The Qwillery | category: J.S. Dewes


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch

Please welcome J. S. Dewes to The Qwillery as part of the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Watch was published on April 20, 2021 by Tor Books.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!

I have a problematically terrible memory, and can’t even begin to recall what my first piece of fiction might have been! My first vague memory of writing fiction was probably from third grade or so, when my teacher told us to forget about spelling and grammar and just get our ideas on the page. I think that comment somewhat horrified my mother, haha, but in retrospect it was actually great advice! You can’t revise a blank page, after all. :)

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

J. S.:  I definitely started out a full-on pantser, and I discovery wrote all of The Last Watch. However, since then I’ve written two more books and learned a lot more about myself as a writer in the process. Though I wouldn’t say I’ve settled fully, I’m currently pretty much a hybrid. I’ve frankensteined a flexible plot structure from a few different sources that works well for the kind of stories I like to tell, and I’ve used it to help my panster brain craft those pesky outlines editors and agents sometimes want to see.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

J. S.:  Though every phase has its different challenges, I find organizing revisions probably the most difficult. Though I’ve devised a system that works pretty well for me, setting up a revision plan within that system is hugely time consuming, and I definitely wish my brain was able to just contain and process it all at once, and I wouldn’t have to structure it all within a ridiculously detailed organization scheme. Alas.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does script writing affect (or not) your novel writing?

J. S.:  I draw from a wide variety of influences—video games, films and television, concept art (Pinterest & Art Station), and more. Music is a big one—all my story ideas thus far have come from song lyrics, and music is a part of my process during every phase of writing. I love creating playlists for different books, scenes, moods, and characters, and it’s a big part of my creative immersion process. (Which is greatly helpful when you can only squeeze in an hour or two of writing a day!)

And yes, I definitely think script writing had an impact on my novel writing. Though I didn’t fully realize it at the time, looking back I think that experience informed my instincts while pantsing my first couple novels; I didn’t have to undertake any structural edits at any point for The Last Watch, and I think that was in large part due to my understanding of plot and pacing from having written screenplays. There are definitely other relevant skills that transfer, especially things like showing versus telling, characterization, and dialogue.

TQDescribe The Last Watch using only 5 words.

J. S.:  Criminal soldiers fight danger physics!

TQTell us something about The Last Watch that is not found in the book description.

J. S.:  Despite the high concept conveyed in the blurb, the story is actually very tightly focused on the characters and their relationships. Also, there are 144 instances of the F word.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Watch? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

J. S.:  The original concept for The Last Watch was inspired by a song lyric! There’s a song I’ve loved for years called “Highwayman” (written by Jimmy Webb, performed by The Highwaymen), with a line: “I’ll fly a starship across the universe divide.” That got me thinking about what might lie outside the confines of the universe, or what might happen if the universe stopped expanding and you tried to find the edge.

Science fiction is great for so many reasons—outer space, aliens, and fun technology not least among them. But when it gets down to it, I love science fiction because it gives you a really unique way to reframe modern issues, allowing you to explore and attack those questions through a different but familiar lens. There’s also just a very specific mix of wonder and fear only science fiction can evoke, and that’s always intrigued me.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Last Watch?

J. S.:  Quite a lot of research went into The Last Watch! Some of the minor categories were things like military protocol, ordnance, political science, computer & electronic engineering, and I did a fair amount of digging into fusion reactors (specifically ITER.)
      The biggest research category by far was physics, in pretty much every flavor. Physical cosmology was a big one (shape of the universe, components, structure, etc.), as well as gravitational physics, relativity, quantum mechanics, and some specifics regarding zero-g and weightlessness. And math, so much math. I truly dread math, but it’s a necessary evil in the world of physic
     I definitely *over* researched, considering what made it into the actual text. I tried to make my science as “believable” and realistic as possible, while allowing for variation when it best served the story to expand outside of those margins. I didn’t want to alienate readers by going on long technical rants, and wanted the experience to stay focused on the characters and plot, with science and technology as a background. As a result, I think this falls somewhat firmly in the center of hard and soft sci-fi, but we’ll see what the readers think about that. :)

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Last Watch.

J. S.:  I absolutely love how the cover turned out! As soon as my editor suggested the concept, I readily agreed, and couldn’t wait to see it come to fruition. Asking for a depiction of utter annihilation from space and time at the edge of the universe is a pretty big ask, but designer Peter Lutjen...well...annihilated it. Between the contrasting colors, gradient of stars, and surreal depiction of unraveling matter, it perfectly evokes the scope and existential chaos of the setting.

TQIn The Last Watch who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

J. S.:  I’m lucky in that pretty much all my characters went very easy on me, and I love writing all of them! But if I had to pick one as the easiest, I’d go with Cavalon Mercer, the sarcastic disowned prince who’s one of the two point of view characters. It’s like there’s a switch in my brain I can just flip at will to turn on his voice, and he just flows right out of me and onto the page. Writing from his perspective is so easy, and a total blast!
      The most difficult was probably Griffith Bach. Though he’s not a POV character, he’s definitely in the category of “primary” and I’d (accidentally) wildly underdeveloped him in the early drafts. During revisions my editor encouraged me to flesh him out, and I quickly realized I’d created kind of a cardboard cut-out of a person.
      Most of the time when I’m writing characters, their histories and personalities and secrets come through to me pretty naturally, but that wasn’t so much the case with Griffith. I really had to dig into his backstory and mindset and come up with a lot of “off screen” content in order flesh him out for the final draft. The result was absolutely incredible however, and the way he ties into the plot and other characters now is light-years better than before, so I’m super glad I went to the effort!

TQDoes The Last Watch touch on any social issues?

J. S.:  Yes, definitely! Though the setting of The Last Watch is fairly contained, there are a lot of subplots and hints in the worldbuilding surrounding the social issues prevalent in their society—topics like segregation, discrimination, human rights, as well as moral questions in regards to things like cloning and eugenics. Without getting into spoilers, I can say that the second book in the series delves more deeply into some broader social and political issues, some of which, coincidentally, more directly reflect our own society than I would like. :)

TQWhich question about The Last Watch do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

J. S.: “Do you want fan art for The Last Watch?”
         Why yes, yes I do!

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Last Watch.

J. S.:  “You do not seem appropriately shocked.”

          “Physics doesn’t really give a shit about your existential disposition, Rake!”

TQWhat's next?

J. S.:  Next up for me is the release of The Exiled Fleet on August 17—the second book in The Divide series and sequel The Last Watch! I’ll also be continuing my “virtual tour” for The Last Watch with some panels and chats with other authors, all of which I’m very much looking forward to!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

J. S.:  Thank you so much for having me!

The Last Watch
The Divide 1
Tor Books, April 20, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes's fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

Most Anticipated Book for April 2021:
Nerd Daily
Geek Tyrant
SFF 180

Amazon Best of the Month April 2021

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer--genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather's genetic facility for “reasons.”

She knows they’re humanity's last chance.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo


The Exiled Fleet
The Divide 2
Tor Books, August 17, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
J. S. Dewes continues her fast paced, science fiction action adventure with The Exiled Fleet, where The Expanse meets The Black Company—the survivors of The Last Watch refuse to die.

The Sentinels narrowly escaped the collapsing edge of the Divide.

They have mustered a few other surviving Sentinels, but with no engines they have no way to leave the edge of the universe before they starve.

Adequin Rake has gathered a team to find the materials they'll need to get everyone out.

To do that they're going to need new allies and evade a ruthless enemy. Some of them will not survive.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

About J. S. Dewes
Photo by Dave Dewes

After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in film production, J. S. Dewes went on to serve as cinematographer for independent films, write, produce, and shoot a zombie musical, slay internet dragons, and act as lighting designer for presidents and presidential-hopefuls so many times it became mundane. Having grown weary of such pedestrian exploits, she decided to begin forging worlds in the form of novels, returning to her roots in science fiction and the written word.

She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, who’s proven to be a mixed blessing, but he makes her laugh, so she’s decided to stick it out. They have two dogs (full blessings) and a cat of unpredictable demeanor. The Last Watch is her debut novel.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @jsdewes

The View From Monday - April 19, 2021

Happy Monday!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Unity by Elly Bangs;


The Last Watch (The Divide 1) by J. S. Dewes.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Every Sky a Grave (The Ascendance 1) by Jay Posey is out in Trade Paperback;


The Queen of Izmoroz (Goddess War 2) by Jon Skovron.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

The View From Monday - April 19, 2021
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.
April 20, 2021
A Dark Queen RisesAshok K. Banker F - The Burnt Empire 2
Fortress of MagiMirah Bolender F - Chronicles of Amicae 3
Master of Sorrows (h2tp)
Justin Travis Call F - Silent Gods 1
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (h2tp)
Becky Chambers SF/SO - Wayfarers 4
DefektNino Cipri SF/GenEng
Metropolitan Stories (h2tp)
Christine Coulson MR/City Life/LF
SpectrumJulie E. Czerneda SF/SO/HSF/AC - Web Shifter's Library 3
The Last Watch (D)J. S. Dewes SF/SO - The Divide 1
Anansi Boys (ri)
Neil Gaiman CF
Gods & Monsters Myths & Tales: Epic TalesLiz Gloyn (Foreword) FairyT/FolkT/LM/SS - Gothic Fantasy
RegenesisWilliam Huggins VisM/SF/SE/Nature & Environment/Dys
Vanishing Hour (h2tp)
Lisa King SF/AP/PA/GenEng/Dis
December Park (ri)
Ronald Malfi H
Floating Staircase (ri)
Ronald Malfi H
Aliens: InfiltratorWeston Ochse MTI/SF/AC
The Nirvana EffectBrian Pinkerton SF/AC - Fiction Without Frontiers
Every Sky a Grave (h2tp)Jay Posey SF/SO - The Ascendance 1
PopishoLeone Ross LF/MR/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Excuse Me While I Disappear: StoriesJoanna Scott SS/LF/F - Collection
The Queen of IzmorozJon Skovron F - Goddess War 2
Age of Empyre (h2mm)
Michael J. Sullivan F - Legends of the First Empire 6
Terminal Boredom: Stories
Izumi Suzuki
Polly Barton (Tr)
Sam Bett (Tr)
David Boyd (Tr)
Daniel Joseph (Tr)
Aiko Masubuchi (Tr)
Helen O’Horan (Tr)
Lover Unveiled J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 19
Repo Virtual (h2tp)
Corey J. White SF/CyP

April 21, 2021
Unity (D)Elly Bangs SF/AP/PA/HSF/CyP

April 22, 2021
Homemaking for the Apocalypse: Domesticating Horror in Atomic Age Literature & MediaJill E. Anderson LC - Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature
Alan Moore: A Critical GuideJackson Ayres LC - Bloomsbury Comics Studies

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

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

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

2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2021 Debuts

Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the beginning of 2022 the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2021 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/designer 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  May 3, 2021, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite April 2021 Debut Cover! free polls

Cover by Rohan Eason

Cover design: Stephanie Ross
Cover illustration: Misha Gurnanee Gudibanda

Interior and cover design by Elizabeth Story

2021 Debut Author Challenge - April 2021 Debuts

There are 10 debuts for April 2021.

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

The April 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 April cover for the 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on or about April 15, 2021.

Elly Bangs

Tachyon Publications, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
“Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell and Blue Submarine no. 6. The baby’s name is Unity.” —Meredith Russo, author of If I Were Your Girl

Evoking the gritty cyberpunk of Mad Max and the fluid idealism of Sense8, Unity is a spectacular new re-envisioning of humanity. Breakout author Elly Bangs has created an expressive, philosophical, science-fiction thriller that expands upon consciousness itself.

Danae is not only herself. She is concealing a connection to a grieving collective inside of her body. But while she labors as a tech servant in the dangerous underwater enclave of Bloom City, her fractured self cannot mend.

In a desperate escape, Danae and her lover Naoto hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them out of the imploding city.

But for Danae to reunify, the three new fugitives will have to flee across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, Danae’s warlord enemy, the Duke, and a strange new foe, the Borrower, already seek them at any price.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
iBooks : Kobo

J. S. Dewes

The Last Watch
The Divide 1
Tor, April 20, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes's fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer--genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather's genetic facility for “reasons.”

She knows they’re humanity's last chance.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Michelle Grierson

Becoming Leidah
Simon & Schuster, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
An utterly gripping love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman.

The sky opens up... I hear them laugh.
They don’t feel the sadness in the air.
They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind.

In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold.

Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish.

Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world.

But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Caroline Hardaker

Composite Creatures
Angry Robot, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook 400 pages
How close would you hold those you love, when the end comes? And what would you do for your own survival?

In a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Norah and Arthur are learning how to co-exist in domestic bliss. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly – from the home they’re building together to the ring on Norah’s finger.

But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. The earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in.Fortunately, Easton Grove have the answer, a perfect little bundle of fur that Norah and Arthur can take home. All they have to do to live long, happy lives is keep it, or her, safe and close.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Teratoma for One | Nine Lives | Cell Patchwork | Till Death ]
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Doug Henderson

The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club
University of Iowa Press, April 15,2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 252 pages
On Thursday nights, the players assemble in the back of Readmore Comix and Games. Celeste is the dungeon master; Valerie, who works at the store, was roped in by default; Mooneyham, the banker, likes to argue; and Ben, sensitive, unemployed, and living at home, is still recovering from an unrequited love. In the real world they go about their days falling in love, coming out at work, and dealing with their family lives all with varying degrees of success. But in the world of their fantasy game, they are heroes and wizards fighting to stop an evil cult from waking a sleeping god. The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club

But then a sexy new guy, Albert, joins the club, Ben’s character is killed, and Mooneyham’s boyfriend is accosted on the street. The connections and parallels between the real world and the fantasy one become stronger and more important than ever as Ben struggles to bring his character back to life and win Albert’s affection, and the group unites to organize a protest at a neighborhood bar. All the while the slighted and competing vampire role playing club, working secretly in the shadows, begins to make its move.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
University of Iowa Press

Erik Hoel

The Revelations
The Overlook Press, April 6, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
An edgy and ambitious debut about neuroscience, death, and the search for the theory of human consciousness, by a powerful new voice in contemporary literary fiction

Monday, Kierk wakes up. Once a rising star in neuroscience, Kierk Suren is now homeless, broken by his all-consuming quest to find a scientific theory of consciousness. But when he’s offered a spot in a prestigious postdoctoral program, he decides to rejoin society and vows not to self-destruct again. Instead of focusing on his work, however, Kierk becomes obsessed with another project—investigating the sudden and suspicious death of a colleague. As his search for truth brings him closer to Carmen Green, another postdoc, their list of suspects grows, along with the sense that something sinister may be happening all around them.

The Revelations, not unlike its main character, is ambitious and abrasive, challenging and disarming. Bursting with ideas, ranging from Greek mythology to the dark realities of animal testing, to some of the biggest unanswered questions facing scientists today, The Revelations is written in muscular, hypnotic prose, and its cyclically dreamlike structure pushes the boundaries of literary fiction. Erik Hoel has crafted a stunning debut of rare power—an intense look at cutting-edge science, consciousness, and human connection.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Sanjena Sathian

Gold Diggers
Penguin Press, April 6, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
“A dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise novel about the seductive powers—and dangers—of borrowed ambition.” —Celeste Ng, #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

Gold Diggers is so many things—truly funny, insightful, smart, and filled with wonderful characters. I loved reading this novel.” —Ann Napolitano, bestselling author of Dear Edward

How far would you go for a piece of the American dream?

A magical realist coming-of-age story, Gold Diggers skewers the model minority myth to tell a hilarious and moving story about immigrant identity, community, and the underside of ambition.

A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is funny and smart but struggles to bear the weight of expectations of his family and their Asian American enclave. He tries to want their version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal.

When he discovers that Anita is the beneficiary of an ancient, alchemical potion made from stolen gold—a “lemonade” that harnesses the ambition of the gold’s original owner—Neil sees his chance to get ahead. But events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart. Years later in the Bay Area, Neil still bristles against his community’s expectations—and finds he might need one more hit of that lemonade, no matter the cost.

Sanjena Sathian’s astonishing debut offers a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation into what’s required to make it in America.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Catriona Silvey

Meet Me in Another Life
William Morrow, April 27, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
“Inventive, bold and surprising . . . Cleverly constructed and highly entertaining.” — Charles Yu

A powerful and poignant speculative love story about a man and woman whose paths continue to cross in different lifetimes—a thrilling and imaginative exploration of what truly defines us and how our choices can change everything, perfect for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life.

Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.

Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.

But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and brilliant student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. As blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.

By turns joyful, devastating, and quietly profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a spectacularly compelling page-turner filled with astonishing twists that affirms the power of love to connect us beyond time and space.

“Entirely surprising, thoroughly enjoyable . . . A truly captivating work with an ending that rocked my socks off.” — Erika Swyler, author of Light From Other Stars and The Book of Speculation
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Christina Sweeney-Baird

The End of Men
G. P. Putnam's Sons, April 27, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
The End of Men is a fiercely intelligent page-turner, an eerily prescient novel, at once thoughtful and highly emotive.” –Paula Hawkins, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague”; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

Heather Walter

Malice Duology 1
Del Rey, April 13, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this “bewitching and fascinating” (Tamora Pierce) retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

“Walter’s spellbinding debut is for all the queer girls and women who’ve been told to keep their gifts hidden and for those yearning to defy gravity.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

Book One of the Malice Duology
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