close

The Qwillery | category: Maria Alexander

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2014 Winner


The winner of the August 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is Mr. Wicker by Maria Alexander with 69 votes equaling 39% of all votes. Mr. Wicker is published by Raw Dog Screaming Press.



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2014 Winner




The Final Results

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2014 Winner




The September 2014 Debut Covers

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2014 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the October Debut covers starting on October 15, 2014. Look for the list of October's Debuts on October 1st.


Interview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 2014


Please welcome Maria Alexander to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Mr. Wicker was published on September 16th by Raw Dog Screaming Press.



Interview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 2014




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

Maria:  Pleased to be here! I started playing with stories when I was 8 years old while I was recovering from chicken pox. I wrote on and off throughout my childhood, but I was more of a musician until I was in college. That’s when I co-founded a company called Dead Earth Productions that designed and ran fully immersive, live-action horror games. We were based in the San Francisco Bay Area. This meant many of our players came from the big RPG companies, like Chaosium, R. Talsorian and White Wolf. Because I loved games and creating interactive experiences more than anything, I devoted my nascent writing talents to that. I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until Neil Gaiman and I started corresponding years later.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Maria:  Having spent a long time as a screenwriter, I’m a hopeless plotter. But I’m not so locked into my plotting that, if something cool jumps out of my head and it feels right, I can’t be flexible.



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

Maria:  Typing. Right now, I have hand problems and I write with voice technology. You would never know it based on my output. Ask my publisher!



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

Maria:  Gabrielle Garcia Marquez. Clive Barker. Michael Marshall Smith. Tim Powers. Neil Gaiman. I recently realized how much Julio Cortázar has shaped my creativity. I first read him in college and he is astonishing. “The Night Face Up” is one of the greatest stories ever written, I think.



TQ:  Describe Mr. Wicker in 140 characters or less.

Maria:  Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory. She must get it back before it destroys her life — again.



TQ:  Tell us something about Mr. Wicker that is not in the book description.

Maria:  At the midpoint of the story, Mr. Wicker shares with Alicia a story about who he used to be before the Library. He takes the reader on a brutal, chilling adventure in ancient Gaul on the eve of the Gallic Wars. The fate of those ancient people is entwined with Alicia’s in ways she could never guess.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Mr. Wicker? From the description of the novel it appears to be a genre bender. Is it essentially an Urban Fantasy? You also touch on suicide on the novel. Why did you go there?

Maria:  Mr. Wicker is quite similar to American Gods in that it’s mostly urban fantasy with parts that are historical fantasy. (Now that I think about it, I wonder if American Gods is considered cross genre.) The difference is that the historical fantasy in Mr. Wicker is one larger story, rather than several shorter, individual stories distributed throughout the book.

As for inspiration, I had a close encounter of sorts with Mr. Wicker himself back in 1997. If you solve the puzzle at the end of the book trailer, it unlocks something that ultimately reveals the bizarre yet true tale. Two people have solved it so far: legendary “Monkey Island” game designer/online community guru Randy Farmer, and brilliant actress/puzzle aficionado Whitney Avalon. (Remember the mom in that controversial Cheerios commercial? Yep. Her.) The puzzle is really not that hard. You’ve seen that sequence before…



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Mr. Wicker?

Maria:  I haunted mental health forums looking for information about suicide and lockdowns. I wish there was more transparency in the mental health profession about what it’s like in a proper lockdown environment. The book is set in 2005. When I started writing the book in 2004, we didn’t have as much information about mental health treatment online as we do today. It was very difficult to get a solid idea of what happens inside mental health facilities from a professional perspective, and still is. Eventually, a friend of mine who’d recently obtained her medical degree graciously shared with me her experiences as a med student on rotation in a lockdown, but I could have used more information.

As for the historical fantasy, I initially started researching ancient Gaul and Rome according to guidelines that Tim Powers gave me for historical research. However, I encountered difficulties because the Gauls were so obscure and my Roman interests so particular. I went to the UCLA library, where I found journal articles written by a classicist named Dr. Maurice James Moscovich at the Western University in London Ontario, Canada. His scholastic specialty covered exactly what I needed to know. I got in touch with him and he took me under his wing. I’m truly lucky. He even read what I wrote and gave me feedback. (I took at least 90% of it.) He’s retired now, thinking more about golf than the Gauls, but he considers me one of his students.



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

Maria:  Alicia was both the easiest and the hardest because, even when I thought she was being an idiot, I understood her. I got the most blowback about her from male agents. One jackass in particular, who had obviously read the entire book, sent me a long letter explaining how much he disliked her and that no one would ever like a female character who is angry. When my friend Edith Speed committed suicide in 2009, she was incredibly angry. (She was a very strong woman most of her life, by the way.) There was no way I was going to soften Alicia to please anyone’s aesthetic palate, especially after Edith’s death. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s honest, and I think readers prefer that. I know I do.



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

Maria:  From Chapter 40:

      She’ll die if you don’t come.
      The words rolled before him and retreated like a riptide into the darkness. His will got caught in the undertow and he could not resist the plea.
      Dr. Farron put down the water cup and sized up the hallway, the portrait glimmering. Forget sanity. Eat me. Drink me. Vomit me. Scorch me. Love me. Remember me...
      He ran.



TQ:  What's next?

Maria:  I’ve just finished writing a dark, action-packed YA novel called Snowed. It’s about a 16-year-old engineering prodigy named Charity Jones whose social worker mother brings home a mysterious boy named Aidan to foster for the holidays. But as Charity and Aidan fall in love, violent deaths occur that Charity investigates with her Skeptics Club. They wind up battling a terrifying twist on the Christmas myth that changes their lives — and human history — forever.

I recruited a team of teen beta readers and their moms for notes to help make the book more authentic. They gave me great notes, but I was not prepared for their overwhelming, unrelenting excitement. Not even the moms were able to put down the book. I also got resounding approval from my 13-year-old male beta reader. (He says it’s a mystery, not a romance. I’m good with that.) I’m querying agents now, as well as plotting the second book in the trilogy.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Maria:  You’re welcome! Thank you for having me.





Mr. Wicker
Raw Dog Screaming Press, September 16, 20414
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 236 pages

Interview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 2014
Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory.

Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer. The Librarian is Mr. Wicker — a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal. After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.

Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole. But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.

Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep. When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams — someone they call “Mr. Wicker.”

During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious Alicia talking to Mr. Wicker—the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence. Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, they team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good. To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.

After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants. Even Alicia herself.





About Maria

Interview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 2014
Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as numerous acclaimed anthologies alongside living legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.

Her second poetry collection—At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded—was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest.

When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s on the BBC World Have Your Say radio program shooting off her mouth about blasphemy, international politics and more. She lives in Los Angeles with two
ungrateful cats and a purse called Trog.

Explore her website: www.mariaalexander.net. You won’t regret it.

Twitter @LaMaupin


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts


It's time for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for September 2014!


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 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 2014 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 September 24, 2014.


Vote for your favorite September 2014 Debut Cover
  
pollcode.com free polls




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September Debuts



The View From Monday - September 15, 2014


Happy Monday! I'm incredibly behind on reading. Getting part of a house ready for renovations, especially when your family started living in the house in the late 1960s is a major, exhausting and liberating experience. My inner very tidy person is extremely happy, but it is an amazing amount of work. I should have a dumpster on standby at all times. Enough about that. Demolition starts Wednesday and I get to just sit back and watch (hopefully).


The View From Monday - September 15, 2014


There are 3 Debuts this week:

Mr. Wicker by Maria Alexander;

The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin;

and

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

A Vault of Sins (Chaos Theory 2) by Sarah Harian;

and

Outrider by Steven John.



September 15, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mayor of the Universe: A Novel Lorna Landvik SF
Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire Dru Pagliassotti SP - Clockwork Trilogy 3
The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest Monsters Andrew McConnell Stott Biography



September 16, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mr. Wicker (D) Maria Alexander FT
Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Margaret Atwood Collection
Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon David Barnett SP - Gideon Smith 2
Siren's Song (e) Dana Marie Bell PNR - Gray Court 5
The Anatomy of Dreams (D) Chloe Benjamin LF/Th
Broken Monsters Lauren Beukes Th
The Clockwork Dagger (D) Beth Cato SP
Ancestral Machines (e) Michael Cobley SF - Humanity's Fire 4
The Grey Knights Omnibus Ben Counter SF - Warhammer 40,000
Battle for the Blood (e) Lucienne Diver UF - Latter-Day Olympians 4
The Night Visitor (e) Dianne Emley P/Th
Forge of Darkness (h2tp) Steven Erikson F - Kharkanas Trilogy 1
The Darkwar Saga: Flight of the Nighthawks, Into a Dark Realm, and Wrath of a Mad God (e) Raymond E. Feist F - Darkwar Saga
The Legends of the Riftwar: Honored Enemy, Murder in LaMut, and Jimmy the Hand (e) Raymond E. Feist F - Legends of the Riftwar
Brian Froud's Faeries' Tales Wendy Froud F
Burning Desire: Part 2 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Phantasm Japan: Fantasies Light and Dark, From and About Japan Haikasoru (ed) F - Anthology
A Vault of Sins (e) Sarah Harian SF/R - Chaos Theory 2
Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute (h2tp) Jonathan L. Howard H - Johannes Cabal 3
Black Water: A Jane Yellowrock Collection (e) Faith Hunter UF - Jane Yellowrock 6.3
The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane Alex Irvine F/TT - Sleepy Hollow
Outrider Steven John SF
The Golem of Hollywood Jonathan Kellerman
Jesse Kellerman
PM
Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection Jay Lake SF - Collection
The God Hunter Tim Lees UF - Field Ops
Conduits (K e) Jennifer Loring H
Once Haunted, Twice Shy H.P. Mallory PM - Peyton Clark 2
Gifts for the One Who Comes After Helen Marshall DF/ New Weird - Collection
Dragon Age: Last Flight Liane Merciel F - Dragon Age 5
Johnny Alucard (h2tp) Kim Newman H - Anno Dracula 4
The Signs of the Zodiac: The Scent of Shadows, The Taste of Night, and The Touch of Twilight (e) Vicki Pettersson UF - Signs of the Zodiac
They Do the Same Things Different There: The Best Weird Fantasy of Robert Shearman Robert Shearman WeirdF
Lords of the Underworld Collection 3: The Darkest Secret\The Darkest Surrender\The Darkest Seduction Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld
Starfish (e) Peter Watts SF - Rifters Trilogy 1
The Way Inn Will Wiles M/Speculative



September 17, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Selfies: A Tor.com Original (e) Lavie Tidhar H



September 20, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Entice Me at Twilight (ri) Shayla Black PNR
Altar of Bones (ri) Philip Carter Th
Doom 3: Maelstrom (ri) Matthew Costello SF
Amazon Queen (ri) Lori Devoti UF - Queen 2
The Better Part of Darkness (ri) Kelly Gay UF -  Charlie Madigan
Demon Possessed (ri) Stacia Kane UF - Megan Chase 3
Highborn (ri) Yvonne Navarro UF - Dark Redemption 1
Black Dust Mambo (ri) Adrian Phoenix UF - Hoodoo 1
Heir of Danger (ri) Alix Rickloff PNR - Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy 3


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint


DF - Dark Fantasy
F - Fantasy
FT - Fairy Tale
H - Horror
LF - Literary Fiction
M - Mystery
P - Paranormal
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy


2014 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts





There are 13 debuts (so far) for September. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September 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 September cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on September 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 2014 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for September. The list is correct as of the day posted.




Siobhan Adcock

The Barter
Dutton Adult, September 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

A heart-stopping tale as provocative as is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by one hundred years, and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.

The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in Texas, in present day, and at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.

Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: Something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home; only nobody but Bridget can feel it.

On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.

As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families—and themselves? Readers will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language, then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision—and its explosive consequences.




Maria Alexander

Mr. Wicker
Raw Dog Screaming Press, September 16, 20414
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 236 pages

Alicia Baum is missing a deadly childhood memory.

Located beyond life, The Library of Lost Childhood Memories holds the answer. The Librarian is Mr. Wicker — a seductive yet sinister creature with an unthinkable past and an agenda just as lethal. After committing suicide, Alicia finds herself before the Librarian, who informs her that her lost memory is not only the reason she took her life, but the cause of every bad thing that has happened to her.

Alicia spurns Mr. Wicker and attempts to enter the hereafter without the Book that would make her spirit whole. But instead of the oblivion she craves, she finds herself in a psychiatric hold at Bayford Hospital, where the staff is more pernicious than its patients.

Child psychiatrist Dr. James Farron is researching an unusual phenomenon: traumatized children whisper to a mysterious figure in their sleep. When they awaken, they forget both the traumatic event and the character that kept them company in their dreams — someone they call “Mr. Wicker.”

During an emergency room shift, Dr. Farron hears an unconscious Alicia talking to Mr. Wicker—the first time he’s heard of an adult speaking to the presence. Drawn to the mystery, and then to each other, they team up to find the memory before it annihilates Alicia for good. To do so they must struggle not only against Mr. Wicker’s passions, but also a powerful attraction that threatens to derail her search, ruin Dr. Farron’s career, and inflame the Librarian’s fury.

After all, Mr. Wicker wants Alicia to himself, and will destroy anyone to get what he wants. Even Alicia herself.




Chloe Benjamin

The Anatomy of Dreams
Atria Books, September 16, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook,  320 pages

Long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

“A sly, promising and ambitious debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“Chloe Benjamin is a great new talent.” —Lorrie Moore, author of Bark: Stories

It’s 1998, and Sylvie Patterson, a bookish student at a Northern California boarding school, falls in love with a spirited, elusive classmate named Gabe. Their headmaster, Dr. Adrian Keller, is a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming: By teaching his patients to become conscious during sleep, he helps them to relieve stress and heal from trauma. Over the next six years, Sylvie and Gabe become consumed by Keller’s work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, California, to the enchanting New England coast.

But when an opportunity brings the trio to the Midwest, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled relationship with their mysterious neighbors—and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller’s research, recognizing the harm that can be wrought under the guise of progress. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn’t, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia, and a new sense of rebellion.

In stirring, elegant prose, Benjamin’s tale exposes the slippery nature of trust—and the immense power of our dreams.




Deborah Blake

Wickedly Dangerous
A Baba Yaga Novel 1
Berkley, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
(Fiction Debut)

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…




Beth Cato

The Clockwork Dagger
Harper Voyager, September 16, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.




Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician
The Paper Magician 1
47North, September 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook,224 pages

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.




Sylvia Izzo Hunter

The Midnight Queen
A Noctis Magicae Novel 1
Ace, September 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…

Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.

Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings.

Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost…




Peyton Marshall

Goodhouse
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 30, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

A bighearted dystopian novel about the corrosive effects of fear and the redemptive power of love.

With soaring literary prose and the tense pacing of a thriller, the first-time novelist Peyton Marshall imagines a grim and startling future. At the end of the twenty-first century—in a transformed America—the sons of convicted felons are tested for a set of genetic markers. Boys who test positive become compulsory wards of the state—removed from their homes and raised on "Goodhouse" campuses, where they learn to reform their darkest thoughts and impulses. Goodhouse is a savage place—part prison, part boarding school—and now a radical religious group, the Holy Redeemer’s Church of Purity, is intent on destroying each campus and purifying every child with fire.

We see all this through the eyes of James, a transfer student who watched as the radicals set fire to his old Goodhouse and killed nearly everyone he’d ever known. In addition to adjusting to a new campus with new rules, James now has to contend with Bethany, a brilliant, medically fragile girl who wants to save him, and with her father, the school’s sinister director of medical studies. Soon, however, James realizes that the biggest threat might already be there, inside the fortified walls of Goodhouse itself.

Partly based on the true story of the nineteenth-century Preston School of Industry, Goodhouse explores questions of identity and free will—and what it means to test the limits of human endurance.




Lauren Oliver

Rooms
Ecco, September 23, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
(Adult Debut)

The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.




Carol J. Perry

Caught Dead Handed
A Witch City Mystery 1
Kensington, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
(Adult Debut)

She's not a psychic--she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it's home. This October she's returned to her hometown--where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives--to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she's using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it's starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch--especially when O'Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer--or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .




Gregory Sherl

The Future for Curious People
Algonquin Books, September 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

“Comic and Exuberant . . . A fine and tender tale for anyone who has tried to let go of the past and envision the future while falling in love.” —Rhonda Riley, author of The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

What if you could know your romantic future? What if an envisionist could enter the name of your prospective mate into a computer that would show you a film of your future life together?

In The Future for Curious People, a young librarian named Evelyn becomes obsessed with this new technology: she can’t stop visiting Dr. Chin’s office because she needs to know that she’ll meet someone and be happy one day. Godfrey, another client, ends up at the envisionist’s office only because his fiancée insisted they know their fate before taking the plunge. But when Godfrey meets Evelyn in the waiting room, true love may be right in front of them, but they are too preoccupied—and too burdened by their pasts—to recognize it.

This smart, fresh love story, with its quirky twists and turns, ponders life’s big questions—about happiness, fate, and our very existence—as it follows Evelyn and Godfrey’s quest for the elusive answers.

“A love story about love stories . . . The pages burst with laugh-out-loud scenes and crisply original set-ups. I loved it!” —Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

“Somewhere between Jorge Luis Borge’s ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’ and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will find Gregory Sherl’s warm, intelligent debut novel.” —Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State

“Enormously appealing . . . Evelyn and Godfrey are two unforgettable characters you’ll root for and remember long after you’ve read the last page of this wildly  original, deeply moving novel.” —Mindy Friddle, author of Secret Keepers



Karina Sumner-Smith

Radiant
Towers Trilogy 1
Talos, September 30, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Note: Radiant's publication date had been moved to
       October 7th and then to September 30.

Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.



Chrysler Szarlan

The Hawley Book of the Dead
Ballantine Books, September 23, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

For fans of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and A Discovery of Witches comes a brilliantly imagined debut novel brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic.

Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.

Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.

Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.

Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.

Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.




Angus Watson

Age of Iron
Iron Age Trilogy 1
Orbit, September 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 576 pages

LEGENDS AREN'T BORN. THEY'RE MADE.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary traveling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.

First Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who has vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution.

Now Dug's on the wrong side of the thousands-strong army he hoped to join ­-- and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one small child, and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that might get them all killed . . .




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2014 WinnerInterview with Maria Alexander, author of Mr. Wicker - September 19, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September DebutsThe View From Monday - September 15, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - September Debuts

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×