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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The View From Monday - June 9, 2014


Happy Monday. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching for my teens. It's especially crazy this year because my oldest is graduating and is off to college at the beginning of July! So we are running around and trying to get everything sorted. It's a fun as well as nerve-wracking time. I am really looking forward to the summer!


The View From Monday - June 9, 2014



There are 2 debuts this week:

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta;

and

Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea.


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Stone Song (Cold Iron 3) by D. L. McDermott

and

Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood.



June 9, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Stone Song (e) D.L. McDermott PNR - Cold Iron 3



June 10, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Hunger for You (e) A.C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters: Damaged Hearts 3
Earth Awakens Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston
SF - First Formic War 3
The Girl With All the Gifts M.R. Carey Dys
Night Lords Aaron Dembski-Bowden F - Warhammer 40,000: Night Lords Omnibus
California Bones Greg van Eekhout UF - California Bones 1
Written in My Own Heart's Blood Diana Gabaldon TT/R - Outlander 8
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: The Novelization Jim Henson F
Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company Homer Hickam SF - Helium 3
Memory of Water (D) Emmi Itäranta Ap
The Leopard K. V. Johansen F - Marakand 1
Doctor Sleep (h2tp) Stephen King H
The Windmere: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
The Suburbanight: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
The Audit: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Night Beach: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Reclamation on the Forest Floor: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
I Heart Dogs: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
The Human Society: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Petty Zoo: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Domestic Happiness: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
TruckDriver: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Wife: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
The Last Living Summer: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
The Neighbourhood, or, To the Devil With You: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Poor David, or, The Possibility of Coincidence in Situations of Multiple Occurre: Short Story (e) Susie Moloney H
Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld (h2tp) Larry Niven
Edward M. Lerner
SF - Known Space
Scarred (e) Caris Roane PNR - Savage Chains 2
Shaman (h2tp) Kim Stanley Robinson SF
Allegiance Susannah Sandlin PNR - Penton Vampire Legacy4
Bellman & Black (h2tp) Diane Setterfield Go
Koko Takes a Holiday (D) Kieran Shea SF
Julia (ri) Peter Straub H
The Walking-stick Forest: A Tor.Com Original (e) Anna Tambour DF
Shield and Crocus Michael R. Underwood F
The Insects of Love: A Tor.Com Original (e) Genevieve Valentine SF/F
Robogenesis: A Novel Daniel H. Wilson SF - Robocalypse 2
Doomed City Jonas Winner Th - Berlin Gothic 2



June 11, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Vintage Visions: Essays on Early Science Fiction Arthur B. Evans SF - Early Classics of Science Fiction
Chapter Six: A Tor.Com Original (e) Stephen Graham Jones Z



June 12, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Headlong Simon Ings SF
Declan (e) Rae Rivers PNR - The Keepers 2



June 14, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Her Klingon Soul: Star Trek Voyager (ri) Michael Jan Friedman SF - Star Trek: Voyager: Day of Honor 3



June 15, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Bliss House Laura Benedict Gh
If England Were Invaded William Le Queux SF/AH



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri

AH - Alternate History
Ap - Apocalyptic
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
Gh - Ghosts
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014

On Friday and Saturday of last week I attended Book Expo America (BEA) and BookCon at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. I mostly go to connect with publishers and publicists that I interact with because of The Qwillery. It's a wonderful professional resource for any one in or connected to the book industry including bloggers. I generally only see some of the publicists twice a year - BEA and New York Comic Con (NYCC). I was also able to meet some publicists that I had not yet met. I had a fascinating discussion about UK vs US covers with a wonderful publicist from Quercus, which has recently been acquired by Hachette. I also picked up a few signed books and met some authors I was interested in interviewing and/or including in the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.

The BEA floor is huge and I can not even guess how many miles I walked, but I did realize that I am a wee bit out of shape (read very out of shape) and I will be starting an exercise program of some sort so that I don't need 3 days to recover from NYCC in October.

Saturday was BookCon as well as BEA. I did not know what to expect since this was the first year for BookCon and 10,000 tickets were sold. Imagine approximately10,000 additional people being let into less than 1/3 of the space for the entire BEA. It was incredibly crowded, very chaotic, hard to walk around, loud, and somewhat fun. It seemed very much like New York Comic Con. I must note that one of the exhibitors who was in the BookCon section of BEA did not show up for BookCon. I can only guess at the reason but I suspect that they did not want to be part of what became the public part of the show. In addition the BEA section of the Exhibit Hall seemed much less crowded than the day before. It was actually nice to get away from BookCon and take a break in the much more quiet BEA. However, I do not know what that means for BEA attendance while BookCon is taking place. Fewer professionals coming that day because of BookCon? Everyone was at BookCon? Your guess is as good as mine. I believe that the idea of BookCon is good one but since this was the first year there is much to be worked out. I hope that the publishers have better ways of controlling lines for some of the signings and it's all better organized than this year.

BookCon will be held on Saturday and Sunday next year, which also extends BEA by one day. Again only part of the Exhibit Hall will be open to BookCon attendees as it was this year.

Enough about that stuff. You want to see some pictures. (I'll also do another post about the books I picked up. There are not many because I only take a few books and am not interested in a haul of books that I probably won't read.)


BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
My teens and I watch Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. We love this show. I had no idea that Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar were going to be at BEA. I was thrilled to chat with Debi briefly and get a copy of their book, Extra Virgin. I will have to buy one that I can use though because there is no way I am going to get food on the signed copy.

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Alethea Kontis, Ellen Datlow and Esther Friesner
at the SWFA Booth
(Probably my favorite picture of show!)

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
 Errick Nunnally and Jennifer Allis Provost signing at the Spencer Hill Booth

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Errick Nunnally with a copy of his upcoming debut Blood for the Sun
(and yes, he will be featured in the 2014 Debut Author Challenge next month).

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Jeaniene Frost

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
John L. Campbell, author of the Omega Days Series

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Jonathan Maberry

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Laura Anne Gilman (and my son hiding)

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
Michael R. Underwood showing off some of the posters at the Osprey Booth  (includes 
Angry Robot). Michael's Shield and Crocus is out on June 10th from 47North.

And last but not least:

BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014
My son (left) shaking hands with Cary Elwes (right) whose book, As You Wish
Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, is out on October 7, 2014


Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014


Here are upcoming books for some of the authors who were featured in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.

Benedict Jacka

Hidden
Alex Verus 5
Ace, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014
With his talent for divining the future, Alex Verus should have foreseen his friends’ reactions to the revelations about his previous life. Anne Walker no longer trusts him—and has also cut all ties with the mage community after getting kicked out of the apprentice program. As a favor to Luna, Alex’s own apprentice and Anne’s best friend, he checks in on her only to be told to leave her alone.

Then Anne gets kidnapped. The Council Keepers of the Order of the Star believe Dark mages from her past may be involved. Working with the Keepers, Alex and Luna discover that Anne has been taken into the shadow realm of Sagash, her former Dark mage mentor, and they must find a way to rescue her.

But another shadow from the past has resurfaced—Alex’s former master may be back in London, and Alex has no idea what his agenda is…







Steven John

Outrider
Night Shade Books, September 2, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages

Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014
The only people that can stop the high-tech terrorists who are stealing power are on horseback.

In the very near future, the United States’ energy needs are supplied by enormous solar farms the size of a small state. The panels generate an energy field that prevents ordinary machinery and electronics from functioning. The fields have to be guarded and tended by men on horseback: the Outriders.

New Las Vegas is ruled with an iron fist by Mayor Franklin Dreg and his quietly competent personal assistant, Timothy Hale. Crisis erupts when Hale discovers someone has been stealing energy—siphoning it out of the New Las Vegas grid under cover of darkness. As the Outriders investigate, the scale of the thieving becomes clear: these aren’t ordinary energy leechers. These are high-tech terrorists, or revolutionaries engaged in a mysterious and dangerous enterprise that could bring down the entire energy grid and the city it supports.

As pressures mount, fractures appear, both in the political leadership of New Las Vegas and among the tight-knit community of Outriders. As the pressure continues to grow, the mysterious goal of the “Drainers” finally comes into focus. Only then do the Outriders realize how dangerous the situation really





Ted Kosmatka

Divining Light
Henry Holt and Co., July 1, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014
Brilliantly conceived and multilayered, Divining Light is a high-concept thriller that questions what it really means to be human

In Ted Kosmatka’s wildly original and genre-busting Divining Light, a groundbreaking new discovery changes the world forever
.
Out of a job and struggling with depression and alcohol abuse after a breakdown, the brilliant quantum physicist Eric Angus is given a second chance after he’s hired on a probationary basis by an old friend who runs Hansen, a prestigious Boston-area research lab. Unable to find inspiration for a project, Eric stumbles upon old equipment used for Feynman’s double-slit experiment and decides to re-create the test in order to see the results for himself.

Eric probes deeper into Feynman’s theory, with the help of fellow scientists Satish and Mi Chang. After extensive tests on frogs, dogs, chimps, working their way up every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom, Eric and his team establish a link between conscious observation and an evolutionary trait that is distinctly human: the soul. Mass chaos ensues after they publish the results of their experiment and Eric is bombarded by reporters angling for exclusive interviews and wanting to debate the varying implications. Questions arise when certain people appear to be “soulless,” and after Satish mysteriously disappears, Eric risks everything to answer them.





Daniel O'Malley

Stiletto
The Rook 2
Little, Brown and Company, February 10, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014
In this spirited sequel to the acclaimed The Rook, Myfanwy Thomas returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic -- and slimy -- supernatural war.

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers---and the bureaucratic finesse---to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:

The Checquy---the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and...

The Grafters---a centuries-old supernatural threat.

But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.

Stiletto is a novel of preternatural diplomacy, paranoia, and snide remarks, from an author who "adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof " (Booklist).





Michael R. Underwood

Shield and Crocus
47North, June 10, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 416 pages

Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014
In a city built among the bones of a fallen giant, a small group of heroes looks to reclaim their home from the five criminal tyrants who control it.

The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants, all with their own agendas. Their infighting is nothing, though, compared to the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people—a power that cost him the love of his life.

Now, with nothing left to lose, First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords as they strive to free themselves from the clutches of evil. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other as well—that is, until the tyrants agree to a summit that will permanently divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal.

It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.

In this stunning, original tale of magic and revolution, Michael R. Underwood creates a cityscape that rivals Ambergris and New Crobuzon in its depth and populates it with heroes and villains that will stay with you forever.





Also upcoming are:


Endsinger (Lotus War 3) by Jay Kristoff (Thomas Dunne Books, September 23, 2014)


Silverblind (Ironskin 3) by Tina Connolly (Tor Books, October 7, 2014)


Hunter's Trail (Scarlet Bernard 3) by Melissa F. Olson (47North, September 2, 2014)


More about these novels when I have can share the covers.


The View From Monday - April 7, 2014


Happy first Monday in April. I hesitate to say this, but I think Spring may finally be here. Shhhhh.



The View From Monday - April 7, 2014


This is a relatively light release week with 1 Debut:

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Attack the Geek: A Ree Reyes Side-Quest by Michael R. Underwood;

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage Trilogy 1) by Brian McClellan comes out in Trade Paperback;

and

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes.




April 7, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Twisted Miracles (e) AJ Larrieu PNR - The Shadowminds
Attack the Geek: A Ree Reyes Side-Quest Michael R. Underwood UF - Ree Reyes



April 8, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Dragon Business Kevin J. Anderson F - Dragon Business 1
Mine to Claim (e) A.C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters: Damaged Hearts 1
Steles of the Sky Elizabeth Bear F - Eternal Sky 3
Shipstar Gregory Benford
Larry Niven
SF - Bowl of Heaven 2
Balance Point Robert Buettner SF - Orphan's Legacy 3
I Am the New God (e) Nicole Cushing F
The Word Exchange (D) Alena Graedon Dys/Tech
Darkest Flame: Part 1 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
You (h2tp) Austin Grossman VG/M
The Abomination (h2tp) Jonathan Holt M/Th - Carnivia Trilogy 1
Revelations Paul Antony Jones SF/Ap/PA - Extinction Point 3
Coldbrook Tim Lebbon H
No Lasting Burial Stant Litore H - Zombie Bible 4
The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything John D. MacDonald SF
Promise of Blood (h2tp) Brian McClellan F - Powder Mage Trilogy 1
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Claire North TT
Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion. . .So Far Terry Pratchett F - Discworld
The Adjacent Christopher Priest AH
The Islanders (h2tp) Christopher Priest AH
Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen Josh Reynolds F - Gotrek & Felix 15
The Immortal Collection Eva García Sáenz F - Saga of the Ancient Family
Operation Shield Joel Shepherd SF - Cassandra Kresnov 5
Fiend (h2tp) Peter Stenson H
Welcome to the Monkey House: The Special Edition: Stories Kurt Vonnegut SF - Collection
A Dance in Blood Velvet Freda Warrington DF - Blood 2
Cauldron of Ghosts David Weber
Eric Flint
SF - Crown of Slaves 3
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire Patrick Weekes F - Dragon Age 4
Robot Uprisings Daniel H. Wilson (ed)
John Joseph Adams (ed)
SF - Anthology



April 9, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Something Going Around: A Tor.Com Original Harry Turtledove SF


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

AH - Alternate History
Ap - Apocalyptic
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopia
F - FantasyH - Horror
M - Mystery
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Tech - Technological
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
 UF - Urban Fantasy
VG - Video Games

Guest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 2013


Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery. Michael is the author of the Ree Reyes series - Geekomancy and the recently published Celebromancy. Want to learn about Geekomancy? Michael explains the rules!



Guest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 2013





Geekomancy 101

Fantasy means magic. Sometimes. A lot of the time, honestly. And from Jack Vance and Ursula K. LeGuin, J.K. Rowling to Brandon Sanderson, nearly all fantasy worlds have magic systems. Some are vague, arcane (Lord of the Rings, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Pretty Much All Mythology Ever), and some are well-stratified, almost a science in and of themselves.

On the ‘More Explanation!’ side of the equation is Brandon Sanderson, who is famous for many reasons, one of which being his excellently-drawn magic systems. Brandon has rules about magic. No, not rules, Laws. Sanderson’s first law of magic states:

“An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic.” (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article/40/Sandersons-First-Law).

So when we talk magic, we’re getting into the Big Stuff. The stuff that, well, separates the fantasy from the everything else. I’m a gamer, and so like many gamers who were once twelve, I’ve had my phase of obsessively memorizing statistics, characteristics, and every other little tiny bit of information there was to be had about games I was playing as a pre-teen and young teen. I had to know how everything worked, had to know the text of every card so I could run my brain through every possibility.

I’m not twelve anymore. I don’t obsess about details as much as I used to, don’t exhaustively read RPG setting books anymore to memorize an entire fictional world’s atlas.

I do the work I need to do in order to tell the story I want to tell.

And when it came to making up the magic system in Geekomancy, a magic of fandom and gaming, I had to find the balance between twelve-year-old me who wanted to define everything and the me who was more focused on telling a fun story than on obsessively detailing an entire magic system down to durations in rounds and effect radii in meters.

The magic of Geekomancy is, like many magic systems (a la Mage: the Ascension, Unknown Armies, Harry Potter, the Dresden Files, etc.), about passion, belief, and investment of will into action.

But stratifying rules was not my objective with the style of Geekomancy. My objective was to ask the question “If geeks had magic, what would it be?” and then answer it in as entertaining and thoughtful way as I possibly could.

To answer that question, I took what I saw as the cores of geekdom – enthusiasm for and identification with the properties you love, and a strong thread of collector-itis.

With that, I ended up with three main types of Geekomancy:

  1. Genre emulation – Some Geekomancers can immerse themselves in a text/narrative/cultural  property they geek out over – and when they do, that passion creates a magical charge. The Geekomancer can then draw on that charge to do cool magical stuff that is associated with the text/narrative/cultural property in question.

Example: My protagonist, Ree Reyes, is a big Star Wars fan. In Celebromancy, she watches Star Wars (aka Episode IV: A New Hope), and then uses that charge to use a Jedi mind trick, Force stealth, telekinesis, and force speed.

  1. Props – a Geekomancer can take a prop or artifact from a beloved property and use that prop to do what it did in the property – use a Star Trek phaser to blast, Wonder Woman’s bracelets to deflect bullets, and so on. Each prop has a nostalgia battery, and being magic runs that battery down. When the battery is empty, it has to re-charge by absorbing a portion of the collective nostalgia of every person who’s ever thought ‘how cool are phasers’ or cheered a Star Trek officer on as they fire away.

Example: Ree has a cheap Deep Space Nine phaser prop – because it’s cheap, and a widely-available model, it has a smaller nostalgia battery, and is less powerful overall. If she got her hands on an actual phaser prop used on the show, it’d be substantially more powerful – it’d do more damage and it’d be able to be used for much longer.

  1. Expendables – The last type of Geekomancy is the down-and-dirtiest. A Geekomancer can take an object associated with a geek culture property, and destroy it for a one-shot specific effect. This method is used for artifacts that don’t count as props – cards from CCGs or comics issues instead of phasers and lightsabers and jet boots.

Example: Uncle Joe is a regular at Grognard’s. He’s a CCG specialist, with an extensive collection. Uncle Joe can pull out a fireball card, tear it, and direct the fireball anywhere. Or he can tear up a creature card and summon the creature to fight for him. But every time he does it, the card is ruined, diminishing his meticulously organized collection.

Each type of Geekomancy can be used in a number of ways, that Ree learns are really mostly dependent on the magician. There’s an infinite number of ways to be a Geek, and each Geekomancer has their own relationship to fandom, and therefore, to their magic. The other magic systems in the world are similar, reflecting the worldview of each magician. Doing this allows for variation and consistency to work in harmony for flexible storytelling that’s easy enough to follow that, hopefully, readers won’t feel like the magic is all-hand-waving and no coherence.

Each book, Ree’s understanding of Geekomancy will grow, and she’ll share that with readers. My objective with the Ree Reyes series is to show ways that geeks might try to shape the world around them, to reflect how our fandoms inspire us, educate us, and shape our view of the world. That and to show readers as good a time as I can along the way.






Ree Reyes

Celebromancy
Ree Reyes 2
Pocket Star, July 15, 2013
eBook, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 2013
Fame has a magic all its own in the no-gossip-barred follow-up to Geekomancy. Ree Reyes gets her big screenwriting break, only to discover just how broken Hollywood actually is.

Things are looking up for urban fantasista Ree Reyes. She’s using her love of pop culture to fight monsters and protect her hometown as a Geekomancer, and now a real-live production company is shooting her television pilot script.

But nothing is easy in show business. When an invisible figure attacks the leading lady of the show, former child-star-turned-current-hot-mess Jane Konrad, Ree begins a school-of-hard-knocks education in the power of Celebromancy.

Attempting to help Jane Geekomancy-style with Jedi mind tricks and X-Men infiltration techniques, Ree learns more about movie magic than she ever intended. She also learns that real life has the craziest plots: not only must she lift a Hollywood-strength curse, but she needs to save her pilot, negotiate a bizarre love rhombus, and fight monsters straight out of the silver screen. All this without anyone getting killed or, worse, banished to the D-List.



Geekomancy
Geekomancy 1
Pocket Star, July 10, 2012
eBook, 400 pages

Guest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 2013
Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire the Slayer in this original urban fantasy eBook about Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.

Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comicshop slave to pursue her ambitions as a screenwriter.

When a scruffy-looking guy storms into the shop looking for a comic like his life depends on it, Ree writes it off as just another day in the land of the geeks. Until a gigantic “BOOM!” echoes from the alley a minute later, and Ree follows the rabbit hole down into her town’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves, and elegant Gothic Lolita witches while wielding nostalgia-powered props.

Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from her own drag-your-heart-through-jagged-glass breakup. But as she digs deeper, Ree discovers Eastwood may not be the knight-in-cardboard armor she thought. Will Ree be able to stop the suicides, save Eastwood from himself, and somehow keep her job?





About Michael

Guest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 2013
Michael R. Underwood is the author of GEEKOMANCY, CELEBROMANCY, and the forthcoming YOUNGER GODS (2014). By day, he's the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. Always books.

Mike lives in Baltimore with his girlfriend, an ever-growing library, and a super-team of dinosaur figurines & stuffed animals. In his rapidly-vanishing free time, he studies historical martial arts and makes homemade pizza.



Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @MikeRUnderwood


2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12


What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to in 2013 and beyond?  This is the twelfth in a series of posts.


See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.



Anne Lyle

The Prince of Lies
Night's Masque 3
Angry Robot Books, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Elizabethan spy Mal Catlyn has everything he ever wanted – his twin brother Sandy restored to health, his family estate reclaimed and a son to inherit it – but his work is far from over. The renegade skraylings, the guisers, are still plotting – their leader, Jathekkil, has reincarnated as the young Prince Henry Tudor. But while he is still young, Mal has a slim chance of eliminating his enemies whilst they are at their weakest.

With Sandy’s help, Mal learns to harness his own magic in the fight against the guisers, but it may be too late to save England. Schemes set in motion decades ago are at last coming to fruition, and the barrier between the dreamlands and the waking world is wearing thin…

File Under: Fantasy [ Princes in the Tower | Revenger's Tragedy | Much Ado | Boys Will Be Boys ]




Megan Powell

No Love for the Wicked
Magnolia Kelch 2
47North, August 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 268 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
It’s taken six months, but supernaturally gifted Magnolia Kelch finally seems to have her surging powers under control. Then she arrives home to find a group of strangers in her beloved farmhouse, and that control is immediately put to the test. Magnolia quickly learns that her “guests” are actually part of the Network—not from the task force headed by her mentor, Thirteen, but a second group, led by British agent Colin St. Pierre.

Unfortunately, Theo, a Network agent who shares an intimate connection with Magnolia, doesn’t trust Colin as a new commander. When team missions collide, Magnolia finds herself in the middle of Network infighting, asking herself who among those closest to her truly has her best interests at heart.

But an even greater threat lies on the horizon. Intent on tracking down the source of Magnolia’s powers, a familiar enemy resurfaces with a plan—one that is far more sinister than the Network has ever seen.




Cecy Robson

A Cursed Moon
A Weird Girls eNovella
Signet, December 3, 2013
eNovella

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…

Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia Wird to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…

Includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!



Cursed by Destiny
Weird Girls 3
Signet, January 7, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they're products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird…

Celia’s a girl in trouble. Her heart is bound to Aric, but he is a pureblood were who must deny her or risk condemning his species to extinction. And that’s just her love life. She’s also been called to take down a group of demon terrorists looking to overthrow the paranormal world. (No pressure.)

In order to bring them down, Celia must ally herself to Misha, the master vampire who has made no secret of his desire for her.

And if that weren’t enough misfortune for one girl, a clairvoyant’s prediction could destroy Celia and Aric’s love for good. The only way to protect the world from unbridled supernatural terrorism is for Celia to bind herself to her destined mate. And that doesn’t appear to be Aric…




Simone St. James

Silence for the Dead
NAL Trade, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
“Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....”

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it?

Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.





Joan Swan

Shatter
Phoenix Rising 4
Kensington Brava, December 31, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
For seven years, Halina Beloi has been in hiding. But she's never forgotten Mitch Foster, the long, lean man she had to leave behind. Until, that is, Mitch shows up with a list of questions and a 9mm in his hand.

All Mitch knows is that Halina broke his heart and disappeared. But new information has surfaced implicating her as a player in the deadliest game of Mitch's life. This time, he's not letting go without answers. Now terror, danger and heat will fuse them together or shatter the future. . .




David Tallerman

Prince Thief
Tales of Easie Damasco 3
Angry Robot, September 24, 2013 (US/Canada) and eBook
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Altapasaeda, capital of the Castoval, is under siege by its own King.

Far to the north, rebels have set a bastard prince up as a figurehead.

Yet again, Easie Damasco finds himself roped into a desperate scheme to preserve the Castoval, And kidnapping the Prince seemed like such a good idea at the time…




Michael R. Underwood

Celebromancy
Ree Reyes 2
Pocket Star, July 15, 2013
eBook, 400 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 12
Fame has a magic all its own in the no-gossip-barred follow-up to Geekomancy. Ree Reyes gets her big screenwriting break, only to discover just how broken Hollywood actually is.

Things are looking up for urban fantasista Ree Reyes. She’s using her love of pop culture to fight monsters and protect her hometown as a Geekomancer, and now a real-live production company is shooting her television pilot script.

But nothing is easy in show business. When an invisible figure attacks the leading lady of the show, former child-star-turned-current-hot-mess Jane Konrad, Ree begins a school-of-hard-knocks education in the power of Celebromancy.

Attempting to help Jane Geekomancy-style with Jedi mind tricks and X-Men infiltration techniques, Ree learns more about movie magic than she ever intended. She also learns that real life has the craziest plots: not only must she lift a Hollywood-strength curse, but she needs to save her pilot, negotiate a bizarre love rhombus, and fight monsters straight out of the silver screen. All this without anyone getting killed or, worse, banished to the D-List.





On The Qwillery's radar:

Shanghai Sparrow by Gaie Sebold out in April 2014

and

Cateveiro (The Osiris Project 2) by E.J. Swift out later this year.


2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for July 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.

May 2012 Winner - Nightshifted (Edie Spence 1) by Cassie Alexander. Cover art by Aleta Rafton.

June 2012 Winner - Osiris (The Osiris Project 1) by E.J. Swift. Cover art by Sparth.


















































Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of Geekomancy - July 11, 2012

Please welcome Michael R. Underwood to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Geekomancy, Michael's debut, was published yesterday!

You may read Michael's Guest Blog - Geekomancy’s Official Unofficial Soundtrack - here.

Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of Geekomancy - July 11, 2012



TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Michael:  I have developed a habit of writing short stories that turn out to be the seed of a novel. Twice now, I’ve written short stories in a setting and then discovered/decided in revision that the story doesn’t work as is, because I should take the material from the story and write a novel instead. I’ve embraced this approach, and when I sit down to write a short story, I know what I’m writing may end up being the midwife for a novel idea.


TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Michael:  Ray Bradbury made a huge impact on me when I was younger. I read graphic novel versions of many of his stories (Marionettes, Inc., Golden Apples of the Sun, Martian Chronicles, etc.), and he shaped a lot of my early conceptions of what science fiction could mean. Ursula K. LeGuin and Octavia Butler inspired me with their sociological stories and their marvelous essays, and I try to apply those lessons in my writing when I can. China Mieville has been a huge influence, as I simply adore his ability to throw ideas in a blender along with his special sense of weird tp produce work that consistently feels different, edgy, and (often) fun. The Geekomancy series is definitely influenced by Jim Butcher, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Kevin Smith, and the Mutant Enemy writing team.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Michael:  I plead special snowflake. My process comes largely from being a tabletop RPG-er, specifically from my experience as a GM/Storyteller. When prepping campaign sessions, I have to come up with major hurdles and a general shape of the game, but leave enough space for the players to decide how to move between the hurdles and how to react to them. When prepping a story, I try to figure out what the major turns will be to get to the ending, and then I write organically between the waypoints.


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

Michael:  I tend to go pretty spare on the physical description, because I’m much more excited about action and dialogue. Sometimes I have to specifically stop myself to do description to make sure that the scene and characters are easy to visualize. This definitely applies to character description. I usually come up with a couple of descriptions to hang a character on and then move on.


TQ:  Describe Geekomancy in 140 characters or less.

Michael:  Sarcastic geeky barista falls into bizarre magic underworld and wields the power of fandom to try to stop a string of teen suicides.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Geekomancy?

Michael:  It started out as a distraction. I was writing a YA epic fantasy and had this idea about a retired astral cowboy-turned-memorabilia-monger, a geeky barista, and a magic system based around props and genre emulation. Conceptually, Geekomancy draws on ideas I liked from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clerks, The Middleman and The Dresden Files, all thrown together and filtered through my own perspective.


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

Michael:  I didn’t really do any research specifically for the novel, because I was drawing on a (young) lifetime of experience – working in a game store, as a barista, growing up geek, and as an aspirant writer who had big dreams but was having trouble finding a solid way to achieve them. I did a lot of thinking about what geekdom meant to me, what the point of fandom was, and how the stories I grew up with shaped the way I see the world.

As far as setting research, I wanted a Pacific Northwest locale, but I haven’t spent enough time in Portland or Seattle to do them justice. So instead, I took elements from each and then filled out Pearson with places and people I thought would make for an awesome geek city.


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

Michael:  Drake Winters is the easiest to write because he’s so delightfully over-the-top. His voice comes so naturally to me – there’s a button in my brain that says ‘DRAKE WINTERS!’ and when I push it, the campy dashing heroism flows like a raging river.

Ree is the hardest to write, because as my protagonist I have to show all of her sides. Ree has some of my qualities and geeky interests, but she’s very different than the protagonists I’ve written so far. It’s fun to live in Ree’s head, but I have to be really on my game to depict a complex, driven, heroic geek girl.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Geekomancy?

Michael:  My favorite scenes are the scenes of revelation – when Ree’s understanding of other characters drastically changes, setting the course for the rest of the book.

Another favorite, which I can talk about, is a dogfight with a monster through downtown Pearson. In the middle of the novel, Ree and Drake are chasing down a monster (no spoilers!) and it takes to the sky, trying to escape. Of course, being a good Magitechnician, Drake has an aerothopter, and our hero rides shotgun as they chase the creature through the skies of downtown Pearson, Ree putting her 1st person shooter and light-gun skills to the test and fighting her fear of heights.


TQ:  What's next?

Michael:  I’m making my way through the sequel to Geekomancy. Ree stumbles onto a new whacky –mancy, tries again to balance her work life with the bizarre awesomeness of the magical underground, and because she doesn’t have enough things vying for her attention, there is romance on the horizon.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michael:  Thank you! It’s been great to be a part of the Debut Author Challenge, and I’m excited for Geekomancy to get out into the world.

People can find me at http://michaelrunderwood.com for updates about the series, my schedule, and all the geekiness.


About Geekomancy

Geekomancy
Geekomancy 1
Pocket Star, July 10, 2012
eBook, 400 pages

Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of Geekomancy - July 11, 2012
Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire the Slayer in this original urban fantasy eBook about Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.

Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comicshop slave to pursue her ambitions as a screenwriter.

When a scruffy-looking guy storms into the shop looking for a comic like his life depends on it, Ree writes it off as just another day in the land of the geeks. Until a gigantic “BOOM!” echoes from the alley a minute later, and Ree follows the rabbit hole down into her town’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves, and elegant Gothic Lolita witches while wielding nostalgia-powered props.

Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from her own drag-your-heart-through-jagged-glass breakup. But as she digs deeper, Ree discovers Eastwood may not be the knight-in-cardboard armor she thought. Will Ree be able to stop the suicides, save Eastwood from himself, and somehow keep her job?



About Michael

Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of Geekomancy - July 11, 2012
Michael R. Underwood grew up devouring stories in all forms: movies, comics, TV, video games, and novels. He holds a B.A. in Creative Mythology and East Asian Studies from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore Studies from the University of Oregon, which have been great preparation for writing speculative fiction. Michael went straight from his M.A. to the Clarion West Writers Workshop and then landed in Bloomington, Indiana, where he remains. When not writing or selling books across the Midwest as an independent book representative, Michael dances Argentine Tango and studies renaissance martial arts.

You can find him at http://MichaelRUnderwood.com or @MikeRUnderwood on Twitter. Geekomancy is coming July 10th from Pocket Star. 
The View From Monday - June 9, 2014BEA 2014 / BookCon 2014Yet Another 2012 Debut Author Challennge Update - May 14, 2014Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of the Ree Reyes series - April 7, 2014The View From Monday - April 7, 2014New York Comic Con 2013 Day 1 plus The Qwillery's 5th Anniversary GiveawayGuest Blog by Michael R. Underwood - Geekomancy 101 - August 9, 20132012 Debut Author Challenge Update - Part 122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 2012Interview with Michael R. Underwood, author of Geekomancy - July 11, 2012

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