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2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for May 2012!




As part of this year's Debut Author Challenge I thought it would be fun to choose a favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2012 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.

January 2012 Winner - Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) by Myke Cole. Cover Art by Mike Komarck.

February 2012 Winner - Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) by Chris F. Holm. Cover Art by Amazing 15.

March 2012 Winner - The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski, Cover Art by Amazing 15.

April 2012 Winner - Blackbirds (Miriam Black 1) by Chuck Wendig. Cover Art by Joey Hi-Fi.


For May you have 4 covers to choose from.














2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts


There are 4 debuts in May.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for the your favorite May cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

The May debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.



I, Crimsonstreak
Author:  Matt Adams
Format:  Trade Paperback
Publisher:  Candlemark & Gleam
Price:  $19.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy/Superhero
ISBN:  9781936460267

2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts
Framed by his father, “reformed” supervillain Colonel Chaos, super-speedster Chris Fairborne, AKA Crimsonstreak, is sent to the Clermont Institution for the Criminally Insane. A hero surrounded by dastardly inmates and heartless guards, Chris struggles to keep his wits about him, until the arrival of some unexpected new “guests” at the facility provides him with a means for escape. Once out, though, he discovers that the world he knew is gone, replaced by a fascist, supposedly utopian state run by none other than Colonel Chaos himself.

With the heroes of the world locked away or fighting in a disorganized resistance, Crimsonstreak teams up with a snarky British butler and a teenage superhero-to-be. Together, the unlikely (and bickering) allies must take down Crimsonstreak’s dad and set the world right. Not easy when your only powers are super-speed and looking good in spandex. But hey, someone’s got to save the world.

I, Crimsonstreak is a first-person superhero novel brimming with parallel universes, stuffy British butlers, crafty supervillains, cloning, gadgets, a fascist police state disguised as a utopian society, and enough geeky pop culture references to stun a Wookie.


The Croning
Author:  Laird Barron 
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Night Shade Books, May 1, 2012
Price: $24.99
Language: English
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-1-59780-230-7

2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts
Strange things exist on the periphery of our existence, haunting us from the darkness looming beyond our firelight. Black magic, weird cults and worse things loom in the shadows. The Children of Old Leech have been with us from time immemorial. And they love us...

Donald Miller, geologist and academic, has walked along the edge of a chasm for most of his nearly eighty years, leading a charmed life between endearing absent-mindedness and sanity-shattering realization. Now, all things must converge. Donald will discover the dark secrets along the edges, unearthing savage truths about his wife Michelle, their adult twins, and all he knows and trusts. For Donald is about to stumble on the secret...

...of The Croning.

From Laird Barron, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of The Imago Sequence and Occultation, comes The Croning, a debut novel of cosmic horror.


Scourge of the Betrayer
Author:  Jeff Salyards
Series:  Bloodsounder's Arc
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Night Shade Books, May 1, 2012
Price: $24.99
Language: English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1-59780-406-6

2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts
A gritty new fantasy saga begins . . .

Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies--or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon's dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he's about to find out for himself.

Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men's enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he's killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe . . . and Arki might be next.

Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!

A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, Scourge of the Betrayer explores the brutal politics of Empire--and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man's soul.


Nightshifted
Author:  Cassie Alexander
Series:  Nightshifted / Edie Spence
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher:  St. Martin's Paperbacks, May 22, 2012
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780312553395

2012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 Debuts
From debut author Cassie Alexander comes a spectacular new urban fantasy series where working the nightshift can be a real nightmare.

Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond…

Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words—Save Anna—and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. Grey’s Anatomy was never like this…

Guest Blog by Matt Adams - The Super World of False Documents: Bringing a Superhero World to Life

Please welcome Matt Adams to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. I, Crimsonstreak, Matt's debut, will be published in May.


The Super World of False Documents:
Bringing a Superhero World to Life

by Matt Adams

Narrating a book from the first-person perspective has its limitations. Readers see the world only through the eyes of a single narrator. In some ways, the technique is a blast to use because the author has to make sure readers get the sense of other characters. Dialogue is the primary method employed to do this.

Everything else comes straight from the narrator's perspective. His/her prejudices, beliefs, and morality color the actions in the narrative.

While writing my book, I tried to avoid information overload. Yes, my main character has to relate the history of his family and explain certain things about secondary and tertiary characters, but for the most part, he gives readers only what they need to know. Nothing less, nothing more.

This can be a limiting practice.

I wanted to give the sense that the I, Crimsonstreak universe has a long history filled with rich characters. At the same time, supervillains, alien invasions, parallel universes, and other strange phenomena run rampant throughout. To tell the story of Crimsonstreak/Chris Fairborne, I used the character. To tell the story of the I, Crimsonstreak universe, I used a series of false documents ranging from newspaper articles to secret dossiers.

The technique is nothing new, of course. Watchmen, a seminal work of graphic novels and comics, employs multiple false documents ranging from Rorschach's journal to fake magazine ads and the fictional autobiography Under the Hood. One of my favorite authors, Michael Crichton, used this technique to compelling effect in Jurassic Park, which includes fake research papers and abstracts. Other Crichton works, including The Andromeda Strain and Airframe, feature faked charts, diagrams, and papers to help tell the story. The books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series come complete with detailed family trees and histories of each of the different “houses” involved in the multi-layered narrative.

The world of superheroes lends itself well to false documents. Heroes are larger than life and in the public eye; surely someone has written an article about the time a group of heroes saved the world. A reporter certainly pounded out an article about a mysterious masked man who saved a woman from some muggers. No doubt wire services circulated articles about an ongoing threat that played out over the world stage during a tumultuous week. Everyday citizens are likely intrigued enough by these strange vigilantes to clamor for posters and magazine pullouts.

I took these ideas and wrote an extensive amount of background material; this is how I tried to do my world building. It also allowed me to take on a different perspective. Trust me; I spent enough time in my hero's head. I found it satisfying to jump into another character's persona through a journal entry or play ace reporter and trace the history of an emerging hero.

Here are a few of the false documents I employ:

Newspaper Articles. Most articles recount past adventures involving the characters in the book. It's a fun way to tell the backstory of the main character's parents. Another major character gets an entire appendix dedicated to telling his rather involved history.

Magazine Features. A couple of magazine feature articles from Dawn Magazine (think Us or People) are sprinkled throughout the appendices. One focuses on the main character and his family in better days. Another profiles a secondary character.

Journal Entries. Mortimer P. Willoughby, the snarky British manservant for the heroic Crusading Comet and his family, absolutely pops off the page. The character has served his superhero family for decades, keeping a detailed journal of the family's triumphs and tragedies.

Character Biographies. Several of the main heroes get full-on hero worship from Dawn Magazine. These brief summaries recollect career highlights and give readers a peek into how the world perceives the various men and woman who try to protect it.

Secret Dossiers. Villain dossiers provide background on both major and minor villains from the book. These are presented as "ripped from the secret files of the Heroic Legion."

I've always enjoyed getting something "extra" with books I'm reading; I'm geeky like that. I love indexes and appendices, little details that make a world seem fully realized. They're not vital to the story, but those who choose to read the extra materials will walk away with a greater sense of something larger and more connected.

Think of it as the extra content on a DVD or Blu-ray; you don't have to watch the director's commentary to enjoy the movie, but the commentary gives you a different understanding of the film and how it was made. That was my goal with this extra material; to give readers something more.


About I, Crimsonstreak

I, Crimsonstreak
Candlemark & Gleam, May 15, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook

Guest Blog by Matt Adams - The Super World of False Documents:  Bringing a Superhero World to Life
Framed by his father, “reformed” supervillain Colonel Chaos, super-speedster Chris Fairborne, AKA Crimsonstreak, is sent to the Clermont Institution for the Criminally Insane. A hero surrounded by dastardly inmates and heartless guards, Chris struggles to keep his wits about him, until the arrival of some unexpected new “guests” at the facility provides him with a means for escape. Once out, though, he discovers that the world he knew is gone, replaced by a fascist, supposedly utopian state run by none other than Colonel Chaos himself.

With the heroes of the world locked away or fighting in a disorganized resistance, Crimsonstreak teams up with a snarky British butler and a teenage superhero-to-be. Together, the unlikely (and bickering) allies must take down Crimsonstreak’s dad and set the world right. Not easy when your only powers are super-speed and looking good in spandex. But hey, someone’s got to save the world.

I, Crimsonstreak is a first-person superhero novel brimming with parallel universes, stuffy British butlers, crafty supervillains, cloning, gadgets, a fascist police state disguised as a utopian society, and enough geeky pop culture references to stun a Wookie.


About Matt

Guest Blog by Matt Adams - The Super World of False Documents:  Bringing a Superhero World to Life
Matt Adams is a former TV news producer whose stories have appeared in Wily Writers Podcast and anthologies from Library of the Living Dead Press and Timid Pirate Publishing. He lives and works in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife and (possibly) man-eating frog. Once, long ago, he planned to patrol the streets as Batman, but ultimately decided writing was safer and more cost-effective. He was only half right.

His debut novel I, Crimsonstreak is due out May 15 from Candlemark & Gleam

Matt's Links:

Twitter
Website
Facebook
Email
Publisher Site: candlemarkandgleam.com

The View From Monday - March 12, 2012

Happy Monday! Hope that the time change (in the US) has not thrown everyone off! There is one less hour to read this week as we have sprung forward. I'm taking my hour away from sleeping though.

At The Qwillery this week:

Monday - Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview with Adrian Phoenix. Adrian is the author of The Makers Song series and the Hoodoo series.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Deborah Coates. Wide Open will be published on March 13th (tomorrow).

Wednesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog by Carol Wolf. Summoning will be published in April.

Thursday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog by Matt Adams. I, Crismonstreak will be published in May.

Friday - Interview with Stina LeichtAnd Blue Skies From Pain (Fey and Fallen 2) will be published on March 20, 2012.

Saturday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog by Chris F. Holm. Dead Harvest (The Collector 1) was published on February 28, 2012.

Sunday - March 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - voting starts!


A book shopping list in PDF format may be found by clicking HERE. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF)."


March 13, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Isis Collar
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Cat Adams UF - Blood Singer 4
The Steel Seraglio
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Mike Carey
Linda Carey
Louise Carey
F
Wide Open (d)
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Deborah Coates F
Witches of East End (h2tp)
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Melissa de la Cruz F - Beauchamp Family 1
A Crown Imperiled
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Raymond E. Feist F - Chaoswar Saga 2
Dark North
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Paul Finch F - Malory's Knight of Albion 2
Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Paula Guran (ed) F - Anthology
Bound by Desire
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Jaymie Holland PER - Taken by Passion
Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
William Irwin Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series
The Vanishers: A Novel
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Heidi Julavits H
Infamous
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Sherrilyn Kenyon UF/YA - Chronicles of Nick 3
The Games (d)
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Ted Kosmatka SF
The Company of the Dead (d)
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
David Kowalski SF
Shoebox Train Wreck
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
John Mantooth H - Short Stories
Chrysanthe
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Yves Meynard F
Autumn: Aftermath
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
David Moody H - Autumn 5
Hide Me Among the Graves
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Tim Powers PT
The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
M. J. Rose PS - Reincarnationist 4
Commedia della Morte
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro HP - St. Germain 25


March 16, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Under the Harrow (h2tp)
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Mark Dunn F
Apocalypse and Post-Politics: The Romance of the End
The View From Monday - March 12, 2012
Mary Manjikian Literary Criticism



d - Debut
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HP - Historical Paranormal
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PS - Paranormal Suspense
PT - Paranormal Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
UF - Urban Fantasy
YA - Young Adult
2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May 20122012 Debut Author Challange - May 2012 DebutsGuest Blog by Matt Adams - The Super World of False Documents:  Bringing a Superhero World to LifeThe View From Monday - March 12, 2012

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