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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6


This is the sixth 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



Bill Broun (2016)

Night of the Animals
Ecco, April 25, 2017
Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 5, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
In this imaginative debut, the tale of Noah’s Ark is brilliantly recast as a story of fate and family, set in a near-future London.

Over the course of a single night in 2052, a homeless man named Cuthbert Handley sets out on an astonishing quest: to release the animals of the London Zoo. When he was a young boy, Cuthbert’s grandmother had told him he inherited a magical ability to communicate with the animal world—a gift she called the Wonderments. Ever since his older brother’s death in childhood, Cuthbert has heard voices. These maddening whispers must be the Wonderments, he believes, and recently they have promised to reunite him with his lost brother and bring about the coming of a Lord of Animals . . . if he fulfills this curious request.

Cuthbert flickers in and out of awareness throughout his desperate pursuit. But his grand plan is not the only thing that threatens to disturb the collective unease of the city. Around him is greater turmoil, as the rest of the world anxiously anticipates the rise of a suicide cult set on destroying the world’s animals along with themselves.

Meanwhile, Cuthbert doggedly roams the zoo, cutting open the enclosures, while pressing the animals for information about his brother. Just as this unlikely yet loveable hero begins to release the animals, the cult’s members flood the city’s streets. Has Cuthbert succeeded in harnessing the power of the Wonderments, or has he only added to the chaos—and sealed these innocent animals’ fates?

Night of the Animals is an enchanting and inventive tale that explores the boundaries of reality, the ghosts of love and trauma, and the power of redemption.





Boone Brux (2011)

Random Acts of Marriage
Wedding Favors 2
Lovestruck, August 8, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 180 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
A wedding. A playboy. And a week he’ll make sure she never forgets.

Kinni Corbet is the perfect bridesmaid. She’s efficient and has a to-do list for every occasion. When the bride-to-be adds “relax and have some fun” to Kinni’s schedule, Price Lyons seems to tick all the right boxes. He’s guaranteed fun, and it’s only for one week—what can it hurt?

Playboy hotel owner Price Lyons has wanted to break down Kinni’s walls for years. Her plan to relax for a whole week is the perfect opportunity to get to the one person he’s never been able to charm. And this time, she seems…receptive to his advances. Unexpected, but he’ll take it.

There’s just one problem. Kinni’s allergic to spontaneity, and the only thing predictable about Price is his unpredictably. There’s no way they’ll last beyond the week, and Kinni’s going to make sure of it…


Dead Spooky
A Grim Reality Novella
Boone Brux, October 31, 2016
eBook, 92 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
Halloween wouldn't be complete without a good haunting, or without some wayward spirit messing up my plans. My name is Lisa, and because I'm a grim reaper, I'll be spending All Hallows Eve trying to capture the ghost of a serial killer instead doing normal things like trick-or-treating with my kids, or drinking wine while I pass out candy.

Yep, that about sums up my life.

The only good things I have going for me tonight are the gigantic sack of Halloween candy stuffed in my purse, and the fact that Nate isn't too bad to look at. No doubt, the evening will be a night to remember...if I make it out alive.





Monica Byrne (2014)

Traumphysik
A Tor.Com Original
Tor Books, June 29, 2016
eBook, 32 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
A brilliant young physicist, alone on a Pacific atoll during World War II, begins to chronicle the laws of motion that govern her dreams.





Kristen Callihan (2012)

Idol
A VIP Novel 1
Plain Jane, June 7, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 307 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
Libby

I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?

Killian

As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.





Rachel Cantor (2014)

Good on Paper
Melville House, December 6, 2016
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover and eBook, January 26, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6
The highly anticipated second novel from a writer Emily St. John Mandel calls “sharp, witty, and immensely entertaining”

Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene’s life hasn’t quite turned out as planned. She’s a single mom living with her daughter and her gay friend Ahmad. Her PhD on Dante’s Vita Nuova hasn’t gotten her a job, and her career as a translator hasn’t exactly taken off either.

But then she gets a call from a Nobel Prize–winning Italian poet who insists she’s the only one who can translate his newest book.

Stunned, Shira realizes that—just like that—her life can change. She sees a new beginning beckoning: academic glory, demand for her translations, and even love (her good luck has made her feel more open to the entreaties of the owner of the neighborhood indie bookstore).

There’s only one problem: It all hinges on the tranlsation, and as Shira starts working on the exquisitely intricate passages of the poet’s book, she realizes that it may in fact be, well . . . untranslatable.

Deft, funny, and big-hearted, Good on Paper is a grand novel of second chances, family, friendship, and possibility.

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


This is the twenty-third in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their 2015 works published since the last update and any upcoming works for 2016. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.



Part 1 herePart 11 herePart 21 here
Part 2 herePart 12 herePart 22 here
Part 3 herePart 13 here
Part 4 herePart 14 here
Part 5 herePart 15 here
Part 6 herePart 16 here
Part 7 herePart 17 here
Part 8 herePart 18 here
Part 9 herePart 19 here
Part 10 herePart 20 here



Rachel Cantor (2014)

Good on Paper
Melville House, January 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
The highly anticipated second novel from a writer Emily St. John Mandel calls “sharp, witty, and immensely entertaining”

Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene’s life hasn’t quite turned out at planned. Shira is a permanent temp with a few short stories published in minor literary magazines and a PhD on Dante’s Vita Nuova that she abandoned halfway.

Her life has some happy certainties, though: she lives with her friend Ahmad, and her daughter, Andi, on the Upper West Side. They’re an unconventional family, but a real one, with Friday night dinner rituals, private jokes, and the shared joys and strains of any other family.

So when she gets the call from Romei, the winner of last year’s Nobel Prize and the irascible idol of grad students everywhere, and he tells her he wants her to translate his new book, Shira is happy . . . but stunned. Suddenly, Shira sees a new life beckoning: academic glory, a career as a literary translator, and even love (with a part-time rabbi and owner of the neighborhood indie bookstore). That is, until Romei starts sending her pages of the manuscript and she realizes that something odd is going on: his book may in fact be untranslatable.

A deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances, Good on Paper is a grand novel of family, friendship, and possibility.



Beth Cato (2014)

Wings of Sorrow and BoneA Clockwork Dagger Novella
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 10, 2015
eBook, 149 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
From the author of The Clockwork Dagger comes an exciting novella set in the same world…

After being rescued by Octavia Leander from the slums of Caskentia, Rivka Stout is adjusting to her new life in Tamarania. But it’s hard for a blossoming machinist like herself to fit in with proper society, and she’d much rather be tinkering with her tools than at a hoity-toity party any day.

When Rivka stumbles into a laboratory run by the powerful Balthazar Cody, she also discovers a sinister plot involving chimera gremlins and the violent Arena game Warriors. The innocent creatures will end up hurt, or worse, if Rivka doesn’t find a way to stop Mr. Cody. And to do that means she will have to rely on some unexpected new friends.


Final Flight (A Clockwork Dagger Story) will be published on April 26, 2016 by Harper Voyager Impulse (Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Books-A-Million : Google Play : iBooks : Kobo)


Breath of Earth
Harper Voyager, August 23, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 362 pages

[cover not yet available]
After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy standalone from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

[description from the author's website]




Sebastien de Castell (2014)

Traitor's Blade
Greatcoats 1
Jo Fletcher Books, June 2, 2015
Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 15, 2014

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas' Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor's Blade a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy.

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that's exactly what's happening.

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they'll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor's blade.


Knight's Shadow
Greatcoats 2
Jo Fletcher Books, June 2, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
Following his beloved debut, Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. Knight's Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers' corruption.

A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.




Rjurik Davidson (2014)

The Stars Askew
Caeli-Amur 2
Tor Books, July 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook,  416 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
The Stars Askew is the highly anticipated sequel to the New Weird adventure begun by talented young author Rjurik Davidson. With the seditionists in power, Caeli-Amur has begun a new age. Or has it? The escaped House officials no longer send food, and the city is starving.

When the moderate leader Aceline is murdered, the trail leads Kata to a mysterious book that explains how to control the fabled Prism of Alerion. But when the last person to possess the book is found dead, it becomes clear that a conspiracy is afoot. At its center is former House Officiate Armand, who has hidden the Prism. Armand is vying for control of the Directorate, the highest political position in the city, until Armand is betrayed and sent to a prison camp to mine deadly bloodstone.

Meanwhile, Maximilian is sharing his mind with another being: the joker-god Aya. Aya leads Max to the realm of the Elo-Talern to seek a power source to remove Aya from Max's brain. But when Max and Aya return, they find the vigilants destroying the last remnants of House power.

It seems the seditionists' hopes for a new age of peace and prosperity in Caeli-Amur have come to naught, and every attempt to improve the situation makes it worse. The question now is not just whether Kata, Max, and Armand can do anything to stop the bloody battle in the city, but if they can escape with their lives.




Tom Doyle (2014)

The Left-Hand Way
American Craft 2
Tor Books, August 11, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23
Poe's Red Death returns, more powerful than ever. Can anyone stop him before he summons an apocalyptic nightmare even worse than himself?

In The Left-Hand Way, the second book of Tom Doyle's contemporary fantasy series, the American craftsmen are scattered like bait overseas. What starts as an ordinary liaison mission to London for Major Michael Endicott becomes a desperate chase across Europe, where Endicott is both hunted and hunter. Reluctantly joining him is his minder from MI13, Commander Grace Marlow, one of Her Majesty's most lethal magician soldiers, whose family has centuries of justified hostility to the Endicotts.

Meanwhile, in Istanbul and Tokyo, Endicott's comrades, Scherie Rezvani and Dale Morton, are caught in their own battles for survival against hired assassins and a ghost-powered doomsday machine. And in Kiev, Roderick Morton, the spider at the center of a global web, plots their destruction and his ultimate apotheosis. After centuries of imprisonment, nothing less than godlike power will satisfy Roderick, whatever the dreadful cost.

Interview with Rachel Cantor, author of A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World - January 18, 2014


Please welcome Rachel Cantor to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World was published on January 14, 2014.



Interview with Rachel Cantor, author of  A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World - January 18, 2014




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

Rachel:  Thank you so much, Sally! I started writing in elementary school, when the sainted Miss Benny plucked a few of us out of our third grade classroom to join her fourth grade creative writing class. My first published work was a Valentine’s poem I wrote that year which appeared in my local newspaper. I won’t say it was a straight line from third grade to publication of my debut novel, but writing is the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Rachel:  I love that word—pantser! I’m something of both. I see my (approximate) destination; in A Highly Unlikely Scenario, the destination (spoiler alert!) was the world saved from certain destruction! I also see an overall structure that helps me get to that destination; in A Highly Unlikely Scenario, I envisioned a three-part structure in which Leonard, my bashful protagonist, makes his way first into the world and then into history. Then I wrote through that structure toward that approximate destination. But I don’t know in advance how I’m going to get there. I plot no more than a few pages ahead and rarely know what’s at the end of each sentence. You have to leave room for the unexpected!



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

Rachel:  The most challenging thing about writing for me is dealing with distraction. I don’t just mean the Internet, though that’s possibly the worst of it, but even daily minutia: the phone ringing, the postman arriving, the question of what I’ll cook for dinner. This is why I do my best work at artists’ colonies, where beautiful people take care of our everyday needs, and we’re released to only live in our imaginations. I’ve been blessed to attend a number of them; this book was in large part drafted at the Millay Colony and the Hall Farm Center, which is sadly defunct. But otherwise I write at home, in private—never in public. I can’t know when my writing is going to make me laugh, or cry!



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

Rachel:  I read widely and voraciously—literary fiction, speculative fiction/sci fi, mysteries, history. I love long novels and short stories, and I also find inspiration in museums, concerts, films, my friends, walking around a city ... I recently wrote a quick list on Facebook of ten books I couldn’t get out of my mind when I read them—the kind of list you’re not supposed to overthink, noting only the first names that come to mind—and it turns out all were books I’d read before the age of 25: the Narnia series, Jane Eyre, Dante, Italo Calvino, Charlotte’s Web, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Borges. Somehow I forgot Harriet the Spy!



TQ:  Describe A Highly Unlikely Scenario in 140 characters or less.

Rachel:  It’s a literary romp in which one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



TQ:  Tell us something about A Highly Unlikely Scenario that is not in the book description.

Rachel:  I love this question! The book is about all of the above, but it’s also about family—about love, guilt, and sacrifice, and also the intergenerational transmission of knowledge, caring, and values. Specifically, it’s about Leonard’s older sister Carol, a neo-Maoist masquerading as a Jacobite, who gave up a music career to care for Leonard; Leonard’s precocious, comic-book-writing, seven-year-old nephew, Felix, who too often is dumped by classmates onto the Municipal Compost Heap; his beloved Sally, a warrior-librarian on a mission to read unreadable manuscripts; and his grandfather, who came from the Old Country and died when Leonard was fifteen, but who’s still a strong presence in Leonard’s memory.



TQ:  What inspired you to write A Highly Unlikely Scenario? Why did you choose to write genre bending SciFi adventure? Do you want to write in any other genres or sub-genres?

Rachel:  I grew up in Italy and have always been fascinated by medieval history—its art, architecture, literature, religious movements, and so on. Many of the people Leonard encounters hail from that time, and then, of course, in the final third of the book, Leonard travels to thirteenth-century Rome to retrieve his nephew Felix and, incidentally, to save the world. Writing about these real people was enormous fun for me, as was trying to reconstruct what Rome was like during that time (what did the fish market look like? what might a person have seen crossing the Tiber?). I’m also interested in ideologies, and how they affect our behavior, for better or worse; in this book, religious and political philosophies we consider extinct still thrive (Whigs, for example, and Heraclitans). I’m not good with labels, but only something like sci fi (fantasy? speculative fiction?) could accommodate this much suspension of disbelief, this much imagination. But I see myself mostly as a literary writer; my next novel (due out in January 2015) is a more straightforward literary novel. After that? Who knows!



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for A Highly Unlikely Scenario?

Rachel:  I did an enormous amount of research for this book: I read Marco Polo’s Travels, as well as critical writings about his achievements; I looked at ancient maps and medieval engravings; I read about Pythagoreans and medieval mystics and Roman architecture and Jewish life in the Middle Ages and pilgrims’ clothing and the list goes on and on! I’ve created a Goodreads bookshelf of some of the sources that were most important to the writing of this novel. I always do about six times more research than I need—this is the case even with the short stories I’ve written. For me, it’s part of the fun of writing!



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Rachel:  To be truthful, none of the characters in this book was difficult to write: they all felt familiar from the start and I had enormous sympathy for them—all, of course, except the villain Ugolino de Barbarubeis, who chases Leonard around Rome, hoping to hurt him with a brank or a scramasax. He is the only unambiguously bad guy. My favorite good guy is probably Leonard’s grandfather, who doesn’t actually appear in the book, but who ate herring, pored over ancient tomes, and told the young Leonard crazy stories he couldn’t understand. Most of the characters are ethically ambiguous, though: most have made mistakes or have acted thoughtlessly or selfishly at one point, usually hurting someone dear to them as a result. Carol abandons her son to Leonard’s care so she can pursue her revolutionary aims; Leonard’s love interest Sally tries to use Leonard to get information she thinks she needs; Leonard himself was unkind to his grandfather and blind to his sister’s sacrifice. I have a special fondness, though, for Bobolo Savelli, the man who runs the pilgrims’ hostel in Rome. He’s not a bad sort, though he may overcharge Leonard and Sally for the privilege of eating his pottage and sleeping in his flea-ridden bed, but he can’t resist charging admission to see one of the marvels Leonard has brought with him to the thirteenth century, which sends Leonard and Sally fleeing from the Inquisition!



TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from A Highly Unlikely Scenario.

Rachel:  “Boychik, the old man said. You’re a good egg. I need you to listen good.” To understand what that means, you have to read the book!



TQ:  What's next?

Rachel:  I’ll be reading from A Highly Unlikely Scenario on the East Coast, West Coast, and some places in between this year (for dates, folks can refer to my brand new, sparkly website: rachelcantor.com), and working with my publisher to edit the next novel (Door Number Two). But I have a residency planned at an artists’ colony later this year where I hope to write new work. Wish me luck!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rachel:  Thank you, Sally! This was terrific fun!





A Highly Unlikely Scenario

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Interview with Rachel Cantor, author of  A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World - January 18, 2014
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.





About Rachel

Interview with Rachel Cantor, author of  A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World - January 18, 2014
Photo by Marianne Barcellona
Rachel Cantor was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in Rome. She worked for jazz festivals in France and food festivals in Australia before getting degrees in international development and fiction writing. Her short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, One Story, Kenyon Review, Fence, and other publications. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and elsewhere, and has been a scholar at the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Wesleyan Writing Conferences. She lives in Brooklyn.


Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Tumblr 
Twitter @rachelcantor  ~  Goodreads





The View From Monday - January 13, 2014


Happy Monday the 13th!

There are 3 Debuts this week:

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor;

The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1) by Brian Staveley;

and

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh


And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Surreal Estate (A Pax Arcana eNovella) by Elliott James.



The View From Monday - January 13, 2014




January 13, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Fighting Kat (e) PJ Schnyder SFR - Triton Experiment 2



January 14, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mercy Snow Tiffany Baker Go
The Shining Girls (h2tp) Lauren Beukes SF
Watchers in the Night (ri) (mm2tp) Jenna Black PNR - Guardians of the Night 1
He Drank, and Saw the Spider Alex Bledsoe F/M - Eddie LaCrosse 3
The Intelligence Director: A Tor.com Original (e) Jessica Brody SF
A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World (D) Rachel Cantor SF
Ex-Purgatory Peter Clines Su/Z - Ex 4
Star Road Matthew Costello
Rick Hautala
SF
Dawn of Swords David Dalglish
Robert J. Duperre
SF - Breaking World  1
There Is Only War Christian Dunn SF - Warhammer 40,000 Collection
C-Monkeys (e) Keith Hollihan SF
Gamification (e) Keith Hollihan SF
Surreal Estate (e) Elliott James UF - Pax Arcana
House of Bathory Linda Lafferty HistFict/H
A Knight to Remember Michelle Miles PHR - Realm of Honor 3
The Magic Engineer (ri) L. E. Modesitt, Jr. SF - Recluce 3
Tales From High Hallack, Volume 1: The Collected Short Stories of Andre Norton, Volume 1 Andre Norton F - Tales from High Hallack 1
Red Moon (h2tp) Benjamin Percy H/Th
Mayhem Sarah Pinborough H
The Emperor's Blades (D) Brian Staveley F - Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1
Shovel Ready (D) Adam Sternbergh Noir/SF/Th
Bad Magic (1st e) Stephan Zielinski F/O



January 15, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Cartography of Sudden Death: A Tor.Com Original (e) Charlie Jane Anders SF/TT
Nighttime in Caeli-Amur: A Tor.com Original (e) Rjurik Davidson F
Apocalypse and Post-Politics: The Romance of the End (h2tp) Mary Manjikian LC



January 16, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Science Fiction Handbook (h2tp) Nick Hubble (ed)
Aris Mousoutzanis (ed)
Literature and Culture Handbooks


D- Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
mm2tp - Mass Market to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint

F - Fantasy
Go - Gothic
H - Horror
HistFic - Historical Fiction
LC - Literary Criticism
M - Mystery
O - Occult
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
Z - Zombies

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts


2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts


There are  debuts 10 debuts for January. Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The January debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite January cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at DAC.TheQwillery  @  gmail . com (remove the spaces).




Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



Elisabeth Elo

North of Boston
Pamela Dorman Books, January 23, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Dennis Lehane meets Smilla’s Sense of Snow: a big discovery in the world of female suspense, about an edgy young woman with the rare ability to withstand extreme conditions

Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl with an acerbic wit and a moral compass that points due north.

When the fishing boat Pirio is on is rammed by a freighter, she finds herself abandoned in the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours in the water before being rescued by the Coast Guard. But the boat’s owner and her professional fisherman friend, Ned, is not so lucky.

Compelled to look after Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina, Pirio can’t shake the lurking suspicion that the boat’s sinking—and Ned’s death—was no accident. It’s a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, who tells her that nothing is ever what it seems. Then the navy reaches out to her to participate in research on human survival in dangerously cold temperatures.

With the help of a curious journalist named Russell Parnell, Pirio begins unraveling a lethal plot involving the glacial whaling grounds off Baffin Island. In a narrow inlet in the arctic tundra, Pirio confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.

A gripping literary thriller, North of Boston combines the atmospheric chills of Jussi Adler-Olsen with the gritty mystery of Laura Lippman. And Pirio Kasparov is a gutsy, compellingly damaged heroine with many adventures ahead.



Marko Kloos

Terms of Enlistment
47North, January 28, 2013
Trade Paperback, 346 pages
Previously published in Kindle eBook format, May 8, 2013

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to two thousand calories of badly flavored soy every day:
You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.

With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.

The debut novel from Marko Kloos, Terms of Enlistment is a new addition to the great military sci-fi tradition of Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi.



Snorri Kristjansson

Swords of Good Men
The Valhalla Saga 1
Jo Fletcher Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
US Debut

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
Swords of Good Men, Snorri Kristjansson’s debut novel, incorporates the myths that fascinated him as a child with his passion for epic fantasy. Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two years travelling as envoy and bodyguard to his high-born cousin. They have one last stop – the walled port town of Stenvik – before they can finally go home.

Thormodsson meets the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures his heart. Stenvik is also home to solitary blacksmith Audun Arngrimsson, whose past hides many dark secrets. Soon, the conflict brewing between two factions of dangerous and determined men of the town threatens to sweep all of them, natives and visitors alike, into the jaws of war.

The factions within Stenvik are about to come to blows, but a far bigger battle is approaching: a young King Olav is bringing the White Christ at point of sword and edge of blade. And on the horizon are the sails of another, more mysterious enemy. Thormodsson and his companions will soon learn that in this conflict between the Old Gods and the new, there are enemies everywhere—outside the walls of Stenvik as well as within.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready
Crown, January 14, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 256 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
The futuristic hardboiled noir that Lauren Beukes calls “sharp as a paper-cut” about a garbage man turned kill-for-hire.

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter. But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill. Spademan must navigate between these two worlds—the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy—to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.

Adam Sternbergh has written a dynamite debut: gritty, violent, funny, riveting, tender, and brilliant.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 Debuts
In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.


Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!


I can't think of a better way to end 2013 than by announcing the the initial 14 authors featured in The Qwillery's 2014 Debut Author Challenge. To participate in the Challenge as a reader, please head to the 2014 Debut Author Challenge page for the rules.



Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!



Mary Behre

Spirited
Tidewater 1
Berkley, March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be…



Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



David Edison

The Waking Engine
Tor Books, February 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Richly imaginative, David Edison's The Waking Engine is a stunning debut by a major new talent.



Adrianne Harun

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
Penguin, February 25, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
The seductive and chilling debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of The King of Limbo


In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.


Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark
Viking Adult, February 20, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.



Robin Riopelle

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook,  320 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.



Lauren M. Roy

Night Owls
Night Owls 1
Ace, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors…



Mark Smylie

The Barrow
Pyr, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 700 pages
Cover Illustration © Gene Mollica

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Ramona Wheeler

Three Princes
Tor Books, February 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler's Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!
In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.




What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 6What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 23Interview with Rachel Cantor, author of  A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World - January 18, 2014The View From Monday - January 13, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - January 2014 DebutsAnnouncing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!

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