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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 16


This is the sixteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge authors. What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 17 will cover additional 2014 DAC authors.

See Part 1 here
See Part 1.5 here
See Part 2 here
See Part 3 here
See Part 4 here
See Part 5 here
See Part 6 here
See Part 7 here
See Part 8 here
See Part 9 here
See Part 10 here
See Part 11 here
See Part 12 here
See Part 13 here
See Part 14 here
See Part 15 here





Daniel Levine

Hyde
Mariner Books, April 7, 2015
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook,

A New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the Washington Post’s 5 Best Thrillers of the Year 

“[A] knockout debut novel . . . As dark and twisted and alluring as the night-cloaked streets of nineteenth-century London, and this book is as much a fascinating psychological query as it is a gripping narrative.” —Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon

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 in the shadows? In the blur of this shared consciousness, can Hyde ever be confident these crimes were not committed by his hand?

“A pleasure . . . Rich in gloomy, moody atmosphere (Levine’s London has a brutal steampunk quality), and its narrator’s plight is genuinely poignant.” —New York Times Book Review





Peter Liney

The Detainee
Detainee 1
Jo Fletcher Books, February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, March 2014


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.



Into The Fire
Detainee 2
Jo Fletcher Books, March 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Having escaped the Island--a wasteland that housed those no longer able to contribute to society--Clancy thought his fight was over. But they have returned to the mainland to find that it is not the haven they anticipated. With the punishment satellites that kept them on the Island gone, hell has been unleashed. Clancy is about to discover that his work is far from over. The fires of hell don't burn much hotter than this.










Scott Meyer

An Unwelcome Quest
Magic 2.0 # 3
47North, February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Ever since Martin Banks and his fellow computer geeks discovered that reality is just a computer program to be happily hacked, they’ve been jaunting back and forth through time, posing as medieval wizards and having the epic adventures that other nerds can only dream of having. But even in their wildest fantasies, they never expected to end up at the mercy of the former apprentice whom they sent to prison for gross misuse of magic and all-around evil behavior.

Who knew that the vengeful Todd would escape, then conjure a computer game packed with wolves, wenches, wastelands, and assorted harrowing hazards—and trap his hapless former friends inside it? Stripped of their magic powers, the would-be wizards must brave terrifying dangers, technical glitches, and one another’s company if they want to see medieval England—and their favorite sci-fi movies on VHS—ever again. Can our heroes survive this magical mystery torture? Or will it only lead them and their pointy hats into more peril?





J. C. Nelson

Soul Ink
A Grimm Agency Novella
Ace, January 6, 2015
eNovella, 90 pages

As the right hand woman at the Fairy Godfather’s Grimm Agency, Marissa Locks has a grip on all things magical. If only she could get control of her own not-so-charmed life…

For most people, waking up after a night of partying next to a dragon, sporting a tattoo with a mind of its own, would be a new low. For Marissa, only the tattoo is new—and, unfortunately, it’s not the weirdest part of her day. The Agency has been called in to stop a string of messy murders, a problem that’s turning into a disaster of biblical proportions, and Marissa’s been assigned to the case.

One of the archangels from Paradisia is attempting to switch teams, and he’s willing to use as many souls as it takes to pay his way. With Grimm contractually bound to clean up the chaos, Marissa must find a way to keep the former cherub from completing his rampage. But between fighting an angel gone bad and battling the magical compulsions of her new Fae tattoo, Marissa’s definitely facing the worst hangover in history…

Includes a preview of the Grimm Agency novel, Armageddon Rules.



Armageddon Rules
Grimm Agency 2
Ace, February 24, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather’s magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…



Wish Bound
Grimm Agency 3
Ace, August 25, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

From the author of Armageddon Rules, the fanciful and fun continuation of the Grimm Agency novels…

As a partner at Grimm’s magical Agency, Marissa Locks is used to working odd jobs. But when an evil queen reappears in Kingdom, life becomes too strange to handle…

Even when she’s not starting it, trouble follows Marissa everywhere. First there was the incident with the homicidal Fairy Godmother. Then there was the time she accidentally started Armageddon. But the problems that always seem to arise on Marissa’s birthday take the cake.

This year, her annual bad-luck presents include an army of invading goblins, the resurrection of two vengeful enemies from hell, and the return of the Black Queen, the evil sorceress whose reign of terror still haunts Kingdom and who happens to have claimed Marissa as her servant.

As Marissa’s friends try to save her from the Black Queen’s clutches, Marissa fights to end a bitter war that started before her birth. But her quest for peace is about to bring up some inconvenient truths about her own past—ones that might cost her the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of…





Bishop O'Connell

The Forgotten
An American Faerie Tale 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, March 17, 2015
eBook, 336 pages

Across the United States, children are vanishing. Only this time, faeries may not be to blame …

Dante, Regent of the fae's Rogue Court, has been receiving disturbing reports. Human children are manifesting magical powers in record numbers. Shunned and forgotten, they live on the streets in ragtag groups with the already-booming population of homeless changelings. But the streets aren't a haven; someone, or something, is hunting these children down.

Wraith, a teenage spell slinger, has no home, no family, and no real memories of her past. She and her friends SK, Fritz, and Shadow are constantly on the run, fleeing from a dark and unknown enemy. But when her companions are taken by "the snatchers," Wraith is their only hope. Her journey to find them will test the limits of her magic—and her trust. A dark force is on the rise, and it could spell the end of our world as we know it.



Interview with Daniel Levine, author of Hyde - March 19, 2014


Please welcome Daniel Levine to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Hyde was published on March 18th by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.



Interview with Daniel Levine, author of Hyde - March 19, 2014




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

Daniel:  In elementary school I didn’t like to write straight research or book reports, as assigned. I always embellished and added metafictional narratives. In my fifth grade “How I See My Life in 25 Years” essay I envisioned myself as a horror writer, divorced from my wife who wanted me to be a lawyer instead. I was lucky to grow up in a house filled with books; my parents are great readers and read to me and my brother over the years—Greek mythology, a children’s Odyssey, Madeline L’Engel, Roald Dahl. Once I could read to myself I was voracious. I loved storytelling, the genuine suspense of not knowing what would happen next, the sleights of hand. I loved too the special, rich, stylized voice a storyteller takes on, a unique kind of language. The storyteller must be a kind of outsider, looking in on the drama, observing with sharpened senses, distinct from the rest of humanity by virtue of his/her narrative power—the fact that the story is filtering through him/her. I think I’ve always felt like an outsider in this sense: that I was observing with keen interest the action around me, and responding to it with colorful emotional analysis. The events of my life, compared with others, haven’t been especially dramatic or difficult, but I do lead a lush inner life, romantic, brooding, and grand. It’s the urge to birth this inner life, to see the imagination made flesh, which drives writers to write, I imagine. It was my natural impulse. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Daniel:  I’ve become more of a plotter over the course of writing Hyde. When I started putting words down I didn’t know where I was headed, exactly. My previous experience had taught me that I could, to some extent, feel my way forward by instinct. And since I was planning to follow the structure of Stevenson’s plot, which I had already mapped out, I figured I could connect the gaps when I came to them. In this case I was wrong. The project was much too complex; I needed to know where I was going before I got there. I took a cue from Nabokov and plotted Hyde out on ruled index notecards, a stack of them. The process forced me to think my way through the movements, to realize what the book was truly about, beyond the concept.

I rewrote Hyde many times since creating the notecards, and almost all the meaty details changed. But that essential plot held through all the drafts like a spinal column. I don’t know if I’ll continue to do it this way with future books, but I’ve come to realize the necessary (for me) of seeing the whole trajectory in advance.



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

Daniel:  Getting down to it at the start of the day. I’m a morning writer, and I get up as early as I reasonably can to give myself a few consecutive hours of clear-mindedness. Once I start engaging with the world—people in particular—the clear waters begin to get muddied. Sometimes I’m starting to write when dawn is still lightening the sky, and it’s cold, and my bed is warm, and the idea of staring at a computer screen trying to assemble words into an original and sensible order seems rather insane. Reading over the past day’s work helps to reconnect me to the fictional world. But eventually I reach the end of what I’ve written—and like the edge of the universe there is only blank space beyond—and that can be exceedingly daunting, if not a little terrifying. This is the hardest part. Overcoming the initial inertia, getting the boulder rolling. Once I’m back in the scene and words are appearing on the screen it gets easier. Then there are just the challenges of writing cleanly and authentically and compellingly, of making sure that every sentence is leading me precisely where I want to go (or where I do not know I want to go), of feeling for the rhythm of paragraphs, of bringing imaginary creatures to life.



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

Daniel:  I imagine most would-be writers go through phases of admiration for the various greats. When I was younger and just starting to write, I admired ornate stylists such as William Styron and Nabokov. My love for Nabokov led me eventually to John Banville, who seduced me at once with his in-the-moment narration and stunning language. When I find a new writer I like I tend to read several of his/her works in a row, and I did so with Patrick McGrath, Kazuo Ishiguro, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, J.M. Coetzee, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrea Barrett, and Robert Graves. As for short story writers, I love Kafka, Gogol, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, Barry Hannah, Denis Johnson, Jim Shepard, Dan Chaon. Roald Dahl is in a special category, a writer I’ve adored from childhood to the present: such a wicked imagination, a clever fancy, a grip-you-by-the-balls grasp of suspense, and an easy, effortless style. He does not seem to be trying. That’s the mark of any master in any field, and something to aspire to (without actually trying to aspire, of course.)



TQ:  Describe Hyde in 140 characters or less.

Daniel:  A retelling of the original story from the “monster’s” POV, Hyde gives voice to a misunderstood soul trapped in his creator’s nightmare.



TQ:  Tell us something about Hyde that is not in the book description.

Daniel:  In many ways Hyde is a love story. Not a successful, healthy, or happy love story, but both Jekyll and Hyde yearn for recognition and acceptance in a lover’s eyes, an honesty and safety that can never be achieved. For Jekyll it’s unachievable because he cannot allow himself to be open and vulnerable, his armor is too impenetrable and his self-loathing too undermining. But Jekyll drives Hyde to seek this relief in the arms of a young prostitute who serves as a proxy for the woman Jekyll cannot have. Hyde’s affair is doomed by Jekyll’s inability and unwillingness to be happy and loved, by the instability of their composite, crumbling psychology.



TQ:  What attracted you to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and to Edward Hyde in particular?

Daniel:  I first read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 10th grade English. Our teacher divided the class into small groups and assigned portions of the novella for us to present to the other students. My two friends and I filmed a dramatic reenactment of our scenes, which included the killing of Carew and Hyde’s subsequent “cover-up.” I played Hyde, scowling and sneering at the camera, and bucking about in the agonizing throes of transformation. Even then I recognized that Hyde was something more than the apotheosis of pure evil, as Jekyll insists. There is a wretched humanity to him, an underdog quality which captured my interest and sympathy. Similarly there is a suspicious aspect to Jekyll’s self-affirmed goodness and innocence. His actions are hardly those of a victim—he flirts with danger and exposure as if he wishes on some level to be caught.

My favorite characters in literature are generally the wretched specimens who capture our attention with their misanthropic charm and need to be heard—Humbert Humbert, Patrick Bateman, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, Freddie Montgomery from The Book of Evidence. I’m interested in misanthropy, for I feel traces of it in myself, when I’m confronted with humanity en masse; and I’m fascinated with the dark turns the human mind can take, how the mind justifies these dark impulses or indulgences to itself. Edward Hyde is the classic misanthrope, the dark psychological twist. He called out to me for exploration, and redemption, I suppose.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Hyde?

Daniel:  For a year before I began writing, I just researched. I read widely if haphazardly: histories, biographies, period novels, contemporary novels about the period, novels which retold a familiar story, novels which had a similar voice or “feel” to what I wanted to capture. I watched movies that take place in Victorian London, BBC adapations of Dickens, Thackeray, and Galsworthy, paying careful attention to wardrobes and interior decorating and streetscapes. I also lived in London for six months in 2000 on a semester abroad, when I fell in love with the city, and I relied upon my vivid memories of the lanes, buildings, parks, fickle skies.

The idea of getting the atmosphere “right” is a tricky thing. Modern audiences didn’t actually live in the 1880s, so who is to say what is “right” and “wrong?” You can be inaccurate, of course, but then historical accuracy doesn’t always translate to the feeling of rightness, the sense of verisimilitude, which is paramount. At first I thought: I can’t start writing until I know enough. But you’ll never know “enough” about a vast and past reality. The world has to come from within you, not from the books you read. I had to create the texture of Victorian London inside my mind; I had to hear it and see it and smell it.



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

Daniel:  Mrs. Deaker—Hyde’s housekeeper—came very naturally to me. This is partly because Stevenson describes her so wonderfully in the original (though he doesn’t give her a name): she is “ivory-faced and silvery-haired,” an “evil face smoothed by hypocrisy, but her manners were excellent.” I could picture her perfectly, her posture, her voice, her mockingly servile smile. Of course I knew there was more to her, I had to invent a past and a withered, yearning heart. She is a gothic grotesque, cobbled together from other literary characters and people I have met, and she evolved rather “easily” in my mind.

I would have to say that Hyde was the hardest, mainly because he’s the most important and dominating. His evolution took a long time, over many, many drafts—the quality of his voice: his ironic humor, his urgency, his relationship to the reader, his vocabulary and mode of expression. He has access to some of Jekyll’s education and memories, and can adopt his tone when he wants to, but he also likes playing with lower class words and intonations. When on the “inside” he can see through Jekyll’s eyes and experience reality through him, but everything is muted to some degree. He is desperate to tell his story but he also wants to relive his brief life, to revel in its sensuous details. The pacing of his narrative, the point at which it begins, required a great deal of discovery and refinement.



TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from Hyde.

Daniel:  Well, it’s a little racy, but you asked. I’ve always been proud of this line—one of the more elaborate in the book. It describes a special masturbation session:

“I had never done it like that before, drawing it out like torture, nearing the burning brink and then ebbing back, over and over, its sensitivity toward the end so exquisite that I held our rigid life at the lowermost stem, kept in excruciating limbo, like that paradox of halving and halving forever without ever reaching the mark—and when I crushed out the climax at last, the whole body bucked in rapture.”



TQ:  What’s next?

Daniel:  I have been toying with the idea for a novel about human origins, and the last of the Neanderthals. Homo neanderthalensis was an extremely successful human being which existed on the earth for over two hundred thousand years, and went extinct quite recently; the last Neanderthals are thought to have lived in a cave in southern Spain up to about 28,000 years ago. The popular conception of Neaderthals as stupid, brutish cavemen still persists, though in fact they were an intelligent, hardy, and extremely capable people who were around far longer than we Homo sapiens have been. I’d like to explore their lifestyle and their final days, winnowed to the edge of extinction. I want to imagine how they thought, and lived, and communicated. I see this novel composed of three parts: the first narrative belonging to this last tribe of Neanderthals, the second to a young archeologist digging up their remains in the twentieth century, and the third to a Neanderthal individual grown from reassembled DNA in the future.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Hyde

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

Interview with Daniel Levine, author of Hyde - March 19, 2014
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





About Daniel

Interview with Daniel Levine, author of Hyde - March 19, 2014
Photo by E.P. Hopper

Daniel Levine studied English literature and creative writing at Brown University and received his M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Florida.



Website

Facebook

Twitter @DanielGLevine

Goodreads








The View From Monday - March 17, 2014

The View From Monday - March 17, 2014


Happy Monday! Happy St. Patrick's Day to those celebrating.  This is a relatively light release week with 4 debuts:




The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory 1) by Sarah Harian;

Hyde by Daniel Levine;

Off to be the Wizard (Magic 2.0) by Scott Meyer;

and

The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare Trilogy 2) by Ian Doescher;

and

Storm Bound (Grim 2) by Dani Harper.




March 17, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Dancing with Dragons (e) Lorenda Christensen PNR - Dragons Trilogy 2
The Thrust (e) Shoshanna Evers PNR/Dys - Pulse Trilogy 3
Lords of the Underworld Bundle 1: The Darkest Night\The Darkest Kiss\The Darkest Pleasure (e) Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld



March 18, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Feral Heat (e) Jennifer Ashley PNR - Shifters Unbound 5.5
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back Ian Doescher SF - William Shakespeare Trilogy 2
The Mapmaker's War (h2tp) Ronlyn Domingue F - Keeper of Tales Trilogy 1
The Pilgrims Will Elliott F - Pendulum Trilogy 1
The Wicked We Have Done (D) (e) Sarah Harian SFR - Chaos Theory 1
Storm Bound Dani Harper PNR - Grim 2
Without a Summer (h2tp) Mary Robinette Kowal HistF - Glamourist Histories 3
The Lascar's Dagger Glenda Larke F - The Forsaken Lands 1
Hyde (D) Daniel Levine HistF
Get Katja Simon Logan UF
Fury (Kindle e) Charlotte McConaghy SFR/Dys - Cure 2
Off to Be the Wizard (D) Scott Meyer F - Magic 2.0 1
Citadel Kate Mosse Th/M/Su - Languedoc 3
Dead Americans and Other Stories Ben Peek F/W - Collection
Raising Steam Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 40
Elsewhens (h2tp) Melanie Rawn F - Glass Thorns 2
Troy: Last War of the Heroic Age Si Sheppard F - Myths and Legends
Doppel: A Tor.com Original (e) Lindsay Smith F
The Rich and the Dead (D) Liv Spector TT/M
Red Cells (Kindle e) Jeffrey Thomas SF
The Time Traveler's Almanac Ann VanderMeer (ed.)
Jeff VanderMeer (ed.)
SF/TT - Anthology
The Writers Afterlife Richard Vetere F


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
PNR- Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR  - Science Fiction Romance
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Weird


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 - Hyde by Daniel Levine



2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Hyde by Daniel Levine


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



Daniel Levine

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

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Hyde by Daniel Levine
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

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 16Interview with Daniel Levine, author of Hyde - March 19, 2014The View From Monday - March 17, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - March 2014 Debuts2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Hyde by Daniel Levine

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