close

The Qwillery | category: Holly Messinger

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23


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



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



Will McIntosh (2011)

Faller
Tor Books, October 25, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Faller is a new gripping standalone, science fiction thriller by Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh.

Day One: No one can remember anything—who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of an islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity—gone, except for what people can find, and they can't find much.

Faller's pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can't remember, a toy solider with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right.

He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can't even remember.



Burning Midnight
Ember, January 31, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave,this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.





K. M. McKinley  (2015)

The City of Ice
The Gates of the World 2
Solaris, December 27, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
An ancient city. A wondrous invention. A perilous journey.

The epic sequel to the incredible debut novel The Iron Ship.

Deep in the polar south stands a city like no other, a city built aeons ago by a civilisation mighty and wise.

The City of Ice promises the secrets of the ancients to whomever can reach it first. It may prove too little knowledge too late, for the closest approach of the Twin in 4000 years draws near, an event that has heralded terrible destruction in past ages.

As the Kressind siblings pursue their fortunes, the world stands upon the dawn of a new era, but it may yet be consumed by a darkness from the past.

Industry and magic, gods and steampower collide in the captivating sequel to The Iron Ship.





Peter McLean (2016)

Dominion
A Burned Man Novel 2
Angry Robot, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.

Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ The Devil You Knew / Deeped & Down / Great Irresponsibility / London’s Burning ]


Damnation
A Burned Man Novel 3
Angry Robot, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.

With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step in to save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.

File Under: Urban Fantasy





Bec McMaster (2012)

The Many Lives of Hadley Monroe
Lochaber Press, April 4, 2016
eBook, 52 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
When the clock stops ticking, and the storm rolls in, Hadley Monroe knows exactly what’s going on. Forty years ago her grandfather made a pact with Death, and now Death has come calling again.

Forced to make her own deal with the reaper, Hadley has only three weeks to answer his question, or he’ll take her grandmother too. The problem is, there’s no way to answer it, and three weeks is not long enough with the reaper who’s beginning to steal her heart…

Warning: This short story has been previously published in the Mammoth Book Of Southern Gothic Romance.


Shadowbound
The Dark Arts Trilogy, Book 1
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, May 8, 2016
     eBook, 377 pages
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, May 27, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 454 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
When a powerful relic goes missing from a secret society that dabbles in the occult, Miss Ianthe Martin is charged with finding it at all costs. She needs help, but all clues point to someone on the inside being the thief. The only sorcerer she knows that can't possibly be involved, is the very man she saw locked in Bedlam a year ago...

The mad, bad, dangerous Earl of Rathbourne.

When the seductive Miss Martin appears in his Bedlam cell, Rathbourne fears he's finally lost his mind. The devilish sorceress played a hand in his incarceration, and now she comes asking for help? Perhaps she should begin by begging for mercy...

But Ianthe's offer of freedom is one he can't refuse, although he has a clause of his own to add. She may bind him with her power–the only way to still the demons haunting him–but for every day spent under her command, the nights will be his... to wreak delicious revenge on her willing flesh.



Nobody's Hero
The Burned Lands 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, May 22, 2016
     eBook, 281 pages
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, July 25, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 370 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
First rule of surviving the Wastelands: don't be caught out after the sun sets...

After her father was killed in a warg attack, Riley Kincaid was forced to stand on her own two feet in the brutal Wastelands she calls home. She knows how to survive, but when a lapse in judgment leaves her out after dark, Riley realizes she's in trouble. The sun has set, the monsters are out to play, and there's a band of reivers heading straight for her settlement. Riley needs to warn her people, but that's before she runs a handsome stranger down in her jeep. A stranger who might not be a man after all...

Kidnapping her was the worst mistake he ever made.

Dangerous outlaw, Lucius Wade, lives only for revenge. But when he kidnaps Riley in order to lure an old friend into a trap, suddenly the tables are turned. Riley has no intentions of being bait, and she tempts him in ways he hasn't felt for a long time. He's never played the hero, but suddenly a part of him wants to. Even as he knows there's no point.

When dangerous secrets are revealed, and Luc realizes an old enemy is on his trail, he's forced to change his plans. The hunter is suddenly the hunted, and the only allies he has... is a stubborn blonde who thinks there should be more to live for than revenge, and the ex-friend who shoved a knife in his back ten years ago.


Mission: Improper
London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, August 11, 2016
     eBook, 360 pages
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, October 5, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order...

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He's partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they're chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite... But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.


Hexbound
The Dark Arts 2
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, October 18, 2016
eBook, 356 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
It should have been an easy task…

Verity Hastings has a little trick: she can find anything, no matter where it’s hidden. It’s a skill that’s kept her safe and fed all the way from the orphanages and workhouses of her youth. But when she steals a mysterious item for a masked man, she knows the con is on her this time.

In order to protect herself from his associates, she can turn to only one person: Adrian Bishop, the sorcerer she stole the relic from.

Scarred recluse Adrian Bishop is rarely surprised anymore. But when a rather enticing little handful turns up on his doorstep, claiming to be his mysterious thief, he doesn’t know what to think. He needs the relic back, no matter the cost, and he’s not above using Verity to find it. But as Verity begins to sneak under his guard, for the first time in years there’s a ray of light in his dark world. He will do anything to protect her – anything – but can Verity ever love him once she learns the truth of his dark talents? And will he be able to protect her from the trap he sent her into himself?





Holly Messinger  (2015)

Curious Weather
A Jacob Tracy Novel 2
Thomas Dunne Books, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
On the heels of her starred Publisher’s Weekly debut, The Curse of Jacob Tracy, Messinger delivers another remarkably original novel where she deftly recreates the tumultuous post-Civil war era and clashes the natural with the supernatural.

When Jacob Tracy—Civil War veteran, ex-seminarian, and reluctant psychic—agrees to move into Miss Fairweather’s St. Louis mansion and study magic with her, he has one purpose in mind: to hunt down and destroy the necromancer Mereck, a predatory madman who has twice tried to make a meal of Trace and trapped Trace’s partner Boz in a monstrous half-life.

Sabine Fairweather has her own grievance with Mereck, though Trace doesn’t know the details and doesn’t particularly want to. The woman may be a brilliant scientist and a powerful witch in her own right, but there is darkness in her and bitter secrets that threaten the tenuous faith Trace has in her.

With Mereck’s minions circling ever closer, and old allies posing unexpected threats, Trace knows he and Sabine have no choice but to trust each other. But for that to happen, he will have to lay bare all the deepest secrets of her soul…and quite possibly her heart.

2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR


It's time to vote for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR! Below you will find the 12 monthly winners in alphabetical order by book title (excluding "the").

Voter for your favorite from the monthly 2015 Winners!

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 9, 2016 - extended voting due to the end of year holidays.



Vote for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR!
 
pollcode.com free polls



~ March ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR



~ October ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ December ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Jacket design by Young Jin Lim




~ July ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover by Alexandra Allden




~ April ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ August ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover design by Cherie Chapman, part of the design team at Harper Collins




~ September ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover artist - Ben Gardiner




~ January ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ June ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ February ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover art - Paul Young




~ May ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR




~ November ~
2015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR
Cover design by Eileen Carey


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner


The winner of the December  2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger from Thomas Dunne Books with 28 votes equaling 44% of all votes. The jacket was designed by Young Jin Lim.

Voting for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21, 2015 and end on January 9, 2016.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner



The Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner



The December Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December 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 December 16, 2015.

Voting for the 2015 Debut Novel COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21st.


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




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Design: Leonard Philbrick




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Art by Lucas Graziano




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts
Cover Design © Patrick Knowles Design


Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy


Please welcome Holly Messinger to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Curse of Jacob Tracy was published on December 1st by Thomas Dunne Books.



Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy




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

Holly:  I started getting ideas for stories almost as soon as I could write independently. I remember in the second grade, watching The Apple Dumpling Gang on The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night, and getting this brainstorm of how I could continue the story. I stapled together a little book, started writing in my laborious 7-year-old handwriting, and then the teacher took it away from me because I wasn't getting my seatwork done.

Like most young writers I wrote to amuse myself, and insert myself in my favorite stories. But I always had a proficiency for language, and I love the rhythms and patterns of it. I love words and I love the structure of a good scene and I love trying to capture a moment in words. One of my favorite movies when I was twelve or so was Willow, and I got so mad when I read the novelization of it because it didn't match what had happened on the screen! So I rewrote the love scene between Sorcha and Madmartigan and tucked the typewritten pages into the book. And that incident is sort of exemplary of the way I still write: I see scenes in my head and I try to capture them in words as accurately as possible.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Holly:  I'm a hybrid. I either start with a character and build a situation that will put him through the maximum amount of torture, or start with a situation and build the type of character who would be more likely to suffer under the circumstances.

Once I have the character, setting, and conflict in place I can hammer out the opening scenes, establish the mood and start exploring themes. Usually additional conflicts will present themselves and that keeps things interesting. But I periodically hit points where I have to stop and brainstorm again, to look at the plot threads I've laid down and extrapolate where they will lead. Sometimes more research is required. Very often my brain will toss up these—let’s call them premonitions of scenes—the high-tension moments in the story where there is a revelation or a power-shift or some other major event (screenwriting manuals call these pinch-points or tentpole scenes). I write these scenes out and use them as signposts to write toward. These drafted scenes rarely make it into the final version—at least not in their original form—but they always contain critical plot points that get used one way or another. To me it feels more like a topographical map than an outline. I know where I'm going but not necessarily how I will get there.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Holly:  The challenge is always getting it done versus keeping it fun. Like most creative people I have my fingers in too many pies, and I get resentful really fast if I start thinking I must work on this story. So I try to maintain that feeling of writing to entertain myself, and to do that I have to make it my leisure time, no exceptions. Luckily my husband and I are both independent as cats and he can amuse himself while I work. He likes to read, too, so sometimes if I haven't written anything in a while he'll nudge me, "Go write some more good words for me to read."



TQWho are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Holly:  Toni Morrison, pre-90’s Stephen King, Mary Balogh, Octavia Butler, Barbara Michaels, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon. I tend to value storytelling over beautiful prose. Style should be transparent, in my opinion, which is to say, a writer should have enough mastery over language to convey exactly a mood or feeling that will make me nod and go, "Yes, that's what that feels like," but not in such a showy way that I’m admiring the writer’s turn of phrase instead of empathizing with the character. I won't read books where the supposed appeal is the writer's clever imitation of someone else's style, because it always feels like a filter between me and the action, akin to having a head cold.



TQDescribe The Curse of Jacob Tracy in 140 characters or less.

Holly:  Cowboy tries to maintain his bromance in the face of his burgeoning psychic power & the intriguing English witch who wants to exploit it.



TQTell us something about The Curse of Jacob Tracy that is not found in the book description.

Holly:  I’d want to assure hesitant readers that while this may be a western, it’s not your grandpa’s western. There are no sinister Mexicans in this book, or wise spiritual Indians, or whores with hearts of gold. There are Jewish farmers, and Chinese rail workers, and French Acadian trappers and various and sundry other people just trying to make a living and get along with one another. And I tried to represent that without passing judgment on any of them. Trace is more like Bruce Banner than the Lone Ranger; he's driven to help people but he never swoops in and solves a problem on his own. I wanted to write the kind of hero who would bring people together instead of applying paternalistic “solutions.”



TQWhat inspired you to write The Curse of Jacob Tracy? What appealed to you about writing a Historical Fantasy/Western/Horror novel?

Holly:  In the most cynical analysis, you might say Westerns and Horror are an obvious fit, because Horror stories are all about fear of the Other, and Westerns are all about the Other being conquered by the Norm. What difference does it make if your (white, straight, male, Christian) hero goes around shooting Indians or zombies? The difference is reflected only in our current collective fear. It’s not a coincidence that both the western and horror genres are outgrowths of the 19th century, with its legacy of colonialism, genocide, and paternalism. And it’s not surprising, given that context, that both westerns and horror are fraught with racist, misogynistic tropes.

I never set out to write a “revisionist western,” but I did want to get away from the clichés. For one thing, I am constitutionally incapable of writing a story without a dominant female character. And since I’d already written my share of ass-kicking warrior women, this time I went with a sickly, manipulative little harridan. And I saddled my hero with self-doubt and an egalitarian mindset. Trace’s arguably anachronistic attitude toward people beyond his ken makes him more sympathetic to a modern reader, but it also makes sense to his character: he was part of the establishment and it failed him. But he’s smart enough to step back, examine the values he was taught, and re-calibrate for himself.

And the monsters, too—rather than have the monster be the “other,” that is, a thinly veiled metaphor for some foreigner—I was thinking in terms of the monsters being very intimate: Trace’s religion, the color of Boz’s skin, Miss Fairweather’s illness. And the tangible monsters they encounter are often metaphors for those personal demons. Of course there are examples of “imported” monsters, as well, like the keung-si (Chinese “vampires”) but I tried to always twist those imported monsters, as a dual symbol of cultural appropriation, and adaptation of immigrants to the new life they found in America.

That was the challenge and satisfaction of these stories; vivisecting the tropes until they screamed. I learnt that from Miss Fairweather.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Curse of Jacob Tracy?

Holly:  All of it. And by that I mean, I had to get into every aspect of my characters’ lives, from the clothes they wore to the food they ate—and how it was obtained, which is something few of us have to think about these days. The specifics of travel was a recurring frustration: Wikipedia will tell you the trans-continental railroad was completed in 1869, but it won't tell you how fast the train traveled or how much tickets cost or how sleeper-cars worked or how many days were lost on side-tracks or to breakdowns. Things like that. I spent a lot of time and money acquiring maps, and then identifying landmarks that still exist today, so I could map them on Google and calculate out the distance between two points, just so I could figure out how long it would take Trace and Boz to travel from Miss Fairweather’s neighborhood at the north end of St. Louis, to Carondelet township at the south point of the city.

One of the funnest parts of research was learning to shoot. I learned to shoot a single-action Colt .44 revolver (replica, of course), as well as a .22 rifle, a .50 cal deer rifle, and assorted shotgun loads. Shooting a long-barrel revolver is nothing like shooting a semi-automatic pistol. The recoil is completely different, the grip is different, the amount of time it takes to reload is significantly longer.



TQYour bio says you're a costume designer. Has that affected your writing?

Holly:  I hate to admit this, but the original reason Curse was set in 1880 is because that's my favorite sartorial period of the 19th century. The bustle went away, but skirts became very narrow, even tied behind the knees. Sleeves became so tight a lady could hardly raise her arms. Wearing those dresses was yet another form of research and really helped me get into the head of Miss Fairweather, to understand how her clothes could be both armor and fetters to her. Throughout the book Trace notes her fine clothes as indicative of the distance between them, and a subtle reminder of the power she exerts over him, in terms of money, magical knowledge, and social influence. In fact the only moments of real honesty between them are when she is sick and in her dressing gown, or in her work apron.

From a completely different perspective, sewing has shaped my writing in terms of seeing it as a process. When you make a dress you start with a pattern, and the more precise the pattern the less you have to alter the assembled garment. So it is with fiction: the more you plan ahead, in terms of research and plot, the less rewriting you have to do. Writing is more difficult than sewing, in part because the “pattern” is so amorphous, but it helps to see the story as a thing constructed of parts, because then it can be pulled apart and made-over. It’s a pain in the ass to rip out stitches, but you have to do it until the dress fits correctly and all the plot holes are closed up.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Holly:  Boz was easiest, because he’s the simplest. He knows who he is and so doesn’t do the waffling and whinging that Trace does. He has to be the rock and the voice of reason throughout the book, so that makes him predictable in a reassuring way.

Sabine Fairweather was and continues to be the most difficult, because she’s so complex and volatile. From the beginning I didn’t know how good, bad, or ugly she would prove to be, or how she actually regarded Trace, whether she had any respect for him or simply saw him as a tool to be used and discarded. I’m writing book three now and I still feel she could go either way.



TQWhich question about The Curse of Jacob Tracy do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Holly:  It’s not a question so much as a temperature reading—I’m always curious to know what readers think of Miss Fairweather. Do they admire her? Do they trust her? John DeNardo at SFSignal said Trace and Sabine’s relationship was “beautifully uncomfortable” and that struck me as about right.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Curse of Jacob Tracy.

Holly:  There’s a bit about halfway through where Miss Fairweather basically calls Trace a sanctimonious prude, saying he only cares about the helpless and pious. But he’s changed too much by this point, he knows he’s not the altar-boy he used to be, and he replies,
“I gotta confess, these days I find myself inclined toward the worldly and sinister.”
“Sinister?” she echoed, amusement in her voice. “Is that how you see me?”
“Well I know you ain’t pious,” he said, “and if you claimed to be helpless I’d be lookin for the knife in my ribs.”
He could tell she took that as a compliment. “What a relief, then, to know I needn’t play the damsel in distress. How tiresome that would be.”
“Wouldn’t suit you,” he agreed, and won himself a wry gleam from those cool blue eyes.
If you took that conversation out of context of the rest of their relationship, you’d almost think they were flirting (like Bond and any good supervillain!). And I love these little moments of jousting between them. This is a battle of wills between two very strong and stubborn individuals.



TQWhat's next?

Holly:  Well the second book is with my publisher, and I’m hacking out the third one, to finish off the main arc. I’m also working on peripheral pieces, to flesh out the world and bring some of the supporting players front and center. Boz, in particular, has his own story to tell, because at the end of Curse he’s no longer quite as sure of things as he was in Chapter One.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Holly:  My pleasure! Thanks for having me.





The Curse of Jacob Tracy
Thomas Dunne Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy
St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts, and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since he nearly died on the battlefield at Antietam, Trace has been haunted by the country's restless dead. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated areas as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West from St. Louis, with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz.

During the spring work lull, Trace gets an unusual job offer. Miss Fairweather, a wealthy English bluestocking, needs someone to retrieve a dead friend's legacy from a nearby town, and she specifically wants Trace to do it. However, the errand proves to be far more sinister than advertised. When confronted, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace's curse, and suggests she might help him learn to control it—in exchange for a few more odd jobs. Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he's been looking twenty years for a way to control his power, and Miss Fairweather's knowledge of the spirit world is too valuable to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost in this electrifying and inventive debut.





About Holly

HOLLY MESSINGER lives in a bohemian town in eastern Kansas, where she writes in coffee shops and sews costumes for a living. Her costumes have appeared at some of the world's biggest cosplay events, including Hulu's launch party for "The Awesomes" at San Diego Comic Con. She also appeared as a judge on the premiere season of SyFy's "Heroes of Cosplay." Holly's short fiction has appeared in Baen's Universe and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The Curse of Jacob Tracy is her first novel.

Website  ~  Twitter @HollyMessinger  ~  Facebook

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


There are 6 debuts for December. 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 December cover for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on December 5, 2015 and ending on December 14th.  

Voting for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR will start on December 21st and end on December 31st.

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 December. The list is correct as of the day posted.





Adam L. Korenman

When the Stars Fade
The Gray Wars 1
California Coldblood Books/Rare Bird Books, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
In distant future, humanity is recovering from a bloody civil war. Pilots CAMERON DAVIS and GEORGE LOCKLEAR, reservists with Sector Patrol, prepare for a long weekend off. That vacation is permanently cancelled when two alien armadas—the BOXTI and NANGOLANI—arrive near Earth. Though humanity wins the battle, the war quickly turns one-sided. One of Earth’s colonies is rendered uninhabitable. George dies saving his friend, and Cameron is sucked through a wormhole and disappears.

Far away on the moon Kronos, JOSH RANTZ competes in a huge Army competition. Despite most of his unit falling to the enemy, Josh and his squad continue to win larger and larger victories. They are oblivious to the goings on of the universe, isolated on purpose by the war-game’s designer, Doctor MARKOV.

When the exercise ends, Josh notices a meteor striking down nearby. He finds an injured Cameron, somehow transported across the stars to the military base. Moments later, the BOXTI arrive and invade. Outnumbered and outgunned, Josh and the soldiers on Kronos rally and push back the BOXTI horde. Summoned by their masters, the BOXTI leave the stunned humans behind.

With painful lessons learned, humanity prepares for the next battle, knowing full well that it may be their last.




Holly Messinger

The Curse of Jacob Tracy
Thomas Dunne Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts, and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since he nearly died on the battlefield at Antietam, Trace has been haunted by the country's restless dead. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated areas as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West from St. Louis, with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz.

During the spring work lull, Trace gets an unusual job offer. Miss Fairweather, a wealthy English bluestocking, needs someone to retrieve a dead friend's legacy from a nearby town, and she specifically wants Trace to do it. However, the errand proves to be far more sinister than advertised. When confronted, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace's curse, and suggests she might help him learn to control it—in exchange for a few more odd jobs. Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he's been looking twenty years for a way to control his power, and Miss Fairweather's knowledge of the spirit world is too valuable to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost in this electrifying and inventive debut.




Thomasine Rappold

The Lady Who Lived Again
Sole Survivor 1
Lyrical Press, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.

Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…




F. Wesley Schneider

Bloodbound
Pathfinder Tales 30
Tor Books, December 1, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Larsa is a dhampir-half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of gothic Ustalav, she's an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital's secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet when a noblewoman's entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know.

From Pathfinder co-creator and noted game designer F. Wesley Schneider comes Bloodbound, a dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.




Simon Sylvester

The Visitors
Melville House, December 29, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Nobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can’t wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa.

Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers on Dog Rock. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about “selkies,” the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again.

Convinced of her new neighbors’ innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Can the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?




David Towsey

Your Brother's Blood
Jo Fletcher Books, December 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
(Debut - US)

2015 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
This imaginative and unconventional debut novel is set centuries in the future. An unnamed event has wiped out most of humanity, scattering its remnants across vast and now barren lands reminiscent of the 19th century western frontier of America. Small clusters of humans still cling to existence in a post-apocalyptic world that is increasingly overrun by those who have risen from the dead--or, as the living call them, the Walkin'.

Thomas, a thirty-two year old conscripted soldier, homeward bound to the small frontier town of Barkley after fighting in a devastating civil war, is filled with hope at the thought of being reunited with his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Mary, both named after characters in the Good Book. As it turns out, he also happens to be among the Walkin'.

Devoid of a pulse or sense of pain, but with his memories and hopes intact, Thomas soon realizes that the living, who are increasingly drawn to the followers of the Good Book, are not kindly disposed to the likes of him. And when he learns what the good people of Barkley intend to do to him, and to his family, he realizes he may just have to kidnap his daughter to save her from a fate worse than becoming a member of the undead.

When the people of Barkley send out a posse in pursuit of father and daughter, the race for survival truly begins...

The View From Monday - November 30, 2015


Happy last Monday in November. It's also Cyber Monday so if you are hunting for something today I hope you find it. If not you can always buy a book or two.

This week's debuts:

The Curse of Jacob Tracey by Holly Messinger

Bloodbound (Pathfinder Tales 30) by F. Wesley Schneider

and

Your Brother's Blood by David Towsey


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Impulse (Lightship Chronicles 1) by Dave Bara (in Mass Market Paperback);

Blood Will Follow (Valhalla Saga 2) by Snorri Kristjansson (in Trade Paperback);

and

The Labyrinth of Flame (The Shattered Sigil 3) by Courtney Schafer.



The View From Monday - November 30, 2015



November 28, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea Caitlin R. Kiernan SF/F/H - Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan 2



November 30, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Fender Lizards Joe R. Lansdale LF



December 1, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Enemy in the Dark Jay Allan SF - Far Stars Trilogy 2
Magic Gifts: A Kate Daniels Novella (e) Ilona Andrews UF - Kate Daniels
Tales of the Time Scouts Robert Asprin
Linda Evans
SF - Time Scouts Ominibus
Impulse (h2mm) Dave Bara SF - Lightship Chronicles
1
The Warrior Vampire Kate Baxter PNR - Last True Vampire 2
Ash and Silver Carol Berg F - Sanctuary 2
Nocturnall: A River of Souls Story (Ke) Beth Bernobich F - River of Souls
Give Up the Ghost Juliet Blackwell PM - A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 6
Assassin's Creed: Underworld Oliver Bowden HistF - Assassin's Creed
8
The Elfstones of Shannara (ri/TV Tie-in) Terry Brooks F - The Shannara Chronicles 1
The Wishsong of Shannara (ri/TV Tie-in) Terry Brooks F - The Shannara Chronicles 2
Wild Wolf Claiming (e) Rhyannon Byrd PNR - Bloodrunners 8
Come the Revolution Frank Chadwick SF - How Dark the World Becomes 2
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind Anne Charnock SF
The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics Louis Chude-Sokei LC
Sweet Ruin Kresley Cole PNR - Immortals After Dark 16
Ghost in the Wind E.J. Copperman PM - A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery 7
Ark Storm (h2mm) Linda Davies Th
A Daughter of No Nation A. M. Dellamonica F - Stormwrack 2
Not Dark Yet Berit Ellingsen LF
Experimental Film Gemma Files H
A Palazzo in the Stars: Science Fiction Stories Paul Di Filippo SF - Collection
A Painted Goddess (Kindle Serial) Victor Gischler F - A Fire Beneath the Skin 3
Otherworld Protector (e) Jane Godman PNR - Otherworld 1
Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus Vol. 2 Jonathan Green SF - Pax Britannia
Blood Storm Steven Harper F - The Books of Blood and Iron 2
Shadow's End Thea Harrison PNR - Elder Races 9
The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary (e) Sue Ann Jaffarian PM - Ghost of Granny Apples Novella
Seize the Night (ri) Sherrilyn Kenyon PNR - Dark-Hunter 7
Alien in Chief Gini Koch SF - Alien 12
Blood Will Follow (h2tp) Snorri Kristjansson F - Valhalla Saga 2
Crucible: All-New Tales of Valdemar Mercedes Lackey F - Valdemar
Clockwork Samurai Jeannie Lin SP - Gunpowder Chronicles 2
For Love or Magic Lucy March FR - Nodaway Falls 3
Thunderbird Jack McDevitt SF/AC
Dorothy Parker Drank Here (h2tp) Ellen Meister SF - Dorothy Parker 2
The Curse of Jacob Tracy (D) Holly Messinger HistF/H
The Bone Hunters Robert J. Mrazek Th
The Zero Stone (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Murdoc Jern 1
Catseye (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Dipple 1
Uncharted Stars (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Murdoc Jern 2
Wraiths of Time (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Gods and Androids 2
Android at Arms (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Gods and Androids 1
Night of Masks (e)(ri) Andre Norton SF - Dipple 2
Rhythm of the Imperium Jody Lynn Nye SF - Imperium 3
The Prison in Antares Mike Resnick SF - Dead Enders 2
Sword of Destiny Andrzej Sapkowski F - The Witcher 1.5
The Labyrinth of Flame (e) Courtney Schafer F - The Shattered Sigil 3
Bloodbound (D) F. Wesley Schneider F - Pathfinder Tales 30
The Goblin Reservation (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
The Fellowship of the Talisman (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Special Deliverance (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Mastodonia (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Project Pope (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Time and Again (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Highway of Eternity (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
A Choice of Gods (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Our Children's Children (e)(ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Unbound (e) Shawn Speakman (ed) F - Anthology
Nevermore Rob Thurman UF - Cal and Niko Leandros 10
Your Brother's Blood (D - US) David Towsey H/PA - Walkin' Trilogy 1
The Rising Ian Tregillis AH - The Alchemy Wars 2
The Secret of the Nagas Amish Tripathi F - Shiva Trilogy 2
Joe Steele (h2mm) Harry Turtledove AH
Slavemakers Joseph Wallace SF/AP/PA/Th - Invasive Species 2
Blood Kiss J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Legacy 1
The Seventh Sigil (h2mm) Margaret Weis
Robert Krammes
F - Dragon Brigade 3



December 3, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Golden Key Legacy: HarperImpulse Fantasy Romance (e) AJ Nuest FR



D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
Ke - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
P - Paranormal
PA - Post-Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 232015 Debut Author Challenge Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Winner2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December DebutsInterview with Holly Messinger, author of The Curse of Jacob Tracy2015 Debut Author Challenge - December DebutsThe View From Monday - November 30, 2015

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×