close

The Qwillery | category: Katie Schickel

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31


This is the thirty-first 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



Katie Schickel (2015)

The Mermaid's Secret
Forge, June 14, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook, 288pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
From Katie Schickel, one of Booklist's Top 10 Women's fiction of 2015, comes The Mermaid's Secret, an original, fresh, and absolutely captivating beach read.

Life on land is suffocating for Jess Creary, who wastes her summers flipping burgers for tourists on a fishing boat off her quaint resort island home off the coast of Maine. After all, her older sister Kay died in a boating accident two years ago, her mother has disappeared, and her father isn't exactly dealing with things so well. Surfing and the handsome Captain Matthew are about the only bright spots in her life.

Then, on her twenty-third birthday, Jess catches the perfect wave--a wave that transforms her into a mermaid. Under the sea, a startlingly beautiful, dark place, Jess is reborn into a confident, powerful predator with superhuman strength --finally she is someone to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, back on land, Jess's relationship with Captain Matthew heats up, and so does her search for justice for Kay.

Jess has thirty days to choose between land and sea; legs and fins; her humanity and her freedom. Who could ignore the freedom of the sea? Yet, the ocean is a dark, wild, lonely place. Is this a gift or a curse? Will Jess choose family and love, forgiveness and truth, or will she be seduced by the wild call of the sparkling sea forever?





F. Wesley Schneider (2015)

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Strange Aeons 1 of 6 - In Search of Sanity
     by F. Wesley Schneider
Paizo Publishng Inc., September 20, 2016
Paperback, 96 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
The adventurers awaken within the walls of the eerie Briarstone Asylum, their minds wracked and memories missing. As they work together to recover their missing time, they soon learn that the cause of their eerie amnesia is but a symptom of a much greater cosmic menace. As they struggle to retain their sanity, the heroes must ally with other asylum residents and fight against the monstrosities that have taken over the asylum and plunged it into nightmare. Can the adventurers defeat the terror that stalks the halls and free themselves from their prison of madness?

“In Search of Sanity” is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 1st-level characters. The adventure kicks off the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, a twisted delve into madness that pits the heroes against the cosmic horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. Several new monsters, details on the Mythos, and the first installment of a new Pathfinder’s Journal round out this volume of the Pathfinder Adventure Path!

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.


Pathfinder Volume 5: Hollow Mountain
     by Erik Mona, F. Wesley Schneider, and James L. Sutter
Dynamite Entertainment, September 20, 2016
Hardcover, 192 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
The iconic heroes of Pathfinder delve deep into an ancient fortress built by the Runelords. Carved in the immense visage of Alaznist, Runelord of Wrath, the Hollow Mountain is home to a honeycomb labyrinth of trap-laden chambers and corridors. The Pathfinder agents must explore the ruins in search of a long-lost mystical artifact... but they're not alone. Competing explorers seek out the mountain's secrets, and it won't be long before open combat erupts! But unbeknownst to the warring factions, Alaznist has not left her former stronghold unprotected. Can the Pathfinder heroes and their bitter rivals put aside their animosity to survive the mountain's fearsome guardians?

written by the collaborative team of Erik Mona (Paizo Publisher and Chief Creative Officer), F. Wesley Schneider (Paizo Editor-in-Chief), and James Sutter (Paizo Senior Editor), and featuring sensational artwork by Tom Garcia (Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly), the Hollow Mountain saga expands upon the mythos of Paizo's award-winning fantasy world, fiction line, and tabletop RPG. Bonus materials include over thirty-pages of encounters and world detail for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, including a poster map.


Pathfinder Adventure Path: Curse of the Crimson Throne
by James Jacobs, Nicolas Logue, F. Wesley Schneider, Richard Pett, Greg A. Vaughan, and Michael  Kortes
Paizo Publishng Inc., November 8, 2016
Hardcover, 480 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
Return to a classic Pathfinder Adventure Path with Curse of the Crimson Throne, one of Paizo’s most popular campaigns! The city of Korvosa is in chaos, and her new queen may well be the source―can a ragtag group of heroes stand before the might of one of Golarion’s most notorious villains? This immense book collects the six classic Curse of the Crimson Throne adventures, and has everything you need to run an entire, full-length campaign covering months and months of play!
The Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover includes:
• Updates the classic Adventure Path to the Pathfinder RPG rules for the first time!
• Explore expanded adventures, including a brand new mission written by Paizo’s Creative Director, James Jacobs, that sends the heroes into a perilous dungeon run by the queen’s infamous Gray Maidens!
• Features dozens of evocative new illustrations of classic characters!
• New and updated rules for monsters, magic items, and character options





V. E. Schwab (2013)

A Gathering of Shadow
Shades of Magic 2
Tor Books, January 17, 2017
Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 23, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
From #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall...in V.E. Schwab's A Gathering of Shadows.

"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."—Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy


A Conjuring of Light
Shades of Magic 3
Tor Books, February 21, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 624 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes struggle. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees the newly minted New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab reach a thrilling conclusion concerning the fate of beloved protagonists--and old foes.





Luke Scull (2013)

Dead Man's Steel
The Grim Company 3
Ace, January 3, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
As the “gripping”* epic from the author of Sword of the North continues, the Grim Company must battle a dangerous new enemy that is determined to destroy all of humanity…

In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shattered Realms to seek allies among the fallen kingdoms, he finds that his hardest battle may be one fought within. The godly essence now residing within him offers power that could be used against the Fade—but with every death that feeds It, Cole risks losing a part of himself.

An association with a Fade officer grants the Halfmage Eremul a position of privilege among Dorminia’s new masters. He witnesses firsthand the fate that awaits humanity. But with his magic pitiful in the face of the Fade’s advanced technology, the Halfmage must rely on his wits alone to save whom he can…

And in the frozen north, the legendary warrior Brodar Kayne fights a desperate battle for his people. He is running out of time: an ancient evil sealed beneath the mountains is about to break free, an evil that is older than humanity, older than the Fade, older even than the gods—and it will not stop until the entire world is drowned in blood…

*The Guardian (UK)





Martin Seay (2016)

The Mirror Thief
Melville House, April 11, 2017
Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 10, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret ….

All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice … and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36


This is the thirty-sixth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their 2015 works published since the last update and any upcoming works for 2016. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 herePart 11 herePart 21 herePart 31 here
Part 2 herePart 12 herePart 22 herePart 32 here
Part 3 herePart 13 herePart 23 herePart 33 here
Part 4 herePart 14 herePart 24 herePart 34 here
Part 5 herePart 15 herePart 25 herePart 35 here
Part 6 herePart 16 herePart 26 here
Part 7 herePart 17 herePart 27 here
Part 8 herePart 18 herePart 28 here
Part 9 herePart 19 herePart 29 here
Part 10 herePart 20 herePart 30 here



Peter Newman (2015)

The Vagrant
The Vagrant 1
Harper Voyager, May 10, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.




Robert Repino (2015

Morte
Soho Press, February 9, 2016
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 20, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36
The “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that will forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony’s watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans’ penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition. As a final step in the war effort, the Colony uses its strange technology to transform the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.

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




Katie Schickel (2015)

The Mermaid's Secret
Forge, June 14, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, and eBook, 288pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36

[description not yet available]





Alan Smale (2015)

Clash of Eagles
The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book I
Del Rey, September 1, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 17, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36
Perfect for fans of action-adventure and historical fiction—including novels by such authors as Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove—this stunning work of alternate history imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has not fallen and the North American continent has just been discovered. In the year 1218 AD, transported by Norse longboats, a Roman legion crosses the great ocean, enters an endless wilderness, and faces a cataclysmic clash of worlds, cultures, and warriors.

Ever hungry for land and gold, the Emperor has sent Praetor Gaius Marcellinus and the 33rd Roman Legion into the newly discovered lands of North America. Marcellinus and his men expect easy victory over the native inhabitants, but on the shores of a vast river the Legion clashes with a unique civilization armed with weapons and strategies no Roman has ever imagined.

Forced to watch his vaunted force massacred by a surprisingly tenacious enemy, Marcellinus is spared by his captors and kept alive for his military knowledge. As he recovers and learns more about these proud people, he can’t help but be drawn into their society, forming an uneasy friendship with the denizens of the city-state of Cahokia. But threats—both Roman and Native—promise to assail his newfound kin, and Marcellinus will struggle to keep the peace while the rest of the continent surges toward certain conflict.


Eagle in Exile
The Clash of Eagles Trilogy Book II
Del Rey, March 15, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 576 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36
Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Steve Berry, Naomi Novik, and Harry Turtledove, Alan Smale’s gripping alternate history series imagines a world in which the Roman Empire has survived long enough to invade North America in 1218. Now the stunning story carries hero Gaius Marcellinus deeper into the culture of an extraordinary people—whose humanity, bravery, love, and ingenuity forever change his life and destiny.

In A.D. 1218, Praetor Gaius Marcellinus is ordered to conquer North America and turning it into a Roman province. But outside the walls of the great city of Cahokia, his legion is destroyed outright; Marcellinus is the only one spared. In the months and years that follow, Marcellinus comes to see North America as his home and the Cahokians as his kin. He vows to defend these proud people from any threat, Roman or native.

After successfully repelling an invasion by the fearsome Iroqua tribes, Marcellinus realizes that a weak and fractured North America won’t stand a chance against the returning Roman army. Worse, rival factions from within threaten to tear Cahokia apart just when it needs to be most united and strong. Marcellinus is determined to save the civilization that has come to mean more to him than the empire he once served. But to survive the swords of Roma, he first must avert another Iroqua attack and bring the Cahokia together. Only with the hearts and souls of a nation at his back can Marcellinus hope to know triumph.




A.F.E. Smith (2015)

Goldenfire
The Darkhaven Novels 2
Harper Voyager UK, January 14, 2016
eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36
In Darkhaven, peace doesn’t last long.

Ayla Nightshade has ruled Darkhaven for three years since the tragedy that tore her family apart. She has left her father’s cruel legacy behind and become a leader her people can believe in – or so she hopes.

Tomas Caraway is no longer a disgraced drunk; he’s Captain of the Helm and the partner of the most powerful woman in Darkhaven. He will do everything to protect Ayla and their adopted son against all possible threats.

But a discovery has been made that could have profound consequences for the Nightshade family. There is a weapon so deadly, it can kill even the powerful creatures they turn into. And now, that weapon has fallen into the wrong hands.

An assassin is coming for Ayla, and will stop at nothing to see her dead.


Interview with Katie Schickel, author of Housewitch - February 19, 2015


Please welcome Katie Schickel to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Housewitch was published on February 17th by Forge.



Interview with Katie Schickel, author of Housewitch - February 19, 2015




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

Katie:  My first job out of college was as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Upstate New York. It's one of the best jobs I've ever had. Every day was exciting. I stumbled upon a class in my senior year of college called Intro to Journalism that led me down that path.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Katie:  I was a pantser for HOUSEWITCH, and a plotter for my next book. I have to say that plotting is a much more efficient way to go for me. There's always wiggle room with an outline, but planning the story cuts way back on revision time.



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

Katie:  So many things are challenging for me! I guess finding the emotional reality of each character is something I'm always struggling with. I like to write action, and often have to remind myself about the internal struggles of my characters.



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

Katie:  I turn to the classics a lot — Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, O'Connor, Salinger. I have too many favorite contemporary authors to list, but I'll pick up anything by Elin Hilderbrand, Liane Moriarty, Kate Atkinson, Elizabeth Strout, Jojo Moyes, Hugh Howey, Suzanne Collins.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Housewitch? What appealed to you about writing in about witches in a contemporary setting?

Katie:  I was a stay-at-home mom trying to write a novel about an alien smuggling ring in South Florida. The book was truly awful. After about four years of working on it, I tossed it, and decided to go back to the concept of "write what you know." I knew a lot about the culture of domestic perfection and motherhood in suburban America. The witchcraft element of the story is really secondary to the idea of raising a family and trying to fit in.



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

Katie:  I intentionally didn't do much research on witchcraft because when you start looking up witchcraft in the late 20th and 21st centuries, you end up talking about Wicca. Wicca is a religion and I didn't want to misrepresent anyone's religion. The challenge was to create a fresh spin on witchcraft, and to figure out how the magic actually worked.



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

Katie:  Aurora came very naturally to me. For some reason, I love writing quirky older women. Allison was the hardest. I'm like her in many ways, and it's hard to bare your soul.



TQ:  What's next?

Katie:  I've just finished my second book, (working title MER), which is about a mermaid. It will be released in 2016 by Forge. I worked as a dive master, dive instructor, and editor of a dive magazine for many years and spent a lot of time under water, so it was really fun to write!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.






Housewitch
Forge, February 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Katie Schickel, author of Housewitch - February 19, 2015
Former foster child, now a stay-at-home mom of three, Allison Darling desperately wants to fit in with the latte drinking and hundred-dollar-yoga-pants wearing moms that run Monrovia, her charming seaside town. Constantly feeling like an outsider, Allison dreams of more for her children.

When Allison’s estranged mother passes away, her previously dormant special talents emerge. Soon she is reunited with the family that abandoned her and learns of their heartbreaking legacy.

At the same time, the Glamour Girls, a soap-selling company run by the most popular women in Monrovia, recruits Allison to join them. They have a monopoly on everything in town, from bake sales to businesses deals. But once you’re a Glamour Girl, there’s no going back.

Suddenly caught between the rag-tag, hippie relatives she once so desperately wanted and the rich, charismatic Glamour Girls—Allison is unsure where she fits in. Could she come to trust the strange outcast family that abandoned her, or really hang with the most powerful, glamorous women in town?

For Allison, it’s like high school all over again, except this time, the mean girls have more than killer manicures and the nobodies aren’t sulking in the band hall. They’re adults. They’ve got husbands, children, and livelihoods on the line. And they also happen to be witches.

Allison’s decision to lend her powerful magical talents to either group will change Monrovia—and Allison—forever.





About Katie

Interview with Katie Schickel, author of Housewitch - February 19, 2015
KATIE SCHICKEL graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in English. She lives in Massachusetts. She is the author of Housewitch.










Website  ~  Facebook

Twitter @katieschickel  ~  Pinterest


2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts


There are 12 debuts for February. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The February debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite February cover for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 15th.

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




Dave Bara

Impulse
The Lightship Chronicles 1
DAW, February 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Lieutenant Peter Cochrane of the Quantar Royal Navy believes he has his future clearly mapped out. It begins with his new assignment as an officer on Her Majesty’s Spaceship Starbound, a Lightship bound for deep space voyages of exploration.

But everything changes when Peter is summoned to the office of his father, Grand Admiral Nathan Cochrane, and given devastating news: the death of a loved one. In a distant solar system, a mysterious and unprovoked attack upon Lightship Impulse resulted in the deaths of Peter’s former girlfriend and many of her shipmates.

Now Peter’s plans are torn asunder as he is transferred to a Unified Space Navy ship under foreign command, en route to an unexpected destination, and surrounded almost entirely by strangers. To top it off, his superiors have given him secret orders that might force him to become a mutineer.

The crisis at hand becomes a gateway to something much more when the ship’s Historian leads Peter and his shipmates into a galaxy of the unknown — of ancient technologies, age-old rivalries, new cultures, and unexpected romance. It’s an overwhelming responsibility for Peter, and one false step could plunge humanity into an apocalyptic interstellar war….




Quan Barry

She Weeps Each Time You're Born
Pantheon, February 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Quan Barry’s luminous fiction debut brings us the tumultuous history of modern Vietnam as experienced by a young girl born under mysterious circumstances a few years before the country’s reunification, a child gifted with the otherworldly ability to hear the voices of the dead.

At the peak of the war in Vietnam, a baby girl is born along the Song Ma River on the night of the full moon. This is Rabbit, who will journey away from her destroyed village with a makeshift family thrown together by war. Here is a Vietnam we’ve never encountered before: through Rabbit’s inexplicable but radiant intuition, we are privy to an intimate version of history, from the days of French Indochina and the World War II rubber plantations through the chaos of postwar reunification. With its use of magical realism—Rabbit’s ability to “hear” the dead—the novel reconstructs a turbulent historical period through a painterly human lens. This is the moving story of one woman’s struggle to unearth the true history of Vietnam while simultaneously carving out a place for herself within it.




Laura van den Berg

Find Me
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
After two acclaimed story collections, Laura van den Berg brings us Find Me, her highly anticipated debut novel—a gripping, imaginative, darkly funny tale of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world.

Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients—including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.

As winter descends, the hospital’s fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.




Viola Carr

The Diabolical Miss Hyde
Electric Empire 1
Harper Voyager, February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Forensic science, magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy steampunk fantasy—a retelling of the horror classic, in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll, daughter of the infamous Dr. Henry Jekyll—pursues a dangerous murderer in an alternate Victorian London.

In an electrified Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with newfangled technological gadgets. She will need every advantage available to catch a terrifying new psychopath splattering London with blood. Hidden in the grimy shadows, the fiendish murderer preys on beautiful women, drugging them before slicing off their limbs. Finding the “Slicer” can make Eliza’s career . . . or unmask her darkest secret. Like her father, she has a hidden second self that emerges when she drinks his forbidden magical elixir. Just a few sips, and a seductive and impulsive Lizzie Hyde is unleashed.

The members of the Royal Society do not trust Eliza, and they send their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a dangerous sorceress. The careful doctor knows that one wrong step can make her prey to the clever Lafayette, a man who harbors an evil curse of his own. No matter how much she craves the elixir, she must resist.

But as the Slicer case draws her into London’s luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need the potion’s power to help her . . . even if it might attract the attentions of Lafayette. .

Even if it means setting the wild Lizzie free. . . .




Randy Henderson

Finn Fancy Necromancy
Tor Books, February 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook,  368 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Writers of the Future grand prize winner Randy Henderson presents a dark and quirky debut in Finn Fancy Necromancy.

Finn Gramaraye was framed for the crime of dark necromancy at the age of 15, and exiled to the Other Realm for twenty five years. But now that he’s free, someone—probably the same someone—is trying to get him sent back. Finn has only a few days to discover who is so desperate to keep him out of the mortal world, and find evidence to prove it to the Arcane Enforcers. They are going to be very hard to convince, since he’s already been convicted of trying to kill someone with dark magic.

But Finn has his family: His brother Mort who is running the family necrotorium business now, his brother Pete who believes he’s a werewolf, though he is not, and his sister Samantha who is, unfortunately, allergic to magic. And he’s got Zeke, a fellow exile and former enforcer, who doesn’t really believe in Finn’s innocence but is willing to follow along in hopes of getting his old job back.




Lee Kelly

City of Savages
Saga Press, February 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
After the Red Allies turn New York City into a POW camp, two sisters must decipher the past in order to protect the future in this action-packed thriller with a dual narrative.

It’s been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city’s borders. But for Sky’s younger sister, Phee, the POW camp is a dangerous playground of possibility, and the only home she’d ever want.

When Sky and Phee discover their mom’s hidden journal from the war’s outbreak, they both realize there’s more to Manhattan—and their mother—than either of them had ever imagined. And after a group of strangers arrives at the annual POW census, the girls begin to uncover the island’s long-kept secrets. The strangers hail from England, a country supposedly destroyed by the Red Allies, and Rolladin’s lies about Manhattan’s captivity begin to unravel.

Hungry for the truth, the sisters set a series of events in motion that end in the death of one of Rolladin’s guards. Now they’re outlaws, forced to join the strange Englishmen on an escape mission through Manhattan. Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city’s Meatpacking District and, through the pages of their mom’s old journal, into the island’s dark and shocking past.




Robert Levy

The Glittering World
Gallery Books, February 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In the tradition of Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane), Scott Smith (The Ruins), and Jason Mott (The Returned), award-winning playwright Robert Levy spins a dark tale of alienation and belonging, the familiar and the surreal, family secrets and the search for truth in his debut supernatural thriller.

When up-and-coming chef Michael “Blue” Whitley returns with three friends to the remote Canadian community of his birth, it appears to be the perfect getaway from New York. He soon discovers, however, that everything he thought he knew about himself is a carefully orchestrated lie. Though he had no recollection of the event, as a young boy, Blue and another child went missing for weeks in the idyllic, mysterious woods of Starling Cove. Soon thereafter, his mother suddenly fled with him to America, their homeland left behind.

But then Blue begins to remember. And once the shocking truth starts bleeding back into his life, his closest friends—Elisa, his former partner in crime; her stalwart husband, Jason; and Gabe, Blue’s young and admiring coworker—must unravel the secrets of Starling Cove and the artists’ colony it once harbored. All four will face their troubled pasts, their most private demons, and a mysterious race of beings that inhabits the land, spoken of by the locals only as the Other Kind...




Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.




Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Signal to Noise
Solaris, February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends -- Sebastian and Daniela -- and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love...
Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?




Katie Schickel

Housewitch
Forge, February 17, 2015
Hardcover and ebook, 352 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Former foster child, now a stay-at-home mom of three, Allison Darling desperately wants to fit in with the latte drinking and hundred-dollar-yoga-pants wearing moms that run Monrovia, her charming seaside town. Constantly feeling like an outsider, Allison dreams of more for her children.

When Allison’s estranged mother passes away, her previously dormant special talents emerge. Soon she is reunited with the family that abandoned her and learns of their heartbreaking legacy.

At the same time, the Glamour Girls, a soap-selling company run by the most popular women in Monrovia, recruits Allison to join them. They have a monopoly on everything in town, from bake sales to businesses deals. But once you’re a Glamour Girl, there’s no going back.

Suddenly caught between the rag-tag, hippie relatives she once so desperately wanted and the rich, charismatic Glamour Girls—Allison is unsure where she fits in. Could she come to trust the strange outcast family that abandoned her, or really hang with the most powerful, glamorous women in town?

For Allison, it’s like high school all over again, except this time, the mean girls have more than killer manicures and the nobodies aren’t sulking in the band hall. They’re adults. They’ve got husbands, children, and livelihoods on the line. And they also happen to be witches.

Allison’s decision to lend her powerful magical talents to either group will change Monrovia—and Allison—forever.




Miranda Sherry

Black Dog Summer
Atria Books, February 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
In this extraordinary debut novel reminiscent of The Lovely Bones and Little Bee, a mother watches from the afterlife as her teenage daughter recovers amidst the startling dysfunction of her extended family.

A small, bright thread of a story weaves out from the moment of my passing and seems to tether me to this place. Perhaps this is why I have not left yet. Perhaps I have no choice but to follow the story to its end.

Compulsively readable and stylistically stunning, Black Dog Summer begins with a murder, a farmstead massacre, in the South African bush. Thirty-eight-year-old Sally is but one of the victims. Her life brutally cut short, she narrates from her vantage point in the afterlife and watches as her sister, Adele, her brother-in-law and unrequited love Liam, her niece Bryony, and her teenage daughter, Gigi, begin to make sense of the tragedy.

A suspenseful drama focusing on marriage and fidelity, sisterhood, and the fractious bond between mothers and daughters, Black Dog Summer asks: In the wake of tragedy, where does all that dark energy linger? The youngest characters, Bryony and Gigi, cousins who are now brought together after Sally’s murder, are forced into sharing a bedroom. Bryony becomes confused and frightened by the violent energy stirred up and awakened by the massacre, while Gigi is unable to see beyond her deep grief and guilt. But they are not the only ones aware of the lurking darkness. Next door lives Lesedi, a reluctant witchdoctor who hides her mystical connection with the dead behind the façade of their affluent Johannesburg suburb.

As Gigi finally begins to emerge from her grief, the fragile healing process is derailed when she receives some shattering news, and in a mistaken effort to protect her cousin, puts Bryony’s life in imminent danger. Now Sally must find a way to prevent her daughter from making a mistake that could destroy the lives of all who are left behind.

Gorgeously written, with a pace that will leave readers breathless, Black Dog Summer introduces a brilliant new voice in fiction.




Judd Trichter

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Thomas Dunne Books, February 3, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts
Set in a near-future LA, a man falls in love with a beautiful android—but when she is kidnapped and sold piecemeal on the black market, he must track down her parts to put her back together.

Bad luck for Eliot Lazar, he fell in love with an android, a beautiful C-900 named Iris Matsuo. That’s the kind of thing that can get you killed in late 21th century Los Angeles or anywhere else for that matter – anywhere except the man-made island of Avernus, far out in the Pacific, which is where Eliot and Iris are headed once they get their hands on a boat. But then one night Eliot knocks on Iris’s door only to find she was kidnapped, chopped up, sold for parts.

Unable to move on and unwilling to settle for a woman with a heartbeat, Eliot vows to find the parts to put Iris back together again—and to find the sonofabitch who did this to her and get his revenge.

With a determined LAPD detective on his trail and time running out in a city where machines and men battle for control, Eliot Lazar embarks on a bloody journey that will take him to the edge of a moral precipice from which he can never return, from which mankind can never return.

Judd Trichter's Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a science fiction love story that asks the question, how far will you go to save someone you love?

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 31What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 36Interview with Katie Schickel, author of Housewitch - February 19, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×