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Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Clarissa Goenawan (2018)

Rainbirds
Soho Press, March 19, 2019
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 6, 2018

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Set in an imagined town outside Tokyo, Clarissa Goenawan’s dark, spellbinding literary debut follows a young man’s path to self-discovery in the wake of his sister’s murder.

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, captivating young female student, he delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren realizes that Keiko Ishida kept many secrets, even from him.





Sean Grigsby (2018)

Ash Kickers
Smoke Eaters 2
Angry Robot, July 9, 2019
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
It’s dragons vs firefighters vs the Phoenix in the scorching fantasy sequel to Smoke Eaters.

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are just tranquilized and locked up. But for Tamerica Williams, a job filled with action and danger has become routine. She’s so bored she nearly gets her whole team killed, and Brannigan has to step in. When a new threat emerges, the legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy, it’s a perfect task for Williams, but killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger. Is that too much excitement, even for Williams?

File Under: Fantasy [ Smoke Em | Catch and Release | Fire Bird | Arson About ]


Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Book 1





Peter McLean (2016)

Priest of Lies
War for the Rose Throne 1
Ace, July 2, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Tomas Piety has been many things: soldier, priest, gangster…and spy. As Tomas’s power grows, the nobility better watch their backs, in this dark and gritty epic fantasy series.

People are weak, and the poorer and more oppressed they are, the weaker they become–until they can’t take it anymore. And when  they rise up…may the gods help their oppressors.

When Tomas Piety returned from the war, he just wanted to rebuild his empire of crime with his gang of Pious Men. But his past as a spy for the Queen’s Men drew him back in and brought him more power than he ever imagined.

Now, with half of his city in ashes and the Queen’s Men at his back, the webs of political intrigue stretch out from the capital to pull Tomas in. Dannsburg is calling.

In Dannsburg the nobility fight with words, not blades, but the results are every bit as bloody. In this pit of beasts, Tomas must decide once and for all whether he is truly the people’s champion…or just a priest of lies.


Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Book 1

Interview with Peter McLean


Please welcome Peter McLean to The Qwillery. Priest of Bones, the first novel in the War for the Rose Throne, was published on October 2nd by Ace.



Interview with Peter McLean




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery! Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne 1) was published on October 2nd. Describe Priest of Bones using only 5 words.

Peter:  Peaky Blinders with Swords. There, that’s only four words! Joel Cunningham at Barnes & Noble came up with that when they hosted the online cover reveal, and it’s absolutely perfect.



TQIn our first interview (back in 2016) you said that the most challenging thing for you about writing was "Simply making the time to do it is always the hardest thing." Is this still the case or have new challenges cropped up?

Peter:  Yes and no. I had eighteen months off between leaving one day job and starting another, which gave me a ton of time to work (the second book, Priest of Lies, is already done!) but I’m now back at work during the days again, so I’m once more burning the candle at both ends. It’s manageable though, I find I just have to choose what I don’t do in order to make time for writing. I barely watch TV any more, for example, and nights out have definitely become a thing of the past. Writing is one of those things that, if you really want to do it, you’ll find the time somewhere. I know people who get up to write at 5am every day before their families wake up, for example, and people who write on their lunch breaks at work. The time is always there, it’s just up to you how you choose to use it.



TQYour first series, The Burned Man series (Drake, Dominion, and Damnation), is Urban Fantasy. Priest of Bones is described as "...a fresh and compelling take on grimdark fantasy." While The Burned Man series was often grim and dark it could not be called grimdark. What drew you to writing grimdark? What is "grimdark" in your opinion?

Peter:  Oh boy, I’m not even sure of the answer to that myself. I don’t really think anyone outside of the Warhammer community (where the term originated) really agrees on what “grimdark” means. For me, at least, it’s about morally ambiguous characters, about everyone thinking they’re doing the right thing and usually being wrong, and about consequences. One of the key signatures of books commonly regarded as grimdark is that actions have consequences. Wounds get infected and go bad, soldiers get dysentery on campaign, good people die unexpectedly, and war leaves mental as well as physical scars. In those respects I suppose you could say it’s more “realistic” than traditional high fantasy where you often find instant healing spells and so forth, but it’s not just that. There’s an aesthetic to it too, a grime that speaks to the noir-lover in me. I can’t see myself ever writing about singing elves and happy unicorns, if you know what I mean.



TQAre there any themes that Priest of Bones shares with The Burned Man series?

Peter:  Yeah, definitely. Childhood trauma and parent issues seem to be two of my recurring themes whatever I’m writing, and both Don Drake and Tomas Piety are the products of abusive upbringings. There’s the criminality too, of course. Don Drake from The Burned Man was basically a hitman, at least to begin with, and Tomas Piety is a gangster. Both are trying to do good, to be better men, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Both series are set amongst the lower classes of their worlds, too; even when I’m reading history, I’m infinitely more interested in how cobblers, bakers, seamstresses and soldiers lived in a given time than I am in royalty or dukes and duchesses. I always think people’s actions and decisions are more interesting when they’re influenced not simply by what they perceive to be right, but also by how they’ll get to eat that day.



TQYou've set Priest of Bones sort of in the Tudor period. What appeals to you about this particular historical period?

Peter:  I knew I wanted my broken soldiers to be haunted by the noise of the cannon, in a nod to the heroes of the First World War, so I decided to set the story in an analogue of the Tudor period rather than the more ubiquitous “Medieval fantasy era”, which is never particularly Medieval anyway. Also I wanted Ellinburg, where the book is set, to be a filthy industrial city, with lots of heavy manufacturing. I didn’t want to go steampunk with it, but there are a lot of factories powered by waterwheels which I think fit better in a later-feeling setting.



TQIn Priest of Bones who was your favorite character to write and why? Which character has given you the most trouble and why?

Peter:  Bloody Anne is far and away my favourite character. Like the very best characters, she just sort of arrived in my head one day, fully formed and generally causing trouble, demanding to be written. She fascinates me because she functions as Tomas’s conscience, something he’s personally lacking to a large degree. Their relationship is purely platonic but there’s definitely a love between them, and a deep well of mutual respect.

I think in a way Tomas himself was probably the most difficult – with a first person narrator you’re obviously much deeper in that character than any of the others, and Tomas is a complicated man. He just arrived too, but he was much harder to get into the head of than Anne. He’s a ruthless, manipulative businessman out for himself and a natural leader, but at the same time he genuinely cares for his people and his streets, the place where he came from. He grew up dirt poor on those streets, abused and with no prospects. He’s a completely self-made man with big political ambitions and bigger problems, who gets swallowed up by events beyond his control and has to do what he can to make the best of it. He’s a man of contradictions, priest and executioner both. While he is enormously fun to write about it’s a big character to wrap around myself, and not always a comfortable head to live in while writing him.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Priest of Bones.

Peter:  I absolutely love the cover, Ace really did me proud there. It was designed in-house at Berkley by Katie Anderson, combining the photograph of the sword by Jelena Jovanovic with Slava Geri’s street scene. The US trade paperback has a gorgeous textured finish too, while the UK edition from Jo Fletcher Books has a slightly different design but the same image, and will be a my first hardcover release.



TQPlease share with us one or two of your favorite quotes from Priest of Bones.

Peter:

“My weapons are gold and lace, and paints and powders. And the dagger, when it’s needed. You can hide a dagger very well indeed, behind enough lace.”

When people have run out of food, and hope, and places to hide, do not be surprised if they have also run out of mercy.



TQWhat's next?

Peter:  Next is the second book in the series, Priest of Lies, due out next July. Without giving too much away, you’ll see savage gang warfare, visit Dannsburg, see the imposing House of Law and the terrible House of Magicians, and discover what happens when a man who lives by his brutal reputation finds himself thrown into the merciless arena of royal politics in a city where that reputation simply doesn’t exist.

And that’s without what the Queen’s Men have planned for him.



TQThank you for joining us as The Qwillery!

Peter:  Thank you for having me!





Priest of Bones
War for the Rose Throne 1
Ace, October 2, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Peter McLean
“The first in an unmissable series, Priest of Bones is a fresh and compelling take on grimdark fantasy. Mashing together soldiers, gangsters, magic and war into a heady mix that is a hulking big brother to The Lies of Locke Lamora.”–Anna Stephens, author of Godblind

The war is over, and army priest Tomas Piety heads home with Sergeant Bloody Anne at his side. But things have changed while he was away: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg–his people–have run out of food and hope and places to hide. Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his with help from Anne, his brother, Jochan, and his new gang: the Pious Men. But when he finds himself dragged into a web of political intrigue once again, everything gets more complicated.

As the Pious Men fight shadowy foreign infiltrators in the back-street taverns, brothels, and gambling dens of Tomas’s old life, it becomes clear:

The war is only just beginning.





About Peter

Interview with Peter McLean
Peter McLean lives in the UK, where he studies martial arts and magic, and volunteers at a prison, teaching creative writing. He is the author of the Burned Man urban fantasy series.












Website  ~  Twitter @petemc666  ~  Facebook

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway


Please welcome Peter McLean to The Qwillery. Damnation, the 3rd Burned Man Novel, was published on May 2nd by Angry Robot. You should read this series!



Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway



Urban Fantasy: The YA Gateway Drug?

It has apparently been asserted on Twitter (I know, what hasn’t?) that urban fantasy makes for an easy crossover between Young Adult and Adult fantasy fiction, that it’s a “gateway drug” for teens to discover adult fantasy such as A Song Of Ice And Fire or The First Law.

Someone brought this to my attention, saying she thought it was hilarious that books like Ben Aaronovitch’s or mine should be read by young adults and citing the swearing and the violence contained in them as reasons why not. You don’t get violence and swearing in “kids’ books”, right? That’s an interesting point and I can see where she’s coming from, but consider this:

Category Young Adult fiction is marketed at 13-18 year olds, with Middle Grade being the younger market of 8-12 year olds. I’m sure there’s a degree of fudge factor in there depending which publisher’s marketing department you speak to, but that’s roughly how it works. Now, I certainly wouldn’t want an 8 year old reading my books, or even most 13 year olds, but 15+ is a different matter. When I was that age I was reading Stephen King and James Herbert and even Herbert Kastle when nobody was looking (yes, those are pure violence and filth, I admit it) and so was nearly every other lad in my year at school.

Teenagers do things we might like to pretend they don’t, but that doesn’t change the fact of it. Modern YA fiction doesn’t shy away from these things, either. The last YA novel I read was Sarah Pinborough’s brilliant 13 Minutes, and if you read that book you’ll see what I mean. Teenagers do swear and they do take drugs and have sex, and sometimes they kill people too, both in the book and in real life. You can debate whether or not they should until the cows come home, but that doesn’t change the fact that they do. Yes some 16 year-olds are still emotionally and developmentally “kids”, but some (in the UK at least) are already in the army at that age and they really aren’t.

So no, I don’t think swearing and violence makes a book unsuitable for (later) teens. The difference between YA and adult fiction isn’t the swearing and violence, it’s the underlying themes of the story and the life experiences of the characters. Protagonists in YA are usually the same age or a year or two older at most than the target market for the book, so are generally teenagers in the 15-19 year old range. There is a lot more to modern YA fiction than the tried and tested “coming of age story”, and to suggest otherwise does a great disservice to the genre, but not withstanding that YA stories are by definition about things that affect, or are relatable to their target audience. There’s some really great YA fiction about drug dependency, about teenage pregnancy, about self-harm and eating disorders, but as far as I know there is no YA fiction about going through a bitter divorce or trying to find a way to afford to put your kids through college.

Those are adult experiences, not teenage ones, and the themes they would explore (having wasted the best years of your life, social failure, financial stress, wanting your children to have a better life than you had) are broadly adult themes rather than teen ones. That, I think, is the underlying thread that makes my books and Ben’s firmly adult novels. My main character Don Drake is a seedy forty-something magician, not a hip young vampire slayer. His personal demons are long-term addiction, his deeply-buried memories of domestic abuse from a decade when it just wasn’t talked about, and a desperate need not to turn into the man that his father was at his age. Those are adult themes and while I’d be happy to let a 15 year-old read Drake or any of the rest of my books I’m not sure how much of it they would or even could relate to on a personal level.

So no, I don’t think adult urban fantasy is intrinsically unsuitable for teens but neither do I think it is necessarily their obvious first step into adult fantasy in general. These days, that gateway drug is television. Game of Thrones has been a phenomenal success worldwide, and I suspect that a good number of teens have been watching the show despite HBO putting an 18+ rating on it. For those who haven’t, there’s MTV’s Sword of Shannara, or “Beverly Hills 9021Elf” as I’ve heard some wag describe it, and of course the Lord of the Rings movies. Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is coming to television soon too, apparently.

If I ever write a YA novel, and one day I just might, it’ll be the themes that are the most different from my existing writing. I’ll probably swear a bit less, too, but only a bit.

They’ve heard it all on the Internet already anyway.





Damnation
A Burned Man Novel 3
Angry Robot, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway
Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.

With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step in to save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Fallen So Far | Smacked Up | Devil Don’t Care | Hell or Heaven ]




Previously

Drake
A Burned Man Novel 1
Angry Robot Books, January 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway
Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice the Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ One Last Hit / Both Ends Burning / Going Underground / London’s Finest ]


See Qwill's Review here.



Dominion
A Burned Man Novel 2
Angry Robot, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway
In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.

Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ The Devil You Knew / Deeped & Down / Great Irresponsibility / London’s Burning ]


See Qwill's Review here.





About Peter

Guest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Giveaway
Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories.

By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had begun studying since the age of 13. He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with studying martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and spent 25 years working in corporate IT. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.

You can find Peter online at his website, on Twitter @petemc666 and on Facebook.





The Giveaway

What:  Three sets (three winners - 1 set each) of the Burned Man Novels Drake, Dominion and Damnation by Peter McLean from the publisher. INTERNATIONAL

How:
  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ gmail.com [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “Burned Man“ with or without the quote marks.
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the novel(s) and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted by The Qwillery once the giveaway ends.
Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on June 4, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

The Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser!


A note from Peter McLean about Booknest's Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser which supports Doctors Without Borders. Check it out - you could win some fabulous books.


The Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser!


The Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser is Here!


One hundred fantasy authors!
One hundred signed books!
Six lucky winners!
Two auctions!
One amazing charity!

The Booknest is running a festive fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders (aka Médecins Sans Frontières) who carry out vital humanitarian work around the world, providing medical aid where it’s needed the most – you can find out more about what they do here: http://www.msf.org/

Participating authors include Myke Cole, Sebastien De Castell, Julia Knight, Laura Lam, Mark Lawrence, Peter McLean, Richard Morgan, Peter Newman, Daniel Polansky, Michael J. Sullivan, Adrian Tchaikovsky, & Jen Williams to name but a few.

Details of all the books in the draw and instructions on how to enter can be found here:

http://booknest.eu/index.php/component/k2/item/287

I know this is already an expensive time of year but if you can help in any way, please please do!

Peter McLean

Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion


Please welcome Peter McLean to The Qwillery. Dominion, the second novel in The Burned Man series, was published on November 1st by Angry Robot.



Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, Dominion (A Burned Man Novel 2), was published on November 1st. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote Drake to Dominion?

Peter:  Hi, thank you for having me back. Yes, I think my process has evolved and continues to do so. Drake was my first novel and I wrote it over the space of two years, in which time it evolved from a single line to a short story to a novel as I discovered the setting and the characters for myself along the journey. By the time I started writing Dominion I had the majority of the characters already in place, and a clear idea of how the world works. I outlined Dominion a lot more than I did Drake, and was able to write it a lot quicker as a result. The third book, Damnation, which comes out in May 2017, was written completely from an outline, so as I continue to grow as a writer I’m definitely becoming a plotter rather than a pantser.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when Drake came out that you know now?

Peter:  Oh gosh, everything really! I knew nothing when I started, I didn’t even have an agent (I still haven’t, in fact), and I got my break with Angry Robot through their 2013 Open Door submissions window. It’s been a very steep learning curve but I’ve been lucky enough to have a great deal of support from my editor and the lovely folks at Angry Robot, as well as the Society of Authors here in the UK.



TQTell us something about Dominion that is not found in the book description.

Peter:  Papa Armand the Vodou priest gets a much bigger part in this book. I really like him as a character, and he gave me a good excuse to hit the books doing my research on Vodou.



TQYou described Drake in 140 characters or less as "A demon-summoning hitman and a murderous, chain-smoking angel fight Furies and the Devil himself in a search for redemption."

Please describe Dominion in 140 characters or less.

Peter:  Betrayed by the ones they most trust, Don and Trixie’s search for redemption becomes a battle to stay alive – and keep their souls intact.



TQWhich character in the Burned Man series (so far) surprised you the most?

Peter:  Trixie, definitely. She becomes a much more complex character as the series unfolds, going from a task-driven soldier following orders to an independent person in her own right.



TQThe Burned Man is a horrible, nasty archdemon. He's also incredibly funny and oddly (very oddly) endearing. How difficult is it to balance his vileness and his humor?

Peter:  It may say a lot about me, but I find the Burned Man very natural to write. There’s something in the Burned Man that is part of the Old English tradition of the Lord of Misrule, which I think you could also see in earlier versions of Batman’s Joker character. He’s totally amoral but takes nothing seriously, and says whatever comes into his grubby little head. Devoid of any sort of moral conscience or sense of right and wrong, he’s pure human nature with the restraining bolt removed.



TQHow many tunnels are there under London? Did you explore any of them for the novel?

Peter:  I honestly wish I knew, but it’s a lot. I wish I could have gone exploring but apart from the London Underground and the old Cabinet War Rooms nothing is open to the public. There really are disused Tube stations down there that have barely been touched since the Second World War though, and great vaulted Victorian waterworks, not to mention the old River Fleet which was covered over and built on in the 19th century. I did a fair bit of Internet research, mostly on Urban Explorer forums where you can find some amazing photos people have taken in places they really weren’t supposed to be.



TQPlease tell us about the Dominion cover.

Peter:  I’m really pleased with the cover. It’s by Chris Thornley again, the same artist who did the cover for Drake. I love his work, and he’s done another marvellous job of blending the supernatural elements with the urban noir feel of the series. I was even allowed to design a little bit of it myself! You can check out some more of Chris’ awesome work at Raid71.com



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Dominion.

Peter

“No, I’m not in the business of bumping off sweet little old ladies, but murderous devil-worshipers? Yeah, those I’ll kill.”

“I love her, I really do, but she is a bit mental if I’m honest about it.”



TQWhat's next?

Peter:  The third Burned Man book, Damnation, comes out in May 2017. We’re all done with the edits on that now, and although I very much hope to bring you more Burned Man in the future I’m currently working on something new. More on that soon, hopefully!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Peter:  Thank you for having me!





Dominion
A Burned Man Novel 2
Angry Robot, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion
In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.

Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ The Devil You Knew / Deeped & Down / Great Irresponsibility / London’s Burning ]



Qwill's Thoughts

Don Drake, diabolist, is up to his eyeballs in problems in Dominion, the second novel in the Burned Man series by Peter McLean. But Don can tackle anything with the help of Trixie (an angel who nearly fell) and the guidance of the Burned Man, an archdemon stuck on earth in a fetish. Don agrees to help some Earth Elementals that live below London's Underground system. Their underground home is being destroyed by the Rotman who is really another archdemon.

In Dominion McLean gives more background into the early days between Don and The Burned Man. This is fascinating and plays an important roll in Dominion. Don is trying to be a better person since the events in Drake. Being a diabolist makes that very challenging, but there are lines that Don won't cross now... it seems. I don't think we've fully seen the depth of Don yet.

Trixie, who almost fell, is also trying to be better and change, but struggles. She is very straightforward and often does not get the nuances of human speech. She can't stand The Burned Man, but does realize he's a necessary evil in some ways.

Many of the characters from book 1 make appearances in Dominion. I was especially happy to see Papa Armand, who is a Houngan (a Vodou priest of the Haitian tradition). He's charming, fabulous, handsome, and very dangerous if he's not your friend.

The Burned Man is his usual awful self. He has no filter whatsoever. I adore him even though he's frightening, very clever and evil.

I thought I had figured out what was going on several times but McLean kept moving the end game in surprising and wonderful (for the reader; not the characters) ways. Dominion is deeply layered and intricate much like the tunnels under London and has huge consequences for both Don and Trixie. Things happen that change both of them.

There is a lot of expected snark and humor in the novel. There is plenty of action, battles and danger. McLean delves into several different mythologies and magic systems giving depth to the story. Dominion is wonderfully crafted and full of terrific characters. This is a marvelously complex story. There will be repercussions from what has happened in Dominion. I can't wait to see where McLean takes Don, Trixie and The Burned Man next.





Previously

Drake
A Burned Man Novel 1
Angry Robot Books, January 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Cover Art: Raid71

Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion
Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice the Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ One Last Hit / Both Ends Burning / Going Underground / London’s Finest ]





Upcoming

Damnation
A Burned Man Novel 3
Angry Robot, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook
Cover Art: Raid71

Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion
Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.

With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step in to save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.

File Under: Urban Fantasy





About Peter

Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of Dominion
Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories. By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had begun studying since the age of 13.

He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with studying martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and now works in corporate datacentre outsourcing for a major American multinational company. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.


You can find Peter online at his website, on Twitter @petemc666 and on Facebook.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23


This is the twenty-third in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published since their last update. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year that author was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 here Part 11 here Part 21 here Part 31 here Part 41 here
Part 2 here Part 12 here Part 22 here Part 32 here Part 42 here
Part 3 here Part 13 here Part 23 here Part 33 here Part 43 here
Part 4 here Part 14 here Part 24 here Part 34 here Part 44 here
Part 5 here Part 15 here Part 25 here Part 35 here Part 45 here
Part 6 here Part 16 here Part 26 here Part 36 here Part 46 here
Part 7 here Part 17 here Part 27 here Part 37 here Part 47 here
Part 8 here Part 18 here Part 28 here Part 38 here Part 48 here
Part 9 here Part 19 here Part 29 here Part 39 here Part 49 here
Part 10 here Part 20 here Part 30 here Part 40 here Part 50 here



Will McIntosh (2011)

Faller
Tor Books, October 25, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Faller is a new gripping standalone, science fiction thriller by Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh.

Day One: No one can remember anything—who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of an islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity—gone, except for what people can find, and they can't find much.

Faller's pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can't remember, a toy solider with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right.

He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can't even remember.



Burning Midnight
Ember, January 31, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave,this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.





K. M. McKinley  (2015)

The City of Ice
The Gates of the World 2
Solaris, December 27, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
An ancient city. A wondrous invention. A perilous journey.

The epic sequel to the incredible debut novel The Iron Ship.

Deep in the polar south stands a city like no other, a city built aeons ago by a civilisation mighty and wise.

The City of Ice promises the secrets of the ancients to whomever can reach it first. It may prove too little knowledge too late, for the closest approach of the Twin in 4000 years draws near, an event that has heralded terrible destruction in past ages.

As the Kressind siblings pursue their fortunes, the world stands upon the dawn of a new era, but it may yet be consumed by a darkness from the past.

Industry and magic, gods and steampower collide in the captivating sequel to The Iron Ship.





Peter McLean (2016)

Dominion
A Burned Man Novel 2
Angry Robot, November 1, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.

Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ The Devil You Knew / Deeped & Down / Great Irresponsibility / London’s Burning ]


Damnation
A Burned Man Novel 3
Angry Robot, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.

With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step in to save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.

File Under: Urban Fantasy





Bec McMaster (2012)

The Many Lives of Hadley Monroe
Lochaber Press, April 4, 2016
eBook, 52 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
When the clock stops ticking, and the storm rolls in, Hadley Monroe knows exactly what’s going on. Forty years ago her grandfather made a pact with Death, and now Death has come calling again.

Forced to make her own deal with the reaper, Hadley has only three weeks to answer his question, or he’ll take her grandmother too. The problem is, there’s no way to answer it, and three weeks is not long enough with the reaper who’s beginning to steal her heart…

Warning: This short story has been previously published in the Mammoth Book Of Southern Gothic Romance.


Shadowbound
The Dark Arts Trilogy, Book 1
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, May 8, 2016
     eBook, 377 pages
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, May 27, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 454 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
When a powerful relic goes missing from a secret society that dabbles in the occult, Miss Ianthe Martin is charged with finding it at all costs. She needs help, but all clues point to someone on the inside being the thief. The only sorcerer she knows that can't possibly be involved, is the very man she saw locked in Bedlam a year ago...

The mad, bad, dangerous Earl of Rathbourne.

When the seductive Miss Martin appears in his Bedlam cell, Rathbourne fears he's finally lost his mind. The devilish sorceress played a hand in his incarceration, and now she comes asking for help? Perhaps she should begin by begging for mercy...

But Ianthe's offer of freedom is one he can't refuse, although he has a clause of his own to add. She may bind him with her power–the only way to still the demons haunting him–but for every day spent under her command, the nights will be his... to wreak delicious revenge on her willing flesh.



Nobody's Hero
The Burned Lands 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, May 22, 2016
     eBook, 281 pages
Lochaber Press Pty Ltd, July 25, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 370 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
First rule of surviving the Wastelands: don't be caught out after the sun sets...

After her father was killed in a warg attack, Riley Kincaid was forced to stand on her own two feet in the brutal Wastelands she calls home. She knows how to survive, but when a lapse in judgment leaves her out after dark, Riley realizes she's in trouble. The sun has set, the monsters are out to play, and there's a band of reivers heading straight for her settlement. Riley needs to warn her people, but that's before she runs a handsome stranger down in her jeep. A stranger who might not be a man after all...

Kidnapping her was the worst mistake he ever made.

Dangerous outlaw, Lucius Wade, lives only for revenge. But when he kidnaps Riley in order to lure an old friend into a trap, suddenly the tables are turned. Riley has no intentions of being bait, and she tempts him in ways he hasn't felt for a long time. He's never played the hero, but suddenly a part of him wants to. Even as he knows there's no point.

When dangerous secrets are revealed, and Luc realizes an old enemy is on his trail, he's forced to change his plans. The hunter is suddenly the hunted, and the only allies he has... is a stubborn blonde who thinks there should be more to live for than revenge, and the ex-friend who shoved a knife in his back ten years ago.


Mission: Improper
London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, August 11, 2016
     eBook, 360 pages
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, October 5, 2016
     Trade Paperback, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order...

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He's partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they're chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite... But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.


Hexbound
The Dark Arts 2
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, October 18, 2016
eBook, 356 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
It should have been an easy task…

Verity Hastings has a little trick: she can find anything, no matter where it’s hidden. It’s a skill that’s kept her safe and fed all the way from the orphanages and workhouses of her youth. But when she steals a mysterious item for a masked man, she knows the con is on her this time.

In order to protect herself from his associates, she can turn to only one person: Adrian Bishop, the sorcerer she stole the relic from.

Scarred recluse Adrian Bishop is rarely surprised anymore. But when a rather enticing little handful turns up on his doorstep, claiming to be his mysterious thief, he doesn’t know what to think. He needs the relic back, no matter the cost, and he’s not above using Verity to find it. But as Verity begins to sneak under his guard, for the first time in years there’s a ray of light in his dark world. He will do anything to protect her – anything – but can Verity ever love him once she learns the truth of his dark talents? And will he be able to protect her from the trap he sent her into himself?





Holly Messinger  (2015)

Curious Weather
A Jacob Tracy Novel 2
Thomas Dunne Books, November 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23
On the heels of her starred Publisher’s Weekly debut, The Curse of Jacob Tracy, Messinger delivers another remarkably original novel where she deftly recreates the tumultuous post-Civil war era and clashes the natural with the supernatural.

When Jacob Tracy—Civil War veteran, ex-seminarian, and reluctant psychic—agrees to move into Miss Fairweather’s St. Louis mansion and study magic with her, he has one purpose in mind: to hunt down and destroy the necromancer Mereck, a predatory madman who has twice tried to make a meal of Trace and trapped Trace’s partner Boz in a monstrous half-life.

Sabine Fairweather has her own grievance with Mereck, though Trace doesn’t know the details and doesn’t particularly want to. The woman may be a brilliant scientist and a powerful witch in her own right, but there is darkness in her and bitter secrets that threaten the tenuous faith Trace has in her.

With Mereck’s minions circling ever closer, and old allies posing unexpected threats, Trace knows he and Sabine have no choice but to trust each other. But for that to happen, he will have to lay bare all the deepest secrets of her soul…and quite possibly her heart.

The View From Monday - October 31, 2016


The View From Monday - October 31, 2016
Happy Monday and Happy Halloween!!




There are 3 debuts this week:

The Facefaker's Game by Chandler Birch;

Death at First Sight (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery 1) by Lena Gregory;

and

The Burning Isle by Will Panzo.


The View From Monday - October 31, 2016


And from formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler;

The Operative (San Angeles 2) by Gerald Brandt;

Reports on the Internet Apocalypse (Internet Apocalypse Trilogy 3) by Wayne Gladstone

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta;

Invisible Planets edited by Ken Liu;

An Import of Intrigue (Maradaine Constabulary 2) by Marshall Ryan Maresca;

and

Dominion (Burned Man 2) by Peter McLean.


Of the Abyss by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is out in Mass Market Paperback;

The Courier (San Angeles 1) by Gerald Brandt is out in Trade Paperback;

How to Save the World (Superheroes Anonymous 3) by Lexie Dunne is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Staked (Iron Druid Chronicles 8) by Kevin Hearne is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga 2) by Kameron Hurley is out in Mass Market Paperback;

and

Arena (Arena 1) by Holly Jennings is out in Trade Paperback.



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



The View From Monday - October 31, 2016



October 31, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
A Long December Richard Chizmar H - Collection
Six Scary Stories Stephen King (Selected by) H - Anthology
The Madness of Dr. Caligari Joseph S. Pulver (Ed) H - Anthology



November 1, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre John Joseph Adams (Ed) F - Anthology
Of the Abyss (mm) Amelia Atwater-Rhodes F - Mancer Trilogy Series 1
The Burning Light Bradley P. Beaulieu
Rob Ziegler
SF/AP/PA
The Facefaker's Game (D) Chandler J. Birch F
Twice Told Tail Ali Brandon CM - A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery 6
The Courier (h2mm) Gerald Brandt SF/CyberP/AP/PA - San Angeles 1
The Operative Gerald Brandt SF/CyberP/AP/PA - San Angeles 2
Decoherence Liana Brooks TechTh - Time & Shadows Mystery 3
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (h2tp) Lois McMaster Bujold SF/SO - Vorkosigan Saga 17
The Vor Game (ri) Lois McMaster Bujold SF/SO - Vorkosigan Saga 6
Congress of Secrets Stephanie Burgis HistF/AH
Shadowed Souls Jim Butcher (Ed)
Kerrie L. Hughes (Ed)
UF/CF - Anthology
Octavia E. Butler Gerry Canavan HC/SF -Modern Masters of Science Fiction Series
The Shattered Vigil Patrick W. Carr F - Darkwater Saga Series 2
Illicit Cathy Clamp P - Luna Lake 2
The Severed Streets (h2mm) Paul Cornell CF - Shadow Police 2
The Lost Child of Lychford Paul Cornell CF - Witches of Lychford 2
Beholder's Eye (ri) Julie E. Czerneda SF/SO - Web Shifters 1
Hidden in Sight (ri) Julie E. Czerneda SF/SO - Web Shifters 3
Changing Vision (ri) Julie E. Czerneda SF/SO - Web Shifters 2
Nightmares Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
Empires: The First Battle Gavin Deas SF - Empires
The Right to Arm Bears (ri) Gordon R Dickson SF
How to Save the World (mm) Lexie Dunne UF - Superheroes Anonymous 3
Willful Child: Wrath of Betty Steven Erikson SF/SO - Willful Child 2
Pillar to the Sky (tp2mm) William R. Forstchen Th/SF
A Hunter Under the Mistletoe: All Is Bright \ Heat of a Helios (e) Addison Fox
Karen Whiddon
SFR/PNR
Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days Neil Gaiman F/GN
Survival Game Gary Gibson SF/AP/PA - Apocalypse Duology 2
Reports on the Internet Apocalypse Wayne Gladstone LF/TechTh/Dys/HU/AP/PA/SF - Internet Apocalypse Trilogy 3
Immortal Billionaire (e) Jane Godman PNR
Warheart (h2mm) Terry Goodkind F - Richard and Kahlan 4
Death at First Sight (D) Lena Gregory CM - A Bay Island Psychic Mystery 1
Ghal Maraz Guy Haley
Josh Reynolds
F - The Realmgate Wars 2
Christmas Magic David G. Hartwell (Ed) F - Anthology
Staked (h2mm) Kevin Hearne UF - Iron Druid Chronicles 8
The Dark Lord Jack Heckel FairyT/FolkT/LM/HU
Binary Storm Christopher Hinz SF/SO - Liege-Killer
Faithful Alice Hoffman CW
Curse on the Land Faith Hunter UF/CF/P - A Soulwood Novel 2
Empire Ascendant (h2mm) Kameron Hurley F - Worldbreaker Saga 2
The Weaver Emmi Itäranta Dys
Arena (h2tp) Holly Jennings SF - Arena 1
Saga of Recluce: Year 1-415 (e) L. E. Modesitt Jr. F - Recluce Omnibus
Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka Franz Kafka LFSF - Collection
Illidan: World of Warcraft William King F - World of Warcraft
Death's Master (ri) Tanith Lee F/DF - Flat Earth 2
The Hidden People Alison Littlewood HistM
Invisible Planets Ken Liu (Ed) SF - Anthology
Old Man's Ghosts Tom Lloyd F - Empire of a Hundred Houses 2
Cosmonaut Keep: The Opening Novel in An Astonishing New Future History Ken MacLeod SF/AC - Engines of Light 1
An Import of Intrigue Marshall Ryan Maresca F/UF/DF - Maradaine Constabulary 2
Den of Wolves Juliet Marillier HistF - Blackthorn & Grim 3
Venom and Vanilla Shannon Mayer UF - Venom Trilogy 1
Dominion Peter McLean UF - Burned Man 2
The Burning Isle (D) Will Panzo F
Invisible Planets Hannu Rajaniemi F - Collection
The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance (ri) Kim Stanley Robinson SF
DemonWars: The First King: The Dame and The Bear (e)(ri) R. A. Salvatore F - Saga of the First King
Children of the Country (D) Abigail R. Shaffer LF/CoA/Occ/Sup
The Child to Come: Life after the Human Catastrophe Rebekah Sheldon LC/SF/F
Unquiet Land Sharon Shinn FR/F - Elemental Blessings 4
Archangel's Heart Nalini Singh PNR/F/UF - Guild Hunter 9
The Death of Dulgath Michael J. Sullivan F - Riyria Chronicles 3
The Beast (h2mm) J. R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 14
Shadow of Victory David Weber SF - Honor Harrington 19
Angeleyes Michael Z. Williamson SF - Freehold Series 7
Once a Gypsy Danica Winters PNR - The Irish Traveller 1
The Path of Heaven Chris Wraight SF - The Horus Heresy
Burn Suzanne Wright FR - Dark in You 1
Living Spectres Chelsea Quinn Yarbro CM - A Chesterton Holte, Gentleman Haunt Mystery  2



November 2, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Loud Table: A Tor.com Original (e) Jonathan Carroll SF
Dune: Red Plague (e) Brian Herbert
Kevin J. Anderson
SF



November 3, 2016
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Jo Fletcher Books Anthology (e) Various SF/F - Anthology


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


AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Cozy Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyberP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F _ Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
Sup - Supernatural
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 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 2016 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator 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 January 24, 2016.



Vote for your favorite January 2016 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover art by Will Staehle




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Frank Rivera.
Cover images ©iStockphoto.com/Jasmina007/RonTech200




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover design by Wendy Chan.
Cover images © Shutterstock




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover Art: Raid71




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover Design: Johnny Bull




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover Art: Kim Sokol




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Debuts
Cover art by Kurt Miller


Interview with Peter McLean and Review of Drake


Please welcome Peter McLean to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Drake (Burned Man 1) was published on January 5th by Angry Robot.



Interview with Peter McLean and Review of Drake





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

Peter:  Hi! I’ve been writing since I was in school, well over twenty years now although I’ve only really had the time and the drive to take it seriously in the last five years or so. As for why… well, that’s probably a question for a psychologist! I’ve always had a head full of characters and places and fragments of story, and writing them down gets them out of the page where I can keep an eye on them.



TQAre you a plotter or a pantser?

Peter:  A bit of both really - I tend to pants the first chapter and the last scene first, then plot out how to get from one to the other. I may not completely stick to the original plan along the way, but having a clear end in sight from the beginning certainly helps me keep my sanity while I’m doing it.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Peter:  Simply making the time to do it is always the hardest thing. I work a busy full-time job and am frequently on call out of business hours too so sacrifices have to be made in other areas to clear time to write. Don’t ask me what movies I’ve seen recently because I haven’t!

In terms of the actual writing the most effort goes into creating the plot. I find characters and dialogue really easy, whereas I do have to work at storylines.



TQ:  What has influenced/influences your writing?

Peter:  My biggest influence in terms of becoming a writer was Tanith Lee, although my writing isn’t anything at all like hers. I loved her books so much when I was younger (and indeed I still do) that it gave me the urge to try and write for myself. I also had a wonderful highschool English teacher who encouraged me a great deal, and to whom I will always be grateful.



TQDescribe Drake in 140 characters or less.

A demon-summoning hitman and a murderous, chain-smoking angel fight Furies and the Devil himself in a search for redemption.



TQTell us something about Drake that is not found in the book description.

Drake actually started life in a thread over on the Absolute Write forums where we were challenging each other to write a great opening line to a story we hadn’t written yet. I came up with what is still the opening line of Drake, and I knew I had to follow it up with a short story. That short story turned into a novel, and with the editorial help of Phil Jourdan at Angry Robot that novel turned into Drake.



TQWhat inspired you to write Drake? What appeals to you about writing genre?

The inspiration for Drake comes from the old black and white “men-in-hats” noir movies of the 30s and 40s, blended with religion, mythology and magic. Although Drake is set in the modern day I’ve tried to take that noir vibe and adapt it to the setting. The book is set in the ganglands of South London which lend themselves well to that whole oppressive feel.

I grew up on the genre. My mother was very academic but she was also a huge Tolkien fan, and I remember her reading Narnia and The Hobbit to me before I even started school. I grew reading Joan Aiken and Dianna Wynne Jones and Alan Garner, and progressed to Tanith Lee and Stephen King via James Herbert and Dennis Wheatley. The genre has always been my go-to place, and other than possibly straight-out crime fiction I can’t imagine ever writing anything else.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Drake?

Peter:  In all honesty I don’t really do research if I can help it. There are two main things in Drake – gangland, and magic. That gangland is drawn from a largely fictional set of tropes and easily-recognisable archetypes that are already nice and familiar. The other main thing in the book is magic, and again I didn’t have to research that much for the book but only because I’ve been studying it for years anyway.

The magic in Drake is mostly drawn from real-world occultism, although obviously greatly exaggerated for dramatic effect. Don Drake practices a variant of the classic grimoire tradition of the Goetia, aided and abetted by his very own enslaved archdemon in the form of the Burned Man. You’re not going to learn any magic spells from reading the book, but anyone already familiar with classical magic will probably find a few things in there that will make them smile.

The only thing I really did have to research was the Vodou that Papa Armand practices. This isn’t something I have any personal experience of but I do have a great respect for the tradition so I wanted to get it as right as I could.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Peter:  Don himself was far and away the easiest to write. Once I nailed his voice he almost started to write himself in fact. That said my favourite character is Trixie. She’s an angel but she’s a very Old Testament type of angel rather than the sparkly New Age kind. She has most definitely not fallen, she’s very clear on that point, but she has certainly slipped a bit to put it mildly. She chain-smokes Black Russians and is not above killing people who stand in her way, and was just tremendous fun to write.

The hardest was probably Debbie, Don’s long suffering girlfriend. She’s a very intelligent woman, a chemistry PhD and a practising alchemist, and I knew from the outset I wanted her to be a real person and not just another “damsel in distress” type of character who’s only there for the hero to rescue. Getting this across while only being able to show her through Don’s eyes took some work, but I think she makes her point in the end.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Drake?

Peter:  I think it depends on your definition of social issues. Drake is fiction and is by necessity is set in a slightly fictional version of London. A lot of the London in Drake just isn’t there anymore outside of the collective unconscious of everyone who grew up in England in the 1980s. Although Drake is set in the modern day it’s a modern day in which inner city house prices never soared through the roof and brownfield gentrification simply hasn’t happened. Don Drake lives in a London that grew out of 1970s crime dramas and cop shows, a London of diamond geezers and drinking clubs and dodgy pubs, flash motors and hooky shooters, the London that Michael Caine and Edward Woodward came from. It’s the London I remember from my childhood but it’s not really today’s London.



TQWhich question about Drake do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Peter:  I’m really surprised no one ever asks me about the Burned Man itself. It’s only a nine inch tall fetish but that fetish contains the soul of an imprisoned archdemon with absolutely no morals or sense of right and wrong whatsoever. It’s like Mr Hyde on steroids, a truly repugnant thing that none the less gets some of the best lines of dialogue in the book. Writing the Burned Man requires looking into the dark depths and asking “what would I say if I honestly and utterly didn’t give a damn about you or anything else?”



TQGive us one or two favorite non-spoilery quotes from Drake.

Peter:

The Rose and Crown was one of those places where you could buy anything from a van load of Polish cigarettes to a stolen Maserati without anyone batting an eyelid. Most of the regulars were what were affectionately termed “characters” in the local parlance, which was a sort of friendly euphemism for “hardened criminals”.



“Ah,” she said. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Actually, no. I’m half dead from heroin comedown, and I’ve been paralysed with borrowed magic. There’s a dead body on my office floor, brains and bits of head all up my wall, and apparently you’re mates with a fallen angel. I am a pretty long way from fucking all right as it goes, Trixie.”



TQWhat's next?

Peter:  At the moment I’m putting the finishing touches to the second Burned Man book ready to ship to Angry Robot, and a third is already in the first draft stage so there will definitely be more Don Drake in the future.

I’ll be at EasterCon in Manchester, UK in March, and hopefully at FantasyCon UK in September as well.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Peter:  Thank you for having me!



TQAs a special treat here is the synopsis reveal for the next Burned Man novel:
Deep in the tunnels under London, Don Drake and an Earth Elemental called Janice are searching for an entity the gnomes call Rotman.

The gnome Matriarch tells Don that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, the spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near. Now Don, Trixie and the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from bringing down London.

But the past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.





Drake
Burned Man 1
Angry Robot Books, January 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Cover Art: Raid71

Interview with Peter McLean and Review of Drake
Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice the Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ One Last Hit / Both Ends Burning / Going Underground / London’s Finest ]


Qwill's Thoughts

Don Drake, a down and out diabolist/hitman, has feelings for his ex-girlfriend, drinks a lot, gets in serious trouble with the Furies (who are extremely unpleasant), has to deal with an angel who is a bit less angelic then she used to be, has to face off against various demons, magic users, and more. To say he's having a bad time of things would be a massive understatement. Don is not truly a bad guy, but he does have a tendency to make very bad decisions.

He lives in a seedy part of London and ends up owing money to an unpleasant demon named Wormwood. Drake is working off his debt to Wormwood by killing people who Wormwood wants killed when things go terribly wrong.

His partner in things magical is the Burned Man. He may be an archdemon chained to the mortal world but he is often the funniest thing in the room. He's awful, foul-mouthed, nasty, rude, and I enjoyed reading about him immensely despite how terrible he is. Don is the sardonic straight man to the Burned Man's off beat and off color humor. McLean intersperses the history of Don and the Burned Man throughout the novel and it is both illuminating and fascinating.

Don manages to get himself in and out out of trouble repeatedly in Drake. He doesn't do the getting out of trouble alone most of the time. The Burned Man helps (as if he had a choice), but so does Trixie (the falling angel). The story is deeply engaging in part because you just have to see what Don will do next and how the Burned Man will respond.

There is a lot of action, unspeakable creatures, magic, and unusual and engaging characters. Drake is dark, sometimes violent, often very funny, and very well-written. This is a terrific debut! I'd almost make a pact with a devil to get the next Burned Man book now.





About Peter

Interview with Peter McLean and Review of Drake
Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories. By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had begun studying since the age of 13.

He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with studying martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and now works in corporate datacentre outsourcing for a major American multinational company. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.



You can find Peter online at his website, on Twitter @petemc666 and on Facebook.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Drake by Peter McLean


 2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Drake by Peter McLean


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


Peter McLean

Drake
Burned Man 1
Angry Robot Books, January 5, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Cover Art: Raid71

 2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Drake by Peter McLean
Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice the Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ One Last Hit / Both Ends Burning / Going Underground / London’s Finest ]

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC AuthorsInterview with Peter McLeanGuest Blog by Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and GiveawayThe Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser!Interview with Peter McLean, author of the Burned Man Novels, and Review of DominionWhat's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 23The View From Monday - October 31, 20162016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January DebutsInterview with Peter McLean and Review of Drake 2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Drake by Peter McLean

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