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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 22, 2020

It's Tuesday! 

There are 3 debuts this week: 

Daughters of the Wild by Natalka Burian (Adult Debut); 

The Peace Machine by Özgür Mumcu (English Debut); 

and 

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors: 

The Girl with No Face (The Daoshi Chronicles 2) by M. H. Boroson is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky; 

and

The Ikessar Falcon (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 2) by K. S. Villoso.
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 22, 2020



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

September 22, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Dead Man in a Ditch Luke Arnold F/UF - Fetch Phillips Archives 2
Hilldiggers: A Novel of the Polity (ri) Neal Asher SF/SP
Dracula's Child J.S. Barnes H/Occ/Sup/HistM
The Girl with No Face (h2mm) M. H. Boroson UF - The Daoshi Chronicles 2
Daughters of the Wild (D - Adult) Natalka Burian CoA/FL/MR/CW
The Peace Machine (D - English) Özgür Mumcu
Mark David Myers (Tr)
SF/SP/VM/Pol
Sweet Harmony (e) Claire North P/Sus
Seventh Perfection Daniel Polansky F
The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez Rudy Ruiz MR
The Doors of Eden Adrian Tchaikovsky SF/GenEng
And the Last Trump Shall Sound: A Future History of America Harry Turtledove
James Morrow
Cat Rambo
AH/Satire/SF - Anthology
Fauna Christiane Vadnais
Pablo Strauss (Tr)
Dys/SF/AP/PA
Rolling Thunder (e)(ri) John Varley SF/HSF - The Thunder and Lightning 3
The John Varley Reader: Thirty Years of Short Fiction (e)(ri) John Varley SF - Collection
Mammoth (e)(ri) John Varley SF/TT/Sus
Red Lightning (e)(ri) John Varley SF/HSF - The Thunder and Lightning 2
Red Thunder (e)(ri) John Varley SF/HSF - The Thunder and Lightning 1
The Thunder and Lightning Series (e)(ri) John Varley SF/HSF - The Thunder and Lightning
The Ikessar Falcon K. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 2
Hench (D) Natalie Zina Walschots Fiction
The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, Exit Strategy Martha Wells SF - Murderbot Diaries
The Immortal Words Jeff Wheeler F - Grave Kingdom 3
Shapers of Worlds: Science fiction & fantasy by authors featured on the Aurora Award-winning podcast The Worldshapers (e) Edward Willett (Ed) SF/F - Anthology



September 23, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Cthulhu Stories of Robert E. Howard Robert E. Howard H - Collection
The Perfection of Theresa Watkins: A Tor.com Original (e) Justin C. Key SF
The Chrysalids (e) John Wyndham SF



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
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
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
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
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
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

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

Interview with K. S. Villoso, author of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro


Please welcome K. S. Villoso to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is published on February 18, 2020 by Orbit.



Interview with K. S. Villoso, author of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro




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

K. S.:  This was back in 1st grade and was a short, incoherent story that was a mish-mash of genres and just about everything I was into at the time. I think the main character was a dog…



TQ Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

K. S.:  I’m essentially whatever is convenient at the time. I outline before I start writing. The first draft will look nothing like the outline. Sometimes I will re-outline partway through the novel, scrap that draft, and start again. Sometimes I will follow the outline perfectly for three chapters and then realize I have a gap towards the next plot point… in which case I will pants my way through. Unfortunately, I may not even reach that next plot point and everything will change based on that part that I pantsed.

It’s a sort of perfect, contained chaos. I have a hard time trying to make it make sense to others, but it always makes sense to me…



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

K. S.:  It’s hard to keep focus when I have so many things I want to explore all at once. That means my first drafts are often very messy, and each subsequent draft is a matter of keeping some ideas and throwing the rest out. I also get bored easily—I can’t just write stories that go from point A to B…so I like creating puzzles out of my work and then sitting down and trying to work it out through the process of writing. This means every single one of my manuscripts require a lot of work from my end just to sort my thoughts and the story out.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

K. S.:  I’ve probably mentioned author influences in other interviews elsewhere, so I’m going to talk a bit more about genre… particularly, the horror influence in my work. Along with epic fantasy, I truly enjoy horror, and I probably have seen more horror movies than anything else combined. I love the psychological aspect of it, of using fear and very high tension as tools in storytelling, and of figuratively—maybe literally—using “ghosts” to deepen character conflicts. People have mentioned how my plots are anxiety or stress-inducing, and that’s mostly this influence coming into play—I like focusing on character dilemmas first and then slowly, very slowly, revealing the plot one puzzle piece after another…all after the external conflicts have reared their ugly (again, very often literally) heads.



TQDescribe The Wolf of Oren-Yaro using only 5 words.

K. S.:  Intense sword-wielding Bitch Queen…



TQTell us something about The Wolf of Oren-Yaro that is not found in the book description.

K. S.:  There are heists! (See answer to Question No. 12).



TQWhat inspired you to write The Wolf of Oren-Yaro? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

K. S.The Wolf of Oren-yaro was my take on the classic hero’s journey/chosen one story…from the point-of-view of a woman who is both a wife and a mother. One who, incidentally, is also the daughter of a man many people consider the villain. The situation is rife with challenges that made it very interesting for me to explore.

Writing fantasy is great because it allows you to use worldbuilding as an added tool to carry the story through. By that I mean you can basically make things up to drive home the point, or create an elaborate metaphor—you can adjust the environment, or alter history and time itself to explore a certain theme. So you can create a really powerful story that can go beyond plot or character.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Wolf of Oren-Yaro?

K. S.:  I draw from my culture and upbringing for a lot of the worldbuilding; it’s not so much learning about things from the outside, but bringing out what I know from the inside, and then trying to make sense of it on the proverbial paper. So there is no specific “research”—there is however a lot of introspection, a lot of discussion over topics and issues that would lead me to look up certain facts to support or disprove an argument.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.

K. S.:  I am one of the blessed, lucky few who got a cover depicting not just Queen Talyien’s image, but Talyien as a character and person. You can get a sense both of her determination and her challenges from one look at the cover. In the cover, she is also carrying her father’s kampilan. It doesn’t actually show up until Book 3, but the symbolism is there as Talyien really is carrying the burdens her father—a dark figure in history—has left her.



TQIn The Wolf of Oren-Yaro who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

K. S.:  The easiest character is probably…and obviously…Khine. I think it’s because I share the same background as him, coming from the lower rungs of society while for the longest time brushing elbows with people who have it better. And while I’ve thankfully never had to resort to becoming a thief, I may have once or twice schemed myself out of messes. Khine goes with the flow while actively strategizing his next move; this is the easiest kind of character for me to write because it is very, very close to how I’d do things myself.

Talyien, on the other hand…while her voice came rushing to me like a wave, she also possessed an intensity that kept me on my toes. Half the time I have this perfect plot point set up and she’s like “No.” So now I have to go rushing after her to try and fish her out of whatever situation she’s in. That impulsive, hotheaded nature made it difficult to follow the original outline, as she lands herself in trouble one after another and I had to find a way to get her out of it while maintaining the story’s momentum.



TQDoes The Wolf of Oren-Yaro touch on any social issues?

K. S.:  If readers want to read it as nothing more than an action-adventure fantasy story, they are welcome to do so. It’s written to entertain, it has a plot, it has great character interactions and some pretty cool fight scenes. There is absolutely no obligation to see it beyond that.

If readers want to stop for a moment and look beyond that outer layer, though, there’s quite a bit—not so much that they’re added in, but because these issues are an integral part of the characters, especially Queen Talyien’s, and the world they find themselves in. The challenges a woman faces that perhaps a man in her position wouldn’t have to worry about, for instance; power and the many ways it can corrupt, social inequalities, the effect of political struggles on the common people.



TQWhich question about The Wolf of Oren-Yaro do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

K. S.:  “So Kay, I noticed you put a particular importance on heists in this book…is that just random or is this epic fantasy also a heist novel in disguise?”

“Why, thank you for noticing that, Kay. The introduction of the con-artist and thief, Khine Lamang, is a marker, a foreshadowing of what’s about to come. This series, after all, is about tricks and schemes, about believing one thing when really it’s about something else. We get more heists as the series progresses, culminating to that one, final trick…”

“No spoilers.”

“I can’t spoil you, you already know how it ends!”

“So let me just chime in with your readers: YOU’RE A MONSTER, HOW COULD YOU, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.”

“Somebody take this doppelganger away.”



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.

K. S.:  Here’s two of them:

There are people who find themselves in a precarious situation, believe
themselves betrayed, and will do nothing but run their tongues ragged in
criticizing the world for not helping them better. Like wailing dogs in the rain,
they strain against their leashes instead of turning to gnaw their bonds to
freedom, or sit on their piss and wait for pity.


Betrayal has a funny way of turning your world upside down. As familiar as I
had already been with it by that point, it still amazed me how far I could
stretch that moment of denial. The thought of what had been—of what could
yet be—persisted. Perhaps it is not the same for most people. Perhaps, when
you love less, it is easier not to let the emptiness become a cavern from which
you can no longer see the sun.


TQWhat's next?

K. S.:  Well, we’re going to hit the ground running with this series. The sequel, THE IKESSAR FALCON, is out on September 29, 2020. It’s a chonky book, so those hesitant to give THE WOLF OF OREN-YARO a try because it’s a new series will have plenty to keep themselves busy until Book 3…which is out in the first half of next year.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 1
Orbit, February 18, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

Interview with K. S. Villoso, author of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves, which nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage with the son of a rival clan should herald peaceful days to come.

However, her husband’s sudden departure before their reign begins puts a quick end to those dreams, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, one that will send her across the sea. What’s meant to be an effort at reconciling the past becomes an assassination attempt. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.

A wolf of Oren-yaro is not tamed.





About K.S. Villoso

Interview with K. S. Villoso, author of The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
Photo by Mikhail Villoso
K.S. Villoso writes speculative fiction with a focus on deeply personal themes and character-driven narratives. Much of her work is inspired by her childhood in the slums of Taguig, Philippines. She is now living amidst the forest and mountains with her husband, children, and dogs in Anmore, BC.











Website  ~  Twitter @k_villoso


The View From Monday - February 17, 2020


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Goblets Immortal by Beth Overmyer;

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 1) by K.S. Villoso;

and

The Golden Key by Marian Womack.

The View From Monday - February 17, 2020The View From Monday - February 17, 2020
The View From Monday - February 17, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Westside (A Gilda Carr Tiny Mystery 1) by W.M. Akers is out in Trade Paperback;

Voodoo Shanghai (Kincaid Strange 3) by Kristi Charish;

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is out in Trade Paperback;

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James;

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Gravity of a Distant Sun (Shieldrunner Pirates 3) by R.E. Stearns.

The View From Monday - February 17, 2020The View From Monday - February 17, 2020
The View From Monday - February 17, 2020The View From Monday - February 17, 2020
The View From Monday - February 17, 2020The View From Monday - February 17, 2020
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - February 17, 2020



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

February 18, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Westside (h2tp) W.M. Akers HistF - A Gilda Carr Tiny Mystery 1
Voodoo Shanghai Kristi Charish UF - Kincaid Strange 3
Bridge 108 Anne Charnock Dys
The Science of Women in Horror: The Special Effects, Stunts, and True Stories Behind Your Favorite Fright Films Meg Hafdahl
Kelly Florence
Science
Seven Devils Kenneth Mark Hoover W/H
The Last (ri) Hanna Jameson Th/PA
Machines in the Head: Selected Stories Anna Kavan SS
Sword of Fire Katharine Kerr F - Deverry 1
The Queen of Raiders Sarah Kozloff F - The Nine Realms 2
Gods of Jade and Shadow (h2tp) Silvia Moreno-Garcia HistF
Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors Doug Murano (Ed)
Michael Bailey (Ed)
H - Anthology
Twilight of the Gods Scott Oden HistF - Grimnir 2
Light of Impossible Stars Gareth L. Powell SF - Embers of War 3
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow Natasha Pulley HistF
The Sun Down Motel Simone St. James SupTh
The Priory of the Orange Tree (h2tp) Samantha Shannon F
Gravity of a Distant Sun R. E. Stearns SF - Shieldrunner Pirates 3
Star Trek: Voyager 25th Anniversary Special Book Titan PerfArts/TV - Star Trek
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro (D) K. S. Villoso F - Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 1
The Bird King (h2tp) G. Willow Wilson HistF
The Golden Key (D) Marian Womack F/GothicM



February 19, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Girlfriend's Guide to Gods: A Tor.com Original (e) Maria Dahvana Headley F



February 20, 2020
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Garden of Bewitchment Catherine Cavendish H - Fiction Without Frontiers
The Blood-Dimmed Tide Michael R. Johnston SF/SO - Fiction Without Frontiers
The Goblets Immortal (D - Fantasy) Beth Overmyer F - Fiction Without Frontiers



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



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FR- Fantasy Romance
GothicM - Gothic Mystery
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SS - Short Stories
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy
W - Western
WW - Weird Western

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

2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts


2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 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 2020 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 February 29, 2020, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite February 2020 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Cover design and lettering by Emily Courdelle
Cover art direction by Steve Panton - LBBG




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Cover by Francesca Corsini




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Jacket design by Adam Auerbach




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Cover illustration by Mio Im
Cover design by Julianna Lee




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover photographs by Arcangel and Shutterstock
Cover copyright © 2020 Hachette Book Group, Inc.




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts




2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover illustration by Simon Goinard
Cover copyright © 2019 Hachette Book Group, Inc.

2020 Debut Author Challenge - February 2020 Debuts




There are 18 debut novels for February 2020.

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

The February debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite February cover for the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 15, 2020.





Luke Arnold

The Last Smile in Sunder City
The Fetch Phillips Archives 1
Orbit, February 25, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold.

Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.

I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:

1. Sobriety costs extra.
2. My services are confidential.
3. I don’t work for humans.

It’s nothing personal–I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.

Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.




Sarah Bond

Gravity's Heir
Black Rose Writing, February 6, 2020
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

"Legacy is nothing but history, if it doesn't have a future.”

When her father threw her out, sacrificing his only living daughter for the good of his shipping conglomerate, Lena Lomasky swore she could make it on her own. But now she’s broke and desperate, and pride won’t fuel her spaceship. Her latest job is simple: carry a datastick of state secrets home to her father. The same man who cut her off without a cent. Whatever. She can do this. Pass the whiskey.

An ill-timed royal assassination ignites a war and Lena’s crew is blamed. When she thinks to use her cache of state secrets to save them, Lena discovers she’s actually smuggling the only known plans for her father’s invention: a gravity bomb that can vaporize entire cities.

Lena must decide: continue on and hope her father can design a defense to save millions of lives, or leverage the plans to save the only people who really matter.





Amy Bonnaffons

The Regrets
Little, Brown and Company, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

Reality and dream collide in Amy Bonnaffons’s dazzling, darkly playful debut novel about a love affair between the living and the dead.

For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead.

Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to “cross over” to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living — lest he incur “regrets.” When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences.

Set in the hallucinatory borderland between life and death, The Regrets is a gloriously strange and breathtakingly sexy exploration of love, the cataclysmic power of fantasies, and the painful, exhilarating work of waking up to reality, told with uncommon grace and humor by a visionary artist at the height of her imaginative power.





Kelly Braffet

The Unwilling
MIRA, February 11, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 576 pages
(Fantasy Debut)

A penetrating tale of magic, faith and pride…The Unwilling is the story of Judah, a foundling born with a special gift and raised inside Highfall castle along with Gavin, the son and heir to Lord Elban’s vast empire. Judah and Gavin share an unnatural bond that is both the key to Judah’s survival—and possibly her undoing.

As Gavin is groomed for his future role, Judah comes to realize that she has no real position within the kingdom and, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond its castle walls. Elban—a lord as mighty as he is cruel—has his own plans for her, and for all of them. She is a mere pawn to him, and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

But outside the walls, in the starving, desperate city, a magus, a healer with his own secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years, is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah. The girl who started life with no name and no history will soon uncover more to her story than she ever imagined.

An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, this deeply immersive novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.





Justin T. Call

Master of Sorrows
Silent Gods 1
Blackstone Publishing, February 25, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 577 pages

You've heard the story before: an orphaned boy, raised by a wise old man, comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil threatening his world.

But what if that hero were destined to become the new dark lord?

The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries. Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the academy's many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars -- warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults -- and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic. More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.

But Annev carries a secret. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents killers. Seventeen years later, he struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When Annev is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy's masters, he must finally decide whether to accept the truth of who he really is ... or embrace the darker truth of what he may one day become.





R.W.W. Greene

The Light Years
Angry Robot Books, February 11, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The captain of a family-owned starship arranges a marriage for her son in hopes of achieving faster-than-light travel and maybe, just maybe, marital bliss.

Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family’s sub-light starship, the Hajj.

Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger.

Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.

File Under: Science Fiction[ E=mc2 | Happy wife, Happy life | Marital Bliss | Light Years Away ]





A. K. Larkwood

The Unspoken Name
The Serpent Gates 1
Tor Books, February 11, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does—she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn—gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

“In the vein of Le Guin's magnificent Tombs of Atuan—if Arha the Eaten One got to grow up to be a swordswoman mercenary in thrall to her dubious wizard mentor. I love this book so much."—Arkady Martine, author of A Memory Called Empire

“Hooked me in from the first page and never let go. Fabulous, in every meaning of the word."—Jenn Lyons, author of Ruin of Kings





Margarita Montimore

Oona Out of Order
Flatiron Books, February 25, 2020
Hardover and eBook, 352 pages

Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of sequence.

Just because life may be out of order, doesn’t mean it’s broken.

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order...

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met?

Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.

"Reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, Oona Out of Order is a delightfully freewheeling romp.” —Booklist (starred review)





S E Moorhead

Witness X
Trapeze, February 6, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. When a body is discovered, and a second person is reported missing, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan, a police psychologist on the original investigation, fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the original witnesses. Will Kyra discover the truth, and if so, at what cost?

From an exciting debut talent, Witness X is a brilliantly twisty tale that is at once mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human - an addictive thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to change the past, perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Altered Carbon and Ready Player One.





Andrew Hunter Murray

The Last Day
Dutton, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

A visionary and powerful debut thriller set in a terrifyingly plausible dystopian near-future—with clear parallels to today’s headlines—in which the future of humanity lies in the hands of one woman, a scientist who has stumbled upon a secret that the government will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

A world half in darkness. A secret she must bring to light.

It is 2059, and the world has crashed. Forty years ago, a solar catastrophe began to slow the planet’s rotation to a stop. Now, one half of the globe is permanently sunlit, the other half trapped in an endless night. The United States has colonized the southern half of Great Britain—lucky enough to find itself in the narrow habitable region left between frozen darkness and scorching sunlight—where both nations have managed to survive the ensuing chaos by isolating themselves from the rest of the world.

Ellen Hopper is a scientist living on a frostbitten rig in the cold Atlantic. She wants nothing more to do with her country after its slide into casual violence and brutal authoritarianism. Yet when two government officials arrive, demanding she return to London to see her dying college mentor, she accepts—and begins to unravel a secret that threatens not only the nation’s fragile balance, but the future of the whole human race.





Beth Overmyer

The Goblets Immortal
Flame Tree Press, February 20, 2020
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
(Fantasy Debut)

In a land where magic’s feared, a rare magical kind exists: the Blest, products of the Goblets Immortal. Aidan’s a Blest on the run, forced to return home. He made his family vanish decades ago, but believes there’s a way to bring them back.

Whispers of a new fear take shape in Meraude, a mage who hates all magic-kind. When she appears in Aidan’s dreams offering a bargain for the return of his family, Aidan’s desires battle with his self-preservation.

Is it wise for Aidan to seek the Goblets Immortal for Meraude’s unknown purposes? Friend and foe blur the magical lines, and Aidan must discern who will shake his hand or slit his throat.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.





Bernd Perplies

Black Leviathan
Tor Books, February 25, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
(English Debut)

Melville’s Moby Dick unfolds in a world of dragon hunters in Black Leviathan, an epic revenge fantasy from German award-winning author Bernd Perplies.

Beware! A shadow will cover you, larger than that cast by any other dragon of this world. Black as the lightless chasm from whence it was born at the beginning of time.

In the coastal city Skargakar, residents make a living from hunting dragons and use them for everything from clothing to food, while airborne ships hunt them in the white expanse of a cloud sea, the Cloudmere.

Lian does his part carving the kyrillian crystals that power the ships through the Cloudmere, but when he makes an enemy of a dangerous man, Lian ships out on the next vessel available as a drachenjager, or dragon hunter.

He chooses the wrong ship. A fanatic captain, hunts more than just any dragon. His goal is the Firstborn Gargantuan—and Adaron is prepared to sacrifice everything for revenge.





Shaun Prescott

The Town
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 4,  2020
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages
(US Debut)

"A powerfully doomy debut" (The Guardian), Shaun Prescott’s The Town is a novel of a rural Australian community besieged by modern day anxieties and threatened by a supernatural force seeking to consume the dying town.

This is Australia, an unnamed, dead-end town in the heart of the outback—a desolate place of gas stations, fast-food franchises, and labyrinthine streets: flat and nearly abandoned. When a young writer arrives to research just such depressing middles-of-nowhere as they are choked into oblivion, he finds something more sinister than economic depression: the ghost towns of Australia appear to be literally disappearing. An epidemic of mysterious holes is threatening his new home’s very existence, and this discovery plunges the researcher into an abyss of weirdness from which he may never escape.

Dark, slippery and unsettling, Shaun Prescott’s debut resurrects the existential novel for the age of sprawl and blight, excavates a nation’s buried history of colonial genocide, and tells a love story that asks if outsiders can ever truly belong anywhere. The result is a disquieting classic that vibrates with an occult power.





Lisa Robertson

The Baudelaire Fractal
Coach House Books, February 4, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 160 pages

A debut novel by acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, in which a poet realizes she has written the works of Baudelaire. One morning, the poet Hazel Brown wakes up in a strange hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. Surprising as this may be, it's no more surprising to Brown than the impossible journey she's taken to become the writer that she is. Animated by the spirit of the poète maudit, she shuttles between London, Vancouver, Paris, and the French countryside, moving fluidly between the early 1980s and the present, from rented room to rented room, all the while considering such Baudelairian obsessions as modernity, poverty, and the perfect jacket. .. Part memoir, part magical realism, part hilarious trash-talking take on contemporary art and the poet's life, The Baudelaire Fractal is the long-awaited debut novel by the inimitable Lisa Robertson.





Constance Sayers

A Witch in Time
Redhook, February 11, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

A young witch is cursed to relive a doomed love affair through many lifetimes, as both troubled muse and frustrated artist, in this haunting debut novel.

In 1895, sixteen-year-old Juliet LaCompte has a passionate, doomed romance with the married Parisian painter Auguste Marchant. When her mother — a witch — attempts to cast a curse on Marchant, she unwittingly summons a demon, binding her daughter to both Auguste and this supernatural being for all time.

Born and re-born, Juliet is fated to live her affair and die tragically young across continents and lifetimes.

But finally, in present-day Washington D.C., something shifts. In this life, Juliet starts to remember her tragic past. And this time, she begins to develop powers of her own that might finally break the spell…

A Witch in Time is perfect for fans of A Secret History of Witches, Outlander, and The Time Traveler’s Wife.





K. S. Villoso

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
Chronicles of the Bitch Queen 1
Orbit, February 18, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves, which nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage with the son of a rival clan should herald peaceful days to come.

However, her husband’s sudden departure before their reign begins puts a quick end to those dreams, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair.

Years later, Talyien receives a message, one that will send her across the sea. What’s meant to be an effort at reconciling the past becomes an assassination attempt. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.

A wolf of Oren-yaro is not tamed.





Juliette Wade

Mazes of Power
The Broken Trust 1
DAW, February 4, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

This debut work of sociological science fiction follows a deadly battle for succession, where brother is pitted against brother in a singular chance to win power and influence for their family.

The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city’s technology wanes.

When a fever strikes, and the Eminence dies, seventeen-year-old Tagaret is pushed to represent his Family in the competition for Heir to the Throne. To win would give him the power to rescue his mother from his abusive father, and marry the girl he loves.

But the struggle for power distorts everything in this highly stratified society, and the fever is still loose among the inbred, susceptible nobles. Tagaret’s sociopathic younger brother, Nekantor, is obsessed with their family’s success. Nekantor is willing to exploit Tagaret, his mother, and her new servant Aloran to defeat their opponents.

Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped? And will they recognize themselves after the struggle has changed them?





Marian Womack

The Golden Key
Titan Books, February 18, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

“A fantastic new talent” HELEN MARSHALL

An extraordinary, page-turning Gothic mystery set in the wilds of the Norfolk Fens from the BSFA-shortlisted author.


London, 1901. After the death of Queen Victoria the city heaves with the uncanny and the eerie. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms.

Samuel Moncrieff, recovering from a recent tragedy of his own, meets Helena Walton-Cisneros, one of London’s most reputed mediums. But Helena is not what she seems and she’s enlisted by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.

But the Fens are a liminal land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. With locals that speak of devilmen and catatonic children found on the Broads, Helena finds the answer to the mystery leads back to where it started: Samuel Moncrieff.
The View From Monday ... On Tuesday - September 22, 2020Interview with K. S. Villoso, author of The Wolf of Oren-YaroThe View From Monday - February 17, 20202020 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2020 Debuts2020 Debut Author Challenge - February 2020 Debuts

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