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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

I'm a bit behind on announcing winners and getting out winnings. We had a family emergency (all is well now, I think) and then lost power for over a week in the great Autumn Nor'Easter that hit on October 29th. I'm behind, but I will catch up. So without further ado, excuses, or explanations... the winners are:


The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis 1) by Sandy Williams

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question: What is your favorite soda or other beverage?

Kristina who said...

Shadow Reader looks like it is going to be an awesome read! Definately going on my TBR list!

*my favorite soda is Coke...just like the refreshing taste and the fact that I can leave it out for a few hours and its not flat at all!

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Dark Sins and Desert Sands (Mythica) by Stephanie Draven

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Do you have a favorite myth?

Scorpio1974 who said...

Well I love pretty much all things paranormal and supernatural so I like a lot of the myths surrounding those things like vampires, were-animals, zombies and such. I also like the greek and roman myths about the gods and goddesses.

and

Patsy who said...

My favorite myth is the City/Island of Atlantis. I am truely fascinated by it!

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


A Novel Seduction by Gwyn Cready

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Hero in a tuxedo or hero in a kilt?

Jary who said...

What can be better than a man in a kilt? Especially if he is bare chested. YUM!!

The books looks great. You are a new author for me but definitely going on my TOB list.

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Mirror Maze by Michaela Jordan

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Have you ever been in a maze and where? 

erin who said...

Thanks for a great interview! I hadn't encountered this book before and it sounds great!

I've only been in a maze once and it was a corn maze attached to a haunted house. Of course, we went at night and it seemed like it took us forever to find our way out. Don't know if I'd do it again, but it was scary!

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Beauty Dates the Beast (Midnight Liaisons 1) by Jessica Sims

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Who or What is your perfect paranormal date? 

Sheree who said...

Hm, it's either going to be a flying shifter of some sort or an angel. We might as well fly to our date destinations without dealing with airplanes.

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


The Vengeful Dead (Deadworld 2) by J.N. Duncan and cover flat for The Lingering Dead (Deadworld 3)

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Leave a comment about J.N. Duncan's post.

Bethany C. who said...

I like how you described your writing process. It sounds like how I would go about it if I were to ever start writing a book/series.

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Swell by Corwin Ericson

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  What is your favorite kind of whale?

msmjb65 who said...

The answer to the question is easy: the humpback whale. I have always been intrigued by this mammouth of the sea.It's just so amazing when you see one breach - that it can get itself out of the water like that is nature at its best.
I have yet to be in the right place at the right time to go whale watching, but one day I'll get to see one in person. Swell looks really interesting and different - I love different!
Congrats on the release..

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Mysteries 1) by Rochelle Staab

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Tarot Cards or Palm Reading?

samantha35 who said...

I love the idea of palm reading- seems more personal!
great giveaway

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Awaken the Highland Warrior and Embrace the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Who is your favorite writer and why?

Laura_darkelvengirl who said...

Who's my favorite writer?
Easy yet hard I have to say these people. Nalini Singh, Alexandra Ivy, and Kerrelyn Sparks. The reason I would say these are my favorite writers are that they deliver stories that leave me loving them, and wanting more.

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


$5 gift certificate to the online book store of the winner's choice from Natalie J. Damschroder 

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  Which goddess or god would you be (if you could be a goddess or god)?

latishajean who said...

I would pick Persephone I love the story one of my favorites!

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


Prize pack, including a signed copy of Under Attack (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 2) by Hannah Jayne

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011

Question:  What job would you do if you could do anything?

Teril who said...

Well for starters if I could do anything, it would be find teleportation and make it free because I am tired of sitting in traffic. That and driving in the snow. So teleportation it is. That and becoming a shifter, since then I could be moody and hawt!

Under Wraps was an amazing novel I love the heroine and the setting! I cannot wait to read Under Attack. Thank you for the giveaway.

Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59 pm US Eastern Time on Monday, November 21, 2011 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Interview with Michaela Jordan and Giveaway - October 26, 2011

Please welcome Michaela Jordon to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Mirror Maze, Michaela's debut, was published on October 25, 2011 by Pyr.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Michaela:  I am definitely a panster! I feel strongly that the action MUST evolve from the characters and their interactions. Sometimes in my reading, I feel that the ‘characters’ are simply doing what the plot outline tells them to do, without clear and convincing motivation; I often don’t bother to finish such stories.

But, of course, one must have some story. So I usually start with at least two, preferably three, very vivid scenes in mind. Long ago, I used to jump in with one scene, but I slowly realized I was writing a lot of interesting openings that had no place to go. So now I insist to myself on at least two, so that the second will provide a direction for the first.

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

Michaela:  I never feel like I’m writing—it seems more like taking dictation—so I am often totally oblivious to where I am going or how long it will take me to get there. Sometimes I even scare myself. When I first sat down to write Mirror Maze, I was not planning a novel. Just the opposite—I was working on something else, and only meant to jot down a quick short story while I still remembered the idea, and then get right back to the piece I was working on. A short story is 5,000 words, right? When I reached 20,000 words, I typed “The End”. But I was lying, and I knew it. It was only the end of Part 1. In fact, Mirror Maze turned out to be 135,000 words, which is no short story.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Mirror Maze?

Michaela:  I blush to admit it, but I was watching a silly TV show (very silly, but one of my favorites) and I had just that afternoon been reading a story that featured a succubus. It quite suddenly flashed across my mind that it would be very easy to slip that succubus into that TV show, if I only changed one little thing…. Of course, I changed a great deal more than one little thing in both the story and TV show before I was done; I hope with all my heart they are both now unrecognizable.

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

Michaela:  Strangely, I do not view this as one question, but two. I should admit first, that I have never been conscious of an influence on my writing since I was seventeen and wrote an “Edgar Allan Poe” story for a class assignment. But of course there are influences, just not conscious ones. They would be the books I read when I was young. I spent most afternoons after school with my dear grandmother—who was certainly an Edwardian, if not a belated Victorian—in her house full of darling, breakable ornaments and bric-a-brac, many of them so valuable that it was worth my life to touch them. (She had never heard of child-proofing!) So the safest place in her house was the library, which was full of beautiful, hard bound classics—often in matched sets. All of it very old-fashioned stuff. I grew up on Dickens, Dostoevsky, Scott, Bronte, Verne, Kipling, Stevenson and James (Henry, not William—I got William much later in life). I don’t actually read those much any more, but I absorbed them, and they shaped the way I put words together.

These days, I am still something of a literary snob (but not too good to indulge in an occasional manga!). I love Michael Chabon and Thomas Pynchon (whether they are writing SF or not) but within the field my favorite authors are probably Neil Stephenson and Iain M. Banks (not to neglect Banks in his mainstream incarnation—I adored Whit!) which leaves out all the stuff between my early years and now. Philip K. Dick and Rudy Rucker, Octavia Butler and Kaje Baker. There are so many books! How can we play favorites?

TQ:  Describe Mirror Maze in 140 characters or less.

Michaela:  You want short answers? Now you tell me! Mirror Maze is about karma, and the price of the past. It’s also a warning that demons are not glamorous and magic is dangerous.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Mirror Maze.

Michaela:  Lots! Every other page, some silly detail would come up—things like: when did the bell go into Big Ben? Or how much would you pay for a pocket knife? A woman’s hair?

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

Michaela:  The easiest was Cecily who was not even part of my original idea. She volunteered when I needed a viewpoint character and Jacob turned out to be incapacitated. But she was perfect for the job—so observant and articulate. Jacob was the hardest—and he was the one the original story was supposed to be about. He’s such a private person. I spent most of the book trying to get to Jacob’s story.

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

Michaela:  A very hard question to answer! Maybe the opening, when Jacob comes home to find his dead fiancée waiting for him? Or Dr. Chang facing the astral mirror? Or Col. Beckford magically escorting Cecily down the stairs? Or Livia, either searching the attic or dressing up as a boy? Or….? I admit it. I love every one of my own words. I have no favorites.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the series?

Michaela:  This was never conceived as a series, and I thought I had genuinely concluded the story, tied off every loose end and closed every question. But… My husband keeps asking me if I couldn’t perhaps follow up with the next generation. There were children, probably not unscarred. So maybe I’ll talk to my editor about that.

TQ:  What's next?

Michaela:  Right now I’m working on two books. I never work on just one piece at a time. Unlike some writers more experienced—or more fortunate—than I, I occasionally experience blocks. When I just can’t think what to say next on one manuscript, I pop over to another one, so I need never be without invisible friends whispering in my ears. I generally have a primary and a secondary, although they have once or twice changed places.

My first next book (how’s that for a tangled phrase) is Jocasta and the Indians. It is also set in the Victorian era, but instead of a dark fantasy, it is a rollicking steampunk adventure. My second next novel is Invasion, an SF novel (because one can’t live forever in Victorian times) about the arrival of an alien spaceship. I’m very excited about both.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michaela:  And thank you for hearing me out!


About Mirror Maze

Mirror Maze
Pyr, October 25,  2011
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Michaela Jordan and Giveaway - October 26, 2011
Cover Illustration: © Cynthia Sheppard
Jacob Aldridge is still utterly devastated by the death of his fiancée when he suddenly encounters her doppelganger. Livia Aram’s uncanny resemblance to the late Rhoda Carothers so transcends coincidence that Jacob becomes obsessed with her. The intensity of his passion terrifies her until her compassion is roused by his desperate plight. A demon is stalking him, a succubus-like entity that feeds on human pain and desire. With the help of Jacob’s sister, Cecily, and Livia’s guardian, the mysterious Dr. Chang, they overcome the demon. Or so it appears. . . .

Jacob, Liva, and Cecily are all victims of a single curse, a curse which entrapped and destroyed their parents before them. Now fate has drawn their descendants together again, and the curse is playing out. Nothing can help them, until Cecily’s husband returns from abroad. Colonel Beckford has been missing for years; he has seen strange things and acquired strange powers in his absence. Now he will do whatever it takes to free his wife and eliminate the demon and its curse once and for all.



About Michaela

Interview with Michaela Jordan and Giveaway - October 26, 2011
     Ms. Jordan was born—but not raised—in California, of which she remembers nothing but the sea. Her mother always thought she was destined to write, from the day she won her first poetry award at the age of five.
     But, armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Drama from Bard College, she chose instead to launch a theatrical career that spanned nanoseconds. Sobered by that experience, she embarked on the Serious Business of Earning a Living. She studied programming and entered the workforce as a computer-literate administrator. In the meanwhile, she continued to scribble stories and chat with invisible playmates.
     Eventually, she was forced to admit that her mother had been right. Mirror Maze is her first novel to appear in book form, although the discerning reader may also have seen Blade Light, which was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe.
     She lives in Cincinnati with a grumpy cat, a long-suffering husband, and a variety of invisible playmates.


Michaela's Links

Website
Facebook


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a trade paperback copy of Mirror Maze from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Have you ever been in a maze and where? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors


Here are the October debut authors and their novels (in alphabetical order). 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. 


Debris
Author:  Jo Anderton
Series:  The Veiled Worlds
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books (October 2011*)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy Adventure
ISBN:  978-0-85766-154-8
*Debris was available on September 27, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors
In a far future where technology is all but indistinguishable from magic, Tanyana is one of the elite.

She can control pions, the building blocks of matter, shaping them into new forms using ritual gestures and techniques. The rewards are great, and she is one of most highly regarded people in the city. But that was before the “accident”.

Stripped of her powers, bound inside a bizarre powersuit, she finds herself cast down to the very lowest level of society. Powerless, penniless and scarred, Tanyana must adjust to a new life collecting “debris”, the stuff left behind by pions. But as she tries to find who has done all of this to her, she also starts to realize that debris is more important than anyone could guess.

Debris is a stunning new piece of Science Fantasy, which draws in themes from Japanese manga, and classic Western SF and Fantasy to create this unique, engrossing debut from the very exciting young author Jo Anderton.

FILE UNDER: Science Fiction [ Sentient Matter | Cast Down | Cruel Betrayals | All Is Lies ]
Read a guest blog by Jo Anderton about genre.


Swell
Author:  Corwin Ericson
Format:  Trade Paperback, 390 pages
Publisher:  Dark Coast Press (October 25, 2011)
Price:  $16.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fiction
ISBN:  978-0984428847

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors
The tiny northeast island of Bismuth keeps getting smaller for Orange Whippey.
A bad day soaking wet and stranded on Wreck Rock gets worse when Orange is conscripted into the service of lifelong nemesis Mr. Lucy and his repugnant son, Donny. A vast Atlantic of epic fish tales and mythical whales is teeming with drug dealers, Korean smugglers, and corporate schemers. When a mysterious package goes missing, Orange is plunged further into a world of unwanted responsibility. He’s sleep-deprived, shanghaied, tied-up and beaten, but all he wants is a dry pair of pants and some coffee. First though, there are questions that need to be answered. Who has the package? What’s all the fuss? And ultimately, why the hell should Orange care?

Misadventures range from absurd to terrifying as Snorri—a Finlindian whale herder who used to be married to a bear—and Waldena—an Estonindian harpoonist and Thor-cult priestess—do their best to keep Orange from doing what he would ultimately prefer to do: nothing.


Unleashed
Author:  Sara Humphreys
Series:  The Amoveo Legend
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  SourcebooksCasablanca (October 1, 2011)
Price:  $6.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN9781402258435

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors
What if you suddenly discovered your own powers were beyond anything you’d ever imagined…

Samantha Logan’s childhood home had always been a haven, but everything changed while she was away. She has a gorgeous new neighbor, Malcolm, who introduces her to the amazing world of the dream-walking, shapeshifting Amoveo clans…but what leaves her reeling with disbelief is when he tells her she’s one of them…

And shock turns to terror as Samantha falls prey to the deadly enemy determined to destroy the Amoveo, and the only chance she has to come into her true powers is to trust in Malcolm to show her the way…

Get swept away into Sara Humphreys’s glorious world and breathtaking love story…


Mirror Maze
Author:  Michaela Jordan
Format:  Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher:  Pyr (October 2011)
Price:  $17.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1-61614-529-3

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors
Jacob Aldridge is still utterly devastated by the death of his fiancée when he suddenly encounters her doppelganger. Livia Aram’s uncanny resemblance to the late Rhoda Carothers so transcends coincidence that Jacob becomes obsessed with her. The intensity of his passion terrifies her until her compassion is roused by his desperate plight. A demon is stalking him, a succubus-like entity that feeds on human pain and desire. With the help of Jacob’s sister, Cecily, and Livia’s guardian, the mysterious Dr. Chang, they overcome the demon. Or so it appears. . . .

Jacob, Liva, and Cecily are all victims of a single curse, a curse which entrapped and destroyed their parents before them. Now fate has drawn their descendants together again, and the curse is playing out. Nothing can help them, until Cecily’s husband returns from abroad. Colonel Beckford has been missing for years; he has seen strange things and acquired strange powers in his absence. Now he will do whatever it takes to free his wife and eliminate the demon and its curse once and for all.


The Shadow Reader
Author:  Sandy Williams
Series:  McKenzie Lewis 1
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  Ace (October 25, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban fantasy
ISBN9781937007010

2011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors
A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 2011

The Qwillery is pleased to announce that Michaele Jordan has joined the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Michaele's debut, Mirror Maze, will be published in October 2011 by Pyr.

2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 2011
Jacob Aldridge is still utterly devastated by the death of his fiancée when he suddenly encounters her doppelganger. Livia Aram’s uncanny resemblance to the late Rhoda Carothers so transcends coincidence that Jacob becomes obsessed with her. The intensity of his passion terrifies her until her compassion is roused by his desperate plight. A demon is stalking him, a succubus-like entity that feeds on human pain and desire. With the help of Jacob’s sister, Cecily, and Livia’s guardian, the mysterious Dr. Chang, they overcome the demon. Or so it appears. . . .

Jacob, Liva, and Cecily are all victims of a single curse, a curse which entrapped and destroyed their parents before them. Now fate has drawn their descendants together again, and the curse is playing out. Nothing can help them, until Cecily’s husband returns from abroad. Colonel Beckford has been missing for years; he has seen strange things and acquired strange powers in his absence. Now he will do whatever it takes to free his wife and eliminate the demon and its curse once and for all.

Format:  Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Price:  $17.95
ISBN:  978-1-61614-529-3

I really like the cover by Cynthia Sheppard.

Look for an interview with Michaele in October.  You can keep up to date on 2011 Debut Author Challenge happenings on the 2011 DAC page.
Winners x 12 - November 14, 2011Interview with Michaela Jordan and Giveaway - October 26, 20112011 Debut Author Challenge - October Debut Authors2011 Debut Author Challenge Update - September 3, 2011

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