close

The Qwillery | category: Roberta Trahan

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41


This is the forty-first in this new series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their works published or to be 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




Tom Toner (2015)

The Promise of the Child
Volume One of the Amaranthine Spectrum
Night Shade Books, October 11, 2016
Trade Paperback, 484 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 22, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
It is the 147th century.

In the radically advanced post-human worlds of the Amaranthine Firmament, there is a contender to the Immortal throne: Aaron the Long-Life, the Pretender, a man who is not quite a man.

In the barbarous hominid kingdoms of the Prism Investiture, where life is short, cheap, and dangerous, an invention is born that will become the Firmament’s most closely kept secret.

Lycaste, a lovesick recluse outcast for an unspeakable crime, must journey through the Provinces, braving the grotesques of an ancient, decadent world to find his salvation.

Sotiris, grieving the loss of his sister and awaiting the madness of old age, must relive his twelve thousand years of life to stop the man determined to become Emperor.

Ghaldezuel, knight of the stars, must plunder the rarest treasure in the Firmament—the object the Pretender will stop at nothing to obtain.

From medieval Prague to a lonely Mediterranean cove, and eventually far into the strange vastness of distant worlds, The Promise of the Child is a debut novel of gripping action and astounding ambition unfolding over hundreds of thousands of years, marking the arrival of a brilliant new talent in science fiction.


The Weight of the World
Volume Two of the Amaranthine Spectrum
Night Shade Books, January 3, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
The sequel to the critically acclaimed and ambitious literary space opera debut, The Promise of the Child.

It is the 147th century; the turning of the Amaranthine new year.

In the provinces of the Old World, the giant Elatine’s war of liberation has come to an impasse, leaving the wicked monarchy of the First in possession of the throne.

In the Vaulted Lands of the Firmament, acolytes have risen up to execute their immortal masters. The opportunistic races of the Prism, intoxicated with greed, have arrived inside every Solar Satrapy to scavenge what’s left.

In the wild Investiture, on a forgotten water moon, a crew of shipwrecked Privateers come face to face with their greatest terror, and with it the most valuable treasure in all the galaxy.

Jatropha, legendary Immortal, must escort his precious charge through the exotic Westerly Provinces, knowing all the world would steal her if they could.

Sotiris, his mind fading fast, must set out to find his dear, drowned sister in a land previously unglimpsed by anyone but the dead.

Lycaste, now far from home, must journey in strange company to the edge of a tempestuous sea, to the lair of someone so dangerous that even the legendary Amaranthine fear his name.





Steve Toutonghi (2016)

Join
Soho Press, March 21, 2017
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 19, 2016

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger—a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers—and survival—brings them from the networks and spire communities they’ve known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the “ferals” left behind by the rush of technology.

In the storytelling tradition of classic speculative fiction from writers like David Mitchell and Michael Chabon, Join offers a pulse-pounding story that poses the largest possible questions: How long can human life be sustained on our planet in the face of environmental catastrophe? What does it mean to be human, and what happens when humanity takes the next step in its evolution? If the individual mind becomes obsolete, what have we lost and gained, and what is still worth fighting for?





Roberta Trahan (2012)

Aftershock
Idyllwynd Publications, March 31, 2016
eBook, 25 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
Deidre Morneau can't remember the last time she didn't have a headache. Chronic migraines have crippled her life and destroyed her dreams, and years of failed therapies have brought her to the brink of despair. But then, the effects of a last-ditch experimental treatment begin to take hold, and Deidre's symptoms get even worse.

Beyond desperate, Deidre agrees to see the research scientist at Extragen Labs who developed the medication she has been taking. But when she arrives at the cold, creepy clinic, Deidre has second thoughts. Just as she decides to opt out, the biggest migraine of her life overwhelms her and Deidre passes out on the waiting room floor.

Deidre suddenly awakens to a bizarre and terrifying new reality. Somehow, she has become the subject of a secret research project, and her body is undergoing a radical change. She is also isolated, restrained, and at the mercy of madmen. Whatever is happening, whatever Deidre is becoming, she isn't waiting around to find out.





James R. Tuck (2012)

The Two Torcs
Robin Hood: Demon Bane 2
  by Debbie Viguie, James R. Tuck
Titan Books, August 2, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
Evil is everywhere. Through terror and dark sorcery, Prince John wields the power of the throne. Lord and peasant alike meet violent ends as the Sheriff’s arcane beasts spread fear and death.

A small group of rebels oppose John, striking from Sherwood Forest...the one place his creatures cannot pursue them. Though their numbers grow, so do the forces of darkness. Unless Robin and Marian fulfill the ancient prophecy of the Two Torcs, the forest will be overrun, and England will fall.


Sovereign's War
Robin Hood: Demon Bane 3
  by Debbie Viguie, James R. Tuck
Titan Books, August 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
THE THIRD BOOK IN THE ROBIN HOOD: BLACK ARROW SERIES! A dramatically different telling of the Robin Hood legend, with dark magic, fantasy, and horror woven into the story.


Mama Tried
  Edited by James R. Tuck
Crime Fiction Inspired By Outlaw Country Music
Down & Out Books, August 15, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 285 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
Outlaws.

It’s what makes the best of country music and crime fiction. Sometimes it’s hardened criminals: murders, thieves, and convicts, sometimes it’s just a poor fool driven to the edge by hard times, hard drinking, or a hard lover.

In this collection you will find stories from the best voices in crime fiction inspired by the best voices in outlaw country music. Stories with:

•An off-books mercenary trying to save a trucker’s delivery from a beautiful thief
•An ex-con dealing with small town prejudice...and armed robbery
•Outlaw newlyweds running from a Tri-county druglord
•A young girl seeking solace in the company of dogs bred to fight that she never found in family
•A wife discovering the other woman is not what she thought
•A writer finding out what prison is really like

Stories by J.L. Abramo, Trey R. Barker, Eric Beetner, Levi Black, Michael Bunker, Delilah Dawson, Les Edgerton, Christa Faust, Tommy Hancock, Grant Jerkins, Ken Lizzi, Riley Miller, James A. Moore, Bobby Nash, Mel Odom, Eryk Pruitt, Jay Requard, Charles R. Rutledge and Ryan Sayles.





Marc Turner (2015)

Red Tide
The Chronicles of the Exile 3
Tor Books, September 20, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41
Red Tide, the third volume in Marc Turner's The Chronicles of the Exile, following When the Heavens Fall and Dragon Hunters

The Augerans are coming. And their ships are sailing in on a red tide.

The Rubyholt Isles are a shattered nation of pirate-infested islands and treacherous waterways shielding the seaboards of Erin Elal and the Sabian League, a region even dragons fear to trespass.

The Augerans beseech the Warlord of the Isles, seeking passage for their invasion fleet through Rubyholt territory. But they are sailing into troubled waters. Their enemies have sent agents to sabotage the negotiations, and to destroy the Augeran fleet by any means necessary.

The emperor of Erin Elal seeks to forge an alliance with the Storm Lords, hoping to repulse the Augerans with a united front. But the battle lines for the struggle are not as clearly drawn as it first appears, for the Emira of the Storm Isles mistrusts the Erin Elalese as much as she does their common enemy. And the Augerans might just be planning a little sabotage of their own.

But nothing in the realm of mortals escapes the notice of their meddling gods; every step they take is shadowed, and every choice they make ensnared in a web so subtle and vast, its true shape may be fathomed only when it is far, far too late.

A new epic adventure in the fantastic world of When the Heavens Fall and Dragon Hunters!

The View From Monday - April 21, 2014


Happy Monday! Hope that everyone had a good weekend.  It's another light release week.


The View From Monday - April 21, 2014


There is one debut this week:

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez.


And from a formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Author:

The Keys to the Realms (Dream Stewards 2) by Roberta Trahan


April 21, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Call of the Siren (e) Rosalie Lario PNR - Demons of Infernum 4
Golem in My Glovebox (e) R.L. Naquin UF - Monster Haven Story 4
Survive to Dawn (e) PJ Schnyder PNR - London Undead 3



April 22, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Furies: A Thriller Mark Alpert Th/Science
Heaven's Queen Rachel Bach SF - Paradox 3
Secrets in the Shadows (ri) Jenna Black PNR - Guardians of the Night 2
The Kraken King Part II: The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm (e) Meljean Brook SPR - Iron Seas
Deception's Princess Esther Friesner F - Princesses of Myth 7
Darkest Flame: Part 3 (e) Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Afterparty Daryl Gregory SF
Cold Wind: A Tor.Com Original Nicola Griffith DF
East of Ecstasy Laura Kaye PNR - Hearts of the Anemoi 4
Ancient Enemy (e) Michael McBride H
Life's Lottery Kim Newman H
Otherwise Engaged Amanda Quick PNR - Ladies of Lantern Street 3
The Forever Watch (D) David Ramirez SF
The Keys to the Realms Roberta Trahan F - Dream Stewards 2
The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories (h2tp) Connie Willis SF - Collection



April 23, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The End of the End of Everything: A Tor.Com Original Dale Bailey SF/H



April 25, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Joe Ledger: Special Ops Jonathan Maberry H - Collection



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

DF - Dark Fantasy
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SPR - Steampunk Romance
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

and the winners are...


Dark Currents (Agent of Hel 1) by Jacqueline Carey - Read the Interview and enter here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Would you like to vacation in a resort town with an out in the open eldritch community?

Dawn Prough who said...

I don't like to poke bears, so I don't know if I'd go to a supernatural town and look for them. Besides, as another commentor mentioned, they are living creatures and it is mean to go and stare at them like they are exhibits for your entertainment.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



Revelation (The Seven Signs 1) by Erica Hayes - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  What is one of your favorite novels featuring Angels or Archangels?

books4me who said...

I can't recall the name of the exact series but it's by Felicity Heaton, I think...I haven't read too many angel series!



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



Dark Light of Day (Noon Onyx 1) by Jill Archer - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  What is one of your favorite stories featuring demons?

Sullivan McPig who said...

Hmmm... I think that would have to be A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang.


Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012


3 copies of Bad Glass by Richard E. Gropp - Read the Interview here. US/Canada Only

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question: What is one of your favorite apocalyptic or "weird city" stories?(stories = novels, comics, short stories, movies, etc.)

bn100 who said...

I like Article 5.


Cindy who said...

I like the British comic Nemesis the Warlock.


Alyn who said...

I liked Battle Royale.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector 2) by Chris F. Holm - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Have you read any supernatural noir or any noir novels? If yes, name one. If not, what is one of your favorite Urban Fantasy novels?

Barbara E. who said...

I really enjoyed Already Dead by Charlie Huston - a hardboiled detective who's also a vampyre, it's a great story. My favorite urban fantasy series is Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin.


Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012


Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars 2) by Claire Ashgrove - Read the Guest Post here

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Do you have any favorite stories, movies, comics that feature Knights(Templar or other)?

Leah Weller who said..

I have so many...... Tristan and Isolde, Timeline, Guinevere, Kingdom Of Heaven, King Arthur, First Knight, just to name a few. As for books, Immortal Hope was amazing. I can't wait to read about Farran! Congratulations on the release and thank you for the chance in the giveaway. :)



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



Incarnation by Emma Cornwall - Read the Interview here.  US ONLY

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  What is one of your favorite vampire novels?

rissatoo who said...

My first real vampire read will always be a favorite: Interview With The Vampire. But I've read SO many wonderful takes on vampires - from Stoker's scary Dracula, to Bartlett's light & frothy Glory StClair, and LKH's sensual Jean Claude - I just LOOOOOVE a good vampire world! :)

I'll keep my eye out for this one.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



ARC of Something Red by Douglas Nicholas - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012
ARC COVER IS DIFFERENT!
Question:  What is one of your favorite novels that is not set in the present day?

Stephanie who said...

The Great Gatsby!



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



A Lady and Her Magic by Tammy Falkner - Read the Interview here.  US/CANADA ONLY

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  What is your favorite era of British History - Tudor, Victorian, Regency, etc?

Di who said...

I enjoy all the periods, but Medieval & Regency are the ones I keep going back to.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards 1) by Roberta Trahan - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Who is one of your favorite rulers (queen, king, etc.) from history or myth?

Carl who said...

Arthur, of course, must be one of nearly everyone's favorites. I also enjoy the villains, Richard III for example, but I don't think I would have liked to have known him very well.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Do you work better under pressure to meet a deadline?

Tim who said...

I work well under pressure, but I think too much pressure makes for an inferior product.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



The White Forest by Adam McOmber - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Do you have any favorite time period settings for novels? Which?

erin who said...

Thanks for a great post and congrat to Adam on the new release! I've been reading such awesome reviews for this book it as already on my "want" list :) I truly don't have a fav time period. I'm pick up what sounds interesting to me and I figure, I'm a long for the ride and I'll go where ever and whenever an author wants to take me :) I'm just looking for a great story and characters I can connect to.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



Charming Blue, Wickedly Charming, Thoroughly Kissed, and Utterly Charming by Kristine Grayson - Read the Guest Blog here.


Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  Who would be your Prince or Princess Charming and why?(The Prince or Princess may be imaginary or real, of course.)

June M. who said...

I don't have a real Prince Charming in my life. Most of the heroes that I really like would not exactly be known as Prince Charming either, I tend to like the Alpha-Dominate bad-boys :) Some of my faves include Wraith from the Demonica series (along with Ares & Than from LoD), and I love the Masters in Cherise Sinclair & Kallypso Masters books.



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012



Three copies of Fair Game (Guardian 3) by Taylor Keating - Read the Interview here. US/CANADA

Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012

Question:  What are some of your favorite video games?

Debby who said...

Amazing excerpt. I would love to read more. I am not a big game player. I just like to play block games.


Rebe who said...

I'm not much of a gamer, to be honest. I think my favorite video game is Ms. PacMan (which soooo dates me, lol)!


Barb P who said...

I'm not really a gamer. Probably the last video game that I played was Star Wars Pod Racers or Space Invaders. I have read Game Over and loved it! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!



Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM on Sunday, October 28, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly pick a new winner or winners.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of The Well of Tears - September 18, 2012

Please welcome Roberta Trahan to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards 1) is published today! Happy Publication Day to Roberta!

You may read Roberta's Guest Blog - The Chicken-Egg Paradox: What Came First – the Story or the Character? - and  read an excerpt of The Well of Tears here.


Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of The Well of Tears - September 18, 2012



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

Roberta:  I don’t know how interesting this is, but it is quirky. When I write, I cannot get comfortably settled unless I am seated with my back to a north facing wall. I like to think this is because the magnetic pull of the North Pole is somehow tied to my creative flow. In all reality, however, I’m probably just a little weird.


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

Roberta:  That’s always a tough question to answer – there are so many talented writers. To name just a few, I admire authors like Patrick Rothfuss, George RR Martin, and Jacqueline Carey for their creative genius and mastery of craft. And I always look forward to new works by Robin Hobb, Tanith Lee, and Terry Brooks. But the authors who have most influenced me as a writer are classical fantasy legends like JRR Tolkein, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Judith Tarr, and Mary Stewart.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Roberta:  Hm. Well, I’d have to say I’m more of a plotser. I have a sort of piecemeal process that begins with a rough outline of about five key scenes, a protagonist, an antagonist, and at least one secondary character. I have a general idea of where the story starts and where it ends, but the middle is a complete mystery. As I start fleshing things out from the beginning, working toward each of the key scenes, characters and sub-plots start popping up and I kind of wing it from there. Honestly, my process is a mess. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.


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

Roberta:  Hah, well, as noted above, harnessing my writing process is my biggest challenge. I keep searching for a more streamlined approach, but haven’t found it yet.


TQ:  Describe The Well of Tears in 140 characters or less.

Roberta:  A post-Arthurian epic historical fantasy wherein a sorceress confronts a festering evil seeking to destroy her order and its magical legacy


TQ:  What inspired you to write The Well of Tears?

Roberta:  Initially I wanted to write about women stepping into power and all of the complications that presents. In the beginning, I had a character and story arc in mind, but no context or setting. About the same time, my older brother began researching our family history in Cornwall and Wales. I got caught up in his discoveries, which excited me because I felt like I suddenly had a personal connection to the land and the lore I had always loved. I found myself envisioning Alwen as a female version of Merlin, but the last thing I wanted to do was reinvent a legend that had been so well explored by other more talented writers. So I began looking for another time and place where sorcery might well have played a hand in the fates of mankind. Another writer, a lovely historian from Cornwall, introduced me to Hywel, a Welsh king who ruled about 500 years after Arthur and also achieved remarkable feats – as a man, and a monarch. As is the case with all of the history of these regions, very little is documented and most of what is believed to be true is basically an educated guess. This gave me some very fertile ground to work with, allowing me to blend fact and fantasy and create a legend of my own that is based at least in part on real events.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Well of Tears?

Roberta:  The research for this book, and the rest that will follow in The Dream Stewards series, took about a decade. I spent several years revisiting the early medieval history studies from my college days which focused largely on Western Europe, and then moved on to both Nordic and Celtic mythology and folklore. I also studied early medieval culture, religions, and medicine. The Internet allowed me to reach out to librarians and historians all over the world, who were instrumental in helping me find some very obscure sources, as well as what little information there was about Hywel the Good and the events that shaped his legendary reign. It was a lot of work, and I’m afraid I have forgotten more than I remember, but I loved every minute of it. I tend to get lost in the research, which is my second biggest writing challenge.


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

Roberta:  Ohhh, good question! The easiest character to write, by far, was Rhys. It was like he just arrived on my doorstep one day, completely self-aware and sure of who he was and why he was there. I never had to stop and ask myself, ‘now what would Rhys say’ or ‘what would he do’ or ‘how would he react’. I just knew. Alwen, on the other hand, gave me fits. She was a fight from start to finish. I think there was an ongoing struggle between who she was and who I wanted her to be, and I would guess this was because she is so representative of real women I know, dealing with the very real issues of career, family, and self-fulfillment in an environment that expects us to choose one over the other.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Well of Tears?

Roberta:  I can’t say it is my favorite because it’s just so sad, but the scene I am most proud of comes about three-quarters of the way through the book. There is a point in the story where Alwen realizes she has made a horrible mistake, almost too late. And yet, even as she is devastated by an unimaginable loss, Alwen finds the strength to help Odwain, who is beyond heartbroken. Very tough to write. My actual favorites are the male bonding moments, like the scene where Bledig is assessing Odwain’s potential as a son-in-law. Another of my favorites is Alwen teaching Glain the finding spell and the whole thing goes awry.


TQ:  What's next?

Roberta:  Next is the sequel, tentatively titled THE KEYS TO THE REALMS. In the second book of The Dream Stewards, Alwen must recover the four talismans that unlock the power of the magical realms, unite the Circle of Sages, and stabilize the leadership of the Stewardry before Hywel can unite and stabilize his nation. Hywel battles his own demons in this book, including a younger brother who wants the crown for himself, and a sorceress who wants more from him than he is willing to give. Magic, mayhem. and political intrigue ensues, though not necessarily in that order.


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Roberta:  It was my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me – you’ve got a great place here!



The Well of Tears

The Well of Tears
The Dream Stewards 1
47North, September 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 325 pages


Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of The Well of Tears - September 18, 2012
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.



About Roberta

Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of The Well of Tears - September 18, 2012
Roberta Trahan is a life-long writer and “fantasian” (lover of fantasy and history). She is also a Pacific Northwest native and former advertising & marketing maven. After too many years helping to cultivate other people’s ideas, Roberta decided to listen to the little voices in her own mind and began to build magical worlds populated with mystical beings. Roberta is a self-confessed coffeechocoholic and antique jewelry hoarder, and spends her more lucid moments with her family, friends, fellow fantasians, and the thriving writing community in the Seattle area.
THE WELL OF TEARS (47North, September 2012) is her first published novel, but hardly her last. Book Two of The Dreamstewards, THE KEYS TO THE REALMS, is coming soon!

Website : Idyll Conversation (Blog) : Twitter @robertatrahan  : Facebook





The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards 1) from Roberta Trahan!

How:   Answer the following questions:

Who is one of your favorite rulers (queen, king, etc.) from history or myth?

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

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

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

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.


*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September 2012

It's time for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for September 2012!




As part of this year's Debut Author Challenge I thought it would be fun to choose a favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2012 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US.
You have 13 novels to choose from in September!











































2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

There are 13 debuts for September.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The September debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite September cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.



Dark Light of Day
AuthorJill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx
Publisher:  Ace, September 25, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Dystopian
ISBN:  9780425257159 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination.

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.




Full Blooded
AuthorAmanda Carlson
Series:  Jessica McClain
Publisher:  Orbit, September 11, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $12.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780316205207 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
After living in hiding for the last twenty-six years, Jessica wakes up to find she's become a full-blooded werewolf -- claws, fangs, fur, everything. It was never supposed to happen: female werewolves don't exist.

When a mercenary killer comes looking for her, her Pack finds themselves caught in the middle of a war. They must rise up to protect her, but no one knows if she's means the end of their race-or just a new beginning.




In a Fix
Author:  Linda Grimes
Series: Ciel Halligan
Publisher:  Tom Doherty Associates / Tor Books, September 4, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $14.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780765331809 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she's able to take on her clients' appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don't want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel's island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client's about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.




Bad Glass
AuthorRichard E. Gropp
Publisher:  Del Rey, September 25, 2012
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Price:  $15.00 (print)
Genre:  Dark Fantasy
ISBN:  9780345533937 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
One of the most hauntingly original dark fantasy debuts in years—perfect for fans of Lost and Mark Danielewski’s cult classic, House of Leaves.

Something has happened in Spokane. The military has evacuated the city and locked it down. Even so, disturbing rumors and images seep out, finding their way onto the Internet, spreading curiosity, skepticism, and panic. For what they show is—or should be—impossible: strange creatures that cannot exist, sudden disappearances that violate the laws of physics, human bodies fused with inanimate objects, trapped yet still half alive. . . .

Dean Walker, an aspiring photographer, sneaks into the quarantined city in search of fame. What he finds will change him in unimaginable ways. Hooking up with a group of outcasts led by a beautiful young woman named Taylor, Dean embarks on a journey into the heart of a mystery whose philosophical implications are as terrifying as its physical manifestations. Even as he falls in love with Taylor—a woman as damaged and seductive as the city itself—his already tenuous hold on reality starts to come loose. Or perhaps it is Spokane’s grip on the world that is coming undone.

Now, caught up in a web of interlacing secrets and betrayals, Dean, Taylor, and their friends must make their way through this ever-shifting maze of a city, a city that is actively hunting them down, herding them toward a shocking destiny.




Clean
AuthorAlex Hughes
Series:  Mindspace Investigations
Publisher:  Roc, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
Genre:  SciFi/Mystery
ISBN:  9780451464750 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
A RUTHLESS KILLER—
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.




The Vanishing Act
Author:  Mette Jakobsen
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, September 17, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
Price:  $23.95 (print)
Genre:   Fantasy
ISBN:  9780393062922 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
On a small snow-covered island—so tiny that it can’t be found on any map—lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou’s mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother’s disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother’s death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes’ philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.




Stormdancer
AuthorJay Kristoff
Series:  Lotus Wars
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781250001405 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.




Kiss of Steel
AuthorBec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk
Publisher:  Sourcebooks, September 4, 2012
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
Price:  $6.99 (print)
Genre:  Steampunk Romance
ISBN:  9781402270277 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.




The White Forest
AuthorAdam McOmber
Publisher:  Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, September 11, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451664256 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.




Something Red
Author:  Douglas Nicholas
Publisher:  Emily Bestler Books / Atria Books, September 18, 2012
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781451660074 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
From debut author Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting story of love, murder, and sorcery.

During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.

An intoxicating blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting world full of mysterious and fascinating characters— shapeshifters, sorceresses, warrior monks, and knights—where no one is safe from the terrible being that lurks in the darkness. In this extraordinary, fantastical world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous.




Janus
Author:  John Park
Publisher:  ChiZine Publications, September 15, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 300 pages
Price:  $15.95 (print)
Genre:  SciFi
ISBN:  9781927469101 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
In the near future, Jon Grebbel arrives on the colony world of Janus, and finds himself mysteriously without memory of his life on Earth. It seems that the journey has caused severe memory loss in many of Janus's colonists. While Grebbel wants to start his new life, he also wants his memory back, and starts treatments to restore his past. But they only leave him angry and disturbed and he begins to doubt the glimpses of the past the treatments reveal. Grebbel meets Elinda, an earlier arrival, whose lover, Barbara, vanished and then was found lying in the woods, apparently brain-damaged. Elinda has also lost her memories of Earth, but unlike him she has abandoned the effort to recover them. Now their meeting brings each of them a glimpse of an experience they shared back on Earth. Investigating Barbara's fate and their own, the two find their love and their search for justice turning toward bitter self-discovery and revenge, even as they begin to uncover the darkness at the heart of their world.




The City's Son
AuthorTom Pollock
Series:   The Skyscraper Throne
Publisher:  Flux, September 8, 2012 (US)
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
Price:  $16.99 (print)
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  9780738734309 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts

"Gritty, dynamic, and beautiful.
I can't wait for more."
TESSA GRATTON
author of Blood Magic

Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Filius opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen—where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Filius’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Filius raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.




The Well of Tears
AuthorRoberta Trahan
Series:  The Dream Stewards
Publisher:  47North, September 18, 2012
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 325 pages
Price:  $14.95 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  9781612183725 (print)

2012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 Debuts
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.


Guest Blog by Roberta Trahan - The Chicken-Egg Paradox: What Came First – the Story or the Character?

Please welcome Roberta Trahan to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards 1) will be published on September 18th. We are thrilled to share an excerpt of Chapter 2!


Guest Blog by Roberta Trahan - The Chicken-Egg Paradox:   What Came First – the Story or the Character?



The Chicken-Egg Paradox: 
What Came First – the Story or the Character?

Today is full of firsts for me, and I am absolutely thrilled to be invited to The Qwillery for my first guest blog post and to announce the upcoming release of my first novel THE WELL OF TEARS – Book One of The Dream Stewards on September 18. I am also absolutely honored to be included in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge – another first for me!

Perhaps the greatest mystery of writing is the ‘idea’ – where does it come from? What is its origin? How do you find one? And what do you do with it when you do? My personal field research has revealed the idea to be an amorphous creature with the ability to shape-shift, and whose natural habitat is the unsuspecting mind of the hapless artiste. Ideas tend to live in throngs and breed like rats, and yet no two are exactly alike. Sadly, once the hapless artiste is infested with ideas, he or she is resigned to a life of utter distraction. There is no cure, and the only known method of extrication is expression. This, I say, is why writers write. It’s a matter of survival.

I have discovered that ideas are of two genders – story, and character. They bond primarily in pairs, as procreation requires a fully developed story, and at least one mature character. It is not uncommon for a single story to take on multiple character partners, creating a larger and more complex unit known as a novel. In some cases, these story-character pairings will result in multiple offspring, most often referred to as a series.

While the perpetuation of the idea has been studied and is generally well understood, the question of origin remains. Which came first – the story, or the character? The research is inconclusive and results seem to vary depending upon the habitat. As it turns out, the unsuspecting mind of the hapless artiste is as unique as the creatures that breed there. In some idea colonies the story is predominant, while in others it is the character who dominates the population. In the creative fields of my mind, it is the character that most often asserts itself and sets off in search of a story.

In THE WELL OF TEARS, the first book of The Dream Stewards, readers are introduced to the Stewardry, an ages-old order of sorcerers whose one purpose is to protect an ancient prophecy. The Stewards must work to seat a powerful king who has been ordained to bring order to centuries of chaos and impose a lasting peace. In return for their help, the king has promised to restore the old ways to favor and return magic to its rightful place in the world. Alwen, high sorceress and guardian of the realms returns to the Stewardry determined to fulfill her oath. Yet when black magic begins claiming those closest to her and traitors plot to steal the Stewardry’s source of power, she realizes that the king’s survival—and that of all the realms—may require that she sacrifice her own.

Of all the many characters who reside in my mind, Alwen was not the first to manifest. But she was the first to made demands, and with such insistence that I felt compelled to find her a story. As it so happened, at the time she made herself known I was thoroughly immersed in my own story - the family tree my older brother had recently uncovered in Cornwall and Wales. I became obsessed with learning all that I could about the culture and the history of this ancient, romantic world. An historian who offered to guide me introduced me to Hywel dda, a much-loved 10th century Welsh king who had united the country in the only known era of peace and prosperity, and a learned man who helped to create the first written law of the land. A bit reminiscent of the Arthurian legends, don’t you think? I had to know more, and set out to learn all that I could about this famous ruler and the record of his reign. I quickly discovered that very little documentation exists, and what does exist is contradictory and colored by the oral traditions through which the majority of Celtic history was passed down. For the historian, this is a maddening conundrum in which more questions are raised than answers. For the fantasy lover, however, it is the makings of a vast, undefined universe in which anything is possible.

And so it was that Alwen found her story and the idea of The Dream Stewards was born. If you’d like to know more about the era of Hywel the Good, Wikipedia has a relatively complete and reasonably accurate overview of his life and a good source reading list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hywel_Dda.

To give you a preview of Alwen, the magical heroine of THE WELL OF TEARS, I’ve included a chapter excerpt below. This is the first time this excerpt has been shared - a sneak peek just for The Qwillery readers!


*

Two

Autumn in Norvik, 905 AD


The shrill peal of the herring gull echoed over the pounding waves and then faded on the winds. Alwen’s gaze followed its tail feathers eastward, toward the edge of the earth, and found find the day near to dawning. She had spent most of the night on the cold Northland beach, waiting.

In answer to her silent beckon, the gull banked right and returned, travelling parallel to the coastline. Alwen launched her thoughts and released her soul to the bird, joining her mind with the gull’s in such a way that the two beings coexisted within the one. She would have called it sharing or borrowing, as Alwen only chose the creatures, animal or human, who accepted her freely. She preferred the birds. No creatures were freer than the winged ones.

The herring gull hungered, insisting they glide low over the shoals in search of fish. Together they travelled south from where she stood, to a small, shallow inlet on the channel side of the tiny Frisian isle. Not the quay on the northeastern tip, where the village fishing boats were moored. A landing there would have been noticed.

Alwen nudged her host slightly inland, expecting to come upon the ferry still moored and strangers camped on the bank. She had discovered them making the channel crossing during her spirit-faring the previous morn. Instead, through the gull’s eyes she spied the riders already on the road. They must have risen before dawn. The messenger would reach the village before long.

She released the bird and returned her consciousness to her own being, grounding herself once again in rock and sand. Even before she had seen the travelers approaching, Alwen had felt the call: an echo of distant, ancient voices pulling her toward a life she had left long ago. Remembrances she had held in sacred keeping for more than twenty years had begun to surface.

But it was not the memories which made her anxious. The summoning was at hand.

In deep, even respiration Alwen drew in the dawn and slowly exhaled the residue of unrest. Thick damp mist salted her lips and sated her lungs, though even the sea’s soothing vapors could not bring the calm. Destiny hung on the horizon, looming ever larger like the rising sun. Her days on this tiny isle were nearly done.

“Where did the wings take you this time?” Rhys hauled himself up to balance on a surf-and-sand scrubbed boulder and grinned down at her from his perch.

“Hither and yon.” She offered a half-hearted nod to her son, not quite ready to be interrupted. Rhys liked to come upon her earlier than expected, always hoping to find her entranced, with her psyche soaring along with some unsuspecting carrier on what he imagined to be a grand adventure. And it was. The spirit-sending was the magical art that Alwen most treasured, and the one her son most envied. She regretted that she had no way to share it with him.

“I see.” Rhys eyed her suspiciously as he held out his hand and waited for her to take half the pebbles he held in his palm.

Alwen couldn’t help a smile as she accepted the stones. As a small boy, Rhys had called them wishing rocks. Even now he sought her out nearly every morning to help him cast his secret desires into the water, as far out to sea as either of them could throw.

“Nothing unusual, then?” Rhys began to throw the stones into the waves.

Alwen noted the familiar lure in his tone, but did not respond. Instead she attempted to distract him. Focusing intently on the next stone as Rhys released it, Alwen caused it to hang in mid flight.

“Remember the dancing stones?” With just the slight bobbing of her chin Alwen directed the rock in wanton hops and skips, as if it were waltzing on the water.

Rhys groaned aloud with the agony only a grown man can experience at the hands of his mother. “I remember.”

She laughed, releasing the stone so that it plopped into the surf and sank. “Well, you used to find it amusing.”

She regarded her son with deep affection, watching the stretch of his arm and the proud jut to his jaw. Though his build was lean and lithe like hers, Rhys had inherited neither her fair hair and light eyes nor her sorcery. Rather, the son was so much like the father there were times it nearly took her breath away. At nineteen, Rhys was the very semblance of his sire in much younger days. He had the same thick, dark hair that shaded intelligent green eyes, and the same engaging grin.

For several long minutes they traded tosses in silence, until Rhys could no longer contain his curiosity. “You’re keeping something from me, or me from it,” he prodded, gaze trained on the horizon in an unsuccessful attempt to feign casual interest.

A sudden gust sent a shiver through her bones, and Alwen shrank deeper into the folds of her cape. Wild, snow-white locks escaped her cowl at the insistent tugging of the brisk North Sea breeze, whipping wet and cold against her cheeks. She chucked the last of her stones in one pitch and tucked her hair back inside the hood.

“We have visitors.”

“Visitors?” Rhys teetered on his heels as he turned to look. “Where?”

“You should be able to see them by now.” Alwen turned to point out three horsemen making their way north through the flats on the one narrow byway that transected the island. From their vantage point on the jetty at the northern tip of the island, they could see the entire length of the coastal road. “Change marches towards us.”

“Is that a flag?” His gaze followed hers, traveling the waterline beyond the outermost edge of the village. Rhys nodded slightly as the herald’s colors drew nearer. “A messenger.”

“Yes,” she said. “They came ashore last night, just before sunset.”

“Last night?” Rhys sounded shocked, even insulted. He dropped the last of the pebbles and brushed the sand from his hands. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“There are some things I keep to myself, Rhys.” She sounded more abrupt than she had intended. In truth, she was reluctant to admit that she had wanted to be alone with the news, at least for a little while. Her children knew little of her past, except that she owed a duty she would one day be called to serve.

“Well, naturally, there would be.” Rhys adjusted his tone to reflect proper deference for his mother but his deeply furrowed brow revealed a bit of resentment. “Do you know the colors?”

Alwen nodded absently, not acknowledging his words so much as dismissing him. She was distracted by the deep, indigo standard of the Steward’s guild. The sight of it evoked an old but familiar heart song. “I know them well.”

“You are nervous,” Rhys observed. “You’re fisting your hands so hard I’d guess the nails are digging into your palms.”

“So I am.” She relaxed the absent-minded clench and clasped her hands together beneath the cuffs of her cloak. Rhys was observant and knew her better than most, but Alwen had been trained to quash telling signs. Obviously she would need to redouble her discipline. “I suppose I find this all a bit unnerving.”

“Unnerving?” Rhys laughed full out. “That is an outrageous understatement, even for you.”

“If you say so.” Alwen couldn’t help but smile. He was right, after all, and not about to let her get away with pretense. Candor was a trait she particularly favored, especially in Rhys.

“Very mysterious.” Rhys rebalanced himself on the boulder and turned to face the open ocean. “This is what you have waited for, is it not?”

“We will know soon enough.”

“The realm of possibility is endless.” Rhys smiled to himself as he stared into the water’s infinite depths. “I can think of no greater adventure than the unknown.”

“Nor greater peril,” she warned. “The realm of loss is also endless.”

“Hah,” he scoffed. “The greater the peril, the more prized the purse. Half the fun is in the risk and in the end, it’s all just a matter of what you’re willing to wager.”

Rhys fell suddenly silent, as if sobered by the deeper meaning in his own words. Nothing stirred but the surf. Alwen watched as he gradually surrendered to the sea, lulled by the languid suck and rush of the water washing over the scaur and the distant, haunting caw of the herring gulls.

It wouldn’t take a spirit-faring to know what he was feeling. Alwen could sense the yearning that afflicted her son. His instincts stirred to the call of the sea, as did all of the island people. But that was understandable. She had come to feel rooted here as well.

Norvik was a tranquil, unassuming place. A Varangian name for a Frisian settlement, but that was fitting. This was the birthplace of the great Norse warrior, Aslak, legendary captain of the castle guard at Fane Gramarye. Aslak’s family lands were as close as Alwen could ever have come to finding content on any foreign soil. Rhys, however, was completely at peace on these shores.

“You are happy here,” she said.

He snuffled his sleeve as he swiped the brine and wind blown curls from his brow, as if to savor the scent of the sea on his shirt linen. “I suppose I am. It’s a quiet life, maybe too quiet, and I don’t like the cold. Especially now, with winter edging in on the wind.”

“Speaking of understatement,” she taunted. “It will be hard for you to leave.”

Rhys shrugged. “Norvik has been home to me all of my life. And Eirlys, too.”

Home, he said, as if the land and the village were all that he worried to leave. Alwen understood the word for what he really meant, even if Rhys had not yet fully realized it. For Rhys and his sister, home was also family, and family included Bledig.

“Your father will find us on the road.”

“No sign of him?” Rhys could not keep the disappointment from his voice.

“With the dead season looming, the birds prefer to keep close to shore. I can only go where they care to take me,” she said. “Bledig and his men are yet beyond my sight.”

Rhys nodded, resigned to truths yet unspoken. “We’ll be leaving without him, then.”

“Yes.” It saddened her to say it, but Alwen was relieved that Rhys had drawn the conclusion on his own. If only Eirlys would be as accepting. “Worse yet, I fear I must foul your sister’s wedding plans.”

Rhys turned his head to grin at her. “Change marches toward us, isn’t that what you said?”

“So I did. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that the two of you should suffer for it.”

“Doesn’t it?” He was only half teasing.

Alwen understood his frustration. Rhys had spent time enough in his father’s charge, in travel and training, and in the earning of his manhood. Bledig was the clan leader of one of the nomadic tribes of the Obotrites, renowned for their tracking skills and ruthless, cunning tactics in trading. It was assumed that Rhys would one day take his place at his father’s side, as second man to the chieftain. It was an honor he respected, but Rhys longed to find his own adventures. On that account, he had her compassion in greater measure than he would ever know.

“Rhys,” she said gently. “You are your own man. You are entitled to choose the path you want.”

“What I want,” he said, sighing, “is to know what I want.”

Alwen laughed softly. “You have no idea how lucky you are to be plagued by such a delicious dilemma. For you, everything is an adventure into the unknown.”

Rhys shook his head at her. “You have the oddest sense of humor.”

“Your future is not yet fixed. Until you set your own course you stand at the center of an enormous turnstile. No matter which way you turn, no matter which direction you look, there is yet another path to take. As you say, the possibilities are endless.”

“Well, I guess those endless possibilities of mine will have to wait a bit longer.” Rhys slid off the rocks as if to ground himself. “We must first greet your destiny.”

*



The Well of Tears

The Well of Tears
The Dream Stewards 1
47North, September 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook

Guest Blog by Roberta Trahan - The Chicken-Egg Paradox:   What Came First – the Story or the Character?
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.
Pre-order



About Roberta

Guest Blog by Roberta Trahan - The Chicken-Egg Paradox:   What Came First – the Story or the Character?
Roberta Trahan is a life-long writer and “fantasian” (lover of fantasy and history). She is also a Pacific Northwest native and former advertising & marketing maven. After too many years helping to cultivate other people’s ideas, Roberta decided to listen to the little voices in her own mind and began to build magical worlds populated with mystical beings. Roberta is a self-confessed coffeechocoholic and antique jewelry hoarder, and spends her more lucid moments with her family, friends, fellow fantasians, and the thriving writing community in the Seattle area.
THE WELL OF TEARS (47North, September 2012) is her first published novel, but hardly her last. Book Two of The Dreamstewards, THE KEYS TO THE REALMS, is coming soon!

Website : Idyll Conversation (Blog) : Twitter @robertatrahan  : Facebook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012



I have not posted a 2012 Debut Author Challenge Update in a while. I'd like to share some of the newest authors who will be featured in the Challenge as well as share some covers. You can keep up to date with all the 2012 Debut Author Challenge information here.



G. T. Almasi

Blades of Winter
Shadowstorm 1
Del Rey, August 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
In one of the most exciting debuts in years, G. T. Almasi has fused the intricate cat-and-mouse games of a John le Carré novel with the brash style of comic book superheroes to create a kick-ass alternate history that reimagines the Cold War as a clash of spies with biological, chemical, and technological enhancements.

Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, a self-described “million-dollar murder machine,” is a rising star in ExOps, a covert-action agency that aggressively shields the United States from its three great enemies: the Soviet Union, Greater Germany, and the Nationalist Republic of China. Rather than risk another all-out war, the four superpowers have poured their resources into creating superspies known as Levels.

Alix is one of the hottest young American Levels. That’s no surprise: Her dad was America’s top Level before he was captured and killed eight years ago. But when an impulsive decision explodes—literally—in her face, Alix uncovers a conspiracy that pushes her to her limits and could upset the global balance of power forever.



Steve Bein

Daughter of the Sword
Fated Blades 1
Roc, October 2, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
May not be final cover
ANCIENT POWER

Mariko Oshiro is not your average Tokyo cop. As the only female detective in the city’s most elite police unit, she has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. While she wants to track down a rumored cocaine shipment, he gives her the least promising case possible. But the case—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.

The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it. Or so says Yamada, and though he has studied swords and swordsmanship all his life, Mariko isn’t convinced.

But Mariko’s skepticism hardly matters. Her investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield herself could turn against her.



Leigh Evans

The Trouble With Fate
Mystwalker 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks, December 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
The Back Cover copy from Leigh Evans website.
I HAVE TWO WORDS FOR WEREWOLVES:

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…

BITE ME.

Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…

First in the incredible new Mystwalker series!



Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead
Tor, October 2, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.



Alex Hughes

Clean
Mindspace Investigations 1
Roc, September 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
Adam used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked him out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely his fault. Now he works for the cops, helping put killers behind bars. His ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes him the best interrogator in the department. But the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust Adam, a serial killer is stalking the city—and Adam is aching for a fix. But he needs to solve this case. Adam’s just had a vision of the future: he’s the next to die. [may not be final blurb]



Hanna Martine

Liquid Lies
The Elementals 1
Berkley, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
Magic is corporate America's best-kept secret, and Gwen Carroway is the best at selling it...

With her ability to pick up any language in an instant, Gwen Carroway is taking her family business global. As dutiful future leader of water elementals, she'll do anything to protect her people's secrets and bloodlines--including enter an arranged marriage. Inside, however, she yearns for the forbidden.

Reed is a mercenary addicted to the money and adrenaline rush of his work. After he inadvertently saves Gwen's life, he ignites her taboo desire for men without magic--and with bodies of gods. Just as things heat up, Reed discovers that Gwen is exactly who he's been hired to kidnap. He resolves to put work before lust, yet her luscious beauty and fiery spirit unravel him...

But there is a terrible truth behind Gwen's family business--and now, caught between the kinsmen she no longer trusts and an enemy bent on vengeance, the only ally she has is her abductor...



Tom Pollock

The City's Son
The Skyscraper Throne 1
Flux, September 9, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Filius opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen—where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Filius’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Filius raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.



Michael Poore

Up Jumps the Devil
Ecco, July 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
John Scratch, the Devil himself, is the protagonist in this stunningly imaginative, sharp, funny, and tender novel, as he tricks, teases, and prods America to greatness in the hope of luring his lost love back down to Earth from Heaven. Up Pops the Devil is fiction with humor and heart, the kind of hilarious, off-beat, and original reading experience that fans of Chris Moore, Joe Hill, Chuck Palahniuk, and Jim Shepard would sell their souls for—a brilliant blending of the occult and the outrageous starring the anti-hero of anti-heroes, the one and only Prince of Darkness.



Megan Powell

No Peace for the Damned
Damned 1
47th North, July 10, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
“In that last moment of consciousness I had to chastise myself. I was not supposed to live in this world without violence and pain. And I was an idiot to have ever let myself think otherwise.”

After a lifetime of painful imprisonment, Magnolia Kelch has finally escaped her family’s estate. Unfortunately, the outside world holds its own dangers and freedom can be a precarious thing. When a collision inadvertently pulls Magnolia into The Network – an underground organization fighting against supernatural terrorists the world over – she has to decide just how many new experiences she can handle and just how far she’s willing to go to protect her freedom.



Roberta Trahan

The Well of Tears
The Dream Stewards 1
47North, September 18, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.



Michael R. Underwood

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

2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012
Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire the Slayer in this original urban fantasy eBook about Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.

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

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

Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from her own drag-your-heart-through-jagged-glass breakup. But as she digs deeper, Ree discovers Eastwood may not be the knight-in-cardboard armor she thought. Will Ree be able to stop the suicides, save Eastwood from himself, and somehow keep her job?
What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors, Part 41Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of the Dream Stewards series - Giveaway - April 22, 2014The View From Monday - April 21, 2014Cover Revealed - The Keys to the Realms (The Dream Stewards 2) by Roberta Trahan and Giveaway - January 20, 2014Winners x 18! - October 21, 2012Interview with Roberta Trahan, author of The Well of Tears - September 18, 20122012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - September  20122012 Debut Author Challenge - September 2012 DebutsGuest Blog by Roberta Trahan - The Chicken-Egg Paradox:   What Came First – the Story or the Character?2012 Debut Author Challenge Update - June 5, 2012

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×