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The View From Monday - January 30, 2017


Happy last Monday in January!

There is one debut this week:

Crossroads of Canopy (Titan's Forest 1) by Thoraiya Dyer.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London 6) by Ben Aaronovitch;

In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell;

Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery;

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly is out in Trade Paperback;

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty;

Ashes to Fire by Emily B. Martin;

Murder Go Round (A Witch City Mystery 4) by Carol J. Perry;

Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome 3) by Rebecca Zanetti.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
The View From Monday - January 30, 2017The View From Monday - January 30, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - January 30, 2017



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

January 31, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Hanging Tree Ben Aaronovitch UF/DF - Rivers of London 6
Fire Touched (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 9
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and Other Classic Stories Philip K. Dick SF - Collection
Crossroads of Canopy (D) Thoraiya Dyer F - Titan's Forest 1
The Weird and the Eerie Mark Fisher LC/H/Sup
Bookburners Max Gladstone
Margaret Dunlap
Mur Lafferty
Brian Francis Slattery
UF - Bookburners
Rise: A Newsflesh Collection (h2mm) Mira Grant SF/AP/PA - Newsflesh Novellas
Bloodline (h2tp) Claudia Gray SF - Star Wars
A Criminal Magic (h2tp) Lee Kelly HistF
Pet Sematary (ri) Stephen King H
Six Wakes Mur Lafferty SF
The Undoing (tp2mm) Shelly Laurenston FR/PNR - Call Of Crows 2
God Save the Queen (h2mm) Kate Locke SP - The Immortal Empire 1
The Seer (tp2mm) Sonia Orin Lyris F
Ashes to Fire (e) Emily B. Martin F
Binti: Home Nnedi Okorafor SF/AC - Binti 2
Murder Go Round Carol J. Perry PCM - A Witch City Mystery 4
The Long Cosmos (h2mm) Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter
SF - Long Earth 5
The Islanders Christopher Priest AH/SF
2084: The End of the World Boualem Sansal LF/Pol/Dys
The Ghoul Vendetta Lisa Shearin UF -  SPI Files 4
The Machine James Smythe LF
Gotham: Dawn of Darkness Jason Starr Media Tie-In/Th/CF - Gotham
Age of Myth (h2mm) Michael J. Sullivan F/HistF - The Legends of the First Empire 1
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Tim Waggoner Media Tie-In/H/SF - Resident Evil
Headlong Flight Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Sword of the South (tp2mm) David Weber F - War God  4
Justice Ascending Rebecca Zanetti SF/AP/PA/R - The Scorpius Syndrome 3



February 1, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
In the Shadow of Lakecrest Elizabeth Blackwell Gothic
Plague of the Manitou (h2tp) Graham Masterton H - A 'Manitou' Horror Novel 7



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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghosts
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SH - Superheroes
SO - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
Vis - Visionary


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

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18


This is the eighteenth 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



Darynda Jones (2011)

The Curse of Tenth Grave
Charley Davidson 10
St. Martin's Paperbacks, December 6, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, June 28, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
If one door closes and another one opens,
your house is probably haunted.
-Bumper Sticker

As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murdering the daughter of a degenerate gambler, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…


Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
Charley Davidson 11
St. Martin's Press, January 24, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
My entire life can be summed up in one sentence:
“Well, that didn’t go as planned.”
—T-Shirt

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, errant wives, missing people, philandering business owners, and, oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.

Now, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, will Charley be able to defeat the ultimate evil and find a way to have her happily ever after after all?




J.A. Kazimer (2012)

A Very F***ed-Up Sugar & Spicy Tale: A Mother Hubbard Mystery Novella
F***ed-Up Fairytales 6
Obscure Publishing, April 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 42 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
Do you like your reads filled with sugar and spice and everything nice? Then this book isn't for you. Instead enter a very f***ed-up fairytale world where the tales of your youth come to life in a real and messed up way.

From the author of the bestselling F***ed-Up Fairytale series comes A Very F***ed-Up Sugar & Spicy Tale.

Nothing is as sweet as it seems at the Sunrise Senior Living Community, especially the Red Velvet cake.

A murderer is killing available bachelors as fast as kittens can lose their mittens. But Mother Hubbard is on the case, along with her wooden-legged lover, Geppetto.

Follow them down the rabbit's hole and into the twisted fairy tale known as senior living and dying.


Beyond the Wall
Obscure Publishing, May 23, 2016
eBook, 221 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
From the bestselling author of CURSES! comes a quirky, dark world divided by genetics and a concrete wall, a filled with complex loyalties and loves.

Beyond the wall, Indeara Adair survives by kicking the occasional gnome ass, a job her half-human, half-mutant cells make her terrifyingly skilled at.

Life is good with a few exceptions, namely, an elite force of cops who have Indeara in their sights, not to mention the reappearance of Quinn Daniels, a man who betrayed her three years ago to dwell among the human race.

A man she must now protect in order to save those she loves.

Yet these are the least of Indeara's concerns, for somewhere, a plague destined to destroy mutants everywhere is scheduled for release, a plague developed by Indeara's own grandfather.

With the help of a ragtag group of mutants and humans alike, a group led by the mysterious leader of the rebel cause, Jake McClain, she slips beyond the wall and into the human world to unlock the truth behind her own genetic code in order to save thousands of lives.


The Assassin's First Date
Camel Press, July 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 108 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
Not all first dates end with a magical kiss. 
Sometimes they end with a bullet.

Benjamin Miller and Hannah "Six" Winslow have a date, but no one's going to "get lucky," at least not in the common sense of the phrase. The partners kill bad guys for the secret government organization known as OPS. And although they are dining at an elegant restaurant, their goal, and that of fellow assassin Nate Taylor, is to assassinate a dangerous arms dealer.

"The target" dies early in the evening, though not by the hand of any of the three assassins.

His death by poison means yet another assassin got to him first, one who did not leave any obvious clues. In fact nothing is as it seems. Have they been betrayed by OPS? Is the mysterious assassin lingering in their midst, waiting to pick them off? Ben, Six, and Nate have only a few hours to solve the mystery, using only their wits and whatever evidence they can gather by cell from Nate's analyst H.

But Ben and Six are unusually distracted by each others' sexy-date personas. With no one but Nate in top form, the slippery outside assassin may put them all on ice.

The story in the novella The Assassins' First Date predates the novels, The Assassin's Heart and The Assassin's Kiss. Each can be enjoyed separately, but you can follow the tale sequentially by reading this story first and ending with The Assassin's Kiss, which features Nate and his estranged wife Julia (coming in August, 2016).


The Assassin's Kiss
Assassins 2
Camel Press, August 15, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 258 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
The Assassin's Kiss, book 2 of the Assassins' Series by J.A. Kazimer

Julia abandoned Nate Taylor on their wedding night after finding him in the arms of her stepsister, Sara. Now she is set to marry again, this time to a man who shares her upper-crust background. But Nate won't sign the annulment papers.

Ready to resort to murder if necessary, Julia storms Nate's houseboat in the Florida Everglades, just in time to survive an attack by a group of assassins Nate believes are targeting her. He should know; he's an assassin himself--a little detail he never shared with his ex. Nate works for a secret government agency known as OPS. With the help of his fellow assassins, Nate tries to identify the attackers and the reason for their deadly quest.

Meanwhile, the reluctant travel companions flee north to Nate's eccentric hometown of Gibsonton, and later to a comfy cabin in the woods. Julia becomes better acquainted with her mysterious ex, the true man behind the gun.

Seeing this new side of Nate, will Julia continue to resist the powerful chemistry between them? Will they solve the mystery before one of them is killed trying?

The Assassin's Kiss is the second book in the Assassins series, which began with The Assassin's Heart. The prequel to The Assassin's Heart is a novella titled The Assassins' First Date.





Lee Kelly (2015)

A Criminal Magic
Saga Press, January 31, 2017
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 2, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
In Lee Kelly’s “electric” (Publishers Weekly) fantasy novel, two young sorcerers experiment with magic and mobsters in 1920s Prohibition when a new elixir is created that turns their lives upside down.

Washington, DC, 1926. Sorcery opponents have succeeded in passing the 18th Amendment, but the Prohibition of magic has only invigorated the city’s underworld. Smuggling rings carry magic contraband in from the coast. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Gangs have even established “magic havens,” secret venues where the public can lose themselves in immersive magic and consume a mind-bending, highly addictive elixir known as “the sorcerer’s shine.”

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from the backwoods of Norfolk County, accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, The Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws. When Joan meets Alex at the Shaws’ magic haven, she discovers a confidante in her fellow partner and he begins to fall under her spell. But when a new breed of the addictive sorcerer’s shine is created within the walls of the magic haven, Joan and Alex are forced to question their allegiances as they become pitted against one another in a dangerous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.





Darin Kennedy (2015)

Pawn's Gambit
The Pawn Stratagem 1
Falstaff Books, October 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 316 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
Steven Bauer always thought chess was just a game…

Until the sultry brunette in the little black dress did her best to incinerate him.

Yesterday, he was just an ordinary guy. Today, he is the White Pawn, a combatant in a nightmarish game of chess where people are the pieces, and the world is at stake. To survive the deadly Black Queen, Steven must pull together the rest of his Pieces.

The Knight, a grieving teenage boy caught up in a web of gang violence.
The Queen, a young woman at death’s door, her body ravaged by leukemia.
The Bishop, a disgraced priest haunted by visions of the Game.
The Rook, a suicidal drunk reeling atop a storm-ridden skyscraper.

But Steven isn’t the only one looking for his team, because the Black Queen already has her Pieces assembled…

Pawn’s Gambit is the first book in The Pawn Stratagem, a new contemporary fantasy series from author Darin Kennedy (The Mussorgsky Riddle).





Lisa Kessler (2011)

Blue Moon
Moon 6
Select Otherworld (Entangled), June 20, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 326 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
Falling for her means losing everything…

She’s his muse, his mate, and she’s completely off-limits.

He’s a jerk, a recluse, and her newest assignment.

Until he broke her heart, Vivianna Lopez loved Logan Reynolds.

Five years later, she’s an aspiring music journalist and he’s the camera-shy lead singer of Logan and the Howlers.

Armed with a backstage pass, Vivi’s back in her hometown of Reno, nestled in the shadows of the Sierra Nevada mountains. She must score an interview with Logan to land her dream job – otherwise it’s back to Boston, with no scoop and no job. It’s just business–at least that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Logan still loves Vivi, his soul mate, but there’s something even she doesn’t know about him: He turns into a werewolf every full moon and a secret organization is hunting down his Pack.

Vivi may not have Logan’s senses, but she can sniff out that he’s hiding something. He knows it’s only a matter of time before the truth about him – and his Pack – is revealed.

And then he really will lose her.



Lure of Obsession
The Muse Chronicles 1
Lisa's Lair, August 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 266 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
"Another beautiful series from an unbelievable author. She gets me every time." #1 NYT Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

Melanie Jacoby teaches English at Crystal City High School. She's also the reborn Muse of Tragic Poetry, but she isn't prepared for the tragedy of finding her roommate dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Nate Malone is the detective assigned to the case, but as the evidence points to an accidental fall, the visions begin. He sees a killer in a gold Kronos mask.

Mel is the next target.

The Order of the Titans are eager to bring about the return of the Golden Age of Man, and they're prepared to kill the Muses to complete their mission. But Nate's desire to protect Mel is almost as strong as his hunger for her.

And tragedy isn't part of his plan.


Legend of Love
The Muse Chronicles 2
Lisa's Lair, December 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18
The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

Callie O'Connor's life has never been the same since the Muse of Epic Poetry came alive inside of her. Now she's on the other side of the country, working as civilian psychologist for the Navy, and leading her Muse sisters in their quest to reopen the Theater of the Muses.

But nothing could have prepared her for Hunter Armstrong. He's a Navy Seal, driven, confident, and dangerous. And he plans to do more than just protect her.

The gods couldn't have picked a better Guardian. But as Hunter soon discovers, Callie has some skeletons of her own in the closet, and loving her could lead to his destruction.

Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic Dictionary


Please welcome Lee Kelly to The Qwillery. A Criminal Magic was published by Saga Press on February 2nd.



Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic Dictionary




MY MAGIC DICTIONARY
Plus some sneak peeks inside the world of A CRIMINAL MAGIC
Lee Kelly

My latest novel, A Criminal Magic, just released this month. The story takes place during an alternative Prohibition era, where magic instead of alcohol has been prohibited, and follows a sorcerer and federal agent as they become entangled in the magic underworld. And while I loved crafting the tense scenes between the two protagonists, Joan and Alex, and describing the historical details of this alternative Jazz Age, my very favorite part of writing this book was the magic. And there’s a LOT of it in this one – everything from sleights of hand to full-blown, multi-sorcerer immersive performances.

The tricky thing with magic though is that, while it’s supposed to be fantastical, it also has to make sense. It needs to be internally consistent – there should be rules, and the rules must work together or the “magic of the magic,” so to speak, clumsily falls apart like a bad card trick.

So as I was drafting this novel, I made sure to keep track of all my magic definitions and cross-references . . . and slowly but surely this evolved into a massive, dog-eared, thirty-page “Magic Encyclopedia” (yes seriously). Obviously no one’s seen any of this monster doc before, so I’m pretty excited to share some excerpts now.

Without further ado, here are five magic tricks you can expect to find at work inside the covers of A Criminal Magic:

caging spell (n., magic type: spell). A type of blood-spell whereby an individual with the magic touch a) locks a symbolic item in a vessel with the intention of banishing the evil such symbol represents, b) seals her vessel with drops of her own blood, and c) states the appropriate words of power (see also blood-spell). She removed a sliver of the patient’s infected flesh, put it in her mason jar and sealed it with her own blood, banishing his gangrene forever with the caging spell. (related: tracking spell, protection spell).


Fae dust (n., magic type: contraband). ORIGINS: IRELAND; OTHER REALITY (SPECULATED). A bright-blue, highly addictive powder with questionable magic origins, often used illicitly as a narcotic to produce hallucinations, and known for extreme paranoia-inducing side effects (see also dust, dust sweepers, dust bunnies). Get him to take it a few times, so that he’s hooked. The fae dust should work its own magic from there.


Linked trick (n., magic type: visual and spatial manipulation). A type of double-sided magic manipulation whereby an individual with the magic touch connects or “links” two objects through time and space (see also double-sided trick). The robbers’ getaway plan hinged on the success of a sorcered linked trick, as police claimed three masked men rushed through the bank’s back door and disappeared, only to be spotted by passersby exiting the front door of the bakery next door. (related: separation trick).


Obi (n., magic type: contraband). ORIGINS: BAHAMA ISLANDS. A dark, syrupy elixir-like drug with magic origins, often used illicitly to produce an almost catatonic, hypnotic mental state (see also death brew, Bahamian death brew, ghost brew). I’ve never touched the stuff, but more adventurous Shaw boys say obi lets you see ghosts. That the product only survives the trip across the sea because Satra’s gang made a deal with death, and has trapped damned souls inside their bottles.


Force field (n., magic type: visual and auditory manipulation). A type of protective magic manipulation whereby an individual with the magic touch disguises or hides another object with a charged, magical barrier, which may be invisible or can be itself disguised as another object (i.e., a “magic shell”) (see also protective force field). As soon as I cross the threshold, I feel it, that slow pull of walking straight through a protective force field. Like an unraveling, layer by layer, like I’m being consumed slowly by a thick, black nothing.





A Criminal Magic
Saga Press, February 2, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic Dictionary
In Lee Kelly’s newest fantasy novel, two young sorcerers experiment with magic and mobsters in 1920s Prohibition when a new elixir is created that turns their lives upside down.

Washington, DC, 1926. Sorcery opponents have succeeded in passing the 18th Amendment, but the Prohibition of magic has only invigorated the city’s underworld. Smuggling rings carry magic contraband in from the coast. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Gangs have even established “magic havens,” secret venues where the public can lose themselves in immersive magic and consume a mind-bending, highly addictive elixir known as “the sorcerer’s shine.”

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from the backwoods of Norfolk County, accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, The Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws. When Joan meets Alex at the Shaws’ magic haven, she discovers a confidante in her fellow partner and he begins to fall under her spell. But when a new breed of the addictive sorcerer’s shine is created within the walls of the magic haven, Joan and Alex are forced to question their allegiances as they become pitted against one another in a dangerous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.





Also by Lee Kelly

City of Savages
Saga Press, February 2, 2016
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 3, 2015

Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic Dictionary
Red Dawn meets Escape from New York and The Hunger Games” (Booklist) in an action-packed dystopian fantasy filled with “prose [that] is gorgeous and brilliant” and “tells a satisfyingly dark tale through alternating the two sisters’ points of view” (VOYA, starred review).

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.





About Lee

Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic Dictionary
Photo by Pieter M. van Hattem
Lee Kelly is the author of A CRIMINAL MAGIC and CITY OF SAVAGES. She has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and two children in Millburn, New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter at @leeykelly and on her website at NewWriteCity.com.


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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34


This is the thirty-fourth 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 here
Part 5 herePart 15 herePart 25 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



Mitchell Hogan (2015)

Blood of Innocents
Sorcery Ascendant 2
Harper Voyager, February 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 592 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34
A novice sorcerer may hold the key to saving his world—or be the instrument of its destruction—in this second book in The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing saga of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen.

As orphaned, monk-raised Caldan and his companions flee the city, leaving behind their hopes for a new beginning, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.

With Miranda’s mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan does the unthinkable to save her: he breaks the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors. But when the emperor’s warlocks arrive to capture him, Caldan realizes that his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by more sinister forces within.

And soon, the blood of innocents may be on Caldan’s own hands.




Sophie Jaff (2015)

Love Is Red
The Nightsong Trilogy 1
Harper Paperbacks, May 10, 2016
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 12, 2015

[cover not yet available]
Redefining the thriller's tale of the hunter and the hunted, This electrifying, hypnotically beautiful debut spins dark suspense and literary fantasy into a mesmerizing story of survival.

Katherine Emerson was born to fulfill a dark prophecy centuries in the making, but she doesn't know it yet. However, one man does: a killer stalking the women of New York City, a monster the media dubs the "Sickle Man" because of the weapon he uses to turn his victims' bodies into canvases for his twisted art. People think he's the next Son of Sam, but we know how he thinks and how he feels . . . and discover that he is driven by darker, much more dangerous desires than we can bear to imagine. He takes more than just his victims' lives, and each death brings him closer to the one woman he must possess at any cost.

Amid the city's escalating hysteria, Katherine is trying to unknot her tangled heart. Two very different men have entered her previously uneventful world—handsome and personable David, alluring yet aloof Sael—and turned it upside down. She finds herself involved in a complicated triangle . . . but how well does she really know either of them?

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Katherine and the Sickle Man, Sophie Jaff's intoxicating narrative will pull you in and hold you close. As the body count rises, Katherine is haunted by harrowing visions that force her to question her sanity. All she wants is to find love. He just wants to find her.

Ablaze with fear, mystery, and possibility, Love Is Red is the first book in the Night Song trilogy. With this unforgettable novel—one that combines the literary and the supernatural, fantasy and horror, the past and the present—Katherine's moment of awakening is here. And her story is only just beginning.




Lee Kelly (2015)

City of Savages
Saga Press, February 2, 2016
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 3, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34
Red Dawn meets Escape from New York and The Hunger Games” (Booklist) in an action-packed dystopian fantasy filled with “prose [that] is gorgeous and brilliant” and “tells a satisfyingly dark tale through alternating the two sisters’ points of view” (VOYA, starred review).

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.


A Criminal Magic
Saga Press, February 2, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34
In Lee Kelly’s newest fantasy novel, two young sorcerers experiment with magic and mobsters in 1920s Prohibition when a new elixir is created that turns their lives upside down.

Washington, DC, 1926. Sorcery opponents have succeeded in passing the 18th Amendment, but the Prohibition of magic has only invigorated the city’s underworld. Smuggling rings carry magic contraband in from the coast. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Gangs have even established “magic havens,” secret venues where the public can lose themselves in immersive magic and consume a mind-bending, highly addictive elixir known as “the sorcerer’s shine.”

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from the backwoods of Norfolk County, accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, The Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws. When Joan meets Alex at the Shaws’ magic haven, she discovers a confidante in her fellow partner and he begins to fall under her spell. But when a new breed of the addictive sorcerer’s shine is created within the walls of the magic haven, Joan and Alex are forced to question their allegiances as they become pitted against one another in a dangerous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.




Jason LaPier (2015)

Unclear Skies
The Dome Trilogy 2
Harper Voyager (UK), February 25, 2016
eBook, 400 pages
Paperback, June 30, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34
The second book in Jason LaPier’s thrilling sci-fi trilogy

Justice isn’t what it used to be

Rogue cop Stanford Runstom blew open a botched murder case and was given a promotion – of sorts. But doing PR work for ModPol, the security-firm-for-hire, is not the detective position Runstom had in mind, particularly when his orders become questionable.

Freedom always comes at a price

Despite being cleared of false murder charges, Jax is still a fugitive from justice. When ModPol catches up with him, keeping his freedom now means staying alive at any cost, even if that means joining Space Waste, the notorious criminal gang.

Security can be deadly

When ModPol and Space Waste go head to head, old friends Runstom and Jax find themselves caught between two bloodthirsty armies, and this time they might not escape with their lives.




Robert Levy (2015)

The Glittering World
Gallery Books, November 1, 2016
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 10, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 34
AS A BOY, HE VANISHED INTO THE WOODS.
SOMETHING ELSE CAME BACK.

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...
[description from Hardcover edition]

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts


2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts

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

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


Vote for your favorite February 2015 Debut Cover
 
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2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket Art by Stephan Martiniere



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Designed by Abby Kagan



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Designed by Janet M. Evans



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket Art by Veer.com



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket photograph © 2015 Getty Images/Eileen O'Donnell



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Cover Art by Paul Young



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts
Jacket Design by Lucy Kim



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February Debuts


Interview with Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages - February 4, 2014


Please welcome Lee Kelly to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. City of Savages was published on February 3rd by Saga Press.



Interview with Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages - February 4, 2014




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

Lee:  Thanks for having me, I’m so happy to be here! And I think I’ve been writing since I’ve been old enough to read honestly. It’s always been something I’ve felt compelled to do, but for a long time it was put on the backburner while I pursued a career that I felt was a little more secure. So I studied Government in college and went to law school… but all the while, the writing bug bit at me incessantly. I remember outlining story ideas during my law school seminars, and I was actually tinkering with my first attempt at a novel as I was studying for the California Bar Exam. When I had a true break between the bar and my first job, I decided I needed to just go for it. I started writing every day, for one hour in the mornings. About four years later, I signed with my agent for CITY OF SAVAGES.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Lee:  I’m definitely a plotter! I write like I drive: even if I’m 99% sure where I’m going, I feel better having a map – it just makes me feel more confident about the twists and turns I’m taking. That said, I usually end up abandoning my outline around the 25%-50% mark for most projects, as the story begins to breathe on its own and become something I couldn’t have imagined without actually having written through it.



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

Lee:  I love the brainstorming and idea-generation part of writing (at the beginning), don’t mind the mad-dash first-draft phase, and absolutely adore that part at the end where you get to embellish and polish and really make the story shine. But that part between the first draft and the polish? Where you’re revising and restructuring and rethinking? That’s incredibly challenging for me. I think that’s the part of the process where you take “potential” and try to match it to your ideal vision of the story in your head, which is a very scary endeavor (and often a tall order).



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

Lee:  I would say Suzanne Collins, for her strong characters and the tension she creates in her stories; Cormac McCarthy, for his enviable balance of the beautiful and the bleak (especially in his THE ROAD); Gillian Flynn, of course for her suspenseful thrills and twisty plots, but moreover for creating such multifaceted, dangerous, different female characters; and Karen Russell, for her ability to blend the real with the strange and the surreal with the very, very human.


TQ:  Describe City of Savages in 140 characters or less.

Lee:  Two sisters and their mother attempt to escape a war-torn Manhattan, after the discovery of certain secrets throws their whole world into question.


TQ:  Tell us something about City of Savages that is not in the book description.

Lee:  I believe the description mentions the mother’s journal, but doesn’t elaborate too much on what it contains . . . and the journal is actually the story of the previous generation, the story of how Manhattan fell during the Third World War. As a reader, I always love getting a glimpse of “how the world came to be”, so I really set out to provide that history in my own novel.


TQ:  What inspired you to write City of Savages? What appealed to you about writing a post-apocalyptic novel? Why did you set the novel in New York City?

Lee:  I always say that the setting of CITY OF SAVAGES came first, and everything else came after. I started writing the novel during a particularly stressful time in my life: I had just moved back to New York from LA, and I was working at a large law firm, with tight deadlines, demanding bosses, and long hours. I think I needed a way to channel all of my frustration, and I found myself daydreaming about a very different version of New York: a Central Park that actually was a prison, life-or-death subway rides, city rituals that were very cutthroat and savage… one thing led to another, and I had the beginnings of the CITY OF SAVAGES world.

And I loved writing a family saga/thriller against this backdrop. It felt like such a rich setting to explore themes of loyalty, love and second chances, with characters seeking their own personal redemption in a fallen city sort of thing. The post-apocalyptic setting also allowed me to flesh out the “story behind the story,” the story of how Manhattan fell (and how everything fell apart for this family).


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for City of Savages?

Lee:  Though I was writing about a fictional future where Manhattan falls under siege, I felt like the “feel” of such a catastrophe could mirror conditions in the city during Hurricane Sandy, or the New York City blackout of 2003, when there was no power, no communication, and essentially total chaos. I poured over articles of what happened to people who were trapped underground, particularly during the blackout, and how people found each other: and a lot of this research informed my writing of the mother’s journal. I also needed to research all sorts of little fun facts, like the parameters of street fighting, how long a battery will last, and how many times you can recycle pellets from a BB gun.



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

Lee:  I think the easiest character to write was Phee, one of the two sisters: she and I are nothing alike, but her motivations and her style of speaking and her inner turmoil just came so naturally for me. She really arrived fully formed in my head as a character.

I think the toughest was Trevor, one of the younger secondary characters who in one sense grew up alongside Sky and Phee in the Central Park internment camp. For some reason, I was just having a hard time getting a read on him: why he made the decisions he did at the end, what his dreams and fears were, what he wanted to take for himself in this city. It took a lot of deep character analysis during the novel’s revisions to really uncover him as a character and breathe life into him.



TQ:  Which question about City of Savages do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Lee:  Oh, nice – maybe it’s, Who’s your favorite secondary character and why? I talk a lot about the sisters, but haven’t gotten to address the other characters in the novel as much.

And I think my favorite secondary character has to be the warden of the Central Park POW camp, Warden Rolladin. She’s a tough, fierce, absolutely ruthless leader, and yet she’s also incredibly vulnerable, a bit insecure, and wants what all of us want: to be loved and accepted for who she is (and despite what she’s done). I had a ton of fun writing her, and she stayed with me long after I finished the novel.



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

Lee:  Fun, I’ve never been asked this! Here are two:

         “When the sheen of immediacy dulls, when I think about Tom, about what I’m doing, the guilt drives me to madness. But a small, self-preserving voice inside me keeps whispering that I need this: Save yourself. Whatever it takes. Save yourself.”


         “I can tell her how much I hate the Park, and this city, and her and all of the sorry excuses for human beings that do her bidding.
         Or I can tell her the bigger truth. The one that, regardless of how jealous I am, how insignificant I feel, is more a part of me than any limb or organ, whether I like it or not. It rumbles inside of me and bursts through my lips, armed with new ammunition from the whiskey.
         ‘I would never leave Phee,’ I say, but don’t look at my sister, as my answer is so fundamental I’m scared by it. ‘What she wants, I’ll live with.’”



TQ:  What's next?

Lee:  I’m currently revising my next book with Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press: it’s a magical realism crossover novel entitled CRIMINAL MAGIC. The story follows two bootlegging sorcerers through an alternative Prohibition-era America, where magic has been prohibited.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lee:  Thank you so much for having me!





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

Interview with Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages - February 4, 2014
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.





About Lee

Interview with Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages - February 4, 2014
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and son in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. City of Savages is her first novel. Visit her at NewWriteCity.com.






Website  ~  Twitter @leeykelly  ~  Facebook  ~  Tumblr

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?

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - City of Savages by Lee Kelly


2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - City of Savages by Lee Kelly


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


Lee Kelly

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

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - City of Savages by Lee Kelly
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.

The View From Monday - January 30, 2017What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 18Guest Blog by Lee Kelly - My Magic DictionaryWhat's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 342015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February DebutsInterview with Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages - February 4, 20142015 Debut Author Challenge - February Debuts2015 Debut Author Challenge Update - City of Savages by Lee Kelly

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