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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28


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



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



M.C. Plank (2013)

Judgment at Verdant Court
World of Prime 3
Pyr, December 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 343 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
The continuing adventures of Christopher Sinclair, mechanical engineer turned priest of war.

Our hero faces evil on two fronts: a friend turned murderer by the power of magic, and an entire nation of murderous wolf-men. One he has to save from the vengeful clutches of the Druids, and the other from the mercenary greed of the king. But the true enemy is despair: the shame of a man who has done terrible things, and the madness of a man who is doing terrible violence. Can Christopher pick a path through broken and bloody bodies that still leaves room for goodness?




Daniel Polansky (2011)

A City Dreaming
Regan Arts., October 4, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
A powerful magician returns to New York City and reluctantly finds himself in the middle of a war between the city’s two most powerful witches.

“It would help if you did not think of it as magic. M certainly had long ceased to do so.”

M is an ageless drifter with a sharp tongue, few scruples, and the ability to bend reality to his will, ever so slightly. He’s come back to New York City after a long absence, and though he’d much rather spend his days drinking artisanal beer in his favorite local bar, his old friends—and his enemies—have other plans for him. One night M might find himself squaring off against the pirates who cruise the Gowanus Canal; another night sees him at a fashionable uptown charity auction where the waitstaff are all zombies. A subway ride through the inner circles of hell? In M’s world, that’s practically a pleasant diversion.

Before too long, M realizes he’s landed in the middle of a power struggle between Celise, the elegant White Queen of Manhattan, and Abilene, Brooklyn’s hip, free-spirited Red Queen, a rivalry that threatens to make New York go the way of Atlantis. To stop it, M will have to call in every favor, waste every charm, and blow every spell he’s ever acquired—he might even have to get out of bed before noon.

Enter a world of Wall Street wolves, slumming scenesters, desperate artists, drug-induced divinities, pocket steampunk universes, and demonic coffee shops. M’s New York, the infinite nexus of the universe, really is a city that never sleeps—but is always dreaming.


meat+drink
A Tor.com Original
Tor Book, October 26, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
Baltimore isn't safe. Not even for the predatory meat that stalks its nights. Searching for victims who won't be missed, meat doesn't feel regret or pain—only thirst. But the meat remembers something more... doesn't it? is there more to eternal life than finding another drink?





Tom Pollock (2012)

The City's Son
The Skyscraper Throne 1
Jo Fletcher Books, April 5, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 376 pages
Jo Fletcher Books, November 5, 2013
     eBook, 465 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
Tom Pollock's debut novel and the first volume of the Skyscraper Throne series, The City's Son is an imaginative tale of adventure set in a city that is quite literally alive.

Beneath the streets of London lies a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.

Following a devastating betrayal, Beth Bradley, a sixteen-year-old graffiti artist, is suspended from school. Running from a home that she shares with her father who has never recovered after Beth's mother's death, Beth stumbles into the hidden city and meets Filius Viae, London's asphalt-hued crown prince. And her timing couldn't have been more perfect. An ancient enemy is stirring under St. Paul's Cathedral, determined to stoke the flames of a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fin find themselves drawn into the depths of the mysterious urban wonderland, hoping to prevent the destruction of the city they both know and love.


The Glass Republic
The Skyscraper Throne 2
Jo Fletcher Books, October 4, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
Pen Khan is burdened by a life of secrets, the biggest of which is written across her face. Following a devastatingly close encounter with a living coil of barbed wire called the Wire Mistress that almost killed her and her best friend Beth, Pen's face is strangely disfigured by dozens of crisscrossing scars, making her an outcast among her peers. The only person who understands her-and the trauma she's experienced-is her mirror sister, Parva, a twin confined to the world of London-Under-Glass.

Following Parva's abduction, Pen strikes a terrible bargain with the unforgiving Chemical Synod in exchange for the means to track her down, and she ventures into the unknown. In London-Under-Glass, appearance is everything, and Pen's peculiar scars make her a valuable ally. But some in the reflected city are doing everything they can to prevent Pen from learning the truth about the disappearance of a girl who shares her face.


Our Lady of the Streets
The Skyscraper Throne 3
Jo Fletcher Book, April 4, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

[Cover not yet revealed]
Ever since Beth Bradley found her way into a hidden London, the presence of its ruthless goddess, Mater Viae, has lurked in the background. Now Mater Viae has returned with deadly consequences.

Streets are wrecked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasm, bunching the city into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating pedestrians; and towers fall, their foundations decayed.

As the city sickens, so does Beth--her essence now part of this secret London. But when it is revealed that Mater Viae's plans for dominion stretch far beyond the borders of the city, Beth must make a choice: flee, or sacrifice her city in order to save it.





Stephen S. Power (2016)

The Dragon Round
Simon & Schuster, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 19, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
The Count of Monte Cristo with a dragon: a dark literary fantasy in which “Power paints his scenes with vivid and meticulous detail, and takes his tale of revenge in unexpected and refreshing directions” (Marie Brennan, author of the Natural History of Dragons series).

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for more than a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him. In order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

From a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and short story writer, The Dragon Round combines a rich world, desperate characters, and tightly coiled prose into a complex and compelling tale of revenge, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, and Scott Lynch.





Cat Rambo (2015)

Altered America: Steampunk Stories
Plunkett Press, June 12, 2016
eBook, 143 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28
Steampunk fans will rejoice in the appearance of Altered America: Steampunk Stories, collecting Nebula and World Fantasy Award-nominated author Cat Rambo’s steampunk fantasies, including “Clockwork Fairies,” “Snakes on a A Train,” and “Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart,” into a single book. Rambo’s wry humor, precise and evocative descriptions, and ability to create a world with a few deft touches are showcased in these ten tales.

Rambo has a gift for immersing her reader into a vivid universe full of adventure, sensuality, wit, and poignant observation. -Jody Lynn Nye

“Cat Rambo is endlessly innovative, ingenious, and just plain entertaining. Read her stories.” -Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Between the Stars.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoyed “The Wild, Wild West” and other steampunk stories. -Galaxy’s Edge Magazine

"A sparkling collection from one of the brightest talents in the field.” -Ursula Vernon

"Each one of Cat Rambo's steampunk stories stands solidly on its own, but as a collection, these stories click together like cogs to depict a complicated, curious alternate Earth filled with magic, technology, and mayhem.” -Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger

Includes “Clockwork Fairies,” “Rare Pears and Greengages,” “Laurel Finch, Laurel Finch, Where Do You Wander?”, Darrell Award nominated “Memphis BBQ,” “Rappacini’s Crow,” “Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart,” “Snakes On a Train,” “Web of Blood and Iron,” “Ticktock Girl” and “Seven Clockwork Angels."

The View From Monday - October 3, 2016


Happy 1st Monday in October! There is one debut this week:

Sirius: A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History by Jonathan Crown.

The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Dangerously Charming (A Broken Riders Novel 1) by Deborah Blake;

The Rise of Io (Io 1) by Wesley Chu;

How to Save the World (Superheroes Anonymous 3) by Lexie Dunne is out in digital format;

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu is out in Trade Paperback;

The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty 2) by Ken Liu

Break the Chains (Scorched Continent 2) by Megan E. O'Keefe;

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky;

Viscera by Gabriel Squailia;

and

The Failed Fellowship (Genrenauts Episode 5 & 6) by Michael R. Underwood.

The View From Monday - October 3, 2016The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
The View From Monday - October 3, 2016The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
The View From Monday - October 3, 2016The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
The View From Monday - October 3, 2016The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
The View From Monday - October 3, 2016
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to that novel's Amazon page.



The View From Monday - October 3, 2016



October 4, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Savant Nik Abnett SF
All Your Wishes Cat Adams UF - The Blood Singer Novels 7
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Box Set: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (e) Douglas Adams SF/M
The Late Breakfasters and Other Strange Stories Robert Aickman GH/Occ/H - Valancourt 20th Century Classics
Otherworld Chills Kelley Armstrong CF - An Otherworld Anthology
Beatlebone (h2tp) Kevin Barry LF/Psy/AH
Level Grind: Justice Calling; Murder of Crows; Pack of Lies; Hunting Season Annie Bellet UF - The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Omnibus 1
Dangerously Charming Deborah Blake PNR - A Broken Riders Novel 1
The Witch and the Dead Heather Blake PCM - Wishcraft Mystery 7
The Tau Empire Braden Campbell
Peter Fehervari
Phill Kelly
Joe Parrino
Andy Smillie
SF - Legends of the Dark Millennium Anthology
The Rise of Io Wesley Chu SF - Io 1
Camelot Rising Michael Clary SF/TT - The Camelot Wars 2
Our Lives Became Unmanageable Jackie Craven F/SF - The Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Prize
Sirius: A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History (D) Jonathan Crown LF
Undead and Done MaryJanice Davidson PNR - Queen Betsy 15
Into the Guns William C. Dietz AH/PA/SF - America Rising 1
The Motion of Puppets Keith Donohue H
Air and Darkness (h2mm) David Drake HistF - The Books of the Elements 4
How to Save the World (e) Lexie Dunne UF - Superheroes Anonymous 3
The Devil You Know Erin M. Evans F - Brimstone Angels 6
Castaway Odyssey Eric Flint
Ryk E. Spoor
SF/SO - Boundary 5
The Rift Uprising Amy S. Foster SF - The Rift Uprising Trilogy 1
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 Karen Fowler (Ed)
John Joseph Adams (Series Ed)
SF - Anthology
This Shared Dream Kathleen Ann Goonan AH - Dance Family 2
Feedback Mira Grant SF/AP/PA - Newsflesh 4
The Apartment S. L. Grey H/GH/Th
Ascendant's Rite David Hair F - The Moontide Quartet 4
Ghost Times Two Carolyn Hart PCM - A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel 4
Ghost to the Rescue (h2mm) Carolyn Hart PCM - A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel 3
The Color of Evil (ri) David G. Hartwell (Ed) H - Dark Descent 1 Anthology
An Ancient Peace (h2mm) Tanya Huff SF - Peacekeeper 1
This Is How You Die David Jester H
Paws and Effect Sofie Kelly PCM - Magical Cats 8
A Hard Day's Night Searcher (e) Sherrilyn Kenyon PNR - A Dark-Hunter Story
Ashley Bell (h2mm) Dean Koontz Sus/LF/F
The White Spell Lynn Kurland FR/F - A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms 10
Closer to the Chest Mercedes Lackey F/DF - Valdemar: The Herald Spy 3
Closer to the Heart (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey F/DF - Valdemar: The Herald Spy 2
The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck (ri) Alexander Laing Occ/Sup - Valancourt 20th Century Classics
Wild Eve Langlais
Kate Douglas
A.C. Arthur
PNR  - Stories
The Wall of Storms Ken Liu F - The Dandelion Dynasty 2
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (h2tp) Ken Liu SF - Collection
License to Shift Kathy Lyons FR - Grizzlies Gone Wild 2
Stranded Bracken MacLeod SupTh
Tower of Thorns (h2mm) Juliet Marillier HistF - Blacthorn & Grim 2
The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine John Matthews
Caitlin Matthews
Tarot
Fleet Inquisitor Susan R. Matthews SF/SO - Under Jurisdiction Omnibus
Eternal Sonata: A Thriller of the Near Future Jamie Metzl Th
Solar Express (h2mm) L. E. Modesitt, Jr. SF
Angels of Music Kim Newman F
Break the Chains Megan E. O'Keefe F - Scorched Continent 2
A City Dreaming Daniel Polansky CF
Book of the Night: The Black Musketeers Oliver Pötzsch HistF
Invisible Planets Hannu Rajaniemi F - Collection
Legacy of the Demon Diana Rowland CF/UF - Demon Novels/Kara Gillian 8
Shadows of Self (h2mm) Brandon Sanderson F - Mistborn 5
A Feast of Sorrows: Stories Angela Slatter F - Collection
A Very Jaguar Christmas Terry Spear PNR - Heart of the Jaguar 5
Viscera Gabriel Squailia F
The Great Game Lavie Tidhar SP
Cursed (e) Sue Tingey CF - The Soulseer Chronicles 2
The Failed Fellowship Michael R. Underwood SF/F - Genrenauts Ep 5 & 6
Eye of Terra Various SF - The Horus Heresy Anthology
Kurt Vonnegut: The Complete Novels Kurt Vonnegut
Siney Offit (Ed)
SF/F/Satire
Gold Fame Citrus (h2tp) Claire Vaye Watkins Dys/Political/LF
Impersonations Walter Jon Williams SF - A Story of the Praxis
Crosstalk Connie Willis SF/GenEng/R
Yesternight Cat Winters Hist/Occ
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (h2tp) David Wong SF
Forever After (e)(ri) Roger Zelazny (Ed) SF - Anthology



October 7, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Imagining Urban Futures: Cities in Science Fiction and What We Might Learn from Them Carl Abbott LC/SF/F
Swift to Chase Laird Barron H - Collection



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Illus - Illustrator
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback



AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CW - Contemporary Women
CyberP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F _ Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hu - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
ParaTh - Paranormal Thriller
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TV - Television
UF - Urban Fantasy


Note: Not all of these genres and formats are represented in the books above.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6


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


Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.



Linda Poitevin (2011)

Sins of the Warrior
The Grigori Legacy 4
Michem Publishing, September 18, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 341 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
Heaven and Hell are at war

The clock is ticking

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis’s niece is missing. Her sister has descended into madness. And the human race is caught in a relentless spiral toward self-destruction that Alex is desperate to stop. Now Michael, the Archangel she holds responsible for Earth’s plight, has returned—and he’s demanding her help to track a missing god.

Heaven is losing

Fighting for the very survival of his own realm—and that of humanity—Michael’s only chance to defeat Hell lies in returning Heaven’s long-lost daughter to her throne before it’s too late. But first he’ll have to convince Alex to help him—and to keep her out of Seth’s clutches long enough for her to do so.

There can be no right choices

In order to save both their worlds, Alex and Michael must put aside their animosity and find a way to work together in the face of increasingly impossible decisions…and unimaginable sacrifices.




Daniel Polansky (2011)

The Builders
Tor.com, November 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
A missing eye.

A broken wing.

A stolen country.

The last job didn't end well.

Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.




Courtney Schafer (2011)

Labyrinth of Flame
The Shattered Sigil 3
North Col, December 1, 2015
eBook, 614 pages
(Print edition forthcoming)

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
The epic conclusion to the Shattered Sigil Trilogy--a tale of blood magic, spies, and wilderness adventure.

Dev's never been a man afraid of a challenge. Not only has he kept his vow to his dead mentor, rescuing a child in the face of impossible odds, but he's freed his mage friend Kiran from both the sadistic master who seeks to enslave him and the foreign Council that wants to kill him.

But Kiran's master Ruslan is planning a brutal revenge, one that will raze an entire country to blood and ashes. Kiran is the key to stopping Ruslan; yet Kiran is dying by inches, victim of the Alathian Council's attempt to chain him. Worse yet, Dev and Kiran have drawn the attention of demons from the darkest of ancient legends. Demons whose power Dev knows is all too real, and that he has every reason to fear.

A fear that grows, as he and Kiran struggle to outmaneuver Ruslan and uncover the secrets locked in Kiran's forgotten childhood. For the demons are playing their own deadly game--and the price of survival may be too terrible to bear.




M. J. Scott (2011)

The Shattered Court
Four Arts 1
Roc, April 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Novels of the Half-Light City.

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.…




Gaie Seibold (2011)

Sparrow Falling
Sparrow 2
Solaris, July 26, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
Master spy, former con-artist, Eveline Duchen returns in adventure set in a world of steam and magic.

Eveline Sparrow (formerly Duchen) hopes to put her past experiences as a thief and con-artist to more legitimate use; which is why some of the girls at her Sparrow School receive private lessons in burglary, fakery, and other such underhand practices.

But it’s hard to get honest work when few businesses will employ young ladies in the security professions.  The duns are at the doorstep, her friend Liu the half-fox-spirit is in some sort of trouble, and the rivalries of the Folk are in danger of overspilling into the mundane world and forcing the Empire into a bloody and horrifying war.  Can Eveline pull things out of the mire this time, or will the Sparrow’s wings be clipped once and for all?

Guest Blog by Daniel Polansky


Please welcome Daniel Polansky to The Qwillery.  Daniel is the author of the Low Town trilogy and the Empty Throne duology and more.  His most recently published work is The Builders from Tor.com.  I asked Daniel how travel influences his writing?



Guest Blog by Daniel Polansky




Prompt: How does travel influence your writing?

Answer to follow.

*       *       *

        So I spent the early part of the spring traveling east from Istanbul towards the Caucasus, the last outskirts of Europe before one reaches the endless plains of central Asia. Where the first stronghold of Christendom held out against the tides of Islam which swept merciless against it, where the rump of old Armenia still survives, diminished but proud, where the descendants of ancient Zoraster have long since trade the sacred fires for the Salah, and the Salah for Stalin's grim dream of equality (for are we not all equal beneath the ground?), and finally for a Capitalism as pure as the petrol they pull up daily from the Caspian. For years now it has been my custom to wander aimlessly through side corners of the planet, with a backpack and a dense paperback to hold while I stare out the windows of rumbling buses or old Soviet-style trains, a hard cot to spend the night, two Lari for a cup of weak tea.
       I came through the Azari-Georgian border around noon, having woken up that morning in a small mountain town so little frequented by tourists that children would follow me in the streets shouting their simple English phrases and laughing and blushing when I responded in kind. It had taken forty-five minutes to clear customs, explaining to two very friendly security guards that I was not a spy, not so much I think because they believed I was but mainly because they enjoyed the novelty of speaking with an American. A walk over a bridge took me to a small clearing, a handful of money changes, taxi drivers, and folk just milling about whose purpose I could not entirely fathom. There was also a Marshrutka, a shared van, one of tens of thousands which dot the ex-Soviet countries and are the primary means of public transportation for much of the population.
       This particular specimen, bucking form, did not have a sign indicating its destination. I was on my way to Signaghi, which was either two Marshrutkas and three hours or one taxi and forty-five minutes distant. I was equanimous on the method. By custom I prefer to use the cheapest possible means of getting anywhere, a holdover from when I first started traveling, before I sold Low Town, when taking a taxi from the Kosovo bus station to my hostel meant I would not be eating dinner that night. These days it is more a loose rule than a necessity, and I was about half-thinking that I'd already met my daily quota of discomfort and therefore my self-esteem could swallow using private transportation.
       “Tbilisi?” I asked a neighboring taxi driver, pointing at the van.
       “Borjomi!” he said, kidding or lying. Borjomi is a town in far the other end of the country, obviously not where the van is headed.
       “Borjomi!” I answered, in jest. “Batumi, Ankara, Istanbul!”
We laughed together. Of course, in any country which does not have a standard meter system – which is most of the world – a taxi driver is to be trusted less than a rattlesnake on mescaline. To this day I have a moment of nervousness even when getting into a standard NY yellow cab, half expecting them to try and cheat me. (Traveler's tip: never put any of your belongings in the trunk, lest you provide a rapacious driver with an opportunity for ransom). But by the standards this one was not so bad – he was, mostly I think, playing, or at least I knew enough about where I was not to fall for his con. I waved him forward, thinking to at least price him out, but before he could enter a fee on his phone – one which would be double what I would ultimately pay, and four times what the journey would have cost a local – I felt a hand on my backpack, turned round swiftly to discover it was attached to an elderly man of classic Georgian stock, scowling furiously through a gray beard. “Tblisi!” he insisted, and pointed at the van.
       Bowing to fate, I took a cramped seat in the front, straddling my backpack. Leaning over me, the old man began to engage in a loud and vocal debate with the infuriated taxi driver. What was he saying? My supposition, based upon the events to follow, was that he was accusing the taxi driver of trying to defraud an idiot tourist, in clear violation of the traditional Georgian ethic of hospitality. That I am not an idiot tourist – or at least, that I knew the taxi driver was lying – is something that I could not possibly hope to explain.
       Without warning – or so it seemed to me – the driver of the van, who up till this point had shown no inclination to win me as a fare, or indeed any interest in the proceedings generally, swung open his door and sprinted round to yell at the taxi driver.
       Chest bumping. Thick-fingers shaking at thicker beards. Loud words in a language which, I am told, has virtually no relation to any of the rest of the Indo-European offshoots. Fists raised, dropped, raised, dropped. The old man tried to push past me to take an active part in the almost-melee, but not wanting the death of a grandfather on my conscience, from cardiac arrest or physical violence, I turn so as to obstruct his passage. Three minutes passed. Five minutes passed. None of the other passengers are willing to meet my eye. I very much want to film this on my iPhone. Oh, God, how much do I want to film this on the iPhone. A step too far. Seven minutes. The taxi driver who initially began the conflict sat down, exhausted. A second took his place as the van drivers chief combatant. An Orthodox nun, seated deeper in the van, got out to try and reconcile the parties, though her efforts were to no effect.
       The fervor died down, finally, and the van driver got back to the wheel. I wore the idiot smile which I have come to realize is the best aegis a foreigner can hold in these sorts of situations. An hour or so down the road, when it was time for me to get out, I discovered that the old man who began the trouble had already paid my way, a bit of generosity for which, in a country the average income of which is about 600 US dollars a month, I felt deeply ashamed. But of course there was no way to repay his kindness without causing deep insult, and we had already established that he was an individual of high moral character and very low threshold for annoyance. I bowed deeply, and he nodded in return, and the door closed and the van continued on down the road.

*       *       *

       I ran into a college acquaintance of mine last week, a woman I hadn't seen since graduation. We exchanged the usual pleasantries, traded thumbnail sketches of the last decade of our lives. As a rule I don't tell people that I'm a writer – it's more trouble than it's worth. I tell people I freelance, which has the virtues of being vague and not exactly false.
       She did not press me for detail. She was, like most people, waiting around to talk about herself, and I was happy to provide her with the opportunity. Her story was a familiar one – like many vaguely artistic people living in our great metropolis, she did a lot of things, primarily service oriented – though, she added quickly, what she really did, that is to say, what defined her spiritual essence if not what actually paid her rent, was write.
       “What do you write about?” I asked.
       “My life, mostly,” she said. “Things that happen to me.”
       I smiled and nodded and wished her well and continued on, thinking – fantastic, just what the world needs, another autobiography of a Brooklyn hipster.
       The first thing you are taught is to write what you know. The problem with this advice is that is assumes you know something that anyone else would care to learn. Of course, a brilliant writer can make the quotidian profound, can mine day-to-day existence for insight into the nature and substance of the human condition. We mediocrities are better served in setting ourselves a lower bar, by trying to do something, to become something, which might be of interest to people who are not our immediate kin.
       I have attempted to acquire these experiences by aimless wandering. There are, certainly, other methods but this is the one that suits me best. I'm not brave enough to be a soldier, and I'm not pure enough to be a priest. I'm too mean to be a humanitarian. I have, happily, never suffered the sort of personal tragedy which might make for an interesting or an evocative tell-all. There are no new continents to explore, and while I haven't researched it exhaustively my understanding is that astronauts require some mathematical ability, so that puts me straight out. .
       But travel is something, at least, some break from dull-suburbia, some exit from the elite high school → private college → expensive MFA program track which has become the literary establishment's preferred paradigm, and which is slowly strangling English letters. Certainly, somewhere, there is a person writing a moving and brilliant prose about the nature of modernity, of banal existence in modern America. They exist. I have read them. They represent the tiniest fraction of writers, nor do I operate under any illusion that I am the second coming of Proust.
       So I strap a backpack on and go poking about in small cities in the second world, in industrial capitals, in bus station depots and dusty alleys. Some of these experiences see direct reflection in my writing – a child brutalizing a stray dog in a New Delhi slum made it into Tomorrow, the Killing, for instance. More often it offers an impression or a feeling which, processed and digested, gets regurgitated somewhere down the line. Getting lost walking from a ferry in Salvador de Bahia with night falling, watching the wolves coming out, knowing myself a lamb. Waking up before dawn in the middle of the Namib desert, watching a baboon knuckle its way across red sand, and the world newborn, still slick with afterbirth.
       So, to return to our prompt; travel is how I have sought to become an interesting person, which I believe is an asset to, if not a requirement for, becoming a decent writer. Not that I can promise I've accomplished either, but at least I put in the effort.





The Builders
Tor.com, November 3, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

Guest Blog by Daniel Polansky
A missing eye.

A broken wing.

A stolen country.

The last job didn't end well.

Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.





About Daniel

Guest Blog by Daniel Polansky
Photo by Dan Stack
Daniel Polansky is the author of the Low Town trilogy and the Empty Throne duology, among other things.














Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook
Twitter @DanielPolansky



The View From Monday - March 31, 2014


Happy last Monday in March! This is a very full release week including a tremendous number of books out on April 1st. No fooling!


The View From Monday - March 31, 2014


There are 2 debuts:

Irenicon (The Wave Trilogy 1) by Aidan Harte;

and

Deadroads by Robin Riopelle.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Cursed by Alexa Egan;

The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn;

Immortal Hunter (Execution Underground 2) by Kait Ballenger;

Covenant (Books of Raziel 2) by Sabrina Benulis;

Turned (Belladonna Agency 1) by Virna DePaul;

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher;

Marked (Mindspace Investigations 3) by Alex Hughes;

Drowning in Fire (Elementals 3) by Hanna Martine;

Tomorrow, the Killing (Low Town 2) Daniel Polansky;

and  

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James.



March 30, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Wanderer's Tale (ri) David Bilsborough F - Annals of Lindormyn 1


March 31, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Small Doses of the Future: A Collection of Medical Science Fiction Stories Brad Aiken SF - Collection
Death's Daughter (e) Kathleen Collins PNR - Realm Walker 2
Minding the Stars: The Early Jack Vance Volume 4 Terry Dowling (ed)
Jonathan Strahan (ed)
SF/F - Collection
Cursed (e) Alexa Egan PNR - The Complete Imnada Brotherhood Novellas
Dangerous Angel (e) Stacy Gail PNR - Earth Angels 4
At Star's End (e) Anna Hackett SFR
The Compleat Crow Brian Lumley F - Titus Crow Stories



April 1, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Goblin Emperor Katherine Addison F
The Bird Eater Ania Ahlborn H
Circle of Desire Keri Arthur FR - Damask Circle 3
Wild Wolf Jennifer Ashley PNR - Shifters Unbound 6
Immortal Hunter (e) Kait Ballenger PNR - The Execution Underground 2
Lexicon (h2tp) Max Barry SF
Dark Eden Chris Beckett SF
Hecate's Own Dana Marie Bell PNR - Heart's Desire 2
Covenant Sabrina Benulis F/Go - Books of Raziel 2
What the Doctor Ordered Michael Blumlein H - Collection
The Days of the Deer Liliana Bodoc F - Saga of the Borderlands 1
A Killing Notion Melissa Bourbon PCM - Magical Dressmaking Mystery 3
Riveted (tp2mm) Meljean Brook SPR - Iron Seas 3
The Devil's Eye (e) Dawn Brown GoR - Shivers 10
Blameless (ri) Gail Carriger SP - Parasol Protectorate 3
Changeless (ri) Gail Carriger SP - Parasol Protectorate 2
Soulless (ri) Gail Carriger SP - Parasol Protectorate 1
Upon a Sea of Stars A. Bertam Chandler SF - John Grimes Saga 5
Peacemaker C. J. Cherryh SF - Foreigner 15
Savage Panet Stephen Coonts SF - Saucer 3
Quicksilver Soul Christine D'Abo PHR - Shadow Guild 2
The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti: A Tor.Com Original A.M. Dellamonica F
Turned Virna DePaul PNR - Belladonna Agency 1
The Ophelia Prophecy Sharon Lynn Fisher SFR
Shards of Time Lynn Flewelling F - Nightrunner 7
Magical Misfire (e) Kimberly Frost PNR - A Southern Witch Novella
Severed Gary Fry H
Vampire's Hunger Cynthia Garner SFR - Awakening 1
The Revolutions Felix Gilman SF/R
Legacy of Darkness (e) Jane Godman GoR - Shivers 9
The Awakening (ri) Heather Graham
(Shannon Drake)
PNR - Alliance Vampires 5
Darkening Around Me (e) Barbara J. Hancock GoR - Shivers 1
Games Creatures Play Charlaine Harris (ed)
Toni L.P. Kelner (ed)
UF - Anthology
Empty Space: A Haunting (h2tp) M. John Harrison SF/H
Dream a Little Dream (e) Megan Hart PNR
Irenicon (D US) Aidan Harte F - Wave Trilogy 1
The Crimson Shield Nathan Hawke F - Gallow 1
Marked Alex Hughes SF - Mindspace Investigations 3
Ghost of a Gamble Sue Ann Jaffarian PCM - Ghost of Granny Apples 4
Tempting the Demon Elle James PNR
Enchanting the Beast Kathryne Kennedy PHR - Relics of Merlin 4
Wicked Games Angela Knight PNR - Collection
Appalachian Overthrow (h2mm) E.E. Knight SF - Vampire Earth 10
Baltic Gambit E.E. Knight SF - Vampire Earth 11
The Frangipani Hotel Violet Kupersmith Gh - Collection
When He Was Bad (ri) Shelly Laurenston
Cynthia Eden
PNR - Stories
The Fearful Gates Ross Lawhead F - An Ancient Earth 3
Into the Void: Star Wars Tim Lebbon SF - Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi
The Forever Knight (h2mm) John Marco F - Bronze Knight 1
Reign of Ash Gail Z. Martin F - Ascendant Kingdom 2
Drowning in Fire Hanna Martine PNR - Elementals 3
Step Back in Time Ali McNamara TTR
Like a Dead Man Walking William F. Nolan
Jason V. Brock (ed)
SF/H - Collection
Ghost Seer Robin D. Owens PNR - Ghost Seer 1
Tomorrow, the Killing Daniel Polansky DF - Low Town 2
Stoker's Manuscript (h2tp) Royce Prouty H
Prince's Fire Amy Raby FR - Hearts and Thrones 3
Fall Rod Rees SF/Dys -  Demi-Monde Saga 4
Evil Never Dies Mick Ridgewell H
Deadroads: A Novel of Supernatural Suspense (D) Robin Riopelle Su/Sus
Keith Roberts SF Gateway Omnibus Keith Roberts SF - SF Gateway Omnibus
Shattered Moon Moira Rogers PNR - Bloodhounds
Black Rose (e) Jenna Ryan GoR - Shivers 3
Silence for the Dead Simone St. James Go
Bob Shaw SF Gateway Omnibus Bob Shaw SF - SF Gateway Omnibus
Conversations with William Gibson Patrick A. Smith (ed) SF - Literary Conversations
Running Free Jorrie Spencer PNR - Northern Shifters 5
Angel City (h2mm) Jon Steele Su/P - Angelus Trilogy 2
The Homecoming (h2tp) Carsten Stroud Su/H - Niceville 2
From Civil War to World War Peter G. Tsouras AH - Britannia's Fist Trilogy1
The Seventh Child Erik Valeur Go
Circle of Blood Debbie Viguie F/P - Witch Hunt 3
The Way of All Flesh Tim Waggoner H
Mark of the Bear NJ Walters PNR - Hades' Carnival 2
The King J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 12
Gothic Science Fiction: 1980-2010 Sara Wasson (ed)
Emily Alder (ed)
LC/Go/SF



April 2, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Devil in America: A Tor.Com Original Kai Ashante Wilson F


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint

AH - Alternate History
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopia
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
Gh - Ghosts
Go - Gothic
GoR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
LC - Literary Criticism
P - Paranormal
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SP - Steampunk
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy


Interview with Daniel Polansky - August 16, 2011

Please welcome Daniel Polansky to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Daniel:  I can write anywhere. I’ve written on Punjabi trains and in communes in Estonia. Of course, none of the writing is any good, but it does get done.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Daniel:  A brief smattering of people I think are great: Thomas Wolfe, VS Naipul, Rebecca West. In terms of folk I’ve cribbed from, dues go out to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser? (Plotters make outlines, etc. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants.)

Daniel:  With LOW TOWN it was the latter, but with subsequent work I’ve made it more of a priority to have some idea how a book will end before starting it.

TQ:  Describe Low Town / The Straight Razor Cure in 140 characters or less.

Daniel Low Town primarily concerns the misadventures of The Warden, a small time drug lord whose iniquities are interrupted upon discovering the body of a murdered child. In a bout of ill-considered self-righteousness, he decides to hunt down the killer. Trouble ensues. I’m not great at counting characters...

TQ:  What inspired you to write Low Town / The Straight Razor Cure?

Daniel:  Poverty.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Low Town / The Straight Razor Cure?

Daniel:  I didn’t really do any research specific to Low Town -- it was more about crafting something from the morass of random things I’d already learned.

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

Daniel:  When I write I don’t really find myself dividing the narrative in that way, so I don’t really think I have an answer.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Daniel:  My favorite scene is at the end when the entire narrative is revealed to be an elaborate dream. In retrospect I guess that was sort of a spoiler.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Daniel:  It’s going to be a trilogy.

TQ:  What's next?

Daniel:  For me? I’m going to buy another cup of coffee and get back to working on Low Town’s sequel. For anyone reading this, sprint out to your nearest book store and get a copy of my book. If you’re reading this late at night, break in, take a copy, and leave exact change on the register.
Visit my website, DanielPolansky.com, and leave a comment using the Facebook plugin on the lower left of the page so I know who you are. The first 7 chapters are on the website, along with two book trailers, a contest...all kinds of fun stuff. I’m on Facebook (facebook.com/DanielPolanskyAuthor), Twitter (@DanielPolansky), Google+ (+DanielPolansky), and GoodReads (goodreads.com/DanielPolansky), so there are lots of ways to connect.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Daniel:  Thanks for having me!


Daniel has written a short piece as well to share with all of you today:

Slums of the Shire

     Occasionally you'll be with a group of people and they'll get to talking about their favorite historical epochs, nostalgic for lives they never led. One person will talk up their childhood love of the Wild West, another reveal a penchant for Victorian England. This last one just has a thing for corsets, but it's better not to call them on it.

     When my turn rolls round I take a sip of whatever we're drinking and look at my shoes. “The mid 90's were pretty good,” I say lamely. “Slower internet and everything, but at least we had penicillin.”

     Perhaps it's my being a history buff, but the past sucked. For about a millennium and a half after the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe just seems like a real shit place to reside. Lots of rooting in filth until you die at thirty a half mile from where you born. Nominally the nobles had it better, but still, your fever would have been treated with the application of leaches and your pretty young bride had like a one in two chance of surviving child birth.

     This probably is why I don't understand fantasy—that is to say that collection of high medieval tropes collected by Tolkien and gleefully reproduced by two generations of descendants.

     Take elves for instance—though perfectly capable of imagining a world where higher intelligence evolved in a species separate from humanity, my powers of make believe fail when positing that the relation between said species would be anything beyond unceasing warfare. Even a cursory glance at human history reveals our collective willingness to commit genocide on fellow homo sapiens—how much quicker would we have been to eradicate a separate species competing for identical resources? If elves existed, our ancestors would have hunted them down to extinction and erected a monument to the accomplishment.

     But I digress.

     Even when nestled comfortably in a quest to kill a dragon or overthrow a dark lord or what have you, strange thoughts plague me. What does the shady side of Gondor look like? How many platinum coins would a dime bag set me back? What is the point of hobbits? They're just short, fat people. People are plenty fat as it is.

     Low Town is sort of my attempt to answer some of those questions (not the last one). It's the story of the Warden, a former intelligence agent and current drug dealer, whose gradual slide into self-destruction is briefly checked by the discovery of a dead body in the neighborhood he runs. An ill-timed bout of conscience rattles the easy cage of venality he's built for himself, and leads him on a collision course with the life he'd left behind. The Warden is a guy trying to survive the next few days, and not particularly squeamish as to what that requires—the sort of person more likely to populate a classic crime novel than to be found stocking the fantasy section of your local Borders (RIP).

     More broadly, Low Town is an attempt to meld the best aspects of noir with a low fantasy setting—a meeting of tastes which I think complement each other nicely. The spare language and fast pace of good noir offers a pleasant counterpoint to the sprawling—one might even say bloated—length of much modern fantasy. On a somewhat broader level, the tendency of fantasy to focus on world shaking events often renders it irrelevant to the average reader, whose life relatively rarely devolves into single combat against vaguely satanic analogs. By contrast, noir is concerned with the individual, with greed and lust, sins all of us can comprehend to some degree. Low Town centers on the conceit that a world with magic wouldn't be altogether different from a world without it. People are still (on the whole) selfish, stupid creatures, focused almost exclusively on the immediate satisfaction of their basic desires, only now some of them can shoot fire out of their hands.

     That's the idea at least. It comes out today (August 16th) in the US and Canada, and on Thursday (August 18th) in the UK and Commonwealth. I hope you check it out and see if I've succeeded, or if I'm just a pretentious clown. Or both.


About Low Town

In the USA/Canada:

Low Town
Low Town 1
(Knopf Doubleday, August 16 2011)

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.




In the UK/Commonwealth:

The Straight Razor Cure
Low Town 1
(Hodder & Stoughton, August 18, 2011)

Welcome to Low Town. Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.

Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You`d struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his.

But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley.

And then another.

With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he`s the only man with a hope of finding the killer.

If the killer doesn`t find him first.




About Daniel

Photo by Dan Stack
Daniel Polansky was born near Baltimore, Maryland.  LOW TOWN is his first novel.

Daniel's Links:

Website
Facebook
Google+
Goodreads
Twitter

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors


2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors


August is an amazing month for debuts! Here are the August debut authors and their novels (in alphabetical order). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.


Where Demons Fear to Tread
Author:  Stephanie Chong
Series:  Company of Angels
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher:  MIRA Books (August 30, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-0-7783-1247-5

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Where angels fall from grace and demons fall…in love.

"Welcome to DEVIL's Paradise."

The arch demon’s voice was low and deep. His fingers caressed her through the fabric of her dress. “Your soul—or his, Serena. Choose.”

Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a  mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect. But she’s ambushed by the club’s owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won’t release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager.…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again.
Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven.


Ready Player One
Author:  Ernest Cline
Format:  Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher:  Crown (August 16, 2011)
Price:  $24.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0-307-88743-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


Luck of the Devil
Author:  Patricia Eimer
Series:  Speak of the Devil
Format:  Trade Paperback, 273 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Comedy
ISBN: 978-1-937044-11-4

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Being the youngest daughter of the Devil isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The days of teenage rebellion and vows of chastity made just to tick off her father are over, and now all Faith Bettincourt wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, thanks to the unexpected arrival of her demonically-downsized sister, a ditzy succubus roommate, and dear old Dad himself, Faith’s plans for a relaxing vacation spent watching reruns go up in flames.

Now it’s all Faith can do to keep the family reunion from Hell (literally) under wraps, and the angelically-inclined hottie across the hall from realizing there’s something weird about his neighbor. And, thankfully, it’s working. Until an angelic stalker shows up in a bid to steal her powers and take over the world.

Forget watching reruns. With the way things are going, Faith will need the luck of the Devil just to survive until Monday.





Out in Blue
Author:  Sarah Gilman
Series:  Return to Sanctuary
Format:  Trade Paperback, 251 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-937044-27-5

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
In a violent world where fallen archangels are hunted for their valuable plumage, Wren knows one thing for certain: the human woman who saved him from a poacher attack will die if she stays with him. The demon responsible for his parents’ gruesome deaths two decades ago pines for the chance to rip apart any woman who stands under Wren’s wing.

Wren doesn’t expect Ginger to stay by his side once she discovers his ability to drain life with a mere touch, yet she lingers. When an unusual talent of her own reveals the location of Wren’s father, Wren’s isolated world implodes. With the help of the demon protectors he’s sworn never to trust again, Wren risks everything to rescue his father, confront the demon who stalks his and Ginger’s every step, and claim his eternity with the most courageous woman he’s ever known.







Southern Gods
Author:  John Hornor Jacobs
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-1-59780-285-7

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music--broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station--is said to make living men insane and dead men rise.

Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil.

But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell . . .

In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.


The Noble Pirates
Author:  Rima L. Jean
Series:  Noble Pirates
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Cogito Media Group (August 29, 2011)
Price:  $24.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical Fantasy/Time Travel Romance
ISBN:  978-1-926893-40-2

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
A vacation in the Bahamas goes awry, and a woman from 2009 unexpectedly finds herself in 1718 – amidst pirates. Sabrina is so consumed with her present-day problems that the last thing she expects is to suddenly end up face to face with real pirates. The notorious bad boys of the Golden Age of Piracy, Edward England, Howel Davis, and “Black Bart” Roberts, become Sabrina’s means of survival in the past, and ultimately, her key to returning to the future.

The catch? Sabrina happens to be carrying a book about pirates when she is swept into the past, and that book contains biographies of the very men she meets. She forms relationships with them and learns that, contrary to what she previously thought, they are sailors, servants, and slaves who were pressed into service, victims of social and historical circumstances of the era.

When Sabrina finds herself falling in love with Howel Davis, a sailor who becomes a pirate out of desperation, she begins to wonder: Can she use her knowledge to change the past? Is her knowledge a blessing or a curse?


Night Walker
Author:  Lisa Kessler
Series:  The Night
Format: Trade Paperback,  266 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language: English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-937044-13-8

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
 
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.


Prince of Thorns
Author:  Mark Lawrence
Series:  The Broken Empire
Format:  Hardcover, 335 pages
Publisher:  Ace (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $25.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-441-02032-4

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?


Awakenings
Author:  Edward Lazellari
Series:  Guardians of Aandor
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Tor (August 30, 2011)
Price:  $24..99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-7653-2787-1

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Cal MacDonnell is a happily married New York City cop with a loving family. Seth Raincrest is a washed-up photographer who has alienated even his closest friends. The two have nothing in common—except that they both suffer from retrograde amnesia. It’s as if they just appeared out of thin air thirteen years ago, and nothing has been able to restore their memories. Now their forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance.

Cal's and Seth’s lives are turned upside down as they are stalked by otherworldly beings who know about the men's past lives. But these creatures aren't here to help; they're intent on killing anyone who gets in their way. In the balance hangs the life of a child who might someday restore a broken empire to peace and prosperity. With no clue why they're being hunted, Cal and Seth must accept the aid of a strange and beautiful woman who has promised to unlock their secrets. The two must stay alive long enough to protect their loved ones, recover their true selves—and save two worlds from tyranny and destruction.

Awakenings launches a captivating fantasy saga by an amazing and talented new storyteller.


Germline
Author:  T.C. McCarthy
Series:  Subterrene War Trilogy
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher:  Orbit (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0-316-12818-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.



Low Town (The Straight Razor Cure in UK)
Author:  Daniel Polansky
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Doubleday (August 16, 2011)
Price:  $25.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy/Thriller
ISBN:  978-0-385-53446-8

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.


The Whitefire Crossing
Author:  Courtney Schafer
Series:  The Shattered Sigil
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy Adventure
ISBN:  978-1-59780-283-3

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel--where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark--into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution--and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet the young mage is not the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other--or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.



The Armageddon Chord
Author:  Jeremy Wagner
Format:  Trade Paperback, 264 pages
Publisher:  kNight Romance Publishing (August 22, 2011)
Price:  $17.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror/Thriller
ISBN:  978-0-9831297-7-6

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors
Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man…Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen.

With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed.

Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the “God of Guitar” by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself.

Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil…or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand?

What will happen when Kirk Vasito strikes The Armageddon Chord?

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - July 21, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Daniel Polansky has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Daniel's debut, Low Town / The Straight Razor Cure is being released in August.

In the USA/Canada:

Low Town
(Knopf Doubleday, August 16 2011)


Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.





In the UK/Commonwealth:

The Straight Razor Cure
(Hodder & Stoughton, August 18, 2011)


Welcome to Low Town. Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.

Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You`d struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his.

But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley.

And then another.

With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he`s the only man with a hope of finding the killer.

If the killer doesn`t find him first.






Look for an interview with Daniel in August 2011. You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.
What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 28The View From Monday - October 3, 2016What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6Guest Blog by Daniel PolanskyThe View From Monday - March 31, 2014Interview with Daniel Polansky - August 16, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - July 21, 2011

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