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Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight


Please welcome Mareth Griffith to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Court of Twilight is published on October 17th by Parvus Press.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Mareth a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight




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

Mareth:  Thank you, very pleased to be here. I started writing seriously in 2009, a few months after being laid off from a job at a theater. I had worked in theater as an audio engineer for several years, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, leaving the world of theater meant that I needed to find some other creative outlet. That outlet turned out to be writing.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Mareth:  I tend to be more of a pantser, but my process changes from project to project. I am definitely a fan of the concept of zero drafts. That is, a draft where you have absolutely no idea where the story is going (or maybe where the story is going but no idea how it’s getting there) and you blindly charge forward anyway, writing enough to get a sense of what the narrative arc looks like, what motivates your characters, and what the emotional high points are. The first draft of Court of Twilight was written this way - entirely in the dark. For example, I didn’t consciously know the ending until about a day before I wrote the scene. Once the first draft was done and I knew what the story was about, I went back and wrote an outline, and then rewrote the story to fit that outline – which cut a few scenes I’d written and didn’t need, and added in a few scenes that were absolutely essential.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Mareth:  First drafts. I seem to be an outlier in that I find the editing and revision process a ton more fun than churning out new material – I think because in the editing process, you actually get to see the story get better and better. First drafts, for me, are like army-crawling across a white carpet wearing very muddy clothes (how’s that for an image?) If you look back, you can see where the story’s going, but nothing about it looks pretty, and you know it’ll take forever to clean up…

Participating in my first National Novel Writing Month was hugely beneficial to me, because in addition to producing the first draft of Court of Twilight, it also helped me learn how to write drafts without looking too hard at the mess I’m leaving behind me as I work.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Mareth:  I am a huge fan of Connie Willis and Barbara Hambly. You can pretty much wring emotion out of any chapter of anything they’ve ever written. Also Laurie R. King, whose Beekeeper’s Apprentice was the first novel I read as a teen where I identified heart and soul with the narrator. In particular, Barbara Hambly’s Windrose books and Connie Willis’ Blackout both had huge influences on Court of Twilight – and where Ivy’s story is headed in future books – though I don’t know how much of that actually shows up in the novel. Doctor Who – the Tom Baker era as well as the modern series – is also a big influence. I have a rule that I don’t watch television – partly due to lack of opportunity, partly to make time for writing – but I always make an exception for Doctor Who.



TQDescribe Court of Twilight in 140 characters or less.

Mareth:  20-year-old Dubliner discovers her flatmate’s a runaway fairy ruler, who’s due to be murdered in days.



TQTell us something about Court of Twilight that is not found in the book description.

Mareth:  Let’s see – that covers quite a lot!

The fist sentence in what was to become Court of Twilight was written somewhere in a hostel in New Zealand during the six months I was there on a working holiday visa. It was: ‘Your lot had a very good king - he only had to die but once. Ours are very wicked kings, so nothing will suffice but that we kill them over and over.’ In one evening, I wrote two pages of dialog between Hunzu and a young narrator who would eventually turn into Ivy. Following that evening, I did nothing else with the story for nearly two years.



TQWhat inspired you to write Court of Twilight? What appeals to you about writing Contemporary Fantasy?

Mareth:  The original idea for Court of Twilight came from reading two works of real-world ethnography back to back – Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland by Eddie Lenihan and Carolyn Eve Green, and Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey, by Isabel Fonseca. Both books dealt with the idea of outsiders – groups of Others who are literally or figuratively invisible to the predominant culture around them. It got me thinking about how the some of the elements traditionally ascribed to fairies – they’re invisible, they’re often malevolent, and unwary human visitors can sometimes get trapped in their world – might play out as cultural, rather than magical, differences.

Also, Court of Twilight is a contemporary fantasy only by accident. As I’d originally conceived the story, it was set in the year prior to the potato famine. Then, on impulse, I decided to write the first draft during National Novel Writing Month. It quickly because apparent that I would never be able to do the amount of research necessary to set the story in a historic period, and also finish the draft. So, the story got bumped into the modern day.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Court of Twilight?

Mareth:  As mentioned above, time for research was in very short supply. I did very little research specific to the story, (other than spending a ton of time on Google Maps looking up various Dublin neighborhoods, average bartenders’ salaries, local haunted houses, and believable public transit options). Most of what else shows up in the story came from things rattling around in my head. It helps that I’ve lived in both Scotland and Ireland (the North, though, not the Republic), so I was able to draw a lot on those experiences.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Court of Twilight.

Mareth:  The cover was done by Lovely Creatures Studio, and they did an amazing job. The cover doesn’t depict an event from the book, but more the idea of an observer looking at something – a stained glass image of two figures – and the idea of a meeting of something historic with something modern. And the fact that the figures are translucent also works very well with the images in the text.



TQIn Court of Twilight who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Mareth:  The trows were all pretty much a ton of fun to write, because they all can be a bit oddball, and all of the characters have their own angles and motivations. Ivy has good reasons to distrust all of them at one point or another. Hunzu especially was fun to write – he was a bit of a rascal in the early drafts, but as I got deeper into working on the book, the heart of the character is that he’s basically a nice guy who’s continually in over his head. Demi was probably the hardest to write – because she has to be compelling enough to justify Ivy’s friendship with her – while still being true to the fact that she’s hiding huge secrets at the start of the book.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Court of Twilight?

Mareth:  I think of Court as more of an adventure story than as any sort of issues book – that being said, I also don’t think writers are serving their readers well by ignoring such issues in other sorts of fiction. (Anyone who’s not convinced of this should spend some time with @heidiheilig’s Twitter feed.) One thing I deliberately put into the narrative were female authority figures – Ivy’s bosses are both women, and the authority figures in the trow world are female as well.

Otherwise, all I can say is that there is more to the trows’ world – and the story of how the trows’ world intersects with our own – in future books that definitely enters into societal issues territory.



TQWhich question about Court of Twilight do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Mareth:  Ok, here goes - Why is the story all about a girl trying to save her flatmate, as opposed to a best friend, or a girlfriend, or a close relative?

There are lots of stories about a protagonist going on a quest to save their child, or parent, or romantic partner – and a ton about protagonists who are on mission to save the whole world. But in real life, I think we very often have more opportunities to save or damn complete strangers or casual acquaintances than we do close relations. It changes the stakes in an interesting way – Ivy has to really consider how much she’s willing to risk herself for the sake of her friend, (as opposed to a situation where she’s so close to the person at risk that her throwing herself into danger is sort of assumed). How far she’s willing to go down Demi’s rabbit hole changes over the course of the book as Ivy calculates and re-calculates the stakes – as well as how closely she herself is involved.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Court of Twilight.

Mareth:  There was someone here, mingling with the shadows and the stone, and Ivy’s very life depended on not seeing him, because that’s how you save yourself from the monsters. You stay under the covers. You shut your eyes and never, ever look.

I have been free at least, and happy at times, though the two are not nearly as synonymous as many would believe.



TQWhat's next?

Mareth:  I am currently turning the zero draft of Court’s sequel – currently titled Changeling - into a first draft that is actually coherent enough to send out to my lovely beta readers. Right now, it’s mayhem.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Mareth:  Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure.





Court of Twilight
Parvus Press LLC, October 17, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 342 pages

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight
Explore the hidden world of ancient magic within modern Dublin.

Six months ago, Ivy stumbled into the deal of a lifetime – great rent in a posh Dublin neighborhood and a flatmate, Demi, who was only a little weird. It didn’t matter that their flat is packed with exotic plants or that her flatmate does all her shopping on-line but refuses to meet the delivery man at the door?

Now, though, Demi’s gone missing, there are strange men hiding in the flower boxes, and a lot of strangers have suddenly taken interest in the whereabouts of her peculiar flatmate. When the police won’t help, Ivy knows she’s going to have to solve this mystery on her own.

Ivy dives headfirst into a secret Dublin, hidden in plain sight, and discovers that the longer she stays in, the more she risks losing the world she always knew. Can she save Demi without losing herself?





About Mareth

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of Twilight
Mareth Griffith bounces between summers along the Alaskan coast and winters in various warmer locations.  She lives in Seward, Alaska, and continually tells people that the winters there aren’t as bad as people think.

When she’s not writing, she works as a naturalist and wilderness guide, leading adventurous souls on epic quests to seek out glaciers, bears, and whales in the wilds of coastal Alaska.   She’s also lived and worked in Scotland, New Zealand, and Northern Ireland – where her nearest neighbors included two thousand puffins and the ghost of a spectral black horse.

Originally from West Virginia, Mareth attended  Smith College in Massachusetts, and the University of Glasgow in Scotland, studying music and theatre.   Prior to moving to Alaska, she worked as an audio technician for several east coast theater companies, eventually discovering that while she loved working in theatre, she didn’t love living in cities.

Mareth plays classical violin well and rhythm guitar badly, and her writing has previously been featured in the Redoubt Reporter, Alaska Magazine, and Pen the Kenai, an essay exhibit documenting life on Alaska’s Kenai coast.

Twitter @MagpieMareth

The View From Monday - October 16, 2017


Happy Monday!

There are 2 debuts this week:

Court of Twilight by Mareth Griffith;

and

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes.

The View From Monday - October 16, 2017The View From Monday - October 16, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders;

Breach of Containment (Central Corps 3) by Elizabeth Bonesteel;

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne;

In Constant Fear by Peter Liney is out in Trade Paperback;

and

Weaver's Lament (Industrial Magic 2) by Emma Newman.

The View From Monday - October 16, 2017The View From Monday - October 16, 2017
The View From Monday - October 16, 2017The View From Monday - October 16, 2017
The View From Monday - October 16, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - October 16, 2017



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

October 15, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Firstborn Book One Christie Golden SF/F - Blizzard Legends
Editing the Soul: Science and Fiction in the Genome Age Everett Hamner HC/SF/ - AnthropoScene 2
Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive Ethan Siegel Sc - Star Trek



October 16, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Dragon Justice (e) Laura Anne Gilman UF - Paranormal Scene Investigations 4
Forever Vampire (e) Michele Hauf PNR - Forever 1
I Burn Paris Bruno Jasieński
Soren Gauger (Tr)
F
A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms Volume 1 (e) Mercedes Lackey F
Storm Glass: A Fantasy Novel with Murder and Magic (e) Maria V. Snyder F - Chronicles of Ixia



October 17, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Six Months, Three Days, Five Others Charlie Jane Anders SF/F - Collection
Halloween Carnival Volume 3 (e) Brian James Freeman (Ed) H - Anthology
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Return to Woodbury Jay Bonansinga H/Th/SupTh/MTI - The Walking Dead 8
Breach of Containment Elizabeth Bonesteel SF - Central Corps 3
Vallista Steven Brust F - Vlad Taltos 15
Ender's Game (Mini Book Edition) Orson Scott Card SF/SO - The Ender Quintet 1
Star Trek: The Next Generation Adult Coloring Book-Continuing Missions CBS CB - Star Trek
Forbidden Suns D. Nolan Clark SF/SO - The Silence 3
House of Shadows: An Enthralling Historical Mystery Nicola Cornick Hist/Gothic/R
It Devours! Joseph Fink
Jeffrey Cranor
F/HU - A Welcome to Night Vale Novel 2
In the Still of the Night David L. Golemon SupTh/H - The Supernaturals 2
The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard David A. Goodman MTI/SF - Star Trek
Court of Twilight (D) Mareth Griffith CF
Shadowsword (h2tp) Guy Haley SF - Imperial Battle Tanks 2
Baneblade Guy Haley SF - Imperial Battle Tanks 1
A Plague of Giants Kevin Hearne F
From The Two Rivers (Mini Book Edition) Robert Jordan F - Wheel of Time 1
A Scandal in Battersea Mercedes Lackey HistF/F/FairyT/FolkT/LM - Elemental Masters 12
In Constant Fear (h2tp) Peter Liney SF - The Detainee 3
Infinite Ground (D - US) Martin MacInnes Psy/LF/M
Wild Cards I: Volume One (Mini Book Edition) George R. R. Martin (Ed)
Wild Cards Trust
SH/SF- Anthology
Deadlands: Boneyard Seanan McGuire SF - Deadlands 3
Feversong (h2mm) Karen Marie Moning PNR/FR - Fever 9
Weaver's Lament Emma Newman HistF/DF - Industrial Magic 2
The Two of Swords: Volume One K. J. Parker F - The Two of Swords
Edgedancer (Mini Book Edition) Brandon Sanderson F - The Stormlight Archive 2.5
Old Man's War (Mini Book Edition) John Scalzi SF - Old Man's War 1
Infinite Stars Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Ed) SF - Anthology
Predator: If It Bleeds Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Ed) MTI/SF - Anthology
Autumn (h2tp) Ali Smith LF/VM/CW
Shadowless Hasan Ali Toptas
Maureen Freely (Tr)
John Angliss (Tr)
LF/MR
The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales (h2tp) Dominik Parisien (Ed)
Navah Wolfe (Ed)
FairyT - Anthology



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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fem - Feminist
FL - Family Life
Folklore - Folklore
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MF - Military Fantasy
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Noir - Noir
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Phil - Philosophy
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
Sc - Science
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SocHis - Social History
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October 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 2017 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on October 31, 2017.

Vote for your favorite October 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Jacket illustration - Martin Deschambault
Jacket design - Greg Stadnyk





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Cover design - Adam Auerbach
Cover art - photograph of cloaked figure &copy: Malgorzata Maj/
Arcangel Images; photograph of raven courtesy of 
Shutterstock Images





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Cover illustration - Steve Stone
Cover design - Lex Maudlin










2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Cover illustrations - Crystal Ben, Arcangel
Cover design - Lisa Marie Pompilio





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Cover art - Jaime Jones
Cover design - Jaime Stafford-Hill





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts
Cover art and design - John Coulthart





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts


There are 12 debut novels for October.

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

The October 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 October cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on October 15, 2017.

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 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for October 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.

Updated to include Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng.
Updated to include Court of Twilight by Mareth Griffith.



Melissa Caruso

The Tethered Mage
Swords and Fire 1
Orbit, October 24, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
     Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

The Tethered Mage is the first novel in a spellbinding new fantasy series.




Mareth Griffith

Court of Twilight
Parvus Press LLC, October 17, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 342 pages
     Contemporary Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Explore the hidden world of ancient magic within modern Dublin.

Six months ago, Ivy stumbled into the deal of a lifetime – great rent in a posh Dublin neighborhood and a flatmate, Demi, who was only a little weird. It didn’t matter that their flat is packed with exotic plants or that her flatmate does all her shopping on-line but refuses to meet the delivery man at the door?

Now, though, Demi’s gone missing, there are strange men hiding in the flower boxes, and a lot of strangers have suddenly taken interest in the whereabouts of her peculiar flatmate. When the police won’t help, Ivy knows she’s going to have to solve this mystery on her own.

Ivy dives headfirst into a secret Dublin, hidden in plain sight, and discovers that the longer she stays in, the more she risks losing the world she always knew. Can she save Demi without losing herself?




Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Bloodprint
The Khorasan Archives
Harper Voyager, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
     Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope.

A dark power called the Talisman, born of ignorance and persecution, has risen in the land. Led by a man known only as the One-Eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman’s spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her fellow warrior, Sinnia, skilled fighters who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: the Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding the Bloodprint promises to be their most perilous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal boy they freed from slavery and a man that used to be both Arian’s confidant and sword master—Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.




Martin MacInnes

Infinite Ground
Melville House, October 17, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages
     Psychological, Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
On a sweltering summer night at a restaurant in an unnamed Latin American city, a man at a family dinner gets up from the table to go to the restroom . . . and never comes back. He was acting normal, say family members. None of the waiters or other customers saw him leave.

A semi-retired detective takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. The corporation for which the missing man worked seems to be a front for something else; the staff describes their colleague as having suffered alarming, shifting physical symptoms; a forensic scientist examining his office uncovers evidence of curious microorganisms.

As the detective relives and retraces the man’s footsteps, the trail leads him away from the city sprawl and deep into the country’s rainforest interior . . . where, amidst the overwhelming horrors and wonders of the natural world, a chilling police procedural explodes into a dislocating investigation into the nature of reality.




Ed McDonald

Blackwing
Raven's Mark 1
Ace, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook 368 pages
     Dark Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
“A remarkably assured fantasy debut that mixes of the inventiveness of China Miéville with the fast paced heroics of David Gemmell.”—Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Legion of Flame

Set on a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…


Hope, reason, humanity: the Misery breaks them all.

Under its cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, the arcane remnant of a devastating war with the immortals known as the Deep Kings. The war ended nearly a century ago, and the enemy is kept at bay only by the existence of the Engine, a terrible weapon that protects the Misery’s border. Across the corrupted no-man’s-land teeming with twisted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies bide their time. Watching. Waiting.

Bounty hunter Ryhalt Galharrow has breathed Misery dust for twenty bitter years. When he’s ordered to locate a masked noblewoman at a frontier outpost, he finds himself caught in the middle of an attack by the Deep Kings, one that signifies they may no longer fear the Engine. Only a formidable show of power from the very woman he is seeking, Lady Ezabeth Tanza, repels the assault.

Ezabeth is a shadow from Galharrow’s grim past, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled or the gods he’s supposed to serve…



Jeannette Ng

Under the Pendulum Sun
Angry Robot Books, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
    Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
    Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
    Religious

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Victorian missionaries travel into the heart of the newly discovered lands of the Fae, in a stunningly different fantasy that mixes Crimson Peak with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Catherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.

File Under: Fantasy [ In Arcadia | Seek and Hide | The Queen of Moths | Lands of the Damned ]




K Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger's Daughter
Their Bright Ascendency 1
Tor Books, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 528 pages
     Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
"Rich, expansive, and grounded in human truth...simply exquisite.” —V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series

K Arsenault Rivera's debut, The Tiger's Daughter, the beginning of a new epic fantasy trilogy

Even gods can be slain

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach—but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

A crack in the wall heralds the end…two goddesses arm themselves…K Arsenault Rivera's The Tiger’s Daughter is an adventure for the ages.




Adam Rothstein

Orthogonal Procedures
Arche Press, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages
     Science Fiction, Time Travel

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Everything you are about to read is true. Mostly.

After US Postmaster Theodore Roosevelt showed the Nazis who was boss in 1942, the Postal Bureau--part of the Department of Transportation--ushered in an era of scientific marvels: simulcast via satellite, sub-orbital transnational flights, dazzle pistols, and electromagnetic driverless cars. However, long-simmering feuds between the Shamans of Commerce and the Wizards of Technology were not forgotten, and it isn't until the age of Sputnik and the Space Race that the secret organizations buried deep within the US Weather Service and Census Bureau make their move against the Department of Transportation. To regain control of the Administration, they'll need to rely on older—more esoteric—technologies: astrology, blood rituals, and strange creatures long thought extinct.

It's up to G-man Fred Mackey of the Electromagnetic Bureau, Domestic Interference Engineering Section, to figure out how to science America back on track. With the assistance of the enigmatic Assistant Secretary for Innovation and the world's leading specialist in rocket science and all-around occultnik, Mackey tackles the byzantine bureaucracy of a vast government conspiracy that extends from deep space to deep beneath the earth.

Welcome to 1970. This is the history you were never taught . . .




Michael Shou-Yung Shum

Queen of Spades
Forest Avenue Press, October 10, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
     Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Suspense, Thrillers

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Queen of Spades revamps the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, transplanted to a mysterious Seattle-area casino populated by a pit boss with six months to live, a dealer obsessing over the mysterious methods of an elderly customer known as the Countess, and a recovering gambler who finds herself trapped in a cultish twelve-step program. With a breathtaking climax that rivals the best Hong Kong gambling movies, Michael Shou-Yung Shum’s debut novel delivers the thrilling highs and lows that come when we cede control of our futures to the roll of the dice and the turn of a card.




Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of Ghosts
Akashic Books, October 3, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 340 9ages
     Science Fiction, Space Opera, Literary Fiction,
     African American, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.

Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot—if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war.




R. E. Stearns

Barbary Station
Saga Press, October 31, 2017
Trade Paperback, Hardcover, and eBook, 448 pages
     Science Fiction, Space Opera

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
Two engineers hijack a spaceship to join some space pirates—only to discover the pirates are hiding from a malevolent AI. Now they have to outwit the AI if they want to join the pirate crew—and survive long enough to enjoy it.

Adda and Iridian are newly minted engineers, but aren’t able to find any work in a solar system ruined by economic collapse after an interplanetary war. Desperate for employment, they hijack a colony ship and plan to join a famed pirate crew living in luxury at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

But when they arrive there, nothing is as expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury—they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents and shooting down any ship that attempts to leave—so there’s no way out.

Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the AI met an untimely end, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds.

There’s a glorious future in piracy…if only they can survive long enough.




Sandi Ward

The Astonishing Thing
Kensington, October 31, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
     Family Life, Contemporary Women,
     Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts
In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love . . .

Pet owners know that a cat’s loyalty is not easily earned. Boo, a resourceful young feline with a keen eye and inquiring mind, has nonetheless grown intensely devoted to her human companion, Carrie. Several days ago, Carrie—or Mother, as Boo calls her—suddenly went away, leaving her family, including Boo, in disarray. Carrie’s husband, Tommy, is distant and distracted even as he does his best to care for Boo’s human siblings, especially baby Finn.

Boo worries about who will fill her food dish, and provide a warm lap to nestle into. More pressing still, she’s trying to uncover the complicated truth about why Carrie left. Though frequently mystified by human behavior, Boo is sure that Carrie once cared passionately for Tommy and adores her children, even the non-feline ones. But she also sees it may not be enough to make things right. Perhaps only a cat—a wise, observant, very determined cat—can do that . . .

Wonderfully tender and insightful, The Astonishing Thing explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.

Interview with Mareth Griffith, author of Court of TwilightThe View From Monday - October 16, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - October Debuts2017 Debut Author Challenge - October Debuts

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