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What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19


This is the nineteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge authors as well as 2 additional DAC authors from 2012 and 2013. Look for an additional series of updates in late June/early July 2015.

See Part 1 here
See Part 1.5 here
See Part 2 here
See Part 3 here
See Part 4 here
See Part 5 here
See Part 6 here
See Part 7 here
See Part 8 here
See Part 9 here
See Part 10 here
See Part 11 here
See Part 12 here
See Part 13 here
See Part 14 here
See Part 15 here
See Part 16 here
See Part 17 here
See Part 18 here


What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19



Thomas Sweterlitsch

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Berkley, May 5, 2015
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Previously published in Hardcoer and eBook, July 2014

“A wild mash-up of Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, and William S. Burroughs” (Stewart O’Nan, author of The Odds), the near-future thriller Tomorrow and Tomorrow is an insightful exploration of humanity’s relationship with evolving virtual environments and an accurate portrayal of how the technology that was developed to connect people inevitably isolates them…

Pittsburgh is John Dominic Blaxton’s home even though the city has been uninhabitable ruin and ash for the past decade. The Pittsburgh Dominic lives in is the Archive, an immersive virtual reconstruction of the city’s buildings, parks, and landmarks, as well as the people who once lived there. Including Dominic’s wife and unborn child.

When he’s not reliving every recorded moment with his wife in an endless cycle of desperation and despair, Dominic investigates mysterious deaths preserved in the Archive before Pittsburgh’s destruction. His latest cold case is the apparent murder of a woman whose every appearance is deliberately being deleted from the Archive.

Obsessed with uncovering this woman’s identity and what happened to her, Dominic follows a trail from the virtual world into reality. But finding the truth buried deep within an illusion means risking his sanity and his very existence…





Arianne 'Tex' Thompson

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Medicine for the Dead
Children of the Drought 2
Solaris, March 31, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The story of Appaloosa Elim continues.
Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.
Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.
Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali'Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.

Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic - and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he's only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei's coffin.

As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims - one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.





Angus Watson

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Clash of Iron
Iron Age 2
Orbit, April 14, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

The second book in Angus Watson's epic Iron Age fantasy trilogy.

LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF WAR

Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it.

A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other -- and see Maidun as an easy target.

Meanwhile, Lowa's spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome's charismatic general, Julius Caesar.

War is coming. Who will pay its price?





Ramona Wheeler

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Three Princes
Tor Books, January 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, February 2014

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.





Additional Updates

2012 Debut Author Challenge Author

Benedict Jacka

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
Veiled
Alex Verus 6
Ace, August 4, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

National bestselling author Benedict Jacka returns to the world of Alex Verus…

I thought I’d escaped my past. But my old master is back and making a new play for power. And he’s not the only one targeting me…

Diviner Alex Verus and the Council that governs the magical community have never gotten along. But with his former teacher back in Britain, Alex is in desperate need of allies, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get them—even if it means accepting a job with the Keepers, enforcing magical law.

Alex forms an uneasy alliance with his new partner, Caldera, but his attempt at legitimacy quickly turns lethal when a mission puts him in possession of an item that factions both inside and outside of the Council would kill to get their hands on.

Once again caught in the middle of a deadly conflict, Alex will need all his abilities to figure out who his friends are—especially when enemies are hiding on all sides…





2013 Debut Author Challenge Author

Samantha Shannon

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 19
The Mime Order
The Bone Season 2
Bloomsbury USA, January 27, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.


The View From Monday - January 19, 2015


Happy Monday! This is a relatively light release week with 3 debuts:

Mort(e) by Robert Repino;

Perdita by Hilary Scharper;

and

Fatal Feast by Jay Ruud.


And from formerly featured DAC Authors - there are 4 books out in Trade Paperback this week:

Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun;

The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy 1) by Brian McClellan;

Viscious by V.E. Schwab;

and

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler.



The View From Monday - January 19, 2015



January 19, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Color of Vengeance Rob J. Hayes F - The Ties That Bind 2
The Lost Level (e) Briane Keene AA/SF
Broken Shadows AJ Larrieu UF - Shadowminds 3



January 20, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Half a King (h2tp) Joe Abercrombie F - Shattered Sea / Half a King 1
Hunger's Mate Part 2 (e) A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 5
Crystal Rain (ri) Tobias S. Buckell SF
Black Moon (h2tp) Kenneth Calhoun PA
That Old Black Magic (h2tp) Mary Jane Clark PM - Piper Donovan 4
Making Magic (e) Donna June Cooper PNR - Books of the Kindling 3
Ahriman: Sorcerer John French SF - Warhammer 40,000
Through the Static Jeanette Grey PNR
A Fold in the Tent of the Sky (ri) Michael Hale Th/SF/TT
Tides of Maritinia Warren Hammond SF
The Rabbit Back Literature Society Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen F/M
The Crimson Campaign (h2tp) Brian McClellan F - The Powder Mage Trilogy 1
White Knight (e) Kelly Meade PNR - Cornerstone Rune Trilogy 3
The Knights of the Round Table Daniel Mersey F - Myths and Legends 13
Angels & Exiles Yves Meynard SF/F - Collection
Burned Karen Marie Moning PNR - Fever 7
Labyrinthian (e) Sunny Moraine PNR - Line and Orbit
King of the Cracksmen: A Steampunk Entertainment Dennis O'Flaherty SP
The Globe (ri) Terry Pratchett
Ian Stewart
Jack Cohen
F - Science of Discworld 2
Mort(e) (D) Robert Repino F
The Path Peter Riva SF
Perdita (D) Hilary Scharper HistF
Vicious (h2tp) V. E. Schwab F
Inked Eric Smith F/YA
Well in Time Suzan Still F/TT
This Is Your Destiny (K e) Denise Grover Swank UF - A Curse Keepers Secret Book 3
The Yellow Wood Melanie Tem F
Three Princes (h2tp) Ramona Wheeler F



January 21, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Damage: A Tor.Com Original (e) David D. Levine SF
Fatal Feast (D) Jay Ruud HistF - A Merlin Mystery 1



January 22, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 Duncan Lay F - The Last Quarrel



January 23, 2015
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Black Hills Desperado (K e) D.L. Jackson PNR - Black Hill Wolves3



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover 2 Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint


AA - Action Adventure
F - Fantasy
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014


It's time for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for February 2014!


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014


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 2014 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. 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 February 24, 2014.



Vote for your favorite February 2014 Debut Cover
  
pollcode.com free polls 





2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014
Cover art by Stephan Martiniere




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014
Illustration is by Patrick Arrasmith; Design by Allison Forner




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014
Cover art by Raphael LaCoste



Excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler - February 4, 2014


I'm delighted to share with you today an excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler, which is out today from Tor Books. Look for a 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Ramona next month! Ramona Wheeler is on tour along with James L. Cambias and Brian Staveley. Check the end of the post for the Book Tour stops. 



Excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler - February 4, 2014




Excerpt - Chapter 1 from Three Princes


LORD SCOTT Oken sharpened the focus of the opera-eyes so that a particular pair of legs filled the frame. She was the tallest woman on the stage, and to Oken’s eye, she was Golden Hathor with all her graces, a joy to behold. Certainly, there was not another pair of legs so exquisite, white thighs shaped by riding wild Cossack ponies as a child. In his better moments, Oken regretted the power he had over her intentions. In other moments, he simply had to admit that he loved his work.
His attention was interrupted by a knock on the door to his private viewing booth. It would be unseemly for a man of his rank to leap at an interruption.
The dancers sank into their final pose amid a swirl of silk and pearls. The gentle knocking became more insistent. The booth was small and carefully secured, so Lord Oken had only to turn in his seat to unlatch the door behind him.
The theater manager peered around the door, with only his self-important face and fashionably trimmed beard visible. He reverently held out a velvet cushion with a leather scroll-case. The gold-wax seal was the explanation for the manager’s excited decision to interrupt a dance scene. Oken took the case, thanking him with a casual word. The manager gave such a deep bow that he had to retrieve his top hat with a sudden snatch, and he retreated, struggling to balance his hat and the cushion while bowing as he backed away.
Oken shut the door and latched it. He sat, looking down at the golden seal on the case, feeling the familiar tug of duty and awe invoked by that familiar and historical icon. The Queen of Egypt was thousands of leagues away at Pharaoh’s Palace in Memphis, yet she could ensnare him with such a simple gesture. The blare of brass instruments striking up the final strains sounded, but he did not look up.
Oken unclipped his watch fob from its gold chain, a small, enameled-gold Watch It Eye. He tapped the snake coiled in the inner corner of the Eye and the cover opened, revealing a magnifying lens. The signs of tampering on the gold-wax seal were slight yet unmistakable: indentations in the bottom edge. Someone had read the Queen’s message, then skillfully resealed the case.
Oken closed the Eye and returned it to the chain, then broke the seal and unrolled the scroll. He raised it to his nose and sniffed gently. The unique incense of Pharaoh’s Palace was faintly present, evoking the majesty and wonder of Memphis. He was an agent of the Egyptian Empire. That thought had more power over him than the lure of those long, long legs.
The presence of Lord Scott Oken is requested at the palace in Memphis, for a presentation to Pharaoh Djoser-George. Life! Health! Courage! On Famenoth 30, commencing at 8 of the clock.
The handwriting was Lady Khamanny’s formal secretarial hand, signed with the hieroglyphic signet of the palace. Underneath it, however, was a simple sentence in the Queen’s familiar hand: We are counting on you to be there to dance with us, Scott, since poor old Dozey says his knees just won’t take the strain! Sashetah Irene.
Oken returned the little papyrus roll to its case and slipped it into an inner pocket, resettling his jacket around the stiff shape with a graceful shrug. He was smiling.
A reply to the Queen’s message could wait until morning. Oken returned to his close-up view of the stage.
* * *
HE LEFT his fur-lined overcoat in the booth. The manager would send it to the embassy hotel. Street carriages were heated, and Natyra kept her apartment unusually warm. She claimed she did so because she could spend more time in the bathing pool in the center of her bedroom. “Water, it keeps my body ready for the next dance!” Oken believed, however, it was more likely that she preferred being nude. This thought kept him warm as he climbed the nine stories to her apartment via the back stair, unheated and unguarded, lit only by small and ancient windows admitting the streetlights.
Natyra Arkadyena Solovyova lived in a great, round room in the sky above Novgorod, at the top of a stone tower in a western wall of the royal palace. Her sponsor, the grand vizier of all Oesterreich, Nevski XXI, was generous. Her room was as luxurious as any in the main halls of the palace, where the vizier and his many wives lived. It was also quite private, in its remote tower above the city.
Lord Oken found the door at the top of the staircase also unguarded, as he had expected. He removed his left glove and rested his fingertips against the touch-points of the ornate figure in the central panel. The hidden circuits in the silver inlay responded only to bare skin. Oken felt, rather than heard, the slight tremble as the panel activated; then it divided down the center and silently slid apart. He had to bend his head down and to the side as he stepped through the portal that had opened in the door. He was taller than most.
There were candles everywhere in her apartment, in silver and alabaster candlesticks. He could smell the soft, warm-wax scent of candles that had, until only moments before, been lit. The dying smoke made a sweet, mournful fragrance that told him the candles had burned while she awaited his arrival. He had known that they would not be lit when he walked in.
Oken asked her about it once. She told him someone (she would never tell him who, or when or why) had used candle flame to hurt her, badly. She showed him the pale scar still lingering on her sweet white breast. Whoever it was had used her own candles to burn her until she screamed her throat raw and confessed to things that she had not done and had never thought of doing until those ideas were put into her head. She had adored candles and candlelight from the first time she had been carried—small and helpless, and loving of the arms that held her—into a temple ceremony of the divine Neith, she of the wick and the lamps. Natyra’s first dances on temple stages had been to this ancient divinity. Natyra loved candles, the waxy scent, the yellow orange glow, the simple magic of light and heat that arose from string and wax and oil. She could not let that night of torture turn her away from her divine guide, but she could never bear to have anyone share them with her. She lit candles only when alone.
Oken, upon hearing this sad confession, had gotten up from her bed and taken a fat green candle from the mantel and set it on her nightstand. When he lit it, he saw her face go pale and her lips tremble. She held her chin up, still proud, yet a cloudy fear touched her green eyes.
He did not touch the lit candle. He held his hands out beside it, with the firm, tanned flesh of the backs of his hands and wrists close to her.
“Burn me,” he said to her, firmly. “Burn me with the candle.”
Natyra shook her head. He could see the candlelight gleaming in her eyes and on the smooth, polished skin of her shaved head.
“Do it.”
She stared at him, gauging his conviction, then took the candle and dripped hot wax onto the backs of his hands.
He winced.
He let her drip more wax, until he saw something fierce and clean shine in her perfect face. With a cry of alarm, she put the candle back into its holder and pushed it away. Oken blew out the flame, watching her face in the sudden twilight. He used a bit of ice from his drink to chill the wax on his hands until it was brittle and fell away.
Natyra had tears in her eyes as she kissed his hands then, the soft, unburned insides of his wrists and his palms. They never spoke of it again. She did not light candles when he was there, but she trusted him.
Her trust hurt Oken more than the mild blisters on his hands. He was testing a theory, doing his job. What truly mattered was that he discover the identity of her contact in Novgorod, in the palace of the grand vizier of Oesterreich, who was leaking vital information to Bismarck in Turkistan, the only nation in open resistance to Egypt’s embrace.
* * *
THE TAPESTRY that concealed the hidden entrance to her apartment was drenched with the fragrance of incense, oils and candles. Oken was familiar now with that mingled scent of smoke and time and he felt his pulse quickening.
He paused with the corner of the tapestry’s fabric in one hand, gazing around, adjusting to the dim light. At the far side of the room, tall windows looked out over Novgorod. City lights created an orange glow in the night sky. Opposite the tapestry was a fireplace, originally built to burn whole trees at once, radiating warmth into the room from the complex flutings of a steel radiator. White peonies filled the mantel, masses of them in crystal vases set between miniature lotus columns.
Oken could see the gold and silver threads of the tapestry’s design reflected in the mirror above the mantel, making the divine faces of Isis and Osiris shine softly in the darkness. They seemed to be smiling down benignly at his face, reflected in the mirror as well. For an instant he felt himself to be a part of their eternal scene. He pushed the feeling aside to focus on the moment. However lovely the scene, this moment was not benign. He was here on a mission, weaving lies in search of a truth.
Natyra’s pale form was outlined by blue radiance as she floated comfortably in the bathwater with an ivory headrest supporting her slender neck and shaved head. She raised her glass to him in salute when he stepped into sight.
Oken strolled slowly toward the glowing pool and her magical presence. He circled the pool so that he could see every curve in the water, then he stopped beside the ivory headrest. The blue radiance emphasized the pattern of veins in her throat and breast. Her eyes were deeper green in this light, large and luminous, gazing up at him with sultry promise.
He dropped to one knee beside her upturned face. “My mum spent a lot of her wealth to make sure that I had a proper appreciation of classical art. You are a classic, and I do appreciate perfection.”
“My compliments to your dear mum,” Natyra whispered.
“My mum would not like you,” he whispered in return.
“Good.” She reached up and drew his face close to kiss him.
Oken was careful not to let the cuffs of his jacket get wet. He tasted vodka and hints of absinthe along with her incomparable sweetness.
“Join me.” She gestured toward the pool.
“Your bed would be more comfortable.”
“I am comfortable here.” She waved her hand once slowly through the glowing water so that inviting ripples swirled over her creamy flesh.
“Yes, you are, but I’ve had my bath already.”
“Silly boy. You will need another bath when I am done with you.”
“I certainly hope so.”
“I am tired from the dancing. The hot water, it makes me relax.” A slight pout in her voice suggested Oken was going to give in to her.
“I can make you relax,” he whispered.
Natyra stretched lazily in the water, arching her back so that the pearl white mounds of her breasts rose out of the pool, sparkling with water drops.
Oken sighed. This was his favorite suit and he was on very good terms with the tailor. He did not want to get it wet. It was silk. Then he remembered the scroll in his pocket. He sat back on his heels.
“I’ll meet you there.” He stood up.
Natyra’s scrunched up her forehead, and she let her glass drop into the bath.
Oken stepped back, smiling down at her, then strolled over to the canopied bed. He settled onto it, bracing himself on hip and elbow and stretching his long, lean legs out across the silk quilts. He lazily undid the buttons of his jacket, thinking not of Natyra but of the royal wax seal on the scroll calling him back to Memphis to dance with the Queen of the world.
“You are a tyrant.” Natyra stood up in the pool. “You did not even give me a towel.”
“Do you need one?”
She pouted at him more firmly as she climbed out of the bathing pool and took a towel from the warming rack. She let it trail dramatically behind her in one hand as she stepped slowly toward the bed with the exaggerated grace of the stage. Droplets of water rolled down her perfect flesh, tracing the rise and fall of her muscles as she moved.
Natyra was forty-eight, almost twice Oken’s age. She always made sure that her lovers saw her only from the distance of the stage or in the twilight luxury of her private apartment. Oken was less mindful of her age than of her ageless perfection. He marveled at the good fortune that had brought him here. Were their ages reversed, he doubted she could have been more beautiful. She wore time better than most women wore youth.
She swirled the towel around and draped it across his hip as she knelt on the bed. “You must dry my back.”
Oken sat up, pulling her to him as he pushed the towel to the floor. She put her arms around him, stroking his thick hair as she kissed him. The bare curve of her skull fit his hand perfectly. Oken knew, whatever else happened, he would remember that curve of bare skin against his palm for as long as he lived, and not just because of his perfect memory.
She teased his teeth with the tip of her tongue, and Oken stretched her out on the bed.
There was a thunder of fists pounding on wood from behind the huge tapestry covering the far wall, then a crashing thud, and the corner of the tapestry was thrust aside as a man in uniform burst into the room. “Natyra!” he shouted when he saw them.
Natyra sat up as though stung, her eyes wide.
The man looked as big as a bear—not a big European bear, but some giant, golden animal from the deep, wild woods of Rusland, towering over everything and everyone, sleek and enormous. Even his blond mustache was waxed into giant curls. His bushy brows were drawn down into a fierce V of anger over his raging blue eyes.
Oken recognized him at once, with some surprise, as General Vladimir Modestovich Blestyak, in command of the vizier’s royal horsemen guard, and the last person Oken expected to see in Natyra’s apartment. Blestyak was a lowbrow from a famous family, never seen out of uniform and never seen when anything important or dangerous was happening. Oken was more curious than alarmed by his noisy entrance. He made himself remain still, ready to leap in whichever direction this invasion demanded.
Blestyak bellowed as he stalked toward the two poised on the bed. The size of his rage and his volume made his words incoherent. Even so, Oken picked up at once that the general was not happy about the “Egyptian pig” in Natyra’s bed.
Natyra reared up, defiantly nude, to stand between Oken and the general. She placed her hands on her hips and lifted her chin with regal disdain. “How dare you come in here uninvited!”
The general spat out a torrent of words, accusing Oken of being a spy for the Pharaoh. The sight of those perfect breasts, however, made the intensity of his rage falter. He hesitated before taking another step toward her. He repeated the accusation at a lower volume.
Natyra, speaking in the same language, reminded the general that he was also a spy. In Trade Speak she added haughtily, “Irrelevant! He is invited to be here—you are not!”
Oken had faked ignorance of the native tongue. He had just received his reward for the ruse. General Blestyak was not on the embassy’s suspect list. He was considered to be something of an idiot, fit only for horses and royal stables. Natyra’s single sentence, however, made pieces fall into place. The royal stables were part of the palace compound, with access to the entire grounds. The royal family worshipped their horses. The stables were temples to Epona, sacred ground. Blestyak was in a perfect position to observe anything happening there. His obscurity even made sense. Who would notice him?
Oken made himself lie still, resting back on one elbow, a hand draped across his hip. He let his gaze drift as if the glorious view of Natyra from behind were more important than a raging giant.
Blestyak’s step faltered again as he looked back and forth between the lovers. “I will have this pig arrested!”
“I will have you thrown out!” Natyra stamped once with her foot.
“That’s one big bear.” Oken spoke lightly, pretending to be entertained by the interruption. “What’s he shouting about? Does he plan to join us?”
She turned her head to glare at Oken. “Do not be impertinent.”
“Good.” Oken made himself relax back against the pillows. “I don’t much like animals, not in bed.” He waved the general out as he would dismiss a servant. “Make him go away, milya Natyra.”
Blestyak recovered his rage, flinging himself at Oken with a roar.
He landed on the bed with such a crash that the solid wooden frame creaked ominously. Oken, however, had neatly rolled away. He leaped to his feet as the general raised himself up to scramble after him.
Oken was glad that he had not yet taken off his jacket. He sprang around the bed to where Natyra was just regaining her feet. He picked up the towel and draped it around her shoulders like a dinner cloak.
Blestyak also regained his feet and was coming around the bed with an incoherent string of curses. Giant hands stretched out to grab Oken.
Oken kissed Natyra lightly on the tip of her nose, feeling, as he had from the first, a strange jolt when so close to her green eyes. “I’ll be back,” he said, knowing it was a lie. His work here was done.
He turned aside as the general reached them, thus Natyra intercepted Blestyak’s assault. Both of them fell heavily onto the bed, with the general’s arms tangled around Natyra’s long limbs. Oken sprang away, running toward the secret exit behind the tapestry.
The general moved with surprising swiftness, untangling himself and snatching up giant handfuls of the carpet with a fierce jerk. Oken went down. He rolled as he fell, and he came up just as Blestyak’s fist came down on the side of his face.
The buzzing in Oken’s head nearly drowned out Natyra’s scream. He tasted blood.
Even Oken’s eidetic memory recalled only a blur of pain and pounding fists in the next few seconds. His best training in martial arts could only keep him moving fast enough that the general could not kill him, not all at once. Natyra’s angry screams penetrated like darts in the fog.
There was an abrupt explosion of shattering crystal. Blestyak fell heavily across Oken, pinning him to the carpet.
Oken had a glimpse of Natyra’s nude form standing over them, holding the broken remains of the vase she had just smashed over the giant general’s giant head. White peony petals clung to the droplets of water on her arms and legs like stray feathers. She held that crystal weapon raised, prepared to hit Blestyak again if he stirred.
“Is he dead?” she whispered.
Oken could see the flutter of veins pulsing in the general’s forehead as blood spilled down across the huge face. Petals were caught in the hot, red blood. “No,” he managed to gasp. “Get him off me.” Then the lights vanished, and the world fell silent and still.
* * *
LIGHT AND sound returned with stunning cold.
Oken found himself lying on a mound of snow beneath a clear black sky of northern stars. His first thought was to regret that he had left his gloves on Natyra’s bed. The next was to hope that the blood staining the snow was not his own—at least, not all of it.
He tried to sit up, thought better of it, and settled for lifting his head enough to see beyond the bloodied snow. He was lying on the frozen drift at the base of a stone wall. He recognized the wall. He had been carried to the side entrance of his hotel. The Egyptian Embassy was across the street. He checked his jacket pocket with trembling fingers. The case was still there. He shook it, hearing the slight rattle that said the scroll was inside.
His body ached with the fierce cold and bruising and the hard, sharp pain of fractured ribs. He rolled off the snowdrift and into the road. Pain gave him the strength to pull himself up to his feet and he staggered over the pavement to the embassy building. His legs gave way as he reached the huge windows. The building’s automatic security system would alert the guards inside. He lay huddled around the pain, waiting for them to find him. It was time to leave Novgorod. He had accomplished his mission and his best suit was ruined.

Copyright © 2014 by Ramona Wheeler





Three Princes

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

Excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler - February 4, 2014
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.





About Ramona

Excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler - February 4, 2014
Ramona Wheeler grew up an Army Brat, shuttling from library to library with every move. She has written extensively on ancient Egypt and comparative mythology and her “Ray and Rokey” stories appeared in Analog magazine from 1998 to 2004. She now resides in Massachusetts. Visit her online at ramonalouisewheeler.com.



Twitter @Ramona332











Book Tour

James L. Cambias, Brian Staveley (The Emperor's Blades) and Ramona Wheeler (Three Princes) will be touring together. Here is the schedule:

2/4, 7pm - Towne Book Center, Collegeville, PA

2/6, 7pm - Barnes & Noble, Holyoke, MA

2/7, 7pm -Annie’s Book Stop, Worcester, MA

2/8, 2pm - Barnes & Noble, Hingham, MA

2/11, 7pm - RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH

2/13, 7pm - Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA

2/15, 3pm - Bartleby’s Books, Wilmington, VT

2/22, 7pm - Flights of Fantasy, Albany, NY

2/24, 7:30pm – Housing Works Bookstore, New York, NY


The View From Monday - February 3, 2014


Happy first Monday in February. The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of winter here. I think he was right for once - schools are closed today due to snow! There are 2 more snowstorms predicted for this week.



The View From Monday - February 3, 2014



This is a very full release week with 3 debuts:

The Line (Witching Savannah 1) by J. D. Horn;

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler;

and

Archetype by M. D. Waters.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Broken Homes (Rivers of London/Peter Grant 4) by  Ben Aaronovitch;

and

Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins comes out in Trade Paperback.


February 1, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The First Last Unicorn and Other Beginnings Peter S Beagle F - Stories
Claimed by the Wolf (e) Saranna DeWylde PNR
The Line (D) J. D. Horn UF - Witching Savannah 1
A Hunter's Passion (e) Gwen Knight PNR
December Phil Rickman Oc /Su
Descending Son Scott Shepherd H
John Golden (e) Django Wexler Techno/F/Noir



February 2, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction (e) Charles L. Adler Science



February 4, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Broken Homes Ben Aaronovitch UF - Rivers of London 4
The Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand Jim Algie H - Stories
Night's Promise Amanda Ashley PNR - Children of the Night 6
Wings of Death James Axler
(Douglas P Wojtowicz)
SF - Outlanders 26
Tristano Nanni Balestrini Meta
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (h2tp) Marie Brennan F
The Reaver Richard Lee Byers F - D&D: Forgotten Realms: The Sundering 4
A Draw of Kings Patrick W. Carr F - The Staff and the Sword 3
Fallout James K. Decker SF - Haan 2
Reave the Just and Other Tales Stephen R. Donaldson F - Short Stories
Scarlet Devices Delphine Dryden PNR - Steam and Seduction 2
By Blood We Live Glen Duncan H - Last Werewolf Trilogy 3
Lynx Destiny Doranna Durgin PNR - Sentinels 8
1632 (Leatherbound Edition) Eric Flint AH/TT - Ring of Fire 1
Now Comes the Night P. G. Forte PNR - Children of the Night 3
Dreamwalker C.S. Friedman F
Only the Good Die Young Chris Marie Green UF - Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire 1
Falling Light Thea Harrison PNR - Game of Shadows 2
Wolfhound Century (h2tp) Peter Higgins AH - Wolfhound Century 1
Soul Deep Anne Hope PNR - Dark Souls 4
Blood Lines (ri) Tanya Huff UF - Blood/Victoria Nelson 3
Dust Devils Jonathan Janz H
Storm of Light Nate Kenyon F - Diablo III
Red Delicious Caitlin R. Kiernan UF - Siobhan Quinn 2
Mark of Evil (h2tp) Tim LaHaye
Craig Parshall
PA - End 1
Carousel Sun Sharon Lee UF/Th - Carousel 2
Rule Breaker Lora Leigh PNR - Breeds 29
The Best of All Possible Worlds (h2tp) Karen Lord SF/R
Stolen Crown Dennis L. McKiernan F - Mithgar 17
One Night with the Shifter Theresa Meyers PNR
The Tesla Gate John D. Mimms SF/P
Line and Orbit Sunny Moraine
Lisa Soem
SFR
Wild Things Chloe Neill UF - Chicagoland Vampires 9
Who Fears Death (ri) Nnedi Okorafor MR
Song of Ireland (ri) Juilene Osborne-McKnight HistF
The Flight of the Silvers Daniel Price SF/Adv
Avenger's Heat Katie Reus PNR - Moon Shifter 6
Magic Man (ri) Patricia Rice PNR - Magic 6
To Sail a Darkling Sea John Ringo SF - Black Tide Rising 2
Sword-Bound (h2mm) Jennifer Roberson F - Tiger and Del 7
Black Rose (ri) Nora Roberts R - In the Garden Trilogy 2
The Companions (h2mm) R. A. Salvatore F - The Sundering 1
Go Kill Crazy! Bryan Smith H
V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History Allen Steele AH 
Shadows of Falling Night (h2mm) S. M. Stirling UF - Shadowspawn 3
The Collection: A Registry Novel Shannon Stoker Dys - Registry 2
Definitely Maybe Arkady and Boris Strugatsky SF
Strange Bodies Marcel Theroux F/Th
Path of the Eldar Omnibus Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer 40,000
Annihilation: A Novel Jeff VanderMeer SF - Southern Reach Trilogy 1
Lover Enshrined (ri) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 6
Empire of Man David Weber
John Ringo
SF - Eveness 3
Dryad-Born Jeff Wheeler F - Whispers from Mirrowen 2
Three Princes (D) Ramona Wheeler AH



February 5, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mad Maudlin: A Tor.Com Original (e) Marie Brennan F
No One Noticed the Cat (ri) Anne McCaffrey F



February 6, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: Keeping Up with the Joneses (e) Nick Harkaway SF - Doctor Who
Archetype (D) M. D. Waters SF/Sus - Archetype 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint


Adv - Adventure
AH - Alternate History
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Oc - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts


There are 11 debuts for February. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The February 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 February cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on February 15th.

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).



Elizabeth Blackwell

While Beauty Slept
Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, February 20, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts

Historical fiction at its best — The Brothers Grimm meets The Thirteenth Tale

I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told.

And so begins Elise Dalriss’s story. When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a minstrel’s tale about a beautiful princess asleep in a tower, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered—and she is the only one left who knows what actually happened so many years ago. Her story unveils a labyrinth where secrets connect to an inconceivable evil. As only Elise understands all too well, the truth is no fairy tale.



Janie Chang

Three Souls
William Morrow Paperbacks, February 25, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
An absorbing novel of romance and revolution, loyalty and family, sacrifice and undying love

We have three souls, or so I'd been told. But only in death could I confirm this....

So begins the haunting and captivating tale, set in 1935 China, of the ghost of a young woman named Leiyin, who watches her own funeral from above and wonders why she is being denied entry to the afterlife. Beside her are three souls—stern and scholarly yang; impulsive, romantic yin; and wise, shining hun—who will guide her toward understanding. She must, they tell her, make amends.

As Leiyin delves back in time with the three souls to review her life, she sees the spoiled and privileged teenager she once was, a girl who is concerned with her own desires while China is fractured by civil war and social upheaval. At a party, she meets Hanchin, a captivating left-wing poet and translator, and instantly falls in love with him.

When Leiyin defies her father to pursue Hanchin, she learns the harsh truth—that she is powerless over her fate. Her punishment for disobedience leads to exile, an unwanted marriage, a pregnancy, and, ultimately, her death. And when she discovers what she must do to be released from limbo into the afterlife, Leiyin realizes that the time for making amends is shorter than she thought.

Suffused with history and literature, Three Souls is an epic tale of revenge and betrayal, forbidden love, and the price we are willing to pay for freedom.



David Edison

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

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
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

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
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.



J.D. Horn

The Line
Witching Savannah 1
47North, February 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 296 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…

To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.

Despite being powerless herself, of course.

Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

In The Line, the first book of the Witching Savannah series, J.D. Horn weaves magic, romance, and betrayal into a captivating Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare.



Anne Leonard

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

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
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.



D. L. McDermott

Cold Iron
Cold Iron Trilogy 1
Pocket Star, February 10, 2014
eBook, 381 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
For fans of Jeaniene Frost and Kresley Cole, this full-length novel is the first in D.L. McDermott’s fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance series—available exclusively in ebook!

The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.

So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.

But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.



Lauren M. Roy


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

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
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…



M . D. Waters

Archetype
Dutton Adult, February 6, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.


Andy Weir

The Martian
Crown, February 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook,  384 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?



Ramona Wheeler

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

2014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 Debuts
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.



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 in 2015? - Part 19The View From Monday - January 19, 2015Interview with Ramona Wheeler, author of Three Princes, and Giveaway - March 6, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2014Excerpt from Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler - February 4, 2014The View From Monday - February 3, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge - February 2014 DebutsAnnouncing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!

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