Cole SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Working God's Mischief Glen Cook F - Instrumalities of the Night 4
The Raven's Shadow Elspeth Cooper F - Wild Hunt 3
The Terminal Man (ri) Michael Crichton SF
Marrow's Pit (Kindle e) Keith Deininger SP/SF/H
Doctor Who: Shakedown Terrence Dicks SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Questionable Practices: Stories Eileen Gunn F/SF - Collection
Mentats of Dune Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
SF - Dune
For Honor We Stand H. Paul Honsinger SF - Man of War 2
Full-Blood Half-Breed (D) (e) Cleve Lamison F
The Detainee (D) Peter Liney SF
A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin
Daniel Abraham
F - Graphic Novel 3
Veil of Time (D) Claire R. McDougall TTR
Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel Jonathan Morris SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
The Demonologist (h2tp) Andrew Pyper H
Doctor Who: The Sands of Time Justin Richards SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Doctor Who: Scales of Injustice Gary Russell SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Night of the Hunter R. A. Salvatore F - Dungeon & Dragons: Forgotten Realms: Companions Codex 1
Blood and Iron Jon Sprunk F - Book of the Black Earth 1
The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone (D) Will Storr GothicH/FT/Sus
Doctor Who: Illegal Alien Mike Tucker SF - Doctor Who: The Monster Collection Edition
Nothing to Fear: A Tor.com Original (e) Eric Walters SF
Thief of the Ancients Mike Wild SF - Twilight of Kerberos Omnibus
No Hero (tp2mm) Jonathan Wood UF - Arthur Wallace 1
The Iron Jackal (h2mm) Chris Wooding F - Tale of Ketty Jay 3
The Empire Omnibus Chris Wraight
Nick Kyme
Darius Hinks
F - Warhammer



March 12, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
I Can See Right Through You: A Tor.com Original (e) Kelly Link UF




March 13, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Wicker Man (ri) Robin Hardy H
A Knight Like No Other (e) Michelle Miles FR - Realm of Honor 4



March 15, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind Dru Pagliassotti SP/SF - Clockwork Heart Trilogy 2
The Braided Path Donna Glee Williams F


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint

AH - Alternate History
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
FT - Fary Tale
GothicH - Gothic Horror
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Sus - Suspense
TTR  - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy



Interview with Claire R. McDougall, author of Veil of Time - March 7, 2014


Please welcome Claire R. McDougall to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Veil of Time, Claire's debut novel, will be published on March 11, 2014 by Gallery Books.



Interview with Claire R. McDougall, author of Veil of Time - March 7, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Claire:  Thank you for this invitation to present my book as I see it.

I think I must always have had the urge to write. When I was around ten years old, I wrote a novella (very short, but seemed like a marathon at the time!) When I went to work in Germany after high school, I quickly found out the word for writer (Schriftsteller) and told people that’s what I wanted to become. And then I spent eight years working on two degrees in philosophy! So, I lost the thread for a while there. But I wasn’t good at academic writing – the metaphors and images kept pushing their way in, much to my tutors’ consternation. I started writing poetry when I took up creative writing again, and it felt like a huge relief to let all this subterranean life out into words. I knew I had come home.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Claire:  Without a doubt, a pantser (I had to look that one up!) My mental image for what I do when I start a story is of me standing before a great forest in the dark with a flashlight. I only ever see as much as the small light in front of me illumines. At the start of a story, I gather my players, and then I listen to how they interact. The plot comes out of the characters, though I probably have a sense of the overarching arc of the story somewhere in the back of my mind, much as, if I were really walking through a forest in the dark, I would have a sense of the direction I was moving in. DH Lawrence is the best example of a pantser, so much so that he couldn’t really re-work any story, but had to go back out to the edge of the forest and walk through it again. That’s why we have two versions of Lady Chatterly’s Lover.



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

Claire:  I find, like a lot of writers, that a routine of time and place is essential. Mornings are the best time for me, going into my office, going through a little ritual of performing meaningless tasks until I sit down at my desk and look at the screen. At that point, I pass (hopefully pass) into the creative space from which art emanates. As far as what is challenging – the hardest thing is having any sense at all for the quality of what is coming out of me. Everything I write is like a child to me, and like a parent, I look at it fondly and declare it beautiful. Sometimes I have to face the fact that it isn’t beautiful, that the baby is in fact ugly. I wish I had a literary meter with a red needle, like a tuner, that swung into the “Excellent” range or the “Stinky” one. Then it would be easy.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Claire:  For influences I would have to say DH Lawrence, not so much for style but for his interest in the psychology of relationships. For style, I think the poets influenced me as much as anyone – all the lovely lines of Dylan Thomas, the beautiful images of WB Yeats. The Scottish writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon drew me in and opened for me the possibility of a Celtic canvas for my literary endeavours. John Steinbeck is a fantastic writer, and if I had nothing but his novels to feast off for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t go hungry. There is so much there. In literature I look for meaty prose – Paul Harding, James Galvin and Joe Henry .



TQ:  Describe Veil of Time in 140 characters or less.

Claire:  Veil of Time is a book about time. “What is time?” is one of the most fundamental questions we as a race have asked ourselves. I want to say that time is a fabrication that we impose on experience.



TQ:  Tell us something about Veil of Time that is not in the book description.

Claire:  I grew up about three miles away from the location for the book, Dunadd Fort. My childhood friend eventually bought the farm at the base of the hill, and when I go back to Scotland, this is where I like to stay, right in the cottage where my protagonist has the seizures that transport her back to Dunadd Fort in its heyday. The modern part of the story is very visceral for me – I can smell the soil on the banks of the river that winds through the farm and feel the inch-think moss at my fingertips as it grows in the crevices of the walls. When Maggie climbs the path to the top of the fort, I am right there with her, stepping along the slabs of stone and breathing in the smell of head high bracken.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Veil of Time?

Claire:  I had for some time wanted to write about this place Dunadd which sits in a valley surrounded by stone artifacts from an age that we really know little about. We know a little about the fort itself because of archeological digs, and what they have turned up has been quite astounding – we normally think of a distant age like that of eighth century rural Scotland as lost in this swirl of what we have termed “The Dark Ages.” We think of the people as little more than cavemen. But the archeologists have found shards from glasses up there, evidence of French wine and intricately fashioned jewellery. They assume that there was much trade going on with the rest of Britain from Dunadd, as well as with continental Europe and beyond. So the place is magical, and I wished there was a way for me to write about it. I have already written several novels set in other parts of the area. But I couldn’t see writing about Dunadd except in its heyday. When Audrey Niffenegger’s book, “The Time Travel’s Wife,” came out to great applause from the literary community, I realized that here I might have my vehicle.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Veil of Time?

Claire:  I did research for the book on an as-needed basis. Not much is known about the era, and so quite a bit of it had to be filled in from other sources (for instance, from other more primitive yet not less sophisticated peoples. I used at least one ceremony from a Native American source.) I did have to keep fact-checking things like, when potatoes made it to Scotland, or even carrots – what resources did they have for living on a daily basis? I had to know which animals, now extinct in Scotland, once roamed the countryside. I spent some time in the Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, because they have a whole basement full of ancient Scottish relics, and a reconstructed house from the era. It was interesting to learn that Whisky, Scotland’s national drink, didn’t actually make it on to the scene until it was brought in with the establishment of Christian monasteries. It was very important for me to get things like this right.



TQ:  Why did you choose to write a Time Travel Romance? Do you want to write in any other genres or sub-genres?

Claire:  I never did set out to write a time travel romance. It just so happens that the book uses time travel as a means of exploring an important part of Scottish history (that is, the interface between the old goddess religion and the incursion of Christianity.) Being a student of DH Lawrence, I couldn’t have written a story without a primary love relationship. So, Veil of Time, does have the components of a time travel romance, but I don’t personally think of it as belonging to that genre.

As for other genres, I have written a young adult book called “Mustang” about the plight of the wild mustangs in the west. One of my other novels is really a heist about the robbery of ancient Scottish artifacts from the British Museum in London by a wild Scottish nationalist – I suppose that is a different genre. Most of my books are just literary fiction with a Scottish setting.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Claire:  I suppose the easiest character to write was my protagonist Maggie because she was the closest to myself. I was constantly trying to make her different from me, though: I don’t have epilepsy for one thing, and I am not divorced for another, neither have I lost a child. But the way it goes – her opinions pretty much align with mine. I’m not sure if that is a fault, but the writer is always present in the writing, unless you are writing formulaic stories in particular genres. Jim Galvin, Maggie’s neighbor, was a fun character to write. I enjoyed writing the banter between the two of them, because I enjoy banter in life. Fergus was probably one of the more difficult characters to write – he kept eluding me, really. I do like him, though, as he came out in the end. He is trying to come to terms with a lot of things in himself, but he has a good moral compass. Murdoch was easier, because his motives and modus operandi are just more straightforward – there is less soul to explore in his case. And yet Murdoch isn’t all villain – you do empathise with him as well as condemn him.


TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from Veil of Time.

Claire:  “I come from Scotland in the twenty-first century, where there are no more witches except at Halloween, and even then they are not proper witches, but just cartoons.”



TQ:  What's next?

Claire:  After the enormous labour of birthing this book, I want to take a few deep breaths, and then jump right back in to the whole process again and get the sequel (which I have already written) published. That’s in the short term. In the long term, I have a backlog of novels, including my Y/A horse story, that need a bit of brushing up, but which I hope to see in print. And then of course, there will probably be a sequel to the sequel of “Veil of Time.”



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Claire:  Thank you for this opportunity to share the word about my book and help propel it into the world. I appreciate it very much.





Veil of Time

Veil of Time
Gallery Books, March 11, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Claire R. McDougall, author of Veil of Time - March 7, 2014
A compelling tale of two Scotlands—one modern, one ancient—and the woman who parts the veil between them.

The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe, my heart? 





About Claire

Interview with Claire R. McDougall, author of Veil of Time - March 7, 2014
Claire R McDougall was born and raised in Scotland. The daughter of a minister, she moved from parish to parish until her family settled in rural Argyll when she was twelve. After high school she moved to Germany to work as an au pair for a year, then studied at Edinburgh University pursuing a masters degree in philosophy (with a detour to Dartmouth College.) From Edinburgh she went on scholarship for four years to Christ Church, Oxford, where she attempted to shake the foundations by writing a thesis on Nietzsche and Christianity. No luck there, and, anyway, the writing life was calling. For a couple of years Claire wrote a column for a New Hampshire newspaper. A move to Aspen, Colorado, coincided with her first forays into the genre of poetry, and from there she explored the short story form, finally settling on writing novels. Claire's first novel to be published comes out March 2014.

Website  ~  Twitter @Kilmartin1978

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts


There are 16 debuts for March. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The March debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite March cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on March 15th.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at DAC.TheQwillery  @  gmail . com (remove the spaces).



Mary Behre

Spirited
Tidewater 1
Berkley, March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be…



Jeremy P. Bushnell

The Weirdness
Melville House, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
With the literary muscle of Victor LaValle’s Big Machine and the outlandish humor of Kevin Smith’s Dogma, this debut reveals the dark underbelly of the NY literary scene.

What do you do when you wake up hung over and late for work only to find a stranger on your couch? And what if that stranger turns out to be an Adversarial Manifestation who has already brewed you a fresh cup of fair-trade coffee? If you’re Billy Ridgeway, you take the coffee.

“This is some kind of make-a-deal-with-the-Devil type shit,” he says. Lucifer explains that Billy must steal the Neko of Infinite Equilibrium, a cat-shaped statue with magical powers, before the most powerful warlock in the eastern United States can upset the balance of the universe. In exchange, Billy’s novel will be published for a five-figure advance.

Traffic may be in the way of Billy’s getaway car, he may lose his job at the Greek deli, his girlfriend may break up with him, and it’s likely he’ll have to battle his greatest literary rival with his fists… but one way or another, he is determined to become a published author and save the universe.

Along the way, Billy learns about courage, friendship, and love, while considering some important questions: Why do people have pets? Who would store seafood in a warehouse in Chelsea? And where do those bananas in bodegas come from, anyway?



Patricia Cori

The Emissary
North Atlantic Books, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
In her debut novel, Patricia Cori weaves her visionary message into a page-turning fantasy adventure that speaks to the very soul of the planet.

Within minutes of one another, three bone-chilling events take place around the globe. In Los Angeles, hundreds of blackbirds drop out of the sky, zapped to their death, mid-flight; in Maine, miles of beach are covered in tens of thousands of dead fish; in New Zealand, 150 whales and dolphins lie dead or dying on the beach.

Jamie Hastings, a renowned psychic researcher and telepath, forges a deep soul connection with the dying whales that leads to her troubled journey at sea as a consultant for USOIL, a Texas based oil company that's drilling in the most pristine waters of the Pacific Northwest, looking for oil--or so it seems. A bizarre unfolding of events aboard ship sparks the unraveling of a truly evil plan of a secret government that is intent upon silencing the music of the oceans and destroying all life on the planet.

As impossible as it is to imagine anything as sinister as the shadow Jamie faces in her mission to save the earth from the doomsday weapon bearing down on the world, the fact is that it is actually happening, at this very moment, while most of the world is asleep--or simply unaware.

One woman has been chosen to be the voice, against the forces of evil, of the cherished creatures of the sea. She is the emissary.

The question is: Is there still time for her to stop it?



Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted
Harper, March 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
Fiction Debut

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.

"This is an enchanted place. Others don’t see it, but I do." The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honesty and corruption—ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality.



Kenneth Calhoun

Black Moon
Hogarth, March 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
For fans of The Age of Miracles and The Dog Stars, Black Moon is a hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.



Lynne Gentry

Healer of Carthage
The Carthage Chronicles 1
Howard Books, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
A twenty-first-century doctor. A third-century plague. A love out of time.

First-year resident Dr. Lisbeth Hastings is too busy to take her father’s bizarre summons seriously. But when a tragic mistake puts her career in jeopardy, answering her father’s call seems her only hope of redeeming the devastating failure that her life has become.

While exploring the haunting cave at her father’s archaeological dig, Lisbeth falls through a hidden hole, awakening to find herself the object of a slave auction and the ruins of Roman Carthage inexplicably restored to a thriving metropolis. Is it possible that she’s traveled back in time, and, if so, how can she find her way back home?

Cyprian Thascius believes God called him to rescue the mysterious woman from the slave trader’s cell. What he doesn’t understand is why saving the church of his newfound faith requires him to love a woman whose peculiar ways could get him killed. But who is he to question God?

As their different worlds collide, it sparks an intense attraction that unites Lisbeth and Cyprian in a battle against a deadly epidemic. Even as they confront persecution, uncover buried secrets, and ignite the beginnings of a medical revolution, Roman wrath threatens to separate them forever. Can they find their way to each other through all these obstacles? Or are the eighteen hundred years between them too far of a leap?



Wayne Gladstone

Notes from the Internet Apocalypse
Thomas Dunne Books, March 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data and streaming entertainment. Addicts wander the streets talking to themselves in 140 characters or forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement, while the truly desperate pin their requests for casual encounters on public bulletin boards. The economy tumbles and the government passes the draconian NET Recovery Act.

For Gladstone, the Net’s disappearance comes particularly hard, following the loss of his wife, leaving his flask of Jamesons and grandfather’s fedora as the only comforts in his Brooklyn apartment. But there are rumors that someone in New York is still online. Someone set apart from this new world where Facebook flirters "poke" each other in real life and members of Anonymous trade memes at secret parties. Where a former librarian can sell information as a human search engine and the perverted fulfill their secret fetishes at the blossoming Rule 34 club. With the help of his friends---a blogger and a webcam girl, both now out of work---Gladstone sets off to find the Internet. But is he the right man to save humanity from this Apocalypse?

For those of you wondering if you have WiFi right now, Wayne Gladstone’s Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question "What is life without the Web?"



Sarah Harian

The Wicked We Have Done
Chaos Theory 1
InterMix, March 18, 2014
eBook

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
Darkly suspenseful and completely unexpected, The Wicked We Have Done is a debut author’s thrilling new take on New Adult romance.

Twenty-two-year-old Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either. 



Cleve Lamison

Full-Blood Half-Breed
Hydra, March 11, 2014
eBook, 286 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
In Cleve Lamison’s hard-hitting debut, two young men divided by an intense hatred—yet marked with a common destiny—have the power to save the world . . . or destroy it.

It’s been two thousand years since the bastard spawn of the god Creador lost their war to enslave humankind, transforming the Thirteen Kingdoms into a violent world where the martial arts are exalted as sacred gifts from the gods—and honor is won through arena blood sport.

Paladin Del Darkdragón, a sixteen-year-old warrior-in-training, is a “half-breed.” His battle against pure-blood bullies like Fox the Runt has forced him to master the four fighting forms. But when he blends them, he is condemned as a heretic by authorities and banished from the training temples. Seeking redemption, he enrolls in the arena games, savage trials that end in death.

This year’s games mask an old plot driven by a new prophet. With a horde of Creador’s Bastards and an army of fanatics led by Fox the Runt at his command, the Prophet will bend the world to his will or burn it to ash.

Paladin faces an impossible choice: redeem his honor in a fight he can’t hope to survive, or abandon his loved ones to perish in the sweeping holy war consuming the Kingdoms.



Daniel Levine

Hyde
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 18, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
What happens when a villain becomes a hero?

Mr. Hyde is trapped, locked in Dr. Jekyll’s surgical cabinet, counting the hours until his inevitable capture. As four days pass, he has the chance, finally, to tell his story—the story of his brief, marvelous life.

Summoned to life by strange potions, Hyde knows not when or how long he will have control of “the body.” When dormant, he watches Dr. Jekyll from a remove, conscious of this other, high-class life but without influence. As the experiment continues, their mutual existence is threatened, not only by the uncertainties of untested science, but also by a mysterious stalker. Hyde is being taunted—possibly framed. Girls have gone missing; someone has been killed. Who stands, watching, from the shadows? In the blur of this shared consciousness, can Hyde ever be confident these crimes were not committed by his hand?

“You may think you know Dr. Jekyll, but this Hyde is a different beast altogether."—Jon Clinch, author of Finn

"Prepare to be seduced by literary devilry! Go back to Victorian times to find a very postmodern whodunit. Visceral prose, atmosphere you could choke on, characters who seem to be at your very shoulder."—Ronald Frame, author of Havisham

"Hyde brings into the light the various horrors still hidden in the dark heart of Stevenson’s classic tale of monstrosity and addiction. Devious and ingenious, it is a blazing triumph of the gothic imagination."—Patrick McGrath, author of Asylum



Peter Liney

The Detainee
Jo Fletcher Books, March 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
US Debut

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts

Peter Liney honed his strong narrative skills and attention to detail during his long career as a writer of German, Australian, British, and South African television and radio programs. In his debut novel, The Detainee, Liney has crated a dystopian world in which the state has gone bust and can no longer support its weakest members.

The Island is a place of hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that all the elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There’s no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgment for any crime—including escape attempts—and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind. But when one of the Island’s inhabitants, the aging "Big Guy" Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope—for love, for escape, and for the chance to fight back.



Claire R. McDougall

Veil of Time
Gallery Books, March 11, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
A compelling tale of two Scotlands—one modern, one ancient—and the woman who parts the veil between them.

The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe, my heart? 



Scott Meyer

Off to Be the Wizard
Magic 2.0
47North, March 18, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 386 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard.

What could possibly go wrong?

An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.



Mark Smylie

The Barrow
Pyr, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 700 pages
Cover Illustration © Gene Mollica

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.



Liv Spector

The Rich and the Dead
William Morrow Paperbacks, March 18, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
To solve the crime of the century, she'll have to go back in time....

Welcome to Star Island, where Miami's wealthiest residents lead private lives behind the tall gates of their sprawling mansions. It's a blissful escape from the hot and dirty city—or it was, until New Year's Day 2015, when twelve of the most powerful people in the world were found murdered in the basement of a Star Island mansion.

The massacre shocked the nation and destroyed the life of investigator Lila Day. Her hunt for the Star Island killer consumed her. But the case went unsolved, resulting in her dismissal from the Miami PD.

Now, three years later, life hands Lila an unexpected second chance: reclusive billionaire Teddy Hawkins approaches Lila and asks her to solve the case. But how do you investigate a crime when all the leads have long ago gone cold? The answer, Teddy tells her, is to solve the case before it happens. He's going to send Lila back in time.

With nothing left to lose, an incredulous Lila travels back to 2014, determined to find the Star Island killer once and for all. But as she goes undercover among the members of Miami's high society, she finds herself caring for—and falling for—people who are destined to die that fateful night. Now she must either say good-bye or risk altering the future forever.



Will Storr

The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone
Atria Books/Marble Arch Press, March 11, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts
Killian Lone comes from a long line of gifted cooks, stretching back to the seven­teenth century, and yearns to become a famous chef himself. When he starts an apprenticeship under Max Mann, the most famous chef in London, he looks set to continue the family tradition. But the reality of kitchen life is brutal. Even his fellow apprentice, Kathryn, who shows Killian uncharacteristic kindness, can’t stop his being sucked into the vicious, debauched world of 1980s fine dining, and gradually he is forced to surrender his dream.

Then he discovers a dark family secret—the legacy of an ancestor who was burnt as a witch for creating food so delicious it was said to turn all who tasted it mad. Killian knows he can use this secret to achieve his ambitions and maybe, finally, to win Kathryn’s affections. But is he willing to pay the price?

This is Killian’s confession—a strange tragedy about love, ambition and incredible food . . .




2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall



2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.




Claire R. McDougall

Veil of Time
Gallery Books, March 11, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall
A compelling tale of two Scotlands—one modern, one ancient—and the woman who parts the veil between them.

The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe, my heart? 



Guest Blog by Claire R. McDougall - The Balls are in Your Court - April 14, 2014The View From Monday - March 10, 2014Interview with Claire R. McDougall, author of Veil of Time - March 7, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Veil of Time by Claire R. McDougall

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