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Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels


Please welcome Daniel José Older to The Qwillery. Midnight Taxi Tango, the 2nd Bone Street Rumba novel, was published on January 5th by Roc.



Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Daniel:  2009 I started writing novels. Before that it was music, some essays and short stories, scripts, but nothing focused. It was time to go all in with one project: that became Shadowshaper. Then the Bone Street Rumba developed as that was moving through the gears of publishing.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Daniel:  I tend to just start writing and let it take shape as I go. I'll have a vague sense of direction that clarifies along the way. Usually the end starts taking shape around the midpoint.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Daniel:  Just staying on it during those low moments when I don't really feel like it. Mostly, I love the process though, from start to finish.



TQWhat has influenced/influences your writing?

Daniel:  I love reading, and a lot of writers - Junot Díaz, Octavia Butler, Walter Mosley, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, to name a few - have influenced me a lot. I also take a lot of inspiration from conversations on the street, with friends, the way we talk to each other in casual ways. And finally: music!



TQDescribe Midnight Taxi Tango in 140 characters or less.

Daniel:  A teenager, a half-dead guy and an unstoppable assassin in her fifties take on a cult of evil cockroach dudes. Hilarity and ickiness ensues.



TQTell us something about Midnight Taxi Tango that is not found in the book description.

Daniel:  Behind the facade of escapades, knife-fights and daring rescues, deep down it's about how different people deal with grief.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Midnight Taxi Tango?

Daniel:  I researched the history of tango and the biology of cockroaches...that's about it. Oh and a few quick checks on some gun stuff and ballet.



TQWhat inspired you to write Bone Street Rumba series? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

Daniel:  I love fantasy and I've always lived in cities, so putting them together makes so much sense! And I love seeing true representations of the city, ones I recognize, in literature. Ultimately, it's just a lot of fun to re-imagine Brooklyn with all these teeming supernatural underworlds at play.



TQIn the Bone Street Rumba series so far who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Daniel:  Easiest is probably Carlos or Kia - both their voices just come very naturally to me. Kia really started as a very minor character in Half-Resurrection Blues and took over the page, demanded to have more of a story, so I listened. Hardest...maybe Mama Esther? She's an entity that's made up a few different spirits, so it's a little complicated thinking through how they come together to form a unified whole.



TQWhich question about Midnight Taxi Tango or the Bone Street Rumba do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Daniel:  You already asked 'em!



TQGive us one or two favorite non-spoilery quotes from Midnight Taxi Tango.

Daniel:  The entirety of Chapter 35: "Oh, this mothafucka." - Kia



TQ What's next?

Daniel:  The third Bone Street book, Battle Hill Bolero is scheduled to come out January 2017 and I'll be rereleasing a deluxe edition of Salsa Nocturna, which chronologically comes after Midnight Taxi Tango, later this year, with new stories and an essay.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Daniel:  Thank you for having me!





Midnight Taxi Tango
A Bone Street Rumba Novel 2
Roc, January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
The author of Half-Resurrection Blues returns in a new Bone Street Rumba Novel—a knife-edge, noir-shaded urban fantasy of crime after death.

The streets of New York are hungry tonight…


Carlos Delacruz straddles the line between the living and the not-so alive. As an
agent for the Council of the Dead, he eliminates New York’s ghostlier problems. This time it’s a string of gruesome paranormal accidents in Brooklyn’s Von King Park that has already taken the lives of several locals—and is bound to take more.

The incidents in the park have put Kia on edge. When she first met Carlos, he was the weird guy who came to Baba Eddie’s botánica, where she worked. But the closer they’ve gotten, the more she’s seeing the world from Carlos’s point of view. In fact, she’s starting to see ghosts. And the situation is far more sinister than that—because whatever is bringing out the dead, it’s only just getting started.





Previously

Half-Resurrection Blues
A Bone Street Rumba Novel 1
Roc, January 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
FIRST IN A BRAND NEW URBAN FANTASY SERIES

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…



Short Fiction

Anyway: Angie
A Tor.Com Original
Tor Books, March 26, 2014
eBook, 32 pages

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
Reza's job has put her in the face of every kind of death. Thanks to her guns, her car, and her dapper style, she came through the Bad Years alive, but since losing Angie things haven't been right. Tonight's job threatens to bring the worst terrors of that time skittering back to life."Anyway: Angie" is a new urban fantasy story with more than a touch of horror from rising star Daniel José Older, set in the world of his upcoming Bone Street Rumba series.



Kia and Gio
A Tor.Com Original
Tor Books, January 7, 2015
eBook, 32 pages

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
Kia's a week shy of her seventeenth birthday, which is about how old her cousin Gio was six years ago when he just up and went away. Kia's a little bit in love with Giovanni (and who wasn't, really?) but she hasn't thought about him this much since the day he disappeared. It's not until a run-of-the-mill work shift at Baba Eddie's botánica goes awry that she begins to understand why he's on her mind…

"Kia and Gio" is a new story from rising star Daniel José Older, set in the world of Half-Resurrection Blues (book one of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, out this month from Roc Books) and his story collection Salsa Nocturna.



Ginga
A Tor.Com Original
Tor Books, May 20, 2015
eBook, 32 pages

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
Between her obscenely muscular new capoeira teacher, her crush going off with a new girl in their favorite park, and trigonometry homework, Kia figures she has enough going on without some creepy ghost causing car crashes and hit-and-runs in her neighborhood. Carlos Delacruz, the half-dead half-resurrected soulcatcher for the New York Council of the Dead, would love to keep her out of it, but things don't usually go the way he intends. From the world of Daniel José Older's immensely popular Bone Street Rumba series.





About Daniel

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba Novels
Photo by Kevin Kane
Daniel José Older is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, composer, and author of the Bone Street Rumba novels, including Half-Resurrection Blues. He facilitates workshops on storytelling, music, and anti-oppression organizing at public schools, religious houses, and universities. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and his short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, Gawker, New Haven Review, PANK, and Strange Horizons. Find him online at http://ghoststar.net/.




Website  ~  Blog

Facebook  ~  Twitter @djolder



Review: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older


Half-Resurrection Blues
AuthorDaniel José Older
Series:  Bone Street Rumba 1
Publisher:  Roc, January 6, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:   9780425275986 (print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

Review: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
FIRST IN A BRAND NEW URBAN FANTASY SERIES

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…



Brandon's Review

From the first page of Half-Resurrection Blues I was a little in love with the dapper gentleman of color, Carlos Delacruz. Neither entirely dead nor completely alive he acts as an enforcer for the council that governs the behavior of the dead in New York City. We follow Carlos on his various cases as he attempts to thwart a plot directed at merging the world of the dead and the living. As the title suggests, Carlos is also lonely and searching for something to make sense of his own inbetweener status and merge those separate identities within him. Carlos makes and loses friends along the way as he chases the mystery of his own not quite dead status and is drawn to the enigma that is Sasha.

Based in a community of color with a gay santero, the cast is certainly diverse and treated respectfully by the author on all counts. This is very much a character driven story with rich and sensual characters and a prose that may read as florid for some, but is rich and enticing to me. The conclusion of the story only left me wanting more from all the characters. I do hope in the future Older plans on giving more light to Kia, the teenage bodega manager.

All the praise I have seen for this newer author is certainly well-deserved. The city and life are noir and gritty without trying too hard. The characters have depth and individual struggles that a broad swath of people can identify with. My only concern is that in places the overarching plot to keep the world of the dead and the living separate was a weak foil for Carlos’ own internal struggles. For all the build up around the dangers of this feared event and dangerous villain and demonic minions the end result was a little anti-climactic. Again, in the balance, this was a beautiful book and very well written. More than worth it and I hope to see many more books by this author over the years ahead.

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts



Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2015 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on January 24, 2015.


Vote for your favorite January 2015 Debut Cover
 
pollcode.com free polls




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts

The View From Monday - January 5, 2015


Happy New Year! Another wonderful reading year is ahead of all of us. This is a very full release week with 4 debuts:

The Dead Wife's Handbook by Hannah Beckerman;

Gideon by Alex Gordon;

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba 1) by Daniel José Older;

and

Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London / Peter Grant 5) by Ben Aaronovitch;

Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy 2) by Pierce Brown;

California Bones (California Bones 1)by Greg van Eekhout is out in Trade Paperback;

Blood Will Follow (Valhalla Saga 2) by Snorri Kristijansson;

Evensong by John Love;

Return to Honor (Powder Mage) Brian McClellan;

and

Soul Ink (Grimm Agency 1.5) by J. C. Nelson.



The View From Monday - January 5, 2015



January 1, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Blood Wolf Dawning (e) Rhyannon Byrd PNR - Bloodrunners
Harlequin Nocturne January 2015 Box Set: Blood Wolf Dawning\Shades of the Wolf Rhyannon Byrd PNR
A Wizard of Their Age: Critical Essays from the Harry Potter Generation Cecilia Konchar Farr LC
Marked Sarah Fine UF - Servants of Fate 1
The Rats (ri) James Herbert H - Rats 1
The Last Passenger Manel Loureiro SF/TT
Night After Night Phil Rickman H
A Trail Through Time Jodi Taylor SF/TT -  Chronicles of St. Mary's 4
War Master's Gate Adrian Tchaikovsky SF - Shadows of the Apt 9
Shades of the Wolf Karen Whiddon PNR



January 5, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Colbana Files Boxed Set (e) J.C. Daniels UF



January 6, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Foxglove Summer Ben Aaronovitch UF - Rivers of London / Peter Grant 5
Wolves' Bane (e) Angela Addams PNR - Order of the Wolf 3
Death Mask Alex Archer UF - Rogue Angel 52
The Technician (ri) Neal Asher SF - Polity
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2014: A Tor.Com Original (e) Various Authors SF/F/UF
Hive Invasion James Axler SF - Deathlands 120
Agenda 21: Into the Shadows Glenn Beck PA - Agenda 21 #2
The Dead Wife's Handbook (D - US) Hannah Beckerman LF/F
The Witches of Echo Park Amber Benson UF -  Witches of Echo Park 1
A Seamless Murder Melissa Bourbon PM - Magical Dressmaking 6
Golden Son Pierce Brown SF -  Red Rising Trilogy 2
Drifters John L. Campbell H/Z - Omega Days 3
A Case of Possession KJ Charles PNR - A Charm of Magpies 2
A Case of Spirits (e) KJ Charles PNR - A Charm of Magpies 2.5
Spell Blind David B. Coe UF - Case Files of Justis Fearsson 1
Sunglasses After Dark: Full Blooded Collection Nancy Collins GN
In Hot Water J. J. Cook PM - A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade 3
Daierwolves of Paris - Lou Roxane Dambre F/R - Daierwolves of Paris1
Pandorax C Z Dunn SF - Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Battles 15
California Bones (h2tp) Greg van Eekhout DF - California Bones 1
Diaspora (ri) Greg Egan SF
Distress (ri) Greg Egan SF
Dreamwalker (h2mm) C.S. Friedman UF - Dreamwalker 1
Return to Exile Lynne Gentry Hist/TT - The Carthage Chronicles 2
Gideon (D) Alex Gordon F/P
Tales from the Nightside Simon R. Green UF - Nightside Short Stories
Iron Axe Steven Harper F - The Books of Blood and Iron 1
First and Last Sorcerer Barb Hendee F - Noble Dead 10
A Wind in the Night (h2mm) Barb Hendee F - Noble Dead 9=
Unbound Jim C. Hines UF - Magic Ex Libris 3
Unbound: A Novella Sara Humphreys PNR - Amoveo Legend
Ghost in the Guacamole Sue Ann Jaffarian PM - Ghost of Granny Apples 5
Dreamwalker Russell James H
The Nightmare Girl (e) Jonathan Janz H
The String Diaries (h2tp) Stephen Lloyd Jones Su/H
Mr. Mercedes (h2tp) Stephen King Th/Su
Demon Seed (ri) Dean Koontz Th/H
Blood Will Follow Snorri Kristijansson F - Valhalla Saga 2
Dreamer's Daughter Lynn Kurland F - Nine Kingdoms 3
No Ghouls Allowed: A Ghost Hunter Mystery Victoria Laurie PM - Ghost Hunter Mystery  9
The Bright Empires Collection: The Skin Map, The Bone House, The Spirit Well, The Shadow Lamp, The Fatal Tree (e) Stephen R. Lawhead F - Bright Empires
Carousel Seas Sharon Lee F - Archers Beach 3
The Galaxy Game Karen Lord SF
Evensong John Love SF
Return to Honor (e) Brian McClellan F - Powder Mage
The Winter People (h2tp) Jennifer McMahon Th/Gh
Slavers of the Savage Catacombs Jon F Merz F - Shadow Warrior 2
The Dragon in the Sword Michael Moorcock F - Eternal Champion Sequence 3
Soul Ink (e) J. C. Nelson UF - Grimm Agency Novella
Orphan Brigade (e) Henry V. O'Neil SF - Sim War 2
Half-Resurrection Blues (D) Daniel José Older UF - Bone Street Rumba 1
Dead Wrong Richard Phillips Esp - Rho Agenda 2
Murder Sarah Pinborough H - Dr. Thomas Bond / Mayhem 2
Mayhem (h2tp) Sarah Pinborough H - Dr. Thomas Bond / Mayhem 1
The Flight of the Silvers (h2tp) Daniel Price SF/PA/Ap - Silvers 1
The Stargods Trilogy Irene Radford SF
Strands of Sorrow John Ringo SF - Black Tide Rising 4
Island of the Forbidden (e) Hunter Shea H
Originator Joel Shepherd SF - Cassandra Kresnov 6
The Light and the Dark (h2tp) Mikhail Shishkin LF/F/TT
The Guard Peter Terrin Dys/SF
Hungry Like the Wolf Paige Tyler PNR - SWAT 1
Fire Water: A Prospero's War Novella (e) Jaye Wells UF - Prospero's War
The Judge of Ages (h2tp) John C. Wright SF - Count to a Trillion 3
Wildalone (D) Krassi Zourkova Oc/Su



January 7, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Kia and Gio: A Tor.Com Original (e) Daniel José Older UF


January 8, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Accursed Kings Series Books 1-3: The Iron King, The Strangled Queen, The Poisoned Crown (e) Maurice Druon HistF
Nature's Confession J. L. Morin SF
The Accidental Alchemist The Accidental Alchemist PM - An Accidental Alchemist Mystery 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint


Ap - Apocalyptic
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Esp - Espionage
F - Fantasy
Gh - Ghosts
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
Oc - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
Su - Supernatural
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies



2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts



There are 14 debuts for January. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The December 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 January cover for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on January 5th.

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 and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2015 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for January. The list is correct as of the day posted.

Updated 1/2/2015 to include Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish and Fatal Feast by Jay Ruud.



W.C. Bauers

Unbreakable
Tor Books, January 13, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war.

When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother.

Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.

Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers is character driven, military science in the tradition of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.




Hannah Beckerman

The Dead Wife's Handbook
Arcade Publishing, January 6, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Rachel, Max, and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life—until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating. She was thirty-six.

Just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives.

This fresh debut novel touches on the various stages of bereavement, from denial to acceptance. As Max and Ellie work through their grief, Rachel too struggles to come to terms with her death. And as her husband starts to date again, Rachel realizes that one day Max will find love, and that Ellie will have a new mother figure in her life.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook is a heartwarming and touching book, very commercial in its approach and a compelling read. It will touch a wide readership, and is a perfect read for fans of the bestseller The Lovely Bones.




Kristi Charish

Owl and the Japanese Circus
Gallery Books, January 13, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.




Cecilia Ekbäck

Wolf Winter
Weinstein Books, January 27, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 376 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
‘Wolf winter,' she said, her voice small. ‘I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.'
 He was silent for a long time. ‘It's the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,' he said. ‘Mortal and alone.'


Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

While herding the family's goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors' strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson's widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

As the seasons change, and the "wolf winter," the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family's survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers' secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring.




Alex Gordon

Gideon
Harper Voyager, January 6, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Preston & Child meets Kim Harrison in this edge-of-your-seat debut thriller—a superb blend of mystery, urban fantasy, horror, romance, and the supernatural.

When Lauren’s father dies, she makes a shocking discovery. The man she knew as John Reardon was once a completely different person, with a different name. Now, she’s determined to find out who he really was, even though her only clues are an old photograph, some letters, and the name of a town—Gideon.

But someone—or something—doesn’t want her to discover the truth. A strange man is stalking her, appearing everywhere she turns, and those who try to help her end up dead. Neither a shadowy enemy nor her own fear are going to prevent her from solving the mystery of her father—and unlocking the secrets of her own life.

Making her way to Gideon, Lauren finds herself more confused than ever. Nothing in this small Midwestern town is what it seems, including time itself. Residents start going missing, and Lauren is threatened by almost every townsperson she encounters. Two hundred years ago, a witch was burned at the stake, but in Gideon, the past feels all too chillingly present . . .




Darin Kennedy

The Mussorgsky Riddle
Curiosity Quills Press, January 12, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 350 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Psychic Mira Tejedor possesses unique talents that enable her to find anything and anyone, but now she must find a comatose boy wandering lost inside the labyrinth of his own mind. Thirteen-year-old Anthony Faircloth hasn’t spoken a word in almost a month and with each passing day, his near catatonic state worsens. No doctor, test, or scan can tell Anthony’s distraught mother what has happened to her already troubled son. In desperation, she turns to Mira for answers, hoping her unique abilities might succeed where science has failed.

At their first encounter, Mira is pulled into Anthony’s mind and finds the child’s psyche shattered into the various movements of Modest Mussorgsky’s classical music suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. As she navigates this magical dreamscape drawn from Anthony’s twin loves of Russian composers and classical mythology, Mira must contend with gnomes, troubadours, and witches in her search for the truth behind Anthony’s mysterious malady.

The real world, however, holds its own dangers. The onset of Anthony’s condition coincides with the disappearance of his older brother’s girlfriend, a missing persons case that threatens to tear the city apart. Mira discovers that in order to save Anthony, she will have to catch a murderer who will stop at nothing to keep the secrets contained in Anthony’s unique mind from ever seeing the light.




Greer Macallister

The Magician's Lie
Sourcebooks Landmark, January 13, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician’s Lie, a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder —and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless—and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free… and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.




Daniel José Older

Half-Resurrection Blues
Bone Street Rumba 1
Roc, January 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
FIRST IN A BRAND NEW URBAN FANTASY SERIES

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…




Robert Repino

Morte
Soho Press, January 20, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
The “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony's watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans' penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition. The final step in the Colony's war effort is transforming the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.

Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth's creatures.




Adam Roberts

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea
St. Martin's Griffin, January 13, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Adam Roberts revisits Jules Verne's classic novel in a collaboration with the illustrator behind a recent highly acclaimed edition of The Hunting of the Snark

It is 1958 and France's first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, are one of the Navy's most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers, and scientists. The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down. Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond. The pressure builds, the hull protests, the crew prepare for death, the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds nothing. Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth guage is useless. They have gone miles down. Hundreds of miles, thousands, and so it goes on. Onboard the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania, and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?




Jay Ruud

Fatal Feast
Merlin Mystery 1
Five Star, January 21, 2015
Hardcover, 298 pages
(Debut - Fiction)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
When an Irish knight dies mysteriously at a banquet she is hosting' Queen Guenivere is charged with murder and faces death at the stake if found guilty. Her loyal page' Gildas' rushes to the woods to track down Merlin and convince him to take up the investigation and save the queen.

Fatal Feast is a fast-paced murder mystery set in the legendary court of Camelot' imagined as it might have existed in the high Middle Ages' with Sir Gawain' Sir Gareth' and Sir Lancelot in pivotal roles' and the young Gildas' enamored of the queen's young lady-in-waiting Rosemounde' an unlikely courtly lover focused on saving the queen and impressing his Rosemounde -- not necessarily in that order.




Hilary Scharper

Perdita
Sourcebooks Landmark, January 20, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
Marged Brice is 134 years old.
She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .


The Georgian Bay lighthouse’s single eye keeps watch over storm and calm, and Marged grew up in its shadow, learning the language of the wind and the trees. There’s blustery beauty there, where sea and sky incite each other to mischief… or worse…

Garth Hellyer of the Longevity Project doesn’t believe Marged was a girl coming of age in the 1890s, but reading her diaries in the same wild and unpredictable location where she wrote them might be enough to cast doubt on his common sense.

Everyone knows about death.
It’s life that’s much more mysterious…




Sharma Shields

The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac
Holt Paperbacks, January 27, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth

Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. We follow all of the Roebuck family members, witnessing through each of them the painful, isolating effects of Eli's maniacal hunt, and find that each Roebuck is battling a monster of his or her own, sometimes literally. The magical world Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes. At times charming, as when young Eli meets the eccentric, extraordinary Mr. Krantz, and downright horrifying at others, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac is boldly imaginative throughout, and proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face.




Krassi Zourkova

Wildalone
William Morrow, January 6, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts
In this enchanting and darkly imaginative debut novel full of myth, magic, romance, and mystery, a Princeton freshman is drawn into a love triangle with two enigmatic brothers, and discovers terrifying secrets about her family and herself—a bewitching blend of Twilight, The Secret History, Jane Eyre, and A Discovery of Witches.

Arriving at Princeton for her freshman year, Thea Slavin finds herself alone, a stranger in a strange land. Away from her family and her Eastern European homeland for the first time, she struggles to adapt to unfamiliar American ways and the challenges of college life—including an enigmatic young man whose brooding good looks and murky past intrigue her. Falling into a romantic entanglement with Rhys and his equally handsome and mysterious brother, Jake, soon draws Thea into a sensual mythic underworld as irresistible as it is dangerous.

In this shadow world that seems to mimic Greek mythology and the Bulgarian legends of the Samodivi or “wildalones”—forest witches who beguile and entrap men—she will discover a shocking secret that threatens everything she holds dear. And when the terrifying truth about her own family is revealed, it will transform her forever . . . if she falls under its spell.

Mesmerizing and addictive, The Wildalone is a thrilling blend of the modern and the fantastic. Krassi Zourkova creates an atmospheric world filled with rich characters as fascinating and compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness, and Stephenie Meyer.

Interview with Daniel José Older, author of the Bone Street Rumba NovelsReview: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January DebutsThe View From Monday - January 5, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts

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