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Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 2015


Please welcome Hilary Scharper to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Perdita was published on January 20th by Sourcebooks Landmark.



Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 2015




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

Hilary:  For many years—and like many people it seems—I dreamed about becoming a writer, especially a writer of fiction. Then I hit the age of 40—big shock! I hadn’t (magically) become a writer! And more, I hadn’t really even started the novel I’d always wanted to write. So I went off and began to think about why I hadn’t written “my novel.” Of course I’d been doing other things (namely being a mother, a wife, becoming a university professor), but I tried very hard not to “beat myself up” with accusations of laziness, distraction, procrastination, etc. As result, I realized that there was a dynamic at work in my life—something I called the clearing-the-decks syndrome.

The clearing-the-decks syndrome came from the belief that I had to get everything else done, organized and set BEFORE I could start writing fiction. But the problem was I hardly ever had any moments in my life that resembled a clear deck. (And if I did have them, I usually used quiet moments for reading and enjoying a novel!)

I think that once I realized that a novel was going to have to come out of the “weather” of my life and not clear decks, I discovered a sense of direction and purpose...and just started writing.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Hilary:  I guess I am a bit of both.

I feel that a story is somewhere between my imagination and…something else. (In fact, in my Acknowledgements for Perdita I thank Georgian Bay as a co-author.) To be in that imaginative, co-creative space of the story, I need to be a bit of a “pantser.”

On the other hand, I’ve have to plan, craft and carefully think through things like plot and character development. Even when there are “loose ends” they must be parts of the story that are “skillfully” left open. This definitely requires a “plotter.”



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

Hilary:  Finding time to write!

I’ve since talked to other writers about this dynamic: of trying to establish creative time out of the bits and prices of our lives that are somehow seen as “leftovers,” i.e., as time we have after we’ve done everything else. The thing I discovered was to stop thinking about fiction writing in terms of “left-overs.” Once I took it as a serious and central part of my life, I began to find the time for it.



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

Hilary:  My reading interests are very wide, but I have a special place in my heart for late 19th century literary classics. At the moment I am exploring “the gothic” and going back into the mid to late 1700s to explore how nature was depicted in some of the earliest gothic novels (Castle of Otranto, The Romance of the Forest, Zofloya, etc.). It’s been fascinating and I’ve been struck by how many women writers turned to the gothic to both critique and confound the rigid social codes of their lives. The gothic genre still does this for us….



TQ:  Describe Perdita in 140 characters or less.

Hilary:  Marged Brice is 134 years old. She’s ready to go if it weren’t for a mysterious presence she calls Perdita. Garth Heller of the Longevity Project doesn’t believe Marged, but reading her diaries from the 1890s might just change his mind.



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

Hilary:  There were many sources of inspiration for Perdita: Greek mythology, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, my own interest in aging and longevity, to name a few. One important source, however, was an old photograph. It was of the lighthouse where I was staying for a summer vacation, but taken over 100 years earlier.

Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 2015
Cabot Head Lighthouse, northern Ontario, Canada, c. 1900.



















From the very first, I found myself drawn to the young woman standing in the doorway looking out across the landscape and contemplating the remoteness of her location. Somehow I felt as if I could hear her thoughts. Yet it seemed to me that the wind was pulling at her skirts, inviting her to step out into the wild beauty of her “home.” As I wondered what the woman in the photograph did…step outside or go back inside?…the story of Perdita came to me.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Perdita? Perdita has been described as eco-gothic. What is eco-gothic?

Hilary:  The "Eco-Gothic" is a term that my husband came up with after reading a draft of my novel. At the time, he was being a little tongue-in-cheek, but as we both thought about it, we grew to like the term more and more. Soon I began to think about it quite seriously.

The “eco” in my work is distinctive in that it builds on the Gothic’s depiction of Nature as more than a backdrop for plot or character. Rather, Eco-Gothic Nature is a living, acting, creating, and unfolding “other.” It is a Nature that is alive, unpredictable, and certainly capable of influencing events.

More on the eco-gothic: http://perditanovel.com/the-eco-gothic-2/



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

Hilary:  I had to do research in many different areas for Perdita.

First and foremost were lighthouses and Great Lakes shipping, shipwrecks and nautical lore. Much of this was done at the Cabot Head lighthouse where I was staying as an assistant lighthouse-keeper with my husband and young son.

Perdita also has a long section that takes place in Toronto at the turn of the last century. I did quite a bit of research for this, particularly by looking at maps and archival images in order to get a better feel for what it would be like to not only live in, but also move around a 19th century city.

Lastly there was research on mythology and then longevity. The first took me deep into Homer, Hesiod and Greek philosophical lexicons, and the latter into scientific research on aging.



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

Hilary:  An interesting question! I’m not sure how to answer this. Marged Brice came very easily to me because she was the first character to arrive and defined the story. Garth Hellyer certainly had his moments of challenge because I wanted to keep him reserved and cautious in contrast to Marged.



TQ:  Which question about your novel do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Hilary:  What does Perdita mean?

Perdita is Latin for “the lost one.” In my novel, Perdita is a mythological figure—the lost child—and she also represents the possibility of “being found.”

I drew on both Greek mythology and Shakespeare to develop her character. In Shakespeare’s play, The Winter’s Tale, for example, Perdita is a child who is “lost” owing to the blind and cruel jealousy of her father. Yet she is also “found” through loving acts of rescue, forgiveness and ultimately self-realization. In order to lose and find “a Perdita,” then, one must first become aware of who or what is lost (including the possibility of being lost yourself).

Ultimately this is the problem for my character, Garth Hellyer. He is a jaded professor and a longevity researcher and he’s convinced that it’s the 134-year-old Marged Brice who is the “lost one.” Marged, however, has her own views and thinks that Garth is really the “lost one”—to himself and to the possibilities of love in his life. This is why Marged insists that Garth stick with the question he asks her at their first meeting: who is Perdita? It is also a central question for the reader.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Perdita.

Hilary:

“Yes. But I want to know—and you must tell me. What would your trees say about you?” she demanded. “Would your trees tell me to trust you?”

“Their words tested each other in a way that intrigued me: each man with his own hammer striking the other’s surface with skill and listening for the true ring of steel. At times they did it with seriousness and at others with humor, but I felt them drawing out that deep sound from one another…the sound of a good man.”



TQ:  What's next?

Hilary:  I have a second novel finished (titled “Immanence”) and I am also working on sequel to “Perdita” (tentatively titled “Lonely Island.”) In the second volume, Marged Brice journeys to a lighthouse on a remote island and is asked to assist in the care of an ill and bed-ridden light-keepers’s wife.

George, Andrew Reid, Tad, Allan and Dr. McTavish all reappear in the story, and there are some new characters in the form of (possibly) unsavory passengers rescued during a dramatic shipwreck….



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Hilary:  Many thanks to you—it was a pleasure to answer these engaging questions!





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

Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 2015
Marged Brice is 134 years old.
She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .


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

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

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





About Hilary

Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 2015
I am a Canadian author, living in Toronto. My husband and I have spent over a decade as assistant lighthouse-keepers and stewards at the Cabot Head Lighthouse and Bird Observatory, located on the northern Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. My major published works of fiction include a novel, Perdita (which draws on my experiences at Cabot Head), and a short story collection, Dream Dresses. I am also an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.



Website  ~  Twitter @HilaryScharper


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Perdita by Hilary Scharper


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Perdita by Hilary Scharper


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.


Hilary Scharper

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

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Perdita by Hilary Scharper
Marged Brice is 134 years old.
She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .


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

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

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

The View From Monday - January 19, 2015


Happy Monday! This is a relatively light release week with 3 debuts:

Mort(e) by Robert Repino;

Perdita by Hilary Scharper;

and

Fatal Feast by Jay Ruud.


And from formerly featured DAC Authors - there are 4 books out in Trade Paperback this week:

Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun;

The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy 1) by Brian McClellan;

Viscious by V.E. Schwab;

and

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler.



The View From Monday - January 19, 2015



January 19, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Color of Vengeance Rob J. Hayes F - The Ties That Bind 2
The Lost Level (e) Briane Keene AA/SF
Broken Shadows AJ Larrieu UF - Shadowminds 3



January 20, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Half a King (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie F - Shattered Sea / Half a King 1
Hunger's Mate Part 2 (e) A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 5
Crystal Rain (ri) Tobias S. Buckell SF
Black Moon (h2tp) Kenneth Calhoun PA
That Old Black Magic (h2tp) Mary Jane Clark PM - Piper Donovan 4
Making Magic (e) Donna June Cooper PNR - Books of the Kindling 3
Ahriman: Sorcerer John French SF - Warhammer 40,000
Through the Static Jeanette Grey PNR
A Fold in the Tent of the Sky (ri) Michael Hale Th/SF/TT
Tides of Maritinia Warren Hammond SF
The Rabbit Back Literature Society Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen F/M
The Crimson Campaign (h2tp) Brian McClellan F - The Powder Mage Trilogy 1
White Knight (e) Kelly Meade PNR - Cornerstone Rune Trilogy 3
The Knights of the Round Table Daniel Mersey F - Myths and Legends 13
Angels & Exiles Yves Meynard SF/F - Collection
Burned Karen Marie Moning PNR - Fever 7
Labyrinthian (e) Sunny Moraine PNR - Line and Orbit
King of the Cracksmen: A Steampunk Entertainment Dennis O'Flaherty SP
The Globe (ri) Terry Pratchett
Ian Stewart
Jack Cohen
F - Science of Discworld 2
Mort(e) (D) Robert Repino F
The Path Peter Riva SF
Perdita (D) Hilary Scharper HistF
Vicious (h2tp) V. E. Schwab F
Inked Eric Smith F/YA
Well in Time Suzan Still F/TT
This Is Your Destiny (K e) Denise Grover Swank UF - A Curse Keepers Secret Book 3
The Yellow Wood Melanie Tem F
Three Princes (h2tp) Ramona Wheeler F



January 21, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Damage: A Tor.Com Original (e) David D. Levine SF
Fatal Feast (D) Jay Ruud HistF - A Merlin Mystery 1



January 22, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 Duncan Lay F - The Last Quarrel



January 23, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Black Hills Desperado (K e) D.L. Jackson PNR - Black Hill Wolves3



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover 2 Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint


AA - Action Adventure
F - Fantasy
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts



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

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


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




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts

2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts



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

The December debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite January cover for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on January 5th.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery  @  gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2015 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for January. The list is correct as of the day posted.

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



W.C. Bauers

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

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

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

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

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




Hannah Beckerman

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

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

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

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

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




Kristi Charish

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

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

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

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




Cecilia Ekbäck

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

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


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

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

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




Alex Gordon

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

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

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

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

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




Darin Kennedy

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

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

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

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




Greer Macallister

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

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

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

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




Daniel José Older

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

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

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

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

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

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




Robert Repino

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

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

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




Adam Roberts

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

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

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




Jay Ruud

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

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

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




Hilary Scharper

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

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


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

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

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




Sharma Shields

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

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

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




Krassi Zourkova

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with Hilary Scharper, author of Perdita - January 28, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update: Perdita by Hilary ScharperThe View From Monday - January 19, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts2015 Debut Author Challenge - January 2015 Debuts

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