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Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows


Please welcome Erika Lewis to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Game of Shadows is published on February 28th by Tor Books.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Erika a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows




TQWhen did you start writing and why?

Erika:  When I was about 8 years old my best friend and I would pass journals back and forth. We didn’t go to the same school, so during the week we’d write in composition notebooks, journaling notes to each other. Sometimes stories, sometimes diary entries, it changed depending on the week. Then we’d trade on the weekend. I was going through a tough time. So was she. Lots of changes on the home front. Writing stories was an escape.

Over the years, during and after college, through my first job as an intern at CNN during the first Gulf War, then after moving to Los Angeles and started working for studios and networks in production, I just kept writing. Now, after getting my shot to do what I love, I still just keep writing. It’s addictive!



TQAre you a plotter, pantser or hybrid?

Erika:  I would call myself a disenfranchised plotter. LOL! I write an outline, sometimes extremely detailed then about half way through writing the story, the characters throw me for a loop and want to go in a totally different direction. That means having to do more research many times if I’m working with a particular mythology, like in Game of Shadows, but the characters always know best! So, I tend to listen.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Erika:  I tend to prefer to write in first person or close third. A recent challenged for me has been the protagonist’s point of view, meaning which character would be the most interesting to tell the story. In a new project I’m working on, I originally wrote it from one character’s perspective only to realize I was missing out on a much more interesting point of view. A character who at first seems like she should be the antagonist, someone I wanted to hate. But as I kept writing, I realized that she wasn’t the person I thought she was, and as it turns out, she is the voice that I personally think will make everyone else listen. Okay, all that was rather cryptic, I know. Sorry. But the point is that I then had to start over. Through the painful process comes something that is vastly more satisfying for me, and hopefully will be for the reader as well.



TQWhat has influenced/influences your writing? How does your prior work in TV influence (or not) your novel writing?

Erika:  Life experiences tend to influence my writing the most. I would think that’s a common thing. I lived in the U.K and spent a great deal of time in Ireland. I fell in love with the landscape, the warmth of the people, and the rich history. But by the time I started to play around with the idea of writing a story about where those mythical Celtic races and magical druids disappeared to, I was living in Los Angeles. So I wanted to find a way to bring the two things together, so Ethan Makkai is living in Los Angeles when we first meet him in Game of Shadows.

Television has, for good or bad, influenced the pacing of my novels. I love a plot to move. It needs to stand still just long enough to suck me in emotionally, connect me to each and every character, but then keep the train moving. Not that quiet moments can’t keep up a solid pace too! They lull you into a false sense of security, as if nothing bad could happen at least for a few more pages, then bam!



TQDescribe Game of Shadows in 140 characters or less.

Erika:  Haunted and desperate for independence, Ethan Makkai has no idea his gift makes him the most wanted guy on the planet. #RadharcRules



TQTell us something about Game of Shadows that’s not is not found in the book description.

Erika:  The story is told from multiple POVs, not just Ethan’s. Tor Books has been an amazing partner, understanding that, to me, in order for this book to truly show off the distress in Tara, other voices needed to be heard. Ethan races through the different realms in Tara, trying to get to his mother before they kill her. But his story happens simultaneously with Tara itself going on red alert that this villain is back and preparing for onslaught. Not to mention a few chapters from the pathological villain himself.

When I think of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I found it so satisfying that the story wasn’t just following Frodo, and finding out what happened after he throws the ring into the running lava in Mount Doom. It was truly epic for all of middle-earth!



TQWhat inspired you to write Game of Shadows? What appeals to you about writing fantasy and specifically Celtic Mythology?

Erika:  My time in Ireland inspired Game of Shadows, and a love for young adult stories lead me to Ethan being the entry point into the hidden lands of Tara. Many years after returning home from living abroad, I started researching the different cycles of history in Ireland, and focused in on the Mythological Cycle. I wondered what happened to the ancient races and magical Druids after the gods and goddesses lost the war to humans and vacated? Known as the Tuatha Dé Danann, followers of the mother goddess Danu, they left through the fairy mounds, but there was no mention of what happened to the on the Ravens, Faoladhs, Fomorians, and the others in Game of Shadows. I had a thought…maybe they’re still here…



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Game of Shadows?

Erika:  Oh boy…so much research. Books, online, but also I worked with an incredible Celtic Lecturer at Berkeley. She would read my chapters, and generally laugh at what I’d done with the different legendary races, and help me linguistically with ancient Irish. But I altered the language a bit with the idea that through time all languages change.



TQPlease tells us about the Game of Shadows’ cover art.

Erika:  My editor Elayne Becker at Tor had this idea for the cover, and I just love it. It’s more than meets the eye. Ghosts plague Ethan, yes. He hates it. They make him look insane all the time because he’s not allowed to talk about his gift, or them.

His power called radharc, gives him the ability to see ghosts, but it’s so much more than that. Not to spoil anything but the ghost chasing after Ethan represents more than just a ghost. It’s his nemesis…and his destiny.



TQIn Game of Shadows, who was the easiest character to write, and who was the hardest?

Erika:  Easiest was Lily Niles. I love her. I knew her from the moment she attacked Ethan. She’s a strong female character with a take-no-prisoners attitude. My husband calls me five-feet of fury, a nickname I’ve earned, mainly when I think someone is being wronged. I can’t help myself. If a bully is on the attack, no one should stand by and watch, and typically, I don’t. Lily’s fierce with a sword (wish I was,) but also knows what she wants and goes after it. That includes Ethan.

The hardest character was King Fearghus in Gransmore. He rules the Fomorians. His daughter was murdered, and he blames himself for what happened. Ethan realizes how much his powers are a gift when he’s able to give Fearghus a little relief. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Fearghus is a character that you just want to hug every time he appears, though you won’t feel that way at first!



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Game of Shadows?

Erika:  In my humble opinion, social issues are in everything writers’ write, whether we realize it or not. We take inspiration from our lives, cultures, and the times we live in. When I started Game of Shadows, violence in America was and still is a huge issue. Ethan, in seeing ghosts and communicating with the dead, feels the permanent great divide between those who have passed on, and those left behind in the living world. For that reason, he is not someone who easily wields a weapon.

Having grown up in Los Angeles, in what he thought was a fairly safe environment, Ethan never experienced true life or death situations until the day his mother is kidnapped. He’s had jerks at school giving him grief, but never felt like his life was in danger. Much later in the book, in the last act, Ethan trains with someone he looks up to above all others (no spoilers.) A great warrior, a person who has battled for most of his life, he tells Ethan, “No one can beat down an enemy with compassion.” But compassion is a part of who Ethan is at his core. Circumstances do change of course, but it’s up to Ethan in the end how he will react when things turn deadly. As Bran says in the opening prophecy, “For in darkness there is always light, and in the face of death a reason to fight.”



TQWhat question about Game of Shadows do you wish someone would ask?

Erika:  About the incredible artwork inside: I was so lucky to have two very talented comic artists make the Celtic marks of Tara, and the map. Megan Hutchison (http://www.blackem-art.com) created the shield that incorporates the realms individual marks. These are an integral part of the story. When a Tarisian leaves Tara, they must take the shadowwalker’s oath, a promise of secrecy. The pledge’s remnant is a permanent tattoo of the Tarisian’s realm’s mark on the underside of the wrist. Ethan’s family is from Landover, and their mark is the triple spiral. His mother has it as if branded into her flesh on the underside of her wrist. But Ethan wasn’t born in Tara, so does Ethan have it? Well, no spoilers here, right? Here’s a look at the shield of Tara.

Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows

Megan took inspiration from ancient Ireland in creating the marks. Fun fact: The triple spiral, Landover’s symbol, is found chiseled into the stones at Newgrange (http://www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm), a more than 5,200 year-old mound in the Boyne Valley in Ireland.

The map of Tara was as important for me as a writer as it is for the reader. I drew a fairly pathetic sketch that Eric Gravel (https://erigrav.carbonmade.com) then turned into what you see in the book. Here’s the colored version!

Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows

In writing the long journey for Ethan, Lily and Christian through Tara, I used this map frequently. Being a visual person, I needed to literally see where they were going, and now everyone who reads the book can too!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Game of Shadows.

Erika:  Non-spoilery, huh? There’s a fair bit about Ethan in the summary of the book, so how about a little introduction to Lily. This quote comes from chapter 5 when they meet for the first time.

“Ethan’s knees strained, gripping the saddle, trying to stay on. Devlin pivoted right, trying to avoid a white horse that suddenly appeared in front of him. Ethan slipped down in the saddle. He didn’t know how much longer he could hold on. Panicked, he looked for help from the rider on the white horse a second before she catapulted onto him, sending him crashing to the ground.”

And one more from Lily’s own mouth.

“You know, your father said he’d confine you to your house for two weeks if he caught you out again.”
Lily glanced sideways at him. “No. He said if he found me on the castle grounds. These are not the castle grounds.”
“You like to live dangerously, don’t you?”
“Always.” She kicked her horse.

And perhaps a little from Ethan’s and Tara’s enemy, Sawney Bean. In this chapter he’s talking to a ghost inside his prison cave. Twisted, she continuously prattles on, pining for her lover, Torin, who betrayed her. Is Bean evil? Oh yes, but with a touch of sarcasm that leaves me wondering what it would be like to hang out with him for a night:

“Have you ever noticed that both ‘love’ and ‘hate are four letter words? On opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, and yet connected at their very core. In order to fully understand hate, one must have felt love. And if love is a noble cause, isn’t hate then just as noble? Harnessing hatred for those who tossed you out and considered you worthless? Is there any more noble cause? And thus by default, isn’t revenge the proper course of action, rather than reconciliation?” He paused his scribbling and turned to face her. “Revenge on Torin should be what you seek, Kiara, and yet, you, even in death, continue to seek love.”



TQWhat’s next?

Erika:  The sequel to Game of Shadows. I’m so excited to dive in. I spent time this summer in Ireland doing a ton of research, and writing the outline. The story grows so much, and Ethan and Lily’s lives move in directions neither they nor I ever saw coming.

On the what’s coming out, this summer my graphic novel, The 49th Key will be released! Also, Jessica Chobot’s (https://twitter.com/JessicaChobot) and my comic series Firebrand will continue to publish chapters on LINE Webtoon (http://www.webtoons.com/en/fantasy/firebrand/list?title_no=877.)

There’s a few other things too in the comic world, but can’t talk about them yet ☺.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery!





Game of Shadows
Tor Books, February 28, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows
A young man plagued by the ability to see ghosts races to save the mythological land of Tara from a terrible fate in Erika Lewis's stunning debut, Game of Shadows.

Thousands of years ago in Ireland, an ancient race fought a world-changing battle—and lost. Their land overrun, the Celtic gods and goddesses fled, while the mythical races and magical druids sailed to an uncharted continent, cloaked so mankind could never find it. This new homeland was named Tara.

In modern day Los Angeles, Ethan Makkai struggles with an overprotective mother who never lets him out of her sight, and a terrifying secret: he can see ghosts. Desperate for a taste of freedom, he leaves his apartment by himself for the first time—only to find his life changed forever. After being attacked by dive-bombing birds, he races home to find the place trashed and his mother gone.

With the help of a captain from Tara who has been secretly watching the Makkais for a long time, Ethan sets out to save his mother; a journey that leads him to the hidden lands, and straight into the arms of a vicious sorcerer who will stop at nothing until he controls Tara.With new-found allies including Christian, the cousin he never knew he had, and Lily, the sword-slinging healer who’d rather fight than mend bones, Ethan travels an arduous road—dodging imprisonment, battling beasts he thought only existed in nightmares, and accepting help from the beings he’s always sought to avoid: ghosts. This L.A. teen must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother, the fearless girl he’s fallen for, and all the people of Tara.





About Erika

Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of Shadows
Photo by Peter Konerko
ERIKA LEWIS graduated from Vanderbilt University, and went on to earn an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University. She has had a successful career in television production for the past fifteen years, working with Sony (V.I.P, Strong Medicine), with Fireworks Television (La Femme Nikita, Andromeda, Mutant X, Strange Days at Blake Holsey High), with Fox (On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Ambush Makeover) and with G4 (Attack of the Show, X-Play). Erika is the author of The 49th Key, currently running in Heavy Metal Magazine, with the trade out soon, and the recently released Firebrand with Legendary Comics. Game of Shadows is Erika’s debut novel. Find out more at: http://www.erikalewis.com/



Twitter @ErikaElyLewis  ~  Facebook


The View From Monday - February 27, 2017


Happy last Monday in February!

There is one debut this week:

Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis.

The View From Monday - February 27, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.


From formerly featured DAC Authors.

Fields of Fire (Frontlines 5) by Marko Kloos;

The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War 3) by Mark Lawrence is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Bane and Shadow (The Empire of Storms 2) by Jon Skovron;

and

Thunderbird (Miriam Black 4) by Chuck Wendig.

The View From Monday - February 27, 2017The View From Monday - February 27, 2017
The View From Monday - February 27, 2017The View From Monday - February 27, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - February 27, 2017




Debut novels are highlighted in green. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in blue.

February 28, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Broken Glass V.C. Andrews PsyTh - The Mirror Sisters Series 2
Planet of the Apes Omnibus 1 Michael Avallone
Jerry Pournelle
SF - Planet of the Apes
Infernal Parade Clive Barker
Bob Eggleton
H
The Voices of Martyrs Maurice Broaddus SF - Collection
Penric and the Shaman Lois McMaster Bujold F - Penric & Desdemona 2
An Almond for a Parrot Wray Delaney Hist/MR
Avenging Angel Cynthia Eden PNR - Fallen 4
Ring of Fire IV (h2mm) Eric Flint (Ed) AH - The Ring of Fire
Into the Fire Jeaniene Frost PNR - Night Prince 4
Beloved Beast Karyn Gerrard PNR - Ravenswood Chronicles 2
War Without End (tp2mm) Laurie Goulding SF - The Horus Heresy 33
Firestorm: Volume 3: A Dragon Romance (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
There Is No Darkness (e) Joe Haldeman
Jack C. Haldeman
SF
The Long Mirage David R. George III SF - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Wrong Dead Guy Richard Kadrey F - Another Coop Heist 2
A Ghostly Mortality Tonya Kappes PM - Ghostly Southern Mysteries 6
Agents of Dreamland Caitlín R. Kiernan DF/H/SF
Dreamcatcher (ri) Stephen King SF
Fields of Fire Marko Kloos SF - Frontlines 5
The Wheel of Osheim (h2mm) Mark Lawrence F - The Red Queen's War 3
Game of Shadows (D) Erika Lewis F/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Worldshaker J.F. Lewis F - The Grudgebearer Trilogy 3
The Queen Is Dead (h2mm) Kate Locke SP - The Immortal Empire 2
The Road Dance John MacKay AH
Wild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole George R. R. Martin (Ed)
Wild Cards Trust
SF - Wild Cards 6
Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal Mike Mignola
Thomas E. Sniegoski
GN/Occ/Sup
Live Echoes (e) Henry V. O'Neil SF - The Sim War 5
Revenger Alastair Reynolds SF/SO
Quantum Night (h2mm) Robert J. Sawyer SF/GenEng/TechTh
Bane and Shadow Jon Skovron F - The Empire of Storms 2
Hunter of Sherwood: Hood Toby Venables HistF - Hunter of Sherwood 3
Thunderbird Chuck Wendig SupTh - Miriam Black 4



March 1, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Free Fall (e) Laura Anne Gilman UF - Retrievers 5
The Unforgettable Wolf (e) Jane Godman PNR
Very Important Corpses Simon R. Green UF/M - An Ishmael Jones Mystery 3
Extracted RR Haywood SF/TT - Extracted Trilogy 1
Rescued by the Wolf (e) Kristal Hollis PNR
We Are Always Watching (Ke) Hunter Shea H
Makeup Man: From Rocky to Star Trek The Amazing Creations of Hollywood's Michael Westmore Michael Westmore
Jake Page
Biography



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



AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
GN - Graphic Novel
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisMeta - Visionary and Metaphysical
Z - Zombies

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2017 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on February 24, 2017 (unless extended).

Vote for your favorite February 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Victo Ngai



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by David Palumbo



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Steven Meyer-Rassow



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Dave Stevenson



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Richard Anderson
Lettering and Design by Lisa Marie Pompilio



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover design by Keith Rosson



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket Design by Yang Kim
Jacket Art by Félicien Rops, Satan Semant L'ivraie, 1906, Engraving Colors by Albert
Bertand / Coll. Musée Félicien Rops, Province De Nemur, INV G. E864 / © Musée Rops



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


There are 14 debut novels for February.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The February 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 February cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 15, 2017.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for February 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



E. O. Chirovici

The Book of Mirrors
Atria/Emily Bestler Books, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
An elegant, page-turning thriller in the vein of Night Film and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, this tautly crafted novel is about stories: the ones we tell, the ones we keep hidden, and the ones that we’ll do anything to ensure they stay buried.

When literary agent Peter Katz receives a partial book submission entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued by its promise and original voice. The author, Richard Flynn, has written a memoir about his time as an English student at Princeton in the late 1980s, documenting his relationship with the protégée of the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. One night just before Christmas 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home. The case was never solved. Now, twenty-five years later, Katz suspects that Richard Flynn is either using his book to confess to the murder, or to finally reveal who committed the violent crime.

But the manuscript ends abruptly—and its author is dying in the hospital with the missing pages nowhere to be found. Hell-bent on getting to the bottom of the story, Katz hires investigative journalist John Keller to research the murder and reconstruct the events for a true crime version of the memoir. Keller tracks down several of the mysterious key players, including retired police detective Roy Freeman, one of the original investigators assigned to the murder case, but he has just been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Inspired by John Keller’s investigation, he decides to try and solve the case once and for all, before he starts losing control of his mind. A trip to the Potosi Correctional Centre in Missouri, several interviews, and some ingenious police work finally lead him to a truth that has been buried for over two decades...or has it?

Stylishly plotted, elegantly written, and packed with thrilling suspense until the final page, The Book of Mirrors is a book within a book like you’ve never read before.




Giorgio De Maria

The Twenty Days of Turin
Ramon Glazov (Translator)
Liveright, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
Literary Fiction
(English Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Written during the height of the 1970s Italian domestic terror, a cult novel, with distinct echoes of Lovecraft and Borges, makes its English-language debut.

In the spare wing of a church-run sanatorium, some zealous youths create "the Library," a space where lonely citizens can read one another’s personal diaries and connect with like-minded souls in "dialogues across the ether." But when their scribblings devolve into the ugliest confessions of the macabre, the Library’s users learn too late that a malicious force has consumed their privacy and their sanity. As the city of Turin suffers a twenty-day "phenomenon of collective psychosis" culminating in nightly massacres that hundreds of witnesses cannot explain, the Library is shut down and erased from history. That is, until a lonely salaryman decides to investigate these mysterious events, which the citizenry of Turin fear to mention. Inevitably drawn into the city’s occult netherworld, he unearths the stuff of modern nightmares: what’s shared can never be unshared.

An allegory inspired by the grisly neo-fascist campaigns of its day, The Twenty Days of Turin has enjoyed a fervent cult following in Italy for forty years. Now, in a fretful new age of "lone-wolf" terrorism fueled by social media, we can find uncanny resonances in Giorgio De Maria’s vision of mass fear: a mute, palpitating dread that seeps into every moment of daily existence. With its stunning anticipation of the Internet—and the apocalyptic repercussions of oversharing—this bleak, prescient story is more disturbingly pertinent than ever.

Brilliantly translated into English for the first time by Ramon Glazov, The Twenty Days of Turin establishes De Maria’s place among the literary ranks of Italo Calvino and beside classic horror masters such as Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. Hauntingly imaginative, with visceral prose that chills to the marrow, the novel is an eerily clairvoyant magnum opus, long overdue but ever timely.




Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough
Tor Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
From author Lara Elena Donnelly, a debut spy thriller as a gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup

Trust no one with anything – especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover’s moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps.

Cyril participates on a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn’t easy, though, for he refuses to let anything – not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives – dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means — and people — necessary. Including each other.

Combining the espionage thrills of le Carré with the allure of an alternate vintage era, Amberlough will thoroughly seduce and enthrall you.

"James Bond by way of Oscar Wilde." —Holly Black

"Sparkling with slang, full of riotous characters, and dripping with intrigue, Amberlough is a dazzling romp through a tumultuous, ravishing world." —Robert Jackson Bennett, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and the Edgar Award

"An astonishing first novel!" —World Fantasy Award-winning author Ellen Kushner




Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld
The Band 1
Orbit, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 544 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
GLORY NEVER GETS OLD.

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help--the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It's time to get the band back together.




Eric Scott Fischl

Dr. Potter's Medicine Show
Angry Robot, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Dr. Alexander Potter, disgraced Civil War surgeon, now huckster and seller of snake-oil, travels the wet roads of the Pacific Northwest with a disheartened company of strongmen, illusionists, fortunetellers, and musical whores. Under the quiet command of the mysterious, merciless, and murderous Lyman Rhoades, they entertain the masses while hawking the Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic, a vital elixir touted to cure all ills both physical and spiritual… although, for a few unfortunate customers, the Sagwa offers something much, much worse.

For drunken dentist Josiah McDaniel, the Sagwa has taken everything from him; in the hired company of two accidental outlaws, the bickering brothers Solomon Parker and Agamemnon Rideout, he looks to revenge himself on the Elixir’s creator: Dr. Morrison Hedwith, businessman, body-thief, and secret alchemist, a man who is running out of time.

File Under: Fantasy [ The Secret Tradition | Chemical Imbalance | Hustlers Hustled | The Carnival is Over ]




Sebastian Fitzek

The Nightwalker
Jaime Lee Searle (Translator)
Pegasus Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Psychological Thriller
(American Debut)

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A psychological thrill-ride of a novel that finds an insomniac wondering if his nighttime excursions have turned into something beyond his imagination.

As a young man, Leon Nader suffered from insomnia. As a sleepwalker, he even turned to violence during his nocturnal excursions and had psychiatric treatment for his condition. Eventually, he was convinced he had been cured—but one day, years later, Leon's wife disappears from their apartment under mysterious circumstances. Could it be that his illness has broken out again? In order to find out how he behaves in his sleep, Leon fits a movement activated camera to his forehead—and when he looks at the video the next morning he makes a discovery that bursts the borders of his imagination. His nocturnal personality goes through a door that is totally unknown to him and descends into the darkness . . .

Sebastian Fitzek has been published in twenty-nine languages including Dutch, Italian, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Gree, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Bulgarian, Danish, and Japanese. He is a number one bestselling author in Germany, where he lives. This is his American debut.




Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things
William Morrow, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook 288 pages
Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—

Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life's mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony's lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor's quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony's last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice's redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.




Vic James

Gilded Cage
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook 368 pages
Fantasy, Dystopian, Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve—for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Susanna Clarke

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?




Erika Lewis

Game of Shadows
Tor Books, February 28, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A young man plagued by the ability to see ghosts races to save the mythological land of Tara from a terrible fate in Erika Lewis's stunning debut, Game of Shadows.

Thousands of years ago in Ireland, an ancient race fought a world-changing battle—and lost. Their land overrun, the Celtic gods and goddesses fled, while the mythical races and magical druids sailed to an uncharted continent, cloaked so mankind could never find it. This new homeland was named Tara.

In modern day Los Angeles, Ethan Makkai struggles with an overprotective mother who never lets him out of her sight, and a terrifying secret: he can see ghosts. Desperate for a taste of freedom, he leaves his apartment by himself for the first time—only to find his life changed forever. After being attacked by dive-bombing birds, he races home to find the place trashed and his mother gone.

With the help of a captain from Tara who has been secretly watching the Makkais for a long time, Ethan sets out to save his mother; a journey that leads him to the hidden lands, and straight into the arms of a vicious sorcerer who will stop at nothing until he controls Tara.With new-found allies including Christian, the cousin he never knew he had, and Lily, the sword-slinging healer who’d rather fight than mend bones, Ethan travels an arduous road—dodging imprisonment, battling beasts he thought only existed in nightmares, and accepting help from the beings he’s always sought to avoid: ghosts. This L.A. teen must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother, the fearless girl he’s fallen for, and all the people of Tara.




Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Science Fiction, Time Travel, Literary Fiction, Family Life

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian 

“Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight.”—Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed…because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.




Keith Rosson

The Mercy of the Tide
Meerkat Press, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 294 pages
Alternate History, Speculative Fiction, Thriller

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down at a Wolf Point bonfire. But then strange things start happening—a human skeleton is unearthed in a local park and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town’s beaches. The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives—leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever. At the heart of the story are Sam Finster, a senior in high school mourning the death of his mother, and his sister Trina, a nine-year-old deaf girl who denies her grief by dreaming of a nuclear apocalypse as Cold War tensions rise. Meanwhile, Sheriff Dave Dobbs and officer Nick Hayslip must try to put their own sorrows aside to figure out who, or what, is wreaking havoc on their once-idyllic town.

Keith Rosson paints outside the typical genre lines with his brilliant debut novel. It is a gorgeously written book that merges the sly wonder of magical realism and alternate history with the depth and characterization of literary fiction.



George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo
Random House, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Literary Fiction, Historical, Ghost

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?




Chris Sharp

Cold Counsel
Tor.com, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In Chris Sharp's new epic fantasy Cold Counsel, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountain from the goblin clans.

However, the long-lived elves remembered the brutal wars of the last age, and did not welcome the return of these lesser-giants to martial power. Twenty thousand elves marched on the mountain intent on genocide. They eradicated the entire troll species—save two.

Aunt Agnes, an old witch from the Iron Wood, carried Slud away before the elves could find them. Their existence remained hidden for decades, and in that time, Agnes molded Slud to become her instrument of revenge.

For cold is the counsel of women.




Sam Wilson

Zodiac
Pegasus Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 452 pages
Thriller, Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In a volatile society ruled and divided by its citizens' zodiac signs, a serial killer is on the loose: is it a misguided revolution or something more sinister?

A starting new thriller with one of the most original concepts in years, where the line between a life of luxury and an existence of poverty can be determined by the stroke of midnight.

In San Celeste, a series of uniquely brutal murders targets victims from totally different walks of life. In a society divided according to Zodiac signs, those differences are cast at birth and binding for life. All eyes are on detective Jerome Burton and astrological profiler Lindi Childs—divided in their beliefs over whether the answer is written in the stars, but united in their conviction that there is an ingenious serial killer executing a grand plan.

Together, they will unravel a dark tale of betrayal, lost love, broken promises and a devastating truth with the power to tear their world apart . .

Sam Wilson has written, developed, and directed a number of television programs and documentaries. Zodiac is his début novel. He lives in South Africa.

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1


The 7th year of the Debut Author Challenge will commence on January 1, 2017. I already have a list of nearly 140 debut novels the majority of which will be published in 2017. Here are the 11 debuts being published in January, February and March 2017 that I most looking forward to reading.



Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale
Del Rey, January 10, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Fantasy, Magical Realism

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.




Elle Katharine White

Heartsone
Voyager, January 17, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Historical Fantasy

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.




Thoraiya Dyer

Crossroads of Canopy
Titan's Forest 1
Tor Books, January 31, 2017
Hardcover and eBook,336 pages
Epic Fantasy

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
The highly-anticipated fantasy debut from Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning author Thoraiya Dyer, set in a giant mythical rainforest controlled by living gods

At the highest level of a giant forest, thirteen kingdoms fit seamlessly together to form the great city of Canopy. Thirteen goddesses and gods rule this realm and are continuously reincarnated into human bodies. Canopy’s position in the sun, however, is not without its dark side. The nation’s opulence comes from the labor of slaves, and below its fruitful boughs are two other realms: Understorey and Floor, whose deprived citizens yearn for Canopy’s splendor.

Unar, a determined but destitute young woman, escapes her parents’ plot to sell her into slavery by being selected to serve in the Garden under the goddess Audblayin, ruler of growth and fertility. As a Gardener, she wishes to become Audblayin’s next Bodyguard while also growing sympathetic towards Canopy's slaves.

When Audblayin dies, Unar sees her opportunity for glory – at the risk of descending into the unknown dangers of Understorey to look for a newborn god. In its depths, she discovers new forms of magic, lost family connections, and murmurs of a revolution that could cost Unar her chance…or grant it by destroying the home she loves.

“I am majorly impressed with Thoraiya Dyer's Crossroads of Canopy. A unique, gorgeous, and dangerous world, a stubborn female hero, and a writer to watch!”—Tamora Pierce




Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough
Tor Books, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Historical Fantasy, Thriller

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
From author Lara Elena Donnelly, a debut spy thriller as a gay double-agent schemes to protect his smuggler lover during the rise of a fascist government coup

Trust no one with anything – especially in Amberlough City.

Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, especially from Aristide Makricosta. They suit each other: Aristide turns a blind eye to Cyril’s clandestine affairs, and Cyril keeps his lover’s moonlighting job as a smuggler under wraps.

Cyril participates on a mission that leads to disastrous results, leaving smoke from various political fires smoldering throughout the city. Shielding Aristide from the expected fallout isn’t easy, though, for he refuses to let anything – not the crooked city police or the mounting rage from radical conservatives – dictate his life.

Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, a top dancer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means — and people — necessary. Including each other.

Combining the espionage thrills of le Carré with the allure of an alternate vintage era, Amberlough will thoroughly seduce and enthrall you.

"Sparkling with slang, full of riotous characters, and dripping with intrigue, Amberlough is a dazzling romp through a tumultuous, ravishing world." —Robert Jackson Bennett, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award and the Edgar Award

"An astonishing first novel!" —World Fantasy Award-winning author Ellen Kushner




Eric Scott Fischl

Dr. Potter's Medicine Show
Angry Robot Books, February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
Dr. Alexander Potter, disgraced Civil War surgeon, now huckster and seller of snake-oil, travels the wet roads of the Pacific Northwest with a disheartened company of strongmen, illusionists, fortunetellers, and musical whores. Under the quiet command of the mysterious, merciless, and murderous Lyman Rhoades, they entertain the masses while hawking the Chock-a-saw Sagwa Tonic, a vital elixir touted to cure all ills both physical and spiritual… although, for a few unfortunate customers, the Sagwa offers something much, much worse.

For drunken dentist Josiah McDaniel, the Sagwa has taken everything from him; in the hired company of two accidental outlaws, the bickering brothers Solomon Parker and Agamemnon Rideout, he looks to revenge himself on the Elixir’s creator: Dr. Morrison Hedwith, businessman, body-thief, and secret alchemist, a man who is running out of time.

File Under: Fantasy [ The Secret Tradition / Chemical Imbalance / Hustlers Hustled / The Carnival is Over ]




Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Science Fiction, Time Travel, Literary Fiction, Family Life

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
“A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”
—Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian

“Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight.”
—Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette


You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.




Vic James

Gilded Cate
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Contemporary Fantasy, Dystopian

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve—for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Susanna Clarke

NOT ALL ARE FREE.
NOT ALL ARE EQUAL.
NOT ALL WILL BE SAVED.

Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?




Erika Lewis

Game of Shadows
Tor Books, February 28, 207
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends and Mythology

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A young man plagued by the ability to see ghosts races to save the mythological land of Tara from a terrible fate in Erika Lewis's stunning debut, Game of Shadows.

Thousands of years ago in Ireland, an ancient race fought a world-changing battle—and lost. Their land overrun, the Celtic gods and goddesses fled, while the mythical races and magical druids sailed to an uncharted continent, cloaked so mankind could never find it. This new homeland was named Tara.

In modern day Los Angeles, Ethan Makkai struggles with an overprotective mother who never lets him out of her sight, and a terrifying secret: he can see ghosts. Desperate for a taste of freedom, he leaves his apartment by himself for the first time—only to find his life changed forever. After being attacked by dive-bombing birds, he races home to find the place trashed and his mother gone.

With the help of a captain from Tara who has been secretly watching the Makkais for a long time, Ethan sets out to save his mother; a journey that leads him to the hidden lands, and straight into the arms of a vicious sorcerer who will stop at nothing until he controls Tara.With new-found allies including Christian, the cousin he never knew he had, and Lily, the sword-slinging healer who’d rather fight than mend bones, Ethan travels an arduous road—dodging imprisonment, battling beasts he thought only existed in nightmares, and accepting help from the beings he’s always sought to avoid: ghosts. This L.A. teen must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother, the fearless girl he’s fallen for, and all the people of Tara.




Jaroslav Kalfar

Spaceman of Bohemia
Little, Brown and Company, March 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Literary Fiction

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery

Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Procházka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.




Han Yujoo

The Impossible Fairy Tale
Graywolf Press, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 192 pages
Translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
Literary Fiction

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
A chilling, wildly original novel from a major new voice from South Korea

The Impossible Fairy Tale is the story of two unexceptional grade-school girls. Mia is “lucky”—she is spoiled by her mother and, as she explains, her two fathers. She gloats over her exotic imported colored pencils and won’t be denied a coveted sweater. Then there is the Child who, by contrast, is neither lucky nor unlucky. She makes so little impression that she seems not even to merit a name.

At school, their fellow students, whether lucky or luckless or unlucky, seem consumed by an almost murderous rage. Adults are nearly invisible, and the society the children create on their own is marked by cruelty and soul-crushing hierarchies. Then, one day, the Child sneaks into the classroom after hours and adds ominous sentences to her classmates’ notebooks. This sinister but initially inconsequential act unlocks a series of events that end in horrible violence.

But that is not the end of this eerie, unpredictable novel. A teacher, who is also this book’s author, wakes from an intense dream. When she arrives at her next class, she recognizes a student: the Child, who knows about the events of the novel’s first half, which took place years before. The Impossible Fairy Tale is a fresh and terrifying exploration of the ethics of art making and of the stinging consequences of neglect.




Joseph Helmreich

The Return
Thomas Dunne Books, March 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
Science Fiction, Thriller

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.

Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.

Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.

Equal parts science-fiction and globe-hopping thriller, Joseph Helmreich's The Return will appeal to fans of both, and to anyone who has ever wondered... what’s out there?

Interview with Erika Lewis, author of Game of ShadowsThe View From Monday - February 27, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts2017 Debut Author Challenge - February DebutsThe 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 1

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